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 mpdrago
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of drowland
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared by my older brother. Of course deep black and a big old brown head. The aroma is raisins, molasses, a bit of soy, and a hint of roast. The flavor is sweet raisins, maple syrup, and a subtle but wonderful dose of chocolate and smooth coffee. The coffee lingers nicely and the beer is extremely smooth despite a hint of alcohol.

 345 characters

Photo of sisuspeed
3.5/5  rDev -18%

Photo of prender1482
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of falconxman
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of newk340
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of BC4MFRED1
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of jmarsh123
3.03/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Recently opened '08-'11 vintage. Cummulative review.

Pours dark brown almost black with a minimal dark brown head fading quickly. '08 left perfect sludgy lacing down the glass. Other vintages not so much.

Aroma is sugary sweet and roasty. A ton of molasses and heavy caramel almost syrup like.

Taste is also a malt bomb most years. All start out thick with molasses and brown sugar followed by roasted malt/coffee characteristics finishing slightly bitter.

Incredibly thick mouthfeel. Cloyingly sweet for the most part with medium-low carbonation. Diabetes in a bottle although the alcohol is pretty well hidden.

The '08 is one of my favorite stouts and has been for a while. Every '08 I've had over the past year has been phenomenal. The others not so much. The '09 may be one of the worst I've had as it's sweetness is on a whole new level. Hopefully one of these upcoming years they go back to the '08 recipe which is more balanced in favor of the overly sweet recent vintages. I'm hoping age will do some good yet on the '10 and '11, but the '09 is a lost cause.

 1,071 characters

Photo of vandemonian
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Three Floyds Dark Lord Imperial Stout is a delicious and deceptively subtle Russian imperial stout. The smell is an awful mess, but the taste is delicious!

A: Black colour and a brown head that fades to nothing very quickly. 3.5

S: Sweet caramel and autolysed yeast. 3.5

T: Malty, thick with sweet subtle caramel and coffee flavours. Lovely mild flavour. I expected it to more aggressive. A pleasant surprise. 4.5

M: Thick and foamy. 4.5

O: 4

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Photo of wyatt
3.5/5  rDev -18%

Photo of herrorara
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of TotallyHosed
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of NFMSKRS
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of zeledonia
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage (yellow wax). Thanks to aguirre for the trade. Celebrating passing my oral qualifying exam for my graduate program with my first bottle of this big stout.

Pours very dark brown, essentially black but lighter and clear at the edges. Minimal medium brown head, fades fairly quickly, little lacing. Looks like a big bad stout.

Smell is sweet and roasty. A lot of things about this beer remind me of molasses, and the smell is where it's most prominent. A bit of coffee in the background. I can tell from the smell that a lot went into this beer. Definitely on the (very) sweet side, but it's not at all off-putting in the smell. Great complexity. Wow.

Taste doesn't do it for me quite so much. Feels less integrated than the smell. A heavy dose of syrupy sweetness leads the way, followed by some nice roasty flavors (coffee). Comes on slightly bitter at the end, like char, though it may just be the alcohol kicking in.

Mouthfeel is what a RIS should be. Thick and heavy, with only enough carbonation to remind me that the yeast were once chewing up all those sugars in there. Kinda like drinking syrup... delicious syrup.

This beer is a kick in the teeth. Sweet and syrupy, with enough weight and strength to do some damage. Alcohol is shockingly well hidden. No ABV on the bottle, so I wasn't sure - shocked that it's 15%. The smell and flavors are impressively complex, but I could do with better integration, especially in the taste. One of the better imperial stouts I've had, though.

 1,505 characters

Photo of hopluva1
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of time4abeer
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of MarkFy
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of jfcaa193
3/5  rDev -29.7%

Photo of barkingelectron
1/5  rDev -76.6%

Photo of groetman
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of brendaniel
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of FalconA
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Hawkfish
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of mindspin315
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage - Yellow Wax

Poured a nice thick deep tan head and a dark body. Good amount of lacing and legs.

Big, boozy, and sweet aroma. Heavy on the dark fruits. Figs, raisins, chocolate, roasted/burnt malts, molasses, peat, maple syrup, faint nail polish remover, and anise. Not detecting a whole lot of coffee...thought I'd get a big dose of that especially since it was brewed with coffee. This bottle is almost a year old so the coffee aroma may have faded...never had it fresh though.

I'll start out before I even talk about the taste that the feel and drinkability for 15% is quite impressive. Sweet syrupy molasses coats the palate right away and sticks around all the way through the finish. Getting a touch of the coffee in the flavor which I wasn't picking up in the aroma. Not a huge dose of coffee but detectable. Flavors of dark sweet chocolate, molasses, chocolate coated cherries, toffee, and anise on the tip of the tongue. Full bodied, medium-low carbonation (the density causes the carbonation to not come through as much), and smooth velvety mouthfeel. The alcohol is not coming through at all...for such a high alcohol beer it is quite impressive. Even though it comes at the expense of the sweet sugary mouthfeel/flavors.

All in all Dark Lord masters much of what it looks out to accomplish. Although some of the complaints of this beer are warranted. It is a bit to sweet and a lot of the components get masked by it. Even with the couple of complaints it still is a very solid RIS. It definitely ups the notch on what a RIS can be. The mouthfeel is very enjoyable and Dark Lord definitely drinks like no other. Needs to get the sweetness in order and this would be a damn near perfect beer.


 1,730 characters

Photo of atoulouk
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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