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Dark Seas - Mission Brewery

Dark SeasDark Seas

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

439 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 439
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
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Ratings: 439 | Reviews: 127 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

bottle says 9.8, not 10.5 but oh well. This is a damn dark beer. Black as night with a thin mocha head.

Immediate bitter black coffee flavor on the tip of the tongue. Slightly astringent with an earthy/medicinal bitterness. Alcohol content is well hidden but coffee flavors dominate with some faint chocolate and caramel notes. Alot of sweetness upfront with the right amount of bitterness to balance. Although the beer is in no way offensive and is well balanced, for such a big style of beer, it's simple. No layers, just straight up simple flavors that dont go deep enough.

If you want a nice drunk off four beers with quaff-able flavor, than sure this beer will do it, but at the price theres better then this for the same price (Yeti) ahem (Yeti)

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2012 00:34:35 | More by jtierney89
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at World of Beer in a snifter.

Pitch black, as dark as the bottom of the ocean. One inch of thick cream like sea foam. Light, sandy tan.

Light aroma. A little anise, torched bread, dark chocolate. Bitter, black stuff.

Same deal here. Very black, with malts burnt to a crisp. A little acrid, with licorice, a touch of cocoa. Splashes of sweetness at the swallow and a touch of oatmeal as it warms.

Medium body. Smooth, with velvety carbonation. Only a hint of alcohol heat, but more than a hint of burnt bitterness.

Meh. Too light, too bitter and burnt for my tastes.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2012 07:08:34 | More by Phelps
Photo of themind
themind

New Jersey

3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad stout, I enjoyed it. Pours a dark small head and has a good mouth feel. First time trying a beer from this brewery and I would go back for seconds. Brew is worth a look. Notes of molasses make this stout a decent beer in the World of Stouts.

Bottom Line: I would not turn it down.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 01:43:36 | More by themind
Photo of MaddMatt639
MaddMatt639

California

3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted on February 23, 2013:

A: A very dark brown, borderline black. Half an inch head that's a light brown/reddish color. No lacing and no long lasting retention.

S: A strong aroma of chocolate and a very slight hint of malt.

T: The chocolate notes are not as strong at first, but sneak up on you after a few seconds. Taste a sweetness, kind of like molasses and a slight bitterness in the end.

M: Somewhat of a heavy feeling. Not a long lasting taste, but I can feel the weight of the beer in my mouth.

O: Not a bad stout, but I was hoping for more. Enjoyed the aroma and taste, but not the aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 03:24:41 | More by MaddMatt639
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average. 9.8%.

Served slightly warmer than refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a rich vibrant tan colour two finger head of excellent cream, great thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Colour is a predictable nontransparent solid black. Opaque. Very appealing.

Sm: Chocolate, cream, roasted barley, and hints of a fruit ester (looking at the label, I assume it's plum). A mild strength aroma.

T: Cream, light roasted barley, vague chocolate, and out of place plum. Alcohol comes through. An imbalanced flavour profile. The cream is nice. It's built decently, but feels like a missed opportunity. After the appearance and aroma, I expected more. Not horribly complex or subtle. Pleasant to drink.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A touch too thick. Adequately carbonated. Complements the flavours decently. Should be coarser and more dry. Far too smooth and slick.

Dr: Drinkable for the style, but the alcohol does come through. It's a decent imperial stout, but will get lost alongside the many better beers in the style. Nice try, Mission, but you gotta do better to run with the big dogs.

Good call on the small bottle size.

C+

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 04:14:59 | More by kojevergas
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a small tan head. In the aroma, a roasty note of coffee and a touch of alcohol. In the taste, roasty coffee to a big chocolate like presence, with an alcohol note. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small coffee and chocolate note in the aftertaste. Decent, but just about average, and a bit boozy.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2013 14:57:25 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of LCB_Hostage
LCB_Hostage

Pennsylvania

3.44/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle into a pint glass

A: As pitch black as it's name suggests with a monk-like fringe of brown foam around the inside of the glass that remains throughout. No lacing

S: Highly roasted --> burnt grains, some bitter chocolate and a hint of cherry (they say plum on the bottle, but seems more like cherry to me), plus lots of alcohol -- even more than the 9.8 ABV would suggest. The force is strong in this one.

T: Bitter from the roasted grains and chocolate, but not unpleasantly so -- enough to nicely balance the malty/alcohol sweetness. Would prefer a more rounded finish, but overall, not bad at all.

M: Too syrupy for my taste, with no carbonation to speak of to wake up the tongue. I know it's an RIS, but this just coats your tongue and then .... stays there.

O: I'm less of a stout fancier than many here, so take this for what it's worth. There's nothing here that would prevent me from drinking another one of these, but nothing that would lead me on a mission to seek it out, either. I particularly would have liked a bit more carbonation to lighten things up a bit. I'd treat this as a "dessert" beer -- a nice last call to finish an evening, but never earlier than that.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 15:57:32 | More by LCB_Hostage
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Viscose, crude oil black pour produces a chocolate colored head of 2 finger statue. Head retntion is solid with a thick and creamy consistency. Lacing sticks well as a solid film coating and thick saturn like rings adore the vessel. The coloring shows some red velvet cake highlights when caught with light around the edges.

S: Nose is lacking a bit in strenght and complexity, some leather, burnt chocolate, cocoa and some milkiness. Mellow soft delivery.

T: Flavor faired much better then nose, roasted chocolate offering, coffee, marshmellow with some esspresso-laced alcohol tones. Burnt barley, burnt oak cask with a bit of alcohol solvent nature upon the swallow.

M: a bit full, creamy and viscose, with a little edginess in texture. Some roasty alcohol warmth.

O: Overall finish shows some solvent nature, may be batch to batch. Range of complexity is only modest in a strong field so a 3.5 overall feels about right here where there are so many bigger and better offering that make a much bolder statement.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 00:52:30 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle $2.99. Color is pitch black and the head is a little darker than most RIS, almost brown. Aroma is slightly malty, hints of some dark fruit. Flavor is malty, almost has a note of chocolate but then recedes into a plum or raisin like flavor backed by malts. Sort of reminds me of Stone IRS. Overall its not bad and the alcohol was well hidden. It is sort of thick, hevay and took me a little while to drink it.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 01:18:40 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of denver10
denver10

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours black with a nice mocha head. A nice rich, roasty aroma with roasted barley and dark choclate. and a hint of some pitted fruit and some booze. Flavor followed suit with huge roastiness and dark chocolate, a kiss of some vanilla and a earthy bitterness in the finish. Some alcohol shows but not offensive. A fuller, mouthfeel. Overall, a nice solid RIS.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 22:47:34 | More by denver10
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a one finger tan shade - retention isn't the best, but the soft and creamy texture it has make me forgive that. Not much lacing is left behind.

S: Quite chocolaty in general. There are slight hints of coffee, as well, but this is mostly chocolate, roast, and brown sugar. And that's not a bad thing at all. Maybe it doesn't have the depth of other imperial stouts, but what's here works quite well.

T: There are some slight chocolaty hints, not only to start, but on the finish as well. In general, though, this one is roasty. Not oppressively so - it does end in a slightly sweet fashion - but it does enough to cleanse the palate of excess sweetness. There are also some coffee-ish hints, along with a bit of alcohol and licorice (usually the bane of imperial stouts for me). Just like with the nose, it isn't the most complex imperial stout on the market. However, it's still quite enjoyable that does a good job of bringing the traits I like within the style.

M: It's not the driest imperial stout, nor is it the sweetest. Rather, it strikes a neutral balance between the two. Make no mistake, in spite of its full body, it's quite drinkable for a 10% RIS, and despite the alcohol flavor, there isn't much booze to be felt on the palate.

O: Not a top-tier RIS, but certainly a very good one. It has to compete with the likes of Old Rasputin, though, and that makes this one a hard sell for yours truly. Still, I'd have no trouble drinking this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 22:38:59 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
Uncle_Jimmy

California

3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Appearance- inky black with one finger of dark brown foam. It doesn't linger or lace.

Aroma- chocolate malt, dark and roasty, earthy some smokiness and cocoa. It smells like a chocolate malt.

Taste- Chocolate and coffee on the front (not bitter coffee) even a little meaty ?! some smoke and molasses, almost like a burnt sweet potato. A little dusty and some plum ( I don't get port like they say on the bottle). Hops balance out okay nothing specific.

Mouthfeel - alcohol warmth although the high 10% is cleverly hidden. full bodied but not sticky. A little sweet but not too heavy.

Overall- a tasty russian imperial from mission. A lot of their other offerings, i didnt care for, but this one is tasty! I would maybe bump up the IBU's slightly. Maybe more hops in the boil, not in aroma( this smells so good). I do suppose that this style does lend itself to be pretty sweet in the finish. Its good.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2013 04:40:38 | More by Uncle_Jimmy
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Fully opaque, black body rests below frothy brown head and lace. Pretty good retention on the latter, not so much on the former. Dark chocolate roast and booze greet my nose, lacking the delicious complexity I was hoping for.

Dark roast, bitter baker's chocolate, strongly boozy. Flavors integrated better when cold; depth seems to suffer as the bitter alcoholic bite at the end strengthens when the beer warms. Regardless, its thick body pleases my palate.

Glad to tick this extra, but it's impossible to justify purchasing this beer when Founders' stouts adorn my local shelves.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2012 01:32:43 | More by brystmar
Photo of micromaniac129
micromaniac129

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smells of lightly roasted malts chocolate and cream.
A very deep mocha head sits on top of deep brown brew. A fast fading head that leaves some soft surface foam.
Unlike the nose there is a deeply roasted malt taste. An ashen or char grit is on the palette with sutle alcohol warming way towards the back.
A good beer to drink no doubt but is one demensional and lacks real depth of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 11:41:42 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a globe glass. Pours a jet black with a thin mocha cap which shows light retention and some spotty lace.

Aroma is dry and shows light roast and a hint of chocolate malt. More dry chocolate with a spin and warming yields greater depth to the smell with a touch of cinnamon. Taste follows to a degree and reveals a bit of fruity malt depth and subsequent residual sweetness that the dry aroma doesn't show. Subtle and chewy but not cloying, nice chocolate spice coarseness on the finish.

A relatively dry and clean RIS that offers only moderate depth yet nothing to complain about either.

Edit: fresh bomber: Enhanced pour with more retention and enhanced aroma vs. older suspect bottle Still dry and a bit fruity on on the finish. Good but not earth shattering either. But then, that would be catastrophic in a bad way, so I guess that's good..

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 03:52:36 | More by HalfFull
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout

Georgia

3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 3.49. No bottling info. Served in a Red Brick snifter.

Pours black with a dense half finger deep tan head that leaves wide swaths of lacing down the glass.

Smells of sweet bakers cocoa, sugared dates and burnt caramel.

Taste is a mixture of dark chocolate, stone fruit, creamed medium roast coffee, burnt caramel, charred wood, mild vanilla, anise and a tickle of bitter pine sap towards the finish. There is a lottle booze but for the most part it is well blended behind the other flavors.

Creamy medium body with light to moderate carbonation. Bittersweet cocoa and pine finish.

A pretty nice take on the Russian imperial stout. Well balanced between the malty chocolate flavors and a decent bite of bitter pine.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 05:33:38 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of drunkheathen
drunkheathen

California

3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Mission RIS pours a pitch black and has a bronzy brown head that dissipates quickly but remains thinly throughout. Heavy dark chocolate smell, and a slight smell of booziness but not overpowering. There is an obvious chocolate and roasted malt flavor and the ABV becomes clear as well. This one doesn't seem to me to be as thick as other RIS' but that's not to say its weak. This is a pretty decent Russian Imperial Stout, not the best ever but am glad to have tried it.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2013 09:13:16 | More by drunkheathen
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at Total Wine in mid-September for $6.99.

Beer poured black with a beautiful brown head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is chocolate and roasted malts.

Taste is pretty much the same as the nose with a lingering bitter hop finish. Detecting a bit of an acidic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a medium body with a bit of viscosity.

Overall this is a bit uneven and a bit light for the style. Not a bad beer but nothing great either.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 01:06:56 | More by arizcards
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle from Tim Johnson, Growlin' at the Moon for March 2012.

A: Oily, a viscous mess (in the best possible use of the word) that can't escape its blackness. A bete noire in my glass.

S: Alcohol, roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. Quite a bit packed into one 12 oz bottle. A pleasant hoppiness, not overpowering, hovers around. This is, though, a murky RIS through and through.

T: Dark fruits, almost vinous, drive the taste, transitioning to the dark malts. Those malts are roasted, burnt, with chocolate and coffee in the mix. The booziness, another ~10% beer, is heavy but doesn't distract.

M: The richness of the stout doesn't get lost in translation, plenty of bold flavors with a requisite amount of booze.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2012 02:09:55 | More by akorsak
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color with low carbonation and very little in the way of head formation. Heavy on the roasted malt with lots of licorice and coffee, maybe some molasses, too. The flavor has a nice burnt sugar flavor to it as well as some toffee and molasses sweetness. Quite a bit of roast with a bit of coffee to break up the sweetness of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 21:46:42 | More by womencantsail
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours pitch black with a lasting very dark tan head.
Nose shows heavy complex roast with loads of coffee. Also some soft booze.
Equally rich flavours, with lots more coffee and heavy roasted malt. Some noticeable booze.
Carbonation could be higher.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 00:46:48 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of spartanfan
spartanfan

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at UJ's

A: pours an opaque black with a tiny head that quickly dissipates into a ring around the edge.

S: smells of dark chocolate and roasted malts. As the beer warms a floral hop aroma shows itself.

T: roasted malts and chocolate dominate the flavor. bitter earthy aftertaste.

M: creamy mouthfeel. Slight alcohol warmth.

O: a solid RIS, good complexity, but nothing to blow your socks off.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2012 17:36:47 | More by spartanfan
Photo of Jesstyr
Jesstyr

Virginia

3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found at Rustico in Arlington, VA.

Pours pitch black, but not as oil-like as a TenFIDY. Sizeable light tan head that remains throughout. A good looking stout. Nose is overbalanced with woody smoke, not really enticing, and I like a smoky beer.

Taste is woody and chocolate. Smoke is strong, but it just lacks a certain balance that would make it an even better beer. Body is a little light for what it could be. Overall a good beer, just not a great one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2012 17:03:58 | More by Jesstyr
Photo of troysoy2
troysoy2

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pitch black, with a nice finger of light tan head. The retention isn't the best, though, and lacing is nearly non-existent.

Dark, dark roasty malt, a bit of anise, and maybe a whisper of vanilla on the nose.

The taste mirrors the smell, and boy is it roasty. A tad straightforward, but well executed, nonetheless. Slightly slick, decently thick mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden, making for a drinkable, yet respecatable RIS.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 05:08:13 | More by troysoy2
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A: Looks like a melted dark chocolate bar with a creamy nougat on top that was a couple of shades lighter than the abyss below it. It didn't stick around long, though.

S: A tad disappointing on the nose: I didn't really get chocolate per se.... more like roasted barley. It just didn't have that deep, spicy component that I usually look for in RISs.

T: Tons of bitter chocolate on the taste though. Sure, it was a tad one-dimensional, but it still was tasty. It reminded me more of a milk stout than a RIS. It had that lactose sugar quality and bleached -out spice component.

M: Thick and creamy, and you peeps who love your Imperial Stouts more on the dessert side are going to love this. The prickly I got from the carbonation was absolutely perfect here.

O: I was a bit let down since I had heard so many great things. I will say that this one is an absolute bargain on the wallet, therefore, I see another round with this one in my future.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2012 21:33:07 | More by Chaney
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Dark Seas from Mission Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 439 ratings.