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Surly Oak Aged and Vanilla Bean Darkness

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RATINGS: 7   MEAN: 4.17/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 297   ABV: 9.9%
Massive Russian Imperial Stout with vanilla beans and bourbon-aged toasted red oak. Winterfest 2013

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jackl (7063) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 18, 2016
Cask @ ABR 2016. Hazy deep brown pour with a small head. Strong vanilla dominates the aroma. Charred grain and dark chocolate in support. Flavor is pretty sweet indeed. More vanilla. Toffee and dark chocolate. Mild woodiness. Quite oily and chewy. Thick mouth feel. A bit flabby. Soft carb. Overall, a decent effort. Not at the level of OG Darkness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
badgerben (4864) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - FEB 9, 2013
Minnesota Winterfest 2013. Rating #4200. Cask. Black color with no head. Light whisky aroma. Roasty flavor. Light sweetness and whisky. Fairly boozy. Thick mouthfell. The vanilla doesn’t stand out, nor does any bourbon per se, they just seem to add a bit of a sweet edge that, coupled with the age of the beer, makes this darkness a sweeter Impy rather than its usual piney beastly self.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
JK (5732) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - FEB 5, 2013
Winterfest 2013. Cask. Standard Darkness appearance and palate. Tons of roasted malt and lots of hops, but less hop character than regular Darkness. There is bourbon in the aroma and flavor, but it is light, or lighter than I expected. Some oak, making this a little dryer than usual.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BVery (9574) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - FEB 3, 2013
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2013 Cask at Winterfest 2013. Very dark pour, slick palate. The vanilla adds quite a bit of sweetness to this. A little bit of oak and bourbon on the nose. Terrific.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
XmnwildX12 (2079) - Farmington, Minnesota, USA - FEB 3, 2013
Had on tap at Winterfest 2013. Super big cocoa and vanilla aromas and flavor, almost had a brownie like flavor, alcohol was hidden well.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ryanfolty (2389) - Bourbon County, Minnesota, USA - FEB 3, 2013
On tap at Winterfest 2013. Black pour with some head. Aroma was hops, vanilla, coffee and chocolate. Bourbon really came out in the taste, but this was also my first pour of the day and I got the very first pour of this beer at the event as I raced up the back stairs to bypass the bag pipe dude leading the charge. So, maybe it just needed to warm a bit more for the bourbon to come out in the aroma. I do like impy stouts more on the sweeter side, but this one was a tad too much sweet. Super excited to try this and thanks to Surly for bringing some great stuff for the event. Most memorable time of the event was a bunch of us RB dudes just hanging out at the Surly booth at the end of the night. Getting full pours of this and Pentagram, plus mixing Darkness and Smoke. Ah, good times. Plus knocking this out as rating 1200 cause that’s how I roll.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Bacterial (2822) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - FEB 1, 2013
Yes! On tap at Winterfest. Had two pours for a decent rate. Oak and wood in the nose, with a metric ton of malt. Softer than regular Darkness, a bit less carbonation. Not sure where the vanilla is hiding, it is blended in with the mosh pit of goodness!

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