Dark Sky Imperial Stout | Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

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Dark Sky Imperial StoutDark Sky Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UncleJimbo on 03-01-2005

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 135
Photo of dgilks
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a big, creamy, tan head. Good head retention.

Malty and slightly sweet. Some chocolate and roast. Very lightly fruity. Nice.

Rounded malt and chocolate with plenty of fruitiness. A wonderful combination. If anything, I seek a bit more roast and a more robust chocolate or coffee note.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Just a touch astringent. Good.

A very nice RIS with good flavour but lacking a bit or robustness. I think it is a good beer and another quality product from Baird.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours solid black in color with a huge fluffy khaki head that shows great retention and lace. Smells predominately of dark fruits, cherries and berries mixed with a little chocolate and roast. Earthy hops cut through some of the malt to balance things out a bit. Taste is a bit vinous. Roasted grains have been used sparingly but are present enough to provide some chocolate and coffee flavors. Caramel, fruit, and burnt sugar round out the flavors quite nicely. Medium to thick body, creamy smooth mouthfeel, Light level of carbonation. Wow this is a really good stout. Reminds me of Expedition a bit, well what I remember it to be. I didn't really get the torrential hop downpour that was promised me from the side of the label, but with no bottle dating I have no idea how fresh this is. Honestly its drinking great right now.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black body, with a creamy dark tanned head. leaves a nice lacing.

Aroma is mostly roasted malts, with a more herbal, minty hop note.

Chocolate, roasted malts, and a bit of coffee dance around with a fairly bitter hop bite and finish.

Creamy, medium to full body.

This might be a slightly aged bottle with the more muted hop notes, so I'd love to try a fresh bottle. It's still a pretty good stout.

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Photo of liamt07
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Steve and Zach, 633ml into some tulips.

Poured black with a tan coloured head, some sticky lace and a creamy cap of retention. Nose has alot of hops, big black licorice notes and molasses. Soy and some dark fruits come through as well - some currant and stone fruits. Taste has more sweet licorice notes and hops which battle on the front end of the sip, before giving way to strong coffee and espresso like notes. Finish is sweet and roasty, with some alcohol. Medium full feel, with medium carbonation. Roasty coffee notes extend wayyy into the finish. A bit too hoppy for my liking within the style however.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, extremely dark, brown. A dark tan head (think of a mug of hot chocolate) rises big and creamy looking. Dissipation is even and not too quick but a thick film is all that remains after three minutes. Decent lace, though.
Smell is rich with notes of roasted malt, soy, whiskey-soaked raisins and whole wheat bread. Very fruitcake-y.
Taste is notes of malt and soy, whiskey, wheat, dark fruit, light smoke, coffee and faint hops.
Rich and smooth, creamy and full-bodied with a very light effervescence. Slightly dry finish with a coating of the palate. Aftertaste is a nice slow fade, warming in the back of the throat. An extremely good beer. Drink one.

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Photo of YouSkeete
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick, dark, and cloudy black with a one finger dark tan head. Weak retention on the head, fades into bubbles and turns quickly into moderate lacing.

S: Big molasses and caramel upfront. Notes of sweet dark chocolate, bitter coffee and dark fruits with some hints of black malts and smooth barley. Roasted nuttiness and wood in the aroma as well.

T/M: Smooth bittersweet chocolate, dark black malts and molasses on the taste upfront. Nutty flavors and aged wood give a full flavor to the body, while chocolate, vanilla and coffee flavors allow a balance of sweetness. The taste of heavy cream and cloves also gives a smooth sweetness to the body. The fruits that were in the nose are scarce in the body. The 9% ABV is perfect for this brew. Nice moderate carbonation, medium body. Sweet, flavorful and moderately complex.

D: Highly impressed with this Imperial. Amazing drinbkability, maybe a bit strong on the level of sweetness, but nothing i can hate on. Very well done, Japan.

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Photo of Ultraman9000
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my Great Divide snifter.

A: Pours dark with a coffee/beige head of around 1/3", later fades to a bubbly film with fair lacing on the sides. Certainly looks the part for an RIS.

S: Roasted malts, toastiness, a bit of dark chocolate, and hops backing it all up well.

T: Taste matches the nose pretty well, with a bit of vanilla joining the party and a pleasant balance of bitterness from the dark malts and hops. With a bit of warming, the vanilla flavor sticks on the tongue longer, but never becomes cloying.

M: Carbonation level is spot on, and the less-than-thick body (compared to some more viscous RIS) actually makes this stout dangerously easy to drink.

O: A solid RIS from a Western-inspired Japanese brewery that really does a good job of balancing a few select flavors (as opposed to the "kitchen sink" approach of some other big stouts) and doesn't overwhelm even after 3-4 glasses. Definitely worth checking out!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a 1/2 inch beige head that fades to a film of foam. Thin scraggly rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark roasted malts, caramel, and some citrus zest hops. Cocoa powder and slight coffee aromas emerge as the beer warms. Taste is of dark roasted malts, dark cocoa powder, caramel, with a slight hop finish. Mild bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. There is a low level of carbonation with this beer which makes for a somewhat thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good RIS and my first beer from Baird. It's very interesting that this is an American owned brewery in Japan. I will be seeking out more beers from this company for sure.

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Photo of ADZA
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love the artwork on the label and the name and the brew pours an impressive dark as night black hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a creamy two finger cappicino laced two finger head and lacing all over the place,the smell is a mix of aromas of raisins,dark bitter chocolate,coccoa nibs and dark fruity hops,the mouthfeel is nearly perfect for me as it is full bodied yet perfectly carbonated and feels extra smooth and the taste is no far off either with hints of strong dark bitter coffee,milky dutch chocolate,dark grapes and finished with a nice tinge of dark fruity bitter hops and overall in my mind a beautiful example of a RIS and a must try from this fine Japanese brewery.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

633ml bottle. Dark Sky - a very appropriate name for an RIS. The label artwork does this moniker justice in its usual restrained grandeur.

This beer pours a thorough, seamless black, save some slight mahogany basal edges when thrust into the light, and gives up two fat fingers of thick, foamy beige head, which leaves a solid paint job of lace around the glass in its wake.

It smells of bittersweet chocolate malt, some weirdly fleshy, earthy fruit, a musty woodiness, soft caramel notes, and mild floral, weedy hops. The taste is toasted caramel malt, orchard fruit-flecked milk chocolate, sweet red grapes, rosewater, bitter floral hops, and a slightly boozy undertone.

The carbonation is well sedated - barely a frothy tic to be had for a dime - the body full in weight, smooth, and somewhat creamy, offset by some minor hop astringency. It finishes quite sweet, the fruity malt most predominant, with more Ottoman confection, bitter hops, and a sidling alcohol heat rounding things out.

A very drinkable version of the style - that bizarro-world fruitiness contributing to an enjoyably skewed big beer experience, one that is hardly affected by the near 10 points of ABV. Worth trying out, if only to see what might have happened if the Russkies looked the other way on the map for this brew.

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Photo of madpentzer
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed off notes from a tasting at Beer U: Craft Beer Around the World at Stone Brewery.

A - Pours black, almost like motor oil, with a dark tan finger of head.

S - Aroma's of dark chocolate, coffee, and heavily roasted malts.

T - Lots of different flavors in this one. First, I pick up the roasted malts, almost as if they were smoked. Then, that is followed by chocolate and coffee.

M - This is thick, but not too much so. Has some carbonation, just enough to make it not flat.

O - This is by far the best beer I've had from Japan. Makes me want to travel there to check out the fishmarket taproom. Perfect to sip on with some dark chocolate or on its own.

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Photo of rudzud
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Julio's after a Japan benefit tasting. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - A nice deep brown/black pour with a big, dense two finger dark mocha head that never really disappears, with big thick side lacing. Considering the ABV, this is almost exceptional.

S - Nice roasty malts and espresso notes. Not getting much in the way of hops, or chocolate. Just nice coffee notes.

T - Similar to the nose with that big bold roasted malt notes upfront. The coffee qualities are throughout and at the very end, almost as an aftertaste, I get the faintest hop bitterness.

M - While this does feel just the slightest thin, it still has the ability to stand up. Definately wish this was thicker feeling though.

O - This is a very tasty stout from a Japanese brewery. Quite impressive. I'm okay with the lack of chocolate, and slightly weaker mouthfeel as this is still quite the standout stout. Really impressed by Baird's offering.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

633ml bottle poured into tulip April,4 2011

A near black with some cola at the edges, long lasting thumbs width of dark mocha head just cakes the side of the glass even after the foam falls to a thin film, no issues here

S milk and bakers chocolate with some faint coffee and mild dark fruits, decent but not overly complex

T a fair bit more going on in the mouth with some faint hops, a little licorice, smoke and some booze on top of what I smell

M could be a little thicker but still decent with just enough carbonation and lingering flavors

O nothing amazing but certainly nothing to be ashamed of either, a good stout at the end of the day

this ones well worth trying and perhaps worth seeing how it ages, but at over 10 bucks and with all these new beers flooding the market in Alberta I doubt I'll be aging more then a single bottle. quite easy to drink considering its 9% I just realized I've caught a buzz, oh well

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Photo of Trilogy31
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black with a dark tan head. Nice carbonation and leaves light lacing. Smells of dark coffee, some earth and bakers chocolate after some searching. Flavor of toasted smoky malts, coffee and some dark fruits. A bit astrigent but still drinkable just not very complex. Solid effort and good but far from spectacular.

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Photo of Hoops4life511
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle with no visible date poured into snifter.

Appearance - Poured an opaque black with a frothy patchy quarter inch tan head that falls to patches but leaves patches along the cap. Smell - Hop forward with a sweet molasses in the background. Some faint hints of plum and raisin. Pleasant aroma, I expected more roasty aromas though.

Taste/Mouth - Thin feel with a dry oatmeal like taste. Some malty sweetness with a dry bitter hop finish. Carbonation is mild and pleasant I just wish this had a fuller body, it could be a lot better.

Overall - Not bad, but not what I expected or hoped for. With a dark ominous label and a big aroma I expected to be wowed, but wasn't. Very average beer.

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Photo of Snow81
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as night with no light penetrating my beer

Head: Supper thick brown head

Smell: Dark roosted burnt malts with hints of coco and hints of a deep black liquorish

Taste: Roosted burnt malts, raisins, and butter coco

Weight: Medium to low body and very low carbonation

Finish: Roosted malts and floral hops

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Photo of Naugros
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Okay, I won't go through the whole "it's not black, it's opaque dark brown" again, so let's leave that as rote. It looks like a stout. The end...on to the smell.

So we've got some roast, but not quite as much as other stouts. Some chocolate and molasses tones, no coffee. A very slight bourbon-like booze is underneath the malts. Kind of sort of smells like a stout.

The chocolate comes to the forefront on the tongue and the roastiness really ramps up and exhibits the coffee tones we know and love from a stout. The booze is there as well but it's more vinous than bourbony.

Nice and viscous, this one's pretty chewy and perhaps the most assured sign that they did something right on this one. Not fair, they did a lot right, but they got the mouthfeel more right than the rest of it.

This is a stout from Japan and I have to say that they've done a yeoman's job of it. It's tasty and thick and would stand up well to all the foods that any other imperial stout would stand up to. oh, and I really love the label. Kamikaze!

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Let's dispense with the pleasantries, shall we: $9.99/bomber and 9% ABV....Expensive...

Dense, opaque black - now with EXTRA black - with only the faintest blood red tint at the edges when held up against the light. Nice, creamy tan head that persists. Splotchy lacing.

Aromas are super-unique and interestingly robust. I get tons of roasty chocolate malt, but also something akin to barrel-aging, but unsure what kind of barrel. Almost like the Haandbryggeriet Akkevit porter style in the nose. Very nice and nuanced. It's like black licorice and vanilla mixed together...

Flavor is a lot like the aroma. Very unique and robust. TONS of chocolate malt throughout the drink. Front and early middle punctuated by that licorice/vanilla thing. The harshness of the malt is really masked by a wonderful creamy texture. Nicely hopped, too, as the finish really balances out well. The roasty malt carries long into the night. Very nice beer, but expensive.

What I like most: The unique and nuanced flavor profile.

What I like least: the price and touch of alcohol in the finish.

Verdict: very nice and robust ale, but wicked expensive. Worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black, but with an oddly white chunky head.

Smell is inviting, a little bit of alcohol.

Taste/mouthfeel is thick, roasty, satisfying. Pretty much exactly as one wishes for a stout. Alcohol comes forward a bit too much, but the taste is still very nice.

Because the ABV is so high, it's kind of hard to indulge as much as one might wish, but this is a very nice beer in small quantities.

It'd be cool if Baird would try making a lower-ABV version of this...

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Photo of basica
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Baird Beer Nakameguro Taproom in Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan - http://bairdbeer.com/en/taproom/nakameguro-taproom

A - Tapped a jet black color into a small taster glass yielding a large, round milky tan head (4.5)

S - Fresh roasted malts with some smokiness on the nose (4)

T - Pleasant leathery flavors upfront with roasted malts showing up in the middle; hop sneak in towards the finish, lasting well into the after taste along with roasted malts and a moderate bitterness. Generally very delectable stout flavors but more pronounced on the leather tastes than most stouts I have tried (4.5)

M - Light to medium bodied with an apt amount of carbonation and a very creamy smooth texture; I would prefer a slightly thicker body for this style. Goes down extremely quickly and easily (4)

D - One of the most refreshing Imperial Stout you can find; great flavors and mouth feel lends credence to its wonderful drinkability (5)

This was the second of 3 beers I sampled at Baird's Nakameguro Taproom. The other 2 beers I had were the Jubilation Ale 2010 and the West Coast Wheat Wine

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first whiff of this beer was surprisingly yeasty, but subsequent sniffs caught the aroma of a good imperial stout: smoky with tones of roast coffee, molasses and unsweet chocolate, as well as a hint of miso. It pours a rich, opaque sable with a fairly thick, fine-bubbled tan head that leaves quite a bit of lacing. Mouth filling smoky flavor has tones of quality coffee, chocolate, caramel, licorice and toffee. There is also a fair alcohol kick, but this complements the rich flavor rather than overwhelming or even dominating it. Flavor is quite tingly and edgy, hardly smooth, thanks to a strong fizz and the alcohol bite. Recommended to all stouties.

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Photo of brendan13
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very dark brown with a 3cm beige head that slowly falls away.
S - Some chocolate roastiness quickly gives way to a rich caramel maltiness. Some whiskey like peat aroma is there which is suprising given this is not -bal aged.
T - Much like the smell, this is tasting like a whiskey -bal aged Imperial Stout. Very sweet chocolate and rich caramel.
M - Quite full bodied with carbonation on the lower side of medium.
D - A very nice beer but pretty full on. I'd drink it again but I have a feeling it's gonna be a struggle to get through a whole bottle by myself.
So to reiterate, a tasty beer worth seeking out but find a beer nerd friend to drink it with!

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Photo of Patrick999
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH glass. Good dark color, formative but manageable head.

Has a little bit of that cherry nose you sometimes find in imperial stouts. Some citrus hop, but more of a roasted and chocolate character.

This is on the lighter side of imperial stout. It's relatively hoppy too - with the moderate body and not overwhelming malt, this comes close to crossing over into Black IPA territory, in my opinion. A little more roast than you would find in that style, though. Bright citrusy hop and minor maple sweetness.

I was looking for more heft from this in terms of the malt, but still, not a bad beer.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The color is black with brownie highlights at the top of the beer. Just a little foam after the pour that leaves a very thin latte like film.

Heavy roasted nose gives off aromas of black coffee and dark chocolate. The alcoholseems to cut the nose a little short with a stand alone heat. The alcohol dominates instead of incorporates the aromas of the malt a little too much.

The taste starts a little musty and boozey. The middle mellows out with creamy mocha, dark brick chocolate, and 7-11 black coffee. The finish is a boozey coffee with just a drop of Bailey's.

The palate is warm and comforting. But not as inviting to take another sip. This is not a session beer of course, but the flavors along with the palate raen't very conducive to a fully enjoyable, sipping RIS.

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Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of foamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: An OK smell of roasted malt, chocolate, and a little coffee.

T: Tasted of chocolate malt, with a little roasted quality, coffee, and a slight hoppiness. Not quite as robust or powerful as a typical RIS, but still pretty good.

M: An average amount of carbonation with a mostly dry finish. Medium-bodied. Not as chewy as others of the style.

D: A solidly drinkable beer.

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Dark Sky Imperial Stout from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
3.77 out of 5 based on 135 ratings.
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