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Dark Lord Imperial Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,753 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,753
Reviews: 1,224
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.72%
Wants: 3,019
Gots: 1,712 | FT: 128
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002

A demonic Russian-Style Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar, this beer defies description. Available one day a year, in April at the brewery: Dark Lord Day.

Vintage guide:
Red wax = 2004
Orange wax = 2005
Gold wax = 2006
Silver wax = 2007
Black wax = 2008
White wax = 2009
Green wax = 2010 - 15% ABV
Yellow wax = 2011 - 15% ABV
Red wax = 2012 - 15% ABV
Orange wax = 2013 - New Label 15% ABV
Blue wax = 2014 - 15% ABV
Maroon wax = 2015 15% ABV
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,753 | Reviews: 1,224
Photo of KillerJigger
3.69/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Lacking in mouth feel for my taste. Sweet with plenty of tastes. Dates and roasted malt. No crazy alcohol bite.

Photo of shundahai
3.36/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I'm rating the 2014 Dark Lord. I probably should have waited more than a year to open this but it's far too sweet. They should follow Bourbon County and barrel every ounce of this beer.

Photo of rooskey379
3.44/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

i would never trade anything of value for this beer. reg dark lord is so-so at best

Photo of stevoj
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled at Boise’s Imperial Stout get together, over 120 bottles to choose from. Going with the flow on this rating. 2011 yellow wax seal

Photo of mklisz
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rating based on 2013 vintage, orange wax

Photo of JR86
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 DL. Way too sweet for me.

Photo of MissSmisje
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage
Sweet, thick, and chewy. Most of the toasty coffee have aged out of this one, leaving the sweet dark chocolate, vanilla, and roasted cherry and plum flavors to dominate. Fruit provides some brightness mid palate in an otherwise extremely sweet beer. The alcohol is hidden in the flavors but leaves a warming in the esophagus that lasts a surprisingly long time. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, which I love in a RIS. Overall: tasty but sweeter than I'd like.

Photo of beercentric847
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 version. The sweetness had really mellowed and the coffee was still prominent. Like silk gliding over the tongue. Fantastic Brew!

Photo of MacSon1982
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 - A bit too sweet and syrupy

Photo of TheCuriograph
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has been always been one of those "I'll get around to it one day" beers. Feels like it was legendary when I first got into craft beer, and since then it's become a more divisive brew. This whole preamble is to say, I came to this bottle of 2014 DL with a fair amount of baggage, but i did my damnedest to approach it objectively.

It's monolithic black with a meager mocha head. Appropriately dense and intimidating. The nose is just BOOM espresso and bakers chocolate, licorice and, yes, a fair amount of soy sauce. Also fruitier notes of black cherry, raisin and cabarnet. Impressive melange, but sort of a sledgehammer. What's shocking is the taste reveals a less varied chocolate sweetness, full of cordial and caramel. Blackberry, too, along with hints of cinnamon and brown sugar. In a word: saccharine. Not unpleasant, just bludgeoningly sugary. It's a heavy brew, but I actually found it oddly watery in light of its purported density of ingredients. Also, the ethanol burn is not too apparent. Which is pretty impressive.

All told, I can see why this has a following but also why some consider it a sweet malty mess. It's palatable but undisciplined, and I can imagine how an additional adjunct or time spent in a barrel (any barrel) would help it. Dark Lord is a fun ride, but I'm not sure I'd take it again.

Feel free to send me any spare BA Dark Lords so I can test this hypothesis.

Photo of alexrufio666
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Looked and smelled incredible, pours like oil, taste is very sweet I was shocked to find out it was 15%abv because it hides it so well. Definatly a world class beer but it fell short of my expectations.

Photo of DrKilljoy
4.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the pleasure of trying Dark Lord for the first time this year. Out of the numerous stouts I have tried ( thanks to swarthybrews ) this is by far my favorite. Cheers to everyone!

Photo of witschen
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted alongside several other world class imperial stouts. 2012 vintage was raisin forward. 2014 still had some nice hops to it. Preferred 2014.

Photo of McAndrew
2.32/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

SOY SAUCE in a bottle. Molasses was very heavy just awful

Photo of Mcheek24
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Dark Lord: tasted at DLD '15. No line and super random. Thank you for that FFF. Very tasty!!!

Photo of d5001986
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber poured into Spiegelau tulip.
2014 vintage with blue wax.

Pours a very opaque black with a minimal amount of fizzy head. Sweetness is evident in the smell as well as the heavy roasted character. Also touches of vanilla and molasses. Taste is on par with that. Overly sweet... Yes, it is a bit too sugary- but it isnt extreme. Actually surprising how fast I'm cruising through this guy given the 15% abv. I quite like the thick, sticky feel of the body. That and the low carb keeps it going down nice and smooth. Overall a nice beer. Worth trying, being a beer of such fame, but I find it unlikely I'll be seeking another bottle in the future.

Photo of Zuidman
3.07/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Too sweet for me. Big disappointment.

Photo of tjk135
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Boozy, dark fruits and sticky sweet. A thick and rich RIS.

Photo of Hoosiersipper
1.87/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I can't believe the hype on this beer. I am not a sweet beer fan. I might just pour the rest on my pancakes...

Photo of aleigator
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark lord '11 vintage

Many thanks to Kevin for providing the bottle.

Pours a viscous, black color, with a decent, fizzy head.

Exhibits an intriguing nose between bakers chocolate, molasses, toffee, toasted malts and marmelade among a warming alcohol presence. The chocolate aromas are incredible rich on the nose, with all other flavors illustrating it, and chocolate being easily the most dominant ingedient of the beer. The aromas promise a sweeter, complex beer, leaning on toffee, caramel, dried fruits and cane sugar, against charred malts and cold, black coffee.

The beer provides an incredible smooth mouthfeel, revealing its intriguing depth.

Tastes of milk chocolate and earthy toffee, both flavors building the luscious foundation of the beer. Cold pressed coffee acts as a counterpart to the sweeter ingedients, effectivly supported by charred malts and a note of tobacco. On top of that settles a decadent amount of molasses, coating up the other flavors of the beer. During the finish a warm alcohol burn supports the sweet chocolate, providing a rich taste of alcoholic, glazed and earthy pralines.

The beer reveals an incredible depth of flavors, which convince, based on the interplay between chocolate and cold coffee, accompanied by carbonized, earthy malts, setting the balance of the brew. The beer ends just the way it started - sweet, while its middlepart lends a huge amount of bitterness and dryness to the taste, handling its sweeter aspects in a very convincing way, while dried fruits act as a hot peak to the taste. It drinks dangerously easy, no alcohol is detectable at any stage.

Photo of Precog640
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2014 Dark Lord. This beer was fantastic. The vanilla front was amazing , overall great brew.

Photo of kamikazeokami
3.02/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Smells and taste like soy sauce...no thanks

Photo of boogerisu
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013. Really sweet stout. Fruity finish with dates and raisins.

Photo of julian89
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So, it has been a very long time since I have actually rated a beer, but my very good friend mscudder (previous rater on this brew) shared this with me yesterday. Ah what an experience. I haven't tasted a stout of this complexity since a founders backstage series beer from 2011, you may have heard of it, you know a beer by the name of CBS!!! Anyways, we opened it after letting warm a little...
Apperance: Color was great, nice dark syrup feel (expected from a coffee stout), good lacing too. What it lacked was a proper head and retention. Don't get us wrong we know how to do a proper pour, the beer just wasn't having it, but this is really my only downside to this brew.
Smell: Oh sweet beer gods! The sugary waft, the subtle coffee, oh so great. Vanilla was very very subdued by this point, I forgot to say we were drinking a 2012.
Taste: First hit is a fantastic medley of dark fruits for me (dates, raisins and plums). The sugars taste as if they were a purified syrup. Definitely gearing towards a dessert beer here. Coffee doesn't have the pungent taste of many coffee stouts I've had in the past, but this may be due to the aging process.
Mouthfeel: This, in my opinion, is the high point of the beer. It was oh so chewy, coated the tongue with sugary delight. The froth of the dissolved CO2 was at a perfect level (despite the lack of visual indication). Excellent mouthfeel for a RIS.
Overall: Definitely a beer I would like to enjoy again. Maybe next time we will try fresh off the line. Thanks again for sharing Scudder.

Photo of cdiddy5
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

The ever changing flavors year to year make this beer intriguing. Could be better is all

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,753 ratings.