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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

1,230 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,230
Hads: 4,021
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 14.49%
Wants: 3,140
Gots: 1,922 | FT: 157
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

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: 1,230 | Hads: 4,021
Photo of bluejacket74
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, 2010 vintage (olive green wax). Big thanks to TrebleStauter for this brew, I've been holding onto this for a while now and figured I'd finally try it. Served in a snifter, the beer pours black with a half inch brown head that didn't stay around for too long. Small amount of lacing left on the glass. Very sweet and rich aroma, it smells like dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, vanilla and some molasses. Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, it's very sweet. It tastes like roasted malt, dark fruit (cherries), milk and dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, molasses and a bit of charred/burnt malt. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's viscous and coating with low carbonation. It's very smooth and extremely easy to drink. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, it certainly doesn't seem like it's 15% ABV. I think this is a very good brew, I'm glad I was able to try it. If you like sweet stouts/RIS's, then this one is a good choice. Definitely recommended!

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Photo of Viggo
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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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 Bighuge
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is as black as eternity. A dense, dark brown head adorns the surface and has staying power comparable to a John Wooden Dynasty. Aroma is muggy and juicy. Alcohol and currants meld with plum, raisin, molasses and port. This beer just fucking coats your mouth like none I've ever had. Such a great mouthfeel. And the taste, ironically, is heavenly. 13%?? Damn, I really need to be careful to make this bomber last. There's a big bitterness coming from burnt malts and what I perceive to be high alpha acid PACNW hops. Dark plum, cherry and heavy, sludgey molasses blend together in harmony. Vanilla, cedar, bourbon and alcohol tones fit in very appropriately. The lingering bitterness is abusive, but I love it. I find that if you pour the whole bottle into one glass, you're in for a little surprise. A "beer frosting." I get this great "oil slick" like coating on the surface that contained all the goodness of the beer beneath except in a concentrated, thick, sludge-like form. Beautiful.

Well, I think it's taken me over 1000 reviews, but I have now found a second beer worthy of straight 5s.

What can I say Dale other than Thank You!!

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought six bottles from the Drak Lord release party 2006. Gave one to a friend as a gift and kept the other five. This is the first one I've opened since the release of the 2006 Dark Lord. Gold capped.

Appearance- Pours a viscous, oily, syrupy black with some very deep fudge highlights. Good luck if you can see anything in this beer. Let alone bubbles. Some light Brussel's lacing. But coats the inside of the glass with a light, spent motor oil color. Awesome.

Smell- Starts with some burnt coffee beans you'd smell at the perfume store. But lets not forget the creamy, toffee aroma that develops more as it gets warmer. Almost like evil butterscotch.

Taste- As it warmed up, the dark roasted mocha turns into a more Starbucks espresso with lots of cream and light cane sugar flavor takes hold. Thats in the fornt of the tongue. The middle brings out the more viney, black cherry and vanilla flavor. The back of the tongue and throat are like a burnt potato skin with some Starbucks liquer. Awesomely complex.

Mouthfeel- Very thick, rich creamy, a little bitter, but very syrupy and oily.

This beer deserves to be one of the best beers in the world. I only wish more BA's could get their hands on it.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I finally get to try the infamous Dark Lord. '14 vintage shared by Bob at his tasting.

Pours a deep dark pitch black, with small quarter inch head that recedes quickly. Not much lacing.

Smells incredibly sweet, some cherries, coffee, and generic sweet malt.

The taste is similar. It's as sweet as expected, but I still quite like it. Chocolate covered cherries are a huge flavor here, very juicy flavor. Only a faint amount of roasty malt is noticeable. Very smooth coffee flavor from the Unicorn's Blood. The beer is slightly soy saucy near the end.

Thick body, very viscous. Very low carbonation, naturally. Creamy, thick, smooth mouthfeel.

I'm glad I got to try this version, as it is apparently better than some of the other more recent vintages.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 2010 Bottle opened and split on 9.8.12.

A - Pours a very dark brown with a small dark brown head that is gone quickly.

S - Booze, chocolate, sweet wet cardboard.

T - Sweet chocolate, booze, coffee.

D - Heavy body with a low carbonation and a sweet finish.

O - The smell worried me with some oxidization, but it tasted very nice.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'10 bottle, aged 1 year exactly, drank on DLD '11 right before we went and played some disc golf and watched the Shields/GSP 'fight'. Falls into the 'better out the bottle' category, but prolly because of the year it aged.

Anyways, pours black. Glad I gave that tidbit there. Tan head was well developed. Can't complain about this one bit. Aroma was heavy on the dark fruit, big roast, lesser coffee choco feel to it.

Taste, thick, chewy, plum really jumps out in this one more than any other beer, not the biggest plum/prune fan to say the least, but this beer is thick enough to allow it. The difference in the alcohol after a year is amazing, hides it very well. Tiny aspect of currant and wood along with it. Sweetness fresh, dissipates one year later, again, for the better. Slight cherry, not likely to turn off anti cherry 'everything tastes like robitussin' types.

Gonna do a vertical 07-11 next March of this stuff. Will update as to then, but for now, the '10 is right around a top 100 beer of all time for me.

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Photo of barczar
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage.

Pours an oily opaque brown black with a dark cocoa head that is somewhat light and fades to a hint of foam.

Aroma is led by sweet cocoa, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate malt. Somewhat strong booze accompanies the scent. Plums, dark cherries, and figs are nice accents.

Chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon dominate the initial sip, with roast malt, smoky molasses, and coffee harmonizing in the background. Dark fruits unfold. More complex flavors of tobacco and fairly strong soy are pronounced as it warms.

Body is thick, syrupy, with minimal carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

Incredible beer! On the sweet side, so I'd struggle to drink more than a pint, but a delicious treat! If soy had been less evident and the beer slightly less sweet, it would've scored even higher.

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Photo of claspada
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Update: Sampled the 2006 version this past weekend (9/21/12) and it was exponentially better than the newer examples and it wasn't an age difference. The smaller batches of this were much better according to HimerMan who brought out this gem and I have no reason to challenge him; ramping up production of any beer will undoubtedly lower quality as with anything, food, beer or otherwise.

Pre-2007 Rating: 4.25 but I'm leaving the rating here to reflect newer examples as that is what most will find available.

Sampled the White Wax (2009) and the Yellow Wax (2011) back to back. I'll review the older vintage despite there being very little difference between the two.

Pours a deep dark viscous black color with a thin brown head that fades to leave some thin lacing on the glass.

Aromas begin with dark robust roasted malts, dark and milk chocolate and roasted coffee beans. As it warms I can get some of the dark fruit notes as well as the faintest note of hops.

The tastes follow the nose with some semi-sweet dark chocolate complemented by mild flavors of espresso and dark caramelized malts. The malt character is as hearty as you will find with a mild bitter hop presence. As it warms you get some of the dark fruits (prunes) and some emerging boozy alcohol. The flavors get increasingly sweet to the point of being a chore to finish.

The mouthfeel is extremely heavy bodied with light-to-medium carbonation. The finish is sticky and borders on being cloyingly sweet if not for the extreme roasted malts to add some dry character.

Overall, 5 years ago this may have been a revolutionary beer that may have deserved such high praise but in today's ever expanded craft beer world this is merely ordinary. Not that is is a bad beer but it's not one I particularly ever need to have again, especially with the limited bottle count and one day a year release in Indiana.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first Dark Lord I opened from my 2007 Dark Lord Day stash. I poured it into pint glasses, the beer's appearance rates a perfect score. Pitch black color with a massive but short-lived tan head. When I swirled the glass the head turned orange, and coated the glass with dark orange sheets.

The aroma was strong imperial stout, really similar to some strong ones from Michigan (Bells Batch 7000 or Founders Imperial Stout). Mostly I could smell the sweet malts and alcohol, I really didn't detect the cherries, molasses, or plums promised on the bottle. The flavor was STRONG, burnt malt and some chocolate along with burning alcohol, very similar to Batch 7000 in my opinion. The mouthfeel was really thick and is the defining attribute for this beer imo. It coats your mouth and keeps you tasting the beer long after each sip.

Not the best beer in the nation in my opinion, but one of the best russian imperial stouts I've tried. I was disappointed not to find any sludge at the bottom of the bottle, other people have complained about it and I wanted to try it on some ice cream.

Someone was cool enough to share a bottle of 2006 Dark Lord at the brewpub on DLD, and my impression is that 2007 is much richer and stronger flavored. But, I was drunk when I tried the 2006...

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Photo of jrallen34
2.78/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

2010 verision re-review. I had this at dld day but i was pretty hammered. I figured the Lost finale was a good time to break out a new one.

I drank this from the bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours a jet oil black, hardly any brown with a only a little light tan head. Disappointing a little.

The aroma and taste are super awesome and sweet. The malts show off tons of vanilla, but its so fine its not overly sweet it just shows off so perfectly. Light roasty coffee on the finish with a slight alcohol burn. Hides the 15% extremly well. Super easy to drink.

The 2010 is clearly superior to the 2009. Its really awesome, super easy to drink. New ratings are the 2010.

2009 white
I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours motor oil black with hardly any head at all. No carbonation very dark color.

The aroma is very strong of vanilla, coffee and cherries.

The taste is complex with a start of cherries, moves onto vanilla, and coffee.

The taste lingers for several seconds and for its abv its very drinkable.

2009 was 4.0, 4.5, 4.0, 4.0, 4.0.

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Photo of Bung
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009. Solid black pour, dark brown foam that surprisingly dissappeared completely. Not really that thick appearing, not much lacing either. Aroma is strong, molasses, roast malt, dark chocolate, a little oaky like booze. Mouthfeel is one of the thickest I've had in a while. Not syrupy though, with enough carbonation lurking. It is sweet, but I don't think it's too much. Flavors does match the aroma, roast and sweet from malt, molasses, something like a chocolate ball with port in it and just hints of espresso and anise. That's probably the one place would have like a little more of, roast and bitters. I was surprised by that considering 3F likes to hop the heck out of things.
Drinkability is actually fine to me, as I don't get any over sweetness from this. It's actually quite good for a beer this big. I've heard 09 is a more drinkable batch up front without having to let it age. I pretty much agree, reminds me more of American/Double, which I prefer, even though the difference is subtle. I'm not going to give this all 5's, but definetely lived up to expectations.

After some warming I'll change my tune a bit. The sweetness does kind of overtake this one after a bit. Reminds me of some of the Weyerbacher stouts. Of the A+ RISs, I still put Abyss a notch above.

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Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this via ShrLSU - thanks!

Pours completely black with a half-finger dark brown head. The head recedes fairly quickly into a wispy layer on top and a thin ring around the glass leaving no lacing. Halfway through the glass the top is oily black with no bubbles on top.

Smells of molasses, dark fruits, and roasted malts - in that order. As it warms the roasted malt aromas subside a bit letting the dark fruit smells - raisins, plums, and black cherries - come more to the forefront.

Tastes very good. Sweet malt - sweeter than I was expecting - flavors with molasses up front followed shortly by dark fruit flavors. Near the end of the sip roasted malt flavors come in before an ending that is mildly bitter and leaves a sweet film on my lips.

Mouthfeel is great. The defining characteristic of this beer does not disappoint - thick sludge with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. The sweetness is almost too much but the different layers of flavor make this a fun one to drink.

Overall there's not much else I can say - a must try.

VERTICAL REVIEW:
I attended a vertical tasting of '05-'10 recently and here are quick thoughts on each:

2005 - The best of the bunch along with '07. Less sweetness and mild amounts of tobacco. The mouthfeel is diminished from newer versions but remains thick.

2006 - Similar to the '08. Mostly sweet with large amounts of molasses and moderate roast. The thinnest of any vintage along with '08.

2007 - As indicated above, as good as the '05 and the best of the years. Slight hints of tobacco are present as in the '05 along with mild coffee. Sweetness is on the low side.

2008 - Sweeter than the '06 with slight hints of dark fruits. As indicated above the thickness has diminished substantially.

2009 - The version I'd tried previously. Fairly sweet with a good deal of molasses and dark fruits. Still fairly hot. This was actually my least favorite but the mouthfeel remained phenomenal.

2010 - Very interesting. Not as hot as I was expecting from the increased ABV. The roast is almost non-existent as dark molasses, dark fruit, and hints of bananas overwhelm everything else. The thickest of the years.

Cheers to everyone who contributed a bottle, it was very interesting to see the differences.

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Photo of dar482
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Our ranking of the vertical. 2014, 2012, 2013.

The 2014 is a wonderful treat. In the front, there's chocolate and roasted malt. Then the beer gets quite sweet with a rich dark caramel and brown sugar along with some umami, molasses, and meaty notes. There's a dance of coffee to get that sweetness off slightly with a hint of raisins and dark fruit.

The mouthfeel on this is thick and chewy.

2013 unfortunately was thin on the flavor and too sweet throughout. For this one, I agree that the the beer isn't really quite worth the hype. I love sweet beers, but this was a bit much.

On the other hand, '14 was quite glorious and worth the hype. I have heard many people warn that this beer is overhyped, but I was pleasantly impressed by this.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

07 DL brought out by Deuane at The Graduation Tasting

A: Seriously thick motor oil look that coats the glass, leaving brown, muddy residue. No head, but the sludgy look is quite incredible

S: Thick, rich, sweet with molasses, raisins, lactose, some coffee in the back

T: Opens up massively sweet with a charred character reminiscent of faded citrus hop bitterness. Massive, massive beer. Outrageous. Mid palate is molasses, and mild burnt malt character, finishing very sweet. This is a juggernaut. Two years have tamed the booze down, there's no hint of alcohol. No real nuance, but this wins for intensity

M: Big, BIG, thick, sweet and succulent. Mildly boozy finish that's awesome

D: Wow. A sipper for sure.

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Photo of Gusler
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What the hell can I say about this magnificent creation that has not already been said? This was to be my 6000th beer, but I decided to take it to Papago and as we often bring special beers to sample, this was my choice.

The beer as it slowly oozes out of the 22-ounce brown bottle pours as thick as molasses in January in Maine, it literally makes a glugging sound as it excavates itself from its container. Onyx in color, the head a deep chocolate brown that is creamy as whipped chocolate icing and portly in size, the lace a coat of brown to obscure the glass. Nose is rich bittersweet chocolate, burnt coffee, sweet malt, a treat for both the olfactory and ocular senses, a beer you must sniff to understand its complexity, start is thick and chewy, ambrosial and the top as full as any beer I have ever tasted. Finish is pleasing in its acidity; hops are powerful in their spiciness, the alcohol quite noticeable and the rich sweet chocolate and burnt coffee flavors continue to the parched desert dry aftertaste a quite noticeable tummy warming sensation. “Just one fantastic beer”, but a word of warning not meant for the weak of palate or people not into strong over the top beers, so if you fall into these categories and you have a “Dark Lord” sitting around, send it to me immediately if not sooner. lol

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Photo of rfgetz
3.02/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to DavoleBomb for including this 2009 vintage...

Pours a deep, dark brown, near black. The creamy brown head comes only with a very aggressive pour. Scent is relatively mild for such a big beer, hints of dark fruit, smoke, char, soy sauce, chocolate and coffee present, but not strong enough for a beer this big. First sip taken a bit below cellar temp, very mild with all the qualities of scent. As it warms, notes of chocolate, char, port wine and soy sauce become much more aggressive. By the time its at room temp, the soy sauce overpowers. No hints of powerful ABV in scent or taste. While the beer doesnt cling to the glass, the mouthfeel is something i may have never experienced before, almost like a pureed oatmeal with silky smooth yet somewhat grainy qualities. Overall this beer is very unique, but my notes above should pinpoint why i cant give this a completly glowing review.

I have sampled every year since '06 but this is the only bottle where ive had more than 4oz. My rankings are '07, '06, '08, '09.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage courtesy of Session1979. Beer #1 served during the 'Motha of All Stout Tastings' on 4.17.09. Pours pitch black with the consistency of 10WD30 motor oil-a real glass coater. Pour reveals a thin, tan-colored head that quickly dissipates into a skim, with a tight band around the perimeter of the glass. A thick ring of lacing formed and was retained during the tasting. Nose suggests dark malts, molasses, caramel and chocolate. Taste follows nose, but dark fruit and brandy also comes out in the mouth. In terms of mouthfeel, this is the densest beer I've ever had. The first time I have ever experienced such a full-bodied beer. Minimal carbonation, silky, chewy and buttery, all at the same time; it's like drinking syrup. To say Dark Lord is a huge beer is an understatement, and it really defied my expectations. Alcohol was very will hidden, but this is definitely a sharer. Well shared amongst four friends.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes: 2010 version

appearance: dark black with very minimal mocha head

smell: chocolate, coffee, mocha, alcohol

taste: sweet, chocolate, coffee, mocha, alcohol

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, full body,

overall: this one lives up to the hype, delicious all around!

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Photo of barnzy78
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a 2009 in 2009 with sub-par reviews: look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5 = 3.7/5.

Re-review of a newer batch (2010), aged for 2.5 years. Big difference here.
22oz bottle shared with a friend. Poured into a tulip, thick pour reveals an opaque black body topped with a milk chocolate colored head, good retention, no lacing. Aromas are boozy, roasted barley, dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, cherry, and blackberry perhaps. Initially it's sweet and syrupy with notes of dark chocolate, raspberry, blackberry, cherry, cocoa, roasted barley, vanilla, molasses, espresso, booze. Full flavored with maximum complexity. Unbelievably good! Mouth-feel is thick & chewy, full-full bodied, viscous, and very smooth. Overall, definitely an upper echelon RIS. One of the best out there, if not the best. I stand corrected.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, split with blackie, this bottle courtesty of CRJMellor I believe...been searching for this one for quite some time

appearance: pours dark as night into a couple of snifters, as close to black as a brew can come, rich and creamy chocolate brown head begins to form, a tan rim remains for a while but eventually diminishes down to minimal lacing

smell: this one can be smelt from across the room...rich and creamy chocolate is extremely potent, espresso definitely present, a sweet warm alcohol aroma, sweet malts, quite roasty

taste: super chocolatey, very roasty with a very gentle bittersweet aftertaste, plum/cherry soaked in alcohol then drenched in sweet milk chocolate, dark roast coffee/espresso is at a near perfect level...alcohol is not overpowering but its presence is certainly felt, very creamy chocolate flavors

mouthfeel: flawless, velvety, creamy, silky smooth, only slight bittersweet

drinkability: half a bomber will be plenty but this is a very smooth imp stout

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter; 2009 bottling
Big thanks to Mikey711

Used motor oil, almost sludge like body with a thin, dark mocha cap and mild lacing. Swirling this around a bit, the body leaves a thin, oily coating on the inside of the glass.

Talk about assertive. The nose on this guy is big, bad, and bold. Notes of dark cherries soaked in bourbon, booze, dark chocolate, molasses, and deep roast. The heat from the booze stings your nasal passages.

Upon first sip, the flavors really explode. Bourbon, dark cherries and heat are in the leadoff spot. Dark chocolate, slight char, and molasses on the finish with more booze lingering. This guy takes control early and never relinquishes the senses.

Oily slick. Dark Lord coats everything on its way down. Lingering roast and bitter chocolate mix with a hearty dose of heat from the bourbon.

Slow and steady. The flavors attack the palate and a high abv make this guy a little difficult to put back by yourself.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle split and poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage with drab green wax.

Thanks to Wisconsinality for cracking this to end our tasting the other night! It allows me to save my measly three bottles for a few years.

A - It pours completely black (no surprise there). No hints of light shine through in the least. Even the tall, syrupy pour left a small tan head. Little retention and no lace but a big swirl just coated the glass with a thin layer of Dark Lord and slow-dripping legs.

S - The deep roasted malts are massively potent with a huge leather and wood nose and bold roasted coffee. The coffee smell is very roasted but smells like it'd be a premium cup of joe. There is fusel alcohol in this that's pretty warm and only gets hotter with a swirl. A pinch of booziness (separate from the fusel alcohol nose) that's pretty hot as well. Molasses and chocolate try poking out in the background. This is an incredibly sweet malt-bomb. The 2010 is a little hot yet but awesome to try fresh for aged comparison.

T - Dark Lord embodies all that is thick. The flavor is just saturated with roasted malts which surprisingly take a small back seat to the roasted coffee flavor and sweet malts. A hint of molasses, strong milk chocolate, and a warm alcohol on the finish. It's a really thick and massively bold flavor. Right now it's a little overly sweet. Good coffee flavor though.

M - 2010 Dark Lord is almost over-the-top rich and thick. It's borderline syrupy with an almost outrageous cloying sweet flavor and finish. This beer pushes the limits and I like rich, thick, full-bodied beers. There is almost no carbonation in DL 2010 what-so-ever.

D - This snifter, only at a third of a bottle, is hard to put down. Between how rich it is and how sweet/cloying it is just a little too much. The alcohol is strong in the nose but not so much in the flavor cause it's too damn sweet. I don't get why this beer is so hyped. It's a good beer but hell, I'm more excited to have this with a few years on it once it mellows. It's good, but for the hassle attached to this beer, there are much better beers out there.

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Photo of ccrida
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this earlier in the summer, shared with johnmichaelsen, and thought I lost my notes, but just found them on my computer today...
Appearance is thick used motor oil blackish brown with little to know muddy brown head, still and viscous.

Smell starts out mostly roasty and coccoa, gets beefy as it warms, and is like teryaki sauce by the end, incredibly complex, if unusual. Smells good if you like savory cured meat.

Taste is very good, starts heavy on the coffee, then lots of whiskey, which is a bit heavy on the finish for my taste. A nice roast and the dryness of the alcohol keeps the thickness palatable, complex and interesting but not for everyone. Certainly not the best beer I've ever had, or even RIS for that matter...but hey, it's waxed dipped, expensive and hard to come by!

Mouthfeel is very syrupy, and especially thick for the last few pours of the bottle, but at least it's not as heavy in the belly as it looks. Having recently had a second tasting of this same vintage, I've come to appreciate the extreme viscosity as one of the Dark Lord's defining characteristics.

Drinkability is good in that I appreciated the experience of trying it, but it's not something I wanted more of or would drink or any kind of regular basis. The flavors are way to robust, not my favorite characteristics of the style, and it's challengingly thick. The artificially imposed rarity by Three Floyds doesn't help it either, and it's ultimately not a hype machine I'm buying into. Still, a huge thanks goes out to johnmichaelson for sharing this gem, the most recent '08 vintage.

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,230 ratings.