Origin of Darkness: Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout with Black Truffles

This weekend I found yet another Origin of Darkness beer that’s aged in bourbon barrels, this one brewed with black truffles, and just after I had typed this first line, right after the words “black truffles,” I spilled it.

Everywhere. All over everything.

On my notebook, on my Echo Show, all over the desk, on the white carpet (just after telling my girlfriend how I’d managed to not spill anything on this carpet), and some even got on one of my cameras. It’s amazing none spashed up onto my computer keyboard. There’s some on my wall.

It’s dark and sticky. My first taste was to quickly cover the bottle’s opening with my mouth as a bunch of it began foaming out.

It’s all under control now. At least, it’s all cleaned up except for part of the wall, which I missed. All in all, I only lost about 5 ounces of it, thanks to some quick reflexes that I can only attribute to years of video gaming. And so, I now take the first sip, without panicking, to see how it tastes.

Not great. That’s my first impression. It tastes … earthy, but not in a pleasant way. It tastes like there’s mud in it. Seriously. It tastes like beer mixed with dirt water. Whatever bourbon notes are present are overshadowed by this bitter, filthy taste.

Very disappointing, especially considering how much I loved the last two. I mean, I loved the last one so much I practically swooned.

This is a hard pass for me. I will finish it, because I paid a lot of money for it, and I have a hard time wasting beer — even if it’s not wonderful. But, yuck. I guess the Universe was trying to save me from a bad experience by causing me to spill it.

To sum it up: this one is not Yummy Mojo.

Origin of Darkness: Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout with Vanilla and Coconut

I’ll sum it up for you right here: this is vanilla bourbon beer candy.

So impressed was I with their miso beer, that when I spotted this variation at a store in the Chicago area I snatched it up.

Popping the top I can smell chocolate malts, vanilla, and hints of coconuts. If it didn’t say anything about bourbon, I wouldn’t have noticed it, but being that I know it’s there, I can catch the faint ghost of it if I stick my nose practically inside the bottle.

First sip: oh my heavens. Oh, praise to the goddess Ninkasi. This is a dessert beer to be sure. It’s delicious with a capital “DAH.”

It has the smoothest, richest mouthfeel I have encountered in a beer in a good long while. If I were still searching for “the holy beer” as I used to in my old GroovyBrew beer blog, this would instantly qualify. Wow.

The taste: bourbon and chocolate right up front, hints of coconut highlights, and sweet as a dark milk chocolate bar. No coffee notes in this one. No upwelling of bitterness at all. It’s vanilla bourbon beer candy.

Okay, though, you must know: I like my beers rich, dark, and on the sweet side. I’m not into bitter or ultra-hoppy beers. If you are, then this will probably not be a beer for you.

I like it! And I wish I’d bought more of it. But then again, it was not cheap, and I’m pretty sure drinking an entire bottle is probably the equivalent of eating two loaves of bread and at least three donuts. That is to say, this is exactly what you would want to drink if you needed to pack some pounds onto your frame.

Which is the opposite of what I need to do.

More information about this and other beers from the same series can be found at COLLECTIVEARTSBREWING.COM

Origin of Darkess

I’m drinking the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard of: bourbon barrel aged miso beer. Like, miso from miso soup … beer. Insane, right? Ridiculous.

Not a joke. April 1st was yesterday.

This is also not a joke: It’s wonderful. I don’t know how or why miso plays a part in it. I mean, I love miso soup, but I’m not picking up any taste connections here. It must be too subtle for me to suss out. It’s huddled far under the cover of the thrumming warm cello notes of the barrels of bourbon that was this beer’s literal womb.

First sip: dark milk chocolate malt, dark bread, and an almost instant upwelling of rich woody bourbon. And, really good bourbon, too. So warm, so toasty, so fine! But … miso? Not getting it. It must be contributing to the notes somehow, but if it didn’t proclaim right out front that it had something to do with “white miso” I would never have guessed.

There is a lot of alcohol involved. 11.5% per volume, in fact, and I’m feeling it rather than tasting it. But then again … bourbon. It is not a surprise. And this is a heavy dark bottle holding 1 pint and 9 fluid ounces. My dear reader, I will not be driving after drinking this entire bottle.

From the bottle’s label itself:

Origin of Darkness, 2018 Release

The Origin of Darkness project is a collaborative effort with our brewing friends from around the globe. The mission: to infuse “terrior” into premium barrel aged brews by including ingredients that are representative of each brewer’s homeland.

R. Morrow, Brewmaster

It’s imported by The Wild Beer Co. into the good state of Illinois, USA by Collective Arts Stowe, VT USA, and is a product of Canada brewed by Collective Arts, Hamilton, Ontario Canada. Website: COLLECTIVEARTSBREWING.COM

If I were still searching for the “Holy Beer” (as I was back in my beer blogging days) I would definitely have counted this as a holy beer contender and would have rated it high on the scale. This is up there in the best 10 or so beers I’ve ever had, which is why I’m bothering to write this, in 2019, a good 11 years after I gave up beer blogging.

It’s that good.

If you see it at your local connoisseur beer emporium, and you like anything to do with bourbon-barrel aged brews, snag it.

Avery Mephistopheles’ Stout

Here’s the brew to drink when you want the excuse, “The devil made me do it!” Being that it’s 16% alcohol, you won’t really be lying. Especially if you’ve had six of them.

Officer: “Have you been drinking, son?”

Mephistopheles Drinker: “It was Satan, I tell you! Satan!”

I’m drinking this one tonight by special request. My old friend Michelle emailed me, saying, “Tried this one yesterday and wanted to suggest it: Avery Mephistopheles Stout. Really, really good!”

This girl knows her beers. I am giving it a try.

Popping the top, I give it the old sniff routine. Don’t even have to put it near my face, I can smell it from where it sits on the table. The scent of sweet dark malt drifts out, slithers around, caressing my olfactory pleasure center. A deeper whiff tells the story of strong hops buried like treasure in the darkness.

I can also smell that alcohol, giving a vodka edge to the scent.

Okay, enough sniffing. Time to raise it to my lips.

My mouth is watering in anticipation.

Okay, my initial reaction is “Wow.” That is a good sign. The taste is a multi-dimensional bomb that goes off in slow motion, the fire running through every color in the beer spectrum: Sweet, tart, hoppy, vodka-alcohol, brown malt, bitter, and more hoppiness. The initial aftertaste is a sharp bitterness that quickly fades to a dull balanced malty bitterness that lingers a long while.

Each successive sip runs through the same explosion.

Halfway through the 12 oz. bottle, I am already feeling a buzz.

Four-fifths the way through the bottle, my palate is too numb to experience the flavor bomb. It’s faded to slightly sweet, alcohol-soaked dark malt. Heck, even the bitterness is subdued.

My tongue is drunk. I daresay I’m not too far behind. I definitely wouldn’t go driving a car right now. This bottle is the equivalent of drinking four or five regular beers at the same time. If you’re talking about 3.2 beer, it’s like an entire 6-pack in one bottle.

Officer: “Son, are you sure you’ve only had one beer?”

Mephistopheles Drinker: (Vomits on Officer’s shoes)

Okay, I’ve finished the last slip. The predominant taste is sweet. It like beer candy. I give a healthy belch and feel the burn of alcohol fumes.

My god, how disgusting. Well…

The devil made me do it!

Chicken & Cheese Bachelor Starch Surprise

Serves three, or one bachelor for three days.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 TBS margarine
  • 3/4 cup frozen onion/pepper mix
  • Wal-Mart Great Value Chicken Stuffing Mix
  • Wal-Mart Great Value Chicken Flavor Pasta & Sauce
  • Idahoan Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Bring water and margarine to a boil in medium saucepan.

Add package of Chicken Flavor Pasta & Sauce.

Add the frozen onion/pepper mix because, oh, what the heck. Onions and peppers are good.

Continue boiling over medium heat for seven minutes, stirring occasionally and wondering if it is supported to look so soupy.

Realize you used a 2 cup measure instead of a 1 cup measure, which means there is twice the water that’s supported to be in there.

Panic and search the cupboard for more pasta.

Finding none, throw in the stuffing mix, because — what the heck — it’s been in the cupboard for at least two years now.

Determine that it still looks too soupy to eat, so search for something else you can throw in to soak up the water.

Discover the package of Idahoan Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes and wonder how long that’s been up there.

Stir in the entire package.

Describe over the phone how disgusting it looks to your girlfriend. Wince as she laughs hysterically at you.

Take it off the heat and let it congeal as you look up the phone number of the local pizza delivery place.

Right before you dial the pizza number, you take an experimental taste.

Surprise! It’s delicious!

Wash it down with a bottle of good beer.

Life is good.

Salmon Love Patties

Here is a recipe from a girl I was dating back in 2007. It was yummy then and is still yummy now!

  • 2 Large Cans Salmon
  • 3 Eggs
  • ¼ Cup Mayo
  • ½ Sleeve Cheddar Pringles, crushed
  • ¼ Cup shredded (or grated) Parmesan cheese
  • Black Pepper (as much as you want)
  • Garlic Powder (to taste)
  • Celery Salt (to taste)

Mix it all up with a fork.

Heat up some olive oil in a sauté pan, make patties and brown about 6 minutes on each side (not too hot, or they will char!)

When patties are cooked, mix melted butter and lime juice, spoon over the top of patties, and serve!

Good for your heart: in love, and in health.