Dark Seas - Mission Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark SeasDark Seas

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

145 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 145
Hads: 620
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 4.21%
Wants: 38
Gots: 85 | 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: 620
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
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. (1,538 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 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 santomark
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a Coca Cola type darkness and glow in the light. Very little head, less than one finger. Carbonation Is bubbly.

S - Very balanced breathe of many aspects, chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, fruits, figs, barley, molasses. Smells like a fantastic stout.

T - Big roasted malts up front, toffee, slight chocolate, there's this break in the sip which reminded me of an "Eye In A Storm". After the roasted notes, you get a slight taste from the ABV. Then ends with this sweet and dryness and that is very inviting for another sip.

M - Glad I got this on a cold night. Very heavy in the body, dryness from the roastedness. Mild to medium carbonation.

O - This is a great stout. For being an Imperial/Double, it's very drinkable as if it were a lightered bodied stout. The taste is inviting, very comforting for this fine cold day. I really enjoyed this and wouldn't mind this in a 4pck... Adds variety when deciding between Old Rasputin. (951 characters)

Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma: deep roasted grains and malts, burnt caramel, cocoa nibs and coffee beans. Appearance: thick black with a crimson tint and decent lace. Taste: Thick, syrupy chocolate, molasses, toasted sugar, toffee and grains. Overall, a really thick and rich imperial stout with heavy dark chocolate and fudge overtones. Very good. (324 characters)

Photo of JesseCap_13
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into snifter

A: Poured midnight black with a tan one finger head which did not linger long

S: dark chocolate, roasted malts, slight hops very faint though.

T: The taste follows the nose with dark chocolate. Roasty malts, and very slight hint of a dark fruit for the sweetness, maybe plum?

M: Medium to full bodied. Alcohol content is definitely apparent however it is masked and blends very smoothly and is complimented by the dark chocolate notes. Low carbonation

Overall very tasty, a great sipper and a very good RIS, will definitely be having this again (582 characters)

Photo of quaybr
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
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. (549 characters)

Photo of SawDog505
4.56/5  rDev +12.9%
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! (367 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Total Wine Tampa FL for $3

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a large size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5-6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, vanilla, coffee

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and vanilla. There is also lots of roasted/toasted notes and some bitter coffee.

Overall - Really good and fulfilling a great beer to sip. The bitterness lingers long after the sip is done. Wish I had picked up a few more of these for cellaring. (647 characters)

Photo of mdcflacal
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
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. (341 characters)

Photo of Joshpu
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (562 characters)

Photo of jra173
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
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. (406 characters)

Photo of Thads324
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Been waiting so long for this one
Pours jet black like the dirtiest emgine oil. Thin dark brown head that fizzles to the edges and sticks there. The deep dark head looks amazing, you can tell this is a big brew.
Aroma is sweet plums, a hint of roast and coffee. A bit of dark caramel. Mild but nice.

Flavor Starts with a bitter jolt of dark bittersweet chocolate. Espresso and cream flavors, finishing dry with mild bitterness of earth and oak. It's more chocolate than I anticipated, but still big and roasty as well. The caramel sweetness on the end brings everything together nicely! Warming and inviting for more.

Mouthfeel is heavy but smooth. No harshness from the roasted malt and while the alcohol is apparent, it's balanced in the flavor.

Clean, smooth, tasty and drinkable. I wish I had more. (806 characters)

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

Pours black with a 3/4 inch brown head.

Smell is of dark chocolate, coffee and faint dark fruit.

Taste follows the smell with dark chocolate, coffee and a hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is very thick. Almost chalky with low carbonation.

A delicious imperial stout. (267 characters)

Photo of drunkheathen
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
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. (475 characters)

Photo of ISmith87
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (850 characters)

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice, head is dark tan, color is black, thick, nothing coming through this brew.

Smell is all as expected from a big, dark stout such as this: great roast and chocolate notes, very solid bitterness but not fruity, and boozy - boy this brew packs some alcohol punch.

Taste is very big, lots of roasted malt and chocolate followed by some big booziness; subtle notes include light raisin or plum, some coffee and toast. Note the booziness is not offending just noticeable

Mouthfeel is spot on for a big RIS, lingering sweetness, good carbonation and solid bitterness to compensate.

Overall, a very solid RIS, great strong flavors, good lingering notes and nothing out of place. big on strength. (713 characters)

Photo of Libationguy
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with a ruby red edge. Deep tan-reddish thin head with no staying power.

Deep bass notes of coffee, dark chocolate, black cherries, hazelnuts and kirsch.

On the palate, the coffee continues with bitter dark chocolate, chocolate covered cherries and some cola.

Rich mouthfeel with a port-like texture and a lingering finish. So rich that the beer finishes a little sweet. The carbonation is more pronounced on the palate than in the appearance. Alcohol here is well balanced against the texture of the beer.You know its there, but it manages not to be obtrusive. (569 characters)

Photo of MikeWard
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Not bottled date that I could find. Abv says 9.8 on bottle, BA says 10.5 (?)

This one pours like motor oil, thick black, leaving a 'coffee with just a dash of cream" colored head. Head does not retain much at all, and no lacing whatsoever.

Took a sniff. Hello! This smells pretty good! Sweet, cocoa, toffee, plums, brandy, all swirled together in a suprisingly not overwhelming nose. Mouth starts watering. Thinking fruit cake, the good kind from the olde countrye.

Taste & mouth were just outstanding, all the flavors in the nose coming through. Felt delicious rolling over the tongue. Alcohol not overwhelming at all, just got that faint slow burn contented feeling. Mouth was medium, not thick, not thin, or syrupy.

Overall, A very nice RIS, and I must admit to being a bit surprised, since I have not cared much for other Mission beers. Well done. Mission Accomplished (apologies for dreadful pun) Looking forward to trying this one in December in front of a roaring fire. If it tastes this good on an August evening...

Without date stamping, no way of telling how old it is, purchased 2 weeks ago in Reading. (1,174 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 eric5bellies
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a deep murky Ebony colour with a tanned head that reduces to a film and laces.

S - Plenty of chocolate, small coffee and raosted malts.Nice

T - Caramel, coffee and chocolate backed up by some nice hpp notes. ABV is quite prominent.

M - A little bit watery. medium to full carbonation with low carbonation.

O - Lacks body and a little boozy. Other than that its worth a go (412 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.41/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (335 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 HuaJiao
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A:Black. Super dark with a cocoa brown head.

S: Roasty and chocolaty. Enticing but not overbearing.

T: Excellent balance of the dark, roasted, chocolate and smokey imperial stout without crossing too far. It doesn't dry your mouth or bite too hard, but had tons of flavor to keep you coming back for more.

M: Rather light for such an intense beer.

Overall: Outstanding. Intense, delicious, savory, but doesn't leave you tired. (432 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)

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