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

643 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 643
Reviews: 182
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 9.45%
Wants: 1,777
Gots: 92 | FT: 2
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 643 | Reviews: 182
Photo of baggio
4.35/5  rDev -4.4%
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 barnzy78
4.35/5  rDev -4.4%
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 Jeffo
4.36/5  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!

Photo of pwoods
4.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at DLD '09

Pours jet black, no light, thick as motor oil. Oily and resinous on the glass. A moderate head forms and has some retention. Decent lacing throughout. Great depth from the barrel aging. Very woody and oaky with that wisp of vanilla. A very small smoky character in the back that I wish was bigger. The barrel really rounds the beer out, making the deeply roasted malts more enjoyable. Taste is much the same. The barrel blends everything very nicely. A touch of cherry comes out as it warms but it's nearly hidden behind all the other potent flavors. Body is fuller than full and is a bit chewy. Carbonation is somewhat low but manages to make the beer velvety nonethelss. This a very big beer. It drinks decent for the size but it's huge and wants you to know it. The barrel and aging does wonders for the beer.

Photo of womencantsail
4.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is viscous and black with just a bit of tan foam around the edge of the glass.

S: A definite oak and bourbon presence to the nose without the intense sweetness Dark Lord usually has. Certainly some sweet chocolate and vanilla with a bit of dark fruits.

T: The oak aging gives this one a bit of a tannic character and some bitterness that the original does not exhibit. The bourbon, vanilla, and oak flavors are quite strong but still allow the chocolate, roast, licorice, and dark fruits to show.

M: The body is thick and chewy with a low, smooth carbonation.

D: I like this one much better than Dark Lord. The oak aging here has helped to balance the beer out and mitigate the overwhelming sweetness.

Photo of kmeves
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at GTMW '09: Pours an opache black with a small dissipating tan head. Aroma is strong oak, fruity sweet (plums and raisins) and very rich. Flavor is strong oak yet very sweet with dark fruit, rich chocolate, coffee and a nice undertone of flower, herbs and grapefruit. Finish is very long and warm with molasses and dark fruit. Large bodied, quite a bit more alcohol apparent than the non oak version. Still one of the best beers I have ever tasted.

Photo of drabmuh
4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage served in a tulip with the vanilla bean and 2009 DL. Beer is black and thick in the glass. Coats the wall and the swirl leaves legs of alcohol on the walls. There isn't a head or carbonation to speak of but it looks good.

The aroma is slightly hot, oaky, with a lot of roast and a nice smoothness to it. Very liquor. Hints of vanilla, very subtle.

Beer is full bodied and completely coats the mouth. Surprisingly smooth for such a high alcohol beer with such a strong aroma. The woodsiness of the beer mellows out the heat a lot. Lots of roast in the back palate. Drinkability good.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank at the Dark Lord Release Party 2006. The barmaid said it was 16% abv.

Appearance- Given to me an oily, iscous, black. No highlights in this soul stealing, liver pickling bad boy. Head was a lovely coffee like beige with great retention.

Smell- Like French Roast coffee, bakers bitter chocolate, with hints of heavy whipping cream and cascade hops.

Taste- Very dense and thick in the coffee department. But this taste does not let you forget that it was aged in a barrel. The wood sugars certainly give your balls a hows your father. Coffee and oak mixed with some black licorice and a well balanced American hop and malt balance.

Mouthfeel- Very oily, sludgy and thick. This is a dense beer with a lot of palate coating ability. All the dark flavors really stick to the palate the most, all parts of the tongue. Something to nibble on chocolate with.

Photo of grub
4.42/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sampled on tap at the brewpub on dark lord day 2007.

pours deep inky black with a small very fine dense brown head. drops very fast to a ring around the glass. no lace.

aroma is nice. the first thing that hits is a blast of orangey citrus. alcohol. oak and vanilla. dark chocolate. huge bready malt. bourbon.

taste is good. tons of orange and tangerine. alcohol. bittersweet chocolate. bready malt. bit of vanilla. light alcohol. medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. super smooth. light carbonation. full bodied but without feeling thick.

drinkability is great. smooth. the alcohol is dangerously well hidden. you really only feel the warmth on the way down.

Photo of Auracom
4.42/5  rDev -2.9%
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 DmanGTR
4.42/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at DLD 2010. Review from notes on 4/24/10.

A - Poured a deathly black, lovely dark brown hue in the light with a scant tan head. No lace remained. 4.0

S - Big, roasty, and lots of caramel. Hint of vanilla and charred oak in the background. Touch of figs and dark fruit as well. 4.5

T - This robust beer is definitely a highlight of the day. The intense cocoa, caramel, and roasted barley mingles with the delicate tones of vanilla and wood, finishing extremely rich with an everlasting dark chocolate and plum finish. 4.5

M - Not as viscous as I had thought it would be, but a lovely richness with moderate carbonation. 4.0

D - For the abv, highly drinkable. 4.5

Photo of kbutler1
4.42/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Finally found my notes for DLD and getting these in to review! Draft. Poured a pitch black color with minimal head (I'm sure the plastic cup helped with that). Smells like DL but with huge hints of the oak barrels. Subtle sweetness. Slight smokiness. Adding the DL to the Oak barrels was a great move that only added additional complexity to this beer. Would be great to see it bottled instead of having to drink it from a plastic cup at DLD.

Photo of jrallen34
4.42/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at dl into a 12oz plastic cup. The beer is black as expected with a medium tan head. The aroma is nice with the oak dominating the front, nice notes of vanilla and sweet chocolate. The taste is also lots of oak but not overpowering or annoying. It really adds a lot to the original dl but not quite as good as the vanilla.

Photo of badbeer
4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was pitch black in color with a brown head that retained very well and managed to leave some lacing behind. Nice aromas of vanilla and bourbon, with oak coming into play as well. There was also some roastiness, but the vanilla and bourbon seemed to be the strongest. Taste is a blending of vanilla, maple syrup, bourbon, wood, with a finish of some coffee and bourbon. Mouthfeel is thick and very smooth, the bourbon seems to almost lighten it up just a tad, however. Carbonation was on the lower side of medium. Great beer, and probably even more enjoyed in the winter months by a fire, but this sample was enjoyed out in the sun at DLD.

If you are desperate to find out what this beer is like, buy a Bourbon County Stout. BCS is 99% of what this beer is, IMO.

Photo of beerhan
4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
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 kdesch
4.44/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I was at DLD 2008 and tasted the Bourbon and the vanilla bean DL on tap.

The Bourbon barrel DL, was really amazing. It is not something I would drink every day (even if I could). The mouthfeel is what really stands out about this beer, it is very coating and penetrating, a very different sensation from most other beers. The taste and smell are all wonderful, as I could remember the taste and smell for hours after drinking the beer. (that or it dried up on my nose and no one told me).

Put simply if you get a chance to drink a beer like this you should.

Photo of tmgiddings
4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Dark Lord Day 2010 - Pours jet black with a thin wispy, chocolate head. Aroma is complex- vanilla and bourbon dominate with mollasses, chocolate, and soy sauce. Taste is similar - mollasses, chocolate, bourbon, coffee, and alcohol, Mouthfeel is both oily and creamy. My favorite imperial stout.

Photo of hopdog
4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark black with reddish/brown edges and an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of wood, bourbon, chocolate, roast and dark fruits, Tastes of wood, stronger bourbon, vanilla, roast, chocolate, brown sugar, espresso, and molasses. Medium alcohol finish. I do like bourbon so I enjoyed the bourbon quality to this.

Photo of Monsone
4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a slight brownish particulate floating about

S - Big aromas of molasses, coffee, bourbon, sweet dark fruit and dark malt.

T - Sweet, bourbon, dark cherry, coffee, dark chocolate and dark roasted malts.

M - Holy crap. Thickest beer I have ever put in my mouth. Like heavy whipping cream the color or the standard used motor oil. Chewy as hell.

D - Just a complete palate trashing beer. This is for sipping and only one (if you could get much of this anyway!).

Overall, amazing beer though I still prefer standard DL and Darkness better.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at DLD 2008. The beer was massive in every way, especially mouthfeel (like the standard Dark Lord). This beer is rich, so full of flavor and so filling, it's an experience which is hard to describe. Oily black beer, thick enough that it almost feels like solid chocolate cake, complete annihilation of the senses in terms of aroma, flavor, and presence. I couldn't really detect any oak flavors, probably because subtle nuances like that are hard to separate from the overkill of flavors.

Probably you can only find this at special festivals (such as DLD), but I recommend you try it if you have the opportunity.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Dark Lord Day '09 in a clear plastic cup.

A: Pours like a black hole, with no light getting through and some copperish/khaki colored bubbles that settled down to almost nothing.

S: Smells very similar to the original of course with some additions; major chocolate, slight roast, but more vanilla/butterscotch flavors similar in most oak aged beers

T: just like the scent, the flavor was also obviously very similar to its regular DL brethren; chocolate big time, slight roast, and the addition of some vanilla, butterscotch with much more of a boozy flavor finish. I don't know if this had ANY bourbon addition to the aging process or if they were just normal barrels or oak chips or what, but it definitely seemed like there was some bourbon in this.

M: Super creamy and coated everything it touched. Low carbonation, similar to a syrup but it matched the rest of the beer excellently.

D: I really enjoyed the flavor and addition of different tastes from the oak aging, although it seemed to increase the boozy alcohol flavor big time which sort of cancels out each other. If they could keep the flavor additions and knock down the alcohol, then this would easily overtake the regular DL for me.

Photo of
4.48/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at DLD, 2008.

Opaque, black. In the light of day with the sun shining brightly, had just a bit of brown at the edges. Thick & viscous, lots of leg and no lacing. No head, just a few stray bubbles at the edge, dark brown in color.

Scent that first struck me was bourbon, followed by molasses. This was a very sweet smelling beer. Roast character was not really coming through at all. The dark fruit character present in regular DL also seemed toned down, but it was present.

Taste was more sweet than bitter, and was similar to the aroma. Bourbon, dark chocolate, hint of coffee and molasses. Fruit character minimized at this time. Very mild herbal bittering at the finish.

Mouthfeel was fantastic, but again, to me, not quite as good as the bottled version. Thick, smooth body. Minimal carbonation. Quite sweet. Alcohol starts to warm you up quickly.

An exceptional stout, but I prefer the regular. I think the oak aging covers up some of the complexity that I enjoyed in the regular version. Also, for some reason, the mouthfeel was not quite as impressive as in the bottled version, still very good, just not exceptional. Still feel like this beer lives up to the hype!

Photo of beachbum1975
4.48/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had the honor of trying this at DLD 08, thanks Nick! :)

Insane, Black Death (mixed with a shovel full of Black Plague) and a little charred motor oil (after being removed from a car that hasn't had an oil change in 10,000 miles).

Brown, slimy, super-sticky legs (maybe tentacles) that don't fade, ever. Fine bourbon all over the nose, all in one glass cup. This beer sticks to the glass (and may actually be melting it).

In a word, "Ferocious".

I am not a fan of most bourbon barrel-aged beers. Most are too sweet for my palate. This beer represented the bourbon-style of beers the way I like 'em. It kept true to form, in that it wasn't overpoweringly sweet, but fiercely "bourbonie" or carried a very strong alcohol in the nose and mouth.

This drink is truly a meal in itself. Not for the tame drinker - this beer kicked my ass and it will kick your ass, as well.

If FFF's ever bottled this, I recommend Flame grilling a super-thick porterhouse to crack open one of these with friends. Don't drink it alone!

Photo of punkrkr27
4.48/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled at DLD '10. Pours just as black and thick and oily as Dark Lord ever does. The aroma is massively boozy chocolate, dark fruits, and coffee just like regular Dark Lord but with a very oaky/woody overtone. It's not like the typical oak aroma from most bourbon barrel beers. It has sort of a green/fresh woody quality to it. The flavor is also again dominated by massive waves of chocolate, molasses, dark fruit, and coffee. Again though, like the aroma, the oak comes off as sort of harsh and green. The regular '10 Dark Lord seemed a bit smoother and more balanced.

Photo of bamadog
4.49/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was sure to get my sample of this at Dark Lord Day 2010 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Review is from notes taken on 4/24/2010 and poured from the tap to a plastic cup (blasphemy, I know, but it's what they were offering).

Appearance: Comes to me very black and viscous looking (I should note that it's not nearly as thick as the '08 DL that I was able to sample - didn't get to review though as my pour was not quite deep enough to get everything out of it); has about a 1/4 finger of deep dark brown head that fades quickly to nothing other than a thin ring around the surface of the same color; the body is, of course, entirely opaque (I think this actually feeding off of any light around it) and it leaves behind no lacing.

Smell: About what I would expect, actually, and it's awesome. Tons of smoke, wood (with a bit of a sweet vanilla aspect to it from the barrel aging); big alcohol that is a little bourbonesque in nature; lots of dark, burnt and roasty malts and bit of a deep and dark, ripe fruity (cherry?) aspect hiding out in there.

Taste: Pretty much matches the nose to a "T." Lots of that smokey and woody aspect and followed with a hint of sweet vanilla; that big alcohol is definitely present and it's quite hot (I have no idea what year this was made, but if I had to guess I would say it's relatively fresh); again those nice dark, burnt and roasty malts provide tons of flavor and that cherry-like flavor hiding out continues to do so and makes the occasional appearance between the other, more dominant flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, with tons of thick sticky coating holding all over the mouth that allows the nice roasty and bitter flavors to linger for what seems an eternity. In the end, it's a tad gritty, but I like that in a stout, and one of this magnitude certainly does not disappoint.

Drinkability: The flavors and smells alone are enough to keep this high, despite the very present ABV. Also, the mystique and rarity of this beer alone would perhaps keep me coming back for more if it was something that was actually more available. I'm pleased that I got to try it though.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.