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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

1,082 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,082
Reviews: 232
rAvg: 4.71
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 3,536
Gots: 175 | FT: 7
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: 1,082 | Reviews: 232
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
5/5  rDev +6.2%

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

At DLD 09. Missed this last year and wasn't about to do it again.

Looks like DL, very black, some dark brown highlights, dark brown head, left some lacing on the plastic cup, definitely a RIS. Smell is godly, I feel like the vanilla and age really smoothed it out, big vanilla, chocolate, toffee, roast, brown sugar, cake, very complex. Taste is similar, reminds me of a better and more complex ST Creme Brulee, very heavy vanilla, chocolate, toffee, alcohol, brown sugar, all sorts of good stuff. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, low to medium carbonation, some warmth but insane drinkable. Wow this stuff was good. I like regular DL and oaked DL but for me this was better.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Never thought I would see this in California, but, yeah, the FW Invitational sure did deliver to say the least.

After the mad dash to the booth, we chilled for about 15-20 minutes before getting our pour, a black sludge with a super thin cherry cola head on the top of it 1/8" in depth that didn't stay around for too long, but the colors were amazing.

Vanilla bean, chocolate, bourbon, oak, these are the smells you want, all delivered in a huge Dark Lord kind of way.

Taste, more of the same, tons of sweetness, no doubt to drown out the massivity of the beer. Every aspect of it is big, like Black Tuesday or Chocolate Rain. You get a little more of the bittersweet dark fruit aspect on this though, the dividing line between RIS and the roastier American double stouts. Any coffee like roast aspect is really left to drown in the high sugar content here. Bourbon is present, but the vanilla and malt heft keep it from becoming a too hot concoction.

A slight tobacco/ash/mild leather feeling in the mouthfeel, that is only so slight. Low carbonation, which I think is just right for this beer.

I think this is significantly better than regular or even the brandy barrel dark lord. For me, the vanilla was really what uplifted this beer into one of the greatest of the greats from an already great brewery. Phenomenal stuff.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of kscaldef
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of aasher
4.38/5  rDev -7%
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.

Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at DLD 2008. This looked and tasted like 2007 Dark Lord (to the best of my recollection) with a nice vanilla component (a la Haagendaaz vanilla flavor). Very thick and jet black, reeking of rich malty aromas. God this is a massive beer, so thick and oily and flavorful, and the vanilla flavor came through as a nice compliment. The real draw is the mouthfeel, this was as thick as the final pour from a DL bottle, very coating when you drink it.

This and the Oak-aged were selling for $5/sample (not sure of the size, but it was a small cup <12oz). Unfortunately I'm guessing it will be quite difficult to find this beer again.

Photo of eawolff99
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of jrallen34
4.69/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at dld. Thanks to Mario for getting in for us all... The look is nothing of note, black nice tan head...This beer is all about the aroma and the taste. Tons of awesome vanilla on the nose a little light coffee. The taste just brings the vanilla to the whole new level. Super sweet tons of awesome vanilla that is really nicely balanced. This is the best vanilla I've ever had. Only wish I could have more of this.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.85/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

6 oz (roughly) tap pour into a clear plastic cup at Dark Lord Day 2010.

Thanks to Sweemzander for jumping in line right away and snagging a glass of this amazing beer for me!

A - The tap pour is jet black like old motor oil and looks rich and syrupy on the pour. A tiny ring of dark tan bubbles with no retention is left in the glass. Not much sexiness there save for the foreboding, thick pour!

S - The potent aroma is smooth with creamy vanilla bean and a deep roasted malt nose. A rich milk chocolate aroma lingers in the background with a small alcohol hint released upon a moderate swirl.

T - The flavor is massively vanilla heavy, reminiscent of vanilla extract. Bold roasted malts behind the vanilla offer up a seriously roasted kick and a rich milk chocolate flavor that finishes out with a low alcohol warmth. Not bitter at all. Amazingly delicious.

M - Vanilla Bean Dark Lord is as full-bodied as they come packing a smooth, rich texture that's borderline syrupy with an almost chewy finish. It coats your mouth, throat and innards.

D - This beer is surpasses the crazy hype. It's incredibly well-brewed and delicious. It's also dangerously drinkable for the percent. If I wasn't trying to savor every tiny sip I took it would probably be gone in a heartbeat. I could probably enjoy a 22 oz bottle of this too but that might be pushing it.

Photo of enelson
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of DefenCorps
4.72/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of bsuedekum
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of tectactoe
4.65/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of BMart
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of WOLFGANG
5/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of AgentZero
4.8/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of akang
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of sweemzander
4.57/5  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.

Photo of SadMachine
4.95/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of gford217
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of cpetrone84
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of illidurit
4.67/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,082 ratings.