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Dark Lord Imperial Stout - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

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2,819 Ratings
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Ratings: 2819
Reviews: 1128
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 14.92%

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

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,819 | Reviews: 1,128 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of justforrazors


4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Impromptu first review, just finished this bottle and figured it would be a good one to start reviewing with.

2011 bottle, served at 50-55 degrees in a snifter.

A- Jet black, a mocha head quickly appears during the pour but quickly dissipates to nothing. Some alcohol legs.

S- Extremely sweet- Cherries, molasses, and alcohol. No roast or coffee detected.

T- Very sweet, but not overly so. I can taste cherries, figs, molasses, and a bit of an alcohol bite. Finishes like a port, absolutely delicious.

M- Silky smooth, a bit of alcohol bite but it is an easy sipper.

O- This is an excellent beer, but I feel it could use another year or two and hopefully some of the sweetness will die down. It was very enjoyable, and surprisingly I could have drank quite a bit more than the half a bottle I had without getting the full feeling I sometimes get from RIS.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 22:30:00 | More by justforrazors
Photo of Danimal25


2.25/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Opened a bottle of 2013 Dark Lord last night. I have to say, it was a grand disappointment. After pouring in a tulip glass, I gave it whiff and was caught off guard by the interesting, funky nose on the beer. The flavor, however, was far worse. Overwhelmingly sweet, bland, and metallic. There are minimal tasting notes here, as it literally tasted like sugar, metal, roasted barley, and cardboard.

May have had a bad bottle - will update I find different results with other bottles.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 14:26:20 | More by Danimal25
Photo of Claytonbrewsby


4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had a 2012 bottle of Dark Lord, aged roughly one year. Thick, caramel colored head. Very sweet and syrupy in taste, almost like molasses, also a slight hint of cherries. Dark brown in color. Alcohol is masked very well for something being 15 percent. Overall, a great brew, strongly recommended if you enjoy stouts.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2013 20:01:38 | More by Claytonbrewsby
Photo of Ahappyhiker2

New Jersey

4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage, black wax. I've had Dark Lord fresh before, but never aged.

A- Black, thick, the yeast at the end of the pour is so thick it's crazy. There is small head on the beer that dissipates quickly.

S- Very, very sweet. I definitely picked up some molasses, and lots of chocolate. There is a slight hint of coffee, along with plums and raisins. Dark fruit comes out a lot just because of the bitterness and sweetness. The aroma is pretty boozy as well.

T- First sip is incredible. Unbelievably smooth, all of the booziness in the aroma is gone. Definitely has a dark chocolate/dark coffee kind of bitterness to it, in fact chocolate was the most distinct flavor for me. The aftertaste lingers for a while with lots of burnt chocolate notes. It gets sweeter as it warms up but surprisingly it's not as sweet as the 2012 vintage was last year.

M- Really thick, but what else would you expect? Honestly I think Dark Lord has the perfect mouthfeel for a stout. Chewy, but still has enough carbonation after 5 years of being in the bottle.

O- This was a real treat. I've heard before that 2008 is the best vintage, and just judging by having it fresh last year, I'd have to agree. It isn't overly sweet, it's crazy smooth, and all of the flavors I'd want in a stout are present. I wouldn't go after years 2009-2012 just from what I've heard, but this vintage is absolutely worth seeking out. Finally I found a non-barrel aged RIS that I enjoyed more than Marshal Zhukov's.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 16:52:37 | More by Ahappyhiker2
Photo of justyouraveragebeerguy


4.95/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 vintage on tap at Dark Lord day

A- deep dark bleak blackness. No light could ever penetrate this beast. It's about as viscus as maple syrup. No other beer comes close

S- Right away you can tell the difference between this vintage and the past four years f-ing up. It hasn't smelled similar since 2008. No soy sauce smell and no instant diabetes. It smells a little sweet, molasses, bitterness, dark chocolate, coffee espresso.

M- coats your tongue like motor oil. Definitely a sipper but very enjoyable.

T- Okay, I went into this thinking it was going to be the same instant-diabetes crap they sold us in 2012. How wrong I was. This is exactly what dark lord should be. Still a little sweet, but it is immediately cut by an espresso bitterness. More dark chocolate notes that I could ever think could fit in a beer, coffee notes, molasses. By far the most beastly imperial stout I have ever had.

o- If you are going to try a vintage of dark lord and can't get 08 try this one. 09-12 were a complete disgrace. But in 1-2 years this beer will age amazingly.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2013 19:58:43 | More by justyouraveragebeerguy
Photo of nihiloexnihil


3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 vintage, poured into DFH snifter in celebration of not getting to go to Dark Lord Day. Served at 54 degrees straight from the cooler.

A: Hm. Why does it look thin? Reddish hues abound all along the edges, the center is black as night. Very little head. Definitely surprised, I thought it would be slicker in its appearance.

S: Fruity, boozy. Can you smell sweetness? It smells like a licorice bonbon.

T: Currants, cherries, plums immediately fill the mouth, and it opens up to include licorice, blackberry, black cherries. Very little in the way of roastiness. Very little coffee. Some chocolate but not nearly as much as I thought. Incredibly sweet. Like, wow. Cloying is a word that gets overused on this site, but Dark Lord is cloying. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

M: Despite my initial concern about its appearance, the mouthfeel is thick and chewy, similar to Bourbon County. It lasts a long time on the palate, coats everything on the way down-- like a big stout should.

Overall: I love big, boozy, sweet stouts, but I'm going to be honest. I wanted to love this beer. It tasted like a thicker, slightly more drinkable version of DFH Worldwide stout to me. I got almost no coffee, no roast, no chocolate; it was almost all dark fruit, and was borderline sickeningly sweet. I split the bottle with my friend and I almost couldn't finish my glass. For what it's worth, my friend said it's one of the best beers he's ever had.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 18:26:19 | More by nihiloexnihil
Photo of yamar68


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Finally trying some Dark Lord on for size.

2011 vintage thanks to bstyle:

Dark, coffee black body capped with a thin creamy ring of khaki carb. In the sunlight, there's some swampy brown clarity if you look for it. The legging in the glass is pretty absurd, a bit of lace to keep things interesting. This is about as big as a beer can look. I'm a little intimidated, a little emasculated... but still somehow excited for what's about to come.

Giant roasty, bittersweet malts conquer the schnoz. Smells like there might be some alcohol in this one. Black licorice, fudge brownie, molasses, red berries, cinnamon (?)... quite a lot going on here. I like.

Far more approachable than I had anticipated. It's big. It's sweet. It's oily. But I'm totally gonna dome this bottle in a sitting. There's rich, silky coffee flavors, fruity sweetness, fudge, even some oatmeal. I'm actually reminded of Sweet Horizon quite a bit, which is a compliment coming from me. Seems like it would make for the ultimate dessert beer. Especially since I'm sure this bottle holds more calories than a French silk pie.

Thanks a ton for this one Bobby! Now I can finally insert my own snarky little quips when people are making diabetes jokes!

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 15:45:12 | More by yamar68
Photo of nataku00


4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

To honor Dark Lord Day, opened a bottle of 2010 Dark Lord to share with some non BA friends. Bottle poured into a plastic cup. Beer pours pitch black with little to no head, maybe a deep brown skim of film. Just looks thick.

Nose is dark chocolate and vanilla, a touch of smoky and roasted malt. Very aromatic.

Taste follows the nose, not as sweet as I remember this being. Rich dark chocolate, touch of vanilla, sweet caramel, light smoke and roasty bitterness. Finish lingers with dark chocolate on the tongue.

Full body, thick and viscous, sticking to the tongue with a tiny sip. A little age did this bottle some good as the alcohol and sweetness wasn't as much as I remember this being. Nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 21:18:35 | More by nataku00
Photo of Joethebeerpro


4.74/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

750mL bottle in a sniffer. thank you Ben! 2011. Jet black with thick white head. Complex aroma of toffee, coffee, vanilla, malt. Thick mouthfeel. Sweet, complex taste of vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and toffee. Best beer I have ever had. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 06:09:27 | More by Joethebeerpro
Photo of JohnnyMc


4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The 2008 vintage!!! Finally getting to try this one!!

Pours out completely pitch black with almost a finger of a very dark, mocha/tan head.

The aroma has a good amount of bourbon, there are dark fruit notes, some definite caramel and toffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, coffee, a bit of vanilla and some oak along with a bit of booze. Smells pretty complex.

The first thing that hits is the bourbon followed by a ton of very rich dark fruit notes like figs, raisins, plums and a bit of tart cherry too. There is a decent amount of bittersweet dark chocolate, some coffee (although I'm guessing this is less pronounced than when fresh), a sweet caramel and toffee note, some vanilla and a bit of oak as well. Almost a hint of smokiness. Very, very rich, but good.

The body is full and the mouthfeel is very creamy and silky. The ABV is pretty well hidden for being 15%. You can smell and taste a bit of booze, but there isn't much of a burn as it goes down and this is extremely smooth. I have had beers way lower in ABV that have tasted stronger.

This is a great beer and well worth trying, but it's not perfect. I would have liked a bit more bitterness and more pronounced roasty notes. That being said, this is great stuff!

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 02:41:56 | More by JohnnyMc
Photo of Rinkor16


4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle opened on 4/6/2013 with a buddy. Poured into a snifter.

A: Pitch black with no head.

S: Lots of roasted malt, vanilla, coffee and dark chocolate.

T: I've been holding onto this for a while. The flavor was a lot more than I expected. I've never had a Russian Imperial Stout that is so sweet. Huge sweetness with lots of roasted malt, dark chocolate and a little cherry in the background.

M: Thick bodied and very viscous.

O: I'm very pleased with this beer. I've read a lot about the discrepancies between batches and I'm very glad that it was a good bottle. Definitely worth the trade.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 05:30:03 | More by Rinkor16
Photo of skylander7


4.89/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A vintage 2008 poured 12/19/12 at a beer tasting amongst friends in Huntsville, AL. Needless to say, this stole the evening. Served in a snifter at around 55 degrees, going off of old notes since I've finally begun writing reviews.

-Pours like a dark viscous sample of dark matter. Not much on the tan head at all and what head there was dissipated quickly. Granted this is a very well aged representation of this beer with a black waxing on the top of the bottle.

-Nose: loved the nose on this thing. Alcohol, coffee, dark fruit, raisins, chocolate. You could definitely pick up complexity on the nose.

-Taste: Yowsa.. what a taste. Definitely a sweeter representation of the imperial stout but very unique. I definitely tasted the sweetness, but tasted raisins.. coffee, dark fruit, dark baker's chocolate. At first I thought dark chocolate Raisenettes, but then you can also taste some grapes, some coffee, this thing is a complex beast. What really surprised me (and I'm willing to bet this is due to the aging), was that there was an incredible amount of balance here. The smoked malt and boozey characteristics began coming through as well as I continued to drink the thing.

-Mouthfeel: just a bunch of creamy goodness. It's definitely a sipper with the complexity, but I loved the mouthfeel of the beer. The even after finishing the beer there is some gooey lacing going on on the side of the snifter.

Overall, I'd say definitely give this a try if you can. Very much on the sweeter end of things in comparison to most in the style, but I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 17:01:14 | More by skylander7
Photo of VeganUndead


4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Red Wax, 2012 Vintage, my first ever experience with DL. Midnight black pour with almost no carbonation, nose is licorice dark fruit and alcohol. This has been aging for almost a year, hence why the taste is mellow, but very sweet, and the 15% abv is almost unnoticeable. A ton of lacing as it goes down. I'm very satisfied with this brew, not up there with darkness or abyss imo, but this was supposed to be the worst batch they did, if that's the case I doubt I could handle a 2008 haha. Cheers

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 19:12:49 | More by VeganUndead
Photo of ThePorterSorter


3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

the beer pours a jet black with a thin tan head that dissipates into a thin tan halo. the nose has some potent dark pit fruits (raisins/prunes), caramel suagrs, and touch of chocolate/coffee. the taste is way sweeter than expected, but mixes well with all the intense chocolate covered raisins. I must be honest... this beer is way too sweet for me, but is definitely different than Black Tuesday for instance. I can only imagine this being better in a barrel/aged.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 23:32:59 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of dbc5


4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage: 22 ounce bottles poured into 10 ounce Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout snifter.

A: Moderate pour yields a mocha colored head that has just enough presence to cover the top of the beer before receding into the black abyss that is this stout. Some alcohol legs as I work my way though the glass.

S: Roast, coffee, dark chocolate, and an interesting fig-like presence.

T: Very sweet, which I was expecting given this isn't my first dance with Dark Lord. I save this one for the times I am craving something sweet in my glass. Dark fruits and raisins hit my tongue first. A sweet chocolate moves in next and a light roastiness is perceptible on the back end. The sweetness is more perceptible on the tongue than the nose, which suggested more roast character.

M: Thick and syrupy (the way I like my imperial stouts). Not too much carbonation, but enough to let your tongue know this one isn't still.

O: Overall, I know the hate this one gets, but I am a fan. Cracking a bottle open at the appropriate time (i.e., when I want something sweet) assures an enjoyable drinking experience. I have a full 08-11 vintage right now, and hope to post thoughts on each vintage.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 00:14:28 | More by dbc5
Photo of SHerninko


4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed with end of my steak & beginning of my choco cake dessert @ a BYOB in Phoenixville, PA. (Thanks Mr. OneUnder)
*Serving-2009 (white wax) big bomber with a dark, scary cartoonish label--very cool.
*Appears dark, like used motor oil. Not all black, has a reddish brown eliment to it. No carbonation really. Lacing was minimal. Aging may have taken its toll a bit.
*Smell is complex. Cold it started as just fruity, raisons, some slight alcohol esthers in the nose. Warming up for 20 minutes it had some coffee and grapes.
*Taste evolved with the temperaturs like most complex stouts. Lots of burnt/candied raisons, plums, prune juice, no alcohol detected. As it warmed up, to me it was more like an XO cognac then any beer or stout I've tasted. ABV is totally hidden, just a slight detection as it warmed to almost room temp. I like ports and cognac and this is very close to them for me.
*Mouthfeel was average, not thick or thin. It was on the creamy side. No carbonation in this example. Easy sipper.
*Overall---wow, I've waited years for the DARK LORD. Read the hype and followed the cult like following. This 2009 example may be slightly "old", not sure until I try a 2011 or 2012 I have cellared. The DL was not like any stout I've had. The 15% ABV was almost totally masked. The rich dark/carmalized/fruit taste was not what I was expecting, but I did enjoy it. A slow sipper, by the fire. A chocolate cake & choco pudding food pairing helped balance this brew.
I mixed a tiny amount from the last of the bottle with a more traditional stout and the DL took over the taste, overpowered it so the DL was just a bit lighter and more balanced toward smokey malt and chocolate, but the prune/raison or cognac flavor was pronounced.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 16:02:44 | More by SHerninko
Photo of patm1986

New Jersey

2.15/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

a-bubbly, fast-disappearing head. prune juice body. still. dead-looking.
s-hickory smoked bacon fat, charcoal, prunes, raisins, band aids, boooze, sharp cheddar(?), worcestershire sauce.
t-burnt pork, smoked meat, smoked band aids, corn syrup, granulated sugar, soft chocolate.
m-grainy, thin, slimy.
o-honestly, and i hate doing this, but i did not like this beer. i found it undrinkable. and each member of my tasting group agreed. it tasted incredibly artificial: imitation sweetener, liquid smoke, "natural flavors."
it(i'm sorry) made me a bit nauseous. i hope i can try this out again to see if we had a bad bottle or some deviate issue.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 14:21:20 | More by patm1986
Photo of rudzud


4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this at a little bottle share at Tree House Brewery. Reviewed from notes. This is a 20011 yellow wax vintage.

A - Poured into a Tree House glass a Deep, deep dark brownish hue that is still slightly clear. A very light quarter inch head fades to leave light halo.

S - Quite nice. Roasty, sweet malts, faint vanilla and soy, and almost a smokey character. Light chocolate as well.

T - Taste is good. Smokey, sweet malts, light vanilla notes along with some faint soy. not getting as much chocolate as I would like from a RIS but still, damn solid.

M - Mouthfeel is smooth, lightly carbonated.

O - Overall, this was a good RIS, but I feel like it is somewhat over hyped. With so many quality RIS on the market this one for me isnt worth what it costs to get in a trade.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 06:32:40 | More by rudzud
Photo of Mattys21


4.95/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Are you sure this is classified as beer? Holy crap, what an experience...

A- Pours like motor oil with a minimum head...jet black all the way through.

S- raisins, molasses, brown sugar, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla.
T - Mother of God this tastes like the nectar of Gods...plums, dark chocolate, roasty toasty coffee, bourbon, big bold alcohol, vanilla, wow.

O- unreal. that's all. every person who enjoys big imp stouts needs to try this once in your life.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 20:59:41 | More by Mattys21
Photo of MRAnderson


4.61/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012(Red Wax) obtained this from a private seller

A: Jet Black indiana ink with a slight brown residue left on the side of the glass. No light getting through but i do see somewhat of a dark amber color poking through ever so slightly. I poured aggresively and i go zero head at all and there is actually no alcohol retention on the side of the glass what so ever..needless to say folks this is a huge beer! This is think, this is dark and this beer is no joke!

S: I popped the cap on this and the smell just slapped me right across my mouth. I get raisins, port,Brandy,Cognac,slight hints of dark chocolate,brown sugar,vanilla,chewing tobacco fresh from the pouch and alcohol to bring all of these amazing aromas together to overwhelm your senses. Three Floyds does their own thing and this is reminds of me of a lot of Russian Imperials that have been aged for years...These guys are geniuses and anyone who doesn't get this beer and what they were going for are beer noobs.

T: sooo sweet at the front with some alcohol and dark fruits all over the back end of this beer, i am picking up on some slight chocolate notes, but i get zero coffee notes. This beer is like a fine Cognac with Port than anything really but Three Floyds may call it whatever they like..i call it a delicious brew.

M: Thick with a lot of sugar, it reminds me of a under aged mulberry wine i had once as far as it coating my mouth with sugar and dark fruitiness. This beer is thick and it coats your mouth with stickiness that comes from all the amazing ingredients in this beer leaving you with a complex mouth feel that lasts...Every sip leaves my lips lined with sugary goodness.

O: what a very unorthodox brew let a lone a Russian Imperial Stout. It seems Three Floyds created a stout that has the feel of one that has been aged for at last 5 years while only doing it for one (depending on the bottle you have)..This is such a unique brew and i cant wait to get my hands on another bottle, preferably one from this upcoming DLD(2013)

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 03:33:10 | More by MRAnderson
Photo of draheim


2.81/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle (2011) into a snifter. Pours a deep brown w/ a fizzy minimal head that dissipates almost instantly, leaving behind a razor-thin collar.

Aroma is smoky and bourbony - surprising because I don't think regular DL is aged in bourbon barrels - with hints of molasses, vanilla, and chocolate. Pretty strong booze smell going on too. Overall smells pretty interesting.

Taste is all over the place, whoa. Where to begin? Dark rum, soy sauce, chocolate syrup, flat Pepsi, Robitussin, dark cherries, some kind of liqueur... a lingering aftertaste that keeps punishing me long after the swallow. Cloying and sweet, tastes like pure insulin.

Mouthfeel is sticky and heavy, coating the palate and refusing to let go. A numbing alcohol sensation on the tongue that I usually only get with hard liquor.

Overall I have to admit, I am disappointed. This is a poorly crafted RIS. Probably one of the worst stouts I have ever had, and certainly the worst stout that gets the whole waxed cap, hype train treatment. I almost get the sense that I'm the butt of a cruel joke, and Three Floyds is laughing at me right now. I find it almost impossible to believe that people actually buy tickets and stand in line to spend money on this beer. Never again.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 04:55:30 | More by draheim
Photo of Phillyz


4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2010 Green Wax. Was incredibly lucky to enjoy a bottle of this in Philadelphia, and now that I know someone who has about 40 bottles, hopefully I'll enjoy more in the future.

A: As the bottle says, this beer has the appearance of motor oil. 2 finger head in the first glass I poured it in, less than 1 finger in the second.

S: Mild alcohol, dark fruits, sweet coffee and chocolate.

T: Sugary as hell! Very sweet, not quite what I expected. Dark fruits slap you in the face - plums and currants blended together for a 'raison-esque' taste. Much lighter than I expected, but this is more than likely because this beer is roughly three years old.

F: Medium thickness, mild carbonation. A near perfect blend. Hopefully I'll have newer and older dark lord to compare this too. Light alcohol taste - not nearly the bite that the 09 BCBS had that I tasted after I enjoyed this. Nearly perfect.

O: Amazing stout. Although I haven't had newer Dark Lords, I can truly say that this one definitely had to have grown with age. I spent way too much on the bottle, but that's what you get when you're buying a '10 from a stranger. I look forward to trying more of this beauty. Definitely worth the try, but not the best stout that I've ever had. 3/4 friends I shared this with agreed that 09 BCBS was better.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 06:28:37 | More by Phillyz
Photo of Rogorama


4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 DL on tap at the brewpub the day after DLD. Boy, was this a sweet one. Loads of sugar take over right away. Pours thick jet black with a tan frothy head. Intelligentsia coffee is always a good touch, too. Probably my least favorite of any DL's. That being said, it is still an awesome beer and very worth your while to try at least once.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2013 19:59:23 | More by Rogorama
Photo of Trifecta1


4.69/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Now that I've had 4 of the 2012 badboys, I feel safe giving a review that will be true to the way this beer should be drank: aged. Glad I still have 3 bottles of my own left, which I plan on aging far into the future, and busting out for special occasions/a fair trade.

A: Pitch black motor oil, opaque, low carbonation, nearly no head. A foreboding message: high alcohol.

S: Smells of burnt dark fruit, sweet alcohol, and with age, more dark chocolate and coffee.

T: First drink, day of release: Holy sugar. Earthy notes like what you find in mushrooms. Virtually no coffee or chocolate, just sugar, alcohol, earthy esters and dark malt. As it ages... wow, what a radical change. While staying very sweet, it doesn't overwhelm everything else. Some earthiness fades (which could have stayed, it was kind of unique), chocolate and dark coffee come forward. Chocolate covered sweet cherries with ground coffee, nearly. Very good, very different.

F: Low carbonation, super thick, coats your mouth, leaving a sweet layer of dark fruit, coffee, alcohol, and a thirst for more. Good stuff.

O: Great stout, originally didn't think it was 'that' good, but I've warmed up to it as it aged. I'm really looking forward to how it tastes in the years to come. An occasion dessert stout. And the question on everyone's mind; does it live up? To a 97? Yes. The best stout ever? No, but I can see how a niche of beer aficionados could say that.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 02:38:58 | More by Trifecta1
Photo of tectactoe


4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to doobliebop for this one! 2012 edition with the red wax, shared with some people at a Super Bowl party. Pours a thick and viscous black color with a thin and measly tan head, even after a pretty aggressive pour. The beer looks pretty dark, commanding, and brash, so I'd say "Dark Lord" is a pretty fitting moniker.

The aroma on is super sweet; vanilla, cocoa powder, oaky and woody, with some creamy coffee mashed in there. Very sweet and roasty on the nose - nearly no hops or hop-like aromas are even detectable on the nose. But the aroma is still pretty fantastic. Caramel and huge brown sugar aromas come out more as this one warms up. It smells like a candy shop, no question about that. I typically like my stouts more bitter and not quite as sweet, but there's still no denying that this beer smells pretty damn good.

Dark Lord cascades over the palate with a super-creamy and smooth mouth feel, and the first and most prominent flavor that comes to mind is super sweet, burnt brown sugar. This beer is sweet as hell. Despite that, the sweetness is manageable, but still a little over the edge. The sweet vanilla and oak flavors come out next; molasses, syrup, coffee with a humongous dose of cream and sugar, sweet, dense currants and dates - all these flavors are present and constantly attacking the palate under the command of that brown sugar flavor that's still running strong.

This beer is certainly boozy, but definitely doesn't feel like 15% ABV; it's possible that the sweetness of this beer subdues the alcohol burn a little bit, and in turn, maybe that's what prevents the sweetness from being cloying, despite its sheer intensity. Tons of flavors clashing; a menagerie of flavors attacking your taste buds and stretching them to the limit. Carbonation is pretty low, the body is still thick and viscous, silky and creamy as hell.

This is one of the sweetest base stouts out there. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't too unmanageable or too cloying, but it was still pretty damn sweet. Then again, it was split 5-ways - I might be saying something else had I finished the entire 22 oz. bottle on my own. Though I typically prefer my RISs to have a heavy bitter offset from a huge hop addition, Dark Lord showed almost no hop character at all and was still pretty enjoyable to me. Vanilla, cocoa, caramel, molasses, dark fruits, oak... This is a great beer; though it may be too sweet to drink a bunch of, Dark Lord is awesome in small pours.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 05:25:33 | More by tectactoe
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 2,819 ratings.