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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.56/5
World-Class
870 Ratings
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States
3floyds.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark Lord aged in bourbon barrels for one year. Recently has used a blend of barrels from Heaven Hill, but has also been Woodford Reserve and others in the past

Formerly known as Oak Aged Dark Lord.

Added by mcallister on 04-29-2006

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#79
Reviews:
200
Ratings:
870
pDev:
8.77%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
2,055
Gots:
163
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 870 |  Reviews: 200
Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle 15.0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass
2012 Vintage
Bottle Number: 393/688

I am not sure I can thank futura123 enough for sending this my way, I never thought I would get the chance to try the bourbon version of one of my favorite beers!

Appearance: As with the regular Dark Lord, the barrel aged version pours out thick and viscous. The beer appears pitch black in the glass, but a back light reveals some deep red along the edges. A rough pour yields a small, creamy, tan coloured head that, as expected, fizzes away pretty quickly. A swirl coats the glass in a thick yellow tinted film, that fades into heavy alcohol legs.

Smell: Good lord, as with the regular DL, the nose here is absolutely sublime! If you don’t like sweet beers, I think this is one to avoid! The initial nose offers copious amounts of sweet toffee, chocolate fudge, salted caramel, caramelized (nearly burned) brown sugar, bourbon and sweet vanilla. Further contemplation and warming yields: Liquorice, a little coffee, dark fruits (cherries and raisins), oak and molasses.

Taste: As the nose promised, this is one of the most delicious beers in all of beerdom, I have a feeling that my glass is going to disappear far quicker than it should! Flavour notes include: Sweet toffee, chocolate, caramel, fudge, butterscotch, bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramelized sugar, dark fruits, molasses and liquorice. There is a touch of the 15% noted in the finish, but I couldn’t bring myself to dock a point for this as the rest of the flavour is just that good!

Mouthfeel: Perfect, absolutely perfect! The body is thick, chewy and quite sticky, with a medium level (usually too high for my tastes, but it works so well in this case) of insanely smooth carbonation.

Overall: Bourbon Dark Lord is one of the few beers that far exceeds any and all hype surrounding it - this is easily one of the best beers I have ever had had! I would absolutely kill for a shot at the vanilla bean version!

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Photo of nrbw23
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Looks just like the regular DL. Pitch black with a brown head.

S- Smells like the normal DL with a more bourbon, nutty and wood smell. I think this one smells good.

T- Follows the regular version with a bigger bourbon taste and nice amount of wood as well.

M- Huge and thick and low carbonation.

D- Sipper just like all the other Dark Lords and easy to drink.

I had all three of these pretty much back to back and gonna give the edge to the vanilla bean but I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. Nice work!

Scored a couple of glasses of this beast again at DLD '10 and its a great brew.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Brad for sharing this at his tasting on Saturday!

2010 vintage, served side by side with Dark Lord and Vanilla Bean Dark Lord.

Oak Aged Dark Lord pours a near jet black, with hints of brown visible at the upper edges of the glass when held to the light. Head and lacing are somewhat subdued, but given the serving medium, I couldn't ask for more. A great big aroma of rich roasted malt and oak barrels. Wow. Dark Lord is one of my favorite beers, and I find the addition of oak barrels to be quite wonderful. There is a prominent licorice note in the taste. Someone described the feel as "oil slick in the gulf" and I have to agree. Thick and chewy, this beer leaves a coating of stout residue in your mouth that utterly blankets the palate. This is remarkably smooth, given the high alcohol (it is higher this year than previous vintages), and gives a nice, warm burn as it slides down. I really hope I can go to DLD next year and get some of this fresh from the tap.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On tap at DLD 2011.

Simply delicious. Similar in some regards to Goose Island Bourbon County Rare. The beer is full of flavor and wonderfully smooth. Alcohol content hidden beautifully. Lingering aftertaste of delicious bourbon. Warming sensation as it goes down. World class.

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Photo of UncleFlip
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My sweet little cup of joy. I saw one of the barrels (a Woodford Reserve barrel! YAY!) at FFF in October, and was nearly in tears, knowing I'd never get to try it. I live in Alabama, and can't just hop on up to the brewpub when something special is on tap....so I was overjoyed to hear it was in the lineup for DLD. Oh JOY!

I forked over my cash, and got my lil' plastic cup. dangit! Spilled a bit on my hand. Never before has my own hand been so lickable. Syrupy, sticky when it dried....oh, a beer-pop would be heaven now.

But seriously....thick black, some slight cola fringe around it, and a deep bronze head that seemes a bit thin, but is adequate...sort of like my brain cells.

On the nose, the bourbon hits right up frount- a nice round, not too sharp bourbon at that. Sweet, dark maltiness follows.

The flavour is paradisal to my humble tongue. Once more, the bourbon up front. Nice and thick and sweet, it almost instantly shuts off and is replaced by coffee and bittersweet chocolate. The bourbon hits again at the end, along with a mellow bitterness.

On the mouth, it's velvety and a little oily all at once- nice and thick, with very little apparent carbonation. Just the way I like it.. ;)

Drinakble? Understatement. If I could have this one on tap all the time, I'd be dead now.

Be well
-UF

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Photo of tyee
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(This was tasted on tap at the DL release day 2006. It was served in a plastic cup and I transferred it to a pint glass).

The head was small and redish tan with some swirls on the top. The appearance of the beer was densely black.

The smell was of coffee, oak, bourbon, chocolate, rasins and vanilla. Faint hint of hops.

The taste was heavenly! I savored each sip. Rich chocolate, bourbon, rasins and coffee with a slight bitterness at the back end.

The mouthfeel was thick and not too carbonated. This coated the tongue nicely.

Drinkability was wonderful. The aging did this 2005 vintage DL well. The flavors have all blended nicely and the bourbon gives you a real kick in the palate.

I would have to say that this is the best barrel aged beer I have ever had. I was privilaged to try this one. Way to go Nick and all the folks at Three Floyds!!

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Photo of DonKruse
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm a newbie to craft beers but went to a festival with some guru friends of mine and they let me try some of this. This beer has a full and very smooth simple flavor. I don't know enough about beer to say what the flavors were but I wanted to say even as a newbie I can still appreciate this beer.

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Photo of ajcuster89
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at DLD 2015. Phenomenal

30 characters

Photo of jegross2
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the 2012 Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Company out of Munster, Indiana. This is bottle number 4 out of 420. We consumed this bottle as part of a Dark Lord (and Behemoth) vertical to celebrate the then-impending, now-official marriage of my friend Scott Nicholas. Thanks again for bringing the bottle Scott, and congratulations!
Score: 99

2012 vintage bottle served in a stemmed wine-style glass and enjoyed on 09/19/12.

Appearance: Pours an ink black color with a thin layer of beige head that settles to a ring around the glass. Poor lacing, but excellent cling and retention with what little lacing there is. 4/5

Smell: Smooth bourbon, milk chocolate, oak, dark chocolate and a surprising amount vanilla (though there is less vanilla than the Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord). Brown sugar and dark fruit too. There is the faintest hint of coffee in the nose. Huge doses of chocolate and smooth bourbon are present in the aroma. A slight roastiness and more oak comes out as the beer warms up. The aroma is bold and perfectly balanced. 5/5

Taste: Brown sugar, sweet bourbon and light vanilla. The sweetness is nowhere near the level of the base beer, which greatly lends to its drinkability. This tastes a lot like the Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord, but with less vanilla character -- shocking, right? The Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord seemed sweeter than this variant as well, though I would not characterize either variant as remotely being "too sweet." Molasses and raisin flavor too. No coffee. Like the nose, the flavor is bold and balanced. There is a light alcohol warming effect on the palate in the finish, as might be expected from a 15% ABV beer, but this beer is far from boozy. To the contrary, it is smooth and easy to drink. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Viscous and full-bodied with minimal carbonation. The beer is sweet, slightly sticky and creamy on the palate. 5/5

Overall: This beer's only real flaw is it's cost. As with all barrel aged Dark Lord variants, this beer cost $50 retail and was only obtainable at retail pricing by having a winning scratch off lotto ticket that each person got after buying a ticket to Dark Lord Day (and even then, you had to claim one of the four variants before they ran out). Those who struck out on the Dark Lord Day lotto would have to pay an even higher premium via trade or otherwise, as this beer sold for $300+ on eBay before eBay halted alcohol sales earlier this year. This beer is substantially less sweet than the base beer, but it's still a sweet (just not "overly sweet") brew.

Recommendation: This is one of those few highly hyped, hard-to-get, extra-premium priced beers that absolutely delivers, but there are plenty of comparable beers out there that cost half as much (or less). This is one to seek out and try for the purpose of ticking, but I recommend trying to acquire one with a group of friends to share to ease the cost.

Pairings: Drink this decadent beer as it's own digestif. It's heavy enough to suffice.

Cost: $50 for a 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of hayesez
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was definitely looking forward to having a few glasses of the oak-aged Dark Lord again this year. This was my favorite the last few years and being that one can only have it once per year, I was getting anxious! Judging by the number of people at the event several hours before the gates even opened, we figured it would behoove us to get in there quickly!

Poured into the cheap plastic cup, it really just doesn't do this beer any justice. It is still a nice looking pour - thick, oily, black, and messy. Just enough juice on the pour to create a slight frothy head. I have a feeling this would be quite nice in a snifter, but I digress.

Ah yes - wood and bourbon. Really doesn't smell that much like standard Dark Lord, but damn impressive. Sweet smelling, with some syrup or maple and some chocolate. I really like what the barrel has done to this beer.

And every bit as impressive on the palate as I remember. As expected from the smell, there is quite a bit of bourbon presence that is not around in the standard version of Dark Lord. I'm not as good at detecting the woodiness in the taste, but the smoothness given by the barrel-aging process is amazing. This is by far my favorite of the three Dark Lords - if not for being served in a plastic cup, it would certainly receive a perfect score. Very thick, chewy, and oily - I love the way it coats the mouth and hangs around long after the beer is gone. One of the detractors of Dark Lord over the past couple of years has been the sweetness. The oak-aging replaces that sweetness with a more mellow smooth taste - this is why it is so amazing.

Tough to rank the drinkability on a three ounce pour - which is why it is imperative that one gets several glasses! And even after several glasses, I'm lining up for more. I still contend that Three Floyd's should bottle about 50 bottles of this per year, and then produce 50 "golden tickets" that are different than the normal ones. A true Willy Wonka experience. If you get one of the special golden tickets in the mail, you can redeem it for a bottle of the oak-aged. Something to think about Nick.

Regardless of the chaos of Dark Lord Day (which I truly enjoy), the oak-aged Dark Lord alone is enough to bring me back every year. A masterpiece.

Consumed: 4/24/2010 

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Photo of ellswrth
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of HopFace
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of BenBreeg
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 version. Bottle 346 of 688. This is beyond words, close to perfection !

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Photo of Nuggetz
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Filabee
4.93/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a short plastic cup)

A- This beer has an inky black body that stains the side of the cup after each sip the head is a thin cinnamon brown that turns to a small ring around the edge pretty quickly.

S- The powerful smell of oak and coffee roasted malt come through even as I lift the cup of the table. The complex smell is very smooth and blended but notes of bourbon and coffee come through with faint molasses and a hint of vanilla.

T- This slightly sweet black malt has flavors similar to the smell with bourbon and vanilla coming through with a nice wood flavor. The soft taste of coffee beans comes through at the finish.

M- This beer has a full creamy mouthfeel with no alcohol warmth or astringency.

D- This is what Dark Lord has been missing. I like DL for its big punch in the face flavor but the aged in oak DL is blended all those flavors an added some more mysterious layers. This was truly an amazing beer.

Thanks to Diesel for buying this round.

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Photo of Cdog2cool4u
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of Abbbp
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at DLD 2011 in the Brewpub. I absolutely love Three Floyds. Bourbon Barrel dark Lord is the description.

A: Definitely pours black as hell with a small tan ring of head and great legs of alcohol. Very nice look.

S: Wow, the best mix of amazing sweet and savory bourbon with huge dark malt of any bourbon aged stout I've had to date. Raisin, Vanilla, burnt malt, dark fruit all combine amazingly. Complex and exceptional.

T: Taste does not disappoint, Might be the best tasting beer I've ever had even better than Vanilla IMHO. More flavors from the already bourbon and dark malt smell characters include molasses, vanilla bean, dark fruit, some coffee roast, and more. Tastes like the stout I think God would want to have.

M: Smooth and mostly not too hot, but a little alcohol lingers here. Would easily be a 5 with some age.

D: Totally amazing and just a pleasure to try. I beginning to think Dark Lord might be the best stout the barrel age in history.

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Photo of Ferocious
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of tjthresh
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma was a bunch of oak and bourbon, smoke, and dark dried fruits. I Think the oak was the big player for most of the beer, until it had warmed enough. This it had tons of bourbon. Very syrupy an oily looking. Pitch black with a rich brown head. Coat the plastic cup it was served in nicely. Very well balanced. Everything blended quite nice. True to the original. Oak and vanilla. Roast and dark fruit flavors. Very rich, lush, and slick over the tongue. Long finish. Top notch.

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Photo of mctizzz
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of slimstout
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Dark Lord Day 2010.

Appearance: Black, thick, no head to speak of.

Smell: Luscious.

Taste: As I drank this, I honestly thought that it was a taste of Heaven itself. Malty. Vanilla. Chocolate. Coffee. Clearly oak-aged. Absolutely heavenly.

Mouthfeel: Sooo smooth and thick. It reminded me of silk or velvet.

Drinkability: If not for the ABV I could drink it for all eternity.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16oz cup at Three Floyds 4/26/08. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Looks like Norwegian black metal served in a plastic cup. Awe inspiring viscous body that clings to the inside of the cup when swirled. Small dark brown/espresso crema colored head.

S: Huge sweet aroma of blackened malt, coconut, molassas, oak, espresso beans, boozy bourbon, dark chocolate, and cherry.

T: See above. That's all you have to do.

M: Incredibly chewey. Feels like taking a swig of half & half but has the look of old nasty gear oil drained out of a junkyard diff.

D: Would've scored a perfect 5 if it didn't annihilate my taste buds (which it did!). The alcohol isn't very apparent 'till I got to the bottom of the glass and it felt like my cheeks were burning. Awesome!

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Photo of spointon
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this one at the 20th anniversary party of the Map Room in Chicago. Served on tap, I received about a 10oz pour into a short hourglass shaped glass.

A= Poured opaque and sporting a 1/4" rich brown head. Once the glass was full this ale looked as black as motor oil. Once it was almost gone and the light got into it I could start to see traces of ruby and amber. By the way, I took the last sip and put the glass down and was amused to see that a lot of liquid still clung to the sides.

S= Huge complexity in the nose. Aside from the bourbon (which was giving me amazingly big and rich aromas), I noted heavy syrupy malt, roasted grain, some toffee-like richness, hints of coffee, and alcohol. Not overpowering or solvent-y in any way though.

T= My God, it was amazing. This beer was custom made for a bourbon barrel. Often times I thing the bourbon barrel overpowers a beer. Not the Dark Lord. Things started off with the best parts of bourbon (sweet complexity) plus vanilla, roasted grain, coffee, toffee, and an almost indescribable richness that was not heavy or cloying despite the ten ton weight of this beer. It was a sipping experience for sure, but I never felt that it was overwhelming. The hops were pretty much non-existent. The finish was smooooth, warm with a pleasant alcohol, and sweet.

MF= Beyond heavy body...it's in a class by itself. When I had finished it, there was enough liquid sticking to the sides of the glass to make the glass look brown for a few seconds and allow me another small sip (and lots of aroma for a long time after the experience was over). Carbonation was there but otherwise not really a factor.

D= Despite the 15% abv, despite the syrupy thick body, despite the sweetness, this beer was really a joy to experience and ultimately the drinkability was high. Unexpectedly high. A moving experience that I will not hesitate to repeat.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.56 out of 5 with 870 ratings
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