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RATINGS: 944   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.21   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 288   ABV: 9.6%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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)


4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - NOV 30, 2008
Bottle at the Hair of the Dog dock sale. This beer had a ton of hype to live up to, and it was every bit as good as I was hoping for. Pitch black with a smooth brown head. Creamy mouthfeel emphasizing the sweet chocolate character. Hints of port and cherry show. The hops were still pretty strong, but they will settle as this ages.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sparky (2243) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - NOV 29, 2008
Rating #700. Bottles courtesy of StFun and Guerde – thanks guys! Pours a crude oil black with a 2 finger mocha head and great lacing. Nose is chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and hops. Taste is sweet citrus hops, milk chocolate, molasses, caramelized brown sugar, salted prunes and light coffee with some resin in the finish. A lot more hops than I expected, and a little on the sweet side which was also a surprise. Medium, creamy mouth feel. Sweetness tones down a lot as it warms. Very good. Thanks again guys!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
MegaMan2OO6 (21) - Los Gatos, California, USA - NOV 28, 2008
(11.18.08) On tap @ Firkin. Black pour with a small beige head. Aroma is almost all hops - if I had my eyes closed, I might confuse this for an Imperial IPA. Coffee and licorice also there in the nose, but a bit overwhelmed by the hops for me. Great palate, chewy RIS feel. Flavor is all over the place - hops, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, port - there’s a lot going on here, and not necessarily in a good way. I have to admit that this beer succeeds in look and feel, but the nose and flavor are hard to place within the style.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
sbroome (149) - Burnsville, Minnesota, USA - NOV 28, 2008
UPDATED: MAR 10, 2010 Thanks to the fantastic Cafe Twenty Eight for this fabulous rarity stll on tap... the famed Surly Darkness, in all it’s 8 oz. glory. Oily black appearance with a medium brown, frothy tan head. Smell’s sweet, almost candy-like. Mouth-feel is heavy and thick. First taste is sweet molasses and/or candy sugar. Definate roasty, complex and delicious. Afterwards, you taste the grapefruit and floral hops, although it’s disquised well. I tried the 2007 last year and definately enjoy the 2008 much more. Surly, perhaps it’s time to start bottling this gem of a beer on a regular basis.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ChainGangGuy (4400) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - NOV 28, 2008
2008 Vintage. Appearance: Pours an inky black body with a large, frothy, light tan head. Smell: Roasty, burnt malt nose with strong notes of dark chocolate liqueur, coffee, smoky creosote, and pine needles. Taste: Roasty, dark, chocolaty maltiness displays both depth and richness. A few spoonfuls of frothed cream pairs with a flavor of strong coffee. Bracing amount of sweetness present. Vinous fruity character. Touch of creosote. Strong pine and citrus hoppiness though not unreasonably so. The bitterness makes a decent attempt, but, for me, it doesn’t ever even begin to overtake the malt sweetness. Darkness finishes with a strapping roastiness and more unyielding sweetness. Mouthfeel: Decidedly full-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Drinkability: Excellent melding of full flavors wrapped up in a dense, creamy body. I wasn’t disappointed. Nice work, Surly.

4.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
DMRz (230) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - NOV 27, 2008
2008 bottle. Pours an inky black-brown with a short lived dark brown head. Aromas of Godiva dark chocolate liquor, vanilla, and roasted bitter espresso beans. The flavor is pure pleasure: dark chocolate, cafe au lait, Madagascar vanilla beans, and roasted malt. Silky smooth with near perfectly concealed alcohol. None of the flavors are overpowering - this is the best stout I have tried to date, and it is hard for me to imagine anything superior to this amazing brew. Phenomenal!

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
AgentSteve (1640) - SF Bay Area, California, USA - NOV 27, 2008
UPDATED: NOV 14, 2009 ’08 bottle. Pours attractive deep brown with a dark tan head. Rich nose of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. Had after Dark Lord, so this one seemed balanced in comparison in way of sweetness. Creamy mouthfeel and slight bitter finish.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
glkaiser (1214) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 27, 2008
On tap at Sheffield’s in Chicago. Tried for the first time about a year ago at Sheffield’s as well, but that sample was strong soy...figured it wasn’t the best representation. Poured dark black with creamy head. Lots of chocolate and sweet malt. A little soy comes through, but nothing like before. Much better. This beer’s strengh is definitely its drinkability for such a big beer. Smooth and minimal alcohol burn for a >10% beer. But, overall too sweet and I don’t get the deep roast and coffee flavors I love so much in big stouts.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sammy (8850) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 27, 2008
Caught up with this at the Blue Nile in Minny. Black with huge off-beige head. Hoppy RIS.Sourness in first sip. The bitterness builds up, flows over the sugary finish. Integrated coffee, sugar to make it coffee liquor acceptable?ABove average mouthfeel. Better as warms up, was served a bit on cold side.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
fidel (1302) - Livermore, California, USA - NOV 21, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2008 Thanks faro99. Black, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, dark fruits, vanilla, roasted malts, slight hop finish.


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