Can I review a beer twice? Sure, when the first time was when it was initially released, draft only, and this one is the first bottled edition, five years later. This beer has changed some since they first churned it out, so, yeah, I'm cool with that, if you are. Well, even if you're not. Because I'm the boss here, see!
Anyway, Damien, the Child of Darkness is a "small beer" done in parti-gyle style, with the leftover mash from Surly's mighty imperial stout re-used to brew a smaller beer. It's sometimes referred to as a "black ale" or "black IPA" because it doesn't use more malts to bring it back into the stout category, but does get some more hopping in there. It doesn't really fit any category, it just is what it is. And also, I can't believe they still use that image on the label. I thought it was an easy fix / stop-gap picture when they first started using it, but I guess they've gone all -n with creepy doll face. Whatever. I just going to crack it open and drink it.
Utter blackness, this, with creamy cocoa-tinged head atop, lasting long and leaving lace. Looking utterly lovely.
Time to go in for a sniff: Grassy hops kick it off, with a side order of citrus. Chocolate and caramel come in next, swirled up amid the hops. A beautiful mix. Hops remain on top.
Time to taste: Mild hop bitterness begins this adventure, the grassy, the fruity, ending it's stay on the palate with a dry note. Medium bodied, rich and malty, full roast-y and toasty tones. This should suit fans of stouts and IPAs alike, and people like me who like them both. Bitterness sticks it out, and keeps time with the malt.
You know what else is nice? The price. Only 6.99 for the bomber. It reminds me of that initial release, when a 1/2 barrel keg was offered for only $100,pretty cheap for a craft beer. I recall Omar saying something along the lines of: "How could I charge more? We didn't pay for it."
This is really nice, a good drinking hoppy dark brew that I could enjoy again and again. Flat out delicious. I can dig it over and over.
By the way, if you didn't click the link earlier and read the original review from 5 years ago, please do that. It's much better than this one. I'm always willing to concede when younger me is better than now me.