Darkness is a beer that earns its reputation. Malty and intense yet velvety smooth, our Russian imperial stout’s yearly release is a de facto holiday, and not just because it’s Halloween.
It also plays well with others. It’s a perfect candidate for barrel-aging, which can accentuate all the aspects that make the O.G. Darkness so noteworthy. Pick the right barrel to add even more flavor and aromatic elements and you end up with something remarkable. 2021 Barrel-Aged Darkness is that kind of beer.
This year’s edition matured entirely in Elijah Craig 12-year-old barrels. The decadent waves of chocolate, vanilla, dried fruit, and cherry are only emphasized and enhanced by the oak and bourbon character of the barrel and its former occupant. This is one to savor.
The bottle art is by Surly’s 2020 Darkness Artist Barbara Guttman.
- Hops: Warrior, Amarillo, Simcoe. More of an aromatic hop presence than other Russian imperial stouts, although more subtle in this edition thanks to the readily apparent bourbon notes.
- Malts: 2-Row, Simpson’s Golden Promise, Crystal, Dark Crystal (the malt, not the movie, Jim Henson is not affiliated with the Surly Brewing Company), Oats, Black Malt, Chocolate Malt, Roasted Barley.
- Special Guest: Belgian Dark Candi Sugar.
- Pour: Black. It’s called Darkness, this shouldn’t surprise you.
- ABV: 12%.
2021 Barrel-Aged Darkness is available to all Surly markets beginning the first week of March.