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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,006 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,006
Reviews: 791
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,122
Gots: 1,143 | FT: 79
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/ 

2007-Grim Reaper
2012 - Werewolf
2013 - Brewcifer
View: Beers (42) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,006 | Reviews: 791 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jjayjaye
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap Darkness Day '09 at Surly then again with lunch at Stub and Herb's. Pours opaque with a shallow foamy dark brown head that fades slowly leaving stringy patterns of Belgian lacing behind. The smell is timid. Some hints of dark chocolate, cherry and roasted malt. The taste has a nice complexity to it. A slight bitterness of dark chocolate and hops along with the roasted malt and a hint of cherry. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied and smooth with a tanginess from the alcohol. The texture coats some but is not super dense or oily. It cleans up quicker than i anticipated that it would. A really nice drinker, the 10.3% ABV is well integrated.

Photo of pwoods
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of PDXHops
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Major thanks to GatorBeerNerd for this 2010 vintage bottle, poured into an oversized snifter. A huge mousselike initial head shrinks to a thick skim that sticks around for a while. A fair amount of lacing is left behind.

Intense roast in the nose, plenty of burnt and chocolate malts. The blackberry and alcohol combo lends a liqueur quality rather than a boozy presence. Thickish body with very modest carbonation and a slick feel. It's a surprisingly smooth drinker in spite of the impressive lingering bitterness (this must have been a hop monster fresh). Loads of roast and dark chocolate flavor and a nice dose of juicy citrus. Very warming but never boozy; sherry up front, blackberry liqueur or perhaps port in the finish.

Overall impression: A badass stout, definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of Mikexw
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of zrab11
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of LotsofLupulin
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of sammyg832
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of RobertColianni
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle courtesy of levifunk. Into a Stone IRS tulip. Review #666.

A: Lives up to the moniker, this is a very dark beer, practically black with a tan head that bubbles up to about an inch and falls back away to a light cap that doesn't want to disappear. Lot of small spots of lacing are left behind as it recedes.

S: Surprising amount of hops in here, a bit of a citrus note, then a huge chocolate, almost hot cocoa aroma hits the nose. Underneath the chocolate is a fair amount of roasted barley, coffee, and a touch of molasses. I also get some over ripe cherries and plums in there.

T: Huge chocolate notes, caramel, toffee, and a ton of dark fruits as well, think plums and cherries that are almost passed their prime. A lot of coffee in here as well. Nice bitterness on the finish to round out a lot of sweetness in the beer. A touch of booze finds its way in here as well. A fair amount of hop resins linger for quite a while. Long lingering finish reminiscent of sweet red wine, and dark fruits. Really a fine stout.

M: Nice body, perfect amount of viscosity and enough carbonation to make it velvety and rich, without being over carbonated. Quite sticky on the lips. Just about perfect.

O: A really nice stout, easily one of the most enjoyable beers I've had in some time. I would like a little bit more of roasted barley/coffee note though, that would set it over the top. I like the amount of dark fruit and hops in here. I don't know what this will do with age, but thankfully I have a bottle to sit on for a while, however, it is about perfect right now.

Thanks Levi!

Photo of teamwiggum
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of CityofBals
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of kodt
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of halo3one
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%

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

on tap at the bavarian lodge in lisle, this was pitch black with a nice creamy brown head and lasting lacing. smells and tastes of dark milk chocolate, espresso, and dark dried fruit. alcohol is well-hidden. huge malt sweetness with bitterness and roastiness providing balance. finishes semi-sweet. very thick, almost reminds me of a slightly lighter-bodied and less hoppy dark lord. sweet malts are so dense they leave a stickiness on your lips. surprisingly drinkable for such a big beer.

Photo of POTABLE83
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Ristaccia
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of danwho
4.5/5  rDev 0%

4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ThickNStout
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle. 2011/ zombie. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours oil black with two fingers of deep khaki head. Small pods lacing.

Nose is pretty good but seems fairly subdued. Cocoa, roast malts and burnt sugar.

Taste is a sweet blend of chocolate, soy sauce, coffee, cherry pits, rum soaked fig/dates and a dollop of alcohol heat. A fantastic blend.

Excellent heavy tongue-coating feel with light carbonation. Lingering sweet finish.

This is a great imperial stout. I think it might be too sweet to really be a Russian imperial but it's freakin good. Highly recommended and I'd definately like to get more sometime.

5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Docrock
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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

HUGE thanks goes out to leftmindedrighty for hooking this up in a fat BIF box(es)

Pours a sickly thick black impenetrable darkness with a large and in charge tan ice cream head that lingers forever and leaves great lacing.

Nose is chock full o roasted malt. Some chocolate makes its presence known along with some hops. Smells like this is going to be quite roasty and bitter. I don't smell the same hop power i got out of the 2007 batch, but its still there.

Wow. A fantastic imperial stout once again. Roasted malt is defenitely the dominant presence out of the gate. Wow. Roasted malt continues as some chocolate flavors begin to emerge. Both continue as some very dark sweet flavors begin to rise toward the finish. Some good crisp hoppiness mixes right in without being too strong or rivaling the roasted malt action. The finish has a nice crisp bitter lick, but also keeps the sweet thick chocolatey flavor going, along with the constant roasted malt, both of which linger on in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is not for the faint of heart. Im pretty sure i can feel my arteries clogging right now. This bitch is nearly milkshake status. which is...awesome. the carbonation is where it should be.

Drinkability is pretty damn good considering the nature of this beast and the abv. Nothing amazing in this category, but certainly above average.

Overall an amazing imperial stout from Surly. Im not sure which batch I like better, but they both are killer beers. If you like big thick monsterous viscous collosal ultra galactic beast stouts, this will be right up your alley. Thanks again to Aaron for hookin a brotha up with this oft desired brew.

Photo of sideshowe
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of PG2G
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,006 ratings.