StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 5, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 18, 2006 Freshly distributed bottle, August 2006.
Thick black pour with a preceding minimal hiss from the cap being lifted. Splotchy and large tan bubbles circle the wrung as a mahogany lightened edge shines through. Deep dark treats transcend aromatics. Black turtle fudge, tar, espresso grinds and bitter, unsweetened bakers chocolate all take turns at seducing the sniffer. Flavor brings out an even more bittered edges, cutting and cunning the tongue as it weaves through the unsweetened chocolate and licks from the espresso press. Cinder and ash fill in the periphery as dry bitterness suckles the back attachments of the tongue. Fanatically black – in flavor, in fire, and in force. Charming devilry, maintaining a medium-to-fuller body with a bitter black licorice line dragged through burnt rubber on asphalt. Scorched cocoa is a generate of the coffee bitterness and black patent balance, trailing into bittersweet misgivings amidst stark chocolate bricks and charred crème brûlée.
On tap at the brewery, July 2005.
Wondrously opaque and black in color. Deepest tan, creamy head I’ve ever seen. Smell is fantastic - charcoal, dark chocolate, burnt malts and charred crusted peppers. Holy hell, we’ve achieved nirvana. Complimentary bitter notes dance atop the finest barista blended espresso and dark chocolate flavors. Singed, earthy and laden with the dark elements. Absolutely to die for. I’ll revisit this rating after having it from the bottle to see if this rating should be bumped up or down...
barleyPops (1137) - Quad-Cities, Illinois, USA - JUL 1, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
thanks to Heemer77 for the bottle. looks like used motor oil as I pour this bad boy into my glass. aromas and flavors of deep, dark roasted malt, dark molasses, coffee and a bitter, not quite bittersweet, finish. medium mouthfeel, yet it coats the tongue with the bitter roasted coffee finish. not quite sweet enough for my taste but still a very well done porter.
tbarnette (105) - Allen Park, Michigan, USA - JUL 1, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Strong smokiness, very milky. Very good, though. I will buy and drink more.. and more.. and more.. and more.. This may become one of my more favored darks.
lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - JUN 24, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma: smoke, dark malts, dirt/earthiness, tobacco, some mustiness, and old milk
Appearance: very dark brown, tan head, some lacing
Flavor: cigarette ashtray taste, some cream, some semi-sweet chocolate, some tree bark, earthiness, smokiness
Palate: smooth, slight bubbly, some smokey semi-sweet chocolate aftertaste
Overall: not a bad beer, the ashtray flavor is not very appealing though.
3fourths (7515) - Boulder, Oregon, USA - JUN 24, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rich, milky and smoky cream and burnt smoking malts and wood in the aroma, a really magnificent creation... perhaps a little too harsh on the smoke, but the pure milk chocolate presense is enough to win me over. Fresh, smoky and slightly harsh wood flavor, prickly on the tongue, with an appreciated bite and "youth" to it all... like I can taste the wood itself. Finish contains more of the milk chocolate that was noted in the aroma, along with a mild butterscotch. A very pleasing beer to drink, and worthy of it’s high marks. The oreo cookie notes in the nose are something surprising.
LilKem (1213) - Marietta, Ohio, USA - JUN 20, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
nice tight black bdy with a weird lacy head. aroma was very roasted and malty like a chocolate malt. very sweet and some mocha hints.
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 13, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours with a black body topped by a thick head with a good amount of lacing. The aroma is slightly sweet yet bitter with roasty and anice notes, as well as, some fruit notes. The flavor is very roasty and bitter with a slight sweetness and a little coffee in the finish. Medium to full bodied, smooth and a touch tingly.
ElGaucho (2114) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - JUN 10, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Rich, dry, dark chocolate aroma. Fully opaque body. Light brown head; quickly diminishing. Excellent porter. This brew was a little too cold when I started, and although I could immediately sense it’s quality, the flavors are only now coming out with a few minutes of warming. Really, perfectly balanced. Has some solid bitterness, which to me is essential in a top porter. Wow, is this good and I am continually shocked at how different beers can taste at different temps. I can still imagine a better porter, but this is certainly up there.
Brad (364) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - JUN 10, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz Bottle: Poured an oily textured opaque black, with a smallish fading tan head. Aromas were amazing, big nose of coffee/espresso, roasted malts, slight earthiness, and sweet vanilla notes in the background. Definately made me excited to take a sip. Flavor doesn’t disappoint in the least, balanced with a lot going on. Up front are what you would expect after smelling this one, lots of coffee and other roasted flavors, but out of nowhere come the hops (slightly overbalanced with the malted characteristics but appreciated none the less). The balance doesn’t end there however, even into the dry hop finish, which lingers then disappears to reveal the espresso notes present long after swallowing. Mouthfeel was very soft and full. Dark Horse finally brews something in the same league as their IPA’s.
Cornboy (424) - Eastampton, New Jersey, USA - JUN 3, 2005
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours black with very little carbonation. Slight ring of a head appears on the outside of my glass. Malt nose immediately present, coffee, roastiness. Not much on the hop side in this bottle. A bit uninspired, but could be different with a bit more carbonation.