alexsdad06 (10387) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 26, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 29, 2011 Happy to make this one rating #50. 2004 bottle courtesy of Tmoney99...Thanks. Poured black as the dark lord himself with the smallest of caramel colored heads. Aroma set the stage for what would become an incredible glass of beer. Chocolate, and dark roast coffee. You could almost pour this into a bowl and eat it like pudding. Creamy chocolate, mocha latte coffee, and dark fruit in every bite...I mean sip. I can’t imagine a a more recent vintage being this refined. I am however looking forward to DLD this year.
Recent vintages have not lived up to the 04 or 07 bottles with the 09 being my least favorite year to date. aobecksy (700) - Middle of no where, Ohio, USA - MAR 25, 2007
Again a gift from Tmoney99 to the cincy gathering. Though is was better in the glass ;0) It is like plum pudding with dark chocolate, though it bittered with warming, so...don’t let it warm. AllAboutStout (605) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 24, 2007
Bottle of ’04 courtesy of the very generous TMoney99.
Appears dark brown, almost black with absolutely no head to speak of. This is a very viscous liquid. And I mean very viscous. Just a slight swirl of the glass leaves a coating covering the entire inside of the glass. It does pretty much the same to the inside of your mouth. Taking over and coating it more and more with every sip.
A very well put together beer that has many ’o flavors going on. Some very smooth chocolate and high end coffee. The alcohol was subdued and refined due to the aging. Not as hot or dominating as a fresh bottle.
A truly incredible beer, that reminds you every time that you drink it, why it’s this highly rated. cewldre (268) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 23, 2007
I finally got to try some of this thanks to tmoney.... thanks tmoney. This is fantastic. Color, as you could guess, is black, with a brown head. Taste is everything I would have thought from this one. This thing is creamy, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, flavor. This thing is thick. Awesome. (2004 vintage) Sombeast (151) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 12, 2007
Rating #100 is a 2004 DarkLord, it doesn’t get much better than that! Consumed at the Pewaukee Tasting courtesy of Dave (thanks!!!), just after three green fairies flew laps about the room. Fruity chocolate pudding aroma. Dark brown, thick appearance - this wasn’t from the top of the bottle but no matter. Fine roasty bitterness does not do this any justice. This is a literally thick, creamy pudding-like beer that just quivvers and tingles in my mouth. Wow, this is quite different than expected and I now understand the cult-like following for this beer. DarkLord Day here I come!
EKGoldings (664) - Radford, Virginia, USA - MAR 10, 2007
One of the world’s great beers. I can’t tell you how happy I was when they first decided to bottle this stuff. A cold night and a crackling fire after a day skiing, I can’t think of another beer I’d rather cozy up with. A tad sweet, truth be told, but the flavors are all there. kseecs16 (1216) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - MAR 5, 2007
UPDATED: JUL 24, 2007 Never having had Dark Lord before I got my first crack at this one on cask at the Night of the Living Ales, 2007. It was good, though there was a cough syrup like consistency that would leach in to the the flavor as well that was a little off putting. Nice aroma, coffee, molasses, dark chocolate. This was not a punch in the face like some horribly unbalanced Imperial Stouts out there. This packed a lot of flavor with a beautfiully masked alcohol profile without presenting any over powering flavors. Just a nice blend of rich malty flavors. A touch of warming sensation accompanied this very full bodied brew. Only the extreme viscuous syrup-ness of this one kept it from being extraordinaly amazing. drewbeerme (3920) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 4, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2009 on cask at the Night of the Living Ales 07. 2007 vintage. poured black and watery (cask). nose was loaded with coffee and vanilla. flavor was way too syrupy, reminded me a lot of kaluha. alcohol was very well hidden. maybe the beer is too young or the Dark Lord hates the cask. 3.2. BeerHawk (1810) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - FEB 19, 2007
12/4/07, 3 year vertical (05-07):
2005, pours black with tan head. nose of burnt coffee, doughy, chocolate, and really roasty. flavors are pretty sweet with brown sugar, loads of caramel, evolving into a chocolately, coffee, roasty, and sweet candy finish. pretty thick mouth feel with no alcohol taste. pretty sweet beer for sure, but the finish is a bit raw and roasty towards the end, a little too much to be perfect.8/5/8/5/17=4.3.
2006, pours black with tan head. nose is loaded with green apple, it is tough to get past it but some other notes of molasses and espresso. flavor has lots of sugar and green apple, some chocolate, espresso, and vanilla too. mouth feel isn’t thin but is the thinest of the 3. I can only hope and pray that age takes care of the green apple. if there is one off batch of Dark Lord then this is it. 5/5/7/4/13=3.4.
2007, pours dark brown with no head. nose has lots of brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, alcohol, and very slightly sour green apple (more less than 06). flavor is loaded with molasses, honey, vanilla, caramel, some piney hops, with very mild chocolate and espresso finish. this is way too sweet right now and lacks a real chocolate and coffee presence. very thick body that coasted and stained the glass (only version in the vertical that did that) with no alcohol noticed. perhaps this could be great with several years of age. 7/3/8/5/15=3.8
Final Comments: Okay, 2005 Dark Lord is tasting good right now. I wouldn’t say it’s worth the hype though. 2006 is a big mistake, the green apple hasn’t aged out at all and probably never will. 2007 is overly sweet and although those sugars are complex the beer lacks any real chocolate, roast, or coffee presence. However, the 2007 could age wonderfully as it is clearly the less filtered of the 3. DL is using sugar in an impressive/intense way but also over bearingly lacking some sort of balance and typical stout flavors (a few would be nice here). Finally, 2004 Dark Lord was significantly better (much more chocolately) than all of these. Too bad that wasn’t here tonight.
5/3/08, 2008 vintage released 1 week ago. pours black with no head. nose of coffee, raisins, caramel, dark chocolate, and citrus. flavor have a bit green citrus hop character, coffee, roast, molasses, dark chocolate, and still way overly sweet. couldn’t taste a lick of alcohol. full bodied but not as thick as the 07 and this didn’t stain the glass. i think this will age wonderfully and with any luck will taste like the well aged 05 vintage in 2-3 years. I think this vintage closely resembles the 07 but I do prefer this vintage over the 06 and 07, but i dont recall the 05 fresh and never had the 04 fresh. However, the 04 and 05 were far superior with 2-4 years on them. Those two vintages aged had a more balanced sugar level with more balancing roast and chocolate character. Hopefully the 07 and 08 will age into that with a few years. 7/3/8/5/16=3.9.
7/12/08, ’04 vintage. thanks Blake! pours black with no head. nose is extremely sweet but wonderful port, raisins, sugary. flavor is extremely sweet chocolate, dark fruit, coffee liqour. wow just really great brew. I wish the other DL vintages tasted like this. this is amazing.4.4.
11/3/09, ’09 vintage shared by 17thfloor! pours black with no head. nose of licorice, chocolate, alcohol. flavor is chocolate with dark fruit and licorice. oddly thin body for dark lord. not very good. 3.3.
12/19/09, 2006-2009 vertical tasting.
2006: pours black with creamy tan head. nose has coffee, soy sauce, smoke, dark chocolate, and cardboard. flavors of dark chocolate, raisins, espresso, cardboard, with a mild soy sauce finish. thick body and after 2 yrs or so the green apple notes are gone! Too bad it took so long for the green apple notes to fade out that oxidation is setting in and this one doesn’t have much time left. Tasting pretty good right now and many considered this the best in our vertical (which I gave a nod to the 08). 7/4/8/5/16=4
2007: pours black with no head. nose has smoked meats, fusel alcohol. flavors of dark chocolate, sweet raisins, smoked meat, and honey. a thin body (as far as dark lord goes), probably the thinnest dark lord ever. initially that chemical and hair spray notes were present but faded as it breathed. my least favorite dark lord of all, it might get a little better next year but I’m not holding out hope. 6/3/7/3/13=3.2.
2008: pours thick black with a creamy tan head. looks great. aroma is smokey toasted grains, chocolate, and piney hops. flavors got some of that piney hop notes, dark chocolate, dark fruit, sweet molasses. very thick dark lord (almost 04 thick), will still some of those hops which makes it the hoppiest dark lord in several years, this vintage has great aging potential. 7/5/8/5/16=4.1
2009: pours black with no head. the aroma is extremely sweet, sweet raisiny notes with honey and molassess, rather green too. initially smelled of bananas but that faded out. flavors are extremely sweet and green, honey, currants, molasses, chocolate. wow you get a sugar high from this one, in a guilty pleasure sorta way i’m kinda digging the sweetness of this. rather low carbonation which i think makes it seem like a thin body but the body has a heavy sweet quality to it as I let it sit on my tongue. 6/3/8/3/15=3.5
Final thoughts: Ranked in order of preference would be 08,06,09,07 (this also happens to be the order of thickness). 08 has great aging potential, 06 is going downhill, who knows with 09 perhaps it could meld together better but who knows with this one, and i dont have high hopes for the 07 as it is thin and odd and still hasn’t improved a whole lot from when it was 1 yr old.
Thanks to illinismitty for sharing this bottle (’06) with us at the Nashville Tasting! Pours very dark with a brown head. Nice roast aroma of dark & milk chocolate, coffee, and a hint of vanilla. The flavor follows much of the same. Full body, creamy texture, and damn smooth. Truly awesome! SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - FEB 18, 2007
Courtesy boboski. Red/orange wax. 2005, I believe. Black viscous pour topped by a thin layer of tan foam. Roasty and burnt malt, coffee, dark chocolate, honey, milk chocolate, marshmallow, vinous dark fruits, graham crackers, dry spices, subtle. Beautifully complex, a little too sweet for a 10 on flavor. Full body, smooth, viscous. This bottle (sampled about 6 or 7 months ago) was worth the hype. I had the chance to sample an ’06 a few weeks ago, not worth the hype.