joebrew (608) - Farewell Minny; Hello Puyallup, Washington, USA - OCT 8, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft ABR 07. Oh yeah, it was every bit as good as I anticipated. Poured a thick dark black, with a nice tan head. Very nice smokey oakiness on the nose as well as chocolate, light vanilla, some floral hoppiness, and a littel coffee. Very full mouthfeel with a good dose fo the the nose coming through. A great dry oakyness on the finish as wlell. It is tough to beat fresh Darkness, but this is still very good.
KAF (448) - Coralville, Iowa, USA - OCT 2, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I had this at the Autumn Brew Review on draught. Very dark in color. Oak and bourbon in aroma with a chocolate and bourbon flavor.
JK (4861) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - OCT 2, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 5, 2007 A very good beer, but not as incredible as standard Darkness. But fortunately, the bourbon hasnít ruined the beer. It compliments, rather than overwhelms the flavors. As a beer that relies heavily on hops for its flavor, this might be a bit past its prime and has come to taste differently than probably intended. Bourbon in the aroma along with roasted malt and red wine. Flavor has slightly more bourbon that compliments the sweet malt and hops. Thick and heavy palate.
Skyview (5283) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - OCT 1, 2007
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampled on draught at the ABR 07 in Minneapolis, MN. Pours an opqaue almost black brew with a thick and slow dissolving tan head. Most excellent lacing. Aroma of dark roasted chocolate malt, coconut, bourbon, dry oak, and just a touch of vanilla. Taste is full bodied, very little carbonation with flavors of dark chocolate, coconuts, bourbon and some slight grassy hops. Finish is awesome. Smooth, near syrupy with a good balance of bourbon and dark malt with chocolate. Was it worth the wait in line for 25 minutes? Yeah. No problem!
sthlm (1241) - Minnesota, USA - SEP 29, 2007
4.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 31, 2007 [Draft, ABR í07] Pours black with a huge dark tan head. Aroma is almost overpowering with bourbon and oak, but also some nice chocolate and roasted malt there too. The taste is sweet, with roasted malt, strong chocolate, bourbon and oak all coming through strongly. Medium mouthfeel with a very long finish. The bourbon and oak were way too strong in both the nose and taste with this beer...that having been said, it wasnít enough to completely spoil the beer by any means.
badbeer (434) - Iowa, USA - AUG 30, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
As black as they come. Most stouts have at least a dark red hue to the edges when tilted to the light, this one did not. Thick, dark tan head arose and retained quite well. I picked up plenty of bourbon and vanilla in the aroma as well as some chocolate, but I donít think I picked up as much coffee notes as others. Taste had more roastiness to it than the nose, but the bourbon was still dominant. Mouthfeel was full-bodied with softer levels of carbonation. Much different from the regular Darkness, which I remember being a hoppy beast. Iíd prefer the regular, but this was an excellent treat to have at the GTMW.
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 (3195) - 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 (1867) - 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.