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Dark Seas - Mission Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark SeasDark Seas

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

577 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 577
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 34
Gots: 71 | FT: 2
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
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Ratings: 577 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FosterJM
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1633rd Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12oz

2012 release
Purchased a single 12oz from Total Wine, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

App- A huge inky black pour with a ton of brown highlights around the edges. The head was a good 2 fingers and clung well to the side of the glass. A nice density center and very deep saturated.

Smell- A bit like a chocolate milk, mixed with coffee only a bit deeper and less grainy. The chocolate is very aromatic and pairs well with the malts and then the coffee comes in with a bit or roast and toast behind it. A bit smooth and creamy as well.

Taste- This was a nice and creamy RIS. A good amount of balance was there between the malts and the chocolate coffee flavors. The bitter was a bit toned downed in relation to say Narwhal which I had the day before reviewing this. This had more richness and cream as mentioned and dialed up the chocolate.

Mouth- A very thick medium almost bordering on being a low bodied/thick stout. The carbonation was fairly dense and a bit creamy. Got a bit thicker and denser as it warmed.

Drink- I really enjoyed this. A good deal in a 12oz bottle. I will have to grab more of these. Nice semi-local beer. Gotta love all the stuff out of SD.

Photo of SHODriver
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured into a snifter thick as used motor oil and pure black topped with a dark tan head that is small but quick recede to a small collar around the glass
S: smells of roasted barley and chocolate with a little bit of fruit and charred wood
T: roasted barley and bitter dark chocolate some of that fruit and a bit of smoky wood flavor. aftertaste is a bit of dark roast malt and more chocolate
M: smooth and velvety with soft carbonation that builds nicely on the palate. mouthfeel is full but on the lighter side of it
O: not bad at all, kinda simple and low on complexity but a solid beer and good for the price.

Photo of bound4er
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Near perfect dark tan head of two fingers. Jet black appearance. Screams RIS from the look of things.

S. Grain, earth, chocolate, coffee, roast - nice.

T. Roasted malt, chocolate and coffee followed with just enough bitterness from both the dark roasted malt and hops. Finishes very dry with a lingering aftertaste.

M. Medium bodied with just enough carbonation.

O. This is a solid, well crafted RIS that I really enjoy drinking a couple of times per week. Not an overly hyped beer and that may be part of its charm to me. Highly recommended.

Photo of Robdrinx
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle was purchased at The Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, VA on a recent visit to southern Virginia.

Poured and sampled from a DFH Signature Glass

A - Beer pours a totally opaque, midnight black color. A nice, foamy, beige colored one finger head on the initial pour. Lots of sticky lacing left after drinking.

S - A roasted malt, coffee-like aroma. Smells really good.

T - A very tasty stout that has a ton of flavor. The beer is a mixture of heavily roasted malts, coffee, and a sweet chocolate taste that ends with a mild bitterness. A very smooth, creamy brew. The ABV is lurking there in the background but it never overpowers the taste or enjoyment of the beer.

M - A thicker consistency. Low to medium carbonation.

O - This is my first beer from Mission Brewery and I was impressed. It is a top-notch stout that hits all the right notes. I'd gladly have this again. Recommended.

Cheers!

Photo of Durge
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A really opaque black brown colored stout with a solid light brown head and lots of cascadding lace. The aroma comes out with deep dark chocolate malt and light coffe charcoal. Pretty much a classic quality hint of things to come but not a huge note for this style. The flavor brings in thick charcoal malt and light grassy raisin-prune. This stuff his full bodied with a near oily feel. Carbonation is tingly stuff. A serious entry for the style, no session brew but tasty and satisfying!

Photo of micromaniac129
3.63/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of rprinz22
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of SolipsismalCat
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass mug.

A: Dark black with two-finger, dark tan, creamy, fizzy head that lasted several minutes. Good lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt and chocolate. Less roasted than expected, but still good.

T: Light sweetness and light to moderate bitterness. Roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Somewhat smooth and nice a warm going down.

O: I liked that Great Divide Yeti better than this Russian Imperial stout, but this one is still good.

Photo of Rifugium
4.12/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of mychalg9
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of gshak
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of robmoak
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of JeffTheJuice
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Woodysbeard
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of mhbarber
2.75/5  rDev -32.6%

Photo of magictacosinus
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Seriously, look at how spooky that label is! It was enough to intrigue me overall. Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark, petrol-like slick into the glass, and even with help from the Duvel glass and slight aggressive pouring at the end, it doesn't produce too much of a head (about 1.5 fingers max). The head is milk-chocolate brown, and the beer is as black as an imperial stout can get. The alcohol leggings are massive on this thing, and it overall looks like an intimidating if not amazing looking drink.

The initial aroma is really powerful, consisting of an enormous alcohol smell, followed by smoked chocolate and coffee aromas that get quickly buried underneath it. With the alcohol being most predominant, I'm getting raspberry fruitiness, raisins, rum, and sweet smells that I usually don't find in even the most ridiculous imperial stouts. There's a lighter zest of hops way at the back, but not enough to be really noticeable. That alcohol is really freaking me out here. I do hope the flavor is a more balanced experience.

And with one sip - you don't want to *gulp* this - I'm instantly proven wrong. I can't even TASTE the alcohol here!! On the other hand, I get crisp, smoked malts that reminisce coffee grounds, vanilla, dark chocolate, but actually more subtle than you'd think. At front there's only a bit of coffee crispness, and the back is a little bit more full-bodied and coated with some hops. There's not much of an alcohol finish, but I must admit that this does it fact get substantially sweeter as it warms up. It took a while to finish this, even when splitting it with a friend. It's really thick, with a pudding like consistency, but the flavors aren't as explosive as I expected. At least it's not an alcoholic disaster, but I definitely expected more ridiculous amounts of chocolate and coffee beans here. It's very smooth and creamy, and definitely has dessert beer properties.

Interesting take on the RIS style, but probably not one I'd necessarily revisit again for being a bit too inconsistent with the aroma and flavors of what I personally enjoy in the style. Slightly too sweet and astringent at the finish. Complex, but not explosive enough. I definitely could have this in smaller quantities, but probably not half a bottle. It's a good one in the style, and I could probably bring myself to appreciate it again if I had it once more.

Photo of greg4579
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of elkinbrown
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of irs
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of jagada
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of usaftenor
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kevgod
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Chaney
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Dark Seas from Mission Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 577 ratings.