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RATINGS: 988   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.21   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 288   ABV: 9.6%
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)
’15 = Bat

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
inkubus27 (269) - highland, Indiana, USA - AUG 10, 2008
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
rallison (116) - USA - JUL 23, 2008
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 ;)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
doubleo (1432) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 19, 2008
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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
badbeer (434) - Iowa, USA - JUL 5, 2008
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

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUN 4, 2008
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!!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Ibrew2or3 (7565) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JUN 2, 2008
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
toncatcher (228) - Santee - SAN DIEGO, California, USA - MAY 28, 2008
I was waiting to get a chance at a bottle of this to re-rate, but I guess I’ll have to use my notes from GABF. Black pour with some tiny tanish bubbles. Aroma of coffee, malt, chocolate, alcohol, dark fruit. This one is definately a sipper, bold flavors of coffee, sweet malt, chocolate, and some caramel. Not quite what I thought it was going to be.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
lb4lb (2574) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAY 26, 2008
Huge, huge thanks to miketd for his generousity in hauling this beer down to Texas and sharing it with us!! I’ve been looking forward to this one for many months.
Pours dark black with a short lived tan head. Smell is chocolately, some faint cake like sweetness and some really roasty sharp, bitter hops in the nose. Some dryness. Taste is dry, roasty, and very hoppy for the style, and a bit more than I’d like. Somewhat of a meaty, roasty flavor too. Slick, oily mouthfeel. Very good, for sure, with no hint of the ABV, but not my favorite Imperial Stout.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
KingpinIPA (841) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 26, 2008
Thanks to Brewblackhole for this one! Dark color. Smell of coffee, caramel, chocolate, hops, malt, alcohol and nuts. Taste of pine, coffee, malt, chocolate, alcohol, coco powder and caramel. Still does not compare to the richness of Darklord.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
shp555 (2024) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAY 24, 2008
My 1,300th!!! Pours an opaque black color with a brown head. Aroma is dark chocolate, roast, green apple, caramel, and grassy hops. Flavor is molasses, caramel, roast, herbal, and a dry herbal alcohol finish.

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