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Darkest Hour - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Darkest HourDarkest Hour

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

245 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 245
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 76
Gots: 70 | FT: 12
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:
Beer added by: DucksFan16 on 06-02-2013

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
View: Beers (15) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 245 | Reviews: 46 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of kojevergas
3.44/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

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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

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Darkest Hour from Anchorage Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 245 ratings.