Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

BA SCORE
98
world-class
3,815 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:
Starting in 2014, bottled Darkness will be aged in whiskey barrels. This listing is ONLY for Darkness that is NOT barrel-aged. For 2014 Darkness go here: http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/13014/141724/

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

Added by ryantupy on 10-08-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
3,815
Reviews:
878
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
9.28%
 
 
Wants:
3,312
Gots:
1,520
For Trade:
136
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,815 |  Reviews: 878
Photo of SayBoom
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of snaotheus
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016-12-29
750ml waxed/capped 2016 bottle shared at @mr-jj's house, supplied by him through whatever means of acquisition he has. Thanks man!

Pours a very dark brown, with a very small brown head, not a lot of carbonation. Looks good, but not particularly special. Smell is rich coffee and chocolate, I swear some bourbon, vanilla flavors.

Taste is anise, balanced coffee and sweet, soft chocolate and vanilla. Extremely well balanced, excellent beer.

Mouthfeel is very dry, amazing for such a strong bomb. Overall, this is an excellent beer. We tasted this alongside 7 barrel aged beers, and this goes a long way to prove that you can make an incredible, flavorful booze-bomb stout without barrels. I'm sad it's gone, I'm happy I got to try it.

 748 characters

Photo of Alby
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Reich90
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of locoformavs
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Iamjeff6
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2016 Darkness

A: Pours jet black in color, embodying the name with its appearance. Small 1/2 inch khaki head with minimal retention. Thick, khaki colored lacing throughout.

S: Aromas consist of coffee, caramel, vanilla, cocoa, molasses, toasted malts, and toasted marshmallows.

T: Taste matches the aromas very well. Strong notes of coffee, toasted malts, cocoa, vanilla, and dark chocolate fudge. Milder notes of dark fruits and caramel. Mild lingering hop bitterness.

F: Full bodied. Thick and very creamy. Silky smooth. Mildly carbonated at a perfect level.

O: Overall, an awesome RIS. This is an extremely well balanced beer. The complexity that comes with balancing all of these flavor profiles is impressive. Surly did a great job with this batch. Can't wait to try some more of the vintages. One of my favorite RIS's.

 829 characters

Photo of Pletser
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Jakethesnake503
4.89/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Sabtos
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black body with a head that, after settling from it's suspended, speckled black dark tan cascading performance, is a floating, unmoving souffle.

Smell is really sharp, rich, dark roasted malt, with chocolate syrup, brown sugar, sweet roasted nuts, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate. Vanilla liqueur makes an appearance, with a hint of cedar and a lot of earthy yet bright piney hops.

Taste is dark chocolate, maple sweetness, blueberry-esque coffee, and vanilla! That wonderful fruity coffee just pops throughout. A slightly bittering nip of cacao runs along the background.

Feel is really smooth, slick and wet with a moderate yet substantial body. This is very well made and nearing liqueur territory, with a semi-dry finish to assist in cutting the sweetness. Darkness is still overall sweet, and slightly tart with all of its acidic and slightly fruity coffee.

2015 vintage

 882 characters

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

Photo of BigIslandfarmer
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of That_Bearded_Guy
4.06/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of PrestigeWorldwide
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Rich_K
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JCastaBarry
4.93/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of aricwarner
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bammer21
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of beagleyx2
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WesMantooth
4.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 "bat" edition 750ml bottle poured into a snifter

Fairly viscous looking black with a moderate dark brown head that retains a solid ring for quite awhile.

Outstanding aroma! It smells like rye, whisky, chocolate, dark fruit, tobacco, leather, and charred grains.

Spicy rye flavor and a bit of alcohol up front, followed by a bitter bakers chocolate, some sour cherry, raisin, oak, tobacco, ashy/burnt grains, some brown sugar, and a stong lingering rye bread and piney bitterness.

It has a very solid, almost oatmeal like, chewy body. Among the more viscous barreled beers I have had for sure. Reminds me of a Parabola.

My biggest knock is that this beer is a little too bitter. Not in the monent necessarily, but a very resinous, lingering hop flavor. Ofher than that, it is world class, and the best rye stout I have had.

 836 characters

Photo of Jabels
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Photo of muchloveforhops3
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
4.42 out of 5 based on 3,815 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More