Steph’s New Brew Review: Dark Hollow

Steph’s New Brew Review: Dark Hollow

Blue Mountain Barrel House’s Dark Hollow, a 10% imperial stout aged in oak bourbon barrels

Blue Mountain Barrel House was founded in 2011 by the Smack family as a sister brewery to the Blue Mountain Brewery, in Afton, Virginia. The original Blue Mountain Brewery opened in 2007.

The Barrel House focuses on the higher-end beers from Blue Mountain that require special processes, special ingredients, and a whole lot of patience. When brewing, they split a single mash to make two beers, a technique once standard in all of Britain.

Half of the Barrel House beers are aged in once-used charred American White Oak bourbon barrels, which give a charred oak and vanilla flavor to the beers. Brewmaster Taylor Smack learned traditional barrel aging techniques while brewing at the Goose Island brewpubs in Chicago.

Blue Mountain Barrel House says of Dark Hollow,

The mystery of great beer challenges the spirit of adventure in all who seek a higher level to this ancient brew. Dark Hollow blends the miracle of two crafts—brewing and distillation—to create a work greater than the sum of its parts. Our imperial stout has been aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels, patiently breathing in and out of the wood, gaining complexity, depth and character.”


dark brown, completely opaque, minimal head


woody, then bourbon with hints of chocolate, coffee and vanilla


warm bourbon flavor up front with lingering hints of dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla, ends with a slight sweetness of dark fruit and coconut


low carbonation, a bit thin


Perfect “sipping” beer. I love the complex, ever-changing flavor and the dry finish. I definitely want to try the other barrel aged beers they have to offer.

Headed to the Interlocken Festival in Arlington, VA this September? Be sure to stop by the Barrel House during your visit!

If you have a beer you think we should review, let us know!
And as always, toast our check-in on Untappd, and let us know what YOU think!

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1 comment

  1. Pingback: Enjoy Virginia Beauty and Beer at Blue Mountain Brewery and Barrel House | Beer Busters

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