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: 302 | Ratings: 1,468
Photo of fireazzi
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Small pour at a share, 2015 bottle.

Look: dark viscous look, nice body

Smell: Sweet Marshmallow vanilla smell

Taste: Very sweet, thick sweet taste of sweet vanilla marshmallow

Feel: Thick mouth feel, lingers a long time in the mouth, excellent feel

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Photo of mattsmith413
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fantastic... great bourbon and vanilla aroma...pours dark and drinks like a night ender, but is surprisingly smooth. Bottle 95 of 612... well worth the wait!!!

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Photo of pezhead_79
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yep, fantastic. Just as good as Derivation 6 with a great finish. This is not much of a revelation but this is the best Dark Lord variant made. Lives up to the hype.

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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 raspy22
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2016. Consumed 1-27-2017.
Yikes. This might be the best beer I have ever had!
Look was great! Motor oil black. Practically no head.
Smell was possibly the best I have ever had. More pure vanilla than VR or Vanilla Shake. Very heavy vanilla bean, burnt marshmallow, chocolate fudge, bourbon, hidden alcohol. Not the most complex I have ever had, but that is not what you come to this show for. The vanilla shines and shine really well!

Taste was unfairly just like the aroma. Argued with myself over wanting to go slow so as to get more opportunity to smell it more, and drinking it quick because the flavor was so great. Everything that was on the aroma is on the taste. And the alcohol heat did not get hotter as it warmed over the course of 20 minutes.
Mouthfeel was super smooth and creamy. Expected for a beer of this weight, and it was as advertised.
Overall, it did beat out VR and BA Vanilla Shake for me and is likely the top beer on my pyramid. At this price though, would've been easier if I didn't like it so much.

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Photo of zac16125
4.83/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22oz bottle into a snifter
Vintage 2013
Bottle #363 of 711

BA Review #950.
Review #98 out of the Top 100 that I set out to complete several years ago.

Huge thanks to LethalChickens for sending this very long time want over in a trade!

A: Pours a completely opaque jet black, with a small sliver of mocha colored head. Head dissipates fairly quickly. Only faint small patches of lacing are left on the sides of the glass. 4.25

S: Aroma is incredible. Huge vanilla, huge chocolate. Kind of smells like a Charleston Chew candy tastes. Lots of barrel characters with charred oak and bourbon-y vanilla. Its very sweet, but theres just enough roast and a subtle ethanol kick to balance it out. I could sit here smelling this all day. Phenomenal. 5

T: Taste is lots of dark fruits up front, then a fantastic lingering vanilla bean and chocolate on the finish. Barrel notes are also strong with wonderful bourbony notes of charred oak, vanilla, and the subtlest bourbony booze. But make no mistake, this is an absolute vanilla bomb. However, the barrel aging does a great job to cut the otherwise cloying sweetness that is regular Dark Lord. The lingering flavors of vanilla, chocolate and bourbon last forever on the finish. Fantastic. 4.75

M/D: It is very smooth, full bodied and almost a bit chewy. Carbonation is very low but appropriate for the style and size of the beer. ABV is exceptionally well masked and drinkability is excellent. 4.75

O: It is bordering on miraculous how a little bit of barrel aging and some vanilla beans morph a vastly mediocre regular Dark Lord into this gem of a beer. Absolutely worth the wait and the hassle to obtain. Truly world class. 5

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Photo of dwagner003
4.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Perfect balance of stout, bourbon and vanilla. Smell is addicting. It's hard to take your nose out of the glass long enough to actually drink it. Everything about it is amazing. Knocked it a bit for look, but that's because I prefer super thick stouts, and I've seen thicker than this.. Small complaint, though.

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Photo of rabbott2
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2016 variant bottle ??? out of ??? (680ish I think but the numbers rubbed off)

L-L-thick, black, motor oil, nice lacing, minimal of the thickest beers I have had

S/T-chocolatey fudge bourbon marshmallow....really incredible combo of flavors. not super complex but incredibly bold and superb

F-thick, oily, amazing

Overall - one of the best beers I have ever had. Very similar in the fudgey bourbon vanilla flavors as FO, however, the mouthfeel on this is unprecedented (except maybe Assassin). Really incredible

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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 danh53
4.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2015 vintage. One of the best I've had. Pours pitch black with slight lacing and tan wisps of foam on the surface of the beer. Aroma is bourbon soaked marshmallows. It doesn't pop at first. Needs some time to warm. Notes of molasses, chocolate, and sweet malt from the base beer. Taste follows the nose, but is more pronounced. The dark fruits are intense. I get fruit cake and bourbon soaked raisins and figs. I love how the base beer comes through along with the rich, decadent bourbon notes. Some barrel char, but it's not pronounced. I get the toasted marshmallow like vanilla rye, but this is more sweet and fruity while vanilla rye has some spice and roast. So much chocolate in this beer. I could go on and on listing all the flavors. This is worth the heavy cost to acquire.

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

Split a 2013 vintage with three of my closest friends… Was very nervous about the fact that this bottle could be infected… But when we opened it there was no gusher… Only tons of vanilla aroma… Amazing oily dark Bourbon vanilla notes !!!! Loved it!!!!

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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 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 lanciloti
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Marshmallow aroma is present, brilliant bourbon oaky vanilla pops at just the right moments. Bourbon barrel stouts don't get any better. Hype is real, price is not.

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Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.69/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Smell is indeed marshmallow forward, and more boozy than expected. I'm realizing I have a tough time handling bourbon heat from these world-class BA stouts. I might prefer them aged a bit, as I had this year's batch fairly fresh.

I hear "marshmallow" and I think "light and easy" but that's not the case here -- this is an extremely intense brew: bourbon heat, huge thick viscous mouthfeel, roast and dark chocolate. Pretty much the best mouthfeel of any stout I've had the pleasure of drinking, and one of the best flavor profiles.

Spectacular beer, and I suppose, no beer is worth the hype this one receives but I wasn't disappointed. Still, couldn't finish my glass (bottle split 4 ways) because there were so many great beers at the share, I was reaching my limit.

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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.

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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 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 domdomdomdom
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | 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 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 Phyl21ca
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice large dark brown foamy head. Aroma of rich black chocolates notes with some vanilla and bourbon notes. Taste is a fantastic mix of rich black chocolate notes with some vanilla notes, some residuals sugar notes and some nice bourbon notes that smooth out any rough edges from this beer. Body is full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation and alcohol is not overly apparent. Fantastic complex mix while still keeping an excellent level of drinkability.

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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 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 Sabtos
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark black with a lazy mocha head the straddles the edges and almost looks like chocolate skin.

Dark fudgy chocolate and roastiness wafts off the glass, while none of the coffee or sugar from the base brew really come through. I also would sometimes perceive cherry or raspberry in the base, but again none of that carries over to this variant. A very nice oaky roastiness with comforting, warming dark chocolate make for very enticing aromas.

Vanilla rounds out the flavor making it less sweet in some unfathomable way and the aging has given it a slightly frothier, creamier body which is just heavenly. I'm glad to say the bourbon does not create a boozy heat, but works with that vanilla bean and all the other additional ingredients already in the Dark Lord base to truly make for that toasted marshmallow effect. On top of that fudgy characteristic, it's absolutely delicious.

Viscous, thick and gooey, but just fluid enough to continue to qualify as beer. I perceived no booze heat at all, which is seemingly totally squashed by the high quality vanilla element.

This is an unbelievable achievement. Maybe it was a lucky fluke that continues to work out in small doses year to year, but I've never experienced this in any other BA beer, and a lot try to use the same ingredients. I'm not sure how you can plan to attain this kind of flavor with natural ingredients intentionally, but either way, they did it. It lives up to the hype, which is unfortunate for anyone that actually wants a full bottle. I had this on draft at DLD 2016.

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