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Kentucky Dark Star - Fremont Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kentucky Dark StarKentucky Dark Star

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

371 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 371
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.8%
Wants: 370
Gots: 118 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 05-12-2012

Our Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in 15 year old single use Kentucky Bourbon Barrels. The roasted and chocolate malts complement the smooth oats to bring you a stout delight wrapped in the gentle embrace of Bourbon Barrel aged warmth. A touch of sweetness dances in balance with the hops to finish with a wave and then she’s gone.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 371 | Reviews: 79
Photo of Duff27
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big three finger deep mocha colored head. Dark brown body.

Big time oak sniffs, hidden cocoa.

Chocolate initially. Sharp/sweeter bourbon notes in the second act. Oak is there but not as prominent as it is in the nose. Would guess the ABV a dash higher than stated.

Creamy mouthfeel, smooth. Lower end of carbonation.

Favorites of KDS were the nose and the mouthfeel, the sharp booze notes I could do without. Thanks to ford0626 for the trade!

Photo of thegerm87
3.28/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Booze, chocolate, vanilla cake. Thin, underdeveloped and overrated.

Photo of Hoppyalein
4.69/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Better than dessert. If only chocolate cake tasted like this.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours motor oil black pitch with a cream, but fizzling dark mocha head that leaves a small trace on the glass throughout. The nose is sweetly intense and malty with roasted malts which lend that oat based flavor, vanilla fudge, some liquorice, dark chocolate, charred wood, dark roast coffee, some toasted coconut, toffee, and bourbon goodness. Taste mirrors the aromatic qualities of the beer along with slightly sweet, bitter effects along with roasted malts, oatmeal, vanilla, oak, figs, some roast coffee, chocolate covered cherries in brandy, toasted coconut, and that warming bourbon alcohol. Mouthfeel is soft, velvety, round, slightly boozy hot and full bodied. Finish is slightly sweet, bitter and malty with roasted malts, pumpernickel bread, vanilla fudge, and caramelized hazelnuts. Just pure bliss here! This is a straightforward beer and the best in every discipline found in a quality beer. The balance was just phenomenal.

Photo of jbwimer
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a wonderful experience. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, hints of oak, and some molasses/brown sugar oatmeal on the finish. Body brings the flavors together really well. Could use a little more barrel, but I think it serves to integrate the flavors rather than dominate the beer. Excellent.

Photo of mr-jj
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Color is black with a tan head. Semi-sticky lacing. Smell is delightful - lots of bourbon, chocolate and coffee with some anise and dark fruits. Flavor matches the nose with bourbon on the palate followed by cocoa, vanilla, anise and some dark fruit. Just a touch of hop bitterness on the finish dries your mouth and demands the next sip. Body is full with just enough carbonation to balance the syrupy texture and make it a creamy delight.

Overall, this is one fantastic beer. I recently had the opportunity to drink it side-by-side with BCBS and It easily held its own. It was a toss-up among the tasters as to which was better.

Photo of stratusjeans
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: black, no light allowed through. Medium tan (some reviews say khaki, I would say dark khaki) head.

S: Bourbon! A little sweetness, roast malt.

T: Bourbon again! Definitely the strongest flavor but not so much that it depends out the rest. Quite a bit of sweetness and dark roast malt. Some vanilla too. I'm looking for coffee but I don't get any in this beer. Flavor doesn't linger too long and finishes with an alcohol burn.

M: medium thick but didn't fully coat the inside of your mouth. Nice forward carbonation adds to the experience of each sip.

O: enjoy this beer quite a bit. Definitely for sipping and for bourbon fans. Luckily it comes in a 22oz bottle so it'll last you a full night.

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This stuff is hitting on all cylinders! The alcohol on the back end needs time to cool down, but this is a massive BB oatmeal stout. Wonderful chocolate and bourbon flavors with a good dose of coffee. Seek this out as you won't be disappointed! There is a reason this is a 96pt beer! Cheers!

Photo of MjBrewhouse
4.81/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! Where to start? 2014 Vintage. Poured into snifter, dark with dark tan head.

S: Bourbon up front with chocolate, coffee, oak,alcohol. The Bourbon is king of all the olfactory delights.I can't stop putting my nose in the glass to inhale all the wonderful delights coming out of the glass.

T: Taste is similar to nose with oak and bourbon right in your face followed by coffee, chocolate, vanilla and oats with nice warming alcohol finish. Very balanced smooth and enjoyable.

M: Rich creamy with medium viscosity but perfect for this style.

O: This is one of the finest BA stouts I've had the pleasure to try. I can only imagine a year or two in the cellar would enhance this offering quite well.

Photo of Sarge3130
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage. could smell this beer all day. mouth feel is a little thin but really great beer overall.

Photo of PacNWDad
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Fremont Brewery. Great color - a dark mahogany, opaque. Tiny amount of khaki head. Dense lace that settles back quickly. Toffee, coffee, roasted malt, a hint of clove. Starts sweet, then some sourness from the barrel and a bit of bitterness from the hops. Very complex, with some warmth from the alcohol. Full body, rich, but not cloying. Lightly carbonated, with a long finish. An excellent beer that will only get better with time based on the high ABV.

Photo of Ksoden1186
4.75/5  rDev +10%

2014 vintage.

Pours midnight black. Very small kaki colored head. Perfect-looking stout.

Such a perfectly balanced stout. The nose offers up the bourbon, chocolate, toffee. Bourbon is predominate.

The bourbon comes through initially, but doesn't overshadow everything else. The roasted malt, cocoa, caramel, coffee all have their place. Bourbon again on the back end and aftertaste.

Perfect mouthfeel. Motor oil consistency. Coats the mouth and flavors stay around a while.

This is one of the best beers I've had this year. Didn't know much about it before receiving it and was extremely surprised at just how much I enjoyed it. I knew it would be great, but didn't expect it to blow me away as much as it did. This is a ba stout that I could drink every week.

Photo of mabermud
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pretty good.

Ultra dark with a minimal mocha head that quickly retreats to a thin halo. I smell bourbon, stout, bitter chocolate, and mild coffee. Taste is somewhat like Grandfather Raven, but not as distinct. This imperial stout is pushing it. It is balanced, but it isn't. It is teetering. The taste follows the smell, but is on the verge or too much. Mouthfeel is heavy and almost too sweet.

Overall, this is something very good. If I had not had Grandfather Raven before this, I probably would have thought this was nectar of the gods. Nonetheless, it is not. I enjoy Grandfather Raven much more. Compared to others, it is up there. It is splendid and worth the effort to find.

Photo of ThePaleRider
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Really dark with a dark chocolate, 1 finger head. Very purdy.

The smell is very hot. Oak, malts, and booze. Was not at all excited to taste this. Smells like it needs to age a year.

Lots of vanilla, and creamy deliciousness. Drinks really well and the oak blends into the oats, booze, and chocolate very seamlessly. Yum!!!

Photo of dar482
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours out in a dark color with a touch of brown in the light. The beer is oily black in the glass with a slightly fluffy dark tan head.

The aroma hits of bourbon, tons of vanilla, a touch of coconut, fudge, milk chocolate, chocolate mousse, figs, dark cherries.

The flavor hits up front of vanilla, almost like Vanilla Rye, but without getting to an extract flavor. Bourbon, caramel, coconut macaroon, Whoppers, milk chocolate, as the beer cleans up with some residual sweetness, but a crisp finish leaving longing lingering of vanilla, coffee, and coconut.

Easily one of the best BA stouts around, beating many heavy hitters like Assassin and Vanilla Rye.

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.51/5  rDev +4.4%

A - Thick, black and treacly. Spot on.

S - Vanilla and sweet bourbon. Grade C maple syrup. Bourbon heat right at then end.

T - Roasted malts manifest themselves massively as coffee flavours, so much so that I asked the bartender if they brewed this with coffee. It's not coffee on the level of Bcbcs, for example, but it's still highly prevalent. A little plain chocolate creeps into the finish. Maple syrup-like sweetness. On the barrel-aged spectrum this sits midway between Bcbs and Bcbcs in terms of flavour profile and the quality is right up there too.

M - Slick, thick and heavy. Gives ample support to the abv and strong flavours.

O - Do not be fooled by the 4.28 rating. This is a top tier stout, right up there with the likes of Bcbs. I can hardly wait for the vanilla variant to be released later this year.

Photo of jlindros
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to rudzud for sharing this, the winner of the night, 2013 vintage.

Light fizzy head fades instantly, long legs,, oily silky, pitch black, slick oily appearance.

Nose is like black Tuesday without the booze... huge chewy dark malts, cocoa notes, caramel, fudge, dark choc, cocoa notes, lots of oats and creamy, and with some nice bourbon and barrel notes.

Taste is great! Dark malts, chewy fudgey malts, dark thick cocoa, chewy oats, little bitter earthy hops, creamy, with some nice vanilla toasty barrel notes, fudgey oatmeal, etc. So velvety, thick rich creamy like thick feel, little bourbon note too. Finish is drier but a creamy touch oat mouth coating, velvety touch chewy oats, very fudgey, cocoa and mild bitter bite lingering.

Mouth is big bod, creamy fudgey thick creamy oatmeal like, decent carb, hidden booze.

Overall phenomenal!

Photo of rudzud
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with JLindros and Threelions. 2013 vintage

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice black hue with no head, great legs though.

S - Aromas of oats, bourbon, fudge, and balance. The bourbon and chocolate are awesome. Incredibly balanced, creamy oats, holy cow!

T - Taste is nutty chocolate fudge, bourbon, creamy oats, roast malts. This is absurdly balanced. Rich chocolate, bourbon, roast malts, creamy oats, barrel, vanilla. Super fudge and nuts. Again, super balanced.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, velvet, creamy oats, wow.

O - Overall this beer was really good. Almost black Tuesday, super balanced. Holy cow. Phenomenal.

Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage, consumed July, 2014.

Dark brown-black pour, with a dark tan head that displayed good retention and laced the glass upon swirling. In the nose, roast and toast, dark malts and oak, notes of vanilla, coconut, coffee, with a decent bourbon heat. I thought this was a pretty standard bourbon stout, tastewise, decent dark roasty malts and coffee, bourbon-soaked oak and neutral alcohol, lighter notes of char and vanilla. Medium body, somewhat thinner than I'd expect for the style. But still good overall. Not great, but good.

Photo of Joshpu
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 Release. Poured from the bomber to a snifter.

A: Poured black, what head was there was tan.

S: Mostly bourbon, vanilla. Big oak and dark fruit/chocolate, oatmeal.

T: The taste follows the nose well, except there is a sweeter dark chocolate/fudge on the taste. Oatmeal. Almost a caramel sweetness as it warms. Some coffee in some sips as well.

M: Light to medium bodied. Pretty light and easy to drink. Sticky mouth feel.

Overall a good stout. Very easy to drink and pleasant. I like stouts with a thicker body but it's a nice change. This is like a better version of Velvet Merkin.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.69/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage poured in to snifter.

A - Deep black with a thin layer of mocha brown coloured head.

S - A big sweetness - vanilla, oatmeal, chocolate, char and a big oak presence.

T - Sweet vanilla, bourbon and chocolate fudge with char and a big oak/woodiness present throughout. Roast. Extremely smooth for the ABV. Becomes even more smooth and flavourful as it warms to room temperature.

M - Full body. Creamy and silky. Light carbonation.

Photo of mc4z
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a snifter, split. Pours a dark black with a good medium brown head. The nose is strong in the bottom with lots of vanilla and oak. There's also a good amount of chocolate. The flavor also leans heavily toward the bourbon, but there's also some toffee, oats, and chocolate. The mouthfeel is smooth with a slight alcohol bite. Overall this is another great barrel aged offering from Fremont.

Photo of John_M
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Graciously provided by Larry (NWer). I believe this is the new 2013 version.

The beer pours a brooding, blackish brown color with good head retention and decent lacing. The head is mocha colored otherwise, and this is another one of those beers that just looks as if it's seen some serious barrel aging. The nose is very impressive as well, and also shows considerable barrel aging, as I pick up a sweet nose of malt balls, vanilla, milk chocolate and fine coffee. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though I thought it just a tad thin on the mid palate. Otherwise, this moderately sweet stout is just delicious, with a soft, creamy mouthfilling component that is very impressive. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, making the beer entirely too easy to drink. The 9.5% abv. is almost unnoticeable, making it entirely too easy to slurp this bad boy down without giving it a second thought. Interestingly, I initially didn't pick up all that much bourbon on the nose or palate, but as the beer warmed, it really came on strong. Just an all around excellent beer from the folks at Fremont Brewing.

(Note: It worked out that I tried this beer the same weekend I had a glass of the 2013 Abyss over at the brewpub. This stuff is great, but IMHO, it's still a notch below the Abyss, which seemed to have more depth, richness and complexity. Still an altogether excellent beer, and one I'm very, very glad to have had the opportunity to try. Thanks Larry!)

Edit from 2/15. Recently tried the 2014 edition, and I'm wondering if the brewer has been tweaking the recipe a bit. The 2014 seemed richer, with more of a bourbon presence, and with slightly higher alcohol as well. Not sure it merits a score increase, but have to say that I did enjoy the 2014 a bit more than the previous bottle I had.

Photo of barleywinefiend
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 release A-

A: Poured a deep, deep brownish near black with good carbonation leaving a nice brownish cap, good lacing and head retention

S: Rich cocoa, milk chocolate, roastiness, vanilla and bourbon

T: This beer was tasty start to finish. Nice balance of smooth cocoa, bitter cocoa, wood, vanilla notes and a smooth blend of bourbon. A small dose of coffee. This beer is well done and not overly done.

M: Big body, creamy, well rounded. Lots of flavor here. The tasting notes mesh well.

O: Very good and so smooth, easy to drink. Well played.

///

2013 release A++

A: Poured a deep, deep brownish near black with good carbonation leaving a nice brownish cap, great lacing and head retention. This beer poured fuller than the previous launch. It poured and appeared world class!

S: Rich cocoa with loads and lods of flaked oats, roasted goodness, light hints of vanilla, coffee and bourbon

T: My initial sip was DAMN fine. Immediate boner. Nice balance of milk chocolate, oats and coffee. The barrell is so well blended into this beer. Coconuts, vanilla, more oats midway with a nice smooth bourbon flavor. The finish is down right remarkable. Full, lush, a bit of sweetness, coffee, cocoa and oats.

M: Full bodied, well carbonated, sexy and lush, creamy, decadent...my oh my

O: Fremont really outdid themselves again. I would dare say this the finest beer they have produced to date and they cranked out some true gems over the past year! The body was dialed up, I am assuming from an additional truckload of oats. It kicks Velvet Merkin in the balls. The amount of flavor and feel of this beer is mindblowing. I've had some of the finer stouts in the world and personally, for me, this takes the cake.

Photo of Tilley4
4.73/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is an amazing beer... 2012 version so it has a little time on it...

Big notes of bourbon and oak present in the aromas and flavor dept... im pairing this beer with some Nakhla Double Apple in my hookah and they go together terrifically... there's an anise note in the double that complements this brew and has me on point...

The brewery states that this is an oatmeal stout but it feels a little bigger and richer to me... not necessarily richer on the palate but in the flavor dept...

Seeing as its International Stout Day, I thought I would pull this one out of the back of my beer fridge and I'm glad I did... a chilly November night, some strong Egyptian tobacco and this beer... off the hook...

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Kentucky Dark Star from Fremont Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 371 ratings.