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Darkness - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Surly Brewing Company

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Darkness - Bourbon Barrel Aged
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65 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 12.25%
Wants: 271
Gots: 4 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: AdmiralDiaz on 12-23-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by AdmiralDiaz:
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Jet black with a one-finger brown head with great retention and good lacing. Someone next to me left their beer sitting for about 30 minutes and the head didn't lost any retention and ended up leaving a full glass of lacing.

S: Strong bourbon with molasses, chocolate, brown sugar with very little hop profile. Very sweet and very appealing. In a way reminds me of Goose Island Bourbon County with a hop profile.

T: Rich! Very strong sweet molasses and boozy bourbon turns into burnt brown sugar with sort of a funky taste accompanied with a little bit of hop profile that's faded during the aging. Very complex with a finish that leaves a sugary bourbon taste in your mouth for quite some time. I've heard some people complain that Darkness gets too sweet over time, but I feel that it's just right and still well-balanced...even more so with the bourbon notes.

M&D: Very syrupy, but well carbonated, which gives an overall very silky texture leaving a thick coating in your mouth and stickiness on you lips (lol)...really though, it's pretty much perfect in my opinion. Drinkability is pretty good considering the thickness and the alcohol content. I ended up having two glasses and wasn't tired of it yet.

Overall: Very, very impressive. I wasn't expecting a whole lot, since Darkness hasn't been my absolute favorite. With the bourbon and age added this beer is even more complex and very delicious. As unique as Darkness is by itself, this beer is one-of-a-kind. If you ever get a chance to sample it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

AdmiralDiaz, Dec 23, 2009
More User Reviews:
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5/5  rDev +9.4%

biniek13, Nov 16, 2011
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5/5  rDev +9.4%

kkrez, Nov 14, 2011
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5/5  rDev +9.4%

RRC87, Nov 15, 2011
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5/5  rDev +9.4%

DrewSimm, Nov 20, 2013
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5/5  rDev +9.4%

joedevivre, Dec 21, 2012
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4.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tasted this at the 2011 Autumn Brew Review at the Historic Grain Belt Complex in Minneapolis. Attended the first session. Was about 10th inline for this right as the gates opened.
Aroma smelt of bourbon and dark roasted malt. Head was a dark brown that was thick. filled half of my taster.
Tastes chocolate and a slight vanilla. Bourbon was there but was surprisingly smooth. Easily top 5 of the fest.

DeschutesNut, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of carlton012
4.9/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best beer of the Surly entourage, by far. It's like cough syrup. I loved looking at my empty glass, seeing the residue look like syrup. The flavor and pour were my favorite. It was a perfect compliment to a spicy breakfast, specifically chorizo. It was a very smooth beer, with a great bourbon feel from the initial taste to that feeling as it's going down. Love this beer.

carlton012, Nov 20, 2011
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2/5  rDev -56.2%

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5/5  rDev +9.4%

Yulles, Nov 14, 2011
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5/5  rDev +9.4%

Curt1, Nov 30, 2012
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4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

benjaminahudson, Jan 04, 2013
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4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

hansgruber, Mar 15, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

riverrunt421, Jan 01, 2012
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5/5  rDev +9.4%

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5/5  rDev +9.4%

Sender, Nov 14, 2011
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5/5  rDev +9.4%

gdhawley, Nov 16, 2011
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4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

xtrastoutalex, Apr 25, 2013
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4/5  rDev -12.5%

AleWatcher, Nov 24, 2011
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4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Samwhyz, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of brycelarson
4.9/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a simply magical brew. Darkness is, on it's own a powerful brew. It's nutty, fruity, malty and as the bottle says - dark as hell. This adds a new layer to that fantastically complex and powerful beer.

This beer pours almost like a syrup. It coats the glass with a thick, dark film. The head, since it was a cask pour was moderate - but the thickness held it well. It's utterly light-proof in the glass.

The nose starts a bit harsh - the high alcohol content mixed with the bourbon note hits you immediately but mellows to the background aromas quickly. The overall list of what you can smell is nearly unlimited. There are fruits, malt, there's a hop back end and some spice. There's a moderate sweetness in there as well - caramel, coffee, chocolate, cherries, raisins and tons of other scents. The bourbon lays on top of all of those - adding a second layer to everything.

There's a density of flavor that makes this beer extremely difficult to pin down. It rotates in your mouth through almost every descriptor you could apply to a beer.

The mouth feel is heavy and thick and pleasing.

Overall this is a utterly fantastic beer.

brycelarson, Jan 10, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

aliving1, Jan 03, 2012
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5/5  rDev +9.4%

hoeg0015, Nov 14, 2011
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Darkness - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Surly Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.