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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark LordBourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

719 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 719
Reviews: 207
rAvg: 4.72
pDev: 8.47%


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 Russian Imperial Stout aged in a variety of Bourbon barrels with vanilla beans.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 04-27-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 719 | Reviews: 207 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of standardcherry
standardcherry

Massachusetts

4.73/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 00:36:12 | More by standardcherry
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh

Indiana

4.73/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 02:12:49 | More by jeonseh
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours black with a tiny bubbly head, which is the product of an aggressive pour, and which wouldn't be in existence without the aggressive pour. The heat of a 90 degree heat lamp bears down from me above.

The aroma is very nice. Despite a hint of oxidation, which is easily ignored, this held up remarkably well. The aroma is of very rich chocolate malt with vanilla. Another BA present put it perfectly: chocolate milk shake. I'd append the description to include vanilla. Some molasses is noticeable.

I can't believe how well this held up. The flavor is very, very rich. The beer has a lot of molasses and chocolate. The vanilla almost turns
it into a desert drink. The alcohol is well hidden by the rich flavor. The finish is deliciously rich and once again tastes like vanilla chocolate malt.

The beer is full bodied. The mouthfeel is smooth and viscous.

Despite the loss of carbonation, which may or may not have been present in high amounts on tap, this beer held up very, very well. I'll try this someday on tap, but for now I'm quite satisfied with this rendition.

Serving type: growler

05-02-2009 08:35:31 | More by HopHead84
Photo of betsona
betsona

Idaho

4.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on-tap DLD 2011. Served in a plastic cup.

A- Oil black. Absolutely no head. Swirled to produce a thin hair of mocha head. No lacing on the glass as to be expected.

S- Huge explosion of vanilla with bourbon, coffee and ever so slight hint of cherries. The bourbon aroma was strongest when I first was handed it. By the time I had my last sip, the vanilla had completely dominated the nose, too much in the end.

T- The vanilla that was too much in the nose, is dead on in the taste. Almost lie having a scoop of ice cream drizzled in bourbon with a dash of ground coffee. Though the vanilla hides most of the alcohol, it still comes through.

M- Viscous syrup thick with low carbonation. Leaves the tongue feeling thick and slow. Slight alcohol burn at the end of the drink.

O- I prefer this variant of the two that were on-tap (Oak aged). Its nose was a tad too much, but the taste is exceptional. The vanilla is not too intense, which allows for multiple drinks. Even at the price--9 dollars for 8oz--it was still worth it.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2011 17:52:12 | More by betsona
Photo of bierenutz
bierenutz

Michigan

4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had the pleasure of trying this brew at FFF on DLD in the brewpub.
A-Coming from the tap with minimal head and lacing, it was black and thick.
S-Chocolate, roasted malts and vanilla with some sweet molasses and bourbon.
T-Very rich blend of mocha and syrup, and of course vanilla, although I would have expected more and found this flavor to be more of a background player in this complex concoction.
M-Rich and creamy with minimal carbonation and an overall great feel each sip.
D-Loved this beer, although right after this one I had the Oak Aged and, IMO, was better overall. Both these beers are great and well worth the hype.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2010 23:35:30 | More by bierenutz
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at dld. Thanks to Mario for getting in for us all... The look is nothing of note, black nice tan head...This beer is all about the aroma and the taste. Tons of awesome vanilla on the nose a little light coffee. The taste just brings the vanilla to the whole new level. Super sweet tons of awesome vanilla that is really nicely balanced. This is the best vanilla I've ever had. Only wish I could have more of this.

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2010 01:19:26 | More by jrallen34
Photo of nasty31
nasty31

Indiana

4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on tap at DLD

A- Very dark brown, but not as dark as i thought it would be, also sort of thin looking.

S- Massive vanilla aromas up from to go along with a burbon and sweet chocolate smell.

T- Strong vanilla up front, but not not a cheap fake vanilla flavor like most. On the backside you get a strong burbon sweetness to mix with the vanilla. This is probably the best flavor blend in a beer i have ever had.

M- Thinner then expected like said before, but not anything extreme.

Overall this beer is a deadly one. Goes down with no burn at all and tastes amazing. I had several glasses of this and did not realize it until later when i wass on the floor

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2011 16:36:19 | More by nasty31
Photo of zrab11
zrab11

Indiana

4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at DLD 2011

A- Pours a thick oily black with a small tan head.

S- Wow the sweet vanilla really comes out in the nose. also cathing some coffe and maybe some chocolate along with some alchol

T- WOW this is delicious. It starts out with a nice chocolate and vanilla flavor then moves on to come carmel and vanilla then come the roasted malts and finishes with a nice alchol vanilla flavor

M-Full bodied with nice carbonation

O-Overall this was my fav. beer i had at DLD i absoultly loved this brew. The vanilla was strong and there the whole way through but it wasn't undrikable like creme brulee. The vanilla was there but not too sweet. I loved this brew an will get more than just one glass next year. By far one of my fav beers ever. Try this if u havent.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2011 03:05:35 | More by zrab11
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at the RBSG 2012 Grand Tasting. This is incredible. Smells like chocolate and vanilla and molasses with rich bourbon. Flavor is full of vanilla and caramel with -- seriously -- huge candy corn notes. May as well have aged it in a trick-or-treat goodie bag. As someone who likes candy corn, this was awesome.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2012 05:40:20 | More by illidurit
Photo of bittermestupid
bittermestupid

Ohio

4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On draft at DLD in the brewpub. Pours black as oil with a small amount of tan head around the edge of my glass. Smells sweet like honey, also bourbon, vanilla, licorice, coffee, dried dark fruits, and chocolate really come through nicely. Dark roasted coffee and vanilla fills my mouth and coats the palate. Flavors of bourbon, chocolate, and raisins are also noticeable. The mouthfeel is wonderfully thick and oily. The finish of this monster beer is rather smooth and sweet with a subtle roasted coffee bitterness and no noticeable burn from the high abv. This beer for me lives up to all the hype and sets the bar for a ris!

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2012 15:53:12 | More by bittermestupid
Photo of IrishColonial
IrishColonial

Texas

4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Many thanks to siege06nd for snagging this bottle for my 30th bday.

A: inky black motor oil, not much head. The head that is there is nice eggshell creamy color.

S: chocolate covered marshmallow, lots of vanilla, still some wood hanging around. Liquid candy.

T: liquid chocolate marshmallows with some smooth bourbon flavor. No heat from the bourbon at all. Still some base Dark Lord taste comes through-molasses, asphalt, soy sauce-which is not my favorite, but easily overcome by the barrel and vanilla. A bit sweet but not syrupy.

M: thick creamy viscous engine oil. Dark and coats the tongue but a light feeling keeps it from being cloying.

O: one of the best beers I've had. It would likely be better if fresher but this is outstanding. The mouthfeel and the way the bourbon and vanilla flavors integrate but also mostly blot out the offensive base Dark Lord flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 20:16:11 | More by IrishColonial
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Looks like the regualar Dark Lord which is black, inky and thick Poured with virtually no head except for some tan spots of foam.

Smells of black fruit, thick dark chocolates with some residual sugar shining through. Vanilla comes through but is still a little laid back compared to the thick chocolatey, coffee aromas. Caramel, black licorice and earth.

Huge thick and creamy. Just an absolute monster of a beer. The vanilla bean aging seems to have smoothed out things more than added vanilla flavor. Now there is a good vanilla bean flavor in the middle and onto the finish but it is still just a huge visceral dark chocolate, sweet malty, coffee induced monster of a RIS. Black fruits, and some hints of hop on the finish. Creamy rich and full of alcohol, mollasses, and hints of honey suckle.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2008 00:57:55 | More by mcallister
Photo of thickerfreakness
thickerfreakness

Texas

4.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served in a short, squat glass at DLD 08.

This beer was black as night with no head at all. A very small, dark brown ring of foam lined the glass. This smells incredible, coffee and chocolate with a great vanilla smell taking over everything. The taste combined with the mouthfeel make this like an amazing chocolate and coffee milk shake with the right amount of vanilla to balance out the flavors from the regular dark lord. After sharing this sample and the oak aged dark lord with a friend I felt pretty good. An exceptional beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2008 07:01:42 | More by thickerfreakness
Photo of bgramer
bgramer

Washington

4.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at DLD on tap.

This is a hell of a beer. Black as Satan's spawn with a tan ring around my plastic cup coating it's thick inkiness. Thick and creamy, with a slight wooden taste, but the vanilla really mixed well with the chocolate, dark fruits, caramel, and coffee flavors. The hops weren't as pronounced, and this was pretty smooth - dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2008 12:36:57 | More by bgramer
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

4.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Shane for sharing this brew. If he ever visits the O.C., I owe him.

Pours a dark, viscous black. It's a handbottle, so much of the carbonation is gone. Perhaps a few splashes of bubbles.

Smells like a chocolate vanilla milkshake. Maybe a hint of maltiness, but primarily, it bombards you with sweetness. The mouthfeel is syrupy, thick, and overwhelming. Huge dark molasses/chocolate notes, and a ton of vanilla. Really an incredible brew.

Yeah, it was slightly oxidized, but not as much as I expected. Still delicious, and handily beat out other "fresh" brews.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2009 06:45:32 | More by Overlord
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

4.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured cold from the tap at the brewpub, at DLD, pitch black to an 8oz glass with next to no head.

huge arse big vanilla and oak aroma, hints of bourbon and milky chocolate.

big flavor, seriously thick vanilla, great big wow. oak hints. Graham crackers, dark creamy chocolate and a bit of sweetened espresso roast.

big huge bodied, medium carbonation. creamy smooth.

drinkable - one, but if it wasn't almost time to go...

overall - crazy good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2011 22:41:59 | More by robwestcott
Photo of MarkIntihar
MarkIntihar

Michigan

4.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review #10, figured I'd make it a good one!

Enjoyed on tap at DLD, review is from my notes.

A - Pours jet black with virtually no head. Motor oil consistency. Can't wait to chew on it.

S - Very vanilla up front, dominating the scent. Picking up slight hints of dark fruits but the vanilla overpowers it.

T - Taste is very vanilla as well. Hardly allows the other flavors through. The vanilla fades to more of a bourbon vanilla hint in the finish.

M - Very smooth and almost silky. Wonderful texture going down. Very little burn, if any.

O - Overall a phenomenal beer. Definitely on the sweeter side, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2011 20:10:24 | More by MarkIntihar
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
Chriscrundwell12

Minnesota

4.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pre Party for Great Taste of the midwest at Argus Lounge Bar in Madision, WI. Five oz pour into a glass.

A- Dark Pitch black color, opaque body, ½ finger brown head that dissipates quickly to nothing, very minimal lacing and retention.
S- The aroma is fantastic, very sweet chocolaty aroma, dark fruits (raisins, blueberries) are present with a nice oakiness added in, nice bourbon oak notes as well, although the aroma is still very sweet its not as rich and cloying as the regular dark lord which is surprising since Vanilla was added to this beer.
T- This beer is fantastic, huge vanilla presence, that’s balanced a little with the oak flavor from the barrels, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, slight coffee taste, slight roasted notes, cocoa nibs, slight bourbon taste, a little warming as it goes down but very smooth, very complex.
M- Big mouth feel, not overly carbonated but enough to make this beer delicious, coats the palate, smooth drinking.
O- I was surprised with this beer, from drinking the normal versions of Dark Lord I was expecting the Vanilla Barrel Aged version to be over the top sweet. I was blown away by how tasty this brew was, much more complex and tasty than the original Dark Lord, loved it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2011 03:21:39 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Photo of birderbeerer
birderbeerer

Virginia

4.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

won at DLD 2012! Drank about six weeks later. Friend won another won that we'll let age for a year or three.

Pitch black and syrupy with a thin but stubborn head.

Beautiful smell, the bourbon isn't too huge and vanilla and cocoa come through. Very sweet smell.

The taste is just as sweet. All sweet in fact. It's an enormous dessert beer at this point, and it lacks the dark fruit and roast flavors that come through in a dark lord that's been aged a few years. Over the course of splitting the bottle, the sweetness just dominated, and the beer became somewhat one-noted.

Great thick, creamy mouthfeel. An amazing and huge beer. Can't wait to have another. I imagine this is hard to beat once it has aged a long while.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2012 13:20:31 | More by birderbeerer
Photo of beerhan
beerhan

Ohio

4.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared in celebration of my birthday. Think cocoa marshmallows being slowly churned while bourbon is dripped in one drop at a time.

A-Jet black, virtually no head but a faint tan lacing.

S-Char, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, molasses, and plum

T-So much going on here. Initially there is a bourbon/dark fruit kick. The bourbon however is very muted in comparison to the standard bourbon barrel dark lord. Once this initial flash is gone there is a overpowering vanilla bean flavor with some toffee and hershey like milk chocolate that is very subtle.

M-This beer is dangerously smooth. Almost no burn for the alcohol content. Very light body in comparison to other bourbon barrel aged stouts. Beautiful, 'nuff said.

O-It really is that good. The only thing I disliked really about this beer is that it is hardly reminiscent of the base beer. I enjoy the dark fruit flavors of the standard version and it seems like those are completely gone. Amazing, delicious and I could drink a gallon of it. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2013 03:40:26 | More by beerhan
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this yesterday at Dark Lord Day '09. It was so nice to be able to get a glass of Vanilla Bean Dark Lord and Oak Aged 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.
Smell- Vanilla. Very pungent with lightly sweet and semi floral vanilla. I think the vanilla really sort of drowns out some of those other qualities of Dark Lord. Some extremely dark roasted malts and/or overly roasted coffee that so dominate regular Dark Lord are still plenty present here. I think the vanilla really works as it cuts into the inherent sweetness of the brew. A bit of caramel and chocolate hide in the background along with bit of booze.
Taste- Starts slightly sweet with a big burst of smooth caramel and vanilla. Sort of the good version of Southern Tier's Crème Brulee. Reminds me a bit of ice cream with just a hint of chocolate syrup on top. Perhaps a bit of toasted marshmallow as the roasted sort of aspect you get in regular Dark Lord is really drowned out by the vanilla. Not much coffee or alcohol but a nice smooth vanilla finish.
Mouthfeel- Supremely smooth and creamy with a thick rich body and very light carbonation.
Drinkability- Insanely good beer. My only smidgen of a problem is that it's a bit too sweet to enjoy more than one glass. Much better than the original Dark Lord and WAY better than the Oak Aged Dark Lord I think they need to bottle this. Just allow one bottler per ticket next year. So good and the world needs to try this!! So glad I got the opportunity this year.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2009 19:21:48 | More by younger35
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.65/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received from stfun37. Thanks!

Pours black, oily and dead flat. Looks much like regular Dark Lord, but even less carbonated.

The nose is loaded with vanilla bean goodness. The intensity of the vanilla is nearly identical to a vanilla milkshake. There are hints of chocolate and alcohol, but they're almost completely overwhelmed by vanilla. Totally one-dimensional, but it's an amazing dimension.

The taste, in contrast, is much more complex. Vanilla is dominant, but it's backed by milk chocolate, dates, prunes and light alcohol. The mouthfeel is rich and chewy, flat and creamy. It finishes roasty and bittersweet with light woody tannins. Delicious, this is far better than regular Dark Lord.

Serving type: growler

10-14-2009 20:38:18 | More by largadeer
Photo of Alpar
Alpar

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at DLD 2011. 2beerornot2beer and I got the last pours on the keg, or so we were told. Regardless after waiting for 3.5 hours in line we were ready to do this up:)

A: Jet black, very little carbonation, similar to the regular Dark Lord treatments.

S: AWESOME! Huge vanilla notes and some cocoa. I didn't notice any alcohol in the smell.

T: Better than the smell! I was expecting a nuclear vanilla attack but instead go a really sweet balanced marshmallow flavor, it was out of this world!

O: This really took me by surprise, I am not a huge fan of the regular Dark Lord beers but this beer really hit home for me, one of the best I have had to date.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2011 21:31:33 | More by Alpar
Photo of islandboi8204
islandboi8204

Hawaii

4.65/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours without much carbonation, leaves staining on the glass as it is swirled. Mahogany color.

Smells of chocolate cherry, fruit, vanilla, coffee. Wonderful.

Tastes similar to the smell, but velvety, rich, creamy, savory. Vanilla more present in the taste, but not cloyingly sweet either. Really decadent as a dessert.

Alcohol is very well masked. Not too heavy in the mouth, but a little more carbonation would help make it less syrupy. It's probably missing some from the hand bottling.

Overall, this is incredible. I would drink this all day long, glad I could try it. Looking forward to opening up my other growler, and trying this on tap some day.

Serving type: growler

12-04-2011 02:54:33 | More by islandboi8204
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

4.65/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 347 of 934 - 2012 Vintage

A - pours black in color with a nice white rim on it

S - nose is a beautiful bouquet of vanilla, bourbon, and sweet milk chocolates

T - sweet vanilla upfront moves on to goey milk chocolates. Spicy bourbon with a nice amount of vanilla moves in to mix things up on the palate. Ends with the vanilla and bourbon. Sweet, fudgy chocolates, vanilla, and bourbon is the theme to this beer. Mmmm

M - smooth and full bodied

D - really sweet, delicious, and complex. Something about this beer put it into the 5 category taste wise for me, making this a serious contender against any barrel aged beer out there. Now, on to the rest of the series...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62508184@N03/8159864035/in/photostream

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2012 03:05:43 | More by birchstick
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 719 ratings.