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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

527 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 527
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,471
Gots: 66 | FT: 1
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: 527 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

4.61/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured pitch black with a very nice dark brown head. I was hooked once I caught the bourbon aromatics escaping the bottle upon opening it up. The nose picked up cococa, roast, chocolate, vanilla, light coffee, faint cherries, molasses and, of course, bourbon. The flavors refected the same attributes that the aroma picked up in addition to some brown sugar. This was incredibly smooth and dangerously easy-drinking. Full-bodied mouthfeel and the finishe was a smooth roast bitter. What a treat!

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 17:08:45 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.95/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the 2012 Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Company out of Munster, Indiana. This is bottle number 4 out of 420. We consumed this bottle as part of a Dark Lord (and Behemoth) vertical to celebrate the then-impending, now-official marriage of my friend Scott Nicholas. Thanks again for bringing the bottle Scott, and congratulations!
Score: 99

2012 vintage bottle served in a stemmed wine-style glass and enjoyed on 09/19/12.

Appearance: Pours an ink black color with a thin layer of beige head that settles to a ring around the glass. Poor lacing, but excellent cling and retention with what little lacing there is. 4/5

Smell: Smooth bourbon, milk chocolate, oak, dark chocolate and a surprising amount vanilla (though there is less vanilla than the Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord). Brown sugar and dark fruit too. There is the faintest hint of coffee in the nose. Huge doses of chocolate and smooth bourbon are present in the aroma. A slight roastiness and more oak comes out as the beer warms up. The aroma is bold and perfectly balanced. 5/5

Taste: Brown sugar, sweet bourbon and light vanilla. The sweetness is nowhere near the level of the base beer, which greatly lends to its drinkability. This tastes a lot like the Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord, but with less vanilla character -- shocking, right? The Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord seemed sweeter than this variant as well, though I would not characterize either variant as remotely being "too sweet." Molasses and raisin flavor too. No coffee. Like the nose, the flavor is bold and balanced. There is a light alcohol warming effect on the palate in the finish, as might be expected from a 15% ABV beer, but this beer is far from boozy. To the contrary, it is smooth and easy to drink. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Viscous and full-bodied with minimal carbonation. The beer is sweet, slightly sticky and creamy on the palate. 5/5

Overall: This beer's only real flaw is it's cost. As with all barrel aged Dark Lord variants, this beer cost $50 retail and was only obtainable at retail pricing by having a winning scratch off lotto ticket that each person got after buying a ticket to Dark Lord Day (and even then, you had to claim one of the four variants before they ran out). Those who struck out on the Dark Lord Day lotto would have to pay an even higher premium via trade or otherwise, as this beer sold for $300+ on eBay before eBay halted alcohol sales earlier this year. This beer is substantially less sweet than the base beer, but it's still a sweet (just not "overly sweet") brew.

Recommendation: This is one of those few highly hyped, hard-to-get, extra-premium priced beers that absolutely delivers, but there are plenty of comparable beers out there that cost half as much (or less). This is one to seek out and try for the purpose of ticking, but I recommend trying to acquire one with a group of friends to share to ease the cost.

Pairings: Drink this decadent beer as it's own digestif. It's heavy enough to suffice.

Cost: $50 for a 750 ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 19:46:46 | More by jegross2
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 aerozeppl
aerozeppl

New York

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2011 23:01:38 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2011 12:16:32 | More by jampics2
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MinorThreat

Nebraska

4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

03-10-2014 01:17:34 | More by MinorThreat
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

02-15-2013 02:28:13 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2011 23:45:12 | More by Phelps
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 alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

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

Finally getting around to reviewing my notes from DLD. Had on tap of course!

A- Pours a thick dark motor oil black color. I held this up to the light and it had no accent to it at all....just dark black. It had about a half finger mocha/tan head that wasn't very impressive and went down rather quickly. Lacing was sticky on the sides of the glass but I think regular DL beats this one out in the appearance catagory.

S- This has the same highlights as the DL with the coffee and chocolate I think dominating along with some darker fruits and something else I can't place my finger on. Some distinct oak and bourbony undertones come and go when I sniff at this along with faint vanillia aromas as well. This beer is making my mouth water just smelling it.

T- Big oaky...bourbon taste right upfront that powers with the chocolate and coffee taste of the DL. The balance is maybe a little off but that is only opinion. I get hints of the vanillia blending almost perfect with a brown sugar taste I get. This beer is big and it knows it. A heavy hitter with different tastes around every turn. Can taste the alcohol a little more with this one.

M- This is a heavy hitting mouthfeel. Not a huge carbonation leaves this beer knocking on your palate until you force it to leave. Leaves a nice amount oaky, coffee, chocolate taste on the tounge. This beer feels good in the mouth still after being so big and heavy.

D- This beer is sadly for me a one beer and move onto the next for me. It is good but so damn heavy that it feels like I'm drinking a meal. Plus there was two other DL's I had to try while I was talking with friends.

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2009 21:54:09 | More by alleykatking
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord 2012

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.
2012 Vintage (Red Wax, Red Skull)
Bottle: 355/688

Pours as thick as mud. With some dark dark abyss like hues. There is a nice 1 inch tan colored head that neatly forms with some great dense bubbles; nice and creamy looking. The head recedes very slowly. (5.0)

Aroma starts off with intense sweetness. Wow. Molasses and toffee. Dark fruit notes of prunes and some raisins as well. Very sweet nose. Bourbon and boozy heat are noticed in the nose as well as some nice slight honey and vanilla sweetness notes. I can’t state it enough. Very sweet. (4.5)

Taste follows the nose. Starts off with some intense sugary, caramel and molasses notes. Very sweet yet delicious. There is some slight chocolate sweetness as well but then is overtaken buy the caramel and molasses again. Wow. There is some woody notes in there with hints of vanilla and some honey. The Bourbon barrel shines adding some intense booze notes as well as some woody notes. However, these notes are not harsh. Dangerously smooth with the 15% not very noticeable. Mouthfeel is nice and thick and silky at the same time. As the beer warm some of the boozy heat is perceived a bit more. Great brew. (4.5)(5.0)

Overall this is a gem. I know a lot of people find it overrated but this version of Dark Lord is pretty good. It has great sweetness and heavy thick rich molasses notes. Very well done. (4.5)

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 01:10:56 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of fredmugs
fredmugs

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

04-29-2013 10:56:49 | More by fredmugs
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.4%

11-15-2011 12:26:17 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

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

I promised not to review anything from Dark Lord Day. There was too much happening. This is my one exception. I had glass after glass because several people kept saying wow that it too hot for me here you want to finish mine. Oh my God what were they thinking. This was the most easy drinking whiskey I have ever had. It is certainly closer to bourbon than to beer. The beer seemed much higher than 13% ABV to me but the hot alcohol had the softness of a 10 - 20 year old bourbon. WOW! Everyone who has been to my house knows that Woodford Reserve is my favorite go-to Bourbon. I am not makin this up for the sake of this review. I always have it on hand. Wouldn’t you know, the wonderful geniuses at Three Floyds that hand crafted this beer JUST FOR ME, picked my regular bourbon for aging this beer. Yes, This is Dark Lord, aged for a year in none other than Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels. Oh my God! I just about passed out this was so freaking good. I went week in the knees and I was not drunk.

Appearance: When I received this beer in a plastic cup there was no head on it. I poured it into my snifter glass and it stirred up very little head but in the glass it did showcase a nice tan head. Several times through drinking this beer various friend emptied there plastic cups into my snifter each time revitalizing a tiny bit of head in this otherwise murky black body.

Smell: Everything I love about bourbon and more flooded my nose. Rich scent of various woods, just like the Woodford Reserve I makes me think of my freshly moistened humidor. Dark roasted malts and barley, black coffer and thick bitter sweet chocolate and of course a wallop of vanilla oak bourbon flavors.

Taste: The biggest complaint people had on this hot day was the beer is too much like bourbon. If that is the biggest gripe, then gripe on my friends. I LOVE IT! This is absolutely everything I could ever want in a drink. It is the best of both world. It is what I love about two different drinks met in one glass. Yes the alcohol does not hide. So you sip the beer like you would any other liquor. It takes drinking it differently than a more “typical” beer but it is certainly worth it. The dark chocolate malts and fruits blend right into the woody vanilla oak and somehow it creates what feels like very layers of flavors and leaves your mouth with the feel of bourbon on the tongue and throat and face.

Mouthfeel: The swallow is very hot but the massive rich oily smooth feel coats every inch of your mouth and then some. I can feel the hot alcohol and warm boozy black grains making my face go numb as works its way from my tongue to my cheeks, my tonsils and up through my sinuses until my whole face seems to going flush enjoying the magnificence that this masterpiece exudes.

Drinkability: When I sit down with my favorite liquor I don’t start just putting them back one after another. Drinkability is the duration for which I can enjoy that drink. I would take it slowly, but I could enjoy this dink all day long.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2007 23:09:02 | More by Phatz
Photo of Photekut
Photekut

Tennessee

5/5  rDev +9.4%

11-17-2011 01:59:30 | More by Photekut
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.8/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thomas for this one. Side-by-side with all the other BA Dark Lords. Bottle 123/420 into a snifter. From notes.

Same appearance as the others.

Big bourbon notes on the nose. Very sweet. Some chocolate, dark fruit, fudge, and cocoa powder. Solid.

Sweet plum, prune, chocolate. Low booziness lingers in the background. Sweet soy sauce in the middle. Molasses, fudge in the finish. Some chocolate also. Fudge in the aftertaste. Really good. Not as bold as the Pappy version.

Same feel as the others. Oily, slick, viscous, slightly sticky aftertaste.

This isn't as impressive as the Pappy Dark Lord. However, there's more balance here and a touch more subtlety. A solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 00:49:36 | More by SpeedwayJim
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baybum

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

04-29-2013 16:44:02 | More by baybum
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

4.23/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 02:25:57 | More by brystmar
Photo of cadaugherty
cadaugherty

Illinois

4/5  rDev -12.5%

11-14-2011 15:10:53 | More by cadaugherty
Photo of kbutler1
kbutler1

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2010 19:45:13 | More by kbutler1
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

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

Split my buddy's bottle at his bachelor party. Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Motor oil pour as is typical with good DL vintages. Jet black with a small tan ring of foam leaving some legs down the glass though the retention fades a bit.

Big bourbon notes up front in the aroma. Dark fruit, wood, chocolate and burnt malts.

Again barrel stands out in the taste. Bourbon is nicely integrated and smooth. Toasted oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, fudge and roasted malts play a part with some dark fruit in the background.

As with something that pours like motor oil, mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Carbonation levels low, but still present. Alcohol is felt, but very well integrated.

Surprisingly enjoyed this one much more than the Vanilla I had a few months ago. My main complaint with regular DL is the intense sweetness and the bourbon does a wonderful job of cutting through and balancing this beer. At the same time, there is enough sweetness that the bourbon doesn't come in too hot. Fantastic beer and hope they make this variant again (and I have better luck) next time around.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2012 16:51:59 | More by jmarsh123
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bbadger

Texas

5/5  rDev +9.4%

11-14-2011 13:04:45 | More by bbadger
Photo of tbone1384
tbone1384

Wyoming

4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

11-03-2012 03:18:36 | More by tbone1384
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore

Wisconsin

4.55/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle of the 2012 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Lord, bottle number 75/688. Thanks Adam for trading me this delicious beer. Poured into a Three Floyds teku glass today, 3/22/2014 as part of our celebratory whale tasting that's celebrating success and prolonged friendships. Cheers guys!

No better beer to meet the milestone of beer #800 and review #500!

App- Pitch black body, similar to the base Dark Lord, minimal half-finger mocha head with very good retention, not much lacing.

Smell- Holy moly! Lots of sweet brown sugar, vanilla (from the barrel), port sweetness, milk chocolate, charred malts, roast body, even a bit of coffee. This is a beautiful smelling, very complex nose that is about 90% of what Murda'd Out smells like. So decadent smelling. It's almost as good smelling as BVDL, though I really enjoyed the even more marshmallow bourbon-forward nature of BVDL.

Flavour- Falls a little bit short of the nose, very very diabeetus sweet like the base Dark Lord, yet complemented with a nice sweet bourbon flavour, some strong oak vanilla (which comes about a quarter of the way to replicating BVDL's vanilla bomb), charred malts, brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits. This is a very complex beer here, and you have to take your time drinking this to savor all the nuances of this beer. Basically, this is a Dark Lord beer with a nice barrel vanilla contribution with a splash of bourbon. This was very good, but I expected more bourbon presence.

Mouthfeel- Thick bodied, creamy, just the right carbonation, so sweet yet so drinkable. I could have domed this beer. Zero ABV heat.

Overall- Very enjoyable tasting experience. A lot of complexity despite its sugary sweetness. I do think the bourbon would have been more present had this been drank at a younger age. As with the contrasting experiences between '12 and '13 BVDL, it's clear that any bourbon-barrel aged Dark Lord beers should be drank fresher. Regardless, I really enjoyed this beer!

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 06:15:42 | More by Stevedore
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brdc

Wisconsin

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

Had this on tap at DLD 09.

Pitch black, motor oil, no highlights, and a thin but fluffy dark tan head that holds for a little bit and leaves some lacing that coats the side of the glass.
Aroma is quite impressive, dark fruits abounding, molasses, coffee but not too much coffee, chocolate, bread and alcohol. Oakiness and vanilla, perhaps some extra heat as compared to the regular version.
It is a very thick, oily beer as expected, complex, with coffee, bittersweet chocolate, sweet caramel, molasses, fruits, vanilla but some noticeable heat, brandy like, which does not blend perfectly.
This is an incredible beer, but IMHO, one step down from regular DL. The oak aging did not match perfectly. Still a fantastic beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 02:34:39 | More by brdc
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 527 ratings.