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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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 470 | Reviews: 170 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Cedromar
Cedromar

Massachusetts

2.7/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

So...yeah, I had one full glass of OA Dark Lord an hour ago. It's was horrendous. I got my toes crushed by the keg and then when I tasted it after waiting a couple hours for it, it just was a huge let down.

Looked pretty good, the smell was average of average DL, no Vanilla or Oak in the scent.

Taste- Wow, this sucks. I'm sorry, normal '09 DL = OMG. '09 OA DL=bad. No taste of Oak at all and overpoweringly sweet. The few drops I had of Kaggen and Surly Two beat the shit out of this brew.

Mouthfeel- Good, just like normal DL, thick and delicious.

Drinkability- It tasted awful, somewhat like '08 Darkness awful. I can see if people like it, but it had no taste of Oak at all. NONE. No wood. Vanilla bean DL was AMAZING though.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2009 21:10:43 | More by Cedromar
Photo of drseamus
drseamus

New York

3.13/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at DLD for 9 bucks a snifter. Pretty steep.

Dark black liquid with no head. Anyone who rates a beer like this as a 5 in appearance is an idiot. The smell is potent booze. If you close your eyes you might think you're smelling a glass of bourbon. Not a plus for a beer. The bourbon should complement but not dominate. The flavor is all booze and caramel. It's almost like the beer itself is completely gone. They could have just barrel aged miller light and with this level of alcohol it would taste the same. Not worth the wait or the price.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2011 17:16:09 | More by drseamus
Photo of craytonic
craytonic

District of Columbia

3.18/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Looks like DL, pitch black, oil slick, etc, etc

Smell: Only a hint of oak on the scent. Lots of roast malt and molasses.

Taste: Did they add sugar to this one as well? If so, why? Roast malt, molasses, brown sugar, milk chocolate, semi-sweet baking chocolate. The oak is huge on the taste, like a fresh oak barrel. Too much barrel actually. Much hasher than the regular DL or VB DL.

Mouthfeel: Great - thick, chewy, smooth, near perfect.

Drinkability: To much fresh, wet oak and I get some added sugar. Regular DL is better, but honestly none of the three is T-50 worthy in my opinion.

Serving type: growler

08-14-2009 02:28:37 | More by craytonic
Photo of chaz01
chaz01

Ohio

3.33/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had a couple 3 oz servings at 2010 DLD in a plastic cup. Of the 3 variations of Dark Lord that I tried, this was my favorite.

A: Jet black oily in color with a thin brown head.

S: Bourbon and oak flavors dominate the aroma

T: More bourbon and oak in the taste, with notes of chocolate and alcohol.

M: Thick and syrupy mouthfeel with a dry cocoa finish. More alcohol flavors in the finish.

D: I realize drinkability and availability are different, but given the beer is only available 1 day a year for a 3 oz serving, I'm not sure how drinkable you can rate the beer. Saying that it pairs really well with my Italian Sub that I got standing in line doesn't quite sound right.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2010 17:42:38 | More by chaz01
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this yesterday at Dark Lord Day '09. It was so nice to be able to get a glass of Oak Aged Dark Lord and Vanilla Bean Dark Lord, plop down on a couch and compare/review them. Great job by FFF this year. Drank from a classy plastic cup.

Appearance- Pours a jet black with a sort of soft, creamy dark tan head that sticks around for quite some time. A weak cap and thick collar remain the rest of the beer leaving a light bit of lacing (copied from the Vanilla Bean Dark Lord, they were exactly the same).
Smell- Loads of deeply roasted malts, a bit of sweet molasses and some very woody oak. The smell isn't necessarily harsh but the oak is fairly pungent. Some vanilla and milk chocolate along with some licorice and a touch of smoke. Some dark fruits as well but the oak really is fairly dominant.
Taste- I don't necessarily think that the barrel aging really helps Dark Lord (unlike the Vanilla Bean). I find it to be semi astringent with almost too much barrel. Plenty of vanilla still though and a bit of bitter roasted coffee. The sweetness seems to be quite a bit more advanced that the regular Dark Lord as well. Tons of bourbon soaked cherries, prunes, dates, figs and any other overly ripe dark fruit you can think of. Finishes with a touch of smoke and a bit of boozy oaky bourbon like quality.
Mouthfeel- Big and rich and creamy with a smooth silkiness and a bit of boozy astringency.
Drinkability- Uhh... Out of the three Dark Lords this one was by far my least favorite. Just not a big fan of the barrel aging which is weird because I usually enjoy the added complexity. Maybe I was just a bit spoiled by the Vanilla Bean? Either way glad I got to try it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2009 21:02:20 | More by younger35
Photo of tarheels86
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
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.8/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thomas for this one. Side-by-side with all the other BA Dark Lords. Bottle 123/420 into a snifter. From notes.

Same appearance as the others.

Big bourbon notes on the nose. Very sweet. Some chocolate, dark fruit, fudge, and cocoa powder. Solid.

Sweet plum, prune, chocolate. Low booziness lingers in the background. Sweet soy sauce in the middle. Molasses, fudge in the finish. Some chocolate also. Fudge in the aftertaste. Really good. Not as bold as the Pappy version.

Same feel as the others. Oily, slick, viscous, slightly sticky aftertaste.

This isn't as impressive as the Pappy Dark Lord. However, there's more balance here and a touch more subtlety. A solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 00:49:36 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of HoboAGoGo
HoboAGoGo

Indiana

3.85/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into the lil' plastic cup, with a dark ass body, a nice thick head, and no chance of sun escaping from it. The nose was coffee rich, slight chocolate, but heavy on the bourbon. The tongue has everything you'd expect from a Dark Lord, smoother on the hop,but very rich chocolate, a nice roasted coffee flavor, but once again, a lot of bourbon. I had a bit of a difficulty drinking this one down, the alcohol burn was a bit much for me, I think the beer could do well just aging in a barrel as opposed to a bourbon barrel, that's my two cents though.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2006 00:18:42 | More by HoboAGoGo
Photo of pepsican
pepsican

Iowa

3.85/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to joey and random guy in line for tastings of this. Black as night, no head. Aroma was heavy on the molasses and bourbon. Huge bourbon intro with chocolate, molasses, and alcohol. Finishes very boozy, syrupy. A bit over the top for me, not very drinkable. I had a 4 oz glass and it was a bit too much. Still one of the most flavorful and unique beers I've come across.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2010 22:14:03 | More by pepsican
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

3.88/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the tap at Dark Lord Day, served in the brewpub inside a tiny snifter. This particular variant of Dark Lord spent time in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.

Inky black with a teeny tiny head that fizzled away to nothingness. Very thin ring.

Sweet nose. Molasses, light coffee, dark cherry, vanilla, hints of oak. Sugared and syrupy.

Heavy bourbon at first, though the flavor lightens at the swallow. Lots of dark cherries, vanilla, brandy, molasses, hints of coffee, toffee and dark chocolate. Mostly the sweet stuff.

Medium, buttery body expands in the mouth. Oodles of alcohol on the tongue and in the nose. Heavy, syrupy, but not cloying. Fairly clean finish.

I’ve enjoyed the oak-aged Dark Lord in previous years, but this isn’t as smooth as I remember. I might actually prefer the un-aged version, and I definitely prefer the vanilla-aged version.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2011 23:45:12 | More by Phelps
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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

Had myself a glass of this at DLD 2007. Was really looking forward to it!

Pours a deep opaque black, no light escapes, thin tan head, some lace spots, very oily. Smell is powerful, sweet, lots of cherries, and chocolate, oaky vanilla, alcohol, and oranges. Taste is similar, strong oaky vanilla, caramel, chocolate, roasty goodness, more tangerine/orange and alcohol. Mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation. This is from notes, but I really recall not being too impressed with this. Still very good, but I think I was expecting too much.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2007 03:05:45 | More by Viggo
Photo of CooperEllis
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
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had on tap @ DLD 2010! Huge thanks to BeerFMAndy for snagging a glass of this for me!

(A)- Pours thick & black as night. Produced a quickly dissipating brown head.

(S)- A rich dense molasses with a rather potent woody bourbon-like burn

(T)- Rich, with a big woody & bourbon-like sweetness with some dark cocoa & molasses. Very similar to the smell.

(M)- Dense, but thinner than the vanilla bean variation. Has a good carbonation level. A big, almost dry woodiness, yet has a bitterness too from the roasted malts.

(D)- A good stout. Not as successful as their vanilla bean variation in my opinion, but has its own special qualities the other ones do not. Unique and interesting on its own. I would also like to see how this one ages, but yet again, this is only available one day a year!

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2010 20:20:16 | More by sweemzander
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

4.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at DLD. A nice treat after waiting in the cold for hours. Poured pitch black with zero head and enjoyed in a small plastic cup, just the way it was meant to be had. Smell is rich sweet, sticky molassesy malt with a light bourbon and alcoholic vanilla aroma. Taste is rich, semi sweet, chocolatey, dark fruit fig like flavor with some soy sauce like quality too. Rich oily mouthfeel and light carbonation but a sufficient amount. Really good stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2008 17:15:46 | More by JDV
Photo of mdm46410
mdm46410

Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at DLD '08. Poured a thick used motor oil opaque black/brown with a thin mocha head. Not so much lace, but a thick oily residue was left clinging to the sides of the cup. The aroma was robust and full of strong coffee and chocolate with a hint of detectable bourbon. Same for the flavor. The bourbon was not overpowering or intense, it just added another layer of complexity. The mouthfeel did not suffer from the barrel-aging. It was thick and sticky as ever. A great beer, but I still prefer my Dark Lord without the bourbon.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2008 23:19:24 | More by mdm46410
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this two years in a row in a plastic cup pour. I took some brief notes this year, so here it goes - a lot of this will be complementary to my review of Dark Lord (when I finally get around to reviewing the regular variety). Some of this text is borrowed from my Vanilla-bean review, where appropriate.

A - Think quick-dissolving mocha foam, nice ring of lace, pitch black with a hint of red at the edges. It's about all I expect from a 13% RIS.

S - Oak-barrel, but not the stupid amount I experienced in oak-aged Behemoth. There's also a touch of vanilla and almond that I get from most good barrel-aged brews, plus the cadre of "regular" Dark Lord smells. It's different from regular Dark Lord, but not a huge improvement.

T - I found the oak-aging to simplify the taste of Dark Lord in a way that wasn't altogether positive. The oak-aging really brings out the booziness and heat and smooths out a lot of the really interesting flavors from the regular Dark Lord. It's still pretty delicious, but just slightly acerbic.

M - Thick, near milk-shake consistency, with tons of residual stickiness, and low carbonation. This is the way RISes should be down - other brewer's take note.

D - This is a mild step in the wrong direction - takes the least drinkable elements of Dark Lord and amplifies them a little bit. It's hot, palate-beating, and not really much more interesting than the regular variety. Worth trying, but not worth waiting hours in line to try.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2009 04:16:23 | More by MasterSki
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

4 ozish pour in a plastic cup at Brickskeller 3F tasting. I interpreted this to be the 2010 release of the 2009 DL aged in whiskey barrels, not the 2009 Oak Aged Dark Lord. Either way...

Pours an extremely sludgy, viscous syrup like dark brown, near black with a non-existent head and no signs of carbonation. So yea, appearance is pretty much as expected for style, but nothing exciting. Aroma is hot and abrasive, assaulting you while the glass is still on the table. Immediately hits you with bourbon and oak. After letting acclimating to the booze and burn, other notes from the base DL are apparent, including chocolate, coffee and more oak. Very sweet, raw and complex aroma. Mouthfeel is very thick and chewy, silky and long lasting on the palate, near perfect. Flavors follow similar pattern to the nose; overall extremely sweet and it takes a moment to get past the oak and bourbon to pick out the subtleties of the original dark lord, and it that its primarily chocolatey. This isn't a 13% ABV beer that you can said hides its alcohol well either as there is a noticeable burn associated with each sip. This was an unexpected to treat to try, but overall I was left feeling like this in an instance of an amazing beer + more amazingness (barrel aging) != doubly amazingness. Overall some of the complexity is sapped out of this by the dominance of the boozy and oak flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2010 20:55:43 | More by yourefragile
Photo of zrab11
zrab11

Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at DLD 2011

A-poured a motor oil black with a tiny tan head and alittle bit of lacing

S- Has a strong bourbon smell up fron followed by some dark fruit notes as well as come chocolate and malts

T- Has a strong bitter chocolate flavor up front followed by a nice malty middle and then finishs with a pur bourbon kick.

M-Full bodied with nice carbonation

O-Overall this was a top notch beer. Not as good as Vanilla DLD by any means. Well atleast in my opinion. In my little circle of 8 guys at DLD this was all their fav. besides me. Very good beer but just alittle too much bite and hottness to love it. Will have it again at DLD for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2011 03:21:06 | More by zrab11
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another version of this fine beer.

This one took me by surprise - by oaked, I assumed this beer was "oaked" so the big bourbon slap in the face almost made me cry.

Again, just like the regular Dark Lord in most respects, but with a massive overdosing of barrel aging that's up front & in your cage. Kudos to 3F for trying to improve & tamper with an already great beer, but this one feel just a bit short; the bourbon was over-aggressive for me, drowning out some of the best aspects of the regular Dark Lord. Some of the creaminess was disrupted, & the great towering blade of malts was compromised.

Still a very good beer & one I'd never turn my nose up at, but also a good example of turning a great beer into just a very good one by laying too much of the barrel into the glass.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2009 13:35:53 | More by maximum12
Photo of Steamhead
Steamhead

Kentucky

4.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The '09 was, in my opinion, a step down from the regular Dark Lord and two steps down from Vanilla Bean Dark Lord. This seem the least polished of the three. The nose was hotter, the mouthfeel had lost some of the rich creaminess in exchange for a bitter wood tannin, and just did not leave a great impression. Still a solid beer that most breweries would sell their soul to produce, but for the perfection that is expected with Three Floyds it was good, but not great.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2009 11:35:53 | More by Steamhead
Photo of hooliganlife
hooliganlife

Missouri

4.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 dark lord day pour

dark as night, no head what so ever, no retention, no lacing, just thick black stout.

tons of oak with subtle hints of vanilla and booze. light scents of dark fruits

mild sweetness, tons of oak which gave off a nice subtle vanilla favor. bits of molasses. the roasted malts took the back seat and the hops were also overpowered by the brute oak flavor.

very thick, a bit syrupy, mouth coating

this was good, very good, but the least favorite of the dark lords. the oak was a bit powerful so too much of this and i would be wanting to move on.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2010 01:55:03 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This had a thin, dark brown ring of head at the top of the beer. There was absolutely no carbonation visible and it was like looking at the surface of a still, dark lake. It was black, black, black in color. Even the white bits was black. The nose was hugely sweet and malty with notes of chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. The mouthfeel was incredibly thick, like pudding. It was incredibly viscous and could probably stand in as heavy-weight motor oil during the summer, in a pinch. There was also an intense heat on the tongue and I simply could not get past the combined heat and bourbon flavor. The finish continued with a lingering heat.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2006 21:40:38 | More by woodychandler
Photo of genog
genog

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got to sample this one at DLD 08.

Poured into a tiny plastic cup a black charcoal color with a thin layer of light tan head resting on top the entire time. Had more lacing than the original Dark Lord.

Smell was bourbony, oaky and kind of like a port with big dark fruit notes.

Taste was very complex with sweetness and smokiness dancing together on the palate.

Mouthfeel was very smooth and creamy, with a warming alcohol presence.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2008 20:09:14 | More by genog
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
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at DLD.
Served dark as night with only a slight ring of head around the perimeter of the glass. Smell is absolutley luxurious. Deep roasted malts, chocolate, and bourbon are the front runners. This is a big beer, no doubt, the alcohol is there and warming.
This beer is mellowed a bit by the oak aging. Not the brute that the DL bottle is. This is a great beer, but not huge and robust as say a GI BCS.
The guys at FFF have taken barrel aging to a whole n’other level. Other brewers could take notes from them.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2007 22:34:00 | More by FtownThrowDown
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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.