LeopoldStoch (201) - Green, Ohio, USA - DEC 11, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 31, 2006 I recently had the opportunity to have a vertical of all three bottled versions of this beer. A 2004, 2005, and 2006!!
2004-->Easily the best of the bunch. Would get a 5 but I kinda wanted to average the score from my impressions of all 3 vintages. This beers certainly lived up to the hype of the "sludge" and it had the consistency of a milkshake...I swear it was like crude oil. It had aromas of chocolate, cherries, molasses, toffee, coffee, and so much more. The taste was so sweet and thick with all sorts of flavors coming through, and the alcohol was present but far from overbearing. There was also little to know carbonation to speak of.
2005-->This was probably the least favorite of the bunch. It would have probably received a 4 maybe 4.1. It was very bitter, astringent, alcohol smells mixed in with the other good flavors that were able to shine through. That really took away from it. There was a lot more carbonation in this one as well. The bitterness also came through in the taste of this one. It was good...BUT a far stretch from the 2004, or from being the top rated stout that it is.
2006-->I have had this one before with out rating, and never smelled the "green apples" everyone talked about, but after having both previous vintages before this one I have to say that I really could smell it. It was overpowering but it was present. There was a lot of carbonation in this one as well...just about as much as the 2005. There were some nice roasted flavors that were coming through on this one with a nice sweetness that balanced out the bitter roastedness. I would probably give this a 4.4 or 4.5. It was a damn good beer and I enjoyed it more than the 2005. Alright...that is enough banter from me for now
PilsnerPeter (3045) - Flushing, New York, USA - DEC 11, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 27, 2009 2006 version. Big thanks to notalush for bringing this to the gathering at CL. This beer is huge. Motor oil jet black pour, with a thick lasting brown head which becomes lacing. This is the first beer I ever saw to change the hue of the glass that it’s poured in. The aroma is enormous choclateyness, peppery pumpernickel, (cucumberish?), tart fruityness, herbal notes, vanilla extract and too much else. Just get your hands on it to try and identify all the aromas. Viscous, thick and sweet. And it’s more balanced than expected. Gritty chocolateyness, subtle tart fruityness, herbal notes (maybe sage), peppery, big roasty mocha middle, prolonged smooth kilned notes, molasses, vanilla oakeyness, pumpernickel like dryness and a long beautiful mocha dry finish which balances the sweeter flavors in the earlier flavor profile. Quite a beer experience. hophead75 (2012) - Largo, Florida, USA - DEC 10, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 12, 2008 Re-rate based upon a 2008 bottle that someone shared at Paul’s 1st Hoboken gathering: Opaque black in color with a dark brown head. Great aroma- Chocolate, roast, coffee, light vanilla. Taste is very roasty and coffee driven, with alot of chocolate and molasses. Body while incredibly full, is almost too thick for me- it’s literally like drinking motor oil. While it’s a great beer not sure it is worth all the hype it gets.
punkrkr27 (903) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - DEC 3, 2006
2005 bottle. Black pour with a small, dense, lasting, tan head. Powerful roasted coffee bean nose. Some oxidation in the aroma leading to a grape jelly/soy sauce/bbq sauce like quality. Flavor is big coffee, molasses, brown sugar, coccoa, and some alcohol. FULL body with a notable alcohol warming. patrick767 (4063) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 3, 2006
2006 bottle at the Fort Wayne tasting - Pours deep black with a thin, tan head. It has a wonderful roasted aroma with lots of coffee evident and a hint of alcohol. The flavor is, of course, absolutely huge with intense roast malts, coffee, chocolate, and more. It’s very full bodied and is definitely a slow sipper. The huge flavor and body support the 13% abv very well, so it goes down smooth and warming with some bitterness at the end. Remarkable beer. Thanks to Thedm and Hotstuff for sharing this one.
TURDFERGUSON (4058) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - DEC 2, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2013 2006 Bottle provided by Firemoose15 via trade. Really appreciate someone hooking me up with my first "rare" brew. Thanks again, bro. Thick, flowing blacker than black liquid love with a brownish-yellow head. Beautiful lacing and was truly enjoyable to view. Nose is full of character: dark fruits come first, followed by mollasses, sugar, espresso chocolate cream, roasted malt. Flavor is equally complex. Very well balanced at 13%. Palate is thick and luscious as the apperance suggested. Hops hit the tongue sensors towards the end of the gulp and blend in really well with the other bold resonating flavors. Held on to this beer for almost 2 months without drinking it. Now I need to find another one, or ten. Solid brew, dudes.
2007 bottle courtesy of Footbalm shared with OldGrowth on 10/2/2007. Thanks Eric. Didn’t take notes on this one, but I will say that I did not find it as overwhelming as the 2006. I know everyone keeps saying that this years is better than last, but maybe it was the hype that made me rate this so highly last year. I didnt taste any of freshly cut green apples in the 2006 and I wasn’t as impressed by the 2007 as I was the 2006. The appearance was just as great, but everything else seemed a step back from my first experiences. Still an awesome beer that I will continue to seek out, but I think I like speedway more overall. 958417
Updated score is an average of my two full bottles experiences. Numenor (871) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 1, 2006
Huge thanks to CaptainCougar for scoring this one for me at this year’s Dark Lord Day. Perfect black body with a very thick brown head. Aroma of chocolate, mollasses, heavy malts. Taste is great and while a bit more complex, in many respects it’s, very similar to the Stone Russian Imperial Stout. A very nice and smooth chocolate and coffee ending. A great beer to have, but if you want something almost as good, go with Stone. bitbucket (2165) - Kirkland, Washington, USA - NOV 26, 2006
Bomber that mysteriously (miraculously?) showed up in a blind tasting courtesy of glkaiser. Easily the class of the tasting. I wanted to hang onto this one and savor the sips before moving on to the next beer in the tasting. Four beers later I found out what we had. Damn! Pours an opaque black with a thin brown head. Huge amounts of molasses in the nose, along with nuts and coffee. Full, oily body with light carbonation. Molasses-sweet taste with a huge taste of chocolate, coffee, dark fruit. Espresso-bitter finish. Thanks G! after4ever (8025) - Mukilteo, Washington, USA - NOV 26, 2006
Bomber; courtesy the totally shocking generosity of GLKaiser. Humongous sweet and boozy nose. Smells like a screwdriver mixed with chocolate pancake syrup instead of orange juice. Breakfast of champions. Thick molasses, chocolate, and caramel flavors--chewy and sticky. Gentle cherry notes at the finish. ABUSEDGOAT (2759) - California, USA - NOV 22, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 4, 2017 Thanks to JHop for this one. #1000 baby! A few things need to be said first though. Right before I opened the bottle, the only thing going through my mind was "Sauron, the Dark Lord..." from that Elf woman’s voice in LOTR. (I’m an idiot) The other thing is that there have been many top 50 stouts that have let me down including Speedway, Stone RIS, WWS, and Thirsty Dog. As you can see, this wasn’t one of them. Very black pour (not sure about darkest ever but definitely in the running) with a small to moderate dark tan head. Lacing fell apart later but started off good. Aroma is a load of everything. Chocolate, coffee, roast, a plethora of dark and dried fruits from raisins to currants, vanilla, licorice, wood, and some hops as well. The flavor is slick and oily. The finish brings some alcoholic and malty sweetness, but there’s enough bitterness here to keep it interesting. Despite all the big flavors, this was very balanced. One of the few impy stouts out there that managed to be big and balanced. Lived up to the hype and I didn’t think it would. Initially started off as a good beer, but as the bottle emptied the vanilla and coffee combined made for a suberb imperial stout. 2017 input: this isn’t as much as a rerate as to tell more to the story. The day I had this I was also socially pressured into having cake with my team as it was a secretary’s last day. TLDR: send me a new bottle to erase this awful memory. So I traded for this beer years ago, drank it, loved it. Glorious, please send me another. At the time I played Halo 2 and logged on to play multiplayer with friends. Within 10 minutes I feel horrible, I have to vomit and maybe more. I AFK from the game briefly and vomit, it’s awful. I return to the game, start shooting kids and within another 5 minutes the vomiting sensation is back. Once again I walk away from my Xbox and vomit. Once again - awful! Come back again, figure I’m good at this point despite being behind in score. Another 5 minutes pass and I realize that whatever this is, Halo 2 will not be a priority anymore tonight. Hit the bathroom up again, vomit, diarrhea, I want to die. At this stage of the evening, Dark Lord is not good, but it can’t be Dark Lord - right? This is approximately 8pm. For the next 8 hours, I rotate between trying to vomit and excrete. After several hours, there’s nothing left from either end. Despite being in the shape of my life, I was exhausted - If I had a gun near me I would have pulled the trigger because nothing could be worse. For hours I rotated between sweating and chills. By 3-4am I pass out from exhaustion. If you look at my original rating, this all happened right before Thanksgiving. Hell, I had the beer the day before. I missed TG dinner and basically laid in bed all day recovering. When I went back to work on Monday I made a comment like, "You wouldn’t believe my weekend" and half the staff asked if I vomited all weekend like they did. The cake that I didn’t want and was pressured to consume was the culprit the entire time, not a beer ironically named Dark Lord.