Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord (Pappy Van Winkle) | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord (Pappy Van Winkle)Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord (Pappy Van Winkle)

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The 2011 bottled vintage of Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord was aged exclusively in Pappy Van Winkle barrels. All draft and other bottle vintages (2006 swing-tops, 2012 bottles) should be reviewed here -

Added by HopHead84 on 06-25-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 149
Photo of jethrodium
2.98/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle generously shared by ipa247. Huge thanks to Jeff for sharing this rarity. Pours a pitch black with almost no light coming through. No head. No lacing. Leaves some small legs on the glass when swirled. The aroma is bourbon, vanilla, soy sauce, plum, cherry, sugar, caramel, and a bit of oak. The taste is sweet. Really sweet. There's bourbon, vanilla, oak, soy sauce, plum, roastiness, and a bit of cherry. The finish has a decent amount of alcohol and a lingering soy sauce flavor as well as a bit of bourbon. Full bodied and viscous. Close to no carbonation. This is certainly better than the regular version of Dark Lord, but is still not a great beer. It's still cloyingly sweet and has a decent amount of unpleasant soy sauce.

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Photo of scottfrie
4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle number 112 opened by ipa247. Thanks Jeff. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a very viscous black with almost no head. Sits heavy in the glass, very thick.
S: Smells a lot like DL (soy sauce, licorice, super sugary sweet) but with hints of buttery Pappy and not as much hot alcohol vapor.
T: Boozy, tastes like the nose, basically DL mellowed out by the bourbon barrel. Buttery Pappy is strong along with flavors of rich chocolate, caramel, tons of sweet sugar, licorice and a bit of soy. Finish is warming. Pappy doesn’t come through as much as Eclipse or Rare. Still sweet but the barrel mellowed it some.
M: Extremely viscous and sweet, thick bodied, thick mouth. Smooth carb, warming alcohol.
O: Just a meaty beast of a beer. Too sweet for me to love (this is still DL after all) but it’s a definite improvement on the original, and a great beer if you love Pappy (who doesn’t). Thanks Jeff.

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Photo of Dennoman
4.02/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Incredibly generous share by Matt at Borefts Beer Festival. Was lucky enough to have the last sip in the bottle. A happy scavenger thanks you for the scraps, Matt and Thijs! Bottle 175/484, still proudly sitting on my mantlepiece now. Poured into a De Molen tasting chalice.

A: Appears slightly darker than regular Dark Lord 2011. Still, more reminiscent of a strong porter. Thick, syrupy, dark ruby red fading into black with no legs and no head.

S: Beautiful soft bourbon, dark sugar, vanilla and butterscotch smack you around the head. The booze is nowhere to be found, smells well-balanced but almost clawingly sweet.

T: Not nearly as sweet as regular Dark Lord, so that's a big tick. More balance thanks to the bourbon and oakyness.

M: Imagine drinking maple syrup with the slightest of carbonation. That would be close to this.

O: Shows great improvement over regular Dark Lord 2011, which I hated because it was so clawingly sweet. The oakiness and bourbon from the barrel cut through the syrupy base brew beautifully, but don't go thinking this beer is anywhere near balanced as a stout. The other flavors do seem to come through a little bit more thanks to the barrel aging process, which does wonders to some beers and Dark Lord is one of them. Great stuff.

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Photo of Treebs
4.11/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml waxed bottle, 470/484, served in a Deschutes tulip. Big thanks Dan (danielnovak3) for the share.

A: Pour like motor oil. A thin tan head forms on the pour but it recedes quickly to a thin ring. No lace is left, but big sticky legs are present.

S: Sweet, sweet pappy. I haven't smelt a pappy presence this good since Rare BCBS. Light oak with some great roasted malts. Subtle dark fruit flavors with some toasted marshmallow and semi-bitter chocolate.

T: Nice pappy bourbon up front, but it quickly gives way to some toasted marshmallow and vanilla from the barrel. Mild oak, roasted malts and light dark chocolate.

M: Chewy and viscous with a relatively low carbonation level, but it creates a nice silky and creamy mouthfeel. Very nice.

O: The pappy is a great addition to this beer, but I feel like it should have sat in the barrel longer to add just a little more depth in flavor. Not my favorite of the BA DL versions.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a very, very generous Jeff for sharing this at Woodshop.

A: The beer pours thick and black, not much head on it. Sort of like regular Dark Lord.

S: Lots of bourbon and vanilla with an intense sweetness that only Dark Lord can achieve. Brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, and dark fruits with a hint of nuts and maple syrup.

T: Like the nose, intensely sweet with all sorts of different sugar notes: molasses, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and maple syrup. There's lots of chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla, too with plenty of dark fruit.

M: Thick, syrupy, and lowly carbonated.

O: The bourbon helps to take off the edge of the Dark Lord. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of Abbbp
4.15/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

How a 4 year old + bottle can stand up to the test of time like this is beyond me. Warning, My entire tasting group though readily agreed that the barrel is exclusively carrying this beer's greatness, but that is all that is left.

I wouldn't recommend trading what it takes or paying what it costs but I am glad that I got to tick this beer. #899

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #268/484. Big thanks to AgentZero for contributing this one. Consumed at Sean's 30th Birthday Party Extravaganza. Served in a Three Floyds / Intelligentsia snifter.

Pours black with a thin mocha-colored head. Some legs and a few spots of lacing on the way down. Thin collar throughout. The nose brings a fairly-heavy bourbon presence, though not as much of the spirit as the Brandy version had. Oak and some light vanillin in the background plus some heavy chocolate. Really smooth integration between the base and the barrel character.

The flavor picks up much more booze than the nose did, though not too much. Good Pappy character. Rich and smooth. Somewhat creamy. Lots of brown sugar and smooth chocolate. Full body and pretty creamy with a moderate amount of booze. Low carbonation. Really enjoyable. This and the Brandy version tie for second in my book.

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Photo of brystmar
4.17/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whales! Thanks Jim.

Pungent bourbon in the nose, so much Pappy. The Bourbon DL '12 opened alongside simply cannot compare. I'm not a bourbon fanboy, but the Pappy is clearly superior.

Dark fruits, roasty, mildly sweet. All overshadowed by the bourbon, however, and while that's usually a fault, the Pappy somehow makes it work nicely. If you read my reviews, I rarely enjoy bourbon-forward flavor profiles as dominant as this, but it definitely works here.

Was really expecting this one to be more hype than delicious; pleasantly surprised to be wrong.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.17/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #266/484 (I think) generously shared by AgentZero at my 30th Birthday Party Extravaganza. Poured into a taster.

A - Looks like Dark Lord. Black, tan mocha-colored head, thin collar, some whisps on top.

S - Bourbon, oak, chocolate, burnt sugars, brownies. The Pappy is there for sure, very smooth and not overly done. The base beer works well with the oak and booze notes. I think it's an understatement that Pappy works well with a good base stout.

T - The booze is more apparent here then any of the other BA variants. Nice chocolate, molasses, bourbon, oak, and burnt sugars. Bourbon and Dark Lord go well together, who woulda thunk? Very enjoyable, perhaps a bit syrupy and slightly hot.

M - Full, rich, creamy, very slight carbonation.

O - PVW + DL is good, can you believe it? Perhaps not as good as I thought because I hyped myself up for this beer, but very enjoyable. The booze is slightly hot but not 15% hot. Another winner from the BA Dark Lord variants. Recommend.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I brought this one. Side-by-side with all the other BA Dark Lords. Bottle 49/484 into a snifter. From notes.

Appearance is same as the others. Not much to see but big, bad-ass legs.

The aroma of Pappy is unmistakable here. Super bourbon forward mixed with hints of fig, plum, prune, chocolate, molasses. Sharp but balanced. Very aromatic.

Sweet chocolate, plum, fudge, molasses, sweet soy sauce, and big bourbon notes smooth this one over. Sweet, chocolate and syrup finish. Tasty!

Same feel as the others. Surprisingly, this one isn't too harsh going down considering the overall nose and taste.

Definitely one of the better Pappy beers out there as it displays the barrel aging impressively without covering the subtleties of the other flavors.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.27/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Tried this next to all four barrel aged versions and the 2010 regular version. I enjoyed it a lot more this time so I'm upping my score. +.5 to Mouthfeel and Overall.


Big thanks to Jason. Tried after Bourbon County Rare. The bottle number rubbed off.

A: Glugs out like motor oil. Very dark brown with a few bubbles.

S: Chocolate brown sugar cookie with light vanilla and powerful bourbon. A lot of fusel in the nose. Light oxidation and some molasses. Very nice.

T: Dark chocolate with brown sugar and oak. Bourbon accompanies a formidable alcohol presence. Very sweet, a little too sweet after trying the rare. Finishes syrupy with booze, molasses, bourbon, and chocolate. Faint dark fruit presence.

M: Full in body with very low carbonation. Mouthfeel is syrupy and sticky.

Overall: Good, but not as refined as Goose Island Rare or many other barrel aged stouts for that matter. At the heart of it we still have Dark Lord, a bit too much Dark Lord, and the Pappy barrel can only do so much apparently. Still, an enjoyable beer and a pleasure to try.

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Photo of jale
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Mike(Agentzero) for this.

A: Pours black with little head.

S: Bourbon, chocolate, oak and dark sugar.

T: Bourbon upfront followed by sweet chocolate, oak and a hint of vanilla. Slightly more alcohol heat then the others but still not what you expect from this much ABV

M: Thick body.

O: Such a great beer. Would love more.

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Photo of warnerry
4.32/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 388/484 into a CBS snifter

A - Pours pitch black with essentially no head, just a very thin collar. No lacing.

S - Big chocolate aroma, and quite boozy as well. There is a sweetness to the chocolate aromas, and some nice dark fruits as well. The booziness knocks this one down a bit.

T - Chocolate and bourbon. A bit sweet, but really enjoyable. The bourbon has a bit of bite to it, but it mostly works well here. Also some nice dark fruits in the taste.

M - Very full mouthfeel, a bit viscous. Some sticky sweetness throughout, but quite smooth all around. A bit of numbing alcohol.

O - We had this side by side with Rare, and this is a bit rougher by comparison. It is also younger, but I don't think more time in the bottle will generate the same level of smoothness. Not a bad thing, and what I would expect from FFF: a big, somewhat aggressive, use of PvW barrels that yields a tasty BA stout.

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Photo of Florida9
4.32/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Viscous black. Forms a trace of dark tan head that is little more than a thin surface coating that quickly dissipates to absolute nothingness.

S: Bourbon, then light vanilla and an unexpectedly strong scent of coffee. Dark malts, raisin, and molasses.

T: Incredibly smooth. Moderate sweetness. Roasted malts, molasses, raisin, fig and a little butterscotch on the finish.

M: Smooth and moderately viscous. Heavy body, but not as thick as expected. Low carbonation.

O: A very good, very smooth RIS. Quite complex, but the barrel aging is a nice complement to the beer, adding in complexity and rounding it out nicely. Not at all boozy.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at stoutfest. big thanks to Evan for this one!

A-pitch black with no head.

S-Slightly bourbon but in a good way. not too overpowering

T-sweet and subtle bourbon that washes down so smooth and makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Not overpowering

m-Medium body and oh so smooth

o-very good beer. Wish I could have more, but I will settle for the three different tastes that got poured for me!

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Photo of Duff27
4.41/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No head present. Stainy alcohol legs. Dark brown body, lighter hues around the edges.

Boner inducing aroma. Pappy smell we've grown(?) to love.

Roasty chocolate bourbon booze, unmuddled though. Matches it's abv as a boozy presence.

Thick chewy mouthfeel, fun! Low but adequate carbonation.

Very good BA stout, top tier. Drinking side by side with Rare and I don't see a big whatever that means. Thanks for the share kawilliams81!

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Photo of AgentZero
4.42/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Won with scratch-off ticket at DLD. Bottle #268 of #484.

A - Black as night with a brown head. some great legs.

S - A big, bad beer meets the ultimate in spirits. Lovely decadent chocolate, bourbon, molasses, coffee and smooth bourbon.

T - This beer is awesome. Someone told me to let it sit for a bit as it was hot, but it's good to go as is. Taste is right along with the nose, the bourbon is smooth, the beer is rich with everything you would look for. Would love to do this side-by-side with Rare BCS or PVW Eclipse.

M - Once again, full bodied, smooth and silky, lower carbonation.

O - Fantastic beer, this one was a close second to the Brandy Dark Lord between all the variants, but you can't go wrong with either one. A great experience, I hope to get more somehow.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.47/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Blue Lion - 2011 BA Dark Lord Voltron Tasting, 07/15/2011.

Appearance -- Pours a deep dark brown with no head and chestnut highlights. Good color, but appears to be still.

Smell -- Delightfully vibrant nose full of decadent bourbon, chocolate cake, as well as some coffee and, in the distance, dark fruits. The Pappy Van Winkle really makes the difference.

Taste -- The first thing that stands out is that delightful Pappy Van Winkle bourbon: gently sweet and - surprisingly - with a little bit of bite. The bourbon really seems to bring out the roast malt and chocolate flavors more than the dark fruits. Coffee still finds a way to come out in this version more than the other three. Delightful.

Mouthfeel -- Thick with softer carbonation. A little bit of bourbon bite, which seems slightly out of character for being aged in PVW 23, but very gentle overall. Nicely warms the throat.

Overall -- This was great. The Pappy flavor married well with Dark Lord. Easily in my top-five bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts, but compared to the other versions this wasn't terribly interesting.

Additional Notes: It's not as good as Rare Bourbon County Stout, but pretty close considering RBCS had an extra year in the casks to develop and mellow.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.47/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Schmittymack for making this one happen; Thanks as well to Ken, Josh and especially Ratman for making this easy. Poured a nice almost opaque black color with a lingering ring of brown foam. Aromas of bourbon, alcohol, pepper, molasses, vanilla, oak, maple, dark chocolate, rarity and dried fruit. Palate was medium to full bodied and smooth with a warming finish. Flavors of bourbon, maple, vanilla, mollasses, rarity, chocolate, dried fruit and light licorice with a smooth warming lingering bourbon finish. Enjoyed with a snifter of 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.47/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mike (AgentZero) for this one.

A - Looks like the rest of them. Thin tan foam settles to a ring of bubbles, leaving spotty lace.

S - It's like oak-aged Dark Lord, except without the harsh oak and alcohol. Plenty of bourbon flavor, oaky vanilla, caramel, and chocolate fudge. A dessert of a beer.

T - Chocolate fudge, cake, smooth bourbon, oaky vanilla, and some light espresso bitterness in the finish to keep things from getting too saccharine cloying. Again, an improvement over oak-aged Dark Lord as there is much less harsh oak and booze.

M - Same as the rest - "Pretty low carbonation, and this is unsurprisingly sticky, viscous, and full-bodied. Some light warmth in the finish, but otherwise the alcohol is very well-hidden, particularly as this must approach 16-17 after the barrel-aging."

D - It's like BCS Rare, but harder to get and slightly more expensive. A supremely enjoyable beer that will likely get overshadowed due to its rarer and more exotic brethren. I'm looking forward to the day my wife opens her bottle.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this courtesy of agentzero (thanks Mike!) during a tasting of all the bottled BA Dark Lord variants. This was bottle #268.

It pours dark and thick, like all Dark Lords. Big bourbon notes in the aroma, quite similar to BCS Rare but more sweet smelling. But whatever, both are pretty bad-ass bruisers.

It tastes chocolaty and rich, with a really nice PVW element reminiscent of Rare or PVW Eclipse. Very sweet (obviously), and that coupled with the thick body make this a sipper, sort of a dessert beer. I liked it a lot, and it looks like I'll have a chance to try it again soon which I'm happy about.

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Photo of iadler
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First bottle we crack open for our awesome tasting. Big thanks to deadmule for bringing this. Poured into my Duck Rabbit Snifter. Bottle #109/484

A- Pours a dark black with a small mocha head that dissipates quick leaving no lacing.

S- Bourbon warms the nostrils, dark fruits including plumb, figs, raisins, dark chocolate, oak and roasted malt. Smells great, but the ABV makes itself known.

T- Much smoother than the nose suggested with sweet earthy bourbon, plumb, fig, raisins as well as dark berries with notes of blackberries and black cherries. Oak and roasted malt follow.

M- Medium body and low carbonation. A tad thin for what I was expecting, but has a syrupy mouthfeel that finishes a tad boozy and sweet.

O- Remarkably smooth for a 15% beer. A great sipper and one of my favorites out of the 4 variants, with the other being the vanilla brandy.

Thanks Brian!

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Photo of kbutler1
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Courtesy of Andrew, thanks man! Pours a pitch black color with a light tan head. Molasses, caramel, bourbon but pretty slight aroma. Heavy mouthfeel. Vanilla, molasses, caramel, roast, dark chocolate, and bourbon all really well incorporated in this one. Rich and velvety mouthfeel. What is there else to say? As this beer has a lot of hype around it is easy to see how it might not live up to expectations, but this beer really hits the mark. It smooth and complex without being to one sided and unbalanced. The barrel aging added an extra depth that really for me makes this a worthwhile beer. Just excellent.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.52/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Huge thanks to kawilliams81 for the bottle share! Thanks kent!

bottle number 076 of 484.

Poured into a snifter and drinking this side by side with Rare BCBS!

Reviewed from notes taken on 2/23/2013.

Appearance: black bodied beer with a cap of brown head. Drops to a thin ring of brown head. Its a glass staining neer just like the brandy vanilla BA DL that we just drank.

Smell: This beer honestly smells exactly like BCBS Rare, but it has more wood notes. Some noticable smokiness too.

Taste: Dark chocolates and cocoa. Mellow bourbon, vanilla, oaky, tobacco. Hint of coconut. Lingering oaky finish. A touch of oxidation.

Mouthfeel: full bodied beer with low carbonation. Super smooth big beer. Thick and chewy. Well hidden ABV.

Overall: This beer is just as good as Brandy Vanilla Dark Lord and identical to BCBS Rare. The only thing that is differenct between Rare and PvW BA DL is that Rare has a much more noticable coconut profile in the taste. What an awesome night to be able to try this beer out!

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.54/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Half Acre snifter.

A- Pours black with very little head. Small tan ring of lacing around the glass.

S- Sweet chocolate, oak, vanilla and bourbon

T- Sweet chocolate, vanilla, nice bourbon flavors with some oak woodiness.

M- Full body and low carbonation. Nice slick, creamy and smooth feel.

O- Nice bourbon notes with some vanilla mixed in. Right there with the Brandy Vanilla for me.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord (Pappy Van Winkle) from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.54 out of 5 based on 149 ratings.
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