Dark Apparition
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

Dark ApparitionDark Apparition
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #84
Ranked #1,475
4.22 | pDev: 8.77%
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States
Dark ApparitionDark Apparition
Notes: Russian Imperial Stouts are one of brewmaster Brad Clark’s favorite styles of beer and Dark Apparition is without a doubt his favorite beer to brew. We stuff 2200 pounds of malt into our 20bbl mash tun and by the end of the mash, dark malts are spilling onto the brew house floor! Brad includes great flavors he admires in his favorite Russian Imperial Stouts like chocolate, coffee, roast, dark fruit, caramel, and some nice earthy/spicy hop character. With a midnight black color and chewy, dextrinous body, Dark Apparition is a huge beer with tons of character.
Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 1,068 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of brureview
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark chocolate color with a 1F head in a Spielgelau Stout glass.
Complex aroma especially with warming: layers of chocolate, mint, and coffee.
Very smooth MF.
Deep layered chocolate taste with coffee, followed by a mild bitter finish.
This is a new brewer for me- excellent top class stout.

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Photo of MaximalC
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours seal brown topped by an ephemeral crown of khaki frogspawn. Rich aroma smells of dates, prunes, molasses, peat, and bourbon.

The taste features bourbon and peat up front, succeeded by a crescendo of coffee and molasses. Notes of caramel and toffee round things out on the back end as warming alcohol lingers in the gullet. Warming reveals notes hazelnut, marshmallow, and earthy, slightly medicinal hops. Low carbonation and medium body make for a smooth, still, slightly slick mouthfeel akin to that of an oatmeal stout.

Overall, this is a solid imperial stout with nice complexity and an enticing aroma. The mouthfeel is a little underpowered for 13% ABV, but nothing egregious. Better brews can be had for less, but this is still undeniably good in its own right.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with lots of leakage to mahogany on the edges and props up a frothy tan head that does a nice job of tracking down the glass, which surprised me given the 10.5% ABV. A sporty RIS indeed.

The nose features the coffee, chocolate, and caramel referenced on the label, but the molasses aromas stand out on the nose and REALLY stand out on the taste, especially as this warms (and the caramel is a star on the taste, too).

Truly decadently delicious, this is an RIS to seek, especially if you like sweeter flavors from molasses and caramel.

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Photo of puck1225
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very boozy stout, no doubt it is bourbon barrel age.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Very dark brown color with thin brown head and nice lacing. Strong bourbon smell and taste. Some dark chocolate, toffee and expresso as it warms a bit. A good beer to have on occasion!

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Photo of osheamatth
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I don’t know why I drink these Imperial stouts. Once in a while I fine one that really resonates with me but I just don’t like the style of beer. This looks nice and rich like luxurious oil but that’s where the accolades end. It’s cloying and burnt smelling and tasting and leaves an unpleasant aftertaste.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours an inky black with an almost nonexistent tan head. Initial impression is dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, dark fruits, vanilla, and maybe a touch of bourbon. Actually, I'm so tired of "bourbon bombs" that it's refreshing to find one that exercises some restraint. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, nice and smooth. Carbonation is very light. Finish is sweet but not cloying. A very good RIS, but not my favorite.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can dated 10/08/19 dropped into a pint glass much like my car drops 40 weight onto the driveway, quickly leveling itself. The inky black liquid is capped with a 1/8in head of cinnamon colored tiny bubbles leaving spotted lacing.

Aromas of coffee, chocolate, almond, stone fruit, and a clean whiff of fresh air.

Roasty dark chocolate and stone fruit flavors dominate the coffee with hints of molasses, caramel, cocoa, almond, raspberry, toasted Wonder bread, and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, but not as thick as the oil coating my driveway.

Overall a solid, if sweet, example of the style.

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Photo of adab123
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I went into this beer with high expectations that may have skewed my appreciation. But no matter what way one puts it, this beer isn't on the level of others of its genre that cost the same or less. Too much sweet (almost nutty) malt.

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Photo of Buckeye55
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wtf? Absolutely outstanding! Cousin Vladimir's boys killed it on this one. Huge abv in a drinkable stout. Jet black pour with good head. Smells and tastes of coffee and chocolate. Full, heavy mouthfeel and an aftertaste dominated by bitter coffee

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Photo of DrBeergood
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pitch black/deep amber with a chocolately tan head. Minor carbonation.

S: Strong malts with dark notes. Choc, coffee, that sort of thing.

T: Well done. The bitterness seems to be mostly from the dark chocolate. The roasted malt is exquisite.

F: Smooth and clean, though it is a sipper with it's high weight.

O: My favorite Russian Imperial Stout so far.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with minimal head and a slowly descending lace ring. The aroma struck me as molasses, dark chocolate, mild coffee and even a hint of boozy vanilla. Thick, sticky, yet slick, moderate coffee dryness underneath a sweet chocolate (and partially vanilla) taste with some woody booziness on the finish. Dangerously easy to drink and very good (almost the proverbial meal in a bottle).

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Undated bottle; drank 8/7/19 @ the Carriage Inn.

Black appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small tan head; decent lace.

Milk chocolate covered raspberry, merlot, mild floral & faint strawberry notes in the nose. Wow!

Thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Fresh earth, raspberry & caramel flavors up front; faint dark chocolate notes on the finish. Amost no booze heat.

A sublime nose on a very good beer. I'd have another!

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Photo of tigg924
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours opaque, dark black in color with 1/3 inch head. Taste is big sweet white sugar, dark roast, and vanilla. Medium-heavy bodied, sweet, slightly roasty, low carbonation. A lot sweeter than I expected. Excellent stout.

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Photo of gopens44
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice velvety mocha colored head doesn't hang around too long but that's ok because it's no longer muting the aroma of almond, fig and molasses. Tastes big on the molasses upfront and throughout but a few more flavors work their way in. What was fig in the aroma turns more towards raisin and the almond translates to a little bit of an alcohol taste, especially in the dry finish where a hint of smoky coffee is the only other flavor at work. Mostly a nice thick, chewy beer that thins out just a little.

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Photo of stercomm
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a thick dark bottle into a tulip glass, pours a dark black color with very little tan head, minimal lacing more a ring around the glass at the level of the brew. On the nose initially getting raisins and molasses with a hint of licorice with some chocolate and toasted malt. Lots going on with the taste, chocolate, bit of coffee lots of molasses, roasted malts, raisins and molasses, as it warms hints of toffee. Very much a mouth coating, with some cloying sweetness. Slight carbonation. Overall, a lot going on here, lots of flavors, almost rustic.

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Photo of cbutova
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Thick 375ml pour into a chalice with a tar black body and a nutty-cocoa brown head. The texture of the cap is very thick and creamy and it has great retention. Plentiful lacing in the forms of mostly webs.

S- Dark chocolate and roasted barley really lead the way with a slight yeast presence. Bitter 85% dark chocolate, cocoa powder, toasted nuts, spiced raisins, molasses, chocolate malts, straight charred grain, toffee and burnt brownies.

T- Straight up dark and roasty apparition while bringing out the real intense and well rounded flavors which again are all about that delicious roast grains and to a lesser degree the high gravity ferment. The beer opens up with a mix of bitter dark chocolate and a touch of sweetness that wasn't suggested in the aroma bringing on some milk chocolate as well as molasses, burnt grain, toffee, heavily toasted nuts, vanilla sweets, caramel, chocolate malt and toast. Definitely some hop bitterness as well as a very slight earthy and herbal hint.

MF- A very thick brew with a carbonation level on the low side. The texture is slightly creamy and blackened grain bitterness lingers in the finish.

Finally getting to try the base brew to some great BA stouts that I have sampled over the years. The word dark is spot on as this thing boasts a lot of dark chocolate, bitter roasty and intense malts.

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Photo of kitch
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12.7 fl. oz. bottle, 2017 vintage, poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Black in colour with a thin dark tanned head that disappeared quickly but left some spotty lacing.

Aroma: Roasted malts, black coffee, chocolate, toffee, raisin, molasses and licorice.

Taste: Roasty, chocolate, coffee, caramel, molasses, herbal, licorice, and a hint of bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall: Nice easy drinking flavours here, but in this case, the bourbon barrel aged version is definitely the way to go.

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Photo of VABA
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a very dark color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has malt, chocolate, coffee and caramel hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a malt, chocolate and coffee flavor
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A good Stout

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a near pitch black color with 2 fingers of creamy caramel head. The head leaves an impressive amount of cobweb lacing before settling into a thin sheet.

The aroma brings notes of almonds, toffee, plums, and dark chocolate. There's also some caramel, roasted coffee, and spicy hops on the back end. Nicely balanced and complex aroma.

The flavor brings toffee and molasses, followed by loads of caramel and roasted coffee. There are some more subtle notes of plums and fig as well as dark chocolate. Finishes faintly hoppy and bitter. Very roasty throughout.

The feel is full-bodied with almost no carbonation. Exceptionally creamy and smooth. Chewy. A bit oily and sticky on the finish.

Overall, an absolutely fantastic RIS. It's full of flavor and aroma and has a body like your mom's ass. A bit pricey but definitely worth trying.

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Photo of RMW66
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It pours black with no head and subtle red-brown hues at the edge. The smell is dried fruit, molasses and roasted malts. Tastes of dried fruit, caramel, molasses notes and nice roasted malt with a little alcohol heat, but less than expected given the ABV. Has more sweetness and less bitter taste and aftertaste than many Russian Imperial Stouts I have tried. It is full bodied, smooth, well balanced with little carbonation and medium length. I really enjoyed this. Look forward to trying the BBA version.

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Photo of Parmesan
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a pitch black color with bits of dark red on top where the light hits it. Not much of a head or lacing on the glass.

S: Roasted malt, dark stone fruit including cherry, some caramel and toffee, a bit raisiny, some notes of chocolate. Smells quite inviting.

T: Roasted malt, caramel and toffee, notes of raisin, some chocolate and darker tart cherry stone fruit. Tastes very nice.

F: Thick full body with some slight cola like carbonation.

O: This is a very nice Russian Imperial stout.

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Photo of Kendo
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle ($7.99) into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black. Midnight black. No lighter hues on the edges, and no head. It's like, how much more black could it be? And the answer is none.

S: Raisins, dried fruit in general, molasses and modest roasted barley malt. Nose could be bigger, and I'm not getting the chocolate that others have noted. Let's see if it expands as it warms. . . .

T: Follows the nose, with a raisiny, chewy dried fruit (prunes come to mind) impression right up front. Some licorice and molasses mid-sip, then roasted barley malt follows near the back end of the palate. A little bit of smoke and char. Finishes with relatively modest heat from the ABV, which is impressive given the 10.5% tally. But about a third of the way down the glass I'm feeling it. . . .

M: A bit flat - some carbonation would help - makes it seem a bit slick.

O: A good RIS, but not a world-class one. This is my first beer from this brewer, and while I'm not unhappy with it, it's not blowing me away. It improves as it warms, becomes a bit more roasty.

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Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent ebony with 2 fingers of caramel colored head. Viscious, minimal lacing, zero head retention

S: Roastyness, darkfruits

T: Dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, a little smokeyness & caramel up front. More vanilla, dryness & caramel as this warms & a little fig. Finishes dry, roasty with vanilla & dryness

MF: Medium body, minimal carbonation

A good RIS, ABV is well hidden

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown-black pour turns to pure obsidian in the glass, with a slim finger of dark tan foam on top... Aromas of chocolate, espresso, and molasses are substantiated on the sip, with additional hints of dark fruit and a slight edge of wet char... Light translucency during the pour is followed by a rounded, velvety mouthfeel and a smooth medium-full-bodied weight... A little more sweet than bitter, a little more wet than dry, with a little stick on the finish... A nice representative of the style... 2018 bottling...

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jackie O's Pub & Brewery "Dark Apparition"
1 Pint 0.9 fl. oz. brown glass bottle seemingly without production codes or freshness dating
$7.99 @ DeCicco & Sons, Brewster, NY

Notes via stream of consciousness: Typical appearance with an opaque black body and finger-thick head of densely creamy tan foam. The head retention is excellent. The aroma is malty and grainy with notes of golden caramel, toffee, toastiness, milk chocolate, and a soft roastiness like that of sweetened cold black coffee. The flavor follows, maintaining the golden caramel and toffee-like notes as a large part of it's makeup, as opposed to the usual dark, bittersweet chocolate and firmer roastiness that's usually found. It's chocolatey, yes, but there's also a lot of caramel, even a candy-like sugary note, and then all of the other notes found in the aroma. Additionally, some fruitiness and spicy and leafy hops appear in the lingering aftertaste. A median bitterness balances it nicely and it's remarkably smooth, and fairly dry with just a soft note of bitterness lingering in the end. In the mouth it's medium bodied with a dextrinous edge, and it seems very thoroughly fermented. How strong is this? 10.5% abv! Wow, it doesn't seem like that at all. It's impressively well-balanced and rounded, and satisfying, but also highly drinkable in quantity if you were actually able to do that given its strength. It's an interesting and unusual Russian Imperial stout, and well worth seeking out.
Review# 6,254

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Dark Apparition from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 1068 ratings