Singularity
Driftwood Brewery

SingularitySingularity
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Style:
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #82
ABV:
10.6%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,428
Avg:
4.29 | pDev: 9.32%
Reviews:
65
Ratings:
173
From:
Driftwood Brewery
 
British Columbia, Canada
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  133
Gots
  51
SCORE
94
Outstanding
SingularitySingularity
Notes: 2011-11.8%(silver foil), 2012-11.6%(black wax),
2013-11.8%(black wax), 2014-14.6%(black wax),
2015-12.2%(black wax), 2016-11.2%(black wax),
2017-13.2%(black wax), 2018-12.0%(black wax),
2019-10.6%(black wax)

Our 8th annual release of Singularity has been conditioned for 2 months in authentic Kentucky bourbon barrels. This aging process adds warming notes of bourbon and oak that push this Russian Imperial Stout beyond the event horizon. The result is a beer of infinite density and depth of character. Singularity 2018 features deep bourbon & barrel character that held in balance by the warming 12% abv !

Our 7th annual release of Driftwood Brewery’s Singularity has been conditioned for 3 months in authentic Kentucky bourbon barrels. This aging process adds warming notes of bourbon and oak that push this Russian Imperial Stout beyond the event horizon. The result is a beer of infinite density and depth of character. At 13.2%, Singularity Russian Imperial Stout 2017 will be a prized addition to any beer cellar!
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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 173 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. 2019 vintage. Pours nearly black, appearing opaque black in the glass with a quarter finger dark khaki head that dissipates quickly to a small ring around the glass, slight lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt with light char, milk chocolate, light vanilla, woody oak and a hint of bourbon. Flavor is dark toasted malt with moderate char and a little smokiness, bourbon, woody oak, touch of coffee and dark dried fruit. Nice charry, chocolate finish with residual bourbon. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A full flavored imperial stout with fine bourbon barrel character. The malt body is a bit on the light side for a Russian imperial stout, but is still supporting and flavorful. Pleasant char and chocolate notes. I was up in Canada picking up untried breweries, but couldn't pass this up from a favorite from north of the border. We used to get a few Driftwood styles in Seattle, but not for a while. Glad I grabbed this, it's one of their beers I've wanted to try for a long time.

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Photo of ChrisPr
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 11.2%, black wax.
Appearance of dark black with cabernet highlights. Alcohol, cocoa and light Cherrywood smoke on the nose. Taste of roast, frothy almonds, dark dried fig and a noticeable alcohol finish. A very nice beer but the alcohol finish is a bit rich, leaving it slightly imbalanced.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2019 bottle
Pours is completely opaque, even held up to the light the corners hold their edge with no creep. Decent little swell of light brown head settles down pretty quickly to little more than a floating patch that looks well on its way to dissipating as well. No lacing to speak of. A faint oily film when the light catches it just right.

Nose gives a first impression of rich dark fruits and the smoky char of a beach side campfire when you wake up the next morning. Some roast emerges as it warms and the fruit fades. I'mma let it sit for a bit as I get the impression that it will continue to evolve as it warms.
Coming back, this continues to be more mellow than I would have expected. I dig that. Not light, but definitely mellow. Some notes of coffee and an almost berryjuice rich component. The barrelling is expressed more in woodiness than in spice/vanilla/alcohol heat.

Flavour continues the theme of mellow blended components with an initial kick of acrid coffee meeting a roasty middle character with again a light smokiness I hadn't really expected and a sweeter thread that is more fruit than chocolate. Rambles around a bit before coming back together in the finish with a quick dick punch of bitter/alcohol/coffee/and a weird high sweet note. Almost like green coffee vs darkly roasted beans?

Thin body with bright effervescence and a finish that lingers very bitter and almost mildly tart. Alcohol is folded in wonderfully though.
Overally I enjoyed this and I'm very glad to have grabbed it, but if Im' being honest, the beer I wanted this to be is a bit better than the beer this actually is. Still looking forward to the bottle I set aside in the 'cellar', though, to see how it transforms over time!

EDIT: It definitely grows on me as it continues to warm, but the overall impressions remain largely the same.

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Photo of Niceroad77
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Just had two 2019 bottles of this great offering. Small head that disappeared quite rapidly after my first sip. Very fizzy. Medium body, thinner than what I was expecting. Great taste though with the obvious bourbon barrel ageing. This is the lowest ABV Singularity offering so far.

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Photo of Ghrymm
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 650ml bottle a 2016 Black Wax.
L: Dark Black/Brown pour with a thin tan head.
S: Chocolate/Vanilla Toffee and Coffee,wonderful nose.
T: Tastes as it smells .Great.
F: Very smooth need to drink it slow our it will knock you on your ass.
O: Very nice i am glad i let it sit for almost a year in a cool spot.

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Photo of yasky
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black pour, smaller brown head, minimal lacing. Lighter bourbon aroma, roasted malt, fudge, vanilla. Dark chocolate, lighter whiskey notes in the taste, vanilla, sweet, char. Thicker fuller body.

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Photo of dillybarrrrr
2.55/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Singularity 2017 @13.2 out of a 650nL at 13.99 into a jar... lol a jar..
Picked up because of the hype
L: Dark as hell no clarity, 1 finger of head
S: chocolate, vanilla, mainly coffee tho
T :Super coffee and chocolate not my type of thing at all
F: Not thick, smooth mouth feel best part of the beer.
Ov: Wont pick up another one waaaaay overhyped

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650ml, black wax-capped bottle, @ 11.2% ABV (2016 edition) - thanks as ever was to rogerdandy for bequeathing me this hard to come by offering - cheers, man!

This beer pours a deep, abyssal black, with subtle basal cola edges when pressed to backlighting, and four fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and well creamy brown head, which leaves a decent array of layered sudsy and stringy lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of testy Bourbon barrels (wood, spicy rye booze, and neutered vanilla), grainy caramel/toffee malt, black licorice, a muddled dark orchard fruitiness, and some further nail polish remover adjacent astringent alcohol heat. The taste is gently roasted, bready and doughy caramel malt, a hint of biscuity toffee, semi-sweet, yet still aggressive Bourbon cask notes (dried vanilla pods, rye/corn whiskey, and musty wood), bittersweet chocolate, edgy cafe-au-lait, a fading melted anise candy character, and more hovering, and about to alight metallic booziness.

The bubbles are fairly inert in their difficult to get excited about frothiness, the body a stoic medium-heavy weight, and mostly smooth and creamy, but for a loitering sense of tacky alcohol ingress. It finishes sweet, sure, and moderated to a certain degree by wood, generic fruit, and heat alike.

Yeah, I probably cracked this one open a bit too early (but you never really know, eh, Tofor?), as the big ABV seems to have not yet found its sexy groove, instead evoking a somewhat scratchy persona. At any rate, that's judging this like a typically hyped-up whale, rather than on the merits I sense before me. So, in summary, this is indeed a splendid big BBA stout, the perceivable wowee sauce forgivable enough (see label if you want to quibble about this), and I'm glad to have tried it.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got on trade! 2016 vintage served at 10deg C in a challis.

A- Opens well and pours a solid 1.5" high light brown head that stays forever. Nearly 10mins before film out. Super dark brown colour and just a wonderful stout

S- Bourbon and, unfortunately, metallic scent.

T- Bourbon, chocolate and malt hits you right away. After the juiciness leaves it's heat and a lot of it. Too much but it sticks out at you because of the wateriness.

M- Watery. Way too watery for a BBA stout. Makes the heat stick out at you

O- Pretty good brew minus the watery nature of the mouth. Hope they improve their technique. Ingredients you can taste are high quality but......

Food Pairing

This pretty good brew went well with......... Sorry for the common theme however it works...... Chocolate cake with chocolate icing. It just works times ten...

Enjoy

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Photo of BCborn
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 bomber, aged 1 year, my 50th birthday beer
A: very dark- bkack reddish hughe, not much head
S: sweetness-vanilla, licorice, bourbon-alcohol, dark fruit- cherry
T: follows smell with a yeasty-dough dominant flavor
F: no carbination, medium
OA: Big abv-bourbon flavo, very good sipper

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.67/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Could use some head on the top of the beer, but looks like your average dark stout beer, brown and black.

Aroma was dark fruit bitterness and roasting. Substantial amount of alcohol noticeable, but hey its a big ass beer. Mouthfeel and body was a little thin, brought out the bitterness and alcohol sting. Too much licorice. Glad to try, but not gonna seek it out.

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Photo of souvenirs
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Impenetrably dark, with chocolatey tan head.
S: Licorice, vanilla, bourbon.
T: Lots going on. Sweet black licorice, bourbon, vanilla, coffee...
F: Heavy.

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Photo of LampertLand
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Driftwood Brewery 'Singularity' Russian Imperial Stout , a beer of infinite destiny , sampled on *cask* at the GCBF & vintage waxed bombers 2012 @ 11.6% , 2013 @ 11.8% , 2014 @ 14.6% , 2015 @ 12.2% , 2016 @ 11.2% ,
2017 @ 13.2% , 2018 @ 12.0% , 2019 @ 10.6% ,
A-pour is a very dark cola brown/black from the cask/bottle to a black in the glass with a small/medium tan head that quickly dissapates leaving a minimal lace ring along the snifter/sampler
S-smells of bourbon , orange rind & ripe dark fruit's & some sweet spices , hint's of oak
T-taste is still complex , barrel aged bourbon up front followed by sweet dark fruit & a chocolate/sweet vanilla combine in the middle , near the end a dry roast coffee finish , wow
MF-a bit viscous , decent carbonation & real big full body , love the ABV buzz !!
Ov-great beer , even at the $12+ / bottle , this beer is a stand-out winner , a must have in anyone's cellar , could possibly be the best beer buzz ever !! **warning** do not attempt as a 49th birthday vertical 12/13/14 !!!
2012 with 4 years in the cellar - maybe only needed 3 , seems to lost a touch of smoothness
2013 with 3 years in the cellar - awesome beer still has the bigness to it , yet so much smoother
2014 with 4 years in the cellar - surprisingly smooth
2014 with 2 years in the cellar - the biggest beer buzz ever , damn
2015 with 3 years in the cellar - smooth , warming , noticeable beer buzz ,
prost LampertLand

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Photo of Beervana
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours nearly black with a pillowy beige head. A nice sweetness on the nose, getting mostly vanilla but some milk chocolate as well. Taste hits with a good kick of bourbon but little in the way of an alcohol heat, maybe a bit of dark chocolate. A smooth roastiness and a touch of hop bitterness come out on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and thick, very mouth-coating. All in all, one of, if not the best barrel aged stouts from Western Canada.

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Photo of stouts4me
4/5  rDev -6.8%

9/25/14 pouring from the bomber, into a TG snifter.

Smell a small Brbn barrel aroma, hint of sweetness.

Small thin tan head rims the glass, seems about medium viscosity.

Taste is not overly bitter dark malt. But I get a little; not overly sweet, a little barrel left, smooth , very drinkable, really nothing to turn you away, I may go plop some vanilla ice cream in the next glass, will make a great stout float.

I think I bought this through an internet beer retailer, on '12, it has held up well, ? , 14% , you can't fault this, it is a good beer, a lot of breweries put out an imperial bourbon-barrel aged stout, and it is sad, this is decent, enjoyable, would like to try it fresh sometime, for a comparison.

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Photo of TRiGS
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

This is a serious beer. It will steal your soul if you don't respect it. Bottle says 14.6% ABV but it's probably higher than that. Aged 5 months. Black as night. Head is a unique and gorgeous gradient from brown to caramel to beige near the top. Bourbon on the nose. Chocolate, Caramel, coffee, sugar, molasses, and lots of bourbon. Super malty goodness. One bottle of this stuff will probably get you well on your way to slurring your words. Truly a special, unique, and delicious beer.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage poured in late June, 2014. Poured from bottle into tulip. Initially cold from the fridge, but let it warm over an hour.

Appearance: Black as night, with a gorgeous brown head. Good amount of carbonation.

Smell: Holy crap! The nose blew me away. Lot's of bourbon, but nice sweet malts. Picking up a bunch of dark fruits. Very excited to taste this one!

Taste: It doesn't disappoint, but definitely a bit different from the smell. Very nice bourbon flavors, with a sweet aftertaste. Alcohol comes through, which I bet would ease off with some age. It's almost 15%, so a bit of aging would probably be great! There is also a massive dark fruit bomb on this. Cherries, plums, and blackberries. A bit of grape as well. Very nice! This is a perfect treat after dinner!

Mouthfeel: Wow! A smooth and creamy feel. This one lingers nicely. I just want more!

Overall, this is an amazing beer. This is a beer that I would seek out and keep in my cellar. I can only imagine what a bit of age would do to this! Driftwood did a fantastic job with this one!

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013. Pour is opaque but in the light you can see dark brown with redish hues at the fringes. Nice head that fades to a beige ring. Not glass coating. Smell is subdued; bourbon notes (caramel, vanilla and a very distinct cinnamon note). Toffee and golden syrup come in later. No chocolate or roasted malt notes. No hop presence. Flavor is more of the same - intense bourbon, Jack Daniels-y, without a ton of heat. Still that cinnamon note with some vanilla panna cotta and flan. Great carbonation that gives it a very smooth, creamy feel. A very nice beer.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle.

Looks like a serious beer - deep red and gold highlighted black

Somewhat closed aroma at first, but opens up over half an hour or so as it warms in the glass. Dark and brooding. Burntness (with a touch of smoke, deep, almost industrial, or like a train station), molasses, a Scotch ale sort of maltiness, mild bourbon barrel, and hints of dark fruit like raisins or figs.

Quite a bit more intensity on the palate than suggested by the aroma - bittersweet molasses, burnt caramel/sugar, dark chocolate, orange rind, bourbon, mild licorice. Starts fairly sweet, but finishes bitter and almost dry. Quite a long finish, impressive, with the flavors lingering for a minute or more. Powerful, and delicious.

Medium-full bodied, fine carbonation, smooth texture. Noticeable alcohol, but quite drinkable for what it is.

Good stuff. Thanks to the very helpful staff at 16th St Liquor in West Vancouver for the recommendation!

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Photo of MacBrew
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been a fan of this seasonal from Driftwood for the last few years and I've been waiting impatiently for il's arrival.
It didn't disappoint.
What I do enjoy is this beer at fridge temp and room temp. (It's a sipping beer, not a sessional)
Different flavours come forward as it warms.
Rich, smooth and despite then high alcohol, it goes down without a burn.
The toughest part about this beer is getting through the black wax.
Takes a moment of patience, but well worth it!
Love it!

MacBrew

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.61/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Retsinis for sharing this one at his tasting.

2012 vintage.

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 form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I am only getting bourbon qualities in the aroma.

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Photo of NWer
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage bottle dated black wax
Pours dark dark dark brown into HotD tulip. Minimal head reduces quickly to thin line of bubbles around edge.
Burnt dark chocolate dominates, coffee present. Alcohol makes itself known but not too much so.
Not overly smooth which I like. Flavors shout out their presence. Nothing subtle about it. If you want overly smooth, buy an oatmeal stout.
A pleasure. I wish I had bought more of them when I had the chance.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012 version into a goblet. Pours inky black with very little head and a similar amount of lacing.

I smell vanilla from the barrels and other woody notes. The whiskey is apparent as well but not overdone. I get just a little bit of roast but not much. Not super complex, but interesting and enjoyable. It also has a fair bit of boozy heat.

I get more roast than in the nose, but it's still gentle. There is some roasty, or maybe it's hoppy, bitterness as well, particularly on the back end. I don't notice the oak and vanilla as much as in the nose, but I do get more as it warms. Or the whiskey. But it is still quite good. Malty sweetness emerges more as it warms.

Nicely carbonated, full body, medium viscosity with some bitterness leading into and lingering after the finish.

This bottle has a year on it, and it strikes me as one that could have benefitted from some more time. There are a number of interesting elements in play including vanilla and other barrel characteristics such as the booze, malty sweetness, and roast. They don't always mesh perfectly, but this is good a beer that is on the verge of being very good.

My friends who shared this with me are saying that some previous years' versions were better.

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Photo of TheEarl
3.58/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a black waxed bottle into two snifters on May 7, 2013.

Appearance: Black with thin dark mocha head. Residual foam lace looks a bit like a dark brown nebula. Pretty!

Aroma: Alcohol is the most apparent aroma but it fades to a dark and bitter chocolate note. There is significant wood/barrel as well.

Taste: Cocoa, sugar, bourbon, and vanilla open up into some hop bitterness and a vegetal note that is a bit off-putting.

Mouthfeel: Slick, viscous, and a bit thin.

Overall: This is a decent barrel-aged stout but I wouldn't seek it out or buy it again. The booze was poorly balanced/blended with the base beer and an unpleasant vegetal flavor seems to have developed.

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Photo of SebD
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick tan head that dies down moderately and leaves very little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, woody oak and some dark fruit.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some sweet and roasty chocolate, some coffee, vanilla, bourbon, a touch of oak and some sweet dark fruit. Very nice balance.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

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Singularity from Driftwood Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 173 ratings