Damien | Surly Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
372 Ratings
DamienDamien
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Ungertaker on 10-22-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
372
Reviews:
63
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
10.15%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
37
For Trade:
3
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 372 |  Reviews: 63
Reviews by younger35:
Photo of younger35
4/5  rDev +1.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of deebo
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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 MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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 Sabtos
2.93/5  rDev -25.6%
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 Greggy
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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 -10.4%
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 feloniousmonk
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
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 Turbo
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Brent_B
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of csmartin6
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of chip26
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of therealJAYZ
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample from brewery. Notes taken back Oct 2016.

Great idea to pull some runnings from Darkness, and this beer coming in at 8% means Darkness would perhaps big an even more massive beer than it already is.

Great take on the American Black Ale, even coming from an Imperial Stout base this is beer does have that roasted character but not so much it would take it out of its style. Well hopped, big but balanced. Its really hard to notice the 8% abv until several sips in. I want to see more from Surly like this beer.

 519 characters

Photo of MrUse
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of olradetbalder
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of bsp77
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Brew Hall. Semi-sweet core of brown sugar with lots of citrus and pine hops. Very dry finish. Not sure if I would call this an American Black Ale or mini Imperial Stout. Delicious, nonetheless.

 203 characters

Photo of gibgink
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NilocRellim
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We were told that this one was the "Son of Darkness." The ale was very dark in colour and had a cream coloured head which died quickly. Smokey, roasted grains in taste with a light body and finish; leaving a slight lingering palate. No forward malts or hops really detected.

Would I buy it again? Probably

 306 characters

Photo of warmbier804
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of DrKarl
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of chinchill
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml shared bottle.
Moderately hoppy, not quite to the level of a black IPA.
Rich aftertaste with hints of burnt toast but mainly dark roasted grains.

 154 characters

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Damien from Surly Brewing Company
3.94 out of 5 based on 372 ratings.
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