Sammy (9249) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 23, 2005
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Gorgeous dark colour. Sweet sour. Bitter at first, Roasty finish. Chocolate malt subdued to roasty Starbucks coffee. Alcohol clobbers later. Very smooth. Medium-thick mouthfeel. Thanks Viggio, only $6 at Samís in Chicago, take note EBay!
mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - MAY 22, 2005
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
22oz bottle...this was the 2004 release...and a beauty it is...the aroma doesnít strike me as so great, but man o man this is a big yummy beast of a beer...it is so thick it just clings to the glass...what a treat! And yeah, I drank the sediment at the bottom after we were done...intense! Thanks Kevin!
0o9i (439) - Reno, Nevada, USA - MAY 22, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Cafe Mocha anyone(cappuccino + dark chocolate...screw the milk!)? Bottle, shared @ OíBrienís in SD, courtesy of DSYSOCCER--THANKS!!!! Rich, thick, chocolaty, coffee...smoothe and silky, pitch black, nice sized, dark head...nice lace. I tried this and just went "Wow." Alcohol is hidden incredibly well. Super smoothe. It really tastes like something you could pick up at a coffee shop. Amazing stuff. I lost my notes from that night, but no beer Iíve had really competes with this stuff...in a class of its own for uniqueness--itís not what you would expect from an imperial stout--and itís really well done. I didnít have any "man, they should have..." thoughts.
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - MAY 20, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: APR 24, 2008 Thanks to Eric, aka ífootbalmí for sending this prized brew down my way.
2005. Pours as it claims- like motor oil. Aroma is a sweet rauchbier with hints of vanilla and cherry. Okay, first sip of this highly cherished offering: Taste is a waterfall of flavor, with the smokiness at the apex of the formation, consisting of smoke and malted barley followed by a gradual widening of caramel and cherry. Interesting. This is obviously a very complex brew. There are a myriad of flavors that contort themselves around a solid center of roasted nut. As it warms, there are hints of raspberry in the finish, but it never loses its grip on the roasty/smoky flavor. I swear there is an oak tree somewhere in this bottle. The character in the finish is like a strong cup of coffee- bitter, biting, and thickly veiled. The alcohol becomes much more prominent as this beverage warms. Is it worth the hype? In some instances, yes, it is. Overall, I would rank this as a better than average Imperial Stout. Definitely worth a try.
jtw (1135) - farmington, Michigan, USA - MAY 20, 2005
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2005 bottle thanks to captaincougar! holy holy crap. this beer oozes out of the bottle leaving a small electric-brown head. i think the room got a little darker when i poured this--light cannot escape the black hole that my glass has become. aroma is milder than i expected but still rich with chocolate, woody tannins, alcohol, even a touch of sweet vanilla and honey. before you can even taste it, the liquid spreads itself over your entire mouth like some sort of sentient cough syrup--then once your tastebuds are surrounded, theyíre assaulted with more chocolate, oak, coffee, sugar, alcohol, some hop bitterness hidden deep away. the finish is....hmm. there isnít really a finish. it kicks your mouth in the ass for as long as it can, and then it kicks you some more. good god i wish i could drink this more often!
doubletriple (52) - Illinois, USA - MAY 20, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
A big big one for number 50. Blacker than black, not an overpowering aroma, but nice. Suprisingly smooth, reminds me of Expedition without the bitter and harsh finish to it. A great brew deserving of its rank among the worldís best. Oh yeah and this one has taste for days!!!!!
Tmoney99 (11582) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAY 17, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I was luck and got two bottles at Jungle Jimís in Cincinnati. Black hue with small dark brown head. Aroma was a complex heavy combo of molasses, chocolate and coffee. Full creamy body. Flavor was as complex of heavy sweet and a long solid finish. Clearly has earned this high rating and I am looking forward to bottle two.
Zeswaft (1438) - Charleston, South Carolina, USA - MAY 14, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 4, 2007 Rerate. I let this bottle sit in my fridge for 8 months. It didnít quite taste like the first time. It seemed more mellow. Strong coffee and smokiness. I couldnít really tell any difference between this and an Expedition stout. Both are excellent. This one is just a rip off.
Finally, after 3 years of waiting I got my hands on this and, story of my life, it didnít live up to all the hype. Itís good, but no different than any other imperial stout. Black as coal with a strange brown head. Thick as molasses. Overwhelming scent of coffee, and flavor is skewed most specifically to coffee. Doesnít really taste like a beer, more like a coffee milkshake. $16 a bomber is probably the biggest scam Iíve ever experienced. Donít waste your time trying to find this. Iíd rather have an Alpha King. RERATE. had it on cask and it just tasted like alcohol and coffee. together they tasted like apple juice.
SkyinBrian (430) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 14, 2005
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
highly sought after, much anticipated. this surely lives up to all the hype. worth every penny. this was one viscous beer. poured a thick black with an impressive brown head. while the aroma was inviting, it wasnt all that special and did not justice to the taste, so at first sip i was pleasantly smacked over the head with flavor, not to mention a chewy mouthful of this imperial coffee stout. the strong bitter black coffee flavor played off of the multitute of other flavors in this perfectly. this could be sipped or gulped, was both delicate and and way over the top at the same time. i am really glad that i got to try this. it is difficult to imagine a better beer than this.
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 14, 2005
4.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2011 So, after a year of being here, Dark Lord is released again. We didnít make it to the brewery, but we found it at the Binnyís in Hyde Park. Damn glad that we did. Pours a syrup black. Looks like maple syrup with a fluffy brown head. So pretty. I sat smelling it for a while, as it was a little overchilled. Smell had coffee, hairspray, molasses. Actually, the aroma detracted a little bit. I was nowhere near ready for what was next. I took a sip and was taken aback. It was thick, like when an inkpen explodes in your mouth. Easily the thickest beer Iíve ever had. Iíd probably equate it to chocolate syrup. Taste is amazing as well. Lots of coffee, sweetness, molasses. Seems like the only bittering agent in this beer is coffee and it works wonders. Thereís so much going on. This is my new favorite.
Had the 2006 batch after the release in 2006, much more muted...
2005 had on 5/10/8: couple years have turned this into a new beer, equally as good and confirming that I wasnít naive when I first had it. Strong and thick, the hops have mellowed out and brought forth more roast. Still amazing and could handle the time like it ainít no thing.
2008 had on 5/9/8: This was different than the 2005. Lots of fruitiness in the nose, peaches and such. Minimal coffee character and reasonably sweet. Of note, there was about 5oz of sludge in the bottom of the bottle that afforded a ton of hop character and roastiness and more astringency than the decanted portion. Awesome awesome beer...
2011 Edition-12/20/11. Bigger and sweeter, not as big of a body as it used to have. More nutmeg notes come through but dry out with roast. Really quite sweet. Will be interested to see how this one ages...