Dark Apparition | Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

895 Ratings
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:
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Reviews: 171 | Ratings: 895
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a great example of the style, not relying on additives and barrels to make this special and unique, but rather on attention to detail and expert brewing. the beer is dark and medium luster in the glass, with almost an inch of mocha colored frothy head. it has a dark fruit nose of raisins and even cherry in with the usual suspects of bitter barley roast and bakers chocolate that come from the grain. the flavor is similar to the nose in that its all the things you expect to taste in a russian imperial and is not loaded down with vanilla and whiskey barrel and coffee bean, its just straight up stout, and its one of the better ones out there. bitterness is average, more from the grain than anything else, and the dark fruit and chocolate notes are robust mid palate. overall an extremely impressive brew thats sort of the best of both worlds for me, and has an amazing mouthfeel thats creamy and bubbly for the style, but still viscous and dense, its just exceptional stuff. i am yet to have a beer from these guys that wasnt incredible...

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Photo of brentk56
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a headless black color; no lacing expected given the presentation and none witnessed

Smell: Prune and dark chocolate aroma

Taste: Dark fruit, up front, followed by the chocolate and, at mid-palate, the hoppy bitterness arrives and is joined by some fusel alcohol; after the swallow, the beer is rather boozy, with the a finish that reverts back to where it started, with fruit and chocolate dominant

Mouthfeel: Full bodied but low carbonation

Drinkability: Undercarbonated, to my tastes, but full of flavor; the sort of beer that will only improve with some age

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size brown foamy head with OK retention and some lacing. Aroma of black chocolate and light molasses is interesting. Taste is dominated by dry black chocolate notes with some light molasses and some very subtle tart notes. Body is above average with limited carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Nicely brewed with limited complexity – fuller body a bit more carbonation would have been better.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Jackie O's Anniversary Extravaganza. Sampled multiple vintages. Review based on the early 2010 version.

Pours near black with a thin mocha head that doesn't leave too much lacing but settles down with a nice collar. The nose is pretty strong with chocolate, coffee, roast, black licorice, and some dark fruits. A tad bit of vanilla in the background.

The flavor is quite nice as well with a good dose of roasted coffee and chocolate plus a nice kick of lightly-sweet dark fruits. Good balance between everythin. The mouthfeel is the only real drawback to this one. While the carbonation is nice, the overall feel is a bit thin. However, the fact that it's not really viscous at all does aid the drinkability of this one. All around, this is a solid brew.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle into snifter, 2014 vintage bottling. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, raisin, plum, caramel, toffee, toast, light char, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and dark fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, raisin, plum, light char, light herbal, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roast/herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, raisin, plum, light char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Outstanding balance, complexity, and robustness of dark/roasted malt, moderate dark fruit, and light earthy hop flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and slightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with a small-moderate warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome Russian imperial stout. All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/roasted malt, moderate dark fruit, and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV, even with the noticeable alcohol warmth after the finish. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
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 jlindros
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had as part of the mini Whale Stout tasting back in mid December. I wish I could remember who brought this, thank you whoever it was.

Light fizzy dark head over a pitch black beer.

Nose is buttered biscuit, bourbon, oak, butterscotch, some dark malts, a dark bitter roast, a nice roasty dark stout somewhere under all that.

Taste is similar, a dark roasty stout to start, light milk chocolate and malted milk ball, some bourbon, butterscotch, oak, molasses, light booze, a light rum like taste, spicy bourbon, semi bitter sweet chocolate, a light booze taste as well.

Mouth is medium bodied, a little thinner than I thought it would be, with light carbonation.

Decent drinkability, a very light booze hit, a little sticky feel, and semi sweet.

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

Dark apparition Jackie os
Thanks Chris.
Medium full body worn spur on carbonation.
Dark fruits. dark bread.
Alcohol not entirely hidden but the alcohol esters are a positive.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

reviewed from notes. i was lucky enough to get a bottle of this last year so it already had a year on it to begin with. bottle 129/172. poured into a pint glass.

Huge and dark, evil looking jet black in color with a huge tan head that reached a height of nearly three inches before it even thought about trying to settle down, and even then simply dropped tons of spider like lacing up and down the sides of the glass. Really just huge looking and absolutely perfect. Rich aroma of roasted malts, nice touches of rich chocolate notes and huge notes of vanilla and molasses. Warming brings out light touches of coffee, hints of woody notes and a light bourbon touch that really pulls it all together really quite nicely. Rich flavor, huge notes of molasses and chocolate, loads of coffee infused goodness and a just a nasty, wicked dark licorice like flavor to it. This thing was a beast and a half to say the least. Warming brings out more touches of woody notes, more hints of vanilla, and a nice back splash of roasted malts. Really again very well done and a very solid example of the style.

overall really nice and a great beer to experiment with that they do quite well!

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Photo of Slatetank
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Three Penny Taproom, served in a tulip.

The color is black, opaque with medium tan head with sporadic lace left on the glass and fine bead. The aroma is of dark cocoa and brownie batter which has been burned onto the pan with light alcohol and mild toffee hints with spice in the background. The feel is sweet like toffee with big roasted and bitter grainy texure with moderate bitter with med high carbonation and warming alochol in the drying finish.

The taste of this stout is very rich with dark cocoa and slight roasted coffee acidity with a mild dark brown sugar tinge and lots of alcohol midway with almost spicy accent of heat with a bitter dark grain lingering flavor with some dark fruit like raisin and perhaps black pepper. The overall take is a pretty tasty stout for the strength - alcohol is not well masked though good dark malt flavor but a bit out of balance for my taste, though...a little raw and almost hot.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sending me this one, Dan.

A: The beer pours pretty much black with a finger or so of tan colored head.

S: A more approachable aroma than some of the barrel aged versions. Heavy on the roasted malts with a mild smokiness. Lots of dark chocolate and licorice with a touch of molasses and toffee for sweetness. Mild char and booze aromas, too.

T: Quite a bit of chocolate and cocoa flavors to this, but still very roasty with some char notes. There is a hint of vanilla along with jus a very mild smoke and licorice flavor.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: The base version of this beer is a pretty good imperial stout. It's interesting that the barrel doesn't always treat it so well.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 08/21/11 notes. Big thanks to Thorpe429 for bringing this one over. I've enjoyed most of the DA variations but haven't had this one yet. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip. 2011 vintage, bottle #58 of 228.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with two inches of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, toffee, dark fruits, and alcohol. Lots of sweet chocolate and roasted ntoes in the nose and definitely some alcohol. A good smelling big RIS.

t - Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, dark fruits, light coffee, and alcohol. Again, the sweet chocolate comes out a lot up front, and some vanilla/cream in the taste.

m - Medium to full boy and low to moderate carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink for a big RIS.

o - Overall I liked this one a lot. Got to try the Brandy version a few days ago and I thought this was much better, though I still prefer the Kopi Luwak, Vanilla, and Bourbon versions to this. Would like to have it again.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
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 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 stakem
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle, thanks Brad!

Shared with BA smoked and poured into a matching Jackie O's snifter. It appears a very dark brown to black color. A dark brown head appears and quickly recedes to a thin lacing around the edge of the glass. A light swirl hardly revives the cap outside of a thin lacing effect. Spots of lace cling to the glass throughout the duration. When held to the light, it has some lighter brown clarity around the outer most edges.

The smell is roasty with pleasant burnt grain character somewhat reminiscent of coffee. There is a solid tangy alcohol inclusion. Dark semi-sweet chocolate runs throughout the nose mixing with the alcohol makes for almost a citrus-like experience perhaps from the hops as well. Once warm, it has a mild nutty grain inclusion which adds a nice depth to the roasted quality.

The taste is chocolate grain and fresh brewed espresso-like bitterness and citrus elements. It is pleasantly bitter like coffee yet has that citrus aspect like fresh coffee beans but with a brightness that has to come from the hops as well. There is a light almost musty grain flavor across the back that gets a bit nutty. The aftertaste has a faint hint of mineral character. All together this is a pleasantly roasty and chocolate flavored RIS that is well rounded and very enjoyable.

It is medium to full bodied with a low level of carbonation. It could benefit a bit from just a touch more carbonation but as-is it is still solid. It has a great depth of flavoring that keeps my attention with every sip. The 10+% abv is hinted throughout with the tangy flavoring and warmth but it is very well integrated into the beer. This is a fantastic brew that gets even better with every barrel treatment it goes through, a solid base all around.

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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 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 RblWthACoz
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great beer. Thick and chewy. A bit hot, but I'm also imbibing at as close to cellar temperature as you can get. Maybe even a bit warm. Anyways. Thick and consistent profile. Smooth and easy to drink. Really nice beer. I'd do this one again.

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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 Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights and a thin head that left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots going on in the aroma but definitely was able to sniff out dark fruits, good roastiness, caramel, maybe a little muted hop character, chocolate notes for sure, hints of coffee coming through and slight pear notes.

T: the chocolate milky character was more prominent in the taste alongside roastiness, caramel sweetness, plenty of dark fruits such as raisins, coffee flavor, a little booze as well but had a touch of vanilla as well.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, dark fruity, and milky finish.

O: definitely was a solid beer all around and was quite tasty as well. I need to try other offerings from these guys

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Photo of dar482
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
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 JohnGalt1
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle# 26/72 ... This is one of four very rare Jackie 'O bottles rhinos00 sent me.... Alex deserves some major props... He is a trader that is a true BA.

I've been sitting on this for a while... cracked it last weekend at a pretty epic tasting with the Boise peeps.

short lived and pretty short dark tan head.. the brew is very clear and more deeeep dark brown than black, but I'm not complaining.

very roasty with good amounts of cocoa... smells pretty dry.. mild dark fruits that never seem to really develop.

good chocolate and lite French Roast.. some sort of caramel essence mid palate could use a bit more maltiness to tie things together.. again some dark fruitiness shows that I associate with dark sweet cherries without the sweetness ... good body for the style.. the carbonation was pretty lite...

This was a great RIS.... yet seems very standard... It pretty much nails it perfectly, but doesn't knock it out of the park.

Thanks again Alex!! I have the 2 sours left and hope to crack them with the core group very soon.


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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like most Jackie O's beers, this one is good but not great. It's a very solid Russian Imperial Stout, but like most RIS, it's a big beer whose enjoyment fades the longer you drink it (unless you are fighting the harsh russian winters, which I was not).

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

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 HopHead84
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 51/72 received in a trade with rhinos00. Bottled on 11/18/2009 and consumed on 12/13/2009 in a snifter. The beer pours black with a small head that borders on beige/light brown. A little lacing is left on the glass after recession. It looks a lot like a Russian Imperial Stout.

The nose is a mixture of coffee, dark chocolate, and dark and moderately roasted malts. There's a slightly out of place dash of smoke that smells quite nice.

The flavor is of dark coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolate. There's a light bitterness and a light astringency. This is a very straight forward and tasty Russian Imperial Stouts. No one element stands out to me, but there are no apparent flaws. The mouthfeel is full with moderate carbonation.

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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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