Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.27/5
Outstanding
4,317 Ratings
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
Green with silver glitter = 2017 - New Label

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#659
Reviews:
1,296
Ratings:
4,317
pDev:
14.52%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3,213
Gots:
2,103
Trade:
199
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,317 |  Reviews: 1,296
Photo of abrand
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, my first sip of Dark Lord at the 2010 DLD. Served in a plastic cup after claiming by bottles

The pour is oil black with a very small head that dissipates quickly. Totally opaque. Smells of dark chocolate, molasses, and plenty of sugar. Coffee is present but not very noticeable. Taste is amazingly great. Thick as oil and packed with malts, sugar, and chocolate. For the huge ABV this drinks well for a stout. Will look forward to popping the first bottle in 6 months to see how it develops. This beer deserves all the hype it reserves.

 541 characters

Photo of BigbROB
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of lilnicky068
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of jdcooper88
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of kirkfrailey
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of bkwhoppa66
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of srusty569
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Metllica97
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of KnowYourCraft
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of barnzy78
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a 2009 in 2009 with sub-par reviews: look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5 = 3.7/5.

Re-review of a newer batch (2010), aged for 2.5 years. Big difference here.
22oz bottle shared with a friend. Poured into a tulip, thick pour reveals an opaque black body topped with a milk chocolate colored head, good retention, no lacing. Aromas are boozy, roasted barley, dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, cherry, and blackberry perhaps. Initially it's sweet and syrupy with notes of dark chocolate, raspberry, blackberry, cherry, cocoa, roasted barley, vanilla, molasses, espresso, booze. Full flavored with maximum complexity. Unbelievably good! Mouth-feel is thick & chewy, full-full bodied, viscous, and very smooth. Overall, definitely an upper echelon RIS. One of the best out there, if not the best. I stand corrected.

 844 characters

Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of SeattleBoB76
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of shuajw
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of imperialking
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of Sean66
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of Goobastic
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of Redsunsx01x
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of LukeK
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of abfraser
4.74/5  rDev +11%
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.

 1,128 characters

Photo of jwolfie70
4.74/5  rDev +11%
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 +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of bens0n
4.74/5  rDev +11%
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.

 2,017 characters

Photo of deepsouth
4.74/5  rDev +11%
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.

 1,010 characters

Photo of expatsteve
4.74/5  rDev +11%
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 +10.8%
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

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 4,317 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.