1. Don't miss FUNK Boston: A Wild & Sour Beer Fest on June 14 & 15!

Damien | Surly Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
DamienDamien
BA SCORE
3.96/5
Very Good
410 Ratings
DamienDamien
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
surlybrewing.com

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#11,050
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
410
pDev:
9.85%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
45
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 410 |  Reviews: 67
Reviews by DamienArk:
Photo of DamienArk
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of Greggy
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a black color with a 1.5 finger tan head. Once the cap recedes and I empty the pint, a bit of sparse lacing is present.

S- Bits of chocolate, piney hops, some toffee/nuttiness.

T- Starts with a bit of bitter chocolate, nut brittle backed with ample pine and grassy hops. The finish is slightly dry and a bit nutty.

M- Spot on carbonation and body.

D- Pretty darn drinkable. I'd definitely have this again.

 420 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle split with my wife, who used a random number generator to pluck a bomber out of the fridge. Not what I would have picked tonight, but hey. Dated 9/30/16.

Pour is dark brown with a long-last Tempur-Pedic head (though I’m sure a lot softer than those torture devices in the guise of mattresses). Smells like an old nut brown with a sideboob of piney hops & roast. Interesting.

Damien - proving not every black IPA sucks (they should put that on the label). The roast & the pine cone hops are in nice harmony; xtreme roast is what dooms most of these halflings. Mild sweetness. Citrus & bitterness take the hand of the pine & lead it all the way to the end as the non-hops vanish from the scene. Disconcertingly creamy, & it takes concentration to drink this.

What’s really a Frankenstein, made-up-ass category that should have been smothered in the crib has had a few tolerable outliers, & this is one of them: Surly has found a balance that works. Good beer.

 982 characters

Photo of Sabtos
2.93/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pitch black with a large, fluffy caramel-tan foamy head that settles to a thin blanket.

Smell is woody cedar, coffee, roasted malt, and salted nuts.

Taste is actually less distinct and forgettable--there is so little flavor, to be honest, it almost doesn't seem like beer. How the aroma is so much more substantial than the flavor is beyond me. There is a little caramel, salted toffee, smokey wood, and a slight tart or floral note. Overall, it's all very light, and like a bitter cola, but really not as bitter or hoppy as I was expecting. There's some light milk chocolate, with a pineyness that is just barely there, along with a little wheat bread. I'm really reaching here, trying very hard to discern flavors, but there really isn't even all this much going on.

Feel is thin and watery, slightly crisp, with a faintly dry finish. I'm really surprised how watery this is when the look lets absolutely no light through, even with a bright LED flashlight pressed right up against the glass.

 997 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis. Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Dark and black with a little bit of brownish ruby red on the edges. Decent three finger light tan head that slowly fades into a patchy layer. Moderate amount of lacing.

Smell: Strong citrus hop aroma up front. Grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. Also some hints of herbal pine resin. Solid presence of dark roasted caramel malts. The toasted malts are noticeable but the citrus stands out the most.

Taste: A lot like the smell, big taste of citrus hops with notes of grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. Hints of pine resin. Bitterness from the hops is fairly mild. Dark roasted caramel malts give some balance in the background with hints of coffee, chocolate, and bready biscuit that lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the lighter side of medium and carbonation is moderate. Feels somewhat prickly and kind of light for such a heavily hopped beer. Finishes dry.

Overall: A pretty solid black ale. Lots of tasty hops with a solid dark background. Lighter body makes for a very easy drinking beer. Great option if you want a lighter dark beer with a strong hop presence.

 1,190 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sometimes a black ale is a black ale. And not a Black Ale, or American Black Ale.
And grassy hops in abundance smell so fine!
There's this thing called a small beer that no one's ever heard of, and gee whiz, it's been done to Darkness.

A re-fermenting of the run-off malt and mash of Surly's Imperial Stout, Darkness, this one rings in at half the alcohol percentage, 5 %, but I don't know whether more hops and malt are added, or if more yeast is pitched and fermentation begins again with this old, spent mash. I suspect the latter.

Solid black, slim brown head, settles to a small ring.

Amazing aromatics, floor of a pine forest, mixed with citrus rinds. Beautiful, lively, and arousing. You want that in your IPA, you want that in your Double IPA, you'd like it in your potpourri by the bathroom sink, you want toothpaste made from it, you want to gargle with it, and sprinkle it on your oatmeal.

Taste: some gritty dark malt, some chocolate, black malt, giving the coffee flavors, the cocoa, with plenty of bitterness and hardly any sweet. Great texture, excellent play on the palate, plenty of room for calling it a hoppy porter, or black IPA, but yet it is not one. It is a reduced version of Surly Darkness, that still has plenty of potency and charm. Plenty of grassy hops still working on the tongue, pleasing the palate, and the aroma never quits, the grassy/piney hop combo mixing well with the cocoa and coffee malt character.

It's not as rich and full bodied as you might expect if you don't fully understand what they're doing. So stop expecting what doesn't exist and enjoy what does. It's not full-on ale, it's a baby imperial stout, but it still has that glimmer of madness, that gleam of it's father's eyes.

This is my kind of session ale, and one that I'd prefer above Surly Mild, or anything else with a leaner body, but wouldn't really reach for one instead of a porter, or a Bender. Good work, gentlemen, and a great idea, I'd love to see more of this tried now and then. Beer recycling, it's the way to go!

 2,041 characters

Photo of deebo
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at Darkness day 11.

A-Dark as night with frothy tan head.

S-Very fresh citrus hops with plenty of malty sweet aroma.

T-The fresh hops really shine in this beer. This beer has a significant malt backbone but the hops are up to the challenge and gives a very satisfying taste.

M-Medium bodied and carbonated.

D-Very good, could drink the hell out of this beer.

O-Excellent beer, would love to get some more of this. Great balance of an overload of hops and malts. My favorite beer on DD.

 512 characters

Photo of gatornation
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap in a surly pint glass

A- pours a solid black color with a tan head and a fresh collar a little thin lacing on the glass

S- is grapefruit hops with charcoal,roasted malts,some smoke and wood,lots of hops

T- nice citrus hops upfront, with roasted malts and seared meat on the grill tastes,malt finish

M- light carbonation a little thin

O- a nice offering on tap very tasty very easy to drink hops and malts with a smoke/charcoal taste

 444 characters

Photo of DrZeus10
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of surlyseth
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of StompingClover
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of mothman
3.64/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half finger of creamy tan head. Thick head. Color is a dark brown with a caramel hue on the edges.

Aroma: Very hoppy. Chocolate and caramel. Floral, piney, and grapefruit notes. A lot of flavor for a small beer.

Taste: Very floral. Pine with grapefruit. A lot of hops here. A light roast with caramel and chocolate. A little bit of orange. Very citrusy.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but creamy and smooth. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends a little sticky, but good.

Overall, this is a fantastic small beer. Super hoppy. Reminds me of an ipa. Still, it has a nice malt profile to it. Perfect blend. I could drink a lot of this.

Edit: the 2014 Damien isn't very good. Not very flavorful. Tastes watered down. Hard to drink a pint.

 752 characters

Photo of jakemn91
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of EJJ1848
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Sweffin
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of birchstick
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MNBeerGeek
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Strix
2.95/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

Deep black, brown edges. Good initial head, fades to nothing.

Coffee, roasted malt, a little wood in the nose.

I'm not really sure what's going on here, but the actual taste is really bland. Like an old, cold, cup of coffee. I let it warm up hoping something else made an appearance but no. Basically like Guiness, but with less flavor.

Mouthfeel thin and near flat. I think this is part of what sinks this. My tapwater is chewier than this.

I've never had Darkness, but if it's anything like this I no longer need to.

 523 characters

Photo of Achoo_Bacca
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of sliverX
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of drewfull
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of strohme2
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of AnalogErik
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Kenai4
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Damien from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 410 ratings