Dark Lord Imperial Stout - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
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Ratings: 3,234 | Reviews: 1,149 | Display Reviews Only:
4.68/5 rDev +9.3%
Thanks to mudpuppet for splitting his with a few of us. This was a 2007.
A: Thick dark brown with a red hue on the very outside edge. No head at all.
S: Lots of molasses.
T: Even more molasses with a little maple. Very complex and very flavorful
M: Thick and sticky. Stays in your mouth for a long time after the beer is gone.
D: Heavy, but I could definitely drink a few of these. There's so much flavor and the alcohol doesn't feel like 13%.
All around excellent. If anything it's just a hair too sweet, but that's being nit-picky.
03-16-2008 02:42:30 | More by Sigurd
4.03/5 rDev -5.8%
Poured from a bottle into a small wine glass.
Appearance is pitch black with some ruby highlights at the rim and no head to speak (probably the way we poured). Nose is burnt fruit, alcohol, prunes, port. Taste is burnt malt (and lots of it), some over-ripe fruit, raisins, milk chocolate, some mild hop aftertaste and alcohol. Mouthfeel is very viscous with mild bubbles and a lingering burned malt flavor.
A good brew, very mildly reminiscent of Sam Adam's Triplebock in some respects. I would have it again, but it is certainly immensely overrated.
03-16-2008 02:18:25 | More by triplecoil
4.22/5 rDev -1.4%
Silver waxed 2007 bottle.
A- Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a motor oil black with a reddish hue around the sides. No head to speak of.
S- A bourbon barrel nose (even though I don't think it is bourbon barrel aged). Dark malts prevail in this nose. Not quiet as fragrant as I was hoping.
T- Very dark malts with a noticeable alcohol. Molasses, dark fruits and a boubon-y flavor. Some coffee and chocolate in this one too.
M- This is a thick one. Nice mouthfeel for a RIS. Lower carbonation.
D- So obviously I couldn't get too many bottle of this but it is very tasty. I tried Darkness recently and was let down so I am happy this is a great beer.
03-16-2008 02:15:42 | More by Mudpuppet
2.88/5 rDev -32.7%
What a total let down. I split this bottle three ways and thank God I did, because I couldn't have handled more than the 7 1/3 ounces I put down. All I can keep thinking is that this is a stout that they actually added some port wine directly to the bottle for a 50/50 mixture. The look and aroma are really a wonderful thing, but the sweetness and wine like taste are just too much for me.
I've had many other imperial stouts, and this ranks at the bottom. In fact, the next beer I am going to review has a higher alcohol content （It is the Bristol XXX Winter Warlock) and it totally retains a stout like character. I would never have known that the DL was an imperial stout. My suggestion... don't skip this one... you have to try just to say you've done it, but be ready. As far as flavors go in the DL, pretty much all the other reviews hit it head on... they just forgot to mention the addition of 11 ounces of port wine. :)
03-14-2008 23:17:52 | More by twokansamm
3.78/5 rDev -11.7%
Pours opaque brown/black with very little brown head, and smells almost like an english barleywine. the taste is very carameley sweet, but still bitter at the same time. it has a super thick mouth-feel one that i would expect from a barleywine, not bad, but not quite what i was expecting. drinks real slow. overall a good brew, just not quite what the hype makes it out to be.
02-29-2008 03:04:38 | More by irishevans
4.35/5 rDev +1.6%
2007 vintage, thanks to orbitalr0x for the trade.
Pours incredibly black with no light escaping and no head whatsoever. The nose is strangely sweet and reminds me slightly (very) of JW Lees. Wierd I know. Upon first taste there are notes of smoke and oak. Plenty of Vanilla. Dark bitter chocolate and slight coffee flavors round out the middle. Hop bitterness creeps up on the finish with an akward sweetness ala BBCS on the finish. Mouthfeel is good and viscous, but could be creamier. The drinkability is good, but Ive had better. I can't help but think this is a classic case of the hype machine getting out of control. This is a wonderful imperial stout, but to tell you truth, Id rather have a breakfast stout or and old/older viscosity. Dont get me wrong, this is a wonderful imperial stout, but, well... didn't live up to the hype for me.
Note: 2008 vintage was more desireable for me fresh, and having tried some vintages as early as 05, this beer ages extremely well. A fine imperial stout, under the right circumstances.
02-29-2008 02:50:27 | More by AKBelgianBeast
4.78/5 rDev +11.7%
A beefy two finger milk chocolate brown head has incredibly active bubbles that fade to just a skim in a couple of minutes. Body is an evil soulless pure blackness. Nose resembles port very much in a good way with alchol soaked dark fruit, well made licorice with some electric sweet tones. Smooth silky blackness enters the mouth with first sip. The port characteristics keep true with the flavor with some dark chocolate notes mixed in. Raisens, plums, and rum cake is are darkly delecious. This is luxurious and quite the sipper. Unique in its deepth and complexity among stouts. Mouthfeel is very dark and desirabley rich. Although I couldnt drink this everyday, I would love to. Amazing, bold and rich.
02-24-2008 23:43:30 | More by SPLITGRIN
3.83/5 rDev -10.5%
2007 vintage with silver wax.
Appearance - Oily and black with no head whatsoever. The occasional rising bubble settles on the surface for a moment, giving the appearance of a bubbling tar pit. Although there's no lace, the beer does coat the glass in an oily residue.
Smell - Sweet and rich. Molasses, coffee and milk chocolate come to mind, with undertones of vanilla and raisins.
Taste - Mellower than I was expecting and actually downright pleasant. Flavors of licorice, molasses, vanilla and coffee blend together harmoniously, presenting enough complexity to make this an enjoyable beer to sip for several hours. The finish is long and coating, leaving a roasted bitterness on the palate. No noticeable alcohol despite the rather high ABV; the sweet, rich flavors seem to overpower its presence.
Mouthfeel - Thick; absurdly thick. Dark Lord gave me a new standard for the term "full-bodied." This beer literally has the consistency of whole milk. Carbonation is nearly non-existent and never really felt, which only contributes further to the chewy mouthfeel.
Drinkability - The massive mouthfeel, while probably the beer's greatest attribute, also makes it difficult to drink both frequently and in large quantities - I'd have a hard time finishing a bottle by myself.
02-22-2008 18:30:42 | More by largadeer
4.68/5 rDev +9.3%
Vintage 2007. Poured into a 6oz brandy snifter. Poured jet black with wisps of mahogany along the edges when the liquid was held up to the light. The beer had almost no head whatsoever even with a aggressive pour, but left oily lacing down the entirety of the glass. Beautiful beer. Aroma was big with coffee and bakers chocolate up front. Hints of vanilla, toffee, and plums were also there. The finish of the nose was almost cherry/almond. Taste was up front with the coffee and anise but mellowed into dark fruits and chocolate with a slight alcoholy burn that paired extremely well. Mouthfeel was full and oily. Exceptionally drinkable.
02-18-2008 18:24:55 | More by hwwty4
4.25/5 rDev -0.7%
A bottle of 2007 consumed just about one year later.
Black. Dark. Evil pour. Motor oil is lighter than this. Smooth looking as well. Head stayed a bit low, built up to about 1 finger, dense off brown/tan and sticky.
Coffee, chocolate, powder cocoa, anise, plum and alcohol round out the nose. Not one is dominant or too strong. Nice blend. Mix could be confusing.
Coffee and anise at the start of the taste. Followed close with unripe black plum, some prune and molasses. Ends with a touch of caramel, but mostly powder cocoa and silk chocolate. Not as complex as I thought it would be. Not as outstanding as I thought.
A good brew, but not worth the trade and effort to obtain.
02-18-2008 05:27:37 | More by Mebuzzard
4.4/5 rDev +2.8%
Finally decided to crack this one open...
I got 2 bottles courtesy of mynie and todd1, thanks again guys!
This is from 2007.
Pours super thick, black, and with a dark tan head that fades rather quickly.
Aromas are of burnt sugars, molasses, dark baking chocolate and booze.
This is a very flavorful beer, but not overpowering. Smooth dark burnt bitter chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts, molasses, and some booze flavors. Finish is warm, long, and with a sharp mineral hop bite.
Mouthfeel is great, very thick and full in the mouth.
Drinkability is quite good. Dark Lord lived up to the hype for me. Not the best beer I have had, nor the best Russian Imperial Stout I've had either. But with that said, this is still a top notch beer, that is very deserving of the high scores it receives.
02-11-2008 03:51:30 | More by flexabull
4.9/5 rDev +14.5%
I haven't written a review in a while...you know how it goes. However, I recently acquired a bottle of Dark Lord from a friend back in Indiana for Christmas (new best friend). He went through all the trouble of waiting in line on Dark Lord day out in Munster, and I got to reap all the benefits. Thanks Konrad! You're a hero among men.
Dark Lord. It's definitely a sippin' beer. A spectacular sippin' beer. I poured it out and you could immediately smell it from across the room. Very strong flavors of oak/chocolate/coffee and fruit and just plain roasted octane. It is a deep dark black color, no opacity, with a brown bubbly head. As if the smell wasn't enough,the taste was just as good and complex - all those flavors that came out in the smell were there in double in the taste.
The only reason this isn't a total 5.0 exceptional in my ratings is because...well, I just don't think I could drink more than the half-a-bottle that I had. It's one of those exceptional things that you can only have a tiny piece of, and only need a tiny piece of, to know that it's special.
02-08-2008 19:58:44 | More by kdoc8
4.85/5 rDev +13.3%
WOW. This beer afflicted pain, in a good way, on everyone of my taste buds. Very strong, I wouldn't be able to drink a 750ml by myself.
A friend brought this over for me to try, and now I have vowed to attended Dark Lord day every year to replenish my stock until I die.
02-07-2008 21:34:31 | More by HopHead1982
4.75/5 rDev +11%
Thanks to KAME for trading the bottle a few years back - this led to many great friendships.
The beer poured a deep coal black with a nice dark brown head.
The aroma of the beer was full of rich coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and some faint vanilla. Some tobacco in the aroma as well. The alcohol helped carry the aroma brilliantly.
The flavor of the beer was full of intense flavors that transitioned well from one to another. Coffee - Chocolate - Rich roasted malts. The flavors seemed to have melded well in the two years of aging. The hops were there in good presence, but not too intense. The finish had a faint smoky/tobacco note that blended very well with the rest of the flavors.
The mouthfeel was thick, but stopped short of being too heavy. The carbonation seemed dialed in well.
DL lived up to the hype IMO. This beer was rich with complex flavors and well balanced. It seemed to seamlessly cascade from one flavor to the next.
02-06-2008 05:45:18 | More by SacoDeToro
3.15/5 rDev -26.4%
I got my hands on a bottle in '07 thanks to a friend of mine out in IL. I had been sitting on it for a special occasion so cracked it during the Super Bowl.
As I poured the viscous, used motor oil looking liquid into my glass the only thing I could think is "what have I gotten myself into?" My new-found affinity for darker stouts and porters (and the hype) had me anxiously awaiting the first sip. Lacing was non-existent and to borrow a wine term- this brew has legs. Actually, it doesn't have legs so much as an oily residue.
The taste? Well, it tasted okay. Chocolate, coffee, smoke... the "dark" flavors are all here. Then there is that alcoholic bite, which helps keep the soy and roasty syrup at bay.
The mouthfeel is heavy, oily, and stifling. The flavors linger but are overwhelmed by the heavy consistency. The flavor to me was simply overpowered by the dense liquid. As a result, I can't say I'd ever seek this out again. Worth trying once.
Not really impressed. Succeeding at beyond over-the-top, but not enjoyable to drink. I ended up pouring the last 1/3 of the bottle.
Recently had some 2010, and didn't like it. I will not change my original review, but this beer is grossly overrated, IMO. Not an enjoyable RIS. I'd give it lower marks if I re-reviewed it.
02-05-2008 15:45:07 | More by mixylplik3
4.72/5 rDev +10.3%
a BIG thanks goes out to BradLikesBrew for this 2007 version of FFF Dark Lord.
this beer poured a thick black substance with little head, but who cares? i have never seen a beer pour so thick and glug out of the bottle.
the smell is exceptional. the smell is of molasses, chocolate, toffee, raisins, dates & other pitted fruits. i'm not certain it gets better than this.
the taste is wonderful and consistant with the smell. ultra complex and a bit smokey tasting. little alcohol is present at first, but it settles in quite nicely.
the mouthfeel is thick, oily, full, & sticky.
i loved this beer and as barefootbrewer said below, begs to know if there is another.
as a side note, i have also never seen a beer cling to the side of the glass like this one does. by the time i finished the beer, the entire inside of my glass was coated with a thick molasses like substance that i completely feel like i cold have scraped off and shoved down in a pipe and smoked.
thanks again Brad for this badass beer.
01-31-2008 14:10:27 | More by deepsouth
4.85/5 rDev +13.3%
Dark Lord 2007:
Well, I turned up the bottle and a thick oil oozed out. There was a slight brown head that decided not to stick around. The aroma is a complex blend of caramel, raisin, coffee, alcohol and chocolate - it is seductive. The taste is a mixture of raw molasses, raisins, brown sugar, and just plain old love. This beer sticky with an alcohol bite. It begs the question - is there another.
01-31-2008 01:57:23 | More by barefootbrewer
4.75/5 rDev +11%
I was going to wait till my 1000th karma point, but what the hell, can't wait that long.
Crack open the silver wax sealed bottle to a soft whiz, pours an oily jet black into the Duvel glass with no action at first, then out of the abyss (er, not that one) comes a dark tan head of an inch, slowly creeping back into the shadows, forming a ring around the outside and a hazy fog in the middle. The lacing comes in sheets down the glass, dissolving with small smattering left as relic.
The aroma lets you know something dense is ahead, but mysteriously so, as if it were a magician slowly revealing its tricks. At first, the obvious, deeply roasted malt, patent, brown sugars and molasses, a faint leafy hop, chocolates, ripe dark fruits. Quite lovely, round, and enticing, it beckons you forward.
The taste is more assertive than the nose, just as well developed. I was almost expecting something more vile, evil and contemptuous, as if I were awaiting the sucking up of my soul. However, Dark as this Lord is, its a delightful treat, thick, oozing flavor, bite-able thickness. Lovers of chocolate, beware! this beer will consume you. Then comes the more bittering flavors, the molasses, but also a sweet brown sugar, dark fruits, and a warm rum like alcohol. Then some leafy hop and sweetness comes though the mid-ending before it bitters out with burnt malt, coffee espresso, and a general kick in the nuts. (Sometimes, I laugh at our attempts to review such beers, cause I just reread this, doesn't even come close)
The mouth, as stated, is thick, viscous, oily slick, silky smooth, nicely warming, and utterly exceptional. The alcohol really is a bit sneaky, though, so watch out.
I'm glad I took so long in searching this one out, and also that I didn't wait on it. Hype notwithstanding, this is an excellent beer, well worth the praise and standing. Personally, I have other favorite RIS's, but don't we all.
A mighty large thanks to MuenchenerKindl for sending me this one (and possibly another soon too!).
01-30-2008 03:22:51 | More by objectivemonkey
4.8/5 rDev +12.1%
Got The Dark Lord a few months ago, and have been staring at it since waiting on the perfect occasion. And today was it, solo style.
Poured into a Stone IRS stem. Sticky, sludge of blackness oozed out of the wax coated bottle neck. The tiny copper-brown head quickly dissolved, leaving a menacing film on top of the sludge.
Aroma of plums, alcohol, port wine with a touch of coffee. Yet to experience aromas like these in a RIS.
Oily first sip...lip coating. Alcohol taste on the tongue with hints of tobacco, smoke, plums and toffee cascading around it. So smooth, yet so oily. The glass contains the sticky, sludgy aftermath. Yet to experience such a complex array of flavors in a RIS.
I rated the drinkability as 'exceptional' given how smooth this 13% RIS is. Very pleasing.
01-24-2008 22:57:56 | More by RustyDiamond
4.85/5 rDev +13.3%
2007 silver wax topped bomber into a Duvel Tulip. Special thanks to Deuane for the hook up on this.
Pours an inky motor oil black with a finger width of burnt tan colored foam. There is almost zero head retention though, as it quickly fizzles out into a thin outside ring and then finally nothing. Just a calm, reflective surface of pitch black. This guy retains in a very different way however, as with each sip he leaves a viscous brown oily residue on the side of the glass, the likes of which I have never seen from another beer. I also have to mention the sediment that was left in the bottom of the bottle. Actually I don't know if sediment is even the right word for it, as it poured out in the glass more like Hersheys Chocolate Syrup and stayed suspended in there for a good bit. This beer just appears beefy and mean and looks like it means serious business. Just awesome looking appearance! The aroma is a huge, and I mean huge nose, of everything that is right about a RIS. Dark chocolate sweetness, burnt coffee, espresso notes, dark fruits, and just a shot of alcohol, the more it warms. I could sit here and sniff this for a good half hour before even taking a sip.
The taste of this brute matches the aroma profile almost to a tee. Chocolate sweetness dominates but once again up rears very pronounced accents of coffee and espresso mixed with dark fruits. It finishes with a combo of burnt bitterness and a warming heat that lingers long after it's left your mouth. The mouthfeel of this beer is like nothing else that I have ever felt, with a monstrously thick and viscous feel that coats the entire mouth. To be honest, as impressed as I am with the body, it also presents my only complaint with the beer, as it's so beefy, it actually helps detract from trying to sense its taste sometimes. Heat is present in each sip but it compliments rather than hinders, adding some much needed warmth to an already awesome feel.
Wow, if ever a beer's name matched its personality, it's the Dark Lord. From its appearance, to its taste, to its body, this is just one dark, angry, powerful mother of a beer that takes what is capable in an RIS to a whole new level. While definitely a steady sipper, it's still an unforgettable beer drinking experience.
01-23-2008 16:57:18 | More by Kegatron
4.83/5 rDev +12.9%
Big thanks to Kegatron for sharing this bad boy with me.
Pours a thick, motor oil viscous and black color with very little burnt wood tan head, no retention, no lacing, but there is a grease layer, beautiful. Bottom of bottle has a chocolate syrup type sediment, which oddly enough, made an evil face in my glass, must be the Dark Lord himself. Smells of burnt embers, milk chocolate, baking cocoa, coffee, and dark fruits. Lots of flavors going on here. Taste starts off like a creamy chocolate milkshake with some black cherries and a touch of semi-sweet chocolate on top, but just as you're sitting down to a nice dessert milkshake, you're reminded that you're drinking pure evil, and with an assault of coffee and espresso, you're brought back to reality. Lots of heat as it comes to room temperature. Creamy and smooth, any fuller in body and it would break the glass. Only downside, the alcohol presence as it warms takes away from some of the taste. One of the best beers out there, and while some may say it's overhyped, it deserves its honors. If only it were more readily available, I'd drink this stuff as much as possible.
01-21-2008 02:58:15 | More by HopDerek
4.7/5 rDev +9.8%
Vintage '07 bomber into a red wine glass.
A: Blood red and murky. It pours absoutely still with no head at all. It really looks more like a red wine than a beer. And somehow I just can't shake the feeling that it's a glass of blood. It just looks so totally evil. Hints of brown.
S: Cherries and leather, mostly.
T: Steak?! I was not prepared for that in the least. It seems fitting, somehow that the most elusive and diabolical of all Imps tastes like red meat. It also has a pronounced cherry flavor as well as a late-palate leathery dryness. There is no hint of alcohol at all, let alone 13 points worth. This beer is truly outstanding.
M: This beer has perfect mouthfeel. It is not just motor-oil -thick, but it has this sludge-like murk factor that I haven't found anywhere else.
D: Given the incredibly high alcoholic content of this beer, it is nothing short of amazing that it is as drinkable as it is. However, it is also so rich, intensely flavor and on the sweet side that I am glad I was able to share the bomber with a very good friend.
A ground-breaking and incredibly unique interpretation of the style. Excellent, and well worth seeking out.
01-07-2008 02:48:07 | More by Boppar
4.88/5 rDev +14%
Doing my 100th review in style.
2007 vintage Dark Lord Russian Style Imperial Stout, silver wax.
a: Deep black body allows no light to penetrate. Has a thin dark brown head that fades swiftly. The thick body leaves no lacing, but seems to be staining my glass with the brown syrup it leaves on the edge.
s: The complex, entoxicating aroma includes chocolate, dark figs and molasses, its out of this world.
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, not too rich. The flavors are strong but polished. Glad I let this one hangout for 9 months before cracking it open, can't wait to see how this tastes in a year or five.
m: Thick. Maple syrup thick. It doesn't coat your tongue with chocolate malt, it replaces your tongue with a chocolate-covered coffee bean. I think I could have thai for dinner and I would still taste nothing but chocolate. No carbonation to speak of, as it should be. Needless to say, dark lord is a full bodied brew.
d: The booze is there, I don't think you can hide a 13% abv. That being said, it is remarkably subdued. If my gut could handle all the calories, my brain could justify the extravagance, and my liver could take the punishment I would drink several of these (okay, maybe split several).
Any good review of Dark Lord must address the hype that this beer has created. It is a great beer. No question. Is it the best beer in America? I don't think so. I don't think there is such a thing. It is the best RIS I have had, but I have not had Kate or Darkness or Black Albert. Once you get to the top beers in most categories, I think its just up to personal preference/expectations. Would I attend Dark Lord Day to get more of it? I will certainly try.
01-06-2008 22:20:57 | More by BradLikesBrew
4.3/5 rDev +0.5%
Big thanks to BeerBeing for one of the most talked about beers on BA. I've been sitting on this one for a while, tonight is as good a night as any to pop the top.
2007 silver waxed top. Poured into a snifter. Allowed to warm up a bit after pulling it out of the fridge.
Pours an absolute midnight onyx black with not a speck of light shining through. For how wide the snifter is, the one finger dark tan head is very impressive although it does die down a bit quicker than I had hoped. Good, thick stickiness left on the sides after tilting the glass from side to side. First smell I get is mostly dark fruits. Big fig, raisin, and date aromas with a strong roasted barley background. Lots of molasses, caramel malt, and brown sugar sweetness in the nose as well. Unfortunately there is a fairly strong alcohol presence, but with all the other wonderful smells going on with this brew I can't complain. I was expecting more in terms of smokiness with this one, but the sweetness definitely dominates the nose overall. Well then, I guess the charred aspect comes into play with the flavor. Up front is a strong smokey sting combined with an almost raspberry like sweetness. Big dark chocolate malt and roasted barley midway through. There is a slight hop bite hidden, but noticable. Aftertaste is wood-like with a carmelized almond flavor, very pleasant. Huge thick and chewy mouthfeel, just how it should be. For how in your face the alcohol was in the nose, the lack of it on the tongue is quite nice. Damn good RIS, I look forward to seeing how it compares to Kate.
01-05-2008 02:11:46 | More by BeerTruth
4.47/5 rDev +4.4%
Ringing in the new year with an '07 from DLD.
Poured at 50º into a 3F imperial pint. Dark mocha tinged foam swells to the rim, around three fingers high. The slow cascade effect is pretty impressive as well as the high density of the head. Over time, the foam diminishes, but the first impression is spectacular.
Sweet aroma of prune, raisin, bittersweet bakers chocolate, slightly milky. More smoke or char would be nice, but this works, it's not boozy at all. Very desserty.
Plenty of complexity, layers of Belgian chocolate, plums, raisin, molasses, very slight residual hint of coffee in the sweet, roasty finish that lasts for a few minutes.
Rich, sticky, and lip-smacking. The body is huge and fudgy, and the extra long finish is perfect for a RIS of this fortitude.
One can finish a bottle, but it's a very rare treat. Just like eating that 2nd or 3rd piece of chocolate cheesecake....
01-01-2008 05:50:02 | More by emerge077
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,234 ratings.