Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,263 |  Reviews: 1,283
Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of SeattleBoB76
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of shuajw
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of imperialking
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Sean66
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Goobastic
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Redsunsx01x
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of LukeK
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of abfraser
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 bottling

A: Thick and viscous. Hate to say it because it's so cliche, but this really does pour like motor oil. Black as night with a nice thin milk chocolate head. You know this is going to be intense just by looking at it.

S: Soy sauce, burnt aromas, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits. Medicinal/menthol-y which might be from aged hops?

T/M: Amazingly complex. Over the course of consumption, I wrote down the following: soy sauce, molasses, dark fruit, coffee/chocolate that lingers on the finish, cherry liqueur, menthol, chocolate milk. Mouthfeel is amazingly creamy and full-bodied. This stuff really is extraordinary.

D: I opened this last night with my girl who loves stouts. She proceeded to fall asleep after two sips, which meant almost the entire beer needed to be consumed by me. Not possible. This stuff is so unbelievably intense that you must split it. While everything is extremely well-balanced given how much is going on this needs to be taken into account as a minor negative. This needs to be in 12oz bottles for personal consumption.

Overall, a beer that lives up to the hype. Extraordinarily good.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. The first thing that strikes you about this beer is its thickness. A lot of beers claim to pour like motor oil, this one actually comes close to pulling that off. A thick, viscous, dark liquid poured out of the bottle into my glass. The smell and taste were both very complex, with chocolate, slight coffee, vanilla and roasted molasses coming through.

A great stout, which comes very close to living up to the enormous hype.

 476 characters

Photo of Gregf51
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of bens0n
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fresh 2014 bottle poured into snifter.

Pours just like you would expect, nothing really special or crazy, but definitely solid for an imperial stout, not much head though.

On the nose, I pick up a really interesting and unique smell I have never ever experienced in a beer before. It has a really lively organic almost meaty, cheesy note that really stands out to me. Its not unpleasant by any means, but its definitely what I would describe as violent, but not really abrasive. Really hard to pick out anything else thats really specific, its got a well blended combination of complex stuff going on. There are some subtle, sweet, fruity cherry notes in there too with a tiny bit of swampy smokeyness. Not boozy smelling at all, just a crazy combination of all kinds of stuff, the meaty/bloody smell I pick out really blows my mind.

Flavor wise, its got the same complexity and unique, almost indescribable flavor. No detectable boozyness, just a little bit of heat that you can feel warm you up a little afterwards. I was able to pick up more on the nose than I was sipping it, but its definitely alot like the smell. The colder it is, the more the cherry seems to be prevalent.

Mouthfeel was nice, really smooth, decent viscocity. Not really slick or exceptionally thick, but just the right balance for an imperial stout.

Buddy of mine drove up to FFF for DLD this year and was kind enough to share this and some other brews at a tasting party. I have been wanting to try this stuff ever since I laid eyes on it on this site, years ago.

For a HUGELY hyped beer, I will have to say it did live up to its expectations. Its not some kind of supernatural life changing beer that I would sell a kidney for or anything like that, but its definitely an amazing brew worth trying even if you don't like stouts. I'm a huge stout guy, so this definitely hit the spot at the end of the tasting. I've had a couple of other hyped beers and they weren't really that good, DL is definitely worthy of all the praise it gets.

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Photo of deepsouth
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a BIG thanks goes out to BradLikesBrew for this 2007 version of FFF Dark Lord.

this beer poured a thick black substance with little head, but who cares? i have never seen a beer pour so thick and glug out of the bottle.

the smell is exceptional. the smell is of molasses, chocolate, toffee, raisins, dates & other pitted fruits. i'm not certain it gets better than this.

the taste is wonderful and consistant with the smell. ultra complex and a bit smokey tasting. little alcohol is present at first, but it settles in quite nicely.

the mouthfeel is thick, oily, full, & sticky.

i loved this beer and as barefootbrewer said below, begs to know if there is another.

as a side note, i have also never seen a beer cling to the side of the glass like this one does. by the time i finished the beer, the entire inside of my glass was coated with a thick molasses like substance that i completely feel like i cold have scraped off and shoved down in a pipe and smoked.

thanks again Brad for this badass beer.

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Photo of expatsteve
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

With a huge thanks to battlekow for the liberal pours and to Golden2wenty1 for the chance to try this - and to my wife for letting me run off in the middle of the night to drink good beer.

Appearance: Ominous - black, viscous, with no visibility. Pours with a brief amber/cappucino head that subsides to leave just the faintest lacing. One of the most inky beers I've ever seen.

Aroma: Impressive nose - sour cherries, espresso, molasses, dried plums, with just enough cocoa and brown sugar to keep it crisp and complex. Nutty, slightly salty finish. Constant sweet fruits. The nose on this is something that impressed me the whole glass through.

Taste: Nicely balanced flavor - immediate booze tingle subsides to reveal and rich medley of chocolate, brown sugar, roasted soy and thick upfront plums. Bitterness on the middle palate gives way to an impressive full malt finish. Develops a good biscuity finish that I really didn't expect from such a thick beer. A study in constant complex flavor rather than development.

Mouthfeel: Thick, smooth, with the initial booze flourish mediate through an amazing malt finish and aftertaste. Excellent masking, without resorting to oversweetening.

Drinkability: Great. Not sure what else I could say about it - a dark and hungry god that is worthy of its place alongside Stone IRS and other imperial stouts.

 1,365 characters

Photo of jeonseh
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle of 2008 poured into my crystal snifter

A - Darkest beer I have probably ever seen. It is big and thick which I can tell even when I pour it in. It "gulgs" out thick and even makes a noise while pouring it out. It had really no head at all when I poured it out but only a cocoa colored foam that sat on top before fading away.

S - Has a big whiff of vanilla and caramel coming up. Also there is roasted chocolate and smokiness. Reminds me also a bit of a fudge brownies. Hints of oak and cinnamon.The nose was good but it was not impressive to me. Also a hint of alcohol as well that makes it a big nose.

T - Taste up front is sweet vanilla and caramel at first. It is a rich and decadent sweetness that matches well with the thick body of the beer. As the beer progress get darker and roasted flavors as well with even what I called a hint of cinnamon and oak. There is also sweet milk chocolate that comes up in the middle. As it progresses near the end, get some roasted dark chocolate, anise, and a hint of burnt malt. This roasted malt and burnt roasted coffee like flavors are what remains on the tongue as it the taste floats on. This is one taste that just lingers on forever and sits on the tongue. The aftertaste of some sips reminds me of a rich fudge brownie. Also has a bit of a warming quality near the end I have to say that on the whole this is one big beer that just punches you in the face when you first sip it. All of the flavors are there and balanced but all of them are in full force. I also have to say that there was absolutely no hint of the alcohol at all. I just really enjoyed this and thought it was an excellent beer.

MF - Big, thick and syrupy. Really thought this went well with the sweet taste profile in the beer. This is a mouthful and one rich beer that is big in the mouth. It is sticky and have to say one of the thickest and richest beer I have ever had.

D - despite this being such a big beer, it is rahter easy to drink. Additionally, I did not find myself tiring of the flavors. Definitely one of the best beers I have ever had especially in terms of the flavor profile. Each sip makes me want have to have even more since each taste is unique and complex. A super good beer that seemed to live up to the hype to me. One of the few RIS's that I have had that I just could not put down at all.

 2,349 characters

Photo of twizzard
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of julian89
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So, it has been a very long time since I have actually rated a beer, but my very good friend mscudder (previous rater on this brew) shared this with me yesterday. Ah what an experience. I haven't tasted a stout of this complexity since a founders backstage series beer from 2011, you may have heard of it, you know a beer by the name of CBS!!! Anyways, we opened it after letting warm a little...
Apperance: Color was great, nice dark syrup feel (expected from a coffee stout), good lacing too. What it lacked was a proper head and retention. Don't get us wrong we know how to do a proper pour, the beer just wasn't having it, but this is really my only downside to this brew.
Smell: Oh sweet beer gods! The sugary waft, the subtle coffee, oh so great. Vanilla was very very subdued by this point, I forgot to say we were drinking a 2012.
Taste: First hit is a fantastic medley of dark fruits for me (dates, raisins and plums). The sugars taste as if they were a purified syrup. Definitely gearing towards a dessert beer here. Coffee doesn't have the pungent taste of many coffee stouts I've had in the past, but this may be due to the aging process.
Mouthfeel: This, in my opinion, is the high point of the beer. It was oh so chewy, coated the tongue with sugary delight. The froth of the dissolved CO2 was at a perfect level (despite the lack of visual indication). Excellent mouthfeel for a RIS.
Overall: Definitely a beer I would like to enjoy again. Maybe next time we will try fresh off the line. Thanks again for sharing Scudder.

 1,536 characters

Photo of DaveHS
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to francisweizen for splitting this with me.
Pours with almost no head. Thick and oily. Smells like fruitcake, charred wood and espresso beans. I already know this will be exceptional.
The mouthfeel is thick, almost overwhelming. But smooth. Overwhelming flavor profile. Roasted grains, vanilla, espresso beans, and chocolate covered cherries. Slightly medicinal and boozy, but its all academic once you've had a few sips!
This is one of the few beers that really lives up to its hype. I was ready to be disappointed but I have to say, its easily one of the top three Russian Imperial Stouts I have had the pleasure of trying.

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Photo of 4thFloyd
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DNICE555
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

09 Dark Lord, White Wax... black soul. 2nd in line at the big Christmas 2010 Epic Stout Tasting. Poured myself about 8 oz and split the rest between Zapps, Cpie, Larsonstyle, R Moe nay, and Jlynn.

A - The body looks like the devil in black camouflage. A nice healthy dark tan head comes fourth from the depths of hell.

S - Roasted grain, big malty clouds, tempting fruits from the garden of Eden , molasses, raisins, chocolate. If this beer had a wallet, it'd be the one that say's bad motherfu*ker on it.

T - This beer is the Peter North of beers. Both my unit and the Dark Lord are huge. This evil serpent slayed me. I barley made it out alive. Every component seems to be exaggerated.

M - Consistency of a creamy bowl of oatmeal. Good carbonation. 10 inches+

D - I can't believe this is 15% percent. I am enjoying an 09' at the end of '10 but I can barely detect any alcohol at all. The flavors are exaggerated and it is sweet but not overly. I was very impressed and happy to enjoy this demon.

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Photo of zeff80
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with dertbert who acquired it via trade from bradlikesbrew.
2007 Edition.

A - Best looking beer I've ever seen. Poured out an opaque, jet black color. It had an extremely bubbly, caramel colored head. It didn't leave lace, but it left a residue that was difficult to wash off.

S - The aroma was dark chocolate and caramel. A candy-like sweetness.

T - A nice smooth maltiness with great dark chocolate flavors. Also, a nice blend of caramel malts. It did have a touch of grassy hops.

M - It had a warm alcohol presence. It was velvety smooth. A very heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is very outstanding. I understand the hype. The flavors were amazing. But, hands down, it was the best looking dark beer I've ever seen.

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Photo of KBlodorn
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Heischman
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First I need to send a super thank you Mr Mike in IN for the greatest Xmast Gift ever!
Beer/Brewery - The Dark Lord 2011 – 3 Floyds
City/State- Munster, Indiana
STYLE – Russian Imperial Stout
ABV – 15%
IBU – Unknown
DATE – 03 JAN 2012
SERVING TYPE – 22 oz Bomber Wax (Yellow) Dipped
GLASSWARE – Small Snifter
APPEARANCE –Dark Brown almost black with no light passing through, Very Little head
AROMA- Boozy and chocolaty
TASTE – Sweet but with a roasted bitterness, such a well proportioned balance it is UN real! Hints of a dried fruit as well maybe raisin or date, or eve prune.
MOUTHFEEL – Nice thickness that a stout should have, and so smooth.
CONCLUSION – Truly a once in a life time brew! Again I thank MR MIKE for the most wonderful Xmas gift ever!

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep black color with a constancy of 10W40. The small tan head quickly dissipates. Below average lacing and below average carbonation with a smell of sweet roasted dark malts, coffee and vanilla. Tastes of strong coffee, sweet roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, and toffee. Very complex. Very tasty - This WORLD CLASS. Drink and Enjoy!

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Silver Wax

A - Pure black with a creamy 2 fingers deep brown head. This pours the blackest of any beer I have seen.

S - Dark, very rich chocolate, molasses, espresso, dark fruits & anise.

T - Coffee, rich fine chocolate, caramel, toffee, deeply roasted malt and molasses.

M - Thick and chewy. Borderline syrupy but not quite. Low carbonation and the alcohol is hidden very well.

D - I wasn't a big fan of the 2005 and 2006 Dark Lords but the 2007 has made me a believer.

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,263 ratings.
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