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

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next › last »
Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BDTyre
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BDTyre, Aug 29, 2010
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 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 yeahnatenelson
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours jet black, with thin layer of light tan head that quickly disappears.

Smell -- Dark roast, raisin, toffee, milk chocolate, coffee, and a hint of licorice.

Taste -- Lots of chocolate and caramel, raisin, and earthy hop and burnt roast flavor to temper the sweetness.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-heavy body, incredibly smooth, no alcohol perceptible.

Drinkability -- This is a tasty brew. A little on the sweet side, but nowhere near cloying. It's a little one-dimensional, but that one dimension is pretty satisfying. Not mind-blowing, but so drinkable it's worth a repeat.

yeahnatenelson, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.25/5  rDev -14%
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.

ThreeWiseMen, May 27, 2010
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 DarkerTheBetter
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gilgemesh for this one!

Looks quite dark, a deep dark brown rather with a few hints of port sneaking in around the edges of my glass. The head is a smooth tan and even film.

Smells of sweet, sticky barely that fades into milk chocolate with a soft toasty coffee beneath to give it some balance.

The flavor begins quite sedate, with a soft tickle of coffee along the sides of my tongue. This quickly unfolds into a more pronounced and robust smoky coffee that lingers long into the finish. Successive sips seem to burn this coffee into my mouth. Beneath I catch glimpses of ginger bread and molasses cookies.

Feels a bit big and sluggish although dry enough to finish clean.

Nice. Reminds me of other takes on the style that I remember fondly.

DarkerTheBetter, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black in color. Nice sized tan head on top. Moderate aroma of roasted malt and cocoa. Big chocolate flavor upfront. Nice grainy flavor. Moderate hop bite to it. Not overly complex-failry straight forward taste wise. Decent body-has a mellow softness to it with a somewhat dry finish. Very drinkable beer. Not overly done or in your face. Nice to try a Japanese craft brew.

lackenhauser, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of tai4ji2x
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

tai4ji2x, Oct 30, 2009
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 hopdog
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

hopdog, Aug 14, 2009
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 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 spointon
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 22oz brown bomber bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This stout poured a deep dark jet-black color. When held up to the lamp, this one was not letting any light through. The foamy dark tan head poured 3/4" and quickly settled to a 1/8" cap. Some nice streaky and spotty lacing down the glass.

S= I found aromas of sweet dark malts, dark chocolate, roasted espresso beans, dark ripe fruit, and some alcohol presence. This was dark, dark, dark!

T= Pretty much a carbon copy of the aroma report - roasted cocoa and coffee beans, ripe cherries and plums, a rich yet tart vinous flavor and a sizeable alcohol character. The finish was full of warmth, dry, and possessed a slight bitterness from the roasted grain notes.

MF= Heavy full body with a creamy and moderately carbonated feel.

D= A pretty solid example of the style and one that I would drink again. A sipper for sure though!

spointon, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of yemenmocha
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tobacco shop & chocolate are dominant in this beer. Appearance is disappointing with modest head, and the nose is somewhat tepid as well. However, the aforementioned tobacco and chocolate flavors make it worth the effort, especially on the finish. It reminds me of that thick hot chocolate I had in Spain.

yemenmocha, May 19, 2009
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 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 LilBeerDoctor
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
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
(3.3/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of MPLS
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this one for its exclusivity factor and the fact that Minnesota is still freezing.

Poured a couple of glasses from the odd shaped bomber to a snifter.

A: Opaque, dark, brown, minimal head, moderate lacing.

S: Roasted malts, faint chocolate, alcohol, sweet soy sauce.

T: Similiar to the smell, melted chocolate dipped in coffee soy sauce? Up front it's sweet, followed with a charred alcoholic bitterness.

M: What a softy, was hoping for something a bit more viscous.

D: Had fun drinking the bomber, this guys lacks the complexity of what I've come to expect. This stout could have had a fuller body and made better attempts at masking the alcohol.

MPLS, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of SargeC
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly hazy, black brew. Almost has a touch of grey. Minimal tan head.

Smell: Bold roast malt, cherries, fig and alcohol. Undertone of hops for good measure.

Taste: Very dense malt flavor balanced well with a touch of hops. Semi sweet with a warm wave provided by the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Not as sticky as many imperial stouts. The alcohol is evident in the mouthfeel.

Drinkablity: Very complex and tasty. It was a treat to find a well crafted imperial stout in Japan.

SargeC, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of BretSikkink
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Side note: the label on this beer is absolutely gorgeous. This is very fine quality, from the pleasing color palate of the Meiji style painting to the matte finish of the paper. Baird means business.

Dark, oily looking liquid. Moving right up to the cusp of black and sticking a toe out. The foam builds some momentum from large bubbles to a fairly tightly packed brown head. After the first glass, some lacing is evident, and more follows. Looks like there are some hops in this beverage!

The nose is quite strong, with elements of roasted barley, dark fruit, and the unmistakable waft of American hops. Coffee and caramel play off each other, figs and raisins dance 'round the fire, and for complexity there's a large dosage of peppery, spicy hops that lend a nice pine, herbal edge. A lot of character in the nose; I'm really impressed.

The flavor is the equal of the nose, which is wonderful. Chocolate is more apt than coffee as a descriptor, although it would definitely be bittersweet. Caramel and toffee also make an appearance, later in the flavor cycle. There is an herbal component as well - the hops are quite prominent and earthy. Star anise is somewhere in the mix, with a tiny bit of mouth-numbing going on. Is this as complex and palate-shattering as the best R.I.S.s on the planet? Maybe not. But it's very well balanced, and there's plenty of complexity and character to go around.

Smooth, velvety soft mouthfeel. Not hugely full, but definitely solid. The finish is acrid and burnt, and lasts long. Alcohol is prominent, but not over the top of all the other outgoing characteristics. The generally large amount of bitterness start to finish caused the "low" score in drinkability - I actually really like it, but I'm not looking to drink more than the 533 cL provided me.

Dark Sky is a really well put together beer. It's going up against some nasty competition amongst other members of its style, but I would bring this to a tasting with The Abyss, Speedway, and Peche Mortel. It's really terrific, and if you see one, don't sleep.

BretSikkink, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of Naerhu
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pitch black body with nice thick dark brown head.
S - Mellow by deeply coffee aroma, with sweet prune finish.
T - Delicious rich coffee flavors dominate, almost too rick, amazingly long lasting finish. Well balanced with restrained bitterness and sweetness.
M - Thick heavy and syrupy.
D - This is definately like a port wine, not a wine cooler, in that you have to sip it slowly or it will be too much. A bottle lasted me 90 minutes.

Naerhu, Apr 14, 2007
« first ‹ prev | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next › last »
Dark Sky Imperial Stout from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
85 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.