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Singularity - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
SingularitySingularity

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

52 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 145
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.17%
Wants: 130
Gots: 50 | FT: 3
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: 52 | Hads: 145
Photo of flagmantho
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
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! (1,143 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of 604growler
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (513 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
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. (739 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
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! (2,146 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
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. (405 characters)

Photo of Pahn
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
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). (935 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
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 =) (1,600 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
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. (829 characters)

Photo of tewaris
3/5  rDev -29.1%
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 (579 characters)

Photo of urbanpioneer
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (611 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (1,247 characters)

Photo of Impfan
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
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. (675 characters)

Photo of IllNate
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (516 characters)

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (364 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (514 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.38/5  rDev -20.1%
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? (761 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't remember if I got this from peensteen or liamt07. 2010 vintage that was LCBO tested at 13.8%. Served in a Surly Darkness glass.

A - A tan foam settles to a wispy haze on top, thin ring, and tiny spots of lace. Black body with some light brown coloration at the edges of the glass.

S - Massive dark chocolate, fudge, oak, char, spicy bourbon, and a hint of vanilla. Massive barrel presence here, and relatively low sweetness. Booze is present, but I wouldn't have guessed it's nearly 14%.

T - The taste is actually a bit better, with a nice blend of licorice, dark chocolate, oak, bourbon, and vanilla. Highly attenuated, with perhaps a tad more char and roast character that I prefer, but still quite enjoyable.

M - Full body, lower carbonation, viscous, chewy, but with only light residual stickiness. Not overly tannic, particularly considering how intense the barrel flavors are. Mild alcohol warmth, but far less than I was expecting.

D - It's a serious sipper of a beer, and one of the few times I've actually been glad that I didn't get around to opening a beer fresh as I imagine the booze was pretty intense last January. It'd be pretty tough to put down a whole bomber, but 12oz would make a nice one-and-done serving. One of the first Canadian barrel-aged imperial stouts that has been competitive with American offerings, but not quite in the top tier. (1,374 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (999 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.44/5  rDev +5%
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 (1,068 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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. (832 characters)

Photo of korguy123
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (691 characters)

Photo of peensteen
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (601 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (706 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (1,022 characters)

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Singularity from Driftwood Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.