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Dark Lord Imperial Stout - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,093 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,093
Reviews: 1,143
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,672
Gots: 1,390 | FT: 91
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
2004 - Red Wax
2005 - Orange Wax
2006 - Gold Wax
2007 - Silver Wax
2008 - Black Wax
2009 - White Wax
2010 - Olive Green Wax
2011 - Yellow Wax
2012 - Red Wax
2013 - Orange Wax
2014 - Blue Wax

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Lord Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,093 | Reviews: 1,143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bobbydigi
Bobbydigi

Kansas

2/5  rDev -53.3%

11-14-2011 07:59:38 | More by Bobbydigi
Photo of Franch
Franch

New York

2/5  rDev -53.3%

01-08-2013 20:58:37 | More by Franch
Photo of Azrael
Azrael


2/5  rDev -53.3%

02-12-2013 05:03:37 | More by Azrael
Photo of soldat329x
soldat329x

Illinois

2/5  rDev -53.3%

09-10-2013 02:14:46 | More by soldat329x
Photo of ipafool
ipafool

Oregon

2/5  rDev -53.3%

11-29-2011 06:57:02 | More by ipafool
Photo of calivessel
calivessel

California

2/5  rDev -53.3%

06-26-2014 08:46:38 | More by calivessel
Photo of leftoverburrito
leftoverburrito

Oregon

2/5  rDev -53.3%

06-25-2014 01:26:28 | More by leftoverburrito
Photo of ploobs
ploobs

Illinois

2/5  rDev -53.3%

03-11-2012 20:35:55 | More by ploobs
Photo of brandonpeiffer
brandonpeiffer

Michigan

2/5  rDev -53.3%

05-30-2012 16:48:08 | More by brandonpeiffer
Photo of JDM44
JDM44

Texas

2/5  rDev -53.3%

11-06-2013 04:28:10 | More by JDM44
Photo of crosamich
crosamich

Florida

2/5  rDev -53.3%

01-16-2012 01:51:06 | More by crosamich
Photo of ArchEnemyBrew
ArchEnemyBrew

Washington

2/5  rDev -53.3%

11-15-2011 04:45:35 | More by ArchEnemyBrew
Photo of Pillowburn
Pillowburn

Michigan

2/5  rDev -53.3%

02-11-2012 19:47:33 | More by Pillowburn
Photo of Kodi
Kodi

California

2/5  rDev -53.3%

12-05-2012 05:45:27 | More by Kodi
Photo of salvo
salvo

Indiana

2.03/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I had the 2008 at the 2009 DLD festival and have since had the 2009 (Thanks, Thomas, you know who you are). So many love this concoction and it truly has played an important part of establishing 3Floyds as a premier visionary brewer. However, I find Dark Lord undrinkable. In part (if you look at my beer thoughts) this is due to a dark roasted malt that gives me headaches, but overwhelmingly I just do not think of this or Utopias or similar extreme brews as particularly appealing to actually consume. And I accept this as heresy. Guilty as charged. That said:

A: Dark opaque black with a thick resilient head that is dark brown. I have never seen as dark a head. Ommegang's Chocolate Indulgence Stout is closest in the head color and retention. On tap, it persisted for the full hour it took me to drink it.
S: If I could, I would want a snuff box that smelled of Dark Lord. I would seek out the smell of dark lord, which has fig and date notes along with deep, dark malts and hints of the citrus hops that balances the beer. Missing entirely from the smell is the sweetness.
T: Such a disappointment: the sweetness is cloying and overwhelms everything, and this may be a serious component that changes with time and so will try again when the last 2009 bottle reaches 2 full years of cellaring. That and the headache.
M: Covers, oozes, fills, plasters the mouth. I imagine the (original) Blob movie as I try to smack my tongue and lips trying to free my mouth from its sticky covering.
D: Low. I may enjoy half an ounce of Dark Lord at the end of a long session. Any more is simply too much.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2010 16:52:17 | More by salvo
Photo of AlexFields
AlexFields

Tennessee

2.08/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is the 2011 vintage, poured from the bottle a few months after its release

Appearance is not ominously black as you might expect from the beer's name, but more of a darkish caramel brown color. I'd believe it if you told me it was an imperial porter or imperial brown. A fairly thin head appears and then disappears.

Smells sweet and malty. Obviously not going to be real big on the roast or smoke.

Wow, the taste is pretty bad. I expected it to be over the top in sweetness, but I did not expect it to be downright awful. The problem here is not so much the sweetness (I like me some really sweet beers, including really sweet imperial stouts) as it is that the flavors just aren't good ones. A molasses bomb in the worst sense, I'm having trouble thinking of other specific descriptive terminology but this is pretty rough. You can tell there's coffee in it if you look for it, but the coffee is contributing an odd caramel kind of flavor and not the roasty coffee flavors found in other, better stouts with coffee added.

Mouthfeel? I'm not really sure. My mouth was in a state of shock over the bizarre flavors of this beer and didn't take a lot of note of how it "felt," but I guess it was pretty thick and chewy.

Overall, just a really terrible beer, by far the worst beer I've ever had that has an A rating on Beer Advocate.

3.9/10

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 18:55:39 | More by AlexFields
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

2.13/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2010 vintage, my 3rd DL. Still a drain pour.

A: Poured a solid black with good carbonation and a nice brownish head, some lacing present.

S: Immediate soy, tobacco leaves, leather, smoked meats, choco cherries

T: Immediate soy sauce, raisins and prunes, tobacco leaves, chocolate covered cherries, more soy sauce(dying or dead yeast), roastiness which transitions to leather, smoked meat, booze sting with a bitter chocolate, bitter, harsh, boozey finish. that soy and leather just kill me.

M: Big body, heavy and harsh

O: One of the most overrated beers of all time...gotta love that hype train

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2012 03:36:41 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of kzoobrew
kzoobrew

Michigan

2.13/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Jason. I thank you for the bottle, do not hold the contents against you.

2011.

Dark Lord, you haunt my dreams. I wake up in a cold sweat only to find you lingering on my tongue. Sand paper is no match for your relentless onslaught of sweetness. I would remove my tongue if I thought it would help, I trust you would find a way to overcome that obstacle. I humbly beg for mercy, your wrath is more than I can handle.

Black, obsidian, opaque, void of light, pure evil. Minimal deep brown head, this too soon becomes victim to the menacing villan that lurks beneath.

The aroma, the wolf in sheeps clothing. The aroma could be described simply as sweet, though that would not do it justice. Sugary, syrupy malt. Overloaded with chocolate, simply intense. I struggle to find anything below the sweetness. Minimal roast, slight coffee maybe. When anybody goes to this much trouble to masks their darkness with sweetness you no their intentions are anything but pure.

The taste, pure evil is unleashed. Sweet, why are you doing this to me type of sweet. Step aside Creme Brulee, your instant diabetes is no match for me kind of sweet. There is some chocolate there, scant amounts of coffee and roast, each of which is dwarfed but a flavor that can only be described as sweet. Sugar water sweetness, undiscernible flavor, can only be described as sweet.

Full bodied, syrupy texture. Dark Lord lays so heavy my mouth appears to be watering. Do not be fooled, my tongue is actually crying. The mouthfeel is just excessive in every aspect. Too big, too syrupy, finish is too long.

I do not want to say that all Dark Lords are this evil, but this vintage is some special type of evil. It is just too much. Even a small pour ravaged me. I feel no shame in admitting weakness, I am simply not man enough to tame the evil with in this bottle. This is a vintage I will avoid in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 16:17:58 | More by kzoobrew
Photo of patm1986
patm1986

New Jersey

2.15/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

a-bubbly, fast-disappearing head. prune juice body. still. dead-looking.
s-hickory smoked bacon fat, charcoal, prunes, raisins, band aids, boooze, sharp cheddar(?), worcestershire sauce.
t-burnt pork, smoked meat, smoked band aids, corn syrup, granulated sugar, soft chocolate.
m-grainy, thin, slimy.
o-honestly, and i hate doing this, but i did not like this beer. i found it undrinkable. and each member of my tasting group agreed. it tasted incredibly artificial: imitation sweetener, liquid smoke, "natural flavors."
it(i'm sorry) made me a bit nauseous. i hope i can try this out again to see if we had a bad bottle or some deviate issue.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 14:21:20 | More by patm1986
Photo of ShogoKawada
ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

2.15/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Rad this at MA BA meeting no. 1. White Wax, 2009 I think.

From notes:

A- Black as midnight. Syrupy in the pour. No head at all, but can't knock it @ 13%.

S- Candied plums, rasins. Brown, burnt sugar. Maple. Caramel. Mild bourbon.

T- Dates, plums, figs. Figs are very prominent. Roasted malt, black coffee. Sugary sweetness that is way too much. No thanks. All over the place... heavy-handed fruit sweetness, malt sugars, and even a bit of tartness. Eeew.

M- Thick, like molasses. I feel like I'm in the scene in super troopers where they're chugging bottles of syrup. Zero carbonation. Really would have helped, I think.

D- I might get reamed for this... but this reminds me of triple bock. Like, really reminds me of it. I hate to say it, but I think I liked triple bock more, too! Too sweet, too syrupy, and a bit of soy. No thanks.

More for you guys, I won't be seeking this one out again. So it goes. I can see how some people love this stuff, but it's nowhere near drinkable to me.

I saw another reviewer call this 'fermented prune juice'. I think he might be on to something.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 14:57:06 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of mykie73
mykie73

Oregon

2.2/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

2009; thanks for standing in line Rhinos00!

A) most motor oil looking beer I've seen, thick, not much of a head at all. rather still, would like to see some carbonation.

S) burned chocolate, licorice, currants, leather, figs. and booze. pleasant but not blown away.

T) syrupy sweet mess with rubbing alcohol and burned currants. way too hot. not sure why anyone can enjoy this in this state.

M) a lot thinner than it looked actually but still quite thick.

D) Split with a friend...wish I had at least three more friends to split it with in that moment.

Might be truly overrated...or just released way too early.

I have two more bottles (don't expect cracking them for two years at least).

I have loved everything else from Three Floyds...besides this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 22:34:03 | More by mykie73
Photo of calise1122
calise1122

New York

2.25/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2009 Bottle

And so it began...

Three men, on a journey... one, really stinky... two cameras, both broken,... what happens next:

White wax top, drips down the side of the neck in a way that would make Taylor Rain look like an alter girl.... and yes, its 2009 and we have alter girls.

And yet, with a innocent white wax cover hovering over the top of the beer... the two other fellas in the room are talking about alter boys, sex, porn stars dancing, and possibly prostitution... and finally, the cap is popped and a nearly invisible cloud of mist follows Chris's hand back to his lap... oh dark lord, this bottle is talking to us.

A: tobacco spit, jet fuel, darkness....

Oh shit, I just spilt dark lord on the floor and I am getting some stares... but gregc just legitimately crapped his pants and we are getting nervous.

..A continued: quick carbonation fades to nearly nothing, but yet has frappe/milkshake sort of viscosity to it.

S: Glue, making one of our friends gag, smells like soy sauce, very salty... sort of fishy, with a ton of cocoa, vanilla, car paint, nail polish... not sure we all like it. It is very pungent, but not in necessarily a good way... in a C+ kind of way. Hmmm...

T: Hot, burnt my mouth, like drinking acid. Charcoaly, but in a bad way.. like when your steak is cooked over kerosene lit fire... seems artificial smokey mess.

M: Thin, watery, droopy, kind of like "pancake titties". 3 grown men pretty disappointed. This beer is putting one of us to sleep... to sleep. Are you kidding me. Urgh

D: Rather not

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 06:24:11 | More by calise1122
Photo of Danimal25
Danimal25

Illinois

2.25/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Opened a bottle of 2013 Dark Lord last night. I have to say, it was a grand disappointment. After pouring in a tulip glass, I gave it whiff and was caught off guard by the interesting, funky nose on the beer. The flavor, however, was far worse. Overwhelmingly sweet, bland, and metallic. There are minimal tasting notes here, as it literally tasted like sugar, metal, roasted barley, and cardboard.

May have had a bad bottle - will update I find different results with other bottles.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 14:26:20 | More by Danimal25
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

2.25/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter on 4/12/10; shared with two friends

2009 vintage

The color is a very dark scorched crimson brown, which appears jet black once settled in the glass. I honestly don't know as that I'd liken it to motor oil. Is it dense, thick & viscous? Yeah, man. But motor oil? The pour resulted in hardly any head. Despite a few intense swirls conjuring the most minute layer of film, there is nothing in terms of retention. Of course it follows that there is no lacing.

The aroma is pretty good. Dark fruits & burnt malts are notable. Notes of prunes, plum, raisins & currants, though the latter is a little less apparent than the others. Molasses, caramel, brown sugar overtones. Something in there is akin to tobacco - maybe dip spit. Hints of sweet dark chocolate. This smells very sweet; maybe too much so. Some alcohol heat is apparent as well.

Upfront, I think the taste is rather good. It is a complex culmination of burnt malts, potent dark fruits & sugars. Smooth & sweet milk chocolate blends with hits of roasted coffee. My enjoyment of the taste starts to wane during the middle when a much-too-potent sweetness becomes apparent. It just turns into a sticky sweet mess, in my opinion. The problem seems to stem from the beer trying to do too much at once. On the one hand are the burnt aspects, on the other, the sweet aspects - either of which would be passable were the other scaled down. Couple that tobacco harshness & I think it's just too much. This sentiment is only intensified by a weird numbing medicinal quality that manifests toward the end. Meh.

For the most part I can't fault the mouthfeel. The body is full with reasonable viscosity. Carbonation is appropriately very low. Lingering on the finish are notes of burnt tobacco & alcohol. Unfortunately the numbing quality detracts from the overall feel. Other than that the mouthfeel is quite good.

While I didn't find Dark Lord "all it's cracked up to be," I would not be opposed to trying it again. I would actually like to try it fresh to see if the harsher nature of the beer overshadows the sweetness as I presume it might. As it stands, this beer is still suspect in my opinion. I will certainly update & adjust accordingly if I have a different experience.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2010 23:17:06 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of Jpepe08
Jpepe08

Vermont

2.25/5  rDev -47.4%

01-22-2014 02:17:37 | More by Jpepe08
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 3,093 ratings.