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

Not Rated.
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

127 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 4.63
pDev: 12.31%
Wants: 396
Gots: 31 | FT: 1
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: 127 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -8.2%

t0rin0, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.75/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #327/433. Big thanks to Kan for contributing this one. Consumed at Sean's 30th Birthday Party Extravaganza. Served in a Three Floyds / Intelligentsia snifter.

Pours a deep black color. Thick body and a thin mocha-colored head. Few spots of lacing and a thin collar. The nose brings forward a beautiful combination of brandy and vanilla with loads of dark chocolate and sweet malt flowing beneath it. Mild oak there as well. The regular Brandy version had a nice nose, but the vanilla takes it to another level.

Just like with the nose, the vanilla really takes this beer to a completely different level from the Brandy version. Strong notes of vanilla and an accompanying creaminess. Lots of chocolate and a good dosing of brandy. Somewhat hot, though for 15% it's certainly not bad. Lots of sweetness and the vanilla plays quite well with that. Full-bodied and quite viscous with low carbonation. By far the best of the bunch as far as I was concerned.

EDIT:

01.14.2012 - After 6+ months, the vanilla and brandy have really come together, with the vanilla still standing out. Very low heat and just a phenomenal vanilla Presence. Scores adjusted upward.

Original scores: 4.0 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 5.0 / 4.5

Thorpe429, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -2.8%

zestar, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Alen.

A: The pour is thick and black in color with a small khaki colored head.

S: Smells like I'd expect it to: brandy, booze, and a huge vanilla aroma. There's quite a bit of coconut, marshmallow, and graham cracker, too. A mild roast note with a touch of oak and some sweet chocolate.

T: A very intense chocolate sweetness with a bit of oak. Lots of brandy and a decent booziness. Like the aroma, sweet graham cracker, marshmallow, and almost excessive amounts of vanilla. A very mild roast which can't even begin to quell the sweetness.

M: Very full bodied with low, smooth. carbonation.

O: Normally I'm not the hugest fan of the overly sweet, sugary beer, but this was great.

womencantsail, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -13.6%

ygtbsm94, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +8%

GRG1313, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +8%

spycow, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kan shared this one. Thanks!

Viscous, oily black, surprisingly well carbonated with a thin mocha head that recedes to a collar pretty quickly.

A shit-ton of vanilla on the nose, this is hilariously decadent. Toasted almond, chocolate, molasses. Pretty integrated brandy barrel, not a lot of heat either. Smells like French toast with maple syrup on top.

Taste is great but slightly less impressive than the aroma. Still awesome, however. Still a hell of a lot of vanilla, maple syrup and molasses. Tootsie roll, toasted almonds. Full, borderline syrupy texture. Very little heat, and surprisingly not cloying despite the sweetness.

largadeer, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Kan for sharing this one at Sean's birthday. Bottle #327/433. Served in a plastic cup.

A - A hard pour yields a late-rising dark tan foam that settles to a thin ring. A glass-coating oily film coats the sides of the glass. Black body with some brown at the fringes.

S - Vanilla beans! It's just massive vanilla initially, but as it warms up some of the base beer's chocolate and other sweet notes come out a bit. The brandy and spirit character is present but it is hidden under the layers of vanilla and imperial stout. Not much oak presences, although the vanilla from the barrel probably pales compared to the ridiculous amount of vanilla bean aroma. Surprisingly little alcohol. Excellent stuff that is definitely on par with Bourbon Barrel-Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord.

T - The taste has a bit more roast character and is a bit more chocolate-heavy, with less overt vanilla bean flavor. There are also the requisite Dark Lord flavors of caramel, cake, molasses, brown sugar, and so forth. It's decadent, and unfortunately doesn't have the same transcendent vanilla flavor that the aroma does.

M - Pretty low carbonation, and this is unsurprisingly sticky, viscous, and full-bodied. Some light warmth in the finish, but otherwise the alcohol is very well-hidden, particularly as this must approach 16-17 after the barrel-aging.

D - Superb stuff. Even though it's quite sweet it never reaches cloying or palate-exhausting levels. I was worried about this beer after the disaster that was Brandy Klaus, but this was by far my favorite barrel-aged version of Dark Lord (other than the regular Vanilla Bean version). Highly recommended!

MasterSki, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

drabmuh, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
4.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

mdfb79, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of beernads
5/5  rDev +8%

beernads, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +8%

imperialking, May 31, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Huhzubendah, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Gonzoillini
5/5  rDev +8%

Gonzoillini, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.48/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
4.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/12/2011

I was able to try this again next to the other Barrel Aged Dark Lords and the 2010 regular version and I'm upping my aroma score (+.5).

6/24/2011

Big thanks to Jason for opening this. Bottle 121/433 into a snifter.

A: Glugs out with minimal head. Not much evident carbonation.

S: Holy hell there is a lot of vanilla. Wow. It's like vanilla bean ice cream with some brandy and dark chocolate syrup. Insane amount of vanilla. Light oak. Easily one of the best expressions of vanilla I've beheld on a beer. Vanilla?

T: A blast of vanilla bean ice cream with a little brandy. Brown sugar accompanies dark chocolate and notes of molasses. The sweetness is borderline cloying but it seems to work here, though I couldn't drink this in quantity. Finish is smooth with evident booze and a lot of vanilla (naturally).

M: Full in body and low in carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky, syrupy, and smooth.

Overall: This is a great dessert beer. Definitely recommended. I don't think I'd want more than 4 oz of it, though.

HopHead84, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kan for bringing this to the full bottled BA tasting at Sean's. Bottle #327.

It pours dark and thick like all Dark Lord should. The aroma is amazingly good, like a rich chocolate cake with vanilla icing. I was intially suspicious that the vanilla beans would be overdone (not why, I really liked Vanilla Bean Dark Lord), but they were added in just the right amount. More beans could have overcome the beer with sweetness, less would have become hard to detect. Just right.

It tastes very chocolaty, more than any other Dark Lord variant I've tried. Thick and filling, a real sipper with the brandy and Dark Lord intensity, so delicious though. We tried all 4 within an hour of each other, and this was easily my favorite. It seemed to be the crowd favorite too.

TurdFurgison, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
4.85/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

xnicknj, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of jrallen34
4.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kan for this, bottle 327 of 433.... Dark black with a light tan head, shiny black looks like dl... Nose is unreal, smooth real true vanilla, best vanilla note ever, a touch of vanilla, but not much, smells like a really sweet sugar cookie... The taste is super molasses and vanilla, really candyish, a bit too sweet to crush a hole bottle but alcohol is hidden really well

jrallen34, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Three cheers for Kan coming through at the end and completing the 2011 Dark Lord variant horizontal. Bottle #327.

A - It looks like Dark Lord. Black, brown head, etc.

S - Holy rusted metal, er vanilla beans. Wow, they weren't messing around when they added the beans to this. A rich and smooth vanilla can't be missed, I'm actually struggling to find the brandy. Some chocolate, espresso, molasses and slight roast complete the nose.

T - Tastes like Dark Lord with some soft brandy sweetness and a $*@&-ton of vanilla. Vanila adss a certain mouth-smacking quality to it, and is realy the dominant flavor among the rest. If yoo like a well-crafted RIS with vanilla, this is the beer for you.

M - Lower carbonation, smooth, full bodied, viscous.

O - A really nice vanilla beer. There was actually just a little too much vanilla for my liking, but it doesn't change the fact this is just an awesome beer.

AgentZero, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -13.6%

bsuedekum, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Duff27
4.45/5  rDev -3.9%
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!

Duff27, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Lare453
4.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Lare453, Mar 09, 2014
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Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord With Vanilla Beans from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
100 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.