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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
96
world-class

3,521 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,521
Reviews: 1,172
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,851
Gots: 1,524 | FT: 101
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 Russian-Style Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar, this beer defies description. Available one day a year, in April at the brewery: Dark Lord Day.

Vintage guide:
Red wax = 2004
Orange wax = 2005
Gold wax = 2006
Silver wax = 2007
Black wax = 2008
White wax = 2009
Green wax = 2010 - 15% ABV
Yellow wax = 2011 - 15% ABV
Red wax = 2012 - 15% ABV
Orange wax = 2013 - New Label 15% ABV
Blue wax - 2014 - 15% ABV

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,521 | Reviews: 1,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AdamGarcia
2.98/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

2009 vintage. Served in Unibroue tulip.

A: Pours just about as black as any beer I've seen. Thin coffee colored head forms from an aggressive pour and dissipates quickly. Noticeably viscous...definitely has some legs.

S: Dark chocolate syrup. Sweet caramel. Black strap molasses. Bitter cocoa and black coffee. Dark, overripe fruit. Very sweet aroma, almost cloyingly so. Enticing, nonetheless.

T: Very sticky and very sweet. Dark fruit is pervasive. Plum, raisin, black cherry, and maybe some grape juice. I'm dumbfounded by the lack of typical dark, roasted flavors associated with an Imperial Stout. Oh, by the way...where the hell is the coffee? Hershey's syrup aftertaste. The heavy sweetness makes this one feel as if it is unfinished. On a positive note, it doesn't feel even remotely hot. High abv is very well hidden in the taste.

M: Thick and viscous. I do enjoy the feel of this one. Coating.

O: Why do people go crazy over this? Dark Lord seems to be one of the most over-hyped beers to date. Not to mention that this is from the much-maligned 2009 vintage, so I didn't have terribly high expectations. I did, however, expect better than this. I would take a cheap and easy to find Old Rasputin 100% of the time over Dark Lord. I'm just happy that I didn't have to spend huge amounts of time, effort, and money in order to obtain this beer.

Photo of seeswo
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Green wax (2010) bottle shared by Jeremy (thanks man!), poured into my Bruery tulip.

Pours a very dark, heavy blackish color with very small tannish head that is gone almost immediately. Looks a bit thinner than I was under the impression this beer was. To be fair, I was under the impression this was Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse thick, so it would have been almost impossible for me to be correct as I believe you could float a marble on the top of that brew ;) I digress. The smell is roasted malts, caramel, coffee, a touch of booziness and smokiness. The taste is not as sweet as I thought it was going to be - actually the sweetness, which included dark fruit-like flavors and roast, was tempered by the smokiness present in the beer. To me, this smoky flavor dominated the flavor profile and was just a bit out of balance. [EDIT: After reading some other reviews, the smokiness, which was acknowledged by the other people I was splitting this with, may have been more like charred malts or something in that vein.] There was little to no booziness. Certainly a lot going on in this bottle - I can see why people like it. I am pretty particular about my imperial stouts, and for me, this one fine, but I don't get the hype. For people who hold additional value to complexity, I think this beer would get an uptick. The mouthfeel was right on and, again, not as syrupy as expected in a pleasing way. Dare I say I had no trouble getting this down easy and was surprised it was 15%. They certainly have done a fantastic job keeping that down.

[EDIT: I just had the opportunity to share in a Dark Lord 07-11 vertical and it has changed my opinion on the beer. 09 and 10 were drinking terribly and were not finished. 11 tasted like it had green peppers in it and maybe a little chili. 07 and 08 were alright. In general, a group of 6 people were quite unhappy with the beers collectively. The above review was 4/4/4/4.5/4.5 and I am downgrading it severely.]

Photo of ferrari29
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 - Black Wax
Beer poured from bottle into Snifter glass

A - Beer pours with a dark brown, almost blackish color; few carbonation formed; not much lacing but actually had legs form on the side of the glass

S - Raisin and prune; plum fruitiness; roasted and smoky flavors; coffee

T - Raisins and prunes are the first flavors to wash up on the palate; sweet with a slight hint of molasses; mix of a port and plums taste

M - Slightly effervescent and syrupy in texture; well-aged beer made my palate experience a smooth combination of stout and dark fruits flavors; aging caused the smoky and roasted flavors to take a backseat to the dark fruit flavors; great beer to age

D - Great aged beer; nice and sweet; aging process turned this imperial stout into a solid after dinner drink

2009 - White Wax
Beer poured from bottle into Snifter glass

A -Beer pours with a dark brown, almost black body; light beige head; less than 1/2 finger foam formed and dissipated very quickly; body has a deep syrupy look, almost heavy and formed a moderate amount of lacing; body of the beer sticks well to the sides

S - Fig & raisin scents come up immediately; heavier ABV scents come up as well; Coffee notes; black Muscat grape smell; a little doughy and oatmeal

T - Grape and raisin taste; subtle coffee flavors; black muscat dessert wine taste; sweet with a touch of oatmeal flavors

M - Full body feel; creamy; filling; the beer feels like it almost expands in size and has a effervescent feel on the tongue

D - I love this beer, its fantastic; it was well worth the wait and 2009 is definitely their best year yet; aging process did some wonderful things to this beer; like they say 'everything's better with time'; phenomenal; I would highly recommend to other stout lovers; would go great with a some desserts

2010 - Green Wax
Beer poured from bottle into Snifter glass

A -Beer pours with a dark brown, almost black body; light beige head; less than 1/2 finger foam formed and dissipated quickly; body has a thin syrupy look, looks heavy and formed a good amount of lacing; body of the beer sticks well to the sides

S - Fig & raisin scents come up immediately; lighter ABV scents come up, not as much as the 2009; coffee notes; burned currants and cherries, probably where the black Muscat grape smell comes from; slight smokiness, almost like roasted chestnuts; hints of caramel

T - Fig and raisin taste; bourbon flavors; sweeter than the 2009; subtle coffee flavors; black muscat dessert wine taste, probably from burned currants and cherries; sweet with a touch of other dark fruits flavors; roasted chestnuts; leaves a very deep fig aftertaste

M - Full body feel; creamy; filling; the beer feels like it almost expands in size as you sip and has a effervescent feel on the tongue; little chewy; not as filling as the 2009, which I feel was the best of the batch so far;

D - I love this beer, its fantastic; it was well worth the wait; even though the 2009 bottle is still their best year yet; aging process did some wonderful things to this beer; phenomenal; I would highly recommend to other stout lovers; would go great with a some desserts; whatever FFF is doing, keep it coming

2011 - Yellow Wax
Beer poured from bottle into Snifter glass

A -Beer pours with a dark brown, almost black body; light beige head; less than 1/2 finger foam formed and dissipated quickly; body has a thin syrupy look, looks heavy and formed rings around the glass; good amount of lacing; body of the beer sticks well to the sides

S - Fig & raisin scents come up immediately; lighter ABV scents of bourbon come up, not as much as the '08 or '09; coffee notes; burned currants and cherries; smokiness, almost like roasted chestnuts; hints of caramel; anise; celery

T - Fig and raisin taste; bourbon flavors; sweeter than the 2010; coffee-espresso flavors; black muscat dessert wine taste, probably from burned currants and cherries; sweet with a touch of other dark fruits flavors; roasted chestnuts; leaves a very deep fig aftertaste; has more of a smoky taste than previous years; molasses

M - Full body feel; meaty; creamy; filling; molasses; the beer does not feel like it expands in size as you sip like the earlier versions; needs to be aged for at least a year to do that; little chewy; not as filling as the 2009, which I feel was the best of the batch so far;

D - I love this beer, its fantastic; it was well worth the wait; phenomenal; I would highly recommend to other stout lovers; would go great with a some desserts; whatever FFF is doing, keep it coming

Photo of Duhast500
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

No. 600

Poured from the 220z. bottle (White Wax) into a Dogfish Head snifter

The color is black, and there is nothing else to say. No highlight in this beer, a thin brownish head that is gone before your now it and leaves no lacing.

The smell is sweet with dark malts and promises a deep, dark taste of thick, deep, roasty malt flavor. The nose takes some getting used to as it is deep with complexity and a many deep fruity flavor that is just opening up.

The taste is lip smacking bourbon flavor that coats the lips with an almost chewy flavor. Some strong malt flavor hits hard right at the tongue and has some heavy cherry and raspberry flavor before turning that into dark malts and dark fruits. Figs and dates are there in the end of each taste. A thick syrup like strawberry flavor runs through this dividing sip and seems to cut the experience in half.

This going down is big and really complex. There are things going on with the flavor long after the beer has gown down. I am thinking about what I just had as some lingering sweetness hangs around and seems to have a life of it's own.

Photo of jethrodium
3.03/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 bomber (green wax) courtesy of woosterbill. Thanks Bill. Pours a dark black with a reddish tint at the edges when held up to the light. A small light chocolate head leaves a ring at the edge of the glass after it dissipates quite quickly. Not very mach lacing at all left on the glass. The aroma has a very strong roastiness to it. Also huge molasses and some licorice as well and a little bit of coffee. There is also a quite strange metallic copperlike aroma that comes through pretty strong as well. Light alcohol noticeable on the nose as well. The initial taste is really sweet with the copper note coming through as well as the molasses and licorice. This transitions into some coffee. The finish is strong roastiness as well as a bit of booze with a pretty decent bitterness. Full bodied. Low carbonation. Syrupy. I don't really see this beer is that highly regarded. I found it to be way too sweet and syrupy. The strange copper note was not enjoyable either. It does do a good job of hiding the 15% alcohol, but overall I just did not find this beer that enjoyable. I split the bottle with one other person and we had trouble finishing it.

Photo of nhindian
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Surly Darkness tulip. Bottle courtesy of brian23456, thanks Brian! Split with russwbeck. Consumed after Surly Darkness.

2010 Vintage (Olive green wax)

A - The beer doesn't pour as much as slowly spill out of the bottle, thick and viscous and black as night. Don't even think about getting any traces of highlights with this beer, even when sipping. The head is less impressive, only offering about half a finger's worth with okay retention. When it's gone it's gone, leaving only a few strands of thin foam on the surface. The color of the head itself is lighter than Darkness, coming in at a sort of tan color. Lacing is decent as well, with a few random splotches, but again, Darkness wins in this regard as well.

S - The smell is oddly familiar and yet quite vague. After reading some other views, it seemed soy sauce was a common theme, so we pulled out a large bottle of soy sauce that Russ had laying around. Yep, there is definitely some comparisons to be made, unfortunately. However, there are also deep aromas of almost milk chocolate and nearly burnt malts, like a slight charcoal. It's also very sweet and there is some fusel-like alcohol notes as well.

T - My first taste took my by surprise as its incredibly sweet, bordering on the wrong side of cloying, which isn't a term to be used lightly. The sweetness is a shock at first, but it gradually becomes more acceptable, yet it's still a bit much. The chocolate makes a strong resurgence here as well, bringing a nice flavor. The malts and molasses bring a distinct flavor, but can't say it doesn't add to the already sweet base. The alcohol is back as well, but actually imparts a bit of rum-soaked fruits that is interesting.

M - Mouthfeel is heavy-bodied with moderately low carbonation. More carbonation that Darkness despite the weaker head. The liquid is thick and leaves a solid coating on the palate.

D - Drinkability is moderate. Unfortunately, this beer is much too sweet and alcoholic for my tastes. It's unique in that it plays on the sweeter side of the Russian Imperial Stout spectrum, but in my opinion it's a bit too much. I'm really glad I got to try it, but I can't say I wasn't a little disappointed with it.

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

had but two ounces of this while at FFF brewpub in the fall, a very generous soul shared his 2007 bottle with everyone at the bar, much appreciated.

I've never seen any beer as deeply dark as this, well-used motor oil with dark brown foam. Very viscous, great to look at though. Very intense aroma and taste - smoky, very dark chocolate, coffee of course and syrupy fruit essence (raisin, plum etc.). The booze was not very prominent, I'm guessing due to age.

Photo of russwbeck
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage, shared with nhindian after Surly Darkness

A: Way less head than Darkness. Small off white to light brown head with hardly any retention. What does stick around laces nicely.

S: Basically all I get is chocolate and booze on the smell. It's very sweet. Don't quite know what to attribute that to though.

T: The taste is so sweet. The sweetness is quite as overwhelming as other stouts, but it really does dominate. Milk chocolate and a lot of booziness. Greg and I noticed that some reviewers noted soy sauce in the smell and taste, so I busted out a container of soy sauce to compare. Sure enough, I can understand it. While Soy Sauce is not dominant, hints of it are noted, which really surprised me.

MF: Very heavy, but not a terrible amount of carbonation. The alcohol is very noticeable.

O: Like Darkness, I was pretty underwhelmed. Honestly I'd take Yeti over either of those any day at the price point. I think these beers are far over-hyped. Perhaps they'll improve with some age, but fresh there's nothing special happening for me.

Photo of zoolzoo
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage

A: Chocolate syrup pour, completely opaque. Barely a tan head, almost no sign of carbonation.

S: Dark chocolate with roasty undertones. Coffee, black cherry ice cream. Alcohol is pretty subdued to my surprise.

T: Initial flavor is a clash of soy sauce and terribly sweet molasses. Lots of grain and char mid palate. Dark cherry and raisin are scattered throughout. Finish is a slight impression of coffee and some hop bitterness. 15% is incredibly masked....

M: Diabetic sludge.

O: A good imperial stout, not one for the record books. Still, this is one you have to try at least once right? Over rated in my opinion. Too sweet for its own good, unless you are really into that kinda stuff. A nice one to really sip on over the course of the night, gets better with warmth and oxidation.

Photo of Eldritch
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting Date: 3/18/2011 - Split a bottle of the 2010 vintage with my dad. He had a nice trip to visit this time, given his beer choices.

Service/Appearance: Split 750ML into 2 Duvel Tulips. Pours an inky black -- very deep in color with no light permeating. Nice cappuccino colored head with deep, rich lacing as it recedes or is swirled.

Nose: Classic RIS - dark fruit, vanilla, toffee, some booze, rounds out with espresso notes.

Taste: I was worried that this wouldn't live up to the hype or the cost of the bottle (and I have to say that while absolutely delicious, I'd be hesitant to pay such a premium again...why oh why didn't I know about this beer when I lived in Michigan and could have acquired it with relative ease!?), but my expectations were absolutely met. This has a fantastic flavor -- chocolate, vanilla, and plum notes hit the front of the mouth and are balanced nicely by the slightly more charred taste of roasted coffee. The boozy notes (not a burning alcohol flavor, but just a nice warm booziness) keep this from getting cloying. One of the top RISes that I've had yet.

Mouthfeel: Super thick. Almost like syrup, which could be offputting if the flavors weren't so on. Instantly coats the entire mouth.

Overall: NOT a session beer. A great after dinner beer, shared with friends or family. If you're in Illinois (or close) go and get some on DLD 2011. You shouldn't regret it.

Photo of AwYeh
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage poured into snifter; huge thanks goes out to madvermin for sharing his bomber with me.

A: Pours an opaque black, with just a light coating of head atop the beer. A few fine, brown bubbles provide a ring around the side of the glass.

S: Things actually start off here with a lot of soy sauce, before dark cherries, chocolate, and a musty basement aroma flow in.

T: Hugely rich, hugely sweet flavor here. I'm picking up loads of molasses, both sweet and dark chocolate, sweet espresso, cream, vanilla, and dark fruits- cherries and raisins in particular. I'm surprised at how little ethanol flavor comes through considering the 15% ABV; this is a testament to the strength of the beer's flavors. This may be a bit too sweet for my tastes, though I do appreciate the fullness and complexity of the flavor.

M: Very thick, very creamy, with light carbonation. Smoothness complements the creaminess, and a very light burn on the palate from latent bitterness and alcohol is pleasant, while also serving to balance the sweetness just a bit.

O: A good beer to be sure, but I'm not loving it as much as the majority of BAs do. Very sweet, to a point where it brings the beer down a bit, but the complexity of this beer made my glass pretty enjoyable- easily worth a try.

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

Thanks to makdeco for sending this to me as part of our trade, I've been waiting for a while to finally open this.

Vintage: 2010 (green wax)

Pours an incredibly viscous and oily jet black with a couple millimeters of mahogany head at best. This beer made no noise at all while pouring - it hit the glass very softly and looked almost like velvet.

Aroma is a strong boozy/molasses hybrid with licorice and dark roasted malts all over the place. Dark fruit and currants are prevalent in the smell along with a vinous winy smell at the end as well. Bitter chocolate and a touch of coffee round out one of the better smells I've ever experienced.

Taste a monstrous mix of dark fruit (currants), much more chocolate than in the nose, and a strong molasses that brings it all together. Coffee bitterness is present just a bit, but not too much. Booze comes out to add warmth and spice. Roasted malts are scattered from start to finish. Vanilla adds a sweetness that is very strong, and borders on excessive but toes the line pretty well.

Mouthfeel is sticky, thick, syrupy, etc. etc. etc. - it's as thick of beer as I've had. Numbness from the booze at the back
adds a tingling effect that works perfectly with the spice, vanilla, and molasses.A slight burn at the end of sips as it warms remains pleasant as well. Drinkability is fantastic for being a 15% abv beer - as a sipper this definitely could get you through a night. The sweetness hinders drinking a lot of this over a short period of time (outside of the large abv) but the way the booze is utilized is just about perfectly. Lived up to expectations in my mind.

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

2010 green wax, almost a year of age.

Appearance: very thin and liquid, opaque, and when agitated pours with a very thin layer of head that dissipates into a fine ring around the edge of the glass. Very little lacing. The beer itself is pitch black with little bits of plum color mixed in as highlights. The head has an interesting/rare reddish tint. Just a little lingering foam and fine carbonation bubbles across the top of what is otherwise a very glassy brew.

Smell: cherries, licorice, dark chocolate, and slight espresso notes, along with rum-soaked dark fruits. Slight vanilla undertones. It smells cool and refreshing, as much as those are things that can be smelled, and yet at the same time alcoholic. As it warms, I'm noticing more of a bitterness/tangy flavor that really seems out of place for the style, but works really well.

Taste: Again, it's impressive how boozy this can taste while having very little actual heat. It's kind of ridiculous that this is a 15%. Dark fruits are more prominent here--there are still cherry, chocolate, and vanilla notes, but raisins/prunes/etc play more of a role now. The cherries here are less chocolate-covered sweet cherries, and more tart.

Mouthfeel: Extremely fine and consistent carbonation bubbles. Really, really excellent. Slight aftertaste, but less so than on most beers this heavy. Really really light and thin for the style and ABV, but still delivers a lot of excellent flavor.

Drinkability: excellent, wouldn't know it's a 15%, flavorful and yet not too hot, and the carbonation being done so excellently really makes it go down smoothly and easily...too bad this one can only be had once a year...

Photo of TK5150
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle, thanks to tbart428 for splitting the bottle with me. Finally checking this one off the list.

A- Pours dark brown/black with a small light brown head. Head recedes to a small ring around the glass. There is some brown highlights to the beer near the head when held up to the light. Alcohol legs and nice lacing. Not a bad looking beer, but not as DARK as I always thought it would be.

S- Smells exactly like a Barossa Shiraz or a California Red Blend. The tannins from the grapes and oak you usually get with those wines is present in this beer as well. There is also some strong molasses in the nose, as is a hint of alcohol.

T- Caramel, molasses, Barossa Shiraz, wine and oak tannins, with just a hint of alcohol at the back-end. Nice warming feeling going down to the stomach. Alcohol is masked very nicely on this beer for being 15%, would not have guessed that high. Coffee begins to show up more and more as it warms. I like this one. Not a roasty stout, this focuses more on the sweeter flavors, yet stays nicely balanced IMO.

M- Full bodied and very smooth. Feels nice in the mouth. Not as thick as its reputation suggests. Feels like there is some high, sharp carbonation in the finish, but feels lowly carbonated in the mouth.

O- Excellent beer. It stood up to my expectations, but was much different than I expected. This is a wine with some beer characteristics, not a beer with some wine characteristics. I can't believe this isn't oak aged either, there is a large oak component to it.

Score 4.38

2010 Vintage Re-rate on Dark Lord Day 2012:

A- Pours dark brown/black with a small light brown head that recedes. Alcohol legs on the glass. Looks decent.

S- Lots of dark fruit like raisins, prunes, and other purple fruit. Light coffee and sweet creamer in the background.

T- General sweetness followed by molasses, then a purple grape and raisin character. Burnt caramel. Some heat on the finish with some coffee-like bitterness and tannins. Sweeter beer, but not as sweet as some make it out to be.

M- Smooth, full-bodied, but on the lighter side of full bodied. Not nearly as thick as many other big-time imperial stouts.

O- I personally liked this vintage at a younger age. At 2 years old, I feel this beer has already peaked IMO. While I really enjoy this beer, and have massive respect for what it did for the style back in the day, it has a hard time competing with the modern-day top-flight stouts IMO.

Score 4.33

Photo of MADhombrewer
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 Dark Lord (white wax)
Appearance - Motor oil pour. Very dark with copper highlights around edges.

Smell - A lot of alcohol. Very much dark chocolate, vanilla. Sweet

Taste- Not as much alcohol in the taste as was In the smell. Dark Chocolate , and vanilla. Some soy sauce as well. Very sweet

Mouthfeel- Very thick. Slick sweetness.

Overall- I don't know if I could finish a bottle by myself. Shared this beer with Hopsbreath, Tulipsnifter, and Witchsbrew. I will say that I didn't know it was 15%.

2009 was way too sweet, and thick for me. I was glad to have had it, but if I get another I will probably not cellar it for very long.

2010 (green wax) was a little thinner. More hop flavor. More alcohol in the taste and less in the aroma. No soy sauce in the taste. I liked the 2010 much better. Thanks to Hopsbreath for this one.

The grade for this reflects the 2010 version.

Photo of nightwing002
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle shared with and provided by babanate poured into a tulip glass
 
a - poured oil black with a slight brownish/mocha head... sticky covering left on glass
 
s - intense aroma... chocolate, fruit, molasses, and slight alcohol
 
t - explosion of flavor in my mouth... way more than I was expecting from the smell... many layers of taste... chocolate, vanilla, cherry fruity, molasses, warm... super sweet... taste stayed on my lips for awhile
 
m - very thick almost syrupy... low carbonation... very rich... felt like a very heavy stout
 
d - this was a slow sipper for me... I can't imagine finishing a whole 22oz by myself... great smell and complex taste... the sweetness started to overcome me after awhile... I would definitely drink again, but like I said, not by myself...

Photo of beerpirates
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottel poured into my lost abbey stemware glass ,

2010 release.

Black, syrupy beer. Head recedes quickly and leaves little lace. Looks like it's going to be a big one. Smells super sweet and rich and complex. The aroma is almost like that of a quad. There must be a ton of ingredients in this beer. It's enormous. Dark chocolate, molasses, caramel, raisins, raspberries, licorice, and dry flavors too like a chocolate espresso and brown sugar oatmeal. Molasses and dark chocolate big time though. And the alcohol is definitely a presence. Slow drinker. Intensely rich and flavorful but also the alcohol catches up and slows you down. Really amazing.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz. olive green wax topped bottle. Split with two friends and poured into a Sierra Nevada XXXth Anniversary snifter glass. Servedat room temperature and enjoyed over about an hour.

Appearance: Midnight black in color. Definitely one of the darker stouts I've encountered. A slighty mocha head with not a lot of retention after an aggressive pour but that's to be expected at this high ABV.

Aroma: Dark chocolate and sweet fudge notes dominate. Some nice dark fruit notes in the background and also a hint of soy sauce. A touch of coffee bean somewhere back there as well.

Taste: Big sugary milk chocolate completely coats the mouth. Caramel and fudge in there in large quantities as well. Sugary and sweet would definitely be the two best adjectives to describe this. At about a year, this is very smooth and there is little booze presence in the flavor. I can see how some find find this cloying, but I really enjoyed this.

Mouthfeel: Full body and creamy. A touch of carbonation but not too much. The heavy mouthfeel is definitely an essential element to drinking this.

Drinkability: Considering the ridiculously high ABV, this is really smooth. All the ABV is well hidden and this was not a problem to finish split amongst a couple friends. A whole bomber might be quite an accomplishment though.

Overall, this beer is certainly an experience. Borders on overly sweet and sugary, with with a great chocolately flavor all while concealing an incredible ABV. I definitely thought it was a little one dimensional at times, but that's half the beauty. Big, in your face, and really tasty. Definitely worth acquiring.

Notes: Had an 09 DL recently and it was a vastly different experience from the 2010 version. Overly sweet, syrupy, and beyond cloying. I would avoid that vintage. Obviously there is a pretty high vintage variation here. Avoid 09 DL.

Photo of Brewbro000
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 - Olive Green Wax

Poured into an oversized wine glass

A: pours a viscous black with a large mocha head that recedes quickly leaving spots of lacing.
S: chocolate, caramel and sweet roasted malts dominate with little hop presence. Figs or date aroma also comes through as well with dark molasses on the back
T: very sweet, maybe too sweet for me with little carbonation to hold up the viscosity of this one. Sweet caramel/molasses lingers on the tongue. Alcohol is not as hidden as I expected which is disappointing. Warms as it goes down.
M/D: viscous and velvet are the best words for this one. Very smooth. I would have to split this bottle to truly enjoy it. A 22oz alone is just too much for me. Probably a combination of the apparent alcohol and sweetness. Glad I got to try this one but I'm not dissappointed that it's the only one I have.

Cheers to OregonKnowsBest for the hook up on this one!

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2010 vintage with green wax on the bottle.

Aggressive pour into a snifter.

Appearance: dark black and a moonless night. Dark brown head and thick lacing sticks to the side of the glass.

Smell: Cherries, sweet malt, prunes and booze.

Taste: Strong prune flavors and an almost wine like taste are in the initial blast of flavors from this beer. Slightly roasty malts & bittersweet chocolate sustain the taste in the middle. Molasses, black licorice linger in the finish. It is very sweet. Alcohol is quite noticable with some alcohol burn. Sweet and cloying beer.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer. Silky and low carbonation.

Drinkability: This beer is a big beer and needs to be shared. It would be difficult to drink this bomber bottle on your own. I drank this beer about a month after Dark Lord day last year and never reviewed it "officially" on BA. I think that I enjoyed the beer more when it was fresh. After close to a year in the cellar it seems to have stronger cherry flavor and the alcohol/alcohol burn seems to be a bit stronger tasting. The beer also felt a bit thinner than remember it. It is still a good beer, but has a lot of hype surrounding it.

Photo of legalpete19340
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured very thick and heavy into the glass. Almost no head developed and the bit that did was gone immediately. A respectable amount of coating stuck to the glass when swished, but not as much as anticipated. There were no leprechauns dancing on the beer or fireworks which I had expected to see.

S: Coffee, vanilla and roastiness shared the nose almost equally. A very mild amount of soy sauce and booze was in the background.

T: Much sweeter than expected. Like those creme filled chocolate covered cherries. Lots of dark chocolate. Cherries, vanilla and fig pudding. Mild hints of soy sauce and coffee. Of course, the alcohol in the swallow and after.

M: Surprisingly I found this to be thick but not overly so. I almost wanted a bit more chewiness.

D: Glad I split the bomber with Chilly cuz I couldnt have killed this on my own. It was too sweet and intense. They got it right when describing it like a Port. Really just too much of a good thing.

Awesome beer. Very complex and layered. It almost lived up to the hype which is saying something. If I were looking for a big Imperial Stout that displayed roasty characteristics I wouldnt reach for the Dark Lord. That being said, it is a monster and one great beer.

Photo of chilly460
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dense black thickn goop with almost no head, even with an aggressive pour. No real lacing, but it does leave a sticky caramel covered coating on the glass.

S - The smell is very complex, seemed like every time I took a snoot-full I got a new aroma. I get molasses, light chocolate, roasted grains, cherries, dark fruit, vanilla, and plenty of warm booze. Some wood scent creeps in, and as it warmed I kept thinking "port", as well as soy sauce.

T - Wow, this beer hits the palate like a ton of bricks. First up is bigtime dark fruit sweetness, basically think of port, and you're on the right track. Dark ripe plums came to mind, this is nice. I didn't really get much roastiness which was surprising, but the shift to a salty, soy sort of taste was interesting. Some vanilla in there as well, almost butterscotch. Then as it's going down the gullet, a pretty significant warm booze spiciness. If they could work some more chocolate/coffee into this beer, I'd have rated higher. As stated at the tasting, I want to be sitting outside in a snowstorm drinking this mother.

M - Decent amount of carbonation despite the extreme thickness and viscosity. Big and chewy as you'd expect.

D - I feel like finishing a goblet of this made me a man, this is a man's beer. Big flavored, heavy, booze laden beer. I will say, the booze and tanin type flavors do a number on the palate. It's delicious, but definitely a sipper.

Photo of billab914
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. It poured thick and pitch black, with a thin, spotty head scattered across the top of the beer. The thin head it started with disappeared not long after.

The aroma has a lot of dark chocolate coming through. I get a moderate fruity quality to it with some cherry and maybe a hint of raspberry. Some very moderate roasty and coffee flavors are there, but they are pretty light for such a big RIS. Some alcohol comes through as well.

The taste shows a lot of the dark, bitter-sweet chocolate to it throughout the flavor. Midway, I get some dark fruits coming through with some cherry to it. Some roasty flavors come out in the finish, along with some alcohol heat. It gets a pretty sweet in the finish overall, a little more of a roasty, bitterness would have put it over the top for me.

It's definitely one of the thickest beers I've ever had. Carbonation is on the lower side as well, which I really like in big RIS's. I love the mouthfeel on this beer, probably my favorite part of it.

Drinkability is good, it has some very nice and bold flavors to it. It's a very big beer with some big flavors. I really enjoyed sipping on it this evening. A very good beer overall.

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

A. Pours black with a brown/amber edge with a tan creamy head that dissipates to a thin film.

S. Dark fruit, soy sauce, vanilla - not a lot of the coffee and dark roasted flavors I usually associate with big stouts.

T. Dark fruit, soy sauce, lots of sweetness, cherry, vanilla. Complex and interesting, but a bit too sweet for me.

M. Thick, syrupy with little carbonation.

D. Pretty drinkable. Too sweet for me - sweeter than any of the other stouts we tried tonight.

Photo of brew3crew
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 green wax bottle

A-dark black with a tan head that disapates quickly
S-molasses, fruit and sweet malt
T-very sweet. Alot like it smells. Some fruit znd a little caramel. Doesn't even taste like a ris. Very tasty.
M-medium bodied and very smooth
D-redonkulously drinkable. Love it.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
96 out of 100 based on 3,521 ratings.