Dark Lord Imperial Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,810 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,810
Reviews: 1,242
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.72%
Wants: 3,046
Gots: 1,770 | FT: 138
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002

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

Vintage guide:
Red wax = 2004
Orange wax = 2005
Gold wax = 2006
Silver wax = 2007
Black wax = 2008
White wax = 2009
Green wax = 2010 - 15% ABV
Yellow wax = 2011 - 15% ABV
Red wax = 2012 - 15% ABV
Orange wax = 2013 - New Label 15% ABV
Blue wax = 2014 - 15% ABV
Maroon wax = 2015 15% ABV
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,810 | Reviews: 1,242
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 release; Sampled December 2009; Served at 60+ degrees Fahrenheit.
Slow to form, but ultimately thick, three finger thick head that lingers for quite some time, but doesn' leave much in the way of lacing on the sides of my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is pitch black of cours. Aroma of coffee liquor, dark chocolate, sweetened roasted malt, some smooth alcohol notes. Much more simplistic than I remember, but it is still rich and definitely satisfies my current hunger for a rich stout.

This beer is definitely thick, rich and mouth coating; definitely on the syrupy side of the beer texture spectrum. Quite sweet, which really helps to temper the huge roast character, but in the finish the roast becomes quite bitter and perhaps even a bit astringent; the sweetness never fades as both the roast and the rich sweetness really lingers on the palate for a long time. The dark notes in this beer are layered with bitter black coffee, dark chocolate, acidic roast malt and burnt grain notes. The mouthfeel is quite rich, but can seem a bit thin at times compared to what I remember this beer being.

When I first had this in 2004, it was so rich and so decadent compared to anything else I had ever had. This definitely hasn't withstood the test of time. This is definitely a grand example of the decadent American take on the style, but really isn't nearly as lush, rich or complex as my memory had it being.

2004 bottle release, Sampled April 2004
4.55 total
4/4.5/5/4/4.5
Strong notes of alcohol and port. Notes of roast malt, coffee, toffee, chocolate liquor, are also found in the nose. The beer is thick viscous, and pours a deep midnight black color with a bit of carbonation but only a dusting of bubbles on the surface. When roused a thick creamy dark brown head forms, one of the darkest heads I have ever seen.

Holy shit, I have never tasted a beer with such a stupefyingly thick body as this. It is very creamy and coats my mouth, it is like sipping on syrup. As expected with this body, it is quite sweet. The sweetness is accentuated by a fresh hop flavor, that when combined give this beer a concentrated fruitiness. This thing must have been heavily hopped in order to have such prominent hop flavor in an Imperial Stout of this stature. From the front to the middle back of this beer you would guess that this was a bottle of concentrated hop nectar, floral character abounds with, grapefruit, bergamot, cherry, concentrated raisin and plum.

The alcohol is not nearly as evident in the taste and the dark malt flavors are not as strong as I was expecting, the fresh hop character seems to mute them out quite a bit. The finish is quite bitter, though with the thick mouth-coating malt sweetness it is hard to pick out at first, but it is really the lingering bitterness long after the beer has left my mouth that lets you know that this is bittered quite well. The dark malt flavors kick in the end as well, just before the bitterness. Notes of concentrated espresso, bitter chocolate, burnt raisin, burnt caramel.

I must admit that with this intense fresh hop flavor, I am not sure that I want to hold on to the rest of these for a long time, though the 4 inches of sludge at the bottom of this bottle (even after a month of sitting) say that I need to move these to my lagering fridge for quite a bit. The fresh hop flavor is quite good right now, and it is so dominant that I can not even guess how this beer will continue to age. I have a feeling that in a year or two this will be a totally and unexpectedly different beer from what it is now. I have no doubt that the Dark Lord will age gracefully for the next 10 or even 20 years, but will it be better than it is now. Oh well only time will tell, I will just have to hang on to a couple over the years.

Photo of Rbald42
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 much-debated vintage opened tonight. Thanks to Alen (RIP) for the beer. When I started BA, I thought that this beer was the end-all be-all of beers to try. Boy did I have a lot to learn.

A- Black as night, dark dark dark with chocolate 1 finger head. Looks good
S- One of the weaker points as far as this vintage is concerned. I get a strong soy/smoky aroma on first whiff (not good). Hints of chocolate and and roasted notes. Kinda smells like prime rib for a split second.
T- On first sip I got an initial soyness from the beer, but it lessened as I drank onward. I get dark roasted malts and chocolate with hints of coffee and a milky sweetness mixed with toffee.
M- Thick and dare I say "chewy" sticky and coats the mouth. Slightly cloying and sticky sweet in a not-so good way.
D- Average, there is a lot to tackle in a single bottle. The sweetness and soy flavors make it quite a chore to finish off a single bottle. I kinda enjoyed it however. Glad I tried one, don't think I'll trade for another anytime soon.

Photo of MrPlayboy
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Vintage 2014

Poured into a snifter and decided to crack this bottle to celebrate some recent success at work.

Smells nice, like a boozy RIS.

Taste.... sooo sweet! And syrupy and thick like molasses and just overly sweet. I get some roasted notes and a little cocoa and hints of coffee but the cloying sweetness is overpowering. Not impressed.

The high ABV is well hidden but the mouthfeel is very low on carbonation. Its like a day old opened bottle of Darkness with 5 extra spoonfuls of sugar.

Not worth the hype. Too sweet and not complex. I can't finish this bomber. Corking it for tomorrow where I'll grin and bare it since I can't stand to waste this bottle. Damnit.

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I was able to try the 2007-2011 versions of this beer side by side during a tasting this past weekend. My rating is from the 2011 version, which was my favorite. Poured into my Colossus snifter.

Appearance: Pours almost black with just a little bit of light coming through at the very edge of the glass. There is a layer of tan carbonation that disappears completely.

Smell: Sweet with some cocoa and caramel. There is a bitterness from the roasted malt and some molasses in there as well.

Taste: Lots of sweetness up front. There is a strong presence of roasted malt with some chocolate and brown sugar. There is some dark fruit flavor mixed in there as well. This version has a slight metallic taste to it that seemed to show up even more in the older versions. There is a mild hop bitterness in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: The body on this one is quite thick with tingly carbonation and a dry finish. Quite nice.

Overall: There is a metallic taste that I'm getting in all of the versions that isn't completely pleasing. Everything about this beer is good enough and I'll probably try the future versions.

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

2010 vintage - olive green wax
22oz bomber poured into a duvel tulip
This beer along with another have been sitting in the cellar for a long time, opened this puppy up at a little tasting held last weekend along with some college buddies. Lets see how it did...

A: The Dark Lord poured a mean pitch black black. No light is EVER going to come through this beer. Had a small dark mocha head, about one fingers worth.

S: There is alot of roastedness in there. Pretty sweet smelling beer as well which is interesting for such a big RIS. Chocolate and coffee are big factors in the smell. What really brings the sweetness up is the dark fruit character that is present - something i have never smelt in a imperial stout. Figs, raisons, plums. Very interesting. Also some alcohol heat as well

T: THIS BEER IS BIGGGG. Following the nose nicely, this beer has alot of coffee, roasted malts and chocolate characters present. Again, the beer has a wierd dark fruit thing going on thats pretty interesting. The major draw back to this beer? - Sweetness. This beer is over the top sweet almosting cloying. Bring down the sweetness and this would be a stellar beer. Alcohol plays another big factor in the taste of this beer. Pretty boozy with some sips.

M: THICK THICK THICK like maple syrup, thought they put used motor oil in my beer. The thickness is kind of nice. Carbonation is a little low but what would you expect from such a HUGE RIS? Alcohol is high, a little hot and almost border line overboard but not quite.

D: A little above average with this guy, pretty huge RIS that would be very hard to put many down. Also a little bit to sweet for my liking, but great flavors are packed into the beer. Pretty impressed.

Weekend tasting results: Out of the only three RIS's we had in the entire tasting, beer finished 3rd following Bourbon County Brand Stout and Ivan the Terrible.

Photo of zac16125
3.74/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter
Vintage 2011

A big thanks to kundog18 for the trade.

A: Pours a somewhat viscous very dark brown with some lighter browning on the edges.  A very agressive pour yields only 1/2 fingers of light mocha colored head, which dissipates very quickly to only the slightest outer ring. Leaves effectively zero lacing.

S: Big dark fruit aroma, along with chocolate and a hint of coffee.  Lots of raisin, fig and some overripe plum.  Black licorice, vanilla and some mild booze.  Really nice.

T: Sweeter than the nose. Again some dark fruits but also tons of molasses, caramel and toffee, along with notes of black licorice, hints of roasted malt, and  coffee and dark chocolate on the back end. Some complexity but overall just too sweet.   Some other charactericts strengthen as it warms but the sweetness still becomes cloying.  

M/D: Quite a syrupy mouthfeel but  smooth. Carbonation is appropriately low.  On the heavier side of medium bodied, but certainly not as thick as some stouts.  The absurd 15% ABV is incredibly well masked, although I almost wish some booze would come out in the taste to balance out the sweetness.  Drinkability is below average, mostly due to cloying sweetness.  

O: Overall, this is a pretty big miss for me.  The aroma is great, and the ability to mask a huge ABV is impressive, but the palate profile is just way too sweet.  Im not saying its a bad beer, but I struggle to see it being a top 100.  IMO its not even in the same league as some of the other big  stouts I have tried.  I would drink this again if it were offered to me, but with so many great stouts available, I don't see myself making an effort to get this one again.  

Photo of zoolzoo
3.74/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage

A: Chocolate syrup pour, completely opaque. Barely a tan head, almost no sign of carbonation.

S: Dark chocolate with roasty undertones. Coffee, black cherry ice cream. Alcohol is pretty subdued to my surprise.

T: Initial flavor is a clash of soy sauce and terribly sweet molasses. Lots of grain and char mid palate. Dark cherry and raisin are scattered throughout. Finish is a slight impression of coffee and some hop bitterness. 15% is incredibly masked....

M: Diabetic sludge.

O: A good imperial stout, not one for the record books. Still, this is one you have to try at least once right? Over rated in my opinion. Too sweet for its own good, unless you are really into that kinda stuff. A nice one to really sip on over the course of the night, gets better with warmth and oxidation.

Photo of claspada
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Update: Sampled the 2006 version this past weekend (9/21/12) and it was exponentially better than the newer examples and it wasn't an age difference. The smaller batches of this were much better according to HimerMan who brought out this gem and I have no reason to challenge him; ramping up production of any beer will undoubtedly lower quality as with anything, food, beer or otherwise.

Pre-2007 Rating: 4.25 but I'm leaving the rating here to reflect newer examples as that is what most will find available.

Sampled the White Wax (2009) and the Yellow Wax (2011) back to back. I'll review the older vintage despite there being very little difference between the two.

Pours a deep dark viscous black color with a thin brown head that fades to leave some thin lacing on the glass.

Aromas begin with dark robust roasted malts, dark and milk chocolate and roasted coffee beans. As it warms I can get some of the dark fruit notes as well as the faintest note of hops.

The tastes follow the nose with some semi-sweet dark chocolate complemented by mild flavors of espresso and dark caramelized malts. The malt character is as hearty as you will find with a mild bitter hop presence. As it warms you get some of the dark fruits (prunes) and some emerging boozy alcohol. The flavors get increasingly sweet to the point of being a chore to finish.

The mouthfeel is extremely heavy bodied with light-to-medium carbonation. The finish is sticky and borders on being cloyingly sweet if not for the extreme roasted malts to add some dry character.

Overall, 5 years ago this may have been a revolutionary beer that may have deserved such high praise but in today's ever expanded craft beer world this is merely ordinary. Not that is is a bad beer but it's not one I particularly ever need to have again, especially with the limited bottle count and one day a year release in Indiana.

Photo of EddieTheTrooper
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Have you heard his battle cry? The dark lord cometh and he thirsts for your soul! This stout is so black that light cannot penetrate it's depths, seriously, I tried to shine a green laser pointer thru it. It pours like motor oil, tastes like coffee and malice, and smells like boiled hell. This is not a normal beer, tis the port of beers. As delectable as the dark lord is, his curse is that you cannot drink much of it. 13% abv and an overbearing taste and thick consistency make this a special occasion beer. Damn good though.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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

Photo of lou91
3.71/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great looking stout – jet black, almost shiny with a head that went away then came back bigger and browner with a little swirl. The nose was all alcohol with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee trying but failing to get through. Lots of great flavors but the alcohol is way too dominant. I like the hop bitterness and dark chocolate but the alcohol burn tells me that this may need a bit more time to settle. I’m happy to have tried it but I can’t say that I would give my left beer nut for it. Thanks to Kmpitz2 for this bottle.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle - 2006 edition - Many thanks to beermanbrian

After a year of patience, it's finally time to see if the hype surrounding this beer matches the reality.

Pours a very thick, black color with a dark cocoa head that recedes. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is huge! Sweet and sticky with a blend of roasted malts, dark fruits, cocoa, coffee, and a hint of booze. Wonderfully complex and rich.

Big sticky sweetness upfront leading into rich roasted malt flavors and a bold dark fruitiness. Plenty of dark cocoa and espresso flavors, and even a hint of hops come through in the middle. But, the sweetness remains constant from start to finish - nothing jumps in to balance it out. The taste becomes as cloying as it is complex.

Enormous body, quite syrupy. Light carbonation.

Well, it appears that the hype has triumphed again. While this is a giant beer and full of complexities, the sweetness just becomes annoying. It really lacks balance, and that really limits the drinkability. Certainly worth a try, but doesn't come close to living up to the hype.

Photo of dbalsock
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2005 vintage

App: Pours an almost black body with a brown head. The lacing slips down the side in a beautiful cascade.

Smell: Coffee predominates with rich caramel and a buttery sweetness. There's also a hint of smoke which I can imagine being much prevelant in a fresh bottle.

Taste: Coffee again with dark chocolate and a rich buttery caramel. Similar to the aroma there is a smokey character. Not as complex as I was imagining, the coffee dominates leaving just a little room for the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with a bitter bite throughout and an alcoholic bite at the end. Slick and lasting.

Drinkability: The apparent alcohol and the intense bitterness without balance make it hard to get through. I think this guy is a little overhyped.

Photo of Onenote81
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010. Poured into a snifter. Pours gluggingly a deep black. Sits heavy in the glass, and from it proceeds a thick mocha frothy head. The aroma is reminiscent of a stepping into the dwellings of a chocolatier. Big sweet chocolate notes, licorice, ethanol burn on the end.

The body is warm, viscous, and palate-coating. Has held up well after 2 years of utter darkness. Subtle carbonation play on the tongue. Starts out with a sweet kiss of milk chocolate. The sweetness melds well with the mildly bitter character, but then the soy sauce-like flavor kicks in. Alcohol is noticeable, and adds a nice touch of warmness on the back end. This is good, though, this beer seems lacking somehow. Glad I had it, and glad I aged it, but I'd like a fresh one to compare it to, no doubt.

Photo of xnicknj
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Updated review from Dark Lord tasting of 10, 11, 12, Bourbon Barrel '12 and Brandy Vanilla '11

After trying 5 different versions of the beer in one sitting I came to the realization that this is one of the thickest, heaviest, sweetest, most cloying, rich beers I can possibly imagine. We were all hard pressed to finish our 3-4 oz pours of the regular Dark Lord vintages due to the overwhelming sweetness driven by dark fruit, burnt sugar, vanilla, anise, chocolate, etc. The booze is still negotiable, but my overall impression of this beer has changed since I first had it nearly 2 years ago.

Trying these alongside the barrel-aged versions really exposes the base beer as well, considering the Bourbon and Brandy Vanilla are two of the best stouts I've tasted all year.

Original review - 2-11-11: 4.47

22oz bottle poured into snifter glass - 2010 vintage - thanks to mikesgroove/dregs78 (not sure who this one's from)

Pours a ridiculously inky and thick black color with a tanned head. There's some retention with a brownish film, leaving a collar of lacing on the glass.

Lots of dark fruit in the nose with rich sweetness. Notes of anise, licorice, truffles and chocolate followed by a slight alcohol flair.

Sweet up front driven by an assortment of candied dark fruit and syrup with molasses. Anise, licorice, and raisin with some bittersweet tones and light hop bitterness. Dark chocolate and toffee with some notes of truffle oil. Warm boozyness and more dark fruit throughout the finish.

Full syrupy body, nice carbonation, very smooth and slick on the palate. Drinks insanely well for the alcohol content with a nice, unique full flavor however a little on the sweet side for me. This was a pretty unusual beer compared to most big, boozy stouts I've had, but definitely one I'd seek out again.

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm always entertained when I pour a "mega stout" - you just don't expect that kind of viscosity in a libation. This brew pours with a chunkiness somewhere between motor oil and chocolate pudding and has a surprisingly thick, creamy cocoa colored head. The crown flattens out almost immediately but leaves a good bit of sticky lacing on the inside of the glass.

The nose is almost entertaining enough that you could skip the drink - there are notes of fig, vanilla, molasses, cherries, oak and smoke in the smell (and that's just the first whiff) It seems every time you put your nose in the glass there's another interesting discovery that adds to the complexity.

The flavor is equally complex with an interesting melange of dried fruits, coffee and cocoa and a poorly integrated alcohol note. No hops to speak of to add a contrasting note to the malts and esters.

Mouthfeel is, as expected, a tad on the heavy side. There's a moderate amount of carbonation to lighten up each sip but the finish is lacking either hop or roasted grain bitterness leaving only an alcohol burn and a bit of a syrupy, cloying finish.

Sadly this seems to be a case where the hype led me to expect more from the beer than it could actually deliver. It was interesting as a novelty but this isn't a brew that I'm likely to seek out again. I've had a few other 'big stouts' that I'd love to go back and revisit but this one isn't going to be on that list.

Photo of jera1350
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sparky44 for this 2009 bottle.

Pours a maple syrupy thick jet black color with only a small ring of brown foam around the glass despite a semi-agressive pour. Where's the head?

Smells extremely sweet. Reminds me of malt extract. Molasses, prune and raisin with a moderate alcohol scent.

Wow, is this sweet. Sweetest tasting beer I've ever had. Sweet and bitter sums this one up. There is a pretty moderate hotness coming from the booze. Bitterness from the hops. Bittersweet chocolate, some coffee, prune, raisin and molasses. Extremely rich. Not as deep and complex as I had expected.

Super thick and syrupy. As full of a body as you can get. Small amount of soft carbonation on tongue. Pretty wet finish.

Definite sipper of a beer. Works well as a dessert drink. I'm thankful I'm sharing a bottle with my wife as I couldn't drink a whole one myself. Can't detect the 13% ABV in this one. Probably won't seek this out again. Didn't quite live up to the hype for me.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.69/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 edition. Poured from an orange wax 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Many thanks to the guys at Ale Arsenal for sharing.

A: Unsurprisingly black. Not much to say here.

S: Brown sugar and caramel.

T/M: Thick. Rich. Sweet. Really thick. Caramelized brown sugar. Hint of bitterness. This is a sugar bomb. Vaguely like DFH WWS. I honestly taste nothing but brown sugar and the barest hint of coffee.

O: Overall a decent beer. Not the best. It's just WAY too sweet. Would not have again. Not recommended.

Photo of KillerJigger
3.69/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Lacking in mouth feel for my taste. Sweet with plenty of tastes. Dates and roasted malt. No crazy alcohol bite.

Photo of afksports
3.69/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I want to taste the beer named after God, because the beer named after Satan (well, the best one named after him) is pretty damned good.

This 2010 vintage was shared with another beer nerd in the middle of a parking lot, in blizzard, in a Wawaccino glass (sans wawaccino, and washed). I don't think many beer nerds can beat that for context. It's thick and murky and motor oil black. Tan head, finger thick. Smells like chocolate, malts, and something lactic that got burnt. Cream? Also boozy. It tastes rich and filthy, so so so sickly sweet. Really big, and I was feeling a buzz before the end of my half of the bottle. But at 15%, you have to expect that going in.

For what it is, its full body is highly drinkable. I could sip on this for a while. Even in a blizzard.

Just not one I have to drive in.

UPDATE: When not in a blizzard, this beer is not that impressive. Changed from an A+ to much much less, there's no coffee in the nose. It's just booze and soy sauce. Almost rubbing alcohol. Smacks you in the nose. And at the top of the palate. And the thickness isn't as great, it's almost runny. Dark Lord 2010 isn't worth slamming, but it might not be worth praising so highly, either.

Photo of TexIndy
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Got in a trade with czoch75 back in May and have been cellaring till now per FFF's recommendation. Poured from a 22oz bottle with a silver wax seal and cool graphics into a pint glass. I have to agree with other reviews that it pours like motor oil or thick syrup. It was pitch black even against a light. It had just a tiny hint of head and that was gone in a blink of an eye. The aroma was strong on alcohol and dark fruits at first. Got some strong smoke after a couple minutes but then that faded into the back. By the end, alcohol was the most dominant. The taste was also dominated by alcohol. Very reminiscent of cough medicine. There was some sweetness at the start of each drink but then the alcohol overpowered it. I've had several RIS lately and really liked several but this one is too much. For me, they need to scale back the alcohol taste and add back in some more traditional RIS flavors. For me, this one is overhyped and not worth recommending unless you can easily get it. Disappointed is best way to sum it up. (3, NA, ML, N)

Photo of ausch30
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had most of the beers that are incredibly hyped and most of them live up to it, this one doesn't. It tastes like they threw a ton of ingredients into a brew kettle and forgot to ferment it. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad beer, I've had much worse. As far as Imperial Stouts go though I've had much better and those were far more accessable. Lots of dark fruits, it almost tastes like a blend of a Quad and a RIS, leaning more toward the Quad. This is a 2012 bottle, the 3rd I've had, I also had some on tap at DLD when I picked this up. I have 4 more bottles, I'll probably drink one every 6 months, we'll see if and how it develops. If you've never had it it's worth trying. That being said I wouldn't suggest going out of your way or spending a lot to get it, chances are you have much better Stouts already waiting for you at your local bottle shop.

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

A. Pours black with a brown/amber edge with a tan creamy head that dissipates to a thin film.

S. Dark fruit, soy sauce, vanilla - not a lot of the coffee and dark roasted flavors I usually associate with big stouts.

T. Dark fruit, soy sauce, lots of sweetness, cherry, vanilla. Complex and interesting, but a bit too sweet for me.

M. Thick, syrupy with little carbonation.

D. Pretty drinkable. Too sweet for me - sweeter than any of the other stouts we tried tonight.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

Appearance - Standard stout appearance. Jet black. The small head is actually surprising, considering the ABV. The sugars are damn near visible as it streaks down the glass.

Smell - Wow. Intense aromas. Coffee, chocolate, booze. The booze actually smells great, despite that it's practically burning my nose. Fruity aromas as well. Not as roasty as I would expect.

Taste - Tingly alcohol throughout. Incredibly sweet. Coffee flavors and chocolate malts through the middle. Slightly bitter in the finish and an alcohol burn that lasts for a few moments. It's a pretty complex flavor, but it's immensely sweet.

Mouthfeel - Pretty well carbonated for a 15% stout. Pretty boozy, too, though. And the sweetness just makes it so hard to drink. Small quantities is the most I can muster with this thing.

Overall - Sure, it's good. But it's so insane that it's barely drinkable. I don't think I'd seek this out again. Either that or I'd need to split the bottle four ways.

Photo of morimech
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2009 Vintage

Appearance- Dark, viscous liquid. Used motor oil color once in the glass. Small brown head that quickly settles to a thin film. Not much for lacing.

Smell- The best thing about this beer. Rich malty, chocolate, fruit that has been marinated in dark rum, and port. A lot of good things are going on.

Taste- Far too sweet to be really enjoyable. The malt is overpowered by fruity sweetness that really harms the flavor. Coffee flavor is non-existent. A little burntness is evident. Cloying sweet aftertaste. I could see this gaining a soy sauce flavor with more age.

Mouthfeel- Thick full body with low carbonation. Silky smooth texture.

Drinkability- Not that high. An 8oz. pour of this would be more than enough. Surprisingly it is the flavor itself that limits drinkability rather than the 13% ABV.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,810 ratings.