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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.

3,584 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,584
Reviews: 1,182
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.72%
Wants: 2,877
Gots: 1,539 | FT: 102
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
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,584 | Reviews: 1,182 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tewaris
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage into a snifter. Thanks lurchingbeast for hooking me up with this one.

Dark Lord poured like silk in a thick, very dark brown stream, and looked opaque in the snifter. The head was very dark too, but it quickly gave away to a tiny collar. Legs were seen upon swirling the glass. The usual suspects were present in the aroma: chocolate-cream, vanilla, and sweet malts.

Felt thinner than I expected, perhaps because we were tasting at room temperature, but tasted very good and complex nonetheless; simply put, quite yummy! Sweet and rich in a milky way as opposed to Darkness that I find "raisin" sweet, but equally delicious. Finished clean in spite of the sweetness, and warmed me up as it went down. The alcohol is present and it is felt, no doubt, but the beer is not the sweet-boozy mess some describe it to be. In fact I found it quite a treat, and I *think* it could have been bigger on body for better.

Overall an excellent beer but nothing to die for, or travel for that matter, unless the event itself is what you're looking forward to. However, it is certain that Darkness and Dark Lord belong to an entirely different category within RIS's, if you want to call them RIS's, and are therefore worth seeking out.

Scores: Appearance 4/5; Aroma 3.5/5; Taste 4/5; Mouthfeel 4.5/5; Drinkability 4.5/5

Photo of Kino
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of PG2G
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Wsherry1
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of JulioH
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very boozy beer, very strong alcohol taste from the beginning.

Pours a nice dark beer. Very little bubbles form. Aroma is very strong, like alcohol, chocolate, cognac. Taste is very rough. Taste like alcohol, like a very boozy beer that didn't have a chance to smooth out. Some other flavors float around, but the headiness is disturbing. Not the best, yet an iconic beer due to rarity.

Photo of supercolter
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Appearance is very good. A deep deep black that sheds no light. Pours like oil. Smell is good as well. Some nice figs, coffee, curant and alchohol come through. Taste is very similar but there is the typical underlying "bacon greasy" taste. Mouthfeel is out of this world good. Heavy heavy beer with some carbonation. Oily and slightly sticky. Drinkability is average- I've had more drinkable RIS's but this one is very good for what it is.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a mug.

2010 vintage. This beast is killing off draft night. Boom-shaka-laka. It isn't the shoes, it's the Dark Lord. It pours a nearly completely opaque black brown, with some very faint highlights of rich garnet showing through at the base and on the edges. The nose comprises walnuts, dark chocolate, molasses, maple syrup, alcohol, caramel, brown sugar, black cherries, and a hint of oak. A buddy of mine claims he smells death in there as well, but the last time that hooded fuck came 'round...well, the less said about that, the better we all will be. The taste holds notes of chocolate syrup, maple syrup, Maraschino cherries (syrup and all, baby), coffee, cinnamon sticks. Lagavulin, cough syrup (damn, there's a lot o' syrup in here...), and some figs. The sweetness is ramped up a bit, as is the semi-tartness of the fruit. The body is pretty hefty, with a very light carbonation and a pretty chewy feel. Overall, a very nice, beastly stout, worthy of some of the hype, but not necessarily all of it. Good times, regardless.

Photo of scottfrie
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Green waxed 2010 vintage poured into Portsmouth snifter. Thanks a ton for trading me this one Mark.

A: Pours super black with a thin, fuzzy, dark brown head that disappeared after a few moments.
S: Super sweet and boozy smelling with a hint of chocolate and acetone.
T: Very sweet with dominant notes of black licorice, anise, and molasses. Dark fruits, raisins and caramel are all there as well. The sweetness is reminiscent brown sugar in addition to the big molasses flavor. The finish is a bit roasted, and aftertaste is full of chocolate and warm alcohol.
M: Thick mouthfeel and body. Very thick. Syrupy thick. Alcoholic and viscous mouthfeel.
O: Super sweet and syrupy with a big licorice flavor. This was good, and I look forward to the day I crack my other bottle, but I don’t think it’s worth the entire amount of hype surrounding it. Some of the hype yes, but this isn’t the best stout in the world. Thanks you so much for the bottle, HosP!

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this brew because CrazyMacHarris99 went to DLD '08 and got it for me, Thanks Jason!

Served in a snifter this brew is pure black with a creamy brown head that left a few globs of lacing on the glass.
Aroma is full of sweet molases with a hint of roastiness.
Sweet molases flavor with some chocolate and roasted malt flavors taking a backseat.
Full bodied, thick and creamy feel.
A sipper and a very sweet tasting one at that.

Photo of washburnkid
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. '09 white wax

One of the most viscous beers I've encountered, but not pitch black. It's brown hued enough that a decent amount of light pulls through. Very low in carbonation, as little to no head is forming. Aromas and flavors reveal vinous qualities as well as dark currants. Fruitier than I would imagine an RIS to be. I'm wanting the slight hints of chocolate to be more present, but they are dominated. Really thick mouthfeel, lots of bittersweet residuals that remind me more of an underripe piece of fruit than they do of an expected chocolate/coffee combo. This was "meh", especially considering the high quality and bolder flavors of the IST I had right after.

Photo of Jstonerock24
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three Floyds- Dark Lord

Huge THANKS to Pimpp(Patrick) for this 1!
Review #1000!

A- Thick black with sticky carbonation on the sides and a huge frothy creamy tan head. Beautiful looking beer. I gave it a rough pour.
S- Big thick chocolate with heavy doses of sugary rock candy, dried fruits like; cherry, plum, and grape, and hints of caramel/ toffee.
T- Sweet cherry, raisin, and plum hits you immediately. Vanilla and caramel with a big mild dark chocolate body follow up the initial sweetness. Flavors blend and balance out in the end.
M- Very sweet up front with a buttery chocolately body and a creamy smooth, slightly hot alc. finish. This 1 starts off a little too sweet but mellows out half way through.

Overall- Lives up to the hype, thats for sure! Very tasty, this should be a year round release. Hopefully I'll attend 2009's DL day!
(Again, can't thank my buddy Patrick enough for, this and, all the other great beers he sent me!)

Photo of Denzo
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of smakawhat
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass vintage 2012. Big thanks to Wade5614 for the trade, and Exiled for the advice.

Into the snifter, it pours out chestnut brown, hitting the glass body and barely making a head at all of a simple tan light brown, fading under some faint snapping carbonation. Leaves a little filmy top and can't hang on, giving just a faint collar, with some nice leg action also and scattered leopard lacing barely.

Nose is quite interesting, suprinsingly not hot, mild roast character and dark red fruits. Cherry and raspberry, some dark chocolate and even some sensations of sea salt, maybe even caramel. Quite intriguing and nice, makes me love this salt and chocolate combo which is a favorite of mine.

Palate hits with a tight fizz at first that doesn't seem noticeable after numerous sips later. Extremely thick and syrupy and liqueur like palate. Memories of raspberry syrup hit, maybe some licorice, and then it's full on Luxardo Maraschino liqueur. Roast character takes a bit of back seat with quaffs. Syrup sweetness is quite big but in the context of how the liquor feels it comes off as a digestif and seems to work. Roast lingers slightly and rushes dark fruit toward the end with also a sense of alcohol bitterness (bitters, digsetif, etc...).

Overall it's really sweet for my tastes but tolerable, and also fun. Quite an interesting ride, glad to have given it a whirl. It's a sipper which doesn't always appeal to me for beer, but it's without question worth drinking.

Photo of Nightwish1094
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of wordemupg
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review 1500!!! ya me!!! 650ml red waxed bottle (2012) poured into tulip 22/10/12 thanks Masterski and Sean9689 for sending me a bottle

A its dark but not jet black, deep cola edge and I didn't expect much foam from a beer this big but it almost pours flat, a dark thin films gone in seconds zero lace.

S chocolate fudge with some raisins, prunes, cherry, smoke, coffee, molasses and a little booze but all things considered its pretty mellow, some leather and tobacco as it warms

T sweeter then the smell, some chocolate liqueur, and lacking some of the complexity of the nose, its good but I was hoping for more with all the hype behind this one

M its thick and no heat impresses me in a beer this strong, could use a few more bubbles but again I didn't expect much carbonation in such a massive beer, VERY sticky on the lips and it takes a little strength to open my mouth

O I'm surprised how well they managed to hide the booze and its good beer overall but I was expecting much more, its Darklord after all.

Good with no questions but for a beer that I'm giving a 4+ rating I still have to admit I'm a little disappointed, I like it and would drink it again but I can think of many better brews that are much easier to acquire

Photo of kwm5067
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Steigede
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 year. Poured very dark, beautiful tan head, very viscous almost syrupy. Tastes of plum, chocolate, coffee, soy sauce (I think this may have been due to the alcohol content?, dark fruits. VERY intense flavors. I do not think I could finish a bottle on my own if I really tried. Smelled amazing. Great experience. Could taste residual alcohol. I'm looking forward to tasting it after aging to see if these intense flavors mellow out.

Photo of Yesac
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage - thanks to jwinship83

A- Pours solid black. No head. Small brown ring around the edges.

S- Dark smokey chocolate malts, dark fruits. Sweet brown sugar.

T- Very sweet, dark fruits. Chocolate and roasted malts. The 13% is absolutely nowhere present.

M- Extremely thick. Very unique and actually tough to get down.

D- Incredibly smooth. Nice even coating on the palate. However, the thickness and sweetness make this not the easiest to drink, I was let down to the hype of this brew.

2010 Vintage - thanks again jwinship83

A- (4) Pours very dark brown and appears jet black in the glass. Medium sized light tan head cascades and builds after the pour but fades away quickly to a think unorganized layer.

S (3.5)- Bold dry malt, smokeness

T (4)- Sweet malt, molasses, slight dark fruit, high ABV, some caremel and java.

M (4)- Medium/thick. Decent coating on the palate, slighty sticky finsh.

D (3.5)- High ABV presences, molasses. I'd rather have other imperial stouts.

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. 2010 version.

A- pours absolutely jet black with...no head at all despite a very aggressive pour. Well thats disappointing, I was looking forward to see the head on this beast.

S- strong notes of coffee with hints of chocolate and dark fruit. Thats really all...a little bit of a letdown, though it did smell nice...it wasn't HEAVENLY

T- its actually...really sweet. Tons of sweet chocolate with very slight hints of coffee and dark fruit in there.

M- dear god is this thick. Super, super syrupy. I wouldn't expect anything less form something as big as this brew.

D- I wouldn't go too high on this...the texture and sweetness make this a total sipper. Its good enough...maybe a little overrated though

Photo of waltonc
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle.

A: Viscous oily black, with small tan head.

S: Soy sauce, chocolate, molasses, salted caramel, super deep roasted coffee, and thickness. Yes, this smells thick.

T: Again, soy sauce is the first thing that comes to mind. Burnt, salty soy. Molasses, chocolate, maybe a little vanilla, and coffee. Lots of sugar in here.

M: Thick, sticky, beef jerky-like body, with medium carbonation. Carbonation is just right.

D: Can't drink a ton of this. Heavy, thick, sweet, and high ABV = not the most drinkable of beers.

Photo of warmstorage
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 edition, silver wax capped bottle, obtained in a trade with jw347. Huge thanks!

Appearance: extremely deep opaque brown results in functionally black. Initially a medium brown, moderately dense head, that ends up as zero, and no lacing.

Aroma: dark roasty boozy creosote, with stonefruit and deep richness.

Taste: again, dark plummy and prune, roast, fairly intense burnt and creosote, some tar, some tangy sweetness. Quite slick and sweet.

Mouth: thick and slick and full, a little syrupy.

Overall: Extremely drinkable for the ABV and fullness. Delicious, very tasty, very full, something I'll drink again and again. But worth all the extraordinary hype? Not sure about that.

Photo of STEG
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Deadm8 for this generous bottle.

Serving temp: room temperature

Glass: Portsmouth Brewery Snifter

Pitch black body with a 2 finger head that dissapates to jack after about a minute.

Smell has concentrated milk chocolate notes and some coffee acid smells as well. There's some light smoke and anise undertones here as well.

Taste is initially a hit of chocolate syrup, sherry, and some coffee acidity at the back along with some alcohol flavored aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and hot with almost too much carbonation feel for my liking in a stout as hugemongous as this.

Overall I've had the 09 and 11 not the best basis for comparison but overall this is a beast of a stout.

Photo of bbeane
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage...

A- Poured into a DFH head laser etched chalice, no real head for the laser etchings to contribute to. Beer is black in color... no light shines through

S- First wiff is malts and dark fruits, maybe some chocolate... swirls of the snifer brings out the booziness

T- This one is mostly sweet malts, hint of chocolate... boozy in the finish

M- Full bodied with very light carbonation

O- Honestly, wasn't as impressed as I thought I'd be. It was tasty, but not min


Photo of timjr2500
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First things first. This beer is not to be trusted, it will lead you to believe that you are more than just a mere mortal. In fact it may even have you believing you are some type of Lord of darkness yourself, but do not be deceived.

It pours like some kind of dark, mischievous syrup that springs forth from the dungeons of hell. It slides down the glass like its being drug back into the far reaches of the hell from which it came.

At just under room temperature it smells of sweet coffee and that traditional alcohol that all the best imperials have. But something really stands out in the nose beyond what other traditional stouts possess and it comes back to that sweet smell. It isn't overly steeped with coffee or smoke, it ironically leans towards the dainty side.

Any doubts you may have about the flavor, due to the unfair sweetness, are quickly diminished as the Lord oozes across your tongue. The perfect blend of molasses, slight coffee, and only the most purely demonic ingredients. SO pure in fact that they transform the beer into something more. So much more that you forget you're drinking a beverage designed to crush you like the mere mortal that you are. One bomber of this and you'll be speaking in tongues and selling your soul for another.

Pair this beer with red meat, human flesh, or .. whichever you prefer.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,584 ratings.