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 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
Photo of aerozeppl
aerozeppl

New York

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

DLD.

A: The beer looked no different than the vanilla version. A super thick BLACK beer with no head with only a few bubbles. Also this beer had legs.

S: The nose was so rich and not as one dimensional as the vanilla. The bourbon was a real treat. Also this was 2010 dark lord so it had some time to chill out. The bourbon was up front but with the diminished booziness of fresh DL it worked out well and took that and replaced it with something you wanted to smell.

T: One of the best bourbon barrel beers that I have ever had. The complexity was off the charts and it did not come across as sweet like the vanilla version. Both were excellent but I preferred this.

M: Super thick with almost no carbonation. A joy.

D: I had 2 samples of each version. I tried going back for a third but friends settled me into getting a dreadnaught and calming down. It was worth the price and the blend of both was amazing. It was worth the 5 hours we were in line to get some.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2011 23:01:38 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of MarkIntihar
MarkIntihar

Michigan

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

Enjoyed on-tap at 2011 DLD! Called "Bourbon Barrel" Dark Lord on the chalk board in the tap room.

A - Pours jet black with almost no head. Looks chewy and awesome!

S - Maple bourbon on the nose at first, followed by some dark fruits and raisins. Also pick up some of the traditional Dark Lord soy sauce type of scent.

T - Taste is initially bitter dark chocolate, followed nicely with the vanilla bourbon presence. Finish is very hot, almost pure bourbon. Delicious!

M - Very smooth at first, with the bourbon sting again coming through slightly in the finish.

O - Overall an exceptional beer! Glad I took the time to review it!

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2011 13:45:55 | More by MarkIntihar
Photo of Greencoat
Greencoat

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bourbon Barrel 2010 on tap at the FFF pub after DLD.

A: Thick and black. You could use it to lube up an old engine. Slowly dissipating, tan head. Legs like a supermodel.

S: Nice balance of bourbon, malt sweetness and a little coffee hiding in the background.

T: Wonderful balance of all things awesome. Bourbon most certainly played a supporting role in this one. Far less angular that non-BBA 2010, it doesn't have the eccentric bitter bite that it's little brother has. Nice boozy warmth and plenty of fig, coffee and toffee. Delicious.

M: Thick enough to brush your teeth with. Very low carbonation. The time in the barrel and this being a year old now make it nice and smooth.

O: I'm very impressed with this one. I was lucky enough to be at the brew pub right when they opened the day after DLD. It allowed me to really dissect this one without the craziness of the previous day's festivities surrounding me.

If you're ever in a situation in which you can try this guy out, take advantage of it. This was magical beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2011 21:46:09 | More by Greencoat
Photo of cpmichael
cpmichael

Indiana

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

On tap at DLD.

A: Pours a thick and dark black, wasn't much head by the time the server brought it to our table.

S: Smells of bourbon, oak with hints of vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malts. Some hints of coffee.

T: Baker's chocolate, plums/raisins, bourbon, oak and a hint of vanilla and coffee.

M/D: Very thick, syrup-like. low carbonation, but this thing is one drinkable beast. It was very smooth and not very hot at all. Easily could have only drank this beer all DLD.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2011 16:34:07 | More by cpmichael
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

4.53/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ DLD!

After searching high and low for a way to get this on the outside of the pub and giving up, someone with a red jacket handed me a cup and said "enjoy". Very gracious, thanks! Poured into my snifter - about 6oz but certainly enough for a rating!

The beer looks great in terms of color but is lacking in terms of head. Pretty dead looking, a voracious swirl reawakens a touch of lace but perhaps the most interesting aspect is the way this coats the sides of the glass. Not exceptional looking, but, for a 13% BA Beer, we'll still say the color is fantastic!

The smell is the best part of this beer. The layers of intricate depth of the base beer are still kicking. I get tons of dark fruit, chocolate, and burned malt. But an additional layer of bourbon and oak adds complexity where the base beer has smoothed out. Not a booze bomb at all, this has improved the base beer tremendously in the nose.

The taste is a slightly different story. Maybe I see BA huge stouts in a different light than others. To me, a beer like Dark Lord already has so many layers of flavor that I'm really just looking for the booze to mellow and the flavors to gel. To me, this BA version is quite good but I almost like the base beer more by itself. The barrel tastes and bourbon seem to stand on the side of the base instead of integrating. Don't ge me wrong, there are great flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, molasses and licorice. The barrel treatment was well executed, lending some wood, vanilla and bourbon, but I'm not convinced it was necessary or an improvement that warrented the investment.

The mouthfeel also takes just a small step back from the original beer. There's just a bit of a duality here, where it seems the base sludge and the bourbon are dancing but at different speeds. Still a great beer overall, and one I will happily revisit every year at DLD.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2011 12:16:32 | More by jampics2
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 470 ratings.