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 | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,267
Ratings:
4,167
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
14.49%
 
 
Wants:
3,201
Gots:
2,043
For Trade:
177
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,267 | Ratings: 4,167
Photo of chinchill
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Shared 2008 bomber with a black wax finish in July 2016.
Dark thick motor oil appearance with a fine light brown head.
Rich deep flavor with moderate-high sweetness.
Dark roasted grains and a modicum of hops kick in eventually in the aftertaste to cut the bitterness, leaving an excellent dark roasted grain flavor.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 release, acquired from grub courtesy of the Birthday Club 2 BIF, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark black color, with a thin brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark robust roasted malts, dark fruit, chocolate and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is everything you look for in an RIS. The semi-sweet flavor of dark chocolate is complemented by mild flavors of dark fruit and coffee. The malt character is as hearty as you will find and there's a mild hops presence that is enough bring a good balance. There's absolutely no trace of the 13.00% ABV. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Viscous and extremely smooth, heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, sticky finish.

D: Very tasty and flavorful, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling for such a thick beer, very strong kick, excellent representation of style, this is a tremendous beer that is worth all of the hype it has received.

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Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have no idea why I haven't rated this yet. I have had it quite a few times already, but never bothered to review it.

So, I am going to review the 2008 version on tap at the Great Taste 2010. I had multiple pours of this one because it was worth it. I also had the 2007 an hour later and preferred the 2008 to it.

Pours a dark tan head/brown head with some nice retention. Color is oil black.

Aroma: Creamy flavors, chocolate, caramel, and some sweetness. A ton of malt flavors here. No hops really showing.

Taste: Dark chocolate, milky/cream flavors, roasted malts and coffee, dark fruits/molasses. Very, very rich.

Mouthfeel: Very cream, rich, and smooth. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends rich and roasted.

Overall, Dark Lord is one amazing stout. It has a lot of great flavors and deserves to be near the top. I am glad I have been able to try multiple years of this one as the beer does vary, but still are great.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First had: '09 vintage shared at a Dec. '12 Philly suburbs bottle share.

I've been sitting on a '11 bottle for a while, but someone was nice enough to bring a '09 to the bottles share, so thanks. As I suspected, this is nothing more than another grossly over-hyped beer that just gets super high ratings because of its rarity. Is it good? Yes, but in the end, it's just a pretty typical imperial stout.

Dark, opaque, black pour, with a small brown head that sank to a ringlet. In the nose, dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, a touch of licorice and/or anise. More of the same in the taste, dark malt sweetness, semi-sweet chocolate, roasted coffee notes, mild dark fruits, hints of molasses and licorice. Meh. I mean it's a good stout, but what makes it so special, other than rarity and a high price tag? Body is on the heavier side of medium, chewy mouthfeel, and a bit chalky. Overall it's pretty good, and I'm glad I have a bottle sitting in the cellar, but I definitely wouldn't go hunting anymore down.

This is a nice basic RIS. Certainly not good enough to have a day named after it though.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage comes courtesy of stubone and shared with a few friends this past weekend.

A: The pour on this beer is thick and black with a finger or so of dark brown head.

S: Aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and surprisingly, raisins. There are also some hints of licorice and perhaps some other dark stone fruits such as plums.

T: This is certainly a sweeter RIS than I am used to. Solid chocolate, roasted malt, and chocolate flavors. But, the most striking feature (once again) is the sweetness of the dark fruits, especially raisins.

M: As you would expect, the body is fantastic on this. Very full, chewy, and thick.

D: This is a tasty beer, but one that you should definitely take your time with. The alcohol is hidden well in the flavors, but it will catch up to you.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I sample this 2008 bottle w/ my cousin and brother. Poured at cellar temp into a snifter.

A - Black as your soul, the beer has an opacity unmatched and the head has many tiny bubbles, very minute. The surface of the stout is gleeming still after the 2 finger head comes to resting state as a ring of khaki

S - Plums, toasted nuts, anise, cocoa, pumpernickel and molasses. Honey aromas-which have slight fruity notes accent the nose

M - Somewhat meaty w/ a sugar drenched, rich dark bready malt and roasted barley coats the mouth. The stout is viscous like syrup and clings after the swallow

T - Deep notes of molasses and honeyed plum w/ blackberry and cocoa. The flavor has beef bullion w/ a slightly spicey hop that contains earthy elements w/ toffee notes. There is dark sugar, almost a rum flavor and the molasses stays vital into the finish.

D - Magnificent after 1 yr waiting to acquire and 8 months in the cellar it is a welcome taste. Definitely a unique taste I love the molasses flavor - a beer that wil not surrender holding a grip that is memorable as well as a world class example of an Imperial stout

re-review -10-23-10 -

poured chilled into a nonic at the stout tasting.
A deep black viscous looking stout. medium brown cascade settles to a ring of thick cream with tiny beading, no lace sticks. the aroma is strong and spicy almost meaty with a woody and dark sugar component, dark fruit like fig and raisin soaked in alcohol with a very mellow coffee in the background. The feel is intense, but smooth mouth coating and resinous with woody and warming alcohol textures.

The taste has a dry and bitter malt astringency with slight acidity of hops and bits of toasted grain. The dark brown sugar is like putting some muscovado in your mouth with the molasses standing out among the coffee tar like bitterness.
A beer I have had in the bottle a few times and it seems to be the same 2 yrs later as it was fresh -too thick and too strong for my taste, but I still consider it ok drinkability wise compared to some.
A 4.5, S-4, M-3.5, T-4, D-4

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Photo of russpowell
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This came as an EXTRA from Melbatoast93, cheers & cheers again Hart! Got this last summer, so 08 Vintage, says so on the bottle

Decanted into my La chouffe tulip, pours pitch black with a 1.5 fingers of cocoa colored head. Average head retention & very good lacing, a brown film shades out much of the upper glass

S: Dark chocolate, rum raisin & a touch of leafy hops

T: Dark & bitter chcolate, prunes, oaky dryness & a bit of charred grain & leafy hops up front. Dryness dominates as this warms, along with some chocolate covered dates, plums & a touch of molasses, getting better as it warms. Finishes oh. so dry, with mocha, molasses, iron, boozey coffee, dates & plums

MF: Oily, slick, but some noticeable carbonation here. Nice chewyness & stickyness as this warms, then nice a great warming sensation & luxurious silkyness

ABV is well hidden, upper echelon RIS to be sure, a few I've had just as good are just as good, but only a few. The dryness does slow me down a little, but otherwise, going down great on a cold, snowy Colorado evening!

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a mug.

2010 vintage. This beast is killing off draft night. Boom-shaka-laka. It isn't the shoes, it's the Dark Lord. It pours a nearly completely opaque black brown, with some very faint highlights of rich garnet showing through at the base and on the edges. The nose comprises walnuts, dark chocolate, molasses, maple syrup, alcohol, caramel, brown sugar, black cherries, and a hint of oak. A buddy of mine claims he smells death in there as well, but the last time that hooded fuck came 'round...well, the less said about that, the better we all will be. The taste holds notes of chocolate syrup, maple syrup, Maraschino cherries (syrup and all, baby), coffee, cinnamon sticks. Lagavulin, cough syrup (damn, there's a lot o' syrup in here...), and some figs. The sweetness is ramped up a bit, as is the semi-tartness of the fruit. The body is pretty hefty, with a very light carbonation and a pretty chewy feel. Overall, a very nice, beastly stout, worthy of some of the hype, but not necessarily all of it. Good times, regardless.

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Photo of orangesol
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Deuane for busting this one out of the basement for Hojaminbag and myself to try at 2am on DLD. 2007 silver waxed bottle poured into a taster glass.

A - Pours opaque black with a small half finger tall dark tan head, dissipating down to almost nothing, leaving my glass tinted a dark shade of brown.

S - Smells of rich chocolate sweetness, dark roasted coffee, dark fruits like figs and raisins, light vanilla sweetness, and a very faint cherry twang. This one has aged beautifully over the last four years.

T - Plenty of chocolate sweetness up front slowly giving way to a mix of dark roasted coffee and more chocolate malt. As the sweetness begins to die down you can detect some of the vanilla, dark fruits, and a bit more of that cherry twang. Finish has tons of sweet roast lingering for quite awhile. This is one of the better vintages of DL I have had.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sticky sweet feel with plenty of lingering roast in the finish. I have had this fresh and aged, and aged is by far the way to go.

O - I have had a few of the other vintages of DL before and they have all been excellent. This one has aged very well with most of the rough edges being smoothed out and the over the top booze dieing down a bit. Excellent stuff. Thanks again Deuane.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle share in Hoboken, NJ.

2011 Vintage.

A: Pours an opaque midnight black in color. The beer has a very thin dark tan head that quickly reduces to nothing. There is no lacing observed with this beer.

S: There are aromas of cocoa, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, and milk chocolate. A very nice complexity to the aroma of this beer. Some dark fruit sweetness from the plum/dark cherries and just the slightest hint of soy.

T: The flavor of this beer is quite interesting with a good amount of sweetness. There is some definite dark fruit, plum and dark cherries, contributing to the sweetness upfront. After that, the flavors of the vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, and caramel come through next. After that, there is a slightly unpleasant soy sauce taste that comes and then goes. Finally, the finish of this beer is a little of bitter chocolate.

M: On the lighter side of full bodied with light amounts of carbonation. A little thinner than I desired.

O: Very enjoyable and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to try this one. Maybe a little more highly rated that I expected after tasting it but definitely a good beer. I found the hints of soy sauce a little unpleasant but otherwise the complexity of the flavor/smell was great.

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Photo of billab914
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. It poured thick and pitch black, with a thin, spotty head scattered across the top of the beer. The thin head it started with disappeared not long after.

The aroma has a lot of dark chocolate coming through. I get a moderate fruity quality to it with some cherry and maybe a hint of raspberry. Some very moderate roasty and coffee flavors are there, but they are pretty light for such a big RIS. Some alcohol comes through as well.

The taste shows a lot of the dark, bitter-sweet chocolate to it throughout the flavor. Midway, I get some dark fruits coming through with some cherry to it. Some roasty flavors come out in the finish, along with some alcohol heat. It gets a pretty sweet in the finish overall, a little more of a roasty, bitterness would have put it over the top for me.

It's definitely one of the thickest beers I've ever had. Carbonation is on the lower side as well, which I really like in big RIS's. I love the mouthfeel on this beer, probably my favorite part of it.

Drinkability is good, it has some very nice and bold flavors to it. It's a very big beer with some big flavors. I really enjoyed sipping on it this evening. A very good beer overall.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Thanks to Shane for popping this open to commemorate his first all-grain homebrew no DL Day! 2010 Vintage.

A: Pours a nice black color, very deep and dark, it looks rather thick and viscous. Small tan head on top, moderate retention and minimal lacing.

S: Sweeter than expected, but I really like it. Lots of chocolate and some vanilla. Some molasses and brown sugar, a hint of cherries, and some mocha.

T: Now thats what I'm talking about! The flavor profile is also sweet, but not in a bad way. Nice milk and dark chocolate, cocoa, some dark fruits - hard to pick them out except some cherries. Complex, but very tasty.

M: Medium to full bodied with low carbonation, but doesn't drink very heavy. Not much heat at all from the 15%, it certainly mellowed after a year.

O: Really enjoyed this beer and can't wait to (hopefully) have it again. This bottle lived up to the hype for me. Hopefully one day I can get over to DL Day so I can have bottles of my own instead of trying to trade for them.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 7/24/10 notes. Bottle was a 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a brown color with one finger of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and a hint of booze, but not as much as I was expecting.

t - Tastes of chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts, toasted malts, and a hint of alcohol. Has a tiny bit of heat and more alcohol than the smell, but not too much.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Considering it's 15% ABV, its surprisingly easy to drink.

d - I thought this was a great RIS. I thought there was a little bit of heat, but not too much considering the high ABV. I think with a few months on it it will only get better as well. Still, it is one of the best RIS' I've had. Looking forward to trying again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another one of those beers from Three Floyd's "It's not normal", well when I heard about this 13% Imperial Russian Stout I thought to myself that's not normal. Well, here we are about to break through the layer of red triple dipped wax to break the seal of the beastly brew. The bottle depicts in comic book fashion a demon possessed viking crushing skulls and what not, but either way I'm guessing he's the Dark Lord. Let's see what he has to offer my senses. Appearance on this one goes as follows, in the pour this maybe the thickest textured brew I have ever poured the addition of molasses may have something to do with that. Color spectrum yep it's dark simply engulfs all visible light waves leaves behind a resilient line of thin moccha tan head that with my first sip starts to leave trickles of lace. Aromatics contained in this nectar are deep thunderous colliding waves dark chocolate, wine like fruit notes arising from the trenches of this beer, along with an espresso barrel aged like finish hop presence is evident and as it warms this is even more so for 13%abv it's not burning any nose hairs, which is a good thing. If nothing else about this beer grabs ahold of you, the flavor is sure to. Massive unparalleled possibly brings another style about redefining the Imperial Stout category for me, brings huge staggering amount of slightly burnt dark roasted malts to the palate the molasses is evident with alcohol infused fruit namingly tart cherry notes screaming out while blending perfectly in this orgy of flavor. A definite strong coffe presence is welcoming and eye opening at the same time, just burped up a load of hops bringing about another wonderful aspect of this beer. Three Floyd's have done it again the Dreadnaught stands as my favorite Imperial IPA this may just take the throne as my all time favorite Imperial Stout. Mouthfeel is chewy yes a beer can be chewy, don't believe me try this one it says it all. Once again the molasses takes the reigns adding to this full bodied beers complexity on the palate tame carbonation wouldn't want it any other way, after pouring in the final yeast sediment from the bottle the texture becomes thicker which is hard to believe. Drinkability couldn't believe that a beer this massive could be so tasty and drinkable in a 22 ounce portion, I don't know what has me completely sold on this beer but it's amazing. Complex as all hell with a huge mouthfeel, aromatics are mesmorizing, and the taste is orchestrated to perfection. Believe the hype this brew will humble you to the Dark Lord the true master of this style, the 3F's have pushed the envelope and succeeded once again I smell a victory.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's with much reservation (yet, interest and excitement) that I finally crack open my 2009 Dark Lord. I have no recollection who sent this to me, but hey, whoever you are, thanks.

Hands down, this is the most viscous beer I have ever had. It's so thick that it alters how the carbonation operates, I think. Nose was all molasses. Flavor is extremely thick with malts, touches of molasses and chocolate (just a hint, ya know). Pronounced bitterness in a stout-ish kinda way. I really feel like this whole thing just rests on how thick the liquid is. If for nothing else (as if you really need a reason to try and get one of these), it's worth it just to experience how thick this is. I can almost chew on it. Almost. Lives up to the hype, though, I wouldn't have minded some more complexity on the flavor profile.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark Lord vertical: I was fortunate to sample all six years of this great brew (2004-9) side by side at a tasting I hosted. Thanks to Brad for providing '04,'05,'06 and to Tony for providing the '09. Review is from my notes taken last night.

A: Awesome artwork on the label. Pours pitch black with a brown frothy, sticky, persistent head. Picture perfect for a big RIS.

S: Roasted malt and lots of it, chocolate, coffee, sweetness

T: So smooth, more chocolate. The '09 batch has more coffee flavors up front. The '04 was thick and chewy and amazingly smooth. Alcohol flavors virtually non-existent in the '04,'05,'06 batches. '07 and '08 had a slightly thinner feel and taste than the other batches. Complex, long lingering taste that continues to develop after you swallow. The sweetness was done very well, and more subdued in the earlier vintages.

M: This brew coats the mouth and seeps into your palate. Chewy and delicious. '09 was the most carbonated, as it was the youngest, and was bolder than the earlier vintages.

D: This is a huge beer and slightly sweet, which is natural, given that it is a 13% RIS. I look forward to the next time I can open a bottle of this. This will always be on my wants list.

Notes:
Paired with gourmet dark chocolate.

The '04 left a thick stain in the bottom of the glass. This brew was going strong after six years of age. Plenty of carbonation left and no off flavors. This was an incredible experience.

2010 vintage consumed November 5, 2010.
The 2010 is noticeably hotter and sweeter than the previous vintages. While it's still a great beer, the latest version could stand to spend some time aging in the cellar.

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Photo of stakem
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Multiple reviews added together, scoring reflects the top notes.

2010 bottle reviewed on 11/20/10.

This is the first of my bottles to be opened since DLD and shared with friends who couldn't attend the release. Poured into a snifter, dark lord appears a dark brown color that displays some clarity and lighter brown coloration around the edges. Closer inspection reveals some ruby hues. There is no head to be found, some swirls release some very dark brown bubbles that dissolve immediately.

The smell of this brew is hot with alcohol with indications of licorice, molasses and some smokey notes that come across a bit like bitter black chocolate. Some faint citrus hops are evident in the back.

The taste is bold with alcohol mixed with dark chocolate. Licorice with a bitter roasted quality that leaves a taste of chocolate in the mouth. Some fruity indications suggest citrus hops blended with fusel alcohol that almost has an evaporative quality on the tongue. There is a smokey element and coffee flavors as well as it warms.

This is a thick brew with a low level of carbonation. It clings and coats the inside of your mouth with a sugary grainy sweetness that isn't cloying because of the alcohol and contrasting bitterness. As a sipper at ~15% it is quite drinkable and complex.

- - - -
2008 bottle care of Slatetank on 10/23/10, thanks for sharing Matt!

Pours black with a severely tanned to brown head. It appears nearly black in color with some lighter coloration of brown around the edges. Faint spotty lace clings to the glass. This brew seemingly stains the glass with a sticky particle filled layering.

The aroma is filled with a smokey molasses sweetness and dark roasty grain that imparts a scent of chocolate. A touch of mineral quality and sweet smelling grain that is reminiscent of a fresh brew day. Slight notes of oxidation with a herbal spicy "meatiness" that lingers through the back of the nose.

The taste is sweet molasses with dark roasted grain coupled with alcohol and herbal hops. It leaves an almost meaty flavor inside the mouth that is interesting to say the least. Lingers with a roasted grain and bitterness that is a combo of hops and burnt grain. The abv is still apparent but each sip seemingly yields more sweetness. A very full, thick bodied brew that has a light level of carb yet maintains decent drinkability. It's an experience that everyone needs to try at least once.

- - - -
2011 bottle consumed on 7/5/11 (running low on character space so keeping this brief) This years very well might be the thinnest feeling of the years I have sampled. It is much easier to approach and has a very distinct anise character to the aroma and flavor. A light touch of oxidation/soy included as well as the typical flavors of bitter chocolate, coffee and lingering sweetness/herbal touch of hops. Bold alcohol yet contrasted nicely by the residual sweetness that isnt cloying.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

Appearance - Standard stout appearance. Jet black. The small head is actually surprising, considering the ABV. The sugars are damn near visible as it streaks down the glass.

Smell - Wow. Intense aromas. Coffee, chocolate, booze. The booze actually smells great, despite that it's practically burning my nose. Fruity aromas as well. Not as roasty as I would expect.

Taste - Tingly alcohol throughout. Incredibly sweet. Coffee flavors and chocolate malts through the middle. Slightly bitter in the finish and an alcohol burn that lasts for a few moments. It's a pretty complex flavor, but it's immensely sweet.

Mouthfeel - Pretty well carbonated for a 15% stout. Pretty boozy, too, though. And the sweetness just makes it so hard to drink. Small quantities is the most I can muster with this thing.

Overall - Sure, it's good. But it's so insane that it's barely drinkable. I don't think I'd seek this out again. Either that or I'd need to split the bottle four ways.

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Photo of jwc215
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ralflord for this one!
2007 vintage:

Pours black/dark brown with a fleeting light brown head. No lacing, but some "legs".

The smell is of prunes, raisins, chocolate. Strong.

The taste is of sweetened prunes/dates/figs with chocolate and brown sugar. Sweet, but not in an artificial way. Very prune-ish. Finishes a bit sticky.

Rich and full-bodied. Syrupy with little carbonation. Very dense. Thick. Sticky. Still, first few sips went down well enough.

It's nice enough to sip on it, but it is like an overly rich cake - can only do so much. The alcohol isn't raw, but does creep in.

Worth the hype? Mixed feelings. It does have a rich maltiness that is subtley balanced (while remaining sweet), but very sticky and almost too rich.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm attempting to uncap this as I would any other beer, but the Dark Lord won't have it that way! "It's not normal!" And I left the wine servicer at work! Ah, here's one! Shhfft!, there she goes, now to pour...

Darkest, blackest hue, a perfect pitch, color-wise, ebon in it's epitome, as soiled as Satan's underthing's, with a smallish head, but richly roasted, deep tannish brown, quickly succumbing into a tight ring.

Aroma is rich and redolent with all things dark and good, ...molasses speaks up, soy sauce gets a nod, prunes, raisins, port wine, a hint of dark rum, and a glimmer of carob, an intriguing and arresting nose.

Taste: Huge! Thick! Pow, pow, powerful! This is the 800 gorilla on the palate, when it sits around the mouth, it SITS AROUND the mouth!!!
Oh, my, good, loving, freakadelic-alicius-LORD!!!
So rich, it begs the robber barons to empty the playing field, for they haven't got the coinage to match this magic! Massive mouthfeel! A sea of chocolate swims on the tongue, and invades every center of the senses! Fruit chimes in too, cherries, and berries, all drenched in chocolate, as well!

A clinging factor pervades the flavor, as well, for this is a taste that never quits, it stays, and stays, and if you're not ready to make it comforable at your home, it doesn't care, you're taking the couch and Dark Lord is sleeping in your comfy cushy adjusta-bed!!!

WOW!!! Luxuriant, like nothing else, rich to the point of delirium, a powerful liquified candy bar, ....a decadent treat, like no other!
oh, my...puts all other pretenders to shame... a killer-diller,I fear running out of superlatives and will allow this malevolent master to merely stride along this mortal realm with all my blessings, and add the enconium that it's a majestic and dangerous thing all in one package...oh, my..in this case, all other previously praised Imperial Stouts must take back-seat, oh, my, though, Mr. Hershey should worry! Mr. Nestle could fret, too..good Lord, it's good, almost too much for me...if you want to examine the limits of this style, go no further than Dark Lord!
So heavy on the palate, so huge in flavor!

Bow down, one and all, bow before your Dark Lord, and don't mess around, he can do that finger-chokey- thingy, just like Lord Vader, I mean, they're practically cousins, so, unless you know some Jedi juju, stray far away from the terrible magic of the Dark Lord...unless you enjoy this particular punishment...which I do! In spades!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle Received in trade from Grub, Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid black with a thin mocha head that dissipates quickly. Smells of chocolate syrup, coffee, dried dark fruits faint hops in the background. Tastes of chocolate and dried fruit, a bit vinous, leaves a roast bitterness in the finish. Thick body, although I thought it would be thicker. Syrupy mouthfeel, light carbonation. Well I finally got to try it. Good solid stout, there are better out there, but this one ranks pretty high in my book. I would have loved the roast to be a bit more in the foreground and the fruits a bit more in the back.

I had to go back and this comment to my review after we poured the second half of this bottle. The bottom half of the the bottle was thick and chunky when poured. The second half was actually better tasting with a much thicker mouthfeel than the first. I guess I didn't realize that this beer wasn't homogenized.

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Photo of AlexFields
2.15/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is the 2011 vintage, poured from the bottle a few months after its release

Appearance is not ominously black as you might expect from the beer's name, but more of a darkish caramel brown color. I'd believe it if you told me it was an imperial porter or imperial brown. A fairly thin head appears and then disappears.

Smells sweet and malty. Obviously not going to be real big on the roast or smoke.

Wow, the taste is pretty bad. I expected it to be over the top in sweetness, but I did not expect it to be downright awful. The problem here is not so much the sweetness (I like me some really sweet beers, including really sweet imperial stouts) as it is that the flavors just aren't good ones. A molasses bomb in the worst sense, I'm having trouble thinking of other specific descriptive terminology but this is pretty rough. You can tell there's coffee in it if you look for it, but the coffee is contributing an odd caramel kind of flavor and not the roasty coffee flavors found in other, better stouts with coffee added.

Mouthfeel? I'm not really sure. My mouth was in a state of shock over the bizarre flavors of this beer and didn't take a lot of note of how it "felt," but I guess it was pretty thick and chewy.

Overall, just a really terrible beer, by far the worst beer I've ever had that has an A rating on Beer Advocate.

3.9/10

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Photo of smakawhat
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass vintage 2012. Big thanks to Wade5614 for the trade, and Exiled for the advice.

Into the snifter, it pours out chestnut brown, hitting the glass body and barely making a head at all of a simple tan light brown, fading under some faint snapping carbonation. Leaves a little filmy top and can't hang on, giving just a faint collar, with some nice leg action also and scattered leopard lacing barely.

Nose is quite interesting, suprinsingly not hot, mild roast character and dark red fruits. Cherry and raspberry, some dark chocolate and even some sensations of sea salt, maybe even caramel. Quite intriguing and nice, makes me love this salt and chocolate combo which is a favorite of mine.

Palate hits with a tight fizz at first that doesn't seem noticeable after numerous sips later. Extremely thick and syrupy and liqueur like palate. Memories of raspberry syrup hit, maybe some licorice, and then it's full on Luxardo Maraschino liqueur. Roast character takes a bit of back seat with quaffs. Syrup sweetness is quite big but in the context of how the liquor feels it comes off as a digestif and seems to work. Roast lingers slightly and rushes dark fruit toward the end with also a sense of alcohol bitterness (bitters, digsetif, etc...).

Overall it's really sweet for my tastes but tolerable, and also fun. Quite an interesting ride, glad to have given it a whirl. It's a sipper which doesn't always appeal to me for beer, but it's without question worth drinking.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got to put this up there for Huhzubendah, hosted an insane sour tasting last night with a few non-sour highlights including a complete Darklord Vertical. Beers were provided by three different guys, all tasted side by side. 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Rating all these vintages side by side is going to be tough.

The appearances did not vary all that much, of course the bottles are beautiful bombers all with ornate and varied colored wax indicating vintage. Beers are all black with minimal head and apparent low carbonation, no real retention to speak of and there isn't any lacing. Big variants here were the 2004 had MUCH MUCH more sediment in the bottom of the glass than the others and the 2008 was considerably and noticeably browner on the spectrum than the rest. All the beers were hazy (could tell this after someone spilled their 08 on the counter). The beer is noticeably thick (especially the 2004) leaving a syrup-like resin on the sides of the glass. The 2009 appeared to be the thinnest. I did not take gravity readings, just what I see and think.

Aroma, 2004: almost sour, a slight biting lactic smell followed by a slight ash. Some bitterness is detectable and a tiny bit of sweetness possibly from the alcohol.
2005: Much more coffee and roast in this aroma along with some nice chocolate and bitter. Alcohol is more noticable in this one.
2006: Hottest of them all so far, a sting of ethanol in the nose, sweetness is lower here, mostly ethanol.
2007: Back to chocolate, good malt syrupy aroma in this one, a good balance of coffee in the aroma, back to more the way the 2005 smelled.
2008: Weakest aroma of them all (followed by the 2004). Mild sweetness and a slight bit of ethanol in there.
2009: Strong aroma, lots of alcohol, chocolate, coffee and vanilla (didn't pick up anything like vanilla in the others).

Tastes, the 2004 was sweet and thick, completely full bodied beer. Finished slightly dry, had an alcohol flavor in the front of the mouth, but the sweetness won out. I was expecting more roast here.
2005: This was the lightest of the bunch, and the roastiest, if that makes any sense at all. Again, really high body (do you like to chew your stouts). This beer amazes me with the body on it. Less dry than 04 but there is so much more coffee in here, its nearly a completely different beer.
2006: This was the driest of them all. Super sweet up front with a nice trailing edge of slight roast. There is a biting alcoholic taste to this that abbreviates my pleasure.
2007: Still a little dry, very sweet, as sweet at the 2006, this beer is so thick in my mouth it has a syrup like quality to it.
2008: Much more roast than 2006 and 2007 and pulled back on the sweetness. Still super thick but better balanced than the others.
2009: This was probably the thinnest of all the beers in the mouthfeel department. It was nearly medium bodied and had a warmth to it that wasn't as present in the others.

Summarizing and second tasting notes. 2008 was noticeably lighter and hazier than the rest of the beers. 2004 had the most sediment and completely coated the bottom of the glass with it. The 2004 had a soy / bitter and dry taste to it. The 2005 was smooth and like chocolate. The 2006 was more sour than the others. 2007 Sweet and roasty. 2008 - more roast, more heat. 2009 was probably my favorite (with 2007 and 2005). I guess I like odd years. The 2009 did not have time to mute the flavors and let them run together into a single coherent "thought." They were still fragmented but I was able to enjoy the roast, the heat, the sweet, the chocolate bitter all individually making it a really interesting beer.

I will never get to do something this thorough again. Thanks everyone.

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Photo of Billolick
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can be added about this one? Sampled at the Blind Tiger thanks to Mike/eyedrinkale. Pours coal Black with a creamy darkest of tans head. Creamy, rich and milkshake like in mouthfeel. Loads of flavor bursting onto the palate. Coffee, chocolate, raisins, figs, burnt fruits. Complex, bold, flavorful...simply world class....wonderfully dark, thick and sludgy. Wish I could get my hands on more of this stuff!

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,267 ratings.
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