DalzAle (2037) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - DEC 22, 2009
2008 vintage on tap tonight at Mackenzies. Midnight black pour, nice thick dark brown carbonation. Aroma is decadent bourbon, molasses, and a little vanilla. Flavor is just as complex as the aroma, thick sweet brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, coffee, bitter chocolate and still some noticeable hops on the finish. Those who hated the 2008 version will not like this, but people like me who loved it should go out of your way to try it. gopherfan99 (1777) - Minnesota, USA - MAR 16, 2017
Tap (Winterfest 2017); pours black with a thin mocha colored head; aroma is sweet with chocolate, vanilla, molasses, bourbon, and hints of wood and roast malt; taste is sweet with chocolate, vanilla, malt, molasses, and some wood notes; dry, boozy finish; excellent AdmiralDiaz (4) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 23, 2009 does not count
A: Jet black with a one-finger brown head with great retention and good lacing. Someone next to me left their beer sitting for about 30 minutes and the head didnít lost any retention and ended up leaving a full glass of lacing.
S: Strong bourbon with molasses, chocolate, brown sugar with very little hop profile. Very sweet and very appealing. In a way reminds me of Goose Island Bourbon County with a hop profile.
T: Rich! Very strong sweet molasses and boozy bourbon turns into burnt brown sugar with sort of a funky taste accompanied with a little bit of hop profile thatís faded during the aging. Very complex with a finish that leaves a sugary bourbon taste in your mouth for quite some time. Iíve heard some people complain that Darkness gets too sweet over time, but I feel that itís just right and still well-balanced...even more so with the bourbon notes.
M&D: Very syrupy, but well carbonated, which gives an overall very silky texture leaving a thick coating in your mouth and stickiness on you lips (lol)...really though, itís pretty much perfect in my opinion. Drinkability is pretty good considering the thickness and the alcohol content. I ended up having two glasses and wasnít tired of it yet.
Overall: Very, very impressive. I wasnít expecting a whole lot, since Darkness hasnít been my absolute favorite. With the bourbon and age added this beer is even more complex and very delicious. As unique as Darkness is by itself, this beer is one-of-a-kind. If you ever get a chance to sample it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
arminjewell (9585) - 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! 1FastSTi (3360) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 12, 2007
GTMW 2007. Full glass. The beer pours to a murky black body with a large brown head that lasts. The aroma is chocolate and is quite strong. A nice pervasive pine hop is blended with brown sugar and bourbon. The flavor is a strong chocolate and pine hops with a bourbon and charred wood with maple syrup. The flavors are quite complex. The palate has a moderate sweetness and a creamy full soft body. Slightly alcoholic, but it was oh so good.
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - OCT 31, 2007
ABR 2007. Mnnn. bourbon.... mmmnnnnn.. darkness. A nice combination. The usual suspects in a bourbon aged beer, but well done and more hops survived from the darkness than I anticipated. Almost chewy mouth feel. XmnwildX12 (2079) - Farmington, Minnesota, USA - DEC 3, 2011
UPDATED: NOV 24, 2012 Had this at Surly Darkness, didnít think they could possibly make the beer taste any better. It was nice and thick and sweet and was one of the best beers I have ever had. mnmike (1086) - Minnesota, USA - FEB 13, 2013
On tap - the bourbon aging really adds to Darkness in my opinion. Still fairly sweet and now with the added complexity of wood and bourbon. kathouse (1877) - LAS VEGAS, Nevada, USA - OCT 30, 2014
Since they combined the previous barrel aged listing with the 2014 bottled, Iíll rate the BA draft at Darkness Day here. Has the complexity of the non BA version, but more molasses, oak, and a sherry note from the bourbon. Thick and a long lasting finish thatís not too sweet. For my taste, I preferred the non BA version better, but this is one hell of a beer. 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.