1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,581 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,581
Reviews: 1,180
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,874
Gots: 1,537 | FT: 102
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: 3,581 | Reviews: 1,180 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage with Yellow Wax. Bottle courtesy of Weebay. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Dark brown w/ one finger of bubbly espresso coloured head.

S - Big coffee nose up front with some noticeable alcohol, roasted malts and char. There is a big sweetness here too that is balanced by the ABV somewhat.

T - A huge sweetness up front with big chocolate and molasses notes. A subtle hint of vanilla adds a layer of complexity. There is a big roasted malt profile here, but the roast and char flavours take a back seat to the big chocolatey sweetness. A touch of espresso comes through at times.

M - Full body. Thick, sludgy, viscous. Light carbonation.

O - Really happy that I tried this one. Extremely drinkable considering the sweetness and the ABV.

Photo of ploobs
2/5  rDev -53.3%

Photo of djtomain
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of shuntstout
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of sludgegnome
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of jkane101
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage.

A: Black liquid with minimal head.

S: Cherries, figs, coffee, toasted malt, roasted barley.

T: Cherries, figs and currants up front with coffee, toasted malt and roasted barley flavours. Quite sweet with a very smooth finish.

O: Beautiful. Extremely drinkable and the ABV is extremely well hidden after being aged this long.

Photo of TheViolator
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of syrupjoe
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of Centennial
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of vic21234
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage, yellow wax. Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature. This will be my first time trying Dark Lord.

A- Pours black with a small amount of tan head that quickly fades. Not much carbonation going on here. It looks thin compared to the motor oil consistency I was expecting. Lots of lacing around the glass.

S- I get mostly dark fruits and molasses in the smell. It has a definite booze smell to it also.

T- There's so much going on here in the taste. Initially I get a chocolate and coffee hit. Then comes the dark fruits and an overall burnt, roasty type malty presence. The alcohol sting is apparent, with a warming sensation to finish the sip.

M- Unlike its thin look as I mentioned in appearance, Dark Lord has the motor oil consistency in the mouthfeel. Very thick, chewy, and flavorful. The alcohol is apparent with each sip.

I always enjoy a FFF brew and their flagship Dark Lord does not disappoint. I'd love to go to Dark Lord Day this year too.

Photo of davey101
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 - Yellow Wax reviewed on 03-05-2012, 22 oz bomber into a DFH signature glass. It was a bit of a struggle to open this, I had to saw and peel off all the wax on the cap in order to get the opener to fit.

A - Looks like most RIS's. Pitch black motor oil body with a thick mocha head. Dies down to a nice cap and edging. Light lacing and retention, has alcoholic legs to it. 4.0/5

S - Ummmm. I don't know? Super roasty malts, coffee beans, sugar, plums, cherries, leather, oak, vanilla, tobacco, more sugar, soy, booze, and about 20 other things. There is so much happening here its a bit overwhelming. 4.5/5

T - I will just preface this by saying that I love sweet beers. This is by far the sweetest one I have tried. It makes ST creme brulee look like a health drink. Its just a diabetic mess, and I love it! Starts off with an unbelievable sweetness that is very strong on the vanilla. This lasts for a while. It really isn't until the sugary coating leaves my tongue that I can taste some other notes. Burnt oak, cherries, caramelized dark fruit, coffee, and cocoa nibs. Not as complex as the nose, partially due to the cloying sweetness. I drank a few glass of water to get through this beer. 4.0/5

M - Medium to thick body that really coast the tongue. Carbonation is surprisingly high. Could not detect the high abv in the taste at all. 4.5/5

O - One of the most interesting stouts I have tried. I was not prepared for how sweet tasting this is. Its like drinking a vanilla stout syrup. Despite the sweetness, its delicious in the same way that a decadent dessert is. The base beer is nuts, I can't even fathom how they can work in brandy barrels and vanilla beans for the variants. This is a must try beer, but I won't be trading for one in the future. 4.0/5

2012 - Red Wax reviewed on 07-26-2012, 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass.

A - Same as 2011. 4.0/5

S - Not sure if its the fact that this is somewhat fresh, or a change in recipe but its not as complex or interesting as the 2011 I tried. Lots of coffee and chocolate and notes of red wine and plums. A touch savory and smoky. Finishes with a roasted bitterness and alcohol presence. 4.0/5

T - Not as sweet or cloying as 2011. Its also not as complex. Layers of roasted malt, coffee, milk chocolate, molasses and plums. A touch of that green apple bite that everyone is noticing. Strong sweet vanilla presence on the finish. 4.0/5

M - Silky, smooth, sticky and syrupy. Super decadent which makes it the ultimate desert beer. Little to no alcohol presence, even at room temperature. 4.5/5

O - 2011 > 2012 in my opinion. 2012 is actually rather balanced and approachable for a 15% RIS. 2011 was just a sweet diabetic mess, which really worked for me as a chaotic beer like that is kind of exciting. 4.0/5

Photo of RuckusDu
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of korguy123
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yellow wax - 2011
Extra special thanks to robbiemoy13 for trading me one of these.
Poured into Founders snifter.

Review #300

A- There really isn't much to say about the looks. The bottle describes motor oil and they are spot on. It's literally a glass of used oil. There was a finger width tan head that very quickly disappeared to a thin ring and nothing else. Lacing is spotty and the alcohol just clings to the glass.

S- Getting a massive mix of stone fruits and vanilla and alcohol aroma throughout. Brown sugar, molasses, licorice with a healthy dose of chocolate and coffee.

T- Chocolate and coffee with a big bold molasses sweetness. Vanilla and dates and figs. Quite sweet which definitely hides the booze completely.

M- Heavy and creamy and silky and oily etc. It's a pretty big beer!

O- This is pretty good. The sweetness was killing it for me but it really grew on me quite quickly. I can now see what the hype is. I can only wish to have this more than once.

Photo of Dan3279
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Lord '11.

I have been sitting on this bottle since I received it in a trade from my friend Jeff back in June. I figured that since today is my birthday it would be a good day to crack this one open.

I poured part of the bomber into my Cigar City snifter to find a body that was black as a starless night, with no head or lacing at all. The aroma was rich with malt, molasses, chocolate, and a bit of sugar.

After all the hype that this beer gets I really didn't know what to expect with the taste. My first sip was a little bigger than I would have liked and I wasn't ready for the thickness of the body. I hate to compare beers but my first initial thought that this was DFH Bitch's Brew on steroids. After getting over the fact that I am finally drinking this one I really enjoyed it. It took me nearly an hour and a half to drink two-thirds of the bottle by myself with my brother in law finishing it off. I really enjoyed the malts on this one, this is one where they truly stick out, but in a good way. As mentioned before in reviews the '11 does have a fair amount of sweetness but being prepared for it by reading previous reviews I was mentally ready for it and thought that it wasn't that bad.

Overall I really enjoyed this one and I would love to try an '08 vintage. I will defiantly try to get a bottle or two in the future.

Photo of jerz
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of theminutemen
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of JohnKMcC
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Jules11788
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pitch-black color, let's no light through; no head, barely any lacing

S: Vanilla, oak, and roasted malt

T: Wow, the flavors just explode on the tongue! Starts very sweet with notes of raisins, figs, oak, malt, and grapes; finishes with some sweet bourbon and a slightly spicy booziness. Overall it's very complex, though it's a little bit too sweet so it doesn't get a perfect 5.

M: Thick, chewy, and viscous, with a very light boozy warmth as it goes down.

O: This is a phenomenal stout that could be even better if they toned down the sweetness a bit. The one we opened was the freshest batch (2011) so it'll be interesting to see how this one holds up with age and if it gets any sweeter.

Photo of JVan
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Sparger
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of gafferjohn
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of stoutlover1978
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Travisnin
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of 2beerdogs
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got me a hit of Dark Lord. 2010 bottle, thanks to Oneinchaway for the trade.

Pours a mahogany, with a hint of burnt cherry hue. Beautiful color, slight hint of a head dissipates quickly.

Nose was a bit evasive at first, I think it needed to warm a bit. But after a few strong sniffs, I got molasses, overall sweetness, and a hint of nut? Pleasing.

On the tongue I got molasses and roast, hint of chocolate, and...warmth. I like this one very much, the flavor I keep getting back to sip after sip, is the molasses, not too sweet though.

Mouth, very well-balanced. Has the heft I wanted, but not overly chewy.

I look forward to trying another 2010, and hopefully many more versions.. Bless You 3floyds.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,581 ratings.