Singularity - Driftwood Brewery

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SingularitySingularity

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

130 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 130
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 121
Gots: 36 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  14.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
2011-11.8%(silver foil) , 2012-11.6%(black wax) ,
2013-11.8%(black wax) , 2014-14.6%(black wax)

Our 4th 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.

(Beer added by: ericj551 on 01-18-2011)
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Ratings: 130 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tewaris
3/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another beer shared by dc55110, thanks Dan!

It says on the bottle that this is a beer of infinite density. The ABV is up there too so I was certainly intrigued. However, it was exactly opposite to the expectations... looked thin and clear dark brown, quite a few shades left of jet black. Drank like any other stout with a splash of liquor... I found it tough to discern any quality barrels in there. On top of that there was a tartness typical to some stouts that was offputting.

Good roasty character was pretty much the only redeeming side of this beer to me.

3, 3, 3, 3, 3

Photo of Sean9689
3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Alex! Poured into Narke tulip.

A - Pours black as night, tan-colored head, thin collar.

S - Big boozy nose, rough around the edges, some oak, char, and dark chocolate. I would say this has another two years left on it before it really smoothed out.

T - Big oak and burnt notes, char, big booze. Maybe some chocolate in there too, but it's so boozy and highly charred that it's hard to concentrate on anything else. Finish is bitter oak and char with booze...not much else.

M - Full, rich, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Well, this is one helluva big beer. This had a good amount of age on it, but I think it needs more. A bit too oaky/charred/boozy for me to really enjoy. My pour was enough until this one smoothes out some more. Maybe 2028?

Photo of ChrisPro
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of Romulux
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of BillHilly
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of doughanson78
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of tom10101
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of papat444
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
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 TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
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 TheEarl
3.56/5  rDev -17.2%
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 UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -16.5%
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 Jeffo
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle of this stuff from Rutager in a recent trade. Thanks for the killer box man. These beers were very much enjoyed. This one was the third round in the Great Canadian BA RIS Showdown against Half Pint's $ellout $tout and McAuslan's BA imperial stout. Good times!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2011

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a one finger, medium thick looking, tan head with great retention, eventually settling to a nice wisp and leaving sheets of lacing down the top of the glass. Sits black in the glass with lower levels of visible carbonation. A splotchy wisp remains leaving some dots of lace down the sides. Solid head, but the body was a little light.

SMELL: Roasted and caramel malts with some whisky and milk chocolate and vanilla as well. Some light sweet cream and dark chocolate show up a little later on as well. Milder nose, but nice enough.

TASTE: Roasted malts and sweet cream up front, then some caramel sweetness and milk chocolate through the middle into a barrel and roasted finish. Whisky, oak, vanilla and milk chocolate with a roasted and burnt, charred base linger nicely on the palate. Flavorful and shows a nice balance between the base beer and the barrels, though it needs a little more boldness initially to put this one over the top.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. A little light on the palate unfortunately, but creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky. A touch of heat lingers on the palate.

OVERALL: This was a solid beer for sure, with nice flavors from the base beer and barrel working well together, but it wasn't quite up to the level of some others in the style. The look was a little light coming off the pour and the body lacked the weight that's needed in this style. The flavor could also be a little bigger initially, even though it recovers well after the swallow. Although all three of the BA stouts we drank were great, this one finishes last in the Great Canadian BA RIS Showdown. Nevertheless, I'd gladly drink this again, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the style. Thanks again Rutager. Beers were awesome!

Photo of Pahn
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split three ways in wine glasses. Received as an extra from generous BA csano in a recent trade. Thanks!

Appearance: Careful pour yields a small tannish head. Pours black and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt. Light pistachio aroma. Cola. Boozy and bourbony with time.

Taste: Cocoa and roasted malt. One-dimensional but nice. Not much barrel character at all. Hides its alcohol very well, but doesn't coax too much flavor out of it.

Smooth, tastes good, just not enough depth to jump from good to great.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Not particularly dry or sugary.

Overall: Good, but doesn't quite get there. Probably should have drank this 2~3 months ago when I received it, as some of the other reviews suggest to me that the balance and flavor were a lot better when it was fresher. Not too uncommon with barrel aged beers, I think.

Either way, enjoyable of you like roasty stouts (I do).

Photo of BigE90
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Smurf2055
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of BeerHunter76
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
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 womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
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 Beerandraiderfan
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
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 sprucetip
3.91/5  rDev -9.1%
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 Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
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 stouts4me
4/5  rDev -7%

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 DaveJanssen
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -7%

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Singularity from Driftwood Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 130 ratings.