1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

95 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 11.94%
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
Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 71 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ultraman9000
Ultraman9000

California

4.03/5  rDev +6.9%

22oz bottle into my Great Divide snifter.

A: Pours dark with a coffee/beige head of around 1/3", later fades to a bubbly film with fair lacing on the sides. Certainly looks the part for an RIS.

S: Roasted malts, toastiness, a bit of dark chocolate, and hops backing it all up well.

T: Taste matches the nose pretty well, with a bit of vanilla joining the party and a pleasant balance of bitterness from the dark malts and hops. With a bit of warming, the vanilla flavor sticks on the tongue longer, but never becomes cloying.

M: Carbonation level is spot on, and the less-than-thick body (compared to some more viscous RIS) actually makes this stout dangerously easy to drink.

O: A solid RIS from a Western-inspired Japanese brewery that really does a good job of balancing a few select flavors (as opposed to the "kitchen sink" approach of some other big stouts) and doesn't overwhelm even after 3-4 glasses. Definitely worth checking out!

07-10-2011 11:08:56 | More by Ultraman9000
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.95/5  rDev +4.8%

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.

06-01-2011 02:12:10 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of ADZA
ADZA

Australia

3.98/5  rDev +5.6%

I love the artwork on the label and the name and the brew pours an impressive dark as night black hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a creamy two finger cappicino laced two finger head and lacing all over the place,the smell is a mix of aromas of raisins,dark bitter chocolate,coccoa nibs and dark fruity hops,the mouthfeel is nearly perfect for me as it is full bodied yet perfectly carbonated and feels extra smooth and the taste is no far off either with hints of strong dark bitter coffee,milky dutch chocolate,dark grapes and finished with a nice tinge of dark fruity bitter hops and overall in my mind a beautiful example of a RIS and a must try from this fine Japanese brewery.

05-15-2011 09:25:22 | More by ADZA
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +8.2%

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.

04-27-2011 02:48:14 | More by biboergosum
Photo of madpentzer
madpentzer

California

4.38/5  rDev +16.2%

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.

04-19-2011 21:05:46 | More by madpentzer
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +6.9%

Purchased from Julio's after a Japan benefit tasting. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - A nice deep brown/black pour with a big, dense two finger dark mocha head that never really disappears, with big thick side lacing. Considering the ABV, this is almost exceptional.

S - Nice roasty malts and espresso notes. Not getting much in the way of hops, or chocolate. Just nice coffee notes.

T - Similar to the nose with that big bold roasted malt notes upfront. The coffee qualities are throughout and at the very end, almost as an aftertaste, I get the faintest hop bitterness.

M - While this does feel just the slightest thin, it still has the ability to stand up. Definately wish this was thicker feeling though.

O - This is a very tasty stout from a Japanese brewery. Quite impressive. I'm okay with the lack of chocolate, and slightly weaker mouthfeel as this is still quite the standout stout. Really impressed by Baird's offering.

04-16-2011 06:14:02 | More by rudzud
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +2.9%

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

04-05-2011 02:07:27 | More by wordemupg
Photo of Trilogy31
Trilogy31

California

3.53/5  rDev -6.4%

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.

04-04-2011 04:28:51 | More by Trilogy31
Photo of Hoops4life511
Hoops4life511

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -14.3%

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.

03-29-2011 23:25:47 | More by Hoops4life511
Photo of Snow81
Snow81

Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +8.8%

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

03-22-2011 05:45:37 | More by Snow81
Photo of Naugros
Naugros

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +2.1%

Okay, I won't go through the whole "it's not black, it's opaque dark brown" again, so let's leave that as rote. It looks like a stout. The end...on to the smell.

So we've got some roast, but not quite as much as other stouts. Some chocolate and molasses tones, no coffee. A very slight bourbon-like booze is underneath the malts. Kind of sort of smells like a stout.

The chocolate comes to the forefront on the tongue and the roastiness really ramps up and exhibits the coffee tones we know and love from a stout. The booze is there as well but it's more vinous than bourbony.

Nice and viscous, this one's pretty chewy and perhaps the most assured sign that they did something right on this one. Not fair, they did a lot right, but they got the mouthfeel more right than the rest of it.

This is a stout from Japan and I have to say that they've done a yeoman's job of it. It's tasty and thick and would stand up well to all the foods that any other imperial stout would stand up to. oh, and I really love the label. Kamikaze!

03-10-2011 01:32:47 | More by Naugros
Photo of SolomonGrundy
SolomonGrundy

California

3.98/5  rDev +5.6%

Let's dispense with the pleasantries, shall we: $9.99/bomber and 9% ABV....Expensive...

Dense, opaque black - now with EXTRA black - with only the faintest blood red tint at the edges when held up against the light. Nice, creamy tan head that persists. Splotchy lacing.

Aromas are super-unique and interestingly robust. I get tons of roasty chocolate malt, but also something akin to barrel-aging, but unsure what kind of barrel. Almost like the Haandbryggeriet Akkevit porter style in the nose. Very nice and nuanced. It's like black licorice and vanilla mixed together...

Flavor is a lot like the aroma. Very unique and robust. TONS of chocolate malt throughout the drink. Front and early middle punctuated by that licorice/vanilla thing. The harshness of the malt is really masked by a wonderful creamy texture. Nicely hopped, too, as the finish really balances out well. The roasty malt carries long into the night. Very nice beer, but expensive.

What I like most: The unique and nuanced flavor profile.

What I like least: the price and touch of alcohol in the finish.

Verdict: very nice and robust ale, but wicked expensive. Worth trying if you see it.

03-08-2011 02:01:28 | More by SolomonGrundy
Photo of snogglethorpe
snogglethorpe

Japan

3.95/5  rDev +4.8%

Black, but with an oddly white chunky head.

Smell is inviting, a little bit of alcohol.

Taste/mouthfeel is thick, roasty, satisfying. Pretty much exactly as one wishes for a stout. Alcohol comes forward a bit too much, but the taste is still very nice.

Because the ABV is so high, it's kind of hard to indulge as much as one might wish, but this is a very nice beer in small quantities.

It'd be cool if Baird would try making a lower-ABV version of this...

02-17-2011 02:21:16 | More by snogglethorpe
Photo of basica
basica

Singapore

4.45/5  rDev +18%

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

02-02-2011 15:25:25 | More by basica
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.63/5  rDev +22.8%

The first whiff of this beer was surprisingly yeasty, but subsequent sniffs caught the aroma of a good imperial stout: smoky with tones of roast coffee, molasses and unsweet chocolate, as well as a hint of miso. It pours a rich, opaque sable with a fairly thick, fine-bubbled tan head that leaves quite a bit of lacing. Mouth filling smoky flavor has tones of quality coffee, chocolate, caramel, licorice and toffee. There is also a fair alcohol kick, but this complements the rich flavor rather than overwhelming or even dominating it. Flavor is quite tingly and edgy, hardly smooth, thanks to a strong fizz and the alcohol bite. Recommended to all stouties.

01-09-2011 23:45:20 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of brendan13
brendan13

Australia

3.58/5  rDev -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!

12-04-2010 11:55:39 | More by brendan13
Photo of Patrick999
Patrick999

Florida

3.7/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured into a DFH glass. Good dark color, formative but manageable head.

Has a little bit of that cherry nose you sometimes find in imperial stouts. Some citrus hop, but more of a roasted and chocolate character.

This is on the lighter side of imperial stout. It's relatively hoppy too - with the moderate body and not overwhelming malt, this comes close to crossing over into Black IPA territory, in my opinion. A little more roast than you would find in that style, though. Bright citrusy hop and minor maple sweetness.

I was looking for more heft from this in terms of the malt, but still, not a bad beer.

11-28-2010 20:56:21 | More by Patrick999
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

2.93/5  rDev -22.3%

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.

11-24-2010 19:26:29 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +6.9%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of foamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: An OK smell of roasted malt, chocolate, and a little coffee.

T: Tasted of chocolate malt, with a little roasted quality, coffee, and a slight hoppiness. Not quite as robust or powerful as a typical RIS, but still pretty good.

M: An average amount of carbonation with a mostly dry finish. Medium-bodied. Not as chewy as others of the style.

D: A solidly drinkable beer.

10-06-2010 12:39:01 | More by avalon07
Photo of H1N1
H1N1

British Columbia (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -8.5%

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.

10-01-2010 09:02:53 | More by H1N1
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +4.8%

Pours black and thick with a nose that opens up as it warms up. I detect some smokiness on the nose which also is in the finish. Thick mouthfeel but not terribly complex. This is good Impy stout that falls short of being great. The alcohol is not really noticeable and adds to the drinkability of the beer

09-08-2010 01:35:26 | More by canucklehead
Photo of jpmclaug
jpmclaug

South Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -15.6%

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.

09-01-2010 00:08:16 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of BDTyre
BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -3.2%

Nice sort of cross between an imperial stout and a baltic porter. Black-brown, mahogany with a coffee and cream head.

Noticeable warmth and alcohol burn in the nose. Wine-like character. The malts almost seem to be hidden behind the alcohol.

Mild hop bitterness and coffee-ish malts in the taste. A little bit sour and bitter - verging on the baltic porter side of things.

Good mouthfeel, but a bit on the light side. I expected this to be a bit "chewier."

Not a bad beer - a bit one dimensional in the flavour and the alcohol is a bit too prominent in the scent. Good, but could be better.

08-29-2010 04:26:59 | More by BDTyre
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.69/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

07-13-2010 16:46:57 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.1/5  rDev +8.8%

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.

06-08-2010 14:24:26 | More by BuckeyeNation
Dark Sky Imperial Stout from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
85 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.