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

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

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Reviews: 1,273 | Ratings: 4,216
Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

09 Vintage(white wax). WOW! Not what I expected. Thanks to a fellow BA via trade...I got to enjoy this very rare treat. I tried to come in with lower expectations...and I was actually shocked by the taste.
Pours extremely solid dark and thick. By the end of the pour, a very small dark brown head comes through. Thick and dark as the night.
Aroma is o so sweet...vanilla, carmel, raisin, coffee, chocolate.
Taste was crazy...would not even know the alcohol content was as high if I didn't know. Very, very sweet flavor. Very strong in the raisins and cherries. Chocolate on the back side. Since it's so thick though, a little tough on the drinkability scale...although...so tasty it makes up for it! Awesome beer!

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

I'm attempting to uncap this as I would any other beer, but the Dark Lord won't have it that way! "It's not normal!" And I left the wine servicer at work! Ah, here's one! Shhfft!, there she goes, now to pour...

Darkest, blackest hue, a perfect pitch, color-wise, ebon in it's epitome, as soiled as Satan's underthing's, with a smallish head, but richly roasted, deep tannish brown, quickly succumbing into a tight ring.

Aroma is rich and redolent with all things dark and good, ...molasses speaks up, soy sauce gets a nod, prunes, raisins, port wine, a hint of dark rum, and a glimmer of carob, an intriguing and arresting nose.

Taste: Huge! Thick! Pow, pow, powerful! This is the 800 gorilla on the palate, when it sits around the mouth, it SITS AROUND the mouth!!!
Oh, my, good, loving, freakadelic-alicius-LORD!!!
So rich, it begs the robber barons to empty the playing field, for they haven't got the coinage to match this magic! Massive mouthfeel! A sea of chocolate swims on the tongue, and invades every center of the senses! Fruit chimes in too, cherries, and berries, all drenched in chocolate, as well!

A clinging factor pervades the flavor, as well, for this is a taste that never quits, it stays, and stays, and if you're not ready to make it comforable at your home, it doesn't care, you're taking the couch and Dark Lord is sleeping in your comfy cushy adjusta-bed!!!

WOW!!! Luxuriant, like nothing else, rich to the point of delirium, a powerful liquified candy bar, ....a decadent treat, like no other!
oh, my...puts all other pretenders to shame... a killer-diller,I fear running out of superlatives and will allow this malevolent master to merely stride along this mortal realm with all my blessings, and add the enconium that it's a majestic and dangerous thing all in one package...oh, my..in this case, all other previously praised Imperial Stouts must take back-seat, oh, my, though, Mr. Hershey should worry! Mr. Nestle could fret, too..good Lord, it's good, almost too much for me...if you want to examine the limits of this style, go no further than Dark Lord!
So heavy on the palate, so huge in flavor!

Bow down, one and all, bow before your Dark Lord, and don't mess around, he can do that finger-chokey- thingy, just like Lord Vader, I mean, they're practically cousins, so, unless you know some Jedi juju, stray far away from the terrible magic of the Dark Lord...unless you enjoy this particular punishment...which I do! In spades!

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Photo of waldowin
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a molasses-thick black. No light gets through, even at the sides. A thick, dense dark brown head forms quickly, and fades to a capper that just stays around for days.

Smells toasty and roasted, with hints of coffee and roast.

Tastes extremely complex, with an aftertaste that changes and fades for ages. Tip of the tongue is cashews and dark chocolate. Pushes back to cherries, grapefruits, and citrus, as the hops and sweeter flavors slam through. Aftertaste is again of dark chocolates, biscuits, and cherries, taking ages to fade. Alcohol hides very well, and just warms your throat at the very end.

Mouthfeel is thick, bubbly, and chewy. Pretty big, and gets ludicrously massive as it warms. Leaves a nice bitter toasty feel in the mouth.

This stuff is silky smooth, and very tasty. Watch that ABV! I could drink it all night, a real shame it's so hard to find. Now I definitely need to grab one and age it for a while, see how it holds up.

A HUGE thanks to Jetsbeer for shooting one my way!
Only better beer I've ever had was a 2-year old Stone RIS. My money says this stuff would be even better with a year or two on it.

[edit] 13%?? I knew it was high in ABV, but no idea it was that high. This stuff definitely gets a "5" for mouthfeel, there's no way you'd know it was that high until you were floored.

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Photo of franksnbeans
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like 10W30 with a dark chocolate head. Not lace so much as the beer actually sticks to the sides of the glass. This is a thing of beauty. Smells of big chocolate, very roasty, some maple and minor alcohol. Taste is incredible. Very roasty, sweet chocolate, maple and vanilla and a slight alcohol finish. Velvety in the mouth with ABV almost non existant. A pure delight to sip away. Sex in a bottle.

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Photo of yeastsipper
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with fogdog. Much appreciated. Poured as part of an RIS blind tasting. 2008 vintage. DL came in a close 2nd of 11 beers tasted by 5 person panel.

Beautiful dark black beer with caramel head. Lacing is amazing, absolutely coats the glass. I have never seen anything like it.

Smells of chocolate and tar, some deeply ripe prunes with lot of mineral notes. Taste is of chocolate, roasted tars, some fruit but really takes a backseat to the roastiness. The fruit really comes forward on the aftertaste, where amazingly a beer this thick and roasty leaves almost winelike flavors.

The mouthfeel is amazing. So thick, almost milkshake like. I can see how some might not find this appealing, but I loved it. So unique, flavorful and decadent.

Without a doubt, Darklord lives up to its reputation. Get your hands on a bottle and give it a try.

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Photo of mayor55
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just 1 bottle left from 2009 white wax. Time for a review. Dirty oil from oil change is only way to describe the look. Not appetizing the first time, but something you come to love. Strange head that I can't really compare to anything. Mouthfeel is outrageous. Very unique beer. Very high alcohol that really sneaks up on you. One of best beers I've had.

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Photo of tiodan
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

out of the bomber, into a snifter. pours thick and viscous, completely opaque with a nice dark tan head that settles after a minute or two to leave a nice ring of lace as i work my way through this monster. smells of chocolate cake, dark coffee, molasses, and maybe a bit of human blood. the taste is incredibly restrained and subtle for a bone crushing, 13% stout: chocolate, creamy coffee, plums (?), and a creeping, extremely subtle alcohol sting that reveals itself more and more as the beer warms. i've never had a bottled beer so finely carbonated, and the combination of this smoothness with the intense viscosity lets me coat each and every part of my mouth with this glorious beer before it slinks away to warm my belly and curl my toes. how to rate the drinkability? this is certainly the antithesis of a session beer, but the perfect flavor and impeccable mouthfeel make for easy, utterly enjoyable drinking. i can scarcely imagine a beer being better.

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Photo of woodjjacct
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After years of wonder, I have at last been provided the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity, and answer once and for all the question that's always been on the back of my mind around this time of year... is Dark Lord worth the hype?

Appearance: Dark, nearly pitch black with a definite dark brown head at the very top. Very minimal carbonation, but some still.

Smell: Dark fruits, like raisins and the sweetness of plums. Even some hints of apples, not bad by any means though.

Taste: Wasn't what I was expecting at all. Reminds me a bit of the World Wide Stout and BCBS. The booze-iness is well masked, but a few sips in and I'm already feeling a bit tipsy. Raisins, plums and molasses abound, with hints of chocolate. I couldn't taste any coffee in it, even if I tried though. If I could rate this part a 4.75, I would, but for generosity's sake I give it a 5, albeit not a solid one.

Mouth-feel: Nice and thick, the way I prefer my stouts. Even when I set my glass down, the ripples in the glass are slow and lazy-like.

Overall: My overall impression is a positive one. I knew going into this beer that the thickness of the hype surrounding this brew was as thick as the stout itself. Whether it meets the hype is another story in which I will not give an answer to, because frankly, it doesn't really matter. At the end of the day what we have here is a fine beer by any craft beer lover's standards, and as someone who does not particularly like hoppy beers, which is typically the Three Floyds' trademark taste, I would have to say this is Three Floyds' best beer(and one of the better beer's I've had in recent times) and wish it was more accessible to the public.

Is it worth the hype? Can't say. Is it worth the price and perseverance in obtaining tickets and clearing your Saturday schedule to obtain? Absolutely.

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Photo of Andy
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I write only to confirm that it is true. This beer is the reason I roadtripped down to Three Floyds around Christmas and I was not disappointed. This is by far the thickest, most viscous beer I have ever seen. To say it rivals motor oil is to speak truth. This is week old coffee, sludge -- delicious, malty sludge. Drinkable this beer may not be, at least beyond a few ounces. But those few ounces are a true marvel. I'm sure the flavors were wonderful -- but the mouthfeel is the main event here and all my mind will allow me to remember.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- I poured this a little hard and get a 1/2" dark tan mocha head. It had a pitch black body. When held to the light couldn't see any light through it. There was very little lacing left but had a little collar that left little bits on the glass.
S- Some dryer hop smell maybe grassish. Roasted malts and bit of coffee. There is a hint of a metallic in it also.
T- This is a very rich flavored beer. It may be the richest and strongest flavored beer I have had. Bit of coffee and roasted malts. Flavors are well blended together. So strong it is almost a molasses flavor. Very complex. Has a great deal of hops to help balance out all this malt (still malts win the fight by a lot though). Still can't really taste the hop flavore just the bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. Has a big chocolate flavor also. Alcohol leaves a warming in the back of throat. It starts out light and actually grows into a big warmth.
M- Big full body that's smooth and somewhat creamy too. Low carbonation to top it off.
D- This is an amazing beer but I can't see me drinking this often. I could see this for maybe 2 special occasions a year (if it was easier to get). It is just so strong in flavor and so rich it would be a struggle to drink it often.

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Photo of clvand0
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kmpitz2 for picking me up a case of this stuff. 2005 vintage. Cellar temperature. This beer pours a darkest of dark color with a tall and thick brown (mocha) head that has great retention and leaves tons of lacing on the glass. Very attractive and also a bit daunting. The aroma is all about coffee. Lots and lots of coffee/expresso. Maybe a slightest hint of alcohol, but minimal. Some slight chocolate in there as well, but mostly coffee. The flavor kicks you in the face. Strong presence of coffee and chocolate with hints of dark fruit and molasses. Big, big taste. The body is huge. Tons and tons of body, but it manages to avoid the oily syrup feel (which is great). Soooo thick. Awesome. Just awesome. The alcohol is very well hidden in this darkness. Drinkability is extremely good for 13% and they somehow avoid some of the drinkability problems that other large impy stouts have. Awesome brew. Glad I have most of a case left.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I owe Kevin (kmpitz2) my first born for picking this up for me. 22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep onyx black color with three heaping fingers of very dark tan head that seem to cascade like a nitro brew, and never goes away. There is an insane amount of lacing. The smell is rich and full of dark roasted malt with just a bit of sweetness. Even some dark fruit present. Lingering espresso as well. The taste is very intense. The amount of burnt malt that comes through at first is off the scale. It's fucking huge! Lots of coffee, chocolate, and candied plums. The finish is nice and hoppy, and has a lingering espresso bitterness. The mouthfeel is thick and heavy, just coating the tongue. I can feel it on my lips after the beer is gone. The drinkability is very very nice for a 13% brew. Astonishing.

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Photo of strengthdoc
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black in color, light tan head and mild lacing. Nice aroma of chocolate, mild alcohol, and lightly roasted malt. Wonderful silky mouthfeel with a nice alcohol warmth. Nice taste of milk chocolate and alcohol with a mildly sweet finish. This is an excellent beer.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pouring out of this beast is incredible, especially the last half of the bomber where it gets all thick and gooey, and boy does it ever. Super sludgy and slow, reminds me of a melted fudgesicle thickness, color too is fudgy. Sits in the glass like black tar but keeps an overall dark fudge brown cask to its depth. A thin but thickly set super spongy tan head lays on top for a good while before it murks its way off the glass while sipping. A thin fluffy collar remains and the lacing is in webby strings along with an oily residue coating over every inch the liquid has touched. This liquid has a life of its own beyond its other attributes of smell, taste, and feel. Take a look at your glass when your done, you'll know what I mean.

Aroma has a nice soothing chocolate underlay where tossed apricot, dark cherry, molasses, and dates swirl around with dark juicy esters of spicy alcoholic warmth. Cleans the senses out pretty quickly.

Taste is thick, thick, thick, chunky even, you notice the massive mouthfeel right away. Flavors are ridiculously rich to go with it, loads of dark chocolate laced with nearly every dark fruit imaginable with a rich tangy molasses coating it all and some fine bittering of fresh hop cones and chocolate with touches of coffee beans at the finish. Slivers of alcohol has little hints to boubon barrel oakyness, smokey peet, and port to it along the way through to the finish as well. Boastfully terrific!

Feel is massively thick, beyond the reach of words here with this stuff. Syrupy, thickly creamy, mega lush, richly full bodied beyond the threshold of any other Imperial Stout I have undertaken. Oily leftovers on the lips, like chapstick. Oh my...Wonderfully thick!

At first I began to drink this down like it was nothing, but by half glass I gave up even thinking I could drink the whole thing by myself. Its like pie filling! Oh, but it is yummy pie filling...yummy. The thickness slowed me down therefore hampered the drinkability a bit for me. Still is very drinkable in a slow mannered kinda way. Respectfully. Great stuff!

silenius. I bow to thee.

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Photo of littlekidlover
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome, for the second year in the row I get a couple bottles of the coveted Dark Lord! Poured this into my beer tasting wine glass. The appearance is jet black and doesn't seem to let through any light at all. I poured it as fast as I could and hardly got a head. The smell is a lot of raisin, lactose, burnt malt, seems sweet for an RIS. The taste is extremely complex. Alcohol, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, raisins, wood, smoke, again a little lactose. The mouthfeel may be the most remarkable feature of this beer. The viscosity is similar to whole milk. I found this very drinkable for a extreme beer, but I drink gin martinis so I don't think I can speak for the average. A strong effort, however I remember liking the 2008 a bit better.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, waxed in orange, brought to me courtesy of orbitalr0x (well, more like sent to me...thanks Don!)

Pours a rich, deep black, like someone else said it looks like used motor oil. I don't think I've seen many double stouts that pour this color. I know I've never seen a head as dark brown as this one is. Retention is amazing as is the lacing. Just a damn fine looking beer.

Smell seems to me to be fairly straight forward actually. Roasted malts, coffee, loads of cocoa, dark chocolate, etc. Some hops, not much alcohol. There is kind of an interesting nutty character to the aroma which is pretty neat.

Taste is impressive. An extremely complex melding of bitter sweet chocolate, molasses, that same nutty character, a fair amount of hops, and bitter coffee. Actually, it seems to me that the bitterness of this beer is not one from the hops (which I'm sure part of it is, I'm just saying)...but from bitter espresso...good, bitter espresso...REALLY good. Fruits are present as well: dates, figs, black currants, a little grape flavor. Alcohol is present, but only in the slight warming sensation in the back of your throat as you swallow. Which is pretty damn impressive for a 13% abv beer. This is not "hot" at all, what so ever.

Mouthfeel is pretty good as well, not too slick, but not by any means over carbonated, quite chewy, complex, and overall, enjoyable

Drinkabilty only suffers due to sweetness of the beer and the alcohol.

Overall: I must say I'm really kind of surprised. I was expecting a good beer, but no where near this good. This certainly lives up to whatever hype that has been placed upon it. I am so glad I have another bottle in the cellar waiting for a special occasion.

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Photo of bnuttz
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

heres a moment I have been waiting for, lets see if it was worth the wait. Pours black and syrup like. Not traces of dark red or brown like you see in most stouts. Dark brown and thick bubbley head. Dark foam litterally sticks to the edge of the glass. This is so thinck the bubbles almost stay suspended in the beer. Smells of roasty dark malts and molasses. Coffee and alcohol are present as well. Some hoppy notes that round off the nose. Holy crap is this stuff potent. Taste is bitter charred dark malts up front. Tastes like charcoal was thrown into the mash. Warming alcohol makes itself known for sure. Some coffee and molasses notes. This beer is dry and biter, a la charred. Damn is all I can say. This stuff is thick, it freaking coats my mouth throat and stomach. Viscous is an understatement. The aftertaste is still bitter. Wow, this beer kicks ass. Drinkability is a little lowere because it is so thick but damn if I wouldnt want to drink these all the time. This is a winner, too bad its so hard to get ahold of. I know they are living off the hype, but make more of this, and get it up to wisconsin damnit.

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Photo of KCHopHead
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to GBvDave for the trade. 2009 Version. Poured into leftover cocktail glasses at the end of brewday/beer trade as "the closer".

What's blacker than black? Dark Lord. Head was thin and brown. Delicoius sediment coating the glass and bottom of the glass.

Smell was amazing with chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, some complex fruit and not much alcohol (decieving).

It tasted like heaven but the bottle suggests hell. Thick maltiness with cocoa, roasted malts, coffee, was there any hops in this? You don't taste too much with the dominite grain bill.

The mouthfeel was my favorite part of this beer. It seemed to linger at the roof of my mouth and pushed it's way to every creavis and hit every taste bud. It has been the most interesting, complex mouthfeel I've had yet. I just wanted to let it sit there for a while before I gullped.

Drinkability, more like eatability. You are not going to pound a bottle of this without hurting yourself. Seriously though it was fun to drink.

This beer has forced it's way into my current top 5.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gold waxed 2006 bottle graciously shared by battlekow with expatsteve and myself - a million thanks for the opportunity, Eric.

Pour: midnight black-kind of what you'd expect from a beer called Dark Lord, super viscous with a skim of capuccino/cocoa foam that fizzles to a skim under the strain of 13%abv.

Nose: lactose-y cream 'n espresso, booze soaked rasins and dates, jerky smoke, cherry/plum yogurt and caramel sugar...Glade needs to make air fresheners out of this stuff.

Taste: tons of potent dark fruits - black cherries, "burnt currants" raisins, plums, etc, boozy apple skin esters, roasted coffee with gobs of baker's chocolate and sweet/funky cherry yogurt...I'm exhausted just thinking about it the morning after.

Feel: rich, slick, evaporating booze throughout the sinuses make this a valid, yet expensive alternative to Vick's Vap-o-rub, with smooth, fine carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: This is a beast of a beer, no doubt about it. Super boozy, reminds me of a mix between Founders Breakfast Stout with its coffee/chocolate and Bell's Cherry Stout with its funky, yogurty fruits. Impressively drinkable for 13%. A product of hype and supply and demand? Absolutely. Does it live up to said hype? I don't know if any beer could. This is a phenomenal beer, but I can't say that at $15 a bottle and for the pilgrimage and fuss it takes to get it that it's a good value. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed every sip of it and will probably end up making the trip to Munster next year to pick up a bottle, but mostly to enjoy the BA comraderie.

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Photo of codysjb
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Three Floyds Dark Lord
Cracked my 2010 bottle on 07/31/12… thanks to tutes3 for this, it was free from a beer contest in Feb of 2011.
A: Motor oil jet back with a very small amount of brown foam. Virtually no head.
S: I smelled it from the bottle a soon as I opened it, my friend next to me smelled it when he was standing a few feet away. Coffee, Caramel and chocolate amazing.
T: coffee first turning into a classic RIS with good carbonation finishing on some slight alcohol burn and ending in toffee flavoring. WOW.
M:Lots of carbonation and coffee here
O: Amazing, certainly one of the best beers I’ve had except for BCBCS

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Photo of alleykatking
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So I just got back from DLD and decided to share a bottle with friends. 2009 bottle.

A-This pours out motor oil dark. Nice brown/dark tan head that stayed for a little bit leaving nice lacing all around the glass. To say it poured thick was well pretty true.

S-I smell malt malt malt. Nice strong chocolate smell as well. Some other hints of burnt coffee but not as much as other RIS I have drank in the past.

T-Wow....I see why everyone loves this and I think this is as close to fresh as I'm going to get to it. Nice low lying burnt malt taste covered by a huge chocolate taste and other malts. For it being such a high ABV beer I must say the alcohol is hidden nicely in this.

M-This beer is huge...the pour kind of told me that it was going to be chewy and I was right. Coats the tounge and everything else it touches. It lets you know it is in there for sure.

D-I wouldn't want to drink a full bottle of this just because I want to share it with friends. Would I if I could?? Yes...do I want to?? No...because it is a beer that should be shared.

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Photo of cadizkyguy
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark Lord Vintage 2009, White Wax. Wow. I was fortunate to snag a few bottles as a late-show at DLD on April 25 and so glad I did. This beer was so much hyped, I was afraid I would be facing a letdown. But not at all. I could smell this beer all night. What a wonderful smell! Not fortunate to have a snifter in my beer glass collection yet, I poured the first half into a Samuel Smith pint glass and the remainder in a Sam Adams sensory glass. The pour went much better in the Samuel Smith pint glass as a nice two inch frothy head appeared there, while a smaller head formed on the beer poured into the SA sensory glass.. This is my introduction to Russian Imperial Stouts and what an introduction. First taste and I get a little alcohol burn from the 13.0 % ABV, but not as harsh as the 10.0 % ABV for a Bell's Hopslam. Go figure. Still, this beer might need six months to a year for aging -- but, really, who can wait that long. This is really a masterful brew from Three Floyds. Smell, for me, is the best part about this. I go back and forth, between glasses, to smell and find the best smells coming from the pint glass. Taste is something I cannot put into words. This is something you must experience for yourself. Believe the hype. I don't see the low ratings for this Three Floyds offering because it lives up to the hype for me, at least. Drinkability is the only non-5 because I;ll be fortunate to finish this myself.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

so, what do you say? best of BA, second best as of today's look at the list, 260 reviews as of this writing, hard to get and a rabid following. Well first I'd say thanks to jaxon53 for this via trade. I've been thinking of this for some time and am happy to have finally found a trade that worked.

SO, all that being said does this live up to the hype? I would say yes. It's vinous, it's a medly of deep sweet malts, it's got nice notes of cherry, roasted grains, vanilla and sweet. It's different than other RISs I've had and it stands out to me for it's amazing drinkability for such a big beer.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed and reviewed as part of cburian's RIS showdown. Thanks for the chance to try some great brews!

Well, here it is, I though I would never get to try this beer.

Rich, brown-black, oily. This brew defines "used motor oil" as an appearance adjective. Swirling in the glass produces a visible discoloration residue in the glass.

Rich, dark fruit, tart, bitter nose.

Intense, dark fruits, molasses, nutty, sweetness and intensity. A flavor explosion. ABV is very well hidden at 13%.

Mouthfeel is thick, oily, coating. Everything I ever wanted in an RIS.

Wow! I love this beer. An endless sipper. Truly awe-inspiring.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance-This beer poured an oil black with a thin brown head.

Smell- Wonderful smells of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Nice hints of the 13% alcohol.

Taste- Very good!! Very complex. All sorts of wonderful flavors like coffee, dark chocolate, and maybe molasses. The alcohol is detectable but well hidden.

Mouthfeel-Thick and creamy with low carbonation.

Overall-Incredible! Perhaps worth a trip to Dark Lord day next year? Hmmm. Maybe.

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