The Earl Of Biggleswade (2014)
3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Russian Imperial Stout
3.78 | pDev: 22.22%
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Notes: Dark Lord aged in a brandy barrel with cardamom, coriander, and cacao nibs.
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 55
Photo of Stevedore
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark black body, typical Dark Lord body, with oily legs and a half finger thin head that dissipates pretty much immediately. Not much to look at. Smell is straight up cardamom, sort of like curry spices, with the background of sugar, roast and type I diabetes. The coriander isn't particularly strong here, overall not terrible in the nose, but on the palate, it is pretty disgusting. It tastes like tears of anguish would, which is to say that it is very sweet with the cardamom and other spices somehow overwhelming the sweetness of the base Dark Lord. It's simply a pit of despair and 4 of us couldn't even finish half the bottle. It was brutal. That being said, body is all there, carb is appropriate. This isn't horrible, but a 1-2oz pour would be more than enough for me. I've never tasted a beer like this before, at least it's fairly unique.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Massive, spicy, floral and strong, the 2014 brandy barrel aged Dark Lord stout that boasts cocoa, coriander and cardamom addition is still alive with all those flavors in a mellow, dessert and boozy sipping session.

Called The Earl of Biggleswade, this four-year old edition pours a syrupy bronze and tawny garnet hue. Firmly hazed with cocoa powder and spices, the appearance is nearly opaque except at its farm margins. Faint on foam character, the ale simmers like a dark hot chocolate with sinister secrets inside. Heavy on molasses, dark fruit, fudge, floral spice and oaked brandy, the scent is decadent with dessert-like liquors.

On the tongue, the ale slathers is booze laden sugars over each and every tastebud. Light on carbonation, the beer's sweetness saturates the soft tissues of the mouth with unabashed apology. Choclate, maple, molasses and toffee seem like caramel cake batter but with the grilled fruit flavors of blackcurrant, red grape, prune, date and fig before turing to leather and fresh pulled tobacco. The spicy of brandy does a much needed job is balancing a bit of the sweetness and shying away from cloying taste and textures. The individual spices of cardamom and coriander retains a floral and herbal whimsy that seems to brighten the dark sweetness but provides a distraction from the beer's decadence.

Lavishly full, thick and whole heartedly viscous, the beer's texture is akin to used motor oil. As the ale clings to the mouth, its dessert character chases into a long, spicy, sweet finish that lasts indefinitely into the next sip. Like a fine after dinner digestive, this ale is cause of special and specific celebrations.

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Photo of mothman
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fizzy tan head. Black color.

This beer is very odd. It is very sweet. It only the spices used but the brandy adds to it as well. Has a cola or dr. Pepper flavor to it. So much spice. Oak and brandy all around.

Full bodied.

This one is tough to drink a lot of. Just too much sweetness and spice. Fun to try but not my favorite dark lord variant.

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Photo of stompilator
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a 6oz. tasting glass.

A - Absolute jet black. Very light, tan head that dissipated quickly.

S - A lot of barrel and spice on top of the huge malt sweetness.

T - A ton of chocolate and roast notes, milky sweetness, but toned a bit by a husky, woody barrel edge. A subtle spice rounds out the incredible sweet punch, with the wood giving the immense sugar an interesting complement.

M - Like sipping a bottle of grenadine; almost repulsively thick and sticky. Needed multiple glasses of water beside this.

O - Certainly wouldn't travel across the country and tribute my first-born child for it, but nonetheless an interesting, complex brew.

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Photo of SGerrard
4.54/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On draft at DLD 2015. Enjoyed the cardamom and orange brightness on this and would definitely consider purchasing it as a variant (if the Vanilla and coffee were already gone).

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Photo of rlee1390
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Almost as if someone dumped a bunch of Italian spices into Dark Lord. Lots of coriander and earthy spices. The spices balance out the sweetness of the Dark Lord. Not worth spending 50 a bottle on, but not atrocious.

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Photo of kodt
4.34/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thought the flavors actually work quite well on this one. Coriander is not overpowering, brandy and chocolate present here as well. The spices do well to complement the sweetness. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of cducap
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a tasting on 2-28-15. Unexpected, weird flavors clash and overwhelm the nicer components of the Dark Lord. My least favorite of the variants I have tried.

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Photo of dar482
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%

Unsure about the hate on this brew.

The beer upfront offers almost carrot cake or spicy Christmas dessert notes as that huge punch of cardamon smacks the palate and is balanced by a bit of orange spice. A bit of roast, coffee, and chocolate surround the brew as Dark Lord's signature sweetness creeps up on the finish.

The spices surely covers up some of the sweetness, which may be overwhelming sometimes, of the beer. A fun spin on the classic, despite being a "Love it or hate it" beer.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Small white head. Thin collar.

Smell - Fascinating. Brandy. Smells like an English tea. Cardamon and chocolate.

Taste - Brandy and fudgy chocolate. I don't get the tea anymore, but the cardamon is strong. No sign of the orange peel, but the standard Dark Lord sweetness is strong.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Very sweet. Medium carbonation.

Overall - It's a very interesting beer, but doesn't need Dark Lord sweetness. That being said, I think it's one of the better BA Dark Lords.

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Photo of homebrew311
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to tony for sharing this one. Pours like the rest of the darklords... Black... Viscous, no head. Nose features sweet brown sugar and caramel paired with coriander and orange followed by brandy and slight smokey notes. Taste is rather sweet with a orangey tone towards the end. Balance isn't terrible, but definitely doesn't match up to the other badl's I've tried. Very sweet overall along with light carb. There are some chocolate covered orange flavors going on but the brandy seems to interfere rather than elevate this. The most unique of the variants and worth a try.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to Brian for this one. 750ml waxed and capped bottle into 3F Stemware. Reviewed at a tasting 5/3/14.

Appearance is Dark Lord... pitch black, dense with little to no head and huge legs.

Nose is tobacco, marajiuana, liquorice, grass, pepper, tea, cocoa, and fudge. Aromatic and super awkward.

Opens chocolate, tobacco and fudge. Tea, cinnamon, oak and a brandy sweetness in the middle. Huge marajiuana flavor throughout. More weird tea, spice and pepper towards the end with a big dose of booze, chocolate and fudge. Sticky sweet liquorice aftertaste. Very strange but kinda intriguing.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and smooth and warm going down. Messy finish with a sticky aftertaste.

Just a very weird beer. If you're fortunate enough to come across this, brace yourself, its certainly one of a kind.

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Photo of roger617
4.78/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was fortunate enough to get a pour of this at Dark Lord Day 2014. Huge thanks to the crazy generous fellow for popping this one open. Poured into a sampler glass.

A: Completely black, poured with a thin line of khaki head that reduced to nothing.
S: A huge blast of chocolate and spices up front. Lingering sweetness along with brandy, slight fruit - very far in the background, but there.
T: Very similar to aroma. The chocolate in this beer is completely overwhelming. The spice compliments, and everything else rounds it out to be chocolate heavy, yet so well balanced it's unbelievable. I love chocolate, so there's also that to consider. (First 5 in taste I've ever given)
M: Carbed to style, feels rich and velvety. Love it.
O: I am bummed the bottle count on this is so low, I know I'll likely never have another chance to enjoy. This is one of the best beers I have ever enjoyed. The balance of flavors, with the combo of the nose is out of this world. First sip I could only think "Oh my God"... Which is apparently what everyone thought who sampled this gem.

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The Earl Of Biggleswade (2014) from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 55 ratings