Dark & Stormy | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Dark & StormyDark & Stormy
Very Good
70 Ratings
Dark & StormyDark & Stormy

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by wethorseblanket on 11-23-2017

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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of Sabtos
2.78/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Clear shimmering acorn varnish brown with a lumpy khaki blanket that dies to a thin ring.

This has a ginger snap taste and smells of musty, dusty Melba toast. Lime comes in minor accents and rum emerges on the tail end of a semi-dry finish. The body is crisp and lightly boozy.


 286 characters

Photo of GregSemenza
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Andarel
3.54/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tigg924
4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours clear, reddish brown in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is big ginger, sandalwood, run, and lime. Medium-heavy bodied, sweet, medium-low carbonation. Loads of tropical flavor. This is one of my favorite cocktails and Firestone Walker captures it in a glass. Lives up to their barrel aged beers. Will look for this again.

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Photo of jgunther71
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of metter98
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is brown in color and when held up to a bright light it is clear orange and amber with a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with just a collar consisting of medium-sized off white bubbles around the edge of the glass and delicate lacing covering the surface.
S: Moderate to strong aromas from the rum barrel aging are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has lots of flavors of rum along with hints of lime towards the finish. No other alcoholic or boozy-like flavors are present.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The rum adds a touch of warming to the mouthfeel.
O: This beer doesn't seem nearly as heavy in body compared to most other beers in the style and as a result is quite drinkable as long as you can get past the strong dose of rum flavors in the taste, especially since it isn't boozy at all.

Note: 2018 vintage

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of krome
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Comes in a clear dark amber, light brown color with a small tan head. Fairly retention, no doubt due to abv. A thin ring remains, and some spots of lacing.
The aroma is boozy but sweet. Smells like a gingerbread cookie. Molasses, ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar, honey, toasted oak, and a sneak of that lime.
The taste follows the nose. Massive gingerbread cookie flavor. Brown sugar, molasses, rum, ginger, and a hint of lime zest. Sugary sweetness with toasted grainy character, leaning into oak character with a hint of boozy warmth. Surprisingly drinkable for its abv level, crisp and well rounded.
The feel is medium, a bit light for the abv, with moderate carbonation.
A really unique and tasty beer! I haven't had anything like it before, but it is good.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of g00ey
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheGent
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spot on. If you like the cocktail you’ll like this beer. Rum barrel, lime and ginger all very well integrated.

112 characters

Photo of _nickg_
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mamaraza
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of joe1510
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle
Prisco's Market - Aurora, IL

Dark & Stormy looks about as pretty as a big bruiser can look. The body is the deepest of reds, mahogany, with chestnut brown highlights through the near perfect clarity. This beer glows, warming. The foam has a beige cast to it and is full on velvet. A finger in height on the pour before lazily receding to a respectable crown. Near perfect drink lines are left after each sip.

The nose on this guy is more reminiscent to a winter warmer than I would think of anything Caribbean. Gingersnaps kick start this one with soft baking spices in the background. It's got that spiced cookie note that pops up around Christmas time. Toffee brings about a sturdy backbone as well while candied lime peel adds a touch of candy-like sweetness. Nutmeg, cardamom, wood spice, and soothing vanilla make up the rum barrel presence. This stuff smells pretty special.

The flavor follows the nose pretty closely. It's gingersnap and lime peel off the bat, neither of which are harsh or intrusive as they can be. That spiced cookie presence is just right when combined with the depth brought about by the rum barrels. Toffee, soda bread, fruitcake. This beer is loaded with malt complexities while every other aspect is complimentary. This beer has layer after layer of complexity with no hard edges.

If I were forced to choose my least favorite aspect of this beer it would be the mouthfeel. With that said, it's still good. A few ticks over moderate in weight it has a slickness and a touch of stick on the finish. It could use a bit more chew but that's some serious nitpicking. The carbonation is soft and dialed in perfectly. This thing goes down dangerously easy.

Dark & Stormy sounded like it could be a big mess to me, but then I figured "It's Firestone, barrel aged, and in a box. It can't be all bad." Luckily, it was excellent. Like I said upfront, it's very holiday season-esque with the spice, malt profile, and rum aging. Great depth of flavor and perfectly even handed.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours crystal clear deep red almost brownish resin color with a thin but tight off white head that settles to a thick ring. If you hold this up to the light it looks like dried sap just beautiful. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma - Getting a good bit of ginger and lime, nice oak and dark rum coming through just a bit.

Taste - Very nice smooth rum and oak flavors up front along with a touch of caramel. The ginger I am getting is more in the form of an earthiness and not the pure ginger I picked up in the nose. The dark rum is very present in flavor but really compliments the other flavors. All of the flavors in this are so balanced and really smooth.

Feel - Medium bodied with really soft feel, there is just a hint of warming from the alcohol but really smooth and easy drinking for the ABV.

Overall - Really impressed with pulling this off, flavors are well balanced great nose easy drinking

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Photo of BarrelAgedG
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of onewayboogie
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of admonster00
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of pstam87
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of impending
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Photo of GuyFawkes
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled 8/16/18; drank 10/28/18 @ the Yarchives.

See through purple/orange appearance; champagne bubbles throughout.

Lime, oak & ginger ale notes in the nose.

Sticky medium mouthfeel.

Lime juice & soda water flavors up front; mild tequila & faint coconut notes on the finish.

Although rum barrels were used, I get a slightly queasy tequila cocktail vibe here; it's not one I'll return to.

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Photo of Vixie
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really nice red color with a bit of a tan head. I didn't get much head, may be partially due to the temp of the beer.

The smell reminds me of rum, nice and sweet. Picking up some chocolate and vanilla as well.

It hits you with a lot of spice up front, seems to be the ginger, with a hint of lime. Faint chocolate notes, as well as rum. The effect is a spicy rum drink.

Nice coating feel, and a lot of tingling.

I haven't had many rum beers, but ones like this make me want to try more. It does remind me of a rum and Coke, with a bit more spice to it. If you are a fan of rum, give this one a try.

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Photo of Prost76
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of ScottP
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Dark & Stormy from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 70 ratings