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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

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

2,995 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,995
Reviews: 789
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,110
Gots: 1,141 | FT: 79
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Darkness Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,995 | Reviews: 789 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pwsoldier
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of girllovesbier
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of brystmar
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle from a recent trade. My first Darkness!

A: Black as night. Pours a generous amount of dark tan head with the retention of a champ. Coats my glass with plenty of lace.

S: Dark, roasted malts; chocolate; booze; molasses; some toffee notes too.

T: Smooth and resilient start to finish. Tons of roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate at every turn. Hints of dark fruits in the middle, then boozy warmth as you swallow. On the sweeter side of the spectrum, but not as sweet as Dark Lord. This isn't a super complex stout like DL or Black Tuesday; instead, Surly focuses on one flavor profile and nails it. Reminds me of Zhukov.

M/D: Its full, smooth body pairs well with the soft carbonation, delivering creamy deliciousness to my palate. I could drink this baby all night long.

Bravo to Omar & crew on brewing a stellar RIS!

Photo of jegross2
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing Darkness from Surly Brewing Company. I have been looking to try this one for quite some time.
Score: 97

Fresh and on tap at Kuma's Corner in Chicago, home of the best burgers in the universe, in 16 oz pint glass servings! Thank you Oddball Ilana for acting as my notetaker on this one.

Appearance: Pours pitch black. Completely opaque, like a vacuum for light. Thin brown head that mostly settles after pour. Excellent lacing. 4.5/5

Aroma: Molasses sweetness. Raisins and caramel. Creamy malts. Sweet figs, raw coffee beans, and maple. A little dark rum. 4.5/5

Taste: Incredibly complex. Sweet caramel and raisins. Dark fruit and maple syrupy sweetness. A little coffee and dark fruits on the mid-palate. Roasted malty sweetness. A little citrus becomes apparent as the beer layers on the mid-palate, as does some faint cocoa. Burnt chocolate flavors come through a few sips into the beer. A little cherry halfway through the glass too. Finishes with sweet raisin, very dark unsweetened chocolate and a little charcoal. Absolutely delicious! 4.75/5

Mouthfeel:Full-bodied and viscous. A little oily and chewy. Has a very sweet and slightly sticky finish. Despite all the sugary-sweet descriptors, the beer does not overwhelm the palate with sweetness. 10.3% ABV is absolutely hidden. 4.75/5

Overall: An instant classic! Delicious, well rounded and delivering on the hype. It's a little sweet, but nowhere near Dark Lord sweet.

Recommendation: An absolutely great beer that must be tried by everyone.

Pairings: My Neurosis burger at Kuma's Corner went GREAT with this one. Hamburgers, steak and caramelized onions are the food pairing to beat.

Cost: $10 for a pint, $20 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Photo of larryi86
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to hockeyd for this
750 mL bottle, 2011 zombie, poured into a Tulip glass

A- Black as night with a small tan head that just sits there, great lacing.

S- Sweet chocolate, dark fruits, hint of cherries, some roasted malts, and a touch of hops, overall very sweet smelling.

T- Starts out sweet milk chocolate, getting hint of roasted malts, dark fruits, hint of hops, cherries in the finish, and just a touch of alcohol, but does not seem like 10.3%. Well balanced and a nice level of complexity

M- Smooth, creamy, full body.

O- This is a great beer I am very happy that I sought this one out. This is an easy drinking, sweet stout. I would love to get another to see what aging would do it.

Photo of paulozanello
4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 version, on tap:

Pours a really opaque dark color with a light brown head with great retention and lacing.

Aroma is of dark malts, mollasses, some coffee, vanilla and chocolate.

Taste somehow follows the aroma with a very "dark malt" profile, with dark fruits, vanilla, coffee and bitter chocolate.

Body is heavy with a silky and smooth mouthfeel at first, with mild tart and astringent dark malt notes later on. Aftertaste is a little hop bitter.

Overall a very good RIS from surly. Not the most complex beer within the style but a great beer nonetheless.

Photo of surlytheduff
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of stbo101
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of igor
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of ccrida
3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, cellared since release. Poured into my Delirium Tremens snifter, Darkness is dark, thick, with a dark tan head leaving lots of lace.

Smell is on the sweet, malty side.

Taste is fairly sweet malt, chocolate, modest roast, nice hop bitterness as well as still some spicy, herbal hop flavor. Obviously way dialed down compared to how it is fresh, better integration by now.

Mouthfeel is pretty silky, on the thick side.

Drinkability is fine. It's a well made RIS. Certainly not worth any great expense or hassle to acquire though. I traded mine with a local for some limited release HOTD, dollar for dollar, which was fair.

Photo of Finatic
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Orchids
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of AleWatcher
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage served in snifter on thanksgiving day.

Very dark brown-- looks black until backlit, then deep reddish hues make a triumphant and glorious appearance.
Wow, this is MUCH better than the bottles we opened up about this time last year of the 2010 vintage! I think I have notes from that review in which I would have given it a C- at best! This is quite different indeed;
Notes of chocolate malt turn into fudge/brownie batter as the beer warms... Some caramel malt provide a little depth and sweetness up front. A touch of anise creeps up in the dry boozy finish.

Feel is thick and viscous, oily and creamy, firm and full.

Overall-- this is a quite an enjoyable little beer to sip with turkey in my belly and football on tv. Niiice.

Photo of 1Adam12
3.92/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage split with a buddy of mine. First thing that stuck out at me was how thin this poured. After all of the arguing about which is better between dark lord and darkness, I was expecting it to look thicker. Black in color, but thin. Nice nose, lots of malt, roasts and chocolate. Taste was sweet, coffee, loads of chocolate jumped out at me. Bitter taste as well. Mouthfeel was thin. It coated the mouth, but it was very thin. Also, the flavors really didn't linger. Overall, this was a very tasty beer that I would drink again in a heartbeat, however IMO there is absolutely no debate on which is better between this and DL.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Joecaddie
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of TriGuy20
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Jips
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of shawnp
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of iceboi15
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*MY FIRST REVIEW*
I was lucky enough to have one on draft @ FFF 15 anniversay party as well as to score one at Map Room in Chicago.

I am new to the Imperial Russian Stout Game, but I know what I like. Big coffee notes up front, kinda like a double brewed slightly sweetend cup of joe. Then that mocha sneaks up on you. These flavors do a great job of hinding the alcohol, especially when you let it warm up to room temp. I love looking at the rim this beer leaves behind in the glass, it reminds you of what was once there.

It's such a complex beer, but any fan of the the Russian Imperial can truely appreciate the craft that went into Darkness.

Photo of bfirkin45
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of dgian13
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of vobr0002
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,995 ratings.