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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

979 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 979
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 3,065
Gots: 165 | FT: 9
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: 979 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of browniewithnuts
4/5  rDev -15.1%

browniewithnuts, Oct 15, 2014
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4/5  rDev -15.1%

mattafett, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of whalezticker
4/5  rDev -15.1%

whalezticker, Oct 20, 2014
Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev -15.1%

drummermattie02, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -15.1%

djrn2, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of climbeer07
4/5  rDev -15.1%

climbeer07, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -15.1%

t0rin0, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of illinigirl
4/5  rDev -15.1%

illinigirl, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of omegagogetass4
4/5  rDev -15.1%

omegagogetass4, Oct 18, 2014
Photo of Benjiehorn
4/5  rDev -15.1%

Benjiehorn, May 16, 2013
Photo of jerz
4/5  rDev -15.1%

jerz, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of StayWhatYouAre2
4/5  rDev -15.1%

StayWhatYouAre2, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of bennetj17
4/5  rDev -15.1%

bennetj17, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -15.1%

KAF, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -15.1%

tom10101, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of tjthresh
4.05/5  rDev -14%
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 Luk13
4.05/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a dark opaque black with reddish highlights and minimal head. Aroma is decadent withbourbon, fudge, hazelnut, vanilla and some spices. Very good. Flavor is more straightforward with bourbon, chocolate and hazelnut. Intense sweetness, not too cloying because of the bourbon and alcohol. Palate is a little thin for such a big beer. Not up to GI Rare standards. A slightly better than average bourbon barrel stout.

Luk13, Aug 05, 2013
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 DocJitsu
4.05/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with minimal head. Mind you, the beer was painstakingly poured, so no real head ever developed to be evaluated. Sorghum and chocolate dominate the aroma. Powerful chocolate and wood flavors nearly assaults the palate. The alcohol warmth and taste are undeniable. The mouthfeel is viscous, but becomes thin as the alcohol prevails.

DocJitsu, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.05/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle split quite a few ways

A: Pours pitch black with a bit of off white head.

S: Vanilla bean upfront, much stronger than any other aroma. I get bourbon behind the vanilla - coconut and caramel mostly. I get a nice amount of dark chocolate as well. The flavors meld very well together, but the vanilla is a bit strong for me.

T: Strong vanilla bean upfront with coconut and caramel just behind. I get some dark chocolate, but the vanilla is certainly the strongest flavor. Extremely sweet and quite boozy.

M: Thick and oily with low carbonation.

O: This is a great stout, though I'm not sure I'd say its one of the best beers in the world. The vanilla is quite strong, a bit overpowering. It leads to a very sweet beer that could use a bit of balance in my opinion.

coreyfmcdonald, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of thebigredone
4.11/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many, many thanks to Chris for popping this sucker. 2013 batch, let's skip straight to taste.

I imagine if you took a lot of dark fruits, stewed them together, and then added a ton of sugar, you'd have something very similar in flavor to this Dark Lord variant. The vanilla does come through, but unfortunately almost no roast or char flavors are present. I personally did not pick up a very strong barrel presence. The flavors are certainly complex and enjoyable, but the sweetness is really off the charts.

Overall, this is a solid beer. However, I can't help but feel that the sky high ratings are solely a factor of the rarity and expense of this beer. I was glad we were sharing this bottle with another 10 gents, as the couple ounces I drank were about as much as I could handle.

thebigredone, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.15/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Alieniloquium, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of Agold
4.15/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Agold, May 08, 2012
Photo of grub
4.18/5  rDev -11.3%
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 MCain04
4.19/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Kieran for opening this up for us! 2013 vintage. Poured out at slightly below cellar temp.

The pour is surprisingly light, was expecting a darker motor oil pour. Little head, if any.

The smell on this is heavy, heavy on the vanilla. Definitely a lot of sweetness, from vanilla, malts, and bourbon. You get some additional toffee, caramel, and roasty notes, but dominated by vanilla.

The taste is so vanilla-heavy it's insane. It really does overpower most of the other flavor profiles. The bourbon and barrel notes play nicely off the base beer, which is cloyingly sweet at baseline. Unfortunately there is a pretty apparent metallic taste that doesn't fully resolve with warming.

Mouthfeel is smooth, low carb, medium bodied. Sticky finish.

Overall, this is a sweet, sweet beer, which is one of the most vanilla-forward beers I've ever tried. The metallic taste was a big set back for me though. This was beat out by Black Tuesday and Melange 1 in our tasting, in my opinion. Given the price of admission, between what it takes to trade for and even the price tag for purchasing, there are better beers out there. This is overhyped, in my humble opinion!

MCain04, Dec 14, 2013
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 979 ratings.