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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.

1,219 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,219
Hads: 3,962
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 26.17%
Wants: 3,099
Gots: 1,869 | FT: 151
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: 1,219 | Hads: 3,962
Photo of psyphin
3.08/5  rDev -28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

09 Release poured into a Boulevard smokestack goblet.

A - Dark black and viscous with oily stains that recede into the glass as you drink it. The pour produced a 1/2 inch dark tan head that dissipated fairly quickly.

S - Heavy Malt, Chocolate, Mollasses, Brown Sugar, Figs, and Plumbs pours out of the glass. One of the most complex aromas from a beer I have ever experienced.

T - Heavy malt and slight bitterness dominate the flavor. Figs, port, and rasins make there way as the beer warms. A slight, but not totally unpleasent alcohol heat.

M - Just too thick. So much so that I kept concentrating more on how thick it was as opposed to how it tasted.

D - This beer is a sipper between friends. Drinkability and this beer don't go hand in hand. A small 8 ounce brandy snifter of this one is all of it I can really take.

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Photo of Dennoman
3.08/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 vintage (yellow wax), poured into a snifter.

A: Ruby red into mahogany brown, nowhere near as black as I like my big stouts to be. More reminiscent of a strong porter, has an awkward Coca Cola quality to it. Tan brown head, all in all it looks quite average.

S: Even at room temperature, I didn't get heaps off the smell. Minor coffee, caramel and dark fruits, but mostly booze and sugar. Slight irony notes, sickly sweetness and verging on unpleasant.

T: Caramel and dark fruits, no bitterness and no alcohol. Alcohol rushes in on the aftertaste, leading to a very dry finish that leaves almost nothing on the palate.

M: Sticky, oily and dry.

O: The hype completely killed this beer for me. I went into it with the thought: "with all the fuss, it had better be amazing" and it was a disappointing, unbalanced and sickly sweet mess. Any notes other than sugar were few and far between, leading to one of the most disappointing beer tastings I've ever undertaken. The sad demise of a would-be champion.

Reading all the reviews that praise this beer into the heavens, I wonder if either they or I were drinking something completely different from the same bottle.

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Photo of boredalready
3.09/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

2014 bottle. Wanted to like this but it was sickly sweet and a mess of malt and soy sauce. Poured most of it out. Hope with age the cloying sweetness mellows.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
3.11/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bomber split with brewer friend, each about 11oz pour.

Midnight black in color with a deep brown tinted head formation. Dissipates rapidly.

Nose is molasses sweetness, cocoa, and a solid coffee roast.

Taste follows suit with a huge molasses and stone fruit sweetness that coats the palate. Near cloyingly sweet at first, that unfolds a lot of complexity. After about 4 oz. this becomes rather hard to drink, the molasses like sweetness becomes too much, cloying. Roast character lingers back palate and finish is quite long.

Body is huge here, I can't even begin to imagine the final gravity of this beer.. perhaps should have taken a gravity reading. Silky full, carbonation is to par.

Overall, this beer just seemed to try to possess too much complexity for its' own good - to the point where it became a detractor. The overtly molasses quality almost seems as if part of the priming solution were actual molasses. This RIS is, although different, not as good as most basic beers of this style.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.11/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed during the second monthly "Beermageddon" with many others recently. 2013 vintage. Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle. Review is from my notes. Split with 7-8 other people. Even though this was the final beer I had from the night before I lost enough sobriety to review (or physically drink) any further beers, I'm reviewing this first because I have a lot to say about this one. I attended DLD, had a great time, and did indeed wait in line 3 and half hours to buy three of these. However, I learned over time more and more about criticisms of this thing (really, it's not a "beer" in my view) and also how much this polarizes people overall unlike probably any other offering in the country. Did it confirm these suspicions? Yes, and more! Read on.

Pours a thickened, motor oil, extremely viscous, resinous beast of an imperial stout. The brewers who crafted this definitely seem to have tried to make this the most over-the-top beer from the get-go, and it's evident in the appearance alone. Extremely opaque, which a soft, creamy milk chocolate covered head that quickly dissipates, leaving nothing behind. No lacing. No carbonation. Simply a putrid, dead, fortified wine looking beer. It actually is unlike any beer I've ever seen in that regard, although it's definitely very, very ugly and simultaneously pretty awesome.

The aroma is actually pretty great, combining loads of dark chocolate nibs with black cherries, currants, figs, and coffee extract in one giant load of sweetness and treacly, resinous manner. Extremely boozy, although it accentuates the sweetness within the initial phenols that make this pretty fascinating. Not as sugary sweet as I expected, but rather in the realm of sweetness imparted by brandies and Tawny port wines that I've had in the past. Other flavors linger, such as big molasses, caramel, vanilla, a dash of wood (?), and highly concentrated boozy caramelized notes. However, this all is pretty balanced here and comes in spades, but did not prepare me for what was about to happen next.

What happened next? I found myself pelted with a "stout" of the most extreme, harshest nature possible, resembling a combination of a chocolate liqueur, a sweet brandy, and port wine. Absolutely overwhelms the senses right away, combined a slightly burnt brown sugary, syrupy flavor with cherries, molasses, currants, blackberries underneath jaggery and caramel notes. Not as chocolate forward as I like it, and the coffee that this was infused with is nowhere to be found. The alcohol adds a ridiculous amount of sweetness to the beer, but it is also scarily hidden, resulting in an experience that knocks you off your feet if you're not careful. There's a lot of residual sugars and caramelized flavors, but what it makes up in decadence it lacks completely it complexity. No subtlety here, so don't seek this out if it's what you like in the style. The mouthfeel is decent at best, and while it does indeed lack extra carbonation, its sludgy feel reminds me of a heavily tannic and extra sweet port wine (a type of drink I enjoy) rather than a beer, so it's not horrible by any means - only average-minus for the style at hand, and in some ways unlike *anything* within the style. Pretty insane, and it's hard to know what FFF was going for here other than attempting to make the most "ballsy" beer possible, if that.

I know FFF is capable of subtle, delicious beers, and I realize this beer is an excuse to make one of the most ridiculous beers around and create an event out of it in a demented (and some would say brilliant) marketing scheme. I had a lot of fun at DLD for other reasons, but the outcome is definitely disappointing. However, with that said, this does get a high-ish overall score from me because no matter how cloying and grating the drinking experience of this beer is, it's easily one of the most memorable I've had, for better or for worse. It's by far my new favorite crappy beer, because as awful and unbalanced as it may be, it's a lot of fun to drink and is the most intimidating in the style - which is probably exactly what FFF is going for. If you want to see how an imperial stout *shouldn't* be made, but still want one to sample what could be THE hyperbole of craft beer, give this a shot. It definitely is worthy of discussion alone, whatever the hell it is.

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Photo of angrywolf
3.12/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2011 release. Going from some notes after I had this beer for a second time.

A: Reminiscent of motor oil with a thin brown head.
S: Chocolate, molasses, some coffee
T: Brownies, some coffee, and I'm sorry, but this is a sweet and cloying-yes, cloying-beer. Cloying to the point where I couldn't wait to finish my glass. This is probably the sweetest imperial stout I've ever had. I'm glad I drank both bottles with other people. A positive is that you can't taste the 15% ABV.
M: Thick and viscious, in line with other high-ABV imperial stouts. Almost flat.

O - I'm a big fan of most of Three Floyds' other offerings. Their Dreadnaught, Artic Panzer Wolf, Zombie Dust, Gumballhead, Alpha King, etc., etc. are amazing, but I feel this beer is more hype than anything else. Maybe this is meant to be aged, but most truly great RIS I've had are still awesome when fresh. If you haven't had this beer yet, don't feel too bad, there are better out there, nothing special about this one.

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Photo of alaimoa
3.12/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This is a review for a 5 year vertical on 11/15/13

Overall extreme disappointment in the 5 year DL Vertical with the only decent ones were 2010: ranked 4.5 overall and 2011 4.25 overall. The rest were all below average in my opinion with the actual event of doing a vertical making the entire rank at least average..

Beers poor, Event with the suspense and side by side Amazing.

--2008: Stickiest legs of all, aggressive bitter coffee with the flavor of burnt charred chicken, burnt molssaes and burnt brown sugar

--2009: too sweet and tart with a granny smith like twange to it. Motor oil appearance with a brown ringlet of film. smelled like burned coffee and nutty. Very sweet yet very bitter aftertaste

--2010: Favorite of the bunch. Best aroma, flaor, feel with nice complexity. Smell was a nice mix of sweet, roasty and figgy with charred chocolate. complex flavor of coffee, bitter choc and sweet fig in the back. Coffee lingers nicely. Dry feel at the end.

--2011: Second best in the tasting with dominating coffee notes. burnt coffee smell, less sticky than the 2008 but very thick in feel. Flavor was upfront sweet coffee leading to a brown sugar figginess

--2012: it wasn't disgusting but not great. slightly thinner than 2008/9 and like eating a bitter sweet chocolate bar with a ver dry aftertaste despite the sweetness

--2013: Worst of all with a horrendous smell and taste of rubbing alcohol as it warmed. Appearance had an orangy swirl, best carb, and most legs. least aggressive aroma but swet. Thinner than ofhers and comparable to a porter. Flavor and smell were resembling rubbing alcohol as it warmed"

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Photo of cwguy5
3.13/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to CarolinaKevin for a taste of this one! 2011 vintage sampled on 8.28.11.

A - black, dark and oily with only a tan ring for a head; minor lacing on glass
S - clover honey, bread, corn syrup, some solvent alcohol
T - whoa! sweet! cloying sweetness that instantly coats your mouth and overpowers some dark malt, rye bread in background; vanilla and bourbon at finish
M - thick and syrupy; heavy body coats mouth; almost completely flat
D - too heavy and cloying to even approach drinkable; not my favorite stout or style of stout for that matter; not much nuance or depth beyond the vanilla bourbon that doesn't jump out anyway; probably going to be ridiculed for this review but i really don't think it is that great.

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Photo of coffygrinder
3.16/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This review is based off of the 2012 bottle.

Dark black beer with little carbination. I looked at this beer for a long time, it was my first dark lord and wanted to soak it all in. This beer almost sticks to the side of the glass it appears thick and heavy.

Smell is... of sugary molasses . Not the best smelling beer around. Also picked up some green apples....(oops). Appears to be a sugar bomb, maybe should have waited to pop this beer but then again you wont know if you dont try.

It has a very thick mouth feel. You could almost chew on this beer.

I heard this was a bad year for dark lord and there were potentially some contaminated batches. I am glad that I was able to share this beer with friends. It would have been a hard beer to finsh by itself. That being said. the 2011 bottle that we opened on the same night was much better. Maybe just set the rest down for a good period of time.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.16/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Huge, HUGE thanks to Alewatcher for finally allowing me to check this big want off my list, after 2+ years of searching....thanks man!

Presentation: 22oz brown pop-top bottle, with yellow wax...2011 vintage.

Appearance: Pours an EXTREMELY viscous dark brown into the glass...in the glass, this is almost pitch black, but you can actually see through it around the edges a bit...the light tan head sticks around longer than I expected at 15% abv.

Smell: I'm getting some sweet chocolate fudge brownie batter, some medium-grade molasses, and a hint of dark rum....there's not a ton of depth here, but it's not unpleasant, if it's got a bit more molasses character than I generally care for.

Taste: No soy sauce, yayyyy! Ever since I've had a couple of really high abv stouts (and Triple Bock) and experienced this flavor, I'm always a bit afraid when I try a new one. So, we've got sweet brownie batter, a big hit of blackstrap molasses, some medium-roasted coffee (which really comes out with warming), and some fairly subdued dark roastiness. Sweet, sweet, sweet (if not quite overpowering). Not a HINT of 15% abv...I'd guess somewhere between 7-9%.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick, viscous

Overall: Again, I cannot thank Alewatcher anywhere nearly enough for finally hooking me up with this bad boy. This was, pretty much from the serious beginnings of my BA days, the one beer I really wanted to try, along with Westy 12. It may be a matter of me building this up in my mind beyond reasonable expectation. I don't mind the sweetness at all, though it's too much to drink an entire bottle without splitting it between 2-3 people. But, for me, there's not a real depth of flavor and, while the booziness is remarkably restrained, the flavors aren't particularly inspiring. The brownie/chocolate notes are nice, but the iron/molasses notes are a bit prominent after awhile. All in all, it's not a bad beer, but I now know that I won't go spend several hours driving to Munster and another couple of hours in line to get another one of these. Much better stouts out there, and way closer to home. Again though, huge thanks for the opportunity!

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Photo of litheum94
3.17/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2011 vintage with yellow wax.

Black on black body, like a black hole. Minimal brown head dissipates quickly.

Bunch of coffee at first. Decadent chocolate aromas. Vague 'plant like' tones, perhaps the vinous quality mentioned on the bottle.

Tons of sweet chocolate flavors with coffee, like a frappicino. Thick and viscous. The sugary sweetness keeps building until it coats the entire mouth.

Ugh. I felt dangerously close to falling into a diabetic coma after drinking this. I almost needed to brush my teeth because it felt like sugar was coating my teeth. The sweetness needs to be dialed way back; I could only finish half of my glass. The rest went to my wife, and she had just as much trouble finishing it. I have to say I was disappointed by this beer.

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Photo of BumpkinBrewer
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 vintage poured into a tulip glass and shared with a friend on International Stout Day

A: Pours like motor oil. Black as night with a tan head that fades quickly to a beige ring

S: Boozy with sweet dark fruits, a bit of coffee roastiness

T: Follows the nose. Sweet dark fruits with bitter roast and very sweet, slight alcohol burn

M: Very slick on the palate, sugars are tingling in the mouth, again the heat of the alcohol is very present

O: A little disappointing considering i sat on this for 2 years but still an interesting beer nonetheless. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of bultrey
3.2/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer is a mess. Why it gets such high marks is beyond me. But everybody's different, and I, for one, like just a little balance in my beers, even the smack-you-upside-the-head ones. Great color, good aroma, but just a thick, fudgy, coffeeish, alcoholic pancake syrup if you ask me. Again, mouthfeel is smooth and rich, a real revelation, actually, but I wouldn't want to drink more than a thimbleful of this in a sitting. Oh well, I guess I'll have to worship another lord.

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Photo of mikepcarney
3.21/5  rDev -25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2013. I ignored others in this one. I've always heard it tasted like suger and soy sauce. Open this up and was still carb'd. Poured into a snifter (Karbach) to a very thin head. Nice dark color. Then it hit the nose. SWEETNESS?! Odd I thought. Especially for the style that is stated. I smell molasses, raisins, and SWEETNESS! It's over powering. Next the taste. It hits the tongue and yuck! What is going on here? Sweetness up front so big that whatever happens afterwards doesn't really matter. Tastes like some put some PEZ in my beer. Id pour it if I hadn't chased this one down. My tongue is starting to hurt and my stomach is already siring. I will never recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.23/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Yellow wax 2011, as part of an Imperial Stout tasting on DL Day 2012.

Appearance: Didn't pour black. Taken aback by this, expecting it to be opaque like pitch. Left its characteristic yellow sheen on the glass, and had a nice head with plenty of lacing, considering the style.

Nose: Fruity, loaded with dark fruits. Not any notable roastiness, a bit of chocolate. Hint of hops.

Flavor: Fruity, and sickly sweet. Molasses and licorice.

Mouthfeel: Way too watery to be called an imperial anything. Last time I tried DL, it was like motor oil. I've had thicker milk stouts than this vintage.

Overall: The sweetness killed this vintage's enjoyability. Underattenuated? Too fruity and light. Needs some roastiness and robustness to compete. I'd rather have a Ten FIDY.

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Photo of Alpar
3.23/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 Bottle:

A: Rich opaque beast! Not much carbonation, just a few stray bubbles surfacing here and there. No head, although I tried to create one with my pour.

S: Smell is ok, nothing to write home to mom about but its decent. Some coffee and chocolate, typical of stouts, maybe anise and Malt O Meal?

T: Extremely thick and low carbonated, I love sweet stouts but this is just not doing it for me at all. I taste coffee and chocolate and TONS of sugar...

M: Nice and thick but the lack of carbonation makes this hard drink.

O: I've tried a few years of this beer the 09' was by far the worst I've had and the 11' is the best. Still not a fan of this and I am not sure if time will make me appreciate this beer more...

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Photo of sweemzander
3.24/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2009 Vintage.

(A)- Pours a thick and pitch black color. If Satan's heart were black, this is the color it would be. Produced a light layer of brown foam that dissipated after awhile. Seriously thick stuff; looks like motor oil.

(S)- A seriously rich raisin and molasses profile with a heavy caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Bits of vanilla, wood, and dark cocoa in the far background.

(T)- Again, a rich profile of heavy raisins. Some molasses and caramel in the middle. Finishes rather sweet with dusty cocoa and brown sugar. Bits of dark cocoa on the finish as it warms up.

(M)- A relatively low carbonation level and syrupy thick mouthfeel. Rich, sweet, and an overall malt monster. Its almost too thick for my liking.

(D)- I have very mixed feelings about Dark Lord. I love the smell, but everything else is rather mediocre. This is so thick that it is hard to put down. The carbonation is also a problem for me. If this wasnt like a syrup, I would like it much much more. It gets better as it warms up, but after the hassle it is to get this stuff and how much of a chore it is to drink, I would much rather grab something else for the style. When you open one of these have at least 4 people to split it. One of the hardest beers I have ever had to drink.

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Photo of mixylplik3
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got my hands on a bottle in '07 thanks to a friend of mine out in IL. I had been sitting on it for a special occasion so cracked it during the Super Bowl.

As I poured the viscous, used motor oil looking liquid into my glass the only thing I could think is "what have I gotten myself into?" My new-found affinity for darker stouts and porters (and the hype) had me anxiously awaiting the first sip. Lacing was non-existent and to borrow a wine term- this brew has legs. Actually, it doesn't have legs so much as an oily residue.

The taste? Well, it tasted okay. Chocolate, coffee, smoke... the "dark" flavors are all here. Then there is that alcoholic bite, which helps keep the soy and roasty syrup at bay.

The mouthfeel is heavy, oily, and stifling. The flavors linger but are overwhelmed by the heavy consistency. The flavor to me was simply overpowered by the dense liquid. As a result, I can't say I'd ever seek this out again. Worth trying once.

Not really impressed. Succeeding at beyond over-the-top, but not enjoyable to drink. I ended up pouring the last 1/3 of the bottle.

March 2011...
Recently had some 2010, and didn't like it. I will not change my original review, but this beer is grossly overrated, IMO. Not an enjoyable RIS. I'd give it lower marks if I re-reviewed it.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.26/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Glugs out of the bottle with a deep tan head that cascades in slow motion...very surreal to watch it s l o w l y collapse. Jet black color in the glass, impervious to light. Intense deep dark fruit nose with prunes dominating, some herbal roasty/grainy notes. Very thick viscuous mouthfeel really detracts here, coats the mouth and doesn't let up, with more pruney flavor, sweet treacle and molasses then an undercurrent of roasted malt comes in clear. Afterwards, some hop bitterness shows up as an afterthought. The finish is long due to the oil-like thickness of the brew. It's really a tad too thick for me to enjoy at all, I'm glad to finally get to try this one, but to me it just does not live up to the hype here. I'll take a Bell's Expedition over this anytime.
Thanks to jackndan/BIF6.

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Photo of JToad
3.26/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've given Darklord 3 tries, and I keep coming up with the same notes, so hear goes my review:

After obtaining this directly at Darklord day, my expectations were high. I poured it directly into my Samichlaus goblet. It was motor oil pitch black. Thick and dark, with nice tan lacing.

Smells of burnt fruit, and metal. Chocolate and coffee thrown in there as well. A lot of smells going on, almost too many.

First taste is of metallic, bitter chocolate. You can really taste the burnt fruit. Not at all what I hoped for.

It was hard for me to finish this beer. Im not a huge fan of stouts, but there are so many others I prefer. Bourbon County Stout, Kentucky Breakfast I enjoy much more.

All in all, I'm a tad dissapointed. I tried a sample of the Vanilla Bean DL and it was awesome. This beer just seemed like a clusterfu*k of flavors, and it didn't work for me at all.

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Photo of BrewUSA
3.27/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Look 9/10
Smell 16/20
Taste 27/40
Feel 5/10
Drinkability 15/20

Overall 73/100

Way to sweet and rich for my liking... Some things are just 'too good' to be true. Super, super sweet and so danm malty it's almost like chewing on tar. The malty sweetness is far too over the top for me to ever pay the price on this again~

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Photo of codynevels
3.28/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber poured into a The Bruery Tulip tasted side by side with CC Hunahpu’s

2010 Vintage (Olive wax) reviewed from notes on June 29th, 2011

This beer pours a completely opaque black body with a small amount thin mocha head that leaves minimal lacing. It is not quite as viscous as I expected it to be. It pours out of the bottle rather thin. The smell is coffee, chocolate, and a sweet caramel maltiness. Not an incredibly structured or complex aroma. The aroma is somewhat one-dimensional. The taste is one-dimensional as well. Chocolate and sweet maltiness dominates. This beer has a medium body that isn’t quite thin, but not as thick as I was led to believe. There is a fair amount of alcohol burn in the finish.

Overall, this is not a bad beer, it tasted alright to me, however, it is not very complex and the alcohol is not as well hidden as it should be. This beer seems like it may not be all hype, but it is mostly hype. I have had off the shelf imperial stouts that outperform this beer on almost every level, besides hype of course.

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Photo of mentor
3.29/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Okay, my second review of the 2005 release. My first review was less than stellar and I was concerned that I'd had an unusually off sample. This bottle was provided by GCBrewingCo so I could have an independent sample. Thanks for the opportunity.

This bottle was shared with absolutesites and Chris Black. Thank goodness, as I *never* could have choked this down all by myself. This bottle was better than the first one I tried, but still not something that knocks my socks off.

Pours incredibly viscous. A short dark brown frothy head hangs over an utterly pitch black liquid. Smells caramel, roast, chocolate, and alcohol. A floral hop that I can only describe abstractly as 'spherical'. Some sour from black patent. It's hidden beneath the other scents, but I imagine they used a boatload of it to make this beer. Taste is so potent in roast and chocolate that little else can be detected. Some alcohol and a bit of cherry sour. What I get new in this bottle is that there is some molasses that leaves the way for some dark fruits. At this point, just prunes, but there is hope for more as the beer ages. Super-thick syrupy mouthfeel with mild carbonation. The aftertaste just hangs around as a bitter roast torment in the back of my throat and on the flat of my tongue.

The only way I could finish my portion was to actually dilute it, 2 parts DL and one part water. This was a great combination that made for a really roasty dry stout.

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Photo of coryking
3.3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle of the 2009, enjoyed January 2010...

Poured jet black and thick! Little head, but can see some with a vigorous swirling of my glass. Nice alcohol legs on the glass. Very complex nose of molasses, brown sugar, alcohol, chocolates, cocoa, and coffee. Also a huge presence of raw malts and hops to balance everything. Unfortunately, I kind of disappointed with the taste. The only positive is that it hides the alcohol completely. The rest is a cloying sweetness of a beer. Straight table sugar sweetness. Obviously, a lot of other things going on, but the cloying sweetness is overwhelming. Mouthfeel is super thick and heavy and syrupy. Drinkability is nonexistent. Too much sugar and extra fermentables, not enough balance. Maybe with age, things will change. I heard that the 10 bottles are much, much better! I hope so...

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Photo of digita7693
3.3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I have tried both the 2009 vintage, with about 6months on it, and a 2010, similar notes for both. But the review is for 2009.

A dark, oily, but not super thick, slight tan head

S syrup, molasses, coffee and maybe a hint of vanilla, not bad but very malty, all most overpoweringly sweet smell

T way too much sugar in this, its as if someone filled my IS with maple syrup, some soy sauce qualities in it. Just ends up being too much sugar and soy sauce, a stomach ache waiting to happen

M/D decent carbonation and coats the mouth nicely with the myriad of flavors, but it is simply too much.

overall I am very disappointed in this beer, for me it is a sweet syrupy mess, covered up somewhat by soy sauce. There are a ton of better IS out there. Perhaps, as some have suggested, I really just need to try one that has a bit more age on it.

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,219 ratings.