Sunday, May 21, 2017

Barreled Souls Dark Matter

The Stats
Style: ???????
ABV: 10.2%
Current Ratings...
- Beer Advocate: 4.3/5
- RateBeer: N/A
- Untappd: 3.94/5

"We are much more certain what Dark Matter is not than we are what it is.” -NASA"

Brewery description is vague at best and depending what site you check, what style this qualifies as is a total mystery. Whatever, let's just dive in head first.

Appearance looks pitch black, but when held up to the light, a glowing ruby red bounces off the glass and onto my fingers. It produced a good three fingers of khaki-colored head.

Quad-like dark fruits burst from the glass on the aroma. Plums, figs, raisins are all here in abundance with some cherries and red wine. Lots of fruit cake and the it takes a turn into banana and clove with even some pine. I've never smelled a beer like this before. It's like crossing a Weizenbock, Doppelbock, and Quad into one.

I didn't know what to expect when going into this mainly due to the brewery keeping even the most basic of information a secret in an attempt to be worked. Regardless of style, this is one tasty brew.

The initial rush of flavor goes back to the red wine and vinous notes, but I am caught off guard by a pleasant tartness and sour cherry. After that subsides, the fruit cake and raisins make a return. A warming, spicy flavor reminds of spiced rum and then there's some touches of alcohol for good measure. It tastes almost leathery in a way and has some figs and molasses. I think the tart berries can make this refreshing at times, but I am held in check by those deep, dark fruits all throughout the experience.

Despite the look and taste, the body is actually relatively light and finishes dry. The berries and molasses make for some sticky sweetness without being cloying. The abv and warming on each sip make this one a sipper for sure.

Dark Matter may not belong to a specific style, but it is a great beer for sure. If memory serves, then when I had it at the brewery, the description teased that it was a stout, a porter, or something along those lines. I personally didn't get any roasted, coffee, or chocolate notes associated with those styles as I got more of a Belgian experience. I would have pegged this as a Belgian Dark Ale, but that's just me. Whatever you want to call it, this is a unique and complex beer that has been one of the better offerings from Barreled Souls.


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