Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Spring

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

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

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,275
Ratings:
4,218
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
14.49%
 
 
Wants:
3,202
Gots:
2,061
For Trade:
191
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,275 | Ratings: 4,218
Photo of tempest
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage served in a Surly Darkness tulip.

Poured an opaque black with a thin, light brown head with a thick and sticky body that left a film on the side of my glass, damn. The taste first reminds me of chocolate cookie (like an Oreo minus the white stuff) with espresso, so of like a chocolate beer biscotti. As it begins to warm there a mild fruitiness of cherries and strawberries that catches me off-guard. The beer finishes with a dry mix of black roasted grains and citrus and spicy hop flavor.

For a 13% RIS, this beer is surprisingly drinkable. I didn't have any problem splitting a bomber with my generous friend who acquired this via trade. There's a lot of smooth chocolate flavors going on and I highly recommend pairing this with the richest chocolate cake, brownies, or fudge you can find.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle of 2007 consumed just about one year later.
Black. Dark. Evil pour. Motor oil is lighter than this. Smooth looking as well. Head stayed a bit low, built up to about 1 finger, dense off brown/tan and sticky.
Coffee, chocolate, powder cocoa, anise, plum and alcohol round out the nose. Not one is dominant or too strong. Nice blend. Mix could be confusing.
Coffee and anise at the start of the taste. Followed close with unripe black plum, some prune and molasses. Ends with a touch of caramel, but mostly powder cocoa and silk chocolate. Not as complex as I thought it would be. Not as outstanding as I thought.
A good brew, but not worth the trade and effort to obtain.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage with Yellow Wax. Bottle courtesy of Weebay. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Dark brown w/ one finger of bubbly espresso coloured head.

S - Big coffee nose up front with some noticeable alcohol, roasted malts and char. There is a big sweetness here too that is balanced by the ABV somewhat.

T - A huge sweetness up front with big chocolate and molasses notes. A subtle hint of vanilla adds a layer of complexity. There is a big roasted malt profile here, but the roast and char flavours take a back seat to the big chocolatey sweetness. A touch of espresso comes through at times.

M - Full body. Thick, sludgy, viscous. Light carbonation.

O - Really happy that I tried this one. Extremely drinkable considering the sweetness and the ABV.

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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 WesWes
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a killer black and chocolate malt scent with lots of heat. Wow, this is what I'm talking about; very intoxicating. The taste is amazing! It has an incredible black malt flavor with a decent amount of bitterness and a nice chocolate edge. The alcohol is present, but quite welcoming. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a glorious beer! It's incredibly complex with loads of great black and chocolate malt flavor. The warmth endears me more to the entire experience. I'm sorry it took me so long to try this. Cheers!

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Photo of VeganUndead
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Red Wax, 2012 Vintage, my first ever experience with DL. Midnight black pour with almost no carbonation, nose is licorice dark fruit and alcohol. This has been aging for almost a year, hence why the taste is mellow, but very sweet, and the 15% abv is almost unnoticeable. A ton of lacing as it goes down. I'm very satisfied with this brew, not up there with darkness or abyss imo, but this was supposed to be the worst batch they did, if that's the case I doubt I could handle a 2008 haha. Cheers

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark Lord is one those beers that you don´t expect to possess because where I live, it takes an arma and a leg to get one. I got this bottle in a trade last year and brought it down to Brazil to share with a lucky few. From a 2009 vintage, on to the beer:

Menacing black color with a little tanned head that drops to a lace. The nose is intense and full of licorice, honey, and molasses. More interesting is the flavor, where it acts like a rauchbier at times. It starts sweet with honey, then chocolate arrives, then it goes smokey like bacon. Much of the alcohol is hidden neat in its viscous body.

This is tasty and very complex. However, I´m not sure if it´s a beer that I´d stand in line for or trade my other arm to relive the experience.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I finally get to try the infamous Dark Lord. '14 vintage shared by Bob at his tasting.

Pours a deep dark pitch black, with small quarter inch head that recedes quickly. Not much lacing.

Smells incredibly sweet, some cherries, coffee, and generic sweet malt.

The taste is similar. It's as sweet as expected, but I still quite like it. Chocolate covered cherries are a huge flavor here, very juicy flavor. Only a faint amount of roasty malt is noticeable. Very smooth coffee flavor from the Unicorn's Blood. The beer is slightly soy saucy near the end.

Thick body, very viscous. Very low carbonation, naturally. Creamy, thick, smooth mouthfeel.

I'm glad I got to try this version, as it is apparently better than some of the other more recent vintages.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.46/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

2009 vintage. Pours black with no head. Very dark brown highlights at the edges. the aroma is very nice, with some oak and vanilla. You also get some milk chocolate and the slightest hint of soy sauce. The flavor is not as good as the aroma, but still not bad. The chocolate and vanilla are still there along with some roasted malt. You also get some soy sauce which is not a flavor I really enjoy. The mouthfeel is very thick and there is very low carbonation. The beer leaves an oily residue on the glass similar to a Samuel Adams Triple Bock.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 version into a large snifter. Shared with Birradr14,oglmcdgl and mary. Thanks goes out to Thomas Hardy for the bottle. I could not attend this year so I figured if you cant join them, drink with them in spirit. Drank on DLD 09'

A- Taking off the black wax and unsealing the cap I got a faint whiss of noise from the bottle. What came out of the bottle was a different story though. I never used this term for a RIS review before because i've been saving it for this one, DL is motor oil in it's very essense. DL has the look of texas tea, sludge, goop and swamp like, oh yeah it's black in color. A nice sized dark brown cap of head graced the top with nice lacing.

S- I just get overrun witha huge chocolate presense with mounds of fudge batter and some coffee underneath that. A huge roasty aspect comes out plus some char as well. Big notes of black roasted malt. Some faint vanilla and not a lot of hops, perhaps they faded. Dark fruits with minimal raisins and a bunch of molasses.

T- I was turned on by the smell but once I tasted DL it was all over from there. This stuff is worth all of it's weight in gold. Rich deep chocolate layered upon fudge chocolate chips, you name it. The malt base used in this really adds another layer to this which makes it stand out with some wood like taste thrown in for good measure. The hops are not the focus point in this very sweet brew. Im getting some licorice and molasses. Some dark fruit and a bit of alcohol which is fine by me. Why havent I been drinking this for years?!!??!

M- DL just coats the mouth without hesitation. From the looks of this beer I knew it would be thick. DL is full bodied with some carb trying to make it's way throught the swamp of stout. Not at all bitter in this one year old bottle but it is very sweet, there's no getting around that. Like others have said this is the thickest beer I have ever consumed thus far. Thick and chewy this one takes a little patience to get through but I m up for it.

D- While the 13% is expertly hidden in the sea of blackness, it is indeed in there so sharing this would be the wise thing to do. Maybe down the road i'll drink a bottle to my head to test my stamina, I just wont drive afterwards. For a 13% beer it is amazing that I did not get a lot of alcohol burn although I could taste some booze. With that said I finished my portion in no time and I was sad to see it go.

My 1st offering from three floyds was the bomb and I intend to try more from this brewery. Now only if they made it back into PA all would be right in the world, A man can dream cant he.

Edit- Had the 2009 vintage and it pales in comparison to the 08. It was difficult to take down even with a 6oz pour. Too much dark fruit, needs alot of time.

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Photo of biegaman
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Satan would be impressed. Dark Lord is black as black can be and possesses a head that is scorched a deep, rustic brown. The colour scheme is at once unique, daunting and curiously alluring. If ever the dark side needed a spokesman, surely, this would be its poster boy.

This nose is too wicked and wrathful to think Cthulhu didn't have a hand in making it. Hops, bourbon-soaked wood, elderberry, sooty dark chocolate, charred malts and a scornful (but pacified) alcohol heat combine to make an intense and overwhelming bouquet that most people would not recognize as beer. I feel like it would be sinful to take a sip...

But I do anyhow. And in doing so I find a lingering cranberry bitterness, notes of black licorice, piny hops, flavours of roasted malts and bitter cocoa. It tastes quite distinctive. Although this is not barrel-aged nor does it contain a single drop of bourbon, I again find some semblance to the intense, vanilla-y flavours and the dry woodiness found in bourbon barrel-aged offerings. It is also thick as heavy cream, and twice as rich.

This is not a beer for calorie counters! Its engrossing, complex distinctiveness and rich, sensual, decadent flavours are sure to make every chocolatier, pastry chef, coffee roaster, master blender, vintner and, indeed, brewer, quite jealous. The fact that it's holding up so well after two years of aging is impressive, but also expected.

Digging my way through the bottle's black wax I felt like Howard Carter penetrating the tomb of Tutankhamen. Indeed, Three Floyds' Dark Lord does possess a similar kind of mysticism and veneration. Legitimately obtaining a bottle requires some combination of a mecca-like pilgrimage and Willy Wonka-like golden ticket. For one day the brewery doubles as a site of cult worship. And rightfully so. Believe the hype - praise the Dark Lord!!!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 release; Sampled December 2009; Served at 60+ degrees Fahrenheit.
Slow to form, but ultimately thick, three finger thick head that lingers for quite some time, but doesn' leave much in the way of lacing on the sides of my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is pitch black of cours. Aroma of coffee liquor, dark chocolate, sweetened roasted malt, some smooth alcohol notes. Much more simplistic than I remember, but it is still rich and definitely satisfies my current hunger for a rich stout.

This beer is definitely thick, rich and mouth coating; definitely on the syrupy side of the beer texture spectrum. Quite sweet, which really helps to temper the huge roast character, but in the finish the roast becomes quite bitter and perhaps even a bit astringent; the sweetness never fades as both the roast and the rich sweetness really lingers on the palate for a long time. The dark notes in this beer are layered with bitter black coffee, dark chocolate, acidic roast malt and burnt grain notes. The mouthfeel is quite rich, but can seem a bit thin at times compared to what I remember this beer being.

When I first had this in 2004, it was so rich and so decadent compared to anything else I had ever had. This definitely hasn't withstood the test of time. This is definitely a grand example of the decadent American take on the style, but really isn't nearly as lush, rich or complex as my memory had it being.

2004 bottle release, Sampled April 2004
4.55 total
4/4.5/5/4/4.5
Strong notes of alcohol and port. Notes of roast malt, coffee, toffee, chocolate liquor, are also found in the nose. The beer is thick viscous, and pours a deep midnight black color with a bit of carbonation but only a dusting of bubbles on the surface. When roused a thick creamy dark brown head forms, one of the darkest heads I have ever seen.

Holy shit, I have never tasted a beer with such a stupefyingly thick body as this. It is very creamy and coats my mouth, it is like sipping on syrup. As expected with this body, it is quite sweet. The sweetness is accentuated by a fresh hop flavor, that when combined give this beer a concentrated fruitiness. This thing must have been heavily hopped in order to have such prominent hop flavor in an Imperial Stout of this stature. From the front to the middle back of this beer you would guess that this was a bottle of concentrated hop nectar, floral character abounds with, grapefruit, bergamot, cherry, concentrated raisin and plum.

The alcohol is not nearly as evident in the taste and the dark malt flavors are not as strong as I was expecting, the fresh hop character seems to mute them out quite a bit. The finish is quite bitter, though with the thick mouth-coating malt sweetness it is hard to pick out at first, but it is really the lingering bitterness long after the beer has left my mouth that lets you know that this is bittered quite well. The dark malt flavors kick in the end as well, just before the bitterness. Notes of concentrated espresso, bitter chocolate, burnt raisin, burnt caramel.

I must admit that with this intense fresh hop flavor, I am not sure that I want to hold on to the rest of these for a long time, though the 4 inches of sludge at the bottom of this bottle (even after a month of sitting) say that I need to move these to my lagering fridge for quite a bit. The fresh hop flavor is quite good right now, and it is so dominant that I can not even guess how this beer will continue to age. I have a feeling that in a year or two this will be a totally and unexpectedly different beer from what it is now. I have no doubt that the Dark Lord will age gracefully for the next 10 or even 20 years, but will it be better than it is now. Oh well only time will tell, I will just have to hang on to a couple over the years.

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Photo of dar482
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Our ranking of the vertical. 2014, 2012, 2013.

The 2014 is a wonderful treat. In the front, there's chocolate and roasted malt. Then the beer gets quite sweet with a rich dark caramel and brown sugar along with some umami, molasses, and meaty notes. There's a dance of coffee to get that sweetness off slightly with a hint of raisins and dark fruit.

The mouthfeel on this is thick and chewy.

2013 unfortunately was thin on the flavor and too sweet throughout. For this one, I agree that the the beer isn't really quite worth the hype. I love sweet beers, but this was a bit much.

On the other hand, '14 was quite glorious and worth the hype. I have heard many people warn that this beer is overhyped, but I was pleasantly impressed by this.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010, green wax, 22 oz bottle, sampled with the four 2011 barrel variants.

Pours a thick, opaque black with a thin, transient dark mocha head. Boozy and hot aroma of chocolate and coffee, slightly fruity, minimal roast. Flavor is similar, bordering on too sweet with a slight bitter finish; light fruit notes under the strong and syrupys chocolate and coffee malt. Thick, viscous, chewy body with low carbonation and a hot finish. First time trying to a regular Dark Lord (not sure why I never opened a bottle before) and enjoyed this more than I expected.

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Photo of Zorro
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Obtained in a trade with hero27.

A beer that is said to be superior to Stone IRS but one that never seems to show up to be compared with the stone offering.

As I prepare to open this bottle I cant help but feel like a James Bond Supervillain who has finally cornered James Bond. My six henchmen three Stone Imperial Russian Stouts and three Stone Old Guardians are pretty sure this sucker is over rated.

The three year chase is over and now the time for its test is at hand!

In the glass this is an inky black beer impervious to light with a thin but dark brown head. A very nice try to create a black head on a beer but no one has yet achieved that.

From the moment that the cap is cracked there is a wonderful boozy and fruity aroma from this beer, so far this beer hasn't had a weakness. Sweet smelling with the aroma of prunes and figs with little berry aroma. Lesser scents of chocolate and patent malt robustness. Different from the Stone version and more like DFH WWS. The boozy scent is faintly of bourbon mostly vanilla, whiskey and oak.

The flavor begins sweet and highly roasted with a berry after taste and a lingering burn from the alcohol. The flavor here is very complex, chocolate, berries, char, vanilla, ash, and that is about all I can name at the moment.

Mouthfeel is about like drinking whole cream, probably closer to 6 than a 5 on the scale.

Quite the strong ale indeed. I can't say that this is overrated but I would compare this MUCH more to DFH WWS rather than Stone IRS. The only real weakness with this RIS is in the drinkability department. An intense brew this would be better from 6 ounce bottles and sampled sparingly; the same as DFH WWS should be.

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Photo of John_M
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It's a good thing "subtlety" and "complexity" aren't categories, or this beer would score close to a zero. However, that's not what this beer is all about; power and a tidal wave of flavor is what this beer is about.

The beer pours a black brown color, looking more like used motor oil then any beer I've ever seen. Just looking at this beer you know you are in the presence of something pretty special. The beer looks thick and viscous. There is almost no head on this beer, but the lacing is otherworldly. What foam there is clings to the side of the glass.

The aroma of this beer is probably it's least impressive attribute, but of course even here it's pretty outstanding. The aroma is very one dimensional, blasting the nose with odors of vanilla, coffee, wine and nuances of oak. Fabulous stuff.

On the palate... what can one say. The beer is incredibly rich, full bodied and long. It has a satin, fluffy sort of mouthfeel, with incredible plush smoothness. The beer is just luscious. The mouthfeel on this beer is comparable only to Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout in terms of richness, plushness, and soft smoothness, but I would give my nod to the Dark Lord. Simply amazing.

Yes, this beer is not the most drinkable beer I've ever tasted, but it's not meant for that. This is the perfect bottle of stout to crack open and sip with some friends. The finish just lasts and lasts, and every sip is a joy. Believe the hype, this beer is a masterpiece.

Note: Recently had the chance to try a vertical of the DL, from 2007 through 2011. I had always assumed that this beer would be pretty age worthy, but based on the vertical, my thought is now, "not so much." The 2007 tasted a bit oxidized, with something of a copper or metallic taste. The 2008 was better, but it still had some sort of different, slightly off taste I thought (though it was still excellent). The 2009 was outstanding, and the 2011 seemed to be the best of bunch (with some nice chocolate and cinnamon flavor). The 2010 was good, but seemed a bit hot and boozy. It was better than the 2007 and 2008 I thought, but not as good as the 2009 and 2011.

A very interesting, tasting experience, to say the least...

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2007 version. I won't get into the debate about whether or not this beer lives up to the hype. I sometimes think that certain cognoscenti bash a beer because it is hyped and downgrade its performance for that reason. The opposite is obviously true as well- people sometime review a hyped beer off the charts since they went through such lengths to obtain it and it is supposed to be good. Regardless, I didn't chase this down as a quest, I didn't go to Darklord Day, and I didn't trade my first born. It was shared with me by a kind soul and I felt like I could review this objectively. In any caes, its a damn good beer.

Pours black and absolutely opaque with a thick dark head that fades a good bit. Huge aromas of licorice, molasses, and treacle, as well as a nice sustained rooty bitterness. The taste is massive, with an onslaught of sweet, fruity, grainy, chocolate, licorice and coffee. The deep herbal bitterness and alcohol helps balance the massive sweetness. Even the sweeet elements have a slightly charred edge to them helping cut any cloying nature. Long, long finish and a thick, viscous, creamy mouthfeel. I truly enjoyed this experience. This is by no means an everyday beer. It is so alcoholic, big, thick, and chewy that the experience should be savored on ocassion. I'm sold.

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Photo of Derek
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage.

A: Black, tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Roasted coffee, cocoa, alcohol, brown sugar, licorous.

T: Pine, coffee, roasted grain, cocoa. Alcohol is very warming, but not harsh. Good bitterness. I expected a little more depth to the flavour.

M: Moderate to full body, well-attenuated, slightly dry & chalky, moderate carbonation.

D: Good considering the strength.

A good all-round beer. I assume it was better fresh?

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Photo of HopHead84
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage.

Thanks to mrkrispy for opening this. Pours black into the tulip with an ominous creamy dark brown head. The retention is very good and lacing is left on the glass. This beer looks great.

The aroma is dark unsweetened chocolate and roasted malt. Prunes and other dark fruits are evident, as well as strong alcohol notes, molasses, and a touch of coffee. There's a really strange aroma that puzzled me the entire time I was drinking this. It smells a little dog food. It's not terrible, but it's mildly unpleasant and a bit distracting.

The flavor is dark chocolate and charred, ashen malt. The malt is very roasted, with notes of coffee. The bitterness is very aggressive, which surprised me because this beer has been out for over a year. The finish is dry and bitter, with chocolate, a little coffee, and some astringency. The alcohol is very apparent throughout.

The beer is full bodied with a nice medium level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, chalky, and dry.

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Photo of rudzud
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this at a little bottle share at Tree House Brewery. Reviewed from notes. This is a 20011 yellow wax vintage.

A - Poured into a Tree House glass a Deep, deep dark brownish hue that is still slightly clear. A very light quarter inch head fades to leave light halo.

S - Quite nice. Roasty, sweet malts, faint vanilla and soy, and almost a smokey character. Light chocolate as well.

T - Taste is good. Smokey, sweet malts, light vanilla notes along with some faint soy. not getting as much chocolate as I would like from a RIS but still, damn solid.

M - Mouthfeel is smooth, lightly carbonated.

O - Overall, this was a good RIS, but I feel like it is somewhat over hyped. With so many quality RIS on the market this one for me isnt worth what it costs to get in a trade.

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Photo of weeare138
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kmpitz2 for this '05 version...
Appears a pitch black with a dark tan, 3 finger head that slowly fades out. Spots of lace are left all around the glass.
Smell is of chocolate, toffee, citrusy hops, anise, coffee, oatmeal, maple/mollasses syrupy and whiskey-ish...very complex and addictive.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas. Great mix of the aromas with a rich, tobacco like flavor mixed in to the mix of the wonderful aromas.
Mouthfeel is of rich syrup, full bodied, maple and malt sugars that stick to the palate with a remarkable hoppiness that is trying to come through this malt billed monster.
I enjoyed this so much. It's very rich and syrupy with sugar abound! Excellent work. Notch another one up for the Americans.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%

In review is a 2012 bottle (the 2nd red label)

A - Pours an engine oil black with a very thin medium colored toffee lacing ring. Swirl the glass and it has lots of legs, very thick, and very sticky on the glass.

S - Black licorice, dark chocolate, dark molasses and no alcohol in the aroma.

T - Mostly dark molasses and dark chocolate flavor with a hint of black licorice buried in the background, minor amounts of peat/smokiness. Most impressive, little to no alcohol presence.

M - Thick, full bodied, sticky, slippery, viscous, light alcohol warming on the way down.

O - This bottle aged perfectly. I see a lot of complaints about this beer tasting like soy sauce, it just needs to be aged ... patience. Absolutely enjoying this, an impressive beer.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got this in a trade with orbitalrOx. Thanks Don!

2007 Vintage:

With a vigorous pour, I get a short lived 1" head of tann foam and no lacing. Colorwise, it's a very dark brown/black with some reddish highlights but the first thing I noticed was how thick it looked during the pour. Wow.

The smell is loaded with dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, caramel, cocoa, molasses....will it ever stop? ;^)

The taste pretty much reflects the nose with the addition of a strong port flavour that I didn't really notice in the smell. What I find interesting is that all the flavours seem to take turns taking center stage, not allowing any single one to completely dominate. Sip after sip, sometimes the fruit shines through more, sometimes the Port, sometimes the coffee...you get the idea. lol. The abv is very well hidden because I don't get *any* warming during or after the swallow. I think that's amazing!

Really thick mouthfeel and very lightly carbonated, it finishes mostly with a lean towards chocolate and cocoa so it's a nice pleasant bitterness that I get to enjoy there and in the aftertaste. Very nice RIS and I'm very pleased to have gotten the chance to try it.

Bottom line: Super complex in flavour yet so smooth and easy drinking...hell of a testament to Three Floyds' brewing expertise. Highly recommended!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.14/5  rDev -50%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2010 vintage, my 3rd DL. Still a drain pour.

A: Poured a solid black with good carbonation and a nice brownish head, some lacing present.

S: Immediate soy, tobacco leaves, leather, smoked meats, choco cherries

T: Immediate soy sauce, raisins and prunes, tobacco leaves, chocolate covered cherries, more soy sauce(dying or dead yeast), roastiness which transitions to leather, smoked meat, booze sting with a bitter chocolate, bitter, harsh, boozey finish. that soy and leather just kill me.

M: Big body, heavy and harsh

O: One of the most overrated beers of all time...gotta love that hype train

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Photo of sweemzander
3.24/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2009 Vintage.

(A)- Pours a thick and pitch black color. If Satan's heart were black, this is the color it would be. Produced a light layer of brown foam that dissipated after awhile. Seriously thick stuff; looks like motor oil.

(S)- A seriously rich raisin and molasses profile with a heavy caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Bits of vanilla, wood, and dark cocoa in the far background.

(T)- Again, a rich profile of heavy raisins. Some molasses and caramel in the middle. Finishes rather sweet with dusty cocoa and brown sugar. Bits of dark cocoa on the finish as it warms up.

(M)- A relatively low carbonation level and syrupy thick mouthfeel. Rich, sweet, and an overall malt monster. Its almost too thick for my liking.

(D)- I have very mixed feelings about Dark Lord. I love the smell, but everything else is rather mediocre. This is so thick that it is hard to put down. The carbonation is also a problem for me. If this wasnt like a syrup, I would like it much much more. It gets better as it warms up, but after the hassle it is to get this stuff and how much of a chore it is to drink, I would much rather grab something else for the style. When you open one of these have at least 4 people to split it. One of the hardest beers I have ever had to drink.

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,218 ratings.
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