Dark Knight - Barley John's Brew Pub

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Dark Knight
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

82 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 142
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 89
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Barley John's Brew Pub visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bighuge on 07-17-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 82 | Hads: 142
Photo of Sammy
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap at the brewpub. This is a refermented Dark Knight, and uses $250 bourbon bottles' casks. Wine colour, virtually no head. Above-average mouthfeel. Complex bourbon lavours, a bit of oak, a sipper Great aroma from the quality bourbon. Served too cold,so much better as it warmed. (291 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to chewy08rx for getting this growler out my way. Shared at a recent tasting. Served in a tulip.

Pours nearly black with a small mocha head that lasts for a bit. Few legs on the sides of the glass and a spot or two of lacing. Thin collar throughout. The nose is heavy on the malt and bourbon with some good notes of roast and brown sugar. Some vanilla and oak go with the bourbon. Dark fruits in the background. The flavor has a really incredible bourbon presence with some dark fruits backing things up. Nice oak. Roasted malt is nice, and there's a bit of chocolate as well. Moderate sweetness on a full body with a creamy texture. Really solid and well done. It was worth the wait. (697 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.64/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Hand bottle courtesy of Stine: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a small dirty brown foamy head. Aroma of bourbon is quite overpowering with some sweet malt notes also noticeable. Taste is overpowered by bourbon and I had a hard time picking-up other flavour. Body is quite full with alcohol from the barrel really coming out. I was a bit surprised as I was not expecting so much bourbon to come out in such fashion and I am probably not the biggest bourbon fan around. (474 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thank you Anthony for sharing, you're a gentleman and a scholar.
Two plus years in a Heaven Hill barrel.

Obsidian black with a swirling crest of dark mocha foam sliding apart to reveal the glassy surface. In the light, the edges glint mahogany brown where the light passes through.

Rich vanilla and dark chocolate aroma, barrel kissed with some brown sugar and a slight whiff of bourbon heat.

Velvety smooth, silky and dense fudgy chocolate, espresso, and vanilla tones, with transitory notes of hazelnut and almonds. Chewy texture, extremely creamy and palate coating. Confectionary and rich. Barrel elements lend complexity without overshadowing the base porter. Long flavorful finish that dries out with some lingering oak, vanilla, and fudge notes. Very enjoyable, I savored my pour for a good twenty minutes.
Thanks again Tony! (838 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

part of the goodies i brought to gbx last night, i opened this one up with two good buddies. poured into the mikkellar glass i ended up keeping, this was enjoyed on 6/11/2011 for my bday!

the pour was dark, abyss like dark with a light tan head that more coated the glass then rose up off the top of it. an aroma that was to die for. chocolate, rich bourbon notes, vanilla, coffee, wood and oak, this was amazingly complex. as it warms licorice and roasted malts. flavor came through exactly the same, simply amazingly complex with a smooth and subtle presence that was just divine. each sip seemingly opening a door that the last had closed.

overall a massive beer, alcohol is not soo upfront as you can just feel this one ripping you apart. one of the biggest things i have had in a while. (793 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Jeff for sharing this one.

A: The beer pours pitch black in color with a thin layer of tan foam.

S: Just an amazingly smooth aroma. The bourbon provides an excellent sweet vanilla scent and goes quite well with plenty of dark chocolate and roasted malts. Sweet burnt sugar and a bit of molasses.

T: The bourbon and chocolate flavors are just awesome. Fairly sweet, but not cloying. Dark chocolate, molasses, and vanilla give this beer a very intense richness. Just a little bit of dark fruits.

M: Full in body with a smooth, low carbonation.

O: This one lived up to expectations for me. Just an awesome beer. (628 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Growler brought to me from a friend in the Twin Cities.

A - Pitch black, small dark brown head that dissipates quickly. Not much to say here - it looks slightly ominous.

S - Bourbon! Wow - I'm not even sure bourbon tastes this bourbon-y. There's also hints of vanilla, molasses, and oak, especially as it warms up. Reminds me of Bourbon County Stout, but even more intense.

T - Bourbon! Again with the molasses, vanilla, and oak. Strangely enough it's not as boozy as you'd think - but it's very strong in flavor. As someone who really likes this type of flavor I'm inherently bias, but if you don't like bourbon then knock this down quite a bit.

M - Much too watery for a beer that is this rich in flavor. No carbonation, some alcohol burn.

D - Surprisingly drinkable - the 13.5% isn't overly apparent, but it does warm your mouth and throat a little. I've had a few servings and I'm surprisingly willing to keep filling my glass!

For most people the 6oz serving is probably sufficient, but for bourbon-lovers this is a must-try. (1,036 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served in a little snifter, about 5 ounces.
Total blackness, ebony's epitome, with a tiny ring of burnt brown espresso-toned foam foam.
Aroma is incredible, a bold, blatantly alcoholic cornucopia of flavor: dark rum, molasses, carob, plum, fig, a myriad mix, laced with whiskey and maple syrup. A nose I plunged mine into for as long as I could.
Taste: again, incredible. Here, I wish there was a larger serving, or that the growlers weren't so damned expensive, for I needed more time with this rich and ever-unfolding flavors. Thick mouthfeel, bottomless, vast, stretching on and on...same flavors from aroma return on the tongue, dark, twisted, utterly delcious, like chocolate and licorice and a jolt of Jack Daniel's on the side, with bitter bites of espresso tones to match the abysmal texture (in this context, I'm using the good definition), and wickedly sweet nature of the flavor.
Long finish, never-ever-ending.
An amazing beer, one that would start a riot if they put it in bottles! (1,000 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 07/08/11 notes. HUGE thanks to Thorpe429 for saving me a few oz's of this; thanks a lot Mike! Poured into my Foothills taster glass.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with a few bubbles of dark tan head and moderate carbonation still evident. Looks pretty heavy and thick.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, and dark fruits. Heavy bourbon in the nose, which I love. Smells pretty great.

t - Tastes of bourbon, dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and alcohol. Some heat in the taste, which brings it down a bit, but still very good.

m - Thick motor oil like full body and low carbonation. Creamy body and some definite heat, but not too bad considering abv.

o - Overall this is a great barrel aged porter. There is some definite heat to it, but the nose is fantastic. Would certainly love to have this one again some day. (885 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another growler in the growler fest held over at Mike's, seriously...whoa.

Beer is black / dark brown with a nice tan head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Decent retention and a nice level, low ultimately, of carbonation.

The aroma is sweet and fudgy with mild hints of booze and alcohol.

Beer is medium in body and really sweet on the lead off, immediately gives way to the liquor character of the beer. I really liked this beer a lot. Truly incredible. This would have been the star of any other tasting or night except for some of the ridiculous shit we had next to it. I would have this again in a second. (639 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to foofaa for sharing this growler with all of us.
The Dark Knight Returns.

A - Pours pitch black with a nice one finger tall tan head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving spotty streaks of lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Smells of warm bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, molasses, toffee and caramel sweetness, oak and some dark roasted malt. Very well balanced all things considered, a truly lovely nose.

T - Starts off with the warm bourbon quickly giving way to a nice mix of sweetness; mainly chocolate, vanilla, molasses, toffee and caramel; oak and dark roasted malt. Finish is sweet with some dark roast and a mild booze burn, lingering long after the finish. Much like the nose it is really well balanced.

M - Big body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, roasty feel with a nice shot of warming bourbon at the end of each sip.

O - I really loved this one. As some of the other reviews have said it kind of smells and tastes like Bourbon County. It has everything I love in a bourbon barrel stout and yet it remains quite drinkable. I would love to have this one again in the future. (1,113 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011- Heaven Hill Barrel Aged

Pours a light ring of tan head. Color is a dark ruby amber hued brown. It is nearing black.

Aroma: Rich oak and bourbon, dark chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, dried cherries, and a light roast. Reminds me of a boozy BCS. The bourbon shows a lot, but in a pleasant way.

Taste: Huge dark chocolate profile followed by some roasted malts. Then a wave of bourbon hits with some oak and vanilla. It finishes with dark fruits and a coffee roast.

Mouthfeel: Warming, smooth and roasted. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends dry and roasted with a bit of heat. As it warms the bourbon shows even more.

Overall, a really nice beer. The barrels show nicely. I can see some people being overwhelmed by the bourbon and the abv, but I really enjoyed it. The bourbon flavors are delicious. It is very drinkable, but I am trying hard to make my small glass last. (900 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to FooFaa for bringing this growler to our gathering. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears black in color with a brown head sitting atop. Some spotty lace sticks to the glassware.

The aroma is toasted coconut mixed with a perfume-like amount of sticky sweet smelling vanilla. A bit of toasty oak barrel and alcohol emerge as it warms. Plenty of chocolate roasted grain inclusion to keep things interesting.

The taste is bitter coffee and chocolate grain flavoring. A rich fruity alcohol aspect blends midpalate before finishing with the previously described perfume vanilla and toasty coconut aspects. The overall flavor profile of this beer is like 5% beer and 95% barrel aging character.

Lighter to medium bodied with a smooth light level of carbonation. As preiously stated, this beer is pretty darn good with nothing bad or off about it (except for the unreasonably high price in my opinion.) My only gripe is that this beer's character is totally dominated by the barrel presence and doesnt leave much room for the beer's base to come through. If the opportunity presented itself i would certainly drink this again but not at $70+ a growler. (1,163 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer appears nearly black, with a small, mocha colored head that hangs out for a bit, leaving random traces of lacing on the glass. The aroma is fantastic, with delectable bourbon, oak, roast, and chocolate. The beer is so smooth and well balanced. Hints of brown sugar with a healthy malt, bourbon, and roast presence. Delicious! The beer is medium to full bodied and creamy. Silky smooth on the palate, with alcohol hidden extremely well. Carbonation is light, but present. Overall, an outstanding beer. Highly recommended.

***
Had several pours of a growler shared by Brad. Again, fantastic stuff. Would love to have this again. (679 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006, 13.5%

I had the fortune of trying this the day after drinking Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout which provided a nice comparison for another bourbon barrel-aged beer. The Dark Knight is heavier on the booze with the alcohol present in the aroma and flavor while bourbon dominates the flavors. In the taste, a little cocoa and coffee back up the liquor, but I think the BCS is much more balanced by comparison. This is still a great beer and a wonderful sipper, but I'd recommend The Dark Knight Returns, which has a great deal less bourbon, over the original. (576 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL wide mouth mason jar poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Medium khaki head. Thin collar. Leggy.

Smell - Sharp whiskey aroma. Wood. Roasted malt. Smells a little like rye whiskey. I take that back. I get a lot more corn from the whiskey now.

Taste - Great whiskey flavor up front. Roasted malt up front. Pushes towards fudge and chocolate. Nice dark chocolate flavor in the back end.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Kinda boozy.

Overall - This has a great whiskey flavor. The grain character of the whiskey actually comes through really nicely. (577 characters)

Photo of corby112
2.64/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Growler generously shared by ygtbsm. Thanks again Brad!

Pours a viscous dark brown that appears almost pitch black in the glass with a one finger mocha head that settles into a thin ring.  Spotty lacing left behind but this beer has amazing legs.  

Sweet boozy aroma with lots of dark malt, sweet bourbon, earthy oak, chocolate, toffee and oatmeal.  The malt aromas are evident but are overpowered by the strong bourbon character.  

Viscous body with lots of boozy heat and bourbon flavor.  Way too hot with lots of burning alcohol that overpowers the other flavors and tons of warmth/burning in the finish.  Underneath the strong barrel/spirit presence there is some chocolate, toffee and toast.  Way too much bourbon and alcohol sweetness resulting in a one dimensional beer that isn't very interesting.  Thick and viscous mouthfeel helps things a bit but there is no depth or complexity. (901 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to hopdog for sharing this luscious nectar...
Appears a dark brown bordering black with a light tan head that quickly dissipates. Very mild spots of tan lace slip back into the collar.
Smell...OMFG. Cocoa, caramel, plums, black grapes, vanilla, light oak, & traces of bourbon that has been cooked in a rich, chocolate reduction.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas. Lots of vanilla, cocoa, plums...I wonder if this is coming from the bourbon barrel, or if they used the Westmalle yeast strain at some point of the fermentation. Either way, it's absolutely wonderful and a pleasure to drink.
Mouthfeel is viscous, very full bodied, along with an alcohol, boozy burn that is outweighed by the delicious flavors and stickiness of this concoction. (756 characters)

Photo of KAF
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Barley Johns and again at the Autumn Brew Review. Very dark/black in pour. Overpowering bourbon and oakish aroma with some dark fruit as well. Slightly sweet prune or molasses with a heavy bourbon overtone and the alcohol is noticable. (256 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/27/2011

Growler shared by Ross at Woodshop Classix. Thanks for the long time want.

A: Black and viscous with a fast fading head.

S: Fudge with huge vanilla and brown sugar notes. Bourbon is powerful and excellent. A moderate roasted malt presence accompanies oak and molasses.

T: Rich dark chocolate with oak and bourbon. Molasses is evident and there's a lot of booze. Malt is moderately roasted and there's some cocoa.

M: Full in body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky and chewy.

Overall: A bit boozy in the flavor, but still excellent stuff. I don't understand why this is so expensive. (620 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Dark Knight is an Imperial Porter aged in Bourbon Barrels.

The Dark Knight is indeed dark.....as in Midnight Black. A luscious brown head adorns the top of this beer and has great retention. The lacing damn near coats the entire glass as I drink. Aroma is winey, oaky and bourbon-like. Some roasted malts come through as well on the nose. For being 12% a/v, this beer is really not that alcoholic tasting. The bourbon barrel character really comes through nicely on the palate. This beer has some port-like characteristics. It's fairly sweet, but the sweetness blends nicely with the alcohol spiciness and the bourbon qualities. There's a nice stinging bitterness that sticks around long after the swallow. Probably stemming fom the alcohol and roasted malts. Damn fine brew here.

It'd be nice if you could get more than 7-8 ounces for $5.25. Or get 7-8 ounces for less $$. A bit spendy indeed. (904 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Riddle me this! Thanks to spycow for hooking this up.

A - Dark as knight, er night. Black beer with a little tan head that didn't leave much on the sides. Quite opaque.

S - Lots of chocolate, little dark fruit, some roasted and slightly charred malts. The barrel aging comes through nicely, with oak, vanilla, mellow bourbon. Good stuff.

T - Lots of chocolate, roast, bourbon, oak, vanilla. Not really sure what more you could ask for. Booze and roast are a little stronger than I would have thought for 12%, actually thought this was a stout with higher ABV.

M - Full bodied, lower carbonation. This beer is really thick and almost chewey at times.

O - Good beer, it was a bit much at times, and can really only do it in small doses, but I liked it and as far as imperial BA porters, this is about as good as it gets. (824 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged in a bourbon barrel and double fermented - Yum!

Color is a solid black with some brownish highlights around the bottom. Small tannish head fades super fast and leaves very thin sheets of lace.

Smell is like a chocolate-chocolate chip cookie soaked in cough sryup. It has a good strong sense of alcohol, with a really nice woody/earthy deep dark chocolate, with complex notes of molasess, black licorice, dried smokey plums, raisin, vanilla, and fresh wild flowery notes. Its what I would imagine a chocolate factory in an open wet forest would smell like with one nostril while the other nostril is under a cup of Nyquil. I could smell this all day. Quite an intoxicating aroma, no pun intended.

Taste is complex, rich, and invigorating with a ton of deep dark chocolate, some molasses, fruity-like alcohol with a dark earthy quick bite of woodyness finding some hold about midway finishing with more complexing woody earth features of sweet malty tang and bitterness with notes of flowery spice like that of dulled mustard or ginger. Wow! The bourbon barrel worked its wonders on this brew. Fantastic! Very port-like in its character. Packs a big punch in flavor and alcohol, you can tell the alcohol is there but is mildly mellow and lends the feel to be smoother then you would think. Very rich, nearly full overall in mouthfeel with a welcoming smoothness that makes this dark knight a deadly easy drinkin' Porter. Super Yum! (1,444 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this at a festival, two different times, & just didn't quite get it. Third time's a charm? Mini five ounce pour of a 2010 keg evidently found in the basement corner of Barley John's.

Pour is surprisingly lively, with a nice dark-colored afro. Nose is barrel-heavy with huge malt sweetness & chocolate. Not bad.

Dark Knight's taste is a step down, just like most of the movies. The primary component seems to be raw lighter fluid, which I always get from this brew. Behind the Zippo is sugar soaked black fruits, hard vanilla, & enough booze to kill a small Clydesdale. Oh, & bourbon, did I mention the bourbon? Like taking shots of Jim Beam with a bit of porter mixed in. Five ounces? Yes, that's enough, thanks.

First & second impression confirmed. This is a pretty good beer, but really nothing special in my mouth. Glad I got that one nailed down. (862 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tar black with ripples of brown on top.
Nose of burnt hazelnuts and oak, completing a molten fudge caramel brownie.
Begins sweet, with dark raisin and plum notes, then it turns forcefully chocolately. Traces of liquorice and maple syrup, and a nod towards roastedness. Vanilla creeps in, preludes the rich bourbon finale, with toasted oak, caramelly hazelnut booze sweetness everywhere.
Robust of feel and thickness, this is a fabulous rendition.

Rosie who? (465 characters)

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Dark Knight from Barley John's Brew Pub
94 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.