BlueDevil0206 (122) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUN 28, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Yep, yet another perfect rating for DL. I’ve tended to be skeptical of the hype that quite a few beers out there have but this one came through completely (unlike Westy 12).
Bomber. Poured into a snifter an absolutely opaque black with a massive dark chesnut head. Just looking at the pour you knew the body was going to be incredible. Aroma hit you with the molasses but not unfavorably so. The nose progressed into coffee, chocolate and roasted malt with sweet caramel and toffee lingering around. I got a bit of oakiness out of it though it may be from the vanilla that is used in this beer. Flavor destroys your palate. It had everything going on that was in the aroma, and yet a decent ester profile (cherries and dark dried fruits) managed its way through the massive roasted malt and chocolate and coffee flavor. Hops were minimal in the flavor, but there was definitely adequate hop bitterness to balance this beast. At 13%, I was surprised that the sweetness was fairly moderate, but given all that was going on in this beer, I guess everything was in correct balance. I got no alcohol in this at all though my sample size was small, I’m sure I would have felt it more had I consumed the whole bomber, but in the flavor, none was found. Mouthfeel was perfectly smooth with a complementing amount of carbonation. Full bodied and syrupy, but far from ’sludgy’ as the previous years DL was described. Wow....
Jonathan3584 (323) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUN 27, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
2005 Bomber. Thanks to Oak for an awesome tasting. This guy was involved in a three-way competition at a tasting I went to yesterday. Dark Lord butted heads with Stone RIS and Alesmith Speedway and came out victorious. The pour is opaque obsidian black. I can’t tell if there are any particulates or sediment in my glass at all simply because light can’t penetrate far enough in to reflect off of them. The head is almost as dark as the beer -- a deep sepia with some reverse-flow bubbling. The carbonation pushed the center of the head up so much that the bubbles on the outside appeared to be flowing down. Once the head dissipated (fairly quickly due to alcohol), I could get a better concept of the aroma. It was initially dark, dried fruits -- cherries and raisins -- followed by an espresso smell melded with chocolate and roasted malts. Hop profile is hard to get to, but there’s something earthy going on. There’s a little molasses there, too, but not overpoweringly so. The palate was amazing. It falls somewhere between heavy cream and crude oil. It’s viscous and thick, but not to the point that it sticks around too long after you swallow it. The flavor is immense as well -- tons of roasted malt with a some coffee in the finish. Exceptionally well balanced, maintaining its sweetness through the finish without becoming cloying. Dried fruits are still there, but take on the roasty quality of the malt, unlike in the aroma. Molasses and vanilla are much less notable than in the aroma, giving way to a chocolaty sweetness instead. The finish is amazingly clean for as huge a beer as it is. Simply mind-blowing.
TomDecapolis (4618) - Milton, Delaware, USA - JUN 24, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2006 Props to hopdog for sharing this bomber. Poured black with a dark tan head that stuck around and laced the glass nicely. Very smooth and creamy. Coffee in the finish. A step above Victory Stormking (my previous top Imperial Stout). Can taste the alcohol a bit in the finish. I need to get my hands on some more of these, but I may have to move out of PA to do that. Bottle art is the best I have come across.
Just had a 2006 bottle and my numbers stay the same. What an amazing beer. Aroma and flavor full of coffee, vanilla, molasses, roasty goodness, hints of smoke, dark fruits, so smooth and creamy. Almost tempted to go 10-10 on Aroma/Flavor.
hopdog (11004) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 24, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
’05 vintage acquired in trades with atpayne & beerhandy (thanks!). Poured a dark as night black with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas and tastes of stronger coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, smoke, some dark fruits, and molasses. Very light alcohol in the finish. Tastes came through and got better as I drank more. A burnt roasty quality and dark cherries came out. Smooth and creamy body. I have an ’04 vintage and I’m curious to how this one tastes.
beeryum (652) - Norcross, Georgia, USA - JUN 23, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 11, 2006 Number ratings from 05 bottle at Nooga, but my comments include thoughts from other 05 bottles I have sampled. Black opaque pour. Huge toffee and roasty slightly-burnt coffe aroma. More of the same for flavor - lots of roasted coffee and toffee. Dark fruit flavors, like raisins and prunes come out when the beer is not too cold. Thick big bodied and creamy.
Rerate - additional notes and scores integrated from a blind stout tasting.
Brad (364) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - JUN 22, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 12, 2005 Bottle, bomber: Before I can even discuss this beer I have to comment on the bottle art first. The picture shown looks good but doesn’t do justice, this is a bottle that should be on display in your home once its finished. Poured an opaque black, thick, with a diminishing tan head which holds on the surface. Aromas are big and plentiful, the longer you keep your nose over this one, the more you discover, mostly coffee, brown toasted bread, choco-toffee, some dark fruits as well, complex as all hell. Flavor can’t disappoint after those aromas, and doesn’t in the least. Sweet and roasty, coffee, toast, rich dark fruits, maple syrup. Mouthfeel is full coating velvet. Like others have stated, I’ve read the hype and wanted to experiance this on my own, lives up to its rank in my opinion without a doubt.
OlivierMTL (709) - Quebec, CANADA - JUN 20, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
VINTAGE 2005. Noire ténébreuse à la faible présence de mousse. Arômes pleinement rôtis présentant aussi une touche de mousse de tourbe. Épaisse à en faire craquer la machoire…Littéralement! Profils de flaveurs initiales très rôties dont la linéarité réussis à décevoir mes énormes et irraisonnables attentes. Puis apparaît brutalement la violente horde de houblon d’une amertume et d’une persistance extrême. L’alcool est bien caché considérant le taux indiqué. Encore une fois, l’amertume excessive et démesurée refuse de nous quitter. Cette version serait apparemment marginalement différente de la dernière. Une expérience marquante et extrêmement intense en sensation mais d’un déséquilibre marqué à mon goût.
LilKem (1213) - Marietta, Ohio, USA - JUN 20, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Was very pleased to finally get to try this after all the hype. Had a very burnt arma and flavor. Nutty and charcoal. like my stout had a barbeque appearance. however, it was pretty saweet, especially out of a coffee cup at 6 AM. had a very creamy feel to it.
FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 16, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 13, 2008 22oz bottle, 05 vintage. Opaque black with big foamy dark beige head. Coffee, caramel, toffee, and a bracing of alcohol in the aroma. Roast malt, dark chocolate, and vanilla bean flavors. Viscous almost to a fault. Mouthfeel is that of a malted milkshake.
Mads Langtved (2244) - Copenhagen K, DENMARK - JUN 16, 2005
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottled. I had great expectations to this beer and they were all fulfilled. Black appearance. Viscid texture. Toffee and coffee dominate the flavour. Finish is presenting you for a great creamy chocolate experience. There are so many different experiences in this brew, it completely overwhelms you. It like a damn good liquid chocolate cake.