Darkling
Night Shift Brewing

DarklingDarkling
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #414
ABV:
12.9%
Score:
94
Ranked #2,124
Avg:
4.26 | pDev: 7.75%
Reviews:
14
Ratings:
116
From:
Night Shift Brewing
 
Massachusetts, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  26
Gots
  27
SCORE
94
Outstanding
DarklingDarkling
Notes: Rich, luscious, decadent and freakishly smooth bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout.
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 116
Photo of smcolw
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown where no light passes. Lots of minor spots for lace.

Chocolatey with some rum alcohol warmth and sweetness.

Rich in body and flavor with a strong cocoa. There's some berry and cinnamon to the tongue.

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Photo of bobv
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Moderate pour yields a one inch tan head over a dark brown body with nice lacing. Wonderful nose of bourbon, chocolate, coffee, caramel, and vanilla. Taste follows to a "T." Very nice feel on this and overall, so glad I opened this tonight when I did as it paired magnificently with my chili! Cheers!

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Photo of jcflorian
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is pitch black with very light mocha head. Nice glass lacing.

Aroma is bourbon first, then oak, then chocolate on back end.

Taste is nice upfront, but very boozy on the back end. Get a lot of barrel late as well.

Mouthfeel is medium body. Not chewy thick, but not thin either.

I wanted to love this beer, Great brewery with good people. However there is something missing, This beer was able to get the barrel characteristics across very well, but the beer tastes incomplete. Is this a very good beer ? (absolutely), but greatness alludes this . This to me is a poor man's Tweak.

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Photo of Severymusic
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 Halloween weekend release, opened and consumed about a month later. Harpoon plastic point glass like a goddamn animal.

Overall - buy this. It's delicious even if it's $20 for 750ml. Smooth at 12%, smells like bourbon, tastes like coconut and fudge, dry mouthfeel but taste lingers a bit. Doesn't coat the mouth like some stouts that are as thick as cough medicine.

Look - I don't put much weight into this category. It looks like beer. Specifically it's dark like a stout should be. Not oil but damn close.

Smell - light bourbon, slightly sweet.

Taste - a little more complex with notes of coconut and chocolate in addition to the bourbon.

Feel - I'm not a huge fan of the thick, cough medicine-esque stouts. Darkling packs all the flavor but keeps it relatively light. Some tannins to keep the mouthfeel dry even though the taste lingers in your mouth for a good while.

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really solid BA stout. Mostly a vehicle for the barrel. A lot of oak, bourbon, and vanilla. Some tannic quality. Bourbon caramel and heat. Minimal roast. A tad thin, which adds to the heat.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with a lingering tan head. The nose is a low key but hot bourbon. The taste has a slight clash of bourbon and roastyness finish with alcohol heat. The feel is a little over carbed but hard to determine with the lingering heat. Overall, an average Bourbon stout.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sample at EBF 2016
Solid black color. Big rich chocolate malt notes. Light earth and hints of pitted fruits. Faint hints of oxidation, decent enough beer.

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Photo of thampel09
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Amazing. Full thick chewy body with loads of bourbon tones on the nose. Creamy vanilla hits the pallet blending very well with the oak from the barrel. This is such a well composed ba imperial stout!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared by Duck the other day, thanks man.

This one pours a pretty impressive dark black, with a small mocha-colored head, and a small bit of lacing.

Smells like chocolate malt, vanilla, oak, caramel, a little bit of bourbon, and a little bit of roasted malt.

This is definitely a sleeper hit in the BA stout category. It's got a deep caramel and chocolate malt complexity, super gnarly. There's also sweet coffee, a little bit of fruitiness, lots of good bourbon, creamy vanilla, and just a hint of oak. This is just so enjoyable, and so easy to drink. I love it.

This is pretty thick bodied, chewy and creamy, like a good imperial stout should be. There is no overt alcohol character, and normal low level of carbonaton for the style.

Probably the best beer I've had from Night Shift, just incredibly awesome stuff.

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Photo of rjp217
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2015-10 bottle......

I was skeptical, especially considering the $20 price tag but wow, I shouldn't have been. Super thick mouthfeel, lots of chocolate and vanilla, perfect complimentary barrel notes. Drinks really easy for a 10% beer but it lets you know it's there. Overall, outstanding and what you want in a BA stout. I'm not sure there's really any benefits in aging this one. Drink away and enjoy now, cheers.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.79/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2015 Vintage

L - Pitch black with dark brown on the edges. Less than a finger of khaki head.

S - Loads of bourbon, oak, and dark chocolate. Some caramel and vanilla with sweet dark fruits.

T - Sweet, but not cloying bourbon. Insane amounts of oak and barrel with coffee beans and cocoa powder. Vanilla is absent, but quad-like dark fruits make up for it.

F - THE thickets mouthfeel I've EVER experienced on an Imperial Stout. It stops with a thud on the tongue and just envelopes everything in its path like The Blob. No heat or warming from the 10.0%. Just ludicrous. I'd give this 6 out of 5 on feel if I could.

O - In my humble opinion, this a BCBS killer. It has everything BCBS has, but a thicker, richer feel. This is up there with BCBS and Parabola, but I actually prefer this. Mind-bottling.

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Photo of j44thor
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Why is this still retired? New batch released yesterday and sold about 1k bottles.

Overall fantastic bba stout. A baby bcbs.

Looks like a standard imp stout.

Nose is very bourbon forward, ton of vanilla and oak. Really outstanding and makes you think this is going to be a hot bourbon bomb.

Taste is not what I expected in a good way, this is incredibly smooth already and not nearly as bourbon forward on the palate. Just a great well balanced imp stout with no heat present at all. Dangerously smooth for a 10% beer. Not quite the depth of a well aged bcbs but this doesn't require any aging.

Mouthfeel is med to full and prob where the abv is most noticeable. This isn't as viscous as a 13% or higher beer but it doesn't detract at all from the experience.

Overall an outstanding bba stout that can go head to head with the best of them. This might be the best fresh bba stout going. I'm going to lay a couple down but I'm not sure it will do much for it.

Night shift can clearly make a great bab stout, here's hoping to them putting more emphasis on this style.

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Photo of Kmlund
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Had this on tap at the brewery. 4oz pour. Really delicious.One of my favorite beers that Night Shift has put out so far. picked up a bottle to see how it will age.
very dark in color.
I smelled the bourbon right off the bat. Vanilla, chocolate.
Nice carbonation on the tip of my tongue, but a great thickness in the mouth-feel overall.
Tasted slightly boozey (which i like) lots of caramel, bourbon characteristics like vanilla and oak, chocolate, molasses. rich with a nice sweetness.

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Photo of nkelley77
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

On Draft 10/7/14 at the brewery into a 4 oz. Night Shift Snifter. 200 bottles made

Appearance: pitch black with a slight oil like caramel lacing

Smell: Chocolate, caramel, vanilla , toffee, slight alcohol, burnt sugar

Taste: Strait fudge bomb. Sweet milk chocolate, caramel, coffee, slight vanilla, oak, and a touch of bourbon. Very decadent, chocolate milk shake in a glass, the after taste lingers..

Mouth Feel:Thick, almost sludge in a good sense

Overall: I absolutely love this beer in every sense. I do not have a sweet tooth so a four ounce pour is all I need but I am sure this will cellar magnificently. Quiet similar to Parabola and bourbon County.
This is why I am glad I bought the 2015 Barrel Society. This is one of the best beers I have ever had from them next to Art #18. Keep doing what you are doing Night Shift Crew!

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Darkling from Night Shift Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 116 ratings