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Sometimes when you want a beer you go beyond what you have in the fridge and venture into the dark corners of your cellar. Lacking a proper cellar, I ventured into the deep and forgotten regions of the closet, and the following is what I found lurking there.

Beer Name: Darkling

Brewer: Night Shift Brewing Company

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.3%

Description: A nice big imperial stout that I believe is one of the first, if not the first, of its kind released by Night Shift. Bottled on 10/14/2014 it was released to a limited run of 200 bottles which came and went the same day, as did the tap line. It described on the bottle as a double-mash bourbon barrel aged imperial stout.

Pour Info: Poured from my 750 ml bottle into a snifter glass.

Price: $20 for 750 ml.

Appearance: Pours a gloriously thick black body. Accompanied by a thin tan head that recedes to a thick ring of bubbles around the edges of the glass.

Smell: Huge bourbon smell mixed with sweet malts.

Taste: Big bourbon taste right from the start and persists through the finish. The bourbon is accompanied by sweet malts in the middle that also carry into the end while at cooler temperatures. There’s a little bit of heat on the finish that ties these tastes together into a warm satisfying finish. Great tasting beer.

Mouth Feel: Thick body with minimal carbonation. Slightly creamy feel to start and finishes with a silky decadent smoothness.

Hype Factor: I knew this beer was fantastic going in, the only question was how it held up over the last few months.

Overall: Huge fan of this beer and as much as I loved drinking it I am sad to see it go. This is a fantastic imperial stout in which every element is spot on and contributes to a fantastic whole. Super excited that there is going to be a similar beer in the 2015 Barrel Society lineup.

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