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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.

3,583 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,583
Reviews: 1,181
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.72%
Wants: 2,878
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: 3,583 | Reviews: 1,181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jimbrinkruff
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of inlimbo77
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. 2012 vintage.
Unmarked snifter

A: Pours a really deep dark black with subtle reddish edges. It really wasn't as thick as I remember from earlier batches I have had. Seems like the carbonation is low. Didn't get any head on this one aside from the tan ring on the edges of the glass. Leaves some lacing bits of tan. Some dark sheeting when you swirl it.

S: I really was taken aback by the nose on this one. I was expecting more coffee and chocolate hints. But what I got was lots of port wine like notes. Dark fruit. Someone mentioned sweet soy sauce and I get that thought. I also smell the booze.

T: Wow, surprised how sweet this is. I get a lot of that port wine like character. Not the coffee or the roast, and low bitterness. Strange. I get more dark fruit: prune and plum. The alcohol is there but hidden which was really surprising. There is some heat on the back end, but for 15% it wasn't anywhere near what I thought it was going to be.

M: Full bodied. Sweet syrupy.

O: B

Photo of fickenmeimirish
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of claaark13
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A long day left me jones'n for a thick RIS. Since Thomas sent this over as an extra in a super-box (thank you!), I decided to give the 2012 DL one last shot before 2013. Poured at cellar temp into a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - Pours pretty dark, light tan and short head that quickly becomes lacing. Looks thick, but the lacing doesn't stick well at all to the glass. The rest is pretty good. The weak legs is all that's holding this back.

S - Sweet soy sauce. Some roast seems to be there, but it is covered in sugar. Notes of sweetened condensed milk and coffee. At some points it makes me think of this 50/50 condensed milk and espresso I once tried.

T - Sweet dark fruits, molasses, coffee. Lots of sugar. Sweet coffee and dark malts become so dominating. It doesn't seem too complex once the middle starts. The sweetness starts to subside in the finish and non-sugared coffee shows itself. I don't get any booze, which is impressive.

M - Very thick; not the thickest, but very thick.

O - It is better than most shelf-RIS in my opinion. In a world of Hill Farmstead, Surly and Cigar City, and Bruery, I have a tough time with DL. An immense amount of sweetness really covers the flavors. Any transition between flavors tastes like sugar. This bottle is miles beyond what I tried at DLD though, so it has improved. FFF should just throw all of their DL in barrels and be done with it.

Photo of reddfrogg
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of lalaloveyou
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of codysjb
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Three Floyds Dark Lord
Cracked my 2010 bottle on 07/31/12… thanks to tutes3 for this, it was free from a beer contest in Feb of 2011.
A: Motor oil jet back with a very small amount of brown foam. Virtually no head.
S: I smelled it from the bottle a soon as I opened it, my friend next to me smelled it when he was standing a few feet away. Coffee, Caramel and chocolate amazing.
T: coffee first turning into a classic RIS with good carbonation finishing on some slight alcohol burn and ending in toffee flavoring. WOW.
M:Lots of carbonation and coffee here
O: Amazing, certainly one of the best beers I’ve had except for BCBCS

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of KevSal
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of Kevlee722
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Dactrius
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of shade13
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Dine
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of JimGlonke
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of JRod1969
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of BeerHunter76
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of MSEGUIN
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of Dennoman
3.08/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 vintage (yellow wax), poured into a snifter.

A: Ruby red into mahogany brown, nowhere near as black as I like my big stouts to be. More reminiscent of a strong porter, has an awkward Coca Cola quality to it. Tan brown head, all in all it looks quite average.

S: Even at room temperature, I didn't get heaps off the smell. Minor coffee, caramel and dark fruits, but mostly booze and sugar. Slight irony notes, sickly sweetness and verging on unpleasant.

T: Caramel and dark fruits, no bitterness and no alcohol. Alcohol rushes in on the aftertaste, leading to a very dry finish that leaves almost nothing on the palate.

M: Sticky, oily and dry.

O: The hype completely killed this beer for me. I went into it with the thought: "with all the fuss, it had better be amazing" and it was a disappointing, unbalanced and sickly sweet mess. Any notes other than sugar were few and far between, leading to one of the most disappointing beer tastings I've ever undertaken. The sad demise of a would-be champion.

Reading all the reviews that praise this beer into the heavens, I wonder if either they or I were drinking something completely different from the same bottle.

Photo of mgp2675
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage, trying this bad boy nice and fresh.

A- Pours a dark brown color, but is completely black while it sits...definitely doesn't look as thick as I had been expecting until you see how it literally coats the glass when you give it a swirl. It had a mocha colored head on it but that didn't last very long.

S- Very sweet upfront, tons of booze too. This thing smells like it's going to wreck your throat at first, but there are definitely some traditional aromas in there: bitter chocolate, dark fruit, hint of coffee, some smoke at the end of it.

T- Honestly the initial sip was amazing for a non-barrel aged RIS. The first thing I thought of was how incredibly smooth it was for having such a boozy aroma. After that however, things changed a bit. To me a good stout gets better as it warms up, this just got sweeter. By the time this was at cellar temp I felt like I was drinking liquid candy. Some of the flavors I got: chocolate, caramel, smoke. Just so damn sweet it's ridiculous.

M- The best part of this beer by far, because it was nice and thick like I had heard and like I had hoped for.

O- When a beer has been around for as long as this one and has been tried and reviewed by as many people as it has, you have so much to expect. At first, this blew me away and completely silenced any criticism I would've had toward it, but sadly it got worse for me as it warmed up. I wanted to compare this to Marshal Zhukov's, because that is to date the best non-barrel aged RIS I've ever had. But Dark Lord to me was a much sweeter version of a traditional RIS. It had the coffee notes and the smokiness that many of them have, but nothing stood out besides how damn sweet it was. I'm actually amazed this was a fresh bottle, I thought it was a 2004 for a minute and we got it messed up cause of the wax color. But it was a 2012, and it was just way too sweet.

Worth trying for a stout lover, but it's not up there with the best of them in my book.

Photo of timjr2500
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First things first. This beer is not to be trusted, it will lead you to believe that you are more than just a mere mortal. In fact it may even have you believing you are some type of Lord of darkness yourself, but do not be deceived.

It pours like some kind of dark, mischievous syrup that springs forth from the dungeons of hell. It slides down the glass like its being drug back into the far reaches of the hell from which it came.

At just under room temperature it smells of sweet coffee and that traditional alcohol that all the best imperials have. But something really stands out in the nose beyond what other traditional stouts possess and it comes back to that sweet smell. It isn't overly steeped with coffee or smoke, it ironically leans towards the dainty side.

Any doubts you may have about the flavor, due to the unfair sweetness, are quickly diminished as the Lord oozes across your tongue. The perfect blend of molasses, slight coffee, and only the most purely demonic ingredients. SO pure in fact that they transform the beer into something more. So much more that you forget you're drinking a beverage designed to crush you like the mere mortal that you are. One bomber of this and you'll be speaking in tongues and selling your soul for another.

Pair this beer with red meat, human flesh, or .. whichever you prefer.

Photo of RMoeNay
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of millelacsmark
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An extra from heatwave33! an extra, yes an extra.

They werent kidding when they said black. This thing pours black as the heart of the devil from the first ounce to the last. No carbonation, but at 15%, I dont mind. Very ominous.

The smell syrupy sweet, with a hint of roasted malt and coffee. Sweet and dark chocolate notes as well. Sweet plum/raisin/prune laden booze (think raisin rum at Christmas).

Very complex (most compex that I think I've had). The first noticeable thing is how syrupy and sweet it is. Like the smell would say, its laden with dark fruit. Prunes and very sweet raisins are everywhere. Light smokiness as well. Slight alcohol burn comes in late. It finishes exceptionally sweet and smooth, with that syrupy feeling really lingering around.

The mouthfeel vaguely reminds me of the scene from Super Troopers, "Relax the throat. And dont forget to cup the balls." Maybe an exaggeration, but you get the idea. Very thick mouthfeel, very syrupy. I got the same feeling from Better Half on tap, but it works here. Theres just enough coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt to accent the sweetness (barely). Anymore sweet or less roasty, and we'd have a problem.

Overall, I can see why its rated so highly. Its in its own little category of high gravity RISs, plus the hype helps the flavor a bit. It adds to the excitement of first trying it. If your'e not excited at an opportunity to try Dark Lord for the first time, then youre not a beer geek. I can also see how Barrel Aging this puppy would make it better. Add some bourbon/brandy and some vanilla, and DAMN.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,583 ratings.