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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

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180 Reviews
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Reviews: 180
Hads: 679
Avg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 1,850
Gots: 108 | FT: 3
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 180 | Hads: 679
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.21/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, bourbon, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and vanilla flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty and woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some nice barrel aged aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dark Lord Day 2009.

A: Very dark with a small tannish head.

S: Sweet malt with bourbon, oak, dark chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits.

T: Much the same as the nose, but with more of the oak presence coming through, especially as it warms.

M: Very heavy with low carbonation.

D: Excellent. The taste only gets better as it warms--one of the best sippers around.

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Photo of largadeer
4.74/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got this one from stfun37. Brought this down to San Diego last week and shared it with HopHead84 and dyan. I think this exceeded all of our expectations.

Sludgy opaque black, no head forms from the pour - this is pretty much still. Plenty thick, but not as viscous as the regular Dark Lord, which can only be a good thing.

Huge aroma of chocolate, fudge, chocolate cake, chocolate syrup, vanilla and caramel. Inhaling anywhere near the vicinity of a glass of this is like walking into a chocolatier. Unbelievably sweet and decadent. Oak and bourbon are noticeable, but the chocolate/caramel/vanilla trifecta is dominant.

The taste is brimming with rich chocolate and vanilla, molasses, licorice and oaky tannins. Bourbon is there too, well-integrated and balanced with the base beer. The body is thick and viscous, carbonation non-existent. The finish is mildly tannic, roasty and semi-dry, coffee lingering on the palate.

It's amazing what a little -bal aging will do to a beer. While I'm not at all a fan of the regular Dark Lord, this iteration of it is incredible.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks goes out to an unnamed BA who helped me out with this one. Quite possibly the biggest think on my bucket list of beers. I have been waiting far too long to try this one. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass.

The pour was black as night. Small head of tan faded quickly leaving behind only the slightest bit of brown clinging to the sides of the glass. Seriously black as night on the pour here though with an intensly dark look to it. The aroma was wonderful. Tons of oak notes here hit you first with the sweet molasses and tobacco notes following up nicely. Smooth, subtle and wonderfully complex flavor here. Not the harsh oak, I found this to be very close in flavor to the 03 BA speedway, mature would be the best word for how it tasted. Really very well done. Very sweet tasting, especially on the finish here with notable light vanilla touches that mingled well with the oak notes and really full feel on this one, about as thick and creamy as a beer can get. Alcohol noted, but not overwhelming.

Overall this was soo worth the wait for me. A wonderfully complex beer that was accented perfectly. A different beast the the DL itself, this is something I would love to see come around much more often.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.37/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.63/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black, soulless body with a thin, dark tan head. Everything the original Dark Lord is, both in aroma and taste, but now given a hearty soak in bourbon -- something I highly recommend. Strong bourbony accents blend in well with the other strong flavors. Thick, somewhat sticky body with almost nil carbonation. Enjoyed at this year's DLD, it really helped take the edge off standing around for hours upon hours in a line.

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Photo of oline73
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.7/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Three Floyds brewpub on 4/25/09 during DLD. Served in a snifter.

Pours as black as an oil slick into the glass with a burnt and charred mocha colored tan head. Standard D look for this, except that the head looks a tad thin and more foamy than the regular Dark Lord. The aroma is just thick with bourbon warmth and pervasive accents of wood and vanilla that lie on top of the RIS notes of chocolate, coffee, molasses, and dark fruit tang, giving an extra level of hugeness to this bouqet. Wow, this is big in the nose!

The taste starts with massive barrel notes of boozy bourbon and oaky accents that is more than an equal for the massive sweetness and roast of the Dark Lord. The bourbon never seems to get overpowering to me because the original flavor profile was so huge to begin with. Finishes with a tangy, boozy, and dry feel that warms the palate and sticks in the mouth. The mouthfeel is hugely chewy and viscous with most of the heat from the beer appearing to come more from the bourbon notes and less from the ABV of the body itself. A warming, steady sipper here.

Well there's certainly nothing understated about this beer. Bourbon-aged Dark Lord is what you want and bourbon-aged Dark Lord is what you GET! Luckily I greatly enjoy both and found a good balance between the two aspects, despite just the overall mammoth flavors and strength going on here. I greatly enjoyed this.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review #300. From 6/2/10 notes. Had at a Three Floyds tasting at the Brickskeller in DC. This was a 2009 Dark Lord vintage aged in whiskey barrels.

a - Pours a pure black color with little head and carbonation.

s - Smells of whiskey, oak, and maybe a little vanilla. Also some sweet malts.

t - Tastes of whiskey, oak, sweet dark fruits, and vanilla. Has a touch of heat to it.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation.

d - I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. I'm a big fan of whiskey and oak in stouts, and this one was great. Also enjoyed the sweetness in the smell and taste. Very interested to open one of my bottles of regular DL now to compare the two, and would love to try again some day.

Edit: Got to try this again on tap at Dark Lord Day at the brewery on 04/30/11 and liked it a lot more than the first time I had it. I thought the nose was absolutely amazing; the bourbon and vanilla really shone through. Bumping the nose from a 4.5 to a 5.0.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.12/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of drabmuh
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at DLD 2010 in the brewpub.

Served into a tumbler/snifter glass.

Served with 1/2 finger of creamy tan head. Color is just like vanilla bean dl: pitch black.

Aroma: Straight up oak, chocolate, and malty. Rich. Big caramel sweetness. Subtle aroma, but awesome. Very well done.

Taste: sweet malts with lots of caramel and cream. Some toffee flavors. The oak is present with a big wood flavor (yes I just typed big wood). Some raisins and molasses. Chocolaty goodness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, warming, and creamy. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Hot aftertaste. Ends malty and warm.

Overall, not bad at all. Very fine beer. The VB is better, but I am not complaining with this one. Very drinkable and I am glad I got a chance to try this one.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Brad for sharing this at his tasting on Saturday!

2010 vintage, served side by side with Dark Lord and Vanilla Bean Dark Lord.

Oak Aged Dark Lord pours a near jet black, with hints of brown visible at the upper edges of the glass when held to the light. Head and lacing are somewhat subdued, but given the serving medium, I couldn't ask for more. A great big aroma of rich roasted malt and oak barrels. Wow. Dark Lord is one of my favorite beers, and I find the addition of oak barrels to be quite wonderful. There is a prominent licorice note in the taste. Someone described the feel as "oil slick in the gulf" and I have to agree. Thick and chewy, this beer leaves a coating of stout residue in your mouth that utterly blankets the palate. This is remarkably smooth, given the high alcohol (it is higher this year than previous vintages), and gives a nice, warm burn as it slides down. I really hope I can go to DLD next year and get some of this fresh from the tap.

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On tap at DLD 2011.

Simply delicious. Similar in some regards to Goose Island Bourbon County Rare. The beer is full of flavor and wonderfully smooth. Alcohol content hidden beautifully. Lingering aftertaste of delicious bourbon. Warming sensation as it goes down. World class.

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Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got to have a small glass of this at Dark Lord Day 2010. The pour was pitch black with some dark chocolate lacing clinging to the sides of the glass. It's one of the darkest and thickest looking stouts I think I've ever seen. It left a little lacing on the glass but not a lot.

The aroma had a big vanilla and oak wood presence with a good amount of bourbony alcohol flavor to it as well. It also had dark chocolate, roasted malts and a little dark fruit to it. The barrel added a very nice complex aroma to it, it was a little strong but didn't overwhelm the beer.

The taste also has a large oak, vanilla and bourbon presence to it. The bourbon flavor gave it a warming alcohol finish. Also present were some dark roasted and chocolate flavors but they definitely took a backseat to the barrel flavors.

The mouthfeel was nice and thick with low carbonation. Very nice mouthfeel on it considering I like thick and heavy stouts. Drinkability was decent although the alcohol and barrel characteristics were a little strong. The 4-5 oz glass that I got was plenty for me.

Overall a very nice modification of Dark Lord. I enjoyed the glass I had but probably wouldn't have gotten another one, especially if this was a beer available all the time. It felt like the barrel characteristics were a little overpowering and became the main flavor of the beer instead of Dark Lord being the main flavor with some barrel characteristics to enhance the complexity. Don't get me wrong it was delicious and great for the serving size they gave out, just couldn't justify any higher scores for it based on that.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.25/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2015 bottle. Bottle #454 of 603.

Appearance - Viscous black body. Small khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Very nutty. Dark chocolate. Not much distinct bourbon. Lots of sugar. Not quite soy sauce, but it's close to that.

Taste - Outrageously sweet. Caramel. Dark chocolate. I get some bourbon here, but it's still not a standout flavor. That pseudo-soy-sauce flavor sneaks in into the finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and sweet. Medium low carbonation and tingly carbonation.

Overall - This just isn't pleasant to drink. Absurdly sweet. Quite a struggle.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.12/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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Photo of weeare138
4.69/5  rDev +3.8%
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!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From old notes The beer is black, and it doesn't appear as viscous or syrupy as regular Dark Lord. The beer looks near.

The nose is unadulterated decadence. It's reminiscent of chocolate cookies, brown sugar, fudge, chocolate chips, and brownies. Oak isn't prominent, like I was expecting, but it is noticeable. I detect a little molasses and a whisper of vanilla. No oxidation in the nose? I'm astounded!

The flavor is fudge and chocolate cake with light vanilla and a little sugar. The chocolate is insanely rich. I detect a touch of astringency and subtle oak. So decadent. The finish is chocolate desert with a slight roast and a little heat. The mouthfeel is light and silky, not at all like the viscous and syrupy regular mouthfeel on Dark Lord. There's just a dash of oxidation in the flavor, but it's not detrimental. I was expecting this to suck, but it far exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of John_M
4.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Brickskellar last night. The 3 Floyd's rep indicated this was the 2009 whiskey barrel aged version of DL.

The beer pours the expected viscuous looking, blackish brown color with minimal head retention and/or lacing. On the other hand, I can smell this bad boy from a foot away... the nose is profound, showing milk duds, coffee, whiskey, vanilla and considerable booze. This beer just smells flat out decadent. For the most part, the flavor profile replicates the nose, though it's a bit one dimensional and is dominated by sweet chocolate and coffee. The beer is decidedly on the sweet side, and is almost ponderous on the palate. Mouthfeel is absolute perfection and the beer is a huge presence on the palate. The beer feels like spun silk on the palate, with a buttery, creamy texture that is plush, soft, smooth and long. There is a hint of bitterness on the finish, which I think keeps this beer from being over the top rich and sweet. Considering how sweet, boozy and alcoholic this beer is, it's no surpirse that drinkability is not its best attribute. This beer is really more like an after dinner liquer, and it's hard to imagine too many other occasions when I'd want to drink a beer like this. Originally I had contemplated ordering another glass after the tasting, but after my finishing off my 3 or ounce "sampler," I really couldn't bring myself to drink any more. Regardless, this beer is a stunner and is absolutely outstanding.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.92/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of aasher
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I actually enjoyed this beer today at the brewpub. They still had one keg left when they opened this morning. The menu said that it was 2010 DL aged for one year in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. The nose was of sweet chocolate, vanilla, and light bourbon. The vanilla and bourbon were predominant but neither was overpowering. The flavors were nice and superbly well meshed. The chocolate and bourbon finished quite well together. It was exceptionally smooth, perfect in body. This beer was fantastic.

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Photo of Viggo
4.03/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.