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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,968 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,968
Reviews: 788
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,072
Gots: 1,129 | 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/ 

2007-Grim Reaper
2012 - Werewolf
2013 - Brewcifer
View: Beers (43) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,968 | Reviews: 788 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jimmy82063
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Version poured into a Brandy Snifter...

A) Pours a jet black, light is not getting through this. Thin head, medium lacing.

S) Chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla and a bit of bourbon, very nice....

T) The semi-sweet chocolate in the dominant taste here, supplemented by the hint of bourbon and vanilla. What is intriguing is that the coffee notes are very muted. What makes this enjoyable is that it is not a sugar bomb like other highly rated RIS's....well balanced.

M) Lightly carbonated and smooth.

O) Well deserved of its rating this is deceptively drinkable!

Photo of stpaulsipper07
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Destral
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Goinbigger
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of bigbeers84
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of twelveinches
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of knobodi
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of hopluva1
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of SortaAmbivalent
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of bespin15
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of PlinytheFarter
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of rarapacz
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of deebo
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review from fresh 11 Darkness had on DD.
A-Black as night with a thick tan head that laces and lingers throughout.

S-Malt bomb. Sweet raisins and molasses are the most noted flavors.

T-Sweet with heavy malt bill. Stout meets Quad.

M-Alcohol well hidden. Nice medium body that isn't too heavy or oily like some RIS.

D-These are not meant for slamming but drinkability is good for the style-maybe I could have 2 if in the right mood.

O-Not a huge RIS fan, but this one has very good taste while also being drinkable. Enjoy having this on tap, but not likely to buy too many $18 bottles of this or any other RIS.

Photo of BubbaBeerMan
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of osusullins
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of mdvatab
3.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received 2010 bottle in a trade, split with BA friend barfwin in celebration of my son's birth.
Poured from 750 ml bottle into snifter.

Aroma: Rich molasses, fudge brownie, and dry, roasty dark chocolate. A very mild herbal hop note chimes in. Also picking up some anise.

Appearance: Dark tan, 1 finger sudsy head. One of the most substantial collars of foam that I've seen on an imperial stout. Not a requirement, but definitely a nice touch! Leaves sudsy lacing behind. Oh--and the body of the beer matches the name--pitch black!

Flavor: Rich chocolate, molasses, and fruity grape notes up front. Fig and dark, candied fruits. A touch of smoke. More grape. A balanced bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and chewy. Nice, fine, silky medium-high carbonation.

Overall: A delicious RIS--don't get me wrong--but fell just a tad bit shy in the complexity department. A solid 4, maybe even 4.5. Not sure how well this one was treated over the past year (shipping/storage conditions), which may have had an impact. Looking forward to trying another 2010 in the future, and also 2011!

Photo of CarolinaKevin
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of crewfan16
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into a snifter. high hopes for this one considering how somewhat difficult it was to get one, even in the twin cities area.

a- deep dark ruby brown with no light shining through. little khaki head quickly rises and falls

s- lots of roasted coffee and cocoa. hints of hops are there at the end as well

t- incredibly complex and delicious. coffee and chocolate with roasted malt and a light hop finish. really, really tasty

m- thick and coating on the mouth. very little carbonation is right on for the style.

overall, a great complex imperial stout. im not certain it was worth the effort it took to get my hands on it, but it is certainly very good. glad I have a couple to age and see how good this can get.

Photo of MBrausen
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of BrlyHpsWtrYst
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of PthPndr
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of jwelsh
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of azdback
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011. Poured into a snifter. Well it's name is Darkness and its initial appearance is just that. Deep reaches of space black. Highlight are black with some black shadows. Head is a beautiful two fingers and cocoa colored and smooth and silky in appearance. Lace is sticky and spotted leopard pattern. Beautiful!!

Smell is at first a bit mellow but comes on with great dark roasted flavors of coffee and some silky milk chocolate. Maybe just a bit of char or wood and some tart cherries and maybe just a hint of alcohol.

Taste is much like the smell. The cherries come out more towards the front in the taste than in the nose. The dark roasted flavors of coffee, molasses, chocolate and charred wood are next. It finishes with some alcohol warmness.

Mouth is velvety with creamy carbonation. Body is full to heavy and the finish is long and wet.

Overall I enjoyed this. I have been looking forward to this day for quite some time. I received a bottle of 2010 earlier this year but waited until today to try the 2011 I received from TIMMYJ21 a month or two ago. I expected the world from this but it didn't quite match up. Still really excellent and solid Russian Imperial Stout. Very proud to have this as my 250th review.

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,968 ratings.