Dark Lord - George Bateman and Son Ltd. / Batemans Brewery

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Dark LordDark Lord

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41 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 41
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 10.76%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
George Bateman and Son Ltd. / Batemans Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 11-19-2003

Renamed "Mr. George's Ruby Porter".
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Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 32
Reviews by froghop:
Photo of froghop
2.72/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours a dark brown with a red tint, a thin khaki head that dissipates quickly, and with almost no lacing.

smell is faint, slight amount of cocoa, and some malt.

taste is on the watery side, sour malt, cocoa, cola-ish, and some sweetness in the back, ends slightly dry.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Jan 2012. Named after 'Black Tom', a figure from the English civil war.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A very dark ruby hue with medium carbonation. Appears black unless held to the light. Forms a decent head of light-brown foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding. Aroma of sweet, fruity malt with notes of dried fruit, christmas pudding, plum jam, caramel, brown sugar and a whiff of alcohol.

Tastes of sweet, dark malt with a mild dry finish. Notes of dried fruit, plums, brown sugar, caramel malt, grain and yeast. A hint of stewed hops in the background, but no bitterness. Solventy flavour upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and lightly tingly, with some astringency. Aftertaste of sweet, fruity malt.

A nice dark ale. Not convinced this is a porter - it's more of a mild (the label describes it as a dark ruby beer). No bitterness or roasted malt character. At any rate, it's smooth and has a well-balanced fruity flavour. Very drinkable, and well worth sampling.

Photo of mick_cooper
3.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cola coloured, bit flat. Nice, interesting taste but a little watery

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.22/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown with a small head.
Nose shows caramel, toffee, diacetyl and soft roasted malt.
Similar flavours, more roasted presence but still showing some caramel and diacetyl. A bit plain in terms of roasted character.
Could use less carbonation.

Photo of AEK
3.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle poured into a Young's branded pint pot.

A. A deep brown, almost black beer with a light brown bubbly head that remained longer than any other bottled beer's head I have ever had previously.

S. Roasted malt, coffee notes, fruity notes and perhaps a very faint touch of smokiness.

T. Roasted malt, espreso coffee flavours with a touch of underlying liquorice. A nice hoppy bitter finish.

M. Medium, slightly carbonated.

D. An easy drinking beer that goes down smoothly.

Photo of largadeer
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into a nonic. Pours a clear dark brown, nothing particularly ruby looking about it. The head is thin and quickly settles to a collar.

Decent nose of English yeast and toasted and roasted malt. Dark fruit, mild diacetyl and mineral, slightly vinous.

Tastes pretty good, alebit a bit boring. Fruity, vinous, quite a bit of raisin flavor above a mildly roasty malt base. Medium bodied, rather dry on the tongue. Carob comes out toward the finish, with a mild earthy hop bite and a lingering note of licorice. This is pretty good, but nothing special. The XXXB from this brewery is quite a bit better.

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 500ml bottle, best before Feb 2008, drank March 2007.

Poured into a Gordon's Finest Gold Thistle glass (twice).

A very dark ruby red, deep mahogany wood coloured body with a good light brown foaming head, very impressive, pity the head dispersed so quickly.

The aroma has a plum pudding and spicey scent to it, burnt malts and coffee too.

Wintery flavours of spices and dried fruits for a Christmas cake, but without the sweetness, burnt caramel also in the mix.

All the mentioned flavours in the taste are also within the aftertaste and mouthfeel, it is a tad watery for a 5.0% beer, but that is my only negative comment on this beer.

Very, very drinkable, a fine strong dark mild, one I will have again and again.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.01/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Bombardier conic pint glass

A - Pours a Porter like appearance of very dark Brown almost Ebony colour with a tanned head that stays around.

S - Sweet dark fruits and bread,

T - Nice roasted flavours come through with caramel and dark fruits and coffee also present.

M - Medium to full body and low carbonation and very smooth.

D - I like this brew a lot and if offers a pretty solid beer experience.

Photo of ProfessorHomer
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown. Smallish head, some lacing.

S - Coffee grounds, bittersweet chocolate. Was expecting more.

T - I concur with one of the existing reviews -tastes like a brown ale with some port wine. Some bitter coffee/chocolate notes (but not enough). Was expecting more.

M - Medium, mildly carbonated. Eh.

D - This is a porter? An English porter? Really?

Overall, this was a one-time experience. Being a "porter guy" this was rather disapointing, especially since Bateman's XXXB was so outstanding. When it some to choosing a porter - don't choose this one. I got my bottle for $2.49 "on clearance", so what can one truly expect? Waaay better to pay the $3.99 for a Sam Smith's Taddy Porter.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep mahogany black cola color. Decent sized beige-ivory, foamy head. Disappears fast and leaves very minimal lacing.

S - Sweet caramel and chocolate malt with a bit of dark sugar. The next whiff is full of spiced dark fruit (good amount of plum and grape).

T - Good amount of roasted and chocolate malt with a hint of caramel. Good amount of tea and herbal flavors. Some dark fruitiness (plum, dark cherry, and raisin) as well as a bit of citrus (mostly orange but there was a slight hint of grapefruit). Fair amount of spice (cinnamon and nutmeg). Has a bit of a tangy flavor overall, but has a slight spiced and sweetness.

M - Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth and slightly watery.

D - Pretty drinkable. Smooth and easy to drink. Somewhat tangy, spiced, and sweet. A little watery.

Notes: Kind of a light. Not a bad beer, somewhat like a light porter with a fruity tanginess. Probably not all that memorable of a beer but decent tasting beer.

Photo of claspada
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is roasted malts, dark fruit, earthy hops and some chocolate. Nothing too inviting or exciting.

Flavor is rich, dark fruit, chocolate, some slight molasses, roasted malts and caramel sweetness. The finish has some mild hop bitterness and lingering dark fruity flavors as well as mild roastiness. Mouthfeel is medium to thin with medium carbonation.

Overall this is nothing that is going to blow you away in flavor or originality. It is a good beer but at the inflated price point there is no reason to invest in my opinion.

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not a porter
Midway, I must say between Ruby ale and a special bitter

A good solid bottled beer bitter tasting elements alongside rich red fruits

It's a good looking drink as well almost maroon in colour with a decent enough head and appealing aromas

it sits nicely in the mouthfeel dept. not at all flimsy but certainly not heavy going

Not world class but not all that far off (say if they did a bottle conditioned version the cask must be a marvel though) certainly way above average this is on of Bateman's

Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ruby mahogany color where a minimal amount of light will pass in front of bulb. Beige head with a blend of large and tight bubbles. Recedes quickly. Leaves spotty lace.

Rich smell of overcooked caramel--sweet with a tinge of burnt sugar.

Seems closer to a dark English pale ale than a porter. Features the "round" flavor of the British ales. Lots of brown sugar with a good dollop of hop in the finish. I like the taste, but wouldn't describe it as a porter. Despite the sugar level the body is quite thin; the carbonation is good. The aftertaste is hoppy bitterness but fades too soon.

I'm torn: For me, this is a decent beer, one I would enjoy greatly in an English Pub. That said, it falls short of the profile I was expecting.

Photo of Keitherduder
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring it from the bottle into a 20oz imperial pint glass I noticed right away that there was little to no head. I mean, there was some but it fizzed out quickly like I was pouring Pepsi. I have to say it's hard to get a smell off of it - this may be because all I'm getting is the scent of the cleaning solution I used to clean the glass - but what I've got is a malty smell, nothing too powerful. My first sip is nowhere near what I expected but then I remembered I'm dealing with the British here. I think you'll agree the British tend to make much more mild beers than us yanks! With that in mind they also say it's a 'Ruby' Porter. What the hell do they mean by 'Ruby'? Is that something to do with the color? It does have more of a deep red color when held up to the light. Also the taste has more sweetness than your typical porter being brewed these days. Porters these days are so vast; you can never really say a porter is supposed to be 'this way' or 'that way' because of how the beer style came about - the blending of old ales with brown ales and mild ales back in the 1700's. So if I try and imagine myself as a industrial worker sipping on this beer after a long shift in London back in the 1700's I'd have to say this is probably exactly what I would have been drinking. Little carbonation, low bitterness, metallic (tin) tang on the tip of the tongue, with a fruity (some sort of berry flavor) taste down the back as you swallow. The only thing that lingers on the after taste is the sweetness. It's a heavy sugar that's almost sticky. I bet this beer was brewed with deeply caramelized grains (Crystal 120, I bet) rather than heavy roasted grain. The bottle says it was brewed with Challenger and Golding hops. I never would have guessed because they don't come through at all. Challenger hops are usually high in alpha acid units (most popularly used in Fullers ESB) which leads me to believe they didn't use much of these at all. The Golding hops - there are a few different types of Golding hops, most popular, Styrian Golding and East Kent Golding: Styrian Golding probably wasn't used in this English Porter ...it had to be East Kent. East Kent is grown in Kent England and has very low alpha acid units but produces a very citric taste - maybe that's where the berry flavor I can't put my finger on is coming from.

Photo of hefevice
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured dark brown with a small but dense and creamy light tan head which did not stick around for long. Aroma is first sweet malt (sweeter than expected) finishing with the typical roasted malt that would be expected in a dark beer. Slight metalic note also detectable. The sweet malt is evident initially in the taste, which finishes dry and mildly bitter with the expected roasted coffee/dark chocolate notes. Some estery banana tones that weren't evident in the aroma can also be feintly detected. Carbonation is at a very low level giving a medium mouthfeel. A smooth easy drinking dark beer.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark with foamy white head but not clear ruby in light and the head leaves few trailers. Nose is burnt toast, red currant jam, a bit of tar, citrus oil and bark.
Roasted nutty malts with some molasses and sarsaparilla root, a sour lactic hit, then orange rind hops with a woody bite.
Kola nut finish and a dry leave. Light to medium and quite fizzy.

It may be renamed because of 3F, but it still sells as Dark Lord in the UK, so that's where I'm reviewing it.

Is this a porter or a strong dark mild? Flavors are in the right place for porter, but too light and lively for that. Don't mean to be a style fascist, but an indecisive hybrid for me.

*from notes

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.6/5  rDev +2%

This is not a porter.

A: Black body with a small off-white head.
S: Cake and marzipan.
T: Dry initially, too dry in fact, but there’s a lovely cakey flavour in the finish. Needs a caramel backbone. Too insipid. Actually there is some liquorice in there, but there's no malty caramel backbone to bring out all these qualities.
O: Some nice tones here and there but needs a pair of balls.

Photo of gfreed
2.33/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

As UK porters go, this one is as weakly mediocre as they come. Some fruity rust in the nose; a thin and watery body; repressed roasted malt and flabby citrus are the hallmarks here. The fizz is nice, but it can't carry the weighty sadness that permeates this beer. Perhaps something was lost in the shipping. Sigh.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: Very dark, brown and solid. Light head quickly fizzles out. Holding the beer up to the light elicts a faint ruby glow, but nothing unusually spectacular.

S: Smooth malts and definite notes of dark fruit.

T: A robust flavour dominated by fruit, mostly plum or berry, but with a slightly sour-bitter twist reminiscent of citrus peel. The endtaste is unexpectedly bitter -- not strongly so -- but quite the contrast from the main taste. Dry, roasted malt carries the flavour out. Overall, very nice.

M: Light feel, heavy flavour. Carbonation is understated. Pleasant.

D: I enjoyed this beer more than I expected, but it's not something I would probably buy again.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with a slight head that leaves a little lacing.

Some coffee and nuts in the nose. The toasted malt reminds me of brown bread toast.

Light flavors here. Some bready edges, some toasted malt notes, a little nuttiness, more coffee than fruit here, pleasant bitterness, decent finish. A middle of the road porter. It's ok.

Medium bodied, fair carbonation.

Unremarkable, but much better than the thrashing this is receiving in this forum. Missing some traditional elements, but that which works actually works quite well. About $5/bottle, and a bit steep for the quality of this brew. I'd never refuse this but it was a real "food washer" beer for me. I won't seek this again.

Photo of Euan91
3.37/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

An ok ruby beer. Smells good, looks fine although small head. One issue is it seems very carbonated; leads to an underlying aftertaste similar to that of fizzy water. Doesn't leave a lasting impression. Wouldn't buy again but perhaps worth trying. Still quite an enjoyable beer.

Photo of drabmuh
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, 2.50 GBP, poured into a Gordon Biersch Imperial Pint glass. This is the OTHER Dark Lord.

Beer is dark ruby and clear with a thin tan head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation low.

Aroma is caramel and thin, smells nice though, mild yeastiness.

Beer is thin but flavorful, not a whole lot on the end but there is a lot of caramel in the palate, full of flavor in the front half. Minimal carbonation on the palate and the finish is good overall. I enjoyed it, it was super easy drinking and didn't get me loaded.

Photo of Daredevil
4.33/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

not sure why this is classified as 'retired', I just happened to buy a bottle, which looked pretty much 'active' ... the design of the label seems to have changed though

this is an almost impervious black liquid with a very small head (maybe however the drink was just too cold when poured) .... the smell is very malty, with some sweet liquorice notes ...
the taste is very complex, liquorice again, with anisette and lime notes, very full and very dry ...

not an easy brew and not something I would like to drink everyday, but the elegance of the (quite paradox, I must admit) balance between bitter dryness, sweetness and citric acidity is astonishing ...

Photo of Flightoficarus
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes: This beer is known as Dark Lord, but is sold under this name for the U.S. Market.

Serving type - Bottle into Snifter

A - Pours a deep, dark ruby-brown. Has minimal off-white head, and leaves thin lacing around the glass.

S - Smell is of nuts, roasted espresso, dark chocolate, and dark fruits (I detect very light raisin and cherry). Overall, the smell is rather subtle, and no particular element really stands out.

T - Taste was not quite as strong as expected. Sort of like a brown ale meets porter. A slightly bitter, nutty taste up front w/light roasted coffee notes. Hints of dark fruit peek in mid-way, and the end finishes with a slightly citric taste from the hops. Nothing is particularly overpowering, but the citric aftertaste seems a bit out of place here IMHO.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, and very smooth, with minimal carbonation. Pretty straightforward for the style, and nothing over the top.

D - This is an ok porter, one is enough.

Overall - An ok porter. If you're a big fan of porters, as I am, you might like this one. But personally, I think there are much better English Porters out there, such as Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter, or Fullers London Porter. Not bad, just not something I'd seek out again w/so many great porters out there (English or otherwise)

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown with lots of reddish hues. The light brown head is rahter small and soapy. Rich lacings, though.

D: Sweet light roasted malt with lots of dark dried fruits. Dark bread. Some coffee.

T: Sweet malt, light roasted. A crisp dry bitterness is present. Dark dried fruits and lots of coffee and chocolate.

M: Aftertaste is long and bitter. Body is full and carbonation mild. Smooth!

O: A rather nice Mild, with a nice dryness to it.

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Dark Lord from George Bateman and Son Ltd. / Batemans Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.