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

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

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967 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 967
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.72
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,045
Gots: 165 | FT: 8
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: 967 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stevedore
4.95/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Stevedore, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of HawkeyePA
5/5  rDev +5.9%

HawkeyePA, Today at 07:23 AM
Photo of whalezticker
4/5  rDev -15.3%

whalezticker, Monday at 07:11 PM
Photo of kbhess
4.25/5  rDev -10%

kbhess, Monday at 01:53 AM
Photo of phantastiic
2/5  rDev -57.6%

2013 vintage with the orange wax.

Opened on 10/17/14

The 2013 vintage was awful. It smelled like rotten milk and tasted infected. I had 2014 side by side with the 2013 vintage and 2014 blew 2013 bvdl out of the water. Sadly, 2013 was an expensive drain pour for my entire tasting g group. Did not get any marshmallow smell or taste, but lots of the rotten milk smell and taste. Was disgusting.

phantastiic, Oct 18, 2014
Photo of legend8706
5/5  rDev +5.9%

legend8706, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of wiescins
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

wiescins, Oct 15, 2014
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4/5  rDev -15.3%

browniewithnuts, Oct 15, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev -4.7%

TGanyone, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of kenzilka007
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

kenzilka007, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of jscheuf
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%

jscheuf, Oct 13, 2014
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5/5  rDev +5.9%

lupercmda, Oct 11, 2014
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5/5  rDev +5.9%

Ferocious, Oct 10, 2014
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4.85/5  rDev +2.8%

Brdlist, Oct 08, 2014
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5/5  rDev +5.9%

HopDropTheElder, Oct 08, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

gjohnson71, Oct 08, 2014
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4.85/5  rDev +2.8%

BigBlueShep, Oct 07, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

Beerman6686, Oct 07, 2014
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2.5/5  rDev -47%

obiwan_k3n00bi, Oct 06, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

NathanFink, Oct 06, 2014
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1/5  rDev -78.8%

ChrisKuhl, Oct 05, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

jbriggs7, Oct 05, 2014
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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 967 ratings.