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Dark Lord Imperial Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,623 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,623
Reviews: 1,191
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.72%
Wants: 2,933
Gots: 1,551 | FT: 105
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: 3,623 | Reviews: 1,191 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ruppert2p
1.98/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

2011 Dark Lord Imperial Stout picked up by my son at Dark Lord Day and shared with friends during a night of beer and boardgames.

It poured jet black with red highlight when the wine glass was held up to the light. A gentle pour yielded a subtle head of tight tan bubbles. The nose was full of molasses, toasty malts, raisins and alcohol. First sips yielded a strange vegetal taste . It is very sweet with hints of dirt, and vanilla—maybe soft fruits. As it warmed, alcohol became more dominant with warming sherry notes and a hint of coffee. Full and round mouth feel. I was prepared to like this more than I did. I am sure it would become more rounded with age.

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2/5  rDev -53.3%

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2/5  rDev -53.3%

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2/5  rDev -53.3%

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2/5  rDev -53.3%

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2/5  rDev -53.3%

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2/5  rDev -53.3%

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2/5  rDev -53.3%

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2/5  rDev -53.3%

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2/5  rDev -53.3%

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2/5  rDev -53.3%

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2/5  rDev -53.3%

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2.04/5  rDev -52.3%

Photo of salvo
2.13/5  rDev -50.2%
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.

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.14/5  rDev -50%
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

Photo of AlexFields
2.15/5  rDev -49.8%
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

Photo of kzoobrew
2.19/5  rDev -48.8%
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.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,623 ratings.