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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark LordBourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

271 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 271
Hads: 1,340
Avg: 4.64
pDev: 21.12%
Wants: 4,050
Gots: 235 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout | 15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 04-27-2008

Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout aged in a variety of Bourbon barrels with vanilla beans.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 271 | Hads: 1,340
Photo of AnotherBrick00
4.93/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fairly certain this is brewed from molasses aged in oak chips and I mean that in the best possible way. It is jet black, rich and deeply flavorful. Really good cold, but much much better warm. Sweet smelling, but not sweet on the palate. This has about as much depth as I could possibly perceive and probably more. You know if you will like it before you try it so there is not much more for me to say.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This thing went toe to toe with Mornin Delight at Rate Beer Best...and I think we have a winner! Pours a jet black body with a light tan head. Aroma is a gorgeous bouquet of vanilla beans, candied fig, caramel, roasty notes...full flavor of all of the scents above...so smooth...had all the non stout lovers swooning!!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Well here we go, never thought I'd tick this one. Very black beer with a tan and dark red head, just big enough to register. Aroma was so nice, waves of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon. So different than the base beer.

Taste really was as close to perfect as you can get. Very sweet, coffee not the most perceptible in the mouthfeel. Minimal but appropriate carbonation on this one. Earthiness over sweetness comes out as the pour warms.

No way around it, this is world class, first tier bourbon barrel stout, in a crowded field.

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Photo of jjdc
4.75/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Super smooth, balanced and good vanilla flavor. This was an all around world class vanilla stout, just a notch below vanilla rye. The entry price is steep, but really nice to try.

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Photo of Psychmusic
4.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I think that the reviews are accurate in calling this liquid marshmallow. I liked it slightly less than 2014 Bourbon County Vanilla.

Overall, it was a very good stout, probably one of the best I've had. That said, it was probably not quite worth what it took to get it.

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Photo of mradamhimself
4.37/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had the 2014 variant with friends on Black Friday 2015. As time wears on, I'm finding I'm less fond of syrupy/molasses-ey stouts like Dark Lord, and this was the case for me. I'll try and leave preference behind and comment on style - it's a completely opaque blackish-brown even with just a small bit left in the glass, no real head to speak of or lacing - plenty of tearing on the sides of the glass. Fairly boozy nose and a very sweet flavor coupled with substantial alcohol. Nearly too sweet to get some of the nuance, but the barrel is nicely in there, and it does have a little more vanilla than the base/flagship Dark Lord. I would HIGHLY recommend trying to get a regular bottle of Dark Lord to have side-by-side with this for comparison...it's such an overly saturated beer that it'd be nice to put them up to each other to really focus on the variant's differences and strengths.

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Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.6/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not a fan of regular Dark Lord - far too sweet and syrupy for me, but this was very different. I can't believe this variant even uses the same base beer. Super smooth and very drinkable, even at 15%. This is just a really good barrel-aged stout.

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Photo of floridadrift
4.26/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Finally got to try this bad boy. Best Beer Halloween to date! I'm glad I didn't fork over arms and legs.

L: Black, very little head in the beginning that dissipates quickly.
S: Sugary sweet, vanilla whifs, bourbon
T: Super sweet vanilla, slight bourbon heat, cloying sweetness, great after taste
M: Slippery smooth, not quite thick, not creamy either
O: A really good bourbon vanilla stout that hides 15% ABV but BCBVS and VR are far ahead in depth and complexity. It almost taste like an overly sweet imperial milk stout in every category.

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.77/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This bad boy glugged into my glass like a thick dark motor oil, producing a beautiful tan head. I could smell it as soon as I opened it, and it smelled glorious. Definitely the marshmallow bomb that was promised, and the bourbon flavor was there, but dangerously drinkable for 15% abv. An amazing beer that I love being able to check off my beer bucket list; however I can't say I'd trade half my cellar away for another one. Excellent job though, FFF.

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Photo of zookerman182
5/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Velvet.
So much brownie and vanilla.
More bourbon as it warms up and a slight roast coffee bitterness on the end that balances this beer out perfectly. Best barrel aged stout I have ever tasted.

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Photo of Mojua
4.47/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Exactly as advertised...a bourbon vanilla marshmallow bomb. Smells absolutely incredible...but it's totally one dimensionally sweet. Like a Bruery stout with more body. Glad I had it, wouldn't chase it down again.

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Photo of Mexicanhat
4.2/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

marshmallow bomb. A bit too sweet and the vanilla had fallen off a bit but still a world class brew. Not sure its worth what it commands to trade, however. Curious to try a new batch.

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Photo of Resuin
4.91/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. 2015 vintage, drinking pretty fresh.

Pours Blake with a tiny tan head. Smells big vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, a bit of heat. Taste is vanilla, milk chocolate, big marshmallow, light oak. Really thick and creamy, velvety body. No heat in the body, super smooth. Incredibly balanced.

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Photo of Raziel313
4.52/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

So finally knocking this off my beer bucket list.
Look: Black, oily. No head decent retention

Smell: Very small hints of the barrel character. Marshmallow and dark chocolate. Roasted malts.

Taste: Tastes like marshmallows a bit too sweet but not cloying

Feel: Nice thick mouth feel. Wish it was still a little thicker.

Overall: Regular dark lord definitely is above and beyond sweet. After trying the regular I knew that the barrel would add what the regular is missing, which, is balance on the sweetness and some more dryness to it. Now clearly like all beer hyped whales this just doesn't live up to the perfect beer in the whole world reputation that it has. It is however a great world class brew and amongst my top beers I have ever had. All in all I am glad to have simply tried this and happier to never give up as many beers as I did for this one ever again.

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Photo of Domvan
4.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aside from the fact that this beer overtrades and sells for way too much (in the black market) for what is essentially liquid in a bottle.

This was easily one of the most unique and best beers I've ever had

Chocolate marshmallow fluffyness with a light booziness. It was a perfect storm of ingredients all in one beer. Definitely a huge difference from regular dark lord

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Photo of LethalChickens
4.95/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2013 Vintage. Drank in July 2015. Like others have said below. It lives up to the hype. It smell just like it tastes. It is very sweet with tons of vanilla and bourbon flavor. Having more of this in your life would be a good thing.

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Photo of ScottJWing
4.63/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012, amazing smell, marshmallow bomb. A bit too sweet and the vanilla had fallen off a bit but still a world class brew. Not sure its worth what it commands to trade, however. Curious to try a new batch.

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Photo of mportnoy
5/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one given the hype. Boy was I surprised. We shared the 2015 vintage and it was amazing. Vanilla, marshmallow, and bourbon are incredibly well integrated. Creamy, wonderful mouthfeel. Nice and thick. We opened BC Vanilla Rye right after it (one of my personal favorites) and it was one noted and almost undrinkable next to the BVDL. World class.

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Photo of csaxon128
4.44/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pretty disappointing with this. Very little vanilla in the nose just lots of sweetness and barrel character.

Taste: Lots and lots of sweetness with a pretty thin mouthfeel. Marshmellows. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of timc100
4.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage

Pours just like all other dark lord oil, sits in the glass heavy. Sticky sweet, boozy aroma of vanilla, vanilla extract, marshmallow, and that typical dark lord fudge and molasses. A complete assault on the pallet - very sticky, chewy, and syrupy. The vanilla sweetness paired with the base sweetness takes hold on the mouth, finish is long and sweet. There is not a lot of whiskey and oak presence, however.

Delicious beer. Heavy, boozy and sweet. Lacks the complexity and depth of some of the other stouts out there, but still very impressive.

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Photo of jlindros
4.85/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

OK, so this has been one of my whales for a long time, and I was shocked to find out that rudzud had actually acquired it! So tons of thanks to Matt for finding this and sharing it with me. The big review #4000 for this puppy!!!!!!!!

Bottle #706/934 2012

Light fizzy head, disappears fairly quickly, little lacing, legs that never fall, blacker than black midnight, crazy dark motor oil sludge like.

Nose is phenomenal, tons and tons of dark malts, little booze but very little, nice fudgey cocoa caramel, big chewy cocoa and fudge. Mild vanilla, some real vanilla and touch of barrel vanilla, nice barrel notes, oaky with hint of bourbon, even a hint of candied raisin, touch of cinnamon and baking spices. More toasted oak, vanilla and baking spices come through more as it opens and the fudgey cocoa malts fade.

Taste brings big cocoa, creamy milk chocolate and dark choc, fudgey as Hell and liquid chocolate bliss. Then baking spices, tons of them, with cinnamon, etc. Then barrel, nice toasted oak, mild vanilla oak, decent bourbon and barrel juice, mild candied raisins again, brown sugar, etc. Great caramel, and toffee, caramel creams, even hint of butterscotch. Decent vanilla but not a ton, nice vanilla butterscotch toffee candy. Hint of booze, finish is sticky, little syrupy, no real booze, lingering caramel toffee, nice vanilla finally, vanilla city, toasted oak and bourbon with more dark choc.

Mouth is fuller bod nice thick rich velvety thing, decent carb, no real booze.

Overall out of this world! Pretty much hit my expectations for one of my few Carmen Sandiago like beers. So much awesomness of vanilla, bourbon, barrel, cocoa, and everything in between. I could drink this forever. So glad it's a high mark like a 4000.

From the start of reviewing beers, it was more of a fun hobby, mostly to see how my own tastes changed as I tried new beers. In fact, I had about 50 beers before I started posting my reviews, for which I wrote notes down and retried the beers to see how my notes changed as I went. When I was finally satisfied I was ready to post my reviews, I finally did. Now 4000 reviews later I'm barely keeping my head above water, and there are so many new beers on the horizon I don't know what to do about it. I keep wanting to start a youtube or blog review, but lack the resources to do it, esp with family. Someday I'll be there, but for now BA is my haven of beer enjoyment memories.

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Photo of Flight317
4.51/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

14'. It was really good it was just overwhelmingly sweet. I like vanilla in my stouts for sure. It's likely my favorite adjunct. This was just a bit much. If I somehow came across another bottle I'd trade it away in a heartbeat for another couple whales I'd been hunting.

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Photo of Prospero
2.33/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

2013 vintage, bottle 156/711 - Little to no head when poured, super sweet initial taste & aroma, followed by green apple (slight sourness) on the finish with a slimy mouthfeel, barely vanilla and any signs of barrel are completely masked by INFECTION. Glad I got to tick this with a very generous friend, but looking forward to trying it as FFF intended.

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Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.88/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

'13 Vintage: Serious signs of infection with sour milk taste completely overwhelming the palate. Will re-review when I try another vintage.

Re-scored based on my second taste of an uninfected bottle. Just be careful when trading for the '13 vintage.

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Photo of jstunna24
4.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely amazing. The aroma is incredible. One of the best smelling beer I've ever tried. It smells like liquid marshmallows. The taste is sweet but complex. Vanilla, bourbon,chocolate, and toffee intoxicate your mouth. Truly a treat. Definitely worth seeking out!

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.