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Driftwood Singularity 2013

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Okay, Singularity is out. It’s perhaps the single most hyped BC beer release (at least in this household), and thus accordingly comes with commensurately higher expectations. For those keeping score at home, 2011 was an intriguing mix of sweet cherry goodness with tart coffee bitter, and 2012 replaced all that with the hops that didn’t make it into Old Barrel Dweller (aka a lot). For the record, 2011 is drinking quite well just now, but 2012 needs more time.

So what about this years? Is this year’s Singularity a carbon clone of last year’s, much like this year’s Old Cellar Dweller? No, it is not. It is not even close. To put it short, folks, Driftwood has swung for the fences, and I think they just might have made it.

2013 is a deeply complex malt-forward monster of a beer. A lot of those nuances are hiding behind the bourbon barreling for now, but given enough time, the sticky sweetness of that whiskey will reduce, and the sugars will yield their nuanced flavours. Over time, I suspect this will age down into just a beautiful way to spend a Saturday night, provided that you have a fireplace, smoking jacket, and an old hound dog named Rex under which to slip your cold feet. Yup, I get all that from taking a sip. I am just that crazy.

Tasting Notes:
Nose: Strong oaky bourbon over a sugar rich background of plum and dates. Driftwood says they didn’t add any molasses to this, and I’m therefore impressed with the sugar profile on this thing. If you can resist drinking long enough, a hint of the hops just starts to come in at the end, but not enough to ID a varietal.
Body: Pours pitch freaking black. Like tar, only with less carbonation. This is a glass of inactive black sludge that just lies there taunting you, and then might just randomly kill your Chief Security Officer to get her out of an inconvenient contract.
Palate: Wow. The bourbon here is just… bourbon. Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon. I think they used the same batch of barrels from Old Barrel Dweller, because there’s no mistaking the giant double pump fist of whiskey goodness on this guy. Behind all all that whiskey is a huge, rich, malt profile, but you’re not going to know about it for a long while.

Coles notes:

Brewery Driftwood
From Victoria
Name Singularity
Style Russian Imperial Stout
SOA Now Silver
SOA Potential Gold
Drink Early 2014 through 2017. Maybe longer.
Time for a spoon to fall over after standing it in a glass Okay, fine, it was 0.285 seconds, but I honestly THOUGHT it would be longer, and doesn’t that count for something?
Availability Widely available at LRS… for now
Cost $13.50+ per 650ml bottle.
Similar Beers P49 RIS, Phillips The Hammer, maybe even Driftwood OBD
Chuck says Buy. Buy it right now, and in volume, because it will be gone very very soon.


Another gold. Either beer is getting better or I’m losing my touch.

Written by chuck

January 14th, 2013 at 6:09 pm

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It Comes

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Just a quick update today since I’m busy with other things. It has come to my attention that some of the neophytes whom count amongst my readers have yet to open accounts on The Twitter. To those few, I say “for shame!” Not only have you missed the sheer amazement of Justin Bieber’s famous “IM SEXY AND I KNOW IT” tweet and it’s subsequent, record setting, 69,000 retweets, you’re also completely missing out on solid intel on upcoming BC seasonal craft beer releases.

Intel such as the release date of the widely acknowledged* best beer in BC: Driftwood Singularity. So brace yourself for beer geeks storming into shops and buying bottles of this with all the decorum and civility of a mother from November 1982 looking for Cabbage Patch Kids. Sigh. I just realized how very old I am, but I digress.

I was sorely tempted to just straight up lie and say it’s coming out on Wednesday to buy me extra time, but that wouldn’t be fair, would it? So here’s the straight dope: Monday. It’s coming out Monday (and maybe Tuesday, depending on your store), but with this information comes a serious warning.

I will be shopping for this beer, and upon entering a shop, after I conclude the hand shakes, posing for photographs, kissing of babies and occasional boob signing that generally accompanies any public appearance by me**, if I see you holding the last bottle of Singularity I will rip it from your hands and use it to bludgeon you to death. And then I will do unspeakable things to your body to teach others a lesson. Be warned***.

* By me. I’m wide. Get it? Nothing? You guys suck.

** My doctor feels that the ever-widening gulf between reality as perceived by me versus “others” is cause for concern. I told her that she’s unable to accept my fame for what it is, then I signed her boob.

*** No clever joke here. Seriously, be warned.

Written by chuck

January 11th, 2013 at 1:44 pm

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January Beer Of The Month

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I know, I know… it’s, like, 1/2 way through January already, so what gives? Well, first off, I’m a very lazy man. Secondly, there was no clear beer to highlight for January, and Siren was just so very good that I figured I’d let it slide for a day or two… which became a week.

All that changed yesterday, when I visited Granville Island Brewing’s store to stock up on their Barley Wine for my cellar. Despite this release being rather limited at 360 cases, clearly visible in the brewery was a towering palette of unsold (and unwaxed) product.

Well sheet, that ain’t right. The single most ambitious beer ever produced by GIB cannot be allowed to sit unsold on the brewery floor. We have to encourage them to brew more barrel aged wonders, and about the worst way to do that is not buying the results. So, without further adieu, January’s Beer of the Month is Granville Island Brewing (Taphouse) Barley Wine.


Look at it, sitting there all sassy. How can you NOT buy it?

Sure, there are better Barley Wines out there right now, but you know what? This is still a pretty damned good one, and one ideally tuned for some cellaring. I’m seeing a lot more talk on The Twitter about cellaring beer, and no self-respecting Vancouver-based beer geek should give this one a miss.

Plus, it’s a beer that is priced well below it’s quality and potential. At $7.95 a bottle, Granville Island is practically giving this stuff away. Buy some, drink it now, and buy a few to put down as an intro to cellaring.

Some beers only change slowly or subtlety, requiring a bit of experience and patience to figure out what’s going on, but not this one. Over a year or two, this beer will show all the restraint of meth-addled hooker who’s gone clean for three hours. No secrets, and it’s all out there for whomever wants to see it.

Want to see how yeast in-bottle affects a beer? It’s there. Want to see how malt-forward sugars blend together over time? Check. What about the slow hops decline? Sold. Bourbon- and barrel-flavours mellowing? It’s got that too.

If you’re curious, the following stores have stock: Big Ridge, Bimini’s, Brewery Creek, Burrard, Central City, Clayton, Crosstown, Darby’s, Firefly Cambie, Granville Street, Legacy, Sutton Place, Sunshine Hills, Toby’s, West End, and Yaletown. And, of course, the GIB Store.

Go forth and consume.

Written by chuck

January 7th, 2013 at 3:22 pm

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