Dark Apparition | Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

169 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

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Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 888
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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Photo of goldenbooter
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome russian stout. Strong nose and a deep brown head. Flavor stays with you. Thick with malt and a hint of caramel. Expensive but worth trying every single time.

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Photo of GrowlerGirl
4.95/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yes, I love this beer. It's on my "Damn that's a good beer!" list. And yes, I say that every time I have it!

Appearance - Dark brown-black, with a beautiful reddish cast when held in front of light.

Smell - "Damn that's a good beer!" Yes, when I smell it too! Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, raisin, toffee, malty, nutty. All that and yet not too sweet.

Taste - Same as smell: chocolate, coffee, vanilla, raisin, toffee, malty, nutty notes. Bitter chocolate aftertaste."Damn that's a good beer!"

Mouthfeel - Coating syrup feel.

Overall - Still my favorite Russian Imperial Stout. Dangerous because it's way too drinkable. No problem consuming a growler with a little help from a friend. All versions of DA should be consumed, but the original will always rein supreme! - Thanks Brad!

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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 brew3crew
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is part of the most epic stout tasting ever. This from Mistakebythelake

A-dark black with tan head and lacing
S-chocolate and slight bit of vanilla
T-chocolate and lots of roastiness. I am more and more impressed with this brewery the more I have of it
M-gosh of so smooth. Medium bodied and creamy. Can I give this a 6?
D-wow. This is insane. I'd like to give this a 6 as well.

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Photo of West08
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! This is a very under rated beer. Better than bcbs in my opinion. Dark chocolate and malt power this beer. Hits the back of throat with very little burn (10.5).

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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 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 OGFGabv
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Black ink in color with a nice light carmel colored head that doesn't last long. Very nice nose- chocolate, molasses, toasted malt. Taste is so nice. Chocolate, coffee, toasted malts. Very pleasant mouthfeel and finish. Very well done RIS.

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Photo of T_Reeves92
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

A: Dark black with a light tan head.
S: Chocolate, Dark Fruits, Candied Sugar
T: Follows the nose with an alcohol finish
M: Velvety feeling in the mouth, perfect consistency
O: Very Good beer. Jackie O's has outdone themselves on this one.

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Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nicely done smell of chocolate coffee dark fruits carmel and molasses taste just like smell gets better as it warms poured into a sniffer
Good ris, local priced right will revisit

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Photo of Oldlogin
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

A most enjoyable Stout----Mild , mellow but with a good butt kick----Im sorry, Im not into hints of this and hints of that----Im here for the robust flavor and kick----

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Photo of coriswrasse
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

thanks to Tom/eraticator for this.
a very nice beer! tastes like chocolate ice cream. almost dessert.
big thick head that dissipates some but leaves heavy lace.
very dark and great carbonation.
chocolate and caramel notes.
not too sweet either! mouthfeel is not super full which makes this go down easy for a 10+ percent brew.
would definitely request in trade again!

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

375 ml bottle, poured into a snifter at approximately 50 degrees F.

A: Pours an impenetrable black, and forms a moderate, relatively short-lived head of pale tan. The head leaves a ring in its wake, with sparse, patchy lacing.

S: "Roasty" is the first word to come to mind as regards the scent, which is warm with dark malt and scorched grain. A faint undertone of molasses and seared caramel waft beneath, along some black currant and raisin hints.

T: Huge malt flavors. Waves of roasted grain with molasses-like sweetness and burnt toffee with some dark chocolate seem to alternate as it moves across the palate. There's a faint earthen-ashy bitter tone underneath, though it does not interfere with the slideshow of maltiness - this is a silky-smooth stout. Black currant flavors show up here and there, with hints of raisin along for the ride, and there's a touch of deeply dark coffee along as well.

M: Huge and creamy, this drinks like an Imperial stout.

O: This is a particularly good Russian Imperial Stout. Will repeat.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thank you goes to George (goryshkewych) for sending me a hand bottled, one liter swing top of this beautiful beer!

Black with highlights of deep crimson and purple when held up to the light. Tightly focused small beaded carbonation in part due to the fact it was filled off a keg.

The smell was everything I look for in an impy stout- deep roast expresso, chocolate, English toffee, slight piney hops, plum.

The taste neatly matched the aroma as sultana/sherry notes danced on the tongue. This beer is the closest in taste I've found yet to an aged KTG. It even has the LBV port and malted milk ball character that I've only really found in Kate.

Drinkabilty is excellent as 05Harley and I polished the 1 liter of heaven off in under 25 minutes. This just got better and better as it warmed.

I had never even heard of this brewery until George brought it to my attention less than a month ago and I'm so glad I got the chance to try this!

Run, do not walk to get this stuff before more people find out just how good it is and the supply is drained!!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've been wanting to really try some Jackie O's, these cans that have been showing up have left me wanting much more. Surprise from wvsabbath's adventure last weekend to the brewpub in Athens, landed me this beer without much effort thanks again for the beer!

The first time they've released this in the 375 ml bottle capped with not cork, beautiful artwork matches the pitch black beer, creamy tan head coats the glass nicely fine speckled lacing left behind.

The aromatics keep your nose stuck in this beer, deep creamy dark chocolate, coffee roasts, a bit of gentle booze, plums/raisins dark fruit, herbal hops in the nares. Perfect nose in every way it keeps you lost in the beers dark hue.

Flavors velvet smooth textures on the palate, creamy caramel, matched with dark chocolate, bittering hops and dark roasts dry the palate out, even keeled booze with coffee roasts turns up the volume this is some beer. Dark fruit plums/raisins appear again complemented with a healthy load of hops, I bet this beer ages incredibly well.

The texture is heaven the mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy silky goes down so smooth well hidden booze, even mellow carbonation flows perfectly big beer but has so much finesse literally drinks with way too much ease.

Overall, highly impressed I can't wait to see how well the bourbon barrel aged version, possibly one of my favorite stouts of all time...immensely complex with incredible mouthfeel...damn Brad please distribute more of the bottled beers across Ohio!!!

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Photo of grub
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

lantern corps beer summit 2010 - day 1, oct 8/2010. Jw347 contributed this one. thanks john!

12oz bottle, compared against the rye barrel and bourbon barrel versions.

pours opaque black with a few very fine brown bubbles of head. no lace. same as the ba versions.

aroma is great. similar to the BA versions, minus the barrel character. dark chocolate. whole wheat bread and biscuit. cracker. light alcohol. caramel and toffee. a bit earthy.

taste is excellent. this is a huge stout that shines without any barrel aging. much like the aroma. dark and bittersweet chocolate. bit of orange and tangerine. just above low bitterness level. nice big caramel and toffee character that was masked by the barrels. more compexity than either BA version.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. medium carbonation level. similar to the rye version.

drinkability is great. this is an amazing stout. great balance. tons of depth and complexity. i loved the rye version, but would pick the base version above either of the barrel aged ones. good stuff!

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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 Bisco42
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An absolute treat. Phenomenal RIS, bursting with flavor in the most subtle way. From the top down, if this beer is a glimpse of what Jackie O's can brew, than we are in for a treat. Luckily I have a few BA DA's and OoA in the cellar. Poured into a snifter at room temperature. One and a half finger head that leaves lacing for the whole beer.

L - Straight up black. Maybe even darker than Ten Fidy, and certainly a better head. Poured the same way, DA leaves lacing as well as a coat above the brew for the entirety of the beer. Really special and unique.

S - Coffee, Caramel, Roast, Earth, hints of Vanilla and Malt that leaves the nose desiring a taste. There is absolutely no part of me that feels like this beer is lacking in the smell.

T - Woah... definitely better than Ten Fidy, which is the beer I will compare it to. I love the mouth feel, but the flavors are astonishing. Fresh, Coffee, Dark Roast, Vanilla, Boozy (but in a balanced way that complements the coffee nicely), hints of cedar and hops, but incredibly minimal. A sweet RIS that nearly defines the style.

F - So thick, so sweet and savory. This isn't a refreshing beer that you'd drink in the heat, this is one that demands the proper time of season to be drank. The complexities in the feel are incredible. Perfect amount of carbonation that coats the tongue and bursts as it goes down the throat.

O - Damn near perfect. The quinticential Imperial Russian Stout, I was contemplating leaving this one in the cellar to age or trade to an unlucky soul that can't obtain this across the nation, but after putting on Phish and feeling spring coming as well as the simple desire for a stout I reached for this. Thank God I did, because this may be the new go-to Stout for me when it is available. I can't picture a better beer for it's style. Surprised it doesn't have a 100/100 on this one, where as beers such as Ten Fidy, BBB, BABC and Speedway have higher. I've had those, many times, and this beer is far superior to my tastes, IMO.. The wonders of ratings in the craft world!! Jackie O's is on the up and up!!

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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 jcflorian
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my top surprises at EBF on Friday.

Smooth mouthfeel with taste of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts.

Full bodied all the way with great finish.

One of my highlights of the night.

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Photo of tswater
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, Brad at Jackie O's got this one right! I sampled this, more than once, at the GABF Friday night in Denver. It was definitely the best Russian Imperial I had at the fest. Appearance was wonderful, with very little head. Smelled like chocolate, with coffee present as well. Taste was outstanding... chocolate, coffee and some fruit up front finishing with bourbon at the back of my mouth. It's too bad we can't buy it here in Denver, because I would enjoy this one all winter long.

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Photo of shangwang
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An extremely complex RIS that produced layers of flavor as it opened up. I enjoyed the 2014 vintage. Poured dark with a creamy head reminiscent of a latte or cappuccino. A roasty nose with notes of caramelized carbon on a steak and fresh coffee grounds. Among the many flavors in the taste, I got bakers chocolate, espresso, toffee, raisins, and even a little smoky peat. Fairly obvious traces of alcohol which wained as the beer warmed, but still stuck around. Great creamy mouthfeel, medium to heavy in weight. Smooth bittersweet finish.
Really enjoyed this extremely well-rounded beer. It was on the sweeter side of the RIS spectrum, but not overly so and the complexities in the taste balanced the beer nicely. Great job by Jackie O's.

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Photo of mcallister
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly black pour with a thick rich creamy head of mocha leaving thick sticky lace behind.

Coffee, lactose, roasted barley, black fruits, earthy hops, plum, raisin, dark chocolate and more nice complex aromas.

What a great rich, creamy, velvety impy stout. Rich, thick roasted barley and malt through the middle onto the long finish. Hints of coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate, a bit of vanilla and residual sugar at the very end. Plum, tobacco, leather, black licorice blackberry, earthy hops with a bit of pine. Very complex and overly drinkable considering the ABV.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my 400th review so I wanted something special.
Poured into my Werk Force snifter.
A - Pours black with a beautiful tan head that settles to a thick ring.
S - Aroma is not as powerful as I would like but I pick up coffee and molasses.
T - Flavors are deep and wonderful with notes of coffee, molasses and chocolate.
M - Thick, creamy, low carbonation.
O - This is an outstanding, well balanced RIS. This is right up there with Ten Fiddy and Old Raspy. Just fantastic!

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Dark Apparition from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
4.19 out of 5 based on 888 ratings.
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