Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

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DarknessDarkness
BA SCORE
4.48/5
Outstanding
3,930 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:
#129
Reviews:
896
Ratings:
3,930
pDev:
8.93%
Bros Score:
4.5
 
 
Wants:
3,310
Gots:
1,561
Trade:
136
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,930 |  Reviews: 896
Photo of GeoffAnton2637
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rjcuse42
4.11/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cbcrunch
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Samact
3.92/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Duffman79
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Cooperdogbeer
3.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darkness. How "meh" are you this year?
This was actually a good year for Darkness. Generally it is far too sweet and needs at least a couple years to be drinkable (though the BA versions are always great).
Sweet, malty AF, not a lot of dry dark notes, but certainly more than years past.

This is a beer that is devoid of anything to make it exceptional yet consistently rates as one of the best RI Stouts, buy it to trade it, not to drink it because you can do better.

That said, this year's version is the best in years, can't wait to try a BA version, might actually sniff the absurd ratings this middling RI gets every year.

 633 characters

Photo of Rebrown221
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Academymike
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JBowenGeorgia
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a finger of tan head.
Smell definitely lives up to it's name, lots of darkness going on here. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, and fruits dominate.
Taste is very similar to the nose, dark chocolate, prunes, roated malt, coffee, some vanilla and tobacco.
Full bodied but not overly chewy.
Overall a wonderful beer I am grateful to have tried.

 366 characters

Photo of gcamparone
4.06/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 bottle poured into a Tulip.

Pours a dark brown body with a tan colored two finger head that reduces slowly, leaving some lacing and a good layer of retention. This is not as dark as others describe, looks like a porter or a heavy brown ale.

Aromas of coffee and milk chocolate, dark fruits, roasty malt. Taste is lots of chocolate, cocoa, dark fruits, light roastyness on the follow through, dark chocolate on the finish. Mouthfeel is lacking, this is thin. Medium carbonation.

 484 characters

Photo of RedhawkPoke
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Beer pours a very black body from the bottle. Nice finger amount of creamy tan head. Head and lacing lingered about while drinking.

S: Aromas are a nice mix of roasty chocolates and dark fruits. The fruits add to the typical stout smells that are present for the beer.

T: Roasty malt flavors up front on this beer. Bits of chocolate and coffee mix with fruits like raisins and pruins. Beer flavors blend well.

M: For a double digit ABV this one is smooth and easy to drink. I wish the beer was thicker however. The beer seems a tad thin.

O: Very good representation of a stout. The fruit flavors add a lot to the usual flavors/aromas. The beer is easy drinking for a high ABV but could use a bit more body overall.

2016 Vintage

 739 characters

Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 FYI

8 characters

Photo of Ericthered121
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HopHunter19
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - nice dark brown/black opaque beer with a mocha head that leaves great lacing
S - big chocolate, mocha, mild toasty malts, burnt marshmallow. Tiny bit of smoky.
T - again big chocolate, mocha, mild toasty malts, burnt marshmallow, mild smoky. More umami, creamy, wholesome like Expy.
M - heavy mf, alc covered, aftertaste is more roasty chocolate malt.
O - great beer. Needs more distro, and to be slightly cheaper.

 420 characters

Photo of Zekenyce
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bnes09
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black, viscous appearance. Creamy colored head with some nice stickage. Stouty, roasty malt aroma with deep, rich molasses undertones. Assertive roast palate with a hint of corn graininess. Deep molasses and cherry sweetness. Nice dark berry fruit character. Mild coffee and cocoa. Dense, sticky feel. Well carbonated. Very good stout.

 348 characters

Photo of bnewt21
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of Sanders246
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

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

Drank this at the brewery on tap. Pour dark black with a small head. Smell of chocolate and roast with hints of fruit. Taste is smooth and chocolate with some roast, but less roast than I expected. Very smooth for a 12% beer. Clearly well made. Great Imperial Stout that I’m sure would only get better with age.

 313 characters

Photo of lewith
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CSO
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BEER88
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Vixie
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Has the look I expect from the style, very black with very little tan head, which stays around as a decent lacing across the top.

Smell is chocolate, roasted malt, and a bit of sweetness

Starts fairly sweet, like a sweet chocolate. There are roasted malt flavors, as well as coffee and a distinct sweetness, maybe cherry or raisin. There is a lingering coffee like bitterness that lingers at the finish.

Pretty smooth feel, although not quite as thick as the pour indicated.

I personally enjoyed this beer, but I do tend to like sweeter ones. It is a big beer, but fairly easy to drink, and a good one if you tend to like beers that tend towards the sweet side.

 665 characters

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.48 out of 5 with 3,930 ratings