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

2,822 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2822
Reviews: 1128
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 14.92%


Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

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

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 2,822 | Reviews: 1,128 | Show All Ratings:
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 EPseja
EPseja

New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

NOTE: Edited 20061122 after a RIS tasting. Deducted 0.5 from taste.

Ok then... FINALLY. I've been sitting on this bottle for nearly six months, waiting to get the right time to share it with by buddy Yelterdow.

This 22oz. bomber was imported from Indiana for me by my brother who actually bought it from of one of the FFF employees private stashes. My brother rocks.

Served in a Duvel Tulip at cellar temperature. Rated with a firm mind *not* to jump on the "everyone else likes it so I should too" bandwagon.

A - Red wax covered cap and awesome artwork on the label are a good start for a beer with such an intimidating name. Pours like motor oil - both in color and viscosity. Like a phantom, the four finger thick head rises from nothingness like a slow-motion mushroom cloud with a fantastic reverse cascade at the surface of the beer. It is comprised of super tightly packed, small bubbles and colored like the foam of a cafe con leche or an authentic espresso. The head is firm like meringue, and its retention is stalwart. Its dark, earthy brown colors deepen and change to a rusty orange with each passing moment. Lacing is huge and thick like a velvet drapery.

S - Dark roasted coffee, natural fresh chickory, dark high cocoa % chocolate, caramel & vanilla overtones. Candy sugar. An interesting, slightly floral hop profile also becomes noticeable as the beer warms... Amarillo hops? Not quite sure, but if it's Three Floyds, the odds are high. Very interesting discovery, as I've never really been able to pull a distinguishable hop nose out of any Russian Imperial Stout I've tried, due to the overpowering coffee and chocolate notes. This makes for a truly unqiue counterpoint.

T - The first words out of my mouth were, "I need a second to decipher what I'm tasting..." This should give you a clue as to the complexity of this beer. The first taste in the mouth is a cane sugar sweetened cafe con leche. Very dessert-like. In the middle, this beer takes on a refreshing crispness -- the hops brightening up an otherwise dark and thick palette. There is also an unidentifiable sweet flavor that I can't put my finger on... ah. I cheated and read the bottle, but it's right on the mark. Dark chocolate covered cordial-filled cherries. Definitely adds to the dessert quality of this beer. The finish has the dense sweetness of dark molasses, the earthiness of chickory, and the smokiness of over-roasted coffee, coupled with a twinge of organic yeastiness. The finish is drying, long and bittersweet, and there is a residual smokiness on the tongue. The alcohol is bery well disguised, but the belly warmth is a dead giveaway. Intense.

M - Tingly on the tongue, but not from the carbonation. Thick like unset gelatin. Chewy and not round, but soft and fat. Quote, "Imagine taking a circle and then putting a layer of fat around it." Heh heh... I come up with some strange stuff. Super creamy and slick. Swallows with an oily viscosity - slides down the throat without issue. Leaves a bitter sensation that makes you want to take another sip to quell the feeling, although it ultimately only replaces it.

D - This beer falls into the "special" drinkability category. It's not how many you want to throw back that determines its drinkability, but rather how long you stretch out the serving because you don't want it to end. This beer is without a doubt a prime, special occasion dessert beer -- if you can get your hands on it.

And so, in the end I genuinely tried to resist joining the masses in blindly praising this beer. Ultimately however, based on my meticulous tasting, I have found that the glory and laud that this beer has garnered are well deserved.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2006 02:55:28 | More by EPseja
Photo of bultrey
bultrey

New York

3.15/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer is a mess. Why it gets such high marks is beyond me. But everybody's different, and I, for one, like just a little balance in my beers, even the smack-you-upside-the-head ones. Great color, good aroma, but just a thick, fudgy, coffeeish, alcoholic pancake syrup if you ask me. Again, mouthfeel is smooth and rich, a real revelation, actually, but I wouldn't want to drink more than a thimbleful of this in a sitting. Oh well, I guess I'll have to worship another lord.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2006 05:53:45 | More by bultrey
Photo of tar
tar

Bahamas

4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been saving this bottle for some time and today seemed like as good a day as any to finally crack open the waxed bottle (Jan 7, 2006; 2005 release). Pours a thick, oily, black with a robust, pillowy, reddish, tan head, which persists through consumption and laces the glass nicely. Roasted coffee and chocolate aromas issue forth, along with plums, figs and a bit of smoke. The alcohol buried within is hidden fairly well but does come forward, particularly as it warms. Chocolate, coffee, molasses, and dark fruits greet the palate. Deliciously complex with its initial sweetness balanced by a dry and slightly bitter finish. Very smooth, with some sticky sweetness in the mouth, this is a very easy drinker despite the alcohol and big flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2006 01:46:14 | More by tar
Photo of lou91
lou91

California

3.7/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2006 05:44:54 | More by lou91
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

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

appearance: The pour into the snifter produces a persistent, medium brown head that almost has a ruby tint to it. The beer is black.

smell: After dirtylou poured this beer, it's aromas wafted all the way to my nose from the table five feet in front of me. A huge presence of dark roasted malts gives a heavy coffee/espresso note, and a slighter hint of dark chocolate. Very, very slight ethanol sharpness considering the ABV and the warm temperature at which I am drinking this. A generous, bitter Northwest hop aroma pierces through the heavy dark malts...enough to balance the considerable sweetness.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is low, and in combination with the heavy body, creates a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Though the carbonation is toward the higher end of the low range, but bubbles are very small and gentle on the palate. A little more slickness would please me, but very good.

taste: Just delicious. A nice balance of big coffee/espresso and dark chocolate flavors coats the tongue. Awesome balance of sweetness, a roasted, coffee like astringency and flavor, and hop presence. The finish consists of lingering dark roast coffee bean flavors, a slick sweetness, and a moderate, palate cleansing bitterness. A mild ethanol presence is noticed, unavoidable in a beer like this.

drinkability: Very drinkable, limited only by it's inherent characteristics. I would've liked to have rated higher for smell and taste, but the roast and chocolate character was so strong that it kept any other nuances of the aroma from coming through, which I would have liked.

Halved a bottle of this giant with dirtylou on the last night of my stay in Madison. I suppose this is from the 2005 release.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2006 01:32:53 | More by blackie
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, split with blackie, this bottle courtesty of CRJMellor I believe...been searching for this one for quite some time

appearance: pours dark as night into a couple of snifters, as close to black as a brew can come, rich and creamy chocolate brown head begins to form, a tan rim remains for a while but eventually diminishes down to minimal lacing

smell: this one can be smelt from across the room...rich and creamy chocolate is extremely potent, espresso definitely present, a sweet warm alcohol aroma, sweet malts, quite roasty

taste: super chocolatey, very roasty with a very gentle bittersweet aftertaste, plum/cherry soaked in alcohol then drenched in sweet milk chocolate, dark roast coffee/espresso is at a near perfect level...alcohol is not overpowering but its presence is certainly felt, very creamy chocolate flavors

mouthfeel: flawless, velvety, creamy, silky smooth, only slight bittersweet

drinkability: half a bomber will be plenty but this is a very smooth imp stout

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2006 01:02:54 | More by dirtylou
Photo of assurbanipaul
assurbanipaul

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 bomber (undated, but it's a new bottle), wax-sealed cap.

Pours a dark, thick, motor-oil black -- not just a plain molasses black, this is light-starved physics-defying angst-ridden black. Medium inch-high chocolate-colored head that eventually settles to a thin layer. Aroma is a dry cocoa, some faint bright spices, barely a trace of alcohol. It scares me, just a little.

Taste is a kick in the gut: Rich, acidic dark coffee, cocoa, milk. Hot with spices, strange to encounter hoppy bitterness in something this dark. First shocking sips are very bitter but fade into a slight sweetness after a while, maybe my taste buds are just dying off. I hear screams inside my head. Dark chocolate, espresso, cream, brunt grain, more winey in the latter half. A faint minty element, something like spearmint, probably a misinterpretation of the alcohol heat. Although, not much in the way of alcohol flavors, despite its inherent evilness.

Mouthfeel is so heavy and sticky, it's almost tar. Black whole milk is the best way to describe it. Thickest beer I've ever encountered. It's an effort to get down, like x-ray barium. It makes my head throb, but it feels so good I can't stop. I couldn't session this -- but I'd definitely seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2006 04:37:27 | More by assurbanipaul
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 Sixpoint
Sixpoint

New York

4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber bottle with orange wax adorning the top.

Poured into a goblet and swirled gently. Minimal carbonation with slight whisp of head surfacing. Quickly vanishes.

Astounding aroma. The usual suspects: figs, raisins, sherry, port. New characters: pine, nutmeg, esspresso, an entire millenium of brewing culture condensed into a single whiff. Ahem.

Taste of pure robust flavor. Wicked tongue-lashing bitterness and hop character. Somehow roasted and burnt flavors manage to dominate even that. Turns traditional imperial stouts on their head. Massive cajones of flavor.

Very chewy mouthfeel that somewhat distracts from overall drinkability. Minimal carbonation also leaves somewhat syrupy taste.

Drinkability? Don't have the means or desire to have many, nor do I think anyone does. How fast did my 22 oz bottle go? Less than a half hour. And I'm pretty ripped.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2005 00:49:22 | More by Sixpoint
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

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

Received in a trade with Jetsbeer. Gracias!

Poured a very dark brown--essentially black--in color with an incredibly thick head. Probably lost about an ounce of the beer thanks to overflow (bastard!). Lots of spotted and stringy lace all around the edges of the glass.

Nose is caffee and creamer. Getting some dark Girardelli's cocoa as well.

Tastes like really strong coffee ice cream. Bunches of a lot of other things too. Picking out some chaocolate,vanilla, cherries, and coconut. The cherry and coconut to a lesser degree. Kind of a creamy flavor as well. Little bit of say towards the end which is a bit of a negative. The head on this beer has a lot of flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy. Served after being chilled in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Creamy mouthfeel that just slides down the throat very nicely. Little bit of an alcohol burn too. Incredibly easy to drink that is kind of warming on a chilly autumn evening.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 01:46:22 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of Sephiroth
Sephiroth

Indiana

4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This bottle obtained in a trade from Meathookjones. Many thanks to you, sir. The wax seal on this bottle is a much tougher obstacle than the one on Behemoth Blonde. I did my best to stir up some foam, and got only about a half inch. But it is still lingering, somewhat thinner, almost twenty minutes later. The circle of foam that runs around the glass appears to be somewhat blood red, perhaps the victims of the dark one himself. Looking down, in the middle of the glass, a creepy eye of foam stares back at me. No cascading head as claimed on the label.

The nose is roasty and vinous, with a piney hop profile. It seems remarkably well blended. Whoa! Holy sh!t that's good! (as I accidentally take a gulp rather than a sip). Cherries, and other dark, overripe fruits abound. The malts taste both roasted and burnt. Dark chocolate notes are everywhere, and the hops are moderate, piney, and earthy. Absolutely no sign of the 13%ABV, except my buzz as I am drinking this rather quickly.

Mouthfeel is very heavy and thick. Creamy, with an ever so slight carbonation. Normally, this style is not the most drinkable for me, but if I had a case, I would have had a second bottle tonight. I will not miss the next release. For me, this has lived up to the hype, if not exceeded it.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2005 06:26:05 | More by Sephiroth
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 amatuerbeerguy
amatuerbeerguy

Oklahoma

4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out black as night, with a tan head. Head retention long, high, lacing throughout. Aroma of chocolate, raisons, licorice, coffee. Flavors fruit seemingly dry, chocolate, coffee, with smoke also. Those were all that I can distinguish, more in there. Thick and creamy mouthfeel. Drinkably is high for flavor but the alcohol will catch up with you.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 22:00:41 | More by amatuerbeerguy
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Kunzbrew for being so generous.
Poured flat black and opaque, dark brown fine bubbles struggled out of solution.
Thick, rich, chewy nose.
A dumptruck filled with chocolate drizzled espresso grounds and bits of tar- that just ran over vanilla beans.
Warming alcohols muted by the huge stout character.
Viscous and chewy on the pallet.
Over-the-top body that reminds one of your tongue being wrestled.
Dark chocolate brownie mix thinned with Old Rasputin and alcohol.
Finishes extremely long and coats your mouth like driveway sealer.
Warming in the throat, but very well hidden behind the black curtain.
Dark Lord should get even closer to the perfect "5" as it ages.
A real gem and certainly the benchmark for the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 16:35:27 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of waldowin
waldowin

Washington

4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a molasses-thick black. No light gets through, even at the sides. A thick, dense dark brown head forms quickly, and fades to a capper that just stays around for days.

Smells toasty and roasted, with hints of coffee and roast.

Tastes extremely complex, with an aftertaste that changes and fades for ages. Tip of the tongue is cashews and dark chocolate. Pushes back to cherries, grapefruits, and citrus, as the hops and sweeter flavors slam through. Aftertaste is again of dark chocolates, biscuits, and cherries, taking ages to fade. Alcohol hides very well, and just warms your throat at the very end.

Mouthfeel is thick, bubbly, and chewy. Pretty big, and gets ludicrously massive as it warms. Leaves a nice bitter toasty feel in the mouth.

This stuff is silky smooth, and very tasty. Watch that ABV! I could drink it all night, a real shame it's so hard to find. Now I definitely need to grab one and age it for a while, see how it holds up.

A HUGE thanks to Jetsbeer for shooting one my way!
Only better beer I've ever had was a 2-year old Stone RIS. My money says this stuff would be even better with a year or two on it.

[edit] 13%?? I knew it was high in ABV, but no idea it was that high. This stuff definitely gets a "5" for mouthfeel, there's no way you'd know it was that high until you were floored.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 07:49:02 | More by waldowin
Photo of lostbearbrew
lostbearbrew

Georgia

4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ken! This was a long awaited treat; it surely didn't disappoint, and was likely the most complex Double or Imperial Stout I've sampled. Ok, so here's my review:

22oz. bomber with drippy orange wax seal...served at about room temp, with a lil chill added, maybe 65 degrees F. Served in snifters, to three people, so maybe 7.6 oz each.

My God is this stuff BLACK and THICK! Reverse cascading head that brings a tan head of an inch or so. The thickness of the brew extends to the lacing - sort of morphs slowly along the glass.

At first whiff, there are three aromas that come screaming to mind - coffee, chocolate and dried fruits. Upon a few more sniffs, there comes clear a distinct plum and cherry aroma. Then the brew warms more and berries, currants, roasted malts and other burnt odors come forth.

First sip was almost too much for the palette to handle. Very complex and HUGE beer. Simply overwhelming. From the coffee blast to the sweetness of chocolate, to a bitter chocolate to some hops, that all atop a huge malt backbone, with what tastes like it could be nearly a half dozen malt flavors fighting for the top levels. The roasted ones make the top tier and sort of perform a landing platform for the rest. Maybe some molasses or brown sugary/caramel notes way late in the sip, right before the alchohol blast, which grows larger as the beer warms completely to room temp. Leaves a strong bittersweet chocolate flavor on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is gigantic, almost too much happening to completely enjoy the beer. I find it almost overdone, but certainly intriguing and enticing in many ways. Drinks like a freakin milkshake, and with much more flavor.

A sipper, and honestly, glad I split out the bottle with 2 others, but, wish I had another for on down the line at the same time.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2005 17:18:20 | More by lostbearbrew
Photo of Px2GrafX
Px2GrafX

Virginia

4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

presentation: 22oz. bomber with an orange wax sealing the crown. solidified wax drippings stream down the neck of the bottle. label is a full color comic book-like illustration of a muscular, armor clad and caped dark lord with a staff-like weapon in hand standing over the skulls and bones of his fallen opponents. the words "dark lord" are large across the top of the label in a "secret of nyhm" like font. the three floyds logo is on the bottom left. along the right hand side of the label, there are odd charactered words explained by: "beer dark warlord imperial russian strong". three floyds explanation of their russian imperial is also on the right with a map to the brewery. no abv or freshness date is displayed.

appearance: pours black as midnight with no real highlights in a snifter glass. nice rolling reverse cascading head that is a tight and creamy tan 2 inches. retention is amazing. thick, slow moving, almost oozing lacing down the glass.

smell: strong coffee and sweet chocolate aromas. there's tons of dark fruits. plums, cherries, currants, raisins. there's also a charred woody aroma or toasted malts. alcohol aromas as well and a tad vinous as the brew warms.

taste: wow! the flavors are overwhelming. lots of sweet chocolate, coffee and a nice lightly spicy hop bitterness that makes a feeble attempt to balance the malts. there is only the slightest hint of alcohol, but very warming. excellent roastiness. tons of fruit as well. molasses and chocolate coated currants and raisins. there's just so much going on. like in the smell, the alcohol becomes more prevalent as the brew warms. wonderful bitter-sweet chocolate finish and aftertaste. lip smacker between sips.

mouthfeel: this mouthfeel is second to none. rediculously thick. complete coating of the inside of your mouth. between a thick chocolate milk and a thin milkshake. good carbonation and silky swallow.

drinkability: this is the exact opposite of a chugging beer, however, for it's thickness and high alcohol it's easier to drink than expected. tastes so good and is so dessert like, that you want to drink it. but this one's a sipper.

overall: this brew is huge and damn near perfect. flawless appearance, taste and mouthfeel. i can't give a 5 for smell 'cause bell's expedition stout was the best smelling ris i've experienced. but close to perfect in that catagory as well. i love stouts, and the bigger the better. if drinkability wasn't factored in for double stouts, then this is as close to perfect that i've ever had. my greatest appreciation to mnben for hookin' me up with the dark lord in a trade.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2005 03:41:07 | More by Px2GrafX
Photo of HopHeadKen
HopHeadKen

Iowa

4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First and formost, I love Imperial Stouts. I was at the 2005 release of Dark Lord and acquired a case of these. I did not want to fall into or be influenced to 'follow the crowd'. So I have waited, and patiently consumed THREE (3) of these over time; checking 'quality and consistency' within this one batch (and thats the story I am sticking to).

The bottle opens with a faint Pfffttt. Served at cellar temp (68 F) the beer pours with a deep garnet highlights to a rich black background.
A small (1 finger) rich tan head on the glass.

Smell is sweet, roasty, malty, coffee.

The taste is rich & complex; roasty, coffee, carmel, chocolate covered raisins, blended hops. Its Mel Torme, Al DiMiola, Frank Sinatra, and the Who in concert together. It is brandy like, with an occasional alcohol blast peaking out from behind that huge malt bill.

The mouthfeel is thick and smooth, full, viscous.

You really have to love Big Beers to drink this. My wife will not touch it. It is much more drinkable than it is available. The price is a bit over the top, but it undoubtably is packed with first quality ingredients, care and nurturing and just costs that much to make.So that helps pace the consumption; otherwise I would drink it all the time, and it would become 'normal' which is NOT what Three Floyds is all about !

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2005 13:25:11 | More by HopHeadKen
Photo of kevinl6
kevinl6

South Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ok.... came out of 'review retirement' for this one. Firstly, HUGE thanks to Ben in Minnesota for the hook up. Shared this one with WOLFGANG and inman66... lucky mofos! Not so good at adequately describing things.... but I'll do my best.

Presentation: Bomber (you've seen the pic) - captivating. I acquired this one Tuesday and sat and stared at it every night till Fri., giggling like a little kid.

Poured slowly into a Goblet...

Appearance: Black as black can be. Motor oil, sludge are words that come to mind. A very slight tan head tops it off. Actually, I expected a little thicker head.... but this one is still a 5 on appearance!

Smell: Absolutely hypnotizing. I couldn't quit smelling it! Strong, coffee, chocolate....

Taste: Burnt espresso, coffee, magnificent! Only a slight taste of Chocolate to my surprise... or maybe my palate was just overwhelmed with the coffee taste! Sweet and malty as well.... never tasted anything like it. Strong alcohol taste, but not as strong as I expected given the massive 13% ABV.

Mouth feel: Thick, chewy, perfect consistency.

Drinkability: Very easy drinking, surprisingly. I only put my glass down when I wanted to further admire the appearance. The sheer complexity and perhaps the ABV alone ensures that I wouldn't want 2 glasses back to back though.

An absolute must try IMHO.... after all the hype, I had tremendously high expectations, and I was not disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2005 18:08:12 | More by kevinl6
Photo of IrishRedRock
IrishRedRock

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So my good friend and fellow BA ElGuapo (herein referred to as Deez) is at my apartment Friday night and we plan on heading to the shore on Saturday for the holiday weekend. Thus, we need to begin our weekend with some good brews. Now he knows I have this bottle of Dark Lord, and I know he knows, and we both know we've been trying to get our hands on this elusive beer for the better part of 2 years now. And BuckeyeNation sent me a bottle in trade. So I says, "whaddaya think...we drink that bottle of Dark Lord, see if it stands up to the hype?" Deez thinks this is a good idea.

So here we go. We need to sit down for this one. It takes me a minute to pry the cap off from under the thick wax atop. Thank the (dark) lord we're splitting this bottle, as I can smell the alcohol almost immediately. Pours dense. Black. Thick. The body, the head, appears meringue thick, the head a chestnut brown. Stays this way throughout the life of the beer in my glass. Wow.

Aroma is extremely complex and at this point I'm thinking, maybe this really will live up to its billing. Rich, dark chocolate covered cherry nose with licorice, anise, coffee, oily hops and booze. The taste...follows suit. Holy crap. Viscous and creamy, with a mouthfeel that I can only describe as perfection - uncomparable smoothness unlike that I've ever encountered. Carbonation is barely detectable yet you know its there. You'd never mistake this for being flat. Complexity abounds. Dark fruit drizzled in melted Godiva Dark, earthy gourmet coffee and a dark maltiness meld seamlessly with a mildly bitter, chewy hop finish. Alcohol is warming and noticeable without overshadowing any of the flavors.

So if there are any naysayers out there, any unbelievers or nonbelievers that this can be as good as people say it is. Bulee' dat! It is. And then some. I'm keeping it on the ol' "want list" because I want more. I want an endless supply. It's that good. BuckeyeNation...I will trade whatever to get more of this. Many many many thanks.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2005 18:41:00 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of Bumpon10s
Bumpon10s

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep, dark, very viscous. Pours very slowly, with a thin tan head and nice lacing.

Smell: A simple swirl unlocks chocolate, coffee, smoky fruits and alcohol.

Taste: Holds even more suprises than the aroma, more chocolate and coffee, a even harder hit of smoke and alcohol with notable cherry.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and very velvety. A delight to all the surfaces.

Drinkability: Would have recieved a 5 were not for a above average ABV. As much as I'd absolutley love for this to be an everyday beer, it is an "special occasion" only due to price and my envy for it.

This is very well the best beer I've ever had, prior to this I had a scattered love for deep stouts, but this brought me around. It is simply too good for someone not to try at least once. Were I to have a final meal, this would be my choice of beer, bar none.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2005 02:41:25 | More by Bumpon10s
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Note: I've had this bottle for quite some time and never really got around to reviewing it because I just didn't believe the hype.... well, trust me, you can believe the hype! It's remarkable!

It pours a stunningly dark black body beneath a huge head of creamy dark brown foam that eventually drops, but still maintains a wide, creamy collar and almost complete surface covering until halfway through the glass (which can be a very long time). Additionally, the lacing could be a bit better, but for a beer of 13% there's not much more than you can ask of this.

The nose expresses sticky sweet, dried dark fruit; some typical "burnt currant"; lightly spiced cookies with ginger and cinnamon (probably due to its alcohol); ...alcohol; a nip of black licorice; and some dark and sweet mocha java.

In the mouth it's quite full bodied and viscous... passingly amazingly smoothly, but still more like motor oil than anything creamy.

The flavor is more intense than the nose suggests with dripping, juicy fruit (red and dark); toasty caramel-drizzled oatmeal cookies; chocolate; molasses; and leafy hops. It finishes semi-sweet but not cloying (despite its girth); with quick passing notes of fruit and chocolate that fade to caramel, chicory, honey, coffee, and then lingering wet tobacco.

I intitially thought that the drinkability of this was hindered by its intensity, but I've change my mind on that. As you progress through the glass, it warms and changes and becomes more complex. It's a sipper, not unlike a Sam Adams Triple Bock or Dogfish Head World Wide Stout; and as such, it has a great drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2005 23:52:26 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Okay, my second review of the 2005 release. My first review was less than stellar and I was concerned that I'd had an unusually off sample. This bottle was provided by GCBrewingCo so I could have an independent sample. Thanks for the opportunity.

This bottle was shared with absolutesites and Chris Black. Thank goodness, as I *never* could have choked this down all by myself. This bottle was better than the first one I tried, but still not something that knocks my socks off.

Pours incredibly viscous. A short dark brown frothy head hangs over an utterly pitch black liquid. Smells caramel, roast, chocolate, and alcohol. A floral hop that I can only describe abstractly as 'spherical'. Some sour from black patent. It's hidden beneath the other scents, but I imagine they used a boatload of it to make this beer. Taste is so potent in roast and chocolate that little else can be detected. Some alcohol and a bit of cherry sour. What I get new in this bottle is that there is some molasses that leaves the way for some dark fruits. At this point, just prunes, but there is hope for more as the beer ages. Super-thick syrupy mouthfeel with mild carbonation. The aftertaste just hangs around as a bitter roast torment in the back of my throat and on the flat of my tongue.

The only way I could finish my portion was to actually dilute it, 2 parts DL and one part water. This was a great combination that made for a really roasty dry stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2005 03:35:42 | More by mentor
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 2,822 ratings.