Darkness - Oak Aged
Surly Brewing Company

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Beer Geek Stats:
Russian Imperial Stout
Needs more ratings
4 | pDev: 8.25%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
View: Beers
Reviews: 4 | Ratings: 5 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by grub:
Photo of grub
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled on cask at stub and herbs pre-darkness party, oct 22/2010.

pours opaque and inky black with a small ring of brown head. the head drops fast and leaves a few spots of lace.

aroma is good. hoppy! orange and tangerine. hint of pine. lots of hops without being all that bitter. white bread and a bit of cracker. light alcohol.

taste is great. mosty similar to the aroma but with a more mild hop character. bittersweet and milk chocolate. great hoppy character without much bitterness. caramel sweetness. light alcohol. floral. not perfumey at all. vanilla and raw oak. no bourbon or specific barrel, just a nice neutral oak character.

mouthfeel is good. big body. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. nice balance. light and well balanced barrel character. good stuff!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mothman
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had at 2010 Firkin Fest

Pours a finger of fizzy tan head on the top and more creamy tan head on the bottom of the fizzy later. Color is a dark black. Good retention with sticky lace left.

Aroma: Awkward chocolate aroma. Creamy with a lot of earthy hops. It has a very light oak flavor. The hops cover a lot of the RIS characteristics. Not the biggest fan of the aroma compared to 2009 Darkness.

Taste: Massive floral hops. Huge earthy taste to this beer. Big chocolate with light oak. A creamy, milk chocolate taste to it. Sweet with roasted malts. Better than the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, smooth, and creamy. Good carbonation with a full body. Ends roasted and fairly clean.

Overall, this was a very interesting variant of Darkness. The hops were massive, but it still had some thick creamy characteristics of an RIS. I should have expected the amount of hops that Surly would add to this one. I liked it, but interesting.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stayed until midnight at Stub to get this tick. According to Omar this was put on wood on September 9th, so it was in the firkin about 6 weeks. On cask from a firkin into a 7oz glass...A midnight black pour with light carbonation. Coming from the cask I was sitting next too, low watery carbonation, just looked super watery...The aroma is light, a mix of oak and dry hops on the back, much maltier than a typical darkness...The taste is also malty, this is really sweet but it is cut by the dry hops which are prominent but actually pretty boring despite being a bitting floral arrangement. The oak doesn't really add much or come through. The feel is bitter but a little light.

Interesting take on this already hoppy beer but this version did nothing to improve this beer.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at Stub & Herbs at Darkness Day 2010 weekend. Supposedly one of one or two firkins of this ever made. Tap blew really fast, glad to see all the non-beer geeks drinking it down not having any idea what they were drinking.

A - Pours black as night with no real head on it. Fairly imposing looking stout, no light got through.

S - Some very light hops, kind of disappointing, as the thing I loved about the 2009 version. Very sweet, with a lot of chocolate and a slight bit of roast.

T - Honestly, I found this pretty disappointing, considering how much I loved Darkness last year. Apparently this was in oak for about a month, but whatever it was, it wasn't long enough, couldn't taste any oak on it whatsoever. Exceptionally sweet, almost cloyingly so. Really just tasted like kind of a sweet, RIS with a little bit of roast, some molasses, nothing distinguishing like I expect from Darkness.

M - Thick, chewy, moderate carbonation.

D - Too sweet, and on a beer this big too sweet makes it just too much.

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Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Darkness - Oak Aged from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 5 ratings