Darkest Hour | Anchorage Brewing Company

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
331 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Darkest HourDarkest Hour
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States
anchoragebrewingcompany.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by DucksFan16 on 06-02-2013

BEER STATS
Ratings:
331
Reviews:
65
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
10.12%
 
 
Wants:
93
Gots:
85
For Trade:
12
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 331 |  Reviews: 65
Photo of YeastBreeder
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of BrandynB
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of La_Moustachio
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of gelasin
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of bobhits
4.94/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I think it's offical folks. Anchorage is now one of the 5 best brewers in America. These guys are just out of this world.

Pours opaque black with bubbles rising from the bottom to produce a thin but dark head. Thick body with legs for days when swirled in the glass. Lovely.

A distinct acid aroma comes off the glass, perhaps some cherry nature to it. This is followed by sugary malts with an almost perfect blend of espresso and molasses seeming to become milder and more toffee or caramel like. There's definitely a belgian yeast character giving complex aromas but so well blending no one comes out.

Sour fruits perfectly blended into a toffee, coffee, caramel, milk chocolate, and dark fruited explosion. I can't even put this one to words folks. They throw everything you can imagine from a stout and a belgian at me and then added in whiskey barrels that give off distinctive vanilla and oak and then wine barrels giving new levels of fruit flavors I've never had in a stout. This might be "darkest Hour" but it seems in the darkest to also be simply the best hour. If only I could control myself and sip this for a full hour.

Creamy and thick yet not overly thick to where it's a struggle to drink. The perfect creamy mouth feel of this is amazing beyond words. A light bit of alcohol perhaps the only flaw this beer has it just barely noticed.

I'm truly at a loss here. This is simply one of the best beers I've ever had in my entire life. It is beyond words. It is beyond what I can explain in a review. This is up there with bourbon county stout. Pay day, I think I'm buying every bottle I can find and if I have to drive 3 hours, so be it. Unbelievable.

 1,671 characters

Photo of Mickeyp2814
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
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!

 334 characters

Photo of Reswald
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

It poured opaque with a nice, persistent mocha colored head. The nose had lots of whisky and wood notes, mixed in with the roasted barley and malty sweetness - very rich and complex. On the tongue, it was more of the same, with a thick, chewy mouthfeel surrounding notes of dark fruit, chocolate, roasted coffee, oak, whisky, and wine, all in an intricate and complex dance across your taste buds. The finish is long and slow, with some alcohol heat at the end. This is a superb beer, one deserving of being savored in small glasses between a group of appreciative friends. When I tasted it for this review, I was drinking alone and feeling almost guilty for keeping it to myself. Seek it out at all costs.

 706 characters

Photo of KevSal
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 2 quick review

Wow this is even better than batch 1. Lots of balance, and delicious at every sip. Damn near perfect score, and incredibly smooth for a 13% beer. Drank an entire 750 with ease.

This beer is something else, highly recommend

 246 characters

Photo of iong516
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml corked and caged silkscreened bottle into short stemmed tulip glass.

A: pitch black with the thinnest rich chocolate colored head. No lacing either.

S: sweet alcohol, chocolate, roasty malt, vanilla, slight tannin, brandy soaked raisins, and a hint of wood.

T: follows nose. Richer than it smells though. Opens sweet and just has waves subtle notes before it closes up with bitter chocolate.

M: high alcohol makes it thinner than expected. Good and smooth with just enough carb.

O: fan-fucking-tastic I hqve nothing to else to say.

 542 characters

Photo of Scarfer_Brad
4.76/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of cjgator3
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of rjp217
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch #1 - Brewed in March 2013.
Poured in to tulip.

A - Deep ink black with one finger of medium brown head that slowly receded to a thin layer.

S - Rich sweet caramel, molasses, chocolate and red wine notes come through initially, followed by toasted oak, whiskey and some spice. A beautiful nose.

T - A massively rich and bold flavour profile (without being cloying). Red wine, dark fruit, caramel, chocolate and molasses flavours come through up front. The mid-palate adds toasted oak and whiskey flavours and the finish has a light spice presence along with the Belgian yeast profile. Truly decadent.

M - Full body. Thick and viscous. Light carbonation.

O - This was a truly unique and remarkable beer. The integration of the red wine and whiskey barrel aging along with the base beer was perfect. Perhaps a touch sweet, which kept it from getting a perfect score, but this was outstanding.

 904 characters

Photo of ystazi
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of csustar001
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of patrick802
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of SuperCutePanda
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of madnismo
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of hipboy221
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of ScottP
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of EastVanBeerNerd
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Paccamacca
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of gspeer711
4.74/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Kuaff
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Woooaaahhh... woah. That's what I thought to myself when I saw the unfamiliar bottle with the beautiful owl on it, and also what I thought when I later took my first sip... at cellar temperature from a snifter. I have a lot to say about this one.

It's appearance is pretty darn dark, almost a totally opaque black. There's just a tiny bit of auburn transparency around the edges of the glass. I can see tiny bubbles against the wall of the glass, rising up to the head, which brings me to what I love most about this stout's appearance. The head is a two fingers-deep, mocha-colored mass of super-fine, dense and creamy foam that looks as smooth as silk. AND it has INCREDIBLE retention despite the 13% ABV and extensive barrel aging. It gets progressively smoother-looking over time until it actually resembles cream very closely.

The first thing I have to say about the smell is that it hits me with one of the best chocolate aromas I've ever been tempted with, either by a beer or dessert. This is the most crucial part of an imperial stout's smell for me, so I LOVE that about it. But there's more. Much more. Rich milk chocolate, raisins, vanilla, bourbon, whisky-soaked leather, and a bit of red wine all float up into my scent receptors.

As I taste this beer, I'm faithfully treated to everything the aroma promised. Sweet milk chocolate is in the taste, along with the bourbon and vanilla. A tart wine character from the pinot noir barrel aging is very noticeable and adds another enjoyable complexity, and Belgian yeast imparts the distinct, yeasty sweetness of Belgian strong dark ales. Early in the finish, I get the bitterness of coffee and dark chocolate to accompany an awesome roasty aftertaste that I'd describe as burnt leather. I think I pick up on a bit of the rye at very end of the extraordinarily long finish too.

Being 13% ABV, I feel I must describe in detail the effects of the alcohol. Its wrath is only felt AFTER it slides down my throat. Seductively subdued carbonation baits me into taking big sips, each one of which feels totally smooth and innocent on my palate... until I swallow and am given a hot lashing by the alcohol for daring to even THINK that this beer is as unrefined and "drinkable" as lesser beers. The pleasure was well worth paying the punishment.

The mouthfeel is sticky and fairly thick, like most excellent imperial stouts. It kind of has the same feel of wine.

What's so marvelous about this specimen is how it was created by use of such interesting, expiramental brewing techniques and treated with such an astonishing array of barrel aging... and that I can then distinguish and fully enjoy the unique qualities contributed by each technique. Darkest Hour is nothing less than a phenominal triumph of the imagination. And you BETTER set aside more than just ONE hour if you're confronting a bottle of this all alone... or you WILL experience your darkest hour.

 2,921 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Darkest Hour from Anchorage Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 331 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.