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Singularity - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

54 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 148
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 134
Gots: 49 | 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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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 148
Photo of LampertLand
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Driftwood Brewery 'Singularity' a Russian Imperial Stout
2012 vintage @11.6% , 2013 vintage @11.8% , 2014 vintage @14.6% ,
2015 vintage @12.2% , a beer of infinite destiny
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 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

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Photo of MacBrew
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
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!


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Photo of Weebay
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Completely black, with a small black tan head.

Smell: Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, coffee. An amazing smelling beer.

Taste: Coffee, Chocolate, Bourbon, with a little vanilla.

Mouth feel: Viscous, but not overly so.

Drinkability: Dangerous. This beer is full of flavour, but not overly so. You can savour each sip and pick out something different every time.

Overall: I have to agree with a previous review, this beer is like the Bourbon County Stout only a much more drinkable enjoyable version. I did really like the BCS, only I found it to be a little too strong/syrupy like. This beer has all the great characteristics of the BCS and none of the qualities I didn't like.

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Photo of ericj551
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is a brand new release from Driftwood. According to their website it is aged in bourbon barrels for 4 months prior to bottling. Oddly enough it came in a standard bomber, and not the custom Driftwood bottle.

The beer pours a thick inky black with a fairly dark brown head that lingers in a viscous layer. Chocolate coffee and dark malt dominate the aroma at first, giving way to a ton of sweet bourbon. The flavor is rich and sweet upfront with plenty of dark chocolate, as well as some nice coffee and carmel notes. Dry oaky vanilla flavor creeps into the finish, which quickly becomes dominated by tons of sweet charred bourbon flavor. Astringency lingers in the aftertaste, and although there's no hiding the alcohol in a beer like this, it's fairly subdued for the strength.

At $12 a bottle, this is way out of my normal price range, but for a beer that's spent 4 months in oak, I think the price is fairly well justified.

Update for 2013 bottle: Even better than the last few years. Less oak, really well balanced and just a bit hot.

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Photo of Impfan
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
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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Photo of NWer
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Amazing. Driftwood have never disappointed, and this is one more in a series of hits.

Black with a thin, frothy head. Very clingy.

Chocolate, wine, bourbon and sweet, candied fruits fill the nose. Dark chocolate and oak-aged bourbon abound in the taste. Very rich, very well-balanced. Even at 11.8% the alcohol is just a hint.

Smooth, creamy with low carbonation. Very nice to drink. An RIS in the classical sense, but taken up a notch (or several). I've been waiting for Driftwood to do a stout and they've really come through on this.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer looks like the goods with its all black label and silver foil plus the way cool name. Luckily the beer is world class ( well worth the $12) in that is delivers a barrel aged RIS that is muscular and complex but becomes focused and very drinkable as it warms up. Yes, this beer needs a few years in the cellar to truly meet its full potential but already this is amazing stuff that tastes of the wood but never forgets what makes a RIS so special. One of the best beers made in BC? Yes, and expect this release to be hyped in future as the reputation of Singularity increases

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
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!

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Photo of urbanpioneer
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I scribbled a detailed review for this on a napkin when I sampled it.

I noted it’s earthy and bourbon scented aroma, its low alcohol profile in the mouth feel even with its relatively high percentage. I appreciated its subtle complexities melding flavours of licorice with the typically roasted and malty elements of the genre and even thought it would be great paired with wild game like Elk or Caribou.

I then thanked my wife for picking me up a bottle while in BC and ended up crossing out what I had written and putting in its place the words "Extremely Enjoyable" . That pretty much sums it up for me.

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Photo of Rutager
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of Hornet2003
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Completely black. Chocolate-coloured head with creamy, small bubbles that linger.

Smell: Chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, coffee. This beer is quite exceptionally complex. Lots of dark flavours and the whiskey gives a slight alcohol aroma.

Taste: A punch in the face of whiskey and coffee. The malt is sweet and the whiskey lends a nice vanilla flavour. The chocolate is a lot more subdued in the flavour.

Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth and creamy. Slight prickliness from the alcohol burn.

Drinkability: As high as it can be with a ridiculous 11.8% alc/vol. No more than 1 per night, otherwise this would catch up with you. Great sipping beer on a cool/wet Vancouver evening.

Overall: This beer reminds me a lot of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. This is a slightly less intense interpretation. But in my book, that is a good thing as the Goose Island was so overpowering that it was borderline undrinkable beyond <6 oz samples. The Driftwood is definitely easier to drink and an extremely enjoyable Imperial Stout. Honestly, it's hard to find a bad Driftwood beer. These guys/gals are just so damned consistent in an incredibly varied portfolio of ale styles.

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Photo of Beervana
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours nearly black with a pillowy beige head. A nice sweetness on the nose, getting mostly vanilla but some milk chocolate as well. Taste hits with a good kick of bourbon but little in the way of an alcohol heat, maybe a bit of dark chocolate. A smooth roastiness and a touch of hop bitterness come out on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and thick, very mouth-coating. All in all, one of, if not the best barrel aged stouts from Western Canada.

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Photo of SebD
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of liamt07
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of IllNate
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours and inky black almost syrup with a couple fingers of thick brown head. Looking good, although that's easy in this style. Smells of oak and nuttyness amongst the intense roast and bourbon. The taste is again oak and nuttyness and bourbon. Fantastic balance, can notice the alcohol, but well balanced with sweetness and roast. Surprisingly the roast doesn't dominate. Mouthfeel is thick and oily, but it's to be expected. Overall an amazing beer, luckily I bought a few, I'm going to cellar some for a rainy day.

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Photo of 604growler
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of peensteen
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Near black, minimal tan head that hangs around the edge of the glass, some spots of lace show up. Big bourbon presence in the nose, roast malt comes through, nice oaky notes, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, the oak is really impressive here. Taste is of bourbon, oak, vanilla bean, nice roasty notes, alcohol is present and at times a little high, coffee comes through in the finish, well balanced. Full body, nice dense weight, light to medium carbonation, syrupy at points. Solid brew, one of the tastiest bourbon barrel stouts from Canada for sure I wish I had a bottle to put away for a year or so.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage with black wax.

A: 1/8" tan/light brown coloured head over black liquid.

S: Oak, toasted malt, and toffee. An unidentified wood smell is most predominate.

T: Oak, toasted malt, vanilla and toffee with some alcohol.

M: Thick viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation. Some drying from the alcohol.

O: The best Canadian RIS I have ever had.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber poured into tulip 27/6/11

A nearly black but has some dark cola at the edges, dark tan two finger head falls fast leaving little in the way of lace, looks pretty basic

S nose is smokey vanilla, woody booze and some coffee, all fairly strong and the effect from the barrels isn't over the top but pretty hard to miss

T thankfully the flavor mimics the smell quite well, a little more bourbon with some chocolate covered raisins but that's not a bad thing, the booze could be better concealed but that's my only complaint

M thick, slick and oily, just enough carbonation to give it some life, feels very nice just a little booze burn keeping it from perfection

O this is a great brew for sure and one of the better beers I've had from Canada, very well rounded and no flaws other then booze feel and that's to be expected at nearly 12%

could use some aging for sure but that can be done thanks to chickenm and EskimoDave because they were both nice enough to send me bottles of the stuff. this ones worth looking for and buying a few extra for aging

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

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Photo of largadeer
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of souvenirs
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Impenetrably dark, with chocolatey tan head.
S: Licorice, vanilla, bourbon.
T: Lots going on. Sweet black licorice, bourbon, vanilla, coffee...
F: Heavy.

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Singularity from Driftwood Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.