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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

925 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 925
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.72
pDev: 8.47%
Wants: 2,982
Gots: 165 | FT: 7
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: 925 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AgentZero
4.83/5  rDev +2.3%
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 bsuedekum
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

bsuedekum, Sep 02, 2012
Photo of DefenCorps
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%
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 WOLFGANG
5/5  rDev +5.9%

WOLFGANG, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of gford217
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%

gford217, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of Lare453
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%

Lare453, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of illidurit
4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at the RBSG 2012 Grand Tasting. This is incredible. Smells like chocolate and vanilla and molasses with rich bourbon. Flavor is full of vanilla and caramel with -- seriously -- huge candy corn notes. May as well have aged it in a trick-or-treat goodie bag. As someone who likes candy corn, this was awesome.

illidurit, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of francisweizen
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

francisweizen, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of aasher
4.35/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was enjoyed at DLD. I was walking around with a couple bottles of Cisco sours in my hands and this random BA asked me if I wanted to try Vanilla Bean Dark Lord. That's a funny question to ask someone haha. The beer was a viscous midnight black with a dark khaki foamy lacing around the edges. The aromas were a nice mix of chocolate, coffee, caramel malts, and sweet vanilla. It tasted like a well aged BCBS. It was a little sweet however, as you'd expect. It was smoother than any Dark Lord that I've had out of a bottle and very drinkable. The sweetness is the only thing holding this one back but it's the best over the top vanilla beer that I've had yet.

aasher, May 02, 2011
Photo of enelson
5/5  rDev +5.9%

enelson, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of sweemzander
4.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap @ DLD 2010!

(A)- Pours thick & black as night. Produced a dark brown head that dissipated down to bubbles after a minute.

(S)- A rich dense molasses & vanilla with some dark dark cocoa & coffee. Plenty of bourbon notes.

(T)- Rich, with a big vanilla sweetness with some dark cocoa & molasses. Very similar to the smell. Has some bourbon-like characters.

(M)- A big dense monster that is almost chewy, but with a good carbonation level. A big vanilla sweetness, yet has a bitterness too from the roasted malts.

(D)- An incredible stout that I finally understand why it gets such rave reviews. A big richness & sweetness to it that fits its name/style. However, any more than 8oz. of this at a time would be too much for me to consume. Would love to see how this would age, but sadly, this is only available one day a year! If you go to DLD, make this your top priority. . it ran out awfully quick this year.

sweemzander, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in the brewpub during DLD '11; I can't believe I got a seat at the bar! Review #700.

A: Fully black, motor-oil like body. Just a hint of brown foam. Viscous, dark, and intimidating.

S: Sweet vanilla, and not much else. Maybe some chocolate, but pretty much pure vanilla. Crazy, but a little underwhelming for such an elusive and storied brew.

T: Hole shite, that's incredible. Yeah, it's sweeter than diabeetus, but god damn is it good. Vanilla and chocolate open things up, followed closely by coffee, caramel, more chocolate, more vanilla, and even more vanilla. So, so sweet, but that' exactly what I expect from this beer, and the roasted notes actually do lend a modicum of - I can't possibly use the word "balance" for this one... - counterweight to the vanilla onslaught. Amazing.

M: Sticky, thick, and surprisingly well-carbonated. Lovely.

O: I missed out on this one at DLD '10, and swore if I ever made it back I wouldn't miss out again. I'm glad I made that vow and carried it out, as this was a truly incredible experience. I think there's something about the sweetness coming from actual vanilla beans that keeps the cloyingness somehow at bay, since I truly loved every single sip of this freakishly sweet beer. If it weren't for the plethora of other amazing choices, I would gladly drink another and another.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Jun 12, 2011
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 eawolff99
5/5  rDev +5.9%

eawolff99, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of mynie
5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the 08 vintage, aged a whole year.

Here's what my notes say:

"God's cum. With Vanilla."

That's stupidly vulgar. Even when I was in high school I wouldn't have thought it was clever. It's the kind of thing a frat boy might say if he were trying to sound hilariously deep. By all rights, I should have tossed it out and written up some better notes.

But here's the thing--it was written in earnest. This beer is vulgar and it is divine, simultaneously the most pornographic and heavenly foodstuff to have ever entered my mouth. This beer is so great it makes even the most juvenile metaphor seem poetic.

There's nothing else for me to say about this beer. I'm not a poet. It was life affirming, how about that? It made me happy to be not dead, and it gave me a reason to keep on living because I will someday get another chance to drink it.

mynie, Apr 27, 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 cpetrone84
4.78/5  rDev +1.3%
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 bpfrush
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

bpfrush, May 12, 2012
Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -15.3%

smartassboiler, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

CheapBeerBuzz, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of kscaldef
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%

kscaldef, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of Holland
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%

Holland, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of BMart
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

BMart, May 19, 2014
Photo of Florida9
4.25/5  rDev -10%

Florida9, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -15.3%

tom10101, Aug 05, 2013
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 925 ratings.