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In honor of Three Floyd’s Dark Lord Day taking place in Munster, I decided to host a 2008-2011 vertical tasting of Dark Lord last year. I thought it would be interesting to see if the flavors have evolved through the years. It so happens that the flavors varied from each year we tasted. This notion confirmed that the DL recipes do change year after year. Another notable is that the XV Anniversary Baller Stout all of a sudden sweet and off compared to when I first tried it which was somewhat disheartening for me even though everybody seemed to really enjoy that beer. I believe I may have one more bottle in my cellar and if so, I definitely plan to try that one out later this year or early next. Without further ado, here are some high level notes for each Dark Lord vintage, all of which received straight As from me:
Dark Lord 2011 (yellow wax): Pours black and beautiful dark brown one-finger head. Nice lacing throughout. Aromas of oak, vanilla, sugar, molasses, and dark fruit. Flavors dominated by coffee, molasses, caramel, and brown sugar. Smooth and sticky mouthfeel.
Dark Lord 2010 (green wax): Pours black than Dark Lord himself along with a thinner head that dissipates rather too quickly. Aromas is more subdued from the ’11 DL. Woody. More complex and bold in the flavors. More molasses and brown sugar. Medium bodied.
Dark Lord 2009 (white wax): Pours black oil along with a thin head. Aromas of some vanilla and molasses. Taste of brown sugar, sweet, no coffee detected in the flavor. Thin mouth feel and late carbonation.
Dark Lord 2008 (black wax): Pours black like motor oil. Aromas of wood and molasses. Bold taste, coffee-like, and powder chocolate. Thin mouthfeel.
Of the bunch, I enjoyed the 2010 and 2011 versions the best. Flavors seem to improve over the years, but again, it seems to me the recipes might be inconsistent or perhaps 3F did it on purpose? After the XV Anniversary Baller Stout which we had after the DL beers, we continued on with a delicious Behemoth Barley Wine and the Alpha Klaus Porter. Overall, a really nice Dark Lord bottle share event!