StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 18, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2006 Five gallon party keg via AleSmith jockey box, my brother’s wedding, July 2006.
Silk-screened bottle, consumed January 2006.
Opaque and black with a separated oiliness displaying at the edges when put to light. No head, but there are some legs on the snifter from time to time. Aroma is leaping off the charts. Dark chocolate, burnt espresso roasters, dark chocolate milk (if such a thing exists,) vanilla, caramel currents and brown sugar. The wafts are intoxicating, eventually revealing an unsweetened, sugarless iced mocha, sans ice, so as to not distort the bitter chocolate character. Flavor is resilient in all dimensions. Abrasive bitter sludge sluices through the taste buds. Vanilla beans duke it out with said coffee beans, mashing and melding for a sweet bitter force that’s cunningly sweet, solidified and righteously beautiful. Oily sludge saturation, administering a waxy reconnaissance throughout. Chewy malts, honed carbonation and fresh bitter extremities. Caramel and dark chocolate traits are a given, but they’re a damn good reliable steed, and one that we shouldn’t take for granted. Quite the glow hanging to the tonsils in the finish, signaling its otherwise covert alcohol presence. I told myself I wasn’t going to rerate this batch, but it was far too moving and poetic not to. Bless you AleSmith.
Labeled bottle, consumed May 2005.
Black and opaque in appearance; moderately thick in viscosity. Head is minimal at first but quickly diminishes to an oily overlay. Bitterness jumps out of the gate first for aroma, along with unsweetened dark chocolate, mocha mousse and cafe o’ lait. Coffee and roasted malts are definitely represented in this speed demon. Alcohol is discernable in flavor. Bitter chocolate and espresso flavors dominate. It’s like sucking on a handful of greasy, dark roasted espresso beans. Body is oily and dense. Malts seem to favor flavor over viscosity. Definitely has its share of IBUs. Moderate carbonation is probably livelier on the palate than in actuality because of the dactylic touch of alcohol. Finish is warming, bitter and mouth watering. While I served it at about 55 degrees as recommended on the bottle, I liked it better as it got even warmer, say 60-65 degrees. At the higher temp, it seemed to thicken and improve its body. Uber thanks to tpkenned for the bottle!
hezron (606) - Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 8, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Coffee! Roasted dark coffee with some chocolate and a twist of vinous raisin or licorice in the nose. Dark, dark black with a small tan head and good lacing. Flavors of chocolate and coffee. Roasty with some licorice in the bitter finish. Noticable alcohol. Full body with a creamy texture and a nice chalky finish.
axilla (962) - New Providence, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 5, 2005
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2007 This pours a complete work of art. I haven’t fallen this deep in a long time. All I can do is look and sigh. The aroma, mmmmmmm. The flavor, ahhhhhhh. The only reason I’m giving this a 19 overall is out of hope for when I finally get a B.A.S.S.
htsprint1 (51) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - MAY 5, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tasted side by side with the 11-04 Peche Mortel at the post-Dark Lord celebration. Frank, KP, Magicbill, jsquire and I all enjoyed trying these two together.
As far as I was concerned, this was the clear winner. Beautiful jet black with a tan head. Coffee, chocolate in the nose. Nice thickness almost creaminess in the mouthfeel. Flavor of chocolate, roasted malt bitterness, even some molasses with a hint of vanilla in here. Very nice beer that has coffee and a lot more going for it.
csbosox (1215) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - MAY 4, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
First of all, big thanks to ODeed on this one. It has been sitting in my cellar for several months waiting for just the right night to drink, and I guess this is the night. 750ml bottle, I peeled the foil back and popped the top. The beer is right at 55° after I placed it in the fridge from the cellar a couple hours ago. Served in my NB worthy glass. The beer pours black with a smallish and short lived (but it showed up) light brown head that dies down to just a few bubbles and a haze. When swirled, the beer coats the glass and leaves foam dots and streaks across the glass. The aroma is somewhat bitter, dark, roasty malts with a nice perfumy hop character to it. I smell some coffe, but not as much as I would have thought (this is a good thing.) The taste is dark, roasty malts, with sweet milk chocolate and bitter dark chocolate flavor and a mild coffee flavor along with some dancing floral hops. The coffee taste comes midway through and is strong for a second, but also fleeting. There is a hops bitterness, along with some nice hops flavor, before the coffee bitterness and flavor takes over for the finish. The mouthfeel is substantial, but not overly "chewy." I fully expected to be overwelhmed by the coffee, but once again, these huge, nicely balanced imperial stouts can take a lot off added, intense flavors, such as coffee, molasses, and bourbon. I can’t wait to try the barrel aged version, I am normally not too keen on barrel aging, but I think this is an imperial that can take the boubon and wood and make it work. A world class imperial!
PullMeABeer (203) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - MAY 4, 2005
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Daft @ Papago. Pours dark as night, with a half-inch thick light brown dense head. Aroma is intoxicating in itself, a pot of melted chocolate (dark and milk chocolate), with a strong alcohol aroma that fits in perfectly, strong espresso coffee, and candy sugars (brown sugar, burnt caramel notes, molasses). Wonderful nose. The texture and flavors of the beer coat your palate and don’t let go. Oily, and dense as the alcohol initially bights your tongue, next the dark roast (dark/burnt malts) flavors sooth you mouth and make you want to drink this all night. Neither bitter nor very sweet, just perfect middle ground. Addictive and highly drinkable. “Near Perfect”
whiskeyfairy (27) - Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, USA - MAY 1, 2005
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow... wow. I sit here reluctant to taste this stout as the aroma is intoxicating to my nose. Strong smell of a roasted coffee. Dark in color with a body that seems to be somewhat syrupy. Excellent taste of coffee and a bit of chocolate (I tend to favor these flavors in a beer though). The amazing part was the amount of time the taste lingers after sipping. I timed it at about 25 seconds... haha. Think I’ll con Zac into opening another bottle!
madcow75 (426) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 1, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours black with thin light brown head. Man this stuff looks viscous coming out of the bottle. Aroma is insane. Coffee and Hershey’s syrup. Intense flavor. Coffee and dark bitter chocolate. Finish has a hint of smoke in it and is hoppy. I can see why this is so highly rated. Great stout, Great beer.
hellomynameis (874) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - MAY 1, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Nice dark colour with a cool tan foamy head. lots of coffee in the aroma and flavour. This beer is big, dark, and heavy. Fantastic tatse that is on the verge of being overpowering. I’m enjoying this incredible beer. Now I just have to find a bottle of the barrel aged stuff.
jgentgesdo (659) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - MAY 1, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours inky black with a stringy brown head, nice oily lacing on the glass. Nose is heavy coffee and toffee notes, lots of cream. The flavor is creamy coffee, caramel, oily, sweet, complicated. Alcohol is well hidden. Pretty good stuff.