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Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,257 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,257
Ratings:
4,135
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
14.49%
 
 
Wants:
3,198
Gots:
2,035
For Trade:
171
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: 1,257 | Ratings: 4,135
Photo of jtirpak22
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2016 vintage from the bottle.

A - Dark black with thin layer of tan head, oily.
S - Licorice, roasted malts, dark fruit, molasses
T - Vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and a sweetness, boozy.
M - Fairly thick and syrupy.
O - This was historically one of my favorite stouts but recent vintages have been a bit too sweet for me. This was a big step back in the right direction though. Significantly improved over recent years.

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Photo of bcbs4040
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Black ink, motor oil
S: Dark fruits, licorice and chocolate
T: Sweet, slight bitterness when fresh, and nose carries over perfect
M: Thick as they get, fudge, paint, viscous
O: Lives up to hype, only thing that can make it better is a barrel.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed in a taster glass. 2015 version. Thanks, Shannon.

A: Evil dark black with light tan hazy head that quickly ran away.

S: Bourbon, molasses, chocolate with light vanilla and a shot of coffee.

T: Oooh, too sweet. This one can induce diabetes. Still tasty despite the overabundance of sugar. Getting booze, vanilla, chocolate, coffee and molasses. But sip this one slowly.

M: Medium to heavy with thick, syrupy carbonation.

O: Glad I finally got to try this bucket list beer. But the sugar is way too much. Take that down a few hundred notches and this Dark Lord is a winner.

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Photo of dvmin98
3.16/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

2016 Looks great. Smells like a decent RIS. Tastes like a complete sugar bomb. So disappointed. Glad I shared this because I could barely get through 6 oz. Sad

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Photo of jaypaul522
3.57/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After all the fuss, what a let-down. The pour was good, with a nice full head. You could smell the roasted malts, but the taste was so overwhelmingly sweet I couldn't get past that. I see other reviews listing several flavors, but I couldn't taste anything but the strong sugary taste - it completely hides the 15% alcohol it is so dominant. Not a favorite.

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Photo of Bulabeers
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Black beer brown head that vanishes completely in a few seconds
S: Vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate, raisins, maple syrup, or chocolate chip pancakes with maple syrup.
T: Maple syrup, raisins, figs, chocolate, coffee. The alcohol is non existent
F: Syrup smooth sticky thick
O: A very impressive beer. This is on the sweet side. It's complex and lives up to the hype.

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Photo of Lapalou
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2016, pour is dark and thick with no head. Some slight tan lacing sitting at the top. Nose is a bit off putting, nothing of note, looking for coffee or roast, but getting sweetness. Taste- like a dunkin donuts Ice coffee where the sugar hasn't dissolved at the bottom and you get granular sugar in the first sip. Overwhelmingly sweet. Definitely doesn't feel like 15%, but doesn't taste like a beer either. I like dessert type beers, things like AC gccs, but man this beer is tough to drink. Like a flat Mexican sugar Coca Cola. No thanks. Wouldn't buy it on the shelf. Not the worst beer and no soy sauce for me but sugar bomb

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Photo of Zoomslowik
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L- Very dark, head is basically non-existent. No lacing. Pretty thick.

S- Boozy, molasses and chocolate.

T- Very sweet, but not to the point of unpleasant. Coffee and chocolate notes, but they're in the background. Mostly caramel and molasses flavors. Doesn't remotely feel like a 15% alcohol beer to me.

F- The strongest feature. Thick, a little creamy, very smooth. Exactly what I look for in a high-end stout.

O- Very good, but could use a little more variety of flavor. I'm excited to try a barrel-aged version.

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Photo of NHhomebrewguy
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this with a couple of really good friends and beer connoisseurs and we were all delightfully surprised! Lots of chocolate, burnt sugar and roasted malts. Thick syrup like mouthfeel. Very enjoyable. Not sure why people give this beer such a bad rap.

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black, virtually no head, no lacing and a nice rippling on the surface. Notes of vanilla, cane sugar, light coffee, carmel, and toffee for days. Thick, like syrup thick, coats the entire pallet and stays around a while. Amazing stout, I didn't mention it in tasting notes but I get the soy sauce but it isn't the prominent flavor.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is one of the highest rated beers that i have not been able to get my hands on until now. i feel like ive been hearing about this darn beer forever now, and its amazing to have a buddy bring it over this weekend, although i have to say, the hype and the wait are not warranted or worth it, and as tasty as this is, its for one past its prime and for two not that amazing. maybe it was when it came out back in the day, but the rest of the field has risen. this is a 2011 ediiton, and may have been best a year or so ago. i smell slight oxidation, but after that, its held up well enough i imagine. shiny black chocolate syrup color and texture to it, actually a decent little head on the pour but it has no persistence at all. the nose here is great, i guess i never realized it had all these other ingredients in it, whatever coffee was here has faded a lot from nose and taste. the vanilla is there pretty prominently still though, and its certainly sweet, my goodness, its about as sugary as those bruery anniversary releases, and just as strong although the booze isnt over the top for its strength and doesnt bother me in the least, even when it warms up. lots of molasses in the flavor, and it really just doesnt taste as dark as it looks to me. i still get some deeply roasted malts, but its more sweetness and extra fermentables than it is grain, and the leftover sugar is a problem after awhile for me. glad we were sharing this bottle three ways. it sucks to think the cellar time may have been too much, but i find it hard to believe people would freak out the way they do over the beer if it tastes like this fresher. its still good, but its nothing overly special i dont think, aside of course from its rarity. the sugar and the stillness bother me a little, and the coffee doesnt add what i hoped it would. if you like them sweet and huge, dig on this, but i am now real keen to try a fresher version to see what the real story is. fun to crack with some friends but not what i had it built up to be in my head, not by a long shot...

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Photo of LloydDobler
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter- '16 vintage(glitter&black wax)

Can't believe that I haven't rated this before, but I guess it's about time. Pours out a sludgy black with a dark brown cap of foam. Nose is super sweet. Almost like a homemade simple syrup with bits of chocolate in it. The sweetness overpowers everything in this one, but that isn't nessicarily all bad. A barrel helps this already great beer out tremendously. I believe this is the reason why there are so many BA variants. The best of this one comes from the full mouthfeel. Almost like lightly carbonated jello that has yet to firm. This is the first big beer that I enjoyed, and got me into bigger stouts in general. I feel the darkness flowing through me and I now know that this beer will always have a place in my evil little heart.

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Photo of Stardusthotel83
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2016:

The thing that jumped out to me the most was how smooth this was. Great chocolate malty smell with some some raisins. Excellent smooth flavor, i couldnt get the vanilla in the smell but I could tatse. Almost like chocolate -vanilla ice cream that melted together.

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Photo of MarvinSnyder
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2009- white wax. Poured into a small snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin yellow head. Sporatic lacing.

Smell: on the nose expect alcohol infused chocolate covered cherries, plums, caramel, roasted malt, and burnt sugar.

Taste: What you smell is what is delivered! Dark chocolate, cherries and plums, caramel, burnt sugar, and roasted malt. A strong alcohol taste warms the belly.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth over the palate. A dry finish. The alcohol warms.

Overall: I waited as long as I could on this beer and I was not disappointed. Probably the best cellared beer that I have had to date. The next one will not Have an extended stay on my shelf!

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Photo of pezhead_79
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 Vintage has a less pronounced sweet taste with immediate tasting (day of release). But, 2015 vintage has aged similarly with 1 yr. of cellar aging.

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Photo of Roland7792
2.02/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This shits disgusting! Most overhyped beer ever. No one can actually enjoy drinking this garbage.

Taste like simple syrup sugar with a touch of soy sauce and coffee.

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Photo of nawpnawp
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

2013 orange wax bottle.

This thing is a monster. The nose is molasses, vanilla, caramel and bourbon. The taste follows much of the same. The first sip is extremely sweet, but as your palette adjusts, it rounds out and the other flavors start jiving. It's been awhile since I've had one fresh, but it has held up extremely well over 3 years.

There's not much more I can say that I haven't already. It's definitely worth seeking out and lives up to the hype for me.

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Photo of BRZLNR
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A couple of years ago i used to buy Dark Lords of of ebay when they were accessible there. Now they are extremely rare to pop up on ebay. In 2010 i purchased my first Dark Lord and it was a 2007 Silver Wax bottle.(3 year old beer at the time). For some reason i thought the beer would be fine but it tasted terrible. Nice dark chocolate color, no foam, stale smell, horrible bitter mud taste.
After the first experience with Dark Lord, i went on to acquire recent bottles as they were released. (1x2010 Green Wax, 3x 2011 Yellow Wax, 1x2012 Red Wax)
In my personal and honest opinion this beer is a phenomenal beer that it does live to its expectations.
I Poured the 2010 and 2011s into a pint glass and the 2012 on a tumbler wine glass.
They all similarly presented strong dark bold muddyish black color. Beautiful thick foam. Strong dark cacao and roasted caramel smell. Sweet roasted dark chocolatey taste. Very thick and very robust. Overall an amazing and delicious beer.

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Photo of Hootie159
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle. Nice dark head makes way to the oil spill floats. Sugar is the main item on the nose. Some booze kicks in as it warms, but this is nice. Taste is great for being 15%. Super sweet both in the vanilla and sugar. Hint of booze burn in the back. Coffee floats in, in the aftertaste. Touch thin but otherwise smooth. Glad I got to try this.

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Photo of nyoung
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Went to 2015 Dark Lord Day, and let me say the experience was memorable! It poured rain the entire time I was there, but everyone was having a blast!

Now, I cracked open a DL 2015 with a year of age on it. I did not open a fresh one so this is my first impression.

Look: It was thick, oil looking. Poured well with minimal head. Jet black in color.

Smell: You can smell the alcohol right away, with sweet notes. I couldn't pin point what it was, but I could it was very enjoyable.

Taste: After one year of aging, at 50 degrees in my wine fridge (Standing up, not laying down), this has some serious heat still. Very strong, almost overwhelming in my opinion, but I know many people enjoy that. Looking past the alcohol, it has a coffee and slight chocolate taste, maybe even a hint of caramel. The more to came to room temperature, the flavors become more pronounced.

Feel: Thick, rich texture on the palate. The only reason it did not receive a 5 out of 5 from me was the alcohol was still strong, which was noticed right away and detracted from the overall feeling (if that makes sense).

I highly recommend attending DLD if you every get a chance. Great people, great bottle shares, and a memorable time to say the least! As always, enjoy responsibly!

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Photo of CraigP83
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smell is sweet sugars and alcohol, almost darkness like. Chocolate covered cordial cherries, this is a very sweet thick syrupy beer. It's good but definitely deserves to be shared. I got no soy or green pepper.

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

Let me tell you about my dark lord day. I sat in the cold, rainy weather drinking beer with strangers. I sampled beer from all over the world. I had homemade coffee moonshine! I won the golden ticket to get the BVDL. I had my extra bag of beer stolen from me. Woke up the next day with jeans covered in mud, but somehow had drunkedly bartered all the beer in my backpack for more bottles of dark lord.

So my rating for Dark Lord is as follows: 4.5 when drank at dark lord day. 4.25 when drank else where. So let's go in the middle.

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Photo of blackcutlass
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank this after it had aged for a year. Viscosity of motor oil; sticks to the glass so much that just when you think you're done, the residual slides down the edges of the glass and pools at the bottom for one more sip. Smells a bit like soy sauce, but has really unique coffee and biscuity malt flavor. Something to behold, for sure.

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Photo of sittinggc
2.65/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

2015 vintage poured into tulip. Saved for a year, as i heard it was a tad sweet fresh.

Look: Pours a menacing pitch black with little head.
Smell: Umami with some sweetness.
Taste: Again get some of that umami as well as some soy sauce and sweetness. Dark fruits. As it warmed i got a little of that vanilla taste, but hidden behind the sweet umami.
Feel: The highlight of this beer. Thick as hell! This is how a stout should feel going down. Alcohol very well hidden.
Overall: Slightly disappointed with this beer. I typically like my stouts on the sweet side, and this was pretty sweet. But i could not get over the taste. Hardly got any coffee or vanilla. Maybe i should have sat on it for longer.

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Photo of Gambyt20
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Read reviews about all the hype and overrated comments about this beer. Finally got to taste it for myself. And holy crap this beer is amazing. Going in with some rather high expectations and it definitely does not disappoint at all. 2015 bottle and pours used motor oil thick and dark. Smell absolutely amazing and robust for a non-BA beer. Taste is decadent and thick and absolutely a joy! Wow! I can only imagine what a variant or a BA version could taste like. Got tix for DLD 2016 so I am very excited to be getting some bottles of my own.

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.