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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,721 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,721
Reviews: 769
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 2,945
Gots: 1,048 | FT: 78
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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

(Beer added by: ryantupy on 10-08-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,721 | Reviews: 769 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lurpy1
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A long time coming on this one, fortunate to get 2 bottles from Four Firkins. One is being saved for a rainy day in 2013, the other to drink post-haste.

The pour is darker than a Spinal Tap album cover, with a substantial, sticky ocean-scum head that just goes and goes.

Smell...ooh la la, a lot going on here, but raisins, cherries, malt, and oats come to the fore. Goddamn.

If anything, the taste runs to the excessive, so much malt, fruit, boozy backdrop. Absolutely delicious. Why not a 5.0 for taste? Because it's almost too much, completely hit over the head with flavor.

Mouthfeel is perfect a thick, glossy sludge of a beer that doesn't coat the tongue too badly.

Awesome beer. Totally awesome. Glad I was able to get my hands on it.

lurpy1, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of ChopperSmith
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 Darkness (Zombie label) poured from tap into a standard clear pint glass at The Bulldog Northeast in Minneapolis.

Appearance: As the name suggests, this beer pours a deep opaque brown color (looks black), darkness indeed. Pours with a one finger tan foam head that receded quickly and left some nice sticky lacing.

Smell: Sweet and malty with caramel and toffee notes mixed with coffee and cream. Some slight earthy wet grass hops aroma underneath.

Taste: Exceptionally smooth and sweet. Dark roasted malts provide a good sweet coffee and cream flavor, with some good caramel and slight toffee notes. A slight earthy hops flavor is detected. Also flavors of dark fruits, like black cherries and prunes, mixed with a little black licorice. Very flavorful and complex. Flavors opened up a bit as it warmed in the glass.

Mouth Feel: Medium to full bodied and a creamy carbonation that works well with the style (would love to try this one with a creamy nitro tap).

Overall: An outstanding Porter! I can see what all the hype is about and why this is such a sought after brew. It is perfection for a stout. At 10.3% ABV it's definitely a sipping beer, and a great choice for a good fall or winter warmer. Will look for this again in the future, in bottle or on tap...any way I can get it!

ChopperSmith, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.6/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010... Poured into NB globe...

A- Pitch black, absolutely dark as shit. Nice inch and a half of caramel colored head. Dense, thick, stable- takes ten minutes to settle.

S- Dark roasts, dark fruits, and booze! Sweeter than I thought it would come across. Black cherries really pop to me, oh and booze!

T/M- Booze. Minimal roast, some chocolate is very prominent here, though I couldn't find it in the nose. Again with the dark fruits, plums and black cherries galore. Licorice plays a background role, but overall I will say I thought this was a bit downplayed compared to what I thought it would be. Not entirely full bodied, but its fairly heavy on the palate. Not much carbonated remains dissolved because its not lively.

O- I want this fresh before my final decision is made up, but as it stands, it was pretty disappointing. It was way more sweet than anything, somewhere between ItT and DL. Tone down the booze and sweetness, then I'm on board...

TheGordianKnot, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.22/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown/almost black. Blood red around the edges. 2 fingers of smooth creamy head.

S - Very bready, pumpernickel like. Slight hunt of burnt toast. Good amount of chocolate coming in.

T - Alot of chocolate, followed by roast and lactose sweetness. Sweetness could be confused with dark Karo syrup.

M - Very creamy and cloying. No agressiveness to break up the sweetness.

O - Great brew. Stands up to its competition of Darklord and Sexual Chocolate, but does not destroy them.

RocPorterFanatic, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of Beejay
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks RocPorterFanatic for sharing this brew.

2010 Edition

A: Pours a deel brown red, in the glass it is black as night. A very deep brown fluffy head perches on top. The head is thick and creamy.

S: The smell is bready in a way that makes me think that an English yeast strain was used. Dark chocolate, dominates the nose. Sweet, but not overpoweringly so.

T: Sweet, malty, and delicious. There is a lot of dark chocolate, and a touch of bitterness in the finish that balances it out. This has got the feel like they just effortlessly made it one day. Tasty.

M: Thick and creamy, carbonation is just right.

O: Overall this is an excellent example of the style. Dark and rich with nice residual sweetness, and a robust dark chocolate component.

Beejay, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'10 Vampire vintage, thanks to Levifunk, grub, and bsuedekum for various bottles of this awesome beer.

Awesome huge head, thick frothy and creamy, dark head, forms layers as I pour between glasses, pitch black thick beer with nice legs, tons of lacing. essentially the perfect head.

Nose brings lots of chocolate, bakers, dark, cocoa nibs, bit of roast and coffee, lots of vanilla, bit of caramel, lots of dark malts bit of bitter roast and earthy hops.

Taste starts a bit of soy sauce, lots of bitter roasted malts, coffee, syrupy, big and heavy, roasty, some light oats, slightly briny, lots of vanilla, caramel, molasses, slight booze, bitter astringent roasted malts and bit of earthy hop. Slight charred roasted malt. Finishes quite bitter, astringent, sticky and syrupy, syrupy malts, soy sauce and a bit of earthy hop bitterness.

Mouth is big bodied but not quite as big as I expected, a bit syrupy, decent carb for the style.

Overall good, but not quite what I expected. Too much bitter briny roasty astringent soy sauce flavors, big and heavy as it should, but not quite as drinkable. Reminds me of fresh Dark Lord, but this has a year of aging on it. I'll let the rest age more and hopefully the soy sauce and briny qualities settle down.

jlindros, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of Ungertaker
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage on-tap, poured into a tulip.

A- deep, opaque black with a tan, one-half finger head.

S- raisins, dark chocolate, plums, and a hint of espresso.

T- dried fruit is present from the start and remains to the finish. Dark chocolate and a faint espresso come in at the middle with the chocolate remaining through the finish.

M- Viscous, short of a motor oil-feel, but thick nonetheless. A slight carbonation presence accompanies the thickness.

O- awesome. Previous years have gotten much better with age, though. I had the privilege of doing a side-by-side of 2010 and 2011 before Darkness Day and the 2010 blew the 2011 out of the water, IMO.

Ungertaker, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of birchstick
4.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Republic. First time having it fresh and on tap.

A - pours black as night with a nice 1.5 finger chocolate mo ha head that retreats quickly.

S - The nose is pretty faint on it, but what I get is a lot of chocolate with some toffee and vanilla in the mix. It smells pretty hoppy as well with some. It the malts.

T - starts off with a lot of sweet milk chocolate and some vanilla upfront. These fade to some cola like flavors and some oakiness (I know this wasn't barrel aged but it tastes like something is in there). There is also some bitter candied fruits and spicy tobacco. Ends with a blast of bright, citrus hops that are muddled with dark chocolate and toffee booziness. This is still a little rough around the edges, but I like it that way as you can pick out more of the flavors and make this a bit more complex.

M - mouthfeel is a little watery yet full bodied and a little chewy.

D - I was pumped to see this one on tap as I haven't come close to trying it on tap before. This is more complex than I remembered it being last year but like I said it seems a bit rough now. I think time will do this one well and help calm this one down a bit. Definitely worth seeking out if you like big, complex stouts.

birchstick, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of DCon
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on-tap w/ xsists @ the Surly Brewing Company's Darkness Day 2011 in Brooklyn Center, MN for $5. Tapped from the Black Handle into my new 12oz Surly Darkness Tulip Glass! Here's the brew we are here for!

Aroma- Tons of espresso, malt, and booze hit the nose. Strong and appropriate! Very complexed though... Alot of the aromas I couldn't pick out. No cherries like the Bourbon, Oaked version.

Appearance- Received with a .5 finger head that was dark brown. Died very quickly. Has a deep opaque and jet black color body. Light lacing is left on the sides of the glass with dark brown suds.

Flavor- Sweet taste! Roasty and has a ton flavor as well. The hop flavor is higher in this one and can tell the grains and malts make a light chocolate taste come around at the finish. Not much booze but still evident.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Light Carbonation, Nice texture (from how viscous it is), and leaves sweetness and light booze. A bit lighter than the other version but perfect!

Overall Impression- As it did warm up a bit for me, I should have waited longer for my first tasting of this... The Bourbon Oaked Darkness kicked this ones ass! Too bad it was only on-cask the day of the event. The darkness with still awesome and had a great amount of richness and booze to it, but not as powerful as their bourbon, oaked cask. I'm excited to see what this bottle does in a year or so!!

DCon, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of stouts4me
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

darkness 2011 straight from the gates of SURLY, on saturday October 23rd.
Pours a deep dark dark brown, not black, but surely no light gets through. 1/4" light brown foam on top.
The nose is very nice, smell is smooth if that makes sense.
first sip is awesome, just as u would expect from these pro's. Nice, smooth not overpowering ; cocoa, plum a little booziness, definitely not a bad or overpowering booze taste.
Mouthfeel is very good, smoothly flowing over the tastebuds.
Overall u expect this to be great and u won't cry foul, u will enjoy each delicious mouthful.

stouts4me, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of bobbypaulson
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer rocks!!! In my opinion this is the best stout out there, that I've had the pleasure of tasting. I had it on fresh from a keg, aged from a keg, fresh from a bottle and aged from a bottle. Every way it is great!!! The beer pours a a deep dark black with a very dark frothy head, nothing see through about this beer. The smell is of coffe, chocolate roast, and some hops. The taste is amazing, everything you smell fills your mouth and coats. The finish of the beer is increibly smooth and the left over taste leaves you craving more. I'm glad I live in Minnesota and have a chance at this beer because it is the best!!!

bobbypaulson, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of seeswo
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review based on notes from multiple 2010 bottles.

Pours black with a nice brownish head. Looks really nice. The smell is dark chocolate, coffee, molasses. Yum. The taste is very dark roasted coffee, chocolate, roasted malts. There is a source of bitterness here (hops?) that provide a nice balance. Over time, this beer gets a bit sweeter as they fade a touch. Really comes together nicely. The body is big and smooth, with lower carbonation - mouthfeel is dead on. A really delicious beer. No alcohol, good balance and yet decadent. One of the best few of the hyped yearly released stouts.

seeswo, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of cbros
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage poured into a snifter.

Pours an absolutely beautiful jet black with a nice 2/3 finger tan lace. The head quickly dissipated to a nice lacing. In a perfect world the head would have stayed around a little bit longer, but oh well. The smell was a combination of toasted coffee, alcohol and bourbon. This combination jumped out of the bottle as soon as I opened. A wonderful smelling beer that certainly got my anticipation up for the actual tasting. A great tasting beer that was exactly what the smell said it would be.

I have held on to this beer for over 3 years and I finally decided 'what the hell' and opened it. This is probably one of the top 3 or 4 beers that I have had the pleasure of trying.

cbros, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of Ryan011235
4.1/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter and an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 10/17/11

2010 Vintage

Much appreciation to PDXHops for the chance to try this critter

Scorched brown whilst being poured; not quite crimson brown. Pitch black in the glass. Massive two and a half finger head of layered shades of brown foam; it's like sedimentary layers, or something. The head eventually drops to a big patch of tightly grouped bubbles. I was planning on using my trusty E&J for the appearance score, since it usually holds better lace than the snifter. It isn't necessary here; there is a copious amount of lace for the style, starting where the head crested and crackling its way down.

Honestly, I don't think Darkness could look any better.

The aroma is gargantuan. Simply all-encompassing and intense. Layers of dark, burnt sugars and malts are blanketed by vinous and dark fruit notes. Tangy, roasted notions meander about, as well. Aromatic tones of port, prune, molasses, burnt chocolate and cocoa. This certainly smells on the sweet order of the RIS style. As it starts to warm, burnt chocolate emerges as the predominant factor in terms of sweetness. Subtle hints of toffee and, to a lesser extent, caramel.

One sip in and I'm ready to draw the conclusion that Darkness succeeds because it is bold and sweet, but remains free of the disgustingly sugar-addled sweetness to which some imperial stouts fall victim.

Burnt and roasted chocolate flavors wash over the tongue and, before they can subside, are joined by a rather sturdy hoppiness. The hops seem earthy and add a modest kick and subtle bitterness; really rounds out the flavors without going overboard. In all actuality, the hops provide a welcomed dry counterpoint to the otherwise sweet flavor profile. I mean, when you're cranking a bunch of burnt sugars a la chocolate and molasses, and a large spot of prune and dark fruits, what's wrong with some balance, huh? Heck, there even seems to be a dusting of cocoa and the most faintest notion of coffee beans on the finish.

The feel finds as much attention given it as does the flavor profile. For sure, this is full bodied and reasonably viscous but it stands aback of the sludgy and plodding. The feel is smooth, though simultaneously accented by modest, puffy carbonation that further tames over time. The finish boasts hefty residuals that linger long.

Ultimately, Darkness is pushing my threshold for sweetness in Imperial Stouts. That said, this is how you do sweet without it becoming a problem. My personal preferences for dry, roasty and ashy stouts aside, this is a well-constructed and really good.

And another thing. It sure is nice to see a proper vampire on the label. Old dude is a fairly menacing looking sort. Now, he's no Nosferatu; that's one supremely creepy vampire. But an angry, red countenance and vapid, white eyes? Yeah, that's a proper vampire. None of that team glitter and team other guy bullshit.

Ryan011235, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of korguy123
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 into tulip. Special thanks to biglobo8971 for this bad boy.

A- Thick, syrupy totally opaque pour. Three finger dense foamy milk chocolate colored head. Very slowly recedes to finger width cap. Lacing is remarkable.

S- Roasted coffee, figs, bakers chocolate, molasses, brown sugar and subtle vanilla.

T- Milk chocolate, bitter roasted coffee, vanilla and molasses. Slight woody notes. Very smooth, very balanced.

M- This is a meal... And the light carbonation make it feel even heavier. It's silky, smooth and creamy. Probably the best feeling stout I've had yet.

O- This is supposed to be up there in stouts and does not disappoint. The tastes meld together in perfect harmony, it feels remarkable and the alcohol is invisible. The people that can attend darkness day are lucky sob's!

Thanks for this experience!

korguy123, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of Treebs
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first beer of the day in line waiting for CBS. Graciously shared by ThomasHardy. 2010 vintage, poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A: Of course this pours a jet black with a nice khaki swirls and a nice khaki ring that follows me down the glass. Sticky lace and legs are present.

S: Dark fruits, oaky wood, light chocolate and nice malt bill.

T: Big oak and wood with some nice dark fruits, figs and dates. Great roasted malt with a little bitter bakers chocolate and chocolate chips as the beer warms.

M: Very drinkable. Smooth and creamy. Heavy bodied with nice carbonation.

O: A big thank you to ThomasHardy for sharing this. I will be saying this a lot as he shared some awesome beers. Overall I really enjoyed the beer a lot. All the flavors were very well balanced and there was no heat which was a nice touch.

Treebs, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of DaveJanssen
3.65/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 version split three ways. Reviewed 14 January 2011.

Ar: Mild smoke, full malt, dark caramel, brown malt, burnt but clean, hop bitterness

Ap: Thick and creamy, large dark tan head, great retention, black with brown edges, light lace hints

T: Unique caramel, dark but smoother than aroma, light alcohol, full but slightly indistinct, smooth burn/heavy toast, sweet and full reasonably hoppy, mild fruit, mild alcohol

M: Creamy and full, low/medium carbonation, chexy, smooth alcohol

O: Appearance and mouthfeel are the best parts of this beer, good but indistinct and lacking direction, sort of like ten-fidy and lagunitas imperial stout in sweetness

DaveJanssen, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of mryuk
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours extremely dark brown black with a finger of brown head.

smell is slightly sweet with other deep flavors, smoke, fruit with slight hops.

taste taste is also slightly sweet with coffee, chocolate, toasted goodness and very slight hops.

mouth is quite thick and not very alcoholic with medium carbonation.

overall an awesome russian imperial stout. I am always up for darkness.

mryuk, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of claytong
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 i believe

appearance - black with a nice solid mocha head. sticks around, good lacing. though i drank my 6 oz or so pour pretty god damn quick

smell - lots going on here, dark chocolate, roasted malts, licorice, minor hops, brown sugar, and a bit of vanilla.

taste - just like the smell with a bit of dark fruit.

mouthfeel - creamy like hell. love this. carbonation is dead on. body is thick. sugar is at a good level where its not getting cloying at all. mhmmm

claytong, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of AdamGarcia
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 release. Decided to open this for no reason in particular. 750ml bottle served in Unibroue tulip.

A: Pours very dark, nearly black. A forceful pour yields two fingers worth of dark mocha colored head. Retention is strong. Leaves a little bit of lace. Very imposing appearance. No light getting through whatsoever.

S: Deep, rich scents. Dark fruit. Raisins, figs, plum, and red grapes. Hints of chocolate and coffee. Intense aromas.

T: Big and bold. Milk chocolate. Sweet coffee and cream. Lovely roasted flavors. Over-ripe fruits. Hops come through late and balance all the sweet flavors with a little bitterness. No discernible heat despite the abv. Quite complex.

M: Full bodied. Viscous and coating. Smooth as silk. Perfect.

O: Tremendous. Age was very kind to this one. I had high expectations and the were met, if not exceeded. This is an amazing beer that I would recommend trying at least once. Do what you need to do to track one down and you won't be disappointed. Surly continues to amaze me.

AdamGarcia, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of jamescain
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200

2008 vintage poured into a sniffer, another BIG thanks to Dajtai007 for sharing this one.

Appearance: Just as the name describes, Darkness, it pours a pitch black inky looking beer with a dark brown head about a centimeter thick that fades into a ring around the glass.

Aroma: Dark chocolate, vanilla, spicy notes, licorice and dark fruits, wonderful aroma, complex and not jumbled together.

Taste: Just like the aroma wonderfully complex, dark chocolate, dark fruit, prunes, molassas, coffee and roasted grains.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth with minimal carbonation and a thick body, a sipper, yet still easy and pleasant to drink.

Overall: Time has done very good things to this beer. After trying this one and the 2009 vintage, I'm not going to touch my 2010 for at least 2 years.

jamescain, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of beerhan
3.8/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at a tasting, poured into a wine glass. 2010 Vintage.

A-Darkness, nothing else but a faint tan head.

S-Very roasty and incredibly dark cocoa.

T-A little smokey, malty. Hints of dark chocolate, very dry. Not at all sweet. This one reminded me of IST a little bit with this one taste surrounding it that I am yet to figure out what it is.

M-I love the feel of a thick stout. This one is pretty close to perfect. Slight carbonation and nice and chewy. I dock it a little because I sampled this in the summer and it was a little too rich for the time.

O-I feel that this beer was just a little too dry and roasty. Out of the bigger stouts out there I feel that this one could use some more time to age before trying again. I would love to try it again but not fresh.

beerhan, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of kittywamp
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: black coffe colored head

S: chocolate, roasted malts, brown sugar and toffee dark fruit

T: dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses and very creamy

M: thick, creamy smooth that lingers

O: this is my favorite beer. If i could i would drink this beer year round. i really enjoyed this beer. if you get a chance to buy do it. its so worth it.

kittywamp, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.22/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

779th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz cap/wax
2010- Vampire

@Woodshop Classix

App- This poured to mix a mix of a RIS and a quad. A darker brown but with some red/amber highlights around the edges. A big puffy one finger khaki head formed and receded with a lot of dotty cling and some streaks.

Smell- Right up front this was a sweeter smelling RIS. A big copious amount of malt was there and then went into a bit of roasty notes with touches of dark chocolate and a lot of dark fruits to continue the RIS/Quad feel.

Taste- This tasted to me like one of those chocolate covered raspberry circles around easter. A dark fruit laden stout with a paired roast note on the backend of the flavor profile. A bit of dark chocolate rounded out the edges.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Again a nice mix of the RIS/Quad flavors with residual flavors coming from the roast notes and a bit of the dark chocolate/orange/raspberry notes.

Drink- I was really impressed with this beer. It had a lot going on in the glass but wasn't overdone just a bit young. I feel I opened this one a bit young but I needed to bring something to Woodshop to compete with everyone else. I will try to land another older bottle.

FosterJM, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of MrDanno96
4.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been saving this one for a while now and tonight is the big night! Big thanks to Doodler for trading this one to me. 2010 vintage into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip.

A: Poured pitch black with about 3 fingers of dark-tan head (likely from the shaking the bottle went through as I attempted to remove the wax) and dissipated to about a finger after a few minutes. Lots o foamy lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Intense smells of coffee and dark chocolate immediately hit the nose, followed by molasses, vanilla, licorice and dark fruit. Of course a little alcohol burn in the nostrils as well. Very complex.

T: Lots of powerfully sweet chocolate flavor up front, mixed with sweet candied dark fruit and thick, gooey molasses. Some bitterness comes through in the mid-palate, coffee and really dark chocolate. Hops comes through in the finish in the form of bitterness and subtle fruity sweetness. Very complex, but its sweetness boarders on cloying at times.

M: Thick, full bodied and sticky. Very subtle carbonation.

O: A great imperial stout, but probably towards the bottom of my "hard to get imperial stouts" list. At treat nonetheless.

MrDanno96, Aug 11, 2011
Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 2,721 ratings.