Dark Seas | Mission Brewery

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BA SCORE
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 Thads324
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Been waiting so long for this one
Pours jet black like the dirtiest emgine oil. Thin dark brown head that fizzles to the edges and sticks there. The deep dark head looks amazing, you can tell this is a big brew.
Aroma is sweet plums, a hint of roast and coffee. A bit of dark caramel. Mild but nice.

Flavor Starts with a bitter jolt of dark bittersweet chocolate. Espresso and cream flavors, finishing dry with mild bitterness of earth and oak. It's more chocolate than I anticipated, but still big and roasty as well. The caramel sweetness on the end brings everything together nicely! Warming and inviting for more.

Mouthfeel is heavy but smooth. No harshness from the roasted malt and while the alcohol is apparent, it's balanced in the flavor.

Clean, smooth, tasty and drinkable. I wish I had more.

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

Pours black with a 3/4 inch brown head.

Smell is of dark chocolate, coffee and faint dark fruit.

Taste follows the smell with dark chocolate, coffee and a hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is very thick. Almost chalky with low carbonation.

A delicious imperial stout.

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Photo of drunkheathen
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Mission RIS pours a pitch black and has a bronzy brown head that dissipates quickly but remains thinly throughout. Heavy dark chocolate smell, and a slight smell of booziness but not overpowering. There is an obvious chocolate and roasted malt flavor and the ABV becomes clear as well. This one doesn't seem to me to be as thick as other RIS' but that's not to say its weak. This is a pretty decent Russian Imperial Stout, not the best ever but am glad to have tried it.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(From notes) Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. I was excited to review this one as Russian Imperial Stouts are one of my favorite kinds of beer!

A - 4.75 - Has about a finger of dark khaki/light brown head of light bubbles, beer is dark as night - black

S - 4.50 - Chocolate, toffee, coffee, espresso, vanilla, roastiness, oak

T - 4.25 - More roasted/coffee flavors in the taste as opposed to the aroma. Chocolate/dark chocolate/toffee/vanilla too, but not as much as the smell.

M - 4.75 - Nice, thick frothy beer, alcohol well covered. Leaves a nice chocolate/coffee/roasty aftertaste.

O - 4.50 - One of the better Russian Imperial Stouts. Outranks Old Raspy in my opinion. Up there with Stone Russian Imperial Stout. Not at the level of Oskar Blues Ten Fidy but still good. 9.99 a four pack makes it about spot on as far as price.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice, head is dark tan, color is black, thick, nothing coming through this brew.

Smell is all as expected from a big, dark stout such as this: great roast and chocolate notes, very solid bitterness but not fruity, and boozy - boy this brew packs some alcohol punch.

Taste is very big, lots of roasted malt and chocolate followed by some big booziness; subtle notes include light raisin or plum, some coffee and toast. Note the booziness is not offending just noticeable

Mouthfeel is spot on for a big RIS, lingering sweetness, good carbonation and solid bitterness to compensate.

Overall, a very solid RIS, great strong flavors, good lingering notes and nothing out of place. big on strength.

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Photo of Libationguy
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with a ruby red edge. Deep tan-reddish thin head with no staying power.

Deep bass notes of coffee, dark chocolate, black cherries, hazelnuts and kirsch.

On the palate, the coffee continues with bitter dark chocolate, chocolate covered cherries and some cola.

Rich mouthfeel with a port-like texture and a lingering finish. So rich that the beer finishes a little sweet. The carbonation is more pronounced on the palate than in the appearance. Alcohol here is well balanced against the texture of the beer.You know its there, but it manages not to be obtrusive.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Not bottled date that I could find. Abv says 9.8 on bottle, BA says 10.5 (?)

This one pours like motor oil, thick black, leaving a 'coffee with just a dash of cream" colored head. Head does not retain much at all, and no lacing whatsoever.

Took a sniff. Hello! This smells pretty good! Sweet, cocoa, toffee, plums, brandy, all swirled together in a suprisingly not overwhelming nose. Mouth starts watering. Thinking fruit cake, the good kind from the olde countrye.

Taste & mouth were just outstanding, all the flavors in the nose coming through. Felt delicious rolling over the tongue. Alcohol not overwhelming at all, just got that faint slow burn contented feeling. Mouth was medium, not thick, not thin, or syrupy.

Overall, A very nice RIS, and I must admit to being a bit surprised, since I have not cared much for other Mission beers. Well done. Mission Accomplished (apologies for dreadful pun) Looking forward to trying this one in December in front of a roaring fire. If it tastes this good on an August evening...

Without date stamping, no way of telling how old it is, purchased 2 weeks ago in Reading.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, 9.8% ABV. Wasn't it actually a Russian queen who was so fond of this style introduced by the English? An urban beer myth, maybe?

This beer pours a solid oily black abyss, no highlights, no way, with three fingers of densely foamy, bubbly, and kind of glistening chocolate milk head, which leaves some decent stretches of rock cliff profile painted lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells strongly of medium-dark cocoa, lightly toasted caramel malt, thick toffee, heavy dark fruit - dates and prunes - dry roast coffee beans, soft anise notes, an indistinct earthy hoppiness, and hints of warming alcohol. The taste is still big and chocolatey, the roasted malt leaning heavily in that direction, with some further caramel/toffee/treacle sweetness, semi-sour dried black orchard fruit, more charred, somewhat acrid cold coffee, lightly bitter leafy hops, and a bristling, but still as yet chained-up booze.

The carbonation is a little fizzy and frothy at first, but settles to a dull din soon enough, the body an unctuous, luscious medium-heavy weight, with a sateen creaminess, and smooth by acclimation. It finishes on the sweet side, the chocolate, caramel, and lingering dark fruit well enmeshed, with random tics of smoke, coffee, and alcohol milling about.

A pretty stellar RIS, I wasn't quite expecting this after plodding my way through this brewer's hoppier offerings, so it's a genuinely pleasant surprise. Thick, oily, and chocolatey, with a plethora of sub-flavours underpinning it all. Good, good stuff - I'd like to have another go at this come winter (checking watch now...).

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a deep murky Ebony colour with a tanned head that reduces to a film and laces.

S - Plenty of chocolate, small coffee and raosted malts.Nice

T - Caramel, coffee and chocolate backed up by some nice hpp notes. ABV is quite prominent.

M - A little bit watery. medium to full carbonation with low carbonation.

O - Lacks body and a little boozy. Other than that its worth a go

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.41/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a small tan head. In the aroma, a roasty note of coffee and a touch of alcohol. In the taste, roasty coffee to a big chocolate like presence, with an alcohol note. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small coffee and chocolate note in the aftertaste. Decent, but just about average, and a bit boozy.

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Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a finger high dark tan head that slowly died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of chocolate and roasted malts are present in the nose along with some notes of coffee beans.
T: Flavors of roasted malts stand out in the taste, which also has notes of chocolate and a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and rather dry with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This Russian Imperial Stout is easy to drink but is complex enough to make it a peasant to sip. It masks its alcohol very well.

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Photo of HuaJiao
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A:Black. Super dark with a cocoa brown head.

S: Roasty and chocolaty. Enticing but not overbearing.

T: Excellent balance of the dark, roasted, chocolate and smokey imperial stout without crossing too far. It doesn't dry your mouth or bite too hard, but had tons of flavor to keep you coming back for more.

M: Rather light for such an intense beer.

Overall: Outstanding. Intense, delicious, savory, but doesn't leave you tired.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle poured into tulip 2/7/13

A very dark pour with the thinnest edge and some of the darker foams I've seen on a beer, it fizzles out quickly and leaves just a couple patches of lace but the seas are dark without doubt

S bakers chocolate and syrup, smoke, fudge, dark bruised fruit, chocolate covered raisins, coffee beans, faint cinnamon and licorice

T darker roast in the mouth with some char and burnt espresso's strong, chocolates very dark and the roasts intense, just a hint of booze but its well concealed for 10%

M thick and syrupy with enough carbonation to give it some life, just a little sticky on the lips with an intense coffee and bakers chocolate aftertaste

O if you like dark roast this one might be for you, big dark and thick with well concealed booze, pretty solid RIS that I've never heard of

This didn't pair well with the hottest day of the year but even dripping in sweat I enjoyed this big boy. I might wait for the snow but I could see myself drinking this again.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger brown head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Black as midnight, no highlights. Good carbonation and heavy bodied. Baked chocolate and some coffee nose. Flavor is sweet baked chocolate with some black liquorice, the 9.8% ABV is hidden. Decent RIS. 12oz bottle from Gift Specialists Oceanside, California.

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Photo of jd18
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a delicious stout. Medium body, well rounded flavor and opened nicely as it warmed to a smooth bitter sweet taste with hints of dark chocolate and coffee. No need to over analyze. If its an the beer list, you won't be left disappointed by ordering.

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Photo of sergio1va
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark Seas from Mission delivers a very good representation of this beer style- Dark, Malty and High Alcohol.
Pours to a pitch black with a small brown foam head. Little carbonation is observed as the beer was allowed to release it's aromas.
Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, and alcohol are very present in this beer.
The taste is definitely malty and somewhat smoky, this producing a mouth feel that seems slightly bitter and dry. Definitely a beer one should enjoy with every sip and you'll discover even more notes.

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Photo of denver10
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours black with a nice mocha head. A nice rich, roasty aroma with roasted barley and dark choclate. and a hint of some pitted fruit and some booze. Flavor followed suit with huge roastiness and dark chocolate, a kiss of some vanilla and a earthy bitterness in the finish. Some alcohol shows but not offensive. A fuller, mouthfeel. Overall, a nice solid RIS.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

maybe the best of the mission beers so far. this pours as its name implies, dark and stormy, with a big frothy head and no light at all getting in. there is a funny gray shade though, like not brown but an ashy color, not sure where it comes from, not super nice, and ive never seen it before. the nose is a little sweet, boozy, and complex on the grains, with varying levels of roast throughout. tastes like there is some oatmeal in here, with a little extra sugar and a nice smooth full body. I get a little tobacco and a touch of vanilla, but this isn't as intricate as some others in the genre. an odd bitterness creeps in in the finish, not from hops or burnt grains, but sort of unidentifiable. its not an off flavor, but I can place its origin. kind of a difficult beer to drink, full body and overly alcoholic. my bottle says 9.8% abv, rather than the 10.5% listed here, but it might as well be the higher number. overall mission beers havnt impressed me much at all so far. they all seems to be slight tweaks on the standard lineups breweries are expected to have these days without much different to set them apart. this one is a little better than the others, but still on the generic side, insofar as a Russian imperial stout can be generic...

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Photo of tone77
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, some coffee. Taste is good, chocolate, roasted malts, some coffee, a touch of hops and alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

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Photo of ADZA
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black oil slick hue with a chocolate laced two finger head and similar lacing here and there,the smell is dark chocolate,rum,booze,red wine and cherries,the mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation and has tastes of dark Belgian chocolate,dark fruits,candy,herbal earthy hops and finished with a burnt raisin bittersweetness and overall on a cold night like tonight this gets extra points as its the perfect winter drop with enough alcohol to warm you up but not put you on the floor will buy again for sure and a perfect nightcap cheers.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Paid almost 3 dollars for the single, poured into a tulip glass.

A - Such a rich deep mocha head, I don't think I have seen many this dark. Equally pitch black beer very viscous.
S - Ah nice notes of bakers chocolate, ashy roasts, vanilla, some hops with a touch of molasses.
T - Drinking this a tad cold I got a great deal of vanilla and bakers chocolate, not as sweet as I expected it takes the edge off with roasted coffee, some dark fruits notes of plum come to mind and a mild dry finish with some hops which are very balanced not bitter which I love. Man these guys got the style down well!
M - Medium to thick in body as expected yet smooth enough for big sips.

Overall looking back at others beers I had from these guys I would have never expected such a world class imperial stout. I think I like it better than Founders version AND that is saying a lot. Worth picking up and aged I bet it could be even smoother.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours pitch black with a lasting very dark tan head.
Nose shows heavy complex roast with loads of coffee. Also some soft booze.
Equally rich flavours, with lots more coffee and heavy roasted malt. Some noticeable booze.
Carbonation could be higher.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown (mighty nigh unto black), with only the faintest hint of mahogany where light penetrates at the fringes. Even the head was a medium brown, like toasted wheat bread, albeit rather thin and short-lived; lacing was minimal.

S: The smell is not strong (perhaps due to lack of bubbles launching the aromas into the air?) It's mostly sweet smelling, with some bready malt, raisin, and perhaps bourbon (identifying the components was difficult, as they were all subdued).

T: Sweet, toasty malts are strong up front. Then comes an interesting mix of buttery dacetyl and mild, creamy orange. There's definitely some coffee in the mix, but pretty far in the background. Bitterness from hops was late and mild, just enough to balance the fading sweetness. It became more tart overall as it warmed up.

M: Smooth, thick/chewy, but not well carbonated; the finish was just a touch dry. I did notice a hint of booze when I took my first sip, but this became very pronounced and distracting as the beer warmed up.

O: A lot of good, but some low points as well. Head and carbonation weren't very good, and aromas were quite subdued, but the flavors were nice. I found it was much better when it was still fairly cold -- the negatives in terms of flavor and mouthfeel really became pronounced as it warmed up (and this is a sipping beer, so it will warm up unless you're drinking it it a very cold place...) Indeed, although I enjoyed the first half quite a lot, it got hard to drink the final few ounces, and I ended up pouring out the last couple. This may be a good one to split with a friend in the future to avoid those problems.

A note to Mission Brewery: boosting the carbonation just a tad would go a long way to improve the head/aroma and the mouthfeel (IMO).

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.46/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle $2.99. Color is pitch black and the head is a little darker than most RIS, almost brown. Aroma is slightly malty, hints of some dark fruit. Flavor is malty, almost has a note of chocolate but then recedes into a plum or raisin like flavor backed by malts. Sort of reminds me of Stone IRS. Overall its not bad and the alcohol was well hidden. It is sort of thick, hevay and took me a little while to drink it.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber served chilled into a goblet. ABV listed at 9.8% on the bottle instead of the 10.5% it says here.

Dark Seas is a very dark brown with very thin short-lived head.

Aroma is full of roasted malts, chocolate, and a sweet booziness.

Flavor is rich and strong with big roasty bitterness. There is some dark chocolate and coffee beans.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and a little over carbonated for my tastes.

Overall a very good double stout.

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