Darkest Hour
Anchorage Brewing Company

Darkest HourDarkest Hour
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Style:
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #490
ABV:
13%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,742
Avg:
4.22 | pDev: 9.72%
Reviews:
73
Ratings:
365
From:
Anchorage Brewing Company
 
Alaska, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  90
Gots
  89
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Darkest HourDarkest Hour
Notes: Ale brewed with Summit hops. Triple fermented: First with a Belgian yeast, second in Pinot Noir and rye whiskey barrels. And finally in the bottle with a wine yeast for natural carbonation.

40 IBU
Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 365 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with minimal head and dark tan lace that dies quick. Smell is roasted/burnt chocolate, some woody booze and touches of other malts. Smooth like velvet, a boozy heat passes over a warm chocolate sensation with a touch of dry, roasted malts and a slight bitterness in the finish. Don't really get the vinous aspect, but I really like this beer as it is easy to drink and mellows as it warms and has great balance.

Jan 18, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a tulip
Batch 2, bottled December 2014

A- pours jet black in color with a one-finger creamy dark brown head that eventually reduces to a ring around the edge

S- aroma opens with chocolate, cocoa powder and vanilla, followed by sharp notes of black cherry, red wine, blueberries, molasses, tootsie rolls, chocolate icing & a light undertone of woody and peppery barrel

T- sweet malt notes of cocoa, chocolate cream, vanilla and caramel up front. Mid-palate brings out equal parts of whiskey barrel, adding a peppery rye element, as well as sharp oak. The finish gives dark fruit notes of red cherries, blueberries and dried cranberries. Lingers of chocolate and more barrel

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a slightly warming finish

O- after five years, this is drinking just fine. Hardly any signs of oxidation, lots of dark fruity notes throughout

Dec 14, 2019
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Midnight black motor oil pour. Intense licorice notes, smooth despite a whopping 13%. 15 months in whiskey barrels smoothes out the alcohol's karma. Cold Alaskan night? No problem.

May 03, 2018
Photo of VforVinny
VforVinny from California

5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Almost no head, but this is essentially the equivalent of bringing a fancy bottle of wine to a good friend's place. Open to share and its amazing all the way.

Apr 01, 2018
Photo of yesterdayfaraway
yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: This pours pitch black with a very dark small head
S: sweetness from; whiskey, chocolate, dark roasted malt and tabacco.
T: much like the nose but nothing robust and not exploding with flavor. There is a drank fruit juice taste that isn't in the nose that I'm not a big fan of
F: very smooth, medium thickness and sticky

Mar 10, 2018
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks once again to my lovely wife for spiriting (get it!) this back from her trip to San Diego. Been hoping to try this one for a long time. Split with said wife, 750ML bottle with some lovely owl artwork.

The pour is dense black – dark, not stupid. It smells good, but I think my sense of smell was destroyed by ninety minutes of sniffing & sipping Headflyer beers.

The Darkest Hour is pretty much whenever Neegan shows up on screen; that fucker is ruining the Walking Dead. The wine is my Neegan analogy. Wine is very strong, twining it’s long legs around the malty base beer & not letting go. Mid-palate brings bowel-loosening prunes, light vanilla, booooooze, with only the faintest hint of the rye whiskey barrel. This makes me sad. Nice & full, & despite the ABV, I could have done this with a funnel.

Not the union-busting, ball-busting, beaver-dam-busting beer I’d hoped for; the pinot noir really did a number here. Good beer.

Oct 29, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a dark black color with a finger's worth of dark eggshell white foamy head. Slid off at a mild pace to leave some light lace running here and there.
The aroma had some dark roasted malts, light coffee notes, dark chocolate, whiskey barrel, light vinous sweetness, vanilla and ended with a little bit of earthiness.
The flavor moderated between the sweet whiskey tones to the dark chocolate. Some vinous sweetness wrapped around the ends with a little bit of vanilla. Slight aftertaste of whiskey and dark chocolate.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fine sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt good. ABV felt as projected with a touch of acceptable boozy heat. Whiskey to vanilla sweetness lingering in the finish.
Overall, pretty awesome imperial stout that I would love to have again.

Oct 22, 2017
Photo of Radcpa
Radcpa from Washington

4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Verydark appearance with tan head that dissipates quickly. Nice molasses aroma. Taste is a sweet molasses without any alcohol aftertaste. Excellent beer definitely worth trying

Aug 17, 2017
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Eyenigma from California

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very solid beer. Pours nearly black, with a faint red tinted dark cream head. Very booze forward (for me) and aptly named. Would drink again but not anything super remarkable (to me).

Jun 17, 2017
Photo of unclekeith
unclekeith from Alaska

4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 3 (Whisky) into a Teku - released yesterday

L: Pitch black - any light is consumed by the beer, 1 finger brown head (maybe darkest head I have ever seen), leaving minimal lacing/collar
A: Chocolate, whisky, vanilla, and alcohol heat
T: Follows the nose, but leaves an aftertaste of strong whiskey and oak
F: Full bodied, low carbonation
O: A great beer, however, the whiskey comes on a bit too strong for me

There was an 80% price jump versus the previous batch which was released about 2 years ago - the prior price point was a bargain which spoiled me; the new price stings but Darkest Hour is still worth revisiting.

Feb 27, 2017
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic from Virginia

4.71/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 2. Poured in Churchkey.

Beer pours a brown as in actual brown head. Beer is pitch black like oil. It's beautiful. Nice sheen on it.

Smell is delicious. Strong cocoa and whiskey notes mixed with light vanilla and sweet dark chocolate is indulgent.

Taste is fantastic. Stronger whiskey but not overpowering. Mixes well with chocolate resemble brownie. Light vanilla.

Very heavy body. Syrupy. Heaven. Effervescent carbonation. One heck of a body.

Get it. Give all your money.

Oct 12, 2016
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig from Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've a bottle of Batch # 1, which was bottled in March of 2013, aging in my cellar for 3 years. Since old man winter decided to rear its ugly head here in Cleveland again today in full force after having had fucked off tor the vast majority of the time this winter season, I decided it was appropriate to craft this beer open. Even though this is 13% ABV and Ohio has a legal cap on 12% ABV for beers being sold in the state, this snuck its way onto shelves at a few stores here in the Cleveland area somehow when this beer was originally released. Poured out of a 25.4 oz. bottle into my snifter glass, this beer pours a very dark brown/black color that has no interest in letting in any light at all. Upon pouring this beer into the glass, foam/head wise this beer has a big gray cluster swirl of a film layer foam in the middle of the surface of the beer along with a thick ran ring lining the inside of the glass. Not much lacing, but some. Aromas of toasted caramel malts and some chocolate are present along with a hint of rye along with red wine notes as well of course. The taste is pretty much the same, with some caramel malt sweet notes that give way to some chocolate hints followed by rye whiskey notes and certainly some undertones of oaky red wine along with bits of butterscotch and tobacco as well. One of the most complex flavor profiles I've ever had before in an imperial stout beer. Has a slightly syrupy, chewy, smooth, just ever so slightly prickly, full bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. The 13% ABV subtly creeps up on you as you tame more and more sips of this very intricate beer. Very damn amazing!

Eric

Apr 03, 2016
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little bit of a gusher. Tan head. Motor oil black.

Belgian yeast provides a lot of carbonation. Lots of whiskey, oak, and dark fruits. Cherries and molasses. Roasted malts.

Full bodied. Thick.

Solid beer, maybe a touch to much carbonation and peat. Otherwise enjoyable.

Jan 24, 2016
Photo of mjpolzin
mjpolzin from Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this at the end of a LONG night of beer tasting with friends so I probably didn't fully appreciate it as much as I should.

Very sweet but smooth. Whiskey barrel shows through nicely. Very good beer but too sweet to make it a top notch barrel aged stout.

Dec 06, 2015
Photo of BenGap
BenGap from Alaska

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very black with some brown head that quickly dissipates into a slick lacing that slides back into the glass. Smell has a nice roasted note with hints of whiskey and even some fruit and raisin hints. Taste has a nice maltiness with some lingering warming notes of alcohol and whiskey. The feel is smooth and creamy but not as thick as some big stouts. Overall good beer that drinks smooth for the abv. Smell is more complex than the following taste, but still very good.

Nov 21, 2015
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie from California

4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into tulip. Batch 1, bottled March 2013. Consumed 10/10/15.

A: Pours thick and black with just a few splashy bubbles for a head. Sits heavy and near flat in the glass. A very thin collar lasted the whole beer through.
S: Red wine and rye are surprisingly prominent on the nose and gives off an almost twany port-like character when mixed with the base stout notes of rich chocolate, caramel, and a touch of leather.
T: Extremely smooth and integrated flavors of chocolate, caramel, greasy oak, spicy rye, mellow vinous red wine, leather, butterscotch and tobacco. Very decadent, rich, and complex. All the flavor notes are layered together extremely well. This is one of the richest and most potent stouts I’ve had. Both barrels equally come through and add hints of red grapes and tannic red wine mixed with sweet whiskey and spicy rye. Tons of greasy, buttery, oak in the finish, powdery cocoa, sweet dark chocolate syrup, and a honey-like sweetness in the aftertaste. The red wine is almost berry-like at times. Fairly sweet overall.
M: Very thick and heavy body, chewy and rich mouthfeel, very low carbonation. The double digit alcohol overall is hidden very well, but there is still a slight warming presence and thickness to the body that lets you know it’s there.
O: Where is the hype for this one? Completely underrated as a beer. If this came in a little 33cl bottle for the same price, or if it was a two bottle only annual release, people would be going crazy for it. This is masterfully executed, along the same vein as a deal with the devil.

Oct 10, 2015
Photo of SitkaSteve
SitkaSteve from Idaho

3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This was poured into a snifter. Bottled December, 2014.
Consumed last night (August 14, 2015).
The appearance was a black color with a slim finger's worth of white to off white foamy head that dissipated within less than about forty seconds. Lacing was light and slid into the beer.
The smell started off with a slick cocoa and then lead into a some light roasty coffee tones and then light amounts of a vinous substance (somewhat a bitter citrusy sort of thing going on).
The taste was sweet through the combination of the cocoa and coffee and then bitter through the coffee and vinous qualities and then the roasty part comes back to slide in underneath, balances nicely.
The mouthfeel was slightly slick with a sharp tangy sweetness rolling over my tongue from the vinous qualities. It sits about medium bodied.
Overall, this was a pretty good Double Stout. The vinous qualities are still there, luckily, I have another bottle to age even longer.

Aug 15, 2015
Photo of bhyndthebottle
bhyndthebottle from Oregon

4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great look to start with! Not much head, but beautiful retention. Pours thick and viscous with an awesome dark look that entices me further. Smell is good, with a little bit of cherry and wine barrel notes. Woody and earthy, with chocolate and malty, candy sugar sweetness dominating. No sign of the 13%ABV. Taste is much the same, with chocolate malts controlling the beer. Alcohol is unbelievably well hidden. Finish is well done, with a lovely lingering sweetness that is very pleasing. Mouthfeel is well done, with the right amount of carbonation. Well done beer!

Aug 05, 2015
Photo of 303beer
303beer from Colorado

4.01/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a dark thin coffee head. To me it has a sweet yeasty smell and notes of the barrel. You can not see through this beer even with a light behind it. Has to be one of the thickest beers I have had. You can taste the barrel without question.

Jul 22, 2015
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rodmanfor3 from Vermont

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: oil black with a thick pour.

Smell: chocolate, smoke, booze, and barrel.

Taste: heat, then very sweet, then barrel, then soy sauce, followed by a bizarre crab porridge finish.

Feel: thick and full

Overall: I am noticing a trend with many of Anchorage's barrel aged offerings, namely that they are far too expensive, given the quality. This beer would be fine at half the price.

Jul 21, 2015
Photo of Bosoxfan20
Bosoxfan20 from Missouri

3.66/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch #2
Pours a viscous looking black with a dark tan head of less than a finger. Aroma is pretty standard from a BA stout. Whiskey notes, charred barrel, some milk chocolate, vanilla undertones and booze. Flavor consists of most of what the nose picked up with some dark fruit. Dry, roasty, and bitter on the back end. Low carbonation, which helps make for a creamier body despite it really not being that thick.

Overall, this is solid, but not all that inspiring. But look no further if you want an all around delicious BA stout with very few flaws.

May 23, 2015
Photo of Mickeyp2814
Mickeyp2814 from Texas

4.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

What a great stout. Had at Anchorage Brewing Co. Pours deep dark brown with lighter brown head. Smells of roasted malt, coconut and chocolate. Taste is the same as smell but with bourbon, vanilla, oak, and coffee in the finish. This is a sipper! As it warms the flavors come more to life especially the bourbon. ABC always does great!

Apr 17, 2015
Photo of dar482
dar482 from New York

4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer offers tons of red wine and intense grape flavor, balanced with roasted malt and chocolate. The beer then transitions to the rye whiskey and oak. Throughout, there is tons of pinot flavor.

The finish is slightly unsettling and possibly from the use of Belgian yeast.

Apr 15, 2015
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cvm4 from Mississippi

4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Batch #2, Bottled Dec. 2014

L - Pours very thick motor oil that eventually develops a brown one finger head.

S - The smell is insanely rich... Bourbon barrel, vanilla, roasted nuts and marshmallows. I could sniff from days.

T - A let down compared to the nose. It's a good mix of base beer & barrel notes. Lots of roasted malts, vanilla Bourbon, dark chocolate and a bit of coffee.

F - With a beer this big, I was expecting a chewy mouthful. That wasn't the case as it's medium bodied and low carbonation. Slightly watery, but the abv is very well hidden.

O - With a fuller body, I'd backup the truck for this.

Apr 01, 2015
Photo of Tele
Tele from California

4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch 2
Serving Type: Bottle

A: 4 Pours pitch black, looking oily and thick as it hits the glass. The head is almost nonexistent, maybe a quarter of an inch and reddish brown.

S: 4.5 Smells a little tart and funky at first; seems very strange, but after a couple minutes more traditional stout aromas come forward. Lots of chocolate, vanilla, and marshmallow with coffee, raspberries, and blackberries in the background. Whiskey is rather mellow. Aside from the strange funk at first (that is just about completely gone after a few minutes), the aromas are actually really nice and interesting.

T: 4.25 A touch of sweetness up front with more of the berry elements from the nose. More coffee and chocolate show up with a bit of whiskey and vanilla following. The base beer comes through quite strongly (much more than the barrel) and has a very unique flavor; quite balanced between roasty and sweet. Whiskey starts to show up more as the beer warms. There’s a slight bitterness on the finish with more blueberry aftertaste.

M: 4 Rich and thick, but undercarbonated.

O: 4.25 Really nice beer and an interesting take of a barrel aged stout; unlike any other I’ve had. The berry flavors are very pleasant and reminds me a bit of 2014 Abyss.

Mar 22, 2015
Darkest Hour from Anchorage Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 365 ratings