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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

182 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 182
Hads: 690
Avg: 4.52
pDev: 18.36%
Wants: 1,873
Gots: 109 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 182 | Hads: 690
Photo of khumbard
4.87/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 10-12oz sample poured into a little clear plastic cup amongst about 9000 people waiting in line. I was too late to get any VBDL, but was very excited to get to try this one. Appearance is definitive Dark Lord, a small dark tan head. The nose on this one is awesome. Oak and bourbon up front, with dark lord sweetness behind. Chocolate and dark fruit. The taste follows the smell and really delivers. The barrel comes through strong with bourbon and vanilla. The oak really smooths out all of the complex dark lord flavors. Coating and thick mouthfeel, that lingers until you can have another sip. Dark Lord is an incredible beer, but this is an unbelievable beer. One of the best beers I've had the pleasure of having. Can't wait until next year.

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Photo of murrayswine
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of cpmichael
4.67/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of HoboAGoGo
3.86/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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Photo of Monsone
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a slight brownish particulate floating about

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of hrking
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the true definition of what a world class stout should be all about. I've had this 3 years in a row now at DLD and it never fail to impress and you will find me in the pub again and again on DLD. Pours a chocolate blackness and delivers everything you could imagine or ever dream of in a stout. Bourbon and oak seem to melt flawlessly into the background of this monster stout that does truly make this a treat to be savored. If there is a flaw it would be that it's not bottled and sold as a one bottle kicker on DLD along with it's standard version. Everything is here oak,vanilla,bourbon,chocolate fudge goodness.. the best way is fresh off the tap but to see this end up bottled would be awesome..Keep up the good work FFF's you started this whole craft beer craze and one off stout release everyone else is copying what FFF's started..the true kings of craft beer!

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Photo of bierenutz
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had the pleasure of having this on tap at the FFF brewpub on DLD, and immediately after having a DLVB, and this was better.
A-Black, nuff said there. Out of the tap and "rested" there was no head or lacing to comment on.
S-Rich and complex with bourbon, roasted malts, oak and chocolate aromas with hints of vanilla and dark fruits.
T-If someone made a mocha flavored bourbon, it would taste like this. Very, very nice and the flavors linger and remind you why this beer is so highly rated.
M-Creamy, thick and low carbonation.
D-Excellent beer and one of my all time favorites. Well worth the wait and deserving of the hype.

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Photo of dboon
4.27/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of bgramer
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at DLD.

Black as sin with tan rays of hope coating the sides of the cup. Thick, oily, and sweet smelled like dark fruits and bourbon-ey. The taste was definitely chocolate-y (like a cupcake almost) and roasty with hints of coffee.

It was a cold day so this beer was a great warmer. The oak aging was not as prominent, but still served as one piece of the complex flavor-tasting puzzle.

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Photo of SQNfan
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank at Three Floyd's Brewing Company during the 2007 Dark Lord Day: Black as night it had a slight brown head that left some nice brown lacing. The nose was huge and filled with expresso, chocolate and porty overtones. In the mouth it was the most dense, thick, syrupy, oily beer I have every tasted. While the alcohol lever is high (15%) and you know it is there, it is never hot. The flavors from the nose burst into the palate covering every nook and cranny. This is an intese freak of a beer that one can only drink in small quantities. However credit needs to be given as it is balanced which is not an easy feat for something this size.

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Photo of Synergy87
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of PrinceDarren
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had the pleasure of trying both the Oak Aged and Vanilla Bean Dark Lord at DLD 2010. While I would describe the VB DL as a kinder, gentler version of regular Dark Lord, the Oak Aged version is every bit as brutally massive (and then some).

The Oak Aged Dark Lord is simply a more complex version of the real deal. The added wood character slaps you around with yet one more characteristic compounding something that is already very complex.

As with the VB DL, the only advice I would recommend for further improvement is to allow this to mellow out with some age. Being freshly tapped from a new keg obviously doesn't allow this - but it would be cool to have a bottled version of Oak Aged Dark Lord to lay down for a few more months.

In all, I like the Oak Aged Dark Lord that much more than the regular version. I hope they produce more next year!

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

2009 vintage served at the Brickskeller 3Floyds tasting with Barnaby as the speaker (5 oz pour).
A: Jet black with no head and thin dark brown lacing
S: Incredible aromas of oak, bourbon (Woodford Reserve barrels), and chocolate.
T: Wow, this is as good as it gets for a bourbon barrel stout. It's not overly sweet like I was expecting (based on 2009 Dark Lord). There are huge vanilla, oak, bourbon, dark fruit, and milk chocolate flavors - all in harmony. Also, a hint of coffee and caramel comes through, giving it an added complexity.
M: Mouthfeel is thick, but not as thick as bottled Dark Lord. It is, however, very creamy, velvety smooth and coats the mouth very well.
D: The only knock on this beer is the slight alcohol burn - you can tell it's 13% (or more).
Overall this is one of the best bourbon barrel stouts out there, and I feel so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to try it outside of Dark Lord Day. Big thanks to Barnaby and Nick for bringing it to the Brickskeller tasting!

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Photo of Cedromar
2.76/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

So...yeah, I had one full glass of OA Dark Lord an hour ago. It's was horrendous. I got my toes crushed by the keg and then when I tasted it after waiting a couple hours for it, it just was a huge let down.

Looked pretty good, the smell was average of average DL, no Vanilla or Oak in the scent.

Taste- Wow, this sucks. I'm sorry, normal '09 DL = OMG. '09 OA DL=bad. No taste of Oak at all and overpoweringly sweet. The few drops I had of Kaggen and Surly Two beat the shit out of this brew.

Mouthfeel- Good, just like normal DL, thick and delicious.

Drinkability- It tasted awful, somewhat like '08 Darkness awful. I can see if people like it, but it had no taste of Oak at all. NONE. No wood. Vanilla bean DL was AMAZING though.

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Photo of UtisTheLaw
4.77/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best beers I drank at DLD. This beer is a home run for me with the great barrel heat and caramel and vanilla notes. It looks dark as night, but smells and tastes sinful. I could drink this in on a regular basis. Too bad it is not easily or often found.

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Photo of pepsican
3.85/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to joey and random guy in line for tastings of this. Black as night, no head. Aroma was heavy on the molasses and bourbon. Huge bourbon intro with chocolate, molasses, and alcohol. Finishes very boozy, syrupy. A bit over the top for me, not very drinkable. I had a 4 oz glass and it was a bit too much. Still one of the most flavorful and unique beers I've come across.

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Photo of gbbass16
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
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....

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Photo of SchmoTerp
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

All the hype is well deserved - one of my favorite and most complicated beers to date. This imperial stout was truly the thickest beer I've ever had and was certainly one of the most favorful. The most surprising characteristic was its smoothness in all of its boldness. It's unfortunate they will not bottle this one but then again, that's what's so great about it.

Loved it.

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Photo of Greencoat
4.82/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of ajsdad06
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of monkeytoe
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of Steamhead
4.18/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The '09 was, in my opinion, a step down from the regular Dark Lord and two steps down from Vanilla Bean Dark Lord. This seem the least polished of the three. The nose was hotter, the mouthfeel had lost some of the rich creaminess in exchange for a bitter wood tannin, and just did not leave a great impression. Still a solid beer that most breweries would sell their soul to produce, but for the perfection that is expected with Three Floyds it was good, but not great.

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Photo of lungboy
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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

(Bottle, thanks to SQNfan) If Blursimarsi cannot come to Dark Lord Day, then Dark Lord Day has to come to Blursimarsi. Pours compact dark brown to black. The aroma is fat with oak/bourbon up front bringing tones of vanilla, coconut, light smoke and alcohol. In addition, lots of malt roasts with dark chocolate and chocolate ice cream as the most notable but there is also some room for coffee/espresso. Sweet sugary and dark fruity with tones of molasses, maple syrup, rum raisins and prunes. Hints of raspberries, nuts and celery. The flavour is medium to heavily sweet, light to medium bitter and medium to heavily roasted/burned. Bourbon, vanilla, coconut, dark chocolate, rum raisins, burned caramel, some coffee, mint-ish alcohol warmth, molasses and light smoke. The mouthfeel is extremely fat and oily yet smooth, soft and velvety with a balanced sticky ending. Aftertaste of bitter chocolate, coffee, bourbon hop dryness and molasses. Full bodied. Extreme but well balanced. Wow!

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Photo of tmgiddings
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.