Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,273 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,273 | Ratings: 4,216
Photo of BacklitAvenger
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage in feb. 2009, ratings updated to 09 vintage as reviewed below.

Good lord. This is a beer, friends, a beer that will change your conceptions of just what beer can be. My friend's uncle opened up a bottle to share with me. It was the silver dipped wax, I believe he said he thought it was the '07. Pops the top and pours half into a chalice for me, half into a chalice for him.

Appearance - I love beers with intensity in their color, whether they be light or dark. Example being Sierra Nevada Pale Ale vs Rolling Rock. The SNPA has a more intense color, and is likewise better in taste as well. This beer is so intensely colored that it is the absence of color itself. Black like coal, like outer effing space it is.

Smell - Let me down just a teensy bit. I could detect the typical stouty smells but the big hits of fruit I was about to taste weren't there to be scented.

Taste - Lordy folks we have lots of flavors here, more than any beer reasonably ought to possess. First you get a rich, sweet malt, and then bam bam bam rapid fire blackberries raspberries plums, hints of hops, and then as the fruit subsides as you swallow all of a sudden there's roasted coffee on the palate! And I will have you know I am not given to the whole "oh I taste vanilla and bananas and pizza and dog shit in this wine" type of talk lightly. This beer truly does however possess these tastes in full.

Mouthfeel - Tar. This is some sludgey stuff people. I'm talking the next morning I noticed it stained the chalice BROWN for chrissake. It's that sticky and gooey. And good. If it had the taste it has without a mouthfeel that can stand up alongside it, it would be off balance, and imperfect. This beer will stand up and walk away, as it should.

Drinkability - I had only a chalice full, but I would have loved to drink more. Even at 13% abv I was craving for more. The alcohol is buried under the bombastic taste, you can barely even tell there's any ethanol there. I'd have drank the whole bottle if possible and kept going till my head hit the table. Why? Cause it's that good folks, truly deliciously amazingly awesome beer. Only reason it doesn't get a 5.0 is because while I would TRY to drink this all night, it would sooner rather than later put me down like a lame racehorse.

 2,288 characters

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

22oz Bomber - thanks uncle flip

Poured into a chimay chalice....black with a reddish brown head that falls very quickly. Almost no carbonation and no light getting through this beer. The smell is alcohol, dried fruit, coffee, roasted malt. Very complex. The taste executes on the smell....cherries, vanilla, nice finishing hops, and ends with a very nice alcohol warming. Definitely one of the best beers in world. The alcohol is present but very well blended with the other flavors. The mouthfeel is perfect for the style...thick, chewy and smooth. The drinkablility for the style is great, not perfect due to the alcohol, but about as close as it gets. Excellent beer!

 673 characters

Photo of 0110x011
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black-waxed 2008 vintage. Huge thanks to TexasWayne for sharing this beauty!

Pours blacker than a thousand midnights. Thick, one-finger head is darker than any I've ever seen, leaving spotty dollops of lace as it recedes. A light swirl leaves thick tan sheets on the sides of the glass that refuse to fall. According to my notes: "viscous as fuck." Nose is as enormous as expected, with sweet french roast coffee predominating; Chocolate, vanilla, smoke, leather and earth add serious complexity. The palate reflects the nose, in flavor and enormity. Some dark fruit flavors and sweetness add to the complexity. Mouthfeel is thick, slick, and creamy. Finish is incredibly long. Alcohol burn is not horrible, but present enough to drop drinkability a notch.

Yes, it's that good. Believe the hype.

 797 characters

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

this particular 2008 bottle (black wax) is a gift. i know i got another 2008 bottle from an actual trade, but this one was from the guys at three floyds (FFF) themselves. ok, so here's the story: at EBF'08, my brother and i were at both saturday sessions, but DL ran out before we could get some during the first session. so we made sure to wait in line as early as possible for session two. so we were pretty much implanted in the minds of the guys representing FFF at the table. at EBF'09, we were thus gifted a bottle of this sweet nectar for our small little act of beer geekdom from the previous year...

tasted in early/mid may 2009. poured into tulip.

midnight black. head requires vigorous pour or swirling, to create 1.5-fingers of sepia brown colored foam, w/ an orange tint. fades to a thin layer, then wisps, then just a ring. some thin rings of lace, but some fade to splotches. and even then, lace formation requires a deft touch when tilting the glass for each sip. anyway, the high appearance score is mainly for the opacity and viscosity, otherwise would've been a 4.0

(note: the dregs at the bottom of the bottle, when poured into our glasses, COAT the glass. literally like used motor oil! whoa! might even elicit a "yuck" for some people...)

aroma: rich caramel, molasses, with roast malt and notes of cocoa and coffee. hints of cherry and trace vanilla. faint mash and coffee-like acidity meet a very faint note of alcohol and booze. as it warms, it actually has reminiscences of port.

taste: rich, rich, RICH! caramel, molasses, and brown sugar meets the roast and hop bitterness, with bright cocoa and coffee tones, twinge of mash and coffee-ish acidity, into fruity acidity, more rich malts, coffee and faintly charred character in the finish, lingering with hint of dry grassiness (from hops?)

feel: velvet smooth yet viscous. unbelievable. creamy. the thickest beer i've ever drank! yet still smooth and also complex with some astringent coffee tones in the finish. mild to moderate carbonation only helps to accentuate all the smooth and creamy tones. wow.

(note: the feel of the dregs is reaaallly viscous! sticky, and *almost* hard to swallow! my brother was ambivalent about this, but i was like, "woo hoo!")

okay, let's be honest about the drinkability though... a full bomber of this all on my own would kill me...

 2,353 characters

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

2004 edition. Impenetrable, tenebrific, inky, utter blackness. This is where light goes to die. The Stygian darkness fits so aggressively against the glass, crowding out all semblance of light so completely, that the glass itself seems to have disappeared. The cinnamon colored head was a cascading behemoth during and after the pour and is now a solid two finger mass of dense, heavy cream. It looks as if the 13.0% ABV has effectively scared off any lace. No matter, this is one of the most impressive looking beers that I've ever seen. I can't award perfection, though, with no lace.

The rich, powerful nose is redolent of dark chocolate, dark caramel-toffee, molasses-soaked hops and amazingly little coffee. I'm surprised that it isn't quite as bombastic and as menacing as I had hoped. The aroma is deep and multi-faceted for sure, but since I can imagine a better nose, and have smelled a few, it doesn't earn the ultimate compliment of a 5.0.

The apocalyptic flavor is as expansive and as mouthfilling as they come. With barely controlled fury, The Dark Lord rides roughshod over all in his path... currently my taste buds. There's a tripartite flavor profile of fudgey chocolate, melted caramels and coffee liqueur. Each sip is like an explosion of the most amazing beer candy in the universe. It's much sweeter than expected, but I absolutely love it.

The obdurate, rock solid backbone of hugely roasted malt has very little charred character. All rough edges have been effectively smoothed over by a teeming, sticky river of dark honey and molasses. Each sip shoots me up to dizzying heights filled with swirling, thick ropes of intertwining flavor: chocolate, caramel, treacle, coffee, more chocolate... ad infinitum. It then lets me down frightfully easily on a diminishing, lingering tide of those same amazing flavors.

What to say about the body? This is, without a doubt, the biggest, thickest, most viscid beer that I've ever had. I'll dispense with the much deserved string of adulatory adjectives and say simply that Dark Lord's mouthfeel is sheer perfection. It's hard to believe, but the 13.0% ABV is very nearly completely hidden. I pick up a trace of it on the finish, but it's a beautifully integrated, perfectly polished addition to the mind blowingly complex whole. Make no mistake though, its soporific power is threatening to overwhelm my senses, and a soft place to land is now high on my list of priorities.

This bottle has been lying in wait, biding its time, eagerly awaiting its chance to impress the hell out of me for well over one year now. And the hell has been impressed out of me and then some. DL is a legendary beer that deserves every one of the breathless accolades from its legion of devoted acolytes. Count me among the converted. All hail the Dark Lord!

 2,804 characters

Photo of mjn5036
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage

I have been waiting for some kind of special occasion to open this one. Today was a long day and work and nothing seemed to go right... reason enough I suppose. I cut through the wax and popped the top off which released a small amount of carbonation. The center pour into my Piraat glass looked like dirty, used motor oil. A large caramel colored head arose from the bottom of the pour and continued to grow, and grow, and grow until it nearly overflowed. After letting this one settle for a few minutes the darkness of it really catches my eye. It is so damn dark that it is questionable whether this can even be considered a liquid at all; it is more of a sludge sitting in my glass, black as night and foreboding. No lacing is visible. A swirl of the glass leaves a thick oily residue fastened to the sides of the glass more like a wine than a beer.

The nose consists of chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, dark fruits - prunes and figs, cherry and coffee as well as a vague resemblance to soy sauce. The smell is sweet and inviting with an alcohol twang reminiscent of port.

Upon first sip my exact words were "holy sh*t". Super thick on the tongue, so damn rich and smooth. Dark Lord is unpredictably sweet, far sweeter than the nose led me to believe. The taste is a decadent combination of cherry, plum, fig, raison, chocolate, coffee and molasses. Alcohol is noticeable in its port like qualities. Each flavor meshes together superbly creating a stout of unprecedented quality and taste. This is proving to be an epic battle between my taste buds and my will to finish this beer. 220z of these flavors are almost proving to be too much at once, but it is so. Damn. tasty. The taste is exceptional, not for the faint of heart.

15% abv? Really? As I said previously this beer is so damn smooth for its abv it's incredible. By far this is the thickest, most viscous beer I have had to date. I have never had anything like this beer. I love every second of this experience. I tried not to have any high expectations of this beer because of all the hype surrounding it. This is one beer that I found has not just lived up to its hype, but surpassed it.

 2,178 characters

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

Appearance: Pours out a thick dark, inky black with a churning, burbling chestnut-brown head. The type of stuff you see seagulls and sealions coated in on the news.

Smell: A rich, aggressive aroma greets the nose, unleashing waves of dark-roasted coffee, chocolate-covered cherries, anise, sorghum, and booze. Okay, you got my attention.

Taste: Phenomenally flavorful! A complex breadth of tastes that knows no bounds. Cherry-topped Black Forest cake marinated in Sambuca served with espresso with a hint of tobacco tossed in. Roasted bitter, bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: No question about it, this beer is full-bodied, taking 'chewy' to a whole new (and frightening) level. There's a sensational creaminess to it that pairs perfectly with it's charming warming nature.

Drinkability: Exquisite! Truly, a beer to be celebrated.

 841 characters

Photo of Sandevin8887
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It's like drinking chocolate covered cherries with an ice cream finish!
Chill it several hours before drinking, then let it warm up to about 50 degrees. Do not serve it in a frosted mug if you want the full effects of its complex taste.

 236 characters

Photo of abrand
4.75/5  rDev +11%
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 barnzy78
4.75/5  rDev +11%
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 jgap
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enormous thanks to Matt for contributing this bottle to our tasting. Wow... Smell is wonderful- fruits, chocolate, and coffee mocha. Lots of mocha sweetness. Hops are detectible. The taste is instantly toffee. It's a nice intro because if you haven't heard about how huge this beer is the smell warned you that you're in for it. A splash of ripe fruit, dark raisins, and prunes then, like cat Vs train, it hits you. Thick, very thick molasses, huge roasted toffee, and a little hops with some coffee notes to help you through. It's an amazingly deep taste of dark fruit, however, you can also concentrate on the lighter toffee, coffee and hoppy notes to experience it in a completely different way. It's very rich and fades with a coffee tinge. The alcohol is dangerously undetectable. There is also a craft/homebrew feel to it. I'm not sure if that is coming through in the taste, the smell, or if my mind is simply projecting it. Extremely complex and quite remarkable. Per Matt it's "scrumdiddlyumptious" and I can hear the whistle fading in the distance...

 1,060 characters

Photo of Zaso
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage, poured into a snifter. Motor oil black, very little head, low carbonation.

A - Notes of caramel and fruitiness jump out right away. You can smell the bite of alcohol pretty clearly, which I only mention because it is well disguised in the taste.

T - Was not expecting the amount of sweetness that I got from this beer up front. Your taste buds are immediately bombarded with sweet, fruity notes of licorice, cherry and raisons, with just a hint of the typical molasses. The fruity assault is immediately followed by a pleasant, drinkable finish that doesn't taste boozy, but also lacks complexity. Finishes mild and neutral, leaving you wanting another sip. Somewhat dangerous for a 15% creation.

M - Medium thickness for an imperial stout. Of course tasting the ultra-thick BCBS afterwards might have made it seem thinner. Overall a very balanced viscosity that is extremely drinkable.

Was very excited to drink this beer and was hoping for it to stand out among the many imperial stouts of today's world. I wasn't at all prepared for the blast of dark fruitiness that hit my taste buds at first sip. It's almost overwhelming, but disguises the booze so nicely and differentiates this one from others. It has a really pleasant and mild finish that makes it easy to drink. Overall, a great experience.

 1,319 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 version into a large snifter. Shared with Birradr14,oglmcdgl and mary. Thanks goes out to Thomas Hardy for the bottle. I could not attend this year so I figured if you cant join them, drink with them in spirit. Drank on DLD 09'

A- Taking off the black wax and unsealing the cap I got a faint whiss of noise from the bottle. What came out of the bottle was a different story though. I never used this term for a RIS review before because i've been saving it for this one, DL is motor oil in it's very essense. DL has the look of texas tea, sludge, goop and swamp like, oh yeah it's black in color. A nice sized dark brown cap of head graced the top with nice lacing.

S- I just get overrun witha huge chocolate presense with mounds of fudge batter and some coffee underneath that. A huge roasty aspect comes out plus some char as well. Big notes of black roasted malt. Some faint vanilla and not a lot of hops, perhaps they faded. Dark fruits with minimal raisins and a bunch of molasses.

T- I was turned on by the smell but once I tasted DL it was all over from there. This stuff is worth all of it's weight in gold. Rich deep chocolate layered upon fudge chocolate chips, you name it. The malt base used in this really adds another layer to this which makes it stand out with some wood like taste thrown in for good measure. The hops are not the focus point in this very sweet brew. Im getting some licorice and molasses. Some dark fruit and a bit of alcohol which is fine by me. Why havent I been drinking this for years?!!??!

M- DL just coats the mouth without hesitation. From the looks of this beer I knew it would be thick. DL is full bodied with some carb trying to make it's way throught the swamp of stout. Not at all bitter in this one year old bottle but it is very sweet, there's no getting around that. Like others have said this is the thickest beer I have ever consumed thus far. Thick and chewy this one takes a little patience to get through but I m up for it.

D- While the 13% is expertly hidden in the sea of blackness, it is indeed in there so sharing this would be the wise thing to do. Maybe down the road i'll drink a bottle to my head to test my stamina, I just wont drive afterwards. For a 13% beer it is amazing that I did not get a lot of alcohol burn although I could taste some booze. With that said I finished my portion in no time and I was sad to see it go.

My 1st offering from three floyds was the bomb and I intend to try more from this brewery. Now only if they made it back into PA all would be right in the world, A man can dream cant he.

Edit- Had the 2009 vintage and it pales in comparison to the 08. It was difficult to take down even with a 6oz pour. Too much dark fruit, needs alot of time.

 2,746 characters

Photo of danielharper
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My 200th review!

Gotten for me by UncleFlip at Dark Lord Day 2006.

A: It pours a dark black color, so black that it almost appears purple. A gentle pour leaves no head at all, a more vigorous pour gives a small brownish-white one. Viscous, like motor oil, completely opaque.

S: Aroma is very sweet and syrupy, strong notes of grapes and heavy malt. Slight hoppiness apparent even when cold. Surprisingly, no astringency due to alcohol.

T: Flavor is heavy on crisp hops, with a clear chcolate, raisin, and licorice backbone. Every sip slightly different, huge changes in flavor as beer slowly warms. As the beer approaches room temperature, the alcohol becomes much more apparent in the flavor.

M: Amazing mouthfeel, syrupy, velvety, silky. Incredibly thick, like maple syrup, but this bad boy isn't going on pancakes.

D: Incredibly drinkable. Worth going to Indiana for.

 889 characters

Photo of Biggness
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 vintage. This beer pours jet black with a brown head and tons of lacing. The smell was a tad muted next to Black OPS and Abyss but you got nice hints of toasted malts. The flavor for this beer was amazing so many flavors I would not know where to begin and for a 13% beer I got no hints of alcohol flavor... for such a fresh large stout that amazes me. Big roasted malt flavors, notes of choclate, vanilla and coffee, but the most amazing part about this beer is how smooth it is and how well balanced everything is, I could seriously polish off a couple bottles of this with NO problem. The mouthfeel was top notch and the drinkablility was off the charts for a 13% beer. Incredible brew, looks like I will have to trade for another :D

 741 characters

Photo of GoldenVIKE
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whoa, it doesn't get much better than this...

A-pours a thick motor oil with a dark/black body and a mocha brown thin head. attractive frothy texture as you swirl. it'd be nice to see a little more head though.

S-most russian imperial stouts are going to smell like roasty chocolate and coffee--but since this beer is made with real Intelligencia coffee those smells are even stronger and more assertive. Amazing. A beer can't smell any better than this. So rich and full.

T-tastes like it smells. Coffee, chocolate, caramel, maybe a little peanut butter spread over burnt toast. No subtlety going on here, these flavors are powerful.

M-this is the only area that I feel that this beer isn't world class. It's good don't get me wrong. But it's not very carbonated. If this was just a LITTLE frothier and fizzier it'd be the perfect beer. It's maybe just a little flat in the mouth but the aromas and flavors make up for it. The alcohol doesn't overpower at all even though it's a high ABV beer. Definitely a sipper though because (a) you'll want to savor ever sip and (b) this is a HEAVY beer that you couldn't drink a ton of.

O-this beer lives up to the hype. it's not just marketing or propaganda, this is a legitimate world class beer and a UNIQUE one at that. I've never had more fun drinking a beer.

 1,309 characters

Photo of KDawg
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this from bottle. This was a 2010 and poured into a ommegang glass. Poured a almost pitch black color with a good head

Very vintage port-like on the aromas. Deep and rich with aromas of dark chocolate, raisins, some alcohol, and plums

full bodied and powerful. Rich feel, but very well layered and deep. The flavors are fill with a lot of dark chocolate and raisins.

This was like a great port, but in beer form. Rich and layered with a great finish to it

 463 characters

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got The Dark Lord a few months ago, and have been staring at it since waiting on the perfect occasion. And today was it, solo style.

Poured into a Stone IRS stem. Sticky, sludge of blackness oozed out of the wax coated bottle neck. The tiny copper-brown head quickly dissolved, leaving a menacing film on top of the sludge.

Aroma of plums, alcohol, port wine with a touch of coffee. Yet to experience aromas like these in a RIS.

Oily first sip...lip coating. Alcohol taste on the tongue with hints of tobacco, smoke, plums and toffee cascading around it. So smooth, yet so oily. The glass contains the sticky, sludgy aftermath. Yet to experience such a complex array of flavors in a RIS.

I rated the drinkability as 'exceptional' given how smooth this 13% RIS is. Very pleasing.

 782 characters

Photo of Sixpoint
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber bottle with orange wax adorning the top.

Poured into a goblet and swirled gently. Minimal carbonation with slight whisp of head surfacing. Quickly vanishes.

Astounding aroma. The usual suspects: figs, raisins, sherry, port. New characters: pine, nutmeg, esspresso, an entire millenium of brewing culture condensed into a single whiff. Ahem.

Taste of pure robust flavor. Wicked tongue-lashing bitterness and hop character. Somehow roasted and burnt flavors manage to dominate even that. Turns traditional imperial stouts on their head. Massive cajones of flavor.

Very chewy mouthfeel that somewhat distracts from overall drinkability. Minimal carbonation also leaves somewhat syrupy taste.

Drinkability? Don't have the means or desire to have many, nor do I think anyone does. How fast did my 22 oz bottle go? Less than a half hour. And I'm pretty ripped.

 883 characters

Photo of pheurton
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours thick and black, black, black, like the last 1/2" of coffee that has been on the hotplate all day and has evaporated to almost all solids. reverse-cascading chocolate milkshake colored head. holding the tulip glass up to the light reveals scarlett highlights where the creamy foam meets the dark liquid and sizeable floaters despite the careful pour. massive roasted malt, cocoa, and black licorice aroma with underlying hints of cappucino, dark cherry, and leafy hops. it has been said before, but i cannot stress enough the thickness and creaminess of this brew as it explodes its flavor on the tounge...just astonishingly rich and creamy. thankfully there is still a noticeable amount of carbonation to hold these flavors together. deeply vinous and roasted, different flavors are observed every time you take a sip: rich imported chocolate, italian coffee, anise, roasted barley and heavy molasses to name a few. towards the middle the beer turns fruity in a merlot way, finishes with a slight citric and leafy hop twang that leaves a distinct coating on the tounge. alcohol is barely noticeable (tastewise, anyway) which is inconceivable for a brew of this strength. still, i cannot imagine more than a glass of this in one sitting.

the sheer complexity and massiveness of the brew boggles the mind. if there's another beer out there that can come close to to it in utter richness, i've yet to come across it. 3 floyds has raised the bar in creating this monster. what a brewery. what a beer.

a big thanks to jackndan for the sample.

 1,550 characters

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle

Appearance: Dark black opaque with a small tan head that quickly fades as expected.

Smell: Dark fruit, sweet malt, roasted grain, chocolate, caramel, apples, slight vanilla and some coffee. There's also a vinous like

Taste: Big, sweet and delicious! A ton of barley, caramelized malt, and surprising sweetness. It's also got this nice vanilla/caramel thing going on that even makes it taste like apples. It finishes dry, with a sweet and pleasant aftertaste of lingering caramel malt, coffee and chocolate. It is perfectly balanced, and this doesn't drink hot at all. If I did a blind test, there's no way I'd guess this was 15%, maybe 10. I can only imagine how good the barrel aged variants/aged vintages taste.

Mouthfeel: Not too big, not too small. Velvety smooth without too much body but definitely not thin; perfect for this beer.

Overall: Just a great beer I could drink all day (or at least try to). It's similar to DFH WWS, except it drinks way smoother fresh and has a bigger body. This didn't disappoint me at all and is IMO worthy of the praise it gets. DLD '14, here I come!

 1,107 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I sample this 2008 bottle w/ my cousin and brother. Poured at cellar temp into a snifter.

A - Black as your soul, the beer has an opacity unmatched and the head has many tiny bubbles, very minute. The surface of the stout is gleeming still after the 2 finger head comes to resting state as a ring of khaki

S - Plums, toasted nuts, anise, cocoa, pumpernickel and molasses. Honey aromas-which have slight fruity notes accent the nose

M - Somewhat meaty w/ a sugar drenched, rich dark bready malt and roasted barley coats the mouth. The stout is viscous like syrup and clings after the swallow

T - Deep notes of molasses and honeyed plum w/ blackberry and cocoa. The flavor has beef bullion w/ a slightly spicey hop that contains earthy elements w/ toffee notes. There is dark sugar, almost a rum flavor and the molasses stays vital into the finish.

D - Magnificent after 1 yr waiting to acquire and 8 months in the cellar it is a welcome taste. Definitely a unique taste I love the molasses flavor - a beer that wil not surrender holding a grip that is memorable as well as a world class example of an Imperial stout

re-review -10-23-10 -

poured chilled into a nonic at the stout tasting.
A deep black viscous looking stout. medium brown cascade settles to a ring of thick cream with tiny beading, no lace sticks. the aroma is strong and spicy almost meaty with a woody and dark sugar component, dark fruit like fig and raisin soaked in alcohol with a very mellow coffee in the background. The feel is intense, but smooth mouth coating and resinous with woody and warming alcohol textures.

The taste has a dry and bitter malt astringency with slight acidity of hops and bits of toasted grain. The dark brown sugar is like putting some muscovado in your mouth with the molasses standing out among the coffee tar like bitterness.
A beer I have had in the bottle a few times and it seems to be the same 2 yrs later as it was fresh -too thick and too strong for my taste, but I still consider it ok drinkability wise compared to some.
A 4.5, S-4, M-3.5, T-4, D-4

 2,069 characters

Photo of marburg
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured with the utmost of caution to get the clean product. As it filled the glass, I could feel the light in the room being drawn into the glass, and the varied screams of past physics professors rained down upon me, "black body!" Well, OK...at the very least, I looked at it and said, "Wow. That shit's black."

And the texture! It took what seemed to be hours for currents and little ripples to form in this beer; you could watch the pregnant surface slowly give way like maple syrup or a thick acyrlic paint. Only some small speckles of head adorn the surface, though later some quick swirls of the glass will change that.

Sexy -- in the black satin with a leather and metal stud accent sort of way -- aromas. Yoo-Hoo meets VSOP meets ripening exotic fruits. I'm immediately struck by the ressemblence this bears to some of my favorite local Kuhnhenn's brews -- and while that may seem to be a compliment to Kuhnhenn's, it's also a compliment to 3F and Dark Lord. Raisenets and layers of chocolate, sugar-sweet alcohol, and oaky vanilla encourage a generous first sip.

Bam! There it is, biatch. Awesome flavor. Rolling waves of dark chocolate, some chocolate/black malt, corn syrup, and alcohol. I was expecting the hops to be overdone, frankly, as is often the case with beers that are so intensely hyped. Not the case. Certainly there was a bit of a citric, leafy presence. But this is excellence because of the complexity of the sweet malt flavors.

Did I mention that this stuff coats the glass like a temporary tatoo?

And oh yeah, it's sticking to my mouth like Pepto. Pure beer intensity in bottled form.

 1,627 characters

Photo of SacoDeToro
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to KAME for trading the bottle a few years back - this led to many great friendships.

2006 vintage.

The beer poured a deep coal black with a nice dark brown head.

The aroma of the beer was full of rich coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and some faint vanilla. Some tobacco in the aroma as well. The alcohol helped carry the aroma brilliantly.

The flavor of the beer was full of intense flavors that transitioned well from one to another. Coffee - Chocolate - Rich roasted malts. The flavors seemed to have melded well in the two years of aging. The hops were there in good presence, but not too intense. The finish had a faint smoky/tobacco note that blended very well with the rest of the flavors.

The mouthfeel was thick, but stopped short of being too heavy. The carbonation seemed dialed in well.

DL lived up to the hype IMO. This beer was rich with complex flavors and well balanced. It seemed to seamlessly cascade from one flavor to the next.

 967 characters

Photo of VerbingNouns
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

from 2010-05-02 notes:
2010 vintage
poured from 22oz bottle into a small goblet

A: Perfectly black with no head at all

S: Grapes and alcohol, with a little caramel. Very unassuming.

T: Light, surprising considering the ABV. Not too much coffee flavor, a little bitter, but also tart. Coffee bitter, not hoppy-bitter. As it warms up, it definitely gets somewhat hotter, but stays pleasant and mellow.

M: Very smooth, light, thin body but not disappointed. No carbonation but still zesty.

D: Very mellow, but complex. Very easy to drink, texture-wise, but a little too complex to gulp (thank goodness!).

 606 characters

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,216 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.