Darkness Prevails (Idle Hands Craft Ales)

Style: Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Wild Belgian Stout

8.0% ABV

36 IBU’s

OG: 1.072

Malts: Pale, Munich, CaraMunich, Chocolate, Black, Roasted Barley, Unmalted Wheat & Oats, Candi Syrup

Hops: Nugget, EKG, Aurora, Sterling

Aged in Bourbon Barrels with Brettanomyces

Batch 1 January 8, 2013

From: Everett, MA

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The beer’s label is little simple and boring, but it does have some nice elements.  I love the Idle Hands logo; it is awesome looking and simplistic, and the fonts are clean and crisp, except for the batch number font, which is a little hard to read.  The colors are funky and cool.  There are some cool aspects to this label but overall it leaves the eye wanting more due to its glaring simplicity.  I want more darkness!  This bottle is worthy of scrapbooking for its uniqueness but is not worthy of the shelf.

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The beer pours a chocolaty black color, like a mocha midnight.  The beer pours with a finger’s width head of dark khaki bubbles, which leaves a lacing of splotchy bubble clouds on the glass.  On the nose, the beer smells tart and lightly roasty, with the tartness siding towards sweet cherry filling with green apple nuances while the roast is chocolaty and smooth.  There is a light metallic smell as well in the beer and some definite whiffs of oak but no defined bourbon smells.  On the tongue the beer tastes tart up front but opens into smooth roasted sweetness with a touch of salt and bitter roast followed by a slight medicinal bitter.  Flavors begin as tart green apple and move into cherry fruit leather before opening into sweet and lightly roasted malts.  The finish is tart and strange, moving from cherry leather to green apple, to roasted caramel to bitter chemicals.  The aftertaste is lightly tart with a slight coffee roast in the mouth and a faint touch of sticky tannins from the oak.  In the mouth the beer feels on the heavy side of medium with a smooth velvety carbonation that caresses the tongue, but feels a bit too slick on the tongue.  I’ve also had this beer on tap at the brewery, and I must say that it is a completely different animal on tap.  In the bottle the funk is reserved and slightly metallic but on tap it had a big fruity funk that blended beautifully with the roasted stout qualities of the beer.  This beer is by no means bad from the bottle though.  The flavors are subdued and simple, and I still get no bourbon flavors in any part of the beer except for maybe a ghost of booziness that is only present when you really look for it, but it is still tasty.  This beer also covers its 8% ABV masterfully, but from the bottle it fails to really explode in complex and funky flavors, which is a little disappointing.  It is a nice mellow stout with a tart twist, but I highly advise anyone that can to search out this beer on tap.  It is even better that way.  If you have a bottle of this, I would advise sitting the bottle down for at least another year in the cellar so that the funk can develop more in the beer.

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3.81/5

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