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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
Reviews by ithinkimasofa:
More User Reviews:
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 Beerandraiderfan
3.82/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looked brown and black, not the most impressive appearance, no lasting head/retention/lace. Aroma, strong on the bitter, tart and alcohol notes, but yet, not really given its strength.

Taste was good, the thin body made me think this had just outright liquor added to the barrel, rather than just getting its character from the barrel. Prime the pump. Heavy roast character, some bitter tart thing going on, interesting, different. Chocolate, licorice and vanilla. Really don't pick up oak or barrel as much as I do alcohol, but relative to its abv, its really not all that omniprescient.

One of the best beers I've had from Canada. Who brought this to the Solar Eclipse party? Was it Crystel and her man? Sure am glad I took a picture and notes, as relying on my own independent recollection on this one, is uh, questionable.

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 Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the BA guys out West, love their reviews. Ok, a rare bottled West beer they didn't send out to me already that's good. Volo:$46 with tax and tip, sharing with Jason. Its black and almost no head. Way too cold, half an hour into it as it warms I get a cask head, some trace of lace condensation on the side of the glass. A little boozy and chocolate aroma, and some strange spice in the finish that seems sour.Its closer to room temperature, and its very bourbon, some oak, carbonation is there.Smooth, buttery, as warmer and there is more coffee and coconut. 14% alcohol as rated by LCBO. Bourbon takes over as the smell. Chocolate in the sediment.

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 Rutager
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 black waxed bottle.

Appearance. Pours a nice thick looking black with half a finger of rich and creamy tan head.

Smell. Rich, chocolaty dark roasted malts, some vanilla, bourbon and a bit of toasted wood. Smells awesome.

Taste. Sweet chocolate and a little vanilla fade to a slightly bitter roasty coffee and some smoky wood. Some booze for sure, but not too bad considering abv.

Mouthfeel. Full body, but nothing excessive, low smooth carbonation.

Overall. Nice big bourbon stout from Canada. Fantastic.

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 TheSevenDuffs
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 4/8/11
Thanks to korguy123 for this bottle!
Served in Founder's tulip glass @ 45F.

A - Black with one finger of espresso coloured head that left some good lacing behind in the glass.

S - Heavy bourbon scent up front with oak. Not much else comes through on the nose.

T - Bourbon and oak are the predominant flavours, but without being overwhelming. Some sweet molasses, vanilla and light roasted malt notes come through. This beer is somewhat one dimensional with the bourbon barrel flavours dominating the palate (bourbon, oak, vanilla). It would be nice if more of the roasted malt flavours were present. That said, the bourbon barrel flavours that come through are spectacular. So it is hard to be too critical of this beer.

M - Medium to full body. Light carbonation.

O - An excellent example of the style.

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

Blind tasting of RIS, about 20 of the highest ranked on this site - and this one won out. Thanks to EskimoDave who sent it my way.

Black pour, finger of light khaki head. Ok retention. Nose reveals this is heavy on the barrel - loads of vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, huge roasted malt notes, chocolate.

Loads of barrel in the taste as well, almost overwhelming the base which comes off as a little thin in comparison. Vanilla, roasted malt, chocolate, loads of brown sugar, a sort of cinnamon toast crunch character, sweet and rich, smooth and silky. Could perhaps use some more balance and complexity in the base, though I love all the barrel coming through in so many ways; neat character. Great beer.

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.

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 liamt07
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled sampled at Volo, presented in a tulip. Bottle is labelled as being LCBO lab tested at 13.8% ABV. Yowzers.

Poured pitch black, not a ray of light getting through this. Thin collar of retention, and minimal head. Mild lacing, but this is a huge stout. Nose is bourbon right off the bat, some oak and vanilla as well. Digging way deeper I get a sense of some dark roasted coffee and a hint of the alcohol. Well hidden, although the barrel dominates the nostrils here. Taste is predominantly bourbon and oak, until midway through the palate some silky milk chocolate and vanilla comes through. Some sweetness and finishes with a coffee-like roastiness. Great, silky mouthfeel and real bourbon-y. Lots of the bourbon 'flavour' without burning like straight bourbon. Oak and some vanilla notes begin to almost overtake the bourbon as it reaches room temperature; two different beasts in this one. A great RIS overall, and we agreed that this would be awesome to have a bottle to sit on and see how it develops. Awesome.

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 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 sukwonee
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Reddish dark brown to black body, with half finger head, you can actually lots of bubbles as well. Good amount of lacing.

S: Bourbon (but not overpowering), vanilla, dark cherries maybe? some dark fruits, sweet malt, nice!

T: Bourbon is not as strong in the taste as in the nose. Vanilla is also there but not as much. Not much chocolate or coffee either. Malt, little bit of hops, sweet caramel, some char. You can taste the alcohol, but not too overpowering. In a way, there is really no dominant ingredients in this beer. I wish it had more bourbon character to it though. I taste sweet caramel and malt the most.

EDIT: so, I cheated and read the reviews by others and I agree with one person who wrote that they tasted Orange. It was some sweet fruit I was tasting, but I couldn't make out what it was. This beer kind of tastes like those chocolate that comes in a shape of orange... I cannot remember the name of it, but it has that orange flavor mixed in with the chocolate. This particular flavor comes across more when the beer is served colder. As it gets warmer, the beer tastes more like sweet caramel. Very interesting I would say!

M: I think the body is a bit on the thin side for beer this big (but please note that I had Hunahpu last night... which happens to be one of the thickest beers I have ever had). Carbonation is also a bit higher than expected. Not much alcohol burn though.

O: Very solid beer. At $19.99 (USD) though, price is very steep. Definitely worth a try, but not my favorite BA Stout. If you want to try a bottle, please holler at me. I live in Seattle =)

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 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to ArchEnemyBrew for this beer! Thanks Hollis!

poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: Light to medium black bodied beer with about a solid 1 and a half fingers of brown head. Spotty lace covers the glass.

Smell: This beer is really roasty and got a moderate amount of bourbon in the nose. Getting some smokiness in it too.

Taste: The beer starts of roasty and then it goes right into the barrel; something unique about this barrel flavor. You can get the oak and it almost seems like there is cedar in there too. I also get some chocolate and nuttiness from the malts. The beer finishes with a mild bitterness from the hops. A little bit grassy and I also taste cherrys in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. The carbonation really breaks the thickness of this beer up. The carbonation is sort of pricky and surprisingly epervescent for a bourbon barrel beer. It does make the beer smooth and the beer drinks like its 9 or 10%. It got a little alcohol kick that is mostly warming and subtle. This beer would have been a 5 in mouthfeel if it was thicker.

Overall: Really nice canadian beer. Its complex, balanced, and smooth. Really nice beer from a brewery I have never heard of.

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

The pour is nearly black in color with a small khaki colored head. Plenty of roasted malt with a bit of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon. Tons and tons of barrel, which was a bit unexpected. The flavor offers a little less bourbon and vanilla notes with a bit more roasted malt flavor, along with some bitter chocolate. Light coffee and malt sweetness. The bourbon comes out a bit more as the beer warms up.

Photo of Derek
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 consumed 12Apr2015:
Only a thin ring of head, showing some oxidation... 4.2.

2012 Consumed 6Apr2015:
Cellared incedibly well... 4.7.

Original 2011 review:

A: 4- Black with a tan head, thin ring of retention, leaves a bit of lace.

S: 4.5 Alcohol & oak are readily apparent, brown sugar, molasses, great fruity esters, toffee, light spicing.

T: 4.5 Caramelized raisins, piny hops, black-strap molasses, licorice, sponge toffee, bourbon & oak, roasted nut, candy floss, burnt caramel, assertive bitterness, alcohol on the cusp of becoming harsh.

M: 4 Highly attenuated, light acidity and a strong, drying alcohol finish.

D: 4 A sensational sipper.

I was expecting more west-coast hopping, but this one's actually leaning towards a historic British brew (minus the bourbon).

It's not harsh, but it'll be interesting to see how it cellars & mellows.

Photo of jrenihan
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is black- totally black. Good sized tan head dissipates fairly quickly, leaves decent lacing.

It is clear by the smell that this is a barrel aged beer. Oak and bourbon are immediately noticeable, strongly so. Hard to get a lot else, other than booze, which is certainly present. While the bottle lists this at 11.8%, the LCBO puts it at 13.8%. Nice smell, but not overly complex.

Taste is very similar to the nose, but with a bit more going on. Teh bourbon and oak are the strongest, and there is noticeable alcohol heat, but a faint chocolate and coffee taste is present. Some very mild sweetness causes the alcohol to have a slight fruity taste, a bit of prune or dark cherry. I have to emphasize how slight the fruit aspect is- this is by no means a fruit flavoured beer.

Minimal carbonation, full bodied A bit oily. Feels good.

This is a heavy duty beer. Very strong. The barrel aging has an enormous impact, and is very nice. Wish the beer was more readily available here in Ontario.

Photo of Impfan
4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black pour, although just a hint of light penetrates, so there is the slightest ruby-red shading.

Nose is roasted graham cracker, a bit of chocolate, a bit more bourbon, vanilla, cedar, and allspice.Very different, but also appealing.

Body is fairly full, but could perhaps be a tad richer.

Taste is chocolate, bourbon, cedar, a surprising grapefruit/mandarin orange/tangerine/kiwi/plum middle with more chocolate, bourbon, allspice, and floral hops in the finish.

The alcohol is definitely very noticeable, and yet it is restrained for 14%, and certainly not overbearing.

I agree with the gentleman who said that this was the best Canadian beer he'd ever tasted.

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