Darkness - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Surly Brewing Company

Darkness - Bourbon Barrel-AgedDarkness - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #18
ABV:
12%
Score:
97
Ranked #269
Avg:
4.5 | pDev: 9.56%
Reviews:
37
Ratings:
269
From:
Surly Brewing Company
 
Minnesota, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  263
Gots
  47
SCORE
97
World-Class
Darkness - Bourbon Barrel-AgedDarkness - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 269 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by DCon:
Photo of DCon
DCon from Missouri

4.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on-cask w/ xsists & his gf @ the Surly Brewing Company's Darkness Day 2011 in Brooklyn Center, MN for $5. Tapped from the Black Handle under a WOODEN Barrel into my new 12oz Surly Darkness Tulip Glass!

Aroma- Very extreme boozy and has the strongest amount of malt and grain possible! The bourbon was lighter on the nose here but great, more complexity! Has a vinous and rich brandy type of aroma too. Just great!

Appearance- Received with almost no head at all (due to cask). Has a deep and viscous black colored body. Very opaque. Does not leave any lacing either on the glass.

Flavor- A very deep malt and boozy brew once again. Awesome! Has TONS of cherries in the background and definitely has the oaky taste. Not as bittersweet as usual oaked or bourbon stouts have and I like this! Strong, rich, and almost like a barleywine at times. Has a medium bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Lightest Carbonation, Chewy, and leaves awesome amount of cherries on the palate. Almost like drinking a cherry stout but then has a bit of booze on the end.

Overall Impression- This is definitely one of my favorite 2X Stouts! This cherry character that I found in here made an extreme impact in how I enjoyed this one as well! Very rich, boozy, and while its not the easiest brew to drink, you get a ton of time to get down more characteristics and descriptions of this guy. I hope the original Darkness is as good as this one! Will be tough to beat.

Oct 24, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of brycelarson
brycelarson from Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a simply magical brew. Darkness is, on it's own a powerful brew. It's nutty, fruity, malty and as the bottle says - dark as hell. This adds a new layer to that fantastically complex and powerful beer.

This beer pours almost like a syrup. It coats the glass with a thick, dark film. The head, since it was a cask pour was moderate - but the thickness held it well. It's utterly light-proof in the glass.

The nose starts a bit harsh - the high alcohol content mixed with the bourbon note hits you immediately but mellows to the background aromas quickly. The overall list of what you can smell is nearly unlimited. There are fruits, malt, there's a hop back end and some spice. There's a moderate sweetness in there as well - caramel, coffee, chocolate, cherries, raisins and tons of other scents. The bourbon lays on top of all of those - adding a second layer to everything.

There's a density of flavor that makes this beer extremely difficult to pin down. It rotates in your mouth through almost every descriptor you could apply to a beer.

The mouth feel is heavy and thick and pleasing.

Overall this is a utterly fantastic beer.

Jan 10, 2012
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needMIbeer from Virginia

4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 29, 2018
Photo of von_kaiser
von_kaiser from Connecticut

4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sep 20, 2018
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Nedster10 from Michigan

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

Sep 24, 2018
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Montanabeerz from Montana

4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sep 30, 2019
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DCLAguy11 from California

3.8/5  rDev -15.6%

Nov 24, 2014
Photo of Hohnbaum
Hohnbaum from Kansas

4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 30, 2015
Photo of wellsnb
wellsnb from Ohio

4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sep 22, 2018
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Narthax from Texas

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

Mar 12, 2018
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NolaHopHead from Louisiana

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

Mar 19, 2018
Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
Aaron_Kerkvliet from Wisconsin

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

Nov 21, 2015
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Nat1975 from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

May 13, 2017
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cd34 from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nov 20, 2017
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cshafer7 from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Oct 08, 2018
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DexterWinslow from Minnesota

2.5/5  rDev -44.4%

Do you like sickly sweet beers with a hint of oak hanging in the back? This is for you.
On tap, thin white head. Choked it down. Maybe my tastes have just changed because this whole style is just noxious now.

Nov 05, 2014
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wshinevar from Massachusetts

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

Sep 25, 2018
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Eman17 from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 31, 2018
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mig100 from Texas

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

Sep 22, 2018
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boogerisu from Iowa

4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sep 13, 2018
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Dismembered_MC from California

4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sep 21, 2018
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Ludwigkpa from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Dec 03, 2014
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JayGreezy from South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Oct 04, 2018
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strandm from Missouri

4.52/5  rDev +0.4%

Dec 05, 2014
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scream from Wisconsin

3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nov 04, 2018
Darkness - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 269 ratings