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Darkest Hour - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Darkest HourDarkest Hour

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

189 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 189
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 50
Gots: 38 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Ale brewed with Summit hops. Triple fermented: First with a Belgian yeast, second in Pinot Noir and rye whiskey barrels. And finally in the bottle with a wine yeast for natural carbonation.

40 IBU

(Beer added by: lakersfan16 on 06-02-2013)
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Ratings: 189 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Kuaff:
Photo of Kuaff


4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Woooaaahhh... woah. That's what I thought to myself when I saw the unfamiliar bottle with the beautiful owl on it, and also what I thought when I later took my first sip... at cellar temperature from a snifter. I have a lot to say about this one.

It's appearance is pretty darn dark, almost a totally opaque black. There's just a tiny bit of auburn transparency around the edges of the glass. I can see tiny bubbles against the wall of the glass, rising up to the head, which brings me to what I love most about this stout's appearance. The head is a two fingers-deep, mocha-colored mass of super-fine, dense and creamy foam that looks as smooth as silk. AND it has INCREDIBLE retention despite the 13% ABV and extensive barrel aging. It gets progressively smoother-looking over time until it actually resembles cream very closely.

The first thing I have to say about the smell is that it hits me with one of the best chocolate aromas I've ever been tempted with, either by a beer or dessert. This is the most crucial part of an imperial stout's smell for me, so I LOVE that about it. But there's more. Much more. Rich milk chocolate, raisins, vanilla, bourbon, whisky-soaked leather, and a bit of red wine all float up into my scent receptors.

As I taste this beer, I'm faithfully treated to everything the aroma promised. Sweet milk chocolate is in the taste, along with the bourbon and vanilla. A tart wine character from the pinot noir barrel aging is very noticeable and adds another enjoyable complexity, and Belgian yeast imparts the distinct, yeasty sweetness of Belgian strong dark ales. Early in the finish, I get the bitterness of coffee and dark chocolate to accompany an awesome roasty aftertaste that I'd describe as burnt leather. I think I pick up on a bit of the rye at very end of the extraordinarily long finish too.

Being 13% ABV, I feel I must describe in detail the effects of the alcohol. Its wrath is only felt AFTER it slides down my throat. Seductively subdued carbonation baits me into taking big sips, each one of which feels totally smooth and innocent on my palate... until I swallow and am given a hot lashing by the alcohol for daring to even THINK that this beer is as unrefined and "drinkable" as lesser beers. The pleasure was well worth paying the punishment.

The mouthfeel is sticky and fairly thick, like most excellent imperial stouts. It kind of has the same feel of wine.

What's so marvelous about this specimen is how it was created by use of such interesting, expiramental brewing techniques and treated with such an astonishing array of barrel aging... and that I can then distinguish and fully enjoy the unique qualities contributed by each technique. Darkest Hour is nothing less than a phenominal triumph of the imagination. And you BETTER set aside more than just ONE hour if you're confronting a bottle of this all alone... or you WILL experience your darkest hour.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 03:39:29 | More by Kuaff
More User Reviews:
Photo of babaracas


4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mar 2013 bottling. Pours a hazy very dark brown, thin fizzy brown head is gone in an instant. We have leggy glass staining -- not nearly Zhukovian, but nice. Smell: boozed date bread, prune, molasses. Tannic pop that still doesn't begin to cut thru sweetness of malt, whisky, fruit. Taste: overripe plum, dates, caramel, cola, dark chocolate; sip starts with a lot of sweet that's eventually balanced by the end of the sip by growing booze, grapeskin, and earthiness. Full body, languid feel. Sticky, mildly earthy finish that eventually dries out. Plenty of 13% barrel aged stouts out there that are just big and sweet; this one offers much more, a real treat.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2014 03:17:21 | More by babaracas
Photo of draheim


4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL (batch 1, March 2013) into a tulip. Pours a deep chocolatey brownish black w/ not much head, no lacing. Just some nice boozy legs on the inside of the glass.

Aroma is big chewy molasses, caramel, and vanilla. Dark, smoky, roasty malts, dry bittersweet chocolate, whisky, oak.

Taste is rich and decadent, complex. Dark bitter chocolate, molasses, toffee, vanilla, and a touch of coconut. Rich pipe smoke and bourbon. A numbing alcohol presence lingers on the palate, making my gums tingle. Just a hint of dry, fruity pinot noir from the barrel that's almost more port-like, which grows more prominent as it warms. The dry oak manages to temper the powerful high-gravity sweetness to give this beer a really nice balance that keeps it palatable over the long haul.

Mouthfeel is thick and slick, oily. Just right.

Overall, this is just what the doctor ordered. A big, unrepentant imperial stout with tons of complexity, flavor and body. I am loving this beer right now.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2014 03:13:02 | More by draheim
Photo of Jeffo


4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from cparles a while back. Cheers!

From a 750 corked and caged bottle into a snifter
Batch #1
March 2013
40 IBU

APPEARANCE: A relatively opaque pour yields a two finger, slightly thinner looking, fizzy, mocha head with decent retention. Black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a thick, foam cap and eventually to a half wisp and ring. A ring with slight wisp remain but leave no real lacing down the glass. Good looking body but mediocre head.

SMELL: Red wine initially, with whisky, oak, vanilla, caramel and butterscotch aromas on the nose. Some dark chocolate in there as well, with touches of tartness from the wine barrels. Big, bold and complex. Really nice.

TASTE: Whisky, oak, vanilla, with some nice wine and port flavors up front. Big finish with lots of red wine, oak, vanilla, whisky and chocolate bitterness lingering on the palate. Toffee and some sweet caramel go with the red wine and oak. Flavorful and complex with a big, lingering finish. Really nice.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Really good feel here. A touch of heat lingers. Excellent.

OVERALL: This is really, really good. The wine and whisky work really well together, and the feel and look are top notch as well. A better head would help in the overall experience, but that is a minor critique. Well balanced, bold, flavorful, full bodied and extremely complex. Worth pondering on a cold winter's night. Excellent beer that I'm very happy to have been able to try. Thanks again cparles!

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2014 12:22:49 | More by Jeffo
Photo of hvy1


4/5  rDev -3.4%

06-26-2014 13:36:59 | More by hvy1
Photo of MSandahl23


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

06-26-2014 13:23:47 | More by MSandahl23
Photo of kscaldef


3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

06-24-2014 19:57:09 | More by kscaldef
Photo of Bunuelian


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

06-21-2014 12:18:45 | More by Bunuelian
Photo of blindmike


4/5  rDev -3.4%

06-12-2014 16:05:06 | More by blindmike
Photo of paulys55


4/5  rDev -3.4%

06-09-2014 13:21:15 | More by paulys55
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

06-06-2014 03:07:18 | More by Sammy
Photo of afsdan


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

05-28-2014 21:38:46 | More by afsdan
Photo of Fitze

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

05-19-2014 12:34:19 | More by Fitze
Photo of patrick802


4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

05-12-2014 15:51:17 | More by patrick802
Photo of MonkeyBread


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

05-11-2014 21:23:49 | More by MonkeyBread
Photo of osuskin


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

04-28-2014 23:40:14 | More by osuskin
Photo of rjp217


4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

04-19-2014 02:27:30 | More by rjp217
Photo of ElGallo

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

04-13-2014 03:06:15 | More by ElGallo
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

04-05-2014 19:01:49 | More by yourefragile
Photo of Prost76

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

04-05-2014 10:14:02 | More by Prost76
Photo of StoutItOutLoud


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

03-23-2014 15:18:27 | More by StoutItOutLoud
Photo of Norseman


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

03-23-2014 04:49:58 | More by Norseman
Photo of rudzud


3.71/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Kyle for sharing.

A - Poured into a tulip a nice dark black hue with some thin mocha head.

S - Aromas of dark chocolate, dark fruits, malt bomb.

T - Taste is more of a quad than anything. Nice chocolate, strong malts, strong dark fruits, slightly cloy.

M - Mouthfeel is rather heavy, rather cloy.

O - Overall this beer was alright, not really a stout and super malty.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 01:53:48 | More by rudzud
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

03-18-2014 21:08:57 | More by Axnjxn
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3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

03-17-2014 14:12:35 | More by EgadBananas
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Darkest Hour from Anchorage Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.