Dark Vader

Style: Porter

ABV: 8.4 %

Availability: Archived

The Fork & Brewer will launch possibly our most interesting and extreme beer on Wednesday 5 June from 5pm. Dark Vader Barrel Aged Imperial Dark Ale 2013 is a carefully blended combination of two strong, dark ales – the Dark Vader Imperial Dark Ale (8.4%) which has been aging in the American oak wine barrel at the top of the stairs for almost a year and fresh Skywalker Imperial Stout (8.4%). Both were made in our brewery.

The Dark Vader has soaked up big smoky oak and vanilla characters from the barrel, and the judicious use of Special B grain has added a distinct raisin character to the beer. The result is a rich, unctuous, mouth-filling beer which calls to mind Christmas cake and port in front of a roaring fire. Eleven months in the wine barrel accentuated the flavours but also bought in strong tannin notes – perhaps a bit too much tannin to be honest.

So it was Skywalker Imperial Stout swooping down the trench to the rescue. By blending the two beers we made the final product softer, smoother and more approachable, just as Luke tried to do with his father but with much more success.

However, the process was not easy. On Wednesday 14 May 2014 our brewers and management sat down with measuring cups and tasted various ratios of the two libations. They took their blending role very seriously which meant no one drove home that night. We hope you enjoy this rich, strong, complex beer that was a year in the making.

Dark Vader Barrel Aged Imperial Dark Ale 2013 will be launched on Wednesday 5 June from 5pm at the Fork & Brewer. Come and turn to the Dark Side…

Just like the films, that is not the end of the story. 220 litres of this lovingly blended beer will not be available. It has gone back into the barrel to age some more before being blended again and released at some point in the future even we do not know exactly when. The plan is to continue barrel ageing and blending which means we will always have some of the original Dark Vader in all the future brews. Just like how Darth Vader never really died.


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