tedovertu (289) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - JAN 1, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
This is the thickest beer I have ever had. So thick that at the bottom of the poor it had clumps. Pitch black with no light passing. Sugar lacing with thick sugar lacing. Massive flavors with a little too much sweetness. Actually prefer the Surly Darkness to this.
Zer0 (1175) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - OCT 5, 2015
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared. Red wax 2012. Pours pitch black, thick, dark brown head. Aroma is huge chocolate, molasses, roast, toffee and some vanilla. Taste is very sweet. Thick, cloying, oily mouthfeel. Very sugary. Really good. Very full bodied, a real sipper. Long, fruity, sweet finish and hardly any carbonation.
njager246 (645) - grand rapids, Michigan, USA - SEP 13, 2015
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle @ bells 30th, huge chocolate and roasted malts on the aroma.. taste is chocolate, molasses, soy sauce, and smoke. Coats the mouth and lingers for a while. Very nice glad I finally got to try it!
fjb (33) - BRAZIL - SEP 12, 2015
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thick as hell. Very good. Molasses. Roast. Moscovado. Álcool. Very goodtt brown head. Great finish. Bottle to share
Alengrin (3547) - BELGIUM - SEP 11, 2015
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
I finally took up the courage to dig out this bottle from my cellar: the famous Dark Lord. Must have been one of the first (deliberately) hyped craft beers, but being European, not having obtained it from Dark Lord Day which is apparently the only day per year on which it is sold, and not being too susceptible to hypes, I will try to rate this without prejudice. Rating concerns the blue-waxed 2014 edition. Pours ink black and visibly viscous yet burgundy on the edges, leaving deep yellow, oily stains on the walls of the glass, with a dark reddish beige, very loose head forming only with some forcing, sparkling and crackling but almost instantly dissolving, much like the head on Coca-Cola; all that is left in a matter of instants, are some small, loose, unstructured bubbles on the edges, cautiously escaping from the unfathomable darkness beneath. The very last remnants of the bottle consist of patches of muddy proteins and, likely, unfermented molasses... As for the aroma, the ’smoke’ hung around in the neck of the bottle upon opening and by inhaling it, I already caught a glimpse of the sheer intensity of this beer. Putting my nose in the sherry glass in which I poured it, makes me fall passionately in love with this beer immediately - all the burdens of every day life are forgotten, this is utter beer heaven: a deep, rich, extremely complex and seductive tapestry of the purest quality chocolate, both dark and milk, vanilla beans, Flemish red cabbage (a wee bit iron-like) cooked with brown sugar, candied cherries, molasses and dark rhum, fine coffee but rather subtle and peeping through the chocolate from time to time, treacle, slowly stewed beef and even whiffs of cured meat every now and then, toffee and ’Haagse hopjes’, leather, suggestions of marmelade, pipe tobacco, mocha ice cream, black peppercorns, chocolate liqueur, sweet hazelnut oil, cloves, cognac, pear syrup and a clear hint of teriyaki sauce - this is totally addictive, I cannot get enough of it. I cannot wait to take a small sip of this, and the taste is even more impressive than the aroma: a strong, enormously intense yet fine-tuned and noble candied sweetness opens this adventure in flavour, with all kinds of candied cherries, dates, peach, even oranges dancing among each other, kept in place by a very refined, tingling carbonation, almost of the same level as a coke which has been exposed to the air for a while, but providing a little bit of sourness to balance the big candied sweetness. After this friendly overture, I am plunged head first in an abyss of malts, layer upon layer of toffee, caramel, chocolate, even hints of toast, enriched with the deep, thick molasses sweetness and a strong presence of vanilla, which reveals itself retronasally in even more glory. The mouthfeel gets a bit of relief from the refined, gentle carbonation, but needless to say, is otherwise big and fat, syrupy, yet smooth and supple. The - aptly named - Dark Matter coffee remains something of a background presence: there certainly is a coffeeish flavour in the end, with a very pleasurable retronasal effect along with the vanilla, but it stays fairly modest in comparison with the gigantic ’chocolateness’ which dominates the palate; roasted bitterness stays gentle as well. Maltiness squared best describes the finish: the lingering chocolate sweetness carries everything, and even manages to bring balance to the unavoidable glow of throat-warming, rhum- and liqueur-like alcohol which goes down deep into the chest. The balance does not quite succeed, and in this particular case, for once, this is a good thing: in a beer this sweet and sugary, the peppery, drying alcohol effect in the end prevents too much cloyingness, though the thick texture does coat the mouth and tongue for a long time after swallowing. A dim, earthy hop bitterishness resides in the deepest caverns of this demonic stout, while the vanilla and elegant coffee flavours haunt the nose cavity after swallowing. A meaty umami flavour accompanies this whole ’parcours’ but it too remains subtle - it seems all the other flavours are afraid of this vast ocean of dark chocolate. Sorry to go all lyrical about this beer: I sometimes have that in really big imperial stouts. This one, to my taste, is worth the hype and worth every penny; I have been waiting to open this one and now that I did, I regret not possessing a second one for a dark and gloomy winter night, when this beer type - to my personal experience at least - truly comes into its own. Go out, wait for hours in line if necessary, but if you are into imperial stouts, you must do everything in your power to get a sip of this, this is simply divine. It has an almost unmeasurable complexity I have rarely seen, every time I sniff from it, I get different odours, one more endearing than the other, and it has an intensity of flavour rarely matched. Agreed, it has an intense chocolate and candied sweetness which sticks to the mouth cavity for a while, but the alcohol and the coffee provide enough balance for that. I am extremely thankful that I finally, after having read about this beer for years, had the chance to taste a bottle of this - heck, I could care less about the fact that the 15% ABV in a bomber of 65 cl will likely make me too drunk to taste other beers properly afterwards. This has been one of the most memorable beer tasting experiences I had so far.
Anatole (127) - BELGIUM - SEP 11, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Version 2011. Bombe sucrée. Chocolat, café et légèrement des fruits rouges. C’est excellent mais vaut elle vraiment tout le show ?
fonini (33) - porto alegre, BRAZIL - AUG 31, 2015
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
incrivel cerveja. muito doce numa garraga de 750 ml.compartilhada com amigos dificil toma la sozinho. incrivey
Fritz123 (1417) - Boca Raton, Florida, USA - AUG 22, 2015
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared awhile ago. Poured into a small snifter. Deep brown, nearly black with a tan head. The aroma was solid with dark chocolate, sweet malts, caramel, vanilla beans, oak barrel and bourbon. The taste was sweet milk chocolate, carnation sweet milks, vanilla beans, chocolate chip cookie dough, and dark plums. Mostly balanced but it was very sweet and boozie. Not exactly smooth. Full body and chewy. I don’t get the hype but it is very good.
Paigeturner (101) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - AUG 15, 2015
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Huge beer al around. Big roasty malty aroma. Some subdued hops. Vanilla and licorice and alcohol all big and balanced. Thick rich mouthfeel. A sipper for sure.
ebone1988 (524) - Taylor, Michigan, USA - AUG 8, 2015
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: AUG 10, 2015 Sample at Great Taste of the Midwest. 2015 vintage. Aroma is sweet, very sweet malt with vanilla and chocolate. Appearance is black, thick, brown head. Taste is sweet malt, licorice, vanilla, soy, booze, great. Mouthfeel is thick, oily, great carbonation. Overall, finally got to try it and, while I don’t understand the hype, it was good nonetheless.
sonnycheeba (4388) - Federal Hill, Baltimore, Maryland, USA - AUG 6, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2010 Bottle. Pours deep, dark brown. Aroma is dark fruit, booze, vanilla, rich chocolate, and coffee. Flavor is extremely smooth chocolate with dark vinious fruit, barrel character, and light vanilla. Medium/full body.