Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

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DarknessDarkness
BA SCORE
4.48/5
Outstanding
3,996 Ratings
DarknessDarkness
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
This listing is ONLY for Darkness that is NOT barrel-aged, which excludes all of the 2014 bottles, all of which were aged in whiskey barrels. 2014 has a separate entry (http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/13014/141724/). Any subsequent years that have barrel aged variants, indicated by gold wax and lettering, also have their own separate entries.

Labels:
2007 - Grim Reaper
2008 - Devil
2009 - Mummy
2010 - Vampire
2011 - Zombie
2012 - Werewolf
2013 - Brewcifer
2014 - Harpy
2015 - Bat
2016 - Cerberus
2017 - Witch

Added by ryantupy on 10-08-2006

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#179
Reviews:
910
Ratings:
3,996
pDev:
8.93%
 
 
Wants:
3,304
Gots:
1,567
Trade:
137
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,996 |  Reviews: 910
Photo of bmf5581
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of greene94
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of codytwo
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mpwiemann
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of epercuoco
4.93/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is amazing. I look forward to October every year to drink this beer. The barrel-aged Darkness is just as good. Let the Darkness flow through you.

 155 characters

Photo of Tilley4
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally! After all of these years, I finally get to knock this one off of my Want list!

Had the opportunity to try this beer at the Great Taste of the Midwest parties on the night before the festival in Madison, WI. Surly did a tap takeover and I got the chance to meet Omar as well as lots of the Surly crew... it was a really cool night that I won't forget...

They tapped the 2015 version and I was able to grab a couple of pints of it to sip on while enjoying the night...

Super creamy and smooth... Big roasted malt presence and a surprising hop presence after a few years in the keg... Big and bold.... Really enjoyed this beer and would gladly drink more of this given the chance.....

Prost!

 714 characters

Photo of AllOfTheCats
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This might be my favorite non-barrel aged imperial stout. I usually age all of my imperial stouts at least one year to kill off the hops to get that dark, chocolate-y, coffee-like, malty profile. This beer is a little hoppy, but I actually enjoy it. I haven't found another beer like it, so I'll continue to pay the hefty price (~$20/bomber). Wish they did 4pks!

 362 characters

Photo of MNB33R
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Climb in. You’ll have fun.

28 characters

Photo of smcel371
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Montanabeerz
4.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TheGent
4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Straight from my July 2018 Cellar Review post earlier this evening:

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted in this thread. I did not pull this from my cellar, but rather it was given to me a month or so ago by a generous BA who goes by @GreenBayBA

Surly Darkness (10/21/2016)

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a frothy light brown head. Over time the head disappeared almost entirely but for a thin film across the top. Some sticky, bittersweet lacing was left alongside my glass. She’s got legs. She knows how to use them. No visible carbonation, but a nice hiss released when I got the wax cap off.

Smell: The aroma of this beer is sweet, roasty, and piney. Powdered cocoa, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, espresso, raisins, figs, vanilla, marshmallow, a hint of cinnamon, a touch of wood, pine and a wee bit vegetal described as fresh pumpkin. The dark, dried fruits come through to me as a tawny port aroma. IF this beer’s taken on any notes of oxidation it’s just the right amount. The alcohol comes through just enough without being overpowering.

Taste: I’m going to throw out the “follows the nose” comment with some tweaks. The woody and vegetal notes do not come through on the palate. There is a nutty flavor. This beer starts out sweet and shifts to bitter on the finish. I think part of that is driven by the roasty aspect of the beer, but make no mistake that there’s a piney, lemon rind, bitter hop component like you’d find in an American Barleywine such as Bigfoot. Picking an example for frame of reference. It’s not that bitter or hoppy, but almost. This is a big, flavorful beer. I will still be tasting it on my lips when I wake up in the morning. That’s a good thing. (And that’s what she said)

Absent from this beer that I’ve had in aged RIS before (or even fresh) are the “soy sauce” and “meaty” flavors. If those are not your jam, no worries here.

Mouthfeel: Although not the thickest beer I’ve ever had, this certainly is a chewy beer. The carbonation is mild and it feels silky smooth. The sugary sweetness coats the palate. There’s a pleasant warmth from the alcohol that fills the pipes.

Drinkability: This beer is highly drinkable and enjoyable. While I’ve never had the beer fresh, clearly it has held up nicely, and there is really nothing off for me to mention. For a 12% beer it drinks easy enough. This is basically what I want in an RIS. IF I had more of this beer I’d be drinking them now. Really excellent, and well aged stuff. I’ve got about 6 ounces left by the time I’m done with my notes here so I’m going to put down my phone and enjoy the rest of it with some tunes.

Cheers, and thank you, Micah

 2,715 characters

Photo of Hawkfish
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jzlyo
4.09/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is chocolate, coffee and mild fruit/cherries. The flavor is chocolate, dark malts, fruit/dark fruit, a hint of hops and a mild whiskey burn/acidic finish.

 161 characters

Photo of Kinnick21
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Rothobinide
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ajramirez1
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tmbgnicu
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BiggieG
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Kwright
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of DavidR_9
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 cerberus bottle, poured into belgian tulip.

Opaque black body, huge tan tight bubbly head with larger soapy bubbles - truly something to behold. The nose has quite a bit of rasoty malt, a little touch of fig, chocolate, and a nice helping of booze. Taste follows the nose with the roasty complex malt character interacting with a figgy raisin covered in the smallest layer of subtle chocolate. Coffee roastiness is there but almost completely gone at this point. a big warming boozy character comes in at the finish along with some light-medium bitterness but well within the territory for a russian imperial stout.

 621 characters

Photo of tittyfish
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of bpa112
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Mike_Benson
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

smooth, full-bodied, complex favors. just an amazing stout. was happy to get a couple bombers of this beer, its great to share with friends over a good meal.

 157 characters

Photo of csmrx7
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This may be the best non BA Imperial Stout I have had. Even young this is smooth full of body with complex chocolate and coffee malt flavours are just right with a perfect mild ABV heat.

 187 characters

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Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.48 out of 5 with 3,996 ratings