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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

715 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 715
Reviews: 206
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: 715 | Reviews: 206 | Show All Ratings:
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 homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 2012 and 2013 side by side. Will review the 2012 vintage. Pours a thick brownish black. The nose is loaded with vanilla bean paired with deep dark fruits, currants, chocolate, berries, and boozy bourbon. The vanilla bean manages to stand above the rest of the flavors which is impressive considering how bold of a beer Dark Lord is. The taste is very sweet like the base beer, but the barrel aging and addition of vanilla take it to a much different level. I find the base beer to be a bit too sweet, but when the sweetness is tempered with bourbon and vanilla, it just works. There is still a fair amount of boozieness, but it is tame compared to the base. Mouthfeel is thick and mildly carbonated. Overall, this beer is very good. I don't know that it meets the monumental level of hype it has surrounding it, but it is delicious nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 06:57:23 | More by homebrew311
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Chad...thank you very much for the opportunity.

Dark and mostly still

Smells of sweet vanilla and melted chocolate

An extremely rich and sweet beer that has its bourbon presence overshadowed by the gobs of vanilla and marshmallow that throw their blanket all over the base beer. Bourbon plays a gentle but distant second fiddle. Residual sugars hang out like the tough guys they are...thumbing their jeans and smoking their heaters. Really rich but handles its abv well.

There are some nice flavors here that mark a definite improvement on the base and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to try this bottle without giving up what this beer would require in a trade. That said, unless you're one of those fortunate BA's who has unlimited funds and/or cellars, no beer is worth what this beer demands. I personally thought the TG Assassin we drank prior was a more enjoyable overall beer. Drink your great beers, don't chase whales...stupid term anyways...and if your life's happiness really depends on whether you have the chance to drink this beer...find good people who like to share.

A nice beer...but not a life changer.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 05:33:57 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of MCain04
MCain04

Illinois

4.19/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Kieran for opening this up for us! 2013 vintage. Poured out at slightly below cellar temp.

The pour is surprisingly light, was expecting a darker motor oil pour. Little head, if any.

The smell on this is heavy, heavy on the vanilla. Definitely a lot of sweetness, from vanilla, malts, and bourbon. You get some additional toffee, caramel, and roasty notes, but dominated by vanilla.

The taste is so vanilla-heavy it's insane. It really does overpower most of the other flavor profiles. The bourbon and barrel notes play nicely off the base beer, which is cloyingly sweet at baseline. Unfortunately there is a pretty apparent metallic taste that doesn't fully resolve with warming.

Mouthfeel is smooth, low carb, medium bodied. Sticky finish.

Overall, this is a sweet, sweet beer, which is one of the most vanilla-forward beers I've ever tried. The metallic taste was a big set back for me though. This was beat out by Black Tuesday and Melange 1 in our tasting, in my opinion. Given the price of admission, between what it takes to trade for and even the price tag for purchasing, there are better beers out there. This is overhyped, in my humble opinion!

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 21:38:20 | More by MCain04
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore

Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was able to try 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.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 05:08:25 | More by Stevedore
Photo of starshockey9
starshockey9

New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was my birthday brew, full bottle to the dome.
2012 version. Bottle #695 of 934.

A. While pouring seems a tad light but once it's in the glass, perfectly black with barely any head.

S. The aroma hits you as soon as the cap comes off and my god, one of the best smells ever. Nice bourbon, raisin, and vanilla.

T. Holy cow! This is top notch. The bourbon flavor comes through real nicely. Then you get hit with the vanilla in the end. The two flavors mingle excellently.

M. If the appearence, smell, and taste doesn't win you over, the mouthfeel will. Not too thick but in no means light. It is just perfect. It coats your mouth leaving you craving more.

O. Im a sucker for barrel aged beers and vanilla beers but this one takes the cake. Alcohol is very well hidden, not to boozy, and not too sweet. I now truly understand why it trades so high. Wish i could get another bottle. Best beer I've had to date. Thank you three floyds!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 06:30:05 | More by starshockey9
Photo of vinny21bal
vinny21bal

Illinois

4.95/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't say much more then this is the best Stout out there if you get the chance to try it. The nose, mouth, flavor, everything is almost flawless. We opened it with a year of age on it and it was amazing. I was very pleased with it. And $50.00 is a steal to try this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 04:03:35 | More by vinny21bal
Photo of nrs207
nrs207

Pennsylvania

4.95/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had alongside the base beer. 2013 vintages for both.

A - Quite dark, has a little tan head. It looks a little darker and a little better than the base beer.

S - Smells like some sort of vanilla/brownie mixture. Incredible. There's just a hint of the barrel, but it's nice because it lets the vanilla and chocolatey aromas shine through. I have no idea how this is the same beer as the non-barrel aged version.

T - Just like the smell. Loads of vanilla and fudge. It's truly a dessert beer, but at the same time I could've had the entire bottle. The bourbon barrel is just barely there, cutting the sweetness just a bit. It's as sweet as I'd like this type of beer to be. When it's around room temp, I get a little alcohol, but very light and only when it's very warm. Hides it extremely well.

M - Smooth, rich, creamy, no burn from the alcohol. It's almost perfect. I think if it was just a tiny bit fuller it would've gotten a 5.

O - I'm so happy this lived up to the hype. Took a lot to get, but I think it was worthwhile. One of the best beers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 16:05:56 | More by nrs207
Photo of FondueVoodoo
FondueVoodoo

British Columbia (Canada)

4.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rutager for opening this up as part of a bottle share. 2013 vintage (492/711).

A: Pours completely black with about 1 finger of tan coloured hear which quickly dissipated.

S: Huge upfront notes of vanilla, burnt toffee and sweet sugars - similar to a toasted marshmallow. Background notes of milk chocolate, sweet malts and molasses.

T: Follows the scent with vanilla, toffee and toasted marshmallows. Notes of dark dried fruit of plums and cherries in the background.

M: Thick and oily body with minal to non-existent carbonation.

O: This was an amazing dessert beer and while sweet, it wasn't offputting in any way. Perfect to share with friends in front of a fire on a cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2013 17:36:10 | More by FondueVoodoo
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Rodkin for this long time want. 2013 bottle (492/711) drank with the 2013 base beer and shared between 6 at last night's tasting.

Appearance. Pours thick and black with just a ring of light brown head.

Smell. Big vanilla and sweet chocolate. Much sweeter nose than the base beer. Marshmallows (maybe toasted marshmallows), toffee, and a touch of molasses. Had my nose in this one for a while and kept coming back for more.

Taste. Sweet toffee, vanilla and marshmallows, light amount of cherries and dark fruit, and burnt sugar. Sweet, but not like syrup. The level of sweetness goes really well with the flavours.

Mouthfeel. Full body, low carbonation, a little bit sticky.

Overall. Great beer. Very sweet with flavours reminiscent of candy, a great desert. This was shared between 6 of us and was about the right amount. I couldn't imagine drinking even half a bottle to myself. Would love to have it again but certainly won't be seeking out another for what it trades for.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 01:03:42 | More by Rutager
Photo of DaftCaskBC
DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.93/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Black as night with minimal head.

S: Vanilla, marshmallows, bourbon.

T: Bourbon, marshmallows, vanilla, candy, toffee, caramel, chocolate.

M: thick with low carbonation.

O: magic in a glass. It could use more carbonation, however. Very smooth considering the alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 23:34:19 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of gueuzedreg
gueuzedreg

Colorado

4.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle #535

A- Black motor oil viscous with faint yellow

S- So much vanilla and marshmallow. Bourbon background, fig, caramel in background.

T- By far the biggest vanilla that I have ever had out of any beer. You have to drink this one fresh. I can't imagine how aging does anything for this beer. My favorite BB Stout that I have had. Where Chocolate Rain has the vanilla, but it goes overboard on the sweetness diabetes; this beer is just right.

M- Nothing too special here. Run of the mill top tier BA Stout feel.

O- Definitely worth a try once in your lifetime. Would I go back for another bottle? Probably not due to what it takes to get this bottle, and the fact that you can't age this beer in your cellar; but worth the try just on the vanilla aspect itself.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 22:45:52 | More by gueuzedreg
Photo of TheBronze
TheBronze

Washington

4.96/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2013 bottle #216 of 711
Opened on 9/14/13 and shared with three friends.
Poured into a Hill Farmstead raised snifter.

A - Pours dark and viscous as you would expect. Little to no head with slight bubbles forming. It was hard to spend much time on the appearance because of…

S - The smell. Dear Dark Lord, the smell. Toasted marshmallows soaked in bourbon, vanilla, toffee, carmel, chocolate. I waited to take my first sip for some time. The experience of smelling this beer was just so enjoyable, I didn’t want it to pass.

T - Taste mostly follows the nose but the marshmallow is not as present. Vanilla leads but is well integrated. A viscous, creamy blend of vanilla, chocolate, toffee, carmel, bourbon with very subtle features of the base Dark Lord pleasantly present in the background to remind you of the beer’s origins. Decadent, but by no means over the top. I could have easily and happily handled at least half the bottle of this if not more. The stout is somewhat sweet, but again the sweetness is simply a feature of it and is not dominant. Just delicious.

M - Lightly carbonated and full bodied. Coats the mouth nicely, and there is nothing cloying about this. Very smooth, and easy to sip and savor. Alcohol is well hidden. A very full bodied stout.

O – This is probably the best beer I’ve ever had. It is hard for beers such as this to live up to the hype, but I must say that this one does. I even sealed the empty bottle overnight just so I could smell it again the next day. I certainly hope to enjoy it again someday.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2013 18:53:33 | More by TheBronze
Photo of cradke
cradke

Texas

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

Appearance: Pitch black. A thin head around the edge. Very little carbonation.

Smell: Roasty dark notes with super sweet bourbon. Almost like smelling toasted marshmallow smores.

Taste: Very bourbon forward. Sweet. Integrated very well.

Mouthfeel: A bit thinner than I would have expected or hoped for. Spreads very well across the palate.

Overall: This was a very good beer. Was this a world beater? Na uh. Extremely well integrated and wonderful bourbon notes, but lacking in complexity compared to the Port BA Dl and not as well integrated or as BCS. Sidebar: Cuvee de Port BA DL+BVDL+BCBCS was without a doubt the best beer I have ever had. Hands down.

Notes:2012 edition, Bottle #413/934

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 03:33:38 | More by cradke
Photo of dboon
dboon

Florida

4.89/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle # 766. Dark brown pour with a tan head. Coco puff nose. Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. This beer is freakin’ awesome with all kinds of chocolate, caramel, and smooth roasted malt goodness. Sweet and delicious with a great body and mouthfeel. Outstanding....

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 12:42:11 | More by dboon
Photo of Luk13
Luk13

Quebec (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a dark opaque black with reddish highlights and minimal head. Aroma is decadent withbourbon, fudge, hazelnut, vanilla and some spices. Very good. Flavor is more straightforward with bourbon, chocolate and hazelnut. Intense sweetness, not too cloying because of the bourbon and alcohol. Palate is a little thin for such a big beer. Not up to GI Rare standards. A slightly better than average bourbon barrel stout.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2013 21:14:54 | More by Luk13
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 kdmcguire10
kdmcguire10

Michigan

4.65/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2013 12:06:28 | More by kdmcguire10
Photo of kevanb
kevanb

Illinois

3.99/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, 2012 vintage, poured into a Three Floyds mini snifter.

The beer pours a deep black color, but with obvious hues of brown, a thick khaki head appears briefly but vanishes quickly, leaving no lace or retention behind. The aroma is of heavy marshmallow character, bourbon, light oak, vanilla and lots of cane sugar. The flavors are right in line with the nose, vanilla, burnt marshmallow, bourbon, some charred barrel that plays nicely with the marshmallow, cane sugar and a bit of chocolate. The body is luscious, silky, rich and super smooth, coats the mouth well and finishes with a nice warming tingle.

Verdict: An interesting take on Dark Lord. The marshmallow profile is quite nice, but the beer is shockingly sugary and sweet, even for Dark Lord, and for that fact alone, I struggled to finish more than 2 ounces. The balance is decent, but each flavor and nuance seems to make this beer sweeter and more decadent, which isn't really my thing. I can understand the buzz and the hype surrounding this beer, but it's just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 19:00:40 | More by kevanb
Photo of ryanfolty
ryanfolty

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

July 3, 2013 - bottle shared by Joe. This will be rating 1492 for me (on RB), the year that Columbus discovered America. Fitting since this beer marks my discovery of something that is at the same level as Goose Island’s BCS Rare. Yes, what I thought was my one and only 5.0 rating now has a companion. How can I say this is as good as Rare? Well after drinking, my wife and I say to Joe that it is one of the best beers we have ever had, but not sure it is better than Rare. What does Joe go and do, yes he pulls a Rare out of his cellar and we do a blind impromptu tasting!!! I admit on this day the Vanilla DL was better than the Rare (I was able to choose each correctly), but the Rare did not taste quite as good as when I had it initially. I can’t thank Joe enough for his generosity on this night. I guess I will put some actual beer comments in now. Of course this was a black pour with tan head. The aroma and taste were magical blends of chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. Each one in perfect harmony that created an other worldly experience. 2012 vintage, bottle 408 of 934.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2013 02:24:29 | More by ryanfolty
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout

Georgia

4.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz (ish- it seems larger than a 22oz but smaller than a 750mL) bottle scored at Dark Lord Day 2013. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours oil black with a thin wisp of brown foan. "Head" recedes to a tiny halo that leaves no lace.

Aromas of vanilla, kalua, oaky bourbon and booze. Nice!

Smooth sweet mix of vanilla, mellow bourbon, creamed coffee, caramel, alcohol, cherries and syrup. It's still sweet like the base Dark Lord but with so much more going on to carry the sweetness. Fantastic vanilla notes that play well off of the booze. Good stuff.

Rich, thick, syrupy full feel, light on carbonation. Vanilla bean ice cream finish.

Outstanding. A fantastic variation and upgrade to an already excellent base stout. Incredibly sweet and complex. Super glad I got to try this.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 13:45:26 | More by ThickNStout
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 Fux
Fux

France

4.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the highlights of last 2013 CBC. The keg was gone within a quarter but I was lucky enough to get two glasses of this!
A: Black, opaque, dense. Small mocha head which holds pretty well.
S: Fabulous nose, complex, deep, on vanilla, chocolate with a woody scent, cherries, slight touches of dark fruits.
T: On the palate, I got mainly chocolate, roasted malts, some ashes and also vanilla, bourbon, dark fruits and sherry. This is not exactly an explosion of aromas but more a travel within savors. The one you want to go slowly into and stop to pitch your tent wherever you're pleased enough to stay.
M: The mouthfeel is exactly the same as in the regular version, that is simply perfect. Smooth, light but high bodied, never sticky, perfectly drinkable, also perfectly sippable!
O: Vanilla does a great job in this beer, perfectly mixing with the cherries and ashes notes of the base beer, giving more complexity and richness. This one is probably worth the hype!

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2013 13:06:29 | More by Fux
Photo of justforrazors
justforrazors

Missouri

4.94/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Vintage, bottle 428/711

Split with my friend Keith who attended DLD with me this year. Served in a FFF mini-snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A- Upon pouring, a mocha head quickly appears and dies down within 30 seconds, leaving a ring of foam around the rim of the glass. The color is opaque black, thick like motor oil.

S- The first thing I can smell is a very strong bourbon barrel presence, but it is quickly joined by vanilla, coffee, and a sweet molasses like aroma. Excellent aroma, it definitely invites you to take a drink.

T- I don't think it would be possible to use any more descriptors for this beer. Black cherries, prunes, vanilla, followed by some tobacco and caramel with bourbon strong on the finish. There is a lingering sweetness that is very familiar from regular dark lord on the back end, and surprisingly little to no alcohol bite, even with the bourbon flavor being so apparent. There is no detectable hop bitterness.

M- Silky smooth, yet very thick at the same time. This is definitely a sipper, but it is very easy to drink. Low-medium carbonation is right on for the style. The flavors linger and change over the incredibly long finish, definitely over a minute later I can still taste the beer.

O- This is a very enjoyable, incredibly complex beer. I'm glad I hadn't drank anything before this, because it was such a pleasure to really get into this beer and enjoy the full range of flavors you can get from it. The bourbon is there on the nose and finish, but the vanilla really outshines it, at least in my opinion. I'm sure that will die down with time, although I think this is simply amazing as it is right now. It was an honor to drink this beer, so very glad I was able to score one this year!

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 03:43:21 | More by justforrazors
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

2.58/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to a few people we were able to put together the entire vertical and almost all the BA variants. Lots of fun gents!

From a 750 into a snifter
2012 vintage
Bottle 921 of 934

APPEARANCE: Just like all the rest of them. Pours relatively clear for an imperial stout. Produces a small, one finger medium-looking head that quickly fades to a wisp and ring. Black body in the glass with some carbonation evident. Only a ring remains until the end and leaves no real lacing down the glass. A little too light a pour and an average head at best.

SMELL: Vanilla extract reminding me of those vanilla candles you buy at bath stores. Artificial and somewhat off-putting. A touch of bourbon barrel under the chemical vanilla aroma, but not much. Unfortunately this is one-dimensional and artificial, especially compared to the brandy vanilla version.

TASTE: Touches of bourbon barrel and oak peek through, but this is a one-dimensional vanilla extract bomb if there ever was one. All vanilla up front and into the swallow, then a big, vanilla dominated aftertaste with some oak and sweet caramel trying in vain to get through. Tough going and very little complexity.

PALATE: Slightly lighter than the base beer, but still big enough. Just like the other DL variants as well. Medium body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes rather sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn and some heat lingers.

OVERALL: I can see why some people might like this. There is lots of vanilla, much like a vanilla cake or something like that. As a beer though, this is not something I'd want more than a small taste of. One dimensional, artificial and quickly tiring, this is not something I'd get too excited about drinking again. The brandy vanilla version was more natural than this one. Still, definitely a fun pair to try. Cheers gents!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 13:17:04 | More by Jeffo
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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 715 ratings.