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:
1,463
Avg:
4.67
pDev:
8.99%
 
 
Wants:
4,381
Gots:
263
For Trade:
11
User Reviews
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Reviews: 301 | Ratings: 1,463
Photo of larryarms847
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours motor oil black with a thin layer of caramel tinged foam, thick and viscous, one of the most enticing pours I've ever had.

Heavy and sweet vanilla on the forefront, but not overpowering, is soon met with a sweet and spicy hint of bourbon. Perfectly balanced, if I could smell this all day I would love that.

Smooth and sweet vanilla sits gently upon a rich bourbon backbone. Perfect sipper.

Viscous, sweet, sticky, but enough bourbon to cut through the dessert like flavors to make this a real treat.

Overall, this one will sit in my Top 5 for a long, long time.

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Phelps
4.05/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed, of course, at Three Floyd's brewpub during DLD '10.

The beer comes to me in a small tasting glass a cloudy deep burgundy. The beer is lighter in color yet thicker than the original, and has all the color and consistency of melted dark chocolate. Zero head to speak of, but a sheen of oils swirls over the surface layer of the liquid, much like you'd find in a french press coffee.

The taste and aroma are both overpowered by a prevailing vanilla bourbon sweetness. It is as if I took a shot of vanilla extract. This thing is killer sweet, and killer hot. The burn of alcohol singes my throat and sets my nostrils ablaze. Molasses, raisins and savory almond and peanut notes are noticeable.

The mouthfeel is milkshake thick, with a body more akin to melted ice cream than beer. This seems more dessert than drink.

I was told that it was of utmost import that I go to all lengths on Dark Lord Day to try this beer. I have to say I preferred the non-aged version, surprisingly, but was supremely impressed with all of the '10 iterations of the Dark Lord. Drinking it was an experience I won't soon forget.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured cold from the tap at the brewpub, at DLD, pitch black to an 8oz glass with next to no head.

huge arse big vanilla and oak aroma, hints of bourbon and milky chocolate.

big flavor, seriously thick vanilla, great big wow. oak hints. Graham crackers, dark creamy chocolate and a bit of sweetened espresso roast.

big huge bodied, medium carbonation. creamy smooth.

drinkable - one, but if it wasn't almost time to go...

overall - crazy good beer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.33/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a very small brown head fading away into an oily ring. Good sludgy lacing down the glass.

Intensely sweet aroma. Dark chocolate, vanilla and molasses. Maybe a touch of oak.

Major sweetness bomb. Loads of dark chocolate, fudge and vanilla with just a touch of roastiness. Very dessert like quality although it's hard to drink more than a few ounces of this. The addition of vanilla and booze helps balance out the rough flavors of the base beer.

Very thick mouthfeel although maybe not as much as I'd expect. Low carbonation.

Great beer although drinkability is low due to the intense sweetness. Much better than regular Dark Lord, but probably not quite worth the hype.

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Photo of brystmar
4.39/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened the 2011 & 2012 Vanillas next to each other to kick off our tasting with all 8 BA DLs. Thanks to Denise for bringing this one!

Gloops out of the bottle with minimal head and lace. Boozy and sweet aroma opens up bourbon-forward, concluding with a pleasant vanilla finish. Deserves a 4.25, but I'll round up.

While the '11 was predominantly sweet marshmallows, this one starts off as a bourbon-infused stout with vanilla support showing up towards the end. Dark fruits, heavily roasted malt, candy sweetness, and more robust bourbon round things out midway through. Body is thick, but not as viscous as the '11 Vanilla.

Swallowing summons a fantastic blend of flavors in the back of your throat which is initially boozy but quickly melts into a smooth, vanilla-infused nectar. This aftertaste is magical, rivaled only by Apple Brandy BA Huna & b1 Chocolate Rain.

The '11 Brandy Vanilla ended up being my favorite of the 8 variants, followed by '12 Cognac, then this '12 Bourbon Vanilla. Our group seemed in agreement that Vanilla DL was the best of the treatments, but we were divided in choosing a superior vintage. Both were fantastic!

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Photo of kbutler1
4.42/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Finally found my notes for DLD and getting these in to review! Draft. Poured into a plastic cup which I then put in my Founders KBS tulip glass. Poured straight black with a slight dark tan head. The initial aroma is the vanilla followed by a sublte sweetness and dark malts. The taste is amazing IMO. The vanilla is so smooth in this one. Dark chocolate notes as well. Love to see it bottled. The only thing to date to compare to this was the BCBVS that I had at Great Taste.

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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 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 nrs207
4.95/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had alongside the base beer. 2013 vintages for both.

A - Quite dark, has a little tan head. It looks a little darker and a little better than the base beer.

S - Smells like some sort of vanilla/brownie mixture. Incredible. There's just a hint of the barrel, but it's nice because it lets the vanilla and chocolatey aromas shine through. I have no idea how this is the same beer as the non-barrel aged version.

T - Just like the smell. Loads of vanilla and fudge. It's truly a dessert beer, but at the same time I could've had the entire bottle. The bourbon barrel is just barely there, cutting the sweetness just a bit. It's as sweet as I'd like this type of beer to be. When it's around room temp, I get a little alcohol, but very light and only when it's very warm. Hides it extremely well.

M - Smooth, rich, creamy, no burn from the alcohol. It's almost perfect. I think if it was just a tiny bit fuller it would've gotten a 5.

O - I'm so happy this lived up to the hype. Took a lot to get, but I think it was worthwhile. One of the best beers I've had.

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

DLD on tap, both at DLD 08 and 09, unfortunately served in a plastic cup.

Pitch black, with a foamy but small head, caramel colored.
Great aroma, bringing dark fruits, roasted malts and coffee, but the vanilla mixed very well, a lot better than I expected.
It is very creamy, with the same notes expected from the aroma. I usually do not think vanilla adds that much to beers, but I believe given the overall strength of this one, it made for a nice variation, incredibly well balanced.
I would love to get a bottle of something like this, but I guess I should be happy enough I got the regular bottle.
Very well done, another spectacular DL version.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.05/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle split quite a few ways

A: Pours pitch black with a bit of off white head.

S: Vanilla bean upfront, much stronger than any other aroma. I get bourbon behind the vanilla - coconut and caramel mostly. I get a nice amount of dark chocolate as well. The flavors meld very well together, but the vanilla is a bit strong for me.

T: Strong vanilla bean upfront with coconut and caramel just behind. I get some dark chocolate, but the vanilla is certainly the strongest flavor. Extremely sweet and quite boozy.

M: Thick and oily with low carbonation.

O: This is a great stout, though I'm not sure I'd say its one of the best beers in the world. The vanilla is quite strong, a bit overpowering. It leads to a very sweet beer that could use a bit of balance in my opinion.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.84/5  rDev +3.6%
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 Urbancaver
4.9/5  rDev +4.9%
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 kevanb
3.98/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, 2012 vintage, poured into a Three Floyds mini snifter.

The beer pours a deep black color, but with obvious hues of brown, a thick khaki head appears briefly but vanishes quickly, leaving no lace or retention behind. The aroma is of heavy marshmallow character, bourbon, light oak, vanilla and lots of cane sugar. The flavors are right in line with the nose, vanilla, burnt marshmallow, bourbon, some charred barrel that plays nicely with the marshmallow, cane sugar and a bit of chocolate. The body is luscious, silky, rich and super smooth, coats the mouth well and finishes with a nice warming tingle.

Verdict: An interesting take on Dark Lord. The marshmallow profile is quite nice, but the beer is shockingly sugary and sweet, even for Dark Lord, and for that fact alone, I struggled to finish more than 2 ounces. The balance is decent, but each flavor and nuance seems to make this beer sweeter and more decadent, which isn't really my thing. I can understand the buzz and the hype surrounding this beer, but it's just not for me.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.82/5  rDev +3.2%
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 Prospero
4.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Updated:
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 SinjaminBentek
4.77/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark Lord share in Lincoln, Nebraska! 750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pitch black.

Smell - Explosive vanilla, barrel and bourbon nose. WOW!

Taste - A lot going on here. Touch of heat followed by the sweet base and finished off nicely by the vanilla. Really special brew here.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied. Low carbonation. Really nice!

Overall - This and French Vanilla Mafia stole the night. Highly recommended if you can...

Grade (A)

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

Pours pure black with a small tan head.

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

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

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

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Photo of vinny21bal
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't say much more then this is the best Stout out there if you get the chance to try it. The nose, mouth, flavor, everything is almost flawless. We opened it with a year of age on it and it was amazing. I was very pleased with it. And $50.00 is a steal to try this beer.

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Photo of Etan
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (2012) shared graciously by Oscar and Caitlin at their Stout Night. Thanks a bunch!

A: Pours black with some amber hues.

S: Lots of bourbon, rich chocolate, and palpable vanilla notes. Very smooth.

T: Booze-laced white chocolate, bourbon, thickly sweet vanilla, marshmallow, caramel, raisins.

M: Decently thick with fine carbonation.

O: Wow, this is an incredible step up from regular DL and my favorite barreled variant so far. Very smooth, rich, and sweet, but not in an overpowering way.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.92/5  rDev +5.4%
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 monitorpop
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Dark Lord Day 2011.

A- Solid black w/ subtle red/gold glow in the light.

S- Bourbon, vanilla.

T- Sweet vanilla, light bourbon, dark chocolate. Alcohol is almost completely hidden. Thankfully no hop bitterness. Surprisingly sweeter than the standard or BBA versions.

M- Syrup like. Low carbonation.

Pretty much the best beer I've ever had. Well worth the wait in line.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 1,463 ratings.
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