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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,682 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,682
Reviews: 766
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 2,920
Gots: 1,037 | FT: 77
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Starting in 2014, bottled Darkness will be aged in whiskey barrels.

2007-Grim Reaper
2012 - Werewolf
2013 - Brewcifer

(Beer added by: ryantupy on 10-08-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Darkness Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,682 | Reviews: 766 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Axnjxn
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Axnjxn, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of dataylor21
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

dataylor21, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of DaPan
5/5  rDev +11.1%

DaPan, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of Falcone
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Falcone, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

jaydoc, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of schmidtmattsays
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

schmidtmattsays, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of NodakEric
5/5  rDev +11.1%

NodakEric, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of kustard
4.5/5  rDev 0%

kustard, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of 773-F-I-B
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

773-F-I-B, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of sully11277
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Jet black with a nice brown head that sticks around for the whole thing.

S- You get a lot of an alcohol burn then you get a nice sweetness. You get a lot of cocoa and vanilla. You get a lot of roast. there are so many smells coming off this beer they blend very well.

T/M- You get a lot of sweetness upfront, you get a lot of dark chocolate then you get more of a milk chocolate and vanilla. It is very smooth which i was shocked by because of the alcohol burn you get from the smell.

O- This beer is amazing. all the flavors blend so great together I can not wait to see how this ages.

sully11277, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of Benvarine
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Benvarine, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of dazedandconfused
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

dazedandconfused, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of kreg02
4.5/5  rDev 0%

kreg02, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of RussBeercier
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

RussBeercier, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of kevanb
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle, 2013 vintage, purchased at Binny's Grand in Chicago (much to my surprise) and poured into a 2012 Darkness tulip. I've heard rumors that the batch sent to Chicago was different than the batch released at Darkness Day in 2013, but I have nothing to substantiate this, that being said, this bottle was quite different than the draft offering I had at Northdown Cafe not a few weeks earlier.

The beer pours a super deep jet black color, wonderful opacity and just a touch of cola brown color when hit by the light. A thick, taut, caramel colored head rises from the beer, not instantaneously, taking its time to thicken and settle before receding slowly and gracefully leaves a few nice spots of lace behind. The aroma is roasty, dark brunt grain with some toasted coffee bean before a rush of chocolate, also a touch charred gives way to a plethora of fruit flavors, cherry, plum, prune and fig, with a bit of brown sugar and raisin as well as some molasses and toffee. The flavors however, are on point, loads of rich chocolate, bittersweet that brings out the fruit flavors impeccably well, huge amounts of cherry and plum with some backing raisin and licorice that leads to a rich malt and brown sugar sweet finish, but boy does the roast get cut down on the tongue. I'm used to this beer exerting some bitterness and hoppyness, especially when this fresh, but this bottle is so rounded and smooth. The body on this bottle is perfection, incredibly rich, soft, smooth, velvety, all of the synonyms for those words apply. It coats the mouth so gently and eloquently that it's almost unnoticed while asserting itself so well. The finish is wonderfully creamy, soft and has a perfect level of warming as it goes down.

Verdict: I always thought of Darkness as a rather unique and inventive take on the style as it was assertively bitter and always had a distinctive piney hop flavor to me, however this bottle changes everything. It's incredibly rich, smooth and balanced. The complexity is astounding and this is deserving of all accolades. Perhaps there is some truth to the notion that the recent distribution was slightly different than the release day batch, but whatever was in my bottle was superb and I want more.

kevanb, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of BullBearHawk
4/5  rDev -11.1%

BullBearHawk, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of JSBILK
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

JSBILK, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of StPaulSuds
4.5/5  rDev 0%

StPaulSuds, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of ahbithwabm
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

ahbithwabm, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of timc100
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25


Did not have the menacing pour I anticipated - dark, brown light showing through. Sits black in the glass with a dark mocha head. Sticks to the glass but not overly retentive, minimal alcohol legs.

Aroma of heavy roast, dark chocolate, some vanilla coffee. Some dark fruits as well, but not very distinctive. Nice, but not very vibrant.

Taste is huge. Big chocolate, heavy roast, some vanilla and dark cherry - slight molasses. Decently bitter but cut with a nice sweetness. Full, smooth well rounded body.

Very good RIS - not the best I have had, but certainly something worth getting a few bottles of.

timc100, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of TomTown
4.5/5  rDev 0%

TomTown, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of Kevincredible
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Kevincredible, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of Jaycase
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

'13 edition on tap @ firkin.

a: black. frothy, khaki head

s: light chocolate notes. Hints of roasted malts. Bit of licorice in the background

t: milk chocolate pervades throughout. light roasty notes.

m: very creamy. medium carbonation. body is spot on

o: First time having Darkness. Worthy of the hype imo. Only ding might be the aroma which was rather subdued. Mouthfeel is top notch. No reason to age this as it was great fresh.

Jaycase, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of csmartin6
4.5/5  rDev 0%

csmartin6, Jan 22, 2014
Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,682 ratings.