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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.

3,344 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,344
Reviews: 1,157
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,780
Gots: 1,480 | 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: 3,344 | Reviews: 1,157 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of onefmatt
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


A: Such a dark brown it almost looks pure black. Head is chocolate colored. It pours like used motor oil and resembles it as well.

S: Raisins, molasses, slight boozieness, roasted malts.

T: From front to back, this beer touches on every part of the palate. A roastiness of the malts that matches the smell. There is a sweetness to this beer, raisins, dates or plums, as if they were mixed into a cake that was baked in a wood fire just a shade too long. Hop characteristic is nothing compared to the malts and what it brings out. That would be expected considering the style.

M: Again that viscosity is there, which is nice and allows the beer to almost cling to your tongue.

D: Easily one of the best beers you can get your hands on.

As a side note, the Vanilla Bean Dark Lord might be some of the most fantastic stuff on the face of the planet.

onefmatt, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of Murchmac
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to PHawk, a trade from a couple years back but now just opening it. 2008 Dark Lord.

No pop off the bottle, pours like motor oil with lots of legs and oil on the side. Looks like no carbonation, just still waters.

Dark Fruits, chocolate, still some booze, coffee, complex and excellent.

Taste follows the nose, big mouthfeel, excellent carbonation, supersmooth and delicious.

The famed sludge was at the bottom, like grainy coffee grinds, affected the taste a little but was still tasty.

Ironically this is the only vintage ive ever had, and I liked it fresh better.

Murchmac, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of DNICE555
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

09 Dark Lord, White Wax... black soul. 2nd in line at the big Christmas 2010 Epic Stout Tasting. Poured myself about 8 oz and split the rest between Zapps, Cpie, Larsonstyle, R Moe nay, and Jlynn.

A - The body looks like the devil in black camouflage. A nice healthy dark tan head comes fourth from the depths of hell.

S - Roasted grain, big malty clouds, tempting fruits from the garden of Eden , molasses, raisins, chocolate. If this beer had a wallet, it'd be the one that say's bad motherfu*ker on it.

T - This beer is the Peter North of beers. Both my unit and the Dark Lord are huge. This evil serpent slayed me. I barley made it out alive. Every component seems to be exaggerated.

M - Consistency of a creamy bowl of oatmeal. Good carbonation. 10 inches+

D - I can't believe this is 15% percent. I am enjoying an 09' at the end of '10 but I can barely detect any alcohol at all. The flavors are exaggerated and it is sweet but not overly. I was very impressed and happy to enjoy this demon.

DNICE555, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of SFLpunk
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cmrillo/hodgin for this bottle! Great traders! 22oz brown glass pry-top with green wax. 2010 Vintage. Served at

Appearance: Pours a thick oily black with 1.5 fingers of frothy dark tan head that leaves some lacing.

Nose: Wow, could smell it instantly after cracking the cap. Big roasted grains, cocoa, fruit cake, miso, braised beef, molasses, demerara sugar, raisins and figs, maybe prunes really. Big and complex. Lots of bold aromas going on here.

Palate: This beer walks with a big stick, for sure. Big and dense and chewy. Sweet doesn't quite cover it, it's really viscous. Lots of molasses, darkly toasted oak, prunes, dates, dark roasted malts, leather, black coffee that's over sweetened. Long, drying finish. Carbonation is low but creamy.

Notes: I know a lot of BAs who say this beer is a mess. Well, it is - but I love it! It's huge and extracted, but the one thing that keeps my attention is that it's not boozey, or sickeningly sweet or slick like some high ABV IRS's (think Mephistopheles). Badass beer! Love it.

SFLpunk, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of stakem
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Multiple reviews added together, scoring reflects the top notes.

2010 bottle reviewed on 11/20/10.

This is the first of my bottles to be opened since DLD and shared with friends who couldn't attend the release. Poured into a snifter, dark lord appears a dark brown color that displays some clarity and lighter brown coloration around the edges. Closer inspection reveals some ruby hues. There is no head to be found, some swirls release some very dark brown bubbles that dissolve immediately.

The smell of this brew is hot with alcohol with indications of licorice, molasses and some smokey notes that come across a bit like bitter black chocolate. Some faint citrus hops are evident in the back.

The taste is bold with alcohol mixed with dark chocolate. Licorice with a bitter roasted quality that leaves a taste of chocolate in the mouth. Some fruity indications suggest citrus hops blended with fusel alcohol that almost has an evaporative quality on the tongue. There is a smokey element and coffee flavors as well as it warms.

This is a thick brew with a low level of carbonation. It clings and coats the inside of your mouth with a sugary grainy sweetness that isn't cloying because of the alcohol and contrasting bitterness. As a sipper at ~15% it is quite drinkable and complex.

- - - -
2008 bottle care of Slatetank on 10/23/10, thanks for sharing Matt!

Pours black with a severely tanned to brown head. It appears nearly black in color with some lighter coloration of brown around the edges. Faint spotty lace clings to the glass. This brew seemingly stains the glass with a sticky particle filled layering.

The aroma is filled with a smokey molasses sweetness and dark roasty grain that imparts a scent of chocolate. A touch of mineral quality and sweet smelling grain that is reminiscent of a fresh brew day. Slight notes of oxidation with a herbal spicy "meatiness" that lingers through the back of the nose.

The taste is sweet molasses with dark roasted grain coupled with alcohol and herbal hops. It leaves an almost meaty flavor inside the mouth that is interesting to say the least. Lingers with a roasted grain and bitterness that is a combo of hops and burnt grain. The abv is still apparent but each sip seemingly yields more sweetness. A very full, thick bodied brew that has a light level of carb yet maintains decent drinkability. It's an experience that everyone needs to try at least once.

- - - -
2011 bottle consumed on 7/5/11 (running low on character space so keeping this brief) This years very well might be the thinnest feeling of the years I have sampled. It is much easier to approach and has a very distinct anise character to the aroma and flavor. A light touch of oxidation/soy included as well as the typical flavors of bitter chocolate, coffee and lingering sweetness/herbal touch of hops. Bold alcohol yet contrasted nicely by the residual sweetness that isnt cloying.

stakem, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Christmas tree decorating beer! Reviewed with my finacee. Jet black thick motor oil, quickly fading tan head. Can't see through it at all. Faint burnt red caramel color on the edges. Smell is off the hook. Vanilla, chocolate, cherries, burnt caramel, and coffee in the background. Tastes so good, like rich milk chocolate, laced with vanilla, coffee notes, deep rich malty goodness, no burnt flavors, no harshness. There are definatly some dried fruits in there but they are secondary. Smooth, well hidden alcohol. Deep rich body. Great drinkability for such a power beer. This beer, in my opinion lives up to the hype.

pmlondrigan, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of KAP1356
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Another review from notes that fell through the cracks. Consumed 5/18/2010. Big thanks to BigbROB for trading for this. Poured a 2010 Vintage into a Weyerbacher tulip to celebrate my 25th birthday...

A - How dark can a beer get? This dark. Completely black hole, opaque with no chance for light to even think about getting through this thick brew. There is a thick creamy looking one finger dark khaki colored head that forms and quickly recedes to a collar of the same color.

S - Dark roasted malts, coffee, some sweetness too. Getting fruits as well; dates, raisins, prunes, and some slight cherry. Getting some chocolate too at the end of the nose as well as some alcohol. Really rich.

T - TONS of dark roasted malts with coffee and a sweet cream-like taste. Prunes, raisins and dates. Theres a slight tartness to it too that is almost vinous. Big alcohol hit as well.

M - This is what I want. Incredibly thick and full bodied. Coats every single inch of the palate and then some. Some slight alcohol burn but that's no surprise. Just an amazing velvet feeling beer.

D - Very pleasing and absolutely worth tracking down. Not sure if I agree with ALL of the hype, but after trying it, I certainly am a believer as to its ranking. I will definitely be seeking out more of this gem and hope to make it to a Darklord Day in the near future.

KAP1356, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of mayor55
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just 1 bottle left from 2009 white wax. Time for a review. Dirty oil from oil change is only way to describe the look. Not appetizing the first time, but something you come to love. Strange head that I can't really compare to anything. Mouthfeel is outrageous. Very unique beer. Very high alcohol that really sneaks up on you. One of best beers I've had.

mayor55, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 edition shared with family post Thanksgiving meal. My dad is terrified of what the Lord brings to the table as he slayed my sister with one sip. My brother deemed him one bad bitch. I found it difficult not to concur.

Rich thick black oil into some funky glassware. A thin, fiery red, razor thin highlight hugs the evil base. Any attempt at summoning head from the depths are repelled by the Dark Lord's evil decree.

Cooking sherry, mocha, and marachino cherry. Unsurprising considering the 15% tag, smell is incredibly sweet.

Sweet and sugary upfront with initial waves of espresso. Dark chocolate fills the middle and moves into flaming plums. Dark fruits and mildly tart currants are heavy along the finish and the alcohol burn in quite evident.

Full bodied and drink as such. Meaty and thick with low level carbonation. A sipper for sure and one that strongly encourages shared drinking.

BarrytheBear, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of oregone
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well, it's one of the most interesting packages for beer. Definitly a crowd pleaser.

A: Lighter than anticipated. Pours deep brown to black and is not nearly opaque in the glass. For the heft of the beer, it is visually somewhat deceptive. Attractive light ring of deep tan head, but not alot of carbonation.
S: Roasty of course. Some bisquit and certainly the usual dark chocolate. Caramel is more dominant than in alot of stouts.
T: Caramel again obvious. Burnt marshmellow, and mocha. Chocolate milk. Very distinct caramelized malt (like biting into some fresh grains).
M: Wonderful. The lighter than expected color belies the thickness. Viscous. A pleasure.
D: I would happily put down a bomber of this solo over an extended evening. But wouldn't be begging for more. Nothing wrong there.

Glad to finally try this. Will seek out more, but not trading the farm.

oregone, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of oglmcdgl
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A 08 bottle into a duvel tulip. Had an 08 on with a year on it with some friends. This one is around 2.5 years old.

A- at first the pour is thinner and clearer then I remember and then it starts the motor oil I remember. A finger or so of dark brown creamy head from a hard pour that settles to a solid ring and a few wisps on top. A good swirl brings the cream right back. The body of this monster is nothing less then pitch black, absolutely and completely. It coats the glass like syrup and slowly sheets off.

S- layer on top of layer of chocolate fudge, cocoa powder, dark roasted coffee, brown sugar. Dark fruits and berries deep in there. A touch of warm booze and molasses Simply astounding complexity.

T- unbaked brownie batter licked off the spoon and wash it down with a glass of half espresso and half hersheys chocolate syrup. That's what we've got on our hands here, and I love it. Over ripe dark berries, with a bit of raisins and dates. Molasses and brown sugar. So roasty and sweet at the same time that it completely works. This is a shocking amount of flavor. Just the faintest bit of heat in the way back that I really enjoy, almost reminds me of a chocolate cordial at times. Long slow roasty finish but a clean one, never over baring.

M- thick doesn't begin to tell the story. Absolutely the creamiest chewiest beer I've ever had but its not to much on the palate. Just the smallest bit of creamy carb starts to build and lifts the liquid into a foam that hits every part of your mouth and coats it for a second then slowly recedes leaving only the faintest memory of the motor oil that was once there.

D- for a beer of this stature and depth to be drinkable would be one thing but for it to be one that is a ease to drink is another. I feel like this vintage is the best I've had of the last three years by a long shot. I've never had a beer like this. Of all the monster stouts out there this one takes the cake. Simply the best.

oglmcdgl, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of TheBeerCarl
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark rich brown/black coloring with a nice thin brown head.

Smell: The first thing I thought of when i took my fist whiff was German Chocolate Cake. It definitely has a delicious smell filled with chocolate, caramel and pecan/praline with light hints of licorice and cherry. The heat is definitely present but not overwhelming which is impressive for a 15.5% beer.

Taste: Coffee and dark chocolate hit the palette first with lingering vanilla and caramel notes. The taste is well complimented by both the smell and mouthfeel of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, thick with little carbonation. Has almost a smooth feel.

Opinion: I would definitely drink this stout any day but its intense popularity, I can only contribute to the scarcity of great beer in the mid-west. Before I tried it I was ready to make the once a year trek to the 3 Floyds brewery to try this beer that has seen the top ten quite often on this website. After trying however I am glad i didn't do so, although road trips for beer are always fun.

TheBeerCarl, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage.

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a pure delicious black darkness with a thin, barely there, dark tan head that is tight and recedes quickly leaving a nice brown ring around the glass. Oily viscous liquid. Pretty much what I expected it to look like. A light swirl gives a bigger more retentive head with some visible alcohol on the sides of the glass. (5)

S - Prunes and raisins up front and right away. Surprisingly mellow on the alcohol front. Slight burnt caramel as well as some nice roasted notes. Tons of brown sugar notes give it a very sweet and molasses like aroma. After some time I can barely detect the chocolate notes. They come off as sweet mil chocolate with some very slight dark cocoa bitterness. The aroma on this one is so strong and delicious and vibrant. Even when I lift my glass to drink the aroma smacks me. WOW!(4.5)

T & M - Wow! Soooo delicious and very complex. The raisins and dark ripe fruit sweetness comes up initially and stays for a long time. Caramel and brown sugar and slight male sweetness as well. The beer is oily and viscous and covers the whole mouth. Then there is some nice slight roasted notes that appear but they are quickly mellowed out by way more sweetness. This sweetness is more toward the alcohol even though I'm sure the almost 2-year-old beer has mellowed out. After more tasting and sipping I can start to make out some of the chocolate. Similar to the aroma the chocolate is mostly sweet but there are some slight bitter notes in as well. Also on the back end there is some slight smokiness to the beer that is welcoming. The body is full, complex but delicious. I think this lives up to the hype in many ways. Creamy, smooth, silky and very full. With age the alcohol notes seem mellow because I'm surprised a 15% beer isn't showing itself that way. (5) (4.5)

D - Ok. Overall this beer, for me, lives up to the hype. It is delicious and a great example of a RIS. It is strong but ages and mellows well, it is sweet and chocolaty and also has some slight roasted hints. The drinkability is high except for the fact that its hard to get and that its 15%. Overall this is awesome. (4.5)

JoEBoBpr, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am a huge fan of FFF and love this beer. Thanks to Darrell for bringing an 09'.

A: Jet Black color and small mocha head. Like motor oil consistency, looks awesome, just what I like in a stout.

S: A huge range of things here. Big charred malt, dark and citrus fruit, toffee, caramel, chocolate, confection, and some kind of teriyaki type of burn to it also. Devine. What a huge smell.

T: Taste that matches the smell for the most part. Lots of malt with alcohol prune, toffee, dark fruits, alcohol sweetness and burn, sweet confection, smoked teriyaki, and a sweet end with a little bit of hops. Theres also a little soy sauce thats a little weird but overall, damn its good.

M: Oil consistency that totally coats! rolls over awesomely.

D: Very good, but can't have a whole lot, a meal in itself. Nice!

Dreadnaught33, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of beerman207
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tonight begins a long road of entering many awesome beers I took notes on but didn't take the time to put on here. Let's start out with the Darkest of Lords

2010 vintage

a - Pours a brown color with one finger of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Dark Fruit, chocolate, malt, booze, some soy sauce?,

t - Tastes of chocolate, dark fruits, malt, alcohol, and just all around tasty.

m - This is how thick an RIS is supposed to be. Not as chewy as the 2008 vintage (wow is all I can say to that) but it's still just right where it needs to be.

d - Definately one of the best beers I've ever had the opportunity to drink. Can't say it's the best beer in the world but it's definately in the top 25.

beerman207, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Anno 2010.

Appearance -- Pours an impenetrable dark with one finger of dark khaki head.

Smell -- Dark roast malt, coffee with cream, raisin and prune, cherry, woodsmoke, and a red wine.

Taste -- Up front is tons of dark roast maltiness along with coffee and cream, prune, and rum-soaked raisins. There's a lot of vinous and cherry fruit flavor as well, lending a sort of sweet/tart element to the beer that adds depth and lends to balance the malt sweetness. Also, a distinct woodsmoke flavor that adds some earthiness - smoked malt in the grist? Spicy/herbal hops in the back-end. Finish is dark roast and coffee with cream.

Mouthfeel -- Incredibly thick with moderate carbonation. Faint alcohol burn as well as some throat warming. Best mouthfeel in the game.

Drinkability -- Certainly exceptional. Top tier? Yes, absolutely. Best of class? Probably not, but still quite pleasing. Unique in its class that it does have a lot of the vinous/dark fruit character as would a traditional English RIS. Absolutely worth seeking out.

yeahnatenelson, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of digita7693
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I have tried both the 2009 vintage, with about 6months on it, and a 2010, similar notes for both. But the review is for 2009.

A dark, oily, but not super thick, slight tan head

S syrup, molasses, coffee and maybe a hint of vanilla, not bad but very malty, all most overpoweringly sweet smell

T way too much sugar in this, its as if someone filled my IS with maple syrup, some soy sauce qualities in it. Just ends up being too much sugar and soy sauce, a stomach ache waiting to happen

M/D decent carbonation and coats the mouth nicely with the myriad of flavors, but it is simply too much.

overall I am very disappointed in this beer, for me it is a sweet syrupy mess, covered up somewhat by soy sauce. There are a ton of better IS out there. Perhaps, as some have suggested, I really just need to try one that has a bit more age on it.

digita7693, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Birthday beer!!!

2008 vintage. Thanks to brothernova for getting this to me as part of a trade! Poured from a 22oz bottle to a snifter.

A: I've had some rich, thick beers before, but this one actually looks like heavy duty oil! Very thick and viscous. Minimal dark coffee colored head. Leaves more of a lacing than I expected for it not having much of a head.

S: Soy sauce, vanilla, cinnamon, plums. Some other sweet spice I can't quite place. Sounds like it would be awful, but it's actually quite alluring.

T: More going on here than I can keep track of. Everything from the nose plus a very heavy dark chocolate flavor. Cherries too, almost like a ruby port flavor. Dark chocolate covered cherries. Mmmmm. Vanilla is there, but not so much soy sauce. Alcohol is present, but not as much as one might expect. Molasses and caramel become more noticable as my glass empties. This is just delicious. With the lack of roasty, smoky flavors, this isn't quite what I expect from an impy stout (maybe more like an old ale?) but is absolutely delicious.

M: Very thick and surprisingly smooth. I can only think of one beer I've had that has as smooth of a mouthfeel. Velvety. The richness is out of this world. It's like a mouthful of melted milk chocolate. Carbonation is very light, but definitely present, despite the lack of head.

D: I was certainly looking forward to this one, but also have a persistent skepticism of hyped beers. This one lives up to the hype. Just an awesome beer. Hides the alcohol surprisingly well, too.

eatabagofbooger, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of glazeman
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to airohead2001 for busting this out for my 100th review. I had this on tap at this year's DLD, but have not had it since. 2010 vintage poured into a snifter.

A: This beer pours black in color and has a one finger mocha colored head. The beer appears thick, and I actually just saw a bubble of the head pup and create a splash. The head has moderate retention and nice lacing.

S: Right out of the bottle, I was blown away by the intensity of the smell. There's figs, molasses, caramel and some alcohol burn. The molasses is the dominant note on the nose. While, it's an intense smell, the smell is not quite as balanced as the taste.

T: The first thing I noticed when I tasted this beer was, "wow, it's definitely not as sweet as it was at Dark Lord Day" and I'm glad it's not. It's still a little sweet up front, as an RIS should be, but is much more balanced. The alcohol is barely noticeable especially considering the ABV and the smell. The main flavors are sweet raisins, bourbon (even though I know it's not barrel aged), tannins, and dark chocolate. Simply divine.

M: All other beers in the RIS category should have their mouthfeel and viscosity judged based on this beer. It is oh so wonderfully thick. The beer also has a great aftertaste and a perfectly low level of carbonation.

D: I would have this beer again and again. It reminds me of a fine wine that has layer after layer of complexity. It's too bad that it only comes out once a year, but luckily I have a few bottles left for future special occasions.

glazeman, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of airohead2001
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In honor of glazeman.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout is a 6 month old RIS with a past history significant for notorious long lines, high ABV, awesome label art, tricky online ticket sales, and being the original hyped up brewery-only released stout. He presents to my Westvleteren snifter this evening in honor of glazeman's 100th review.

smell: dark roasts, figs, chocolate, vanilla, sweet candy
appearance: small head that quickly fades to nothing, thick thick thick oil that coats the walls of the snifter - EXACTLY what an RIS should look like. perfect.
taste: sweet dark chocolate, vanilla, bitter roasts, and a tiny bit of piney hops in the finish. rich, thick, intense, and incredible. just what a true RIS should be.
mouthfeel: thickness and carbonation are both spot on.
drinkability: for 15% ABV, this is extremely drinkable. don't be fooled by the nay-sayers - i could drink a bomber of this myself - no doubt about it.

6 month old RIS presenting this evening for glazeman's 100th review. DL is probably the most heavily disputed beer on this site. Many love it, many hate it, many complain about the lines, tickets, etc. Many simply just don't like to admit that such an amazing beer can come from northwest Indiana. Well get over it, people, DL is as good as it gets - one of the best beers I've ever had.

- continue to attend Dark Lord Day every year
- continue to support my midwest breweries
- continue splitting this bomber with glazeman for his 100th review

This plan has been discussed with my attending.

airohead2001, MS3
Pager# 12345

airohead2001, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of number1bum
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage courtesy of BeerTruth. Figured I'd crack this baby for my birthday. We'll see if I regret it tomorrow :)

Pours nearly pitch black, very thick, with a slowly building but eventually dense two inches of dark tan head. It doesn't keep a very thick lace or leave much stick, but every sip regenerates the lace and coats the glass for a few seconds as it falls back down, and that's pretty impressive.

Smell is rich and robust, with lots of sweetness going on. It's chocolaty with caramel and molasses notes as well. I also get a good amount of dark fruit, like ripe, sweet blackberries in particular. Has a hint of coffee as well and although it's not a big component of the nose there is also a very darkly roasted malt aroma. I'd even say that the roastiness, although not the largest part of this nose, has a slight burned quality to it.

Taste is also very bold with a ton of sweet complexity. There is chocolate, caramel and molasses, each in great quantity, with the caramel being quite dark and the chocolate also tending toward the bittersweet. Like the nose I again get a good amount of dark fruit, with more roasted malt character than the nose. Doesn't have the slightly burned quality it did in the nose, although it does get bitter. The sweetness is what really shines in this beer, though, with the roasted malt bringing up the rear and leaving some bitterness on the palate in the finish. There is some alcohol heat toward the back of each sip, but I'm neither surprised nor bothered by this. I'm not gulping it down after all, I'm sipping it, and this helps me to remember and respect the strength of the beer.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and extremely creamy. It really coats the mouth but the alcohol and the bitter roastiness in the finish do detract a touch from the feel. Still pretty solid here though.

I've had Dark Lord before, although I can't recall what vintage and it wasn't a full bottle to myself. I think it's easier to see some of the flaws (if you want to call them that) when you have an entire bottle to yourself. This is a fantastic beer, but it's extremely sweet and the roastiness, while it does cut the sweetness, does so in a bitter, slightly astringent way. These things keep it from being truly epic, but do not take away from what is an excellent beer. When a beer reaches this level, however, there is nothing to do but nitpick. I'd be happy with another couple dozen bottles in my cellar, that's for sure.

number1bum, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of mechamifune
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2009 edition

Pours jet black and with no head or sense of carbonation whatsoever, which is dissapointing. Just kind of sits there looking more or less dead in the glass with only the slightest of lacing.

Smell, however, is a whole different story. I could literally smell the beer from a few feet away. A whole lot of alcohol in the nose upfront, but this is undercut by an intense coffee/chocolate smell and what I would call, for lack of a better description, charred dark fruit. As complex and interesting smelling a beer as I've ever had. The nose just seems to promise great things to come.

The taste kind of fulfills this promise. Alcohol is there but not as intense as in the smell. Lots and lots of chocolate notes and that charred fruit becomes more and more evident the longer you drink it. A lot going on here but I'm not sure it all mends together as well as in some other world class RIS's, due to the at times overwhelming sweetness that comes in the longer you drink it.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are where this beer really stands out, though not entirely for the better. The mouthfeel is not like any beer i've had before. It almost is like beer syrup after getting through about half the pour. I'm not totally sure if thats a good or bad thing to be honest, but it is at least unique, so I'll give it that. It is not, however, particularly drinkable. As much as I enjoyed certain aspects of the beer, it is so sweet and so thick that I would have had a hard time drinking more than the 12 oz pour I had. This is a sipping beer if i've ever had one.

In total this is very interesting beer and one that any beer lover should probably try at least once. I'm already looking forward to trying my 10 edition in a year to see how that compares.

mechamifune, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark Lord is one those beers that you don´t expect to possess because where I live, it takes an arma and a leg to get one. I got this bottle in a trade last year and brought it down to Brazil to share with a lucky few. From a 2009 vintage, on to the beer:

Menacing black color with a little tanned head that drops to a lace. The nose is intense and full of licorice, honey, and molasses. More interesting is the flavor, where it acts like a rauchbier at times. It starts sweet with honey, then chocolate arrives, then it goes smokey like bacon. Much of the alcohol is hidden neat in its viscous body.

This is tasty and very complex. However, I´m not sure if it´s a beer that I´d stand in line for or trade my other arm to relive the experience.

DoubleJ, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of telecomz
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Green wax - 2010

A: Black pour with 1/4" head. Dissipates quickly.

S: Choco, coffee and molasses and alcohol.

T: Molasses is very prominent. Some coffee and chocolate. Very hot. A bit too much.

M: Disappointed with how thin this feels; it's viscosity appears in almost all write-ups.

D: OK.

This is my first bottle of DL. I love this style. As a local, I guess I'm spoiled by Kate.

telecomz, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of RedBrewer83
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter...

A: Pours an incredibly thick black into the glass with hues of ruby around the edges. Small head of tan foam, falls slowly to a thin ring around the glass.

S: Huge complex aroma, coffee, roasted malt, dried fruit, booze, molasses, caramel, incredibly huge aroma here!

T: Like the nose, massive and incredibly deep, all of the flavors mentioned above and yet so balanced and layered. This is truly world class, one of the greats!

M: Smooth and creamy heavy body, slightly boozy, but in a good way.

D: For 15% it is crazy drinkable, and so delicious that you want to keep drinking it. Definitely one of the best examples I have ever tried!

RedBrewer83, Oct 09, 2010
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,344 ratings.