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Dark Sky Imperial Stout - Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

Not Rated.
Dark Sky Imperial StoutDark Sky Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

98 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.9%
Wants: 6
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom visit their website
Japan

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 03-01-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by IronDjinn:
Photo of IronDjinn
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 633 ml brown bottle. Pours out a dense opaque black hue, with a tall spongy mocha coloured head that slowly settles to a thick cap.

Aroma reveals some coffee, molasses, dry roasty grains, black currants, some dark dried fruit.

Sharp roasty notes up front in the flavour, along with a burnt and sour character from the roasted malt, espresso, char, and a touch of smoke. Some molasses sweetness peaks on the finish along with chocolate. Charred roastiness lingers on in the aftertaste.

Medium-full bodied mouthfeel, creamy, velvety smooth texture, moderate carbonation.

My first impression is that this sits as an RIS more due to the abv% than its character. It an enjoyable strong stout in its own right, but lacks a few typical characteristics of a typical RIS. Quite dry, and nothing wrong with that, and also rather mild in flavour although it does deliver a bit of complexity. On a personal level it's missing some oomph, although a degree of refinement is a skill of craft on its own as well. I'm not inspired to grab another one of these, yet am happy I tried it, Baird makes pretty solid beers regardless.

IronDjinn, Jan 02, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of Hoops4life511
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle with no visible date poured into snifter.

Appearance - Poured an opaque black with a frothy patchy quarter inch tan head that falls to patches but leaves patches along the cap. Smell - Hop forward with a sweet molasses in the background. Some faint hints of plum and raisin. Pleasant aroma, I expected more roasty aromas though.

Taste/Mouth - Thin feel with a dry oatmeal like taste. Some malty sweetness with a dry bitter hop finish. Carbonation is mild and pleasant I just wish this had a fuller body, it could be a lot better.

Overall - Not bad, but not what I expected or hoped for. With a dark ominous label and a big aroma I expected to be wowed, but wasn't. Very average beer.

Hoops4life511, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of jondeelee
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Sky opens with a malty, yeasty nose that also bears a slight sourness, as of rising sourdough bread or marble rye dough. Black and chocolate malts are dominant, as are dark and sour fruit esters such as black cherry, fig, raisin, and prune. Some of the sour aromas may stem from a large hop addition, which does bring lemon/lime notes, as well as some grapefruit. As a whole, the nose is potent and nicely geared towards darker aromas, with just enough ash and tobacco to bring a smoky quality to what promises to be a sugary, chewy mouthful.

On the tongue, the beer opens with the same strangely sour notes detected in the nose, as in sourdough breads, lemon/lime sodas, and dandelion stems, these backed by a massive black and chocolate malt base that adds huge black coffee, tobacco, ash, and burnt offerings to the mix. The sourness lasts throughout the mouthful, not irritating or offputting, but definitely strange, as in when bright garlic-lemon collard greens are paired with the blackened ends of a well-done roast. These plant-stem notes become somehow more potent in subsequent mouthfuls, overpowering even the darker malts. The aftertaste is a continuation of the same, though the sour notes do die off faster than do the tobacco and ash flavors, leaving a more pleasant and familiar Imperial Stout memory. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium-light.

Overall, this is certainly one of the more strange Imperial Stouts I've tasted, and knowing the beer is from Japan, I couldn't help but make soy sauce associations with the sour notes present in the mouthful. My bottle lacks a born-on date, so I have no idea what aging has happened since this was bottled. The beer does seem out-of-balance, however, as the plant stem/soy sauce/sour notes actually distract from the far more sugary and dark base--a base that would be enjoyable, were it more apparent. The beer also suffers from a slight alcoholic bite, the 9% ABV not quite hidden.

jondeelee, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of pat61
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%

Winey and malty aromas, burnt grain, coffee
Bright dark brown under a 1" rocky tan tinted off-white foam cap.
Palate: It has the malt which starts at first but then it blossoms into a coffee, burnt grain astringency. The malt is a bit different here than in some of the other Imperial stouts. The roastiness of the grain is more prominent – it is a little drier and thinner than some of the other Imperial Stouts but then at the same time the flavors are very deep. There is some caramel in the flavor.
Medium to a shade less on the body, medium to medium high carbonation.

pat61, Sep 18, 2014
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another rare find at the SDIBF. A little more brown than black. Aroma was subdued, no noticeable chococoffee thing going on. Alcohol and wood aroma.

Taste, getting better, the coffee came out, deep burnt caramel. Making me think imperial porter instead of imperial stout. The alcohol is still there, but mellowing from where it was in the nose. Not as thick viscosity wise as many RIS. More bitter and hoppy than I was expecting. A unique RIS, its big negative for me is that it isn't thick enough. Reminiscient of home brew that the guy cuts corners cost production wise in the malt area for his stout.

With more heft, this could be a phenomenal beer, for now, its just unique and interesting, which isn't a bad thing.

Beerandraiderfan, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a bubble sticky film swirling on top. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide to the surface.
S- This beer has a smooth roasted black malt aroma with a deep red wine quality to it and a black grain hint in the finish. T- This beer has as big roasted chocolate flavor with a dark cola notes underneath. There is a red wine quality without the tannins. This beer has a slight tang in the finish with a roasted note and a nice bitter black note. There is a bourbon note without any booziness.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a texture that coats the mouth with each sip.
D- This beer has full flavor but all the mellow qualities making it mysterious smooth and good depth in subtly. There is a dark malt richness that still shows of the subtle complexities.

rhoadsrage, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

633ml bottle. Dark Sky - a very appropriate name for an RIS. The label artwork does this moniker justice in its usual restrained grandeur.

This beer pours a thorough, seamless black, save a slight mahogany basal edge when thrust into the light, and gives up two fat fingers of thick foamy beige head, which leaves a solid paint job of lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of bittersweet chocolate malt, some weirdly fleshy, earthy fruit, and mildly floral, weedy hops. The taste is toasted caramel malt, orchard fruit-infused milk chocolate, sweet red grapes, rosewater, bitter floral hops, and a slight booze undertone. The carbonation is well sedated, the body full in weight, smooth, and somewhat creamy, offset by some hop astringency. It finishes quite sweet, the fruity malt most predominant, with more Ottoman confection and boozy bitter hops rounding things out.

A very drinkable big stout - that bizarro-world fruitiness contributing to an enjoyably skewed stout experience.

biboergosum, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Dieu du Ciel's Japan taps special. Black body with some white head. Above average carbonation. Chocolate and coffee, centennial and amarillo hops, giving it an American experience. A bit of mould in there. Was not very complex, this is a fresh tap yet did not display its best on tour.

Sammy, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of Snow81
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as night with no light penetrating my beer

Head: Supper thick brown head

Smell: Dark roosted burnt malts with hints of coco and hints of a deep black liquorish

Taste: Roosted burnt malts, raisins, and butter coco

Weight: Medium to low body and very low carbonation

Finish: Roosted malts and floral hops

Snow81, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of H1N1
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black with a half finger of off white head after a super aggressive pour.

S- Sweet chocolate malts with not much else going on. A bit of alcohol. It's nice, but not very complex.

T- Much like the smell, but with a bit of coffee on the back. Even though it isn't complex, it's nice.

M- A little thin for a RIS. Average.

D- It's good, don't get me wrong, but nothing super special.

H1N1, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of basica
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Baird Beer Nakameguro Taproom in Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan - http://bairdbeer.com/en/taproom/nakameguro-taproom

A - Tapped a jet black color into a small taster glass yielding a large, round milky tan head (4.5)

S - Fresh roasted malts with some smokiness on the nose (4)

T - Pleasant leathery flavors upfront with roasted malts showing up in the middle; hop sneak in towards the finish, lasting well into the after taste along with roasted malts and a moderate bitterness. Generally very delectable stout flavors but more pronounced on the leather tastes than most stouts I have tried (4.5)

M - Light to medium bodied with an apt amount of carbonation and a very creamy smooth texture; I would prefer a slightly thicker body for this style. Goes down extremely quickly and easily (4)

D - One of the most refreshing Imperial Stout you can find; great flavors and mouth feel lends credence to its wonderful drinkability (5)

This was the second of 3 beers I sampled at Baird's Nakameguro Taproom. The other 2 beers I had were the Jubilation Ale 2010 and the West Coast Wheat Wine

basica, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of philipquarles
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown with a substantial, light brown head. Nice lacing. Smells of coffee, cocoa, and dark fruit. Dark, biscuity malt with very light alcohol burn. Dark roasty, almost burnt malt taste, with coffee and chocolate again. Raisins and brown sugar. Slight warming alcohol. Full bodied. Nice, refined stout that doesn't beat you over the head with extreme flavors.

philipquarles, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of cyrushire
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

cyrushire, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of madpentzer
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed off notes from a tasting at Beer U: Craft Beer Around the World at Stone Brewery.

A - Pours black, almost like motor oil, with a dark tan finger of head.

S - Aroma's of dark chocolate, coffee, and heavily roasted malts.

T - Lots of different flavors in this one. First, I pick up the roasted malts, almost as if they were smoked. Then, that is followed by chocolate and coffee.

M - This is thick, but not too much so. Has some carbonation, just enough to make it not flat.

O - This is by far the best beer I've had from Japan. Makes me want to travel there to check out the fishmarket taproom. Perfect to sip on with some dark chocolate or on its own.

madpentzer, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of akorsak
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Foofaa for sharing this 633 mL capped bottle. The label is very Hokusai-ian.

A: The stout is predictably black. There are no brown hues or off colors here, just darkness. A tan colored head stands in contrast to the ale.

S: The nose is amply roasted, burnt breads and the like. A strong streak of caramel cuts through the roasted notes, a brief dose of sweetness. Just a little bit of smokiness lingers around.

T: The stout is appropriately rich, both in the roasted and sweet departments. Burnt toast and dark breads follow an initial spurt of caramel (similar in sweetness to the nose). Seemingly out of place, a smokey flavor runs through the middle of each sip. The burnt flavors return with a bang, seeing the stout away with rich syrupy chocolate and roasted grains.

M: The mouthfeel runs all over the place, from roasted to caramel to syrup to sweet to smoke. The range of flavors makes the stout much more approachable.

D: I've been eyeing Baird for quite awhile now, so I'm glad to have tried it. It's worth tracking down again.

akorsak, May 01, 2010
Photo of Magery
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Magery, Sep 07, 2013
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a tiny head.
Nose shows roasted malt, dark chocolate, nutty notes and liquorice.
Pretty similar flavours but less complex, mainly roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee liqueur.
Needs more carbonation, pretty much flat at the moment.

CrazyDavros, Aug 26, 2013
Photo of bluejacket74
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

633 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head that stays around for a little while. Not much lacing. The aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and some coffee. The flavor is more bitter than I expected it to be since the aroma was sweeter. It tastes like dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and some licorice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating but it also seems thin for an imperial stout. The carbonation is low. I think it's a solid brew, but I was disappointed in this one since the other Baird beers I've tried in the past I liked a lot. I'd like to try this again in the future, but I think I'll wait a while before I do. $10.98 a bottle.

bluejacket74, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of ivyman
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

ivyman, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of u2carew
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A) Poured from a 22oz bomber. 99% opaque, 1% reddish hue. Thin creamy, tan head. Great lacing.
S) Roasted barley, chocolate, and a touch of caramel sweetness.
T) Smoky, slight alcohol effervescence, and a nice toffee sweetness.
M) Creamy, chewy, and hearty. Definitely a full bodied brew.
D) A well crafted and delicious stout.

u2carew, May 14, 2009
Photo of CaptainNomihodai
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

CaptainNomihodai, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of EgadBananas
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black body, with a creamy dark tanned head. leaves a nice lacing.

Aroma is mostly roasted malts, with a more herbal, minty hop note.

Chocolate, roasted malts, and a bit of coffee dance around with a fairly bitter hop bite and finish.

Creamy, medium to full body.

This might be a slightly aged bottle with the more muted hop notes, so I'd love to try a fresh bottle. It's still a pretty good stout.

EgadBananas, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

largadeer, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of richbrew
4/5  rDev +5.8%

richbrew, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -20.6%

oline73, Nov 15, 2011
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Dark Sky Imperial Stout from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
85 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.