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Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

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DarknessDarkness
BA SCORE
4.48/5
Outstanding
3,864 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:
#132
Reviews:
884
Ratings:
3,864
pDev:
8.93%
Bros Score:
4.5
 
 
Wants:
3,312
Gots:
1,540
Trade:
135
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,864 |  Reviews: 884
Photo of sully11277
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Jet black with a nice brown head that sticks around for the whole thing.

S- You get a lot of an alcohol burn then you get a nice sweetness. You get a lot of cocoa and vanilla. You get a lot of roast. there are so many smells coming off this beer they blend very well.

T/M- You get a lot of sweetness upfront, you get a lot of dark chocolate then you get more of a milk chocolate and vanilla. It is very smooth which i was shocked by because of the alcohol burn you get from the smell.

O- This beer is amazing. all the flavors blend so great together I can not wait to see how this ages.

 592 characters

Photo of Benvarine
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of dazedandconfused
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of kreg02
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of RussBeercier
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of kevanb
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle, 2013 vintage, purchased at Binny's Grand in Chicago (much to my surprise) and poured into a 2012 Darkness tulip. I've heard rumors that the batch sent to Chicago was different than the batch released at Darkness Day in 2013, but I have nothing to substantiate this, that being said, this bottle was quite different than the draft offering I had at Northdown Cafe not a few weeks earlier.

The beer pours a super deep jet black color, wonderful opacity and just a touch of cola brown color when hit by the light. A thick, taut, caramel colored head rises from the beer, not instantaneously, taking its time to thicken and settle before receding slowly and gracefully leaves a few nice spots of lace behind. The aroma is roasty, dark brunt grain with some toasted coffee bean before a rush of chocolate, also a touch charred gives way to a plethora of fruit flavors, cherry, plum, prune and fig, with a bit of brown sugar and raisin as well as some molasses and toffee. The flavors however, are on point, loads of rich chocolate, bittersweet that brings out the fruit flavors impeccably well, huge amounts of cherry and plum with some backing raisin and licorice that leads to a rich malt and brown sugar sweet finish, but boy does the roast get cut down on the tongue. I'm used to this beer exerting some bitterness and hoppyness, especially when this fresh, but this bottle is so rounded and smooth. The body on this bottle is perfection, incredibly rich, soft, smooth, velvety, all of the synonyms for those words apply. It coats the mouth so gently and eloquently that it's almost unnoticed while asserting itself so well. The finish is wonderfully creamy, soft and has a perfect level of warming as it goes down.

Verdict: I always thought of Darkness as a rather unique and inventive take on the style as it was assertively bitter and always had a distinctive piney hop flavor to me, however this bottle changes everything. It's incredibly rich, smooth and balanced. The complexity is astounding and this is deserving of all accolades. Perhaps there is some truth to the notion that the recent distribution was slightly different than the release day batch, but whatever was in my bottle was superb and I want more.

 2,233 characters

Photo of BullBearHawk
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of JSBILK
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of StPaulSuds
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of ahbithwabm
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of timc100
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013

Did not have the menacing pour I anticipated - dark, brown light showing through. Sits black in the glass with a dark mocha head. Sticks to the glass but not overly retentive, minimal alcohol legs.

Aroma of heavy roast, dark chocolate, some vanilla coffee. Some dark fruits as well, but not very distinctive. Nice, but not very vibrant.

Taste is huge. Big chocolate, heavy roast, some vanilla and dark cherry - slight molasses. Decently bitter but cut with a nice sweetness. Full, smooth well rounded body.

Very good RIS - not the best I have had, but certainly something worth getting a few bottles of.

 612 characters

Photo of TomTown
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Kevincredible
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

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

'13 edition on tap @ firkin.

a: black. frothy, khaki head

s: light chocolate notes. Hints of roasted malts. Bit of licorice in the background

t: milk chocolate pervades throughout. light roasty notes.

m: very creamy. medium carbonation. body is spot on

o: First time having Darkness. Worthy of the hype imo. Only ding might be the aroma which was rather subdued. Mouthfeel is top notch. No reason to age this as it was great fresh.

 436 characters

Photo of csmartin6
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Jpepe08
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of shredder83
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of gkoz
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of oldvines
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of JVB
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of peensteen
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of williamjbauer
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of zbodnar1
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Dirty25
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of KingDozer
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.48 out of 5 with 3,864 ratings
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