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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.

3,235 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,235
Reviews: 1,149
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,719
Gots: 1,448 | FT: 95
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
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Ratings: 3,235 | Reviews: 1,149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vonerichs


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%


Thick, dark, and one finger of cinnamon colored head.

It has vivid and robust scents of coffee, chocolate, and berries. There's a hoppy edge to it.

One of the best tasting RISs around. Dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, vanilla and a dash of cinnamon is complimented by dark berries and pine hops.

Mouthfeel is velvety and smooth. Slightly boozy, but hey, it's 15%. Finish has an acidic like bitterness of coffee.

Good drinkability, even at 15%. This lives up to the hype, for sure.

01-01-2011 14:44:50 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of BierFan


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Many thanks to BA member cheyneyr for this gift. Shared with my father and uncle on Christmas day. Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thick and Black. Only a light dusting of bubbles. Never enough to fully coat the surface of the beer.

Smell: Kind of smells like a cider at first but with a syrupy sweetness. Plums and cherries, as well. wasn't expecting such a fruity and vibrant smell.

Taste: Cherry, currants, and milk chocolate. Bitterness is just right. Any higher and it would start to detract from the rich flavors. Aftertaste of syrupy dark fruits. After-aftertaste of an iced coffee drink. Little bit of a warming alcohol bite.

This has been one of my favorite beer experiences.

12-25-2009 20:36:18 | More by BierFan
Photo of Deconstructionis

West Virginia

4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

This is a stout Stout. Rich, potent flavorful, complex-- a classic.

As close to black as it is possible to get with a creamy light brown head that subsides to a surface foam. one of the best smelling beers ever. Roasted malt mixed with coffee. pecans and light smoke. This is beer. the taste is robustly malt with everything else appropriately in the background but what a background-- coffee, chocolate, nuts, a hint of smoke, savory spice-- just a real work of art. Rich, luxurious even, body but not overly syrupy. This is a heavy brew in all respects but so good you'll be tempted to indulge past the point of good sense.

08-31-2006 14:04:56 | More by Deconstructionis
Photo of Luk13

Quebec (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Finally. Couldn't wait to try this one. Thank you so much Gary for the bottle, vintage 2010. Reddish black pour with little to no head. Complex aroma of coffee, molasses and cherries and but also scotch (peat, smoke) aged port and a hint of soy sauce. Wonderful flavors of chocolate covered maraschino cherries alongside with dark fruits such as prunes and grapes. Incredibly tasty. The vinous mouthfeel showcase the flavors magnificiently without being too heavy. A beautiful marriage of the intensity of the american style with the drinkability of the European interpretations. Beyond my expectations.

09-19-2010 05:49:13 | More by Luk13
Photo of BladeRunner


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Bought two at my local liquor store. They are 6 months old now, so I'm sure they smoothed out a bit. Though, I'm storing the other one for another year.

It pours pure black with an average sized chocolate brown head with an aggressive pour.

It smells of coffee/espresso with a touch of alcohol.

Starts of very smooth, with a good amount of slightly burnt coffee, but ends with a sugary like sweetness. The mouthfeel is very syrupy and thick. Like drinking a bottle of Ms. Butterworths.

The drinkability is above average, because it's a very great tasting beer, but it is far and away a session beer lol. It's sometimes hard to swallow because how malty and thick it is. It likes drinking a meal. This beer is not for the impatient, your going to have to dedicate some time with this beer. It's a very slow going experience.

10-08-2007 21:49:28 | More by BladeRunner
Photo of PBRstreetgang


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

2006 Vintage. Pours black as pitch- no hint of color when held to light. No reverse cascading head, but forms a solid two fingers of wet sand colored heavy fizz that shrinks to a thin cap relatively quickly- but expected given the ABV. Lacing is also expectedly scarce. The aroma of blackstrap molasses, baking chocolate, and roasted malt are abundant even not near the glass. Some brown sugar and background smoky, charred scents with fleeting whiff of clean alchol- no hop aroma to speak of but a very effervescent and vibrant bouquet. The flavor comes in a powerful but not overwhleming series of waves. First very deeply roasted crystal malt with dark caramel and turbinado sweetness. Then rich dark chocolate and roasted barley flavor. Finally a snap of lowland coffee and raisny/date fruitiness that slowly melts away leaving a surisingly light aftertaste with hints of soft english earthy hop flavor for a balanced bitterness. The alcohol feels noexistent save for whispers of booze when exhaling after a deep sip- very well concealed. Ghostly alcohol and hop presence manage to balance a beer that is obviously meant to be over the top malty and sweet. Mouthfeel is lighter than expected as well- heavy for sure due to lack of carbonation- but its 4 1/2 years old and 15% ABV. Drinkablity is high simply because the aftertaste is not overpowering or cloyingly sweet- not because you would want another bomber. Perhaps a little past its prime but for a warm sipping beer it is still fantastic. This is worth the wait and price, and truly stands as the Czar of Imperials.

08-04-2010 08:43:33 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of ferrari29


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

2008 - Black Wax
Beer poured from bottle into Snifter glass

A - Beer pours with a dark brown, almost blackish color; few carbonation formed; not much lacing but actually had legs form on the side of the glass

S - Raisin and prune; plum fruitiness; roasted and smoky flavors; coffee

T - Raisins and prunes are the first flavors to wash up on the palate; sweet with a slight hint of molasses; mix of a port and plums taste

M - Slightly effervescent and syrupy in texture; well-aged beer made my palate experience a smooth combination of stout and dark fruits flavors; aging caused the smoky and roasted flavors to take a backseat to the dark fruit flavors; great beer to age

D - Great aged beer; nice and sweet; aging process turned this imperial stout into a solid after dinner drink

2009 - White Wax
Beer poured from bottle into Snifter glass

A -Beer pours with a dark brown, almost black body; light beige head; less than 1/2 finger foam formed and dissipated very quickly; body has a deep syrupy look, almost heavy and formed a moderate amount of lacing; body of the beer sticks well to the sides

S - Fig & raisin scents come up immediately; heavier ABV scents come up as well; Coffee notes; black Muscat grape smell; a little doughy and oatmeal

T - Grape and raisin taste; subtle coffee flavors; black muscat dessert wine taste; sweet with a touch of oatmeal flavors

M - Full body feel; creamy; filling; the beer feels like it almost expands in size and has a effervescent feel on the tongue

D - I love this beer, its fantastic; it was well worth the wait and 2009 is definitely their best year yet; aging process did some wonderful things to this beer; like they say 'everything's better with time'; phenomenal; I would highly recommend to other stout lovers; would go great with a some desserts

2010 - Green Wax
Beer poured from bottle into Snifter glass

A -Beer pours with a dark brown, almost black body; light beige head; less than 1/2 finger foam formed and dissipated quickly; body has a thin syrupy look, looks heavy and formed a good amount of lacing; body of the beer sticks well to the sides

S - Fig & raisin scents come up immediately; lighter ABV scents come up, not as much as the 2009; coffee notes; burned currants and cherries, probably where the black Muscat grape smell comes from; slight smokiness, almost like roasted chestnuts; hints of caramel

T - Fig and raisin taste; bourbon flavors; sweeter than the 2009; subtle coffee flavors; black muscat dessert wine taste, probably from burned currants and cherries; sweet with a touch of other dark fruits flavors; roasted chestnuts; leaves a very deep fig aftertaste

M - Full body feel; creamy; filling; the beer feels like it almost expands in size as you sip and has a effervescent feel on the tongue; little chewy; not as filling as the 2009, which I feel was the best of the batch so far;

D - I love this beer, its fantastic; it was well worth the wait; even though the 2009 bottle is still their best year yet; aging process did some wonderful things to this beer; phenomenal; I would highly recommend to other stout lovers; would go great with a some desserts; whatever FFF is doing, keep it coming

2011 - Yellow Wax
Beer poured from bottle into Snifter glass

A -Beer pours with a dark brown, almost black body; light beige head; less than 1/2 finger foam formed and dissipated quickly; body has a thin syrupy look, looks heavy and formed rings around the glass; good amount of lacing; body of the beer sticks well to the sides

S - Fig & raisin scents come up immediately; lighter ABV scents of bourbon come up, not as much as the '08 or '09; coffee notes; burned currants and cherries; smokiness, almost like roasted chestnuts; hints of caramel; anise; celery

T - Fig and raisin taste; bourbon flavors; sweeter than the 2010; coffee-espresso flavors; black muscat dessert wine taste, probably from burned currants and cherries; sweet with a touch of other dark fruits flavors; roasted chestnuts; leaves a very deep fig aftertaste; has more of a smoky taste than previous years; molasses

M - Full body feel; meaty; creamy; filling; molasses; the beer does not feel like it expands in size as you sip like the earlier versions; needs to be aged for at least a year to do that; little chewy; not as filling as the 2009, which I feel was the best of the batch so far;

D - I love this beer, its fantastic; it was well worth the wait; phenomenal; I would highly recommend to other stout lovers; would go great with a some desserts; whatever FFF is doing, keep it coming

04-11-2011 17:00:28 | More by ferrari29
Photo of Anthony1


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Pours blacker than black with a thick brown head with good lasting power. Heady aroma of dark malts, coffee and chocolate. Rich and full-bodied, this nectar was made for an almost agonizingly slow drink. Great array of flavors from malt, cocoa, espresso to bitter hops and peppery alcohol. The finish is long and flavorful.

08-31-2010 20:18:11 | More by Anthony1
Photo of illidurit


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Inverted crosses are struck into their heart
Our Lord Satan delivers us from good
He slashes his veins to give us his essence
To my kind it's power, to the weak it's venom
We drink the devil's blood

-Deathspell Omega

I slashed the wax off the bottle and poured this devil's blood into a snifter. As ludicrously black as the deepest crevices of hell with a frothy head the hue of brown earth crumbling before Satan's insidious footsteps.

Aromas of death and destruction coated in brownie batter, coffee as roasted as the souls of the damned, and ashen notes like those wafting from the scorched path Lucifer forges through the underworld.

Flavors of chocolate liqueur, raisins, prunes, cocoa, and the charred remains of unrepentant sinners.

So oily and viscous it pervades the palate like Beelzebub's relentless tendrils of influence snaking through the minds of men, gravid with darkness and power.


Review #666, 08 vintage, courtesy of ucusty.

05-05-2009 08:43:23 | More by illidurit
Photo of blitheringidiot


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured out with a buh-lack hue topped with a buh-rown head cap loaded with hop infused coating.

Scents are a decent malty coffee and pancake flour.

First swigs: Deep espresso and flour thick rum brandy Irish coffee hints. Some Hot heat brought out by the high ABV.

Feel is thick as thick can be. Reminds of Thomas Hooker thick, and caramelly deep cake as can be.

Drinkability is hindered by the overwhelming coffee, but all in all, it is good. Close to Great Divide Yeti, yet with a je nai' c'est quoi. Good beer. Worth trying. I can't get over the "rare beer is sooo good" factor.

Beer is good. Happy beering. Thanks to orbitalr0x for the bottle.

08-27-2005 06:36:40 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of Overlord


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Thanks to Schneid for giving me the chance to try this (hopefully) magnificent brew.

As I type this sentence, I am about to pour the first glass.

There is no head, at all, and the brew is dark, inky black. Easily the darkest beer I've seen (except, perhaps, for Speedway Stout). The smell is complex, with chocolate being the overriding scent I detect. Though coffee is also abundant.

Now for the drinking portion of the evening's festivities.

The mouthfeel is superb, think and viscous, but with a velvety smooth texture. Chocolate is, again, predominate, with just a hint of carbonation. I detect coffee, some vanilla, with an aftertaste that's somewhat oaky...or is that cedar. I am stunned by the high fruit content. Along with chocolate and vanilla, there's definitely caramel and several different fruit blends mixed in there. An absolutely stunning concoction. The massive alcohol content is difficult to discern.

It can serve as a dessert, a sipping drink, or a serious thirst quencher on a cold (or hot) day.

Not to be missed.


07-16-2007 06:56:39 | More by Overlord
Photo of brantadid

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured black with a brown one finger head forming. Tiny bubbles of carbonation appeared to struggle through the viscousity of this beer on their way to the surface. I have never seen a more viscous beer. No light passes through this beer.

The smell was the most disappointing part of this beer. Definately got some burnt coffee, raisin, and malt.

Taste is unbelievable. This beer is an assault on the palate. The complexity and layers of flavor are just amazing. Big and super malty with layers of coffee, dates and figs, with an almost port like quality. The length of flavor just goes on and on. Less hop profile than I expected.

Mouthfeel is super viscous. The beer and flavor just coat and stick to everywhere in your mouth. Carbonation seems to be on the low side.

Alcohol presents in a nice warming from the back of the throat to the front of the palate. It is masked nicely. This is a complicated and thought provoking beer. Due to the amount and intensity of flavor, I don't know how much of this I could drink, but it certainly leaves you wanting more.

One of the few beer that, after all the hype, I wasn't disappointed in.

01-13-2009 04:39:30 | More by brantadid
Photo of paulthebeerguru


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

2008 DL thanks to two great beernuts. Gtreid and my new regular Todd.

A: snifter. obsidian in color, with a huge coffee colored head. good retention level, with some big sticky lacing.

S: huge aromas of coffee, molasses, some black currents, raisins, some bittersweet chocolate, as well as some mahogany wood.

T: tons of molasses, rich roasted malts, leading to tons of coffee, raisins, soy, honey, pipe tobacco, some black currents. Holy shit this beer it so complex.

M: thick and beefy. low to mild carbonation level. massive palate on this.

D: wow! one bottle of this and I am out. So good, but I think it is definitely overhyped. major thanks to Grant and Todd for both bring a bottle out of the blue on the same day. what an experience.

08-07-2008 19:42:47 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of Jmoore50


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

08 Vintage shared by jdkls

The appearance is like melted tire. It does not produce any type of head, just a cocoa film that layers the brew for a few minutes. It leaves a grainy dirty alcoholic leg on the glass that prooves that this is a thick mamma. I cannot express to the reader how thick this beer is. Melted tire is the first expression that came into mind.

Liquid plums. Dark fruits, raisins, lots of cherry. It was the first thought to come to my mind and the last thought to leave. Sorry, it just smells like a fruit puree and its delicious.

This is the most unique RIS I have ever had. Its is like a plumb liquor. There are so many dark fruits in this it border lines on fruit beer. Plumbs, cherries, raisins, and bit of the ABV. The ABV is so slight, it just pushes fruit flavors in your face. There is no chocolate, there is no coffee, it is straight fruit. Maybe bitter espresso in the aftertaste with an earthy flavor. Cherries! Huge cherries in the aftertastes with the bitterness.

The mouthfeel is maybe the thickest I have ever had. Chewing is the verb used in describing the mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation for me as well, drives the tastes into the palate.

The drinkability is good, but this is a sipping beer. It is thick and filled with flavor. I was reaching for it, but it took a while for me to finish. It is enjoyable and I am very glad I got the chance to try it. Thanks goes to jdkls for the opportunity to try it. I am going to be trying different vintages soon, and will post those asap.


01-17-2010 08:34:51 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of justforrazors


4.59/5  rDev +7.2%

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.

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


4.59/5  rDev +7.2%

Practically zero head after the pour. A rich dark brown like bittersweet chocolate. Impossibly impermeable to light. Clings stickily to the side of the glass with a swirl.

S- Smells like roasted malt, warm liquor, espresso grounds, chocolate mousse. Sweet, but not so much so as the fresh batch at DLD.

T- Tobacco, dark chocolate, dark fruit, black coffee, chocolate mousse. And more and more. Still pretty damn sweet, so I'm definitely holding onto my remaining allotment for a minute.

Sticky thick and amazing on the tongue. Like a thicker plead the fifth. Wishing real hard right now for a barrel aged variant.

Definitely a hype monster. Also a unique enormous delicious beer. DLD is blast, so this beer wins points for sentimentality. I agree with the conjecture that there are comparable beers available on shelf, but it's fun to get on board with the whole experience of the festival in Munster. Yayayyyyyyyyy.

08-19-2013 03:23:38 | More by RhyminBelmont
Photo of tuckevalastin


4.58/5  rDev +7%

2009 release

A: Very dark black with no head

S: Dark roasted malts with chocolate and vanilla tones and some underlying raison/dark fruit.

T: The taste is all roasted malt and chocolate/vanilla/caramel. Very good taste and not too much of the alcohol comes through.

M: Lots of heat but not much carbonation. It's full and it's heavy.

D: This is the definition of a sipper.

Overall, this is THE imperial stout. I'm highly impressed and would certainly recommend that any beer lover at leat try this one.

01-31-2010 00:04:58 | More by tuckevalastin
Photo of ggaughan


4.58/5  rDev +7%

Sampled courtesy of my cousin who brought it to another cousins wedding reception. 2006 edition. Sure beats the Bud that was on tap there. The labeling and packaging with the melted wax is a great presentation. The beer poured a dense midnight black color, just like motor oil, with a brown right around the ends of the glass. The aroma is toasted and a bit sweet, molasses. Very impressive nose. The taste has a nice tough of toasted, but not overly done, coffee and a powerful sweet taste. At times the sweetness was the dominant force in this one but this is still a very fine brew. With a bit of aging, I get this thing would mellow out a bit and would be even more impressive.

05-22-2006 02:23:37 | More by ggaughan
Photo of bashiba


4.58/5  rDev +7%

This was from a 2007 bottle.

Poured super black with just a hint of tan head.

Has a big huge strong smell, slightly sweet with hints of raisin and a strong bourbon and oak barrel smell, some nice bitter black burnt malts poking through as well.

The flavor is incredibly complex, its start sweet with hints of dark fruit, vanilla, bourbon, and caramel, the strong smokey burnt bitterness eventually takes over leading to a suprisingly balanced yet almost overwhelmingly complex beer.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a long lasting oily coating.

Goes down pretty well for being such a huge beer. Does a pretty good job living up to the hype.

05-18-2008 20:33:51 | More by bashiba
Photo of drowland


4.58/5  rDev +7%

22oz bottle shared by my older brother. Of course deep black and a big old brown head. The aroma is raisins, molasses, a bit of soy, and a hint of roast. The flavor is sweet raisins, maple syrup, and a subtle but wonderful dose of chocolate and smooth coffee. The coffee lingers nicely and the beer is extremely smooth despite a hint of alcohol.

02-05-2012 21:48:13 | More by drowland
Photo of jsh420


4.58/5  rDev +7%

on tap DLD

pours pitch black (one of the darkest beers i have had) no head just some tan bubbles on the edge of the cup

smell - not as enticing as the vanilla bean DL but still very good - rich heavy roasted chocolate malts coffee dark fruit

taste - like the smell big flavors roasted malts chocolate malts dark fruit carmel toffee malts some coffee and good amount of hops

mouthfeel - heavy thick viscous coats the inside of your mouth - just what you want in a huge ris that tastes so good

drinkability was great - the high abv didnt stop me from having 2 cups

04-25-2010 23:10:24 | More by jsh420
Photo of Ambiorix


4.58/5  rDev +7%

Bottled, 2010. Wow, finally! Black pour, brown head. Nose is smoke, coffee, chocolate, raisins, soy sauce. Flavor is malty, smoky, coffee, bittersweet chocolate. Finish is slightly bitter. Thick, viscous mouthfeel. Excellent, but not sure it lives up to the hype.

05-08-2010 02:24:53 | More by Ambiorix
Photo of scottyshades


4.58/5  rDev +7%

2010 courtesy of Beerwolf77, thanks Todd!

A: Pours absolute onyx with a massive khaki color head. Retention is amazing. Two things you wouldn't expect given the high ABV. This is the absolute thickest looking beer on the planet, no question.

S: Big raisin and fig right off the bat, big time black strap molasses, ripe chocolate berries give a little sweetness, and super rich fudge. Not necessarily as complex as other examples, but still amazing

T: All of the above plus a little char, maraschino cherries, definite but subtle coffee/espresso, and a noticeable enough hop presence to balance. More charred/molasses notes than sweetness.

MF: Absolute thickest beer on the planet, more so than FBS, KBS, or Hunaphu's. The finish is of char, molasses, and subtle coffee.

O: Amazing...not as complex as some other world class stouts, but certainly awesome in its own way. Deserving of the hype and rating, must try.

11-02-2011 16:20:33 | More by scottyshades
Photo of shroompod


4.58/5  rDev +7%

2nd out of a sixer picked up @ DLD 07.

Poured into goblet. Small tan head. No light escapes when held to light.

Smell of hops , faint dark roasted coffee. Some alcohol.

The beer has the RIS style amplified. Plenty off bittering hops , dark sweet malt, and bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel is thick, the hops help it dry out somewhat.

Drinkability suffer a bit from the high ABV , thickness and complexity.

Overall and interesting RIS , maybe not my favorite, but worth seeking out.

05-20-2007 01:31:00 | More by shroompod
Photo of hopdog


4.58/5  rDev +7%

22oz bottle. '05 vintage acquired in a few trades. This rating is based on that vintage. I've had all other vintages except the '04 (saving that one for a 5+ year vertical!).

Poured a dark as night black with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas and tastes of stronger coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, smoke, some dark fruits, and molasses.

Tastes came through and got better as I drank more. A burnt roasty quality and dark cherries came out. Very light alcohol in the finish. Smooth and creamy body.

Notes from and tasted on 6/24/05.

11-04-2008 19:07:33 | More by hopdog
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,235 ratings.