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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord
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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,074 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,074
Reviews: 232
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 3,491
Gots: 175 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 04-27-2008

Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout aged in a variety of Bourbon barrels with vanilla beans.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,074 | Reviews: 232 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bbadger
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.5/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of cadaugherty
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of brystmar
4.39/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened the 2011 & 2012 Vanillas next to each other to kick off our tasting with all 8 BA DLs. Thanks to Denise for bringing this one!

Gloops out of the bottle with minimal head and lace. Boozy and sweet aroma opens up bourbon-forward, concluding with a pleasant vanilla finish. Deserves a 4.25, but I'll round up.

While the '11 was predominantly sweet marshmallows, this one starts off as a bourbon-infused stout with vanilla support showing up towards the end. Dark fruits, heavily roasted malt, candy sweetness, and more robust bourbon round things out midway through. Body is thick, but not as viscous as the '11 Vanilla.

Swallowing summons a fantastic blend of flavors in the back of your throat which is initially boozy but quickly melts into a smooth, vanilla-infused nectar. This aftertaste is magical, rivaled only by Apple Brandy BA Huna & b1 Chocolate Rain.

The '11 Brandy Vanilla ended up being my favorite of the 8 variants, followed by '12 Cognac, then this '12 Bourbon Vanilla. Our group seemed in agreement that Vanilla DL was the best of the treatments, but we were divided in choosing a superior vintage. Both were fantastic!

Photo of kbutler1
4.42/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of djtomain
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of MaseFace
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of TheSamKuehn
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of facesnorth
4.79/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Poupae
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.41/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Chad...thank you very much for the opportunity.

Dark and mostly still

Smells of sweet vanilla and melted chocolate

An extremely rich and sweet beer that has its bourbon presence overshadowed by the gobs of vanilla and marshmallow that throw their blanket all over the base beer. Bourbon plays a gentle but distant second fiddle. Residual sugars hang out like the tough guys they are...thumbing their jeans and smoking their heaters. Really rich but handles its abv well.

There are some nice flavors here that mark a definite improvement on the base and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to try this bottle without giving up what this beer would require in a trade. That said, unless you're one of those fortunate BA's who has unlimited funds and/or cellars, no beer is worth what this beer demands. I personally thought the TG Assassin we drank prior was a more enjoyable overall beer. Drink your great beers, don't chase whales...stupid term anyways...and if your life's happiness really depends on whether you have the chance to drink this beer...find good people who like to share.

A nice beer...but not a life changer.

Photo of brother_kenneth
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of nrs207
4.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had alongside the base beer. 2013 vintages for both.

A - Quite dark, has a little tan head. It looks a little darker and a little better than the base beer.

S - Smells like some sort of vanilla/brownie mixture. Incredible. There's just a hint of the barrel, but it's nice because it lets the vanilla and chocolatey aromas shine through. I have no idea how this is the same beer as the non-barrel aged version.

T - Just like the smell. Loads of vanilla and fudge. It's truly a dessert beer, but at the same time I could've had the entire bottle. The bourbon barrel is just barely there, cutting the sweetness just a bit. It's as sweet as I'd like this type of beer to be. When it's around room temp, I get a little alcohol, but very light and only when it's very warm. Hides it extremely well.

M - Smooth, rich, creamy, no burn from the alcohol. It's almost perfect. I think if it was just a tiny bit fuller it would've gotten a 5.

O - I'm so happy this lived up to the hype. Took a lot to get, but I think it was worthwhile. One of the best beers I've had.

Photo of Hugonaut13
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Damian
5/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of brdc
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

DLD on tap, both at DLD 08 and 09, unfortunately served in a plastic cup.

Pitch black, with a foamy but small head, caramel colored.
Great aroma, bringing dark fruits, roasted malts and coffee, but the vanilla mixed very well, a lot better than I expected.
It is very creamy, with the same notes expected from the aroma. I usually do not think vanilla adds that much to beers, but I believe given the overall strength of this one, it made for a nice variation, incredibly well balanced.
I would love to get a bottle of something like this, but I guess I should be happy enough I got the regular bottle.
Very well done, another spectacular DL version.

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.

Photo of Urbancaver
4.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I, like dreadnaught33, am writing this review considerably after having had it. I took some basic notes so the review is a combination of notes and memory. Poured at Dark Lord Day 2010. Got in right before it kicked. Pours pitch black much like dark lord but with more head. Rich and thick and pretty. Smells sulime. Tns of vanilla and oak. Te bourbon is heavy on the nose and overpowers most of the malt complexity. Sme dark fruit and hints of roast peak through, tastes sweet, thick, and vanilla strong. The oak presence is secondary t massive vanilla on my palette. There are to s of other things going on in this beer as well. Dark fruits, roasted malts, some sweet chocolate and possibly caramel as well. Very complex and very vert tasty

Photo of ldhughes3
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of kawilliams81
4.82/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to EVonHoff. Bottle 407/934, 2012 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz red waxed bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- Pours black with a 1 finger dark tan head. Thick coating of lacing resides quickly.

S- Big vanilla and chocolate, sweet syrup, bourbon.

T- Sweet maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and almost a hot chocolate-like flavor.

M- Full body and medium carbonation. Very smooth and not much of a alcohol burn for a 15% beer.

O- Amazing beer that stands up to it's rating. Great balance of sweetness, vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate. Just below apple brandy huna for me.

Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Soneast
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of robwestcott
4.64/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured cold from the tap at the brewpub, at DLD, pitch black to an 8oz glass with next to no head.

huge arse big vanilla and oak aroma, hints of bourbon and milky chocolate.

big flavor, seriously thick vanilla, great big wow. oak hints. Graham crackers, dark creamy chocolate and a bit of sweetened espresso roast.

big huge bodied, medium carbonation. creamy smooth.

drinkable - one, but if it wasn't almost time to go...

overall - crazy good beer.

Photo of derkfromwi
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,074 ratings.