Kinz (3404) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - SEP 12, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2006 #700, huge thanks to cb! This is the tale of two beers, the beautiful, intricate, thick and complex imperial stout that composed the first 2/3 of the bottle, and the hop dregs sludge that greeted me at the end of the bottle. Initial appearance was of motor oil blackness, with a head struggling to make its way through the beer. The middle pour actually revealed a decent but quickly fading dark brown, compact head. I wonít deal with the last pour yet. Aroma was warming alcohol, with chocolate, mocha, dark cherries, faint pine, and port. The flavor matched, gaining in complexity. Thick, complicated, a sipper for sure, but a truly excellent and enjoyable beer. Iím thinking in the upper 4ís for the rating. Then came the last 1/3 of the bottle. It sort of coughed its way out, almost with the same consistency as A1. The aroma abruptly turned into pure hop resin. Ever homebrewed? Have you ever poured off the wort, leaving behind the spent hop pellets, but then accidentally leaving it on the stove so it burned a bit? That is what this smelled like. Literal dregs. My glass has chunks hanging off the brown coating on the side of it. The flavor unfortunately matched, except someone took the spent yeast off the bottom of the fermenter and chucked that in for some extra body. I literally couldnít drink it. So now I have had one of the best and worst beer experiences in my life out of the same bottle. A bizzare, memorable #700. My ratings will be slanted towards the first half of the bottle. I guess itís kind of like bumping into the real Dark Lord. Mysterious and darkly seductive at first, but then it all just goes to hell. Iím tempted to cut the last bit of this with a High Life just to see what hapens.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - SEP 10, 2004
4.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
The pouring out of this beast is incredible, especially the last half of the bomber where it gets all thick and gooey, and boy does it ever. Super sludgy and slow, reminds me of a melted fudgesicle thickness, color too is fudgy. Sits in the glass like black tar but keeps an overall dark fudge brown cask to its depth. A thin but thickly set super spongy tan head lays on top for a good while before it murks its way off the glass while sipping. A thin fluffy collar remains and the lacing is in webby strings along with an oily residue coating over every inch the liquid has touched. This liquid has a life of its own beyond its other attributes of smell, taste, and feel. Take a look at your glass when your done, youíll know what I mean.
Aroma has a nice soothing chocolate underlay where tossed apricot, dark cherry, molasses, and dates swirl around with dark juicy esters of spicy alcoholic warmth. Cleans the senses out pretty quickly.
Taste is thick, thick, thick, chunky even, you notice the massive mouthfeel right away. Flavors are ridiculously rich to go with it, loads of dark chocolate laced with nearly every dark fruit imaginable with a rich tangy molasses coating it all and some fine bittering of fresh hop cones and chocolate with touches of coffee beans at the finish. Slivers of alcohol has little hints to boubon barrel oakyness, smokey peet, and port to it along the way through to the finish as well. Boastfully terrific!
Feel is massively thick, beyond the reach of words here with this stuff. Syrupy, thickly creamy, mega lush, richly full bodied beyond the threshold of any other Imperial Stout I have undertaken. Oily leftovers on the lips, like chapstick. Oh my...Wonderfully thick!
At first I began to drink this down like it was nothing, but by half glass I gave up even thinking I could drink the whole thing by myself. Its like pie filling! Oh, but it is yummy pie filling...yummy. The thickness slowed me down therefore hampered the drinkability a bit for me. Still is very drinkable in a slow mannered kinda way. Respectfully. Great stuff!
ElGaucho (2272) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - SEP 6, 2004
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 3, 2005 5/3/05: Footbalm hooked me up again. He brought me back a bottle from the release party last Friday. Had it tonight with a buddy. It was awesome. Hoppier than I remember. And, did not have any standing sediment like previous vintages. Incredible. 10/30/04 Re-rate - RBMNG. Footbalm was gracious enough to bring a bottle of this to our recent Ratebeer Minnesota gathering. We poured about 2/3 of the bottle into a carafe until we got to the sediment. We then poured the sediment into a paper funnel to let the beer soak through. After about an hour, we had another 10 or so ounces more of the good beer. Dark chocolate aroma with bourbon notes and red wine tannins. Fully opaque. Small, brown head. Beautiful flavor. Very complex; plums, black currant. Thick and syrupy mouthfeel. Somewhat hoppy. A joy to drink in moderation. Eagerly awaiting the bottle Nick Floyd promised to send me which I promise to share. 9/6/04 - 2004 GTM. Nic Floyd gave me and my buddy most of his sample since Three Floyds ran out of their Dark Lord about 45 minutes before they were even scheduled to pour it at the í04 Great Taste of the Midwest. Dark chocolate aroma. Brown head. Large floaty particalia. Moutfeel is of residual chocolate on the tongue. Like they melted bars of dark chocolate into the brew and the residue floats in the beer. Unrefined, but tasty. Would like my own bottle of the stuff at some point unless I choose to boycott it due to 3Fís poor handling of their GTM beer distribution for the 2nd year in a row.
skaughty (652) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - SEP 4, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Would have loved to have this one as #300 for me, but alas I could wait no longer. Poured like motor oil - thick, with virtually no head. The glass was coated with malt as I drank it. Aroma-wise, the potency starts there. Alcohol is evident, with some bourbon and hops. Body - like Warren Sapp - thick and black. The malt must have come from maple trees, as this is fully a syrup - barely liquid. Flavor is mostly vanilla and mocha. This beer is just over the top, and in my book - (slightly)overrated.
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - AUG 29, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
8/11/04. Poured out of 22 oz. bottle, obtained in a trade with JCapriotti on RateBeer 5/14/04. Pours a thick dark black-brown, oily and viscous with almost complete opacity. Head is slight and uneven, a bright, sandy gold-tan. Lacing is decently sandy and shimmering but very spotty. And thereís a different kind of lacing at work here-- this beer is so thick, it coats the sides of the glass not with carbonation bubbles, but with syrupy soy sauce-looking residue of the beer (a friend finished his glass and then filled it up with water to rinse it out, and the water turned a dark golden-brown color that is probably darker and still more flavorful than any macro swill!). Very impressive, but I would have loved more head on the monster. Aroma has an amazing hop richness, dark sugar and sort of a chocolatey presence, but thereís not a whole lot of dark roast, burnt, or toasted malts. Itís nice, but it mostly just prepares for the big, rich sugary sweetness. Flavor has licorice, chocolate, and the rich dark sugar. A bit too one-dimensional in its dark sugary sweetness. Body is incredibly full, chunky and chewy. You can literally feel the grainy particles as you drink it, and it of course gets more and more obscene as you work your way down through the sludge. Finish is long and chocolatey, hoppy as well. Sort of a strange combination. Very rich and unbelieveably big, full finish. Probably the most decadent beer Iíve ever had (Iíd hate to see how many calories are in one bottle of this stuff!), but not close to one of the best.
DocLock (8239) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 28, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
#1,000!!!!!!!.. HUGE thank you to BBB63 for this one, and I know heís gonna love my review! Wow, itís great to get to 1,000, and I picked the perfect beer for this occasion. The beer pours dark black with slight ruby around the edges. The aroma is behemoth, with tons of dark malt, chocoff, black licorice, sherry, slight soy sauce, and fine cognac. The taste.......whoa Nelly let me tell ya íbout the taste! Super rich on the tongue, with tons of malt, chocoff, dark fruit, black licorice. Very sweet, full-bodied, and complex. When I first tasted this, I said "Holy shit!". This oneís flavor and palate is on par with DFH Worldwide Stout. The palate is the richest, thickest, and firmest of any beer Iíve ever had. I take nothing away from the great stouts, among them Stone RIS, Bellís Expedition, Central Waters BBS, and Great Divide Yeti among my favorites, but the flavor here is an entire new level....a level I previously thought unapproachable. The alcohol is very well hidden. As for the "sludge", Iíve poured very carefully, am about halfway through my bomber, and Iím telling everyone that I will gladly drink the sludge and ask for more. The Dark Lord will enter your soul, take over your senses, and make you a Satan worshipper! All hail the Dark Lord!!!!!!!
jazz88 (2577) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 22, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Black oil color with the slowest rising beautiful thick creamy dark brown head. This beer takes its time. Strong dark fruits, raisins, and vanilla in the aroma. It lacked the powerful dark roasted malts, and strong coffee flavors I have come to expect in many of the big imperial stouts. Instead, it featured the complex fruits. Wow, this one drops a bomb in the flavor. Syrupy sweet flavors, with complex dark fruits, chocolate, and roasted malts. Thanks to jsquire for the trade.
beerledgend (1197) - Waterloo, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - AUG 15, 2004
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thick syrup of black gold. Now I know what you yanks go on about. Sweet taste of black currants and port. The label says it all. What a pleasure to drink.
Big ups to hopsrus.
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - AUG 11, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
What everyone else says!! I have nothing more to add on positives. This beer is un-fíin-real!! Iíll take my comments a different route here though. My complaint (on the second half of the bottle) was that the sludge absolutely ruined the last several ounces. I canít believe Iíll admit to this, but I poured at least the last 6 ozs down the drain. Just couldnít handle it. The sludge just took it to another level of thick bitter mud which I couldnít stomach. I knew about it, but continued to pour it into my snifter anyway. Big mistake. I understand bottle conditioning, etc, but why such thick yeast?? I always pour the yeasties in, but I just canít understand what happened here. Anyway, it was still a tremendous beer prior to that point. Thanks TAR from many many months ago for the trade. Canít wait for the next release to see how it compares.
TheBeerGod (5433) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUL 26, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JUL 27, 2004 Thanks to JCapriotti for this beer! Pours midnight black with a medium dark brown head. Itís as dark as a starless night. Aroma is coffee, licorice, dark chocolate, hints of vanilla and tobacco along with molasses and faint caramel. WOW!!!!! The taste is INCREDIBLE! Strong chocolate and coffee blended with more licorice and vanilla. Taste of molasses and brown sugar. HUGE rich flavors here! There is some strong hints of alcohol as well. The mouthfeel is as thick and chewy as a beer can be. I donít think I could have possibly guessed it to be this thick and muddy. Some slight alcohol burn going on but itís a nice warming feel. Itís like drinking watered down alcoholic pudding. Bit on the oily side as well. Finish is bittersweet with dark chocolate and more molasses and coffee. This is a huge beer. Perfect for number 1000 and deserving of the 5 Iím giving it. I only wish I could have this on cask like many of the early ratings were.