Dark Seas - Mission Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark SeasDark Seas

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

616 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 616
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.31%
Wants: 39
Gots: 82 | FT: 3
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: 616 | Reviews: 151
Photo of biboergosum
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
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...).

Photo of eric5bellies
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
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

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of HuaJiao
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of wordemupg
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of jd18
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a delicious stout. Medium body, well rounded flavor and opened nicely as it warmed to a smooth bitter sweet taste with hints of dark chocolate and coffee. No need to over analyze. If its an the beer list, you won't be left disappointed by ordering.

Photo of sergio1va
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark Seas from Mission delivers a very good representation of this beer style- Dark, Malty and High Alcohol.
Pours to a pitch black with a small brown foam head. Little carbonation is observed as the beer was allowed to release it's aromas.
Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, and alcohol are very present in this beer.
The taste is definitely malty and somewhat smoky, this producing a mouth feel that seems slightly bitter and dry. Definitely a beer one should enjoy with every sip and you'll discover even more notes.

Photo of denver10
3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours black with a nice mocha head. A nice rich, roasty aroma with roasted barley and dark choclate. and a hint of some pitted fruit and some booze. Flavor followed suit with huge roastiness and dark chocolate, a kiss of some vanilla and a earthy bitterness in the finish. Some alcohol shows but not offensive. A fuller, mouthfeel. Overall, a nice solid RIS.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
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...

Photo of tone77
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of ADZA
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black oil slick hue with a chocolate laced two finger head and similar lacing here and there,the smell is dark chocolate,rum,booze,red wine and cherries,the mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation and has tastes of dark Belgian chocolate,dark fruits,candy,herbal earthy hops and finished with a burnt raisin bittersweetness and overall on a cold night like tonight this gets extra points as its the perfect winter drop with enough alcohol to warm you up but not put you on the floor will buy again for sure and a perfect nightcap cheers.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Paid almost 3 dollars for the single, poured into a tulip glass.

A - Such a rich deep mocha head, I don't think I have seen many this dark. Equally pitch black beer very viscous.
S - Ah nice notes of bakers chocolate, ashy roasts, vanilla, some hops with a touch of molasses.
T - Drinking this a tad cold I got a great deal of vanilla and bakers chocolate, not as sweet as I expected it takes the edge off with roasted coffee, some dark fruits notes of plum come to mind and a mild dry finish with some hops which are very balanced not bitter which I love. Man these guys got the style down well!
M - Medium to thick in body as expected yet smooth enough for big sips.

Overall looking back at others beers I had from these guys I would have never expected such a world class imperial stout. I think I like it better than Founders version AND that is saying a lot. Worth picking up and aged I bet it could be even smoother.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours pitch black with a lasting very dark tan head.
Nose shows heavy complex roast with loads of coffee. Also some soft booze.
Equally rich flavours, with lots more coffee and heavy roasted malt. Some noticeable booze.
Carbonation could be higher.

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown (mighty nigh unto black), with only the faintest hint of mahogany where light penetrates at the fringes. Even the head was a medium brown, like toasted wheat bread, albeit rather thin and short-lived; lacing was minimal.

S: The smell is not strong (perhaps due to lack of bubbles launching the aromas into the air?) It's mostly sweet smelling, with some bready malt, raisin, and perhaps bourbon (identifying the components was difficult, as they were all subdued).

T: Sweet, toasty malts are strong up front. Then comes an interesting mix of buttery dacetyl and mild, creamy orange. There's definitely some coffee in the mix, but pretty far in the background. Bitterness from hops was late and mild, just enough to balance the fading sweetness. It became more tart overall as it warmed up.

M: Smooth, thick/chewy, but not well carbonated; the finish was just a touch dry. I did notice a hint of booze when I took my first sip, but this became very pronounced and distracting as the beer warmed up.

O: A lot of good, but some low points as well. Head and carbonation weren't very good, and aromas were quite subdued, but the flavors were nice. I found it was much better when it was still fairly cold -- the negatives in terms of flavor and mouthfeel really became pronounced as it warmed up (and this is a sipping beer, so it will warm up unless you're drinking it it a very cold place...) Indeed, although I enjoyed the first half quite a lot, it got hard to drink the final few ounces, and I ended up pouring out the last couple. This may be a good one to split with a friend in the future to avoid those problems.

A note to Mission Brewery: boosting the carbonation just a tad would go a long way to improve the head/aroma and the mouthfeel (IMO).

Photo of ArrogantB
3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle $2.99. Color is pitch black and the head is a little darker than most RIS, almost brown. Aroma is slightly malty, hints of some dark fruit. Flavor is malty, almost has a note of chocolate but then recedes into a plum or raisin like flavor backed by malts. Sort of reminds me of Stone IRS. Overall its not bad and the alcohol was well hidden. It is sort of thick, hevay and took me a little while to drink it.

Photo of GilGarp
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber served chilled into a goblet. ABV listed at 9.8% on the bottle instead of the 10.5% it says here.

Dark Seas is a very dark brown with very thin short-lived head.

Aroma is full of roasted malts, chocolate, and a sweet booziness.

Flavor is rich and strong with big roasty bitterness. There is some dark chocolate and coffee beans.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and a little over carbonated for my tastes.

Overall a very good double stout.

Photo of beergoot
4.74/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Coal black with a rich brown head makes up the appearance. Anise and coffee notes in the aroma; a bit of mint; deep roasted grains; chocolate; charred toast. Wonderfully rich and bitter roasted flavors; subtly deep malt sweetness; semi-sweet chocolate; slight astringency; some alcohol warmth. Medium-heavy body, dry with a bit of milk chocolate richness makes up the feel.

Oh, yeah! This is a good one! Deep, rich, and complex. This could easily stand up with the best of the northern European dark ales that emphasize deeply roasted goodness layered with hop and alcohol goodness. Wild yet balanced in its intensity. This ain't your momma's Guinness! Seek and enjoy!!

Photo of chugalug06
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

No lacing, dark, thick, burnt brick colored soapy head.

Soy sauce on the nose, not overwhelming. Slight sourness. Dark chocolate, sweet, roasty, smoked.

Much better than the nose and appearance lead you to believe. Like a dark malty biscuit. Dry, chewy, coating, small amount of thick bubbles. Deep roasty chocolate.

Highly recommend, flavor is exceptional and mouthfeel is above many words. This brew is a bit of curve ball. Highly drinkable, even at 9.8%

Photo of rjvanston
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Holy crap. I be a borderline stout guy and have never heard of Mission but you gotta try. Really. Not disappoint. Dark, rich, thick mouth feel and is there alcohol? Super hidden by what I see the ABV to be. Balanced and one would have to make an effort not to like or at least appreciate.

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ba Review #262
Served On: 3/22/2013
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 9.8%
Date/ Code: -

Ran into this at A.K.A. Frisco's in Frederick, MD ($12.00 / 4-pack).

Look: An aggressive pour formed a 1-finger of dirty tan head comprised of tight bubbles. A very black and viscous brew. Some sticky head lacing formed but the head dissipated quickly. Alcohol legs were all over the glass.

Smell: Strong roasted coffee and rich dark unsweetened chocolate. Some lactose or vanilla sweetness seemed to be lingering around. A hoppy herbal quality also came through in the nose. Some coconut.

Taste: First up was a coffee bitterness that was quickly overtaken by a sweet chocolate creaminess. The middle had a coffee and chocolate component blending together with unbelievable balance. Things seemed to fade quickly towards the end with a slightly bitter finish and sweet notes returning for the aftertaste. The 9.8% ABV was completely hidden with no dryness whatsoever. The mouth-feel was creamy, but a little thinner than the color and body suggested. Very drinkable with good balance.

This was a very enjoyable RIS from Mission. Almost as good as Founders BS except with slightly lower drinkability. Go out and get this!

Photo of LCB_Hostage
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle into a pint glass

A: As pitch black as it's name suggests with a monk-like fringe of brown foam around the inside of the glass that remains throughout. No lacing

S: Highly roasted --> burnt grains, some bitter chocolate and a hint of cherry (they say plum on the bottle, but seems more like cherry to me), plus lots of alcohol -- even more than the 9.8 ABV would suggest. The force is strong in this one.

T: Bitter from the roasted grains and chocolate, but not unpleasantly so -- enough to nicely balance the malty/alcohol sweetness. Would prefer a more rounded finish, but overall, not bad at all.

M: Too syrupy for my taste, with no carbonation to speak of to wake up the tongue. I know it's an RIS, but this just coats your tongue and then .... stays there.

O: I'm less of a stout fancier than many here, so take this for what it's worth. There's nothing here that would prevent me from drinking another one of these, but nothing that would lead me on a mission to seek it out, either. I particularly would have liked a bit more carbonation to lighten things up a bit. I'd treat this as a "dessert" beer -- a nice last call to finish an evening, but never earlier than that.

Photo of DenverLogan
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From 22 oz bottle ordered through Letspour.
Black with rich brown head...poured into a Palm tulip glass.
Aroma of cocoa, sweet malts.
Modest carbonation...big mouthfeel.
Flavors of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, carob, molassas...let's give this 5 minutes...
OK...several minutes later we have a lot of lace and a reduced head remaining. Aroma and flavors include coffee, bitter chocolate... there's a big bitterness, black liquorice, toasty dark malts.

Photo of drpimento
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serious big beer. Poured at a good temperature with a small, brown head that soon settled to a swirl and a ring and no lace. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is roast, cocoa, molasses, new leather, malt, and dark ripe fruit. Flavor's similar to nose with cocoa coming out more along with bitterness that is just balanced by sweet and tang. Body is full and has the bitter points slightly rounded off. Finish is remarkably moderate in length and fairly easy. Alcohol is tamed. Very good brew!

Dark Seas from Mission Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 616 ratings.