1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Singularity - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
SingularitySingularity

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

130 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 130
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 120
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)
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 130 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NWer
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
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 KeKeKumba
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of rogerdandy
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of bobsy
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

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 Erik-P
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of tom10101
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of PerHops
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Smurf2055
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

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 KStark
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of SebD
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
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 andrenaline
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another brew that I was holding out on to celebrate the birth of our daughter. Enjoyed via a FaceTime review with my buddy Devin who was also the one to hook me up with this gem.

2012 Edition

A - Pours pitch black, thumb of dark mocha head, some retention and some nice sporadic lacing.

S - Rich mocha, dark cocoa, sweet booziness, bourbon and oak notes come through alongside a touch of tobacco and leather.

T - The rich cocoa notes dominate, molasses and toffee, burnt sugar and caramel, hints of oak, burnt tobacco, sugary bourbon, and leafy green hop notes.

M - Medium bodied, insanely smooth and a little sticky on the finish.

O - Well worth the wait and deserving of the title of one Canada's top rated RIS's. Incredibly worthy of such a celebration and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to try it. Flavour profile is incredibly complex, yet the ABV is insanely well hidden and smooth drinking. So glad I had the chance to share this brew with my buddy and definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of maximum12
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Rutager for knocking off a flock of my top Canadian wants in one big, beautiful blast. To further the motif, I'm watching Alanis Morisette on Guitar Center Sessions. OK, only for a minute. 2013 batch, 22 oz. bottle, split with my wife. I like the bottle art, too.

First, there's the David vs. the Goliath fight with the earth's crust, er. wax on the bottle. Six minutes later, I'm through, no blood shed, nothing splled or broken. The actual beer is very black, almost as still. Barrel rolls out as soon as the Red Sea of wax parts, but retreats fairly quickly. Big, bloody dark fruits are dominant, mild sweetness, barrel, & vanilla in the backseat.

Singularity tastes like a bourbon aged in imperial stout barrels. Vanilla & straight-shot bourbon are prominent but not overwhelming in the opening bars, but own the afterburn. Numbs the gums like a good bourbon, & there's a healthy alcohol sting. Lots of dark fruit which I'm normally not fond of in this quantity in a stout, but it works here, playing off the alchohoool/bourbonity. Chocolate, scorched forest, licorice, more flame-licked wood. Light bitterness on the aftertaste. That licorice aftertaste - black licorice, unfortunately - is the only slightly unpleasant note. Tummy. Warming. Slowly. Trying. Drink.

This is so close - so close - to being Gyff, instead it's Ruskin. It's also the rare beer that actually goes a bit downhill as it warms & the licorice begins to wrestle control from the barrel. Nonetheless, a very good beer.

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of scooby_steve
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of corby112
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Pours pitch black with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Streaks of soapy lacing are left behind.

Smokey roasted malt aroma with a nice barrel character that makes itself know without overpowering everything else.  Grassy and piney hops along with dry, toasted oak, coconut, vanilla and spicy bourbon but the roasted malts and dark chocolate really stand out.  

Thinner bodied than expected with soft carbonation and a decent amount of boozy bourbon but the barrel character is nicely integrated throughout.  Some toasted oak and vanilla bean followed by a prominent bourbon presence that lingers over the sweet and roasted malt backbone into a slightly dry finish.  Underneath the barrel notes, there is more sweetness than roast with hints of silky chocolate, toffee and caramel along followed by some oatmeal, burnt malt and roasted coffee bean.  Well balanced and complex with subtle heat in the finish but the high abv is well masked making this strong beer easier to drink than expected.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
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 smekermann
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
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 largadeer
4.38/5  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
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
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 thefullpython
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

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