Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
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Ratings: 903 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kdmcguire10:
4.65/5 rDev -1.7%
Gorgeous beer with silky appearance and a half finger mocha head.
Smell is obviously tons of fresh vanilla bean. Also a big roasty profile and some booze soaked figs.
Taste is like an incredible dessert beer. Super sweet, to the point of being cloying. The vanilla comments the beer perfectly but the residual sugars start to overpower the beer. A little less and the beer would be more balanced
Luxurious mouthfeel. Thick, coats your mouth and lingers. The sugar sticks to your lips long after your swallow. Woke up the next morning and it still coated my mouth
Overall this is a great beer. My preference would be to get the sugar level down just a tad to let the other aspects of this beer come into the spotlight a bit more
07-19-2013 12:06:28 | More by kdmcguire10
More User Reviews:
4.95/5 rDev +4.7%
Was able to try the 2013 vintage of this thanks to Dustin at a whale tasting 7/13/2013. Poured into a BCBS snifter, probably 5 ounces.
Basically this beer smelled like bourbon chocolate marshmallows but in liquid form. It has such a strong, pungent aroma that makes me smile. There is a bit of the barrel here but for the most part it is a delicious smelling bourbon marshmallow.
It pours a pitch black, incredibly thick and viscous body that comes with a minimal head & retention. Not a ton of lacing.
The flavour is straight up sweet chocolate marshmallows with some bourbon and hints of coffee in the background. This beer is not subtle at all. I wouldn't call it complex but everything it does, it goes beyond what anyone would expect even of Three Floyds. Insanely rich and savoury but not necessarily instant diabeetus like the regular Dark Lord is, if that makes sense. Its super sweet but it comes together in a good way.
Mouthfeel is perfect. Smooth, rich, roasty and carbonated well enough. Aftertaste is a slick bourbony marshmallow feel that makes me smile.
Overall, this beer gets super hyped for a reason which I now understand completely. It is so ridiculously unbalanced and complex, it's awesome. I don't have the trade ammo and it probably isn't worth all the craziness surrounding it but it is an incredible beer, probably the best imperial stout I've ever had the chance to drink. And that includes the BCS Rare we drank at the same tasting.
Re-review: the 4 of us bought into a single 2012 vintage bottle of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Lord aged in Vanilla Beans. Bottle # 58/934. So its about a year and half old now. Poured into an unlabeled snifter today, 12/8/2013.
Still pours a perfect opaque black body, with a nice mocha collar that sticks around with good retention. And well, the nose is still intense 100% bourbon chocolate marshmallows, one of the best smelling beers I've ever had. Its not the most complex, but it is the most incredible nose out there. And of course the flavour is incredible- the vanilla does cover up some of the complexity of the base beer, but it replaces it with bourbon chocolate marshmallows that is just so sweet yet not the type of sweet that Grey Monday brings; its easily drinkable and so enjoyable. Mouthfeel is definitely full bodied, silky and smooth drinking without much discernible heat. Again, this is a beer that is phenomenal and one of the best I've ever had. I can't believe I've had this beer twice in the span of less than a year, but it is well worth it. The main difference between the 2012 and 2013 vintage is that the bourbon is a bit more muted in the 2012 vintage compared to the fresh version. This beer is probably still best drank fresh, but it will certainly hold up over time if cellared properly. As before, I understand the hype and trade value behind this beer 100%. Thank you Matt, for being generous enough to send this one to our group.
Re-review: 2014 vintage poured into a FFF/DMC snifter 6/21/2014. Essentially, I am finding this year's vintage to be significantly sweeter than the last two vintages. There is more of the base Dark Lord and less of the vanilla bean contribution. The vanilla bean comes out more as it warms up, but even then it's still a shadow in comparison to 2012 and 2013. I felt the same way when I drank this at this year's Dark Lord Day, and I am now able to confirm this opinion with the pour I got tonight. While I won't tweak the scoring here, I certainly would not recommend trading for this year's if you've had this one in years past. Honestly, if I were to change the scoring, it'd be something like a 4.4/5, just a tick above regular Dark Lord. I'd even argue that the '14 Brandy Dark Lord we drank right after this beer was more interesting. That's how disappointing this year's vintage was compared to the last 2 years, with 2013 being the superior vintage.
06-22-2014 17:29:49 | More by Stevedore
4.47/5 rDev -5.5%
On-tap at the brewpub and I think it would be the 09 vintage. The beer is midnight black in the glass with no head at all. The taste and aroma still has the goodness of Dark Lord, meaning the burnt chocolate, coffee, and dark red fruit aspect is still there, just with an added blast of vanilla, smoothing everything out. It had a nice and chewy mouthfeel, and though the carbonation was low, it had just enough. I tried it next to the oak-aged, which I wasn't a huge fan of, but this one I liked a lot. They should bottle or growler some since everyone puts up with so much hassle to try it.
04-27-2010 00:41:13 | More by brownbeer
4.55/5 rDev -3.8%
Bottle # 346? / 934
Stone Imperial Russian Stout Snifter
A - Pours jet black and is completely opaque except for a thin film of brown atop the glass when held up to light. Half a finger of creamy dark mocha/milk chocolate colored head. Decent lacing
S - Big sweet aroma, lots of vanilla and bourbon but also some caramel, dark fruits, cherry, chocolate, a bit of coffee and oak from the barrel, smells pretty delicious.
T - Tons of creamy sweet vanilla up front blending into a mix of chocolate covered dark fruits, molasses, and coffee. The finish is a slight hint of licorice coupled with a deep warming from the alcohol.
M - Big mouth feel, not overly carbonated but enough to make this beer delicious, coats the palate, very smooth drinking.
O - This is by far the sweetest beer I've ever had and I just had Chocolate Rain recently. This beer almost lived up to the hype but just too sweet for me to put it on the same level as Rare, Bourbon County, Black Tuesday and other top barrel aged stouts.
11-26-2012 23:31:07 | More by SkiBum22
4.05/5 rDev -14.4%
The pour is rich and black with some nice brown head, just as you'd expect from Dark Lord. I get mostly vanilla and coconut with just a bit of coffee in the nose. I get more bourbon in the flavor than anything. Full and rich body as usual. Dry roasted finish.
06-12-2009 11:26:40 | More by tjthresh
4.53/5 rDev -4.2%
Black with a tan head that does a decent job sticking around. Aroma is of vanilla, molasses, only a touch of bourbon, licorice, and caramel. Taste has plenty of vanilla in it, bourbon is hidden pretty well, some syrupy flavors, and dark fruit. Full bodied with light carbonation. I liked this better than the Oak Aged Dark Lord this year, seemed a lot smoother.
12-28-2008 01:42:31 | More by badbeer
4.73/5 rDev 0%
2012 bottle 305/934. Shared with a friend, split into our snifters.
A: Jet black beer with minimal beige head. Thick and syrupy in the glass.
S: Brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, cookie dough, bourbon. The smell is just delicious, my friend said it immediately reminded him of s'mores.
T: TONS of vanilla in the first sip that later blends with bourbon and chocolate. Bourbon and vanilla aftertaste. Taste definitely reminds me of some kind of cookie. Delicious!
M: Thick and full bodied. A bit sticky. Very smooth though with absolutely no alcohol burn. Surprising for this massive 15% beer.
O: This is one sweet beer. It was amazing but I think I would split it more than 2 ways next time. Glad to have tried it but I doubt I would trade for it again.
01-28-2013 00:36:12 | More by standardcherry
4.75/5 rDev +0.4%
Sampled on tap at Dark Lord Day. I got in line to get into the brewpub as soon as I got through the gates. This was a smart move. Because, the rest of the day the line to get in was insanely long. After a short wait outside of the pub I was allowed inside. As I approached the bar a tall thin man, with his face tattooed, that looked eerily similar to Dez Farrara from Devil Driver, held out an extened hand holding a small glass of thick, dark liquid. "Vanilla Bean Dark Lord?" He asked. I gladly took the glass from his hand to begin my experience with this fantastic beer.
A: Black, like burnt motor oil. Black, like Satan's soul. No head, no lacing, just legs that stain my glass.
S: Vanilla, sweet vanilla comes wafting from my glass. It's hard to decipher anything in the nose beyond this. But, there are hints of coffee and chocolate. If you search for them.
T: Very sweet, but simply fantastic. An incredible creation of an Imperial Stout. The vanilla is still the flavor that clearly stands out the most here. But, it is balanced and rounded out with flavors of burnt sugars, chocolate, coffee and roasted malts.
M: Used motor oil. Very thick and mouth coating, but very smooth as well. Something like the greatest milkshake that you've ever had.
O: A wonderful beer, that was worth the trip alone. I'm ready to go back to Dark Lord Day next year, just to get another glass of this phenomenal brew. If this was ever bottled, I'm afraid that I would do evil things to get my hands on a bottle(s). I'm not the biggest fan of regular Dark Lord. But this, is a whole different animal entirely.
05-08-2011 10:31:10 | More by CaptinRedBeard
4.58/5 rDev -3.2%
2012 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest
Paso Robles, CA
Black throughout and thick in body, though it appears thinner than untreated Dark Lord. Very small brown head on my pour that leaves the glassy oily and spotted with lace.
Rich and sweet aroma of dark chocolate, sweet and earthy vanilla, oak, whipped cream, coffee creamer, and a little bit of brown sugar. Really, really nice.
The flavor is incredibly well integrated and marvelousy smooth and drinkable given this beer's astonishingly high ABV. The vanilla, oak, and whipped cream flavors are dominant, along with big notes of dark chocolate, and mild roast. Pretty amazing stuff.
Medium to nearly full bodied with low carbonation.
A beer I'd written off as one I simply would never be able to try: it's worth the hype (whatever that means).
06-12-2012 15:20:24 | More by ehammond1
4.93/5 rDev +4.2%
Never thought I would see this in California, but, yeah, the FW Invitational sure did deliver to say the least.
After the mad dash to the booth, we chilled for about 15-20 minutes before getting our pour, a black sludge with a super thin cherry cola head on the top of it 1/8" in depth that didn't stay around for too long, but the colors were amazing.
Vanilla bean, chocolate, bourbon, oak, these are the smells you want, all delivered in a huge Dark Lord kind of way.
Taste, more of the same, tons of sweetness, no doubt to drown out the massivity of the beer. Every aspect of it is big, like Black Tuesday or Chocolate Rain. You get a little more of the bittersweet dark fruit aspect on this though, the dividing line between RIS and the roastier American double stouts. Any coffee like roast aspect is really left to drown in the high sugar content here. Bourbon is present, but the vanilla and malt heft keep it from becoming a too hot concoction.
A slight tobacco/ash/mild leather feeling in the mouthfeel, that is only so slight. Low carbonation, which I think is just right for this beer.
I think this is significantly better than regular or even the brandy barrel dark lord. For me, the vanilla was really what uplifted this beer into one of the greatest of the greats from an already great brewery. Phenomenal stuff.
08-24-2012 15:49:42 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.88/5 rDev +3.2%
On tap @ DLD, GTOM
Dark Lord + vanilla. It's just about that simple. Looks like DL, smells like DL what with the molasses, cocoa, dark fruits, brown sugar plus a vanilla-infused explosion of creamy goodness right off the bat!
It's a pretty boozy incarnation, but the vanilla smooths it out to where this is just a pleasure. It's a chewy, viscous stout that goes down smooth as can be, even on a 90 degree day.
If you love DL, this will take that love to another level. A perfect example where tinkering with a recipe that's already a winner can sometimes yield incredible results.
08-13-2009 20:18:14 | More by rudylaw
4.73/5 rDev 0%
A - Dark chocolate brown with a thick syrupy body
S - Bourbon with tons of vanilla, marshmallow and caramel. Light bourbon and oak to it as well
T - Caramel, marshmallow, tons of vanilla, nice bourbon presence to it. Good vanilla and sweetness in the finish. Oaky bourbon presence to it that gives it a slight kick as well as a slight booziness. Good balance between the sweetness and booze
M - Thick syrupy body to it with light tinge of oak to it in the finish
O - Great BA vanilla beer with a good vanilla sweetness to it that is crossed with a nice bourbon spiciness. Definitely worth tracking down a bottle
05-21-2013 02:12:49 | More by jeonseh
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 903 ratings.