Dark Seas | Mission Brewery

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90
outstanding
158 Reviews
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Dark SeasDark Seas
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mission Brewery
California, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by srandycarter on 12-08-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
158
Ratings:
674
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
19.55%
 
 
Wants:
42
Gots:
111
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 158 | Ratings: 674
Photo of mchegash
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Extremely dark brown, almost black. A small layer of mocha foam which dissipates quickly.

S: Strong chocolate/cocoa aromas, nutty (peanuts), raisin and other dark fruits. A tiny bit of booziness.

T: Very toasty and nutty (has an almost peanut butter-like taste). Moderate sweetness with strong notes of dark fruits. Cocoa is much less detectable than in the aroma. Overall pretty delicious.

F: Medium-full bodied. Moderate amount of moderate-high intensity carbonation. Very slight bitterness.

O: This is quite a good beer. I really like the nuttiness. It's something I've never experienced in such a strong stout.

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark Seas lives up to its name: it is an impenetrably black, effervescent beer that is devoid of highlights except for a fleeting glimmer of mahogany at its base; the thin, brief-lived creamy brown head leaves fair bands of lacing. The nose is medium-strong and dark: toffee and dark cocoa with hints of bitter coffee and black-strap molasses, all topped by significant alcohol overtones. The palate is a dark, bitterish, seamless blend of fairly rich dark chocolate, toffee and a bit of lighter milk chocolate, over a significant boozy undertow. The finish is a fair hit of alcohol and bitterish toffee, and is slightly astringent; the linger is a mild chocolate/grassy bitterness that lasts for a good while. The mouthfeel is commensurate with the full body, and the texture is thick, creamy/sticky and slightly peppery from the well-expressed carbonation. A solid RIS (if a bit restrained flavorwise) with a great mouthfeel. (12 oz bottle, no code date)

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Photo of CraftBeerRunner
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent imperial stout. Excellet chocolatey head, crisp coffee/licorice smell. Rich and robust flavor. Think delicious texture. Very good! Bevmo, Oakland, May 2016

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Photo of Rogerlb
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm with that other guy. This RIS is more roasty malt and coffee than some of the other RIS options. Old Rasputin for example has a sweeter fruit that makes it closer to barley soda pop (no wonder it's so popular). Mission lays in the burnt coffee and caramel, therefore feels more like a "russian imperial" to me. You know, dark and aggressive and a bit off-putting.

Pours dark as it should, head is all but inconsequential, disappearing as soon as it can. The ring of foam that remains is a light brown/tan, very attractive looking detail on your glass. Smell is roast and vanilla and some plum/dark fruit. Sweet booze. Could be great...

Taste goes more of the baker's chocolate variety, bitter espresso coffee, that rotten fruit suggested by the aroma; I get the sensation of coffee on the burner too long with charcoal. Interesting. I guess that's what they call "chewy."

Get some char, slight hoppiness, even citrus, caramel deep in there giving us some body, some plums that have been boiled down to mush. It's kinda a mess. Complex and heavy, certainly not nearly as easy drinking as some of the more popular RISs (OR or Stone's IRS) which tend more to some fruit in the char.

Bitter roast and boiled plum is my takeaway. Feels boozy as well. Aftertaste has traces of hoppy resin stickiness and bitter and fruit. Burnt coffee tends to take over. Note that the 12oz bottles I've had seem much more nuanced and sweet than the 22oz bottles. They for some reason tend towards roast burnt taste the 3 or 4 times I've had this that way. I prefer this in 12oz bottles, although I can't imagine it's a different recipe.

The ratings above, overall 3.5, is for the burnt (too burnt) bitter espresso bombers. Burnt variant on RIS with heavy roast forward than other imperial stouts.

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Photo of detgfrsh
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From an undated bomber. Pours an opaque black with just a thin lacing of bubbles. Smells of roasted malt, chocolate, and dark fruits. Thick mouthfeel. Rich malt flavor and a touch of bitterness, with alcohol warmth to finish. Very good stout, everything is well balanced and it's easy to drink despite the high ABV.

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Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep dark brown color with a thin layer of head. The nose is rich and roasty. The flavor is where things fall apart - it's flat for the most part. There is some roast but less than the nose would indicate.

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Photo of stakem
3.39/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This 12oz bottle came to me in a trade some years ago, sorry I dont remember from whom to give thanks. It appears black with brown head that fades leaving patchy lace.

It smells meaty with minerals than raisons and milk chocolate oxidation with a backing thats both roasty with charred grain and fruity with alcohol.

This tastes of minerals and a weird meaty character before getting roast with earthen bitterness and char. Some oxidation is noticeable along with raison alcohol.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. Its an ok offering.

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Photo of OlaB
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Very dark in color with a a small top of creamyhead that disappear very quickly , lacing seems moderate

S: Dark chocolate, cofee ,dark malts , dark fruits like figues and dates

T:Dark chocolate and cofee is the dominant taste here , very much like the smell.

F:Creamy, very thick, carbonation is very low,

O: This was a interesting beer, Stouts are usually not my favorittes but i like this one, the taste was very good balanced and the aftertaste was also very nice. It was absolutelly a enjoyable beer. and is a brew style that i want to trie more of

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Photo of LennyOvies
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L- Pitch black body with brown edges, creamy persistent beige head. Looks thick while being served.
S- Vanilla, roasted beans, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits.
T- Bitter coffee, espresso. Dark chocolate. Booze. Burnt milk candy. Everything combines for a bitter taste all throughout.
F- Rich, full, velvety. Palatable carbonation.
O- Even, though this is very good. I cant take the strong bitter taste for too long. It is a bit too much.

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Photo of NateDyk47
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L- almost black, thin off off-white head
S- sweet espresso
T- dark chocolate espresso, faint dark chocolate aftertaste
F- lightly carbonated, about as thick as you'd expect for a stout

Pretty good overall

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Photo of gopens44
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I have no idea how old this beer is, but I'd say it's at least from no earlier than 2012 since I bought it at my favorite shop that closed in 2012.

Looks spot on for style, black as night, thick copper head and abundant foamy lacing. Nose is full of molasses and dark fruit while sneaking in some amount of nose irritating heat. Taste is wicked big dark chocolate that drops off into a dark malt yet randomly bitter finish. Thick bodied nearly throughout until the very end where we have a thinning out that allows the bitter to longer on the tongue.

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Photo of raiderob
4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber into pint glass . Pours dark as a country night . Brownish creamy foamy head that lingers awhile then gives way to very nice lingering lacing . Smells of coffee&toffee taste of chocolate earthy flavor. Mmmmm very yummy . Prost❗

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Photo of josanguapo
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

In Bar Viriato. At lunch, with Pedro, Miguel, and David. With Papas Bravas. Soft taste and easy to drink, which makes it very dangerous because of its high ABV. However, Id prefer a bit more body

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Photo of gregb13
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good, hits the right notes. A bit boozy as it warms. Very similar to any number of stouts. Nice but wishing it was a bit more complex, ala Old Rasputin with something different to offer (anise, licorice, etc.).

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Photo of pat61
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours deep dark brown under a 2” creamy dark tan persistent foam collar that grips the side of the glass.
S: alcohol, dark fruit, dark malts, cocoa.T: Big bitter espresso flavors layered with bitter dark chocolate.
F: Thick, chewy, extremely soft creamy carbonation
O: Very creamy and towards the dry side for a Russian Imperial Stout but in a good way - like an espresso with a shot of dark chocolate

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Photo of Pukstopper
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark malty black with a slight head that fades and leaves lacing. Roasted malts very present. No big aftertaste but a rather smooth finish with subtle bite on the back end. For 9% ABV not bad at all

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Photo of mabermud
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looks nice. Dark chocolatey body. The head is dark brown with black highlights. The head melts from the side of the glass. I smell medium and dark roasted malts, lactose, and some chocolate. This smells nice. The taste has all of the characteristics of a RIS, but this one is richer, and heavy on the roast. Nice balance of sweetness and roast. There is some faint twang on the backend. I need more body and substance. The feel could use some work, but it isn't bad...

Overall - The smell is very nice. They did a good job with that. The taste is up there. Everything comes together well.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've really enjoyed everything from Mission that I've tried and I figured a ~10% stout would for sure be a winner.

A - Very dark brown color when poured but black in the glass. Mostly clear but difficult to see from the dark color. Brown colored head with moderate lacing.

S - Sweet roasty aroma with chocolate, toffee, malt, and coffee tones mixing well. The chocolate and roasted smells seem to stick out but it is relatively complex.

T - Very similar to the smell this beer and has complexity but is coasting on the chocolate/roasted notes that are very characteristic of a delicious stout. There is a sweet roasty character that is predominant and has some coffee tones that compliment. It is a powerful flavor that is very delicious.
.
M - Moderate to high mouth-feel. Light carbonation perfect for the style. Not as heavy as other imperial stouts but isn't as cloying as others too.

Overall, this is a delicious imperial stout. Not the best imperial stout I've ever had but is still very good with a tilt toward the chocolate side. I prefer the little thicker and boozier but this is a good middle ground between a barrel-aged and an export stout. I would definitely get this again and would recommend it to any dark beer fan and I look forward to trying the barrel-aged version in the future.

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of pjkelley82
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a Tulip..

12oz bottle purchased mid-2013 with no bottle date so I'm assuming this is a little over a year old, maybe 2.

A-Pours like motor oil. Black I'm color with a nice sized mocha colored head from an aggressive pour. Very thin ring left around with a thin skin left atop. Nice lacing.

S-Dark bitter chocolate, molasses, anise, dark stone fruit, roast. Slight phenol kick to it as well.

T-Classic RIS taste. Big and roasted. Sweet on the front end with a bitter and roasty finish. Lots of anise and liquorice. I've read reviews where this was overly hoppy but I assure you those hops have subsided.

F-medium light bodied and oily and kind of juicy. A little watery with light carbonation.

O-Was not expecting this beer to be this solid. I'd imagine this beer still will age well. Had it by itself but this beer would stand side by side with lots of the sought after RIS's. It's mouthfeel is its downfall. If it were creamier and heavier it would be world class.

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Photo of serspecv
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz bottle poured into a pilsner style glass. Pours a thick, almost pitch black with a thin espresso colored head. Aroma isn't very apparent, yet has notes of toffee and dark chocolate. The toasted malt is robust and commanding before the earthy bitterness of hops come into the picture with subtle nuttiness followed by a sharp alcohol taste. Mouthful is really where this beer lacks, not feeling as rich as it tastes. Overall a great tasting imperial stout but not as heavy as something along the lines of Oskar Blues Ten Fiddy.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.71/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On draft poured into shaker pint


A: beautiful dark as night with a fluffy mocha head you know this beer is going to be good by that deep mocha head


S: chocolate and deep roast maybe a slight licorice but it's faint


T: rich roast taste with nice chocolate finishes roasty sweet very malty maybe a little bit of booze but it's not at the front


M: it's not motor oil thick but the body on this is very full and it has a very nice coat on the tongue


O: very nice you will be smiling if you get this in your glass. It may not be anything new in the flavor department but it knocks it out of the park in all the regular stout flavors, smells, and feel.

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Photo of PSU_Mike
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black, opaque with a reddish-brown head that is gone as quickly as it came. Perfect for a big stout. The smell is dark chocolate, molasses, and a hint of smoke. Taste is heavy char, some coffee that I wasn't expecting, chocolate, and a very dry bitterness that I'm not a big fan of. Full bodied and thick, it's a sipper. But I prefer my stouts with a little softer finish and a touch sweeter.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a deep black color with a 1/2 inch medium brown head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Lots of dark chocolate, burnt sugar, caramel and some char. Quite nice.

T- There's a great sweetness to this that I'm really digging. Reminds me of chocolate ice cream. On top of that are note of vanilla, more caramel and brown sugar. The char isn't as prevalent as it is in the nose. So smooth for the ABV.

M- Creamy and thick with medium carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- This is the first Mission beer I've had. The only reason I bought it was because it's the first beer I've seen available to me by them that has a really good score. Makes me curious to try more of their offerings.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is an oily, jet black coloring, with a fizzle of short-lived, dark brown head that quickly settles out into a halo. Aromas of booze, molasses, port wine, plums and dates, roasted notes, as well as some bitter chocolate and coffee notes. Flavors are extremely rich and bold forward, with a blast of old world fruit rich and sweet riding on a bitter and roasted coffee backbone. Wow! Molasses richness and booze highlights ribbon throughout the palate, and a warmth builds as you drink. The body is slick and smooth, with a softness to it that increases the drinkability. Roasted and boozy aftertaste heavy on the sweet notes of plum and molasses, with some woody notes in there, too. Slick, lingering rich finish, with that warmth continuing to build. Beast of a beer.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black beer with one finger high brownbeige head.

Nose: Coffee, cacao, dark chocolate, whipped cream, cardboard, rosted malt, licorice and coffee beans.

Taste: A lot of dark chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, molasses, dark fruit and roasted malt. A great bitterness at the end.

Body: Full, complex budy with a little carbonation and a beatiful smoothness with the right bitterness.

I really like this stout!

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Dark Seas from Mission Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.
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