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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,999 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,999
Reviews: 790
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,117
Gots: 1,142 | FT: 80
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 (42) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Darkness Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,999 | Reviews: 790 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ShogoKawada
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. First beer of the day! Whoohoo.

A- Dark as all heck. Swirling the glass leaves a brown coating, like brownie batter. This stuff is thick.

S- Lots of dark roast, heavy char. Lots of sweet fruit, as well. Potent aromatics.

T- I hear a lot of people call this one hoppy but I didn't really pick up on much. Lots of coffee and bitter chocolate, though. A wisp of smoke, and a bit of plum. This one is really all about the bitter, earthy chocolate, though. Like chewing on cacao nibs.

M- Not as thick as it looks- which is a good thing- I am impressed at the balance the body of this beer has. It is well thought out and simply works. Great, complex flavors that don't fight for space on the tongue.

O- Very good- a little goes a long way, but the flavors are spot-on. I very much enjoyed this one. Lives up to my expectations.

Photo of ari32
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of johnnyboy76
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Hessian257
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of SPRichard
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of mgr78704
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of magictacosinus
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BeerTruth
3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

Photo of SkiBum22
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

A - The pour is fittingly black with at least a finger of thick brown head. The lacing really coats the glass nicely with a creamy head that seemingly lasts forever.

S - Very sweet aromas of dark fruits, berries, figs all covered in chocolate with a little bit of caramel and coffee to round it out.

T - Deep, dark, delicious chocolate just dominates the taste. Overall it is sweet, but not overly sweet as sometimes experienced with big Russian Imperial Stouts.

M -Mouthfeel is pretty full bodied, smooth with creamy medium carbonation.

O - A great non-barrel aged stout. There were times that I noticed barrel like qualities. Overall another great brew from Surly.

Photo of Bendurgin
4.11/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Andy shared this one for his 100th tick! This one is the 2009 vintage poured into a tulip. The beer pours pitch black into a tulip with a big creamy looking tan head that sits atop the beer retaining itself very nicely. The aroma is very chocolatey initially with big roasty aromas lingering in the background with dark fruit and a bit of charred kind of smoke characteristics. The taste follows the smell pretty well. Really enjoyable roasty flavors with chocolate undertones. The beer is slightly sweet with a bit of hoppy bitterness in the finish. All around very enjoyable. The mouthfeel is very thick and chewy. Light carbonation and a robust body make it great. Definitely an great one but at a big 10.3 this one hides the alcohol very well, but still ends up being a sipper.

Photo of Moses_Malone
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of doughanson78
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of BuckTuckian
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of oso
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of SpasmWaiter
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BrownAleMale
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle #194. Thanks to hero27 for the trade.

A monsterous three inch head jumps to the top of the glass with its soft carmel colored thick bubbles. Fades very slowly leaving considerable lace behind. Body is the standard jet black beauty. Nose is shockingly hoppy up front for a big stout with hints of spicey soft malt in the backround. Enters the mouth thick and almost syrupy with a powdery coco feel. A nice balance of grassy mineral based hops quickly kicks in to even out and almost take over the flavor profile. This creates a thick milk chocolate like feel that sits on the back of the tongue followed by a long even bitter hop feel. Although this is more hoppy than what I would usually like in a stout, it is unique and very welcome. Very nicely drinkable. Alchol is well hidden. A great and worthy stout.

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

Photo of steve8robin
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Today is my 28th birthday! So in honor, I am going to do an epic Darkness tasting with some friends. 2008 / 2009 / 2010 vintages! I have been waiting so long to try these. Let's hope I'm not disappointed:

2008
A: Super dark with a small tan head that fades quickly to a small bubbly lace atop the brew. Good.
S: Smells of some awesome cocoa and vanilla upfront blended with some great boozy chocolate quickly followed by licorice and some great earthy qualities. Very good.
T: Awesome flavors! Some nice chocolate raisin upfront blended with some great boozy vanilla and quickly followed by cocoa in the middle. Some nice espresso flavors on the backend. Amazing!
M: Super thick with a great carbonation. A nice creamy finish. Very good!
D: Once you get past the booziness, this goes down. Good.

2009
A: Follows suit with the '08. Very dark with a small tan head that fades to more of a bubbly lace than the '08. Good.
S:Very mild scents on this one. The '08 smelled to great, but this is hard to find strong scents. Some earthy chocolate blended in. Ok.
T: Not as boozy as the '08. It's kind of like a watery hop on the backend. Some mild chocolate vanilla and cocoa upfront with some great creaminess in the middle. Good.
M: A watery thickness with a little more carbonation than the '08. A watery creamy finish. Good.
D: Goes down a little easier than the '08 with the better blend of booze, but the watery taste makes it slightly odd. Can't put my finger on it. Decent.

2010
A: The best looking one of the 3 years. A 1 inch dark mocha colored head that fades at decent pace but never really goes away completely. Very good.
S:Some creamy sweet chocolate upfront with some earthiness in the middle. Not much on the backend. Good.
T: Kind of a soapy chocolate with some faint vanilla in the middle. The worst of the bunch IMO. Decent.
M: A medium body with a decent carbonation. Kind of a dry finish. Decent
D: Goes down good.

All in all, so glad I got to try these. '08 was definitely my favorite. It was so BIG and intense and boozy blended with the strongest flavors. If you hunt one of these IMO, try to go for the '08. The '09 would be my second, and the '10 would be my last. Continue brewing great beer Surly.

Photo of browniewithnuts
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of lunarbrew
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of alpinebryant
4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Mummy edition - Thanks to Tumpster in a trade

A: Very dark brown pour that has light coming through on the pour. I hesitate saying black because it just isnt quite black but close...Healthy tan head with large and small bubbles and spotty lacing.

S: sweet malts, chocolate and cocoa mixing with a sweet brown sugar smell. Definitely some crystal malts in here to flavor and round out the malt profile. Aroma is right up my alley with the sweetness I enjoy in an imperial stout.

T: Taste is greatly rounded. I picked up a lot of chocolate and crystal malt flavors with cocoa and brown sugar flavors. There is a lot of sweetness in here and I am really enjoying it. Flavors start of strong and sweet, very closely following the flavors I find in a good barleywine. Caramelized sugars also bring out some berry and marshmallow flavors. Medium bodied for the style, some may say light but at 10.3 this really comes through without any heat at all.

Light carbonation and overall a very good Impy stout. I can see why this one gets the hype, just hope that they continue to produce it in numbers as large as they have been in order to quell all the profiteers.

Photo of JimGlonke
4.5/5  rDev 0%

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

Photo of sbricker
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,999 ratings.