Dark Apparition | Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

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Dark ApparitionDark Apparition
BA SCORE
4.21/5
Exceptional
Dark ApparitionDark Apparition
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,201
Reviews:
210
Ratings:
1,026
pDev:
9.03%
 
 
Wants:
318
Gots:
282
Trade:
29
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 210 | Ratings: 1,026
Photo of Arbitrator
2.25/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. 2011 vintage, thanks to claaark13. Thanks, Sean!

A: Pours a deep, dark brown that is opaque in the center, with just the smallest light penetration at the edges. If I'm not mistaken, this is actually a bit darker than the barrel-aged treatments. It pours with a short-lived mocha head that quickly retreats into a thin collar.

S: One whiff and this explains my confusion over the barrel-aged treatments I had recently. They weren't infected; this beer simply has a roasted, grainy sourness to begin with. I don't like it; it makes it seem like an imperial milk stout, but without the robust milk chocolate presence to back it up. Instead, this one has roasted coffee and a touch of nuts. Decent, but it's not particularly pungent or complex.

T: The taste is, unfortunately, both simple and composed of flavors I don't enjoy. It might be oxidized; the front-end has almost no flavor. The mid-taste eventually flows into a roasty, grainy sourness takes center stage here, segueing into licorice, plums, and a lesser presence of baker's chocolate. There is some grainy bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: Terrible presence. The beer overall feels lacking and watery, in part due to its simplicity. Each swallow falls off the palate quickly, and before I know it the beer is half gone with almost no flavor to show for it. It drinks like a much lighter imperial stout (think Old Rasputin). That would be acceptable if this were intended to be a 6% "sessionable" imperial stout, but for something of this beer's purported ABV, I would love some flavor to back it up. At least there is no trace of the booze.

O: I've been pretty disappointed with all three versions (base, bourbon, brandy) of this year's Dark Apparition. I'm sorry to say it, but I'm writing these guys off.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.87/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This review is from a growler shared by InebriatedJoker.

Appearance
Basically all of the pours coming out of this growler were awesome looking. Lots of head, lots of lacing, all across the table.

Aroma
This is either an off batch, some less than spotless tap lines or a product of it being in a growler (which wasn't very old). This time around Dark Apparition had a lot of buttery smells with some Robitussin cherry. The roasty ash is being taken over by butterscotch and overly sweet caramel.

Taste
Much like the aroma, this isn't the same as the other times I've had this beer. I'm reviewing it because after having a few glasses of this I think it is a less than stellar batch. The flavor is lead by butter and cough syrup. There is a lot of dark fruits, but lots of the nice roastiness is missing.

Mouthfeel
Carbonation seemed a little high, but the body is about right.

Overall
To say there is probably some batch variation at Jackie O's would be an obvious claim. They work in very small batches and it seems they have been pretty crunched for time and space lately. Lets hope we see more consistency in their staples like Dark Apparition in the future.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.92/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2011 vintage. #156/228. Waxed bomber into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours no head. Opaque black but rather thin. Spotty lace with oily legs. Bit below average.

Nose is soy sauce, roasted malt, cocoa, chocolate, and some char. Average. Could be a touch more aromatic.

Opens nutty. Some roasted malt tartness. Soy sauce, prunes, more roasted malt. Anise and cocoa beans towards the end. Finishes roasty with a cocoa and smoky aftertaste. Could be a touch sweeter. Decent complexity with an odd bit of tartness.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit thin and overcarbed in the mouth. Accented finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Goes down decent but again, suffers from being too thin.

Overall, a pretty average imperial stout. Given that this is the base, I'm not sure what to expect from the different barrel treatments. Its ok, just nothing to be impressed by.

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Photo of pants678
2.96/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Black body, slim off-white head.

Roasted malts are clear.

Flavor's striking, of a dark chocolate 90% or higher. Could use barrel to round it out or vanilla beans or anise to smooth it out. Alcohol's semi prevalent. Tough to enjoy, has a real inky, licorice character.

May work better as a porter with up'd carbonation.

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Photo of cwguy5
3.04/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at the Jackie O's release 8/27/11.

A - deep black with very thin, tan head that faded to nothing after a bit; some spotty lacing on the glass
S - slight "sour" smell is noticed right away, almost like some wild ales; some nuttiness after the initial funk; earth; light roast
T - walnut, oak, a sour flavor that i don't recognize(maybe an off batch), slightly earthy taste followed by some mild roastiness
M - light carbonation; somewhat thin and slippery feeling; was expecting it to be a bit heavier; short linger that did not dry at all
D - slightly funky which may or may not be an off batch; i wasn't sure if the funky was intended or not so it wasn't horrible by any means; didn't care for the first few sips but by the end of the glass i was warming up to it a bit

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Hops and Pie. Dark black with a minimal off-white head. Aroma is roasted malt and not much else. The flavor was a little too bitter for me, sort of ashy and just not rich like I want my imperial stouts to be. Overall, pretty average, maybe it's better out of the bottle.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.22/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black pour light brown head. Spotty lacing and not a lot of retention. The smell is great. Robust chocolate and roasted malts form the base. The coffee and molasses come in to form a wonderful concoction. Best part of the beer is the smell. Then the taste goes way down hill. Dark fruits maybe some sourness, with a chocolate and coffee finish. Part of me believes this is becoming infected. The mouthfeel is very watered down and boozy and it isn't terribly drinkable. Pretty disappointed.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I find this beer to be far more thin and boozy for my liking, with not as much roast, nut or chocolate characteristics as I'm used to up in Akron. The brown sugar is an odd addition.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.36/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A big thanks goes out to a whole bunch of guys who helped me put together a six bottle set of these Dark Apparitions. I think this one came from claaark13. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
Bottle 113 of 228

APPEARANCE: Pours out dark brown, almost black, and yields a small, medium looking, fizzy tan head with pretty lousy retention. Head quickly bolts and leaves only a slight ring behind. Black opaque body with next to zero carbonation evident. A ring remains but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark chocolate, tobacco and smoky notes. Pretty bold with lots of chcolate and tobacco. Pretty solid really.

TASTE: Really sweet for sure. Some roasted notes with lots of caramel sweetness and black licorice. Dark chocolate and tobacco as well, as the nose had led on. The bold and lingering aftertaste is roasted with lots of caramel sweetness, tobacco and some bitter dark chocolate. Some smoky notes as well. Perhaps a touch too sweet for me, but this is still pretty complex.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate with just enough weight to be alright, goes down smooth and finishes very sticky on the palate. A little too cloying for my tastes. Enough body, however, which isn't always the case with Jackie O's.

OVERALL: This beer has a lot of potential, but the lousy look and somewhat cloying mouthfeel hold it back a little. It's also a little too sweet for my tastes. Tone down the sweetness and beef up the palate a bit and I think this would be a much more impressive brew. For now, it's alright. Thanks again for providing the kickoff claaark13.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.41/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle courtesy of Auslander pours an oily black with a dark tan head.

Nose is roast, charcoal, licorice and red vines.

Taste is alot of roast, char and ash with some fruity, sour-esque presence. Im not quite sold on this as it has a thinnish mouthfeel with some odd fruit and char flavors. This does not taste much like the bourbon barrel version I had awhile back.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Chocolate, roasty, big hop background. Short, dry finish. on the thin side. This is just mediocre. Hopefully the barrel will have a positive effect on this subpar base beer.

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Photo of Treebs
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle served in a Deschutes tulip. Shared this in line at DLD. Big thanks to MarkIntihar for the bottle!! Batch from 2011, bottle # 4/228.

A: Pours a pitch black body with a dark khaki head forming on the pour. It recedes to nothing but leaves a sticky body trail around the glass.

S: Sweet creamy malts, oaty flavors and some chocolate with a little bit of roast.

T: Bitter bakers chocolate, toasted oat malts, some pale malts in the finish and a light coffee flavor.

M: Medium to full bodied,medium carbonation and roasty malt finish.

O: This was sadly a little ho-hum for me. It was good, but I expected some bolder flavors for an RIS, particular the dark fruit flavors or more coffee that I find so often.

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Photo of StoutSnob40
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is not thick or dense. It’s thin as hell. Looks like Coca Cola pouring into the glass with a tan head. Smells and taste bitter with overwhelming amounts of dark fruit, even for a RIS. Not my style of stout, that’s for sure.

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Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber received in a past trade with iceicebaby. Thanks again Sean! Bottled 11/18/2009, #6/172.

Pours a deep dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and completely opaque in the glass. Two finger mocha head that has good retention, slowly fading into a lasting cap. Rings and sporadic chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Deep roasted malt aroma with a nice smokey character, subtle spice and luscious chocolate. Toasted with hints of burnt toast, bitter dark chocolate, oatmeal and roasted coffee/espresso bean. I'm also picking up some anise, licorice, earthy hops and boozy sweetness. Smells pretty good.

Medium bodied but a bit lighter than expected with a roasted chocolate malt flavor that is balanced by subtle hops and spice. There's a slightly sweet element that balanced out the toasted notes but this beer is all about the roast. Slightly smokey and toasted with hints of dark chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, oatmeal, burnt toast and deeply roasted coffee/espresso bean. The coffee presence is very prominent but there are hints of licorice and a lot of sweet booze balancing things out. There's also an earthy, piny hop bitterness that compliments the dark chocolate and balances things out a bit further. A bit thin for my liking and still a bit hot but at 10.5% the ABV is relatively well masked.

Overall, this beer is pretty complex but it's a bit boozy and thinner bodied than I prefer for the style. A decent interpretation of the style but not something that I would seek out again. I loved the bourbon barrel kopi luwak version but this one was kind of disappointing.

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Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Kind of harsh, very strong roast character. Seems like it might be a bit past it's prime, but it isn't old enough for that to be the case. Possibly poorly packaged, or maybe it just doesn't live up to the hype.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tasting glass.

Appearance: A good looking imperial stout - black with mahogany edges, with a creamy mocha cap.

Smell: The aroma is smooth. Roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, and dark chocolate all blend together.

Taste: Smooth Belgian chocolate up front, with some dark fruit hangs out in the periphery. Eventually these flavors blending with espresso and roasted malt, which has a strong flavor without imparting any burnt flavors. The transition is a little choppy from the smooth coffee near the middle to the earthy hop bitterness and fusel alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, but with a creamy smoothness that makes up for it. Definitely full bodied.

Overall: I liked this, but I did not love it. Sometime in the future I would be interested in going back and trying this along with several variations together.

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Photo of Lovely85
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dark body with an aroma of chocolate and dark malt but also some sherry and other notes that seem stale. Possibly a bad bottle, but its been well taken care of so it should be fine.

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Photo of mothman
3.74/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Khaki tan head. 2017 bottle. Black color.

Roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, raisins, figs, molasses. Thick stout. Some coffee notes.

Solid, nothing crazy.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I don't remember whether it was James, elrogish or leftpaw who brought this, because those guys all seem to have the inside track on scoring Jackie O's. Pours a thick ass black stout with 3/5" tan head. If you look to the edge of the glass you can see that it leans dark brown towards the edges and when held up to light. The aroma was heavy roast and Russian Imperial Stout yeast giving a dark fruit with some burnt edges kind of aromatic vibe.

Taste, more of the heavy roasted malt and dark fruit bitterness. Has a good amount of nuttiness and bitterness to it. A little bit of coffee notes from the heavily roasted malt. Carbonation is middle of the road for style. You don't see a lot of non adjunct stouts these days. Hides the alcohol pretty well. As it warms you can pick up notes of smoke and licorice along with the fig/raisin/prune type of dark fruit bitterness.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.79/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark cola body with dark brown highlights around the rim. Light khaki head has ok retention and ok lace.

S - Nice nose. Boozy and sweet, but with surprisingly little dark fruit. Bourbon soaked oatmeal raisin cookies, almonds extract, pumpernickel bread, and molasses.

T - Thick molasses, almond brandy, a big soy sauce note, and sweet dark bread. Interesting honey teriyaki finish.

M - Thick full body and the smoothness is about on part.

O - The huge umami note through the center of this beer isn't for everyone, but if you like it this is a nice example of the more savory side of the style.

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Photo of BuccoFan
3.81/5  rDev -9.5%
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 dar482
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The aroma has a good amount of dark cherries and dark fruit character with coffee and chocolate.

The flavor follows with dark chocolate, the dark fruits, molasses, and very dark flavors. Roasted malt, coffee, but in general is hurt by a thin mouthfeel and a very big alcohol presence.

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Photo of stickydankhop
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is good but I feel that Old Rasputin is better in this style. Something is slightly off in the smell. Maybe its the bottle I have. not much of a head or glass cling either compared to OLD Rasputin.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle, 2014 vintage, poured into a teku

A- pours motor oil black with nearly no head at all, with what little bit is there disappearing quickly, leaving a coffee-looking beer in the glass

S- dark chocolate and burnt brown sugar mix with sweet molasses, coffee and fig. Also picking up some barrel juice aromas with a bourbon-like sweetness, hints of vanilla and herbal hops close it out

T- initial flavor upfront is subdued, with just some malty sweetness. As it enters mid-palate, some sweet notes of molasses and brown sugar kick in, followed by some dark fruits and chocolate. The finish gives some herbal hoppiness with dry, slightly bitter coffee/chocolate on the close

M- medium-thick body with low carbonation lead to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and slick finish, lots of alcohol warmth on the linger

O- a heavy and boozy sipper, would have liked to get more chocolate notes, I'd be interested in trying the BBA version

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Photo of FosterJM
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

775th Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet
22oz

@Woodshop Classix
Thanks Dom for sharing!!

App- It's a damn dark beer. I see where the name comes from. It was slick, oily and inky black. Not a penetrating light in it. A nice 1/2" of head which was a dark brown as well. No real cling or lace.

Smell- I really wasn't expecting the nose of this beer to be like it was. I was expecting more chocolate and smooth with a touch of ABV. Instead was roasty with a touch of smoke behind it.

Taste- Damn was I wrong on what I thought this beer was. Instead of my thinking it turned out to espresso ridden and a lot of coffee. I didn't think this was a coffee stout. Maybe a touch of chocolate but much more malty and roasty.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Big amounts of roast dominate the residual flavors.

Drink- It was pretty good. Its a roasty stout and those are good every once in a while. I like the more smooth and creamy stouts but this was a good way to be half through woodshop.

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Dark Apparition from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 1,026 ratings