Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

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3,938 Ratings

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

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.

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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,938 |  Reviews: 896
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.

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

Photo of JayGreezy
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tripelhops
4/5  rDev -10.7%

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

Photo of rxeight
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of bryang002
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of kreg02
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of AlienSwineFlu
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of iDrake
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of ptrck_nl
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | 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 Sails_Ambassador
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

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

Photo of MEW
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of RyanSchwam
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of ArdyExfor
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Dybasi
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Hallsey3
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mauerhan
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

So about time I got my hands on a bottle of this.

Pours black with a fucking sexy three finger head off a very aggressive pour. lacing is some of the best i have seen. period. they called it the darkness for a reason. light couldn't get through this if it was held at gun point.

smell is complex. surprisingly hoppy. slight sweetness. this smells completely unique. like no ris that i have ever had.

taste follows right behind smell. rich and complex. smooth. nice malt that is countered by a nice earthy hop character. rich chocolate, vanilla, molasses. this flavor is incredible. seriously. rad...yes im bringing rad back.

mouth is creamy. thick. delicious.

this beer is extremely well made. I couldn't manage more than one of these in a night. it is a silent ninja. sneaky mother fucker has kicked me in the face. well done sirs well done.

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Photo of jt31914
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'08 Bomber aged for a year and a half or so.

A: Couple fingers of head, dark black color with coffee colored lacing/head. Not too carbonated except at the top of the beer; no bubbling in the body of the brew.

S: Strong! I could smell it from five feet away; it is a wonderfully sweet aroma of chocolate, coffee, licorice, and barley that is balanced by oats. The oat and barley are dominant and there is a mellow alcohol melded in.

T: Super sweet and malty with licorice, chocolate, and barley on the palate. This is balanced by the oats and bitter coffee on the finish. The alcohol is super smooth and pleasant, and this beer reminds me of a better, sweeter, and more drinkable version of GI's BCS.

M/D: It just sits in your mouth and you never want to swallow. Super smooth, creamy and drinkable.

This is the new best beer I've ever had... by a decent margin.

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Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.48 out of 5 with 3,938 ratings