Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord With Vanilla Beans - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

136 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 4.63
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 424
Gots: 31 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jips on 05-05-2011

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 47
Photo of Thorpe429
4.72/5  rDev +1.9%
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

Photo of largadeer
4.59/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
4.37/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.56/5  rDev -1.5%
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!

Photo of mdfb79
4.85/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.85/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
4.59/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of aasher
3.88/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was shared by Alewatcher at his and Oreo's birthday bash. Thanks Jeff! This one pours like any other Dark Lord, dark, oily and viscous. It smells of straight vanilla beans with the lightest brandy tinge. The vanilla is nice yet on the being of cloyingly sweet. It is silky smooth yet almost like pure vanilla syrup. It is pure sweet brandy and little else. You don't exactly get any barrel or chocolate. It is smooth and easily drinkable. If only there weren't so much sugar. Regardless, thanks to Alewatcher for this one and treating us on his birthday.

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!

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.47/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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.

Photo of jrallen34
4.31/5  rDev -6.9%
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

Photo of xnicknj
4.84/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of AgentZero
4.22/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.89/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.56/5  rDev -1.5%
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!

Photo of Florida9
4.42/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of Sean9689
4.54/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #327/433 generously shared by Kan at my 30th Birthday Party Extravaganza. Poured into a taster.

A - Looks like Dark Lord. Black, tan mocha-colored head that vanishes quickly and leaves nothing behind but the black beer.

S - Wonderful booze and vanilla notes, oak, brandy, rich chocolate, very sweet but still excellent. The vanilla in this beer just takes it to another level for me over the regular BA Brandy version.

T - Tastes just as good as the nose. The vanilla, chocolate, booze, oak, and rich sweetness is just excellent. The alcohol is really no where to be found in this one. Dessert in a bottle.

M - Full, rich, viscous, creamy, very little carbonation.

O - Probably my favorite of the 4 BA variants. I'm a huge fan of vanilla and this just killed it with the brandy, vanilla, and chocolate notes. Really enjoyed just sitting around and smelling this beer. Outstanding a definitely recommend.

Photo of Jeffo
3.52/5  rDev -24%
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!

Photo of jsanford
4.79/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #372/433.

A - Pours dark black with a thin mocha head that dissipates quickly, leaving just a slight haze.
S - Wow, incredibly sweet aromas of chocolate brownie batter, raisins, caramel, and vanilla. Spectacular!
T - Again, very, very sweet. Lots of vanilla here, along with more brownie batter, brandy, and dark malt. My girlfriend likened this to a Chocolate Moon Pie, and I can't argue with that statement.
M - Thick and syrupy, with a full mouth-feel and low carbonation. The ABV is so well hidden, it's nuts.
O - Such a ridiculously over-the-top beer. So sweet, so amazing. Big thanks go out to Billy for sharing this delight!

Photo of seeswo
4.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was generously shared by Dustin next to an 07-11 Dark Lord vertical. This beer ruined the Dark Lord vertical in that exposed the flaws of the base beer. Also, the DL 09 and 10 were not very good and nobody finished them, which leads one to worry what will happen to this bottle if it is cellared.

Pours pitch black with a slightly brown, oil like sheen on the glass and a very slight ring of tannish head. The smell is fantastic - the vanilla helps to round out the characteristic dark fruit, roasted malt flavors. There is a slight booziness coming off as well which docks it just a touch. In the taste, the vanilla also helps round out the characteristic big roasted malt, chocolate and dark fruit flavors of Dark Lord. The brandy treatment is more reserved than some brandy beers, but also blends in very nicely. There is a nice richness and desert-like quality that is really fantastic. Obviously, it has a big body with lower carbonation, as expected. I find this treatment to be fantastic at taking a big beer with some big, rough flavors and rounding it off. Great work, FFF.

Photo of jegross2
4.97/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.94/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

#63/433. 750ml waxed and capped 750ml bottle into a TJ’s snifter. Had at a tasting on 9/4/11.

Pours no head, no lace but excellent legs. Opaque black color.

Nose is pure vanilla beans. Some brownie and chocolate in the background but vanilla aroma dominates. Simple, but very pure and appropriate.

Opens chocolate and molasses. Vanilla comes in strong towards the middle with copious amounts of brownie and chocolate in the background. End is more molasses and milk chocolate with a sweet soy sauce finish and more vanilla in the aftertaste. Very solid.

Full bodied with very low carbonation. Oily and viscous in the mouth. Goes down with a good amount of heat. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste.

The regular Dark Lord has always been known to be heavy and this variation is no different. Incredibly thick, robust, and viscous from top to bottom in the flavor to the mouthfeel. However, the vanilla adds a depth of character that really works with the chocolate, soy sauce, and other stout components. The brandy doesn’t really come out for me but this is still a very solid beer.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.42/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord With Vanilla Beans from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.