Dark Fatha | Bent Brewstillery

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50 Ratings

Brewed by:
Bent Brewstillery
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark Fatha’s 2016 verison is aged in bourbon and StormBringer Spiced Rum barrels for a very distinctive hybrid flavor. Big and booming, yet, with a delicately light soul, Dark Fatha is a deep, rich, and velvety strong stout-like drinking a whiskey soaked in chocolate cake.

ABV varies from year to year.

Added by BEERchitect on 11-05-2013

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by Snow81:
Photo of Snow81
4/5  rDev +21.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of maximum12
1.54/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Picked up recently on sale because hey, I like to try new, local beer that isn't outrageously priced. This wasn't too far off, but...hey. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

Pour is dark black, carbonation looks like it's been sucked away in the airless void. Smell weighs in favorably with chocolate, roast, though light on both.

Dark Fatha you are herewith served with a restraining order by my tastebuds. Good many-armed diety of Sycloth VI, what is this? Roast barely slows down going off the cliff into ashiness, which is something of a knock on ash. Coffee burnt on the bottom of the carafe, then left for a couple months, scraped off with a rusty nail, then poured into my glass - that's what this tastes like. I'd go on, but this is so mind-bendingly awful that I can't bear to take another sip.

Wow. I hate to be relentlessly negative, but really? Who thought it was a good idea to release this beer? I may have to destroy the glass it's in. The worst attempt at a beer I have had in a long time.

 1,009 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.77/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark Fatha American Empirical Stout. (whatever that means). Brewed in Minnesota, brewed 7 bottled by Bent Brewstillery, Roseville, MN. Est. 2012. Alc. 9.3% by Vol, 57 IBU. SRM 60.

The label depicts Darth Vader in a pimp suit. Cute gag, but not sure of the point. Dark beer. Dark Lord of the Sith. Purple robes and chain, feathered hats…something got skipped.

It's solid blackness, that's for sure. Richly roasted tan head, lush and plush.

Aroma: many flavors unfolding. Molasses. Espresso. Cocoa nibs. Some anise. Dark rum. Nice.

Taste: Arrives rather cool on the palate, delivering dark fruit flavors, rich malt character, dry chocolate and coffee notes. Sweetness always held in check, kept at bay, nicely dry. I'd have to say medium-bodied, for it just isn't as full as we'd want from an Imperial Stout. But, no, this is an "Emperical Stout", which has to mean something. It's flavorful, and the alcohol has started to ring in for real and for true. It's like an Imperial Stout that doesn't want to go all the way. It's pussied out. Maybe there's a reason for not doing an Imperial Stout right?

Maybe it's on the label? "This distinctive hybrid beer style combines the crisp, clean feel of a light ale with the dark cocoa roasted smoothness of a stout."

With all due respect, that's one of the dumbest things I've read on a bottle of booze in a long time. Compared to a true Russian Imperial Stout, it's a dismal failure. Compared to this hybrid style nobody asked for, this American Emperical Stout, well, it's crashing success. I guess.

Me, I'm left feeling dull and deadening. All of the alcohol and none of the fun. I need the richness and fullness for a beer this boozy. Seriously, who asked for a hybrid of light and strong? Makes no sense. A poor decision.

Like having Darth Vader carry balloons in his hand and speak like Daffy Duck.
Or making Greedo shoot first. This one is weak with the force.

 1,917 characters

Photo of tvenne
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NilocRellim
4.39/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

*2017: Barrel-Aged Emperial Stout*

Aged in bourbon and rum barrels. Pours a motor-oil black colour. Boozy rum nose with vanilla, black banana, sticky dense tree fruits, whiskey oak, treacle, and a dense sweetness. Heavy mouthfeel and a thick coating of whiskey, burnt grain, and cocoa nib which lingers on. Boozy but balanced, and a lilt of carbonation to ease up on the sweet denseness prevailing throughout. I get the rum, vanilla, and black banana upfront, while the whiskey and roasty profiles are prevalent near the finish. Brulee and dark toffee body. Hint of dryness in the afterpalate.

*2016: Barrel-Aged Emperial Stout*

Aged in bourbon and rum barrels. Pours a motor-oil black colour. Rum nose, vanilla, whiskey, milk chocolate and syrupy sweet. Big alcohol bourbon upfront, vanilla, milk chocolate body intermediary, with a rounded rum finish. For the style, no heavy mouth coat or sweet finish. Carbonation is peppery enough to cut the malt. Dry enough aftertaste.

 983 characters

Photo of pat61
3.9/5  rDev +18.5%

Rich grain aromas remind me of the aromas around a malt house when the kiln is running and suggest the beer is very fresh. This precedes a big chocolate nose.
Pours pitch black with a 1/2" finely bubbled tan collar.
The palate is surprisingly light considering the rich black pour offering up a lot of graininess, lighter malt character and biscuit flavors with chocolate and a touch of roast. the darker malt and roast flavors work with rather than over whelming the grain flavors. A light astringency on the finish from the grain.
Very creamy smooth with a body just above medium and medium fine carbonation. Slightly warming but the alcohol is for the most part well hidden.

 678 characters

Photo of MattyG85
3.72/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours an oily black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of deep tan head that quickly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A sweet and roasty dark malt driven aroma with hints of chocolate and toast. Upfront dark roasted barley malts with hints of chocolate, coffee, burnt toast, biscuit, grains, oats, caramel, toffee, nuts, smoke, and yeast. Sweet scent of burnt molasses. Also some hints of anise spice. Very faint hops. A decent stout aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a sweet, roasty, and burnt stout taste with notes of chocolate, oat, and smoke. Dark roasted barley malts with upfront notes of chocolate, dark coffee, burnt toast, oats, grains, biscuit, caramel, toffee, smoke, nuts, and yeast. Sweet taste of burnt molasses. Slight notes of anise spice. Somewhat boozy. A decent taste overall.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and slightly sticky. Some alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: Ok for a lighter version of a imperial stout. Kind of rough around the edges with the heavy charred presence but the taste is ok overall.

 1,208 characters

Photo of Dulahan
5/5  rDev +52%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Complex is how I would describe this one. Reading the description I see it was aged in Rum barrels, and you can definitely catch some hints of it once you sip it and let the flavors mature in your mouth. It is particularly interesting how it's paired with different foods I've had. Wonderful with a German sausage and spicy peppers. Excellent with a burger topped with some cajun sauce. Oddly, not as good with a bacon and barbecue sauce burger, though that only because it seemed to hide the various flavors somehow.

Either way, this is a great beer for someone who likes darks with a complicated palette.

 612 characters

Photo of IchLiebeBierZu
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Stimulus199
1.54/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance is nice - thick, chocolate head that fades quickly. Mouthfeel is extremely thin; flavor is... off. I don't know how to describe it. Tastes like stale homebrew. Very little resemblance to the traditional style. I ended up drain-pouring about 1/2 the bottle. Tough to swallow (literally and figuratively) at $8.99 a bomber.

 332 characters

Photo of Hendrick24
3.41/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WMbeer
4.44/5  rDev +35%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CraigP83
3.21/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Almost pitch black, hold it up to the light and it's crimson around the edges. Smell is super boozy , but not bourbon or oak, almost white wine or a clear liquor. Coffee flavor, a bit thin bodied

 195 characters

Photo of HoudiniRN
1/5  rDev -69.6%

Photo of ovaltine
3.57/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TCMike
4.05/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My first beer from these newbies. Very impressed.

Produced a three finger, beige head. Beer color is so brown, that it's practically black.

The aroma is of roasted malts, and a hint of coffee and dark chocolate. Not very strong, but nice.

Taste is similar, but it does have a hint of hop bitterness, and dry finnish. Has a lower, heavy body, and medium carbonation.


 374 characters

Photo of Jeffrey2310
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Showboat66
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of nmann08
2.91/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Photo of couchsitta
3.99/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bravak
2.5/5  rDev -24%

Boy, wasn't sure what to expect, but definitely different. Love the label design, and first aroma was candied molasses, sweet and bitter in a way. Then it just started foaming and tasted oxidized, with sherry and wet cardboard flavors and aromas taking over.

Seemed like this was old or something. Unfortunately I could not finish.

 334 characters

Photo of Zallen16
2.75/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.17/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Described as, "The best mistake that (they) ever made", this American 'Emperial' Stout borrows layers the roasted taste of stout on a lighter and drier malt base than is usual. Its results really bring the roast to the forefront.

The black beer pours with an ominous and opaque attitude. Its large mocha-stained column of foam races to the rim with a moussey appearance. Nearly complete in its retention, its froth is equipped with scattered lace that trails in the beer's wake.

Sharp roasty aromas are of dark-roast coffee, dark chocolate, roasted walnuts and the campfire scent of burnt embers. Charred dark fruit and an aggressive earthy scent reminds the nose of cut grass and pine cones. A sharp peppery note tingles the nose heading into that first daring sip.

Bold roasty sweetness of burnt sugars could be of molasses or brown sugar, just ahead of bitter chocolate, nutty bitterness and ground espresso. Smooth and stern early on, the beer develops added char flavor in the later half of taste with elements of fresh-cracked peppercorns, ash, vinous tartness and medicine- especially as the grain alcohol flavor sets in. Bitter in its finish, its bite comes from roast-derived bitterness and pithy, citrusy, resiny and grassy hops.

Its short-lived sweetness proves to be fast-fleeting in order to allow this full-bodied ale to dry in quick fashion. After the carbonation wisps away the sweetness, what's left is a lot of ash and burnt vegetative taste. Burnt grass, burnt fruit and burnt wood leads to a spicy and astringent finish with sour wine acidity.

Where this curious, aggressive and intimidating beer has a lot of promise, it has some serious roughness around the edges. Somewhat out of control, age should temper its energy and smoothen out.

 1,763 characters

Photo of Servocam
3.13/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Too sweet. Worth getting, but only once.

42 characters

Photo of ta_hagen
4.51/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, I would like to give a shout out to Bent Brewstillery for tweaking their ingredients on this one. A sweet and roasty dark malt driven aroma with hints of chocolate and toast. Upfront dark roasted barley malts with hints of chocolate, coffee, burnt toast, biscuit, grains, oats, caramel, toffee, nuts, smoke, and yeast. Sweet scent of burnt molasses. Went from an 9.3% 2015 prior beers to 2016 Dark Fatha's 12.5% ABV. They also aged it in bourbon barrels and StormBringer Spiced Rum barrels. Big thanks to them on that. I would say this could be a nice entry level beer from a stout to a barrel-aged stout. The body is light but the ABV is their and hidden to almost nothing. Dark roasted barley malts with upfront notes of chocolate, dark coffee, burnt toast, oats, grains, biscuit, caramel, toffee, smoke, nuts, and yeast. Sweet taste of burnt molasses and a fruity dry finish. Overall, it's a nice entry level imperial stout. Will buy again!

 966 characters

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Dark Fatha from Bent Brewstillery
Beer rating: 3.29 out of 5 with 50 ratings