Like the changing of the leaves or snow runoff from the hills, my self-flagellation occurs every year after Dark Lord Day, as consistent as the 3pm stroll by Immanuel Kant. While it make seem like I am intentionally throwing myself on the pyre and complaining about the chafing flames, I legitimately WANT these Dark Lord treatments to be good.
The whole experience is akin to seeing a trailer for a new Transformers movie, suspecting it will be completely shitty, but deep down HOPING it will defy your expectations. Sauternes barrel aged Dark Lord is liquid synthetic CGI that is inorganic and repugnant to the senses and body alike.
GFCI outlets are the new toaster.
I realize that part of this disappointment is my own fault. We all saw the list of potential bottles and guffawed like an 18th century barrister. We all knew that Dark Lord would be sticky sweet and underattenuated, as is tradition. We all knew that putting it in a cloyingly sucrose dessert wine barrel wouldn’t IMPROVE the base beer, but I had no idea of the Lovecraftian depths that this cyclopean flavor hell could represent.
At the outset, the beer doesn’t pour out so much as it trudges, with a recalcitrant undulation into the glass. This beer doesn’t want to be a part of this either. It knows what it is and you are complicit for opening Trump and Pump in the first place. The carb is minimal and the lackluster presentation gurgles with hesitant fervor. The blackness is like killing a Heartless in Kingdom Hearts, but then going DOWN ten levels as a result. I don’t know if disappointment is a valid option when expectations are more tapered than Pharrell’s pants. Like a government employee, it showed up, and that’s about all you can honestly expect at this point.
The nose is actually the best part of this beer, and it is the selective 3 photo spread that makes you swipe right, only to find the possessive borderline personality within. The sticky taffy and burnt confectioner’s sugar is present, but at higher temps there is this legitimately lovely port meets ice wine sort of waft to the sweetness of the tannins mingling without compulsion. It reminds me of the “not bone dry” versions of Gewurztraminers, in that is has a sickly white/green grape waft that somehow provides a prosecco/moscatal charm to it. This is almost specifically geared towards the THOT/thirsty ratchet in the club, as the abv is masked entirely and even seventh graders would blanche at the overriding glucose character.
I can do all things through the Lord who is my strength, the taste though, fuck. I once put a Tootsie roll in the microwave when I was younger and my dad should have spanked my ass stopsign red because it would let me know that this is a dangerous potation with which to tangle. The heft of this beer has no comparable analogue, even Double Black felt more nimble than this tank class. However, unlike a tank spec, this beer cannot take or deal much damage simply because you get fatigued easily and early on by the waves of ever sweetening madness enveloping ever flavor zone. Your bitter taste buds readily accept the c6H1206 refugees but soon are overcome by melted grape fruit roll ups, Bimbo pastelas, and a haunting chocolate syrup that overwhelms your taste infrastructure. This pushes the limits in a way that betrays your humanity, it is a liquid snuff film, and the experience takes more away from you than you entered with.
The coating exceeds Robitussin in scope. I don’t mean that in the way that a level 1 Cicerone lauds praise for new intense flavor profiles, I mean that it expands like mocha gelatin and seems to violate the law of conservation of matter: IT IS CREATING MORE DARK LORD IN YOUR MOUTH. If you spread Welch’s jelly across a Hershey bar and then endeavored to consume it entirely, you will know the framework that this beer presents. Even in moderation, this blow any attempts at asceticism well outside the scope of the Aristotelian “Dark Lord Mean.”
I pushed my tongue forward through these chocolatey North Vietcong jungles of dessert wine nightmares. I knew this struggle would be unwinnable, that the opposition in that hateful 750ml outmatched both my liver and pancreas. With the fiercest of valor, I made it through 55% of the bottle and it took almost 90 minutes. I have suffered through the Battle of Biggleswade and sustained heavy losses at the Moscatal Conflict, but this outflanked me in every way. It wasn’t as off-putting in brute strength, but it was more of a violation because I felt like I could TRUST it more thoroughly. It had the cajoling caress of an abusive licorice lover, and every painful sip was my own shortcomings realized in the inky flavor.
I don’t like to reach for top shelf hyperbole merely to whip up exaggerations, a spinning stout bowtie, I demonstrate some prowess for imagery and we all maliciously high five: that is not my intent. This beer is Dark Souls III difficult to finish, let alone reach a checkpoint. It would be a vast understatement to classify it as a drainpour, because the inherent value is in the “test your might” sort of carnival game for your palate that this presents. The sickening sweet wine profile is like dripping black novelty hammer you swing in front of a wholly disinterested Floyd carnie. They care not for your rebukes or calls of cheating, you paid to ride this hateful ride. Every year patrons line up to dip cotton candy into brownie batter and act surprised when it doesn’t present some ambrosial treat.
In sum, I am to blame. The beer is unquestionably bad but I am a co-conspirator, an enabling felon through engagement. To what extent should I myself be the object of derision for these constant assaults? Three Floyds are well aware of what they are doing, I simply cannot determine if my tastebuds are the setup or the sick sweet punchline.