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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: 1,271 | Ratings: 4,197
Photo of Kegatron
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 silver wax topped bomber into a Duvel Tulip. Special thanks to Deuane for the hook up on this.

Pours an inky motor oil black with a finger width of burnt tan colored foam. There is almost zero head retention though, as it quickly fizzles out into a thin outside ring and then finally nothing. Just a calm, reflective surface of pitch black. This guy retains in a very different way however, as with each sip he leaves a viscous brown oily residue on the side of the glass, the likes of which I have never seen from another beer. I also have to mention the sediment that was left in the bottom of the bottle. Actually I don't know if sediment is even the right word for it, as it poured out in the glass more like Hersheys Chocolate Syrup and stayed suspended in there for a good bit. This beer just appears beefy and mean and looks like it means serious business. Just awesome looking appearance! The aroma is a huge, and I mean huge nose, of everything that is right about a RIS. Dark chocolate sweetness, burnt coffee, espresso notes, dark fruits, and just a shot of alcohol, the more it warms. I could sit here and sniff this for a good half hour before even taking a sip.

The taste of this brute matches the aroma profile almost to a tee. Chocolate sweetness dominates but once again up rears very pronounced accents of coffee and espresso mixed with dark fruits. It finishes with a combo of burnt bitterness and a warming heat that lingers long after it's left your mouth. The mouthfeel of this beer is like nothing else that I have ever felt, with a monstrously thick and viscous feel that coats the entire mouth. To be honest, as impressed as I am with the body, it also presents my only complaint with the beer, as it's so beefy, it actually helps detract from trying to sense its taste sometimes. Heat is present in each sip but it compliments rather than hinders, adding some much needed warmth to an already awesome feel.

Wow, if ever a beer's name matched its personality, it's the Dark Lord. From its appearance, to its taste, to its body, this is just one dark, angry, powerful mother of a beer that takes what is capable in an RIS to a whole new level. While definitely a steady sipper, it's still an unforgettable beer drinking experience.

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Photo of bditty187
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Halloween Night, no better time to unleash the Dark Lord!

Black. There is not sissy hue to this beer. There is no color depth, just a soulless black tar abyss. When I held my glass to a light I played God and created an eclipse. The pour was impressive, it exited the bottle like motor oil after 6,000 miles. Even though a head didn’t really form this beer is still awesome in appearance; only a few foamy pockets, like small islands of brunette bubbles, formed in the middle of the dark liquid. There was a thin collar too. No subsequent lacing. Even though this beer sat in by glass lifeless it still looked most daunting! Served a tickle warmer than cellar temperature. Even at this warmth the nose was a little standoffish for me. Now, with that said, the aromas that were presented were magical. There were huge roasty qualities that were perfectly rounded into form by a cornucopia of other smells. I’m impressed there was just a trace of alcohol, incredible considering the lofty abv. I guest Three Floyds is *that* much better than Avery (but I knew that!). Fruits are deep, dark, tropical with raisins, dates, grapes, and caramel covered apples. Port wine. Brandy. Candied sugar that is burnt around the edges. Assertive hops with Pacific Northwest bloodlines. Acidic. Astringent. Weak hint of coffee. Molasses. Winey. Burnt. Freaking awesome! There is an amazing amount of depth; especially considering the potency is moderate. Inviting, duh. The first sip of this motherfucker brought moisture to my eyes. Goddamn, I needed a moment to compose my thoughts. I was hoping the beer would be good. I was praying it wouldn’t be an alcoholic bomb. It wasn’t. How could another Imperial Stout ever top this beer? It can. It is blasphemy to think otherwise. The palate is rich, chewy, and fairly sweet but far from cloying even though there seems to be about four types of sugar in the mix. Brown sugar and candied sugar just to name the most prevalent. Molasses. Burnt sugar. Toffee. Caramel apples. Hints of chocolate covered raisins. Figs. Assorted spices. Aggressive American hops bitterness that plays so gleefully with the astringency of the roast. Espresso. Soft acidity at the back that melts into some marmalade-like fruitiness, at the finish is the only warmth from the alcohol. Some spice too. The aftertaste has a “clean” ale/hoppy thing going on, all I can say is it reminds me of a Rogue beer. I don’t know how to describe this “feel” but it is a good thing! Overall the palate is a gem. Perfection really. I love the hop burps too! Full bodied. Low carbonation. Thick, heavy but not sluggish mouthfeel, surprisingly smooth actually. Flawless. Amazing. I have had about a half dozen beers that have truly amazed me. Dark Lord is now added to the list. Is this the best Imperial Stout I’ve ever had? Yes. Is it the best beer I’ve ever had? Yes… but it is “tied” with a couple others. It is truly amazing. Every sip was like suckling a Goddess’ teat. I wish I had about fifty bottles in the cellar but, alas, I had one bomber. I am indebted to cretemixer forever. Thank you so much for this beer. Dark Lord is so worthy of its high praise. World Class. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 Vintage poured into a tulip.

Thick foaming dark brown head fills up the glass seemingly stays around, but before you know it it leaves forever. The smell is green, smell is high alcohol with roastiness and just a hint of dark fruit in the background. The mouthfeel is smooth, so silky smooth. The roasitness is met with a slight bitter cocoa nose that backs up the roastiness and lets it mellow slightly. The cocoa is chocolaty, but it's a really good bitter chocolate. Something I can find in good, good dark chocolate. It's definitely not as mellowed out yet, but still very very good. The dark fruit, like the ash taste comes out more and more with the bitter flavor ending on the tongue. Yet again, mouthfeel is great, silky smooth and wonderful. Overall, I wish I could have this at least once a week.

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Photo of jtrem14
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, shared between 3 people (including myself)

A - Extremely dark, without much of a head. The slight amount of head on the top was a amber/brownish color, resembling that of the crema on an espresso

S - Molasses and coffee, with a hint of chocolate

T - Really much of the same from the smell. Molasses really takes a strong grip here. Stronger alcohol taste, then smell. Maybe a bit of raisin in there.

M - More carbonation in the mouth, than how it looked when it poured out, maybe slightly too much.

D - The strong alcohol taste up front, and the carbonation, are the only slight draw backs to this beer. As far as taste alone (and smell I suppose) this is one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of ThirdLap
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Today was 'Open that Bottle' day, so I figured why not celebrate by finally cracking a bottle of Dark Lord to split with BA Macktbone. This was an '08 example, which I figure makes it at least ten months old.

No goblets on hand, so we had to go with pint glasses. DL pours thick, viscous, and oily, with a thick, creamy-looking dark tan head. The head recedes to a slight film after a few minutes, revealing lots of lacing. Swirling results in a viscous coating that tints the glass dark brown. This stuff just looks evil.

The nose is filled with molasses, roasted malt, candied sugar, dark chocolate, soy, and a bit of hops. Very nice.

Dark Lord is dark bitter chocolate on the tongue initially, followed by a subtle hop bite and a myriad of difficult to discern flavors. Dark fruits, molasses, brown sugar, coffee... it's all here. Absolutely delicious.

That said, the one thing that absolutely sets DL apart from any other beer is its mouthfeel. It literally has to be experienced to fully comprehend just how this beer completely envelops your tongue on each sip. It's like a stout with the consistency of sweet thick cream. You find yourself taking sip after sip to experience it again.

Carbonation is relatively low, and most apparent with the swallow. I'm still amazed that this beer is 13% abv, as the alcohol burn is almost non-existent. Finish is smooth and chocolatey.

This has become my new favorite Russian Imperial Stout. Dark Lord, like Westy 12, is worth the hype.

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Photo of duffextracold
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007, thanks to donkeyrunner.
not much head, fine by me. it looks thick. when i swirl it around in my snifter ,it coats it with a thin yellow/amber emulsion, effectively tinting the glass. smells like a bag of raisins. maybe dates. but definitely dried fruit. taste...my palate is not worthy, so much going on. sweet, dried fruit, malty, a hint of hops at the back. mouthfeel is like no beer i've ever experienced. so thick, i swear i can chew on it. i just want to leave it in my mouth and nibble on it for a while. drinkablility is amazing. for something so thick, sweet, and so much alcohol, i'm having a hard time slowing down with this one. i just wish i had more!

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Photo of SebD
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%

From notes

2014 Blue Wax Vintage

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick tan head that dies down moderately and leaves some lacing.

Smell: Wow, the aromas definitely give out hints of sweet roasted malts, milk chocolate, vanilla, rich molasses, dark fruit and faint leather.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has loads of roasted malts, decadent chocolate, some vanilla, rich molasses, faint coffee, dark fruit and hints of leather.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas. It's extremely sweet and rich but flavorful and delicious at the same time. One of the best RIS I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of tippebrewcrew2
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Three Floyds Brew Co.
Dark Lord

L= 4.5 Thin quick dispersing dark brown head. Flash! It's gone. It pours like you scraped the tar off of a black top highway road going to or coming from hell. Extremely viscous with one of the most incredible display of lacing I've ever seen.

S= 4.5 Dark roasted coffee beans, Caramelized caramel, heaven, fig, dark cherry....I could go on forever. The smell is almost indescribable. I feel the smell is above me at this point of my beer tasting journey.

T= 5.0 First sip, the beer touches your lips and it immediately disperses to your entire mouth. Your mouth is coated with this ...this thing. This beer has taken over my mouth and coated it with its fruitful seed. This beer made me its b^&%$ and I didn't even put up a fight. Sweet molasses, fig, caramelized caramel, figs, coffee, and a light tart dark cherry finish. Right at the middle of the tasting you get a tingle on your tongue from hops and a light alcohol burn. This is the best imperial stout I've ever had in my entire beer drinking life thus far.

F= 5.0 Very chewy, thick, extremely creamy, oily feel. The beer it's self seems to suck to your mouth like a magnet.

D= 5.0 this is a beer. This is the highest I've ever rated a beer and I do not give out high ratings often. I have yet to find a beer that actually compares to this. There is just so much going on in this beer that I can't possibly do it justice. I have been into micros for about 3 years now. I have tried approx. 350 beers ranging from hopping frog bourbon barrel, KBS, storm king to hopstoopid. This is the most complex beer I've ever had. I feel as if I had tried this beer any earlier in my beer career, I would not have liked it. I don't believe I would have understood it and I still don't believe I fully understand it now there is just that much going on. I can not wait to try this beer again after 6 months from maybe even a year to see how my palate has advanced. If god were to drink beer, this would be it. Special thanks to Sean for being a lazy a&* and Dan, It was an adventure and you should have went to jail, but you got it, you did it! Thanks guys

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Photo of Dantes
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review 100!

Package: 22oz. crowned brown bottle with red wax covering. Frazetta-like label depicts a horned, Norse warrior waving a halberd over a pile of skulls. Some Cyrillic on the side of the label gives the words for Beer, Dark, Warlord, Imperial, Russian and Strong. No ABV or date information listed, but 2004 is the first year for DL bottles. Some gibberish probably cribbed from someone who doesn’t know much about beer... ;^)

Cost: Secured via trade

Presentation: Tough decision. Chose a Riedel Hermitage glass because it was similar to the Port glass, but larger. 55º

Appearance: I’ll try to limit the superlatives, as better BA’s than I have covered them. Cloaks itself in tenebrous, true “absence-of-light” black cerements. Generates quite a decent, very dark head for such a viscous, alcoholic beer that resolves down to a skim. Coats the side of the glass like blackstrap molasses.

Smell: No surprises here. The glass funnels a concentrated cone of volatile alcohol, Indonesian coffee, Mexican vanilla, and cocoa beans from Madagascar and Venezuela straight to your brain. I begin to fear that consuming this might well cause brain damage!

Taste: I needn’t have worried! The strong cocoa, coffee, and alcohol elements are couched in that wonderfully malty matrix. As with Dreadnaught, 3 Floyds incorporates some faintly gentle sweetness to counterbalance the barrage of strong, bitter flavors. This sweetness is like a combination of Banyuls and artisanale balsamic vinegar reduced to something nearing the density of mercury. Joining these elements are a hoppy spiciness similar to what I’ve perceived in warm Dreadnaught, some astringent nuttiness, and eau-de-vie fruitiness. The finish is warm and lingering.

Mouthfeel: And I thought the Expedition Stout was thick! I think this is thicker than the Shell Helix they put into racing Ferraris (and almost as expensive). In the glass, this moves like the oil in those 70's wave machines, coating the glass in a tortoiseshell brown. The bitter, tannic flavors prevent this from becoming syrupy or cloying.

Drinkability: How do you measure this? I fear the Dark Lord too much to not give it full marks. Do I want another? Yes! Would I buy this by the case if I could? Yes! Could I drink myself senseless? Yes!

Backwash: I pledge my fealty to the Dark Lord! The first beer that truly lives up to the hype in every way. In the interests of giving this a fair review, I refrained from smoking the cigar for which this so desperately called. If ever there were a Montecristo ‘A’ beer, this is it! I often seem to criticize the cost of beer, etc.; but this is worth almost any price. It stands up to the best vintage Ports and Madeiras in the way it challenges the drinker with a great gustatory adventure.

NB: To extract the most out of this, I put the "sludge" in a chinoise and gently pressed out what I could into the second glass. It would be interesting to see what a "homogenized" version might be like.

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Photo of movingtrain
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, 2009 vintage, poured into a large snifter.
I was able to attend this year's Dark Lord Day in Munster, IN, and picked up a few bottles. I had this on draft, too...but my review is based on one of the bottles I brought home.

Appearance is black...little to no head whatsoever...looks like a large shot of espresso after the crema has died down. Legs hang on the side of the glass...some serious alcohol in this one.

The smell is remarkable. Sweet molasses, figs, plum, dried fruit...definite alcohol lingering in the background. I'm getting some crusty wheat bread, cane sugar, vanilla, maple syrup. The smell reminds me of Fall...hot cider and spiced rum...bitter apples and pie...wet leaves on the ground. There are some cherry notes, maybe slight banana. Some clove in the nose...making me think of some sticky-sweet vegetable bread, like how zucchini bread smells.

The taste...oh, man...this is phenomenal. So much going on here. Chocolate, coffee, fennel (light), vanilla, caramel, cinnamon. Alcohol hits through the back of the back of the throat and into the nose...very warming. Birthday cake, figs, doughy bread. That sweet-after-the-salt taste in really good olives, maybe some light citrus notes in the background. Maple syrup, cream, baker's chocolate, oak, burnt wood, tobacco...actually, this would be a perfect match for a really good cigar. It carries a bitter tang on the back of the tongue...like after eating fresh raspberries.

Overall, this is a remarkable beer...one I would be happy to drink many times over. It was well worth the trip up to Three Floyds, and worth the wait in the huge line. It's warming, deeply complex, and absolutely delicious.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

With Dark Lork Day '08 only a few days in my rear view, it's high time I sampled the '07! Originally slated for Thanksgiving, it has been re-scheduled time and again. Finally, time to see if this beer backs up the hype...

Appearance - pours properly thick and black. A thin wisp of dark mocha lacing on the Belgian glass matching the thin layer on top of the beer. Didn't get a reverse cascading head, but it looks good still.

Aroma - the aroma is big. The malt is intense enough to have a soy-like quality. Dark roasted coffee and an undertone of abv heat. A little too much soy for me but the other smells are huge and mouth-watering.

Taste - sweet candyish dark malts envelop the palate. Abv is already stating its presence. Dark fruit in there. Massive roasted coffee and dark chocolate. The swallow allows a tickle of hop balancing, but not for long. A rush of fresh brewed coffee takes over the aftertaste, wow, what a powerful flavor so late into the tasting. Bittersweet chocolate follows the coffee for a delicious finish. The abv heat is there but you'd never guess it at 13%.

Mouthfeel - oh so thick, rich, and smooth. It wants to adhere to everything in and around the mouth.

Drinkability - worth the money and the hoopla...and the wait. Looking forward to this year's edition...

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Photo of
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 Vintage

Opaque, black as motor oil with a couple hundred thousand miles on it. Perhaps a hint of red/brown at edges when held up to light....maybe just the flames of hell? Poured thick, you have to shake the bottle a bit to get it out. A small ring of dark brown bubbles formed around the edge of the glass.

Scent that first struck me was molasses. This was followed by quite a bit of roast character. A large dark fruit presence hit next, port-like. Alcohol/bourbon seemed to round out the scent.

Taste was more sweet than bitter, guess a year of age allowed the hops to calm down. Probably try one fresh this year to see the difference. Dark chocolate and coffee. Molasses again. Lots of dark fruits. Just a hint of soy, especially as it got close to room temperature. Alcohol taste was surprisingly subdued. Relatively mild herbal bittering at the finish.

Mouthfeel was fantastic. Thick, velvety smooth body. Minimal carbonation. Quite sweet. Alcohol starts to warm you up quickly.

An exceptional stout. Complex, great flavor, and an incredible mouthfeel, which is not a beer characteristic I had ever noticed as much as I did with this beer other than carbonation level. This beer may be hyped, but it doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of SykDoc
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Much thanks to my friends that put on the stout tasting last night, I was fortunate to try many of the best imperial stouts there are. We were also provided rating forms because after a while, the palate and the memory get a bit fuzzy.

This was poured from a bottle into a flute. It pours like motor oil and is black and opaque when held to the light. Almost no head forms and it is short lived with a minimal lattice lacing.

The aroma was quite assertive and included notes of minimal bourbon, baker's chocolate and dark malt. There is also slight hints of tobacco and a currant-like sweetness.

The taste was very complex. It was quite toasty with nice components of oak and bourbon. I also got the hint of dark cherries here. The chocolate was not quite a prominent, nor was the coffee. You have to love malts!

The mouthfeel revealed a fairly mild carbonation which blended nicely with the taste. It made this a rich tasting but smooth beverage. It finished with a unique stickiness that seemed to cling to my lips. It is thick with a full body.

Overall, I thought this was the best stout of the night. It was extremely drinkable and I am looking forward to Dark Lord Days. It is actually dangerous to me because of the alcohol content and how good it tastes.

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Photo of Patchmaster
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review so I figured go big or go home!!! This beer was shared with my two brother in laws. One is a novice and likes his bud light. The other traveled in from Seattle for the 4th holiday and is constantly looking for the holy grail of beers. So here goes...

A - The beer poured a jet black with a hint of brown undertones spewing out after the pour. Almost like the dark lord himself rising from the ground.

S - I would best describe it as a coffee smell with a hint of chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Very enjoyable!

T - This is where this beer excels. You can really taste the espresso and chocolate with a dark fruits flavor without the hard hitting alcohol taste

M - This is a very thick and creamy beer with a coating left to your mouth.

D - I could definitely drink one by myself and will the next time around, but this is a beer worth sharing. My brother in laws thoroughly enjoyed the beer. I imagine I will store two of these and plan on a Christmas Eve celebration once the kids go down. Sit by the fireplace and enjoy a bottle to myself. I can't get this taste out of my head. So long Dark Lord until we meet again...

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Photo of manahansf
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick and inky opaque black color that stains the glass, topped with a very thin brown head. The head recedes quickly but continues to give off a strong aroma of fruity esters and vinous sweetness. The complexity of the aroma foreshadows the flavorful body which is thick, viscous, and flat. The drink is very similar to port and is packed with fruity esters including fig, prune, and black cherries and these mellow fruit flavors change from beginning to end with well timed transitions. There is also a strong and undeniable vinous character to the brew with light hints of smooth coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and delicate vanilla dancing on the background of the palate. The finish grows sweeter and warms through it graceful fade. Lingering complexity haunts you and lingering warmth eases your soul.

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Photo of onefmatt
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


A: Such a dark brown it almost looks pure black. Head is chocolate colored. It pours like used motor oil and resembles it as well.

S: Raisins, molasses, slight boozieness, roasted malts.

T: From front to back, this beer touches on every part of the palate. A roastiness of the malts that matches the smell. There is a sweetness to this beer, raisins, dates or plums, as if they were mixed into a cake that was baked in a wood fire just a shade too long. Hop characteristic is nothing compared to the malts and what it brings out. That would be expected considering the style.

M: Again that viscosity is there, which is nice and allows the beer to almost cling to your tongue.

D: Easily one of the best beers you can get your hands on.

As a side note, the Vanilla Bean Dark Lord might be some of the most fantastic stuff on the face of the planet.

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Photo of Simmy7000
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 vintage

Served into a snifter on 12/10/2011

Simply put, incredible.

A- Pours out of the bottle as a thick, black liquid that is honestly reminiscent of motor oil, as cliche as it does sound. The faint beginnings of a head disappear immediately. This is truly pitch black, when held up to light nothing gets through, not even on the sides. Huge legs throughout drinking which stain the glass brown. After drinking this my snifter was caked in streaks of brown. Never have seen anything like it before besides classic Dark Lord.

S- The trademark Dark Lord aroma of chocolate covered dark fruit mixed with coffee tones and hints of sweet malt. Very intense given the age on this bottle, yet blending together much more harmoniously than newer vintages.

T- Wow has time been great to this. A perfect blend of chocolate covered cherries and plums contrasted against coffee and roasted malts. Molasses, raisins, and hints of licorice all play in the background. Everything has blended together perfectly to create a layered, intense experience.

The bottle had a solid 2-2.5" of sludge on the bottom. We poured the bottom half into a large glass, swirled it around to distribute the sludge evenly and then served it into our snifters as a second pour. With the sludge incorporated it still retains it's great flavor profile but at the end of the sip there is some intense bitterness kicking in, along the lines of hops or really dark chocolate.

M- If you think '10-'11 Dark Lords are thick, try a pre-2009, it will blow your mind. Started off with the consistency of a heavy cough syrup, a thick body with low carb that coated the inside of your mouth completely. Minutes after taking a sip you could still taste coffee/chocolate on your tongue. Once we added the sludge in, the consistency turned into that very close to a milkshake. Gritty, beyond thick, chunky, simply awesome.

O- I have now had 2007-2011 Dark Lords. While I loved all of them ,this was in a world of its own. Much more thicker and darker than new vintages. Age has blended the flavors together perfectly, creating an intense monster. This vintage is no where past its prime in my mind, and I wish I had more to drink. Drinking this was an experience I will not soon forget...easily one of the best beers I have ever had. I think I enjoyed this one even more than Vanilla Bean aged Dark Lord.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Dark Lord, sampled from a chalice on my college graduation day. Many thanks to Joe for sharing this with me.

This beer is obviously a whale for me, and what a beer it was. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, probably not this, but I think it's better than anything I could have expected.

Pours a thick, viscous brown-black that coats the side of the glass. Develops some nice light brown head that retains well, and laces nicely. Deep and dark like a beer named Dark Lord should be.

Smell is very interesting. At first it was a bit weak, but it really opened up nicely. Some notes of coffee and chocolate, but it kind of smelled more like a BSDA than a stout. Incredible, the plums and other dark fruit (even light fruit like apples) dance in and out of the nose. Very complex. A bit of cinnamon or some spiciness too.

Flavor profile is very complex--different things with every sip. Covers the coffee, chocolate, alcohol, plums, apples, pears, cherries, and cinnamon areas, among others. What is so nice about the taste is how balanced all the aspects are. A little hot I guess, but not really considering the ABV. Tremendous complexity, tremendous balance. This is a fine beer that I wish I had a bunch of to age. Had this side-by-side with KBS, and the KBS was just not as enjoyable. That's saying something.

Exceptional feel, velvety smooth, chewy, pillowy. Tremendous drink considering the ABV, one of the best beers I've had for sure.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, here goes.

2007 bottle obtained at Dark Lord day by Janice (not a BA), sold to shivtim and shared by him with me and and a couple of other people. Pours black with a head that vanishes quickly, and a little disappointingly. laces like black olive oil and lacing actually has little granules of something (yeast? ground up coffee?) in it. Smells like brandy, soy sauce, cherries, some yeast, hot chocolate. Quite complex and more fruity than anything else. Taste is just what i look for in a RIS. A complex mish-mash of flavors. Molten chocolate covered cherries, other dark berries, truffles, brandy, bourbon, vanilla. Finish has an alcohol warming and a slight coffee roastiness that's quite well blended. Excellent. Mouthfeel is thick, as advertised. I could drink this all the time but i can't for many many reasons. Yeah, its a freaking great beer, no joke.

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Photo of AJacob81
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My last bottle of 2010 Dark Lord. Time to review. A 5-oz. pour into a stemless oversized wine glass.

A - Black with a hint of brown, no light passes thru whatsoever. Head is little more than a dark beige ring, and that isn't lasting long either.

S - Rich roasted coffee and semisweet chocolate, some dates and raisins, and carmelized brown sugar. A welcoming bouquet, for sure.

T - Very similar to the nose, but the extraordinary balance of these flavors makes Dark Lord's reputation. The dark fruits are in perfect harmony with the coffee and chocolate. Just a hint of vanilla and caramel, and strong notes of pinot noir wine in the syrupy finish.

M - Thick, thick, and thick. Low carbonation, drinks almost like a milkshake, but with a boozy warmth that spreads with each sip. No alcohol burn here.

D - I'd hoped to take a little time and savor this, but the sips kept coming due to this beer's ridiculous drinkability. The 13% ABV doesn't slow you down a whit, because it's masked incredibly well.

Hype: justified.

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Photo of macktbone
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this during one our recent tastings thanks to ThirdLap.
The 08 is among the best beers I have ever had, and without a doubt the hype is worth this exquisite sample of brewmastership.

It looks like someone melted the wax from the top of the bottle and allowed it to flow like lava into the rest of the bottle. Beautiful ebony body with just the right amount of weight.

Smells like malt and caramel with a fig soaked for weeks in bourbon.

The taste of this is no less impressive than the rest of the beer. Gorgous oak aged bourbon with an edge of caramel.

The most impressive aspect of DL is the amazing mouthfeel. No kidding this feels like drinking a glass of double heavy cream. I expect it to taste like whipped cream but instead I am overjoyed with the flavor of the Dark Lord.

I could drink a bottle ot this myself, though it wouldn't be a good idea. It is without a doubt not overhyped...! If you have not tried Dark Lord 07 you MUST do what you have to to get a sample.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to Avalon68 for providing this in trade. Great trader!! My first "big" trade on BA..

'08 Bottle consumed on 5/2/09.... This was the winner of our blind taste test and also the one that I chose for first place.
A finger + of dark tan head forms then does fade rather quickly. While there is no lacing, there is almost a thin film left on the glass from the thickness of the beer. If you didn't change your motor's oil for 2 years then finally drained it, this is what would come out.

Sweet, chocolate, dates and other dark fruits dominate the aroma.

This was/is the most complex tasting of those beers that were in our tasting. There is so much going on here, you can sit with this and have fun for hours.

I thought chocolate truffles, dates, molasses, chocolate covered cherries. The more you sit and enjoy the more you find. Slightly smokey. Some nice hop bitterness add balance while remaining well hidden. The more you enjoy the more it drinks like a hot fudge milk shake. (those are my favorite!)

Really syrup like and full bodied, but smooth as silk.

Drinkable? Are you kidding? Is there a sessionable Russian Imperial Stout?

Immediate entry into my top 2 or 3 beers. Just fabulous.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage (yellow wax). Drank New Years 11-12. Huge thanks to Phelps in the Tickers BIF!

A: Pitch black. Just a wisp of a head that doesn't stay at all. Very little lacing. But I really didn't expect none from this. Still beautiful.

S: Big nice blend of bourbon, dark fruits, dark chocolate, roasted dark coffee, butterscotch, vanilla, hints of tobacco. Amazing and complex.

T: Dark chocolate upfront. Pretty sweet. Dark fruits, vanilla, butterscotch, roasted malts, and slight coffee. Touch of alcohol in the finish, but for 15% it isn't much. One of the best, if not #1, RIS's I've tasted.

M: Thick and full bodied. Super creamy and smooth. Very light carbonation, verging on none.

O: Amazing beer! Can only imagine one aged a few years. Might just have to trade for one. One of the best beers I've had.

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Photo of naterock
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a fluted tasting glass Deep black like used motor oil with a medium brown head perfectly velvetty with a aura that seems to surround it's presence. a thin brown coating on the glass that is even resilient to water rinsing.

Smell is rich in brown sugar, port wine, Maple syrup with a slight alcohol burn in the back of the nose, Dark vine fruits and a bitter chocolate.

Rich bitter chocolate with a smooth syrupy body that marries all of the complex flavors together. Dark vine fruits, and brown cane sugary sweetness. I don't even have good words to describe.

Mouthfeel is incredibly viscous and refuses to leave your mouth. This seems to be the consistency of used motor oil. Drinks incredibly slow and it sips for a long time but I could literally drink this all the time besides to be refreshed. The dark lord has forced me into submission and has enslaved me to his will.

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Photo of almychristopher
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a very dark black color with a thin brown head that recedes to nothing over the course of the session. The aroma is exactly what i'm looking for in an imperial stout, the roasted coffee and caramel aroma carries over nicely into the taste, a little sweetness in the front and bitterness at the end. the full body and good co2 make this a wonderful sipping imperial, couldn't ask for better in this category.

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,197 ratings.
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