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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

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

2,603 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,603
Reviews: 762
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 2,908
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: 2,603 | Reviews: 762 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dexterk1
dexterk1

Illinois

4.49/5  rDev -0.2%

Appearance is jet black. This was werewolf (2012). Strong brown head that remains for a while.
Odor is sweet and rich. Dark sweet like toffee and perhaps molasses. A little bit of chocolate odor and maybe some wood or smoke.
Taste is just as complex. Sweet with the whole list of types. Toffee, molasses, a little vanilla. A bit of coffee and chocolate as well.
Mouth feel is rich and coating. Smooth and sweet.
Overall an excellent stout. Just a hint of alcohol taste which is good. Smooth and complex.

05-10-2014 13:30:37 | More by dexterk1
Photo of scottwurst
scottwurst

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev 0%

10-08-2013 20:11:26 | More by scottwurst
Photo of HopDerek
HopDerek

Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +6.2%

Thanks to BrooHa for this bottle.

Pours a thick syrupy dark brown/black with 2 fingers of thick mocha tan head into a large snifter. Great retention and lacing. Smells of citrus hops, dark fruits, chocolate, anise, roasted malt, and leather. Tastes of pineapple, chocolate, and dark fruits like plums, figs, and raisins, cocoa powder, caramel, vanilla, roasted malt, leather, and anise with a hint of coffee and herbal in the finish. Full body with low carbonation. Thick and syrupy, sweet with lots of dark fruit and chocolate flavors. Smooth and creamy with a nice bitterness but not too potent. Pretty unique even amongst the other big Russian Imperial Stouts. Very drinkable and a great sipping treat.

05-28-2009 00:41:58 | More by HopDerek
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010

Australia

4/5  rDev -11.1%

12-09-2011 14:38:32 | More by mulder1010
Photo of DNICE555
DNICE555

Connecticut

4.72/5  rDev +4.9%

Halloween Bash 2010. The VIP at the party was the Surly Darkness. Shared with the LArse, Zapps, and Cpie. I cannot think of a better way to starting out an enchanted evening. This review should probably be #666 but I will probably be 666 but the time I get to that number. Shout to SpeedwayJim for this bottle.

2009 DARKNESS

I made my way through the chophouse, the spider web, the grim reaper, and the bloody black roses to my beer fridge. I took the bottle in hand, scurried to the bar and quickly placed it down. There was a strange energy surrounding the bottle. As I got closer to it I felt more and more empty inside. The mummy on the front had me begging Zapps to stay close and protect me. I grabbed Jlynn's heavy duty bottle opener of the orange dish. Stabbing at the bottle cutting through the wax left me out of breath. Finally I reached the cap and quickly pried it open before I was thrown backwards by an unkown force. Looking up at the bottle I could see spirits escaping which reminded me of the micronized Ghostbusters ghost trap. I broke out my proton pack and quickly secured them in the containment unit. Cautiously making my way back to the bottle I secured some tulips. I poured the thick sludge into my tulip and noticed a low carbonation level and the consistency of a Transylvanian Moat. A tan almost brown head jumped out of the moat like vampires of the night hunting for their prey. Finding myself in a trance like state I quickly looked away. I finally gathered the courage to take a sniff with my eyes closed. Roasted bat malts, plum witches dances around my noise hairs. After two years of lifting weights in my beer fridge the hops are still going strong. I picked up this evil liquid and took a sip. Feeling slightly possesed I could sense tons of different malts. The most impressive fruit profile of any stout I've ever had. So many flavors coming through. Despite the robust chocolaty coffee notes, the fruit dominated. What an interesting demon. Very low carbonation despite the exorcism. The demons sucked the bubbles out. As with any massive 10.3 ABV stout this one is a sipper. It's not meant to be chugged like a coors light. The drinkability is amazing. Alcohol is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is smooth as a witches broom handle. Unless I go to MN on darkness Day or trade another precious KTG this will probably be my only Darkness. What an impressive brewery. Very glad I got to try this one. Happy Halloween.

10-18-2010 17:06:08 | More by DNICE555
Photo of DangerDawg
DangerDawg

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

06-03-2012 02:38:48 | More by DangerDawg
Photo of vandemonian
vandemonian

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

I had the 2011 Darkness (I guess it was about a year old) at ChurchKey in DC at their Surly event. Darkness is a delicious bourbon-barrel ages Imperial stout with notes for coffee. As good as most of the great beers of this style.

A: Black with a 2 cm head that lasts. 4.5

S: The smell was malty with some coffee. This is a very strong smelling beer. 4

T: A strong malty flavour with come coffee. There are also some sweet, dark fruit flavours from the crystal malt. Maybe some bourbon barrel flavour too. Some burnt sugar at the end. 4.5

M: Foamy. 4

O: 4

07-16-2012 02:48:02 | More by vandemonian
Photo of AlexChillton
AlexChillton

Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

08-22-2014 19:03:40 | More by AlexChillton
Photo of hwwty4
hwwty4

Missouri

4/5  rDev -11.1%

11-14-2011 17:11:08 | More by hwwty4
Photo of comfortablynirm
comfortablynirm

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

06-05-2014 13:09:10 | More by comfortablynirm
Photo of taospowder
taospowder

New Mexico

5/5  rDev +11.1%

04-22-2013 05:14:08 | More by taospowder
Photo of weonfire
weonfire

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

09-22-2013 03:23:27 | More by weonfire
Photo of kodt
kodt

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

11-08-2013 13:26:41 | More by kodt
Photo of Schlafly33
Schlafly33

Missouri

4/5  rDev -11.1%

04-19-2014 15:12:03 | More by Schlafly33
Photo of drgonzo2k2
drgonzo2k2

California

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

05-19-2013 14:23:53 | More by drgonzo2k2
Photo of tswater
tswater

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev 0%

05-30-2013 19:37:13 | More by tswater
Photo of davey101
davey101

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev 0%

2011 vintage, Zombie label. Reviewed: 06-04-2012, almost 8 months old.

750 ml red waxed bottle into a brandy snifter. Served at cellar temperature.

A - Pitch black body that shows show red tints when the glass gets low enough. Perfect dark khaki two finger high head. Moderate lacing and retention. Damn near perfect. 4.5/5

S - Amazingly decadent burnt dark fruits, almost quad like but backed up with some amazing stout aromas. Cocoa powder, vanilla, and coffee beans. 4.0/5

T - Rich and smooth milk chocolate, fruity red wine notes, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, coffee and some light licorice. Very smooth with all of these flavors blending together perfectly. Aftertaste is a bit bitter. 4.5/5

M - No alcohol present, even at room temperature. Medium to heavy bodied with some lively carbonation. Somewhat syrupy and coating. 4.0/5

O - This is the best RIS and certainly the best non barrel aged stout I have tried. Thats probably due to my love of quads and dark fruits which this stout has on full display. For me there has always been three icons of the big waxed stout world. Abyss, Darklord, and Darkness. The Abyss is roasty and tobaco rich, Darklord is an overtly sweet vanilla bomb, and Darkness is strong on the dark fruits. This is just about perfect for me. 4.5/5 (4.45 score)

---

2012 vintage, Werewolf label. Reviewed: 12-23-2012, almost 2 months old.

750 ml red waxed bottle into a Founders 15th anny glass. Served at cellar temperature.

A - Pours a pitch black body. Two fingers of light mocha foam from the pour settles into a one finger lasting cap that looks like the head of a latte. Swirling creates a thick wall of lacing that cascades down leaving behind strings of foam. Absurd retention level. 5.0/5

S - Dark fruits, brightly roasted malt, espresso beans, and vanilla. Powdery chocolate and molasses. Sweet and savory. 4.0/5

T - Rich dark chocolate and sweet milk chocolate, roast and char, espresso, molasses, and some piney hops. Long and harsh finish that's bitter and boozy. The aftertaste is just phenomenal though. Vanilla rich fudge and dark fruit. 4.0/5

M - For being only 10% abv this beer feels MUCH larger. Thick and syrupy, very coating and rich. Perfect dessert beer. 4.5/5

O - Still a phenomenal beer (that I'd chose over Abyss and Darklord) but I'm afraid I'm just not a huge fan of this beer when its on the fresher side. The hops are present and I just wish the pine and citric notes would take a back seat to the rich chocolate and dark fruits. 4.0/5

06-04-2012 02:14:14 | More by davey101
Photo of BUNZILLA
BUNZILLA

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev 0%

07-18-2013 23:45:37 | More by BUNZILLA
Photo of jarrgal
jarrgal

North Dakota

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

06-10-2013 02:00:25 | More by jarrgal
Photo of Lucnifter
Lucnifter

California

4.5/5  rDev 0%

04-19-2014 08:20:39 | More by Lucnifter
Photo of alysmith4
alysmith4

District of Columbia

4.86/5  rDev +8%

Whoa, what a beer! Had this as part of a 30+ mini-whale share that I went to. It was the second beer I tried, and ended up being the best of the night for me. Appearance and mouthfeel are good, but smell and taste were both awesome! Definitely on the sweet side for a RIS, but still well-balanced. And it's surprisingly non-BA, as all those wonderful barrel flavors seem to come through as it warms. Would have this beer again, and again, and again.

03-13-2013 16:45:00 | More by alysmith4
Photo of brew3crew
brew3crew

Ohio

4.68/5  rDev +4%

A- very dark with tan head around the edge.
S- very suprisingly hoppy. Roasted malts and deliciousness
T- suprisingly hoppy. Nice dark malts follow. Almost sweet. Love it.
M-medium body and so smooth
D-very drinkable and awesome. My top want and would love to see this with age.

02-26-2011 23:56:28 | More by brew3crew
Photo of fthegiants
fthegiants

California

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

03-01-2014 04:44:39 | More by fthegiants
Photo of birdsellam
birdsellam

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

01-09-2013 17:52:37 | More by birdsellam
Photo of Boston_Steve
Boston_Steve

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev 0%

01-18-2014 15:46:37 | More by Boston_Steve
Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,603 ratings.