Dark Apparition | Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

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155 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:
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Reviews: 155 | Ratings: 847
Photo of CincyBrewTull
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This murky beer sucks you into its complex depths from the first sip, it seems bottomless, There is vanilla and coffee right off. Chocolate lurks in the background and lingers hauntingly with the coffee. Buried at the bottom of the pit that is Dark Apparition is hints of charcoal and leather. As the cold ghost thaws alcohol becomes apparent in all the right ways.

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Photo of 2beerdogs
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 version
Thanks to BA Ambassador @WesMantooth
Rec'd in NBS BIF #1

Pours a deep mahogany, deep and dark. Apt name. Foam builds to 2 fingers, dense and tan. Dissipates to an even loosely packed thin froth after a few minutes.
Smell starts with hints of roast, cocoa powder, earthiness, and maybe dried fruit.
Initially the taste brings forth a subtle roast, earthy peat, dried cocoa powder, and a hint of boozy warmth. Reminds me of many of the RIS’s I had years ago before breweries started getting creative with barrel aging. Straight ahead with roast, peat, and sweet taking a back seat. But this one is complex. There is a creaminess to this one.
So this brings me to mouthfeel. Slightly slick, and like I said, creamy. The finish is much the same, being very consistent. Quite good, through and through.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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 neenerzig
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a 375 ml bottle into my tulip glass, this beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color that is not interested in letting in any light whatsoever. Has a tan head that is only about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick when first poured and that settles fairly quickly to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with a pretty decent surface film layer of foam. Very nice lacing here too. Aromas of roasted molasses and caramel malts and dark chocolate followed by a nice coffee note. Has a good caramel and molasses roasted malt taste upfront that gives way to some dark chocolate bitter sweetness and some roasted black coffee bitterness. Good balance of flavors. Has a slightly crisp, somewhat oily, somewhat smooth and creamy, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A bit lighter body wise compared to a lot of other imperial stouts I've had. This one really coats the tongue and the inside of the mouth and does not want to leave, as it has a bitter and dry aftertaste. The 10.5% ABV is well hidden as this is quite easy to drink. Then that 10.5% ABV starts to creep up on you. An excellent imperial stout here!


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Photo of BB1313
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with barely any light getting through; khaki head that fades leaving very nice retention and solid lacing. The aromas are full of milk chocolate. There's also hints of caramel and vanilla. Hints of dark fruits as well. Lots of malts. The flavors are pretty bold. More chocolate. More caramel with hints of butterscotch. Raisins are there. There's a subtle bitterness, but it's definitely not over the top. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's not like motor oil, but it's not thin. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed and it's easy to drink.

This is a very nice stout. It's not unique or flashy, but traditional and well crafted. I do like Oil Of Aphrodite better, for what it's worth. But this is no slouch at all.

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Photo of Ri0
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured 375ml into chalice.

A - Obsidian with a one finger mocha head that fades into a thin ring. Some spotty lacing on the glass.

S - Aromas of roasted malts, bakers chocolate, caramel, molasses, and toffee. This is big in the bitter chocolate for an RIS. No discernible notes of dark fruit.

T - Roasted malts with a caramel filled chocolate flavors. Some faint coffee, molasses, and toffee round off the beer. Quite flavorful.

M - A smooth, rich and velvety feel with a nice light carbonated feel.

O - An excellent RIS that is without any dark fruit component. It is pricey, but still delicious.

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Photo of canislupus88
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Text book RIS. Jackie O's is one of my favorite breweries. I love this stout and I buy it by the case. Midnight black, brown head, smells of chocolate and roasted malts, tastes like bitter dark chocolate, espresso, and booze, mouthfeel is light and fluffy with light CO2 carbonation. Definitely can drink 2-3...then the alcohol hits and then I hit the bed. You won't regret trying it, and buy more than 1 because you will want another.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
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 hosehead83
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black almost purple in color with a thin tan cap of foam.
Aroma-Big whiff of bourbon, dark malts
Taste-Dark fruit, bourbon, dark malts, brown sugar. A slow-sipper to be sure.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - Great head with great lacing. Black as night with a tan head and great lacing
Smell - Strong boozy Carmel chocolate coffee
Taste - Has a great coffee dark chocolate Carmel and very slightly hoppy taste. Can't taste the booze as much as you can smell it
Feel - great medium full body and lite carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink.
Overall - Fantastic beer! Great everything. Complex and needs to be enjoyed.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottling poured into a Bruery snifter. The pour is nearly black with no light escaping. A rough pour produces a massive khaki-colored rocky head that dies down fairly quickly but leaves nice lacing. The nose is rather subdued, but I do get some roasted malt, cocoa, black coffee, burnt pudding, a hint of vanilla, and some grassy hops.

Full body with a fairly firm feel and a smooth roasty flavor. Nicely balanced between roastiness and sweet malt. Some toffee and caramel sweetness up front, then the roasted malt produces bitter espresso and dark chocolate notes. At mid-palate, you get not-so-intense char-like notes characteristic of the style and the hops produce a faint woodiness that is quite distinct, yet melds nicely with the char. One of the smoother and more drinkable RISs I've enjoyed recently, but to me it lacks the creamy feel of my top-shelf RISs (Ten FIDY, FIS, Stone IRS, and Pt5). Still, a fantastic beer. Finish lingers with dark chocolate and a hint of licorice.

What else can I say? A wonderful Russian Imperial Stout (though a bit pricey at 6 bones a bottle). The beer is impressively smooth and not nearly as bitter as I thought it might be. I really enjoyed it, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to insert it into my regular RIS rotation (which currently consists of Founders, Founders, Stone, Founders, Pt5, Founders, Ten FIDY, Founders). Still, one or two bottles of this a year certainly won't break the bank. It would be interesting to put this one into a blind tasting with some other favorites to see of the feel really is thinner and if it benefits from the perceived smoothness.

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Photo of zac16125
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375mL bottle into a tulip
no bottling dates

Thanks to mikeincharleston for hooking me up with this one.

A: Pours a somewhat thin appearing opaque black with browning on the edges. Less than 1/2 fingers width of tan colored head builds and then quickly recedes, leaving essentially zero lacing. 4

S: Chocolate fudge, booze, dark fruits. Roasted malt, herbaceous woody notes, a medicinal like character. 4.25

T: Lots of roasted malt, oak, bitterness on the finish. I also get semi sweet cocoa, subtle dark fruits, and stale coffee. 4.25

M/D: Full bodied but on the thinner side, carbonation on the higher end, ABV is very well masked, drinkability is good. 4

O: Overall, a very good beer. Nothing crazy, but certainly an enjoyable brew. 4.25

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
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 RblWthACoz
4.14/5  rDev -1%
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 schoolboy
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I picked up two bottles of this around Thanksgiving ($5.99 each) and took one along on my road trip to my daughter's house in Columbus that Saturday. Since I was the driver (with five passengers!) all my samples were really small, but I got enough of this to know ...

It opens rich, aromatic, dark, of course, and thick. The aroma is sweet and boozy.

The taste is off balance dirty, gritty and roasty. My comment was that someone dumped an ashtray into the bottle. It was a wonderful flavor, and very boozy, but dirty. I really felt like I had grit on my tongue.

So my conclusion was that this needs to cellar for a short while - maybe until March or so. Since I bought two bottles, the other one is going down into the cellar now. See you in 2015.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Delicious- full bodied, velvety smooth, lovely nose, rich malt flavor but not cloying. I love everything I've had from Jackie O's and Dark Apparition is no exception. I would recommend picking up a bottle of you see it.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

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 Catracho5
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Serving: 12 ounce bottle poured into a Firestone Walker brandy snifter

Appearance: wonderful looking beer, pitch black, nice tan head, dissipates quickly but lots of tiny bubbles stick around the glass's edge, very little light comes through when held up.

Smell: getting lots of dry roasted malts on the nose, there's a nutty roasted aroma coming through I am not getting any alcohol on the nose.

Taste: Big roasted, chocolate, nutty malts, getting some alcohol, very smooth, drinkable, a little bit of coffee type bitterness, very good.

Mouthfeel: Nice creamy mouthfeel, this is above medium mouthfeel, not very thick, semi-viscuous mouthfeel, finishes dry on the palate, lots of carbonation.

Overall: this is really good, not sure about the beers age acquired it in a trade, it's different than most imperial stouts I drink. I would to try this fresh or on tap to get a better understanding of it, but it's really good and a must try for stout lovers as myself.

 968 characters

Photo of BrewUSA
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look 9/10
Smell 19/20
Taste 37/40
Feel 7/10
Drinkability 18/20

Overall 90/100

Nice big full bodied head. Lasted much longer that most stouts. Aromas were also much more prevalent. Yeast, brown sugar, Chocolate and coffee. Huge chocolate Coffee flavor that covered the 10.5 rather well. Really was an exceptional Stout that stuck out in a sea of average~

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Photo of ThatguyJoefromBoston
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%

Got this in a trade. For a 10.5% ABV, I was expecting a very thick and heavy RIS. In a sense, thats what I got, but it was also perhaps the most drinkable RIS I've had. All the flavors from dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, a little oak, and subtle hops came out. I didn't get molasses, booziness or licorice like I do with many RIS which I found interesting. Excellent mouthfeel and flavor improves as it warms.

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Photo of rudzud
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip. 2014 vintage 375mL

A - Pours a nice dark brown/black hue with a good one finger mocha head that fades to leave a thick creamy halo and light clouding.

S - Aromas of rich bakers chocolate, faint roasted malts, very light smoke. Faint caramel sweetness and alcohol. Lots of rich chocolate for sure.

T - Taste is more of the nice milk and bakers chocolate. Rich and deep with a nice roasted malt char going on. Faint licorice notes, light caramel. The alcohol is hidden nicely, but, is more evident on the back end with a faint burn. Very straightforward.

M - Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, alcohol is hidden nicely save for the finish.

O - Overall, a very nice RIS. Well crafted, like nearly every single Jackie O's stout. A bit hot on the finish, but the taste makes up for it.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cool ass 12 oz bottle heavy too poured into nonic pint

A: Deep darkness like a new moon sky almost no head at all I was worried it was flat

S: licorice some chocolate

T: Very nice licorice taste sweet not overly complex it's a nice taste but straight forward with it licorice and some chocolate

M: very soft carbonation medium to heavy coating on the tongue

O: This isn't a super complex beer but it crushes it as a stout it's not hot it's sweet it's thick it's got a slight licorice and chocolate taste it's just well done. If you see it buy it you will be pleased don't go out of your way though it's just a great beer but you aren't going to be like this is life changing.

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Photo of Oldlogin
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

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 Dope
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 batch.

A: Pitch-black pour with a tall but very fizzy medium brown head. Head fizzes out very quickly but then slows down dramatically about halfway through. Two-stage head retention? Interesting. No sign of any lacing.

S: Big and bold roasted malt. Light smoke on top of some decent coffee. Bittersweet cocoa. A little sweet when swirled, milk chocolate and caramel.

T: More roasted malt. Chocolate is most prevalent here with some smoky umami up front. Bitter roasted coffee in the middle. More bountiful sweet chocolate in the finish, giving it a mocha-like flavor...swirled with caramel.

M: Heavy and silky smooth. Thick and sweet but not cloying. Really nice.

O: A surprisingly nice RIS. Varied but balanced roasted malt flavors. Mouthfeel is top notch here, drinkability is off the scale here (even for a 10.5% RIS). Pretty much everything I look for in an RIS. I can't wait to try some of the barrel aged variants.

 933 characters

Photo of coriswrasse
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

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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Dark Apparition from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
4.18 out of 5 based on 847 ratings.
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