undsioux7 (872) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - JUN 6, 2006
UPDATED: SEP 16, 2006 Just have to say WOW to start!
Had it on tap at the pub in a small snifter. Poured almost jet black with a small dark tan head.
Aroma is wonderful: bourbon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla. Taste was basically the same wonferul flavors as the aroma. I just loved the balance of all of it. The bourbon wanted to become to much at times but contained itself.
Re-Rate: Time to give it that 5.0 that it deserves and I was too much of a wuss to give it the first time for fear of what I know not. It was even better the second time around. YES!!!!!!!! tdaglow (41) - Minnesota, USA - AUG 10, 2008
This is a beer that I like more the more I have it. The deep black color almost makes one think twice about what they’re doing before driinking it and the strong bourbon, coffee and vanilla just gets smoother with every sip. I’d only be repeating what other have siad if I go on. My only question is what might a third go-round with the barrel. TheBeerLover (1027) - DC Metro Area, USA - NOV 7, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 30, 2007 Enjoyed a sample of this one at Tasting in the Woods, Part Deux. This beer was the surprise of the night for me, and a beer that I found to be so delicious and drinkable, I was ready to book a flight to Minnesota. Pours to a slightly murky, black color, with a slight tan head, and a soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is incredible, with complex layers of aroma. Sweet malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, pepper, toffee, and light roast flood the nose. The plate is like silk on the tongue. Complex flavors of what was in the nose grab hold, and just do not let go. Lots of good chocolate, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, and coffee flavors. Dark Knight Returns ends with more of those wonderful, complex flavors up front, then ends with some dark roasty and peppery alcohol that lingers. Phenomenal beer. bjpate (1) - Coon Rapides, Minnesota, USA - JAN 14, 2008 does not count
A Beer.... Wait that isn’t correct. A dancing delight on your taste buds while soothing the inner beast elixer is more like it. This beer is on a level on it’s own. There is nothing like it nor would I want there to be. I won’t break it down to the individual notes and what not - Just know that it is somthing to enjoy and to add to the 1000 things you must do before you die. ksurkin (1021) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - JUL 9, 2011
64oz, perfect sealed growler courtesy of guerde. thanks so much, andy! super stoked to finally get a crack at this monster of a beer and it certainly did not disappoint. pours a ridiculously viscous, slick, obsidian black with a thin, whispy, quickly fading mocha head that leaves a razor thin ring of lace. aroma is an absolute assault of decadence with rich, oaked bourbon, spices, and dark chocolate fudge backed by roasted malts, molasses, and toasted coconut with subtle hints of dark fruit and trail mix. flavor is stunning as well with a blast of spicy, woody, warming bourbon up front that settles out smoothly into fudge brownies, roasted malts, coffee, and hints of vanilla with notes of oak and dark fruits on the finish. palate is huge and rich with smooth carbonation and a massive, woody, bourbon finish with notes of dark chocolate. overall, and absolutely massive brew that reaches the upper eschelon of barrel aged beers i’ve ever tasted.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - AUG 14, 2003
Aged in a bourbon barrel and double fermented - Yum!
Color is a solid black with some brownish highlights around the bottom. Small tannish head fades super fast and leaves very thin sheets of lace.
Smell is like a chocolate-chocolate chip cookie soaked in cough sryup. It has a good strong sense of alcohol, with a really nice woody/earthy deep dark chocolate, with complex notes of molasess, black licorice, dried smokey plums, raisin, vanilla, and fresh wild flowery notes. Its what I would imagine a chocolate factory in an open wet forest would smell like with one nostril while the other nostril is under a cup of Nyquil. I could smell this all day. Quite an intoxicating aroma, no pun intended.
Taste is complex, rich, and invigorating with a ton of deep dark chocolate, some molasses, fruity-like alcohol with a dark earthy quick bite of woodyness finding some hold about midway finishing with more complexing woody earth features of sweet malty tang and bitterness with notes of flowery spice like that of dulled mustard or ginger. Wow! The bourbon barrel worked its wonders on this brew. Fantastic! Very port-like in its character. Packs a big punch in flavor and alcohol, you can tell the alcohol is there but is mildly mellow and lends the feel to be smoother then you would think. Very rich, nearly full overall in mouthfeel with a welcoming smoothness that makes this dark knight a deadly easy drinkin' Porter. Super Yum! badgerben (5112) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - JUL 20, 2004
Oh my... The Knight gallops to the table in a small 5 ounce snifter, and though his stature may appear small, it is only a matter of time before he runs you through. It appears like blackest death with a solid tan head that slowly disappears. The aroma of pine struck me quickly, as well as hints of earth, vanilla, and raw alcohol. The taste is a blast of vanilla bean, whiskey, and malt. There is much more going on, but a second trip is required. The summation suggested kahlua. Just an incredible experience. I wish more could taste it. hopscotch (11044) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 26, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2015 (2004 Dark Knight - Original Batch - First Time Use Beam Barrel) Growler... This beer rocks!... Let me just start things off by saying "What a terrific, world class beer!" It’s worth its weight in gold and at $55 per growler, it had better be. Midnight black and thick with a tiny, fizzy, well-tanned head. The nose is to die for with notes of charred wood, vanilla, port, sour mash (of course), caramel, cherries, chocolate and espresso. Just the right amount of bourbon... not overdone. The flavor pretty much matches the nose, but also has notes of blackstrap molasses and warm alcohol. Ultra full-bodied with a heavy, oily mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Lengthy, burnt, bitter, alcoholic finish. Again, "What a terrific, world class beer!" Thanks go out to footbalm for the growler! zathrus13 (1776) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - NOV 20, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 8, 2006 First off, footbalm’s the man. Thanks for bottling this for me any so many others.
Color is black, with a small tan head. Aroma is crazy... bourbon dominates,then chocolate, dark fruit, and vanilla. Body is relatively full and creamy, with tastes of bourbon (again dominate), chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla, coffee and some oak. Alcohol is not hidden at all, but it doesn’t detract from the flavor. Absolutely amazing brew. jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAR 7, 2005
First thanks, again, to master trader footbalm for hand bottling this and shipping it to me. On to the review. It says something about a person, I am not sure what exactly, when they spend 5 times as much on the nightly beer as they did on their dinner. It is with no shame that I admit to eating Mac and Cheese from a box for dinner (or as they say in Canada, Kraft DInner) and now I am pondering this beer that costs about $1 per ounce. Pitch black body, oily pour, a very nice small tan head that diminshes into a small ring of soapy little bubbles that cling to the glass and fight to never expire. The aroma is loaded with the typical bourbon barrel characteristcs: oak, vanilla, alcohol (bourbon of course), caramel, cherry, some citrus rounds teh whole beautiful bouquet out. The flavor, ahh the flavor. The other two Barley John’s that I tried were quite good, but this one is heads above those others. There are three distinct and each wonderful stages. First is the sense of alcohol, coffee, and choclate coverd cherries, then an tingling bitterness and alcohol warmth develop, finally everything comes together to create a luscious chcoclate, cherry, oak, bourbon, vanilla, and all that. Sure it is sweet, but it is not cloying or too syrupy. The palate is fantastic, full, assertive, warming, light teeth coating. This is a case of a much hyped beer deserving the hype. Brilliant and many kudos to the brewer and again to footbalm for helping so many devoted ber geeks enjoy this magnificent brew.