kseecs16 (1175) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - AUG 13, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask at the Great Taste of the Midwest. Opaque bubbly tan head. Rich woody malt aroma. Creamy as you’d expect from the cask. Chocolately with nice roast coffee hints.
valpoaj (597) - Valparaiso, Indiana, USA - AUG 12, 2008
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
First stop of the GTMW ’08 - on cask. Pours just a shade lighter than pure black, with a nice tan head. Aroma is beautiful...the melding of hops and dark, chocolate and caramel malts...some slight notes of coffee and dark fruits also became evident as I took this in...I can’t imagine any beer more destined to be on cask than a good imperial stout. Flavor is also beautiful, and much better than I expected it to be. I"m not sure what percentage of this is due to the fact this was on cask, but the hops did not overwhelm the stout characteristics...lots of chocolate, rich caramel malts, with a good dose of bittering hops to balance everything out. I kept noting a nice dark fruit accent lying in the background which was just amazing. Palate is great as well...smooth and velvety. Although I’m sad I haven’t yet tried this on regular tap / bottle, the cask version was downright phenomenal...one of handful of rare/hyped beers that exceeded my expectations...great beer Surly!
Brigadier (2625) - Northeastern Ohio, Ohio, USA - AUG 11, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Great Taste of the Midwest 2008
Rather than wait until 2:30 PM to slam it before racing off for another tapping I found this at the start in the Real Ale tent. Since I’m not sure how that changed things I would love to sit down with a regular pint at some point to compare. Unfortunately you don’t get that luxury at a five hour festival.
Aroma / Appearance - The deep black body had strands of lacing and a tan head that are typical of a high gravity imperial stout. Oak, black coffee, rich truffles and raspberries meld into a balanced mixture. Somehow still light on the senses that the hoppiness did not seem out of place I enjoyed this aroma greatly.
Flavor / Palate - The creamy full mouthfeel is just what you would expect from a world class imperial stout. The chocolately hoppy conversion soon fills the mouth with a rich coffee like texture. Better than the barrel aged version that was on tap last year I think this is an imperial stout best enjoyed before the hops begin to fade into the background.
GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - AUG 10, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
GTMW ’08. Cask. Poured an opaque black color with a soapy brown head. The aroma was of molasses, chocolate liqueur, light citrus, and a dash of soy. Full bodied, sweet, and syrupy. Chocolate dominated the flavor, but there were also hints of maple, citrus, and soy.
inkubus27 (269) - highland, Indiana, USA - AUG 10, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
2008 Batch at GTMW. This was kindof fun, I tried this right after I had Dark Lord, I’m talking about 10 minutes. And I have to say that despite Darkness being an awesome imperial stout, it’s not even close to Dark Lord. Darkness has a very pronounced american hop aroma to it, which was really nice, but it lacked the insane amount of viscosity i was hoping for. Don’t get me wrong though, this was still pretty thick. The taste was very complex and had a good amount of hop bitterness to it to balance the malty sweetness. Overall it’s my number 2 imperial stout.
rallison (116) - USA - JUL 23, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thank you Carlos for opening this one (after so many previous attempts at making this tasting happen!).
Great pour with a great, lasting head on this beauty.
Delicious grapefruit/citrus bitterness is still a large component of this beer, despite the bottle having some age on it. I’ve had hoppy imperial stouts before (Rogue, Victory, etc), but none that came off so citrusy....an interesting choice and one that I find to work extremely well. Great roast character with complementing dark chocolate and a lingering bitterness. Light alcohol presence on the end. Some dark fruits seem to be present as well - specifically raisins.
Huge body with medium to low carbonation - very suitable. Rich and nicely coating.
Excellent beer. Very unique (and this is not an easy thing to be in the RIS category) with the delicious citric hop presence. I’d take a keg of this ;)
doubleo (1433) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 19, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle #556 big thanks to Hophead84 also badbeer and ketchepillar. Pours dark brown with a moderate sized light brown head, specks of lace. Smells dark and roasty malty with a good bit of spicy hops as well. Tastes about the same as it smells. Dark and roasty malts with a building and then overpowering spicy hoppiness. The roastiness and the hop flavors linger. A bit hoppy astringent as well. Full body, vibrant carbonation.
badbeer (434) - Iowa, USA - JUL 5, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: OCT 31, 2008 2006 Version, on-tap. Pours out completely black into its very own Darkness glass. Dark brown head that lasts throughout and leaves about an inch of lacing at the top; pretty amazing for such a big stout. Smell is predominantly hoppy. Filled with aromas of citrus with hints of coffee and cocoa hidden almost entirely behind the hops. Taste has citrus hops dominating, and there isn’t much of a roasty flavor until the finish. Carbonation was medium and mouthfeel is incredibly thick, but very nice. A joy to drink, but this is more of a sipper.
On a side note, I’ve had IPA’s that aren’t nearly as hoppy as this, and wouldn’t mind getting to see the malty side of this beer that is hidden behind the hops. A very awesome beer, that would probably be better if the malt was allowed to shine a bit more. Great job Surly, this one is worth seeking out.
2008 Bottle on Halloween 2008: Black as night, tan head with excellent retention and lacing. Smells of charcoal, molasses, caramel, dark fruit, licorice, maple, and juicy hops. Licorice, charcoal, and citrus hops greet the tongue, sharp caramel and molasses linger in the finish. Finish is of dark fruit, roast, and caramel. Full body and medium carbonation. Great beer.
8 - 5 - 9 - 4 - 17 = 4.4
pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUN 4, 2008
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: OCT 19, 2008 5-23-08 bottle shared by Miketd - the bestest guy in the world
Thick black pour with super creamy tan beige head. Spotted lacing. Smell is tobacco, meat, smoke, sweet malt, and hops. Flavor is nice malt and good hops are very present. Bold and surprisingly hoppy. Flavor actually gets better the more you drink. My tongue just begins to crave it. Mouthfeel is milder than I imagined - not super thick or creamy or oily. No present alcohol. Great hops presence - a wonderful balance. I heart Mikey!!
Ibrew2or3 (6220) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JUN 2, 2008
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 11, 2012 750mL bottle number 176 (2007 Grim Reaper Vintage) acquired via a trade with the generous OSLO, thanks buddy.
Pours deep darkness with frothy creamy and bubbly mocha head. The aroma is mild with an above average load of pine hops mixing with roasty malts, a firm background of chocolate, musty dirty wood notes and mild alcohol warming on the tip of the nose. A creamy decadent mouthfeel ushers in the same notes picked up in the aroma with pine hop bitterness, rich creamy dark chocolate, dark roasty to burnt malts and rich dark fruity esters of sweet berries and faint tart berry fruitiness. Wow. The pine hop bitterness grows some into the finish to a decent level for the style but providing some balance to the rich roasty sweet malt goodness.