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:
302
Ratings:
1,468
Avg:
4.67
pDev:
8.99%
 
 
Wants:
4,386
Gots:
261
For Trade:
11
User Reviews
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Reviews: 302 | Ratings: 1,468
Photo of rhinos00
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sample @ DLD 2009

A- Jet, black with a slight mocha colored head.

S- Absolutely fantastic! Huge vanilla notes infiltrate the nose and just linger. While it has a huge presence, nice caramel and roasted coffee aromas were still able to come through. Probably one of the best smelling beers ever.

T- Very rich, almost too rich. The vanilla was nice in the scent, but could have been less intense on the mouth. Aside from the extreme sweetness of the vanilla beans, there was a roasted, oak flavor that complimented the vanilla quite well. There was a lot of complexity going on here, just wish the vanilla was turned down a notch so I could enjoy it all.

M- Perfect. Thick, chewy and velvety smooth. Not much more you can ask for with this one.

D- Alcohol was pretty well hidden. What really affected the drinkability was the sweetness, most likely a combination of the vanilla and caramel like flavors. I found myself being overwhelmed, especially towards the end of the beer.

Overall, glad to have the opportunity to try this one.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.69/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pre Party for Great Taste of the midwest at Argus Lounge Bar in Madision, WI. Five oz pour into a glass.

A- Dark Pitch black color, opaque body, ½ finger brown head that dissipates quickly to nothing, very minimal lacing and retention.
S- The aroma is fantastic, very sweet chocolaty aroma, dark fruits (raisins, blueberries) are present with a nice oakiness added in, nice bourbon oak notes as well, although the aroma is still very sweet its not as rich and cloying as the regular dark lord which is surprising since Vanilla was added to this beer.
T- This beer is fantastic, huge vanilla presence, that’s balanced a little with the oak flavor from the barrels, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, slight coffee taste, slight roasted notes, cocoa nibs, slight bourbon taste, a little warming as it goes down but very smooth, very complex.
M- Big mouth feel, not overly carbonated but enough to make this beer delicious, coats the palate, smooth drinking.
O- I was surprised with this beer, from drinking the normal versions of Dark Lord I was expecting the Vanilla Barrel Aged version to be over the top sweet. I was blown away by how tasty this brew was, much more complex and tasty than the original Dark Lord, loved it.

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Photo of Atron67
4.42/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this on tap at DLD. just found my notes and so putting it in.

A- dead black body with only the tinyest amount of head anywhere on it.

S- huge huge vanilla character that is almost overwhelming. it is kept really good however though because even though the vanilla is really strong, the roasted dark malts underneath stay with it and give it a great complexity.

T- the taste of the vanilla is much more subdued here. it blends in really well with the rest. a little sweeter than i was expecting but not really sweet either. strong roasted characther. very strong and delicious. a great sipper that was highly enjoyed

M- hugely creamy as well. very light carbonation, lingers on the tongue a long while

D- pretty damn awesome, one of the many great DLD brews i got to drink but sadly none to bring home

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Photo of Luk13
4.07/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a dark opaque black with reddish highlights and minimal head. Aroma is decadent withbourbon, fudge, hazelnut, vanilla and some spices. Very good. Flavor is more straightforward with bourbon, chocolate and hazelnut. Intense sweetness, not too cloying because of the bourbon and alcohol. Palate is a little thin for such a big beer. Not up to GI Rare standards. A slightly better than average bourbon barrel stout.

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

2013 bottle #216 of 711
Opened on 9/14/13 and shared with three friends.
Poured into a Hill Farmstead raised snifter.

A - Pours dark and viscous as you would expect. Little to no head with slight bubbles forming. It was hard to spend much time on the appearance because of…

S - The smell. Dear Dark Lord, the smell. Toasted marshmallows soaked in bourbon, vanilla, toffee, carmel, chocolate. I waited to take my first sip for some time. The experience of smelling this beer was just so enjoyable, I didn’t want it to pass.

T - Taste mostly follows the nose but the marshmallow is not as present. Vanilla leads but is well integrated. A viscous, creamy blend of vanilla, chocolate, toffee, carmel, bourbon with very subtle features of the base Dark Lord pleasantly present in the background to remind you of the beer’s origins. Decadent, but by no means over the top. I could have easily and happily handled at least half the bottle of this if not more. The stout is somewhat sweet, but again the sweetness is simply a feature of it and is not dominant. Just delicious.

M - Lightly carbonated and full bodied. Coats the mouth nicely, and there is nothing cloying about this. Very smooth, and easy to sip and savor. Alcohol is well hidden. A very full bodied stout.

O – This is probably the best beer I’ve ever had. It is hard for beers such as this to live up to the hype, but I must say that this one does. I even sealed the empty bottle overnight just so I could smell it again the next day. I certainly hope to enjoy it again someday.

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Photo of badbeer
4.52/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black with a tan head that does a decent job sticking around. Aroma is of vanilla, molasses, only a touch of bourbon, licorice, and caramel. Taste has plenty of vanilla in it, bourbon is hidden pretty well, some syrupy flavors, and dark fruit. Full bodied with light carbonation. I liked this better than the Oak Aged Dark Lord this year, seemed a lot smoother.

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Photo of beerhan
4.66/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared in celebration of my birthday. Think cocoa marshmallows being slowly churned while bourbon is dripped in one drop at a time.

A-Jet black, virtually no head but a faint tan lacing.

S-Char, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, molasses, and plum

T-So much going on here. Initially there is a bourbon/dark fruit kick. The bourbon however is very muted in comparison to the standard bourbon barrel dark lord. Once this initial flash is gone there is a overpowering vanilla bean flavor with some toffee and hershey like milk chocolate that is very subtle.

M-This beer is dangerously smooth. Almost no burn for the alcohol content. Very light body in comparison to other bourbon barrel aged stouts. Beautiful, 'nuff said.

O-It really is that good. The only thing I disliked really about this beer is that it is hardly reminiscent of the base beer. I enjoy the dark fruit flavors of the standard version and it seems like those are completely gone. Amazing, delicious and I could drink a gallon of it. Cheers!

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Photo of Flight317
4.51/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

14'. It was really good it was just overwhelmingly sweet. I like vanilla in my stouts for sure. It's likely my favorite adjunct. This was just a bit much. If I somehow came across another bottle I'd trade it away in a heartbeat for another couple whales I'd been hunting.

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

Finally! Lost a Super Bowl bet so I had to go out and find one of these bottles. Very expensive but probably worth the money. Easily the best Russian Imperial I've ever had. Lived up to the hype. Well Done 3F

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Photo of jjdc
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Super smooth, balanced and good vanilla flavor. This was an all around world class vanilla stout, just a notch below vanilla rye. The entry price is steep, but really nice to try.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at DLD 2010. Have to say, this beer is freaking amazing!! But I had to wait 5 hours in line to try a glass...so thank God it was! Glass filled in the brew-pub at FFF from tap. Fills the glass extremely thick black with a slight brownish hue, and absolutely no light shining through. A small dark tan head forms with pretty decent retention...and long lasting thick sticky lacing.

Aroma is pretty much what I expected...pretty much a vanilla Dark Lord...go figure! Huge maltiness, chocolate, coffee, thick molasses, and vanilla. Very sweet nose, with strong booze notes. Awesome aroma...not a let down what-so-ever!

Huge full body, thick and viscous, low carbonation, very sharp and strong booze bite! Tons of chocolate and coffee, extremely sweet flavors with the molasses and vanilla. Not sure if the rumor is true...but I've been told that this years batch of Dark Lord is 15% ABV...if that's true...not sure if that applies to the Vanilla Bean Aged as well...but if so, very apparent. The booze burn is massive, but tolerable. What an incredible beer...I'm definitely not let down and super stoked I got the chance to try this beer!

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Photo of Psychmusic
4.74/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I think that the reviews are accurate in calling this liquid marshmallow. I liked it slightly less than 2014 Bourbon County Vanilla.

Overall, it was a very good stout, probably one of the best I've had. That said, it was probably not quite worth what it took to get it.

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Photo of BWCampbell
4.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours like motor oil with a khaki head that quickly disappears. Smells of soy sauce, vanilla sugar, and some barrel (which I think is slightly lost). Taste is similar, exceptionally sweet. Honestly, I was kind of underwhelmed. Vanilla Rye was universally preferred at our tasting.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.87/5  rDev +4.3%
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 SykDoc
4.33/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At DLD '09. What an event and I knew this was going to be available and fortunate enough to have tasted and rated it.

Poured into a plastic cup. It pours like a thick black almost like motor oil. A dark brown head forms minimally but disappears leaving minimal lacing. What I love is the discoloration that is left on the cup when you're finished.

The aroma was as expected with fairly heavy notes of vanilla. The chocolatey tastes are defintely still present with a nice component of brown sugar, which I didn't quite expect.

The taste was a bit too much vanilla for me. I expected a large amount but not quite that much, which overwhelmed me slightly. However, the glorious chocolate and malty sweetness with some coffee still makes it quite good.

The mouthfeel comes across as the standard dark lord. It is very full bodied with a good level of carbonation. It is quite thick but stays reasonably smooth to me. The vanilla again dominated a bit too much and I felt it played out here as well.

It's Dark Lord, need I say more. For my palate, I would have liked the vanilla to be a bit gentler but wow, it is a very good beer and although I probably could not drink a lot of it in a sitting, I will definitely be trying to get my hands on it again at DLD '10.

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Photo of fiver29
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dark Lord Day 08. Batch was 07 barrel aged with vanilla bean. Poured pitch black with a tan head. Has a very heavy mouthfeel and is very thick and syrupy. Smells very sweet with a touch of oak and alcohol. Tastes overly sweet. Has way too much molasses and vanilla flavors. It overpowers the whole experience. Has some complex flavors including coffee, wood, roasted malts, and has a nice smooth finish with an alcohol touch like the other Dark Lord beers. Only issue with this one is its too sweet upfront. And has on some sips too much molasses/vanilla sweetness that overpower an otherwise beer that could be more balanced with its other complex flavors. A group of about 10-15 or so of us couldn't finish our glass because of it.

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

*Notes from DLD*

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

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

After hearing that the vanilla bean DL ran out while in line at DLD, I was so disappointed that I missed a great opportunity. And then a local Munster native comes through out of no where and has a half a glass still and generously lets myself and fellow BA Hooliganlife sip the remainder.

The appearance is jet black with no head in the glass. Assuming the initial pour left the same thin tan head as the other dark lords. Smell is much sweeter with lots of vanilla which I absolutely love. Nice chocolate backbone. Taste is unbelievable. The sweetness balances out the chocolate, malts, sugar punch that dark lord has. Mouthfeel is thick and oily. This may be the best stout I have had. The vanilla presence really changes the make up of a great beer. Even though I only got a couple sips of this it was heaven in a cup. If only this was bottled....

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
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 eifster82
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Marshmallow Handjee '16

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

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

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

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

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.07/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with minimal head. Mind you, the beer was painstakingly poured, so no real head ever developed to be evaluated. Sorghum and chocolate dominate the aroma. Powerful chocolate and wood flavors nearly assaults the palate. The alcohol warmth and taste are undeniable. The mouthfeel is viscous, but becomes thin as the alcohol prevails.

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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 head...one 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 starshockey9
4.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was my birthday brew, full bottle to the dome.
2012 version. Bottle #695 of 934.

A. While pouring seems a tad light but once it's in the glass, perfectly black with barely any head.

S. The aroma hits you as soon as the cap comes off and my god, one of the best smells ever. Nice bourbon, raisin, and vanilla.

T. Holy cow! This is top notch. The bourbon flavor comes through real nicely. Then you get hit with the vanilla in the end. The two flavors mingle excellently.

M. If the appearence, smell, and taste doesn't win you over, the mouthfeel will. Not too thick but in no means light. It is just perfect. It coats your mouth leaving you craving more.

O. Im a sucker for barrel aged beers and vanilla beers but this one takes the cake. Alcohol is very well hidden, not to boozy, and not too sweet. I now truly understand why it trades so high. Wish i could get another bottle. Best beer I've had to date. Thank you three floyds!

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Photo of justforrazors
4.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Vintage, bottle 428/711

Split with my friend Keith who attended DLD with me this year. Served in a FFF mini-snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A- Upon pouring, a mocha head quickly appears and dies down within 30 seconds, leaving a ring of foam around the rim of the glass. The color is opaque black, thick like motor oil.

S- The first thing I can smell is a very strong bourbon barrel presence, but it is quickly joined by vanilla, coffee, and a sweet molasses like aroma. Excellent aroma, it definitely invites you to take a drink.

T- I don't think it would be possible to use any more descriptors for this beer. Black cherries, prunes, vanilla, followed by some tobacco and caramel with bourbon strong on the finish. There is a lingering sweetness that is very familiar from regular dark lord on the back end, and surprisingly little to no alcohol bite, even with the bourbon flavor being so apparent. There is no detectable hop bitterness.

M- Silky smooth, yet very thick at the same time. This is definitely a sipper, but it is very easy to drink. Low-medium carbonation is right on for the style. The flavors linger and change over the incredibly long finish, definitely over a minute later I can still taste the beer.

O- This is a very enjoyable, incredibly complex beer. I'm glad I hadn't drank anything before this, because it was such a pleasure to really get into this beer and enjoy the full range of flavors you can get from it. The bourbon is there on the nose and finish, but the vanilla really outshines it, at least in my opinion. I'm sure that will die down with time, although I think this is simply amazing as it is right now. It was an honor to drink this beer, so very glad I was able to score one this year!

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Photo of thetomG
4.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap @ DLD.

Oily black with a small dark drown head. The aroma of vanilla really came through forme with a flavor to match. This beer i just absolutely HUGE. Vanilla vanilla vanilla, with some boozy sweetness throughout. I loved it, and I'm very glad I got to try it, but it was so sweet I'm not sure how much I could really drink in one sitting. That being said - it was great and I would definitely have some more if the opportunity ever arises again...

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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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