BC Craft Beer Review – Driftwood Brewery Singularity Russian Imperial Stout 2015

Driftwood Singularity 2015

Driftwood Brewery Singularity Russian Imperial Stout 2015: One of BC’s hardest to find beers as it generally sells out pretty fast, this Russian Imperial Stout is brewed to a strength of 12.2% abv and spends about 4 months in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels before being bottled. Most places put bottle limits on this release (anywhere from 1 to 3 bottles per person) so you need to shop around to get a decent amount of them.

Aroma and Appearance: It pours an intimidating dark brown colour coffee like colour with 1 finger of thick tan foam and some centered carbonation. The aroma starts with inviting dark chocolate nibs and well toasted bread, leading into black licorice, tar, espresso, sweet caramel, tobacco and booze.

Flavour: Upfront is very dark roasted coffee, robust chocolate and hints of sweet caramel which are followed by a creamy marshmallow like velvety middle that tends to linger as if it wanted to be admired for a few moments more. The finish blends in some burnt wood and dry soot with savory black licorice as it sneaks down your throat and warms your stomach.

Overall Impression: The most balanced Singularity I have had so far, super drinkable without aging. It will cellar wall, but I don’t know how much it will improve versus other years because this one is so drinkable now.

Rating: Awesome at 9/10, up there with the best of the barrel aged Russian Imperial Stouts.

Food Pairing: Dark chocolates with caramel or truffles go so well with Imperial Stouts, I’ll be sure to pair them up with this one next time I open a bottle.

Here you can see them getting it out of the barrels at the brewery. Is it weird that the sight of barrels makes me thirsty now?



6 thoughts on “BC Craft Beer Review – Driftwood Brewery Singularity Russian Imperial Stout 2015

  1. I agree that this is the most balanced edition, without aging, that I have tasted. Not as boozy this year. Right up there with the best RISs available anywhere. I don’t generally enjoy strong licorice flavours in beer, but I find it to be quite soft in this one, and complimentary to all the other flavours. It fits very well with the oak on the end, and with some of the chocolate flavours, too.

    • Yeah I was surprised at how balanced it was right out of the gate. I wonder if they changed the blend, or started blending? I don’t mind a bit of a kick to these, to me the long term prospects of the slightly out of balance ones are worth the risk, but I sure did enjoy this one too. Well priced for a barrel aged beer of this quality.

      • From my experience with driftwood lately it isn’t just their labels that are changing. It seems that all of their beers have changed to varying degrees over the last year or so. Some changes seem to be subtle and some from the sounds of this one have changed a bunch. I have probably already missed out on this years release but I will poke around a little and see if I get lucky.

  2. After having a few bottles, I do wish there was a bit more oak here. It is definitely less oaky than before. Still great, but the big bourbon kick is, well, less big. Mike, if you miss out, I am sure I can bring an extra down to Vic beer week, if you like. One of the perks of life in a smaller community is less demand for beers like these.

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