Dark Lord Imperial Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

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1,217 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,217
Hads: 3,937
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 14.49%
Wants: 3,079
Gots: 1,845 | FT: 148
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,217 | Hads: 3,937
Photo of CraftEyeDoc
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A group of friends and I enjoyed a Dark Lord vertical, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012 on 1/13/13. I have had the 2012 multiple times from Dark Lord Day and this beer has definitely changed in just a years time but age does some serious delicious things to this beer. Each bottle was poured into taster glass and sips of each were taking going down the line. The sweetness assoc with DL was more apparent as you moved from 2005 to the 2012.

Some my think that 2005 is too long to let this beer age but I don't think so. All the sweetness was all gone. The beer had very subtle but complex flavors. Def large hints of oak and slightly more acidic. Often I would come back to this and taste something new hence why I said the very subtle nature of this 7.5 year old DL. Then moving to the 2007 and 2010... What can I say but these beers were an amazing example of a RIS. The last time I had the 2012 was in Nov and in 2 months this beer has changed for the better. Slightly more mellowed sweetness and the other flavors shine a lot more.

Overall: One heck of an evening and was so glad to be apart of this opportunity. After tasting this broad spectrum of DL I would say the def spot for this beer is 2-4 years of aging. The sweetness dies out some and takes a back burner and lets the complexity of tastes shine even more.

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Photo of BeerZombies1
5/5  rDev +16.8%

2010 Dark Lord - Three Floyds
Russian Imperial Stout
15% ABV
50 IBU

APPEARANCE: Poured a devilish black oil slick color. My snifter produced little to no head, the teku pour produced a small khaki colored head that settled into a nice halo that has stuck around. Spotted lacing, that is slow dancing down the glass.

AROMA: Instantly hit with black licorice and molasses. Reminiscent of Bourbon County Brand Stout on the bouquet. Smells of rich dark chocolates and deep dark fruits, currants, plums and ripe plump raisins. Faint aroma of coffee beans hiding under the layers. Smells sweet and boozy at the same time, such an inviting aroma.

TASTE: I just made a deal with the devil, sold my soul for a bottle of beer! Amazing, chocolate covered cherries, floating on a bed of sweet malts. Intense flourishes of burnt caramelized fruits with a toasted nuttiness. The chocolate and sweetness gives way to nice warming alcohol heat that finishes with a nice port wine like flavors. If I had this in a blind taste, I would bet the house this was a barrel aged beer. I'm a huge fan of vanilla and this delivers an immense slap to the taste buds of Madagascar vanilla beans. Delicious!

MOUTHFEEL: For a hard pour that produced almost no head I was expecting a almost lazy flat beer. I was wrong. Prickly hidden carbonation that expands into a wonderful creaminess with each sip. Nice burn from the high ABV with a dry lingering finish that leaves the flavors hanging around for an eternity in my mouth.

OVERALL: As far as a Russian Imperial Stout goes, this gargantuan beer is the best I've had to date. The layers upon layers on both nose and pallet seem to be ever evolving. The sweetness is forefront without being cloying, the alcohol is present without being overbearing. All around an amazing beer for the style and amazing beer in general. The Dark Lord has risen!

RATING: 5/5 Zombie Heads!

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

What the hell can I say about this magnificent creation that has not already been said? This was to be my 6000th beer, but I decided to take it to Papago and as we often bring special beers to sample, this was my choice.

The beer as it slowly oozes out of the 22-ounce brown bottle pours as thick as molasses in January in Maine, it literally makes a glugging sound as it excavates itself from its container. Onyx in color, the head a deep chocolate brown that is creamy as whipped chocolate icing and portly in size, the lace a coat of brown to obscure the glass. Nose is rich bittersweet chocolate, burnt coffee, sweet malt, a treat for both the olfactory and ocular senses, a beer you must sniff to understand its complexity, start is thick and chewy, ambrosial and the top as full as any beer I have ever tasted. Finish is pleasing in its acidity; hops are powerful in their spiciness, the alcohol quite noticeable and the rich sweet chocolate and burnt coffee flavors continue to the parched desert dry aftertaste a quite noticeable tummy warming sensation. “Just one fantastic beer”, but a word of warning not meant for the weak of palate or people not into strong over the top beers, so if you fall into these categories and you have a “Dark Lord” sitting around, send it to me immediately if not sooner. lol

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

OK....I've been holding onto a couple of these until the flurries of praise subsided. I just extracted the cap from the wax. Prior to this I had a bottle of Old Rasputin. It's one of my house faves and I thought I'd use it as a base.

It pours into the glass with an oily slickness that coats the sides of the glass. Little foam happens. It's sitting in the glass at 56 degrees F. (love the thermometer) The smell is of English walnuts, very complex Port and some Indian spices I can't place but remember after the meal. It might be fennel. I'm not much of a nose guy but this one sticks it into my nostrils. This is amazing!

The taste is JW Lees meets Thomas Hardy. I don't know how they do this but it seems that they must throw massive amounts of original material into the mash. Whoa!...I just poured the last 2 inches of the bottle into the glass. It looks like hot fudge. It is thick and gritty. I can''t imagine sharing this with anyone who isn't seriously experienced in huge beer. This is sensory overload.

This is memorable and even though I paid $18.00 a bottle for it I consider it highly drinkable. Too bad it's gone for now. I hope they do it again. My only other 5 is Hair of the Dog Adam. This is one of the best beers I've ever had.


I'm speaking to you from the future...It's 2005 now and I just opened a new edition of the Dark Lord...orange wax...Damn...this is good!!! I get smell meat and I'm no vegan...This is nose ass beer. The taste is knock down good. The pour was 30 wt. The head was slight and two toned with streaks of white which mysteriously disappeared. No more reviewing for now...time for drinking...All's well...Thank you Floyds.

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Photo of vanburton1
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfect this year 2015! Well worth the wait (considering I didn't wait). Anticipating to try next years. Rich and strong with coffee and less sugar this time. Nailed it!

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

2012 vintage poured into a Duvel tulip at 46 degrees. Pours a midnight oil black. 2 inch beige head quickly shrinks to nothing. Lacing is minimal. Aroma is dark fruit, plum, raisin, molasses, mild pine, maple syrup, toffee, and caramal. Taste is very sweet. Candi sugar, dates, raisins, molasses, toasted malts, raw earth in the back of your mouth, dark baking syrup, faint grass, and roasted barley. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. There is hardly any evidence of alcohol, which is amazing for a 15%abv. Awesome beer. So complex and amazing. I cannot wait till i try this over the next few years in my cellar.

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

Appearance: Dark black/brown, but that is to be expected. Head is large, sticky, tan and well laced.

Smell: Dark, chocolate, very bitter and sharp smelling, excellent.

Taste: Sharp at first, but not raw. Bitter dark chocolate, strong coffee assaults the mouth, bolstered by a strong vinous/alcohol aspect. Leaves you exhausted and contemplative after every sip. Fantastic, what a Imperial Stout should taste like.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full, oily, mouth coating.

Drinkability: It's hard to find a fault in this beer, worth the hype, worth saving for my 1000th beer reviewed. A huge thanks to OldFrothingSlosh for hooking me up with one of the best beers anywhere.

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

2008 bottle. Stood in line for 3-1/2 hours for it.

Pours a black that light can not penetrate. It is a black hole sucking up light around it, it's so black. This is real motor oil looking. Pours out the same way oil looks when you pour it into your engine. Creamy chestnut brown head faded very quickly into a thin ring along the edge. There's no lacing but you can tell by the smell that the molasses is gonna stick to everything!

There's a great smell of molasses and dark chocolate, plum, cinnamon, a hint of cherry and there is absolutely no coffee at all. You can also smell the 13% and it does smell amazingly delicious with all that sweetness coming up with it. This is the big boy of sippers.

This beer is not for the faint of heart. you have to really be a serious Russian Imperial Stout lover to drink this beer. It's as if someone angel had added steroids to a regular RIS recipe. Yes I said angel. This beer is how WE SHOULD ALL KNOW god exists and he wants us to be happy.

Huge sweet molasses, caramel, dark bitter sweet chocolate up front, plum?/prune?, honey somewhere in the middle along with more chocolate (like frosting) and bourbon soaked cherry in the middle-end with a huge bite of sticky-gooey molasses in the very back of this bad ass MFer! Wow. And Wow again. So F'N good.

This beer is surprising smooth for such a big hitter. It's not completely full bodied but it's very close. I think it's a good thing because being just shy of full bodied may be why this is drinkable. It does feel like it has some thickness to it that can't easily be split up even in your mouth. It's what I imagined the feel (not taste) of motor oil would be.

This beer is way to drinkable. And that's both a problem and a good thing. It's a problem because this beer isn't available on your corner at your local store. So you savor each and every bottle and each and every sip, to the last drop. It's limited production is what makes this beer amazing. See if I could buy this beer regularly, I'd want to drink it every day. I'd also want a steak and a huge piece of chocolate cake to help me get my fix.

This beer is way too damn good! It's like crack but in beer form. You just can't get enough. And as soon as it's gone, You want more, and more, and more.

Can't wait for this one to mature in my cellar. Man I'm already thinking of how to plan my next trip to DLD. This beer is top notch! Thank you Three Floyds! mmm mmm good!

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

2011 vintage.
Had on tap the day after DLD 2011

Aromas of leather, tobacco, port, honey and dark fruits. Sweet, super rich and decadent. Palate is dominated by dark fruits and a port like sweetness but with just enough tar and roast to balance. Viscous and oily body. Alcohol only hits you in the chest, overall for 15% this is incredibly smooth. A fantastic RIS, didn’t disappoint

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Photo of BMoney575
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled on 1-16-09
2008 Vintage
Reviewed from notes.

A: Super oily and black, with a thin head that coates the glass with a thin, yellow layer.

S: Surprisingly old, tons of oak, smoke, anise, and molasses. Thick and crazy complex, probably the best smelling beer ever.

T: Wow. This beer is only 9 months old but tastes like it's been aging for years. Oak all over the place, followed by a sweet, almost fruity quality. Hugely malty and yeasty, big in every way. Different than any other RIS I've had.

M: Low carbonation, thick and syrupy, coats the glass and the palate.

D: Insanely good for such an extreme beer, the flavors are just so addicting.

My first and only 5.0 rated beer.

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

I sold my eternal soul for this bottle. Actually, I just traded a bottle of Pizza Port, but I *would* have sold my soul, damn it. And it would have been worth it.

Lots of beers are black. This is darker. No hints of ruby around the edges when you hold it up to the light. In fact, it actually seems to absorb light. The room gets a little darker when you pour this, even as your eyes light up. I'm surprised there's a head at all to this monster, even if it is just a thin rim. But it lasts.

Big malt aroma with huge alcohol spiciness and heat. Ridiculously roasty. Plums and currants dance gingerly amidst their more assertive aroma neighbors.

The mouthfeel is like syrup. I've had plenty of Imperial Stouts, and some of them were pretty thick. But this is amazing. A true joy to swirl around the tongue. Viscous, chewy, and delightful.

Delicious roasty malt flavors dominate, with more hints of black cherry and a strong, but not at all out-of-place, alcohol presence. Bittersweet chocolate and molasses.

Just for kicks, I poured the last inch of the bottle in to my glass, though I had been amply warned that it would be undrinkable. These dregs left trails down the glass of a sort I'd never seen before. I'm not sure one trip through the dishwasher is going to get that out.

An amazing beer. Utterly disproportionate, over-the-top, ginormous and massive. But a joy to drink nevertheless. A true one-of-a-kind.

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Photo of revolt914
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't need to go into detail about this beer... it truly does live up to it's hype... I was at a beer tasting today and got a bottle of the 2010 Dark Lord and opened it up and drank a bit and my god... I really haven't tasted anything this amazing. I don't know if this is my favorite beer style or if it's just Three Floyds for being extreme geniuses with beer and flavor. This beer might not be the best thing you've ever had but damn... it truly is the best thing I've tasted to date and I was overly amped to try this and it didn't disappoint and totally lived up to my expectations.


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

Poured from the bottle into a wide mouthed twenty ounce goblet.

Appearance: This beer poured blacker than black. Did I mention the beer was black with no opaqueness to light. The head was about two fingers with reverse cascading. The head was colored a lightly creamed coffee coloration. Webs of lacing remained on the glass. This is one sexy beer.

Smell: The beer truly is a melange of smells. Chocolate and heavily roasted to a crisp coffee via for dominance. The eddies of fruity goodness play throughout the beer. Cherries dipped in rum and chocolate. play with currants and dates and other assorted berries. I know I missed alot on the intial drinking and will try again latter.

Taste: The Dark Lord is really really bad! The taste lives up to the smell. Loads of chared to a crisp coffee and chocolate lead the charge. There is a harsh but not unpleasant spiceyness to the beer. There is a massive amount of fruity goodness floating in the beer. Dam this is the shit!

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is incredible. Chewy doesnt even beging to describe the thickness of the mouthfeel. This coats your mouth to the point where almost nothing else could get through. Drinkability is really dam near perfect. There is enough sweetness and bitterness to keep your attention. This beer is everything I have heard it was and then some. I have at last met my Overlord.

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

Ive been eager to review/drink this highly touted brew for years now. For christmas my GF presented me with a bottle.

I finally got around to trying it and i was most certainly impressed.

A- It poured thick and dark black with a great chocolate head that looked thick and creamy.

S- Cherries covered in dark belgian chocolate rich and deep aromas abound.

T- Big malty chocolate cake with hints of toffee, coffee clove and dark fruits. a very slight hint of soy sauce but in a pleasing way.

M- Thick and creamy with a flavor that coats the mouth. it really is a dessert in a bottle.

D- If it was possible to give it a 6 out of 5 on this on drinkability i would. there are many stouts out there but none quite like this. i would drink this until the morning light and then just keep on.

Believe the hype on this one it really is an extraordinary beer. if you cant find the dark lord i would however recommend chokolat stout from southern tier as i believe it to be almost as good.

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Photo of Bowman2001
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thick, viscous pour. Nearly no head. Smells boozy, sweet (vanilla, chocolate). I don't get as much roast and coffee in the smell as with other stouts. That's fine with me. The taste is fantastic. So much to process. Sweetness that seems to suggest chocolate, vanilla, molasses. Unlike many stouts, the roast is hidden. For that, I think this beer stands out a bit to me. Some licorice in there too. Yum. The booze will get you if you drink too fast but it certainly does not overtake the beer. It is well hidden, which is impressive for 15%. I love this beer and Dark Lord Day.

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Photo of raninator84
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A finer Imperial Stout? I know not!

2009 Bottle poured into a thick walled Chalice. Oh how the Czars would envy me.
Pours a deep black profuse sludge as if the Dark Lord himself has awakened from a slumber of centuries past. Already I can smell the scent of deep roasted malts, coffee, smoked embers, and nutmeg. The lacing clinging to the walls of my glass, but sliding ever so smoothly into the depths of midnight, where light ceases and something a bit abnormal begins. The first sip; smooth, chewy and thick. Perhaps this Lord of Darkness plays well with others? A robust hit of roasted chocolate careens my palate confused as to what it wishes to unleash next. A rush of sweet molasses and plum forces its boldness upon my senses. As the ferocity of the sip hits my palate a hint of nutmeg and cherries sneaks in through the back with hops infused in the grain. A strong but short burst of burnt and smoked woodiness ends atop the alcohol, clearly there can be no more. But the taste lingers and finally rests into a roasted smoked chocolate embrace. It's enough to want to follow the Dark Lord into the underbelly, into the darkside, into the grave. And after sampling the elixir of this Demigod, I must pledge my loyalty to he who is the master of the blackest of nights, the overseer of the underworld of sludge, and the purveyor of all that is "not normal". To the Dark Lord.

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Photo of JamesTerry88
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First dark lord ever; tried a 2014. Can't wait to crack open my 2013 DL soon. Hoping to get more vintage & 2014 Dark Lord in the future. Best beer I've ever had to date. Pours like oil; love the sweetness & mouthfeel of this beer. All hail the Dark Lord!!!¡!!!¡!

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Photo of Stockfan42
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Green Waxed Bottle.

Pours a deep dark brown color that is almost black with a thin laced brown head.

Smell is heavy in coffee, chocolate and cherrys with some hints of other dark fruits and a slight roastyness. A little heat escapes the nose, but not too much.

Taste is very sweet. Coffee and chocolate dominate in a molasses like sweetness with hints of cherry, raisins and figs. A slight bitterness lingers in the back.

Mouthfeel is pretty much perfect. Chewy with a velvet like body and it goes down very smooth. Incredibly drinkable and not too much heat either.

Overall this has got to be one of the best beers I've ever had. Taste is great, smell is great, mouthfeel is probably the best for any stout I've ever had. I highly recommend this to RIS lovers and beer lovers alike.

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

2005 bottling, sealed with bright orange wax. Acquired courtesy of a trade with dmeadows -- many thanks.

Tenebrous pitch. Inky black with a scorched mocha froth head. Vinous blackberry, smoky cocoa powder, molten chocolate brandy, and fresh roasted espresso aromas. Incredibly intense flavor: dark fruits at first, with bourbon-soaked Bing cherries and stewed plums predominating; then firmly bitter dark chocolate, at once smooth and bitingly sharp; finally, an unbelievably long finish of roasted char and heady dark coffee malevolence. An unvanquishable yet sophisticated alcohol presence lingers throughout the entire sip. The mouthfeel is ponderous and glass-smooth. Overall: paradigmatic. A titan among imperial stouts, the experience truly leaves me in awe.

[Enjoyed while repeatedly listening to Soulreaper's "Written In Blood" as a tribute to the most evocative review of Dark Lord ever written -- a review that is, sadly, no longer available for us to read.]

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

I'm not one for reviewing, so all of my reviews will be of beers that I really enjoy. After all, I was taught at an early age that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. I know this doesn't make for interesting critiques but as a brewer I don't believe in criticizing someone's hard work, especially in a public forum where they can't defend themselves!

That being said, this is one of my all time favorites. I've done a few verticals of this one and feel that a year or two on this one, just takes an already perfect beer to another level. How this is 15% is beyond me. While I can feel if after a glass or three, you can't tell while sipping it. The mouthfeel is what I love the most about this brew. Heavenly. You feel like this one can be poured out and cut with a steak knife. Just pure thick, chewy greatness.

This beer gets an ungodly amount of hype that I feel is worth every word.

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

2011 Poured into snifter

A: Pitch black, 1 finger mocha head. Pours just like oil. Decent carbonation. Just What an Imperial stout should be.

S:Very, Very sweet chocolate right away almost like chocolate covered cherries. Great roasted coffee, alcohol tingles nostrils a lil. A small hint of fig.

T:Chocolate, vanilla and cherry hit first thing. Coffee notes are absolutely perfect. The alcohol is not nearly as present as I thought it would be at 15 abv.

O:Perfect!!!! Just what I look for in an Imperial Stout. Chocolatey, coffee, goodness!

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

2009 vintage (white wax)

My 40th bottle of Dark Lord in the last 4 years...it's about time I review this beer!

Appearance: Dump it vigorously into a cabernet glass and sit back and admire...wait a second...the bottle description wasn't lying--the incendiary head suddenly materializes out of empty space like a backdraft. Close-ups of this would make for a nice series on the Discovery channel. Markedly less head retention than the '08, as the mocha froth ultimately dissipates to an obsidian reflection of myself. Scary stuff. Looks like India ink, fading to burnt umber when you tip the glass in the light, and glowing red at the edges. Rock it back and forth and watch the wake of tiny red bubbles vanish into the black abyss.

Nose: Beguiling, mysterious, intriguing, beckoning, impossible, singular, addictive...smells like?...?.?..Dark Lord I guess. I like to swirl and smell this beer about 12 times before each sip, because it's a way of trying to understand the staggering complexity of this beer without losing any of it to your belly. It's very dense, and difficult to pull out specific aromas...cool coffee and juicy Floydian hops when it's cold--not unlike the new '09 Behemoth barley wine. As it warms to cellar temperature, you start to get more of the ripe dark fruit--cherry, plum, currant, whatever you want to call it--dipped in chocolate and molasses of course.

Flavor: Not unlike the aroma--tight and complex. This beer reminds me of a slowly braised meat, where a handful of awesome ingredients are slowly cooked together for hours until the end result is so integrated and the whole is entirely greater than the sum of its parts. In past DL vintages, you literally tasted a blast of hops, or coffee, or a metallic tinge, sticky caramel, or blatant cherries....here it's more of a nuanced enigma. And I don't mean this in a bad way. Choco-but-not-too-choco-latey-covered cherry-ish molassified espresso beanery port-like black tea roasted barley balsamic reduction??? Only thing lacking compared to previous vintages is a slight 'char' on the finish...but I don't even care.

Mouthfeel: Better than ever! The quick-fading head made me think they went back to '07 sludge-like texture....but NO! The carbonation is there, in perfect amount. The beer is just as heavy as its reputation now demands, but somehow it's smoother than ever...no sticky brown film on the glass, no mud at the bottom of the bottle, and no lump in your throat after the sip. It has shedded some excess fat. It's lean and trim, but still boasts the muscularity, power, and complexity it always had. Unreal.

Drinkability: You can drink a full bottle of this [slowly] before bed with some good music or a good movie, or you can split it with three friends on the back porch. But since this beer is meant to be sipped, savored, and pondered over, it is not 'drinkable' in the case-race sense. I do think it is perfectly drinkable in terms of its unique velvety texture and its impressive balance of complex flavors, always leaving you wanting another sip, and sad when it's all gone. Can't wait to try this one in a few months, or in 2014.

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Photo of rye726
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Nothing short of one of the best beers in the world. Pours a thick, oilish black with a creamy espresso head. Not the best retention, but exquisite color and dense viscosity more than makes up for it.

The nose has dark malts, fudge, coffee, molasses, anise, caramel, dark pitted fruits and dank hops.

The taste is the perfect blend of sweet, bitter and roasted flavors. Vast complexity yet superb balance.

Possibly the thickest beer I have ever had. So much going on, but nothing out of place. The epitome of artisinal brewing.

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

Growler ½ gallon
When poured into the glass from the big glass, it was black, black and powerful as the name, and thick like a bottle of 10W 40. When held up to a high intensity light I noticed that the black wasn’t actually black, but a blood brown black. Dense was the color. The head seemed to bubble up towards the end, like the dark lord rising from the black primordial beginnings, its color was a medium brown color, thick but not deep. As I stuck my finger into it to see if it was as sticky as it looked, I swear I felt a pulling sensation. It was sticky but left no lace on the side of the glass. The aroma was intense! I nosed cherries, sweet malt (molasses), tobacco (like skoal or coppenhagen), wichester sauce and as I stirred it, the alcohol peaked its nose up at me and whispered “I’m here too”. The taste was thick and creamy. If there was carbonation I missed it. Not flat, just thick. I noticed flavors of sweet molasses, spices, port wine, fruit (cherries) as it warmed I also noticed hints of chocolate and more cherries and alcohol. Like many beers of this type this only got better as it warmed, warmed from the fires it was born from, stirred and created from the Dark One himself. Truly one of the greatest brews made. I felt different after only consuming 2 ½ pints of this potion, different like I was possessed. The wife said that she was either going to call a priest for a exorcism or take me straight to church because of the look on my face. It was an experience all its own. Thank You 3 Floyds for this beer. Thank you

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

This beer is as black as eternity. A dense, dark brown head adorns the surface and has staying power comparable to a John Wooden Dynasty. Aroma is muggy and juicy. Alcohol and currants meld with plum, raisin, molasses and port. This beer just fucking coats your mouth like none I've ever had. Such a great mouthfeel. And the taste, ironically, is heavenly. 13%?? Damn, I really need to be careful to make this bomber last. There's a big bitterness coming from burnt malts and what I perceive to be high alpha acid PACNW hops. Dark plum, cherry and heavy, sludgey molasses blend together in harmony. Vanilla, cedar, bourbon and alcohol tones fit in very appropriately. The lingering bitterness is abusive, but I love it. I find that if you pour the whole bottle into one glass, you're in for a little surprise. A "beer frosting." I get this great "oil slick" like coating on the surface that contained all the goodness of the beer beneath except in a concentrated, thick, sludge-like form. Beautiful.

Well, I think it's taken me over 1000 reviews, but I have now found a second beer worthy of straight 5s.

What can I say Dale other than Thank You!!

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,217 ratings.