smoosh (536) - 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 (4547) - 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 (3488) - 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 (6154) - 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 (3994) - 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 (1556) - Ashburn, 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 (2622) - 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.