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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

795 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 795
Hads: 3,254
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 3,239
Gots: 1,183 | FT: 84
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 (51) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Darkness Alström Bros
Reviews: 795 | Hads: 3,254
Photo of Nugganooch
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review# 300

Darkness 2011 – Zombie print
750ml with a Goblet style glass
*Aged for one year

Thanks Allen!

A: Pours a nice lush viscosity albeit thinner than I was anticipating. Sits dark black and obsidian like in the glass with just the slightest dark almond edge. Lighter than expected as well. First pour was relatively calm in terms of head. Others yielded a good half finger of sand paper froth that settles out to just a crown within a few minutes. Nice receding legs and dots of cling upon the glass.

S: Smells of sweetened chocolate syrup, think Hershey’s, mixed with a deep perfume of dark fruits and berries. Roasted cocoa nibs, dampened wood, and some black strap molasses. An amazingly complex blend of roasts.

T: Darkness is a sweet RIS with an expressive array of deep rich roasted malt flavors. Bitter dark chocolates, dark fruits - plum, dark berries, and toffee. I get some secondary notes of dark molasses, earthy wood, and a distinct meaty soy component. This beer has a nice peppering bitterness throughout and some warming alcohol heat. Really sweet yet remarkably balanced and drinkable for that fact. Alcohol seems quite restrained here. Hops really cut through that heavy sweetness allowing for the next sip. Delicious stuff!

M: Moderately heavy feel with a smooth consistency that leaves this one slick and creamy across the tongue. A bit syrupy at first bit with a nice drying lift from the carbonation. Finishes on the wetter side.

D: A big bold RIS full of complex roast character that is just simply delicious. Drinks much on the sweeter side and should be approached almost as a dessert beer. Remarkably crafted though with enough hop bitterness and drying lift to keep this one rather quaffable. A really badass brew all around. I will be looking to try this one fresh but think this is drinking quite well right now and should stand up well for another 6-12 months with no issues.

I am very happy to have such a solid trader. Do want! (1,981 characters)

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This year, I was lucky enough to get the hook-up: my very own bottle of Darkness. Huge thanks to the one, the only, the bearded, the recently deceased backfat for this rare opportunity.

2012 batch, brewed pretty recently; the werewolf bottle art might be the most badass bottle art I’ve ever seen.

A: Deep, thick body in a midnight black hue, propelling a head of pure brown cream up to two fingers. The head compresses to a thick, bubbly retention, like the foam you get when pour chocolate milk too fast (only darker, shining wet in the light). Layers of sandy lacing everywhere, encircling the glass in a ring of tan color.

S: There’s a very aromatic nose on this, and with spectacular complexity. Tons and tons of fruit scents waft up a profile of bright cherry and raisin, which turn out to be the main aromas of this nose. Never had a Russian imperial stout smell like this before, but I love it! Toffee cascades over aromas of icing, sugar cookie, Hershey’s chocolate syrup (dead-on), and coffee with cream for the secondary layer, filling out every available portion of the nose with complexity. The nose rounds out in a cloud of vanilla, spicy bourbon, and whipped cream. Just astounding.

T: Bittersweet palate, emphasis on the bitter, though rich, dark flavors reach out at every turn. First tastes consist of toasty chocolate malt, cocoa powder, and toffee, but soon after, it’s an absolute bitter-fest – lemon rind, char, tart raspberry, acidic coffee, astringent alcohol, and pine, absolutely tongue-smacking in the hop taste. The astringency is almost overwhelming at times. The cherry and white raisin from the nose come in next, enveloping the palate in a genuine sweetness that overcomes the overly-present bitters; add the accompanying chocolate sauce taste that comes after and you have yourself a chocolate-covered strawberry. Finishes very bright – cherry puree is strong here – and with only a momentary, roasty notion that you just drank a 10% ABV stout. What a ride.

M: I’ve heard this year’s batch is hot, but I only got a touch of fire on the way down. Apart from that, it’s all smoothness, enough to even seem like a porter in strength – insanely drinkable.

O: Beer like this don’t come around to often; this is a stout the likes of which I don’t think I’ll find anywhere else. To be honest, it was hard to get acclimated to the Darkness at first (probably because of the hop presence), but I truly enjoyed every sip. This is worthy of a full day of celebration, for sure. (2,533 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.31/5  rDev -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. (630 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.97/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml wax-dipped bottle poured into a snifter.
10.3% ABV, 2010 Vampire design.

A - The thick pile of bubbles which rests on the beer displays an oily rainbow color swirling on it's surface. Coincidentally, it coincides with the thick, syrupy used oil-looking beer fills the snifter for a pitch-black darkness light cannot penetrate. Even with the high alcohol level, the head maintains its stature for quite some time, slowly lowering to leave a smattering of light bubbles on the snifter.

S - Sticky burnt molasses, lightly charred oak, and bitter dark chocolate are conjured up from a thick malt bill which incorporates more subdued notes of cold coffee, roasted malt, and cocoa. Hops provide just a miniscule drop of citrus and earthiness into the mix with an old, dusty basement sense pulling through. Even with two years on it, this beer still has some warming alcohol perception on the nose.

T - Darkness' rich malt level isn't surprising in flavor but what is, is the lack of bold roasted, almost burnt notes that the aroma exhibits. The taste compounds are much sweeter and subtler with smooth Hershey milk chocolate, a touch of black licorice, and soft molasses finishing out the back end. Dry cocoa and seemingly absent hops balance the malt sweetness' flavor as does just a hint of alcohol.

M - To describe this beer as full bodied would be quite the understatement. Smooth as black velvet (don't sue me Alanna Myles!) Darkness is almost creamy feeling with a rich, throat-coating finish that carefully teeters on the verge of sweetness and balance. All this while maintaining warming, soothing alcohol and an insatiable draw.

O - I recall Darkness having one of the hoppiest aromas of any Russian Imperial Stout I've encountered while being sweeter than all get-out. Suffice it to say, age has done this beer an incredible favor; rounding out some of the rougher edges for an insanely crave-able, lustful, sinfully delicious stout. For every bottle you hoped would age well and failed, Darkness makes up for, rewarding your patience with big dividends. This chocolaty, roasted malt-rich brew exceeds expectations of greatness and completely satisfies. (2,169 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Zombie bottling sent by my awesome Surly hookup (you know who you are!). Red waxed & capped 750ml split with my brother and poured into a Deschutes tulip.

A: Pours as dark as ANY beer I've seen...dense and black and opaque with a cap of brown.

S: Dark roast character with intense notes of dark fruits and chocolate, with hints of coffee as well...burnt caramel, dark raisins, cherry pit, fudge, hints of molasses.

T: Right in line with the nose, dark and sweet malty notes with plenty of roasted backbone, deep dark pitted fruits, brown sugar and molasses, dark cherries, semi-acrid coffee, brownie batter. Still a bit of alcohol on the finish.

MF: Fuller mouthfeel, sticky and viscous. A tiny complaint, but it could be 'bigger'.

O: This is a very good-to-great beer. I can see why this one gets the attention it does, and I'm so glad to have tried it. Excellent stout in a world that's full of options.

Thanks Aaron! (930 characters)

Photo of codysjb
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer tasting 10/14/12
Motor oil black little head
Toffee, dark, caramel small coffe notes
Lots of carbonation, caramel, heavy very heavy.
Still just a massive amount of carbonation here almost over the top.
Good but not standing up to the cbs and dark lord were opening side by side. (283 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.17/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark as night black in color with a half finger worth of dark brown head that dissipated quites fast but left a little bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: interesting aroma which consisted of a little roastiness, chocolate malts, but with earthy hops coming through. I was able to sniff of caramel sweetness, molasses, and hints of brown sugar.

T: like the aroma chocolate malts were there upfront on the palate alongside some roastiness, pretty good earthy grassy hop profile which added a little bitterness to the flavor. Caramel molasses accents, and a touch of brown sugar.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, chocolatey, mild hoppy, silky, and slightly bitter finish.

O: I honestly was not really digging this beer and it has been on my gots list for some time now. This is one of those that just has too much hype IMO. (908 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.13/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Daniloknezic for sending me this bottle of beer! Thanks for my first taste of "darkness" Don!

Vintage 2011 (Zombie)

poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 1 finger of medium brown head. Decent lacing sticking on the side of the snifter.

Smell: Big malt profile with a decent amount of hops to balance. Big roast, caramel, molasses, and a hint of tobacco from the malts. Hops are pine.

Taste: Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, chocolate, creamy nougat, and molasses. Mild roast and dark fruits. Cherries, tobacco, leather, and black licorice. Hops start to take over about midpalate. Then bakers cocoa, bitter cherries, and piney hops really linger for a while into the the aftertaste. Eventually the pine takes over the entire aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: medium almost full bodied beer. Moderate carbonation. Creamy and slightly chewy beer; almost syrupy, but its got a perfect carbonation level that keep the beer from getting very syrupy! This beer has no hint of alcohol and it drinks like it only 8%; soooo smooth. Rediculious mouthfeel on this beer. Its mouthfeel is perfect! Best attribute of this beer!

Overall: Really interesting RIS. It really throws out alot of big flavors and has alot of complexity in the malt profile of this beer. I appreciate that this beer is fairely different and unique from many other RIS in its respective beer style "family". I prefer less hops in my big stouts and this one is over run by piney hops on the back end of this beer. The hops distract too much from the malt profile in my opinion. The mouthfeel is simply amazing especially for a non-barrel aged beer. (1,642 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
3.52/5  rDev -20%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL 2010 vampire ed courtesy of beeranddogs. Pour pour is clear ruby to deep brown looking opaque black in the glass. A massive mocha head erupts with infinite retention and bit webby, sticky lace. Aroma isn’t all the massive or even pleasant: salty olives, brine, lots of wood. As it warms the only thing that comes through is oxidized red apple slices. The taste is dry oak, spicy oak, slightly hot alcohol, sweet molasses and prunes. Palate is very soft, not too syrupy, ending somewhat chalky and powdery. Comes across as very basic and mediocre. How this is in the Top 100 and Midnight Sun Berserker is not baffles me. There are just so many better imperial stouts out there. 12/12/2010 6/5/7/4/13=3.5 (710 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

on-tap, brouwers

I believe this was the first time I've had this outside of a festival setting - 12oz pour in a snifter, ebony body, light tan lace. Definitely sticky-sweet and less hopped than I recall from past years, but still not without some nice pine resin traces. Rich, decadent and very smooth. A good RIS, but one whose legacy seems to have faded... (359 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.49/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black coffee color body with minimal clarity and an edge of copper - dense khaki brown head that laces nicely. Quite a healthy looking beer.

Dark fruits - dates, raisins, figs, brown sugar, slight leather presence, black licorice, tons of roasted malts and a hop profile that is unmatched when it comes to unbarreled imperial stouts.

Bitter toffee, faint alcohol presence, harsh chocolate, burnt almonds, caramel cake, molasses, overripe cherry, such a classic flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is slick and viscous, oily, still highly drinkable given the style. Sugary.

Drink up, pussies. This one is best fresh. (623 characters)

Photo of bamadog
3.73/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have resisted the Darkness for too long. I've had a long, unproductive and otherwise kind of crappy day, so I figure I need to do a little sumpin' sumpin' for myself on a day like this. Review is from notes taken on 9/21/2012 and poured from the bottle (2009 mummy) to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour looks a little thick and viscous on the pour, definitely warrants some "glugs," but I feel that I've seen thicker, most notably Hunahpu, but that's THE exceptional beer; body is of course black and opaque; starts with a 1/2 finger dark, creamy tan head that fades to a loose, incomplete head with a full swath of lacing dripping slowly down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Upon cracking this, there is a strong, smoky, soy sauce blast in the nose; it eventually settles a little bit and there is some pretty big and roasty maltiness there with a touch of burnt coffee, possibly espresso; I would swear there is a touch of vanilla lying about in there, as well as a touch of sweet, yet slightly tart, cherries; just a touch of alcohol lingers, but it seems really well blended in the nose.

Taste: You know, it's good, but I'm really not blown away like I was hoping to be. I'm actually reminded a little bit of 2010 DL -- big, smoky and almost salty/soy sauce (not in a bad way); bit of a buttery sweetness hanging out in the back and there is some slick, syrupy semi-sweet chocolate; touch of roastiness. I have to wonder if it's past its prime?

Mouthfeel: Body is indeed thick and heavy, but it's fairly slick and leaves just a little bit of grit on the teeth; thick, but loose and slightly sticky coating is left all over the roof of the mouth; belly does register some warmth.

Overall: I would be willing to try it again if it comes in to my possession, but it will be drank immediately instead of giving it the opportunity to age and develop. Sometimes cellaring works well and you get a whole new product, and sometimes, you get disappointed. Sipper, with big alcohol, may be tough to get through the whole bottle on my own, but I'll figure out how to make do. (2,068 characters)

Photo of DK_CPA
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The taste look, smell, and taste of this beer opens up your imagination. You can recollect the taste in your smelling and tastebud memories. There is a rush of Dopamine hormones when you drink it.

Absolutely the sing most perfect beer. It is highly coveted and very tradeable. The artwork and collectability increases its value. (330 characters)

Photo of Holland
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark, thick, with minimal head but some nice lacing and a bit of tan foam sitting on the top.

S: caramel sweetness, roasted notes that don't quite hit the coffee roasted smell, chocolate, some earthy hops that balance it nicely

T: for my tastes, this is balance. Maybe a bit sweet, but the hops and roasted notes pair so well with the caramel and chocolate and toffee without overtaking it and turning it into the earthy Storm King or the like.

M: thick as can be, but isn't lacking in carbonation too much at all.

O: my favorite non-barrel aged stout so far. Just amazing combination of flavors and smells made this stand out on a night when we had some amazing stouts. (680 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage red wax

A: Black body with one finger head

S: chocolate, hops, some sweetness

T: Its a bit disapppointing for me. Its a great stout but it does not stand out from other good stouts. Chocolate, malt, brown sugar and hops. very straightforward and nice.

M: Thick and syrupy. no alcohol burn.

O: Its up there with Stone IRS but nothing too special. Its a great stout regardless. (395 characters)

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage. About 11 months old.

This pours dark. And by dark I mean black. No light penetrates with a dark mocha head. Really a great looking stout. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Swirling the glass viscous motor oil appearance.

Smell is of dark fruits some roasted grain. Light Licorice. A little caramel sweetness as it warms.

Waves of flavors on this one. Tastes of Sweet malts. Burnt sweet cherries. Light licorice and I am thankful it's not too strong, just enough. Dark chocolate fruit notes on the finish. Slight chocolate cake batter. A nice residual sweetness on the finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

Nice creamy mouth feel. Is full without being too heavy.

Overall an impressive imperial stout. I can't think of a non-barrel aged imperial stout with more going on that this. (794 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.6/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

***2009 Vintage (Mummy)***

Big thanks to Masterski for getting me this rarity.

Poured from a bomber and split with my wife.

Appearance: Pours a thick body, kind of almost plops in with a thin ting that grows thicker as the pour intensifies.

Smell: Alcohol soaked nuts, raisins and figs. Whiffs of cocoa and chunks of chocolate but much more on the sugary, dark fruits side.

Taste: Raisins, figs, nougat, discreet chocolate and a tinge of black licorice. A bit of coffee as it warms but this resembles a barleywine almost. Not exactly what i'm looking for flavor-wise.

Mouthfeel: Boozy a bit, slight;y bitter and you eventually get in a groove but this doesn't feel like the strong RIS i'm looking for.

Overall: Have to say i'm a bit disappointed by this one. Compared to DL, this one is not as good. Flavors were good but for me, not worth the hype IMO. I'll take a DL instead. (885 characters)

Photo of dtmets84
3.34/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage. Shared the bottle with DTMets84.

I have been waiting to dabble in darkness for sometime now and what is a better excuse then no work monday? Yahoo for labor day.

Appearance: Pours a dark dark black with an inch head.
Head is the color of khaki jeans?

Smell: Sweet? Black tuesday again?! Roasty as well.

Taste: Lots of something I can not put my finger on yet but it is not something that appeals to me. Its Dark Lord again.

Mouthfeel: My first surly brew ever and I am too letdown to discuss the mouthfeel. (528 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. Shared the bottle with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Pours a dark dark brown with some dark red notes. Sits close to black in the glass. Head is the color of fresh espresso crema. Chunky and rocky and creamy. Decent retention. Chunky cap.

Smell: Huge dark fruit. Plums and bing cherries. Big roasted compliment. Leather and touches of char. Chocolate malts and cocoa powder. Lingering booze. Dry-dusted chocolate coffee beans. So much leather. Burnt and roasty. Booze soaked plums. Layers of chocolate.

Taste: Leather and cocoa. Huge hits of roasted malt. Burnt malts. Char. Raisins and ripe cherries. Loads of burnt malts. Milk chocolate sweetness layered in the back. Almost brownie like chocolate in the back. Nicely sweet. Alcohol runs through the back. As it warms the leather and burnt malts take the forefront. Hints of vanilla and caramel. Dutch cocoa. Bitter dryness

Mouthfeel: Full body, but a little thinner than I expected. Mild carbonation. Slight astringency.

Overall: Solid, very solid. Great flavor, but the body ultimately falls a little short given the intense malts of the beer. I've tried it at beer fests and in a blind stout tasting. It comes out just over the middle of the pack. Incredible flavor. (1,240 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Massive cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for acquiring and sharing this

Note: 2011 vintage (zombie)

Consumed 8/19/12

Appearance: Dark, dark brown with some around the edges - big, tan head, keeps a nice cap, some streaks of lacing - looks like an RIS should

Smell: Dark, roasty, and burnt - cooked, toasted, roasted, and charred malts - milk chocolate and some dark chocolate - molasses, with a lot of sweetness - sweet, dark fruits - interesting, but not remarkably complex

Taste: More sweetness than darkness - molasses, brown sugar, and a ton of port-like boozy sweetness - dark fruits, milk chocolate, and some sweet coffee - roasty and burnt, but the dark fruit/port/sugary sweetness really overpowers - (2012 bottle) smoke and tobacco in abundance

Mouthfeel: Full, smooth, creamy, some boozy stickiness, but it works because it is nicely carbonated

Overall: Good, but too sweet to be legendary

I am very happy that I finally had a chance to sit down with a glass of this. I've had it at BA fests and at an epic stout tasting, and I always thought it was too sweet. And apparently I was not imagining it. It's just too sweet. But if you're into that, I guess this would be epic.

Update: 2012 bottle

Slightly better than I remember. It's still overly sweet, but it's quite tasty overall. There is more smoke and tobacco than I remember. Maybe it's just more interesting than the first bottle. Scores upgraded slightly (taste and overall bumped up .25). (1,457 characters)

Photo of KevSal
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Zombie vintage 750ml split into 2 bruery snifters. Was gomna save this for the premier of walking dead butt dammit I can resist it no longer! Huge thanks to birtchstick for this long time want. Let's see what the fuss is all about

A- looks thick and creamy with a nice thick mocha head, looks promising

S- as soon as I cracked the cap the huge dark fruits fill the room, I know this is going to be good. Right up front huge dark fruits. Some roastyness lots of richness and malty sweetness

T- this guy is huge on taste. Dark fruits upfront, slight roastyness followed by some sweetness. Fantastic chocolate. This one really delivers, packs a wallop

M- mouthfeel on this one is perfect, huge rich and creamy, couldn't be more spot on. Coats the mouth with huge flavor.

O- I really wasn't expecting to this guy be this good. There's a lot of hype surrounding this guy and I can now see why. The dark fruit is huge, actually reminds me of mission street 2011 anny if you can believe it.0 I really hope to make darkness day one day. Hopefully next year they chose a succubus (1,075 characters)

Photo of Luk13
4.77/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Iceland super tasting ’10 vampire bottle. Nice dark pour with a slight ruby tint, creamy tan head. Tons of licorice, molasses, port and dark fruits (plums) dominate the aroma. Very sweet taste, super fruity prune flavors, honey-molasses sweetness. Soft carbonation suits this one nicely, very silky and heavily bodied. One of my favourite IS. (354 characters)

Photo of vandemonian
4.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 (560 characters)

Photo of SkiBum22
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (686 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 Vintage. Thanks to Spencer for this bottle! Poured in to CBS snifter.

A - Poured ink black. Half a finger of medium brown head with good retention.

S - Roasted malts, smoke and a noticeable hop presence up front. A big semi-sweet chocolate aroma and a touch of licorice round out the nose.

T - Extremely robust flavour up front. Starts out with huge roast and semi-sweet chocolate flavours with a touch of smoke. Some sweet molasses and a fairly prominent hop profile enter in the middle. The finish is full of sweet chocolate and has a lingering bitterness. The ABV is very well hidden. The perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness.

M - Full body. Thick and viscous. Light carbonation. (700 characters)

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 795 ratings.