Decadent Darkness | Valley Brewing Company

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10 Ratings

Brewed by:
Valley Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by illidurit on 02-24-2010

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10 |  Reviews: 6
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of AndrewK
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of NickMunford
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of maximum12
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

When this bottle arrived as an extra in a trade from California, I had to bmail to find out what it was, from the cryptic "DD BBIS" on the cap & the generic Valley Brewing bottle. When told, I thought, wow, how can I ever open this one! I'm not big on milestones, but review #700 seems like the ideal excuse. Thanks to cloudskipper for a unique bottle of brew.

Pours black as the heart of Mordor. This is a beer that cries out to warm a bit, so I listen, & oblige, allowing it to breathe for ten minutes or so while I watch the Twins beat the Royals, again. The smell is solid barrel, hard oak, & subtle, melt-your-heart malts.

Decadent Darkness brings a deep, warm, vanilla-soaked interpretation to the style. Bourbon suffuses my senses, but doesn't overwhelm them, leaving a lot of footprints but treading lightly over my palate. I hold the third sip in my mouth for a while, & the bourbon, vanilla, & as it warms, chocolate drift up into my nose & brain. The malt sweetness provides a beautiful framework to hang all this on. Bloody hell.

Perhaps the true charm of this beer is how it sticks to the inside of my cheeks, my tongue, my throat, lingering like a warm Minnesota evening. The heat of 10.5% is no where to be found, this is smooth, baby. If more of this stuff existed anywhere, I'd be happy to consume it in large amounts. A session barrel-aged stout. I've been looking for you all my life.

This is an excellent, standout beer. My wife concurs. Though I love her dearly, I secretly wish I'd have cracked this open on a night alone (just kidding, dear!).

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Photo of oregonskibum
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Toronado in SF on 4/19. Review based on notes taken while consuming.

A: Beer is an inky black color with a thin tan head.

S: Huge chocolate smell, toffee, caramel, vanilla. Very complex. Continued to evolve as the beer warmed. The barrel aging was definitely evident on the smell. But not overpowering. Wow, this smells great.

T: The taste does not disappoint either. Rich dark chocolate with caramel, coffee, vanilla, and oaky notes are present. There's a touch of heat on the finish. But oh the finish - it just keeps going and going. Very nice.

M: Appropriately big. Very rich and creamy. Low carbonation.

D: Very impressed. This would easily taste side-by-side with the Abyss. Excellent barrel aged double stout that blends the big flavors of a stout with the influence of the barrel almost perfectly. Even though we were short on time and Toronado was out of the way, we almost went back just to get another taste of this excellent beer. We both agreed this blew away the Lost Abbey Serpent's Stout tasted the night before. Will definitely search this one out again.

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

A: The pour certainly lives up to the name of the beer. Dark as night with a thin brown head.

S: A (dare I say?) decadent mix of sweet goodness fills the nose; chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla all make for one hell of an aroma. Bourbon, oak, and a touch of alcohol round things out.

T: Though conceivably quite difficult, the flavor might just be a touch better than the nose. Rich chocolate and caramel works magic with the roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon, and oak notes. Just about perfect.

M: The body is full and creamy, almost chewy. The carbonation is minimal.

D: This was one of the best beers of the day. I'm pleased to have been able to try this one and hope for an opportunity to do so again.

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Toronado. Impenetrable black in the glass with a charcoal-colored head that recedes to a thin crown in moments. The smell is an incredible mix of bourbon, rich chocolate brownies, vanilla and caramel with barely a hint of alcohol. The taste opens with a kick of bourbon and toasted oak, alcohol and malt balls. Milk chocolate, caramel, tootsie roll and vanilla come through mid-palate along with a bit of bitter dark roasted coffee. It finishes more bitter than sweet, with lingering flavors of caramel, bourbon and burnt malt. This is excellent stuff, reminiscent of Firestone's anniversary beers and just as good.

 624 characters

Photo of popery
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tap, City Beer Store. Pours dark, black with dark brown highlights. The head is mocha-colored and relatively small but sticks around well. The aroma is a big mix of brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, caramel, coffee and bourbon, which is fairly restrained. The flavor is sweet but works quite well. It's a thick, rich and luxurious beer with a deep well of flavor. It coats the mouth with sweet beer flavors and is quite excellent. One of my favorites from Valley so far.

 470 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unlabeled bottle at Woodshop 5.0. Pours a deep blackish brown with a thin medium brown head. Aroma contains chocolate and caramel along with sweet bourbon notes and a solid roasted coffee note. Flavor is fantastic with rich brown sugar and caramel blending seamlessly with the stout character. Then there are the luxurious bourbon and roasted notes, just brilliant. This is the first I've heard of a straight up stout + barleywine blend and it makes you wonder why it's not a common occurrence. Crushing beer.

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Decadent Darkness from Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 10 ratings