1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
95
world-class

3,373 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,373
Reviews: 1,159
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,797
Gots: 1,495 | FT: 99
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 Imperial Russian stout brewed with INTELLIGENTSIA coffee,vanilla, and molasses.

Dark Lord is only available once a year at Dark Lord Day at the Three Floyds Brewpub.

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Lord Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,373 | Reviews: 1,159 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of graphicsguy
5/5  rDev +16.8%

graphicsguy, May 10, 2012
Photo of AbeFroman
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

AbeFroman, May 10, 2012
Photo of hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev -6.5%

hoppymcgee, May 10, 2012
Photo of lbriones5
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

lbriones5, May 09, 2012
Photo of Hopato
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Hopato, May 09, 2012
Photo of woodjjacct
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After years of wonder, I have at last been provided the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity, and answer once and for all the question that's always been on the back of my mind around this time of year... is Dark Lord worth the hype?

Appearance: Dark, nearly pitch black with a definite dark brown head at the very top. Very minimal carbonation, but some still.

Smell: Dark fruits, like raisins and the sweetness of plums. Even some hints of apples, not bad by any means though.

Taste: Wasn't what I was expecting at all. Reminds me a bit of the World Wide Stout and BCBS. The booze-iness is well masked, but a few sips in and I'm already feeling a bit tipsy. Raisins, plums and molasses abound, with hints of chocolate. I couldn't taste any coffee in it, even if I tried though. If I could rate this part a 4.75, I would, but for generosity's sake I give it a 5, albeit not a solid one.

Mouth-feel: Nice and thick, the way I prefer my stouts. Even when I set my glass down, the ripples in the glass are slow and lazy-like.

Overall: My overall impression is a positive one. I knew going into this beer that the thickness of the hype surrounding this brew was as thick as the stout itself. Whether it meets the hype is another story in which I will not give an answer to, because frankly, it doesn't really matter. At the end of the day what we have here is a fine beer by any craft beer lover's standards, and as someone who does not particularly like hoppy beers, which is typically the Three Floyds' trademark taste, I would have to say this is Three Floyds' best beer(and one of the better beer's I've had in recent times) and wish it was more accessible to the public.

Is it worth the hype? Can't say. Is it worth the price and perseverance in obtaining tickets and clearing your Saturday schedule to obtain? Absolutely.

woodjjacct, May 09, 2012
Photo of MeneerBeerSnob
5/5  rDev +16.8%

MeneerBeerSnob, May 09, 2012
Photo of fringefocus
5/5  rDev +16.8%

fringefocus, May 08, 2012
Photo of thydarkprevails
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage poured into a Duvel tulip at 46 degrees. Pours a midnight oil black. 2 inch beige head quickly shrinks to nothing. Lacing is minimal. Aroma is dark fruit, plum, raisin, molasses, mild pine, maple syrup, toffee, and caramal. Taste is very sweet. Candi sugar, dates, raisins, molasses, toasted malts, raw earth in the back of your mouth, dark baking syrup, faint grass, and roasted barley. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. There is hardly any evidence of alcohol, which is amazing for a 15%abv. Awesome beer. So complex and amazing. I cannot wait till i try this over the next few years in my cellar.

thydarkprevails, May 07, 2012
Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Zaphog, May 06, 2012
Photo of ShowMeYourStouts
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to sign up. I have too much Dark Lord, so I opened up a 2009 bottle, white wax still intact. Flat pour into Pier1 porter/stout glass. Video and pictures took to send to jealous pals.

A: Dark, shocker. Deepest, darkest brown possible. Russet color at the shallow bottom of the glass. Head not as big as I expected, but pour was gentle, like me. It also left head bubbles that looked like Hawaii... or a scab. As I tilt the glass, the film left on the glass is abundant, slowly gravitating back to its body like my toothpaste slides down my bathroom mirror.

S: Licorice stirred molasses. Almost knocked me on my ass, which would have sucked. Note to self: sit down next time first. To be perfectly honest, I don't know how some of you detect some of the smells in a beer. You should be bloodhounds. Beerhounds, I suppose... get a job like Norm did on Cheers. I've NEVER had coffee in my life, but love coffee stouts.. I don't get much coffee in here. The smell makes me want to go mean mug a gang of teenagers.

T: Alcohol very hidden. Taste is very much like smell... molasses molested with a bag of licorice; It's sweet, with a slight bitter aftertaste. I had it in '09, but don't remember it being like this, but I don't remember what it was exactly like. I frown at my shattered memory. I guess I get some chocolate, but a cheap, bitter dark chocolate you'd buy for a new girlfriend from Walgreens on the way to her house hoping to get laid.

MF: More viscous than I remember, almost like it should be a liquid. Remember that liquid solid you made in gradeschool, the stuff that would ooze, but if struck it would act as a solid? Like gorgeous, dark quicksand I wouldn't mind dying in. Well, it's the second place I'd die in.. the first being Halle Berry.

Overall: I've had this in my place since DLD 09... vertical, dark and maybe some temp changes but not crazy. I'm guessing all that contribute to losing any coffee flavor, if it had any. It's licorice swizzled molasses with a bitter dark chocolate aftertaste. I can't compare it with any other DL because the age makes such a difference. Overall, I love it. Not as much as I love Halle Berry, but Dark Lord is (barely) more accessible.

ShowMeYourStouts, May 06, 2012
Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I couldn’t miss a month of my Three Floyds beer-a-month venture, but I couldn’t go to Dark Lord Day. Fortunately, GusDom came to the rescue with an awesome trade. Thank you, sir, for this EPIC event in my beer life; I’ve been anticipating this tasting ever since I found out Three Floyds existed.

2012 bottle, red wax.

A: Pours like supremely dark coffee: thick brown, almost black, showing dark mahogany tones as I swirl the beer in the glass. A big brown head erupts impressively from underneath – what the label describes as a “reverse cascading head” – standing tall for a few seconds. It leaves just a film of retention and lacing that’s nothing but oil. Looks quite intense.

S: Scents aren’t as big as I was expecting, but they are quite complex. It starts with some interesting coffee notes – warm mocha, dark cinnamon, hazelnut, and a powerfully bright fruit taste that reminds me of a berry smoothie – over a rich mix of vanilla, bourbon, and smooth oak and cedar. Metallic mineral water notes pick up at the end, but this nose is all about the coffee – the massively complex coffee.

T: Creamy, dark, and sugary: rich tastes of imported chocolate cascade over literally everything the Dark Lord’s palate has to offer. Vanilla, maple syrup, molasses, burnt sugar, and licorice churn slowly underneath, laying thick enough to make this one of the most sugary beers I’ve ever had. It’s balanced by a hearty roast and alcohol presence, peeking out with smooth smoke, chilies, oaky Scotch, and robust caramel-heavy coffee. No doubt about it: Dark Lord is fantastically intricate. Finishes on a dark, fruity note of raisin, cherry cordial, and roasted dates – a very, very mild aftertaste for a beer like this.

M: So. Incredibly. Syrupy. It feels like I’m drinking hot fudge. It’s insanity. Just a touch of silky carbonation as it goes down.

O: Share this beer. While I love it, Dark Lord is too much for a single person in a single sitting. That being said, it really is one hell of a beer; it’s hard to even compare it to other beers in this style. I’d love to try the barrel-aged versions, or at least one with age – there’s no telling how this one would open up with a few years on it, especially sitting in a barrel the whole time.

BarryMFBurton, May 04, 2012
Photo of SirWalkAbout
5/5  rDev +16.8%

SirWalkAbout, May 03, 2012
Photo of mrandypandy
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

mrandypandy, May 02, 2012
Photo of ABisonEgo
4.75/5  rDev +11%

ABisonEgo, May 02, 2012
Photo of thepiper005
5/5  rDev +16.8%

thepiper005, May 02, 2012
Photo of 71gto
3/5  rDev -29.9%

71gto, May 02, 2012
Photo of Canesfan22
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Canesfan22, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of johunnic
5/5  rDev +16.8%

johunnic, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of greggers
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

greggers, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of jegross2
4/5  rDev -6.5%

jegross2, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of Microbrewtaster
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Microbrewtaster, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of omfgroflcopter
4.75/5  rDev +11%

omfgroflcopter, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of derkfromwi
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

derkfromwi, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of stouts4me
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 day after fest - release, fresh bottle.

A: dark as night, thin brown mocha head, doesn't last too long.

S: smells like sweet, delicious fruit, plum,dates, apple?

T: Oh man, I love the taste, TASTES like a mingle of delicious fruits, not tart only sweet. Someone said if it tastes a bit like apple that means it is infected, I sure hope not, but I do taste a bit of sweet apple, right from the orchard.

M: mouthfeel is thick, smooth and just right - on - wonderful !

O: I must rate this, fresh - day after release, very high because of the taste and smell. You WILL love this if you love big, sweet, tasty Russian Imperial Stouts.

Cheers to all - ENJOY this great brew !

stouts4me, Apr 30, 2012
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,373 ratings.