Darkstar - Barrel-Aged
Big Lake Brewing

Darkstar - Barrel-AgedDarkstar - Barrel-Aged
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Style:
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #881
ABV:
11%
Score:
93
Ranked #6,438
Avg:
4.27 | pDev: 4.22%
Reviews:
14
Ratings:
26
From:
Big Lake Brewing
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  1
Gots
  0
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Darkstar - Barrel-AgedDarkstar - Barrel-Aged
Notes: A whisky Barrel Aged Breakfast Stout brewed with coffee, cacao, and oats.

60 IBU
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 26 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by WunderLlama:
Photo of WunderLlama
WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16oz can poured into a snifter

Black motor oil capped with a thin brown cap that immediately settles to a thin layer with a ring

Aroma is coffee, chocolate, cacao , roast malts

Taste is cocoa, coffee, bourbon finish , roast malts, dense , rich , slight charc

Finish of cocoa, roast coffee

Good beer

Oct 23, 2020
More User Reviews:
Photo of SawDog505
SawDog505 from New Hampshire

4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A huge shout out at @superspak this stuff is insane...... Poured into a 16 Snulip glass canned . Pours a gorgeous slick black with a ver attractive 2 plus finger of sticky mocha head that leaves a thick layer of lace and yields incredible retention. 4.75

Smell cocoa nibs, roasty Expresso, vanilla bean, toffee, caramel, and just a hint of alcohol but very little. 4.75

Taste follows and honestly this is as good a stout as I have ever had, never heard of this brewery but WOW. Cacao, Expresso, Vanilla, toffee, and just a hint of dark chocolate and bourbon in the balanced finish. 5

Mouthfeel at 11% ABV this stuff is bigger than most, creamy with gentle carbonation, maybe a tad dry as most in the style are, and at this ABV surprising how dangerously approachable it is. 4.75

Overall truly one of the most amazing BA Stouts or any Imperial Stouts I have ever had, Every sip makes me think, really this thing is in a class that few have entered. 4.75

Jul 27, 2019
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Muss42 from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 30, 2019
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woemad from Washington

4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can courtesy of Whyteboar. No visible date on the can, but at 11% abv, I'm not too worried about it's age.

Poured into a St. Bernardus goblet/chalice, a rough pour yielded a very thin, khaki colored head. Spotty lace.

Initially, just out of the fridge, the coffee really stood out in an acrid sort of way. All I could smell was black, burnt coffee. However, things changed nicely as it warmed up. Both the cacao and the barrels showed up, and it smelled delicious. If I had had this with breakfast, as it is a "breakfast stout", according to the label, it probably would've been a good idea to just let it sit after I opened it while I ate my food, and then drank this afterwards.

A bit acrid and acidic tasting when first opened, but when properly warmed up, this was a lovely tasting BA stout. Once warmed up from fridge temperatures, the coffee and cacao blended really well with the flavors from the barrel aging (presumably bourbon). Sweet up front, but with an accompanying roastiness that kept it from being cloying. The bourbon flavor came in about midway through, but wasn't overly boozy or "hot."

Relatively full bodied, and with that creaminess in the mouthfeel that comes from the oats.

Really liked this. Thought about pairing this up with a BA Dark Star from Fremont, but you can't review a beer when you're utterly clobbered (at least not well or in a way that's useful), so that idea had to be wistfully discarded. I'd never heard of this brewery before, but they're on my radar now. This is really well done. Thanks, Craig.

May 04, 2020
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a finger and a half of caramel-colored foam. Head retention is good. Aroma is toffee, caramel, maple syrup, chocolate and expressive roasty, toasty, nutty, caramely malts. There is a reserved barrel character at the back. Maple syrup comes on strong and rips through the nose, adding sweetness alongside it, while roasty and toasty malts deliver bitter, charring notes. Together, they pepper the nose in a balanced format and entice a sip. Flavor profile is toffee, caramel, molasses, chocolate and cocoa nibs, with hearty roasty, toasty and nutty malts underneath. Rich depth right up front that falls back into a solid malt base. A touch of char, and with it a very mild dose of heat, kiss the back of the throat before being washed away by hearty roasty and toasty malts, with notes of chocolate lingering for a long while afterwards. Mouth feel is thick with a velvety, nearing-creamy texture. After the main body of the flavor profile leaves, there is a little residual silt texture left on the tongue. Overall, splendid depth and character without letting the heat or barrel run away with it.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 16oz can.

Jun 25, 2019
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GreenBayBA from Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jun 19, 2019
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Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 14, 2019
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superspak from Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce can into snifter, canned on 3/11/2019. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky tan head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, medium roast coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, roasted nuts, fudge, biscuit, and dark/brown bread/crust; with lighter notes of molasses, licorice, raisin, fig, date, smoke, oak char, herbal, grass, and yeast/roast/toast/oak earthiness. Slight booze in the aromas as it warms, but not overwhelming. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts, cocoa, coffee, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, medium roast coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, roasted nuts, fudge, biscuit, and dark/brown bread/crust; with lighter notes of molasses, licorice, raisin, fig, date, smoke, oak char, herbal, grass, and yeast/roast/toast/oak earthiness. Light herbal, grassy, roast, char bitterness; and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, medium roast coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, roasted nuts, fudge, biscuit, dark/brown bread/crust, molasses, licorice, dark fruit, smoke, oak char, herbal, grass, and yeast/roast/toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, cocoa, coffee, and bourbon barrel flavors; with an amazing roast/hop bitter/sweet, and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying, acrid, astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering hop/roast bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/velvety/bready, and lightly sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is fantastic. Mild increasing warmth of 11%, with minimal lingering barrel booze after the finish. Overall this is an amazing barrel aged imperial breakfast stout! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, cocoa, coffee, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to drink for the big ABV, with the mildly bitter/tannic/drying finish. Amazing balance of super rich malts/oats, cocoa, and fruity/nutty coffee complexity; with perfect barrel presence/integration. Not overly boozy, tannic, or drying on barrels. Not overly sweet/heavy from lingering dryness. A highly amazing offering, and top tier style example. A great improvement over the base beer as expected. Smoother/silkier from the barrel aging. Tastes identical to KBS all the way through.

Mar 22, 2019
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Jimmy_Kneecaps from Tennessee

4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour is cola colored but in the glass it appears very black and opaque. Moderate amount of dark khaki colored head with excellent retention. Nose has some barrel, dark bakers chocolate dominates, roasted malts, and dark roast coffee hides in the background peeking its head out occasionally. Taste is exactly the same. Very little barrel presence here aside from some oak. Chocolate again dominates the taste, but the bitter dark bakers kind, this beer is definitely not sweet. There’s some great dark roasted malt and coffee flavor on the back end that’s much more pronounced than in the nose. Mouthfeel is on the medium side of full and has a chalky dry finish. Overall a great brew that I’m thankful to have tried and would gladly drink again. Thanks a bunch Justin’s.

Apr 15, 2019
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beergoot from Colorado

4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coal black body supporting a thick, dense and creamy light tan head; thin fingers of lacing along the glass. Extremely well-balanced aroma mixing roasted grain and char, coffee, cocoa and bitter chocolate. The flavor exudes bitter chocolate infused with a boozy, whiskey undertone; vanilla and cocoa; some vague esters. Heavy body; silky and luxurious on the palate; big sweetness on the palate with a cutting alcohol dryness.

An exceptionally rich and balanced barrel aged stout, delivering excellent depth and complexion. The barrel aging and ABV are quite noticeable but are nicely offset with the dense creaminess (the oats, I'm guessing) and heavy sweetness of the malt bill. A beautiful monster of a beer...

Jul 21, 2019
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a cellar temp 16 oz can poured into my trusty snifter. The beer is part of a swap with @whyteboar. Thank you!
Beer pours coffee black with dense creamy tan head of 2 cm foaming up. This foam fades to a sturdy clingy edge layer and some wispy foam on the surface. No light passes through my glass when I hold it to the light.

The aroma is malt forward with roasted malt notes, some light coffee grounds and dark chocolate. Maybe a little hint of booze too and some light brown sugar. No hops anywhere to be found.

First sip reveals a creamy textured medium to thick body with gentle spacious carbonation. Beer feels incredibly soft on my palate! Leaves a little bit of a coating after each swallow, but never feels sticky.

Flavor is similar to the nose with lots of malt notes. I get roasted hits and dark chocolate with hints of black coffee mixed in for good measure. There is a bit of brown sugar in the middle and then some bitter coffee comes through on the finish and lingers a bit after I swallow. No hops and the ABV is well hidden through the sampling and isnt even present on the swallow.
This stout feels amazing and has nice flavor profile too. Very glad to have tried this and had never heard of the brewery. Wonder if they have other stouts worth trying? If I see' em now I know to try'em!

Dec 05, 2020
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bbtkd from South Dakota

4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big Lake Barrel Aged Darkstar, 11% ABV. Pours black and thick, with a one finger brown head that left no lacing. Nose is slight chocolate and coffee. Taste follows, plus roast malt, with some coffee bitterness on the close. Excellent mouthfeel, overall outstanding.

Apr 26, 2019
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Mxsluis from Michigan

4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Apr 12, 2019
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szmnnl99 from Michigan

4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec 02, 2018
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drunkenmess from Michigan

4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Mar 23, 2019
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours pitch black with a one finger tan head. Big amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is coffee, dark chocolate and charred oak.

T - The taste is big black coffee, dark chocolate, charred out, vanilla, caramel and whiskey.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - This is a pretty solid BBA stout. The whiskey barrel is light and adds a nice depth to the original base beer.

Apr 18, 2019
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beergorrilla from Michigan

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jul 24, 2017
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Tracker83 from Michigan

4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dec 17, 2018
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Westmi from Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, with a background flavor of cocoa. Great beer, bourbon barrel flavors are very subtle. Worth trying if you can get your hands on it.

May 13, 2018
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GRFounder from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec 07, 2018
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travelguy from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

May 08, 2018
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich dark brown with a very thin, slow-building tan head that quickly dissipates into an even thinner wisp and soupy crown. It leaves thin sheets of lacing.

Pleasant aroma with strong chocolate, along with vanilla, a hint of orange, light coffee and other light roasted malts.

The taste is more muted, with chocolate and almost nutty roasted-malts the most prevalent. Some vanilla, nougat and marshmallow come through as well, with well-balanced coffee bitterness and kiss of alcohol in the finish.

Lightly creamy, oily feel, with decent carbonation. On the thin side of medium bodied, but appropriate for the style.

This is an all-around enjoyable and well-balanced BBA coffee stout, with nothing coming on too strong. No canned on date.

Jan 13, 2019
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Ssitron from Michigan

4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nov 15, 2018
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BarryMFBurton from Indiana

4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Mar 26, 2019
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dd53grif from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown with a medium foamy head that lasts quite a while. Pleasant aroma of chocolate and coffee. Taste is strong and a bit bitter. A slightly boozy taste to go along with the 11% ABV.

Feb 01, 2020
Darkstar - Barrel-Aged from Big Lake Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 26 ratings