1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Dark Seas - Mission Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark SeasDark Seas

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

592 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 592
Reviews: 149
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 40
Gots: 78 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Mission Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: srandycarter on 12-08-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 592 | Reviews: 149
Photo of Pukstopper
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark malty black with a slight head that fades and leaves lacing. Roasted malts very present. No big aftertaste but a rather smooth finish with subtle bite on the back end. For 9% ABV not bad at all

Photo of mabermud
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looks nice. Dark chocolatey body. The head is dark brown with black highlights. The head melts from the side of the glass. I smell medium and dark roasted malts, lactose, and some chocolate. This smells nice. The taste has all of the characteristics of a RIS, but this one is richer, and heavy on the roast. Nice balance of sweetness and roast. There is some faint twang on the backend. I need more body and substance. The feel could use some work, but it isn't bad...

Overall - The smell is very nice. They did a good job with that. The taste is up there. Everything comes together well.

Photo of dmgeng
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've really enjoyed everything from Mission that I've tried and I figured a ~10% stout would for sure be a winner.

A - Very dark brown color when poured but black in the glass. Mostly clear but difficult to see from the dark color. Brown colored head with moderate lacing.

S - Sweet roasty aroma with chocolate, toffee, malt, and coffee tones mixing well. The chocolate and roasted smells seem to stick out but it is relatively complex.

T - Very similar to the smell this beer and has complexity but is coasting on the chocolate/roasted notes that are very characteristic of a delicious stout. There is a sweet roasty character that is predominant and has some coffee tones that compliment. It is a powerful flavor that is very delicious.
.
M - Moderate to high mouth-feel. Light carbonation perfect for the style. Not as heavy as other imperial stouts but isn't as cloying as others too.

Overall, this is a delicious imperial stout. Not the best imperial stout I've ever had but is still very good with a tilt toward the chocolate side. I prefer the little thicker and boozier but this is a good middle ground between a barrel-aged and an export stout. I would definitely get this again and would recommend it to any dark beer fan and I look forward to trying the barrel-aged version in the future.

Glass- Snifter

Photo of pjkelley82
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a Tulip..

12oz bottle purchased mid-2013 with no bottle date so I'm assuming this is a little over a year old, maybe 2.

A-Pours like motor oil. Black I'm color with a nice sized mocha colored head from an aggressive pour. Very thin ring left around with a thin skin left atop. Nice lacing.

S-Dark bitter chocolate, molasses, anise, dark stone fruit, roast. Slight phenol kick to it as well.

T-Classic RIS taste. Big and roasted. Sweet on the front end with a bitter and roasty finish. Lots of anise and liquorice. I've read reviews where this was overly hoppy but I assure you those hops have subsided.

F-medium light bodied and oily and kind of juicy. A little watery with light carbonation.

O-Was not expecting this beer to be this solid. I'd imagine this beer still will age well. Had it by itself but this beer would stand side by side with lots of the sought after RIS's. It's mouthfeel is its downfall. If it were creamier and heavier it would be world class.

Photo of serspecv
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz bottle poured into a pilsner style glass. Pours a thick, almost pitch black with a thin espresso colored head. Aroma isn't very apparent, yet has notes of toffee and dark chocolate. The toasted malt is robust and commanding before the earthy bitterness of hops come into the picture with subtle nuttiness followed by a sharp alcohol taste. Mouthful is really where this beer lacks, not feeling as rich as it tastes. Overall a great tasting imperial stout but not as heavy as something along the lines of Oskar Blues Ten Fiddy.

Photo of HellAwaits
3.19/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lacks body and over hopped. Minimal retention. Slightly above average but doesn't live up to the hype.

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Photo of dsnyder61
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty good beer

Photo of joecast
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dominated by chocolate but never overwhelming. As smooth as it can get.

Photo of SurferEric
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Solid stout but a little too sweet for my taste and the alcohol wasn't masked very well.

Photo of SeanMurray
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Better than expected. SUPER dark.

Photo of SomethingClever
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On draft poured into shaker pint


A: beautiful dark as night with a fluffy mocha head you know this beer is going to be good by that deep mocha head


S: chocolate and deep roast maybe a slight licorice but it's faint


T: rich roast taste with nice chocolate finishes roasty sweet very malty maybe a little bit of booze but it's not at the front


M: it's not motor oil thick but the body on this is very full and it has a very nice coat on the tongue


O: very nice you will be smiling if you get this in your glass. It may not be anything new in the flavor department but it knocks it out of the park in all the regular stout flavors, smells, and feel.

Photo of PSU_Mike
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black, opaque with a reddish-brown head that is gone as quickly as it came. Perfect for a big stout. The smell is dark chocolate, molasses, and a hint of smoke. Taste is heavy char, some coffee that I wasn't expecting, chocolate, and a very dry bitterness that I'm not a big fan of. Full bodied and thick, it's a sipper. But I prefer my stouts with a little softer finish and a touch sweeter.

Photo of Immortale25
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a deep black color with a 1/2 inch medium brown head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Lots of dark chocolate, burnt sugar, caramel and some char. Quite nice.

T- There's a great sweetness to this that I'm really digging. Reminds me of chocolate ice cream. On top of that are note of vanilla, more caramel and brown sugar. The char isn't as prevalent as it is in the nose. So smooth for the ABV.

M- Creamy and thick with medium carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- This is the first Mission beer I've had. The only reason I bought it was because it's the first beer I've seen available to me by them that has a really good score. Makes me curious to try more of their offerings.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is an oily, jet black coloring, with a fizzle of short-lived, dark brown head that quickly settles out into a halo. Aromas of booze, molasses, port wine, plums and dates, roasted notes, as well as some bitter chocolate and coffee notes. Flavors are extremely rich and bold forward, with a blast of old world fruit rich and sweet riding on a bitter and roasted coffee backbone. Wow! Molasses richness and booze highlights ribbon throughout the palate, and a warmth builds as you drink. The body is slick and smooth, with a softness to it that increases the drinkability. Roasted and boozy aftertaste heavy on the sweet notes of plum and molasses, with some woody notes in there, too. Slick, lingering rich finish, with that warmth continuing to build. Beast of a beer.

Photo of Gregg03
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Pours black w little head or lacing. Poured from bottle. This is a very smooth Russian Imperial Stout, and surprisingly drinkable.

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black beer with one finger high brownbeige head.

Nose: Coffee, cacao, dark chocolate, whipped cream, cardboard, rosted malt, licorice and coffee beans.

Taste: A lot of dark chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, molasses, dark fruit and roasted malt. A great bitterness at the end.

Body: Full, complex budy with a little carbonation and a beatiful smoothness with the right bitterness.

I really like this stout!

Photo of verge
4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Perfection in a bottle.

Pours half a finger of head, pitch black and thick. The head is the darkest brown I've ever seen. Dissipates in about a minute, but leaves some light lacing around the glass.

Smells like chocolate, roasted malt, and mystery. I want to drink it NOW!!!

Taste is complex yet you can pick apart the separate flavors. Much like the smell: chocolate, some dark dark roasted flavors, and the perfect balance of hops finishes it out and lingers in your mouth.

Mouthfeel is in the middle of the road, just the right thickness for this style.

This must be my favorite. Every time I see it in the store I buy it. Can't get enough of this beer!

Photo of DoktorEd
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an actual glass, this beer is a fine example of what a strong stout should be. I detected a substantial caramel sweetness to accompany a pleasantly thick brew. Finishes slightly on the dry side but overall a great effort, extremely potent.

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent Russian Imperial Stout from Mission Brewery. Thick reddish-brown head dissipating to a thin foamy layer with little lacing. Pitch black in color. Nose has chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel, and sweet delights. Rich and sumptuous, little to no hop bitterness, cocoa up front, sweet malts are not overpowering, light coating mouth feel with light roasted coffee, toffee, caramel, and bitter chocolate. Aftertaste is light for such a dark stout. Fantastic beer from this brewery and would purchase again. Cheers.

Photo of thomda11
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a growler at the brewery. I had had this in a 12oz bottle back before I moved to San Diego from Maryland, and I have to say that, while I enjoyed it from the bottle, it is much better from the tap. The appearance lives up to the name. The color is pitch black with a dark a brown head. The beer has a strong dark chocolate aroma that oddly enough reminds me of Hershey's Chocolate World in PA. The taste is strong, but smooth and possesses a medium to full body. The flavor is full of dark chocolate--as suggested by the aroma--as well as coffee and roasted barley. The coffee flavor lingers on the tongue and leaves a bit of a charcoal after-taste. The high alcohol is noticeable, but doesn't detract from the beer.

Photo of Fatehunter
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a finger of dark brown head on a black body.
The aroma is initially roasted malt and then cocoa.
The taste is rich and buttery. Chocolate and toasted malt mostly with some toffee in the background. Really nice.
The texture is super soft and smooth with low carbonation. Perfect.
A great brew.

Photo of farrago
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours only a thin head but it does cover the surface, extremely dark brown colored bubbles, sizzles off swiftly, there’s a few lacing streaks of credible width, probably better than expected based on the head. The liquid is pure black, completely opaque, no way to even see if there’s any bubbles inside. The nose is a close to symmetrical split between bitter dark chocolate and coffee beans, good thrust as well in the raisin to plum fruit scents, touch of mint and vanilla bean, the roast is not overpowering which allows the strength of the sweet dessert like qualities to linger. Full-bodied, leverages its dryness to good effect, keeping it clean and well-paced. You do also get more roast here as a result, puts an aggressive charge into the coffee, chocolate, toffee, coconut flake flavors. The cherry, plum, fig fruit recedes some here, same for the flowers, mint and licorice. No citrus presence but there is a breadiness. Minimal burn from the alcohol, however, you feel the buzzing right off. Carbonation is average, takes awhile to even remember to gauge it. Long finish without going overboard trying to make an impression. Pretty good stuff.

Photo of dtivp
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black with a half of a finger dark mocha head that fades rapidly into a thin ring with light lacing.

Aroma is light with notes of dark chocolate and burnt malt with a slight booziness.

Taste follows the nose with dark bitter chocolate, burnt malt, burnt oak and a touch of alcohol.

Mouth Feel is medium leaning full body, very light carbonation, smooth yet dry with a slight bitter charcoal after taste and some alcohol warming.

Overall this is a very nice imperial stout would recommend it.

Photo of Boxus
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My second time having this on tap, around 1pm on St. Patrick's day. It's a wonderful RIS, very drinkable despite its double digit abv.

The pour is a nominal pitch black, with an almost maroon tan head, which dissipates with little lacing. Smell is a sea port at midnight, metal and driftwood with dark cherry and just a hint of pine.

Taste is fantastic, and very true to the name. I've always noticed an aquatic character in strong stouts, something mossy and salt-kissed. This beer dives deep, awash in exotic vegetation with a coastal pine finish. There is something metallic in the flavor, but it's that stout-metal that I love, and it gives me the feeling of being on a ship at midnight, just about to dock. The flavor is very dank, with an aftertaste of molasses that lays on a little thick. I would prefer this toned down slightly, but I do appreciate how the pungent flavors enhance the deep-sea sensation that is this beer's signature. Mouthfeel is rich and thick but it goes down very smoothly. Considering the abv, it is remarkably well balanced and drinkable. This is a distinct sort of imperial which I really enjoy and will return to again.

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with good head on top of an aroma that has dark fruit for some reason, booziness to it, a thick aroma of roasted malts and a little bit of sweetness. The beer is chewey it's so thick but passes along smooth thanks to a little bit woodiness in it (swear I even get a touch of vanilla and bourbon). Mostly a balance of sweet malts like molasses and a roasted, even coffee esque dry malt base. Again, like aroma, I seem to pick up a little bit of figs and plums. This is a pretty good stout with interesting notes coming in from everywhere.

to view more.
Dark Seas from Mission Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 592 ratings.