Dark Lord
George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery

Dark LordDark Lord
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
English Porter
Ranked #265
Ranked #40,655
3.54 | pDev: 10.73%
George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Dark LordDark Lord
Notes: Renamed "Mr. George's Ruby Porter".
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 42
Photo of patre_tim
3.34/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown with a ruby tinge, topped with a chocolate brown head.

Chocolate, toasted malt, very light. Honestly, not much going on.

Chocolate, toasted malt, slight sour quality, almost rust like quality.

Light to medium body, medium low carbonation.

Found in Bangkok, drank in Chiang Mai. Great label on the bottle, looks great, a little lacking in other departments, but overall quite a fair beer.

 404 characters

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%

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.

 389 characters

Photo of Euan91
3.37/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

 278 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
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

 514 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.22/5  rDev -9%
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.

 256 characters

Photo of shambeano
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

A-Pours a cola like very light black, with some reddish tinges to the sides. about a half inch of head that quickly subsides. not too shabby.

S- a little bit savoury, licorice and herbs. some sweeter malts, and some bitterness there to round things out. a little light on the aroma, i feel like im searching for any flavour i get.

T- sweetish malts initially, then a savouryness comes through. Licorice, and molasses, a little bit fruity, plummy and raisins. a touch herbaly to finish, with a slight bitterness at the end. pretty nice.

M- on the lighter side, but with a nice carbonation that prickles the front of the tongue, the slight bitterness hits the back of the mouth, and there is a nice drying finish that makes you want to take another sip. good length too.

O- i really liked this one, not much on the nose, but it looks alright and tastes and feels pretty good.

Note: the label refers to the beer as a dark ruby beer, so i am reviewing it as a dark ale, and not as a porter.

 1,043 characters

Photo of Daredevil
4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
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 ...

 660 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 1,020 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
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

 660 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

 450 characters

Photo of fullsweep
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 mL brown bottle poured into a pint glass.

Presentation: my bottle/label looked different than the one shown. The artwork depicted a medieval knight with a sinister glare.

A: dark ruby ale (similar in colour to Hobgoblin, Thwaite's Dark Mild, etc.)

S: sweet, mildly spicy

T: very good, but not as much flavour as I was hoping for--this was a bit milder than expected

M: again a very solid beer but nothing spectacular in the mouthfeel

O: would definitely like a repeat of this.

 486 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 734 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.4/5  rDev -4%
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.

 606 characters

Photo of Offa
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very nice, lighter but fairly complex, characterful porter. It is a bit subdued but has some nice complexity and depth of character.

Extremely deep red-brown, almost black with small dark tan head shrinking very slowly to a foamy ring and wisps, leaving some weak hints of lace.

Aroma is very nice caramelized prunes and dark bread, leaves, earth, spices, very toasty and fruity.

Taste is light zesty-spicy fruity sweetness and caramelized dried fruit up front, then roasty-spicy-earthy light bitterness and roasted barley. It has hints of licorice and rootbeer. It is nicely balanced, light but firm and lively of body and feel. It's not super complex or rich, and the elements I detect are generally light and a bit subdued, but it is very tasty and has good balance with enough character and complexity to both make it very enjoyable and keep it interesting. It's highly drinkable.

 899 characters

Photo of ProfessorHomer
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

 698 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown almost black with no head

smell: caramel, malts,

taste: toffee, roasted malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth, medium body

drinkability: due to the smooth texture it's easy to drink.


The CpJ

 253 characters

Photo of eric5bellies
4.01/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

 418 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

 693 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 551 characters

Photo of gfreed
2.33/5  rDev -34.2%
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.

 314 characters

Photo of claspada
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 535 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

 714 characters

Photo of Flightoficarus
3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
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)

 1,298 characters

Photo of trevorjn06
3.79/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark caramel/ruby brown color with a very thin head that recedes quickly.

The aroma is roasted malts, dark fruit, earthy hops and some chocolate.

Flavor is rich, dark fruit, chocolate, molasses, roasted flavors and caramel. The finish has some mild hop bitterness and lingering dark fruity flavors as well as mild roastiness. Overall it is a tad thin.

Mouthfeel is medium/thin with medium carbonation.

Overall this is a complex and satisfying porter that is easy drinking but a bit thin for my liking. I would drink this again.

 549 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"Mr. George's is identical to the beer sold in England known as Batemans Dark Lord, but re-named for the U.S. market due to a trademark conflict."


Dark pecan brown that becomes dusky scarlet with fiery orange edges when sunshine is allowed entry. A tidy crown of khaki colored foam rests on top, has a creamy-bubbly texture, and is starting to leave some good looking lace.

The nose is dark brown malty, dark fruity and has a whiff of roasted coffee beans. It's as much brown ale as porter given the way beer is brewed these days. Then again, perhaps this is how the classic English porters smelled.

Dark Lord... er... Mr. George's is a little weak in the knees; again, given current brewing standards (in the U.S. at least) and the proliferation of bigger beer. It has quite a bit of character, though, and is reasonably tasty. Two parts porter to one part brown ale.

Specifics include chocolate wafer cookies, a wee splash of black coffee, sugared nuts and an ale yeast fruitiness that is perhaps the beer's finest feature. It's simple and light and easy to drink... and isn't worth $4.99 for a pint bottle. Then again, try to find English beer priced much lower in this country.

The mouthfeel could use more malt. It's too thin by half (the 'full bodied' comment on the label is laughable) and the bubbles are too sharp. Even though they calm down by the midway point of the bottle, it isn't enough to pull the score up another notch.

Mr. George's Ruby Porter is at least as good as this brewery's XXXB and is better than Combined Harvest. I hope the awards that it has received are for the tap (or cask) version because the bottled beer, while pleasant, is not gold medal worthy.

 1,705 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Dark Lord from George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 42 ratings