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
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

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
Reviews:
189
Ratings:
776
Avg:
4.52
pDev:
18.58%
 
 
Wants:
1,993
Gots:
150
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 189 | Ratings: 776
Photo of SchmoTerp
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

All the hype is well deserved - one of my favorite and most complicated beers to date. This imperial stout was truly the thickest beer I've ever had and was certainly one of the most favorful. The most surprising characteristic was its smoothness in all of its boldness. It's unfortunate they will not bottle this one but then again, that's what's so great about it.

Loved it.

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Photo of genog
4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got to sample this one at DLD 08.

Poured into a tiny plastic cup a black charcoal color with a thin layer of light tan head resting on top the entire time. Had more lacing than the original Dark Lord.

Smell was bourbony, oaky and kind of like a port with big dark fruit notes.

Taste was very complex with sweetness and smokiness dancing together on the palate.

Mouthfeel was very smooth and creamy, with a warming alcohol presence.

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Photo of iconoklaztor
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer poured with virtually no head what so ever. It was probably served a little cold but I was probably the 10th person to get this so I'm guessing it was due to that.

The color of this brew was as dark as a beer could get, IMO. It coated the cup like the nastiest motor oil from the most run down POS you could imagine. (I still have the cup)

The smells was phenomenal. Smells of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, chocolate cake, and a little burnt coffee made up this beast.

The taste simply cant be put into words but I will make a poor attempt at it. It was probably the most balanced beer I've ever had. At no point did this beer reveal any of its 13%. It was super creamy, Bourbon-y, and very chocolaty.

The mouth was so rich and creamy and thick and malty. I am honored to have tried this brew.

Overall, this beer is the best beer I've ever tried. It, IMO, can't get much better than this. I'm excited to see what can top it.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
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 jeonseh
4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a chance to try this the Tuesday after DLD in an empty FFF brewpub so I had a chance to write a proper review. Served in a stemless goblet that looked like a rounded old fashioned glass.

A - Black as anything. Super dark and absolutely no light can get through this one. Nice and thick as well as they body just coats the glass. There was a bit of a mocha colored head when it came out but as with any beer with this much head, it had no chance at all of surviving. Have to say it managed to leave a few bubbles on the surface that reminded me a bit of a black swamp that one would see in a horror movie. Have to say this did leave a lot of lacing for a beer that barely had any head as the whole little glass was spotted with lacing.

S - A huge nose that is filled with odors of vanilla, caramel, and toffee. Definitely can tell the effects of the BA as I could smell the cinnamon and whiskey spices even from far away. I was surprised to notice that I actually smelled some cherry and plum/prune dark fruits odors in there as well that gave this beer some added complexity.

T - Yikes, this is one beer that manages to be both flavor packed and yet subdued and balanced. At first, i get a big sweet, vanilla, toffee, and caramel flavors that roll in. After this and towards the end of the beer is when I start to notice how those spicy Woodford reserve barrels have affected this beer. Can just taste the effects of the oak and the spicy cinnamon and pepper it imparts. Also seemed to get a hint of cherry and plum in the beer as well as roasted cocoa and chocolate. Have to love having all that in there together.

MF - Just a bit thinner than I like my RIS's to feel. It does have really nice prickly feeling on the tongue that goes well with all of the spiciness that we find as a result of the oak aging.

D - Lets just say that this is a 13% huge stout and yet I have no trouble at all drinking the whole glass. This is a beer that just makes you want to have more of it. It is complex and flavor packed and I never felt overwhelmed or tired of drinking it. Each sip brought a new experience to me. Love that I got a chance to actually sit down and try it in an experience other than DLD because it let me really appreciate all that it is.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had the honor of trying this at DLD 08, thanks Nick! :)

Insane, Black Death (mixed with a shovel full of Black Plague) and a little charred motor oil (after being removed from a car that hasn't had an oil change in 10,000 miles).

Brown, slimy, super-sticky legs (maybe tentacles) that don't fade, ever. Fine bourbon all over the nose, all in one glass cup. This beer sticks to the glass (and may actually be melting it).

In a word, "Ferocious".

I am not a fan of most bourbon barrel-aged beers. Most are too sweet for my palate. This beer represented the bourbon-style of beers the way I like 'em. It kept true to form, in that it wasn't overpoweringly sweet, but fiercely "bourbonie" or carried a very strong alcohol in the nose and mouth.

This drink is truly a meal in itself. Not for the tame drinker - this beer kicked my ass and it will kick your ass, as well.

If FFF's ever bottled this, I recommend Flame grilling a super-thick porterhouse to crack open one of these with friends. Don't drink it alone!

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Photo of bgramer
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at DLD.

Black as sin with tan rays of hope coating the sides of the cup. Thick, oily, and sweet smelled like dark fruits and bourbon-ey. The taste was definitely chocolate-y (like a cupcake almost) and roasty with hints of coffee.

It was a cold day so this beer was a great warmer. The oak aging was not as prominent, but still served as one piece of the complex flavor-tasting puzzle.

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Photo of
4.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at DLD, 2008.

Opaque, black. In the light of day with the sun shining brightly, had just a bit of brown at the edges. Thick & viscous, lots of leg and no lacing. No head, just a few stray bubbles at the edge, dark brown in color.

Scent that first struck me was bourbon, followed by molasses. This was a very sweet smelling beer. Roast character was not really coming through at all. The dark fruit character present in regular DL also seemed toned down, but it was present.

Taste was more sweet than bitter, and was similar to the aroma. Bourbon, dark chocolate, hint of coffee and molasses. Fruit character minimized at this time. Very mild herbal bittering at the finish.

Mouthfeel was fantastic, but again, to me, not quite as good as the bottled version. Thick, smooth body. Minimal carbonation. Quite sweet. Alcohol starts to warm you up quickly.

An exceptional stout, but I prefer the regular. I think the oak aging covers up some of the complexity that I enjoyed in the regular version. Also, for some reason, the mouthfeel was not quite as impressive as in the bottled version, still very good, just not exceptional. Still feel like this beer lives up to the hype!

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Photo of kdesch
4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I was at DLD 2008 and tasted the Bourbon and the vanilla bean DL on tap.

The Bourbon barrel DL, was really amazing. It is not something I would drink every day (even if I could). The mouthfeel is what really stands out about this beer, it is very coating and penetrating, a very different sensation from most other beers. The taste and smell are all wonderful, as I could remember the taste and smell for hours after drinking the beer. (that or it dried up on my nose and no one told me).

Put simply if you get a chance to drink a beer like this you should.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My sticky sin stained hands hold tight to a 10oz. plastic cup at Darklord day 2008. Used oil black with no head just a skim of dark tan ring on the edge of the cup. Nose is big and thick with tons of deep dark fruit notes and malty sweet port. Thick and really brooding, this is what blackness should taste like. The song "Paint it black" comes to mind. Incredible complexity from dark rich sweetness and smooth long dryness on the end of the tongue. Very port like as expected. This would challange Raspberry Eisbock for my favorite after dinner beer. An attractively brooding mouthfeel. Surprisingly drinkable for its strength.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at DLD 2008. The beer was massive in every way, especially mouthfeel (like the standard Dark Lord). This beer is rich, so full of flavor and so filling, it's an experience which is hard to describe. Oily black beer, thick enough that it almost feels like solid chocolate cake, complete annihilation of the senses in terms of aroma, flavor, and presence. I couldn't really detect any oak flavors, probably because subtle nuances like that are hard to separate from the overkill of flavors.

Probably you can only find this at special festivals (such as DLD), but I recommend you try it if you have the opportunity.

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Photo of Atron67
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bought this at the 2008 DLD and had both the vanilla bean and and oak aged versions.

overall i think they were better than the regular dark lord. the vanilla being alot better in taste with the vanilla blending in amazingly, however the nose of the vanilla bean aged was overpowered by the vanilla flavor. really creamy all over the place for both of them. the bourbon was much mor subtle on the nose, however also really good.

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Photo of SQNfan
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank at Three Floyd's Brewing Company during the 2007 Dark Lord Day: Black as night it had a slight brown head that left some nice brown lacing. The nose was huge and filled with expresso, chocolate and porty overtones. In the mouth it was the most dense, thick, syrupy, oily beer I have every tasted. While the alcohol lever is high (15%) and you know it is there, it is never hot. The flavors from the nose burst into the palate covering every nook and cranny. This is an intese freak of a beer that one can only drink in small quantities. However credit needs to be given as it is balanced which is not an easy feat for something this size.

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Photo of tjthresh
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

 484 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.03/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had myself a glass of this at DLD 2007. Was really looking forward to it!

Pours a deep opaque black, no light escapes, thin tan head, some lace spots, very oily. Smell is powerful, sweet, lots of cherries, and chocolate, oaky vanilla, alcohol, and oranges. Taste is similar, strong oaky vanilla, caramel, chocolate, roasty goodness, more tangerine/orange and alcohol. Mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation. This is from notes, but I really recall not being too impressed with this. Still very good, but I think I was expecting too much.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From my notes: Had this on tap at Dark Lord day 2007. Presented in a clear plastic cup which, just like my friend Phatz, transferred into my snifter glass. Appeared a pitch black color with about a finger of tan head. Smells of wood, rich roasted malts, bittersweet cocoa, dark coffee, and vanilla oak.
Tastes of very smooth bourbon - rich and boozy(in a very good way), dark chocolate, strong coffee and vanilla. Completely coats the mouth with each sip. Thick and oily. I could sip on this excellent beer all day.

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Photo of mynie
4.52/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I wrote up a big story for this one, but is was just strange and a little creepy and so I decided just to post the drunken notes I took at DLD. I got inside maybe 20 minutes after they tapped this, while they were still serving it in glass glasses.

Nice pour, although the head isn't as retentive as I live in a perfect impy. Real dark black, no red at all.

Smells like bourbon barrells, pornographic malts, roasted nuts, wood, alcohol, fire yeast, fruity oak.

Tastes much less complex than it smells. Big fiery bourbon outweighs most everything else, leading into a middle of fire burnt dark malt and a very rough and dry finish. Fantastic, but not perfect.

I'd say that regular DL is probably my 3rd favorite beer and well deserving of a perfect five. But I am keeping the bottles I bought at this year's DLD for at least a few more months before I try drinking them. They're just too powerful right now, and not as many of the complexities shine through. Add barrel aging to the mix, and you get a fantastic beer that's just too much to judge.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.52/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From my understanding, barrel-aged Dark Lord is only available at the brewery once a year during Dark Lord Day. I've sampled this one at a previous gathering, but this one was sampled during my recent visit to the FFF Brewpub at the 2007 Dark Lord Day. The intoxicating aroma starts filling the area as soon as it's poured. Big vinous woody-bourbon notes from the Woodford Reserve barrels are the first thing you notice then the mochachino notes start wafering along riding the waves of darkness. The intense flavor is amazing complex with lots of dark fruitiness, caramel, and chocolate. The body borderlines on syrupy, but there's more than enough alcohol and bitterness to make it all work nicely. Amazing really. More of an elixir or a potion than a beer. The Dark Lord Cometh!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this was the 2006 woodford reserve barrel-aged version on cask at dl day. poured into a clear plastic solo cup, this was unlike any beer i have ever had. dark and thick like well-used motor oil. and i mean thick. this beer just left remnants of itself on the sides of the cup, turning the cup from clear to brown. brown head. the nose was absolutely huge, dominated by the whiskey notes along with chocolate, coffee, vanilla, smoke, toffee, and raisins. taste was a huge malt sweetness balanced a little by the 3f hops and roasty malts, but more to the malt/sweet side. mouthfeel was more viscous and thick than i have ever experienced. this had very little carbonation from the cask leaving it thickly sweet. long, long finish is ended by whiskey flavors and warming alcohol. still somehow smooth, though. this took a while just to drink a little bit and i probably could have just one of these in a sitting. a real sipper.
update: have had a few more of these, carbonation has been better, would add some serious charred fruit to the above. have enjoyed it more from the regular taps with the added Co2.

[ serving type: cask ]

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Photo of Phatz
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I promised not to review anything from Dark Lord Day. There was too much happening. This is my one exception. I had glass after glass because several people kept saying wow that it too hot for me here you want to finish mine. Oh my God what were they thinking. This was the most easy drinking whiskey I have ever had. It is certainly closer to bourbon than to beer. The beer seemed much higher than 13% ABV to me but the hot alcohol had the softness of a 10 - 20 year old bourbon. WOW! Everyone who has been to my house knows that Woodford Reserve is my favorite go-to Bourbon. I am not makin this up for the sake of this review. I always have it on hand. Wouldn’t you know, the wonderful geniuses at Three Floyds that hand crafted this beer JUST FOR ME, picked my regular bourbon for aging this beer. Yes, This is Dark Lord, aged for a year in none other than Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels. Oh my God! I just about passed out this was so freaking good. I went week in the knees and I was not drunk.

Appearance: When I received this beer in a plastic cup there was no head on it. I poured it into my snifter glass and it stirred up very little head but in the glass it did showcase a nice tan head. Several times through drinking this beer various friend emptied there plastic cups into my snifter each time revitalizing a tiny bit of head in this otherwise murky black body.

Smell: Everything I love about bourbon and more flooded my nose. Rich scent of various woods, just like the Woodford Reserve I makes me think of my freshly moistened humidor. Dark roasted malts and barley, black coffer and thick bitter sweet chocolate and of course a wallop of vanilla oak bourbon flavors.

Taste: The biggest complaint people had on this hot day was the beer is too much like bourbon. If that is the biggest gripe, then gripe on my friends. I LOVE IT! This is absolutely everything I could ever want in a drink. It is the best of both world. It is what I love about two different drinks met in one glass. Yes the alcohol does not hide. So you sip the beer like you would any other liquor. It takes drinking it differently than a more “typical” beer but it is certainly worth it. The dark chocolate malts and fruits blend right into the woody vanilla oak and somehow it creates what feels like very layers of flavors and leaves your mouth with the feel of bourbon on the tongue and throat and face.

Mouthfeel: The swallow is very hot but the massive rich oily smooth feel coats every inch of your mouth and then some. I can feel the hot alcohol and warm boozy black grains making my face go numb as works its way from my tongue to my cheeks, my tonsils and up through my sinuses until my whole face seems to going flush enjoying the magnificence that this masterpiece exudes.

Drinkability: When I sit down with my favorite liquor I don’t start just putting them back one after another. Drinkability is the duration for which I can enjoy that drink. I would take it slowly, but I could enjoy this dink all day long.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.25/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at DLD.
Served dark as night with only a slight ring of head around the perimeter of the glass. Smell is absolutley luxurious. Deep roasted malts, chocolate, and bourbon are the front runners. This is a big beer, no doubt, the alcohol is there and warming.
This beer is mellowed a bit by the oak aging. Not the brute that the DL bottle is. This is a great beer, but not huge and robust as say a GI BCS.
The guys at FFF have taken barrel aging to a whole n’other level. Other brewers could take notes from them.

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Photo of badbeer
4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was pitch black in color with a brown head that retained very well and managed to leave some lacing behind. Nice aromas of vanilla and bourbon, with oak coming into play as well. There was also some roastiness, but the vanilla and bourbon seemed to be the strongest. Taste is a blending of vanilla, maple syrup, bourbon, wood, with a finish of some coffee and bourbon. Mouthfeel is thick and very smooth, the bourbon seems to almost lighten it up just a tad, however. Carbonation was on the lower side of medium. Great beer, and probably even more enjoyed in the winter months by a fire, but this sample was enjoyed out in the sun at DLD.

If you are desperate to find out what this beer is like, buy a Bourbon County Stout. BCS is 99% of what this beer is, IMO.

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Photo of grub
4.42/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sampled on tap at the brewpub on dark lord day 2007.

pours deep inky black with a small very fine dense brown head. drops very fast to a ring around the glass. no lace.

aroma is nice. the first thing that hits is a blast of orangey citrus. alcohol. oak and vanilla. dark chocolate. huge bready malt. bourbon.

taste is good. tons of orange and tangerine. alcohol. bittersweet chocolate. bready malt. bit of vanilla. light alcohol. medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. super smooth. light carbonation. full bodied but without feeling thick.

drinkability is great. smooth. the alcohol is dangerously well hidden. you really only feel the warmth on the way down.

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Photo of kajerm
4.67/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Dark Lord Day 2007-- appearance is slightly damaged by the plastic cup, but I'll try not to hold that against the beer.

The appearance is basically an imperial stout with the knobs turned up to eleven, a mixture of equal parts espresso, roof tar, and castor oil. The head is a dark brown whisp that still manages to leave a little lace on the plastic cup. Bubbles are otherwise nonexistent.

The aroma is coffee, probably the best coffee I've ever smelled in a beer. All the usual suspects are there, too: bourbon, vanilla, maple syrup, molasses, dark malts, oak (wood, really, I don't know if oak smells different from any other wood), and alcohol.

The taste opens up light with just a little maltiness, folllowed by a swell of coffee and dark malts. Coffee flavor grows continuously to the finish, while maple syrup, vanilla, and woody flavors come in. Maple syrup flavor is stronger the taste than in the aroma. Everything in the nose shows up in the flavor profile, with wood, boubon, and alcohol coming in last. The finish lasts for at least a decade. What I can't believe (and contrary to everything I've been told) is how balanced this is. The beer really handles the coffee beans, the bourbon barrels, and the stupidly high alcohol content unbelievably well, with a flavor profile that's complex instead of overwhelming.

The mouthfeel is super-thick and viscous, chewy and oily. A little hot (it is 13% ABV after all), but not at all out of control-- pretty much what I'd expect when I wanted a bourbon-aged imperial stout. Carbonation is totally absent and I like it that way.

Drinkable for a 13%ABV oak-aged imperial stout with coffee beans added to it, which is to say, no, for the love of God, don't try drinking twenty of them.

As far as imps are concerned, I think this is about as good as it gets.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.32/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the 2006 Dark Lord, aged for a year in Woodford's Reserve Bourbon Barrels, and released on draught only just in time for the release of the 2007 Dark Lord in bottles. Better than the 2006 non-BA release, though I think the 2007 non-BA Dark Lord is easily better than both. I can't wait for the 2008 Dark Lord Day so I can try the 2007 BA Dark Lord.

The beer pours to a thick dark sludge with very little head, probably destroyed by the spirits it has been aging with. Shows off thick caramel colored legs as it is swished around, and by the time the glass is empty, the glass looks almost like the brown bottle the beer was poured from (err... maybe not, since this is actually a draught, but you get the point).

The smell is great. Has a strong whiff of bourbon/alcohol with vanilla and coconut notes from the barrel. Smells quite sweet, remnant of all of the sugars used in the production of this beer, namely molasses and brown sugar. Little dark roasted malt in the nose, but a generous hit of caramel.

The taste is good. Very rich and sweet up front with a huge taste of bourbon, namely the aforementioned vanilla and coconut. Has a middle taste of rich, dark chocolate, coffee roast, and soy sauce. The finish refuses to go away.

The body is a bit thinner than the non-BA Dark Lord, also with a little less carbonation. Still coats the mouth with a thick molasses consistency. Turns your teeth into a caramel brown color. Not an easy beer to drink on a hot and sunny day after I've already been drinking several beers of considerable strength and body. I REALLY wanted to drink a Gumballhead at that time, but I simply couldn't pass up a one-time opportunity like this.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.
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