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Darkest Hour - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Darkest HourDarkest Hour

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

203 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 203
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 60
Gots: 40 | FT: 8
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 203 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed as out of a brown 750 mL bottle marked with the information, Batch #1 March 2013. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack tulip glass.

Appearance - Aggressive pour yields a frothy but fleeting mocha-tan head that slinks back into the liquid after a little while, leaving a rim of foam around the edges of the glass. Body is almost pitch black, but reveals highlights of garnet and pomegranate seed red when held in front of the light. An enchanting looking beer, though it could use some better head retention and lacing, but I suppose that's to be expected from a 13% BA imperial stout.

Smell - Very hot with boozy notes from the rye barrel-aged portion. Belgian yeast gives the typically roasty smell a floral depth, like nectar. Still, the elements of coffee and cacao are still present. I also get characteristics of rich, decadent port wine and dark fruits. Unfortunately, the booze is a little unbalanced for my taste, but it's an incredibly unique smelling brew. Almost like brandy.

Taste - Unbelievable. I'm not even sure where to start, the flavor is so deep and complex. Definite characteristics of pinot noir and grape must, some dark spiciness with a hint of oak from the rye barrels, and a pleasant sweetness of molasses and caramelized sugar. I love the fact that the wine elements are clearly present, but blend in nicely to the overall darker, sweeter elements from the stout to highlight darker fruits like figs, dates and currants. The acidity provides a good counterpoint to the heavier, more cloying components.

Mouthfeel - Thick and viscous, with a heavy body. Carbonation is moderate-to-heavy; in spite of the lack of retention, a gentle swirl coaxes out fizz and foaming pretty easily.

Overall - As a end-of-the-night sipper, this might be one of the best beers I've ever had. I'm sure it would be fabulous with a dessert, but it's also sufficient enough to be its own dessert. I will definitely have to make a point to get more bottles of this, partly because it's amazing, but also to age it and see how that wine yeast changes the characteristics of the beer over time. Anchorage continues to use its King Midas touch to crank out fantastic beers.

LambicPentameter, Aug 05, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

SuqMadique, Jul 20, 2013
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sabitu, Nov 17, 2013
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EastBay_Nick, Jul 13, 2013
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williamjbauer, Jan 06, 2014
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4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber at RBWG-2014 in Asheville.

Deep dark red-brown with a decent head.

Boozy with prunes, dark bread, raisins. Excellent sweet/bitter balance.

Full body with perfect carbonation.

Lasting aftertaste with dark roasted grains eventually coming to the fore.

Outstanding

chinchill, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Brenden
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown and almost fudgy in appearance, this thick brew looks the part of a big stout. It grows a khaki-colored head about a finger in height. Retention is on the better side of moderate, as is a mingling of patching and spotting.
Stout characteristics make themselves known in the aroma, more than the Belgian yeast. Otherwise it's got a great balance of tart and sour, Michigan cherry style, with a light sweetness both fruity and almost creamy in nature. Rye whiskey and Pinot, seemingly experimental and potentially disastrous, marry impressively well, and I'm loving the dry/sweet interplay. Roast and light cocoa notes mingle well, as does a sort of toastiness, making this a complete, balanced, and well-rounded beer full of depth and flavor. The taste adds an excellently well-toned acidity/vinegar element and brings the unity of malts, sourness, tartness and sweetness into accord exceptionally well. There's little notice of this beer's huge ABV, but it sure does warm nicely.
Stout big and rich, this full-bodied beauty is thick and creamy. Dryness from the rye whiskey, wine and the oak they're in balances out the overall feel. Creamy smooth and warm, this is a seemingly winter-appropriate bee that I'd drink any time, as it's also somehow refreshing, likely due to the light acidity.

Brenden, Jul 29, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

SoCalBeerIdiot, Aug 08, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Sammy, Jun 06, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

cjgator3, Dec 08, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

StoutItOutLoud, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body with a decent khaki head. Thick collar. A few islands.

Smell - Rich chocolate, some whiskey, and then the red wine barrel comes through in the end. Gives it a vinous character.

Taste - Chocolate and coffee up front. Vanilla. The red wine comes through with the vinous character. Whiskey comes back in the finish but the lingering flavor is wine.

Mouthfeel - Medium high carbonation. A little boozy.

Overall - The wine barrel needs some time to die down, I think, but this could be really good with some agem

Alieniloquium, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of flayedandskinned
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage
Poured into a standard tulip glass.

Appearance: (4)
Pours an absolutely, viscous impenetrable black with only a mere wisp of a dark knaki that almost recedes as quickly as it forms. The high alcohol content(13%), coupled with the extensive aging in both Pinot Noir and Rittenhouse Rye whiskey barrels, definitely kills any hope of a head. Plenty of alcohol legs.

Aroma: (4.5)
Huge notes of sweet, overripe plums, dark cherries, figs, rich molasses, dark chocolate and dried tobacco leaves. Massive barrel character; The whiskey barrel definitely dominates aroma; cascading notes of vanilla, bourbon and light coconut . There is a vinous leather character imparted by the Pinot barrel. Some alcohol phenols come out more and more as the beer warms.

Taste: (4)
As soon as the beer enters your mouth, you're hit with peppery, spicy black cherries from the Pinot barrel. Soon to follow the Pinot character, is some sweet plum and general dark, fruitiness from the Belgian yeast that the stout was fermented with. Rich, dark chocolate malt quickly follows the fruity yeast character. The stout finishes very dry with more lingering impressions of black cherries, plums and chocolate. Big bourbon barrel notes at the tail end of the finish; vanilla, faint charred oak, light tannins and a resounding booziness as the beer warms. For being 13% ABV, the alcohol is fairly well hidden.

Mouthfeel: (3.5)
Thick, viscous with very soft carbonation and an oily, drying alcohol presence.

Overall: (4)
An extremely unique take on a barrel aged stout; Both the Pinot Noir and Rye Whiskey barrels are showcased very well, the bourbon dominates the nose, and the tail end of the finish, whereas the Pinot dominates the initial flavor and the back end of the aroma. Very interesting stuff. I do find myself wishing that the base beer had more of a roasted malt backbone to help counteract the sweetness of the stout, as the beer does get pretty cloying as it warms. Stronger carbonation would also help in this matter. I think this beer will greatly benefit with some more age on it. This is one stout keep buried in the closet for a while; to let the carbonation build up and let the diverse flavors round themselves out a bit. I recommend this beer to anybody who is looking for a new flavor experience on their palate. Good, but young beer; still has some aging to do.

flayedandskinned, Jun 25, 2013
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4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Bunuelian, Jun 21, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

GRG1313, Jun 17, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

awdturboiv, Nov 08, 2013
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4/5  rDev -3.6%

Magery, Jul 26, 2013
Photo of bluejacket74
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle. Batch #1, bottled March 2013. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half tan head that stuck around for a while. There's a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, red wine/grapes, whiskey, chocolate, and a bit of licorice. The brew tastes like roasted malt, chocolate, red wine, whiskey, dark fruit, licorice, molasses, caramel, and some coffee and wood. I think it's tasty! Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's coating and chewy with moderate carbonation. The 13% ABV is well hidden. I liked this brew a lot, I think it's definitely worth trying. I know I'd like to get another bottle of this in the future, it's one of the better beers I've had recently. $17.99 a bottle.

bluejacket74, Dec 29, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Rutager, Sep 14, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

rjp217, Apr 19, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

itracy63, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch #1 - Brewed in March 2013.
Poured in to tulip.

A - Deep ink black with one finger of medium brown head that slowly receded to a thin layer.

S - Rich sweet caramel, molasses, chocolate and red wine notes come through initially, followed by toasted oak, whiskey and some spice. A beautiful nose.

T - A massively rich and bold flavour profile (without being cloying). Red wine, dark fruit, caramel, chocolate and molasses flavours come through up front. The mid-palate adds toasted oak and whiskey flavours and the finish has a light spice presence along with the Belgian yeast profile. Truly decadent.

M - Full body. Thick and viscous. Light carbonation.

O - This was a truly unique and remarkable beer. The integration of the red wine and whiskey barrel aging along with the base beer was perfect. Perhaps a touch sweet, which kept it from getting a perfect score, but this was outstanding.

TheSevenDuffs, Oct 05, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

EgadBananas, Mar 17, 2014
Photo of stx00lax
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Kevin! As always, you the man!

A- pours a lively dark brown/black. Translucent rim to dark core. Minimal head, but obvious carb and good lacing.

S- vinous oak, dark fruits, light smoke, a bit of roast and bourbon. Belgian yeast.

T- much like the nose, my nostalgia sensor immediately triggers bar fly. These are fairly similar beers with bar fly being a little more roasty with a bigger body.

M- on the thinner side of 13% stouts. The bourbon heat becomes prominent as the beer warms. The oak gives it a dryer feel.

O- this is an awesome stout. Currently I think it's underrated. It doesn't have the vanilla/coconut/bourbon qualities that most American ba stouts have, but rather the complex flavor profiles of both Belgian and American stouts combined. Ready to drink fresh

stx00lax, Jul 06, 2013
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Darkest Hour from Anchorage Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 203 ratings.