Dark Sky Imperial Stout
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

Dark Sky Imperial StoutDark Sky Imperial Stout
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Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #822
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
87
Ranked #27,692
Avg:
3.81 | pDev: 11.29%
Reviews:
81
Ratings:
145
From:
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
 
Japan
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  7
Gots
  14
SCORE
87
Very Good
Dark Sky Imperial StoutDark Sky Imperial Stout
Notes:
Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 145 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of backblast
backblast from Alaska

4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Taste of rich malt right up front with dark fruit (mainly plum and raisin), mixed with molasses and black licorice. A tad of booziness and light bitterness in the aftertaste. Very light carbonation and a viscous mouthfeel. I liked it.

Mar 08, 2021
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle, best before 23 12 (YY MM). 10% ABV according to the label. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Black and only letting light through at the very edges, where it is a mahogany dark brown. Only a very thin tan ring with this beer - no lacing.

Smell: Boozy - raisin, dark fruits, and bit of a bourbon note.

Taste: Surprisingly mild start, and then it picks up bitterness from the roasted malt. Some underlying cocoa powder and just a tiny hint of tart cherry, and then the roasted malt bitterness/acrid taste.

Mouthfeel: Little to no carbonation. Nice thickness and quite smooth. A little sticky on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: This is a very unusual Russian Imperial Stout. It certainly has aspects to a RIS, and despite the alcohol coming through in the nose, you really can't taste it in the beer nor in the mouthfeel for something that is 10% ABV. It's deceptive. I think overall....it's not very flavorful. It is a RIS, but it's at the weaker end of the spectrum in bitterness and taste. For the price, I can't see myself buying it again in bottle form. Maybe it is better on tap in Japan. It probably is. One per evening is enough.

Jan 17, 2021
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Sky Imperial Stout from Baird Brewing Company. Purchased 11/10/20 for $5.54 (Including tax) for 11.2 oz bottle ($ 0.495/oz) from State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD. Reviewed 12/7/20.
Stamped poorly “Package Date 10 19 16” on back label. On room temperature shelf at store and stored at home at 42 degrees. Served at 57 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Final temperature 59.7 degrees.
Appearance – 3.75.
First pour – Amber brown (SRM 18), clear.
Body – Black (SRM 40), opaque. When held to direct light, still opaque. A thin layer of sediment remains in the bottle (Unfiltered).
Head – Average (Maximum three cm, aggressive center pour), fawn, high density, average retention, diminishing to a four to six mm crown fed four places by effervescence, and a thin, rocky cap.
Lacing – Good. Band of extremely tiny to tiny bubbles.
Aroma – 4 – Moderate roasted malt with a bit of sweetness and a bit of milk chocolate, no hops, no yeast. Lasts although is weakens.
Flavor – 3.75 – Begins with marked roasted malt, moderately bitter, no hops, no yeast. No alcohol (10 % ABV, as marked on container) taste or aroma although a brutal gastric warming instantly occurs. No nose chocolate or coffee appear. No dimethylsulfide or diacetyl.
Palate – 4 – Medium, creamy, soft but lively carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4 Well, this is over four years old, so I guess that is about as good as can be expected. The unexpected painfulness of the gastric burn is an unpleasant surprise, particularly after having four years to mellow out. Had I noticed the package date when shopping, I may not have picked it up. On the other hand, it IS a RIS, so I might have purchased it anyway.

Dec 07, 2020
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours very dark brown with a brown head. Head retention is low.

Smell: It has aromas of roast and dark fruits. There are slight burnt notes with the dark fruits being of plums and dark cherries.

Taste: It has roast flavors with a bit of coffee in the background. There are very low burnt elements. The dark fruits are low in the background with plums and dark cherries. There is a very low citrus element as well.

Feel: It has a full body with a sharp bitterness in the finish.

Overall, complex combination of flavors.

Feb 20, 2020
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a goblet.

Pours very dark brown, near black and opaque in the glass. Little head or lacing, and the head is too bubbly.

Aroma: rich, nicely complex and very appealing. A bit boozy with hints of licorice and molasses.

Flavor: robust, rich, refined and well-balanced. Leans slightly towards sweet. Very good mix of dark fruit and roasted grain flavors with some suitable alcohol booziness and a touch of coffee and licorice.

Feel: full body with soft, low carbonation leaning towards flat.

Overall: excellent

Mar 14, 2017
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.34/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Comes in 55% brown and 45% black. Aroma didn't impart as much roast as an average stout would. Booze noticeable.

Taste did finally bring some roasted coffee like notes. Russian Imperial Stout dark fruit like bitter notes. A tad thin for its alcohol content.

Jun 06, 2016
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GreatStoutman from Texas

3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2014 in 11.2oz.

Pours slick and black, lays down in the glass without a trace of carbonation. No head, but a layer of soapy looking bubbles on the surface... they disappear and there's nothing but a sheet of black ice.

Smells vanilla and roasted malts, maybe some caramel. Smokey, and if you told me this was barrel aged I would believe you. Really nice smell.

Thin mouth feel and no carbonation at all, I think calling this flat would be fair. However, it lays really nice on the tongue, and it really has some complex flavors. I get porter, but if they want to call it a stout thats fine too. Bitterness kicks in late and its fairly strong. I get some chocolate notes here too.

This is 10% abv and labeled Imperial Stout so I understand why some people would be thrown off by this - because its not a chewy RIS - but its got some redeeming qualities. Still, it's flat and its hard to ignore, but its a good beer and I would definitely have it again (although maybe not for the $5.50 this 12oz bottle cost).

Jan 17, 2016
Photo of mig100
mig100 from Texas

2.71/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Barely carbonated, maybe oxidized? Nice chocolate malt aroma, follows through with some of that on the palette but just falls flat (literally), not terrible but definitely not good. This comes off like a home brew experiment to me.

Jul 28, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

Winey and malty aromas, burnt grain, coffee
Bright dark brown under a 1" rocky tan tinted off-white foam cap.
Palate: It has the malt which starts at first but then it blossoms into a coffee, burnt grain astringency. The malt is a bit different here than in some of the other Imperial stouts. The roastiness of the grain is more prominent – it is a little drier and thinner than some of the other Imperial Stouts but then at the same time the flavors are very deep. There is some caramel in the flavor.
Medium to a shade less on the body, medium to medium high carbonation.

Sep 18, 2014
Photo of nmann08
nmann08 from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

On draft, pours jet black, very still, looks like used motor oil, a little head, but not much.

The smell is alot of roast, dark chocolate, bitter coffee rinds, nutty, and just a bit of fruity hops. The flavor is roast bitter chocolate, rice, toast, roasted malts and a little licorice. It comes together well for an easy drinking finish. The alcohol is hidden well, but a few of the flavors (rice note) come out too strong for me.

This makes me think of an American beer more than what I would expect from Japan.

Aug 27, 2014
Photo of Hoppsbabo
Hoppsbabo from England

4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

* I think mine was aged because the label was different from the current one.

A: Impenetrable black body with a small beige head.

S: Chocolatey with fruity hops – American smelling.

T: Intense but mild if that's possible. Very chocolatey and not very bitter at all. It's certainly American in character. It's hoppy and fruity with smokey fudge in the aftertaste. Tart as well.

O: By a mile the best beer I've had from Japan. Really lovely. Wish I bought a few.

Feb 03, 2014
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium from North Dakota

3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmm. I would never have guessed this was from Japan. But anyway. Standard stout appearance, dark brown-black--might as well call it black--with a small cap of tan head that receded to a ringlet, leaving some spotty lacing on the glass. Dark roasty malts in the nose, toasted pumpernickel, some vaguely citrus hop notes. Similar in the taste, roasted malts, toasted dark bread, spent coffee grounds, touch of smoke, anise and raisins, faint but noticeable hoppy oils. Body was medium, maybe a tad thin for the style. Decent overall, but nothing I'd see myself going back for.

Jan 26, 2014
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros from Australia

3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a tiny head.
Nose shows roasted malt, dark chocolate, nutty notes and liquorice.
Pretty similar flavours but less complex, mainly roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee liqueur.
Needs more carbonation, pretty much flat at the moment.

Aug 26, 2013
Photo of beergoot
beergoot from Colorado

3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Opaque blackness sporting a thick, creamy head; good lacing and sticky clots of foam clinging to the glass. Malt grains give off a light, roasted scent with hints of cocoa and dark fruit. Excellent charred grain flavors, nicely offset by a well-balanced hop bitterness. Smooth, medium bodied; crisp and dry.

A well-made imperial stout, packed with lots of dark ale malt and hop goodness. Subtly complex and nicely balanced. The malt and hop characteristics do a good job of masking the alcohol. Rich, smooth, and darkly delicious!

Jul 09, 2013
Photo of Ego
Ego from New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

eyes...
2 full fingers of dark cocoa head, black but not totally impenetrable, a good amount of carbonation traffic is observed, the head layers out in near flawless fashion, lacing and legs embrace in this very sweet looker, the head fades at a reasonable pace, but mostly this is a really solid looking brew

nose...
boozy raisins, some dry chocolate, a bit of wood must, caramel malts just peeking out from around the corner, nice but nothing amazing

taste etc...
follows the aroma with a bit more depth though, the carbonation makes this drink light but when that initial lightness fades a heavy flavor is laid on ya, the initial blasts are a bit too much in the raisin department for this old beerhound.... it is a bit distracting, the ABV is well hidden on this so... watch out. I suppose the best aspect of this brew is the nice lingering bitter chocolate tone left in your mouth for quite the long after glow...

verdict?
pretty good. it almost strays into barleywine taste territory a bit for me but not bad.

May 04, 2013
Photo of chanokokoro
chanokokoro from Illinois

4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fairly aggressively oured from a 12 oz. bottle into an unbranded snifter

A Russian imperial stout brewed in Japan at Baird Brewing Company located near Mt. Fuji. As someone who is very interested in Japanese culture and history and craft beer this brew is of great interest.

Pours an extremely dark motor oil brown capped by a fluffy beige two finger head that slowly reduces to a substantial foam ring. Above average retention, a good amount of splotchy lacing along the glass. Big roasted malt and grain, bakers chocolate, burnt raisins and some espresso notes. Opens with strong dark chocolate, black cherry, roasted barley and grain, dried dark fruit and some port accents. Finishes with abundant bitter hop notes, espresso, and bittersweet cocoa powder and a bit of warming alcohol. Lighter side of full bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation when compared with other Russian Imperial Stouts, smooth and slick. A very solid RIS. A bit lighter bodied than some other brews in the style, but fairly complex and definitely a brew that is worth revisiting. Kampai, indeed!

Feb 14, 2013
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
gueuzeonhigh from Maine

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours as a bible black libation.
a small but long lived head

The nose gave off hints of coffee and toasted malt.

The flavor is/was a nice round "saftig" melange of toasted malt, hints of coffee, chocolate,
hops and everything else to "round out" an imperial stout.

A nice cordial mouthfeel followed the flavor hit.

My criticism is that it doesn't quite have the flavor "Whack" or the "gravitas" of a Russian imperrial-- it's in a way a little "soft" or maybe "pillowy"... yes all the ingredients are there of the Imperial Stout flavor.. even the 9% ABV but somehow the tires aren't fully inflated..

But don't get me wrong-- the strong overwhelming flavor "punch" of an imperial stout has its place. But this beer has its strong points-- it's when I'm not ready to duke it out with an "in your face" beer but I want the heavy stance of an "Imperial"-- here it is..

Then I took a look at where it's from-- and WOW! Usually "American Adjunct alikes" come from this place!

I purchased but one bottle- I'm going back for more...

I like I like I like..

Nov 03, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

And so the brewery at the foot of Mount Juji borrows Russian influence when adapting the roasty, alcoholic, and robustly flavors found in stout that shows that there's no limit to the flavors or techniques that influence their beers.

With a certain stouty appearance, the Dark Sky carries a nearly black coloration, if ever so tilted toward brownish hues because of the stain of roasted barley. A turbulent pour from the large format bottle yields a much lighter than expected carbonation that struggles to find a cask-like loosely knit head that's equally stained with tan. After relaxing a bit, the head settles like coffee creme and skirts the surface of the beer intermittently yet consistently.

The aromas of coffee and chocolate swirl about the nose with impressions of coffeehouse mocha lattes. Diving a bit deeper, the underpinnings of scorched toffee, rum-ish alcohol, and esters that belong to cherries, raspberries, vinous red grapes, and tawny port come to mind in the most savory and succulent aromas possible.

With a first draw off the rim, the flavors of the beer seem scattered with the taste of roasted coffeeish grain, cocoa powder, and ash. But as the subtle carbonation evens out, the beer reasonably light zest of carbon dioxide allows the beer to sit heavy on the tongue with an evenly and velvety coat of malt afterwards. Brownie batter, decedent espresso, and heavily caramelized molasses cling to the surface of the mouth with smothering charm.

Where the label boasts the integration of hop flavor and bitterness, I find those elements to be moderate if not understated. The bitterness of the beer are easily rendered from the coffee roast as much as it is from woodish hops. While pleasantly bitter and slightly astringent with the texture of grape skin and grain tannin, the finish is indefinite and powers through the warm alcohol thinning for a linger of robustly sweet malts that meld seamlessly with the next sip.

The pop of the cap provided the assurance of carbonation, but the pour caused caution to the eye. However, the beer's understated carbonation actually accents beer flavor in all its glory and all its flaws. In other words, the seduction of carbonation eludes the beer and leaves it wonderfully naked.

Aug 07, 2012
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74 from Ohio

3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

633 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head that stays around for a little while. Not much lacing. The aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and some coffee. The flavor is more bitter than I expected it to be since the aroma was sweeter. It tastes like dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and some licorice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating but it also seems thin for an imperial stout. The carbonation is low. I think it's a solid brew, but I was disappointed in this one since the other Baird beers I've tried in the past I liked a lot. I'd like to try this again in the future, but I think I'll wait a while before I do. $10.98 a bottle.

Jul 14, 2012
Photo of Jsenay
Jsenay from Texas

4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into Russian River tulip

A - Pours a dark brown nearing black with tons of carbonation and a great head retention that lingers for some time. Very thick lacing.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, toffee, caramel, bakers chocolate

T - Huge flavor explosion of chocolate, dates, coffee and cream. Heavy roasted malt aftertaste.

M - Very smooth and creamy up front. Slightly bitter with a creamy and moderately dry/chalky finish.

O - Very delicious. It can be almost too bitter and dry on the finish but, it fits this beer style very well. It also seems that this beer is rather inconsistent due to some reviewers opening bottles that are basically flat/sour/oxidized. Suppose I lucked out with this one. Either way, this is my first beer from Baird and I am definitely looking forward to trying more of what they have to offer.

Jul 13, 2012
Photo of champ103
champ103 from Texas

3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A one finger tan head forms, good retention. Light lace.
S: Roasted malt, plenty of sweetness. Caramel, vanilla, chocolate, coffee.
T: Follows the nose, and pretty standard for a stout. Roasted malt, caramel sweetness, coffee, lots of chocolate.
M/D: A medium-full body. Low carbonation and on the thin side. Not hard to sip on, but one is enough.

Not bad at all, but just average. Enjoyable to try once, but a one and done for me.

May 19, 2012
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eh. This beer lack balance. Too malty tangy with a sweet edge that just doesn't work. There are some mild smoked tones that don't mesh well at all. It's lacking and poorly constructed. Doesn't work at all for me. A shame too, considering the price.

May 09, 2012
Photo of shigg85
shigg85 from Japan

3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this again after a few years, and I found it to be really sugary. That's pretty much it. It's a tasty stout, but I look for something more than that in a Russian with 10% ABV.

May 07, 2012
Photo of SawDog505
SawDog505 from New Hampshire

2.68/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip. Pours a very dark brown with a half inch of tan head with a very aggressive pour, little nervous something isn't right with this brew, but there is some spotty lacing. Smell is chocolate, coffee, molasses, and tobacco. Taste is dark chocolate, coffee, tobacco, and dark fruit. Body is thin, very little carbonation, dry even for the style, and not overly drinkable because of lack of life and body. Very big let down and I really don't think it was a spoiled bottle, because there was some carbonation and some lacing. First time ever saying this, but this my last bottle of this ever.

Apr 29, 2012
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a two finger khaki head that fades quickly to ring layer, leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Chocolate nose and flavor is roasted malty chocolate. High ABV is hidden. Not labeled a RIS but tastes like one. $9.99 for a 633ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, Vt.

Apr 27, 2012
Dark Sky Imperial Stout from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 145 ratings