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RATINGS: 978   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.21   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 288   ABV: 9.6%
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This massive Russian Imperial Stout brings waves of flavors; chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, and toffee. We add a touch of hops to make this delicious brew even tastier. 85 IBUs. Labels:

’07 = Grim Reaper
’08 = Devil
’09 = Mummy
’10 = Vampire
’11 = Zombie
’12 = Werewolf
’13 = Hell Demon
’14 = Harpy (bottled reviews have separate entry in database)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Busick (390) - South Carolina, USA - AUG 13, 2014
Too much sugar! Sugar overpowered the other ingredients! Had a 2011 and guessing it mellowed out, couldn't imagine what it tasted like fresh! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Clownoisseur (357) - Buchanan, Michigan, USA - AUG 12, 2014
2013 vintage. Pours dark black, very oily in appearance and has a thin tan head. Aromas of molasses, coffee, chocolate and alcohol. Taste is fairly bitter upfront with the chocolate/soy sauce/molasses following quickly behind. Not as much depth to this as I hoped....and overly sweet by my standards. The mouthfeel was very thick and almost became too sticky for my liking. While this is a good beer, I don’t think it is one that I will come back to often. (Although, some barrel aging may do this some needed justice)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dr_MedievAle (199) - Alabama, USA - AUG 7, 2014
Aroma: floral coffee, roasted barley, some fragrant hops against a muted background of soy sauce. Appearance: motor oil w/ minimal head. Taste: sweet vanilla, sweet chocolate, bitter licorice, bitter coffee, w/ a final and kind of off-putting astringent note. Palate: full-bodied and creamy. Good carb. Overall: really harsh and overhopped in my opinion. another over-hyped beer that benefits from rating inflation. people need to get real.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DCLawyer (1798) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - AUG 2, 2014
Draft->snifter at Churchkey. Near black with dense tan head. Cocoa, coffee, vanilla. Very good, but not as smooth or dense as hoped or expected.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
baraciisch (2290) - California, USA - JUL 21, 2014
Retrospective from beer log at FWIBF 2014... Light dark malt aroma.... Dark brown-black in color... Very malt forward, berry, raisin notes... Not a ton of balance... Still very very good...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Homer321 (2628) - Melboring, Florida, USA - JUL 20, 2014
Bottle thanks to Kyle. 2013 bottle. Had at the Beechneer Blind Beer Bash. Lots of roast in the nose and flavor. Significant alcohol warming. Moderate bitterness with a medium mouthfeel. Overall enjoyable, but the alcohol is really prominent. I think this might be another one that needs some age on it to mellow

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
sitzds (318) - - JUL 19, 2014
Shared at Hunahpu’s day 2014 in the massive bottle share, poured into souvenir taster. Opaque black body with a resilient tan cap that leaves webbing all over the little glass. Aroma features roasted malt, coffee, raisin, unsweet chocolate, dried cherries, and a surprising bit of soy and citrus. Taste is roasty malt and dried fruit sweetness, coffee and cocoa bitterness. On the lower end of the full body spectrum, thick and creamy texture, soft but appropriate carbonation, warming boozy finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
hackobock (2172) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JUL 8, 2014
Sample @ CBC 2014. Pours black with a creamy brown head. Aroma is caramel, coffee, chocolate, dark dried fruits, nuts. Taste is very sweet sticky caramel and molasses, medium bitter chocolate finish, light alcohol note in the finish. Full bodied, smooth carbonation.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
jesperhammer (3456) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUL 7, 2014
23-MAY-2014, draft @Mikkeller, following DØE Ølfestival. Black with low off-white head. Aroma is roast, molasses, chocolate. Taste the same. Full, full body, soft carbonation. Smooth. Very harmonous. A big beer but not the biggest:-) Also a well made and fantastic beer

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tectactoe (3099) - Michigan, USA - JUN 26, 2014
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.

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