Note: I had all three of these this weekend. However, the Surly review is from when I had it mid-January. With that said, I should have re-reviewed it on Friday when drinking it because my palate has changed a lot since my 2nd week of reviewing beers, I decided to keep the old one here as I still agree with a lot of what I had written. 

We had other beers on Friday. We cracked open the Lawson’s Maple Tripple and a side-by-side of a 2010 and 2011 Founder’s Breakfast Stout 

July Beer Tasting

Surly Darkness 2011


   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20

adamjackson (433) – Canaan, USA – JAN 31, 2012

“Had this at a local BA’s house. Very kind of him to open this up. Served just below room temp into a Riedel Snifter: A – No head, brown bubbles lingered around the edge of the glass. The beer was black as hell. No brown or amber hints at all. S – The smell is DFH’s World Wide Stout and Brew Dog’s Tokyo hooked up and made whoopie. Lots of figs, vanilla, raisin and cupcakes. T – Lots of malt, some toffee and sugar. I’m getting a a ton of burnt on the finish with some hints of banana. M – Huge carbonation and lots of lingering. It’s quite the heavy beer. O – This beer is still too sweet. Maybe lay it down for a while and wait. I bet this would be a great beer 2 years out.”

Southampton 2009 Imperial Russian Stout (Bottle 47 of 450)


   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 18/20

adamjackson (433) – Canaan, USA – JUL 6, 2012

2009 Vintage 750ML. Bottle 47 of 450. Poured into a Hill Farmstead globe stem at cellar temp (61 Degrees F) Shared with some great friends! I bought this from a guy doing a cellar cleaning. Paid $50 for it. 

A – The cork popped with a minimal excitement but still carbonation which made me hopeful. Cork looked pretty dried out. Poured a very dark brown to black. NOT pitch black as expected. One finger coffee coloured head that faded very slowly. Head comes right back up witha glass swirl. Nice legs and lacing. 

S – Smells standard but with a lot of depth. Licorice and unsweetened dark chocolate. Honey and cloves. Really earthy dead leaf scents. 

T – This is big. Coffee and High Cocoa chocolate bars. Burnt caramel and figs. VERY roasted taste. Super intense roasted taste. Semi-Campfire taste at the finish but it’s minimal. Overall, Liquorice dominates this beer and there’s just a slight hint of oxidation. It’s not huge but it makes for a very present bitterness at the finish. 

M – 40% carbonation. Heavy body. Very slick and oxidized bitter finish. 

O – I would have preferred to have this a year out. It’s certainly not as great now as it would have been fresh. it’s the oldest Imperial stout I’ve had and it’s still very drinkable but fresh would have been MUCH different. Must get a recent brew re-rate. 

3 Floyds Dark Lord 2011


   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20

adamjackson (433) – Canaan, USA – JUL 6, 2012

Acquired in a trade at some point. I have ’07, ’08, ’11 and ’12. Decided to open the 2011 vintage with friends as it has a year on it as of this writing so it’s at a good place along side our Surly Darkness try. Served 60 degrees F in a Hill Farmstead Glass. 

A – Dark brown pour, not midnight black as I had hoped. In the glass, midnight black with no head at all. SOLID alcohol legs. 

S – Molasses is very dominant. The coffee is super fleeting..burnt and sort of watery. Nice Vanilla notes and oak. 

T – WOW! This is incredible. Okay, where to start. Huge toffee and molasses. Almost like Cane Syrup I used to have on pancakes as a kid. Coffee has faded. Burnt wood. The biggest thing after molasses is the bittersweet chocolate that totally dominates the taste buds! Finish is an ultra-sweet vanilla and espresso crema sort of finish. Wow. Incredible. For 15%, there’s nothing boozy about this beer. It’s all delicious tastes in a bottle. 

M – 80% carbonation on the mouth feel. VERY heavy body. Viscous and “hellishly smooth finish” 

O – This is THE king of Imperial Stouts. It’s incredible how tasty this is! As explained to my friend, “If this was at Wal*Mart for $10 a bottle, it would be the last beer I ever drank and I’d have it each and every night.” Simply amazing. The best imperial stout I’ve ever had.