Darkness - Rye Barrel-Aged (2018) | Surly Brewing Company

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Darkness - Rye Barrel-Aged (2018)Darkness - Rye Barrel-Aged (2018)
Darkness - Rye Barrel-Aged (2018)Darkness - Rye Barrel-Aged (2018)

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This massive Russian Imperial Stout brings waves of flavors; chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, and toffee. Barrel-Aged Darkness is a limited edition variant that spent over three months aging in Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey barrels. The aging process provides a distinct aromatic whiskey character that is oaky and spicy on top of the core Darkness flavors.

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User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 16
Photo of REVZEB
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Another fantastic entry into the series, if not the best I have had so far. Rich black body with ashy highlights, no head but some lace. Smell and taste capture the barrel character so well, providing warm whiskey, rye, and oak to a stout that features plenty of dark fruit, tobacco, molasses, char, coffee, dark chocolate, dried cherry, and in the taste: hint of brown sugar, caramel, and slight whiskey bitters. Both smell and taste are very complex and worth a large portion of time to appreciate fully, taste just blossoms out of the palate of darkness. Feel is chewy, warm, super smooth, dark, and woody.

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Well I did write a review for this beer but didn't load for some reason so you guys get this instead. Short and sweet. Not writing it again.

Look is black, flat, no carbonation no lacing.
Smell is sweet dark fruit. Cherries, whiskey and chocolate.
Taste is similar to nose but more pronounced. Raisins, figs, molasses and whiskey.
Feel is medium. Sticky mouthfeel. Med abv heat.
Great beer!


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Photo of erk0607
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Falling Rock in Denver 4/30/19.

Look is dark dark brown with a graham cracker colored head and lacing. Reflective.

Smell is toasty caramel sugar, raisins, plum, coffee and cheery. Slight alcohol on the nose.

Taste is super rich and luxurious, chocolate, caramel, nuts, cherry, coffee. Dark fruits.

Feel is syrupy, slight alcohol heat, moderate to heavy mouthfeel factoring in the carbonation.

Overall, quite the beer. The flavors and nose are pretty similar, and you don’t have to shove your nose in the glass to get a whiff. You can definitely tell this is high ABV. Would like to age and see if it mellows out.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Found this on tap at Würst Bier Hall in Fargo, North Dakota. A snifter glass was $11.00 plus tax, a bit pricey but for a one time indulgence I had to go for it. Dark dark brown to black in color with a lasting lacing gives way to a very smooth and rich tasting rye barrel aged stout. The rye and oakiness are definitely there but not over done, but very well done to be more precise.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Black beer, small tan head, a bit of lace.
Aroma of booze, chocolate, and some sweet fruit.
Very nice.
The taste got even better. Whiskey, chocolate, and cherry. A sweet taste.
Alcohol compliments this beer; I didn't think it got in the way at all. The chocolate and cherry went well together.
A fantastic beer!

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Photo of mothman
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2018/19 On draft. Tan head. Black color.

Great rye whiskey flavor, spicy, warming, smooth. Chocolate, roasted malts, raisins, molasses, toffee. Very complex.

Full bodied. Amazing barrel flavors. This is a winner.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.49/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Surly BA Darkness 2018, 12% ABV. Pours black with a middle-finger of brown head that left little lacing. Nose is bourbon, cherry, and chocolate. Taste is quite sweet, chocolate, cherry, bourbon, dark fruit, toffee, very little bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel, overall world-class. This is the third year of BA Darkness I've had, and by far the best fresh. The 2016 edition aged a year was pretty fantastic too. I'm a sucker for sweeter beers, though this isn't cloying at all. The bourbon really comes out, along with the chocolate, as it warms.

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Photo of The_Mancannon_of_Slothrop
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours so close to black we may as well call it black, less than a finger tan head, leaving no lacing or retention.

I know how prolific Surly has become lately, with far more misses than hits, but I have to say that this is as good if not better than a lot of limited-release brewery releases commanding hundreds of dollars. It is insane how good this is.

Nutty aroma, also picking up heavy thick notes of caramel, a bit of grassiness here, some alcohol there. This is the first BA Darkness I've had. What distinguishes BA darkness from its non-BA counterpart that the latter has a marked hop profile. There is still some bitterness here, perhaps still a bit more than the average RIS even, but the barrels really ease it. Flavor profile is chocolate, tree bark...what the rye barrels also confer is perhaps, not so much booze, but dark fruit--cherries, figs, plums. Full-bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation, exceedingly smooth. Magnificent.

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Darkness - Rye Barrel-Aged (2018) from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.56 out of 5 with 16 ratings