Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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274 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
274
Ratings:
1,366
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
20.65%
 
 
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Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord)Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout aged in a variety of Bourbon barrels with vanilla beans.

Added by mcallister on 04-27-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 274 | Ratings: 1,366
Photo of WillCarrera
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle, number 127 of 934 from 2012, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours pitch black, absolutely no light gets through, produces a thin brown layer of head that dissipates quickly, which is honestly more than I was expecting, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Big sweet aroma, lots of vanilla and bourbon but also some caramel, chocolate, a bit of coffee and oak from the barrel, smells pretty delicious.

T- Flavor follows the nose, a really wonderful vanilla flavor, oak and bourbon, which gives a pleasant warmth, juicy dark fruits, a bit of coffee, and some dark chocolate and molasses sweetness. Vanilla really shines in this beer.

M- Full-bodied, has a thick, heavy feel. I still think it's a bit lighter than regular Dark Lord, which is like motor oil, and the slightly lighter body helps keep drinkability somewhat higher.

O- A really top notch beer, it's sweet as hell, verging on about as sweet as I can stand a beer to be, but is still considerably less sweet than and also vastly, vastly superior to normal Dark Lord. I split a bottle with Agold and we had a tough time killing it on our own, which is the main reason this isn't approaching a 5/5 for me. It's definitely a dessert beer that should be shared with a few friends. Having said that, it's an incredibly delicious beer, the flavors are amazing. It also tastes great on top of vanilla ice cream...

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Photo of Agold
4.17/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to willcarrera for cracking this gem. Pitch black motor oil. Has a surprising thin layer of head. I am sort of expecting a sweet bomb like in DL but in the aroma I actually can pick out a bit of coffee, lots of vanilla, mild heat, some Bourbon, and a lot of caramel. Flavor is very vanilla as well. Lots of caramel and dark dark fruit. Booziness emerges but for the most part is very under control. Also a bit fruity. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous but by no means as viscous as dark lord. Sits on a fine line between very viscous and too viscous. Having more than a glass becomes a bit of a chore. Outstanding beer though. Vast improvementover the regular stuff.

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Photo of raveskdr
4.97/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally getting around to review this. Had it yet again on tap at Dark Lord Day (and got a chance to tick it out of the bottle as well). Poured into an oddly shaped glass inside the FFF brewpub on DLD.

A - Completely dense viscous blackness. Very little carbonation.

S - Vanilla. Vanilla. Vanilla. Slight roasted coffee. Vanilla.

T - Vanilla. Vanilla. Vanilla. Just incredible flavoring of pure vanilla. You get some of that smokiness and some roastiness, but this is a vanilla dominated beer.

M - Incredibly decadent and rich yet smooth for such a high alcohol beer.

O - One of the best beers I have ever had. This beer is just incredible. I could drink the hell out of this beer. All the hype this beer has ever got is completely deserved. I am glad they bottled it so that some people could get some without going to DLD. It's just as good out of the bottle.

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Photo of cccupps3
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had it on tap at Capone's in Montgomery County, P.A. I had a 10oz. tulip poor and it was a fantastic coloring for an Imperial Stout. Very smooth throughout and I felt the bittering hops can into play much, much more as it warmed about ten minutes. Good Vanilla usage! Could have had a little stronger aroma. Overall it is one of the most well balanced stouts I have had in a few years.

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Photo of marchoftheclouds
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Black as being inside of a cave

S - It was love at first sniff ... a vanilla BOMB

T - Vanilla beer, no, not beer ... DESSERT! This should be sold to pour over ice cream as a topping ... to be sipped slowly and enjoyed and savored

M - perfect ... A standard for all other beers

O - A great beer and extremely memorable. 

I had it on Dark Lord Day after waiting for hours to get into the brew pub for DL on tap. The regular DL was great, but this kicked its butt ... From notes

Until I have a better beer ... this is perfection

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Photo of islandboi8204
4.64/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours without much carbonation, leaves staining on the glass as it is swirled. Mahogany color.

Smells of chocolate cherry, fruit, vanilla, coffee. Wonderful.

Tastes similar to the smell, but velvety, rich, creamy, savory. Vanilla more present in the taste, but not cloyingly sweet either. Really decadent as a dessert.

Alcohol is very well masked. Not too heavy in the mouth, but a little more carbonation would help make it less syrupy. It's probably missing some from the hand bottling.

Overall, this is incredible. I would drink this all day long, glad I could try it. Looking forward to opening up my other growler, and trying this on tap some day.

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Photo of hombrepalo
3.64/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

8oz pour at Dark Lord Day a few years back. A total mess in my opinion. Thick and clumpy with very little head, left a coat of motor oil sheet on the plastic cup. Smells of vanilla extract, chocolate and licorice. Taste is similar with a strong Kick of alcohol, finish is nausiating with a thick sweetness left in the back of the mouth. Really hard to finish 8oz, can't see why this is so highly rated, would like to retry this for a second look.

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Photo of Simmy7000
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to StoutFest!
Served into a snifter

A- Pours a very dark brown with no head present. Body appears black but the edges are a ruby-brown color when light strikes them.

S- Definitely has the characteristic Dark Lord smell with a twist. Loads of dark fruit, chocolate, booze combine with a massive vanilla presence. Can't wait to taste it!

T- Waves of creamy, sweet vanilla up front blending into a mix of chocolate covered dark fruits, molasses, and coffee. The finish is a slight hint of licorice coupled with a deep warming from the alcohol. Just decadent, to say the least.

M- Thick, syrup-like body that is on the low side of carbonation. Overall though, it has a silky, smooth feel that coats the mouth while drinking. No hint of the 15% alcohol besides some warmth.

O- What a phenomenal beer, certainly one of the best I have ever had. I am a huge fan of regular Dark Lord and the vanilla seems to blend in perfectly with the base beer, giving it a creamy, marshmallow type flavor on top of an already monster of a beer. Can't wait to have this on-tap directly at DLD next year.

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Photo of godfathermg57
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got a growler in trade thanks to StoutFest.

An incredible beer. There was absolutely no head or carbonation when i poured it which was a bit surprising, however after tasting I can see why. This beer isn't even a beer; it's like a vanilla, chocolate, malt syrup and I mean that in the best way possible. Incredibly smooth, thick, and complex in taste. Definitely one I had to split with friends but one I was glad I had a chance to try. 5 Star beer.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.59/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Exceptionally tasty.
This is a very very fine beer. I look forward to having more if it!

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Photo of bashiba
3.8/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pre Party for Great Taste of the midwest at Argus Lounge Bar in Madision, WI. Five oz pour into a glass.

A- Dark Pitch black color, opaque body, ½ finger brown head that dissipates quickly to nothing, very minimal lacing and retention.
S- The aroma is fantastic, very sweet chocolaty aroma, dark fruits (raisins, blueberries) are present with a nice oakiness added in, nice bourbon oak notes as well, although the aroma is still very sweet its not as rich and cloying as the regular dark lord which is surprising since Vanilla was added to this beer.
T- This beer is fantastic, huge vanilla presence, that’s balanced a little with the oak flavor from the barrels, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, slight coffee taste, slight roasted notes, cocoa nibs, slight bourbon taste, a little warming as it goes down but very smooth, very complex.
M- Big mouth feel, not overly carbonated but enough to make this beer delicious, coats the palate, smooth drinking.
O- I was surprised with this beer, from drinking the normal versions of Dark Lord I was expecting the Vanilla Barrel Aged version to be over the top sweet. I was blown away by how tasty this brew was, much more complex and tasty than the original Dark Lord, loved it.

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Photo of znichols
4.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Exclusive Tapping at Argus Lounge (Madison, WI)- 8/12/11.

Appearance -- A black as night stout with a surprisingly tight head. Eggshell color head with opaque body. Lacing doesn't stick around long.

Smell -- Dark, juicy fruits. Figs, blueberries, etc. The vanilla is very present in the aroma with a slight alcohol tinge and wood. A slight bit of dark cocoa in there too. An extremely complex aroma in this one with little to no hop smell.

Taste -- Dark roast and sharp vanilla right off the bat. This beer punishes your taste buds, but in a good way. Notes of chocolate, smooth coffee, plum, wood, maple, creme brule, and a little foreign spice as well. An extreme amount of flavor and a decadently light alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel -- Uber thick and pretty sticky. Low to moderate carbonation. Think molasses.

Overall -- A truly exceptional beer. As cliche as it sounds, likely the best beer i've ever had. Over the top flavor. The grandaddy of Russian Imperial Stouts. Wish i could have seen the look on my face when i took the first sip!

Serving type: Tap

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.8/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Back Lion - 2011 BA Dark Lord Voltron Tasting, 07/15/2011.

Appearance -- Pours a deep, dark brown with slim chestnut highlights and a slim creamy eggshell head that dissipated into a persistent purity ring.

Smell -- Loads of vanilla, rich dark fruits, cocoa, unrefined sugars, and a lot of spicy Woodford Reserve barrel character. As the beer warmed I began to pick up the rich smell of blueberry pancakes.

Taste -- Roast malt, chocolate, candied dark fruits and burnt sugars, vibrant vanilla beans and sweet/spicy Woodford Reserve bourbon. Rich and decadent without approaching saccharine. As with the nose, there was this big blueberry note that reminded my of pancakes, or possibly muffins.

Mouthfeel -- VERY thick with somewhat mild carbonation. No burn, but mild bourbon heat in the throat. Pretty damn nice.

Overall -- The finest barrel-aged Dark Lord version, edges out even the best bottled versions. Everything marries so well, and this particular version revealed the most new facets of flavor as the beer warmed. Stunning.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler into a tasting glass. 2010 version. From notes.

Appearance: Pours pitch black all the way through. No light edges, just pure unadulterated evil. Due to light carbonation, there is nearly no head here.

Smell: The aroma here is like Dark Lord, only slightly better. Maybe due to bottle vs. growler issues, the aroma is lighter, but the vanilla adds a great aroma. Vanilla lays on top of fully roasted malt, chocolate, molasses, and espresso.

Taste: The flavor just blows me away. Dark Lord improves drastically with a year on it, and the vanilla beans just take it to another level. Smooth vanilla beans up front and center, with dark roasted malt and espresso up next. Caramel soaked fudge is a delight, but the sweetness never overpowers, a brewing feat for sure. The aftertaste is softly sweet and a little bitter, with a big dose of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Thick and just a touch more syrupy than the regular version, but the vanilla bean flavor makes it worth it. Chewy like fudge. The only .5 point knock here is that the carbonation could be increased just a little bit.

Overall: One of the top beers I have ever tasted, for sure. Taking a beer I love and inserting the perfect amount of vanilla beans shows the artistry that goes into this beer.

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Photo of ajsdad06
4.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at DLD 11.

Pours a viscous oil like black with a smal ldense tan head.

The aroma is everything the original is and then some: sweet, chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and light coffee.

The flavor is much of the same: chewy sweet malt, vanilla, dark fruits, chocolate, some roasted at times, and light coffee.

Everything mentioned would be enough to classify this as an excellent beer, but for me the mouthfeel pushes it into another category. This is sooo smooth and creamy I could kick back and savor this all day (if it weren’t 14%). It is easy to forget about the alcohol with this one.

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Photo of zrab11
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at DLD 2011

A- Pours a thick oily black with a small tan head.

S- Wow the sweet vanilla really comes out in the nose. also cathing some coffe and maybe some chocolate along with some alchol

T- WOW this is delicious. It starts out with a nice chocolate and vanilla flavor then moves on to come carmel and vanilla then come the roasted malts and finishes with a nice alchol vanilla flavor

M-Full bodied with nice carbonation

O-Overall this was my fav. beer i had at DLD i absoultly loved this brew. The vanilla was strong and there the whole way through but it wasn't undrikable like creme brulee. The vanilla was there but not too sweet. I loved this brew an will get more than just one glass next year. By far one of my fav beers ever. Try this if u havent.

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Photo of iconoklaztor
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alrighty, so...I was able to try this at DLD 2011! I was able to grab 2 glasses at the pub and enjoy them slowly!

First the appearance is what you would expect! BLACK and THICK like you would expect from an ebony porn star!

The smell was sweet and malty! I couldn't wait to taste this brew!

The taste was sweet, heavy, and very filling! It was damn near perfect!

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have this year round and quite frankly its damn near the only thing that keeps me going back to DLD. It sure isnt the hassle of getting tickets!

Overall this is possibly the best beers Ive ever had!!!

Fantastic!!!

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Photo of tippebrewcrew2
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Taken from notes from dld 2011.

This is it folks. This is the mythical beer. I went through line (I didn't win on my scratch off), bought my darklord and went back out into the masses. My friend was waiting for me with a plastic cup of darklord. "Thank you my friend", wait a second, this is dark lord? This is Vanilla bean dark lord! YES! There is a so much vanilla in this brew. It resembled pure vanilla ice cream with coffee and dark german chocolate covered cherries. It was amazing. It was the best IRS I've ever had. It doesn't get any better than this for me.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Review #1100

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Photo of woosterbill
4.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in the brewpub during DLD '11; I can't believe I got a seat at the bar! Review #700.

A: Fully black, motor-oil like body. Just a hint of brown foam. Viscous, dark, and intimidating.

S: Sweet vanilla, and not much else. Maybe some chocolate, but pretty much pure vanilla. Crazy, but a little underwhelming for such an elusive and storied brew.

T: Hole shite, that's incredible. Yeah, it's sweeter than diabeetus, but god damn is it good. Vanilla and chocolate open things up, followed closely by coffee, caramel, more chocolate, more vanilla, and even more vanilla. So, so sweet, but that' exactly what I expect from this beer, and the roasted notes actually do lend a modicum of - I can't possibly use the word "balance" for this one... - counterweight to the vanilla onslaught. Amazing.

M: Sticky, thick, and surprisingly well-carbonated. Lovely.

O: I missed out on this one at DLD '10, and swore if I ever made it back I wouldn't miss out again. I'm glad I made that vow and carried it out, as this was a truly incredible experience. I think there's something about the sweetness coming from actual vanilla beans that keeps the cloyingness somehow at bay, since I truly loved every single sip of this freakishly sweet beer. If it weren't for the plethora of other amazing choices, I would gladly drink another and another.

Cheers!

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Photo of Kayn169
3.51/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Dark Lord Day 2011.

A- Typical of the style, deep dark black. With the smallest layer of khaki head. Almost no carbonation to be seen

S- Hits hard and dominates with the smell of pure Vanilla extract, undertones of Espresso grounds, bittersweet chocolate, and just a touch of bourbon.

T- Wow, it's like taking a bottle of pure Mexican vanilla, and dumping it in a glass of DL, with a large spoon of molasses for sweetness. Insanely sweet, too much for me.

M- I have heard it described as a motor oil consistency, and although it isn't quite that bad, it is pretty syrupy.

O- Overdone. I am a firm believer in accenting a beer with things like vanilla, not making them the star. DL is a good beer that is struggling to even be noticed here. Everyone I talked to in the Pub agreed, it was just to sweet and had too much vanilla. Glad I tried it though. I would say if the vanilla sweetness was cut down it would be an easy A review

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Photo of Alpar
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at DLD 2011. 2beerornot2beer and I got the last pours on the keg, or so we were told. Regardless after waiting for 3.5 hours in line we were ready to do this up:)

A: Jet black, very little carbonation, similar to the regular Dark Lord treatments.

S: AWESOME! Huge vanilla notes and some cocoa. I didn't notice any alcohol in the smell.

T: Better than the smell! I was expecting a nuclear vanilla attack but instead go a really sweet balanced marshmallow flavor, it was out of this world!

O: This really took me by surprise, I am not a huge fan of the regular Dark Lord beers but this beer really hit home for me, one of the best I have had to date.

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Photo of stakem
4.55/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hand-bottled. Sampled courtesy of Maltzilla. It's thick and dark as you would expect, not a ton of head.

Aroma? I bow down to the vanilla gods. Never smelled that much vanilla in a beer before.

This is some intense, sweet bourbon vanilla. Some of those I was drinking with thought it too sweet, but I thought it was on point. It tasted like candy, but to me that's to its credit. I don't think it bore too much resemblance to regular Dark Lord, this was all about the vanilla. 13% alcohol? Buried under vanilla sweetness.

I think I had about a 2-3 oz pour, and even that was a bit too much. An ounce and change is probably all I needed....not too "drinkable" in the normal sense of the word. Tasty, with a godly aroma, but pretty sweet. So, I'm "only" giving a 4.38 A rating.

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Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.