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Dark Apparition - Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark ApparitionDark Apparition

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

127 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 127
Hads: 671
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 302
Gots: 229 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Apparition Alström Bros
Reviews: 127 | Hads: 671
Photo of Beerzebub
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

2014 bottle. Thanks Daniel! Smells malty and lightly smoky, surprisingly like a Scotch ale, along with molasses, coffee, chocolate cake, and hints of herbs and licorice. On the palate, deep dark chocolate, licorice, and brown malt. Only slightly sweet. Nice herbal hop bitterness, lingering for quite a while and completely drying out the finish. High drinkability. An original and interesting brew, and quite enjoyable. (420 characters)

Photo of T_Reeves92
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

A: Dark black with a light tan head.
S: Chocolate, Dark Fruits, Candied Sugar
T: Follows the nose with an alcohol finish
M: Velvety feeling in the mouth, perfect consistency
O: Very Good beer. Jackie O's has outdone themselves on this one. (240 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
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 (943 characters)

Photo of WesMantooth
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A motor oil like black with a khaki colored head.

Smells very strongly of slightly burned brown sugar, wood, and bourbon.

Taste like cocoa powder, chocolate, expresso beans, bourbon, oak,brown sugar, and dark roasted malt. The bourbon really powers through, especially in the aftertaste. Almost has a rum like burn. It also finishes pretty bitter. This is an outstanding beer.

I would say world class if the heat/burn from the bourbon didn't overpower the flavor on the back end quite as much. And I am a bourbon person. Not sure who's barrels were used, but that could be a factor. A sipper for sure. At $12 a bottle, I probably won't be drinking again soon. That would apply to almost any beer though. If I see it for $6, I will be all over it. (752 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (1,442 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cheers to Bilco for sharing this

Review from notes, 6/7/14

Appearance: Dark, deep brown (almost black) with some medium brown around the edges - pours with a medium sized head, fades to some wisps, leaves some streaks of lacing

Smell: Nice aromas of coffee, dark roasted malts, and chocolate malts - very rich, with decadent chocolate and toffee - sweet, with some dark chocolate brownies and cake - some dark fruits - smells a little boozy, but it works with the overall richness of the aroma

Taste: Dessert in a glass - rich and decadent, with some serious brownies and chocolate cake - big chocolate malts, lightly roasty, lightly burnt, with dark chocolate, cocoa, fresh brownies, fudge, molasses, toffee, and dark coffee - light bitterness and some booze - mostly this is about the chocolate

Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy with a nearly full body, low carbonation, smooth, some residual burnt bitterness and heat

Overall: Decidedly beastly

We drank this outside on a warm near-summer day, and oddly enough that seemed to be a great setting for this burly beer. Big, rich malts with some bold chocolate flavors. I haven't had many beers from Jackie O's, but with offerings like this I might be starting to understand why their beers are sought after. (1,254 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (707 characters)

Photo of pants678
2.96/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Black body, slim off-white head.

Roasted malts are clear.

Flavor's striking, of a dark chocolate 90% or higher. Could use barrel to round it out or vanilla beans or anise to smooth it out. Alcohol's semi prevalent. Tough to enjoy, has a real inky, licorice character.

May work better as a porter with up'd carbonation. (321 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Three Penny Taproom, served in a tulip.

The color is black, opaque with medium tan head with sporadic lace left on the glass and fine bead. The aroma is of dark cocoa and brownie batter which has been burned onto the pan with light alcohol and mild toffee hints with spice in the background. The feel is sweet like toffee with big roasted and bitter grainy texure with moderate bitter with med high carbonation and warming alochol in the drying finish.

The taste of this stout is very rich with dark cocoa and slight roasted coffee acidity with a mild dark brown sugar tinge and lots of alcohol midway with almost spicy accent of heat with a bitter dark grain lingering flavor with some dark fruit like raisin and perhaps black pepper. The overall take is a pretty tasty stout for the strength - alcohol is not well masked though good dark malt flavor but a bit out of balance for my taste, though...a little raw and almost hot. (953 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.69/5  rDev +13%
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!!! (1,510 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Black with dark brown tint. 1/4 inch head with nice lacing.

Smell - Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, Bitter hops, molasses, raisin, plums, smoke, burnt leather.

Taste - Up front smokey malts with a mix of coffee bitterness, alcohol warmth and mild dark chocolate. Creamy, silky with sweetness of dark fruits and molasses. Smoke and roasted flavors really come out as this warms up. It almost has some barrel aged flavors with the alcohol warm and a little whiskey like note in the finish.

Mouthfeel - A huge malty, coffee bite nails the tongue. Palate gets more bitter coffee and hops, along with some sweet molasses and dark chocolate. Aftertaste is alcohol influenced, bitter and smoked malts.

Overall - Excellent beer, so glad I drove to the brewery. Very pricey for a non barrel aged beer but man, its soooo good. Really bold, full flavored, not for a occasional stout fan for sure. I cant wait to try the barrel aged version, I think its going to be a monster. (1,007 characters)

Photo of frenchblood21
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (1,007 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The aroma has a good amount of dark cherries and dark fruit character with coffee and chocolate.

The flavor follows with dark chocolate, the dark fruits, molasses, and very dark flavors. Roasted malt, coffee, but in general is hurt by a thin mouthfeel and a very big alcohol presence. (285 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Hops and Pie. Dark black with a minimal off-white head. Aroma is roasted malt and not much else. The flavor was a little too bitter for me, sort of ashy and just not rich like I want my imperial stouts to be. Overall, pretty average, maybe it's better out of the bottle. (280 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle courtesy of Auslander pours an oily black with a dark tan head.

Nose is roast, charcoal, licorice and red vines.

Taste is alot of roast, char and ash with some fruity, sour-esque presence. Im not quite sold on this as it has a thinnish mouthfeel with some odd fruit and char flavors. This does not taste much like the bourbon barrel version I had awhile back. (374 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler

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. (312 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights and a thin head that left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots going on in the aroma but definitely was able to sniff out dark fruits, good roastiness, caramel, maybe a little muted hop character, chocolate notes for sure, hints of coffee coming through and slight pear notes.

T: the chocolate milky character was more prominent in the taste alongside roastiness, caramel sweetness, plenty of dark fruits such as raisins, coffee flavor, a little booze as well but had a touch of vanilla as well.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, dark fruity, and milky finish.

O: definitely was a solid beer all around and was quite tasty as well. I need to try other offerings from these guys (803 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.36/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A big thanks goes out to a whole bunch of guys who helped me put together a six bottle set of these Dark Apparitions. I think this one came from claaark13. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
Bottle 113 of 228

APPEARANCE: Pours out dark brown, almost black, and yields a small, medium looking, fizzy tan head with pretty lousy retention. Head quickly bolts and leaves only a slight ring behind. Black opaque body with next to zero carbonation evident. A ring remains but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark chocolate, tobacco and smoky notes. Pretty bold with lots of chcolate and tobacco. Pretty solid really.

TASTE: Really sweet for sure. Some roasted notes with lots of caramel sweetness and black licorice. Dark chocolate and tobacco as well, as the nose had led on. The bold and lingering aftertaste is roasted with lots of caramel sweetness, tobacco and some bitter dark chocolate. Some smoky notes as well. Perhaps a touch too sweet for me, but this is still pretty complex.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate with just enough weight to be alright, goes down smooth and finishes very sticky on the palate. A little too cloying for my tastes. Enough body, however, which isn't always the case with Jackie O's.

OVERALL: This beer has a lot of potential, but the lousy look and somewhat cloying mouthfeel hold it back a little. It's also a little too sweet for my tastes. Tone down the sweetness and beef up the palate a bit and I think this would be a much more impressive brew. For now, it's alright. Thanks again for providing the kickoff claaark13. (1,644 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.92/5  rDev -29.6%
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. (883 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle served in a Deschutes tulip. Shared this in line at DLD. Big thanks to MarkIntihar for the bottle!! Batch from 2011, bottle # 4/228.

A: Pours a pitch black body with a dark khaki head forming on the pour. It recedes to nothing but leaves a sticky body trail around the glass.

S: Sweet creamy malts, oaty flavors and some chocolate with a little bit of roast.

T: Bitter bakers chocolate, toasted oat malts, some pale malts in the finish and a light coffee flavor.

M: Medium to full bodied,medium carbonation and roasty malt finish.

O: This was sadly a little ho-hum for me. It was good, but I expected some bolder flavors for an RIS, particular the dark fruit flavors or more coffee that I find so often. (721 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark Apparition, 22oz bomber from an awesome BA. My first experience with Jackie O's. Poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Jet black, opaque, viscous, motor oil...take your pick. Absolutely no head, but carbonation rises after the hard initial pour. Lacing and alcohol feet are apparent.

S: A nice RIS aroma, a little low on roast character but everything else is here; ripe dark fruits, ghostly hops, earthy bitterness, decent amount of molasses, fudge, chocolate, dark malts, faint coffee. Alcohol is pretty much invisible.

T: The biggest flavor is probably that molasses/chocolate fudge cake/vanilla bean character, pretty rich and decadent and a bit sweet. There is more than a hint of dark fruits, with a tart and almost lactic component, but its blends nicely with the malts and an underlying coffee note. Herbal, earthy & oily hop notes are apparent, as is a light & pleasant alcohol heat.

MF: Not quite full, which surprises me. The carbonation is pretty low. Finishes with some dry notes.

O: There are odd things about this particular beer, like the tartness, but overall its quite pleasant. Dangerously drinkable too, which kind of surprises me. A lot going on here, but it isn't too jumbled. (1,207 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

375ml bottle sealed with Jackie O's pressure cap.

poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: black bodied beer. Khaki colored head with both large and small sized bubbles that stack up two full fingers high. Drops down to a thin cap and eventually just aring around the glass. The beer does not leave much lacing on the glass.
Smell: Milk chocolate and cola. Moderate roast aroma with a hint of smoke.

Taste: Initial light bitterness from roasty malt, then the sweetness of the malts comes to the forefront midpalate. Finish is moderately roasty and bitter and it lingers. Roast and smoke; slightly ashy, hint of cola, molasses and milk chocolate impart sweetness. Earthy hops. Slight booze bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Low carbonation. Carbonation is creamy and beer feels slightly thin.

Overall: This is a solid RIS. Reminds me of Oscar Blues Ten Fidy. Nothing extremely memorable about this RIS, but it is still a good beer. Much much better than Dark Lord anyways. (994 characters)

Photo of jimmy82063
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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! (496 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size brown foamy head with OK retention and some lacing. Aroma of black chocolate and light molasses is interesting. Taste is dominated by dry black chocolate notes with some light molasses and some very subtle tart notes. Body is above average with limited carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Nicely brewed with limited complexity – fuller body a bit more carbonation would have been better. (450 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.25/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. 2011 vintage, thanks to claaark13. Thanks, Sean!

A: Pours a deep, dark brown that is opaque in the center, with just the smallest light penetration at the edges. If I'm not mistaken, this is actually a bit darker than the barrel-aged treatments. It pours with a short-lived mocha head that quickly retreats into a thin collar.

S: One whiff and this explains my confusion over the barrel-aged treatments I had recently. They weren't infected; this beer simply has a roasted, grainy sourness to begin with. I don't like it; it makes it seem like an imperial milk stout, but without the robust milk chocolate presence to back it up. Instead, this one has roasted coffee and a touch of nuts. Decent, but it's not particularly pungent or complex.

T: The taste is, unfortunately, both simple and composed of flavors I don't enjoy. It might be oxidized; the front-end has almost no flavor. The mid-taste eventually flows into a roasty, grainy sourness takes center stage here, segueing into licorice, plums, and a lesser presence of baker's chocolate. There is some grainy bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: Terrible presence. The beer overall feels lacking and watery, in part due to its simplicity. Each swallow falls off the palate quickly, and before I know it the beer is half gone with almost no flavor to show for it. It drinks like a much lighter imperial stout (think Old Rasputin). That would be acceptable if this were intended to be a 6% "sessionable" imperial stout, but for something of this beer's purported ABV, I would love some flavor to back it up. At least there is no trace of the booze.

O: I've been pretty disappointed with all three versions (base, bourbon, brandy) of this year's Dark Apparition. I'm sorry to say it, but I'm writing these guys off. (1,803 characters)

Dark Apparition from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.