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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

614 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 614
Reviews: 176
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 1,738
Gots: 90 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 04-29-2006

Dark Lord aged in bourbon barrels for one year. Recently has used a blend of barrels from Heaven Hill, but has also been Woodford Reserve and others in the past

Formerly known as Oak Aged Dark Lord.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 614 | Reviews: 176
Photo of justingreenwood
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had a few of these at the Dark Lord event on Saturday. Pretty fantastic beer - very sweet and heavy on the bourbon. In general, I believe that 3-Floyds is over-hyped because of their awesome marketing and limited production/distribution, but I think this one has earned it's grade.

Photo of rlee1390
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very thick. Sweet maple and chocolate flavors, some soy sauce sneaks in. Nice bourbon characteristics to round it out.

Photo of BucketBoy
4.2/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012. Heavy booze, sweet Dark Lord balanced by some nice roast in both the nose and the flavor. Vanilla, marshmallow, some oak in the taste. Probably the best part of this beer is the near motor oil mouthfeel. Very enjoyable! Thanks, Frank.

Photo of zac16125
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle into a snifter
Vintage 2012
#68/688

650th BA rating, 630th BA review, and #96 out of the top 100 that I began ticking away at a few years ago. Only 4 more to go!

A big thanks to rjjhoffman for sending this long time want over in a trade.

A: Opaque black with some browning on the edges and 1 fingers width of mocha colored head. Head dissipates down quickly and leaves essentially no lacing, but some alcohol legs. 4.25

S: Lots of sweetness, lots of booze, and big barrel notes. Chocolate fudge, fusel ethanol, subtle dark fruits. Barrel notes include a fairly big bourbon charred oak, and a peat like character. Lots going on, and very nice. A bit too boozy perhaps. 4.5

T: Huge sweetness, particularly upfront. Its a sugary, syrup sweetness, which would be a bit much, but it fades quickly and nicely into some absolutely wonderful flavors or charred oak, roasted malt and chocolate. Tons of bourbon barrel notes, which complement the otherwise cloying sweetness of regular Dark Lord. Some boozy ethanol to round out for palate profile. Its simply fantastic. 4.75

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation very low which is appropriate, its smooth but is a bit syrupy, ABV is noticeable but its not hot. Drinkability is good, all things considered. 4.5

O: Overall, this is a great beer. I can confidently say that I’ve never had a beer which was so significantly improved by barrel aging. I am not a big fan of regular Dark Lord, but the Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord is wonderful. Definitely worth seeking out. Looking forward to someday landing a BVDL for comparison. Merry Christmas! 4.75

Photo of timc100
4.15/5  rDev -9%

373/420

Pours very dark brown near black oil, very minimal heavily burnt over-roasted head. Oily consistency in the glass.

Smooth sweet aroma of port, umami-soy sauce, vanilla, dark chocolate, sweet oak, dark fruits and a touch of bourbon. Tastes follows the nose well - a lot of port, umami, dark fruit and chocolate. Very nice sweet vanilla and booze on the finish. Very vanilla forwards as it warms.

Beast of a beer, drinks like a port - kind of strange liquor. Do not pick up on nearly as much bourbon as I anticipated and hoped for, but it still works well. I anticipated this being much richer in espresso and dark chocolate considering the 2011 is the base. The PVW was significantly better

Photo of Sandbarunner
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

2012 was good.

2013 tasted like soy sauce!

Photo of barnzy78
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2012, 15% ABV. Thanks to my friend, Matt, for cracking this open for us!
L- opaque black with a tan head
S - very rich with dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, boozy bourbon, toffee, toasted grain, vanilla, oak
T - wickedly sweet with bourbon, booze, toffee, caramel, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, roasted barley; definitely a sipper, but hard to get down because it is so overly sweet
F - full bodied, creamy, finishes with a lingering sweetness
O - love being able to try this extreme rarity. It delivers in a big way with its bold, complex flavors, but it's way too sweet.

Photo of Stevedore
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle of the 2012 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Lord, bottle number 75/688. Thanks Adam for trading me this delicious beer. Poured into a Three Floyds teku glass today, 3/22/2014 as part of our celebratory whale tasting that's celebrating success and prolonged friendships. Cheers guys!

No better beer to meet the milestone of beer #800 and review #500!

App- Pitch black body, similar to the base Dark Lord, minimal half-finger mocha head with very good retention, not much lacing.

Smell- Holy moly! Lots of sweet brown sugar, vanilla (from the barrel), port sweetness, milk chocolate, charred malts, roast body, even a bit of coffee. This is a beautiful smelling, very complex nose that is about 90% of what Murda'd Out smells like. So decadent smelling. It's almost as good smelling as BVDL, though I really enjoyed the even more marshmallow bourbon-forward nature of BVDL.

Flavour- Falls a little bit short of the nose, very very diabeetus sweet like the base Dark Lord, yet complemented with a nice sweet bourbon flavour, some strong oak vanilla (which comes about a quarter of the way to replicating BVDL's vanilla bomb), charred malts, brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits. This is a very complex beer here, and you have to take your time drinking this to savor all the nuances of this beer. Basically, this is a Dark Lord beer with a nice barrel vanilla contribution with a splash of bourbon. This was very good, but I expected more bourbon presence.

Mouthfeel- Thick bodied, creamy, just the right carbonation, so sweet yet so drinkable. I could have domed this beer. Zero ABV heat.

Overall- Very enjoyable tasting experience. A lot of complexity despite its sugary sweetness. I do think the bourbon would have been more present had this been drank at a younger age. As with the contrasting experiences between '12 and '13 BVDL, it's clear that any bourbon-barrel aged Dark Lord beers should be drank fresher. Regardless, I really enjoyed this beer!

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.26/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 134/420? from '12 in to a Goose Island Glass

A- Dark brown. Lacing is sticky. When I bob the glass left and right, the lacing sticks. Good retention.

S- Bourbon, dark fruit/fig, molasses, light woody oak hint in the back. I am getting soy sauce in this too. ha

T- This has more of the base beer character than the vanilla. Very sweet, almost comes off as rum because of the sweet base beer. I know that people say that the ba DL's shed their sweet DL characteristics. I am not getting that much here. I enjoyed vanilla a lot more. I am getting a lot of that sweet soy characteristic.

M- This is the shining part of this beer for me. Not the category that I want my Bourbon DL to shine, but it is what it is. Nice and chewy. Viscous

O- I was a bit disappointed with this variant. I have only had vanilla, but I am excited to try the other variants.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured pitch black with a very nice dark brown head. I was hooked once I caught the bourbon aromatics escaping the bottle upon opening it up. The nose picked up cococa, roast, chocolate, vanilla, light coffee, faint cherries, molasses and, of course, bourbon. The flavors refected the same attributes that the aroma picked up in addition to some brown sugar. This was incredibly smooth and dangerously easy-drinking. Full-bodied mouthfeel and the finishe was a smooth roast bitter. What a treat!

Photo of spicelab
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 656/688. Massive thanks to mulder1010 for sharing. Reviewed from notes.

Dark chocolate, short of jet black, with a modest dark tan head that abates quickly to a resilient collar.

Decent amounts of burnt toast, tarry volatile barrel notes, woody liquorice, vanilla and coconut. Doesn't hint at what's to come.

Unabashedly decadent. Choc-caramel slice, big-time vanilla fudge, chocolate mud cake. Dessert in a glass.

Thick and viscous but super smooth. Zero, repeat zero hint of booze. Unreal.

Utterly transformative barrel-aged treatment of a base beer that I ordinarily don't care for at all. The barrel reins in and smoothes out the sickly excesses of regular Dark Lord brilliantly.

Photo of kevanb
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, 2012 vintage with red wax, poured into a Three Floyds Mini Snifter.

The beer pours like thick motor oil, deep black in color, hues of cola brown with a thick khaki head that sticks around for a brief moment and leaves no lace or film behind. The aroma is of wonderful barrel presence, soft and subtle bourbon, chocolate, rich, sweet grain, soft char and some potent astringency from the alcohol. The flavors are superb, lots of soft bitter chocolate, bourbon, charred oak and vanilla, nice marshmallow hints with dark grain and dark pitted stone fruit at the finish. The body is remarkably smooth, rich and coats the mouth well. It finishes with a lovely creamy touch and a nice warming sensation as it goes down.

Verdict: A really spectacular take on Dark Lord. This beer is sweet, very sweet but still remarkably balanced and extremely complex. This was by far my favorite Dark Lord variant of the 2012 or 2013 sets and one of the more exemplary takes on the barrel aged stouts.

Photo of heygeebee
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An atypical review....

At a tasting hosted by Mulder1010 who kindly provided this I was totally unaware of what this beer was in my glass. Not wearing my glasses, and evening room light, meant it was a blind taste.

However, quite simply one of the most flavoursome and complex beers (the barrel effect was amazing) it has been my pleasure to drink. I did guess it had to be highly rated, and thought 'Top 10' but I was not quite expecting it to be where it was tho, on the 'other' beer site...

World Class, and then some....

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.21/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, bourbon, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and vanilla flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty and woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some nice barrel aged aromas and flavors.

Photo of Jeffo
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a few people we were able to put together the entire vertical and almost all the BA variants. Lots of fun gents!

From a 750 into a snifter
2012 vintage
Bottle 197 of 685

APPEARANCE: Just like all the rest of them. Pours relatively clear for an imperial stout. Produces a small, one finger medium-looking head that quickly fades to a wisp and ring. Black body in the glass with some carbonation evident. Only a ring remains until the end and leaves no real lacing down the glass. A little too light a pour and an average head at best.

SMELL: Pretty bold nose of bourbon barrel, oak and caramel notes. Some sweet cream and light vanilla from the barrel as well. Hints of molasses and dark chocolate from the base Dark Lord as well, but this is more about the bourbon barrel, thankfully enough. Pretty nice actually. Impressed.

TASTE: A bit hot up front perhaps, but the bourbon barrel, oak, vanilla and sweet cream from the barrel is very enjoyable. A big and persistent finish of sweet molasses, caramel, a hint of dark chocolate and some bitter coffee from the 2011 base beer, as well as lots of bourbon and oak flavors from the barrel as well. Lots of barrel flavors, meshing well with the normally overly sweet Dark Lord base beer. These two players compliment each other surprisingly well.

PALATE: Slightly lighter than the base beer, but still big enough. Just like the other DL variants as well. Medium body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes rather sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn and some heat lingers.

OVERALL: This was the first BA DL we drank, so it basically just went downhill from here. Surprsingly enjoyable and well balanced, this is more proof that Dark Lord is better in the right barrels. I'd go as far as suggesting FFF just bourbon barrel age the whole batch and charge $40 a bottle. Much better use of Dark Lord. This was the second place finisher for me, just behind the PvW version and ahead of the Cognac variant. Lots of good barrel flavors that mellow the overly sweet base beer, but also allow the enjoyable parts of Dark Lord to play a role. Good stuff. Cheers for the fun day gents!

Photo of Auracom
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2 oz. of the 2011 Bourbon variant on-tap at DLD on April 27th, 2013. Thanks to Wes for giving us his second glass, otherwise we'd have missed out entirely.

A - Basically identical to the regular version. Perhaps a tad more of that rich oil coating.

S - Plentiful bourbon whiskey melding over raisins, fudge, batter, pencil shavings, and sherry.

T - Dense oak that's been super-saturated with bourbon (albeit slightly generic). Deep cocoa, honey graham cracker, molasses, prune, and massive raisin.

M - Medium-heavy body, carbonation low enough to not be immediately detectable, dry finish.

D - Few base beers change as much in a barrel as Dark Lord. I certainly appreciate the transportation and would never decline a taste.

Photo of beerhan
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage served on draft at 2013 dark lord day.

A - Jet black just like the standard dark lord. Thin brown lacing after a faint cocoa head.

S - Bourbon up front of course with lots of dark fruit, figs, milk chocolate, caramel, sugar

T - What you smell is what you get. An intense whiskey bomb that is very mellow. Lots of chocolate and dark fruit but not as pronounced as in the regular version. Less sweet and more woody for lack of better words. The barrel character really shines through and highlights the base beer.

M - No carbonation really but that is to be expected. Almost a little too sweet to the point where it hurts to drink. Alcohol is there but it goes down smooth enough that you can't feel it right away.

O - Absoulteley delicious and more well rounded than most bourbon barrel stouts. I am not sure if the bottle cost is worth it but this is a nice beer and that is what counts.

Photo of s1ckboy
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 Bottle with about 10 months of age on it. Bottle # 532/688

A - Black Body, very thin brown head.

S - Bourbon, oak, vanilla, raisin, plum, brown sugar.

T - Bourbon, oak, lots of vanilla, tons of dark fruits, hint of coffee, very sweet finish.

M - Very thick, syrupy. Little carbonation.

Fantastic beer. Very reminiscent of Black Tuesday, both really boozy & sweet, though this is more balanced.

Photo of stouts4me
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Popped this total badboy at 1 of my retirement parties, and shared it with 8 friends and family;the taste floored everyone.

Aroma was strong, but "typical Dark Lord ".

Appearance very black with just a tip of dark tan around the edge, not too much foam, drops away fast.

mouthfeel is VERY typically Dark Lord, sweet, thick, deliciously so.

Taste - OMG - so frickin' good, wow ! we also had Rare, Choco Rain and others, this stood way taller than the rest, totally my favorite right now. Sweet, coats your mouth with delicious vanilla, cherry and bourbon flavors, not at all hot after sitting for almost a year.

If I can trade for more, I won't think twice about trading away most anything for more of this monsterously flavorful beast.

Photo of baggio
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once again thanks to BA Dsgolovin for hooking me up with this rare brew.

Apperance: Dark, dark, brown with a light brown head.

Aroma: Bourbon, Chocolate, Alcohol, Syrup.

Taste: Bourbon, Soy, Chocolate, Syrup, Coffee and a hint of alcohol.

Palate: Quite drinkable albeit being on the sweet side. Plenty of carbonation.

This was so much better than the normal Dark Lord. It didn't feel as cloying and sweet. Would love to try this again with some age on it.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord 2012

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.
2012 Vintage (Red Wax, Red Skull)
Bottle: 355/688

Pours as thick as mud. With some dark dark abyss like hues. There is a nice 1 inch tan colored head that neatly forms with some great dense bubbles; nice and creamy looking. The head recedes very slowly. (5.0)

Aroma starts off with intense sweetness. Wow. Molasses and toffee. Dark fruit notes of prunes and some raisins as well. Very sweet nose. Bourbon and boozy heat are noticed in the nose as well as some nice slight honey and vanilla sweetness notes. I can’t state it enough. Very sweet. (4.5)

Taste follows the nose. Starts off with some intense sugary, caramel and molasses notes. Very sweet yet delicious. There is some slight chocolate sweetness as well but then is overtaken buy the caramel and molasses again. Wow. There is some woody notes in there with hints of vanilla and some honey. The Bourbon barrel shines adding some intense booze notes as well as some woody notes. However, these notes are not harsh. Dangerously smooth with the 15% not very noticeable. Mouthfeel is nice and thick and silky at the same time. As the beer warm some of the boozy heat is perceived a bit more. Great brew. (4.5)(5.0)

Overall this is a gem. I know a lot of people find it overrated but this version of Dark Lord is pretty good. It has great sweetness and heavy thick rich molasses notes. Very well done. (4.5)

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle 15.0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass
2012 Vintage
Bottle Number: 393/688

I am not sure I can thank futura123 enough for sending this my way, I never thought I would get the chance to try the bourbon version of one of my favorite beers!

Appearance: As with the regular Dark Lord, the barrel aged version pours out thick and viscous. The beer appears pitch black in the glass, but a back light reveals some deep red along the edges. A rough pour yields a small, creamy, tan coloured head that, as expected, fizzes away pretty quickly. A swirl coats the glass in a thick yellow tinted film, that fades into heavy alcohol legs.

Smell: Good lord, as with the regular DL, the nose here is absolutely sublime! If you don’t like sweet beers, I think this is one to avoid! The initial nose offers copious amounts of sweet toffee, chocolate fudge, salted caramel, caramelized (nearly burned) brown sugar, bourbon and sweet vanilla. Further contemplation and warming yields: Liquorice, a little coffee, dark fruits (cherries and raisins), oak and molasses.

Taste: As the nose promised, this is one of the most delicious beers in all of beerdom, I have a feeling that my glass is going to disappear far quicker than it should! Flavour notes include: Sweet toffee, chocolate, caramel, fudge, butterscotch, bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramelized sugar, dark fruits, molasses and liquorice. There is a touch of the 15% noted in the finish, but I couldn’t bring myself to dock a point for this as the rest of the flavour is just that good!

Mouthfeel: Perfect, absolutely perfect! The body is thick, chewy and quite sticky, with a medium level (usually too high for my tastes, but it works so well in this case) of insanely smooth carbonation.

Overall: Bourbon Dark Lord is one of the few beers that far exceeds any and all hype surrounding it - this is easily one of the best beers I have ever had had! I would absolutely kill for a shot at the vanilla bean version!

Photo of jegross2
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the 2012 Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Company out of Munster, Indiana. This is bottle number 4 out of 420. We consumed this bottle as part of a Dark Lord (and Behemoth) vertical to celebrate the then-impending, now-official marriage of my friend Scott Nicholas. Thanks again for bringing the bottle Scott, and congratulations!
Score: 99

2012 vintage bottle served in a stemmed wine-style glass and enjoyed on 09/19/12.

Appearance: Pours an ink black color with a thin layer of beige head that settles to a ring around the glass. Poor lacing, but excellent cling and retention with what little lacing there is. 4/5

Smell: Smooth bourbon, milk chocolate, oak, dark chocolate and a surprising amount vanilla (though there is less vanilla than the Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord). Brown sugar and dark fruit too. There is the faintest hint of coffee in the nose. Huge doses of chocolate and smooth bourbon are present in the aroma. A slight roastiness and more oak comes out as the beer warms up. The aroma is bold and perfectly balanced. 5/5

Taste: Brown sugar, sweet bourbon and light vanilla. The sweetness is nowhere near the level of the base beer, which greatly lends to its drinkability. This tastes a lot like the Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord, but with less vanilla character -- shocking, right? The Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord seemed sweeter than this variant as well, though I would not characterize either variant as remotely being "too sweet." Molasses and raisin flavor too. No coffee. Like the nose, the flavor is bold and balanced. There is a light alcohol warming effect on the palate in the finish, as might be expected from a 15% ABV beer, but this beer is far from boozy. To the contrary, it is smooth and easy to drink. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Viscous and full-bodied with minimal carbonation. The beer is sweet, slightly sticky and creamy on the palate. 5/5

Overall: This beer's only real flaw is it's cost. As with all barrel aged Dark Lord variants, this beer cost $50 retail and was only obtainable at retail pricing by having a winning scratch off lotto ticket that each person got after buying a ticket to Dark Lord Day (and even then, you had to claim one of the four variants before they ran out). Those who struck out on the Dark Lord Day lotto would have to pay an even higher premium via trade or otherwise, as this beer sold for $300+ on eBay before eBay halted alcohol sales earlier this year. This beer is substantially less sweet than the base beer, but it's still a sweet (just not "overly sweet") brew.

Recommendation: This is one of those few highly hyped, hard-to-get, extra-premium priced beers that absolutely delivers, but there are plenty of comparable beers out there that cost half as much (or less). This is one to seek out and try for the purpose of ticking, but I recommend trying to acquire one with a group of friends to share to ease the cost.

Pairings: Drink this decadent beer as it's own digestif. It's heavy enough to suffice.

Cost: $50 for a 750 ml bottle.

Photo of xnicknj
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

REVIEW # 999

2012 750mL bottle poured into taster - thanks Pat. Opened alongside DL 10-12 and Brandy Vanilla DL 11 as part of our holiday StoutFest tasting.

Pours a viscous blackness with a thin crop of darkly tanned, brownie colored head. Dissolves swiftly into a collar of film with a few spots of lacing on the glass while drinking.

Absolutely explosive nose filled with thunderous bourbon character. Warm and boozy layered with syrupy sweetness, chocolate, smooth vanilla and charred oak. Leathery and slightly smoky with a hint of dark fruit and roasted dark malts. Intense, complex and intoxicating - even before sipping.

Aggressive, yet delicious bourbon character right up front on the tongue, driven by boozy heat and sticky, syrupy sweetness. Rich vanilla and oak with light touches of dark fruit and raisin. Chocolate dark malt with warming roastiness. Having this alongside the base beer, this isn't remotely the same - the barrel aging completely elevates Dark Lord to a new level and somehow seems to temper the near-sickening cloying sweetness. Finishes rich, sweet and boozy with a chocolately note.

Fullest of the full bodies, heavy on the tongue, sticky and chewy on the tongue. While the 2011 Brandy Vanilla Dark Lord stole the show, this was a completely awe-inspiring beer. As I come to the realization that I really don't enjoy Dark Lord all that much, the barrel aged variations are some of the finest stouts I've ever had. I honestly had a hard time believing they were the same beer.

Photo of spointon
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this one at the 20th anniversary party of the Map Room in Chicago. Served on tap, I received about a 10oz pour into a short hourglass shaped glass.

A= Poured opaque and sporting a 1/4" rich brown head. Once the glass was full this ale looked as black as motor oil. Once it was almost gone and the light got into it I could start to see traces of ruby and amber. By the way, I took the last sip and put the glass down and was amused to see that a lot of liquid still clung to the sides.

S= Huge complexity in the nose. Aside from the bourbon (which was giving me amazingly big and rich aromas), I noted heavy syrupy malt, roasted grain, some toffee-like richness, hints of coffee, and alcohol. Not overpowering or solvent-y in any way though.

T= My God, it was amazing. This beer was custom made for a bourbon barrel. Often times I thing the bourbon barrel overpowers a beer. Not the Dark Lord. Things started off with the best parts of bourbon (sweet complexity) plus vanilla, roasted grain, coffee, toffee, and an almost indescribable richness that was not heavy or cloying despite the ten ton weight of this beer. It was a sipping experience for sure, but I never felt that it was overwhelming. The hops were pretty much non-existent. The finish was smooooth, warm with a pleasant alcohol, and sweet.

MF= Beyond heavy body...it's in a class by itself. When I had finished it, there was enough liquid sticking to the sides of the glass to make the glass look brown for a few seconds and allow me another small sip (and lots of aroma for a long time after the experience was over). Carbonation was there but otherwise not really a factor.

D= Despite the 15% abv, despite the syrupy thick body, despite the sweetness, this beer was really a joy to experience and ultimately the drinkability was high. Unexpectedly high. A moving experience that I will not hesitate to repeat.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 614 ratings.