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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

3,519 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,519
Reviews: 1,172
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,850
Gots: 1,523 | 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: 3,519 | Reviews: 1,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thebierbrewery
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Dark Lord served out of a 22oz bottle

A- Thick, dirty motor oil (like 5000 miles over), lacing turns the glass brown, medium head retention, dense

S- Dark dried fruit, raisins, backbone of alcohol, molasses, muscavato sugar, dark rum

T- Thick, chocolate, cherry, oily, vanilla, hops enough to balance on the back end, warming, domineering

M- Thick, heavy, medium high carbonation, warming, sticks to your toungue

D- For as thick and high alcohol this is, it is drinkable, very smooth

Photo of rowingbrewer
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage(white wax top) opened by John at a recent tasting he hosted.

this beer pours pitch black with nearly no head. as the beer is pouring you can already tell that this one is going to have the mouthfeel of motor oil. this beer is seriously thick. the smell has so much going on, there are roasted malt chaacter, an alcohol presence, some dark fruit and caramel notes, and so much more that i could not even pin point. The taste is sweet, sweeter than i think a stout should be. there are some dark fruit notes and roasted malts there a slight hint of chocolate, and probably more than my palate can discern. the mouth on this is seriously thick, it coats your mouth and throat with every sip. the drinkablility is good but not high, because the beer is just so thick and sweet I could not have had seconds, and the bottle was split 4 ways. its a good beer, definitely worth trying but if you don't have a trading partner who you look out for and he loks out for you I would not buy it form ebay or trade the family farm to get one.

I have heard that 2009 is not the best vintage of dark lord in general, so would like to try other years, maybe an 08 since i have heard better things from that year

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

Updated review from Dark Lord tasting of 10, 11, 12, Bourbon Barrel '12 and Brandy Vanilla '11

After trying 5 different versions of the beer in one sitting I came to the realization that this is one of the thickest, heaviest, sweetest, most cloying, rich beers I can possibly imagine. We were all hard pressed to finish our 3-4 oz pours of the regular Dark Lord vintages due to the overwhelming sweetness driven by dark fruit, burnt sugar, vanilla, anise, chocolate, etc. The booze is still negotiable, but my overall impression of this beer has changed since I first had it nearly 2 years ago.

Trying these alongside the barrel-aged versions really exposes the base beer as well, considering the Bourbon and Brandy Vanilla are two of the best stouts I've tasted all year.

Original review - 2-11-11: 4.47

22oz bottle poured into snifter glass - 2010 vintage - thanks to mikesgroove/dregs78 (not sure who this one's from)

Pours a ridiculously inky and thick black color with a tanned head. There's some retention with a brownish film, leaving a collar of lacing on the glass.

Lots of dark fruit in the nose with rich sweetness. Notes of anise, licorice, truffles and chocolate followed by a slight alcohol flair.

Sweet up front driven by an assortment of candied dark fruit and syrup with molasses. Anise, licorice, and raisin with some bittersweet tones and light hop bitterness. Dark chocolate and toffee with some notes of truffle oil. Warm boozyness and more dark fruit throughout the finish.

Full syrupy body, nice carbonation, very smooth and slick on the palate. Drinks insanely well for the alcohol content with a nice, unique full flavor however a little on the sweet side for me. This was a pretty unusual beer compared to most big, boozy stouts I've had, but definitely one I'd seek out again.

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

Satan would be impressed. This thing is black as black can be and possesses a head that is scorched a deep, rustic brown. The colour scheme is at once unique, daunting and curiously alluring. If ever the dark side needed a spokesman, surely, this would be its poster boy.

This nose is too wicked and wrathful to think Cthulhu didn't have a hand in making it. Hops, bourbon-soaked wood, elderberry, sooty dark chocolate, charred malts and a scornful (but pacified) alcohol heat combine to make an intense and overwhelming bouquet that most people would not recognize as beer. I feel like it would be sinful to take a sip...

But I do anyhow. And in doing so I find a lingering cranberry bitterness, notes of black licorice, piny hops, flavours of roasted malts and bitter cocoa. It tastes quite distinctive. Although this is not barrel-aged nor does it contain a single drop of bourbon, I again find some semblance to the intense, vanilla-y flavours and the dry woodiness found in bourbon barrel-aged offerings. It is also thick as heavy cream, and twice as rich.

This is not a beer for calorie counters! Its engrossing, complex distinctiveness and rich, sensual, decadent flavours are sure to make every chocolatier, pastry chef, coffee roaster, master blender, vintner and, indeed, brewer, quite jealous. The fact that it's holding up so well after two years of aging is impressive, but also expected.

Digging my way through the bottle's black wax I felt like Howard Carter penetrating the tomb of Tutankhamen. Indeed, Three Floyds' Dark Lord does possess a similar kind of mysticism and veneration. Legitimately obtaining a bottle requires some combination of a mecca-like pilgrimage and Willy Wonka-like golden ticket. For one day the brewery doubles as a site of cult worship. And rightfully so. Believe the hype - praise the Dark Lord!!!

Photo of CaptainTripps
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage - olive green wax
22oz bomber poured into a duvel tulip
This beer along with another have been sitting in the cellar for a long time, opened this puppy up at a little tasting held last weekend along with some college buddies. Lets see how it did...

A: The Dark Lord poured a mean pitch black black. No light is EVER going to come through this beer. Had a small dark mocha head, about one fingers worth.

S: There is alot of roastedness in there. Pretty sweet smelling beer as well which is interesting for such a big RIS. Chocolate and coffee are big factors in the smell. What really brings the sweetness up is the dark fruit character that is present - something i have never smelt in a imperial stout. Figs, raisons, plums. Very interesting. Also some alcohol heat as well

T: THIS BEER IS BIGGGG. Following the nose nicely, this beer has alot of coffee, roasted malts and chocolate characters present. Again, the beer has a wierd dark fruit thing going on thats pretty interesting. The major draw back to this beer? - Sweetness. This beer is over the top sweet almosting cloying. Bring down the sweetness and this would be a stellar beer. Alcohol plays another big factor in the taste of this beer. Pretty boozy with some sips.

M: THICK THICK THICK like maple syrup, thought they put used motor oil in my beer. The thickness is kind of nice. Carbonation is a little low but what would you expect from such a HUGE RIS? Alcohol is high, a little hot and almost border line overboard but not quite.

D: A little above average with this guy, pretty huge RIS that would be very hard to put many down. Also a little bit to sweet for my liking, but great flavors are packed into the beer. Pretty impressed.

Weekend tasting results: Out of the only three RIS's we had in the entire tasting, beer finished 3rd following Bourbon County Brand Stout and Ivan the Terrible.

Photo of angelmonster
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, viscous, extremely dark brown body. Head is pretty small and mahogany brown in color. Head retention and lacing are pretty average for such a strong beer. Appearance gets half a point extra for such a thick pour.

Smell is of sweet chocolate syrup, roasted coffee, and some booze. Thats about it, chocolate and coffee overpower the nose

Taste is very sweet. At first I get Hershey's chocolate syrup, Kahlua, and burnt malts. Reminds me of Sothern Tier Choklat mixed with GI Bourbon County minus the apparent bourbon, also tasted some characteristics of port as well. Hops are very light and alcohol, for being 15%, isnt too strong.

Mouthfeel is very rich and thick. Carbonation is good which lightens the syrupy consistency. Unfortunately head died rather fast and didnt add much to the beer.

Drinkability was good. For such a strong beer I was able to finish the bomber but I dont recommend it if you're planning on doing else for the rest of the day. The only downside to this beer was that after about half the bottle the overly sweetness started to get to me and I wished it was balanced a bit more. On the other hand, this stout pairs great with a Brownie a la mode and is the perfect dessert beer.

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

Jimmy J, thank you brother!

A: Dark black. Motor oil.

S: figs, coffee, chocolate, licorice. Deep and complex aroma.

T: Coffee, sweet, loads of dark fruit.

M: Amazingly soft and very little alcohol burn.

D: Too drinkable! This beer put me on my ass!

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

A big thanks to ThomasHardy for this beer! Cheers! Enjoyed this with Abel and Kevin. 2009 Vintage.

Appearance - Pours into a Duvel Tulip with a dark viscosity. Almost no head is achieved with a relatively vigorous pour. Minimal lacing is left.

Smell - Heavy booze and cloying sweetness. Molasses, chocolate, dark fruits (prunes, raisins, etc.) Slight cherry, wood, and port like quality in the nose.

Taste - Similar to the nose. Immediately, and as I have heard others report, the sweetness is damn cloying. Heavy molasses and dark fruits (mainly prunes), etc. As Abel just put it - tastes like a sugar cane (very true).

Mouthfeel - Thick, creamy, lower carbonation, how a big stout should be.

Drinkability - While I do not taste the alcohol at all (no joke), it is just a very slow sipper and difficult to drink more than my portion. Not a bad beer at all, but...seeing as it is "Dark Lord"...it just does not live up to the hype. I have a 2010 in my cellar and am curious how it will taste when I open it up.

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. This was the finishing touch on an epic tasting. 2010 version.

Appearance: This is just black as ink, all the way through. It pours out thick as molasses into the glass, leaving a small brown head to fend for itself for a minute before fading and leaving no lacing. Foreboding, this is a Dark Lord indeed.

Smell: There is a ton of character packed into this aroma. Roasted malt, dark chocolate, roast coffee, molasses, and lots of alcohol.

Taste: Very dark roasted malt, espresso roast coffee, molasses and soft caramel up front. The chocolate flavor reminds me of fudge, both in taste and consistency. The flavors intermingle and dance on my tongue, eventually leaving an aftertaste that is mostly sweet with a soft bitterness. The alcohol can barely be found, except in a stomach warming sensation.

Mouthfeel: Dark Lord is extraordinarily thick, although I don't think that surprises anyone. It starts getting into the syrupy realm, but is not overly so, at least for my taste. This is creamy and buttery, with a medium level of tight carbonation wrapped in a huge body.

Drinkability: This is definitely one of the best stouts I have had. I would not crown it champion, but it is up there for me.

Photo of breweryaprntc13
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark creamy brown, thin head which leaves little lace after fading quickly above a tar black body.

Rich roasted malts, coffee, molasses, dark fruits.

Roasted malts, rich and creamy molasses, toffee and caramel, some alcohol notes, coffee detectable towards the finish, sweet dark cherry and plumb flavors.

Creamy, low carbonation, smooth and full bodied.

Absolutely incredible, a brilliant full bodied RIS that leaves nothing else to be desired. A stunning and inspiring beer I could drink over and over again.

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.05/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Tasted at Sexual Chocolate 2011. A 2009 Vintage. Pours a deep black color that no light can get through and a small brown head and a little left over lacing. Smells of booze and vanilla and some brown sugar. Tastes of burnt sugar, sweet malts, roasted flavor and tons and tons of booze. Mouthfeel is medium and has no carbonation worth noting. Drinkability is mild.

Photo of waltersrj
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle tasted with a friend after a trade with fellow BA jeff321.

Pour: Deep, dark black with a small espresso colored head that dissipates to the outer edge of the glass and becomes soap like until the beer is gone.

Nose: Sweet sugars, slight alcohol, slightly roasted malts, tootsie roll chocolate, slight caramel, slight dark fruits (plum, fig, and raisin), and soy sauce.

Taste: Intensely sweet sugar (like DDH WWS), soy, dark fruits (plum, fig, raisin), slight caramel, slightly roasted malts, dark chocolate, and no apparent alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Very easy drinking, especially for the large abv. The alcohol almost seems to be missing here, this doesn't burn at all. Slightly chewy but not overly viscous, an easy drinking high alcohol stout.

Overall: Glad to have tried this but it is so sweet, even with a year on it. Reminds me of WWS in SO many ways. The coffee tastes were very subdued and the roasted flavors were almost entirely missing. Not going to go out of my way to get this when I can get tons of Abyss very easily. Still a pretty good stout though.

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

White wax: 2009. Opened with whiterascal

A: pours out thick and jet black with a brown head that fell quickly.

S: lots of chocolate, almost like a tootsie roll. roasted malts, burnt sugars, molasses, and alcohol all in the nose. hints of soy sauce.

M: i get coffee and caramel. some molasses, toffee, chocolate and burnt malts. there is a bit of alcohol, and it has a nice sweetness in the finish, but finishes a bit dry.

M: super smooth with a thick body.

D: it is actually quite drinkable. i could easily finish the bomber myself. as it warms a lot more of the flavors come out.

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

Thanks goes out to Gritsak for this. 22oz bottle into a Stone IRS snifter. 2009 version, White Wax.

A: Incredibly black, an aggressive pour yields a few fairly dark brown bubbles, never truly develops into a head, just a ring of bubbles towards the outer edge of the glass. Easily one of the darkest beers, if not the darkest I've had to date. I wish I could coax more of a head from this, as it would really bring the appearance up.

S: Initial smells of soy sauce (hopefully it doesn't trigger Triple Bock flashbacks), burnt malts, chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, and just a hint of booze. As I take a deeper smell it reveals some more notes of dark chocolate and caramel. I also get a sort of barbeque sauce/charred meat sort of aroma mixed in. All around smells like a monster of a beer, but the soy sauce has me a bit wary.

T: Sweet, syrupy beer initial notes of brown sugar, molasses, and caramel really stand out in front of the fairly massive chocolate note. Really lots of dark fruit, plums, raisins, figs and maybe some grapes as well. Over ripe cherries come to mind as well. Fair amount of port flavors going on too with the sweetness and dark flavors in general. Decent amount of bitterness, but surprisingly there is a lack of roasted flavors, for a beer this dark. Surprisingly mellow on the alcohol flavors, I would even venture that it is not noticeable. There is a bit of a tart flavor, like a plum, that really starts to show itself as it warms. Very complex.

M: Incredibly thick, light, creamy carbonation, and almost disturbingly sticky. Chocolate milkshake. What I can't figure out, is that for a beer this huge, there is practically no boozey burn on the finish at all, just a bit of warmth. I'd have to say that this is spot on for the style.

D: It is an enjoyable beer, and is insanely complex, but as a stout it comes up a bit short for me. The huge roasted profile and burnt malts that I've come to expect in a beer like this are missing, I think that mixed with a bit more of a hoppy bitterness would help to balance the insane sweetness of this beer. Hmm, this is something, but I don't think it is quite the beer that the hype machine has made it to be. I've also heard that 2009 is an off year, as well as that 2009 was a great year, so I don't know what to think of the beer. Interesting and complex, but I honestly believe there are better stouts out there.

Photo of mjn5036
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage

I have been waiting for some kind of special occasion to open this one. Today was a long day and work and nothing seemed to go right... reason enough I suppose. I cut through the wax and popped the top off which released a small amount of carbonation. The center pour into my Piraat glass looked like dirty, used motor oil. A large caramel colored head arose from the bottom of the pour and continued to grow, and grow, and grow until it nearly overflowed. After letting this one settle for a few minutes the darkness of it really catches my eye. It is so damn dark that it is questionable whether this can even be considered a liquid at all; it is more of a sludge sitting in my glass, black as night and foreboding. No lacing is visible. A swirl of the glass leaves a thick oily residue fastened to the sides of the glass more like a wine than a beer.

The nose consists of chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, dark fruits - prunes and figs, cherry and coffee as well as a vague resemblance to soy sauce. The smell is sweet and inviting with an alcohol twang reminiscent of port.

Upon first sip my exact words were "holy sh*t". Super thick on the tongue, so damn rich and smooth. Dark Lord is unpredictably sweet, far sweeter than the nose led me to believe. The taste is a decadent combination of cherry, plum, fig, raison, chocolate, coffee and molasses. Alcohol is noticeable in its port like qualities. Each flavor meshes together superbly creating a stout of unprecedented quality and taste. This is proving to be an epic battle between my taste buds and my will to finish this beer. 220z of these flavors are almost proving to be too much at once, but it is so. Damn. tasty. The taste is exceptional, not for the faint of heart.

15% abv? Really? As I said previously this beer is so damn smooth for its abv it's incredible. By far this is the thickest, most viscous beer I have had to date. I have never had anything like this beer. I love every second of this experience. I tried not to have any high expectations of this beer because of all the hype surrounding it. This is one beer that I found has not just lived up to its hype, but surpassed it.

Photo of cpmichael
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010

A: Pours dark and thick. A pretty heady beer, with a mocha colour on it. Looks delicious.

S: It smells of dark chocolate with roasted coffee, molasses and a raisiny/fruity complexion, and definitely alcohol.

T: Very complex. At first, the fruity/rasiny quality is present, followed by the dark chocolate and coffee. Very layered. Finishes with the alcohol.

M: Very thick and creamy. The alcohol burn at the end is noticeable at the end, yet i find it to be fairly smooth.

D: This is a beer to be shared, that is for sure. Fantastic flavoring. Worth every minute that I stood in line for it. I'll do it again this year.

Photo of kevinv
2.3/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2010 vintage poured into a pint glass.

Appearance:
Looks like motor oil. It pours a thick, oily, viscous pitch black. As you pour, it looks and even sounds very syrupy. The dark brown head dissipated quickly. Was only about a 1/2 finger at the max.

Smell:
Lots and lots of dark fruits. Strong on the molasses, brown sugar. Mild bourbon and chocolate scents. Very strong on the alcohol. This smells over the top sweet.

Taste/Mouthfeel:
Dark fruits (raisins??), molasses, chocolate. Holy ****, why is this so sweet? Not appealing at all. It's almost undrinkable. Pretty much zero carbonation and the thickness feels like sludge in your mouth which leaves a disgusting coating. You almost have to chew this beer to get it down. Feels like somebody poured syrup into my mouth.

Drinkability:
Very low drinkability. I'm pretty sure that I'm in the minority here, but this beer was bad. Really bad. Luckily, I split this with a friend, otherwise I'm pretty sure I would have poured the other half of the bottle out. This beer is definitely a sipper.

I had really high expectations going into this one and was excited to try it after seeking it out, but I was hugely disappointed. I think I want to try this one again at some point - maybe a different vintage - but this one was a letdown for me.

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

2010 Vintage

Appearance: Pours an ominous, viscous black. The head forms mightily and as it reduces to a thin cap bubbles break the surface slowly like the bubbling mudpots at Yellowstone National Park.

Aroma: Smells like rich dark chocolate with roasted hazelnuts. A hoppy bitterness is present. Smooth toastiness.

Taste: Hazelnut liqueur, bitter dark cacao, milk chocolate, vanilla, mocha, smoothly roasted, mildly sweet. No alcohol burn (except in my belly).

Mouthfeel: Second only to Hunahpu's. Chewy, rich, viscous. So damn good.

Drinkability: Surprisingly smooth and easy for the well-hidden 15% ABV. Love this beer! One of the best non-bal stouts I've had.

Photo of ATPete
2.9/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle, black wax, served at just about room temperature.

Pours a wicked black color, a small dark brown head forms and quickly dissipates to the edges of the glass. Lots of sweetness in the nose, molasses, metallic dark malts, soy sauce and alcohol. Round and full bodied in the mouth, good carbonation. Rich malt sweetness with a subtle but balancing bitterness and an underlying saltiness that becomes very off putting after a few sips. A powerhouse of a stout. This is not my first encounter with the dark lord, i must say i've never been a fan and i dont quite understand the hype around this one.

Photo of birderbeerer
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Serving Type - 22oz 2010 version bottle

Appearance - Very dark black, thick, no head, some lacing

Smell - Hops, alcohol, malts, spices, coffee, chocolate and carmael

Taste - Well finally get to taste the almighty darklord... Incredibly sweet carmael and hop taste starts out. Lots of coffee and malts, and alot of alcohol is present. Spices and coffee add some bold flavor but the carmael and chocolate really stand out and rule this beer.

Mouthfeel - Very thick, very sweet, and very strong. Mouth, tounge, throat, palette is crushed by the sweetness, and dominated by the alcohol and hops. A monster via liquid, eat and drink something soon as your done cause the next few beers will be about as flavorfull as water

Drinkabilty - Its insane with this amount of flavor and alcohol how drinkable this is. Its so smooth and sweet i had no problems drinking 10 oz's but man, i felt it. If it was lower alcohol would have scored it higher but come on, its 15%, so 4.0 was pushing it. World class, a beer that lives up to the hype, cant wait for more.

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

This is my first Dark Lord, a 2010. As a Hoosier (a Boilermaker btw) but a Hoosier nonetheless this beer is legendary. This beer pours a midnight black, oily, with a half inch dark khaki head. How many times have I said that before? This time I really mean it. It smells of deep roasted malts, chocolate, and smoke. It tastes of rich roasted malts, coffee, sweet chocolate, and smoke. The ONLY knock on this is that it's a little too sweet. That's the only thing preventing a five. The aftertaste is milk chocolaty sweet, like melted chocolate at a bonfire. This beer is ultimately smooth at only eight months old. And these get better? Wow. What a beer. I can't wait for the next DLD, it'll be a blast. This beer is behind the Abyss? How? This vintage Dark Lord reigns supreme.

Edit: After trying the '11 DL multiple times since it's release I much prefer the '10. The two are not even comparable beers in my opinion. I found the '11 to be much thinner and I found it to be far too sweet.

Photo of Axic10
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage graciously shared by LIVEFAST. Poured into a small 5 oz sampler glass.

Appearance: Pitch black motor oil with no head.

Smell: Coffee, deep rich dark chocolate roasted malt, very very sweet.

Taste: Sweet chocolately taste, coffee and fudge brownie.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and syrupy.

Drinkability: Very lucky that I was in the right place at the right time to share this bottle. I have some 2009 and 2010 that I'm curious to see how well they age after trying this.

Photo of sprucetip
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE: 3-23-14 had the 09 again, same one I reviewed. Loved it this time. Sooo much smoother with some age on it. Not so cloying either. Definitely one to hang on to for a while.

2009 Vintage, courtesy of iowahawk (Thank you Eric!)

Very dense black liquid with almost no head at all despite an aggressive pour, and no lacing. Activity is evident by the bubbles that continue to rise to the top for quite a while, and the thin film and ring that linger as a result of the bubbles.

The smell is very complex, interesting and has extraordinary depth. I get leather, molasses, booze, chocolate, roasted grains, cherries and other dark fruit. Port like sweetness bounces off something vaguely sour. Smells woody too, though I'm not aware of any barrel aging.

The sweetness pushes the boundaries of cloying, I regret to report. Thankfully a host of other bold flavors battle the sweetness for the attention of my taste buds. The roasted character is clearly evident, as well as the molasses, prune like dark fruit flavor, dark chocolate, sour cherries, and surprisingly mellow alcohol. Mild roasty bitterness emerges late and stays for the finish.

Well carbonated, strong warming, extremely thick viscosity, and a very full body. Finishes clean somehow. The feel is definitely a strength.

I've been working on this bomber for a couple of hours, at least, and the cup is still half full. The borderline cloying sweetness has to be at least partly responsible. I am thoroughly impressed overall, but if I truly rated the final category as "drinkability" the score would be much lower. But I score the final category as "overall impression", as done in homebrew competitions. So I'm giving it a 4. But this is not an easy drinking beer, even compared to other boozy imperial stouts. I may be over rating the taste as well, amazing as it is, because the sweetness definitely detracts, in my view. But it's hard to mitigate the sweetness in a 15% brew, and there is so much else going on. Maybe I'm being impacted by the hype, much as I try not to be?

Glad to finally put my lips to this one, and thanks again Eric!

Photo of Vonerichs
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010.

Thick, dark, and one finger of cinnamon colored head.

It has vivid and robust scents of coffee, chocolate, and berries. There's a hoppy edge to it.

One of the best tasting RISs around. Dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, vanilla and a dash of cinnamon is complimented by dark berries and pine hops.

Mouthfeel is velvety and smooth. Slightly boozy, but hey, it's 15%. Finish has an acidic like bitterness of coffee.

Good drinkability, even at 15%. This lives up to the hype, for sure.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
96 out of 100 based on 3,519 ratings.