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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.

3,517 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,517
Reviews: 1,172
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,851
Gots: 1,524 | FT: 101
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
A demonic Russian-Style Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar, this beer defies description. Available one day a year, in April at the brewery: Dark Lord Day.

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

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,517 | Reviews: 1,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drunkmonk
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

08 Vintage.

Jett black pour, like motor oil or black syrup. Small brown lace forms for just a minute, then vanishes. Small oil pach lace remains in it's wake. Nose is full of sweet molasses, raisin, licorice, black currant fruits, mixed with charred malts and chocolate undertones. Very sweet aromas. Thick lush full on body. Huge roasted and charred malts lead in but not acrid in any way. Coffee, chocolate and burnt fruits follow thru mid palate. Small amount of bitterness on the end, with a spicy alcohol kick. This warms all the way down. Finish is long and complex, leaving a melange of coffee, roast, hops,dried fruits, and ethanol spice. A world class sipper for sure.

Photo of younger35
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this last year at, get this, Dark Lord Day. Yep, just stood in line for 4 hours and viola! Dark Lord. Figured this would be a nice beer to pop on Easter but now that I think of it, this was a horrible beer to open on Easter. Sorry Jesus!! Drank from my Surly Darkness snifter.

2008 version

Appearance- Pours a pitch black with a decent half finger dark brownish red head that disappears as quickly as it showed up. No cap or collar is anywhere to be had.
Smell- Loads of deep dark molasses and caramel and although they're both strong, the dark chocolate wins. Some coffee, or probably more accurately, espresso isn't as strong as you'd think but it's there. Lightly smoky and somewhat charred the fruitiness cuts in with loads of prunes, the burnt currants mentioned on the bottle and cherries. Also a bit of black licorice and alcohol.
Taste- It's like a big burnt fruity ball of licorice and molasses. Starts nice and roasted with a fair amount of sweetness that is very Port like. Tons of bourbon soaked cherries, prunes, dates, figs and any other overly ripe dark fruit you can think of. Both red and black licorice and tons of rich caramel with a touch of chocolate. Not really much in the way of coffee but I think I'm perceiving it more as the roasted character of the beer. Plenty of hops as well as a light bitterness is detectable under everything but the sweetness sort of keeps it hidden fairly well. Finishes with a dark spiciness that is roasty and toasty and lightly smoky.
Mouthfeel- Thick and rich and viscous with a hugely bold feel that is cough syrup like. Amazing how much smoother this brew got over the past year. When I popped a bottle the day I got it last year it was still big but it wasn't yet creamy and smooth. It was gritty and very raw (as is the final pour of the bottle)
Drinkability- Well all in all it's amazing how everything really comes together after a year. It's much easier drinking, although I still find myself having problems putting down an entire bomber. It's 10x better than Darkness though as the hops aren't quite so over-the-top. All in all great beer that is a treat every-now-and-again. Can't wait to grab a couple bottles of '09 in a couple weeks.

Photo of stonequarrywest
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 into my KBS snifter

Pours deep dark and beautiful...like motor oil. Really is like motor oil... thin head that doesnt stick around.

Complex nose of deep roasted malts, chocolate, burnt fruits..tobacco. Love it.

Clings to the glass with every sip..Huge thick mouthfeel...fork and knife thick. Sweet coffee, raisins, chocolate....

Insanely good Beer

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

2007 release, acquired from grub courtesy of the Birthday Club 2 BIF, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark black color, with a thin brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark robust roasted malts, dark fruit, chocolate and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is everything you look for in an RIS. The semi-sweet flavor of dark chocolate is complemented by mild flavors of dark fruit and coffee. The malt character is as hearty as you will find and there's a mild hops presence that is enough bring a good balance. There's absolutely no trace of the 13.00% ABV. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Viscous and extremely smooth, heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, sticky finish.

D: Very tasty and flavorful, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling for such a thick beer, very strong kick, excellent representation of style, this is a tremendous beer that is worth all of the hype it has received.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one with many thanks to brothers-from-other-mothers DavidEddie and drunkmonk. YOU GUYS ROCK!! THANKS SOOO MUCH!!!
Again, i need to be reminded about 'true to style'...and what the difference is in expectations between RIS and Double Stouts. Personally, this one leans more towards my favorite 'Doubles'. The smell is aggressive and rich with a ton of depth and complexity. The sweet rich substantive characteristics of molasses, licorice and dark fruit dominate the nose and it is complimented by the full bodied, lightly carbonated, creamy yet almost oily character of the mouth feel in the way that it lingers appropriately. Full flavored, the taste is as complex and as deep as the nose. Molasses, licorice, roasted malt, ja-mocha and slightly fruity. A classic "sipper", the 13% ABV is genuinely part of the experience, but somehow buried beneath the intensity of the flavors and textures. Seriously 'way beyond' my expectations.

Photo of jwolfie70
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. The first thing that strikes you about this beer is its thickness. A lot of beers claim to pour like motor oil, this one actually comes close to pulling that off. A thick, viscous, dark liquid poured out of the bottle into my glass. The smell and taste were both very complex, with chocolate, slight coffee, vanilla and roasted molasses coming through.

A great stout, which comes very close to living up to the enormous hype.

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


This first time I had this beer it was a "no-name". I bought twelve bottles for $150... now you can't even get two for that price. When I brought it home and poured... it wrecked my glass. I had to throw it out!!!

The 08 has come a long way. It pours pitch black with little or no head. The smell is blackberries, carmel, coffee, vanilla, and similar hints to Alpha King and Gumballhead.

The taste is hard to explain. Imagine you're walking down the street and someone just shoved a sandwich in your mouth. You'd be shock. And I still am everytime I drink it. Sorry I can't go any further than that... Just get some.

Mouthfeel is like oil. Craziness!

Lots of drinkability here... but certainly because of it's uniqueness and freak-show like fame.

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

In a tulip:

Head is so dark! Two fingers in the tulip. It's only fault is
retention, which is understandable given the ABV. Dark dark brown, murky with particulates. Unbelievable aroma. Chocolate covered cherry smell is uncanny, with a touch of vanilla and alcohol (specifically bourbon). Hint of allspice as well. Taste has a cherry chocolate entrance with mocha finish and a strong coffee aftertaste that lingers for a good amount of time. Extremely well balanced. This is the thickest beer I've ever tried. Remarkably creamy. Infalliable carbonation. High alcohol, bitter, and flavor in general make this beer laborious on the palate, reducing drinkability substantially. Don't get me wrong though, I would drink a case of this if I could.

Overall: I'm reluctant to give 5's... ever. This beer moved me.

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

Vertical tasting 2006, 2007, 2008

Characteristics were mostly the same however the 06 was the most mild of the 3 the 07 was perfect and the 08 was still a little hot with that standard FFF kick in the pants! Overall I think the 07 was the best of the group, and from what I could tell 2 years is the perfect age for this brew.

Appearance- Thick like carbonated used motor oil. Coffee colored head, no real lacing but coated the glass everywhere it touched.

Smell- very complex. Lots of booze. Lots of charred malt. Tobacco/raisin is strongly in the nose as well.

Taste- again, very complex. The alcohol is very subdued compared to how it smells and how high the level is. It tastes very charred. Coffee, chocolate, cherries, raisins/tobacco.

Mouthfeel- insanely thick. It makes all other beers seem watery in comparison. Feels like a milkshake in my mouth. Lots of warming from the high ABV.

Drinkability- not a session beer but great to share with other enthusiasts.

Photo of yeastsipper
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with fogdog. Much appreciated. Poured as part of an RIS blind tasting. 2008 vintage. DL came in a close 2nd of 11 beers tasted by 5 person panel.

Beautiful dark black beer with caramel head. Lacing is amazing, absolutely coats the glass. I have never seen anything like it.

Smells of chocolate and tar, some deeply ripe prunes with lot of mineral notes. Taste is of chocolate, roasted tars, some fruit but really takes a backseat to the roastiness. The fruit really comes forward on the aftertaste, where amazingly a beer this thick and roasty leaves almost winelike flavors.

The mouthfeel is amazing. So thick, almost milkshake like. I can see how some might not find this appealing, but I loved it. So unique, flavorful and decadent.

Without a doubt, Darklord lives up to its reputation. Get your hands on a bottle and give it a try.

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

In honor of the upcoming Golden Ticket Day, I cracked open my one bomber from the 2008 release as part of a Saturday night tasting.

First off, thanks to a great BA trader, DLeep, for throwing this bottle my way last year. Dave, you are a great trader!

Hard to add anything new that has not already been said.

Like a lot of people have said, the sweetness of this beer will either entice you or turn you off somewhat. We sampled this versus a 2007 Abyss and the contrast was fairly extreme.

A - Poured from a bomber into a waiting Dogfish Snifter. Pours dark with a fairly small tan head that rises up during the pour.

S - The classic Russian Imperial Stout smell. Very desirable to say the least.

T - Very sweet, but I actually liked it more than I traditionally like sweeter tasting beers. You get a lot of everything including fruits, some smoke, dark bittersweet chocolate, etc. Certainly it was somewhat refreshing to drink a FFF product and not be rolled over by a pronounced hop profile.

M - Very nice, it's all good.

D - For me, I really enjoyed this but it is a sipper that is worth splitting with friends. I would not see myself drinking one of these by myself.

Is it worth the hype? I guess that the chase on some beers is more than the result. I really liked it but the Abyss was the clear favorite for all who stopped by the tasting. I will certainly search this one out again no doubt, but there are other beers that probably are better in its class.

Dave, thanks again for the hookup on this one. I really appreciated you trading me this bottle. I'll be bothering you again in another month or so if you will be so kind to consider trading another one from this year's upcoming release.

Photo of hellbilly
2.75/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2007 silver wax. pours a viscous brown shade of black with no head. this brew stains the inside of the snifter! aromas of chocolate, dark fruit/prunes/black raisins, vanilla, scorch, heavily roasted grains and molasses... smells an awful lot like a baltic porter should! very dark tasting... lots of grain, ash, licorice, tar, prunes and a touch of umami. just dreadfully sweet. tastes a whole lot like an imperial baltic porter?! beyond full bodied. thick, chewy and coats the tongue... (high score given because it resembles a baltic... my favorite style!)...8/4/6/2/13/3.3

2008 black wax. viscous blackish pour with some orange highlights in the thin brown head. smells kinda like sam adams triple bock only it doesn't make me want to vomit... maple wood smoke, soy, bacon, maple syrup, chocolate and all around sludge. really sweet on the palate to the point my teeth hurt. flavors of vanilla, chocolate, salt, booze and lots of cloying residual/sugars/molasses. hot finish. heavy body with a cloying thick mouth feel... 8/4/5/2/12=3.1

orange 2005 bottle via footy sampled in 2009 at bill and wendy's. viscous (i'm seeing a trend) burgundy black with no head. the nose has some baltic qualities... licorice, molasses and malt powder followed by chocolate, roast and a heap of floral alcohol. the palate is chokingly thick, rich and still way too sweet. ashiness is noted along with the aroma characteristics. cloying and hard to drink....7/4/5/2/12/3.0

gold 2006 sampled next to 2005 in 2009 at bill and wendy's. pours evil with cold maple syrup consistency (even thicker than the 05). it smells and tastes like a rotting grain silo... thick and gross. 5/4/4/2/12/2.7

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

Had this during one our recent tastings thanks to ThirdLap.
The 08 is among the best beers I have ever had, and without a doubt the hype is worth this exquisite sample of brewmastership.

It looks like someone melted the wax from the top of the bottle and allowed it to flow like lava into the rest of the bottle. Beautiful ebony body with just the right amount of weight.

Smells like malt and caramel with a fig soaked for weeks in bourbon.

The taste of this is no less impressive than the rest of the beer. Gorgous oak aged bourbon with an edge of caramel.

The most impressive aspect of DL is the amazing mouthfeel. No kidding this feels like drinking a glass of double heavy cream. I expect it to taste like whipped cream but instead I am overjoyed with the flavor of the Dark Lord.

I could drink a bottle ot this myself, though it wouldn't be a good idea. It is without a doubt not overhyped...! If you have not tried Dark Lord 07 you MUST do what you have to to get a sample.

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

2009 bottles courtasy of ratpack554

My first fresh bottle of this stuff.

Poured from the brown bomber with white wax dipping on the kneck, into an oversized snifter. Forming a 2'' dark brown head. Receeding to a quarter inch cap of retention. Spotty lace blotches, that for the most part slip back into the brew. Black in color, no light penetration, poures out inky and thick.

Aroma of malted milk balls, lots of sweet malty chocolate and really no alcahol. Its roasty and chocolate like with hints of coffee and peanut butter.

The taste is super sweet with alot of good grain roasty flavors and loads of chocolate. Some toasted oakyness to this. No warming at all, its like a beer chocoalte milk shake.
Just a touch of vanilla, plenty of bakers chocolate and powdered cocoa. Some mild grassy hops into the finish.
This tastres much less sweet then the year old 2008 dark lord. It has alot more grain flavors and a touch of bittering hops that the aged bottle did not have.

Mouthfeel is as before. Insanely thick and rich with creamy textures and just the smallest bit of carbonation upfront. Just a touch of wet cardboard likeness into the finish. I want to saw its the woodyness and freshness to the bottle. Its not like a stale oxidised taste that I have experienced. Just more along the lines of wet, green lumber.

As it has warmed, this flavor has become a bit more pronounced. I think I can lay my finger on it now...It tastes just like sugar cane. As if I were chewing on a sugar can stalk. It has that similar green woody flavor, mixed with the sugary sweetness of the sugars....Very interesting.

Super happy I got to drink a fresh bottle.

Thanks Bob!
Bottles courtasy of gford217 and mcallister.

2008 bottle.

Poured from a 22 oz brown black wax dipped bottle into an oversized snifter.
1 finger of dark mocha brown head quickly receeds, leaving an island of assorted brown bubbles. Rateing of average for appearance, as the head is small and short lived. Leaving very little lace. Black in color with zero light penetration.

Aroma of bakers chocolate, roasty grains, more chocolate and a powdered cocoa like aroma. Chocolate, chocolate and more sweet chocolate.

The taste is super sweet upfront! Much more sweet then desired. Brown sugar and quite a bit of maple syrup taste. Some hints at vanilla, and alot of roasty grain flavors. Molasses, and surprisingly some hop bitterness still lives. At the swallow most, if not all the sweetness drops out. The roasty dark bittering chocolate aste really comes through powerfully after the swallow and into the linger. A touch of smoky oak like woody flavors. Almost no alcahol warming.

The mouthfeel is quite thick and creamy, almost heavy. Slick on the toungue with very little carbonation. The mouthfeel and aroma being my high enjoyment points of the beer. I actually drank this alongside a Darkness last night. The Darklord is probably the thickest most creamy RIS I've ever had. Very pleased with that.

Less sweetness and more of that roasty grain and bitter chocolate flavors that I picked up into the linger would have been nice. Overall its a stand up RIS and I did enjoy it. Very happy to finally taste this beast.
This could have been much higher in abv as there is a shit load of unfermented sweetness in this beer. I do believe that all the sweetness does help mask any boozy warm flavors. There surprisingly is not much warmth this this, very surprising for 13%.

Thanks again Mike and Grant!

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

My first review, thanks for sharing Phil!

2008 bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Definitely one of, if not the thickest beer, I have ever poured out of a bottle. It even appeared to come out in lumps at some points. Blacker than black in color with a dark tan head that is no more than a quarter of an inch thick, which disappears quickly. Lacing is almost non existent.

Smell: Strong chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, malts, all of which smelled roasted.

Taste: Malts and hint of dark fruits come first along with a dash of anise and molasses. The dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors follow in a very strong fashion. The slightest bit of alcohol finishes off the experience.

Mouthfeel: This was the most weird part of the beer for me. The beer was thick and very filling of course but it seemed to expand dramatically in the mouth. Not necessarily a bad quality but not that good either.

Drinkability: Unbelievably drinkable! Finished in no time at all.

Photo of alovesupreme
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

2008 acquired in a traded with Thomashardy
Poured into a Portsmouth snifter, this beer yielded an extremely dark liquid that is one of the most viscous of any beer I have ever seen. Split with drnknmnky and schroederm. Schroederms was poured third and was a completely different color. While the first two were pitch black the third was a murky dark brown due to sediment.
Possibly the most complex nose of any beer I have yet to try. Chocolate covered Cherries are up front and very present along with chocolate and coffee. Some liqueur is also noticeable, possibly rum. With some allspice hidden in the finish.
Cherry cordial is very prominent but not nearly as sweet. 85% chocolate is the next most prominent smell. The alcohol is hidden very well for being 13% but is still noticeable. The finish is a very roasted bitterness, similar to the effect of biting a raw coffee been.
This beer possesses the definitive consistency for an RIS.
This is an astonishing beer. Well worth the praise it receives.

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

2008 vintage, so about 10 months of cellar aging.

Appearance: This is a vicious beer, pours an Exon-Valdez thick crude oil black. Almost no head (1mm) and no lacing. But if you swirl it, the glass is very well coated.

Smell: caramel-toffee, fudge, molasses (sweet, not blackstrap), Rich dark chocolate, mocha coffee, dark fruit, prunes, plums, raisins, port, honey, hint of licorice.

Taste: fudge, caramel-toffee, sweet molasses, mocha coffee, dark fruit, prunes, plums, chocolate-covered cherries (there are lots of dark/chocolate fruits present). Much sweeter than I expected, and I appreciate that there is no over-bearing burnt coffee or chocolate. I never once noticed the 13% and was shocked to see it, it is not a "hot" beer. Very warming on this cold winter night. A strong port-like character, very acidic, lost of prune/plum/ chocolate cherries.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly thick, almost like a milkshake. Feel of molasses and honey.

Drinkability: I was surprised by how easily the first 1/2 went down, the second half had more sediment and was not quite as good.

I am glad I was able to try this beer, but I will not seek it again. It could benefit from some time in a bourbon barrel.

I am doing a week-long RIS tasting, Darkness, Dark Lord, Kate the Great, Founders RIS, Sexual chocolate, etc. I found Dark Lord to be much thicker and more complex than Darkness.

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

Today was 'Open that Bottle' day, so I figured why not celebrate by finally cracking a bottle of Dark Lord to split with BA Macktbone. This was an '08 example, which I figure makes it at least ten months old.

No goblets on hand, so we had to go with pint glasses. DL pours thick, viscous, and oily, with a thick, creamy-looking dark tan head. The head recedes to a slight film after a few minutes, revealing lots of lacing. Swirling results in a viscous coating that tints the glass dark brown. This stuff just looks evil.

The nose is filled with molasses, roasted malt, candied sugar, dark chocolate, soy, and a bit of hops. Very nice.

Dark Lord is dark bitter chocolate on the tongue initially, followed by a subtle hop bite and a myriad of difficult to discern flavors. Dark fruits, molasses, brown sugar, coffee... it's all here. Absolutely delicious.

That said, the one thing that absolutely sets DL apart from any other beer is its mouthfeel. It literally has to be experienced to fully comprehend just how this beer completely envelops your tongue on each sip. It's like a stout with the consistency of sweet thick cream. You find yourself taking sip after sip to experience it again.

Carbonation is relatively low, and most apparent with the swallow. I'm still amazed that this beer is 13% abv, as the alcohol burn is almost non-existent. Finish is smooth and chocolatey.

This has become my new favorite Russian Imperial Stout. Dark Lord, like Westy 12, is worth the hype.

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

Thank you to inflatablechair. Cheers for this one! Drinking this for crack that bottle night. 2008 vintage.

Pour makes dark lord seem like a wise choice for a name. Black, oily, thick, minimal tan head.

Smells very sweet an caramel with background hints of fruit, coffee, and chocolate.

Tastes different than any other stout I have had.. The candy sweetness is out front and in the aftertaste, and coffee and fruit hits in the middle. Very complex and the flavor changes as the drink progresses.

Mouth is thick, coating, and nearly flat, which is how I like my ris.

What a fantastic stout, the only shame is the difficulty in getting any more.

Photo of abfraser
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 bottling

A: Thick and viscous. Hate to say it because it's so cliche, but this really does pour like motor oil. Black as night with a nice thin milk chocolate head. You know this is going to be intense just by looking at it.

S: Soy sauce, burnt aromas, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits. Medicinal/menthol-y which might be from aged hops?

T/M: Amazingly complex. Over the course of consumption, I wrote down the following: soy sauce, molasses, dark fruit, coffee/chocolate that lingers on the finish, cherry liqueur, menthol, chocolate milk. Mouthfeel is amazingly creamy and full-bodied. This stuff really is extraordinary.

D: I opened this last night with my girl who loves stouts. She proceeded to fall asleep after two sips, which meant almost the entire beer needed to be consumed by me. Not possible. This stuff is so unbelievably intense that you must split it. While everything is extremely well-balanced given how much is going on this needs to be taken into account as a minor negative. This needs to be in 12oz bottles for personal consumption.

Overall, a beer that lives up to the hype. Extraordinarily good.

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

Poured from a bottle of 2008

A - Poured a pitch black color with a brown head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is wonderful of roasted malt that give off chocolate coffee and dark fruit scents

T - The taste lived up to the hype for me like the smell chocolate and dark fruit flavors made this one a very good beer

M - Outstanding nice full body that was creamy smooth with light carbonation to it

D - Just about as drinkable as you can get for a high abv RIS the taste and smooth mouthfeel made this beer a joy to drink worth hunting down to try

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

sampled the 2008 bottle

dark espresso color, aroma was cherry, vanilla, roasted coffee, and some additional dark fruit - fig?

flavor is initially a bit too boozy, has a funny... well unexpected hint of oak - rounds vanilla, and coffee with a nice kiss of hops

throughout the finish the slick beverage lingers to create the best mouthfeel I've ever experienced

in closing, I think DL deserves a couple years under its belt to fully enhance the flavor but it is quite a stellar beer

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

Wow. This is a stellar RIS. A thick brown head forms atop a black viscous fluid. Retention is nice and the lacing is sticky, very good looking.

Smell is sweet chocolate and caramel malts. Roasted dark grains and coffee. An undercurrent of dark fruits from raisins and prunes to figs and dates. There is a touch of chocolate cherries as well. Burnt sugar and molasses swirl in and out, bringing notes of sweet alcohol.

Taste is chocolate, espresso, and charred sugar. The chocolate cherries really come through now. The thick and full feeling allow the flavors to hang on your tongue for luscious amounts of time. Burnt sugary molasses and charred caramel flow in a viscous fashion. Dark bready malts peep through here and there and blend with the sweet alcohol. Bittering is low and mellow. Just enough to dry the finish and leave a touch of charcoal and toasted buttered molasses bread.

Drinkabiity is criminal for a beer of this strength. Maybe I should give it a five.

Just superb. The taste of this beer would rate a 5.5 if I could.

Photo of gregc
2.95/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviews of 2008 and 2009...averaged out.

2008 bottle.

pours a motor oil like thick black. with a nice espresso like thin head.
smells of heavily roasted malt, burnt coffee, dark chocolate. Very complex.
taste is very similar to the nose roasted malt, burnt coffee, dark chocolate, caramel. A very complex and intense beer. The mouthfeel is ridiculous, so think almost milkshake like.
A wonderful beer.

2009 bottle

Appearace sucked...poured into a glass, little to no head,
thin looking body.
Aroma started out ok, some chocolate, roasted malts, then
i was hit with the nail polish remover, acetic acid and
sweaty towel. Not really what i was expecting from this
Taste was pretty God awful. Burnt meat from a gas grill,
vinegar, and rotten coffee grounds. Im very shocked, i
think i may have gotten a bad bottle, but i have been told
by a few people that they have had similar experiences.
Mouthfeel also sucked...thin, boring.
Drinkability dumped over half the bottle...

Photo of jgap
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enormous thanks to Matt for contributing this bottle to our tasting. Wow... Smell is wonderful- fruits, chocolate, and coffee mocha. Lots of mocha sweetness. Hops are detectible. The taste is instantly toffee. It's a nice intro because if you haven't heard about how huge this beer is the smell warned you that you're in for it. A splash of ripe fruit, dark raisins, and prunes then, like cat Vs train, it hits you. Thick, very thick molasses, huge roasted toffee, and a little hops with some coffee notes to help you through. It's an amazingly deep taste of dark fruit, however, you can also concentrate on the lighter toffee, coffee and hoppy notes to experience it in a completely different way. It's very rich and fades with a coffee tinge. The alcohol is dangerously undetectable. There is also a craft/homebrew feel to it. I'm not sure if that is coming through in the taste, the smell, or if my mind is simply projecting it. Extremely complex and quite remarkable. Per Matt it's "scrumdiddlyumptious" and I can hear the whistle fading in the distance...

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
96 out of 100 based on 3,517 ratings.