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Dark Days at Iron Fist

Vista brewery set to debut a rum barrel-aged imperial stout.

Place

Iron Fist Brewing

1305 Hot Spring Way #101, Vista

As temperatures begin their annual, wintry decent — OK, so we’re only talking a few degrees in sunny San Diego, but humor me — thoughts of tropical isles are hardly top of mind. But Vista’s Iron Fist Brewing Company has a specialty libation capable of taking one’s mind from the North Pole to the Caribbean, all while providing a sturdy brew well-suited for colder weather — even those low-seventies cool spells we Southern Californians are forced to endure. What is this mystical beer and how does it accomplish such disparate goals? The what is easy—Iron Fist Dark Days Imperial Stout — but the how…that’ll require some explanation.

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Let’s start with the beer. Dark Days is the same recipe as Iron Fist’s popular imperial stout, Velvet Glove, with the exception of the malt bill, which is upped in order to boost the beer’s alcohol-by-volume (ABV) to 11.5%. The increased alcohol makes the beer suitable for aging, helping it stave off potential infection while stored in oak barrels. This brawny brew spent 18 months in rum barrels that, before finding their way to a Caribbean distillery, were used to age Jack Daniels whiskey. Character from both spirits presents itself in the finished beer, which was so boozy it needed to be blended with fresh Dark Days before being bottled (83% barrel-aged and 17% new).

The finished product, which is being both bottle- and keg-conditioned is no slouch from an octane perspective, clocking in at a bruising 14.34% ABV. It will debut in 375-millilitre bottles at an official release part taking place next Saturday, November 1 at Iron Fist’s tasting room (1305 Hot Springs Way, Vista). Drunk fresh, there’s a great deal of bittersweet chocolate appeal accentuated by strong rum character from all that time in the barrel, but this beer should smooth out over time if properly cellared, making it well worth the wait.

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Place

Iron Fist Brewing

1305 Hot Spring Way #101, Vista

As temperatures begin their annual, wintry decent — OK, so we’re only talking a few degrees in sunny San Diego, but humor me — thoughts of tropical isles are hardly top of mind. But Vista’s Iron Fist Brewing Company has a specialty libation capable of taking one’s mind from the North Pole to the Caribbean, all while providing a sturdy brew well-suited for colder weather — even those low-seventies cool spells we Southern Californians are forced to endure. What is this mystical beer and how does it accomplish such disparate goals? The what is easy—Iron Fist Dark Days Imperial Stout — but the how…that’ll require some explanation.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Let’s start with the beer. Dark Days is the same recipe as Iron Fist’s popular imperial stout, Velvet Glove, with the exception of the malt bill, which is upped in order to boost the beer’s alcohol-by-volume (ABV) to 11.5%. The increased alcohol makes the beer suitable for aging, helping it stave off potential infection while stored in oak barrels. This brawny brew spent 18 months in rum barrels that, before finding their way to a Caribbean distillery, were used to age Jack Daniels whiskey. Character from both spirits presents itself in the finished beer, which was so boozy it needed to be blended with fresh Dark Days before being bottled (83% barrel-aged and 17% new).

The finished product, which is being both bottle- and keg-conditioned is no slouch from an octane perspective, clocking in at a bruising 14.34% ABV. It will debut in 375-millilitre bottles at an official release part taking place next Saturday, November 1 at Iron Fist’s tasting room (1305 Hot Springs Way, Vista). Drunk fresh, there’s a great deal of bittersweet chocolate appeal accentuated by strong rum character from all that time in the barrel, but this beer should smooth out over time if properly cellared, making it well worth the wait.

Sponsored
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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