Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,148 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,148
Reviews: 805
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 3,168
Gots: 1,167 | FT: 89
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ryantupy on 10-08-2006

Starting in 2014, bottled Darkness will be aged in whiskey barrels. This listing is ONLY for Darkness that is NOT barrel-aged. For 2014 Darkness go here:  http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/p ... 14/141724/ 

Labels:
2007-Grim Reaper
2008-Devil
2009-Mummy
2010-Vampire
2011-Zombie
2012 - Werewolf
2013 - Brewcifer
View: Beers (47) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,148 | Reviews: 805
Photo of blockdude
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had the '012 this past night and i've been wanting to sample this for the longest time. First off, if there is any imperial stout out there that shows barrel aging is not not necessary to make a damn good beer this is it. This was medium bodied and the nose was pretty bourbon heavy. The beer had noticeable bourbon to it but did not match the amount I got on the nose. I have to say, this was incredibly smooth and had so much complexity that I could care less if it was barrel aged or not. One sip, I tasted bourbon, chocolate, and maple syrup, while another sip I tasted coconut and raisins. This beer does have a good amount of hype but for someone who is not one to seek out imperial stouts, I was impressed.

Photo of kkleu357
4.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Cooper’s Tavern. Only $6 a glass. I've had Darkness 2014 a few times, from the bottle only though. This was on draft and lacked the nice bourbon oak taste that I remember. Still, was pretty darn good. More of the chocolate and raisin flavor came through. And hell, at $6 a glass, that was one awesome deal.

Photo of Treyliff
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage poured into a tulip glass

A- pours motor oil thick jet black in color with a thick and creamy dark tan head that retains long after the pour, leaving some lacing behind

S- tons of dark & tart cherry aroma up front that smells like the filling of a cherry pie. Underneath the cherry notes are complex layers of chocolate malt that add aromas of dark chocolate, caramel, molasses, brown sugar pie crust, even a hint of cinnamon. Just a hint of oxidation

T- the dark cherry flavors up front follow the nose and add a light tartness, complex flavors of dark chocolate malt, molasses, burnt brown sugar, coffee, fig, date & raisin. More black cherry on the finish with lingers of dark fruit and molasses

M- thick and heavy body with low carbonation leads to a thick and chewy mouthfeel that continues into a creamy velvety finish

O- a supper that is loaded with dark fruit flavors and aromas, perfect mouthfeel makes it a pleasure to drink

Photo of von_kaiser
4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013....this stuff is no fn joke! It's def ready.

Photo of Codycusey
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2012 drank on 4-30-15. Wow. If you have it, drink it.

Photo of Tucquan
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2015-04-29 in Portland, OR at Apex on tap

A - Dark opaqur brown with a 1-finger brown head and great lace

S - Rich dark roasted grain, chocolate, molasses, earthy spice.

T - Dark and milk chocolate, dark roast, some char, molasses, prune, some coffee, vanilla.

M - Thick body and light carb. Creamy as can be.

O - Absolutely delicious. One of the best Imperial stouts I've ever had.

Photo of simcoeluv
3.04/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not barrel-aged.

Had heard a lot about it, so was disappointed.

I could go through the list, but bottom line it was sugar sweet.

Poured it out without finishing.

Photo of KnowYourCraft
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours brown and leaves a small espresso colored head, in the glass it looks like glossy motor oil.

Aroma: Huge rush of chocolate, followed closely with roasted coffee, and tart cherry.
When there is a head I can detect vanilla as well.

Taste: Instantly hit with that roasted coffee, that is quickly balanced by chocolate, then this beer turns and hits you with some tart cherry and chocolate only. The finish hits you with char first and then molds into an awesome blend of tart cherry, roasted coffee, chocolate, and a good amount of vanilla. All the flavors mold together wonderfully and every flavor complements other flavors. This is probably the best tasting non barrel aged imperial stouts I have had so far.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thick feel; a little sticky which actually works with this beer quite well, very smooth and drinkable. The flavor lingers a little but it is slightly muted leaving you craving for more.

Overall: This is an excellent imperial stout and Surly has executed it very well. This is definitely a new favorite for me and I need more!

Photo of BeerRay
4.87/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Super thick and flavorful. Great beer!

Photo of JasonHaviland
3.28/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

EBF Sample -- not for me. Way too boozy for me, too hot on the finish with strong astringency. I was really looking forward to this one, but it fell flat. Look and smell were fine, but I didn't feel like it was well integrated with the bold flavors and interesting nuances I was hoping for. Will try again, but won't seek this one out.

Photo of mj81
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

rating for the 2013 version. Best RIS I've had to date.

Photo of benzalman
3.56/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Sample at EBF. This was a let down for me. Would try it again.

Photo of WoostaBia
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tasted at Extreme beer fest. Awesome beer. Quite a treat: sweet, roasted maltiness, chocolate, balsamic vinegar, bitter middle and coffee finish.

Photo of KVNBGRY
4.27/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I liked the '14 better. It's barrel aged, and you could obviously tell.

Photo of BeerCrazyCrow
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasty, Bourbony and smooth. Great taste sooo smooth

Photo of SierraFlight
4.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared at Hunahpu’s day 2014 in the massive bottle share, poured into souvenir taster. Opaque black body with a resilient tan cap that leaves webbing all over the little glass. Aroma features roasted malt, coffee, raisin, unsweet chocolate, dried cherries, and a surprising bit of soy and citrus. Taste is roasty malt and dried fruit sweetness, coffee and cocoa bitterness. On the lower end of the full body spectrum, thick and creamy texture, soft but appropriate carbonation, warming boozy finish.

Photo of Evango
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013. I love the alcohol sting.

Photo of cubs943
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I thought this beer was pretty good.

Photo of jason3125
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 poured into a Hill Farmstead glass

Photo of suckaj
2.5/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

majorly disappointed with this, was overly malty

Photo of KillerJigger
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Have put this up against many others and was my favorite almost always. That being said I have a BA Darkness in the cellar and i can't wait!

Photo of sordyl
3.56/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was the 2013 Chicago distribution when Surly came into the market. Opened for a bottle share, smelled and looked great but the tastes really was not exceptional at all.

Photo of stortore
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 750 ML bottle into a a snifter.

Pours a small but tight head, dissipates pretty quickly. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, a little coffee. Big, rich taste, malty but not as roasty as many other RIP's. Chocolate very prevalent, pretty sweet for the style. Good body but maybe a little thinner feel than I expected.

This is a great beer and grab it if you have the chance. Looking forward to the BA 2014 version.

Photo of MichaelNeelsen
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank a 2011 "Zombie" 750ml bottle after aging 3 years, 2 months.

L: Poured like liquid silk. Pitch black, no light penetration. Mocha brown head dissipates and then reappears with each sip. The beer is very reflective - you can see yourself in it.

S: Raisins. Dark chocolate. Brown sugar. Dates. Fig. Smells like bourbon even though it's not barrel aged. Dark cherries.

T: As my friend who drank it with me put it, "Rich and sweet and right down the middle. There's no smoke and mirrors here."

F: Like liquid Robert Patrick. If you could drink the liquid T-1000 from Terminator 2, it would feel like this beer. Feels like wine without the dryness or tack. Glides over the tongue. Thin in the best way.

O: A real treat. It's not my favorite Russian Imperial, but it's really damn good - and a very unique experience to drink. I'll look to get a younger bottle and drink it without aging to compare. Highly recommended.

Photo of RushLimbmalt
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage I have had every vintage of this brew. Every single one has been stellar. Do yourself a favor and find some. This is an awesome Russian Imperial Stout

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Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,148 ratings.