Bottle Logic Brewing | Darkstar November
Temperatures are dropping, costumes have been Instagrammed, worn, mangled and stashed away in the closet — out of sight, out of mind — once again. Having moved out of the U.S. seven months ago, it came as quite a shock to me this past week to learn that MOST COUNTRIES DON’T CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN. So forgive me if I want to hold on to it for just a little longer.
But the changing colors and declining thermometers also indicate another seasonal change is upon us: Stout Season. We have a glorious few months where high ABVs and barrel-aging take the spotlight as they encourage long talks by the fireplace and cap off fall festivities. In this humble writer’s opinion, Bottle Logic Brewing provides some of the finest dark brews around, and what beer is more appropriate to fully transition us into the season than the very appropriately named Darkstar November.
Bottle Logic puts some crazy stouts out there, and whatever your Flava Flav they’ve got it. From their recently released blueberry/marshmallow/cocoa/witchcraft collab with Great Notion Brewing, to the venerated Fundamental Observation, BL stature is anything but short and stout (ha) in the beer world. Darkstar, though, is one of my favorites because of how restrained it is.
Molasses is added as this rests in the bourbon barrels, and what you get is a stout that doesn’t require fruits and beans to tickle your taste buds. The molasses naturally complements the barrel-aging, acting as a Super Mario mushroom for the caramel, vanilla, and roasty flavors. It’s just the right fusel, easy to drink without feeling like hellfire in your gullet, but substantial in flavor and depth. It steers clear of the artificial pastry stout taste, and shows that Bottle Logic has crafted something exceptional. From my experience, this is one of their least sought after entries on the trade boards, and I’m happy to keep that the case as I hoard these for the Long Night. The coffee version, Red Eye November, is also a treat, but to me the coffee cuts through the smoothness of the flavor interplay and overpowers.
The best way to enjoy this brew? Like most beers, it’s always a little better with music. In this case, Darkstar November pairs perfectly with the Darkness, whom many of you probably know from the the mega-smash “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” But if you haven’t taken a look at the rest of their catalog, you are missing out. While this, their sophomore effort, doesn’t reach the stratospheric heights of the their first album “Permission to Land” (one of this writer’s all-time favorites), the title track and Hazel Eyes are still bangers. It’s like Freddie Mercury (the rock gods rest his soul) took a One Way Ticket to hell… and back… to deliver some glam-rock back into our earholes.