KingpinIPA (841) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 9, 2006
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Pours out like a dark Muddy, syrupy concoction, with a wonderful carmel color head. Excellent lacing. Smell of coffee, bitter-sweet chocolate. My mouth felt creamy, like having eggnog at Christmas. I could taste sweet chocolate, coffee, hints of vanila, raspberry, malt, honey, carmel and smoke flavor. Tons of flavor in every sip. You can taste a hint of alcohol but thats it. This is the #1 imperial stout in my book. My second #5 rating
ColoradoBobs (31) - Colorado, USA - APR 3, 2006
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Girnormous thanks and cudos to Crosling for hooking me up with (and sharing!) a bottle of the 2005 batch.
The usual 22 ounce bomber, set out from cellaring and allowed to warm to about 55 degrees. Poured into St. Bernie tulip goblets, not light passes through this monster. Vigorous pour yielded a brown (with yellow edges?) large reverse cascading head that clung to the glass like molasses.
Smell of espresso, dark chocolate, burned cherry syrup, prunes, figs, and malted malt. Incredible: I just wanted to go on inhaling this aroma!
Taste is huge and chewy and tongue wrestlingly thick: this is like Yeti on steroid. Intensely decadent dark chocolate espresso malt with prunes and caramel and malt on malted-chocolate-covered-cherries. Took most of an hour to savour this: as it warmed, everything gets more intense, especially the chocolate.
Mouthfeel is the richest of any beer Iíve ever had: simply decadently smooth and mouth-fillingly round. You want to swirl this stuff, not swallow it.
Drinkability is the only thing that hold this back. Wierd thing is that all the intensely enormous voluptuousness of the flavors and mouthfeel completely mask the 13.0%. Perilously drinkable.
A note: reserved the bottom half-inch to consume by itself. The 2005, unlike the 2004, doesnít have a lot of sludge at the bottom. However, there was a lot of flavor: that last half-inch was like the rest of the bottle concentrated into two small mouthfulls -- absolutely over the top.
Overall, a freakishly amazing brew, and I can see why people are after this with abandon. Thanks again to Crosling for the sharing! Astonishing.
nolankowal (923) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 30, 2006
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: MAR 17, 2009 100th rating, bottle courtesy of alaskaiscold, and this is a orange wax 2005 if Iím not mistaken. I havenít rated anything on here for about a week in anticipation of this bad boy...time to see if it was worth the wait. Pours absolutely pitch black with a creamy toasty, brown head and I usually donít comment on the lacing...but this has some pretty damn nice lacing. The aroma is pretty potent...licorice, dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon,smoke, vanilla, dark fruits, and oak...lots of oak. The nose of this beer has a lot going on, almost serving as a warning for those who donít like huge beers, because that is exactly what it is. The flavor is even bigger with all of these things coming to mind: rasin, dark cherries, bakers chocolate, coffee beans, smoke, bourbon, caramelized sugar, vanilla, oak, and alcohol...a bit sweet a times and bit bit too much alcohol in the finish. This beer is very rich, velvety over the tounge, a bit clumpy at times but nothing that really takes away too much. The finish is very sweet/sour...a slight bitterness after a huge blast of sugary sweet fruit. I will admit that I was expecting something a bit less sweet, but Iím always impressed with beers that are this complex. Also, while the presence of alcohol can be easily found, this stuff is hitting me harder than I wouldíve expected...basically tastes like a 9% beer with the power of 13%... Iíll be sure to share my next bottle with friends...good friends that is. After having every bottled vintage, I feel confident this is the best of the bunch. No other stout has matched itís viscous quality, and when fresh, the hops looming inside add a amazing touch.
waldowin (6) - Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA - MAR 30, 2006 does not count
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a molasses-thick black. No light gets through, even at the sides. A thick, dense dark brown head forms quickly, and fades to a capper that just stays around for days.
Smells toasty and roasted, with hints of coffee and roast.
Tastes extremely complex, with an aftertaste that changes and fades for ages. Tip of the tongue is cashews and dark chocolate. Pushes back to cherries, grapefruits, and citrus, as the hops and sweeter flavors slam through. Aftertaste is again of dark chocolates, biscuits, and cherries, taking ages to fade. Alcohol hides very well, and just warms your throat at the very end.
Mouthfeel is thick, bubbly, and chewy. Pretty big, and gets ludicrously massive as it warms. Leaves a nice bitter toasty feel in the mouth.
This stuff is silky smooth, and very tasty. Watch that ABV! I could drink it all night, a real shame itís so hard to find. Now I definitely need to grab one and age it for a while, see how it holds up.
A HUGE thanks to Jetsbeer for shooting one my way!
Only better beer Iíve ever had was a 2-year old Stone RIS. My money says this stuff would be even better with a year or two on it.
crizay (1050) - Brook Park, Ohio, USA - MAR 25, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2008 Huge thanks to EBoats for bringing this beauty to Tampa, and to Degarth for holding it for 2 weeks and not drinking it. Orange waxed bottle. I was so excited to try this. Pours a thick oily pitch black, huge awesome looking mocha head, and leaves great lacing. Aroma is some bourbon, dark chocolate, espresso, and sweet alcohol. Flavors are espresso bigtime, coffee, dark chocolate, amazingly smooth and creamy, dark fruits, more creamy espresso, slight black licorice, espresso stays the whole time. The more it warms it seems to get sweeter, itís a sweet alcohol espresso flavor. Very drinkable beer the alcohol is hardly there and itís damn smooth.
acertain (249) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 21, 2006
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle thanks to Hezron as a bonus beer in my first RB trade.
Unfortunately, I donít think that I have the vacabulary yet to do this justice. Interestingly, when I first poured, smelled and tasted, it didnít really do much for me. I mean, it was a solid beer, but I didnít see where it came in as #1. Either as it warmed or oxidized (I started at around 55 degrees), though, it really came alive. Again, I donít really have the words to describe all that this was, but it was a unique experience. Unlike the other "big" imperial stouts Iíve had (Speedway, Expedition, Stone, DFH, Mephisopheles, Siberian Night, etc), this one was really balanced. Not just bitter/malty balanced, but across the board. Most of the other ISs are wonderful, but really hit you over the head with something: alcohol, sweetness, smokiness, fruits, coffee, etc. The Dark Lord, though, especially as it progressed, contained all of these elements in a wonderful dance that I can only describe as unique. I wish I had better words to communicate my experience. While it doesnít have any significant attention grabbing attribute, itís such a well engineered total experience that I was, at the end of the glass if not the start, blown away.
jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - MAR 19, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUN 9, 2006 2006 bottle. Very thick body and a lot of chocolate, alcohol, raisin, coffee, and smoke in the flavor and aroma. Very sweet. Should mellow very well w/ age, but I really like it young.
jsquire (3402) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAR 8, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I have had this beer on tap several times, as well as the red wax and orange wax bottles. Usually Iím too involved in the beer to take coherent notes which is why it has taken me so long to rate this. If you get the chance, get this on tap as that is the best way to experience this beer. This rating and score are really based on the orange wax bottle I just drank. Very dark beer with reddish hues around the edge of my snifter. Foamy brown head that reduced to a lasting foam ring. This is a thick, viscous liquid that coats the glass when swirled. Complex nose of coffee, bitter chocolate, molasses and charcoal. Coffee bitterness in the flavor, with rye bread, burnt cocoa, vanilla, and an almost celery leaf green sensation in the finish. As it warms the finish kicks in with sweetened coffee. I may have to bump up my numbers after having this again on tap, but the bottle, while great, isnít the same.
sersdf (1015) - chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 6, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 21, 2007 bomber. thick as hell, pretty smoky aroma. poured like castor oil. first half of the glass was superb. tasty, lingering, complex. taste buds shot, the second half was hard to appreciate. a whole bomber would have been too much for one sitting... rerate. had on cask at the NotLA. not nearly as good, but i wonít change my rating. it was thin and alcoholic... rerate: kicks ass. first time iíve had it in 2 years, this was the í07. very very sweet, tons of chocolate. a little acidic was my only complaint. it wasnít sludgy as so many have claimed. it was pure awesomeness.
MI2CA (1340) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - MAR 4, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2007 Sample BI Indy gathering 2/25/06 - Aroma of roasted chocolate malt, coffee, alcohol, hops, and vanilla. Pours black with small brown head and good lacing. Flavor matches aroma and is big, no question. Palate is sticky and filled with alcohol. This is a big tasty brew and maybe I need to sit down with a whole bottle a fight it out to see if itís worthy of the hype.
05/25/07 DL verticle 05-07 - my score is the same even though all three were very distinct. I admit to not taking good notes on the differences which was pretty stupid. What I remember is the older the bottle, the better with the 07 being very sweet and a little too smooth for such a huge brew. I will say the same thing I did the first time I sampled it, I need to start out with this brew instead of it being the last one of a tasting to really get a solid rating