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Dark Lord Imperial Stout - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,822 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2822
Reviews: 1128
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 14.92%


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

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,822 | Reviews: 1,128 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of herman77
herman77

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage (red wax)

A: Black with a slight dark khaki head. Good head retention and hardly any lacing. Crazy head retention for the abv.

S: Dark fruit bomb! Raisins, dates, black cherries, molasses, port wine. A hint of olives or some sort of other odd saltiness coming through as well. Some alcohol as it warms in the background.

T: Super sweet and tons of dark fruit up front. Molasses covered dark, sweet cherry. Cherry grenadine like. Roasted malts abundant. Some really nice coffee comes up in the aftertaste, way late in the aftertaste. Very complex, layers of flavors.

M: Thick and creamy. Very nice carbonation level for the style.

O: ABV is hidden pretty well for being 15%. Not the best drinkability for how sweet it is, but the complexity helps. Wish it wasn't so sweet and wish some of that dry roasted coffee flavors came through more up front. Glad I got to try it and it was just as I thought it would be.

Way different than Darkness and other Russian Imperial stouts. If I had to pick between this and Darkness, I would choose Darkness almost every time.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 23:09:30 | More by herman77
Photo of zhanson88
zhanson88

California

3.44/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

2010 vintage.

Appearance: Pours out a very dark brown that appears pitch black in the glass. A viscous pour, but not astoundingly so. About 1/4" of dark tan head forms, which quickly reduces to a ring around the edges of the glass.

Smell: Toasted caramel malts and brown sugar, soy sauce, a bit of booze, perhaps a bit of weak coffee as well as a hint of oxidation. I had heard this vintage was pretty boozy back in the day, and it seems letting it sit for a few years helped out with that, at least from what I'm getting on the nose.

Taste: Brown sugar sweetness, toasted caramel, soy sauce, weak milk chocolate, maybe a hint of bitterness from the malts on the finish. No boozy notes, but one dimensional with the sweetness. Finish is heavy with residual sugars.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Heavy mouthfeel with light carbonation, mouthfeel is a bit slick. Finish is messy with a lot of sweetness, which retracts for me. Overall, not a bad RIS. Really just too sweet in my opinion to be rated any higher. I liked it less as I drank it and it took a while to polish off.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 03:03:37 | More by zhanson88
Photo of guityler83
guityler83

Wisconsin

3.89/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage, orange wax

A: As it spewed forth from the bowels of despair, Dark Lord had the aggression of a hell hound (Poured from about 6 inches above the glass). The goblet filled with a soul crushing darkness that allowed nothing to pass through. The tan, mocha colored foam that emerged from the bellows was so thick with fine bubbles you could rest a quarter on it. After it fell back into darkness, a dusting was left in its place. When the Dark Lord is agitated and swirled in its new home, its legs are significant.

S: Bringing my nose to the edge of oblivion, I observe large roasty notes, moderate rubbing alcohol, bakers chocolate, moderate caramel and low vanilla notes from my first impression. Little to no hop aroma detected. Some hints of smoke, soy sauce and toffee also detected.

T: Sweeeet. Wow. Okay. Let me start over. Strong dark chocolate and caramel, with moderate toffee and vanilla flavors on the first impression. It reminds me of a milk stout in its over the top sweetness and lactose flavor I'm getting. Soy sauce and tobacco notes with milk chocolate and the bottom of a cocoa crispies cereal bowl (you know what I mean) flavors. Balance is 100% on the malt side, no detectable hop flavor and the sweetness is so over the top I can only take small sips.

M: Huge and chewy mouthfeel like you are drinking pudding. Very low carbonation and a pretty hefty amount of alcohol warming. Extremely sticky beer too, meaning when the residual beer is on the edge of the glass its like super glue.

O: Dark Lord has quite the reputation and Dark Lord Day was and is an amazing time. I can't say I'm a fan of the beer but I'm glad I got to try it for myself. Next year (if I'm lucky enough to get tickets) I'll probably trade my bottles for something I can enjoy more and let someone else try this legendary brew.
Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 02:31:16 | More by guityler83
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

White wax, 2009

Tried this at a bottle share. I had about 2 ounces of it, which was more than enough for me to confirm that this is truly deserving of being called diabetes in a bottle.

This pours a thick, crude-oil black in color. There’s a cocoa-colored creamy cap on this beaut.
The aroma is more than I could comprehend. Lots of sugary rum, a thick molasses, some dried fruit and a dark chocolate-coffee note. Big taste. It’s thick and heavy, but despite the strength I don’t get a sense of it’s ABV as I sip because the overpowering sweetness dominates. Lots more molasses, sugary sweetness, and a rummy character dominate over the chocolate-coffee roast.

Intense.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 07:20:48 | More by elNopalero
Photo of NHbeerguy
NHbeerguy

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a rich black color with a brown thin head that stays around the edge of the glass.

S-Smells include alcohol, chocolate and malts

T- The taste was good. Had a slight chocolate with a good amount of Alcohol. I bet this would be outstanding aged for at least a year.

M-It was a thick mouth feel. It left a lasting alcohol taste in my mouth

O- Overall a very good beer. My next bottle will be aged so I can compare after 2 years.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2013 00:00:49 | More by NHbeerguy
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 vintage reviewed a few days ago thanks to Dan. Also tried a 2009 a few weeks ago but didn't have the energy to review at the time. Finally getting around to Dark Lord after over four years of reviewing.

A- Poured from the bottle to a few pint glasses with an impressively oily, thick looking body. About as black as it gets, truly like motor oil. Creamy dark tan, brown head forms to a finger or just above that with good retention. Falls to a small ring and lace is hard to come by for whatever reason.

S- Roasty but you can tell there is some age to this. Big molasses sweetness off the top like Black Strap brand. Deep cocoa powder, nuttiness, aged caramel, toast and burnt grains.

T- Once again the age comes into play big time but isn't a big enough component to throw the beer off. Insanely roasty off the top with that huge brown sugar and molasses sugar feel. Deep, 100% bitter dark cocoa powder, raisins, toasted nuts, whole wheat cereal grain and some coffee hints. Just a bit of soy and cola hints but they seem to only pop up every few sips.

MF- Massively thick and oily body. Moderate carbonation is pretty nice for close to four years old. Some alcohol warming but not even close to 13-15% (check which one it is). Finishes with roast bitterness on the palate.

Just a beast in all ways. The age shows but complements the stout flavors that are still quite big. Tons of malt and roast flavor and massively thick. I will try this thing fresh some day. Have only had 2009 and 2010 in the last few months.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 16:33:49 | More by cbutova
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

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

2010 vintage bottle acquired from the very gracious Duff27. Green wax-ed over pressure cap bottle. 650ml brown glass bottle with interesting label art served into a Guinness goblet in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given the brewery and its current 96 rating. Reviewed as a Russian Imperial Stout because the label description identifies it as such.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger khaki-tan head which recedes inside 10 seconds.

Body colour is a solid opaque jet-black. No floating yeast particles are visible; it's quite clean.

Overall, I'm a bit underwhelmed.

Sm: Molasses, chocolate, wisps of dark fruit, dark malts, chocolate malt, and some acidic ash. Depleted cherry. A biteen burnt. Somewhat vinous. Crappucino.

It's pretty reticent for an imperial stout, but I'm intrigued. A pleasant if somewhat muted aroma of mild strength.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

T: Sweet, sure, with plenty of fruit - dark and sweet alike. Plum, cherry. Ash. Tobacco. Vague molasses. Nebulous vinous character. Black currants. I do get some char/ash. It's balanced, sure, but nowhere near as complex/subtle/intricate/nuanced as I expected given its rarity and high rating. It's certainly on the sweeter side.

Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

More cynical reviewers might claim there's a soy sauce note.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Nice body and thickness. A biteen overcarbonated. Nice presence on the palate. Lightly syrupy. Sticky. Has weight.

Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, boozy, or harsh.

Dr: Certainly drinkable for the high ABV. Sure I'd buy it if I saw it in the store, but it isn't worth seeking out to be honest. I expected far better, but it's nice. I don't know that age has made any substantial difference/developments. It has many characteristics which evoke more of a port-wine or liqueur character. I know many claim it's too sweet, and I can see that argument, but I think it's fine as-is. I'm real disappointed. Thanks for the opportunity to try it, Duff27.

Low B-

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 02:44:24 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Rope
Rope

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013

Appearance-
Dark, and in direct light a rich red. Thing tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell-
Thick, syrupy, and roasted tones. A warm alcohol undertone towards the end.

Taste-
Sweet and thick (hey kinda like the nose), preserved fruits, and a long sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel-
Surprising for how thick it is, it actually has good carbonation. The sweetness coats everything, including low hanging mustache hair.

Overall-
If Stone went for bitterness with IPAs, Three Floyds went for sweetness with RTS.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 05:13:45 | More by Rope
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore

Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bombers from both the 2012 and 2013 vintages. Will review 2013 which I felt was a better beer, with some comparison to the 2012 at the end of this review. Poured into snifters at Dustin's birthday tasting yesterday, 6/15/2013.

Aroma: Phew! Lots of stuff going on here. Mostly an overwhelming sweetness which screams diabetes. There is a lot of nice dark fruit sweetness making me think of figs, raisins and cherries with tons of sweet milk chocolate and a bit of coffee bitterness. Makes me want to dive into this beer.

Colour: Very dark brown, almost pure blackness. Pours like incredibly thick motor oil, with a delicious looking 1cm brown head that sticks around briefly until it completely disappears into nothingness. Not much lacing to be spoken of. Looks like a great dessert wine.

Flavour: Damn this is diabetes in a glass. There is a ton of stuff going on, but its mostly dominated by a sweet apple flavour, no tartness. In the background, the dark fruits are ever present, giving a nice blend of sweetness. Lots of bitter black chocolate, and I think there is a good bit of sweet milk chocolate in there too. Near the end there's a decent bit of coffee bitterness. Very complex beer, a bit too sweet and would benefit from perhaps 2 years of age.

Mouthfeel: Super thick body, almost goopy. Carbonation is OK, nothing special. Aftertaste is a nice dark chocolate bitterness mixed in with some sweet apple flavours. Incredibly smooth, and there is no booziness whatsoever on this 15% ABV.

Overall: I'm glad to have tried this beer. Very tasty, thick and complex imperial stout that does deserve the moniker "diabetes in a bottle". I actually liked it a lot, though some of the other people at this tasting did not like this version. Compared to the 2012, the 2013 is richer, much more complex but is significantly sweeter. That makes me think the optimal time to drink this beer is in 1.5-2 years. The 2012 brings the same kind of super thick mouthfeel, and while it is still very sweet, it is not as overwhelmingly sweet. However, I feel like the rest of the different flavours are also muted as well in the 2012 compared to the 2013. I'd have to say I'd rather have the 2013 if I had to choose, but I really liked the 2012 because it just wasn't so sweet. Give this one a try if you can, just don't think its the best Imperial Stout ever.

Re-review: Shawn generously opened up a 2012 vintage bottle before we opened up 2012 BVDL today, 12/8/2013. Poured into an unlabeled snifter.

Pours just like Dark Lord always has- opaque black, exceedingly minimal mocha head that doesn't retain all that well, even for an imperial stout. Not much lacing. It smells great- no green apples, though it does got a straight up sugary sweetness but you can get a lot of complexity in it- coffee, port wine, dark fruits, milk chocolates, cocoa- which is very good. Flavour-wise, its the same- dark chocolate and black coffee bitterness, dark fruits, milk chocolate, sugar and molasses contributing a lot to the sweetness of the beer. And the mouthfeel is very good as any Dark Lord can be. No heat in this, even as it warms up. Not that hard to drink. Overall, with a year and half on it, its done very well. Its still sweet, but very manageable and complex. Its a very good imperial stout, its also overhyped but in my opinion, its a very good and unique RIS that shouldn't be confused with the best but should still be appreciated.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 05:03:43 | More by Stevedore
Photo of mmapes
mmapes

Colorado

3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Andrew for the trade. I never thought I'd get to try this one.

Pours dark but not completely black, a translucence while pouring. Not much head. The bottle is from 2012 and we're tasting it in 2013.

Smells boozy, hot. Molasses, prunes.

First taste: really thick and syrupy, very sweet. Tingle-bursts on first taste.

Second taste: big malt, slightly bitter, fairly long finish. Port wine.

A little sticky sweet for my tastes. There are better balanced Russian Imperials that I think I prefer.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 01:27:39 | More by mmapes
Photo of AndyAvalanche
AndyAvalanche

Massachusetts

4.95/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber (2011 yellow wax top) poured into a Duvel tulip style glass. Liquid comes out like a very dark roasted coffee color. You can see a few lightish brown highlights while pouring it, but as it pools into the glass the liquid is black and there are now highlights at all. Even if you hold the glass up to the light, it's as if it's an eclipse. Nice slightly darker than tan colored head with a lot of medium and small bubbles, make it look somewhat frothy. Lasts awhile and will eventually very slowly work it's way down to a ring around the edge of the glass. Not much glass retention and lacing with the head, but the liquid itself clings sort of like a syrup. Looks good overall.

Smell is really good, it's very sweet, even sweeter than I expected, but it's still amazing. It has quite a bit going on. It's got generous aromas of dark chocolate, caramel, toffee and subtle hints of a coffee. There's a nice hop presence, but more like they were soaked in some blend of almond/vanilla/molasses. Everything meshes really nicely together and it smells great.

I was on the fence a little bit about the flavor, but you know what, I'm going with perfect here. It's just a sweet Russian Imperial Stout, nothing wrong with that. Taste is truly excellent. Tastes again of dark chocolate, with some charred brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and toffee. To top it all off there's a nice kiss of dark roasted coffee mixed in to add a little bit of bitterness. Really a well blended, and great tasting beer. I've read many reviews and heard many complaints that it tastes like soy sauce, not to me, I thought it tasted great.

Mouthfeel is really good, flavor lingers for a looong time, it's certainly full bodied. With how sweet it is it's a little syrupy in the feel so the carbonation is down a little. Big and bold Russian Imperial Stout, I wouldn't have guessed 15%, so on some levels I guess they did a decent job hiding the alcohol. Drinkability is there, but don't be fooled, this one is a sipper. Nice warming effect after each sip, perfect for a cool night like tonight. Thanks for the trade CuriousMonk.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 04:22:50 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of alaimoa
alaimoa

Connecticut

3.1/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This is a review for a 5 year vertical on 11/15/13

Overall extreme disappointment in the 5 year DL Vertical with the only decent ones were 2010: ranked 4.5 overall and 2011 4.25 overall. The rest were all below average in my opinion with the actual event of doing a vertical making the entire rank at least average..

Beers poor, Event with the suspense and side by side Amazing.

--2008: Stickiest legs of all, aggressive bitter coffee with the flavor of burnt charred chicken, burnt molssaes and burnt brown sugar

--2009: too sweet and tart with a granny smith like twange to it. Motor oil appearance with a brown ringlet of film. smelled like burned coffee and nutty. Very sweet yet very bitter aftertaste

--2010: Favorite of the bunch. Best aroma, flaor, feel with nice complexity. Smell was a nice mix of sweet, roasty and figgy with charred chocolate. complex flavor of coffee, bitter choc and sweet fig in the back. Coffee lingers nicely. Dry feel at the end.

--2011: Second best in the tasting with dominating coffee notes. burnt coffee smell, less sticky than the 2008 but very thick in feel. Flavor was upfront sweet coffee leading to a brown sugar figginess

--2012: it wasn't disgusting but not great. slightly thinner than 2008/9 and like eating a bitter sweet chocolate bar with a ver dry aftertaste despite the sweetness

--2013: Worst of all with a horrendous smell and taste of rubbing alcohol as it warmed. Appearance had an orangy swirl, best carb, and most legs. least aggressive aroma but swet. Thinner than ofhers and comparable to a porter. Flavor and smell were resembling rubbing alcohol as it warmed"

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 18:09:00 | More by alaimoa
Photo of nrs207
nrs207

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours fairly dark, but definitely not the darkest imperial stout out there. Small tan head.

S - Pretty bad. I get a weird olive and soy sauce mixture dominating it.

T - Luckily, the taste is much improved. I get a lot more dark fruits and a bit of roast. Way toned down on the soy sauce that killed my nose.

M - Possibly the best part about this beer. The 15% is nowhere to be found. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

O - It's a strange beer. I've never hated the smell on a beer so much and liked the taste as much as I did. I wouldn't seek this out though. Not worth the price or the trade value in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 15:59:05 | More by nrs207
Photo of maxcoinage
maxcoinage

Illinois

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

2012 Vintage (Red Wax) split with friends, poured into stemmed glass - a thick pour that didn't leave too much head. Color was pitch black.

Aroma - dark chocolate, coffee, caramel

The taste is rather sweet - molasses, vanilla, toffee, roasted malt, coffee,

Mouthfeel - lower carb, heavy thick body that coats the mouth

Overall - Very glad I got the opportunity to finally try this, enjoyed it . thanks to Mike for sharing. I think I'd rather take a Founders RIS or Bells Expedition though

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 19:59:35 | More by maxcoinage
Photo of ausch30
ausch30

New York

3.66/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had most of the beers that are incredibly hyped and most of them live up to it, this one doesn't. It tastes like they threw a ton of ingredients into a brew kettle and forgot to ferment it. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad beer, I've had much worse. As far as Imperial Stouts go though I've had much better and those were far more accessable. Lots of dark fruits, it almost tastes like a blend of a Quad and a RIS, leaning more toward the Quad. This is a 2012 bottle, the 3rd I've had, I also had some on tap at DLD when I picked this up. I have 4 more bottles, I'll probably drink one every 6 months, we'll see if and how it develops. If you've never had it it's worth trying. That being said I wouldn't suggest going out of your way or spending a lot to get it, chances are you have much better Stouts already waiting for you at your local bottle shop.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2013 02:26:57 | More by ausch30
Photo of bishopdc0
bishopdc0

Maine

3.71/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Shared this bottle with my brother. A 2011

Popped the bottle with an t violation.

After reading reviews I was skeptical.

The nose is full of berry, leather and a hints of roast very nice and complex

The taste is all over the place it starts with a berry flavor raisins and plums.the taste quickly goes roasted but the sweetness remains. Make no doubts this is a cloying beer. I wanted it to be better than it is but frankly it's not. The beer seems unfinished, not fully fermented, as a homebrew if I miss pitched yeast I would be able to get a beer like this.

We both agree d if this beer had coffee, bourbon or had been more attenuated it would be world class

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 18:58:40 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of gcamparone
gcamparone

Rhode Island

3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 3F tulip glass. Acquired from Surge1311, thanks buddy! 2011 vintage

A- Pours a deep brown, nearly black, opaque body with a slowly rising light chocolate colored head that reduces slowly to a ring of foam, leaving some rings of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Very interesting aromas on the nose.. a strong maltyness reminiscent of a mixture of molasses, soy sauce, milk chocolate, and toffee. There's a biscuity, bready aroma too.

T- Woah, way too sweet. I've never tasted a stout this sweet before.. it's like someone mixed simple syrup with an imperial stout, what's up with that? It almost tastes like the sugar fermentation process was stopped short. Getting past the syrupy, almost artificial sweet flavor, I get a little chocolate, coffee, dark fruits on the follow through. The finish is very roasty and charred which is pleasant. You also can't taste the 15% alcohol which is also very nice, but I just can't get past the EXTREME sweetness of this beer.

M- Heavy, sticky, syrupy body. Almost no carbonation.

Am I impressed with Dark Lord? Not the in the least bit. Honestly I have no clue how it gets the ratings it gets on Beeradvocate.

Is Dark Lord a huge, heavy bodied, flavor-packed, monster of a stout? I'll give it that. Just not in the best way possible.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 02:00:23 | More by gcamparone
Photo of WiscoBrewsco
WiscoBrewsco

Wisconsin

4.95/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - The darkest beer I have ever seen. So black it was verging on purple. Crawled out of the bottle like syrup with little head that was dark brown in color. Alcohol legs for days that never ended

Smell - A slightly subdued aroma hiding the beast within. Big malt notes with dark chocolate and molasses come through with a hint of cherry and coffee

Taste - The most complex stout (and beer for that matter) I have ever tasted. Really hard to pin down all the flavors going on here. A big wave of sweet molasses and dark fruit hits the mouth and then is followed by chocolate and coffee and cherries which give way back to the molasses with a solid malt presence and more chocolate and coffee. This is excess personified.

Mouthfeel - This is the thickest stout I have ever had, bar none. In fact it took my understanding of "thick" to a new level. This one was like drinking a velvet milkshake and set a new bar for what thick really means. The best mouthfeel I have ever experienced.

Overall - This is hands down the best stout I have ever had. I was completely blown away by this and it is my new favorite beer to date. Some people complain that it is too sweet but with a little age on it that is far from true. Everything in the flavor and mouthfeel of this beer are perfection. Believe the hype as this beer is the real deal. All bow before the Dark Lord

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 08:52:59 | More by WiscoBrewsco
Photo of TheBronze
TheBronze

Washington

4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a review for the 2010 bottle (olive green wax).

A - Pours very dark and viscous with minimal head forming. Small charred brown bubbles.

S - A very unique aroma that puts you on notice. Singed molasses, red wine, dark fruits, roast.

T - Taste follows the nose at first with big molasses, dark fruits, a vinous character, and a moderate roasty backbone. A huge complex stout. Secondary waves of chocolate. Hints of coffee muddled together with the competing flavors that continue to roll across your tongue and pop. The multiple big, bold flavors complement instead of conflict. If this used to be overly sweet when it was fresh, it has settled down now. The one complaint here is that the rich taste can get to be overwhelming as you get towards the end of the glass.

M - Very full bodied. Coats the mouth nicely. Medium carbonation which is just right for this.

O - A unique treat to drink across a sea of relative sameness with big time stouts. Very memorable. It can become a bit overpowering as you get towards the end of your glass, so a 7-8oz pour should be enough. Definitely a bottle to share. I have had multiple years of Dark Lord recently. I found ’12 and ’11 to be a bit too sweet when fresh, but I still do enjoy the beer and its nuances whether it is young or old. But whatever the case, this vintage is just outstanding right now. It’s time to crack it open and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2013 01:13:46 | More by TheBronze
Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
GonzoHomebrewer

Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2008 bottle shared amongst friends

A- looks exactly as expected, incredibly intimidating, thick with a viscosity I don't think I will ever see again in another beer, big reverse cascading frothy mocha head, best part of this beer

S- Smells decent, dark fruit, molasses, some heavy roasted malt in the background

T- The taste is unbelievably disjointed compared to the nose; sometimes it tasted like someone made a concentrated dark malt syrup, then you'd occassionally get some waves of various odd flavors like soy, umami, plum, black currants, but then you'd get hit with the malt syrup taste again. When i say malt syrup, its not a complement because the malt taste WAS that generic.

M- yes, there was protein particle chunks in mine, but it was still the most viscous imperial stout I have ever had, closest I've come to needing to "chew" a beer,

O- Glad to have tried, but underwhelming, especially for a vintage thats highly regarded at the moment. Best attributes were easily the mouthfeel and appearance.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2013 03:17:17 | More by GonzoHomebrewer
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eric5bellies

Australia

3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage drank with Anthony, Andrew and Joel

A - Pours a deep ebony colour with light visible, the head dies very quickly.

S - Tobacco , raisin, prunes , fig, dark chocolate.

T - Very sweet, with dark fruits and mollassis. no roast at all. The finish is boozy.

M - Moderate carbonation and surprisingly thin for a 15% stout, would describe as medium body.

O - Disappointed with this beer. I just don't get how overpowering sweetness translates into a world class beer. The ageing potential is there, and I would put down for 10 years or so before drinking

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2013 12:11:58 | More by eric5bellies
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dowen17

Alabama

3.63/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours pitch black with no head. Gurgles into the bottom of my snifter.

On the nose is cherries an dark fruits. Dark roast malts, bitter chocolate and hints of char and alcohol. I see why people are saying soy sauce. I definitely pick that up on the nose as well.

Taste is cherries, sweet molasses, sweet and dark malts. Dark fruits, sugar, char, a hint of vanilla. Very very sweet. Sweet to the point that its almost not drinkable. Wow. And again, definite soy sauce on the after taste. Very interesting. The more I drink and smell the more soy sauce begins to come out.

Mouthfeel is huge and chewy. One of the thickest stouts I've ever tried. Massive, massive, massive.

This beer isn't worth the hype at all. It's decent at best. Very very sweet but the soy sauce flavor and smell really ruined it for me. I think going to DLD really ups the ratings for a lot of people with the experience involved but oh well. Try it if you can.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 18:16:49 | More by dowen17
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facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.66/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A very dark thick pour with a finger of tan head. Smells very balsamic vinegar like, lots if oak, chocolate, molasses, licorice, roasted grains.
A very sugary sweetness, soy sauce, molasses, oak. Waaaay sweet flavor with a weird salty vinegar like flavor.
Full body, low carbonation, sweet dry finish.
Overall I am not impressed. I've had way better stouts from FFF, and way better local off the shelf stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 00:45:30 | More by facundoCNB
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mhksuccess

California

4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my review is for a bottle of 2011 vintage
pour very dark little to no head
smell is pretty heavy coffee
taste is not as much more of a smooth sweet but not overly sweet
i can see why a lot of people say soy sauce because i get a hint of that on the back end but not over powering
coffee taste is faint compare to the smell more of a sweet taste to it
it is a strong smooth nice stout but would say doesnt live up to the hype

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2013 15:37:31 | More by mhksuccess
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DRBiser

Maryland

4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011/Yellow wax

Attractive, rich, heavy dark black color with minimal light brown head

Nose is heavy and sweet, with caramel, molasses, and chocolate shining through

Extremely unique stout, if nothing else. I'm not one for overly sweet and this beer gets a bit close to being too much, but yeah, it’s still quite delicious. It has that sweet chocolately/creamy/caramely liqueur-like booziness to it that I’ve not experienced in any beer before. I also think it has an incredible mouthfeel (but I also haven’t had too many aged stouts so perhaps time was on its side?)

Because of the complexity and monster body the thing has, I gave it a 4.5, but I wasn’t super impressed with the overall flavor. The sweetness is a little odd to me – and at the end of the day it’s all about balance and I just feel like a certain aspect of the flavor was a little much. But again, that’s being hyper-critical as this beer is massive/unique, and I’d love to try another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 23:16:36 | More by DRBiser
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 2,822 ratings.