Dark Lord Imperial Stout - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,819 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,819
Reviews: 1,245
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 14.49%
Wants: 3,040
Gots: 1,772 | FT: 139
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,819 | Reviews: 1,245
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.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got this in a trade with orbitalrOx. Thanks Don!

2007 Vintage:

With a vigorous pour, I get a short lived 1" head of tann foam and no lacing. Colorwise, it's a very dark brown/black with some reddish highlights but the first thing I noticed was how thick it looked during the pour. Wow.

The smell is loaded with dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, caramel, cocoa, molasses....will it ever stop? ;^)

The taste pretty much reflects the nose with the addition of a strong port flavour that I didn't really notice in the smell. What I find interesting is that all the flavours seem to take turns taking center stage, not allowing any single one to completely dominate. Sip after sip, sometimes the fruit shines through more, sometimes the Port, sometimes the coffee...you get the idea. lol. The abv is very well hidden because I don't get *any* warming during or after the swallow. I think that's amazing!

Really thick mouthfeel and very lightly carbonated, it finishes mostly with a lean towards chocolate and cocoa so it's a nice pleasant bitterness that I get to enjoy there and in the aftertaste. Very nice RIS and I'm very pleased to have gotten the chance to try it.

Bottom line: Super complex in flavour yet so smooth and easy drinking...hell of a testament to Three Floyds' brewing expertise. Highly recommended!

Photo of wordemupg
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review 1500!!! ya me!!! 650ml red waxed bottle (2012) poured into tulip 22/10/12 thanks Masterski and Sean9689 for sending me a bottle

A its dark but not jet black, deep cola edge and I didn't expect much foam from a beer this big but it almost pours flat, a dark thin films gone in seconds zero lace.

S chocolate fudge with some raisins, prunes, cherry, smoke, coffee, molasses and a little booze but all things considered its pretty mellow, some leather and tobacco as it warms

T sweeter then the smell, some chocolate liqueur, and lacking some of the complexity of the nose, its good but I was hoping for more with all the hype behind this one

M its thick and no heat impresses me in a beer this strong, could use a few more bubbles but again I didn't expect much carbonation in such a massive beer, VERY sticky on the lips and it takes a little strength to open my mouth

O I'm surprised how well they managed to hide the booze and its good beer overall but I was expecting much more, its Darklord after all.

Good with no questions but for a beer that I'm giving a 4+ rating I still have to admit I'm a little disappointed, I like it and would drink it again but I can think of many better brews that are much easier to acquire

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.

Photo of Haybeerman
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, pitch black color. Poured a 3 finger brown color head with good retention. Thick consistent lacing.

S: Dark, sweet fruits, butterscotch and anise. Had an earthy, oak smokiness.

T: Big buttery note up front. Dark fruits and chocolate follow. Lingering bitter for the finish.

M: A big full-bodied beer. Thick and chewy with malt. Light carbonation.

D: Very interesting and engaging beer. The 13% is a bit daunting.

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.

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...

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!

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

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.

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.

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!

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

Photo of rudzud
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this at a little bottle share at Tree House Brewery. Reviewed from notes. This is a 20011 yellow wax vintage.

A - Poured into a Tree House glass a Deep, deep dark brownish hue that is still slightly clear. A very light quarter inch head fades to leave light halo.

S - Quite nice. Roasty, sweet malts, faint vanilla and soy, and almost a smokey character. Light chocolate as well.

T - Taste is good. Smokey, sweet malts, light vanilla notes along with some faint soy. not getting as much chocolate as I would like from a RIS but still, damn solid.

M - Mouthfeel is smooth, lightly carbonated.

O - Overall, this was a good RIS, but I feel like it is somewhat over hyped. With so many quality RIS on the market this one for me isnt worth what it costs to get in a trade.

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.

Photo of xnicknj
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Updated review from Dark Lord tasting of 10, 11, 12, Bourbon Barrel '12 and Brandy Vanilla '11

After trying 5 different versions of the beer in one sitting I came to the realization that this is one of the thickest, heaviest, sweetest, most cloying, rich beers I can possibly imagine. We were all hard pressed to finish our 3-4 oz pours of the regular Dark Lord vintages due to the overwhelming sweetness driven by dark fruit, burnt sugar, vanilla, anise, chocolate, etc. The booze is still negotiable, but my overall impression of this beer has changed since I first had it nearly 2 years ago.

Trying these alongside the barrel-aged versions really exposes the base beer as well, considering the Bourbon and Brandy Vanilla are two of the best stouts I've tasted all year.

Original review - 2-11-11: 4.47

22oz bottle poured into snifter glass - 2010 vintage - thanks to mikesgroove/dregs78 (not sure who this one's from)

Pours a ridiculously inky and thick black color with a tanned head. There's some retention with a brownish film, leaving a collar of lacing on the glass.

Lots of dark fruit in the nose with rich sweetness. Notes of anise, licorice, truffles and chocolate followed by a slight alcohol flair.

Sweet up front driven by an assortment of candied dark fruit and syrup with molasses. Anise, licorice, and raisin with some bittersweet tones and light hop bitterness. Dark chocolate and toffee with some notes of truffle oil. Warm boozyness and more dark fruit throughout the finish.

Full syrupy body, nice carbonation, very smooth and slick on the palate. Drinks insanely well for the alcohol content with a nice, unique full flavor however a little on the sweet side for me. This was a pretty unusual beer compared to most big, boozy stouts I've had, but definitely one I'd seek out again.

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.

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.

Photo of tectactoe
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to doobliebop for this one! 2012 edition with the red wax, shared with some people at a Super Bowl party. Pours a thick and viscous black color with a thin and measly tan head, even after a pretty aggressive pour. The beer looks pretty dark, commanding, and brash, so I'd say "Dark Lord" is a pretty fitting moniker.

The aroma on is super sweet; vanilla, cocoa powder, oaky and woody, with some creamy coffee mashed in there. Very sweet and roasty on the nose - nearly no hops or hop-like aromas are even detectable on the nose. But the aroma is still pretty fantastic. Caramel and huge brown sugar aromas come out more as this one warms up. It smells like a candy shop, no question about that. I typically like my stouts more bitter and not quite as sweet, but there's still no denying that this beer smells pretty damn good.

Dark Lord cascades over the palate with a super-creamy and smooth mouth feel, and the first and most prominent flavor that comes to mind is super sweet, burnt brown sugar. This beer is sweet as hell. Despite that, the sweetness is manageable, but still a little over the edge. The sweet vanilla and oak flavors come out next; molasses, syrup, coffee with a humongous dose of cream and sugar, sweet, dense currants and dates - all these flavors are present and constantly attacking the palate under the command of that brown sugar flavor that's still running strong.

This beer is certainly boozy, but definitely doesn't feel like 15% ABV; it's possible that the sweetness of this beer subdues the alcohol burn a little bit, and in turn, maybe that's what prevents the sweetness from being cloying, despite its sheer intensity. Tons of flavors clashing; a menagerie of flavors attacking your taste buds and stretching them to the limit. Carbonation is pretty low, the body is still thick and viscous, silky and creamy as hell.

This is one of the sweetest base stouts out there. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't too unmanageable or too cloying, but it was still pretty damn sweet. Then again, it was split 5-ways - I might be saying something else had I finished the entire 22 oz. bottle on my own. Though I typically prefer my RISs to have a heavy bitter offset from a huge hop addition, Dark Lord showed almost no hop character at all and was still pretty enjoyable to me. Vanilla, cocoa, caramel, molasses, dark fruits, oak... This is a great beer; though it may be too sweet to drink a bunch of, Dark Lord is awesome in small pours.

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.

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.

Photo of thagr81us
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to fbm115 for this one! 2010 Vintage. Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Pours black as sin with a one finger tan head that remains for quite some time. Maintains phenomenial lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of coffe, malt, alcohol, and licorise. The flavor was of chocolate, alcohol, malt, bread, caramel, and coffee. It was heavy on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this brew is nothing short of epic in all aspects. I had this before at a BA tasting thanks to mikesgroove and had to get my hands on a bottle for myself after that. Now I remember why... The flavor and aroma one this one is quite awesome and complex. It is one of the ones that does live up to the hype surrounding it. It is definitely a heavy hitter and while slightly chilled reminds you of this fact, but mellows out upon reaching room temperature.

Photo of champ103
2.91/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I have had several bottles and years of this. Ones with some age, and others fresh. So this is kind of a composite review of my overall experience and opinion.

A: Pours a viscous and opaque black color. A one finger tan head forms and sticks around for a minute. The foam eventually recedes to a ring. No lace is left behind.
S: Sweet malt, charred wood, brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce, hot fusel alcohol.
T: Follows the nose with a ton of sweetness. Over barring and cloying in that matter. Molasses, soy sauce, and alcohol. Way to much residual sugars. I have had the same experience with every bottle and vintage I have tried.
M/D: A huge full body that is low on the carbonation. Thick, syrupy, oily and way to viscous to be enjoyable. Harsh alcohol all the way. Mix the viscosity, alcohol, over barring sweetness, and I am not a fan.

I really have been underwhelmed by just about every incarnation of this hallowed beer that I have tried. Just way to...BIG with no resemblance of balance or nuance. Not something I would recommend.

Photo of Dogbrick
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting on 8/16/06 (2005 Bottle): After the utter perfection of the first year's sample of this beer, I was frankly a little let down the first time I tried the 2005 bottle a year ago. I have to say this was a lot better after being aged a bit. Pours blacker than black with a thick brown head with good lasting power. Heady aroma of dark malts, coffee and chocolate. Rich and full-bodied, this nectar was made for an almost agonizingly slow drink. Great array of flavors from malt, cocoa, espresso to bitter hops and peppery alcohol. The finish is long and flavorful. Even a realtively small amount of this reminds me why it is one of the best beers on the planet.

Photo of VeganUndead
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Red Wax, 2012 Vintage, my first ever experience with DL. Midnight black pour with almost no carbonation, nose is licorice dark fruit and alcohol. This has been aging for almost a year, hence why the taste is mellow, but very sweet, and the 15% abv is almost unnoticeable. A ton of lacing as it goes down. I'm very satisfied with this brew, not up there with darkness or abyss imo, but this was supposed to be the worst batch they did, if that's the case I doubt I could handle a 2008 haha. Cheers

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,819 ratings.