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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,262 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2262
Reviews: 752
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.56%

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:

2007-Grim Reaper
2012 - Werewolf
2013 - Brewcifer

(Beer added by: ryantupy on 10-08-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 2,262 | Reviews: 752 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of fdkayti


4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-Tap at The Firkin

A- A solid black wall o' stout. A brown head sits on top and isn't showing signs of leaving. Thick, spiderweb-like lacing all the way down the snifter.

S- Semi-sweet chocolate and rich spices. Good roasty malts come through as well as a slight whiff of alcohol.

T- Chocolate milk on steroids. Deliciously malty with a subtle hop spiciness. Dark fruits (black cherry?) bring up the rear. A sweetness comparable to molasses.

MF- Wow. About the same consistency as chocolate milk, too. Super creamy, low carbonation. Feels great. Did I say how creamy this is?

O/D- Really, really enjoying this. Alcohol is hidden much better in the taste than in the smell, making this drinkable with a subtle reminder. A real treat, I want this everyday.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2011 23:42:05 | More by fdkayti
Photo of bschinelli


4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I also had this 2011 vintage on-tap at Bavarian Lodge on November 26th, 2011.

Very deep black in glass, maybe a hint of red around the edges. The head sat on the glass and stayed there, with lots of lacing as you drink. What a great aroma! Spice and citrus from the hops are detectable with chocolate and toasted, roasted malt. Luckily, it tastes as good as it smells, like a mixture and milk and dark chocolate and some roast graininess. Bitter on the back of the throat the way a good cup of coffee is. Roll this one around in the mouth and you get a smooth almost creamy texture without a lot of carbonation.

Overall, a very good RIS. I'd like to sample it in a year and see how well it's aged.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2011 22:33:48 | More by bschinelli
Photo of Auracom


4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage on-tap at Bavarian Lodge on November 26th, 2011. Was very fortunate to sample this. Unfortunately, my sample was the final 1.5-2 oz. of the keg before it kicked. Beggars can't be choosers.

A - Standard RIS affair here. Deepest brown/black coloring. The head stands out a bit here, especially for the small sampling size. Good retention of a light khaki head. Tons of bubbles cling to the edges for the duration of this drink.

S - Definitely hoppy, but more so this exhibits a great blend of spices, milk chocolate bar, and lesser roasted notes.

T - More of the same. Nice balance. Dark and milk chocolate sweetness at the front lead into subtle bitter hops with just a touch of espresso.

M - Great dryness for the style with nice lingering finish and aftertaste. Oddly, it seems much less carbonated than it looked like it would be. Velvety-smooth with a medium-heavy body. Need a 4.75 rating here.

D - The hops aren't a bomb here, which I like. It's far more balanced than I expected and already well-developed. My sample wasn't nearly enough.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2011 19:38:35 | More by Auracom
Photo of jegross2


4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2011 03:06:43 | More by jegross2
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2011 02:03:17 | More by paulozanello
Photo of iceboi15


4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2011 07:00:11 | More by iceboi15
Photo of Nameyourhop


4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Glass- 10oz snifter- small bar division
Look-it was real dark, had a tan head that would not go away for atleast a half an hour.
Smell-it has a smell of banana chocolate light coffee and vanilla
Taste- it starts with banana and dark chocolate up front and finishes with vanilla and light expresso bean oil with a splash of toffee.
Overal -it's a great beer and I will be at darkness day next year for this one, cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2011 07:42:53 | More by Nameyourhop
Photo of dlello2


4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at smallbar tonight. Poured into a 10oz snifter.

A - very dark. plenty of head. looked oily and fantastic

S - lots of chocolate, some coffee. Definitely some bourbon, no alcohol smell.

T - delicious. makes you want more. not overly complex. wish it had more flavor actually. perhaps it is too cold.

M - thick but not too viscous and moderately carbonated.

O - Very very good. Liked it a lot but did not think it was as complex/fun to drink as others in the same field (parabola, etc.)

UPDATE - Group review from second tasting.

Darkness – on tap at the Map Room. 10oz poured into a snifter. (thanks to the bartender for pouring us more like 12-14oz ☺)

A – Black motor oil. Love the look. Very excited. Head grabs the side of the glass with a death grip.

S – Subtle smokiness taps me first. Hmm maybe not smoky, but a roasted smell. Almost like a cherry or Maplewood. This is followed by cocoa. Really nice smell.

T – It’s like eating chocolate in front of the fireplace. After chocolate comes a touch of alcohol followed by the roasted woody taste you’d expect from the smell. It ends sweet, chocolaty. Like eating chocolate. Yum.

M – So thick. Coats the mouth beautifully. Decent amount of carbonation. Chewy, almost syrupy.

O – This is very well balanced. Really really good. I’m not one who loves indulging in straight chocolate, but this hits the spot for me.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2011 03:11:03 | More by dlello2
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!

Serving type: on-tap

11-01-2011 19:06:33 | More by ChopperSmith
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2011 21:43:42 | More by Ungertaker
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2011 01:03:37 | More by birchstick
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!!

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2011 23:28:42 | More by DCon
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!!!

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2011 20:32:34 | More by bobbypaulson
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. First beer of the day! Whoohoo.

A- Dark as all heck. Swirling the glass leaves a brown coating, like brownie batter. This stuff is thick.

S- Lots of dark roast, heavy char. Lots of sweet fruit, as well. Potent aromatics.

T- I hear a lot of people call this one hoppy but I didn't really pick up on much. Lots of coffee and bitter chocolate, though. A wisp of smoke, and a bit of plum. This one is really all about the bitter, earthy chocolate, though. Like chewing on cacao nibs.

M- Not as thick as it looks- which is a good thing- I am impressed at the balance the body of this beer has. It is well thought out and simply works. Great, complex flavors that don't fight for space on the tongue.

O- Very good- a little goes a long way, but the flavors are spot-on. I very much enjoyed this one. Lives up to my expectations.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2011 15:04:55 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of Tschnab

New York

4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled several times at ACBF, the folks pouring from the table got to know me pretty well. Reviewed from notes...

A- pours an ink-black with a chocolate, mocha like head that starts at about half the cup and shrinks down to a solid two inches. This is one of the best looking beers I have ever seen.

S- dark chocolate and coffee, and some oakiness and earthiness as well.

T/M- whoa, the dark chocolate definitely comes through, but is nuanced with licorice, winter fruits, raisins. A slight suggestion of smoke as well, perhaps in the form of some tobacco like qualities. The taste is incredibly complex. It's a little hot, but nothing too boozy. The mouthfeel is medium to thick, not as thick as I would prefer but still nice.

O- this really is one of the best RIS beers I have ever had, and maybe the best I've had period. I have seen the darkness, and it was indeed enlightening.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2011 21:50:50 | More by Tschnab
Photo of perrymarcus


4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

tried at the ACBF, review from notes derived from several tastes. (lot of line-waiting, but well worth it IMO).

pours a jet-black tone while yielding a strong, creamy mocha-colored head. outstanding retention and lacing, evident even in the tasting cup.

nose offers lots of roasted malt and chocolate, with secondary notes of anise and coffee. very nice.

wow, flavor is right behind the aroma, backing it up with huge, bold characteristics of roasted malt, chocolate, anise, coffee, and a hint of smoke. delicious.

medium-full mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.

overall this a superb RIS, no doubt about it. very, very well done. just wish it were easier to get a hold of.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2011 01:48:03 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of mikereaser


4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was reviewed blind as part of the Blind Beer BIF #5
from a bottle, not on tap

Bottle number 10 thanks to johnbjaeger

A - Well, after wrestling with a nicely waxed bottle to remove the cap, I poured it into my pint glass to get a dark brown, almost black color with a few inches of a nice frothy tan foam that had no intention of going anywhere. It did leave some nice lacing and it slowly went down

S - Really nice roasted malt aroma with hints of tobacco, chocolate and smooke. None of those overpower the other and just blend nicely.

T - Nice smooth taste, rum, raisins and other dark fruit, a slight smokey quality along with chocolate, molasses, vanilla and roasted malts. The smokiness seems to come back around in the finish just after pushing away a nice sweetness.

M - Really creamy mouthfeel with a low carbonation but just a bit of a tingle on the tongue. The whole experience seems to disappear quickly and is slightly dry and makes you want more.

D - I could easily put this bottle away in a matter of minutes. I find it to be very enjoyable and I can't wait to see what it is and seek out more.


so lets unveil
Surly Darkness 2010
awesome! thats a pleasant surprise and I will now seek out some more. It was just way too enjoyable and drinkable. This box from John just seems to never stop. Good going!

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2011 04:53:44 | More by mikereaser
Photo of Alpar


4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had the luxury of getting this on tap twice now both times was the 2010 version. Fresh and 8 months old. This review was the most recent aged version I had on tap at McKenzies during craft beer week

A: Super dark with a really awesome khaki head retention probably 1.5 fingers worth and it stuck around.

S: HOPS! Chocolate, toffee? Yeah this is my favorite for sure!

T: First sip is malt and chocolate then the bitter hops set in, wonderful balance. This beer is just outstanding. As it warms the flavors develop and the taste becomes more in depth leaving the consumer with more malts, chocolate well rounded hoppy finish and maybe the toffee I smelled in the beginning.

O: This is an all time favorite of mine and one of the first beers I had that changed my view of beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2011 19:28:56 | More by Alpar
Photo of iadler


4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

2010 on-tap at Kuma's Corner in Chicago. Served in a tulip.

A- Black as night. There is a 1 finger dark brown head with some thick lacing.

S- Chocolate, coffee beans, brown sugar and some carmel malt upfront with some dark fruit such as cherries, fig and plums in the background.

T- Chocolate fudge hits the palate first with espresso beans, vanilla, brown sugar, wood and some dark fruit sweetness. So many layers but no heat of alcohol detected. Absolutely delicious.

M- Low carbonation and full bodied, but is incredibly smooth, creamy and has a silk-like mouthfeel that makes it incredibly drinkable for such a big beer.

O- I was trying my hardest to drink this as slow as possible and savor every sip since it would be a while for me to enjoy this again. I've had the chance to have the '10 on-tap and an '09 bottle and gave the '10 a slight advantage. Amazing brew and wouldn't expect anything else from Surly.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2011 21:22:52 | More by iadler
Photo of JLeege


4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft ~ poured into a snifter.

Appearance- Pours damn near jet black with a thick tan head. Great head retention with a bit of lace left behind.

Smell- Chocolate, dark fruits, caramel, a little roast.

Taste- Sweet milk chocolate starts things off, leading into some toffee, caramel and a hint of molasses. Dark fruit presence, from the Belgian sugar, with notes of cherry and plum. A little roast and hops on the finish, the lingering taste is chocolate with some light roasted malt. The roast doesn't come near the "burnt" point, making this incredibly smooth and drinkable.

Mouthfeel- Full body with ample carbonation, very good.

Overall- Great beer, the abv's go virtually unnoticed. Great balance and depth to this one. It truly is a world class Imperial Stout.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2011 04:40:38 | More by JLeege
Photo of cetherid


3.75/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

had on tap at Jake Melnick's - Chicago


A nice dark black stout. The bar wasn't too lit so I couldn't hold it up to the light to see if brown/red hues coming through but it was still a nice looking beer. About 1 fingers worth of brown head.


not as strong as I thought it would be. I was expecting some deep coffee and chocolate notes but I was pretty surprised. I get some dark fruits, like prunes, deep roasted malts and a little hop aroma. I was hoping for something a little stronger, more prevalent.


a little disappointing here. Perhaps I just had too high expectations for a one day release beer? A very deep roasty beer, some dark fruit (mainly prune) taste to it. It was fairly sweet as well. Perhaps subtle chocolate notes in there. A little bitterness towards the end then kinda drys out the mouth a little.


definitely full bodied. Good amount of carbonation. A slight slick feel but relatively smooth going down. As said previously, a slight dry aftertaste as well but enjoyable on the mouth.


I wouldn't give this too high. Just an above average RIS for me honestly. Combine it with the price, availability, the hype and the overall flavor, I doubt I'd be seeking this out again. I have a bottle of 2010 at home and I'll probably let that age for a year or so and see what a difference cellaring the beer does.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2011 19:09:29 | More by cetherid
Photo of laza1979


4.08/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2010 16:06:44 | More by laza1979
Photo of AJacob81


4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After drunkenly trading a Dark Lord for this, and then this for an Abyss at DLD 2010, I'm finally trying Darkness. Poured fresh into a snifter at Jake Melnick's Corner Tap:

A - Black, with a little brown showing at the edges. Billowing beige head of 2 fingers is retained well and leaves elaborate lacing on the inside of the glass. Very unusual for an RIS, but it looks great.

S - Strong, assertive nose features fresh coffee beans, dark fruits, and molasses. A subtle hint of dark chocolate as well. I'd like a candle with this scent. Only Dark Lord and BCBCS smell better.

T - Everything from the nose, in delicate balance. A bit of anise in the aftertaste. Very very tasty.

M and D - Smooth, medium to full body, with decent carbonation, maybe a touch more than is usual for the style. A little syrupy but not cloying, this is one to sip and savor. Excellent brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2010 20:46:55 | More by AJacob81
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Cafe 28 the other day. This was the 2010 Darkness and was vastly superior, I thought, to the bottled version I had some years back.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with an impressive looking, coffee colored, long lasting head. Head retention is very good in this beer, and there is considerable sicky lacing all around. The nose is equally attractive in this beer, showcasing dark chocolage, light coffee, vanilla, cherry and light licorise. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but if anything, is even more impressive. There is some nice, light hoppy bitterness in the finish, which really blends well with the licorise, cherry and vanilla. Also, the dark chocolate really comes through on the palate, making is a very delicious, easy to drink beer. Mouthfeel is full, with a very long finish. The beer is fairly soft on the palate, but comes across as very potent as well. This was a beer that seemed to improve and become ever more delicious as it warmed in the glass. Drinkability was pretty good, though you can certainly tell that the abv. was up there in this beer.

Very imperssive and an absolute treat to have on draft. Yummm....

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2010 16:00:54 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of curtiswvu


4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a sniffter via Fountainhead at their Exceptional Beers Night.

Appearance- Midnight black with a milk chocolate head, perfect looking RIS.

Smell: coffee, chocolate and maybe a hint of bacon.

Taste- Fantastic up front and on the finish. Very smooth ...scarry smooth...iii wannnntttt mooorrrreee.

Mouthfeel- Suprisingly not as viscous as I anticipated but a full monster stout. Could be heavier actually.

Drinkability- In a land of one and done RIS I might be able to session this one until I fell off my stool.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2010 21:12:17 | More by curtiswvu
Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,262 ratings.