1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 470 | Reviews: 170 | Show All Ratings:
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
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 illidurit
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
Photo of Treebs
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
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 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 iadler
iadler

Illinois

4.65/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle brought to the recent tasting courtesy of exitmusic00. Thanks homie.

A- Pours a standard DL pitch black with a thin mocha head that leaves minimal lacing.

S- Similar to last year's Bourbon DL with loads of earthy bourbon upfront, oak, dark chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, dark fruit and wood with hints of vanilla and molasses

T- Again bourbon is prominent, but is smooth and complex with notes of dark fruits including raisins, fig, black cherry as well as roasted malt, vanilla, oak, molasses and some roasted malt.

M- Low to medium carbonation. A little hot, but the abv is still hidden fairly well.

O- A superb bourbon aged RIS that I consider to be a tad better than last year's DL PVW treatment. The bourbon is so smooth and well integrated into the base beer. It's incredible what barrels do to DL. My favorite treatment of the '12 varieties .

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 23:13:12 | More by iadler
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, MarkIntihar!

Nearly black, though very heavy and substantial looking in the glass. Shiny and oily, with a small brown head that leaves dots of stick.

Rich, inviting, monstrous aroma of bourbon (vanilla, oak, maple, alcohol hint), chocolates, and roast. This combines marvelously well. As this warms, there's just a hint of an off vegetable-like note, but it's certainly not distracting, especially because it tastes so good.

Any flaw found in the aroma is completley hidden in the flavor. Rich, layered notes of vanilla, bourbon barrel, molasses, chocolates, and roast combine for an incredilby drinkable, though incredibly significant, substantial barrel-aged RIS.

Full in body, thick, heavy, luscious.

One of the finest beers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 22:19:06 | More by ehammond1
Photo of Synergy87
Synergy87

Wisconsin

4.65/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle was staring at me in the fridge as I was out of beer. I'm going to attempt to review this beer as a beer advocate instead of a drunkard, because I'm half way done with this godly brew. Yes it is that good. Here we go.

2012 Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord: 241/420

A: Black as sin

S: Bourbon, alcohol

T: Bourbon, no coffee flavors here (almost 4 months old, so no surprised there), sweet sugary fruits, wood

M: Absolutely my favorite part next to taste for this beer, it's so damn ridiculously smooth, I can't describe it, and the carbonation is very minimal, but perfect for the style. Absolutely love the mouthfeel on this one, smooth, smooth, smooth.

O: I can't wait to get tickets for Darklord Day 2013 to have more of this lovely brew. I am looking forward to getting a bottle of the vanilla bean version next year, as this years vanilla bean DL on tap was just amazing. If you get the chance to trade, try this fresh, or try this at all, I highly recommend it. Amazing. Godly.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2012 03:50:09 | More by Synergy87
Photo of birderbeerer
birderbeerer

Virginia

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

On tap at DLD 2012 (and 2011).

Pitch black and syrupy as all dark lords tend to be. Oak comes through more in this version than it does in the vanilla. And the sweetness and heat from the bourbon seems subdued and dried by that oak.

The dark fruit flavors come through more in this version rather than vanilla also. I don't know if this is aged longer than vanilla bean but the beer seems much less sweet and much richer in flavor.

But it's also not quite as big or rich as vanilla. I would call those two a tie or maybe vanilla has a very slight edge.

Serving type: on-tap

06-18-2012 14:43:11 | More by birderbeerer
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

4.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cosmicevan for sharing!

Decent looking, nothing special here though. Strong, smooth bourbon aroma takes over to blend with roasty malts and sugary sweetness.

The underlying taste is a more mature version of DL complimented by sweet, smooth, rounded bourbon. Not too much complexity here: just bourbon. Cognac DL was much more interesting, and a significantly better variant overall.

Still a great beer, but a big step down from the Cognac in my book. But then again, I'm not a bourbon lover.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 02:25:57 | More by brystmar
Photo of DonKruse
DonKruse


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

I'm a newbie to craft beers but went to a festival with some guru friends of mine and they let me try some of this. This beer has a full and very smooth simple flavor. I don't know enough about beer to say what the flavors were but I wanted to say even as a newbie I can still appreciate this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2012 01:37:25 | More by DonKruse
Photo of beergod1
beergod1

Ohio

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

Poured Black with small tan head. Aroma is mostly deep, rich Dark fruit with some Cocoa and a hint of roasted malts. Flavor is as smooth as it gets with a hint of alcohol, Coffee, chocolate, sweet malts and thick heavy molasses that stained the glass with every sip. Several layers of flavor. This is a real good Imperial Stout, But just as good as what I can get around Ohio & PA. (Voodoo, Hoppin’ Frog...) And I don’t have to stand in line for those.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 03:05:43 | More by beergod1
Photo of gbbass16
gbbass16

Missouri

4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dark Lord Day 2011. Thanks to the girl who traded me hers for a cigarette. She had no clue...

This was another epiphany for me. Pour is dark and black with virtually no head. Smell lights up your nose with burnt, sweet, and no heat. Mouthfeel is really think and wonderful. Taste is an expolosion of coffee, carmel, chocolate, coffee, dark wood. Awesome RIS!!! I am gald to have 4 bottles resting comfortably that I wont open until mid 2012. Every so often, I go to the closet just to stare at them....

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2011 19:05:24 | More by gbbass16
Photo of dboon
dboon

Florida

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

PVW bottle. Joan Jett black pour with a chocolate head. Huge bourbon aromas. This version, like the ’10 DL in my opinion, is not thick and motor oil like as previous years. The taste was very sweet with lots of molasses, chocolate malts, vanilla, and very very muted bourbon flavors.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 20:46:00 | More by dboon
Photo of ajsdad06
ajsdad06

Ohio

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

I think 6 oz. draft into a plastic cup @ DLD the past two years (rating is from 4/08).

This pours jet black with no real head to speak of; perhaps a few tan bubbles scattered about. It is so thick that it refuses to leave the sides of the cup.

The aroma has the big sweet caramel malt, roast,etc from the base Darklord and adds bourbon, light oak, anise, and hints at the abv.

The flavors are intense and include roasted malt, chocolate,coffee, caramel, vanilla,oak, bourbon, and anise. There is a dark chocolate like bitterness.

Definetly full bodied, with the flavor lingering for quite some time. It is worth the time away from the tasting tables to enjoy this special brew once a year.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2011 00:16:46 | More by ajsdad06
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 Alpar
Alpar

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Dark Lord Day 2011.

Well worth the wait.

A: Dark with no head just like the others.

S: Damn fine Bourbon bliss!

T: Ok, I tasted the bourbon at first and it was smooth, but after going back and forth between this and the vanilla DL I developed this Graham cracker taste which complemented the vanilla's marshmallow flavor, unreal!

O: Overall I have to say it was one of the best beer experiences of my life but the vanilla is better if I had to have only one.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2011 21:37:18 | More by Alpar
Photo of brew3crew
brew3crew

Ohio

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

Had this on tap at DLD 11. had to wait about an hour to try it but it was worth the wait.

A-Pours a jet and souless black. no life exists in this glass
S-Great bourbon smell. not too much but not too little. I love it when it is like this
T-Wonderful. Very subtle bourbon makes this a very drinkable beer.
M-Medium body, creamy and smooth
O-Great beer overall. wish they made more of it!

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2011 20:19:06 | More by brew3crew
Photo of Dreadnaught33
Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

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

Had this on tap at DLD 2011 in the Brewpub. I absolutely love Three Floyds. Bourbon Barrel dark Lord is the description.

A: Definitely pours black as hell with a small tan ring of head and great legs of alcohol. Very nice look.

S: Wow, the best mix of amazing sweet and savory bourbon with huge dark malt of any bourbon aged stout I've had to date. Raisin, Vanilla, burnt malt, dark fruit all combine amazingly. Complex and exceptional.

T: Taste does not disappoint, Might be the best tasting beer I've ever had even better than Vanilla IMHO. More flavors from the already bourbon and dark malt smell characters include molasses, vanilla bean, dark fruit, some coffee roast, and more. Tastes like the stout I think God would want to have.

M: Smooth and mostly not too hot, but a little alcohol lingers here. Would easily be a 5 with some age.

D: Totally amazing and just a pleasure to try. I beginning to think Dark Lord might be the best stout the barrel age in history.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2011 20:56:06 | More by Dreadnaught33
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 oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.6/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap at the 3 Floyds brewpub during Dark Lord Day.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with no light coming through. There is hardly any head.

Smell: The smell is very sweet and roasty with bourbon hitting the nose right away. I'm also picking up some chocolate and vanilla notes.

Taste: This is an awesome tasting beer. Very sweet and roasty with some bourbon heat. I'm picking up hints of cocoa and vanilla. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and mouth coating. The carbonation is mild and the finish is dry.

Overall: I liked the vanilla version a little bit better, but I really enjoyed this one as well. The balance is wonderful and it is a smooth drinker.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2011 21:53:45 | More by oline73
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Black and oily, capped with some reddish-mocha bubbles.

S - The nose is an outrageous combination of deeply roasted notes, coffee and chocolate, dark fruit, and oaky vanilla. The booze is obvious as a flavor component, but not as hotness at all.

T - The delectability offered by the nose is fully realized in the flavor. Big luscious notes are leaping from the glass - ranging from coffee, toffee, and cocoa, to anise-licorice, vinous dark fruit and whisky - and covering up the staggering ABV along the way. This is just phenomenally delicious, nothing more need be said.

M - Sticky, oily, hugely decadent.

O - This is definitely worthy of the hype; it is so much better than the base beer that it boggles my mind.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2011 23:26:29 | More by ktrillionaire
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 470 ratings.