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:
1,268
Ratings:
4,174
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
26.4%
 
 
Wants:
3,203
Gots:
2,048
For Trade:
178
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,268 | Ratings: 4,174
Photo of Munkaboo
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Dark Lord (Green Wax):
Appearance: Black hole, with some chocolatey brown head.

Aroma: Like most imp stouts, but it smells a bit more candied. I don’t get any soy sauce notes like others do.

Mouthfeel: Motor oil slides around my mouth and coats it with goodness. I cannot fucking belive this is 15%. Wow is it smooth.

Taste: ~15 minutes out of the fridge: Damn. Sweetness hits up front… candied raisens, chocolate, coffee afterthought. Lots of residual sweetness that I was surprised by.
30 minutes: Roughly the same… coffee is coming in a bit stronger now though.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2010 vintage with green wax on the bottle.

Aggressive pour into a snifter.

Appearance: dark black and a moonless night. Dark brown head and thick lacing sticks to the side of the glass.

Smell: Cherries, sweet malt, prunes, soy sauce, and booze.

Taste: Strong prune and soy sauce flavors. Slightly roasty malts & bittersweet chocolate sustain the taste in the middle. Molasses, black licorice linger in the finish. It is very sweet. Alcohol is quite noticable with some alcohol burn. Sweet and cloying beer. Where is the intelligentsia coffee that this beer is brewed with? I can not find any coffee flavor at all.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer. Low, but creamy carbonation. Very much a sipping beer.

Overall: This beer is a big beer and needs to be shared because it is only good in small quantities. This beer is a little bit of a hype monster in the Great Lakes beer region. Many better RIS out their that are easier to obtain.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

the beer pours a jet black with a thin tan head that dissipates into a thin tan halo. the nose has some potent dark pit fruits (raisins/prunes), caramel suagrs, and touch of chocolate/coffee. the taste is way sweeter than expected, but mixes well with all the intense chocolate covered raisins. I must be honest... this beer is way too sweet for me, but is definitely different than Black Tuesday for instance. I can only imagine this being better in a barrel/aged.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-dark brown black color with a small tan head and no lacing

S-dark chocolate, molasses, coffee, dark fruit, little vanilla

T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, lots of sweet caramel/molasses

F-medium to full body with light carbonation, smooth and cloying

O-too much sweetness for me, dominates the flavor profile

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

2007 vintage with silver wax.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, served on tap in a clear plastic cup at Dark Lord Day 2014

Appearance- thick, oily mocha-black, with a bright, golden-brown, 1-finger head that shines in the sunlight.

Smell- boozy, heavy, bitter malt presence with a big caramel finish tickling the nose.

Taste- Sweet, sweet, sweet. Anything brown and sweet you can think of- big molasses body with burnt almond brittle, Demerara sugar, caramel, slight maple sugar notes, and toffee.

Mouthfeel- super smooth, rich and dense. Great mouthfeel. The strong point here.

Overall- the sweetest beer I have ever had. I was very surprised by this. Not boozy at all on the flavor-maybe a result of the age. Perhaps the aging also brought out a lot of sweetness, but as this warmed up it was cloyingly sweet. I actually had trouble putting down the last few swigs, it was that sweet and rich. I don't think I will age my bottles so long in an effort to keep some flavor nuances in other than the sweetness. Good overall, just way sweet for my palate. Eager to try the brandy variant for some added flavor.

Cheers.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. 2012 vintage.
Unmarked snifter

A: Pours a really deep dark black with subtle reddish edges. It really wasn't as thick as I remember from earlier batches I have had. Seems like the carbonation is low. Didn't get any head on this one aside from the tan ring on the edges of the glass. Leaves some lacing bits of tan. Some dark sheeting when you swirl it.

S: I really was taken aback by the nose on this one. I was expecting more coffee and chocolate hints. But what I got was lots of port wine like notes. Dark fruit. Someone mentioned sweet soy sauce and I get that thought. I also smell the booze.

T: Wow, surprised how sweet this is. I get a lot of that port wine like character. Not the coffee or the roast, and low bitterness. Strange. I get more dark fruit: prune and plum. The alcohol is there but hidden which was really surprising. There is some heat on the back end, but for 15% it wasn't anywhere near what I thought it was going to be.

M: Full bodied. Sweet syrupy.

O: B

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Photo of pnkRed
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks BeerThursdays for the trade

2009 Vintage into a Bruery Tulip

Pours pitch black with very little head that leaves caramel brown lacing. Smell is a tad boozy with slight roast, and a mix of sweet chocolate and dark sweet fruits. Not very boozy or roasty, but very sweet. Barrels of dark fruit with minor hints of chocolate and and roasted barley. Pretty thin on the mouth for this big of a beer and the carbonation is slight, but it's there. Definitely much better than I expected, but still not the best I've had from this style. I wouldn't specifically seek this year out again, but I wouldn't mind having another.

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Photo of fastpass17
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 yellow waxed bottle, thanks Nate.

A: Very dark chocolate in color not quiet black in my opinion. Very little head which was expected, a fair amount of carbonation, which may fade over extended aging.

S: Roasted chocolate, coffee, caramelized sugar, a hint of booze, cinnamon and nutmeg. This has a wonderful nose.

T: A very pronounced sweetness hits the mouth first (I wonder if lactose is used). Then roasted malts and coffee come into play. There are a number of things going on spice is mixing with some heat from the alcohol. This has a very distinct flavor for the style.

M,O: This beer certainly coats the palate. It is very unique in so far that I had expected the beer to be slightly dryer on the mouth due to the strength instead there was a nice sweetness. I am interested to see how this beer ages.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, yellow wax. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours black with just a ring of mocha colored head around the glass. Small bubbles and amoeba lacing remain on the glass.

S- molasses, dark fruits, coffee, maple syrup, some oak.

T- whew! Cloyingly sweet molasses, dark fruits, and maple syrup. Coffee, dark chocolate, and some brown sugar with slight bitterness.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Very thick, syrupy, creamy and slick. Slight alcohol burn at the end but drinking very well.

O- good RIS, but this a beer where the hype is definitely bigger than how good the beer is.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Several of us gathered round for what has now become known as The Suckling of the Lord. High anticipation. The time is nigh... After watching Brother Joseph pour the beer and noting the deep dark color of the ale and a dark brown head, the first thing I noticed was the weight of the glass. This is a heavy beer - like, it weighs a lot. Thick and viscous is an understatement, this beer is almost chunky. When swirled in the glass it coats like iodine. Impressive introduction to thy Lord. The nose on this beast is all molasses and raisin, syrup and deep fudge. Rich, gratuitously malty, with a bit of heat. Alas, commence the Suckling... Egads! Almost before the intense flavor I notice the extreme chewiness of this beer. Coats the teeth and sticks like chewy sludge. I am eating this beer. So rich and malty, incredibly roasty and full of dark fruits like raisin. Molasses, chocolate, coffee - super sweet, almost too much so - yet it redeems itself with a nice burnt char and deep tar flavor. Brings about imagery of an adult "Candyland" type village with roads paved with this shit. Sweet and a bit one-dimensional at first, but underlying complexities manage to push through and save the beer. As stated before the consistency and mouthfeel of this beer is just out of control. Thick like chocolate cake and sludgy and viscous. I would not want most beers to be like this - one is just fine, because it's really not top-able in this department. While I did enjoy this beer, it's just not that drinkable, beyond the very occasional tasting. That being said it is definitely good material for a special occasion during the winter months or something. Most importantly, this beer is unique, and that I always like. Fun experience to say the least, and I would love to have some of this in the cellar for years to come...

Update 11/25/10
Had the '09 again today, Thanksgiving, with about 1.5 years on it. Definitely mellowed out a bit, improving with age I would say. The sweetness has subsided a bit, but still loads of chocolate cake flavors, raisins, etc as mentioned in the original review. I still think this beer, while impressive and delicious, lacks that certain something that holds it all together, and is therefore not a super drinkable beer. Good, but not Lordly.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2009)

Woodshop Classix
Anaheim, CA

(Aged 2 years)

Black on black on black and looks thick as can be. Very thin espresso brown head and not much lacing down the glass, though completely expected at this ABV.

A rich, decadent, chocolate shoppe aroma. The chocolate aromas are varied--sweet, milk, dark, baker's--you name it! There's also some dark fruit, molasses, coffee, toffee, and some alcohol bite.

A very (very, very) sweet flavor dominated by milk chocolate, licorice, and raisin, surprisingly. I wish the chocolate was more rich and dark in flavor, as opposed to sharp and sweet and that there was more roast and earth flavors present to balance out the extreme sweetness.

Thick, heavy, substantial, and full in the mouth with low carbonation--extremely fitting for this dessert treat. Very little alcohol presence for a beer of this magnitude. Bravo!

An incredibly thick and substantial sweet chocolate stout with lots of flavor and body.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

It seems that I have just changed as a beer drinker. Here I am, opening my first bottle of 2010 Dark Lord since Dark Lord Day itself and I am perplexed. What is this mess I am drinking? Surely it is a flavorful concoction, but where is the greatness that I tasted a few months ago? For that matter, where is the greatness that I tasted over a year ago when I had my first Dark Lord? And then it dawned on me....Dark Lord is a fantastic after-beer beer. In other words, it is an awesome brew to drink after you already have 2 or 3 other beers in your system. By that time, the palate has numbed a bit to the harshness and booziness and the underlying complexity of molasses, coffee, toffee, etc. is allowed to shine through. But drinking this on a fresh palate?....?....a whole new experience.

I thought the 2010 was the best vintage yet (having done a full vertical recently before it) when I drank it on two separate occasions on that awesome Saturday in April. But now, I see it is a bit of a boozy mess of random flavor. If my local brewpub was brewing this I would tell them "good attempt, a solid try at pushing the boundaries but you came up short of greatness"

I am just different now I guess. I still prefer bold flavor, but bold in and of itself is no longer good enough for me. I need the flavor to mesh. But this is just a mess. My original rating was a 4.75, but I am updating it to match my current perspective. Original review text from May 2009 is below:

---

2009 edition

A--Pours pitch black with a motor oil consistency. Fairly hard pour yields almost no head, but a quick swirl causes a quarter-inch or so to raise up briefly

S--Sweet dark fruits, hints of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, tree sap

T--Holy shit this is like sipping on a marshmallow. I have never had a drink this thick in my life. Vanilla, dark fruits, caramel, fudge, wood, walnuts, slight booziness. This is incredibly complex and all the different flavors are incredibly balanced.

M--This thickest beer, and maybe the thickest drink period that I have ever had. Like I said earlier, its almost like sipping on a marshmallow. It is that thick and fluffy.

D--Word of advice: share the bomber. But damn I couldn't put down my glass. What a beer.

After my disappointment with Darkness I wondered if the other "hype" Imperial Stouts were going to be worth the money and effort to track down. After two amazing nights in a row with Imperial Stout Trooper and now Dark Lord, I am a believer again. This is not my highest rated beer, but if I was judging on taste alone it quite possibly would be.

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Photo of Brewbro000
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 - Olive Green Wax

Poured into an oversized wine glass

A: pours a viscous black with a large mocha head that recedes quickly leaving spots of lacing.
S: chocolate, caramel and sweet roasted malts dominate with little hop presence. Figs or date aroma also comes through as well with dark molasses on the back
T: very sweet, maybe too sweet for me with little carbonation to hold up the viscosity of this one. Sweet caramel/molasses lingers on the tongue. Alcohol is not as hidden as I expected which is disappointing. Warms as it goes down.
M/D: viscous and velvet are the best words for this one. Very smooth. I would have to split this bottle to truly enjoy it. A 22oz alone is just too much for me. Probably a combination of the apparent alcohol and sweetness. Glad I got to try this one but I'm not dissappointed that it's the only one I have.

Cheers to OregonKnowsBest for the hook up on this one!

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Photo of irishevans
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours opaque brown/black with very little brown head, and smells almost like an english barleywine. the taste is very carameley sweet, but still bitter at the same time. it has a super thick mouth-feel one that i would expect from a barleywine, not bad, but not quite what i was expecting. drinks real slow. overall a good brew, just not quite what the hype makes it out to be.

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Photo of Treebs
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of pwoods
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

'07 Vintage poured into a snifter

Huge thanks to Craig(brewdlyhooked13) for this bottle. Long story made quick: Founders BS hits shelves, Craig narrowly misses out, I offer up one of my 4packs for cost or dollar trade, He says, "Well, I have this Dark Lord that cost me $15", I thank him lots. Properly cellared on both ends.

A: Pours pitch black and thicker than shit. Very low carbonation. I started pouring roughly halfway through to try and get a better head.. I ended up with 1/2" that faded decently fast. Nearly no lacing.

S: Even smells thick. Deeply roasted and burnt malts. Harsh old bitter coffee grounds. A slight smoky character in the back.

T/M: Very thick. Carbonation has nearly completely fled the scene. Hops have mellowed though a faint bitterness remains. More of that very strong bitter coffee(grounds). There are some pleasant dark fruits spread throughout the drink. Alcohol is still assertively present and lends a light bit of sting with plenty of warmth. The deeply roasted/burnt malts are complimented by a super sweet syrupy side. Body if fuller than full. Carbonation is basically not there making this feel nothing like beer.

D: Very slow sipper, obviously. The carbonation was the biggest disappointment, though I'm not sure if a fresher sample will bring it up to KtG standards. Great, nonetheless and I'll be having a very fresh bottle within the month.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle of the 2011 vintage, thanks to Dobby. This one was taken out of the fridge about 20 minutes before I opened, and poured into my Duvel tulip.

Three Floyds Dark Lord pours a black so complete that I think the lights flickered when I popped the cap off. The light tan head can't quite reach two fingers in height, before the foam quickly dies away and leaves a largely clean glass behind. The nose is a little weak (although switching to a snifter for the second half of the bottle did help), and it's a little bit different from what one normally finds in a Russian Imperial Stout. Rather than chocolate and/or coffee, the aroma is redolent of molasses, licorice, and cherries and currants. The flavor doesn't have that same dull edge to it, and also manages to incorporate some more traditional imperial stout elements. A brief flash of dark chocolate opens things up for a molasses/licorice/brown sugar middle that really serves as th centerpiece of the beer. A mild coffee note then slides into dark fruity finish (those same cherries and currants). It's varied and complex, and if the roasty grain flavors were a little more prominent, I'd say it was perfect. The mouthfeel here is one of, if not the chewiest I've ever encountered. The body is as rich and viscous as it gets, and carbonation is barely, if at all appreciable. It's just too heavy and syrupy in the end to be good. Darklord is one of the tastiest stouts I've ever enountered, and is especialy smooth alcohol-wise for a relatively fresh 15% stout. The brewing process could stand to be tightened up though, as from a couple technical standpoints this beer falters a little bit.

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Photo of drewbage
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A tall bottle of the infamous Dark Lord with red wax cap and the cool spooky label. Bottle procured in a nice trade at the Hopleaf courtesy of Silenius.

Beer was stored carefully upright and settling for 2 months in my fridge to allow the full sludge settling time.

Split among three water glasses with plenty of room to spare.

Beer pours into the glass like motor oil. For once, the description is dead on and accurate. Head is large, brown and holds forever.

Aroma is cherries, tobacco, plums, dark chocolate, piney bitter hops.

Body is milkshake like, thick, viscous and hearty with a long draw from lip to gullet.

Flavor is more dark chocolate, bitter black coffee and a sharp resinous hop bite.

Word of warning... don't pour out that last bit. You don't need it and you don't want it!

Overall, an interesting beer, but a bit of a disappointment from the brewery.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Shared this bottle with my brother. A 2011

Popped the bottle with an t violation.

After reading reviews I was skeptical.

The nose is full of berry, leather and a hints of roast very nice and complex

The taste is all over the place it starts with a berry flavor raisins and plums.the taste quickly goes roasted but the sweetness remains. Make no doubts this is a cloying beer. I wanted it to be better than it is but frankly it's not. The beer seems unfinished, not fully fermented, as a homebrew if I miss pitched yeast I would be able to get a beer like this.

We both agree d if this beer had coffee, bourbon or had been more attenuated it would be world class

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Photo of weissbierdrinker
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2009 bottle. Thanks to ditmier for an exceptional trade!

Pours a black used engine oil color with a thick creamy tan head that hangs around awhile leaving behind very little lacing. Once the head fades the beer looks oily and thick, if it was in a bucket I'd seriously think someone had just changed their oil.

Smell is of cherries, molasses, burnt malts, maybe a hint of plum or some other dried fruit. Resembles port.

Mouthfeel is thick like you can chew it, and oily. Has lots of dark chocolate, burnt malts, and molasses flavors. Also notes of dried fruit, some cherries (but subtle) I don't like for my RIS to have a commanding cherry flavor. There is also a spicy sweetness right on the tip of my tongue.

This is an extremely complex beer, lots going on and hard to describe. I'd have given it a higher rating if it wasn't so damn oily and sweet. It hides the alcohol very well and there isn't an overwhelming taste of cherries (so it's very good in that aspect)
Overall it's a great beer with an obvious amount a detail in it, but I'm not sure it's worth all the hype, or maybe it's just to big a beer for me.

A definite must try.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 2010 Bottle opened and split on 9.8.12.

A - Pours a very dark brown with a small dark brown head that is gone quickly.

S - Booze, chocolate, sweet wet cardboard.

T - Sweet chocolate, booze, coffee.

D - Heavy body with a low carbonation and a sweet finish.

O - The smell worried me with some oxidization, but it tasted very nice.

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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 Rbald42
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 much-debated vintage opened tonight. Thanks to Alen (RIP) for the beer. When I started BA, I thought that this beer was the end-all be-all of beers to try. Boy did I have a lot to learn.

A- Black as night, dark dark dark with chocolate 1 finger head. Looks good
S- One of the weaker points as far as this vintage is concerned. I get a strong soy/smoky aroma on first whiff (not good). Hints of chocolate and and roasted notes. Kinda smells like prime rib for a split second.
T- On first sip I got an initial soyness from the beer, but it lessened as I drank onward. I get dark roasted malts and chocolate with hints of coffee and a milky sweetness mixed with toffee.
M- Thick and dare I say "chewy" sticky and coats the mouth. Slightly cloying and sticky sweet in a not-so good way.
D- Average, there is a lot to tackle in a single bottle. The sweetness and soy flavors make it quite a chore to finish off a single bottle. I kinda enjoyed it however. Glad I tried one, don't think I'll trade for another anytime soon.

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Photo of MrPlayboy
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Vintage 2014

Poured into a snifter and decided to crack this bottle to celebrate some recent success at work.

Smells nice, like a boozy RIS.

Taste.... sooo sweet! And syrupy and thick like molasses and just overly sweet. I get some roasted notes and a little cocoa and hints of coffee but the cloying sweetness is overpowering. Not impressed.

The high ABV is well hidden but the mouthfeel is very low on carbonation. Its like a day old opened bottle of Darkness with 5 extra spoonfuls of sugar.

Not worth the hype. Too sweet and not complex. I can't finish this bomber. Corking it for tomorrow where I'll grin and bare it since I can't stand to waste this bottle. Damnit.

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,174 ratings.
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