Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
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Ratings: 858 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
4.11/5 rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Many, many thanks to Chris for popping this sucker. 2013 batch, let's skip straight to taste.
I imagine if you took a lot of dark fruits, stewed them together, and then added a ton of sugar, you'd have something very similar in flavor to this Dark Lord variant. The vanilla does come through, but unfortunately almost no roast or char flavors are present. I personally did not pick up a very strong barrel presence. The flavors are certainly complex and enjoyable, but the sweetness is really off the charts.
Overall, this is a solid beer. However, I can't help but feel that the sky high ratings are solely a factor of the rarity and expense of this beer. I was glad we were sharing this bottle with another 10 gents, as the couple ounces I drank were about as much as I could handle.
Serving type: bottle
06-29-2014 15:33:55 | More by thebigredone
4.95/5 rDev +4.7%
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.
Serving type: bottle
06-22-2014 17:29:49 | More by Stevedore
5/5 rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
The story, I think is just as good as the beer...
Waited in line at DLD for drafts. Saw BA Plead the 5th, figure lets get that. That tap ran out with about 5 people in front of us... double sunshine appears on the dry erase board. Get 2, and figure we waited long enough lets get 120 minute - 2... The crowd goes crazy on the right hand side and I see BA Vanilla Bean get put on the bored... I was speechless and my buddy handed the dude $20 and we had BA Vanilla Bean in our presence. Best part of DLD '14.
A - Black, impermeable, abyss, tan head.
S - Vanilla, roasted marshmallow, subtle (perfect in my opinion) bourbon oakiness, more vanilla, sweet aroma.
T - Although we had about 15 other notable stouts prior to BA VB DL, this stood out with the vanilla being smoother than a clean shave. Coats the palate with an everlasting sense of campfire marshmallow, mixed with bourbon, and sublte dark fruits. (Every grown mans wet dream), hides the 15% very well until you have a few ;)
M - Although enters as if motor oil, the draft was carbonated perfectly, smoothest mouthfeel on the front end, the chewing I cant help to do to taste the fruits of 3 Floyd's labor and the finish was, wait for it, LEGENDARY!
O - That question that gets asked throughout life about what 3 things I would bring if I were trapped on a deserted island, I now know for sure 1 of them. Best beer in the world, hands down.
Serving type: on-tap
06-16-2014 14:11:20 | More by Hesscabob
4.79/5 rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Acquired Dark Lord Day 2014 with a lucky scratch off. The bottle number scratched off, I know it was in the 300's ending in a 9. Bottle poured into snifter glass, consumed and reviewed on 6/14/14.
A: Pours very thick with a thin layer of mocha colored head that reduces quickly and leaves no lacing. The color is definitely black, but it appeared slightly brown during the pour.
S: Very strong aroma of toasted marshmallow, vanilla and chocolate. The bourbon is subtle, even as the glass warms up.
T: This beer unbelievably tastes like a roasted marshmallow. The 15% is masked so well I wouldn't believe it if I didn't know going in. All the other flavors take a back seat, but have enough of a presence to compliment nicely. Chocolate, bourbon, some dark fruits, and sugar. I get the base coming through more as the beer warms up.
M: The feel is thick and rich. Carbed well for a heavy beer. It feels silky smooth.
O: This is an incredible upgrade from the base beer. The additional elements blend nicely, and I love the marshmallow presence all the way through. I do wish the bourbon had a stronger presence though, however that is just personal preference.
Serving type: bottle
06-14-2014 20:51:40 | More by roger617
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 858 ratings.