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!

Darkest Hour - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Darkest HourDarkest Hour

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

189 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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)
View: Beers (18) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 189 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

06-06-2014 03:07:18 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Batch # 1. Bottled 3/2013.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, toffee, whiskey, and wine aromas. Taste is much the same with slight sour wine and cocoa flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great barrel aged presence in the smell and tasty flavors.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 02:16:58 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

07-11-2013 17:44:36 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I worry about Belgian stouts and the friction that's caused by the highly roast character and the acidic puckering that, in tandem accelerates each flavor and throws them both way out of balance. But because its "Anchorage" at the helm, I've got to feel confident that they'll pull it off well. Right?

Upon the pour, the ale foregoes its exuberant Belgian character and sides mightily with traditional Imperial Stout. Its rich black body slowly releases a creamy and delicately frothy mocha foam that dissolves back into the glass, but a gentle swirl rejuvenates its dense frothy character. Light on lace, the ale shows how it struggles with its immense body beneath.

Sour on the nose, the scent of tart cherries, burnt fruit, grape must all lead the way. A slow rise of chocolate, toast, and coffee eventually support the sour tinge but remains in the backdrop of aroma.

But to taste, the flavors erupt! Stout everywhere- the fudgey chocolates, smooth espresso, walnut, and overall robust roast taste is balanced superbly with burnt caramel and toffee. -and that's just the start. Upon these firm dessert-like underpinnings spring the savory notes of sherry wine, savory near-balsamic notes, a meaty element and some light salt to bring the flavor to live. Vinous acidity plays on the finish with pino noir and oak spices for a semi-clean closure of earth and rum.

Full bodied, yet nowhere near the level that's expected from a 13% beer. The malts hide its strength well and without over-sweetening the beer. The wine and whisky heat never exaggerate the tone- the smooth warmth weaves into the ale like fine tawny port wines will.

Darkest Hour turned into darkest minutes for the few who shared this bottle. Its simply irresistible to leave the glass alone for much time at all as those savory and robust notes strike the perfect balance and invites a return to the glass much quicker than at 13% beer should.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 07:18:23 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

07-25-2013 02:36:31 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

4/5  rDev -3.4%

09-14-2013 02:25:52 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-25-2013 02:51:56 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

06-17-2013 02:00:43 | More by GRG1313
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

06-14-2013 21:14:53 | More by largadeer
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

06-26-2013 06:49:52 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

06-07-2013 15:28:06 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.44/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Batch #1. March 2013. 13% ABV confirmed. 40 IBUs. "Ale brewed with Summit hops. Triple fermented. First with Belgian yeast, second in Pinot Noir and rye whisky barrels. And finally in the bottle with a wine yeast for natural carbonation." 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with printed-on label art and hood-and-wire cap acquired at a local SoCal bottle shop for $14.99 USD and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high given its current ratings and reputation. Love the label art.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
The wire grows brittle and deteriorates as I unwind it. I'm forced to cut the wire in order to dislodge the cork. Poor manufacturing.

A: Pours a two finger wide head of nice dark tan colour. Nice creaminess. Smooth soft complexion. Nice thickness. Retention is pretty good - about 4-5 minutes. No real lacing as the head recedes.

Body colour is a solid opaque dark black. Not quite a jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Looks pretty good for the style, but it's admittedly standard fare. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Not unique or special. No overt flaws are immediately obvious.

Sm: Hmm. Belgian spice sort of clashes with the more traditional dark and chocolate malt body. Molasses. Rye whisky but not much spice. Red wine notes. Bakers' chocolate. Caramel. Oddly, I keep sneezing as I try to ascertain the aroma. Light acridity. No hop profile is detectable, nor is any yeast. No alcohol comes through either. Cream. Caramel. Berry. An above average to mild strength.

T: Dark malts, cream, caramel, caramalt, biscuit malt, chocolate malt, and some light subtle spicy rye whisky. No booze or heat - surprisingly. They really kept that in check. The berry notes are quite light, but do manifest on the climax. Sadly, there's little oak to speak of here. I do get a twinge of lightly acidic pinot noir/red wine just after the climax; integration thereof could definitely be smoother. Sweet Port-like notes. Roast is sorely lacking. No yeast or hop character. All the wine notes are packed in the third act whilst the whisky notes are more timid and occupy the second act. The result is a segmented flavour profile rather than a collaborative cohesive whole of a beer. Balanced, but there's room for improvement - especially structurally. There's certainly a lot going on here, but the complexity is not mitigated by subtlety. Flavour intensity is above average for the style, as is depth of flavour. Flavour duration is average for the style. I do like it, but some of its notes clash. Feels like they lucked out, not like it was deliberately executed this well. I don't get a sense that they were in control here; it's a happy accident.

Mf: Acidic yet soft. Tends a biteen towards the sweeter end but never goes so far as to get cloying or obnoxious. Smooth and wet. Slightly syrupy. On the thicker side but still approachable. Not oily, harsh, biting, or hot. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored to it. Nice presence on the palate, but there's room for improvement. Sticky and chewy.

Dr: Very drinkable - especially for the high ABV (which is pretty well concealed). I'll definitely be able to kill this bottle by myself. It has a lot of likable elements, but I don't know that I'd call it great. It's a rather good brew from Anchorage, but it's not exemplary. I doubt I'd get it again at this price ($15), but I can see where others might. By no means disappointing, just not worthy of the hype.

Highish B-

Best enjoyed in small quantities.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 03:27:16 | More by kojevergas
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.4%

03-05-2014 17:52:44 | More by imperialking
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

06-08-2013 06:44:01 | More by zestar
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

06-11-2013 06:34:16 | More by drewone
Photo of sendbeer
sendbeer

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

09-16-2013 12:45:27 | More by sendbeer
Photo of afsdan
afsdan

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 04:38:27 | More by chinchill
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Black with a tiny bit of tan head, thin ring of retention shows a little leg.

S: Big boozy aroma, almost like dark rum, treacle, field berries, pumpernickel rye.

T: Surprising amount of rye up front, demerara, licorice, cocao, wood, modest bitterness, port-like finish. Nice, but I'm not feeling the Belgian at all.

M: Low on the carbonation, slightly oily and acidic, drying alcohol finish.

O: It's not bad, but certainly not worth the $17 I paid for a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 19:36:51 | More by Derek
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

08-17-2013 20:32:41 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

10-28-2013 14:17:14 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

08-18-2013 03:20:12 | More by tobelerone
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 7.14.13
Batch #1 Mar/2013

A - Pours a dark brown/black with a brown fine head with good retention.

S - Subtle tartness, roasted malts and sugars, red-wine barrel when swirled, bourbon when sitting.

T - Hop bite, then a sweet chocolate, roasted and dark fruit, then some sweet red wine and oaky bourbon. What?

D - Good, but lower carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Stout with Belgian red wine traits up front, and bourbon barrel in the background. Somehow it worked.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 02:31:17 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 02:04:26 | More by Alieniloquium
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Darkest Hour from Anchorage Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.