argo0 (11349) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 20, 2007
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
(draft) Brown-black body with beige head. Aroma is moderately sweet, raisin, Bourbon, some oak, light vanilla. Taste is moderately sweet, Bourbon, raisin, faint anise. Medium-full body.
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 13, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2009 2008 Vintage; Sampled May 2009
Very well carbonated, overly so even, as a careful pour produces a long lasting, two-finger thick, nicely browned tan colored head. The beer is quite black and opaque in color. This has a nice bourbon induced fruitiness and vanilla note to it in the nose. Dark chocolate mixes with concentrated sweet fig notes as well as some nice, distinct raisin notes and some toasted grain notes. Despite the dark color there is not a whole lot of dark, roasted grain notes; there is perhaps a touch espresso like roast sharpness, some burnt nutty notes. There is a nice, toasted coconut aroma here as well that ties the barrel and base beer notes together quite well.
The beer has a peppery, spritzy carbonation that is a bit too much for a beer like this. Fortunately some vigorous swirling of my glass is all it takes to release the excess carbonation; this really helps to smooth out the body. The beer finish has an acidic edge to it and a sharpness that is a bit too harsh for the creamy up front malt to drown it out; other notes of burnt broccoli and some heat and spiciness from the bourbon influence also pepper the finish. There are other, smoother, tastier, roast grain notes of toasted dark chocolate and nicely browned whole-grain bread. The coconut note from the aroma is here in the flavor as well.
Not bad, but wasn’t quite as good as I was hoping. This is better than the original, almost flat batch that I first had and in all truthfulness is enjoyable, but I was expecting a bit more from this batch due to the recent buzz.
Sampled May 2007
The beer is quite still; it shows browned sherry colored notes around an otherwise blackened dark chocolate body and has absolutely no head. The nose has a very prominent bourbon-like aroma; notes of liquor soaked figs & cherries as well as notes of oak, vanillin, buttery wood and a smooth bourbon character are all part of the aroma. Despite how well this smells at this point after having a full meal, I can’t quite help but think ’where are the beer aromatics.’
The beer is quite still tasting / feeling as is expected after it visibly not having any carbonation. Still it has a thick enough body to feel viscous and the carbonation is not missed to much. Rich bourbon flavors dominate the flavor profile as do flavors of buttery oak (which are quite big here) and a touch of vanilla. Somehow, despite the dominance, the barrel / whiskey character is not too over the top for this beer.
This beer is much smoother than the regular version, which at times seemed on the verge of unbalanced; this instead is a great after dinner sipping brew. The oak flavors in this brew integrate really well with the bourbon notes; it is hard to tell at times which is which (considering bourbon is oak flavored this makes sense); spicy oak notes, buttery wood and vanillin may all contribute to the perception of bourbon overtones.
OhioDad (2493) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - JUN 5, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
350ml bottle via trade with footy! - Thanks! - Pours dark mahogany with not much head at all. Aromas of bourbon, oak, caramel, raisin, chocolate, and roasted malts can all be found above this one. Flavor is a mixture of roasted malts, bourbon, oak, caramel, chocolate, and a little black liccorice. Smooth with low carbonation and great full body with a nice dry warm finish. The mouthfeel is fantastic on this one. A very enjoyable brew...
beerbill (3328) - Laurel, New York, USA - JUN 1, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. My 600th rating which I drank last night on my 48th birthday. Pours almost black with a very thin soap-bubble tan head that completely disappeared after about a minute. The aroma of this stuff is amazing. Lots of bourbon with caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, and anise all in the nose. The bourbon is present in the flavor too, as is some of the wood which mellows the beer nicely. Roasted malt, caramel, vanilla, anise, and raisins were also present in the flavor. Medium bodied with a bit of a sweet finish and a definite warming from the alcohol. Overall, very enjoyable!
MadIndian (2343) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 28, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from capones. Thanks STEGOSAURUS. This is what it’s all about. Dark full body, good sweet roast malt flavor with alot of charecteristic. A real gem.
ABUSEDGOAT (2328) - California, USA - MAY 27, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from O’Briens. The brewery doesn’t have it so obviously O’Briens will. Black pour with a light tan head, average lacing and retention. Aroma is huge bourbon with the Viscosity chocolate/caramel/coffee notes. Medium to heavy body and a sweet finish with some alcohol. Unlike the regular version, this isn’t drowned in alcohol and the barrel aging got rid of a lot of flaws. Very enjoyable.
mds (2194) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 11, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours a black body with a ring of white head. Tobacco-laden aroma including some toasted malt, sugary raisins, and anise. Burnt malt flavour with tobacco and pleasant earthiness. Warming palate that is significantly heavier than just the Old. Very good though just a little more difficult to drink.
nightrider (754) - encinitas, California, USA - MAY 9, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown , black color with a thin tan head. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, licorice and alcohol. Smooth on the palate. Flavor of full thick malt, coffee, and bold bitter hops. Killer unique brew.
jsquire (3395) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAY 9, 2007
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Shared by BBB63 at ’07 Dark Lord Day. Fascinating aroma, with bourbon barrel, vanilla and leather mixed in with a bunch of other scents. Dark beer with no head to speak of. Thick, syrupy beer. Buttery bourbon barrel, vanilla, juicy fruits, raisen, oak, fig, chocolate, molassess, and amlost anything else you’d hope to find. The 12% was subtle. This is a very good big beer.
omhper (19212) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - MAY 7, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled, thanks cquiroga! Very black. Aroma of oak, vanilla and licorice. Sweet and tarry, full bodied. Extremely strong barrel character, but then everything in this beer is very strong, so it kind of matches. Molasses mixes with chocolate, oak and vanilla. Salty licorice finish. The barrel aging has improved it, and made the rough edges less noticable.