Hairofthedog (419) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 7, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
This beer poured a blood red concoction w/ brown highlights and it coated my glass! Very plum and raisin sweetness w/ sour ferm fruit. Chocolate and coffee, plums and raisins, light molasses sweet. Very dense and creamy, and full bodied. Thank you Dr. Bill!!!!
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 6, 2004
3.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
To be totally honest, I was overly excited to try this beer. When I got that red wax sealed cap off the smell immediately said "wow," this might be great. The appearence was jet black; thicker than any other beer I have ever seen and with more sediment than I had ever seen in a beer. The flavor was good, but the beer was just too thick and the deep layer of sludge at the bottom of the bottle adds to the grittiness/thickness of the mouthfeel. The finish actually made me craze something thinner to wash the beer down as this beer was literally like drinking motor oil with it thickness. From other reviews, I can respect this beer, but it doesnít suit me in that sense. Rather, I am very glad I was able to experience it, but not know that hype sometimes has alot to do with ratings rather than honest, unbiased reviews. Give it try, maybe your review will be better than mine.
meathookjones (245) - Sterling, Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2004
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This came in a menacing looking 22oz bomber that was dipped in red wax to give the appearance of being sealed in blood. A cartoon picture of the dark lord is on the label as well to add to the overall Dark Lord theme. Looking like the used oil at jiffy lube this stuff pours out as thick as I have ever seen. It is pitch black almost verging on sucking in all surrounding. The head starts impressively before falling into a cap of bubbles and leaving not lacing but a film over any portion of the glass that it comes in contact with. Aroma is of chocolate covered berries, molasses and roasted malts. The flavor is tremendous standing out much more than the scent with chocolate, roasted coffee and dark fruits blending for a complex palette experience. A slight coffee bitter aftertaste is also present as well as a slightly sour taste as it warmed. Mouthfeel is ridiculous I have had nothing as thick as this ever and it is amazing. It coats the entire mouth and sits heavy on the tongue, very nice. Drinkability is also excellent there is no sign of the 13% anywhere in this monster. The thickness is the only thing that slowed me down while drinking it. Impressive in all ways I highly recommend this to anyone, hopefully I can come across more bottles of this in the future.
smoosh (533) - New Albany, Indiana, USA - DEC 1, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 Bottle - fairly subtle malty sweet, roasty nose. Black as night. No head to speak of. About the consistency of Pepto-Bismol, but soft. Malty sweet. Dark fruits some coffee. Deep. Unbelievably smooth, especially at 13%. Beautiful beer. Hey, Mark Romero - ya got another? Thanks, Buddy!
SimonB (66) - Geneva, SWITZERLAND - DEC 1, 2004
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
No head, dark body of very thick density in appearance. Fruits, roasted, crystal grains, caramel, alcohol and many other pleasing aromatic components. In my mouth, balanced toward the sweetness with hints of caramel but also roasted flavors. Thick feeling, very warming! Full bodied (liquorous, very thick). Wow! A thing to remember for good! Thanks god for that true masterpiece but thanks also MartinT for making this marvelous experience happen! Sampled at MartinTís place with other RateBeerians for the "Montrealís Voyager Par Les Papillesí first tasting session".
tiggmtl (4548) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 30, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 22, 2005 Original Rating (2004 vintage, 8-3-10-4-18=4.4): Subtle and complex aroma emerges more and more as it warms - vanila, chocolate, floral hops, sweet, malty, fruity, nutty, mildly roasty... Opaque, dark brown and still, heavy, dark and viscous with nice legs that coat the glass but no head whatsoever. Sweet honey, molasses and marzipan flavours with subtle insinuations of orange-pine-grapefruit citrus hops. Alternates back and forth between sweetness and intense roasted malts. Thick, syrupy body is just shy of being cloying. Alcohol never apparent - this Dark Lord has nice manners. Certainly a beer to be shared, abeer to be contemplated, a beer to be enjoyed, respected and even celebrated. Bottle enjoyed with beerbuzzmontreal, Lubiere, MartinT, Rastacouere and SimonB.
Rerate (2005 vintage, 7-4-7-4-14=3.6): Very roasty aroma with green, leafy hops. Alcohol is very present. Opaque dark brown with deep brown head that recedes to a lasting cover. Linear flavour is sweet up front followed by a big roasted malt character that leaves a lasting bitterness in the mouth. Bitterness seems to obscure any chocolate, malt, or fruity character. Thick, rich mouthfeel is very sticky and syrupy in texture woth no carbonation. Bottle enjoyed with MartinT, Olivier_MTL and Rastacouere for Martinís íBachelor Partyí!
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 30, 2004
4.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Pours a pitch black color with no head. The first thing that surprises me about this beer is the low intensity aroma, I tought I would have huge roasted malts in the nostrils but all I could detect was some alcohol, a bit of a deception but other elements will largely make up for it. Powerfull, mind blowing flavor of roasted malt ,alcohol, hops and a sweetness I canít put my finger on. That was nice, then the palate, oh my god !! this beer has a huge, humongous, monstrous body, with a viscous motor oil-like texture and soft carbonation. There is only one word to describe this beer : cochon (Tm MartinT) !!
Rastacouere (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 28, 2004
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: AUG 30, 2005 No sludge bottle. No head to cover this tar black oil body. Who cares about head anyway, letís not bother with such futile details. Restrained aroma, hypothesis that the huge body keeps it from expressing, but itís still lacking in the department. You have to fight to get a not so exciting vinous alcohol nose, though you would never expect 13%. Slight fruity hints when warming, mild cocoa, even milder roastiness. Who cares about aroma anyway? Letís not bother with such futile details. There it comes, the palate baby, the mouthfeel! Heavy, oily, thicker than syrup, fuller than 35% cream, neglectable carbo is just fitting perfectly with that beast. Chocolate cream. Easily the thickest beer in the universe as I imagine it. Taste comprises of extreme molasses. Big honey/maple sweetness. Excessive sweetness in fact, this never aimed to be balance and it isnít. It remains rather sustained and with nice subtle nuance for a 13% beer with no in your face flavours, it just wants to be heavy. Well contained hoppiness (flower, herbs, grapefruit), chocolatey. It doesnít taste fully fermented ultimately, but again, this has to be an effect from the mouthfeel. It just tastes incredibly sweet and without much of the fruitiness Iíd like in an impy. Cloying finish, unique. 1 yr certainly did it good because as it is now, it tastes like malt syrup mixed with molasses. Extremely challenging and pleasant beer to try, but in small quantities. A beer to share, a beer to be scared of, a beer to admire. Congratz to the people at FFF for their adventurous nature and thanks to raindog (what happened to him?) for the bottle.
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - NOV 28, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle at Marinaro500ís gathering. God bless the kind soul who brought two bottles of this joy. It is big and bad!!! Thick, chewey, with so many damn elements going on it is overwhelming. Worth the hype!!!
ClarkVV (3579) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 23, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 31, 2007 Score is for most recent vintage (2007)
2004 release bottle @ the DC/MD/VA/WV Gathering courtesy of Mike (eyedrinkale), and subsequent botltes from my cellar. What a generous contribution! Iíd like to first note that I tried a sample from near the top of the bottle; no sludge and also tried and drank the entire glass of sludge from the second to last pour from the bottle. I donít know why everyone is whining so much about the sludge, itís actually quite tastey. Thick and pudding like (but more grit than pudding) it still retains a great flavor. Anyways, Iíll let up on my analysis of the sludge and talk about the non-sludged sample. Right away, I realized, this is the thickest, chewiest, biggest, just altogether high gravity beer Iíve sampled. The palate is chewy, sticky and just pure flavorful stout goodness. Itís not over the top with the coffee. It reminds me of the Flossmoor Eclipse, though a much amped up version. Wine, port, rich soy and maple notes on the nose. Vanilla, chocolate, spanish coffee flavors, with rich malt accents all throughout. Such an even, smooth palate. With all of the stuff going on here, thereís little time to take note of the high alchol content. I donít see how you could rate the flavor below a 9, but to each his/her own. Incredible dark black/brown pour, with a rich dark tan head. This stuff just drips with quality and care of brewing. What really blew me away, was that for a brew of this magnitude, there was still plenty of stout character; it wasnt just all roast, alcohol and sugar. I can honestly say, I donít know what more I could ask for from this beer. 10/5/10/5/20
2005 release bottle Still a phenomenal treat and a splendor to behold in the glass, with a thick, coating presence, leaving legs and residue, and a pitch black appearance, BUT, not anywhere near as unfiltered as last years. In my mind, the mouthfeel, the oh so glorious mouthfeel! of the 2004 was worth the fact that it came at the cost of losing 25% of the bottle to sludge. This one is very bitter and hoppy, but I am impressed, itís not too hoppy even this young. Aroma is not quite as overpowering, but still quite lovely, lots of choco-vanilla, fudge, bourbon, wood, roast, ok so it is quite good! Give me the 04 though! 8/4/8/4/15
2006 release bottle drunk in August 06. Heavily hoppy in the nose, with less finesse and sumptuous, velvety malt perceived in the background. Seems rather fuselic and prematurely racked/filtered. Still has a flavorful chocolate and nice tar/ashiness that balances well the sweet, but still fairly well-attenuated malts. But the finish crackles with burnt rubber, stale popcorn and green apples. What the hell is that all about? Did they brew it in too large a batch and at too high a temperature to get better attenuation on a larger batch? I donít know, but the fact remains that it has some obvious flaws. And for flaws to break through in DarkLord means some serious problems. Typical filtered texture is nothing like 2004. 7/4/7/3/13.
Rating is an average of the 3 versions minus a point because itís grown worse not better.
2007 bottle consumed fresh in July í07
Really, really nice to see that they didnít filter this to high hell. Much better head retention with appropriate lacing/residue left behind. Itís certainly no í04, and thereís no visible sediment, but itís also not crystal clear.
Nice, deep, flawless nose is full of bitter, resinous hops balanced by bitter, dark roast and coffee, but buttressed by sweet vanilla, loads of sweet chocolate and light caramel. Gooey at times, but dry at others.
Intense coffee and black malt immediately pulverize the palate with bitterness and oodles of flavor. Char, very light vinousness and black licorice all slowly give way to light choco-caramel malts, with a full, round, surprisingly soft texture. Again, itís not the 2004, which I had side-by-side with this bottle, but itís definitely far and away better than both the previous releases. Obviously aggressive, but itís very young. This should mellow out nicely in the next year or two. Mostly tight, low carbonation and no fusels/flaws. Great, and very satisfying. 8/5/9/4/17