Friday, October 10, 2014

Beer Review: Portuguese Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord (2014 vintage)

Reviewing the Portuguese Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Company out of Munster, Indiana.

Score: 55

Bottle #496/608. From the April 2014 Dark Lord Day release. Served in a orange logo Dark Lord mini snifter and enjoyed on 07/12/14. Thank you Robbie for bringing this bottle to share.

Appearance: Pours a motor oil black color with a wisp of dark khaki head that quickly and completely settles. No lacing or retention, but solid oily legs with a nice browning from the swirl. This beer looks dense, viscous. 4.5/5

Smell: Milk chocolate, brandy, green peppers, prunes and plums. Hint of cherry. Leather too, anise and char. Not my favorite mix of aromas and everything does not integrate the best. Not a fan of how bold the green pepper character is. After this beer sat out for awhile (approximately 2 hours), I felt that the chocolate character in the nose became a bit more prominent while the harshness of the char/anise/green pepper combo softened, resulting in a better integrated, more rounded nose. 3/5

Taste: Milk chocolate, burnt char, licorice, prunes, tobacco and a heavy brandy and bell pepper finish. A kiss of cherry. The finish is lasting, but not pleasant. A kiss of molasses on the back half too. While not as a sweet as say Moscatel Dark Lord, this is a sweet beer. 2/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation. Has a chewy, viscous and sticky mouthfeel a la Double Barrel Hunahpu's. Sweet, but not quite cloying. 4.5/5

Overall: This beer features a plethora of flavors I do not care for (black licorice, bell peppers and a brandy flavor that does not come close to the quality of the 2011 vintage), with poor integration to boot. While I cannot say this is one of the three worst barrel aged Dark Lord variants I have sampled (that honor belongs to Moscatel Dark Lord, Cognac De Muerte Dark Lord and Port Dark Lord), it is subpar beer that is not worth the tick in my opinion. I would not recommend paying $50 for a bottle, let alone trading rare beer or going above dollar-for-dollar in trade to acquire this.

Cost: $50 for a 750 ml bottle.

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