Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,212 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,212
Hads: 3,908
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 14.22%
Wants: 3,068
Gots: 1,829 | FT: 147
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,212 | Hads: 3,908
Photo of Casedogg43
4.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opened a bottle this past week with a friend. Yes, I shared my first Bottle!
Have been anticipating '12 DL since I tried the '11 with a friend May of last year.

I will first say that I couldn't be more disappointed that FFF doesn't have this readily available at DLD. Maybe I was spoiled by XV, but waiting in line for 2hrs to get in pub to try DLD is just sad. And I wasn't going to wait.

This is DLD, Dark Lord Day! the beer Dark Lord is what this event is all about. Let those of us who wait in line for 4 or 5 hours try a few! Put it on tap outside with the other brews!

Appearance: Black pour. Deep, jet black. Like a nicely painted Black Viper that just got a new coat of wax!
Head start like is a Chocolate Whip, then fades to white.

Smell: Rich, very rich. Chocolate, sugar and vanilla. Just the slightest hint of the smell of port coming through.

Taste: I believe God has blessed this Stout! Rich and so creamy chocolate up front. Then move on to smooth taste of warm fruits and vanilla. Finishes with that chocolate port taste that sits in your palate and tempts you to take another quick sip.

Mouthfeel: Full, very full, but so creamy smooth it's crazy. This is what separates this from the other remarkable stout. It is perfect.

Overall: It is what the growing legend of Dark Lord is about. A absolutely terrific brew from start to finish. May be my favorite beer. I can't wait to pop #2.

Cheers (1,417 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed from a 22oz bomber. Didn't find any freshness info anywhere... I believe this is from 2005, obtained in a trade for some Andechs Doppelbock with AKSmokedPorter (RIP) at the BA American Beer Fest in June of that year. Waxing over the cap is shaded a light orange hue.

Dark Lord? Dark is right! Poured into my Rapscallion snifter, it was most definitely dark, like inky, North Sea crude. Held up to a nearby lamp, light still failed to penetrate. Black hole, eh? I'll call it deep, deep, dark brown, for shits and giggles. The head is a rich tan, initially about 1/3", slowly ebbing to a fine, thin layer which maintains itself enough to cover the bier for the duration. Lacing is solid, leaving attractive patterns down the glass. Aroma is replete with heavy coffee notes, some dark chocolate, and a lovely layer of dark fruit action. Has a little floral hop activity going on as well. Wow! What a smooth and creamy bier! Thick, full-bodied, chewy and satiny slick over the tongue. This is a top-shelf mouthfeel!

Flavor? Whoa! Espresso, roasty coffee, and more dark chocolate kick some serious ass. There's some "burnt" action going on here, too, and smidges of molasses. On a more subtle level, some currants, raisins and figs come into play. What a hell of mix! The palate doesn't know where to concentrate it's attention. Damn!! Hoppage is on a major-league floral level, and quite pronounced, lasting long and hard after the bier itself has hit the stomach. The lupulins also have an earthy lean to them and, did I mention, they really stick in the nooks and crannies of the mouth. There is a definite warm feeling in the belly, though it's not really representative of a 13% abv bier. Worth the wait? Damn straight! And the hype? Deserved, without a doubt. My apologies to those naysayers out there, but this is one fine, tasty bier.

One caveat, of course - I didn't pay $13-15 for it. As mentioned, it was the byproduct of an Andechs Doppelbock trade. Would I pay that kind of coin for it? Perhaps once in a while (when/if available). But not regularly; biers like Portsmouth Kate the Great or Smutty RIS are, dollar-for-dollar, far and away a better value. But that's not the point here, is it? Dark Lord tastes superb; it's a lovely bier.

Now, I know numbers are (mostly) irrelevant here. But they are fun to fuck around with now and then. That said, I'm glad I saved Dark Lord for my review #1000.

Thanks AK ;-)

Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.9
appearance: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | mouthfeel: 5 | drinkability: 5

1000 (2,539 characters)

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

2009 Vintage.

A: Black liquid with minimal head.

S: Cherries, figs, coffee, toasted malt, roasted barley.

T: Cherries, figs and currants up front with coffee, toasted malt and roasted barley flavours. Quite sweet with a very smooth finish.

O: Beautiful. Extremely drinkable and the ABV is extremely well hidden after being aged this long. (342 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)

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

Bottle received in a trade from paco1029384756.
Sharing with a non-BA friend.

A: pours a perfect jet black color with a thick foamy dark mocha colored head. Retention is phenomenal. This head isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Lacing is also visible leaving a curtain of mocha colored spotted foam around the edges of half the glass (opposite the side I've been drinking from).

S: strong smell of alcohol, burnt toasty aroma of nuts and coffee. There's also a definitely noticely chocolate and vanilla aroma.

T: Wow, this is a phenomenal RIS and beer in general. Taste up front is of slightly bitter chocolate with hints of vanilla that sweeten as it rolls across your tongue. On the finish there's a slight alcoholic presence, but the chocolately taste of roasted coffee really comes out. Man there's so much to this beer it's ridiculous, I even detect some dark red cherries on the aftertaste. This is one of the best tasting RIS' and best tasting beers I've ever had!

M: Mouthfeel is also unlike anything I've had. It does come close to JW Lees Harvest Ale Lagavulin CASK in that it's extremely smooth velvety, and rolls off your tongue like some kind of heavenly fluid from the gods.

D: Pretty high ABV, but practically unnoticeable. If I had more of this, I'd be drinking it. (1,285 characters)

Photo of Sephiroth
4.88/5  rDev +13.8%
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. (1,285 characters)

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

2007 bottle at DLD: Black as night it had a slight brown head that left some nice brown lacing. The nose was huge and filled with expresso, chocolate and porty overtones. While not as potent as the barrel-aged version, in the mouth it was the dense, thick, syrupy and oily. While the alcohol lever is high, it is never hot. The flavors from the nose fill the palate and cover every nook and cranny. This is an intese huge beer that should be drank in small quantities. However credit needs to be given as it is balanced which is not an easy feat for something this size. (570 characters)

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

I was lucky enough to share a second bottle of this oh-so-wickedly-wonderful beer, so I figured I should review it this time. I hope the bottle is gone when I get home, because it will yell at me for not giving it all 5's. I do believe last night it was telling me over and over "You love me. You love me. You love me." Like a freakin cult leader or something! OK, OK, i love you, I do.

Appearance was very black and thick, when held up to the light it looked a bit like old blood around the edges, but in a good way. Had a bit of a brown head that didnt last very long. It smelled good but not much. It didnt give off enough of an aroma, that's why I had to dock points. It smelled a bit like fresh coffee, then old coffee, and slightly vinous. It tasted absolutely perfect! So much going on, and in such a great blend. Chocolate fudge syrup, roasted coffee, cherry wine, a hint of chocolate covered Belgian waffles that you get in Belgium, with an aftertaste thats similar to the aftertaste of strong coffee. Pretty sweet but too much so, with a bitter end. There really isn't more than a teeny hint of alcohol in the taste. I guess there's just too much other stuff going on. Mouthfeel is THICK. Well in the beginning of the bottle it is just regular syrupy thick, and as you get down to the bottom, well it almost gets to be too much. It's a bit ridiculous. Like pudding that's not quite set yet, real thick but still drinkable. I got the absolute end of the bottle and I really did have to chew. That was a little disturbing, but kind of cool at the same time. Drinkability, well, I know this is it now, but I want more, lots more! It's so drinkable. At 13% abv, it does not taste or feel like it. Like a happy chocolatey sweet waffle meal with wine and coffee and pudding, all together in one bottle. (1,809 characters)

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

A : Pours a motor oil black with a thin brown head. Even though it's thin, the head leaves behind some good lacing

S : Some smoky and chocolate aromas along with some good dark fruit like raisins and figs

T : Awesome. Meaty flavor that reminded me of a rauchbier. Also had some good chocolate and dark fruit flavors. It's an incredibly complex beer with different flavors on each sip.

M : Thick, chewy, low carbonation

D : Incredible brew. This is such a wonderful beer that I want even more. (496 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
4.89/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My good friend Passow (iamaguitargod) was most awesome enough to split a bomber of this as his present for my 29th birthday, which is on Wednesday December 7, 2011. This bomber was a bomber of the 2009 batch, which according to my friend and the research him and his friends, who have all had other vintages of this fine beer too, the 2009 is at its peak right now. Poured a into a snifter, this beer is a solid dark opaque color that is lets in zero light at all, so far living up to its name. The only presence of foam that is present is not a head at all, even when the beer is first poured, but rather a nice thick brown ring that lines the inside of the glass when poured, which settles to nothing pretty quickly, so that part is a bit of a disappointment. No lacing whatsoever. However, after a sip or two was taken I noticed a coat of the unfermented residual sugars coating the inside of the glass, making the glass appear to be quite foggy, or dirty. The inside of the glass is coated more with this substance each sip taken. I've had a lot of beers in my day, a lot of imperial stouts, and a fair amount of beers, including a few imperial stouts, that were over 12% ABV and have never encountered such a phenomenon as this! Aromas of roasted caramel malt, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit such as raisin, plum and cherry. Has a very sweet taste with the aforementioned roasted caramel malt, chocolate, coffee and dark fruit flavors. This is certainly the most wonderful aroma I have ever experienced with any beer I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Rounded out with a whiskey/bourbon like flavor and a somewhat syrupy aftertaste. If I didn't know any better I would swear this beer had been aged in whiskey barrels, but I know that is not the case with this batch. No discernible hop presence whatsoever. I can totally taste why the port wine comparison is made here, and that aspect reminds me slightly, just slightly, of Sam Adams Triple Bock with the syrupyness and all, only this beer is 1,000 times tastier and much more palatable. Overall it is fanfuckingtastic flavorwise! Getting to finally drink this is certainly quite a beer milestone for me personally. Has a very thick, chewy mouthfeel, with low carbonation. This beer really coats the inside of the mouth, similar to the way it coats the inside of the glass, and the flavors linger for quite awhile indeed. It took me quite a long time, several hours, to finish this epic beer. It was worth the wait and I hope I get to enjoy it again. Thanks for sharing Mr. Passow!

Eric (2,550 characters)

Photo of RMelyon
4.89/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you like sweet stouts, this lives up to the hype. If you don't, it wont. I do. Particularly notable is a maraschino cherry note that is thoroughly enjoyable. The fest they throw is usually pretty OK too. (206 characters)

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

An ebon curtain of enveloping blackness.
A patchy ceiling of brown.

An unholy olfactory onslaught of roast. Wailing vapors of blackberry brandy. Soul-stealing vanilla. Curdling caramel nougat. Emblazoned pine needles.

And so it begins.

Coats the mouth with blackness. Not with some sort of allegorical, punny, namesake, evil simile, but quite literally full of just about every goddamn dark, black thing imaginable. Molasses. Chocolates. Plum. Currant. Liquorice. Blackberry. Espresso-and other, more foo-foo coffee creations, Cafe Au Lait, Cappuccino, whatever. Tar, that gooey, stick-to-the-soles-of-your-shoes-in-the-summer-type. Quells as it progresses into a molten bath of caramel and nougat and vanilla and brown sugar. This is where it is at its most delicious, even as it teeters on becoming oversweet. More currant and plums reform, as its cycle starts anew. Holy shit. This literally goes through revolutions, metamorphoses, in the mouth, as it rotates through its stages, then repeats itself without any additional sips.


The booze quotient is mystically hidden. It's thicker than soup, but never explicitly hot. The alcohol is manifest in mellow tendrils of blackberry brandy, bourbon, rum and cognac, but solely in flavor, never in burn.

Hops are largely overcome by the wicked wrath of the malt girth. Pine resin is predominant, but burnt black and driven into the magma.

It's mouth-binding hugeness prevents drinkability in common-sense definitions. But I could slowly sip this anytime, any place.

Those last drops of mudslide, protein slop from the bottom are like some sort of (nearly) liquid Irish Crème chocolate fudge brownie. You haven’t lived, bro –you really haven’t- until you lap up the sticky remnants from your facial hair.

Hype is a motherfucker.

And so is this. (1,871 characters)

Photo of kdoc8
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't written a review in a while...you know how it goes. However, I recently acquired a bottle of Dark Lord from a friend back in Indiana for Christmas (new best friend). He went through all the trouble of waiting in line on Dark Lord day out in Munster, and I got to reap all the benefits. Thanks Konrad! You're a hero among men.

Dark Lord. It's definitely a sippin' beer. A spectacular sippin' beer. I poured it out and you could immediately smell it from across the room. Very strong flavors of oak/chocolate/coffee and fruit and just plain roasted octane. It is a deep dark black color, no opacity, with a brown bubbly head. As if the smell wasn't enough,the taste was just as good and complex - all those flavors that came out in the smell were there in double in the taste.

The only reason this isn't a total 5.0 exceptional in my ratings is because...well, I just don't think I could drink more than the half-a-bottle that I had. It's one of those exceptional things that you can only have a tiny piece of, and only need a tiny piece of, to know that it's special. (1,079 characters)

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

Review from notes taken from sampling party early December 2008.

Lets just say....all the hype is true....

One of the most perfect beers I have ever tasted. INCREDIBLE. Really, there aren't words to describe this master brew....WOW

A - Dark Red. Black Cherry. Prunes. Chocolate. Sorry to sound like a girl but this beer is beautiful. The best looking beer I have ever seen....Period.

S - Prunes. Chocolate. Raisins. Cherries. So many things going on....it is just incredible.

T - SMOOTH. Creamy. Filling. Incredible. Chocolate cherries. Thank you so much Tim for standing in line for 5 hours and sharing this with our group. Perfection in a bottle.

M - Creamy and smooth. I never wanted my glass to end. All hail Three Floyds Dark Lord.

D - 4.5 because of 13% but never once did I taste alcohol.

The most perfect beer I have ever or probably will ever have. Sorry Surly Darkness...your close....but just not quite to this lever....close though, very close.

In a simple statement....this beer is almost perfection in a bottle. (1,036 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 Phatz
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is an experience. I feel honored to have received a taste. Blitheringidiot is the man!!! =)

Appearance: Pours absolute black into my tasting snifter. My little serving had little head but that is to be expected. It had a dark tan chocolate colored frothy cap and a collar around the glass.

Smell: Sweet black molasses, alcoholic bourbon like attribute. Dark fruits, burnt malt, coffee, licorice and port are all part a rich and luscious nose.

Taste: I bow to the Dark Lord. There is a reason for the demand. Dark Lord is all that people claim it to be. It is rich chocolaty fudge with caramel molasses berries woodiness boozy vinous alcoholic delight that takes over your entire palate and maintains it grip long after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Huge body, silky silky smooth and warm with alcohol and spices it is better than heavenly.

Drinkability: It doesn't take much to realize this is a beast to be reckoned with. I suggest sharing a bomber. I suggest sharing a bomber with me ;-) to be more precise.

Hope this is helpful.

[EDIT] -
After obtaining my share this year I cracked into a bottle as fresh as possible a few days after getting home. I shared this beer with phnphilly and bookert last night. It was AMAZING. The pour is midnight black and motor oil thick with absolutely no head on the beer. When I swirled it in my glass the viscous liquid literally stained the glass brown. The swallow in warm but the massive rich oily smooth feel coats every inch of your mouth and then some. Perfect!!! (1,540 characters)

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

This review is for the 2006 vintage, tasted back in June of this year. Review is from notes. Gold wax covering the top. I have another cellaring for a later date. Thanks to highclassdrinker for the trade!!!

I was not sure what to expect when I opened the bottle... it said "Reverse cascading head"... that the hell is that???

This one poured out clear, nearly black, like motor oil. The head was three fingers, and once I saw it, I understood what reverse cascading meant. I cannot begin to describe it, it would not do it justice.

The aroma was rich and vinous, with dark roasted malts, burnt fruits, and molasses. There was a touch of sweetness.

Flavor followed aroma... slightly sweet, dark roasted malts, burnt fruits, and roasted coffee beans. Many layered and complex, and not very hoppy. Balanced.

Mouthfeel was incredibly smooth and silky for a beer this big. It went down surprisingly easily.

Drinkability... almost perfect, but the availability and the cost take away slightly. And the high ABV, together with the size of the bottle, make it damn difficult to get through one of these alone. But I managed. (1,136 characters)

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

Drank last night from the '07 stock.

A: Pours like motor oil, but somehow blacker and thicker. A nice small brown head that left a ring around the glass. It leaves a film coating over every inch of the glass that it touches.

S: Heavy plum scent with a coffee and alcohol smell when you really get your nose in it.

T: Cherry and port wine is my first thought on flavor. As it warmed a bit more I got more and more chocolate and hints of coffee.

M: Coats your entire mouth and leaves a great aftertaste. I could still really taste it 30 mins after I was done with the beer.

D: There was so much going on with this beer it was like a tastebud workout drinking the whole thing.

I got my limit on DL day and I think those will last me until DL Day 08. Overall I think it lives up to the hype, and it's a really amazing beer. (843 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 DosBeerigos
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Bottle Reviewed

C. Black
H. Clear on the corners
N. Boozie (Rum and Bourbon), Sweetness, and a hint of Espresso

Well the only other time I have had Dark Lord was at the release party for Hunahpu's. I was pretty intoxicated but was able to remember how good I thought it was. Well 2010 stood up to the hype, slapped the hype, then defecated all over it. This is a perfect Russian Imperial Stout, that is anything but hype. Everyone that sampled this bottle with me was amazed by the complexity of the beer, just as I was. The mouth feel was oily and creamy on the tongue. The flavors progressively changed with warmth, though one flavor of Cantaloupe stuck with me for a bit. Simply put; Darklord is Complex as HELL!!! GREAT BEER! (736 characters)

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

Had this on tap yesterday at DLD. First experience with the Dark Lord, and wondered if it would live up to the hype. It most definitely did.

A - Black as night. Thick as motor oil. Small brown head. One of the most intense looking beers I've ever seen.

S - Smell is very complex. Starts off with sweet chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee. As it warmed smell hinted more toward raisin and prune along with the previously stated.

T - Each drink of this beer gives you a new taste that you didn't notice during the last swig. You name it, it's probably there. Chocolate, coffee, brown sugar/molasses, roasted maltiness, raisins, prunes, hint of alcohol... but no where near the 13%.

M - Thick, coats your entire mouth. Smooth finish, but it stays with you for a good while after it's gone.

D - Very tasty, however not one you would drink in copious amounts. Even though I did have a couple yesterday....

Overall, DLD was great and this beer does not disappoint. (966 characters)

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

I had the opportunity to go to Dark Lord Day 2009, so I've had it on tap, but this review is for one of the bottles I bought, a 2009 22oz. poured into a pint glass. So good, I can't wait till March!

A: Pours as black as motor oil, and has a very slight, not even a finger, tan head to it.

S: Coffee, burnt molasses maybe? Mouth-watering might be a good, non-scientific term to use here.

T: Unreal. Coffee, chocolate, maybe some port, some sweetness, some bitterness. I really love this stuff.

M: Thick, syrupy and sticky, hardly any carbonation.

D: Honestly, when I had it at DLD, they were serving it in cups filled up to 5 or 6 ounces, and that was about perfect. I opened a bottle at home and ended up drinking it alone, as no one else wanted any. By the end of the bottle, I was wishing I had one of the 5 oz draft pours. DO NOT take on a whole bottle by yourself. (873 characters)

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

Incredibly smooth. Fresh out of the tap. Ebony liquid flows like cough syrup. Caramel colored head. The aromas are intense, sweet & malty. The first sip coats the mouth and throat with a sweet blackberry brandy-like warmth. Next thing I know, half the glass is gone & I already know I'm taking a growler home with me.

When they finally bottle this ambrosia of the damned(fall/winter 2003 if the rumors at Three Floyds are true) I can already picture the label. Lost souls lined up awaiting their turn to suckle at the teet of the Dark Lord. (543 characters)

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

Wow! I've never been able to pick a "favorite" beer, but I finally found a clear winner.

A- Reading the bottle, I thought it might be a bit exhaggerated, but not at all! "...head that starts out billowing the color of burnt oil like the Dark Lord rising from the black primordial beginnings." Sounds dead-on. All it forgot is the viscocity of burnt oil as well.

S- Slightly sweet, very roasty, slightly spicy, hints of vanilla and cocoa.

T- Unbelievable! Molasses, dark fruits, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, a complex oaky flavor, and a little spice. Note the slight, but well-hidden, alcohol presence and you've got deliciousness.

M- Thick, rich, slight carbonation, very slight alcohol warmth.

D- For a beer that leaves a film instead of lacing on the glass, this is about as drinkable as its gonna get (808 characters)

Photo of turbine2475
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mhewes for the chance to ry this brew for my 100th review:
A - Pours like motor oil with a large mocha head quickly that disipated leaving no lace
S - Dark chocolate, smoke, oak, tobacco.
T - All over the place oak, tobacco, dark chocolate, hearty espresso, semisweets, dark fruits, and currants.
M - Thick as hell and chewy with a low carbonation. Good coating with a decent alcohol burn...Very nice!
D - Awesome brew! One of the best accomplishment in attempting to balance extremity. Can wait to get more of this beer!! (532 characters)

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