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Dark Sky Imperial Stout - Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

Not Rated.
Dark Sky Imperial StoutDark Sky Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

74 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 124
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 11.67%
Wants: 6
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 03-01-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 74 | Hads: 124
Photo of kojevergas
2.1/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

633ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Wally's Wine in Westwood, California. Expectations are average. Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over time. Not paired with food.

A: Pours no head whatsoever - excepting traces of floating tan foam on the edges. Colour is a solid off-black. Not real appealing, especially for the style. 9.00% doesn't excuse how bad/nonexistant this head is. The colour is suspect; it isn't quite black.

Sm: Roast and hops. Some light chocolate. Caramelized malt. A light to mild strength aroma overall.

T: Some roast and caramel alongside some hops. Imbalanced and badly built for the style. The lack of sufficient carbonation lends it a watery character, and it might even be a bit astringent. Some alcohol does come through. The hops are nice. I don't like it.

Mf: Horribly undercarbonated/flat. Smooth and wet. Too thick; a bit syrupy.

Dr: Difficult to drink because of its bad flavour and lack of carbonation. Not in any way refreshing. The ABV is poorly concealed. I'd never get this again, and I'll be regarding any future beers from this brewer with heavy skepticism. Inexcusable. This beer never should have made it to market.


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Photo of SawDog505
2.68/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip. Pours a very dark brown with a half inch of tan head with a very aggressive pour, little nervous something isn't right with this brew, but there is some spotty lacing. Smell is chocolate, coffee, molasses, and tobacco. Taste is dark chocolate, coffee, tobacco, and dark fruit. Body is thin, very little carbonation, dry even for the style, and not overly drinkable because of lack of life and body. Very big let down and I really don't think it was a spoiled bottle, because there was some carbonation and some lacing. First time ever saying this, but this my last bottle of this ever.

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Photo of smb
2.71/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Barely carbonated, maybe oxidized? Nice chocolate malt aroma, follows through with some of that on the palette but just falls flat (literally), not terrible but definitely not good. This comes off like a home brew experiment to me.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The color is black with brownie highlights at the top of the beer. Just a little foam after the pour that leaves a very thin latte like film.

Heavy roasted nose gives off aromas of black coffee and dark chocolate. The alcoholseems to cut the nose a little short with a stand alone heat. The alcohol dominates instead of incorporates the aromas of the malt a little too much.

The taste starts a little musty and boozey. The middle mellows out with creamy mocha, dark brick chocolate, and 7-11 black coffee. The finish is a boozey coffee with just a drop of Bailey's.

The palate is warm and comforting. But not as inviting to take another sip. This is not a session beer of course, but the flavors along with the palate raen't very conducive to a fully enjoyable, sipping RIS.

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Photo of hopdog
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

633ml bottle shared courtesy or weewee138 (thanks!).

Poured a dark black with brown edges and a small sized off white head. Aromas of roastiness, chocolate, coffee/coffee grounds, and caramel. Tastes of chocolate, lighter roastiness, and lighter coffee.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of sweet molasses, roasted malt, and a touch of smoked meats. Flavor of sweet roasted and charred malt. Mostly just sweet and boring. No real flavor at all. A let down.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 6/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 13/20

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Stone IRS snifter. Grabbed this at CBX the day of the BA Blackbeerd release.

A - Black body with a slight brown head. Lots of bubbles ran up the side for an amazing appearance when this was first poured.

S - Light notes of chocolate and roast. Not too much aroma though.

T - Decent mix of chocolate and a light roast but not really what I was expecting from a 9.0% RIS. Slightly lingering bitterness but man this is just lacking. What a let down.

M - Another let down here. medium bodied with a light carbonation. Not a RIS body at all

D - I mean this is decently drinkable but I was hoping for a beast of a RIS. Oh well. This was worth trying but I don't see myself picking it up again.

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Photo of Hoops4life511
3.28/5  rDev -13%
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.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a 12oz. snifter.

Appearance: A standard pour nets a quarter inch of foamy, brown head. It slowly recedes to bubbly patches and a thin halo, but it drags nice, web-like lacing all the way down. Body is black and totally opaque. Looks medium-bodied for the style.

Smell: Cocoa, molasses, dark chocolate, and figs. Certainly roasty, but those aforementioned sweet aromas really make this one. I get more and more fig as it warms, accompanied by blackberries. Nicely done!

Taste: Smoke and char do a number on the taste buds, making themselves especially known in the aftertaste. Caramel, blackberries, and something acidic (thinking another dark fruit) are also in there. Finishes pretty acrid. Tastes fruitier as it warms (and I become more buzzed), but overall it's not that much better.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-light bodied for an RIS. Carbonation is light and prickly. Finishes dry, and aftertaste is long-lasting. Meh.

Drinkability: As I reach the end of this 22oz. bomber, I'm still enjoying the smell. It tastes better than it did initially, and I'm OK with the mouthfeel. With that said, I'm totally indifferent about Dark Sky at this point.

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Photo of Sammy
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eh. This beer lack balance. Too malty tangy with a sweet edge that just doesn't work. There are some mild smoked tones that don't mesh well at all. It's lacking and poorly constructed. Doesn't work at all for me. A shame too, considering the price.

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Photo of H1N1
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

unusual 633ml/1pt,5.4oz size. no date or batch code found. tasted in late may/early june 2009. poured into tulip glass.

opaque, jet black, w hints of brown under direct light. nearly 2-finger medium brown head, gradually fading to sudsy bubbles and thin creamy wisps. a few splotchy rings of lace.

aroma: roasted malts and dark caramel w hints of dried cherry. wood note? (cedar?) earthy hops in the back, mixing w coffee tones. esters in the back, but whiffs of alcohol become apparent too.

taste: caramel, almost molasses, and touch of fruit. some earthy hops and roast, w coffee tones lingering into the aftertaste. moderate to bold bitterness. all a bit boozy and alcoholic however.

medium body, somewhat smooth, but astringent alcohol seems to thin things out. mild to moderate carbonation gives tingle, but is relatively neutral in overall effect.

an interesting attempt, but needs a touch more complexity and a lot less alcohol presence.

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Photo of champ103
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A one finger tan head forms, good retention. Light lace.
S: Roasted malt, plenty of sweetness. Caramel, vanilla, chocolate, coffee.
T: Follows the nose, and pretty standard for a stout. Roasted malt, caramel sweetness, coffee, lots of chocolate.
M/D: A medium-full body. Low carbonation and on the thin side. Not hard to sip on, but one is enough.

Not bad at all, but just average. Enjoyable to try once, but a one and done for me.

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Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

On draft, pours jet black, very still, looks like used motor oil, a little head, but not much.

The smell is alot of roast, dark chocolate, bitter coffee rinds, nutty, and just a bit of fruity hops. The flavor is roast bitter chocolate, rice, toast, roasted malts and a little licorice. It comes together well for an easy drinking finish. The alcohol is hidden well, but a few of the flavors (rice note) come out too strong for me.

This makes me think of an American beer more than what I would expect from Japan.

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: black with tan head. No lacing.

Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, some hop presence.

Taste: roasted malt, chocolate, a bit hoppy.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth.

Overall: A good imperial stout. Not very complex. Good drinkability.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmm. I would never have guessed this was from Japan. But anyway. Standard stout appearance, dark brown-black--might as well call it black--with a small cap of tan head that receded to a ringlet, leaving some spotty lacing on the glass. Dark roasty malts in the nose, toasted pumpernickel, some vaguely citrus hop notes. Similar in the taste, roasted malts, toasted dark bread, spent coffee grounds, touch of smoke, anise and raisins, faint but noticeable hoppy oils. Body was medium, maybe a tad thin for the style. Decent overall, but nothing I'd see myself going back for.

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Photo of Trilogy31
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black with a dark tan head. Nice carbonation and leaves light lacing. Smells of dark coffee, some earth and bakers chocolate after some searching. Flavor of toasted smoky malts, coffee and some dark fruits. A bit astrigent but still drinkable just not very complex. Solid effort and good but far from spectacular.

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Photo of Ego
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2 full fingers of dark cocoa head, black but not totally impenetrable, a good amount of carbonation traffic is observed, the head layers out in near flawless fashion, lacing and legs embrace in this very sweet looker, the head fades at a reasonable pace, but mostly this is a really solid looking brew

boozy raisins, some dry chocolate, a bit of wood must, caramel malts just peeking out from around the corner, nice but nothing amazing

taste etc...
follows the aroma with a bit more depth though, the carbonation makes this drink light but when that initial lightness fades a heavy flavor is laid on ya, the initial blasts are a bit too much in the raisin department for this old beerhound.... it is a bit distracting, the ABV is well hidden on this so... watch out. I suppose the best aspect of this brew is the nice lingering bitter chocolate tone left in your mouth for quite the long after glow...

pretty good. it almost strays into barleywine taste territory a bit for me but not bad.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of brendan13
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very dark brown with a 3cm beige head that slowly falls away.
S - Some chocolate roastiness quickly gives way to a rich caramel maltiness. Some whiskey like peat aroma is there which is suprising given this is not -bal aged.
T - Much like the smell, this is tasting like a whiskey -bal aged Imperial Stout. Very sweet chocolate and rich caramel.
M - Quite full bodied with carbonation on the lower side of medium.
D - A very nice beer but pretty full on. I'd drink it again but I have a feeling it's gonna be a struggle to get through a whole bottle by myself.
So to reiterate, a tasty beer worth seeking out but find a beer nerd friend to drink it with!

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of shigg85
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this again after a few years, and I found it to be really sugary. That's pretty much it. It's a tasty stout, but I look for something more than that in a Russian with 10% ABV.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of silentjay
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark brown to black with a big-bubbled mocha head that quickly dissipates while leaving behind some good lacing.

lots of dark fruits and molasses as well as some tropical fruit hoppiness that makes for an odd aroma that isn't bad by any means.

flavor is a lot more roasted and a bit chalky with just a bit of dark fruits and some woody hops. cacao and a touch of coffee come in to play, though were not evident in the aroma.

medium bodied and syrupy with just a touch of carbonation and a drying chalky finish.

not bad. But it doesn't compare at all to the best of the style. Would drink it again, but not buy it.

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Dark Sky Imperial Stout from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
85 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.