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

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark LordBourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

967 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 967
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.72
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 3,043
Gots: 165 | 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: 967 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
4.65/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

largadeer, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of tpd975
4.93/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hand bottle provided by Gunhaver

A: Pours as dark as they come, a very evil flat black. No real head to speak of loss of carbonation due to the hand bottling. It is a very thick beer that literally stains the glass.

S: Nice real vanilla notes. Roasted malt, coco puffs, and subtle wood from the barrel.

T: Loads of real vanilla bean right from the start. Rich dark chocolate and roasted chocolate malt. Darkened brown sugar, and hints of oak.

M: Very full in body, lacks carbonation which you don't even seem to miss with this beer.

D: Insane. It was a nip bottle shared between a few. Really wish I had more. It is reason enough to go to Dark Lord day!

Thanks Geiger!

tpd975, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of movingtrain
4.9/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This might very well be the best beer I have ever had the opportunity to try. Sampled from a plastic cup at Dark Lord Day 2009...a small pour, but completely worth it...I went back to the table for seconds.

Poured a super dark black with little to no head and very little carbonation.

Smells like Dark Lord...molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, sweet olives, figs, some oak aroma.

Tastes like Dark Lord, but with a syrupy sweetness imparted from the vanilla beans. Very rich, complex, and incredibly palatable.

Of all the beers I was able to sample on DLD, this one stood out...even above the regular Dark Lord. It was complex, and the vanilla beans added a new dimension to an already outstanding beer. It was great to have had a chance to try this, and my only wish is that some day it is put into bottles, as well.

movingtrain, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of kimcgolf
4.35/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at FFF pub on Dark Lord Day '09. Pours from the tap to a very brownish=black color with thin skim of a dark brown head that lingers thru mid-glass. Aroma is an overwhelmingly pleasant mix of vanilla, roasted nuts, chocolate and molasses, with just the right amount of the 14% alcohol. Mouthfeel is almost syrupy full, and the vanilla explodes in the taste. Nice, long warming finish. Didn't enjoy quite as much as the Bourbon Barrel aged DL, but a damn good beer.

kimcgolf, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of fiver29
4.28/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dark Lord Day 08. Batch was 07 barrel aged with vanilla bean. Poured pitch black with a tan head. Has a very heavy mouthfeel and is very thick and syrupy. Smells very sweet with a touch of oak and alcohol. Tastes overly sweet. Has way too much molasses and vanilla flavors. It overpowers the whole experience. Has some complex flavors including coffee, wood, roasted malts, and has a nice smooth finish with an alcohol touch like the other Dark Lord beers. Only issue with this one is its too sweet upfront. And has on some sips too much molasses/vanilla sweetness that overpower an otherwise beer that could be more balanced with its other complex flavors. A group of about 10-15 or so of us couldn't finish our glass because of it.

fiver29, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of maximum12
4.43/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So...transfer over my comments about the regular Dark Lord, which is fantastic, & add some vanilla sweetness to it.

I'm not sure the vanilla adds to Dark Lord in a positive manner, but it sure changes the character of the brew. The vanilla makes what was a smooth, drinkable, fiery, malty RIS into a sweeter, even smoother, tamer version of the 'Lord. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but this is still a first-class beer. Excellent, & one I'd love to have a few glasses of some day.

maximum12, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of craytonic
3/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pitch black, oil slick black, just what you would expect.

Smell: Oddly not vanilla, I only get that on the taste. Bit of alcohol with some other aromas I can't pinpoint. Chocolate cake batter or chocolate-vanilla pudding? Best I can do.

Taste: I get tons of fake vanilla poured into a regular dark lord. Also tastes a good bit sweeter to me. Alcohol, molasses, karo syrup, melted chocolate, brown sugar, roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate (the kind you would put in a chocolate chip cookie). Please cut the vanilla by 2/3.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth, somehow smoother than the regular version?

Drinkability: I have always been picky about vanilla, and I don't get vanilla bean, I don't get vanilla extract, I get the cheap fake vanilla, in mass. I don't see the appeal, for me this is regular DL with some fake vanilla and sugar added. Mouthfeel is much improved though, somehow. Probably would be good on ice cream. By itself, a sweet fake vanilla mess; I need a pliny to clean my palate. I hate to have the lowest rating for this ever, but I find it to be a sugar and fake vanilla trainwreck. It is good for 2-3oz and then you need an IPA.

craytonic, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of rudylaw
4.88/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ DLD, GTOM

Dark Lord + vanilla. It's just about that simple. Looks like DL, smells like DL what with the molasses, cocoa, dark fruits, brown sugar plus a vanilla-infused explosion of creamy goodness right off the bat!

It's a pretty boozy incarnation, but the vanilla smooths it out to where this is just a pleasure. It's a chewy, viscous stout that goes down smooth as can be, even on a 90 degree day.

If you love DL, this will take that love to another level. A perfect example where tinkering with a recipe that's already a winner can sometimes yield incredible results.

rudylaw, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of Poser
4.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tried at Great Taste. The hype is well-placed although I said at the time that I don't know if I could take more than a 6 oz pour.

Pours dark black with a frothy top that dissipates quickly. Strong vanilla flavors that overpowers everything else but there were some roasted malts hiding out somewhere. My mostly-wine-drinking friend said that it had characteristics like a good port and I have to agree. Vanilla was a *little* more muted in the taste and lets you realize the chocolate and woodsy flavors.

This one is a real treat.

Poser, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of madtowndmb1
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried this at The Great Taste,

Poured a pitch black, even in the blazing sun no light got through. The smell was perfect, sweet vanilla with a touch of coffee and chocolate. The taste wasn't quite as good as the smell but very impressive. Very similar to the nose, but a touch heavy on the vanilla. Threw of the balance of the nose. M:&D: were both very easy on the palate. Not sure I'd want more than 6oz's but it would be one of the most enjoyable 6oz's!

madtowndmb1, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of dukedevil0
4.88/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this at the Great Taste of the Midwest 2009 in Madison, WI out of my GTotM tasting glass. Missed this at DLD 09 so I was not going to get hosed on this day!

A: Pours like a black hole, with no light getting through and some copperish/khaki colored bubbles that settled down to almost nothing.

S: Smells very similar to the original of course with very nice vanilla addition and some minor "barrel aged" scents.

T: just like the scent, the flavor was also obviously very similar to its regular DL brethren; however, whereas the original Dark Lord tastes like a thick chocolate beer shake almost, the Vanilla Bean variety is much more vanilla forward (surprise!) without being over-vanillaized if that makes sense. The addition of the vanilla makes this a great variant and possibly even better flavor-wise. The only possible downside is that there is a bit of heat from the alcohol, but it's easy to look past it when the flavor is so spectacular.

M: Super creamy and coated everything it touched. Low carbonation, similar to a syrup but it matched the rest of the beer excellently.

D: There is no doubt that this style isn't meant to be drinkable, but I think that this is one of the shining examples of making this style as drinkable as it can be. The flavor is incredible, and I long for each next sip I take. The only potential downside is the heat from the alcohol. I'm willing to give that only a slight docking of rating.

I've had the original Dark Lord a few times in different vintages and there is no doubt that it's an amazing beer that is well deserving of all the hype. However, I think at least in the flavor department, this one rules as my favorite of the varieties (and definitely challenging for my favorite beer completely). I'd love to try all three side-by-side in a tasting to see how I'd rank them in that sense, rather than having them on separate occasions. I'm glad I finally got to try this and man was it worth the wait.

dukedevil0, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
4.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Capped off my day at the 2009 Great Taste of the Midwest. I knew this one was being tapped at the very end, so I rested my palate most of the day and only tried random things here and there. I was ready for this one!

This was definitely my highlight. It poured with the creamiest, fluffy head of any Dark Lord version by far. Smell was similar to other versions. Taste was off the charts. There was an extra sweetness not present in the regular Dark Lord, and while I thought that the new flavors in the Oak Aged version were a hindrance, the extra flavors in this Vanilla Bean version were magnificent. It was such a smooth, subtle vanilla sweetness that did not distract in any way from the already monstrously sweet behemoth underneath. It just complimented well. Full bodied and thick as hell, this one nearly deserved a perfect 5 but it is extremely hard to judge drinkability based on 4 oz...especially when that 4 oz. was plenty satisfying.

UPDATE: The 2010 release of this was a top quality beer, but not as good as I had remembered the previous vintage to be. In fact, I liked the Oak Aged Dark Lord a bit more this year. Going to drop my rating just a bit to account for the perceived drop in quality (or perhaps it just was never worthy of my original 4.95 rating to begin with)

alcstradamus, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of pepsican
3.98/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Served on tap at the Great Taste of the Midwest. Black pour with a small tan head. Vanilla and chocolate dominated the aroma. Flavor was vanilla, coffee, toffee, caramel and maple syrup. Viscous, syrupy sweet, big, boozy. Ouch. 3 oz was plenty but man was it good.

pepsican, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
4.83/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

alleykatking, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of tjthresh
4.05/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is rich and black with some nice brown head, just as you'd expect from Dark Lord. I get mostly vanilla and coconut with just a bit of coffee in the nose. I get more bourbon in the flavor than anything. Full and rich body as usual. Dry roasted finish.

tjthresh, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

*Notes from DLD*

Pours the basically perfect opaque, black that its basic version does. Also has the thick, frothy dark chocolate colored head that makes it so beautiful.
Smell is hypnotizing of roasted and sweet malts, chocolate, coffee, caramel, and that twinge of vanilla that adds such an extra layer of complexity to it.
Taste gives me the roast and coffee up front then finishes, blended well, into the chocolate and vanilla.
Finish is crisp and refreshing, the after-taste is astounding with a complex blend of all of the beers flavors, not just the vanilla of malt, but also the coffee and chocolate stay around.
The vanilla flavor mellows out any bite a previous version might have, it goes down incredibly smooth.

ThaBobfather, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
4.88/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

Kegatron, May 06, 2009
Photo of grub
4.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at three floyds on dark lord day, april 25/09.

pours deep opaque and inky black with a small dense dark brown head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. big blast of vanilla, anise, caramel, and fruity citrus sweetness. light alcohol. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. biscuit. crackers. dark and bittersweet chocolate. bit of coffee with cream. light lactic sweet and sour character too.

taste is good. my first thought is actually white chocolate rather than the dark and bittersweet chocolate i got in the aroma. sure, they are there too, but the vanilla and the light lactic sweetness makes me think more of white chocolate. light coffee with cream again. biscuit and whole wheat bread. light alcohol. light citrus - orange and tangerine mostly. anise and vanilla.

mouthfeel is great. silky smooth medium-low carbonation level. nice big chewy body.

drinkability is surprisingly good. it hides almost all of its alcohol with a near-perfect balance. nice level of vanilla that compliments rather than dominates. good stuff. that said, i wasn't as blown away by this one as i was with the oak aged dark lord. maybe it's just my palate at this late stage of the day, or maybe it's my lack of appreciation for vanilla, but i'd take regular dark lord or even the oak aged version over this one.

grub, May 05, 2009
Photo of sheephead
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

by far the most complex beer i have ever drank. The appearance was that of a motor oil. Smell of coffee and caramalized fruits. The taste changes as it pass over your tongue. nice hints of vanilla, coffee, and burnt currants. it coats your mouth almost like a syrup obviously not as dense as syrup but it covers all your taste buds. I would not think it to be possible to drink more that 22oz at a time. this is my favorite Imperial stout. it truly is the dark lord.

sheephead, May 05, 2009
Photo of Damian
5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank on-tap at Dark Lord Day 2009
Served in a gobelet

The beer poured a super dense and oily, absolute pitch black with a small, caramel-colored ring of lace.

The aroma was simply breathtaking. I know the whole "If I could give a score of 6, I would" phrase is rather cliched, but I cannot remember a time that I would request this figure more than right now. Ultra smooth, sweet and rich with an in-your-face aroma of bourbon-soaked, Madagascar vanilla beans. Slightly boozy. Coffee and brown sugar notes appeared as well.

The taste was every bit as impressive as the aroma. Sweet vanilla was instantly recognizable and it dominated the flavor profile. Dark chocolate and coffee notes were apparent. Lots of bourbon and sweet cream too. Brown sugar was also noticeable. Roasted malts came through in the lingering, oaky finish.

The mouthfeel was outstanding. Ultra heavy and rich. Super creamy, frothy and oily with a fine, mild carbonation.

Drinkability was terrific. The beer was incredibility smooth and flavorful yet quite sweet. Originally, I was planning on giving it a "4" in this category. That is, until I found out that this monster clocks in at a whopping 15% ABV. Any beer that disguises its alcohol content so well deserves nothing less than a perfect score.

Flavor wise, I slightly preferred the regular oak-aged version to this because of its more noticeable complexities. That being said, I simply could not find a single fault in this beer either. Vanilla Bean Aged Dark Lord was definitely the icing on the cake to a truly memorable time at Dark Lord Day 2009.

Damian, May 03, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
4.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

HopHead84, May 02, 2009
Photo of Overlord
4.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Shane for sharing this brew. If he ever visits the O.C., I owe him.

Pours a dark, viscous black. It's a handbottle, so much of the carbonation is gone. Perhaps a few splashes of bubbles.

Smells like a chocolate vanilla milkshake. Maybe a hint of maltiness, but primarily, it bombards you with sweetness. The mouthfeel is syrupy, thick, and overwhelming. Huge dark molasses/chocolate notes, and a ton of vanilla. Really an incredible brew.

Yeah, it was slightly oxidized, but not as much as I expected. Still delicious, and handily beat out other "fresh" brews.

Overlord, May 02, 2009
Photo of coldmeat23
4.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: approx 45 - 50 degrees
VINTAGE 2009 (Had @ DLD)

Like it's brothers, this one is also black. Less than a finger of foam forms the head and quickly disappears. It leaves a few bubbles around the edge, but that's about it. No real lacing to speak of, but the slick oiliness still coats the glass.

Hey whadda' ya' know? It smells like vanilla!
Seriously though, the vanilla scent practically jumps out of the glass and grabs you. It's wonderful. It's not an artficial scent either, it smells like true vanilla extract, as it should. This mixes in with the nice roasted malt scents. The large chocolate and Intelligentsia coffee notes are still here, but they are dwarfed by the vanilla presence. Light hints of bourbon-ey oak are detectable. Dark fruits, molasses and caramel can be found, if you look.
This one should get a rating of 6 for the smell.

Oh yeah, that's the stuff. Man, is this good!
The smooth, tasty vanilla just melds with the bold chocolate and coffee flavors and creates something amazing. I don't believe that I can describe it accurately. It's that good.
That which I found to be perfect has been made more than perfect.
This one should get a rating of 7 for the taste.

The mouthfeel loses nothing with this one. It is still that huge, rich, thick feeling. Beautiful.

3Floyds have taken their own perfect creation and made it rich and decadent. This is amazing. While it would best serve as a dessert or special occasion brew, I wouldn't be able to stay out of it, if I had it at home.
This might be the only brew that I drink, next DLD.

coldmeat23, May 01, 2009
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - um, dark...opaque. Seems a small crime to serve this kind of beer in a plastic cup, but when you're surrounded by 4000 of your closest friends, whaddya gonna do? Minimal lacing, no cover and just a scant presence of dark mocha bubbling on the collar.

Aroma - intense vanilla and roasty malts. Wow. We purchased several oak and vanilla samples and you could always tell which one was the vanilla by smell alone.

Taste - big vanilla blending with the dark roasted, chocolatey malts.. the essence of the bean is fantastic. The swallow is very roasty, with espresso notes and some smooth abv as well. Molasses and licorice on the aftertaste. The finish is long, heady, and delicious. Feel free to lash the dark lord with vanilla beans whenever you please.

Mouthfeel - thick, oily, bring it on.

Drinkability - what a fantastic brew. Megathanks to Robert the Lithuanian for the righteous hookups. May your new Beer & Sweat glass enjoy many fills of fine brew.

brewdlyhooked13, May 01, 2009
Photo of TPatuto
4.88/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap into little plastic cup. (I wish it were a bigger cup.)

A - Black and Black. A tinge of brown around the edges almost creates this aura around the beer. The tiny bit of head that existed disappeared in an instant, to a very skinny rim.

S - Aggressive vanilla (go figure, right?) caramel, coffee, dark roasted malts, molasses. Light bourbon alcohol scent as well.

T - Vanilla, cocoa, hints of dried dark berry fruits. Super intense and over the top goodness. Flavors lingered for an extremely long time. Definitely overpowered everything else.

M - Rich and Coating. A tiny hint of alcohol toward the back end.

D - Extremely drinkable. I would love a glass of this in the dead of winter in front of a fireplace. That would probably make me giggle like a 4th grade school girl.

Overall Impression - I loved this and was very happy that Three Floyds went about making this again for '09 DLD. A great effort.

TPatuto, Apr 30, 2009
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 967 ratings.