Beer Tastings: Dark Alley Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout — 2 Row Brewing

Beer Tastings - Utah Beer News

Welcome to Beer Tastings, a weekly series in which Utah Beer News highlights a particularly tasty local brew. This week, we taste Dark Alley Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout from 2 Row Brewing. What are you drinking? Let us know!

Beer Tastings: Dark Alley

It’s true, winter doesn’t officially start for another 10 days. But Christmas trees are decorated, snow is on the ground, and fireplaces are lit.

Tastings - Dark Alley Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout - 2 Row BrewingIt’s time to sip a rich, boozy imperial stout.

A fan favorite in our neck of the woods is 2 Row Brewing’s Dark Alley Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout. It pours dark as night and emits mouth-watering fragrances. Coffee, dark chocolate, and some caramel.

Flavors delve into almost-chewy caramel and dark chocolate. I also picked up some black licorice as the stout warmed in the glass.

Aged in oak barrels and tipping ABV meters at a whopping 15%, Dark Alley is a perfect mid-winter sipper. It’s mouth-warming and smooth.

If you’re unable to get your hands on the barrel-aged version, do yourself a favor and settle for the regular Dark Alley. You won’t be disappointed.

2 Row Brewing: Not Just IPAs

Utah Beer News tasted Random Double IPA from 2 Row Brewing way back in July. At the time, I mentioned how the Midvale-based brewery had redefined Utah IPAs (at least in my mind).

Utah Summer BBQ Beers - hIPAcrit - 2 Row Brewing2 Row is still a force to be reckoned with in the IPA world (a couple newer hazy offerings are well worth your time). But the folks at 2 Row are brewing several other styles equally as delicious.

Dark Alley is obvious. But don’t sleep on It’s Not Just For Breakfast Stout, which we highlighted in our Holiday Beers guide.

And one of my favorite beers of the season is 2 Row’s Raspberry Sticks, a chocolate raspberry stout that conjures memories of the jelly-filled chocolate candies popular at Christmastime.

Learn the full story of 2 Row Brewing by listening to our podcast episode featuring owner Brian Coleman.

Dark Alley Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout — 2 Row Brewing
Tastings - Dark Alley Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout - 2 Row Brewing

Product Name: Dark Alley Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

Product Description: From 2 Row: Flavor is very complex. You’ll find dark chocolate, molasses, coffee and vanilla. The bittersweet finish leaves the mouth watering. As it warms, a bit of raisin edges its way out, but the dark chocolate and coffee flavors stand strong. Note: These tasting notes reference the non-barrel-aged version.

  • Aroma
  • Appearance
  • Flavor
  • Mouthfeel

Overall Impression

A delectable barrel-aged imperial stout is a delightful fireside sipper. Dark Alley by 2 Row Brewing warms you from the inside.

  • Aroma: Coffee, dark chocolate
  • Appearance: Dark as night with a perfectly toasted-marshmallow head
  • Flavor: Coffee, caramel and a touch of black licorice (maybe raisin?) as it warms
  • Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, mouth-warming

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Notes: The tasting notes format is adapted from a Homebrew Academy Beer Tasting Mastery course I took in 2017. Utah Beer News is not compensated in any way for beers mentioned in the Tastings series.