Barley Mowat 

Driftwood Singularity 2014

with 9 comments

It’s here. Singularity landed yesterday at private stores around the lower mainland (those lucky bastards in Victoria got it Friday). As a result, I spent a good chunk of my Monday evening going from LRS to LRS to buy the maximum they would sell me. As often is the case with these limited one-offs, the private stores put per-customer bottle limits in place to ensure more folk get a chance to buy some. Last year these limits were in the 4, 5 or 6 per person range. This year it’s more like 2 or 3. For future reference, this angers Chuck. Please let me buy it all, dammit!

Also notably, this is the first year that Driftwood has fessed up to the actual alcohol levels in Singularity. While previous years claimed either 11.9% or 11.8% to avoid a stiff tax increase at the 12% mark, the 2014 edition proudly calls out all 146 of its ABV points. Yup, this stuff is 14.6%. Tread with care, as even one bomber is far more than you should reasonably consume solo.

Is it worth the buzz? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s a very good beer (more on that below), but there are plenty of other, better Russian Imperial Stouts made in North America. The trick is that they’re just not available here. Walk into your local LRS and if you’re lucky, you’ll have three RIS’s to pick from: Howe Sound Pothole Filler, Parallel 49 RIS and this one. Sure, Singularity is the best of the bunch, but it’s not twice as good as P49’s quite decent–and still available–RIS.

Enough playing it down. How does it stack up against previous vintages? Well, I won’t dally with downplaying this beer anymore. This is perhaps the best Singularity vintage to date. All the best characteristics from previously vintages are here: deep chocolate, cherries, molasses notes from the malt, plus that smoothy, rich, creamy mouthfeel, plus a nice bourbon burn from the barrel aging. The nose and bourbon burn are a bit harsh, but those will be the first aspects to mellow with some time in the cellar. Even so, it drinks quite well right this instant. Well played, guys.

Special Mention: West Coast Liquor Kerrisdale is selling a 3 year vertical of Singularity. Love it!

APPEARANCE Inky black, with a thin, quickly fading deep tan head. Low carb.
NOSE Liquorice, cassis, chocolate, plus a slightly unpleasant medicinal alcohol tone.
TASTE All the big hits for dark malt complexity: dark fruits (cassis, cherries), sweet chocolate, almost imperceptible liquorice. Bourbon and alcohol are strong now, but will fade with some cellaring.
STATS 14.6% ABV / ? IBU / Russian Imperial Stout / 5.7 standard drinks per bottle / 4oz serving size
SHOULD I BUY IT? Oh please. You already have.

Brewery Driftwood
From Victoria
Name Singularity
Style Russian Imperial Stout
SOA Now Silver
SOA Potential Gold
Drink Late 2015+
Does it taste like green apples? Nope!
Availability Widely available at LRS
Cost ~$13.50 per bomber
Similar BC Beers Parallel 49 RIS, Phillips Hammer, Howe Sound Pothole Filler


Almost gold for right now, as it is eminently drinkable.

Written by chuck

March 4th, 2014 at 11:44 am

Posted in Beers

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9 Responses to 'Driftwood Singularity 2014'

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  1. You’ll save me one, right?


    4 Mar 14 at 11:51

  2. @Jer – Sure, so long as I can help you drink it. It’s no KBS, but it sure is good.


    4 Mar 14 at 11:52

  3. To continue nitpicking, I think most LRSs will also have Old Rasputin. I’ll see myself out.


    4 Mar 14 at 14:43

  4. BC-brewed Russian Imperials are pretty lacking, it’s true – our best are not more than average on the American scale. But on the bright side, we get some killer options in our distribution circles now, for instance Ten Fidy!

    Looking forward to opening my first bottle of Singularity, though.


    4 Mar 14 at 19:53

  5. $40 for Ted Fidy! Is it worth the price? Kudos to West Coast Liquor, they are my “go to” store.


    4 Mar 14 at 23:17

  6. $40 should buy you a lot of Ten Fidy – I think they’re around $20 for a 4-pack. That’s about what I paid at Brewery Creek.


    6 Mar 14 at 19:48

  7. Sierra Nevada Narwhal recently landed in my local (Beverly Corners in Duncan)and at $13/ 4-pack bottles is just outstanding value.

    …but I still grabbed as many bottles of Singularity as I could carry.


    7 Mar 14 at 16:46

  8. I’m glad I live in an (remaining unnamed) suburb of the lower mainland where the local cold beer & wine has an entire shelf full of Singularity!

    Land Roving

    16 Mar 14 at 00:19

  9. Chuck, pls contact me via my email, important question/s about microbrewery… this ain’t spam. Thanks – Neil


    20 Mar 14 at 07:51

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