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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

548 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 548
Reviews: 172
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,537
Gots: 68 | FT: 0
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: 548 | Reviews: 172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yourefragile
4.1/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

4 ozish pour in a plastic cup at Brickskeller 3F tasting. I interpreted this to be the 2010 release of the 2009 DL aged in whiskey barrels, not the 2009 Oak Aged Dark Lord. Either way...

Pours an extremely sludgy, viscous syrup like dark brown, near black with a non-existent head and no signs of carbonation. So yea, appearance is pretty much as expected for style, but nothing exciting. Aroma is hot and abrasive, assaulting you while the glass is still on the table. Immediately hits you with bourbon and oak. After letting acclimating to the booze and burn, other notes from the base DL are apparent, including chocolate, coffee and more oak. Very sweet, raw and complex aroma. Mouthfeel is very thick and chewy, silky and long lasting on the palate, near perfect. Flavors follow similar pattern to the nose; overall extremely sweet and it takes a moment to get past the oak and bourbon to pick out the subtleties of the original dark lord, and it that its primarily chocolatey. This isn't a 13% ABV beer that you can said hides its alcohol well either as there is a noticeable burn associated with each sip. This was an unexpected to treat to try, but overall I was left feeling like this in an instance of an amazing beer + more amazingness (barrel aging) != doubly amazingness. Overall some of the complexity is sapped out of this by the dominance of the boozy and oak flavors.

yourefragile, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of weeare138
4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

weeare138, May 04, 2006
Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

drewone, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.93/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a short plastic cup)

A- This beer has an inky black body that stains the side of the cup after each sip the head is a thin cinnamon brown that turns to a small ring around the edge pretty quickly.

S- The powerful smell of oak and coffee roasted malt come through even as I lift the cup of the table. The complex smell is very smooth and blended but notes of bourbon and coffee come through with faint molasses and a hint of vanilla.

T- This slightly sweet black malt has flavors similar to the smell with bourbon and vanilla coming through with a nice wood flavor. The soft taste of coffee beans comes through at the finish.

M- This beer has a full creamy mouthfeel with no alcohol warmth or astringency.

D- This is what Dark Lord has been missing. I like DL for its big punch in the face flavor but the aged in oak DL is blended all those flavors an added some more mysterious layers. This was truly an amazing beer.

Thanks to Diesel for buying this round.

rhoadsrage, May 01, 2006
Photo of mothman
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 2010 in the brewpub.

Served into a tumbler/snifter glass.

Served with 1/2 finger of creamy tan head. Color is just like vanilla bean dl: pitch black.

Aroma: Straight up oak, chocolate, and malty. Rich. Big caramel sweetness. Subtle aroma, but awesome. Very well done.

Taste: sweet malts with lots of caramel and cream. Some toffee flavors. The oak is present with a big wood flavor (yes I just typed big wood). Some raisins and molasses. Chocolaty goodness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, warming, and creamy. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Hot aftertaste. Ends malty and warm.

Overall, not bad at all. Very fine beer. The VB is better, but I am not complaining with this one. Very drinkable and I am glad I got a chance to try this one.

mothman, May 04, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Brad for sharing this at his tasting on Saturday!

2010 vintage, served side by side with Dark Lord and Vanilla Bean Dark Lord.

Oak Aged Dark Lord pours a near jet black, with hints of brown visible at the upper edges of the glass when held to the light. Head and lacing are somewhat subdued, but given the serving medium, I couldn't ask for more. A great big aroma of rich roasted malt and oak barrels. Wow. Dark Lord is one of my favorite beers, and I find the addition of oak barrels to be quite wonderful. There is a prominent licorice note in the taste. Someone described the feel as "oil slick in the gulf" and I have to agree. Thick and chewy, this beer leaves a coating of stout residue in your mouth that utterly blankets the palate. This is remarkably smooth, given the high alcohol (it is higher this year than previous vintages), and gives a nice, warm burn as it slides down. I really hope I can go to DLD next year and get some of this fresh from the tap.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On tap at DLD 2011.

Simply delicious. Similar in some regards to Goose Island Bourbon County Rare. The beer is full of flavor and wonderfully smooth. Alcohol content hidden beautifully. Lingering aftertaste of delicious bourbon. Warming sensation as it goes down. World class.

Huhzubendah, May 17, 2010
Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Gonzoillini, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of John_M
4.3/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

John_M, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of billab914
4.22/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

billab914, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of Viggo
4.03/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had myself a glass of this at DLD 2007. Was really looking forward to it!

Pours a deep opaque black, no light escapes, thin tan head, some lace spots, very oily. Smell is powerful, sweet, lots of cherries, and chocolate, oaky vanilla, alcohol, and oranges. Taste is similar, strong oaky vanilla, caramel, chocolate, roasty goodness, more tangerine/orange and alcohol. Mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation. This is from notes, but I really recall not being too impressed with this. Still very good, but I think I was expecting too much.

Viggo, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of Zaphog
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Zaphog, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From old notes The beer is black, and it doesn't appear as viscous or syrupy as regular Dark Lord. The beer looks near.

The nose is unadulterated decadence. It's reminiscent of chocolate cookies, brown sugar, fudge, chocolate chips, and brownies. Oak isn't prominent, like I was expecting, but it is noticeable. I detect a little molasses and a whisper of vanilla. No oxidation in the nose? I'm astounded!

The flavor is fudge and chocolate cake with light vanilla and a little sugar. The chocolate is insanely rich. I detect a touch of astringency and subtle oak. So decadent. The finish is chocolate desert with a slight roast and a little heat. The mouthfeel is light and silky, not at all like the viscous and syrupy regular mouthfeel on Dark Lord. There's just a dash of oxidation in the flavor, but it's not detrimental. I was expecting this to suck, but it far exceeded my expectations.

HopHead84, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at DLD 2008. The beer was massive in every way, especially mouthfeel (like the standard Dark Lord). This beer is rich, so full of flavor and so filling, it's an experience which is hard to describe. Oily black beer, thick enough that it almost feels like solid chocolate cake, complete annihilation of the senses in terms of aroma, flavor, and presence. I couldn't really detect any oak flavors, probably because subtle nuances like that are hard to separate from the overkill of flavors.

Probably you can only find this at special festivals (such as DLD), but I recommend you try it if you have the opportunity.

TurdFurgison, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of scruffwhor
4.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank at the Dark Lord Release Party 2006. The barmaid said it was 16% abv.

Appearance- Given to me an oily, iscous, black. No highlights in this soul stealing, liver pickling bad boy. Head was a lovely coffee like beige with great retention.

Smell- Like French Roast coffee, bakers bitter chocolate, with hints of heavy whipping cream and cascade hops.

Taste- Very dense and thick in the coffee department. But this taste does not let you forget that it was aged in a barrel. The wood sugars certainly give your balls a hows your father. Coffee and oak mixed with some black licorice and a well balanced American hop and malt balance.

Mouthfeel- Very oily, sludgy and thick. This is a dense beer with a lot of palate coating ability. All the dark flavors really stick to the palate the most, all parts of the tongue. Something to nibble on chocolate with.

scruffwhor, Apr 29, 2006
Photo of xnicknj
4.63/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

REVIEW # 999

2012 750mL bottle poured into taster - thanks Pat. Opened alongside DL 10-12 and Brandy Vanilla DL 11 as part of our holiday StoutFest tasting.

Pours a viscous blackness with a thin crop of darkly tanned, brownie colored head. Dissolves swiftly into a collar of film with a few spots of lacing on the glass while drinking.

Absolutely explosive nose filled with thunderous bourbon character. Warm and boozy layered with syrupy sweetness, chocolate, smooth vanilla and charred oak. Leathery and slightly smoky with a hint of dark fruit and roasted dark malts. Intense, complex and intoxicating - even before sipping.

Aggressive, yet delicious bourbon character right up front on the tongue, driven by boozy heat and sticky, syrupy sweetness. Rich vanilla and oak with light touches of dark fruit and raisin. Chocolate dark malt with warming roastiness. Having this alongside the base beer, this isn't remotely the same - the barrel aging completely elevates Dark Lord to a new level and somehow seems to temper the near-sickening cloying sweetness. Finishes rich, sweet and boozy with a chocolately note.

Fullest of the full bodies, heavy on the tongue, sticky and chewy on the tongue. While the 2011 Brandy Vanilla Dark Lord stole the show, this was a completely awe-inspiring beer. As I come to the realization that I really don't enjoy Dark Lord all that much, the barrel aged variations are some of the finest stouts I've ever had. I honestly had a hard time believing they were the same beer.

xnicknj, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of chippo33
3.25/5  rDev -28.9%

chippo33, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of jrallen34
4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at dl into a 12oz plastic cup. The beer is black as expected with a medium tan head. The aroma is nice with the oak dominating the front, nice notes of vanilla and sweet chocolate. The taste is also lots of oak but not overpowering or annoying. It really adds a lot to the original dl but not quite as good as the vanilla.

jrallen34, May 03, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

BeerFMAndy, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -12.5%

KAF, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Hopheadjeffery, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of AgentZero
4.72/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

AgentZero, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of bsuedekum
5/5  rDev +9.4%

bsuedekum, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of DefenCorps
4.63/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Handbottle shared graciously by Chris. It was MUCH better than I remember it being when I tried it at DLD 08

Jet black, no head with dark brown highlights. Not as sludgy as the regular Dark Lord. A solid looking beer.
Holy fucking fuck, what a nose! Chocolate chip cookies with bourbon come right to mind. Just massive, intensely good. A ton of vanilla with a relatively low booze character, with bourbon noticeable. Not hot in the least, the vanilla character is actually quite tastefully done. Mildly raisiny with cocoa powder and chocolate fudge. Just over the top.
The palate isn't as exceptional, but opens with all the fantastic chocolate complexity with cocoa, dark chocolate and fudge. Plenty sweet with caramel, burnt sugar and an incredible accent of bourbon. The oak aging is most noticeable in the vanilla character of this beer, along with a mildly boozy character. Coffee isn't noticeable, though there's enough molasses and licorice to make an effort at countering the chocolate character. Mild dark fruit character is present with raisins soaked in sugar syrup. An incredibly long finish with a bit of booze, a lot of vanilla, mild roast and some chocolate. Thick and HUGE, this big beer has low carbonation and has a perfect body. My belief is reaffirmed, and I'm almost tempted to go to DLD next year and session this and the VB DL. Awesome stuff.

DefenCorps, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of WOLFGANG
5/5  rDev +9.4%

WOLFGANG, Jun 30, 2013
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 548 ratings.