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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

470 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 470
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 8.97%


Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
Dark Lord aged in bourbon barrels for one year. Recently has used a blend of barrels from Heaven Hill, but has also been Woodford Reserve and others in the past

Formerly known as Oak Aged Dark Lord.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 04-29-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 470 | Reviews: 170 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Monsone
Monsone

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2008 23:00:37 | More by Monsone
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

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

Draught, Dark Lord Day 2008. Original Dark Lord is a 5.0 beer for me, a 1 year barrel aged version just takes it to another level. Has the smoothness, intensity, layers of flavor and incredible body of Dark Lord, with additions of whiskey, charred oak, vanilla and coconut. One of the best beverages I've consumed.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2008 03:41:09 | More by Crosling
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

4.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at DLD. A nice treat after waiting in the cold for hours. Poured pitch black with zero head and enjoyed in a small plastic cup, just the way it was meant to be had. Smell is rich sweet, sticky molassesy malt with a light bourbon and alcoholic vanilla aroma. Taste is rich, semi sweet, chocolatey, dark fruit fig like flavor with some soy sauce like quality too. Rich oily mouthfeel and light carbonation but a sufficient amount. Really good stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2008 17:15:46 | More by JDV
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

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

Sampled this many times at Dark Lord Day the past few years. Always arrives in the plastic cup, but that doesn't detract from this massive brew. Impenetrable black, oily, viscous and thick with a layer of deep dark tan foam on top. Looks like 10K+ mile used motor oil. Aromas reek of deep dark malts with notes of coffee and chocolate all drenched in a wonderful, woody bourbon that jumps out of the cup to greet you. It's really hard to describe but it all comes together perfectly and the aroma is divine.

Sipping this brings you immediate warmth as the big, dense malts collide with the rich bourbon and wood notes. Chocolate, caramel, coffee and molasses all work in as it flows down. The brew is on the sweeter side but never becomes too sweet as it's nicely balanced with a solid bitterness. Finishes with lingering bourbon notes. Simply amazing.

Mouthfeel is big, viscous, chewy and heavy. It's so damn good, albeit a bit hard to drink when you are standing out in the sun. After the tasting tables, a cup of this is usually what does me in every Dark Lord Day. Still, given the chance I would drink this until I fell down. Spectacular stuff that I look forward to every year!

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2008 01:58:57 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of bassmantin
bassmantin

Illinois

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

Bought a cup of this for $5 at Dark Lord Day. Definitely worth it.

It has all the great characteristics of the regular Dark Lord (great mouthfeel, incredible malts, you know...), but the oak aging mellowed the super-sticky sweetness which was my least favorite thing about regular DL. It's great what the aging did for this beer.

I generally say that aging isn't worth the expense, but in this case it mellows the beer and further adds to the great complexity.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2008 00:40:26 | More by bassmantin
Photo of mdm46410
mdm46410

Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at DLD '08. Poured a thick used motor oil opaque black/brown with a thin mocha head. Not so much lace, but a thick oily residue was left clinging to the sides of the cup. The aroma was robust and full of strong coffee and chocolate with a hint of detectable bourbon. Same for the flavor. The bourbon was not overpowering or intense, it just added another layer of complexity. The mouthfeel did not suffer from the barrel-aging. It was thick and sticky as ever. A great beer, but I still prefer my Dark Lord without the bourbon.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2008 23:19:24 | More by mdm46410
Photo of SchmoTerp
SchmoTerp

Alabama

4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2008 01:09:05 | More by SchmoTerp
Photo of genog
genog

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got to sample this one at DLD 08.

Poured into a tiny plastic cup a black charcoal color with a thin layer of light tan head resting on top the entire time. Had more lacing than the original Dark Lord.

Smell was bourbony, oaky and kind of like a port with big dark fruit notes.

Taste was very complex with sweetness and smokiness dancing together on the palate.

Mouthfeel was very smooth and creamy, with a warming alcohol presence.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2008 20:09:14 | More by genog
Photo of iconoklaztor
iconoklaztor

Indiana

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

This beer poured with virtually no head what so ever. It was probably served a little cold but I was probably the 10th person to get this so I'm guessing it was due to that.

The color of this brew was as dark as a beer could get, IMO. It coated the cup like the nastiest motor oil from the most run down POS you could imagine. (I still have the cup)

The smells was phenomenal. Smells of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, chocolate cake, and a little burnt coffee made up this beast.

The taste simply cant be put into words but I will make a poor attempt at it. It was probably the most balanced beer I've ever had. At no point did this beer reveal any of its 13%. It was super creamy, Bourbon-y, and very chocolaty.

The mouth was so rich and creamy and thick and malty. I am honored to have tried this brew.

Overall, this beer is the best beer I've ever tried. It, IMO, can't get much better than this. I'm excited to see what can top it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2008 23:25:48 | More by iconoklaztor
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

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

Served in a 16oz cup at Three Floyds 4/26/08. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Looks like Norwegian black metal served in a plastic cup. Awe inspiring viscous body that clings to the inside of the cup when swirled. Small dark brown/espresso crema colored head.

S: Huge sweet aroma of blackened malt, coconut, molassas, oak, espresso beans, boozy bourbon, dark chocolate, and cherry.

T: See above. That's all you have to do.

M: Incredibly chewey. Feels like taking a swig of half & half but has the look of old nasty gear oil drained out of a junkyard diff.

D: Would've scored a perfect 5 if it didn't annihilate my taste buds (which it did!). The alcohol isn't very apparent 'till I got to the bottom of the glass and it felt like my cheeks were burning. Awesome!

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2008 23:03:10 | More by GbVDave
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh

Indiana

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

Had a chance to try this the Tuesday after DLD in an empty FFF brewpub so I had a chance to write a proper review. Served in a stemless goblet that looked like a rounded old fashioned glass.

A - Black as anything. Super dark and absolutely no light can get through this one. Nice and thick as well as they body just coats the glass. There was a bit of a mocha colored head when it came out but as with any beer with this much head, it had no chance at all of surviving. Have to say it managed to leave a few bubbles on the surface that reminded me a bit of a black swamp that one would see in a horror movie. Have to say this did leave a lot of lacing for a beer that barely had any head as the whole little glass was spotted with lacing.

S - A huge nose that is filled with odors of vanilla, caramel, and toffee. Definitely can tell the effects of the BA as I could smell the cinnamon and whiskey spices even from far away. I was surprised to notice that I actually smelled some cherry and plum/prune dark fruits odors in there as well that gave this beer some added complexity.

T - Yikes, this is one beer that manages to be both flavor packed and yet subdued and balanced. At first, i get a big sweet, vanilla, toffee, and caramel flavors that roll in. After this and towards the end of the beer is when I start to notice how those spicy Woodford reserve barrels have affected this beer. Can just taste the effects of the oak and the spicy cinnamon and pepper it imparts. Also seemed to get a hint of cherry and plum in the beer as well as roasted cocoa and chocolate. Have to love having all that in there together.

MF - Just a bit thinner than I like my RIS's to feel. It does have really nice prickly feeling on the tongue that goes well with all of the spiciness that we find as a result of the oak aging.

D - Lets just say that this is a 13% huge stout and yet I have no trouble at all drinking the whole glass. This is a beer that just makes you want to have more of it. It is complex and flavor packed and I never felt overwhelmed or tired of drinking it. Each sip brought a new experience to me. Love that I got a chance to actually sit down and try it in an experience other than DLD because it let me really appreciate all that it is.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2008 22:15:56 | More by jeonseh
Photo of beachbum1975
beachbum1975

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had the honor of trying this at DLD 08, thanks Nick! :)

Insane, Black Death (mixed with a shovel full of Black Plague) and a little charred motor oil (after being removed from a car that hasn't had an oil change in 10,000 miles).

Brown, slimy, super-sticky legs (maybe tentacles) that don't fade, ever. Fine bourbon all over the nose, all in one glass cup. This beer sticks to the glass (and may actually be melting it).

In a word, "Ferocious".

I am not a fan of most bourbon barrel-aged beers. Most are too sweet for my palate. This beer represented the bourbon-style of beers the way I like 'em. It kept true to form, in that it wasn't overpoweringly sweet, but fiercely "bourbonie" or carried a very strong alcohol in the nose and mouth.

This drink is truly a meal in itself. Not for the tame drinker - this beer kicked my ass and it will kick your ass, as well.

If FFF's ever bottled this, I recommend Flame grilling a super-thick porterhouse to crack open one of these with friends. Don't drink it alone!

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2008 23:41:22 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of bgramer
bgramer

Washington

4.35/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2008 20:07:19 | More by bgramer
Photo of


4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at DLD, 2008.

Opaque, black. In the light of day with the sun shining brightly, had just a bit of brown at the edges. Thick & viscous, lots of leg and no lacing. No head, just a few stray bubbles at the edge, dark brown in color.

Scent that first struck me was bourbon, followed by molasses. This was a very sweet smelling beer. Roast character was not really coming through at all. The dark fruit character present in regular DL also seemed toned down, but it was present.

Taste was more sweet than bitter, and was similar to the aroma. Bourbon, dark chocolate, hint of coffee and molasses. Fruit character minimized at this time. Very mild herbal bittering at the finish.

Mouthfeel was fantastic, but again, to me, not quite as good as the bottled version. Thick, smooth body. Minimal carbonation. Quite sweet. Alcohol starts to warm you up quickly.

An exceptional stout, but I prefer the regular. I think the oak aging covers up some of the complexity that I enjoyed in the regular version. Also, for some reason, the mouthfeel was not quite as impressive as in the bottled version, still very good, just not exceptional. Still feel like this beer lives up to the hype!

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2008 18:31:05 | More by
Photo of kdesch
kdesch

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I was at DLD 2008 and tasted the Bourbon and the vanilla bean DL on tap.

The Bourbon barrel DL, was really amazing. It is not something I would drink every day (even if I could). The mouthfeel is what really stands out about this beer, it is very coating and penetrating, a very different sensation from most other beers. The taste and smell are all wonderful, as I could remember the taste and smell for hours after drinking the beer. (that or it dried up on my nose and no one told me).

Put simply if you get a chance to drink a beer like this you should.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2008 01:37:33 | More by kdesch
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

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

My sticky sin stained hands hold tight to a 10oz. plastic cup at Darklord day 2008. Used oil black with no head just a skim of dark tan ring on the edge of the cup. Nose is big and thick with tons of deep dark fruit notes and malty sweet port. Thick and really brooding, this is what blackness should taste like. The song "Paint it black" comes to mind. Incredible complexity from dark rich sweetness and smooth long dryness on the end of the tongue. Very port like as expected. This would challange Raspberry Eisbock for my favorite after dinner beer. An attractively brooding mouthfeel. Surprisingly drinkable for its strength.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2008 00:32:58 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2008 02:45:00 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of Atron67
Atron67

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bought this at the 2008 DLD and had both the vanilla bean and and oak aged versions.

overall i think they were better than the regular dark lord. the vanilla being alot better in taste with the vanilla blending in amazingly, however the nose of the vanilla bean aged was overpowered by the vanilla flavor. really creamy all over the place for both of them. the bourbon was much mor subtle on the nose, however also really good.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2008 00:06:32 | More by Atron67
Photo of SQNfan
SQNfan

Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2008 20:43:16 | More by SQNfan
Photo of tjthresh
tjthresh

Indiana

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

The aroma was a bunch of oak and bourbon, smoke, and dark dried fruits. I Think the oak was the big player for most of the beer, until it had warmed enough. This it had tons of bourbon. Very syrupy an oily looking. Pitch black with a rich brown head. Coat the plastic cup it was served in nicely. Very well balanced. Everything blended quite nice. True to the original. Oak and vanilla. Roast and dark fruit flavors. Very rich, lush, and slick over the tongue. Long finish. Top notch.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2008 11:28:12 | More by tjthresh
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2007 03:05:45 | More by Viggo
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

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

From my notes: Had this on tap at Dark Lord day 2007. Presented in a clear plastic cup which, just like my friend Phatz, transferred into my snifter glass. Appeared a pitch black color with about a finger of tan head. Smells of wood, rich roasted malts, bittersweet cocoa, dark coffee, and vanilla oak.
Tastes of very smooth bourbon - rich and boozy(in a very good way), dark chocolate, strong coffee and vanilla. Completely coats the mouth with each sip. Thick and oily. I could sip on this excellent beer all day.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2007 01:23:00 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I wrote up a big story for this one, but is was just strange and a little creepy and so I decided just to post the drunken notes I took at DLD. I got inside maybe 20 minutes after they tapped this, while they were still serving it in glass glasses.

Nice pour, although the head isn't as retentive as I live in a perfect impy. Real dark black, no red at all.

Smells like bourbon barrells, pornographic malts, roasted nuts, wood, alcohol, fire yeast, fruity oak.

Tastes much less complex than it smells. Big fiery bourbon outweighs most everything else, leading into a middle of fire burnt dark malt and a very rough and dry finish. Fantastic, but not perfect.

I'd say that regular DL is probably my 3rd favorite beer and well deserving of a perfect five. But I am keeping the bottles I bought at this year's DLD for at least a few more months before I try drinking them. They're just too powerful right now, and not as many of the complexities shine through. Add barrel aging to the mix, and you get a fantastic beer that's just too much to judge.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2007 18:24:13 | More by mynie
Photo of Beertracker
Beertracker

Oklahoma

4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From my understanding, barrel-aged Dark Lord is only available at the brewery once a year during Dark Lord Day. I've sampled this one at a previous gathering, but this one was sampled during my recent visit to the FFF Brewpub at the 2007 Dark Lord Day. The intoxicating aroma starts filling the area as soon as it's poured. Big vinous woody-bourbon notes from the Woodford Reserve barrels are the first thing you notice then the mochachino notes start wafering along riding the waves of darkness. The intense flavor is amazing complex with lots of dark fruitiness, caramel, and chocolate. The body borderlines on syrupy, but there's more than enough alcohol and bitterness to make it all work nicely. Amazing really. More of an elixir or a potion than a beer. The Dark Lord Cometh!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2007 05:38:52 | More by Beertracker
Photo of MrMcGibblets
MrMcGibblets

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this was the 2006 woodford reserve barrel-aged version on cask at dl day. poured into a clear plastic solo cup, this was unlike any beer i have ever had. dark and thick like well-used motor oil. and i mean thick. this beer just left remnants of itself on the sides of the cup, turning the cup from clear to brown. brown head. the nose was absolutely huge, dominated by the whiskey notes along with chocolate, coffee, vanilla, smoke, toffee, and raisins. taste was a huge malt sweetness balanced a little by the 3f hops and roasty malts, but more to the malt/sweet side. mouthfeel was more viscous and thick than i have ever experienced. this had very little carbonation from the cask leaving it thickly sweet. long, long finish is ended by whiskey flavors and warming alcohol. still somehow smooth, though. this took a while just to drink a little bit and i probably could have just one of these in a sitting. a real sipper.
update: have had a few more of these, carbonation has been better, would add some serious charred fruit to the above. have enjoyed it more from the regular taps with the added Co2.

[ serving type: cask ]

Serving type: cask

05-05-2007 20:13:18 | More by MrMcGibblets
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 470 ratings.