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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

1,212 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,212
Hads: 3,907
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 7.93%
Wants: 3,066
Gots: 1,824 | FT: 145
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,212 | Hads: 3,907
Photo of mynie
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

"What?"

"You ever felt like a real man before?"

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

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

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

"I—I guess not."

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

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

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

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

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

Mean Joe laughs.

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

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

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

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

"Gee, I guess you're right."

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

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

"I will, Mean Joe. I will."

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

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

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

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

Too much complexity. On the very tip of the tongue it tastes like a dark wine, then it gets bittersweet, like fire roasted grain, browning apples, and molasses, then it gets regular sweet, like half-dark chocolate and a café mocha, and then it gets a little zippy, like Belgian alcohol and yeast. That's—that's like you're falling down a hill of flavor and then you climb it back up again, from the valley of the alcohol, into the sweet, and then into the bittersweet, and then into the wine. Giving this to a child would be like giving them a bar of acid and taking them to Disneyland. Nothing would ever make them feel happy again, ever. (4,764 characters)

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thick cherry brown head grew late in the pour. A very Dark Lord looking beer that seems to suck in light. Marshmallow, coffee, cocoa, even a bit of tobacco along with all kinds of dark malts in the aroma. The aroma is chock full of good stuff. Frickin sweet, man is it sweet, but there is a nice dryness from the dark malt that hits midway. Some solid cherry/tobacco flavors in there as well. Finish is fairly bitter, but not overpowering. Intense, and tasty. It's so sugary my lip stuck to the glass. There it goes again. It's a sipper, but that's a no brainer. Slick, but not too thick. My only complaint is the intense cherry flavor I'm getting. If I were to make a comparison I'd say it's like Storm Kings beefy sibling. Thanks to Shippos for making the pilgrimage! (771 characters)

Photo of walleye
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

well I thought it was time to rate this beer got a couple in trades from 2 differant R.B.s 06 version. poured a like old black oil that hasm’t been changed for 20,000 miles(my favorite color) with a big brown head that didn’t last, but left a small amount of lacing. aroma, molasses comes out strong, than got dark sweet cherries that are at their prime, vanilla,, brown sugar, roasted malts and some dark fruits. flavor dark fruits marinated in alcohol, raisins, some chocolate, as the beer warms in my glass it get sweeter a starting to get a slight bitterness to it. not to bad (582 characters)

Photo of Prufrock
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. wax-topped bomber into a pint glass.

absolutely pitch black, even held up to the light. a solid inch of foaming dark brown head that leaves nice rings of lace. a very attractive beer.

powerful aroma. moist, sweet raisins at the forefront, with bitter chocolate, roasted malt, soy sauce and sweet sherry behind. barely, just barely, alcoholic as well.

taste is initially dominated by raisins as well. finish follows with some bitter chocolate, sweet raisins, and a kick of alcohol, but a fairly small kick given the 13%. luxuriously rich, velvety mouthfeel with just the right amount of gently massaging carbonation to keep it from cloying. high ABV precludes a high drinkability, but it's very enjoyable. very good brew. (736 characters)

Photo of MeLikeBeer
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired and sampled with much gratitude to fellow BA, Enlil.
Also tasted with SMF.
2006 edition in 22oz bomber with the gold wax.
Poured a jet-black color, the color of motor oil mixed with molasses and appeared to have the same consistency. Small, creamy head definitely laced the glass throughout.
Great caramely malt scents, coffee aromas and strangely...fruit.
The taste is very complex....thick coffee flavor, hints of chocolate and a sweetness- raisins? maple syrup? Can't seem to nail it down. This heavy, malty stout has a thick mouthfeel with a smooth finish. Overall the flavors mask the high alcohol content of this beer....very good. I'd like to have tried another, but was limited to one...that's okay, I'll seek it out again next year. The hype is worth it. (778 characters)

Photo of ggaughan
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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. (681 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Spacy, almost purpled black in color. Endlessly deep and thick. Swirls of chocolately head leave just the finest marks of lace.

Nose is immense, not surprisingly. Astonishingly syrupy with hints of raisins, stewed prunes, molasses, maple syrup, and bitter-roasted coffee. Fusel alcohols burn the nostrils. Oddly reminscent to JW Lee's Sherry harvest ale in a way I cannot quite pin down.

Taste is a huge booze blast, ballasted by an ensuing cacophony of darkness. All aforementioned aromas come across on the palate "to the max!" Swimmingly vinous. Screaming aftertaste. Oddly oxidized qualities take down the score a little bit - this almost seems like its been poorly cared for but it was just brewed.

Hype's surely a motherfucker. Its impossible to give this one a fair rating both in that i've heard its praises being sung for years now as well as the difficulty involved with acquiring this huge mother. I have to say though that if this came to me at a reasonable price and unhyped, I would enjoy it but it would be but a drop of beer in the malty oceans. (1,070 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I recently gave Stone Imp. Rus. Stout a perfect 5.0. Now I think I'll have to go back and take it down a notch in taste.

Huge thanks to Ryan P. for getting me 6 of these at the 3 Floyds sale.

Appearance- motor oil with 20K miles on it. Black and thick as night. 1/4 inch chocolate brown head that grows then quickly dissapates leaving no cling to the glass.

Smell- Sugar, cherries, currants, slight anise, coffee and chocolate. So much going on it's almost impossible to describe.

Taste- Same as the smell. It hides the alcohol well till after a few sips and you start to feel the burn. This is very similar to Stone IRS but more so. Starts sugary and fruity and finishes slight chocolate and coffee. In my opinion, the best RIS in the world.

Mouthfeel- Clings like cough syrup, chewy and clings like glue. Tastes so great you want it to stick around.

Drinkability- Simply immense, I just finished one and want to chill another and break it open. I won't though. These are going to be opened one every month. 3 Floyds is simply the best brewer in the country.

Edit for 2007 version:
We had one soon after buying at Dark Lord Day 07. Seemed thin and hot, not very tasty and I was a little disappointed. However, after 10 months in the bottle it is a whole different beast. Pours the blackest beer I've ever seen, almost no head.
Smells of deep, dark fruits, massive amounts of malt, sweet and rich. Thick and sticky with no lacing of the glass. Cherries, plums, dates, caramel. Almost no carbonation at all. Much improved over time and certain to get better. (1,568 characters)

Photo of hero27
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage.

22 oz bomber w/ gold wax draped over the neck.

It doesn't get much darker than this.. the syrupy liquid sits underneath a very dense, dark tan head. As soon as the cap is lifted, the gargantuan aroma soon follows..suffice to say, it's not a beer you have to stick your nose in the glass to know what's in store. A wide array of fruits greet you with every inhale..a dominating, crisp green apple that brings along with it raisins, plums, and cherries, to name a few. All mixed with an unrelenting dark chocolate, molasses, and slight coffee kick.
Seems quite different from the 2005 version. The 2006 seems much more sweet and fruity, while the 2005 had more of a robust coffee flavor...but maybe I'm just getting a little tipsy. It is certainly a beer you can drink by yourself in one sitting, but it's probably a good thing I shared this with a buddy of mine. The alcohol is simply an afterthought, as it is almost completely masked by the dozens of dominating flavors.

I can't imagine how good this will be with another year or so on it..I'll be putting a couple bottles away for sure. Thanks to Three Floyds for once again meeting the nearly ridiculous expectations and hype. Now, if only you can make a little more of this for next year. ;) (1,270 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This rare bottle came to me from mentor as a reward for setting up and maintaining the BIF 20 website. The reward certainly far exceeded any effort I put into the site, so I decided to put the 22 oz. bomber away till it was a year old. Now that all my guilt has faded away, and the beer should have mellowed a bit, it is time to get it out.

When pulled out the cellar, the flowing red wax seal looked as impressive as it did the day I got it. Luckily, the wax was soft and easily removed with a pocket knife. The beer poured out dark chocolate brown, and possessed a mocha colored one finger thick head. The body was completely opaque in the tulip. The smell was very roasty and mellow, with coffee being very prominent. Unlike many other brands of Russian Imperial Stouts, this one did not smell burnt at all. There was tinge of toffee and molasses sweetness in the smell, as well as a hint of soy sauce. The taste was quite a bit sweeter than I was anticipating. This sweetness must have come from the molasses Three Floyds put in this beer. The sweetness was supplemented by a little sourness, and chased by an astringent dryness. There was very little perceptible hop bitterness here. The mouthfeel was very thick and chewy, although I did not have the drinking sludge feeling reported by others.
The drinkability suffers in my mind due to the lack of bitterness to balance things out. With a creamy Havarti cheese to cut the sweetness, the beer goes down much more easily.

I liked the beer a lot, although I do think all the hype does this a little injustice. There are better imperial stouts out there that are more readily available, but the laws of supply and demand elevate this one to a more sought out status. After all that hoopla, this still only a beer. (1,775 characters)

Photo of danielharper
4.76/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My 200th review!

Gotten for me by UncleFlip at Dark Lord Day 2006.

A: It pours a dark black color, so black that it almost appears purple. A gentle pour leaves no head at all, a more vigorous pour gives a small brownish-white one. Viscous, like motor oil, completely opaque.

S: Aroma is very sweet and syrupy, strong notes of grapes and heavy malt. Slight hoppiness apparent even when cold. Surprisingly, no astringency due to alcohol.

T: Flavor is heavy on crisp hops, with a clear chcolate, raisin, and licorice backbone. Every sip slightly different, huge changes in flavor as beer slowly warms. As the beer approaches room temperature, the alcohol becomes much more apparent in the flavor.

M: Amazing mouthfeel, syrupy, velvety, silky. Incredibly thick, like maple syrup, but this bad boy isn't going on pancakes.

D: Incredibly drinkable. Worth going to Indiana for. (889 characters)

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

-Update-

It has become apparent that the bottle I had for this review was a bad one. Having tried two more, I’ll change my rating.

In a word, it’s flawless. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this beer and it‘s quality is fantastic. There’s nothing but green apples, port and chocolate. Very nice. I’m thinking the soy sauce I got in the reviewed bottle was a fluke. The flavor in this one was delectable lacking only slightly in smell. I’ll have something more substantial up next time I crack a bottle.

2006

This beer pours a dark black that fades to dark browns and burgundies when I swirl it around in my tulip. The head is the darkest I’ve ever seen on a beer that is dark tan and rust. This fell to a thin film but was instantly replenished with a swirl. Marvelous!

Smelled of big sticky sweet prunes and raisins with a little banana and traces of malty hoisin sauce. There’s also a slight dry dark chocolate and a crisp coffee with a well blended but obvious alcohol burn.

Tastes of huge and creamy charred barley with an overly sweet and tangy dark fruit, brown sugar, coffee and a hoisin/ soy sauce earthy funk. The pure corn syrup sweetness of this beer sadly dominated the flavor. Bleah! Finished with a bit of coffee leaving my mouth reeling from the sweetness.

The mouth feel was big, thick and syrupy with a full mouth of bubbles at first when it was cold. But when it warmed, the carbonation faded away leaving this syrupy and a bit offensive.

Too sweet!!! Also, there’s too much alcohol on the nose. I’m a bit disappointed. This one needs to sit for a while longer. I sincerely hope this one gets better with age, or that I had a bad bottle. (1,696 characters)

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

2006 gold wax sealed edition into the oversized snifter glass. Poured with a cascading head, loved watching it bubble up to the surface, a dark brown head sat atop, but fizzled away to nothing in very little time. The nose was strong in a cold, espresso smell, with dark chocolate, and alcohol soaked fruits. The initial flavor on the tongue is of dark roasted chocolate covered espresso beans, with a mild hop bite, alcohol follows the sips down the throat. After letting it warm up, more fruitiness comes into the picture, as you start to get an almost rum covered cherry flavor, a black cherry. After the beer became room temperature, the vanilla comes into play, and makes this beer extremely easy to drink. Last years was a bit easier on the palate to drink, but the complexities that made me put an additional half an hour into this beer makes me wonder at the possibilies of how this beer will taste with a few months put on it, or even another year or two. (964 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 release.
Black with faint chestnut highlights (I really had to work at it to spot the colour difference). The dark brown head was fairly dense, with plenty of fine bubbles, and produced some spotty lace. Decent retention too. Very malty and roasty aroma, backed up by some sharp chocolate and (relatively) mild hops. The flavour starts out with a dry roastiness and rich, chocolate sweetness that is balanced nicely by solid bitterness. Some sour cherry notes kick in part way through, followed by licorice and a slight acidity (seemingly due to the quantity of dark malts). This was a thick beer - and it looked viscous even during the pour. Excellent on the palate, very creamy, carbonation was a little on the low side, and it finished with a light warmth. Big and flavourful, I found that the Dark Lord was quite drinkable for a beer of its size. Thanks for the trade, autumnaldave! (892 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This is the gold wax dipped 2006 edition.

The beer pours very thick, though not completely black. More of a rusty brown color with a reddish brown head. Looks like a huge shot of espresso as the head cascades up. Very thick. Looks awesome.

Smells very good, and very potent. Very sweet roasted barley and dark cherries, honey and molasses. A small bit of soy sauce. A little bit of fresh citric hops as well. I can barely keep my nose out of the glass, but eventually I begin to crave the taste once again.

Starts off very rough, but the palate warms up to it fairly quickly. It then becomes a very sweet and chocolate cherry flavor. Not so much roast, and only a hint of coffee in the finish. The hops can't be detected as much in the taste, but they are there in the finish as well.

The body is quite thick without being too syrupy. Especially sludgy towards the end of the bottle. Good stuff. As much as I enjoy drinking it, it's almost too much to drink a bottle of this to yourself. I'm glad I had a roommate to enjoy it with, without whom I wouldn't have gotten the 6 bottles anyway. (1,101 characters)

Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, purchased at the brewery.
Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a snifter glass.
My vote for coolest looking label.

Pours a menacing opaque, black color, with no chance of light getting through. A nice half inch thick, dark tan head forms. Some spotty lacing. This beer is thick, and you can see it cling to the sides of the glass. Lots of big roasted malt aromas, dark fruits, dark chocolate, with hints of coffee and alcohol. Burnt coffee, is what I taste first. Sweet roasted malts, molasses, dark chocolate and dark fruits come next. Very complex, but easy to drink for such a big beer. Big, rich, thick and creamy all descibe the mouthfeel. You really don't notice the alcohol, after a few sips. Another one of those beers that tastes better as it warms. I'm sure it will take me all night to finish this bottle. Looking foward to trying this again in six months. (881 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2006 bottle with cool new gold wax seal. This year's batch was brewed with IntelligentsiA coffee. Pours from the bomber a thick, viscous used motor oil black with a sturdy half inch of dense dark tan foam. Sticky, spotty lacing on the glass. Looks damn good to me! Aromas are huge with dark chocolate and dark fruits, especially cherry. Roasted coffee notes invade the nostrils and intice me even further. Exceedingly complex, I get hints of vanilla, molasses and a huge roasted maltiness. Green hops are there but serve mostly as a nice backdrop. Awesome...not much more I can say.

First sip brings a thick blast of dark, roasty maltiness. Chocolate and espresso come together alongside a deep dark fruit presence, with cherry coming to the forefront again. Notes of vanilla, caramel and some nuttiness. Green, cirtic hops hit on the way down are nice and well placed. A slight alcohol warmth as I get through the first glass. No doubt, this in an amazing brew. This year's version is intensely enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is big and chewy with a rich maltiness. Smooth and suprisingly easy to drink, I'm gonna enjoy the hell outta this bottle, a definite sipper. I'm happy to report that I love this year's version easily as much as the 2005 version. I'll be cracking an orange waxed '05 bottle soon to see how it's holding up. Dark Lord reigns supreme in my book. (1,371 characters)

Photo of NoLiberty
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Outside appearance is of serious danger. The label isn't my favorite style, but the picture is amazing; it either comforts the soul that this guy's on your side or sends fear to the core.
The pour is thick. Aroma is mostly sweet with an alcohol finish (no doubt, this beast is 13%!), but overall quite subtle for the strength and intensity of the beer.
Appearance is dark. Wicked dark. The pour is thick, like molasses. The head is even incredibly dark and piles up like dirty snowbanks. The head lasts almost as long as the beer, never quitting despite some extra drinking time and an overall low carbonation.
The taste starts out malty sweet and moves into the realm of burnt caramel, followed by nutty coffee tones and finishes with burnt barley that remains for a loooong time.
The mouthfeel is smooth, rich and silky. Covers ever corner of the mouth and brings that flavor everywhere.
Drinkability is also quite high considering the strength and robustness. (968 characters)

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

This bottle is between 1-2 years old, stored in my fridge. The smell is surprisingly less potent than I expected. Nothing wrong with that, I expected like most other imperials stouts that the potent smell would be over the top. Maybe after a year or so it has been subdued. I'm smelling a very balanced roasted malt and sweet alcohol. But both are balanced with an awesome chocolate coco powder smell. Taste is fairly balanced. The outstanding flavor is a sweetness at the end, yeah that’s right, the end. This is a very outstanding "time line beer" I mean in that over the 2 seconds each flavor comes and goes at it's intended time and doesn’t step on the toes of the other flavors. Roasted malt, to alcohol, to hops, all very balanced and smooth, then comes the sweet chocolate back on the front of the tongue and another round of slightly bitter hops. Mouth feel is smooth and thick, and even leaves your lips sticky from the hop oils. Overall a very complex but easy drinking beer. (987 characters)

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.7/5  rDev -13.8%
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. (1,444 characters)

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

Girnormous thanks and cudos to Crosling for hooking me up with (and sharing!) a bottle of the 2005 batch.

The usual 22 ounce bomber, set out from cellaring and allowed to warm to about 55 degrees. Poured into St. Bernie tulip goblets, no light passes through this monster. Vigorous pour yielded a brown (with yellow edges?) large reverse cascading head that clung to the glass like molasses.

Smell of espresso, dark chocolate, burned cherry syrup, prunes, figs, and malted malt. Incredible: I just wanted to go on inhaling this aroma!

Taste is huge and chewy and tongue wrestlingly thick: this is like Yeti on steroids. Intensely decadent dark chocolate espresso malt with prunes and caramel and malt on malted-chocolate-covered-cherries. Took most of an hour to savour this: as it warmed, everything gets more intense, especially the chocolate.

Mouthfeel is the richest of any beer I've ever had: simply decadently smooth and mouth-fillingly round. Glutenous, thick, tongue-coating, chewy and slurpalicious, this stuff is so rich you want to swirl it around a while before swallowing it.

Drinkability is the only thing that holds this back. Weird thing is that all the intensely enormous voluptuousness of the flavors and mouthfeel completely mask the 13.0%. Perilously drinkable.

A note: reserved the bottom half-inch to consume by itself. The 2005, unlike the 2004, doesn't have a lot of sludge at the bottom. However, there was a lot of flavor: that last half-inch was like the rest of the bottle concentrated into two small mouthfulls -- absolutely over the top.

Overall, a freakishly amazing brew, and I can see why people are after this with abandon. Thanks again to Crosling for the sharing! Astonishing. (1,736 characters)

Photo of PatandDavid
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally entering my review for this one, sorry to everyone that it took so long. Thanks to fellow BA's Stonecrusher and kmpitz2 for the bottle. My thoughts were that this was going to be a dark sludgy oozefest, but that wasn't the case. Bottle was shared with David and fellow BA Londonporter, which is a great way to share and talk about the brew. Pours were pitch black, with a good milk chocolate head, and ruby highlights in the glass. Mouthfeel was thick, but not sludgy. This brew exhibited it's complexity in the aroma and the taste. Notes picked up varied from dark fruit, molasses, leather, and wine. These were also picked up in the taste, although there was more malt present, plus favorite combination of chocolate and coffee, with some burnt sugar in there as well. (778 characters)

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

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

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

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

Mouthfeel: Thick and full, oily, mouth coating.

Drinkability: It's hard to find a fault in this beer, worth the hype, worth saving for my 1000th beer reviewed. A huge thanks to OldFrothingSlosh for hooking me up with one of the best beers anywhere. (674 characters)

Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.92/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 22oz. bomber shared by a fellow homebrewer with a few other homebrewers. Wax proved to be a challenge to get through to be able to pop the cap. This was the last beer in a beer tasting and well worth the wait.

Appearance was black with a brown head. An opaque black. An oil black. A really dark black. Everything about this beer was black.

Aroma was chocolate, Roast. Slight fruitiness. Toffee.

Flavor was amazing. Chocolate, Roasted barley. Malt. Yet very balanced.

Chewy. Full body.

This beer lived up to its hype. I didn't think it would but it did. Now, the search for another bottle begins'! (613 characters)

Photo of yelterdow
4.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Endless thanks to EPseja and his family for lugging this gem straight from FFFs "private stash"... and another heartfelt thanks for sharing the experience.

What follows is the closest possible interpretation of what happened... believe me, this was a beer review for the gods.

Served in a tasting tulip at somewhere between fridge and cellar temperature, with absolutely no distractions.

Appearance- Pours a beautiful, liquid black that *glugs* into the glass. A small, thin brown head adorns the beer as the glass fills, then something outrageous happens... out of nowhere, a reverse cascade, or implosion, of head balloons from the inside out, like dynamite inside a building. After the show, a four-finger crown showcases the most dense, tightly packed bubbles possible. Structure is exquisite. The sheer thickness of the appearance here is mind boggling... it's like a black beer statue, with a cafe-con-leche head that laces at a snail's pace. Late in the pour, near the end of our tasting, the bottle threw clumps of white, chunkified material. Awesome.

Smell- Powdered bittersweet dark chocolate, like you would use in baking, melds with notes of coffee and chicory. A perfumy character, which we later realized was a hop aroma, wafts among the chocolatey backbone in the air.

Taste- Wow... the first thing I get is a sweetness, like sugar cubes, at the tip of the tongue.... then comes a strong French press coffee with milk presentation, intense and hugely concentrated. The espresso and chicory notes take a back seat as the slick, liquid-hop flavors (Amarillo?) begin their mouth-gripping bitterness in a perfectly balanced finale. The hop tingle after the swallow resides so far at the back of the throat that I am sneezing after almost every sip. The phases in which this beer reveals itself is something of wonder and mastery... truly a tasting experience like no other.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick, viscous, oily. Smooth and chewy as hell, my tongue is actually tingling from the inside out from the hopping. Fantastic coating properties, like an unfurling of liquid down the throat.

This is a masterpiece, and worth the money... this is absolute *must* for the enthusiast who wants to discover how far an Imperial Stout can be pushed. (2,277 characters)

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,212 ratings.