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Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,250 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,250
Ratings:
4,113
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
14.49%
 
 
Wants:
3,196
Gots:
2,016
For Trade:
169
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
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
Black with glitter flecks wax = 2016

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,250 | Ratings: 4,113
Photo of atigerlife
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2008, black wax. So, going on 8 years old.

Pours black. Black hole black. Very small light brown head which dissipates quickly. Small collar.

Aroma of dark soy sauce, vanilla, strong coffee, malt. Very strong and complex aroma.

Taste is of coffee. Mocha. Dark chocolate. Vanilla sugar. Dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, heavy. Surprisingly dry at the end.

Overall, Wow!! Very nice. Delicious.

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Photo of churchillps
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage drunk on 1/25/16. My god, it's a wonderful experience. Overall act of drinking better than the sum of its parts. I didn't find it particularly attractive, and I wasn't a huge fan of the mouthfeel, but the complexity of flavors was absolutely unbelievable. Chocolate covered cherries and molasses were the most dominant, and I didn't find it overly sweet. Opened it up after having a really bad day and it changed my whole perspective.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark chocolate color. Aroma is super roasty and dark chocolate. Flavor is roasted dark malt. Chocolate and a smooth finish. Overall glad I saved this. It aged so well. This is delicious.

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Photo of RLVineh
2.21/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I dont understand the Love of this beer. This is possibly one of the most overrated beers i have tried:

Pour is black with caramel color lacing. looks thinner than expected

Smells like soy sauce and molasses.with a hint of alcohol, very off putting

Taste sweet soy sauce, molasses, alcohol is not a factor in the taste, but it feels like the beer is the wrong style. does not taste like an imperial stout

Feel is nice medium body, thicker than the pour suggested

Overall, disappointed to say the least, not a very good beer.

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Photo of pagriley
2.97/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz into a snifter

L - pours thick and viscous with an inch of dense mocha foam receding to a thin ring
S - Soy sauce and alcohol heat
T - Cloyingly sweet with an umami / mushroom / soy savory backbone. Not a lot of char or bitterness to offset the sweetness which overpowers everything
F - Thick, rich and creamy with fine carb and a fantastic soft finish

Overall an experience, and an interesting beer, but more something to try just because rather than a great beer... Unless you are into soy sauce syrup - in which case go for it!

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Photo of SteveB24
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look-Motor oil black, with a greasy shine to it, pours almost no head at all.
Smell-Lots going on here, cherries, burned sugar, molasses, chocolate, coffee. Really awesome aroma.
Taste-Cherries, dates, coffee, sweet dark chocolate, soy sauce in the finish, no booze.
Feel-Very heavy and very oily, almost no carbonation.
Overall-You have to appreciate the complexity of this beer, but i have to admit i was a bit out off by the soy saucy flavor and the overwhelming sweetness of the beer. Glad i tried it, wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of Caput_H_lupulorum
2.05/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A dark looking beer, that poured with little head. The mouthfeel was treacly and cloying, while the flavor had distinct overtones of burnt rubber. While much anticipated, this was not a winner.

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Photo of bgold86
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage Poured into a 12 ounce snifter at just above room temperature.

After mulling my review over and over I'm going with this. Dark Lord is a typical higher abv imperial stout with all the usual characteristics, nothing special or unique about this beer, it isnt even as sweet as people proclaim it to be. This beer is not worthy of the hype. This one day only brewery release doesn't even stand up to a GI Big John, really sad.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well the dark appearance you'd expect from Dark Lord. The 2009 vintage. Smells of sweet dark fruits, chocolate, booze. Tastes of dark chocolate, little coffee, dark fruits. Overall, bout the only improvement for this would be to barrel age it. It's boozy enough to smell and taste like it already was barrel aged though. Really nice job.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chocolate-covered cherries.

Those were my first thoughts when I first had this on draft. When I said it out loud, the eyes of the company I was in widened, and they vigorously nodded their heads in agreement.

Dark Lord pours so black it's almost purple. After a year cellaring, the fizzy mocha head doesn't stick around, as opposed to when fresh, where the head is enormous and retains for a good while. Burnt orange edges appear in the dark liquid after it settles down and warms up.

Ultra rich dark chocolate up front, while the coffee is far in the background. As I mentioned, I got a lot of cherry when fresh on draft, but as it's ages I get more of a raspberry flavor on the sweetness front. Dark Lord is also intensely roasty AND very sweet, with a sort of spicy tang, either from the alcohol, or else, in a strange way, from the roastiness. At times, it is even a little smoky, like roasted sunflower seeds.

Viscous, in a way that it makes your teeth squeaky. Yet also velvety. Even though it is sweet and sticky, it also has a dry enough finish on the tongue that keeps you coming back for more.

It's also dangerously deceptive. The high ABV would connote some some booziness, but we got absolutely none of that, and finished off the first pour way faster than we would have if we'd known the ABV at the time. Not being able to detect that level of alcohol is just another plus on this already stellar stout.

For all those sweetness-crusaders out there that hate any kind of beer that isn't beaten to death by bitterness, yeah, obviously, this isn't for you.

The bandwagon to bash this beer because of how hard it used to be to get your hands on if you weren't a scratching-and-clawing beer-trader just isn't warranted.

This is an excellent, and downright delicious stout, consistently so: I have had a tasting vertical w/ '07, '09, & '10, and have had '15 and '16 on draft, and '15 cellared.

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Photo of Awolter
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage drank on November 29, 2015. Thick, dark, syrupy, and roasted. Very strong chocolate notes. Tasted like a thick chocolate syrup carbonated with a hint of alcohol. I'm very glad I was able to try this, mostly because of all the hype. Don't expect this to blow your mind, but it's worth trying.

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Photo of leantom
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

The mythical Dark Lord. Was once the most sought-after beer in the country. Now, however, it's fallen off. Was it worthy of the hype, or is it an overrated mess?

I was given of sample of this while waiting in line for the Bourbon County release. I have to give a special shout-out to the two people who were waiting in line with me. If it wasn't for them, I probably would never have gotten to try this. I don't know your names, but thank you.

Here goes:

A: Thick black - no light gets through. The head is also larger than most high-ABV beers (pours a thick, chocolatey black as well). Great.

S: Very exquisite, in my opinion. More interesting and complex than any imperial stout I've had to date (and that's saying something). Lots of raisins, prune, and other dark fruit; also a fair helping of dark chocolate. Not much coffee, milk, or cream, however. Interesting that the dark fruit and chocolate are able to mix without imparting a bitter coffee.

T: Follows the nose. A very rich blend of dark fruit and chocolate. Very, very thick and rich. I liked it a lot, although it certainly wasn't the best beer I've ever tried. Good.

F: Only bad part about the beer. Incredibly thick sludge. So much sugar that it was almost coming out of solution (not enough water to dissolve it, lol).

O: Good beer. Was it worth the hype? Very close, but this is still a great brew. Glad I didn't have to go through the effort of actually acquiring it.

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Photo of BigRedDog
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

In a tasting with 2012, 2013, and 2014. This years was left out. Tasted in the order mentioned on Halloween 2015.

2012- Viscous. Rich. Sweet. Honey and chocolate character comes through with a candied dark fruit note present as well.

2013- Dark fruits take a front seat. Not quite as sweet as the 2012

2014- Sweet character takes on a residual sugar note more than anything. Same candied dark fruit, honey and chocolate notes.

Age does this beer wonders.

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Photo of Pete_IV
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wish I let this age for a year but I wanted to try fresher for first go around. Sweet sweet thickness. Getting a bit of that soy flavor which is quite odd and then a decent heat. Hopefully warms up and more coffee or vanilla flavors show up.

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Photo of tharper178
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The maroon cap dark lord was a little underwhelming and not really worth the hype for me. It's a sticky sweet, average tasting RIS. I was not blown away by the vanilla or barrel aging. My expectations were DL would be able to stand against BCBS, Hunaphu, MBCP and perhaps too high. Zombie dust and permanent funeral are exceptional offerings from three floyds (which is an amazing brewery),

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Photo of napdynmite
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 purple wax.This is a huge beer. People mention the soy sauce and it's there, but to me the molasses is what's most prominent. Sweet, sticky, but smooth despite the ABV. The coffee is a bit lost in the sweetness. A little more coffee bitterness might have been interesting. Overall this is a hard beer not to like.

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Photo of durlta
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Blue wax. I was advised to let this age for at least a year, so I shared this one after 16 months. Very dark with minimal to no head. Soy sauce notes have smoothed way out into really pleasant roasty chocolate notes. Really nice thickness and feel. Alcohol is hidden very well.

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Photo of Sintech
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle share at Courtyard & Cellar for Toppling Goliath Mornin' Delight release!

22oz Bottle

2007 version with silver wax. Nose was a little weak. Taste is super smooth chocolate. Very good. Highly recommended.

(A)

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Photo of diablo14
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of RAlmeida77
3.39/5  rDev -20.8%
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!!

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Photo of ChrisP802
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
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

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Photo of woodchip
2.94/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

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Photo of Feelmebone
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
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.......

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Photo of gibgink
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of etaggie09
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,250 ratings.