Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,199 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,199
Reviews: 813
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 3,194
Gots: 1,173 | FT: 87
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 (50) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,199 | Reviews: 813
Photo of cubs943
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I thought this beer was pretty good.

Photo of jason3125
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 poured into a Hill Farmstead glass

Photo of suckaj
2.5/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

majorly disappointed with this, was overly malty

Photo of KillerJigger
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Have put this up against many others and was my favorite almost always. That being said I have a BA Darkness in the cellar and i can't wait!

Photo of sordyl
3.56/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was the 2013 Chicago distribution when Surly came into the market. Opened for a bottle share, smelled and looked great but the tastes really was not exceptional at all.

Photo of stortore
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 750 ML bottle into a a snifter.

Pours a small but tight head, dissipates pretty quickly. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, a little coffee. Big, rich taste, malty but not as roasty as many other RIP's. Chocolate very prevalent, pretty sweet for the style. Good body but maybe a little thinner feel than I expected.

This is a great beer and grab it if you have the chance. Looking forward to the BA 2014 version.

Photo of MichaelNeelsen
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank a 2011 "Zombie" 750ml bottle after aging 3 years, 2 months.

L: Poured like liquid silk. Pitch black, no light penetration. Mocha brown head dissipates and then reappears with each sip. The beer is very reflective - you can see yourself in it.

S: Raisins. Dark chocolate. Brown sugar. Dates. Fig. Smells like bourbon even though it's not barrel aged. Dark cherries.

T: As my friend who drank it with me put it, "Rich and sweet and right down the middle. There's no smoke and mirrors here."

F: Like liquid Robert Patrick. If you could drink the liquid T-1000 from Terminator 2, it would feel like this beer. Feels like wine without the dryness or tack. Glides over the tongue. Thin in the best way.

O: A real treat. It's not my favorite Russian Imperial, but it's really damn good - and a very unique experience to drink. I'll look to get a younger bottle and drink it without aging to compare. Highly recommended.

Photo of RushLimbmalt
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage I have had every vintage of this brew. Every single one has been stellar. Do yourself a favor and find some. This is an awesome Russian Imperial Stout

Photo of Diaper-Daniels
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one truly lives up to all the hype. A real gem.

Photo of matt_drums92
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best beer I have ever had.

Photo of richj1970
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into snifter. 2013 vintage.

A: Pours pitch black with no light penetration at all. Geneerous 3 finger dense mocha head that lasted forever and left 360 degree lacing.

S: Roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, molasses, and vanilla. Maybe a bit of tobacco and oak.

T: Toasted bread, dark chocolate, caramel, and raisins. Maple sryup sweetness. Alcohol is apparent just at the end.

M: Full bodied with a nice creamy texture. Fairly highly carbonated for an imperial stout.

O: Truly wonderful stout. Nice complexity of flavors and aromas. Something I need to trade for again.

Photo of SteveB24
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Look-color of the beer is jet black, beer pours a shocking two fingers of frothy, tan head. wonderful lacing left on side of the glass.
Smell- Roasted malts, caramel molasses, coffee, milk chocolate, Raisens.
Taste- Unbelievably complex yet super smooth, roasted malts, toast, raisins, plums, milk chocolate, coffee, pink peppercorns. so much sweetness but banked by the toasted grain taste of the malts and some fruity spiciness.
Feel- Full bodied but not quite oil. perfectly creamy.
Overall- one of the best stouts, if not the best, that i've tried. its really beyond words.

Photo of ghostwalker
3.91/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Edition
Appearance: Dead black body, light mocha head.

Nose: Light, not much. I expected more aroma.

Flavor: Semi-light for an RIS, hoppy. Cocoa and cofee on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin but coating.

Overall: Rich, flavorful, surprisingly drinkable. A really good RIS, only marred by the thin body.

Photo of Vukusich
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

2014 Barrel aged.

Photo of SDRedDevil
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%

Got to try 2013 and 2012 side by side at Toronado for a Surly Lunch. Both were amazing with the 2013 having a bit less sweetness and more balance imo. Both were jet black deliciousness though!

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013

A- Another pitch black bodied beer, also pours viscous and also has a dark khaki colored head. Lacing is lining all sides of the snifter. 4.5

S- Heavy oak flavors, dark chocolate, caramel. Tobacco is strong. 4.5

T- The barrel qualities remain but are very mellow and don't take over the beer. Still get oak and tobacco, but they aren't overshadowing the smooth dark malts. 4.5

M- This is exceptionally smooth, viscous and drinkable. No heat and a thick, lightly carbonated mouthfeel. Slightly bitter on the finish. 4.5

Fantastic effing beer. Love that the bourbon and barrels don't run away with the beer.

Photo of Qbdoo
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: the pure dark of the abyss. Smell: I've got a cold. Taste: smoooooth. Many Russian Imperial Stouts, which I love, can be somewhat rough in taste: super roasty and with strong alcohol burn. But this is elegant with hints of coffee, dark fruit, and maple syrup. None of these jump up. The tastes are superbly integrated and I can't taste the alcohol at all. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy.

The hype surrounding this made me prepared to be disappointed, but I was pleasantly surprised that this was even better than I'd heard. Pretty rare.

Photo of barnzy78
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 release, "Brewcifer", 750mL. I've had Darkness multiple times, but have never given it a review until now
A 4.75 - opaque and jet black with a tall, frothy light brown head that hangs around awhile leaving sticky lacing as it slowly dissipates
S 4.75 - huge roasty nose with plenty of dark chocolate, raisin, and fruity esters
T 5 - dark chocolate slathers the palate with cherry, raisin, coffee, roasted barley, oat, faint pine all melded together perfectly
M 5 - full bodied, sticky and sweet, velvety smooth and creamy, exceptionally balanced finish makes it incredibly easy to drink; it is boozy but not overly
O 4.75 - always has been a favorite beer of mine. Apparently they're now barrel aging it starting in 2014, but in my opinion it doesn't need to be. It's phenomenal the way it is. Maybe they should keep both options open.

Photo of shogun007
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Better than the previous year and just barely beat out by BCBS '12 in my opinion. Have a few bottles for trade. Cheers!

Photo of BrassHopper
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Immediate hit of chocolate cherries and coffee. Creamy mouthfeel and a sour finish. Delightful!

Photo of beerdrifter
3.77/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up in a great trade with Evan! 2013 vintage. Pitch black pour with a gorgeous two finger caramel-colored head with great retention and decent lacing. The nose is dark and roasty with hints of cocoa, dark fruits, espresso, licorice, and a subtle vinous character. The taste is earthy and vinous and pretty much mirrors the nose. Hints of cocoa, espresso, licorice, dark chocolate, black pepper, dark fruits, leather, tobacco, port wine, and smoke. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with medium carbonation and a dry, bitter finish. Overall, definitely didn't live up to the hype. Pretty average and overrated...

Photo of themaj
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

2009 vintage

Photo of themind
5/5  rDev +11.4%

A dark motor oil beast of a beer! wow! I really liked this beer. Poured a deep, dark, molasses black. Has a roasted, traditional stout aroma. The taste is just awesome. Dark fruit, molasses and coffee make this masterpiece a must seek, must find, must have beer. 2013 version acquired at Darkness Day, this beer lived up to the hype. I have had many good stouts and this one as of now is the best.

Bottom Line: 2013 Darkness is one heck of a beer!

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Darkness pours a bold black color with a big tan head. There is a weaker aroma, with sweet date aromas. Their are big creamy flavors, big sweet and dry fruit flavors, nice noticeable warmth from the alcohol. Big bold flavors. Overall its a big bold beer, lots of fruit flavors, on the sweeter side.

Photo of Drock007
5/5  rDev +11.4%

One of the best in the world.

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,199 ratings.