Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

875 Reviews

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

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/

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

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Reviews: 875 | Ratings: 3,786
Photo of darklordlager
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Acquired at "D-Day,"coming in at about number 780-790 in line arriving at 10:00AM (just barely made the 800 person cutoff point).

Appearance: Poured into the go-to DFH snifter. Pours like syrupy molasses, forming a nice 1" dark tan head that has some stickage. No light escapes from this beer, much as the name suggests.

Smell: Smells of a rich chocolate dessert. Chocolate malt, dark Belgian chocolate, a little coffee, and a nice hoppy bitterness underlying it all. Vanilla, molasses, and some alcohol lingering in the "darkness."

Taste: A chocolate fountain's worth of sweet chocolate with loads of molasses intermingling. Devil's food cake with real fudge melted down and drizzled on top. Some floral hops evident up from, with some bitterness coming in a bit in the middle to prevent the sweetness from becoming overwhelming. The bitterness transitions nicely to finish with the sweet bitterness of the roasted malts. A marked smokiness emerges a little as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Viscous. It feels almost uncarbonated as it goes down. Silky smooth velvet, achieving all the taste of a rich dessert meant to be eaten with a fork, though somehow sliding down without a clench of the jaw.

Drinkability: The combination of tasty flavours and citrusy hop resins make the alcohol almost unbeknownst to the consumer.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 bottle.

Pours black with a large tan sticky head with good retention.

Scent of bitter juicy hops, chocolate, oatmeal, roasted malts, and Candi Sugar. Grassy, lightly floral, and a bit spicy with a hint of alcohol, the hop profile here is great, better than it is in most IPAs.

Taste of bitter dry hops, chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruit and Candi Sugar. Not quite as juicy as last year, but this is still one of the best Imperial Stouts available, and the strong hoppiness is a great change of pace.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and smooth with a small bite of carbonation.

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

2009 Bottle for Halloween.

Poured into Darkness Snifter

Pours a deep motor oil black. Nice 1+ finger of dark tan head.
Decent retention with some splattered lace and a few rings.

Aroma: Big fresh earthy hop profile. Chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee, very big and robust. I love how the hop profile is so defined with this beer.

Taste: Again, the fresh earthy hops stick right out here. Backed by a big chocolate roasted malt backbone. Nice coffee notes. Very great beer.

Mouthfeel: It is slight bitter from the hops, but very smooth. Very big, full body with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean, but very slight sticky from the hops.

Overall, a damn great beer. I love this RIS and glad I have more. If you like hoppy RISs this is the beer for you. I am very impressed with this years batch.

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Photo of xpimptastikx
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I think subconsciously I've been saving my lone Darkness for Halloween. 2008 bottle acquired in a trade.

A - Pours an almost pitch black stream that settles like tar in the glass. Not much of a head, just a thin sheet of mocha head that lasts forever.

S - smells pretty sweet, but not as bad as fresh Dark Lord. A small bit of roasted malts, chocolate, and a touch of dark fruit rounds it out.

T - Roasted chocolaty malts with a hint of prunes. Definitely less sweet than the smell, but any bit of hops is pretty much gone. Aftertaste of cigars and coffee.

M/D - This is thick and frothy beer. A great mouthfeel, but it is way to thick to be extremely drinkable. One bottle is going to take me a while to finish, but I'm enjoying every sip.

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Photo of shishidojo
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Darkness Day 2009. The new vintage is less sweet and has a balanced finish. Not cloying like some of this ilk can be for me. It poured ink-black and had a substantial, dark-tan head. Carbonation is dead on. Rich, peaty flavor and characteristic sweetness nicely balanced by a hoppy finish. Exceptional brew. Best Darkness yet.

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Photo of beertooth
3.68/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage 22oz red and black waxed bottle with a red and white two color screen print of a mummy on it. I split this with Ben(madorb) while we carved pumpkins. I poured my portion into a Cantillon Belgian tumbler.

A pitch black oil slick in a glass. The head and retention are both amazing. It looks like melted coffee ice cream and is leaving the stickiest lacing I've ever seen.

The nose is full of burnt sugar, dark fruits soaked in simple syrup, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, piney hops, a little alcohol. Think sticky and sweet.

The first sip is tooth destroyingly sweet. Liquid bitter chocolate, coffee beans, burnt malts, syrupy dried figs and prunes. I'm not picking up on the alcohol, but I know it's there because I'm starting to feel it. I can taste the hops more as it warms, but it's also getting stickier and cloying.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a low level of carbonation.

I'm really hoping the syrupy sweetness really mellows out in the cellar because otherwise this will turn into a sugary mess. I'm still happy to have tried this year's vintage.

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Photo of erz316
3.96/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into guinness pint glass. 2009 vintage

the bottle pours a kind of stealth head: at first it seems to be making no head, so then I pour a bit harder, and we get a bit of progress; then the whole thing explodes with this slow moving, creeping foam. I think at the most it was three fingers, it retains well enough. the colour of the foam is a solid tan colour, and the texture is very creamy. the body is indeed dark, but some light does get through the bottom. the nose is simply malts with bitter hops, quite hoppy actually. the taste is quite like the nose: a very hoppy RIS with a huge malty keel. aside from the hops, it is pretty standard tasting for my palate. a bit of something sweet, like cherries, on the aftertaste. the feel is good, pretty thick, but not as much as dark lord.

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Photo of ricke
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage.

A: Pitch black with decent pale beige head that leaves a lot of creamy lacings.

S: Wonderful aromas of roasted malts, dry coffee notes, rich fruity notes (plums, cherries, figs) and hints of spicy hops. Very balanced and very impressive.

T: The taste is nothing but fantastic - really balanced and spot on. Everything is where it's supposed to be. The flavors are very complex - sweetness from the malts, salt licorice and a bitter finish. Powerful roasted malty aromas and notes of luscious dark fruits, a hint of molasses, tannins, coffee, wood and leafy hops. The finish is somewhat dry and bitter with notes of licorice, leafy hops and malts.

M: Full-bodied with a fat and creamy malty mouthfeel. Gentle carbonation.

D: Almost unbelievably good. Very balanced. The composition is like a symphony - carefully orchestrated with everything at its proper place.

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Photo of MPLS
4.83/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After coming up empty glassed at 3 locations I scoured the forums and got another tap serving (had one at Darkness day in a plastic cup) of 2009 Darkness

A: The Bartender poured it marvelously, big 6 cm coffee colored head that slowly faded into Darkness...okay, a little cliche. The usual strapping black body was present too. I couldn't complain about the glassware, a brand new Darkness snifter glass that I used to own until I broke it.

S: Smoked chocolate, sweetness, alcohol masked in the nose.

T: Palate boner - delicious dark chocolate, roasted espresso beans, big citrusy hops. Seemingly much more balanced than the '08, though I question the evolution of beer geek palates. Oddly enough this serving fared better than what I had at Darkness Day. The complexity increases as it warmed and is good incentive to cup the snifter with my warm palms.

M: Thick and moderately creamy. It can keep up with the big boys without being oatmeal.

D: Oh man, deliciousness. I am tempted to find an excuse to drink another serving tomorrow, pending it's availability. It's more than just hype with the beer, a real pleasurable experience.

Watch yo ABVz

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Photo of gatornation
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had on tap at cafe 28 in a surly darkness goblet the pour was pitch black with a blackberry ring and a thin head it did have sticky lacing all around the goblet the smell was dark currants coffee toffee and dark fruits chocolate and vanilla bean..WOW the taste is all of the b4 mentioned but as it warmed it changed in complexity it became a delight to imbibe the chocolate and coffee and fruit and hops blended to an almost dessert RIS WOW again this is by far the one of the top RIS ever made smooth complex drinkable get and taste b4 its gone

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Photo of blackenmn
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a snifter:

Appearance and Smell:Served nice looking black with a very inviting looking frothy brown head which had nice retention and gripped the glass nicely. Smelled of burned sweet chocolate, and caramel with a bit of floral scent.

Taste and Mouthfeel:Tasted of very roasty dark chocolate and creamy caramel with what almost seems like burned vanlla hiding inside this. Really had a sweet silky feel to it, very unique. Alot of citrus like hop pressence on the end of this thing with just a touch of ABV showing its head really kept this brew interesting to the senses. A very well crafted brew with plenty of complexity which really touched on many different levels.

Drinkability:I really liked this brew, ALOT more character to this than I even expected. I'll definitely be visiting this again.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007: Bottle #483. Poured into a tulip glass a dark black/brown color with a slight tan collared head. Roasted aroma with dark chocolate. Very slightly sweet start with a very strong bitter chocolate roasted aftertaste. Some booze is evident. Medium/heavy mouthfeel. The most roasted flavor out of the 07-10 iterations. I would call the 07 the "roasty,dry version"

2008: Bottle. Poured into a tulip glass the usualy brown/black color with a nice tan head, way more carbonated than the 07 vintage. Roasty, dark chocolate aroma. Extremely sweet compared to 07 version which in my opinion isn't very sweet at all. Starts with a sweet start with flavors of molasses and brown sugar and stays sweet the entire time. Some bitterness in the middle. It's actually pretty decent IF you like sweet stouts, it not, then you probably won't like this years.
I would call the 08 the "sweet version"

2009: Had this on tap at Hell's Kitchen for the release party. Served in a small goblet.
Extremely dark color with dark tan head, just like a RIS should look. Had a more subdued smell than I was expecting but picked up notes of coffee and sweetness. The flovor profile starts sweet but has a huge hoppy bitterness to it that is unlike most RIS's. Medium/heavy mouthfeel. Very drinkable and smooth. I have several bottles of this and can't wait to see what it's like with some aging!
I would call the 09 the "hoppy version"

2010: Less hoppy than the 09 version and better balanced. The appearance is not much different than the other years with the classic brown/black with a dark tan head. Aroma is more balanced than previous years with a both roasted, chocolate notes along with some hop bitterness. The flavor profile is pretty balance with a sweet start that is rounded out with roast notes and dark chocolate. Lingering bitterness. Medium/heavy mouthfeel.
I would call the 10 the "balanced version"

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #211. 2007 release. Necrosis black that crowds the sides and bowl of the glass so completely that light doesn't stand a chance in hell. Nothing is visible except... Darkness. The coffee colored cap looks as though it won't fade completely until sometime tomorrow, and there's a surprising amount of lace that can only be described as eye candy. I'm well aware that glassware shouldn't be taken into account when assigning an appearance score, but Darkness in a Darkness snifter is perfection.

Believe it or not, the hops can still be appreciated in the nose after almost a year. I guess that means they were added with a heavy hand back in '07. They're far from numero uno, though. As expected, ridiculously roasted malt is a rompin' and a stompin' all over the joint. Dark chocolate is at least twice as strong as black coffee. I've smelled better, but the nose is good. Damn good.

Believe the hype. My first impression is that Darkness tastes like no other RIS. I'm not sure I'll be able to explain why that is... but it is. My second impression is that a tremendous amount of green hop flavor and bitterness has survived. This stuff just might give Old Crustacean a run for its money when fresh.

Even though the malt backbone is massive, this beast isn't anywhere near as thick and syrupy as Dark Lord (which might make it more drinkable). Some of the bitterness could also be coming from barley that has been fire-roasted to within an inch of its life. The result is a flavor profile that includes chocolate liquor, blackstrap molasses and large splashes of Sambuca and espresso.

If Darkness was limited to those flavors, it would still be exceptional beer. The fact that candied citrus peel and resiny pine sap are added to the mix puts it over the top for this hophead. I can see how some might not like the emphasis on the little green cones, but then this is Surly... what the hell did you expect?

With each eager gulp, I am making Darkness prove every one of the final three scores. Believe me, it more than lives up to the challenge of a critical palate, especially since the flavors become even better integrated as the beer picks up a few degrees. The alcohol provides warmth (not heat) and plenty of power. This is massive beer for massive beer lovers.

My first inclination was to give the mouthfeel a less than perfect score. However, as the middle portion of the bottle approaches, it will not be denied. The melted ice cream-like viscosity that was almost there initially is now there in spades. Carbonation is on the generous side, but it's so soft and so well-buried that it adds just the right amount of energy and lift.

Darkness is a masterful creation from a masterful brewer. I allowed a few doubts to creep in prior to cracking the crown, but I doubt no more. In an amazingly short period of time, Surly has entered the upper echelon of craft breweries with such all-out masterpieces as Furious, Bender and CynicAle. Darkness is simply the shiny, juicy cherry on top. A huge thanks to feloniousmonk, the consummate BA, for the best extra in the history of extras.

*originally reviewed on 10-08-2008

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Photo of capra12
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed with new friends in Minnesota Mark, Dan, "Mo" and Robin at The Day of Darkness on tap.This brew marks my 100th review with more to come.

Appearance: Pour Jet black with brown head into a plastic cup.

Smell: Dark chocolate and piney almost simecoe hops, hint of licorice.

Taste: Opens with rich dark malts that last till the very end. There is a piney/ licorice that comes into the flavor profile with hints of vanilla from the middle to the end leaving dark malty and barely hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, with absolutely no cabonation

Drinkability: Would definitely have this again regardless of its popularity. I would recommend this to those who like a dark malt and roasted brew with subtle hints of black licorice and vanilla.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap Darkness Day '09 at Surly then again with lunch at Stub and Herb's. Pours opaque with a shallow foamy dark brown head that fades slowly leaving stringy patterns of Belgian lacing behind. The smell is timid. Some hints of dark chocolate, cherry and roasted malt. The taste has a nice complexity to it. A slight bitterness of dark chocolate and hops along with the roasted malt and a hint of cherry. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied and smooth with a tanginess from the alcohol. The texture coats some but is not super dense or oily. It cleans up quicker than i anticipated that it would. A really nice drinker, the 10.3% ABV is well integrated.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

My original review was deleted due to the system crashing. I don't remember exactly what I said, but here are my general thoughts. I had the '08 a few months ago and wasn't necessarily liking it a whole lot. Thought it had a lot going for it but in the end was just too sweet. The '09 is a completely different beast though. Big and very hoppy, with the sweetness merely adding complexity rather than dominating. My original rating was a 3.9 B+, but I have updated it to reflect the '09

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Photo of joepais
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 vintage bottle split three ways in tulip glasses. It was nice and viscous coming out of the bottle. A small tan head rose form each pour then settled to a thin lace but a simple swirl of the glass would bring it back. The body of the brew was a midnight black with light maroon highlights.

The first aroma I got was a slight oxidation which was to be expected with the age. Then I got some wonderful aromas of molasses, brown sugar and some slight dark fruits.
The brew was towards the sweet side again I would expect it was from the age but it really made for an enjoyable sipping experience. Again I got the molasses, a hint of vanilla and dark fruits. I must say the roasted malts were showing up more as sweet chocolate than a roasted coffee note, Which added a bit uniqueness to the flavor. The brew was thick and viscous in your mouth with a slight carbonation for the tongue. Just the way I like a stout.

A great stout I would stand in line for it. The glass went down dam easy. I didn't get any hint of the alcohol seeing it was a 10%brew. I would gladly drink it again. big thanks to Packforever1976 for hooking me up

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Photo of Beerisheaven
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Feeling a little down in the dumps tonight after watching the Phillies cough up game 2 to the Dodgers in the NLCS. What better way to put a smile back on my face then to pull out this gem which has been nestled away in the cellar since Darkness Day 2008.

First off, huges props to maximum12 for passing this my way, and passing it along as an extra. Bet on your good deed being returned; however, I will be swimming upstream for some time to repay the world famous, earth shaking, legendary trading maximum12.

Pours nearly black with little light being able to pierce this lovely mixture. Not a big head.

The smell and taste largely follow each other. Big presence of bitter chocolate, a bit of smoke, dark roasty toasty malts and a huge hit of sweet fruit. I seemed to pick up a nice cherry undertone on the fruit profile. Sweet but after reading some of the ratings, I was actually expecting it to be even sweeter. I think it is divine and the other Phillies fans drowning their sorrow with me all enjoyed it as well.

Very luxurious mouthfeel, slightly slick and oily. Very pleasant.

The drinkability is also very good, but I am not sure that you can do much more than sharing a bottle with friends. Sweet profile makes you enjoy your fill, but it is more of a treat rather than something that you can drink a lot of during one session.

All in all, a great experience and I look forward to hopefully trying this one again. It is really good and thanks to Corey once again for his generous inclusion. I'll get you back, you wait.

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Photo of corby112
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark blood red burgundy brown that almost black and completely opaque with a thick frothy 2.5 finger dark chocolate coffee colored head that has excellent retention, lasting throughout and leaving large chunks of soapy lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with sweet bitter dark chocolate and hints of molasses, honey, burnt toast, caramel, oatmeal, coffee bean, toffee, licorice and sweet alcohol. Possibly the best aroma I've experienced yet.

Thick chewy viscous mouthfeel with some slight carbonation and a huge roasty malt flavor. Soooo smooth with a full viscous mouthfeel. The ABV is so well masked that it's almost undetectable. Slightly dry finish with some slight alcohol warmth. Extremely quaffable with awesome raosted malt profile. Lots of sweet bitter dark chocolate, coffee bean, toffee, molasses, honey and caramel sweetness that balances out the deep roasty and burnt toast characteristics. Very subtle hops in the finish as well as some slight alcohol warmth.

This is one of the most complex, flavorful and drinkable Imperial Stouts I've ever had and possibly one of the best beers I've ever had the pleasure of sampling. All I can say is WOW. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on cask at the 501 club with the guys from Surly to celebrate the Bronze medal at the GABF for Coffee Bender, which I also had.

Pours an opaque pitch black color with a one finger dark brown head. Retention of the head is much better around the outsides, as it shrinks in the middle but stays clinging to the glass. Nice lacing also.

The nose is dark coffee, roasted malts, bitter hops, toffee caramel and vanilla, bitter chocolate, dark dried fruits...and so much more. Extremely complex and it's a treat to drink this in.

The taste is just as good as the nose leads on. Dark roasted malts, sweet and bitter chocolate, bitter earthy hops, dried dark fruits, sweet caramel and vanilla, roasted coffee...the combinations of flavors seem endless and they just keep coming. I'm not kidding when I say I get a different taste with every sip.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich and creamy. Has an appropriate carbonation level. Had a significant bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability is amazing. This is a great brew and one I can't wait to have again. I can't wait for Darkness Day to purchase my limit in bottles. I would love to see how this is a couple years down the road, maybe even one day do a vertical. Surly does it again, but was there ever any doubt?

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Photo of kirok1999
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mildly dark black, just a hint of ruby around the edges of the snifter. Thin off white head.
Smells very sweet and malty. Mildly spicy with a bit of alcohol.
Very nice sweet taste, milk chocolate and caramel. Slighty bitter and dry with some noticable hops. Lingering alcohol in the aftertaste in the form of mild bourbon.
Feels dense and creamy and very sticky.
Very smooth to sip. A really well made beer worthy of the hype.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2008. 750 ml bottle poured into my Cigar City tulip. I think thanks go out to ditmer for this brew, if I'm mistaken, sorry.

A: Pitch black, not a hint of light shines through. Huge two fingers of mocha head appear, retains nicely, and leaves great spotty lace.

A: Super sweet. Big molasses, raisin, fig, bittersweet chocolate, and cherry. Great chocolaty and roasty malt flavor is put in balance by the earthy hops.

T: Magnificantly complex. The molasses, dried fruit, chocolate, and cherry are great. But I am really diggin the sweetness of the malt. The earthiness gives it a balance that is supurb. The perfect amount of hops give it a smooth dry finish.

M: Super viscous, velvety smooth. I can't say anything more. Just perfect.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is great. This one is about a year old, and the flavors have melded perfectly. Would really like to compare this to a fresh bottle, but couldn't wait to pop it open. Just a great example of the style. Skal.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally found a moment to open up this gem. Big thanks to Eric and Russ for giving me this opportunity. Poured from a 750 mL maroon wax-topped bottle into a snifter. 2008 vintage.

A- Imagine the contents of an oil drum being poured into your glass. Dark as night, absolutely no visibility. Produced two fingers width of cocoa colored head. Reduced to a ring. Minimal lacing left on the glass.

S- It's there, just not distinct enough...too neutral and restrained, especially for a beast like this. Getting some sweetness from chocolate malts with an underlying scent of oats. A bit of alcohol is also detectable.

T- Took a while to get used to, but once I let it warm up to room temperature, this beer was spot on. Upfront there was a nice amount of bitter chocolates. From there a rich chocolate flavor comes forth with an undeniable sweetness that builds and lasts to the very end. Did notice a hint of charred character as well.

M- This is what I'm talking about. Absolutely perfect. This beer has what I call the double V's...viscosity and velvety smoothness (yea, I just made that up). Slick and oily. I really can't complain here.

D- The sweetness brings it down a little bit, but by no means was it overwhelming. Did not notice the alcohol whatsoever.

Overall, really happy with this one. Definitely didn't disappoint. The mouthfeel was spot on and the taste was close behind. Highly recommended.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful black with a small tan colored head that hangs out around the edge of the glass.

S: Very pleasant chocolate and oat filled nose. Not overwhelming or underwhelming at all.

T: Cocoa, chocolate, and a touch of oat make this a very enjoyable tasting brew.

M: Full bodied with ample carbonation with a nice stout slickness left behind.

D: Pretty damn good. Big tasty RIS here. Looking forward to the new batch.

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Photo of nickd717
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle, beer geek tasting at The Bruery. An excellent R.I.S. reminiscent of Dark Lord more than anything else.

A - Black, thick, and oily. Fairly small tan head.

S - Roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate, with a hint of dark fruits.

T - Really excellent: roasted malts, coffee, cherries, raisins, other dark fruits, molasses, and chocolate. Complexity is high. Pretty sweet overall so it may not be for everyone, but it is most definitely for me.

M - Sweet and syrupy with low carbonation, which some people think is a bad thing, but I like this in extreme RISes.

D - Well, the consistency is similar to oil, but the fact that it's so tasty increases the drinkability quite a bit.

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Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
4.42 out of 5 based on 3,786 ratings.
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