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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: 678
Avg: 4.52
pDev: 18.36%
Wants: 1,845
Gots: 107 | FT: 2
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: 678
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 mportnoy
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Outstanding. Huge improvement over the base. Bourbon is very present but not overly sweet. Mouthfeel is right on. This was a huge surprise and well worth trying once.

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Photo of thampel09
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Well let's start with what isn't there to love about this beer. I was skeptical about it as I think the regular Dark Lord is way to cloying and needs a couple years to mellow in the bottle. But the BBA DL I enjoyed was a 2015 bottle at Kane on 8/14/15 and boy was it amazing. Was still a little sweet but killed it in every aspect. A lot of great dark fruit flavors melded extremely well with the bourbon barrel aging!

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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 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 ehammond1
4.73/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, MarkIntihar!

Nearly black, though very heavy and substantial looking in the glass. Shiny and oily, with a small brown head that leaves dots of stick.

Rich, inviting, monstrous aroma of bourbon (vanilla, oak, maple, alcohol hint), chocolates, and roast. This combines marvelously well. As this warms, there's just a hint of an off vegetable-like note, but it's certainly not distracting, especially because it tastes so good.

Any flaw found in the aroma is completley hidden in the flavor. Rich, layered notes of vanilla, bourbon barrel, molasses, chocolates, and roast combine for an incredilby drinkable, though incredibly significant, substantial barrel-aged RIS.

Full in body, thick, heavy, luscious.

One of the finest beers I've had.

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Photo of MarkFrankosek
4.73/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is so hard to find and its a hell of a lot of money. But its worth it! This tastes unlike any stout i have had and want to make a trip to Dark Lord Day next year, to pick some more up!

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.73/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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.

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Photo of ChadQuest
4.73/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

6 oz tap pour into a clear plastic cup at Dark Lord Day 2010.

A - The syrupy pour is totally black with a tiny ring of dark tan foam. Like VBDL, it's not much to look at. It's got even less foam on this pour.

S - The aroma is very heavy of roasted malts and strong oak wood. A small chocolate and alcohol hint comes out with a warming finish. Bold presence and deep nose.

T - It starts with a big oak flavor with tons of chocolate and roasted malt flavors going on. The alcohol is smooth and kept under control by a well-balanced barrel finish.

M - Oak-Aged DL is just as thick and viscous as VBDL with a rich, full body and smooth, throat-coating finish. The alcohol adds a soft warming sensation to the finish too.

D - For how rich and full-bodied this bold RIS is, it's a winner that deserves it's recognition. I think the balance of oak flavor without the pesky and cliché alcohol burn in this RIS is very well done. Nicely drinkable for it's potency too.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of hawks10
4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Dark Lord Day 2010...about a 6 ounce pour, enough to give me a good idea about this beer...

Pours just like regular Dark Lord...thick, black, oily and viscous, little bit of dark brown head...

Smells of chocolate, sweet roasted malts, brown sugar, molasses, a bit of vanilla and some bourbon and wood aromas as well...

Tastes just as it smells, chocolate and molasses, some vanilla and bourbon and a tiny bit of drying oak, not much though. Really enjoyed the complexity of this beer and enjoyed the fresh Dark Lord on tap...

Thick and creamy, chewy and coating...full bodied with good carb...

Another winning variation of Dark Lord, slightly prefer the vanilla bean though...

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

A - Had this on tap at Dark Lord Day 2010, poured into a plastic cup. Nicely black with some brown lacing sticking to the sides, I kind of think the plastic cup adds to the lacing effect, but it looked very cool.

S - It smells like Dark Lord, but with some nice subtle wood flavor added. Great chocolate, bourbon, oak smells with the normal Dark Lord greatness.

T - I love Dark Lord, especially the 2010 batch, and this is an improvement. Great cocoa, caramel, and a touch of espresso and huge oak influence that is perfectly done. Hints of vanilla and a bit of bourbon. Wow.

M - Thick, full bodied, coats the tongue.

D - So heavy, it would be hard to drink tons of, but all things considered, could do a lot more of this than anyone reasonably should be able t.

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

On tap at DLD 2012 (and 2011).

Pitch black and syrupy as all dark lords tend to be. Oak comes through more in this version than it does in the vanilla. And the sweetness and heat from the bourbon seems subdued and dried by that oak.

The dark fruit flavors come through more in this version rather than vanilla also. I don't know if this is aged longer than vanilla bean but the beer seems much less sweet and much richer in flavor.

But it's also not quite as big or rich as vanilla. I would call those two a tie or maybe vanilla has a very slight edge.

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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 ADTaber
4.7/5  rDev +4%
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

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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 DarkerTheBetter
4.68/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When every one lined up to get their bottles, I headed straight to the bar to get a little low-ball of a terrific beer.

This beer came a mirrored obsidian with a small collar of tan and copper head. There were also a few mysterious wisps of head swirling about the surface.

Smelled of gentle fruity bourbon, dark creamy chocolate, maple syrup, chocolate pudding and a warm, aromatic alcohol that hid behind the bourbon and an oak dryness. As it warmed, the alcohol became very (overly?) prominent, but carried with it a sweet vanilla.

Tasted of pasty, rich chocolate pudding that took root in my tongue and turned it brown (seriously, I checked). Through this floated an electric tingly sting of flowing woody bourbon, fresh cut oak and a Jagermeister-like herbiness. I also got some sweet marachino cherry and creamy oak burps! Never had a stout do that before! Sadly, the alcohol was hot to the point of becoming distracting.

The mouth feel was heavy as hell with a thick creamy viscosity added by a micro-fine carbonation giving this the feel of pudding. Where’s my spoon!

This one’s just a trip. The alcohol was a little much and could stand to be aged for a while. Hopefully, FFF has a keg of this sitting somewhere waiting to be cracked in a year or so. A cool version of this would be off the charts!

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Photo of kajerm
4.67/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Dark Lord Day 2007-- appearance is slightly damaged by the plastic cup, but I'll try not to hold that against the beer.

The appearance is basically an imperial stout with the knobs turned up to eleven, a mixture of equal parts espresso, roof tar, and castor oil. The head is a dark brown whisp that still manages to leave a little lace on the plastic cup. Bubbles are otherwise nonexistent.

The aroma is coffee, probably the best coffee I've ever smelled in a beer. All the usual suspects are there, too: bourbon, vanilla, maple syrup, molasses, dark malts, oak (wood, really, I don't know if oak smells different from any other wood), and alcohol.

The taste opens up light with just a little maltiness, folllowed by a swell of coffee and dark malts. Coffee flavor grows continuously to the finish, while maple syrup, vanilla, and woody flavors come in. Maple syrup flavor is stronger the taste than in the aroma. Everything in the nose shows up in the flavor profile, with wood, boubon, and alcohol coming in last. The finish lasts for at least a decade. What I can't believe (and contrary to everything I've been told) is how balanced this is. The beer really handles the coffee beans, the bourbon barrels, and the stupidly high alcohol content unbelievably well, with a flavor profile that's complex instead of overwhelming.

The mouthfeel is super-thick and viscous, chewy and oily. A little hot (it is 13% ABV after all), but not at all out of control-- pretty much what I'd expect when I wanted a bourbon-aged imperial stout. Carbonation is totally absent and I like it that way.

Drinkable for a 13%ABV oak-aged imperial stout with coffee beans added to it, which is to say, no, for the love of God, don't try drinking twenty of them.

As far as imps are concerned, I think this is about as good as it gets.

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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 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 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 alcstradamus
4.64/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the 2009 Great Taste of the Midwest

Pours like liquid sludge, when I was finished with this I couldn't even pour the remaining few drops out because they were stuck to the walls of the glass like maple syrup. Huge dark fruit nose just like regular Dark Lord, with the oak also being prominent. Taste was very sweet, the oak stands out and unfortunately has a bit of a harshness to it, so I couldn't rate the taste a 5. Full bodied and thick, I prefer the regular Dark Lord to this version though just because of the harshness. My 3 oz. was more than enough to satisfy.

UPDATE 4/26: Had a chance to try the newest batch of this beer and I must say, it was MUCH better this year. The harshness from the oak was gone, and all the flavors melded together very well. I'm still not sure it is an improvement on the base beer, but it is good enough that I have to bump the taste score up to a 5

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