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Kentucky Dark Star - Fremont Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kentucky Dark StarKentucky Dark Star

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

263 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 263
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 276
Gots: 79 | FT: 12
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:
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 added by: barleywinefiend on 05-12-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to robL for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

2012 vintage.

Pours an opaque black 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. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some really nice barrel aged flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

djrn2, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

zestar, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Thorpe429, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.8%

acurtis, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -6.8%

nmann08, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Texasfan549, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 bottling

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with a rather modest head that quickly fades to a ringlet though it leaves a nice lacing pattern behind

Smell: German chocolate cake with caramel icing and some oats in the background; quite a whiff of the Bourbon barrel, as well

Taste: Caramel and chocolate, up front, with building flavors of coconut, vanilla and Bourbon, in the middle, heralding the arrival of some astringent alcohol, as well; hops appear, adding a bitter balance, after the swallow, though the finish is filled with chocolate and Bourbon tones

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: As others have noted, this beer is a bit thin in the mouthfeel and lacks some complexity; still, it is a joy to drink and I am glad I was able to find a bottle when I was in Seattle last summer

brentk56, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -6.8%

kjkinsey, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

GRG1313, Sep 17, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -6.8%

westcoastbeerlvr, Mar 22, 2013
Photo of largadeer
3.69/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Jason. Dark blackened amber body with a finger of lasting froth. Looks pretty legit. Ton of whiskey on the nose, along with some spiciness, oak and vanilla. Tastes strongly of bourbon, caramel and vanilla; the barrel is pretty dominant here. It's somewhat thin on the palate, but not offensively so. The finish is sweet with a touch of drying oak. This is pretty good, but nothing particularly special.

largadeer, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -6.8%

SocalKicks, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of jlindros
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

jlindros, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Rifugium, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.29/5  rDev 0%

MarkyMOD, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

beernads, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

InspectorBob, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of drewone
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

drewone, Dec 05, 2012
Photo of corby112
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Brouwers Cafe in Seattle, WA.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger mocha head that slowly settles into a thick lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Beautiful bourbon aroma with a nicely integrated barrel character that doesn't overpower the other notes.  Hints of toasted oak, vanilla and coconut along with spicy bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee bean, oatmeal and toast.

Chewy full body with a strong barrel presence that dominates the roasted malt notes lingering into a spicy, boozy finish.  Lots of spicy bourbon along with dry oak and subtle vanilla.  Not as smooth or well balanced as I expected based on the nose.  The malts become more evident as it warns with hints of silky dark chocolate, burnt toast and oatmeal.  Lots of bourbon and pretty dry/roasted to the point where it's almost acrid.  Abv is pretty evident with lots of boozy sweetness and warmth in the finish.  A bit harsh but still tasty.

corby112, Aug 12, 2012
Photo of barleywinefiend
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

barleywinefiend, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by starrdogg. Split four ways. Thanks Matt.

The beer is dark brown with a small, beige head. Sparse lacing on the wine glass. The aroma brings roast, malt, a subtle barrel presence. Smells balanced, refined, and awesome. The taste does not disappoint, offering a smooth, silky, roasted malt goodness. Medium bodied with moderately low carbonation. Overall, a really tasty stout. Glad I got to sample this.

Huhzubendah, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of mdaschaf
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black with a small khaki colored head, which reduces to a thin cap on top. Very thin lacing forms on the sides and is gone relatively quickly.

S: Very nice mixture of bourbon, chocolate, and oatmeal. There is a lot going on in the aroma, chocolate chips, chocolate, vanilla, some brown sugar, a little bit of oak and vanilla.

T: More bourbon with a bit more roasted malt. More chocolate, both bittersweet and some dark, a touch of vanilla, and brown sugar.

M: Medium bodied, maybe a touch thin, but based on previous reviews I expected it to be thinner, with moderate carbonation. ABV hidden very nicely.

O: Definitely a big fan of this beer. The bourbon is blended nicely with the chocolate and oatmeal flavors. Yes, it is a little thin for style, but I don't think it is really detracting from the beer overall. Very easy drinking, though I plan to sip on this one for a while.

mdaschaf, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

brandoman63, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of John_M
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
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!)

John_M, Nov 20, 2013
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Kentucky Dark Star from Fremont Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.