BeerBelcher (972) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 8, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Huge thanks to Lisalucy and Flyer for obtaining and sharing this bottle with me. This is an impressive beer.
It pours a black color with reddish and purple elements and a thinner-than-expected beige head.
Aroma is malty and surprisingly hoppy with a dominant smoky-molasses aroma. There is also a minimal chocolate smell; like hot chocolate powder. Flavor is a full roasty smokiness on the tip of the tongue and somewhat chocolatey across the top of my tongue. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth; and it feels like it would coat the back of a spoon.
This beer was much more drinkable than I expected and other comparable beers like Dark Lord. In all honesty, it tasted to me a lot like a less roasty and more approachable Leinenkugel Big Eddy RIS. Quite good, but I canít say I would stand in line 5 hours for it.
luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 5, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
We meet at last. GABF 2007.<P>
Beer is opaque, very dark brown. Head is small, creamy, light brown, mostly diminishing but mostly lasting.<P>The aroma is moderately malty with notes of roasted grain, chocolate, lighter notes of caramel and biscuit; Hoppy with moderate/heavy notes of resin/pine, grapefruit oil; Yeasty with a moderate/heavy note of dish rag, basement; Trace note of pointy cigar smoke.<P>The flavor is heavily sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter with a long, moderately/heavily sweet, light/moderately bitter finish. Sticky, lingering, too sweet aftermath.<P>The body is full, the texture is velvety and the carbonation is less than lively.<P>Nice to have met you. See you around sometime...maybe.
drseamus (103) - Troy, New York, USA - JAN 29, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
A: Jet black body with a dark mocha head. Standard RIS appearance.
S: Very citrusy hop aroma is the most prominent aroma. Some roasted malt in the background but not really any chocolate or coffee.
T: Strong roasted bitterness is right up front followed by a quick burst of sweetness, possibly caramel. It fades into a decent chocolate and then bitter aftertaste. Hop presence isnít as strong as it was in the aroma.
M: Thick and heavy. Perfect for a RIS.
D: The hop aroma is out of style for this beer, but is interesting none the less. A bit more chocolate would have been nice but Iíll see what happens with age.
mistersinalin (381) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - JAN 28, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
The silky smooth Darkness was being served at Clark Street Ale House in Chicago. It was every bit as good as I thought it would be.
crowderm (382) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 20, 2008
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
The beer pours a thick black with a small dark tan head that dies very slowly. The aroma is awesome - chocolate, dried citrus, figs, caramel, and a hint of coffee. The taste is unreal. This must be the most flavorful beer I have ever tasted. A wave of citrus, and sweet, dark dried fruits hits the tongue first, followed by a chocolate and roasted malt with dry, slightly bitter malty coffee finish. The palate is thick and creamy, nothing too unique here, but perfect for the style. Overall this has got to be the best beer Iíve ever tasted. Congrats to Omar, Todd and the rest of the Surly crew for creating a real masterpiece.
hillfiiiiire (323) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 20, 2008
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: OCT 26, 2008 Originally tried this on tap, but am rating the 2007 bottle here. Itís pitch black with a wonderfully creamy tan head that leaves great lacing. The aroma is roasted coffee and chocolate and dark fruit. The smell of alcohol seems more pervading here than when I had it on tap through. The flavor is so much. I can taste Furious hops with roasted chocolate malts with coffee hints and sweet malts. Itís so good. This is by far the smoothest beer Iíve ever had. Velvety smooth. The finish leaves a nice pleasant bitter. This is easily the best beer Iíve had thus far. I only wish I had more of it to drink.
2008 re-rate. This stuff smells so sweet. Hops and sweet candy fruit. Flavor is so sweet and hoppy. You really have to drink this stuff fresh, or it just becomes average otherwise.
wetherel (1836) - Encinitas, California, USA - JAN 11, 2008
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: FEB 24, 2008 Holy cow! I was very fortunate to try this tonight at Churchills with Ivan and Tim. Tim somehow managed to trade for one of these great bottles. I tried several times to get a trade, but could never cut the mustard. Many thanks Tim! Bottle #571/480 (they sold 480. they bottled almost 600. they remaining ones theyíre hanging onto for their own purposes) A superbly well made beer. Some chocolate in the aroma initially. Initially I thought the aroma was mild, but then as it warmed up in my glass and as I had a glass with just tiny bit of liquid the aroma starts to explode with chocolate and malt and caramel and figs. The taste is another explosion of flavor. It wraps around your tongue imparting flavor to every bit of the top and bottom of your tongue with lots of chocolate and sweet malt. Not barrel aged, but surprizingly mellow for a beer that has just been released. Also surpizingly easy to drink. Easy to get carried away sipping into blissful heaven. Starts at a 4.7 and quickly creeps to a 5.0 as it warms up. I settled for a 4.9.
SQNfan (591) - Wheaton, Illinois, USA - JAN 7, 2008
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 5, 2008 RE-RATE - 2008 Vintage:
On Tap: This poured black in color with a thn dark brown head that dissipated away. The nose gave off strong scents of chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit, coffee and chocolate covered toffee. In the mouth it was full-bodied, dense and concentrated with enough carbonation and hops to keep it in relative balance...this just had a lot of everything. THis was thick and rich yet I had no problem ordering and drinking a 2nd glass. Great stuff and much better than the 2007 version which was too hoppy, especially in the finish.
On tap - 2007 Vintage: Dark in color with a roasted coffee and chocolate nose. This continues into a palate that I hoped carried a little more density. While a very nice beer I came out with the feeling that some barrel aging would smooth and fill out the midpalate.
Ungstrup (27642) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JAN 1, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Entered to celebrate my 9700th rating with the curently 4th highest rated beer on Ratebeer. Drunk at GABF 2007. A black beer with a thin brown head. The aroma is sweet and very roasted, combined with notes of chocolate and coffee. The flavor is sweet with notes of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt, as well as a light note of alcohol. The flavor is very balanced. Nice one.
lisalucy (3) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 28, 2007 does not count
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I was surprised how surly successfully used their signature hops in this beer - normally I feel it makes all their beers taste like a less pleasant furious. Deep flavor, chocolate and coffee blend with a hint of fruit for a thick beer with a long lasting, slightly bitter aftertaste.