Dark Lord Imperial Stout - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
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Ratings: 3,268 | Reviews: 1,150 | Display Reviews Only:
4.03/5 rDev -5.8%
Split a 2010 with a couple friends on an auspicious occasion. Poured very viscous resulting in a thin tan head, light did not penetrate. A deep black you'd expect from the beer.
Coffee is very present, accompanied with the sweetness of dark fruits. Enticing.
The texture is exactly what I had hoped for, super thick. It has the coating effect of nyquil. The taste follows the expectations of the beer's nose. Coffee, chocolate, a roasty dark fruit flavor; very sweet. Its got this sweet and boozy finish that I'm not crazy about, but the up front flavors are worth coming back for sip after sip. Glad I'm splitting it, it'd have to be a cold winter night by a fire for me to finish this whole thing alone.
Made a couple hour trek and spent enough time in line that I really wanted to love this beer. Darklord Day was a good time and I plan to go back next year so I'd say it was worth it. The beer's rating among the best in the world is deserved.
05-19-2010 23:02:41 | More by liquidcraft
3.38/5 rDev -21%
Much hyped, much sought after, really happy to give it a try.
Pours black with a low offwhite head.
Aroma is dark malt, coffee, toffe and maybe some dark fruit.
Flavor is sticky and insipid, really unpleasant overpowering, underattenuated sweetness that really sticks in the mouth. Mouthfeel is super syrupy. The coffee and roast just aren't enough to overcome the sweetness.
Damn what a disappointment, bottle was a 2009, not sure what else to say, sticky sweet mess.
05-19-2010 05:56:51 | More by SShelly
4.58/5 rDev +7%
2010 Dark Lord (Green wax) from bottle poured into snifter. Pours very dark and viscous, with small amount of tan head that dissipates quickly. The nose is complex with lots of coffee, chocolate and licorice coming through. The mouthfeel is exceptional, so thick, it coats the mouth. Upon sipping, again coffee and chocolate is prominent at first and then the licorice taste takes over as you feel the alcohol warm your throat. Finish goes on and on. But it is very filling...share with good company.
05-18-2010 15:53:43 | More by ajg83
4.38/5 rDev +2.3%
The first Dark Lord vintage I had was 2009. It was early in my beer career -- I was young, naive, and I have to admit, not ready for it. I come to the 2010 version an older, wiser Beer Advocate. Let's see if it makes a difference.
A black abyss glugs from the bottle, impenetrable by any light whatsoever. A mocha head of sudsy bubbles tops the beer with a cap only about a millimeter thick, but that sucker ain't goin' nowhere.
Smells surprisingly hoppy, like a pine forest after a rain. Vanilla, oak and roasty espresso all made appearances. Sugary and rich, with the saccharine nature of overripe prunes and plums. Woodsy.
The taste is SO complex, and there's so much going on here. Fruity flavors hit you up front. Dark fruits lead the way: plums, prune juice and molasses, like a back yard full of quickly ripening fruit dropped from trees. Chocolate milkshakes and bitter dark coffee grip the sides of the tongue. Rich like cake and full of oak and vanilla. Still the best stout I've ever had.
Mouthfeel could not be more perfect. Full and creamy, yet not overpowering. Slides over the tongue, slithering pleasantly. Chewy like a syrupy breakfast pancake. I've been told Three Floyds boosted the alcohol content of the beer by a couple percent this year, which makes what I'm sipping even more incredible -- the only noticeable heat is the slight tinge currently traveling down my chest and into my brain. The alcohol is like a ninja, nearly undetectable until it's too late.
While 2009 was about in-your-face kick-your-ass RIS flavors, the 2010 iteration seems to be more about complexity. This is reflected even in the changes brought about by temperature -- Dark Lord cold and Dark Lord warmed are like two different beers. It comes to full fruition at room temp. Let this one get there and you'll be rewarded.
05-17-2010 03:06:57 | More by Phelps
4.88/5 rDev +14%
2010 Dark Lord, sampled from a chalice on my college graduation day. Many thanks to Joe for sharing this with me.
This beer is obviously a whale for me, and what a beer it was. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, probably not this, but I think it's better than anything I could have expected.
Pours a thick, viscous brown-black that coats the side of the glass. Develops some nice light brown head that retains well, and laces nicely. Deep and dark like a beer named Dark Lord should be.
Smell is very interesting. At first it was a bit weak, but it really opened up nicely. Some notes of coffee and chocolate, but it kind of smelled more like a BSDA than a stout. Incredible, the plums and other dark fruit (even light fruit like apples) dance in and out of the nose. Very complex. A bit of cinnamon or some spiciness too.
Flavor profile is very complex--different things with every sip. Covers the coffee, chocolate, alcohol, plums, apples, pears, cherries, and cinnamon areas, among others. What is so nice about the taste is how balanced all the aspects are. A little hot I guess, but not really considering the ABV. Tremendous complexity, tremendous balance. This is a fine beer that I wish I had a bunch of to age. Had this side-by-side with KBS, and the KBS was just not as enjoyable. That's saying something.
Exceptional feel, velvety smooth, chewy, pillowy. Tremendous drink considering the ABV, one of the best beers I've had for sure.
05-17-2010 00:26:50 | More by LordAdmNelson
4.88/5 rDev +14%
My last bottle of 2010 Dark Lord. Time to review. A 5-oz. pour into a stemless oversized wine glass.
A - Black with a hint of brown, no light passes thru whatsoever. Head is little more than a dark beige ring, and that isn't lasting long either.
S - Rich roasted coffee and semisweet chocolate, some dates and raisins, and carmelized brown sugar. A welcoming bouquet, for sure.
T - Very similar to the nose, but the extraordinary balance of these flavors makes Dark Lord's reputation. The dark fruits are in perfect harmony with the coffee and chocolate. Just a hint of vanilla and caramel, and strong notes of pinot noir wine in the syrupy finish.
M - Thick, thick, and thick. Low carbonation, drinks almost like a milkshake, but with a boozy warmth that spreads with each sip. No alcohol burn here.
D - I'd hoped to take a little time and savor this, but the sips kept coming due to this beer's ridiculous drinkability. The 13% ABV doesn't slow you down a whit, because it's masked incredibly well.
05-16-2010 03:01:51 | More by AJacob81
2.58/5 rDev -39.7%
2010 Bottle poured into a giant tulip
A - Pitch black pour with a thin tan head that quickly fades. Great lacing and looks like oil.
S - Boozy, dark chocolate candy bar, ground espresso, and some salty soy sauce. Smells hot, hoping its not just a booze bomb.
T - Dark chocolate, roasted malts, prune/raisins, some smokey/wood flavors up front. Alcohol present in the form of a port/sherry sweetness. Little to no hop presence, completely masked by the sweet sugary malt profile.
M - Very viscus, chewy and sticky. Little carbonation helps this one dance around the tongue slightly. Long, sticky sweet finish. Alcohol warms on the way down.
D - This is one hot beer. I am not really opposed to drinking high ABV beers (I knew what I was getting into), but the alcohol makes this one a slow sipper.
05-16-2010 01:19:35 | More by muttyd
4.4/5 rDev +2.8%
Special thanks go out to beerman207 for cracking this one at a recent tasting at his place. Bottle was a 2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass, review is from notes taken on 5/14/2010.
Appearance: Pour is black, and comes out looking a little viscous (not nearly as viscous and sludgy as the '08 that was witnessed being opened at DLD this year); starts with a 1/4 finger dark brown head that fades immediately to a very thin skim on the surface; body is entirely opaque, and no light is ever going to penetrate the body; no lacing is left behind, just an oily lacing that slides back into the drink.
Smell: Lots going on here -- bittersweet chocolate and lots of burnt, dark espresso roastiness and bitterness; oaky vanilla woodiness and smoke, and a bit of a dark fruity/berry presence. A very potent nose and each swirl reinvigorates it.
Taste: Whoa, just as much going on as in the nose, only better! Lots of bittersweet and sweet chocolate flavors; deep dark burnt espresso roast aspect; the first few sips even have a bit of a smokey/meaty/salty aspect that's a bit like beef jerky, but that eventually gives way to a smooth smokiness; sweet oaky vanilla woodiness and the dark cherry/berry aspect is definitely present as it continues to warm; alcohol is very well-masked for something that's 15%; at the end, with the near room-temperature warmth, there's almost a cola-like sweetness to it.
Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy, but again, not as thick as the '08 (damn, I really wish I could get a hold of one of those... if anyone reading this review has one and would like to trade, I am offering my first-born child for it); it goes down smooth and velvety; mouth is coated with a thick stickiness; no carbonation at all, but I wouldn't really expect much in something like this; mouth is definitely left warm and the belly follows suit.
Drinkability: I'm going with a 4 on this despite the super high ABV. It's too rare of a beer not to enjoy, and I got about 1 and 1/2 pours out of it. Granted, it's definitely a sipper and I certainly wouldn't drive until I was cool after this (regardless of how long it might take), but it's well worth it. The '10 seems to be a pretty solid vintage, but I'm curious to see how it will taste in about a year.
05-15-2010 21:13:34 | More by bamadog
4.9/5 rDev +14.5%
2010 Bottle Reviewed
H. Clear on the corners
N. Boozie (Rum and Bourbon), Sweetness, and a hint of Espresso
Well the only other time I have had Dark Lord was at the release party for Hunahpu's. I was pretty intoxicated but was able to remember how good I thought it was. Well 2010 stood up to the hype, slapped the hype, then defecated all over it. This is a perfect Russian Imperial Stout, that is anything but hype. Everyone that sampled this bottle with me was amazed by the complexity of the beer, just as I was. The mouth feel was oily and creamy on the tongue. The flavors progressively changed with warmth, though one flavor of Cantaloupe stuck with me for a bit. Simply put; Darklord is Complex as HELL!!! GREAT BEER!
05-12-2010 18:39:36 | More by DosBeerigos
4.63/5 rDev +8.2%
A huge thanks to jaxon53 for sharing a bottle with me during his tour at Czepiel Farms. Jet black apperance, slight brown color when held to the light. Dark mocha head, one finger, fades to small ring around glass rim.
Coffee grounds, mild, mixed with dark cherry aromas. Reminds one of chocolate cherry truffles.
Cherry liquor flavors detected after a good room temp warm-up. Toasted grain flavor of chocolate and coffee. Mild hints of liquorice and alchol. Some aok tannis detected.
Thick heavy mouthfeel, good syrupy feel. Great solid body here thats a bit chewy.
Truelly a remarkable offering here. Very complex charecters especially as brew warms up. Well worth the troubles one may encounter to have the privilege of trying this one.
05-11-2010 23:17:08 | More by FishGetter
4/5 rDev -6.5%
Huge thanks to Wisconsinality for busting this one out to finsh our mini tasting with a bang.
2010 vintage green wax
Poured into my glass the beer is the thickest blackest beer I've ever laid eyes on. This litterally looks like used motor oil. About one finger of dark chocolate head forms on top nad leaves sticky lace gobs as it recedes.
The aroma is very interesting. The coffee and hints of dark chocolate are present but an overwhelming leather and wet oak characters are just as dominant. Hints of molasses, brown sugar roast malt and licorice are all picked out as well.
The flavor is just as complex as the nose. Lots of plums, figs and raisins. With hints of coffee, chocolate, smoked malt, campfire and burnt sugar. I get no real hop presence at all. The booze can be detected but not over powering at all. Each mouthful is sweeter than the last.
Full body. This stuff could pass as chocolate syrup I swear. You can almost chew it as you let it sit in your mouth. Light carbonation if any.
Overall a bonifide sipper. We split this three ways and I seriously doubt if I could tackle this one with any less than two guys. A little of this goes a long way. Well worth the hype just not sure if it's worth the hassel it takes to aquire it. I look forward to cracking a bottle in a year to see what time will do to this bad boy.
05-11-2010 13:26:58 | More by beerwolf77
4.43/5 rDev +3.5%
'10 bomber into a Duvel tulip.
A: Black body (surprise, surprise) with a finger of lovely brown head; amazing retention and lacing for a 15%-er. Perfectly gorgeous stout.
S: Pleasant solventy alcohol, port, chocolate, coffee, and lots of burned sugar/molasses. Huge and in my face, but still complex. Impressive.
T: Everything from the nose and more, with emphasis on sweet malts up front, followed by plenty of coffee and booze. Crazy good, but still really hot.
M: Thick and viscous, but with plenty of velvety carbonation. Amazing.
D: As awesome as this beer is in every other way, drinkability really isn't its forte. It's perfect to share, though, and pretty damn good for something this ridiculously strong.
Notes: Going to DLD was a major undertaking, and I'm still not convinced that this beer alone is worth it, but if any beer could be, this might be it. I can't get over how well-balanced and complex such a bruiser can be. I can't wait to see how this brew ages. My suspicion is that it could be epic.
05-11-2010 02:06:58 | More by woosterbill
4.48/5 rDev +4.7%
Pours pitch black with one finger of extremely dark brown head, which fades away quickly. The aroma is chocolate, molasses, alcohol, and cherries. This smells like it will be extremely sweet.
The flavor is sweet, but the flavors mix together extremely well. Chocolate, molasses, and cherries combine to make a great RIS. The alcohol is noticeable, and pleasant. This beer has aged for over 1 year, and the alcohol heat has no doubt diminished somewhat.
Full bodied and chewy, this beer clings to the glass much the same as Ten FIDY does. I have some of the 2010 vintage, and will let them age a while as well. Another outstanding beer from Three Floyds.
05-09-2010 03:25:09 | More by hardy008
4.75/5 rDev +11%
from 2010-05-02 notes:
poured from 22oz bottle into a small goblet
A: Perfectly black with no head at all
S: Grapes and alcohol, with a little caramel. Very unassuming.
T: Light, surprising considering the ABV. Not too much coffee flavor, a little bitter, but also tart. Coffee bitter, not hoppy-bitter. As it warms up, it definitely gets somewhat hotter, but stays pleasant and mellow.
M: Very smooth, light, thin body but not disappointed. No carbonation but still zesty.
D: Very mellow, but complex. Very easy to drink, texture-wise, but a little too complex to gulp (thank goodness!).
05-09-2010 02:11:39 | More by VerbingNouns
4.25/5 rDev -0.7%
22-oz bottle split with oglmcdgl and onix1agr, thanks to the boys for always sharing and showing me new things! 2010 Vintage.
A- A black hole of thick syrupyness with no chance of seeing the light of day. This is dark with a nice easy head full of intermingling tan bits of glory. As I swirl the brew in my tulip shaped glass the viscosity is clear as the brew coats the sides of my glass.
S- Right off the bat there is a sweetness of bread and alcohol that is so over powering it almost burns. I take a second whiff and am surprised with back notes of coffee, chocolate and a tobacco box.
T- Sweet bitter chocolate and heavily roasted coffee beans linger all through out my mouth, finish's with the high alcohol that seems to get hotter and hotter as the brew warms up a bit.
M- It coots my tongue just like I thought it might, with a consistency that can only be compared to an over sweetened simple syrup. Full bodied with little to zero carbonation.
D- I do hope that I might get the chance to have this with some age on it one day. I enjoyed the complexity and all the different place's the Dark Lord has taken me too. If you can get your hands on this grab two, one for now and one for latter.
05-09-2010 00:22:36 | More by SourBatchKid
3.95/5 rDev -7.7%
22 oz bottle split and poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage with drab green wax.
Thanks to Wisconsinality for cracking this to end our tasting the other night! It allows me to save my measly three bottles for a few years.
A - It pours completely black (no surprise there). No hints of light shine through in the least. Even the tall, syrupy pour left a small tan head. Little retention and no lace but a big swirl just coated the glass with a thin layer of Dark Lord and slow-dripping legs.
S - The deep roasted malts are massively potent with a huge leather and wood nose and bold roasted coffee. The coffee smell is very roasted but smells like it'd be a premium cup of joe. There is fusel alcohol in this that's pretty warm and only gets hotter with a swirl. A pinch of booziness (separate from the fusel alcohol nose) that's pretty hot as well. Molasses and chocolate try poking out in the background. This is an incredibly sweet malt-bomb. The 2010 is a little hot yet but awesome to try fresh for aged comparison.
T - Dark Lord embodies all that is thick. The flavor is just saturated with roasted malts which surprisingly take a small back seat to the roasted coffee flavor and sweet malts. A hint of molasses, strong milk chocolate, and a warm alcohol on the finish. It's a really thick and massively bold flavor. Right now it's a little overly sweet. Good coffee flavor though.
M - 2010 Dark Lord is almost over-the-top rich and thick. It's borderline syrupy with an almost outrageous cloying sweet flavor and finish. This beer pushes the limits and I like rich, thick, full-bodied beers. There is almost no carbonation in DL 2010 what-so-ever.
D - This snifter, only at a third of a bottle, is hard to put down. Between how rich it is and how sweet/cloying it is just a little too much. The alcohol is strong in the nose but not so much in the flavor cause it's too damn sweet. I don't get why this beer is so hyped. It's a good beer but hell, I'm more excited to have this with a few years on it once it mellows. It's good, but for the hassle attached to this beer, there are much better beers out there.
05-08-2010 04:54:34 | More by BeerFMAndy
3.9/5 rDev -8.9%
Poured from a bomber into a snifter.
Before I even take a sip I can tell this one desperately needs some age on it. The smell at first reminds me a bit of some sort of cleaning product - this stuff it RAW.
Taste is primarily roasty malts and booze with a slightly bitter aftertaste. It's good, but I cannot wait to try this one again once its had time to mature for a year to two. I'm very confident it will be amazing at that point, but for now its just a bit too raw for my taste... nevertheless - a very nice and very complex beer that will undoubtedly only improve with age.
Definitely looking forward to re-visiting this one again down the road...
05-08-2010 03:16:45 | More by thetomG
4.58/5 rDev +7%
Bottled, 2010. Wow, finally! Black pour, brown head. Nose is smoke, coffee, chocolate, raisins, soy sauce. Flavor is malty, smoky, coffee, bittersweet chocolate. Finish is slightly bitter. Thick, viscous mouthfeel. Excellent, but not sure it lives up to the hype.
05-08-2010 02:24:53 | More by Ambiorix
4.03/5 rDev -5.8%
Beer #4 in our Cinco de Mayo mini tasting.
A- Pours a pitch black with no light making its way through. A small, half finger worth of head that was mocha in color. No lacing left on the glass.
S- heavy roasted malts, small amounts of coffee and toffee. Small amounts of black licorice. For being 15%, the alcohol barely makes its self noticeable.
T- Big roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar and some black licorice. The alcohol is very well hidden under a good complexity of flavors.
M- Full bodied with a pretty smooth and minimal burn from the alcohol. The beer just coats the mouth. The carbonation is spot on for the style.
D- Definitely a sipper. The alcohol is fairly well subdued. Pretty balanced for a big stout. I want to put some age on this so it was nice to see what it tastes like fresh. I waited in line twice for this beer and am not disappointed at all.
05-06-2010 23:44:51 | More by Wisconsinality
4.03/5 rDev -5.8%
Unfortunately Russian Imperial Stouts are not at the top of my personal list, probably for drinkability reasons. You have to know what you're getting into with these, and as a rookie beer drinker / brewer, I was in for a surprise.
There's so much hype about this beer that I did everything I could to get a hold of one in '09. It was well worth it. The mythical aura around it was the basis for a great experience and drinking it was the icing on the cake.
It is so dark and thick it's ridiculous. It's like a liquified everlasting gobstopper when it comes to flavor - there is just so much going on.
I split a bottle with a friend and I think even that was too much to handle. Again, that was extremely early in my beer drinking career. I was able to get four bottles of the '09 immediately after Dark Lord Day. Now I have three left in a deep dark place under lock and key... it's sitting there, growing, mutating, living, breathing, just waiting to explode back into the word. I can't wait to drink the next one but each day that goes by I pat myself on the back for letting it mature just a little more. Though I fear if I wait too long with that dark, powerful stuff... I'll only be left with a bottle full of diamonds.
Now I have 2010 on the way, what a wonderful time to be alive.
05-06-2010 13:34:51 | More by pavyaz19
4.15/5 rDev -3%
A- Very dark, hence the name, thick. Small head, some lacing.
S-Very sweet smell. Lots of caramel, darker fruits, grains, roasted/toasted malts.
T-Very rich, couldn't take down a bottle alone. Sweet fruits, malts, caramels. Roasted finish. More intense alcohol than last year, probably the extra 1.5%
M-Great carb, had it on draft though. Haven't tried this years out of the bottle. Very thick.
D-Very drinkable if you have someone to share with.
05-04-2010 20:35:18 | More by bert13tj
4.22/5 rDev -1.4%
My 2006 bottle reviewed from notes.
Pours a super thick motor oil black with very little head. A slight bit of lacing.
Aroma is probably the best part. Tons of dark fruits, deep caramel, and roasted grains. Very sweet smelling and wonderful.
Taste is probably one of the most intense brews I have ever had. Tons of dark fruits, lots of caramel sweetness with some burnt sugars and a nice roasty finish. A little too rich for me though. Like a piece of chocolate cake you can't finish.
Mouthfeel is a little too thick for me. Light to medium carb.
Glad I had a few people to share it with because even 3 of us couldn't finish the whole bottle. Very intense brew that a couple oz's does the trick. Very tasty and complex though.
05-03-2010 18:17:32 | More by PeprSprYoFace
4.7/5 rDev +9.8%
A: 2010 Dark Lord. Very bold. Very Black. Was quite surprised to see the head almost overflow being 15% abv. And what a frothy, chocolaty head it is.
S: Very sweet dark chocolaty. Closer to chocolate covered raisins actually. Maybe just a tad too sweet in the nose but near perfect. Coffee is not dominant at all here.
T: Mmmmm. Nice little hop burn with the coffee in the foreground. Very rich malty dark chocolate in the middle. Sweetest RIS I ever had. Some complain it is too sweet but as a hop head this is what I want in a Stout.
M: Very rich a smooth. Don't think you could improve upon this at all.
D: Very easy to drink but you will not likely get past more than one pint by yourself. Considering the high gravity it is more drinkable than something sitting at 9%.
I was a bit worried it would not live up to the hype. But this is hands down the best Imperial Stout I ever had and more than worth the trouble to get it. I love the sweetness in it. But there are plenty of great Stouts to keep you busy until Dark Lord Day next year.
05-02-2010 15:40:01 | More by generalnotsew
4.28/5 rDev 0%
2010 bomber sample courtesy of Adil. Cheers my man! Pours an opaque black with one finger of frothy mocha head and speckles of sticky lacing on the tulip. Smell and taste are apple, vinous, wine-like aromas, leathery tannins, oak wood, green grapes, molasses, and suggestions of vanilla. Roasted malts impart chocolate, prunes, burnt toast, and espresso beans. I get some honey as well. Mouthfeel is thick, full-bodied, and gooey with a slick and oily finish. A ridiculously smooth and drinkable RIS. There's simply no way of telling that this is 13% ABV. Nectar in a bottle, thanks again for sharing Adeer!
05-01-2010 18:38:14 | More by cratez
4.3/5 rDev +0.5%
22oz bottle of 2010 vintage so generously popped by viggo from his recent trip down to DLD, fresh as fresh can be. Cheers man!!
Pours a thick jet black with a pretty mocha head that sticks around and leaves some sticky lacing.
Nose is rich and sweet, a generous dose of chocolate and roasted malt, dark fruits and a splash of alcohol.
A little hot at this point but I imagine this one mellowing out to becomes something truly spectacular, it has all the right components. A hefty rich malt base, plenty of roast, generous caramel and milk chocolate sweetness, a hint of dark fruits, a glimmer of cinnamon, maybe a touch of something like tobacco?, light hopping noticed in the finish, brown sugar and molasses, a hint of earth. Rich and sumptuous, thick and creamy. Just some distraction from the alcohol which is a little aggressive at this point.
Super nice, looking forward to revisiting an aged bottle at some point, there's a reason for the hype on this one, especially on vintage bottles. Wish I went down to DLD to stock up my cellar...
05-01-2010 14:53:38 | More by ritzkiss
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,268 ratings.