1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

859 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 859
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 2,823
Gots: 153 | FT: 5
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 859 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

03-12-2014 19:15:18 | More by gford217
Photo of bsuedekum
bsuedekum

Missouri

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

09-02-2012 22:55:16 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

4.7/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2012 05:40:20 | More by illidurit
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

06-03-2013 20:18:21 | More by francisweizen
Photo of KAF
KAF

Iowa

4/5  rDev -15.4%

12-28-2013 22:04:01 | More by KAF
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2011 14:25:17 | More by woosterbill
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4.35/5  rDev -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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2011 02:23:37 | More by aasher
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2010 20:12:29 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Lare453
Lare453

Florida

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

07-13-2013 05:39:00 | More by Lare453
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.93/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

Serving type: growler

09-04-2009 13:01:30 | More by tpd975
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2009 13:30:47 | More by maximum12
Photo of enelson
enelson

Illinois

5/5  rDev +5.7%

11-16-2011 15:41:28 | More by enelson
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

5/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2009 15:38:01 | More by mynie
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2010 01:57:42 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of eawolff99
eawolff99

Colorado

5/5  rDev +5.7%

08-06-2013 02:26:52 | More by eawolff99
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

05-12-2012 20:23:00 | More by bpfrush
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-27-2014 14:14:40 | More by Holland
Photo of smartassboiler
smartassboiler

Illinois

4/5  rDev -15.4%

04-28-2013 13:26:02 | More by smartassboiler
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BIG thanks to Kegatron for getting our group the hookup at DLD.

A-Much like Dark Lord with a deep black/brown body and a reddish tinted dark brown head that reduced to a thin veil and left spotty lace.

S-My verbatim comment upon the initial whiff...This smells just like my grandma's meat and raisin pie WITH vanilla! Wow, this is so nice.

T-Mmmm, mmm. The vanilla really smooths things out and takes the harsh edge off. Lots of vanilla, dark chocolate, brown sugar, caramel and dark roast.

M-Heavy bodied but amazingly smooth and viscous. Long lasting flavours.

D-Off the hook! This takes DL and ramps it up a notch, Without question one of the most tasty, drinkable and interesting beers I have had. Amazing!

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2009 01:57:37 | More by Deuane
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ DLD '09.

Pours black with a brown head which leaves some nice lacing, once gone. Smells amazing...VANILLA...lots of it! Some malts and milk chocolate in there as well. Tastes exactly like DL + vanilla which is a wonderful combo! Mouthfeel is perfect, an awesome beer to swirl around and savor. I would go for this again and again (I did so @ DLD)...awesome/epic beer!

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2009 15:59:53 | More by Sean9689
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
CheapBeerBuzz

California

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

06-17-2013 00:22:07 | More by CheapBeerBuzz
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap

2012 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest
Paso Robles, CA

Black throughout and thick in body, though it appears thinner than untreated Dark Lord. Very small brown head on my pour that leaves the glassy oily and spotted with lace.

Rich and sweet aroma of dark chocolate, sweet and earthy vanilla, oak, whipped cream, coffee creamer, and a little bit of brown sugar. Really, really nice.

The flavor is incredibly well integrated and marvelousy smooth and drinkable given this beer's astonishingly high ABV. The vanilla, oak, and whipped cream flavors are dominant, along with big notes of dark chocolate, and mild roast. Pretty amazing stuff.

Medium to nearly full bodied with low carbonation.

A beer I'd written off as one I simply would never be able to try: it's worth the hype (whatever that means).

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2012 15:20:24 | More by ehammond1
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

04-27-2014 01:14:35 | More by Florida9
Photo of kscaldef
kscaldef

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

08-12-2013 20:39:54 | More by kscaldef
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - um, dark...opaque. Seems a small crime to serve this kind of beer in a plastic cup, but when you're surrounded by 4000 of your closest friends, whaddya gonna do? Minimal lacing, no cover and just a scant presence of dark mocha bubbling on the collar.

Aroma - intense vanilla and roasty malts. Wow. We purchased several oak and vanilla samples and you could always tell which one was the vanilla by smell alone.

Taste - big vanilla blending with the dark roasted, chocolatey malts.. the essence of the bean is fantastic. The swallow is very roasty, with espresso notes and some smooth abv as well. Molasses and licorice on the aftertaste. The finish is long, heady, and delicious. Feel free to lash the dark lord with vanilla beans whenever you please.

Mouthfeel - thick, oily, bring it on.

Drinkability - what a fantastic brew. Megathanks to Robert the Lithuanian for the righteous hookups. May your new Beer & Sweat glass enjoy many fills of fine brew.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2009 02:04:39 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 859 ratings.