Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
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Ratings: 904 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
4.8/5 rDev +1.5%
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!
08-01-2012 01:23:01 | More by orangesol
4.55/5 rDev -3.8%
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.
05-23-2011 19:09:09 | More by stakem
4.5/5 rDev -4.9%
(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.
05-16-2008 17:44:45 | More by rhoadsrage
United Kingdom (Wales)
4.88/5 rDev +3.2%
Had this at the brewpub on DLD 2010.
Served in a tumbler/snifter glass (no plastic cup for this guy).
Served with a 1/2 layer of creamy dark tan head. Color is a wicked dark black.
Aroma: Amazing! Bourbon, vanilla, coffee, chocolate. Rich dark dried fruits. So sweet and creamy. Simply amazing.
Taste: Vanilla and bourbon right up front. A lot hot, but not bugging me at all. Milk chocolate and caramel. Sweetness. It really warms up nicely.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and warming. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends warm, but relatively clean.
Overall, very drinkable. One of the best beers I have had, if not the best. I want more already. Top RIS. Everything I could ask for in the style. I wish I would have bought more at DLD.
05-04-2010 14:15:27 | More by mothman
District of Columbia
5/5 rDev +5.7%
Thanks to Brad for sharing this at his tasting on Saturday!
2010 vintage, served side by side with Dark Lord and Oak Aged Dark Lord.
Consumed again at DLD 2011.
Vanilla Bean Dark Lord pours a near jet black, with hints of brown visible at the upper edges of the glass when held to the light. Head and lacing are somewhat subdued, but given the serving medium, I couldn't ask for more. Ok, here's where I was floored. The aroma was perhaps the most distinguishable and awesome smell I have ever received from a beer. Huge vanilla - and authentic. This beer smells like someone is baking fresh flan or crème brûlée inside the glass. Fantastic. It's incredibly rich, yet remarkably smooth and easy to drink. Though it is sweet, I couldn't see this becoming cloying as it is balanced so well and frankly, done to perfection. Alcohol is barely noticeable. I'd love to get some more of this. This is one of the best beers I have ever tasted.
05-17-2010 17:16:24 | More by Huhzubendah
4.83/5 rDev +2.1%
At DLD 09. Missed this last year and wasn't about to do it again.
Looks like DL, very black, some dark brown highlights, dark brown head, left some lacing on the plastic cup, definitely a RIS. Smell is godly, I feel like the vanilla and age really smoothed it out, big vanilla, chocolate, toffee, roast, brown sugar, cake, very complex. Taste is similar, reminds me of a better and more complex ST Creme Brulee, very heavy vanilla, chocolate, toffee, alcohol, brown sugar, all sorts of good stuff. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, low to medium carbonation, some warmth but insane drinkable. Wow this stuff was good. I like regular DL and oaked DL but for me this was better.
04-27-2009 20:05:05 | More by Viggo
4.64/5 rDev -1.9%
Big thank you to Aaron for opening this up! Review from notes.
A: Pours a dark black with a very thin tan head on top that quickly reduces to nothing. No lacing either.
S: Lots of vanilla, more than almost any other vanilla beer I have had thus far. Mixed with the vanilla is a strong bourbon aroma - caramel, brown sugar, and molasses with a little bit of oak. A little sweet, but not cloyingly so.
T: Like the aroma, a great combination of stout, vanilla, and bourbon. Some rich chocolate, bourbon, caramel, burnt sugar, with a little bit of dark fruit.
M: Extremely smooth, rather full bodied. On the thicker side, but not a surprise compared to other Dark Lords I have had.
O: A great beer, loved how present the vanilla was. Definitely savored it.
03-13-2013 23:24:13 | More by mdaschaf
4.93/5 rDev +4.2%
Never thought I would see this in California, but, yeah, the FW Invitational sure did deliver to say the least.
After the mad dash to the booth, we chilled for about 15-20 minutes before getting our pour, a black sludge with a super thin cherry cola head on the top of it 1/8" in depth that didn't stay around for too long, but the colors were amazing.
Vanilla bean, chocolate, bourbon, oak, these are the smells you want, all delivered in a huge Dark Lord kind of way.
Taste, more of the same, tons of sweetness, no doubt to drown out the massivity of the beer. Every aspect of it is big, like Black Tuesday or Chocolate Rain. You get a little more of the bittersweet dark fruit aspect on this though, the dividing line between RIS and the roastier American double stouts. Any coffee like roast aspect is really left to drown in the high sugar content here. Bourbon is present, but the vanilla and malt heft keep it from becoming a too hot concoction.
A slight tobacco/ash/mild leather feeling in the mouthfeel, that is only so slight. Low carbonation, which I think is just right for this beer.
I think this is significantly better than regular or even the brandy barrel dark lord. For me, the vanilla was really what uplifted this beer into one of the greatest of the greats from an already great brewery. Phenomenal stuff.
08-24-2012 15:49:42 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.63/5 rDev -2.1%
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.
05-08-2010 00:02:06 | More by billab914
4.72/5 rDev -0.2%
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.
05-02-2009 08:35:31 | More by HopHead84
4.45/5 rDev -5.9%
I had this on tap at DLD 2008. This looked and tasted like 2007 Dark Lord (to the best of my recollection) with a nice vanilla component (a la Haagendaaz vanilla flavor). Very thick and jet black, reeking of rich malty aromas. God this is a massive beer, so thick and oily and flavorful, and the vanilla flavor came through as a nice compliment. The real draw is the mouthfeel, this was as thick as the final pour from a DL bottle, very coating when you drink it.
This and the Oak-aged were selling for $5/sample (not sure of the size, but it was a small cup <12oz). Unfortunately I'm guessing it will be quite difficult to find this beer again.
04-27-2008 23:36:58 | More by TurdFurgison
4.15/5 rDev -12.3%
On tap at Hunahpu Day. Served in a taster.
Appearance - Jet black. No head. Small island of foam.
Smell - Vanilla and bourbon. Bit surprise. Lots of sweet malts. Some traditional Dark Lord soy sauce.
Taste - Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon. No real barrel character beyond the bourbon flavor. Lots of bourbon and vanilla though. Lots of fudgy chocolate. Big soy sauce flavor and booze hinder it.
Mouthfeel - Boozy but very tasty. Low in carbonation and huge in body.
Overall- Classic example of over the top beer covering up the flaws. It's delicious only because of adjuncts.
03-09-2013 18:25:38 | More by Alieniloquium
4.88/5 rDev +3.2%
6 oz (roughly) tap pour into a clear plastic cup at Dark Lord Day 2010.
Thanks to Sweemzander for jumping in line right away and snagging a glass of this amazing beer for me!
A - The tap pour is jet black like old motor oil and looks rich and syrupy on the pour. A tiny ring of dark tan bubbles with no retention is left in the glass. Not much sexiness there save for the foreboding, thick pour!
S - The potent aroma is smooth with creamy vanilla bean and a deep roasted malt nose. A rich milk chocolate aroma lingers in the background with a small alcohol hint released upon a moderate swirl.
T - The flavor is massively vanilla heavy, reminiscent of vanilla extract. Bold roasted malts behind the vanilla offer up a seriously roasted kick and a rich milk chocolate flavor that finishes out with a low alcohol warmth. Not bitter at all. Amazingly delicious.
M - Vanilla Bean Dark Lord is as full-bodied as they come packing a smooth, rich texture that's borderline syrupy with an almost chewy finish. It coats your mouth, throat and innards.
D - This beer is surpasses the crazy hype. It's incredibly well-brewed and delicious. It's also dangerously drinkable for the percent. If I wasn't trying to savor every tiny sip I took it would probably be gone in a heartbeat. I could probably enjoy a 22 oz bottle of this too but that might be pushing it.
04-27-2010 01:32:19 | More by BeerFMAndy
4.7/5 rDev -0.6%
I had this on tap at dld. Thanks to Mario for getting in for us all... The look is nothing of note, black nice tan head...This beer is all about the aroma and the taste. Tons of awesome vanilla on the nose a little light coffee. The taste just brings the vanilla to the whole new level. Super sweet tons of awesome vanilla that is really nicely balanced. This is the best vanilla I've ever had. Only wish I could have more of this.
05-15-2010 01:19:26 | More by jrallen34
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 904 ratings.