Had this beer on multiple occassions, and I have spointon and joe to thank for the bottles that I have enjoyed. This one is my last and is served up in a snifter.
A: Out of the bottle it pours up a deep, rich and glossy black body. Held to the light, there is nothing that is going to get through this beer. The pour got me a little less than a finger of dark, mocha colored head. The foam has some really nice stick to it and it leaves some really nice lace on the glass. Some of that lace slides back down in to the body because of the oily nature of the beer. Just a great looking beer.
S: This beer is really holding onto its hops. Getting a really good amount of citrus hops to start things off. There is a bit more roast coming out now that this beer has some age on it and isn't as fresh as the previous bottles I have enjoyed. Dark chocolate coming out of the malts. Little bit of smoke and tobacco round this baby out.
T: Holding up beautifully. Starts off with all the rich malty characters you expect from an impy stout. Getting a good amount of dark chocolate and a touch of milk chocolate. Getting a good amount of roasted malt character. Getting a fair amount of espresso as well. Touch of cream. Just a little bit of spicy booziness. At the back end of all of this, is a nice dose of citrus hops. Its just enough to contribute and shine, but its not enough to screw this beer up. Just beautiful.
M: Full bodied beauty. Rich and creamy. Carbonation is medium to light. The ABV brings some warmth on the throat and belly. This beer dances around the palate by being sugary sweet at times in the chocolate, fruity sweet and slightly acidic from the hops, and earthy. Aftertaste is chocolate, espresso and a little bit of orange.
OA: I am in love with this beer. I have been since I first tried it til my last bottle tonight. Just a well put together, hoppy stout. Its drinkable, but it remains a sipper. Just full of flavor and beauty. I could drink this weekly easily. It is beers like this that I wish Goose was available here in AL. Love it.
Served In: Pint Glass
Bottle says 3/6/2010, so it's 3.5 months old.
Blackity black black with a very slight ring of dark brown small bubbles ringing the glass.
No hops in the nose (did I wait too long?), but I do smell chocolate and some roasty/smokiness.
Hops appear very muted in the taste. Not enough to overpower the sweet chocolate and roasted malt flavors, but it adds a little bit of fruitiness and helps the finish with bittering. 11.7% alcohol is nowhere to be found in the taste. It's extremely smooth and easy-drinking.
The mouthfeel is a bit thick and oily. It's a sipping beer, for sure.
Mildly disappointed in this one, but I wasn't a huge fan of the hoppiness in Darkness anyway. Not really worth what is being charged for it at my local store, and I have a feeling they're going to rot on the shelves for most of the rest of the summer and keep getting more and more attenuated. I'll seek one out next year when they're fresh and review it again.
Price: $14.99 Served In: Snifter
Pours darker then dark chocolate cake brown, nearly black, thickly settling like a ebony ink pot capped by a samllish dark tan fluffy foam. A sifted sheeting of lace dusts itself across the glass and sticks with might.
Aroma is a bit unexpected as its wrapped in a big blanket of tropical orangeyness, pineapple, and mango dashed with a slight earthy dryness, pepper, and tobacco. Not even close to being chocolatey, roasty, dark, and the like that normally follows the Impy stout style. A unique and invitingly different nose.
Wow! The flavors are incredibly complex as all the unique items found across the nose are now found in the flavors mixing with cold pressed espresso laced latte, dark caramel, chocolate rum, and oily hops. Quite a multifarious taster with lots going on and all balanced in for an amazing tongue tantlizing treat. A sweet mango, orange, and pineapple middle, as found in the aroma, is swiftly replaced before it ends with a huge birth of complex dark rummy warmth pinched with pepper spice, dry earthy tobacco notes, chocolate, banana, and dark caramel. There's a slight return of pineaplle and mango then slips back into the chocolate again.
Lush and super smooth full body with a wonderful chocolatey rummy warmth, impressioned with a hint of bourbon all the while keeping a tender soft texture of milky bready cake mix. There's so much going on it's quite difficult to get a full grasp of it. But there's a nice little hint to pepper in there as well as that really pulls it all together late as the chocolate warmth creeps around the throat while the oily hops help in the silky malt backbone.
Quite the sipper to be sure, but still takes no time to fill the lips and belly with complexing goodness. Goose Island has themselves another big time winner that compliments their BCS in every way imaginable. Different, but same. Crazy I know, but it's true, and it's super damn yummy!
Oh...what the hell - Not to compare apples to apples or anything, and yes to be bold and daring enough to say that the tropical fruit center is akin to Surly Darkness along with its milky chocolate warmth, but this has extra dimension to it with its peppery pinches and its ghostly tobacco-esque earthyness that gives it a bit more complexity and flavor. And I didn't have to stand in line for a half day or trade my first born to get it. It was happily sitting dust free at my tiny little liquor store two blocks from my front door.
Price: $13.99 Served In: Goblet
22oz bomber, like the label on this one. Pours into my glass a deep, brooding black with dark brown edges and a half inch of creamy tan head on top. Aromas start off with a blast of citric and piney hops. Resinous with a mix of rich chocolate and espresso notes. Nice and roasted with a mild burnt accent. Quite complex and the bold hops just jump out of this.
First sip brings big malts upfront with a mix of chocolate, espresso and a touch of caramel. Huge hops intertwine bringing loads of citric and piney resins along for the ride. Hop bitterness does a good job of working alongside the malt sweetness here. Flows down with lingering hops and the alcohol is just barely detectable. Tasty stuff. Nothing like hop burps from a RIS!
Mouthfeel is smooth, rich and creamy with a mellow slickness. This is almost too easy to drink for the abv and the sweetness is kept in check well. Overall, this is a pretty damn tasty hopped up RIS. Worth seeking out and possibly even better than I remember it being on tap last year!
Price: $9.99 Served In: Snifter
Just a quickie for now, but this biotch is the real deal. I'm a huge fan of hopped-to-hell imperial stous (like Darkness) and this meets if not exceeds the standard said Surly RIS has set. Seriously citrusy/dankly hoppy in the nose/taste with a balanced sweet/cocoa-chocolaty/roasty backbone that goes down insanely quickly for 11.7%...hints of deep espresso with cream and brown sugar linger in the finish. Velvety and creamy MF starts sweet/sticky but ends satisfyingly dry and bitter/roasty. At only $10 a bomber this is a great deal compared to similar beers from other breweries...I will definitely be picking up more in the very near future. Maybe my favorite impy stout that hasn't touched barrels from any brewery in the world (seriously), this far surpases the already amazing first batch that was on tap only last year. Couldn't recommend it more highly.
Price: $9.99 Served In: Pint Glass
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