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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

470 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 470
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 8.97%


Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: mcallister on 04-29-2006)
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Ratings: 470 | Reviews: 170 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

4.31/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 18:22:39 | More by barnzy78
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore

Wisconsin

4.55/5  rDev -0.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 06:15:42 | More by Stevedore
Photo of gueuzedreg
gueuzedreg

Colorado

4.26/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 00:15:58 | More by gueuzedreg
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

4.61/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 17:08:45 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of spicelab
spicelab

Australia

4.35/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 05:14:20 | More by spicelab
Photo of kevanb
kevanb

Illinois

4.64/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 00:24:07 | More by kevanb
Photo of heygeebee
heygeebee

Australia

4.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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....

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 07:46:40 | More by heygeebee
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.21/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2013 02:00:03 | More by UCLABrewN84
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Jeffo

Netherlands

4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 13:29:01 | More by Jeffo
Photo of Auracom
Auracom

Illinois

4.44/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2013 16:20:37 | More by Auracom
Photo of beerhan
beerhan

Ohio

4.44/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2013 00:10:12 | More by beerhan
Photo of s1ckboy
s1ckboy

Massachusetts

4.79/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 02:16:02 | More by s1ckboy
Photo of stouts4me
stouts4me

Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 05:34:47 | More by stouts4me
Photo of baggio
baggio

Sweden

4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 14:50:56 | More by baggio
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
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)

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 01:10:56 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of Thehuntmaster
Thehuntmaster

South Africa

4.98/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 09:35:34 | More by Thehuntmaster
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.95/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 19:46:46 | More by jegross2
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xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 16:34:34 | More by xnicknj
Photo of spointon
spointon

Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2012 05:56:07 | More by spointon
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #505 of 688

I had two bottles of this in two days of crazy beer tasting. This review is from day #2 in comparison with the other DL variants

A - as expected, pours black with a chocolaty head

S - sweet bourbon with lots of fudgy chocolates and a bit of soy

T - sweet vanilla opens this up, and is quickly replaced by fudgy chocolates. Spicy bourbon flavors move in and are cut into by more chocolate flavors. This is really sweet and the bourbon is very well integrated into this.

M - smooth and full like all of the other DL barrel aged varieties

D - nice version of DL...this is my 2nd favorite barrel aged bottle version behind the vanilla bean. The bourbon adds a nice complexity and takes away from some of the cloying sweetness that plagues the regular version of DL.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62508184@N03/8159864035/in/photostream

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2012 03:22:49 | More by birchstick
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

4.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Split my buddy's bottle at his bachelor party. Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Motor oil pour as is typical with good DL vintages. Jet black with a small tan ring of foam leaving some legs down the glass though the retention fades a bit.

Big bourbon notes up front in the aroma. Dark fruit, wood, chocolate and burnt malts.

Again barrel stands out in the taste. Bourbon is nicely integrated and smooth. Toasted oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, fudge and roasted malts play a part with some dark fruit in the background.

As with something that pours like motor oil, mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Carbonation levels low, but still present. Alcohol is felt, but very well integrated.

Surprisingly enjoyed this one much more than the Vanilla I had a few months ago. My main complaint with regular DL is the intense sweetness and the bourbon does a wonderful job of cutting through and balancing this beer. At the same time, there is enough sweetness that the bourbon doesn't come in too hot. Fantastic beer and hope they make this variant again (and I have better luck) next time around.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2012 16:51:59 | More by jmarsh123
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tarheels86

California

3.73/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL red wax 2012 thanks to a generous BA. Pours tepid muddy brune with small beige bubbles. Nose is richer, thicker bourbon, rich hazelnut, amaretto, marzipan. Very nice aroma. Taste is sticky, big ass maple, spicier. Thick and rich. Not metallic or thin like other DL variants. I’ll probably never be a fan but this is the best variant I've had besides the Cognac De Muerte, which I surprisingly loved. 6/3/2012 8/3/7/4/15=3.7

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 17:31:37 | More by tarheels86
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illidurit

California

5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared at RBSG 2012 Grand Tasting. I don’t even know what to say about this beer. It’s a whole new level for imperial stouts that I didn’t know existed. All those other reviews of other imperial stouts that talk about "fudge" and "brownies" and "roasted coffee" and "barrel notes" may as well be talking about dog food. This beer is so vivid, so delicious, it’s like brownie concentrate with caramel, nuts, syrup. Body is full and soft, unlike the oily chore that is regular Dark Lord. It’s definitely really really sweet, but in sample size it’s unparalleled. Maybe the biggest highlight of a great night.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2012 05:41:05 | More by illidurit
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Treebs

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review # 450

I shared this bad boy at the Star Wars tasting. 750 ml waxed bottle, 567/688, served in a Deschutes tulip.

A: Pours a dark black color, viscous like motor oil. A nice ring mocha foam is left over after the pour. As it recedes and swishes around there is some nice legs and splotchy lace left behind.

A: Bourbon up front with some dark fruits. smooth oak, some caramel, milk chocolate sweetness and nice toasted malts.

T: Nice barrel presence right away. Smooth bourbon, smoked oak, caramel and light vanilla. Sweet chocolate, some fudge and roasted malts. Toasted marshmallow as well. Very well integrated.

M: Thick and chewy. Medium to low carbonation. So smooth and it goes down with some slight heat.

O: This is drinking really, really well right now. No harsh booze and the barrel is just integrated very well. My personal favorite of the day.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 16:02:01 | More by Treebs
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CooperEllis

New York

4.03/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From HayesEz.

Dark brown flat in the center, tan to the edges. No head.

Solid Aroma, easily the best part of this. Molasses, boooze, vanilla, brown sugar.

Taste is a bit thin. Vanilla extract, bourbon, malt. Notacibly different from the regular DL which I often find soy/burned/malt. This was solid, if unspectacular.

Not much to the body, a bit of a sticky mouthfeel, and still a bit thin. Odd, more bourbon than stout.

Really good, enjoyed it. The other people I split it with enjoyed it as well.

(184th)

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 20:34:36 | More by CooperEllis
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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 470 ratings.