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

3,829 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,829
Reviews: 1,249
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.49%
Wants: 3,040
Gots: 1,775 | FT: 140
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: 3,829 | Reviews: 1,249
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Dark Lord, sampled from a chalice on my college graduation day. Many thanks to Joe for sharing this with me.

This beer is obviously a whale for me, and what a beer it was. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, probably not this, but I think it's better than anything I could have expected.

Pours a thick, viscous brown-black that coats the side of the glass. Develops some nice light brown head that retains well, and laces nicely. Deep and dark like a beer named Dark Lord should be.

Smell is very interesting. At first it was a bit weak, but it really opened up nicely. Some notes of coffee and chocolate, but it kind of smelled more like a BSDA than a stout. Incredible, the plums and other dark fruit (even light fruit like apples) dance in and out of the nose. Very complex. A bit of cinnamon or some spiciness too.

Flavor profile is very complex--different things with every sip. Covers the coffee, chocolate, alcohol, plums, apples, pears, cherries, and cinnamon areas, among others. What is so nice about the taste is how balanced all the aspects are. A little hot I guess, but not really considering the ABV. Tremendous complexity, tremendous balance. This is a fine beer that I wish I had a bunch of to age. Had this side-by-side with KBS, and the KBS was just not as enjoyable. That's saying something.

Exceptional feel, velvety smooth, chewy, pillowy. Tremendous drink considering the ABV, one of the best beers I've had for sure.

Photo of aforbes10
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, here goes.

2007 bottle obtained at Dark Lord day by Janice (not a BA), sold to shivtim and shared by him with me and and a couple of other people. Pours black with a head that vanishes quickly, and a little disappointingly. laces like black olive oil and lacing actually has little granules of something (yeast? ground up coffee?) in it. Smells like brandy, soy sauce, cherries, some yeast, hot chocolate. Quite complex and more fruity than anything else. Taste is just what i look for in a RIS. A complex mish-mash of flavors. Molten chocolate covered cherries, other dark berries, truffles, brandy, bourbon, vanilla. Finish has an alcohol warming and a slight coffee roastiness that's quite well blended. Excellent. Mouthfeel is thick, as advertised. I could drink this all the time but i can't for many many reasons. Yeah, its a freaking great beer, no joke.

Photo of AJacob81
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My last bottle of 2010 Dark Lord. Time to review. A 5-oz. pour into a stemless oversized wine glass.

A - Black with a hint of brown, no light passes thru whatsoever. Head is little more than a dark beige ring, and that isn't lasting long either.

S - Rich roasted coffee and semisweet chocolate, some dates and raisins, and carmelized brown sugar. A welcoming bouquet, for sure.

T - Very similar to the nose, but the extraordinary balance of these flavors makes Dark Lord's reputation. The dark fruits are in perfect harmony with the coffee and chocolate. Just a hint of vanilla and caramel, and strong notes of pinot noir wine in the syrupy finish.

M - Thick, thick, and thick. Low carbonation, drinks almost like a milkshake, but with a boozy warmth that spreads with each sip. No alcohol burn here.

D - I'd hoped to take a little time and savor this, but the sips kept coming due to this beer's ridiculous drinkability. The 13% ABV doesn't slow you down a whit, because it's masked incredibly well.

Hype: justified.

Photo of macktbone
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this during one our recent tastings thanks to ThirdLap.
The 08 is among the best beers I have ever had, and without a doubt the hype is worth this exquisite sample of brewmastership.

It looks like someone melted the wax from the top of the bottle and allowed it to flow like lava into the rest of the bottle. Beautiful ebony body with just the right amount of weight.

Smells like malt and caramel with a fig soaked for weeks in bourbon.

The taste of this is no less impressive than the rest of the beer. Gorgous oak aged bourbon with an edge of caramel.

The most impressive aspect of DL is the amazing mouthfeel. No kidding this feels like drinking a glass of double heavy cream. I expect it to taste like whipped cream but instead I am overjoyed with the flavor of the Dark Lord.

I could drink a bottle ot this myself, though it wouldn't be a good idea. It is without a doubt not overhyped...! If you have not tried Dark Lord 07 you MUST do what you have to to get a sample.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to Avalon68 for providing this in trade. Great trader!! My first "big" trade on BA..

'08 Bottle consumed on 5/2/09.... This was the winner of our blind taste test and also the one that I chose for first place.
A finger + of dark tan head forms then does fade rather quickly. While there is no lacing, there is almost a thin film left on the glass from the thickness of the beer. If you didn't change your motor's oil for 2 years then finally drained it, this is what would come out.

Sweet, chocolate, dates and other dark fruits dominate the aroma.

This was/is the most complex tasting of those beers that were in our tasting. There is so much going on here, you can sit with this and have fun for hours.

I thought chocolate truffles, dates, molasses, chocolate covered cherries. The more you sit and enjoy the more you find. Slightly smokey. Some nice hop bitterness add balance while remaining well hidden. The more you enjoy the more it drinks like a hot fudge milk shake. (those are my favorite!)

Really syrup like and full bodied, but smooth as silk.

Drinkable? Are you kidding? Is there a sessionable Russian Imperial Stout?

Immediate entry into my top 2 or 3 beers. Just fabulous.

Photo of doughanson78
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage (yellow wax). Drank New Years 11-12. Huge thanks to Phelps in the Tickers BIF!

A: Pitch black. Just a wisp of a head that doesn't stay at all. Very little lacing. But I really didn't expect none from this. Still beautiful.

S: Big nice blend of bourbon, dark fruits, dark chocolate, roasted dark coffee, butterscotch, vanilla, hints of tobacco. Amazing and complex.

T: Dark chocolate upfront. Pretty sweet. Dark fruits, vanilla, butterscotch, roasted malts, and slight coffee. Touch of alcohol in the finish, but for 15% it isn't much. One of the best, if not #1, RIS's I've tasted.

M: Thick and full bodied. Super creamy and smooth. Very light carbonation, verging on none.

O: Amazing beer! Can only imagine one aged a few years. Might just have to trade for one. One of the best beers I've had.

Photo of naterock
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a fluted tasting glass Deep black like used motor oil with a medium brown head perfectly velvetty with a aura that seems to surround it's presence. a thin brown coating on the glass that is even resilient to water rinsing.

Smell is rich in brown sugar, port wine, Maple syrup with a slight alcohol burn in the back of the nose, Dark vine fruits and a bitter chocolate.

Rich bitter chocolate with a smooth syrupy body that marries all of the complex flavors together. Dark vine fruits, and brown cane sugary sweetness. I don't even have good words to describe.

Mouthfeel is incredibly viscous and refuses to leave your mouth. This seems to be the consistency of used motor oil. Drinks incredibly slow and it sips for a long time but I could literally drink this all the time besides to be refreshed. The dark lord has forced me into submission and has enslaved me to his will.

Photo of almychristopher
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a very dark black color with a thin brown head that recedes to nothing over the course of the session. The aroma is exactly what i'm looking for in an imperial stout, the roasted coffee and caramel aroma carries over nicely into the taste, a little sweetness in the front and bitterness at the end. the full body and good co2 make this a wonderful sipping imperial, couldn't ask for better in this category.

Photo of cheers2beers
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Saved this from a trade, One year later,( '07 Vintage) it is time to indulge in this masterpeice.

Appearance: This beer pours like motor oil with little to no head. As I swirl the glass I see enourmous tar-like legs streaming back downward into the abyss that it came from. No light can be seem through this totally black liquid.

Smell: The aromas are complex and intoxicating. Lots of chocolate notes seem to be the backbone of this brewha. I'm also getting some roasted coffee bean, perhaps some mesquite wood, and even hint of black cherries.

Taste: Wow! Explosive alcohol and semi-sweet chocolate hits you immediately. I'm also getting some vanilla quaffs with black licorice. Not alot of coffee is noticable, but I am detecting a little bit of raisiny dark fruits. Tons of roastiness. This leaves a sticky alcoholic, chocolate, and cooking spice of some sort all throughout my mouth. A truely delightful and complex treat indeed!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thick, sticky and yet silk-like as well. It leaves a film in my mouth that I seem to taste over and over again. Even at one year later there is a decent amount of carbonation left.

Drinkability: This is a remarkable beer, thou I believe it is hyped up just a notch more than it needs be. Im definitely glad I got to try this and would recommend that you get your hands on this.

Cheers2Beers

Photo of Lupe
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to rysberg01 for sending this as part of my Beer Powerball winnings.

Pours a deep, rich dark black with a thin brown head. Dark and menacing, fairly thick and syrupy. Not much retention or lacing but this beer has that lovely wine trail thing going on.

Rich and strong aroma starts wafting up as soon as the bottle is uncapped. Sweet and roasty with plenty of dried fruit, spice, French roast coffee, and cocoa. Alcohol wraps everything together but is not overwhelming.

Whoa - this has one hell of an intense flavor. Dark fruit, rum raisin, caramel, dark chocolate, and coffee. Alcohol hits at the end after swallowing, adding warmth. Amazing, complex, not at all cloying, and ridiculously smooth.

Full bodied, silky smooth, and velvety. The drinkability is just staggering considering the intensity of flavor and level of alcohol. I expected it to be too big, but the balance and smoothness made it difficult to put down. The alcohol does build up after a while, taking a notch off the overall drinkability.

This beer is great and lived up to the hype for me.

Photo of thebierbrewery
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Dark Lord served out of a 22oz bottle

A- Thick, dirty motor oil (like 5000 miles over), lacing turns the glass brown, medium head retention, dense

S- Dark dried fruit, raisins, backbone of alcohol, molasses, muscavato sugar, dark rum

T- Thick, chocolate, cherry, oily, vanilla, hops enough to balance on the back end, warming, domineering

M- Thick, heavy, medium high carbonation, warming, sticks to your toungue

D- For as thick and high alcohol this is, it is drinkable, very smooth

Photo of breweryaprntc13
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark creamy brown, thin head which leaves little lace after fading quickly above a tar black body.

Rich roasted malts, coffee, molasses, dark fruits.

Roasted malts, rich and creamy molasses, toffee and caramel, some alcohol notes, coffee detectable towards the finish, sweet dark cherry and plumb flavors.

Creamy, low carbonation, smooth and full bodied.

Absolutely incredible, a brilliant full bodied RIS that leaves nothing else to be desired. A stunning and inspiring beer I could drink over and over again.

Photo of levifunk
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After buying our bottles at DLD '10, we sat down at a table inside the brewery and enjoyed our sample of DL.

Very dark, as expected with little to no head....as expected. The smell was intoxicating. Huge caramel, coffee, molasses/brown sugar smell. Taste was even better, again sweet caramel flavor, but the coffee came up more than it was in smell. Drinks a bit hot, but at 15% how could it not. This should age very well. Mouthfeel is thick! Overall, an amazing beer, and such a treat to taste. I'm thinking a bottle of this split amongst 5 or 6 people would be great after a good meal.

Photo of youngblood
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap via DLD 2009
Sweet heavens this thing is dark! It coats the inside of the glass very heavily. I new that I was in for a treat once my nose hit the glass. Smells strongly of molasses, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, alcohol, some dark fruit, and espresso. Up front tastes: Sweet soy, molasses, espresso. Leaves a lingering coffee, woody, semi-sweet chocolate aftertaste. This thing feels amazing on the tongue. Every thick, but smooth. Extremely drinkable for 13%. First taste of this was a punch in the face. Totally wasn't expecting what I got, but it turned out to be amazing. At first the flavors seemed puzzling, but fit very nicely together. This is not a beer for people who aren't into RIS's. All hail the Dark Lord!

Photo of Greggy
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a beautiful pitch black color, motor oil consistency, nice brown color head. Deep red color can be seen around the edge of the body.

S- Cherry,anise, tawny port, butterscotch, fig, earthy, oaky, w/ a hint of smokiness.

T- Starts out with a nice big buttery note, then some nice dark chocolate, bourbon, some dark fruit, the finish is long and has a great lingering bitterness.

M- Huge thick malty, superb.

D- Very drinkable for being 13%. Great beer.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Doing my 100th review in style.

2007 vintage Dark Lord Russian Style Imperial Stout, silver wax.

a: Deep black body allows no light to penetrate. Has a thin dark brown head that fades swiftly. The thick body leaves no lacing, but seems to be staining my glass with the brown syrup it leaves on the edge.

s: The complex, entoxicating aroma includes chocolate, dark figs and molasses, its out of this world.

t: The front is sweet figs and molasses, the finish is bitter chocolate, coffee, maybe even kahlua. For such a bold and robust flavor, it is surprisingly balanced, no overbearing sweetness or bitterness, not too rich. The flavors are strong but polished. Glad I let this one hangout for 9 months before cracking it open, can't wait to see how this tastes in a year or five.

m: Thick. Maple syrup thick. It doesn't coat your tongue with chocolate malt, it replaces your tongue with a chocolate-covered coffee bean. I think I could have thai for dinner and I would still taste nothing but chocolate. No carbonation to speak of, as it should be. Needless to say, dark lord is a full bodied brew.

d: The booze is there, I don't think you can hide a 13% abv. That being said, it is remarkably subdued. If my gut could handle all the calories, my brain could justify the extravagance, and my liver could take the punishment I would drink several of these (okay, maybe split several).

Any good review of Dark Lord must address the hype that this beer has created. It is a great beer. No question. Is it the best beer in America? I don't think so. I don't think there is such a thing. It is the best RIS I have had, but I have not had Kate or Darkness or Black Albert. Once you get to the top beers in most categories, I think its just up to personal preference/expectations. Would I attend Dark Lord Day to get more of it? I will certainly try.

Photo of Pardishcreel
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours dark, one of the darkest beers i have ever seen. Some describe it as a old motor oil look. The head on this is almost non existent, got a little of it but no matter how i poured the head seamed to never really show up.

The smell hit and the first thing I could smell was chocolate, good chocolate, with a background of fruits and alcohol. The beer smells of its high ABV but that is deceiving cause the taste is almost non existent.

The taste of this beer was surprisingly smooth and never once made me feel like I was drinking a beer that looked like motor oil. The chocolate flavor is there with and underlying fruit flavoring, being finished up by a light alcohol taste. Something that cant be easy to do with a ABV of 15%.

Photo of rhodeska
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Lord. I have now had the 08, 09, 10 (thanks to hayesez for the first two and ridglens for the latter!!!) and each one has its interesting nuances. I'm going to review the 08 because that is the one I focused on most recently.

This beer was phenomenal. I had it once before, but was not ready at the time to review it, let alone any beer. The pour was magnificent, deep brown, very thin head (as it seems all DL have), and a great amount of sludge at the bottom of the bottle (ended up on the top of the beer).

The smell of the 08 is very distinct from the others I have had. Very profuse, smells of chocolate, tobacco, some alcohol (whiskey?), very malty. Great smell, much better than the recent years.

The taste of the beer was just as good, if not better, than the smell. Was very smooth after two years of age, didn't have a hard alcohol kick until the end of the glass. The film left on your mouth and the glass from this thick beer was great, and left the taste lingering in your mouth long after the beer was gone.

Excellent beer, I wish the 09 (which I didn't really enjoy at all this time around) and the 10 (which may turn out good in a couple years) had that dark and thick feel to them as well.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought six bottles from the Drak Lord release party 2006. Gave one to a friend as a gift and kept the other five. This is the first one I've opened since the release of the 2006 Dark Lord. Gold capped.

Appearance- Pours a viscous, oily, syrupy black with some very deep fudge highlights. Good luck if you can see anything in this beer. Let alone bubbles. Some light Brussel's lacing. But coats the inside of the glass with a light, spent motor oil color. Awesome.

Smell- Starts with some burnt coffee beans you'd smell at the perfume store. But lets not forget the creamy, toffee aroma that develops more as it gets warmer. Almost like evil butterscotch.

Taste- As it warmed up, the dark roasted mocha turns into a more Starbucks espresso with lots of cream and light cane sugar flavor takes hold. Thats in the fornt of the tongue. The middle brings out the more viney, black cherry and vanilla flavor. The back of the tongue and throat are like a burnt potato skin with some Starbucks liquer. Awesomely complex.

Mouthfeel- Very thick, rich creamy, a little bitter, but very syrupy and oily.

This beer deserves to be one of the best beers in the world. I only wish more BA's could get their hands on it.

Photo of backfat
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

black wax. saved for way too long, collecting dust and hype. seriously though, i am lucky to have such good friends that let me drink their beer. ha
pours motor oil opaque/black with a film of dark, mud colored head that quickly dissipates. the brew coats the side of the glass like an oily sludge. the smell is strong. potent. fresh. and intense, dominated by chocolate fudge, alcohol, malt roast, and coffee. BRUTALLY MASSIVE. the mouthfeel is ungodly. creamy, rich, and smooth. dark, ripe berries, cherry's, molasses, caramel, vanilla, chocolate syrup, love, raisins, and alcohol. brilliant. toffee as it warms with sweet berries and roasted malt. low low carbonation and high alcohol warmth that tucks you in at night and kisses your forehead. cool, collected, and balanced. bitter finish that lingers on the palate for the rest of the night, making all other beers weak and obsolete. april 24th can't come quick enough. god bless you FFF

Favorites in order:
black wax (08)
Green wax (10)
Silver wax (07)
Gold wax (06)
White wax (09)
Yellow wax (11)

Photo of Kshock
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle with green wax. Thanks Nate, really enjoyed this one.

A-Amazing bright jet black color. almost looks like liquid obsidian. Little head retention, but the foam is pale roasty color. resembles coffee with a dash of cream in it.

S- A lot going here. Love the aroma on this beer. Chocolate, hints of vanilla, subtle cherry.

T- Amazing flavor, very complex. Hits every flavor that you could ever want in a imperial stout. Love the slight hint of cherries. Every sip keeps you looking into the amazing depth of this beer.

M- Awesome soft mouthfeel on this one. you feel how big this beer is, but its not too heavy or a gut bomb. truly awesome beer.

Would love to be able to get more of this beer. this will always be on my wants list

Photo of coldmeat23
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: approx 45 - 50 degrees
VINTAGE 2009 (Had @ DLD)
My review #250!

Very black, as would be expected. About one-fingers worth of a dark brown head of foam. Dissipates to nothing after a minute or two. Lacing is not really anything to speak of, but this brew COATS the side of the glass, like an oil slick. Seriously, it looks like the glass is stained with a dark brown, almost black, rinse.

F-in' complex. That's the best way to describe this nose.
Huge notes of chocolate covered chocolate brownies. Lots of big, bold, dark fruit notes. Big presence of roasted coffee. Big, dark, sweet, roasted malt notes. Nice raisin presence. Hints of molasses. A touch of vanilla and a slight smokiness. A nice touch of hops.
The best/worst part of this nose is that everytime I give it the slightest of swirls I pick up some other scent.

Taste definitely follows the nose, here. The chocolate flavors are so intense, in a truly delicious way, it's like a fudge covered brownie in a glass. Then there is the coffee presence, which is bold enough that if the chocolate weren't there it would probably ruin this brew. As it is though, they play nicely with each other, sometimes letting each other take a tiny step, front and center, but mostly combining to become a wonderful, sweet, coffee-mocha blend.
Tons of wonderfully ripened dark fruits are in this glass. Light-ish notes of brown sugars. Wonderful roasted malt presence.
The taste is also quite complex. The good part is that no single element overpowers the others. They all combine their presence to become some beautifully tasty nectar.

This is truly where Dark Lord shines and gets seperated from every other beer out there. I would rate the mouthfeel with a 7, if I could. It's beyond the scale.
Yes, it's full-bodied. It is thick. It is oily. It is the definition of viscous. Yet, at the same time, it is smooth and creamy beyond anything I'd imagined. It is truly 'lush'. It's beyond velvety.

Drinkability is also exceptional. The only negative would be the 13%ABV contained within. Even at that high rate of alcohol, though, I only detect the slightest trace of warming sensation. It is very well hidden.
This one is a little bit of a mess, right now, flavorwise. I can only imagine how good it's going to taste with some cellaring time on it, when it smooths out. Hopefully, I can leave a couple of bottles alone long enough to find that out.
This one, IMO, is truly worthy of the hype that it receives. As far as my palate goes, Dark Lord is damn near "Perfect".

Photo of merlin48
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to kmpitz2 for picking this gem up for me, and to clvand0 for safekeeping it until I could pick it up in Lexington, Ky, on May 21,2005. Enjoyed with mtnlover on the evening of May 21.
Appearance: Tension mounts as the orange wax seal is finally scraped away to reveal a standard TF swirly bottle cap. Served slightly chilled, the body is an opaque ebony color with a medium brown head with ruby highlights. Head begins at about one finger in height, slowly dropping into a persistent film and collar of lace. Nice coat of lacing is left on the glass. Very attractive and inviting.

Aroma: Coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, cherry esters, and other fruit esters that I can't pinpoint. I need another bottle in order to nail down all the nuances of the complex aromas present in the nose.

Mouthfeel: Thick, coating, and very full bodied. Mild alcohol burn, but the mouthfeel is exceptional, insistent on pulling you into the experience of this exceptional stout.

Taste: Very rich and complex, with vanilla, chocolate, smoke, cherries, burnt roasted coffee, fried grapes(a new flavor), some fruity hops. Flavors become more compelling as it reaches room temperature. Alcohol is hidden away in the layers of flavors, impressive considering this is 13% abv. Truely, a world class experience here.

Drinkability/Impression: This monster stout seems to change aromas and flavors with each sip, very playful on the palate. Best stout I've ever had and worthy of its hype. I could drink this all day, every day. Drinkability limited only by availability and price. Wow! Get your paws on some of these if you can find it.

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.88/5  rDev +14%
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.

Photo of mntlover
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah the Holy Grail of beerdom. Many thanks to merlin48 for sharing this with me plus thanks to the other BA's hands it has been passed down thru. 2005 vintage with orange wax seal.

Pours motor oil black, Dark Lord lives up to its name in apperance, thick rich looking with a dark chocolate head little more then a finger tall seems to back build. Actually leaves behind some lacing at 13% its impressive

Aroma is strange starts as smoked chocolate that dominates all else, deeply roasted malt that mellows as it sits and fruit comes forth. Molasses dipped plums, raisins, tart cherries and vanilla hints find there way out of the darkness. The way the aroma changes is nice, overall very nice, but was expecting little more intensity.

Taste is wonderful big and full roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, smokey woody flavors mixed with vanilla and light alcohol mingled thru out but does not detract at all even adds to the bliss. The flavor just keeps going and going. Some hops come out and add to the coffee flavors as it warms to room tempature. Finishes with mingling coffee and hop bitterness mixed with smoke and vanilla. This is one monster stout very well done very tastey no hint of the 13% at all.

Mouthfeel is well I thought I have had what I considered full beers before, but his stuff tastes like you could cut it with a knife. Very big probably has a texture that motor oil would. Would rate it 5.5 if I could.

Drinkability is bad ass kick ass lives up to the hype and then some, no doubt it should be the number one Double Stout. Wishing I had more these are expensive and hard to come by yes, but worth it, can I have a amen. Praise to the Dark Lord, need to plan a trip to the brewery next release.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,829 ratings.