Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
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Ratings: 904 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
British Columbia (Canada)
4.49/5 rDev -4.9%
Big thanks to Rodkin for this long time want. 2013 bottle (492/711) drank with the 2013 base beer and shared between 6 at last night's tasting.
Appearance. Pours thick and black with just a ring of light brown head.
Smell. Big vanilla and sweet chocolate. Much sweeter nose than the base beer. Marshmallows (maybe toasted marshmallows), toffee, and a touch of molasses. Had my nose in this one for a while and kept coming back for more.
Taste. Sweet toffee, vanilla and marshmallows, light amount of cherries and dark fruit, and burnt sugar. Sweet, but not like syrup. The level of sweetness goes really well with the flavours.
Mouthfeel. Full body, low carbonation, a little bit sticky.
Overall. Great beer. Very sweet with flavours reminiscent of candy, a great desert. This was shared between 6 of us and was about the right amount. I couldn't imagine drinking even half a bottle to myself. Would love to have it again but certainly won't be seeking out another for what it trades for.
10-28-2013 01:03:42 | More by Rutager
4.95/5 rDev +4.9%
On-tap at DLD 2011. I must say I was skeptical about this beer as I do not hold regular DL in the highest esteem, but after trying delicious Oak-Aged DL, my expectations are lofty...
A - Pours an exceptionally oily black hue, and is capped with only a modicum of black bubbles. Many beers are compared to used motor oil, but this one is the doppelganger.
S - Holy (unholy) sweet vanilla! I mean, this is completely insane; the nose is a paradigm of vanilla-laden decadence. The vanilla is so rich and intense that it saturates (and nearly overwhelms) my sensory faculties. Vanilla orchids in bloom do not smell this potent. The qualities of the base beer (and barrel), in an aromatic sense, are mere minutiae that bring added layers of complexity.
T - The taste is amazingly delicious; truly beyond superlative. It is tremendously sweet and ridiculously indulgent, and yet it has a huge amount of sophistication. Notes of vanilla saturate every nuance of this beer, though not as much flavor-wise, as compared to the aroma. Under the rich vanilla I get a plethora of sublime notes including coffee, toffee, caramel, oak, sweet booze, coconut, milk chocolate, creme brulee, burnt sugar and date puree.
M - Silky and satiny and ultra-enhancing.
O - Amazing stuff; totally beyond worthy of the hype.
06-13-2011 03:54:35 | More by ktrillionaire
4.97/5 rDev +5.3%
I missed this one at '08 Dark Lord Day so this is one that was must for this year.
A- Pretty much like the DL that I drank on tap minutes before this one. Pitch black with a nice brown head.
S- Just like the regular version with the exception of vanilla. Wow make that a ton of vanilla.
T- Thought it tasted just like DL with an up in your face vanilla. Wonderful my favorite of the three DL.
M- Big full and I think a little bit lighter in carbonation than the regular.
D- Very awesome beer wish I had some more.
I had all three of these pretty much back to back and gonna give the edge to the vanilla bean but I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. Nice work!
04-29-2009 18:32:42 | More by nrbw23
4.35/5 rDev -7.8%
on tap DLD
while i could not track down where in the hell this beer was at in the clusterf*** known as DLD - some kind people i met shared some with me
black black shiny motor oil black with small tan film of head
smells you guessed it vanilla with dark roasted chocolate malts
taste could not live up to the nose or maybe it did - the beer was just too sweet - big flavors of vanilla chocolate coffee and the sugar!
mouthfeel was much thinner then regular DL - very slick
drinkability - while i savored every sniff and sip it just was not as good as the regular DL
04-25-2010 22:52:13 | More by jsh420
5/5 rDev +5.9%
Today I finished law school. I decided to celebrate in epic style. This is review #250. How fitting that all the epicness align.
Reviewing the incredibly rare and highly sought after Vanilla Bean Aged Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Company. This is bottle number 500 out of 934.
2012 vintage bottle from the April 28, 2012 Dark Lord Day release. Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 05/11/12.
Appearance: Pours a jet black color that is completely opaque save for a thin film of brown atop the glass when held up to light. Half a finger of creamy dark mocha/milk chocolate colored head at pour settles into a ring around the glass. Average lacing, but awesome retention and cling. 5/5
Smell: Rich and sugary vanilla and bourbon-y molasses. Lots of sweet raisin, brown sugar and creamy milk chocolate. Dark fruit and a little caramel. A little wood too. No booziness whatsoever despite 13% ABV. 5/5
Taste: Rich and sweet, but not overly sweet. Sweet, creamy vanilla and milk chocolate upfront and in the finish. A little warmth on the palate, but no booziness. Ample doses of sweet raisin on midpalate and in the finish as well. Sugary vanilla frosting and sweet brown sugar on the midpalate too. There's a smooth, somewhat subtle bourbon backbone. 5/5
Mouthfeel: Full-medium bodied, no carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel. Sugary sweet finish. Not overly heavy, which works perfectly with the flavor profile. 5/5
Overall: This beer is decadent. Rich and delicious, this is the ultimate digestif. This beer was a little hard to finish by myself at 13% ABV given the level of sweetness (it is not diabetes-inducing like the regular Dark Lord), but that is why I enjoyed this one with a few friends. This is truly one of the most tasty beers made, and it's completely on par with how Bourbon County Vanilla is currently drinking. I think I ever slightly prefer the Bourbon County Rare to this, however.
Recommendation: Seek a bottle of this out, but don't trade your rare to get it.
Pairings: Digestif. Seriously. Just enjoy this one on it's own.
Cost: $50 for a 750 ml bottle.
05-11-2012 20:47:30 | More by jegross2
4.78/5 rDev +1.3%
On tap at DLD 2010.
Finally! I couldn't believe when it was handed to me buy the FFF volunteer minion - I owe you, dude. 2 6oz plastic cups went into my snifter, producing just a touch of head on top of this thick black beer.
Smell is out of this world. The vanilla beans are so inviting and smooth. Touch of chocolate and molasses.
Taste is perfect. It's a toss-up for me between this and VB Bourbon County for the best tasting beer I've ever had. I'm a vanilla freak, love using it to kick up porters and stouts I brew, and this is just so damn good. Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. A touch of wood and roast. This is like a liquefied Hostess cupcake. And I love it. It's an indulgence that's only once a year and thank god, I imagine drinking this weekly would lead to diabetes.
Mouth is dense, thick, and lovely.
Drinkability takes a hit just because every sip is probably 25 calories. Also, the alcohol is just a bit noticeable at the end.
A legend that I feel lucky to have tried. A wonderful beer!
04-25-2010 21:59:21 | More by jampics2
4.55/5 rDev -3.6%
Poured into a plastic cup at DLD. Pitch black again, and a rich smell of vanilla and chocolate and sweet malt. Fresh scraped vanilla bean flavor in this one. Creamy, chocolately decadent flavor. Very light carbonation, but enough. Like dessert in a cup, but still somewhat balanced. Less soy sauce like character in this one, which I liked. My favorite version of DL.
06-09-2008 17:21:34 | More by JDV
4.3/5 rDev -8.9%
On tap in the pub during DLD. I had one and liked it but had to have a second to make sure.
A:Black. That is it. There was no head. Only bubbles. It straight up looked like motor oil and both variants had legs when swirled in the glass.
S: The nose was that of ok that is what vanilla smells like Even with a big a beer as Dark Lord is the vanilla was up front. Alcohol. Molasses. Chocolate. Roast. Insane complexity.
T: Vanilla was huge up front. It had so much going on it tasted like it was barrel aged. What impressed me the most about the barrel aged versions of Dl was they played down on the beers weaknesses while bringing out their strengths. The vanilla cut down on the booziness and brought it into a whole different level.
M: Motor oil. Super thick. No carbonation.
D: I had 2 tasters of this then carried a grown man out of a mosh pit. All day. One of the best vanilla bean beers I have ever had. Makes VBBCS seem like ginger beer. That being said I cared for the bourbon version more but I was in the minority in my group.
05-05-2011 22:49:19 | More by aerozeppl
3.78/5 rDev -19.9%
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.
08-23-2011 12:28:38 | More by bashiba
4.05/5 rDev -14.2%
Enjoyed, of course, at Three Floyd's brewpub during DLD '10.
The beer comes to me in a small tasting glass a cloudy deep burgundy. The beer is lighter in color yet thicker than the original, and has all the color and consistency of melted dark chocolate. Zero head to speak of, but a sheen of oils swirls over the surface layer of the liquid, much like you'd find in a french press coffee.
The taste and aroma are both overpowered by a prevailing vanilla bourbon sweetness. It is as if I took a shot of vanilla extract. This thing is killer sweet, and killer hot. The burn of alcohol singes my throat and sets my nostrils ablaze. Molasses, raisins and savory almond and peanut notes are noticeable.
The mouthfeel is milkshake thick, with a body more akin to melted ice cream than beer. This seems more dessert than drink.
I was told that it was of utmost import that I go to all lengths on Dark Lord Day to try this beer. I have to say I preferred the non-aged version, surprisingly, but was supremely impressed with all of the '10 iterations of the Dark Lord. Drinking it was an experience I won't soon forget.
05-04-2010 02:00:37 | More by Phelps
4.83/5 rDev +2.3%
Finally reviewing my DLD notes. Had on tap of course at the wonderful DLD!
A- This pours a pitch black as oil color. What else were you expecting from a DL? Good mocha colored head that was only a half finger if that. Lacing was well...not really there. I mean it was in little forms and the beer coated itself on the sides as well. This is like a dream come true.
S- This unlike the Oak Aged is more centered to the Vanilla. big accents of vanilla is what I smell right off the bat with hints of burnt coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, and darker fuits in the mix. Underlying all of that I get hints of a burnt oak smell with some warm alcohol to it. This smells like a wet dream to me...heh.
T- Oh wow where to begin. The vanilla is at the forefront of this beer giving it a very sweet begining. Almost right after the initial sweetness of that comes the chocolate and brown sugar highlights before coming to the coffee stout taste. Even the light hints of oak I could taste throughout this beer. As it warmed I thought you could taste the alcohol a little more in it. This beer is just fantastic though and I couldn't get enough of the taste. Just...well...wow!
M- This had a heavy mouthfeel to it. I couldn't get over the fact that it just clung onto every part of your mouth as it raced down the throat. It left a nice thick sticky feeling on your palate that even when I'm finally writing this review I can almost feel. Carbonation was great for the style and I can't think of a beer that could compete with this as far as what it left once it was finished with my palate.
D- I could drink glasses of this if I could. Sadly, I can only do that one day a year and well....I can't wait for next year. Everyone should get a chance to try this liquid "black gold" at least once. And I'm talking fresh not some hand bottled thing!
07-08-2009 22:15:57 | More by alleykatking
4.58/5 rDev -3%
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.
This is a very very fine beer. I look forward to having more if it!
08-27-2011 23:36:24 | More by AleWatcher
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 904 ratings.