Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 929   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

MbpBugeye's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
MbpBugeye (39) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 25, 2011
2010 (vampire) This long time want graciously provided to me by bauermj. Poured into my new Darkness glass that was sent by Beeruser in perfect timing. Appearance The beer flows forth languidly, boasting its full body and robust color. The collection in the glass is dense and blackened. An undertone of burnt red, much like the color of the wax that crowns this bottle, gives the beer warmth and character. The head is a yellowed khaki with a frothy and soft pretense. Creeping rings of lace adorn the glass in short order, fueled by the ever-present ring of foam. Smell Darkness carries with it aromas of soy sauce and tobacco that are uniquely its own. Rich molasses and brown sugar lay a sweetened backdrop to licorice, steak sauce and freshly laid mulch. The bouquet is indeed full of darkness but encompasses the realm of caramelized and aged sugars and sweets. A consideration of the final glass of the bottle yields strong aromas of prunes and hints of chocolate covered raisins. Taste The soy sauce and molasses flavors are the dominant ones. They grip the sides of the tongue with a sharp, rum soaked fruitcake flavor that is bracketed by sweet pipe tobacco. There is a milky creaminess that tries to push through but the denser molasses and anise flavors suppress it for the most part. As the glass warms, caramel and a faint citrusy hopping come out. A fleeting hint of smoke pops out just at the end, and only after this beer warms to room temperature. Mouthfeel The best part of this beer is the way it slides over the palate, offering little resistance. It feels frictionless. Its very low and fluffy soft carbonation furthers the effects of the full body. There is a little bit of stickiness left on the lips, but this is a sweet beer, that should be expected. Some alcohol warmth and an oily, licorice flavored coating is left behind for a long finish and aftertaste. Overall This is a great stout. It’s large in stature and silky smooth and thick. It is, however, quite sweet and wrought with tobacco and soy sauce notes that get in the way of its roastiness. So, all things considered, this did not live up to what I expected from it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Busick (379) - 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 (210) - 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 (164) - 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 (1411) - 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 (1798) - 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 (1852) - Rock Ridge, 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 (288) - - 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 (1289) - 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 (2859) - 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 16/20
tectactoe (1657) - Michigan, USA - JUN 26, 2014
[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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