StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 4, 2008
Intricate design of a barely translucent and chocolaty black array. A darkened cocoa smudge resides on top. Aroma is divine elaboration. Chocolate oats and sweetly charred rye flakes. Milk chocolate covered mocha beans settled with an embalming Godiva liquor. Cocoa nibs on cocoa powdered biscotti, lightly dipped in a caramelized whiskey sauce. Good things are on their way. Flavor buds blissfully with vibrant rye and just the right hint of acidity. The cocoa complexity comes through with a dry talc and soot like feel combining at once with the delicatessen milk chocolate squares. Flaked rye intermingles with bourbon and a whiskey and rye accented crème brulee. You can feel the palate break like the caramelized crust layer on top. Like dessert, like mouthfeel. It’s a joyous, full bodied occasion. Bockyhorsey (2628) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - MAR 2, 2008
Bottle courtesy of my mother in law. Mild sweet roast, oatmeal, and chocolate. Black body with tan head. Flavor is a good dose of chocolate and vanilla creamy texture to body. Some dry coco chalk on palate but creamy vanilla aftertaste balances that out. argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - MAR 2, 2008
(12oz bottle, thanks kmweaver) medium tan head atop brown-black body. Aroma is medium sweet, roast, some Bourbon, caramel, milk chocolate. Taste is medium sweet, milk chocolate, caramel, some Bourbon, roast. Fairly smooth medium body. CheesedMan (555) - Saint Cloud, Florida, USA - MAR 2, 2008
Pours a deep, burnt brown. Aroma is roast dominant, with dark fruits, dates, ginger, cardomom, toffee. The barrel component is well integrated and works well. The flavor is very roasted, with the coffee notes really leading the charge. BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - MAR 1, 2008
Bottle and served in my Stone IRS snifter: Very deep brown with reddish highlights topped by a big frothy tan head and left very good lace upon the glassware. The aroma is surprisingly weaker than expected with notes of chocolate, walnut, vanilla, rye, cookie dough, fig and coffee. The taste is a very well balanced sweet malt, light fleshy fruit, and rye bread. Some oak and whiskey appear but are more complementary than in-your-face. Nice Cafe Mocha flavor and star anise flavors on the finish. The mouth feel is medium-bodied and lush (for a porter even more so) with a slight dry aftertaste. Really enjoyed this as the barrel aging works well with the flavor profile IMO. Try some for yourself.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - MAR 1, 2008
12oz bottle, courtesy of Ughsmash (and Stine). Thanks, guys! Pours a very dark brown color; medium tan head with patchy, fine-bubbled lacing. Solid amounts of rye, dark chocolate, and cocoa in the aroma; nothing overly complex; plenty of cocoa. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: cocoa, warming rye, and dark bitter chocolate upfront; not a huge barrel presence overall: lots of roasted malts, cocoa, and bitter chocolate, but not a lot of rye whiskey coming through; average carbonation; some warmth coming in mid-palate. Lengthy, rye whiskey and roasted malts and dark chocolate; a bit chalky and dry. ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - MAR 1, 2008
Dark brown body with a tiny tan head, fading. The nose is brown sugar, toffee, dark chocolate and dark fruits. The flavor is moderately sweet, lightly bitter with toffee, brown sugar, molasses, figs,chocolate and rye. Medium/full body is soft with light carbonation. Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - FEB 29, 2008
Bottle pours black with ruby highlights seen with back lighting. There is not much in the way of a head, unless I swirl the brew around my tulip - then it is a beautiful milk chocolate head that reduced to surface haze and ring around the edge. The aroma is whiskey, vanilla, molasses, and roast. The flavor has a lot going on. There is solid malt undertone that floats all the other flavors above in a smooth and solid progression of chocolate like sweetness, nuttiness, hints of light coffee, very reserved dried dark fruits, very mellow yeast impression, and some lingering roast. The palate is slick and rich - awesome. Yes, I think we have ourselves at least a 4.0 here. Pretty fine. heemer77 (5358) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - FEB 28, 2008
UPDATED: JUL 9, 2009 Thanks for a bottle, Mark. I have also tried this a few times. The body is black with hints of ruby and the edge. There is a light tan head on top. The aroma ha some nice dark chocolate and coffee notes. There is also a little bit of the rye whiskey. The taste has some rich notes of espresso along with subtle rye and Tootsie Rolls. The body is amazingly smooth and this has a slick mouthfeel. The finish is like good tobacco with some campfire. Very well made and I think more brewers need to take the hint of blending barrel aged beer with a straight version of the beer to keep it from being dominated by the barrel aging. YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - FEB 26, 2008
Hell of a long name for a beer but a good beer it is. Dark brown with a foamy beige head. Aroma was dark choclate, caramel, vanilla, wood, whiskey, and roasted coffee. The flavor evidenced the rye whiskey but not so overwhelming that the other elements of chocolate and coffee and caramel weren’t tasted. Good beer. We Dirty Old Men have to stick together.