More than a month into the new year, fans of Surly Brewing Co. will finally be able to purchase the 2017 version of the brewery’s most popular annual release.
Barrel-Aged Darkness 2017 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.
According to a post on Surly’s website, this year’s incarnation comes in at 12 percent ABV and has been aged in rye whiskey barrels that previously held High West Rye whiskey for “over three months.”
“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 last 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.
In a post on Surly’s Twitter page, the brewery confirmed that 750ml bottles of Barrel-Aged Darkness 2017 are scheduled to ship to retailers across Surly’s distribution network “this week.”