Darkness | Surly Brewing Company

DarknessDarkness
BA SCORE
4.49/5
3,847 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


Added by ryantupy on 10-08-2006

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#123
Reviews:
881
Ratings:
3,847
pDev:
8.91%
Bros Score:
4.5
 
 
Wants:
3,310
Gots:
1,530
Trade:
138
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,847 |  Reviews: 881
Photo of chippo33
2/5  rDev -55.5%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First tasted in 2013 in a Rastal Teku from a 750 ml bottle. Most recently tasted in a 12 oz snifter from cask at Firkin on October 25, 2016. Smooth and rich with cocoa, vanilla, charred oak and dried fruit aromas and flavors. Highly recommended.

 248 characters

Photo of imbibehour
3.56/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

4 oz. pour into a small snifter at Churchkey DC. Vintage 2011.

A real nice dark cocoa brown head is presented, falls slowly. Manages to leave a real nice whispy puck and collar while finishing. Body color gives a slightly good oily sheen, but nothing filimy, and the body color is nearly jet black (I'll go walnut black)

Nose hits with mild char, faint milk chocolate, incredibly soft bodied and silky smelling, like whipped up mocha. Unfortunately there's something also medicinal on this as well.

Taste goes to sweetened coffee, and warming hot cocoa. A very noticeable taste of confectioners sugar, maybe even some maple. It's nicely balanced though between all these palate flavors, maybe even some faint hop bitter on the finish. Palate matches the sense of smelling velvet and rich silk. But incredibly sweet tasting though and mostly just "noticeably sweet" which makes it a bit one dimensional.

Overall though, it reminds me too much of CBS on tap but nowhere as impressive, and has that noticeable sugar sweetness which gets to me a bit. It's an impressive beer, but I just don't enjoy drinking this at all compared to others I've had.

 1,148 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of 22Blue
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of AlexFields
3.96/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SadMachine
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of a77cj7
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.41/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this into a tulip. The appearance is pitch black and it pours that way as well. It starts off with a one finger white to off white foamy head and gently dies at a nice pace leaving a nice coating of lacing that eventually spider webs and clings nicely to the sides of the glass. The smell takes a superior amount of sweet sticky roasted chocolates and adds a decent underscore of vanilla to it. It all combines nice and roasty. The taste is extremely sweet and sticky chocolate coating my taste buds. There is an extremely sweet sticky chocolatey aftertaste that ends up leaving a sweet sticky chocolatey finish as well. On the palate, it sits about a medium to heavy with no booze noticed as I thought I was going to but no side effects are noticed. The carbonation is extremely smooth around my mouth and tongue. This one is a sipper, no gulping allowed or at least in my opinion, I say don’t gulp. Overall, wow - nice one Surly, wish I could get this one in my distro.

 982 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed a 2012 vintage with a friend after letting it age for 2 months, this is the second best imperial stout I've ever had imo, only falling short to Abyss. Really excited about the 2011 I've got in the cellar, going to have to think of an excuse to open that some day. Cheers

 278 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.69/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage courtesy of stillmatic2232 at the Ithaca Luminous release.

Pours a dark, abyss depths-like black. 2 inch head mocha head, good lacing in the glass.

Smells like dark roasted malt, some dark fruits, chocolate, and espresso.

The taste is similar. One of the biggest expressions of dark fruits- raisins, plums, dark tart cherries- I've had in a sout. The roasted malt and chocolate keep the dark fruit flavor from being too cloying. Some espresso bean flavors as well.

Thick, syrupy mouthfeel, sweet start, bitter finish. No alcohol presence, despite the imperial ABV.

Amazing stuff, really glad I finally got to try it.

 634 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage (Brewcifer). Poured from a wax-topped bomber into a snifter, the beer is jet black, almost oily, with a thin, filmy, frothy half-inch head that settles into a filmy surface coating. Nose of black strap molasses, licorice, coffee, baker's chocolate, woody notes, and hints of vanilla. Flavors of rich, heavy molasses and smooth dark chocolate forward. Perfectly balanced. Oaky highlights, with vanilla notes, too. Roasted characteristics throughout, with coffee bitterness in and out of the palate, also. Very layered palate and deep throughout. Velvety smooth body, with a chocolate bitter and roasted aftertaste. Wow! The finish is slick, smooth, and fairly heavy on the linger of rich and heavy. Great beer! Wow!

 727 characters

Photo of mklisz
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Lare453
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of BeerOps
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My Darkness sits in a Duvel tulip glass, the roasty brown espresso-tinged head filling the top, and the actual beer as black as the darkest night, saturated with sin. Tannish lace stays long on the glass. This bleak cast may scare away the timid, those less ready to tango with the Stygian side, but the nose entices me in, and am undaunted as I step into the dark.

A blast of coffee hits first, married with copious cocoa, bitter and sweet stand side by side, neither in dominance. Hints of dark rum, molasses, black pepper and anise are mixed in this aroma of this heady brew, and it only gets richer the more you drink it in the nose. Sweeter elements eventually take charge, but it's still a deep, almost spicy blend.

To taste: Massive mouthfeel, thick, gooey, and absolutely delicious. Chocolate is in full force, but matched once more with earthier aspects, the coffee, the spice, the slick black strap. Incredibly pervasive on the palate, this stout commands every inch of the senses, sending tasty tendrils up in each crack in the cavern of the mouth. Plenty of hops at play (80 IBUs), bobbing just below the malt.

Sip, gulp, swallow, and the parade of flavors begins again, dancing along the tongue, like some malefic ballet. Dark fruit sensations rise up and leave the mind searching for the connection. Dark cherries, berries, raspberry? ....but completely covered in a shell of chocolate. The lip smacks, the tongue scrapes up remnants of this rich elixir, not to miss a drop of deliciousness.

To state "full-bodied" would be an act of redundancy. This is huge, long, and out of the ordinary. Ends smooth and dryly, a pleasing finish, still loaded with flavor, never dying away completely.

Puts many a RIS to shame, though I'd love to sit down and do a comparison among others. To the great credit of Darkness, the alcohol content does not really stick out until nearing glasses end, and the less attractive aspect is that the beautiful dark, rich flavor leaves you craving more, ...although you probably shouldn't. (It's 9.5%, give or take.)

I entered the heart of Darkness, and peered into the abyss...found it satisfactory to my soul, and I believe I will take this midnight ride again and again...in moderation...

and to think, there is a bourbon barrel version on it's way...oh, sweet mercy!

Hey, Todd, which metal album should have been thundering in the background while I drink this?
And thank you for brewing this beer, to my knowledge the only Russian Imperial Stout from a Minnesota brewery, outside of the brewpubs.

 2,549 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -22%

Darkness from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.49 out of 5 with 3,847 ratings
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