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

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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:
301
Ratings:
1,461
Avg:
4.67
pDev:
8.99%
 
 
Wants:
4,368
Gots:
263
For Trade:
11
User Reviews
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Reviews: 301 | Ratings: 1,461
Photo of ajcuster89
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It doesn't get much better than this. Big bourbon nose, but pillowly marshmallow softness on the tongue. Tastes like chocolate dipped marshmallows that were soaked in the finest bourbon. Don't know how they turned the much maligned Dark Lord into something of this quality, but this is worth the hype and then some. Downed 2/3 of the bottle myself! What a treat!

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Photo of TemplofBeer
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to receive two 5oz pours of this on DLD'16. Pours a jet black with a viscosity of motor oil, minimal head that only produces light bubbles at the edge of the cup and not much else. The smell is pure vanilla with some slight bourbon in the back. The taste is a seemingly unobtainable vanilla fudge and bourbon concoction that could only be synthesized by a true Hizenburg of brewing.

I was very lucky and got to try many variants at the festival and this was by far the best, also went to a bourbon county tap takeover two days before hand and all of the barrel aged dark lords made the bourbon counties feel thin.

If you were lucky enough to get a bottle of this I highly suggest you drink it because few things will compare.

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Photo of Gambyt20
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just exceptional! As if Dark Lord already isn't one of the best RIS already, adding barrel and vanilla bean just puts this beer into it own league! simply wow! had both 2015 and 2016 and the vanilla was more prominent and better overall in the 2016

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Photo of MrShake
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thick, Sticky, Sweet, Malty, Vanillaiey(?), AMAZING.

I had this beer on tap at the 2014 Dark Lord Day, and its amazing. Dark Lord is a great beer on its own, but the vanilla character accentuates all that is good about this beer.

It pours thick and DARK, and VERY VERY sticky

Aroma is filled with vanilla, sweet caramel and malt, along with a bourbon note

Taste is HUGE... BIG malt, BIG Vanilla, BIG Bourbon, BIG Sweet, BIG Everything!

Mouthfeel is as huge as the taste!!!

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Photo of linnymtu
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vanilla perfection. Anyone that tells you this is overly sweet like regular dark lord or even BA dark lord is full of crap. This is so much better than BA dark lord it's not even funny. Also beers like vanilla rye don't hold a candle. I can see why people trade 3 VR for one of these. Definitely a top 5 beer for me.

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Photo of TylerHockett
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was lucky to get a Group A ticket this year at DLD.

L: Dark black with small brown, mocha head that lingers for 30 seconds.

S: Mostly coffee with a hint of chocolate. No marshmallow scent for me (although admittedly my nose is weak).

T: Heavenly really is the only word for it. Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, marshmallow. Very very small amount of booze heat unlike regular DL with no age. Absolutely world class.

F: So so so so smooth. Feels like rich, thick hot chocolate.

O: Just wow. So lucky to have tried this. If you get one do not trade it. Nothing you will get will compare.

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Photo of marchoftheclouds
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Black as being inside of a cave

S - It was love at first sniff ... a vanilla BOMB

T - Vanilla beer, no, not beer ... DESSERT! This should be sold to pour over ice cream as a topping ... to be sipped slowly and enjoyed and savored

M - perfect ... A standard for all other beers

O - A great beer and extremely memorable. 

I had it on Dark Lord Day after waiting for hours to get into the brew pub for DL on tap. The regular DL was great, but this kicked its butt ... From notes

Until I have a better beer ... this is perfection

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Photo of Huhzubendah
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 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 Oak Aged Dark Lord.

Consumed again at DLD 2011.

Vanilla Bean 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. Ok, here's where I was floored. The aroma was perhaps the most distinguishable and awesome smell I have ever received from a beer. Huge vanilla - and authentic. This beer smells like someone is baking fresh flan or crème brûlée inside the glass. Fantastic. It's incredibly rich, yet remarkably smooth and easy to drink. Though it is sweet, I couldn't see this becoming cloying as it is balanced so well and frankly, done to perfection. Alcohol is barely noticeable. I'd love to get some more of this. This is one of the best beers I have ever tasted.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

*Notes from DLD*

Pours the basically perfect opaque, black that its basic version does. Also has the thick, frothy dark chocolate colored head that makes it so beautiful.
Smell is hypnotizing of roasted and sweet malts, chocolate, coffee, caramel, and that twinge of vanilla that adds such an extra layer of complexity to it.
Taste gives me the roast and coffee up front then finishes, blended well, into the chocolate and vanilla.
Finish is crisp and refreshing, the after-taste is astounding with a complex blend of all of the beers flavors, not just the vanilla of malt, but also the coffee and chocolate stay around.
The vanilla flavor mellows out any bite a previous version might have, it goes down incredibly smooth.

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Photo of bcbs4040
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best barrel aged stout I've came across. Tons of oak and vanilla, mouthfeel is thick and rich. Not too sweet or artificial. Simply world class perfection.

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Photo of themaj
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So my first review was of the 2011 vbdl I had on draft at dld 2014. Was lucky enough to get a 14 vbdl and sat on it until today. 2 weeks before dld 2015 so almost exactly 1 yyear.pure perfection!!

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK, let me preface this review by saying, I did not take notes on this, but I have had it twice: At Dark Lord Day 2010, and at Pizzaria Paradiso in Georgetown (DC) for a Three Floyds Dinner.

This is the best beer I've ever had, and probably ever will have. I will travel anywhere to get this if it's available, and would trade anything if they ever bottle this.

The appearance is perfect, jet black, very dark lingering head, lots of lacing.

Smell is crazy, it is like every good thing in a barrel aged RIS beer thrown together, with huge vanilla, chocolate, malt, alcohol, etc. all at once. It's the type of beer you know will be huge, and you hope it even comes close to tasting how good it smells. I kept a plastic cup from dark lord day, and seriously it smelled of the aroma of this beer for weeks, that is how pungent and beautiful the smell is.

The taste fulfills all expectations of the smell and much more. Massive flavors of vanilla, oak, malt, chocolate, coffee, alcohol burn and more go on in some sort of harmony that is hard to understand. I know i am a guy who likes big flavors in general, but this is unreal. Seriously unreal. This is the type of thing that makes you feel unworthy but at the same time so glad you have the privilege to have this divine liquid. This is the type of thing you do not forget.

Mouthfeel is absolutely awesome. Completely covers your mouth and throat. It lingers so long it's unbelievable. You could taste it minutes after you had it, it seems you could get up take a nice walk and come back and i'd still be there.

Drinkability I gave a 4 because this thing is just huge. There is no way you could even try to have two of these next to each other because its just too much to take in that quantity. That being said, if I had to pick one beer only to have forever, this (at this point) is it. << Edit. I will give this a 5 now because I crave this beer all the time. If It was at a bar, I would only drink this. Therefor, It's getting a perfect 5 from me.

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Photo of cultclassic89
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally got to try this and wow. It does in fact live up to the hype. 2016 vintage.

Appearance is perfect for the style. Very thick and black with a minimal dark brown head that quickly fades.

Nose is the best vanilla beer I've ever had. Incredibly rich vanilla in the form of marshmallows. As it warms, the barrel character and base come out and it's so rich and chocolately.

Taste is very much the same. Marsmallows, vanilla, rich bourbon, fudge. It's not very complex but it doesn't need to be. A bit of nuttiness came out as it warmed, like a very nutty coconut.

Feel is perfect, incredibly thick and viscous, right up there with Toppling Goliath and Cigar City stouts. Some warmth from the alcohol but it's not boozy at all.

Overall it's perfect to me and is my second favorite imperial stout, right behind KBBS. For vanilla, it doesn't get better than this.

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Photo of RMelyon
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap on DLD 2013, and at a bottle share in May 2015. Beer doesn't get any better than this. It looks like it should, smells like it should, and tastes even better than it should. No perceivable burn, even at 15%. Simply the best beer I've had. It lives up to the hype.

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Photo of ryanfolty
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

July 3, 2013 - bottle shared by Joe. This will be rating 1492 for me (on RB), the year that Columbus discovered America. Fitting since this beer marks my discovery of something that is at the same level as Goose Island’s BCS Rare. Yes, what I thought was my one and only 5.0 rating now has a companion. How can I say this is as good as Rare? Well after drinking, my wife and I say to Joe that it is one of the best beers we have ever had, but not sure it is better than Rare. What does Joe go and do, yes he pulls a Rare out of his cellar and we do a blind impromptu tasting!!! I admit on this day the Vanilla DL was better than the Rare (I was able to choose each correctly), but the Rare did not taste quite as good as when I had it initially. I can’t thank Joe enough for his generosity on this night. I guess I will put some actual beer comments in now. Of course this was a black pour with tan head. The aroma and taste were magical blends of chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. Each one in perfect harmony that created an other worldly experience. 2012 vintage, bottle 408 of 934.

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Photo of mig100
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle #634, 2014

L: Pours sludgy and oil black, nothing shines through even when held closely to the light. Maintains a mocha halo head.

A: Rich marshmallow, vanilla, milk and dark chocolate, oak and almond aromas coming through, wafting around the glass.

T: Follows the nose but magnified, especially the marshmallowy vanilla. There's a depth of flavor here that's richer than basically any other barrel aged stout I've had... including VR, Parabola, BAVSS, etc... certain aspects of those may be more complex, but this is just more enjoyable.

M: Mouthfeel is thick and rich with massive marshmallow-esque vanilla bean, milk chocolate and oak goodness just lingering forever. At 15% there is no real taste of alcohol and only a slight but pleasing warming sensation on the drink down.

Overall: It really is the Dark Lord of barrel aged beers. More than worthy of the hype.

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Photo of eifster82
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Marshmallow Handjee '16

From bottle into DLD mini-snifter.
Black liquid with no foam head. Incredible vanilla aroma that reminds of marshmallows. Bourbon perfectly balanced. Taste follows the nose with pillowy mouthfeel. There is no other beer I've had with such full mouthfeel that coats the palate. As you drink, the mouth and lips become sticky and the flavors intensify. Incredibly balanced and not a hint of booziness.

Overall, I cannot imagine how you improve upon on this beer. It is nothing like regular Dark Lord either. In a comparison with Assassin '16 drank at the same time, all parties (3 people) agreed that MH takes it. My #1 beer and a whale deserving of the hype.
-------------------------
VBDL '15.

Heavenly, is the first word that comes to mind when describing this beer. Pitch black appearance with very small 'brown' ring upon pour on outer edge of glass. Smell is of vanilla and marshmallows infused with bourbon. The taste is extraordinarily complex and delicious. Again, marshmallows and vanilla are abundant and nothing like in Vanilla Rye or Madagascar. Much more infused and bourbon isn't overpowering the dominant flavors. The feel and aftertaste is so smooth and delicious, I felt like drinking a s'more with a nice bourbon addition. It's not boozy by any stretch, but present enough to notice.

This is the best stout I've ever had and possibly the tastiest thing I've put in my mouth. I've had Prop '14, Black Tuesday Reserve '13, Rare '15, CBS '15, as well as a multitude of other but this beer is unlike any other and deserving of it's 'white whale' status. If ever given an opportunity to taste, do not think twice.

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Photo of SDRedDevil
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Orange Wax Edition, shared with two others. Velvet vanilla perfection. Pours a midnight black with minimal head. Layers of bourbon and vanilla, abv completely hidden. Easily one of the best BBA beers I have ever had.

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Photo of mynie
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the 08 vintage, aged a whole year.

Here's what my notes say:

"God's cum. With Vanilla."

That's stupidly vulgar. Even when I was in high school I wouldn't have thought it was clever. It's the kind of thing a frat boy might say if he were trying to sound hilariously deep. By all rights, I should have tossed it out and written up some better notes.

But here's the thing--it was written in earnest. This beer is vulgar and it is divine, simultaneously the most pornographic and heavenly foodstuff to have ever entered my mouth. This beer is so great it makes even the most juvenile metaphor seem poetic.

There's nothing else for me to say about this beer. I'm not a poet. It was life affirming, how about that? It made me happy to be not dead, and it gave me a reason to keep on living because I will someday get another chance to drink it.

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Photo of jstunna24
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely amazing. The aroma is incredible. One of the best smelling beer I've ever tried. It smells like liquid marshmallows. The taste is sweet but complex. Vanilla, bourbon,chocolate, and toffee intoxicate your mouth. Truly a treat. Definitely worth seeking out!

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Photo of prior2two
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I've had. Definitely one to share though. Pours pitch black, but tastes like decadence in a glass.

Everything is big and over the top, but it all works.

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Photo of Domvan
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aside from the fact that this beer overtrades and sells for way too much (in the black market) for what is essentially liquid in a bottle.

This was easily one of the most unique and best beers I've ever had

Chocolate marshmallow fluffyness with a light booziness. It was a perfect storm of ingredients all in one beer. Definitely a huge difference from regular dark lord

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Photo of owenbrau
4.98/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Very excited to try this and it did not disappoint! 2014 version, big toasted marshmallow smell with a little bourbon. Taste is chocolate and vanilla up front with a marshmallow finish lingering on the tongue. So drinkable it's scary for 15%. It is one of, if not the best beer, I have ever consumed. Bourbon Barrel stout is my favorite style though I can not see how anyone could not love this beer.

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Photo of masterchiefMD
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

sampled at DLD 08. I am a huge vanilla fan. This was the smoothest richest best tasting beer i have every had. It let me CRAVING more. color was very dark just a shade under black. Smell was as good as the taste. The vanilla to me wasnt overwhelming, just enough during the aftertaste. They need to think about doing think again.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'14 vintage, received in a trade with greatgazoo. Thanks man!

This one pours a dark, inky and oily black, with a lighter, sugary-looking film on top. A small quarter inch head dissipates basically immediately. No lacing.

Smells just incredible, huge vanilla bean and marshmallow aroma, some sweet chocolate, and dark fruits galore.

This seems to amplify the positive aspects of Dark Lord, downplay the negative aspects, and add some whole new great vanilla-soaked aspects to it. This is definitely unbelievably sweet and syrupy, but it's a delicious sweet, not a taxing sweet, so it's ok. Even after one year of aging, the vanilla character is still so forward. Beyond the sweet sweet gooey vanilla marshmallow flavor, there's a lot of the usual Dark Lord dark fruit flavors, lots of cherry and raisin, with some brown sugar and chocolate. There's only a little bit of bourbon, just at the back behind the other flavor blasts.

This has no alcohol feel to it, at all- which is amazing. It's definitely warming, and by the end, you're feeling the rush, but you wouldn't know it along the way. This has one of the thickest bodies and mouthfeels I've ever encountered in a beer, very silky and chewy, at the same time. Fairly low level of carbonation, but still there, keeping it drinkable.

This is a decadent dream of a beer. I can see why it's so highly regarded. It was worth the long wait to finally try this one.

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Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.67 out of 5 based on 1,461 ratings.
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