Friday, October 31, 2014

Surly Darkness - 2010 Vintage

The Stats
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.30%
Current Ratings...
- Beer Advocate: 4.5/10 (#57 on the Top 250)
- RateBeer: 4.21/5

Darkness Day 2014 has come and gone and with today being Halloween, and there's only so many pumpkin beers I can drink during October, I decided to bust out something special. Darkness is Surly Brewing's annual Russian Imperial Stout brewed with a shit-ton of dark, roasted malts and aromatic hops. Each release has a different Halloween/horror/macabre label and they all look sick. 2010 was the year of the vampire, so let's see if this one sucks!...I'll show myself out for that one.

Pours exactly as promised: DARKNESS! Yeah, pitch black with a pretty decent, light brown head.

There is some serious cherry on this stout. Lots of fluffy milk chocolate, coffee, and even some fruity hops.

The taste retains all of the flavors from the aroma. There's a big dark chocolate component and the cherry is there too to bring a tart, fruity accent. Dark roast coffee grounds, espresso, and some red grape/vinous flavors. Basically a chocolate-covered cherry dipped in red wine and chased with a cup of coffee. Not only that, there's a nice pop of bitterness from the hops. It's just complex as all hell and a delight to drink.

The mouthfeel is pretty much  perfect. It's thick, creamy, and coats your tongue (c'mon guys, get your minds out of the gutter!). At the same time, it is light and fluffy. The best of both worlds, basically.

Darkness is a deeply rich, complex, and tasty RIS. Combining the best of attributes of various imperial stouts, the flavor profile, hop bitterness, and luscious mouthfeel is what makes this beer standout from so many others of the style. It's big, it's bold, it's's fucking DARKNESS!


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