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 | website

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:
288
Ratings:
1,424
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
9.01%
 
 
Wants:
4,283
Gots:
261
For Trade:
11
User Reviews
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Reviews: 288 | Ratings: 1,424
Photo of TPatuto
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap into little plastic cup. (I wish it were a bigger cup.)

A - Black and Black. A tinge of brown around the edges almost creates this aura around the beer. The tiny bit of head that existed disappeared in an instant, to a very skinny rim.

S - Aggressive vanilla (go figure, right?) caramel, coffee, dark roasted malts, molasses. Light bourbon alcohol scent as well.

T - Vanilla, cocoa, hints of dried dark berry fruits. Super intense and over the top goodness. Flavors lingered for an extremely long time. Definitely overpowered everything else.

M - Rich and Coating. A tiny hint of alcohol toward the back end.

D - Extremely drinkable. I would love a glass of this in the dead of winter in front of a fireplace. That would probably make me giggle like a 4th grade school girl.

Overall Impression - I loved this and was very happy that Three Floyds went about making this again for '09 DLD. A great effort.

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

I am glad I had the opportunity to try this at Dark Lord Day. Review taken from notes.

A - Markedly dark as used motor oil w/ a faint chestnut rim, headless w/ legs that stick like dark brown sugar water or port wine.

S - Creme brulee, vanilla as intense custard - slightly floral like the bean derived from the opium plant. Sweet dry sponge cake/angel food w/ a slight bean and sugar cookie like aroma dipped in melted chocolate.

M - Thick, syrupy and gently sweet for all of the malt fullness. Relatively still as far as carbonation goes, w/ dry earthiness and oily bean in the finish w/ subtle booziness.

T - A fine custardy and light cream taste w/ hints at eggcream and creme brulee w/ sweet toasted graham cracker and caramelize brown sugar and perhaps a smattering of bittersweet cocoa and more super concentrated pure vanilla bean goodness infused in custardy stout w/ caramel accents. The flavor is rummy w/ a hint of hops. The pine notes of the hops make the taste far from cloying, just nice and sippable - The taste is intense to say the least. A veery dessert like vanilla flavor that lingers coating the mouth and allowing the dessert impression last for a long while.

D - I loved this sweet, but more vanilla version of Dark Lord. The vanilla intensity was great and undeniable in the ale, bordering on spirits in flavor w/ rich smooth maltiness and possibly less drinkable than the more dry oaked version, but still tenacious and intense all the way through. The kind of beer you want to sip and savor for hours

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

Had this at the brewpub on DLD 2010.

Served in a tumbler/snifter glass (no plastic cup for this guy).

Served with a 1/2 layer of creamy dark tan head. Color is a wicked dark black.

Aroma: Amazing! Bourbon, vanilla, coffee, chocolate. Rich dark dried fruits. So sweet and creamy. Simply amazing.

Taste: Vanilla and bourbon right up front. A lot hot, but not bugging me at all. Milk chocolate and caramel. Sweetness. It really warms up nicely.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and warming. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends warm, but relatively clean.

Overall, very drinkable. One of the best beers I have had, if not the best. I want more already. Top RIS. Everything I could ask for in the style. I wish I would have bought more at DLD.

Edit: had a bottle as shown in pic and it was a marshmallow bomb. Simply incredible.

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

Had on tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown before and during the 3Floyds beer dinner.

A: Pours jet black with thin dark brown head that leaves good lacing.

S: Hot damn, this smells exceptional! There is so much dark chocolate and vanilla in the nose balanced by bourbon (I'm told it's Woodford Reserve), dark fruits, and coffee. It can't get any better than this.

T: Simply incredible. This is the best bourbon barrel aged beer I've ever had. And I thought the Oak Aged Dark Lord was the best - no, this one blows it out of the water with the delectable vanilla flavor that perfectly balances with the bourbon, chocolate, and dark fruits. And as it warms, it gets better and better with graham cracker and caramel flavors adding to the mix of intense chocolate and vanilla.

M: So creamy smooth and thick, it's like motor oil and completely coats the mouth, intensifying the flavors. Carbonation level is perfect for this beer - on the low side, but existent.

D: Only knock is the slightest alcohol burn, otherwise I could drink these all night long.

Overall this beer blew me away. I was not expecting the simple presence of vanilla beans to add so much more to the already incredible Oak Aged Dark Lord, but the extra vanilla is what makes this beer the best, and deserving of it's high review. I really hope 3Floyds decides to bottle this beer one day - it's phenomenal.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this at the Great Taste of the Midwest 2009 in Madison, WI out of my GTotM tasting glass. Missed this at DLD 09 so I was not going to get hosed on this day!

A: Pours like a black hole, with no light getting through and some copperish/khaki colored bubbles that settled down to almost nothing.

S: Smells very similar to the original of course with very nice vanilla addition and some minor "barrel aged" scents.

T: just like the scent, the flavor was also obviously very similar to its regular DL brethren; however, whereas the original Dark Lord tastes like a thick chocolate beer shake almost, the Vanilla Bean variety is much more vanilla forward (surprise!) without being over-vanillaized if that makes sense. The addition of the vanilla makes this a great variant and possibly even better flavor-wise. The only possible downside is that there is a bit of heat from the alcohol, but it's easy to look past it when the flavor is so spectacular.

M: Super creamy and coated everything it touched. Low carbonation, similar to a syrup but it matched the rest of the beer excellently.

D: There is no doubt that this style isn't meant to be drinkable, but I think that this is one of the shining examples of making this style as drinkable as it can be. The flavor is incredible, and I long for each next sip I take. The only potential downside is the heat from the alcohol. I'm willing to give that only a slight docking of rating.

I've had the original Dark Lord a few times in different vintages and there is no doubt that it's an amazing beer that is well deserving of all the hype. However, I think at least in the flavor department, this one rules as my favorite of the varieties (and definitely challenging for my favorite beer completely). I'd love to try all three side-by-side in a tasting to see how I'd rank them in that sense, rather than having them on separate occasions. I'm glad I finally got to try this and man was it worth the wait.

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

Let's preface this review with some backstory:

I biked to DLD 2008 from the near NW side of Chicago. It was about 30 miles down to Munster. After leaving at about 8AM, arriving at 11, the one thing I needed the most upon my arrival on a very windy day was a friggin' beer. Luckily, I'd come to the right place. I grabbed a Dreadnaught on cask and a Vanilla Dark Lord while my comrades held me a place in line. I gladly shared the Dreadnaught while hording the Dark Lord for my own, exhausted self. I just recently found my notes for this wonderful treat.

A - The plastic cup gives this one a more collegiate feel. Weird, but charming. Black, Black, Black beer (maybe a sepia note) with sediment lacing the sides of the cup, like sediment while one pans for gold, except you're drinking the gold. Minimal khaki head.

T - Dark Lord. With Vanilla. That's all you really need to know. Roasty malt, soy sauce, molasses, coffee are the dominating notes here besides the indomitable vanilla.

M - If you told me this was a milkshake made with vanilla ice cream and dark lord, I would not have argued with you.

D - One of these had me forgetting about the 45-50 km/h wind and the bike-ride exhaustion. One's all you need. This ruled.

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Photo of cccupps3
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had it on tap at Capone's in Montgomery County, P.A. I had a 10oz. tulip poor and it was a fantastic coloring for an Imperial Stout. Very smooth throughout and I felt the bittering hops can into play much, much more as it warmed about ten minutes. Good Vanilla usage! Could have had a little stronger aroma. Overall it is one of the most well balanced stouts I have had in a few years.

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Photo of dboon
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle # 766. Dark brown pour with a tan head. Coco puff nose. Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. This beer is freakin’ awesome with all kinds of chocolate, caramel, and smooth roasted malt goodness. Sweet and delicious with a great body and mouthfeel. Outstanding....

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Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

'13 Vintage: Serious signs of infection with sour milk taste completely overwhelming the palate. Will re-review when I try another vintage.

Re-scored based on my second taste of an uninfected bottle. Just be careful when trading for the '13 vintage.

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Photo of Deuane
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BIG thanks to Kegatron for getting our group the hookup at DLD.

A-Much like Dark Lord with a deep black/brown body and a reddish tinted dark brown head that reduced to a thin veil and left spotty lace.

S-My verbatim comment upon the initial whiff...This smells just like my grandma's meat and raisin pie WITH vanilla! Wow, this is so nice.

T-Mmmm, mmm. The vanilla really smooths things out and takes the harsh edge off. Lots of vanilla, dark chocolate, brown sugar, caramel and dark roast.

M-Heavy bodied but amazingly smooth and viscous. Long lasting flavours.

D-Off the hook! This takes DL and ramps it up a notch, Without question one of the most tasty, drinkable and interesting beers I have had. Amazing!

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Photo of GbVDave
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
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: Black, black, black. Used motor oil from a Diesel engine black. Small and creamy dark brown head.

S: Unbelievable aromas of chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit, brown sugar/molassas, rye bread, cherry, and a bit of booze.

T: See above. It's crazy how so much flavor is packed inside this beer.

M: Sticky! This sticks to everything. Like drinking a RIS milkshake.

D: Suffers slightly, like all the other Dark Lords, from the appearance of alcohol towards the end of the glass.

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Photo of movingtrain
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This might very well be the best beer I have ever had the opportunity to try. Sampled from a plastic cup at Dark Lord Day 2009...a small pour, but completely worth it...I went back to the table for seconds.

Poured a super dark black with little to no head and very little carbonation.

Smells like Dark Lord...molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, sweet olives, figs, some oak aroma.

Tastes like Dark Lord, but with a syrupy sweetness imparted from the vanilla beans. Very rich, complex, and incredibly palatable.

Of all the beers I was able to sample on DLD, this one stood out...even above the regular Dark Lord. It was complex, and the vanilla beans added a new dimension to an already outstanding beer. It was great to have had a chance to try this, and my only wish is that some day it is put into bottles, as well.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%

A - Pours dark, dark black in color with a very thin toffee colored lacing ring.

S - Vanilla, some sweet caramel, dark chocolate malt, some bourbon effervescence, and hints of oak.

T - Oak, vanilla, sweet chocolate molasses, bourbon, and moderate heat in the back of the throat.

M - Thick, full bodied, slippery, velvet on the tongue and a decent amount of heat.

O - Despite the hype and set the ratings aside, great beer, hands down.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I, like dreadnaught33, am writing this review considerably after having had it. I took some basic notes so the review is a combination of notes and memory. Poured at Dark Lord Day 2010. Got in right before it kicked. Pours pitch black much like dark lord but with more head. Rich and thick and pretty. Smells sulime. Tns of vanilla and oak. Te bourbon is heavy on the nose and overpowers most of the malt complexity. Sme dark fruit and hints of roast peak through, tastes sweet, thick, and vanilla strong. The oak presence is secondary t massive vanilla on my palette. There are to s of other things going on in this beer as well. Dark fruits, roasted malts, some sweet chocolate and possibly caramel as well. Very complex and very vert tasty

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Photo of punkrkr27
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Dark Lord Day '10. Pours as dark as dark can be with a tiny bit of loose brown bubbles and lots of brown coating the glass as it swirls. Massive dark fruit notes, chocolate and a little coffee. This is much more smoothed out than fresh Dark Lord usually is. There's none of the harshness or green apple, more like a 1-2 year old bottle. The vanilla beans really come through and taste distinctly fresh. There oxidation like soy sauce at the end and it's a touch cloying but otherwise a truly amazing beer. The body is incredibly smooth and full with low carbonation.

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Photo of Resuin
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. 2015 vintage, drinking pretty fresh.

Pours Blake with a tiny tan head. Smells big vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, a bit of heat. Taste is vanilla, milk chocolate, big marshmallow, light oak. Really thick and creamy, velvety body. No heat in the body, super smooth. Incredibly balanced.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Never thought I would see this in California, but, yeah, the FW Invitational sure did deliver to say the least.

After the mad dash to the booth, we chilled for about 15-20 minutes before getting our pour, a black sludge with a super thin cherry cola head on the top of it 1/8" in depth that didn't stay around for too long, but the colors were amazing.

Vanilla bean, chocolate, bourbon, oak, these are the smells you want, all delivered in a huge Dark Lord kind of way.

Taste, more of the same, tons of sweetness, no doubt to drown out the massivity of the beer. Every aspect of it is big, like Black Tuesday or Chocolate Rain. You get a little more of the bittersweet dark fruit aspect on this though, the dividing line between RIS and the roastier American double stouts. Any coffee like roast aspect is really left to drown in the high sugar content here. Bourbon is present, but the vanilla and malt heft keep it from becoming a too hot concoction.

A slight tobacco/ash/mild leather feeling in the mouthfeel, that is only so slight. Low carbonation, which I think is just right for this beer.

I think this is significantly better than regular or even the brandy barrel dark lord. For me, the vanilla was really what uplifted this beer into one of the greatest of the greats from an already great brewery. Phenomenal stuff.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the taps at 3F's, DLD-08. The liquid is opaque black, with lots of sediment and mild carbonation. Not much of a chocolate mocha head and minimal lace.

The smell is just beautiful, mildly sweet and creamy vanilla beans in a thick stout of dark chocolate and coffee.

The taste is exceptional, really a smooth and easy drinking big beer. The flavor of DL aged with Vanilla is very good indeed. I might even like it more then the original and Oak Aged.

The mouthfeel is big and thick not too sticky but the sediment does not help, the carbonation is trapped in the thick liquid just trying to escape.

The drinkability is very very good, I thought this one would be good but did not think it would be this good.

Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

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Photo of youngblood
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a dark brown. Reminded me of Cocoa. Had a small tannish head.
S - Smelled strongly of vanilla (duh), cream, espresso, chocolate, slight alcohol. Very complex, vanilla might be a bit over the top though.
T - Woah. Very creamy vanilla flows onto the tongue. Has an amazing depth to it. Chocolate, coffee, slight nut, flavors really go on and on here.
M - Great mouthfeel. Very full and smooth. Slightly chewy.
D - Way high drinkability for a 13%+ beer. Alcohol is hidden very well.

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Photo of
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 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 vanilla, very strong. This was a very sweet smelling beer. Roast character was not really coming through a whole lot. The dark fruit character was present, somewhere between the regular DL and the OADL.

Taste was more sweet than bitter, and was similar to the aroma. Vanilla, , dark chocolate, hint of coffee and molasses. Fruit character very strong, like a port. 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, and with the exception of the mouthfeel, every bit as good as the regular DL. Unlike the OA, which to me covers up some of the complexity that I enjoyed in the regular version, the vanilla just adds additional flavor notes.

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Photo of khumbard
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap in the brewpub alongside the BBADL on Dark Lord Day at about 11am....

A - Pours thick, black, with little head. The top kind of reminds me of an oil slick.

S - The nose on this beer is awesome. Huge vanilla, followed up by the oak, bourbon, roast, coffee, and chocolate. This is going to be a complex, sweet beer.

T - Lives up to the nose... very sweet, but it actually works well. The vanilla is up front and very tasty. Followed up by the rest of the flavors represented in the BBA DL. Complex, sweet, delicious.

M - Thick, viscous, low carbonation, like Dark Lord should be. Always a pleasure.

O/D - This beer is one of the best I've had. Probably the highlight of an awesome DLD for me. Having it side by side with the BBA DL really gave me an idea of how good this one really is. Lives up to the hype, and I can't wait until next year to have it again!

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Photo of tpd975
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hand bottle provided by Gunhaver

A: Pours as dark as they come, a very evil flat black. No real head to speak of loss of carbonation due to the hand bottling. It is a very thick beer that literally stains the glass.

S: Nice real vanilla notes. Roasted malt, coco puffs, and subtle wood from the barrel.

T: Loads of real vanilla bean right from the start. Rich dark chocolate and roasted chocolate malt. Darkened brown sugar, and hints of oak.

M: Very full in body, lacks carbonation which you don't even seem to miss with this beer.

D: Insane. It was a nip bottle shared between a few. Really wish I had more. It is reason enough to go to Dark Lord day!

Thanks Geiger!

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Black as night with minimal head.

S: Vanilla, marshmallows, bourbon.

T: Bourbon, marshmallows, vanilla, candy, toffee, caramel, chocolate.

M: thick with low carbonation.

O: magic in a glass. It could use more carbonation, however. Very smooth considering the alcohol content.

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Photo of habanosdarklord
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Three Floyds, Dark Lord Day 2011.

A- Black, as you would expect. Really nice tan head appears with a swirl of the glass.

S- The aromas are excellent. Sweet, rich vanilla, dark chocolate, dark red fruits, and rich roasty espresso notes. Complex aromas overall.

T- The flavors follow the nose. Dark chocolate, rich espresso, vanilla and a fruity cherry like flavor as well. This beer was amazing. Period.

M- Very thick, slight carbonation.

Overall, really one of the best beers I have ever had. The complexity is really something to notice with this beer. Great day at Three Floyds. Dark Lord Day was a blast.

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Photo of udchemist
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on DLD 2010 - it was by far the best beer I tried there - and I tried both Pliney's, 09 and 10 DLs and a heap of other beers.
Taste - amazingly complex, with the vanilla and bourbon coming through to me really well. very balanced and hard to figure out what a lot of the tastes were initially - got better as it warmed :)
Pour - not sure, got it handed to me from someone else who had had it a minute or two
Color - oil
Mouthfeel - very thick, coated the throat/mouth (like DL does). Definitely a sipping beer.

overall - way better than DL in my opinion. Can't wait to get it on tap again 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 1,424 ratings.
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