1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.

520 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 520
Reviews: 135
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 27
Gots: 54 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: srandycarter on 12-08-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 520 | Reviews: 135 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kojevergas
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
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.


kojevergas, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of SgunnarW
4/5  rDev -2%

SgunnarW, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of thecheapies
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stagnant light brown foam cap on a heavy black body. 4.5

Smells like a strong latte. Roasted malts, whiff of smoke, cut of charred meat. Sweet licorice, maybe ginger, extra dose of booze. 4.0, 4.0

Medium-thick and a little sticky. Carb is just right. 4.0

A decadent and mysterious Imperial. A fine drink on a cold, rainy April evening. 4.0

thecheapies, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

acurtis, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

djrn2, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of DWolf
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

DWolf, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of KnightRider
4/5  rDev -2%

KnightRider, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev -2%

Beejay, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of Murrhey
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.

Murrhey, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -2%

ygtbsm94, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of tremotrav
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

tremotrav, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of Cylinsier
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.

Cylinsier, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
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.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of wowbagger
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.

wowbagger, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of RandomBattle
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.

RandomBattle, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of akorsak
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.

akorsak, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of srandycarter
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.

srandycarter, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of scoley32
4/5  rDev -2%

scoley32, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of kornkid8600
4/5  rDev -2%

kornkid8600, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of Hex92
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.

Hex92, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of mrelizabeth
4/5  rDev -2%

mrelizabeth, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of cfinch2
4/5  rDev -2%

cfinch2, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of jayhawk73
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.

jayhawk73, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of thebouch01
4/5  rDev -2%

thebouch01, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of tbeq00
4/5  rDev -2%

tbeq00, Feb 26, 2012
Dark Seas from Mission Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.