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Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord With Vanilla Beans - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord With Vanilla BeansBrandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord With Vanilla Beans

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

116 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 116
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.3%


Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

(AKA Marshmallow Handji)
This is our massive Russian-style Imperial Stout aged for one year in brandy barrel with Madagascar vanilla beans. Thick, smooth, complex, and warming, this rare beer will certainly be remembered.

45 IBU

(Beer added by: Jips on 05-05-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 116 | Reviews: 47 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

4.43/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

8oz swing top bottle. This was hand tapped at DLD 4/28/12. Literally poured from tasting glass into the bottle by a great BA'er. Poured this one into my Boulevard tulip.

A: Pours a really dark black with reddish hues around the edges of the glass. No head obviously, but surprisingly there was still a touch of carbonation when I gave it a swirl. No lacing but to be expected. It leaves the normal dark film on the glass.

S: Being almost still, the nose is a little tough to get at which is to be expected. Initially I got more dark fruit than anything. Smelled very sweet. Then you really do get some of that delicious vanilla and barrel hints.

T: Luscious vanilla at the front of the tongue. Couple that with dark, rich chocolate. It's incredibly thick. It's fairly sweet, without being cloying. Flat out delicious.

M: Full bodied. A touch more carbonation would do this one wonders, but I liked it as is.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2012 17:09:07 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of kevanb
kevanb

Illinois

4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at DLD 2012. (review from notes)

To be honest, this doesn't really look like much. Almost no head, no lacing, a bit of thin film along the rim of the glass but that's about it. Nice jet black color, and that great motor oil look is definitely there though. The aroma is intoxicating, perfect balance of vanilla, chocolate, licorice, coffee and some nice roast, but the vanilla presence just gives it something oh so special. I seriously want to stick my face in this vanilla glory for so long and just let that aroma take over my brain, room spray anyone? The flavors are just as amazing, the vanilla is definitely the highlight, but not astringent at all, super smooth, brings out the chocolate flavors really well, the coffee comes out nicely as well with some nice licorice and spiced flavors at the back. This is everything you want from a stout, perfect balance, rich heavy flavors. Super smooth, luscious, sexy as hell. The body is perfection, big, thick, viscous yet soft, plush and coating, warms as it goes down, incredible stuff.

Verdict: There is a reason this is so highly sought after, the hype is justified. This rules.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2012 15:04:44 | More by kevanb
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3.53/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a few people we were able to put together the entire vertical and almost all the BA variants. Lots of fun gents!

From a 750 into a snifter
2011 vintage
Bottle 403 of 433

APPEARANCE: Just like all the rest of them. Pours relatively clear for an imperial stout. Produces a small, one finger medium-looking head that quickly fades to a wisp and ring. Black body in the glass with some carbonation evident. Only a ring remains until the end and leaves no real lacing down the glass. A little too light a pour and an average head at best.

SMELL: Much like the bourbon vanilla version, but slightly milder. A touch of brandy perhaps with a lightly roasted aroma, but this one is mostly vanilla on the nose and not overpowering. Milder and less artificial than the bourbon version.

TASTE: Vanilla sweetness up front mostly, with sweet cream and a touch of brandy at the swallow. Some sweet Dark Lord after the swallow with molasses and caramel, but the vanilla and marshmellow flavor is more prevalent here. Bolder finish is sweet with enough vanilla and a touch of alcohol lingering on the palate. Milder and less arfitical than the bourbon vanilla version, much like the nose.

PALATE: Slightly lighter than the base beer, but still big enough. Just like the other DL variants as well. Medium body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes rather sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn and some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Pretty good variant, and much better and less artificial than the bourbon vanilla version. The vanilla made this a little one-dimensional perhaps, but the small glass was certainly enjoyable. Finishing a bottle of this on my own would be a chore, however. Cheers for the fun tasting boys!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 12:24:43 | More by Jeffo
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh

Indiana

4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle had at NWI tasting group 2011 BA DL night

A - Dark chocolate brown with a caramel color around the edges. Not much of a head as it only leaves small bubbles on the sides. As the beer swirls in my glass, I can tell it's going to be a thick one as it leaves lots of residue on the sides

S - Loads of vanilla, brandy sweetness, marshmallow fluff, chocolate, and caramel. This is one amazing smelling beer

T - This is definitely the sweetest of the BA DLs but it manages to not be overly sweet. It tastes like marshmallow fluff. There is loads of vanilla and marshmallow in each sip. As it carries on, I do get slight oak, chocolate, and brandy but the vanilla and marshmallow are strong without overpowering. Definitely probably the most vanilla I've had in a beer

MF - Smooth creamy and thick beer that coats the tongue. It also manages to be slightly soft and fluffy.

O - This is an amazing beer. There is so much vanilla in this yet the vanilla doesn't overpower at all. Instead it blends in well to add a great twist to these beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 02:48:00 | More by jeonseh
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Half Acre snifter.

A- Pours black with almost no head. Small tan ring of lacing around the glass.

S- Sweet chocolate, brown sugar, brandy/alcohol, vanilla

T- Sweet chocolate, brandy, brown sugar, vanilla, and more fudgey chocolate.

M- Full body and medium carbonation. Silky, creamy and smooth.

O- Very good beer. Still have the 2012 vanilla above this variant, but still damn good.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 20:37:37 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to LarryByrd for trading me this rarity! I honestly dont think that I could ever thank you enough for the oppurtunity to try this beer! Cheers!

Poured into a tulip glass.

Reviewed from notes taken on 2/23/2013.

Appearance: As dark as black can get. Thin medium brown cap with that goes away fast leaving nothing for head on the beer. Like all dark lord beers this beer stains the glass.

Smell: Faint vanilla, fudge, brandy, and oak.

Taste: Lot of chocolate. Faint vanilla and marshmellows. Sweet and smooth brandy. Its pretty oaky and woody. Its very big and very sweet. You do get a bit of oxidation, but not much. Its fantastic beer!

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer with low carbonation. Thick, heavy, viscous, chewy, massive stout. Its got a touch of warming booze and its 15% is very well hidden.

Overall: The fact that I got to try this beer is just plain awesome! The fact that it is still an amazing beer is also awesome! Glad that I had the chance to drink this beer. It one of the best 3 Floyds beers that I have ever drank. Brandy barrel aged beers are awesome I wish that more brewers would use brandy barrels to age big beers!

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 01:28:41 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

No head. Dark brown body, lighter brown hued edges. Stains the glass.

Sweet aroma. Present booze but not overpowering.

Candy...I'm not even close to a brandy expert but this is great. Again "beer candy". Vanilla is muted behind the brandy.

Medium to medium-thick mouthfeel. Adequate carbonation.

Takes a mediocre base beer and makes it great. A treat to partake in. Thanks for the share 4DAloveofSTOUT for the share!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 00:50:35 | More by Duff27
Photo of mojiboo02
mojiboo02

Illinois

5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Might be the best tasting beer that I have ever had. Split 8 or so ways at a DL vertical and horizantol tasting in 2012. The smell was sweet of brandy with a nice undertone of vanilla and the taste was big flavor with the vanilla slightly coming through over the brandy. The mouthfeel was rather thick and tasty. Definitely my favorite of the DL tasting.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 18:37:55 | More by mojiboo02
Photo of joel66
joel66

New York

4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle generously shared by grumpyoldtroll, thanks again Mike, you went 2x2 on the night

Bottled poured what could have been mistaken for motor oil with a slight espresso head and no lacing.. The smell of this beer is overwhelmingly marshmallow, mixed with the booziness of brandy, simply amazing scent.

The taste reminds me of being around a camp fire making smores. Mix of marshmallow, chocolate malt, vanilla and roasted malt.

This beer is sweet on your palate, but incredibly balanced with the brandy and vanilla bean.

I cant decide whether Brandy Vanilla, or Apple Brandy Huna go down as my favorite stout of all time....

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 06:21:22 | More by joel66
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

REVIEW # 1000

2011 750mL bottle poured into taster. Opened alongside DL 10-12 and Bourbon Barrel DL 12 as part of our holiday StoutFest tasting.

Pours an oily, thick blackness with a thin, filmy toasted brown head. Fades out completely leaving a few random spots of lacing dotted around the glass.

Holy crap, this actually smells exactly like marshmallows. Heavy vanilla scents drizzled in chocolate and powered by some sweet brandy warmth. Layers of toasted dark malts and oak with hints of dark fruit and roasted nuts. It's like a booze-soaked s'more. Awesome - I literally couldn't stop smelling this.

Intense brandy barrel flavor riddled with vanilla and marshmallow tones, serving as shockingly delicious exclamation points on the profile. Plenty of chocolate, sticky sweet malts and molasses. Touches of dark fruit and roasted oak. The vanilla beans and velvety brandy barrel character continue to tantalize the palate throughout the warm finish.

Full, heavy body, sticky and creamy on the tongue. I was hoping this one really was going to live up to the ridiculous hype and it came through in spades. Utterly stunning and capable of completely elevating Dark Lord to heights the base beer can't even dream of reaching. This narrowly edged out Bourbon Barrel Dark Lord 12 as the best beer of the evening and is one of the best stouts I've had since Bourbon County Vanilla and Coffee.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 16:42:44 | More by xnicknj
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.98/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord With Vanilla Beans from Three Floyds Brewing Company out of Munster, Indiana. This is one of the most sought after beers in the craft beer world, so I have to give a major thanks to Robbie Moy for cracking this one open and sharing it with me. This beer was only released once, and only to those who were lucky enough to have a winning scratch-off ticket at Dark Lord Day in 2011. This is the 2010 vintage of Dark Lord, aged for one year in brandy barrels with Madagascar vanilla beans added. Only 433 bottles of this were released. We cracked this one, in addition to several other big name goodies, to celebrate the end of the Illinois bar exam, my birthday, and Robbie Moy's birthday.
Score: 99

Bottle number 332/433 (2011 vintage). Served in a wine chalice and enjoyed on 07/28/12. Review is from notes.

Appearance: Jet black, with a thin brown highlight strip atop the glass when held up to light. A think layer of creamy melted milk chocolate colored head at pour settles to a pencil thin ring around the glass. The lacing is incredibly oily and it coats the side of the glass, slowly oozing back down. 4.5/5

Smell: Sweet vanilla, fudge, milk chocolate and a hint of alcohol heat. Then brandy and more fudge. Complex, balanced and chocolatey. Sweet on the nose, but not nearly as sweet as the base beer. Mild molasses in the nose too. 5/5

Taste: Sweet and creamy Edy's vanilla bean ice cream and brandy layered on top of molasses and fudgey milk chocolate. Decadent flavors coat the tongue in rich, lingering goodness. Molasses and raisin too. Definitely a sweet stout (but not cloying), though this one is a little less sweet than the 2011 bourbon vanilla dark lord was. There is a nice alcohol warmth to the finish without any real "booziness" that gives this one some "life after death" on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation. Viscous, sweet and "sticky" mouthfeel. 5/5

Overall: One of the best beers out there with a reputation for the same for a good reason. This beer is definitely one of the sweeter stouts out there, but it never crosses the line into the land of cloyingly sweet. I found the base beer and others like Lindley Park to be much sweeter. This is not a beer I could load up my cellar with at its retail price tag, even if I had the chance to buy multiples, and it's even harder to get through trade, but this is a must-try beer to hunt down and split with friends.

Recommendation: Seek a bottle of this beer out. It is just as good as everyone says.

Pairings: Vanilla custard.

Cost: $50 for a 750 ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2012 22:24:29 | More by jegross2
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Consumed on 7/28 as part of the NYC BA DarkLord Voltron tasting!!! thanks to jim for providing this gem.
bottle #190 / 433

a - black with minimal off brown tan head. soft of what i was expecting for a barrel aged dark lord.

s - smells like marshmellows. really wonderful. the vanilla is strong and melds with the fruitiness of the brandy creating an almost sangria marshmellow stout smell. my mouth is watering.

t - taste is unreal. marshmellow extreme. the vanilla carries a lot of the marshmellow sweetness but the brandy brings some sangria characteristics..mix that with the roasty chocolate stoutness of dark lord and you've got the best of the best.

m - smooth and easy drinking. the barrel worked wonders on this beer.

o - overall, this beer is simply amazing. it is truly fascinating to witness what a barrel can do to such a thick and rich beer. a pleasure cruise through my lips. this was my favorite of the 8 closely followed by the bourbon vanilla and the 2 bourbons.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 02:26:46 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened the 2011 & 2012 Vanillas next to each other to kick off our tasting with all 8 BA DLs. Pretty sure Jim brought this bottle -- thanks!

Gloops out of the bottle with minimal head and lace. Lots of sweetness and brandy in the aroma, vanilla shines through with the booze. Intense and potent.

Taste is straight up marshmallows. Honey graham crackers, sweet malt, dark roast, plenty of vanilla, more sugary sweetness. I swear this is s'mores in liquid form, and damn is it delicious. Very sweet but somehow not cloying. Booze shows up towards the end, warming my throat and bringing in more vanilla. Massive, viscous body approaches perfection.

Yeah, this is awesome. The '12 has more barrel (bourbon) character, which also imparts significantly more boozy heat. That said, the aftertaste on the '12 melts into a boozy, vanilla-infused nectar that sticks to the back of your throat after swallowing, and that was my favorite part of either beer. All in all, these were phenomenal.

This '11 Brandy Vanilla ended up being my favorite of the 8 variants, followed by '12 Cognac and '12 Bourbon Vanilla. Get your hands on one of these, folks, they are drinking great right now!

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 19:36:33 | More by brystmar
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Did a Dark Lord vertical 07-11 during March Madness, jh1982 was gracious enough to pop this open along with those varieties. Easily my favorite DL I've ever had. Typical brown and black dark lord pour with not much in the way of head. Big warm brandy and vanilla aroma, totally delivers, in if anything can make the base Dark Lord chill in the background, its this brandy and vanilla quotient, which is quite nice together.

Just a ton of vanilla all over it, a vanilla better than the GI BCS vanilla, because it doesn't have the same massive sweetness, while this is sweeter than your average Dark Lord, it isn't bothersome, it is complimentary. Hides the alcohol well, like all DLs.

Put it alongside Chocolate Rain, Creme Brulee, Eclipse Brandy. . . as a phenomenal dessertish beer. Wouldn't hesitate to grab one of these if I ever had the chance. I dunno if I'd drop $50 on it, but $30, sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2012 18:19:09 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of kif
kif

Illinois

4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I won this bottle in the scratch off at DLD 2011. Poured into a Founders snifter.

A: Looks exactly like normal Dark Lord. Pitch black with a tiny small dark brown head that fades quickly.

S: Lots of vanilla. There is some roasted malt behind the vanilla, but the vanilla is the overwhelming smell.

T: Again, lots of vanilla here. There is also some chocolate, roasted malt, and some caramel.

M: Full bodied and smooth.

O: Overall this is my favorite RIS. Normal Dark Lord while a good beer, is over hyped in my opinion. This is completely different. The vanilla perfects the beer in my opinion, and makes it my favorite beer I have had to date. Hopefully they will have more at this year's event!

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 05:52:21 | More by kif
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 01/14/12 notes. Was lucky enough to "win"/buy this at Dark Lord Day, and even luckier to get to try it side by side with the base beer and the other three variants with some friends. I liked this version the best, and think it is up there with the Vanill Bean DL as the best beer I've had from FFF. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. Bottle 233/433.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of dark tan head and low carbonation evident. Looks like the normal version and all the other variants.

s - Smells of vanilla beans, roasted malts, dark fruits, oak, light brandy, sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, and toasted malts. An awesome nose here, and the vanilla is in the forefront.

t - Tastes of vanilla beans, sweet chocolate, roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, brandy, aok, dark chocolate, toasted malts. A ton of vanilla in the taste and to me, it's amazing.

m - Full bodied stout and low carbonation. Body is thick and creamy; pretty perfect for a big RIS.

o - Overall I thought this was a fantasic stout. If you like vanilla in your stouts than this is one of the best there is. Perfect mouthfeel and like I said, rivals their Vanilla Bean DL. I actually think I liked the nose of the PVW DL better, but the taste better here, so this gets a slightly higher grade due to the way scores are calculated. I think those 2 are neck and neck though and way above the others.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 02:55:46 | More by mdfb79
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served alongside the other variants and consumed out of a Dark Lord snifter. Nice. This was another favorite of mine, edged out slightly by the bourbon barrel one. This one was great though.

Beer was black, thin lazy, low retention head, low carbonation.

Hello!!! VANILLA!!! Mild booze.

Beer is like liquid creme brulee, sweet, thick, sticky, coating your entire mouth, sweet sweet sweet, the vanilla is huge in this one, really sticks out, if you like sweet vanilla flavors you'll love this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 05:36:27 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Dreadnaught33
Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this in a vertical next to the other dark lord variants, what a treat.

The beer has a nice black body with some borne on the sides, not much head or lacing one it settles, but it has lots of body and has a look to it like a thick dark spirit.

The smell has plenty of character with notes from vanilla, cinnamon, cherry, sweet brandy, toffee, molasses, dark barley bread, some alcohol complexity without the heat, and fudge goodness. Very beautiful aroma, very similar to the vanilla bean dark lord that I love so much on tap.

A beautiful taste as well, a lot of dark fruit, burnt cherry, vanilla, cola favors, some great sweet stout favors with just a little bit of roast, some other slick hot chocolate like favors and some spicy brandy notes coming in the aftertaste. It's a nice flavor, but maybe a bit sweet for this to be one of my favorite stouts, this is a serious desert like beer.

Feel is good, not much heat but not a ton of body compared some other dark lords, maybe it's just because it is so slick over the palate, pretty good.

Overall a great and special beer, but I definitely prefer the vanilla bean dark lord overall.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 00:40:00 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Barrel-Aged Dark Lord tasting! Thanks to all the guys in the tasting group who helped make this happen.

The beer is near black with a thin, oily beige head.

The aroma offers vanilla, oak, chocolate, roast, booze. Smells fantastic.

The flavor is other worldly. Beyond good. Shockingly delicious. Huge blast of vanilla with sweet, delectable brandy. The flavor far surpasses the aroma. No doubt whatsoever the taste earns a 5 score.

Great feel. The taste is so amazingly fantastic, making it hard to find any fault with the feel. Smooth, bold, teeming with flavor.

World class. My highest recommendation.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 00:28:47 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of TheGordianKnot
TheGordianKnot

Tennessee

4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shared at the Atlanta tasting with all 4 BA variants and 04-11 DL. Reviewing from notes...

A- Pours pitch black, again no head on this, just a few dark brown bubbles. Looks pretty much just like the others.

S- Wow, delectable milk chocolate (almost a Swiss Miss character). Cookie dough and cake batter with strong vanilla tones. Smoothly blended dark fruits- raspberry, blackberry, fig. Incredible!

T/M- Holy damn... The sweetest of them by far, but not in a bad cloying way- also, is this my birthday? Cuz this tastes like a damn chocolate vanilla checkered cake! The best fucking taste in my mouth! So smooth, sweet, caramel/flan... Just unreal. Reminds of ST Creme Brulee on steroids; just better, waaay better, than CB. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Very silky with no carbonation. It's surprising how sweet and dessert like the flavors are without the feel bring too heavy and cloying.

O- Of the 4 variations, this is the only one I would seek out again- and yes, that is still with the $50 tag. Complex, smooth, balanced- just a real home run by FFF. This and PvW DL were a split decision on which was best, but this got my vote!

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 19:09:23 | More by TheGordianKnot
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AleWatcher

Illinois

4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I shared this beer with a bunch of awesome Ba's at my birthday party in June.
Reviewed from notes.

Wow.
After having that Brandy Alpha Klaus mess I was worried about this bottle... But upon smelling it, all fears have subsided-- this is really shockingly good.
The pour looks a lot like most other pours of Dark Lord-- dark black, thick looking body with a small, practically non existent head. Weak retention, almost no lacing, but nice thick oily legs.
Smells incredible-- huge vanilla bean notes over a chocolate and coffee presence with plenty of very-well-integrated brandy notes.
The taste is delicious-- it is very much like the vanilla bean dark lord with a sweet boozy brandy note... It isn't overly done, and it isn't super hot and boozy. It is just right.
Thick body. The low carbonation (even lower than normal darklord) helps it feel nice and creamy.
Overall-- wow. I shall not doubt the FFF boys again when it comes to using the brandy barrels! This is delicious!

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 02:09:54 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of trodersark
trodersark

California

4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle #98/433
Served into a Tulip

Cracked this one open at a tasting last night, and I was immediately blown away by the aromas gushing out of the bottle. My god, vanilla, vanilla, vanilla!!!! This beast pours a thick chocolate black, with very little head. It absolutely reeks of vanilla with a slight hint of bourbon. At this point I was already satisfied, and didn't know how to feel, knowing that I was about to taste this gem. Then came the first sip....HOLYY CRAPPP!! Had to take a second sip to confirm my inner thoughts and....HOLY CRAPPP!! This monster made it to my top 3 beers ever tasted, might even be the best(coming from a guy infatuated with BA stouts). It tastes of vanilla, bourbon, some touch of chocolate, a tiny bit of oakiness, and a great deal of boldness. This thing is fantastic, and I believe needs to be drank right now. It left a sheath of vanilla and bourbon over my tongue, and made me never want to brush my teeth ever again! (unfortunately I brushed that night). This thing is so fantastic, I really haven't done justice to it with this post. Now off to tracking another bottle...

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 18:31:00 | More by trodersark
Photo of claaark13
claaark13

Indiana

4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dustin, thanks for being the guy behind me that won this bottle at DLD. Bottle # 231/433. Based on the OSU schedule, these notes are from 9/24/11. Likely poured into a small Delerium snifter/ticker glass.

A - Black, light tan head with minimal lacing. Stick to glass well. Not perfect, but it looks pretty nice. Does not appear as thick/black as regular DL.

S - I don't really need the notes here, as this one sticks out in my mind. Fudge, vanilla, sweet alcohol. Quite fantastic. I got a lot of fudge on this one. It was likely due to the sweet vanilla mixed with the DL. I didn't get any brandy. I tried, but just couldn't find it like I'd anticipated. Oh well, the aroma was about perfect as it was.

T - Fudge, sweet vanilla, brandy, lingering vanilla. Alcohol present towards the end. Esters clear the nose. Fudge and vanilla linger with the booze towards the end. I don't get what I'd call the molasses and coffee that is evident in the '10 regular version. The brandy comes in in the back-middle flavor just perfectly. I really enjoyed this flavor.

M - Fairly thick mouthfeel, but not as thick as the regular DL. Pretty nice for a BA stout. It fits well with the beer and allows for the flavor to carry, which I suppose is what a BA stout should do. In comparison to all RIS, this is a 4.0, but in comparison to other BA RIS, this is a 4.5.

O - Great beer. Top notch all around. The asking price at DL day was about the top of what I think is possible to pay...they must have been doing some market research. I would never try to get another bottle considering the trade asking price, but I'm extremely happy to have tried this one. I guess I'll have to get in line next year to see if the regular vanilla DL is better.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 04:06:56 | More by claaark13
Photo of spdyfire83
spdyfire83

Ireland

4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brandy Vanilla BA Dark Lord
38th Review
Bottle to snifter.
Bottle “smeared number”/433

A huge thanks to Matt (exitmusic00) for sharing this at our epic DL Variant & Other Ticks Tasting in Chicago and his woman (Michal) for picking this one at DLD 2011. Stoked to try this epic treat!

L: Deep black with a few bubbles for a head on vigorous pour.

S: A smooth mix of Count Chocula and Cocoa Pebbles cereal soaked in milk. Sweet chocolate and lots of it. Slight hint of caramel and vanilla, but very masked.

T: This beer tastes like a roasted marshmallow s’ more. Like the scent, the vanilla is hidden or possibly just overshadowed by chocolate. Either way, this is a very wonderful taste. Not too sweet, but succulent and smooth.

M: Light carbonation, but very full bodied. Well-balanced and smooth. Not too boozy, but you can tell it is there; it warms the soul.

O: This beer was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it for the fact that it was not anything like I expected it to be. I could see sipping on it around a toasty camp fire in the middle of a brisk fall evening! Right up there with the PVW BA DL as a result of its simplicity and my ability to merely enjoy it – fantastic!

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 05:55:40 | More by spdyfire83
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark and black. If you look around the edges it is apparent the beer itself if more of a dark brown in color, but in the glass it comes off as black. Forms a very thin bit of dark tan head, but not as much as the straight brandy variant.

S: Starts off chocolaty and boozy, but then a blend of marshmallow and chocolate, much like a breakfast cereal. Some light vanilla. The aroma is strong, quite interesting, and for lack of a better term, "fun."

T: The flavor mirrors the aroma. More chocolate, milk chocolate, and some light caramel notes. Vanilla is apparent on the finish. Moderate sweetness. Someone in the tasting group likened it to Count Chocula, and I couldn't agree more: a lightly chocolaty, marshmallowy sweetness.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Considering how boozy the straight Brandy Barrel variant was, this one had barely a hint of alcohol and what was there only added to the complexity.

O: A very good, easily drinkable RIS. Of the four variants, I found this one to be the most unusual and the unique. Really just a fun beer that was my personal favorite of the bunch.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 02:09:13 | More by Florida9
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Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord With Vanilla Beans from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.