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)
BA SCORE
4.73/5
World-Class
1,555 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#6
Reviews:
314
Ratings:
1,555
pDev:
8.67%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
4,494
Gots:
282
Trade:
12
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,555 |  Reviews: 314
Photo of stakem
4.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to CaptinRedBeard for making this happen on DLD 2011. Corey managed his way into the brewpub and came out with something like 4 or 5 glasses of this stuff so everyone in our group got some.

Served in a plastic cup, this brew appears black in color with a thin film of very dark brown bubbles around the rim. There is not much of a head and even a swirl only releases a few bubbles that hardly hold long enough to gravitate to the edges of the glass. Holding this glass up to the light doesn't really do much of anything...it's very dark and even through the edges light cannot penetrate.

The smell of this brew is bold with dark sweet chocolate. Absolutely loaded with tons of vanilla and a minor note of coffee. This brew is already deep, complex and sweet smelling, I simply cannot imagine how many vanilla beans it takes to make the vanilla come forward like this. Some fusel booze hides underneath with almost a meaty twang of booze and fruity hop character.

The taste is sweet with vanilla right upfront that coats and sticks to the inside of the mouth. Again, I have to wonder just how much vanilla is used for it to be this evident in this offering. Big boozy warmth is hidden under the chocolate-like sweetness. The aftertaste showcases the booziness with more of the roastiness of the grain finally coming through.

This is a full bodied brew that is very lightly carbonated. It is borderline cloyingly sweet but I honestly found it to be excessively drinkable in a liquid dessert kind of way. As it warms, it shows off more of that big booze character but it's balanced well with residual sweetness. While I found this to be awesome and everything I hoped it would be, it is not a beer that I could drink more than say 6-8 ounces of.

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Photo of thatoneguymike
4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Hayley_86
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of BMart
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of imperialking
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of aasher
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was enjoyed at DLD. I was walking around with a couple bottles of Cisco sours in my hands and this random BA asked me if I wanted to try Vanilla Bean Dark Lord. That's a funny question to ask someone haha. The beer was a viscous midnight black with a dark khaki foamy lacing around the edges. The aromas were a nice mix of chocolate, coffee, caramel malts, and sweet vanilla. It tasted like a well aged BCBS. It was a little sweet however, as you'd expect. It was smoother than any Dark Lord that I've had out of a bottle and very drinkable. The sweetness is the only thing holding this one back but it's the best over the top vanilla beer that I've had yet.

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Photo of IrishColonial
4.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Many thanks to siege06nd for snagging this bottle for my 30th bday.

A: inky black motor oil, not much head. The head that is there is nice eggshell creamy color.

S: chocolate covered marshmallow, lots of vanilla, still some wood hanging around. Liquid candy.

T: liquid chocolate marshmallows with some smooth bourbon flavor. No heat from the bourbon at all. Still some base Dark Lord taste comes through-molasses, asphalt, soy sauce-which is not my favorite, but easily overcome by the barrel and vanilla. A bit sweet but not syrupy.

M: thick creamy viscous engine oil. Dark and coats the tongue but a light feeling keeps it from being cloying.

O: one of the best beers I've had. It would likely be better if fresher but this is outstanding. The mouthfeel and the way the bourbon and vanilla flavors integrate but also mostly blot out the offensive base Dark Lord flavors.

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Photo of Lare453
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy santa Claus shit, this is amazing!!! Thick af, viscous, chocolate, vanilla, cocoa, marshmallow, bourbon, sweet, smooth, I do not believe the base beer for this is dark lord.

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Photo of BeerOps
4.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Dicers
4.62/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

I've had this two years in a row in a plastic cup pour. I took some brief notes this year, so here it goes - a lot of this will be complementary to my review of Dark Lord (when I finally get around to reviewing the regular variety).

A - Think quick-dissolving mocha foam, nice ring of lace, pitch black with a hint of red at the edges. It's about all I expect from a 13% RIS.

S - Vanilla! Plus it still maintains all the other great notes from the Dark Lord aroma - roasted malt, leather, tobacco, coffee, booze, etc. The authentic and potent vanilla just pushes an already great-smelling brew to the next level.

T - The taste is a tiny step down from the smell, with the vanilla overpowering some of the more subtle elements. There's still plenty of burnt malt, tobacco, leather, and surprisingly very little heat.

M - Thick, near milk-shake consistency, with tons of residual stickiness, and low carbonation. This is the way RISes should be down - other brewer's take note.

D - The vanilla gets a little palate fatiguing, and the high ABV is also a limiting factor, but my wife and I had no problems finishing a few pours of this one. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of StoutSnob40
4.96/5  rDev +4.9%
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 jzeilinger
4.9/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

 440 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lupercmda
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of drabmuh
4.62/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Every once in a while I look around and think, "I am seriously drinking this?" Last night was like that for about 6 hours. Thanks ___, for this, you know who you are.

Served side by side with DL 2009 and Oak aged DL 2010. Served in a tulip. Beer is about as you'd expect a DL to look but this version had no head or lacing. The beer left some legs on the glass, pitch black, even at the corners. Beer coats the glass as I swirl. Super thick and pitch black. Amazing.

This beer has the most obvious aroma of any beer I've had in a long long time. STRONG vanilla, like baking vanilla. Some chocolate, strong, complex aroma.

Mouthfeel on this beer is huge and thick but the sweetness of the vanilla (super sweet) makes it seem lighter some how. This is an aggressively awesome beer -- my favorite out of the three by a lot. It tastes like a vanilla cake...or flan...or some kind of dessert with fudge and vanilla. I couldn't drink much of it without my insulin spiking but I can't wait for DL day 2011.

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

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.56/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of beernads
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of ShanePB
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Stevedore
4.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was able to try the 2013 vintage of this thanks to Dustin at a whale tasting 7/13/2013. Poured into a BCBS snifter, probably 5 ounces.

Basically this beer smelled like bourbon chocolate marshmallows but in liquid form. It has such a strong, pungent aroma that makes me smile. There is a bit of the barrel here but for the most part it is a delicious smelling bourbon marshmallow.

It pours a pitch black, incredibly thick and viscous body that comes with a minimal head & retention. Not a ton of lacing.

The flavour is straight up sweet chocolate marshmallows with some bourbon and hints of coffee in the background. This beer is not subtle at all. I wouldn't call it complex but everything it does, it goes beyond what anyone would expect even of Three Floyds. Insanely rich and savoury but not necessarily instant diabeetus like the regular Dark Lord is, if that makes sense. Its super sweet but it comes together in a good way.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Smooth, rich, roasty and carbonated well enough. Aftertaste is a slick bourbony marshmallow feel that makes me smile.

Overall, this beer gets super hyped for a reason which I now understand completely. It is so ridiculously unbalanced and complex, it's awesome. I don't have the trade ammo and it probably isn't worth all the craziness surrounding it but it is an incredible beer, probably the best imperial stout I've ever had the chance to drink. And that includes the BCS Rare we drank at the same tasting.

Re-review: the 4 of us bought into a single 2012 vintage bottle of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Lord aged in Vanilla Beans. Bottle # 58/934. So its about a year and half old now. Poured into an unlabeled snifter today, 12/8/2013.

Still pours a perfect opaque black body, with a nice mocha collar that sticks around with good retention. And well, the nose is still intense 100% bourbon chocolate marshmallows, one of the best smelling beers I've ever had. Its not the most complex, but it is the most incredible nose out there. And of course the flavour is incredible- the vanilla does cover up some of the complexity of the base beer, but it replaces it with bourbon chocolate marshmallows that is just so sweet yet not the type of sweet that Grey Monday brings; its easily drinkable and so enjoyable. Mouthfeel is definitely full bodied, silky and smooth drinking without much discernible heat. Again, this is a beer that is phenomenal and one of the best I've ever had. I can't believe I've had this beer twice in the span of less than a year, but it is well worth it. The main difference between the 2012 and 2013 vintage is that the bourbon is a bit more muted in the 2012 vintage compared to the fresh version. This beer is probably still best drank fresh, but it will certainly hold up over time if cellared properly. As before, I understand the hype and trade value behind this beer 100%. Thank you Matt, for being generous enough to send this one to our group.

Re-review: 2014 vintage poured into a FFF/DMC snifter 6/21/2014. Essentially, I am finding this year's vintage to be significantly sweeter than the last two vintages. There is more of the base Dark Lord and less of the vanilla bean contribution. The vanilla bean comes out more as it warms up, but even then it's still a shadow in comparison to 2012 and 2013. I felt the same way when I drank this at this year's Dark Lord Day, and I am now able to confirm this opinion with the pour I got tonight. While I won't tweak the scoring here, I certainly would not recommend trading for this year's if you've had this one in years past. Honestly, if I were to change the scoring, it'd be something like a 4.4/5, just a tick above regular Dark Lord. I'd even argue that the '14 Brandy Dark Lord we drank right after this beer was more interesting. That's how disappointing this year's vintage was compared to the last 2 years, with 2013 being the superior vintage.

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Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.73 out of 5 with 1,555 ratings