Sunday, December 7, 2014

Surly Darkness 2014

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 year it is barrel-aged for the first time, using High West rye whiskey barrels. At the Darkness Day release, you could also try the 2014 version that was not aged on tap. I am not sure if they released any kegs of that, or if it was only available at Darkness Day.

The beer pours an absolutely dense black. There is a tall, thick, foamy and creamy head of light brown. The aroma is sweet, roasted, darkened sugars, dark fruits, a bit of molasses, and light whiskey notes. The taste is creamy, sweet, darkened sugars, smooth, light whiskey, rich and dark chocolate, dark fruits, oak. Despite all the sweetness of the rich dark malts, the finish is dry with a light bitterness, and a slightly astringent woodiness. There is some pleasant warmth, almost heat, that builds on the tongue. The mouthfeel is decadently rich, smooth, soft, round and creamy. Yeah, this is an experience for your mouth. I like what the barrel aging adds to Darkness.

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