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Dark Seas - Mission Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark SeasDark Seas

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

145 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 145
Hads: 628
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 8.91%
Wants: 38
Gots: 87 | FT: 4
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 145 | Hads: 628
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (689 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a finger high dark tan head that slowly died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of chocolate and roasted malts are present in the nose along with some notes of coffee beans.
T: Flavors of roasted malts stand out in the taste, which also has notes of chocolate and a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and rather dry with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This Russian Imperial Stout is easy to drink but is complex enough to make it a peasant to sip. It masks its alcohol very well. (672 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

maybe the best of the mission beers so far. this pours as its name implies, dark and stormy, with a big frothy head and no light at all getting in. there is a funny gray shade though, like not brown but an ashy color, not sure where it comes from, not super nice, and ive never seen it before. the nose is a little sweet, boozy, and complex on the grains, with varying levels of roast throughout. tastes like there is some oatmeal in here, with a little extra sugar and a nice smooth full body. I get a little tobacco and a touch of vanilla, but this isn't as intricate as some others in the genre. an odd bitterness creeps in in the finish, not from hops or burnt grains, but sort of unidentifiable. its not an off flavor, but I can place its origin. kind of a difficult beer to drink, full body and overly alcoholic. my bottle says 9.8% abv, rather than the 10.5% listed here, but it might as well be the higher number. overall mission beers havnt impressed me much at all so far. they all seems to be slight tweaks on the standard lineups breweries are expected to have these days without much different to set them apart. this one is a little better than the others, but still on the generic side, insofar as a Russian imperial stout can be generic... (1,255 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a beautiful black color, nice oily looking body with a dark brown colored head on top. The retention was very impressive on this beer. The lacing was good too. The smell of the beer is heavily roasted and almost has a burnt chocolate note to it. The hops slide in there a little bit as well. The taste of the beer is rich, roasted, chocolaty, some coffee in there too the bitterness of some intense hops sting the tongue in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is nice and thick, good carbonation to it also. Overall this is a pretty damn good RIS. I would drink this one again. (582 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, 9.8% ABV. Wasn't it actually a Russian queen who was so fond of this style introduced by the English? An urban beer myth, maybe?

This beer pours a solid oily black abyss, no highlights, no way, with three fingers of densely foamy, bubbly, and kind of glistening chocolate milk head, which leaves some decent stretches of rock cliff profile painted lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells strongly of medium-dark cocoa, lightly toasted caramel malt, thick toffee, heavy dark fruit - dates and prunes - dry roast coffee beans, soft anise notes, an indistinct earthy hoppiness, and hints of warming alcohol. The taste is still big and chocolatey, the roasted malt leaning heavily in that direction, with some further caramel/toffee/treacle sweetness, semi-sour dried black orchard fruit, more charred, somewhat acrid cold coffee, lightly bitter leafy hops, and a bristling, but still as yet chained-up booze.

The carbonation is a little fizzy and frothy at first, but settles to a dull din soon enough, the body an unctuous, luscious medium-heavy weight, with a sateen creaminess, and smooth by acclimation. It finishes on the sweet side, the chocolate, caramel, and lingering dark fruit well enmeshed, with random tics of smoke, coffee, and alcohol milling about.

A pretty stellar RIS, I wasn't quite expecting this after plodding my way through this brewer's hoppier offerings, so it's a genuinely pleasant surprise. Thick, oily, and chocolatey, with a plethora of sub-flavours underpinning it all. Good, good stuff - I'd like to have another go at this come winter (checking watch now...). (1,621 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (342 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep brown, not quite black, with 2 fingers of rich dark mocha (almost milk chocolate looking) head. This retains with a ½ finger of creamy froth, which throws up a rich cascade of lacing that quickly slides down the sides of the glass but doesn’t stick a whole lot. The aroma smells of smoky roast, green citrus, dark fruit, chocolate, a touch of molasses. That roasted coffee character and dark fruit really start to emerge as this warms.

The taste is similar, with a strong roasted and bitter hop profile up front, with sweeter notes of chocolate and toffee coming in off the sides, before this finishes with a zippy espresso finish. Dark fruit is fairly hidden at first but much like the nose, starts to emerge in a bit way as this warms. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and really opens up as this warms, with some sharpness on the tongue and then more of a chewy creaminess the rest of the way. The alcohol is handled pretty well here, mostly coming out as some underlying spicy warmth that adds a bit of an extra aggressiveness to this.

At first, this just seemed like a big American Stout, with a prominent roast and hop profile but then more dark fruit and even a touch of anise came out to play (after this really warmed up) to allow to this to come off as more of an Imperial Stout. This definitely could have used a bit more finesse but it overall wasn’t bad at all for the style at all. It just takes a little while to really get going. (1,500 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 11/28/2012 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains rich chocolate, roasted malts, some coffee and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong creamy chocolate flavor followed by some flavors of dark fruit and coffee. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is very mild as it should be in this type of beer and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid big stout but there are others in the style that I would pick first. (835 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black color in the glass. Rich and malty with a big hop finish. Very boozy with some vanilla. I notice some Jack Daniels barrels around the brewery, for what that's worth. Nice aroma of malt with a hint of licorice. Black roasted flavors, but more of a sweet finish than the Black Patent charcoal. Winey and mellow taste, but hot with alcohol. Dries out a little as you sip.

Very decent Imperial Stout. My favorite of their beers. Listed at 75 IBU. On tap at the brewery bar. (477 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Served in a snifter, dark black pour with a small tan head that receded to nearly nothing, leaving a few stray bubbles behind. Great aroma, toffee, chocolate, anise, licorice, touch of dark dried fruits. The taste was similar to the aroma, but not quite as good, dark chocolate, dark malts, toffee and Werther's candy, subtle red wine / brandy, and a bit of anise and hop spice. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, on the heavier side of medium-bodied, with a bit of inevitable alcohol warmth. Quite the pleasant sipper overall, I'd say. (568 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
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+ (1,429 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (845 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Rick's in Alexandria last week. $5.99 for a bomber. Poured into my Cigar City tulip.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one finger of tan han head and moderate carbonation evident. Light spotty lacing left on the glass, and a few dark brown bubbles left throughout drinking it. Looks like a great RIS.

s - Smells of dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, milk chocolate, toffee, and caramel malts. Very nice chocolatey and roasty notes.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, coffee, bitter chocolate, toasted malts, light vanilla, and light dark fruits. Little more coffee here and not as much sweet chocolate; a tiny step down from the nose for me.

m - Full bodied stout and moderate carbonation. Thick and creamy; very nice.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good RIS. Nothing really jumps out as amazing, but everything about it is good and solid. Would certainly pick it up again. (913 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pour black with a medium dark brown head. Fair retention but with great colour.

S: Lots of dark chocolate, molasses, and licorice, classic.

T: Big dark chocolate flavour which dominates the taste. Nice sweet malt flavour, with notes of brown sugar and a good amount of backing hops, Yeti-esque.

M: Full-bodied and smooth, creamy and delicate.

O: A nice unbarreled throwback American RIS. Well made and tasty. (439 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Labeled 9.8% ABV.

Appearance - Inky jet black. Really black. Medium mocha head. Settles to just a thin collar. Very leggy.

Smell - Not a strong aroma. A bit metallic. Very roasty. Chocolate.

Taste - Chocolate. Bitter chocolate. Extremely roasty. Coffee bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Thick. Minimal carbonation. Low sweetness, although I think the sugars are covered by roasted malt.

Overall - Simple, but really tasty. Intense roasted malts, but I still put it away pretty easily. Too easily. (542 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark Seas
Mission Brewery
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.50 %

LOOK: Pours a midnight black, with a dense light brown foam. Impenetrable by light, it would be difficult to sail on these dark seas. The foam leaves lace of sips gone by.

SMELL: Deeply roasted malts in the aroma, as well as chocolates, coffee, dark fruits and alcohol.

TASTE: Robustly malty, showcasing charcoal, coffee, and dark chocolate flavors. Dark fruits chime in with some date, raisin, and fig flavors. Vanilla comes through more as it warms, and alcohol is omnipresent but not distracting.

MOUTHFEEL: Full bodied , smooth, creamy feel. Delicious lingering stout flavor that sticks to the taste buds long after the pleasure of drinking.

OVERALL: A big bad stout that can stand up to the biggest and baddest of the style. Quite good. (817 characters)

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. (814 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours like used motor oil. Damn dark colored beer Black beer with a small dark brown colored head.

Smells sweet with a strong Chocolate Aroma. Toasted bread and rum and some caramel and a little coffee.

Starts out sweet with a fairly strong charred malt taste. Chocolate and coffee. And that is about it. Tasty stuff but does lack complexity.

Mouthfeel is extremely thick, like full fat Eggnog thick!

Overall a damn tasty RIS. On the sweet side so if you like your RIS dry this isn't your best choice. (505 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/12/2011

On tap at Mission brewery.

A: Black with a massive light brown head. Lacing is all over the glass.

S: Rich dark chocolate and pronounced earthy coffee with faint nutty notes. Molasses is evident, as is a whisper of licorice. Dark fruit is evident and restrained.

T: Pronounced earthy coffee with a strong roasted profile. Dark chocolate is bittersweet and pervasive. There's a lower moderate bitterness with evident molasses.

M: Lower full body with medium carbonation. 

Overall: A good Russian Imperial Stout. (528 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger brown head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Black as midnight, no highlights. Good carbonation and heavy bodied. Baked chocolate and some coffee nose. Flavor is sweet baked chocolate with some black liquorice, the 9.8% ABV is hidden. Decent RIS. 12oz bottle from Gift Specialists Oceanside, California. (327 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (726 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a rich black color with a dark brown finger of frothy head. Strong retention and good lacing. The look is right on. Aroma is too, packing a lot of chocolate, roasty, charred malt, a hint of anise and coffee, subtle booziness. Everything you’d expect for the style if not an overwhelming bouquet.

The flavor follows the nose; there’s moderate sweetness and a pretty assertive chocolate presence, subtler anise, medium char/roastiness, a touch of coffee and booziness. Lightly hopped with a sticky, lip-smacking finish and a bit of lingering bitterness from both hops and roasted malt. The booze presence is there but it’s restrained, appropriate, and pleasantly warming.

Medium-full bodied, a little chewy, smooth and creamy carbonation. Excellent feel.

This is a really good non-barrel aged RIS and thankfully it’s in an affordable 12oz package. Definitely my favorite beer by Mission so far. (922 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
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. (1,025 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, some coffee. Taste is good, chocolate, roasted malts, some coffee, a touch of hops and alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer. (262 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle poured into tulip 2/7/13

A very dark pour with the thinnest edge and some of the darker foams I've seen on a beer, it fizzles out quickly and leaves just a couple patches of lace but the seas are dark without doubt

S bakers chocolate and syrup, smoke, fudge, dark bruised fruit, chocolate covered raisins, coffee beans, faint cinnamon and licorice

T darker roast in the mouth with some char and burnt espresso's strong, chocolates very dark and the roasts intense, just a hint of booze but its well concealed for 10%

M thick and syrupy with enough carbonation to give it some life, just a little sticky on the lips with an intense coffee and bakers chocolate aftertaste

O if you like dark roast this one might be for you, big dark and thick with well concealed booze, pretty solid RIS that I've never heard of

This didn't pair well with the hottest day of the year but even dripping in sweat I enjoyed this big boy. I might wait for the snow but I could see myself drinking this again. (1,009 characters)

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Dark Seas from Mission Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.