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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,966 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,966
Reviews: 788
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,070
Gots: 1,128 | FT: 83
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 (43) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Darkness Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,966 | Reviews: 788 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tectactoe
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Mike for sharing this one with me! 2011 version. Pours a midnight black color, only the very edges show some dark brown hints; thick, dark, and opaque. The head is a deep tan color, comprised of very fine bubbles and appears to be creamy as hell. It hangs around for a while before it complete vanishes, and it's pretty hard to bring any of it back by just swirling the glass. No real lacing left behind.

Right out of the gate, the aroma is super sweet. Dark currants and fruits, black licorice, toasted brown sugar, and bits of bittersweet chocolate. Some small, extra hints of vanilla reside in the back as well. Not much coffee on the nose (though there is a little bit) - the sweet fruits, sugar, and chocolate kind of steal the show. Booze is apparent, but masked well enough from the barricade of other flavors.

Many other people are calling out a big hop profile in the aroma, but I'm just not getting it. Some very faint char/ashiness that may be from the hop, but I'm grasping at straws, here. I'm just not picking up a big hop character on the nose (barely any at all, actually). This aroma reminds me quite a bit of Dark Lard, but lighter on the brown sugar and not quite as sweet.

A similar thing could be said about the taste. Darkness hits you with a sweetness first and foremost, just like Dark Lord did, but it's a little more tamed in this one. Sugary, burnt caramels, bittersweet cocoa, syrupy molasses, licorice - quite a lot going on here. There were actually a few sips that would remind me of the syrup used in fountain machines to make cola. Less dark fruit on the palate than in the aroma, but some currants and dates are there, sugar coated and sweet as hell.

I'm finally picking up a touch of hops, but still nowhere near enough to combat the sheer malty sweet intensity of this beer. The coffee comes out a little over halfway through and ride well into the aftertaste, leaving a nice roasted coffee bean flavor in my mouth. The sweet brown sugar also hangs in the aftertaste, probably for a little too long. Thick, heavy mouth, though not incredibly creamy or chewy, with lower end carbonation. Lacquers the mouth with a sticky, syrupy coating.

This is a damn fine brew, and I enjoyed it a little bit more than Dark Lord. But unfortunately it suffers from the same flaw of still being a bit too sweet. Darkness does a little bit better of a job taming the sweetness than Dark Lord, however. Lots of different flavors and aromas going on here, and this is a nicely crafted RIS - but the relentless sweetness (in my opinion) is holding it back from being "top of the list" for me.

EDIT: 7/19/2013

2012 Vintage shared thanks to Kevin R... Thanks! I liked this one even a bit more than the 2011 that Mike cracked with me earlier this year. Sweetness was evident, yet more controlled. Hoppier, with a better balance of ashy bitterness. More roasty, more drinkable, and even more enjoyable, even though I already like it in the first place. Great brew.

Photo of MEW
4.5/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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4.5/5  rDev 0%

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4/5  rDev -11.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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4.5/5  rDev 0%

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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

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4.5/5  rDev 0%

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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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4/5  rDev -11.1%

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4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

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4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of beerandcycling88
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one from the bottle share. Part of a 2010, 2011 and 2012 vertical review is of the 2011.

A Very nice dark brown body that is topped off with a mocha head.

S Lots of chocolate both dark and milk with some smoke.

T Some more smoke with more chocolate and some slight hops and coffee. Very tasty.

M Very thick and creamy.

Overall this is an excellent RIS that I'm glad I got the opportunity to try. The 2011 was my favorite of the 3 with the 10 having a bit too much smoke and the 12 having more hops then what I prefer in a RIS.

Photo of DBijnagte
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Shilt
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of sureshot08
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Mjmoser
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,966 ratings.