Sunday, November 30, 2014

Surly Darkness 2013

The Surly Brewing Company is in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, although their new destination brewery in Minneapolis will be opening soon. Darkness is their annual special Russian Imperial Stout release. This is a bottle from 2013 that I have had for just over a year and wanted to try before I got into my 2014 barrel aged bottle.

The beer pours the utter blackness of a soul sold to the devil. There is nearly an inch of thick, almost creamy, tan head. The aroma is dark roasted malt, light char, chocolate, very fruity, lots of dark cherries, an almost vinous quality as the tang of the dark fruits combines with the alcohol. The taste follows the aromas, first hitting with a wave of deep, bittersweet dark chocolate. This is followed by ample, dark red, sweet cherries. Although the fruit is mostly sweet, there is a bit of a fruity tang. Then there is a rich, darkened caramel covered in dark chocolate. I’m talking the type of caramel that if you heated it for ten more seconds it would be burnt, but you killed the heat right before it hit that point, getting it as dark as the caramel could get without burning. Despite all the sweetness, the beer ends dry for the most part, with a moderately strong bitterness. As you proceed, waves of alcohol heat begin to warm the mouth, inner cheeks, tongue, and down the gullet. The alcohol warms right to the point of stinging, but never crosses the line. There is a bit of raisin in the aftertaste. The beer drinks smooth, full and round. There is a light tingle of carbonation. 

Many Russian Imperial Stouts have a lot of char and coffee notes along with their dark chocolate. This one goes the dark fruit route with lots of cherry and raisin.

No comments:

Post a Comment