Fans of Surly Brewing Co.’s annual release of Barrel-Aged Darkness will have to wait until next year to try it.
That is because a post on Surly’s Twitter account indicates that Barrel-Aged Darkness 2017 will not be released until “early 2018.” The beer is a barrel-aged version of the Minneapolis-based brewery’s Darkness Russian imperial stout, which is brewed with pale ale, golden promise, crystal, dark crystal, oats, black, chocolate, and roast malts, as well as Amarillo, Columbus, and Simcoe hops.
In an email, Tiffany Jackson, pr and communications manager for Surly told Tenemu that this year’s incarnation comes in at 12 percent ABV and will have been aged in rye whiskey barrels that previously held High West Rye whiskey.
“These were fresh barrels from the distillery and hadn’t been used for any beer prior to Darkness,” said Jackson, in an email to Tenemu. “The barrel character is very pronounced and comes across as oaky, spicy and highly aromatic on top of the core Darkness flavors.”
The regular version of Darkness 2017 was released at this year’s Darkness Day 2017, which was held on Oct. 21 at the brewery’s Brooklyn Center location in Minneapolis.
The Darkness series started in 2007 and has featured a different monster on the bottle every year since it was first released. This year’s monster is Baba Yaga, “a fearsome, forest-dwelling witch with a hooked nose and iron teeth, capable of casting a spell that makes this beer irresistible to all who taste it”, according to Surly. “In Russian folklore, Baba Yaga can be villain or comfort.” Past years’ label art have included depictions of “a screeching bat nightmare,” a mummy, the Devil, a vampire, a werewolf and the Grim Reaper, among others.
According to Jackson, Barrel-Aged Darkness will be packaged in 750ml bottles that will be sold at the brewery as well as at retailer across Surly’s distribution network when it is released in “early 2018.”
Update (Nov. 10, 2017) — This post was updated to include brewing details, distribution information and a quote from the brewery. It was originally published on Nov. 4, 2017.