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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,493 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,493
Reviews: 760
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 2,855
Gots: 984 | 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:

2007-Grim Reaper
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: 2,493 | Reviews: 760 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Luk13

Quebec (Canada)

4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2012 17:46:02 | More by Luk13
Photo of vandemonian


4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
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

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2012 02:48:02 | More by vandemonian
Photo of SkiBum22

New York

4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 21:14:23 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of RMoeNay


4.5/5  rDev 0%

07-15-2012 14:09:54 | More by RMoeNay
Photo of Mdodge8837


4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

07-13-2012 00:57:32 | More by Mdodge8837
Photo of GehenHerzog

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

07-09-2012 00:10:29 | More by GehenHerzog
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 14:56:17 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of CummingsK21


4/5  rDev -11.1%

07-07-2012 02:28:39 | More by CummingsK21
Photo of baybassboy


4.5/5  rDev 0%

06-26-2012 04:35:50 | More by baybassboy
Photo of zirkusaffe


4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

06-22-2012 11:04:59 | More by zirkusaffe
Photo of HumanParaquat


4.5/5  rDev 0%

06-22-2012 03:13:00 | More by HumanParaquat
Photo of hiphopj5


4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

06-21-2012 17:21:51 | More by hiphopj5
Photo of ehammond1

4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, stig!

(Aged for 1 year)

This is a truly beautiful beer. The beer is black throughout with a 2-finger, dark brown head that actually has some significant staying power. The beer is somewhat thick in body, shiny, and leaves the glass messy with a sheen and spattering of lace.

A somewhat atypical aroma for a big stout, as there's some defined pine-like hop notes, along with dark chocolate, dark fruits, and strong roast. This is hoppier than most any other big stout, though it all works together nicely.

Dark roast and dark chocolate dominate the flavor, along with bit of pine-like hop character. Moderate level of bitterness and this most certainly hides its alcohol well.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation and somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Incredibly nice. A terrifically constructed beer.

A somewhat hoppy, though balanced big stout. It's probably not worth the sticker price, all things considered, but always a fun bottle to share no matter the time or place.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2012 21:23:33 | More by ehammond1
Photo of Pencible


4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

06-16-2012 18:39:54 | More by Pencible
Photo of BostonHops


4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.

pours a jet-black tone while yielding a strong, creamy mocha-colored head. outstanding retention and lacing. nose offers lots of roasted malt and chocolate, with secondary notes of anise and coffee. very nice.

wow, flavor is right behind the aroma, backing it up with huge, bold characteristics of roasted malt, chocolate, anise, coffee, and a hint of dark fruits. maybe even a twang of smoke in the background. deliciously complex. medium-full mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.

overall this a superb RIS, no doubt about it. very, very well done. just wish it were easier to get a hold of.

(originally reviewed: 06-07-2011)

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2012 22:01:52 | More by BostonHops
Photo of mrbill57


5/5  rDev +11.1%

06-13-2012 02:25:53 | More by mrbill57
Photo of MadMac21


5/5  rDev +11.1%

06-11-2012 23:37:18 | More by MadMac21
Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN


4.5/5  rDev 0%

06-11-2012 18:13:42 | More by BdubleEdubleRUN
Photo of wfcubsfan


5/5  rDev +11.1%

06-11-2012 04:47:14 | More by wfcubsfan
Photo of DaveHack


4/5  rDev -11.1%

06-10-2012 14:58:28 | More by DaveHack
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Heatwave33! Heres to completing my first year of teaching. Cheers guys.

Pour is black. Small but thick, frosty white head.

Smells is very full bodied, yet still has hints of bitterness. Thick leathery roasty malt comes to mind, as well as a good bit of dark chocolate.

The taste is complex as hell. Thick roasted tries to come out, but the bitterness (reminiscent of coffee and extremely bitter dark chocolate) just takes over. Theres also subtle sweet dark fruits that really separate this from other RISs. Theres a creaminess as well that really balances out what could be a deep roasty, leathery, super sweet bomb. Its got a nice balance, and it feels nice. Almost like nitro.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2012 21:05:44 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of Shmeal


4.5/5  rDev 0%

06-07-2012 05:45:06 | More by Shmeal
Photo of Thirsty2383


4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

06-06-2012 18:49:10 | More by Thirsty2383
Photo of DarthKostrizer


3.35/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage thanks for sharing MrVonzipper

Look: Very dark pretty much black body with a 1/4 tan head and ok retention and some spotty lacing

Smell: The nose for me really doesn't work. It is a combination of chocolate dark fruits a touch of vanilla sweetness and piney hops

Taste: Again just not a fan of the taste. It starts of slightly sweet with some chocolate caramel and vanilla and finishes with a piney bitterness that just does not work for me

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium to mild carbonation and bitter

Overall: This beer reminds me more of a cda than a RIS. The flavors are all over the place and just do not mix well for me. Definitely not worth seeking out

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2012 00:00:34 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of josephwa


4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

06-04-2012 18:36:34 | More by josephwa
Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,493 ratings.