In a blind tasting by BJCP trained experts, this beer rated


Surly Brewing Co. Darkness 2016

Aroma: “Pumpernickel biscuit, with rising bread dough yeast notes. Dates and bright stone fruit up front, with slightly hot-ferment aromas and booze coming in at the back. The medium-low roast is evident, with an ever-slight chocolate and malt sweetness.”

Flavor: “This beer is a nice balance between dark, sweet chocolate, and roasted malt. It has a rich toasted bread-crust character, malty roast, and tobacco leaves. Slightly earthy hops are present on the sides of the tongue, with small alcohol warmth at the back, and a lingering roast astringency. Some backend fruity esters emerge as it warms. A nice body carries the beer well, and the carbonation is spot on.”

Overall: “An incredible, complex malt profile that challenges the senses but is still delightful to drink, and overall a good beer that has some complexity throughout. It’s woody, cinnamon, earthy, and roasty, with tobacco—like chewing a cigar while eating a chocolate-covered raisin.”