mreusch (858) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - APR 25, 2007
2005 (orange wax) bomber, courtesy of kp as a BONUS, major thanks! Pours a syrupy dark black with a slow forming dark tan head that slowly disappears. Strong aroma of espresso, nuts, vanilla, molasses and chocolate, with a variety of other interesting aromas that come out on a swirl of the snifter. Flavor is almost like a really nice shot of espresso, with a similar profile from start to finish, even down to a slight bitter bite on the backend. Palate is full, a bit oily, and creamy. I think overall this is a great IS, and seems to deliver on all the hype, but think I would take some of the other highly rated Impy Stouts every bit (if not more) than this. Either way glad to be able to give it a try! User37895 (3085) - - APR 20, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 30, 2010 2006 Bottle, courtesy Slob at a long vertical and horizontal run of excellent imperial stouts @ statelineliquors.com. Poured deep brown, pretty much all black color with a nice large bubble brownish head with decent retention. The aroma was fruity (cider actually came to mind), dark fruits like raisins, resinous pine too. The flavor was raisins, light maple, cider, some licorice and chocolate, but not a bit of coffee. Don’t they intend coffee in this thing? Just wasn’t there. Caramel and dark malts all present, with a touch of pine and even citrus hopping in the finish. Hops were much lower than anticipated, as was any coffee factor, not what I expected from a beer with this much hype, although nice nonetheless. I would have opted for more of the AS Speedway, Deschutes Abyss, and Stone RIS all over this one after running them all together. While this may have been an "off" vintage for 3F, I continue to be underwhelmed by their products (short of Dreadnaught) relative to the hype. Sorry. Nonetheless, I’m every so thankful for Bert and his generosity. Statelineliquors.com rocks! Sept 07 horizontal (bottle courtesy moejuck) against AS Speedway, DFHWWS06, HF BORIS, and Expedition, same as my last horizontal w/ the 2006: lots of dark fruits, too much raisin (grapes showed up on the run back down in the horizontal, yet still not in a good enough way), sticky, flat, bleh. Low hops? About as disappointing as the 06, 3F being the most over-rated brewer in the US, minus Dreadnaught. Light lingering unpleasant bitterness, roasty type bitterness in the aftertaste. Thanks, Joe! Re-rate, at NSSRQSOSLT, 1/10, bottle shared by Gabe/GMCC2181, moving up a bit after this experience. Still an over-rated beer in my mind, but this thing was big and it held its own over the night as one of the best brews. Dark fruits were still prominent, but the body seemed to be backed by more chocolate, and the hops played a firmer balancing role. harrisoni (19529) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - APR 18, 2007
Bottle at Chris_O bottlefest 2007. Thanks to Kevin and maeib. Black with tan lasting head. Aroma has lots of intense malt. Very much in the line of a USA impy stout. Soy sauce intensity in mouth. Pretty good espresso. It’s a little different in the mouth to most impy stouts. Smoother. Hoppy smooth oily bit of tobacco. I liked it very much. Boutip (6620) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - APR 17, 2007
Bottle courtesy of Tpaliga (2006 vintage drank in April 2007): Poured a pitch-black color stout with a small foamy head with average retention. Aroma of honey and sweet malt is overwhelming and somewhat interesting. Taste is way sweeter then expected with some alcohol hint. Body is full and has a creamy and oily texture like I have never seen or tasted before. Low carbonation is to be expected but the alcohol really comes out and I didn’t enjoy this part. Some subtle vanilla and roasted malt were noticeable but were for most part covered by sweetness which kind of got gross after half a glass. This beer kind of reminded me of Avery Meph with the dominating sweetness and alcohol. I’m glad that I finally had the chance to try this highly coveted beer even thought I am not the biggest IS fanatic out there but unfortunately I wasn’t fond of it in the end. kujo9 (1095) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - APR 13, 2007
22 oz bottle (2005): Black w/ a deep, big tan head. Aroma is slightly smoky at first, then alcohol kicks in w/ a light raisiny fruit followed by toasted, caramel, and nutty malts. Chocolate and light roasted malt as well. Mildly sweet w/a bit of raisiny flavor, light coffee & chocolate w/ a semi sweet finish. Some carmel flavor sneaks in mid palate, but for being 2 years old, seems to lack a lot of complexity. Full body, lots of alcohol warmth, and medium low carbonation. I’m probably going to be crucified for saying this, but I am horribly disappointed by this beer! It’s not a bad beer, but for me, it just doesn’t live up to it’s reputation in my mind! Maybe in this case I might be my own worst enemy...Anyway....
Phil (181) - Kent, ENGLAND - APR 10, 2007
Simply one of the most amazing beers that I have ever tried! Despite Silks comments, I have always wanted to try this brew. And I was not missing this one for anything.... Thanks Maieb. NIce one. I really cant be bothered to put this into words - except quiet WOW! I savoured this beer, like no other. Though, Would I go for this over a Russian River Pale ale, no! Sorry. Bockyhorsey (2638) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - APR 6, 2007
Bucknaked brought this 22oz bottle to the Mesa Gathering. Don’t have much for notes on this one other than Aroma and flavors of Oatmeal and Roasted coffee and it was real good and give it a 4 rating overall. Forgive me for my sad notes but it was my 12 th beer of the day. Thanks Matt. SilkTork (5918) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Hampshire, ENGLAND - APR 6, 2007
ChrisFest Big level of expectation on this one due to its reputation. Probably the beer most of us were looking forward to experiencing. Taste is intense. A full mouthfeel which borders on obscene - too much plastic and alcohol for my palate. Hops are very heavy, again a little bruising for my taste, leaving little room for fragrance or flavour; I pick up intense bitterness which comes over as crude and simplistic with no variation. A big spoonful of Marmite. Marmite spread thin is wonderful, but eating a huge spoonful is too much, and that is how I feel here. Lots of sweetness; lots of bitterness; and not a lot in the middle. I understand and appreciate that people do like the intensity of beers like this, but it is not the sort of thing that I like. MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 6, 2007
UPDATED: JUL 22, 2007 A Mes rate:
Large bottle at Chris O’s extravaganza. First off a BIG thanks to Mark for bringing this and also credit to Kevin for the original supply. This was easily the beer of the day and I am sure none of us expected otherwise. Appearance is certainly one of the best I have seen. Thick, oily and clings to the glass with the tenacity of a barnacle to the underside of a boat. Aroma is almost understated but still very good indeed. Thick, sweet, roasty malt and definite marmite. Flavour is superb. One of those beers that upon your first sip you can do nothing more than stare into space for a while. There was a definite hush that fell over the room when this opened. Full bodied and complex with not just notes but a huge fanfare of coffee, vanilla, raisins, roasted malt, liquorice and Belgian waffles. Palate is as good as it gets. I loved every minute of this one. Took me 5 washes to remove the residue from the side of the glass. Finally hats off to Mark for putting the last bit of this to the side so there was some left to Sim who was on her way to join us. alohaC (12) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 6, 2007
2006 bottle. Ah, the venerable Dark Lord. Glugs out of the bottle with the darkness and viscosity of motor oil that hasn’t been changed in 30k miles. An inch high whipped mocha head rises to the surface and sets up in the glass, clinging to it with an oily, almost bacon greasy ring. Damn, this is some crazy looking stuff. Aroma isn’t over the top, but I’m definitely picking up some big roasty malts, bittersweet chocolate and molasses . The coffee seems to hit more in the taste, along with some caramelized raisins, vanilla and rich maple syrup/molasses. There’s definitely a lot going on here. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and full bodied without next to zero hotness. An impressive stout for sure. Does it live up to the hype? Partially. But I think you can pick up some other impy stouts with 90% of the quality/characteristics of this one for far less $ and difficulty. Nevertheless, the Dark Lord is worthy of at least a pedestal next to the throne.