Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout

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

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

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

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Reviews: 1,274 | Ratings: 4,217
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 22oz. grim-graphic label bomber. Dipped in red wax.

Appearance: Upon pouring this vile-looking liquid into my goblet (where's a good skull when you need one, to properly enjoy a beer like this?), I honestly thought it was trying to suck the light into it. Dark-as-night inky blackness in color, there is a wafer-thin layer of tan-colored head that tries to avoid being consumed by the evil upon which it is perched. Rings of this lace try to escape by clinging to the glass.

Smell: Ambrosia for the olfactories. A complex myriad of aromas. Freshly roasted coffee. Baking chocolate. Toffee. 151 rum-soaked dark fruits. Bonfire smoke.

Taste: Quite simply one of the best beers I have tasted and more than likely ever will. Elephant-like in size, it hits your palate full-force, wrecking havoc with a chco-coffee blast. Nothing gets past this once you've tasted it. Cameo appearances by more dark fruit, some bitter hops, toffee, and charred wood. Finishes with a long-lasting (and smile-inducing) bitterness that makes you crave another hit of this liquid addiction.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: As big a beer as you'll ever find. This is simply gargantuan in mouthfeel. Super-thick, super-creamy. Words fail to describe just how incredibly thick this beer is. Drinkability is also top-notch. There is no way I would have known this was a hefty 13% ABV. It's woven into the tapestry of flavor with the skill of an artist.

Notes: I am deeply indebted to CreteMixer for this bottle. Just an epic tasting and one that I'll remember and cherish for quite a long time.

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Photo of Devi0us
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2010- Green wax. Let me start off by saying "WOW"...had this as part of our Blind Epic Beer Tasting Event and it took 1st overall. List included 2010 Darklord, Rare Bourbon County Stout, 2011 KBS, 2011 Hanahpu, 2010 Abyss.

A- Pours pitch black with a minimal tan head that dissipates quickly. Very thick with decent carbonation. 

S- Chocolate malt, dried fruit, espresso and wet barrel. Smells very good.

T- Taste was exceptional and got better as it warmed up. Did not expect it to be this sweet. Sweet roasted taste with a touch of vanilla as it warmed up. Alcohol was undetectable with such a high ABV. Very well hidden.

M- Mouthfeel is smooth and thick. Light carbonation. 

O- Overall, this is the best beer that I've tasted so far. I believe the beer becomes more balancned and complex as it warms up. I'm anxious to get another bottle to cellar and enjoy this experience again.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, tonight I finally succumbed to the Dark Side, er, I mean Dark Lord. I finally took off the red wax seal and popped the cap off a 22oz bottle of Three Floyds Dark Lord, 2004 vintage. Rewarded with a soft "phfftt", I gently poured about 80% into a large snifter before getting, quite literally, chunks of beery sediment.

Appearance: holy crap, I've never seen a beer this damn thick! It oozed out with all the consistency of light crude. Inky, impenetrably black. A dense, compact espresso colored head perched on top briefly before shrivelling down to a tiny ring. Lace? No. BEER clung to the walls. Unbelievable.

Smell: very sweet aromas of dark fruits and a solid jab to the nose from the alcohol. Dense coffee notes, blackened and charred marshmallows, prunes, and port wine. Smell is simply amazing.

On the first pull, Dark Lord invades every nook, cranny and fold of the mouth, slathering everything with the thickest, fullest brew I've had pass my lips. Initially sweet with raisins, plums and dates. Not for long, though. An onslaught of espresso beans, dark bitter chocolate, and ages-old, run-through-the-filter-five-times coffee. Then comes the right cross of alcohol that's just mind-bending. Don't get me wrong; I love it. Finishes with a blast of herbal hops. The taste of bitter herbs and scorched malts lasts long after each sip is gone. Un-effin'-believable!

Well, I'm down to my last couple sips of the sludge that's grudgingly leaving the glass. I wish I had a giraffe's tongue to get every speck of beer outta the glass. Hell, I might put this glass back on the shelf dirty just so I can smell it tomorrow. Dark Lord is seductively smooth and lush and so complex. The epitomy of imperial stouts. Huge thanks to jables for sending this bottle my way January, 2004.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006 version, 22 oz. bomber. Big thanks to BA mcallister for sharing this one with me, and not waiting until my birthday to do so!

Pitch black in color. Nothing else. Seriously, this is a black hole of a beer, no edges, shades or hues of anything else, just black. Period. Great looking dark tan head. What a looker! Great contrast between the beer and the head. Head retention was ok, especially considering the size. A few spots of lace.

What a nose. Aromas practically leaping out of the snifter. Dark chocolate, fudge, espresso, dark fruits, black cherries, currants, mocha, the list seems to go on and on. I can't imagine a beer having a better nose than this. Alcohol is also present in the nose, particularly after it warms up a bit.

Taste starts out with a big chocolate, fudge flavor. Lots of dark fruit follow, then some espresso. The espresso or coffee flavor seems to linger on the palate the longest. Some warming alcohol present.

The impressive thing to me is that this drinks almost like a milkshake. So full, thick and creamy. Low carbonation. I thought that this really lives up to what everyone says. Such a thick, rich stout. Hard to imagine many beers being better.

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Photo of hayesez
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Where do I begin...? I tried my first Dark Lord in 2006, and have been hooked ever since. Started going to the releases in 2007, and really stocked up on these guys. We drank the 2007 for Rose-Hulman Beer Club #499...10 years after the Club started. Still one of the highest ranked Club beers to this date. The 2008 remains my favorite vintage (still haven't had a chance to try the 2005 or 2004) and is quite possibly my favorite beer on this planet. I'm going to review the 2008 today. Last night we did a 2008, 2009, 2010 vertical and while I'm still convinced that Three Floyd's has seriously effed things up with the 2009 and 2010, based on the progression of the 2009 in the past year, I'm hopeful that age will continue to help these...they are a mess right now. What I would give for them to go back to the recipes of previous vintages... What a waste *shakes head*

So onto the 2008 - the baddest of all beers. This is one thick, nasty, ominous concoction. I poured the contents of this creation into my Westvleteren chalice and couldn't help but smile as the thickness oozed out of the bottle. While not nearly as much sludge in the bottom of the glass as previous years, I still had to work quite a bit to get that last ¼ inch of goodness from the bottom. The sludge leaves a lily-pad pattern on the top of the nearly foam-free surface. As with all of their vintages, the Dark Lord produces very little head...almost none. Not that the style necessarily demands such a cap, but it would be nice. There is very little carbonation (which I enjoy in the mouthfeel) and the absence of anything on top is one of the few detractors. The 2008 is one of the more "brown" years of Dark Lord. The others are much more black, but the 2008 is always a very grainy, murky deep brown. Almost foamy looking - like a suspension in the glass. This beautiful beer leaves the thickest, stickiest lace I have ever seen. Upon finishing this guy, it is not even possible to see my buddy on the other side of the table; there is that much nastiness glued to the inside - what a beautiful sight!!

The smell of the 2008 is extremely distinctive compared to the later years - primarily because it is not nearly as sweet - I could pull it out of a line-up blindfolded (I actually won this bet last night). So much going on in the nose - but not too much. Again, as opposed to the later, and messier, years, the 2008 is so well balanced. Pails of burnt malts were used to brew this guy...they had to be. Good sniffs of tobacco, whiskey and chocolate are all present with each whiff. Some sweet vanilla or caramel with some deep, dark fruits, and charred wood are also mixed in there. The 2008 is very potent and sharp. It has a much more prevalent smell than its successors. It is complex. It is divine.

The taste? Every bit as good as the smell. This thing oozes with sweet AND burnt malts. It is dripping with chocolate covered sweet fruit. It's about as thick as any beer I can think of, so the intense flavor just lingers around in my mouth. Molasses / vanilla / caramel / anything else sweet that I can think of are packed in there as well. This is a huge beer that continues to reveal different flavors every time I take a sip - wow. Tobacco? Yup. Even a hint of hoppiness at the end - it's all there. The slight metallic taste that I used to get from the 2008 is completely gone at this point (although still prevalent in the 2009). I absolutely love this beer, and take a good two hours to drink it every time. Viscous, full, lingering, coating, and resilient. This beer is so sticky, that at one point, I set my glass on the table and almost pulled it over as my fingers didn't come off of the side of the glass. Fantastic! If I could choose one beer to drink for the rest of my life, it would be the 2008 Dark Lord.

At the time of this review, I have drunk over 40 Dark Lords. While I'm so disappointed with the direction it has been heading the past two years, I've managed to hold onto quite a few of the 2008 to enjoy for years to come. The 2006 was right up there with the '08, with the '07 following. I'd put the 2009 and it's sticky muddled chaos in last place - although I'm still hopeful that age will help it out. It seems that the 15% monster that was brewed this past year was a step back in the right direction, although still far away for the older, thicker versions. For now, I'll stick with the 2008 - my 100th review!

Consumed: 7/27/2010 

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Photo of bort11
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Viggo, that crazy Canuckle Head, sent this as part of the Good/Bad/Ugly BIF. This is obviously a Good!

22 oz white wax sealed bottle, 2009 vintage. I shared this with my wife. I'm the best husband ever. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack chalice. Slow to develop burnt orange head. Not very tall, and not a lot of legs, but he swirling film of lace on the surface is very pretty. Color is burnt oil black with some hints of orange around the edges.

Smell is a full blown chocolate delight. It sweet and sticky fudge. A hint of burnt raisins, figs, and dried cherries. Taste is like a gooey fudge brownie. Chewy and lip smacking sugary sweet. There is some mochaccino coffee bitterness in the finish. Only in the last swallow did I find the alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is beyond full bodied. It fills the mouth with flavor with the tiniest of sips. There is a hint of cocoa powder graininess in the bottom. Good to the last drop.

Blipped "Personal Jesus" by Marilyn Manson

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Photo of gordavidson
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Bottle

A- Deep dark black. Right up there with the darkest ones out there. With a nice swirl, the beer leaves a light brown/ yellow oily residue on the sides. The head retention isn't great, but another swirl reignites the deep brown head for a bit. With a bit more retention this would be a 5.0.

S- Smells surprisingly aged. Vanilla, molasses, anise, chocolate... maybe a bit of mint. It is really deep. Easily one of the best smelling stouts ever.

T- Absolutely insane. I am speechless. Some fruitiness, molasses, anise, chocolate, and that typical Three Floyds flavor I have come to know and love. The alcohol is not noticeable. Doesn't taste quite as aged as the aroma would lead you to believe.

M- Velvety smooth. Very very smooth.

D- It has been a long time since I have been this blown away by a beer. The alcohol will catch up with you, but it isn't harsh or all that noticeable. This is drinking really good right now. Believe the hype.

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Photo of Homerbag
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 vintage

Pours like used motor oil. Almost no head.

Smell is a powerful combination of chocolate, roasted malts, caramel, coffee, and some sweet dark fruit. I would drink this up my nose if I could, if that gives you any idea how good this smells.
Taste is as close to perfect that any liquid has been on my palate. Heavy doses of chocolate, coffee, and malt make ou wish this bottle would never end.
I must admit that this is the firs beer where feel is my favorite part. This is he thickest and chewiest beer I have ever had. All I could say after every sip was, "wow" and "damn".

I may not type much, but I do talk alot, and this beer shut me up. I don't believe any beer will change your life, but this could make people believe that beer is a gift from God.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to hero27 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Silver Top
2007 Vintage

Poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip a thick clean/clear black color, some carbonation, nice little fizzy dark tannish head, only some tiny islands left over. The nose is of slightly roasted sweet malts, hops, toffee, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, and some caramel. The taste is very nice indeed, consisting of very sweet thick/oily slightly roasted malts, slight hops, licorice, toffee, slight coffee, vanilla, and caramel. The alcohol is present at first sip then the sweetness comes into play, leaves a nice warm feeling in the throat. Full body, a pretty complex RIS. Very drinkable, I really like this brew, I say it lives up to the hype for sure, highly recommended. Not too much difference in the vintages. Thanks again Eric.

Thanks goes out to CRJMellor for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Gold Top
2006 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a thick clean/clear black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy dark tannish head, only some tiny islands left over. The nose is of slightly roasted sweet malts, hops, toffee, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, and some caramel. The taste is very nice indeed, consisting of very sweet slightly roasted malts, slight hops, licorice, toffee, slight coffee, and caramel. The alcohol is present at first sip then the sweetness comes into play, leaves a nice warm feeling in the throat. Medium body, a pretty complex RIS. Very drinkable, I really like this brew, I say it lives up to the hype for sure, highly recommended. Thanks again Craig.

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Photo of brdc
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 version, had a full glass on tap at DLD.

Quite similar to my impressions of the 2008 bottle version, a fantastic brew needing a few more months to fully develop.
Pitch black, motor oil, no highlights, less head presumably because of a not so vigorous pour, but nonetheless does not look perfect. Whatever head is there holds very well, coats the sides of the glass although it is not as sticky as the 2008 version, at least not yet. The 2008 bottle I had side by side needs three washes to clear the glass!
Aroma is quite impressive, dark fruits abounding, molasses, coffee but not too much coffee, chocolate, bread and alcohol (a bit more alcohol than the aged version, although I am comparing on tap to bottle).
It is a very thick, oily beer as expected, complex, minimal heat this fresh.
Coffee, but not too much, bittersweet chocolate, evolving to sweet caramel, molasses, fruits, and minimal alcohol to be noticed.
It is a very impressive brew, certainly worth the hype, and IMHO, as mentioned in previous reviews, the best beer ever. I wish I could age myself a barrel :)

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Photo of jt31914
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to our good buddy Adam for picking these up at DLD, especially considering what an absolute fing mess I heard it was...

Anyways on to the beer.

A: Damn this beer is dark! I mean this beer is blacker than Wesley Snipes on a cold winter night; 1/4 finger mocha colored head. The beer is just gorgeous, except for the total lack of lacing/head retention.

S: Strong! You can smell it from a couple feet away honestly. A wonderful combo of licorice, sweetness, coffee up the wazoo and a faint balance from vanilla. This is everything I could have hoped for so far.

T: Nice coffee taste mixed with licorice and some fruit sweetness (perhaps some dry black cherries). This beer is just super balanced and awesome; like Surly's Darkness but a bit smokier.

D/M: Awesome! Smooth, Full, and leaving me wanting more and more. It just gets better and better as you drink it, I can honestly say I would rather drink this than climb to the summit of Mt Everest or make babies with Megan Fox... God this is good!!!!

This is a great beer, totally worth the wait my friend went through to get it for himself and me; honestly no matter how much DLD sucked this year, I am promising myself I will suffer through all of it's hellishness to be there next year to get this great brew (and taste DL vanilla bean).

Second best beer I've ever had, only behind Surly's Darkness (which was an aged 08 bottle).

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage (White Wax) Into Pint Glass
22oz. Bottle Sampled W/ Another BA

Finally getting the chance to sample this legendary brew in the most comfortable setting imaginable - my home - with a very close friend and fellow BA. I attempted to review this beer w/ a clean mind and w/ as little bias as possible. So here we go, Yeeeah Budddy!, as Big Ronnie Coleman would say.

Poured as dark as night like 10W-30 motor oil w/ a thin ring of light brown carbonation on the outer edges of the brew. No lacing to speak of. The nose was of roasted coffee, chocolate, molasses, figs, plums, and charred fruit. The charred fruit in the middle was what amazed me the most - like it should not have been there, but fit perfectly! The taste was on point w/ the nose, coating the palate w/ charred fruits and sweetness up front, and finishing w/ Belgian dark chocolate and espresso beans. Imagine making a Black and Tan w/ an English Barleywine and a Russian Imperial Stout and you should be able to get an accurate picture of the taste of this brew. Mouthfeel? This was by far the chewiest brew I have ever sampled. Like the smoothest silky puree imaginable. Despite the chewiness and I mean chewiness, this brew tasted so amazing that like Lionel Ritchie says "All Night Long!" Well deserving of all the hype and accolades, this brew did not disappoint. Cheers to Three Floyds for this creation! I almost gave this brew a perfect score, and my tasing partner and I both agreed that this was as close to perfection and beer heaven as we had both been! I could only imagine how this brew tastes w/ age.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Since I joined this site, this has always been the number one beer I have wanted to try. Now I finally have a bottle sitting in front of me thanks to akorsak. I was originally planning on opening this tomorrow night for new years, but since I will be working, now is good enough for me. Had some trouble peeling the silver wax from the top of the bottle. Once I finally pried the cap off, I poured it in to my Rapscallion sniffer glass at I would say slightly colder than cellar temperature. Comes out of the bottle very thick, and lush looking. Not much head to be spoken of, but there was a nice ring around the sides of the glass, and some beautiful red hues on the side. In the smell was a whole range of different aromas. The most dominant was rich fudge, then some slightly bitter coffee, some fruity alcohol notes, and a distinct raisin character. Taste had it all...Notes of port, cherries covered in dark chocolate, fudge, molasses, caramel, and a slight metallic twang in the finish. I was surprised to not find much coffee in the flavor, as I understand that they use coffee in this brew. Many reviews have stated that this beer is incredibly viscous and almost like motor oil. I would say it has more of a slick mouthfeel that coats the palate, and leaves a nice bitter, and like I mentioned before, somewhat metallic aftertaste. I liked the fact that this is a big stout, but not necessarily a meal in a bottle like many others. The drinkability on this one is what impressed me most of all. Where the fuck is the alcohol? I mean, I can feel it after having one small glass, but it is nowhere to be found in the flavor or body. That being said, this is dangerous stuff, as it goes down smooth and far too easy. Okay, so I guess my final verdict is that this is indeed the best beer I have had to date. Every iota of hype surrounding this beer is well deserved. Now all I have to do is convince a few of my friends to make the trek with me in the Spring to make it out to Dark Lord Day 08. Cheers and Happy New Year!

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle 2009 500th rating Pours a Deep purplish black witha thin tan head that leaves very quickly.Has a light lacing but is a thick residue. The aroma is all over the room. It is of vanilla, alcohol, chocolate, and lightly broasted coffee. The carbonation was light. Mouthfeel is excellent. The flavors are complex but keep your tongue thriving for more. This is blended very well. The alcohol is well hidden. All this going on leads to a wonderful finish with an aftertaste that makes you never want to finish. This one has a syripy texture, very think. I waited a long time to get one of these and it was worth the wait. I may have to get out to the DLD next year or every year if possible. Very well done.

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Photo of atrus138
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Everytime I've described a beer as looking like motor oil has been a lie. THIS is a beer that looks like motor oil. No head whatsoever. This beast is far too dense for a head. It has its own gravity and pulls any head into itself. The glass is absolutely stained yellow after drinking. Epic. Smell is hugely complex and awe-inspiring. Smells like the best coffee, the best brownie, brown sugar, and some dark fruits thrown in for good measure. I'm amazed that the taste actually meets and surpasses everything promised by the smell. Mouthfeel is massively thick. After swallowing, it's like my entire digestive system up to and including my stomach is coated with this stuff. Normally, with such a huge beer, I'm a bit more conservative with dropping a 5, but I would have this anytime I can.

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Photo of Fieldzy27
4.96/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a goblet.
Pours jet black and almost no carbonation

Aroma smells like ultra dark chocolate and roasted malt , very explosive aroma.

Taste sweet bread dark and milk chocolate raisins dark fruit , fig , dates. Coffee and roast flavor.

Mouthfeel :liquid velvet.

Overall world class. Reviewed from phone.

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Photo of graveRacker
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

HOLYCOW!!!! apperance is like changing the motor oil of a V.W. after ten years of abuse, and has the same vicous apperance. First smell: "Oh my lord, what have i gotten my self into?" HOPSS! (yes two "s") and sweeettt malt, very sweet. First taste is very heavy in the mouth. Sweet and bitter simultaneous some how. The beer and brewing Gods have graced the earth once again!

Go see for yourself! If you can get a hold of it. It’s like buying Rolling Stones tickets.

Rare and pricey.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber (2011 yellow wax top) poured into a Duvel tulip style glass. Liquid comes out like a very dark roasted coffee color. You can see a few lightish brown highlights while pouring it, but as it pools into the glass the liquid is black and there are now highlights at all. Even if you hold the glass up to the light, it's as if it's an eclipse. Nice slightly darker than tan colored head with a lot of medium and small bubbles, make it look somewhat frothy. Lasts awhile and will eventually very slowly work it's way down to a ring around the edge of the glass. Not much glass retention and lacing with the head, but the liquid itself clings sort of like a syrup. Looks good overall.

Smell is really good, it's very sweet, even sweeter than I expected, but it's still amazing. It has quite a bit going on. It's got generous aromas of dark chocolate, caramel, toffee and subtle hints of a coffee. There's a nice hop presence, but more like they were soaked in some blend of almond/vanilla/molasses. Everything meshes really nicely together and it smells great.

I was on the fence a little bit about the flavor, but you know what, I'm going with perfect here. It's just a sweet Russian Imperial Stout, nothing wrong with that. Taste is truly excellent. Tastes again of dark chocolate, with some charred brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and toffee. To top it all off there's a nice kiss of dark roasted coffee mixed in to add a little bit of bitterness. Really a well blended, and great tasting beer. I've read many reviews and heard many complaints that it tastes like soy sauce, not to me, I thought it tasted great.

Mouthfeel is really good, flavor lingers for a looong time, it's certainly full bodied. With how sweet it is it's a little syrupy in the feel so the carbonation is down a little. Big and bold Russian Imperial Stout, I wouldn't have guessed 15%, so on some levels I guess they did a decent job hiding the alcohol. Drinkability is there, but don't be fooled, this one is a sipper. Nice warming effect after each sip, perfect for a cool night like tonight. Thanks for the trade CuriousMonk.

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Photo of danielocean03
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks again to Mike Sprinkle for letting me purchase this from him on my 21st Birthday.

2006 Release: Gold wax-capped 22oz. Bomber

Appearance is an opaque, oily, obsidian deep black, with a thin dark tan head that slowy gives way to a light brown ring of lacing. Aroma is sweet and malty, dark sweet fruits, chocolate and smoky roasted grain with some brown-sugary molasses. Warming sugary alcohols linger in the nose, slight burning. Taste is just as complex as the smell, even more so. Rich dark chocolate and roasted coffee, more dark fruits, ripe cherries and figs, sweet molasses round out the bittering dark chocolate and malt flavors. Deliciously bitter aftertaste couples with an appreciative alcohol burn that comes and goes sip by sip, leaves one waiting for the next taste. Very quaffable brew, delectable and sinfully decadent. Mouthfeel is definitely full bodied as they come, heavy and viscous like used motor oil from a cold engine. Carbonation is practically nonexistent under the weight of this super-thick stout, just a light tingle present on the tongue. Drinkability is unbelievable, smooth and silken, abv is noticeable but far from overpowering. Easily the best beer I've had, from one of the best breweries. Strongly recommend, will purchase again should the opportunity arise.

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Photo of Floydster
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 ounce bottle recieved in my first trade with beertracker, thanks a lot for giving up this hard to find brew

2007 version with silver wax covering tope of the bottle, aged for a total of six months, which seemed to do the trick, even though I could not imagine this one tasting any stronger

Drank this for my 350th review and the special occasion, could not make it until my birthday to drink it, sipped on it for over two hours tonight while watching some horror movies

I will start off by saying that was the most complex and darkest beers I have ever had, every word of hype was true and it was simply great

Poured into my Westvleteren chalice with a pitch black color and a monsterous super dark tan head, darkest I have ever seen, it was about 3/4 inch but seemed to settle after a few minutes, this beer stained my glass and shirt when I spilled on it becuase it was so thick and black

Smell was full of coffee, both cappucino and espresso, lots of chocolate, roasted malt, you name it, it was there, I do not see any other Russian Imperial Stout ever comparing to this one, Stone's is close second, sweet smell like dark candy

Taste was very unique and there was a ton of different things going on, lots of dark fruit including figs, prunes, raisins, berries, etc., significant amount of syrup and molasses, ton of cocoa and malt, with a very slight bitterness in the finish, so so good, taste was very sweet but not overkill, left a coating on my lips like I was drinking a hot chocolate but instead it was a cool extremely dark beer, could not myself eating anything alongside this, except maybe dessert, but this pretty much was a milkshake as far as caloric count and thickness goes, taste was very smooth and sweet while being fruity and malty at the same time, A+

I would have gave this drinkability a five, but it is so heavy, other than that it is very easy to drink, the taste sticks around for four to five minutes after each sip and continues to attack the taste buds, could have drank another bomber of this and just skipped dinner, this was pretty much a meal in itself, the thirteen percent also packs a serious punch but you cannot drink this fast enough for it to really affect you

This is by far the best beer from Three Floyds Brewery and one of the best beers in the world, not even judging my its number two ranking here on the site, it is as gooa as everyone says, I would love to be able to go this celebration in the upcoming years, but Indiana is a very long way away for beer, hopefully get some more in a trade in the future some time

I am very thankful for being able to try this beer and I recommend this above any stout out there, the only problem is tracking it down

This is one serious beer and I wish it was brewed year round, but its exclusivity almost makes it taste even better

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting on 8/16/06 (2005 Bottle): After the utter perfection of the first year's sample of this beer, I was frankly a little let down the first time I tried the 2005 bottle a year ago. I have to say this was a lot better after being aged a bit. Pours blacker than black with a thick brown head with good lasting power. Heady aroma of dark malts, coffee and chocolate. Rich and full-bodied, this nectar was made for an almost agonizingly slow drink. Great array of flavors from malt, cocoa, espresso to bitter hops and peppery alcohol. The finish is long and flavorful. Even a realtively small amount of this reminds me why it is one of the best beers on the planet.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. Brown bomber with a "maker's mark"-like black wax seal that runs all the way down to the bottom of the bottle. Thanks to ThomasHardy for this beast! I put this one in a Chimay goblet.

Oozes out like oil, flat and pitch black. Eventhough it's very thick it still manges to make a wild, bubbling, darkest brown crown that is at least 2" high and falls pretty fast, ends up looking like black ink. Reminds me of the 31 year old courage IRS I had not that long ago.

Charred chocolate oats, musty, primordial earth, roastie mocha latte, figs, very ripe blackberries, port wine sweetness, kindling wood, caramel and peepery herbs. Very aromatic and pungent aroma!!

This one has a massive heady chocolate malt with insane depth...molasses, figs, port wine sweetness with added blackberries and cream! The wicked alcohol heat is woody, with cedar oak flavor's. Grains soaked in honey and dark berries later on. This is a massive malt bomb but there is balance of mellow but spicey hops. The flavor's are a bottomless pit of exploration possibilities. Sip and savor, roll it around on your palate to get the full effect.

This one feels as thick as a primordial black swamp, stagnant, volcanic swamp water!! Very sticky...this sucker get's everything sticky!!

Maybe not as well balanced as some, but damn the complexity and depth is overpowering. This one is pushing limits.

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Photo of justyouraveragebeerguy
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 vintage on tap at Dark Lord day

A- deep dark bleak blackness. No light could ever penetrate this beast. It's about as viscus as maple syrup. No other beer comes close

S- Right away you can tell the difference between this vintage and the past four years f-ing up. It hasn't smelled similar since 2008. No soy sauce smell and no instant diabetes. It smells a little sweet, molasses, bitterness, dark chocolate, coffee espresso.

M- coats your tongue like motor oil. Definitely a sipper but very enjoyable.

T- Okay, I went into this thinking it was going to be the same instant-diabetes crap they sold us in 2012. How wrong I was. This is exactly what dark lord should be. Still a little sweet, but it is immediately cut by an espresso bitterness. More dark chocolate notes that I could ever think could fit in a beer, coffee notes, molasses. By far the most beastly imperial stout I have ever had.

o- If you are going to try a vintage of dark lord and can't get 08 try this one. 09-12 were a complete disgrace. But in 1-2 years this beer will age amazingly.

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Photo of WiscoBrewsco
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - The darkest beer I have ever seen. So black it was verging on purple. Crawled out of the bottle like syrup with little head that was dark brown in color. Alcohol legs for days that never ended

Smell - A slightly subdued aroma hiding the beast within. Big malt notes with dark chocolate and molasses come through with a hint of cherry and coffee

Taste - The most complex stout (and beer for that matter) I have ever tasted. Really hard to pin down all the flavors going on here. A big wave of sweet molasses and dark fruit hits the mouth and then is followed by chocolate and coffee and cherries which give way back to the molasses with a solid malt presence and more chocolate and coffee. This is excess personified.

Mouthfeel - This is the thickest stout I have ever had, bar none. In fact it took my understanding of "thick" to a new level. This one was like drinking a velvet milkshake and set a new bar for what thick really means. The best mouthfeel I have ever experienced.

Overall - This is hands down the best stout I have ever had. I was completely blown away by this and it is my new favorite beer to date. Some people complain that it is too sweet but with a little age on it that is far from true. Everything in the flavor and mouthfeel of this beer are perfection. Believe the hype as this beer is the real deal. All bow before the Dark Lord

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Photo of jlervine
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured thick and black like used 15w50 motor oil in our diesel. Slight bit of coffee-colored head rose up, than sank beneath the surface, leaving behind only remnants of lacing in the middle of the beer. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, rum-soaked plums waft from the glass. Taste is wow. Just.... wow. It tastes as thick as it poured, tons of malt loaded in here, takes 15 seconds just to clear your palate. Alcohol is very subdued - one deadly brew here. Roasted malts, chocolate, incredible residual sweetness. Unholy hell, this is the epitome of imperial stout. I could drink this stuff all week long, since the syrupy sticky mouthfeel makes rapid quaffing of this brew impossible. Absolutely fantastic stuff.

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,217 ratings.
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