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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

104 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 12.2%
Wants: 6
Gots: 8 | 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: 104 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Patrick999
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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.

Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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.

Photo of canucklehead
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of jpmclaug
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Photo of BDTyre
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

Photo of akorsak
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of hopdog
3.13/5  rDev -17%
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.

Photo of philipquarles
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of spointon
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

Photo of yemenmocha
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of u2carew
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
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)

Dark Sky Imperial Stout from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
85 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.