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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
280 Reviews
THE BROS
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
280
Ratings:
1,388
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
9.25%
 
 
Wants:
4,219
Gots:
261
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
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Reviews: 280 | Ratings: 1,388
Photo of linnymtu
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vanilla perfection. Anyone that tells you this is overly sweet like regular dark lord or even BA dark lord is full of crap. This is so much better than BA dark lord it's not even funny. Also beers like vanilla rye don't hold a candle. I can see why people trade 3 VR for one of these. Definitely a top 5 beer for me.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice large dark brown foamy head. Aroma of rich black chocolates notes with some vanilla and bourbon notes. Taste is a fantastic mix of rich black chocolate notes with some vanilla notes, some residuals sugar notes and some nice bourbon notes that smooth out any rough edges from this beer. Body is full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation and alcohol is not overly apparent. Fantastic complex mix while still keeping an excellent level of drinkability.

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Photo of TemplofBeer
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to receive two 5oz pours of this on DLD'16. Pours a jet black with a viscosity of motor oil, minimal head that only produces light bubbles at the edge of the cup and not much else. The smell is pure vanilla with some slight bourbon in the back. The taste is a seemingly unobtainable vanilla fudge and bourbon concoction that could only be synthesized by a true Hizenburg of brewing.

I was very lucky and got to try many variants at the festival and this was by far the best, also went to a bourbon county tap takeover two days before hand and all of the barrel aged dark lords made the bourbon counties feel thin.

If you were lucky enough to get a bottle of this I highly suggest you drink it because few things will compare.

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Photo of TylerHockett
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was lucky to get a Group A ticket this year at DLD.

L: Dark black with small brown, mocha head that lingers for 30 seconds.

S: Mostly coffee with a hint of chocolate. No marshmallow scent for me (although admittedly my nose is weak).

T: Heavenly really is the only word for it. Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, marshmallow. Very very small amount of booze heat unlike regular DL with no age. Absolutely world class.

F: So so so so smooth. Feels like rich, thick hot chocolate.

O: Just wow. So lucky to have tried this. If you get one do not trade it. Nothing you will get will compare.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.97/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark black with a lazy mocha head the straddles the edges and almost looks like chocolate skin.

Dark fudgy chocolate and roastiness wafts off the glass, while none of the coffee or sugar from the base brew really come through. I also would sometimes perceive cherry or raspberry in the base, but again none of that carries over to this variant. A very nice oaky roastiness with comforting, warming dark chocolate make for very enticing aromas.

Vanilla rounds out the flavor making it less sweet in some unfathomable way and the aging has given it a slightly frothier, creamier body which is just heavenly. I'm glad to say the bourbon does not create a boozy heat, but works with that vanilla bean and all the other additional ingredients already in the Dark Lord base to truly make for that toasted marshmallow effect. On top of that fudgy characteristic, it's absolutely delicious.

Viscous, thick and gooey, but just fluid enough to continue to qualify as beer. I perceived no booze heat at all, which is seemingly totally squashed by the high quality vanilla element.

This is an unbelievable achievement. Maybe it was a lucky fluke that continues to work out in small doses year to year, but I've never experienced this in any other BA beer, and a lot try to use the same ingredients. I'm not sure how you can plan to attain this kind of flavor with natural ingredients intentionally, but either way, they did it. It lives up to the hype, which is unfortunate for anyone that actually wants a full bottle. I had this on draft at DLD 2016.

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Photo of eifster82
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

VBDL '15.

Heavenly, is the first word that comes to mind when describing this beer. Pitch black appearance with very small 'brown' ring upon pour on outer edge of glass. Smell is of vanilla and marshmallows infused with bourbon. The taste is extraordinarily complex and delicious. Again, marshmallows and vanilla are abundant and nothing like in Vanilla Rye or Madagascar. Much more infused and bourbon isn't overpowering the dominant flavors. The feel and aftertaste is so smooth and delicious, I felt like drinking a s'more with a nice bourbon addition. It's not boozy by any stretch, but present enough to notice.

This is the best stout I've ever had and possibly the tastiest thing I've put in my mouth. I've had Prop '14, Black Tuesday Reserve '13, Rare '15, CBS '15, as well as a multitude of other but this beer is unlike any other and deserving of it's 'white whale' status. If ever given an opportunity to taste, do not think twice.

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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

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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)

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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.

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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..

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Sintech
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark Lord share in Lincoln, Nebraska! 750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pitch black.

Smell - Explosive vanilla, barrel and bourbon nose. WOW!

Taste - A lot going on here. Touch of heat followed by the sweet base and finished off nicely by the vanilla. Really special brew here.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied. Low carbonation. Really nice!

Overall - This and French Vanilla Mafia stole the night. Highly recommended if you can...

Grade (A)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 280 ratings.