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 | 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

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Reviews: 1,267 | Ratings: 4,167
Photo of AlienSwineFlu
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance and nose are fine, but the taste is just a sweet mess. A lot of sweet stouts are great but Dark Lord takes it to an unnecessary and unpleasant level.

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Photo of kevanb
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle, red wax. Review is from notes. Enjoyed on 9/8/2012

The beer pours a super thick and viscous texture, jet black in color with milder brown hues when struck by the light. A dark brown head makes a small appearance, thick tight bubbles, looks fantastic, but vanishes almost immediately, and at 15% it's not unreasonable, but I do wish it stuck around longer. A thin film hangs out on top of the beer and amasses around the rim of the glass. No lacing to speak of. The aroma is extremely sweet, with molasses, chocolate malts, licorice, anise and subtle tones of coffee, but the sweetness really takes over this aroma. The flavors are also very sweet, but there is more roast now than when it was served fresh. Molasses, licorice, lots of sweet chocolate, alcohol is present, there is some creaminess to this beer as well and the sweetness isn't a bad thing in that regard, roasted coffee does come out in the end, a big element that was missing fresh. Hints of charred chocolate and dark fruits are also beginning to show signs of life. The body is perfect, huge, rich, viscous and spot on for a massive RIS.

Verdict: It's a bold RIS and at 15% takes no prisoners. I ragged on this beer fresh in 2011 and again in 2012, but it's starting to come around and in 2 years, this will be great. 2009 is tasting extremely good right now and while it may be at it's peak, there is no doubt that this beer is well made and worth seeking out, but I'd have to recommend that you try it at various stages in it's life before making a snap judgement about it's merit.

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Photo of dowen17
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours pitch black with no head. Gurgles into the bottom of my snifter.

On the nose is cherries an dark fruits. Dark roast malts, bitter chocolate and hints of char and alcohol. I see why people are saying soy sauce. I definitely pick that up on the nose as well.

Taste is cherries, sweet molasses, sweet and dark malts. Dark fruits, sugar, char, a hint of vanilla. Very very sweet. Sweet to the point that its almost not drinkable. Wow. And again, definite soy sauce on the after taste. Very interesting. The more I drink and smell the more soy sauce begins to come out.

Mouthfeel is huge and chewy. One of the thickest stouts I've ever tried. Massive, massive, massive.

This beer isn't worth the hype at all. It's decent at best. Very very sweet but the soy sauce flavor and smell really ruined it for me. I think going to DLD really ups the ratings for a lot of people with the experience involved but oh well. Try it if you can.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For Raul's 500th, he finally did it: 2013 Dark Lord.

A bit syrupy and fairly sweet, Raul is thinking more like Dark Grandma than Dark Lord. But nah, it's not THAT sweet.

A bit choclatley, a bit, um, sweet... Yeah. It's not a bad beer, it's just that no one in their right mind should chase it, or stand in line for it for that matter.

Just above average.

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Photo of beagle75
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a goblet.
2010 vintage

A: Opaque black color with a peripheral ring of beige bubbles. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Toasted brown sugar, slightly spirituous bourbon, syrupy dark chocolate, tannic vinous fruit, and savory teriyaki sauce.

T: Begins very sweet, with rustic treacle, whiskey reduction, and aggressive carbonic acidity. The middle sees a decline from some of the excessive early sweetness as roasted malt stands out more on its own. Other layers emerge, including bitter chocolate, vanilla, copper, dried plums, and cola. Acidity finally clears out during the earthy and woody finish that is also joined by licorice as the beer warms. Alcohol casts a boozy shadow throughout the flavor profile, and lingers on the palate.

M: Thick viscosity, heavy and acidic on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: This popular imperial stout displays a host of appropriate features, yet none stand out as really being superior or defining in a positive way. Despite the hype that surrounds it this beer is relegated to second tier status, with the largest offense committed by the abundant acidity that is tasted and felt. It suggests a particularly naughty version of Dr. Pepper--a sort-of highball prepared with bourbon and a dash of Hershey's syrup. Considering the amount of effort (and perhaps cash) required to land this beer, it just doesn't seem worthwhile.

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Photo of Mess
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

White wax 2009 bottle. Thanks to Heater for the trade - first time trying Dark Lord! Served in a snifter.

A - Pours like a black hole. Light does not escape. Dark, slick oil, minimal rich crema, hot chocolate head, tight lace.

S - Dark bitter chocolate. Raisins, port, fruit cake. Slight soy?

T - Sweeet, like sugar cupcake icing. Sweet tobacco, like an unlit Swisher Sweet. Molasses, but don't taste any coffee.

M - thick and viscous - coats mouth, yet slick too and frothes on tongue.

O - Hmmm....been waiting waiting waiting to try this beer, patiently cellaring since I traded with Heater in the Spring. Over worked my expectations; not as blown away as I was hoping to be. Sickly sweet. Lot to drink by oneself. Not sure if '09 is 15%, doesn't say on bottle but does not feel like 15%. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of kmatlack
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok. Here we go... been waiting to try this for a long long time. Poured into my most trusted large, bold red wine glass.

Vintage 2011

A- Pours a dark black color with very no head. Small groups of bubbles in the center of my glass. Some dark brown almost ruby hues on the edges. Attractive, but not the best looking imperial stout out there.

S- A very boozy aggressiveness on the front followed by brown sugar, molasses, black licorice, dark fruits, sweet port, lots of smokey, roasty, aroma. Then that alcohol burn comes back and fades away into Belgian candy. Smells young, but I expected that...

T- Super sweet on the tongue. Brown sugar, maple syrup, fine port, vanilla, boozey, more sugar. Its definitely a complex stout but way too sweet.

M- Appropriate for the style, though ive heard that it was more thick than this one is. Appears to be flat in the glass but has good carbonation on the tongue.

O- A great imperial stout and i would say that it wasnt as good as the hype, however its not fair to judge a fresh beer that is supposed to be aged. Above average but not mind blowing, very glad i got to try this fresh and have more in the cellar to age. I am also looking forward to trying different vintages of this beer.

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Photo of nrs207
3.59/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours fairly dark, but definitely not the darkest imperial stout out there. Small tan head.

S - Pretty bad. I get a weird olive and soy sauce mixture dominating it.

T - Luckily, the taste is much improved. I get a lot more dark fruits and a bit of roast. Way toned down on the soy sauce that killed my nose.

M - Possibly the best part about this beer. The 15% is nowhere to be found. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

O - It's a strange beer. I've never hated the smell on a beer so much and liked the taste as much as I did. I wouldn't seek this out though. Not worth the price or the trade value in my opinion.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 - Green Wax into snifter

**TO NOTE** my boy Robert (rfraga77) is the MAN for leaving this bad boy behind for me during his trip from Indiana to SF. Awesome Beercation! Don't hate me for not giving this "A" status...

A - Pitch Black with a better than expect 1' finger head from an agressive pour. Agressive swirs bring it back up better than one would expect also at the ABV - No lacing to speak of however.

S - Sweet Chocolate, soysauce, dark fruits, Port wine and alcohol fumes...almost as powerful as one would expect at 15% ABV. The roastiness becomes apparent but you really have to look for it. Belgain Quad characteristic comes out in the nose as well but you know this is a stout first and foremost.

T - Follows nose - lots of dark fruits with the chocolate. It's a sweet stout as many before have mentioned but not nearly so as I was led to believe from other reviews. Port characteristics there mid-palate. The sweetness actually works well with this beer. It's definatley still hot and now I'm getting that Soy-sauce others have detected. Not in a bad, or a good way. Feeling the burning in my stomach and back of the throat. Funny, I enjoyed this stout better more chilled than I did inbetween cellar and room temp, which is where I usually more enjoy my stouts.

M - Not thin but thin for 15% ABV Stout. A sipper for sure. Lacking in this dept as I would have liked a creamier or more silky body / mouthfeel. Carbonation is spot on though. Good.

O - Good big boozy stout with a lot of hype behind it. This beer still needs another 2 years I'd imagine. Great Novelty stout and I'm very appreciative I finally was able to try it but worth the hype? Not for me. Kind of a hot mess of a stout. To each their own.

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Photo of MNishCT77
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle from a Sat., 12/20/2014 Better Beer Authority Bottle Share (thanks, Richard H..), 2014 vintage (blue wax), poured into a *** 2014 "Holiday Extravaganza" snifter glass, drank over 15 minutes

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Photo of harrymel
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2011 - yellow wax

A: Pours dark mahogany brown. Little mocha head falls quickly leaving a simple, oily surface. Excellent clarity, actually surprisingly thin appearing with light passing through a full pour, a bit disappointing. No lacing. Surprised there was no head given the description on the bottle bragging about the head quality/quantity.

S: Green apples, bacon (oddly, but cool), caramel, woods, vanilla, anise, licorice. Dark molasses and sweet malts. This smells really interesting and actually keeps me intrigued as the beer warms.

T: Sweet, cloyingly so, with burnt sugar. Caramels. Sweet malts. Smallest hint of alcohol - which makes it fairly well hidden given the ABV. Toasted rye crisps with honey. The beer takes on some Tawny Porto tones on the finish. Nice.

M: Much thinner than anticipated or adverted on the side of the bottle. Low to no carb. Slick and coated finishing feeling. Resonating.

O: Really a good beer. Hype proof? Far from it. This is the first time I've had DL, and there's been discussion about it being: a) not as good as previous years; b) really much better after it has a year or two on it. I can say this for the beer, it carries a high degree of baggage, and it is difficult for me to be satisfied with a beer that carries sooo much clout and then deviates from it's own description of the beer. I likely won't seek particularly aggressively next year; especially given the exclusive nature of the beer.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My 100th review and a very merry christmas for me and certainly a merry christmas to you! Happy Holidays for all those not celebrating Christmas.

2009 Vintage Dark Lord recieved in a trade. So much hype and so much anticipation...here we go!!!

A-deep jet black in color pouring a thinner, bubbly 1 1/2 inches of head that is a dark tan in color, almost a coffee colored head, that dissipates quickly but deepens in color as it does. it leaves almost no lacing on the glass and the head is not exactly what I had hoped.

S-brings a huge nose, molasses and dark chocolate up front but light, tons of sugary fruity sweetness in the back. this smells so sweet.

T-huge flavor in this, molasses and dark chocolate are again faint but try to add some imperial stout quality. the sweetness is insanely high, boozy in back, lots of sugar, caramel, and dark fruits.

M-the mouthfeel is unbelievable, it could be the thickest beer I have had to date. it is extremely thick and chewy, delightfully smooth and creamy, and a perfect balance of carbonation

D-this is way too sweet, a little one dimensional. huge body and nice feel but just so sweet. age helps but still too sweet (did a verticle of 07-10 on 5/22/10, all were too sweet and quite one dimensional, 09 was the worst in everyone's opinion, I like 08 the best but again just candy for grown ups).

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Photo of pastradul
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

09 vintage.

Big thanks to scheid for this bottle.

Poured into stone og glass.

The pour has little head which would be expected. But the beer is surprisingly not that thick or dark as I was expecting.

The aroma is super sweet malt, a bit to sweet for me. Smells if it sits for a while longer it would develop a "nice" soy sauce flavor...

The taste is over powered by the sweetness, some coffee and dark malts come through but not much out side the sweetness.

I am glad I only had a taster of this because I probably wouldn't have finished anything larger.

I know this vintage was a bad year, so I will need to try others and try them. But for now I am very unimpressed with this super hyped brew.

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Photo of jaypaul522
3.57/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After all the fuss, what a let-down. The pour was good, with a nice full head. You could smell the roasted malts, but the taste was so overwhelmingly sweet I couldn't get past that. I see other reviews listing several flavors, but I couldn't taste anything but the strong sugary taste - it completely hides the 15% alcohol it is so dominant. Not a favorite.

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Photo of nhindian
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Surly Darkness tulip. Bottle courtesy of brian23456, thanks Brian! Split with russwbeck. Consumed after Surly Darkness.

2010 Vintage (Olive green wax)

A - The beer doesn't pour as much as slowly spill out of the bottle, thick and viscous and black as night. Don't even think about getting any traces of highlights with this beer, even when sipping. The head is less impressive, only offering about half a finger's worth with okay retention. When it's gone it's gone, leaving only a few strands of thin foam on the surface. The color of the head itself is lighter than Darkness, coming in at a sort of tan color. Lacing is decent as well, with a few random splotches, but again, Darkness wins in this regard as well.

S - The smell is oddly familiar and yet quite vague. After reading some other views, it seemed soy sauce was a common theme, so we pulled out a large bottle of soy sauce that Russ had laying around. Yep, there is definitely some comparisons to be made, unfortunately. However, there are also deep aromas of almost milk chocolate and nearly burnt malts, like a slight charcoal. It's also very sweet and there is some fusel-like alcohol notes as well.

T - My first taste took my by surprise as its incredibly sweet, bordering on the wrong side of cloying, which isn't a term to be used lightly. The sweetness is a shock at first, but it gradually becomes more acceptable, yet it's still a bit much. The chocolate makes a strong resurgence here as well, bringing a nice flavor. The malts and molasses bring a distinct flavor, but can't say it doesn't add to the already sweet base. The alcohol is back as well, but actually imparts a bit of rum-soaked fruits that is interesting.

M - Mouthfeel is heavy-bodied with moderately low carbonation. More carbonation that Darkness despite the weaker head. The liquid is thick and leaves a solid coating on the palate.

D - Drinkability is moderate. Unfortunately, this beer is much too sweet and alcoholic for my tastes. It's unique in that it plays on the sweeter side of the Russian Imperial Stout spectrum, but in my opinion it's a bit too much. I'm really glad I got to try it, but I can't say I wasn't a little disappointed with it.

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Photo of seeswo
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Green wax (2010) bottle shared by Jeremy (thanks man!), poured into my Bruery tulip.

Pours a very dark, heavy blackish color with very small tannish head that is gone almost immediately. Looks a bit thinner than I was under the impression this beer was. To be fair, I was under the impression this was Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse thick, so it would have been almost impossible for me to be correct as I believe you could float a marble on the top of that brew ;) I digress. The smell is roasted malts, caramel, coffee, a touch of booziness and smokiness. The taste is not as sweet as I thought it was going to be - actually the sweetness, which included dark fruit-like flavors and roast, was tempered by the smokiness present in the beer. To me, this smoky flavor dominated the flavor profile and was just a bit out of balance. [EDIT: After reading some other reviews, the smokiness, which was acknowledged by the other people I was splitting this with, may have been more like charred malts or something in that vein.] There was little to no booziness. Certainly a lot going on in this bottle - I can see why people like it. I am pretty particular about my imperial stouts, and for me, this one fine, but I don't get the hype. For people who hold additional value to complexity, I think this beer would get an uptick. The mouthfeel was right on and, again, not as syrupy as expected in a pleasing way. Dare I say I had no trouble getting this down easy and was surprised it was 15%. They certainly have done a fantastic job keeping that down.

[EDIT: I just had the opportunity to share in a Dark Lord 07-11 vertical and it has changed my opinion on the beer. 09 and 10 were drinking terribly and were not finished. 11 tasted like it had green peppers in it and maybe a little chili. 07 and 08 were alright. In general, a group of 6 people were quite unhappy with the beers collectively. The above review was 4/4/4/4.5/4.5 and I am downgrading it severely.]

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Photo of russwbeck
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage, shared with nhindian after Surly Darkness

A: Way less head than Darkness. Small off white to light brown head with hardly any retention. What does stick around laces nicely.

S: Basically all I get is chocolate and booze on the smell. It's very sweet. Don't quite know what to attribute that to though.

T: The taste is so sweet. The sweetness is quite as overwhelming as other stouts, but it really does dominate. Milk chocolate and a lot of booziness. Greg and I noticed that some reviewers noted soy sauce in the smell and taste, so I busted out a container of soy sauce to compare. Sure enough, I can understand it. While Soy Sauce is not dominant, hints of it are noted, which really surprised me.

MF: Very heavy, but not a terrible amount of carbonation. The alcohol is very noticeable.

O: Like Darkness, I was pretty underwhelmed. Honestly I'd take Yeti over either of those any day at the price point. I think these beers are far over-hyped. Perhaps they'll improve with some age, but fresh there's nothing special happening for me.

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Photo of SkiBum22
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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 - Chocolate and coffee with a big bold molasses sweetness. Vanilla and dates and figs. Quite sweet which definitely hides the booze completely.

M - The feel is thick and syrupy with a long coating finish. It does go flat about halfway through the glass though.

O - This beer did not live up to the hype for me. I love the fact that it's 15% ABV as I wish more breweries would try to make beers this strong. It's definitely an above average stout and good for the high ABV but this beer is way overhyped. I would not trade for this considering what you have to give up to get a bottle.

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Photo of claaark13
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A long day left me jones'n for a thick RIS. Since Thomas sent this over as an extra in a super-box (thank you!), I decided to give the 2012 DL one last shot before 2013. Poured at cellar temp into a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - Pours pretty dark, light tan and short head that quickly becomes lacing. Looks thick, but the lacing doesn't stick well at all to the glass. The rest is pretty good. The weak legs is all that's holding this back.

S - Sweet soy sauce. Some roast seems to be there, but it is covered in sugar. Notes of sweetened condensed milk and coffee. At some points it makes me think of this 50/50 condensed milk and espresso I once tried.

T - Sweet dark fruits, molasses, coffee. Lots of sugar. Sweet coffee and dark malts become so dominating. It doesn't seem too complex once the middle starts. The sweetness starts to subside in the finish and non-sugared coffee shows itself. I don't get any booze, which is impressive.

M - Very thick; not the thickest, but very thick.

O - It is better than most shelf-RIS in my opinion. In a world of Hill Farmstead, Surly and Cigar City, and Bruery, I have a tough time with DL. An immense amount of sweetness really covers the flavors. Any transition between flavors tastes like sugar. This bottle is miles beyond what I tried at DLD though, so it has improved. FFF should just throw all of their DL in barrels and be done with it.

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage drank with Anthony, Andrew and Joel

A - Pours a deep ebony colour with light visible, the head dies very quickly.

S - Tobacco , raisin, prunes , fig, dark chocolate.

T - Very sweet, with dark fruits and mollassis. no roast at all. The finish is boozy.

M - Moderate carbonation and surprisingly thin for a 15% stout, would describe as medium body.

O - Disappointed with this beer. I just don't get how overpowering sweetness translates into a world class beer. The ageing potential is there, and I would put down for 10 years or so before drinking

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Alright, I thought I'd open this one for my 300th review. Yellow wax, 2011 vintage. Love these labels.

A - Pours a medium black with brown edging. NO head, even after pouring faster towards the end. Slight mocha coloured bubbles surfaced at the end but nothing formed. Leaves a clear brown film on edge of glass when swirled.

S - Pretty decent smell. Lots of dates, plums, rum raisin. Pick up some vanilla and the roast coffee. Some charcoal and chocolate.

T - Wow, first thing, this thing is soooo sweet. A LOT of brown sugar, molasses and just freaking sugar. Man, the sweetness hides a lot of the other flavours. In the background, I pick up a nice assortment of dark cherries, dates, raisins, chocolate. I really didn't pick up on much of the coffee. Slight vegetal flavour too somewhere in there, odd.

M - Coating, medium-heavy, sticky, very cloying

O - I don't think this lived up to the hype. You can tell that it had some nice components but was so dang sweet. Less sweetness would allow the coffee to come out (and some more of the cherries) which would be a lot nicer. The ABV was hidden fairly well though, props.

I don't know what I am going to do with my remaining 3 bottles (one each for 2009-2011). I may revisit this in a year and do a vertical. Hopefully some cellar time will help this sweetness come down to earth.

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Photo of mmapes
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Andrew for the trade. I never thought I'd get to try this one.

Pours dark but not completely black, a translucence while pouring. Not much head. The bottle is from 2012 and we're tasting it in 2013.

Smells boozy, hot. Molasses, prunes.

First taste: really thick and syrupy, very sweet. Tingle-bursts on first taste.

Second taste: big malt, slightly bitter, fairly long finish. Port wine.

A little sticky sweet for my tastes. There are better balanced Russian Imperials that I think I prefer.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks goes out to Gritsak for this. 22oz bottle into a Stone IRS snifter. 2009 version, White Wax.

A: Incredibly black, an aggressive pour yields a few fairly dark brown bubbles, never truly develops into a head, just a ring of bubbles towards the outer edge of the glass. Easily one of the darkest beers, if not the darkest I've had to date. I wish I could coax more of a head from this, as it would really bring the appearance up.

S: Initial smells of soy sauce (hopefully it doesn't trigger Triple Bock flashbacks), burnt malts, chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, and just a hint of booze. As I take a deeper smell it reveals some more notes of dark chocolate and caramel. I also get a sort of barbeque sauce/charred meat sort of aroma mixed in. All around smells like a monster of a beer, but the soy sauce has me a bit wary.

T: Sweet, syrupy beer initial notes of brown sugar, molasses, and caramel really stand out in front of the fairly massive chocolate note. Really lots of dark fruit, plums, raisins, figs and maybe some grapes as well. Over ripe cherries come to mind as well. Fair amount of port flavors going on too with the sweetness and dark flavors in general. Decent amount of bitterness, but surprisingly there is a lack of roasted flavors, for a beer this dark. Surprisingly mellow on the alcohol flavors, I would even venture that it is not noticeable. There is a bit of a tart flavor, like a plum, that really starts to show itself as it warms. Very complex.

M: Incredibly thick, light, creamy carbonation, and almost disturbingly sticky. Chocolate milkshake. What I can't figure out, is that for a beer this huge, there is practically no boozey burn on the finish at all, just a bit of warmth. I'd have to say that this is spot on for the style.

D: It is an enjoyable beer, and is insanely complex, but as a stout it comes up a bit short for me. The huge roasted profile and burnt malts that I've come to expect in a beer like this are missing, I think that mixed with a bit more of a hoppy bitterness would help to balance the insane sweetness of this beer. Hmm, this is something, but I don't think it is quite the beer that the hype machine has made it to be. I've also heard that 2009 is an off year, as well as that 2009 was a great year, so I don't know what to think of the beer. Interesting and complex, but I honestly believe there are better stouts out there.

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Photo of squaremile
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had 2009 at the fall Beer Advocate tasting in Portland at Victory Bar. Pours black with a small head, no lacing, and the smell is all sugar and alcohol. After reading a lot of reviews, I was actually surprised the mouthfeel wasn't thicker. GIBCS is sludge, this was what you'd expect from any RIS. The taste overall is sugary sweetness, hints of coffee, molasses, more sugar, vanilla, burnt toast, brown sugar, and chocolate. This thing could give you cavities faster than Coca Cola. Overall it's fine, but without a cool name, bottle design, limited availability, and a rad event with it, there's no way it'd be even Top 20 on this website.

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Photo of Lapalou
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2016, pour is dark and thick with no head. Some slight tan lacing sitting at the top. Nose is a bit off putting, nothing of note, looking for coffee or roast, but getting sweetness. Taste- like a dunkin donuts Ice coffee where the sugar hasn't dissolved at the bottom and you get granular sugar in the first sip. Overwhelmingly sweet. Definitely doesn't feel like 15%, but doesn't taste like a beer either. I like dessert type beers, things like AC gccs, but man this beer is tough to drink. Like a flat Mexican sugar Coca Cola. No thanks. Wouldn't buy it on the shelf. Not the worst beer and no soy sauce for me but sugar bomb

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,267 ratings.
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