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Dark Lord Imperial Stout - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,379 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,379
Reviews: 1,159
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,796
Gots: 1,496 | FT: 99
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
A Demonic Imperial Russian stout brewed with INTELLIGENTSIA coffee,vanilla, and molasses.

Dark Lord is only available once a year at Dark Lord Day at the Three Floyds Brewpub.

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

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Lord Imperial Stout Alström Bros
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Ratings: 3,379 | Reviews: 1,159 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RoyalT
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This one is interesting even before you pour it. Hold a flashlight up to the cool-looking artisan bottle and you will see mounds of sediment. It looks like there’s more sediment in there than beer.

Watch it again as you pour it from the bottle. It really does ooze instead of flow. I have to go back through my other reviews and delete any reference to “motor oil” after seeing this stuff come out of the bottle.

This 13.00% ABV monster actually brought along a great head. The head is so darkly browned it’s almost black itself. This truly is the “Dark Lord.”

Smell – I can’t even think of any way to describe this without sounding like I’m exaggerating. The malts are burnt, there are about eight different scents of coffee and espresso styles in there, and the fruits are enormous. Every dark fruit I’ve ever had is in this nose. The alcohol is there but in a really good sort of way. Think Kettle One.

Taste – The flavors are like a crowd of people at a pub each one calling for the bartender’s attention. I can hear some screaming, “Coffee, espresso,” and others calling out for, “Dark, heavily roasted and burnt malts.” The “fruit table” in the back room is really getting rowdy.

If I had to focus on one “group” of flavors it would have to be the fruits. They are giant, hybrid fruits that have genetically mutated into unnatural monsters. The cherries and apricots are like giant boulders avalanching down a mountainside. The dates are bigger than a Boeing 747. All of these giant fruits are covered in a chocolate mudslide of historic proportions (think, cheesy 1970s “The Blob” movies).

Mouthfeel – This really does cause one to pause and reassess one’s definition of a “full-bodied” beer. Do I have to go back and change all the other “big beers” I’ve had to “medium?” It’s almost as if they made a thick stout then reduced it down in a saucepan.

This redefines smooth. It just oozes along your teeth and gums. It’s like a really good, sexy, juicy French kiss. Think, “Making out with Pamela Anderson after she just ate a box of Belgian chocolates.” If this beer had a finger sticking out the side of the bottle I’d put a wedding ring on it.

Drinkability – I don’t think it would be accurate to say that it, “masks” the alcohol, because there’s no question when drinking this that it’s got a high ABV. The alcohol is just so good, like really good, high-quality vodka. You know it’s booze, but it goes down like water.

I can sincerely say, without sounding too over-the-top, that this is smoother than water. It is just that good. This is so far above any other Stout that I’ve had it’s a shame that I can’t give it anything higher than all 5’s.

Comments – The most unbelievable part of this story is that the bottle wasn’t even mine. Skyhand was incredible enough to split it with me. Now THAT has to be the ultimate BA sharing experience. I’d push my mama down a flight of stairs if she tried to take a sip of my Dark Lord.

Update – Yes, skyhand was kind enough to share with me a 2005 just after release. It gave us an opportunity to evaluate this amazing beer at a young age.

At this stage, the bitterness was much stronger and the flavors a little less blended together. I think for 2005 they also changed the filtering process because this bottle lacked sediment of any kind.

Overall, is it still a perfect 5.0? Yes, indeedee, it certainly is. This is the pinnacle of the ADS style and stands apart from the crowd like Tiger Woods at a child’s Putt-Putt golf park.

RoyalT, Dec 25, 2004
Photo of bulldogg915
5/5  rDev +16.8%

bulldogg915, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of Britton
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Britton, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Billolick
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can be added about this one? Sampled at the Blind Tiger thanks to Mike/eyedrinkale. Pours coal Black with a creamy darkest of tans head. Creamy, rich and milkshake like in mouthfeel. Loads of flavor bursting onto the palate. Coffee, chocolate, raisins, figs, burnt fruits. Complex, bold, flavorful...simply world class....wonderfully dark, thick and sludgy. Wish I could get my hands on more of this stuff!

Billolick, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of 1Adam12
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i was going to wait on a promotion to try this, but ah well, theres always Abacus! I know there are the critics, but this was the best stout I've ever had. Review of the 2010 version, brought to you (me) by bringthebail, and 2011 version, brought to you (me again) by Barwfin. 2010 has HUGE bourbon and coffee notes, 2011 not so huge notes. 2010 big bourbon and malt flavors, plus tons of coffee and a bit of chocolate. 2011 was almost more drinkable, yet not quite as good version but, more coffee in the 2010 and I swear there was banana in the 2011. Both were fabulous, smooth, lightly carbonated, and just downright awesome in mouthfeel. Best beer I've ever had. Lives up to the hype for sure. 2010 was different than 2011, neither was better, just different. No trace of the alcohol content in either version. Both were awesome in there own way. 2010 was more pronounced in flavors. My favorite beer at this point in my life.

Edit: Everybody seems to say "Alcohol" taste, but I swear it was bourbon. It doesn't say bourbon aged, but it's in there.

1Adam12, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of menkros
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had the 2012 dark lord red wax bottle. It was the first time I'd had a Russian imperial stout, and I wish I could have it more often than 4 per year. I agree with a lot I reviews on this beer. It does have a motor oil consistency going down. It is dark as night with a light head and carbonation. Tastes like cofffee , chocolate, and the alcohol content is very well hidden. I live 40 minute from the brewery and am currently moving to California. I will definitely be flying back next year for my 4 beer allotment.

menkros, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of jmbraxton
5/5  rDev +16.8%

jmbraxton, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of acknight
5/5  rDev +16.8%

acknight, May 02, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another one of those beers from Three Floyd's "It's not normal", well when I heard about this 13% Imperial Russian Stout I thought to myself that's not normal. Well, here we are about to break through the layer of red triple dipped wax to break the seal of the beastly brew. The bottle depicts in comic book fashion a demon possessed viking crushing skulls and what not, but either way I'm guessing he's the Dark Lord. Let's see what he has to offer my senses. Appearance on this one goes as follows, in the pour this maybe the thickest textured brew I have ever poured the addition of molasses may have something to do with that. Color spectrum yep it's dark simply engulfs all visible light waves leaves behind a resilient line of thin moccha tan head that with my first sip starts to leave trickles of lace. Aromatics contained in this nectar are deep thunderous colliding waves dark chocolate, wine like fruit notes arising from the trenches of this beer, along with an espresso barrel aged like finish hop presence is evident and as it warms this is even more so for 13%abv it's not burning any nose hairs, which is a good thing. If nothing else about this beer grabs ahold of you, the flavor is sure to. Massive unparalleled possibly brings another style about redefining the Imperial Stout category for me, brings huge staggering amount of slightly burnt dark roasted malts to the palate the molasses is evident with alcohol infused fruit namingly tart cherry notes screaming out while blending perfectly in this orgy of flavor. A definite strong coffe presence is welcoming and eye opening at the same time, just burped up a load of hops bringing about another wonderful aspect of this beer. Three Floyd's have done it again the Dreadnaught stands as my favorite Imperial IPA this may just take the throne as my all time favorite Imperial Stout. Mouthfeel is chewy yes a beer can be chewy, don't believe me try this one it says it all. Once again the molasses takes the reigns adding to this full bodied beers complexity on the palate tame carbonation wouldn't want it any other way, after pouring in the final yeast sediment from the bottle the texture becomes thicker which is hard to believe. Drinkability couldn't believe that a beer this massive could be so tasty and drinkable in a 22 ounce portion, I don't know what has me completely sold on this beer but it's amazing. Complex as all hell with a huge mouthfeel, aromatics are mesmorizing, and the taste is orchestrated to perfection. Believe the hype this brew will humble you to the Dark Lord the true master of this style, the 3F's have pushed the envelope and succeeded once again I smell a victory.

WVbeergeek, Apr 21, 2004
Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a black so dark that I think it actually makes the room a little darker. It pours as thick as motor oil. The head is very dark brown. The head is very thick and creamy looking. It fades very slowly. I have been looking at it for about 5 minutes, and it still has almost the same amount of head as when I first filled the glass. It leaves laces so thick, I can not see through them. This beer smells strongly of alcohol. After the wave of alcohol, coffee aroma is present. It also smells strongly of roasted malts. Hints of chocolate are also present. As for hops, there is a slight aroma, but it is almost totally masked by stronger aromas. The first sip of this beer makes all the work, and expense I went to trying to get it all worth while. It tastes very strongly of coffee and chocolate. It is quite bitter, but very well balanced. It is very malty. The alcohol tates is a little harder to make out, but it warms my throat as it goes down. This beer is very thick and creamy. It is a very full bodied beer. It sits heavy on the palate, leaving a coffeelike aftertaste. Due to the rather high alcohol content, and the very aggressive flavor, this beer might not be the best session beer for some. I personally think I could drink it all night, or at least untill the alcohol got to me. I think this beer is amazing. I wish it was not so hard to come by. I would like to thank both goodbyeohio, and mentor for supplying me with this great beer. In a few months I will drink my other bottle and compare it. I just hope I can wait that long.

OStrungT, May 21, 2005
Photo of girllovesbier
5/5  rDev +16.8%

girllovesbier, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of deuce9259
5/5  rDev +16.8%

deuce9259, Feb 05, 2013
Photo of 1BeerToRuleThemAll
5/5  rDev +16.8%

1BeerToRuleThemAll, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of Nickqb7
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Nickqb7, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of cynical1027
5/5  rDev +16.8%

cynical1027, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of MeneerBeerSnob
5/5  rDev +16.8%

MeneerBeerSnob, May 09, 2012
Photo of spambum
5/5  rDev +16.8%

spambum, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of seanthornton152
5/5  rDev +16.8%

seanthornton152, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of cwehr13
5/5  rDev +16.8%

cwehr13, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of bigsquirrel
5/5  rDev +16.8%

bigsquirrel, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of Beezee
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Beezee, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of mhenson42
5/5  rDev +16.8%

mhenson42, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of MSEGUIN
5/5  rDev +16.8%

MSEGUIN, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photekut, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of bradford
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks a million to mynie for this trade
Tasted on 5/11 with three friends and neighbors
Well I finally found my perfect 5. This beer was incredible, and I thought it lived up to all the hype surrounding it. I have been reading that the 07 has too much sediment and you don't get a full beer, but my bottle was perfectly fine. This stuff is so viscous it is nuts. I wanted to really savor the bottle, but everyone wanted another sip right away so the glass only lasted about 15 minutes. Amazing. My roommate and I giggled like little girls the whole time we were drinking.

Awesome beer

bradford, May 13, 2007
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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,379 ratings.