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Dark Lord Imperial Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

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

3,584 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,584
Reviews: 1,182
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.72%
Wants: 2,879
Gots: 1,539 | FT: 102
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
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Lord Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,584 | Reviews: 1,182 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OGunner77
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of dominic4beer
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of GripitandSipit
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of ElGordito
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of LaChupacabra
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of Agold
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Was really lucky to get a pour of this from esentman 2011 vintage. Poured like a great impy stout. Dark and viscous, but even a vigorous pour did not yield a head. The aroma was pleasant. Caramel sweet coffee and a pleasant roasty fullness. The flavor was a huge mess. Under attenuated and extrememy sickly sweet. Everything that was in the nose, plus some dark fruity flavors, was lost behind a curtain of sweetness. It was not the easiest beer to get down. Full mouthfeel that would be nice if not for the cloying sweetness. Thick and full bodied. I have heard better things about older vintages, but was really unimpressed with this one. Kind of disappointing. I really wanted to like this one.

Photo of drummermattie02
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of Shilt
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of victory4me
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of jokemon
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This review is based off of the 2012 bottles across multiple samplings.

The beer pours a dark "black-hole" black into the glass. Very minimal carbonation with almost no head. However, you can notice some carbonation rising in the glass. Also, tilting the glass i notice that this beer is thick! and will coat the glass with a sugary film.

Smell is... of sugary molasses soy sauce. Not the best smelling beer around. Unfortunately the taste closely resembles the smell. It is extremely difficult to drink this beer as it does taste like soy sauce, raisins and sugar. This beer is extremely sweet! it makes it very hard to drink and I wish it was balanced more in flavor.

I heard this was a bad year for dark lord and there were potentially some contaminated batches. I'm not sure if I got one but I have to say I would not recommend this beer. Bourbon county stout, FW parabola are far better beers.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Shared this bottle with schwaeh - 2011 bottle Yellow Wax.

A: Poured a black as dark as the devils soul, one finger head that quickly desended into a thin frothy lacing, moderate carbonation.

S: There is alot going on in the smell on this one , Figs ,raisin.plums. burnt sugar,molasses,chocolate.

T: Holy sweet molasses cookies Batman, Plum pudding covered in chocolate,brown sugar, molasses, slight cherry , booze, pretty much everything and the kitchen sink with added sugar in this. I think I need to check my blood sugar now.

O: Maybe I just don't get this beer but I was rather dishearten by the end result, The beer is so sweet and I struggled to finish a single tulip of it, It attacks you tongue with so much sugar and molasses that it's really hard to enjoy it, I read the reviews and let the hype get the best of me and traded two solid beers for two of these, I doubt I'll be so eager to seek anymore out in the future.

Photo of jdhasse
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of atpca
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of azdoobie
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of egrace84
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of HugeBulge
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of mpayne5
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of MrVonzipper
2.51/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Dark Lord '12
Pours a cola brown. Black in glass with a short tan head.  Good retention and lacing. 

Nose is okay. Very sweet. Mild fruit but not necessarily dark fruit like most imperial stouts. 

Flavor=wow. Not that good! Huge let down. How is this on the top 100? Where is the Intelligentsia coffee. So overly sweet. Tastes like sweet dark sugarcane. I think I just got diabetes. 

Mouth is puckery sweet. Very Heavy and full bodied with low carbonation. It's like a mouth full of pennies made of sugar.

Overall I'm so disappointed by this. Had high hopes as a major stout lover. But this ended up being a drain pour. Pretty bad!

Photo of bitterbeerguy
2.55/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I just came back from vacation and had to post a review of this brew. I have been looking forward to it for the past 6 months, saved it for a great weekend, and wow was I disappointed.

Vintage 2011 (yellow wax)

Brew pours a beautiful color- midnight with some off-white foam. I was surprised how quickly the brew condensed down to just the beer though- bubbles were gone! I guess that 15% was clear from the beginning!

Aroma is a very nice- marshmallow fluff meets coffee and caramel, plus some oaky tones. Really nice smell on this brew.

Taste was awful. It was likely drinking a bottle of soy sauce. I thought maybe it was too cold, so we let it sit for a little while. Still tasted like soy. Then changed glasses, still tasted like soy. Finally, we had to pour it out. Also felt like it was not nearly as dense as expected, especially in flavor profile.

Maybe it was the youth of the beer (about a year), maybe it was just a bad bottle, or maybe this just isn't my brew. All I can say is there is NOTHING from Three Floyds that has gotten below a 4.5 overall rating from me so far, but Dark Lord did.

Photo of muttyd
2.58/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2010 Bottle poured into a giant tulip

A - Pitch black pour with a thin tan head that quickly fades. Great lacing and looks like oil.

S - Boozy, dark chocolate candy bar, ground espresso, and some salty soy sauce. Smells hot, hoping its not just a booze bomb.

T - Dark chocolate, roasted malts, prune/raisins, some smokey/wood flavors up front. Alcohol present in the form of a port/sherry sweetness. Little to no hop presence, completely masked by the sweet sugary malt profile.

M - Very viscus, chewy and sticky. Little carbonation helps this one dance around the tongue slightly. Long, sticky sweet finish. Alcohol warms on the way down.

D - This is one hot beer. I am not really opposed to drinking high ABV beers (I knew what I was getting into), but the alcohol makes this one a slow sipper.

Photo of GhettoFabulous
2.58/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I cracked a bomber of the 2009 vintage with some dear friends and made sure it was the first beer of the night in the name of palette cleanliness.

This poured a sludgy back into my tulip glass with a decent amount of lacing. It looks good as hell and it smells inviting, but a little bit ominously. The aroma emits so much different flavors you can tell this is either going to be amazing, or a big hot disharmonious mess.

The first taste reveals, indeed, a brew with a panoply of flavor. There is a wide variety of disparate elements that your tongue struggles to suss out - dark fruit, molasses, figs, your requisite malts, and wow, there are too many flavors to possibly figure out which direction this beer is going. Beers like this can be great when the different elements sing together, but this is not integrated very well at all. The only pervasive and unifying theme is sweetness, and dare I say, soy saucey kind of taste.

It was a struggle to make it through this glass, and I am a huge fan of dark, sludgy adventurous stouts. This was a big disappointment, and even if the wild array of flavors here was integrated well, I can't imagine it would be an above average stout for its class.

Photo of youradhere
2.6/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had the 2010 at a south sound tasting. Reminded me more of barley wine then a RIS, almost sockeningly sweet with little roast character. I honestly don't know what the hype is all about-Abyss blows this beer away on all fronts. Medium caramel color leaves long legs in the glass, smells of dark fruits and tastes is dark fruits, dates, figs etc. Really sweet, if the body were any thicker this would be not very drinkable at all. I get more notes of vanilla and toffee, but mostly fruit. Again there is no roast character at all to this "RIS" and I am glad I didn't trade something good for it.

Photo of EuphonicHops
2.65/5  rDev -38.1%

Photo of andrewinski1
2.66/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip. 2010 vintage with the green wax. Pitch black with just a bit of head.

The aroma is chocolatey and a little soy saucy. This is almost a good aroma, there are good aromas in the aroma, but the soy sauce kind of ruins it.

The taste is sweet. The coffee is very subtle in the flavor. The aftertaste is particularly disappointing.

The body is thick and chewy. The carbonation is a little subtle.

This is a little disappointing to be honest, but it isn't super terrible. I would say it's mostly just disappointing because the market is saturated with delicious stouts.

Photo of marvin213
2.67/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I can spot a few bubbles, but no head appears. How can a (white) waxed bottle offer no head on the pour? It pours thin, but the color is viscous motor oil. Other than being darker than most, it's fairly ordinary-looking. Under ordinary conditions, I'd rate a headless stout below par, but waxed, demonic marketing gets the best of us.

The nose is a dark fruit basket...almost like somebody smashed blackberries to make a new wine. Lacking hop presence and foam, it's cobbler without ice cream. Dark licorice makes it smell like candy. There's some dark cherries, raisins, dates (which I also associate with figs), and plums. It smells like a dark, fruity Twizzler.

The taste has a slight malty balance to the utter sweetness I smelled. Still, it's missing a creaminess or bitterness that would really make this a better beverage. If you count licorice as a fruit (and I'm not declaring it is), the only thing exempting this from candy status is an alcohol burn. I was nicer on the smell because fruity candies smell good, but this is not what I want from an RIS. Oddly enough, it's so sweetly puckering that it's almost like a sour. I know FFF is a great brewery and (maybe) this is ordinarily a great beer, but I prefer the taste of a grocery store stout compared to what currently sits in my snifter.

Though there's indisputably substance to this liquid, a relative flatness confirms my suspicions about the absence of froth--insufficient carbonation. It's so very dark, but with a diluted fruit, alcoholic warmth. I'll go with unimpressed on the feel but, with all the hoopla, rarity, marketing and, more objectively, the ratings on this site, I'm actually disappointed.

I want to try Dark Lord again (perhaps another vintage), but I'd be a fool to go whole-heartedly after it. An exclusive beer from such a great brewery that I don't even like--how does this happen? I'll finish it only because of these non-taste factors. I'll point out, however, that I actually drain-poured a small portion to eliminate glass contamination possibilities. Rarely do I drain-pour even a portion of ordinary brews, much less a brew like this.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,584 ratings.