1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

Not Rated.
Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord With Vanilla BeansBrandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord With Vanilla Beans

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

135 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 135
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 4.63
pDev: 12.1%
Wants: 416
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 135 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gonzoillini
5/5  rDev +8%

Photo of mojiboo02
5/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of readbaron
4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of joel66
4.92/5  rDev +6.3%
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....

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 Rempo
5/5  rDev +8%

Photo of stxSS07
5/5  rDev +8%

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 JohnTomaszewski
1/5  rDev -78.4%

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 BWHD
4.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of brystmar
4.64/5  rDev +0.2%
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!

Photo of gueuzegossage
4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +8%

Photo of Mark000
4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +8%

Photo of MarkIntihar
5/5  rDev +8%

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.

Photo of denimdemon
4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of kevanb
4.68/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of sgoro
5/5  rDev +8%

Photo of monitorpop
5/5  rDev +8%

Photo of StoutFest
4.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of jampics2
5/5  rDev +8%

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.

Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord With Vanilla Beans from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 135 ratings.