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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
95
world-class

3,133 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,133
Reviews: 1,145
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,684
Gots: 1,403 | FT: 91
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:
2004 - Red Wax
2005 - Orange Wax
2006 - Gold Wax
2007 - Silver Wax
2008 - Black Wax
2009 - White Wax
2010 - Olive Green Wax
2011 - Yellow Wax
2012 - Red Wax
2013 - Orange Wax
2014 - Blue Wax

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Lord Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,133 | Reviews: 1,145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
OldSchoolGamer

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ever since I got into craft beer, this is the beer I have always wanted to try. Easily at the top of the best beers in the world, I knew I had to do whatever I could to get a bottle. This is the 2009 version. Here is my review of The Dark Lord:

A: Pours extremely thick black into the glass. Head is very dark brown and dissipates rather quickly. By far, the thickest looking beer I have ever seen.

S/T: Upon opening the bottle, the aroma seeps out with its rich sweet chocolate overtones. This beer is possibly the most complex tasting beer I have ever had. The beer is so silky smooth and rich, and the flavors keep on coming even minutes after the first taste. Its really hard to pick out specific flavor components here as there is so much going on. For starters, this beer is extremely sweet. Almost too sweet, just like a port wine as the label states. Lots of milk chocolate flavors with a nice roasty malt backbone. Other flavors swirling around on the palate include caramel, vanilla, cherry, coffee, and molasses. My biggest knock on the beer is the sweetess. It can be a bit much at times, but this beer remains stellar all the way through.

M/D: Not only is this the most complex beer I have ever had, it is easily the most thick. Extemely thick and creamy, this beer coats the mouth with each and every sip. The sweetness is a tad much at times, and kind of detracts from the overall drinkability. This beer can only be drunk in tiny sips as there is so much body and richness here. Your tongue is going to be completely brown by the time you are done with the beer.

Is this beer worthy of all the hype? Its hard to say. This very well may be the best Imperial Stout I have had, but its not leagues above other great stouts out there. Great Divide Yeti, Southern Tier Blackwater Series, Bells Expedition, and any Stout from Founders are all in the same league as Dark Lord. Dark Lord is exremely enjoyable, but it will not change your outlook on the style or make you forget about other classic Stouts you enjoy. Well worth seeking out if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 03:31:22 | More by OldSchoolGamer
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage. This beer pours a thick used motor oil black. The head is minimal, and recedes into nothing within seconds. The aroma is of roasted malt, dark and milk chocolate, and graham cracker. The is a very strong aroma, but it isn't a very complex one. I keep smelling hoping for something more, but come up empty. Still, there is enough there that it is enjoyable. The taste is big and burly, but again there really isn't much complexity. There is lots of roasted malt, and oily chocolate, and more than enough hops. In fact the hops here just aren't sitting well with me. They seem to be taking away too much from the malt profile. The mouthfeel if very full bodied with appropriately low carbonation, and an slick, oily texture that is almost slimy. I really don't like this mouthfeel. Overall, I think this is a decent beer, but certainly not one of the best. I'm glad that others might live it, but I certainly won't be recommending it to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2009 20:51:38 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of mikeyv35
mikeyv35

New York

4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage (White Wax) Into Pint Glass
22oz. Bottle Sampled W/ Another BA

Finally getting the chance to sample this legendary brew in the most comfortable setting imaginable - my home - with a very close friend and fellow BA. I attempted to review this beer w/ a clean mind and w/ as little bias as possible. So here we go, Yeeeah Budddy!, as Big Ronnie Coleman would say.

Poured as dark as night like 10W-30 motor oil w/ a thin ring of light brown carbonation on the outer edges of the brew. No lacing to speak of. The nose was of roasted coffee, chocolate, molasses, figs, plums, and charred fruit. The charred fruit in the middle was what amazed me the most - like it should not have been there, but fit perfectly! The taste was on point w/ the nose, coating the palate w/ charred fruits and sweetness up front, and finishing w/ Belgian dark chocolate and espresso beans. Imagine making a Black and Tan w/ an English Barleywine and a Russian Imperial Stout and you should be able to get an accurate picture of the taste of this brew. Mouthfeel? This was by far the chewiest brew I have ever sampled. Like the smoothest silky puree imaginable. Despite the chewiness and I mean chewiness, this brew tasted so amazing that like Lionel Ritchie says "All Night Long!" Well deserving of all the hype and accolades, this brew did not disappoint. Cheers to Three Floyds for this creation! I almost gave this brew a perfect score, and my tasing partner and I both agreed that this was as close to perfection and beer heaven as we had both been! I could only imagine how this brew tastes w/ age.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 20:58:30 | More by mikeyv35
Photo of scifan
scifan

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

09 bottle recieved in a trade with deliriumfest.
Pours like thick motor oil with a very small brown head into a tulip. Head quickly recedes to nothing leaving no lacing.
I was a little dissapointed when I first smelled this just wasn't quite "BIG" enough. I'm getting lots of roasted malts, with a nice sweet backbone. Loads of dark ripe fruit aromas like cherries, plum, and raisins as well. The more this warms up the better it gets. Alcohol lingers cloying in the background.
Obviously the taste is right up there with some of the best stouts out there, but I was left wanting more. Again there is alot of roasted malty flavors, maybe a hint of coffee. Also a nice sweetness to balcance out the bitterness of all that roasty goodness. Getting some mollassos and candied sugar and hints of vanilla. And at the end some nice bitterness either from the hops or the roasted barley to wash away the sweetness. Of course its moutfeet is amazing good carbonation and it coats your tongue with all its goodness. I thought I would have a problem finishing a bottle by myself but the 13% does not make itself known all that mouch.
Anyway I knew this beer could in no way live up to the hype and it didn't but I'm still glad I finally got to try it. Awesome beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 02:56:27 | More by scifan
Photo of DousedInStout
DousedInStout

Washington

4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

09 Vintage poured into snifter.

A - Deep, dark black with ruby highlights. However, tan head dissipates quickly and leaves little to no lacing.

S - Not as in your face as expected. Some dark cherry and candied fig esters, but not as much chocolate/coffee as expected.

T- The taste is sweet and fruity at first. A lot of molasses and brown sugar, followed by cherries and dates. I also faintly get apple, perhaps a faint aldehydic note. Some roast and hop bitterness kick in at the end, and the heat from the alcohol lingers.

M - The mouthfeel is second to none. Phenomenal body and mouthfeel, and perfect carbonation.

D - Pretty heavy, but deliciously drinkable

Overall, it didn't quite live up to the hype in my opinion, but still an exceptional beer. I would've liked a little more coffee and chocolate flavor from the roasted malt, and a little more hop balance to the sweetness. I also would recommend giving this one much more time in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 22:00:43 | More by DousedInStout
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infestaxion

Florida

4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

09 vintage

A - Dark as Hitler's syphilitic soul. Quite beautiful. For a beer. Not a soul.

S - Molasses. Rich and sweet. Some dark fruit.

T - Mmm. That is mighty fine. Dark sugar. The roastiness is toned down this year. Very sweet. Dark fruit. But it all comes back to the sugar. A bit of warmth at the end. Previous vintages would get a 5 but I'm taking this down a bit.

M - Nice and thick. Coats the mouth.

D - Surprisingly drinkable. Got to watch myself.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 02:40:43 | More by infestaxion
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charlesw

New York

2.78/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2007 bottle enjoyed in 2009. Very dark brown and totally opaque even to the strongest light. Sadly, micro head that's gone in a flash.
Smells of RIS - deep, rich coffee and chocolate, heavy sweetness from those malts, a little prune and moldy dried fruit.
Tastes very similar to the smell. Some strange smokey/bitter unpleasant aftertaste. i'm glad I'm drinking this 2 years on 'cause i bet that smokey/bitter taste is really overpowering when it's young! Color me not impressed - I prefer something with some balance to it. The more I drink of it the less I like it. Weird tangy aftertaste. I can't believe I'm saying this, but i'm going to pour the rest of this out.
Mouth is. um, weird. Maybe a touch on the syrupy side but that, at least, is balanced out with bitterness and other things. But that's not the problem. The problem is that it feels like there are pureed prunes in there - chunky bits. Weird. Bleh.
If I could get this easily I'd probably drink it. Wait in line for it? Um. No. I don't think so.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 23:06:18 | More by charlesw
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joepais

Maine

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to thank a few BA's for helping me acquire this I have a few years worth of a vertical going. I decided yesterday to make the day special by cracking open a 09 bottle.

A white wax topped bottle split between three of us in snifters. The bottle poured really thick like used motor oil but leaving almost no head. We tried to conger one up but to no avail. Maybe a bad bottle clue number one. The body of the brew was a typical black stout color with ruby highlights around the edge.

One of us pulled a cardboard aroma, clue two on the bad bottle? I got an initial chocolate note followed by rubbing alcohol, yes this thing is big and boozy. I can't wait to sample the 07 see how that one stacks up.

The flavor was very roasted and hot. The last sip I got some nice dark fruit in there as well. To say the body on this brew was full would be an understatement. I do wish there would have been some carbonation on it.

Drinking the brew was a treat. Like I said I have a few more bottles and I will be revisiting this one. I think some of my score on this bottle may have been from a bad bottle. It happens I know. I will rescore after I drink the next bottle. I know the scores should go up but wanted the brewer and others to be aware of a slightly oxidized bottle from a fresh batch.

Had a few more bottles since my original review and I must up the score on this yup bottle #1 was bad I have drank another 09 and an 07 and both were superb

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 14:35:35 | More by joepais
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ricke

Sweden

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

2008 vintage.

A: Pitch black with a small brown head. The liquid is really viscous.

S: Huge aromas of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Some dark bread, soy sauce and licorice and molasses. A rich and powerful smell.

T: This one really fills the whole mouth with flavors. Every sip is like getting hit by a tidal wave. Roasted malts all around, sweet dark chocolate, more sweet toffee, coffee and caramel. Every now and then, a slightly burnt flavor develops. Woody notes. The taste is predominantly sweet. The finish is quite bitter with big notes of well integrated alcohol, salt, hints of licorice and soy sauce, and perhaps some hop notes.

M: Mouthfeel is off the chart on this one. Ridiculously big body, viscous like old engine oil and smooth beyond belief.

D: So, what to say about this one, the dark lord, one of the white whales? Well, it's just a great beer. Fantastic mouthfeel, rich and powerful taste, and very complex. However, it's a little on the sweet side, so it's not perfect. But I actually think it manages to live up to it's reputation.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 13:10:27 | More by ricke
Photo of sgoodship
sgoodship

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Stood in line at DLD 2009 to pick this up. I let it sit for a little while but I got some good news and felt like it was a good celebration drink.

A: Cut off the white wax and poured aggressively. It's black and viscous with a hint of red. Tiny bit of ruby red showing through on the edge against the light. Fizzy small dark coffee copper head that dissipates quickly. No head to provide lace but it leaves an oily coating on the glass.

S: Grainy, roasted malt, fruity - black currant type smell. Hint of whisky type booze but not much.

T: Lovely. Dark chocolate, burned acidic coffee. Hint of tart dark fruit. A little burn from the alcohol but barely noticeable. Really dry woody aftertaste that makes you want to go in for another sip. As the drink warmed more, the tartness become more prominent and the sweetness became more intense - really nice.

M: Amazingly thick and smooth stuff. Hint of carbonation gives it a wee bit of life but who cares, it's like an awesome beer milkshake!

D: Very excited about having it. No regrets. Met the hype. Serving it warmer than recommended definitely was the way to go. Dangerous stuff - very potent but the alcohol is pretty well masked and it's so tasty, you find yourself drinking it quicker than you intended. Really great brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2009 04:16:32 | More by sgoodship
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pepsican

Iowa

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

I've had multiple samples from different years. Figured I might as well rate the fresh sample, so this is for the 08. Pour pours black with a thin tan head. Aroma is chocolate, coffee, and a bit of cherry. Flavor is up front coffee, chocolate, molasses, caramel, toffee. Very viscous. This clings to every part of my mouth. A bit of hop bitterness, some hint of the abv.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2009 23:30:13 | More by pepsican
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KCHopHead

Missouri

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

Thanks to GBvDave for the trade. 2009 Version. Poured into leftover cocktail glasses at the end of brewday/beer trade as "the closer".

What's blacker than black? Dark Lord. Head was thin and brown. Delicoius sediment coating the glass and bottom of the glass.

Smell was amazing with chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, some complex fruit and not much alcohol (decieving).

It tasted like heaven but the bottle suggests hell. Thick maltiness with cocoa, roasted malts, coffee, was there any hops in this? You don't taste too much with the dominite grain bill.

The mouthfeel was my favorite part of this beer. It seemed to linger at the roof of my mouth and pushed it's way to every creavis and hit every taste bud. It has been the most interesting, complex mouthfeel I've had yet. I just wanted to let it sit there for a while before I gullped.

Drinkability, more like eatability. You are not going to pound a bottle of this without hurting yourself. Seriously though it was fun to drink.

This beer has forced it's way into my current top 5.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2009 19:05:16 | More by KCHopHead
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tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

this particular 2008 bottle (black wax) is a gift. i know i got another 2008 bottle from an actual trade, but this one was from the guys at three floyds (FFF) themselves. ok, so here's the story: at EBF'08, my brother and i were at both saturday sessions, but DL ran out before we could get some during the first session. so we made sure to wait in line as early as possible for session two. so we were pretty much implanted in the minds of the guys representing FFF at the table. at EBF'09, we were thus gifted a bottle of this sweet nectar for our small little act of beer geekdom from the previous year...

tasted in early/mid may 2009. poured into tulip.

midnight black. head requires vigorous pour or swirling, to create 1.5-fingers of sepia brown colored foam, w/ an orange tint. fades to a thin layer, then wisps, then just a ring. some thin rings of lace, but some fade to splotches. and even then, lace formation requires a deft touch when tilting the glass for each sip. anyway, the high appearance score is mainly for the opacity and viscosity, otherwise would've been a 4.0

(note: the dregs at the bottom of the bottle, when poured into our glasses, COAT the glass. literally like used motor oil! whoa! might even elicit a "yuck" for some people...)

aroma: rich caramel, molasses, with roast malt and notes of cocoa and coffee. hints of cherry and trace vanilla. faint mash and coffee-like acidity meet a very faint note of alcohol and booze. as it warms, it actually has reminiscences of port.

taste: rich, rich, RICH! caramel, molasses, and brown sugar meets the roast and hop bitterness, with bright cocoa and coffee tones, twinge of mash and coffee-ish acidity, into fruity acidity, more rich malts, coffee and faintly charred character in the finish, lingering with hint of dry grassiness (from hops?)

feel: velvet smooth yet viscous. unbelievable. creamy. the thickest beer i've ever drank! yet still smooth and also complex with some astringent coffee tones in the finish. mild to moderate carbonation only helps to accentuate all the smooth and creamy tones. wow.

(note: the feel of the dregs is reaaallly viscous! sticky, and *almost* hard to swallow! my brother was ambivalent about this, but i was like, "woo hoo!")

okay, let's be honest about the drinkability though... a full bomber of this all on my own would kill me...

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 16:26:17 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of movingtrain
movingtrain

Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, 2009 vintage, poured into a large snifter.
I was able to attend this year's Dark Lord Day in Munster, IN, and picked up a few bottles. I had this on draft, too...but my review is based on one of the bottles I brought home.

Appearance is black...little to no head whatsoever...looks like a large shot of espresso after the crema has died down. Legs hang on the side of the glass...some serious alcohol in this one.

The smell is remarkable. Sweet molasses, figs, plum, dried fruit...definite alcohol lingering in the background. I'm getting some crusty wheat bread, cane sugar, vanilla, maple syrup. The smell reminds me of Fall...hot cider and spiced rum...bitter apples and pie...wet leaves on the ground. There are some cherry notes, maybe slight banana. Some clove in the nose...making me think of some sticky-sweet vegetable bread, like how zucchini bread smells.

The taste...oh, man...this is phenomenal. So much going on here. Chocolate, coffee, fennel (light), vanilla, caramel, cinnamon. Alcohol hits through the back of the back of the throat and into the nose...very warming. Birthday cake, figs, doughy bread. That sweet-after-the-salt taste in really good olives, maybe some light citrus notes in the background. Maple syrup, cream, baker's chocolate, oak, burnt wood, tobacco...actually, this would be a perfect match for a really good cigar. It carries a bitter tang on the back of the tongue...like after eating fresh raspberries.

Overall, this is a remarkable beer...one I would be happy to drink many times over. It was well worth the trip up to Three Floyds, and worth the wait in the huge line. It's warming, deeply complex, and absolutely delicious.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2009 23:47:41 | More by movingtrain
Photo of bort11
bort11

Missouri

4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Viggo, that crazy Canuckle Head, sent this as part of the Good/Bad/Ugly BIF. This is obviously a Good!

22 oz white wax sealed bottle, 2009 vintage. I shared this with my wife. I'm the best husband ever. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack chalice. Slow to develop burnt orange head. Not very tall, and not a lot of legs, but he swirling film of lace on the surface is very pretty. Color is burnt oil black with some hints of orange around the edges.

Smell is a full blown chocolate delight. It sweet and sticky fudge. A hint of burnt raisins, figs, and dried cherries. Taste is like a gooey fudge brownie. Chewy and lip smacking sugary sweet. There is some mochaccino coffee bitterness in the finish. Only in the last swallow did I find the alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is beyond full bodied. It fills the mouth with flavor with the tiniest of sips. There is a hint of cocoa powder graininess in the bottom. Good to the last drop.

Blipped "Personal Jesus" by Marilyn Manson

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2009 03:19:32 | More by bort11
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Drewer757

Washington

4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow. I finally experienced the Dark Lord ('07 edition) after the birth of my boy. It poured like oil, and looked as dark. There was very little brownish head that laced the glass with each sip. The taste on my palette was chocolate syrup, followed by black coffee and then a strong stout. It was VERY thick. I couldn't finish a bottle by myself, but thanks to Mark who brought it for me, we finished it off.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2009 21:34:47 | More by Drewer757
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supercolter

Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Appearance is very good. A deep deep black that sheds no light. Pours like oil. Smell is good as well. Some nice figs, coffee, curant and alchohol come through. Taste is very similar but there is the typical underlying "bacon greasy" taste. Mouthfeel is out of this world good. Heavy heavy beer with some carbonation. Oily and slightly sticky. Drinkability is average- I've had more drinkable RIS's but this one is very good for what it is.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2009 21:08:14 | More by supercolter
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peabody

Kentucky

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

Thanks to Kane at Roof Brothers Liquors in Paducah Ky. for this one.
Pours out really black. No light can pass through this one.
Suds are brown and very small and malty looking. Creamy is the head and two fingers worth.
Smell is a blend of nutty molasses and a sugared bread served with sherry to dunk it in. No alcohol is present in the nose.
Taste is sweet cherry and a charred malty caramel. No alcohol can be detected in the mouth at any time during the tasting process.
A little bit of a dirty aftertaste but the cherry stays there and makes for a very delicious finish.
Not a drinkable beer at all. Don't have a clue why this one is rated so high.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2009 01:58:31 | More by peabody
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capra12

New York

4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Special Thanks to Jim and Evan for a great graduation present.
Reviewed with the help of Wheatman106 and speedwayjim, served out of a snifter glass.

Appearance- As dark as the dark lord himself with absolutely no head formation because of the viscosity.

Smell- The dark raisins, figs and malts are definitely cut through the depth of the complexity of this brew.

Taste- Opens with a sweet mix of dark fruits and from the middle to the end the complexity is hard to describe. I get roast malts, green and concord grapes, dried raisins and figs. Towards the end I pickup on a slightly salty and sweet finish.

Mouthfeel- The full bodiedness of this brew is almost unholy and coats my palate with an insatiatable desire to take another deep sip (Thank the three flloyds for the 22oz bottle).

Drinkability- This beer is definitely one which I would have again. The complex nature of the beer has me finding new flavors in each an every sip.

I can only imagine what the vanilla bean and the oak aged dark lord have to offer.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2009 03:01:07 | More by capra12
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HopHead84

California

3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage.

Thanks to mrkrispy for opening this. Pours black into the tulip with an ominous creamy dark brown head. The retention is very good and lacing is left on the glass. This beer looks great.

The aroma is dark unsweetened chocolate and roasted malt. Prunes and other dark fruits are evident, as well as strong alcohol notes, molasses, and a touch of coffee. There's a really strange aroma that puzzled me the entire time I was drinking this. It smells a little dog food. It's not terrible, but it's mildly unpleasant and a bit distracting.

The flavor is dark chocolate and charred, ashen malt. The malt is very roasted, with notes of coffee. The bitterness is very aggressive, which surprised me because this beer has been out for over a year. The finish is dry and bitter, with chocolate, a little coffee, and some astringency. The alcohol is very apparent throughout.

The beer is full bodied with a nice medium level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, chalky, and dry.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2009 22:20:53 | More by HopHead84
Photo of rhinos00
rhinos00

Colorado

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

Tasting with rye726 and ratman197. Beer #5 of 8. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a New Belgium snifter. 2009 Vintage.

A- Black like an abyss. Little bit of a cocoa colored head that disappears quite quickly.

S- Lots of molasses and booze. Also getting some chocolate malt sweetness and hints of vanilla.

T- Complex and huge. The body of the beer is made up of molasses and chocolate malts. The finish had a vanilla sweet finish. The part I really enjoyed is that the sweetness is built up right to the point where it could be too much, but stops just short. Somewhere in between I got a hint of saltiness, sort of like soy sauce.

M- Thick, oily and delicious. Loved the residual stickiness.

D- It's remarkable how FFF can make such big beers and hide the alcohol so well. For 13% abv, it was virtually undetectable.

Overall, I have had older vintages and after opening this one up a little bit of age will really improve this one. Still a solid RIS.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2009 17:53:31 | More by rhinos00
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Swimsum

Oregon

4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on June 11th and have to give a big, no HUGE, thanks to Nick (ThreeWiseMen) for sharing this with myself and Trevor (lynx1245). Reviewed from notes. Poured into a snifter. EDIT: This review is for a 2009 bottle

A: Pours a very thick oil black. Absolutely no light gets through when held up to the light. Very small espresso head forms and quickly recedes to a ring around the glass. Swirling the beer brings the head back but only for a little bit. No lacing is present at all, and swirling coats the glass with a thin clear film. Looks like what a RIS should look like.

S: I thought I was crazy but as noted in Nick's review, the first smell is one of bananas/banana bread. Also in there is dark chocolate and some sugary smells. Got molasses toward the end of the glass but was faint for me. Are we sure this is a RIS? Wouldn't know it by just the smell, very interesting for sure.

T: Coffee and dark chocolate are the first things I taste. Very different from the smell. Roasty notes are detected and a bit of alcohol in the finish. The black coffee taste sticks around long after each drink. About 5 to 10 minutes into this I hit the banana flavor. Again very interesting for a RIS. I really would have liked more up front taste in this but overall it was super good and delicious.

M: This just coats the entire mouth. Good thickness, warming from the alcohol. Not harsh at all, love the mouthfeel of this.

D: This thing is 13%?!?! Would have never guessed that from the taste of this thing. Goes down way too smooth for a 13% beer. I was the first one done and that saddened me and I wished I had more to drink. Sadly, no, it was all gone. I'm really glad I got to try this and if you are able to get your hands on this, you will not be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 05:43:03 | More by Swimsum
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ThreeWiseMen

California

4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 bottle acquired in a trade with nflmvp. Trade with Steve if you get a chance - he's fucking awesome! Shared this bottle with my buddies Trevor (lynx1245) and Brent (Swimsum) on June 11, 2009.

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Pours thick and oily. Pitch black body passes no light whatsoever. As dark and opaque as it gets. An extremely tight, brown head emerges from the surface, but only for a moment. A hair-thin halo hangs around for the entire session, but that's about it. Each successive swirl coats the glass walls with an oily residue and some spotty lacing.

Smell: Trevor was the first to take a whiff, and claimed it smelled like banana bread. As crazy as it sounds, he was absolutely right. Straight-up banana bread. Further investigation, coupled with the effects of warming, revealed dark chocolate, grassy hops, roasted malt, molasses, and even... waffle batter? Maybe I should toss out that last one. Very interesting for an RIS, but it just feels "off" to me.

Taste: Dark chocolate, roasted malt, and black coffee flavors abound, especially in the aftertaste. Aftertaste is long-lasting, bitter, and roasty, but not harsh. In fact, it's a little sweet. Tastes absolutely excellent! Caramel can be found upfront, and oh, there it is, banana bread again. Leafy and grassy hops noted. What else? Label says "charred fruit" - I suppose so. Molasses emerges toward the end. Warm alcohol brings each sip to a close. Doesn't feel anywhere near 13%.

Mouthfeel: Oily, thick, delicately carbonated, sugary, and amazingly smooth. Leaves a sticky film on the lips. Warm, dry finish is mild, especially considering the ABV. 13%?! No fucking way!

Drinkability: This one started out a little shaky, but after the first sip all was forgotten. What an amazing beer! Unique, complex, and freakishly smooth. So, so happy that I still have a 2008 DL lying in wait.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2009 18:28:40 | More by ThreeWiseMen
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klewis

Ohio

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

Thanks to abankovich for bringing this back from DLD for me

A: Pours a very dark brown with a small head that quickly fizzes away. Little lacing.

S: Huge smell with mocha, anise, brown sugar, figs. Deep and complex.

T: A burnt character blocks the way for a bit before yielding to flavors of coffee and anise. The malt and hops are well-balanced, but the alcohol is a quite hot.

M: Huge body, thick and chewy. Moderate-high carbonation with a sticky texture and long finish. A bit too bubbly.

D: No doubt an outstanding RIS, but it's still not as good as some that are both cheaper and readily available. A year or two of aging may change all that.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2009 00:08:43 | More by klewis
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jjanega08

Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage
A= completely black with a sudden thick brown one finger head rising to the top as I looked away to put the bottle down. Great lacing and average retention. Comes back when I swirl.
S= thick molasses and chocolate dark malts. After it sat a while I got more coffee and toward the end of the drink with a swirl you get wiffs of straight alcohol.
T= very smooth and extremely sweet. Loads of dark chocolate is mostly present. Lots of molasses and coffee. As it warms the cxoffee smell comes through more and more.
M= huge coat. Doesn't leave your mouth in a hurry making it a great sipping beer. Lower carbonation. Chewy and thick. One of the most viscous beers I've ever had. Actually left my lips really sticky with the sips
D= great beer no doubt but the drinkability suffers. Great for sitting on a rainy day and sipping on. Really lives up to the hype. Awesome special occasion beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2009 00:05:03 | More by jjanega08
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,133 ratings.