Baller Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Baller StoutBaller Stout

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719 Ratings
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Ratings: 719
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 368
Gots: 431 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: AleWatcher on 11-12-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Three Floyds’ 15th Anniversary beer. A blend of Dark Lord, Surly Darkness, De Struise Black Albert, and Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 719 | Reviews: 137
Reviews by kif:
Photo of kif
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Inky black with a very small brown head that disappears almost immediately.

S- Lots of roasted malt, almost to the point of burnt malt. Also some chocolate and coffee

T- Dark Lord is definitely the dominant component. The sweetness from Dark Lord shines through, but there is much more hops from I think the Mikkeller. The sweet/hop contrast is very strong and dominant through the first half of the beer. As your palate adjusts throughout drinking, you get a nice coffee flavor and a decent amount of chocolate. A very minor hint of vanilla is also present.

M- Low carbonation, medium to thick bodied. Pretty smooth.

O- A very complex beer. As I extended the time I drank this beer, I found more and more flavors. Very impressive, but at the same time, this complexity should be a bit easier to find. It took me literally a good 30 minutes before I started getting coffee and chocolate. Dark Lord is probably too dominant here and you can tell the brewers all tried to make their own beer shine. I think if it the Dark Lord was a bit more muted, this would be an epic brew. Still great, just not what it could be.

More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dark Lord Day 2015. Hooray!

Appearance - The beer was a deep black color with bubbles crown the sides of the glass.

Smell - The malts in the aroma are intimidating with chocolate and booze hitting the nose.

Taste - My initial impression is chocolate and marshmallow. There is a definite smoke presence that is supported by molasses. Burnt malts and sugar come through in the finish.

Mouthfeel - This is definitely a top 10 stout in terms of thickness. I am not sure if it would spill if I held it upside down.

Overall - Having this beer on tap made standing in the rain on Dark Lord Day 2015 worth it.

Photo of Dad_of_Rad
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap DLD 2015

A: Dark Brown with more carbonation than I expected for this big of a beer.
S: Roasted malt, chocolate, some booze.
T: Decadent - chocolate, coffee, caramel, not sweet at all, very smooth
M: Luscious, silky, so good
O: So fortunate to have seen this taking a walk to the porta potty. 2nd time having it, 1st time on tap. Excellent flavor and mouthfeel.

Photo of tectactoe
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris for bringing this one to our tasting - it was something I never thought I'd try. Pours a dark, dark brown color with a fading, tan-colored head that doesn't stick around too long before it recedes to nothing but a thin skin cap.

As I first bring my nose to the glass, I'm getting a weird aroma that was hard for be to pinpoint at first, but upon further sniffing, I've come to the conclusion that it was: beef jerky. That's right, I get some serious beef jerky-like aroma off the top of the nose from this thing. Slightly smokey and robust with maybe a touch of spice. Big roasted malts full out the edges, along with some light cocoa beans. Some woody-oak and vanilla aromas don't come through much until the beer warms up a bit, but then they really start to break through. Light sweetness is detectable, but it's slightly overshadowed by the somewhat harsh roast.

The taste hits bit with some sharp coffee and cocoa - dense and seemingly packed with concentrated flavor. The front end is mildly sweet, but it transforms quickly into a more bitter and roasted flavor as the malts grow from quiet to loud within seconds. No beef jerky on the palate, per se, but I swear I'm still getting it in the aroma. Out comes a light heat, almost like a chili pepper spice, although I really don't "taste" chilies - my tongue is just picking up the tingling sensation as though they are there.

The alcohol is a bit subdued at first but gets much, much stronger over the course of this beer. Sweetness comes in noticeably but tame enough to be enjoyable; molasses, light syrup, and some dark fruits are the main contributors. The aftertaste is dominated by an ashy, charred flavor - perhaps this is where my nose was picking up the beef jerky from? Medium-thick body, slick and a touch oily on the palate coming in on the lower end of the carbonation scale.

Certainly glad I got to try this one, although I don't feel it was all it was cracked up to be. Definitely some uniqueness to it, regarding the smokiness and the serious beef jerky notes my nose was picking up. Is it just me who was getting that? Either way, tasty beer, but probably not worth what it took to get it. Thanks again to Chris, though - I'm glad to say I had the chance to experience this one.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Waxed bomber poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip.

Pours a super oily dark black with a small dark brown head along with some light lacing. Nose is slightly sweet, raisins, and chocolate.

Taste is much better than any of of the four beers on their own. Rich and creamy, chocolate and raisns, light roasty flavors as well. Overall quite tasty.

Photo of ehammond1
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, dannyfrost!

Black as can be and very thick and viscous, with a moderately sized brown head that leaves spots and smears of stick to the glass.

The aroma is a rich combination of dark, roasted malts, dark plum, chocolate, and a very earthy hop character. Complete and appropriate.

The flavor is similar with chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malt, earthy hops, and a bit of alcohol bite on the finish combining for a big, rich, full, though simple flavor.

Full mouthfeel with low to moderate carbonation. Nice.

A very fine big stout, but disappointing because of the pedigree involved to create this big beer. This beer is expensive, and by all accounts, not worth the hefty price tag. I'd probably prefer any of the base beers to this blend, unfortunately. I'm glad I got to try it, but won't seek out another bottle.

Photo of Sammy
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Altogether well put together RIS, thanks Tom. Smoke, thick head, creamy, hoppy, good barrel ageing. Looks, the smell, the mouthfeel, masterful blend of these four masters, without a flaw. Great beer exceeding expectations in a great style. Minor in chocolate, the smoke was so well integrated, and the hook for me.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.13/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz waxed and capped bomber into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a frothy 2 finger mocha colored head with good retention. Beer is thick and pitch black. Lacing is layered with great stick and super thick legs. Awesome looking brew.

Hints of sweet soy sauce, dark fruit, hop bitterness, lactose, roasted malt and just a bit of chocolate and cocoa. Good complexity but its not the most pleasing.

Opens roast, creamy hop bitterness, sweet soy sauce and chocolate. More of the same in the middle but the alcohol kicks in pretty hard. Something just doesn't seem to work here. Sweet molasses diffuses in at the end, mercifully sweetening this one a bit. Bittersweet dark fruit and rotting rind at the end. Aftertaste of smoke, hazelnut shell and molasses. Not really for me.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Thick and oily in the mouth and goes down with some bubbles and a big dose of booze. Still a bit hot at the finish after all this time. Messy aftertaste. Decent.

I've heard that this beer is not the greatest but I had to try it for myself. Now I know the rumors are true. This takes all the bad qualities of Darkness (can be too roasty, too hoppy) and Dark Lord (too much soy sauce) and amplifies them into one big mess. A big pass for me.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to homie aaron for this. best drank at near room temp.

pours jet black, thick, light head.

very hoppy and sweet on the nose with a dark roast on the back end. sweet dark fruit, big coffee as this warmed.

this has every aspect of the mix involved, especially the dark lord, black albert, and darkness. very hoppy, sweet, dark and roasted, with deep coffee. some dark black cherry mixed in there (something i usually get from black albert). tons of charcoal and roasted malts. these different aspects came out on their own through out.

mild to medium carbonation. body if full but not as thick as you'd imagine. little bit of heat in the mouth.

this improved drastically as it warmed. the roasted aspect calmed down. very good.

Photo of Homer53
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at Dark Lord Day 2015!

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a taster glass. No bottle date. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Nice black body. Good off white head. Nice retention.

Smell - Roasty chocolate. Big hop presence. Smells like an RIS.

Taste - Chocolate. Roasty malts. Hoppy, but mostly milk chocolate. Hoppy in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Nice and creamy. Thick and chewy.

Overall - No better than the individual beers that went into it, but it's decent. I was expecting a mess. Instead it's just a quality RIS.

Photo of beerhan
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at FFF XV party.

A-super thick and syrupy. Black as night with a dark brown head

S-smells very chocolatey with hints of caramel and espresso. There are also hints of dark fruit probably from the dark lord.

T-the taste of this bad boy blows all of the base beers away. This behemoth is one of the tastiest things I have ever had. It has the thickness of dark lord with the coffee abd dark fruits, mostly plum and raisin shining through. A little smokiness from darkness with a strong espresso taste from the brunch weasel. I do not know how but somehow this combo was phenomenal.

M-mild carb ok nation, super smooth, alcohol is hardly noticeable.

O-great beer that I was very skeptical of but it delivered. Seek it out as I have never such a strong beer quite as smooth abd still delicious as this.

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy aasher for handing this one off to me during our most recent massive in-person trade! Thanks Al! Shared this one with beeruser, funkydelic, and 67couple during a past tasting! Served from bottle into a Sweetwater snifter. Poured pitch black with a half finger light brown head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, bubblegum, sugar, dark fruit, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of roasted malt, bubblegum, dark fruit, sweet alcohol, and wood. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. After first hearing about this brew I was totally intrigued. And to be honest, I was not disappointed. I did find the bubblegum aspect to be a little off-putting, but at the same time it seemed to work quite well on this brew for me adding another level of complexity over the regular versions of the blend I HAVE tried (eff you Kate). A definite must try for anyone who calls themselves a Stout fan.

Photo of Treyliff
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, poured into a snifter

A- pours nearly pitch black with a small creamy khaki colored head that retains long after the pour, leaving some nice lace behind

S- dark chocolate malt with a hint of coffee up front, dark cherry and sherry, smoky malt, slightly charred, hints of fig & raisin

T- quite sweet up front with big notes of chocolate and smoky malt, big flavors of dark cherry juice & molasses, slight oxidization gives flavors of sherry, fig and raisin on a sweet vanilla cream finish, light coffee linger with peppery notes

M- medium-heavy body with low carbonation leads to a rich and creamy mouthfeel that continues into a velvety finish, slight alcohol warmth on the linger

O- a wonderful blend of four already world class beers that has aged nicely over the last few years

Photo of claaark13
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Founders snifter at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

A - Pours fairly dark, nice tan head that dissipates into a little more than a thin lacing. Sticks to the sides a little bit. Looks pretty good overall. Actually sticks very well after it warms up.

S - Hops, dark malts and some light coffee. I think I got some hoppy aromas immediately, then found the mats/coffee as I went in for a good whiff. I am almost getting a little bit of alcohol coming through. I'm finding the Darkness/Albert/Brunch here more than any DL. Could definitely be more potent.

T - Slightly hop forward, with the dark fruits and coffee to follow. It ends with the coffee, which takes on a little bit of sweetness. I think I would best define the after-flavor as a hoppy coffee. Very interesting. There is an ever so slight amount of hotness to be found towards the end. I think the Darkness shows up first, then the Black Albert comes through in the middle. Dark Lord and Brunch show up in the back half and finish.

M - Medium, smooth, decently carbonated body. Feels fine to me, carries everything well. I think it falls a little short of truly being "silky".

O - I had some of this a couple times on-tap and was less impressed. It was, of course, served too cold and there was too much to try to instead wait for it to warm up properly. Certainly a better beer out of the bottle and I think things will really be nice in another 2 years. I think this will age more like Darkness than Dark Lord, which for me is a good thing. This literally falls right in the middle of my preferences of the non-blended versions. I'd really like to see the breakdown of this blend. A little bit of time in a PvW barrel would make this insanely good. I guess that's assumed though.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Three Floyd’s Anniversary Party.

Appearance – Given in a nice plastic cup, heh. A dark, black colored beer with a decent brown fluffy head that dissipates slowly leaving chunky lacing.

Smell – Lots of sweet aromas, toasted and roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate. Not much coffee sadly, and a bit of alcohol. Just a hint of hops.

Taste – A nice hop kick up front which takes away some of the relative sweetness. A decent amount of char and roasted malts mixed with an unmistakable Dark Lord sweetness. As with the nose, not much coffee characteristics. Milk chocolate, a hint of dark fruits and licorice.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, a bit thick and creamy, nice carbonation.

Overall – A decent beer, though honestly it didn’t blow me away. Enjoyable, but one I will have to revisit in the near future.

Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Yeahnatenelson for this great lookin' bottle! Drank with DaftCaskBC during the 2012 Trailer Park Tasting.

Appearance. Foamy light-tan head, black!

Smell. Liccorice, dark chocolate, oak, slightly metalic.

Taste. Licorice, roasty malts, plums, dark roast coffee.

Mouthfeel. Full body, medium carbonation, slight warmth.

Overall. A very good RIS but not relly mind-blowing as I had hoped. The seperate beers that I have tried were much better than this blend.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with black chocolate and quite a bit of residuals sugar notes is quite pleasant. Taste is a nice mix between some roasted malt with lots of black chocolates notes and some residual sugar notes and subtle coffee notes. Body is full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation with surprisingly no alcohol that is easily apparent. Way too easy to drink with just the right level of complexity.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to FFF Teku glass.

A - Black with one finger of light brown head that reduced to a ring around the edges of the glass. Spotty lacing.

S - Semi-sweet chocolate, roasted malts, sweet molasses and some coffee.

T - Sweet chocolate up front that immediately gives way to a bitter hop profile and a touch of coffee. A big sweetness returns and lingers along with some molasses and a very light hint of dark fruit in the background. Fairly sweet overall.

M - Medium body with a fairly big chew. Light carbonation.

Photo of TrueRates
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark looking imperial stout with a mocha like head. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, slight licorice, and burnt malt. Full bodied flavor with a brilliant hop character to the beer. Extremely well balanced. Hides it's alcohol well. I think I like this more than Dark Lord. Just overall a balanced imperial stout.

Photo of jegross2
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Baller Stout, a collaboration between Three Floyds, Surly, Mikkeller and De Struise that blends Dark Lord, Darkness, Beer Geek Brunch and Black Albert. This is essentially a bottled one-off.
Score: 92

Fall 2011 vintage with yellow wax, served in an oversized brandy snifter and enjoyed 01/17/12.

Appearance: Jet black with a finger of creamy tan head at pour that settles into a clump of tan bubbly head on top of the beer and a ring around the glass. Completely opaque. Not a whole bunch of sticky lacing, but this one is 13.8% ABV so not much lacing should be expected. 4/5

Smell: Sweet chocolate, roasted malts and dark fruit. Lots of sweet raisin and creamy chocolate. Light coffee too. Absolutely no alcohol is present in the aroma. 4.5/5

Taste: Very complex, sweet flavors in this brew. Upfront I get a lot sweet raisin and dark fruit flavor, which may or may not come from the Darkness or Dark Lord. The dark fruit and raisin flavors linger throughout the beer, but new flavors increasingly come out with every sip. After the dark fruit, I get some milk chocolate and light coffee, followed by vanilla and marshmallow toward the finish. More bourbon-like flavors come out in the finish as the beer layers. Noticeable alcohol flavor in finish of the beer, but nothing overwhelming. Roasted maltiness in the middle and towards the finish as well. Also detecting some light berry fruitiness on the midpalate. As the beer approaches room temperature, more alcohol in the finish. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-high bodied with low carbonation. Velvety mouthfeel going down with a sweet, sticky finish. 4.5/5

Overall: Expensive, sweet and delicious. Baller Stout does not equal or exceed the sum of its parts, but it is certainly worth seeking out to try once.

Recommendation: A sweeter Russian Imperial Stout, so if you do not like sweeter imperial stouts be forewarned. Otherwise, I highly recommend seeking this one out before it becomes too rare to obtain as more and more people drink their allotment.

Pairings: Best enjoyed as a digestif following a delicious steak dinner.

Cost: $38 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Photo of jmarsh123
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the FFF Anny Party.

Pours very dark with a faint tan head that dissipates quickly. Tons of sticky brown lacing even down the plastic cup especially once it warms a bit. Not quite as much as DL, but still sludgy.

Aroma definitely has some assertive hops from the Darkness I'm guessing. Light coffee, chocolate and dark fruits are in the background as well. Slightly boozy.

Definitely a big hop kick up front. A little bit of sweetness comes through in the end and it finishes with a roast coffee flavor. Hops are still present throughout.

Silky, but not cloying like fresh DL. Lowish carbonation levels and medium-thick mouthfeel.

I've only had 3 of the beers in here, but for the most part there seems to be a good balance and it's actually pleasant fresh unlike normal DL. Not as good as Darkness though. I am very much looking forward to aging this one as I'm curious what complexities will come out once the hops fade. If it's anything like '08 DL or '10 Darkness when aged, it will age beautifully.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So thrilled to crack this one open, After a crappy start to the week, god knows I needed it.

deep and dark as always. Black as night without a drop of light coming through at all. Big, thick, like oil with a huge head of chocolate that reached up an inch and a half before settling back down to earth but not without leaving a ton of lacing up and down the sides of the glass. Aroma is huge, chocolate, coffee and rich roasted malts all become evident right from the start. Incredibly deep and complex it is almost beyond description. Warming brings out light touches of vanilla and hints of dark smoked notes. Thick, viscous feel, one of the bigger stouts you will find as it coats the inside of the mouth completely and at times you feel you can chew it. Rich chocolate and a boozy flavor are the first to hit the tongue, allowing it to mellow brings out the coffee and vanilla flavors that dominate the profile for the next few minutes. Letting it come up brings licorice root and a touch of hops in the finish that provide just the slightest bit of balance to the roasted malts and molasses flavor. Incredible sipper

Photo of biga7346
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of my motherfucking boy Cashmoneyvagrant who also was kind enough to trade me one. It sure does pay to have your man go to the FFF anniversary party, I reaped all the fringe benefits without standing line for 4 hours! I kid, I kid...

Poured into a Founders ovresized tulip

A: Very dark and syrupy pour, thin line of foam espresso w/ milk in color.

N: Very hop dominant in the nose, juicy, tangy hop flavors, fresh pineapple, a little earthiness and pine resin; black licorice, a wonderfully restrained sweetness that gives way to bakers chocolate, molasses, toasted honey-ish character, some black pepper. I get glazed fruit, candied yams.

T/M: Smooth and silky, creaminess like whole milk, a very unexpected lightness in the body despite the overwhelming ABV; more of the black licorice, cocoa, white chocolate, carmelized sugar, an earthy hop note that stayed pretty muted despite the big hop aromas in the smell; some charred oak and smokiness in the finish, as the beer warms it becomes more viscous but stayed smooth and drinkable.

D: Pretty neat idea for a stout that turned out fucking great. Pair this with a heavy dessert like chocolate sheet cake for a really indulgent experience.

Photo of largadeer
3.09/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pitch black in the glass topped by a tall mocha head. Viscous, sticky appearance with great head retention.

Sweet, heavily roasted nose; lots of char and sweetness, reminds me of tar and molasses. Surprisingly coffee forward, mildly fruity from the Black Albert component.

Extremely sweet palate, but also sharply bitter. Acrid, acidic malt, bitter earthy coffee, tart blackberry, molasses, tar. Full bodied, bordering on syrupy, but the bitterness builds a lot more than the sweetness. The hoppiness of Darkness comes through slightly, leaving a lingering resiny bite.

This isn't bad per se, but it has too many clashing elements. The mix of intense sweetness, bitterness, coffee and esters doesn't really work.

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Baller Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 719 ratings.