Dark Lord Imperial Stout - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
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Ratings: 3,265 | Reviews: 1,150 | Display Reviews Only:
4.15/5 rDev -3%
2009. Solid black pour, dark brown foam that surprisingly dissappeared completely. Not really that thick appearing, not much lacing either. Aroma is strong, molasses, roast malt, dark chocolate, a little oaky like booze. Mouthfeel is one of the thickest I've had in a while. Not syrupy though, with enough carbonation lurking. It is sweet, but I don't think it's too much. Flavors does match the aroma, roast and sweet from malt, molasses, something like a chocolate ball with port in it and just hints of espresso and anise. That's probably the one place would have like a little more of, roast and bitters. I was surprised by that considering 3F likes to hop the heck out of things.
Drinkability is actually fine to me, as I don't get any over sweetness from this. It's actually quite good for a beer this big. I've heard 09 is a more drinkable batch up front without having to let it age. I pretty much agree, reminds me more of American/Double, which I prefer, even though the difference is subtle. I'm not going to give this all 5's, but definetely lived up to expectations.
After some warming I'll change my tune a bit. The sweetness does kind of overtake this one after a bit. Reminds me of some of the Weyerbacher stouts. Of the A+ RISs, I still put Abyss a notch above.
11-01-2009 00:56:20 | More by Bung
4.55/5 rDev +6.3%
2008 vintage - black wax.
Poured into my Stone IRS goblet. A memorable beer for a special occasion . . .
Dark as a starless sky in wintry New England. No cirrus clouds of foam. Just enveloping darkness. None more black.
Aromas waft and swirl around the lip of the glass. Dark chocolate brownie batter stirred vigorously in a bowl. Burnt molasses from the refinery down the road. Dry roasted espresso beans.
Layers and layers of flavor. Deep, dark, roasty Sumatra coffee touched with cream. Port-filled chocolate truffles. Dried fruit cocktail. Heady burn from the alcohol in the finish.
Ah, but the mouthfeel is where this beer really distinguishes itself. It coats the tongue and slides slowly down the throat. Thick, rich, and viscous from start to finish. A beer meant to be sipped and savored.
Take two and save one in the cellar for a special occasion.
10-27-2009 13:59:06 | More by HopasaurusRex
1.25/5 rDev -70.8%
2008 vintage bomber at cellar temperature, poured into a snifter. Massive thanks to Mauerhan for hooking me up with one of the "big boys" in only my second trade.
Pours dark as hell, but with hardly any head and even less lacing. A thin skim of tan disappears quickly, leaving a ring of isolated bubbles. No lacing at all, but it leaves "legs" like a big cabernet.
Massive prune, dark fruit and raisin aromas. Incredibly boozy. Exceedingly sweet. Hints of tobacco and sherry fight to make themselves known, but the fruity/boozy combo dominates. No burnt or chocolatey malt?
OK, obviously I'm in the minority here, but this stuff tastes terrible. Not "disappointing". Not "meh". Not "somewhat lacking". Terrible. The overwhelming raisin/prune/alcohol combo is joined by additional sweetness- toffee, molasses, chocolate-covered cherries. Lots and lots and lots of sweetness. To a much smaller degree, I get some smoke/leather/tobacco, which together create an effect that's very reminiscent of soy sauce when paired up with all that tangy/sweet stuff. No significant dark/burnt flavors, pretty much nothing that screams "badass imperial stout", or even "mediocre imperial stout". Joins Creme Brulee in an elite group of beers that have made me contemplate the morality of a drain pour.
On the positive side, man, what an incredibly thick and chewy body. It's coating and clingy like few other beers I've tried. Almost zero carbonation, though, which only serves to accentuate all that sweetness.. If there were some roasted flavors lingering, I could somewhat overlook the flatness, but all that lingers is sweet/tangy raisin and plentiful alcohol. Well, that and the temporary urge to swear off beer for a while.
Overall impression: Not a beer I'd seek out again. I realize that rarity/hype/degree of difficulty in obtaining can obscure objectivity to some extent, but I'm astounded that this has an A+ rating with almost 600 reviews. A complete mess, IMO.
10-21-2009 20:47:07 | More by PDXHops
3.53/5 rDev -17.5%
Had 2009 at the fall Beer Advocate tasting in Portland at Victory Bar. Pours black with a small head, no lacing, and the smell is all sugar and alcohol. After reading a lot of reviews, I was actually surprised the mouthfeel wasn't thicker. GIBCS is sludge, this was what you'd expect from any RIS. The taste overall is sugary sweetness, hints of coffee, molasses, more sugar, vanilla, burnt toast, brown sugar, and chocolate. This thing could give you cavities faster than Coca Cola. Overall it's fine, but without a cool name, bottle design, limited availability, and a rad event with it, there's no way it'd be even Top 20 on this website.
10-18-2009 07:14:44 | More by squaremile
4.05/5 rDev -5.4%
I got this brew because CrazyMacHarris99 went to DLD '08 and got it for me, Thanks Jason!
Served in a snifter this brew is pure black with a creamy brown head that left a few globs of lacing on the glass.
Aroma is full of sweet molases with a hint of roastiness.
Sweet molases flavor with some chocolate and roasted malt flavors taking a backseat.
Full bodied, thick and creamy feel.
A sipper and a very sweet tasting one at that.
10-18-2009 00:54:05 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
3.93/5 rDev -8.2%
2009 22oz bottle split between two into a chalice and pint.
thanks goes to naproxen for the bottle. I didn't think I would get to try this one as soon as I am. I love it.
A- do you really need to ask? the name's Dark Lord, I'm 13% and I pour as black as your soul.
S- not as toxic as I would have thought. Smells of a ton sweet malts and oak. I can just smell the sweetness. not much coffee. a little surprising. some dark fruit, Belgian esque smell in there. definitely enticing to say the least.
T- Wow! super sweet. even leaves a sweet residue on the lips. there's a hell of a malt profile. It's almost too much, but I think that's the point. I just feel there some it's missing some roasted flavors maybe even a little chocolate character. very heavy on the sweet dark fruits and port like flavors. everything tastes incredible, it just seems it could be even better.
M- sooo thick. I love it. it really helps the excess sweetness just feel like it's a desert. not a whole lot of carbonation, but it's there. a vigorous pour produced a nice sized head for the ABV.
D- Definitely have to knock of some points here. the sweetness really takes a toll on me. I could drink alot of this, for sure. I just can't drink on it too fast, which is probably a good thing for my liver's sake.
10-14-2009 05:10:57 | More by Freethyhops
3.03/5 rDev -29.2%
09 Release poured into a Boulevard smokestack goblet.
A - Dark black and viscous with oily stains that recede into the glass as you drink it. The pour produced a 1/2 inch dark tan head that dissipated fairly quickly.
S - Heavy Malt, Chocolate, Mollasses, Brown Sugar, Figs, and Plumbs pours out of the glass. One of the most complex aromas from a beer I have ever experienced.
T - Heavy malt and slight bitterness dominate the flavor. Figs, port, and rasins make there way as the beer warms. A slight, but not totally unpleasent alcohol heat.
M - Just too thick. So much so that I kept concentrating more on how thick it was as opposed to how it tasted.
D - This beer is a sipper between friends. Drinkability and this beer don't go hand in hand. A small 8 ounce brandy snifter of this one is all of it I can really take.
10-07-2009 16:31:17 | More by psyphin
4.58/5 rDev +7%
This beer pours solid oil black with a small tan head that doesn't stick around long.
Chocolate, roasted malts and some alcohol encompass the smell of this one, very good.
Great taste, chocolate a sight sweet fruity taste with a coffee finish, this is an amazing and complex beer. So much going on with this one.
Beer is very smooth and has appropriate carbonation for an RIS.
Overall, great beer and my Brother in Law and I are making plans to get out to the DLD next year to get a few bottles of this.
10-06-2009 04:31:27 | More by OChaos
4.95/5 rDev +15.7%
2007 bottle. Big, big thank you to Third Lap and MacTBone for bring it by to share.
A - Pours a hideous, dark black, with little to no head. What is there, dissipates fast.
S/T - Soy sauce, chocolate, leather, roast coffee, and light bittering hops. The chocolate and leathery flavors mask most of the hop bitterness. There is some light alcohol, but as the beer warms up the alcohol almost disappears.
M - Very thick, full-bodied, and well balanced. This is probably the most full-bodied and viscous beer I have had.
D - Excellent. Loved every sip of it. Again big thanks to Third and Mac.
09-20-2009 17:38:51 | More by MisterClean
4.55/5 rDev +6.3%
Poured from a bottle into a plastic sampling cup at Parti-Pak Liquor in south Indianapolis.
A - Nothing that hasn't been said a hundred times. Dark. Dark, dark, dark. Like the Dark Lord himself. Like what a blindfolded blind man whose eyes have been removed from his head sees at midnight. Like motor oil, yes. As it swirls in the cup, leaves a sludgy residue on the sides reminiscent of a Castrol commercial. That residue doesn't run back into the cup, but almost oozes. Barely any head at all, and that's the reason I didn't give it a 5 here.
S - Amazing. Indescribable. Even having read umpteen reviews, and all the hyperbole, I was impressed. Waves of espresso, dark chocolate, and fruit, most notably raisins. A morning table of warm raisin bread and a cafe mocha comes to mind, giving way to notes of cola; oversyruped, undercarbonated cola. I could have smelled it all day, except I needed to get to...
T - I'm typically more a strong Belgian guy than a stout guy, but this was wonderful. More dark fruits, lots of coffee (but not over-roasted or burnt like an Old Rasputin), and chocolate. Creamy aftertaste, and a bit of warmth, but no discernible "alcohol burn" at all. Almost sweet at the finish. Lingers on the palate, but that's the TASTE, not the alcohol. The alcohol is hidden marvelously for the strength of this beer.
M - Creamy, thick. Can almost chew this beer. I personally think that's a great thing; your mileage may vary. Leaves a residue in the mouth much like that in the cup, but given the taste, that's more than welcome. I'd have to say the mouthfeel is what makes this beer so unique, as it's the most pleasant aspect and the one that sets this brew apart from anything else I'd ever tried.
D - This is one to have on a special occasion, or with some great friends who also appreciate what it is, like a rare bottle of wine. I couldn't swill this every Sunday while watching the NFL, or even sip it slowly every evening. It's just too big for that. Not too strong, or alcoholic, or even necessarily too expensive, just...big. It's akin to a rich, multilayered dessert in that regard.
Lucky to have been in the right place at the right time for this one. Will absolutely be in Munster, IN next summer on DLD.
09-20-2009 00:55:14 | More by doc10house
4.85/5 rDev +13.3%
My 100th review been holding on to this awhile figured this was a nice milestone beer to review.
2009 version with white wax seal poured into my St Bernardus chalice.
A - Dark black with very little head had a nice fizzy top though which settled quickly.
S - Even before pouring into the glass the aroma from the bottle hits you warm chocoalate goodness.
T - Unreal taste of a rich hot chocolate, wife felt it tasted like chocolate exspresso beans some raisons in the background this is definately worth the 5 I gave it so good.
M - Warming chewey, big feel really nice.
D - I gave this a 5 not so much that you would want to drink a bunch at once however so delicious I would have to seek more out.
09-14-2009 00:21:07 | More by Casey10
4.78/5 rDev +11.7%
An extremely generous vertical tasting with fellow BA Crosling - '07, '08, and '09.
Poured into a St. Bernardus goblet, it is truly inky black in color, not a spec of light passing through, with thin creamy cinnamon colored head. This beer completely coats the glass and with every swirl, my glass appears stained a chocolate brown.
Aroma is dense and multifaceted. Dark malts, chocolate, and a bit of coffee.
Flavor is even better than expected. It's so absolutely intense in every way and those of us who hadn't enjoyed it before were just blown away. Everything that makes a great imperial stout is present - roasty malts, chocolate, caramel, coffee, some berries and toasted nuts - and it all comes together beautifully. The balance is amazing for such a big beer with plenty of sweetness to keep the dark bitterness at bay.
Mouthfeel is exceptional and is really the trademark character of the beer. Just like the glass it was served in, it totally coats your tongue and teeth like nothing else. Creamy smooth, low carbonation, huge body, high viscosity...divine.
This was the highlight of a night full of amazing beers. Cheers to the most generous of hosts!
09-10-2009 16:04:52 | More by GilGarp
4.68/5 rDev +9.3%
White wax, 2009. My 1000th review, and Dark Lord seems an appropriate beer for this personal milestone. Thanks a ton to GbVDave for this bottle!
Poured into a Lucifer snifter (also seemed appropriate). I'm going to give a half-point bump just for the head. Not because it's big and fluffy (it's not) and not because it retains well (it doesn't) but because what you do get, for a short time, is a skim of foam that looks like aged gold splattered with motor oil. A really, really unusual and interesting color that had me swirling and swirling some more so I could see it again. The black liquid looks like any other RIS worthy of a good reputation--utterly deep and abyss-like in its darkness.
Aroma is molasses, honey, port, s'mores, raisins, coffee, and all kinds of burnt dark fruits soaked in sherry. Balanced, with lots of depth. Wonderful.
I had to sit and contemplate my first few sips, and then take a larger drink to make sure I didn't overrate this with a perfect 5. But it is a perfect 5. How could it be better? A perfectly-balanced alcohol underscores and brightens all the elements detected in the aroma. It's also one of few beers I can think of where high-alcohol is a feature of the flavor and not at all overwhelming or boozy (DFH 120 Minute is another). The alcohol lays its supreme hand on the graham cracker, plum, marshmallow, coffee, chocolate and molasses and pops the flavors on the tongue in perfect harmony. (The burps are vinous in their big purple grape-iness.)
The texture is equally mind-blowing (palate-blowing?). Slick, with notable roundness and creaminess yet not overly thick, it delivers the flavors with a sublime glide. Perhaps it's thinner than some people expected, but it seems completely perfect for the flavors, which lean on the rich, sweet, creamy side.
Dark Lord has everything going on, right down to the label art and white wax. It deserves its reputation as one of the finest beers in the world. The rest of this bottle and I are signing off for the greener pastures of hi-fi adventure.
09-08-2009 22:40:19 | More by Metalmonk
4.63/5 rDev +8.2%
Thanks to my friend Abby who busted out a bottle of this on a random Sunday afternoon.
A - 2009 vintage poured from the bottle into a chalice. Poured black and thick like motor oil, brown around the edges. Was split up amoung 4 people, so the pours weren't long enough to generate any type of head, not sure if there would have been otherwise anyway.
S - Not what I was expecting, a lot of fruit in there. I smell currants and cherries right off the bat with some roasted coffee, toffee, and little cocoa. Quite a bit going on, and you can definately smell the stoutness to it all through that.
T - Taste of chocolate covered cherries hits me right away, followed by some underlying dark fruits. The initial sweetness was quite shocking, but faded into coffee and cocoa and finished up with a nice roasted malt taste. Hint of vanilla, almost an afterthought in this rings through at the end. Maybe I'm just missing it, but I can't taste any alcohol. Amazing, full, and complex flavor.
M - No carbonation on this one, very full bodied and syrupy thick, but not unpleasant. Really what it needs to be with the flavors it's bringing out.
D - This one is a sipper for me, and can't do a whole lot of it, which is probably a good thing at 13% abv. Amazing flavor though will keep me coming back for more whenever I can get ahold of it.
Definately hyped, but it delivered.
09-07-2009 15:14:58 | More by AgentZero
4.68/5 rDev +9.3%
Rating based on a 2008 (black wax) bottle I paid $50 on EBay to get, back in my early craft beer days (May 2008). It was worth every penny. At the time it was the best beer I'd had to date, with Westvletern 12 a close second.
A - Pours jet black and thick as hell with a small tan head.
S - Coffee, chocolate, sweet cherries, dark fruits, and roasted malt.
T - Absolutely phenomenal. Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, maraschino cherries, other fruity notes, smoke, and other crazy flavors that I can't even identify.
M - Thick and oily, smooth and creamy. It coats your tongue and mouth and you wish the flavor would stick around forever. It almost does.
D - Well, drinking too much of this can be difficult, but I don't think the beer is meant for that. I think about 6-8 ounces is the optimal amount. Like the idiot that I am, I downed a bomber of this and a 750ml of Speedway Stout the same night. My stomach did not appreciate that.
09-04-2009 20:47:55 | More by nickd717
4.4/5 rDev +2.8%
'09 vintage, picked up at Dark Lord day
Dark Lord pours dark black and lets no light through, whatsoever. Minimal dark brown head. Very threatening beer, but I'm up to the challenge! The aroma is mostly roasted malts, dark roast coffee, bourbon whisky, dark fruits (namely raisins), and very vinous all around. No doubt there is booze in this beer. Dark, sweet maltiness and rich, bitter chocolate up front. Very sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. The roasty qualities and bitterness balance one another. Burnt flavors come at the end. Alcohol is not hiding in this beer, and I think that's the point: it is supposed to kick your a**! Thick, motor oil mouthfeel coats your mouth and leaves a lingering sweetness and coffee flavor. My lips are dry, and wanting more. I will definitely be going back next year!
09-04-2009 16:12:53 | More by SirSketch
4.2/5 rDev -1.9%
Poured this one(2009)playing world 8 of Mario 3.
Rich oily, completely opaque in color with much dirty brown head.
This is a sit and contemplate beer for sure. Low carbonation with dark chocolate roasty flavors. A bit smokey, dark red fruits(raspberry,cherry).
I enjoyed this festival, going next year and as long as they keep doing this. Love your neighbor.
09-02-2009 05:55:43 | More by brownbeer
4.8/5 rDev +12.1%
Evil appearance and darkest head I have ever seen. Black, sludgy with a dark brown head.
Coffee, chocolate, tonnes of caramel , fig, and coffee cake. Beautiful. Not a typical Imperial Stout smell.
Wow. Nothing like I've ever tasted before. So much sweetness up front followed by a hit of coffee and star anise. Semi-sweet chocolate chips and caramel flavors follow this blast of sweetness and roast. The finish is surprisingly dry and bitter. This really strikes me as a barleywine X imperial stout hybrid if that makes any sense.
Mouthfeel can be described in one word: sludge.
There is so much flavor, aroma, and feel that I don't think that I can drink more than a serving of it, but this is so unique and pleasurable that it makes up for it.
I am really fortunate to have tried this before I die. This is a must have for sure.
08-31-2009 01:50:31 | More by bosco7
4.47/5 rDev +4.4%
i reviewed the 2009 already, and was very disappointed. i traded for a 2008 in hopes that it might be better than the 2009 batch (as seems to be the consensus). Thanks to Beertracker.
Dark, dark brown with barely transparent amber edges when illuminated. a small, dark brown (somewhere between milk and dark chocolate) head. looks thick, much more so than the 2009. sticky, gooey gunk lines the glass as the beer goes down. the smell is overwhelmingly sweet. plums, CHERRIES, currants, etc. there is also a roastiness complimented by a chocolate, and maybe even vanilla scent.
ahhh, much much much better than the 2009. Thank you Beer God in Beer Heaven for this (if it had not been better i might have cried). very, very sweet all the way through, a sweetness dominated by cherries. other dark fruits are also present, notably plum. the hint of chocolate makes it taste a little like chocolate covered cherries, or even chocolate and pomegranite. a nice sweet roastiness at the end that starkly contrasts with the unpleasant bitter roastiness of the 2009. a warm alcohol sting in the back of the throat and esophagus.
one of the thickest and chewiest beers ive ever had (again, much UNlike the 2009). fantastic mouthfeel. drinkability takes a hit because of ABV, thickness, and how sweet it is. very filling
08-28-2009 02:59:42 | More by jdklks
4.33/5 rDev +1.2%
Split a bottle of this with my brother. Picked it up at Dark Lord Day 09. White wax up top on the 22 oz bomber - cut through it easily enough and decanted into wine glasses.
Appearance is like an oil slick. Opaque black. Small bit of fizz when it's poured - leaves a small, tan ring, but then disappears and leaves practically no head.
Smells of cocoa, dark cherries, dark roasted coffee, and a bit of charcoal.
Tastes are similar. Dark roasted coffee in the forefront, with some dark chocolate and cherries in there.
Mouthfeel is smooth, although fairly heavy.
The high alcohol is pretty well hidden, so you need to sip this slowly. Splitting a bomber between the two of us left us both feeling good about life. Still, this is definitely a tasty beer that's always good to have.
08-27-2009 14:12:34 | More by ndekke39
4.4/5 rDev +2.8%
Thanks to my brother for picking up bottles at Dark Lord Day 2009.
A: After cutting through the white wax, it pours out like a black hole, nice and viscous. No pillowy head, as advertised, though - a thin layer forms but then fades. Bummer.
S: All the stouty goodness I enjoy in these types of beers: dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, booze, and some burnt charcoal notes too.
T: Somewhat like toast, chocolate again, and a bitter finish that I noticed. The big booze appears again and bites in the throat a little bit.
M: Oily, slick, and only subtle carbonation.
D: OK, it IS really good, but I'm holding it to a high standard here - Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, and the KBS wins. Too much alcohol to keep 'em coming, but I was happy to partake of this guy.
08-25-2009 01:42:40 | More by MDekker
4.1/5 rDev -4.2%
A: Dark, dark, brown with a very small head.
S: Molasses, Chocolate, Roasted Malts, Soy, Hint of vanilla.
T: Cocoa, Roasted Malts, Ripe fruit, Molasses, Port wine, Coffee, Soy and a hint of alcohol.
M: Very complex brew and very very thick. This is a sipping beer if there ever was one. Sweet with a touch of saltiness.
This is a great brew but not as great as the hype suggests. Still, it's among the 10 best imperial stouts i've ever had and a very much enjoyable.
08-22-2009 13:39:53 | More by baggio
4.72/5 rDev +10.3%
2008 bottle, served around 60 degrees.
Poured into a brandy snifter this beer has a deep tan head and fades quickly. The body is dark, viscous, and oily looking. I really wish there was at least a little head retention. I'm thinking the carbonation is low in this one.
The aroma is of cherries, green apple, carmelized sugar, and dried vinous fruit. There is plenty of malt in this one. I'm also picking up some light roasted pecan smells.
My first taste is so close to goose island bourbon county stout it's unbelievable. Everything from the tartness, sweetness, and roasted malt flavors brings me back to my first GIBCS. The flavors are so unlike the aromas. There's lots of chocolate, coffee, deep toasted malt, sugar, and plenty of alcohol. Perfect!
Mouthfeel is extremely rich and velvety. The flavors are a bit distracting but you can definately still tell this is a smooth and rich beer. Perfect!
Drinkability is high just because I'm drinking a whole bomber by myself and do not feel overwhelmed in the least. This is a rich, deep, dark beer but it is also extremely tasty. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would have another anyday! This is a beer that lives up to the hype for me.
08-22-2009 03:49:54 | More by PerzentRizen
4.58/5 rDev +7%
2008 Bottle tasted at Dark Lord Day 08. Pours pitch black with a nice tan head. Has smells of licorice, chocolate, roasted barley, and alcohol. Has a heavy mouthfeel and coats the glass like a thick syrup. Tastes like candy, licorice, molasses, caramel, coffee, vanilla, and alcohol. Has a smooth finish for being fresh. I would have thought it would have more pop being fresh. It was an unexpected surprise and enjoyable to have such a smooth brew this early in its infancy. I tasted a 07 while waiting in line and it had a much more pronounced licorice taste and flavor than a fresh dark lord. Perhaps its just that the 08 will be a better batch. Only time will tell. Great beer. Worth the hype.
08-21-2009 19:39:11 | More by fiver29
4.22/5 rDev -1.4%
2009 White Wax
A: Pours a coal black with a thin but fluffy tan head that calms to a ring around the glass and some splotchy lacing.
S: The alcohol is very strong in the nose. It could be hidden a bit better. Underneath that I get nice sweet molasses and black licorice. Also a bit of a dark fruit raisony aroma going on.
T: A nice toasted malt backbone with a good mix of cocoa, fig and a port flavor.
M: So good I can't get enough. Nice thickness with light carbonation and a good oily texture make this a delightful treat for my mouth.
D: Good but not great. I could definitely do a bottle in a sitting but would probably pass on a second. Works your palate for sure.
08-20-2009 02:58:56 | More by drgonzo3705
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,265 ratings.