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RATINGS: 366   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.12   EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%
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The Dark Knight - For those not yet familiar, the Dark Knight (yes, it is a Batman reference) is our double fermented Old 8 porter, aged in a bourbon barrel for 6 months. Double fermented refers to a second "feeding" of various sugars to increase the alcohol content as well as bolster the flavor. Chocolate, coffee, charcoal and bourbon, familiar notes from the previous batch return in this years incarnation of the DK. Served in a 5 oz pour, the bourbon note from this tap is very prominent as it is a first time use of a Jim Beam barrel.

The Dark Knight Returns - The same profile as the Dark Knight, however, since this is a second time usage of the barrel, the bourbon note is less prominent and the beer as a result is more rounded and balanced.


4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Suttree (5150) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 21, 2004
BIG thanks to footbalm for this - Has one person ever done this much to champion a beer? And what a beer. Pours black, with no head. Big aroma assault - Bourbon, vanilla up front, with hints of chocolate and port. Flavors include the bourbon, of course, but also vanilla, plum and prune, with some understated oak. I can pick up some hints of red wine, as well. There is a slight and ever-so slightly irritating alcohol burn. Every sip seems different, and it is obviously well put together. The wide variety of flavors blend seemlessly.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
argo0 (11556) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 21, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 5, 2005 The last time I tried this beer was during a massive gathering, during which I had had lots of beers already, and the sample size I had was minimal. This time it was the Dark Knight Returns version, sampled at the brewpub. Black body, tan head, nice lacing. Aroma is moderately sweet, vanilla, bourbon, molasses, light caramel, chocolate. Taste is much the same, though the chocolate is more pronounced and nearly the equal to the vanilla. Moderately-full body, smooth/creamy. An enjoyable beer, but I am not nearly so blown away as I was last time. (6/4/8/4/15)

I do not pay much attention to the Top 50 beers these days, so I had no idea this was a Top 50 beer when I tried it (Dark Knight). Nevertheless, it stood out as soon as I tried it, definitely the top new beer I tried at the DC gathering yesterday. Black body with minimal tan head. Aroma is medium sweet, peat/scotch, roasty, oak, light caramel, vinous. Taste is moderately sweet, oak, peat/scotch, chocolate, roasty, light alcohol (12%?! I had no clue!) Medium-full body. Absolutely delicious! I often ask what an Imperial Porter is supposed to be -- a souped-up porter is a stout, so why the fancy name? Now that I have had this beer, I have an answer. (8/4/9/5/19)

4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
zathrus13 (1716) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - NOV 20, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 8, 2006 First off, footbalmís the man. Thanks for bottling this for me any so many others. Color is black, with a small tan head. Aroma is crazy... bourbon dominates,then chocolate, dark fruit, and vanilla. Body is relatively full and creamy, with tastes of bourbon (again dominate), chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla, coffee and some oak. Alcohol is not hidden at all, but it doesnít detract from the flavor. Absolutely amazing brew.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SpringsLicker (3152) - Tennessee, USA - NOV 20, 2004
#600!!! Thanks to Suttree for sharing this and to Footbalm for all the work heís done spreading this one around! You did a fine job bottling this from the growler. Good pop when the cap was lifted on the bottle that formerly held a Bellís Two Hearted Ale showed that this one hadnít lost it. Black pour with just a bit of foam that circled the top of the glass. If there was any translucency here, it was too dark at our sampling location to detect it, but this is a very dense brew and I doubt that a brightly lit room would have revealed any more than I could detect. The first aroma was a heavy solvent - almost varnish like, but swirling the glass released the aromas beneath the vapors that rested on top to reveal heavy chocolate, vanilla, coffee and alcohol in a complex blend. Very heavy aroma that seemed to change constantly. The flavor worked well with the aroma, delivering lots of bitter chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, coffee and roast malt. Not a subtle brew, this one comes out punching. The medium body worked well with the alcohol, strong but smooth. This is a fine Baltic Porter but a little over the top. Backing off a bit on the Bourbon barrel and/or alcohol content would make this more appealing to me, but if you like a heavy bourbon touch, then youíll find this one to be a "5".

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - NOV 19, 2004
Very dark mahogany color with a small tan head. Rich bourbon and chocolate aroma. Extremely rich, sweet bourbon, chocolate, malt, dark fruit, wood and alcohol flavors. Very thick, wet feel. This is one awesome porter! Thanks from me too, footbalm!

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - NOV 19, 2004
First of all, Iíd like to thank footbalm for this unexpected treat! Deep, dark brown, mostly opaque, with a small light brown head. The aroma was big BIG BIG on the bourbon...woody, chocolaty tones mixed in as well. The flavor was extremely rich...bourbon, chocolate, licorice, vanilla, cherries, and wood...WOW! The feel was super thick...soft, creamy, with a wet/coating finish. Man, this thing is superb...marvelous. Thanks again footbalm!

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - NOV 19, 2004
Thanks to Footbalm who sent me a sample of this also. Black and thick like motor oil loudly chugging into my glass. Nice borbon/vanilla aroma with notes of cherries, chocolate, cinnamon and dried fruits. This is truly a complex and wonderful aroma. Body is low in carbonation, syrupy smooth and full bodied like an Imperial Stout. Flavors are an incredible blend of roasted barley, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and cherries. The bourbon is just right and not overwhelming like some others Iíve tried. Overall this brew is an example of brewing excellence. Iím fortunate to have had the opportunity. Thanks Eric!

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
5000 (6300) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 19, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 24, 2004 Bottle #700 (Thanks to footbalm for this hand bottled version) pours black as night, very thin head that quickly settles, with very little lacing. † Wonderful aroma of Bourbon, with some dark pitted fruit in the background. † WOW! † This beer goes through more changes than any other I have ever experienced. † Begins with a strong Bourbony Vanillaesque flavor. † It then gives way to an alcohol infused fig/date, followed quickly by a nice chocolatey heavy roasted goodness. † Sweet, yet not cloying. † Alcoholic, yet subtle & smooth. † Great body, medium mouthfeel. † Not thick, but quite smooth. † Finishes with more of of that dark pitted fruit, Chocolate, Bourbon, Vanilla, and heavily roasted malts. † Simply delicious! † An unbelievable treat from footbalm!!! † Eric, you ROCK!


4.3
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
IndianaRed (2491) - Boise, Idaho, USA - NOV 18, 2004
BOTTLE poures a deep jet black witha tan head that settles fairly quickly to a maintained ring of moderate lacing. The aroma is to die for. Rich sweet chocolate, cola and that boubon whiskey note. Licorice and vanilla as well. Flavor is a pretty hefty alcohol fume feeling and more coffee than was in the aroma. The mouth feel is exquisite. The carbonation is very soft, might have lost a little in the hand bottling, but this just showcases the slick almost numb feel it has on your tongue. Not particularly thick but very smooth. Yes the fumes do come up on you on the trailer, but very tasty and koo-does to Footbalm for somehow making this happen.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
3fourths (8055) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 18, 2004
footbalm hand bottled this one and sent it to me, man I still canít believe that he did it... this guy rocks. I was getting ready to fly home for Thanksgiving weekend, just starting to pack my bags and UPS shows up... oh man, I was going to have a beer before heading to the airport anyway, and this is perfect timing. Poured out of the bottle with a good later of carbonation, footbalm did a great job bottling this. Strong nose of sweet cherried alcohol, a little bit of a nail-polish scent from the alcohol as well, but not in a bad way. Some bourbon as well, and oh man does it show up in the flavor... this stuff is hotter than I expected, a little bit of a whiskey/bouron bite on the back of the throat, with a rich buttery and charred wood flavor everywhere. Warming and tasty, itís not that thick, especially for 12%, but it makes up for it in character. Isnít overwhelming with the bourbon, something which Iím very critical of in many other beers... wine and wood tannin flavors abound, reminding me of Poseidon without the stout and wine flavors clashing. Awesome beer.


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