TheBeerNinja (137) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAY 23, 2006
So close to perfection. Pours syrupy and black (insert bad poetic analogy here). Head is rather thin and begins to swirl to the edge of the glass faster than I expected, oh yeah the head is a reddish brown. Nose and aroma are the best part of this powerhouse of a brew. Stick your nose in and get a bitch slap of coffee, burnt dark chocolate some mild fruits like plum maybe, and a dash of bitter dirt smell ( translates better than it sounds). Optically this beer is a sneek, and betrays the juggernaut that attacks your sense of smell and taste. The flavor is a bit of a mystery to me and here is why:
First sip: A rush of revolting sweet malts.
Second sip: The same followed by a thunderfuck body slam of bitterness, and this pretty much repeats throughout. Flavors include sweet malts, bitter chocolates, coffee, some wierd fruit, and the most important soul crushing bitterness that only a stout can provide. So all gushing and attempts to be the wordy beer dork aside, the bottom line is pawn anything you have to just to taste this beer. Otherwise go get some expedition and come close. SpudClampDawg (1029) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - MAY 20, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 24, 2007 2004 bottle:Cameronís 1st birthday and Christmas eve couldnít have been a more perfect time to enjoy this monster. Pours a viscous oil can black with no apparent head. A strange gold film lines the glass, not lace really, but kind of like sludge residue. The aroma is leathery with lots of fudge, madagascar bourbon vanilla beans, plum and alcohol. Creamy, chewy mouthfeel with velvetty smooth carbonation. Not as sweet as the 07 version, this bottle still leaves lots of residual sugars on the tongue. As it continues to warm, this becomes a milkshake and coats my tongue and mouth. Complex isnít a complex enough word to describe the complexity of this beer. Haha - Jenn drank the sludge.
9, 4, 8, 4, 18 = 4.3
Dorwart (2585) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - MAY 20, 2006
2006 bottle: So check this out. Kind of Blue on vinyl spinning in the backgroud. Discussion around the table on how availability effects ratings. And the Dark Lord sits and waits. Thick, syrupy and dark as midnight on a moonless prairie night. The mocha brown head insanely hugs the sides of the tulip with each swirl of the glass. The first sniff is roasty, deep and tempting. But wait, what is that lingering note of apple friutiness hanging above the great chocolate, roasted monster of a nose. Hmm, odd and out of place. Shaking head and moving on, the body is thick, almost viscous, but somehow not cloying. More sweet chocolate, straight cane sugar at times. Really sweet, with no alcohol presence - quite strange for such a high octane brew. The chocolate is brownie like in sweetness, and lasts long through the finish. The apple/fruity note continues to battle the roasted body, throwing things out of whack. Some bitterness finally moves in and balances the insane sweetness and helps quell the fuitiness. This is defintely good, but just a preview of what it could be (or has been in the past). Iíve waited so long for this, so I hate to leave it at this, but "maybe next year"? Oh Dark Lord, why hath though forsaken me?
6, 4, 8, 3, 16 = 3.7
Finally got to the BIG BOY for my 1000th rating. Been waiting for a long time for this one. Very large and insanely dense head of very fine bubbles. I poured and then I watched for a full minute or more as the brew and head separated from itself. A thing of beauty. I almost dont want to drink it because it looks so good. Head lasts for a lifetime. Dark brown in color. Heavenly aroma arises from thethick sheet of head that has become one with the glass. Rich and meaty with loads of roasted malts, dark chocolate, a bit of anise, molasses, raisins and brown sugar. Surprisingly very little coffee in the aroma. Color is jet black. No mistaking this one for a Impy stout. Ok, here goes. WOW. Big roastyness in there. Just as complex as the aroma. This time the coffee shows up big time. And a big alcohol warming. Thick and chewy in the mouth yet goes down like silk. This is a dinner in a bottle. Many have mentioned that it looks like used motor oil. I would not doubt it that you could put this into your car. Hell, the car would probably thank you. Loads of roastyness, oatmeal and molasses. Little sweet. Finish is thick and coating and glides down effortlessly. Then the small fire in your stomach starts up and you can feel the 13% heat. This is not a brew for the feint of heart. Wow, you bastards in Indiana are some lucky SOBís. Kudos to FFF for making and bottling this kick ass brew. kirok1999 (2) - USA - MAY 19, 2006 does not count
Huge thanks to Ryan P. (Black95tt) for getting me 6 of these at the 3 Floyds sale.
Appearance- motor oil with 20K miles on it. Black and thick as night. 1/4 inch chocolate brown head that grows then quickly dissapates leaving no cling to the glass.
Smell- Sugar, cherries, currants, slight anise, coffee and chocolate. So much going on itís almost impossible to describe.
Taste- Same as the smell. It hides the alcohol well till after a few sips and you start to feel the burn. This is very similar to Stone IRS but more so. Starts sugary and fruity and finishes slight chocolate and coffee. In my opinion, the best RIS in the world.
Mouthfeel- Clings like cough syrup, chewy and clings like glue. Tastes so great you want it to stick around.
Drinkability- Simply immense, I just finished one and want to chill another and break it open. I wonít though. These are going to be opened one every month. 3 Floyds is simply the best brewer in the country.
TPaliga (212) - Munster, Indiana, USA - MAY 16, 2006
Dark black with thin tan head. Smells of bakers chocolate, dark fruit, alcohol, coffee. Tastes chocolate coffee and vanilla up front, cherries vanilla and alcohol finish. Bitter and sweet. I liked to Oak Aged only slighty more.
holdenn (2116) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 15, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2009 Vertical from í06 to í09.
í06 Really oxidized at this point. Thin head on a oily black body. Oxidized papery nose alcohol fruit and coffee. Light sweetness charred coffee molasses, syrup, and burnt. Slightly hot and papery but I donít mind the oxidation that much. It brings in another level to it.. Past itís prime but not bad. 4.0
rajendra82 (1078) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - MAY 13, 2006
í07 Nose of phenols, chemicals, plastic with the chocolate and coffee. Chemicals fades to that smoky and coffee notes. Sweet and sugary coffee flavors that are just tough to drink. Thick and sweet, the chemicals dissipate with sometime. This makes it a better beer, but not great. 3.7
í08 Nose of smoky coffee chocolate strong and inviting, not overly sweet, burnt, or chemically. Thick sweet and creamy chocolates with red fruit underneath. Good chocolate and fruit but too sweet in the flavor.. 9/4/7/3/15 = 3.8
í09. Nose of chemicals, phenols, and summer sausage. Chocolate charred coffee flavors with alcohol heat and syruppy sweet. Too sweet tough to drink. 7/3/7/3/14 = 3.4
06, 08, 07, 09
07 vintage on cask at NotLA 07. Poured pitch black and thick with a small beige head that quickly faded away. Nose of yeast sweet coffee and chocolate. There is a lot of coffee here but that yeast gives this a bit of a odd twist. Sweet syruppy flavors, chocolate, vanilla, very fresh. This would be a lot better in a year to get those complexities out in this beer, but at this point, its too syruppy and sweet.
05 vintage - year and half old. Thick dark black in color, looking very oily like with a brown espresso like head. The lacing "clumps up" in certain spots on my glass leaving a many legged unicorn that seems to be screaming with its mouth open and on my fianceís glass a lochness like monster. (i guess they donít call it dark lord for nothing). Great aroma coffee, chocolate, fruit underneath, and alcohol. Thick mouthfeel thatís smooth and creamy, delicious as it rolls along the tongue. Coffee dominates the flavor, slightly overpowering at this point actually. With the coffee comes chocolate, molasses, licorice, vanilla, fruit, phenols, and more alcohol. Finishes with a bitter bakerís chocolate flavor. The flavors follow quite a transition in my mouth and i really love every rise and fall of flavor on my tongue.
thanks to drewbeerme for this sample of 06 vintage fresh the day after dark lord day. I drank one glass for well over an hour and the flavors continually opened up with the warming of the beer. Molasses, coffee, roasted malts, a hint of vanilla, beautifully balanced with a surprisingly light flavor of alcohol.
The aroma was a bit lacking, but if you get the chance for a snifter of this hold tight and drink long. 4.8
This rare bottle came to me from BA mentor as a reward for setting up and maintaining the BIF 20 website. The reward certainly far exceeded any effort I put into the site, so I decided to put the 22 oz. bomber away till it was a year old. Now that all my guilt has faded away, and the beer should have mellowed a bit, it is time to get it out.BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - MAY 13, 2006
When pulled out the cellar, the flowing red wax seal looked as impressive as it did the day I got it. Luckily, the wax was soft and easily removed with a pocket knife. The beer poured out dark chocolate brown, and possessed a mocha colored one finger thick head. The body was completely opaque in the tulip. The smell was very roasty and mellow, with coffee being very prominent. Unlike many other brands of Russian Imperial Stouts, this one did not smell burnt at all. There was tinge of toffee and molasses sweetness in the smell, as well as a hint of soy sauce. The taste was quite a bit sweeter than I was anticipating. This sweetness must have come from the molasses Three Floyds put in this beer. The sweetness was supplemented by a little sourness, and chased by an astringent dryness. There was very little perceptible hop bitterness here. The mouthfeel was very thick and chewy, although I did not have the drinking sludge feeling reported by others.
The drinkability suffers in my mind due to the lack of bitterness to balance things out. With a creamy Havarti cheese to cut the sweetness, the beer goes down much more easily.
I liked the beer a lot, although I do think all the hype does this a little injustice. There are better imperial stouts out there that are more readily available, but the laws of supply and demand elevate this one to a more sought out status. After all that hoopla, this still only a beer.
Pours like a crazy tsunami! the tight knit bubbles rose up to meet the syrupy, oily brew. Huge coffee, chocolate and alcohol aroma. Deep chocolate and burnt coffee flavor. ABV is very present and warming. Very good. feedmec00kies (49) - New York, New York, USA - MAY 12, 2006
wow, thatís pretty black. thick, dark brown head. goes down really smooth. aroma is sweet, caramel, raisins, prunes, vanilla. i donít think i can describe all the flavors... bitter chocolate, coffee, vanilla, some fruits.. i donít know. good stuff. puzzl (3258) - New York, New York, USA - MAY 12, 2006
UPDATED: JUL 1, 2007 Finally, some dark lord! 2006 gold wax bottle from JCap. Pours a deep, deep black with the darkest brown head Iíve ever seen. Rich and fluffy. Bittersweet aroma of bloody black molasses, bourbon, marshmellow, white chocolate vanilla fluff. But where this really shines is the taste. Starts off sweet and rich and transitions into a bouquet of chocolate and cream, vanilla and mousse. A nice sweetness underlies all of it yet still finishes rather dry. Flavor sticks in your mouth forever. Frighteningly complex. A truly fantastic beer. 9/5/10/5/4.7
2007 bottle, on June 30th 2007: No direct notes, and drank this in a social situation. This was a fantastic beer, but perhaps not as amazing as I remembered it. Fantastically thick body, almost unbelievably so. Almost no head on the pour, and a ton of yeast and other sediment. Absolutely ruined the side of my glass with muck. Rich and powerful, quite bitter, rich and roasty. Still a monster of a beer, but I wasnít as impressed this time as when I drank the 2006. Perhaps Iím crazy, or perhaps I shouldíve drank it a bit warmer in a non-social place. 9/4/9/5/4.5.