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Singularity - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
SingularitySingularity

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

140 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 126
Gots: 50 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ericj551 on 01-18-2011

2011-11.8%(silver foil), 2012-11.6%(black wax),
2013-11.8%(black wax), 2014-14.6%(black wax),
2015-12.2%(black wax)

Our 5th annual release of Driftwood Brewery’s Singularity has been conditioned for 3 months in authentic Kentucky bourbon barrels. This aging process adds warming notes of bourbon and oak that push this Russian Imperial Stout beyond the event horizon. The result is a beer of infinite density and depth of character. At 12.2%, Singularity Russian Imperial Stout 2015 will be a prized addition to any beer cellar!
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 140 | Reviews: 53
Photo of LampertLand
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Driftwood Brewery 'Singularity' Russian Imperial Stout , a beer of infinite destiny , birthday vertical (attempted on (12/13/14) unsuccessfully
2012 vintage @11.6% , 2013 vintage @11.8% ,
2014 vintage @14.6% , 2015 vintage @12.2%
A-pour is a very dark brown/black from the cask/bottle to a black in the glass with a small tan head that quickly dissapates leaving a minimal lace ring along the VBW glass/snifter
S-smells of bourbon , orange rind & ripe dark fruit's & some sweet spices , hint's of oak
T-taste is still complex , barrel aged bourbon up front followed by sweet dark fruit & a chocolate/sweet vanilla combine in the middle , near the end a dry roast coffee finish , wow
MF-a bit viscous , decent carbonation & real big full body , love the ABV buzz !!
Ov-great beer , even at the $12+ / bottle , this beer is a stand-out winner , a must have in anyone's cellar , could possibly be the best beer buzz ever !!
( warning do not attempt as a vertical 12/13/14 )
prost LampertLand

Photo of kscaldef
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good. Rich but well balanced.

Photo of MaltyPythonsHopCircus
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I would never had thought it was as strong as it is. Strong but flavourful. Well balanced sipper

Photo of stouts4me
4/5  rDev -7.2%

9/25/14 pouring from the bomber, into a TG snifter.

Smell a small Brbn barrel aroma, hint of sweetness.

Small thin tan head rims the glass, seems about medium viscosity.

Taste is not overly bitter dark malt. But I get a little; not overly sweet, a little barrel left, smooth , very drinkable, really nothing to turn you away, I may go plop some vanilla ice cream in the next glass, will make a great stout float.

I think I bought this through an internet beer retailer, on '12, it has held up well, ? , 14% , you can't fault this, it is a good beer, a lot of breweries put out an imperial bourbon-barrel aged stout, and it is sad, this is decent, enjoyable, would like to try it fresh sometime, for a comparison.

Photo of TRiGS
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

This is a serious beer. It will steal your soul if you don't respect it. Bottle says 14.6% ABV but it's probably higher than that. Aged 5 months. Black as night. Head is a unique and gorgeous gradient from brown to caramel to beige near the top. Bourbon on the nose. Chocolate, Caramel, coffee, sugar, molasses, and lots of bourbon. Super malty goodness. One bottle of this stuff will probably get you well on your way to slurring your words. Truly a special, unique, and delicious beer.

Photo of Beersnake1
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage poured in late June, 2014. Poured from bottle into tulip. Initially cold from the fridge, but let it warm over an hour.

Appearance: Black as night, with a gorgeous brown head. Good amount of carbonation.

Smell: Holy crap! The nose blew me away. Lot's of bourbon, but nice sweet malts. Picking up a bunch of dark fruits. Very excited to taste this one!

Taste: It doesn't disappoint, but definitely a bit different from the smell. Very nice bourbon flavors, with a sweet aftertaste. Alcohol comes through, which I bet would ease off with some age. It's almost 15%, so a bit of aging would probably be great! There is also a massive dark fruit bomb on this. Cherries, plums, and blackberries. A bit of grape as well. Very nice! This is a perfect treat after dinner!

Mouthfeel: Wow! A smooth and creamy feel. This one lingers nicely. I just want more!

Overall, this is an amazing beer. This is a beer that I would seek out and keep in my cellar. I can only imagine what a bit of age would do to this! Driftwood did a fantastic job with this one!

Photo of Beerzebub
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle.

Looks like a serious beer - deep red and gold highlighted black

Somewhat closed aroma at first, but opens up over half an hour or so as it warms in the glass. Dark and brooding. Burntness (with a touch of smoke, deep, almost industrial, or like a train station), molasses, a Scotch ale sort of maltiness, mild bourbon barrel, and hints of dark fruit like raisins or figs.

Quite a bit more intensity on the palate than suggested by the aroma - bittersweet molasses, burnt caramel/sugar, dark chocolate, orange rind, bourbon, mild licorice. Starts fairly sweet, but finishes bitter and almost dry. Quite a long finish, impressive, with the flavors lingering for a minute or more. Powerful, and delicious.

Medium-full bodied, fine carbonation, smooth texture. Noticeable alcohol, but quite drinkable for what it is.

Good stuff. Thanks to the very helpful staff at 16th St Liquor in West Vancouver for the recommendation!

Photo of MacBrew
4.94/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been a fan of this seasonal from Driftwood for the last few years and I've been waiting impatiently for il's arrival.
It didn't disappoint.
What I do enjoy is this beer at fridge temp and room temp. (It's a sipping beer, not a sessional)
Different flavours come forward as it warms.
Rich, smooth and despite then high alcohol, it goes down without a burn.
The toughest part about this beer is getting through the black wax.
Takes a moment of patience, but well worth it!
Love it!

MacBrew

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.61/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Retsinis for sharing this one at his tasting.

2012 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I am only getting bourbon qualities in the aroma.

Photo of NWer
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage bottle dated black wax
Pours dark dark dark brown into HotD tulip. Minimal head reduces quickly to thin line of bubbles around edge.
Burnt dark chocolate dominates, coffee present. Alcohol makes itself known but not too much so.
Not overly smooth which I like. Flavors shout out their presence. Nothing subtle about it. If you want overly smooth, buy an oatmeal stout.
A pleasure. I wish I had bought more of them when I had the chance.

Photo of sprucetip
3.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012 version into a goblet. Pours inky black with very little head and a similar amount of lacing.

I smell vanilla from the barrels and other woody notes. The whiskey is apparent as well but not overdone. I get just a little bit of roast but not much. Not super complex, but interesting and enjoyable. It also has a fair bit of boozy heat.

I get more roast than in the nose, but it's still gentle. There is some roasty, or maybe it's hoppy, bitterness as well, particularly on the back end. I don't notice the oak and vanilla as much as in the nose, but I do get more as it warms. Or the whiskey. But it is still quite good. Malty sweetness emerges more as it warms.

Nicely carbonated, full body, medium viscosity with some bitterness leading into and lingering after the finish.

This bottle has a year on it, and it strikes me as one that could have benefitted from some more time. There are a number of interesting elements in play including vanilla and other barrel characteristics such as the booze, malty sweetness, and roast. They don't always mesh perfectly, but this is good a beer that is on the verge of being very good.

My friends who shared this with me are saying that some previous years' versions were better.

Photo of TheEarl
3.58/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a black waxed bottle into two snifters on May 7, 2013.

Appearance: Black with thin dark mocha head. Residual foam lace looks a bit like a dark brown nebula. Pretty!

Aroma: Alcohol is the most apparent aroma but it fades to a dark and bitter chocolate note. There is significant wood/barrel as well.

Taste: Cocoa, sugar, bourbon, and vanilla open up into some hop bitterness and a vegetal note that is a bit off-putting.

Mouthfeel: Slick, viscous, and a bit thin.

Overall: This is a decent barrel-aged stout but I wouldn't seek it out or buy it again. The booze was poorly balanced/blended with the base beer and an unpleasant vegetal flavor seems to have developed.

Photo of SebD
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick tan head that dies down moderately and leaves very little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, woody oak and some dark fruit.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some sweet and roasty chocolate, some coffee, vanilla, bourbon, a touch of oak and some sweet dark fruit. Very nice balance.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

Photo of andrenaline
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another brew that I was holding out on to celebrate the birth of our daughter. Enjoyed via a FaceTime review with my buddy Devin who was also the one to hook me up with this gem.

2012 Edition

A - Pours pitch black, thumb of dark mocha head, some retention and some nice sporadic lacing.

S - Rich mocha, dark cocoa, sweet booziness, bourbon and oak notes come through alongside a touch of tobacco and leather.

T - The rich cocoa notes dominate, molasses and toffee, burnt sugar and caramel, hints of oak, burnt tobacco, sugary bourbon, and leafy green hop notes.

M - Medium bodied, insanely smooth and a little sticky on the finish.

O - Well worth the wait and deserving of the title of one Canada's top rated RIS's. Incredibly worthy of such a celebration and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to try it. Flavour profile is incredibly complex, yet the ABV is insanely well hidden and smooth drinking. So glad I had the chance to share this brew with my buddy and definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of maximum12
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Rutager for knocking off a flock of my top Canadian wants in one big, beautiful blast. To further the motif, I'm watching Alanis Morisette on Guitar Center Sessions. OK, only for a minute. 2013 batch, 22 oz. bottle, split with my wife. I like the bottle art, too.

First, there's the David vs. the Goliath fight with the earth's crust, er. wax on the bottle. Six minutes later, I'm through, no blood shed, nothing splled or broken. The actual beer is very black, almost as still. Barrel rolls out as soon as the Red Sea of wax parts, but retreats fairly quickly. Big, bloody dark fruits are dominant, mild sweetness, barrel, & vanilla in the backseat.

Singularity tastes like a bourbon aged in imperial stout barrels. Vanilla & straight-shot bourbon are prominent but not overwhelming in the opening bars, but own the afterburn. Numbs the gums like a good bourbon, & there's a healthy alcohol sting. Lots of dark fruit which I'm normally not fond of in this quantity in a stout, but it works here, playing off the alchohoool/bourbonity. Chocolate, scorched forest, licorice, more flame-licked wood. Light bitterness on the aftertaste. That licorice aftertaste - black licorice, unfortunately - is the only slightly unpleasant note. Tummy. Warming. Slowly. Trying. Drink.

This is so close - so close - to being Gyff, instead it's Ruskin. It's also the rare beer that actually goes a bit downhill as it warms & the licorice begins to wrestle control from the barrel. Nonetheless, a very good beer.

Photo of corby112
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Pours pitch black with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Streaks of soapy lacing are left behind.

Smokey roasted malt aroma with a nice barrel character that makes itself know without overpowering everything else.  Grassy and piney hops along with dry, toasted oak, coconut, vanilla and spicy bourbon but the roasted malts and dark chocolate really stand out.  

Thinner bodied than expected with soft carbonation and a decent amount of boozy bourbon but the barrel character is nicely integrated throughout.  Some toasted oak and vanilla bean followed by a prominent bourbon presence that lingers over the sweet and roasted malt backbone into a slightly dry finish.  Underneath the barrel notes, there is more sweetness than roast with hints of silky chocolate, toffee and caramel along followed by some oatmeal, burnt malt and roasted coffee bean.  Well balanced and complex with subtle heat in the finish but the high abv is well masked making this strong beer easier to drink than expected.

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

*** 2012 Vintage ***

A: Pours jet black with 1 finger of tan head which dissapates to a thin rim with very minimal lacing.

S: Initial scent of sweet dark chocolate and espresso together with bourbon and oak. Background notes of minerals, dried cherries and smokiness.

T: Dark chocolate mocha with hints of vanilla and bourbon boziness. End notes of tobacco smoke and dried cherries. Flavours are well integrated and balanced and results in an extremely smooth finish.

M: Medium level of carbonation gives a slight buzz on the tongue and leaves a hint of mineral finish. Smooth oily coating covers the entire mouth. Like sippin silk sheets.

O: This is one of the best RIS's we've had along with Peche Mortel. The flavours meld together beautifully and result in a complex and increadibly integreted smooth brew. Alcohol is extremely well hidden, only noticed with a slight warmth of alcohol esters. I could see drinking a couple of these provided I don't try and stand up.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Brouwers during Big Wood. Review from notes.

A: Totally black with tight capped tan head on top with nice retention, slowly reducing in size. Lacing is very thin and fades quickly after forming.

S: Strong chocolaty aroma upfront, a little bit of dark fruit, some coffee and a little bit of bourbon and vanilla.

T: Again, quite a bit of chocolate and fruit upfront, mostly raisin and cherry. There is some coffee along with vanilla and caramel.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Extremely smooth with abv well hidden.

O: A very solid RIS. If the bottles were a little less expensive I would certainly be grabbing them up.

Photo of largadeer
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage. Thanks, Vlad.

Appearance: Pitch black body with a clinging tan head and oily leggings. A small but lasting head forms, and never completely dissipates.

Smell: The aroma is led by burnt sugar, with a bit of dark fruit sweetness buried beneath. Roasted malts are moderate - reigned-in enough to balance the sweetness. Bourbon barrel is evident, but it isn't dominant - it brings notes of vanilla and caramel.

Palate: Rich brown sugar, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate. Heavy on the barrel, but without much heat. The body is viscous, almost oily. This leans more toward the sweet and rich side than the roasty and bitter, and it's quite impressive in small quantities.

Photo of CookstLiquor
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a black wax-dipped 650ml bottle. Pours a light-absorbing blackened-brown colour. Thick. Nose offers little more than rich grain notes (like the darkest rye you can imagine) with some vanilla notes. This was aged in Maker's Mark barrels and the imparted booze matches well with a perfectly brewed RIS. It's sweet with dark cherry and vanilla bourbon notes that pair well with the big brew's ample smoky and bitter notes. Super-complex and very drinkable for high double-digits.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sweetwater mini-snifter.

But I could've sworn a singularity was nigh-impossible...? Anyway, this stuff pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of sandy tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, mild cocoa, and very light vanilla bean. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some bitter dark chocolate. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a solid stout, nothing overtly special, but I'd definitely drink another were one offered me.

Photo of flagmantho
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz waxed bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: entirely black, allowing no light through the body. Hed is a finger of dense, creamy dark-tan foam. Very attractive, but head retention is not great and the lace isn't as beautiful as I want it.

Smell: strong aroma of roasted malt, rich, ripe, dark fruits (date, plum, black cherry), a fruity, aromatic alcohol character and a tannic woody bite. Complex and engaging.

Taste: surprisingly light (in a good way), despite the masively dark appearance and sky-high alcoholic content. The fruitiness is right at the fore, with plums and cherries and apples and pears; yes, even lighter fruits make it in here. I'm guessing this thing is pretty highly attenuated, lightening up the body and adding in more alcoholic complexity. I like it very much.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a good level of carbonation and a very silky smooth texture. Not as bodaciously creamy as I'd hoped, but good nonetheless.

Overall: this is a very tasty Imperial stout which isn't cloyingly sweet and overly thick. For a beer of this flavor profile and alcoholic content, it is dangerously drinkable. Great!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of medium bourbon notes with some woody notes and light vanilla with some medium dry roasted malt with light dry notes. Taste is a mix between some bourbon notes with some light vanilla and dry roasted malt with dry black chocolate notes. Body is quite full with a nice creamy texture and good carbonation. Not the most complex beer out there and not enough vanilla and woody notes to satisfy me but still very enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of 604growler
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle, aged for 6 months

Appearance: What more do you want? Perfect Imperial stout tan head with black.

Smell: Sniffing the bottle opening before pouring: Pine. It's a unique (for a beer) and amazing smell that seems to dissipate once poured. It smells like a damn west coast Douglas Fir pine cone! Once poured, molasses.

Taste: Oak. Chocolate. Coffee, Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit carbonated for an imp stout. But not thin.

Overall: IMO On par with Peche Mortal for a top Canadian Imperial Stout.

Photo of papat444
3.53/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

***2012 Vintage***

Big thanks to hoppypocket for pulling out one of my long time wants.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle and split with my wife.

Appearance: Pours a thick & dense dark brown body, a reserved 2-3 fingers that leaves some nice rings.

Smell: A bit shy, even at room temp. Cocoa, chunks of chocolate, mild oak.

Taste: Nuts, raisins, dark fruits, coffee beans, bit of roastedness, chocolate milkshake a bit but nowhere do i taste the bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Real smooth, easy to drink with a bit of bitterness in the end.

Overall: Lacked punch for me. No real intensity given that it's been released this year. I wouldn't age this very long as i can't imagine it getting smoother. Lacks complxity that the name "imperial" implies.

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Singularity from Driftwood Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.