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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 sprucetip
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of Pahn
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
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).

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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 sukwonee
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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 =)

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Photo of korguy123
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 03/06/2011
Into DFH Snifter

A- A totally black pour, cola colored around the edges when held to light. Tight bubbles form a thin dark khaki head. Lacing is decent.

S- Dark chocolate and mild coffee notes. Slight vanilla and brown sugar. Slight smokiness to it. Bourbon and oak are both there and round everything out well.

T- Bourbon right off the bat, dark chocolate and bitter roasted coffee. Vanilla and brown sugar ass a sweetness in the back end. Slight alcohol burn on the way down with a slight bitter aftertaste.

M- Medium to full bodied. Warming alcohol and slight carbonation prickle.

O- Good representation, great overall. Needed a little time to mellow out a bit.

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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 tewaris
3/5  rDev -29.2%
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

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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 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 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 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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Photo of Beerzebub
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
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!

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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 CookstLiquor
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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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 stouts4me
4/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

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