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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

714 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 714
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)
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Ratings: 714 | Reviews: 206 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of starrdogg
starrdogg

District of Columbia

4.85/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hand bottle brought back from DLD (don't worry, it was still amazing). Thanks guys for bringing back this loooong-time Want.

Beer pours like motor-oil, incredibly thick and black with no head whatsoever. Smell is amazing, bourbon, chocolate and vanilla combine together to make this one of the most decadent-smelling beers I've ever encountered. Taste follows the smell, the bourbon and vanilla along with the Dark Lord base makes for an incredible beer. This really tastes like dessert in the best way. It's sweet, but not cloyingly so. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Overall, this beer absolutely lived up to my expectations. The Vanilla is more prominent here than in BCBVS, which was one of my all-time favorite beers. Overall fantastic, I want a bottle!

Serving type: growler

05-18-2012 12:37:34 | More by starrdogg
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 Simmy7000
Simmy7000

Illinois

4.8/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to StoutFest!
Served into a snifter

A- Pours a very dark brown with no head present. Body appears black but the edges are a ruby-brown color when light strikes them.

S- Definitely has the characteristic Dark Lord smell with a twist. Loads of dark fruit, chocolate, booze combine with a massive vanilla presence. Can't wait to taste it!

T- Waves of creamy, sweet vanilla up front blending into a mix of chocolate covered dark fruits, molasses, and coffee. The finish is a slight hint of licorice coupled with a deep warming from the alcohol. Just decadent, to say the least.

M- Thick, syrup-like body that is on the low side of carbonation. Overall though, it has a silky, smooth feel that coats the mouth while drinking. No hint of the 15% alcohol besides some warmth.

O- What a phenomenal beer, certainly one of the best I have ever had. I am a huge fan of regular Dark Lord and the vanilla seems to blend in perfectly with the base beer, giving it a creamy, marshmallow type flavor on top of an already monster of a beer. Can't wait to have this on-tap directly at DLD next year.

Serving type: growler

11-05-2011 05:15:30 | More by Simmy7000
Photo of godfathermg57
godfathermg57

Florida

4.85/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got a growler in trade thanks to StoutFest.

An incredible beer. There was absolutely no head or carbonation when i poured it which was a bit surprising, however after tasting I can see why. This beer isn't even a beer; it's like a vanilla, chocolate, malt syrup and I mean that in the best way possible. Incredibly smooth, thick, and complex in taste. Definitely one I had to split with friends but one I was glad I had a chance to try. 5 Star beer.

Serving type: growler

10-25-2011 18:40:39 | More by godfathermg57
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

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

Reviewed from notes-- still trying to get caught up!
Shared by stoutfest
served in a snifter.

Looks kinda like root beer. Very little head. Smells of sweet vanilla bean, black licorice, oak, chocolate, and a bit of booze.
The carbonation level is low so it helps it to feel smooth and creamy.
The aftertaste hits some of those black licorice notes, but it works for me. The flavor has a good dose of molassesy chocolate and vanilla sweetness with the anise blending into the boozy bite at the back end. Nice warmth, but not over-powering.

Exceptionally tasty.
This is a very very fine beer. I look forward to having more if it!

Serving type: growler

08-27-2011 23:36:24 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

3.78/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a thick and syrupy black with a couple bubbles of head.

The smell is sweet and vanilla, very boozy with hints of dark fruits and figs.

The flavor is super sweet and almost desert like, big hits of vanilla with a light bit of chocolate and big dark fruit flavors, just a hint of any roasty or smokey stout flavors. A big of alcohol comes through as well.

The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy.

This one is just to sweet for me, not enough stouty goodness survives through the vanilla sweetness. Still good, but not nearly as good as the original.

Serving type: growler

08-23-2011 12:28:38 | More by bashiba
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Back Lion - 2011 BA Dark Lord Voltron Tasting, 07/15/2011.

Appearance -- Pours a deep, dark brown with slim chestnut highlights and a slim creamy eggshell head that dissipated into a persistent purity ring.

Smell -- Loads of vanilla, rich dark fruits, cocoa, unrefined sugars, and a lot of spicy Woodford Reserve barrel character. As the beer warmed I began to pick up the rich smell of blueberry pancakes.

Taste -- Roast malt, chocolate, candied dark fruits and burnt sugars, vibrant vanilla beans and sweet/spicy Woodford Reserve bourbon. Rich and decadent without approaching saccharine. As with the nose, there was this big blueberry note that reminded my of pancakes, or possibly muffins.

Mouthfeel -- VERY thick with somewhat mild carbonation. No burn, but mild bourbon heat in the throat. Pretty damn nice.

Overall -- The finest barrel-aged Dark Lord version, edges out even the best bottled versions. Everything marries so well, and this particular version revealed the most new facets of flavor as the beer warmed. Stunning.

Serving type: growler

07-19-2011 01:43:40 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

4.8/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler into a tasting glass. 2010 version. From notes.

Appearance: Pours pitch black all the way through. No light edges, just pure unadulterated evil. Due to light carbonation, there is nearly no head here.

Smell: The aroma here is like Dark Lord, only slightly better. Maybe due to bottle vs. growler issues, the aroma is lighter, but the vanilla adds a great aroma. Vanilla lays on top of fully roasted malt, chocolate, molasses, and espresso.

Taste: The flavor just blows me away. Dark Lord improves drastically with a year on it, and the vanilla beans just take it to another level. Smooth vanilla beans up front and center, with dark roasted malt and espresso up next. Caramel soaked fudge is a delight, but the sweetness never overpowers, a brewing feat for sure. The aftertaste is softly sweet and a little bitter, with a big dose of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Thick and just a touch more syrupy than the regular version, but the vanilla bean flavor makes it worth it. Chewy like fudge. The only .5 point knock here is that the carbonation could be increased just a little bit.

Overall: One of the top beers I have ever tasted, for sure. Taking a beer I love and inserting the perfect amount of vanilla beans shows the artistry that goes into this beer.

Serving type: growler

07-15-2011 17:12:55 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of Patrick999
Patrick999

Florida

4.38/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hand-bottled. Sampled courtesy of Maltzilla. It's thick and dark as you would expect, not a ton of head.

Aroma? I bow down to the vanilla gods. Never smelled that much vanilla in a beer before.

This is some intense, sweet bourbon vanilla. Some of those I was drinking with thought it too sweet, but I thought it was on point. It tasted like candy, but to me that's to its credit. I don't think it bore too much resemblance to regular Dark Lord, this was all about the vanilla. 13% alcohol? Buried under vanilla sweetness.

I think I had about a 2-3 oz pour, and even that was a bit too much. An ounce and change is probably all I needed....not too "drinkable" in the normal sense of the word. Tasty, with a godly aroma, but pretty sweet. So, I'm "only" giving a 4.38 A rating.

Serving type: growler

05-15-2011 04:33:48 | More by Patrick999
Photo of Lunch
Lunch

Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review # 300

Courtesy of a generous trader served at a small tasting by an equally generous host into a tulip glass. This review is for the 2010 batch.

A: Pours nearly black with a motor oil quality with no head to speak of. This is a thick beer that looks quite syrupy and leaves nice legs on the inside of the glass.

S: A blast of vanilla bean shoots out of this beer. Notes of chocolate, molasses, and even more vanilla.

T: The taste follows the nose and I must say that this is quite a tasty beverage. The vanilla bean flavor is so intense and there is nothing artificial about it at all. Chocolate shines through as well with a lot of sweetness and some molasses. This is an extremely intense, complex, and quite rich.

M: Full-bodied and extremely thick with just a hint of carbonation. Nothing to complain about here.

D: If it weren't for the extreme richness of this Imperial Stout, I feel that I could drink this all day long.

Overall I must say that beer is absolutely fantastic and I am still shocked that I was able to try this! My Highest Recommendation.

Serving type: growler

06-11-2010 17:50:55 | More by Lunch
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.6/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Every once in a while I look around and think, "I am seriously drinking this?" Last night was like that for about 6 hours. Thanks ___, for this, you know who you are.

Served side by side with DL 2009 and Oak aged DL 2010. Served in a tulip. Beer is about as you'd expect a DL to look but this version had no head or lacing. The beer left some legs on the glass, pitch black, even at the corners. Beer coats the glass as I swirl. Super thick and pitch black. Amazing.

This beer has the most obvious aroma of any beer I've had in a long long time. STRONG vanilla, like baking vanilla. Some chocolate, strong, complex aroma.

Mouthfeel on this beer is huge and thick but the sweetness of the vanilla (super sweet) makes it seem lighter some how. This is an aggressively awesome beer -- my favorite out of the three by a lot. It tastes like a vanilla cake...or flan...or some kind of dessert with fudge and vanilla. I couldn't drink much of it without my insulin spiking but I can't wait for DL day 2011.

Serving type: growler

05-16-2010 21:00:39 | More by drabmuh
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Peter, for this wonderful surprise.

The 2010 version of VB Dark Lord is quite unlike past vintages. It doesn't look thick or sludgy, or at least, not as thick as the 2009 DL that this beer is based on. Black with no head, there is some coating of the glass, but I guess oxidation in the barrel has helped lighten it up a bit

The nose is exactly what you'd expect, but again, not as outrageous as the 2008 version. Vanilla is noticeable, but there's also a very pronounced boozy, bourbon, coconut barrel character. The coffee of the regular DL has faded, and there's a wonderful milk chocolate character with plenty of sweetness. Chocolate fudge, molasses and all things sweet are noticeable. Quite excellent. These characteristics are replicated on the palate, with a large but enjoyable sweetness with chocolate,bourbon, coconut and a moderate vanilla character. The barrel expression is wonderfully big, almost absurdly so, and for that reason, this beer does stand out. Sweet on the finish with a lingering boozy character, this beer is full in body with no carbonation, quite appropriate, really. Drinkable? well, I wish I could have gotten more! Very enjoyable stuff, light years ahead of the regular DL IMO.

Serving type: growler

05-13-2010 10:53:22 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Roughly an 8 oz sample poured into my Stone RIS glass. Poured a thick pitch black color with a thin quarter inch dark mocha colored head. The head faded pretty quickly and left a thin ring around the edges of the glass.

When I first poured it there was a bigger hot bourbon aroma coming from it but as it warmed the vanilla really came through and it greatly improved. After it came to the proper temp it had a great mix of sweet vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit, roasty malts and a big chocolate flavor. Fantastic aroma overall, all the flavors worked so well together and none of them overpowered the beer. The chocolate, bourbon and vanilla seemed perfectly in balance with each other. Quite possibly the best nose I've ever had from a beer.

The taste is excellent, it has so many great flavors going on in it. The sweet vanilla comes through and really helps soften the hot bourbon flavor. Like the nose it also has a pretty big chocolate flavor to it, although it's a little more of a bitter sweet chocolate. It also has a little bit of dark fruit and molasses flavors coming through as well. My only criticism is the finish is a little hot with a little bourbon alcohol bite to it. The vanilla is also very present in the finish though and helps that. Overall an excellent tasting beer and like the nose the chocolate, vanilla and bourbon work very well together.

The mouthfeel is very thick and creamy with carbonation being on the lower side. I really love the thick mouthfeel on all the Dark Lord versions and this one is no exception.

Drinkability is very good, it's an excellent beer. The flavors really all worked together very well and enhanced the Dark Lord flavor instead of overpowering it. Having had the Oak Aged version I really think the vanilla really helps soften and balance the hot bourbon flavors in this version making it a better tasting and smelling beer in my opinion. It's still a little hot which hurts the drinkability a bit for me but not by much since the flavors are so good.

Serving type: growler

05-08-2010 00:02:06 | More by billab914
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 tpd975
tpd975

Florida

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

Hand bottle provided by Gunhaver

A: Pours as dark as they come, a very evil flat black. No real head to speak of loss of carbonation due to the hand bottling. It is a very thick beer that literally stains the glass.

S: Nice real vanilla notes. Roasted malt, coco puffs, and subtle wood from the barrel.

T: Loads of real vanilla bean right from the start. Rich dark chocolate and roasted chocolate malt. Darkened brown sugar, and hints of oak.

M: Very full in body, lacks carbonation which you don't even seem to miss with this beer.

D: Insane. It was a nip bottle shared between a few. Really wish I had more. It is reason enough to go to Dark Lord day!

Thanks Geiger!

Serving type: growler

09-04-2009 13:01:30 | More by tpd975
Photo of craytonic
craytonic

District of Columbia

3/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pitch black, oil slick black, just what you would expect.

Smell: Oddly not vanilla, I only get that on the taste. Bit of alcohol with some other aromas I can't pinpoint. Chocolate cake batter or chocolate-vanilla pudding? Best I can do.

Taste: I get tons of fake vanilla poured into a regular dark lord. Also tastes a good bit sweeter to me. Alcohol, molasses, karo syrup, melted chocolate, brown sugar, roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate (the kind you would put in a chocolate chip cookie). Please cut the vanilla by 2/3.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth, somehow smoother than the regular version?

Drinkability: I have always been picky about vanilla, and I don't get vanilla bean, I don't get vanilla extract, I get the cheap fake vanilla, in mass. I don't see the appeal, for me this is regular DL with some fake vanilla and sugar added. Mouthfeel is much improved though, somehow. Probably would be good on ice cream. By itself, a sweet fake vanilla mess; I need a pliny to clean my palate. I hate to have the lowest rating for this ever, but I find it to be a sugar and fake vanilla trainwreck. It is good for 2-3oz and then you need an IPA.

Serving type: growler

08-14-2009 01:30:03 | More by craytonic
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 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
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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 714 ratings.