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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

3,482 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,482
Reviews: 1,167
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 14.99%
Wants: 2,827
Gots: 1,518 | FT: 100
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: 3,482 | Reviews: 1,167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FishGetter
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage
A huge thanks to jaxon53 for sharing a bottle with me during his tour at Czepiel Farms. Jet black apperance, slight brown color when held to the light. Dark mocha head, one finger, fades to small ring around glass rim.
Coffee grounds, mild, mixed with dark cherry aromas. Reminds one of chocolate cherry truffles.
Cherry liquor flavors detected after a good room temp warm-up. Toasted grain flavor of chocolate and coffee. Mild hints of liquorice and alchol. Some aok tannis detected.
Thick heavy mouthfeel, good syrupy feel. Great solid body here thats a bit chewy.
Truelly a remarkable offering here. Very complex charecters especially as brew warms up. Well worth the troubles one may encounter to have the privilege of trying this one.

FishGetter, May 12, 2010
Photo of beerwolf77
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to Wisconsinality for busting this one out to finsh our mini tasting with a bang.

2010 vintage green wax

Poured into my glass the beer is the thickest blackest beer I've ever laid eyes on. This litterally looks like used motor oil. About one finger of dark chocolate head forms on top nad leaves sticky lace gobs as it recedes.

The aroma is very interesting. The coffee and hints of dark chocolate are present but an overwhelming leather and wet oak characters are just as dominant. Hints of molasses, brown sugar roast malt and licorice are all picked out as well.

The flavor is just as complex as the nose. Lots of plums, figs and raisins. With hints of coffee, chocolate, smoked malt, campfire and burnt sugar. I get no real hop presence at all. The booze can be detected but not over powering at all. Each mouthful is sweeter than the last.

Full body. This stuff could pass as chocolate syrup I swear. You can almost chew it as you let it sit in your mouth. Light carbonation if any.

Overall a bonifide sipper. We split this three ways and I seriously doubt if I could tackle this one with any less than two guys. A little of this goes a long way. Well worth the hype just not sure if it's worth the hassel it takes to aquire it. I look forward to cracking a bottle in a year to see what time will do to this bad boy.

beerwolf77, May 11, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'10 bomber into a Duvel tulip.

A: Black body (surprise, surprise) with a finger of lovely brown head; amazing retention and lacing for a 15%-er. Perfectly gorgeous stout.

S: Pleasant solventy alcohol, port, chocolate, coffee, and lots of burned sugar/molasses. Huge and in my face, but still complex. Impressive.

T: Everything from the nose and more, with emphasis on sweet malts up front, followed by plenty of coffee and booze. Crazy good, but still really hot.

M: Thick and viscous, but with plenty of velvety carbonation. Amazing.

D: As awesome as this beer is in every other way, drinkability really isn't its forte. It's perfect to share, though, and pretty damn good for something this ridiculously strong.

Notes: Going to DLD was a major undertaking, and I'm still not convinced that this beer alone is worth it, but if any beer could be, this might be it. I can't get over how well-balanced and complex such a bruiser can be. I can't wait to see how this brew ages. My suspicion is that it could be epic.

Cheers!

woosterbill, May 11, 2010
Photo of hardy008
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage.

Pours pitch black with one finger of extremely dark brown head, which fades away quickly. The aroma is chocolate, molasses, alcohol, and cherries. This smells like it will be extremely sweet.

The flavor is sweet, but the flavors mix together extremely well. Chocolate, molasses, and cherries combine to make a great RIS. The alcohol is noticeable, and pleasant. This beer has aged for over 1 year, and the alcohol heat has no doubt diminished somewhat.

Full bodied and chewy, this beer clings to the glass much the same as Ten FIDY does. I have some of the 2010 vintage, and will let them age a while as well. Another outstanding beer from Three Floyds.

hardy008, May 09, 2010
Photo of VerbingNouns
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

from 2010-05-02 notes:
2010 vintage
poured from 22oz bottle into a small goblet

A: Perfectly black with no head at all

S: Grapes and alcohol, with a little caramel. Very unassuming.

T: Light, surprising considering the ABV. Not too much coffee flavor, a little bitter, but also tart. Coffee bitter, not hoppy-bitter. As it warms up, it definitely gets somewhat hotter, but stays pleasant and mellow.

M: Very smooth, light, thin body but not disappointed. No carbonation but still zesty.

D: Very mellow, but complex. Very easy to drink, texture-wise, but a little too complex to gulp (thank goodness!).

VerbingNouns, May 09, 2010
Photo of SourBatchKid
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22-oz bottle split with oglmcdgl and onix1agr, thanks to the boys for always sharing and showing me new things! 2010 Vintage.

A- A black hole of thick syrupyness with no chance of seeing the light of day. This is dark with a nice easy head full of intermingling tan bits of glory. As I swirl the brew in my tulip shaped glass the viscosity is clear as the brew coats the sides of my glass.

S- Right off the bat there is a sweetness of bread and alcohol that is so over powering it almost burns. I take a second whiff and am surprised with back notes of coffee, chocolate and a tobacco box.

T- Sweet bitter chocolate and heavily roasted coffee beans linger all through out my mouth, finish's with the high alcohol that seems to get hotter and hotter as the brew warms up a bit.

M- It coots my tongue just like I thought it might, with a consistency that can only be compared to an over sweetened simple syrup. Full bodied with little to zero carbonation.

D- I do hope that I might get the chance to have this with some age on it one day. I enjoyed the complexity and all the different place's the Dark Lord has taken me too. If you can get your hands on this grab two, one for now and one for latter.

SourBatchKid, May 09, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle split and poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage with drab green wax.

Thanks to Wisconsinality for cracking this to end our tasting the other night! It allows me to save my measly three bottles for a few years.

A - It pours completely black (no surprise there). No hints of light shine through in the least. Even the tall, syrupy pour left a small tan head. Little retention and no lace but a big swirl just coated the glass with a thin layer of Dark Lord and slow-dripping legs.

S - The deep roasted malts are massively potent with a huge leather and wood nose and bold roasted coffee. The coffee smell is very roasted but smells like it'd be a premium cup of joe. There is fusel alcohol in this that's pretty warm and only gets hotter with a swirl. A pinch of booziness (separate from the fusel alcohol nose) that's pretty hot as well. Molasses and chocolate try poking out in the background. This is an incredibly sweet malt-bomb. The 2010 is a little hot yet but awesome to try fresh for aged comparison.

T - Dark Lord embodies all that is thick. The flavor is just saturated with roasted malts which surprisingly take a small back seat to the roasted coffee flavor and sweet malts. A hint of molasses, strong milk chocolate, and a warm alcohol on the finish. It's a really thick and massively bold flavor. Right now it's a little overly sweet. Good coffee flavor though.

M - 2010 Dark Lord is almost over-the-top rich and thick. It's borderline syrupy with an almost outrageous cloying sweet flavor and finish. This beer pushes the limits and I like rich, thick, full-bodied beers. There is almost no carbonation in DL 2010 what-so-ever.

D - This snifter, only at a third of a bottle, is hard to put down. Between how rich it is and how sweet/cloying it is just a little too much. The alcohol is strong in the nose but not so much in the flavor cause it's too damn sweet. I don't get why this beer is so hyped. It's a good beer but hell, I'm more excited to have this with a few years on it once it mellows. It's good, but for the hassle attached to this beer, there are much better beers out there.

BeerFMAndy, May 08, 2010
Photo of thetomG
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage...

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

Before I even take a sip I can tell this one desperately needs some age on it. The smell at first reminds me a bit of some sort of cleaning product - this stuff it RAW.

Taste is primarily roasty malts and booze with a slightly bitter aftertaste. It's good, but I cannot wait to try this one again once its had time to mature for a year to two. I'm very confident it will be amazing at that point, but for now its just a bit too raw for my taste... nevertheless - a very nice and very complex beer that will undoubtedly only improve with age.

Definitely looking forward to re-visiting this one again down the road...

thetomG, May 08, 2010
Photo of Ambiorix
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled, 2010. Wow, finally! Black pour, brown head. Nose is smoke, coffee, chocolate, raisins, soy sauce. Flavor is malty, smoky, coffee, bittersweet chocolate. Finish is slightly bitter. Thick, viscous mouthfeel. Excellent, but not sure it lives up to the hype.

Ambiorix, May 08, 2010
Photo of Wisconsinality
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer #4 in our Cinco de Mayo mini tasting.

A- Pours a pitch black with no light making its way through. A small, half finger worth of head that was mocha in color. No lacing left on the glass.

S- heavy roasted malts, small amounts of coffee and toffee. Small amounts of black licorice. For being 15%, the alcohol barely makes its self noticeable.

T- Big roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar and some black licorice. The alcohol is very well hidden under a good complexity of flavors.

M- Full bodied with a pretty smooth and minimal burn from the alcohol. The beer just coats the mouth. The carbonation is spot on for the style.

D- Definitely a sipper. The alcohol is fairly well subdued. Pretty balanced for a big stout. I want to put some age on this so it was nice to see what it tastes like fresh. I waited in line twice for this beer and am not disappointed at all.

Wisconsinality, May 07, 2010
Photo of pavyaz19
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Unfortunately Russian Imperial Stouts are not at the top of my personal list, probably for drinkability reasons. You have to know what you're getting into with these, and as a rookie beer drinker / brewer, I was in for a surprise.

There's so much hype about this beer that I did everything I could to get a hold of one in '09. It was well worth it. The mythical aura around it was the basis for a great experience and drinking it was the icing on the cake.

It is so dark and thick it's ridiculous. It's like a liquified everlasting gobstopper when it comes to flavor - there is just so much going on.

I split a bottle with a friend and I think even that was too much to handle. Again, that was extremely early in my beer drinking career. I was able to get four bottles of the '09 immediately after Dark Lord Day. Now I have three left in a deep dark place under lock and key... it's sitting there, growing, mutating, living, breathing, just waiting to explode back into the word. I can't wait to drink the next one but each day that goes by I pat myself on the back for letting it mature just a little more. Though I fear if I wait too long with that dark, powerful stuff... I'll only be left with a bottle full of diamonds.

Now I have 2010 on the way, what a wonderful time to be alive.

pavyaz19, May 06, 2010
Photo of bert13tj
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark, hence the name, thick. Small head, some lacing.

S-Very sweet smell. Lots of caramel, darker fruits, grains, roasted/toasted malts.

T-Very rich, couldn't take down a bottle alone. Sweet fruits, malts, caramels. Roasted finish. More intense alcohol than last year, probably the extra 1.5%

M-Great carb, had it on draft though. Haven't tried this years out of the bottle. Very thick.

D-Very drinkable if you have someone to share with.

bert13tj, May 04, 2010
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My 2006 bottle reviewed from notes.

Pours a super thick motor oil black with very little head. A slight bit of lacing.

Aroma is probably the best part. Tons of dark fruits, deep caramel, and roasted grains. Very sweet smelling and wonderful.

Taste is probably one of the most intense brews I have ever had. Tons of dark fruits, lots of caramel sweetness with some burnt sugars and a nice roasty finish. A little too rich for me though. Like a piece of chocolate cake you can't finish.

Mouthfeel is a little too thick for me. Light to medium carb.

Glad I had a few people to share it with because even 3 of us couldn't finish the whole bottle. Very intense brew that a couple oz's does the trick. Very tasty and complex though.

PeprSprYoFace, May 03, 2010
Photo of generalnotsew
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: 2010 Dark Lord. Very bold. Very Black. Was quite surprised to see the head almost overflow being 15% abv. And what a frothy, chocolaty head it is.

S: Very sweet dark chocolaty. Closer to chocolate covered raisins actually. Maybe just a tad too sweet in the nose but near perfect. Coffee is not dominant at all here.

T: Mmmmm. Nice little hop burn with the coffee in the foreground. Very rich malty dark chocolate in the middle. Sweetest RIS I ever had. Some complain it is too sweet but as a hop head this is what I want in a Stout.

M: Very rich a smooth. Don't think you could improve upon this at all.

D: Very easy to drink but you will not likely get past more than one pint by yourself. Considering the high gravity it is more drinkable than something sitting at 9%.

I was a bit worried it would not live up to the hype. But this is hands down the best Imperial Stout I ever had and more than worth the trouble to get it. I love the sweetness in it. But there are plenty of great Stouts to keep you busy until Dark Lord Day next year.

generalnotsew, May 02, 2010
Photo of cratez
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bomber sample courtesy of Adil. Cheers my man! Pours an opaque black with one finger of frothy mocha head and speckles of sticky lacing on the tulip. Smell and taste are apple, vinous, wine-like aromas, leathery tannins, oak wood, green grapes, molasses, and suggestions of vanilla. Roasted malts impart chocolate, prunes, burnt toast, and espresso beans. I get some honey as well. Mouthfeel is thick, full-bodied, and gooey with a slick and oily finish. A ridiculously smooth and drinkable RIS. There's simply no way of telling that this is 13% ABV. Nectar in a bottle, thanks again for sharing Adeer!

cratez, May 01, 2010
Photo of ritzkiss
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle of 2010 vintage so generously popped by viggo from his recent trip down to DLD, fresh as fresh can be. Cheers man!!

Pours a thick jet black with a pretty mocha head that sticks around and leaves some sticky lacing.

Nose is rich and sweet, a generous dose of chocolate and roasted malt, dark fruits and a splash of alcohol.

A little hot at this point but I imagine this one mellowing out to becomes something truly spectacular, it has all the right components. A hefty rich malt base, plenty of roast, generous caramel and milk chocolate sweetness, a hint of dark fruits, a glimmer of cinnamon, maybe a touch of something like tobacco?, light hopping noticed in the finish, brown sugar and molasses, a hint of earth. Rich and sumptuous, thick and creamy. Just some distraction from the alcohol which is a little aggressive at this point.

Super nice, looking forward to revisiting an aged bottle at some point, there's a reason for the hype on this one, especially on vintage bottles. Wish I went down to DLD to stock up my cellar...

ritzkiss, May 01, 2010
Photo of seedsofchaos
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle of 2010 DL poured into a 3F glass which looks to be a mix of a chalice and a half litre glass.

Pours thick, smooth and dark. Viscous as hell with great notes of blacks, dark browns and reddish dark khakis. Head is the lightest. Great cascading. Purely opaque.

The nose consists of roasty malts, a little smoke, dark and burnt fruits (figs and raisins mostly), espresso, a touch of molasses and just a hint of vanilla bean.

I have to hold back on taste for a moment because it's mouthfeel that got me first on this guy. Truly amazing! This is the smoothest feeling beer I've ever had. In between skim milk and well-melted butter. It's rich and creamy and leaves no residue in the mouth. It goes in, the flavors stay, it leaves no film and right down to my belly. Truly the best mouthfeel I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

Taste is great too. I first get a bit of smoke then come roasted malts, molasses, currants, figs, burnt plums and chocolate. The finish is a bit reminiscent or a cordial cherry. Possibly a small touch of licorice in there somewhere... Great taste.

Drinkability is only limited by availability. I'd love to try to drink a few of these among friends. ABV is high but the brew is great.

seedsofchaos, May 01, 2010
Photo of pmccallum86
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours and ultra dark black motor oil color with a bubbly brown head. I had been expecting this beer to be quite a bit more viscous.

Smell is of rich roasted malts and licorice. Some booze is also detectable, the smell is very complex.

Taste is of BIG licorice and chocolate. Coffee comes through as well. Super big flavors, the body is not as thick as I imagined. Super complex beer, very good but not the best of the style.

Mouthfeel is smooth but a little hot in the finish. Medium to high carbonation, thinner in body than most other RIS.

Drinkability is pretty damn good for such a big beer. The 15%ABV is detectable, but I very much enjoy sipping on the monster.

pmccallum86, May 01, 2010
Photo of bobsy
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Eric for cracking one of his gazillion bottles. Some guys have a couple cases of Coors Light hanging around, but he has his stack of Dark Lord. This is a fresh one - only picked up from DLD a week ago.

Pours black, black, black, like motor oil, but darker yet. A deep chocolate head rises up, soon drops to an island of film, and puts down the odd spot of lace. Big roast nose, with bitter chocolate and coffee dominating. Underneath these layers we've got all manner of dark fruit and a splash of alcohol. Pretty damn complex flavour, but still a little hot, though I imagine this mellows beautifully with time. Lots of dark roasted coffee, which brings a good bitterness to this beer that is barely tempered by a dark chocolate character. I feel like I keep using the word 'dark', but can't stop now. Dark fruit complete the symphony, and make for a very good all round stout that goes heavy on the roast. Certainly a lot to it, and a heavy hitter. Fairly full body with a low carbonation, that given the flavours involved works nicely. Drinkability is decent, but hindered at this stage by the rawness of the alcohol.

An excellent imperial stout for sure, and I'm very glad I got to try this one. I'd also say its worth every cent of the $15 bottle cost too. I'm not sure it's a beer I'd personally place in my own top 100, though. It does have a great intense roast character, and there's a lot going on, but I'm not sure its as cohesive as other imperials I've had, and at no point did I feel blown away by any particular aspect of the beer (which is why no category hit 5). The Night Stalker that we had earlier seemed to work better for me, and the KBS I had a couple days prior was phenomenal. Dark Lord was very good, but I wouldn't place it in the same class as these other brews.

bobsy, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of ne0m00re
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured a 2010 22 oz bottle into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma.
A: Black with brown hues, it poured with a thin chocolate head that died to a thin lace and collar.
S: Deep caramel raisin, bananas, brandy/red wine/rum apparent alcohol, some chocolate espresso, and a clean oaky vanilla.
T: Caramel banana sweet rum, raisin, chocolate bars, and a biting alcohol reminiscent to port or thick marsala.
M: Very syrupy and creamy, with some frothiness. It leaves a thickness on the mouth like a dessert wine.
D: Whoa! Not really. I could have many more of most other RISs. I wish I could give this one a better score, but it's definitely a sipping beer.

ne0m00re, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of Ryan011235
2.25/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter on 4/12/10; shared with two friends

2009 vintage

The color is a very dark scorched crimson brown, which appears jet black once settled in the glass. I honestly don't know as that I'd liken it to motor oil. Is it dense, thick & viscous? Yeah, man. But motor oil? The pour resulted in hardly any head. Despite a few intense swirls conjuring the most minute layer of film, there is nothing in terms of retention. Of course it follows that there is no lacing.

The aroma is pretty good. Dark fruits & burnt malts are notable. Notes of prunes, plum, raisins & currants, though the latter is a little less apparent than the others. Molasses, caramel, brown sugar overtones. Something in there is akin to tobacco - maybe dip spit. Hints of sweet dark chocolate. This smells very sweet; maybe too much so. Some alcohol heat is apparent as well.

Upfront, I think the taste is rather good. It is a complex culmination of burnt malts, potent dark fruits & sugars. Smooth & sweet milk chocolate blends with hits of roasted coffee. My enjoyment of the taste starts to wane during the middle when a much-too-potent sweetness becomes apparent. It just turns into a sticky sweet mess, in my opinion. The problem seems to stem from the beer trying to do too much at once. On the one hand are the burnt aspects, on the other, the sweet aspects - either of which would be passable were the other scaled down. Couple that tobacco harshness & I think it's just too much. This sentiment is only intensified by a weird numbing medicinal quality that manifests toward the end. Meh.

For the most part I can't fault the mouthfeel. The body is full with reasonable viscosity. Carbonation is appropriately very low. Lingering on the finish are notes of burnt tobacco & alcohol. Unfortunately the numbing quality detracts from the overall feel. Other than that the mouthfeel is quite good.

While I didn't find Dark Lord "all it's cracked up to be," I would not be opposed to trying it again. I would actually like to try it fresh to see if the harsher nature of the beer overshadows the sweetness as I presume it might. As it stands, this beer is still suspect in my opinion. I will certainly update & adjust accordingly if I have a different experience.

Ryan011235, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of CosmoHopHead
4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 Dark Lord

A: pours super dark super thick. a very small, thin light brown head

S: smells of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malts and dark fruits, dark roasted coffee beans

T: wow! I mean WOW! absolutely wonderful. sweet and bitter. roasted malts dance perfect with the hops. dark chocolate and fruits and a hint of dark coffee beans.

M: thick, chewy, heavy yet smooth. coats your mouth perfectly

D: incredibly drinkable at the big 15% abv. a little hot on the throat but I can imagine this will mellow and be even more incredible in 6+ months or so. Can't wait to try it then.

So glad I got to try this amazing RIS. Can't wait to try it over the next couple years to see how much better it gets. Time is on this beers side.

Highly recommend to all!

CosmoHopHead, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of abrand
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, my first sip of Dark Lord at the 2010 DLD. Served in a plastic cup after claiming by bottles

The pour is oil black with a very small head that dissipates quickly. Totally opaque. Smells of dark chocolate, molasses, and plenty of sugar. Coffee is present but not very noticeable. Taste is amazingly great. Thick as oil and packed with malts, sugar, and chocolate. For the huge ABV this drinks well for a stout. Will look forward to popping the first bottle in 6 months to see how it develops. This beer deserves all the hype it reserves.

abrand, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

In the last couple of years, we've seen some potential cracks in the armour of this highly hyped monster stout. After a widely acclaimed version in 2008, some felt that the 2009 was just a sugar and soy bomb. Between that and the explosion of Dark Lord Day into an over-sold drunken mosh-pit, some of the gleem has worn off the DL label. While the event still has its problems, I'm happy to say that the beer is back with a vengeance.

At a glance, DL exhibits its classic qualities. Every black-hole, light-sucking, bottomless pit metaphor has been used to describe this beer, so I'll just say it's dark. Very dark. On the pour, a half-finger head tries to make a brief appearance, but it is swiftly beaten into submission, never to appear again. No lacing, no whisps of bubbles, just a flat, smooth, dark surface.

The smell leans strongly towards the sweet: burnt molasses, prune and dark chocolate take the lead. A whiff of tobacco and espresso round things out. There's a little soy and booze on the nose as well, but not enough to throw things off too much.

The mouthfeel is just about perfect. Whereas the '09 had a motor-oil consistency that seems to polarize reviewers, the 2010 has a slightly more subtle vinous feel: full and velvety, but not suffocatingly thick.

A few sips shows that the 2010 DL vintage is not an unbalanced lunatic. Instead, this year's version brings some complexity to the mix. The familiar sweetness is there of course: creme caramel, milk chocolate, and port qualities take their familiar role at the lead. However, unlike last year, the coffee flavors are allowed to slowly work their way into the mix. By the end, this beer is, in its own freakish way, balanced. Don't get me wrong, Dark Lord is still a very sweet stout. If you prefer a stout that leans towards charred coffee flavors, this may not be the beer for you.

The boozy finish (turbo-charged to 15% this year) knocks this down a peg or two on both taste and drinkability. That said, given its complexity, the 2010 shows immense potential for aging. Once the booze calms down a bit, I think ultimately this will go down as one of the best vintages of this beast.

chicagobeerriot, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of jsh420
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

on tap DLD

pours pitch black (one of the darkest beers i have had) no head just some tan bubbles on the edge of the cup

smell - not as enticing as the vanilla bean DL but still very good - rich heavy roasted chocolate malts coffee dark fruit

taste - like the smell big flavors roasted malts chocolate malts dark fruit carmel toffee malts some coffee and good amount of hops

mouthfeel - heavy thick viscous coats the inside of your mouth - just what you want in a huge ris that tastes so good

drinkability was great - the high abv didnt stop me from having 2 cups

jsh420, Apr 26, 2010
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,482 ratings.