HonkeyBra (4044) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - NOV 13, 2011
Sampled on draft at the XV Anniversary party. I guess all hoppy black ales are black IPAs now? Not sure I’d consider this all that similar to the other beers in this category but I digress . . . Dark brown to black pour, tan head. Aroma of chocolate, caramel, mild hops. A fair amount of roast . . . perhaps more than I was expecting. Flavor is smooth and nice. Chocolate balanced out with bitterness derived from the roasted malt as well as the hops. Body is a touch on the light side but that’s not necessarily a knock on the beer. All said, I feel like it was pretty good. Enjoyable, sessionable hoppy black ale. chibuck (3521) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 13, 2011
draft at XV... I was really looking forward to trying this, but its very forgettable, just too light in all respects, if they used the runnings and made a mild session beer it would much better received but at 5% lots of better more flavorful options mattyb83 (737) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 12, 2011
Tap at grumpy’s ne. Deep brown color with a minimal head. Nice aroma with grapefruit, more orange citrus, roast coffee, and some chocolate. Wow! Taste is a bit different. More citrus with less malt. Slightly thin. Still, this is the best escondidian dark ale I’ve had. pantanap (3367) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2011
Pint pour at hopleaf... Pours a darker cola dark brownish black hue with less intense reddish brown wedges with a creamy light tan head that quickly recedes to a thin wispy film... Potent with a roasty piney citrus notes. Extremely hoppy but the roast really comes through. Nice... Flavors fall a bit short with semi-roasty notes to pair with the citrus and piney aspects. Body comes across as a touch too light. Adequate carbonation but the aroma left me quenching for more than what was actually delivered. NobleSquirrel (3439) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2011
I also had this at Hop Leaf. Pours a black with a nice enough off white head. Nose is lots of citrus, faint pine and some onion. As it warms, some soy sauce comes out. Odds nose. On tasting, it is far better chilled than warm. Nice level of bitterness with some faint roast. as it warms it grows savory with soy sauce and earthy notes. Some onion also comes through as well. Initially a solid beer but it just turns on itself and becomes unlikable. Not inherently bad but, like darkness, not particularly good.
TheAlum (7164) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2011
Draft on tap at Hopleaf (Chicago, IL). Another Surly rate. Top #2 Rater still going strong (Despite not living in Minny and only being there once). Pours a lively dark blackish pour, with some lighter brownish edges, dies to a frothy offwhite head, some light lacing. Darker but not opaque. Aromas are a decent touch of piney hops, some gentle deadened grapefruit, some roast and toast, just a gentle touch of sweetness but dry overall. As it warms, the aroma grows a bit more. Initial is lighter end of medium bodied, offering prickly dry hops up front. Grapefruit, some pine, and earth mix with decent roast, some toast. Some gentle cocoa comes in with that gentle hoppy yet malty "Darkness Jr" essence. Envelopes the palate well, offering healthy balance with an ode to the dry and hoppy, touches of roast, cocoa, smoothed out malts. Finish is dry, pine and grapefruit lingering. Nice, better than this year’s Darkness in my opinion. drewbeerme (3921) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2011
Draft at hopleaf, pours dark brown with off white head. Aroma has lots of piney juicy citrusy, grapefruit, some chocolate roast to it. Flavors have big hop bitterness, earthy rye character, lots of citrus notes and pine, finish as toffee and chocolate notes. Body is a bit thin and hop and malt Flavors arent really dynamic but it’s a solid black ipa. CanIHave4Beers (4273) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - NOV 2, 2011
On draught at Darkness Dayryanfolty (2659) - Bourbon County, Minnesota, USA - OCT 28, 2011
Pours bascially black with a small head and good lace.
The aroma is quite pungently wonderful featuring lots and lots of dank and piney hops.
The flavor is bitter with some spicy and piney hops right up front. The hoppiness fades about mid palate but keeps some nice citrus and allows some of the roast to shine. There really isn’t a lot of competition between roasty bitterness as most of that roastiness is very subdued giving the beer a more lightly toasted character, which works well here.
The palate is pretty gosh darned thin, I was surprised to see that this had 5% abv, I would have guessed it a bit lower in gravity, but it is highly drinkable and doesn’t ever come across as watery really.
UPDATED: OCT 25, 2014 Date: October 22, 2011 Mode: Draft Source: Darkness Day. Full description not available as I sampled way too many beers during Darkness Day! emeinz (224) - Minnesota, USA - OCT 25, 2011
Draught at Darkness Day. Wonderful aroma. Of the best beer aromas i have smelled. Had floral and citrus notes. Slight notes of pine as well. Dark brown/black color. Slight sweet and bitterness. Not a bad beer. The aroma was so amazing, it didnt seem like the taste and palate could live up to it. Seems a little lacking. But overall a good beer with an amazing aroma.