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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

1,212 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,212
Hads: 3,908
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 14.22%
Wants: 3,068
Gots: 1,829 | FT: 147
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: 1,212 | Hads: 3,908
Photo of diablo14
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's a bit overly sweet early on. Almost as though someone has put some brown sugar and molasses into the beer after I've poured it. It is clearly needing time, or barrel aging. (177 characters)

Photo of RAlmeida77
3.39/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

2015 Bottle Poured into a snifter and shared with 5 others.

A - Looks like an imperial stout should. Pitch black, thick and viscous. Minimal head that dissipates quickly.
S - Some booze for sure and then an overwhelming teriaki/soy smell.
T - Teriaki and soy....no joking. Tastes nothing like what I hoped it would. Very disappointed.
M - Viscous...sticks around for a few but also leaves that teriaki flavor behind.
O - I don't get the hype and as most have said, this beer really has teriaki/soy aroma and flavor to it.

I have 3 bottles left and will NOT be drinking another one! All will be traded!! (608 characters)

Photo of ChrisP802
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2006 Gold Wax Dark Lord Drank 8/15/2015
Wasn't too sure how this beer would hold up after all those years, but good ol' Scott assured us it would
Pour - Deep darkness with basically no head
Smell - chocolate, sweet, soy saucy
Taste - incredibly smooth, not too sweet due to aging I suppose, multiple chocolatey tastes
Overall - I don't think I could hold on to something that long, but if I do it would be classified as a good life decision (442 characters)

Photo of woodchip
2.94/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

2014 bottle: poured thick with virtually no head. Nose was very sweet with apparent soy sauce aroma. First taste was very disappointing; very sweet with strong taste of soy. Soy presence seemed to lessen as I kept drinking, still overwhelmingly sweet. In the end, drain poured about half the bottle because I couldn't drink any more. (337 characters)

Photo of Feelmebone
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this beer gets more of a bad rap then it should . i thought it had a great texture and after finishing a 09-15 vertical it was nice to see how it changes . It aint perfect but soy sauce....... (200 characters)

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

2010 bottle consumed June 2015. Not sure how this one is fresh, but with 5 years in the bottle, this beer was chocolate goodness in a bottle. Unbelievable how much it held up over time. (187 characters)

Photo of etaggie09
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I'll make this review very short. If you've ever had a Cuban coffee (espresso with lots of sugar), it's like they tried to make a beer out of a milkshake made out of gourmet caramel candies flavored like Cuban coffee. (218 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
4.92/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Been waiting since DLD 2015 to try this when my buddy gave me one after not being able to get tickets.

A - Rich black with a viscosity that is hallmark of a great imperial stout. The thick fluid yields a perfect .25" fine, brown head. Really a great looking beer.

S - Initially this is what a big and rich imperial stout should smell like. There is a big malt, caramel, dark bitter chocolate, roast, and dark fruits all pooling together. There is a lot going on in the nose and a sweet, robust RIS is a good starting point.

T - Again like the nose the big sweet malt, caramel, and chocolate flavors open. There are a lot of other flavors in the middle, like raisins and figs, that are blended well. It's robust and smooth. The finish is more of the bitter chocolate and roasted malt. Very delicious flavor that is smooth but still tilted toward the sweet side. No alcohol at any point which I was surprised by.

M - High mouth-feel with lower carbonation. Thick beer but does have enough CO2 and bitterness to cut into the sweet, sticky character that is a 15% RIS.

Overall, this is a very delicious beer. Great flavor that is only tilted to the sweeter side not just sweet like some of the reviews suggest. There is everything you would expect with the dark chocolate, roast, and dark fruit but it isn't the best beer that I've ever had. I really enjoyed this thick and creamy beer but I wouldn't punch someone in the face over it.

Glass- Snifter (1,453 characters)

Photo of uvachief
3.71/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 bottle. Poured an insanely thick dark black. Little to no head which always scares me. Smells insanely sweet with sugar, caramel, coffee, toffee and roasted malts. I also smell salt. First taste is wildly disappointing. Insanely sweet and soy sauce salty. Caranel, toffee and roasted malts with coffee follow. However, that insanely sweet soy sauce prevails making this only an average stout. Wildly disappointed. Must have to age at least 5 years to drink. Been there and done that now. I'll stick one in the cellar and try again in 2019 but wildly disappointed. (580 characters)

Photo of neurobot01
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle into a Teku at cellar temp.

Look: dark and angry. Minimal head.

Smell: chocolate-chip pancakes loaded up with syrup. Something tangy.

Taste: face-meltingly sweet, alongside a distinct savory element—bacon or salami even. Also something that reads as coffee.

Feel: thick, juicy.

Overall: I didn't necessarily get soy sauce here, but it is certainly a bit strange and very sweet. Glad I had the chance to try, but probably won't seek out in the future. (469 characters)

Photo of captainkrad
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Coffee, chocolate, roasted caramel malt... Layers of flavor. Deep, dark, smooth, and amazing. Not boozy at all. I heard it's better to drink fresh, glad I did... Truly amazing! (180 characters)

Photo of ljbonadonna92
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

DL 2015
Not as much viscosity as I assumed Dark Lord would have but none the less beautifully dark, with ruby edges. Strong vanilla sweetness and alcohol presence on the nose. As far as taste goes, hints of sweet vanilla and coffee are followed by strong dark fruit and date flavor with a long lasting finish. Mouthfeel is thick and oily. It really coats your mouth and lingers for several mminutes after. Overall an outstanding Beer, and I'm sure with a little age it would be one of the best. (494 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark black brew; decent head retention.

Aroma reflects upon a stale, oxidized stout, despite being fresh. Still, there are plenty of notes of chocolate, roasted barley, and coffee.

Flavor could not be more out of phase with the aroma. Incredibly sweet and smooth, with tons of chocolate, sugar, and vanilla. Any coffee is completely washed out by the sugar, imparting at most a roasty edge.

Thick and viscous, very drinkable, and hiding the 15% ABV incredibly well - dangerously well, in fact.

This is a fantastic beer, and certainly lives up to the hype. (559 characters)

Photo of madelfonatree
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark Lord 2015 drank June 27, 2015

Look - Not surprisingly the thickest, blackest looking beer I've had. Thin head with aggressive pour. Tan head. No lacing.

Smell - Alcohol. Chocolate. Coffee. Raisins. Bacon.

Taste - Chocolate, tootsie roll, coffee hit hard followed by toffee and raisin. Alcohol is there but we'll balanced throughout. Raisin after taste.

Feel - Viscous. Heavy. Sticky but smooth.

Overall - My first Dark Lord. I'll make it a birthday tradition. The 15% is not as scary as I thought it would be. (519 characters)

Photo of Sandevin8887
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It's like drinking chocolate covered cherries with an ice cream finish!
Chill it several hours before drinking, then let it warm up to about 50 degrees. Do not serve it in a frosted mug if you want the full effects of its complex taste. (236 characters)

Photo of tmbgnicu
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It's sweet as hell, but I thoroughly enjoyed the sweetness. The high sweetness also does well to hide the high ABV. I enjoyed a 2015 bottle over the course of an hour or so at around 45/50 degrees. Very enjoyable "fresh". I look forward to trying some other years to see the difference with some age on it. (315 characters)

Photo of SMH_NWI
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Rating based on 2010 vintage, green wax.

Sweetness has come down considerably because of aging.

I prefer the thick, syrupy feel in my RIS's, so this is ideal to me. (168 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bstyle for this, have been wanting to try this for years
22 oz bottle, 2015, poured into a teku

A- Pitch black with a two finger mocha head.

S- Coffee, roasted malts, some molasses, vanilla, dark fruits/figs, definitely sweet.

T- Roasted coffee, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, dark fruits, figs, plums, slight heat and bitterness in the finish. Upfront is bitter coffee, middle is really sweet, could be more balanced but still enjoyable.

M- Surprisingly smooth, full body, slightly syrupy.

O- This is sweeter than I thought it would be. This is sweet, but doesn't taste like 15% ABV. I am very happy I got the try this, worth seeking out, definitely would like to see how this ages. (704 characters)

Photo of StankyT
2.52/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 5 | overall: 1.5

2014 Blue Wax Dark Lord

Consumed 05/20/15 so this baby has been bottle aging in excess of a year.

The Dark Lord looks magnificent. Aggresively poured into a stemless wine tulip. Nice sticky mocha brown lacing. 5/5

The smell furthers the excitement. Very rich dark fruit aromas and molasses. No coffee detectable. 4.25/5

This is where this brew takes a disastrous turn. The sweetness is dominating and overpowering. No alcohol presence which strikes me as weird for a 15% er. It is a pleasant taste of fig, raisin, dark malt, when it hits the tongue but the follow through is overtly sweet... like sugary soda sweet. Off putting. Cloying is too mild a term. Disgustingly sweet. 1/5

I have a hard time with mouth feel because of the sweetness. Thick and oily. Quite perfect if the flavor wasn't so sugary. 5/5

Overall, I have to say this is a bad beer. Not enjoyable at price point. If you could imagine raisin juice, that's what this tastes like. Dark Lord Day seems like an awesome time, and I am a huge fan and supporter of 3F, but I feel like they're just clowning us with this brew. (1,092 characters)

Photo of shundahai
3.36/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I'm rating the 2014 Dark Lord. I probably should have waited more than a year to open this but it's far too sweet. They should follow Bourbon County and barrel every ounce of this beer. (187 characters)

Photo of MissSmisje
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage
Sweet, thick, and chewy. Most of the toasty coffee have aged out of this one, leaving the sweet dark chocolate, vanilla, and roasted cherry and plum flavors to dominate. Fruit provides some brightness mid palate in an otherwise extremely sweet beer. The alcohol is hidden in the flavors but leaves a warming in the esophagus that lasts a surprisingly long time. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, which I love in a RIS. Overall: tasty but sweeter than I'd like. (470 characters)

Photo of TheCuriograph
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has been always been one of those "I'll get around to it one day" beers. Feels like it was legendary when I first got into craft beer, and since then it's become a more divisive brew. This whole preamble is to say, I came to this bottle of 2014 DL with a fair amount of baggage, but i did my damnedest to approach it objectively.

It's monolithic black with a meager mocha head. Appropriately dense and intimidating. The nose is just BOOM espresso and bakers chocolate, licorice and, yes, a fair amount of soy sauce. Also fruitier notes of black cherry, raisin and cabarnet. Impressive melange, but sort of a sledgehammer. What's shocking is the taste reveals a less varied chocolate sweetness, full of cordial and caramel. Blackberry, too, along with hints of cinnamon and brown sugar. In a word: saccharine. Not unpleasant, just bludgeoningly sugary. It's a heavy brew, but I actually found it oddly watery in light of its purported density of ingredients. Also, the ethanol burn is not too apparent. Which is pretty impressive.

All told, I can see why this has a following but also why some consider it a sweet malty mess. It's palatable but undisciplined, and I can imagine how an additional adjunct or time spent in a barrel (any barrel) would help it. Dark Lord is a fun ride, but I'm not sure I'd take it again.

Feel free to send me any spare BA Dark Lords so I can test this hypothesis. (1,403 characters)

Photo of alexrufio666
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Looked and smelled incredible, pours like oil, taste is very sweet I was shocked to find out it was 15%abv because it hides it so well. Definatly a world class beer but it fell short of my expectations. (203 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeBeers
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amended Rating: After trying several vintages back to back at a recent tasting I was shocked at the dramatic difference 3 or 4 years can make on one of these bottles. Score adjusted upwards as the age mellows out the heavy sweetness found in the fresh bottles. (262 characters)

Photo of DrKilljoy
4.91/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the pleasure of trying Dark Lord for the first time this year. Out of the numerous stouts I have tried ( thanks to swarthybrews ) this is by far my favorite. Cheers to everyone! (184 characters)

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,212 ratings.