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

Not Rated.
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,517 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,517
Reviews: 1,172
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,851
Gots: 1,524 | FT: 101
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:
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 added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,517 | Reviews: 1,172 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +11%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of claspada
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Update: Sampled the 2006 version this past weekend (9/21/12) and it was exponentially better than the newer examples and it wasn't an age difference. The smaller batches of this were much better according to HimerMan who brought out this gem and I have no reason to challenge him; ramping up production of any beer will undoubtedly lower quality as with anything, food, beer or otherwise.

Pre-2007 Rating: 4.25 but I'm leaving the rating here to reflect newer examples as that is what most will find available.

Sampled the White Wax (2009) and the Yellow Wax (2011) back to back. I'll review the older vintage despite there being very little difference between the two.

Pours a deep dark viscous black color with a thin brown head that fades to leave some thin lacing on the glass.

Aromas begin with dark robust roasted malts, dark and milk chocolate and roasted coffee beans. As it warms I can get some of the dark fruit notes as well as the faintest note of hops.

The tastes follow the nose with some semi-sweet dark chocolate complemented by mild flavors of espresso and dark caramelized malts. The malt character is as hearty as you will find with a mild bitter hop presence. As it warms you get some of the dark fruits (prunes) and some emerging boozy alcohol. The flavors get increasingly sweet to the point of being a chore to finish.

The mouthfeel is extremely heavy bodied with light-to-medium carbonation. The finish is sticky and borders on being cloyingly sweet if not for the extreme roasted malts to add some dry character.

Overall, 5 years ago this may have been a revolutionary beer that may have deserved such high praise but in today's ever expanded craft beer world this is merely ordinary. Not that is is a bad beer but it's not one I particularly ever need to have again, especially with the limited bottle count and one day a year release in Indiana.

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5/5  rDev +16.8%

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5/5  rDev +16.8%

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4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of ControlledBurn
2.95/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2012 vintage shared by metempsychosis on 18 August 2012

Appearance:
Black as your ex-wife's heart with a very thin tan head

Smell:
Sugary, chocolatey, fruity

Taste:
Very cloying, hard to find much else to taste beyond the sweetness. Surprisingly not much alcohol taste to it for such a young big beer.

Mouthfeel:
Full body, but little carbonation, quite sticky feeling

Overall:
I wanted to like this beer, but its cloying taste was too much; I had to force myself to finish the 3oz glass I had. The sweetness overpowered everything in the brew and it was too one-dimensional because of it.

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4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's with much reservation (yet, interest and excitement) that I finally crack open my 2009 Dark Lord. I have no recollection who sent this to me, but hey, whoever you are, thanks.

Hands down, this is the most viscous beer I have ever had. It's so thick that it alters how the carbonation operates, I think. Nose was all molasses. Flavor is extremely thick with malts, touches of molasses and chocolate (just a hint, ya know). Pronounced bitterness in a stout-ish kinda way. I really feel like this whole thing just rests on how thick the liquid is. If for nothing else (as if you really need a reason to try and get one of these), it's worth it just to experience how thick this is. I can almost chew on it. Almost. Lives up to the hype, though, I wouldn't have minded some more complexity on the flavor profile.

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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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4/5  rDev -6.5%

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5/5  rDev +16.8%

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5/5  rDev +16.8%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of tut2528
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big shout out to Woodjjacct for bringing this beast to the tasting!

A: pour is a deep black, very minimal head formation (but it does slightly occur).. Zero lacing. Swirling creating a thin tan-colored film.

S: alcohol soaked raisins and huge molasses dominate the aromas. I also pick up on strong tobacco, dark fruits (plums, raisins, figs), some pepper, a slight sour black berry, ABV hardly detectable. Its massively complex but not all that well balance.

T: wow, this is sooo damn sweet! So massively complex it’s hard to describe each aspect. Huge dark fruits dominate the palate (big raisins, plums, black berry, tart cherry), big sugar notes, brown sugar, strong creamy finish, again quite off balance.

M: taste buds freak out with every sip… leaves a sugary film along the front of the teeth that is quite enjoyable but at the same time overly cloying. Full-bodied, can definitely chew this one. ABV is completely hidden by the massive sweetness.

O: wasn’t so sure on what to expect of this brew. And I was shocked by how sweet this brew was. Drinks more like a Brandy than a beer. The huge amount of dark fruits and sugar make this one hard to comprehend. It rivals Southern Tier Crème Brulee as far as sweetness IMO.

Photo of sleuthdog
3.33/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Epic tasting ending with Dark Lord 2012 vintage
Thanks to woodjjacct for sharing this one!

Appearance: Black as night with no head formation. Swirling does create a one finger head but it does dissapate quickly. Absolutly no light penetration at all even when held up to light. Your typical RIS in appearance.

Smell: Big time molasses notes with the dark fruits taking a center stage. Sweet very sweet with alcohol soaked figs. Some dark maybe blackberries evident and some tobacco notes. Leather is also noted at the tail end.

Taste: This is one enormous beer! Very, very sweet with alcohol soaked dark fruit jumping out at me. Molasses and brown sugar very evident and the sweetness lingers forever. I feel as though the beer has literally stuck to my teeth, gums, and tongue. A trip to the dentist tomorrow may be needed. The sweet sticky feel just does not leave at all. It is very chewy at the same time. No alcohol to speak of.

Mouthfeel: This is very creamy and no carbonation and so so palate covering that its hard to believe. It covers all of my mouth and lips to the point that it is cloying.

Overall: This was an enjoyable experience but wow what a sugar bomb! If you don't have a buddy or two to share with you may by in trouble IMO

Photo of alexipa
2.6/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2012 as a part of an Imperial Stout tasting. This was the unanimous last place beer.

A: Black. Little head that dissipates to nothing quickly.

S: Smells of sweet booze, some dark fruit notes in there as well. This was my favorite part of the experience.

T: As soon as I tasted this, I thought turkey gravy. It tasted like turkey meat had been marinating in the bottle for months. Once I got past this horrible taste, there was some decent complexity hidden in there.

M: Pretty good carbonation, the right amount of heat, nice and smooth.

O: If I had an entire bottle to myself, I would have drain poured this. I'm glad I didn't actively seek this out and it was treated as an extra at the otherwise fantastic tasting.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
96 out of 100 based on 3,517 ratings.