Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

BA SCORE
98
world-class
3,819 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


Added by ryantupy on 10-08-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
3,819
Reviews:
877
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
9.28%
 
 
Wants:
3,306
Gots:
1,522
For Trade:
139
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,819 |  Reviews: 877
Photo of standardcherry
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle served into a snifter.

A: Thick black beer with a large head.
S: Smells like dark fruits, chocolate and caramel.
T: Just like the nose, dark fruit, caramel, chocolate, molasses.
M: Thick but easy to drink. Lots of carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel.
O: Very interesting. Lots of big flavors, although fruit is not my favorite in a stout. Great beer though!

 368 characters

Photo of n2185
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vampire bottle

A: pours black with two fingers of dark tan head which maintains well and leaves good lacing.

S: roasted malts with lots of dark fruit, molasses, and bitter coffee aromas. A very nice mix of sweet and roasted/bitter.

T: very similar to the aromas. Dark fruits, molasses, sweet chocolate, and dark, roasted slightly bitter coffee. On the sweeter side, but with enough roasted malts for balance. Very slight alcohol burn for the gravity.

M: thick body with low carb, this beer isn't quite creamy but is a tad oily instead.

O: Overall, a good beer. Not worth the hype or trading your cellar for, but still good. It's a bit sweeter than I prefer, but not cloyingly so.

 689 characters

Photo of levifunk
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Madison, WI BA Tasting #2

appearance - very dark, light brown head

smell - citrus hops, much more hoppy than anticipated. caramel sweetness and coffee.

taste - very rich/dense. there are two big flavors: hops and sweetness. interesting thats these two flavors come at the same time rather than one following the other. keeps it very balanced. other flavors would include coffee and cocoa.

mouth - syrupy and creamy. very heavy

overall - great beer. This is VERY different than DL, much more hoppy and less intensive sweetness. Its somewhere inbetween DL and DORIS. Very drinkable though!

 599 characters

Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'10 Vampire vintage, thanks to Levifunk, grub, and bsuedekum for various bottles of this awesome beer.

Awesome huge head, thick frothy and creamy, dark head, forms layers as I pour between glasses, pitch black thick beer with nice legs, tons of lacing. essentially the perfect head.

Nose brings lots of chocolate, bakers, dark, cocoa nibs, bit of roast and coffee, lots of vanilla, bit of caramel, lots of dark malts bit of bitter roast and earthy hops.

Taste starts a bit of soy sauce, lots of bitter roasted malts, coffee, syrupy, big and heavy, roasty, some light oats, slightly briny, lots of vanilla, caramel, molasses, slight booze, bitter astringent roasted malts and bit of earthy hop. Slight charred roasted malt. Finishes quite bitter, astringent, sticky and syrupy, syrupy malts, soy sauce and a bit of earthy hop bitterness.

Mouth is big bodied but not quite as big as I expected, a bit syrupy, decent carb for the style.

Overall good, but not quite what I expected. Too much bitter briny roasty astringent soy sauce flavors, big and heavy as it should, but not quite as drinkable. Reminds me of fresh Dark Lord, but this has a year of aging on it. I'll let the rest age more and hopefully the soy sauce and briny qualities settle down.

 1,253 characters

Photo of Bigdoc91
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of David_Menendez
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Inky black. 2 fingers of head.

Aromas of fresh peaches. Chocolate shell. Oatmeal. Lactose

Taste is more of the same. Dark chocolate covered peaches.

Feel is numbing. Thick. Raw.

Overall, this will kick your ass. It destroyed mine.

 236 characters

Photo of WonderWoman
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured so dark there was no penetrable light. There was a ring of golden head reminding me much of motor oil.
Smelt of chocolate and coffee.
Tasted alot like hoppy dark chocolate. Oddly it was salty when I licked the brew off my lips. There was a noticeable alcohol after taste.
It was thick and smooth with mild carbonation.
This was a bit much for me, but I thought it was nice for the style.

 403 characters

Photo of leitmotif
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dismembered_MC
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of drabmuh
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle. Beer is black with a thick brown head of small bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is sweet and some roastiness. Smells good.

The beer is sweet and has a definite chocolate bitter / semisweet flavor to it. There is a nice maltiness to the beer that is really nice. Beer overall has a medium body and as it warms there is more caramel in the palate. Drinkability high and mouthfeel is high. I'd be interested in the other vintages.

 470 characters

Photo of LehighAce06
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Photo of nfedas
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jason3125
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 poured into a Hill Farmstead glass

39 characters

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: As dark as night. tan/creamy brown head. great retention rate with some decent lacing.

S:burnt malts. chocolate, toffee, light coffee notes. some bitter berries.

T: rich roasted malts, raisins, figs, chocolate and toffee. nice burnt malt flavor. light hints of coffee.

M: velvety. mellow carbonation level. full bodied.

 325 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 Darkness, 750ml bottle poured into Lawson's tulip. Thanks Jameson for sharing this during our Murda'd Out tasting.

A- Pours a dark brown that appears a jet black in the glass with a thin mocha brown head that has about average head and recedes to a flat top. Spotty lacing that slides back into glass.

S- Cocoa powder, light bakers chocolate, some faint hop, decent aroma strength.

T- Cocoa powder, light baker's dark chocolate, light hops hiding in background that I would assume is more pronounced in fresher bottles. Finishes with rich dark chocolate cocoa powder that lingers as a nice aftertaste.

M- Smooth, very drinkable, nice carbonation that doesn't dominate too much, medium bodied.

O- This was a great stout that I really enjoyed drinking however I'm not sure if I'd say its one of my favorites. The overall flavor could have been richer instead of the cocoa powder taste. I would love to compare a fresh version of this.

 942 characters

Photo of seaoflament
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Floydster for helping me out with a bottle of this rare beer. Split this bottle last night with a few good friends (Joey, Ryan, Tony +1). The bottle number had mostly rubbed off during shipping, I think there is a 1 and a 6. 2007 release.

Not the darkest stout I've seen but the beauty was in the inch+ of head, the excellent retention and lacing. Soapy spider legs on the sides of the glass (Surly pint glass of course!)

The beer has an impressive roasted aroma, not overdone which I like, and also has a pronounced bitterness. The bitterness is both in a roasted/smokey type and also the citrus hops which are fading into the background. As the beer warmed up there was more caramel, cocoa, and chocolate.

The taste was a little more complex than the aroma (probably because this one has been sitting for a few months already). First I get the roasted malts, dark fruits (dates, raisins), some brown sugar; then I start getting more heavily roasted flavors in the form of burnt malts. There is some coffee and chocolate near the finish and anise in the aftertaste. The hops come in near the end with some earthiness and a bit of citrus bitterness.

The mouthfeel of this beast was probably what impressed me the most, really smooth and silky. The beer just felt graceful on the palate. For such a high abv. stout monster, this beer really drinks well.

I hope to get a fresh bottle of this at the next release because I think that I might have missed some of the hop essence that makes this beer grand.

 1,522 characters

Photo of Ace1117
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from my notes from last night. Shared with friends

Pours a super deep black. Motor oil looking. Pretty thick. Very thin head but dissapated to nothing. No real lacing.

Aroma of dark fruits and tons of caramel/burnt sugars. Very malty and sweet smelling. Smells great

The taste is as it smells but the dark fruits are the main players in the flavor. Lots of sweet malt. Gets to be a little too much after a while.

Mouthfeel is super heavy. Light carb. A little too heavy for me.

Overall a very tasty beer in small amounts but I couldn't drink alot at all. Very heavy and very malty. But I am glad I finally got to taste this beer.

 643 characters

Photo of Leftofthedial
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of MiracleWhale
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of The_Beer_Shark
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Eternal218
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of fondyball20
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
4.42 out of 5 based on 3,819 ratings.
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