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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

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

3,099 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,099
Reviews: 800
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 3,160
Gots: 1,152 | FT: 88
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 (43) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,099 | Reviews: 800
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

Photo of Diaper-Daniels
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one truly lives up to all the hype. A real gem.

Photo of matt_drums92
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best beer I have ever had.

Photo of richj1970
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into snifter. 2013 vintage.

A: Pours pitch black with no light penetration at all. Geneerous 3 finger dense mocha head that lasted forever and left 360 degree lacing.

S: Roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, molasses, and vanilla. Maybe a bit of tobacco and oak.

T: Toasted bread, dark chocolate, caramel, and raisins. Maple sryup sweetness. Alcohol is apparent just at the end.

M: Full bodied with a nice creamy texture. Fairly highly carbonated for an imperial stout.

O: Truly wonderful stout. Nice complexity of flavors and aromas. Something I need to trade for again.

Photo of SteveB24
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Look-color of the beer is jet black, beer pours a shocking two fingers of frothy, tan head. wonderful lacing left on side of the glass.
Smell- Roasted malts, caramel molasses, coffee, milk chocolate, Raisens.
Taste- Unbelievably complex yet super smooth, roasted malts, toast, raisins, plums, milk chocolate, coffee, pink peppercorns. so much sweetness but banked by the toasted grain taste of the malts and some fruity spiciness.
Feel- Full bodied but not quite oil. perfectly creamy.
Overall- one of the best stouts, if not the best, that i've tried. its really beyond words.

Photo of ghostwalker
3.91/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Edition
Appearance: Dead black body, light mocha head.

Nose: Light, not much. I expected more aroma.

Flavor: Semi-light for an RIS, hoppy. Cocoa and cofee on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin but coating.

Overall: Rich, flavorful, surprisingly drinkable. A really good RIS, only marred by the thin body.

Photo of Vukusich
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

2014 Barrel aged.

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Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,099 ratings.