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Darkness - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Surly Brewing Company

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Darkness - Bourbon Barrel Aged
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80 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 80
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 12.75%
Wants: 267
Gots: 11 | 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:
Beer added by: AdmiralDiaz on 12-23-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Mistofminn:
Photo of Mistofminn
4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!

More User Reviews:
Photo of brycelarson
4.9/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of Jayman931
4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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.

Photo of Shawner
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of biniek13
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of cwehr13
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of RRC87
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of DrewSimm
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of joedevivre
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Nwrightjr
4.9/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of DeschutesNut
4.97/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Photo of carlton012
4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of Yulles
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of enelson
4.63/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Hopsiam14
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Curt1
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of benjaminahudson
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of hansgruber
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of DexterWinslow
2.5/5  rDev -45.1%

Do you like sickly sweet beers with a hint of oak hanging in the back? This is for you.
On tap, thin white head. Choked it down. Maybe my tastes have just changed because this whole style is just noxious now.

Photo of riverrunt421
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Sender
5/5  rDev +9.9%

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Darkness - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Surly Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.