Huhzubendah (3342) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 24, 2012
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Thanks to Brad for sharing this at his tasting on Saturday!
2010 vintage, served side by side with Dark Lord and Oak Aged Dark Lord.
Consumed again at DLD 2011.
Vanilla Bean Dark Lord pours a near jet black, with hints of brown visible at the upper edges of the glass when held to the light. Head and lacing are somewhat subdued, but given the serving medium, I couldn’t ask for more. Ok, here’s where I was floored. The aroma was perhaps the most distinguishable and awesome smell I have ever received from a beer. Huge vanilla - and authentic. This beer smells like someone is baking fresh flan or crème brûlée inside the glass. Fantastic. It’s incredibly rich, yet remarkably smooth and easy to drink. Though it is sweet, I couldn’t see this becoming cloying as it is balanced so well and frankly, done to perfection. Alcohol is barely noticeable. I’d love to get some more of this. This is one of the best beers I have ever tasted.
IrishBoy (4071) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JUN 15, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
One big probably 3 oz sample (I was about 10th in line at the opening bell) and a couple smaller samples (an oz or so) after the line got more manageable at the Firestone International Beer Fest. Nose was chocolate, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Black with a medium cinnamon tan head. Flavor was chocolate, prunes, vanilla, and of course the bourbon. Excellent stuff!
JPDurden24 (1672) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - JUN 15, 2012
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
At FWIBF, Very Dark Black pour, nice vanilla nose with some chocolate and coffee and bourbon. taste is similar with just the right amount of vanilla flavor. This was awesome, one of the best of the FW Fest.
b3shine (7756) - Indiana, USA - JUN 11, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle to oversized snifter. Looks good; very little head or carbonation with a viscous apprearance. Smells good too; sweet and vanilla. Tastes like Lucky Charms marshmallows. Nice on the palate. Good, but a little over-the-top on the sugar for me.
mikem409 (1965) - bloomfield, Michigan, USA - JUN 10, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle thanks b3shine. Pours dark brown with no head. Aroma of barrel and molasses. Taste like marshmallows. Lol
Dogbrick (10889) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUN 7, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Sample at the Central OH BA Tasting at From The Vine on 06/02/2012: Bottle #394/934. Pours an oily black color with a thin light beige head that dissipates quickly. Small patches of lacing on the glass. Aroma of oaky bourbon, vanilla and malt. Rich, smooth body with flavors of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and dark fruit. The finish is roasty with a lingering malt and vanilla aftertaste. Better than the recent "regular" Dark Lords I have tried (nothing will ever touch the ’04), this is definitely a treatment that adds something.
BelgianBeerGal (3672) - Panama City, Florida, USA - MAY 12, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
A VIP brought this out from the Tap room for us. This was powerful and potent and GOOD. Looked like oil in the glass. I was surprised because it didn’t seem heavy, just heavenly amounts of coffee, bourbon and vanilla.
radagast83 (6795) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAY 9, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I had this beer on tap at Dark Lord Day. Wow, this beer was freaking fantastic! It was so smooth, so drinkable, and so very tasty! Poured a pitch black color, just like it’s base beer. Thick like oil, with not much of a head to note, but the alcohol sticks to the side of the glass. Enjoyed this quite a bit, certainly better than the times I’ve had the base beer. This isn’t to say that DL is bad, far from it, but that the vanilla added quite a bit to this. A must for any trip to DLD.
pushkinwow (2486) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - APR 5, 2012
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
So its been a while since I actually had this (full disclosure) although the memory is fairly clear given the strength of this beer 0 DLD 08. Pint in a plastic glass at darklord day. Dark thick black pour with a ruby tinge and a brown head. I had this one after the oak aged and it was much better - the vanilla cut the booze and oak so that at least initially the beer had a great aroma. Upon first taste you still got the typical huge mouthfeel but even sweeter then normal and the booze was somewhat hidden. Things just seemed more smooth and more balanced with this one, almost like the vanilla cut through the oak and almost brought out coffee and some chocolate. Long lasting finish that didn’t kill the palate. Very good.
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 6, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
From notes. First reviewed 7/15/2011. Poured from a growler into a tasting glass. 2010 version. From notes.
Vanilla Bean Dark Lord pours pitch black all the way through. No light edges, just pure unadulterated evil. Due to light carbonation, there is nearly no head here.
The aroma here is like Dark Lord, only slightly better. Maybe due to bottle vs. growler issues, the aroma is lighter, but the vanilla adds a great aroma. Vanilla lays on top of fully roasted malt, chocolate, molasses, and espresso.
The flavor just blows me away. Dark Lord improves drastically with a year on it, and the vanilla beans just take it to another level. Smooth vanilla beans up front and center, with dark roasted malt and espresso up next. Caramel soaked fudge is a delight, but the sweetness never overpowers, a brewing feat for sure. The aftertaste is softly sweet and a little bitter, with a big dose of vanilla.
The mouthfeel is thick and just a touch more syrupy than the regular version, but the vanilla bean flavor makes it worth it. Chewy like fudge. The only knock here is that the carbonation could be increased just a little bit.
Overall, this is one of the top beers I have ever tasted, for sure. Taking a beer I love and inserting the perfect amount of vanilla beans shows the artistry that goes into this beer.