1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Dark Seas - Mission Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark SeasDark Seas

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

487 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 487
Reviews: 132
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.31%
Wants: 22
Gots: 43 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mission Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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 Raters
Ratings: 487 | Reviews: 132 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- A quarter inch chocolate head. Dense with nice lacing. Jet-black in color. No light comes through.

S- Rich roast coffee and barley smells. Chocolate and toffee with a hint of vanilla as well. Dark and intimidating.

T- Layered malts and big boozy hit. First comes the heavy flavors, chocolate, coffee, roast barley, vanilla, tobacco, toffee. Packs a wallop.

M- THICK. Almost had to chew it.

O- Solid, not great. Tough ride but a tasty and roasty one.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 05:30:44 | More by Murrhey
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

4/5  rDev -2%

03-25-2012 03:31:23 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of tremotrav
tremotrav

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

03-21-2012 18:51:49 | More by tremotrav
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier

Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz.

Pours jet black with a tan head about half an inch, dissipates quickly to a ring.

Smells of dark chocolate and smokey woody notes.

Tastes smokey and of roasted coffee and dark chocolate with some hop bitterness and a bit of brown sugar sweetness.

Full viscous body with tingles of carbonation and a slight alcohol warmth.

An excellent RIS, definitely worth trying for fans of the style or newcomers too. Not the best heavy dark stout, but certainly could compete for the upper echelons. Would have again.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 22:10:57 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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 wowbagger
wowbagger

Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark oak-brown head, beer is deep black.

Smell is earthy with some yeastiness.

Taste is very wooden and dry with a hint of chocolate and grass or dirt. There is some sweetness on the tip of the tongue and the overall feel is very nice as it goes down. It left my mouth feeling a tad dry.

Overall, very good stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 23:40:48 | More by wowbagger
Photo of RandomBattle
RandomBattle

New York

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. Poured into a Karl Strauss snifter....yay San Diego breweries!

Appearance - Midnight black with and about one fingers worth of fluffy khaki head. Fantastic lacing.

Smell - Dark fruits, roast, cocoa, and light coffee. Very typical RIS aromas.

Taste - Sweet roast and chocolate flavors with some soft coffee notes in the finish. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel - Creamy, very creamy. Probably my favorite aspect of this beer. It is soft, velvety, and creamy, no trace of the alcohol whatsoever. An excellent and unoffending sipper.

Overall - Very much enjoyed this beer. While not a shining and bold example of the style, it is done very well and is definitely worth seeking out. Will be sure to get more of this.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 00:34:48 | More by RandomBattle
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
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 srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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 scoley32
scoley32

Virginia

4/5  rDev -2%

03-08-2012 04:30:00 | More by scoley32
Photo of kornkid8600
kornkid8600

California

4/5  rDev -2%

03-06-2012 09:50:38 | More by kornkid8600
Photo of Hex92
Hex92

Virginia

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

A-black decent lacing.
S- smells good to me. Roasted malt and chocolate. No odd smells in my bottle.
T- real nice flavor. Malts are toasty, but not burned. Think I like it better than the old rasputin. Can't taste the alcohol, very smooth.
M- maybe a bit thin for the style. Would lie it to coat the mouth a bit more.
O- this is a very good RIS. I will definitely pick this one up again.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 03:41:35 | More by Hex92
Photo of mrelizabeth
mrelizabeth

California

4/5  rDev -2%

03-04-2012 21:35:30 | More by mrelizabeth
Photo of cfinch2
cfinch2

Virginia

4/5  rDev -2%

03-04-2012 14:14:03 | More by cfinch2
Photo of jayhawk73
jayhawk73

Maryland

3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black, with a one finger chocolate head. Good, although thin lacing on the side of my snifter glass. Lots of bigger bubbles in the head. The nose is chocolate, oak, hops, and some coffee. I'd like the smell to be just a little stronger. The taste is really well done. Complex, and the coffee isn't burnt. None of the 9.8% abv is present. Not overwhelming with heaviness, just right. Feel is very smooth and full bodied, with just a touch of bitterness... Just the right amount. Overall, a good RIS. I'd definitely have this again.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 17:26:11 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of thebouch01
thebouch01

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2%

03-01-2012 02:04:25 | More by thebouch01
Photo of tbeq00
tbeq00

California

4/5  rDev -2%

02-26-2012 18:08:40 | More by tbeq00
Photo of Jesstyr
Jesstyr

Virginia

3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
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 ronniebruner
ronniebruner

Arizona

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is black! Black as a beer can possibly be, and if you're like me, that's a good thing. The beer has a chocolate and charred wood aroma, and the taste too of both charted wood and chocolate. Pretty smooth beer, especially since the aroma is not exactly the most desiresble. Leaves a nice wooden taste on your palette and is definitely worthy of trying if you can stomach the odd smell.

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2012 21:44:49 | More by ronniebruner
Photo of cycoduck
cycoduck

California

4/5  rDev -2%

02-16-2012 03:17:42 | More by cycoduck
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2012 05:30:39 | More by mactrail
Photo of Drinkerofales
Drinkerofales

California

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, with hints of red and brown on the edges. A large dark mocha head forms and leaves some lacing. Just about right.

Smell is nice, complex, sweet roasted malt, coffe, dark fruit. A full smell that also has hints of booze and chocolate.

Taste is roasted malt, coffee and chocolate, as it should be, and in spades, but nothing special.

Feel is nice, not thin with plenty of carbonation that makes it fee lighter than it is.

I truly enjoyed this beer, Mission hasn't let me down yet. It is reminiscent of Old Raspy, yet it's own beer. I will be recommending this in years to come.

DOA

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 04:15:46 | More by Drinkerofales
Photo of spartanfan
spartanfan

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
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 raveskdr
raveskdr

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

02-03-2012 17:03:50 | More by raveskdr
Photo of tanarm
tanarm

California

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome thick tan colored head persists. Black and opaque like it should be.

Aromas of almost burnt toffee, roasted coffee. Some toast. Dark chocolate. Light floral/herbal hop note finds its way in there.

Milk chocolate and sweet caramel leads to some roasted malt undertones. Light roasted coffee. Floral hops come in to battle sweetness to balance. Alcohol warmth is pleasing.

Thick, viscous, full body. Some creaminess for sure. Low carbonation is pleasing. Just enough. Some alcohol warmth.

There's definitely some booze in there, but it's masked well with some really complex flavors. Surprised by the sweetness since the aroma was so roasty and hoppy. Could mellow out even more with age, but its nice with those fresh hops in there - those won't last long. Its still a little too sweet in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 07:28:26 | More by tanarm
Dark Seas from Mission Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 487 ratings.