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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

90 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.17%
Wants: 6
Gots: 5 | 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: 90 | Reviews: 70 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Alberta (Canada)

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

Serving type: bottle

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

California

3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

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

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

Serving type: bottle

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

California

3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Japan

3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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...

Serving type: on-tap

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

Singapore

4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

Serving type: on-tap

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

Georgia

4.63/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Australia

3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

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

Florida

3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Illinois

2.93/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

British Columbia (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

British Columbia (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

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

South Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

British Columbia (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Nevada

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Iowa

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 14:24:26 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2010 01:15:44 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 01:45:59 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 14:27:09 | More by akorsak
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 16:39:16 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 23:09:32 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Dark Sky Imperial Stout from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
85 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.