Dark Seas - Mission Brewery

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Dark SeasDark Seas

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

145 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 145
Hads: 620
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 4.21%
Wants: 38
Gots: 85 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 145 | Hads: 620
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 srandycarter
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (388 characters)

Photo of DoktorEd
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an actual glass, this beer is a fine example of what a strong stout should be. I detected a substantial caramel sweetness to accompany a pleasantly thick brew. Finishes slightly on the dry side but overall a great effort, extremely potent. (251 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (925 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (689 characters)

Photo of Boxus
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My second time having this on tap, around 1pm on St. Patrick's day. It's a wonderful RIS, very drinkable despite its double digit abv.

The pour is a nominal pitch black, with an almost maroon tan head, which dissipates with little lacing. Smell is a sea port at midnight, metal and driftwood with dark cherry and just a hint of pine.

Taste is fantastic, and very true to the name. I've always noticed an aquatic character in strong stouts, something mossy and salt-kissed. This beer dives deep, awash in exotic vegetation with a coastal pine finish. There is something metallic in the flavor, but it's that stout-metal that I love, and it gives me the feeling of being on a ship at midnight, just about to dock. The flavor is very dank, with an aftertaste of molasses that lays on a little thick. I would prefer this toned down slightly, but I do appreciate how the pungent flavors enhance the deep-sea sensation that is this beer's signature. Mouthfeel is rich and thick but it goes down very smoothly. Considering the abv, it is remarkably well balanced and drinkable. This is a distinct sort of imperial which I really enjoy and will return to again. (1,156 characters)

Photo of Brushkanna
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark dark black body, someone wrote "pitch black", head is dark chocolate brown and comes back with a swirl of the glass
Smell - light smell with a little alcohol vapor wafting up, when does a smell on a stout really come up very much?
Taste - love this kind of dark toasted malty stout, more on the sweeter side, not bitter almost tastes like a it is made with lactose sugar
Mouth - great mouth, lasting chocolate coat in the mouth
Overall - I really like Imperial stouts like this, not to bitter but dark full flavored, give this one a try (554 characters)

Photo of sergio1va
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (533 characters)

Photo of HuaJiao
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (432 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 dmgeng
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've really enjoyed everything from Mission that I've tried and I figured a ~10% stout would for sure be a winner.

A - Very dark brown color when poured but black in the glass. Mostly clear but difficult to see from the dark color. Brown colored head with moderate lacing.

S - Sweet roasty aroma with chocolate, toffee, malt, and coffee tones mixing well. The chocolate and roasted smells seem to stick out but it is relatively complex.

T - Very similar to the smell this beer and has complexity but is coasting on the chocolate/roasted notes that are very characteristic of a delicious stout. There is a sweet roasty character that is predominant and has some coffee tones that compliment. It is a powerful flavor that is very delicious.
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M - Moderate to high mouth-feel. Light carbonation perfect for the style. Not as heavy as other imperial stouts but isn't as cloying as others too.

Overall, this is a delicious imperial stout. Not the best imperial stout I've ever had but is still very good with a tilt toward the chocolate side. I prefer the little thicker and boozier but this is a good middle ground between a barrel-aged and an export stout. I would definitely get this again and would recommend it to any dark beer fan and I look forward to trying the barrel-aged version in the future.

Glass- Snifter (1,321 characters)

Photo of Thads324
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Been waiting so long for this one
Pours jet black like the dirtiest emgine oil. Thin dark brown head that fizzles to the edges and sticks there. The deep dark head looks amazing, you can tell this is a big brew.
Aroma is sweet plums, a hint of roast and coffee. A bit of dark caramel. Mild but nice.

Flavor Starts with a bitter jolt of dark bittersweet chocolate. Espresso and cream flavors, finishing dry with mild bitterness of earth and oak. It's more chocolate than I anticipated, but still big and roasty as well. The caramel sweetness on the end brings everything together nicely! Warming and inviting for more.

Mouthfeel is heavy but smooth. No harshness from the roasted malt and while the alcohol is apparent, it's balanced in the flavor.

Clean, smooth, tasty and drinkable. I wish I had more. (806 characters)

Photo of santomark
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a Coca Cola type darkness and glow in the light. Very little head, less than one finger. Carbonation Is bubbly.

S - Very balanced breathe of many aspects, chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, fruits, figs, barley, molasses. Smells like a fantastic stout.

T - Big roasted malts up front, toffee, slight chocolate, there's this break in the sip which reminded me of an "Eye In A Storm". After the roasted notes, you get a slight taste from the ABV. Then ends with this sweet and dryness and that is very inviting for another sip.

M - Glad I got this on a cold night. Very heavy in the body, dryness from the roastedness. Mild to medium carbonation.

O - This is a great stout. For being an Imperial/Double, it's very drinkable as if it were a lightered bodied stout. The taste is inviting, very comforting for this fine cold day. I really enjoyed this and wouldn't mind this in a 4pck... Adds variety when deciding between Old Rasputin. (951 characters)

Photo of dtivp
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black with a half of a finger dark mocha head that fades rapidly into a thin ring with light lacing.

Aroma is light with notes of dark chocolate and burnt malt with a slight booziness.

Taste follows the nose with dark bitter chocolate, burnt malt, burnt oak and a touch of alcohol.

Mouth Feel is medium leaning full body, very light carbonation, smooth yet dry with a slight bitter charcoal after taste and some alcohol warming.

Overall this is a very nice imperial stout would recommend it. (509 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
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...). (1,621 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 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 Cylinsier
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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. (518 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (1,009 characters)

Photo of jd18
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (257 characters)

Photo of JesseCap_13
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into snifter

A: Poured midnight black with a tan one finger head which did not linger long

S: dark chocolate, roasted malts, slight hops very faint though.

T: The taste follows the nose with dark chocolate. Roasty malts, and very slight hint of a dark fruit for the sweetness, maybe plum?

M: Medium to full bodied. Alcohol content is definitely apparent however it is masked and blends very smoothly and is complimented by the dark chocolate notes. Low carbonation

Overall very tasty, a great sipper and a very good RIS, will definitely be having this again (582 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looks nice. Dark chocolatey body. The head is dark brown with black highlights. The head melts from the side of the glass. I smell medium and dark roasted malts, lactose, and some chocolate. This smells nice. The taste has all of the characteristics of a RIS, but this one is richer, and heavy on the roast. Nice balance of sweetness and roast. There is some faint twang on the backend. I need more body and substance. The feel could use some work, but it isn't bad...

Overall - The smell is very nice. They did a good job with that. The taste is up there. Everything comes together well. (607 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 Drinkerofales
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
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 (597 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (519 characters)

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