Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

37 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Brandy Barrel Aged Dark LordBrandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord

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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sean9689 on 06-26-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 141
Photo of Jeffo
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to a few people we were able to put together the entire vertical and almost all the BA variants. Lots of fun gents!

From a 750 into a snifter
2011 vintage
Bottle 116/392

APPEARANCE: Just like all the rest of them. Pours relatively clear for an imperial stout. Produces a small, one finger medium-looking head that quickly fades to a wisp and ring. Black body in the glass with some carbonation evident. Only a ring remains until the end and leaves no real lacing down the glass. A little too light a pour and an average head at best.

SMELL: Less barrel on this one and more Dark Lord. Some molasses, soy aromas, some dark cherries and fruits with some brandy barrel and vanilla touches as well. Okay, but the barrel is quite mild here.

TASTE: Again, like the nose, this one lacks in the barrel compartment and is closer to the regular base stout. Some roasted touches, molasses, soy notes and dark fuits into the finish. Some light brandy and vanilla flavors after the swallow, as well as a touch of bitter chocolate trying to compete with the sweet, molasses and caramel base beer. Alright, but definitely the most mundane of the variants. Uninteresting.

PALATE: Slightly lighter than the base beer, and even a bit lighter than the other BA variants for some reason, but still acceptable for the style. Medium body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes rather sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn and some heat lingers.

OVERALL: This one was kind of boring. The barrel aging wasn't all that impressive so the base Dark Lord was much more present compared to the other variants. Luckily the 2010 is the base here, which is probably the only vintage I would consider drinking myself. All in all, this was the least impressive of the group.

 1,797 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.22/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jon for this one. Side-by-side with all the other BA Dark Lords. Bottle 144/392 into a snifter. From notes.

Appears just like the others. Pitch black, no head, no lace, no nothing. Super thick legs though.

This one is surprisingly mellow on the nose. Some booziness mixed with ash. That's it. Not bad, but lacks character.

Very sweet opening. Cocoa, chocolate, molasses, prune, fudge and strong booziness. Very sweet finish. Good but a bit one dimensional.

Same feel as the others.

A bit disappointed by this one but it definitely improves as it gets warmer and warmer. Still a decent beer, just doesn't stand up to its immediate peers.

 653 characters

Photo of brystmar
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Opened at our BADL tasting.

About the same appearance as the others, doesn't leave as much lace. Weird aroma, almost tart or sangria-esque. Definitely off.

Taste disappoints. Super boozy, spikes of flavors and booze left and right, not balanced at all. *Significantly* inferior to every other BA DL variant, including both De Muertes. Call me crazy, but I'd rather drink Breakfast Stout.

 389 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black and viscous, though this variant actually managed to form something resembling a head: Dark tan bubbles. However, they don't stick around for long and soon there is nothing.

S: An aggressive boozyness is immediately apparent and does not fade. Raisin and roasted malts attempt to come through, but the alcohol wins out.

T: Sweet and malty. Brown sugar, molasses, dark roasted mlat, cocoa, and some light chocolate notes. However, much like the aroma, there is a strong boozy quality that makes it's presence known.

M: Thick and full bodied. Low carbonation level, but this one had the most carbonation out of all of the DL variants. Alcoholic heat actually burns on the tongue and lips.

O: Drinkable, but not overly so. Less complex than the other variants and certainly the booziest of the bunch. The brandy barrel did not do anything for this beer.

 866 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

opaque black, thin bubbly brown head. The nose has a mix of sweet brandy, salted meat, chocolate, and a touch of Bo. The taste is overly sweet of brandy, loads of milk chocolate and vanilla, notes of heat with an off sweaty flavor in back. Full bodied, heavy and oily. The flavor is so sweet and struggles next to the rare.

 323 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Thorpe for providing this at the tasting. Served in a Dark Lord snifter because I can, worst of the bunch by far in my opinion.

Beer is brown with a thin, lazy nearly non existent head, small bubbles, low carbonation, no lacing, low retention.

Aroma is sweet, metallic, I suppose that liquor aroma is brandy.

Beer is sweet but has this penny like flavor to it that pulls me out of the beer briefly, the brandy is fine but the Dark Lord is muddled by it. My least favorite of the variants.

 501 characters

Photo of iadler
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Third DL varient we tried at our tasting. Thanks to spdyfire83 for bringing this surprise! Poured into my snifter. Bottle #346/392

A- Pours a typical DL with some rising carbonation creating a small mocha head. No lacing left behind.

S- Some oak, roasted malt, brandy, and a bit of chocolate. Nice, but the least complex aroma out of the four varieties with it being pretty booze forward.

T- Brown sugar, brandy, oak, some dark fruits with plumb and fig, roasted malt.

M- Medium body and low carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel that finishes very boozy and dry.

O- I thought this was the sweetest and most boozy DL It's straight forward and the brandy is very noticeable, but not as complex as the other DL's.

Thanks again Bryan!

 730 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Mr. Thorpe, sampled alongside the other Dark Lord variations.

Pours a dark brown, near black with a thin light tan head. Sweet and fruity aroma, with dark fruit, sugar and brandy, slightly thin and underwhelming. Full and thick body with low carbonation and strong brandy presence in the finish. Flavor is improved from the aroma, but still with the Muerta as the weakest of the variations. Chocolate with light coffee, but most of the Dark Lord flavors are missing from this...

 497 characters

Photo of vissai
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my offering. Had it side by side with Wooden Hell and BA Hi-Fi Rye.

A: One of the darkest beers I have ever seen poured, very oily looking and slick. Almost no head. A quick twirl of the glass wakes up a little creamy froth.

S: I think the smell was my least favorite part of this beer. At first, I got bretty notes and I thought the beer might have been infected. After a few swirls, the nose opened up to a very roasted smell. The brandy wasn't that easy to find. The smell of the Brandy Vanilla Dark Lord I had had a month ago was far better than this one.

T: Taste was better than the nose. Very sweet and border line cloying but not in a bad way. The sweetness revealed the brandy and all the dark fruit. Think raisens and prunes marinated in port wine. The more it warmed up the more sweetness it lost and the more dark fruit and brandy you could taste. Compared to the Brandy Vanilla, this one tasted a lot for like the base Dark Lord.

M: Very nice and typical of the class. The 15%abv was very well hidden and not a problem at all. No complaints about mouthfeel.

O: A good beer but its interesting how much difference vanilla makes. The Brandy Vanilla in my opinion was way better and a lot more enjoyable. I think the vanilla does wonders in balancing out the sweetness of the beer. If you are trading for one go with the Brandy Vanilla. I wish they made all of the brandy versions with vanilla

 1,417 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

Appearance -- Pours a deep dark brown - nearly black - with chestnut highlights and almost no head. Good color.

Smell -- Lots of dark fruit/vinous flavors brought out by the brandy barrel treatment. Not much of the roast malt, chocolate, and coffee flavors that are so present in Dark Lord. The brandy seems to mask these and at the same time accentuates the candied dark fruit notes of the base beer. Still, high points for not smelling harshly of spirits or being totally overwhelmed with brandy like every other brandy BA treatment I've had at the pub.

Taste -- Chocolate and roast malt are now more present, along with some faint coffee flavor. Brandy is very present, as well strong vinous/candied fruit malt notes. It lacks the complexity of the vanilla bean version, but much better than anticipated.

Mouthfeel -- Incredibly smooth-drinking: full-bodied, soft carbonation. There is zero alcohol burn, but a gentle warming of the throat that. Best of the BA Dark Lord verisons, but a great barrel-aged stout mouthfeel any way you cut it.

Overall -- This was the definitive loser of the barrel-aged Dark Lord versions, which really speaks more to how strong all of the offerings were than to this version specifically. Nice in that it took a lot of barrel character from the brandy casks but wasn't overwhelmed by it, but so dark fruit-forward that it seems ho-hum in comparison - vanilla beans make a world of difference.

While I'm incredibly grateful that I got to drink all of the Dark Lord versions side-by-side, I would've loved to have compared this with Christian Brothers Eclipse.

 1,659 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 7/28 as part of the NYC BA DarkLord Voltron tasting!!! thanks to jon for providing this gem.
bottle #194 / 392

a - black with minimal off brown tan head. soft of what i was expecting for a barrel aged dark lord.

s - pretty boozy. fruity sangria.

t - fruity. brandy. not the best mix. changes the beer a LOT. kind of like dark lord sangria.

m - thick and rich and fruity.

o - overal dark lord sangria. still tasty, but compared to the others, far from the highlight. i've found brandy to be a weird barrel to mix stouts with and this combo was no exception. good...not great.

 591 characters

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried next to the other three versions and all the years of the normal version.

A: Black with just a bit of light dark head.

S: Sweet chocolate with strong brandy smell. Brandy smell is a bit strong for me, but overall very good.

T: Strong brandy flavor with vanilla, chocolate, and slight roast/coffee flavor.

M: Like the other DLs, thick, light carbonation. Very nice.

O: Good - but, the brandy flavor is a bit strong for me. It's a bit distracting, and leads to a beer that is a bit hot.

 495 characters

Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It is the same very sweet dark lord, same black colour, with a grapey sweet wine dimension. Suddenly it takes on complexity and balanced, and its an imperial stout with something for everybody. One sip its black cherry, the next wine. Ever so drinkable. Smoother mouthfeel.

 273 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #369/392. Consumed at Sean's 30th Birthday Party Extravaganza. Served in a Three Floyds / Intelligentsia snifter.

Pours like black motor oil. What else would you expect from anything related to Dark Lord? A nice dark tan head rises up and falls fairly quickly, leaving behind a few legs. Thin collar throughout. The nose carries a fairly hefty amount of brandy as well as a decent amount of accompanying booze. Lots of sweetness and chocolate plus some coffee. This smells exactly like you'd imagine Dark Lord with Brandy would. Well-integrated, though not mind blowing.

The flavor is better than the smell, though still not world class. The brandy takes a prominent role, and the taste isn't quite as boozy as the nose was. Chocolate and some dark fruits are there as well as some slight coffee. Full and thick feel with a nice brandy presence in the finish. Low carbonation. Really a nice beer that comes together well.

 930 characters

Photo of Etan
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle (#53/392) shared by theredflame. Thanks!

A: Straight black with a tiny chocolate head.

S: Huge chocolate and grape notes. Fig, raisin, cocoa, lactose, grape stem.

T: Boozy raisin and mild coffee, chocolate, plenty of dryish barrel notes. Vanilla, raisins, a bit of wood.

M: Thick-bodied, slight carbonation.

O: A lot more balanced than I thought it would be, with the alcohol kept in check well and the barrel a bit dry as well as sweet.

 454 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle generously provided by thorpe429 (thanks Mike!) at our BA Dark Lord tasting at Sean's. Bottle number 369.

This pours black and thick, like all Dark Lords. This had a nice brandy aroma, plus all the usual aromas I associate with Dark Lord (chocolate, very sweet malts, dark fruits). I'd say they hit the target in terms of brandy aging, it smells exactly as you'd expect (something I can't really say for the Muerte version).

It tastes exactly as it smells, definitely good but not out-of-this world. I much preferred the flavor of the brandy vanilla bean version, but still this was nice. Very sweet, not exactly hot in the aftertaste (as it might have been), well integrated brandy flavors.

I'd place this as 3rd best among the 2011 BA bottles, behind Brandy Vanilla and PVW. Very glad to try it though.

 817 characters

Photo of Fux
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 version. Reviewed side by side with '10 regular Dark Lord and '11 Brandy vanilla and Pappy van Winkle variants.
A: Nothing much to say about the look. Similar to any Dark Lord.
S: The smell is in between the regular version and the bourbon one. The off-flavors typically found in Dark Lord (soy sauce, sweetness, smokiness) are there but more subdued. It also has the deep character of the barrel even though Brandy is not obvious.
S: The taste is more mellow than the base beer. The brandy is not obvious here either but it comes with some characters reminiscent of the bourbon barrel aged variant. Quite sweet.
M: Sticky and heavy on the palate. More than the base beer.
O: Not the best variant, still enjoyable.

 719 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color with nice viscosity. Minimal head formation and carbonation. Intense aroma of brandy and graham cracker sweetness. Lots of brown sugar, molasses, and chocolate, too. Maybe some marshmallow on the palate along with the graham cracker. A bit of a S’more thing going on. Quite a bit of brandy and booze as well as a bit of vanilla. Intensely sweet, but I like it.

 377 characters

Photo of spdyfire83
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

37th Review
Bottle to snifter.
Bottle 346/392

Thanks to being in the right place at the right time and asking a question. Epic!

L: Deep brown – almost opaque, but you can see half way in. No head on medium pour.

S: Vibrant, well-balanced smells of figs, oak, and dark chocolate. All of these “smells” are overshadowed by a sweet brandy scent as the glass is swirled around.

T: Sweet and boozy with a complex balance of dark fruit (figs, raisin, etc.). Not overly powering in any aspect, but evenly mellow all throughout.

M: Full bodied and in-your-face, but good.

O: The slight hint of alcohol coming off the nose warmed my soul and I was a bit reluctant about being able to enjoy this beer before my first sip; however, the balance of dark fruit and semi-sweet chocolate added to the overall enjoyment of this experience. The booze in this was just right!

 868 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Oneinchaway for sharing this one at his tasting.

2011 vintage. Bottle # 191/392.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, dark fruit, and brandy aromas. Taste is much the same with chocolate syrup, dark fruit, and brandy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with great fruit and brand barrel aged characteristics that are slightly better in the smell to me.

Serving type: bottle.

 685 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Michael!

Pretty standard Dark Lord appearance here, pouring a very viscous black. The head rises and falls pretty quickly, though the beer appears to be nicely carbonated.

Smells like sweet, syrupy brandy -bals, molasses, milk chocolate, dried dark fruit. Quite good, but actually a bit mild compared to the vanilla brandy version, which knocks your teeth in with aroma and flavor. There's a bit of oxidation that takes form in port-like notes, and overall a touch more fruitiness than I noticed in other versions of Dark Lord.

Taste is a step up from the mild aroma. Chocolate syrup and molasses, dark fruit, brandy, a touch of drying oak. Sweet but not cloying, and not boozy. A little meaty/leathery oxidation, at a pleasant low level. Lingers for quite a while on the palate, though it's not a bitter beer by any stretch.

This version was quite good, but not as good as vanilla brandy or Pappy bourbon.

 918 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 01/14/12 notes. Tried it side by side with the base beer and the other three variants with some friends. I liked this version the fourth best, after the Vanilla Brandy, PVW, and normal 2010 DL.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of dark tan head and low carbonation evident. Looks like the normal version and all the other variants.

s - Smells of brandy, roasted malts, alcohol, sweet dark fruits, oak, dark chocolate, and toasted malts. Nose is definitely good, but no where near the others. A little more alcohol here, and no real vanilla. Nice though.

t - Tastes of brandy, sweet chocolate, roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, oak, dark chocolate, toasted malts. Taste is nice and sweet, and better than the nose.

m - Full bodied stout and low carbonation. Body is thick and creamy; pretty perfect for a big RIS.

o - Overall I thought this was still a nice RIS. I think this one has a little more prominent alcohol, but the taste is very nice. Would still like to have it again.

 998 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #369/392 generously shared by Mike (Thorpe429) at my 30th Birthday Party Extravaganza. Poured into a taster.

A - Looks like Dark Lord. Black, tan mocha-colored head, thin collar, no whips, spotty lace, some bubbles here and there.

S - Smells boozy, barrel, slight apples, molasses sweetness, caramel. Very rich and sweet with a nice smooth booze that's not overpowering at all. The age has really smoothed things out.

T - Tastes like Dark Lord with Brandy, who would have guessed? Chocolate, barrel, booze, caramel notes, brandy. Very straight forward. As it warmed, the alcohol picked up a little, but for 15% it's still very well hidden.

M - Feels like Dark Lord. Full, rich, viscous, creamy, really a big one.

O - This was very smooth, rich, and enjoyable. The brandy notes complimented the Dark Lord well, which has smoothed out with the age on the base beer. Hope to try this one again in the future!

 917 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Norm? for sharing this one with us at the first Voodoo Barrel Room release. Bottle #304/392 reviewed from what little notes I took.

A - Pours black with a small half finger tall tan head, quickly dissipating down to a light film, leaving small spots of lace down most of the glass. Stains the glass brown after its all gone.

S - Smells of chocolate, molasses, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, oak, dark roasted malt and fruity brandy. Smells like regular dark lord with a shot of brandy poured into it.

T - Starts off with the strong sugary sweetness - mainly chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, molasses and caramel - quickly being joined by the brandy barrel, oak and booze burn. Finish is still really sweet with some mild heat, lingering long after the finish. More put together than the nose would imply.

M - Big body with moderate carbonation. Smoother feel than I thought it would have but that sweetness just makes it hard to drink more than a few ounces at a time.

O - A nice rift on the regular Dark Lord. It still has all of the base flavors and the added barrel treatment helps to round out the rough edges. If the sweetness could die down a bit I think this one would be really solid, as it stands it is just a really nice beer.

 1,251 characters

Photo of stakem
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dear Norm, you are awesome for sharing this special bottle with all of us at the first ever Voodoo Barrel Room Collection release. What shabby notes I have scribbed down about this experience I shall post here because your generosity deserves the credit.

The one and only 2011 vintage #304/392 poured into a mini snifter. The brew is black with brown clarity around the edges. Some tan spotty lace sticks to the glass and there is not much of anything along the lines of a head to be found. As the glass is swirled, it paints slow droopy legs of alcohol down the glass.

The aroma is borderline tangy to vinous with fruity alcohol notes blended overtop a vanilla sticky sweetness. Also present is a faint amount of caramel candy and minor roast. Sweet milk chocolate comes along for the ride too.

The flavor has a bit of that tangy alcohol present that is fainty vinous with a sweetness that is more candy-like than malty. Flavors of chocolate blend in and out with fruity booze as it warms up. Faint roast, no bitterness as it is masked by the residual sugar.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew as expected for darklord. It is sticky sweet at times but displays plenty of character that is enjoyable. If you removed those subtle tangy vinous notes and vanilla id say you would be hard pressed to know this was a barrel aged variation along side a well aged normal vintage DL. I would love to tangle with this again but considering my track record with BA DL variations is bleek, I am quite happy with getting the opportunity to try this. Thanks again Norm!

 1,564 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.16 out of 5 based on 141 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.