Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
DarknessDarkness
BA SCORE
4.48/5
Outstanding
3,975 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:
#137
Reviews:
904
Ratings:
3,975
pDev:
8.93%
Bros Score:
4.5
 
 
Wants:
3,300
Gots:
1,566
Trade:
137
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,975 |  Reviews: 904
Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of muskiesman
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Summer78
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of mindfuldave
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of unclejazz
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of bigbadmatt
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of eye_pea_eh
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of emsjf
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of MMAJYK
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of johnnyboy76
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of bribo
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Pete27lax
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of mrebeka
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Dajtai007
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of tectactoe
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Mike for sharing this one with me! 2011 version. Pours a midnight black color, only the very edges show some dark brown hints; thick, dark, and opaque. The head is a deep tan color, comprised of very fine bubbles and appears to be creamy as hell. It hangs around for a while before it complete vanishes, and it's pretty hard to bring any of it back by just swirling the glass. No real lacing left behind.

Right out of the gate, the aroma is super sweet. Dark currants and fruits, black licorice, toasted brown sugar, and bits of bittersweet chocolate. Some small, extra hints of vanilla reside in the back as well. Not much coffee on the nose (though there is a little bit) - the sweet fruits, sugar, and chocolate kind of steal the show. Booze is apparent, but masked well enough from the barricade of other flavors.

Many other people are calling out a big hop profile in the aroma, but I'm just not getting it. Some very faint char/ashiness that may be from the hop, but I'm grasping at straws, here. I'm just not picking up a big hop character on the nose (barely any at all, actually). This aroma reminds me quite a bit of Dark Lard, but lighter on the brown sugar and not quite as sweet.

A similar thing could be said about the taste. Darkness hits you with a sweetness first and foremost, just like Dark Lord did, but it's a little more tamed in this one. Sugary, burnt caramels, bittersweet cocoa, syrupy molasses, licorice - quite a lot going on here. There were actually a few sips that would remind me of the syrup used in fountain machines to make cola. Less dark fruit on the palate than in the aroma, but some currants and dates are there, sugar coated and sweet as hell.

I'm finally picking up a touch of hops, but still nowhere near enough to combat the sheer malty sweet intensity of this beer. The coffee comes out a little over halfway through and ride well into the aftertaste, leaving a nice roasted coffee bean flavor in my mouth. The sweet brown sugar also hangs in the aftertaste, probably for a little too long. Thick, heavy mouth, though not incredibly creamy or chewy, with lower end carbonation. Lacquers the mouth with a sticky, syrupy coating.

This is a damn fine brew, and I enjoyed it a little bit more than Dark Lord. But unfortunately it suffers from the same flaw of still being a bit too sweet. Darkness does a little bit better of a job taming the sweetness than Dark Lord, however. Lots of different flavors and aromas going on here, and this is a nicely crafted RIS - but the relentless sweetness (in my opinion) is holding it back from being "top of the list" for me.

EDIT: 7/19/2013

2012 Vintage shared thanks to Kevin R... Thanks! I liked this one even a bit more than the 2011 that Mike cracked with me earlier this year. Sweetness was evident, yet more controlled. Hoppier, with a better balance of ashy bitterness. More roasty, more drinkable, and even more enjoyable, even though I already like it in the first place. Great brew.

 2,993 characters

Photo of MEW
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of mjenkins5
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of gio540
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of CRJMellor
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of NFMSKRS
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of JL1
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Phoenix2443
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of nogophers
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.48 out of 5 with 3,975 ratings