overall
100
100
style
RATINGS: 1072   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.2/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 288   ABV: 9.6%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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
’17 = Baba Yaga - Forest Witch

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4.3
DrnkMcDermott (3176) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - NOV 14, 2009
Bavarian Lodge; Surly Darkness tapping! I’ve done this backwards: had the barrel aged version before the main bottle. Anyway, in the 12 oz. snifter goblet, it seems suitably black. Deep brown head shows some staying power. Smooth nose of dark malts with little distraction. Taste starts with some coffee and chocolate. If this had been my first RIS instead of Goose Island BCS years ago, it would have been the same revelatory experience. I find this has a ton of flavor, making the BA version seem like overkill. I’ve got a lot of Imperial Stouts in my cellar, but there’s something to be said for having them fresh. Still a lot of hops and unfermented malt here, too. And a lot of attitude.

4.1
BrotherGrendel (787) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 14, 2009
2007 Vintage. Dark amber red to brown hue. Nose is dark fruits, thick coffee and cocoa malts, cherries and vanilla, slight vinous scents. Flavor is dark fruits, vinous tones, thick malts, cocoa and coffee malts, overriding flavor is a chocolate-covered cherry, finishes sweet. Medium-full body, light carbonation, thick and chewy texture. Very complex and drinkable at <10%abv, this has mellowed out nicely with age, very delicious and strong all around.

4.3
Ceebs25 (503) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - NOV 11, 2009
On tap at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL. Man was I happy I got to this beer before it ran out tonight. The pour was as expected. Just plain black and quite ominous looking. It also came with a big and creamy/wispy mocha head with lace galore. This was a classy and very pretty imperial stout. The nose overall was far from overpowering, but the best way I can describe is that it was just so pleasant. There were lots of creamy mocha and nutty black grains that made for a powdery, hazy malt mixture in the aroma. The smell was also subtly yet nicely balanced with some earth and a vague light citrus. Upon sipping, this beer starts off with a bit of a pop, and then turns nicely into smooth and full feel. The finish then appears like its about to dry out, but then keeps a strong hold of the sweetness in the end. I really liked how the two sides seemed to go back and forth throughout the experience. Flavors notes for this one consisted of a good amount of dark malts, a nutty mocha, good roasted grains, some dark fruits, with a solid backing of hop with thick citrus and light melon. This was a world class beer, and really lived up to my expectations.

3.9
Sigmund (8021) - Tau, NORWAY - NOV 11, 2009
Bottle, RBNAG 2009 in Vatlandsvåg. Pitch black colour, low brown head. Complex aroma, chocolate, coffee, soy sauce, prunes. Full and rich flavour, loads of malty sweetness, also some fruitiness, loads of chocolate and caramel, notes of coffee.

4.4
marcus (10867) - Sacramento, California, USA - NOV 9, 2009
Bottle generously shared by bhensonb. This dark brown ale poured with a thin tan head and a strong chocolate aroma. The flavor is so intensely chocolate, it’s as if I’m drinking a chocolate bar. The taste is smooth and clean with a pleasant alcohol finish. Thanks Bill.

4.4
bhensonb (15965) - Woodland, California, USA - NOV 9, 2009
Bottle from Guerde. Thanks a bunch Andy. Marcus really enjoyed this. Pours really dark black/brown with little head. Aroma suggests celery, and chocolate. lots of dark malt. Full bodied with mild carbonation. Goes from choclate to caramel in a split second. Super smooth. So many flavor variations: chocolate, cherry, coffee, treacle, and incredibly not harsh. Goes extremely well with Chimay GrandCru cheese.

4.1
xpimptastikx (103) - Austin, Texas, USA - NOV 3, 2009
A - Pours an almost pitch black stream that settles like tar in the glass. Not much of a head, just a thin sheet of mocha head that lasts forever. S - smells pretty sweet, but not as bad as fresh Dark Lord. A small bit of roasted malts, chocolate, and a touch of dark fruit rounds it out. T - Roasted chocolaty malts with a hint of prunes. Definitely less sweet than the smell, but any bit of hops is pretty much gone. Aftertaste of cigars and coffee. M/D - This is thick and frothy beer. A great mouthfeel, but it is way to thick to be extremely drinkable. One bottle is going to take me a while to finish, but I’m enjoying every sip.

4.3
snakeydrunk612 (1) - USA - NOV 1, 2009 does not count
Encountered this supple big body on tap from Joe’s garage today. The unexpected hops aroma works well with this black beauty, and it tastes like it smells. Definitely the best beer I have had from Surly.

4.7
Wellestone (33) - Andover, Minnesota, USA - OCT 30, 2009
2008 draft at Blue Nile Mpls viscous oily black with thin tan head that disipates quickly leaving slight lace. strong coffee, chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar flavors with coffee and brown sugar on the nose.Flavors are nicely balanced and mellow. [his may be the best stout and best beer I have tried.

4.7
arminjewell (9727) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - OCT 27, 2009
UPDATED: MAY 11, 2012 2007 bottle. Pours viscous black with almost no tan head, but not surprising after almost 4 years. Aroma has big notes of roast, dark fruit, baker’s chocolate, some slight espresso, dark toffee and molasses, with some nice slight fruit. Incredible aroma, matched by the taste. Big baker’s chocolate, powdery fruit and coffee notes mix with the sweet toffee and caramel, finishing really nice and coffee, roast, bitter and dry, perfect taste in the mouth after. Perfect 10,5,10,5,20 on the 07. 2008 bottle. Pours thick black, almost slightly brown with thin to no head. Aroma has notes of sweet dark fruit, toffee, chocolate, molasses, almost candy like with some bittering chocolate and coffee. Extremely complex, but delicious. Taste is awesome, with chocolate, coffee, milkshake like qualities, with a sweet gorgeous mix of vanilla, toffee, creamy espresso/mocha, delicious dark fruit with candied raisins, finishing slightly sweet and slightly dry. Wow. Didn’t think I would like this one as much as the 07. Its just as good, in a completely different way. 10,5,10,5,20 2009 bottle. Poured viscous oily black, with a perfect caramel/tan head that lasted throughout the snifter. Aroma was very strong hops, surprisingly. The taste was phenomenal and like no other I’ve ever had. Had a hop citrus flavor up front, switching to cloying sweetness of dark fruits, then to malty sweetness, and then finally to a hop bitter finish. Perfectly balanced with a perfect mouthfeel! 9,5,9,5,19 2010 bottle: Poured very thick black with nice lasting tan head. Aroma has big notes of pine, slight fruit, with nice ashy, roasted notes, nice chocolate and coffee in there as well. Taste is nice pine up front, slight citrus notes, leading into roast, ash, and bitter coffee, some sweet toffee and vanilla, finishing bitter, full bodied.8,4,9,5,18


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