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

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279 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
279
Ratings:
1,382
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
20.43%
 
 
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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: 279 | Ratings: 1,382
Photo of SykDoc
4.33/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At DLD '09. What an event and I knew this was going to be available and fortunate enough to have tasted and rated it.

Poured into a plastic cup. It pours like a thick black almost like motor oil. A dark brown head forms minimally but disappears leaving minimal lacing. What I love is the discoloration that is left on the cup when you're finished.

The aroma was as expected with fairly heavy notes of vanilla. The chocolatey tastes are defintely still present with a nice component of brown sugar, which I didn't quite expect.

The taste was a bit too much vanilla for me. I expected a large amount but not quite that much, which overwhelmed me slightly. However, the glorious chocolate and malty sweetness with some coffee still makes it quite good.

The mouthfeel comes across as the standard dark lord. It is very full bodied with a good level of carbonation. It is quite thick but stays reasonably smooth to me. The vanilla again dominated a bit too much and I felt it played out here as well.

It's Dark Lord, need I say more. For my palate, I would have liked the vanilla to be a bit gentler but wow, it is a very good beer and although I probably could not drink a lot of it in a sitting, I will definitely be trying to get my hands on it again at DLD '10.

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Photo of jjdc
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Super smooth, balanced and good vanilla flavor. This was an all around world class vanilla stout, just a notch below vanilla rye. The entry price is steep, but really nice to try.

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Photo of BWCampbell
4.53/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours like motor oil with a khaki head that quickly disappears. Smells of soy sauce, vanilla sugar, and some barrel (which I think is slightly lost). Taste is similar, exceptionally sweet. Honestly, I was kind of underwhelmed. Vanilla Rye was universally preferred at our tasting.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
5/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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

After hearing that the vanilla bean DL ran out while in line at DLD, I was so disappointed that I missed a great opportunity. And then a local Munster native comes through out of no where and has a half a glass still and generously lets myself and fellow BA Hooliganlife sip the remainder.

The appearance is jet black with no head in the glass. Assuming the initial pour left the same thin tan head as the other dark lords. Smell is much sweeter with lots of vanilla which I absolutely love. Nice chocolate backbone. Taste is unbelievable. The sweetness balances out the chocolate, malts, sugar punch that dark lord has. Mouthfeel is thick and oily. This may be the best stout I have had. The vanilla presence really changes the make up of a great beer. Even though I only got a couple sips of this it was heaven in a cup. If only this was bottled....

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.07/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of fiver29
4.3/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 BA Vanilla Bean Dark Lord
Three Floyd's Brewing
15% ABV

*Huge thanks to @mattuntapped for sending my this taster so I could knock off another from beer advocates top 250 beers!

APPEARANCE: 1.5 ounce taster poured very slowly to get a good look. Comes out impenetrable motor oil black, as it hits the snifter instantly lightens up to a dark brown with some light brown and reddish rim variations. I won't be making reviews on carbonation since it was a few days old in my mini growler.

AROMA: Instantly I get marshmallow fluff, great vanilla beans and warm chocolate. Like a delicious s'mores minus the graham crackers. I can only imagine what the nose on this must have been like freshly opened because even now it's insane.

TASTE: Follows that nose exactly, huge wave of vanilla rolls across my tongue. Nice deep chewy chocolate fudge. I'm savoring every little sip wishing I had a whole bottle to myself. Nice amount of marshmallow in the middle with slight bourbon barrel flavor. The 15% ABV is hidden so well I don't get any heat or alcohol flavor at all.

MOUTHFEEL: Nice thick slick mouth feel that coats the tongue and has a long slightly sticky sweet finish. Once again won't be reviewing carbonation.

OVERALL: This was an amazing, flavor explosive beer. I enjoyed everything about it, thought the marshmallow flavor went exceptionally well with the vanilla bean. I would love to have this right from the bottle now even more. I think I would give this either a 4.9 or 5/5 if I had it freshly opened.

RATING: 4.8/5 Zombie Heads!

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Photo of starshockey9
4.58/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was my birthday brew, full bottle to the dome.
2012 version. Bottle #695 of 934.

A. While pouring seems a tad light but once it's in the glass, perfectly black with barely any head.

S. The aroma hits you as soon as the cap comes off and my god, one of the best smells ever. Nice bourbon, raisin, and vanilla.

T. Holy cow! This is top notch. The bourbon flavor comes through real nicely. Then you get hit with the vanilla in the end. The two flavors mingle excellently.

M. If the appearence, smell, and taste doesn't win you over, the mouthfeel will. Not too thick but in no means light. It is just perfect. It coats your mouth leaving you craving more.

O. Im a sucker for barrel aged beers and vanilla beers but this one takes the cake. Alcohol is very well hidden, not to boozy, and not too sweet. I now truly understand why it trades so high. Wish i could get another bottle. Best beer I've had to date. Thank you three floyds!

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Photo of justforrazors
4.93/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Vintage, bottle 428/711

Split with my friend Keith who attended DLD with me this year. Served in a FFF mini-snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A- Upon pouring, a mocha head quickly appears and dies down within 30 seconds, leaving a ring of foam around the rim of the glass. The color is opaque black, thick like motor oil.

S- The first thing I can smell is a very strong bourbon barrel presence, but it is quickly joined by vanilla, coffee, and a sweet molasses like aroma. Excellent aroma, it definitely invites you to take a drink.

T- I don't think it would be possible to use any more descriptors for this beer. Black cherries, prunes, vanilla, followed by some tobacco and caramel with bourbon strong on the finish. There is a lingering sweetness that is very familiar from regular dark lord on the back end, and surprisingly little to no alcohol bite, even with the bourbon flavor being so apparent. There is no detectable hop bitterness.

M- Silky smooth, yet very thick at the same time. This is definitely a sipper, but it is very easy to drink. Low-medium carbonation is right on for the style. The flavors linger and change over the incredibly long finish, definitely over a minute later I can still taste the beer.

O- This is a very enjoyable, incredibly complex beer. I'm glad I hadn't drank anything before this, because it was such a pleasure to really get into this beer and enjoy the full range of flavors you can get from it. The bourbon is there on the nose and finish, but the vanilla really outshines it, at least in my opinion. I'm sure that will die down with time, although I think this is simply amazing as it is right now. It was an honor to drink this beer, so very glad I was able to score one this year!

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Photo of thetomG
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
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...

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Photo of rodkin
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Hunahpu's day 2013.

Pours dark, dark black, small light head.

Smell is massive vanilla, chocolate, some coffee, vanilla, maybe a bit of caramel, more vanilla. Outrageous vanilla.

Taste follows the nose. Really big vanilla, chocolate, coffee, sweet malts, dark sugar, maybe a bit of fruit. Really overwhelming sweetness and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is smooth, moderately thick, low carbonation. Oily.

This was very tasty, and I was really glad to try it. That said, it's pretty overwhelmingly sweet. I wouldn't want to have more than a 3 oz pour of this or so at any given time.

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Photo of roger617
4.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Acquired Dark Lord Day 2014 with a lucky scratch off. The bottle number scratched off, I know it was in the 300's ending in a 9. Bottle poured into snifter glass, consumed and reviewed on 6/14/14.

A: Pours very thick with a thin layer of mocha colored head that reduces quickly and leaves no lacing. The color is definitely black, but it appeared slightly brown during the pour.
S: Very strong aroma of toasted marshmallow, vanilla and chocolate. The bourbon is subtle, even as the glass warms up.
T: This beer unbelievably tastes like a roasted marshmallow. The 15% is masked so well I wouldn't believe it if I didn't know going in. All the other flavors take a back seat, but have enough of a presence to compliment nicely. Chocolate, bourbon, some dark fruits, and sugar. I get the base coming through more as the beer warms up.
M: The feel is thick and rich. Carbed well for a heavy beer. It feels silky smooth.
O: This is an incredible upgrade from the base beer. The additional elements blend nicely, and I love the marshmallow presence all the way through. I do wish the bourbon had a stronger presence though, however that is just personal preference.

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Photo of HosP
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of MarkIntihar
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review #10, figured I'd make it a good one!

Enjoyed on tap at DLD, review is from my notes.

A - Pours jet black with virtually no head. Motor oil consistency. Can't wait to chew on it.

S - Very vanilla up front, dominating the scent. Picking up slight hints of dark fruits but the vanilla overpowers it.

T - Taste is very vanilla as well. Hardly allows the other flavors through. The vanilla fades to more of a bourbon vanilla hint in the finish.

M - Very smooth and almost silky. Wonderful texture going down. Very little burn, if any.

O - Overall a phenomenal beer. Definitely on the sweeter side, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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Photo of iadler
4.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to immobilisme for bringing this over to our recent tasting. Bottle #606/934.

A- Pours a standard DL pitch black color with a one finger dark mocha head that leaves minimal lacing behind.

S- Rich fudge, bourbon, vanilla syrup, with hints of wood, burnt caramel, raisins and plumb. Judging from the aroma, I'm assuming this is going to be fairly sweet.

T- Rich, sweet and decadent with Chocolate malt balls, uncooked brownie batter, vanilla, cream, smooth bourbon, caramel and raisins. Bordering on being too sweet, but the bourbon helps keep the sweetness in check.

M- Thick syrupy body with a low to medium carbonation. The abv. is nowhere to be seen.

O- A liquid form of dessert. Tons of chocolate and vanilla mingled with bourbon makes this a very flavorful beer. While very sweet, this was not as sugary as the regular DL. A bit too sweet to have more than a few ounces, but still one of my favorites of this year's BA treatments.

Thanks again, Todd!

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Photo of movingtrain
4.9/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of floridadrift
4.26/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Finally got to try this bad boy. Best Beer Halloween to date! I'm glad I didn't fork over arms and legs.

L: Black, very little head in the beginning that dissipates quickly.
S: Sugary sweet, vanilla whifs, bourbon
T: Super sweet vanilla, slight bourbon heat, cloying sweetness, great after taste
M: Slippery smooth, not quite thick, not creamy either
O: A really good bourbon vanilla stout that hides 15% ABV but BCBVS and VR are far ahead in depth and complexity. It almost taste like an overly sweet imperial milk stout in every category.

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Photo of hawks10
4.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Dark Lord Day 2010...6 ounces or so, more than enough to get a good idea of what this beer is all about...

Pours thick and oily, viscous black liquid with a bit of dark brown head, no different than regular Dark Lord...

Smell is much more complex and inviting than regular Dark Lord...for one, the vanilla in the 2010 vintage is very forward and very enticing...you also get your typical roasted malts, chocolate, molasses and a bit of alcohol in the nose, much like any other imperial stout...

Yummm, definitely a better tasting beer than regular Dark Lord (and after having a horrible bottle of the 2009 vintage a few weeks ago, this one made me very happy). Vanilla is very prominent, it's not just a name! Very sweet, chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, a tiny bit of bitterness from the roasted malts and a bit of a drying oak presence as well...but overall very sweet and loads of vanilla...

Thick, creamy, smooth, coating, slick...and any derivatives of those words...full bodied, chewy, medium carb...

What a great beer from FFF's, I for one think the regular Dark Lord is over-hyped and not as good as most make it out to be (still think it is pretty damn good however) but the vanilla bean Dark Lord definitely lives up to the hype...don't want to wait another year for more...

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Photo of tjthresh
4.06/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of timc100
4.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage

Pours just like all other dark lord oil, sits in the glass heavy. Sticky sweet, boozy aroma of vanilla, vanilla extract, marshmallow, and that typical dark lord fudge and molasses. A complete assault on the pallet - very sticky, chewy, and syrupy. The vanilla sweetness paired with the base sweetness takes hold on the mouth, finish is long and sweet. There is not a lot of whiskey and oak presence, however.

Delicious beer. Heavy, boozy and sweet. Lacks the complexity and depth of some of the other stouts out there, but still very impressive.

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Photo of Mojua
4.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Exactly as advertised...a bourbon vanilla marshmallow bomb. Smells absolutely incredible...but it's totally one dimensionally sweet. Like a Bruery stout with more body. Glad I had it, wouldn't chase it down again.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.87/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of beckje01
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So I must have been lucky or something I was served this on DLD 08 in an actual glass which was a Goblet with a short stem.

It has wonderful nose which has lots of vanilla and malt very inviting and nice. It was very black with a thin left over of some head maybe this pour sat a bit before being sold not sure. But the taste is amazing everything very well balanced and just a nice extra layer over top DL. It is a very drinkable beer and has no need for aging. The mouth feel is perfect a great thick coating that is just really enjoyable to drink.

Overall I would love to see this bottled as well but not sure that will ever happen.

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Photo of coffygrinder
4.53/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was great. It pours jet black. You can smell the sweetness off the back with hints of vanilla. Coffee as well as chocolate also show in this beer. Thick mouth feel, you can almost chew on this beer. Very sweet, I kinda wish that we let this beer age a lot longer but it is what it is. The vanilla shows on the back end behind the sweetness. It is a beer that I am glad that I shared with a friend, I think a whole bottle by myself might be a little much.

Overall it was a good beer. It is super sweet, thick RIS. Something that you want to open with friends unless you like to hord your beer. Share it with some other BA's it will make for a fun night

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Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.