Since 2006, Surly Brewing Company has been making this imperial stout that the hordes have come for. It’s a big beer, released every fall/winter, and fresh or aged, it’s delicious drinking. Surly Darkness checks all the boxes for awesome imperial stout action, and this one has aged nicely. See how Surly Darkness 2011 is tasting.
Surly Darkness 2011
Darkness Day has always been an amazing event. From the first year in 2007 (in 2006 there wasn’t an official event but they sold 30 growlers each Saturday, for 3 weeks) until the most recent, it’s attracted a huge following of folks looking to grab bottles. Digging into the cellar, this bottle of Surly Darkness 2011 has been aging at about 52º for nearly 9 years and came out tasting great.
Big nose of rich roasty malt with a nice bitterness, chocolate, and cocoa. Touch of bourbon and a hint of fruity oxidation.
Sip on it and you’re met with lots of smooth chocolate malt and roast, with a light bitterness. There’s a quick note of coffee, a hint of berry, and just a dash of vanilla as you head into a smooth oily mouthfeel. Your mouth is coated in-between each drink.
The flavor grows as the brew warms and this vintage has aged nicely. Though it does appear to be heading downhill at this point, that’s not surprising from a 9 year old bottle of beer. We must remember that most beers are made to drink when they’re released and even those that cellar well generally only improve with a couple years of age on them.
A Dram Of Darkness
Surly Darkness is one that’s phenomenal fresh or with a couple years of age on it. Though it seems to be best within about 5-6 years, 10 year old bottles still pour pleasurably. 2011 was a bit thicker to begin with, and it’s benefitted it nicely as the beer has cellared.
If you’re still sitting on Surly Darkness 2011 vintage, you may want to pop them soon. Though they may still survive a couple more years, they’re certainly heading past their prime days. Having said that, it’s still one that’s drinking nicely, especially when given time to warm. Pop a bottle and reminisce to many fond memories of Surly Darkness Day.