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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 Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

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

I promised not to review anything from Dark Lord Day. There was too much happening. This is my one exception. I had glass after glass because several people kept saying wow that it too hot for me here you want to finish mine. Oh my God what were they thinking. This was the most easy drinking whiskey I have ever had. It is certainly closer to bourbon than to beer. The beer seemed much higher than 13% ABV to me but the hot alcohol had the softness of a 10 - 20 year old bourbon. WOW! Everyone who has been to my house knows that Woodford Reserve is my favorite go-to Bourbon. I am not makin this up for the sake of this review. I always have it on hand. Wouldn’t you know, the wonderful geniuses at Three Floyds that hand crafted this beer JUST FOR ME, picked my regular bourbon for aging this beer. Yes, This is Dark Lord, aged for a year in none other than Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels. Oh my God! I just about passed out this was so freaking good. I went week in the knees and I was not drunk.

Appearance: When I received this beer in a plastic cup there was no head on it. I poured it into my snifter glass and it stirred up very little head but in the glass it did showcase a nice tan head. Several times through drinking this beer various friend emptied there plastic cups into my snifter each time revitalizing a tiny bit of head in this otherwise murky black body.

Smell: Everything I love about bourbon and more flooded my nose. Rich scent of various woods, just like the Woodford Reserve I makes me think of my freshly moistened humidor. Dark roasted malts and barley, black coffer and thick bitter sweet chocolate and of course a wallop of vanilla oak bourbon flavors.

Taste: The biggest complaint people had on this hot day was the beer is too much like bourbon. If that is the biggest gripe, then gripe on my friends. I LOVE IT! This is absolutely everything I could ever want in a drink. It is the best of both world. It is what I love about two different drinks met in one glass. Yes the alcohol does not hide. So you sip the beer like you would any other liquor. It takes drinking it differently than a more “typical” beer but it is certainly worth it. The dark chocolate malts and fruits blend right into the woody vanilla oak and somehow it creates what feels like very layers of flavors and leaves your mouth with the feel of bourbon on the tongue and throat and face.

Mouthfeel: The swallow is very hot but the massive rich oily smooth feel coats every inch of your mouth and then some. I can feel the hot alcohol and warm boozy black grains making my face go numb as works its way from my tongue to my cheeks, my tonsils and up through my sinuses until my whole face seems to going flush enjoying the magnificence that this masterpiece exudes.

Drinkability: When I sit down with my favorite liquor I don’t start just putting them back one after another. Drinkability is the duration for which I can enjoy that drink. I would take it slowly, but I could enjoy this dink all day long.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2007 23:09:02 | More by Phatz
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
Photo of badbeer
badbeer

Iowa

4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2007 04:00:17 | More by badbeer
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2007 00:39:51 | More by grub
Photo of kajerm
kajerm

Illinois

4.68/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Dark Lord Day 2007-- appearance is slightly damaged by the plastic cup, but I'll try not to hold that against the beer.

The appearance is basically an imperial stout with the knobs turned up to eleven, a mixture of equal parts espresso, roof tar, and castor oil. The head is a dark brown whisp that still manages to leave a little lace on the plastic cup. Bubbles are otherwise nonexistent.

The aroma is coffee, probably the best coffee I've ever smelled in a beer. All the usual suspects are there, too: bourbon, vanilla, maple syrup, molasses, dark malts, oak (wood, really, I don't know if oak smells different from any other wood), and alcohol.

The taste opens up light with just a little maltiness, folllowed by a swell of coffee and dark malts. Coffee flavor grows continuously to the finish, while maple syrup, vanilla, and woody flavors come in. Maple syrup flavor is stronger the taste than in the aroma. Everything in the nose shows up in the flavor profile, with wood, boubon, and alcohol coming in last. The finish lasts for at least a decade. What I can't believe (and contrary to everything I've been told) is how balanced this is. The beer really handles the coffee beans, the bourbon barrels, and the stupidly high alcohol content unbelievably well, with a flavor profile that's complex instead of overwhelming.

The mouthfeel is super-thick and viscous, chewy and oily. A little hot (it is 13% ABV after all), but not at all out of control-- pretty much what I'd expect when I wanted a bourbon-aged imperial stout. Carbonation is totally absent and I like it that way.

Drinkable for a 13%ABV oak-aged imperial stout with coffee beans added to it, which is to say, no, for the love of God, don't try drinking twenty of them.

As far as imps are concerned, I think this is about as good as it gets.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2007 05:57:47 | More by kajerm
Photo of neonbrown82
neonbrown82

Nebraska

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

This is the 2006 Dark Lord, aged for a year in Woodford's Reserve Bourbon Barrels, and released on draught only just in time for the release of the 2007 Dark Lord in bottles. Better than the 2006 non-BA release, though I think the 2007 non-BA Dark Lord is easily better than both. I can't wait for the 2008 Dark Lord Day so I can try the 2007 BA Dark Lord.

The beer pours to a thick dark sludge with very little head, probably destroyed by the spirits it has been aging with. Shows off thick caramel colored legs as it is swished around, and by the time the glass is empty, the glass looks almost like the brown bottle the beer was poured from (err... maybe not, since this is actually a draught, but you get the point).

The smell is great. Has a strong whiff of bourbon/alcohol with vanilla and coconut notes from the barrel. Smells quite sweet, remnant of all of the sugars used in the production of this beer, namely molasses and brown sugar. Little dark roasted malt in the nose, but a generous hit of caramel.

The taste is good. Very rich and sweet up front with a huge taste of bourbon, namely the aforementioned vanilla and coconut. Has a middle taste of rich, dark chocolate, coffee roast, and soy sauce. The finish refuses to go away.

The body is a bit thinner than the non-BA Dark Lord, also with a little less carbonation. Still coats the mouth with a thick molasses consistency. Turns your teeth into a caramel brown color. Not an easy beer to drink on a hot and sunny day after I've already been drinking several beers of considerable strength and body. I REALLY wanted to drink a Gumballhead at that time, but I simply couldn't pass up a one-time opportunity like this.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2007 02:22:17 | More by neonbrown82
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 tyee
tyee

Illinois

4.95/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(This was tasted on tap at the DL release day 2006. It was served in a plastic cup and I transferred it to a pint glass).

The head was small and redish tan with some swirls on the top. The appearance of the beer was densely black.

The smell was of coffee, oak, bourbon, chocolate, rasins and vanilla. Faint hint of hops.

The taste was heavenly! I savored each sip. Rich chocolate, bourbon, rasins and coffee with a slight bitterness at the back end.

The mouthfeel was thick and not too carbonated. This coated the tongue nicely.

Drinkability was wonderful. The aging did this 2005 vintage DL well. The flavors have all blended nicely and the bourbon gives you a real kick in the palate.

I would have to say that this is the best barrel aged beer I have ever had. I was privilaged to try this one. Way to go Nick and all the folks at Three Floyds!!

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2006 15:08:11 | More by tyee
Photo of monkeytoe
monkeytoe

Florida

4.55/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

(Notes from 2006 Dark Lord release day)

Served in a small opaque plastic cup.

Black with the smallest ruby-port hints with a small old-gold persistent head.

Smell: amazing. The anticipation from the smell is just beyond imagining--my mouth is watering. Dark dried fruit, coffee, caramel, cocoa, and some hops bitterness. Maybe some fennel and licorice?

Everything in the nose is in the taste plus a rich syrupy dark soy sauce like savoriness. Some bourbon- and vanilla extract- like alcohol, especially in the out breath. Some oak-y barrel and vine threaded through the deep rich flavors. Complex bitterness with hops, coffee, and unsweetened chocolate sharing the spotlight.

Thick, velvety, oily mouth feel, but not too tongue-coating--I don't feel the need for a tongue scraper after few minutes like some thicker beers leave me.

Here is where I will be controversial. I don't want a bunch of this. It is definitely in the plus 70 cocoa chocolates and port camp in that a small amount satisfies. I want it often, just not glasses of it.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2006 01:28:21 | More by monkeytoe
Photo of lungboy
lungboy

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sorry to say, I did not like this as much as the Dark Lord in a bottle. The sharpness imparted by the oak aging was almost a non-sequitur amid the usual hearty, strong, nourishing flood of savory liquor that is the Dark Lord. It was almost like having a Dark Lord Boilermaker, and that just doesn't make sense. Maybe with a few years (5 or so) it would be an improvement, but since I didn't enter the lottery for the bottle of Oak Aged Dark Lord, I may never know.

All this aside, it was one of the best beers I have had the honor to sip.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2006 05:41:12 | More by lungboy
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Special filled hand bottle from an un-named source creating a raving mystery much like the Dark Lord itself...
Appears a dark black with a small tan head that fades into a a gentle tan collar.
Smell is of rich maple sweet vanilla, dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, fresh brownie batter, and raisins.
Mouthfeel is heavy on the palate, warming, sweet, raisiny, and sticky with a mildly rich burn in the swallow.
Drinkability is pretty good on this despite the instant warming bourbon burn that makes it pretty intense with an alcohol presence. Nice!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2006 17:07:33 | More by weeare138
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When every one lined up to get their bottles, I headed straight to the bar to get a little low-ball of a terrific beer.

This beer came a mirrored obsidian with a small collar of tan and copper head. There were also a few mysterious wisps of head swirling about the surface.

Smelled of gentle fruity bourbon, dark creamy chocolate, maple syrup, chocolate pudding and a warm, aromatic alcohol that hid behind the bourbon and an oak dryness. As it warmed, the alcohol became very (overly?) prominent, but carried with it a sweet vanilla.

Tasted of pasty, rich chocolate pudding that took root in my tongue and turned it brown (seriously, I checked). Through this floated an electric tingly sting of flowing woody bourbon, fresh cut oak and a Jagermeister-like herbiness. I also got some sweet marachino cherry and creamy oak burps! Never had a stout do that before! Sadly, the alcohol was hot to the point of becoming distracting.

The mouth feel was heavy as hell with a thick creamy viscosity added by a micro-fine carbonation giving this the feel of pudding. Where’s my spoon!

This one’s just a trip. The alcohol was a little much and could stand to be aged for a while. Hopefully, FFF has a keg of this sitting somewhere waiting to be cracked in a year or so. A cool version of this would be off the charts!

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2006 21:33:43 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of UncleFlip
UncleFlip

Alabama

4.95/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My sweet little cup of joy. I saw one of the barrels (a Woodford Reserve barrel! YAY!) at FFF in October, and was nearly in tears, knowing I'd never get to try it. I live in Alabama, and can't just hop on up to the brewpub when something special is on tap....so I was overjoyed to hear it was in the lineup for DLD. Oh JOY!

I forked over my cash, and got my lil' plastic cup. dangit! Spilled a bit on my hand. Never before has my own hand been so lickable. Syrupy, sticky when it dried....oh, a beer-pop would be heaven now.

But seriously....thick black, some slight cola fringe around it, and a deep bronze head that seemes a bit thin, but is adequate...sort of like my brain cells.

On the nose, the bourbon hits right up frount- a nice round, not too sharp bourbon at that. Sweet, dark maltiness follows.

The flavour is paradisal to my humble tongue. Once more, the bourbon up front. Nice and thick and sweet, it almost instantly shuts off and is replaced by coffee and bittersweet chocolate. The bourbon hits again at the end, along with a mellow bitterness.

On the mouth, it's velvety and a little oily all at once- nice and thick, with very little apparent carbonation. Just the way I like it.. ;)

Drinakble? Understatement. If I could have this one on tap all the time, I'd be dead now.

Be well
-UF

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2006 06:14:58 | More by UncleFlip
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.93/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a short plastic cup)

A- This beer has an inky black body that stains the side of the cup after each sip the head is a thin cinnamon brown that turns to a small ring around the edge pretty quickly.

S- The powerful smell of oak and coffee roasted malt come through even as I lift the cup of the table. The complex smell is very smooth and blended but notes of bourbon and coffee come through with faint molasses and a hint of vanilla.

T- This slightly sweet black malt has flavors similar to the smell with bourbon and vanilla coming through with a nice wood flavor. The soft taste of coffee beans comes through at the finish.

M- This beer has a full creamy mouthfeel with no alcohol warmth or astringency.

D- This is what Dark Lord has been missing. I like DL for its big punch in the face flavor but the aged in oak DL is blended all those flavors an added some more mysterious layers. This was truly an amazing beer.

Thanks to Diesel for buying this round.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2006 02:16:33 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of hero27
hero27

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap @ the 2006 Dark Lord Release Party.

Pours a thick, syrupy black..the head is modest and a dark caramel color. Aroma is heavy coffee, oak, vanilla, and chocolate, with some alcohol creeping out as well. There's definitely an oaky, bourbon kick to it, but the bitter chocolate and roasted coffee flavors still take the stage similar to the bottled Dark Lord. Amazingly balanced between the bold hop character and the array of tastes..just fantastic. Mouthfeel is expectedly thick, and very coating..yet smooth as velvet. Remains remarkably easy to drink for a beer of this magnitude.

Felt privileged to try this one.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2006 21:18:23 | More by hero27
Photo of karst
karst

Missouri

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

Served at the 2006 Dark Lord release party. $6 per serving - priceless!

Dark that is espected from a monster stout. Fine golden head rest above the darkness of the glass.

Aromal of oak barrel that complements the espresso, dark roasted barleys, chocolate, dark fruit nothing in the Three Floyds pub rivals this aroma.

Taste of decadent dark chocolate espresso malt with prunes, figs and caramel/chocolate-covered-cherries.

Mouthfeel is prototypical - the oak permeates all and seems to clean up the intense flavors. Alcohol is unnoticable in a sea of aromas and flavors. Perilously drinkable.

The pre- release Imperial Stouts offered up by those making the pilgrimage were a nice prelude but quickly fade from memory with the arrival of this at the booth. An excellent meal from the whole roasted hog added to the experience.

My complements to Nick Floyd and his crew for all their efforts in bringing another excellent vintage of the Dark Lord. Hope to return soon. Enjoy the bottle of Cherry Stout from Missouri!

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2006 19:03:15 | More by karst
Photo of murrayswine
murrayswine

Arizona

4.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured for me at DL day for 6 bucks a shooter.
Black as hell. Just dark, and oily. The smell is coffee, caramel, nuts, hops (go figure) and acrid bitters. Hint of anise too.
The taste is rather balanced. Thick as hell too. A lot like Founders KBB in it's bourbon/coffee balance. I really thought this would have a lot more grip to it, but it is deadly smooth.
I cry knowing I have to wait a year to try this again.

Serving type: cask

04-30-2006 01:44:30 | More by murrayswine
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 scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2006 22:48:26 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark dark brownish black like a sludge oil. Very gooey almost with a prevelant tan head and thick sticky lacing.

Coffee, vanilla, bing cherry, cocunut, toffee, toasty oak, and bitter cocoa. No alcohol present in the aroma, but a nice malt background.

Huge beer, delicious cappuccino, fresh coffee grounds, toasty coconut, malty caramel, and dark choclate, heavy cream, honey, mollasses. Massive and uncannily silky smooth. Slight alcohol burn in the chest. Somewhat high is residual sweetness but not coyingly so. Could drink this monster all day long if the high alcohol doesn't get you first. Nearly a perfect beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2006 19:11:00 | More by mcallister
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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.