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

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark LordBourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

857 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 857
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 2,803
Gots: 152 | FT: 5
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: 857 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev -15.4%

03-03-2013 00:28:56 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -15.4%

11-30-2013 02:38:09 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Dark Lord Day 2009.

A: Very dark, nearing black, with a small dark tan head.

S: Very similar to regular Dark Lord, but not with an overpowering--in a very, very good way--scent of vanilla.

T: Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. Wow. Tastes of vanilla cake, brown sugar, hints of chocolate. Dark malts galore as hints of coffee and sweetness make their way through.

M: Unbelievably smooth. Little carbonation and sublimely creamy. Again, only modest hints of the presumably-high abv. Creamy vanilla throughout the finish.

D: Simply put, this is by far the best damn beer that I have ever had. Hats off to Three Floyds for taking one of the best beers in the world and making it exponentially better.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2009 23:53:54 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am thrilled to finally be able to try this one. Long, long time I have waited to be able to type up this review, but alas, the beer has finally been enjoyed!

The pour was black as night with a deep, dark color that no light could penetrate. Nice chocolate head of about an inch cameup initially but then settled down to a bare top that just lookedlike an evil pit of doom The aroma was rich with blackstrap molasses,vanilla beans,hints of alcohol and a ton of roasted malts, interesting, I must go in fora closer look. Theflavor was equally as rich, dare I say wonderful Super sweet notes here of vanilla, molasses, hints of oak and a touch of almost bourbon as it warms. This was an amazingly complex beer. Super full bodied with that huge feel that you really only find in the dark lord, you know what I mean. A huge beer that you know is every bit as strong as you thought it would be, but for some reason is just soo damn smooth, you just cannot stop drinking it. Wonderful, simply wonderful.

Overall all I can say is I am glad I could finally try this beer. I have been waiting forever to tackle this one, it has been a good day.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2009 02:24:57 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: The pour is pitch black with a nice viscosity to it and some minimal tan head.

S: A really well done vanilla aroma--not overwhelming and fake, but a nice sweetness to go along with the chocolate, roast, mild coffee, and dark fruits.

T: Once again, the vanilla is really perfectly done and works seamlessly with the base imperial stout. A strong (dark) chocolate flavor with roasted malt, a hint of molasses, and some figs and raisins.

M: A full bodied beer with a really smooth, creamy, feel on the tongue and a low carbonation.

D: I wish this was what Dark Lord always tasted like. Really a nice, nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2010 22:28:55 | More by womencantsail
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -15.4%

11-30-2013 02:54:44 | More by acurtis
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Onyx black body with a small tan head. In both aroma and taste, it's everything you've come to expect from dose of Dark Lord, but now crammed to the brim with vanilla, though definitely moreso in the aroma than taste. Jaw-droppingly smooth body and an absolute joy to have enjoyed this well before noon. Helped to soothe the hectic nature of this year's DLD. Hats off to you, Three Floyds.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2008 17:18:22 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

11-15-2011 01:24:52 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

5/5  rDev +5.7%

11-15-2011 05:10:54 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

5/5  rDev +5.7%

11-23-2011 20:58:49 | More by GRG1313
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.65/5  rDev -1.7%
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 westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

11-14-2011 19:17:56 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've had this two years in a row in a plastic cup pour. I took some brief notes this year, so here it goes - a lot of this will be complementary to my review of Dark Lord (when I finally get around to reviewing the regular variety).

A - Think quick-dissolving mocha foam, nice ring of lace, pitch black with a hint of red at the edges. It's about all I expect from a 13% RIS.

S - Vanilla! Plus it still maintains all the other great notes from the Dark Lord aroma - roasted malt, leather, tobacco, coffee, booze, etc. The authentic and potent vanilla just pushes an already great-smelling brew to the next level.

T - The taste is a tiny step down from the smell, with the vanilla overpowering some of the more subtle elements. There's still plenty of burnt malt, tobacco, leather, and surprisingly very little heat.

M - Thick, near milk-shake consistency, with tons of residual stickiness, and low carbonation. This is the way RISes should be down - other brewer's take note.

D - The vanilla gets a little palate fatiguing, and the high ABV is also a limiting factor, but my wife and I had no problems finishing a few pours of this one. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2009 04:01:56 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Three Floyd's Brewpub during Dark Lord Day '09 on 4/25/09. I actually picked up 2 5 oz fills of this while in the brewpub, nibbled at them a bit to get my take, and then took them out to my crew in line for their tasting and enjoyment of this awesome brew. Initially served in a smallish snifter and then transferred into clear plastic cups for the journey outside.

The pour is all classic Dark Lord. An inky motor oil look that is topped by a thin layer of menacing looking burnt and blistered mocha colored head that quickly retreats to the outer edges. Surprisingly little lace but this just coats the sides of the glass with oily goo. The aroma is in a word, DYNAMIC! Vanilla just owns this bouquet, I mean you can literally smell it a foot away from your nose. Getting in closer reveals some, also quite awesome, underlying notes of chocolate roast, dark fruits, molasses, and coffee. A bit of oakiness from the barrel and some lightly warm heat elements makes themselves known as well. Holy shit...do I have to drink this? Can't I just sit here and sniff this the rest of my life?

The taste is almost unlike anything I've had before. Much the same as the aroma, the taste is all about the vanilla. What is tremendous about this though, is the way the sweetness of the vanilla emboldens the other sweet characteristics of the Dark Lord. Black currants and raisins mix with chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar to create a thick and sticky goo that reminders of eating an alcoholic piece of Shoo-Fly-Pie. Just unbelievable. Huge notes of roasted malts and espresso lash the backend, leaving a fantastic long lingering finish of bitterness and tangy sweetness that just won't quit. The mouthfeel is huge and filling in the mouth with a massive beefy creaminess that holds all of these huge flavors together. I also detect a bit of slickness to this as well, probably a result of being in a barrel. As for that 13% ABV, it's right on target with how it feels in the regular Dark Lord. Meaning it's definitely there in the body but barely in the taste. I think that the addition of vanilla in this actually helps smoothes the profile out and takes even more of the harsh edges off this. Just a fantastic feel and drinkibility here for a beer this big & bold.

I had just a small taste of this @ DLD '08 and that just whetted my appetite in anticipation of them hopefully having it again at this year's event. To be able to sit down and properly enjoy this was just a great beer moment for me. Dark Lord is one of my favorite beers anyway but to add vanilla to this as well, basically turning it into an even more delicious and decadent dessert beer, makes this one of the best beers I've ever had. I'm all ready looking forward to next year!

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2009 12:23:08 | More by Kegatron
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.6/5  rDev -2.7%
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 Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am glad I had the opportunity to try this at Dark Lord Day. Review taken from notes.

A - Markedly dark as used motor oil w/ a faint chestnut rim, headless w/ legs that stick like dark brown sugar water or port wine.

S - Creme brulee, vanilla as intense custard - slightly floral like the bean derived from the opium plant. Sweet dry sponge cake/angel food w/ a slight bean and sugar cookie like aroma dipped in melted chocolate.

M - Thick, syrupy and gently sweet for all of the malt fullness. Relatively still as far as carbonation goes, w/ dry earthiness and oily bean in the finish w/ subtle booziness.

T - A fine custardy and light cream taste w/ hints at eggcream and creme brulee w/ sweet toasted graham cracker and caramelize brown sugar and perhaps a smattering of bittersweet cocoa and more super concentrated pure vanilla bean goodness infused in custardy stout w/ caramel accents. The flavor is rummy w/ a hint of hops. The pine notes of the hops make the taste far from cloying, just nice and sippable - The taste is intense to say the least. A veery dessert like vanilla flavor that lingers coating the mouth and allowing the dessert impression last for a long while.

D - I loved this sweet, but more vanilla version of Dark Lord. The vanilla intensity was great and undeniable in the ale, bordering on spirits in flavor w/ rich smooth maltiness and possibly less drinkable than the more dry oaked version, but still tenacious and intense all the way through. The kind of beer you want to sip and savor for hours

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2008 17:15:49 | More by Slatetank
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap in the brewpub during Dark Lord Day.

Appearance: Pours a dark black color with no light coming through with hardly any head at all.

Smell: Very sweet. I can definitely pick up the vanilla along with some roast and dark chocolate.

Taste: This beer is super sweet with lots of vanilla and some dark chocolate notes coming through. There is some roast and the finish is sweet and full of warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick and smooth. The carbonation is mild and the finish has a very mild dryness to it.

Overall: I love vanilla beers, and this is among that best. The roast and sweetness compliment each other nicely. All the flavors work together quite well.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2011 21:21:07 | More by oline73
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.85/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 04/30/11 notes. Had on tap at the brewery on Dark Lord Day. The normal version of Dark Lord is one of my favorite RIS's, and beers in general, and I enjoyed the Oak Aged version quite a bit, so I've been really looking forward to this one.

a - Pours a pitch black color with light carbonation evident and an inch of dark tan head. Head lasts for a minute or two with bubbles throughout.

s - Smells of vanilla beans, rich chocolate and sweet milk chocolate, roasted malts, and some dark fruits. The vanilla is really strong up front, which I absolutely loved. I love vanilla in stouts so this smelled perfect to me.

t - Tastes of vanilla beans very strongly up front again. Also some chocolate, dark fruits, oak, roasted malts, nuts, and caramel malts. Again, really amazing and a step up from the normal DL taste in my opinion.

m - Full bodied stout and low carbonation, thick and chewy but easy to drink with the low carbonation. Really not a lot of heat in my opinion considering the high ABV.

o - Wow, what an amazing beer. I had high expectations for this and to be honest, it llived up to them. I really loved this one, even more than the normal and oak versions. Can't wait to have this one again sometime.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2011 23:58:51 | More by mdfb79
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

5/5  rDev +5.7%

09-21-2013 12:02:52 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-05-2013 09:11:18 | More by beernads
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

12-08-2011 15:31:11 | More by imperialking
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.53/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a viscous, oily black with a trace amount of thin brown head. Aroma is rich and sweet without being cloying or boozy. Intense vanilla, molasses and sugar blends with bourbon, dark fruit and chocolate. Vanilla and milk chocolate dominate the flavor of the Dark Lord base; again minimal booze or heat. Very tasty, but reminds me of a melted down cup of ice cream which starts to grow tiresome despite the small sample size.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2012 13:56:06 | More by yourefragile
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to foofaa for sharing this one with us all at ffej of july. Never thought I would get a chance to try this one.

A - Pours pitch black with a nice one finger tall tan head leaving small trails of lace down parts of the glass.

S - Smells of smooth bourbon, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, molasses, dark malt and a nice vanilla sweetness. The vanilla is a little weak toward the end of the glass, otherwise a very nice nose.

T - Starts off with a perfectly balanced mix of sweet vanilla, warm bourbon and dark roasted chocolate malt. Hints of coffee, dark fruits and molasses follow close behind. Finish has some sweetness and dark roast combining to linger on the palate long after the finish. Booze is extremely well hidden, only really becoming noticeable toward the end of the glass.

M - It is definitely a big beer with plenty of flavor and a moderate amount of carbonation. It is much smoother than I thought it would be.

O - I honestly never thought I would have the chance to try this beer. It takes a very good beer and makes it something amazing. I can only hope to have this again in the future. Thanks again Dan!

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 01:23:01 | More by orangesol
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a semi-transparent plastic cup)

A- This beer had an inky black body that stains the cup with every slosh and no sign of carbonation or light is visible. There is a bit of a dark tan head that fades before it makes it to my hand. The thin ring of dark tan head last for the beer.

S- The first smell is like a black molasses custard with a soft fusel heat at the finish. There is a nice black roasted malt nose with hints of tar, and charcoal. The vanilla comes through softer and has a slight sweetness to it.

T- The big black bitter inky taste of black malt has notes of black-strap molasses without the metallic or sweet notes, tar, and black prunes. The finish is has a nice bitterness with a good amount of fusel alcohol taste. After a few sips I notice the vanilla bean that taste a bit sweeter and does a nice job of off-setting the dark malt flavors.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel that is sticky in texture but thins out nicely with the alcohol heat at the finish.

D- This monster is all dark lord with some nice accents from the vanilla bean. I don't think it would be possible to have the vanilla flavor overpower the beer. This is a young beer and the fusel alcohol is pretty hot, and I think age could really help this beer get cleaned up.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2008 17:44:45 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to CaptinRedBeard for making this happen on DLD 2011. Corey managed his way into the brewpub and came out with something like 4 or 5 glasses of this stuff so everyone in our group got some.

Served in a plastic cup, this brew appears black in color with a thin film of very dark brown bubbles around the rim. There is not much of a head and even a swirl only releases a few bubbles that hardly hold long enough to gravitate to the edges of the glass. Holding this glass up to the light doesn't really do much of anything...it's very dark and even through the edges light cannot penetrate.

The smell of this brew is bold with dark sweet chocolate. Absolutely loaded with tons of vanilla and a minor note of coffee. This brew is already deep, complex and sweet smelling, I simply cannot imagine how many vanilla beans it takes to make the vanilla come forward like this. Some fusel booze hides underneath with almost a meaty twang of booze and fruity hop character.

The taste is sweet with vanilla right upfront that coats and sticks to the inside of the mouth. Again, I have to wonder just how much vanilla is used for it to be this evident in this offering. Big boozy warmth is hidden under the chocolate-like sweetness. The aftertaste showcases the booziness with more of the roastiness of the grain finally coming through.

This is a full bodied brew that is very lightly carbonated. It is borderline cloyingly sweet but I honestly found it to be excessively drinkable in a liquid dessert kind of way. As it warms, it shows off more of that big booze character but it's balanced well with residual sweetness. While I found this to be awesome and everything I hoped it would be, it is not a beer that I could drink more than say 6-8 ounces of.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2011 19:09:09 | More by stakem
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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.