Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout
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:
A demonic Russian-Style Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar, this beer defies description. Available one day a year, in April at the brewery: Dark Lord Day.

Vintage guide:
Red wax = 2004
Orange wax = 2005
Gold wax = 2006
Silver wax = 2007
Black wax = 2008
White wax = 2009
Green wax = 2010 - 15% ABV
Yellow wax = 2011 - 15% ABV
Red wax = 2012 - 15% ABV
Orange wax = 2013 - New Label 15% ABV
Blue wax = 2014 - 15% ABV
Maroon wax = 2015 15% ABV
Black with glitter flecks wax = 2016
Green with silver glitter = 2017 - New Label

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
4,273
Reviews:
1,286
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
14.49%
 
 
Wants:
3,215
Gots:
2,093
For Trade:
197
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,273 |  Reviews: 1,286
Photo of teeeebs
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of SoxFan
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 edition. Impenetrable, tenebrific, inky, utter blackness. This is where light goes to die. The Stygian darkness fits so aggressively against the glass, crowding out all semblance of light so completely, that the glass itself seems to have disappeared. The cinnamon colored head was a cascading behemoth during and after the pour and is now a solid two finger mass of dense, heavy cream. It looks as if the 13.0% ABV has effectively scared off any lace. No matter, this is one of the most impressive looking beers that I've ever seen. I can't award perfection, though, with no lace.

The rich, powerful nose is redolent of dark chocolate, dark caramel-toffee, molasses-soaked hops and amazingly little coffee. I'm surprised that it isn't quite as bombastic and as menacing as I had hoped. The aroma is deep and multi-faceted for sure, but since I can imagine a better nose, and have smelled a few, it doesn't earn the ultimate compliment of a 5.0.

The apocalyptic flavor is as expansive and as mouthfilling as they come. With barely controlled fury, The Dark Lord rides roughshod over all in his path... currently my taste buds. There's a tripartite flavor profile of fudgey chocolate, melted caramels and coffee liqueur. Each sip is like an explosion of the most amazing beer candy in the universe. It's much sweeter than expected, but I absolutely love it.

The obdurate, rock solid backbone of hugely roasted malt has very little charred character. All rough edges have been effectively smoothed over by a teeming, sticky river of dark honey and molasses. Each sip shoots me up to dizzying heights filled with swirling, thick ropes of intertwining flavor: chocolate, caramel, treacle, coffee, more chocolate... ad infinitum. It then lets me down frightfully easily on a diminishing, lingering tide of those same amazing flavors.

What to say about the body? This is, without a doubt, the biggest, thickest, most viscid beer that I've ever had. I'll dispense with the much deserved string of adulatory adjectives and say simply that Dark Lord's mouthfeel is sheer perfection. It's hard to believe, but the 13.0% ABV is very nearly completely hidden. I pick up a trace of it on the finish, but it's a beautifully integrated, perfectly polished addition to the mind blowingly complex whole. Make no mistake though, its soporific power is threatening to overwhelm my senses, and a soft place to land is now high on my list of priorities.

This bottle has been lying in wait, biding its time, eagerly awaiting its chance to impress the hell out of me for well over one year now. And the hell has been impressed out of me and then some. DL is a legendary beer that deserves every one of the breathless accolades from its legion of devoted acolytes. Count me among the converted. All hail the Dark Lord!

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Photo of sludgegnome
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of rderedin
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of mjn5036
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage

I have been waiting for some kind of special occasion to open this one. Today was a long day and work and nothing seemed to go right... reason enough I suppose. I cut through the wax and popped the top off which released a small amount of carbonation. The center pour into my Piraat glass looked like dirty, used motor oil. A large caramel colored head arose from the bottom of the pour and continued to grow, and grow, and grow until it nearly overflowed. After letting this one settle for a few minutes the darkness of it really catches my eye. It is so damn dark that it is questionable whether this can even be considered a liquid at all; it is more of a sludge sitting in my glass, black as night and foreboding. No lacing is visible. A swirl of the glass leaves a thick oily residue fastened to the sides of the glass more like a wine than a beer.

The nose consists of chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, dark fruits - prunes and figs, cherry and coffee as well as a vague resemblance to soy sauce. The smell is sweet and inviting with an alcohol twang reminiscent of port.

Upon first sip my exact words were "holy sh*t". Super thick on the tongue, so damn rich and smooth. Dark Lord is unpredictably sweet, far sweeter than the nose led me to believe. The taste is a decadent combination of cherry, plum, fig, raison, chocolate, coffee and molasses. Alcohol is noticeable in its port like qualities. Each flavor meshes together superbly creating a stout of unprecedented quality and taste. This is proving to be an epic battle between my taste buds and my will to finish this beer. 220z of these flavors are almost proving to be too much at once, but it is so. Damn. tasty. The taste is exceptional, not for the faint of heart.

15% abv? Really? As I said previously this beer is so damn smooth for its abv it's incredible. By far this is the thickest, most viscous beer I have had to date. I have never had anything like this beer. I love every second of this experience. I tried not to have any high expectations of this beer because of all the hype surrounding it. This is one beer that I found has not just lived up to its hype, but surpassed it.

 2,178 characters

Photo of BeerJesus
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of ajs4bd
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours out a thick dark, inky black with a churning, burbling chestnut-brown head. The type of stuff you see seagulls and sealions coated in on the news.

Smell: A rich, aggressive aroma greets the nose, unleashing waves of dark-roasted coffee, chocolate-covered cherries, anise, sorghum, and booze. Okay, you got my attention.

Taste: Phenomenally flavorful! A complex breadth of tastes that knows no bounds. Cherry-topped Black Forest cake marinated in Sambuca served with espresso with a hint of tobacco tossed in. Roasted bitter, bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: No question about it, this beer is full-bodied, taking 'chewy' to a whole new (and frightening) level. There's a sensational creaminess to it that pairs perfectly with it's charming warming nature.

Drinkability: Exquisite! Truly, a beer to be celebrated.

 841 characters

Photo of Sandevin8887
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It's like drinking chocolate covered cherries with an ice cream finish!
Chill it several hours before drinking, then let it warm up to about 50 degrees. Do not serve it in a frosted mug if you want the full effects of its complex taste.

 236 characters

Photo of orion320
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Mister_Joshy
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of miadw3
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of psmith161
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of sliks96
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of abrand
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, my first sip of Dark Lord at the 2010 DLD. Served in a plastic cup after claiming by bottles

The pour is oil black with a very small head that dissipates quickly. Totally opaque. Smells of dark chocolate, molasses, and plenty of sugar. Coffee is present but not very noticeable. Taste is amazingly great. Thick as oil and packed with malts, sugar, and chocolate. For the huge ABV this drinks well for a stout. Will look forward to popping the first bottle in 6 months to see how it develops. This beer deserves all the hype it reserves.

 541 characters

Photo of BigbROB
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of lilnicky068
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of jdcooper88
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of kirkfrailey
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of bkwhoppa66
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of srusty569
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Metllica97
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of KnowYourCraft
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of barnzy78
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a 2009 in 2009 with sub-par reviews: look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5 = 3.7/5.

Re-review of a newer batch (2010), aged for 2.5 years. Big difference here.
22oz bottle shared with a friend. Poured into a tulip, thick pour reveals an opaque black body topped with a milk chocolate colored head, good retention, no lacing. Aromas are boozy, roasted barley, dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, cherry, and blackberry perhaps. Initially it's sweet and syrupy with notes of dark chocolate, raspberry, blackberry, cherry, cocoa, roasted barley, vanilla, molasses, espresso, booze. Full flavored with maximum complexity. Unbelievably good! Mouth-feel is thick & chewy, full-full bodied, viscous, and very smooth. Overall, definitely an upper echelon RIS. One of the best out there, if not the best. I stand corrected.

 844 characters

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,273 ratings.
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