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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

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

2,544 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,544
Reviews: 761
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 2,883
Gots: 1,004 | FT: 67
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Darkness Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,544 | Reviews: 761 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AllenJasper
AllenJasper

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

10-12-2012 04:04:09 | More by AllenJasper
Photo of Chrily
Chrily

Norway

4.5/5  rDev 0%

10-11-2012 12:14:14 | More by Chrily
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2012 00:29:56 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of tarheels86
tarheels86

California

3.53/5  rDev -21.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2012 15:56:54 | More by tarheels86
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
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...

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2012 03:17:48 | More by dirtylou
Photo of MikeCactusGordon
MikeCactusGordon

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev 0%

10-01-2012 18:12:54 | More by MikeCactusGordon
Photo of pvequalsnrt
pvequalsnrt

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

09-30-2012 18:44:46 | More by pvequalsnrt
Photo of cofeeguru
cofeeguru

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +11.1%

09-30-2012 06:16:13 | More by cofeeguru
Photo of MPLSbrewer
MPLSbrewer

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +11.1%

09-29-2012 04:52:55 | More by MPLSbrewer
Photo of Cheers2Me
Cheers2Me


4.5/5  rDev 0%

09-26-2012 15:41:41 | More by Cheers2Me
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 04:23:41 | More by yamar68
Photo of bamadog
bamadog

Kentucky

3.7/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2012 02:24:43 | More by bamadog
Photo of DK_CPA
DK_CPA


5/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 15:38:28 | More by DK_CPA
Photo of hara94
hara94

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +11.1%

09-20-2012 14:24:40 | More by hara94
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2012 16:11:54 | More by Holland
Photo of jl28r1
jl28r1

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

09-16-2012 20:09:52 | More by jl28r1
Photo of BrokenStones
BrokenStones

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

09-16-2012 10:32:59 | More by BrokenStones
Photo of sukwonee
sukwonee

Washington

4.08/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2012 00:22:48 | More by sukwonee
Photo of Powderhornphil
Powderhornphil

Minnesota

4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2012 21:31:51 | More by Powderhornphil
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 11:20:59 | More by papat444
Photo of Revenant
Revenant

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +11.1%

09-04-2012 21:38:11 | More by Revenant
Photo of Dloude
Dloude

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +11.1%

09-03-2012 19:05:54 | More by Dloude
Photo of dtmets84
dtmets84

New York

3.3/5  rDev -26.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 01:16:33 | More by dtmets84
Photo of IPx
IPx

Illinois

5/5  rDev +11.1%

08-31-2012 05:03:32 | More by IPx
Photo of Wilkison
Wilkison


4.5/5  rDev 0%

08-27-2012 23:36:43 | More by Wilkison
Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,544 ratings.