Ribbon of Darkness
Crux Fermentation Project, Bend OR

Inky black and devoid of light, this fittingly named Imperial Porter—part of Crux’s banished series—is a triumph of flavor. Introducing itself with aromas of rich vanilla, chocolate-covered figs, heady bourbon, and tonka bean, Ribbon of Darkness manages to balance sophistication with an equal portion of pure fun. Sweet without becoming saccharine, this bourbon barrel-aged charmer is creamy and full-bodied, hiding its considerable strength behind notes of dark chocolate, molasses, and a trace of black licorice. Only the boozy exhale that follows a bittersweet, cocoa-tinged finish cautions you to take it slow. Sure, you could eat that last piece of holiday candy, but this is better. 

Price: $12 /500 mL bottle | 11.0% ABV

Review by Sip Contributor Ben Keene, @where_and_back