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Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
98
world-class
834 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
834
Ratings:
3,522
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
9.28%
 
 
Wants:
3,315
Gots:
1,366
For Trade:
111
DarknessDarkness
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.30%

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/ 

Labels:
2007 - Grim Reaper
2008 - Devil
2009 - Mummy
2010 - Vampire
2011 - Zombie
2012 - Werewolf
2013 - Brewcifer
2015 - Bat

Added by ryantupy on 10-08-2006

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Reviews: 834 | Ratings: 3,522
Photo of KAF
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draught at the Autumn Brew Review in Minneapolis, MN. Very dark in color with a caramel/tan head. Aroma of molasses, liqourice, and slight creamed coffee. More flavor revealed in every sip. Sweet cocoa chocolate flavor with some dark fruits also present. This was a real treat.

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Photo of jsh420
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle

pours dark dark brown almost black with a dark tan 1+ finger head that had great retention and left lacing all down the glass

smell was not very strong but i got lots of hops black licorice

taste was better then the nose - i picked up the same things lots of hops and black licorice AND lots of chocolate

mouthfeel is perfect - full body but not heavy with good carbonation that gives it a creamy and oh so velvety smooth feel

drinkability is great - this makes my top ten list of impy stouts

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Photo of vacax
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Having a nice glass of 2009 Darkness. The pour was gloppy at first without bubbles, but then a rush of carbonation appeared and formed a large charred oak head that cascaded to the top of the glass. Rich, dark foam has good retention and leaves a good amount of lace as well. Hard to find a finer looking brew. The aroma is a heady mixture of sweet roasted malts and some sticky hoppy accents. Heavy herbal notes, soy, anise, licorice and earthy hops. French roast coffee with five sugar cubes.

Tastes of sweet grapes, prune, bit of chocolate, and plenty of roasty and herbal elements. Earthy, sticky, cookielike, and doughy finish. Full bodied, a bit chewy, silky, medium carbonation. I had heard the 2009 was a return to "hoppy goodness," but I actually prefer the 2008 version without so many herbal flavors in it.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.11/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Andy shared this one for his 100th tick! This one is the 2009 vintage poured into a tulip. The beer pours pitch black into a tulip with a big creamy looking tan head that sits atop the beer retaining itself very nicely. The aroma is very chocolatey initially with big roasty aromas lingering in the background with dark fruit and a bit of charred kind of smoke characteristics. The taste follows the smell pretty well. Really enjoyable roasty flavors with chocolate undertones. The beer is slightly sweet with a bit of hoppy bitterness in the finish. All around very enjoyable. The mouthfeel is very thick and chewy. Light carbonation and a robust body make it great. Definitely an great one but at a big 10.3 this one hides the alcohol very well, but still ends up being a sipper.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There are few years that get as much hype. Pours a midnight black color with some decent viscosity. Very dark with a chestnut brown colored head. Good retention and lacing through the whole tasting.

Nose to the floor, the aroma has a mostly sweetness to it. The malt comes out with some stronger coffee and roast aromas. Some stronger astringency notes that gives a harshness to it. Some coffee and lactic/milky notes as well. The lactic may be a bit much and giving that sweeter aroma. Some lighter honey notes with a mild spiciness. The yeasty notes are noticeable as well. Some prunes and cherries really come out but mix with a odd hoppy earthiness to it. Some fusel notes as well.

The taste is similar. Very sweet upfront if not more so than the nose. This hides some of the nice astringent roast flavors that come out. Though as it warms, the roast does come out. The coffee aspect backs off but there as the lactic/milky side comes out. Almost like a oatmeal thing but too sweet. Some bitter dark chocolate notes that balance nicely. The hops are really noticeable and lend more of an earthy and citrus mix. Really distracts from the beer. Would have liked more bitters to help with the sweetness. Noticeable yeasty notes and alcohol, but not necessarily fusels. Nice sherry and cherry/fig notes as well. Some peppery notes. A little bit of butyric on the backend as well. Overall good but super sweet.

The body is a bonus. Very thick and chewy. A lot of depth overall with a creamy texture. So do you buy the hype? Not really. The sweetness is a huge distraction and the finishing hops are too strong. But one thing I will give this beer though, it will age nicely. See you in a few years.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of PWoods.
Pours a very dark brown, nearly black in color. Very nice mocha colored head and frothiness around the edges.
Smell is slight hops, and some mediciny alcohol as well. Taste is very smooth and full. The taste is much better than the smell. More of the piney hops in the flavor. I was expecting a more full mouthfeel.
This is the creamiest, smoothest mouthfeel that I have encompassed. Very interested to see what some more time will do to this. Glad I got the chance to try it. Interested to see where this goes.

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Photo of laza1979
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Local Option on 15 Dec 2010

A - Thick black appearance with a two finger tan head.

S - Dark Chocolate, Espresso, dominated by roasted malts.

T - Dark Chocolate and coffee, with good hop notes. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium, expected a little bit more from such a "big" beer.

D - Very good beer, but not sure it quite lived up to the hype.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

*review #500 for me!*

750mL bottle served into a snifter

*2010 vintage*

This thing isn't as black as one might think given the name "Darkness." It's Dr. Pepper-brown in color. A half finger of camel foam forms, settling quickly to a wisp of a ring. Lacing happens in Morse code-like dots and dashes.

This beer, at this stage in its life, is a sweetness bomb on par with Dark Lord. Tons of sweet chocolate and truckloads of raisin provide the base for the beer. It's really, really raisiny. There's also this wild raspberry aroma here... not like the actual fruit but like the raspberry filling in a piece of Russel Stover's assorted chocolates. A little bit of smoke -- not roasty so much as ashy -- fills out some of the edges of the beer.

Holy dessert. Good God. Caramel sauce (not caramel malt but caramel sauce), browned pie crust, brown sugar, Starbucks Frappachino, more caramel, fudge, hazelnut, hot chocolate. This is such a sweet beer. Ghosts of the hop presence that this beer used to have results in some delicious Grand Marinier/orange reduction flavors. The finish has a slight & lingering hop bitterness.

Oh, this mouthfeel is so appropriate given the sweetness of the flavor profile. This is thick stuff that feels weighty when swishing it around your moth, but not overwhelmingly, syrupy thick. You can actually feel some carbonation (which would make this a good option for pairing with rich desserts) too. It's nice and silky on the swallow.

Overall, I am not blown away by Darkness. Perhaps I would enjoy this beer more when fresh (considering how much I love fresh Goose Island Night Stalker)? What's here though, one year after this 2010 vintage was released, is a pretty delicious beer. It's not that complex; it's pretty much just sweetness. But it's a full-flavored, rich beer that is working pretty well for me right now as a celebratory beer.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. Shared the bottle with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Pours a dark dark brown with some dark red notes. Sits close to black in the glass. Head is the color of fresh espresso crema. Chunky and rocky and creamy. Decent retention. Chunky cap.

Smell: Huge dark fruit. Plums and bing cherries. Big roasted compliment. Leather and touches of char. Chocolate malts and cocoa powder. Lingering booze. Dry-dusted chocolate coffee beans. So much leather. Burnt and roasty. Booze soaked plums. Layers of chocolate.

Taste: Leather and cocoa. Huge hits of roasted malt. Burnt malts. Char. Raisins and ripe cherries. Loads of burnt malts. Milk chocolate sweetness layered in the back. Almost brownie like chocolate in the back. Nicely sweet. Alcohol runs through the back. As it warms the leather and burnt malts take the forefront. Hints of vanilla and caramel. Dutch cocoa. Bitter dryness

Mouthfeel: Full body, but a little thinner than I expected. Mild carbonation. Slight astringency.

Overall: Solid, very solid. Great flavor, but the body ultimately falls a little short given the intense malts of the beer. I've tried it at beer fests and in a blind stout tasting. It comes out just over the middle of the pack. Incredible flavor.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Solid black with 2 fingers of creamy brown head that leaves sticky patchey lacing everywhere.

S - Milk chocolate, slight soy sauce, hints of smoke and roasty malts.

T - Similar to aroma. Milk chocolate, dark fruits, hint of soy sauce and licorice, some smoke and roasted malts.

M - Very creamy but slightly thin. The mouthfeel reminded me of a creamy porter.

D - The lighter body made this one too easy to drink, even at 10%+ ABV. Tasty.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Lisalucy and Flyer for obtaining and sharing this bottle with me. This is an impressive beer.

It pours a black color with reddish and purple elements and a thinner-than-expected beige head.

Aroma is malty and surprisingly hoppy with a dominant smoky-molasses aroma. There is also a minimal chocolate smell; like hot chocolate powder. Flavor is a full roasty smokiness on the tip of the tongue and somewhat chocolatey across the top of my tongue. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth; and it feels like it would coat the back of a spoon.

This beer was much more drinkable than I expected and other comparable beers like Dark Lord. In all honesty, it tasted to me a lot like a less roasty and more approachable Leinenkugel Big Eddy RIS. Quite good, but I can't say I would stand in line 5 hours for it.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Silky black appearance, semi-viscous. Nice 1/2 inch deep tan foam, holds a minute leaving some decent lace. Smell is quite hoppy, with mix of roasted malt. Almost reminiscent of Stone 11th.

The first sip feels very smooth, with a subtle chewiness. The grassy hops are strong in the flavor also, with the bitterness creeping in slowly. This is not much of a typical RIS, as the burnt roast is downplayed by the heavy hand of IPA-like hops. The malt tastes quite sweet and chocolatey. With hops being the focus, perhaps I should have drank this thing fresher?

This beer did not live up to the hype. There is something missing in the balance here. I don't mind a really hoppy stout, but the overt sweetness was too much. There needs to be more of a dry roasted character, and beyond that some more complexity. Again, this was alot like the Stone 11th Anniversary, althogh I would say that was balanced more perfectly than this. Worth a try, but otherwise overrated...

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Photo of Teleweizen2
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darkness

A - the name says it all. It is dark. Black as night with two fingers worth of dark tan foam. Leaves lots of thick lacing.

S - one word sums it up. Chocolate. But it is not that simple. All kinds of chocolate. Chocolate sauce, cocoa powder. Milk and dark. Underneath the sea of chocolate are soft notes of city roast coffee and dried dark fruit.

T - silky sweet and bitter chocolate mix. Roasty coffee around the edges. Ripe juicy dried fruit in the center. Earthy hop on the backend. Chocolatey finish.

M - creamy and slick but with a slightly watery note. medium-full bodied. High carb.

O - a great russian imperial. Definitly something i would like to get my hands on again.

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Photo of mikey711
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one over a long sunday. Received from fbm115 and reviewed from notes. this was the 09 bottle

A: Syrupy black, with no light able to get through that had an espresso like frothy head about half an inch thick that sat atop. The head retention was great and the walls were covered with spider webbing.

S: Heavy milk chocolate aroma up front followed by a far amount of roastiness, then a super burst of citrus hops which caught me by surprise.

T: Again it starts out with the sweet chocolate then leads into a bitter roastiness and a bitter hoppy finish. Some nices mocha notes were present as well and much of the coffee and espresso flavor came out as it warmed. My main criticism was the lemon hoppiness which felt odd

M: Big bold flavors, with plenty of body to spare. It did get slightly heavy at times, but there was no booziness and lots of creaminess to rectify that.

D: I remember asking myself while I was drinking this, is this an A beer? I was able to finish the bomber myself over the course of the day, but wish that I had someone to share it with at times. I also was not super keen on the amount of hoppiness in this stout. Something I would surely have

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Photo of sukwonee
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage red wax

A: Black body with one finger head

S: chocolate, hops, some sweetness

T: Its a bit disapppointing for me. Its a great stout but it does not stand out from other good stouts. Chocolate, malt, brown sugar and hops. very straightforward and nice.

M: Thick and syrupy. no alcohol burn.

O: Its up there with Stone IRS but nothing too special. Its a great stout regardless.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #300 comes courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks again Mike for hooking it up with this one.

2009 Vintage

A: The pour is viscous, black, and wonderful. It fills the glass with a fluffy mocha colored head on top of the thick liquid below.

S: Generally with an RIS (or any stout, really) you don't expect citrus and pine hops to be the primary aroma, but that's just what we have here. The malt and other traditional RIS aromas don't come through quite as much as I would have liked. Still, the malt and chocolate and coffee do come through at times.

T: The hoppiness is still present on the tongue, but not quite as intensely. A good roasted malt background with some hints of coffee and chocolate. Perhaps a bit of dark fruits as well, which go interestingly with the hoppiness.

M: The body is nice and full and the beer feels quite creamy on the tongue. The carbonation is at a moderate level.

D: D: The booze is hidden very well by the myriad of flavors that are present. I wish, however, that this was more RIS like and not basically a black DIPA.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into Delirium Noël snifter. 2009 vintage. Split with mjyoung and bbb099. Huge thanks to thecaptain073 for trading me this one.

A: Pours jet black with a thin, dense, dark brown head that faded into a bubbly collar and left a web of thin lacing down the glass.
S: Big roasted notes of dark malts and molasses. There is a fair amount of alcohol vapor. I pick up sweet notes of dark fruits as well.
T: Very sweet and sugary with big notes of molasses, brown sugar, and chocolate covered berries. There is a sweet fruitiness to this beer that I just can't tack down. Finish is syrupy and sweet and the aftertaste is lightly roasted and bitter.
M: Alcohol adds some warm viscosity to the mouth. Body is full and thick, but not as thick as possible. Goes down sweet and smooth and is even a little spritzy in the finish.
D: Don't get me wrong, this was an amazing beer and deserves a very high score. It's one of the better RIS I've had, but I was actually expecting a little more given all the hype around it. I would drink this as often as I could if I was able to, but I think even something like Ten FIDY in a four pack off the shelf is pretty damn comparable.

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Photo of number1bum
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Map Room, Chicago, IL.

10z glass was pitch black with a dark khaki head, which left a nice amount of stick and kept a thin lace.

Smell was very malty, with sweet chocolate aromas, some molasses and caramel, and dark fruit. Taste was also quite sweet, with chocolate and roasted malt flavors, lots of caramel and chocolate sweetness. Good amount of dark fruit, too, like maybe figs and plums. I found it to be maybe a tad too sweet, which took away from the drinkability for me. It was rich and full bodied, chewy and creamy. Overall a very good, very tasty beer. Glad I got to try this on tap.

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Photo of birchstick
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of slyke
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkness 2011 pours black with a finger of tan head that falls to a thin cap after a few minutes and laces a bit.

The smell is dark fruit, licorice, alcohol and a note of wet leather.

The taste is has notes of coffee, dark fruit and licorice. There is a deep sweetness and a warming sense from the alcohol in this beer.

Mouthfeel is light-medium weight, but coating and and leaves a warming aftertaste.

Overall this beer is pretty good. I saw it at a local bottle shop and never having vertured to "Darkness Day" at the brewery, I thought I'd find out what the hype was all about. I was not disappointed.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Darkness '08 and Darkness '09 side by side. Thanks Brian and Chris!

A- Body is a thick, dark, almost black hue. Pours with a small foamy off white head which dissolves to a thin collar and leaves traces of lacing behind in the glass.

S-Earthy hops, a hint of alcohol, a hint of cocoa and roasted malt, and anise. Decent balance and slightly mild.

T- There is a faint herbal/earthy hop accent initially with a mild roasted malt backbone. Chocolate and anise flavors come rushing through for the finish and are more prominent than the initial flavors. Mild impressions of the initial flavor linger.

M- low carbonation with a syrupy medium to heavy weight body that is slightly thin.

D- Overall- I REALLY like this beer. Its very good overall. The '08 and the '09 were very similar in overall profiles so I didn't comment on individual differences because I noticed few, if any. I'd still like to try this beer fresh when the hoppy notes tend to really shine. ABV was pretty well hidden here as well.

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Photo of pdoran10
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on tap at darkness day 2009 at Hell's Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis. Have procrastinated a long time on reviewing this beer.

When I ordered it, I was presented with a 10oz goblet of very dark brown beer, with a luxurious looking half inch of head. The smell is right away of toasted malt with dark chocolate, can't quite put my finger on some of the other flavors, but very complex. I was surprised when I tasted it, very thick and syrupy. I taste toasted malt right away, much like the smell. After that passes, I get an explosion of other flavors, chocolate, expresso, I might even taste some fig in there. It took me a few sips to get a grasp for all that was going on. Good taste, but a lot of toasted malt and a bit of alchohol taste are going on. I was not a big fan of the mouthfeel of this one. I'm all for thick imperial stouts, but somehow this one was much more syrupy than I liked, it felt a little to sticky sweet in my mouth. The drinkability is good enough. Some alchohol presense, and a bit syrupy, but it can't be all bad as I still had two and considered a third. Good beer, didn't live up to my expectations though.

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Photo of Hophead101
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

drank on 12.4.08 at Clark St Ale House with friends from work.

I finally got a chance to taste the nectar known as the Darkness. There is so much hype around this beer, you can imagine my extreme joy when I walked into this bar and saw this on tap. Since I can't get it in PA - this was a pleasant surprise.

Of course, as the name says, it pours a dark brown, basically black beer. Had a nice tan head and the lacing on the glass was great. The smell was crisp and sweet, woodsy and smoky. There was a twinge of alcohol in the nose as well.

the taste is simply WOW. very malty, very sweet and you can absolutely taste the alcohol (which is 10%+). there is the roasted malt taste and the earthy and woodsy tastes as well. Mouthfeel was surprising nice with a bit of a sharp alcohol taste.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.07/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage.

Appearance: Pours out a deep, dark brown that appears black in the glass. About 3/4" of dark tan head forms, which has pretty good retention and very nice lacing. Pretty good start to this beer.

Smell: Smells pretty roasty, but not overly so, with light coffee bitterness and stronger dark and milk chocolate sweetness intermingling.

Taste: Roast bitterness and milk chocolate sweetness all the way. Good balance of the two. Lingering bitterness from the roast. Not the most complex beer, but what is there is very solid.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Mouthfeel is just under full, with an excellent level of carbonation. Overall, a very good non barrel aged stout. It gives up a bit of complexity but is very well put together, and has an excellent sweet/bitter balance. Definitely a recommend.

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Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 834 ratings.