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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

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

3,005 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,005
Reviews: 791
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 3,122
Gots: 1,143 | 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: 3,005 | Reviews: 791 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of geekrot
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of ThurmondTX
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of khiasmus
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage. Thanks to Masterski.

Darkness. More than a word, it is often a chill. Associations come, for everyone a little different, but desolation is a recurring theme. The idea of emptinesss, or if there is something there, it's a nothing, a black hole, or a Presence that one does not wish to take mental hold of. So this. A monumental claim, to present oneself as a nonreality, an idea, a fearsome specter that holds the power to strike loathing into the hearts of men, for it is the Other. The Opposite. The Abssence. It does not truly exist, for it is the absence of something, the absence of The Light that creates it, and nothing else. So then this. It is not Darkness, not The Darknesss, and has little right to stake such a claim. It is, in fact, merely a quite dark brown beneath a soap-bubble and cream tan head... A head that leaves tiny spots on the glass after a swirl. It is a beautiful beer, but shows at once that it is merely a mockery, merely a distant shadow, of what it esteems itself to be.
And then of course, one must dive in to see what this Thing may hold, perhaps looks were decieving... and it hits you. There's no burnt rubber, or tar, or used oil, or the stench of something rotting, or breathing, or hissssing in the darkness, nothing to cast fear into your heart that this is a Monster to be reckoned with... Instead, it is the old standby, the familiar, the lovely grapefruit, the resin, some earthiness, perhaps from a graveyard, but could be just from a garden. That's the thing with this one... There are some soy sauce notes, some roasted grain, some few notes to remind you that this is, indeed, an imperial stout... But it is far from the normal, and also far from the Standard of true Darknesss in liquid form, for which there are two, in my estimation... Dark Lord 2007 and the original, the fresh Mikkeller Black.
And then it just gets relatively boring.... Big sweetness up front but with a huge, Dipa worthy hop profile, even lasting into the finish with grapefruit bitternesss. The underlying malt profiles are that of an excellent RIS, a sticky sweetness with a heavy chocolatey profile and some roasted grain in the finish combining with the hops to form a solid bitter finish and with a syrupy sweetnesss on the middle of the tongue. Blah, blah, blah. We've heard thisss all before. Oh sure, it'ss good... but really? How could you claim to be the abssence of Light itssself, and then be thisss.... Norrrrmality....
Ssss...
Sssssyrupy, mmmm, yessss.... and ssssticky, it warmssss the throatssss....
Itssss bubbles, they are fewsss, not sssso manyssss and thinss....
Itsss deliciousss... and sssmackssss of sssslitheringsss
ssensssouousssly ssliding and ssssnaking down the ssspinesss of the unfortunate onesss...
It iss not the besst sssstout, but there isss ssome delectabilitiesss in thisss... and it'ssss sssneaky...
ssshelpsss....itsssgotsssmesss...

Photo of RobertColianni
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of shehateme
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Zuidman
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of CORKSCREWFISH
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Ajmorriso1
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of gory4d
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of chase2634
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Caterwaul
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Kirk
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Dagsy
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of koopa
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of wyatt13
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of gmendez1122
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

my first darkness, as is common with many of my lucky rare beer scores, thanks to drlovemd87 for hooking this up for us last night. an impressive example of the style for sure, but a top 50 quality beer? I don't know. its rather straightforward as they go, excellent no doubt, but it reminds me of a great many other stouts like this out there on the market. rich creamy dark brown pour, sudsy mocha head, dense but not thick, attractive. the nose is muted dark roasted barley and unsweetened bakers chocolate. no alcohol at all, extremely impressive. the flavor, and I love this feature in this style, is all about the grain. I taste a few layers of varying roasted barley and chocolate malt, but no coffee, no vanilla, no bourbon barrel, no oak, none of that stuff. I do taste some dried cherry type notes in the finish, and as it warms even more fruit comes out, but this is a no frills example of the style, and I appreciate it for that. perhaps most impressive is that its massive alcoholic content is entirely absent from the smell and taste, its just not there. a real creeper, something to look out for when drinking darkness. I loved it with chocolate cookies, and could imagine a million other food pairings for it. expert quality stuff, but not different enough from some of the others for me to rate it off the charts. great beer though, they all are from surly.

edit: some age makes this epic, just cracked a 2011, and was amazed how much more mature and integrated and evolved the beer was from the fresh version, it really is one of the best in the game, with a chocolate and raisin complex coming to the fore. improving a few scores to reflect that.

Photo of Shilt
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of victory4me
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of hopluva1
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of voodoofish65usf
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Dactrius
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of climbeer07
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,005 ratings.