Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - AUG 27, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
GTMW07- "Dark color" hehe... nice forming thick head. Nose was hard to pinpoint, but similar to what I tasted. Huge dark malt and roasted flavors mixed with what I can call a grass hop flavor. Barrel was there and melded well with the beer itself. Oily and viscous on the palate, I have to wonder how different these ratings would of been in an climate controlled enviorment.
Brigadier (2875) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - AUG 19, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at GTMW 2007
This was one of the taps I was most looking forward to. It didnít really disappoint but it was a slight letdown after reading the reviews for regular Surly Darkness. I want to give that a try now to see if it was just the aging that let me down or the base beer. Somehow I suspect this was a case of wanting something to be great so when it was merely excellent it felt average.
Aroma / Appearance - Coffee plays against a hoppy grassiness. The vanilla and oak are intensely strong. While it has alot going on I would compare it to the aroma of a fresh regular Expedition at best. The body though was a sight to behold - deep black with a thin tan head. A creamy lacing stuck to everything, leaving behind a gooey mess. The overall impression was poor from the kolsch glass - this one deserves so much better. Note to self - when coming to the GTMW be sure to bring the 2006 glass which was perfect for beers like this.
Flavor / Palate - Oak, coffee and a light hoppiness suprised my eager senses. Semisweet bitter chocolate chips coalesce on the tongue next before a bready base coats all corners of the throat. The bourbon influence imparts even more of a kick which warms the throat. Thatís not always welcome on a 90 degree day which may have been part of my problem but it was not as if I could choose when to try this beer so Iíll let that slide. My ideal situation for drinking this would be on a cold winterís night after a few hours of skiing. Hereís hoping it makes future appearances.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 14, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap @ GTMW 2007. Opaque and black without a doubt, as a cola foam head floats on top. Aroma is beseechingly beautiful. Bourbon, dark chocolate rum, midnight chocolate morsels, decadent chewy fudge bricks and highly influential Godiva caramels all line the nose. Flavorful heaven achieves enlightenment. Mocha espresso grist gets chalky and sooted upon unsweetened chocolate brownie bricks. The bourbon hums with a blackened whiskey and rye accent in the distance. Succulent espresso grinds get stirred with bitter mocha shavings for quite the bitter balance. Chewy body thatís incredibly thick upon chomping, eliciting salivation for more, more more. Thick oily fluid dances darkly with blackened chocolate, charcoal and burnt rye chips to extinguish the finish.
tjthresh (1865) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - AUG 13, 2007
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at the GTMW
Opaque black with a old black head. Sweet raisin, cooked sugar, and touches of vanilla aromas. A lot of bourbon flavor, to go with some dark chocolate and vanilla. Milky mouthfeel. Not really at all what I was expecting.
GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - AUG 13, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
GTMW 2007. Poured an opaque black color. Lasting brown head that seemed to have an faint orange glow. Rich, enticing aroma of milk chocolate, vanilla, molasses, and bourbon. Sweet, thick, smooth, and oily on the tongue all at once. Tasted of dark chocolate, bourbon, and burnt caramel with ample roasty bitterness and some mild acidity at the end. Iím already trying to figure out how I can get another taste of this.
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - AUG 13, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2008 GTMW 2007. Pours murky black/brown. Slight musty wood notes on the nose. Hints of chocolate, coffee and piny hops as well. Loads of malt: caramel, vanilla and chocolate with some hops to balance. Full bodied with good carbonation. Very good, but lacking somewhere... Initial rating 7/4/8/4 3.9
Re-Rate. Autumn Brew Review. My, my. What a couple of months have done to this one. This has developed along quite nicely. There seemed to be more complex aromas. Less musty wood and more pronounced roasted malt, charred marshmallow, vanilla and dry oak. Still pours a rich, oily jet black. Flavor was more pronounced as well. Big flavor or roasted malt, vanilla , marshmallow and alcohol. The hops take a back seat to the malt on this one. Excellent texture. Very rich, creamy and oily.
Ughsmash (7086) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 13, 2007
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at GTMW. Poured black with a short cap of loose cap of deep beige head. The aroma picked up huge doses of dark chocolates and fainter espresso with milder pine and citrus hoppage tagging along with bourbon, vanilla, and charred oak as accents.. strong nose on this, and absolutely decadent!.. thought the barrel integration was very well done (perhaps a short stay in there??).. with more bourbon sugars as it warmed up. The flavor had deeply-roasted chocolates and bourbon char at the core.. some sourness from the oak worked OK, but was a tad distracting.. long, toasty dark chocolate finish with a kiss of bourbon at the very end. Heavier-bodied on the palate with very good roast and the OK sour accents.. left a solid impression as it left the mouth. Great stuff, but I enjoyed the regular Darkness a bit more.
KingpinIPA (841) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 13, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
GTMW on tap. Dark midnight color. had to wait a little bit for the head to go down. Smell of bourbon, malt, chocolate, sugar daddys, hops, minor citrus, alcohol and vanila. Taste of chocolate truffles, caramel, bourbon, vanilia, oak, caramel/toffee, hops and sugar. Very nice but a tad bit too sweet. I am just glad to be able to try this brew!
1FastSTi (3333) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 12, 2007
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
GTMW 2007. Full glass. The beer pours to a murky black body with a large brown head that lasts. The aroma is chocolate and is quite strong. A nice pervasive pine hop is blended with brown sugar and bourbon. The flavor is a strong chocolate and pine hops with a bourbon and charred wood with maple syrup. The flavors are quite complex. The palate has a moderate sweetness and a creamy full soft body. Slightly alcoholic, but it was oh so good.