fiulijn (16428) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 3, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 20, 2010 2010-06-19, vintage 2009, 8-4-7-4-15=38
It pours oily black, thick, with a minimal brownish head. Aroma of roasted malt, but also phenol, strong, very medicinal. Thick body, it has strong flavor, mix of caramel, roasted malt, tar, traces of liquorice and coffee; later, there is the alcohol that starts appearing; enough sugars. Strong bitterness. The final is based on rosted malts, sweet and bitter at the same time. Powerful, but not impressive.
2010-05-05, draught at Mikkeller Bar, opening night, 7-4-8-4-15=38
Dense black; virtually no head, just a thin collar. Aroma of chocolate, cookies, light cinnamon. Thick body (less than the bottle), oily mouthfeel, chocolate flavor, some alcohol. A bit too much, without being enough.
2007-09-21, Stockholm Beer Festival, afterfestival at Per’s, 8-4-10-5-18=45
Black color; creamy head, not persistent. The aroma is very phenolic, and of course sweet caramel, liquorice, some coffee, alcohol, leather. Totally thick mouthfeel, a bit oily, sweet, bitter, with a perfect combination of caramel and chocolate and hints of roasted malt; more liquorice at the end. Warming. Powerful Ambrosia.
Cloudy dark brown color, green hue; no head. All the classic flavor components of North America Imperial Stouts, but quite well mixed together; anyway, the thickest beer I ever had. Not complex, a lot of sweetness; pleasant also because less bitter and aggressive than others. Thanks Jeppe (Bierkönig) for sharing this bottle.
Ungstrup (30451) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - MAY 2, 2004
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
The aroma is powerful of coffee, chocolate, wood, and alcohol. The color is pitch-black and it has a brown head though disappearing. The flavor is very sweet with complex notes of malt (especially roasted), coffee, and bitter chocolate. It ends on a rather good bitterness -both from the malt and the hops. A very good beer. Thanks to Jeppe (Bierkönig) for sharing this very special beer with me.
Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAY 1, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle pours black and viscous with a small brown head and some brown spots of lace. The aroma is of dark, carmelized fruits, slow roasted to perfection with a hard candy shell. The flavor is raisins, espresso, citrus, dried apricot, Ghirardelli Raspberry and Chocolate bars, and mollasses. The palate, well, it is rich. Overall, this is fantastic. Thanks Slikwily!
mrkimchee (1414) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 26, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
black as black gets, dark brown head. smoky, caramel, coffee, chocolate and sponge toffee aroma. I've never had a beer with a smoother or richer mouthfeel. flavour hold bitter chocolate and espresso melding witht the hops and sweet malted milk notes. finish has a balancing raisiny tartness. I didn't want to like this beer as much as I did, but oh man is it every good!. there's no denying it.
Jeppe (2631) - Brooklyn, Alabama, USA - APR 25, 2004
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 27, 2004 Thank you Scott (austinpowers) for going through so much to get me this rare beer and sending it all the way to Denmark!
My first observation when the beer is poured is a very thick almost oil-like consistency and a tar black body with a nice brown head - definately worth a 5 for appearance. A dark and strong aroma hits instantly with obvious notes of dark malts, chocolate, smoke, coffee, spices and some citrus.
But also a quite strong and penetrating alcohol note - actually too strong for my liking and in my opinion too evident for a beer this caliber!!
After taking the first sip I feel the heaviest tasting beer flowing down my throat and into my stomach creating a warm feeling inside! If such a thing as beer concentrate exist this must be it! The flavor is strong and spicy - dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, espresso and smoke with an underlying sourness and plenty of hops in the finish.
All in all a very special beer experience. It's a good stout but in my opinion a little too thick and cloying and not as complex as I could have hoped for! Not as good as Speedway Stout that I tasted later the same evening and Victory Storm King I had a while ago! And definately not a TOP 3 beer!
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 18, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
What the hell can I say about this magnificent creation that hasn’t already been said? This was to be my 6000th beer, but I decided to take it to Papago and as we often bring special beers to sample, this was my choice.
The beer as it slowly oozes out of the 22 ounce brown bottle pours as thick as molasses in January in Maine, it literally makes a glugging sound as it excavates itself from its container. Onyx in color, the head a deep chocolate brown that is creamy as whipped chocolate icing and portly in size, the lace a coat of brown to obscure the glass. Nose is rich bitter sweet chocolate, burnt coffee, sweet malt, a treat for both the olfactory and ocular senses, a beer you must sniff to understand its complexity, start is thick and chewy, ambrosial and the top as full as any beer I’ve ever tasted. Finish is pleasing in its acidity, hops are powerful in their spiciness, the alcohol quite noticeable and the rich sweet chocolate and burnt coffee flavors continue to the parched desert dry aftertaste, also a quite noticeable tummy warming sensation, “Just one fantastic beer”, but a word of warning not meant for the weak of palate or people not into strong over the top beers, so if you fall into these categories and you have a “Dark Lord” sitting around, send it to me immediately if not sooner. lol
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - APR 15, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
22oz Bomber 2004 Poured quietly and forming a slight eruption of a head that dissapears quickly. There's about an inch of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This one is black and thick like oil.The aroma is a deep dark and powerful concoction. There's alot going on here. Some words-vinous, port, chocolate covered cherries, bread and alcohol. Mouthfeel is super thick and smooth with very little carbonation and really sticks to your mouth. The alcohol although well hidden is warming me up right now and I fear I may soon sweat. The flavor is one bitter Imperial. A chocolate Port like flavor with a massive hop attack that bitters gently. This is one big beer.
FlacoAlto (3849) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 11, 2004
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 20, 2010 Sampled December 2009; Served at 60+ degrees Fahrenheit.
Slow to form, but ultimately thick, three finger thick head that lingers for quite some time, but doesn’ leave much in the way of lacing on the sides of my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is pitch black of cours. Aroma of coffee liquor, dark chocolate, sweetened roasted malt, some smooth alcohol notes. Much more simplistic than I remember, but it is still rich and definitely satisfies my current hunger for a rich stout.
This beer is definitely thick, rich and mouth coating; definitely on the syrupy side of the beer texture spectrum. Quite sweet, which really helps to temper the huge roast character, but in the finish the roast becomes quite bitter and perhaps even a bit astringent; the sweetness never fades as both the roast and the rich sweetness really lingers on the palate for a long time. The dark notes in this beer are layered with bitter black coffee, dark chocolate, acidic roast malt and burnt grain notes. The mouthfeel is quite rich, but can seem a bit thin at times compared to what I remember this beer being.
When I first had this in 2004, it was so rich and so decadent compared to anything else I had ever had. This definitely hasn’t withstood the test of time. This is definitely a grand example of the decadent American take on the style, but really isn’t nearly as lush, rich or complex as my memory had it being.
2004 bottle release, Sampled April 2004
Strong notes of alcohol and port. Notes of roast malt, coffee, toffee, chocolate liquor, are also found in the nose. The beer is thick viscous, and pours a deep midnight black color with a bit of carbonation but only a dusting of bubbles on the surface. When roused a thick creamy dark brown head forms, one of the darkest heads I have ever seen.
Holy shit, I have never tasted a beer with such a stupefyingly thick body as this. It is very creamy and coats my mouth, it is like sipping on syrup. As expected with this body, it is quite sweet. The sweetness is accentuated by a fresh hop flavor, that when combined give this beer a concentrated fruitiness. This thing must have been heavily hopped in order to have such prominent hop flavor in an Imperial Stout of this stature. From the front to the middle back of this beer you would guess that this was a bottle of concentrated hop nectar, floral character abounds with, grapefruit, bergamot, cherry, concentrated raisin and plum.
The alcohol is not nearly as evident in the taste and the dark malt flavors are not as strong as I was expecting, the fresh hop character seems to mute them out quite a bit. The finish is quite bitter, though with the thick mouth-coating malt sweetness it is hard to pick out at first, but it is really the lingering bitterness long after the beer has left my mouth that lets you know that this is bittered quite well. The dark malt flavors kick in the end as well, just before the bitterness. Notes of concentrated espresso, bitter chocolate, burnt raisin, burnt caramel.
I must admit that with this intense fresh hop flavor, I am not sure that I want to hold on to the rest of these for a long time, though the 4 inches of sludge at the bottom of this bottle (even after a month of sitting) say that I need to move these to my lagering fridge for quite a bit. The fresh hop flavor is quite good right now, and it is so dominant that I can not even guess how this beer will continue to age. I have a feeling that in a year or two this will be a totally and unexpectedly different beer from what it is now. I have no doubt that the Dark Lord will age gracefully for the next 10 or even 20 years, but will it be better than it is now. Oh well only time will tell, I will just have to hang on to a couple over the years.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - APR 11, 2004
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 13, 2004 Pours like burnt syrup with a burgundy (maybe it's blood?!?!?) head. There is so much yeast in the bottle that you really can only pour about 3/4 of the bottle. The rest is sludge. Aromas of alcohol, coffee, burnt raisins and mollasses. An amazing SOB. This is the thickest beer that has ever crossed my lips. Really smooth with a nice hop bite at the end of every sip. Thank you kindly mromero for letting us sample this at the NM gathering.
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 11, 2004
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 6, 2006 2004 vintage. Viscous syrupy, motor oil pour. Black. Really black. The Marianas Trench is probably brighter. Fresh 2004 had the greatest aroma I’ve smelled in my entire life until that point. I could sit in the electric chair smelling that beer and be happy as a clam. They should make Dark Lord air fresheners. Smells like a fantastic dessert of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. The hops come through nicely in the delicious flavor. Sweetness is quite high, maybe a little excessive, at least in the 2004. Does have some nice balancing roastiness. Definitely the fullest body that I’ve ever encountered. Too full even. Requires 32 chews per sip. My favorite line was from erway: "I’m gonna coat my kidneys." An all-time classic.
Subsequent vintages are obviously cleaner, but have come across as somewhat harsh and excessively bitter. 2004 was one-of-a-kind.