ClarkVV (3579) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 6, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 13, 2005 2004 bottle from Crosling, thanks so much Nick, this kicked ass! Consumed on 12/4/05.
Pours a deeply opaque, black as night colored body with a seriously burnt tan-coal colored head that I manage to get about a cover out of before it quickly runs for the edges and then nothing.
You know, normally this would elicit about a 2 out of me for appearance, but is the appearance in a stout so important?? No, not really. Here it just signifies that it is nearly flat, and that is not a bad thing, I certainly donít care for highly carbonated beers. If it was a pilsner or something similar, than appearance and carbonation are a little more indicative of quality, to some extent, but not here. Not to mention, I just know this would be a 4 or 5 for appearance when fresh.
Moving on. The aroma pleasures the nostrils with thick, rich vanilla beans, creamy milk chocolate, light hazelnut-chocolate spread and thick barley notes. Light, drying yeast is noted as well. What it is light on is the roast and hops, which is fine with me, and a welcomed departure from your more traditional stout. But the vanilla, chocolate, light bitter black chocolate and thick cocoa and dry yeast is well pronounced and soothing. The flavor continues with the chocolate, though it is less bitter and black and more like a sweet honeyish-chocolate mixed in with vanilla iced cream. Succulent and well-placed lightly dry barley grain notes on the sides of the palate, adding balance and a light touch of coffee as it warms, sort of a grainy mocha or coffee-bean touch. The texture is fluid, immensely velvety and soothing, very near flat, but not thin or watery, importantly. The liquid glides down the throat leaving a pleasant sensation of light bitterness, sweet vanilla and brown malts lingering on the back of the throat. No alcohol apparency whatsoever. Medium body and very drinkable.
At 8 abv, this is nowhere near overdone, overhopped, syrupy, overly bitter, that sort of thing and that factors much in my score. Highly flavorful without being overdone.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 5, 2005
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thick, oozing black pour and undeniably opaque. Precious few dust speckles on the surface, but otherwise, darkness prevails. Aroma is so fíin good. Singed hazelnuts, bitter espresso sludge, piney tar grooves, dark unsweetened chocolate bricks and muddy, trampled clay hiking trails. Flavor is lighter faring than expected, but tasty in its own right, settling in with cocoa powder and Irish cream flavored coffee grinds. Roastiness pursues post sip, somewhat enigmatic to the superfluous cafe motif. Juxtaposition of dry buttercream and whipped chocolate torte fluff aid in the full circle, medium bodied display, which is synchronistical creamy and dry. Not a heavy hitter, but tasty by all means. At times - and most prevalent in the finish - we get an airy forkload of tiramisu, ringing with a layer of coffee grinds and trailing long after the sun sets (which has long deserted us in Wisconsin by this time of year.) HUGE thanks to Styles for the bottle!
Fearless99 (14) - Oregon, USA - NOV 30, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Drank after a night of coffee, bottle, somewhat cold. Aroma of roasted malt and some bitter hops came through. than I expected. Small dark head, some lacing. Taste is sweet with a good amount of coffee and chocolate notes. slightly fruity aspect to the taste. Texture was very creamy, just enough carbonation. finished bitter with chocolate, although on a few sips i swear it tasted like lettuce. Good choice for a cold winter night.
Illini08 (542) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - NOV 22, 2005
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Shared this with Duane. Started drinking this after it warmed up a bit and the aroma is pretty intense. Roasted malts, raisins/prunes, some alcohol all coming through in the nose. Taste is much the same with some sweetness as well as a slightly bitter chocolate finish. I dont know if I could drink a whole bottle of this, but this is a good one.
barleyPops (1138) - Quad-Cities, Illinois, USA - NOV 22, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark Horse makes some outstanding beers! nose is of dark chocolate and some plum/raisins. appearance is jet black with a brownish ruby head. up front the flavors are of mild dark chocolate with some dark roast malt and a hint of coffee. on the finish is a lingering bitterness that is not unpleasant at all. Michigan stouts rock! thanks to Walleye for this 12 oz. bottle.
weeare138 (936) - Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 17, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 17, 2006 Appears a black color with a foamy tan head. Lots of scaly lacing all over the glass.
Smell is very creamy, with chocolate, roasted malt, and vanilla.
Taste is of the same aromas. Pretty darn good.
Mouthfeel is roasty, full bodied, mildly sweet and filled with a coffee bitterness that is mostly pleasant.
Drinkability is nice. Very good brew.
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - NOV 14, 2005
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Opaque black color, just as every single Dark Horse stout, but with a thin, and quickly diminishing light tan head. Espresso and chocolate aromas, with hints of vanilla, roast and brownies, quite the vibrant little blend of malt aromatics. Flavor has some oxidation, just like the aroma, but this is also a 2004 example. Body is slightly undercarbonated and it is thin, but not watery. Slightly bitter and astringent malt, but still decadent and enjoyable, with chocolate and cream flavors. Quite the treat.
walleye (1061) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - NOV 10, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
from the bottle. poured black, with a tan head. aroma sweet dark chocolate, , coffee, caramel, cocoa. flavor the blend of the chocolate and coffee was right on for me than got those nice roasted malts. a little on the chaulky side but good. this is the 2nd dark brew from dark horse I have had, got one more to go and I am looking forward to it
Aubrey (3356) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - SEP 27, 2005
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Extremely dark black. Chocolaty-sweet nose. Rich, intense, dark chocolate flavors. Silky-soft texture was real nice, but it was a little lacking in the carbonation department. Sweet notes of creamy milk, cocoa and caramel. Background aromas of smoke and tobacco. Overall: Great aromas; OK flavors; questionable texture. Oh, and I wasnít fond of the multi-phallic label, for what thatís worth. What is that a drawing of anyway?
Ernest (5904) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 25, 2005
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Virtually no head.
Body is black, potentially opaque (not flashlight tested).
Aroma is moderately malty (coffee, chocolate, caramel), with a note of vanilla.
Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium body, watery texture, soft carbonation, lightly alcoholic.
Starts out ok in the nose, but falls down a bit in the mouth...not much body or texture, and kind of tart.