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Damien - Surly Brewing Company

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Damien
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BA SCORE
89
very good

248 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 248
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 17
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Ungertaker on 10-22-2011

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (48) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 248 | Reviews: 35
Reviews by zeff80:
More User Reviews:
Photo of deebo
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at Darkness day 11.

A-Dark as night with frothy tan head.

S-Very fresh citrus hops with plenty of malty sweet aroma.

T-The fresh hops really shine in this beer. This beer has a significant malt backbone but the hops are up to the challenge and gives a very satisfying taste.

M-Medium bodied and carbonated.

D-Very good, could drink the hell out of this beer.

O-Excellent beer, would love to get some more of this. Great balance of an overload of hops and malts. My favorite beer on DD.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We were told that this one was the "Son of Darkness." The ale was very dark in colour and had a cream coloured head which died quickly. Smokey, roasted grains in taste with a light body and finish; leaving a slight lingering palate. No forward malts or hops really detected.

Would I buy it again? Probably

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis. Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Dark and black with a little bit of brownish ruby red on the edges. Decent three finger light tan head that slowly fades into a patchy layer. Moderate amount of lacing.

Smell: Strong citrus hop aroma up front. Grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. Also some hints of herbal pine resin. Solid presence of dark roasted caramel malts. The toasted malts are noticeable but the citrus stands out the most.

Taste: A lot like the smell, big taste of citrus hops with notes of grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. Hints of pine resin. Bitterness from the hops is fairly mild. Dark roasted caramel malts give some balance in the background with hints of coffee, chocolate, and bready biscuit that lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the lighter side of medium and carbonation is moderate. Feels somewhat prickly and kind of light for such a heavily hopped beer. Finishes dry.

Overall: A pretty solid black ale. Lots of tasty hops with a solid dark background. Lighter body makes for a very easy drinking beer. Great option if you want a lighter dark beer with a strong hop presence.

Photo of tempest
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a couple pints at the Blue Nile because it was damn tasty. The body did feel a touch thin, I'm guessing do to the nature of second runnings, but the infusion of biting grapefruit hops kicks things up a notch. The malt is on par with a great, but light porter full of chocolate roast with a dry, bitter finish. The hops are expertly balanced against the malt, and the sessionable body makes this beer stand out in a style crowded with great options.

Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice Omen reference, this hellspawn of Darkness is aptly named.

Two pints, one after the other. Body appears black, with a thin layer of tan foam across the surface. It ebbs away slowly, lasting long enough to leave some spotty lace around the sides of the glass.

Dry hopping is evident in the resiny hop aroma, it's fruity and earthy at the same time. Roasted malt is there too, providing an interesting contrast to the citrus element. Hop aroma is really nice and assertive here.

Mild bitterness, assertive hops, some grapefruit and orange meld with a dry coffee roast, with a lingering bitterness from the two elements combined. Light bodied and very drinkable. Light carbonation, very drinkable. Dry aftertaste. Much hoppier than this years' Darkness, it later made an interesting blend with a little bit of Darkness in the mix.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Going through my backlog of notes.

Poured from the tap into a sample glass at FFF XV party.

Pours a deep black with a wispy tan head that fades almost into nothing.

Smells of roasted malts and some piney hops.

You can tell this is Darkness's little bro from the taste. Good roasty malts with a hint of chocolate although the hop bite still powers through to make its presence known.

Mouthfeel is a touch on the lighter side, but only for those who like black beers thick like me. Fairly oily finish.

Very solid beer by Surly, but not earth shattering. Still if they canned it, I'd probably seek it out.

Photo of MidwestBA
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had an odd taste that I did not like.

Photo of iadler
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at town hall tap.

A- pours a deep black with a thin mocha head that dissipates in a thin cap. Some thin lines of lacing are left behind.

S- very grassy and piney with some grapefruit zest, coffee, unsweetened chocolate, and roasted malt.

T- coffee, unsweetened chocolate, and roasted malt with orange and grapefruit zest, grass and pine.

M- medium carbonation and a light to medium body. Finishes slightly bitter.

O- very flavorful and much more hoppy than darkness this year. Quite a light body as well as a low abv which makes it easy to have a few.

Photo of gatornation
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap in a surly pint glass

A- pours a solid black color with a tan head and a fresh collar a little thin lacing on the glass

S- is grapefruit hops with charcoal,roasted malts,some smoke and wood,lots of hops

T- nice citrus hops upfront, with roasted malts and seared meat on the grill tastes,malt finish

M- light carbonation a little thin

O- a nice offering on tap very tasty very easy to drink hops and malts with a smoke/charcoal taste

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - An almost black beer with a khaki head that left behind some decent lace.

S - Very hoppy. Some citrus, pine, and grapefuit over a roasted malt backbone.

T - Some roasted malts, bit of dark chocolate, and enough hop flavor to make it a hop beer without obliterating the rest of the flavors. Has an appropriate bitterness to it.

M - Medium bodied with lower carbonation.

O - Really packs a flavor kick for something that's only 5% ABV. Pretty easy drinking beer that I rather enjoyed and would like to have again.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served from tap in a tumbler at Beer Market - Vernon Hills.

Insert Omen/South Park reference here. This stuff pours a straight black-brown topped by a finger or so of khaki foam. The nose comprises treacle, light cocoa powder, and dank greens. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some dark roast (nigh burnt) and a twang of dried maple syrup. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a generally fluid feel. Overall, this is exactly how I thought a second-runnings-from-Darkness black IPA would be. Not bad at all.

Photo of Greggy
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a black color with a 1.5 finger tan head. Once the cap recedes and I empty the pint, a bit of sparse lacing is present.

S- Bits of chocolate, piney hops, some toffee/nuttiness.

T- Starts with a bit of bitter chocolate, nut brittle backed with ample pine and grassy hops. The finish is slightly dry and a bit nutty.

M- Spot on carbonation and body.

D- Pretty darn drinkable. I'd definitely have this again.

Photo of JackieTH
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured at Darkness Day 2011, into a plastic cup.

The beer is black with translucent crimson red highlights, capped with and inch of sisal foam.

I was surprised by the big hops in the nose. Citric orange pith and pine with faint chocolate and malt.

Taste is bitter enough to keep the beer from being sweet despite the chocolate and roasted caramelly brown sugary malts, nice chocolate framed against the citric and piney hop. It certainly seemed more bitter than its 35 IBUs.

Creamy medium-light body and moderate carbonation. I thought it was quite tasty, and seems right in classification.

Photo of cambabeer
3.18/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I liked this somewhat. Had on tap at brewery. It was too sweet in the malt character and there was not much hops to speak of. The carbonation was also overpowering. It was a lot like drinking soda, both in the feel and sweetness. It was also served ice cold, which is normal but I feel this beer could do better a little warmer. That was the case as I let it warm up. There were some nice malt characteristics in there, nice and grainy in the finish, but overall just too sweet for me.

Photo of DCon
2.85/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed on-tap w/ BrewMaster Todd @ the Surly Brewing Company's Darkness Day 2011 in Brooklyn Center, MN for $5. Tapped from the black and plain handle into a 12oz Surly Cup.

Aroma- Tons of hop in the aroma and grain as well. Nothing huge in this aroma but it was nice to see such a big hop presence.

Appearance- Received with almost no head at all... I didn't care for this... Has the deepest brown aroma that could be available in a glass. Leaves no suds or any type of lacing at all.

Flavor- Has a ton of malt and roastiness but very watery and light... No hops found in here and goes down like nothing that should be classified as an English Brown Ale (btw, this one shouldn't say American Black Ale on top- talked and hung with Todd of Surly).

Mouthfeel- Very light bodied (which is okay), no carbonation, and a huge hop presence. Watery and very light on the palate at the finish and didn't mind.

Overall Impression- I'm sorry to do this but this beer went no where and did nothing for me. The left over grains from Darkness were used in this and I feel like this was all they used except for added hop. Sorry Surly but not a fan...

Photo of Redrover
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had a couple of these while dinning at Haute Dish.

Served in a standard pint, the beer is black with a dark tan head. It has nice lacing.

Nose of roasted malts and lots of hops, just what the doctor ordered.

There is a hint of dark coco and chocolate from the malts. It was less hoppy than I expected (given the nose), but was still nicely balanced.

A nice medium mouth (lighter than I expected give the smell and appearance) added to the drinkability.

My waitress said it was a good choice when I ordered it, know what, she was right!

Photo of robwestcott
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

cold and black from the tap to a first class plastic cup at FFF XV party with no head.

big hop aroma and perhaps a bit of smoke in the wayback.

grassy hops forward, smoke a bit of roasty malts.

light bodied, medium carbonation, medium bitter.

nice black IPA.

Photo of kojevergas
3.37/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a 12 oz stem-goblet at the Republic Bar in Minneapolis. Cost was $6.00. Reviewed from notes taken earlier this month.

A: Pours a half finger khaki-tan colour head of nice cream and thickness, but poor retention. Body colour is a solid black.

Sm: Chocolate, dark malts, roast, and hints of coffee. The pronounced roast is particularly inviting. A mild strength aroma.

T: Chocolate, a bit of coffee, dark malts, and hints of cream. Licorice. Balanced and decently built, but not complex or subtle. I do like it, but I expect better from Surly. Well layered. Pleasant.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit sharp. Good thickness and pretty good carbonation. Suits the flavours nicely.

Dr: Drinkable and flavorful, but Surly has far better beers. I doubt I'd get it again, but it was nice to try once. Hides its ABV well. Fairly priced.

B-

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was served from a keg, waiting in line at Darkness Day. It was poured into a plastic Surly cup. This review is from my notes.

Appearance- The body is black with a finger of dark brown foamy head. I don't notice any lace on the cup at all.

Smell- That is a pretty good nose. There are definite citrus notes that make the caramel malt seem really tangy. There is also a distinct pine note in there. I like it well enough, but it certainly isn't my favorite type of beer.

Taste- The roasted malt is extremely tangy mixing with the orange and tangerine hop flavor. The finish presents more of the pine hops and dark malt notes. There's even a bit of chocolate in there.

Mouth feel- The mouth feel is a little light for the malt present here. It's just on the cusp of medium bodied. I wish it was a little smoother, but with the hop notes it finishes a little dry.

Overall- This beer was all right. It may just be the fact that black ales aren't my favorite style, because in Surly's defense, the beer is really balanced. If you ever see it, by all means try it.

Photo of homebrew311
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown, clarity around the edges, creamy tan head, heavy lacing, great retention

S: earthy hops, chocolate, coffee, herbal notes pair nicely with roast

T: starts off with herbal and hoppy assault, roast is tame but present, well balanced

Mf: smooth, low carb, nice

O: great use of the darkness second runnings, quite drinkable.

Photo of Philly82785
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I had it on tap last night at the Blue Nile. It poured black with minimal head. The nose was quite floral. It had a mouthfeel similar to a lager. The hop presence was pronuced in the taste but it wasn't bitter. You could also taste the roasted malts from the remenats of Darkness. It was similar to what I would expect a black IPA to taste like. I did however expect more bitterness. All in all still another good brew from Surly.

Photo of stealth
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at darkness day 2011. The black ale style was new to me at the time, so the citrusy/hoppy backbone really surprised me on the first taste. The clincher for me, though, was the chocolate and roast overtones that made this one a real unique treat. I hope Surly has this on-tap next year.

Photo of Stevedore
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

10oz pour into a Darkness goblet at the Surly Tap Room today, 11/29/2013.

Looks like a fairly standard black ale; very pitch black and opaque. But it looks quite thin when swirled around, in comparison to Darkness right next to it. Nice 1cm white head, nothing much going in terms of lacing.

Smells phenomenal. Really smells like a Black IPA; they must hop this stuff up with the same stuff they hop Abrasive with. Lots of citrus, grapefruit, a bit of pineapple and some pine. It's a citrus bomb.

Flavour kind of falls flat. The citrus flavours come through fairly well, but I'm not so sure what to make of its interplay with the roasted malt backbone. Its there in some capacity but it doesn't mesh very well with the citrus. It's not a typical flavour profile for a black IPA either.

On the thin side, a bit watery but OK carbonation. Some bitter aftertaste from the hops.

Interesting, especially once you hear about the premise behind it, but definitely not something I'd recommend trying more than once. Its simply not that great.

Photo of Sean9689
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at FFF XV into a tasting glass.

A - Pours black, cream-colored head, thin ring, wisps on top.

S - Roasted hops, nice level of bitterness, some nuttiness. The level of hops and roast are nicely balanced...neither overpower the other.

T - Similar to the nose. Hops, roast, some dark chocolate, slight pine. I think I enjoyed the nose a bit more with this one, but still, a solid beer.

M - Perhaps a bit too thin, good carbonation, oily roast finish.

O - I think I was expecting a bit more from this one, being Surly really can do a number of different styles well. That said, it's still a nice beer and it was good, just not great. I would drink again, but not seek out.

Photo of mothman
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half finger of creamy tan head. Thick head. Color is a dark brown with a caramel hue on the edges.

Aroma: Very hoppy. Chocolate and caramel. Floral, piney, and grapefruit notes. A lot of flavor for a small beer.

Taste: Very floral. Pine with grapefruit. A lot of hops here. A light roast with caramel and chocolate. A little bit of orange. Very citrusy.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but creamy and smooth. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends a little sticky, but good.

Overall, this is a fantastic small beer. Super hoppy. Reminds me of an ipa. Still, it has a nice malt profile to it. Perfect blend. I could drink a lot of this.

Edit: the 2014 Damien isn't very good. Not very flavorful. Tastes watered down. Hard to drink a pint.

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Damien from Surly Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.