Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
100
world-class
302 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord)Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord)
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout aged in a variety of Bourbon barrels with vanilla beans.

Added by mcallister on 04-27-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
302
Ratings:
1,468
Avg:
4.67
pDev:
8.99%
 
 
Wants:
4,386
Gots:
261
For Trade:
11
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 302 | Ratings: 1,468
Photo of thetomG
4.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap @ DLD.

Oily black with a small dark drown head. The aroma of vanilla really came through forme with a flavor to match. This beer i just absolutely HUGE. Vanilla vanilla vanilla, with some boozy sweetness throughout. I loved it, and I'm very glad I got to try it, but it was so sweet I'm not sure how much I could really drink in one sitting. That being said - it was great and I would definitely have some more if the opportunity ever arises again...

 471 characters

Photo of Alpar
4.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at DLD 2011. 2beerornot2beer and I got the last pours on the keg, or so we were told. Regardless after waiting for 3.5 hours in line we were ready to do this up:)

A: Jet black, very little carbonation, similar to the regular Dark Lord treatments.

S: AWESOME! Huge vanilla notes and some cocoa. I didn't notice any alcohol in the smell.

T: Better than the smell! I was expecting a nuclear vanilla attack but instead go a really sweet balanced marshmallow flavor, it was out of this world!

O: This really took me by surprise, I am not a huge fan of the regular Dark Lord beers but this beer really hit home for me, one of the best I have had to date.

 665 characters

Photo of WillCarrera
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle, number 127 of 934 from 2012, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours pitch black, absolutely no light gets through, produces a thin brown layer of head that dissipates quickly, which is honestly more than I was expecting, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Big sweet aroma, lots of vanilla and bourbon but also some caramel, chocolate, a bit of coffee and oak from the barrel, smells pretty delicious.

T- Flavor follows the nose, a really wonderful vanilla flavor, oak and bourbon, which gives a pleasant warmth, juicy dark fruits, a bit of coffee, and some dark chocolate and molasses sweetness. Vanilla really shines in this beer.

M- Full-bodied, has a thick, heavy feel. I still think it's a bit lighter than regular Dark Lord, which is like motor oil, and the slightly lighter body helps keep drinkability somewhat higher.

O- A really top notch beer, it's sweet as hell, verging on about as sweet as I can stand a beer to be, but is still considerably less sweet than and also vastly, vastly superior to normal Dark Lord. I split a bottle with Agold and we had a tough time killing it on our own, which is the main reason this isn't approaching a 5/5 for me. It's definitely a dessert beer that should be shared with a few friends. Having said that, it's an incredibly delicious beer, the flavors are amazing. It also tastes great on top of vanilla ice cream...

 1,376 characters

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not a fan of regular Dark Lord - far too sweet and syrupy for me, but this was very different. I can't believe this variant even uses the same base beer. Super smooth and very drinkable, even at 15%. This is just a really good barrel-aged stout.

 249 characters

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at DLD 2010. Have to say, this beer is freaking amazing!! But I had to wait 5 hours in line to try a glass...so thank God it was! Glass filled in the brew-pub at FFF from tap. Fills the glass extremely thick black with a slight brownish hue, and absolutely no light shining through. A small dark tan head forms with pretty decent retention...and long lasting thick sticky lacing.

Aroma is pretty much what I expected...pretty much a vanilla Dark Lord...go figure! Huge maltiness, chocolate, coffee, thick molasses, and vanilla. Very sweet nose, with strong booze notes. Awesome aroma...not a let down what-so-ever!

Huge full body, thick and viscous, low carbonation, very sharp and strong booze bite! Tons of chocolate and coffee, extremely sweet flavors with the molasses and vanilla. Not sure if the rumor is true...but I've been told that this years batch of Dark Lord is 15% ABV...if that's true...not sure if that applies to the Vanilla Bean Aged as well...but if so, very apparent. The booze burn is massive, but tolerable. What an incredible beer...I'm definitely not let down and super stoked I got the chance to try this beer!

 1,148 characters

Photo of frasergrove
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This thing went toe to toe with Mornin Delight at Rate Beer Best...and I think we have a winner! Pours a jet black body with a light tan head. Aroma is a gorgeous bouquet of vanilla beans, candied fig, caramel, roasty notes...full flavor of all of the scents above...so smooth...had all the non stout lovers swooning!!

 318 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Dark Lord Day 2009.

A: Very dark, nearing black, with a small dark tan head.

S: Very similar to regular Dark Lord, but not with an overpowering--in a very, very good way--scent of vanilla.

T: Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. Wow. Tastes of vanilla cake, brown sugar, hints of chocolate. Dark malts galore as hints of coffee and sweetness make their way through.

M: Unbelievably smooth. Little carbonation and sublimely creamy. Again, only modest hints of the presumably-high abv. Creamy vanilla throughout the finish.

D: Simply put, this is by far the best damn beer that I have ever had. Hats off to Three Floyds for taking one of the best beers in the world and making it exponentially better.

 711 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes-- still trying to get caught up!
Shared by stoutfest
served in a snifter.

Looks kinda like root beer. Very little head. Smells of sweet vanilla bean, black licorice, oak, chocolate, and a bit of booze.
The carbonation level is low so it helps it to feel smooth and creamy.
The aftertaste hits some of those black licorice notes, but it works for me. The flavor has a good dose of molassesy chocolate and vanilla sweetness with the anise blending into the boozy bite at the back end. Nice warmth, but not over-powering.

Exceptionally tasty.
This is a very very fine beer. I look forward to having more if it!

 629 characters

Photo of Sandbarunner
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 2012. Got it from a friend and held onto it for a while.

Is it worth the hype??? Well, this beer is awesome! Super heavy booze note when opening. Drank it at 65 degrees. But it fell completely off almost instantly. It hits really hard and then...Gone!

To be perfectly honest! Find a Blendiculous#1 and trade your Dark Lord for it!

Even an Event Horizon from the same date would be better serve. I really wanted this beer to be perfect. Not every beer is perfect!

Right?!?!?!

 489 characters

Photo of starshockey9
4.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was my birthday brew, full bottle to the dome.
2012 version. Bottle #695 of 934.

A. While pouring seems a tad light but once it's in the glass, perfectly black with barely any head.

S. The aroma hits you as soon as the cap comes off and my god, one of the best smells ever. Nice bourbon, raisin, and vanilla.

T. Holy cow! This is top notch. The bourbon flavor comes through real nicely. Then you get hit with the vanilla in the end. The two flavors mingle excellently.

M. If the appearence, smell, and taste doesn't win you over, the mouthfeel will. Not too thick but in no means light. It is just perfect. It coats your mouth leaving you craving more.

O. Im a sucker for barrel aged beers and vanilla beers but this one takes the cake. Alcohol is very well hidden, not to boozy, and not too sweet. I now truly understand why it trades so high. Wish i could get another bottle. Best beer I've had to date. Thank you three floyds!

 939 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.57/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap

2012 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest
Paso Robles, CA

Black throughout and thick in body, though it appears thinner than untreated Dark Lord. Very small brown head on my pour that leaves the glassy oily and spotted with lace.

Rich and sweet aroma of dark chocolate, sweet and earthy vanilla, oak, whipped cream, coffee creamer, and a little bit of brown sugar. Really, really nice.

The flavor is incredibly well integrated and marvelousy smooth and drinkable given this beer's astonishingly high ABV. The vanilla, oak, and whipped cream flavors are dominant, along with big notes of dark chocolate, and mild roast. Pretty amazing stuff.

Medium to nearly full bodied with low carbonation.

A beer I'd written off as one I simply would never be able to try: it's worth the hype (whatever that means).

 817 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.57/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap @ DLD 2010!

(A)- Pours thick & black as night. Produced a dark brown head that dissipated down to bubbles after a minute.

(S)- A rich dense molasses & vanilla with some dark dark cocoa & coffee. Plenty of bourbon notes.

(T)- Rich, with a big vanilla sweetness with some dark cocoa & molasses. Very similar to the smell. Has some bourbon-like characters.

(M)- A big dense monster that is almost chewy, but with a good carbonation level. A big vanilla sweetness, yet has a bitterness too from the roasted malts.

(D)- An incredible stout that I finally understand why it gets such rave reviews. A big richness & sweetness to it that fits its name/style. However, any more than 8oz. of this at a time would be too much for me to consume. Would love to see how this would age, but sadly, this is only available one day a year! If you go to DLD, make this your top priority. . it ran out awfully quick this year.

 926 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.57/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: The pour is pitch black with a nice viscosity to it and some minimal tan head.

S: A really well done vanilla aroma--not overwhelming and fake, but a nice sweetness to go along with the chocolate, roast, mild coffee, and dark fruits.

T: Once again, the vanilla is really perfectly done and works seamlessly with the base imperial stout. A strong (dark) chocolate flavor with roasted malt, a hint of molasses, and some figs and raisins.

M: A full bodied beer with a really smooth, creamy, feel on the tongue and a low carbonation.

D: I wish this was what Dark Lord always tasted like. Really a nice, nice beer.

 615 characters

Photo of timc100
4.56/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage

Pours just like all other dark lord oil, sits in the glass heavy. Sticky sweet, boozy aroma of vanilla, vanilla extract, marshmallow, and that typical dark lord fudge and molasses. A complete assault on the pallet - very sticky, chewy, and syrupy. The vanilla sweetness paired with the base sweetness takes hold on the mouth, finish is long and sweet. There is not a lot of whiskey and oak presence, however.

Delicious beer. Heavy, boozy and sweet. Lacks the complexity and depth of some of the other stouts out there, but still very impressive.

 567 characters

Photo of PHBoiler
4.56/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh is best with this beer having had one on the day of the release in 2013 as well as having a year old version of the bottle. Fresh, this beer is jet black with loads of vanilla and booze on the nose. You get a bit of the coffee and dark roast of the beer with the vanilla being the star of the show. The 2013 bottle after 14 months had a bit of an acidic finish as well as the vanilla coming off as extract-like. The body seems to have thinned somehow as well. Fresh, this beer is world class, but the change over a year knocks it a bit for me.

 549 characters

Photo of MPLS
4.55/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one and the 08 barrel aged DL will have to come from memory, as I am not going to be that guy to carry around a notebook. I was in DLD for the experience not to walk away with reviews. With that said, what an awesome event!

A: A healthy pour into my plastic cup, really should have brought glassware, but it would have inevitable broke on the parking lot floor. Big and black, minimal head, oily looking, with nice brown swirl on top.

S: Roasted malts, vanilla, tobacco, pleasant sweetness.

T: I focus on the vanilla, the sweetness of this and chocolate really shines. Other elements of the DL are there, but more subtle with the sweetness: Roasted malts, burnt molasses, etc. The vanilla adds a layer of creamy sweetness to an already good beer.

M: Thick as you can be boy! Motor Oil + alcohol :D

D: High ABV presents the biggest challenge to drinking a lot of this stuff, but it's mouthfeel is amazing.

 914 characters

Photo of stakem
4.55/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to CaptinRedBeard for making this happen on DLD 2011. Corey managed his way into the brewpub and came out with something like 4 or 5 glasses of this stuff so everyone in our group got some.

Served in a plastic cup, this brew appears black in color with a thin film of very dark brown bubbles around the rim. There is not much of a head and even a swirl only releases a few bubbles that hardly hold long enough to gravitate to the edges of the glass. Holding this glass up to the light doesn't really do much of anything...it's very dark and even through the edges light cannot penetrate.

The smell of this brew is bold with dark sweet chocolate. Absolutely loaded with tons of vanilla and a minor note of coffee. This brew is already deep, complex and sweet smelling, I simply cannot imagine how many vanilla beans it takes to make the vanilla come forward like this. Some fusel booze hides underneath with almost a meaty twang of booze and fruity hop character.

The taste is sweet with vanilla right upfront that coats and sticks to the inside of the mouth. Again, I have to wonder just how much vanilla is used for it to be this evident in this offering. Big boozy warmth is hidden under the chocolate-like sweetness. The aftertaste showcases the booziness with more of the roastiness of the grain finally coming through.

This is a full bodied brew that is very lightly carbonated. It is borderline cloyingly sweet but I honestly found it to be excessively drinkable in a liquid dessert kind of way. As it warms, it shows off more of that big booze character but it's balanced well with residual sweetness. While I found this to be awesome and everything I hoped it would be, it is not a beer that I could drink more than say 6-8 ounces of.

 1,757 characters

Photo of JDV
4.55/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a plastic cup at DLD. Pitch black again, and a rich smell of vanilla and chocolate and sweet malt. Fresh scraped vanilla bean flavor in this one. Creamy, chocolately decadent flavor. Very light carbonation, but enough. Like dessert in a cup, but still somewhat balanced. Less soy sauce like character in this one, which I liked. My favorite version of DL.

 367 characters

Photo of bulldogp04
4.55/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a minimal head, very similar to regular Dark Lord.

Smell: Aromas of chocolate, slightly roasted malt, and of course VANILLA....not overpowering on the vanilla like some might indicate.

Taste: The best bottle of Dark Lord you have ever had with an amazing hint of sweet vanilla. Roasted malts, chocolate malt, burnt sugar, slight bit of hops and dark fruit, although not nearly as much as in years past. Vanilla was simply a fantastic addition to this thick and viscous beer.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, viscous, chewy....everything you'd expect from the king of stouts.

 603 characters

Photo of ajsdad06
4.55/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at DLD 11.

Pours a viscous oil like black with a smal ldense tan head.

The aroma is everything the original is and then some: sweet, chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and light coffee.

The flavor is much of the same: chewy sweet malt, vanilla, dark fruits, chocolate, some roasted at times, and light coffee.

Everything mentioned would be enough to classify this as an excellent beer, but for me the mouthfeel pushes it into another category. This is sooo smooth and creamy I could kick back and savor this all day (if it weren’t 14%). It is easy to forget about the alcohol with this one.

 617 characters

Photo of KaeF
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great smell of cake, barrel, vanilla and bourbon. Taste is very sweet, barrel, hint of pepper, loads of vanilla and marshmallow. Smooth and sweet. Glad to have finally tasted this.

 180 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz (ish- it seems larger than a 22oz but smaller than a 750mL) bottle scored at Dark Lord Day 2013. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours oil black with a thin wisp of brown foan. "Head" recedes to a tiny halo that leaves no lace.

Aromas of vanilla, kalua, oaky bourbon and booze. Nice!

Smooth sweet mix of vanilla, mellow bourbon, creamed coffee, caramel, alcohol, cherries and syrup. It's still sweet like the base Dark Lord but with so much more going on to carry the sweetness. Fantastic vanilla notes that play well off of the booze. Good stuff.

Rich, thick, syrupy full feel, light on carbonation. Vanilla bean ice cream finish.

Outstanding. A fantastic variation and upgrade to an already excellent base stout. Incredibly sweet and complex. Super glad I got to try this.

 790 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours syrupy and oily. Pitch black. No head and viscous boozy legs. Dark as night.

Smell: super sweet marshmallow and chocolate. Notes of molasses and syrup. Roasted malts and dark fruits.

Taste: opens up with molasses. Lots of marshmallows and brownies. Some notes of syrup and dark fruits. Light roast.

Mouthfeel: slick and syrupy. Not very boozy. Sweet but balanced by roast at the end

Overall: after tasting regular dark lord I did not have high hopes for this one. amazingly it does a good job of living up to its reputation, although I would not give up the amount of amazing beers that this trades for, great complexity and great flavor. glad I got to try it but until the value decreases, the face value is actually too much for me, I will not be revisiting this unless at the generosity of a friend.

 824 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours pure black with a small tan head.

Scent of vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malts. Doesn't seem like much but it smells excellent, like dessert in a glass.

Taste is great, but not quite as good as the scent; vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malts are there in full force. Better than Oak Aged Dark Lord.

Mouthfeel is heavy bodied, thick, and smooth with very little carbonation.

 385 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a viscous, oily black with a trace amount of thin brown head. Aroma is rich and sweet without being cloying or boozy. Intense vanilla, molasses and sugar blends with bourbon, dark fruit and chocolate. Vanilla and milk chocolate dominate the flavor of the Dark Lord base; again minimal booze or heat. Very tasty, but reminds me of a melted down cup of ice cream which starts to grow tiresome despite the small sample size.

 427 characters

Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.67 out of 5 based on 1,468 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe