29 Jan Brazos Valley Slippin Into Darkness
Brazos Valley Slippin Into Darkness
Brazos Valley Brewing Company
Packaging: Draft, 4 pack 12 ounce cans
Well, well, well, well, well… I was slipping into HEB to grab some Bride’s Cake ice cream because I recently learned that it’s been bumped up from a seasonal to a year round offering, and while ice cream and beer don’t usually go together in my head, the floor plan of my local HEB says otherwise. Plus, it’s been a while since I grabbed something from BVB, and seasonal beers are almost as awesome as seasonal ice cream.
As with so many other Brazos Valley Brewing beers, Slipping Into Darkness is inspired by music that’s before my time but not above my head. My mom was, and still is, a die hard classic rock fan, and with countless games of, “Who sings this one,” she championed the cause that is good music.
Thank God it stuck.
This one’s inspired by War’s funky-sounding, darkly-written jam aptly named Slippin’ Into Darkness.
While I experienced plenty of music on my mom’s account, my first recollection of War on my own was in a Santa Cruz skate video. Where my old school skateborders at? Nothing made me happier than waxing ledges with Gulf Wax for that supreme slide. A skater whose name escapes me was blunt sliding up and down similarly waxed ledges to the tunes of Spill the Wine. I can still see it in my head, but my best attempts at Googling for it have proven futile.
One search that won’t be futile is seeking out Brazos Valley Slippin Into Darkness. When I think of Brazos Valley Brewing, lots of things come to mind, but a decadent, robust, perfect stout isn’t really one of them.
Slippin Into Darkness is their Russian Imperial Stout, and if I remember hearing correctly on What’s on Tap Radio, this is meant to be a series with multiple variants. One coconut, one something, and one something else. Sounds about right… Right? (James, Chad, lemme know, man!)
Maybe I dreamt the variants, but this one’s full of coffee, cocoa nibs, and coconut, and that’s for sure. The red and white striped label makes that much pretty clear with it’s bold, condensed, Russian-esque typography. Unlike other BVB brews, there’s not a featured illustration. One thing I know for sure I didn’t dream up is my ability to take creative shots of beer. I’m a graphic designer with some experience designing labels for Houston beers, but I’m definitely no photographer. Shameless plug: Josh Olalde has taught me well.
But I digress… Illustration or not, this beer pours so dark brown that it’s pretty much jet black, even under studio lighting. There’s a chocolaty-brown head that lingers like the music that inspired it.
Brazos Valley Slippin into Darkness reeks of mildly-sweet, toasted coconut and coffee, while the cocoa nibs are like the bass in the background, bringing it altogether but possibly overlooked if not for the whole.
Each sip of Brazos Valley Slippin into Darkness pushes me further towards the light. This is the perfect beer to share with a daring friend that’s not scared away by the jet-black appearance of a stout.
With the super-smooth sip tempting my palette with bakers chocolate and coconut and then finishing off like a cup of drip coffee from your favorite local shop, each sip envelopes the palette in richness. The finish isn’t roasty or bitter at all, and somehow this massive 10.5% beer drinks like a silky lullaby.
It reminds me a lot of Oskar Blues Death By Coconut, but it’s a bit more balanced with less emphasis on the chocolate and coconut. That’s one of my favorite dessert stouts of all time, and it’s one that’s always been well received when I share it with people that don’t consider themselves to like dark beer. Since this Slippin Into Darkness is a Houston beer, I’ll need to stock up on it in place of Death by Coconut.
Like I mentioned, I was able to find mine at HEB, but you can find cans at Total Wines and Specs all over town. If you’re just looking for a pour instead of cans, you can find Brazos Valley Slippin Into Darkness at Big Ben Tavern in Sugarland, The Dig Pub in Cedar Parl, and The FARM in Spring as well as several others. Check Untappd for more. Lately many of our beer reviews have been Hop Drop beers, but you’ll have to find this one on your own. Double shucks.
Brazos Valley Slippin Into Darkness
Like I said, I don’t think of BVB and stouts in the same thought bubble, but this one has broadened my idea of BVB’s capabilities. Everything I’ve ever had from them was good, great, or better, and this one’s at the top of the list. The smooth richness and balance is so perfect without any of the tell-tale RIS bitterness.
What’d you think about Slippin Into Darkness? Was it all darkness, or do you see it bringing a few friends to the light? Let us know by voting below or tell us about it in the comments! Beers to you, Houston!