Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout
Liked This Beer
4.27 w/ 4,289 ratings
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
Green with silver glitter = 2017 - New Label

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,289 |  Reviews: 1,288
Photo of Blakaeris
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours completely opaque, absolute black. Tan head is modest and dissipates quickly to a thick ring and soapy sheen.

Aroma is smokey dark grain, along with a generous oatmeal stout like sweetness. Strong notes of anise, coffee, and alcohol.

Taste has a milk like sweetness initially. Excellent chocolate, dark fruit, and anise flavor. Smokey dark grain, and earthy bitterness then takes over. Very rich and thick. Finish is quite bitter with a lingering liquor like alcohol burn. As this one warms the strong roasted dark grains really make an impression.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and silky smooth.

A rich and complex brew. Alcohol is certainly present, but appears mild when compared to the high ABV. Flavor profile changes as you drink this one. Initially the sweetness stands out. However, as you continue to drink the strong roasted character, dark fruit, and alcohol seem to get more intense. Certainly a brew that any stout lover needs to try.

 953 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of ’04 courtesy of the very generous TMoney99. Appears dark brown, almost black with absolutely no head to speak of. This is a very viscous liquid. And I mean very viscous. Just a slight swirl of the glass leaves a coating covering the entire inside of the glass. It does pretty much the same to the inside of your mouth. Taking over and coating it more and more with every sip. A very well put together beer that has many ’o flavors going on. Some very smooth chocolate and high end coffee. The alcohol was subdued and refined due to the aging. Not as hot or dominating as a fresh bottle. A truly incredible beer, that reminds you every time that you drink it, why it’s this highly rated.

 699 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Deuane for the bottle.

Pours a nice 1 1/2 finger head with decent lacing that fades fairly quickly Thick, dark brown color. Very viscous looking.

Smell is of pale and caramel malts. This is followed by mint, raisin, and black licorice. I also notice some chocolate malts and some roasted malt undertones. Hops are faint in the backround.

Taste is delightful. The flavors blend wonderfully. The chocolate malts are dominant with a significant balance from caramel malts. The hop bitterness isn't overly assertive at all and is just enough to balance out the thick syrupy sweetness of this beer. Oh man, yummy. Not that boozy for a 13% abv beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy.

For a 13% abv beer, you can't get more drinkable

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Photo of Phillyz
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2010 Green Wax. Was incredibly lucky to enjoy a bottle of this in Philadelphia, and now that I know someone who has about 40 bottles, hopefully I'll enjoy more in the future.

A: As the bottle says, this beer has the appearance of motor oil. 2 finger head in the first glass I poured it in, less than 1 finger in the second.

S: Mild alcohol, dark fruits, sweet coffee and chocolate.

T: Sugary as hell! Very sweet, not quite what I expected. Dark fruits slap you in the face - plums and currants blended together for a 'raison-esque' taste. Much lighter than I expected, but this is more than likely because this beer is roughly three years old.

F: Medium thickness, mild carbonation. A near perfect blend. Hopefully I'll have newer and older dark lord to compare this too. Light alcohol taste - not nearly the bite that the 09 BCBS had that I tasted after I enjoyed this. Nearly perfect.

O: Amazing stout. Although I haven't had newer Dark Lords, I can truly say that this one definitely had to have grown with age. I spent way too much on the bottle, but that's what you get when you're buying a '10 from a stranger. I look forward to trying more of this beauty. Definitely worth the try, but not the best stout that I've ever had. 3/4 friends I shared this with agreed that 09 BCBS was better.

 1,304 characters

Photo of BeerMeBro720
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Treebs
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2010 vintage shared by ThomasHardy in line at the CBS release. Poured into my Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours like motor oil with some very dark brown hues around the edges where the light hits. There is some legs on the bad boy. No head.

S: Dark fruits and chocolate with a roasted malt. Faint coffee in the background.

T: Lots going in the flavor. Black licorice and bitter chocolate are upfront with some dark fruits and a slight alcohol taste, but there is no heat behind it. A nice roasted malt as well to finish it out.

M: Viscous and palate coating. Heavy with a subtle carbonation. Really feels great.

O: My first Dark Lord. This met the expectations for me and I'm excited to try other vintages now that I've had my first. Another big thanks ThomasHardy for sharing.

 776 characters

Photo of sliverX
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of MNBeer1017
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of TonyTalon
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of BostonPhilly
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of MarvinSnyder
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2009- white wax. Poured into a small snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin yellow head. Sporatic lacing.

Smell: on the nose expect alcohol infused chocolate covered cherries, plums, caramel, roasted malt, and burnt sugar.

Taste: What you smell is what is delivered! Dark chocolate, cherries and plums, caramel, burnt sugar, and roasted malt. A strong alcohol taste warms the belly.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth over the palate. A dry finish. The alcohol warms.

Overall: I waited as long as I could on this beer and I was not disappointed. Probably the best cellared beer that I have had to date. The next one will not Have an extended stay on my shelf!

 690 characters

Photo of doughanson78
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage (yellow wax). Drank New Years 11-12. Huge thanks to Phelps in the Tickers BIF!

A: Pitch black. Just a wisp of a head that doesn't stay at all. Very little lacing. But I really didn't expect none from this. Still beautiful.

S: Big nice blend of bourbon, dark fruits, dark chocolate, roasted dark coffee, butterscotch, vanilla, hints of tobacco. Amazing and complex.

T: Dark chocolate upfront. Pretty sweet. Dark fruits, vanilla, butterscotch, roasted malts, and slight coffee. Touch of alcohol in the finish, but for 15% it isn't much. One of the best, if not #1, RIS's I've tasted.

M: Thick and full bodied. Super creamy and smooth. Very light carbonation, verging on none.

O: Amazing beer! Can only imagine one aged a few years. Might just have to trade for one. One of the best beers I've had.

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Photo of Jho3325
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of jkball01
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have multiple vintages of this beer, but this was actually the first time I popped one. I get the soy sauce comments. I definitely detected a lot of saltiness, but somehow I still really enjoyed it. Despite the salty notes, it was still really creamy and full of chocolate.

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Photo of OUJayhawk1799
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Beerbom
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gregf51
4.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of younger35
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this last year at, get this, Dark Lord Day. Yep, just stood in line for 4 hours and viola! Dark Lord. Figured this would be a nice beer to pop on Easter but now that I think of it, this was a horrible beer to open on Easter. Sorry Jesus!! Drank from my Surly Darkness snifter.

2008 version

Appearance- Pours a pitch black with a decent half finger dark brownish red head that disappears as quickly as it showed up. No cap or collar is anywhere to be had.
Smell- Loads of deep dark molasses and caramel and although they're both strong, the dark chocolate wins. Some coffee, or probably more accurately, espresso isn't as strong as you'd think but it's there. Lightly smoky and somewhat charred the fruitiness cuts in with loads of prunes, the burnt currants mentioned on the bottle and cherries. Also a bit of black licorice and alcohol.
Taste- It's like a big burnt fruity ball of licorice and molasses. Starts nice and roasted with a fair amount of sweetness that is very Port like. Tons of bourbon soaked cherries, prunes, dates, figs and any other overly ripe dark fruit you can think of. Both red and black licorice and tons of rich caramel with a touch of chocolate. Not really much in the way of coffee but I think I'm perceiving it more as the roasted character of the beer. Plenty of hops as well as a light bitterness is detectable under everything but the sweetness sort of keeps it hidden fairly well. Finishes with a dark spiciness that is roasty and toasty and lightly smoky.
Mouthfeel- Thick and rich and viscous with a hugely bold feel that is cough syrup like. Amazing how much smoother this brew got over the past year. When I popped a bottle the day I got it last year it was still big but it wasn't yet creamy and smooth. It was gritty and very raw (as is the final pour of the bottle)
Drinkability- Well all in all it's amazing how everything really comes together after a year. It's much easier drinking, although I still find myself having problems putting down an entire bomber. It's 10x better than Darkness though as the hops aren't quite so over-the-top. All in all great beer that is a treat every-now-and-again. Can't wait to grab a couple bottles of '09 in a couple weeks.

 2,212 characters

Photo of Nolen12
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Spider889
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by nrbw23. Review from notes.

Pours syrupy as hell. As much as I get tired of hearing Ryan describe DL as "dip spit," I suppose it actually does resemble the thick grossness that is dip spit.

That said, those properties in the appearance of an Imperial Stout are not always a bad thing. Small dark mocha head. The pour was too small to appreciate any potential lace.

The aroma is very sweet. Some vanilla and light dry oakiness comes through, I imagine that the dry, bitter black malts are responsible for this. Toffee, licorice, and char are all prominent.

This is definitely a sweet stout. While attempting to drink more than a glass or so of this might grow wearisome given the sweetness, I actually found this to be refreshingly flavorful. Many RIS's are overly dry, bitter, and chock full of grainy ash and char. Some sweetness here is a welcome change from many of the stouts I have been drinking recently.

Deep notes of molasses and burnt brown sugar give way to vanilla and a few mildly tart dark fruit characteristics.

Medium carbonation, very thick and chewy, ultimately a full-bodied RIS to be sure. Slightly hot, though at the time I remember being amazed that this beer was 15%.

Overall I liked it, and can't wait to get my hands on a bottle of my own, or at least the chance to partake in a full pour sometime.

 1,345 characters

Photo of match1112
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of chinabeergeek
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

this particular 2008 bottle (black wax) is a gift. i know i got another 2008 bottle from an actual trade, but this one was from the guys at three floyds (FFF) themselves. ok, so here's the story: at EBF'08, my brother and i were at both saturday sessions, but DL ran out before we could get some during the first session. so we made sure to wait in line as early as possible for session two. so we were pretty much implanted in the minds of the guys representing FFF at the table. at EBF'09, we were thus gifted a bottle of this sweet nectar for our small little act of beer geekdom from the previous year...

tasted in early/mid may 2009. poured into tulip.

midnight black. head requires vigorous pour or swirling, to create 1.5-fingers of sepia brown colored foam, w/ an orange tint. fades to a thin layer, then wisps, then just a ring. some thin rings of lace, but some fade to splotches. and even then, lace formation requires a deft touch when tilting the glass for each sip. anyway, the high appearance score is mainly for the opacity and viscosity, otherwise would've been a 4.0

(note: the dregs at the bottom of the bottle, when poured into our glasses, COAT the glass. literally like used motor oil! whoa! might even elicit a "yuck" for some people...)

aroma: rich caramel, molasses, with roast malt and notes of cocoa and coffee. hints of cherry and trace vanilla. faint mash and coffee-like acidity meet a very faint note of alcohol and booze. as it warms, it actually has reminiscences of port.

taste: rich, rich, RICH! caramel, molasses, and brown sugar meets the roast and hop bitterness, with bright cocoa and coffee tones, twinge of mash and coffee-ish acidity, into fruity acidity, more rich malts, coffee and faintly charred character in the finish, lingering with hint of dry grassiness (from hops?)

feel: velvet smooth yet viscous. unbelievable. creamy. the thickest beer i've ever drank! yet still smooth and also complex with some astringent coffee tones in the finish. mild to moderate carbonation only helps to accentuate all the smooth and creamy tones. wow.

(note: the feel of the dregs is reaaallly viscous! sticky, and *almost* hard to swallow! my brother was ambivalent about this, but i was like, "woo hoo!")

okay, let's be honest about the drinkability though... a full bomber of this all on my own would kill me...

 2,353 characters

Photo of RyanTheLion13
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brians52
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87.6% out of 100 with 4,289 ratings
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