hopscotch (11161) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 13, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 3, 2016 (2007 re-rate)herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - DEC 13, 2002
Bottle... This beer still rocks!... Pitch black, high viscosity pour creates little fanfare... small, quickly diminishing, rust-colored head. The aroma is an intoxicating swirl of burnt caramel, tobacco, dried plum, chocolate, oozing molasses, distilled ethanol, charcoal and tawny port. The chocolaty flavor is black cherry and molasses-sweet with overtones of burnt, singed hop and alcohol bitterness. Undertones of tobacco and charcoal. Nothing subtle about this monster! Ultra-mega full-bodied with the consistency of SAE 40 weight motor oil (after 12,000 miles of hard driving with no air filter) and restrained, but ticklish, carbonation. So many breweries have tried to copy this impy stout; some come close, but no one matches it ... and I’ve tried a lot of imperial stouts (132 and counting). I drank my first plastic cup of Dark Lord in an ice-cold brewery in Munster, IN back in December of 2002, a couple years before the stuff was bottled for the first time. I chased it with a cup of a new IIPA named Dreadnaught... and my world was forever changed... for the better. Thanks goes out to headbanger for seeing to it that I was able to try the ’07 release only four days after DLD ’07! Best bottled version of DL I’ve tasted to date! Drinking a glass of Dark Lord has always been more than just drinking a glass of beer. It’s always an experience.
Re-rate = 4.8
Draft... This beer rocks!... Everything an Imperial Stout should be. Pours as dense and black as used motor oil. Black as midnight during a new moon. No... blacker than that. Ridiculously huge, creamy, light brown head. Incredible lacing.
The aroma is of chocolate, alcohol, coffee, black strap molasses and all other things DARK! The flavor is rich and malty-sweet up front. Notes of molasses, dark chocolate and espresso. Very well-hopped on the backside. Very Victory Storm King-like, only much more dense. To describe this glass of beer as full-bodied wouldn’t do it justice. It has the body of Anna Nicole Smith... no, Kate Smith! Syrupy mouthfeel. Lively carbonation. These bubbles have to be on steroids to work their way up through the murk! Long, bittersweet, heavy, yet slightly dry finish. My 8 oz. cup of this treasure must have weighed five pounds. I didn’t know whether to curl it or drink it. So, I did both. I hammer-curled it up to my mouth for each delightful sip. My buddy, who has a very high tolerance for Coors Light was drunk after 1/3 of his cup. THIS BLACK HOLE OF A BEER IS DEFINITELY THE CENTER OF ALL GRAVITATIONAL PULL! World class effort!
Original Score = 4.7
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2004 Update 10/9/04. Sampling from the bottled version as opposed to the draft bottled version hopsrus sent. The sludge that is the last 1/3 of this bottle completely detracts from this beer. If you pour any in your glass you will get an almost gritty mouthfeel. Not pleasant and I hope they take care of this in future bottlings. Docking points in appearance and palate accordingly. Pitch black pour with a head the color of rich dark cocoa. Nose is creamy if a smell can be creamy? Full of sweet and bitter notes. The body of this is unbelievable. Smooth and supple, has to be tried to understand. Flavor is ... I give up this beer is a 5 all the way. I dont give 5's but this beer is a 5. It is by far the most complex and satisfying beer I have ever had. The flavors are vanilla sweetness balanced by a dark chocolate bitterness. A perfect yin and yang give and take going on all over your tongue.Westy was great but this is better.Many many thanks to hopsrus for this brew.I owe you big for this one. fraternie (1011) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 13, 2002
UPDATED: MAY 1, 2003 I am stunned by the complexity and perfection of this beer. I'm not sure that it's better than Westy 12 or 8, but it is damn close for sure. Flavor is deep, dark chocolate. Slight roasted flavor, very little fruit but possibly a hint of wine and berries. The most impressive feature of this beer is its incredibly smooth and soft mouthfeel not only in the finish but especially in the nose. Literally moved up 2 points on my scale as it warmed, it just keeps getting more and more complex and drinkable as well. Moderate hops in the finish. ABV is covered as perfectly as WWS, and the mouthfeel is much softer. I give this the edge. Near perfection. Jake Barnes (456) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 13, 2002
Wow! Incredible. Dark as night. No head. Huge aroma of wine, figs, plums, berries, and coffee. The mouthfeel is unreally smooth. No hint of the huge abv. The flavor of wine, figs, berries, coffee, roasted grains, and candied dark fruits becomes more complex as you drink. I would give westy 12 a slight edge but i think this is hands down the best beer in America. MartinT (9932) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 13, 2002
UPDATED: JUN 19, 2016 (First version, hand-bottled from the tap in 2002):
JCW (1278) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 8, 2002
Amaretto-filled chocolate truffles, aniseed, berries roam within this sumptuous Imperial Stout’s hefty mouthfeel, while black pepper and resinous subtleties emerge from sagacious hops, only to be engulfed by huge caramel, maple syrup-like sweetness...4.8...
(Bottled 2005 version):
Agressive roastiness thrives in the portly body, but bigger bubbles diminish the viscosity. Still, one of the thickest beers out there, but simply not as huge as the tap version I had, or the 2004 bottle, imho. Green, citrusy hops are also more obvious in this young monster, blending perfectly with the roasty bitterness. Still an excellent imperial stout, but not the spectacularly balanced and refined behemoth that the 2 previous tastings had proven. 4.1/5
(Bottled versions from 2009 on):
Abrasive alcohol burns the heavy molasses, while deep cherry fruitiness surrounds resinous hops. 65% cocoa sweetness attempts to link it all, but this is still quite brash. Very flavorful, but nowhere near refined yet. How many years is it going to take? 3.7...
UPDATED: OCT 29, 2004 Re-rate 2004-I didn’t care for this years batch. The balance between the sweetness and the hops that I liked so much wasn’t there anymore. The colors was a brown and not a black. Much more coffee flavors than I remembered. A shear dissappointment.
One of finest beers I’ve had. Thick, malty sweet. Reading the reviews of the RB’ers I was drinking with Racegoer,Jaymobrown and marinaro500 and I agree with what they’re saying. After I’ve tried all the beers that I can try, I might rerate this a 5, but for now I don’t rate 5’s. Rating then: 4.9 Racegoer (354) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - DEC 7, 2002
Insanely Thick, poured to me by Floydicus himself, deep dark,& rich, malty, absolutley outstanding. We did a side by side by side with WWS 18% & 23%, Dark Lord blew them away, complex, flavours of chocolate, coffee, malt, superb hops. This is a world class beer ! Highly Recommended jaymobrown (1845) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 7, 2002
" I don’t think I’ll ever have a beer this thick again." Extreme thickness, well masked alcohol, coffee, chocoate, beautiful. A perfect ten. JoeM500 (1908) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - DEC 7, 2002
UPDATED: OCT 27, 2004 A brew worthy of a 4.9. Deep chocolatey goodness. Thick & sweet with a head that will last until March 25th!!!! Really cool abv of about 13 percent or so. Absolutely nothing offensive or too strong. We had it alongside a DFHWWS18% and 23% and it beat their taste and quality. Anyone can drink this Imperial stout without being overwhelmed. This is just perfect.. Perfect. Perfect. npdempse (934) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - NOV 12, 2002
The only thing that keeps me from giving this a perfect score is that it’s just a little overwhelming. Seriously, it takes me at least an hour to work through a 10 oz. snifter of this amazing beer. The Floyds have completely out-done themselves this time. This stuff is loaded with unfermented malt--it’s sweet, sticky, gooey--pours from the tap like molasses. But it still has all the amazing character of a beer that’s been aging for years. Some strong vinous notes, some black cherries, some motor oil...A kick of hops to keep it from overwhelming with its coffee/toffee sweetness. This is a beer worth hunting down. Let’s just hope the Floyds keep brewing it.