WHILE GRAVEDIGGER BILLY may lack the explosive visual presence of Working Mom, this approximately 10% ABV Wee Heavy more than makes up for it in decadent aroma and flavor. For extra depth Revolution Brewing turned once again to Woodford Reserve, whose barrels they aged the beer in for five months. That treatment struck through the heart of Working Mom and completely enveloped the Co-Conspirator Doppelbock, but a generous dose of Belgian malt keeps Billy’s core character up front. Red licorice is very strong in the aroma, along with a little bubble gum, vanilla, coffee roast, and then finally caramel (an unusual order). Barrel char and alcohol heat play well with well-balanced carbonation, a touch high for the style, and diffuse nicely in the finish without undermining the medium-plus body.
Ruby brown with a tightly-packed half-finger of creamy head, Billy is warming and sweet, but still no sugar-bomb and considerably more palatable than many fruit-forward dessert beers. Awarded silver at FoBAB (Working Mom took gold), it increasingly seems that dark beers are Revolution’s strongest suit.
Served: On tap (Skyline Loft, FoBAB 2013, Chicago)