Jonathan3584 (323) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUN 27, 2005
2005 Bomber. Thanks to Oak for an awesome tasting. This guy was involved in a three-way competition at a tasting I went to yesterday. Dark Lord butted heads with Stone RIS and Alesmith Speedway and came out victorious. The pour is opaque obsidian black. I can’t tell if there are any particulates or sediment in my glass at all simply because light can’t penetrate far enough in to reflect off of them. The head is almost as dark as the beer -- a deep sepia with some reverse-flow bubbling. The carbonation pushed the center of the head up so much that the bubbles on the outside appeared to be flowing down. Once the head dissipated (fairly quickly due to alcohol), I could get a better concept of the aroma. It was initially dark, dried fruits -- cherries and raisins -- followed by an espresso smell melded with chocolate and roasted malts. Hop profile is hard to get to, but there’s something earthy going on. There’s a little molasses there, too, but not overpoweringly so. The palate was amazing. It falls somewhere between heavy cream and crude oil. It’s viscous and thick, but not to the point that it sticks around too long after you swallow it. The flavor is immense as well -- tons of roasted malt with a some coffee in the finish. Exceptionally well balanced, maintaining its sweetness through the finish without becoming cloying. Dried fruits are still there, but take on the roasty quality of the malt, unlike in the aroma. Molasses and vanilla are much less notable than in the aroma, giving way to a chocolaty sweetness instead. The finish is amazingly clean for as huge a beer as it is. Simply mind-blowing. BlueDevil0206 (122) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUN 28, 2005
Yep, yet another perfect rating for DL. I’ve tended to be skeptical of the hype that quite a few beers out there have but this one came through completely (unlike Westy 12). OhioDad (2492) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - AUG 15, 2005
Bomber. Poured into a snifter an absolutely opaque black with a massive dark chesnut head. Just looking at the pour you knew the body was going to be incredible. Aroma hit you with the molasses but not unfavorably so. The nose progressed into coffee, chocolate and roasted malt with sweet caramel and toffee lingering around. I got a bit of oakiness out of it though it may be from the vanilla that is used in this beer. Flavor destroys your palate. It had everything going on that was in the aroma, and yet a decent ester profile (cherries and dark dried fruits) managed its way through the massive roasted malt and chocolate and coffee flavor. Hops were minimal in the flavor, but there was definitely adequate hop bitterness to balance this beast. At 13%, I was surprised that the sweetness was fairly moderate, but given all that was going on in this beer, I guess everything was in correct balance. I got no alcohol in this at all though my sample size was small, I’m sure I would have felt it more had I consumed the whole bomber, but in the flavor, none was found. Mouthfeel was perfectly smooth with a complementing amount of carbonation. Full bodied and syrupy, but far from ’sludgy’ as the previous years DL was described. Wow....
Rating #500 - 22oz 2005 bottle - Pours the darkest black I have ever seen. Not one bit of light dares to penetrate this motor oil thick brew. A dark mocha head graces it then drops back to a film that laces the sides of the snifter like a milkshake in layers. Aroma is of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, plums, and a bit of bourbon. Flavor is smoky, almost burnt, coffee, molasses, chocolate and a touch of vanilla, a nice citrus hop finish makes this a delight on the tongue. The mouthfeel is quite heavy and thick. It coats the inside of your mouth like a sticky chocolate milkshake and is oh so smooth to drink. Not one bit of the alcohol can be found except for the warmth at the end of the sip. Absolutely decadent and beautiful. If there ever was a perfect beer this really has to be it.. I don’t know really what to take points away from this for so I’m just going to give it my perfect 5. A masterpiece and very worthy of it’s spot in the ratings!! barleyPops (1142) - Quad-Cities, Illinois, USA - OCT 23, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 28, 2006 My first 5.0 rating on my 50th birthday! What a way to make my debut on the Masters list
Sregnar35 (1032) - Rotterdam, New York, USA - DEC 31, 2005
2005 bottle. wonderful aroma of vanilla, dark fruit, some coffee, chocolate & caramel. the look is very, very black with ruby highlights, especially in the lace as it chases its way down the side of my snifter. upon the first sip or two a noticable hop bite is present, but after the third sip or so, everything smooths out. flavor is big and bold with all of the aforementioned chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel & dark fruit. in addition the hop bitterness and alcohol shows up in the tail end. very enjoyable. would think this would continue to improve over the next couple of years! thanks rich for sending this one to me about 6 months ago.
sampled the 2004 vintage courtesy of hey_kevin at his Year End gathering, thanks Kevin. this one rates a 5+. I don’t care what some of the naysayers have to say about the sludge, this was an incedibly complex and wonderfully smooth drinking experience.
2006 bottle shared with illini08 Christmas day ’06. the 8 months since I picked this up at DL day have been kind to this bottle. deliciously thick and smooth with no hint of alcohol. roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit, licorice and hints of fruity hops in the background. still the best Imperial Stout around!
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2006 I can’t say enough about this ridiculous beer. I drank this beer for the first time on new years eve 05/06, while eating a chocolate fondue. Strong alcohol, coffee, and hoppy aroma. This beer takes a big, fat, thick dump on your tongue, and it doesn’t give up. It’s the thickest beer I’ve ever experieced, but it’s still 13% alcohol, amazing.
RooftopRogue (423) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - JAN 4, 2006
This beer greets you with a hearty aroma consisting of coffee, malt, molasses, hops, dates, and a sweet spice smell that sneaks in from the background. It fills the glass with a thick black liquid that settles under a thick cashew brown head. The taste is a reward. Its strength grabs you and reminds you that this is not for the weak beer drinker. The beer is heavy yet extremely smooth. The rich taste of heavy malt greets the palate then a hearty coffee taste takes over. This beer fades with a healthy bitter nut taste rolling down the throat.
rudolf (2360) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JAN 9, 2006
This is the first beer I’ve given a 5 to. I honestly couldn’t find any room for improvement in this beer. GIANT thanks to Rebecca for sending this to me.
I poured violently to try for a head and was rewarded with a huge one. It wouldn’t go away. That never happens. Head is brown, Seems oily as I pour. This stuff is blacker than a blender full or Andrew Eldritch. Nose is soo beautiful. Rich deeply roasted malt, cherry, some vanilla, maple/powdered sugar, a hint of alcohol, pancakes. Damn. This tastes like heaven in a glass. Cherries, chocolate, bitter hops, coffee, oak, perfect alcohol presence, caramel, toffee, honey. Long long coffee, chocolate finish. Incredible mouthfeel. Wow. magicbill (19) - Indiana, USA - JAN 15, 2006
Had the 04 right after release and again in Dec. of 05. This beer gets better. the first bottle had at least 2 fingers of sediment and the taste was overwhelming. a year later the sediment was minimal (it’s non filtered). The taste smoothed out. The beer pours like a cream sherry and is too much to drink alone. My wife has used it in cooking and it’s intense flavor really comes through. nolankowal (938) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAR 30, 2006
UPDATED: MAR 17, 2009 100th rating, bottle courtesy of alaskaiscold, and this is a orange wax 2005 if I’m not mistaken. I haven’t rated anything on here for about a week in anticipation of this bad boy...time to see if it was worth the wait. Pours absolutely pitch black with a creamy toasty, brown head and I usually don’t comment on the lacing...but this has some pretty damn nice lacing. The aroma is pretty potent...licorice, dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon,smoke, vanilla, dark fruits, and oak...lots of oak. The nose of this beer has a lot going on, almost serving as a warning for those who don’t like huge beers, because that is exactly what it is. The flavor is even bigger with all of these things coming to mind: rasin, dark cherries, bakers chocolate, coffee beans, smoke, bourbon, caramelized sugar, vanilla, oak, and alcohol...a bit sweet a times and bit bit too much alcohol in the finish. This beer is very rich, velvety over the tounge, a bit clumpy at times but nothing that really takes away too much. The finish is very sweet/sour...a slight bitterness after a huge blast of sugary sweet fruit. I will admit that I was expecting something a bit less sweet, but I’m always impressed with beers that are this complex. Also, while the presence of alcohol can be easily found, this stuff is hitting me harder than I would’ve expected...basically tastes like a 9% beer with the power of 13%... I’ll be sure to share my next bottle with friends...good friends that is. After having every bottled vintage, I feel confident this is the best of the bunch. No other stout has matched it’s viscous quality, and when fresh, the hops looming inside add a amazing touch. KingpinIPA (841) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 9, 2006
Pours out like a dark Muddy, syrupy concoction, with a wonderful carmel color head. Excellent lacing. Smell of coffee, bitter-sweet chocolate. My mouth felt creamy, like having eggnog at Christmas. I could taste sweet chocolate, coffee, hints of vanila, raspberry, malt, honey, carmel and smoke flavor. Tons of flavor in every sip. You can taste a hint of alcohol but thats it. This is the #1 imperial stout in my book. My second #5 rating