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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,721 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,721
Reviews: 769
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 2,944
Gots: 1,049 | FT: 78
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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

(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: 2,721 | Reviews: 769 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 2012 and 2013 next to each other.

2013 stole the show, hands down. The grade is reflective of that one.

Great color and head on both beers.

Aroma on the 2013 was much more powerful in terms of coffee, chocolate and hops. 2012 was sweeter smelling with a lot of dark fruit.

Flavor was much of the same differentiating factors. 2013 was balanced, hoppy, smooth and delicious. 2012 had a weird metallic 'twang' to it with every sip, and was just way too fruity and sweet with no hops or coffee/chocolate to add a little bitterness.

Overall, I was very disappointed with the results. While I am now glad I traded away my older bottles, I was expecting something a little more 'badass' in terms of a vintage showdown. Oh well, maybe my bottle just didn't age properly. Either way, the fresh bottle was outstanding and on par with my favorite RIS...Stone RIS.

ironchefmiyagi13, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of hero27
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Blood red & black wax drapes the neck of the 750ml.
Bottle # 185.

Consumed out of the "official" 12oz Darkness glass...

Pours a dark, burnt chestnut...nearly black. Tannish brown head sits atop the dark liquid.
Aroma of dark chocolate, fig, and heavily roasted malts..molasses, caramel, and brown sugar flavors take control with the first sip...it's worth noting that there's a suprisingly strong resiny hop profile, since it's not something most people pay attention to in an imperial stout.
Expectantly huge body...coating, velvety smooth mouthfeel. Each sip I take seems to be more satisfying than the last..it's really hard to find any faults in this beer.
Somehow..(for a Russian Imperial Stout from a brewery only a couple years old) Darkness seems refined..almost like it has been perfected over decades. An absolute delicacy in the world of craft beer.

hero27, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of scottwurst
4.5/5  rDev 0%

scottwurst, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of Walkerjgt
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Walkerjgt, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of Ristaccia
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Ristaccia, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of PappyVans
4/5  rDev -11.1%

PappyVans, May 18, 2014
Photo of blabaer
4.5/5  rDev 0%

blabaer, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of udubdawg
4/5  rDev -11.1%

udubdawg, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of jarrgal
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

jarrgal, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of EB1
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%

EB1, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of Rempo
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Rempo, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of kirok1999
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mildly dark black, just a hint of ruby around the edges of the snifter. Thin off white head.
Smells very sweet and malty. Mildly spicy with a bit of alcohol.
Very nice sweet taste, milk chocolate and caramel. Slighty bitter and dry with some noticable hops. Lingering alcohol in the aftertaste in the form of mild bourbon.
Feels dense and creamy and very sticky.
Very smooth to sip. A really well made beer worthy of the hype.

kirok1999, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of comfortablynirm
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

comfortablynirm, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of rjp217
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 bottle poured into a couple taster snifters....

Pitch black pour with a beautiful one finger head and perfect brown head with a sticky lace retention. So much chocolate and cherry in the aroma and taste. There's a beautiful coffee and caramel finish in the taste. Full body and low carbonation with a silky smooth finish. This beer is absolutely sublime. It's a chocolate coffee marshmallow dream. The 2 years created a perfect symmetry. Epic!

rjp217, Mar 15, 2014
Photo of projectflam86
4.5/5  rDev 0%

projectflam86, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of weonfire
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

weonfire, Sep 22, 2013
Photo of 1424IpA
4.5/5  rDev 0%

1424IpA, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of SawDog505
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

SawDog505, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of gpawned
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

gpawned, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of TubaDan
4.5/5  rDev 0%

TubaDan, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of lonewolfcry
4.5/5  rDev 0%

lonewolfcry, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of Jredner
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The body is black with a pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps, magically self-forming head. It’s a small head, but it gets a nice dark mocha color before slowly fading out. The aroma holds some muted hints of acetone and perfumey alcohol along with dark fruit, chocolate, licorice, raisin and very faint burnt grain notes. Fore is chocolate, dark fruits (blueberry/cherry) and malt sweetness just before the finish. The finish holds dark chocolate, cooked dark fruits, cocoa powder, burnt malt and toasted/burnt grains. The mouthfeel is quite thick and very creamy and pleasing on the tongue. Very nice.

Jredner, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of polopaul20
5/5  rDev +11.1%

polopaul20, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of csustar001
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

csustar001, Sep 23, 2014
Photo of funkyaudio
4/5  rDev -11.1%

funkyaudio, Nov 12, 2012
Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 2,721 ratings.