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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)
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:
294
Ratings:
1,444
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
9.01%
 
 
Wants:
4,307
Gots:
264
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
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Reviews: 294 | Ratings: 1,444
Photo of eifster82
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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 floridadrift
4.26/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Finally got to try this bad boy. Best Beer Halloween to date! I'm glad I didn't fork over arms and legs.

L: Black, very little head in the beginning that dissipates quickly.
S: Sugary sweet, vanilla whifs, bourbon
T: Super sweet vanilla, slight bourbon heat, cloying sweetness, great after taste
M: Slippery smooth, not quite thick, not creamy either
O: A really good bourbon vanilla stout that hides 15% ABV but BCBVS and VR are far ahead in depth and complexity. It almost taste like an overly sweet imperial milk stout in every category.

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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 timc100
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage

Pours just like all other dark lord oil, sits in the glass heavy. Sticky sweet, boozy aroma of vanilla, vanilla extract, marshmallow, and that typical dark lord fudge and molasses. A complete assault on the pallet - very sticky, chewy, and syrupy. The vanilla sweetness paired with the base sweetness takes hold on the mouth, finish is long and sweet. There is not a lot of whiskey and oak presence, however.

Delicious beer. Heavy, boozy and sweet. Lacks the complexity and depth of some of the other stouts out there, but still very impressive.

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Photo of tjthresh
4.06/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is rich and black with some nice brown head, just as you'd expect from Dark Lord. I get mostly vanilla and coconut with just a bit of coffee in the nose. I get more bourbon in the flavor than anything. Full and rich body as usual. Dry roasted finish.

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Photo of Mojua
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Exactly as advertised...a bourbon vanilla marshmallow bomb. Smells absolutely incredible...but it's totally one dimensionally sweet. Like a Bruery stout with more body. Glad I had it, wouldn't chase it down again.

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Photo of danh53
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
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 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 beckje01
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So I must have been lucky or something I was served this on DLD 08 in an actual glass which was a Goblet with a short stem.

It has wonderful nose which has lots of vanilla and malt very inviting and nice. It was very black with a thin left over of some head maybe this pour sat a bit before being sold not sure. But the taste is amazing everything very well balanced and just a nice extra layer over top DL. It is a very drinkable beer and has no need for aging. The mouth feel is perfect a great thick coating that is just really enjoyable to drink.

Overall I would love to see this bottled as well but not sure that will ever happen.

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Photo of coffygrinder
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was great. It pours jet black. You can smell the sweetness off the back with hints of vanilla. Coffee as well as chocolate also show in this beer. Thick mouth feel, you can almost chew on this beer. Very sweet, I kinda wish that we let this beer age a lot longer but it is what it is. The vanilla shows on the back end behind the sweetness. It is a beer that I am glad that I shared with a friend, I think a whole bottle by myself might be a little much.

Overall it was a good beer. It is super sweet, thick RIS. Something that you want to open with friends unless you like to hord your beer. Share it with some other BA's it will make for a fun night

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Photo of Fux
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the highlights of last 2013 CBC. The keg was gone within a quarter but I was lucky enough to get two glasses of this!
A: Black, opaque, dense. Small mocha head which holds pretty well.
S: Fabulous nose, complex, deep, on vanilla, chocolate with a woody scent, cherries, slight touches of dark fruits.
T: On the palate, I got mainly chocolate, roasted malts, some ashes and also vanilla, bourbon, dark fruits and sherry. This is not exactly an explosion of aromas but more a travel within savors. The one you want to go slowly into and stop to pitch your tent wherever you're pleased enough to stay.
M: The mouthfeel is exactly the same as in the regular version, that is simply perfect. Smooth, light but high bodied, never sticky, perfectly drinkable, also perfectly sippable!
O: Vanilla does a great job in this beer, perfectly mixing with the cherries and ashes notes of the base beer, giving more complexity and richness. This one is probably worth the hype!

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Photo of chaz01
3.06/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I got to taste a couple of sample pours while standing in line at DLD thanks to the friendly folks in Columbus who were able to get a couple of full cups out of the brewpub. Re-poured into a 4 ounce tasting glass.

A: Milky off black color. Beer still had a thin brown collar around the rim.

S: Tons of Vanilla, boozy alcohol and very sweet syrupy aromas. I took a couple of whiffs of this -- very pleasant on the nose.

T: This tasted like a frozen ice cream drink with creme de cacao (such as a Brandy Alexander) that had melted.

M: Very thick and rich, low carbonation. Mouthfeel was very much like melted milkshake -- certainly interesting but not what I want in a beer. Very chalky, chocolate finish.

D: I realize drinkability is not the same as availability, but how drinkable can a beer be that's only available at one place for about 45 minutes a year, and then only in 3 ounce pours? I consider this a gimmicky beer -- if it were more readily available it would be something you would want to try once, but then move on to something that taste more like beer than a vanilla milkshake.

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Photo of jokemon
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had the ability to get this at DLD 2013. It was the 09 version on tap.

Pour is jet black with a hazy brown head on it.

Appearance is thick and muddy, black with the slightest bit of head.

Smell is vanilla foremost and than the boozyness hits you, whoah!! I miss the boozyness of the older BCBS beer, they seem to be going for more chocolate now so I welcomed this.

Taste is just like the smell. Dark, vanilla, booze.

Truly an amazing beer, for me it still does not beat the overall flavor of BCBS Cherry but it s definitely at the top of my list of one of the best beers I have ever had.

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Photo of MPLS
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one and the 08 barrel aged DL will have to come from memory, as I am not going to be that guy to carry around a notebook. I was in DLD for the experience not to walk away with reviews. With that said, what an awesome event!

A: A healthy pour into my plastic cup, really should have brought glassware, but it would have inevitable broke on the parking lot floor. Big and black, minimal head, oily looking, with nice brown swirl on top.

S: Roasted malts, vanilla, tobacco, pleasant sweetness.

T: I focus on the vanilla, the sweetness of this and chocolate really shines. Other elements of the DL are there, but more subtle with the sweetness: Roasted malts, burnt molasses, etc. The vanilla adds a layer of creamy sweetness to an already good beer.

M: Thick as you can be boy! Motor Oil + alcohol :D

D: High ABV presents the biggest challenge to drinking a lot of this stuff, but it's mouthfeel is amazing.

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Photo of iconoklaztor
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alrighty, so...I was able to try this at DLD 2011! I was able to grab 2 glasses at the pub and enjoy them slowly!

First the appearance is what you would expect! BLACK and THICK like you would expect from an ebony porn star!

The smell was sweet and malty! I couldn't wait to taste this brew!

The taste was sweet, heavy, and very filling! It was damn near perfect!

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have this year round and quite frankly its damn near the only thing that keeps me going back to DLD. It sure isnt the hassle of getting tickets!

Overall this is possibly the best beers Ive ever had!!!

Fantastic!!!

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Photo of wpqx
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

I got to finally capture my white whale at Dark Lord Day 2014, so my review is of the most recent batch. I drank this August 10th, poured into my FFF Teku glass.

The color is similar to regular Dark Lord with a sweet dark layer of head.

Smells incredibly sweet, more vanilla on the nose than bourbon.

Taste is almost unbearably sweet. The vanilla was incredibly strong in this one and to go along with the natural diabetes bomb regular DL is, it was like drinking dessert. Not enough bourbon character, perhaps it needs more time.

Overall, this was a damn good beer. I'm a fan of regular Dark Lord so although it's sweet I would certainly enjoy another bottle. However due to the insane hype and absurd asking price I'd resist the urge to trade half your cellar for a bottle. Maybe I set my expectations far too high, but this just came a little short of the beer I was expecting.

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage, #442/934, pored into a bourbon county tulip glass
Pours purple-black with slight foamy head
Nose is molten chocolate, brown sugar, bourbon, and vanilla
Taste is chocolate fudge, marshmallows, and green tea
Mouth feel is slick, oily, and creamy-- much thicker that your average stout
Overall, on the sweet-side but not cloying, booze is present but balanced, vanilla and fudge predominate and make this a delicious stout.... on par with BCvanilla '10 with a little more chocolate flavor.... Very Nice!

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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 hombrepalo
3.64/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

8oz pour at Dark Lord Day a few years back. A total mess in my opinion. Thick and clumpy with very little head, left a coat of motor oil sheet on the plastic cup. Smells of vanilla extract, chocolate and licorice. Taste is similar with a strong Kick of alcohol, finish is nausiating with a thick sweetness left in the back of the mouth. Really hard to finish 8oz, can't see why this is so highly rated, would like to retry this for a second look.

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Photo of birderbeerer
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

won at DLD 2012! Drank about six weeks later. Friend won another won that we'll let age for a year or three.

Pitch black and syrupy with a thin but stubborn head.

Beautiful smell, the bourbon isn't too huge and vanilla and cocoa come through. Very sweet smell.

The taste is just as sweet. All sweet in fact. It's an enormous dessert beer at this point, and it lacks the dark fruit and roast flavors that come through in a dark lord that's been aged a few years. Over the course of splitting the bottle, the sweetness just dominated, and the beer became somewhat one-noted.

Great thick, creamy mouthfeel. An amazing and huge beer. Can't wait to have another. I imagine this is hard to beat once it has aged a long while.

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Photo of Hesscabob
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The story, I think is just as good as the beer...

Waited in line at DLD for drafts. Saw BA Plead the 5th, figure lets get that. That tap ran out with about 5 people in front of us... double sunshine appears on the dry erase board. Get 2, and figure we waited long enough lets get 120 minute - 2... The crowd goes crazy on the right hand side and I see BA Vanilla Bean get put on the bored... I was speechless and my buddy handed the dude $20 and we had BA Vanilla Bean in our presence. Best part of DLD '14.

A - Black, impermeable, abyss, tan head.

S - Vanilla, roasted marshmallow, subtle (perfect in my opinion) bourbon oakiness, more vanilla, sweet aroma.

T - Although we had about 15 other notable stouts prior to BA VB DL, this stood out with the vanilla being smoother than a clean shave. Coats the palate with an everlasting sense of campfire marshmallow, mixed with bourbon, and sublte dark fruits. (Every grown mans wet dream), hides the 15% very well until you have a few ;)

M - Although enters as if motor oil, the draft was carbonated perfectly, smoothest mouthfeel on the front end, the chewing I cant help to do to taste the fruits of 3 Floyd's labor and the finish was, wait for it, LEGENDARY!

O - That question that gets asked throughout life about what 3 things I would bring if I were trapped on a deserted island, I now know for sure 1 of them. Best beer in the world, hands down.

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Photo of tarheels86
4.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Three Floyds dinner at Paradiso Georgetown. Thanks Barnaby!

A- An ink black pour yields little more than a wist of a dark, Martian red head. Swirling the viscous liquid creates giant brown staining on the snifter. No head formation. No lace. Lots of impending residual sugars.

N- Aroma is quite exceptional. The Woodford Reserve bourbon is really what gives this beer it's character, not the vanilla bean. Nose is spicy Woodford Reserve bourbon, spicy oak, vanilla, chocolate milkshake, coconut, marshmallows/s'mores, and a touch of green apple oxidation as it warms.

T- Very sweet and chocolate milkshake like. An unreal amount of residual sugar turns this into a viscous dessert. Rich, buttery solid bricks of dark chocolate, espresso ice cream, raspberry dark chocolate, some cherry syrup play on the tongue.

P- Viscous, oily mouthfeel. Definitely a sipping beer. Very good.

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Photo of themaj
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So my first review was of the 2011 vbdl I had on draft at dld 2014. Was lucky enough to get a 14 vbdl and sat on it until today. 2 weeks before dld 2015 so almost exactly 1 yyear.pure perfection!!

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Photo of raveskdr
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally getting around to review this. Had it yet again on tap at Dark Lord Day (and got a chance to tick it out of the bottle as well). Poured into an oddly shaped glass inside the FFF brewpub on DLD.

A - Completely dense viscous blackness. Very little carbonation.

S - Vanilla. Vanilla. Vanilla. Slight roasted coffee. Vanilla.

T - Vanilla. Vanilla. Vanilla. Just incredible flavoring of pure vanilla. You get some of that smokiness and some roastiness, but this is a vanilla dominated beer.

M - Incredibly decadent and rich yet smooth for such a high alcohol beer.

O - One of the best beers I have ever had. This beer is just incredible. I could drink the hell out of this beer. All the hype this beer has ever got is completely deserved. I am glad they bottled it so that some people could get some without going to DLD. It's just as good out of the bottle.

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Photo of kdmcguire10
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Gorgeous beer with silky appearance and a half finger mocha head.

Smell is obviously tons of fresh vanilla bean. Also a big roasty profile and some booze soaked figs.

Taste is like an incredible dessert beer. Super sweet, to the point of being cloying. The vanilla comments the beer perfectly but the residual sugars start to overpower the beer. A little less and the beer would be more balanced

Luxurious mouthfeel. Thick, coats your mouth and lingers. The sugar sticks to your lips long after your swallow. Woke up the next morning and it still coated my mouth

Overall this is a great beer. My preference would be to get the sugar level down just a tad to let the other aspects of this beer come into the spotlight a bit more

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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 1,444 ratings.
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