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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

1,029 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,029
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 4.7
pDev: 10%
Wants: 3,202
Gots: 167 | 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: 1,029 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.58/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.8/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
4.58/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
4.85/5  rDev +3.2%

So this basically rulz as hard as anything. Poured out jet black with a bit of brown mocha head on top. Subtle ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Light lacing. The smell gives off some boozy vanilla reminiscent of bourbon. Some definite heat on the nose. The taste has big amounts of roasted sweet malt with vanilla. Lingers a bit like candy on the tongue. It's not cloying but leaves a beautiful aftertaste. The mouthfeel could be a little thicker but still remains thick enough for the style. Good slick feel with subtle carbonation. Overall, since it was the fresh batch the heat from the 15% was a little heavy but still very smooth and slick. Highly enjoyable, very thankful that I got to try this from a generous Millerbaffoon. Awesome stuff!

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of SocalKicks
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of largadeer
4.65/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
4.88/5  rDev +3.8%
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!

Photo of Slatetank
4.88/5  rDev +3.8%
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

Photo of oline73
4.83/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.53/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of mendvicdog
5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of drabmuh
4.6/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of beernads
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of mdfb79
4.85/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of drewone
4.2/5  rDev -10.6%

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 1,029 ratings.