Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 1034   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.21/5   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
’16 = Cerberus

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
undsioux7 (871) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - OCT 8, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2011 Pours void of any light with a nice light brown head. A veritable mix of roasted malts and hops. Cherry (the only thing I don’t care for but a persoal taste issue) hint of sweet candy and bourbon chocolate and coffee. Smooth as all get out. A wonderful beer. Re-rate: 2007 Release at cafe twenty eight. perfection. Re-rate: 2008 bottle and it was even better. The hops are so bright. MMM Re-rate: 2009. Forget what I said about last years, this is the best by far. It’s a freaking pinetree molasses party in my mouth. The hops are soo much more prevalent then last year. Booyah!!! Re-rate: 2010 Not nearly as good as other years. It feels thinner and less of everything that makes it great. Its still good, but not outstanding. Re-rate: 2011 My first year of Darkness Day without grimreeeser (RIP GRIM) This was better then last year, but didn’t quite hit the mark from the previous years before that. Everything was there but that fresh greenness that I loved.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Mrthirstyneck (341) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 21, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 23, 2007 ok my tastes vary from lagers to black java stouts to burn your tounge off hops. BUT this honestly at least from what i recall of the many beers ive had is the best beer for this style ive ever drank. STELLAR is an understatement. ive had many imperial stouts but find them all a bit weeet and me being an insane hop head, can say the hops at the finish put this easily over the top. the head is great, color is toasty black, and the flavor cant be wrote about. sadly they only brewed a bit of this and i beleive its all but gone FOR NOW. but it will be back. so until then, just dream about it!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
GaltScat (195) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 21, 2007
God’s greatest gift to man. This is the most perfect imperial stout ever to be offered to us very undeserving mortals. Mr. Thristyneck’s review is spot on. I was blessed with the opportunity to have drank much Darkness.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
incutrav (577) - Woodbury, Minnesota, USA - JAN 22, 2007
UPDATED: OCT 31, 2007 Finally got some of this down my neck at Winterfest, and the brew lived up to the hype. In my review of Expedition Stout, which was my first stab at a Russian Stout, I was not a fan, to sweet for me, but Darkness is a whole nother deal! Hops a plenty in this stout makes all the difference! I love all that is Surly, but this truly is the cream of the crop! Probably the best beer I have ever tasted.Enjoy in moderation though, 9% will get ya. If surly canned this, it would be in my fridge 24/7! BUMPED by score to the perfect 5 after having a few pints of the 2007 batch, freaking awesome, didnt seem quite as hoppy, but it just didnt matter.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - JUN 15, 2007
NorCal tasting June ’07 - THANK YOU moejuck for sending me this incredible beer. Hell, beer doesn’t even do it justice. It seems like it’s more than that. Complexity abounds in this beer. An aroma of pepper, pines, molasses, dark fruits, roasted malt, espresso, vanilla, and anise with a reinfement rarely seen. Appearance....perfect. Mouthfeel...the same. Flavor is haunting. Rarely do I find a beer this intriguing and complex where I find no flaws. Chocolate covered raisins, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, toasted malt and a sublte vinous quality that is just simply amazing. All of this out of a handbottle (which Joe did an awesome job of!). Can’t imagine how mindblowingly awesome this would be from a cask.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
SavageElvis (134) - Savage, Minnesota, USA - NOV 6, 2007
On tap at Busters in Minneapolis. This is a top notch Imperial Stout. Pours a black tar color with complex aroma. Malts and hops marry flawlessly. The taste is as good as the aroma. Chocolate malt, coffee, caramel and nuts are wonderfully mixed with a light, well hidden alcohol. The palate is perfect. Acts like mouthful of syrup that is lightly carbonated. An absolutely brilliant crafted beer that is a real treat. I will be sad to see this year’s batch dry up.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Crunkle (1) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - NOV 14, 2007 does not count
Multiple 12 oz. goblets of Darkness at the Bryant Lake Bowl A lot of hype over this beer, and after all it is well worth it. Darker than hell with little head until you swirl it around a bit to create a creamy caramel foam. An aroma of vanilla, espresso, and chocolate. The taste of overwhelming velvety coffee and chocolate malts followed by an impressive hoppy essence that I have never experienced in a stout of this stature. A smooth, tingling alcoholic presence that puts me in my place after abusing my new-found freedom of Darkness at my near disposal. The mouthfeel is smooth, thick, and creamy with the drinkability of milk after 2 dozen blazing hotwings. WARNING! DO NOT ABUSE DARKNESS! I WOKE UP THE NEXT MORNING FEELING LIKE SOMEONE TOOK A LOUISVILLE SLUGGER TO THE SIDE OF MY HEAD!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
surlybeerlover (1) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - DEC 17, 2007 does not count
A- Nice chocolate and coffee with mild hints of sweetness and hops F - A wonderful balance of coffee, chocolate, sweetness, and mild hops.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
kosko20 (352) - Bemidji, Minnesota, USA - OCT 28, 2008
The best Imp Stout I’ve had to date. Lives up to the hype, the hops make this beer. Perfect pour, dark black with very thick brown head, lacing all way down glass. Aroma is chocolate, vanilla and roasted malts balanced beautifully with hops. Flavor is chocolate, coffee, hops, dark fruits and some sugar. Palate is thick, creamy and smooth. Hmmm this deserves my 2nd 5 out of 5.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 20, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 15, 2009 ’08 Bottle: Finally!!! I’ve been waiting quite some time to try this and that time is upon us. Pitch black pour with a maroon-ish halo around the edge...small tan head. Loads of roasted malts, dark cherries, berries, chocolate and underlying notes of vanilla bean and floral hops. Mildly carbonated, silky mouth feel. Flavor is so ridiculously smooth, notes of roasted malts, massive amounts of dark fruits, chocolate and an inspiring floral hop finish. Simply amazing.

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