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Dark Seas - Mission Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark SeasDark Seas

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

145 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 145
Hads: 628
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 8.91%
Wants: 38
Gots: 87 | FT: 4
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 145 | Hads: 628
Photo of ArrogantB
3.46/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (420 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (443 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
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!! (670 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.96/5  rDev -2%
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% (460 characters)

Photo of rjvanston
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
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. (288 characters)

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
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! (1,218 characters)

Photo of LCB_Hostage
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
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. (1,207 characters)

Photo of DenverLogan
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (459 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
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! (496 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (727 characters)

Photo of ksimons
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
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 (527 characters)

Photo of MaddMatt639
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
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. (609 characters)

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.12/5  rDev +2%
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. (490 characters)

Photo of jjchristiano
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (394 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -1%
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 (407 characters)

Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (907 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (505 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
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. (771 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
3.92/5  rDev -3%
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. (849 characters)

Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -1%
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. (449 characters)

Photo of themind
3.06/5  rDev -24.3%
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. (291 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (451 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (835 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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. (1,202 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (618 characters)

Dark Seas from Mission Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.