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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

3,134 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,134
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: 3,134 | Reviews: 1,145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DIM
DIM

Pennsylvania

4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2008 vintage

a: This was absolutely black.Even at the thinnest part of the glass, no light gets through. It pours with a short lived, dark mocha colored head that leaves speckles of lace in its wake.

s: Big roasty cocoa aromas that radiate a gentle heat dominate. Some dark fruits and molasses provide some sweet balance. As this warmed, I detected a little hop bitterness.

t: Bitter dark chocolate flavors start things off. A brief hint of pungent, dark fruits comes next. Towards the end this becomes surprisingly sweet. The chocolate and fruit flavors meld with some vanilla and molasses. The aftertaste is a lingering unsweetened cocoa. There were flavors I didn't bother trying to decipher, I just wanted to enjoy this beast!

m: This has a unique feel in the mouth. At first this has the body of an above average RIS. It slowly expands as its chewed, completely covering the palate.

d: I got this bottle from scubarex quite a while ago. Thanks again! This was one of the best I've tried so far. I'm really glad I was able to trade for one of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 13:48:41 | More by DIM
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

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

Dark Lord Imperial Stout, 2008 black wax vintage, courtesy of objectivemonkey - thanks!! Beer #6 of 6 in my "Three Floyds Countdown to #500" series on this, the anniversary of the repeal of prohibition! Split with a friend at a few minutes after 12:00 am midnight, EST, with my portion poured into a 14 oz. tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a thick, jet, stark black, like motor oil, though perhaps not as thick as I expected "from legend." My pour is viscous and yields a one-finger, dark tan head that bubbles and froths furiously at first and then calms down, sticking around for quite some time. My friend's pours gets all the sludge, and her head is darker as a result (though I did reserve some of the sludge for my own consumption). The lacing is sticky, thick, sheetlike, and completely coats the sides of the glass - this fades in time, but for a 13.0% abv beer, the lacing is surprisingly ... well, present. Upon further inspection, it appears that what's on the side of the glass isn't lacing as much as it's dried residual sugar - if you touch it, it's incredibly sticky. Don't touch it, whatever you do.

Aroma: I smelled it as soon as I opened the bottle, but that doesn't really do it justice. Waves upon waves of complex aromatics - sweet, syrupy fudge, cherries, molasses, soy sauce, hints of banana, ginger, earthy, heavily toasted malts, various and sundry other dark (and even a few light) fruits - entertain the nose and do a fantastic job of covering the 13.0% abv. Very reminiscent of port. Very delightful.

Taste: A massive wave of thick, intense flavors, darker even than the nose. This beer's most defining characteristic is its absolute metric tonnage of burnt malts, toasted to the edge of oblivion, which lend a somehow-still-amazingly-smooth yet also astringent, harsh edge to practically the entirety of each sip. Keeping that in mind, we can go on to this beer's individual flavors. And there are many. It's both incredibly sweet up front - caramel, coffee liqueur, milk chocolate - and incredibly toasted on the back end. This combination of astringencies and sweetness pretty much runs the gamut of what I think the tongue can detect as far as malts go, and I think this is probably part of why the alcohol is so well masked. That's not near the end of it though. This one also has a lot of fruits - a surprising amount of fruits. Cherries and plums are large up front, raisins and figs are evident in the backfield, and the "burnt currants" of bottle-description fame - though not a flavor I could likely identify on my own - is definitely something I can taste, now that it's been brought to my attention. An intensely full-flavored and complex beer, and if the roasted astringencies didn't quite literally become TOO intense after a full 22 oz. of this one (or, at least my portion of 22 oz.), it would get a 5.0.

Mouthfeel: Thick. This beer's thick. But it's also intensely spicy, prickly, full of estery alcohols. Surprisingly, it's also fairly well carbonated, as evidenced by the bubble structure on this one - it's not perfectly creamy, and you can actually distinguish individual bubbles. It hits all the right notes though, with the bubbles evolving to just the right size out of the primordial ooze and then holding there, forming a creamy, even, smooth blanket. Masterful.

Drinkability: A difficult and challenging beer if there ever was one, and I can see how many might intensely dislike it. I don't want to like it - I don't know why I don't, either - but I do. It's an incredibly intense beer, off the charts in many respects. I also feel the need to point out that the Russian on the bottle proper is gibberish, a bunch of random Cyrillic letters randomly placed together, and not real Russian - something can probably be done about that. But I digress. Is it the best beer I've ever had? Probably not. Is it nonetheless an amazing beer, complex, intricate, flavorful, varied, intense? Absolutely. Is it recommended? 100%.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 06:41:41 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This came as an EXTRA from Melbatoast93, cheers & cheers again Hart! Got this last summer, so 08 Vintage, says so on the bottle

Decanted into my La chouffe tulip, pours pitch black with a 1.5 fingers of cocoa colored head. Average head retention & very good lacing, a brown film shades out much of the upper glass

S: Dark chocolate, rum raisin & a touch of leafy hops

T: Dark & bitter chcolate, prunes, oaky dryness & a bit of charred grain & leafy hops up front. Dryness dominates as this warms, along with some chocolate covered dates, plums & a touch of molasses, getting better as it warms. Finishes oh. so dry, with mocha, molasses, iron, boozey coffee, dates & plums

MF: Oily, slick, but some noticeable carbonation here. Nice chewyness & stickyness as this warms, then nice a great warming sensation & luxurious silkyness

ABV is well hidden, upper echelon RIS to be sure, a few I've had just as good are just as good, but only a few. The dryness does slow me down a little, but otherwise, going down great on a cold, snowy Colorado evening!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 03:31:04 | More by russpowell
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle thanks to melbatoast and IBULover.

Pours jet black with a dark brown, caramel like colored head. In the aroma, molasses, roasty coffee, cherry notes, almost wine-ish. In the taste, Roasty, chocolate, cherry hints, small hops and some alcohol heat in the end. A small bitterness and medium to big bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry, roasty chocolate aftertaste. Very easy to drink, very big flavors and very good.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2008 14:03:12 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Wetpaperbag
Wetpaperbag

Washington

4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2008 bottle. The review numbers will reflect the 08 version.
A- Very dark and thick. Like 30 weight oil from my truck after 5k miles. Or if you prefer, watered down tar. The head is dark brick brown/red, the color you would want your rue for a gumbo to be. This head doesn't like to hang around.

S- It is hard to put a finger exactly on all the things I'm smelling. Soy sauce comes to the for front for me here, I guess more like a teriyaki sauce. I get a slight smell of chocolate. I think I get cherry, but its difficult to tell with the alcohol smell being so prevalent.

T- The taste helps hash out some of the indescribable smells. Alright well chocolate is here in the taste, along with a faint vanilla taste and a good dose of cherry. The malts are roasted to perfection. As far as hops, I'm not tasting them. I am getting a dry dusty taste in the aftertaste. This for sure has a sweetness to it that is just there, and doesn't seem to be attributed to anything other then the malts.

M- Thick to say the least. The dry taste does seem to dry out my mouth a touch.

D- Easy to drink, the ABV seems to be hidden very well in the taste, and I'm drinking this quite fast even though I'm trying to savor this. I think when it is all said and done my scores will stay the same. This is good, but hasn't wowed me like some other RISs have. Still it is very tasty.

This bottle of 2007 came to me by way of akorsak. A huge thanks to him.
A-4- Dark, thick and mysterious. This beer has no head what so ever. This beer doesn't need head...it gives it. Or in the right circumstances allows you to get it just based on the look of this beer alone.
S-4- I could smell this as soon as the bottle was popped. Soy sauce is there in the beginning smell. Followed by vanilla and chocolate. The roasted smell is there as well.
T-4- I've been waiting to taste this for quite some time. I waited for a special occasion (my recent birthday) but I didn't want to share so I'm drinking it now a few days later. It was very hard not to drink this right away, but now that I also have an 08 bottle I can enjoy this one. Wow this is a sweet one, almost like a sweet milk stout. The flavors that are coming out are coffee, roasted/burnt malts, cherry, chocolate and the soy sauce. This is good and quite tasty, but it seems a bit sweet for my tastes. As the bottle went on it became kinda boring and uneventful, it started to loose its edge. I do hope my 08 bottle is different.
M-4- This has nice thickness, but I'm getting a slight weird feeling in my mouth, kinda mixed between slimy and tooth coating.
D-4- This is tasty, and worth the trade. However, I would rather have a Kate the Great then this one. Who knows maybe the 2008 version is better.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 15:44:34 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of PatronWizard
PatronWizard

California

3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark Lord '07 courtesy of orbitalr0x. What can I say? I've been dying to try this. Looking at it everytime I open the cellar, wondering if today would be the day it was destined to die. Scared to open it because, well, to put it bluntly, Three Floyds don't grow in socal. Let's just say that I am very anxious to try such a highly regarded beer.

So it's November 30th. The wife makes me dig the Christmas stuff outta the shed. The kids get to decorating the tree. I look in my cellar for something to ease the pain. Dark Lord - I choose you! Why? Because I motherfucking can. No other reason whatsoever. Let the beating begin.

I know there have been some incredibly poetic versions of "it's black" laid out on Beer Advocate. I'm gonna stick with saying it is probably the blackest beer I've ever seen. Thin mocha head tries to put up a fight but dies a horrible death. Like disco.

Big smell. Dry cocoa. Figs. Other dark fruits. Dark cherries I think I can safely identify. Definitely a busy nose.

Taste is also more dark fruits than I thought it would be. I have to say the dark cherries lead the charge. Plums? Cocoa. More dark fruit. Good but not fandamntastic. I'm not in love with the taste at all. In fact, the more I drink, the less I like this particular taste. It's probably too complex for a simpleton like me. And I'm OK with that. Accepted my place in this world long ago. Bitches.

Feel is brand-new-quart of Castrol 20W-50. The most motor oil like consistency I've had in a beer, no matter what the braggers have said. Very, very smooth. Coating. Too bad I don't enjoy the flavor just a little more.

Arguing with myself over drinkability. No problems with the 13%, which is superbly hidden and very appreciated. This is a belly warmer for sure. And a cheek, neck, chest, and crotch warmer to boot. Which, as a high ABV lover, is a big plus. The texture is perfect. Yep, perfect. Damn it, it's just not the best flavor ever.

Honestly, if all beers were distributed equal, and this sat on a shelf with Stone IRS, Choklat, and Rogue Imperial Stout, I would choose this last.

I chased the hype, traded for the beer, and now my collector's soul is satisfied. I won't be chasing this in trade again, but I would enjoy it if the chance presented itself.

Those were my thoughts as I drank the first half. Second half - come to daddy!

Taste grew on me a little, ABV grew on me a lot! I could drink dog piss with a smile now. Hopefully nobody calls me on that. If they do, they need to pony up the bomber of Dark Lord first.

Overall: yeah

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 03:23:59 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of 21mmer
21mmer

Michigan

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

bottle purchased at DLD '08. poured into a stone IRS glass.

a- dark. dark as night. the most impenetrable darkness i have ever seen in a beer. pours with extreme viscosity...this beer glug, glug, glugs out of the bottle like syrup. little carbonation and a thin head of dark brown foam that quickly dissipates.
*note: at least the bottom inch of the 22 oz. bottle was sediment...pour with caution.

s- chocolate, prunes, toasty malt notes, molasses. lots going on with the nose of this beer.

t- this beer has BIG flavor...which, i suppose, shouldn't come as a suprise. nice balance of molasses/caramel sweetness and dark chocolate/hoppy bitterness. big toasted malty backbone. even with such bold flavors, you still get quite a bit of alcohol in the finish....not unpleasant, just present.

m- brilliant. just a beautiful, silky mouthfeel. coats your tongue like satin sheets.

d- this one is a sipper for sure. the 9 or 10 ounces that i consumed from this bottle was plenty for one sitting...especially since it was consumed as a post-thanksgiving dinner treat.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 17:29:15 | More by 21mmer
Photo of nsmartell
nsmartell

Wisconsin

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

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my folks' living room. From the bomber bottle to a water glass (no clean beer glasses left). From the '08 release my brother picked up.

Appearance: Pours a fairly thick liquid. Color is the blackest and darkest of any beer I've ever poured. Can't see through the beer at all. Very small brown head that disappears quickly; the only bad part about the appearance.

Smell: Chocolate roasted malts, coffee and cherries. Small hint of alcohol.

Taste: Chocolate, smoked malts, cherries and a taste of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thickest of the thick-bodied. Smooth and dry.

Drinkability: Very yummy, but could not have more than 1 due to the thickness and high alcohol. Tried this first at the Great Taste of the Midwest, but because of the heat and all of the other beers that day, couldn't put this down easily. That being said, I hope to be at Dark Lord Day next year.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 06:25:08 | More by nsmartell
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'08

Nothing short of one of the best beers in the world. Pours a thick, oilish black with a creamy espresso head. Not the best retention, but exquisite color and dense viscosity more than makes up for it.

The nose has dark malts, fudge, coffee, molasses, anise, caramel, dark pitted fruits and dank hops.

The taste is the perfect blend of sweet, bitter and roasted flavors. Vast complexity yet superb balance.

Possibly the thickest beer I have ever had. So much going on, but nothing out of place. The epitome of artisinal brewing.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 02:30:29 | More by rye726
Photo of CHSLBrew
CHSLBrew

Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle of the 2007 poured into a stemless wine glass.

A-Poured with a brief dark-brown head, which quickly reduced to thin layer with a bubble ring. Deepest deep black, DARK beer, opaquely dark as the heart of the monster on the bottle. The viscosity of this beer makes it stick to the sides of the glass like glue!

S-Big malts, deep chocolatey and heavy, dark roastiness. Very deep, complex dark fruit aromas. Some lighter esters.

T-Starts with an initial sensation of the presence of alcohol. This is instantly overcome by dark, dried fruits (plums) with rich chocolate and beefy, hearty roasted malts. An undertone of smooth alcohol is pokes its head in on occasion.

M-Appropriately low carbonation. Very thick, full body, well past the realm of "chewey." The thickness moves in my mouth slowly, but not clumsily or forced; more like satin.

D-This is surely an interesting and great beer. I will await another opportunity to drink this in the future.

Thanks to my brother Lofgrep for sharing his bottle with me.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 19:39:11 | More by CHSLBrew
Photo of Taverner420
Taverner420

California

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

Appearance - Dark black with a tannish head. Leaves a nice oily brown film around the glass.

Smell - Notes of sesame, coffee, black licorice and a hint of soy

Taste - Dark, roasted malty flavor imbued with coffee and bitter chocolate

Mouthfeel - Oily and dark, yet pleasant

Drinkability - I could drink this all day, except that its 13%, and its hard to find

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 21:51:46 | More by Taverner420
Photo of kasper
kasper

New York

3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2008 bottle

A: Pours a dark chocolate brown. Head is pretty small, but creamy; color of hot carmel, fades to just a ring leaving spotted lacing in its path.

S: Aromas of smoke, saddle leather, slimjim, chocolate-covered rainbow cookies, and dark fruits.

T: Whew...This is thick, flavors of smoked meat, bitter dark fruits, burnt coffee, carmel and somewhat salty. Aftertaste is a bit much, honestly, overly burnt and salty.

M: Heavy, thick, creamy, low carbonation... did I mention heavy?

D: Honestly, assuming this wasn't a bad bottle, I'm not sure what the hype is here. It just has a horribly salty. I wont be able to finish this bottle. I'll review again to make sure this wasn't a bad bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 02:24:22 | More by kasper
Photo of tedpeer
tedpeer

Iowa

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

Bomber poured into a Darkness tulip.

A - Pours a viscous dark black, with a thin mocha head that quickly subsided to a ring around. No lacing.

S - Strong fruity/sweet.

T - Intense flavor. Fruit. Coffee. Chocolate. slight alcohol warmth in the finish.

M - Thick, mouth coating. Smooth.

D - Very balanced for such a large beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 02:05:05 | More by tedpeer
Photo of IBUnit63
IBUnit63

Massachusetts

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

One of the extremely unexpected surprises of hero27's degenerate LNBA haul. Thanks Eric!

From a bomber into a Reidel Vinum Cab glass on Election evening...

Huge, ultra-viscous espresso/motor oil body topped by a thin brown sugar/sweet potato-colored head. Impressive.

Sweet husky double-espresso roasted malt with abundant hop presence of pleasant grass and even some leather. Alcohol blends well but makes its presence known. Definitely a pumpernickel feel with sweet hazlenut caramel finish. Some dates, figs...even some pomegranate? Salty, husky feel to an extent. Balance in over-abundance.

Creamy, velety, silky huge 3XL roasted coffee/chocolate malt presence. Hops emerge in force with grass and slight pine notes. There's even some burnt popcorn. Ya gotta a whole lot goin' on here...

Mouthfeel is well...involved...syrupy as hell with a whole lot of coffee grounds and grill char layered on top; with warmth this balances out with more brown sugar sweetness. A little more synergy would do this wonders; finish is of course heavy as an anvil in a Roadrunner cartoon. Some salty leather in here, too.

One word for this: Bountiful. Maybe not a stellar example of Beautiful Chemistry but the abundance of well...everything has good closing speed and makes this a showstopper. Perhaps a little cacophony precludes extreme drinkability but this is one to experience. Holy crap!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2008 18:43:03 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

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

22oz bottle. '05 vintage acquired in a few trades. This rating is based on that vintage. I've had all other vintages except the '04 (saving that one for a 5+ year vertical!).

Poured a dark as night black with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas and tastes of stronger coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, smoke, some dark fruits, and molasses.

Tastes came through and got better as I drank more. A burnt roasty quality and dark cherries came out. Very light alcohol in the finish. Smooth and creamy body.

Notes from and tasted on 6/24/05.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 19:07:33 | More by hopdog
Photo of Mauerhan
Mauerhan

California

4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a rich thick dark pour into my snifter, almost thick enough to be a syrup. a small amount of rich brown head is produced, falls quickly. but not surprising for a 13 abv.

smell is rich. i get chocolate roasted malts, some coffee hints and a lot of fruits, mainly cherries. a boozy song is sung behind everything but its not overpowering. very nice on the smell. cant wait to try it.

taste is awesome. the first time ive had a beer like this. very complex. rich flavors of chocolate, robust malts, and a great presence of the cherries. if smooth had a flavor it would be this.

great mouthfeel. creamy with a small amount of dryness from the alcohol.

im not sure how many of these i could put back in a night but it is a very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 20:10:08 | More by Mauerhan
Photo of mikeale
mikeale

Maine

4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks GrandCruDrew!
2008 vintage
Served in my Ebenezers pub sniffer

A: Dark chocolate, bordering on black, with dark amber highlights around the edges. Cocoa head.

S: Booze soaked fruits, rich robust cocoa/coffee

T: Chocolate up front, then the ABV hits, mocha is present, nutty in the finish that lingers for a while

M: Thick!! Coats your mouth, full bodied, rich, creamy, alcoholic finish, sticky sweet.

D: Highly balanced 13% stout! I could enjoy this ever month or so. Not a beer I could drink more than once in a setting. Worth the hype and my wife agrees.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2008 17:23:21 | More by mikeale
Photo of Lupe
Lupe

New York

4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to rysberg01 for sending this as part of my Beer Powerball winnings.

Pours a deep, rich dark black with a thin brown head. Dark and menacing, fairly thick and syrupy. Not much retention or lacing but this beer has that lovely wine trail thing going on.

Rich and strong aroma starts wafting up as soon as the bottle is uncapped. Sweet and roasty with plenty of dried fruit, spice, French roast coffee, and cocoa. Alcohol wraps everything together but is not overwhelming.

Whoa - this has one hell of an intense flavor. Dark fruit, rum raisin, caramel, dark chocolate, and coffee. Alcohol hits at the end after swallowing, adding warmth. Amazing, complex, not at all cloying, and ridiculously smooth.

Full bodied, silky smooth, and velvety. The drinkability is just staggering considering the intensity of flavor and level of alcohol. I expected it to be too big, but the balance and smoothness made it difficult to put down. The alcohol does build up after a while, taking a notch off the overall drinkability.

This beer is great and lived up to the hype for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2008 15:54:04 | More by Lupe
Photo of goindownsouth
goindownsouth

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to BA mikesgroove for hooking me up with this one. Dude is one alright guy...

Deep, rich, and dark black in appearance, a huge head of creamy dark brown goodness stood firmly atop, but still laced well.

Aromas were sweet of dried dark fruit some burnt raisins (as my wife pointed out), spice, lots of great coffee and cocoa notes.

Smooth, luxurious and sumptuous on the palate. No more can be said.

Highly intense flavor with a symphony of dark stone fruit, caramel, high-quality chocolate, coffee, and of course the hops. Amazingly, this is not at all cloying.

I was floored with just how drinkable this brew was. I expected it to be far too big to really get into. I was wrong. Balanced (as much so as it could be) yet very pronounced, this is classic. Not my style of Bier, not my preferred ABV, but a stellar brew nonetheless.

Zum wohl.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2008 12:51:57 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this earlier in the summer, shared with johnmichaelsen, and thought I lost my notes, but just found them on my computer today...
Appearance is thick used motor oil blackish brown with little to know muddy brown head, still and viscous.

Smell starts out mostly roasty and coccoa, gets beefy as it warms, and is like teryaki sauce by the end, incredibly complex, if unusual. Smells good if you like savory cured meat.

Taste is very good, starts heavy on the coffee, then lots of whiskey, which is a bit heavy on the finish for my taste. A nice roast and the dryness of the alcohol keeps the thickness palatable, complex and interesting but not for everyone. Certainly not the best beer I've ever had, or even RIS for that matter...but hey, it's waxed dipped, expensive and hard to come by!

Mouthfeel is very syrupy, and especially thick for the last few pours of the bottle, but at least it's not as heavy in the belly as it looks. Having recently had a second tasting of this same vintage, I've come to appreciate the extreme viscosity as one of the Dark Lord's defining characteristics.

Drinkability is good in that I appreciated the experience of trying it, but it's not something I wanted more of or would drink or any kind of regular basis. The flavors are way to robust, not my favorite characteristics of the style, and it's challengingly thick. The artificially imposed rarity by Three Floyds doesn't help it either, and it's ultimately not a hype machine I'm buying into. Still, a huge thanks goes out to johnmichaelson for sharing this gem, the most recent '08 vintage.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2008 21:26:29 | More by ccrida
Photo of Donnie2112
Donnie2112

Alaska

4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

so visually speaking I don't find this beer impressive. I accept it as standard that Russian Imperials are going to be black, well it's midnight friggin black. However there is NO head retention. One of the cool thing is how syrupy it is and how much it clings to the glass. So I give it slightly above average for that

The aroma is chocolate,raisins caramel a bit rummy and roasted nuts, it's very straight forward yet exactly what you're looking for from an Imperial stout

chocolate chocolate chocolate! Lots of liquour flavors along with more chocolate and everything described in the nose along with a little bit of snappy bitterness that also enhances the nuttiness. Absolutely high grade stuff.

the consistency is about perfect, enough carbonation to make it pop and some nice astringence that makes it linger

This is impressively drinkable, I am beyond impressed with this beer. I was sort of expecting incredible things and this beer totally delivered. It's odd that I was simultaneously holding this bad boy on a pedestal and yet expecting to be dissapointed and yet, I'm friggin impressed!

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2008 02:54:41 | More by Donnie2112
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0110x011

California

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

Black-waxed 2008 vintage. Huge thanks to TexasWayne for sharing this beauty!

Pours blacker than a thousand midnights. Thick, one-finger head is darker than any I've ever seen, leaving spotty dollops of lace as it recedes. A light swirl leaves thick tan sheets on the sides of the glass that refuse to fall. According to my notes: "viscous as fuck." Nose is as enormous as expected, with sweet french roast coffee predominating; Chocolate, vanilla, smoke, leather and earth add serious complexity. The palate reflects the nose, in flavor and enormity. Some dark fruit flavors and sweetness add to the complexity. Mouthfeel is thick, slick, and creamy. Finish is incredibly long. Alcohol burn is not horrible, but present enough to drop drinkability a notch.

Yes, it's that good. Believe the hype.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2008 18:50:21 | More by 0110x011
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Proteus93

Virginia

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

Received in a trade, courtesy tayner - big thanks, Dana! Cracked and shared at Beer Run with owner Josh and acquaintance Steve. Good beer is meant to be shared with good company!

A: Black as can be. A nice brown head (and when I say brown, I mean brown - this is dark!) and laces in stringy webs.

S: Rich, fantastic, creamy chocolate aroma - so deep and complex. A deep note of woodiness, almost. A buried cherry-like fruitiness in there, like a subtle dark-chocolate covered cherry. Some molasses. Fabulous!

T + M: Deep chocolate and espresso. The chocolate flavours... Good Lord. So deep, so rich, creamy... like a milkshake, it was mentioned! The body is insanely thick... amazing and huge. Like a fine brewed mocha latte, made with a fine bean, freshly ground. It's complemented by a hint of vanilla bean and a nice molasses touch that is somewhat enhanced by the mouthfeel, which makes it seem more like that has been poured in as an after thought.

D: Huge, and amazing. Worthy of the hype, I'd say. This was a wonderful sharing beer with that ABV, and while the note of heat was there, it was covered VERY nicely. Laid down for 4 - 5 years would likely make it orgasmic.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2008 04:19:24 | More by Proteus93
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nrbw23

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a jet black color with a nice brown colored head. Head has really nice retention and left a nice murky layer of lacing down my glass. This beer is very thick and almost like a syrup

S- A ton of things going on here...thick aroma, and very sweet. Lots of molasses, coffee, choclate, dark fruits (plums, raisins, and figs)and tons of dark roasted malts. Maybe just a touch of smoke and alcohol buried in here as well.

T- The front is sweet figs and molasses, the finish is bitter chocolate, coffee, maybe even kahlua. For such a bold and robust flavor, it is surprisingly balanced, no overbearing sweetness or bitterness, nice and very rich. The flavours are strong but polished. Little bit of everything going on in this one.

M- Very full in body, almost no carbonation and just about perfect.

D- Incredibly easy to drink, a sipper for sure. I had this one both fresh and with about six months on it. It was great both ways but probably just a little easier to drink with some age on it. I can't wait to see how this baby is with a little more time on it. A great beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2008 20:51:38 | More by nrbw23
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dogfishlove120

Connecticut

4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

08 black wax. I hope that what im drinking wasn't ruined in transit to me it being summer and all. It pours black with a brown burnt sugar carmel colored head. aroma is alcohol, malt, with a heavy carmel scent. it tastes of bitter chocolate toasty malt and burnt caramel. this beer is punishing me at the moment. for the first time ever I think I can say that my stomach is in pain, but my mouth is in love. at first I thought that i coudn't handle this beer but its growing on me. I still in my honest opinion enjoy stone's imperial stout a little more because its something i can drink easily. Please take into note that it is august and this beer was shipped via ups

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2008 23:50:44 | More by dogfishlove120
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,134 ratings.