Surly Damien: Child of Darkness Ale (2017)

I got this as a gift a while back and just hadn't had the time to review it - Damien: Child of Darkness by Surly Brewing.

Damien is an American Black Ale brewed with a long list of malts (Pale, Golden Promise, Aromatic, Chocolate, Black, Medium Crystal, Special B, Roasted Barley, and Oats), hops (Warrior, Willamette, and Glacier) and English yeast. 6.5% ABV.

Damien is a beer spawned from remnants of Surly Darkness. Damien is a dry-hopped black ale. Flavours of roasted malt and dark brown sugar suffocated by aromas of tangerine and pine.

Appearance: Damien pours a rich, black-as-the-night with a hefty amount of burnt caramel head on top. The head gradually starts to diminish, leaving behind a hefty amount of a light cookie dough brown lacing on the glass.

Aroma: I get notes of rich, roasted malts that give off a bit of a roasted coffee vibe to it, notes of brown sugar, chocolate chip cookie dough, a light boozy presence, vanilla, and a light amount of cocoa lingering once in a while.

Taste: Up front - it's earthy, bitter and quite dark.. so I think the name suits the beer. I get notes of earthy peat, brown sugar, roasted malt to give off a bitter coffee profile to it, quite heavy on the palate but not as heavy as many stouts. There's a bit of a boozy presence popping up in here again, but it quickly diminishes like nothing ever happened. There's a good amount of chocolate in the tasting profile, a subtle hint of piney hop presence. Once it warms up a bit, I get a bit of a dark fruit taste to it (raisins). Decently dry on mouthfeel, mostly an earthy and slight piney aftertaste that doesn't linger for long.

Overall Thoughts: Nice hefty American Black Ale, perfect with the eventual changing of the seasons.. which is inevitable even with the weather still being scorching hot lately. Good notes of coffee, brown sugar, cocoa/dark chocolate popping up every once in a while. Quite a satisfying beer after a long day at work. Beers like this are why I'm excited for autumn to hurry up and take over.. I'm ready for dark beers, barrel aged treats and stouts!

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