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

Not Rated.
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

558 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 558
Reviews: 172
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,564
Gots: 68 | FT: 0
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: 558 | Reviews: 172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Alpar
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.

Alpar, May 23, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
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!

brew3crew, May 10, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
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.

Dreadnaught33, May 09, 2011
Photo of Phelps
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.

Phelps, May 09, 2011
Photo of oline73
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.

oline73, May 07, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
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.

ktrillionaire, May 07, 2011
Photo of aerozeppl
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.

aerozeppl, May 06, 2011
Photo of MarkIntihar
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!

MarkIntihar, May 04, 2011
Photo of Greencoat
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.

Greencoat, May 02, 2011
Photo of cpmichael
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.

cpmichael, May 02, 2011
Photo of jampics2
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.

jampics2, May 02, 2011
Photo of ChadQuest
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alewatcher, nuff said.

Looks like Dl generally does, opaque and inky, thick and viscous. I personally love how Dl looks, it has everything i want in a big stout.
The aroma only shows a glimpse of the power this beer has, there is a bourbon wisp but nothing that overburdens the rest of the base beers great attributes, incorporated and building.
The flavors have that quick bourbon and oak jab, and comes in some melted dense caramel, with some light dark fruit notes. Rounded out by a mixture of chocolates both milky and semi-sweet and you have the best of the vintage(pre-11) DL variants.

ChadQuest, May 02, 2011
Photo of aasher
4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

aasher, May 02, 2011
Photo of ADTaber
4.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at the FFF Brew Pub during DLD, poured into a snifter

A: pours black like spent motor oil with a thin layer of brown head that leaves virtually no lacing

S: bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted coffee and malts, trace of dark fruit

T: similar to smell, semi-sweet chocolate, bourbon, a hint of vanilla, oak, roasted coffee and malt, a trace of dark fruit

MF: heavy, fairly low carbonation, leaves a syrupy coat on the palate

Overall: sweet, but not as sweet as the vanilla bean, quite tasty, definitely glad that I got to taste it

ADTaber, May 02, 2011
Photo of drseamus
3.13/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at DLD for 9 bucks a snifter. Pretty steep.

Dark black liquid with no head. Anyone who rates a beer like this as a 5 in appearance is an idiot. The smell is potent booze. If you close your eyes you might think you're smelling a glass of bourbon. Not a plus for a beer. The bourbon should complement but not dominate. The flavor is all booze and caramel. It's almost like the beer itself is completely gone. They could have just barrel aged miller light and with this level of alcohol it would taste the same. Not worth the wait or the price.

drseamus, May 01, 2011
Photo of kaips1
5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at DLD

A- dark blackhole goodness, no light penetration
S- slight vanilla, lots of bourbon and chocolate some oak
T-amazing chocolate slight boubon that flows and follows the darkness perfect, some possible dark fruit hints
M-not too heavy very viscous and pleasant, wet finish no presence of the abv at all
O/d- I could drink this forever, it's so mellow and delicious and smooth, it make me think of 1 yr old kbs but maybe a bit sweeter

Get this if you ever can

kaips1, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with some nice head. Out of a plastic cup at DLD so its not the prettiest but it does the trick. Smells oaky initial which I love. Dark, boozey fruits and wood and malt. Very nice combination of scents. Tastes incredible. Smooth rich roasted flavours, some dark fruits, etc. Incredible mouthfeel... very thick and not highly carbonated. A bit high in alcohol content but overall quite nice

Urbancaver, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of punkrkr27
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled at DLD '10. Pours just as black and thick and oily as Dark Lord ever does. The aroma is massively boozy chocolate, dark fruits, and coffee just like regular Dark Lord but with a very oaky/woody overtone. It's not like the typical oak aroma from most bourbon barrel beers. It has sort of a green/fresh woody quality to it. The flavor is also again dominated by massive waves of chocolate, molasses, dark fruit, and coffee. Again though, like the aroma, the oak comes off as sort of harsh and green. The regular '10 Dark Lord seemed a bit smoother and more balanced.

punkrkr27, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Finally found my notes for DLD and getting these in to review! Draft. Poured a pitch black color with minimal head (I'm sure the plastic cup helped with that). Smells like DL but with huge hints of the oak barrels. Subtle sweetness. Slight smokiness. Adding the DL to the Oak barrels was a great move that only added additional complexity to this beer. Would be great to see it bottled instead of having to drink it from a plastic cup at DLD.

kbutler1, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of HopHead84
4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

HopHead84, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of Lunch
4.65/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of a generous trader served at a small tasting by an equally generous host into a tulip glass. This review is for the 2010 batch.

A: Pours nearly black with a motor oil quality with no head to speak of. This is a thick beer that looks quite syrupy and leaves nice legs on the inside of the glass. This was served along with Vanilla Bean Dark Lord and both looked pretty much identical.

S: The oak is really showcased in this and it is really nicely done. Notes of chocolate, molasses, roasted malts, vanilla, and booze.

T: The oak yet again is quite forward and coats the based beer beautifully and is never overpowering. Chocolate appears along with roasted malts, vanilla, and just a hint of alcohol.

M: Full-bodied and extremely thick with just a hint of carbonation. Nothing to complain about here.

D: If it weren't for the extreme richness of this Imperial Stout, I feel that I could drink this all day long.

Overall I must say that beer is absolutely fantastic and I am still shocked that I was able to try this! My Highest Recommendation.

Lunch, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

mdfb79, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of yourefragile
4.1/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

yourefragile, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of John_M
4.3/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

John_M, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of bmanning
4.72/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

bmanning, Jun 03, 2010
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 558 ratings.