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Serve in Snifter

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RATINGS: 317   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74   IBU: 70   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Dark Hollow blends the miracle of two crafts--brewing and distillation--to create a work greater than the sum of its parts. An Imperial Stout has been aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels still dripping with uncut whiskey. For 100 days the young beer patiently breathes in and out of the wood, gaining complexity, character, and serious attitude. This ale is always bottle conditioned and can be enjoyed immediately upon its release from the brewery...or five years later, when you dust off the last vintage bottle from your cellar to share with good company.


ThisWangsChung's rating

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ThisWangsChung (747) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2013
12.7 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. A: Pours a nearly pitch black color that doesnít look particularly thick coming out of the bottle. The head is typical for the style, a one-finger khaki shade. Itís nice and creamy, but doesnít retain well (as expected). Slight hints of lacing are left on the glass. S: Upon popping the cork, a HUGE aroma of chocolaty goodness emanates from the bottle. After itís actually poured, it turns into more of a typical barrel-aged stout. Thereís plenty of oak, roasted malts, butter, and vanilla here. This definitely seems bourbon-forward enough. T: Dark chocolate opens up the flavors nicely. Thereís also something savory in between the chocolaty start and tannic finish. Iím venturing to say itís just a pure bourbon flavor, but it also has a quality of roasted nuts. All in all, it grows on me after a while, and I enjoy it a fair deal. Problem is, thereís not much (if any) complexity. Itís simplistic to a fault - which is fine for some A-class pilsner or AA-class IPA, but this is the major league of barrel-aged imperial stouts. You need to bring everything to the table, and this doesnít quite do that. On the positive side, the sweetness is nicely controlled; even BCBS, as fantastic as it is, comes across too sweetly at times. M: Itís suitably creamy, so it meets the bare minimum for what the style should feel like in the mouth. The finish, too, is nice, managing to be both dry and long-lasting. On the other hand, itís also rather thinned out and clean - the latter must be why there isnít much depth. Still, I am pretty impressed how this has a decent bourbon flavor with little burn considering the sweetness is restrained and the body is slender. O: 3.9 (or whatever the rAvg is) isnít a great score for a barrel-aged imperial stout, but going by my tendency to rate most everything half a point below the typical average, Iíd even wager this is slightly underrated. Iíd probably lambast this somewhat if it had the same level of hype as BCBS does. All I know is that A) itís better than the chocolate/coffee aged version, and B) with a few tweaks (more body, more complexity), it would be up there with the elites. Right now, though, itís still quite good.


4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JBPortland (842) - Portland, Maine, USA - OCT 11, 2014
375ml bottle pours dark briwn black with 2 finger tan head. Nose is wet coffee grounds, licorice, bourbon spice, vanilla. Taste is a bit high carbonated, nice boozy burnt chocolate cake and licorice, coffee and vanilla cream. Finish is charred dark bitter bakerís chocolate and some nice cake-y notes, boozy bourbon. Pretty well done.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Countbeer (4539) - Best of E-Town mit ein Brauhaus, NETHERLANDS - OCT 11, 2014
Bottle: Thanks jdb288: Served in a Chouffe glass: Brown lacing. Black beer. Aromas of roast, light coffee, light bourbon, some coffee, dark chocolate, light vanilla, light spice, some mocha, toffee and a hint of bay leaf. Flavours of roast, coffee, bitters, some bay leaf, light spice, older wood, light bourbon/liquor, hint of dark chocolate, light sweet tar tone, mocha, toffee, some caramel, some oat and light vanilla. Aftertaste is bitter, roast, coffee, wood, light bourbon and herbal roast. Low carbo, watery close to silky mouthfeel, fuller bodied and a light sticky texture. Somewhat of an easy drinker, yet close to become complexer. Barrel sgung added something for sure but it could be more.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Darkmagus82 (1728) - - OCT 8, 2014
Transfer from BA review on 1-14-14- Served on tap in a snifter Appearance Ė The beer is served an almost pitch black color with a one finger of tan colored head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass. Smell Ė The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a roasted malt smell as well as some other darker aromas of cocoa and coffee. Along with the darker aromas are some sweeter smells with some caramel and vanilla as well as a light amount of a raisin flavor. Rounding out the aroma is a nice oaky bourbon smell, helping to produce a very warming smelling brew. Taste Ė The taste begins a bit of chocolate sweetness mixed with a nice roasted base. Along with these flavors are tastes of caramel and vanilla, adding a moderate level of sweetness to the brew. As the flavor advances the chocolate loses ground while a coffee flavor begins growing in. The roasted malts grow even more intense and hints of a char flavor come to the tongue. With the char and coffee there is a little bit of a bitter bite to the brew, which is complemented nicely with some lighter hop flavors of a earthy nature. Some of the bourbon barrel flavor begins developing to the middle and the end, bringing with it some nice flavors of oak and booze. With a slight decrease in the caramel sweetness more toward the end of the taste, one is left with a dark and semi-sweet, but still pleasant roasted taste to linger on the tongue. Mouthfeel Ė The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. A slightly lower carbonation and slightly thicker body would have likely been better for all the dark, roasted, and somewhat boozy flavors of the brew, but overall the feel was still pretty good and quite appropriate for the style. Overall Ė A rather tasty Imperial with a nice roasted and bourbony flavor with an moderate level of sweetness and bitterness. Quite tasty overall.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Alengrin (2076) - BELGIUM - SEP 28, 2014
Provisional beer with stable, firm, sticky, yellowish beige head and black colour. Aroma of candi syrup, cocoa, soy sauce, old sherry, balsamic vinegar, whisky, liquorice, coffee grounds, cloves, peat, vanilla and candied fruit. Soft candi sweetness in the onset, lots of candied fruits, salty soy sauce touch, above average carbo, oily and smooth mouthfeel, caramel, very chocolatey maltiness, roasted coffee-like bitterness in the finish with warming, bourbon-like alcohol and citrussy and peppery hop bitterness. Nice one.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mcberko (6697) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - SEP 13, 2014
750mL bottle, pours black with a small light brown head. Aroma reveals loads of bourbon, followed by vanilla and some cocoa. Flavour is complex, with lovely bourbon notes, vanilla, cocoa and just enough sweetness. Bourbon barrels are use to perfection. Not extraordinary, but this is really nice. Great stuff.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
knickskicks (753) - - SEP 7, 2014
Thin brown pour. Nose is an empty can of Folgerís thatís been sitting around for a few days. Taste is very harsh roastiness, cardboard, stale coffee. Thin-medium mouthfeel for the style.

2
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 6/20
AirForceHops (3295) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - AUG 30, 2014
750 ml bottle from Oliverís Beverage Center. Aroma is not good, red wine grapes and sour oak.

Just from the nose I can tell it is infected. Yep... Sour oak, red wine and dirty socks. Damn it, maybe one day I will get to re-rate it. But with "so much beer, so little time". Itís hard to know.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Benzai (8530) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - AUG 28, 2014
Bottle @ weekly tasting. Opaque pitch black color, medium sized brown head. Aroma is malts, walnut, bourbon, hazelnut, a touch of caramel, lightly sweet. Taste malts, chocolate, bourbon, slightly sweet, a nice liquor bitter finish. A bit thin texture for a 10% ABV beer, but a decent body and suitable carbonation.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DutchDrebus (4142) - Oirschot, NETHERLANDS - AUG 28, 2014
Bottle @ benzai. Pitch black with a medium sized light brown head. Smells bourbon, sweet, walnut, hazelnut, roasty, chocolate. Tastes too sweet, raisins, bourbon, caramel, malts, brown sugar. Full body, a bit too much carbo for this style.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
FROTHINGSLOSH (4971) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 16, 2014
UPDATED: AUG 18, 2014 Sampled on draft at Hou Thou this beer poured a black color with a small foamy beige head that faded quickly and left minimal lacing. The aroma was malty marzipan, cream, chocolate and vanilla. The flavor was strong cream, marzipan, bourbon, anise, faint chocolate and vanilla. A bit woody and boozy underneath. Long finish. Full bodied but undercarbonated. Interesting.


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