1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

101 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.64%
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
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 UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a 1/2 inch beige head that fades to a film of foam. Thin scraggly rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark roasted malts, caramel, and some citrus zest hops. Cocoa powder and slight coffee aromas emerge as the beer warms. Taste is of dark roasted malts, dark cocoa powder, caramel, with a slight hop finish. Mild bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. There is a low level of carbonation with this beer which makes for a somewhat thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good RIS and my first beer from Baird. It's very interesting that this is an American owned brewery in Japan. I will be seeking out more beers from this company for sure.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

zestar, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

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.

nmann08, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter '09 release. Midnight black with miniscule highlights on this overcast early summer morning. An increasingly elevated pour produced a bubbly crown of brown sugar colored cream that has plenty of interesting surface topography. Small spots and dots of lace do nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for the appearance. To be fair, a clingy sheet of thick lace sticks to the opposite side of the glass in the end.

The nose will be good if it opens up with warming (it does). There's a generous amount of roasted maltiness and fruity hoppiness. The latter is somewhat unusual at more than one year of age, but indications are that this RIS was pretty highly hopped right out of the gate.

Dark Sky Imperial Stout is good beer if you love the lupulins. It tastes and feels like it has both less malt and more hops than the style average. Some won't care for that slant on things, but my taste buds are fully onboard.

Specifics include bittersweet chocolate, black coffee, blackstrap molasses, raisin paste and a heapin' helpin' of grapefruit and lemon zest. There's almost certainly one or more of the American hop varieties (probably starting with the letter 'C') in this Japanese Russian Imperial stout.

The flavor is reminiscent of Bear Republic Big Bear Black, but isn't as abrasively hoppy (at this late date anyway). Warming doesn't change much, though it does fill the beer out a bit and creamify it as well. Alcohol is almost completely buried, which is no mean feat at 9.0%.

Dark Sky Imperial Stout follows the trail blazed by most of the BBC offerings that I've had so far. In other words, it's good to very good, without being outstanding. If you like the combination of roasted malt and American hops, seek this one out.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

And so the brewery at the foot of Mount Juji borrows Russian influence when adapting the roasty, alcoholic, and robustly flavors found in stout that shows that there's no limit to the flavors or techniques that influence their beers.

With a certain stouty appearance, the Dark Sky carries a nearly black coloration, if ever so tilted toward brownish hues because of the stain of roasted barley. A turbulent pour from the large format bottle yields a much lighter than expected carbonation that struggles to find a cask-like loosely knit head that's equally stained with tan. After relaxing a bit, the head settles like coffee creme and skirts the surface of the beer intermittently yet consistently.

The aromas of coffee and chocolate swirl about the nose with impressions of coffeehouse mocha lattes. Diving a bit deeper, the underpinnings of scorched toffee, rum-ish alcohol, and esters that belong to cherries, raspberries, vinous red grapes, and tawny port come to mind in the most savory and succulent aromas possible.

With a first draw off the rim, the flavors of the beer seem scattered with the taste of roasted coffeeish grain, cocoa powder, and ash. But as the subtle carbonation evens out, the beer reasonably light zest of carbon dioxide allows the beer to sit heavy on the tongue with an evenly and velvety coat of malt afterwards. Brownie batter, decedent espresso, and heavily caramelized molasses cling to the surface of the mouth with smothering charm.

Where the label boasts the integration of hop flavor and bitterness, I find those elements to be moderate if not understated. The bitterness of the beer are easily rendered from the coffee roast as much as it is from woodish hops. While pleasantly bitter and slightly astringent with the texture of grape skin and grain tannin, the finish is indefinite and powers through the warm alcohol thinning for a linger of robustly sweet malts that meld seamlessly with the next sip.

The pop of the cap provided the assurance of carbonation, but the pour caused caution to the eye. However, the beer's understated carbonation actually accents beer flavor in all its glory and all its flaws. In other words, the seduction of carbonation eludes the beer and leaves it wonderfully naked.

BEERchitect, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

westcoastbeerlvr, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

largadeer, Aug 05, 2014
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 RblWthACoz
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

RblWthACoz, May 09, 2012
Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -20.6%

oline73, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Rifugium, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Great start to the beige head. Oddly, it collapsed in the middle. Thin stringy lace after each each sip. Near black in color, no light shines through.

Clear chalky, chocolate aroma. Subtle sweetness.

The flavor has a touch of coffee and dark chocolate. Light hop gives more interest to the bitter flavor. The aftertaste comes closer to chocolate milk with a mild bitterness. Relatively thin body with moderate carbonation. Overall, an easy to drink Imperial Stout that is not on the extreme side.

smcolw, May 17, 2009
Photo of kojevergas
2.08/5  rDev -45%
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.

D

kojevergas, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark brown, nearing black with a dark tan head that slowly fades out into a mild cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is roasty, with caramel, cocoa, espresso, prunes, and "stuffed grape leaves" coming through.
Taste is of the above aromas with espresso, and vanilla flavors standing out.
Mouthfeel is gritty, full bodied, and slightly hot.

I'm glad I got a chance to try this one from Japan. It's been on my radar for quite some time.

weeare138, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +5.8%

wrightst, Jun 08, 2014
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 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 jdhilt
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a two finger khaki head that fades quickly to ring layer, leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Chocolate nose and flavor is roasted malty chocolate. High ABV is hidden. Not labeled a RIS but tastes like one. $9.99 for a 633ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, Vt.

jdhilt, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +5.8%

afsdan, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Latarnik, Aug 25, 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 liamt07
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Steve and Zach, 633ml into some tulips.

Poured black with a tan coloured head, some sticky lace and a creamy cap of retention. Nose has alot of hops, big black licorice notes and molasses. Soy and some dark fruits come through as well - some currant and stone fruits. Taste has more sweet licorice notes and hops which battle on the front end of the sip, before giving way to strong coffee and espresso like notes. Finish is sweet and roasty, with some alcohol. Medium full feel, with medium carbonation. Roasty coffee notes extend wayyy into the finish. A bit too hoppy for my liking within the style however.

liamt07, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours solid black in color with a huge fluffy khaki head that shows great retention and lace. Smells predominately of dark fruits, cherries and berries mixed with a little chocolate and roast. Earthy hops cut through some of the malt to balance things out a bit. Taste is a bit vinous. Roasted grains have been used sparingly but are present enough to provide some chocolate and coffee flavors. Caramel, fruit, and burnt sugar round out the flavors quite nicely. Medium to thick body, creamy smooth mouthfeel, Light level of carbonation. Wow this is a really good stout. Reminds me of Expedition a bit, well what I remember it to be. I didn't really get the torrential hop downpour that was promised me from the side of the label, but with no bottle dating I have no idea how fresh this is. Honestly its drinking great right now.

johnnnniee, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of wordemupg
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

633ml bottle poured into tulip April,4 2011

A near black with some cola at the edges, long lasting thumbs width of dark mocha head just cakes the side of the glass even after the foam falls to a thin film, no issues here

S milk and bakers chocolate with some faint coffee and mild dark fruits, decent but not overly complex

T a fair bit more going on in the mouth with some faint hops, a little licorice, smoke and some booze on top of what I smell

M could be a little thicker but still decent with just enough carbonation and lingering flavors

O nothing amazing but certainly nothing to be ashamed of either, a good stout at the end of the day

this ones well worth trying and perhaps worth seeing how it ages, but at over 10 bucks and with all these new beers flooding the market in Alberta I doubt I'll be aging more then a single bottle. quite easy to drink considering its 9% I just realized I've caught a buzz, oh well

wordemupg, Apr 05, 2011
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Dark Sky Imperial Stout from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
85 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.