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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.

3,317 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,317
Reviews: 1,156
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,765
Gots: 1,479 | 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:
2004 - Red Wax
2005 - Orange Wax
2006 - Gold Wax
2007 - Silver Wax
2008 - Black Wax
2009 - White Wax
2010 - Olive Green Wax
2011 - Yellow Wax
2012 - Red Wax
2013 - Orange Wax
2014 - Blue Wax

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,317 | Reviews: 1,156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vdubb86
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a mug

2010 Vintage

I have to give big props up to my main man TMoney2591 for hooking me up with a sampling of this from his own personal stash. Way to destroy the beer grinchery my friend! Ok so, this appears to be that darkness is spreading like Charlie Murphy as it is poured the head is a dirty brown color as it should be. Upon first smell I would have to say that there is a lot of stuff in here. Perhaps if we'd let this vintage it would have settled down a bit. Oddly my first whiff was of cherries, unfortunately the kind found it syrup rather than fresh off the tree. Other smells included: Chocolate, Bourbon, Raisin, bit of Coffee and perhaps hazelnut just for spice. The flavor is quite sweet and the intensity of the alcohol really gets the tongue, but the cherry is there on the tip of the tongue followed by a smooth creamy chocolate taste and a bit o' coffee to wash it all down. This is a damn tasty brew, it's a shame none of us have the patience to age it for a couple of years. I would reduce the harshness of the acidic/sweetness which is the only detractor right now for a fantastic beer.

Vdubb86, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of tsauce2
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: 2011 Vintage bottle in to a tulip glass; reviewed from tasting notes.

A: SRM is black/dark brown. Head is light brown, 1 in., dissipates to top of beer. Medium/light carbonation. Heavy lacing w/ legs.

S: Big coffee/chocolate/roasted malt notes with hints of vanilla/caramel/molasses. Very robust nose.

T: Mirrors nose. Big coffee/chocolate notes along with a deep roasted malt and molasses flavors. Very sweet for such a high ABV, but not off-putting. Alcohol is noticiable not on palate, but upon ingestion and on aftertaste.

M: Very big body, huge viscosity. Sweetness and alcohol serve as distinct counterpoints to the effects the coffee and malt impart on the palate. Complex yet balanced.

O: A huge beer with a lot going on for a RIS. Very good overall. I loved the coffee and chocolate/deep roasted malt notes. This beer was a little sweet, but still very tasty. I hate to say it, but the hype surrounding this beer builds it up to be better than it is. I would NEVER turn this beer down and will seek it out again. A very good product from FFF with a masterful job of marketing this product.

tsauce2, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Bung
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009. Solid black pour, dark brown foam that surprisingly dissappeared completely. Not really that thick appearing, not much lacing either. Aroma is strong, molasses, roast malt, dark chocolate, a little oaky like booze. Mouthfeel is one of the thickest I've had in a while. Not syrupy though, with enough carbonation lurking. It is sweet, but I don't think it's too much. Flavors does match the aroma, roast and sweet from malt, molasses, something like a chocolate ball with port in it and just hints of espresso and anise. That's probably the one place would have like a little more of, roast and bitters. I was surprised by that considering 3F likes to hop the heck out of things.
Drinkability is actually fine to me, as I don't get any over sweetness from this. It's actually quite good for a beer this big. I've heard 09 is a more drinkable batch up front without having to let it age. I pretty much agree, reminds me more of American/Double, which I prefer, even though the difference is subtle. I'm not going to give this all 5's, but definetely lived up to expectations.

After some warming I'll change my tune a bit. The sweetness does kind of overtake this one after a bit. Reminds me of some of the Weyerbacher stouts. Of the A+ RISs, I still put Abyss a notch above.

Bung, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of vandemonian
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Three Floyds Dark Lord Imperial Stout is a delicious and deceptively subtle Russian imperial stout. The smell is an awful mess, but the taste is delicious!

A: Black colour and a brown head that fades to nothing very quickly. 3.5

S: Sweet caramel and autolysed yeast. 3.5

T: Malty, thick with sweet subtle caramel and coffee flavours. Lovely mild flavour. I expected it to more aggressive. A pleasant surprise. 4.5

M: Thick and foamy. 4.5

O: 4

vandemonian, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of pepsican
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've had multiple samples from different years. Figured I might as well rate the fresh sample, so this is for the 08. Pour pours black with a thin tan head. Aroma is chocolate, coffee, and a bit of cherry. Flavor is up front coffee, chocolate, molasses, caramel, toffee. Very viscous. This clings to every part of my mouth. A bit of hop bitterness, some hint of the abv.

pepsican, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of neonbrown82
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This is the gold wax dipped 2006 edition.

The beer pours very thick, though not completely black. More of a rusty brown color with a reddish brown head. Looks like a huge shot of espresso as the head cascades up. Very thick. Looks awesome.

Smells very good, and very potent. Very sweet roasted barley and dark cherries, honey and molasses. A small bit of soy sauce. A little bit of fresh citric hops as well. I can barely keep my nose out of the glass, but eventually I begin to crave the taste once again.

Starts off very rough, but the palate warms up to it fairly quickly. It then becomes a very sweet and chocolate cherry flavor. Not so much roast, and only a hint of coffee in the finish. The hops can't be detected as much in the taste, but they are there in the finish as well.

The body is quite thick without being too syrupy. Especially sludgy towards the end of the bottle. Good stuff. As much as I enjoy drinking it, it's almost too much to drink a bottle of this to yourself. I'm glad I had a roommate to enjoy it with, without whom I wouldn't have gotten the 6 bottles anyway.

neonbrown82, May 02, 2006
Photo of bert13tj
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark, hence the name, thick. Small head, some lacing.

S-Very sweet smell. Lots of caramel, darker fruits, grains, roasted/toasted malts.

T-Very rich, couldn't take down a bottle alone. Sweet fruits, malts, caramels. Roasted finish. More intense alcohol than last year, probably the extra 1.5%

M-Great carb, had it on draft though. Haven't tried this years out of the bottle. Very thick.

D-Very drinkable if you have someone to share with.

bert13tj, May 04, 2010
Photo of davey101
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 - Yellow Wax reviewed on 03-05-2012, 22 oz bomber into a DFH signature glass. It was a bit of a struggle to open this, I had to saw and peel off all the wax on the cap in order to get the opener to fit.

A - Looks like most RIS's. Pitch black motor oil body with a thick mocha head. Dies down to a nice cap and edging. Light lacing and retention, has alcoholic legs to it. 4.0/5

S - Ummmm. I don't know? Super roasty malts, coffee beans, sugar, plums, cherries, leather, oak, vanilla, tobacco, more sugar, soy, booze, and about 20 other things. There is so much happening here its a bit overwhelming. 4.5/5

T - I will just preface this by saying that I love sweet beers. This is by far the sweetest one I have tried. It makes ST creme brulee look like a health drink. Its just a diabetic mess, and I love it! Starts off with an unbelievable sweetness that is very strong on the vanilla. This lasts for a while. It really isn't until the sugary coating leaves my tongue that I can taste some other notes. Burnt oak, cherries, caramelized dark fruit, coffee, and cocoa nibs. Not as complex as the nose, partially due to the cloying sweetness. I drank a few glass of water to get through this beer. 4.0/5

M - Medium to thick body that really coast the tongue. Carbonation is surprisingly high. Could not detect the high abv in the taste at all. 4.5/5

O - One of the most interesting stouts I have tried. I was not prepared for how sweet tasting this is. Its like drinking a vanilla stout syrup. Despite the sweetness, its delicious in the same way that a decadent dessert is. The base beer is nuts, I can't even fathom how they can work in brandy barrels and vanilla beans for the variants. This is a must try beer, but I won't be trading for one in the future. 4.0/5

2012 - Red Wax reviewed on 07-26-2012, 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass.

A - Same as 2011. 4.0/5

S - Not sure if its the fact that this is somewhat fresh, or a change in recipe but its not as complex or interesting as the 2011 I tried. Lots of coffee and chocolate and notes of red wine and plums. A touch savory and smoky. Finishes with a roasted bitterness and alcohol presence. 4.0/5

T - Not as sweet or cloying as 2011. Its also not as complex. Layers of roasted malt, coffee, milk chocolate, molasses and plums. A touch of that green apple bite that everyone is noticing. Strong sweet vanilla presence on the finish. 4.0/5

M - Silky, smooth, sticky and syrupy. Super decadent which makes it the ultimate desert beer. Little to no alcohol presence, even at room temperature. 4.5/5

O - 2011 > 2012 in my opinion. 2012 is actually rather balanced and approachable for a 15% RIS. 2011 was just a sweet diabetic mess, which really worked for me as a chaotic beer like that is kind of exciting. 4.0/5

davey101, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of johnnnniee
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle Received in trade from Grub, Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid black with a thin mocha head that dissipates quickly. Smells of chocolate syrup, coffee, dried dark fruits faint hops in the background. Tastes of chocolate and dried fruit, a bit vinous, leaves a roast bitterness in the finish. Thick body, although I thought it would be thicker. Syrupy mouthfeel, light carbonation. Well I finally got to try it. Good solid stout, there are better out there, but this one ranks pretty high in my book. I would have loved the roast to be a bit more in the foreground and the fruits a bit more in the back.

I had to go back and this comment to my review after we poured the second half of this bottle. The bottom half of the the bottle was thick and chunky when poured. The second half was actually better tasting with a much thicker mouthfeel than the first. I guess I didn't realize that this beer wasn't homogenized.

johnnnniee, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

In the last couple of years, we've seen some potential cracks in the armour of this highly hyped monster stout. After a widely acclaimed version in 2008, some felt that the 2009 was just a sugar and soy bomb. Between that and the explosion of Dark Lord Day into an over-sold drunken mosh-pit, some of the gleem has worn off the DL label. While the event still has its problems, I'm happy to say that the beer is back with a vengeance.

At a glance, DL exhibits its classic qualities. Every black-hole, light-sucking, bottomless pit metaphor has been used to describe this beer, so I'll just say it's dark. Very dark. On the pour, a half-finger head tries to make a brief appearance, but it is swiftly beaten into submission, never to appear again. No lacing, no whisps of bubbles, just a flat, smooth, dark surface.

The smell leans strongly towards the sweet: burnt molasses, prune and dark chocolate take the lead. A whiff of tobacco and espresso round things out. There's a little soy and booze on the nose as well, but not enough to throw things off too much.

The mouthfeel is just about perfect. Whereas the '09 had a motor-oil consistency that seems to polarize reviewers, the 2010 has a slightly more subtle vinous feel: full and velvety, but not suffocatingly thick.

A few sips shows that the 2010 DL vintage is not an unbalanced lunatic. Instead, this year's version brings some complexity to the mix. The familiar sweetness is there of course: creme caramel, milk chocolate, and port qualities take their familiar role at the lead. However, unlike last year, the coffee flavors are allowed to slowly work their way into the mix. By the end, this beer is, in its own freakish way, balanced. Don't get me wrong, Dark Lord is still a very sweet stout. If you prefer a stout that leans towards charred coffee flavors, this may not be the beer for you.

The boozy finish (turbo-charged to 15% this year) knocks this down a peg or two on both taste and drinkability. That said, given its complexity, the 2010 shows immense potential for aging. Once the booze calms down a bit, I think ultimately this will go down as one of the best vintages of this beast.

chicagobeerriot, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of frazbri
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark Lord 2007

The 2007 edition of the Dark Lord poured deep, impenetrable black topped by a thick chocolate brown head. Instead of lace, a syrup sticks to the side of the glass. Aroma had notes of chocolate, coffee, a faint whiff of pine, carmelizing sugar, with a little alcohol emerging as it warmed. Flavors of espresso, cocoa, molasses, raisin, plumbs throughout, but alcohol reigned after it warmed. Mouthfeel was thiiick, with low carbonation (but far from flat) and mouthcoating.

This is a ture heavyweight. It deserves much of the accolates it deserves, but at the finish it got a little hot. Next time, I'll share.

frazbri, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of mryuk
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours extremely dark with little head.

smell is sweet molasses with prunes and some mocha.

taste is smooth sweet molasses with some fruit. slight hints of dark chocolate. not very alcoholic. would be a great beer but a little too sweet.

mouth is very thick with low carbonation.

overall very god but fairly disappointing given what I was expecting. too sweet.

mryuk, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of MichaelinFishers
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A two-year vertical (year-old 2010 green wax, fresh 2011 yellow wax) last night. Review is about both except where specified.

Poured dark and thick with a little bit of head. Not much difference in the aromas. They smell sweet and rich. No detectable alcohol or hop aromas.

Sips like it pours. The fresh one gave a nice coffee kick at the end that was missing from the aged one, yet the 2010 was a lot smoother and mellow. The flavors had melded a lot. Both are still very sweet. I have come to prefer my big stouts a little drier, but this is still tasty. Right now, it's a tradeoff between being able to taste the coffee and the mellow smoothness of the year-old. I think I need to save the others for next year's vertical.

MichaelinFishers, May 14, 2011
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to treyrab and jw347. Trey for splitting this beer with me, jw347 for trading it to him. This was a bottle of the 2008 vintage.

A: Wow...the bottle says it's the consistency of motor oil, and they aren't lying! The darkest thickest beer I have ever seen. It pours almost like maple syrup with just a small thin layer of foam.

S/T: The first smell I took smelled almost like a quad mixed with a grand cru mixed with a chocolate stout. Each time I smelled it, I got different flavors, fruity, malty, hoppy, slightly boozey, but every time it was incredible. I spent about 5 minutes just smelling this beer! The tastes are just as complex as the smells indicate. Taste ranging from burnt malts to hints of hops, but with a strong undertone of fruits.

M: Very little carbonation. This was one of the smoothest beers I have ever consumed. I generally like a little bit more texture thoughMakes it very easy to hold in your mouth as you swallow to truly appreciate all the different flavors.

D: Despite how phenomenal this beer was, it was TOUGH to finish. It is so thick, I recommend grabbing a friend before you try and finish this bottle!

Sampled again on 10/2/10. Again, the 2008 vintage.

The smell has atrophied to only chocolate and roasty aromas that come with a boozy alcohol warmth. The palate is similar, with the addition of some coffee and a good bit of sugary malt syrup. The mouthfeel is goopy and it feels like my tongue is slogging through much as I taste this beer. Definitely the pinnacle of a sipper.

NittanyBeerFan, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of Thorpe429
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at DLD 2009.

A: Very, very dark with a small dark head.

S: Lots going on here, with pretty much everything dark in this one--chocolate, coffee, molasses, dark fruits. Some very mild touches of vanilla.

T: Very, very complex. The fresh version isn't quite as complex and delicious as aged. I also had a sample of the '08 Dark Lord, and that one definitely would get a 5.0 on the taste scale. This one is still beyond excellent, however. All of the tastes are similar to the smell, and simply envelop the palate with goodness.

M: Very, very smooth. Almost no carbonation, and barely a hint that this thing is 13% abv.

D: Incredible. Definitely got my freebies with the golden tickets. Hats off to Three Floyds for an absolutely incredible beer. It was my first DLD, and I plan on going back every year from here on out.

EDIT: Not changing the original scores but a few notes. Opened up my first 2010 Dark Lord on 11.20.2010. The initial smell was a bit smokey to me and not nearly as sweet as the 2009. Strangely enough, we also opened a Batch 9000, which resembled the 2009 DL more so than this beer did. The 2010 DL also had some faint chocolate, but not really any of the sweet sherry-type notes of the 2009.

Thorpe429, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2009 with white wax. I've been sitting on this one for a while.

Poured from the body a "none more black" black with just the slightest hint of a tan head.

Huge chocolate aroma along with vanilla and molasses. After three years of aging I still pick up a touch of booze.

The taste is quite malty with chocolate, vanilla, raisin, and what I can only describe as soy sauce. Finished with a lingering note of roasted malts. The 15% alcohol has mellowed quite a bit.

Full bodied and very creamy with a very light carbonation.

A very interesting and enjoyable RIS to say the least.

Monkeyknife, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of PhxHorn
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I'd been saving this one ('07) to try, and it's interesting that I'd just read all the recent Dark Lord Day threads. My take:

Appearance is a deep, dark brown, with minimal tan head. Smells of molasses, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and tastes of all the above with molasses sticking out above the crowd. A sweeter flavor than most other stouts; as it warmed up, I felt like the sweetness started to detract from it and after one glass, I didn't want another. I just tried Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout a couple weeks back, and it is very very similar to Dark Lord.

Carbonation is just about right, and the richness of all the flavors forces you to sip this one slowly.

Bottom line is that this is a first rate beer, and well worth getting ahold of if you can, but don't kill yourself trying to get it. There are some others out there that are on a par with it: Bourbon County, Abyss, Yeti, Founders Kentucky Breakfast.

PhxHorn, May 07, 2008
Photo of kimcgolf
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a bomber of the 2008 version. Very complex aroma of chocolate, toffee, coffee, licorice and malty dark fruits intermingling together....with the alcohol weighing into the nose for effect. Poured pitch black with a dark brown head that lingered well and left good lacing on the glass. Mouthfeel was bready and chewy, and the taste was a virtual copy of the nose, with each sip accentuating a different blend of flavors. Finish was heavy, long lasting and warming, which was perfect on this cold winter's night.

I'm not a big fan of Impy Stouts, but this beer lived up to its hype.

kimcgolf, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of MeLikeBeer
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired and sampled with much gratitude to fellow BA, Enlil.
Also tasted with SMF.
2006 edition in 22oz bomber with the gold wax.
Poured a jet-black color, the color of motor oil mixed with molasses and appeared to have the same consistency. Small, creamy head definitely laced the glass throughout.
Great caramely malt scents, coffee aromas and strangely...fruit.
The taste is very complex....thick coffee flavor, hints of chocolate and a sweetness- raisins? maple syrup? Can't seem to nail it down. This heavy, malty stout has a thick mouthfeel with a smooth finish. Overall the flavors mask the high alcohol content of this beer....very good. I'd like to have tried another, but was limited to one...that's okay, I'll seek it out again next year. The hype is worth it.

MeLikeBeer, May 30, 2006
Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, purchased at the brewery.
Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a snifter glass.
My vote for coolest looking label.

Pours a menacing opaque, black color, with no chance of light getting through. A nice half inch thick, dark tan head forms. Some spotty lacing. This beer is thick, and you can see it cling to the sides of the glass. Lots of big roasted malt aromas, dark fruits, dark chocolate, with hints of coffee and alcohol. Burnt coffee, is what I taste first. Sweet roasted malts, molasses, dark chocolate and dark fruits come next. Very complex, but easy to drink for such a big beer. Big, rich, thick and creamy all descibe the mouthfeel. You really don't notice the alcohol, after a few sips. Another one of those beers that tastes better as it warms. I'm sure it will take me all night to finish this bottle. Looking foward to trying this again in six months.

BigDaddyWil, May 02, 2006
Photo of yourefragile
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010, green wax, 22 oz bottle, sampled with the four 2011 barrel variants.

Pours a thick, opaque black with a thin, transient dark mocha head. Boozy and hot aroma of chocolate and coffee, slightly fruity, minimal roast. Flavor is similar, bordering on too sweet with a slight bitter finish; light fruit notes under the strong and syrupys chocolate and coffee malt. Thick, viscous, chewy body with low carbonation and a hot finish. First time trying to a regular Dark Lord (not sure why I never opened a bottle before) and enjoyed this more than I expected.

yourefragile, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of BMMillsy
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Trade from BrewMane. 2013 Orange Wax bottle, drinking fresh because cellars are for chumps ;-) Pours syrupy dark black with a sub-one-finger creamy dark mocha head. Aroma of sweet roasted malts, raisins, molasses, chocolate syrup, candy sugar, and a hint of alcohol smell. Flavor is sweet molasses up front, sweet powder sugar, a bit of dark fruit, a little bitter chocolate on the finish. Nearly no trace of the 15% abv. Sweet sweet stuff. Super velvety smooth mouthfeel and very thick. Only other stouts that have had this mouthfeel come from CCB (Hunapuh, Marshal Z). Plenty of carbonation to keep it from feeling syrupy. I was expecting more on the chocolate side, but this balances sweet molasses with dark fruits prominently. The best part to me of this decedent stout is the mouthfeel. So glad I finally got a taste of this. I can see how this would blend nicely with bourbon and vanilla. ISO now I guess...

BMMillsy, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of BierReise
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber 2004. Poured quietly and forming a slight eruption of a head that dissapears quickly. There's about an inch of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This one is black and thick like oil.The aroma is a deep dark and powerful concoction. There's alot going on here. Some words-vinous, port, chocolate covered cherries, bread and alcohol. Mouthfeel is super thick and smooth with very little carbonation and really sticks to your mouth. The alcohol although well hidden is warming me up right now and I fear I may soon sweat. The flavor is one bitter Imperial. A chocolate Port like flavor with a massive hop attack that bitters gently. This is one big beer.

BierReise, Apr 16, 2004
Photo of bulletrain76
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

2005 vintage bottle shared by CaptainCougarthis past march. Pretty much solid black with a brown head. Dark chocolate, dried fruit, super malty and roasty, light alcohol, all nicely mellowed with age, adding a light oxidized touch to the nose. The flavor is intensely coffee packed, dark chocolate laden, and fruit filled, while also being hoppy and pretty bitter. This stuff is just so thick, I can't even describe it. Definitely the thickest beer I've ever had. Honestly, the verdict is out on whether beer should even be this thick, but I have to give it a 5 just for accomplishing that. Definitely unique and intense stuff. It is hugely rich and sweet, yet seems to pull off a pretty good balancing act. Big thanks to Tom for pulling this out. A great way to end my time in DC.

bulletrain76, May 11, 2009
Photo of tectactoe
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to doobliebop for this one! 2012 edition with the red wax, shared with some people at a Super Bowl party. Pours a thick and viscous black color with a thin and measly tan head, even after a pretty aggressive pour. The beer looks pretty dark, commanding, and brash, so I'd say "Dark Lord" is a pretty fitting moniker.

The aroma on is super sweet; vanilla, cocoa powder, oaky and woody, with some creamy coffee mashed in there. Very sweet and roasty on the nose - nearly no hops or hop-like aromas are even detectable on the nose. But the aroma is still pretty fantastic. Caramel and huge brown sugar aromas come out more as this one warms up. It smells like a candy shop, no question about that. I typically like my stouts more bitter and not quite as sweet, but there's still no denying that this beer smells pretty damn good.

Dark Lord cascades over the palate with a super-creamy and smooth mouth feel, and the first and most prominent flavor that comes to mind is super sweet, burnt brown sugar. This beer is sweet as hell. Despite that, the sweetness is manageable, but still a little over the edge. The sweet vanilla and oak flavors come out next; molasses, syrup, coffee with a humongous dose of cream and sugar, sweet, dense currants and dates - all these flavors are present and constantly attacking the palate under the command of that brown sugar flavor that's still running strong.

This beer is certainly boozy, but definitely doesn't feel like 15% ABV; it's possible that the sweetness of this beer subdues the alcohol burn a little bit, and in turn, maybe that's what prevents the sweetness from being cloying, despite its sheer intensity. Tons of flavors clashing; a menagerie of flavors attacking your taste buds and stretching them to the limit. Carbonation is pretty low, the body is still thick and viscous, silky and creamy as hell.

This is one of the sweetest base stouts out there. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't too unmanageable or too cloying, but it was still pretty damn sweet. Then again, it was split 5-ways - I might be saying something else had I finished the entire 22 oz. bottle on my own. Though I typically prefer my RISs to have a heavy bitter offset from a huge hop addition, Dark Lord showed almost no hop character at all and was still pretty enjoyable to me. Vanilla, cocoa, caramel, molasses, dark fruits, oak... This is a great beer; though it may be too sweet to drink a bunch of, Dark Lord is awesome in small pours.

tectactoe, Feb 04, 2013
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,317 ratings.