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Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

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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 gueuzegossage
3.25/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of LSUPT
3.25/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of JasonHaviland
3.28/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

EBF Sample -- not for me. Way too boozy for me, too hot on the finish with strong astringency. I was really looking forward to this one, but it fell flat. Look and smell were fine, but I didn't feel like it was well integrated with the bold flavors and interesting nuances I was hoping for. Will try again, but won't seek this one out.

 335 characters

Photo of TexIndy
3.29/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

400th review! 2008 Edition. Poured from a 750ml wax dipped bottle into a pint glass. Cool label. and wax job. Was pitch black in color even against a light. Amazing lacing. It had a large brown head that ever so slowly settled into a constant thick foam.

The aroma was surprisingly sweet. It wasn't the dark fruit sweet that you find (and I don't like) in most RIS's. Rather it was more like an amped up milk stout. Also heavy on liquid dark chocolate aroma. Some hops hidden way in the back but overwhelmed by the sweetness. So glad it wasn't dark fruit aroma but the aroma could have used some more hops to offset the sweetness. The taste was very similar to the taste. Completely unexpected to be so sweet. Almost cloying at first and then completely cloying by middle. Slight bitter at the end but not nearly enough to offset it. Alcohol is felt by warm stomach but completely hidden in the taste. That is an area where most (I'm looking at you Dark Lord) RIS's fail. They are too dominated by alcohol where this one hides it perfectly. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Good carbonation. Too sweet of an aftertaste.

Overall, a disappointment especially when factoring what I traded to get it. For me, it was WAY too sweet. Even after it really warmed up, it was still off the chart. It's only 4 months old so can't be over-aged and can't imagine further aging would cut the sweetness any more. No real hop presence as-is and that would fade over time. Really disappointed in this one. Love all the Surly's that I've had but this one is a miss for me. Still can't get over that it's because of being too sweet - like sugar water. If you'd said too raisiny or too much alcohol I'd have believed that but not this. May try another batch in the future but probably one and done for me unless a unique circumstance applies.

 1,822 characters

Photo of Mandypants11
3.3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Bierguy5
3.33/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml wax-top bottle. Pitch black liquid. Thich tan head that lasts for quite some time, and surrenders some great looking patchwork of lace.

Loads of citrusy hops up front, big and juicy. Ripe fruit, chocolate, and alcohol come out in the nose. Interesting combo.

What sticks out to me up front is the amount of sweetness, a bit cloying for me. SOme chocolate comes in, but gets overtaken by a huge blast of citrusy hops. SOme warming from the alcohol.

Maybe a bit thin. Lower carbonation. Intesesting, but not my taste. Too much sweetness, with too much hop flavor.

 571 characters

Photo of dtmets84
3.34/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage. Shared the bottle with DTMets84.

I have been waiting to dabble in darkness for sometime now and what is a better excuse then no work monday? Yahoo for labor day.

Appearance: Pours a dark dark black with an inch head.
Head is the color of khaki jeans?

Smell: Sweet? Black tuesday again?! Roasty as well.

Taste: Lots of something I can not put my finger on yet but it is not something that appeals to me. Its Dark Lord again.

Mouthfeel: My first surly brew ever and I am too letdown to discuss the mouthfeel.

 528 characters

Photo of Zomg
3.35/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I really wanted to like this one, but ended up disappointed.

Pours a nice deep black with a nice layer of head. Smell is roasted, sweet malt and some chocolate. The flavor is far too sweet for my liking. Sweet chocolate and raisin that only becomes more overwhelming as it warms. Almost a tart cherry flavor buried in there as well. Split the bottle with a friend and we ended up not finishing it. I have a feeling the BA version is stronger with the barrel balancing out some sweetness.

 488 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.38/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bottle of the 2008 release, shared with Deuane and Ffejherb.

A: The stout is admirably dark, a pitch black monster that has an off-white head that doesn't linger for long.

S: The stout is bold, thick and syrupy with an ancho chile smokiness. The thick malts reveal chocolate and caramel over time.

T: Chocolate nuttiness leads off the ale, dark and thick with a graham cracker-like finish. The ancho chile flavor is present, giving the stout a buffalo wing-like taste. Syrupy flavors are intense, sweet with a near-cloying presence. Coffee and cocoa see the stout away and they may be the best features of the bottle.

M: Syrupy, the stout borders on cloying at times. The cocoa powder is nice but it doesn't last long enough to make a difference.

D: To paraphrase, did I really shave me legs for this? I am underwhelmed and ranked this one behind the Coronado bourbon RIS, Dark Hollow and Full Sail Black Gold. Don't believe the hype!

 941 characters

Photo of BecauseWhalezbro
3.39/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.4/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage thanks for sharing MrVonzipper

Look: Very dark pretty much black body with a 1/4 tan head and ok retention and some spotty lacing

Smell: The nose for me really doesn't work. It is a combination of chocolate dark fruits a touch of vanilla sweetness and piney hops

Taste: Again just not a fan of the taste. It starts of slightly sweet with some chocolate caramel and vanilla and finishes with a piney bitterness that just does not work for me

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium to mild carbonation and bitter

Overall: This beer reminds me more of a cda than a RIS. The flavors are all over the place and just do not mix well for me. Definitely not worth seeking out

 681 characters

Photo of andreasmwatt
3.4/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Very dark nice looking beer. Way excited when I poured it.

Smell - Pretty bland actually. Not a whole lot of sense.

Taste- I know everyone loves this beer but I don't love it actually I can live without it. I like dark beer and this one just was not my thing.

Mouthfeel - Felt very nice on the palate.

D - Wuite Quaffable, like I said b4 just not my kind of beer.

 380 characters

Photo of Brez07
3.43/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage, courtesy of oach. 200th review

A: Pours fairly dark and leaves a 2 finger coffee head. As this slowly fades to a thin layer, it leaves thick lacing on the glass. This remains present through the glass

S: Initially I am hit with chocolate, but this is short lived. A quick hit of roasted malt is overtaken with smoke and tobacco. Hops follow behind, which surprised me given it's now about 4 months old. There is also some dark fruit and small hint of alcohol

T: First reaction was sweet and smokey. Definite soy sauce presence (first beer I've really picked up on that flavor). Minor notes of chocolate and tobacco. Also some dark fruit. Finishes dry with sweet soy sauce

M: Full bodied. Light, but sharp carbonation. Dark fruit and roasted malt aftertaste

D: Considering the hype, this one falls short for me. The sweetness is slightly overbearing and there's no balance. The alcohol is hidden which is a plus. Won't seek out again

 951 characters

Photo of billshmeinke
3.46/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Thanks to biniek13 for trading it to me. 2009 vintage.

Two finger beige head. Pitch black body. Great retention that leaves nice lacing behind.

Smells of tootsie rolls. Dark fruits (plumbs and raisins). Nose reminds me quite a bit of Chokolat by Southern Tier.

Taste is similar. Tootsie rolls, sugar, plumbs, prunes, brown sugar, a touch of dark chocolate, subtle black berries and raspberries, candied dark fruits, and a hint of roastiness/smokiness on the back end. Too much fake sugary like flavor for me.

Thick and full bodied. Low carbonation. Quite smooth, and luscious. Perfect RIS mouthfeel.

A bit cloying, but the alcohol is well hidden. One bottle wasn't exactly easy to put down. Really similar to Chokolat which is much easier to trade for. It also gets a bit better after it warms.

 820 characters

Photo of jbriggs7
3.49/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of huskermike12
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of ewright
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of md655321
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of montrealbcr89
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of badboy7113
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of masterofsparks
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of kraticus41
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Stoutsman
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of EB1
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%

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