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

Not Rated.
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,412 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,412
Reviews: 1,162
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 2,808
Gots: 1,502 | FT: 99
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:
A Demonic Imperial Russian stout brewed with INTELLIGENTSIA coffee,vanilla, and molasses.

Dark Lord is only available once a year at Dark Lord Day at the Three Floyds Brewpub.

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 added by: cretemixer on 12-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Lord Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,412 | Reviews: 1,162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SCZ
5/5  rDev +16.8%

SCZ, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of rvdoorn
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Finally darklord time. I had this bottle already quite some time in the basement and thought the start of the summer holiday was a nice occasion to open it. 2009 version.
Look: Deep dark with almost no head, only some dark brown lacing
Smell: Wow, this is complex, and….sweet. Uber sweet even. Roasted malts, plums, figs, vanilla, coffee, dark chocolate, alcohol, sugar, anise.
Taste is very similar to the nose; roasted malts, plums, figs, vanilla, coffee, dark chocolate, alcohol, sugar, anise and maple syrup. Did they add the taste enhancer EDTA here?
Mouthfeel: Extremely thick and smooth beer.
Overall: at first I was impressed by the mouthfeel. Extremely thick and smooth beer. After some time it got me a bit annoyed/worried. I am pretty sure something is added to this beer, like PEG or Glycerol. In the end didn’t finish the glass because it felt like drinking porridge. I took a sample and will run a HPLC or so at work. This cannot be good! Tastewise, perfect beer, extremely balanced. I really didn’t expect that, because I was heavily disappointed by most other overhyped American RIS brews (too complex, too much ingredients, and therefore, way out of balance), but this beer is spot on! A bit too sweet maybe, but I really enjoyed it. If I will drink it again, because of the Glycerol/PEG/EDTA feeling, I am not sure though.

rvdoorn, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of tewaris
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage into a snifter. Thanks lurchingbeast for hooking me up with this one.

Dark Lord poured like silk in a thick, very dark brown stream, and looked opaque in the snifter. The head was very dark too, but it quickly gave away to a tiny collar. Legs were seen upon swirling the glass. The usual suspects were present in the aroma: chocolate-cream, vanilla, and sweet malts.

Felt thinner than I expected, perhaps because we were tasting at room temperature, but tasted very good and complex nonetheless; simply put, quite yummy! Sweet and rich in a milky way as opposed to Darkness that I find "raisin" sweet, but equally delicious. Finished clean in spite of the sweetness, and warmed me up as it went down. The alcohol is present and it is felt, no doubt, but the beer is not the sweet-boozy mess some describe it to be. In fact I found it quite a treat, and I *think* it could have been bigger on body for better.

Overall an excellent beer but nothing to die for, or travel for that matter, unless the event itself is what you're looking forward to. However, it is certain that Darkness and Dark Lord belong to an entirely different category within RIS's, if you want to call them RIS's, and are therefore worth seeking out.

Scores: Appearance 4/5; Aroma 3.5/5; Taste 4/5; Mouthfeel 4.5/5; Drinkability 4.5/5

tewaris, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of nathanjohnson
4/5  rDev -6.5%

nathanjohnson, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of Blaze5445
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Blaze5445, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of 77apm
4/5  rDev -6.5%

77apm, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of proc
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


This one pours out to a jet black in the glass with a very slight head. However, that slight head looks like carmelized molasses and sugar. The aroma is that of raisins, plums, blackberries and anise. The taste is absolutely incredible. Roasted malt and licorice massage and encompass your taste buds entirely. The mouthfeel is perfect. It takes the full-on flavor and coats your mouth in a creaminess of stout and all its glory. The ABV is well-hidden.

This was a beer experience.

proc, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of kzoobrew
2.13/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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


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.

kzoobrew, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of greg4579
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

greg4579, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of meanmutt
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

meanmutt, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of brownbeer
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one(2009)playing world 8 of Mario 3.
Rich oily, completely opaque in color with much dirty brown head.

This is a sit and contemplate beer for sure. Low carbonation with dark chocolate roasty flavors. A bit smokey, dark red fruits(raspberry,cherry).

I enjoyed this festival, going next year and as long as they keep doing this. Love your neighbor.

brownbeer, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of roostor07
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

roostor07, May 27, 2013
Photo of denimdemon
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

denimdemon, Apr 29, 2012
Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep black color with a constancy of 10W40. The small tan head quickly dissipates. Below average lacing and below average carbonation with a smell of sweet roasted dark malts, coffee and vanilla. Tastes of strong coffee, sweet roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, and toffee. Very complex. Very tasty - This WORLD CLASS. Drink and Enjoy!

ATLbeerDog, May 04, 2008
Photo of Beezee
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Beezee, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of Hopsiam14
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Hopsiam14, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of PhineasGage
5/5  rDev +16.8%

PhineasGage, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of GregSVT
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz waxed bottle into a wine glass - 2009 Vintage

A: Pours nearly black with a small brown head that fades to a ring with no lacing on the glass. It has legs like an alcohol and as I drink it the glass turns brown with residue.

S: The nose is very decadent with huge notes of molasses, burnt sugar, vanilla, and a slightly salty soy sauce flavor on the finish. The soy sauce flavor is a first and really makes this taste different.

M: The feel is thick and syrupy with a long coating finish. It does go flat about halfway through the glass though.

O: Lots of dark flavors in this one...the name makes sense now. You can tell there are a lot of residual sugars left from the brewing process in this one. You can tell the ABV is there but it definitely doesn't seem like 15% till about halfway through the glass.

GregSVT, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of Gushue3
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vintage '11

A- pours dark brown and sits black in my glass. Not much of a head but but its there. Pretty much no lacing.

S- big sweetness like sugarcane, coffee upfront thats nice. Smokey and chocolate come up and round out the scent nicely. Slight alcohol whiff.

T- sweey coffee with a chocolate and dark fruit infusion. Molasses alcohol and a slight bitterness round everything out and make it a nice fully flavored stout. Really sweet stout but definately good.

M- really big fat and thick mouthfeel. Carbonation futs perfectly for the feel and this might be the best feel ive ever had. Slight alcohol burn as it goes down

O- real nice bg stout. A little bit on the sweeter side but definately a nicely done stout.

Gushue3, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of Sarge3130
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Sarge3130, Sep 06, 2013
Photo of Marco_Gtz
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Marco_Gtz, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of jjheinrichs
4/5  rDev -6.5%

jjheinrichs, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of Travisnin
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Travisnin, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of RayUF07
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

RayUF07, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of dnichols
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to abankovich for a trade that moved this great brew from the Midwest to the wastelands of eastern Washington. I shared a bottle with my local bear buddy, imacoug. We poured it from a capped and waxed bottle into chalices.

A: It had a black as night and thick inky body. The head rose from an aggressive pour to one and a half fingers of chocolate. There were chunks of sediment that plopped into the glass as the beer was poured. The head retained well before finally receding to an even thin cover over the top of the liquid. There was a nice leggy lacing that clung to the side of the glass much longer than I expected for such a high ABV brew.

S: It emitted a milk chocolate front with burnt malts and a coffee back. The chocolates included bitter dark and the coffee aroma was a mix of expresso and latte. There were several hints of dark fruits but they were hard to differentiate due to the powerful chocolate and coffee aromas.

T: It hits with a bitter chocolate espresso profile that is well balanced and hides the massive alcohol well. I expected it to finish cleaner but the bitter lingering flavor was not unpleasant. The chocolate was a subtle blending of milk and bitter and the coffee tasted burnt and robust.

M: IT was silky smooth and full bodied with almost a chewy texture. There was an initial burst of carbonation that played out and the finish was warming. However, there was a bitter aftertaste that was distracting but not overwhelming.

D: It is a powerfully wonderful beer but one that is so full bodied, rich and with a massive ABV that one bottle may tap me out (two at most) for a session. I could have mini sessions with this brew frequently.

dnichols, May 09, 2008
Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
94 out of 100 based on 3,412 ratings.