Infinite Darkness
Oxbow Brewing Company

Infinite DarknessInfinite Darkness
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,464
Ranked #5,319
4.1 | pDev: 10%
Oxbow Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Infinite DarknessInfinite Darkness
Notes: Imperial stout aged in apple brandy barrels. Brewed and bottled at Oxbow in Newcastle, ME. Crafted in collaboration with In'finiti Fermentation and Distillation.
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 103 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ScaryEd
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on draft at the brewery.

Pours a dark cola brown color with a finger of khaki head. The head leaves some nice sticky lacing as it settles into a thick blanket enveloping the beer.

The aroma brings loads of roasted malts and chocolate, followed by some milder notes of apple brandy and figs. The back end has some subtle coffee and caramel notes.

The apple brandy really comes out in the flavor. There's also plenty of roasted malts, chocolate, and dark fruits. Some mild oak and fruity esters.

The feel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy, yet a touch syrupy. Definitely some alcohol warming here.

Overall, a very good imperial stout that honestly drinks more like a Belgian dark ale than an imperial stout. It's very fruity and acidic, with the roasted malts taking a passenger seat to the fruity esters and yeast. Still, it's a nice beer worth trying.

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Photo of Avitra
3.11/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Really too sour and too flat to be anything more than a hint of tastes and flavors (grapes, berries, a little caramel), which are just disguised by unappealing flavor and feel.

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Photo of hopley
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle bought in 2014, drank 06.19.2019

Look - poured a dark brown with a slight reddish translucent hue, no head at all.

Smell - not really anything.

Taste - a slight bit of charcoal, and a very slight hint of the apple brandy barrel, but other than that, this was largely a nondescript stout that improved and had a slight alcohol burn as it warmed.

Feel - a rather nice medium mouthfeel.

Overall - this beer didn't live up to my expectations, but I also can't say I didn't enjoy it either, was just hoping for more. I had hoped that the aging process would have done something more to it, but it either didn't, or it wasn't there to begin with; I don't think it had anything to lose by it. Not a bad beer, but not one I'd jump in line to buy again.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a more brown than black body with tan head and little lace. The aroma is basically roasted malts and then hints of booze. A slightly smoky ,meaty taste comes from this beer b/c that's how roasted/toasted/charred the malts are - could also be aging from barrels as this beer is the 2017 version and served on tap. There is a touch of dark fruit (reminded me of black cherry) in this beer and it's noticeable, along with the booze/brandy, on the finish. A little strong for my liking but it's worth trying.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.13/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Albany Ale and Oyster in Albany, NY.

This one pours a fairly dark black, with a nearly nonexistent head, and no lacing.

Smells like clovey yeast eaters, oak, burnt malt, and old coffee.

I expected quite a bit more out of this one, honestly. The apple brandy barrel doesn't really add a ton here, you get some slight fusel fruity alcohol, but no rich brandy. The Belgian yeast character doesn't really mesh with the boozy astringency, either. The chocolate character is nice, and I do enjoy the vanillin from the barrel. I just wish this was richer and more decadent.

This is medium bodied, definitely a bit thinner than I'd want. The carbonation is also a bit too high for the style.

This could have been so much more. Not Oxbow's best, for sure.

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Photo of metter98
3.84/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar, but when held up to a light source it is clear and very dark reddish brown in color. It poured with a beige collar around the edge of the glass and a patch of bubbles on the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts are present in the nose along with hints of apple brandy.
T: The taste follows the smell, except that the apple brandy flavors are a little stronger.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Nothing really interesting really stood about this beer for me. It also seemed like both the smell and taste of the apple brandy were muted.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/18/2017 at Flynn’s in Mansfield, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains licorice, dark fruit, roasted malts and some chocolate.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of dark fruit, licorice and chocolate. Then a hearty but thin for the style malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild as expected and there’s a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid stout too drink for a while.

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Photo of rudzud
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Armsby Abbey 2015 Stoutfest breakfast. Reviewed from notes.

A - Poured into a standard tulip a dark brown almost black hue with a thin head that fades to leave a thin halo. Really nice legs.

S - Aromas of harsh brandy booze, little fusel, acrid roast, light chocolate, sweet fruits.

T- Taste is more strong alcohol, acrid roast, coffee, apple brandy, oak, sweet fruit, char, light esters.

M - Mouthfeel is harsh, yet, the alcohol is not upfront. Somewhat syrupy.

O - Overall this was a tasty, fun beer just for me that fusel alcohol thing going on really hurt it.

Serving Type: On tap

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Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Armsby Abbey breakfast.

Nice creamy thick but smaller head, decent lacing, pitch black beer.

Nose big dark charred malt, roasty black malts, charred barrel, big roasty slight acrid, nice brandy and toasty barrel, bit of fusel booze , coffee syrup, light fudgey cocoa.

Taste brings syrupy dark malts, little roasty and charred black malt, heavy fudgey cocoa, coffee syrup. Nice barrel, little charred barrel with vanilla and nice brandy, little brandy booze too, mild fusel alcohol. Finish is sweet syrupy, more booze tingle, more mild barrel notes and thick dark malts.

Mouth is full bod, little boozy and syrupy, decent carb.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Medium khaki head. Medium collar.

Smell - Bright fruitiness. Some apple brandy, but it's light. Dark roast.

Taste - Much more apple brandy here. Sharp liquor flavor. Roasty malt. Sharp woodiness.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and kinda boozy. Well carbonated.

Overall - It's interesting, but it doesn't quite play out. The beer is to sharp in its flavor profile.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice imperial stout. Apple brandy aroma and flavor is prominently featured and mixes well with the base beer. There is also a nice oak barrel presence. Medium body with silky mouthfeel. The alcohol is a little hot. I'm going to sit on my second bottle for awhile because I think its a good candidate for aging.

Update 6/17/15: This beer has come together nicely. Sweet, apple brandy nose with well integrated flavor and great mouthfeel.

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Photo of iong516
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Absolutely agree w million suns, great mouthfeel and integration of flavors. Oxbow doesn't disappoint, and I hope they continue barrel aging stouts because Infinite Darkness is incredible.

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Photo of millionsuns
4.77/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Released on a random Thursday with no warning other than a Facebook mention, so took a pleasant drive up to Cowshit Corner to check out the scene. Picked up two bottles along with a growler of Grizacca. Popped a friend's bottle later that evening.

Tiny head on a pitch black surface - infinitely dark, you might say. (Ba-da-bump.) Thin molasses.

Huge punch of refined boozy apples on the nose, with the slight burn that comes from sniffing brandy...and this wasn't even in a snifter - small pint-shaped 12-oz glass. Nosefeel was a slam dunk with the roast intermingling with the zing of the brandy.

Given the nose, you might rightfully expect a brandy burn on the tongue, but no such thing. Gorgeous coverage of the front of the palate with soft apples over the roast of the malts. Perfect balance - not a visceral experience, like bobbing for apples in a tank of brandy barrel-aged stout, but a slow hayride through layers of complexity. The oak is present, with applewood, grass, soft-shelled nuts, and some floral aspects.

My first thought was, holy cow, this polite bastard is going to age beautifully. It's lovely as is, but get a bit of age here and all the subtle flavors will bulk up and punch you in the gullet - and I'm sure the balance will maintain just fine. The stout by itself would be a hit, but the apple brandy was a genius choice for aging here. Unique doesn't begin to explain it.

Oxbow's wheelhouse has long been the farmhouse funk we all know and love, so they had no business making a stout this good. This kind of versatility is the mark of a world class brewery.

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Infinite Darkness from Oxbow Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 103 ratings