Singularity | Driftwood Brewery

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
163 Ratings
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SingularitySingularity
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada
driftwoodbeer.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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)

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!


Added by ericj551 on 01-18-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
163
Reviews:
60
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10%
 
 
Wants:
135
Gots:
55
For Trade:
5
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 163 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the BA guys out West, love their reviews. Ok, a rare bottled West beer they didn't send out to me already that's good. Volo:$46 with tax and tip, sharing with Jason. Its black and almost no head. Way too cold, half an hour into it as it warms I get a cask head, some trace of lace condensation on the side of the glass. A little boozy and chocolate aroma, and some strange spice in the finish that seems sour.Its closer to room temperature, and its very bourbon, some oak, carbonation is there.Smooth, buttery, as warmer and there is more coffee and coconut. 14% alcohol as rated by LCBO. Bourbon takes over as the smell. Chocolate in the sediment.

 655 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.61/5  rDev -14%
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 t0rin0
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -4.8%
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 Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of medium bourbon notes with some woody notes and light vanilla with some medium dry roasted malt with light dry notes. Taste is a mix between some bourbon notes with some light vanilla and dry roasted malt with dry black chocolate notes. Body is quite full with a nice creamy texture and good carbonation. Not the most complex beer out there and not enough vanilla and woody notes to satisfy me but still very enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of largadeer
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage. Thanks, Vlad.

Appearance: Pitch black body with a clinging tan head and oily leggings. A small but lasting head forms, and never completely dissipates.

Smell: The aroma is led by burnt sugar, with a bit of dark fruit sweetness buried beneath. Roasted malts are moderate - reigned-in enough to balance the sweetness. Bourbon barrel is evident, but it isn't dominant - it brings notes of vanilla and caramel.

Palate: Rich brown sugar, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate. Heavy on the barrel, but without much heat. The body is viscous, almost oily. This leans more toward the sweet and rich side than the roasty and bitter, and it's quite impressive in small quantities.

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Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.24/5  rDev +1%
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 wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mdaschaf
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Brouwers during Big Wood. Review from notes.

A: Totally black with tight capped tan head on top with nice retention, slowly reducing in size. Lacing is very thin and fades quickly after forming.

S: Strong chocolaty aroma upfront, a little bit of dark fruit, some coffee and a little bit of bourbon and vanilla.

T: Again, quite a bit of chocolate and fruit upfront, mostly raisin and cherry. There is some coffee along with vanilla and caramel.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Extremely smooth with abv well hidden.

O: A very solid RIS. If the bottles were a little less expensive I would certainly be grabbing them up.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is nearly black in color with a small khaki colored head. Plenty of roasted malt with a bit of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon. Tons and tons of barrel, which was a bit unexpected. The flavor offers a little less bourbon and vanilla notes with a bit more roasted malt flavor, along with some bitter chocolate. Light coffee and malt sweetness. The bourbon comes out a bit more as the beer warms up.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sweetwater mini-snifter.

But I could've sworn a singularity was nigh-impossible...? Anyway, this stuff pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of sandy tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, mild cocoa, and very light vanilla bean. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some bitter dark chocolate. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a solid stout, nothing overtly special, but I'd definitely drink another were one offered me.

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Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't remember if I got this from peensteen or liamt07. 2010 vintage that was LCBO tested at 13.8%. Served in a Surly Darkness glass.

A - A tan foam settles to a wispy haze on top, thin ring, and tiny spots of lace. Black body with some light brown coloration at the edges of the glass.

S - Massive dark chocolate, fudge, oak, char, spicy bourbon, and a hint of vanilla. Massive barrel presence here, and relatively low sweetness. Booze is present, but I wouldn't have guessed it's nearly 14%.

T - The taste is actually a bit better, with a nice blend of licorice, dark chocolate, oak, bourbon, and vanilla. Highly attenuated, with perhaps a tad more char and roast character that I prefer, but still quite enjoyable.

M - Full body, lower carbonation, viscous, chewy, but with only light residual stickiness. Not overly tannic, particularly considering how intense the barrel flavors are. Mild alcohol warmth, but far less than I was expecting.

D - It's a serious sipper of a beer, and one of the few times I've actually been glad that I didn't get around to opening a beer fresh as I imagine the booze was pretty intense last January. It'd be pretty tough to put down a whole bomber, but 12oz would make a nice one-and-done serving. One of the first Canadian barrel-aged imperial stouts that has been competitive with American offerings, but not quite in the top tier.

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Photo of IrishColonial
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of liamt07
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled sampled at Volo, presented in a tulip. Bottle is labelled as being LCBO lab tested at 13.8% ABV. Yowzers.

Poured pitch black, not a ray of light getting through this. Thin collar of retention, and minimal head. Mild lacing, but this is a huge stout. Nose is bourbon right off the bat, some oak and vanilla as well. Digging way deeper I get a sense of some dark roasted coffee and a hint of the alcohol. Well hidden, although the barrel dominates the nostrils here. Taste is predominantly bourbon and oak, until midway through the palate some silky milk chocolate and vanilla comes through. Some sweetness and finishes with a coffee-like roastiness. Great, silky mouthfeel and real bourbon-y. Lots of the bourbon 'flavour' without burning like straight bourbon. Oak and some vanilla notes begin to almost overtake the bourbon as it reaches room temperature; two different beasts in this one. A great RIS overall, and we agreed that this would be awesome to have a bottle to sit on and see how it develops. Awesome.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Notes from 4/8/11
Thanks to korguy123 for this bottle!
Served in Founder's tulip glass @ 45F.

A - Black with one finger of espresso coloured head that left some good lacing behind in the glass.

S - Heavy bourbon scent up front with oak. Not much else comes through on the nose.

T - Bourbon and oak are the predominant flavours, but without being overwhelming. Some sweet molasses, vanilla and light roasted malt notes come through. This beer is somewhat one dimensional with the bourbon barrel flavours dominating the palate (bourbon, oak, vanilla). It would be nice if more of the roasted malt flavours were present. That said, the bourbon barrel flavours that come through are spectacular. So it is hard to be too critical of this beer.

M - Medium to full body. Light carbonation.

O - An excellent example of the style.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz waxed bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: entirely black, allowing no light through the body. Hed is a finger of dense, creamy dark-tan foam. Very attractive, but head retention is not great and the lace isn't as beautiful as I want it.

Smell: strong aroma of roasted malt, rich, ripe, dark fruits (date, plum, black cherry), a fruity, aromatic alcohol character and a tannic woody bite. Complex and engaging.

Taste: surprisingly light (in a good way), despite the masively dark appearance and sky-high alcoholic content. The fruitiness is right at the fore, with plums and cherries and apples and pears; yes, even lighter fruits make it in here. I'm guessing this thing is pretty highly attenuated, lightening up the body and adding in more alcoholic complexity. I like it very much.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a good level of carbonation and a very silky smooth texture. Not as bodaciously creamy as I'd hoped, but good nonetheless.

Overall: this is a very tasty Imperial stout which isn't cloyingly sweet and overly thick. For a beer of this flavor profile and alcoholic content, it is dangerously drinkable. Great!

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Photo of Derek
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 consumed 12Apr2015:
Only a thin ring of head, showing some oxidation... 4.2.

2012 Consumed 6Apr2015:
Cellared incedibly well... 4.7.

2011 Consumed 14Apr2017:
After 6 years in the cellar, it has aged well. Still pours a little head, flavour has mellowed nicely. I don't think it would continue to improve, but it certainly hasn't went downhill.

Original 2011 review:

A: 4- Black with a tan head, thin ring of retention, leaves a bit of lace.

S: 4.5 Alcohol & oak are readily apparent, brown sugar, molasses, great fruity esters, toffee, light spicing.

T: 4.5 Caramelized raisins, piny hops, black-strap molasses, licorice, sponge toffee, bourbon & oak, roasted nut, candy floss, burnt caramel, assertive bitterness, alcohol on the cusp of becoming harsh.

M: 4 Highly attenuated, light acidity and a strong, drying alcohol finish.

D: 4 A sensational sipper.

I was expecting more west-coast hopping, but this one's actually leaning towards a historic British brew (minus the bourbon).

It's not harsh, but it'll be interesting to see how it cellars & mellows.

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Photo of NickThePyro
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of spinrsx
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage

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Photo of corby112
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Pours pitch black with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Streaks of soapy lacing are left behind.

Smokey roasted malt aroma with a nice barrel character that makes itself know without overpowering everything else.  Grassy and piney hops along with dry, toasted oak, coconut, vanilla and spicy bourbon but the roasted malts and dark chocolate really stand out.  

Thinner bodied than expected with soft carbonation and a decent amount of boozy bourbon but the barrel character is nicely integrated throughout.  Some toasted oak and vanilla bean followed by a prominent bourbon presence that lingers over the sweet and roasted malt backbone into a slightly dry finish.  Underneath the barrel notes, there is more sweetness than roast with hints of silky chocolate, toffee and caramel along followed by some oatmeal, burnt malt and roasted coffee bean.  Well balanced and complex with subtle heat in the finish but the high abv is well masked making this strong beer easier to drink than expected.

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Singularity from Driftwood Brewery
4.2 out of 5 based on 163 ratings.
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