Once a year.  Why, oh, why?

Having gone to the festival, I think I can understand why Dark Lord is only released once a year. If I were one of the brewers, I would love to have something special like this happening only once a year. What an event, what a time! Now that I’ve settled down from the fun of the festival, I think I want to go ahead and review the beer.

Let me start by saying that I went thinking, “I’m determined to get through the hype and really see if this beer is as good as people say.” It is hard to divide the event from the beer, but here is an honest rendering of what I think about the product.

The Pour: Pouring this beer from the bottle is like draining oil from a car. It pours thick, it pours dark, and it pours beautifully. Needless to say, this beer is darker than dark. Blacker than black. There was not much left of the very dark brown head when I poured the beer, but I let that slide…just this once. I knew Dark Lord was thick when I saw it sticking to the side of the glass.

The Nose: There was some alcohol on the nose. I also noted an acidic, almost prune quality. Dark roasted, burnt grain aromas were prevalent, as well as plenty of chocolate, fruit, and some wonderful smokey, juicy, and metallic qualities.

The Taste: Wow! This beer had some serious thickness and mouth-feel to it. It had the consistency of an espresso, and a whole bottle might well serve as a meal. Some of smoke came through while the burnt roasted grain dominated the whole. The acidic juiciness and chocolate qualities were wonderful. We (my wife, Andrea, and brother, Rich) noted raisins and plenty of residual sweetness. Again, some of the acidity and thickness reminded me of espresso (not the flavor). Dark Lord is deceptively smooth for the strength and fullness that it possesses. So very good! If you are able to wrangle a bottle of this beer without risking an arm and a leg, you should do so. Hell! Risk at least one of them.

Overall, it’s an absolutely terrific beer for the dark beer lover. It deserves all the accolades that it receives.

Mike’s Rating:

Overall Satisfaction: ★★★★★ 

Among other Stouts: ★★★★★ 

Among other Ales: ★★★★★