Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

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DarknessDarkness
BA SCORE
4.48/5
Outstanding
3,965 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:
#138
Reviews:
902
Ratings:
3,965
pDev:
8.93%
Bros Score:
4.5
 
 
Wants:
3,306
Gots:
1,565
Trade:
137
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,965 |  Reviews: 902
Photo of schneid
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of urwithdave
3.98/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tnx to gtreid for sharing this one at our stout throw down! 09 bottle poured into my cigar city snifter.

A- Midnight black in color. A solid 1' 1/2" dark brown head that has pretty decent retention. Nice lacing.

S- Big molasses and booze. Malts and a slight hint of hops.

T- Very sweet molasses and dark chocolate. Some dried fruits, mainly prunes. The alcohol takes the spotlight and kind of drowns out the other flavors. There is a bit of earthly hops.

M- Kind of thin, almost oily. I would have def preferred a little more thickness.

D- A little more time would've helped this one out. The alcohol was still very hot.

 626 characters

Photo of ja09
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of KobraKai
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Fahmie25
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of nucmedmario
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of laymansbeerfan
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of Steve212
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of pezhead_79
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StoutFox
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mayxday
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of BeerDazed
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of KBlodorn
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of steve032
4.01/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dukedevil0
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap 3 times in Chicago, IL this winter so far at Hopleaf, Sheffield's and Local Option. Each time was served in a snifter or stemmed tulip.

A: DARK black with head ranging from khaki colored to copper brown to almost chocolate milkshake looking. Lots of lacing left on the glass on this one.

S: Smells of chocolate, coffee, toffee, dark fruits or raisins, maybe some slight blackberry or raspberry in there too. Lots of different smells in there.

T: Tastes even better than it smells! but still has the chocolate, coffee, toffee, dark fruits/raisins, molasses, maybe some slight blackberry or raspberry. So many flavors, it's like you could focus on one and love it, then focus on another and it's like you are drinking different beers, but all the flavors are great.

M: Super creamy, sticky (seriously some spilled over and my fingers were sticking to the glass like I had eaten cotton candy), syrupy. Low carbonation.

D: Unbelievably drinkable. You can barely tell that the alcohol is in there and what is there goes so well with the rest of the beer it makes you want even more. I was crushed when I ordered another and they came back with just a couple ounces because the keg was dry.

This is EASILY my favorite beer that I have ever drank up to this point. I get giddy when I go somewhere and see it on the beer list. I hope they bottle more of this and ship it to Chicago next year. I have to give this all 5's until I can find something that proves me wrong.

 1,483 characters

Photo of Hoptimus-Prime
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of mechamifune
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 edition

Pours jet black with about an inch of dark brown creamy head. Beer looks very "alive" so to speak and is about as nice as you can expect a RIS to look.

Nose is pleasant with mostly notes of chocolate. Not what I would call a strong smell (in contrast I found the taste much stronger and distinct) but still a very pleasant one with minimal sense of alcohol.

Taste makes me think of chocolate milk.... to me that seems like the overpowering note, which I enjoyed immensely. Coffee there too and a few slight underlying flavors that my palate isn't good enough to identify with certainty. The longer I drink it the more the sweetness of the beer starts to take front stage, but never to the point of being overpowering.

Keeping with the chocolate milk theme, the mouthfeel is fantastic. As creamy of a RIS as i've ever had and fantasticly easy to drink for such a high abv.

In total a great beer that I think probably benefited a good deal from cellaring a year. I had this a day after having a 09 dark lord and its amazing just how different two huge beers made in the same general style can be. Glad I finally got a hold of this one, but unless I move to minnesota for some reason, I don't anticipate going through the trouble of obtaining it again.

 1,267 characters

Photo of BillyB
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Russian Imperial Stouts are my favorite style, so I'm a bit biased.

I think what Surly is doing is very ballsy. Brewing big beers and canning them. The only other example I can think of that comes close to this is Oskar Blues Ten Fity. I tried this at GABF so it was on draft and from what I heard their not canning this one.

But to get to the point; Darkness is off the charts! Pours a jet black, opaque hue, with a thick tan head.

The roasty, toasty, coffee, caramel and slight whiskey aromas jump out at you.

Strong coffee, roasty malt and toffee flavors. Slight whiskey character, but very subtle.

So drinkable! Just so damn, drinkable! This may be the best russian I've tried since Stone or North Coast.

If you can get your hands on this beer, try it! You won't be dissappointed.

 792 characters

Photo of beckje01
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First review from 1-16-2007 This was from the Darkness's first batch. A: 4 S: 3 T: 3.5 M: 4 D: 3

A- Black with a low caramel head which is very thick, has some good lacing as well.

S- Fruity hops with some malt but very much in the background.

T- Starts with a bit of hop then a big hop hit, then a hint of vanilla. I can find some caramel and lots of underlying levels are there and get a hint of them but the hops are distracting.

M- Thick and smooth with some activity in my mouth, very nice really.

D- Easy if you like the hops pretty balanced but there is so much more in this beer that I just can't quite get to because of the hops. If you can find this you should have at least two, maybe not in the same night but at some point.

____

This is for the 2008 version that came out in October.

A- Black no light getting through this one, tan head with wonderful lacing.

S- Wow just a wonderful nose full of malts just so nice.

T- Nice malty some hops in there that really work well together, hints of caramel but very good.

M- Good thickness very smooth, work great with the flavors.

D- Very drinkable and very dangerous because of it.

This is my second review of this beer its much better then the first version put out. They have really improved the taste, hence why its only getting a 4 for taste if they can improve this much in this short of time they can improve much more.

 1,396 characters

Photo of RichBeer
3/5  rDev -33%

Photo of xxcarpxx
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of ravot
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of LumpkinBrews
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Philvillani
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of tripelhops
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.48 out of 5 with 3,965 ratings