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Darkness (2006 - 2013) - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Darkness (2006 - 2013)Darkness (2006 - 2013)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,651 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,651
Reviews: 765
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 2,924
Gots: 1,032 | FT: 72
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Starting in 2014, Darkness will be aged in whiskey barrels.


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 (2006 - 2013) Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,651 | Reviews: 765 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BrokenStones
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

BrokenStones, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of sukwonee
4.08/5  rDev -9.3%

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.

sukwonee, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of Powderhornphil
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

Powderhornphil, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of papat444
3.58/5  rDev -20.4%

***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.

papat444, Sep 06, 2012
Photo of Revenant
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Revenant, Sep 04, 2012
Photo of Dloude
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Dloude, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of dtmets84
3.3/5  rDev -26.7%

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.

dtmets84, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of IPx
5/5  rDev +11.1%

IPx, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of Wilkison
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Wilkison, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of BWHD
4.5/5  rDev 0%

BWHD, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of assman79
5/5  rDev +11.1%

assman79, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of kspongeworthy
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

kspongeworthy, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of Drunkonmusic
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Drunkonmusic, Aug 23, 2012
Photo of jrkoller
5/5  rDev +11.1%

jrkoller, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of ObiWanKushnobi
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

ObiWanKushnobi, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.13/5  rDev -8.2%

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.

Goblinmunkey7, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of angrybabboon
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%

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).

angrybabboon, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of hop_chomper
4.5/5  rDev 0%

hop_chomper, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of polishkaz
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

polishkaz, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of GarbageMan
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

GarbageMan, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Duff27, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of Dactrius
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Dactrius, Aug 12, 2012
Photo of Doyle
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Doyle, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of slvrmon82
4.5/5  rDev 0%

slvrmon82, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of ryancl
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

ryancl, Aug 02, 2012
Darkness (2006 - 2013) from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,651 ratings.