StefanSD (2194) - Lakeside, California, USA - JUN 5, 2009
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hand bottle. Pours an opaque black color with no head. The aroma was of mocha and milk chocolate. The taste was simple and subdued, with roasted coffee, chocolate, biter-sweet dark chocolate and black walnuts. The mouthfeel was full, smooth and malty with fair carbonation. Overall: Just a trace of vanilla, and a very mellowed-out character. Good, but not great.
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - JUN 2, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Flavors of roasted malt and chocolate. I did taste the vanilla and wasnít overly impressed. It didnít have that big barrel aged taste I expected. It was good.
toncatcher (228) - Santee - SAN DIEGO, California, USA - MAY 31, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Coffee-check, Roastiness-Check, Sweet Malt-Check, Vanilla-Nope. I get no vanilla in this vanilla Dark Lord. I also dont get any barrell aging. Not to say this wasnít a good beer, but not great.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 31, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Apparently this was a hand-bottled sample which poured with no head as expected but also not as black as expected as it peaked a brownish color near the thin edges. Nose showed a bit of vanilla but mostly concentrated towards coffee accents. Flavors were big and bitter, lots of dark malty notes and tons of coffee, but vanilla was nowhere to be found. More I drank, the more roasty the flavors became and the more coffee grind notes came about...but vanilla? Nowhere...no chocolate, no fruit, no stuff i long for in complex strong stouts.
JaBier (5011) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - MAY 25, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampled at DLD í09. I was actually in line for Canadian Breakfast when they told me they hadnít tapped it yet, so I "settled" for this one. Black pour with a medium tan head. Creamy vanilla aroma with some chocolate and coffee. Chocolate flavor with more of that creamy vanilla and a nice coffee finish. Very enjoyable.
cexshun (99) - Portage, Indiana, USA - MAY 10, 2009
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Heaven in a glass. The aroma alone is intoxicating. Regular DL with a kick of vanilla. My only criticism would be that itís just a tad too much vanilla. While I think the addition of vanilla actually made it a better beer, a touch less may have reached 5.0 territory for me. Would trade a night with my wife for a 22oz bottle of this!
noompa (130) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 4, 2009
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
On tap @ DLD í09. I liked this just a little bit more than the regular Dark Lord- while the vanilla bean sweetness overwhelmed some of the subtleties of the beer, it provided a solid backbone off of which the other flavors blended beautifully. In addition to the vanilla, I tasted a little more chocolate and less coffee in this version. The beers arenít poured with the optimal head at DLD, so I canít quite comment on the appearance, but it doesnít seem to lose any of the viscosity, etc. from the regular DL. Again, considering how intense the beer was, I found it a lot more drinkable than expected- the abv is noticeable, but I would not have guessed at 14%; does a good job of masking that. The burn on the way down is more pronounced than in the DL and it ends with a syrupy fullness. Beautifully done. For an approximation that is more easily available, I recommend the Barrel-aged Old Rasputin, which manages to bring out similar vanilla bean flavors.
Pawola22 (3262) - Woodridge, Illinois, USA - MAY 2, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at DLD í09. Pours a black body with a thin, creamy, dark brown head that leaves the glass with a dark oily lacing looking as if it had been stained by soy sauce. The aroma is damn near perfect. Huge sweet vanilla, but big milk chocolate as well. Lots of molasses, wood, bourbon, and floral qualities. Some soft coffee and roasts creep in more and more as this warms. This would be the perfect aroma if the hops were just a little more pronounced. Despite that, the aroma was awesome. The flavor, however, was as good as an Imp Stout gets IMO. A remarkable medley of tastes. Big vanilla, milk chocolate, wood, bourbon, and fat malts up front. Moves softly into a moderately roasty and bitter middle before finishing with an explosion of tastes. Much more of a noticeable roast and hop character balances out the big vanilla and cocoa flavors to perfection. The wood and bourbon accompany the flavors nicely and never dominate. Extremely well balanced and complex. Full bodied, smooth, and round with a lingering taste of every flavor. Overall, a phenomenal beer. Last yearís version was just a little too sweet, but this year, FFF hit it on the head. The vanilla is unquestionably distinguished, but never gets too sweet. Fantastic.
kimcgolf (872) - Dacula, Georgia, USA - APR 30, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Enjoyed at FFF pub on Dark Lord Day í09. Pours from the tap to a very brownish=black color with thin skim of a dark brown head that lingers thru mid-glass. Aroma is an overwhelmingly pleasant mix of vanilla, roasted nuts, chocolate and molasses, with just the right amount of the 14% alcohol. Mouthfeel is almost syrupy full, and the vanilla explodes in the taste. Nice, long warming finish. Didnít enjoy quite as much as the Bourbon Barrel aged DL, but a damn good beer.
Scoobs (5) - oak creek, Wisconsin, USA - APR 28, 2009 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
On Tap at DLD. OMG, this is ice cream. Seriously. Itís absolutely amazing and it takes the original DL to whole ínother level. A thick rich black pour with a brown head. This is the aroma I was hoping for from DL with the vanilla so much more prevalent. Super sweet vanilla flavor with chocolate, molasses, toffee, dark roasted malts and a fruit flavor - it all really opens up as the beer comes to room temperature. I could literally pour this over ice cream.