awaisanen (1310) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 29, 2006
UPDATED: SEP 18, 2007 From a 22oz Bottle, 2005 Vintage. Deep black, viscous pour with a well sustaining layer of roasted foam. Black tar. Aromas of honey glazed brisket dance with some hickory smoke and chocolate. Sweet caramels, pineapple, and even some musty scents of charred blue spruce bark. Almost a bit of bourbony caramel characters as well, giving it a bit of a heavy complexity often only found in barrel aged examples of the style. A bit of sweet vanilla mocha rounds out the bouquet. Full bodied, sticky mouthfeel that only the dark lord can deliver. Creamy carbonation. A wave of sweet bourbony coffee caramels explode across the tongue, creating a wave of sweet, sticky chocolate liquore. Some rich molasses silky coffee notes coat the tongue and sit there resting gently for awhile. As the sweet flavorful malt notes fade from the palate, a dry roastiness takes over, cooling the tongue, leaving a dry coffee roast to linger. As this slowly fades, another wave of spicy hops lingers on the palate for awhile longer. There is no final smack - it just continues on forever. Marvelous. Thanks, Scott! auerbrau (3206) - Ithaca, New York, USA - DEC 29, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 23, 2009chriso (7536) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 28, 2006
22 Oz Bottle. Flickr(http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
Crazy nut aroma, with perfumey pine woods, Ecuadorian cocoa powder, and south texan riparian habitat. Earth, grainy and elegant. Entirely enveloping. Fresh southern pit barbeque, slathered with brown sugar and molasses sauces, crisping over smokey coals, creating succulent seared pork ribs. Backs off with some light toasted toffee sugars. Awesome! A literally viscous pour. I’ve never seen a beer so syrupy. Rimmed with yellowish-tinged foam and a fringe of mahogany over dark black oil. Flavor is an interesting creamy rich shock of freshly brewed coffee grounds and toasted nut flavors. A lot of complex sugar elements from brown sugar to piloncillo to jaggery. The sweetness sweeps into a biting char crust and lots of oak and toast notes. A little coarse for me, but flavorful and intriguing. It swiftly moves into a cascading rush of primarily piney and resin-like hop quality, with copious saps and tree syrups. The malt mantains a steady balance beneath. Alcohol only lends complexity. Smacks comes together in all unique aspects, with fantastic warm nuttiness and general resin notes. A long, long draw with more barbeque. Lots of burnt and touches of tawny. Overall, it’s an amazing over-the-top package, with incredibly flavors, building and amazing depth. But, again like Batch 7000 the char is a little overwhelming and with Behemoth, the characters kind of overtake each, creating a lightly muddled sense. Here, the syrup quality is a bit distracting. A true novelty beer, but something to try for it’s amazing aroma and unique. Thanks Andy, for this awesome opportunity.
Bottle, at RBSG Grand Tasting, July 2006. I’d been sitting on a rating of Dark Lord done mainly from the sludge at the bottom of the bottle for a couple of years and had been looking for an opportunity to rate it properly since. And now I find myself at a late stage of the tasting, sitting with almost full bottles of Dark Lord, Speedway Stout and Apis Jadwiga Mead in front of me that nobody is clamouring for. Beer tasting can be tough but someone’s gotta do it. There’s not really any point in trying to add too much to waht others have said about this beer. Its a huge beast. Inky black. Imbued with chocolate, coffee, burnt malt and deep, rich fruit. There’s also a strong hop presence that makes it perhaps a teensy weensy bit harsh. And the alcohol did give me a bit of an afterburn. But these are minor quibbles. I do have to say that I marginally preferred the Speedway Stout that I sampled at the same time but I couldn’t really articulate too clearly why.
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - DEC 23, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 1, 2007 2005. Black, evil, obscenely thick pour. Aroma is deep dark fruit barely noticeable because of the roasty espresso, alcohol and bitter chocolates. Molasses wouldn’t taste this thick in a side by side. Monstrous flavor becomes really agressive above cellar temperature. Extremely well made IS. kramer (6991) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 13, 2006
22 oz bottle, 2005 vintage, via TChrome. Pours as black as sin with absolutely no light penetration at all. Great creamy chocolate brown head with amazing retention. Minimal thin lacing. Aroma is thick and intense. Huge roast and chocolate base with lots of espresso, chalk, alcohol, yeast, iron, and light notes of tar. Flavor is roasted and burnt malt with tons of espresso and bitter chocolate. Quite bitter and a little astringent, but it really works with this beer. Absolutely no alcohol apparency. Finishes with a little soy, tar, and licorice. Mouthfeel is monstrously full bodied with a thick velvety texture. The carbonation is so soft and well rounded it enrobes the tongue like a blanket and coats the cheeks leaving a long lingering finish. I must say, I was trying to be critical of this beer, but this was just simply awesome.
KAME (161) - California, USA - DEC 12, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 13, 2006 ’06 Bottle at Bill and Steiny’s. This bottle pours way too thick. I didn’t measure it, but the FG must be 1.035+. It’s like molasses. The aroma is simply amazing, wow. I’ll get more detailed after reviewing my notes, but I remember this being a great brew, and definitely one of the better non-barrel aged imperial stouts I’ve ever had. bager (2120) - Copenhagen N, DENMARK - DEC 12, 2006
Bottled (Thanx to Engelsmann). Wow! This is amazing. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. So very very well balanced. I could really get addicted to this - in fact - I think I am - dammit! 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 (3049) - 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.