3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #5
Ranked #58
4.72 | pDev: 5.72%
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States
Notes: 2018 & 2019: Dark Lord aged in rye barrels with cinnamon + pink peppercorns.
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 190 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JMFP
4.71/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

WOWZA! This was the 2018 edition. Such a big boy beer. Poured like thick black motor oil. Nose was subtle, but indicative of the lusciousness to come. Will definitely have to seek out other vintages. A top tier stout for me.

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JMFP from Delaware, Feb 14, 2020
Photo of pmarlowe
3.93/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2019 vintage. Released about nine months ago.

A: Pours jet black with a thick cap of dark brown, large bubbled head. Dissipates quickly, leaving a thin ring. So-so retention and no lacing.

S: Ground cinnamon dominates, with an undertone of blackened roast, dark roast coffee, light oak, dark chocolate bar, and a bit of black licorice, whiskey, plum, sherry-like oxidation, and vanilla.

T: Cloyingly sweet. Again, ground cinnamon is overwhelming, alongside a little black licorice, plum, dark melted chocolate, whiskey, and a bit of oak on a long, sweet, cinnamon-y, slightly hot finish.

M: Medium-full body, a bit chewy, medium-light carbonation. Medium-light alcohol warmth with a slight burn.

O: What a mess. The cinnamon addition and barrel don’t save a base beer that is utterly hopeless. The cinnamon is dialed up too much and dominates the aroma and flavor. The barrel character is nearly non-existent. The sweetness is overwhelming.

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pmarlowe from Virginia, Jan 20, 2020
Photo of GuyFawkes
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017 vintage; drank 6/2/17 @ Harvest Hop Haus.

Black appearance.

Minimal tan head; minimal lace.

Cinnamon toast crunch, mild oak & faint bourbon heat notes in the nose.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

This tasted like cinnamon toast crunch with a bit of bourbon barrel & some chocolate. That was an upper echelon "pastry stout". I'd have another...

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Dec 26, 2019
Photo of gcamparone
4.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2017 bottle stored in cellar since purchase. Poured into a 3F teku.

Pours an inky black body with a big brown head that sticks around for a while, leaving rings of lacing.

Aromas are heavenly - cinnamon-bourbon vanilla, dark chocolate. The mouth matches the nose with a perfectly balanced medly of cinnamon and bourbon, vanilla, horchata, a little bit of spice on the finish, leaving a slightly roasty flavor on the palette. Rich mouthfeel.

One of the best stouts I've ever tasted. I just opened a bottle of 2019 Barrel Aged Abraxas and this blows it out of the water (although I've heard 2019 BAA is not a great batch)

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gcamparone from Rhode Island, Nov 24, 2019
Photo of gibgink
5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this both fresh and "aged" for what it is worth, and I will say that the strength of the cinnamon itself does die down a little given time. But even with time, this is a cinnabomb, and as my favorite adjunct in a stout, take the rating with a little sense of bias. The cinnamon hides/tones down a bit of the sweetness of the overall brew, yet seems to be enhanced in flavor. A great addition to the BA DL family.

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gibgink from Missouri, Aug 02, 2019
Photo of Vidblain
4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had the pleasure of enjoying Chemtrailmix three years in a row now - the bourbon barrel variant in 2017 stands out to me the most as it doesn't have the same bite and spice of rye (which I also happen to love). With a bit of age, the peppercorns mellow just slightly and the bourbon smoothly shines through. Back to back with barrel-aged Abraxas, this is still a tough one to beat. The cinnamon is far less present though, and those peppercorns have more of a bite.

Even more so in the rye variants.

Chemtrailmix is worth every bit of the praise and hype that it receives. It's a bit of an adjunct overload when fresh and hot, but it's a stunner with a little age. My love for this beer cannot be overstated.

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Vidblain from Minnesota, Jun 04, 2019
Photo of Rristow
5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tasted from bottle. Pours black with minimal beige head. Lots of spices on aroma. Vanilla, cinnamon, bourbon. Taste is moderate to heavily sweet but not as much as regular dark lord. Nice cinnamon flavor and thankfully not a cinnamon bomb. Flavors of vanilla, cocoa, coffee, caramel, molasses and a hint of peppercorn on the finish. Awesome beer.

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Photo of fireazzi
4.84/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

by far the best beer with cinnamon I've ever had. Very thick, this was Batch 1 that I had. It was really well balanced, cinnamon wasn't overpowering.

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fireazzi from Massachusetts, May 22, 2019
Photo of jeonseh
4.95/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had on tap at DLD. At a glance this looks like most other DL with a dark chocolate brown with a small head. The smell is dark chocolate and cinnamon toast crunch. When you take a sip the, the cinnamon plays perfectly with the dark chocolate and cocoa aspects of the Dark Lord. There is a slight heat and spice on the backend that lingers. Overall, this is one of the best variants of Dark Lord I've had in awhile and get why people hope to get this bottle!

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jeonseh from Indiana, May 21, 2019
Photo of JohnnyHopps
5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - The beer poured dark color with a creamy mocha head topping off the pour.

Smell - Spicy cinnamon was very forward in the nose. Despite the high ABV, booze was not evident in the nose. Some roasty chocolate notes were also present.

Taste - As best I can describe it, the beer was liquid cinnamon Christmas trees. The cinnamon was so well balanced with the spice. It seems some brewers add cinnamon to extreme limits, and consequently destroying the beer. This was so well balanced. The peppercorn added a unique dimension that allowed for a pleasant burn at the end.

Mouthfeel - The beer was silky smooth with light carbonation and a slick sweetness. The spice was allowed to linger.

Overall - This is a great beer. Seek it.

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Photo of dukeandduke
4.38/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11/17/18 (Chicago): 2 oz 15.0% ABV pour at 2018 FOBAB into taster glass. Dark brown pour, puffy tan head, leaves nice lacing, very good looking pour. Balanced aroma, chocolate the most prevalent with a hint of cinnamon. Malt has light roasted coffee aroma, rye whiskey well masked. Exciting bold taste, chocolate, cinnamon and very smooth rye whiskey worked great, very balanced offering. Nice creamy smooth mouth feel. This was a great offering, glad I had a chance to sample my first Dark Lord, this variant is an excellent offering and I look forward to trying future Dark Lord offerings.

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dukeandduke from Illinois, Nov 18, 2018
Photo of Fireman_RK
4.74/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark mocha and chestnut hues with a rust-colored head and ample lacing
S: Fresh cinnamon rolls and a trace of light roast coffee
T: Mouthful of cinnamon toast crunch cereal up front that allows a slight spice and caramelized sugar to shine through
F: Medium bodied bordering on thick
O: One of the better BA treatments of Dark Lord that makes its own statement. The rye barrel aging paired well with the hint of peppercorn spice and was smoothed out by a mellow, but distinct cinnamon note.

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Fireman_RK from North Carolina, Oct 30, 2018
Photo of rabbott2
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best beers of the year. This balances out perfectly the cinnamon and peppercorns with the barrel and the stout. A really really special beer that I’m very glad to have tried and have more of

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rabbott2 from Illinois, Sep 12, 2018
Photo of WhaleSlayer85
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Multiple pours via tap DLD

Pours pitch black with mocha colored head that dissipates quickly. Thick, sticky, stains the glass gold with a swirl. Nose is fantastic. Huge cinnamon (much bigger cinnamon presence than 2017), sweet brown sugar, spices, oak, vanilla, peppery notes. Taste is big cinnamon up front. Spiciness comes through, and sweetness on the back end. Chocolately. Feel is typical dark lord, viscous, thick, syrupy. Overall, incredible. Easily tops last year. Cinnamon toast with chocolate milk.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.69/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This glass of used motor oil on draft has brown staining legs in spades and a lesser mocha fizz than its un-spiced, un-aged younger brothers.

A shit ton of spicy cinnamon melds with wet brown sugar while raisin, black pepper and woody rye boldly accent. That peppercorn actually comes out more this time, contrasting all the powdery cinnamon, smoky charred oak, and sweet dark chocolate covered raspberry that this mother isn't shy to throw at you.

A bit of a sting runs through the smoothly slick, thickly round body that swallows semi-dry and heats the tummy.

Is this even better than last year's sleeper hit? I think so. The more pronounced character of peppercorn really enhances the rye presence and adds infinite complexity and depth to a beer that sounds like it might be over the top. This is a hell of an experience.


At DLD 2019 I had the new version which is the same treatment as the stellar 2018 version, but found it to have a shockingly big explosion of not entirely spicy but dusty cinnamon. On the exhale I still got the total Cinnamon Toast Crunch and brown sugar deliciousness of the past year, but the front end is a little more potent and spicy than past years. It's still one of the better variants, amongst a collection of great brews, but not my favorite this year.

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Sabtos from Ohio, May 22, 2018
Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.55/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Dark Lord Day 18.

Pours thick black with a halo of brown bubbles. Nose is dark chocolate, cinnamon and spice. Taste is very sweet at first, and then balanced out by the spice and of the rye barrel working very well with the cinnamon and pepper. Feel is smooth with a very nice mouthcoat that keeps the flavors lingering. Great beer. The rye barrel with the spices really worked well for this.

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Photo of eppie82
4.99/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Draft at DLD and on draft 2 days later at FFF.

Dark dark dark appearance. No foamhead except for caramel colored ring on the edge of glass. Cinnamon, bourbon, some chocolate and even a slight bit of jamminess. Taste follows the nose. Good bit of cinnamon but not overpowering other ingredients. Chocolate is present and some jam quality too. GOOD bourbon note and a very sticky thick mouthfeel.

As someone who’s had the past four Marshmallow Handjees and many other DL variants, this just may be the best one: Chemtrailmix 2018. Also, this dwarfs BA Abraxas 17 I had and makes the BA Abraxas taste one dimensional and lacking in barrel presence. Top 5 beers I’ve had all time... easily.

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eppie82 from Illinois, May 21, 2018
Photo of terpfan00
4.94/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had FIVE of the variants on DLD and this was by far the best. The taste is a mild cinnamon toast crunch with a great balance of the peppercorns. This is a world class stout, very silky. If you can get it, get it.

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terpfan00 from Pennsylvania, May 21, 2018
Photo of Seeker_11
4.96/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer was amazing. I sampled 6 of the Dark Lord variants including Marshmallow Handjee and French Vanilla Malitia. It was the best by far. Personally it stole the show at Dark Lord Day. It was even better than the 2017 version.

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Seeker_11 from Indiana, May 21, 2018
Photo of Stevedore
4.61/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First beer I had at Dark Lord Day 2018. Sampled multiple times throughout the course of the day as well. On draft and poured into plastic cups, which were then poured into my glass. Standard Dark Lord body, not much to be said about that. Smell is a massive cinnamon, slight spicy rye, brown sugar, a bit of burnt black coffee, a bit of umami, milk chocolate- recognizably Dark Lord underneath. The flavour is a bit more muddled, but the cinnamon remains huge, from the beginning to the end, contributing that cinnamon toasted crunch up front intermingling with the DL base, and combining well with the spicy rye barrel to bring more of a spice component on the backend. Peppercorns aren't as prominent as in 2017, which is a good thing. Mouthfeel is full bodied, good carbonation, smooth and slightly silky, cinnamon spice on the finish. This is on the level of BA Abraxas in terms of the cinnamon, without the green pepper from the spices. I can see this one being the variant of the year.

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Stevedore from Wisconsin, May 21, 2018
Photo of Gambyt20
4.94/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

absolutely phenomenal, surprisingly great balance of rye barrel notes with cinnamon and the pick peppercorn worked well into the mix. Rich and full. Outstanding indeed.

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Gambyt20 from Illinois, May 20, 2018
Chemtrailmix from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 190 ratings