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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

DarknessDarkness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,253 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2253
Reviews: 752
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.56%


Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Labels:

2007-Grim Reaper
2008-Devil
2009-Mummy
2010-Vampire
2011-Zombie
2012 - Werewolf
2013 - Brewcifer

(Beer added by: ryantupy on 10-08-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 2,253 | Reviews: 752 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of abfraser
abfraser

California

4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to waltonc for sharing a glass of this one. Cool looking bottle

A: Totally black with a smallish dark brown head.

S: This is some complex stuff. All the classic RIP aromas--roasted malt, chocolate, some coffee. But the real distinguishing factor here was a real dark fruit, almost like a fruitcake.

T/M: Deliciously creamy and full bodied. Great imperial stout flavors. Really like how the dark fruit flavors worked in here; it was very unique for the style. Everything was exceptionally well balanced, with nothing dominating or overpowering.

D: I could drink a lot of ton of this. Yet, I can barely get my hands on it, so it's gets a knock.

This was delicious, complex, and unique. Up there with the best of them.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 02:39:37 | More by abfraser
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up in a trade thanks to bigmar94.

A: Thick, black stout with a big tan head.

S: Dark roasted malts, coffee, and lots of fruit.

T: Again, dark roasted malts, lots of hops, and very sweet fruit flavor going on here. As abfraser said while we were drinking this, it's like a fruitcake stout. Very interesting and unusual taste.

M: Pretty thick and smooth, sticky from all the sugar.

D: Gotta ding Darkness on the drinkability front. I strained to drink a third of this bottle, but pushed myself and got it done. Not sure why it's not offered in smaller bottles. Pretty ridiculous.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 05:40:18 | More by waltonc
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

4.08/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Solid black with 2 fingers of creamy brown head that leaves sticky patchey lacing everywhere.

S - Milk chocolate, slight soy sauce, hints of smoke and roasty malts.

T - Similar to aroma. Milk chocolate, dark fruits, hint of soy sauce and licorice, some smoke and roasted malts.

M - Very creamy but slightly thin. The mouthfeel reminded me of a creamy porter.

D - The lighter body made this one too easy to drink, even at 10%+ ABV. Tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2008 01:14:24 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stub and Herb's. Notes via text.

Served in a pint.

Pours dark and pretty thick like last years. The smell is a bit sweeter and the hops and smoke seems less than last years. The taste is much sweeter and creamier. Hops are still at a good level but not quite a potent as before which is probably an improvement. The smoky/meaty character is much lower but still in the back. I liked the stronger smoke =. The body is much creamier and smoother than from the bottle last year. Above average drinkability but not as good drinkable at Ktg. Very good.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2008 21:51:25 | More by pwoods
Photo of AylwinForbes
AylwinForbes

Illinois

4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unlike the similarly cultish Dark Lord, the Darkness is at least obtainable. Surprisingly, we have been supping it locally for a few weeks now; I was worried it would have disappeared the first tapping night.

Anyway, to the beverage. Exceptionally dark, black as night, tho tempered by a tinge of burnt umber. The head is relatively thin with slight foaminess and is dark brown.

The aroma is arresting; a warm, complex but balanced combination of hop, espresso roast, dark chocolate, malt.

The smoothness is shocking: no hard edges or strong statements, but a gorgeous, luxurious, rich but subtle concoction. Not overly sweet like perhaps the Goose Island Bourbon Stout inclines to. The espresso bite reigns it in there. You don't want to pour this over ice cream; you want to savour and sip it.

This has a complex flavour profile that would put many much more expensive wines to shame, yet we are drinking for a fraction of the cost.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2008 05:06:21 | More by AylwinForbes
Photo of bluemoonswoon
bluemoonswoon

Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at the Grumpy Bulldog in Naperville. Was pretty surprised to see this on the beer menu here but very very happy that is was.

Served in a pint glass.

A: Black. One and a half inch, thick, coffee and chocolate colored head. While Darkness has Dark Lord beat in terms of head retention and lacing, both of which are very nice and rather surprising to see in a beer this size, Dark Lord wins out for sheer viscosity. I could swirl beer in the glass and could still see though it afterwards, still remains as one of the better looking imperial stouts out there today.

S: Again fantastic. Hops are a very big part of this beer but not so much so that they overpower everything else. This beer is still able to muscle across some incredibly creamy aromas that mixes wonderfully together with the sweet, chocolaty, dark fruitiness of the beer.

T/MF: This is where things get interesting. Super sweet and creamy, at once bitter, at once sweet, perfectly balanced. There are times when I want to imagine that there is bourbon and coffee in this beer but on taking another sip it just doesn't taste that way. It's like some combination of boozy chocolate and coffee and cream mixed with candied, almost over-ripe fruits covered in brown sugar and caramel. Put this way the beer sounds revolting, overly sweet and perhaps undrinkable, but an underlying bitterness keeps things from becoming a cloyingly sweet, sugary mess. Mouthfeel helps out here as well, not really all that thick, at least compared to some of the jacked up imperial stouts out there. Incredibly smooth, velvety almost, though could stand to be a little fuller, chewier, to be more specific.

D: I could drink this until my body forced me to stop. The beer was gone before I really even felt like I got to know it. The balance that this beer displays makes drinking it so easy that you almost forget about how complex it is, a beer to pay attention to, seek out, and always try again. Fantastic.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2008 15:09:17 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2008 bottle thanks to Erdinger2003. Shared with akorsak and Ffejherb.

A-Deep black with a medium tan head that receded to a thin ring that left decent lace.

S-Chocolate malt with hints of licorice and a bit of coffee. Mild spicy hops notes. A light bit of soy in the background.

T-Chocolate and light coffee up front. Rich, roasty malt with a smoky character. An odd flavour persists in the back that I just can't put my finger on.

M-Full bodied, smooth and quite slick. Nice lingering bitterness.

D-Complex and big bodied but compared to last years version I was a bit let down. I was hoping for the fresh hop/massive dark roasty malt bomb and this is not it. What happened? Nothing about this years offering really excited me. Good...but lacking.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2008 09:06:42 | More by Deuane
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Caught up with this at the Blue Nile in Minny. Black with huge off-beige head. Hoppy RIS.Sourness in first sip. The bitterness builds up, flows over the sugary finish. Integrated coffee, sugar to make it coffee liquor acceptable?ABove average mouthfeel. Better as warms up, was served a bit on cold side.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2008 15:39:14 | More by Sammy
Photo of Goliath
Goliath

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A huge thanks goes out to Bobby91w for this one.

Shared with friends.

Pours almost completely black and opaque, but has some very small ruby edges. A thin layer of light brown head forms on top and quickly dissipates. The head has poor retention, but left a little bit of lacing behind.

The nose is pretty nice. It seems fairly hoppy actually. Kind of citrusy, herbal, and spicey. Some roasty malts, and a bit of fruit as well are available on the nose.

The taste is ok, but a bit of a let down for this cowboy. A bit of hops, and some flavors I'm having trouble putting my finger on. It seemed kind of earthy to me, fruity, and a bit woody. It was really interesting. I was getting some molases as well. I was going to give it a 4 for taste, but I'm going to bump it to 4.5 since I think they've achieved something really new here. So many RIS's have the exact same flavor profile, but this at least has something new to offer and I really appreciate that.

The mouth is full bodied, and fairly creamy. It was lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate to high. It was tasty, and the booziness was masked and incorporated well enough. Overall, I'm pretty pleased but slightly disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2008 22:31:30 | More by Goliath
Photo of number1bum
number1bum

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Map Room, Chicago, IL.

10z glass was pitch black with a dark khaki head, which left a nice amount of stick and kept a thin lace.

Smell was very malty, with sweet chocolate aromas, some molasses and caramel, and dark fruit. Taste was also quite sweet, with chocolate and roasted malt flavors, lots of caramel and chocolate sweetness. Good amount of dark fruit, too, like maybe figs and plums. I found it to be maybe a tad too sweet, which took away from the drinkability for me. It was rich and full bodied, chewy and creamy. Overall a very good, very tasty beer. Glad I got to try this on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2008 06:24:40 | More by number1bum
Photo of bainard
bainard

Illinois

4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Onyx with a 1/2" tan head. Really nice look to this brew. Looks like a big RIS.

S - Smoke, fruit (grapefruit and peach, maybe?), and roast. Some coffee. The candi sugar starts to become VERY prevalent.

T - Though it opens very well, with flavors of vanilla and coffee, it starts almost too tart and too sweet, as if the candi sugar is dragging an otherwise great beer down. The warming gives you an idea of why the Belgian sugar is used in this brew. It's extremely unique and forward, but it could definitely use some mellowing.

M - The creaminess here is something most other brews would beg for.

D - The alcohol is there, of course, but it doesn't feel like a 10.3% beer. It's a really nice beer and worth every penny, but I believe this vintage just seemed too young to really appreciate right off the bat. I have a bottle that I'll be cellaring, and I'm quite sure this review will improve after I enjoy that.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2008 05:31:43 | More by bainard
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Darkness is right! GEez, black as all get out, heavy mocha head, about 1.5 inch, leaves slowly. Webby, sticky lacing. Best looking RIS I have seen in some time.

S - Light Soy quality, milk chocolate and something smoky and savory, thick and meaty, to the back end.

T - Perfect. It can't do better. Thick, wonderful, smoky malt, loaded with milk chocolate but held in balance to an almost clean finish. Wow.

M - Creamy, heavy, coating, carb and balance pretty near perfect. Lip smacking good.

D - A beer like this is sippin and kickin - not for session.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2008 04:26:24 | More by srandycarter
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle consumed on 11/16/08, courtesy of Deuane.

A - As the name implies, this RIS boasts a pitch black body with an attractive milky tan head that receded into a bubbly ring of patchy retention that left lots of lace around the glass.

S - Lots of milk chocolate malty goodness with hints of black licorice and mild coffee. There also a bit of smoked meat in the backend, giving the aroma an almost gamey (ie. foul... as in chicken) character. It's a bit subdued, but it's still quite odd.

T - Dark fruit and chocolate up front, with a bit of a smoked character resembling meat or gravy. Some coffee and licorice notes are also present.

M - Full bodied, thick and rich with a slick, oily texture and minimal carbonation. Alcohol presence is pretty mild for a RIS. Finish is moderately bitter on the palate.

D - Complex RIS with an interesting flavor profile. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this style. I tend to gravitate more toward oatmeal and coffee stouts, personally. I found this one to be slightly over-rated.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 19:40:23 | More by ffejherb
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bottle of the 2008 release, shared with Deuane and Ffejherb.

A: The stout is admirably dark, a pitch black monster that has an off-white head that doesn't linger for long.

S: The stout is bold, thick and syrupy with an ancho chile smokiness. The thick malts reveal chocolate and caramel over time.

T: Chocolate nuttiness leads off the ale, dark and thick with a graham cracker-like finish. The ancho chile flavor is present, giving the stout a buffalo wing-like taste. Syrupy flavors are intense, sweet with a near-cloying presence. Coffee and cocoa see the stout away and they may be the best features of the bottle.

M: Syrupy, the stout borders on cloying at times. The cocoa powder is nice but it doesn't last long enough to make a difference.

D: To paraphrase, did I really shave me legs for this? I am underwhelmed and ranked this one behind the Coronado bourbon RIS, Dark Hollow and Full Sail Black Gold. Don't believe the hype!

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 03:02:43 | More by akorsak
Photo of treyrab
treyrab

California

4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage.

Thanks to Hophead22 and scoobydank for this one! Shared this with jac5084 and nittanybeerfan last night.

A: Pours like sludge into the glass as it fills and creates a hearty head with a rather aggressive pour. Not the darkest beer I have seen, but there is only minor brown around the edges. Complete opaque though.

S: Smells like a damn DIPA! Actually, smells very similar to Stone XI Anniversary. I think it had my nose scratching its head. Tons of floral, cascade? hops in the nose then to the roast and coffee.

T: As Emeril would say...BAM! This is complete complexity with so many vast flavors. Tons of sweet, dark fruits come bursting through with nice raspberry, cherry, and raisin notes. After that, coffee, chocolate and cocoa hit you in the face. The hops are not bittering, but they are fresh and extremely flavorful.

M/D: Exceptionally creamy mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation. Doesn't go down like used oil like Darklord.

Overall, this is a fantastic RIS. One of the best without a doubt!

___

Updated review based on 2010 vintage. In short, the 2010 vintage is great, but does not have the complexities that the 2008 had. It is incredibly milky, thick, and smooth, but does not have the toffee or hop elements the 2008 had. Great, but not as good as the 2008.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 21:19:36 | More by treyrab
Photo of wisrarebeer
wisrarebeer

Wisconsin

2.17/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap at the Map Room in Chicago.

I have to agree with Beachbum1975. The beer I tried was not well-balanced. Too sweet with an almost dried malt extract (carmelized) nose and taste. Good mouthfeel and color was incredibly deep copper black.

I can't see the beer I tried aging well because there wasn't enough bitter hop counterbalance.

After everything I read I really expected this beer to be a lot more than what I had on tap.

In contrast, I had Black Albert the next day on tap and it was everything I hoped for.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2008 02:34:04 | More by wisrarebeer
Photo of CoolJosh
CoolJosh

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A Black as night, pours a spectacular khaki tan head disipitates to a satisfactory thin layer, unbelievably thick and syrupy
S Tons of piney hops come straight to the nose, bitter dark fruits but only subtley, some chocolate.
T Holy cow. I like to refer to a beer like this as a sock-knocker-offer. Just an amazing blend of caramel, sweet chocolate, dark cherries, plums, vanilla, burnt malts, roast, just the right amount of oats to produce a perfect creamy texture. There's just so much here and it all mixes together in an oblivion of perfection.

This beer is one of a kind, its so big and bold and flavor, yet so soft on the palate that I nearly shed a tear of sheer joy
Thanks treyrab for sharing thos one with me!

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 01:40:50 | More by CoolJosh
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
NittanyBeerFan

Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to treyrab for including me on this tasting. 2008 Vintage.

Holy crap is really all I can say about this beer.

A: Pours like a thick used 5W-30 blend. The beer, when poured slightly aggressively pours extremely smoothly and then develops a nice 1cm head. The head slowly dissipates to a thin film and laces beautifully all the way down the class.

S: If you were blindfolded, you would think that you were about to dip into an imperial IPA from the smell of this. Rich in hops with an evidence of balance with malts, you can really feel the bitterness in this. I would have liked to have smelled a little bit more chocolate and fruits in it, though. That's the only thing that keeps this from being a 5 on smell.

T: WOW complexity. Dark fruits come right up to the front of the flavor. Immediately following the fruits are the chocolate roasted and caramel malts. Finishes with a nice creamy taste. The cream really rounds out this beer. I think there may be some oats in there to add to the creamy texture. Surprisingly, there is not even a hint of booze, despite the nearly 11% ABV.

M: There's still a little carbonation in this beer which puts it in front of Dark Lord for me. Way lighter in texture than it looks, and it slides beautifully down the palate.

D: The 11% is the only thing that keeps this from being a 5. I can't see myself finishing a whole one of these, not that I wouldn't want to!

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 01:33:33 | More by NittanyBeerFan
Photo of robbyc1
robbyc1

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.11.09

On draft @ bavarian lodge
Nochange in ratings it's great, much more hops, very dry, much like last years - but a very drinkable stout.

On draft at the Binny's South Loop tap area. Almost gone...

Deep dark, oily black with a slight tan head, looks like it could be a Belgian Strong Dark or Stout.

Deep malt nose with some hoppiness.

Taste as deep malt with chocolate notes, not overdone, but zingy with a nice hop bite to offset the sweetness of the malt.

Full but not heavy, well balanced with low but fine carbonation.

Very drinkable for this style, nothing overpowers or is out of balance, but I perfectly balanced stout. Wish they delivered their cans to Chicagoland, maybe some day.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2008 23:34:34 | More by robbyc1
Photo of BeerTruth
BeerTruth

Connecticut

3.83/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

younger35 was kind enough to pick up a bottle of this for me. A great trader and a great frined, even though he's a Raiders fan. Thanks a bunch man, you're a true beer advocate.

750 ml multi-color wax dipped bottle poured into a snifter. 2008 vintage. Served at about 50 degrees.

Pours a complete onyx black with a powerful two finger dark brown head that remains for quite sometime. After a good five minutes or so and lots of clingy spiderweb lacing on the sides of the glass, a creamy layer of goodness rests atop the black hole underneath. Smell...whoa hops. Sticky pine, bitter pink grapefruit, and raw gritty earth up front in the nose. Underneath all those hops is the dark stuff. Coffee grinds, sweet molasses, and heavy roasted malts add to the complex aroma. So much going on in the nostrils, time for a sip. Taste begins with burnt caramel, candy sugar, and smokey dark chocolate. Some booze, figs, and oily hops midway. Not nearly as much hop flavor on the tongue than were in the smell, but they're still there. Finishes with a gooey brownie batter, raspberries, and spruce. Do I dare say there's too much going on for the taste buds to function? Perhaps. Big, bold, and chewy feel with a full body and subtle carbonation. The one problem I find with the mouthfeel is the powerful bittering hop sting. Overall the 10% abv is hidden quite well, but Darkness is still a sipper. Needless to say, this is a super complex, big ass beer and definitely one of a kind. Good? Of course. Exceptional? That may be a stretch. Surly continues to produce some crazy beers, what's next??? Thanks again Dan.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2008 01:10:11 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of beachbum1975
beachbum1975

Ohio

3.13/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2008 vintage: hand dipped gold wax with a layer of unseen black wax underneath - thanks go out to Faro for this particular trade!

This marks my first review of the 2008 Darkness, but in time there will be more reviews added, once there has been a year or so of cellaring done. Great, ominous label. Drank this on 11/10/2008 with soundbarrier, newtonty and a couple other non-BA friends. Served at the recommended 55 degrees.

Pours jet black with a surprisingly high viscosity when poured into my large tulip glass. Medium tan ¼ inch head after a semi-aggressive pour and leaves a nice, dark brown halo throughout the drink.

Floral and earthy hops all VERY evident in the nose. Smells of red and black cherries, alcohol, light chocolate, possibly light vanilla and a huge sweetness mixed with other dark fruits like figs. My initial thought is VERY sweet, too sweet and unbalanced. BIG hops presence, (much like Victory's Storm King), but even stronger! I am a hop head and I had a hard time getting through the overall sweetness so I didn't really taste any of the expected RIS attributes like: coffee, smoke, bitterness, dryness, char, chocolate, etc.

Please don't fill up my inbox with nasty beermails! Maybe I got a bottle from the bottom of a barrel, you never know... For what it's worth, I LOVE Surly's other offerings, but if you were lucky enough to acquire or trade a couple of the 08's, drink one now if you want to make a comparison after aging it for some time, but I can't say it enough - this one definitely needs some time to mature and balance out. More reviews to come...

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 16:13:14 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of IBUnit63
IBUnit63

Massachusetts

4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From hero27 via LNBA BIF - sweet haul, man - thanks!...750 bottle #174 (2007), black over maroon wax into Reidel Vinum Cab glass...

Pours a black coffee brown with a maple/peanut butter-colored head (1 finger) that comes and goes, leaving sparse bubbles in the middle of the glass. Very viscous...sparse to decent lacing but solid trails up and down the glass.

One word...bountiful. Hearty malt candy sweetness with salty roasted peanuts and extremely deep caramel and chocolate malt. Alcohol wraps up in the thickness of it all. Is there enough room for hops? A cool bitterness of grass and slight pine detected. Aroma mellows slightly after pouring and with time.

This, for all its depth and complexity, is much drier on the palate than on the nose. Grass hop profile comes about with slight pine in the back. Salty peanut brittle forward malt taste. I know the sweetness...I know there's alcohol, but it's quite contained. Bittersweet chocolate emerges and strengthens with warmth. Absolutely love the dryness of this.

After a while the alcohol gets a little warm but it works in Beautiful Chemistry with the dry, chocolate coffee texture along with solid hop wilderness. Slowly slides down the palate in its extreme viscosity. Finish is slow and sultry. In spots there's slight emptiness but the holes get filled in right quick.

Oh, it's a sipper alright, but a damn fine one at that. One of the ultimate examples of balance in overabundance and utter depth. One of the best!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 11:12:47 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of beckje01
beckje01

Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First review from 1-16-2007 This was from the Darkness's first batch. A: 4 S: 3 T: 3.5 M: 4 D: 3

A- Black with a low caramel head which is very thick, has some good lacing as well.

S- Fruity hops with some malt but very much in the background.

T- Starts with a bit of hop then a big hop hit, then a hint of vanilla. I can find some caramel and lots of underlying levels are there and get a hint of them but the hops are distracting.

M- Thick and smooth with some activity in my mouth, very nice really.

D- Easy if you like the hops pretty balanced but there is so much more in this beer that I just can't quite get to because of the hops. If you can find this you should have at least two, maybe not in the same night but at some point.

____

This is for the 2008 version that came out in October.

A- Black no light getting through this one, tan head with wonderful lacing.

S- Wow just a wonderful nose full of malts just so nice.

T- Nice malty some hops in there that really work well together, hints of caramel but very good.

M- Good thickness very smooth, work great with the flavors.

D- Very drinkable and very dangerous because of it.

This is my second review of this beer its much better then the first version put out. They have really improved the taste, hence why its only getting a 4 for taste if they can improve this much in this short of time they can improve much more.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2008 06:23:30 | More by beckje01
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review #400 so let's make it Darkness. Bottles courtesy of a couple of super generous traders in Surly country poured into a snifter.

Not surprising, it's dark...pours jet black with hints of mahogany as it comes out of the bottle. The head is tan and three fingers high before receding to an inch-thick cap that lingers throughout with tons of lacing.

While not typical of the style, I found the aroma fascinating. The first smell was of floral hops, especially pine, along with some citrus. As it warmed, some of the dark malts and chocolate came out, but still with a heavy hop presence. It smells damn near like a DIPA. Crazy.

The taste steers back toward an RIS, but not all the way there. The initial taste is a quick citrus hop kick that tingles the tongue before the dark roasted malts and bakers chocolate melt the tingling away to a thick malty coating. The finish is a tad dry with a slight hop bitterness as well. The sweetness of dark fruits comes out much more as it warms, but again this is probably the hoppiest tasting RIS I'be had.

The mouthfeel is truly exceptional. Very, very creamy but with the perfect amount of carbonation to help the flavors pop.

Well, this may not be the best RIS I've had, but it is probably the most original. I'd heard it was hoppy, but I just had no idea. Big thanks again to Brian and Brent for opportunity to try this gem.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 02:33:50 | More by gford217
Photo of roadhouse
roadhouse

Florida

4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the Bavarian Lodge on 11/05/08.

Appeared pitch black in color with a thin tan head. It sank down to a thin skim but could be revived with a bit of a swirl. Not much lace left behind however.

Aroma was a lot more mild than I would have expected compared to some other RIS but there was plenty of chocolate, molasses, coffee, a sugary sweetness, and a surprising hop presence.

The taste had a huge molasses, candi sugar, and chocolate sweetness at the beginning then towards the middle it begin to dry up a bit and some coffee flavors came out but before they could really set themselves down a big citrusy and piney hop presence broke through and mingled with all the other flavors, leaving a pleasant hoppy and milk chocolate linger.

Mouthfeel was thick, full, and viscous. Very creamy and velevety. Just the way I like them.

The thing that surprised me most about this one besides the hops was just how drinkable it was. I could easily have had four more glasses of this stuff with no problems at all. I'm glad I had the chance to try it, I can only hope it's a beer that eventually gets some distribution.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2008 22:32:06 | More by roadhouse
Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,253 ratings.