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Dark Seas - Mission Brewery

Dark SeasDark Seas

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

442 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 442
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.36%

Brewed by:
Mission Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: srandycarter on 12-08-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 442 | Reviews: 127 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DenverLogan


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 04:23:56 | More by DenverLogan
Photo of drpimento


4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 05:18:32 | More by drpimento
Photo of charlzm


3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Consumed January 4th, 2013 at 1739 Public House in Los Angeles, CA. Reviewed from notes.

Beer is an extremely dark brown, allowing only a tiny amount of light to shine through. Presented to me with only a thin skin of foam for a head.

Very strong mocha and chocolate aroma. Bitter, roasted malt also present in aroma.

Flavor is much like the nose except for a slight tartness. Also smoky. Sort of a charred aftertaste with some notable bitterness. Enjoyable despite that odd tart thing. Maybe the lines at the bar weren't as clean as they should have been.

Slightly thick mouthfeel, but sadly lacking in the hoped-for velvety smoothness.

Not the best RIS out of San Diego, but certainly worth drinking if seen in the wild.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2013 17:09:03 | More by charlzm
Photo of ksimons

New York

4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-inky black with just a thin layer of dark tan head that quickly disappears to leave a ring around the edge

S-smell's very nice. Lots of roasted malt, black coffee, molasses, light dark fruit sweetness, and finishes with a bit of smoke

T-taste is similar to the smell, chocolate heavy with roasted malt, roasted coffee, and light brown sugar.

M-smooth and creamy, medium body, good carbonation

Overall I would definitely have this again, really nice chocolate and coffee flavors, smooth and creamy, and well hidden alcohol

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 23:26:06 | More by ksimons
Photo of MaddMatt639


3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted on February 23, 2013:

A: A very dark brown, borderline black. Half an inch head that's a light brown/reddish color. No lacing and no long lasting retention.

S: A strong aroma of chocolate and a very slight hint of malt.

T: The chocolate notes are not as strong at first, but sneak up on you after a few seconds. Taste a sweetness, kind of like molasses and a slight bitterness in the end.

M: Somewhat of a heavy feeling. Not a long lasting taste, but I can feel the weight of the beer in my mouth.

O: Not a bad stout, but I was hoping for more. Enjoyed the aroma and taste, but not the aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 03:24:41 | More by MaddMatt639
Photo of CommanderOfAwesome


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into Stone IRS Snifter.

A: Pours black with dark khaki brown head. Head recedes quickly.

S: Chocolate, Roasted malts, slight hint of coffee.

T: Creamy chocolate. Roasted malt, very slight hint of coffee. Also slight lingering alcohol burn.

M: Thick, smooth and creamy. Very very slight bitter finish. Doesn't coat the mouth with stickiness.

O: Fantastic RIS, similar to Founders Imperial stout. Smooth, creamy and chocolatey. And a bargain for the $6.75 bomber price.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 03:13:49 | More by CommanderOfAwesome
Photo of jjchristiano

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this stout.
As dark chocolate in appearance as a stout gets.
Rich chocolate and molasses smell.
Taste is just as you would expect, no surprises.
mouthfeel is so smooth as it's rich and not a lot of carbonation
Did I say, I really like this stout.
At 10% alcohol its a nice sipper for my scotch snifter.
I was in San Diego last July and wish I would have known about this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 03:21:18 | More by jjchristiano
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: center-pour into a large snifter barely raised a head; oily black beer left a spattering of tiny motes as it went down

S: roasted dark chocolatey malts; espresso beans

T: bittersweet dark malt, hinting at cocoa, espresso; alcoholic undertones

M: fairly light for a stout, crisp on the tongue at first, then coating; drying, chalky

O: a good stout, but not one that distinguishes itself from the crowd

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 21:04:00 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of Uncle_Jimmy


3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Appearance- inky black with one finger of dark brown foam. It doesn't linger or lace.

Aroma- chocolate malt, dark and roasty, earthy some smokiness and cocoa. It smells like a chocolate malt.

Taste- Chocolate and coffee on the front (not bitter coffee) even a little meaty ?! some smoke and molasses, almost like a burnt sweet potato. A little dusty and some plum ( I don't get port like they say on the bottle). Hops balance out okay nothing specific.

Mouthfeel - alcohol warmth although the high 10% is cleverly hidden. full bodied but not sticky. A little sweet but not too heavy.

Overall- a tasty russian imperial from mission. A lot of their other offerings, i didnt care for, but this one is tasty! I would maybe bump up the IBU's slightly. Maybe more hops in the boil, not in aroma( this smells so good). I do suppose that this style does lend itself to be pretty sweet in the finish. Its good.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2013 04:40:38 | More by Uncle_Jimmy
Photo of Zorro


4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours like used motor oil. Damn dark colored beer Black beer with a small dark brown colored head.

Smells sweet with a strong Chocolate Aroma. Toasted bread and rum and some caramel and a little coffee.

Starts out sweet with a fairly strong charred malt taste. Chocolate and coffee. And that is about it. Tasty stuff but does lack complexity.

Mouthfeel is extremely thick, like full fat Eggnog thick!

Overall a damn tasty RIS. On the sweet side so if you like your RIS dry this isn't your best choice.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 03:06:59 | More by Zorro
Photo of ThickNStout


3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 3.49. No bottling info. Served in a Red Brick snifter.

Pours black with a dense half finger deep tan head that leaves wide swaths of lacing down the glass.

Smells of sweet bakers cocoa, sugared dates and burnt caramel.

Taste is a mixture of dark chocolate, stone fruit, creamed medium roast coffee, burnt caramel, charred wood, mild vanilla, anise and a tickle of bitter pine sap towards the finish. There is a lottle booze but for the most part it is well blended behind the other flavors.

Creamy medium body with light to moderate carbonation. Bittersweet cocoa and pine finish.

A pretty nice take on the Russian imperial stout. Well balanced between the malty chocolate flavors and a decent bite of bitter pine.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 05:33:38 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of kaseydad


3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up as a single....not sure of the scurvy within a sixer.

Pours a black ale with a nice sized beige foamy head. Very light lacing.

I am getting huge green olives in the aroma. No clue why. Some minor roastiness but again...green and now black olives. Dark chocolate. Dark fruits as it warms.

The taste makes up for the aroma. Roasted malt is big. Smokey and dark chocolate is present. Actually pretty darn good. Very flavorful. Long bitter aftertaste. Definitely a RIS on the bitter side so if you are looking for sweetness...this ain't it.

Mouthfeel is pretty full and silky.

Overall I was impressed with this offering. I think this is one of the better Mission Brews out there. The aroma threw me for a loop, but the taste is what we are all after anyways. Roasty and full bodied. And 10.5%. Couldn't ask for much more. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 23:57:46 | More by kaseydad
Photo of Bung

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. A nice thick looking black pour, half finger of light brown head.

Aroma, very chocolatey, some road malt. Lighter caramel and anise.

Taste, Roast malt up front, some anise. Heavy chocolates throughout the middle. Cocoa, coffee and some piney hops and anise again in the finish.

About full body, the carbonation is just a little too high to pass for creamy. Very nicely coating, just a little warming. Rock solid. Would definetely get again.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 02:13:52 | More by Bung
Photo of themind

New Jersey

3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad stout, I enjoyed it. Pours a dark small head and has a good mouth feel. First time trying a beer from this brewery and I would go back for seconds. Brew is worth a look. Notes of molasses make this stout a decent beer in the World of Stouts.

Bottom Line: I would not turn it down.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 01:43:36 | More by themind
Photo of arizcards


3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at Total Wine in mid-September for $6.99.

Beer poured black with a beautiful brown head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is chocolate and roasted malts.

Taste is pretty much the same as the nose with a lingering bitter hop finish. Detecting a bit of an acidic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a medium body with a bit of viscosity.

Overall this is a bit uneven and a bit light for the style. Not a bad beer but nothing great either.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 01:06:56 | More by arizcards
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 11/28/2012 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains rich chocolate, roasted malts, some coffee and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong creamy chocolate flavor followed by some flavors of dark fruit and coffee. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is very mild as it should be in this type of beer and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid big stout but there are others in the style that I would pick first.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2012 02:15:59 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of FosterJM


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1633rd Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 16:09:40 | More by FosterJM
Photo of SHODriver


3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 04:56:35 | More by SHODriver
Photo of bound4er


4.13/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 00:28:21 | More by bound4er
Photo of BuxMontBeerLover


4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.


Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 21:24:54 | More by BuxMontBeerLover
Photo of Durge


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 05:39:53 | More by Durge
Photo of micromaniac129


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 11:41:42 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of SolipsismalCat


4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 00:35:15 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of Rifugium


4.1/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2012 04:12:38 | More by Rifugium
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 02:00:48 | More by BeerFMAndy
Dark Seas from Mission Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 442 ratings.