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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,074 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,074
Reviews: 797
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 3,151
Gots: 1,147 | 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 (42) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,074 | Reviews: 797
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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!

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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.

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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.

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Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,074 ratings.