1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Darkness - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Darkness - Bourbon Barrel Aged
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.

63 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 261
Gots: 3 | 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:
Huge Imperial/Double Stout aged in a fresh bourbon barrel.

(Beer added by: AdmiralDiaz on 12-23-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Mistofminn:
Photo of Mistofminn
4.78/5  rDev +4.6%

Review from notes. Went to Mackenzie's (first time going there actually) to give this a try after finals were over (yea I had a final 2 days before Christmas...gross huh?)

I consider 2009 to be better than 2008, but it's hard to compare a fresh bottle to a year old keg, as the only time I've had 2008 Darkness was a couple weeks before Darkness Day 2009 on cask. I found 2008 to be almost overly sweet and the hops had dropped off quite a bit, while 2009 was intensely hoppy and just plain better all around.

Pours deep, motor-oil black with a brown sugar colored head. Excellent retention and awesome lacing.

No idea of the length this spent in the bourbon barrels, or even what kind of bourbon they were, but the bourbon is strong in this. Other notes include sweet and roasted malt, brown sugar and molasses and a dry hop character. It's pretty much exactly what I thought it would be, Darkness 2008 (sweet) with bourbon barrel aging characters.

Taste is just like the nose, but sweeter. Bourbon and wood characters shine, along with roasted malts and light hops. The wood character comes out strong, and I didn't pick it up in the nose.

Thick and rich, chewy and creamy. Full bodied with a low carbonation. Drinkability is dangerous, especially considering the ABV.

This puts an entirely new spin on Darkness. It adds enough to dimish the sweetness and focus my mind on other things. Excellent, and so glad I got a chance to try it! Wouldn't have missed this for the world (or another final!) so follow Surly on twitter to find out things like this!

Mistofminn, Jan 25, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jayman931
4.79/5  rDev +4.8%

A: Dark....minimal head
S: Superb
S: Sexy
T: Not quite Darklord but damn its good..

Top Tier Beer.

So my comment must be 250 characters so let me wax poetically about the greatness of this beer. Tastes greaaat!

In all seriousness its exceptional...second only to 3F Darklord.

Jayman931, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of biniek13
5/5  rDev +9.4%

biniek13, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +9.4%

kkrez, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of RRC87
5/5  rDev +9.4%

RRC87, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of DrewSimm
5/5  rDev +9.4%

DrewSimm, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of joedevivre
5/5  rDev +9.4%

joedevivre, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of DeschutesNut
4.97/5  rDev +8.8%

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%

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
Photo of CaptainNomihodai
2/5  rDev -56.2%

CaptainNomihodai, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of Yulles
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Yulles, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +9.4%

FreshmanPour77, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Hopsiam14
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Hopsiam14, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of Curt1
5/5  rDev +9.4%

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

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

hansgruber, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of riverrunt421
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

riverrunt421, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
5/5  rDev +9.4%

GeorgiaBeerGuy, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of Sender
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Sender, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of gdhawley
5/5  rDev +9.4%

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

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

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

Samwhyz, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of brycelarson
4.9/5  rDev +7.2%

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
Photo of aliving1
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

aliving1, Jan 03, 2012
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Darkness - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Surly Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.