1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

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

2,629 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,629
Reviews: 763
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 2,915
Gots: 1,017 | FT: 71
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Darkness Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,629 | Reviews: 763 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of leaversuch
leaversuch

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -11.1%

06-25-2014 13:51:29 | More by leaversuch
Photo of Ant4711
Ant4711

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev 0%

07-03-2014 13:03:15 | More by Ant4711
Photo of PatB1987
PatB1987

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev 0%

03-03-2014 22:10:43 | More by PatB1987
Photo of saxclar123
saxclar123

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev 0%

06-03-2014 03:16:23 | More by saxclar123
Photo of RussBeercier
RussBeercier

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

01-24-2014 15:44:02 | More by RussBeercier
Photo of PhxHorn
PhxHorn

Arizona

4.45/5  rDev -1.1%

This one pours almost black and totally opaque, with a one-inch tan head. Smells moderately of chocolate and coffee. Tastes of chocolate, coffee, molasses, and oreo cookie, the cookie part. A first-rate combination of flavor. Mouthfeel is outstanding, a creamy smooth feel, almost as if it was from a nitro tap. Very drinkable for a beer this big. This one walks with the big boyz.

12-23-2009 04:30:36 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of TheEvilGenius
TheEvilGenius

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

03-07-2014 00:20:20 | More by TheEvilGenius
Photo of my_knew_craft
my_knew_craft

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev 0%

08-05-2014 00:08:37 | More by my_knew_craft
Photo of roger617
roger617

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev 0%

12-23-2013 17:49:17 | More by roger617
Photo of nkelley77
nkelley77

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +11.1%

07-19-2014 23:16:00 | More by nkelley77
Photo of Hophead101
Hophead101

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -9.3%

drank on 12.4.08 at Clark St Ale House with friends from work.

I finally got a chance to taste the nectar known as the Darkness. There is so much hype around this beer, you can imagine my extreme joy when I walked into this bar and saw this on tap. Since I can't get it in PA - this was a pleasant surprise.

Of course, as the name says, it pours a dark brown, basically black beer. Had a nice tan head and the lacing on the glass was great. The smell was crisp and sweet, woodsy and smoky. There was a twinge of alcohol in the nose as well.

the taste is simply WOW. very malty, very sweet and you can absolutely taste the alcohol (which is 10%+). there is the roasted malt taste and the earthy and woodsy tastes as well. Mouthfeel was surprising nice with a bit of a sharp alcohol taste.

12-09-2008 14:27:53 | More by Hophead101
Photo of DaveJanssen
DaveJanssen

Germany

3.65/5  rDev -18.9%

2010 version split three ways. Reviewed 14 January 2011.

Ar: Mild smoke, full malt, dark caramel, brown malt, burnt but clean, hop bitterness

Ap: Thick and creamy, large dark tan head, great retention, black with brown edges, light lace hints

T: Unique caramel, dark but smoother than aroma, light alcohol, full but slightly indistinct, smooth burn/heavy toast, sweet and full reasonably hoppy, mild fruit, mild alcohol

M: Creamy and full, low/medium carbonation, chexy, smooth alcohol

O: Appearance and mouthfeel are the best parts of this beer, good but indistinct and lacking direction, sort of like ten-fidy and lagunitas imperial stout in sweetness

09-18-2011 21:04:03 | More by DaveJanssen
Photo of gregshead
gregshead

California

4.58/5  rDev +1.8%

2010 version (vampire) shared with a couple of beer loving friends. A big thanks to Biglobo8971 for trading me this one.

A: Pours a jet black and a half finger of a dark brown head. Darker than any head I've seen come out of a RIS before. The beer has a pretty strong viscosity as you move it around in the glass.

S: Deep roasted grain smell along with dark fruits and molasses.

T: Sweet molasses is prevalent throughout. Hops at the end keep the sweetness in check. Some dark fruit flavors but less so than the nose indicated it might. Lots of rich dark malt flavors without the burnt taste so many RISs have.

M: Thick and creamy with very little carbonation on the tongue. I'd argue one of the best feels of any RIS I've had.

O: To me, this is currently one of the top 3 non-barrel aged RIS/Double Stouts I've had the opportunity to try. Can't wait to trade for next year's version and try it all over again.

05-09-2011 05:32:04 | More by gregshead
Photo of MADhombrewer
MADhombrewer

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev 0%

2011 batch. Thanks to Hopsbreath for this.

Appearance- Black with a small tan head. Good lacing. 4.5/5

Smell- Dominately chocolate and vanilla. Bits of coffee. 4.5/5

Taste- Coffee and chocolate are first in the taste. Little vanilla in the background. Bits of alcohol. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- Thicker than the average RIS but not by much. Some dryness at the end. 4.5/5

Overall- This isn't the first time I have had it but the first time I reviewed it. Very good RIS. I would have this again for sure. 4.5/5

02-06-2012 14:50:09 | More by MADhombrewer
Photo of CaptainQ
CaptainQ

Washington

4.5/5  rDev 0%

10-21-2013 05:50:59 | More by CaptainQ
Photo of AHeaston8
AHeaston8

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev 0%

06-02-2014 03:47:02 | More by AHeaston8
Photo of TGanyone
TGanyone

Iowa

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

02-01-2014 15:14:45 | More by TGanyone
Photo of strangebrew321
strangebrew321

Indiana

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

11-14-2011 16:01:47 | More by strangebrew321
Photo of Bigtwin
Bigtwin

Michigan

5/5  rDev +11.1%

12-17-2013 14:14:04 | More by Bigtwin
Photo of FeelinSurley
FeelinSurley

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +11.1%

04-13-2013 20:02:34 | More by FeelinSurley
Photo of HereforBeer
HereforBeer

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

07-06-2013 13:18:44 | More by HereforBeer
Photo of LincolnHawk
LincolnHawk

Djibouti

4/5  rDev -11.1%

07-11-2013 15:42:59 | More by LincolnHawk
Photo of cjacobsen
cjacobsen

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -6.2%

Had in a snifter out of the only keg I think I'll see in Chicago. Enjoyed this brew with sweemzander.

Poured pitch black with a quarter inch of brown head on it.

The smell was nice, sweet, chocolatey. There were hints of hops but they didn't really stand out.

The taste was also sweet, dark roasted chocolate malt, had a bit of nut and licorice in there towards the back and finished with the essence of hops. As it warmed, the taste grew heavier on the bitterness and had a raisin taste to it within the last few sips.

This beer was well carbonated and just right. No harshness on the tongue.

This was a really nice beer. I wish I could have tried some of the past years to put it up against but I'll take what I can get in trying the 2010 version. It was a great tasting brew and I think it lives up to the hype.

11-16-2010 15:03:24 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of dvsbizzyb
dvsbizzyb

California

4.6/5  rDev +2.2%

Appearance - Beer is similar to black ink with a small brown head that leaves a thick sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell - Very subtle to the nose. Scents of chocolate, toffee, licorice, and roasted malt.

Taste - Full flavored with a complex malty flavor to it. Sweet fruits, chocolate with a coffee character. The closer the beer got to room temperature the better this beer got.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body and low carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

Overall - Reminiscent of a Dark Lord, but a little thinner. This is a beer I want to stock up on for sure.

07-31-2011 06:47:39 | More by dvsbizzyb
Photo of TheDudeRules
TheDudeRules

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +11.1%

11-19-2011 18:35:26 | More by TheDudeRules
Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,629 ratings.