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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

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

580 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 580
Reviews: 172
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.65%
Wants: 1,610
Gots: 74 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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: 580 | Reviews: 172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CGMLS3
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Drucifer
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of vinny21bal
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.22/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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

Review # 450

I shared this bad boy at the Star Wars tasting. 750 ml waxed bottle, 567/688, served in a Deschutes tulip.

A: Pours a dark black color, viscous like motor oil. A nice ring mocha foam is left over after the pour. As it recedes and swishes around there is some nice legs and splotchy lace left behind.

A: Bourbon up front with some dark fruits. smooth oak, some caramel, milk chocolate sweetness and nice toasted malts.

T: Nice barrel presence right away. Smooth bourbon, smoked oak, caramel and light vanilla. Sweet chocolate, some fudge and roasted malts. Toasted marshmallow as well. Very well integrated.

M: Thick and chewy. Medium to low carbonation. So smooth and it goes down with some slight heat.

O: This is drinking really, really well right now. No harsh booze and the barrel is just integrated very well. My personal favorite of the day.

Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of younger35
3.63/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this yesterday at Dark Lord Day '09. It was so nice to be able to get a glass of Oak Aged Dark Lord and Vanilla Bean Dark Lord, plop down on a couch and compare/review them. Great job by FFF this year. Drank from a classy plastic cup.

Appearance- Pours a jet black with a sort of soft, creamy dark tan head that sticks around for quite some time. A weak cap and thick collar remain the rest of the beer leaving a light bit of lacing (copied from the Vanilla Bean Dark Lord, they were exactly the same).
Smell- Loads of deeply roasted malts, a bit of sweet molasses and some very woody oak. The smell isn't necessarily harsh but the oak is fairly pungent. Some vanilla and milk chocolate along with some licorice and a touch of smoke. Some dark fruits as well but the oak really is fairly dominant.
Taste- I don't necessarily think that the barrel aging really helps Dark Lord (unlike the Vanilla Bean). I find it to be semi astringent with almost too much barrel. Plenty of vanilla still though and a bit of bitter roasted coffee. The sweetness seems to be quite a bit more advanced that the regular Dark Lord as well. Tons of bourbon soaked cherries, prunes, dates, figs and any other overly ripe dark fruit you can think of. Finishes with a touch of smoke and a bit of boozy oaky bourbon like quality.
Mouthfeel- Big and rich and creamy with a smooth silkiness and a bit of boozy astringency.
Drinkability- Uhh... Out of the three Dark Lords this one was by far my least favorite. Just not a big fan of the barrel aging which is weird because I usually enjoy the added complexity. Maybe I was just a bit spoiled by the Vanilla Bean? Either way glad I got to try it.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.93/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at DLD 2011 in the Brewpub. I absolutely love Three Floyds. Bourbon Barrel dark Lord is the description.

A: Definitely pours black as hell with a small tan ring of head and great legs of alcohol. Very nice look.

S: Wow, the best mix of amazing sweet and savory bourbon with huge dark malt of any bourbon aged stout I've had to date. Raisin, Vanilla, burnt malt, dark fruit all combine amazingly. Complex and exceptional.

T: Taste does not disappoint, Might be the best tasting beer I've ever had even better than Vanilla IMHO. More flavors from the already bourbon and dark malt smell characters include molasses, vanilla bean, dark fruit, some coffee roast, and more. Tastes like the stout I think God would want to have.

M: Smooth and mostly not too hot, but a little alcohol lingers here. Would easily be a 5 with some age.

D: Totally amazing and just a pleasure to try. I beginning to think Dark Lord might be the best stout the barrel age in history.

Photo of kimcgolf
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at DLD 09. Pour to a jet black with just a hint of brown, a thin dark brown skim of head that lingers well and okay lacing. But it ain't about appearances. Nose was a very potent and pleasant mix of aged wood, pourbon, chocolate, toffee and caramel, and as it warmed, the alcohol snuck in as well. Mouthfeel was full, a tad biting and oily. Taste was the highlight, as it took all the scents of the nose and blended them into a very complex taste where every sip seemed to accentuate a different aspect.

Finish was log, smooth and warming. FFF served this in small cups, which was a good thing, given the various beers to be tasted and the 14% abv.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.88/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: approx 45 - 50 degrees
VINTAGE 2009 (Had @ DLD)

Much like Dark Lord, this one is solid black. It has a small head of tan foam that dissipates to a ring aound the edge of the surface. Lacing is a touch better than the 'regular' version, but still not very much. It's still very thick and viscous, sliding down the sides of the glass.

This is where it steps out away from it's brother. Nice big oakiness joins the chocolate and coffee notes. Dark fruits are still present, just a little more subdued. Wonderful bourbon-like notes. The vanilla is brought a little more forward. Nice caramel toffee notes.

Taste follows the 'regular' version, as well. This one brings along nice notes of charred oak, vanilla and bourbon. Molasses comes forward a touch. Lots of brown sugar notes. Slight hint of tobacco.
The oak aging really mellows the flavor profile out, making this one not nearly as sweet as the 'regular' version and giving it a drier finish.

While this one is still full-bodied and creamy and yes, thick, it loses just a touch, comparatively. If I weren't comparing it to it's brother it would score perfect anyway, but this one is slightly less, in that sense. In the 'regular' DL review, I said it deserved to be rated with a 7 for mouthfeel. This one still deserves a 6.

While this beer is incredible and totally worth the wait to get the chance to try it, I think that I actually prefer the 'regular' DL just slightly better. That shocks me, because I love barrel-aged brews, in general. I just like the big, bold, malty sweetness in the other one, which is toned down in this one.
Also, the booziness is more prominent in this one, which is not a bad thing, but it's better when you don't know that it's there.

Photo of vrbulldog22
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of BeerThursdays
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of antoines15
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of bamadog
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was sure to get my sample of this at Dark Lord Day 2010 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Review is from notes taken on 4/24/2010 and poured from the tap to a plastic cup (blasphemy, I know, but it's what they were offering).

Appearance: Comes to me very black and viscous looking (I should note that it's not nearly as thick as the '08 DL that I was able to sample - didn't get to review though as my pour was not quite deep enough to get everything out of it); has about a 1/4 finger of deep dark brown head that fades quickly to nothing other than a thin ring around the surface of the same color; the body is, of course, entirely opaque (I think this actually feeding off of any light around it) and it leaves behind no lacing.

Smell: About what I would expect, actually, and it's awesome. Tons of smoke, wood (with a bit of a sweet vanilla aspect to it from the barrel aging); big alcohol that is a little bourbonesque in nature; lots of dark, burnt and roasty malts and bit of a deep and dark, ripe fruity (cherry?) aspect hiding out in there.

Taste: Pretty much matches the nose to a "T." Lots of that smokey and woody aspect and followed with a hint of sweet vanilla; that big alcohol is definitely present and it's quite hot (I have no idea what year this was made, but if I had to guess I would say it's relatively fresh); again those nice dark, burnt and roasty malts provide tons of flavor and that cherry-like flavor hiding out continues to do so and makes the occasional appearance between the other, more dominant flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, with tons of thick sticky coating holding all over the mouth that allows the nice roasty and bitter flavors to linger for what seems an eternity. In the end, it's a tad gritty, but I like that in a stout, and one of this magnitude certainly does not disappoint.

Drinkability: The flavors and smells alone are enough to keep this high, despite the very present ABV. Also, the mystique and rarity of this beer alone would perhaps keep me coming back for more if it was something that was actually more available. I'm pleased that I got to try it though.

Photo of cfrances33
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of craytonic
3.18/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Looks like DL, pitch black, oil slick, etc, etc

Smell: Only a hint of oak on the scent. Lots of roast malt and molasses.

Taste: Did they add sugar to this one as well? If so, why? Roast malt, molasses, brown sugar, milk chocolate, semi-sweet baking chocolate. The oak is huge on the taste, like a fresh oak barrel. Too much barrel actually. Much hasher than the regular DL or VB DL.

Mouthfeel: Great - thick, chewy, smooth, near perfect.

Drinkability: To much fresh, wet oak and I get some added sugar. Regular DL is better, but honestly none of the three is T-50 worthy in my opinion.

Photo of pwoods
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at DLD '09

Pours jet black, no light, thick as motor oil. Oily and resinous on the glass. A moderate head forms and has some retention. Decent lacing throughout. Great depth from the barrel aging. Very woody and oaky with that wisp of vanilla. A very small smoky character in the back that I wish was bigger. The barrel really rounds the beer out, making the deeply roasted malts more enjoyable. Taste is much the same. The barrel blends everything very nicely. A touch of cherry comes out as it warms but it's nearly hidden behind all the other potent flavors. Body is fuller than full and is a bit chewy. Carbonation is somewhat low but manages to make the beer velvety nonethelss. This a very big beer. It drinks decent for the size but it's huge and wants you to know it. The barrel and aging does wonders for the beer.

Photo of Beertracker
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From my understanding, barrel-aged Dark Lord is only available at the brewery once a year during Dark Lord Day. I've sampled this one at a previous gathering, but this one was sampled during my recent visit to the FFF Brewpub at the 2007 Dark Lord Day. The intoxicating aroma starts filling the area as soon as it's poured. Big vinous woody-bourbon notes from the Woodford Reserve barrels are the first thing you notice then the mochachino notes start wafering along riding the waves of darkness. The intense flavor is amazing complex with lots of dark fruitiness, caramel, and chocolate. The body borderlines on syrupy, but there's more than enough alcohol and bitterness to make it all work nicely. Amazing really. More of an elixir or a potion than a beer. The Dark Lord Cometh!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of Nightrain87
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of CityofBals
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of brycevolk
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
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 ]

Photo of zrab11
4.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at DLD 2011

A-poured a motor oil black with a tiny tan head and alittle bit of lacing

S- Has a strong bourbon smell up fron followed by some dark fruit notes as well as come chocolate and malts

T- Has a strong bitter chocolate flavor up front followed by a nice malty middle and then finishs with a pur bourbon kick.

M-Full bodied with nice carbonation

O-Overall this was a top notch beer. Not as good as Vanilla DLD by any means. Well atleast in my opinion. In my little circle of 8 guys at DLD this was all their fav. besides me. Very good beer but just alittle too much bite and hottness to love it. Will have it again at DLD for sure.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 580 ratings.