Posted 6 months ago | Beer, Reviews, Virginia Beer

Ardent Dark Rye


I’ve only encountered a couple of Ardent’s beers in the past couple of years. One was a collaborative effort with Stone Brewing and Hardywood Park as a “welcome to the neighborhood” for the California company’s arrival in Virginia. That big beer was a fairly roasty and robust effort that is actually now mimicked a bit in this solo release, Dark Rye. The 9.8% ABV (60 IBU) imperial stout presents a another robust experience tinged with rustic and earthy notes.

I don’t know much about what went into the making of Dark Rye, but I certainly do love the outcome. The big stout is incredibly full bodied and packed with an earthy, robust character that may not be for everyone. Dark coffee, hop bitterness, a bit of a cigar tobacco char and peppery rye fill the mouth solidly, gliding effortlessly over the tongue to the long lasting and lightly drying finish. A gentle warmth of alcohol spreads through the chest after each sip.

If you like your stouts big, robust and in-your-face, then this one from Ardent should be on your future purchase list. It’s not barrel aged or crafted with esoteric ingredients — it’s just a full-bodied and hearty stout that is packed with roasty goodness. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but that just means there will be more for me. I’m just hoping that Dark Rye is still available as the cooler Autumn months start to arrive. It would make for a wonderful treat after raking leaves all afternoon.


Pours an opaque black in color with a dense head of tightly beaded and creamy brown foam. The cap drops slowly to a full ring.

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