Dark Apparition | Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

171 Reviews
Dark ApparitionDark Apparition

Brewed by:
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
According to the brewer, this is a Russian Imperial Stout, not American Double Stout.

Added by Hophead101 on 11-06-2008

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 171 | Ratings: 895
Photo of FriedSlug
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice dark beer with a tan head that leaves just a spot or two of lacing. The aroma is dark chocolate coffee licorice and roasted malt. The taste of black licorice caramel coffee and a bitter char finish. Very nice RIS.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle
Served in a Jackie O's snifter

This beer pours black and has hardly any head that leaves no lacing.

The smell is chocolate, anise, and earthy with very light smoke.

The taste begins with chocolate and anise. Then I get a little alcohol. Finally, I taste roasted malt and oatmeal.

Full, thick and chewy mouthfeel

This is a solid stout from a great brewery.

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Photo of eifster82
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle into snifter.

Very dark-brown liquid. Foam hangs on the edge of glass as you drink along.

When cold, this is nothing special. Some roasted malts on the nose and taste, and feel is relatively thin. But as it warms it really opens up nicely. Very complex combo of malts. Roast and rich. Flavors of chocolate, coffee and molasses and the feel also becomes thicker.

Very enjoyable non BA RIS.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 12.7 oz. bottle into an unmarked snifter.

A: Black and opaque with low visible carbonation. Forms a half-finger of mocha colored head, but this doesn’t stick around for long.

S: Chocolate and cacao nibs, roasted malts. Lesser notes of caramel, with a touch of coffee and leather. Sticky brown sugar and molasses are present, but without coming across as overly sweet.

T: Dark chocolate, caramel, and dry bakers chocolate. Toffee and malted milk balls, dark molasses and vanilla. A touch of roasty and hop bitterness towards the end keeps this from being a sweet bomb.

M: A nice heavy, sticky body - though certainly not at a Hunahpu level. The alcohol presence is very well-hidden, and low carbonation sensation.

O: Very tasty, especially for a small-format bottle that I bought off the shelf. I’m impressed.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Smooth, smooth, smooth. Split a bottle with a buddy. Dark black pour with a Fichte packed khaki head. Aroma of roasted malt, fudge, char and smoke. Smoky taste followed by baker's chocolate, char, roasted coffee grains and figs/plums. Nice dark fruit component. The silky body and creamy mouthfeel is what sets this apart. Outstanding.

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Photo of NMA
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow...now this is a RIS! Smooth like velvet and extremely complex. The first thing on the nose is dark fruit, then roasty coffee. Tastes the same w a layer of caramel/toffee and some bitterness to follow. Delicious!

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm really trying to be more educated about stouts. I picked up a barrel aged version of this at my favorite suddes shoppe and then found this at half the price at a grocery store. As a brief aside, although I really really have liked every barrel aged beer I've had, I'm starting to think that it's getting a bit faddish plus it shouldn't mask the base taste of the beer.

With that preamble, I decided to drink this first. Wow, it is so good in every aspect of the experience. Such a rich smell, taste and feel. To point out the level of quality, I followed this with a Stone Xocaveza, which I enjoy a great deal; it seemed thin and unidimensional by comparison.

Just a great experience.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown pour that settles a near black with a sticky, frothy tan head. Aroma is big on bitter chocolate, bitter coffee, licorice, even a cola-like note. Flavor is very rich, with big roasted coffee, dark chocolate, hints of vanilla and a dash of licorice. Feel is smooth, full-bodied and very rich. Really nice complex stout that is a solid change of pace from the adjunct riddled stouts out there.

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Photo of tjwarren
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with thin brown quickly disappearing head. Smell is all malt a tad too sweet on the nose. Taste is expected to be sweet but it is not. Instead it is roasty bordering on bitter but not crossing over. Subtle dark fruit. Mouthfeel is perfect. Just a tad of abrasion to keep it from being oily or thick. Like all Jackie O's the balance is everything. Nothing dominates. All is harmonious. It is a work of art.

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Photo of mschrei
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A gift from @oach, poured into a stout snifter. Not a very dark beer – thinning brown edges, the lacing does not last very much. Quite a lot of floaties for a stout. Roasty dark notes on the smell with a sugary vanilla background. A great example of malty roasty stout flavor, and just as impressive on the feel – it's not oily and it's not thick. It's straight up the middle, and it delivers. I had it with a pork tenderloin marinated in a maple syrup/Dijon mustard/IPA mix. It was fantastic with the meal, and it was exceptional afterward by itself. I thought the Bourbon barrel aged version of this was outstanding, but the regular version might be just as good.

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Photo of zao77
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts next to North Coast's Old Rasputin. Hefty beer, not overly sweet, very balanced at 10.5% abv. World class beer all the way.

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Photo of jvgoor3786
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 pours a dark black with almost no head and no lacing. The smell is caramel and molasses and some char underneath. The taste is similar with the char being more upfront. The alcohol is very well hidden. The mouthfeel is medium carbonation and slightly thinner than expected. Overall a great RIS, especially if you like that dark RIS char.

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Photo of BuccoFan
3.81/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pour is very dark brown, not quite black, in color. A little different for RIS. Body is medium, but taste is pretty classic--good roasty taste. Lacing is solid. Overall, it is decent for the style. If you are looking for an RIS a little on the lighter side, this is worth the try.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a pitch black used motor oil color with a dense, one finger light mocha head that takes a bit to recede to a microfilm layer. There is sparse spotted lacing and many brown floaties.

Smell is caramel, molasses, coffee and bitter chocolate with the slightest hint of smokiness.

Taste is very similar, but the caramel, molasses and smokiness are more apparent while the chocolate and coffee take a back seat.

Feel is full bodied, thick and velvety smooth.

Overall a great stout. The heavy feel is excellent and the smokiness combined with the sweet caramel and molasses makes for a great mix.

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Photo of coldy
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Have been aging and trying these periodically. Just had one at about a year of age on it....wow.
Excellent beer...coffee and chocolate smell...mostly chocolate initially...finish and after taste has toasted caramel.
Really nice drinking stout for cool weather...allow it to warm to about 55 degrees and enjoy!

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Photo of Slack
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Ruby brown in color and clear brown on the edges with some head remaining on one side and good lacing.

Nose is booze, molasses, dark fruit, and a bit of hops.

Taste is sweet, figs, smoky, malty, hoppy, bitter, cocoa, and coffee.

Mouthful is medium and smooth, kinda velvety but thin. Carbonation is low. Finish is warming.

This is a very balanced RIS, hops and booze do not overwhelm, flavor profile is really enjoyable. Recommend to all.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. 2016.

A - Pitch black and a mocha head of about one finger. Spotty lace and some retention which is expected for the style.

S - Licorice, leather, some hops, chocolate, fudge. Sugar.

T - Sweet again. Some roast, but not a ton. Leans more towards chocolate, rich dense bread and sweet sugary notes. Chocolate and bread are what come to mind the most.

M - Carbonation is nice. Medium. Body is pretty big and the finish is lot's of lingering bitterness and sweetness.

O/D - This is a good sipper. Definitely leans to the sweeter side without being too big and rich. While it is sweet, it has bitterness to balance and doesn't attack you with big barrel flavours or lot's of roast and coffee. Definitely doesn't show it's strength. Good stuff.

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Photo of Marius
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled at CBC 2016 - day 2. Pitch black with a beige head. Notes of coffee, chocolate, dark roast, light caramel. Smooth mouthfeel, well balanced aromas.

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Photo of Amguerra305
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a tad thin but is more opaque under greater quantity of liquid. Smell is chocolate and burnt toffee. Taste follows the smell with a pleasant bitterness on the back end. Pretty silky going down. Overall a really good Russian imperial that requires a bit more viscosity to be truly world class.

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Photo of rolltide8425
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as the night. First smell was all coffee; subsequent smells revealed molasses and chocolate. Taste brings a light sweetness and a little bourbon. The malt undertones are fantastic.

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Photo of m_hall
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (provided via the good graces of a co-worker from Ohio) into a tulip. Completely and utterly black, topped by a 1 finger tall, dense tan head with good retention and lots of sticky lacing.

Aromas are sweet malts, brown sugar, dark bread, along with figs and a cinnamon-like spicy note.

Flavors come big with bittersweet chocolate, coffee and toffee up front. Dark fruits (black plum, figs) come in after and raise the sweetness in the middle, somewhat like a Belgian Strong Dark, leading up to a long finish with lots of smoky, earthy notes. Outstandingly balanced all the way through the palate.

Mouth-feel is medium heavy bodied, slightly oily, creamy. Low carbonation, and a pleasantly controlled alcohol warmth. You'll know you're drinking a big beer, but it's a very gentle weight.

A class-act RIS, without a doubt, if Jackie O's ever gets wider distribution and gets this beer into more hands, they could really make waves in the craft scene. This is among the handful of best Imperial Stouts I've ever tried, along with Ten FIDY, Bell's Expedition Stout, and Founder's Breakfast Stout. Now if you'll pardon me, I think I'm going to move to Ohio so I can drink this every day.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Bayshore Beverage Sandusky, drank in the hotel room in a beer desert in western NY
Solid black color with a small tan head. Rich roasty with lots of dark fruity molasses to it. Light earth and alcohol to counter. Nice little sipper.

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Photo of SABERG
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into the modified tulip glass.
A - It's dark in there! A beautiful mocha cap rides on top of what looks like a glass of bakers chocolate. The lacing forms
broad stripes as the experience progresses.
S - Dark fruits, fig, raisin. Earthy nose with toffee and dark chocolate mingling quite adroitly with coffee, dark sugar, and molasses. There
is a bit of that hot alcohol tingle on the nose, ever so gentle.
T - That cornucopia of stout goodness, rich malt backbone, dark roast without being overbearing, Semi sweet chocolate, red raspberry, pumpernickel toast, with more fig spread. A nice alcohol warmth resides as the experience unfolds.
F - Medium in body, gently carbonated, the start is sweet, then the fully coated palate responds to a perfectly applied bitterness. The alcohol provides a sweep at the end almost enough to clear out that rich mix. Lingering for some time is a slightly bitter chocolate thread.
O - This offering , displays all the elements of a big stout with deft skill. A body that seems light is rich in flavors, full in its impact delivering a full RIS experience. A wonderful warmth from the ABV sits in the correct place.The brewers craft is on full display with this offering.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a midnight black color. Aroma is roasted malts and chocolate. Flavor is rich and creamy chocolate and roasted malts. Has a smooth low carbonation feel. Overall a delicious beer.

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Photo of brenlinn
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For this being a base beer of the BA version, it stands alone. Using the brown sugar gives this stout a distinct flavor that I feel other breweries try to replicate.

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Dark Apparition from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
4.19 out of 5 based on 895 ratings.
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