anders37 (26194) - Malmö, SWEDEN - JUN 5, 2011
Draft @ FoBAB 2009, Chicago, IL. Pours a black color with a small tan head. Has a roasted malty bourbon and vanilla aroma with hints of chocolate. Roasted malty oaky bourbon and chocolate flavor with hints of vanilla. Has a roasted malty chocolate and bourbon finish. BVery (10327) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - OCT 27, 2010
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2013 Cask - oak-aged version on Darkness Eve @ Stub & Herb’s (10.22.2010). Dark black pour, minimal head. Rich roasty aroma and taste. Very similar to regular Darkness, maybe a little "drier" and less rich overall. The oak was present, but not terribly forward. I like regular Darkness better, but this is still awesome. arminjewell (9584) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - APR 29, 2010
The dry-hopped, oak aged cask version at Firkin Fest 2010. Pours deep black with creamy thick brown head. Aroma is BIG hops, and I mean big, followed by some creamy chocolate and coffee. Huge hop character up front melds seamlessly with a big chocolate, coffee, mocha taste that finishes sweet. Great brew, only complaint is the lack of depth that was in the original Darkness. Another stellar showing from Surly! JaBier (7841) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - MAR 11, 2017
2016 bottle shared by a friend. Pours darkest brown with a medium tan head. Aroma of malt, green apple and bourbon. Malty and chocolatey flavor with bourbon and cherry accents before a roasty finish. Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 13, 2007
On tap at GTMW. Poured black with a short cap of loose cap of deep beige head. The aroma picked up huge doses of dark chocolates and fainter espresso with milder pine and citrus hoppage tagging along with bourbon, vanilla, and charred oak as accents.. strong nose on this, and absolutely decadent!.. thought the barrel integration was very well done (perhaps a short stay in there??).. with more bourbon sugars as it warmed up. The flavor had deeply-roasted chocolates and bourbon char at the core.. some sourness from the oak worked OK, but was a tad distracting.. long, toasty dark chocolate finish with a kiss of bourbon at the very end. Heavier-bodied on the palate with very good roast and the OK sour accents.. left a solid impression as it left the mouth. Great stuff, but I enjoyed the regular Darkness a bit more.
Strykzone (7305) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - FEB 21, 2017
Sampled at an ESBlS. Black with a lighter tan head. I taste coconut and massive dark malts. Sweet stuff. Wood, vanilla, and only a little bourbon. Brown sugar and big sweetness. Very good. TheAlum (7164) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - NOV 9, 2009
Sampled at FoBAB 2009. Pours a pitch black opaque pour, small brooding dark brown head, dies to a small head. Aromas are chocolate chip cookies, caramel, some smoke, faint hopping, light bourbon oak and sweetness. Thick, initial is thick, full, sweet, brooding. Chocolate, coffee, cookies, caramel, bordering cloying but the oak and bourbon pull it back a little, sweet, hops have faded, coats well. Vanilla, full, smoke on a smaller level. this grows on me and the big pour doesn’t hurt. Warming, bourbon comes in fuller further in. This is nice, coats and sticks well, but is far too sweet for normal consumption. CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - NOV 18, 2007
On tap at the 2007 GTMW: Pours a completely opaque with an airy rich dark brown head. Aroma of heavy sweet dark chocolate and caramel malts with a big, fresh grapefruity hoppy presence and some mild bourbon oaky notes with a touch of vanilla. Body starts full, sweet malty and viscous with lots of dense dark chocolate caramel and fresh resiny grapefruity flavor hops toward a sticky, bittersweet warming finish. Good balance of oaky bourbon throughout. A smooth, flavorful and enjoyable, dense, barrel-aged imperial stout. HogTownHarry (6622) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - MAR 25, 2017
September 19, 2015 - at Beaverton for the Rainbow event - draught. Even though I pretty much despise all bourbon, I was super stoked to finally get a chance to rate this one. Gorgeous beer - deep brown-black pour, with a large lasting brown head - doesn’t get much better than that. There’s a complex deep roast malt coffee/chocolate/herbal impy there, but wow is there a ton of bourbon overlaying it; oh well. Taste is better balanced - oddly sweet, with restrained alcohol. Syrupy, a bit still, a little too bourbony in the cloying finish - nice life to it - If I didn’t hate bourbon so much I would be about 4.2 BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - NOV 4, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 8, 2009 Rerate FoBAB 2009: Much less impressed this time around, this one seems too boozy and bourbon driven with band-aid notes. Kills the base beer character. perhaps it is the been redone with a newer vintage? AR: -1, FL -2, OV: -2
FoBAB 2007: Opaque with a huge creamy head and outstanding lace. The aroma has notes of coffee, charred malt, chocolate, fig, oak, and vanilla. The flavor starts with rich malt, chocolate and vanilla overtones. It is kind of fruity in the middle and tart towards the finish. There are moments of smoke and wood as well. The mouth feel is a tad thin and aggressive. A solid brew and worth a try, I suspect the barrel aging thinned out the mouth feel. Look forward to trying the regular version to see how it stacks up.