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Leapbeer Review #183 Singularity RIS 2012 by Driftwood Brewing

According to Ray Kurtzweil, the Singularity is Near. I say ‘Nay, its not near. It’s in my hand.’

All attempted frivolity aside I’m not speaking of Kurtzweil’s hypotheses that man and machine will become one integrated entity in the near future. I am, however, speaking of the grand daddy of Victoria craft beer coveting, Driftwood’s Singularity Russian Imperial Stout.

To say that this beer has been well reviewed is an understatement. Mr.Lloyd, left4beer, gave this behemoth a 10/10 (A somewhat rare occasion). Other sites gave it similar praise. It boasts a 93 (exceptional) rating at BeerAdvocate, and a 94 at Ratebeer. Knowing this before opening it, I wanted to pick the best moment to consume this intense beer. It pained me to wait. But here I am, officially half way through the leapbeer journey. The perfect tipping point for this beast.

Driftwood used to use foil on the tops of their bottles of Singularity, similar to how Old Cellar Dweller is still packaged. This year they went with something a little more … theatrical. Similar to Three Floyds Dark Lord, they encased their jewel in a crown of wax. I call it theatrical because while it is very functional from an aging protection, it is also a royal pain in the keister to open. It must have taken me a good minute or two to open this bad boy. Admittedly it was my first time opening a wax encased beer, so maybe it was beginners ineptitude.

The Singularity is a deep Russian Imperial Stout that Driftwood ages four months in Bourbon barrels, and it really shows. This beer pours do a deep deep black colour. When you pour it, a milk chocolate coloured head appears on top of it. It’s been said that this beer is one that you not only drink, ‘but you experience’ (as per vancouver beer blog)

It smells rich, of licorice and malts. There are hints of some spice and chocolate to it as well. When you sip it, this beer packs a punch. My first thoughts were “Wow, this beer is a rib sticker.” It has a nice rich stout flavour, with somewhat muted licorice and coffee notes. I honestly expected more licorice flavour to this beer, but they (Driftwood) surprised me. And then the bourbon sweetness seeps in late. Followed by a real latent alcohol burn in your throat as the 11.8% ABV hits you. This stout is no lightweight. Let all you calorie conscious light beer drinkers beware, this beer will consume you. It coats your entire mouth, well. So much so that I still tasted this beer the next day. This beer is big, black, and impressive. It is the Darth Vader of beers. Meaning this truly left an impression on me, as I now have a very high bar with which to compare other specialty Russian Imperial Stouts.

Leapbeer #183 is Singularity Russian Imperial Stout by Driftwood Brewing

I couldn’t have planned a more perfect beer for the halfway point. Driftwood really knocked it out of the park with this beer. Now I realize I’ve been a super Driftwood fanboy up to this point in the blog, but with good reason. They assembled all the powerful ingredients used to make this brew, and then deftly arranged them into a liquid symphony for us all to enjoy. I agree with left4beer’s comments about this beer being under priced, as similarly crafted beers fetch top dollar from consumers in our neighbours to the south. I look forward to whats next from these guys, and to enjoying more Singularity in the new year.

183 down, 183 to go.

Thanks for Reading

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