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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.

3,582 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,582
Reviews: 1,181
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.72%
Wants: 2,876
Gots: 1,538 | FT: 103
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: 3,582 | Reviews: 1,181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chippo33
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of soulgrowl
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 edition, drank at Craftheads in Tokyo, October 2012.

Thick, oily, glossy black, like horror movie blood. It's got no real head, but it still looks great in its abysmal 8-ball blackness.

Big amaretto on the nose. Then creme de cacao, Kahlua, and umeshu – basically, it smells fruity, boozy, sweet, and raw. There's a hint of vanilla Frappuccino, and lots of surprisingly fruity nuance: black cherries and prunes, mostly. A very slight whiff of soy sauce comes through as well, but this is mostly a sweet aroma, a plummy Black Forest Gateau of a beer.

This is so sweet it's almost like drinking wort. But it is also dramatic and complex; molasses, umeshu, licorice, oaky bourbon, and vanilla come first. Hints of smoke and burnt sugar call to mind s'mores. Prunes, raisins, cherry cordials, and even cola and grenadine emerge as well. This is a snifter beer if there ever was one; it feels chewy and soft, with crushed velvet carbonation, and it has a distinct dessert wine feel about it – there's even a tinge of sherry-ish walnutty sweetness. It needs balance, either from alcoholic warmth or a kick of hops, but then again, it's sort of fun to have something so decidedly over-the-top.

Not sure if this is still considered one of the best beers in the world, but I can see why it would be. It certainly makes an impact.

Photo of Thedaver4220
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of barnzy78
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a 2009 in 2009 with sub-par reviews: look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5 = 3.7/5.

Re-review of a newer batch (2010), aged for 2.5 years. Big difference here.
22oz bottle shared with a friend. Poured into a tulip, thick pour reveals an opaque black body topped with a milk chocolate colored head, good retention, no lacing. Aromas are boozy, roasted barley, dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, cherry, and blackberry perhaps. Initially it's sweet and syrupy with notes of dark chocolate, raspberry, blackberry, cherry, cocoa, roasted barley, vanilla, molasses, espresso, booze. Full flavored with maximum complexity. Unbelievably good! Mouth-feel is thick & chewy, full-full bodied, viscous, and very smooth. Overall, definitely an upper echelon RIS. One of the best out there, if not the best. I stand corrected.

Photo of ObiWanKushnobi
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of jaasen64
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'12 DL (red wax) thanks to JD (shawdeuce22) for sharing this one! 22oz bomber poured into HF stemmed glass. Bottle split 4 ways (~5.5 oz. servings).

A- Pours mostly opaque jet black with some transparency, definitely a lot more then I was expecting for a 15% RIS. Pretty much no head except a thin mocha brown circle lining the edges of the glass and leaves some very light spotty lacing and a little bit of alcohol legs. Nice consistently rising carbonation.

S- Dark chocolate, light molasses, some light dark fruits, some faint booze in the background. Not too aromatic or overly sweet, good but a little bit lacking from what I was expecting.

T- Dark fruits, molasses, dark chocolate, sweet caramel, more molasses in the aftertaste that lingers for awhile. Definitely on the sweet side, nicely balanced, not much booze in the taste despite the abv, definitely a great example of the style.

M- Fairly thick, smooth, nice carbonation, goes down surprisingly easy for 15%. Very good feel especially considering the abv and style. Definitely a sipper and not something you would want in large quantities.

O- This was a fantastic RIS. This was my first time having the '12 but I thought it was drinking still a little bit on the sweet side but fairly nice (everyone else said it tasted better then when they had it when it first came out). After this we also opened up every year down to '08. Aging it definitely made the beer more smooth and mellowed the sweetness a little bit to make it more drinkable. You can definitely tell a difference between the years and this ages with the best of them. My favorites were the '09 and '11. Personally I highly recommend this beer and I think it is one of the best examples of a RIS. If you don't like sweet beers or sippers I would maybe stay away.

Photo of lovelyallen
1/5  rDev -76.6%

Photo of Yoopermk
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of AleApostle
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of nharres
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of JohnnyHops
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of wordemupg
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review 1500!!! ya me!!! 650ml red waxed bottle (2012) poured into tulip 22/10/12 thanks Masterski and Sean9689 for sending me a bottle

A its dark but not jet black, deep cola edge and I didn't expect much foam from a beer this big but it almost pours flat, a dark thin films gone in seconds zero lace.

S chocolate fudge with some raisins, prunes, cherry, smoke, coffee, molasses and a little booze but all things considered its pretty mellow, some leather and tobacco as it warms

T sweeter then the smell, some chocolate liqueur, and lacking some of the complexity of the nose, its good but I was hoping for more with all the hype behind this one

M its thick and no heat impresses me in a beer this strong, could use a few more bubbles but again I didn't expect much carbonation in such a massive beer, VERY sticky on the lips and it takes a little strength to open my mouth

O I'm surprised how well they managed to hide the booze and its good beer overall but I was expecting much more, its Darklord after all.

Good with no questions but for a beer that I'm giving a 4+ rating I still have to admit I'm a little disappointed, I like it and would drink it again but I can think of many better brews that are much easier to acquire

Photo of mpetersen
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of mjpolzin
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Just like most people, I was very excited to try this beer as 3 Floyds has generated quite the hype for this beer. When a friend told me he had been at Dark Lord Day and that he would bring a bottle to a pre-Thankgiving dinner to share, I decided to bring a Bourbon County Stout and World Wide Stout so we could do a tasting of huge imperial stouts.

The beer pours very dark with an orangish, tan head. I didn't notice much carbonation. The smell was sweet with booze and some malt present as well. Dark Lord tasted like candy to me. Most imperial stouts obviously have a taste of dark fruits and some candy but this was the sweetest big imperial stout I had ever had. I also thought that the beer felt very full in your mouth.

I liked it better than my friend did but I do agree with him that when it comes to giant imperial stouts, Bourbon County Stout is better. This was very enjoyable though and I will look for a way to get my hands on some myself.

EDIT 12/25/14-Shared a bottle of 2014 with my brother in law for Christmas. It tasted great. It was still very sweet but I thought the coffee showed through a bit more than last time. I am going to raise my rating of this beer a bit.

Photo of Etan
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 and 2012 bottles opened together at Oscar's Stout Night. Thanks!

A: Both pour roughly the same color: brownish black with a small tan head.

S: Very raisiny with notes of maple and chocolate and dried fruit.

T: The 2012 is very fruity and very sweet - prune, raisin, cherry, chocolate. The 2011 has a fuller and more balanced flavor. More chocolate and body, and a little less sweet. No coffee notes in either.

M: Both are medium-bodied with fine carbonation.

O: I give the slight edge to the 2011 but neither were very enjoyable.

Photo of sketcher6773
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

OK so this is a dual review comparing the 2012 and 2010 bottles I have had recently.

2012 has a much more intense smell, alcohol burn, and overall flavor. 2012 just seemed to have so many different flavors hitting you at different times throughout the sip. It just seemed magical almost.

2010 was much more creamy with a more subdued flavoring, but still very good, much more similar to a CC Zhukov than the 2012.

Both are great, but the 2012 version is much better in my opinion. Maybe I just prefer fresh Dark Lord.

Edit: Have had 2009 and 2011 recently. While the beer smells amazing and has great mouthfeel, the taste is a little lacking.

Photo of Macky20
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of rlgard1
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of coffygrinder
3.16/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This review is based off of the 2012 bottle.

Dark black beer with little carbination. I looked at this beer for a long time, it was my first dark lord and wanted to soak it all in. This beer almost sticks to the side of the glass it appears thick and heavy.

Smell is... of sugary molasses . Not the best smelling beer around. Also picked up some green apples....(oops). Appears to be a sugar bomb, maybe should have waited to pop this beer but then again you wont know if you dont try.

It has a very thick mouth feel. You could almost chew on this beer.

I heard this was a bad year for dark lord and there were potentially some contaminated batches. I am glad that I was able to share this beer with friends. It would have been a hard beer to finsh by itself. That being said. the 2011 bottle that we opened on the same night was much better. Maybe just set the rest down for a good period of time.

Photo of CorneliusBunker
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Myst
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of zenithberwyn
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of cleonile2000
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,582 ratings.