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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.

3,155 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,155
Reviews: 1,145
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,686
Gots: 1,411 | FT: 89
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
2004 - Red Wax
2005 - Orange Wax
2006 - Gold Wax
2007 - Silver Wax
2008 - Black Wax
2009 - White Wax
2010 - Olive Green Wax
2011 - Yellow Wax
2012 - Red Wax
2013 - Orange Wax
2014 - Blue Wax

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Lord Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,155 | Reviews: 1,145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wildman


4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well I have waited a long time to try this beer, and this brewery sure made me pay for it, but then Dreadnaught should have given me a clue. This beer poured dark as a black hole with no light penatrating it's heavy mass and just probably sucking it in. It formed a reverse cascading (aka Guiness) like foamy dark brown head that refused to leave and coated my Expedition snifter solidly with lace. The aroma was heavy on the malt, with sharp hits of expresso coffee, dark chocolate and and plums. The flavor was heavy malt, dark chocolate with a lighter touch of expresso coffee. The body on this this one is quite thick and creamy while the finish is bittersweet. The alcohol is well hidden and tends to finally make its apparence like a brick wall in the dark. This is a amazing brew, but I doubt I will pay for it again at it's current cost, considering I can get Expedition in my area cheaper. If I begged them to get rid of the wax, will that drop the price a little?

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2005 01:29:47 | More by Wildman
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The beer poured like motor oil into the glass. The color was pitch black and no light penetrated the murky darkness. The head was deep dark brown and frothy. The head was nearly noexistent when first poured and slowly rose in the glass to overflow with a two fingered pour like a volcano erupting in slow motion. The head than took the time to coat the glass as it fell back to the surface of the liquid.

The aroma was strong chocolate and very strong molasses. Also present was a huge dark fruit presence of cherries and prunes and raisins. Alcohol was present in the aroma and added complexity as did a nice biscuit presence and a nice vinous aroma. The aroma was bready and interesting.

The flavor was chocolate and coffee when the head was slurped to avoid spillage from the growing CO2 release as the beer was poured. The head was very thick as was the beer. The flavor of the head was molasses. The flavors of the beer once consumed were coffee and chocolate and a nice roasty character. The fruits of the aroma existed in the flavor and were raisins and prunes and once again cherries. Chocolate and coffee ruled the aroma and a slight molasses flavor added complexity. A slight bit of alcohol was present, but mainly just to even out the flavors and never detracted.

The finish was malty and chocolate with coffee and those same raisins and prunes lasting long into the aftertaste with a slight vinous characteristic. The body was full and viscous similar to motor oil. With the alcohol being so high, it was interesting that it did not detract from the beer and was only highly present in the alcohol warming after consumption.

100% worthy of the hype. At $15 per bottle including shipping, this beer was a steal. Thank goodness 3 other bottles lurk in the cellar awaiting the light of day. This beer was astounding! Almost my first 5 but I couldn't drink more that a bottle in a night.

22 ounce bottle, 2005 release. Thanks to beerinator for purchasing and sending the beer and to AKSmokedPorter for receiving the bottles for me and bringing to his place of work for me to pick up.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2005 23:41:16 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of SheepNutz


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

I owe Kevin (kmpitz2) my first born for picking this up for me. 22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep onyx black color with three heaping fingers of very dark tan head that seem to cascade like a nitro brew, and never goes away. There is an insane amount of lacing. The smell is rich and full of dark roasted malt with just a bit of sweetness. Even some dark fruit present. Lingering espresso as well. The taste is very intense. The amount of burnt malt that comes through at first is off the scale. It's fucking huge! Lots of coffee, chocolate, and candied plums. The finish is nice and hoppy, and has a lingering espresso bitterness. The mouthfeel is thick and heavy, just coating the tongue. I can feel it on my lips after the beer is gone. The drinkability is very very nice for a 13% brew. Astonishing.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2005 23:56:20 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of bnuttz


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

heres a moment I have been waiting for, lets see if it was worth the wait. Pours black and syrup like. Not traces of dark red or brown like you see in most stouts. Dark brown and thick bubbley head. Dark foam litterally sticks to the edge of the glass. This is so thinck the bubbles almost stay suspended in the beer. Smells of roasty dark malts and molasses. Coffee and alcohol are present as well. Some hoppy notes that round off the nose. Holy crap is this stuff potent. Taste is bitter charred dark malts up front. Tastes like charcoal was thrown into the mash. Warming alcohol makes itself known for sure. Some coffee and molasses notes. This beer is dry and biter, a la charred. Damn is all I can say. This stuff is thick, it freaking coats my mouth throat and stomach. Viscous is an understatement. The aftertaste is still bitter. Wow, this beer kicks ass. Drinkability is a little lowere because it is so thick but damn if I wouldnt want to drink these all the time. This is a winner, too bad its so hard to get ahold of. I know they are living off the hype, but make more of this, and get it up to wisconsin damnit.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2005 00:22:35 | More by bnuttz
Photo of rhoadsrage


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

(Served in a medium snifter)
A-This beer has an inky black hue and no carbonation is visible except for the bubbles that form the head. The head is dark tan and clings to the edges of the class.

S-The aroma is molasses and dense heavy malts. Almost a tar aroma but more sweet.

T- This has some coffee flavors popping out of the roasted malts and thick black-strap molasses also. The hops flavor comes out and has a bit of a pine and bitterness to them. There is also some currant and licorice flavors aswell. As it warms more of a smokey flavor comes to taste.

M- The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a very slight astringency. But no real alcohol warmth.

D-Wow this is a big tasty beer, and even though its young it still is very impressive. The only fault I see is it needs a little age to blend but then it might loose that great hop quality that you don't expect in a beer this big. I will be in line next year for more of this brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2005 23:02:37 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of LuckySevens82


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

22 oz bottle, waxed in orange, brought to me courtesy of orbitalr0x (well, more like sent to me...thanks Don!)

Pours a rich, deep black, like someone else said it looks like used motor oil. I don't think I've seen many double stouts that pour this color. I know I've never seen a head as dark brown as this one is. Retention is amazing as is the lacing. Just a damn fine looking beer.

Smell seems to me to be fairly straight forward actually. Roasted malts, coffee, loads of cocoa, dark chocolate, etc. Some hops, not much alcohol. There is kind of an interesting nutty character to the aroma which is pretty neat.

Taste is impressive. An extremely complex melding of bitter sweet chocolate, molasses, that same nutty character, a fair amount of hops, and bitter coffee. Actually, it seems to me that the bitterness of this beer is not one from the hops (which I'm sure part of it is, I'm just saying)...but from bitter espresso...good, bitter espresso...REALLY good. Fruits are present as well: dates, figs, black currants, a little grape flavor. Alcohol is present, but only in the slight warming sensation in the back of your throat as you swallow. Which is pretty damn impressive for a 13% abv beer. This is not "hot" at all, what so ever.

Mouthfeel is pretty good as well, not too slick, but not by any means over carbonated, quite chewy, complex, and overall, enjoyable

Drinkabilty only suffers due to sweetness of the beer and the alcohol.

Overall: I must say I'm really kind of surprised. I was expecting a good beer, but no where near this good. This certainly lives up to whatever hype that has been placed upon it. I am so glad I have another bottle in the cellar waiting for a special occasion.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2005 00:52:29 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of clvand0


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

Thanks to kmpitz2 for picking me up a case of this stuff. 2005 vintage. Cellar temperature. This beer pours a darkest of dark color with a tall and thick brown (mocha) head that has great retention and leaves tons of lacing on the glass. Very attractive and also a bit daunting. The aroma is all about coffee. Lots and lots of coffee/expresso. Maybe a slightest hint of alcohol, but minimal. Some slight chocolate in there as well, but mostly coffee. The flavor kicks you in the face. Strong presence of coffee and chocolate with hints of dark fruit and molasses. Big, big taste. The body is huge. Tons and tons of body, but it manages to avoid the oily syrup feel (which is great). Soooo thick. Awesome. Just awesome. The alcohol is very well hidden in this darkness. Drinkability is extremely good for 13% and they somehow avoid some of the drinkability problems that other large impy stouts have. Awesome brew. Glad I have most of a case left.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2005 14:52:43 | More by clvand0
Photo of proc


4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


This one pours out to a jet black in the glass with a very slight head. However, that slight head looks like carmelized molasses and sugar. The aroma is that of raisins, plums, blackberries and anise. The taste is absolutely incredible. Roasted malt and licorice massage and encompass your taste buds entirely. The mouthfeel is perfect. It takes the full-on flavor and coats your mouth in a creaminess of stout and all its glory. The ABV is well-hidden.

This was a beer experience.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2005 01:24:08 | More by proc
Photo of RDAdams


4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I have had Dark Lord on-tap and bottled. On-tap is exceptional <period> In a bottle the drinkability came up short by comparison.

The appearance is every thing you would expect from a stout - smooth, thick, and dark. The smell is heavenly. I sat there for a few minutes just enhaling the aroma. I put my finger it to taste it. It was so good that I kept using my finger until my brother pointed out how far down I drank without putting it to my mouth.

The mouthfeel was equally awesome and smooth.

The drinkability was only a problem with the bottles we purchased. They needed to be racked due to sediment.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2005 02:28:40 | More by RDAdams
Photo of RoyalT


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

Appearance – This one is interesting even before you pour it. Hold a flashlight up to the cool-looking artisan bottle and you will see mounds of sediment. It looks like there’s more sediment in there than beer.

Watch it again as you pour it from the bottle. It really does ooze instead of flow. I have to go back through my other reviews and delete any reference to “motor oil” after seeing this stuff come out of the bottle.

This 13.00% ABV monster actually brought along a great head. The head is so darkly browned it’s almost black itself. This truly is the “Dark Lord.”

Smell – I can’t even think of any way to describe this without sounding like I’m exaggerating. The malts are burnt, there are about eight different scents of coffee and espresso styles in there, and the fruits are enormous. Every dark fruit I’ve ever had is in this nose. The alcohol is there but in a really good sort of way. Think Kettle One.

Taste – The flavors are like a crowd of people at a pub each one calling for the bartender’s attention. I can hear some screaming, “Coffee, espresso,” and others calling out for, “Dark, heavily roasted and burnt malts.” The “fruit table” in the back room is really getting rowdy.

If I had to focus on one “group” of flavors it would have to be the fruits. They are giant, hybrid fruits that have genetically mutated into unnatural monsters. The cherries and apricots are like giant boulders avalanching down a mountainside. The dates are bigger than a Boeing 747. All of these giant fruits are covered in a chocolate mudslide of historic proportions (think, cheesy 1970s “The Blob” movies).

Mouthfeel – This really does cause one to pause and reassess one’s definition of a “full-bodied” beer. Do I have to go back and change all the other “big beers” I’ve had to “medium?” It’s almost as if they made a thick stout then reduced it down in a saucepan.

This redefines smooth. It just oozes along your teeth and gums. It’s like a really good, sexy, juicy French kiss. Think, “Making out with Pamela Anderson after she just ate a box of Belgian chocolates.” If this beer had a finger sticking out the side of the bottle I’d put a wedding ring on it.

Drinkability – I don’t think it would be accurate to say that it, “masks” the alcohol, because there’s no question when drinking this that it’s got a high ABV. The alcohol is just so good, like really good, high-quality vodka. You know it’s booze, but it goes down like water.

I can sincerely say, without sounding too over-the-top, that this is smoother than water. It is just that good. This is so far above any other Stout that I’ve had it’s a shame that I can’t give it anything higher than all 5’s.

Comments – The most unbelievable part of this story is that the bottle wasn’t even mine. Skyhand was incredible enough to split it with me. Now THAT has to be the ultimate BA sharing experience. I’d push my mama down a flight of stairs if she tried to take a sip of my Dark Lord.

Update – Yes, skyhand was kind enough to share with me a 2005 just after release. It gave us an opportunity to evaluate this amazing beer at a young age.

At this stage, the bitterness was much stronger and the flavors a little less blended together. I think for 2005 they also changed the filtering process because this bottle lacked sediment of any kind.

Overall, is it still a perfect 5.0? Yes, indeedee, it certainly is. This is the pinnacle of the ADS style and stands apart from the crowd like Tiger Woods at a child’s Putt-Putt golf park.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2004 21:07:01 | More by RoyalT
Photo of cokes


4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An ebon curtain of enveloping blackness.
A patchy ceiling of brown.

An unholy olfactory onslaught of roast. Wailing vapors of blackberry brandy. Soul-stealing vanilla. Curdling caramel nougat. Emblazoned pine needles.

And so it begins.

Coats the mouth with blackness. Not with some sort of allegorical, punny, namesake, evil simile, but quite literally full of just about every goddamn dark, black thing imaginable. Molasses. Chocolates. Plum. Currant. Liquorice. Blackberry. Espresso-and other, more foo-foo coffee creations, Cafe Au Lait, Cappuccino, whatever. Tar, that gooey, stick-to-the-soles-of-your-shoes-in-the-summer-type. Quells as it progresses into a molten bath of caramel and nougat and vanilla and brown sugar. This is where it is at its most delicious, even as it teeters on becoming oversweet. More currant and plums reform, as its cycle starts anew. Holy shit. This literally goes through revolutions, metamorphoses, in the mouth, as it rotates through its stages, then repeats itself without any additional sips.


The booze quotient is mystically hidden. It's thicker than soup, but never explicitly hot. The alcohol is manifest in mellow tendrils of blackberry brandy, bourbon, rum and cognac, but solely in flavor, never in burn.

Hops are largely overcome by the wicked wrath of the malt girth. Pine resin is predominant, but burnt black and driven into the magma.

It's mouth-binding hugeness prevents drinkability in common-sense definitions. But I could slowly sip this anytime, any place.

Those last drops of mudslide, protein slop from the bottom are like some sort of (nearly) liquid Irish Crème chocolate fudge brownie. You haven’t lived, bro –you really haven’t- until you lap up the sticky remnants from your facial hair.

Hype is a motherfucker.

And so is this.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2004 05:21:27 | More by cokes
Photo of Quaffer


4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: I poured this into a pitcher so I could dispense it in one pour. I had heard that this was a good idea since there was apt to be quite a bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. It came out black, plain and simple. It was very viscous and almost oozed into the pitcher. A thick, dark brown head rose up and stuck around like it owned the place. I went ahead and poured two glasses (Bruiser81 helped me tame this beast) while there was still quite a bit of head, and the foam seemed to flow. If the glass was swirled, the bubbles coated the glass in a solid sheet and stuck there for awhile before gently sliding back into the ebony liquid from whence it came.

After the head had completely dissipated, the pure black liquid could really be admired. When the glass was swirled at this point, it left a ruddy brown sheen on the glass, acting not unlike a high alcohol wine.

There was a ton of sediment left in the bottom of the bottle. I stopped pouring when the beer turned muddy and there was still about three inches of liquid left in the bottle. We poured this into the pitcher when we had finished the "clean" stuff, and it looked like what is left over in the bottom of my brewpot when I make beer. Neither one of us was brave enough to sample this muck.

Smell: There was a lot going on in the aroma. Very vinuous and chock full of dark fruit. This combined with chocolate, bitter coffee and bitter chocolate, smoke, and a bunch of burnt or charred stuff. Nice. The sludge on the bottom produced an aroma with a lot more hop character. However, as it sat it just became rude.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievable. Thick, viscous, creamy, and mouth coating. Full-bodied to the point of being ridiculous.

Taste: Nothing surprising here after the aroma. Very vinuous, full of sour cherries and plums. There was chocolate, smoke, and charred wood. A little bit of hops came through on the finish. Absolutely none of the 13% alcohol came through in the flavor. I was stunned to learn it was that high after I had drank the beer.

The one thing that amazed me about this beer was how smooth it was. The amount and intensity of the flavors was huge, but there was no harshness or biting quality. Also, the flavor seemed to build through the finish and beyond. Long after the beer had left the mouth, it continued to intensify until about 20 seconds later I found myself smacking my lips and wondering if it could become any stronger. I'm telling you, this thing lingered.

A great beer. Every aspect of it was over-the-top huge. The mouthfeel and appearance were totally unique and blew me away. As far as aroma and taste, they were wonderful and crazy big, but nothing unique when it comes to imperial stouts. To me, this was just like a Sam Smith's Imperial that goes to 11.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2004 03:15:53 | More by Quaffer
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

No sludge bottle. No head to cover this tar black oil body. Who cares about head anyway, let’s not bother with such futile details. Restrained aroma, hypothesis that the huge body keeps it from expressing, but it’s still lacking in the department. You have to fight to get a not so exciting vinous alcohol nose, though you would never expect 13%. Slight fruity hints when warming, mild cocoa, even milder roastiness. Who cares about aroma anyway? Let’s not bother with such futile details. There it comes, the palate baby, the mouthfeel! Heavy, oily, thicker than syrup, fuller than 35% cream, neglectable carbo is just fitting perfectly with that beast. Chocolate cream. Easily the thickest beer in the universe as I imagine it. Taste comprises of extreme molasses. Big honey/maple sweetness. Excessive sweetness in fact, this never aimed to be balance and it isn’t. It remains rather sustained and with nice subtle nuance for a 13% beer with no in your face flavours, it just wants to be heavy. Well contained hoppiness (flower, herbs, grapefruit), chocolatey. It doesn’t taste fully fermented ultimately, but again, this has to be an effect from the mouthfeel. It just tastes incredibly sweet and without much of the fruitiness I’d like in an impy. Cloying finish, unique. 1 yr certainly did it good because as it is now, it tastes like malt syrup mixed with molasses. Extremely challenging and pleasant beer to try, but in small quantities. A beer to share, a beer to be scared of, a beer to admire. Congratz to the people at FFF for their adventurous nature

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2004 05:06:26 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of wyllder


3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

First things first: thanks to deejaydan for the sample!

Ok, I saved this one until All Hallows Eve, the perfect time to commune with the Dark Lord.

Appearance. I'm giving a 3 here because, depending on where you are in the bottle, or how fast you pour, this has enough sediment in it to make it appear downright revolting. If you get a good pour and avoid all the sediment, it's an appealingly opaque deep chocolate brown with a thin caramel colored head.

Smell is solid. There's no confusing the heritage here, the smell is Imperial Russian Stout all the way. Chocolate, dark cherry, molasses are here, all the while backed up with the pungent, almost soy sauce, aroma you find in most Russian Imperials. (I'm not sure why/how this has been classified as an American Double stout by BA, but the bottle is labeled as Russian Imperial and the flavor profile doesn't disagree)

Taste is good as well. So long as you don't get a glass full of sediment this is a very pleasant Russian Imperial. Again you have dark chocolate, sweet molasses and black cherry. The aftertaste is pleasantly bitter, fading out the salty character and leaving a lasting bitter chocolate & molasses taste on the palate.

Mouthfeel is a mixed bag. Again, there's simply too much sediment. This goes from being a thick, decadently rich beer, to being syrup.

Drinkability gets the lowest mark, IMO. Between being a terribly potent, sipping brew, and having more sediment in the bottle than any beer aught, this just doesn't get me to want any more of it. In fact, I'm damn glad I had 3 friends to split the 22oz bomber with or this would have found its way to the sink drain before I made it half way.

Overall, I really don't understand all the high 4 marks. Try Siberian Night, or Stone Imperial if you're in the market for a great Russian Imperial. Something tells me people are giving this brew too many points for a slick presentation, brewer reputation, and BA anticipation.


Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 13:59:29 | More by wyllder
Photo of edchicma


3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to wyldder for the sample. Pours jet balck and syrupy. Smell is of molasses and soy sauce....interesting. Taste was somewhat disappointing...a lot of malt, naturally some alcohol, but not a great deal more. Mouthfeel is thick and it is too syrupy. Drinkability is smooth and coats the tongue nicely.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 03:38:27 | More by edchicma
Photo of bditty187


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

Halloween Night, no better time to unleash the Dark Lord!

Black. There is not sissy hue to this beer. There is no color depth, just a soulless black tar abyss. When I held my glass to a light I played God and created an eclipse. The pour was impressive, it exited the bottle like motor oil after 6,000 miles. Even though a head didn’t really form this beer is still awesome in appearance; only a few foamy pockets, like small islands of brunette bubbles, formed in the middle of the dark liquid. There was a thin collar too. No subsequent lacing. Even though this beer sat in by glass lifeless it still looked most daunting! Served a tickle warmer than cellar temperature. Even at this warmth the nose was a little standoffish for me. Now, with that said, the aromas that were presented were magical. There were huge roasty qualities that were perfectly rounded into form by a cornucopia of other smells. I’m impressed there was just a trace of alcohol, incredible considering the lofty abv. I guest Three Floyds is *that* much better than Avery (but I knew that!). Fruits are deep, dark, tropical with raisins, dates, grapes, and caramel covered apples. Port wine. Brandy. Candied sugar that is burnt around the edges. Assertive hops with Pacific Northwest bloodlines. Acidic. Astringent. Weak hint of coffee. Molasses. Winey. Burnt. Freaking awesome! There is an amazing amount of depth; especially considering the potency is moderate. Inviting, duh. The first sip of this motherfucker brought moisture to my eyes. Goddamn, I needed a moment to compose my thoughts. I was hoping the beer would be good. I was praying it wouldn’t be an alcoholic bomb. It wasn’t. How could another Imperial Stout ever top this beer? It can. It is blasphemy to think otherwise. The palate is rich, chewy, and fairly sweet but far from cloying even though there seems to be about four types of sugar in the mix. Brown sugar and candied sugar just to name the most prevalent. Molasses. Burnt sugar. Toffee. Caramel apples. Hints of chocolate covered raisins. Figs. Assorted spices. Aggressive American hops bitterness that plays so gleefully with the astringency of the roast. Espresso. Soft acidity at the back that melts into some marmalade-like fruitiness, at the finish is the only warmth from the alcohol. Some spice too. The aftertaste has a “clean” ale/hoppy thing going on, all I can say is it reminds me of a Rogue beer. I don’t know how to describe this “feel” but it is a good thing! Overall the palate is a gem. Perfection really. I love the hop burps too! Full bodied. Low carbonation. Thick, heavy but not sluggish mouthfeel, surprisingly smooth actually. Flawless. Amazing. I have had about a half dozen beers that have truly amazed me. Dark Lord is now added to the list. Is this the best Imperial Stout I’ve ever had? Yes. Is it the best beer I’ve ever had? Yes… but it is “tied” with a couple others. It is truly amazing. Every sip was like suckling a Goddess’ teat. I wish I had about fifty bottles in the cellar but, alas, I had one bomber. I am indebted to cretemixer forever. Thank you so much for this beer. Dark Lord is so worthy of its high praise. World Class. Highly Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 02:41:07 | More by bditty187
Photo of Boto


4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz Bomber: This beer pours thick: It has the consistency of motor oil. The color is almost the same, but it is a very dark brown. If you hold it to the light, it actually has a hint of a Guinness-like cascade. The head is strong and brown. The aroma is interesting: imagine if you will chocolate hops, because that is what it smells like. The taste is heavy and sweet: mainly chocolate, with hints of plums and coffee, other varied fruits. I can also taste some hops, but no bitterness makes it through. Excellent! Thanks to TAR for this trade!!!

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2004 21:38:52 | More by Boto
Photo of MrNuggets


4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

She came out with a hard rumble. After almost a full year of banishment she has finally made it home. Little does the Dark Lord know, the journey has only just begun. Don't let the name fool you, this brew is all women. Only a female could be so evil; yet so good at the same time.

The Lord rejoices upon being freed. A slight raise of its menacing head shows her gratitude. She retreats but I'm eagerly led into a world of daring pungency. The touch of her sweet lips masks all co-existing foulness.

Things don't begin to get scary until I lay her down. Ripping, tearing, biting, scratching, this is a wild one. Her chocolate coloured skin is smooth as the finest silk and warm to the touch. Teased by chocolate coated prunes I beg for more. I'm quickly obliged by mouth fulls of dates, raisins, and cherries. All of which seem to have taken a good rum bath.

We began to make love on her bed of fresh hop flowers. Alas, she proved to be far too much woman for me. She laughed, and left me alone to soak in my sorrow. We will meet again Dark Lord, maybe next time I'll be ready.

I can still taste her kiss on my lips and smell her sweat on my body.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2004 22:17:32 | More by MrNuggets
Photo of marc77


4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Utterly pitch black and absorbant. Dogged, stiff, dark beige head leaves coating lace. Barbed wafts of pepper, melted black licorice and singed anise hit the nose initially. Ensuing are seductive, rounded notes of dark caramel and butter laden fudge encrusted in lightly crushed espresso bean. Swirling releases searing hints of ethanol macerated ripe prune. In flavor, incipient is an enveloping, lingering mélange of creamy, dense dark chocolate truffles rich in cocoa butter, molasses sweetened mocha and praline. After the palate adjusts to the initial decadence, fruitiness of a plum and allspice nature emerges, but all is still drenched in melted fudge. Mid palate ethanol impressions surface, and when combined with the static hop flavor facilitate suggestions of oaky, bourbon drizzled chocolate and candied orange infused fudge. Supremely burly in overall body, with a mouthfeel of commanding viscosity. Finishes sluggishly, with protracted notes of smokey, fresh roasted cocao bean, toasted nut encrusted biscuit and cool espresso all lingering agreeably. Dark Lord is a superlative beer in all respects. It is, unequivocally the finest imperial stout I've had the pleasure of drinking, and may now rank amongst my very favorite overall brews thus far. Addictive and unparalleled in drinkability. Stunning.

A most sincere thank you goes to Buckeyenation for allowing me this delectable opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2004 00:22:18 | More by marc77
Photo of mzwolinski


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

I sold my eternal soul for this bottle. Actually, I just traded a bottle of Pizza Port, but I *would* have sold my soul, damn it. And it would have been worth it.

Lots of beers are black. This is darker. No hints of ruby around the edges when you hold it up to the light. In fact, it actually seems to absorb light. The room gets a little darker when you pour this, even as your eyes light up. I'm surprised there's a head at all to this monster, even if it is just a thin rim. But it lasts.

Big malt aroma with huge alcohol spiciness and heat. Ridiculously roasty. Plums and currants dance gingerly amidst their more assertive aroma neighbors.

The mouthfeel is like syrup. I've had plenty of Imperial Stouts, and some of them were pretty thick. But this is amazing. A true joy to swirl around the tongue. Viscous, chewy, and delightful.

Delicious roasty malt flavors dominate, with more hints of black cherry and a strong, but not at all out-of-place, alcohol presence. Bittersweet chocolate and molasses.

Just for kicks, I poured the last inch of the bottle in to my glass, though I had been amply warned that it would be undrinkable. These dregs left trails down the glass of a sort I'd never seen before. I'm not sure one trip through the dishwasher is going to get that out.

An amazing beer. Utterly disproportionate, over-the-top, ginormous and massive. But a joy to drink nevertheless. A true one-of-a-kind.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2004 02:04:52 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of drewbage


3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A tall bottle of the infamous Dark Lord with red wax cap and the cool spooky label. Bottle procured in a nice trade at the Hopleaf courtesy of Silenius.

Beer was stored carefully upright and settling for 2 months in my fridge to allow the full sludge settling time.

Split among three water glasses with plenty of room to spare.

Beer pours into the glass like motor oil. For once, the description is dead on and accurate. Head is large, brown and holds forever.

Aroma is cherries, tobacco, plums, dark chocolate, piney bitter hops.

Body is milkshake like, thick, viscous and hearty with a long draw from lip to gullet.

Flavor is more dark chocolate, bitter black coffee and a sharp resinous hop bite.

Word of warning... don't pour out that last bit. You don't need it and you don't want it!

Overall, an interesting beer, but a bit of a disappointment from the brewery.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 07:26:43 | More by drewbage
Photo of beergeek279


4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in the 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. The color is jet black with a foamy tan head with an amazing amount of retention for the ABV. The smell is a dark, sweet chocolate and just a hint of licorice, and just a hint of alcohol. The taste is a nice chocolate sweetness, with a good anise flavor in the backing, and just the right amount of hop bitterness in the aftertaste; alcohol is noticable, but certainly doesn't seem like almost 14%. Mouthfeel is creamy and 10W30 thick. As for drinkability, this one could be dangerous, since I could drink these all day not knowing the ABV.

Well, we decided to open this one up in order to celebrate the beginning of "Big" Ben Roethelisberger's long Steeler career, and it's certainly fitting. This is the perfect Imperial Stout, and easily the best in the world...so rich and chocolatey and anisey, but without alcohol getting in the way, and this is one that I would absolutely kill to have again!!! Thank you to trbeer and cretemixer for getting me the bottle!!!

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2004 00:39:16 | More by beergeek279
Photo of tavernjef


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

The pouring out of this beast is incredible, especially the last half of the bomber where it gets all thick and gooey, and boy does it ever. Super sludgy and slow, reminds me of a melted fudgesicle thickness, color too is fudgy. Sits in the glass like black tar but keeps an overall dark fudge brown cask to its depth. A thin but thickly set super spongy tan head lays on top for a good while before it murks its way off the glass while sipping. A thin fluffy collar remains and the lacing is in webby strings along with an oily residue coating over every inch the liquid has touched. This liquid has a life of its own beyond its other attributes of smell, taste, and feel. Take a look at your glass when your done, you'll know what I mean.

Aroma has a nice soothing chocolate underlay where tossed apricot, dark cherry, molasses, and dates swirl around with dark juicy esters of spicy alcoholic warmth. Cleans the senses out pretty quickly.

Taste is thick, thick, thick, chunky even, you notice the massive mouthfeel right away. Flavors are ridiculously rich to go with it, loads of dark chocolate laced with nearly every dark fruit imaginable with a rich tangy molasses coating it all and some fine bittering of fresh hop cones and chocolate with touches of coffee beans at the finish. Slivers of alcohol has little hints to boubon barrel oakyness, smokey peet, and port to it along the way through to the finish as well. Boastfully terrific!

Feel is massively thick, beyond the reach of words here with this stuff. Syrupy, thickly creamy, mega lush, richly full bodied beyond the threshold of any other Imperial Stout I have undertaken. Oily leftovers on the lips, like chapstick. Oh my...Wonderfully thick!

At first I began to drink this down like it was nothing, but by half glass I gave up even thinking I could drink the whole thing by myself. Its like pie filling! Oh, but it is yummy pie filling...yummy. The thickness slowed me down therefore hampered the drinkability a bit for me. Still is very drinkable in a slow mannered kinda way. Respectfully. Great stuff!

silenius. I bow to thee.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2004 00:14:51 | More by tavernjef
Photo of faernt


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

OK....I've been holding onto a couple of these until the flurries of praise subsided. I just extracted the cap from the wax. Prior to this I had a bottle of Old Rasputin. It's one of my house faves and I thought I'd use it as a base.

It pours into the glass with an oily slickness that coats the sides of the glass. Little foam happens. It's sitting in the glass at 56 degrees F. (love the thermometer) The smell is of English walnuts, very complex Port and some Indian spices I can't place but remember after the meal. It might be fennel. I'm not much of a nose guy but this one sticks it into my nostrils. This is amazing!

The taste is JW Lees meets Thomas Hardy. I don't know how they do this but it seems that they must throw massive amounts of original material into the mash. Whoa!...I just poured the last 2 inches of the bottle into the glass. It looks like hot fudge. It is thick and gritty. I can''t imagine sharing this with anyone who isn't seriously experienced in huge beer. This is sensory overload.

This is memorable and even though I paid $18.00 a bottle for it I consider it highly drinkable. Too bad it's gone for now. I hope they do it again. My only other 5 is Hair of the Dog Adam. This is one of the best beers I've ever had.


I'm speaking to you from the future...It's 2005 now and I just opened a new edition of the Dark Lord...orange wax...Damn...this is good!!! I get smell meat and I'm no vegan...This is nose ass beer. The taste is knock down good. The pour was 30 wt. The head was slight and two toned with streaks of white which mysteriously disappeared. No more reviewing for now...time for drinking...All's well...Thank you Floyds.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2004 02:38:37 | More by faernt
Photo of silenius


4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So I saved this one for my 100th review. This one has been ageing the 6 months or so since it came out. This is really two beers in one, the first 2/3 of the bottle and then the 2.25 inches of sediment at the end that scared me to drink it thinking I'd be on the pot all the next day. Good thing I wasn't working.

The bottle is the same waxed cap that is in the picture. Others have described the Dark Lord figure with the battle-axe like mash paddle. I thought that was clever.

I poured the beer and it really isn't as dark as I thought it would be coming out of the bottle. I could see that it is a seriously dark brown, but light got through. Once in the glass, only crimson slivers at the edges let you know this isn't pure black. The thin, slow to appear head dissapates quickly into a collar around the glass.

When I first smelled it I was underwhelmed, but later once it warmed up a bit more, the dark unsweetened chocolate, raisin and fig characteristics came through. Not as big of a smell as Bell's Expedition or Rasputin, but nice.

The taste kicked my ass. HUGE dark chocolate syrup overwhelms and leaves a nice espresso bean bitterness when it leaves. As it warms it takes on more dark fruit characteristics with raisins and figs. Not as complex as others have described it, though. But no other beer comes close to these flavors. HUGE. It gets a 5.

Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy with a bit of carbonation to remind you this is a beer. Something out of the ordinary to say the least. Althought the last 1/3 of the bottle is like drinking beer ingredients rather than the beer itself. The dregs are green hop bitterness and leave a bittering grit that doesn't want to leave.

This beer made me want to drink it and the first 2/3rds were delightful to sip. The last 1/3 was too much. I have to knock points.

I have 6 left and will be ageing these and will have one a year until they are gone.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2004 01:29:52 | More by silenius
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,155 ratings.