Dark Apparition - Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

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Dark ApparitionDark Apparition

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646 Ratings

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Ratings: 646
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 300
Gots: 223 | FT: 45
Brewed by:
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Hophead101 on 11-06-2008

According to the brewer, this is a Russian Imperial Stout, not American Double Stout.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 646 | Reviews: 123
Reviews by BeerAndBourbon:
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A. Pours black with a creamy tan head that leaves touches of residual lacing.

S. Milk chocolate, some vanilla, a touch of coffee.

T. Milk chocolate, vanilla, some spiciness

M. Medium to thick mouthfeel with medium mouthfeel.

D. Very drinkable. Delicious. A great base beer that is deserving of all of the different treatments.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Bisco42
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An absolute treat. Phenomenal RIS, bursting with flavor in the most subtle way. From the top down, if this beer is a glimpse of what Jackie O's can brew, than we are in for a treat. Luckily I have a few BA DA's and OoA in the cellar. Poured into a snifter at room temperature. One and a half finger head that leaves lacing for the whole beer.

L - Straight up black. Maybe even darker than Ten Fidy, and certainly a better head. Poured the same way, DA leaves lacing as well as a coat above the brew for the entirety of the beer. Really special and unique.

S - Coffee, Caramel, Roast, Earth, hints of Vanilla and Malt that leaves the nose desiring a taste. There is absolutely no part of me that feels like this beer is lacking in the smell.

T - Woah... definitely better than Ten Fidy, which is the beer I will compare it to. I love the mouth feel, but the flavors are astonishing. Fresh, Coffee, Dark Roast, Vanilla, Boozy (but in a balanced way that complements the coffee nicely), hints of cedar and hops, but incredibly minimal. A sweet RIS that nearly defines the style.

F - So thick, so sweet and savory. This isn't a refreshing beer that you'd drink in the heat, this is one that demands the proper time of season to be drank. The complexities in the feel are incredible. Perfect amount of carbonation that coats the tongue and bursts as it goes down the throat.

O - Damn near perfect. The quinticential Imperial Russian Stout, I was contemplating leaving this one in the cellar to age or trade to an unlucky soul that can't obtain this across the nation, but after putting on Phish and feeling spring coming as well as the simple desire for a stout I reached for this. Thank God I did, because this may be the new go-to Stout for me when it is available. I can't picture a better beer for it's style. Surprised it doesn't have a 100/100 on this one, where as beers such as Ten Fidy, BBB, BABC and Speedway have higher. I've had those, many times, and this beer is far superior to my tastes, IMO.. The wonders of ratings in the craft world!! Jackie O's is on the up and up!!

Photo of adapt313
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For a non barrel aged, non adjunct imperial stout this is incredibly solid. Pours dark and oily with a small dark cocoa head. No lacing, minimal retention, but a small cap remained the entire time I sipped on this. Smell is loaded with coffee and dark fruits, with hints of vanilla and walnuts. Taste is heavy on dark fruits, some coffee and vanilla, has a woody or nutty quality to it, and finishes dry with a mild hoppiness and alcohol burn. Has a good thickness and velvety soft carbonation but is still relatively easy drinking for a big 10% stout. Dark app is a great example of a straightforward RIS.

Photo of maximum12
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to CaptCleveland for this, a beer I’ve managed to avoid despite sampling several of its other incarnations. 2014 dated/375ML bottle taken myself, since the wife is off doing PhD stuff.

Pour is a stout with low carbonation; sans surprise. The nose wakes me out of a pre-bedtime stupor: very nice chocolate, black malts, moderate roast. Smells just like a good, big-time stout should.

Dark Apparition is a textbook RIS…though this particular scholarly stout was written by Piers Anthony or Jim Butcher rather than Anthony R. Ghellard, PHD DDS MMD. Big chocolate – I seem to be finding a lot of beers with this characteristic lately, perhaps I should lay off the Reese’s & Peppermint Patties – is in the forefront, with a supporting cast of thousands. Quick hit of herbal mint, lovely molasses sweetness, burr oak nuts, an almost jaeger-like boot of alcohol, honey, vanilla echo. The feel is marvelous: heavy, slick, smooth. Despite the evident alcohol, this drinks like a session RIS.

Well, now I know why the variants are so good. It appears to have done a smooth jazz impression since bottling, as there is no roast or edge to speak of, but I am not complaining. Excellent brew.

Photo of CincyBrewTull
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This murky beer sucks you into its complex depths from the first sip, it seems bottomless, There is vanilla and coffee right off. Chocolate lurks in the background and lingers hauntingly with the coffee. Buried at the bottom of the pit that is Dark Apparition is hints of charcoal and leather. As the cold ghost thaws alcohol becomes apparent in all the right ways.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #52 (May 2011):

Heady start; black is black. Hint of barrel juice, more wood with a pinch of oxidation, brown sugar with some sherry-soaked raisins. Lush, super creamy, full bodied but not syrupy. Vanilla bean, distinct boozy bourbon. Firm pull of oaky wood. Caramel, toffee, coffee. Chocolate cake, dark ripe fruit. Big drip of molasses. Hint of cardboard from oxidation but at a level of compli- menting. Not overly sweet; woodiness draws in some dryness and the finish has a long linger of bourbon. There is some great balance here—as the sweetness walks out the door, the booze and wood are left to deal with settling down, which they do.

Photo of frenchblood21
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from fresh 375ml bottle into Hoppin Frog snifter. Date of review is 4/18/14.

Appearance- Completely and utterly pitch black. This has a 3/4 finger of dark tan head that fades quickly.

Smell- Sour cherry and deep dark chocolate burst into my face. I also get spiced rum and a malty smokey bacon.

Taste- Much less of the tart or sour scent makes it through to the taste. This beer is dark and mysterious. It is quite hard to pick out certain flavors. Molasses is the most dominant flavor in my taste. Very bitter dark chocolate is present too. Now that it is warming, I do get much more coffee.

Mouthfeel- This beer is NOT for the faint-of-palate. Super rich and super bitter, this beer will blow you away. Every sip feels like I let a molasses flavored Hersey kiss melt in my mouth.

Overall- Good beer worth seeking out. I cannot wait to taste this beer in it's barrel-aged form. It is a bit harsh when it's this fresh, but mellowed out from time in barrels would make this beer world-class.

Photo of ehammond1
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Acquired via trade
Thanks, TomTwanks!

A great Russian imperial stout. Follows the style in fairly typical fashion with good amounts of roast, very mild char and coffee character. Straightforward, but the alcohol is hidden well. Nice beverage to drink while sitting around the fire pit, that's for sure.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've been wanting to really try some Jackie O's, these cans that have been showing up have left me wanting much more. Surprise from wvsabbath's adventure last weekend to the brewpub in Athens, landed me this beer without much effort thanks again for the beer!

The first time they've released this in the 375 ml bottle capped with not cork, beautiful artwork matches the pitch black beer, creamy tan head coats the glass nicely fine speckled lacing left behind.

The aromatics keep your nose stuck in this beer, deep creamy dark chocolate, coffee roasts, a bit of gentle booze, plums/raisins dark fruit, herbal hops in the nares. Perfect nose in every way it keeps you lost in the beers dark hue.

Flavors velvet smooth textures on the palate, creamy caramel, matched with dark chocolate, bittering hops and dark roasts dry the palate out, even keeled booze with coffee roasts turns up the volume this is some beer. Dark fruit plums/raisins appear again complemented with a healthy load of hops, I bet this beer ages incredibly well.

The texture is heaven the mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy silky goes down so smooth well hidden booze, even mellow carbonation flows perfectly big beer but has so much finesse literally drinks with way too much ease.

Overall, highly impressed I can't wait to see how well the bourbon barrel aged version, possibly one of my favorite stouts of all time...immensely complex with incredible mouthfeel...damn Brad please distribute more of the bottled beers across Ohio!!!

Photo of chinchill
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark apparition Jackie os
Thanks Chris.
Medium full body worn spur on carbonation.
Dark fruits. dark bread.
Alcohol not entirely hidden but the alcohol esters are a positive.

Photo of Brenden
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a thick, heavy, viscous motor oil of a beer, black as midnight. The head is a dark brown one a solid finger high that keeps its form and its height for the full session while dropping down good legging.
The flavor of chocolate syrup, like the liquid center of a chocolate lava cake, contrasts interestingly with wood and cocoa powder to make it more semi-sweet. The headiness and warming alcoholic flavor give the impression of briefly dark spirit-soaked dark fruits with even something like apricot in there. It's almost as if the flavors the alcohol's integration brings out shift throughout the session so that I can never quite say expressly that it's more like rum, bourbon, port or sherry. It seems as some point it's each of those, more than one at a time here and there. The cedar-like flavor mingles in with everything at all times, simultaneously adding its own sort of balance while giving it some complexity. Otherwise, it's fairly straightforward and shows off the staple notes of roast and coffee with additional hints of vanilla and almost molasses-like sweetness.
As thick and viscous as it should be, it straddles the line that these beers can tumble over as far as sitting heavily. It just avoids it, though. Carbonation is soft, just right for the creaminess it adds with just enough of a nip to it. It angles on the sweet side, almost cancelling out the balancing dryness but stopping just short of teetering over.

Photo of ThatguyJoefromBoston
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

Got this in a trade. For a 10.5% ABV, I was expecting a very thick and heavy RIS. In a sense, thats what I got, but it was also perhaps the most drinkable RIS I've had. All the flavors from dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, a little oak, and subtle hops came out. I didn't get molasses, booziness or licorice like I do with many RIS which I found interesting. Excellent mouthfeel and flavor improves as it warms.

Photo of SomethingClever
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cool ass 12 oz bottle heavy too poured into nonic pint

A: Deep darkness like a new moon sky almost no head at all I was worried it was flat

S: licorice some chocolate

T: Very nice licorice taste sweet not overly complex it's a nice taste but straight forward with it licorice and some chocolate

M: very soft carbonation medium to heavy coating on the tongue

O: This isn't a super complex beer but it crushes it as a stout it's not hot it's sweet it's thick it's got a slight licorice and chocolate taste it's just well done. If you see it buy it you will be pleased don't go out of your way though it's just a great beer but you aren't going to be like this is life changing.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.92/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2011 vintage. #156/228. Waxed bomber into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours no head. Opaque black but rather thin. Spotty lace with oily legs. Bit below average.

Nose is soy sauce, roasted malt, cocoa, chocolate, and some char. Average. Could be a touch more aromatic.

Opens nutty. Some roasted malt tartness. Soy sauce, prunes, more roasted malt. Anise and cocoa beans towards the end. Finishes roasty with a cocoa and smoky aftertaste. Could be a touch sweeter. Decent complexity with an odd bit of tartness.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit thin and overcarbed in the mouth. Accented finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Goes down decent but again, suffers from being too thin.

Overall, a pretty average imperial stout. Given that this is the base, I'm not sure what to expect from the different barrel treatments. Its ok, just nothing to be impressed by.

Photo of prototypic
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many, many thanks to csmiley for the bottle. You're the man, dood!

Bottled on 11/18/2009

Dark Apparition pours a very dark chocolate fudge color. Save for a few faint burgundy highlights at the outermost edges, it looks onyx to me. Well done. A mocha tan head rises to about a finger and a half in depth. It dissipated quickly, and left a moderate coat of sticky lace lining the glass.

The nose is good, but could use a tad more strength. Dark chocolate and cocoa lead the charge. There's a hint of roasted malts, but they pale in comparison to the chocolate. Coffee is rather strong in the mix, and complements the malts very nicely. Smells like a bit of black licorice, molasses, and a bit of dark fruit are secondary. Alcohol is masked well.

The flavor is likewise quite good. Chocolate malts provide a very sturdy, flavorful base. Bittersweet dark chocolate blends nicely with a touch of roasted malts. Coffee follows and really opens up the flavor. As a coffee fan, I'm liking it. There is a tangy, dark fruit flavor that permeates throughout. Personally, I think it's a little strong. Less would be more in this case. Light black licorice, molasses, and a hint of vanilla add nice depth. Alcohol never comes through very strong. Finishes with an espresso infused chocolate flavor, topped off with a touch of dark fruit.

Dark Apparition has a medium body. Carbonation is light, and it is smooth. More body would be a little better. Big stouts need big bodies. This one falls a little short of that. Drinkability is good. It goes down nice and easy. I'm really enjoying the bomber.

Jackie O's did a nice job with Dark Apparition. It's a rather tasty Russian Imperial Stout. Personally, I'd like a little less dark fruit and a little more body. But, it's really good beer as it is. Don't let my nitpicking discourage you. Definitely worth picking up if you attend the next bottle release. Good stuff. Thanks, Chris.

Photo of miketd
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle a friend picked up from the brewery. Pour is almost completely black with a good dark tan head. Aroma of chocolate, coffee, dark fruit(?), caramel and a little booze. Flavor is much the same - Chocolate, coffee, caramel and a little fruity/tart aftertaste. Hides the alcohol well. Decent palate, dry and some roast in the finish. Overall a good beer.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Delicious- full bodied, velvety smooth, lovely nose, rich malt flavor but not cloying. I love everything I've had from Jackie O's and Dark Apparition is no exception. I would recommend picking up a bottle of you see it.

Photo of zimm421
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a screw-top growler into a tulip. Appears a wonderful black color, maybe a hint of brown. The head develops late in the pour, creating a fairly thin brown head that leaves wonderful lacing and never really goes away.

The nose is full of roasted malts, lots of dark chocolate, caramel and coffee. The aroma is wonderful, has strength and draws you in for more. As it warms, dark fruit notes start to develop. The taste is full of chocolate, malts, bitter coffee flavors, caramel and some alcohol notes. The dark fruit notes come through here as well. This is very complex and inviting. I've had better, but not many.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied; slightly thin for an RIS in my opinion. Carbonation level is about average, seems to be right on. The lighter mouthfeel makes is easier to put away large amounts of this at a time. Overall, this is an impressive brew. Glad I could finally get a few growlers from Jackie O's, I'll definitely be going back for refills in the coming months.

Photo of beveritt
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Had on tap at the brew pub recently. Arrives in a chalice.

Appearance: Thin cap of medium tan head. This settles leaving behind decent lacing. The beer itself is midnight black and completely opaque.

Smell: Roasted barley and bitter black coffee.

Taste: Bitter coffee and chocolate. Overall smooth with hint of a lactose sweetness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level, as would seem appropriate for this style. Body is very good.

Drinkability: Great. Alcohol level is extremely well hidden, making this easy to drink.

Photo of jimmy82063
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass

A) Jet black, head really fades away, a swirl leaves a little lacing.

S) Burnt coffee dominates followed by molasses.

T) The coffee and molasses again slight caramel and and a nice bitter chocolate. Alcohol at 10.5% is there but not overly so.

M) Nice grainy texture.

O) I really liked this as it was not overly sweet. I thought this was fairly easy to drink given the ABV. I have a brandy barrel version still lying around that may not make it through the weekend!

Photo of trappistlover
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(sampled at Dak's Final Four Tasting!). Bottled 11.18.09. Pours dark brown with thin khaki head. Aroma has loads of chocolate, coffee and some dark fruits. Taste is sweet with some roasty bitterness and well balanced. Medium bodied with a slick texture. This is a really nice beer!

Photo of Treyliff
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle, 2014 vintage, poured into a teku

A- pours motor oil black with nearly no head at all, with what little bit is there disappearing quickly, leaving a coffee-looking beer in the glass

S- dark chocolate and burnt brown sugar mix with sweet molasses, coffee and fig. Also picking up some barrel juice aromas with a bourbon-like sweetness, hints of vanilla and herbal hops close it out

T- initial flavor upfront is subdued, with just some malty sweetness. As it enters mid-palate, some sweet notes of molasses and brown sugar kick in, followed by some dark fruits and chocolate. The finish gives some herbal hoppiness with dry, slightly bitter coffee/chocolate on the close

M- medium-thick body with low carbonation lead to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and slick finish, lots of alcohol warmth on the linger

O- a heavy and boozy sipper, would have liked to get more chocolate notes, I'd be interested in trying the BBA version

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. From the growler from the brewery. Pours a thick oily black with light tan head and
nice moderate lacing. The head dissipates to a thin layer. Nose of molasses, chocolate,
toffee, tons of sweet malts, and a hint of coffee. Flavors are deep and intriguing. Full on
Russian Imperial Stout. Richly roasted malts and flavors of dark chocolate hit up front with a
nice hint of sweetness that lingers. Licorice (black) lightly coats the tongue without being
over powering. A moderate coffee bitterness dances with hops and settles down to a nice
roasted sweetness. Excellent smooth mouthfeel. Wonderful with warmth. Tons of alcohol
warmth on the aftertaste. Nice.
An A plus!


Photo of Bung
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Jackie O's. Solid black pour, nearly no off white head to speak of.

Aroma has some roast malt, nice chocolate and slight vinous red fruit.

Tons of chocolate, some roast, malt and coffee. Molasses. Finishes with some mocha, cafe mocha. Top notch.

Thick and coating. No alcohol presence. Could use a little more carbonation, seems like the only flaw.

Can see how this parlays into some nice add on versions.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle, 2014 vintage. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit (raisins, plums), coffee, and caramel. Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but there's also some molasses, herbal hops and burnt/charred malt noticeable too. It's a tasty brew, with plenty of roasty, bitter, and sweet flavors. Just gets better and better the longer I drink this! Mouthfeel/body is full, it's rich, creamy and coating with low/moderate carbonation. I think it's a pretty good RIS. Hopefully Jackie O's will put out another batch of this soon! $5.99 a bottle.

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Dark Apparition from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 646 ratings.