1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,825 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2825
Reviews: 1128
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 15.15%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 2,825 | Reviews: 1,128 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jarod
Jarod

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler ½ gallon
When poured into the glass from the big glass, it was black, black and powerful as the name, and thick like a bottle of 10W 40. When held up to a high intensity light I noticed that the black wasn’t actually black, but a blood brown black. Dense was the color. The head seemed to bubble up towards the end, like the dark lord rising from the black primordial beginnings, its color was a medium brown color, thick but not deep. As I stuck my finger into it to see if it was as sticky as it looked, I swear I felt a pulling sensation. It was sticky but left no lace on the side of the glass. The aroma was intense! I nosed cherries, sweet malt (molasses), tobacco (like skoal or coppenhagen), wichester sauce and as I stirred it, the alcohol peaked its nose up at me and whispered “I’m here too”. The taste was thick and creamy. If there was carbonation I missed it. Not flat, just thick. I noticed flavors of sweet molasses, spices, port wine, fruit (cherries) as it warmed I also noticed hints of chocolate and more cherries and alcohol. Like many beers of this type this only got better as it warmed, warmed from the fires it was born from, stirred and created from the Dark One himself. Truly one of the greatest brews made. I felt different after only consuming 2 ½ pints of this potion, different like I was possessed. The wife said that she was either going to call a priest for a exorcism or take me straight to church because of the look on my face. It was an experience all its own. Thank You 3 Floyds for this beer. Thank you

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2003 08:41:03 | More by Jarod
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber bottle, direct from the brewery. The triple dipped wax cap is pryed off easily enough, and I pour this brew oh so carefully into a Arrogant Bastard shaker pint. This beer is BLACK. It is completely opaque, and has a small head of tan since I poured it oh-so slowly to prevent getting any sediment into the glass. The aromas were excellent. Raisins, Port, Alcohol, Dark spiced rum, Other dark fruits, Vanilla, Chocolate chip cookies, Starbucks doubleshot expresso drinks, caramel, and more! Complex to say the least, but not as overpowering as I was expecting. The taste was wonderful. Chocolate, Green citric/herbal/floral hops, Deeply roasted malts, Caramel, Coffee, Raisins, Port, Alcohol, Brandy, and more! The mouthfeel was actually a bit thinner than I was expecting for this hardcore imperial, but that just made this beer dissapear amazingly quick, with an exceptional drinkability for a IS. At a few weeks after bottling and a week to rest in the cellar, this beer is so ready, imo. Sure, it may be different and perhaps better in 6 months, but than you will not know how it is in its current state...raw and uncut. If you have 2 bottles of this nectar you owe it to yourself to crack one open now!

OK, so with my second glass of this I left the bottom 4 ounces in the bottle, and than I poured that into the last 2 ounces of "beer" to make my liquid malt shake! The appearance became less opaque and quite sludgy. What a slut of a beer! The aromas were definately hoppier and more boozy with the addition of the yeasties. The taste was also hoppier, more raw, boozier, and less raisiny with a more pronounced chocolate and coffee flavor. There was also a more pronounced raw leafy hop character, as well as some resins. The most important change, however, was the mouthfeel. When clean, this stuff is almost light in the mouth, but with the yeast in there this beer becomes absolutely thick. Thicker than any other beer that I have sampled in my life. This stuff sticks to the inside of your mouth, and makes your lips seal shut. This really is the consistency of pudding! The drinkability remains excellent for this malt shake, and makes this beer even cooler, as you can have two distinctively different glasses of the same beer!

All, in all I thought that this beer *did* live up to the hype. It was pricey, and hard to get, but it also provided me with a nice drinking experience where I got to sample a beer in two completely different forms. I can already tell that this beer would be a world-beater on tap or cask, and I hope to sample it that way soon...but for now, the dark lord has risen, and I am very glad that I got to try him in his infancy. Now, only time will tell how he will mature as he takes the thrown as the king of darkness! (and the king of imperial stouts...) 13%, you have to be kidding me! What an interesting experience! The Courage Russian Imperial Stout of a new generation of beer enthusiasts!

I can just imagine what a 2004 Dark Lord will taste like in 2025!

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2004 17:32:10 | More by francisweizen
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is as black as eternity. A dense, dark brown head adorns the surface and has staying power comparable to a John Wooden Dynasty. Aroma is muggy and juicy. Alcohol and currants meld with plum, raisin, molasses and port. This beer just fucking coats your mouth like none I've ever had. Such a great mouthfeel. And the taste, ironically, is heavenly. 13%?? Damn, I really need to be careful to make this bomber last. There's a big bitterness coming from burnt malts and what I perceive to be high alpha acid PACNW hops. Dark plum, cherry and heavy, sludgey molasses blend together in harmony. Vanilla, cedar, bourbon and alcohol tones fit in very appropriately. The lingering bitterness is abusive, but I love it. I find that if you pour the whole bottle into one glass, you're in for a little surprise. A "beer frosting." I get this great "oil slick" like coating on the surface that contained all the goodness of the beer beneath except in a concentrated, thick, sludge-like form. Beautiful.

Well, I think it's taken me over 1000 reviews, but I have now found a second beer worthy of straight 5s.

What can I say Dale other than Thank You!!

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2004 04:26:15 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What the hell can I say about this magnificent creation that has not already been said? This was to be my 6000th beer, but I decided to take it to Papago and as we often bring special beers to sample, this was my choice.

The beer as it slowly oozes out of the 22-ounce brown bottle pours as thick as molasses in January in Maine, it literally makes a glugging sound as it excavates itself from its container. Onyx in color, the head a deep chocolate brown that is creamy as whipped chocolate icing and portly in size, the lace a coat of brown to obscure the glass. Nose is rich bittersweet chocolate, burnt coffee, sweet malt, a treat for both the olfactory and ocular senses, a beer you must sniff to understand its complexity, start is thick and chewy, ambrosial and the top as full as any beer I have ever tasted. Finish is pleasing in its acidity; hops are powerful in their spiciness, the alcohol quite noticeable and the rich sweet chocolate and burnt coffee flavors continue to the parched desert dry aftertaste a quite noticeable tummy warming sensation. “Just one fantastic beer”, but a word of warning not meant for the weak of palate or people not into strong over the top beers, so if you fall into these categories and you have a “Dark Lord” sitting around, send it to me immediately if not sooner. lol

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2004 16:38:27 | More by Gusler
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another one of those beers from Three Floyd's "It's not normal", well when I heard about this 13% Imperial Russian Stout I thought to myself that's not normal. Well, here we are about to break through the layer of red triple dipped wax to break the seal of the beastly brew. The bottle depicts in comic book fashion a demon possessed viking crushing skulls and what not, but either way I'm guessing he's the Dark Lord. Let's see what he has to offer my senses. Appearance on this one goes as follows, in the pour this maybe the thickest textured brew I have ever poured the addition of molasses may have something to do with that. Color spectrum yep it's dark simply engulfs all visible light waves leaves behind a resilient line of thin moccha tan head that with my first sip starts to leave trickles of lace. Aromatics contained in this nectar are deep thunderous colliding waves dark chocolate, wine like fruit notes arising from the trenches of this beer, along with an espresso barrel aged like finish hop presence is evident and as it warms this is even more so for 13%abv it's not burning any nose hairs, which is a good thing. If nothing else about this beer grabs ahold of you, the flavor is sure to. Massive unparalleled possibly brings another style about redefining the Imperial Stout category for me, brings huge staggering amount of slightly burnt dark roasted malts to the palate the molasses is evident with alcohol infused fruit namingly tart cherry notes screaming out while blending perfectly in this orgy of flavor. A definite strong coffe presence is welcoming and eye opening at the same time, just burped up a load of hops bringing about another wonderful aspect of this beer. Three Floyd's have done it again the Dreadnaught stands as my favorite Imperial IPA this may just take the throne as my all time favorite Imperial Stout. Mouthfeel is chewy yes a beer can be chewy, don't believe me try this one it says it all. Once again the molasses takes the reigns adding to this full bodied beers complexity on the palate tame carbonation wouldn't want it any other way, after pouring in the final yeast sediment from the bottle the texture becomes thicker which is hard to believe. Drinkability couldn't believe that a beer this massive could be so tasty and drinkable in a 22 ounce portion, I don't know what has me completely sold on this beer but it's amazing. Complex as all hell with a huge mouthfeel, aromatics are mesmorizing, and the taste is orchestrated to perfection. Believe the hype this brew will humble you to the Dark Lord the true master of this style, the 3F's have pushed the envelope and succeeded once again I smell a victory.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2004 16:43:56 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of faernt
faernt

Illinois

5/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

P.S.

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 mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

5/5  rDev +16.6%
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 RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

5/5  rDev +16.6%
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 OStrungT
OStrungT

California

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a black so dark that I think it actually makes the room a little darker. It pours as thick as motor oil. The head is very dark brown. The head is very thick and creamy looking. It fades very slowly. I have been looking at it for about 5 minutes, and it still has almost the same amount of head as when I first filled the glass. It leaves laces so thick, I can not see through them. This beer smells strongly of alcohol. After the wave of alcohol, coffee aroma is present. It also smells strongly of roasted malts. Hints of chocolate are also present. As for hops, there is a slight aroma, but it is almost totally masked by stronger aromas. The first sip of this beer makes all the work, and expense I went to trying to get it all worth while. It tastes very strongly of coffee and chocolate. It is quite bitter, but very well balanced. It is very malty. The alcohol tates is a little harder to make out, but it warms my throat as it goes down. This beer is very thick and creamy. It is a very full bodied beer. It sits heavy on the palate, leaving a coffeelike aftertaste. Due to the rather high alcohol content, and the very aggressive flavor, this beer might not be the best session beer for some. I personally think I could drink it all night, or at least untill the alcohol got to me. I think this beer is amazing. I wish it was not so hard to come by. I would like to thank both goodbyeohio, and mentor for supplying me with this great beer. In a few months I will drink my other bottle and compare it. I just hope I can wait that long.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2005 22:09:05 | More by OStrungT
Photo of karst
karst

Missouri

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I cut the Orange wax and open a 22 oz bottle poured into Corsendonk 0.3 L. tulip glass at 3:30 pm. A notable viscosity and absolute opaque darkness hides the reverse cascading head. No dregs just the same unbelievable viscosity til the last drop of the pour. The last tablespoon held in dirrect sun with the tulip held horizontal showed a clear burnt blood hue.

The summer solstice sun angles in through the patio doors and turns the fine bubbles into tiny beads of gold the slow falling head leaves golden lace - awesome considering 13%abv. 3:40 pm the head persists.

Aroma of dark roasted malts/ chocolate and coffee combine with dark fruits soaked in alcohol finally entice me to raise the glass.

Burnt malts, expresso, dark fruit taste that sweeten and become distinct flavors with warming - cherry, vanilla, plums raisons. An archtypical chewy mouthfeel that is that is off the scale. Fullest body.

A break from tasting to reset the A/C control as the alcohol warms the room.

Aftertaste from bitter hops and a second aftertaste of burnt malt/expresso bitterness and still another aftertaste - bitter chocolate.

Worth every inch of the 900 mile drive to Munster.

Thanks Ken&Julie, Nick, and Joe for sharing the great one and for the pleasure of getting to know fellow brewers and beerlovers. The next time I look into the black mirrored surface of Dark Lord I will think of you.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2005 06:01:44 | More by karst
Photo of nvsblman
nvsblman

Arizona

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a DARK black, no light is getting through this one! Very viscous, with a thick, pillowy, coffee brown head. The aroma, wow, coffee, raisins, fruit, nuts, alcohol, molasses, roasted malt. The aroma alone is worth getting ahold of one of these. So many flavors too! Chocolate, toasted nuts, dark cherries, coffee, vanilla, raisins. The roasted flavors just hang around in your mouth long after swallowing it. The fruitiness seemed to intensify as it warmed. Full bodied and creamy, almost like a milkshake.

This is one excellent beer that I hope I can get more of in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2005 16:57:31 | More by nvsblman
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can be added about this one? Sampled at the Blind Tiger thanks to Mike/eyedrinkale. Pours coal Black with a creamy darkest of tans head. Creamy, rich and milkshake like in mouthfeel. Loads of flavor bursting onto the palate. Coffee, chocolate, raisins, figs, burnt fruits. Complex, bold, flavorful...simply world class....wonderfully dark, thick and sludgy. Wish I could get my hands on more of this stuff!

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2005 03:09:52 | More by Billolick
Photo of nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a wide mouthed twenty ounce goblet.

Appearance: This beer poured blacker than black. Did I mention the beer was black with no opaqueness to light. The head was about two fingers with reverse cascading. The head was colored a lightly creamed coffee coloration. Webs of lacing remained on the glass. This is one sexy beer.

Smell: The beer truly is a melange of smells. Chocolate and heavily roasted to a crisp coffee via for dominance. The eddies of fruity goodness play throughout the beer. Cherries dipped in rum and chocolate. play with currants and dates and other assorted berries. I know I missed alot on the intial drinking and will try again latter.

Taste: The Dark Lord is really really bad! The taste lives up to the smell. Loads of chared to a crisp coffee and chocolate lead the charge. There is a harsh but not unpleasant spiceyness to the beer. There is a massive amount of fruity goodness floating in the beer. Dam this is the shit!

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is incredible. Chewy doesnt even beging to describe the thickness of the mouthfeel. This coats your mouth to the point where almost nothing else could get through. Drinkability is really dam near perfect. There is enough sweetness and bitterness to keep your attention. This beer is everything I have heard it was and then some. I have at last met my Overlord.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2006 17:50:01 | More by nlmartin
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark black/brown, but that is to be expected. Head is large, sticky, tan and well laced.

Smell: Dark, chocolate, very bitter and sharp smelling, excellent.

Taste: Sharp at first, but not raw. Bitter dark chocolate, strong coffee assaults the mouth, bolstered by a strong vinous/alcohol aspect. Leaves you exhausted and contemplative after every sip. Fantastic, what a Imperial Stout should taste like.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full, oily, mouth coating.

Drinkability: It's hard to find a fault in this beer, worth the hype, worth saving for my 1000th beer reviewed. A huge thanks to OldFrothingSlosh for hooking me up with one of the best beers anywhere.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2006 18:26:09 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cut to a street corner. Early morning. Two children waiting for a school bus. This could be your street corner. These could be your children.

Little Billy wears a pair of denim shorts cut off just below the knee, a white T-shirt announcing his membership in Little League, and a ball cap. His pal, Little Andy, is a bit rough around the edges—his shirt is worn, and he has decided to wait for the bus without the benefit of a hat. Andy is a "cool cat," as the kids say, the worst kind of ruffian—the kind that makes horseplay and delinquency seem like the "hip" thing to do.

"Hey," says Andy. Billy knows that Andy's about to say something real "keen."

"What?"

"You ever felt like a real man before?"

A strange question to you or I, but Billy knows that Andy's leading somewhere, Billy can tell that he should answer honestly.

"Once, when my dad took me fishin'."

"Ahh, no. None of that. I mean a *real man*. You ever felt like one of those?"

"I—I guess not."

There's a sound, a familiar sneeipt that Billy's heard several times before. It's an adult sound, a sound he knows he shouldn't ever hear, but he wants so bad to impress Andy he doesn't seem afraid.

Andy takes a slurp of a can of Budweiser's "Light" brand beer and, making a face, hands the can over to Billy. Billy doesn't think. The can's in his hand and it's nothing but a silver and blue flash up to his mouth, the taste of stale bread and his grandfather's breath. He coughs, but sucks some down, and then hands the can back to Andy. Yes, now he is a real "home dog," he's ready to start skate boarding and listening to R and B music.

But wait…Andy's looking in the other direction, his mouth open like a hungry dog. Billy turns his head to see what Andy's looking at and—oh no, it can't be! But yes it is. First it's a dot, and then it's a blob, and then, oh god and then marching towards them big as life and sure and hell it's none other than "Mean" Joe Green, and he is one bad dude.

Andy falls over and starts crying. Billy keeps looking at the ground. He can't move. Mean Joe's getting closer and closer and he can't move, he can't run, he can't do anything but shake. All he wanted was to be cool, and now look at him. Mean Joe gets so close his shadow blocks out all the sunlight. Billy starts to tremble, to squeak out a plea.

"P-p-please Mean Joe. Please don't murder me!"

Mean Joe laughs.

"Murder you? On the football field, maybe. What I want to know is, why do you childrens think that drinking Bud Light's gonna make you real men?"

"I just did what Andy did. He's radical."

"Well, he don't look radical to me."

Billy looked down. Andy was covered in vomit, was passed out mumbling like a drowned nun.

"Gee, I guess you're right."

Mean Joe laughs, again, reaches inside his pants and pulls out a mysterious, wax-covered bottle.

"Here, he says, if you wanna be a *real* man, drink one of these."

"I will, Mean Joe. I will."

Billy didn't go to school that day, nor did he try and wake up Andy. Instead, he went behind a shed to look at his new bottle. I found him there, and I hit him over the head with a pipe to steal his bottle of Dark Lord. Seriously, a kid isn't gonna like this.

It's too dark, for one. The head is little and brown which is pretty remarkable considering the massive amount of alcohol in this—but what's really on display here is the darkness. Think about the time before you were born and that's Dark Lord.

We're raised to appreciate two kinds of goodness in the worlds of taste and of smell. There's the natural and the artificial. Cherry Jolly Ranchers taste good, and so do real cherries, even if they don't taste anything alike. This is a combination of the best natural, earthen, fruity, and grainy smells you've ever come across, along with the best unnatural, chemical smells.

Kids don't know the smells of unprocessed molasses, burnt grain, or wood smoke. This would seem like a medicine chest mixed with a cookie jar mixed with a walk in a field—one whiff could scar a kid for life.

Too much complexity. On the very tip of the tongue it tastes like a dark wine, then it gets bittersweet, like fire roasted grain, browning apples, and molasses, then it gets regular sweet, like half-dark chocolate and a café mocha, and then it gets a little zippy, like Belgian alcohol and yeast. That's—that's like you're falling down a hill of flavor and then you climb it back up again, from the valley of the alcohol, into the sweet, and then into the bittersweet, and then into the wine. Giving this to a child would be like giving them a bar of acid and taking them to Disneyland. Nothing would ever make them feel happy again, ever.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2006 04:26:57 | More by mynie
Photo of bradford
bradford

California

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks a million to mynie for this trade
Tasted on 5/11 with three friends and neighbors
Well I finally found my perfect 5. This beer was incredible, and I thought it lived up to all the hype surrounding it. I have been reading that the 07 has too much sediment and you don't get a full beer, but my bottle was perfectly fine. This stuff is so viscous it is nuts. I wanted to really savor the bottle, but everyone wanted another sip right away so the glass only lasted about 15 minutes. Amazing. My roommate and I giggled like little girls the whole time we were drinking.

Awesome beer

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2007 15:16:38 | More by bradford
Photo of orfeu
orfeu

New Mexico

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 bottling, sealed with bright orange wax. Acquired courtesy of a trade with dmeadows -- many thanks.

Tenebrous pitch. Inky black with a scorched mocha froth head. Vinous blackberry, smoky cocoa powder, molten chocolate brandy, and fresh roasted espresso aromas. Incredibly intense flavor: dark fruits at first, with bourbon-soaked Bing cherries and stewed plums predominating; then firmly bitter dark chocolate, at once smooth and bitingly sharp; finally, an unbelievably long finish of roasted char and heady dark coffee malevolence. An unvanquishable yet sophisticated alcohol presence lingers throughout the entire sip. The mouthfeel is ponderous and glass-smooth. Overall: paradigmatic. A titan among imperial stouts, the experience truly leaves me in awe.

[Enjoyed while repeatedly listening to Soulreaper's "Written In Blood" as a tribute to the most evocative review of Dark Lord ever written -- a review that is, sadly, no longer available for us to read.]

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2007 04:16:34 | More by orfeu
Photo of bassmantin
bassmantin

Illinois

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to iconoklaztor for letting me taste this. What an epic event.

Smell is very very sweet. Reminds me of the Sam Adams Triple Bock. I know that sounds weird, but it's very sweet. The sweetness is incredibly intense and last very long. I like it but the mouthfeel is very intense and sticky. The uniqueness here is in the durability of the taste; it lasts forever.

I'm not blown away, but it's a great beer. A little too sweet for me, but still awesome.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 03:53:26 | More by bassmantin
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So here it is, I finally get to buckle down and try me some Dark Lord! I cannot believe that it has been nearly 1000 reviews and I have yet to try this one. I was able to get a bottle just a few days after DLD, thanks to a most generous trader, so this is the 2008 edition I will be reviewing. The black wax, was nearly impenetrable, but if you use a sharp enough opener will come off rather quickly. Served at 55 degrees, into an oversized wine glass, I was expecting perfection.

Appearance - The pour was thick, like sludge coming out of the bottle, gurgling as it hit the mouth of the bottle and smashing down into the glass. This was the thickest, darkest of blacks imaginable, it was like a black hole to which no light can escape. Very nice to behold. A smallish, maybe an inch high of rich, dark chocolate colored foam came over the top, giving a nice cascading look to it. Very interesting actually as it appeared to rise up out of nowhere as the liquid itself was so dark and thick that no carbonation could be seen. Some of the stickiest side glass lace I have ever seen, with just web upon web all over the place. This was a monster indeed.

Smell - Hard to put into words how good this smelled. It was a thick aroma, and very sweet. Lots of molasses coming though right away, but very dark, evil smelling. Coffee all over this as well, which surprised me as I did not think there would be as much. Touches of chocolate, but just barely, maybe some dark fruit, but hardly, this was immense in every way. Notes of bourbon come through after it warms, and I find myself sitting in the chair just swirling it around the glass, really just breathing it all in. This was fantastic.

Taste - The flavor followed suit beautifully. Rich coffee flavored molasses just washed over the tongue, well sticks to it is a more apt word, but we will get to that later. Amazingly complex it is hard to really imagine what this one tastes like unless you are actually having it. Nice notes of dark chocolate come through along with a touch of wood flavors. Warming it up brings out lots of oak, and a great hint of vanilla. This is one amazing beer, it is hard to believe that I waited this long to try this one. The finish was just as good as the start and went a little like this: As soon as the last dropped falls from the tongue you get a quick little bite of hops, small, but enough to give the start a bitter touch, this falls off and is replaced by a thick taste of coffee and bourbon, which themselves back off and leave your mouth begging for that flavor, but instead deliver a touch of vanilla, and then the warming starts from the inside. Truly remarkable.

Mouthfeel - This is where I want to comment the most on, but with the fewest words necessary. This was the thickest, smoothest, chewiest, most filling beer I have ever had. It gives a whole new meaning to the term full bodied. This was like a milk shake it was soo big. I was blown away from the first sips that it was a s thick as it was. Unimaginable smooth, as I was enjoying every sip a bit more then the one before it. Truly breathtaking.

Drinkability - For what it is, and for 13%v it was extraordinary. It was soo smooth, and sure you could pick up a little of the alcohol in it, but damn, maybe if it was like 8%, this was ridiculous. So much punch packed into such a delicious package, amazing really..

Overall I have to be honest here. I have in the past commented on how things get too hyped up and there are just as good if not better stouts out there to try. I will now eat my words. This was seriously insane in how good it was. I don't really know where it could have been possibly improved on. I would gladly stand in line for 1 hours in the cold for this one. It really is that good. I am very glad I finally got to try and review this one, it made my whole night. Simply put this is the stout to beat. It really does live up to the hype.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2008 15:05:08 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of RixBeer
RixBeer

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 bottle. Stood in line for 3-1/2 hours for it.

Pours a black that light can not penetrate. It is a black hole sucking up light around it, it's so black. This is real motor oil looking. Pours out the same way oil looks when you pour it into your engine. Creamy chestnut brown head faded very quickly into a thin ring along the edge. There's no lacing but you can tell by the smell that the molasses is gonna stick to everything!

There's a great smell of molasses and dark chocolate, plum, cinnamon, a hint of cherry and there is absolutely no coffee at all. You can also smell the 13% and it does smell amazingly delicious with all that sweetness coming up with it. This is the big boy of sippers.

This beer is not for the faint of heart. you have to really be a serious Russian Imperial Stout lover to drink this beer. It's as if someone angel had added steroids to a regular RIS recipe. Yes I said angel. This beer is how WE SHOULD ALL KNOW god exists and he wants us to be happy.

Huge sweet molasses, caramel, dark bitter sweet chocolate up front, plum?/prune?, honey somewhere in the middle along with more chocolate (like frosting) and bourbon soaked cherry in the middle-end with a huge bite of sticky-gooey molasses in the very back of this bad ass MFer! Wow. And Wow again. So F'N good.

This beer is surprising smooth for such a big hitter. It's not completely full bodied but it's very close. I think it's a good thing because being just shy of full bodied may be why this is drinkable. It does feel like it has some thickness to it that can't easily be split up even in your mouth. It's what I imagined the feel (not taste) of motor oil would be.

This beer is way to drinkable. And that's both a problem and a good thing. It's a problem because this beer isn't available on your corner at your local store. So you savor each and every bottle and each and every sip, to the last drop. It's limited production is what makes this beer amazing. See if I could buy this beer regularly, I'd want to drink it every day. I'd also want a steak and a huge piece of chocolate cake to help me get my fix.

This beer is way too damn good! It's like crack but in beer form. You just can't get enough. And as soon as it's gone, You want more, and more, and more.

Can't wait for this one to mature in my cellar. Man I'm already thinking of how to plan my next trip to DLD. This beer is top notch! Thank you Three Floyds! mmm mmm good!

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2008 02:50:23 | More by RixBeer
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'08

Nothing short of one of the best beers in the world. Pours a thick, oilish black with a creamy espresso head. Not the best retention, but exquisite color and dense viscosity more than makes up for it.

The nose has dark malts, fudge, coffee, molasses, anise, caramel, dark pitted fruits and dank hops.

The taste is the perfect blend of sweet, bitter and roasted flavors. Vast complexity yet superb balance.

Possibly the thickest beer I have ever had. So much going on, but nothing out of place. The epitome of artisinal brewing.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 02:30:29 | More by rye726
Photo of BMoney575
BMoney575

Michigan

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled on 1-16-09
2008 Vintage
Reviewed from notes.

A: Super oily and black, with a thin head that coates the glass with a thin, yellow layer.

S: Surprisingly old, tons of oak, smoke, anise, and molasses. Thick and crazy complex, probably the best smelling beer ever.

T: Wow. This beer is only 9 months old but tastes like it's been aging for years. Oak all over the place, followed by a sweet, almost fruity quality. Hugely malty and yeasty, big in every way. Different than any other RIS I've had.

M: Low carbonation, thick and syrupy, coats the glass and the palate.

D: Insanely good for such an extreme beer, the flavors are just so addicting.

My first and only 5.0 rated beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 21:38:39 | More by BMoney575
Photo of razorsdescent
razorsdescent

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ive been eager to review/drink this highly touted brew for years now. For christmas my GF presented me with a bottle.

I finally got around to trying it and i was most certainly impressed.

A- It poured thick and dark black with a great chocolate head that looked thick and creamy.

S- Cherries covered in dark belgian chocolate rich and deep aromas abound.

T- Big malty chocolate cake with hints of toffee, coffee clove and dark fruits. a very slight hint of soy sauce but in a pleasing way.

M- Thick and creamy with a flavor that coats the mouth. it really is a dessert in a bottle.

D- If it was possible to give it a 6 out of 5 on this on drinkability i would. there are many stouts out there but none quite like this. i would drink this until the morning light and then just keep on.

Believe the hype on this one it really is an extraordinary beer. if you cant find the dark lord i would however recommend chokolat stout from southern tier as i believe it to be almost as good.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 22:38:23 | More by razorsdescent
Photo of Beerkovich
Beerkovich

Illinois

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage (white wax)

My 40th bottle of Dark Lord in the last 4 years...it's about time I review this beer!

Appearance: Dump it vigorously into a cabernet glass and sit back and admire...wait a second...the bottle description wasn't lying--the incendiary head suddenly materializes out of empty space like a backdraft. Close-ups of this would make for a nice series on the Discovery channel. Markedly less head retention than the '08, as the mocha froth ultimately dissipates to an obsidian reflection of myself. Scary stuff. Looks like India ink, fading to burnt umber when you tip the glass in the light, and glowing red at the edges. Rock it back and forth and watch the wake of tiny red bubbles vanish into the black abyss.

Nose: Beguiling, mysterious, intriguing, beckoning, impossible, singular, addictive...smells like?...?.?..Dark Lord I guess. I like to swirl and smell this beer about 12 times before each sip, because it's a way of trying to understand the staggering complexity of this beer without losing any of it to your belly. It's very dense, and difficult to pull out specific aromas...cool coffee and juicy Floydian hops when it's cold--not unlike the new '09 Behemoth barley wine. As it warms to cellar temperature, you start to get more of the ripe dark fruit--cherry, plum, currant, whatever you want to call it--dipped in chocolate and molasses of course.

Flavor: Not unlike the aroma--tight and complex. This beer reminds me of a slowly braised meat, where a handful of awesome ingredients are slowly cooked together for hours until the end result is so integrated and the whole is entirely greater than the sum of its parts. In past DL vintages, you literally tasted a blast of hops, or coffee, or a metallic tinge, sticky caramel, or blatant cherries....here it's more of a nuanced enigma. And I don't mean this in a bad way. Choco-but-not-too-choco-latey-covered cherry-ish molassified espresso beanery port-like black tea roasted barley balsamic reduction??? Only thing lacking compared to previous vintages is a slight 'char' on the finish...but I don't even care.

Mouthfeel: Better than ever! The quick-fading head made me think they went back to '07 sludge-like texture....but NO! The carbonation is there, in perfect amount. The beer is just as heavy as its reputation now demands, but somehow it's smoother than ever...no sticky brown film on the glass, no mud at the bottom of the bottle, and no lump in your throat after the sip. It has shedded some excess fat. It's lean and trim, but still boasts the muscularity, power, and complexity it always had. Unreal.

Drinkability: You can drink a full bottle of this [slowly] before bed with some good music or a good movie, or you can split it with three friends on the back porch. But since this beer is meant to be sipped, savored, and pondered over, it is not 'drinkable' in the case-race sense. I do think it is perfectly drinkable in terms of its unique velvety texture and its impressive balance of complex flavors, always leaving you wanting another sip, and sad when it's all gone. Can't wait to try this one in a few months, or in 2014.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 05:45:16 | More by Beerkovich
Photo of raninator84
raninator84

Ohio

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A finer Imperial Stout? I know not!

2009 Bottle poured into a thick walled Chalice. Oh how the Czars would envy me.
Pours a deep black profuse sludge as if the Dark Lord himself has awakened from a slumber of centuries past. Already I can smell the scent of deep roasted malts, coffee, smoked embers, and nutmeg. The lacing clinging to the walls of my glass, but sliding ever so smoothly into the depths of midnight, where light ceases and something a bit abnormal begins. The first sip; smooth, chewy and thick. Perhaps this Lord of Darkness plays well with others? A robust hit of roasted chocolate careens my palate confused as to what it wishes to unleash next. A rush of sweet molasses and plum forces its boldness upon my senses. As the ferocity of the sip hits my palate a hint of nutmeg and cherries sneaks in through the back with hops infused in the grain. A strong but short burst of burnt and smoked woodiness ends atop the alcohol, clearly there can be no more. But the taste lingers and finally rests into a roasted smoked chocolate embrace. It's enough to want to follow the Dark Lord into the underbelly, into the darkside, into the grave. And after sampling the elixir of this Demigod, I must pledge my loyalty to he who is the master of the blackest of nights, the overseer of the underworld of sludge, and the purveyor of all that is "not normal". To the Dark Lord.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 06:48:52 | More by raninator84
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 2,825 ratings.