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

Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

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

2,822 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2822
Reviews: 1128
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 14.92%


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

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,822 | Reviews: 1,128 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of IrishRedRock
IrishRedRock

Pennsylvania

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

So my good friend and fellow BA ElGuapo (herein referred to as Deez) is at my apartment Friday night and we plan on heading to the shore on Saturday for the holiday weekend. Thus, we need to begin our weekend with some good brews. Now he knows I have this bottle of Dark Lord, and I know he knows, and we both know we've been trying to get our hands on this elusive beer for the better part of 2 years now. And BuckeyeNation sent me a bottle in trade. So I says, "whaddaya think...we drink that bottle of Dark Lord, see if it stands up to the hype?" Deez thinks this is a good idea.

So here we go. We need to sit down for this one. It takes me a minute to pry the cap off from under the thick wax atop. Thank the (dark) lord we're splitting this bottle, as I can smell the alcohol almost immediately. Pours dense. Black. Thick. The body, the head, appears meringue thick, the head a chestnut brown. Stays this way throughout the life of the beer in my glass. Wow.

Aroma is extremely complex and at this point I'm thinking, maybe this really will live up to its billing. Rich, dark chocolate covered cherry nose with licorice, anise, coffee, oily hops and booze. The taste...follows suit. Holy crap. Viscous and creamy, with a mouthfeel that I can only describe as perfection - uncomparable smoothness unlike that I've ever encountered. Carbonation is barely detectable yet you know its there. You'd never mistake this for being flat. Complexity abounds. Dark fruit drizzled in melted Godiva Dark, earthy gourmet coffee and a dark maltiness meld seamlessly with a mildly bitter, chewy hop finish. Alcohol is warming and noticeable without overshadowing any of the flavors.

So if there are any naysayers out there, any unbelievers or nonbelievers that this can be as good as people say it is. Bulee' dat! It is. And then some. I'm keeping it on the ol' "want list" because I want more. I want an endless supply. It's that good. BuckeyeNation...I will trade whatever to get more of this. Many many many thanks.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2005 18:41:00 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of Bumpon10s
Bumpon10s

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep, dark, very viscous. Pours very slowly, with a thin tan head and nice lacing.

Smell: A simple swirl unlocks chocolate, coffee, smoky fruits and alcohol.

Taste: Holds even more suprises than the aroma, more chocolate and coffee, a even harder hit of smoke and alcohol with notable cherry.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and very velvety. A delight to all the surfaces.

Drinkability: Would have recieved a 5 were not for a above average ABV. As much as I'd absolutley love for this to be an everyday beer, it is an "special occasion" only due to price and my envy for it.

This is very well the best beer I've ever had, prior to this I had a scattered love for deep stouts, but this brought me around. It is simply too good for someone not to try at least once. Were I to have a final meal, this would be my choice of beer, bar none.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2005 02:41:25 | More by Bumpon10s
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured out with a buh-lack hue topped with a buh-rown head cap loaded with hop infused coating.

Scents are a decent malty coffee and pancake flour.

First swigs: Deep espresso and flour thick rum brandy Irish coffee hints. Some Hot heat brought out by the high ABV.

Feel is thick as thick can be. Reminds of Thomas Hooker thick, and caramelly deep cake as can be.

Drinkability is hindered by the overwhelming coffee, but all in all, it is good. Close to Great Divide Yeti, yet with a je nai' c'est quoi. Good beer. Worth trying. I can't get over the "rare beer is sooo good" factor.

Beer is good. Happy beering. Thanks to orbitalr0x for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2005 06:36:40 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Note: I've had this bottle for quite some time and never really got around to reviewing it because I just didn't believe the hype.... well, trust me, you can believe the hype! It's remarkable!

It pours a stunningly dark black body beneath a huge head of creamy dark brown foam that eventually drops, but still maintains a wide, creamy collar and almost complete surface covering until halfway through the glass (which can be a very long time). Additionally, the lacing could be a bit better, but for a beer of 13% there's not much more than you can ask of this.

The nose expresses sticky sweet, dried dark fruit; some typical "burnt currant"; lightly spiced cookies with ginger and cinnamon (probably due to its alcohol); ...alcohol; a nip of black licorice; and some dark and sweet mocha java.

In the mouth it's quite full bodied and viscous... passingly amazingly smoothly, but still more like motor oil than anything creamy.

The flavor is more intense than the nose suggests with dripping, juicy fruit (red and dark); toasty caramel-drizzled oatmeal cookies; chocolate; molasses; and leafy hops. It finishes semi-sweet but not cloying (despite its girth); with quick passing notes of fruit and chocolate that fade to caramel, chicory, honey, coffee, and then lingering wet tobacco.

I intitially thought that the drinkability of this was hindered by its intensity, but I've change my mind on that. As you progress through the glass, it warms and changes and becomes more complex. It's a sipper, not unlike a Sam Adams Triple Bock or Dogfish Head World Wide Stout; and as such, it has a great drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2005 23:52:26 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -24.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2005 03:35:42 | More by mentor
Photo of ejquin
ejquin

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a re-review for me. The first time I reviewed this beer it was at the end of the night and I had had a few other beers before hand. This time I wanted to be able to sit down and concentrate on just this bottle alone. Both reviews are of the 2005 vintage.

App: Blacker than Black with a clingy frothy dark brown head

Smell: Coffee, slight cherry aroma, and chocolate. Touch of anise as well.

Taste: Heavy coffee and chocolate up front mixed with a hop bitterness that stays through the finish. Helps obscure alcohol a bit but it's still there. There's a slight fruit twinge as well.

Mouth: Heavy and silky smooth. Great carb level.

Drink: Good

Overall: Well basically, yeah, this is as good as I thought it was In my top couple beers of all time. It's just magnificent.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2005 01:55:03 | More by ejquin
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours out an incredibly dark black viscous color with a beautiful tawny head and some lacing; the head fails to last, however and the liquid just sits there like molasses

Smell: Starbucks on steroids; deep roasted coffee bouquet with lots of dark cocoa powder and alcohol mixed in

Taste: Incredible stout flavors; lots of deep rich coffee, dark dark chocolate and hints of dark fruit swirl around the tongue with a nice bitter chocolate finish with a touch of mint

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous; moderate carbonation; plenty of warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Not to be indulged everyday, this stout demands a special occasion; a wondrous potion with an incredible mouthfeel that sets it apart from other beers

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2005 02:18:16 | More by brentk56
Photo of Gaisgeil
Gaisgeil

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm, ugh... spellbound, this beer is a real monster deserving of it's title, this a beast. Everything about it is over the top, taking a huge style like Russian Imperial Stout and bringing it to a new level. I've had some very good RIS's before, but this one definatly has a bit of an edge.

Appearance is absolutely gorgeous, it looks like a glass of pudding, extremely viscous and eye catching, very, very appealing. Nose smacks of bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, molasses and alcohol, extremely strong. Someone mentioned chocolate cake, I think that hits it spot on, delicious, luscious chocolate cake. There is a lot of complexity underlying though, raisins, vanilla, huge on the malts, but perfectly balanced in bitterness. Carbonation is near perfect as is mouthfeel. This brew was accompanied by a gorgeous medium brown head, frothy and inviting.

This beer really is a masterpiece, not something to drink all the time, but definatly something to make an event out of.

Slàinte!

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2005 08:51:03 | More by Gaisgeil
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 edition. Impenetrable, tenebrific, inky, utter blackness. This is where light goes to die. The Stygian darkness fits so aggressively against the glass, crowding out all semblance of light so completely, that the glass itself seems to have disappeared. The cinnamon colored head was a cascading behemoth during and after the pour and is now a solid two finger mass of dense, heavy cream. It looks as if the 13.0% ABV has effectively scared off any lace. No matter, this is one of the most impressive looking beers that I've ever seen. I can't award perfection, though, with no lace.

The rich, powerful nose is redolent of dark chocolate, dark caramel-toffee, molasses-soaked hops and amazingly little coffee. I'm surprised that it isn't quite as bombastic and as menacing as I had hoped. The aroma is deep and multi-faceted for sure, but since I can imagine a better nose, and have smelled a few, it doesn't earn the ultimate compliment of a 5.0.

The apocalyptic flavor is as expansive and as mouthfilling as they come. With barely controlled fury, The Dark Lord rides roughshod over all in his path... currently my taste buds. There's a tripartite flavor profile of fudgey chocolate, melted caramels and coffee liqueur. Each sip is like an explosion of the most amazing beer candy in the universe. It's much sweeter than expected, but I absolutely love it.

The obdurate, rock solid backbone of hugely roasted malt has very little charred character. All rough edges have been effectively smoothed over by a teeming, sticky river of dark honey and molasses. Each sip shoots me up to dizzying heights filled with swirling, thick ropes of intertwining flavor: chocolate, caramel, treacle, coffee, more chocolate... ad infinitum. It then lets me down frightfully easily on a diminishing, lingering tide of those same amazing flavors.

What to say about the body? This is, without a doubt, the biggest, thickest, most viscid beer that I've ever had. I'll dispense with the much deserved string of adulatory adjectives and say simply that Dark Lord's mouthfeel is sheer perfection. It's hard to believe, but the 13.0% ABV is very nearly completely hidden. I pick up a trace of it on the finish, but it's a beautifully integrated, perfectly polished addition to the mind blowingly complex whole. Make no mistake though, its soporific power is threatening to overwhelm my senses, and a soft place to land is now high on my list of priorities.

This bottle has been lying in wait, biding its time, eagerly awaiting its chance to impress the hell out of me for well over one year now. And the hell has been impressed out of me and then some. DL is a legendary beer that deserves every one of the breathless accolades from its legion of devoted acolytes. Count me among the converted. All hail the Dark Lord!

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2005 21:16:43 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of tiodan
tiodan

Washington

4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

out of the bomber, into a snifter. pours thick and viscous, completely opaque with a nice dark tan head that settles after a minute or two to leave a nice ring of lace as i work my way through this monster. smells of chocolate cake, dark coffee, molasses, and maybe a bit of human blood. the taste is incredibly restrained and subtle for a bone crushing, 13% stout: chocolate, creamy coffee, plums (?), and a creeping, extremely subtle alcohol sting that reveals itself more and more as the beer warms. i've never had a bottled beer so finely carbonated, and the combination of this smoothness with the intense viscosity lets me coat each and every part of my mouth with this glorious beer before it slinks away to warm my belly and curl my toes. how to rate the drinkability? this is certainly the antithesis of a session beer, but the perfect flavor and impeccable mouthfeel make for easy, utterly enjoyable drinking. i can scarcely imagine a beer being better.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2005 03:15:54 | More by tiodan
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Received courtesy of that great BA Mentor. Thanks! I am sharing the bottle with Stopper at just below room temperature in a pint glass.
I begin to pour the beer into my glass. Holy viscosity Duffman! The beer pours incredibly thick and is pitch black witha dense creamy tan head foaming up easily and gradually fading to a sturdy surface layer.
Aroma is rich malt with roasted hits and dark chocolate with some raisin and espresso notes as well.
First sip is deep with a heavy filling body with fine gentle carbonation.
Flavor starts sweet with brown sugar and chocolate dominant and then moves to an espresso bitter finish with an appearance by the alcohol with a warming sensation down the throat to my belly. The finish is also fairly dry and bitter.
The beer leaves a sweet sticky residue on my lips after each sip. This is a very tasty beer, I am amazed at the lack of alcohol presence and also surprised that the bitter coffee finish, when I expected more of a twangy sweet finish. Quite a nice beer and well worth the quest many take to obtain it!

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2005 02:52:21 | More by sulldaddy
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BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06 sampling: Different than last years. Still a super beer, but it has changed. Most noticably is that the soy sauce, sherry, old ale flavors and syrupy texture has been substituted by fresh fruits and berries (most noticably apples and grapes). While it's not the same, it does lighten the beer up a bit. Still good enough for a near-5 rating.

I can obviously see why this beer is among the top ranked in the world. After drinking a lot of imperial stouts lately, this one is a certain standout. After burrying your nose in this one, I immediately detected port wine and expresso. Complexly melded and mellowed. Close behind lurks cherries, dates, prunes and to a lesser extent, a tartness in the range of soy sauce, yeast, and earthiness. Taste brings about an abundance of flavors; most notibly chocolate covered cherries and bourbon balls. Others include bittersweet chocolate, coffee, prunes, dates, figs, berries, caramel, vanilla, cream, hops, and alcohol. These flavors are not what makes this beer great. What does is that it is aged to perfection. Flavors extend forever and reveal themselves constantly and subtlely because of its mellow maturity and the fusion of ingredients. I could drink a thousand of these and always find new flavors. Because of the maturation, this one isn't as thick or as heavy as expected, but not as abrasive either. Coats the palate very well and lingers into today. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Finishes strong, bold and mimicks all the flavor in the nose and body. Final statement: One of the most complex beers that I have ever tried.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2005 13:06:33 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature. Deep dark brown colored, looks thicker than motor oil. Not much head at first, but as I top off the glass a thick inch-high dark brown head rises up from the depths of the liquid and pushes up the sides of the glass. The bubbles at the bottom release their gas to the surface and create a small cascading effect.

Aroma is full and rich - roasted malt, toffee and raisin, some bitter cocoa, and some sweetness.

Flavor is rich and pungent, but incredibly smooth. It's full of ripe fig and plum, raisin and cocoa, a bit of a cherry/rhubarb tang, rich and airy milk chocolate, and burnt espresso, all wrapped in a smokey outer layer. A fine hop undercurrent rides beneath. The flavors all do their thing at the same time, rolling around as the liquid moves through the mouth and across the tongue. The ABV is scarily hidden, very understated, not making its presence known.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, velvety. Moderate carbonation allows all the flavors to rise up. Pretty damned drinkable for what it is. Perhaps a good thing I only have one.

This was an early birthday gift from BuckeyeNation a few months ago, but I held onto it until my birthday a few days ago, and what a generous gift.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2005 00:19:17 | More by far333
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

3.28/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to cmaruschak for obtaining this rare one. Split this with him and BA mmmmbeeer.

Sampled the '04 version on 1/05 and although I never reviewed it, it blew me away. Would have been nearly close to all 5's if not all 5's for me. I was very excited about the '05 version of this beast and was very much let down. Too many other great local double stouts around here to ever bother with this one again. I hope next year they go back to the '04 recipe.

Appearance: Darkness descends into the glass. An inky black pour with a tan foamy head. Head doesn't retain that well and rings the glass and leaves small patches of carbonation throughout.

Smell: Searing alcohol up front. Rum soaked raisins and a touch of roasted malts. Mostly alcohol.

Taste: Licorice, baker's chocolate, slightly burnt coffee, bittering hops, and alcohol. The presence is all bitterness and alcohol. Towards the middle, the chocolate and coffee profile improves but then gets overtaken by the alcohol near the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slick. Very disappointing considering last years recipe was my perfect standard for judging mouthfeel (both with and without sludge...I liked the sludge so get over it!).

Drinkability: A sipper to be sure. No way I would want a whole bottle of this.

Glad to have tried it but I probably won't be bothering with this one in the future unless the recipe changes.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2005 14:54:02 | More by mattcrill
Photo of karst
karst

Missouri

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I cut the Orange wax and open a 22 oz bottle poured into Corsendonk 0.3 L. tulip glass at 3:30 pm. A notable viscosity and absolute opaque darkness hides the reverse cascading head. No dregs just the same unbelievable viscosity til the last drop of the pour. The last tablespoon held in dirrect sun with the tulip held horizontal showed a clear burnt blood hue.

The summer solstice sun angles in through the patio doors and turns the fine bubbles into tiny beads of gold the slow falling head leaves golden lace - awesome considering 13%abv. 3:40 pm the head persists.

Aroma of dark roasted malts/ chocolate and coffee combine with dark fruits soaked in alcohol finally entice me to raise the glass.

Burnt malts, expresso, dark fruit taste that sweeten and become distinct flavors with warming - cherry, vanilla, plums raisons. An archtypical chewy mouthfeel that is that is off the scale. Fullest body.

A break from tasting to reset the A/C control as the alcohol warms the room.

Aftertaste from bitter hops and a second aftertaste of burnt malt/expresso bitterness and still another aftertaste - bitter chocolate.

Worth every inch of the 900 mile drive to Munster.

Thanks Ken&Julie, Nick, and Joe for sharing the great one and for the pleasure of getting to know fellow brewers and beerlovers. The next time I look into the black mirrored surface of Dark Lord I will think of you.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2005 06:01:44 | More by karst
Photo of budsboy
budsboy

Ohio

4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours like a deep walnut wood stain ... black, viscous, oily ... leaves a brown head with darker brown blotches here and there.

Smell is deep and dark fruit (a toasted plum), dark chocolate and roasty malt. It pulls you in.

Tastes like black. Dark, dark plum, coffee and creamy chocolate that lasts. Alcohol is tucked in well behind all that big malt flavor.

The most remarkable aspect of this beer is mouthfeel. Smooth? Ha! Way beyond smooth. Milky, silky and sexy. Lays on the tounge like a pillow. Truly exceptional.

A very drinkable impy stout. Not for the weak of palate though. Not for the weak of wallet. Very expensive. Still, you've gotta try this stuff.

Many thanks to Hustlemuscle for sharing his bottle.

One final note: If you see this, try it. That being said, I will not likely have this again because of the price. While it is a truly an exceptional beer, there are other, less expensive exceptional beers that I like as well.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2005 13:56:37 | More by budsboy
Photo of hustlemuscle
hustlemuscle

Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is hard not to wax poetic or hold this beer to a higher standard because of it's rather hefty price tag. I wasn't expecting to be able to even try it this year, as my usual beer store in Columbus told me they were not getting any this year.

Thusly I was suprised when I saw a trio sitting on a shelf overlooking they cash register by themselves. I didn't have to see the label to know what they were. And then came a little soul searching...

Enjoyed on Budsboy's darkening porch, with a pair of dogs and a humming air conditioner.

Pours very very dark, viscous and thick. Not much of a head, but what was there was mocha, and got darker with a gentle swirl. Positivily 'glugged' out of the bottle, like oil.

Smells rather murky, burnt and fruity.

The actual taste of the stuff is over shadowed by the 'holy cow' mouthfeel. The earthy, charred malts with it's accompanyment of plums and mild hopping positivily floats across the toungue, with a tiny tickle to the lips. Airy and light, it is unlike anything I have ever drank, like some kind of dessert for the mouth. It is hard to describe just how this beer feels. Remarkable is a good start.

A great beer to sit and sip and enjoy. Nothing would stop you from drinking this for hours, apart from the 13% abv, which, by the time I had finished my half of the big ol' bottle, was starting to take hold.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2005 14:46:08 | More by hustlemuscle
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RealityDeviant

Virginia

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

Presentation: 22 oz. brown bomber bottle from Armanetti’s in Chicago. I don’t see a date on it, but I’m not exactly worried. The artwork on the label is pretty nice and the wax on the top of the bottle suggests that it is more important than the other beers in your home just by virtue of it being there.

Appearance: There’s no doubt that the rumors about this beer being similar in appearance and consistency to crude oil were true. The beer is a deep, inky black and seems to cling to the sides of the glass. After being poured it offers a small, chocolate head that slowly dissipates and gives way to a little bit of lace. Overall, I’d judge the appearance to be excellent.

Smell: I’d say that coffee and dark chocolate were dominant aromas in this brew, but there’s so much going on in the smell that it’s difficult to tell how accurate that statement is. Along with coffee and chocolate I detect vanilla, caramel, cedar, and hints of prunes and other dark fruits that gave the smell a port-like character. I cannot deny that the relatively high alcohol content can be noticed in the smell, but it’s in there with so many other aromas that it isn’t much of a bother.

Taste: Well, this is certainly complex. Coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, prunes, vanilla, and molasses. Can you say roasted malts? I knew you could. The blending between the flavors is no less than exceptional. It’s sludgy, fruity, espresso-like mudslide, and it’s brilliant.

Mouthfeel: The epitome of a smooth, full-bodied beer. You don’t swallow it, you open your throat while it oozes downwards. Still, it doesn’t give up, coating everything it touches.

Drinkability: Absolutely drinkable. You wouldn’t need more than a bottle, considering how long the taste lingers in the mouth. Normally, I don’t feel as placid after brews that are beyond ten percent.

Many thanks to TheLoneGunman for reserving two bottles of this sweet nectar for me. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to store the last bottle of this liquid temptation.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2005 10:38:59 | More by RealityDeviant
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

2.65/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

First, many thanks to Mentor for this bottle in BIF20.

For such a hyped beer this sure was a let down. I could see all the interest and I have read the reviews, I've drooling for the past year, but this beer didn't meet up.

I served this beer at about 65F in a snifter and finished it in about an hour.

It is thick black with a real chocolate foam of a head that settles to lay on top of the beer mostly around the glass. The thin of the beer is brown and I knew I was in for a roasted malt treat.

The first smell was a bit choking as the CO2 was still escaping, but it concetrated to a roasted malty sugar and alcohol smell, the hops are present but muted, overall I really like the smell and when I am not sipping at the beer the snifter is under my nose.

Well . . . pow first sip is roasted bitterness with hop undertones that are nothing but bittering, no big flavors, it coats the mouth and the after taste is vinous and a little sherry like but more bitter. There is no creamyness and through just a few sips in this is really starting to taste really middle of the road and two dimensional, alcohol and heavily roasted malt. At the end of the bottle, the taste is really grating thin on my palate, it is not getting better, each sip is not savored and I can't wait to be done the beer. I have had better RIS's before.

Yeah this is a thick beer, but it really could use some smoothing out.

This is best to share with a friend after 22oz I don't think I could of taken another sip.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2005 13:04:41 | More by Higravity
Photo of PatYoda
PatYoda

Colorado

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

Wow, finally got the Dark Lord!!! I arrived a bit late to the release party and missed the tailgate, but at least there was some of this left! I got two bottles, but due to generous friends, this is my second time sampling it, and I still haven't broken open one of my own bottles. Suckers.

Appearance is perfectly black with a long lasting brown head and some great lacing. Smell is strangely lacking compared to the taste, with very faint burnt malt and some vanilla coffee. Too much alcohol on the nose as well. But when you take a sip, you know why this is so great! Tastes are too many to pick out. Dark fruit, coffee, milk chocolate, vanilla, and dark chocolate all make an appearance, all surrounded by that great burnt malt. Coffee bitterness takes over at the end, but you can tell the hops are there bolstering also. I can't taste the alcohol at all - weird that it smells so strongly. And the mouthfeel - if there was a 25, that's what I would rate it. It's incredible - the match of a well cooked marshmallow, minus the crunchy exterior. This stuff just coats the mouth. Pure genius.

Edit (12/23/05): After trying a sample at room temperature and aged 8 months, most of the alcohol is gone from the smell. It now smells richly of milk chocolate and coffee and fruit. The taste has also changed quite a bit. Dark chocolate has almost totally taken over. It is STRONG - the finish lingers forever with its wonderful chocolatey bitterness. I've bumped up the smell to 4.5 from 4.0 and the drinkability to 5.0 from 4.5. This is as close to the perfect beer as I have ever experienced.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2005 02:02:44 | More by PatYoda
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JayT

New Hampshire

3.05/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

got this in a trade from cretemixer (cheers, Dale).

WoW!!! This beer was increasingly underwhelming with each sip. I hate that most of Beer Advocate disagrees with me about this but I don't get the hype over this beer other that the fact that it seriously looks like motoroil and has a super thick mouthfeel. The bottle promises an inverted cascading carbonation--which it didn't provide. Impy stouts normally aren't all that carbonated and this was no exception but why put this claim on the bottle label?!?! Taste is mildly acrid with some burnt fruit flavors and maybe some coffee/mochachino flavors. The finish is acrid and burnt, not my definintion of flavorful. The burnyness lingers well after the finish. In short, this beer was interesting and great to finally try but was lacking and didn't live up to my idea of a world class imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2005 23:31:20 | More by JayT
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Boilermaker88

California

4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, tonight I finally succumbed to the Dark Side, er, I mean Dark Lord. I finally took off the red wax seal and popped the cap off a 22oz bottle of Three Floyds Dark Lord, 2004 vintage. Rewarded with a soft "phfftt", I gently poured about 80% into a large snifter before getting, quite literally, chunks of beery sediment.

Appearance: holy crap, I've never seen a beer this damn thick! It oozed out with all the consistency of light crude. Inky, impenetrably black. A dense, compact espresso colored head perched on top briefly before shrivelling down to a tiny ring. Lace? No. BEER clung to the walls. Unbelievable.

Smell: very sweet aromas of dark fruits and a solid jab to the nose from the alcohol. Dense coffee notes, blackened and charred marshmallows, prunes, and port wine. Smell is simply amazing.

On the first pull, Dark Lord invades every nook, cranny and fold of the mouth, slathering everything with the thickest, fullest brew I've had pass my lips. Initially sweet with raisins, plums and dates. Not for long, though. An onslaught of espresso beans, dark bitter chocolate, and ages-old, run-through-the-filter-five-times coffee. Then comes the right cross of alcohol that's just mind-bending. Don't get me wrong; I love it. Finishes with a blast of herbal hops. The taste of bitter herbs and scorched malts lasts long after each sip is gone. Un-effin'-believable!

Well, I'm down to my last couple sips of the sludge that's grudgingly leaving the glass. I wish I had a giraffe's tongue to get every speck of beer outta the glass. Hell, I might put this glass back on the shelf dirty just so I can smell it tomorrow. Dark Lord is seductively smooth and lush and so complex. The epitomy of imperial stouts. Huge thanks to jables for sending this bottle my way January, 2004.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2005 05:59:00 | More by Boilermaker88
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Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I had been excited about opening this one for a while. Cracked the orange wax, killed one bottle opener and then continued. Poured, and a dark brown/tan head rose from the depths, laced and stuck around until i finished my goblet. The lace just stuck to the glass like glue. The beer is black as anything I've seen, I thought it was going to suck in all the light from outside. Very oily consistently, very thick. Smells like coffee, with a slight slight alcohol underton, very roasty and you can smell the bitterness from the malts. The taste is like fine espresso, very nice and bitter coffee, the monster 13% ABV camoflaged in the flavour. Very roasty bitter and dry, and not very sweet like most imperial stouts I've had. The mouthfeel was insanely thick and coating, but this beer was very smooth and creamy for how big it is. I would not be able to drink a whole bottle but what I had was enough to know this is definately a world class beer, can't wait to open my other bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2005 03:09:19 | More by Viggo
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mntlover

Tennessee

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

Ah the Holy Grail of beerdom. Many thanks to merlin48 for sharing this with me plus thanks to the other BA's hands it has been passed down thru. 2005 vintage with orange wax seal.

Pours motor oil black, Dark Lord lives up to its name in apperance, thick rich looking with a dark chocolate head little more then a finger tall seems to back build. Actually leaves behind some lacing at 13% its impressive

Aroma is strange starts as smoked chocolate that dominates all else, deeply roasted malt that mellows as it sits and fruit comes forth. Molasses dipped plums, raisins, tart cherries and vanilla hints find there way out of the darkness. The way the aroma changes is nice, overall very nice, but was expecting little more intensity.

Taste is wonderful big and full roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, smokey woody flavors mixed with vanilla and light alcohol mingled thru out but does not detract at all even adds to the bliss. The flavor just keeps going and going. Some hops come out and add to the coffee flavors as it warms to room tempature. Finishes with mingling coffee and hop bitterness mixed with smoke and vanilla. This is one monster stout very well done very tastey no hint of the 13% at all.

Mouthfeel is well I thought I have had what I considered full beers before, but his stuff tastes like you could cut it with a knife. Very big probably has a texture that motor oil would. Would rate it 5.5 if I could.

Drinkability is bad ass kick ass lives up to the hype and then some, no doubt it should be the number one Double Stout. Wishing I had more these are expensive and hard to come by yes, but worth it, can I have a amen. Praise to the Dark Lord, need to plan a trip to the brewery next release.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2005 20:30:00 | More by mntlover
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Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Intense, slow drink. Gorgeous dark colour. Sweet sour. Bitter at first, Roasty finish. Chocolate malt subdued to roasty Starbucks coffee. Alcohol clobbers later. Very smooth. Medium-thick mouthfeel. Had 2011, and it is good but very sugary.Averaging my 4 ratings over the years.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2005 03:28:07 | More by Sammy
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 2,822 ratings.