Dark Lord Imperial Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,206 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,206
Hads: 3,880
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 14.22%
Wants: 3,057
Gots: 1,798 | FT: 139
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: 1,206 | Hads: 3,880
Photo of mzwolinski
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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. (1,433 characters)

Photo of revolt914
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

GET THIS BEER AND AT LEAST TRY IT! (626 characters)

Photo of nlmartin
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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. (1,382 characters)

Photo of razorsdescent
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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. (987 characters)

Photo of Bowman2001
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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. (577 characters)

Photo of raninator84
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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. (1,387 characters)

Photo of JamesTerry88
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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!!!¡!!!¡! (264 characters)

Photo of Stockfan42
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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. (793 characters)

Photo of orfeu
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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.] (970 characters)

Photo of funkybuddha
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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. (912 characters)

Photo of Mindabyss
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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! (546 characters)

Photo of Beerkovich
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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. (3,135 characters)

Photo of rye726
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'08

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. (536 characters)

Photo of Jarod
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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 (1,578 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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!! (1,155 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber bottle, direct from the brewery. The triple dipped wax cap is pryed off easily enough, and I pour this brew oh so carefully into a Arrogant Bastard shaker pint. This beer is BLACK. It is completely opaque, and has a small head of tan since I poured it oh-so slowly to prevent getting any sediment into the glass. The aromas were excellent. Raisins, Port, Alcohol, Dark spiced rum, Other dark fruits, Vanilla, Chocolate chip cookies, Starbucks doubleshot expresso drinks, caramel, and more! Complex to say the least, but not as overpowering as I was expecting. The taste was wonderful. Chocolate, Green citric/herbal/floral hops, Deeply roasted malts, Caramel, Coffee, Raisins, Port, Alcohol, Brandy, and more! The mouthfeel was actually a bit thinner than I was expecting for this hardcore imperial, but that just made this beer dissapear amazingly quick, with an exceptional drinkability for a IS. At a few weeks after bottling and a week to rest in the cellar, this beer is so ready, imo. Sure, it may be different and perhaps better in 6 months, but than you will not know how it is in its current state...raw and uncut. If you have 2 bottles of this nectar you owe it to yourself to crack one open now!

OK, so with my second glass of this I left the bottom 4 ounces in the bottle, and than I poured that into the last 2 ounces of "beer" to make my liquid malt shake! The appearance became less opaque and quite sludgy. What a slut of a beer! The aromas were definately hoppier and more boozy with the addition of the yeasties. The taste was also hoppier, more raw, boozier, and less raisiny with a more pronounced chocolate and coffee flavor. There was also a more pronounced raw leafy hop character, as well as some resins. The most important change, however, was the mouthfeel. When clean, this stuff is almost light in the mouth, but with the yeast in there this beer becomes absolutely thick. Thicker than any other beer that I have sampled in my life. This stuff sticks to the inside of your mouth, and makes your lips seal shut. This really is the consistency of pudding! The drinkability remains excellent for this malt shake, and makes this beer even cooler, as you can have two distinctively different glasses of the same beer!

All, in all I thought that this beer *did* live up to the hype. It was pricey, and hard to get, but it also provided me with a nice drinking experience where I got to sample a beer in two completely different forms. I can already tell that this beer would be a world-beater on tap or cask, and I hope to sample it that way soon...but for now, the dark lord has risen, and I am very glad that I got to try him in his infancy. Now, only time will tell how he will mature as he takes the thrown as the king of darkness! (and the king of imperial stouts...) 13%, you have to be kidding me! What an interesting experience! The Courage Russian Imperial Stout of a new generation of beer enthusiasts!

I can just imagine what a 2004 Dark Lord will taste like in 2025! (3,022 characters)

Photo of jcartamdg
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick pitch black appearance with a two finger mocha head, looks amazing! Aroma of chocolate, coffee, sweet fruits and alcohol. Reminds me more of a port than a beer but it's a good thing that I love ports. Taste follows the nose yet sweeter, I am amazed by the complexity of this beer as it warms it gets even more complex. (332 characters)

Photo of bassmantin
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to iconoklaztor for letting me taste this. What an epic event.

Smell is very very sweet. Reminds me of the Sam Adams Triple Bock. I know that sounds weird, but it's very sweet. The sweetness is incredibly intense and last very long. I like it but the mouthfeel is very intense and sticky. The uniqueness here is in the durability of the taste; it lasts forever.

I'm not blown away, but it's a great beer. A little too sweet for me, but still awesome. (460 characters)

Photo of nvsblman
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a DARK black, no light is getting through this one! Very viscous, with a thick, pillowy, coffee brown head. The aroma, wow, coffee, raisins, fruit, nuts, alcohol, molasses, roasted malt. The aroma alone is worth getting ahold of one of these. So many flavors too! Chocolate, toasted nuts, dark cherries, coffee, vanilla, raisins. The roasted flavors just hang around in your mouth long after swallowing it. The fruitiness seemed to intensify as it warmed. Full bodied and creamy, almost like a milkshake.

This is one excellent beer that I hope I can get more of in the future. (585 characters)

Photo of oglmcdgl
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A 08 bottle into a duvel tulip. Had an 08 on with a year on it with some friends. This one is around 2.5 years old.

A- at first the pour is thinner and clearer then I remember and then it starts the motor oil I remember. A finger or so of dark brown creamy head from a hard pour that settles to a solid ring and a few wisps on top. A good swirl brings the cream right back. The body of this monster is nothing less then pitch black, absolutely and completely. It coats the glass like syrup and slowly sheets off.

S- layer on top of layer of chocolate fudge, cocoa powder, dark roasted coffee, brown sugar. Dark fruits and berries deep in there. A touch of warm booze and molasses Simply astounding complexity.

T- unbaked brownie batter licked off the spoon and wash it down with a glass of half espresso and half hersheys chocolate syrup. That's what we've got on our hands here, and I love it. Over ripe dark berries, with a bit of raisins and dates. Molasses and brown sugar. So roasty and sweet at the same time that it completely works. This is a shocking amount of flavor. Just the faintest bit of heat in the way back that I really enjoy, almost reminds me of a chocolate cordial at times. Long slow roasty finish but a clean one, never over baring.

M- thick doesn't begin to tell the story. Absolutely the creamiest chewiest beer I've ever had but its not to much on the palate. Just the smallest bit of creamy carb starts to build and lifts the liquid into a foam that hits every part of your mouth and coats it for a second then slowly recedes leaving only the faintest memory of the motor oil that was once there.

D- for a beer of this stature and depth to be drinkable would be one thing but for it to be one that is a ease to drink is another. I feel like this vintage is the best I've had of the last three years by a long shot. I've never had a beer like this. Of all the monster stouts out there this one takes the cake. Simply the best. (1,962 characters)

Photo of FARGO619
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Amazing bright jet black color. Little head retention. Like a strong coffee and light mocha head.

S- A lot going here. Love the aroma on this beer. Chocolate, hints of vanilla, subtle cherry.

T- Amazing flavor, very complex. Hits every flavor that you could ever want in a imperial stout. Very heavy in dark chocolate and strong coffee. Great taste...love it.

M- Awesome soft mouthfeel on this one. Went down smooth and the flavor is just amazing.

Not one to look out for as a need to have beer, but one I am sure to want to try again.

Serving type: bottle/22oz. (569 characters)

Photo of sbricker
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First review, favorite beer. Doing a bit different a review since I'm not the best at tossing over used, under accurate tasting adjectives at every category of the beer. My brain just doesn't work this way.

Did a vertical tasting.

2008 - The best of the bunch, this version had the best balance of mouthfeel and flavor. Thick, but in that good way. I remember this version fresh being soy saucy. That is gone and perfect balance for an RIS is left.

2009 - This was great but not as perfect as the 08. Slightly thinner in both flavor and feel. This version was better fresh. It came out perfect, with the coffee part nailed to perfection. I wish I drank all my 09's in 09. That was the perfect beer for me then and what I still think of as the best Dark Lord I've had to date.

2010 - This is drinking close to the 08 with the exception of roastyness. It's aslo thinner but the sweet is just right in this one. I remember this being a little hot fresh. That's all gone now. Age has done it well, but it doesn't seem to need more.

2011 - This is a new version of Dark Lord. The coffee is more forward than years past and different. It's more iced coffee than espresso. The beer is also much thinner than before. Fun fresher for the new coffee, but I kind of want this beer to age back into more of the thicker, sweeter, more balanced Dark Lord I know and love. still amazing.

Hope this is an okay review for my first stab at one. (1,432 characters)

Photo of mynie
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cut to a street corner. Early morning. Two children waiting for a school bus. This could be your street corner. These could be your children.

Little Billy wears a pair of denim shorts cut off just below the knee, a white T-shirt announcing his membership in Little League, and a ball cap. His pal, Little Andy, is a bit rough around the edges—his shirt is worn, and he has decided to wait for the bus without the benefit of a hat. Andy is a "cool cat," as the kids say, the worst kind of ruffian—the kind that makes horseplay and delinquency seem like the "hip" thing to do.

"Hey," says Andy. Billy knows that Andy's about to say something real "keen."

"What?"

"You ever felt like a real man before?"

A strange question to you or I, but Billy knows that Andy's leading somewhere, Billy can tell that he should answer honestly.

"Once, when my dad took me fishin'."

"Ahh, no. None of that. I mean a *real man*. You ever felt like one of those?"

"I—I guess not."

There's a sound, a familiar sneeipt that Billy's heard several times before. It's an adult sound, a sound he knows he shouldn't ever hear, but he wants so bad to impress Andy he doesn't seem afraid.

Andy takes a slurp of a can of Budweiser's "Light" brand beer and, making a face, hands the can over to Billy. Billy doesn't think. The can's in his hand and it's nothing but a silver and blue flash up to his mouth, the taste of stale bread and his grandfather's breath. He coughs, but sucks some down, and then hands the can back to Andy. Yes, now he is a real "home dog," he's ready to start skate boarding and listening to R and B music.

But wait…Andy's looking in the other direction, his mouth open like a hungry dog. Billy turns his head to see what Andy's looking at and—oh no, it can't be! But yes it is. First it's a dot, and then it's a blob, and then, oh god and then marching towards them big as life and sure and hell it's none other than "Mean" Joe Green, and he is one bad dude.

Andy falls over and starts crying. Billy keeps looking at the ground. He can't move. Mean Joe's getting closer and closer and he can't move, he can't run, he can't do anything but shake. All he wanted was to be cool, and now look at him. Mean Joe gets so close his shadow blocks out all the sunlight. Billy starts to tremble, to squeak out a plea.

"P-p-please Mean Joe. Please don't murder me!"

Mean Joe laughs.

"Murder you? On the football field, maybe. What I want to know is, why do you childrens think that drinking Bud Light's gonna make you real men?"

"I just did what Andy did. He's radical."

"Well, he don't look radical to me."

Billy looked down. Andy was covered in vomit, was passed out mumbling like a drowned nun.

"Gee, I guess you're right."

Mean Joe laughs, again, reaches inside his pants and pulls out a mysterious, wax-covered bottle.

"Here, he says, if you wanna be a *real* man, drink one of these."

"I will, Mean Joe. I will."

Billy didn't go to school that day, nor did he try and wake up Andy. Instead, he went behind a shed to look at his new bottle. I found him there, and I hit him over the head with a pipe to steal his bottle of Dark Lord. Seriously, a kid isn't gonna like this.

It's too dark, for one. The head is little and brown which is pretty remarkable considering the massive amount of alcohol in this—but what's really on display here is the darkness. Think about the time before you were born and that's Dark Lord.

We're raised to appreciate two kinds of goodness in the worlds of taste and of smell. There's the natural and the artificial. Cherry Jolly Ranchers taste good, and so do real cherries, even if they don't taste anything alike. This is a combination of the best natural, earthen, fruity, and grainy smells you've ever come across, along with the best unnatural, chemical smells.

Kids don't know the smells of unprocessed molasses, burnt grain, or wood smoke. This would seem like a medicine chest mixed with a cookie jar mixed with a walk in a field—one whiff could scar a kid for life.

Too much complexity. On the very tip of the tongue it tastes like a dark wine, then it gets bittersweet, like fire roasted grain, browning apples, and molasses, then it gets regular sweet, like half-dark chocolate and a café mocha, and then it gets a little zippy, like Belgian alcohol and yeast. That's—that's like you're falling down a hill of flavor and then you climb it back up again, from the valley of the alcohol, into the sweet, and then into the bittersweet, and then into the wine. Giving this to a child would be like giving them a bar of acid and taking them to Disneyland. Nothing would ever make them feel happy again, ever. (4,764 characters)

Photo of warrenout330
4.99/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Props to patchmaster, that man is the true meaning of a BA.... thanks bud

A- pours a black night .... 10-30w oil from a red wax bottle ... very small khaki colored head... minimal lacing to the glass

S- sweet dark fruits, molasses is heavy dominant ... super sweet. I get some Smokey sweet teriyaki jerky....faint chocolate notes take a seat in the back

T- a complex slurry of molasses, smoke, dark fruits... I get a crazy smoked soy sauce flavor on the tongue... after it sits the chocolate and coffee show them selves

M- this is the kicker to me.... its almost like a illusion ... the molasses plays a huge part in this beer... the mouth feel's full of body and fullness.. but its also comes off as light and silky... almost flawless

O- very impressed, lives up to its name like no other... this will be awesome with about 2-3 yrs of age.... I'll will make it to d day for the rest of my life now (903 characters)

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 22oz. grim-graphic label bomber. Dipped in red wax.

Appearance: Upon pouring this vile-looking liquid into my goblet (where's a good skull when you need one, to properly enjoy a beer like this?), I honestly thought it was trying to suck the light into it. Dark-as-night inky blackness in color, there is a wafer-thin layer of tan-colored head that tries to avoid being consumed by the evil upon which it is perched. Rings of this lace try to escape by clinging to the glass.

Smell: Ambrosia for the olfactories. A complex myriad of aromas. Freshly roasted coffee. Baking chocolate. Toffee. 151 rum-soaked dark fruits. Bonfire smoke.

Taste: Quite simply one of the best beers I have tasted and more than likely ever will. Elephant-like in size, it hits your palate full-force, wrecking havoc with a chco-coffee blast. Nothing gets past this once you've tasted it. Cameo appearances by more dark fruit, some bitter hops, toffee, and charred wood. Finishes with a long-lasting (and smile-inducing) bitterness that makes you crave another hit of this liquid addiction.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: As big a beer as you'll ever find. This is simply gargantuan in mouthfeel. Super-thick, super-creamy. Words fail to describe just how incredibly thick this beer is. Drinkability is also top-notch. There is no way I would have known this was a hefty 13% ABV. It's woven into the tapestry of flavor with the skill of an artist.

Notes: I am deeply indebted to CreteMixer for this bottle. Just an epic tasting and one that I'll remember and cherish for quite a long time. (1,592 characters)

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,206 ratings.