unclebleen (620) - California, USA - JUN 12, 2004
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
OK, this highly anticipated beer was disappointing. It poured like 10W/40 oil after 10,000 miles use. Seriously, it is a little scary of a pour. A very small tan head rims the glass. Aroma is like Godiva liquor, which is chocolate alcohol. Thatís pretty much all I get here. Flavor is simple in a way. Complexity does not apply to this. Itís chocolate, alcohol and molasses. Thatís really it. Bitterness is actually more subdued than other Imperial Stouts Iíve tasted. The body is sticky and very full. Now comes the bad part of the beer. The 2nd half was basically not palatable. It poured out inconsistently chunky and just plain gross. I took a single sip and could do no more. Only one-half of the beer was drinkable. This is a poor value. I would definitely not buy this again considering the price...although Iím all for trying this on tap.
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUN 8, 2004
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Iím attempting to uncap this as I would any other beer, but the Dark Lord wonít have it that way! "Itís not normal!" And I left the wine servicer at work! Ah, hereís one! Shhfft!, there she goes, now to pour...
Darkest, blackest hue, a perfect pitch, color-wise, ebon in itís epitome, as soiled as Satanís underthingís, with a smallish head, but richly roasted, deep tannish brown, quickly succumbing into a tight ring.
Aroma is rich and redolent with all things dark and good, ...molasses speaks up, soy sauce gets a nod, prunes, raisins, port wine, a hint of dark rum, and a glimmer of carob, an intriguing and arresting nose.
Taste: Huge! Thick! Pow, pow, powerful! This is the 800 gorilla on the palate, when it sits around the mouth, it SITS AROUND the mouth!!!
Oh, my, good, loving, freakadelic-alicius-LORD!!!
So rich, it begs the robber barons to empty the playing field, for they havenít got the coinage to match this magic! Massive mouthfeel! A sea of chocolate swims on the tongue, and invades every center of the senses! Fruit chimes in too, cherries, and berries, all drenched in chocolate, as well!
A clinging factor pervades the flavor, as well, for this is a taste that never quits, never lets it linger, it stays, and stays, and if youíre not ready to make it comforable at your home, it doesnít care, youíre taking the couch and Dark Lord is sleeping in your comfy cushy adjusta-bed!!!
WOW!! Luxuriant, like nothing else, rich to the point of delirium, a powerful . liquified candy bar, ....a decadent treat, like no other!
oh, my...puts all other pretenders to shame... a killer-diller,I fear running out of superlatives and will allow this malevolent master to merely stride along this mortal realm with all my blessings, and add the enconium that itís a majestic and dangerous thing all in one package...oh, my..in this case, all other previously praised Imperial Stouts must take back-seat, oh, my, though, Mr. Hershey should worry! Mr. Nestle could fret, too..good Lord, itís good, almost too much for me...if you want to examine the limits of this style, go no further than Dark Lord!
So heavy on the palate, so huge in flavor!
Bow down, one and all, bow before your Dark Lord, and donít mess around, he can do that finger-chokey- thingy, just like Lord Vader, I mean, theyíre practically cousins, so, unless you know some Jedi juju, stray far away from the terrible magic of the Dark Lord...unless you enjoy this particular punishment...which I do! In spades!
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 7, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours the darkest black imaginable with a dark brown coffee looking lacing.... Aromas of a mocha, tobbacco, and little berries... the mouthfeel is full, similar to the speedway, but with a better finish. Flavors of coffee, chocolate, a litle zinfandel and dates.. I am beginning to think that this brew is what everyone is raving about. Man o man o man.... this brew makes the speedway stout look look a budweiser..... no... itís not that much better, but it is a lot more balanced. Itís a whole lot smoother, and the finish is amazing... no flavors that make you cringe.
Wow... I wonder if this will age well as their is no carbonation to speak of ..... Still... a very very nice imperial stout that will be in my top ten because I am an imperial stout whore. I know it... Itís okay.. ....isnít it?
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 7, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2005 March 2004 bottling. Pours thick and extremely dark. It has a reddish hue, and no head. Aroma is full of maple, molasses, grapes, dark fruit, alcohol, cherry, and cut grass. Taste is a bit vinous, but not overly so. Has coffee, dark fruit, maple. Finish is a coffee flavor with a cement feeling. I like thick and creamy beers, but this was too much. I was very careful in pouring, but that didnít help. There is a general sooty/chalkdust feeling throughout the beer. And obviously, the bottom third of the bottle is completely undrinkable. However, I did pour it into my glass, and pick up on a fairly big hoppy nose, which made it smell nice at least.
12/28/04 note: Many (about 8) months of sitting still has yielded about 18oz of decent Dark Lord in my recent opening. Taste is close to the same. Soot isnít as noticeable. Of course, last time I poured my friend the first glass, so that didnít help my glass at all.
8 / 5 / 9 / 2 / 15
Rating 2005-09-24, April 2004 vintage. Very nice to see that there is NO sludge in this bottle. Aroma has roasted pine, velvety chocolate, coffee, green alfalfa, sugary butter. Thick, yet fizzy mouthfeel. Roasted coffee, pine, chocolate, and cherry/vanilla pipe tobacco in taste. Strong coffee finish. Its going to be interesting doing a vertical of this some day. Maybe it was the fact that there was 33% more drinkable beer, but it was simply overpowering at a certain point. Its a great beer, but almost a little too chewy and thick. So to sum up what I just said, its hard to tell if this batch is more overpowering than the last, or if its just the larger volume of beer in the bottle that got to me.
9 / 5 / 9 / 4 / 16
humulus (339) - Salem, Missouri, USA - JUN 1, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle scored and shared by Silphium (happy 600!)Aroma is hazelnut, licorice, teryaki sauce, alcohol and malt. The flavor is that of scorched malts that fall just shy of burnt, very black columbian shade grown coffee and malt sugars that I find a bit too sweet. The beer pours so black and sinful that the room actually dims. However the three inches of sludge at the bottom of the bottle occupies a good 5 onces of this $15 beer and can easily ruin the whole bottle if you donít stop pouring at the first hint of cloudiness. This beer leaves an aftertaste of chewed up asprin on the tongue and a off-ish soy sauce tang. Dark Lord carries a lot of expectations that I donít feel were realized. The sludge was a definate negative, the burnt flavors and the foul palate were too strong to deem this one of the great beer wonders of the world, but it is very good imperial. Given the hype, the dark lord wears no clothes.
temporrari (381) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - MAY 31, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 14, 2011 Rating #100 - This is an excellent brew. Best Iíve ever had? Not quite. But even at itís young age, itís pretty good. Very little alcohol detected. Tastes alot like Expedition, not as good though. I donít think it stands up to the BA or regular Speedway either, but it sure is good. As far as the sediment goes, I guess I got lucky.
2005 Bottle Sampled 7-06. Very good. Iíd give this 2005 bottle a 9/5/9/4/17 = 4.4
2004 is tasting a lot like Expedition, with a shot of chocolate syrup in it. Not as good as I remember it being. Maybe my tastes are changing, maybe this isnít aging well. Good, but not the end all Imperial Stout by any means. This is a 3.8-3.9
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAY 29, 2004
2.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: JUN 1, 2005 Oh momma I finally get to have this beer. Reading thtough previous reviews I carefully made the first pour so as not to disturb any of the devilish sediment. The huge thick oily pour produces a 100% pitch black body with a tiny fine particled tan head. The nose contains a lot of alcohol and chocolate. Big sniffs enduce some stinging in the eyes. No hoppy aromas at all. Molasses and alcohol seem to be the predominate aromas. Not quite as complex, aroma wise, as some other Imperial Stouts I have had. The flavor is tons of molasses, burnt malts (where most of the bitterness seems to come from) and just a bit of piney hops. The palate is a fullas it gets, my jaw almost froze up on first tasting. The aftertaste is lingering, however the complexity is just not there. This is a huge beer and a very unique beer, but it is not the best IS I have ever had. Now for the bad news, after getting down into the last half of the bottle, by the end of the pour the beer is a as thick as the thickest chocolate milk I have ever had, there is so much astringency as to be unpleasant. This beer needs to settle out for a year or more before it is worthy of all the praise heaped on it. Maybe one day I will get to try the draft version, until then...
Silphium (3161) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 27, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Feeling sinful and deviant, I released Dark Lord from his cellar (coat closet) and delivered Him to my glass. This is the thickest beer I have ever tried, although not outrageously thick. The best way I can describe this beer is to place it along an Imperial Stout "continuum," whereby this occupies a place somewhere between the rich, coffee-dominated Bells Expedition Stout and the overblown, sweet Dogfish Head 23% Worldwide Stout. I detected strong, sweet burnt malt, molasses, vanilla, coffee, cherry (and maybe red grape) that finished with bitter piney hops. The overall mouthfeel is very port-like (i.e., very sweet), a bit too sweet for my preferences. Luckily, Dark Lord is not as sweet as the overblown Dogfish Head WWS 23%, but it misses the strong coffee and balance of Bells Expedition Stout. Alcohol was surprisingly subdued. I poured about 16 ounces of quality black molasses-like, thin brown-headed liquid from the bottle. Just for fun, I took a sip from the remainder, which left an intensely sweet unfermented malt sugar tanginess on the palate. Obviously, the "sludge" part of the beer did not factor into my rating. I do wish I could get a full bottle of drinkable beer, however. All in all this is a very good stout but it didnít blow me away, even as a fan of Imperial Stouts, probably because it is too sweet. The Dark Lord now quivers in his new abode- my stomach. Thanks Jason (JCapriotti) for the bottle!
Aubrey (3431) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - MAY 25, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: OCT 11, 2004 Striking resemblance to motor oil as it pours. Tan, big-bubbled head thins out quickly, which was expected. I gave the excessive sediment a couple of months to settle, which accumulated to about three inches deep. Mouthfeel is thick, chewy and heavy, not unlike a melted milkshake. Huge molasses sweetness exudes and lingers on the lips. Aromatic and sharp roasty flavors stomp it out a little, with hop bitterness finishing the job. Notes of sherry and whiskey with a warming alcohol sensation. Cornucopia of other flavors as well, such as prunes, dark chocolate, coffee and wood. Much more complex than these words though; Iím finding it hard to come up with words to describe some of the flavors. Overall, itís an incredible beer ... but its thickness and sediment is a little much. Wasnít able to down the whole bottle alone (too heavy and too sweet).
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - MAY 24, 2004
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
The highlight of my trips back to Iowa to visit the wifeís family is tastings with hey_kevin. In the past, Iíve gotten to sample my first tastes of Jadwiga, Dreadnaught, and Poseidon, and now he gives me Dark Lord. Heís a wonderful human being, in case anyoneís wondering. Dark, deep black, lovely oily head. Great nose, rich and strong. Lots of molasses and strong roasts plus some interestingly meaty smoke. Also, to steal heemer77ís comment, some wild mushrooms. Lovely, glorious flavor. Sweet at first, then a bit of subtle berry flavors before it comes up with a massive blast of hops and a full molasses flavor. Finish is beyond perfect, literally tasted good 10 minutes after drinking it, just sat there and allowed the great flavor to roll around my mouth. Wowzers, wowzers, and yet even more wowzers.