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Baller Stout - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Baller StoutBaller Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

559 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 559
Reviews: 125
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 12.29%


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

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

Three Floyd’s 15th Anniversary beer.
A blend of Dark Lord, Surly Darkness, De Struise Black Albert, and Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch.
(All beers brewed at 3 Floyds)

(Beer added by: AleWatcher on 11-12-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 559 | Reviews: 125 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DARIVA
DARIVA

Netherlands

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark beer with a good head.

S: Chocolate Malt, no further special odors to recognize.

T: Delicious sweet flavor and even some acid taste.

M: Good money, great carbonation and even somewhat syrupy.

O: Extremely nice long aftertaste, drink well.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 08:50:33 | More by DARIVA
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An insane amount of complexity results from the blend of four world class Imperial Stouts. Dark Lord, Darkness, Beer Geek Brunch, and Black Albert are all represented with varying flavors that span every inch of the Stout spectrum.

Thick and lush, the ink-black ale layers in the glass with slow separation of low-lying carbonation from the oily textured beer beneath. A dense, moussey and short-statured head builds upon the beer like barley-stained whipped cream before reducing to a delicate espresso-like creme that sheets the surface evenly and allowing for spotted and intricate patterns of lace behind. It certainly looks like a Stout.

Savory aromas of chocolate, dark roasted coffee, caramel, vanilla, heavy whipping cream, licorice, and charred fruits all share the stage in a very inviting aroma profile that screams succulence. Assertive grassy aromas almost give off a slim chlorophenol (grassy) aroma that serves as much as a distraction as it does complexity. Delicate vinous notes of sherry and port also present themselves in varying returns to the glass.

Delicious malt flavors swirl about with the very first sip- espresso, bittersweet chocolate, walnuts, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, and starchy malt taste are all well represented with even the very first sip. A follow of charred berries, grapes, currants rise at mid palate and usher in the anise and alcohol flavors that remind me of Jagermeister. Further into the complex fruit flavor emit the characteristics of brandy, sherry, and port wines as the alcohol envelope develops the beer's grassy bitterness, wood-like tannin, and slight vinous tartness.

Absolute fullness exudes as the beer's low carbonation allows for an even and velvety coat of rich ale to flow over the mouth surfaces. But as the robust beer develops over the tongue and palate, the beers velvety texture allows for a somewhat milky feel to soothe the mouth, just before turning aggressively alcoholic with high levels of warmth and mild fusal burn in finish. A long linger of booze, coffeeish bitterness, and wine reach well into the next sip.

Three Floyd's 15th Anniversary ale is one helluva sipper- not only from the strength of its alcohol, nor it's heavy body but because of its sheer complexity that both challenge and encourage the palate at every turn. A true delight of a beer!

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 05:54:00 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big two inch mocha head on a dark brown/black body. Excellent head retention and lacing.

Muted coffee scent, not a whole lot going on.

More coffee with a hint of hops upfront. Chocolate aftertaste. Well hidden alcohol.

Soo smooth! Creamy mouthfeel, low to mid level carbonation.

Overall a solid beer but not worth the full $30. I found the appearance and mouthfeel to be wonderful...I wish the nose and taste followed suit.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 00:44:33 | More by Duff27
Photo of afksports
afksports

New York

2.95/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks go out to Mike for sending this bottle my way after breaking his nose at the release party. Too bad the beer wasn't better reflective of his efforts.

What's that thing they say? The whole is greater than the sum of its parts? Well... this is the opposite. Each part is WAY better than what they become when combined.

Sure, the appearance nails the stout style. Dark, great lace, good head. But it smells of booze right off the bat, and only a little bit of roasted malt. The taste continues its downhill trend. Smacks of booze, burnt toast, and has a nasty alcoholic aftertaste. Not a pleasant stout.

The mouthfeel is reflective of the stouts going into it, and it has a nice medium to thick presence. But overall this is a boozy mess, and a truly forgettable beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 22:08:22 | More by afksports
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared by afksports at a recent gathering.

Deep, black pour that wasn't as viscous as I expected. Many competing aromas in the nose that seem to work together at times but eventually don't mesh as a whole. Much like the taste: it's a clusterfuck of flavors that would be great individually but just don't blend properly. Dark Lord seems more forward than the other contributing stouts, and unfortunately it's the 2011 release of DL that worked its way into this cuvee. Each individual beer is superior to this blend.

Glad I got to try it, but I definitely won't be trading for this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 00:17:17 | More by brystmar
Photo of raveskdr
raveskdr

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Brought to tasting by me, given to me in massive box swap #3 by MordorMongo.

A - Black like those girls in the rap videos. Tan head. Poured viscous as hell, which is to be expected, knowing the base beers.

S - Uh, what the hell? What a weird smell. It was off-putting, to say the least. Just a whole bunch of smells that clashed terribly.

T - That's more like it. A really nice dark chocolate explosion (thanks, Darkness) with hints of smoke and leather (thanks, Dark Lord with an assist to Black Albert). Beer Geek gets pushed out. But this passes the taste test, especially for almost 14%.

M - Nice and viscous-y. Coats the tongue yet still drinks fairly easily, when comparing it to other gigantic stouts (DL, WWS, Tokio).

O - It's a very interesting experiment. Glad I got to try this one. This beer gets a lot more hate than is deserved. No, it's probably not as good as the base beers individually, but interesting nonetheless. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 17:54:47 | More by raveskdr
Photo of 2beerdogs
2beerdogs

California

3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well I was so excited to get this in a trade. Thanks MexicanSittles!!! Love me the Floyds, and what a group of collaborators.

I am sad to say that I was a bit disappointed by this one.

Pour, beautiful.

Nose, roasty, a hint of sweetness. Did I get a hint of banana bread, not sure. I expected a malty smell.

Taste, I wanted it to be what I heard it was to others. Maybe my bottle was a bit "off." I mainly got roast. Almost smoky, but very little malt came through. I was hoping for the maple meets molasses, meets bourbon. It wasn't there. I shared this at a Bruery Clusterfork, and 2 people who had tried Baller's before, and they insisted that it was off--way too roasty, no sweet. So I will search for another and try again, I have faith in the Floyd's and don't want to write this one off due to 1 bottle. Anybody wanna send me another?

Mouthfell was well-rounded, full.

So, even if it was an "off" bottle, it wasn't bad. But I want to get another shot at this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 22:31:04 | More by 2beerdogs
Photo of nrbw23
nrbw23

Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark brown color if not black with a fairly thin brown head. Head has good retention and leaves some nice spotty lacing..

S- Smell is quite a bit of dark fruits, chocolate, light coffee, and roasted malts.

T- Overall pretty sweet. It took a few sips to adjust to the amount of sweetness. Quite a bit of darker fruits, plums, cherries and figs. Bakers chocolate, light coffee, charcoal and roasted malts.

M- Medium in body with a nice amount of carbonation.

O- Pretty sweet overall. Over priced for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 10:41:32 | More by nrbw23
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Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 22oz yellow wax dipped bottle to snifter on 2/4/12
*From notes

A: Dark and brooding. A good pour yields a 1.5 finger head that's like chocolate whipping cream. Decent retention, collar and mild lacing.

S: The nose features hints of grassy chocolate. There's also a pretty hefty amount of floral hops which mingle quite well with the earth tone that arrives as it warms.

T: For a non-barrel aged stout, this thing is ballin' (pardon the pun). Dark and charry up front. The mid is aggressively hoppy, with a juicy bite to it not often found in an RIS like this. The finish is packed with flourless chocolate cake and freshly brewed coffee. As it lingers in my mouth, there's a touch of residual sweetness that I credit to the DL. Lovely integration - the blending here is top notch.

M: Unreal. This is one of the creamiest beers I've had in a while. It's extremely thick, almost milshake-like. Wonderful stuff.

O: I went in expecting to be dissapointed by the hype train that is Baller Stout. So you can imagine my delight when this drank like a million bucks. All four of the beers are represented here, and it makes for an interesting and memorable drinking experience. I'm glad I've got another in the cellar. Big thumbs up.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 19:33:57 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of kif
kif

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 06:24:38 | More by kif
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Ehammond1 I was extremely excited to try this

Look: Black and opaque with a 1/4 inch tan head and just ok retention with spots of lace left behind

Smell: Roasted malt chocolate coffee and some faint fig notes

Taste: The beer starts much the same was as the nose. Upfront is some nice roasted malt and chocolate notes with some dark fruits mid palate and finishes with some coffee and earthy hops I would assume from the darkness being added. It was well balanced but nothing all the special

Mouthfeel: Full body and low carbonation

Overall: Like I said I was really excited to try and after having tried it I was totally let down by this beer and actually prefer all the base beers to this one with the except of maybe dark lord. So not bad not great just overall kind of a let down

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 20:19:34 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rhettroactive for sharing this one. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tasting glass. It poured dark brown in color with a thin, bubbly, tan colored head clinging to the edges of the glass. Decent lacing to it, but it was a little light in color compared to the base beers.

In the aroma I get a little bit of smoke mixing with dark chocolate at first. The roasty coffee of Beer Geek starts to come out in it along with a little of the sweeter, dark fruit, cherry like notes that remind me of Darkness. Nice mix of flavors to it and things came together pretty well.

The taste has a lot of flavors going on. The roasty coffee is a little more apparent to me in the taste than it was in the aroma. Dark chocolate mixes with some sweeter molasses and brown sugar notes. I'm getting a little more of the chocolate covered cherry flavors in the taste and I get a moderate hoppiness to it as well. A little hot in the finish but a nice range of flavors to it overall.

The mouthfeel is thick and somewhat creamy with carbonation being low. The mouthfeel is where I thought Dark Lord contributed the most, I love the thick, heavy mouthfeel of Dark Lord and it seemed to carry over to Baller well.

Overall I thought it was a very good beer. I really liked how you could pick out some of the distinct flavors of component beers. It was very flavorful and came together surprisingly well for all that went into it. I'm not sure it's better than the base beers on their own, but for a few of them it might be close.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 15:17:10 | More by billab914
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle.

Thanks arniepnminne!

Pours a oily dark brown with nice mahogany edges. A fairly aggressive pour yields a nice 1.5 inch light tan head that is pretty dense and is not in a hurry to go. As it slowly recedes the head leaves some nice sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is interesting. Very chocolaty and nice intense toffee as well as some nice roasted malts. There is some wood to the beer as well as some slight vanilla. The nose is good but leaves a bit to be desired.

Flavor is awesome! Makes up for the nose big time. So well blended. Starts off with some nice intense dark chocolate sweetness and bitterness. This is followed by some nice roasted coffee notes and nice burnt malt. Toffee and carmel surly follows with some amazing velvety mouthfeel. The back end showcase a bit more of the sweetness with some vanilla and Bourbon notes. Definitely a more Dark Lord component near the back end with Darkness and the rest more towards the front and middle. The coffee notes are delicious and blend perfect with the cocoa and the toffee and caramel. This is a perfect score for flavor. As it warms there is also some nice licorice hints. The mouthfeel is nice and oily with smooth creamy velvet notes.

Very good brew with some nice blend of flavors from all the breweries that contributed to this brew. The nose is a bit on the lighter side but flavor is dead on and mouthfeel is great.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 00:17:07 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of BearsOnAcid
BearsOnAcid

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thinner pour than expected. Deep dark brown with a mocha head that never fully settles.

Grassy, hoppy nose. Rich dark chocolate and roasted malt. Some ground coffee; less than expected.

Moderately thick mouthfeel for an American imperial stout. Cloying on the finish with a lot of molasses and dark chocolate. Moderate bitterness. Grassy hop profile. Coffee in the background but faint. I think the blend fades out some of the finer attributes of each beer. Dark Lord really sticks to your tongue on the finish. This is hype at one of its finest moments.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 23:23:56 | More by BearsOnAcid
Photo of Sideswipe
Sideswipe

California

3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. Bottle courtesy of AleWatcher. Thanks Jeff!

The beer pours a deep brown to black color. A finger of mocha hued bubbles recedes quickly leaving a small tan coaster. Decent lacing. The nose is hops and sweet, roasted malt. Taste opens with hoppy bitterness which is followed closely by flavors of sweet roasted malt and ashy char. The finish is semi-dry with a sweet, bitter aftertaste. The beer is full bodied with a sticky, viscous feel. It got signicantly better as it warmed. Not my favorite beer from Three Floyd's, but not all that bad either. Very glad i had the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 09:34:34 | More by Sideswipe
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 14:49:10 | More by ehammond1
Photo of rtaps
rtaps

California

3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to ehammond1

almsot pitch black, with a tan head. short retention. look viscous leaving spotty lacing around the glass

chocolste snf nutty, some vanilla and sweet with dark fruits

taste like sweet but dark fruits with chocolate and a nice coffee

light bodied and medium carbonation and fairly viscous

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 04:47:55 | More by rtaps
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ehammond1 for sharing this one at MrVonzipper's tasting!

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, dark fruits, slight cocoa, and alcohol. Taste is of dark malt, dark fruits, and cocoa powder. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good stout but nothing all that great.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 23:30:19 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Florida9 for sharing this one.

A: pours brownish black, dark brown head, spotty lacing

S: big time charred roast up front, definitely get some of the earthy coffee from the Beer Geek Brunch, some dark fruits bring a little sweetness to the table, earthy hoppiness on the finish

T: chocolate and smoke start this out, I would have expected to be quite a bit sweeter and less roasty based on the beers that are blended...this stout leans towards the in your face roast with notes of leather and coffee along with subtle earthy hops

MF: mellow carbonation, medium body

O: this is an enjoyable brew and definitely is a decent blend. I must say though, I would prefer to drink the parts of the sum individually

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 09:09:46 | More by homebrew311
Photo of andrewinski1
andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this from claaark13; thanks Sean! Poured into a tulip. The color is black and there is a healthy 2 inch medium tan head that leaves behind some nice lacing.

My initial reaction of the aroma is how well the hops are integrated here, much like darkness. I also get a lot of sweet vanilla and a small bit of mocha.

The taste has some nice sweetness, much like Darklord, but there seems to be a bit more coffee and mocha flavors to go with it, followed by a nice hop finish.

This is nice and full bodied, with a hefty dose of carbonation. This drinks nicely.

I like this alright. I don't love Darklord by itself but I do like the others. Blended together, nothing seems to stand out. The coffee seems muted, the chocolate flavors seem muted. Overall tasty though.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 01:32:16 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

3.2/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shared by Andrewinski1. Thanks! Poured into a tulip. This one pours black with about an inch of dark khaki colored head. Some soapy lace on the side.

Lots going on in the aroma here. Vanilla is right up front giving this a big sweetness starting out. Hints of molasses and with a light coffee background. Pleasant but a little sweeter than I hoped. Vanilla sweetness is prominent with a little coffee rounding it out. A touch of grassy hops round this out. Sweet and hoppy; this actually doesn't come together like I would have hoped.

The body is full and the carbonation is a little bit on the sharp side (for the style).

Overall this one just doesn't seem to hit it's focus for me. I dig all the base beers but blended they seem to be fighting for a spotlight. I just assume have any of them on their own.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 01:27:15 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of dgugliuzza
dgugliuzza

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into an oversized snifter...A big thanks to Zach for generously giving me a bottle.

Pours black with a velvety layer of dark tan head. The head fades rather quickly without leaving much lacing in its wake. After settling, the beer has an eerie stillness.

A lot of sweetness and chocolate in the nose. Some roasted malt also present. Fudge and toffee are plentiful and in turn making my mouth water. Perhaps a bit too sweet and not enough bitter roast. We'll see what the taste yields.

Wow. Chocolate fudge and maple syrup flavors explode out of the gate. Hints of roasted malts. Much more bitter than the nose indicated. Surprisingly well balanced, though very sweet.

Chewy thick mouthfeel with outstanding viscosity. This is a good kind of cloying. Very low carbonation. Alcohol is noticeable. Combines with the big sweet flavors, this one's a sipper.

I came away very impressed by this beer. Chocolaty and sweet with some oak bitterness. The nose was a bit misleading. Definitely not what I was expecting. I thought it would be a syrupy mess, but it was quite delicious and the complexities sure stood out.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 02:19:03 | More by dgugliuzza
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

2.8/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by stupac2. Thanks, Stu!

A: Pours a deep, dark brown (nearly black) with a small ring of tan head.

S: It is ashy on the nose; I associate this burnt aroma with Mikkeller. Notes of soy sauce and prunes -- the Dark Lord. Metallicity and roast. It's mildly hoppy (Darkness?).

T: It starts off ashy, chocolatey, and over-represented by dark fruits (particularly prunes), but it fights back with a nice pine resin presence that I find somewhat redeeming, if not outstanding.

M: Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation.

O: Maybe it's my bias at work here (I don't like two of the components, though I feel the other two are all right), but this really didn't deliver. More body and balance would have been nice. In its current form, it's a gimmick, and not a great one. Excellent wax, though.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 07:06:28 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.25/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 03:31:11 | More by jegross2
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very generous bottle sent by seeswo in the Blind Beers BIF. This was poured into a tulip, as suggested, and reviewed blind.

I was hoping for something dark, and this fits the bill. The maroon liquid glugs from the bottle thick as syrup and coalesces in the glass into inky, impenetrable blackness. A dense, sticky head the color of cinnamon rises from the depths like a squadron of zombies, then slowly fades away, leaving thick walls of lace and faint calls for “Braiiiins” behind.

Quite the perplexing aroma we have here. Along with notes of toast, cocoa and just a touch of coffee, there’s a distinct sourdough breadiness and a tangy dark fruit character. Something weird is going on here, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it. 3.5

Whatever I disliked in the aroma has been smoothed out in the flavor, and all I get is smooth roasted notes melded with subtle dark fruits. Individual flavors include raisins, black strap rum, anise, dark chocolate, toast and very subtle marshmallow. The balance is perfect. Finishes on the roasty/bitter side.

And the mouthfeel. Oh, the mouthfeel. It’s like licking a blanket — soft and velvety, each sip coating the tongue in its supple embrace. The carbonation is gentle and massaging, breaking the brew into a little bit of fizz as it moves. Alcohol is apparent, numbing the tongue and heating up the chest, but not distracting. Decadence.

A literal blend of Dark Lord, Darkness, Black Albert and Beer Geek Brunch will create confusion. Albert must’ve been providing the fruits. I wouldn’t say it’s greater than the sum of its parts, but it’s pretty damn tasty. Good flavors, amazing balance and great drinkability despite an ABV that’s apparently high enough to make driving a bad idea. I like it more with every sip.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 16:17:37 | More by Phelps
Baller Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
94 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.