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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)

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

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 290 | Ratings: 1,431
Photo of domdomdomdom
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thick. Viscous. Marshmallow. Fudge. There's still a hint of that Dark Lord soy sauce profile, but it's very faint and disappears into the marshmallow. And truly, this beer is the epitome of marshmallow in a beer. Mouthfeel is almost too thick; you won't want too much of this at a time.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally reviewing my DLD notes. Had on tap of course at the wonderful DLD!

A- This pours a pitch black as oil color. What else were you expecting from a DL? Good mocha colored head that was only a half finger if that. Lacing was well...not really there. I mean it was in little forms and the beer coated itself on the sides as well. This is like a dream come true.

S- This unlike the Oak Aged is more centered to the Vanilla. big accents of vanilla is what I smell right off the bat with hints of burnt coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, and darker fuits in the mix. Underlying all of that I get hints of a burnt oak smell with some warm alcohol to it. This smells like a wet dream to me...heh.

T- Oh wow where to begin. The vanilla is at the forefront of this beer giving it a very sweet begining. Almost right after the initial sweetness of that comes the chocolate and brown sugar highlights before coming to the coffee stout taste. Even the light hints of oak I could taste throughout this beer. As it warmed I thought you could taste the alcohol a little more in it. This beer is just fantastic though and I couldn't get enough of the taste. Just...well...wow!

M- This had a heavy mouthfeel to it. I couldn't get over the fact that it just clung onto every part of your mouth as it raced down the throat. It left a nice thick sticky feeling on your palate that even when I'm finally writing this review I can almost feel. Carbonation was great for the style and I can't think of a beer that could compete with this as far as what it left once it was finished with my palate.

D- I could drink glasses of this if I could. Sadly, I can only do that one day a year and well....I can't wait for next year. Everyone should get a chance to try this liquid "black gold" at least once. And I'm talking fresh not some hand bottled thing!

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Photo of mr_g00dkat
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The last beer that I had at DLD 2014. An amazing representation of a BA RIS, the vanilla was prevalent but not overwhelming.

A - jet black, little to no head at all, super thick.

S - smells of dark fruit, bourbon, hints of vanilla.

T - syrupy heaven with vanilla and BA characteristics.

M - viscus and velvety, coats the entire mouth, very chewy and lingering.

O - excellent beer, one of my favorite BA RIS. I just wish I would have been about to try this beer first instead of last. Cannot wait to get my hands on a bottle of this, come hell or high water.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Consumed on 7/28 as part of the NYC BA DarkLord Voltron tasting!!! thanks to blatantdream for providing this gem.
bottle #650 / 934

a - black with minimal off brown tan head. soft of what i was expecting for a barrel aged dark lord.

s - bourbon and vanilla. not as nice as the brandy vanilla that i just sampled, but damn near close and a great combo for the nose. i've been fortunate to have the bourbon DL on a few occassions (most recently last night) and that one smells incredible...the vanilla takes that and gives it a bit of a marshmellow twist. great sweetness and the vanilla is not over the top...melds nicely.

t - taste is insane. marshmellow, but bourbon soaked marshmellows. not as rich as the brandy but the vanilla is an incredible addition to the bourbon dark lord and gives a great vanilla marshmellow twist. the vanilla amount is tasteful and this is not a vanilla bomb, but it adds appropriate sweetness to the beer.

m - smooth and easy drinking. great after taste that coats the mouth. not as sweet and cloying as the brandy.

o - super awesome!!! chocolate, vanilla, bourbon marshmellows! REALLY nice. hard to really say which i like better, this or the brandy vanilla...as this has a superior mouth, but the brandy has a superior smell.

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Photo of Viggo
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At DLD 09. Missed this last year and wasn't about to do it again.

Looks like DL, very black, some dark brown highlights, dark brown head, left some lacing on the plastic cup, definitely a RIS. Smell is godly, I feel like the vanilla and age really smoothed it out, big vanilla, chocolate, toffee, roast, brown sugar, cake, very complex. Taste is similar, reminds me of a better and more complex ST Creme Brulee, very heavy vanilla, chocolate, toffee, alcohol, brown sugar, all sorts of good stuff. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, low to medium carbonation, some warmth but insane drinkable. Wow this stuff was good. I like regular DL and oaked DL but for me this was better.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to EVonHoff. Bottle 407/934, 2012 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz red waxed bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- Pours black with a 1 finger dark tan head. Thick coating of lacing resides quickly.

S- Big vanilla and chocolate, sweet syrup, bourbon.

T- Sweet maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and almost a hot chocolate-like flavor.

M- Full body and medium carbonation. Very smooth and not much of a alcohol burn for a 15% beer.

O- Amazing beer that stands up to it's rating. Great balance of sweetness, vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate. Just below apple brandy huna for me.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to score one of these at DLD 2012

Pours pitch black and thick as oil with a thin layer of dark brown head that sits briefly. Spotty lacing.

The nose is rich and dessert-like with warm real vanilla beans, not your cheap imitation beans that can be found in other vanilla brews. The integrated bourbon aromas meld nicely with the vanilla beans. Chocolate, oak, bourbon, vanilla beans, and a bit of booze.

The flavors are very similar to the nose but much more enjoyable. The rich vanilla beans come through first, followed by the nuances offered by the barrel. Warm bourbon, sweet chocolate, and some dark fruits are all mixed together in a sweet concoction. Sweet and delicious.

The mouthfeel is as thick as molasses with very little carbonation. Sticky sweet and silky smooth on my palate.

Overall, loved this brew. So glad I got to try it multiple times. The vanilla beans and bourbon treatment on DL makes it a completely different beer that is incredibly enjoyable.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle split 4 ways (~6.5oz serving). Poured into HF stemmed glass. Thanks to DonFrap for sharing this gem! Bottle #719/934. Consumed right after '12 DL and '11 DL. Served just below room temperature.

A- Pours a pitch jet black with a very thin mocha brown head that fades fairly fast to leave no head. Fairly low but consistent carbonation. Pretty much exact same appearance as the other Dark Lords.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, molasses. At first the bourbon was a little bit overpowering for my preference but it quickly mellowed out and became perfectly balanced with the other flavors. All the flavors from the Dark Lord come out blended with a perfect balance of bourbon and sweet vanilla. Definitely more aromatic then Dark Lord and smells absolutely awesome.

T- Bourbon perfectly balanced with sweet vanilla that match wonderfully with each other. Behind the bourbon and vanilla the regular DL comes out providing some light dark fruits and a bit of dark chocolate. Finishes with more bourbon and vanilla that lingers on the palate as a very nice aftertaste. Everything is perfectly balanced and blend amazingly together.

M- Very smooth, full bodied, fairly thick, pretty much no burn at all, does not taste like 15% in the slightest bit. One of the best feels I've encountered in a stout, never mind one that is 15%.

O- This beer was phenomenal, probably the best barrel aged beer I've ever had. Everything was perfectly done and fit amazingly together. One of most balanced beers I've had with an absolutely perfect feel. Perfect amount of bourbon and vanilla. I could easily drink this beer every day and I highly recommend it. One of the few beers that I would say definitely lives up to the hype and I could justify paying $50 for. Definitely a treat and I hope I'm lucky to cross paths with this one again.

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Photo of godfathermg57
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got a growler in trade thanks to StoutFest.

An incredible beer. There was absolutely no head or carbonation when i poured it which was a bit surprising, however after tasting I can see why. This beer isn't even a beer; it's like a vanilla, chocolate, malt syrup and I mean that in the best way possible. Incredibly smooth, thick, and complex in taste. Definitely one I had to split with friends but one I was glad I had a chance to try. 5 Star beer.

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Photo of ADTaber
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On draft at the FFF Brew Pub on DLD, poured into a snifter

A: pours black like spent motor oil with a thin brown head that dissolves slowly and leaves virtually no lacing

S: quite sweet, vanilla, dark chocolate, bourbon, roasted coffee and malt, a hint of dark fruit

T: very similar to smell, very sweet, vanilla, chocolate syrup, a hint of bourbon, roasted coffee and malt

MF: thick/heavy body, fairly low carbonation, coats the palate, alcohol is well hidden

Overall: delicious, sweeter than I expected but still very enjoyable, definitely glad I waited in the Brew Pub line for hours to try this one

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Well here we go, never thought I'd tick this one. Very black beer with a tan and dark red head, just big enough to register. Aroma was so nice, waves of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon. So different than the base beer.

Taste really was as close to perfect as you can get. Very sweet, coffee not the most perceptible in the mouthfeel. Minimal but appropriate carbonation on this one. Earthiness over sweetness comes out as the pour warms.

No way around it, this is world class, first tier bourbon barrel stout, in a crowded field.

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Photo of spoons
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at dld

Black and syrupy looking with no head anywhere to be found.

Smells like a black vanilla milkshake, only with more vanilla. Some dark chocolaty roasted bits underneath all that vanilla. Vanilla beans, need I say more.

Tastes amazing. Syrupy and smooth mouthfeell. Coats everything that it comes in contact with. Tons of vanilla flavor. Doesnt just taste like beans though, lots of extract almost bourbon like in there. Fantastic beer. Cant wait to have it again.

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Photo of hawks10
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Dark Lord Day 2010...6 ounces or so, more than enough to get a good idea of what this beer is all about...

Pours thick and oily, viscous black liquid with a bit of dark brown head, no different than regular Dark Lord...

Smell is much more complex and inviting than regular Dark Lord...for one, the vanilla in the 2010 vintage is very forward and very enticing...you also get your typical roasted malts, chocolate, molasses and a bit of alcohol in the nose, much like any other imperial stout...

Yummm, definitely a better tasting beer than regular Dark Lord (and after having a horrible bottle of the 2009 vintage a few weeks ago, this one made me very happy). Vanilla is very prominent, it's not just a name! Very sweet, chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, a tiny bit of bitterness from the roasted malts and a bit of a drying oak presence as well...but overall very sweet and loads of vanilla...

Thick, creamy, smooth, coating, slick...and any derivatives of those words...full bodied, chewy, medium carb...

What a great beer from FFF's, I for one think the regular Dark Lord is over-hyped and not as good as most make it out to be (still think it is pretty damn good however) but the vanilla bean Dark Lord definitely lives up to the hype...don't want to wait another year for more...

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Photo of starrdogg
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hand bottle brought back from DLD (don't worry, it was still amazing). Thanks guys for bringing back this loooong-time Want.

Beer pours like motor-oil, incredibly thick and black with no head whatsoever. Smell is amazing, bourbon, chocolate and vanilla combine together to make this one of the most decadent-smelling beers I've ever encountered. Taste follows the smell, the bourbon and vanilla along with the Dark Lord base makes for an incredible beer. This really tastes like dessert in the best way. It's sweet, but not cloyingly so. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Overall, this beer absolutely lived up to my expectations. The Vanilla is more prominent here than in BCBVS, which was one of my all-time favorite beers. Overall fantastic, I want a bottle!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

6 oz (roughly) tap pour into a clear plastic cup at Dark Lord Day 2010.

Thanks to Sweemzander for jumping in line right away and snagging a glass of this amazing beer for me!

A - The tap pour is jet black like old motor oil and looks rich and syrupy on the pour. A tiny ring of dark tan bubbles with no retention is left in the glass. Not much sexiness there save for the foreboding, thick pour!

S - The potent aroma is smooth with creamy vanilla bean and a deep roasted malt nose. A rich milk chocolate aroma lingers in the background with a small alcohol hint released upon a moderate swirl.

T - The flavor is massively vanilla heavy, reminiscent of vanilla extract. Bold roasted malts behind the vanilla offer up a seriously roasted kick and a rich milk chocolate flavor that finishes out with a low alcohol warmth. Not bitter at all. Amazingly delicious.

M - Vanilla Bean Dark Lord is as full-bodied as they come packing a smooth, rich texture that's borderline syrupy with an almost chewy finish. It coats your mouth, throat and innards.

D - This beer is surpasses the crazy hype. It's incredibly well-brewed and delicious. It's also dangerously drinkable for the percent. If I wasn't trying to savor every tiny sip I took it would probably be gone in a heartbeat. I could probably enjoy a 22 oz bottle of this too but that might be pushing it.

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 BA Vanilla Bean Dark Lord
Three Floyd's Brewing
15% ABV

*Huge thanks to @mattuntapped for sending my this taster so I could knock off another from beer advocates top 250 beers!

APPEARANCE: 1.5 ounce taster poured very slowly to get a good look. Comes out impenetrable motor oil black, as it hits the snifter instantly lightens up to a dark brown with some light brown and reddish rim variations. I won't be making reviews on carbonation since it was a few days old in my mini growler.

AROMA: Instantly I get marshmallow fluff, great vanilla beans and warm chocolate. Like a delicious s'mores minus the graham crackers. I can only imagine what the nose on this must have been like freshly opened because even now it's insane.

TASTE: Follows that nose exactly, huge wave of vanilla rolls across my tongue. Nice deep chewy chocolate fudge. I'm savoring every little sip wishing I had a whole bottle to myself. Nice amount of marshmallow in the middle with slight bourbon barrel flavor. The 15% ABV is hidden so well I don't get any heat or alcohol flavor at all.

MOUTHFEEL: Nice thick slick mouth feel that coats the tongue and has a long slightly sticky sweet finish. Once again won't be reviewing carbonation.

OVERALL: This was an amazing, flavor explosive beer. I enjoyed everything about it, thought the marshmallow flavor went exceptionally well with the vanilla bean. I would love to have this right from the bottle now even more. I think I would give this either a 4.9 or 5/5 if I had it freshly opened.

RATING: 4.8/5 Zombie Heads!

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Photo of jlindros
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

OK, so this has been one of my whales for a long time, and I was shocked to find out that rudzud had actually acquired it! So tons of thanks to Matt for finding this and sharing it with me. The big review #4000 for this puppy!!!!!!!!

Bottle #706/934 2012

Light fizzy head, disappears fairly quickly, little lacing, legs that never fall, blacker than black midnight, crazy dark motor oil sludge like.

Nose is phenomenal, tons and tons of dark malts, little booze but very little, nice fudgey cocoa caramel, big chewy cocoa and fudge. Mild vanilla, some real vanilla and touch of barrel vanilla, nice barrel notes, oaky with hint of bourbon, even a hint of candied raisin, touch of cinnamon and baking spices. More toasted oak, vanilla and baking spices come through more as it opens and the fudgey cocoa malts fade.

Taste brings big cocoa, creamy milk chocolate and dark choc, fudgey as Hell and liquid chocolate bliss. Then baking spices, tons of them, with cinnamon, etc. Then barrel, nice toasted oak, mild vanilla oak, decent bourbon and barrel juice, mild candied raisins again, brown sugar, etc. Great caramel, and toffee, caramel creams, even hint of butterscotch. Decent vanilla but not a ton, nice vanilla butterscotch toffee candy. Hint of booze, finish is sticky, little syrupy, no real booze, lingering caramel toffee, nice vanilla finally, vanilla city, toasted oak and bourbon with more dark choc.

Mouth is fuller bod nice thick rich velvety thing, decent carb, no real booze.

Overall out of this world! Pretty much hit my expectations for one of my few Carmen Sandiago like beers. So much awesomness of vanilla, bourbon, barrel, cocoa, and everything in between. I could drink this forever. So glad it's a high mark like a 4000.

From the start of reviewing beers, it was more of a fun hobby, mostly to see how my own tastes changed as I tried new beers. In fact, I had about 50 beers before I started posting my reviews, for which I wrote notes down and retried the beers to see how my notes changed as I went. When I was finally satisfied I was ready to post my reviews, I finally did. Now 4000 reviews later I'm barely keeping my head above water, and there are so many new beers on the horizon I don't know what to do about it. I keep wanting to start a youtube or blog review, but lack the resources to do it, esp with family. Someday I'll be there, but for now BA is my haven of beer enjoyment memories.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 04/30/11 notes. Had on tap at the brewery on Dark Lord Day. The normal version of Dark Lord is one of my favorite RIS's, and beers in general, and I enjoyed the Oak Aged version quite a bit, so I've been really looking forward to this one.

a - Pours a pitch black color with light carbonation evident and an inch of dark tan head. Head lasts for a minute or two with bubbles throughout.

s - Smells of vanilla beans, rich chocolate and sweet milk chocolate, roasted malts, and some dark fruits. The vanilla is really strong up front, which I absolutely loved. I love vanilla in stouts so this smelled perfect to me.

t - Tastes of vanilla beans very strongly up front again. Also some chocolate, dark fruits, oak, roasted malts, nuts, and caramel malts. Again, really amazing and a step up from the normal DL taste in my opinion.

m - Full bodied stout and low carbonation, thick and chewy but easy to drink with the low carbonation. Really not a lot of heat in my opinion considering the high ABV.

o - Wow, what an amazing beer. I had high expectations for this and to be honest, it llived up to them. I really loved this one, even more than the normal and oak versions. Can't wait to have this one again sometime.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%

So this basically rulz as hard as anything. Poured out jet black with a bit of brown mocha head on top. Subtle ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Light lacing. The smell gives off some boozy vanilla reminiscent of bourbon. Some definite heat on the nose. The taste has big amounts of roasted sweet malt with vanilla. Lingers a bit like candy on the tongue. It's not cloying but leaves a beautiful aftertaste. The mouthfeel could be a little thicker but still remains thick enough for the style. Good slick feel with subtle carbonation. Overall, since it was the fresh batch the heat from the 15% was a little heavy but still very smooth and slick. Highly enjoyable, very thankful that I got to try this from a generous Millerbaffoon. Awesome stuff!

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Photo of znichols
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Exclusive Tapping at Argus Lounge (Madison, WI)- 8/12/11.

Appearance -- A black as night stout with a surprisingly tight head. Eggshell color head with opaque body. Lacing doesn't stick around long.

Smell -- Dark, juicy fruits. Figs, blueberries, etc. The vanilla is very present in the aroma with a slight alcohol tinge and wood. A slight bit of dark cocoa in there too. An extremely complex aroma in this one with little to no hop smell.

Taste -- Dark roast and sharp vanilla right off the bat. This beer punishes your taste buds, but in a good way. Notes of chocolate, smooth coffee, plum, wood, maple, creme brule, and a little foreign spice as well. An extreme amount of flavor and a decadently light alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel -- Uber thick and pretty sticky. Low to moderate carbonation. Think molasses.

Overall -- A truly exceptional beer. As cliche as it sounds, likely the best beer i've ever had. Over the top flavor. The grandaddy of Russian Imperial Stouts. Wish i could have seen the look on my face when i took the first sip!

Serving type: Tap

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Photo of tmryan21
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2014 Version.

Popped this with a group of friends and family for my 30th birthday. Poured about 7 oz. into a snifter.

Look: Pours like motor oil - black. Very little tan head which disappeared rather quickly.

Smell: A LOT going on here. Marshmallows, chocolate, currants, and vanilla are the easy ones to pick out. Booziness from the bourbon is evident as well.

Taste: Unbelievable. Very sweet and dessert like. It was like drinking a chocolate flavored marshmallows. Booze was evident but not overpowering (maybe due to waiting 5 months to open).

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, thick, creamy, smooth, and, low carbonation. Very little booze burn present.

Overall: Really happy to share with everyone and worth the $50 at DLD 2014. Hoping I will win another golden ticket soon. I would definitely grab this one again, as it lives up to all of the hype.

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Photo of BAstoutsNsours
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Hunaphu's Day 2013. 6oz serving. Although I'm unaware of 2011 Bourbon Vanilla DL being bottled, this was listed as such. Staff swore it was Bourbon Vanilla (not Brandy) and it was 2011 vintage. Anywho

A: Dark pitch black motor oil appearance with only a little head.

S: TONS of vanilla on the nose, very raw vanilla bean up front, small hints of cocoa, not much booze considering this is ~15%

T: Taste like a chocolate birthday cake with chocolate butter cream with vanilla bean ice cream on top. LOADS of vanilla, they did not short this thing and I've really never had a beer with so much vanilla in it. If you like your vanilla subtle or as an afterthought, this beer is not for you. Chocolate, espresso, and marshmallow are all there.

M: Thick, viscous, just a tiny bit of carb. Really coats the mouth and encourages the drinker to do so.

O: A very very good beer, this is such an in-your-face beer that it would be hard to drink more than a pour or two. That being said, its delicious and drinks like liquid cake. Like cake, there is only so much you can handle before the diabeetus settles in.

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Photo of Prospero
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage, bottle 139 of 1107? - Bittersweet chocolate, smores, big bourbon and vanilla flavor, sweet maple & brown sugar finish, crazy good.

2013 vintage, bottle 156/711 - Little to no head when poured, super sweet initial taste & aroma, followed by green apple (slight sourness) on the finish with a slimy mouthfeel, barely vanilla and any signs of barrel are completely masked by INFECTION. Glad I got to tick this with a very generous friend, but looking forward to trying it as FFF intended.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ DLD, GTOM

Dark Lord + vanilla. It's just about that simple. Looks like DL, smells like DL what with the molasses, cocoa, dark fruits, brown sugar plus a vanilla-infused explosion of creamy goodness right off the bat!

It's a pretty boozy incarnation, but the vanilla smooths it out to where this is just a pleasure. It's a chewy, viscous stout that goes down smooth as can be, even on a 90 degree day.

If you love DL, this will take that love to another level. A perfect example where tinkering with a recipe that's already a winner can sometimes yield incredible results.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Three Floyd's Brewpub during Dark Lord Day '09 on 4/25/09. I actually picked up 2 5 oz fills of this while in the brewpub, nibbled at them a bit to get my take, and then took them out to my crew in line for their tasting and enjoyment of this awesome brew. Initially served in a smallish snifter and then transferred into clear plastic cups for the journey outside.

The pour is all classic Dark Lord. An inky motor oil look that is topped by a thin layer of menacing looking burnt and blistered mocha colored head that quickly retreats to the outer edges. Surprisingly little lace but this just coats the sides of the glass with oily goo. The aroma is in a word, DYNAMIC! Vanilla just owns this bouquet, I mean you can literally smell it a foot away from your nose. Getting in closer reveals some, also quite awesome, underlying notes of chocolate roast, dark fruits, molasses, and coffee. A bit of oakiness from the barrel and some lightly warm heat elements makes themselves known as well. Holy shit...do I have to drink this? Can't I just sit here and sniff this the rest of my life?

The taste is almost unlike anything I've had before. Much the same as the aroma, the taste is all about the vanilla. What is tremendous about this though, is the way the sweetness of the vanilla emboldens the other sweet characteristics of the Dark Lord. Black currants and raisins mix with chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar to create a thick and sticky goo that reminders of eating an alcoholic piece of Shoo-Fly-Pie. Just unbelievable. Huge notes of roasted malts and espresso lash the backend, leaving a fantastic long lingering finish of bitterness and tangy sweetness that just won't quit. The mouthfeel is huge and filling in the mouth with a massive beefy creaminess that holds all of these huge flavors together. I also detect a bit of slickness to this as well, probably a result of being in a barrel. As for that 13% ABV, it's right on target with how it feels in the regular Dark Lord. Meaning it's definitely there in the body but barely in the taste. I think that the addition of vanilla in this actually helps smoothes the profile out and takes even more of the harsh edges off this. Just a fantastic feel and drinkibility here for a beer this big & bold.

I had just a small taste of this @ DLD '08 and that just whetted my appetite in anticipation of them hopefully having it again at this year's event. To be able to sit down and properly enjoy this was just a great beer moment for me. Dark Lord is one of my favorite beers anyway but to add vanilla to this as well, basically turning it into an even more delicious and decadent dessert beer, makes this one of the best beers I've ever had. I'm all ready looking forward to next year!

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Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.66 out of 5 based on 1,431 ratings.
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