tectactoe (2337) - Michigan, USA - JUN 26, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 28, 2014 [Tap @ Surly / 2014] So the 2014 bottles were High West Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged, but I was lucky enough to try the non-bottled, non barrel aged version at Darkness Day 2014. On tap none the less. My god. What an incredible beer. Huge brown sugar, sticky sweet baker’s chocolate, mild ashy char, molasses, rich prunes, burnt toffee coated black cherries... Hops are evident at first, a little pine resin bitterness, but as the beer warms, it gets sweeter, more decadent, & very rich, but never overbearing. Gotta bump this up a point, this was fantastic. Perhaps the atmosphere helped, too, but this Darkness was pure bliss. I enjoyed this even over the barrel aged version (side by side).
[Bottle / 2012] Approximately one year old. Thanks to Kevin. Midnight black color, extremely deep ruby & brown at the edges. Fine bubbled, deep mocha foam, creamy & layered nicely on top. Super sweet aroma of dark currants, black licorice, caramelized brown sugar, bittersweet chocolates, a touch of vanilla, just a small hint of char, ash, & roasted coffee bean. Taste is also very sweet but controlled well. Nice balance of leafy hops & roasted char to counter the sweet notes of baker’s chocolate, cream, brown sugar, plums, star anise, & syrupy molasses. Currants, dates, chocolate, brown sugar, & a hint of coffee bean & roast lingers long into the sticky, coating finish. A delicious beer.
[Bottle / 2011] Thanks, Mike. About two years old. The hops have edged off a little bit, making this version a little more sweet. But still very palatable & not over-the-top compared to many other stouts of this type. Heavier sugary burnt caramel notes with lots of bittersweet cocoa & roast in the finish.
[Bottle / 2009] Thanks, Ed. Getting close to five years old. Huge presence of brown sugar coated dates with a river of sweet baker’s chocolate underneath. Most prominent coffee bean flavor in the lingering finish. No sign of oxidation for this one, even at five years old. Possibly my favorite bottle yet.
[Bottle / 2008] Thanks, Ed. Almost six years old. This bottle probably had the most commanding dark fruity presence of all the Darkness I’ve had. Lots of dates, prunes, currants, coated in brown sugar, molasses, & burnt caramel. Still a very robust underbody of creamy-sweet milky chocolate. Slight oxidation present in the aroma & flavor... A little papery staleness; not completely distracting, but I wouldn’t let this one go for too much longer.
TXBadger (1556) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JUN 24, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Had at a share. Pours a deep black color with tan head. Cocoa, coffee, dark fruits, and some toffee/caramel notes as well as roast on the nose; got a lot going on in this one. Finishes with a roasted coffee cocoa note. Very nice.
markextrae (1322) - NETHERLANDS - JUN 24, 2014
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
shared a vintage 2011 bottle with 2 friends. big thick red waxed bottle! pitch black pour with a verry small beige head. sweet roasted malts, caramel, still some coffee, sweet bakers chocolate, marzipan, toffee, some vanilla, some weird faint fluffy hop taste, wich couldn’t be after 3 years of age? medium mouthfeel, i don’t think it’s getting better with age.
thomas15 (689) - USA - JUN 20, 2014
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2010 bottle via trade. Arom of nuts, coffee, almonds, chocolate, old hops seem to come across as nutty in the context of the beer. Appears pitch black, seemingly viscous, tan head that settles to half a finger. Spotty lacing. Taste is dark fruits, currants, cherries, chocolate, coffee, with lasting cherry coffee after taste.
Jesterdeal (1984) - Marlton, New Jersey, USA - JUN 5, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at the POPE for beer week. Aroma of molasses, anise, dark chocolate, and burnt prune. Pours black and thick with a very small amount of dark brown lacing. Taste is dark chocolate, burnt sugar, molasses, anise, and a roasty finish. Reminds me very much of a milder version of DFH’s World Wide Stout. Glad I got to try this gem.
miyauchi38 (356) - chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 4, 2014
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
charlotte (4329) - rødovre, DENMARK - MAY 29, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draught.Black with no head.Aroma is sweet of dark dried berries,coffee and oile,smooth and sweet flavour of tobacco and fruitys,nice well balanced with long taste and sweet finish.
zvikar (3624) - Ramat Gan, ISRAEL - MAY 28, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draught sample at Copenhagen Beer Celebration 2014. 3rd Session. Pours black with a beige head, aroma of hops, chocolate and orange, flavor of orange, hops and chocolate, medium bodied, nice.
demmbonz (590) - Erin, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 17, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Shared bomber to snifters. Thanks jimmeekrek. Black pour thick and dark. Tan head that leaves a ring. Lots of roasty dark malts and fruits. Tobacco and char. Definite hop presence.
Bulk_Carrier (2270) - Juneau, Alaska, USA - MAY 16, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
I got this in an in person trade from my Texas buddy who went to Minnesota on a business trip. He made his way up for a visit here to Alaska and he got a bunch of stuff for it.
I poured this into a tulip.
The appearance is pitch black and it pours that way as well. It starts off with a one finger white to off white foamy head and gently dies at a nice pace leaving a nice coating of lacing that eventually spider webs and clings nicely to the sides of the glass.
The smell takes a superior amount of sweet sticky roasted chocolates and adds a decent underscore of vanilla to it. It all combines nice and roasty.
The taste is extremely sweet and sticky chocolate coating my taste buds. There is an extremely sweet sticky chocolatey aftertaste that ends up leaving a sweet sticky chocolatey finish as well.
On the palate, it sits about a medium to heavy with no booze noticed as I thought I was going to but no side effects are noticed. The carbonation is extremely smooth around my mouth and tongue. This one is a sipper, no gulping allowed or at least in my opinion, I say don’t gulp.
Overall, wow - nice one Surly, wish I could get this one in my distro, but after having this I wish I could have this on a daily basis.