Dark & Stormy
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Dark & StormyDark & Stormy
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Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Strong Ale - American
Ranked #93
Ranked #13,859
3.95 | pDev: 12.66%
Jan 17, 2022
Nov 23, 2017
Very Good
Dark & StormyDark & Stormy
Notes: From the jungles of Jamaica to the barrel room at Firestone Walker Brewing Company comes Dark & Stormy—an exotic mashup of Helldorado and Velvet Merkin aged in rum barrels with a touch of hand-zested lime and ginger. Like its namesake cocktail, Dark & Stormy combines a rich sunset color with spicy rum goodness. Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 80%) sets the tone with its signature honey-coconut character, while Velvet Merkin (oatmeal stout, 20%) rounds out the blend with a hint of rich roastiness. Both beers were aged in barrels sourced from a leading Jamaican rum producer, imbuing Dark & Stormy with delectable rum qualities unlike anything Firestone Walker has offered before.

ABV varies by year
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3.35 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Jan 17, 2022
4.23 by BKotch from Texas on Mar 13, 2021
Photo of Zythophile
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Zythophile from District of Columbia

Bottle Date: 2018
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Color is medium-dark brown with a tinge of red. Not much head or lacing, but what's there is fine.

On the nose, the lime and ginger come through loud and clear. There's also a little spiciness, possibly from the rum. There's also brown sugar, and it's a bit floral. A little sweet Lipton Sweet Tea, too. Overall, it's an interesting combination of scents.

Sweetness pervades this one, but it's not overbearing, and it actually connects with all the flavors very well. The lime isn't so sharp in the taste, although still present. (The ginger is mostly gone.) I get coconut and raisin, with the accompanying sweetness. Toward the end, there's some dark wood flavor.

Weight's a bit light for the type. The lime actually hangs around for the aftertaste, even though it hasn't been strong since the nose. Medium carbonation. Alcohol is detectable, but I think the kick is more spice.

Jan 03, 2021
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by StonedTrippin from Colorado

2018 vintage a rare score on tap at taphouse downtown, pretty rad to stumble into this one yesterday afternoon, a big beer for the middle of the day, but i couldnt pass it up. a deep copper color to this, almost light brown, with a high off white head with nice foam and retention through the whole drink. aroma is lightly limey, even lighter on the ginger, with huge dark rum and molasses notes, very much a cooked sugar complexion, a little wet cardboard oxidation showing its age, and plenty of oak and alcohol too, enticing and unique. the flavor is even better than the smell. tons of rum on this, immediately obvious, neat with the fresh lime, which comes through more here than in the aroma, natural and brightening. the ginger is lightly spicy which is also compatible with the rum, but quite mild most of the way. its not as outwardly sugary as it smells either, more mellow on the sweetness, balanced by the cutting alcohol and the mellowing oak, its also very well carbonated surprisingly, which keeps it from ever seeming as big as it is. the lime lingers with the rum at the end, i get a little roast from the stout thread of the blend later on, lots of malt through this too, but somehow very cohesive overall. really cool beer, i am glad to have encountered this, unlike anything else out there that i have had. i count on these guys to crush this sort of thing, and they definitely deliver here. 2018 approaching the end of its best life, at least on draft, some fade setting in, but this ruled!

Sep 04, 2020
4 by Patches826 from Massachusetts on Jul 19, 2020
4 by BEER88 from Washington on Jan 01, 2020
3.99 by Gagnonsux from Texas on Dec 13, 2019
Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by pathman from Ohio

10/3/19 draft @ Pub 365 Las Vegas

Dec 02, 2019
4.1 by Birdlegs from Washington on Dec 01, 2019
3.5 by jtransel from Illinois on Sep 05, 2019
Photo of maximum12
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by maximum12 from Minnesota

Little 12 oz. bottle in a little box – I missed the $12 FW bombers. Get off my lawn, bitch!

The pour looks like eight ounces of tawny port, which sounds good right now, & smells like a ginger truck crashed into my front lawn. No rum, though.

Dark & Stormy was a great flick when Stormy….oh, wrong genre. The missing rum in the nose shows up with cleats on, along with plenty of ginger. Lime is MIA. Flecks of various things appear & vanish in the rum soup: coconut, caramel, mint, thongs, brown sugar. A bit rough. Split with my wife & I believe that was a fine choice.

Never tasted anything like it, yet it retains characteristics of an actual beer. Very nicely done.

Aug 17, 2019
Photo of Ozzylizard
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
by Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

$ 11.92 (Including tax and deposit)/12 oz bottle ($ 0.993/oz) at Alkies, Massena, NY. Reviewed 8/10/19.
Undated other than vintage. On shelf at store. At home, stored at 42 degrees and served at 54 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.5.
First pour – Light amber, clear.
Body – Dark amber, opaque. When held to the light, reddish-amber, translucent.
Head – Large (Maximum 4 cm, aggressive center pour), light tan, medium density, fizzy, short retention, retracting to a two to three mm crown and thin island cap.
Lacing – None. As expected at 11.1% ABV.
Aroma – 4 – Rum and caramel, with a hint of lime following. Aftertaste is ginger. A slight gastric warming occurs.
Flavor – 3.5 - Rum dominates with a trace of lime tagging along. No alcohol taste or aroma (11.1 % ABV), no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3 – Medium, somewhere between creamy and syrupy, moderate carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 4 – Interesting. For me, the lime is the high point of this brew; too bad the rum cloaks the flavor of the Helldorado. Still, not a bad brew.

Aug 10, 2019
2.27 by Beerbom from California on Jun 28, 2019
Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.54/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
by Thankin_Hank from Texas

2018 Vintage. 11.1% ABV. An amber, cola, tea colored beer poured into a snifter. No head but lots of carbonation. Almost smells like a rum and coke but it's sweet, slightly citrus and alcoholic. Add ice and call it a Cuba Libre. I like the taste and I get the sweet, citrus and a hint of alcohol. The lime comes through. It's definitely unique and is sooo smooth to drink. Overall a most excellent brew that will never be seen again except by a different name. BEER BEFORE GLORY! Gosling makes Ginger beer.

May 18, 2019
Photo of MrOH
2.36/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
by MrOH from Malta

2018 vintage
Not the prettiest beer- slightly hazy chestnut, minimal head and lace
Rum is the foremost aroma, a bit of lime behind it. Some caramel.
Pretty much tastes like it smells
Full bodied, a little sticky, low carbonation
Maybe the ginger aged out, but that might have brought it all together.

May 12, 2019
4.13 by hermit990 from Illinois on May 03, 2019
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

Rum Barrel Aged. Rum is not usually my thing typically but I've enjoyed this brew multiple times. The lime and ginger are the perfect counterbalance to the Merkin’s roasty notes.

May 03, 2019
4.7 by Prometheus75 from New York on Apr 28, 2019
Photo of stortore
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by stortore from Illinois

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Had 10/27/18.

Pours a mostly clear medium amber, with a one inch foamy head and spotty cling. Aromas of strong rum, toffee, dates, figs, brown sugar, malt, some ginger, a little oak, light char, lime as it warms. The taste is also considerably rum forward, then caramel, dates, brown sugar, malt, light ginger and lime, a hint of chocolate. It’s a little sweet, some alcohol warming. Smooth, a decent medium body- although fairly thin feeling, well carbonated.

This is interesting, but the rum barrels, while great, are pretty overwhelming. The ginger and lime wind up being far too subtle. Great aroma, which is where the add- ins show best. The skills of the brewers make this a pretty good beer overall, but it’s lacking for the Vintage Series.

Apr 17, 2019
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Nice burnt siena color. Good clarity. Fine-bubbled head settles shortly. Sparse and whisky lacing,

S: Rum and lime are more forward on the nose initially. Nice butterscotch/vanilla and spice rum character. Rich barleywine-esque aromas or bread pudding, blonde brownies, treacle, and golden raisin. Warm ginger rides up to the forefront and sticks around for a good while. Perhaps a very faint hint of char and roast, though it hardly pulls through.

T: Treacle, toffee, blonde brownies and bread pudding meld with notes of char, burnt toast, and bakers chocolate in the malt base. Slight metallic note. The rum barrel rides up middle to end, with a decidedly molasses-like character. Lime and ginger fill in the rest in a pretty forward role as well, and it all somehow feels pretty cohesive. Finish is long, with a lot of rum and roasty malt as the oatmeal stout portion of the blend asserts itself.

M: Rich, thick, coating and sticky. Heavy body. Gentle but ample carbonation.

O: The dark and stormy is a favorite cocktail of mine, and this beer actually does capture the essence of the flavors at play in the drink. It adds a few more beery details, naturally, but it ends up melding a sticky malt and rum body with ginger and lime in such a way that evokes more of the cocktail inspiration than beer. Color me impressed. I’ve had many a cocktail themed beer, and this is one of the better ones out there.

Apr 16, 2019
3.75 by schopenhauerale from Arizona on Mar 23, 2019
Photo of VTbrewfan
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by VTbrewfan from Massachusetts

9 oz pour in a wine glass on draft.

Has an appearance almost like a ginger beer or rootbeer. I get lime and coconut on the nose, strong booze. Strong flavors of coconut, lime, cola, sweetness. Lots of heat from the rum barrel aging. Seems to have picked up a lot of character from the run, which isn’t a bad thing but it’s not fooling around either. Kind of a syrupy mouthfeel, no carbonation.

Nice beer, definitely a sipper.

Mar 22, 2019
3.94 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida on Mar 19, 2019
3.35 by rab53 from Washington on Mar 17, 2019
Photo of Treyliff
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Treyliff from West Virginia

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep brown color with a creamy off-white head that has great retention long after the pour

S- ginger, citrusy hops, chocolate, brown sugar, rum barrel, caramel

T- light ginger hits the tongue up front, followed by a hit of rum sweetness, brown sugar, cola, oak, citrus peel and coconut. The finish gives a hint of lime and more ginger on the linger

M- medium light body with moderate carbonation leads to anfoamy mouthfeel and finish

O- another well blended beer, the adjuncts arenright in line

Mar 15, 2019
3.82 by Texasfan549 from Texas on Mar 14, 2019
4.2 by spark3148857 from Ohio on Mar 10, 2019
4.13 by chillin from Indiana on Mar 09, 2019
4 by TheHopsman from Nebraska on Mar 06, 2019
Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Bowers-Brew from Illinois

Not sure why this is rated so low. Very smooth and great finish. Glad I took a chance on it. Prost!

Mar 02, 2019
Photo of beerbully
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by beerbully from New Jersey

L-Mohagany.......kind of murky.......although the pour was mildly aggressive the result was a minimal head with almost no retention........lacing is moderate

S-Rum is the first to hit the nose.......some burnt sugars, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar

T-Rum is the dominant force.........some barrel notes, vanilla, brown sugar, some citrus notes on the back end...........a degree of maltiness......some dark fruits..........taste more like a boozy mixed drink than a beer, but I guess that is the intention

F-Slippery, slight alcohol burn, sweet......a bit thin

O-interesting, as advertised.......not really my style.........if you are looking for an island rum drink this is for you

Mar 01, 2019
3.93 by smi69 from New York on Feb 10, 2019
Photo of NathanBeets
4.31/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by NathanBeets from South Dakota

2017 version.

Pours a deep mahogany. Absolutely gorgeous brew.

Huge barrel characteristics.

Really wish I had more of this.

Great offering from FW.

Feb 09, 2019
3.79 by Gkruszewski from New York on Feb 09, 2019
1.08 by DISKORD from South Carolina on Feb 06, 2019
4 by brittanylicious from Indiana on Feb 01, 2019
4 by heysuz from Indiana on Feb 01, 2019
3.89 by needMIbeer from Virginia on Jan 27, 2019
Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by mothman from Minnesota

Batch 2.

Khaki white head. Caramel brown.

Molasses, ginger, coconut, brown sugar, and rum. A tropical drink. Vanilla. Very unique. I like how FW is still being innovative with their barrels. This is a fun one.

Jan 24, 2019
3.75 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts on Jan 21, 2019
Dark & Stormy from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 125 ratings