Darkness - Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged - 2017 | Surly Brewing Company

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Darkness - Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged - 2017Darkness - Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged - 2017
BA SCORE
4.42/5
Outstanding
34 Ratings
Darkness - Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged - 2017Darkness - Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged - 2017
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
surlybrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SaxmanRick on 02-09-2018

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,875
Reviews:
11
Ratings:
34
pDev:
7.24%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
22
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by bbtkd:
Photo of bbtkd
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Surly Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged Darkness 2017, 12% ABV. Pours black with a real nice one finger brown head. Wondrous nose is whiskey, chocolate, dark fruit, and vanilla. Taste follows with slight sweetness and moderate bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel, overall outstanding. But not as outstanding as my final bottle of 2016 BA Darkness which I had a few weeks ago.

 383 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of SaxmanRick
4.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Regular Darkness is such an apex of this style (IMO) that barrel-aging almost seems unneeded. However, it is quite pleasant to see what this added step contributes to the breath of the experience.

Pours a very dark liquid with minimal head and just a slight lingering lacing.

Aroma is complex…Dark fruit, alcohol and, yes, rye whiskey.

Taste is Darkness PLUS…Roasted malts, chocolate/coffee/oak…plus brandy or cognac hints…plus a fabulous and significant selection of dark fruits – clearly driven by the proper hop additions.

BA Darkness is a variation – and a great one at that – but I wouldn’t pick this as my one and only (I might pick regular Darkness). Having a few of these in my cellar is the icing on my Darkness cake.

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Photo of MrUse
4.16/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Futbolmanby
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of morimech
3.97/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

No faulting the appearance of this beer with its sinister black color and dense head. Moderate amount of lacing is left behind. Strong aroma of licorice with more subtle hints of whisky, vanilla, dark fruit, blackstrap, earth, and alcohol. For barrel-aged, this is pretty weak with the barrel. Not getting a lot of whisky, oak, or vanilla in the flavor. The barrel is more for the aroma than a flavor component. The result is a hoppy stout with a slightly sweet, boozy kick in the finish. More than a bit disappointed considering the price point. I do get a lot of licorice and earth with some dried fruit. The body is big and bold but perhaps a bit over carbonated.

With every brewery in the state able to turn out a relatively decent barrel-aged stout, and a few better than BA Darkness, Surly either needs to seriously step up their game or get more reasonable with the price. There have been more than a few grumbles out there about this beer. And why does every vintage of this beer has a separate listing?

 1,013 characters

Photo of wshinevar
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Radcpa
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of gatornation
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice black color with a dark mocha head. Smell is spicy,hoppy, with wood,vanilla and roasted malt. Taste is chocolate forward its sweet and spicy, finishes with a mellow wood roast and light rye finish ...very good. Mouthfeel was sweet and on the thin side it was very smooth and silky and light on the rye barrel. This however is a very good BA RIS, its better than '16, no where near '15 (taste and barrel), but a great bottle to seek out.

 452 characters

Photo of hermit990
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SadMachine
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pkkosmatka
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Purp1eOne
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of atone315
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SFACRKnight
3.33/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kinda sad about this beer. Another uber hyped Midwest beer that landed on local shelves. Pours nicely, almost black with a dark brown head that dissipates quickly. Nose is booze, roast, burned sugars. That's all. No barrel, no rye whiskey. This beer is sweet. Brown sugar, booze, burned coffee. Mouthfeel is pretty thin for a big ass stout by today's standards. Overall, while I was initially put off by the sweetness it wasn't undrinkable. It's a throwback to the heyday of regional barrel aged stouts garnering hype. Colorado has ba yet I from the same period. But compared to beers like ba dark star, this beer is an antique.

 629 characters

Photo of AyatollahGold
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excited to try this. Will be my first Surly beer besides a Sierra Nevada collab. Not even had the base Darkness.
Well the beer pours a pitch black with a thin crown of caramel/mocha color. Love the color of the crown but would like a little more of it.
The smell surprises me with the rye that comes through. Rye, vanilla, cholcolate and a whiskey that leaves a sting in your throats after a deep breath.
The taste is much of the same. Has sweet notes of caramel, vanilla, chocolate and even molasses followed by the whiskey and the barrel. Even some slight tobacco notes. Really well balanced.
The feeling is warm all the way through. A little thinner on the body than you would expect from the style but not too thin. It works great.
Overall, I didn't know what to expect from this with threads of it not being good and then some arguing it is. Seemed like very mixed reviews. Well I guess I'm on the high side, because this is a very solid beer to me. Great balance and well made. Very multi dimensional. Thanks Surly.

 1,026 characters

Photo of Commandophile
4.99/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of CJCouillard
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of darktronica
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours thick and, well... dark. A thin layer of effervescent, audible head that quickly dissipates like a soda. Vinous notes from the base RIS that get amplified by the barrel treatment, which gives a very tempting level of rye spice, as well as some more Belgian esters of banana and clove, capped off by a full, nearly-perfect mouthfeel.

 338 characters

Photo of eawolff99
4.99/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Ristaccia
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gambyt20
4.04/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of GreenBayBA
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Evilyak
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm going to add Surly Darkness to the list of things that millenials have ruined. Used to be something you'd have to chase - now it's gathering dust at my local packie. These damn kids and all their new beers.

I wasn't as impressed with the base beer this year, but the barrel aging adds a nice element to it in the nose and there's definitely some spiciness from the rye. Cherry sweet.

I paid way too much for this bottle but I enjoyed it.

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Darkness - Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged - 2017 from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.42 out of 5 with 34 ratings