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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

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,002 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,002
Reviews: 219
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 3,143
Gots: 170 | 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: 1,002 | Reviews: 219 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbutler1
4.43/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Finally found my notes for DLD and getting these in to review! Draft. Poured into a plastic cup which I then put in my Founders KBS tulip glass. Poured straight black with a slight dark tan head. The initial aroma is the vanilla followed by a sublte sweetness and dark malts. The taste is amazing IMO. The vanilla is so smooth in this one. Dark chocolate notes as well. Love to see it bottled. The only thing to date to compare to this was the BCBVS that I had at Great Taste.

kbutler1, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of HosP
4.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Attended my first Dark Lord Day and counting down the days until next years! I had not had a taste of Dark Lord coming up to this day, but had heard all the great things about this beer. Once in line, we got our 4 oz cup of Vanilla Bean Aged Dark Lord and it was one the best highlights of the day!

A: Poured into a nice plastic cup this beer is black, as you would expect nothing less. Nice brown head sits on top throughout the entire beer leaving no lace on the cup.

S: Vanilla overwhelms the nose of this drink. After getting past the vanilla, sweet chocolate, caramel malts follow the vanilla aroma. Smells very sweet and a great job of masking the alcohol.

T: As a fan of IPA's and DIPA's, this was my first RIS and wow what a way to start! I was surprised as the vanilla takes a backseat to all the flavors brought out in this drink. Chocolate, caramel, molasses and a hint of coffee bring out flavors I hadn't expected. It's very easy to savor all these flavors while drinking this beer!

M: Very thick and creamy with a full body. My friend described this beer as a beer that could stick to your ribs!

D: Very impressed with this Dark Lord! Makes me impatient for next year to see what 3floyds comes out with. Until then a few regular Dark Lords sit and wait a perfect night.

HosP, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of Lunch
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review # 300

Courtesy of a generous trader served at a small tasting by an equally generous host into a tulip glass. This review is for the 2010 batch.

A: Pours nearly black with a motor oil quality with no head to speak of. This is a thick beer that looks quite syrupy and leaves nice legs on the inside of the glass.

S: A blast of vanilla bean shoots out of this beer. Notes of chocolate, molasses, and even more vanilla.

T: The taste follows the nose and I must say that this is quite a tasty beverage. The vanilla bean flavor is so intense and there is nothing artificial about it at all. Chocolate shines through as well with a lot of sweetness and some molasses. This is an extremely intense, complex, and quite rich.

M: Full-bodied and extremely thick with just a hint of carbonation. Nothing to complain about here.

D: If it weren't for the extreme richness of this Imperial Stout, I feel that I could drink this all day long.

Overall I must say that beer is absolutely fantastic and I am still shocked that I was able to try this! My Highest Recommendation.

Lunch, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of spoons
4.85/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at dld

Black and syrupy looking with no head anywhere to be found.

Smells like a black vanilla milkshake, only with more vanilla. Some dark chocolaty roasted bits underneath all that vanilla. Vanilla beans, need I say more.

Tastes amazing. Syrupy and smooth mouthfeell. Coats everything that it comes in contact with. Tons of vanilla flavor. Doesnt just taste like beans though, lots of extract almost bourbon like in there. Fantastic beer. Cant wait to have it again.

spoons, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of bmanning
4.88/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown before and during the 3Floyds beer dinner.

A: Pours jet black with thin dark brown head that leaves good lacing.

S: Hot damn, this smells exceptional! There is so much dark chocolate and vanilla in the nose balanced by bourbon (I'm told it's Woodford Reserve), dark fruits, and coffee. It can't get any better than this.

T: Simply incredible. This is the best bourbon barrel aged beer I've ever had. And I thought the Oak Aged Dark Lord was the best - no, this one blows it out of the water with the delectable vanilla flavor that perfectly balances with the bourbon, chocolate, and dark fruits. And as it warms, it gets better and better with graham cracker and caramel flavors adding to the mix of intense chocolate and vanilla.

M: So creamy smooth and thick, it's like motor oil and completely coats the mouth, intensifying the flavors. Carbonation level is perfect for this beer - on the low side, but existent.

D: Only knock is the slightest alcohol burn, otherwise I could drink these all night long.

Overall this beer blew me away. I was not expecting the simple presence of vanilla beans to add so much more to the already incredible Oak Aged Dark Lord, but the extra vanilla is what makes this beer the best, and deserving of it's high review. I really hope 3Floyds decides to bottle this beer one day - it's phenomenal.

bmanning, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of antoines15
3.93/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

had on tap at DLD '10. Very delicious. Is it the fifth best beer in the world? probably not but that's the rarity factor I suppose.

Pours dark as, well, dark lord, with minimal head but it was in a small plastic cup.

Smells awesome, like dark lord and a little bit of vanilla, hmm...

Tastes like dark lord and a little bit of vanilla, hmm....

Mouthfeel is again similar to dark lord, thick and sweet and sticky, eww.

Not highly drinkable, in fact, I probably couldn't have more than the sample draft that I had. But that's probably on par for the style.

Very good, not my favorite, but glad I get to drink it every year, if only for bragging rights.

antoines15, May 26, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Huhzubendah, May 17, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.6/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

drabmuh, May 16, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
4.7/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

jrallen34, May 15, 2010
Photo of punkrkr27
4.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Dark Lord Day '10. Pours as dark as dark can be with a tiny bit of loose brown bubbles and lots of brown coating the glass as it swirls. Massive dark fruit notes, chocolate and a little coffee. This is much more smoothed out than fresh Dark Lord usually is. There's none of the harshness or green apple, more like a 1-2 year old bottle. The vanilla beans really come through and taste distinctly fresh. There oxidation like soy sauce at the end and it's a touch cloying but otherwise a truly amazing beer. The body is incredibly smooth and full with low carbonation.

punkrkr27, May 13, 2010
Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.63/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at DLD 2010. Have to say, this beer is freaking amazing!! But I had to wait 5 hours in line to try a glass...so thank God it was! Glass filled in the brew-pub at FFF from tap. Fills the glass extremely thick black with a slight brownish hue, and absolutely no light shining through. A small dark tan head forms with pretty decent retention...and long lasting thick sticky lacing.

Aroma is pretty much what I expected...pretty much a vanilla Dark Lord...go figure! Huge maltiness, chocolate, coffee, thick molasses, and vanilla. Very sweet nose, with strong booze notes. Awesome aroma...not a let down what-so-ever!

Huge full body, thick and viscous, low carbonation, very sharp and strong booze bite! Tons of chocolate and coffee, extremely sweet flavors with the molasses and vanilla. Not sure if the rumor is true...but I've been told that this years batch of Dark Lord is 15% ABV...if that's true...not sure if that applies to the Vanilla Bean Aged as well...but if so, very apparent. The booze burn is massive, but tolerable. What an incredible beer...I'm definitely not let down and super stoked I got the chance to try this beer!

ShadesOfGray, May 13, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Peter, for this wonderful surprise.

The 2010 version of VB Dark Lord is quite unlike past vintages. It doesn't look thick or sludgy, or at least, not as thick as the 2009 DL that this beer is based on. Black with no head, there is some coating of the glass, but I guess oxidation in the barrel has helped lighten it up a bit

The nose is exactly what you'd expect, but again, not as outrageous as the 2008 version. Vanilla is noticeable, but there's also a very pronounced boozy, bourbon, coconut barrel character. The coffee of the regular DL has faded, and there's a wonderful milk chocolate character with plenty of sweetness. Chocolate fudge, molasses and all things sweet are noticeable. Quite excellent. These characteristics are replicated on the palate, with a large but enjoyable sweetness with chocolate,bourbon, coconut and a moderate vanilla character. The barrel expression is wonderfully big, almost absurdly so, and for that reason, this beer does stand out. Sweet on the finish with a lingering boozy character, this beer is full in body with no carbonation, quite appropriate, really. Drinkable? well, I wish I could have gotten more! Very enjoyable stuff, light years ahead of the regular DL IMO.

DefenCorps, May 13, 2010
Photo of hayesez
4.63/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received my plastic cup worth early on Dark Lord Day this past weekend. So tough to fully appreciate, given the conditions, but I digress. Had a couple of glasses at last year's Dark Lord Day and was disappointed by the over-sweetness that the vanilla added. Dark Lord (specifically 2006 and 2008) has been my favorite beer for a few years now, and I personally thought that the vanilla bean was actually a detractor. This year's however, I felt the vanilla bean was incorporated very well.

As deep and dark as the standard Dark Lord with no light passing through...or is that the plastic cup. A short brown head is quietly settling on top of the viscous black beer. No lacing left on the plastic upon completion.

Wonderful, wonderful smell. I was very disappointed with the cloying sweetness of the 2009 Dark Lord and was very hopeful that this vanilla bean version could help out. The smell of vanilla is definitely prominent on the nose. Alcohol is completely masked, but sweet chocolate, malts, and caramel-syrup sweetness are evident.

Vanilla is still extremely pronounced . Fortunately, this was much smoother, creamier, and less sweet that last year's Vanilla Bean Dark Lord. I'm so impressed by how sticky, creamy, and smooth the Dark Lord is. Still has that roastiness to it as well as that Dark Lord finish. Still, just a bit too much on the sweet side for me. Dark fruits round it off - I gotta admit, I still really enjoy this thing, even if it is a bit too sweet.

As I mentioned, Dark Lord is still one of my absolute top beers. I had a great time at this year's Dark Lord Day and got to try all three. I have to admit that the Oak Aged version is my favorite, followed by the standard 2010, and then the Vanilla Bean - although it is still an outstanding drink. Mouthfeel is nearly perfect, but drinkability takes a slight hit due to the sweetness. Overall, this is still an outstanding variation of a fantastic beverage. Long live Dark Lord Day.

Consumed: 4/24/2010

hayesez, May 10, 2010
Photo of billab914
4.63/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

billab914, May 08, 2010
Photo of mothman
4.88/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

mothman, May 04, 2010
Photo of Phelps
4.05/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Phelps, May 04, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.58/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

womencantsail, May 02, 2010
Photo of vacax
4.43/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vanilla Bean Dark Lord pours the same oily black substance as the standard Dark Lord, stickily coats the glass in brown film and alcohol, and has a few tight beads of foam along the extremities of the glass. The vanilla is immediately present in the nose, but at an excellent level of balance. Oak or vanilla beans can be readily overwhelming, but the vanilla here is robust yet delicately sweet. The vanilla nicely matches the variety of thick sugary malts present, dates, figs, also a bit savory and some molasses.

The flavor has the same base thick maltiness of all varieties of Dark Lord, but the vanilla bean helps to blend the sweet elements together and smooth out the rough edges. The vanilla is up front and emphasizes sweet dark fruit, brings out a bit of sherry-like oxidation and smooths out soy-sauce like features leaving a finish rich with cocoa and cookies. Body is of course robust and palate drenching, which is nice with the lovely vanilla flavors. Carbonation stays low to moderate, allowing the thickness and flavors to linger. A delicious beer and of course rich, as tasty as it is it can weigh heavily on the palate.

vacax, May 02, 2010
Photo of chaz01
2.95/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I got to taste a couple of sample pours while standing in line at DLD thanks to the friendly folks in Columbus who were able to get a couple of full cups out of the brewpub. Re-poured into a 4 ounce tasting glass.

A: Milky off black color. Beer still had a thin brown collar around the rim.

S: Tons of Vanilla, boozy alcohol and very sweet syrupy aromas. I took a couple of whiffs of this -- very pleasant on the nose.

T: This tasted like a frozen ice cream drink with creme de cacao (such as a Brandy Alexander) that had melted.

M: Very thick and rich, low carbonation. Mouthfeel was very much like melted milkshake -- certainly interesting but not what I want in a beer. Very chalky, chocolate finish.

D: I realize drinkability is not the same as availability, but how drinkable can a beer be that's only available at one place for about 45 minutes a year, and then only in 3 ounce pours? I consider this a gimmicky beer -- if it were more readily available it would be something you would want to try once, but then move on to something that taste more like beer than a vanilla milkshake.

chaz01, May 02, 2010
Photo of bierenutz
4.7/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had the pleasure of trying this brew at FFF on DLD in the brewpub.
A-Coming from the tap with minimal head and lacing, it was black and thick.
S-Chocolate, roasted malts and vanilla with some sweet molasses and bourbon.
T-Very rich blend of mocha and syrup, and of course vanilla, although I would have expected more and found this flavor to be more of a background player in this complex concoction.
M-Rich and creamy with minimal carbonation and an overall great feel each sip.
D-Loved this beer, although right after this one I had the Oak Aged and, IMO, was better overall. Both these beers are great and well worth the hype.

bierenutz, May 02, 2010
Photo of thetomG
4.6/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap @ DLD.

Oily black with a small dark drown head. The aroma of vanilla really came through forme with a flavor to match. This beer i just absolutely HUGE. Vanilla vanilla vanilla, with some boozy sweetness throughout. I loved it, and I'm very glad I got to try it, but it was so sweet I'm not sure how much I could really drink in one sitting. That being said - it was great and I would definitely have some more if the opportunity ever arises again...

thetomG, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
4.83/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For review 250, thought I'd make it something special.

A - Black as night with brown on the edges, nice tan head in the plastic cup with some stick and lacing on the sides. I think it just sticks easier in plastic, truth be told, but it looks great.

S - Ahhh, smells great like Dark Lord but on vanilla steroids. Nice roasted malts and chocolate, is this really even beer anymore? Very sweet, some espresso, carmel, molasses, but the milk chocolate and vanilla stand out most on this one.

T - Great vanilla taste, I'm a huge fan. It manages to be strongly present without ruining all the other great tastes that Dark Lord has going for it. Coffee, chocolate, molasses, sweet sugar, and a little boozier than the other DL's I've had.

M - Thick but slippery, a tiny bit chewy, but not quite as full feeling as I was going to guess.

D - All day, they need to bottle this, seriously, it's a crime. I'd love to have some with some age on it.

AgentZero, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of PrinceDarren
4.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had the pleasure of trying this at DLD 2010. I had it once before a couple of years ago and it was every bit as delicious as I remember. While regular Dark Lord may be arguably over-hyped, the Vanilla Bean is deserving of the highest praise, in my opinion.

Some would say that the VBDL can simply be described as regular Dark Lord with the addition of some vanilla notes. I have to somewhat disagree. The vanilla bean is like a kinder, gentler version of something that is known for being brutally massive. In much the same way that Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout can be thought of as a more delicate version of KBS. That could be good or bad, depending on your perspective. I overheard some folks commenting that they like the sharper edge and complexity of regular DL. Those features are somewhat softened here. Personally, I prefer this version as it is that much more drinkable.

At first, the vanilla aroma attacks your nose and dominates the senses. No surprise, it smells like fresh vanilla ice cream. However, after a moment, that aroma fades nicely into the background and becomes much less detectable. In the end, it is properly balanced - well done!

In terms of taste, that famous "soy sauce" character of regular DL is what is missing most here. Again, I am fine with that as long as I can continue to enjoy the regular version at home.

The only minor downside to the VBDL was that there was a slight more detectable alcohol on the finish. I think this has more to do with it being fresh from the keg (or it could be the higher alcohol percentage in this particular vintage). Most of the time when I drink Dark Lord, it is from a bottle that has had lots of time to rest. Therefore, the only thing that I would suggest to improve this further would be to produce a bottle version or otherwise age it for a few more months to allow it to mellow out a touch more.

Otherwise, Vanilla Bean Dark Lord is a superb beverage that has earned its high accolades.

PrinceDarren, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
4.78/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at Three Floyds on Dark Lord Day 2010.

A-pours an opaque black motor oil liquid that is thick and viscous. The head is tan in color, thick and creamy. There is some retention and a decent lace on the glass

S-the nose is a little lighter but quite nice. A good bit of vanilla sets in, sweet molasses and milk chocolate, so tasty, like a chocolate milk shake. Notes of anise behind with some slightly roasted malts in the back

T-roasted malts set in right up front. Milk chocolate comes in next with a touch of vanilla. It tastes almost like a chocolate brownie. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar come in next with a touch of anise. Light notes of dark fruits come in at the finish with a touch of bitternesss.

M-the body is a huge full body, it is so thick. Not quite as thick as the oak aged, but huge. It is smooth and creamy, soft and chewy, its huge!

D-this is huge and delicous, the aging has been done quite nice, the flavors have blended together and melded to create a super tasty beer. It has a note of heat in the back; but at 13% it just lets you know how big this is. One of my favorites.

cpetrone84, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.88/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

BeerFMAndy, Apr 27, 2010
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 1,002 ratings.