richlikebeer (839) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 25, 2005
bottle provided by jimmacko4 at the jimmack invitational. pour is a solid black, so dark it not only blocks light, but seems to absorb it, topped by a tight layer of coffee colored creamy foam. aroma is rife with coffee, alongside some molasses. flavor was very rich and nicely balanced, starting with smooth almost burnt coffee, giving way to sweet chocolates and tailing off into a late hop bitterness. mouthfeel was thick and velvety, and although this was a 2005 vintage, i thought it was much fuller and smoother than the same vintage Dark Lork. thanks jim. jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAY 24, 2005
22oz Bottle courtesy of Eyedrinkale. Opaque black with a creamy tan head. Not used motor oil thick but still thick. Roasted malt and sweetness in the aroma. Typical IS choco-coffee aromas and flavors. A nice IS but man o man the level of variation amongst ISs is close to zero. Full bodied though not as thick as others, which IMO is a good thing. beerbuzzmontreal (3486) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 23, 2005
Pours a pitch black color with a thin light brown head. Excellent aroma of roasted malt and dark chocolate. Excellent flavor of roasted and dark chocolate with a roasty, bitter finish. Full body with a dry mouthfeel and soft carbonation. Excellent stuff, Southampton did it again! MaiBockAddict (1497) - Good Beer Bar Deprived, New Jersey, USA - MAY 22, 2005
Bottle from jimmack at the Jimmack invitational gathering. Deep dark brown, tan head. Aroma is roasty with coffee, chocolate, and a touch of alcohol. Malty chewy, roasty coffee and chocolate flavors. Light hop/malt bitterness. Bitter dry finish. Slighty better than Santa’s Little Helper from PP. mkobes (2142) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - MAY 22, 2005
Bottle. Tasted at a beer tasting at Jmmack. Deep dark brown in color with a nice tan head. Nice lacing. Chocolate coffee aroma. Chocolate and caramel notes. Raisiny. Very malty. Full bodied. Sweet tasting. Creamy and smooth. Roasty flavor. Well balanced beer. Enjoyable and drinkable.
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAY 19, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2005 I tasted this in a blind tasting last Sunday and it came out # 10, out of 19 different Imperials. I noticed my score was fairly low considering the norm, so that, on top of the fact that I didn’t take notes at the blind tasting, Pdee and I cracked a bomber tonight and shared it. Perfect appearence for an Imperial, inky black, with a huge, creamy and fat head, which appears muddy brown in color. The aroma is fairly subtle, with coffee bean and mocha hints, a slight note of chocolate and sharp, resinous aroma hops. Flavors begin with sharp anise notes, which lead into light grape and vanilla flavors, followed by a slightly chocolatey and coffee malt finish. Yet it remains flooded with aroma and flavor hops, particularly on the finish, which delivers a bitter and citrusy finish, and completely manhandles the assumingly great malt finish. At first the mouthfeel was a bit fizzy but it tamed and settled and eventually ended up being quite nice. I usually love Southampton, but definately not this one.
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAY 16, 2005
8 Month old bottle: The agressive, crude hoppiness of the initial batch has tamed substancially, both in the aroma and the flavor, yielding a balanced hop character right now, whereas the original batch was way over the top. Opaque black color, with a full, light brown head. After the aroma hops subside, a rich malitiness overwhems the senses, with a coffee ground, fudge character, with hints of charred fruits. Still hints of hops in the aroma, albeit light. Flavor has improved in a shocking manner, revealing the magic that the agressive hop rate concealed. An array of gummy, charred fruits and chocolate blanket, while the finish leads into a lightly alcoholic and lightly bitter hop finish. This really had molded into a classy drink. I look forward to seeing further improvement, but, unfortunately, my original fresh bottle rating still stands. 8/4/9/4/17
UPDATED: JUN 24, 2005 Bottle. Great aroma of vanilla and hints of chocolate and roasted malts. Color is opaque with a thin brown head. Taste is big vanilla, sweetness, chocolate. Perfect finish is long, hoppy, delicious. Mouthfeel is soft, velvety. This is pretty much what I look for in an IS- I feel the hops and the mouthfeel were spot on. Had it in a blind tasting and though it was DM’s Imperial. Wow. Easily one of my all time favorite imperial stouts. Cletus (6368) - Connecticut, USA - MAY 12, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 21, 2005 Pours a dark black with a tan head. Nice lacing throughout the experience. Smells of roasted malt with slight elements of honey, coffee and chocolate present. Taste is of gourmet fresh coffee beans, dark high end french cooking chocolate, caramel, raisins, and a touch of berries. Very thick mouthfeel and an excellent finish. Definitely one of my favorite local beers. sloth (2957) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - MAY 8, 2005
Thanks to EDA for the trade! Poured a medium sized brown head, fair retention and lacing. Very black brew. Nose is light roast and lightly chocolatey. Medium body, tingly carbonation. Light chocolat and roast flavors, coffe notes opening up as it warms. Medium sweet malts make up the finsh. A surprisingly tame Imperial Stout. Thin bodied for the style and really just light flavored. Nice enough beer, but a Top 50 beer? Not really. htsprint1 (53) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - MAY 5, 2005
My mind recalls Eyedrinkale giving a sip of this to Nick Floyd as they stood next to a palate of Dark Lord... That’s how serious the beer was in Munster that day.
As Brooklynboy said, it stole the show. The blackest beer I’ve ever seen. Great chocolate, coffee aroma. And the taste perfectly balanced and amazingly complex. Chocolate, some coffee, a refined sweetness. Definately some vanilla in there. Thick mouthfeel, but it keeps that great flavor with you. I can’t wait to get a bottle of this! While Dark Lord is in a class of itself, this one defines the style.