Surly Brewing Company

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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #620
Ranked #3,189
4.27 | pDev: 6.79%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Notes: As black cats skitter, ladders loom, and mirrors break, a reminder: You make your own luck. Surly makes your beer. Presenting 13, our maple barrel-aged imperial stout. Notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and aromatic vanilla sit atop the rich maple flavors coursing beneath. This decadent ale appears on Friday the 13th for a limited time only. Good luck.
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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 61 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim from New York

4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Jeff for this one. 16oz. black can in a display box into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303. Definitely A+ for presentation.

Pretty average once it's out of the can though. Nose is rich fudge, cocoa powder, chocolate, molasses, and a dank, almost stinky maple presence. Love it. Beer opens chocolate ice cream, molasses, fudge, and cocoa. More maple and molasses in the middle with a continued chocolate ice cream/chocolate milk flavor. End is coca cola, chocolate, and maple syrup. Same aftertaste. Body is medium to full with low carbonation. Rich and warm on the palate and goes down smooth with a long, lingering, filmy aftertaste. This one's actually a touch lighter than I'd like.

I've seldom come across a stout that is this heavy in chocolate flavor. Dense, rich, and deep. Really nice!

Mar 11, 2021
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from the can in a Phase Three snifter.

When I was 13, it was a very good year... Anyway, this stuff pours a deep midnight brown topped by a finger or so of light beige foam. The nose comprises maple syrup, roasted malts, and mild vanilla. Perhaps a wisp of oak. The taste brings in more of the same; the focus on the maple-soaked wood, but there's plenty of roast and vanilla sweetness to balance things out rather nicely. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a bit on the thin side, but otherwise a pretty damn tasty stout, kids.

Feb 23, 2021
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 2020/10/08
Pours a dark chestnut brown to basically black color, semi thick frothy 1/2 finger brown head with med-lower retention, a bit of sticky lacing, small legs

Nose brings dark roasty malts, inky black heavy malts, black malt, dark dark chocolate, burnt coffee, roasted cacao, toasted nuts, a bit of fudge and chocolate cake, layers of rich vanilla, with some toasted oak, a bit of a sweet maple candy, getting more of a rich chocolate cake as it warms

Taste is fairly sweet, maple out front actually, more maple candies, then into dark roasty malts, some dark roasted coffee as well, then the chocolate layers, dark dark chocolate, more of that rich chocolate cake with vanilla and chocolate frosting, a little fudgey, fair amount of rich vanilla as well, a touch of smooth alcohol, chocolate sprinkles even, with a little toasted oak character but barely, finishes a bit drier but sticky, bit more warming alcohol and more layers of chocolate, vanilla, and maple

Mouth is fairly thick, rich, full bod, med foamy carb, light warming alcohol with a hint of tingle

Overall pretty nice beer, not incredible but nicely done, good flavors all combined and balanced well, and super rich... btw, did I mention that it was rich?

Jan 30, 2021
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can. Unreadable stamping on can bottom but canned sometime in 2019.
Black colored body, with tiny red mahogany back lit edge. Minimal tan head with aggressive pour. Off drinking side brings along a partial lacing coat.
Aroma of dark roasted malt, with notes of maple syrup, fudgy chocolate, and dark fruit. Vanilla is sitting way up high.
Taste is dark roasted malts, cherry and fig dark fruit, and vanilla/fudge chocolate. Maple arrives mid and late. Tends a little sweet rather than bitter. Rather dry at the end.
More than medium mouth feel. Good carbonation.
Higher ABV% intrudes just a little. Overall, a very smooth brew. The maple is very well balanced, and provides, along with the vanilla, a flavor that enhances the others.

Jan 17, 2021
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hoptheology from South Dakota

4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can, from my wifey
Canned 10/8/20
Into Ommegang Tulip snifter

Deep coffee black with a tall creamy 2 finger head of almond. Recedes to 1 finger and leaves spotty lacing.

Aroma brings tons of maple and barrel, with some black licorice, fig, tobacco, dark chocolate, and spiked chocolate mousse. Wow, what an aroma.

Flavor is eye-popping good. These guys are good at barrel beers for sure. Brings maple, dark chocolate, whiskey barrel, caramel/malted milk ball, milk chocolate, blueberries, toasted marshmallow, alcohol, slight tobacco, and slight fig. Amazing.

Feel is really sticky and viscous right from the get, and develops some carbonation as it lays on the tongue. It numbs the tip of the tongue and the gums a bit, and the heat rolls in like a furnace, but then the massive heat is gone like the wind before you swallow. Lingering tingling heat on the gums and the tip of the tongue is still numb. Comes across as soft overall. What's incredible is the fact that they managed to place the thickness and slickness of maple syrup in the mouthfeel. Impeccable.

Overall, might be my favorite Surly beer. It's rather incredible. What an impressive beer. Slightly better than BA Darkness for me. Will try to procure more. Thanks dear!

Jan 15, 2021
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint can purchased at Marty’s Fine Wines, Newton, MA
Canned on 10/08/20
Served in a tulip

Really impressive packaging. Seeing breweries put this much time and effort into their artwork helps me justify paying $13 for a single can of beer. As for the beer, it poured a glossy near pitch black. The thick, oily looking body was topped by a small, finely beaded, mocha colored crown that fell to a frothy halo. Some streaks of lacing stuck along the glass.

The aroma was very solid. Rich and malty. Nice melding of roasted and caramel malts. Fresh vanilla bean notes also came through strong. There was a big dark fruit presence as well. Raisins and plums for sure. Some chocolate fudge was noticeable too. As the beer warmed, both the vanilla and the chocolate notes intensified.

The flavor profile was nearly identical to the nose. Malty and robust. Roasted and caramel malts were apparent. Some maple came through on the front end but not as much as I anticipated. Big vanilla presence in the center. Dark chocolate was also noticeable. More roastiness on the back end and the finish. Hint of barrel. Touch of lingering booze and sweetness after the swallow.

Nice rich, creamy, fuller bodied mouthfeel. Slick and smooth on the palate. The liquid contained a finely bubbled, moderate effervescence.

13 is an impressive offering by Surly. Even though the maple presence was subtle, the vanilla and chocolate notes were in full effect. My only knock against this beer was the price point.

Jan 10, 2021
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cbutova from Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Motor oil black pour from the can into a becher glass. The head is creamy and has a dark cocoa brown hue building quickly to a finger high. Fairly good head retention with spotty lacing.

S- Getting a strong aroma with a lot of malty and barrel derived aromas. Overall it reminds me of a fudgey brownie with nuts and maple. Roast barley, cocoa nibs, fruity dark chocolate, coffee and caramel notes. Sour whiskey and oak come to mind for me but unsure if Bourbon is involved here. Tiny hit of vanilla.

T- Very, very roasty on the palate with the heavy roast grains making up the bulk of the flavor. I don't know if I am truly mistaken but Bourbon, sour whiskey and charred oak definitely come to mind as well as the mentioned maple which comes on pretty strong. Maple candied nuts, very dark chocolate, roast barley, caramel, marshmallow, vanilla bean and slight booze.

MF- Heavy body with a frothy and rather creamy texture. Medium level of carbonation and it finishes rather hot.

Even as the maple grows with time, so does the booze to provide balance to that and in the end this beer is really, really nice. The bitter roast barley plays nicely with the maple and the barrel is strong but still allows the base stout to shine.

Jan 03, 2021
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highdesertdrinker from Arizona

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown with a slight amt of head that vanishes quickly. It smells like vanilla, chocolate and alcohol. The flavor is vanilla, chocolate, and maple that kinda winds it all together. Lots of stuff going on in this one and it’s very rich and decadent and a little hot. I was surprised to open the box and find a pint can but I consider cans the superior vessel so it’s all good and I’m glad I bought it.

Jan 01, 2021
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jws7968 from Illinois

4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with some lacing. Smell is strong maple. Taste is maple, vanilla, dark chocolate and did I mention maple. A little thin for a stout, but love the maple.

Nov 27, 2020
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cool box and can! Brownish black with a thin lighter brown collar. Smell pounds you with maple, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and then more maple, don't hate it. Taste wise it is on the sweeter end of the spectrum, some roasted malt tries to fight through but it overcome by the huge maple and vanilla, chocolate is pervasive. Feels creamy, sweet, cool and generally chocolate milk consistency with some malt work. 13, it's what's for dessert! The wife loved it

Mar 06, 2020
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

13 Pours black, with the smallest tan head. Big rich aroma, sweet, lots of maple, earth and barrel. Flavor is sweet, but not too sweet, lots of fresh maple notes, lots of barrel, some vanilla, hints of smoke. Everything comes together perfectly. Good body and feel. Overall, amazing, very rich in flavors, nothing is overpowering.

Feb 14, 2020
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.28/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16 oz. can. Now put Darkness in these. Real talk.

Breaking in my new Central Waters XXII glass with this black tar, with a nose that’s gentle, faint. Maple syrup, touch of lactose, & sweetness that might be maple or vanilla or malt. Little foreshadowing.

Surly 13 packs an un-Surlyesque wallop of alcohol. Everything after that is like listening to a Third Eye Blind album: background noise. Sure, there’s a little maple, a little vanilla, & enough lactose to qualify this as a milk stout, with a finish of mild chocolate. I should have shared this.

I was higher than hell on the concept, but as lovely as that is, the final product tastes like it was conceived by R2D2 in a stainless steel lab. Pretty good = disappointing.

Feb 11, 2020
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black as night, slim, soon-gone dark ring of foam briefly clings to the top.

In the nose: Ridiculously rich and redolent, dark, deep and decadent. All the usual suspects combine: espresso, chocolate, anise, whiskey barrel, vanilla and cherry, and quite a potent dose of maple.

In the mouth: They it is again, all the more rich, thick, lush and delicious. Caramel and toffee and maple galore. Diving into the dark depths, sip and swallow, again and again. Massive malt. Moderate/low bitterness. Not too sweet. Full bodied, richly rewarding. Very luxurious and effortlessly likable. Again, if only it weren't a pint-sized can at $13 each, or I'd go out and hunt for more, but, alas, that should do it for me. Don't let it stop you, though.

Feb 04, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 11/4/19; drank 1/8/20 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

An even pour yielded a nice tan head; a thick curtain of lace.

Maple syrup, cream, mild hops & faint chocolate notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Maple syrup, cream, mild chocolate & faint hop bite flavors; almost no booze heat.

A nice maple stout, but not one that will blow you away. Good.

Jan 09, 2020
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bbtkd from South Dakota

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Surly 13, 12.5% ABV. Poured black with a one-finger brown head that left no lacing. Nose is maple, chocolate, roast malt, faint curry, and vanilla. Taste follows minus curry, with slight sweetness, and slight bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel, overall outstanding.

Dec 21, 2019
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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

3.56/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown with a moderate dark tan head. Decent retention and moderate lacing. Aroma is maple syrup and some roasted malt. Flavor follows the nose, maple seems artificial, chocolate and roasted malt. Not picking up any barrel. Feel is thin for a stout. Overall a decent beer but nothing special. Happy for the smaller format.

Dec 17, 2019
Photo of Conmoto22

4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has no business being sold in a 12 pack (it isn’t). It is a treat to be shared and sipped. I would choose this over a port wine after dinner. Pour is absolutely opaque. Aggressively poured will gain you 2mm of head at best. A pleasant bitter weight of chocolate and earthy sweetness of maple. Heaven will serve this with a brunch of blueberry pancakes, thick cut bacon, and and orange slice. Drink 16oz solo and then hold the empty can to appreciate the feel and design. Good job, Surly.

Dec 15, 2019
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Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pors pitch black. Thick pouring. 2 finger brown head. Head retention is decent. There's some lacing on the glass.
The nose is a nice maple aroma. Not too strong. Somewhat mellow.
Taste - The maple really kicks in hard on the backside. Up front there's a nice smooth chocolate flavor, with some caramel mixed in.
The body is decent for this style. Pretty thick feeling. Smooth, and a minimal alcohol burn.
Solid offering from Surly, and I'm really digging the size of the can. A 16 oz can is a lot easier to enjoy over a 750ml (25+ oz) bottle. If Darkness were in this size, I'd buy it again.

Dec 15, 2019
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mothman from Minnesota

3.64/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Can. Dark tan head. Black color. Some lace.

Not a lot of barrel here. The maple shows the most but it seems a bit artificial. Lighter bodied. Odd roasty flavor. Vanilla sweetness. Caramel and chocolate. Tad high carbonation.

I really wanted to like this, but it just wasn’t there.

Dec 14, 2019
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Powderhornphil from Minnesota

4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Maple, vanilla, lactose sweetness are front and center complimented by bourbon, coffee and hop bitterness. Flavor comes across as a boozy cake batter.

Dec 14, 2019
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gatornation from Minnesota

4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick black color with a fresh mocha head that leaves behind glass cling lacing thru-out. Smell is maple,marshmallow,vanilla,chocolate and roasted malts. Maple on the front and strongest then mixes with vanilla and chocolate roasted malts and marshmallow well balanced as no one taste dominates this milk stout. A sweet mouthfeel with lactose and maple with a smooth sweet finish. This Maple Milk Stout borders desert a stout and should be shared 8oz serving is enough ,if you like Maple/vanilla you will love this.

Dec 13, 2019
13 from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 61 ratings