Surly Brewing Company | Barrel aged Darkness 2014 | Russian Imperial Stout aged in rye whiskey barrels . (11-12%) 750ml bottle 1 of 3 bottles.
A huge shout out to my buddy Nick and his friend for hooking me up with 3 of these beasts . This is my first time trying Darkness , so if I am not correct on the original flavors of non-barrel aged version , please don't hesitate to correct me on missing flavors of this once a year released beer . Awesome event by the way. The event was one of the most life changing events as a beer-geek and as a person .
Pour: Well the name clearly represents the color of this beer . Thick pour , leaving just a pitch-black color in the Teku glass. A nice fluffy , java colored head . Looks really milky , and just scrumptious to be honest.
Aroma: Wow this reminds me of Speedway stout , Black Butte XXVI , and possibly even Resolute. The reason why I say this because Speedway has this banana type aroma I get right away. Tart cherry from the Black Butte XXVI , and a thick chocolate raisin note I got from 3 Brothers| Resolute . Very smooth barrel quality in this beer . I am getting a little bit of rye , vanilla , a strong hop presence as well . Whiskey-soaked dark fruits in the aroma that emerge when it warms . It's smells awesome !
Taste : Wow , this is highly and dangerously smooth for a barrel aged RIS. A creamy mouthfeel , I get a tartness right away from the cherry followed by milk chocolate , chocolate covered banana bites , vanilla , raisin , whiskey-soaked chocolate covered almond (if that makes sense). This beer is ridiculously smooth for the abv on this . It's really like drinking a chocolate shake , with cherry and some whiskey . It's really damn good and I would even pour this over ice cream. It's a magical beer . The Harpy that is indicated on the label , defiantly lured me into the depths of darkness and murdered my palate in a good way !
Verdict : 97/100 . Trade if you can for this awesome beer ! Super good fresh right now , and better aged . Get an extra for ice cream beer floats too ! Cheers !