Dismiss Notice
Get FREE shipping on all US orders of $25 or more from the BeerAdvocate Store.

No promo code required. Offer valid through 4/30.

Ready to gear up? Start shopping →

Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
274 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
274
Ratings:
1,359
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
9.25%
 
 
Wants:
4,154
Gots:
243
For Trade:
10
Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord)Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout aged in a variety of Bourbon barrels with vanilla beans.

Added by mcallister on 04-27-2008

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 274 | Ratings: 1,359
Photo of BIll_Currie
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally! Lost a Super Bowl bet so I had to go out and find one of these bottles. Very expensive but probably worth the money. Easily the best Russian Imperial I've ever had. Lived up to the hype. Well Done 3F

 212 characters

Photo of leighton
4.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hand bottle at ChrisO’s Pre-GBBF Shindig 2011. So, although it was great to try this beer, it came at the expense of the great Ken (MadMitch76). For those not familiar with the tale, Ken procured this beer some time ago. It was sent to him in a swing-top, Italian beer bottle (the Amarcord Tabachera). Well, Ken brought this bottle to ChrisO’s tasting. The night wore on and people (Ken included) had lots to drink. Eventually, Ken brought out this bottle. He was convinced it was the Amarcord - even when we pointed out that this beer poured like mud, and the bottle had a sticker reading "VB DL". So, as we all enjoyed his great beer, Ken sat back and obstained, believing 100% this was the Italian beer. A true tragedy it was, and it took about two days before the generous donor realised his oversight. I owe Ken for this one. But I digress. The beer poured thick, viscous, like mud, dark brown with basically no head. Lots of dark malts, dark fruits, rich sugar. Ultra sweet flavor, brown sugar syrup, molasses, raisin. Full bodied with soft to fine carbonation. Warming finish, syrupy, sticky sweet, more molasses, slight alcohol burn, mocha. Huge beer. Delicious. Thanks, Ken. (August 2011, score: 4.5)

Draft at CBC 2012 - Copenhagen. Pours oily black with a thick, brown cream head. Rich chocolate cake aroma, some sugar syrup, vanilla. Hugely sweet flavor with more decadent chocolate cake, light burnt wood, vanilla pods, molasses, brown sugar. Full bodied, chewy, with fine carbonation. Lightly warming in the finish, thick and oily, with lots of dark sugars, vanilla sauce, chocolate syrup, chocolate cake. Extremely decadent overall. If you like big, sweet imperial stouts, then this one’s for you. (May 2012, score: 4.25)

 1,742 characters

Photo of aleigator
4.45/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bourbon Vanilla Dark Lord '15 vintage 176/1107

Pours a brown-black color with a dark brown, small head to it, leaving back sheets of thin lacing atop the surface of the beer. Reveals its decadent viscosity after swirling, by revealing alcohol legs and tiny, dark brown bubbles at the glass.

Intense aromas of fudge, bakers chocolate and burned malts, tied together by a ridiculously rich Bourbon appearance, featuring flowery vanilla, a whiff of cinnamon, apple piths and a ton of scentened oak. Vanilla is easily detectable, while well entangled into the Bourbon, adding a organic, sweet, flowery freshness to the chocolate decadence. Mousse au chocolate, moldy earth, toffee and brownie batter round out this monster on the nose, so far truly a masterpiece, which I actually find hard to compare to the regular Dark Lord.

Has a supersmooth mouthfeel, due to its very low carbonation, next to a silk, omnipresent creaminess, coating the tongue and soothing the pleasantly integrated Bourbon effectivly.

Tastes of a spice soaked, earth coated oakiness, featuring the beers velvet mouthfeel from the start. Develops an enjoyable warmth, as the Bourbon unfolds its spice profile, together with vanilla, licorice, molasses and fudge. Vanilla certainly deserves an additional mentioning as it not only stands out from the Bourbon, but directly blends into the beers smooth cream quality, producing a heavenly, well accentuated sweetness, from which the profound spices benefit big times during the finish. Ends with cinnamon, red apple, fudge, molasses and a long lasting, silk, vanilla coke quality, smoothing out the Bourbon oak entirely.

Wow, what a behemoth of a beer. I guess it would be almost impossible to drink more of a few couple of oz of this, if it wasn't for the soothing combination of cream and vanilla. This doesn't turn overly roasty, but fudgy smooth with a ton of sweet chocolate to it, amped up by the spicy Bourbon. The different flavors come beautifully together, while this is still being best enjoyed in small sips, as for its profound sweetness.

 2,072 characters

Photo of Jslay013
4.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage. Not as sweet as I expected based on other reviews. Very cool to be able to try, but not worth the price of admission. Several other Vanilla stouts are better, IMO, but this was still tasty..

 206 characters

Photo of AnotherBrick00
4.93/5  rDev +6%
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.

 402 characters

Photo of frasergrove
4.59/5  rDev -1.3%
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!!

 318 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.84/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

 535 characters

Photo of jjdc
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 179 characters

Photo of Psychmusic
4.74/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

 274 characters

Photo of mradamhimself
4.37/5  rDev -6%
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.

 894 characters

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 249 characters

Photo of floridadrift
4.26/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

 541 characters

Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 454 characters

Photo of zookerman182
5/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 194 characters

Photo of Mojua
4.47/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 213 characters

Photo of Mexicanhat
4.2/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

 183 characters

Photo of Resuin
4.91/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 329 characters

Photo of Raziel313
4.52/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 877 characters

Photo of Domvan
4.99/5  rDev +7.3%
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

 372 characters

Photo of LethalChickens
4.95/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

 237 characters

Photo of ScottJWing
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

 204 characters

Photo of mportnoy
5/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 391 characters

Photo of csaxon128
4.44/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

 210 characters

Photo of timc100
4.56/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 567 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.85/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 2,431 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.