Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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4,250 Ratings
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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:
4,250
Reviews:
1,282
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
14.49%
 
 
Wants:
3,218
Gots:
2,080
For Trade:
191
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,250 |  Reviews: 1,282
Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Intense, slow drink. Gorgeous dark colour. Sweet sour. Bitter at first, Roasty finish. Chocolate malt subdued to roasty Starbucks coffee. Alcohol clobbers later. Very smooth. Medium-thick mouthfeel. Had 2011, and it is good but very sugary.Averaging my 4 ratings over the years.

 278 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kylehay2004
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jaydoc
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to abbddull for sending me this one!

2010 vintage - olive green wax.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch dark khaki head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Small spots of lace slowly drip back down into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is prominently of dark dried fruits (prunes, raisins) and alcohol with some subdued chocolate (chocolate liqueur) and even more fleeting coffee aromas. Taste is extremely rich again with the dark dried fruits soaked in liqueur flavor being foremost. I am also getting some molasses and soy sauce flavors. There is a slight chocolate and coffee essence in the taste but these take a back seat to all other flavors. This beer has a very low level of carbonation with a thick and sticky mouthfeel. A noticeable alcohol burn hits the back of the throat with each sip. Overall, this is a good RIS but it is much different than I was expecting this beer to be. A very heavy emphasis on the dark fruits puts the other smells and flavors on the back burner. This is a very rich sipping beer that I took my time with and enjoyed. I am glad I was able to try this beer.

 1,131 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is one of the highest rated beers that i have not been able to get my hands on until now. i feel like ive been hearing about this darn beer forever now, and its amazing to have a buddy bring it over this weekend, although i have to say, the hype and the wait are not warranted or worth it, and as tasty as this is, its for one past its prime and for two not that amazing. maybe it was when it came out back in the day, but the rest of the field has risen. this is a 2011 ediiton, and may have been best a year or so ago. i smell slight oxidation, but after that, its held up well enough i imagine. shiny black chocolate syrup color and texture to it, actually a decent little head on the pour but it has no persistence at all. the nose here is great, i guess i never realized it had all these other ingredients in it, whatever coffee was here has faded a lot from nose and taste. the vanilla is there pretty prominently still though, and its certainly sweet, my goodness, its about as sugary as those bruery anniversary releases, and just as strong although the booze isnt over the top for its strength and doesnt bother me in the least, even when it warms up. lots of molasses in the flavor, and it really just doesnt taste as dark as it looks to me. i still get some deeply roasted malts, but its more sweetness and extra fermentables than it is grain, and the leftover sugar is a problem after awhile for me. glad we were sharing this bottle three ways. it sucks to think the cellar time may have been too much, but i find it hard to believe people would freak out the way they do over the beer if it tastes like this fresher. its still good, but its nothing overly special i dont think, aside of course from its rarity. the sugar and the stillness bother me a little, and the coffee doesnt add what i hoped it would. if you like them sweet and huge, dig on this, but i am now real keen to try a fresher version to see what the real story is. fun to crack with some friends but not what i had it built up to be in my head, not by a long shot...

 2,052 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 Bottle: Pours out as a really deep black, a brown head that vanished quickly. The beer coats the glass for a little while after each sip. Smells burnt and alcoholic more like a barley wine, some really dark fruits and molasses. Tastes like burnt caramel, dark chocolate, lots of dark malts. Light oily and kinda thin, not much carbonation really. I was a little disappointed... I have heard that the 2010 Vintage is better, so hopefully that is correct. I have an unopened bottle of that year still waiting to be drank.

 524 characters

Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06 sampling: Different than last years. Still a super beer, but it has changed. Most noticably is that the soy sauce, sherry, old ale flavors and syrupy texture has been substituted by fresh fruits and berries (most noticably apples and grapes). While it's not the same, it does lighten the beer up a bit. Still good enough for a near-5 rating.

I can obviously see why this beer is among the top ranked in the world. After drinking a lot of imperial stouts lately, this one is a certain standout. After burrying your nose in this one, I immediately detected port wine and expresso. Complexly melded and mellowed. Close behind lurks cherries, dates, prunes and to a lesser extent, a tartness in the range of soy sauce, yeast, and earthiness. Taste brings about an abundance of flavors; most notibly chocolate covered cherries and bourbon balls. Others include bittersweet chocolate, coffee, prunes, dates, figs, berries, caramel, vanilla, cream, hops, and alcohol. These flavors are not what makes this beer great. What does is that it is aged to perfection. Flavors extend forever and reveal themselves constantly and subtlely because of its mellow maturity and the fusion of ingredients. I could drink a thousand of these and always find new flavors. Because of the maturation, this one isn't as thick or as heavy as expected, but not as abrasive either. Coats the palate very well and lingers into today. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Finishes strong, bold and mimicks all the flavor in the nose and body. Final statement: One of the most complex beers that I have ever tried.

 1,585 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2010 vintage bottle acquired from the very gracious Duff27. Green wax-ed over pressure cap bottle. 650ml brown glass bottle with interesting label art served into a Guinness goblet in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given the brewery and its current 96 rating. Reviewed as a Russian Imperial Stout because the label description identifies it as such.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger khaki-tan head which recedes inside 10 seconds.

Body colour is a solid opaque jet-black. No floating yeast particles are visible; it's quite clean.

Overall, I'm a bit underwhelmed.

Sm: Molasses, chocolate, wisps of dark fruit, dark malts, chocolate malt, and some acidic ash. Depleted cherry. A biteen burnt. Somewhat vinous. Crappucino.

It's pretty reticent for an imperial stout, but I'm intrigued. A pleasant if somewhat muted aroma of mild strength.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

T: Sweet, sure, with plenty of fruit - dark and sweet alike. Plum, cherry. Ash. Tobacco. Vague molasses. Nebulous vinous character. Black currants. I do get some char/ash. It's balanced, sure, but nowhere near as complex/subtle/intricate/nuanced as I expected given its rarity and high rating. It's certainly on the sweeter side.

Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

More cynical reviewers might claim there's a soy sauce note.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Nice body and thickness. A biteen overcarbonated. Nice presence on the palate. Lightly syrupy. Sticky. Has weight.

Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, boozy, or harsh.

Dr: Certainly drinkable for the high ABV. Sure I'd buy it if I saw it in the store, but it isn't worth seeking out to be honest. I expected far better, but it's nice. I don't know that age has made any substantial difference/developments. It has many characteristics which evoke more of a port-wine or liqueur character. I know many claim it's too sweet, and I can see that argument, but I think it's fine as-is. I'm real disappointed. Thanks for the opportunity to try it, Duff27.

Low B-

 2,361 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours out an incredibly dark black viscous color with a beautiful tawny head and some lacing; the head fails to last, however and the liquid just sits there like molasses

Smell: Starbucks on steroids; deep roasted coffee bouquet with lots of dark cocoa powder and alcohol mixed in

Taste: Incredible stout flavors; lots of deep rich coffee, dark dark chocolate and hints of dark fruit swirl around the tongue with a nice bitter chocolate finish with a touch of mint

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous; moderate carbonation; plenty of warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Not to be indulged everyday, this stout demands a special occasion; a wondrous potion with an incredible mouthfeel that sets it apart from other beers

 736 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ringing in the new year with an '07 from DLD.
Poured at 50º into a 3F imperial pint. Dark mocha tinged foam swells to the rim, around three fingers high. The slow cascade effect is pretty impressive as well as the high density of the head. Over time, the foam diminishes, but the first impression is spectacular.

Sweet aroma of prune, raisin, bittersweet bakers chocolate, slightly milky. More smoke or char would be nice, but this works, it's not boozy at all. Very desserty.

Plenty of complexity, layers of Belgian chocolate, plums, raisin, molasses, very slight residual hint of coffee in the sweet, roasty finish that lasts for a few minutes.

Rich, sticky, and lip-smacking. The body is huge and fudgy, and the extra long finish is perfect for a RIS of this fortitude.

One can finish a bottle, but it's a very rare treat. Just like eating that 2nd or 3rd piece of chocolate cheesecake....

 902 characters

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I was able to try the 2007-2011 versions of this beer side by side during a tasting this past weekend. My rating is from the 2011 version, which was my favorite. Poured into my Colossus snifter.

Appearance: Pours almost black with just a little bit of light coming through at the very edge of the glass. There is a layer of tan carbonation that disappears completely.

Smell: Sweet with some cocoa and caramel. There is a bitterness from the roasted malt and some molasses in there as well.

Taste: Lots of sweetness up front. There is a strong presence of roasted malt with some chocolate and brown sugar. There is some dark fruit flavor mixed in there as well. This version has a slight metallic taste to it that seemed to show up even more in the older versions. There is a mild hop bitterness in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: The body on this one is quite thick with tingly carbonation and a dry finish. Quite nice.

Overall: There is a metallic taste that I'm getting in all of the versions that isn't completely pleasing. Everything about this beer is good enough and I'll probably try the future versions.

 1,115 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.92/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Tpaliga (2006 vintage drank in April 2007): Poured a pitch-black color stout with a small foamy head with average retention. Aroma of honey and sweet malt is overwhelming and somewhat interesting. Taste is way sweeter then expected with some alcohol hint. Body is full and has a creamy and oily texture like I have never seen or tasted before. Low carbonation is to be expected but the alcohol really comes out and I didn’t enjoy this part. Some subtle vanilla and roasted malt were noticeable but were for most part covered by sweetness which kind of got gross after half a glass. This beer kind of reminded me of Avery Meph with the dominating sweetness and alcohol. I’m glad that I finally had the chance to try this highly coveted beer even thought I am not the biggest IS fanatic out there but unfortunately I wasn’t fond of it in the end.

 866 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2007 vintage with silver wax.

Appearance - Oily and black with no head whatsoever. The occasional rising bubble settles on the surface for a moment, giving the appearance of a bubbling tar pit. Although there's no lace, the beer does coat the glass in an oily residue.

Smell - Sweet and rich. Molasses, coffee and milk chocolate come to mind, with undertones of vanilla and raisins.

Taste - Mellower than I was expecting and actually downright pleasant. Flavors of licorice, molasses, vanilla and coffee blend together harmoniously, presenting enough complexity to make this an enjoyable beer to sip for several hours. The finish is long and coating, leaving a roasted bitterness on the palate. No noticeable alcohol despite the rather high ABV; the sweet, rich flavors seem to overpower its presence.

Mouthfeel - Thick; absurdly thick. Dark Lord gave me a new standard for the term "full-bodied." This beer literally has the consistency of whole milk. Carbonation is nearly non-existent and never really felt, which only contributes further to the chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability - The massive mouthfeel, while probably the beer's greatest attribute, also makes it difficult to drink both frequently and in large quantities - I'd have a hard time finishing a bottle by myself.

 1,280 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with dertbert who acquired it via trade from bradlikesbrew.
2007 Edition.

A - Best looking beer I've ever seen. Poured out an opaque, jet black color. It had an extremely bubbly, caramel colored head. It didn't leave lace, but it left a residue that was difficult to wash off.

S - The aroma was dark chocolate and caramel. A candy-like sweetness.

T - A nice smooth maltiness with great dark chocolate flavors. Also, a nice blend of caramel malts. It did have a touch of grassy hops.

M - It had a warm alcohol presence. It was velvety smooth. A very heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is very outstanding. I understand the hype. The flavors were amazing. But, hands down, it was the best looking dark beer I've ever seen.

 725 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,250 ratings.
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