Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

177 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 177
Hads: 655
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.41%
Wants: 1,788
Gots: 98 | 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: 177 | Hads: 655
Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This had a thin, dark brown ring of head at the top of the beer. There was absolutely no carbonation visible and it was like looking at the surface of a still, dark lake. It was black, black, black in color. Even the white bits was black. The nose was hugely sweet and malty with notes of chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. The mouthfeel was incredibly thick, like pudding. It was incredibly viscous and could probably stand in as heavy-weight motor oil during the summer, in a pinch. There was also an intense heat on the tongue and I simply could not get past the combined heat and bourbon flavor. The finish continued with a lingering heat. (641 characters)

Photo of genog
4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (438 characters)

Photo of Alpar
4.23/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (479 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.24/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cosmicevan for sharing!

Decent looking, nothing special here though. Strong, smooth bourbon aroma takes over to blend with roasty malts and sugary sweetness.

The underlying taste is a more mature version of DL complimented by sweet, smooth, rounded bourbon. Not too much complexity here: just bourbon. Cognac DL was much more interesting, and a significantly better variant overall.

Still a great beer, but a big step down from the Cognac in my book. But then again, I'm not a bourbon lover. (504 characters)

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

Pours a viscous black, oily with coating properties from both malt and alcohol. A few bubbles around the rim of the glass are compact and stick around. Aromas waft up of dark malts, maple, dark fruit, oak, umami, bourbon, and mineral elements. Most of the overly sweet malt characters from Dark Lord are here replaced by thick oak with spirit notes and a bit saltier than the regular liquid dessert.

The flavor brings the same loads of dark malts to the tongue, in addition to being brownie batter a lot of oak pops up, minteral, even tealike and oxidized flavors pop up a bit. I could see how some people would prefer this to regular Dark Lord, as the oak changes a lot of the sweetness into an oaky more savory experience, though molasses and malt is still here. Body is full and viscous with a coating feeling on the palate and a palpable low-moderate carbonation to match.

Interesting twist on Dark Lord, not as sweet, but I think I prefer the sweeter malts to the oaky twist in this case. The flavor is intense, which is fine if the taste is perfection, but this isn't quite it. (1,087 characters)

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

Draft at DLD.
Served dark as night with only a slight ring of head around the perimeter of the glass. Smell is absolutley luxurious. Deep roasted malts, chocolate, and bourbon are the front runners. This is a big beer, no doubt, the alcohol is there and warming.
This beer is mellowed a bit by the oak aging. Not the brute that the DL bottle is. This is a great beer, but not huge and robust as say a GI BCS.
The guys at FFF have taken barrel aging to a whole n’other level. Other brewers could take notes from them. (520 characters)

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

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

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

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

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

Overall a very nice modification of Dark Lord. I enjoyed the glass I had but probably wouldn't have gotten another one, especially if this was a beer available all the time. It felt like the barrel characteristics were a little overpowering and became the main flavor of the beer instead of Dark Lord being the main flavor with some barrel characteristics to enhance the complexity. Don't get me wrong it was delicious and great for the serving size they gave out, just couldn't justify any higher scores for it based on that. (1,599 characters)

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.26/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 134/420? from '12 in to a Goose Island Glass

A- Dark brown. Lacing is sticky. When I bob the glass left and right, the lacing sticks. Good retention.

S- Bourbon, dark fruit/fig, molasses, light woody oak hint in the back. I am getting soy sauce in this too. ha

T- This has more of the base beer character than the vanilla. Very sweet, almost comes off as rum because of the sweet base beer. I know that people say that the ba DL's shed their sweet DL characteristics. I am not getting that much here. I enjoyed vanilla a lot more. I am getting a lot of that sweet soy characteristic.

M- This is the shining part of this beer for me. Not the category that I want my Bourbon DL to shine, but it is what it is. Nice and chewy. Viscous

O- I was a bit disappointed with this variant. I have only had vanilla, but I am excited to try the other variants. (861 characters)

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. (285 characters)

Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.27/5  rDev -5.5%
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 ] (1,129 characters)

Photo of fiver29
4.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dark Lord Day 08. This is an oak aged version of the 07 batch. Pours a thick black color with a tan head. Has a nice aroma of oak and chocolate. Has complex flavors from bourbon, oak, chocoalte, licorice, and a candy molasses. These flavors blend well together and has a smooth alcohol finish. Nice brew. (314 characters)

Photo of MPLS
4.28/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From memory...10 oz pour @ the brew pub, so this one was in glass and not plastic. I remember them saying it was from '08.

A: Big, bold, and black like DL. More head from this guy than the vanilla bean DL from what I remember.

S: Big bold roasted malt, bourbon, chocolate, molasses, alcohol.

T: The barrel adds what I picked up as bourbon and some dryness akin to oak barrels. This guy felt bigger than any of the other DLs, ABV is probably the same, but bourbon characteristics made it seem higher. Great up front roast, not as much sweetness as the other variants of DL, but big dry finish.

M: Thick and viscous, would not have it any other way.

D: Another way to celebrate DLD and will try this guy again next year. Big beers are wanted by my taste buds. (762 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally got to try this one. On-tap at DLD '10.

A- Poured a dark, chocolate brown color. Looked very thick, like motor oil. Produced minimal amount of head. Dissipated instantly.

S- Sweet malts with molasses. The sweetness in the aroma was very potent. The background had a slight hint of vanilla, bourbon and tons of oak.

T- Much like the aroma, actually exactly like the aroma. Sweetness upfront from various malts and molasses. Some bourbon and vanilla in there as well. The finish was dominated by an overwhelming amount of oak. Really wanted to give this a 4.25, but couldn't...so I rounded up.

M- I loved the mouthfeel of this beer. Thick, chewy and viscous. Coated the palate very well.

D- I'm glad they served this in a small 6 oz. glass (could of been 8 oz.). If I had any more it would have been very difficult to put down.

Overall, a very good beer. That being said, at $9 a pour, I will pass from now on...much better bourbon, oak-aged beers out there at a better value. (991 characters)

Photo of egajdzis
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an opaque black color with a small, quickly diminishing, dark tan head that left sticky tan lacing on the glass. Aroma of bourbon, roasted malts, chocolate, smoke, nuts, and dried fruits. Taste of sweet chocolate, roasted malts, mocha, maple syrup. brown sugar, smoke, bourbon, with a fair amount of alcohol coming across. A Dark Lord mouthfeel should be a little more vicious, but either way, it's a pretty solid beer... I still prefer the cask of regular DL I had at the Maproom in 04. (494 characters)

Photo of spicelab
4.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 656/688. Massive thanks to mulder1010 for sharing. Reviewed from notes.

Dark chocolate, short of jet black, with a modest dark tan head that abates quickly to a resilient collar.

Decent amounts of burnt toast, tarry volatile barrel notes, woody liquorice, vanilla and coconut. Doesn't hint at what's to come.

Unabashedly decadent. Choc-caramel slice, big-time vanilla fudge, chocolate mud cake. Dessert in a glass.

Thick and viscous but super smooth. Zero, repeat zero hint of booze. Unreal.

Utterly transformative barrel-aged treatment of a base beer that I ordinarily don't care for at all. The barrel reins in and smoothes out the sickly excesses of regular Dark Lord brilliantly. (695 characters)

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

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

The beer pours the expected viscuous looking, blackish brown color with minimal head retention and/or lacing. On the other hand, I can smell this bad boy from a foot away... the nose is profound, showing milk duds, coffee, whiskey, vanilla and considerable booze. This beer just smells flat out decadent. For the most part, the flavor profile replicates the nose, though it's a bit one dimensional and is dominated by sweet chocolate and coffee. The beer is decidedly on the sweet side, and is almost ponderous on the palate. Mouthfeel is absolute perfection and the beer is a huge presence on the palate. The beer feels like spun silk on the palate, with a buttery, creamy texture that is plush, soft, smooth and long. There is a hint of bitterness on the finish, which I think keeps this beer from being over the top rich and sweet. Considering how sweet, boozy and alcoholic this beer is, it's no surpirse that drinkability is not its best attribute. This beer is really more like an after dinner liquer, and it's hard to imagine too many other occasions when I'd want to drink a beer like this. Originally I had contemplated ordering another glass after the tasting, but after my finishing off my 3 or ounce "sampler," I really couldn't bring myself to drink any more. Regardless, this beer is a stunner and is absolutely outstanding. (1,459 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the 2006 Dark Lord, aged for a year in Woodford's Reserve Bourbon Barrels, and released on draught only just in time for the release of the 2007 Dark Lord in bottles. Better than the 2006 non-BA release, though I think the 2007 non-BA Dark Lord is easily better than both. I can't wait for the 2008 Dark Lord Day so I can try the 2007 BA Dark Lord.

The beer pours to a thick dark sludge with very little head, probably destroyed by the spirits it has been aging with. Shows off thick caramel colored legs as it is swished around, and by the time the glass is empty, the glass looks almost like the brown bottle the beer was poured from (err... maybe not, since this is actually a draught, but you get the point).

The smell is great. Has a strong whiff of bourbon/alcohol with vanilla and coconut notes from the barrel. Smells quite sweet, remnant of all of the sugars used in the production of this beer, namely molasses and brown sugar. Little dark roasted malt in the nose, but a generous hit of caramel.

The taste is good. Very rich and sweet up front with a huge taste of bourbon, namely the aforementioned vanilla and coconut. Has a middle taste of rich, dark chocolate, coffee roast, and soy sauce. The finish refuses to go away.

The body is a bit thinner than the non-BA Dark Lord, also with a little less carbonation. Still coats the mouth with a thick molasses consistency. Turns your teeth into a caramel brown color. Not an easy beer to drink on a hot and sunny day after I've already been drinking several beers of considerable strength and body. I REALLY wanted to drink a Gumballhead at that time, but I simply couldn't pass up a one-time opportunity like this. (1,695 characters)

Photo of birchstick
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #505 of 688

I had two bottles of this in two days of crazy beer tasting. This review is from day #2 in comparison with the other DL variants

A - as expected, pours black with a chocolaty head

S - sweet bourbon with lots of fudgy chocolates and a bit of soy

T - sweet vanilla opens this up, and is quickly replaced by fudgy chocolates. Spicy bourbon flavors move in and are cut into by more chocolate flavors. This is really sweet and the bourbon is very well integrated into this.

M - smooth and full like all of the other DL barrel aged varieties

D - nice version of DL...this is my 2nd favorite barrel aged bottle version behind the vanilla bean. The bourbon adds a nice complexity and takes away from some of the cloying sweetness that plagues the regular version of DL.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62508184@N03/8159864035/in/photostream (856 characters)

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. (405 characters)

Photo of beergod1
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured Black with small tan head. Aroma is mostly deep, rich Dark fruit with some Cocoa and a hint of roasted malts. Flavor is as smooth as it gets with a hint of alcohol, Coffee, chocolate, sweet malts and thick heavy molasses that stained the glass with every sip. Several layers of flavor. This is a real good Imperial Stout, But just as good as what I can get around Ohio & PA. (Voodoo, Hoppin’ Frog...) And I don’t have to stand in line for those. (456 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to some fine BA's for hooking me up with a pour of this one at Great Taste 2009. I have been waiting to review this for quite sometime after having initially at DLD 2007.

A-Deep, non-light penetrating black. A small, dark tan head dissipates to a thin ring and leaves spotty lace along with remnants of the beer, it being that viscous.

S-Whoa! Like sticking your head into a bourbon barrel filled with Dark Lord! Huge notes of oak, dark chocolate, espresso, dark fruit, toffee, turbinado and vanilla.

T-All the positive qualities of DL with a BIG bourbon pressence....and IMHO too big. FFF is never one to shy away from flavour and they didn't start with this one! I like it, but it's simply too much for me.

M-Full/heavy-bodied and Christ! This may be THE smoothest, creamy and most viscous beer I have ever had. This one slides down like oil. Rich beyond measure with LONG lasting flavours.

D-Certainly a fine brew, but the alcohol and bourbon character is a bit too much for me in this one to drink en masse. I prefer Vanilla DL over the Oaked version. (1,073 characters)

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. (417 characters)

Photo of baggio
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once again thanks to BA Dsgolovin for hooking me up with this rare brew.

Apperance: Dark, dark, brown with a light brown head.

Aroma: Bourbon, Chocolate, Alcohol, Syrup.

Taste: Bourbon, Soy, Chocolate, Syrup, Coffee and a hint of alcohol.

Palate: Quite drinkable albeit being on the sweet side. Plenty of carbonation.

This was so much better than the normal Dark Lord. It didn't feel as cloying and sweet. Would love to try this again with some age on it. (460 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2012, 15% ABV. Thanks to my friend, Matt, for cracking this open for us!
L- opaque black with a tan head
S - very rich with dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, boozy bourbon, toffee, toasted grain, vanilla, oak
T - wickedly sweet with bourbon, booze, toffee, caramel, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, roasted barley; definitely a sipper, but hard to get down because it is so overly sweet
F - full bodied, creamy, finishes with a lingering sweetness
O - love being able to try this extreme rarity. It delivers in a big way with its bold, complex flavors, but it's way too sweet. (580 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.36/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a few people we were able to put together the entire vertical and almost all the BA variants. Lots of fun gents!

From a 750 into a snifter
2012 vintage
Bottle 197 of 685

APPEARANCE: Just like all the rest of them. Pours relatively clear for an imperial stout. Produces a small, one finger medium-looking head that quickly fades to a wisp and ring. Black body in the glass with some carbonation evident. Only a ring remains until the end and leaves no real lacing down the glass. A little too light a pour and an average head at best.

SMELL: Pretty bold nose of bourbon barrel, oak and caramel notes. Some sweet cream and light vanilla from the barrel as well. Hints of molasses and dark chocolate from the base Dark Lord as well, but this is more about the bourbon barrel, thankfully enough. Pretty nice actually. Impressed.

TASTE: A bit hot up front perhaps, but the bourbon barrel, oak, vanilla and sweet cream from the barrel is very enjoyable. A big and persistent finish of sweet molasses, caramel, a hint of dark chocolate and some bitter coffee from the 2011 base beer, as well as lots of bourbon and oak flavors from the barrel as well. Lots of barrel flavors, meshing well with the normally overly sweet Dark Lord base beer. These two players compliment each other surprisingly well.

PALATE: Slightly lighter than the base beer, but still big enough. Just like the other DL variants as well. Medium body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes rather sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn and some heat lingers.

OVERALL: This was the first BA DL we drank, so it basically just went downhill from here. Surprsingly enjoyable and well balanced, this is more proof that Dark Lord is better in the right barrels. I'd go as far as suggesting FFF just bourbon barrel age the whole batch and charge $40 a bottle. Much better use of Dark Lord. This was the second place finisher for me, just behind the PvW version and ahead of the Cognac variant. Lots of good barrel flavors that mellow the overly sweet base beer, but also allow the enjoyable parts of Dark Lord to play a role. Good stuff. Cheers for the fun day gents! (2,181 characters)

Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.