ClarkVV (3766) - 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
jasonp (1555) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - NOV 22, 2004
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2004 Sampled at the DC/MD/VA/WV/PA Ratebeer Gathering 11/20/04. Eyedrinkale, is GOD for allowing us to sample this. Pours jet black, no head. Taste/aroma is a beautiful, intense mix of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, dark fruit, whiskey, molasses, hops and pipe tobacco. Just an awesome explosion of flavors. The palate is extremely full, round and creamy as hell. By far, the best stout Iíve ever had. Incredible.
robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 8, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
BLACK Coloring with No Head. Whisky and Burnt Flavors Come Out.. Nice and Thick...Winter Fruit, Some Coffee... Itís not the Stout to Set Your Clock By, But a DAMN Fine one at that.
pivo (2542) - GERMANY - NOV 7, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Heavy alcohol aroma with a huge peaty and even whisky malt nose. Pitch black color like moter oil. Nice tan head. Dark fruits like raisins and figs within a molasses-like malt body. Tobacco and coffee bitterness in the finihs. Extremely long profile - the sweetness stayed well after the swallow, then turned to a tingling dryness. Very thick and very very heavy. Pretty insane beer.
obisbeer (565) - Barcelona, SPAIN - NOV 6, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Dark as night with no head. Cherry, espresso, bourbon, chocolate, adn piney hops on the nose. Heavey mouthfeel with sweet lingering finish. Blueberry, espresso, chocolate, coffee, hops, raspberry and more flavors explode on the palate. Very viscous with high alcohol. And I do say the sludge is tasty!
sloth (2382) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - NOV 6, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A 2 glass pour, welll 1 and a 3rd glass pour before the onslaught of the infamous thick brown sludge started to work its way out, Stop! I,ve seen heavily sedimented brews but this aint normal, damn! A Dark black brew with a small red glow when light struck. An inviting dark brown head swirls up. Nose of sweet malts, smoke, soy, whisky and unbelievebly some hop spiceyness. Full thick mouthfeel, coating, viscous, oily, luxuriously creamy. Heavy roast flavors abound. Medium sweet malts, chocolate, figs, fruity, coffee notes, black malt, light alcohol notes with faint vinous notes as well. A truely large brew in all manners! Finish is fairly sweet but with a surprising hop bite. Thanks to Bierbauch for this bottle i received in a trade awhile back. Thanks Ron!
GermanBrews76 (678) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - NOV 3, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
SLUDGY RUNS!! Black body, browned only by hte sediment. At lest we got one glass pure. Loike used motor oil, loke baby poop (but less smelly). Notes of tobacco, caramel, coffee, expresso, chocolate;both dark and milk, currant berries, brandy and of course a well noted alcohol presence. A LOT GOING ON HERE!. Sandy river mud mouthfeel. Rich and ripe berries, burnt finish. this is almost too much.
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - NOV 1, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
From bottle, thanks to jcalabre for sharing. The pour reminded me of the oil that came out of the pan years ago when changing fluids on my Austin Healey. The aroma is huge, with sweet bitter chocolate, espresso, raisin and much more. Flavor complexity follows suit; soy sauce, espresso, chocolate, fruit, sweet syrup with alcohol and a satisfying bitter finish. A very bold assault on the taste buds, no contest - I surrendered.
badgerben (4354) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - OCT 31, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 22, 2008 Original Rating October 31, 2004; 2004 Vintage: Black hole coloring with no head. Aroma is loaded down with slightly burnt malt, oak and whisky. Do I really have to mention that itís thicker than mud? Coffee, burnt malt, and every kind of dark fruit imaginable show up in the taset. Itís quite good, but not the end-all-be-all. I kept getting a metallic tang in the taste. Re-rating May 22, 2008; 2008 Vintage: Iím very glad I finally get to revisit this one. Huge thanks to Skyview. Black as death with a medium head. Aroma of grapes, raisins and some vanilla. Much sweeter taste than I remember it. Lots of thick and chewy malt. Pine hops are there, but downplayed. Grape and vanilla with some roasted barley finish. Very solid, tasty and good. I had always been a little worried that I had "slammed" this beer the first time out, but I stand by my original assessment: It is not the end-all-be-all. The score remains the same.
boto (1797) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - OCT 31, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
22oz Bomber: This beer pours thick: It has the consistency of motor oil. The color is almost the same, but it is a very dark brown. If you hold it to the light, it actually has a hint of a Guinness-like cascade. The head is strong and brown. The aroma is interesting: imagine if you will chocolate hops, because that is what it smells like. The taste is heavy and sweet: mainly chocolate, with hints of plums and coffee, other varied fruits. I can also taste some hops, but no bitterness makes it through. Excellent! Thanks to TAR for this trade!!!