Today I bring you all the luscious details of two black beauties from Seattle’s Fremont Brewing. Dark Star and B-Bomb are limited release ales aged in bourbon barrels. They are extremely satisfying, albeit somewhat difficult to obtain; both are 2018 limited release bottles. Please read responsibly.
Dark Star (Coffee Edition): Fremont Brewing, Seattle WA. 13.6% ABV.
This beer is an Imperial Oatmeal Stout with coffee added, and aged in bourbon barrels. It pours pitch black with a ¼” cocoa colored head that fades immediately to a ¼” ring around the perimeter of a tulip glass. The aroma is coffee, though not strong, with some chocolate and an overall sweetness.
The flavor is sweet dark chocolate with hints of coffee, vanilla, and toffee. It’s quite sweet. There are also notes of raisin and fig, but alcohol is not detected. It fades to sweet vanilla and chocolate. The aftertaste is bourbon (vanilla, coconut) and semi-sweet chocolate, which lingers forever. Carbonation is low; the body is thick with a creamy, silky smooth mouth feel.
As Dark Star warms, the alcohol becomes quite apparent in the nose. In the flavor, the sweet dark chocolate increases and the coffee fades. The bourbon nuance substantially increases late on the palate and in the aftertaste, and the alcohol becomes slightly noticeable with some heat in the back of the mouth and in the throat. In spite of the mouth/throat warming, alcohol is still not noted in the flavor (although its effect is QUITE pronounced!).
B-Bomb: Fremont Brewing, Seattle WA. 14% ABV.
Although not a stout, B-Bomb is a dark Winter Ale with a very high alcohol content. Like Dark Star, it too is aged in bourbon barrels.
B-Bomb pours dark brown, almost black, with a ½” cocoa head that fades after two minutes to a substantial ring and thin cover. The aroma is vanilla, brown sugar and caramel. The flavor is . . . WOW! Thick chocolate, raisin, caramel, vanilla and brown sugar. It’s pretty sweet, but not cloying. The bourbon takes over late on the palate and is very much in command, yet is not overwhelming or boozy; there is also just a hint of coffee, and a hint of bitterness. The flavor fades to a lingering bourbon, vanilla, and oak aftertaste.
The body is thick with a smooth, velvety mouth feel. The carbonation level is low-medium, with enough effervescence to tickle and cleanse the tongue.
As B-Bomb warms, there is more chocolate in the nose, and bitter chocolate becomes more prevalent early, mid and late palate. Alcohol also becomes noticeable in the nose, and much more so in the taste. It’s never harsh or boozy, however.
What is a Winter Ale? Usually that means a beer higher in alcohol (thus the term “Winter Warmer”) and with some spices added for flavor complexity. I would actually classify B-Bomb in the Stout category. However you want to classify this one, know that it is EXCELLENT!
Well, there you have it beer lovers. Two wonderful beers from Fremont Brewing in Seattle. Dark Star (Coffee Edition) is rated the #1 Oatmeal Stout in the world on Beer Advocate. That’s pretty heady stuff, and it’s excellent beer, but I’m not sure it rates that much praise. Let’s wait to see how Strange Addiction (Coffee Edition) turns out. I think it will compare favorably to Dark Star (Coffee Edition). This beer is difficult to locate. My uncle, Kevin McCaffrey (“The Bomb”), sent this beer to me from Seattle. I have not seen it locally, but it’s probably available somewhere in Southern California.
In regards to B-Bomb: This is truly one of the world’s great beers. By far, it’s the best Winter Ale (Winter Warmer) I’ve ever tasted. There’s nothing even close to it. I purchased this at Total Wine – $19.99 for a 22 oz. bomber. That’s a steal folks, for a beer this rich and decadent. So, if you can still find it, buy it! [Caveat: Fizzy yellow beer drinkers and cheapskates – don’t bother; you won’t appreciate it, and you’re not worthy anyway.]