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Surly Barrel-Aged Darkness

Surly BA Darkness

12% ABV. High West Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout from Surly Brewing Company in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Pours midnight black with a thin receding khaki head that splatters nicely against the glass whenever the beer is disturbed from its stillness. There is a rich and roasty dark malt driven aroma with a scent of chocolate, rye, and dark fruit along with a biscuity, caramel and smoky yeast. Big barrel presence with a scent of rye whiskey, vanilla, and oak. Sweet hints of molasses and candied sugar. There is some sneaky anise black licorice. The flavor picks up a rich and roasty dark malt driven taste with big notes of chocolate, rye whiskey, and dark fruit. Lots of barrel flavor with notes of rye whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Sweet taste of molasses and candied sugar along with some black licorice and tobacco notes. Good dark fruit undertones of raisin, cherry, fig, and prune. Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, chewy, and syrupy. Some heat is felt as expected but it is incredibly smooth. Slight sweet but piney resinous hop character. The barrel-aged version definitely tames the overpowering chocolate, coffee, dried tart cherries and raisins detected in the regular Darkness versions. Overall, a really solid beer, yet I have a slight bipolar sense of which is actually the better beer the regular or barrel-aged version since both are on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Because of that, this gets a lower grade of an excellent rating. theBeerAuthority: A-

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This entry was posted on October 27, 2016 by in Beer.

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