Dark Knight | Barley John's Brew Pub

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Dark KnightDark Knight

Brewed by:
Barley John's Brew Pub
Minnesota, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bighuge on 07-17-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 171 |  Reviews: 86
Photo of whartontallboy
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of bbadger
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of baconsausage
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 release
Pours a very dark brown with a minimal amour of tan carbonation. Smells is dripping with bourbon and chocolate. Taste is more of the same, with light carbonation. Smooth with a little dark fruit in the mix. Really good. Thanks liquor barrel!

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Photo of ottovon
4.04/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to phelps for sharing this at the last tasting.

A: pours out of the week old growler thick, dark, and with almost no head. the head that did pop up was brown.

S: tons of bourbon. there is vanilla and some oak. chocolate, molasses, toffee, and hints of smoke and coffee. there is a touch of sweetness, and a bit of soy sauce.

T: lots of bourbon. vanilla and oak. i get chocolate, toffee and it finishes quite bitter. there is a bit of smoke nd some soy. as it warms more dark fruit comes out with some raisin aromas.

M: thick and low carb.

O: this is a good beer. I assume it lost some carb in the growler.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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.

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Photo of Phelps
4.02/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the Barley John’s brewpub inside a 5.5-ounce wine glass. According to our server, this particular batch was aged in Heaven Hill barrels.

Murky, inky and thick like molasses, the beer’s a deep black-brown. There’s zero head, but I didn’t expect much when the server told me this was around 18 percent ABV. A stain from this would never come out.

I can smell the bourbon from a foot away. When I get closer, booze permeates the senses: deep, sweet butterscotch, cocoa nibs, molasses, vanilla, oak. Maybe some prunes, hints of anise and smoke way down below, but this is overpowered by bourbon. As it warms, I do get more cocoa.

Hot Damn! The underlying smoky porter comes through just enough in the flavor, lending bittersweet dark chocolate and hints of smoke to the still-powerful barrels. From those, I get oodles of bourbon, toffee, vanilla extract and molasses. It’s sweet, but there’s just enough bitterness to keep it from being cloying. When it reaches room temperature, I find marshmallow!

The server from earlier must be high — there’s no way this is above 16 percent ABV. I’d be inclined to say it’s under ten, it’s so well-hidden behind the mountains of flavor. The buttery medium-full body is a velvety delight, the carbonation is lightly prickly, and there’s zero harshness at the swallow. So smooth.

Dark Knight just gets better and better as I go through the glass, but there could be more balance and a better show of porter flavors. Tone back the bourbon just a bit and we're in business.

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Photo of seeswo
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2 pours enjoyed at the GTotMW.

Looks dark with a very light dark brown head. The nose is big roast and bourbon, cocoa, chocolate, oak. Yum. Smells really good. The taste is huge, roasty malts, sweet bourbon and maybe just a hint of booze. Really big beer that is somehow only slightly boozy in spite of its obvious size. Impressively put together. Creamy and smooth, lower carbonation. This is a pretty great beer that is unfortunately is a hard one to get. Not perfect, but very enjoyable.

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Photo of jera1350
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 5 oz. piece of stemware. Pure black with a mere trace of bubbles as a ring around the glass. Not really any lacing.

Rich smell of molasses, toffee and bourbon. Sweet and boozy smelling.

The taste packs a big flavor punch. Not a lot of sweetness like I was expecting. Lightly so, with notes of molasses, vanilla and burnt toffee. Oh yeah, there is some bourbon too. Actually, there is a lot of oaky bourbon. A touch hot, but not overwhelmingly so. It's like drinking fresh Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. Like it, Dark Knight would be even better after a couple years of aging.

Very dry with a slick feel. Full bodied for sure.

So glad I got to try this. This is one big brew. After five ounces, I was feeling it. According to the bartender, this could weigh in anywhere from 13% abv and up. I believe it. A very good beer that is worth a try for sure, but not worth the $70 a growler price tag in my opinion. That is unless you can split it up amongst several friends. Believe me, you will need to share this high octane beast.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of corby112
2.64/5  rDev -38.9%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing, Jeff.

A: Pours a super dark brown, almost black, with a thin dark brown film of a head.
S: The bourbon definitely dominates but I can pick out scents of sweet raisins and caramel or molasses along with light oak and vanilla.
T: Bourbon, dark fruits, sweet caramel, molasses and chocolate, with a few hints of vanillay oak and roasted malt.
M: Big full body, super booze and thick mouthfeel, soft carbonation.
O: A powerful bourbon filled sipper that I enjoyed and would have no problem drinking again. Thanks again, Jeff.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.32/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of ncmussell
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried on tap on three occasions. Almost black appearance with a small brown head that dissipates relatively quickly. The smell on this beer is absolutely stunning with sweet bourbon notes. Taste and mouthfeel is silky smooth. Could drink lots of this on a nice winter evening! The alcohol and bourbon flavor are very well integrated into the finished product. I think the porter and bourbon barrel combo work really well together and I haven't seen a better one done than this one.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes to Chris (spycow) for this one! Poured into Bruery tulip.

A - Pours black, minimal head, some bubbles here and there, no lace or retention.

S - Big booze, molasses, dark fruits, burnt sugars. Lots of booze, and at 12%, it's not surprising.

T - Booze, booze, and more alcohol. Dark fruits, oak, slightly sweet/big booze finish.

M - Full body, rich, light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Very hot and needs some more time before really hitting its prime, in terms of taste. It would be nice to age this one for a while, but it's hard to do considering the vessel and how fast it goes. Good, but not outstanding.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of emerge077
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
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!

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Photo of drabmuh
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of TheDudeRules
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This offering is of the 5.5oz variety. Poured exclusively in a small wine glass by the brewery.

Jet black pour with a reddish head. They pour it with very little head to get the maximum amount of beer in the glass. The head was about a 1/4 inch. Big bourbon on the nose. It demands center stage of the smell. Fig and dark fruit with a touch of chocolate are faint but there. Very little carbonation. I was expecting as much. Bourbon in the mouth as well. There is a slight burn but not off putting. This beer is 15% folks, it's bound to be there but the taste is so damn good. I've noticed certain bourbon barrel beers taste like roasted coconut to me. This one does as well. Bourbon, roasted coconut, char, and some bakers chocolate. Heavenly. Glad I finally had this and I hope the people I sent the growlers to enjoy it equally as much.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Poured into a small wine type glass a dark brown/black with a mocha tan collared head. Dark chocolate, oaky, vanilla, and roast all balance out the aroma. Medium mouthfeel, wish it was just a tish heavier. Lots of flavors going on in the flavor. Starts off with a roasty molasses type sweetness wih heavy dark chocolate notes that then transitions to the bourbon barrel flavors along with some leather. Theres no ABV listed but you definitely get some alcohol heat at the end letting you know that this is a big beer. Some dark fruit notes as well as it warms a touch. Worth the price is up for debate but nonetheless this is a solid beer.
Edit: as this warms the aroma gets even more intense and decadent.

Dark Knight Returns: Smoother than the Dark Knight with similar taste profile but the differences is the barrel aging makes a world of difference.

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4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Theduderules sent me a late night message about Dark Knight on tap. Needless to say 10:30 at night we were sitting on the patio drinking this double fermented porter was aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels.

Pleasant hints of Bourbon, Vanilla, Chocolate dominate with some dark fruit. Plenty of coffee on the ending.

It little bit boozy but less than you would expect for 13%. I enjoyed a few pours.5.5oz pour for 7.50 seemed like a bargain to me.

This has to be one of the best porters I have ever tried..The Dark Knight is worth the hype..glad I tried it.

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Photo of morimech
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good bourbon bomb. Served in a small chalice with one finger of head that held on for a little while. Just light sticky lacing is left on the glass. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and alcohol. The effects of the bourbon barrel dominate the aroma and flavor. The flavor consists of bourbon and vanilla. Overall it is quite sweet and hot. The body is not as large as I would of liked with this type of flavor profile. Gentle carbonation and soft texture. This is a beer for bourbon lovers.

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Photo of BOLTZ7555
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with Sparky27...never thought I’d get a chance to try this...THANKS ERIC!!! This one packs a Mike Tyson-like uppercut...will knock you on your ass if you aren’t paying attention!!! Not a sliver of light is able to escape this black-hole colored beer. A diminutive burnt caramel head builds but quickly recedes. Aroma is brown sugar, heavy bourbon, dark fruit, molasses and vanilla. Heavily charred oak, bitter chocolate, and aggressive bourbon flavor. Warms the belly and numbs the mind. A truly great beer.

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Dark Knight from Barley John's Brew Pub
4.32 out of 5 based on 171 ratings.
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