I saw some activity in this thread and remembered I had a bottle of The Emperor thats been in the fridge for a few weeks, heres a fully mature review! It is MUCH better than the last time I tried it. This beer should age pretty nicely.
Appearance: Black, very very black. Thin dark tan head that sticks around and after a while settles down to a crown. Jostling of the glass during drinking seems to kick up a little more carbonation.
Aroma: Huge and complex yet approachable. Bittersweet dark chocolate, molasses, some dried fig/date and raw bready aromas, some roastiness and maybe a touch of sherry-like nice oxidization.
Flavor: Big, enticing, bold, very smooth. Again a fine bittersweet dark chocolate becomes a good comparison. A little initial almost chocolatey sweetness up front before almost coffee-like roastiness, some molasses sweetness and mead-like fermented honey characters (2lbs of honey), some dark malts and bitterness as it finishes. The flavors are huge you have to take a few sips before getting a real handle on how many things are going on here.
Mouthfeel: Ultra rich and intense, but surprisingly not super thick due to the 80% attenuation and because of this it doesn't tire on the mouth. Oily, coats the mouth and lingers for a while. It engages the mouth and takes it for a ride. Since this is a sipping beer I feel it is quite good.
Overall: This is one mother of a beer and definitely a sipper. The alcohol is well hidden but the warming in the chest is noticable. It barely avoids being too big and too sweet and doesn't come down harsh.
I'm really enjoying this beer now, I'll have to have some buddies over and we can crack open a Dark Lord and Emperor bottle and do some comparisons.