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Damien - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Damien
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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

189 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 189
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.19%
Wants: 16
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Ungertaker on 10-22-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

t0rin0, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

zestar, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -0.5%

nmann08, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +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.

emerge077, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

zeff80, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of MasterSki
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%

On-tap at the FFF 15th Anniversary Party. Served in a plastic cup.

A - Tan foam with good retention settles to a thick collar, leaving behind spotty lace. Dark brown body with some transparency when held to the light.

S - It's hoppy! Plenty of grapefruit, pine, and a bit of cat pee as well. There's a vague cheesy aroma that suggests the beta acids are starting to break down. Plenty of roasted malt character in the background. I know Todd at Surly says this isn't a Black IPA, but it sure as heck smells like one.

T - Taste has more chocolate and roast character, and less of the citrus hop flavors. There's some sugar cookie, and a bit of smoke and char as well. Medium hop bitterness, with a bit of black malt astringency.

M - Medium bodied, smooth texture, lower carbonation, and some residual hop oils and resins that linger through the finish and beyond.

D - A pretty enjoyable hoppy black ale. I suspect this was even better a few weeks ago. Hopefully this becomes a regular offering released alongside Darkness, as it satisfies some of my hop fix that isn't met by the most recent iterations of Darkness.

MasterSki, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%

Sometimes a black ale is a black ale. And not a Black Ale, or American Black Ale.
And grassy hops in abundance smell so fine!
There's this thing called a small beer that no one's ever heard of, and gee whiz, it's been done to Darkness.

A re-fermenting of the run-off malt and mash of Surly's Imperial Stout, Darkness, this one rings in at half the alcohol percentage, 5 %, but I don't know whether more hops and malt are added, or if more yeast is pitched and fermentation begins again with this old, spent mash. I suspect the latter.

Solid black, slim brown head, settles to a small ring.

Amazing aromatics, floor of a pine forest, mixed with citrus rinds. Beautiful, lively, and arousing. You want that in your IPA, you want that in your Double IPA, you'd like it in your potpourri by the bathroom sink, you want toothpaste made from it, you want to gargle with it, and sprinkle it on your oatmeal.

Taste: some gritty dark malt, some chocolate, black malt, giving the coffee flavors, the cocoa, with plenty of bitterness and hardly any sweet. Great texture, excellent play on the palate, plenty of room for calling it a hoppy porter, or black IPA, but yet it is not one. It is a reduced version of Surly Darkness, that still has plenty of potency and charm. Plenty of grassy hops still working on the tongue, pleasing the palate, and the aroma never quits, the grassy/piney hop combo mixing well with the cocoa and coffee malt character.

It's not as rich and full bodied as you might expect if you don't fully understand what they're doing. So stop expecting what doesn't exist and enjoy what does. It's not full-on ale, it's a baby imperial stout, but it still has that glimmer of madness, that gleam of it's father's eyes.

This is my kind of session ale, and one that I'd prefer above Surly Mild, or anything else with a leaner body, but wouldn't really reach for one instead of a porter, or a Bender. Good work, gentlemen, and a great idea, I'd love to see more of this tried now and then. Beer recycling, it's the way to go!

feloniousmonk, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -0.5%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%

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-

kojevergas, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -0.5%

imperialking, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

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.

tempest, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of mothman
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

mothman, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Gonzoillini, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

AgentZero, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -0.5%

bsuedekum, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of Duff27
3.7/5  rDev -8%

Duff27, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of eawolff99
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

eawolff99, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of mattmarka1
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

mattmarka1, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of Florida9
4/5  rDev -0.5%

A: dark brown. Forms a thin but very stable ligh tan head. Some light lacing.

S: roasty malts and citrus hops

T: thinner than expected. Roasted malta, coffee, grapefruit. Coffee acidity.

M: on thinner side of medium. Mild bitterness. Appropriate carbonation.

O: a very nice, very drinkable small beer.

Florida9, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of Sean9689
3.78/5  rDev -6%

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.

Sean9689, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of homebrew311
4.3/5  rDev +7%

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.

homebrew311, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Second runnings of Darkness grains? A "green" beer then perhaps.

On-tap at Darkness Day 2011.

A darker brown color with some clarity. A frothy cap of sandy foam with some nice lacing.

The herbal, earthy and floral dry hopping comes through immediately. In the background is a lighter dusty cocoa and coffee taste from the grains. A very tasty lighter beer.

Lighter feel and quite smooth and dry.

I was surprised at how hoppy this beer was. A nice beer, but I wouldn't consider it an American Black Ale. It lacks the body and roasty notes associated with the style. Probably fits in better as a mild/brown ale hybrid, but whatever. The beer is good, drink it.

jera1350, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of ADTaber
4/5  rDev -0.5%

ADTaber, May 21, 2013
Photo of Redrover
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%

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!

Redrover, Dec 31, 2013
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Damien from Surly Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.