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

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout
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BA SCORE
100
world-class

594 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 594
Reviews: 173
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 1,705
Gots: 78 | FT: 0
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 594 | Reviews: 173
Photo of oldp0rt
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Stevedore
4.56/5  rDev 0%
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!

Photo of Wowcoolman
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Overlord
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a prior trader for hooking me up. Shenanigans ensued with the procurement/bottling of this beer, I'm sure.

Pours a dark black, some deep tan bubbling froth, and a bit of a foamy crust.

Smells like ... Dark Lord. I feel like cutting and pasting my review. Hmmm ... Chocolate, dark fruits, a roasted malt backing. So far, not much oak.

Well, the oak makes its appearance in the flavor, in a big ... kind of distracting way. Vanilla, bourbon-y oak, and the familiar chocolate, roasted malt, and velvety dark fruit of the base Dark Lord. They laid a heavy -bal aging on this beer. And yes, there's more than a bit of sherry to it. Thick, viscous, and creamy. Noticeable bourbon component.

Much better on my second sampling.

Photo of mcallister
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark dark brownish black like a sludge oil. Very gooey almost with a prevelant tan head and thick sticky lacing.

Coffee, vanilla, bing cherry, cocunut, toffee, toasty oak, and bitter cocoa. No alcohol present in the aroma, but a nice malt background.

Huge beer, delicious cappuccino, fresh coffee grounds, toasty coconut, malty caramel, and dark choclate, heavy cream, honey, mollasses. Massive and uncannily silky smooth. Slight alcohol burn in the chest. Somewhat high is residual sweetness but not coyingly so. Could drink this monster all day long if the high alcohol doesn't get you first. Nearly a perfect beer.

Photo of grub
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sampled on tap at the brewpub on dark lord day 2007.

pours deep inky black with a small very fine dense brown head. drops very fast to a ring around the glass. no lace.

aroma is nice. the first thing that hits is a blast of orangey citrus. alcohol. oak and vanilla. dark chocolate. huge bready malt. bourbon.

taste is good. tons of orange and tangerine. alcohol. bittersweet chocolate. bready malt. bit of vanilla. light alcohol. medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. super smooth. light carbonation. full bodied but without feeling thick.

drinkability is great. smooth. the alcohol is dangerously well hidden. you really only feel the warmth on the way down.

Photo of nickd717
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at DLD, finally! Brings me up to 95/100 on the Best of BA, but what a moving target that list is. Maybe I was a little drunk when I had this (ok, let's change that "maybe" to a "definitely"), but this one really stopped me in my tracks and made me appreciate just what the hell I was drinking: one of the greatest beers of all time!

Pours as black as the BeerAdvocate website background, and as thick as Aunt Jemima syrup. A well-formed brown head sits on top and leaves some lacing on the glass...er...plastic cup.

The nose on this one is out of this world. So much going on. It smells like a rich chocolate cake, along with coffee, roastiness, candied fruits, oak, and bourbon. Even puts regular Dark Lord to shame here.

Flavor is similarly amazing. The sweetness of Dark Lord really mellows out with the oak aging. Lots of milk and dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, brown sugar, and candied plums and raisins. Oak and bourbon blend seamlessly and do not overwhelm in the least bit.

Incredibly full-bodied and rich on the palate. Carbonation level is medium-low, exactly as appropriate for a beer like this.

Overall, wow, this is unbelievably good. I'll knock it down a half-point on the drinkability just because it's so overwhelming, but as drunk and full as I was, I had no problem taking down the 6oz pour. (Wish it hadn't been so easy!) Hope I get to have this awesomeness again at some point in the future.

Photo of Crosling
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Photo of nrbw23
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Looks just like the regular DL. Pitch black with a brown head.

S- Smells like the normal DL with a more bourbon, nutty and wood smell. I think this one smells good.

T- Follows the regular version with a bigger bourbon taste and nice amount of wood as well.

M- Huge and thick and low carbonation.

D- Sipper just like all the other Dark Lords and easy to drink.

I had all three of these pretty much back to back and gonna give the edge to the vanilla bean but I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. Nice work!

Scored a couple of glasses of this beast again at DLD '10 and its a great brew.

Photo of seeswo
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.6/5  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!

Photo of Arbitrator
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Photo of jampics2
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

Photo of jegross2
4.94/5  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.

Photo of jschott75
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of JDV
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of MinorThreat
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of tbone1384
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.76/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
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)

Photo of Dactrius
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Phelps
3.87/5  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.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 594 ratings.