Kentucky Dark Star (KDS) | Fremont Brewing Company

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Kentucky Dark Star (KDS)Kentucky Dark Star (KDS)

Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in 15 year old single use Kentucky Bourbon Barrels. The roasted and chocolate malts complement the smooth oats to bring you a stout delight wrapped in the gentle embrace of Bourbon Barrel aged warmth. A touch of sweetness dances in balance with the hops to finish with a wave and then she’s gone.

Added by barleywinefiend on 05-12-2012

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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 464
Photo of flagmantho
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz waxed bomber into a tulip. This is the 2015 vintage, clocking in at 14.5% ABV.

Appearance: completely black with a finger of dense, creamy brown foam atop. Very, very good.

Smell: rich, roasty, chocolatey, sweet and a little oaky. The bourbon contribution is quite mellow and well-integrated, which I really like. There are a few notes of date and raisin in the mix as well, which I always like.

Taste: sweet and oaky, with a huge hit of alcohol. That said, it pulls a lot of bourbon flavor without having too much burn; it's just oaky and vanilla-ey and big, big, big. The flavor lacks some of the nuance of the aroma, but it's still very good.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a moderate carbonation and OK creaminess. I am kind of surprised that this beer doesn't have more body; I'm guessing it's pretty heavily attenuated.

Overall: this beer is damn, damn good. It's astoundingly drinkable for its ABV. Great beer.

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Photo of beercam
4.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

KDS! Been anticipating this one for about three years now. Fully delivered. If you can dismiss ten fidy out there gates you know we're working with some special liquid. So delicious. 15% abv

This is a top 3 for whiskey barrel stouts...

An obviously profound brewing triumph, potentially best stout of 2016.

Seattle Baby Preserve Mother Earth

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Photo of Masonz223
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Smell: vanilla sweet bourbon milk chocolate rasin coffee.
Taste: right upfront vanilla sweet bourbon middle of the mouth milk chocolate rasin licorice chocolate coverd cherries dried oats finishes with some dark chocolate and a little bit of coffee
Feel: medium to full body creamy slick mouthfeel
Overall: another awesome barrel aged beer from Fremont! Two years of age on this beer and it still has Some alchool heat on it! I love it.

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Photo of Stardusthotel83
4.9/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Super dark color, nice creamy gray head with dark swirls. Excellent taste, coffee, vanilla, and the bourbon blend perfectly. This is probably the second best beer ive ever had. (The first also being from Freemont)

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Jeff for this rarity. 2014 vintage. 22oz. waxed bomber into OEC stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Great head retention and lace. Nose still has huge bourbon notes covering hints of fudge, chocolate and cocoa powder. Some prunes, other dark fruit and a splash of molasses. Nice but its pretty hot. Molasses, honey, syrup, chocolate, fudge and dark fruit on the palate. Boozy and hot in the mouth and very very sweet throughout. Some leather, tobacco and wet wood at the finish. This is excellent and the mouthfeel further helps it along. Thick and chewy on the palate and hot going down. Smooth finish with an accent of alcohol right at the end.

Definitely deserving of the hype. I'd love to try the flavored variants!

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle thanks to @rutager

Deep molasses black colour topped with an espresso crema toned head, 2 fingers on the pour, which settles to a thin cap.

Huge bourbon notes upfront backed by dark chocolate, sweet malts, cherries and raisins, and finishes with some roasted tones.

Like the scent, upfront bourbon with toasted malts, dark chocolate and dried fruits. The dried fruit portion is less apparent on the taste than the scent.

Thick chewy mouthfeel which is incredibly smooth with the alcohol dangerously hidden. Light hints of bourdon on the finish. Delicious

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared by Curran the other day, thanks man!

This one pours a very dark black, with a small head, and essentially no lacing.

Smells like bourbon, chocolate, sweet coffee, caramel, and vanilla.

This is a really well done and luxurious BA stout. There's a lot of barrel here, silky vanilla, earthy bourbon, and some oak. The taste is super smooth and rounded. The ABV is 14.5% according to the bottle, which is really hard for me to believe given how smooth and subdued the booze is here. Just a job well done here for sure.

This is thick bodied, very creamy and silky on the palate, with a moderate level of carbonation.

An exemplary barrel-aged stout, just absolutely delicious, and stands up with the biggest names in the BA game.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Root beer colored with a decent coffee colored head. Good retention and surface coating, though it did have some floaters on the surface.

Great aroma that's heavy on the vanilla and wood. Root beer, bourbon, coffee, chocolate.

Flavor follows suit. It brings a little boozy heat but less than expected from the aroma. Lot's of coffee, vanilla, and oak.

Smooth and heavy mouthfeel. Mild carbonation. Chewy.

Awesome beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love Fremont so much I propped this one up in my mind for the last couple years as an Abominable equal. Now I'd say that depends on your preference. This beer is amazing and the little bit of heat is welome in this brew, but for me the vanilla quality of the barrel is stronger than I like and I'd trade it for a BBA Abominable any day. If you love vanilla this will become your favorite. Best aged an additional year.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours black as night with one of the darkest colored heads that I have ever seen. The head is sizeable and hangs around a good while. The lacing is phenomenal and the head is a dark chocolate in color. This beer looks delicious in the glass.

S- Sweet malt and bourbon notes greet the nose right up front on this beer. Tons of barrel notes are up front with good char and vanilla notes. Semi-bitter dark malts and just a touch of hops are on the back end of the scent. Really just a good blend of base beer malt and barrel characteristics.

T- Starts with a muted malt base that is mostly dark and slightly bitter. A ton of chocolate malt that is immediately countered with a bunch of barrel profile is the initial flavor profile. The barrel and malts mellow out in the middle and provide a largely oaky and mellow chocolate flavor overall. The whiskey really shines through on the back end of this drink and displays some good char and oak flavors. The lingering flavor on the tongue is some malt, but a lot of bourbon and corn bite.

M- Thick, smooth, and shockingly light on the palate, this beer drinks like a dream. The alcohol is barely warming, let alone noticeable. The drink is silky smooth, yet still has a good amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a pretty damn good beer. There are great notes of both base beer and barrel, making the overall drinking experience very pleasurable. The amount of barrel that is present is awesome and really adds another layer of complexity. In the end, this is a great beer.

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Photo of LouZ
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Most recently had the 2013 version on draft at Manito Tap House. Poured thick and black, creating a mountain of mocha head that took some time to settle (bartender had to scoop some out to shorten my wait time, but it's worth the wait). Aroma was enticing caramel and vanilla from the bourbon barrel, and taste was to match with added layers of chocolate, malt, and a little booze but not overly so. Smooth, thick, and pleasant to sip. A solid brew for a chilly night.

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Photo of mothman
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage
Tan head. Black in color.

Only flaw is a little too much peat/roast. Other than that, I really enjoy it! Bcs good. Great barrel flavors, not hot, not over powering. Cocoa and chocolate. Oak and coffee roast.

Smooth and creamy light roast.

Overall, very nice. Want to try more of this and the variants!

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Toronado Seattle. 2013 vintage.

Dark-khaki cappuccino-like head. Pitch-black, elegant body. 5

Smells of bourbon, leather, tobacco, dark chocolate and caramel. Perhaps too much bourbon but otherwise superb. 4.25

Still bourbon-strong, imparting all types of spice, oak, tobacco, and leather notes. Some lots and lots of beer flavor is perceivable. Past the bourbon characteristics, dark chocolate is there in a light way, a sweet but spicy malt mix, and a lingering caramel. It's good but again, bourbon dominated. 4.25

No alcohol burn and a velvety quality that seems to linger with the tobacco. There are touches of spice and tingly bourbon mouthfeel and a thinner, more spirit-like dry finish. It's good. 4.25

Definitely a gem, but like many bourbon-barrel brews, subtlety is a bit lost.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 22 oz bottle a near black with light tan ring around the edge that doesn't go away. Moderate amount of light comes through. Aroma is cocoa, oak, bourbon, vanilla, licorice, mild dark fruits. Silky smooth going down. Slightly creamy. Enjoying the layers coming through with the sweet vanilla up front, then heavy amounts of milk chocolate, possibly chocolate covered cherries, followed, by bourbon, and a touch of heat. Maybe slightly lighter in body than I prefer, but a small complaint.

I prefer the coffee variant to this, but damn this is terrific. Maybe the best oatmeal stout I've had. This brewery is crushing it.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650ml black waxed 2014 bottle poured into tulip a ways back (from notes) big cheers towards Rutager for sending it my way

A black liquid with a deep cola edge, two fingers of mocha foam hangs around for a while but strangely only leaves random lace after the foam falls, it has some wide legs after a swirl that I wouldn't expect at 11%

S heaps of charred wood and bourbon, plenty of barrel going on here, coco, vanilla, chocolate covered raisins, more bourbon, a little burnt coconut, no overly complex but it has a very strong nose, intense even

T bourbon barrel reigns supreme but plenty of booze comes with it, just a hint of coffee I didn't smell, not far from the nose but a little extra booze

M not as thick as one would guess but far from thin, slick on the palate, a little sticky on the lips and a fair amount of heat holding it back

O I like all the barrel notes but it needs time to mellow out as its a little hot... well a lot hot actually but still solid stuff

I'm guessing this one picked up a little liquor in the barrel, I'd age a second bottle if I had one but that being said she's still drinking well just puts a little hair on your chest is all

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Photo of floridadrift
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

As good as CCBomb, in its own category. Fremont has some incredible base beers and variants, highly recommended, worth trading for and a solid imperial stout from Washington, the best I've had from that region this far. So chocolately, light bourbon notes and nice, dark fruit flavors blend well.

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Photo of Duff27
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big three finger deep mocha colored head. Dark brown body.

Big time oak sniffs, hidden cocoa.

Chocolate initially. Sharp/sweeter bourbon notes in the second act. Oak is there but not as prominent as it is in the nose. Would guess the ABV a dash higher than stated.

Creamy mouthfeel, smooth. Lower end of carbonation.

Favorites of KDS were the nose and the mouthfeel, the sharp booze notes I could do without. Thanks to ford0626 for the trade!

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours motor oil black pitch with a cream, but fizzling dark mocha head that leaves a small trace on the glass throughout. The nose is sweetly intense and malty with roasted malts which lend that oat based flavor, vanilla fudge, some liquorice, dark chocolate, charred wood, dark roast coffee, some toasted coconut, toffee, and bourbon goodness. Taste mirrors the aromatic qualities of the beer along with slightly sweet, bitter effects along with roasted malts, oatmeal, vanilla, oak, figs, some roast coffee, chocolate covered cherries in brandy, toasted coconut, and that warming bourbon alcohol. Mouthfeel is soft, velvety, round, slightly boozy hot and full bodied. Finish is slightly sweet, bitter and malty with roasted malts, pumpernickel bread, vanilla fudge, and caramelized hazelnuts. Just pure bliss here! This is a straightforward beer and the best in every discipline found in a quality beer. The balance was just phenomenal.

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Photo of jbwimer
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a wonderful experience. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, hints of oak, and some molasses/brown sugar oatmeal on the finish. Body brings the flavors together really well. Could use a little more barrel, but I think it serves to integrate the flavors rather than dominate the beer. Excellent.

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Photo of mr-jj
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Color is black with a tan head. Semi-sticky lacing. Smell is delightful - lots of bourbon, chocolate and coffee with some anise and dark fruits. Flavor matches the nose with bourbon on the palate followed by cocoa, vanilla, anise and some dark fruit. Just a touch of hop bitterness on the finish dries your mouth and demands the next sip. Body is full with just enough carbonation to balance the syrupy texture and make it a creamy delight.

Overall, this is one fantastic beer. I recently had the opportunity to drink it side-by-side with BCBS and It easily held its own. It was a toss-up among the tasters as to which was better.

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Photo of stratusjeans
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: black, no light allowed through. Medium tan (some reviews say khaki, I would say dark khaki) head.

S: Bourbon! A little sweetness, roast malt.

T: Bourbon again! Definitely the strongest flavor but not so much that it depends out the rest. Quite a bit of sweetness and dark roast malt. Some vanilla too. I'm looking for coffee but I don't get any in this beer. Flavor doesn't linger too long and finishes with an alcohol burn.

M: medium thick but didn't fully coat the inside of your mouth. Nice forward carbonation adds to the experience of each sip.

O: enjoy this beer quite a bit. Definitely for sipping and for bourbon fans. Luckily it comes in a 22oz bottle so it'll last you a full night.

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Photo of Cubatobaco
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This stuff is hitting on all cylinders! The alcohol on the back end needs time to cool down, but this is a massive BB oatmeal stout. Wonderful chocolate and bourbon flavors with a good dose of coffee. Seek this out as you won't be disappointed! There is a reason this is a 96pt beer! Cheers!

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Photo of MjBrewhouse
4.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! Where to start? 2014 Vintage. Poured into snifter, dark with dark tan head.

S: Bourbon up front with chocolate, coffee, oak,alcohol. The Bourbon is king of all the olfactory delights.I can't stop putting my nose in the glass to inhale all the wonderful delights coming out of the glass.

T: Taste is similar to nose with oak and bourbon right in your face followed by coffee, chocolate, vanilla and oats with nice warming alcohol finish. Very balanced smooth and enjoyable.

M: Rich creamy with medium viscosity but perfect for this style.

O: This is one of the finest BA stouts I've had the pleasure to try. I can only imagine a year or two in the cellar would enhance this offering quite well.

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Photo of PacNWDad
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Fremont Brewery. Great color - a dark mahogany, opaque. Tiny amount of khaki head. Dense lace that settles back quickly. Toffee, coffee, roasted malt, a hint of clove. Starts sweet, then some sourness from the barrel and a bit of bitterness from the hops. Very complex, with some warmth from the alcohol. Full body, rich, but not cloying. Lightly carbonated, with a long finish. An excellent beer that will only get better with time based on the high ABV.

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Photo of Ksoden1186
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

2014 vintage.

Pours midnight black. Very small kaki colored head. Perfect-looking stout.

Such a perfectly balanced stout. The nose offers up the bourbon, chocolate, toffee. Bourbon is predominate.

The bourbon comes through initially, but doesn't overshadow everything else. The roasted malt, cocoa, caramel, coffee all have their place. Bourbon again on the back end and aftertaste.

Perfect mouthfeel. Motor oil consistency. Coats the mouth and flavors stay around a while.

This is one of the best beers I've had this year. Didn't know much about it before receiving it and was extremely surprised at just how much I enjoyed it. I knew it would be great, but didn't expect it to blow me away as much as it did. This is a ba stout that I could drink every week.

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Kentucky Dark Star (KDS) from Fremont Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 464 ratings.
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