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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

3,582 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,582
Reviews: 1,181
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.72%
Wants: 2,877
Gots: 1,537 | FT: 103
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: 3,582 | Reviews: 1,181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of patm1986
2.2/5  rDev -48.6%
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.

Photo of ShogoKawada
2.21/5  rDev -48.4%
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.

Photo of Tphelan9
2.25/5  rDev -47.4%

Photo of Jpepe08
2.25/5  rDev -47.4%

Photo of Petcha
2.25/5  rDev -47.4%

Photo of Danimal25
2.26/5  rDev -47.2%
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.

Photo of calise1122
2.28/5  rDev -46.7%
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

Photo of mykie73
2.3/5  rDev -46.3%
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.

Photo of Ryan011235
2.34/5  rDev -45.3%
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.

Photo of drewmprs
2.35/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Vintage 2008

I've had this beer a couple times fresh and have never been impressed. Way too thick and oily. There's also an overpowering dark chocolate flavor that takes over the faint cherry tones. This beer definitely needs a couple years to age. I haven't had the chance to taste one more than 2 years old so I might revise this rating in the near future.

Photo of kevinv
2.36/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2010 vintage poured into a pint glass.

Appearance:
Looks like motor oil. It pours a thick, oily, viscous pitch black. As you pour, it looks and even sounds very syrupy. The dark brown head dissipated quickly. Was only about a 1/2 finger at the max.

Smell:
Lots and lots of dark fruits. Strong on the molasses, brown sugar. Mild bourbon and chocolate scents. Very strong on the alcohol. This smells over the top sweet.

Taste/Mouthfeel:
Dark fruits (raisins??), molasses, chocolate. Holy ****, why is this so sweet? Not appealing at all. It's almost undrinkable. Pretty much zero carbonation and the thickness feels like sludge in your mouth which leaves a disgusting coating. You almost have to chew this beer to get it down. Feels like somebody poured syrup into my mouth.

Drinkability:
Very low drinkability. I'm pretty sure that I'm in the minority here, but this beer was bad. Really bad. Luckily, I split this with a friend, otherwise I'm pretty sure I would have poured the other half of the bottle out. This beer is definitely a sipper.

I had really high expectations going into this one and was excited to try it after seeking it out, but I was hugely disappointed. I think I want to try this one again at some point - maybe a different vintage - but this one was a letdown for me.

Photo of WillCarrera
2.41/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

8 oz pour, had this on-tap at DLD 2012, finally got around to reviewing this from notes.

A- Pours pitch black, very thick looking, produces no head at all, just an ominous pool of black.

S- Incredibly sweet aroma, molasses and caramel/toffee, some dark fruit and some booze, the aroma is nice but the sweetness is already concerning.

T- Jesus. Sweetness is unbelievable and highly cloying. All I'm getting is a mouth full of sugar. There are flavors beneath it, I'm getting molasses, caramel, fruit, some roast, coffee and booze, but in order to find them you have to first penetrate beneath this incredibly powerful sugar. The first thing I said after drinking it was "does it need to be this sweet?"

M- Full-bodied, massively thick, sticky, chewy feel, these are great attributes on their own, but in this beer the thickness and lingering sugar actually become pretty unpleasant in combination.

O- A huge disappointment, I had heard great things about this beer and was really looking forward to it, but what an under-attenuated, cloying nightmare this turned out to be. I struggled through an 8-oz pour. People actually like this beer?

Photo of TheChiefBrews
2.41/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

2013 Vintage

From other reviews I read here I knew this beer would be a sugar bomb, but this was unbelievably sweet. Diabetes in a glass. I couldn't finish my ~ 4oz taster. Just too sweet for my palate. Underneath the overwhelming sweetness there were some nice vinous raisin notes, but these were completely overshadowed by the sugar. I wish I could have tried this fresh as the coffee might have helped with the sweetness.

The creation of "Dude Lord"

One of the people tasting the beer remarked that it reminded him of Kahlua. No one in our tasting group was able to drink this sugary beast, so we decided to make it into a White Russian.

Recipe: 1/3 vodka, 1/3 dark lord 2013, 1/3 milk. Shake and strain over ice.

The dude lord was a slight improvement to the beer, and it allowed us to finish the bottle. The sweetness is cut nicely by the milk and ice. If you have a 2013 sitting around that is too cloying for you to drink, try this out. Just finish your glass before it starts to get chunky.

Photo of antoines15
2.46/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2011 bottle shared with J Bird and SB. Pours dark and thick and looks pretty good at this point. Unfortunately, it goes downhill from there. The smell doesn't really bring anything of note to the table. Taste is obnoxiously sweet, no coffee flavors at all, no flavor of any kind, just a sugary sweetness. Mouthfeel is thick, not too sticky, but the sweetness is all I can think about. Overall I was not impressed with this version. I liked it on tap at the release party but it has only gotten worse from there. I'm not sure if this is legal but I poured out about half of my glass. The Cardinals just hit a walk-off home-run to take game 6. OMG, what a game!

Photo of DovaliHops
2.48/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2009 Vintage...I have been waiting for a long time to try this beer. Pours a VERY THICK, motor-oil black with minimal-to-no head. Scent is VERY VERY sweet...with some off-putting soy sauce aromas. I also pick up some lovely chocolate and brandy aromas, along with molasses and dark malt. Slight vanilla. Taste is...WOW...disappointing to say the least. Overly sweet...a ton of sugar, burnt sugar and malt. Lots of toffee with candied dark fruits and more sweetness. Slight soy sauce flavor. Mouthfeel is very thick, like motor oil, and hardly any carbonation. Drinkability is fair...but can only have a small serving of this. Overall, this was not nearly as good as I was hoping for. It's not too often that I go against the hype, but this was just not a good beer IMO. The sweetness is overpowering and just makes for a bad experience. Will definitely not be trading for any more of this.

Photo of miketd
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of tourdot
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of Hophead717
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of fehrminator
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of toomuchhops
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of hansenm72
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of IrishColonial
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of TBlightning
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of jreamer
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,582 ratings.