1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Dark Seas - Mission Brewery

Dark SeasDark Seas

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

442 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 442
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.36%


Brewed by:
Mission Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: srandycarter on 12-08-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 442 | Reviews: 127 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of leantom
leantom

Virginia

5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer simply blew my mind. I'll most certainly be getting it again (and again).

A: Very dark. This is to be expected, given that the opaqueness of RIS's is greater than any other beer style. The beer also had a very thick, dark head that accompanied the body.

S: Incredible. Smells very chocolatey, and I don't mean the dark, bitter, roasted malt kind of chocolatey. No, the beer smelled very sweet and creamy, which is different from many other RIS's I've had (see "Old Rasputin" and "Storm King" by North Coast and Victory, respectively).

T: Like the smell, the beer tasted excellent. Usually, beers of this style taste somewhat bitter and coffee-ish given the presence of dark, roasted malt. While this beer retained some of the coffe-ish taste found in other RIS's, it was not overwhelming, the predominate flavor being milk chocolate and cream. Very drinkable.

M: Very thick and creamy. The beer was rich in dark malt.

O: This is not a beer to be missed. Imperial Stout lovers, rejoice!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 09:13:46 | More by leantom
Photo of jra173
jra173

Pennsylvania

4.76/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this stout is as dark as night and completely opaque. it was served in a 10oz glass at the brewery. Nice, two finger, khaki color head the seemed to last most of the way through the glass. left a nice lacing as it went. This is one of the best imperial stouts i have ever had. i bought a 22oz. to go and will save this one until winter. Next time in San Diego i will make sure to grab another one of these.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2013 14:46:35 | More by jra173
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Coal black with a rich brown head makes up the appearance. Anise and coffee notes in the aroma; a bit of mint; deep roasted grains; chocolate; charred toast. Wonderfully rich and bitter roasted flavors; subtly deep malt sweetness; semi-sweet chocolate; slight astringency; some alcohol warmth. Medium-heavy body, dry with a bit of milk chocolate richness makes up the feel.

Oh, yeah! This is a good one! Deep, rich, and complex. This could easily stand up with the best of the northern European dark ales that emphasize deeply roasted goodness layered with hop and alcohol goodness. Wild yet balanced in its intensity. This ain't your momma's Guinness! Seek and enjoy!!

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 22:50:02 | More by beergoot
Photo of chefdaddy18042
chefdaddy18042

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic aroma, everything you would want out of an RIS, chocolate, hint of licorice, and dark tones of malt. Poured your stereotypical dark grey head with bold bowling ball black body. The flavor was impeccable, covered the tongue with bitter chocolate and then finished boozy. Worth the price of the 4 pack, and from this kid, DEF case worthy!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 18:43:41 | More by chefdaddy18042
Photo of rjvanston
rjvanston

Pennsylvania

4.61/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Holy crap. I be a borderline stout guy and have never heard of Mission but you gotta try. Really. Not disappoint. Dark, rich, thick mouth feel and is there alcohol? Super hidden by what I see the ABV to be. Balanced and one would have to make an effort not to like or at least appreciate.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2013 02:48:24 | More by rjvanston
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent big chewy stout, dark as night pours with a chocolate tinted tan head...spent oil all the way. Big chugging bubbled carbonation, with chunky spanning lacing. Aroma has deep chocolate notes, dark bitter roasted malts, expressive with a bit of coffee like tones and ample hops in the back end mild citrus/herbs. Flavor is big upfront a bit of booze whacks you right in the kisser, but the chocolate creaminess/creamed coffee combo soothes the palate and it becomes a big dessert beer with bitterness from the herbal hops and dark roasted malts. Carbonation is ample pushes this big bruiser of a beer across the palate well no off flavors or lingering harshness, very drinkable big imperial stout. Overall I loved it up there with the best of the best in the imperial stouts, I like this and Black Out from Great Lakes just about equally.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2012 22:30:40 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe

New York

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mission Dark Seas, 32-oz growler filled at Whole Foods Bowery for $7.99+tax. I first had this beer on tap at Pony Bar, NYC.

Appearance: Served in my Lost Abbey chalice/snifter, the Dark Seas pours thick and rich and black, with a by-the-book perfect one-finger head and good retention and lacing. Great-looking Imperial Stout, no doubt!

Smell: Damn, this is a good sniff! Roasty and bitter, a good hop base and great coffee around the nose. Sugar, some vanilla.

Taste: More coffee, dairy. Mostly sweet, thick chocolate and cookies. Sugar, some smoke and tobacco.

Mouthfeel: Truly exceptional indeed!! This is all I want in an Imperial Stout. Rich, silky-milky, creamy, sweet-and-bitter... full flavor and body, great carbonation. Smooth, never burns despite the hefty ABV.

Overall: I love Imperial Stouts but I'm picky about them... they have to be "just right". Some of the more famous ones, like Stone IRS, don't always cut it for me. Mission Dark Seas strikes me as very close to perfect. Great looks, body, smell, taste and drinkability. A winner!

Serving type: growler

05-30-2012 03:27:04 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of SawDog505
SawDog505

New Hampshire

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 16 oz snifter. Poured slowly and got a one inch mocha head, that leaves behind some beautiful lace, and pours pitch black. Smell is dark chocolate, roasted coffee, anise, and vanilla. Taste is all about roasted coffee and chocolate, yes this is special. Body is big, perfect carbonation, a little dry, and goes down easy. Wow impressed with this beauty!

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2013 02:27:22 | More by SawDog505
Photo of TehParabox
TehParabox


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark; So dark that I'm not sure if light even passes through. Has pretty nice dark brown head that fades slowly. doesn't leave lacing from what I know.

Smell: Dark roasted coffee or espresso, and dark chocolate. maybe a hint of vanilla extract. It's smell warns you that this is not for the weary traveler. the smell is distinct it might be overpowering to some. The coffee is the most present in this beer.

Taste: It's very good, if you love coffee or dark chocolate this is the way to go. The flavors are very dense but rich. Sweet and nice good roasted flavors accompanied by dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: the body isn't as thick as I expected, but it is really smooth.

overall: Not something for everyone but for stout drinkers this is a really good one to try. I'm quite impressed I can't say it's the best I've had but it's definitely great for what it is. It has a lot of good textures and it simply is what it is a very dark/sweet luscious tasting RIS. Don't know if I'm ready to take on another .. just yet. This one has gotten me by surprise not something to take easily. After a couple of tastes it turned out a lot better than I initially expected. I highly recommend this one!

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2012 09:49:36 | More by TehParabox
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
9.8% ABV, no date.

A - Darker and thicker than used motor oil, this beer pours quietly into the snifter generating an almost red dark brown head which floats above the midnight beer briefly before capsizing into the abyss. Frothy waves of lace are left on the snifter.

S - Dry cocoa and heavily roasted chocolate malt slaughter the aroma with presence while chunks of alcohol-soaked raisin and plum follow through. Dark Seas has an interesting wood-paneled basement aroma though; dust, old funk, and dark-leaf tobacco in a humidor. Sweet molasses and brown sugar claim the last word and sweeten the aroma a tad.

T - Milk chocolate overcomes the molecules of dark, bitter chocolate chunk but cocoa still resounds, as do the dark fruit nuances of the aroma; raisin and plum. Dry, light wood caresses dryness along the beer's lingering finish which works well with the molasses component to it.

M - Don't look for it and you almost might forget this beer is carbonated. Small bubbles dance on the tongue if pause is given to see past the incredibly smooth, rich, and full-bodied beer. Roasted but balanced, this beer marries sweetness with acrid roast well for a great finish that lands a touch dry.

O - Mission, I'm glad you've decided to dock here in Wisconsin. Dark Seas is a fantastic Russian Imperial Stout that churns with rocky waves of malty depth for an incredible outcome of rather epic proportions. And the price is right which makes it that much better. I will be sure to secure more of this beer for the winter months.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 02:00:48 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of CraftBeerTastic
CraftBeerTastic

Pennsylvania

4.51/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ba Review #262
Served On: 3/22/2013
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 9.8%
Date/ Code: -

Ran into this at A.K.A. Frisco's in Frederick, MD ($12.00 / 4-pack).

Look: An aggressive pour formed a 1-finger of dirty tan head comprised of tight bubbles. A very black and viscous brew. Some sticky head lacing formed but the head dissipated quickly. Alcohol legs were all over the glass.

Smell: Strong roasted coffee and rich dark unsweetened chocolate. Some lactose or vanilla sweetness seemed to be lingering around. A hoppy herbal quality also came through in the nose. Some coconut.

Taste: First up was a coffee bitterness that was quickly overtaken by a sweet chocolate creaminess. The middle had a coffee and chocolate component blending together with unbelievable balance. Things seemed to fade quickly towards the end with a slightly bitter finish and sweet notes returning for the aftertaste. The 9.8% ABV was completely hidden with no dryness whatsoever. The mouth-feel was creamy, but a little thinner than the color and body suggested. Very drinkable with good balance.

This was a very enjoyable RIS from Mission. Almost as good as Founders BS except with slightly lower drinkability. Go out and get this!

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2013 17:37:47 | More by CraftBeerTastic
Photo of jjchristiano
jjchristiano

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this stout.
As dark chocolate in appearance as a stout gets.
Rich chocolate and molasses smell.
Taste is just as you would expect, no surprises.
mouthfeel is so smooth as it's rich and not a lot of carbonation
Did I say, I really like this stout.
At 10% alcohol its a nice sipper for my scotch snifter.
I was in San Diego last July and wish I would have known about this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 03:21:18 | More by jjchristiano
Photo of quaybr
quaybr

Colorado

4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Pretty light brown head lingers for a while.

Smells of coffee and chocolate, slight alcohol.

Taste follows aroma to a t, becoming even more invitingly complex with dark fruit as it warms.

Perfectly carbonated, roasted and chocolate malts are carefully carried across the tongue by a thick body.

This is a great stout, staying true to the Russian Imperial style. They're not trying to do anything outlandish here, and what they got was an extremely well balanced ale. If you have a chance to try this, you really ought to.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 18:03:56 | More by quaybr
Photo of rudolphjacksonm
rudolphjacksonm

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque black stout with coffee colored head and heavy lacing. Head dissolves suuuuper slowly and is delicious. This beer looks amazing for a stout! 5.0

S - Smokey malt and a hint of firewood and/or peat moss. Hint of sweetness, caramelized sugar maybe? Either way it's a pleasant smell with a tinge of ethanol. 4.0

T - Slightly sweet smokey malt flavors on the tip of the tongue, followed by a subtle burn of the 10.5% abv on the middle and back of the tongue with molasses and hop bitterness. Very nice coffee aftertaste. Very smooth considering the high alcohol content! 4.5

M - Thick and creamy, very stouty. Definitely what a stout should aim for. 4.5

O - A very, VERY solid stout. Possibly one of my new favorites. I'd recommend this to anyone who is a fan of a bran muffin in a glass. 4.5

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2012 00:22:50 | More by rudolphjacksonm
Photo of Krakistophales
Krakistophales

Connecticut

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours jet black with a nice but rather small chocolate head that quickly disappears but leaves nice lacing

S: The usual bitter chocolate, roast, malt, slight smoke, caramel sweetness and hints of anise

T: Rather sweet and kinda fruity up front, almost full of dark berries mixed with really dark chocolate, but eventually giving way to hoppy bitterness, chocolate richness, and espresso-esque dryness.

O: This one is interesting. Kinda sweeter up front than most RISs, and seems to have more fizz than most as well. A nice offering.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 01:34:28 | More by Krakistophales
Photo of ISmith87
ISmith87

Arizona

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(From notes) Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. I was excited to review this one as Russian Imperial Stouts are one of my favorite kinds of beer!

A - 4.75 - Has about a finger of dark khaki/light brown head of light bubbles, beer is dark as night - black

S - 4.50 - Chocolate, toffee, coffee, espresso, vanilla, roastiness, oak

T - 4.25 - More roasted/coffee flavors in the taste as opposed to the aroma. Chocolate/dark chocolate/toffee/vanilla too, but not as much as the smell.

M - 4.75 - Nice, thick frothy beer, alcohol well covered. Leaves a nice chocolate/coffee/roasty aftertaste.

O - 4.50 - One of the better Russian Imperial Stouts. Outranks Old Raspy in my opinion. Up there with Stone Russian Imperial Stout. Not at the level of Oskar Blues Ten Fidy but still good. 9.99 a four pack makes it about spot on as far as price.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2013 21:06:33 | More by ISmith87
Photo of mdcflacal
mdcflacal

California

4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark color that keeps most light from passing through except at the edges. Thin head. Coats the glass nicely.
Nice sweet malt and roast on the nose.
Good viscous mouthfeel.
Good balance of bitterness and residual sweetness. No hot alcohol.
Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. I think it's an excellent representative of the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 03:16:10 | More by mdcflacal
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with a creamy brown head.

S: Chocolate, blackberry, coffee in the nose.

T: Blackberry pie, dark chocolate and mild, but dark roast coffee.

M: Full bodied and smoothish.

O: This is a great stout. Very drinkable, tasty, and definitely recommended. I'd love to try the bourbon barrel aged version.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 17:40:52 | More by BierJager89
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. If this was actually only brewed once, then it's from January 2012. My bottle reads 9.8%.

A: A very dark brown, creamy, mocha head. A sinfully black body; utterly opaque. Heavy lacing.

S: Mmm. Chocolate, berries, dry-sweet malt, chocolate, distant roast, a touch of hops...pretty much everything I want in an imperial stout. However this nose comes only sometimes and every other sniff -- especially after my first sip -- comes boring, dry, and sterile.

T: Damn good. A deep milk chocolate base has just enough coffee bitterness to avoid sweetness and skip straight to roasted pleasantness. Gentle, soft, and alluring, it draws you in before treating you nice.

O: Delicious imperial stout. Must try. Will buy again.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2012 06:59:19 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of Joshpu
Joshpu

California

4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A: Poured black with a brown one finger head which dissipated quickly.

S: Milk/dark chocolate, roasty malts, slight hops.

T: The taste follows the nose, except the chocolate tastes more like a dark chocolate. Roasty malts. The end has a slight charred note. As it warms I start to get more of the milk chocolate taste.

M: Medium to full bodied. The slight bitter note hangs around for a little, but the alcohol, which you can not taste, cleans the palate well.

Overall a very drinkable beer. A great example of an RIS.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 08:10:57 | More by Joshpu
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is a little under 10%

A - Pretty darned close to black. No light gets through. Big tan head slow to leave. Lots of spotty cling lace.

S - Chalky cocoa, soy, sweet toasty malt, some booze.

T - Big chunk of dark chocolate, bittery cocoa. Anise in the taste was not found in smell.

M - Heavy body, nice carbonation and balance.

D - A keeper. I will buy more. I love this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 06:24:21 | More by srandycarter
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

9.8% ABV per the label.

Pours a super thick and opaque black with a foamy 2 inch amazingly dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and some coffee bean aromas. There is a slight cinnamon aroma that comes out as the beer warms. Taste is of dark roasted malt, dark cocoa powder, coffee beans, and some subtle port wine flavors. There is nice roasty bitterness and alcohol warming in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a really thick and creamy mouthfeel with a low level of carbonation. Overall, this is a very good RIS that took me by surprise.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 02:22:51 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Brushkanna
Brushkanna

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark dark black body, someone wrote "pitch black", head is dark chocolate brown and comes back with a swirl of the glass
Smell - light smell with a little alcohol vapor wafting up, when does a smell on a stout really come up very much?
Taste - love this kind of dark toasted malty stout, more on the sweeter side, not bitter almost tastes like a it is made with lactose sugar
Mouth - great mouth, lasting chocolate coat in the mouth
Overall - I really like Imperial stouts like this, not to bitter but dark full flavored, give this one a try

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2012 23:47:37 | More by Brushkanna
Photo of DenverLogan
DenverLogan

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From 22 oz bottle ordered through Letspour.
Black with rich brown head...poured into a Palm tulip glass.
Aroma of cocoa, sweet malts.
Modest carbonation...big mouthfeel.
Flavors of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, carob, molassas...let's give this 5 minutes...
OK...several minutes later we have a lot of lace and a reduced head remaining. Aroma and flavors include coffee, bitter chocolate... there's a big bitterness, black liquorice, toasty dark malts.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 04:23:56 | More by DenverLogan
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Paid almost 3 dollars for the single, poured into a tulip glass.

A - Such a rich deep mocha head, I don't think I have seen many this dark. Equally pitch black beer very viscous.
S - Ah nice notes of bakers chocolate, ashy roasts, vanilla, some hops with a touch of molasses.
T - Drinking this a tad cold I got a great deal of vanilla and bakers chocolate, not as sweet as I expected it takes the edge off with roasted coffee, some dark fruits notes of plum come to mind and a mild dry finish with some hops which are very balanced not bitter which I love. Man these guys got the style down well!
M - Medium to thick in body as expected yet smooth enough for big sips.

Overall looking back at others beers I had from these guys I would have never expected such a world class imperial stout. I think I like it better than Founders version AND that is saying a lot. Worth picking up and aged I bet it could be even smoother.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 02:41:39 | More by DrDemento456
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Dark Seas from Mission Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 442 ratings.