Dark Apparition - Vanilla & Coffee Bean
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

Dark Apparition - Vanilla & Coffee BeanDark Apparition - Vanilla & Coffee Bean
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #101
Ranked #1,706
4.24 | pDev: 6.37%
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States
Dark Apparition - Vanilla & Coffee BeanDark Apparition - Vanilla & Coffee Bean
Notes: Russian Imperial Stout conditioned on vanilla beans & coffee beans.
Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 327 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of TTAmod
TTAmod from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

L: Inky, dark brown with a one finger tan head that hangs around for a bit.

S: Nice bourbon smell on the nose...oak, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, nutmeg, spices.

T: Very complex, roasty brew here. Has a noticeable, but not overpowering barrel taste. The vanilla is extremely subtle. I haven't had the regular BBA Apparition, but it would be interesting to compare. Not super sweet, but it has a nice, roasty character. There is a pleasant bitterness and spice on the way down. Really not a lot of alcohol for a 12.8% BBA stout.

F: Pretty typical syrupy big body here. But, it still goes down quite easy considering the ABV.

O: This is a solid BBA stout, but it's an extremely bloated, competitive category. This is a very strong, roasty, bourbon stout. It's almost old school in it's taste. Reminds me very much of a BCBS from 10 years ago. Not a bad thing at all. The Jackie O's availability is wonky in IL, but this is worth buying if you're into this big, BBA stouts.

Jul 12, 2020
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark, mahogany brown / black color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy, tan-colored head that quickly dissipated. Pretty good lacing.

S: A big and bracing aroma of coffee, booze, vanilla, chocolate, malt, and molasses.

T: Tasted of bit of molasses (a sweet little tinge), a good amount of dark chocolate (a surprisingly subtle presence), some malt (present throughout), lots of bourbon (and its accompanying barrel), a good shot of coffee (a warming presence), and a hint of vanilla. This is a powerful and complex flavor. Delicious.

F: A below average amount of carbonation with a smooth, warm finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

O: A highly enjoyable stout. Drinkable.

Jun 01, 2020
Photo of JohnnyMc
JohnnyMc from Ohio

4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black.

Aroma is lots of coffee, decent bit of vanilla and then more traditional Dark App notes like roast, chocolate, etc.

Taste also has a decent amount of coffee and provides a nice accent to the base beer, while the vanilla is a bit more on the mild side overall.

Medium-full bodied, very smooth for the ABV and easy to drink.

Sep 12, 2017
Photo of Gaddabble
Gaddabble from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very well balanced with no flavors overwhelming others. Primarily base stout, oak, coffee, bourbon, and vanilla, more-or-less in order of prevalence. There is a strange vinuous character that arrives mid palate and lasts through the finish. It is not unpleasant per se, but it gets in the way of the flavors listed that I am looking for. Not one of Jackie O's best BA efforts, but those standards are super high. For what it's worth, did a side-by-side with a similar beer in Lost Abbey Track 10, and in my view, Track 10 absolutely blew it away.

Mar 17, 2017
Photo of ArkyVaughan
ArkyVaughan from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at EBF. I love the Jackie O's stouts and they had a nice lineup at EBF. This one was very smooth and drinkable at 10.5 and the coffee and vanilla were nicely balanced. None of the flavors overwhelmed the others.

Feb 11, 2017
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours dark with a one finger tan head that fades to a ringlet; spots of lacing

Smell: Fudge, chocolate and roast with hints of nuts, coffee and vanilla; faint Bourbon tones

Taste: Fudge and chocolate forward, with vanilla and coffee building through the middle; nuts and a touch of Bourbon appear, after the swallow; some warmth in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Quite enjoyable; interesting how there is a faint Bourbon taste even though this was not barrel-aged

Nov 14, 2016
Photo of larryi86
larryi86 from Delaware

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thank you RoguePT for this
12.7 oz bottle poured into a teku.

A- Black with a dense three finger michael head.

S- Sweet fudgy chocolate, roasted coffee, hints of vanilla and molasses, touch of earthy hops.

T- More dark chocolate, strong dark fruits, vanilla, roasted coffee, molasses.

M- Smooth, full body.

O- A tasty coffee and vanilla stout, would love to try the base beer. Tasty seems to be missing something compared to the nose

Oct 27, 2016
Photo of CaptCleveland
CaptCleveland from Ohio

4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle purchased May 2016 from the Athens, Ohio brewery.

Opaque, black elixir poured into JO's snifter. Thick, two-finger mocha head to thick rim with thick splotches of lacing.

The coffee and char predominate with a nice vanilla and earth spiciness after a couple of swirls.

This is where the brew shines: nice combo of coffee, vanilla, roasted malts and nuts with a smooth dark fruit and chocolate on the backend.

Full body, well carbonated, dark chocolate bitterness.

A really nice treatment of their DA RIS.

Aug 29, 2016
Photo of Beersnake1
Beersnake1 from California

4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage. Poured from fridge temp into Jackie O's tulip. Pours black with an inch of head. After trying several Jackie O's beers with coffee, I was expecting that to dominate. It didn't. The aroma was mainly dark apparition - not much vanilla or coffee. Mostly roasted malts, licorice, and some nutty notes. Taste is a bit bitter with little coffee. This was a bit disappointing as I was expecting more. Definitely improves as it warms, so my recommendation is to let it sit for a while. Overall, a great beer from a great brewery.

Aug 14, 2016
Photo of neurobot01
neurobot01 from California

4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

375ml (undated?) into a tumbler at fridge temp, allowed to warm.

Look: ultra-dark with a lingering light brown head.

Smell: chocolate, coffee, vanilla, honey. Not a lot of roast.

Taste: strong coffee, bitter roast, vanilla, dark cocoa. Sort of a brighter acidic note too. Fig, toffee, and wood in the background. A bit harsh and chaotic. The alcohol comes through. Great coffee aftertaste.

Feel: a bit tangy, medium-thin, fairly dry.

Overall: lots of really good elements, but just didn't quite come together for me. I don't like my coffee too acidic or bright, and that translates to my coffee beers.

Jul 19, 2016
Photo of TheElectricOne
TheElectricOne from Rhode Island

3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a tulip:

Appearance: pours a visibly thick, incredibly dark black. On top is a one finger head, of dark brown foam. Dissipates after a few minutes, leaving some pretty nice lacing as well.

Aroma: most times with vanilla beers, the vanilla pops, but in this brew, the most dominant scent I got was the roast from the coffee. There's also some nice dark chocolate, but the vanilla I felt was far too subtle.

Taste: again, I wanted more potency from the vanilla to help balance out the (very) roasty coffee in this beer. Starts with some deep, dark, chocolatey flavor, and then the roast from the coffee bean takes over, along with some mild soy notes.

Feel: very smooth and creamy, but a little thin for being such a heavy stout.

Overall: this is a very solid stout, but it paled in comparison to the barrel-aged version and the version with nuts.

Jul 02, 2016
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.31/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Black with a quickly dissipating, fizzy tan head that leaves a weak ring, and some unusually sticky, funky brown residue on the glass.

Coffee and charred malt on the nose exclusively.

I taste boozy chocolate first, then roasted malt. Slightly sweet vanilla comes in after, with a little hazelnut, raisin, and then hints of sunflower seed and soy sauce.

There is a little bit of froth with a good swish. I don't know why I expected something different--maybe thinking that the vanilla and coffee would help bring more body--but like many a Jackie O's beer, this is a very thin fluid, with a touch of boozy heat. Although it's no where near as hot as their aged versions.

Jun 18, 2016
Photo of Rockthedashboard
Rockthedashboard from Rhode Island

4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 Bottle
A: Black with brown around edges when viewed through light. One finger light khaki head that leaves a film.
S: Sweet coffee, a little vanilla,
T: Coffee is the prominent flavor here, creamy coffee, slightly acrid coffee although I attribute that more to the age of this one than anything else. Burnt coffee and sweet vanilla.
M: Medium bodied, nice creaminess and coating mouthfeel.

Overall, really great imperial stout. Would love to try closer to the bottling date.

Jun 06, 2016
Photo of brenlinn
brenlinn from Ohio

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent coffee stout. Mixture of vanilla and coffee, along with the chocolate from the stout makes you think you are drinking something you ordered from starbucks.

May 30, 2016
Photo of goldenbooter
goldenbooter from Ohio

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Coffee vanilla dark app? Yes please! This beer is excellent. Make sure and let it warm so that you can taste all the levels of flavored. Smells with coffee and vanilla. Great brew

May 11, 2016
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud.

Pours a decent dark fizzy head fades quickly, no lacing but nice legs, pitch black thick dark beer.

Nose typical dark apparition to start, thick chewy dark fudgey cocoa, heavy chocolate syrup, little roasty and fairly nutty, tons of dark chocolate cocoa and creamy vanilla ice cream, some roasty coffee, nutty coffee, toasty biscuity cookie dough and fudge, smells a little boozy and light toasted barrel, faint bourbon.

Taste super rich thick fudgey cocoa, chocolate syrup, little warming tingly booze but not a ton, chewy biscuity cookie dough and vaNilla ice cream, fair nutty flavor, nutty coffee too mild roasty coffee, with mild roasted malts too, coffee syrup, little bitter roast but not much, cocoa and dark choc later with some vanilla barrel and a touch of bourbon not as much as I hoped, nice toasted barrel though. Finish is a touch of booze, nice dark chocolate cocoa fudge and little color dough coffee and barrel notes lingering.

Mouth is fuller bod, nice carb, fudgey thick little syrupy, pretty much no booze.

Overall a very good beer, great base dark apparition, decent vanilla and coffee but not a ton, barrel was decent but very little bourbon, otherwise pretty nice.

Apr 21, 2016
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25 from North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a teku pint. No freshness date.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch light brown head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a couple of wisps of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a thick solid ring behind.

S- Oaky, boozy bourbon aroma with some vanilla and dark chocolate accompanying. Also plenty of char and molasses notes.

T- Very bourbon-forward with lots of vanilla, dark fruit and raisin. The coffee comes in on the finish and is of the dark roast variety. Definitely one of the hotter Jackie O's BBA beers I've encountered as you taste all of the 10.5% ABV.

M- Nice and creamy with medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- Again, this is one of the more boozy entries I've experienced in Jackie O's line of BA beers. As a result, the coffee kind of plays second fiddle to all of the other bold flavors going on. Very good, just not one of my favorites when looking at the impressive Jackie O's catalog.

Apr 20, 2016
Photo of GregA135
GregA135 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark brown/midnight black color with a tan head
Smell - vanilla, hints of cream, chocolate and roasted malt
Taste - cream, hint of vanilla, a bit of bourbon, a little bit of coffee and dark fruit
Thick creamy medium body, wish there was more vanilla taste to it, but still a solid russian imperial stout!

Mar 14, 2016
Photo of docoman
docoman from Michigan

4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not as much vanilla flavor as I would've liked, mostly coffee, still very good just was hoping for more vanilla. Regular Dark Apparition is a little smoother IMO.

Mar 02, 2016
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown/black por with a dense toffee colored lacing ring.

S - Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, cherry, cocoa.

T - Roasted malted chocolate, some sweet mocha, vanilla, bourbon, oak, some cherry, and char.

M - Thick medium body, creamy texture, semi-dry.

O - Fantastic beer.

Mar 02, 2016
Photo of Myotus
Myotus from Texas

4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 51°F from a 375ml bottle (2015 vintage) into a snifter. Consumed on 26Feb16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of light brown foam that dissipates into a quarter fingers worth of khaki foam within 1 minute. Black in color with an orange tint. Rising bubbles are subtle in quantity and very small in size. There is an abundance of tiny, brown particles floating around. They could be yeast or maybe remnants of coffee beans. Lacing is thin and moderate.
SMELL: Strong aromas of molasses and coffee entangle with mild aromas of alcohol, sweet chocolate, caramel, and vanilla along with subtle earthy hop and bitter roasted malt aromas.
TASTE: Strong coffee and sweet chocolate flavors first strike the palate and are immediately followed up by strong vanilla and mild alcohol flavors. Mild caramel and bitter roasted malt flavors further unveil the taste profile as coffee flavors grow slightly stronger. Mild flavors of molasses and subtle earthy hop flavors enter lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for vanilla, which fade from strong to subtle.
FEEL: Full-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down smooth and creamy. Finishes with a mild, but pleasant dryness. A strong, but welcoming alcoholic warmth can be felt as it goes down the throat.
NOTE: This was very tasty. I would highly recommend this to any stout lovers. I was surprised that the molasses flavors weren't stronger and that this also had a small hop bite. Great job on this beer!

Feb 27, 2016
Photo of Kevinpitts
Kevinpitts from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Liked regular Dark Apparition more then this version. This definitely adds subtle coffee and vanilla flavors, but at the expense of its "stoutiness." Also seemed a bit too carbonated for my taste. Would guess that some age would help this beer. Guessing mine had 2-3 months of age on it.

Feb 18, 2016
Photo of buschbeer
buschbeer from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7 FL Oz bottle
Served in a Jackie O's snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with an inch of tan head that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is of coffee and cocoa.

The taste is coffee, and I get chocolate instead of vanilla. My guess is that the vanilla has faded or was not that prevalent.

Full and creamy mouthfeel

I am not sure how long ago this was released, but I doubt that coffee and vanilla flavors would degrade that fast within a few months. I expected more out of this beer even though it is a few months old. Other coffee stouts have held up better for me. It was good, but I tend to hold Jackie O's to higher standards than your average brewery.

Feb 16, 2016
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig from Ohio

4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12.7 oz. bottle into one of my tulip glasses, this beer pours an extremely brown, almost black color that's not interested in letting in any light whatsoever. Has a creamy looking, tan head that's a solid 1/3 inch when poured with good retention. Very nice aromas of heavily roasted malts, black coffee, and dark cocoa. The taste pretty much follows suit, with some quite roasted, sweet malt notes with some caramelized brown sugar and a bit of a lactate quality that gives way to some excellent black coffee bitterness along with some dark chocolate bitter sweetness and vanilla notes. Rounded out with a decent amount of hop bitterness too that compliments the black coffee bitterness quite nicely indeed. The 10.5% ABV is certainly well masked here. Has a somewhat crisp, prickly, yet also smooth, slightly oily, slightly creamy medium to full bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Has a clean and smooth finish, and the coffee and dark chocolate notes really like to linger on the palate well after each sip. An excellent beer here for sure!


Feb 15, 2016
Photo of Sir_Whats-his-face
Sir_Whats-his-face from Oregon

4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer starts off boozier than I was anticipating, but improves considerably as the temperature increases. In this state, it tastes very good, with the vanilla and coffee adding nice layers of complexities without taking over the base stout. Overall, I liked it; drink this one at room temperature.

Feb 03, 2016
Dark Apparition - Vanilla & Coffee Bean from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 327 ratings