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Darkness - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DarknessDarkness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,526 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,526
Reviews: 761
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 2,870
Gots: 1,000 | FT: 66
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Labels:

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

(Beer added by: ryantupy on 10-08-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Darkness Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,526 | Reviews: 761 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wdarcy77
wdarcy77

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

11-04-2012 14:14:36 | More by wdarcy77
Photo of aorloski
aorloski

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev 0%

07-06-2013 15:21:24 | More by aorloski
Photo of wyatt13
wyatt13

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

07-07-2014 14:01:37 | More by wyatt13
Photo of johnyb
johnyb

Florida

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

02-25-2013 22:20:42 | More by johnyb
Photo of JellyJacket
JellyJacket

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

09-09-2013 16:11:36 | More by JellyJacket
Photo of Agold
Agold

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darknesss...
Pours with a nice short off white head that recedes to a small ring around the edge of the glass. Very very dark beer. No lacing. Aroma is a bit fruitier than I would have expected. Some roast and cocoa. Flavor goes fruitiness, coffee, then cocoa. There is a mild smokiness as well. Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I would have expected for this beer. Was looking for a bit more body. Good carbonation though. Not too sweet, not too bitter, very enjoyable beer. Lived up to the hype for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 05:47:13 | More by Agold
Photo of Mark000
Mark000

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

01-15-2013 03:29:06 | More by Mark000
Photo of HopsHopenstein
HopsHopenstein

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -11.1%

02-10-2014 23:07:06 | More by HopsHopenstein
Photo of topdown
topdown

California

4/5  rDev -11.1%

04-15-2014 22:46:34 | More by topdown
Photo of Kaveman
Kaveman

Illinois

5/5  rDev +11.1%

01-06-2014 02:40:41 | More by Kaveman
Photo of browniewithnuts
browniewithnuts

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

06-15-2013 06:18:34 | More by browniewithnuts
Photo of Piddmeista
Piddmeista

California

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

08-27-2013 04:24:13 | More by Piddmeista
Photo of Skunkdrool
Skunkdrool

California

4.5/5  rDev 0%

05-19-2014 17:53:02 | More by Skunkdrool
Photo of WYVYRN527
WYVYRN527

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage... Could not wait any longer... This has been tempting me.

A: Pours black with a tan head that doesn't want to go away. The foam sticks to every part of the glass it touches. One cannot see through this beer. This is Darkness.

S: Roasty as the fires of hell. Coffee, molasses, chocolate, licorice, and slight boozines dominate the aroma, followed by some slight hop notes.

T: At first, the malt comes with a blast of chocolate, espresso, caramel, molasses, and anise. Dried dark fruit and caramel are in the center. It finishes dry with a slightly bitter hop profile. Simply the best release of this beer to date.

M: Full bodied and viscous, this beer has it all. Body, flavor, and a mind of it's own.

D: If it weren't so limited and so strong, I would drink this all night. The best Russian Imperial Stout I have ever tasted. I can't wait to see what they taste like in a few years.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 07:39:03 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of Gtreid
Gtreid

Florida

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

Vintage 2008. 750 ml bottle poured into my Cigar City tulip. I think thanks go out to ditmer for this brew, if I'm mistaken, sorry.

A: Pitch black, not a hint of light shines through. Huge two fingers of mocha head appear, retains nicely, and leaves great spotty lace.

A: Super sweet. Big molasses, raisin, fig, bittersweet chocolate, and cherry. Great chocolaty and roasty malt flavor is put in balance by the earthy hops.

T: Magnificantly complex. The molasses, dried fruit, chocolate, and cherry are great. But I am really diggin the sweetness of the malt. The earthiness gives it a balance that is supurb. The perfect amount of hops give it a smooth dry finish.

M: Super viscous, velvety smooth. I can't say anything more. Just perfect.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is great. This one is about a year old, and the flavors have melded perfectly. Would really like to compare this to a fresh bottle, but couldn't wait to pop it open. Just a great example of the style. Skal.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 20:16:09 | More by Gtreid
Photo of Mistofminn
Mistofminn

Minnesota

4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on cask at the 501 club with the guys from Surly to celebrate the Bronze medal at the GABF for Coffee Bender, which I also had.

Pours an opaque pitch black color with a one finger dark brown head. Retention of the head is much better around the outsides, as it shrinks in the middle but stays clinging to the glass. Nice lacing also.

The nose is dark coffee, roasted malts, bitter hops, toffee caramel and vanilla, bitter chocolate, dark dried fruits...and so much more. Extremely complex and it's a treat to drink this in.

The taste is just as good as the nose leads on. Dark roasted malts, sweet and bitter chocolate, bitter earthy hops, dried dark fruits, sweet caramel and vanilla, roasted coffee...the combinations of flavors seem endless and they just keep coming. I'm not kidding when I say I get a different taste with every sip.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich and creamy. Has an appropriate carbonation level. Had a significant bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability is amazing. This is a great brew and one I can't wait to have again. I can't wait for Darkness Day to purchase my limit in bottles. I would love to see how this is a couple years down the road, maybe even one day do a vertical. Surly does it again, but was there ever any doubt?

Serving type: cask

10-07-2009 06:58:19 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of zac16125
zac16125

South Carolina

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

750mL bottle poured into my favorite snifter
2011 Zombie Vintage

Big thanks to haveanother1 for sending this one over in a trade


A: Pours a somewhat viscous jet black, with only the slightest browning around the edges, and 1 fingers width of dark mocha colored head which dissipates down at a fairly slow rate to a thin film.  Leaves a small amount of patchy lacing.  

S: The aroma is so sweet, with tons of dark fruit including raisin, plum, and red grape.  Other aromas noted are a significant bourbon character, a touch of black licorice, some anise,  and booze.  I get almost none of the  roasted/chocolate/coffee aromas that are present in  most RIS, but still, just an awesome aroma.

T: Unlike the nose, the flavors noted on the first sip are roasted malt, coffee and bitter bakers chocolate.  The dark fruits are there as well, with fig and raisin.  I also detect notes of vanilla, anise, milk chocolate that's reminiscent of a chocolate milkshake, a balancing booze character, and a touch of hop bitterness.  There is a lot going on in the palate profile, and really well balanced which prevents any one characteristic (ie the sweetness) from becoming cloying.  

M/D: Smooth, full bodied but not as thick as some of the other big RIS's.  Carbonation is not terribly high, but heavier than some.  A somewhat chewy and sticky mouthfeel which coats the palate nicely.  Very nice mouthfeel but could be thicker.  Still way above average, plus it gets even smoother as it warms and the carbonation subsides.  Drinkability is actually very good for such a big beer, and the ABV is very well contained.

O: Overall, really a great beer.  Well worth the wait, and worth the hype.  Not sure when I will get ahold of another one of these, but when I do I'll be sure to enjoy the hell out of it.  

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 03:43:54 | More by zac16125
Photo of KAP1356
KAP1356

Pennsylvania

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

HUGE thanks to surlytwinsfan for this one. 2010 bottle poured into a Victory snifter...

A - Pours as black as expected. A really nice creamy, mocha color head forms and has excellent retention. REALLY nice lacing. Really a very nice looking appearance.

S - Sweet milk chocolate right up front; appears more of a milk chocolate than a dark chocolate. The roasted malt notes are much more subdued than I would have expected. There s a really nice earthiness in the aroma which I can only assume is from some grassy hops.

T - Wow, the dark roasted malts really come out here; almost burnt in a way. Lots of dark fruits coming through under the roastiness with some molasses flavors as well. Earthy, grassy hops come out too which is really refreshing for such a big beer. The chocolate in the nose comes out on the palate very sweet and milky. Slightest soy dauce flavor in the end which I find interesting. VERY complex and delicious.

M - Very creamy and smooth. Rich and full bodied. Slightest carbination on the end of the palate.

D - Extremely well balanced beer for everything going on in it. Was a absolute pleasure to drink and hope to get my hands on more than 1 bottle next year.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 04:29:27 | More by KAP1356
Photo of Murchmac
Murchmac

California

4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to PHawk for this one in a trade way back. Been cellaring it for a while, but tonight is the night, for feeling alright, we'll be making love the whole night through. 2008 Vintage. Please read the following review with Vincent Price's voice in your head.

Darkness falls into the glass, a blood letting ooze coats the side of the glass and your vision like the very dense breath of Satan himself. Thick, deep, dark, black, likes the eyes of the souless worms that feast on your flesh.

The foulest stench from the darkest depths of hades invade your brain. Chocolates, coffee, roasted breadiness with earthy hoppiness and fruits dried by the foul breath from the hounds of hell.

With every thickening taste a demonic possesion overcomes your body and soul. A ghastly haunting of malted chocolates, dried dark fruits, milky, with hops creeping up on you all the more like the bleak december, wroughting ghosts on the floor....

This beer fills me with fantastic terrors I never knew before. I hope it raps and taps on my chamber door, forever more...

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2009 07:02:42 | More by Murchmac
Photo of azdback
azdback

Arizona

4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011. Poured into a snifter. Well it's name is Darkness and its initial appearance is just that. Deep reaches of space black. Highlight are black with some black shadows. Head is a beautiful two fingers and cocoa colored and smooth and silky in appearance. Lace is sticky and spotted leopard pattern. Beautiful!!

Smell is at first a bit mellow but comes on with great dark roasted flavors of coffee and some silky milk chocolate. Maybe just a bit of char or wood and some tart cherries and maybe just a hint of alcohol.

Taste is much like the smell. The cherries come out more towards the front in the taste than in the nose. The dark roasted flavors of coffee, molasses, chocolate and charred wood are next. It finishes with some alcohol warmness.

Mouth is velvety with creamy carbonation. Body is full to heavy and the finish is long and wet.

Overall I enjoyed this. I have been looking forward to this day for quite some time. I received a bottle of 2010 earlier this year but waited until today to try the 2011 I received from TIMMYJ21 a month or two ago. I expected the world from this but it didn't quite match up. Still really excellent and solid Russian Imperial Stout. Very proud to have this as my 250th review.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 07:31:11 | More by azdback
Photo of Kadonny
Kadonny

Pennsylvania

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

Poured from a bottle gotten via trade with NuBrewm, 2009 version. I can't thank him enough for this rare beer. Poured from 750 bottle into a snifter glass.

A: A thick jet black that yields no light. A really cool brownish orange head rises above the black liquid and leaves full glass lacing. Wonderful looking beer.

S: Roasted malts with big aroma of chocolate, dark fruits and a nice amount of earthy hops. A bit of sweetness is picked up too.

T: Roasted flavors that slide right into huge chocolate flavors. I picked up milk chocolate and fudge flavors much more so than any dark chocolate flavors. Some dark fruit flavors come in with some plum, cherry and fig coupled with the earthy pine hops. The hops get subdued by the deep caramel malt sweetness that finishes out the beer. No bitterness and the sweetness really holds in the mouth. Very complex beer.

M: Full, coating, sweet, thick with minimal alcohol heat.

D: Medium. I really had enough after finishing the 750. The sweetness started to wear on me a bit.

Overall an amazing beer that is deserving of the hype, but I found it a bit sweeter than I would have liked. Next time I'm trying it fresh. I love the hops and hopefully they will shine a bit more. Still a super complex beer that I was super happy to try. Thanks NuBrewm!

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 13:58:31 | More by Kadonny
Photo of Rado
Rado

California

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

12-23-2013 17:52:11 | More by Rado
Photo of Kenai4
Kenai4

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +11.1%

01-14-2012 18:29:26 | More by Kenai4
Photo of huntermop
huntermop

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev 0%

05-07-2014 01:24:50 | More by huntermop
Photo of fthegiants
fthegiants

California

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

03-01-2014 04:44:39 | More by fthegiants
Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,526 ratings.