There is a popular saying that goes something like this, Every beginning has an end and every end has a new beginning…
While I doubt that author Santosh Kalwar had either popular culture or craft beer in mind when he wrote the above, it is somewhat relevant in the case of Turning Point Beer’s newest release dubbed Endgame which was released the same weekend as the Marvel movie of the same name that marked the end of a series spanning six years and 15 different movies.
As much as the movie Endgame was the final chapter in its world, the Turning Point incarnation with the same moniker marked a milestone for the Bedford, Texas-based brewery, being only the second barrel-aged beer that it had packaged after Release The Krausen debuted in March. Coming in at 15.4 percent ABV, it was also the brewery’s highest ABV creation so far and consisted of an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels for 12 months and conditioned on six gallons of cacao nibs and 11 pounds of Madagascar vanilla beans.
The 10-barrel batch debuted on April 27 packaged in 500ml waxed bottles priced at $16 each with no purchase limit, the latter of which led to an extremely quick sellout, at least by Dallas-Fort Worth brewery standards.
As expected, Endgame pours a nice, midnight black and features a finger of tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving behind a thin ring around the edge. The aroma from the glass is a combination of strong oak, dark cocoa nibs, bitter chocolate, dates and creamy vanilla sweetness.
Although I had been warned ahead of time, I am still a bit surprised at how pervasive the bitter dark chocolate note is on the palate from the start. It’s almost like melted chocolate was dumped into the bottle right before it was capped. Having said that, the profile is creamy overall there are other flavors that are easily noticeable, including fudge, oak, tobacco, toffee and slight bourbon. While not overwhelming by any means, both marshmallow and vanilla sweetness are obvious on the finish where they join a bit of an alcohol bite. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I would like—albeit still easily within normal limits for the style—but the carbonation is lively enough to dance on my tongue with every sip.
As the beer warms, the sweetness becomes more evident in the profile, with the combination reminding me strongly of brownie batter in liquid form. The alcohol also becomes more obvious but is still well below what I was expecting from a beer with an ABV as high as it is.