Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout
4,383 Ratings
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
Green with silver glitter = 2017 - New Label
Silver wax = 2018

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,383 |  Reviews: 1,310
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm always entertained when I pour a "mega stout" - you just don't expect that kind of viscosity in a libation. This brew pours with a chunkiness somewhere between motor oil and chocolate pudding and has a surprisingly thick, creamy cocoa colored head. The crown flattens out almost immediately but leaves a good bit of sticky lacing on the inside of the glass.

The nose is almost entertaining enough that you could skip the drink - there are notes of fig, vanilla, molasses, cherries, oak and smoke in the smell (and that's just the first whiff) It seems every time you put your nose in the glass there's another interesting discovery that adds to the complexity.

The flavor is equally complex with an interesting melange of dried fruits, coffee and cocoa and a poorly integrated alcohol note. No hops to speak of to add a contrasting note to the malts and esters.

Mouthfeel is, as expected, a tad on the heavy side. There's a moderate amount of carbonation to lighten up each sip but the finish is lacking either hop or roasted grain bitterness leaving only an alcohol burn and a bit of a syrupy, cloying finish.

Sadly this seems to be a case where the hype led me to expect more from the beer than it could actually deliver. It was interesting as a novelty but this isn't a brew that I'm likely to seek out again. I've had a few other 'big stouts' that I'd love to go back and revisit but this one isn't going to be on that list.

 1,444 characters

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Girnormous thanks and cudos to Crosling for hooking me up with (and sharing!) a bottle of the 2005 batch.

The usual 22 ounce bomber, set out from cellaring and allowed to warm to about 55 degrees. Poured into St. Bernie tulip goblets, no light passes through this monster. Vigorous pour yielded a brown (with yellow edges?) large reverse cascading head that clung to the glass like molasses.

Smell of espresso, dark chocolate, burned cherry syrup, prunes, figs, and malted malt. Incredible: I just wanted to go on inhaling this aroma!

Taste is huge and chewy and tongue wrestlingly thick: this is like Yeti on steroids. Intensely decadent dark chocolate espresso malt with prunes and caramel and malt on malted-chocolate-covered-cherries. Took most of an hour to savour this: as it warmed, everything gets more intense, especially the chocolate.

Mouthfeel is the richest of any beer I've ever had: simply decadently smooth and mouth-fillingly round. Glutenous, thick, tongue-coating, chewy and slurpalicious, this stuff is so rich you want to swirl it around a while before swallowing it.

Drinkability is the only thing that holds this back. Weird thing is that all the intensely enormous voluptuousness of the flavors and mouthfeel completely mask the 13.0%. Perilously drinkable.

A note: reserved the bottom half-inch to consume by itself. The 2005, unlike the 2004, doesn't have a lot of sludge at the bottom. However, there was a lot of flavor: that last half-inch was like the rest of the bottle concentrated into two small mouthfulls -- absolutely over the top.

Overall, a freakishly amazing brew, and I can see why people are after this with abandon. Thanks again to Crosling for the sharing! Astonishing.

 1,736 characters

Photo of PatandDavid
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally entering my review for this one, sorry to everyone that it took so long. Thanks to fellow BA's Stonecrusher and kmpitz2 for the bottle. My thoughts were that this was going to be a dark sludgy oozefest, but that wasn't the case. Bottle was shared with David and fellow BA Londonporter, which is a great way to share and talk about the brew. Pours were pitch black, with a good milk chocolate head, and ruby highlights in the glass. Mouthfeel was thick, but not sludgy. This brew exhibited it's complexity in the aroma and the taste. Notes picked up varied from dark fruit, molasses, leather, and wine. These were also picked up in the taste, although there was more malt present, plus favorite combination of chocolate and coffee, with some burnt sugar in there as well.

 778 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark black/brown, but that is to be expected. Head is large, sticky, tan and well laced.

Smell: Dark, chocolate, very bitter and sharp smelling, excellent.

Taste: Sharp at first, but not raw. Bitter dark chocolate, strong coffee assaults the mouth, bolstered by a strong vinous/alcohol aspect. Leaves you exhausted and contemplative after every sip. Fantastic, what a Imperial Stout should taste like.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full, oily, mouth coating.

Drinkability: It's hard to find a fault in this beer, worth the hype, worth saving for my 1000th beer reviewed. A huge thanks to OldFrothingSlosh for hooking me up with one of the best beers anywhere.

 674 characters

Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 22oz. bomber shared by a fellow homebrewer with a few other homebrewers. Wax proved to be a challenge to get through to be able to pop the cap. This was the last beer in a beer tasting and well worth the wait.

Appearance was black with a brown head. An opaque black. An oil black. A really dark black. Everything about this beer was black.

Aroma was chocolate, Roast. Slight fruitiness. Toffee.

Flavor was amazing. Chocolate, Roasted barley. Malt. Yet very balanced.

Chewy. Full body.

This beer lived up to its hype. I didn't think it would but it did. Now, the search for another bottle begins'!

 613 characters

Photo of yelterdow
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Endless thanks to EPseja and his family for lugging this gem straight from FFFs "private stash"... and another heartfelt thanks for sharing the experience.

What follows is the closest possible interpretation of what happened... believe me, this was a beer review for the gods.

Served in a tasting tulip at somewhere between fridge and cellar temperature, with absolutely no distractions.

Appearance- Pours a beautiful, liquid black that *glugs* into the glass. A small, thin brown head adorns the beer as the glass fills, then something outrageous happens... out of nowhere, a reverse cascade, or implosion, of head balloons from the inside out, like dynamite inside a building. After the show, a four-finger crown showcases the most dense, tightly packed bubbles possible. Structure is exquisite. The sheer thickness of the appearance here is mind boggling... it's like a black beer statue, with a cafe-con-leche head that laces at a snail's pace. Late in the pour, near the end of our tasting, the bottle threw clumps of white, chunkified material. Awesome.

Smell- Powdered bittersweet dark chocolate, like you would use in baking, melds with notes of coffee and chicory. A perfumy character, which we later realized was a hop aroma, wafts among the chocolatey backbone in the air.

Taste- Wow... the first thing I get is a sweetness, like sugar cubes, at the tip of the tongue.... then comes a strong French press coffee with milk presentation, intense and hugely concentrated. The espresso and chicory notes take a back seat as the slick, liquid-hop flavors (Amarillo?) begin their mouth-gripping bitterness in a perfectly balanced finale. The hop tingle after the swallow resides so far at the back of the throat that I am sneezing after almost every sip. The phases in which this beer reveals itself is something of wonder and mastery... truly a tasting experience like no other.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick, viscous, oily. Smooth and chewy as hell, my tongue is actually tingling from the inside out from the hopping. Fantastic coating properties, like an unfurling of liquid down the throat.

This is a masterpiece, and worth the money... this is absolute *must* for the enthusiast who wants to discover how far an Imperial Stout can be pushed.

 2,277 characters

Photo of nlmartin
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a wide mouthed twenty ounce goblet.

Appearance: This beer poured blacker than black. Did I mention the beer was black with no opaqueness to light. The head was about two fingers with reverse cascading. The head was colored a lightly creamed coffee coloration. Webs of lacing remained on the glass. This is one sexy beer.

Smell: The beer truly is a melange of smells. Chocolate and heavily roasted to a crisp coffee via for dominance. The eddies of fruity goodness play throughout the beer. Cherries dipped in rum and chocolate. play with currants and dates and other assorted berries. I know I missed alot on the intial drinking and will try again latter.

Taste: The Dark Lord is really really bad! The taste lives up to the smell. Loads of chared to a crisp coffee and chocolate lead the charge. There is a harsh but not unpleasant spiceyness to the beer. There is a massive amount of fruity goodness floating in the beer. Dam this is the shit!

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is incredible. Chewy doesnt even beging to describe the thickness of the mouthfeel. This coats your mouth to the point where almost nothing else could get through. Drinkability is really dam near perfect. There is enough sweetness and bitterness to keep your attention. This beer is everything I have heard it was and then some. I have at last met my Overlord.

 1,382 characters

Photo of EPseja
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

NOTE: Edited 20061122 after a RIS tasting. Deducted 0.5 from taste.

Ok then... FINALLY. I've been sitting on this bottle for nearly six months, waiting to get the right time to share it with by buddy Yelterdow.

This 22oz. bomber was imported from Indiana for me by my brother who actually bought it from of one of the FFF employees private stashes. My brother rocks.

Served in a Duvel Tulip at cellar temperature. Rated with a firm mind *not* to jump on the "everyone else likes it so I should too" bandwagon.

A - Red wax covered cap and awesome artwork on the label are a good start for a beer with such an intimidating name. Pours like motor oil - both in color and viscosity. Like a phantom, the four finger thick head rises from nothingness like a slow-motion mushroom cloud with a fantastic reverse cascade at the surface of the beer. It is comprised of super tightly packed, small bubbles and colored like the foam of a cafe con leche or an authentic espresso. The head is firm like meringue, and its retention is stalwart. Its dark, earthy brown colors deepen and change to a rusty orange with each passing moment. Lacing is huge and thick like a velvet drapery.

S - Dark roasted coffee, natural fresh chickory, dark high cocoa % chocolate, caramel & vanilla overtones. Candy sugar. An interesting, slightly floral hop profile also becomes noticeable as the beer warms... Amarillo hops? Not quite sure, but if it's Three Floyds, the odds are high. Very interesting discovery, as I've never really been able to pull a distinguishable hop nose out of any Russian Imperial Stout I've tried, due to the overpowering coffee and chocolate notes. This makes for a truly unqiue counterpoint.

T - The first words out of my mouth were, "I need a second to decipher what I'm tasting..." This should give you a clue as to the complexity of this beer. The first taste in the mouth is a cane sugar sweetened cafe con leche. Very dessert-like. In the middle, this beer takes on a refreshing crispness -- the hops brightening up an otherwise dark and thick palette. There is also an unidentifiable sweet flavor that I can't put my finger on... ah. I cheated and read the bottle, but it's right on the mark. Dark chocolate covered cordial-filled cherries. Definitely adds to the dessert quality of this beer. The finish has the dense sweetness of dark molasses, the earthiness of chickory, and the smokiness of over-roasted coffee, coupled with a twinge of organic yeastiness. The finish is drying, long and bittersweet, and there is a residual smokiness on the tongue. The alcohol is bery well disguised, but the belly warmth is a dead giveaway. Intense.

M - Tingly on the tongue, but not from the carbonation. Thick like unset gelatin. Chewy and not round, but soft and fat. Quote, "Imagine taking a circle and then putting a layer of fat around it." Heh heh... I come up with some strange stuff. Super creamy and slick. Swallows with an oily viscosity - slides down the throat without issue. Leaves a bitter sensation that makes you want to take another sip to quell the feeling, although it ultimately only replaces it.

D - This beer falls into the "special" drinkability category. It's not how many you want to throw back that determines its drinkability, but rather how long you stretch out the serving because you don't want it to end. This beer is without a doubt a prime, special occasion dessert beer -- if you can get your hands on it.

And so, in the end I genuinely tried to resist joining the masses in blindly praising this beer. Ultimately however, based on my meticulous tasting, I have found that the glory and laud that this beer has garnered are well deserved.

 3,696 characters

Photo of bultrey
3.2/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer is a mess. Why it gets such high marks is beyond me. But everybody's different, and I, for one, like just a little balance in my beers, even the smack-you-upside-the-head ones. Great color, good aroma, but just a thick, fudgy, coffeeish, alcoholic pancake syrup if you ask me. Again, mouthfeel is smooth and rich, a real revelation, actually, but I wouldn't want to drink more than a thimbleful of this in a sitting. Oh well, I guess I'll have to worship another lord.

 478 characters

Photo of tar
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been saving this bottle for some time and today seemed like as good a day as any to finally crack open the waxed bottle (Jan 7, 2006; 2005 release). Pours a thick, oily, black with a robust, pillowy, reddish, tan head, which persists through consumption and laces the glass nicely. Roasted coffee and chocolate aromas issue forth, along with plums, figs and a bit of smoke. The alcohol buried within is hidden fairly well but does come forward, particularly as it warms. Chocolate, coffee, molasses, and dark fruits greet the palate. Deliciously complex with its initial sweetness balanced by a dry and slightly bitter finish. Very smooth, with some sticky sweetness in the mouth, this is a very easy drinker despite the alcohol and big flavor.

 749 characters

Photo of lou91
3.71/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great looking stout – jet black, almost shiny with a head that went away then came back bigger and browner with a little swirl. The nose was all alcohol with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee trying but failing to get through. Lots of great flavors but the alcohol is way too dominant. I like the hop bitterness and dark chocolate but the alcohol burn tells me that this may need a bit more time to settle. I’m happy to have tried it but I can’t say that I would give my left beer nut for it. Thanks to Kmpitz2 for this bottle.

 543 characters

Photo of blackie
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: The pour into the snifter produces a persistent, medium brown head that almost has a ruby tint to it. The beer is black.

smell: After dirtylou poured this beer, it's aromas wafted all the way to my nose from the table five feet in front of me. A huge presence of dark roasted malts gives a heavy coffee/espresso note, and a slighter hint of dark chocolate. Very, very slight ethanol sharpness considering the ABV and the warm temperature at which I am drinking this. A generous, bitter Northwest hop aroma pierces through the heavy dark malts...enough to balance the considerable sweetness.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is low, and in combination with the heavy body, creates a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Though the carbonation is toward the higher end of the low range, but bubbles are very small and gentle on the palate. A little more slickness would please me, but very good.

taste: Just delicious. A nice balance of big coffee/espresso and dark chocolate flavors coats the tongue. Awesome balance of sweetness, a roasted, coffee like astringency and flavor, and hop presence. The finish consists of lingering dark roast coffee bean flavors, a slick sweetness, and a moderate, palate cleansing bitterness. A mild ethanol presence is noticed, unavoidable in a beer like this.

drinkability: Very drinkable, limited only by it's inherent characteristics. I would've liked to have rated higher for smell and taste, but the roast and chocolate character was so strong that it kept any other nuances of the aroma from coming through, which I would have liked.

Halved a bottle of this giant with dirtylou on the last night of my stay in Madison. I suppose this is from the 2005 release.

 1,710 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, split with blackie, this bottle courtesty of CRJMellor I believe...been searching for this one for quite some time

appearance: pours dark as night into a couple of snifters, as close to black as a brew can come, rich and creamy chocolate brown head begins to form, a tan rim remains for a while but eventually diminishes down to minimal lacing

smell: this one can be smelt from across the room...rich and creamy chocolate is extremely potent, espresso definitely present, a sweet warm alcohol aroma, sweet malts, quite roasty

taste: super chocolatey, very roasty with a very gentle bittersweet aftertaste, plum/cherry soaked in alcohol then drenched in sweet milk chocolate, dark roast coffee/espresso is at a near perfect level...alcohol is not overpowering but its presence is certainly felt, very creamy chocolate flavors

mouthfeel: flawless, velvety, creamy, silky smooth, only slight bittersweet

drinkability: half a bomber will be plenty but this is a very smooth imp stout

 1,007 characters

Photo of assurbanipaul
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 bomber (undated, but it's a new bottle), wax-sealed cap.

Pours a dark, thick, motor-oil black -- not just a plain molasses black, this is light-starved physics-defying angst-ridden black. Medium inch-high chocolate-colored head that eventually settles to a thin layer. Aroma is a dry cocoa, some faint bright spices, barely a trace of alcohol. It scares me, just a little.

Taste is a kick in the gut: Rich, acidic dark coffee, cocoa, milk. Hot with spices, strange to encounter hoppy bitterness in something this dark. First shocking sips are very bitter but fade into a slight sweetness after a while, maybe my taste buds are just dying off. I hear screams inside my head. Dark chocolate, espresso, cream, brunt grain, more winey in the latter half. A faint minty element, something like spearmint, probably a misinterpretation of the alcohol heat. Although, not much in the way of alcohol flavors, despite its inherent evilness.

Mouthfeel is so heavy and sticky, it's almost tar. Black whole milk is the best way to describe it. Thickest beer I've ever encountered. It's an effort to get down, like x-ray barium. It makes my head throb, but it feels so good I can't stop. I couldn't session this -- but I'd definitely seek it out again.

 1,252 characters

Photo of Billolick
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can be added about this one? Sampled at the Blind Tiger thanks to Mike/eyedrinkale. Pours coal Black with a creamy darkest of tans head. Creamy, rich and milkshake like in mouthfeel. Loads of flavor bursting onto the palate. Coffee, chocolate, raisins, figs, burnt fruits. Complex, bold, flavorful...simply world class....wonderfully dark, thick and sludgy. Wish I could get my hands on more of this stuff!

 411 characters

Photo of Sixpoint
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
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 MuddyFeet
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with Jetsbeer. Gracias!

Poured a very dark brown--essentially black--in color with an incredibly thick head. Probably lost about an ounce of the beer thanks to overflow (bastard!). Lots of spotted and stringy lace all around the edges of the glass.

Nose is caffee and creamer. Getting some dark Girardelli's cocoa as well.

Tastes like really strong coffee ice cream. Bunches of a lot of other things too. Picking out some chaocolate,vanilla, cherries, and coconut. The cherry and coconut to a lesser degree. Kind of a creamy flavor as well. Little bit of say towards the end which is a bit of a negative. The head on this beer has a lot of flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy. Served after being chilled in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Creamy mouthfeel that just slides down the throat very nicely. Little bit of an alcohol burn too. Incredibly easy to drink that is kind of warming on a chilly autumn evening.

 955 characters

Photo of Sephiroth
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This bottle obtained in a trade from Meathookjones. Many thanks to you, sir. The wax seal on this bottle is a much tougher obstacle than the one on Behemoth Blonde. I did my best to stir up some foam, and got only about a half inch. But it is still lingering, somewhat thinner, almost twenty minutes later. The circle of foam that runs around the glass appears to be somewhat blood red, perhaps the victims of the dark one himself. Looking down, in the middle of the glass, a creepy eye of foam stares back at me. No cascading head as claimed on the label.

The nose is roasty and vinous, with a piney hop profile. It seems remarkably well blended. Whoa! Holy sh!t that's good! (as I accidentally take a gulp rather than a sip). Cherries, and other dark, overripe fruits abound. The malts taste both roasted and burnt. Dark chocolate notes are everywhere, and the hops are moderate, piney, and earthy. Absolutely no sign of the 13%ABV, except my buzz as I am drinking this rather quickly.

Mouthfeel is very heavy and thick. Creamy, with an ever so slight carbonation. Normally, this style is not the most drinkable for me, but if I had a case, I would have had a second bottle tonight. I will not miss the next release. For me, this has lived up to the hype, if not exceeded it.

 1,285 characters

Photo of nvsblman
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a DARK black, no light is getting through this one! Very viscous, with a thick, pillowy, coffee brown head. The aroma, wow, coffee, raisins, fruit, nuts, alcohol, molasses, roasted malt. The aroma alone is worth getting ahold of one of these. So many flavors too! Chocolate, toasted nuts, dark cherries, coffee, vanilla, raisins. The roasted flavors just hang around in your mouth long after swallowing it. The fruitiness seemed to intensify as it warmed. Full bodied and creamy, almost like a milkshake.

This is one excellent beer that I hope I can get more of in the future.

 585 characters

Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out black as night, with a tan head. Head retention long, high, lacing throughout. Aroma of chocolate, raisons, licorice, coffee. Flavors fruit seemingly dry, chocolate, coffee, with smoke also. Those were all that I can distinguish, more in there. Thick and creamy mouthfeel. Drinkably is high for flavor but the alcohol will catch up with you.

 351 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Kunzbrew for being so generous.
Poured flat black and opaque, dark brown fine bubbles struggled out of solution.
Thick, rich, chewy nose.
A dumptruck filled with chocolate drizzled espresso grounds and bits of tar- that just ran over vanilla beans.
Warming alcohols muted by the huge stout character.
Viscous and chewy on the pallet.
Over-the-top body that reminds one of your tongue being wrestled.
Dark chocolate brownie mix thinned with Old Rasputin and alcohol.
Finishes extremely long and coats your mouth like driveway sealer.
Warming in the throat, but very well hidden behind the black curtain.
Dark Lord should get even closer to the perfect "5" as it ages.
A real gem and certainly the benchmark for the style.

 745 characters

Photo of waldowin
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

 1,336 characters

Photo of lostbearbrew
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ken! This was a long awaited treat; it surely didn't disappoint, and was likely the most complex Double or Imperial Stout I've sampled. Ok, so here's my review:

22oz. bomber with drippy orange wax seal...served at about room temp, with a lil chill added, maybe 65 degrees F. Served in snifters, to three people, so maybe 7.6 oz each.

My God is this stuff BLACK and THICK! Reverse cascading head that brings a tan head of an inch or so. The thickness of the brew extends to the lacing - sort of morphs slowly along the glass.

At first whiff, there are three aromas that come screaming to mind - coffee, chocolate and dried fruits. Upon a few more sniffs, there comes clear a distinct plum and cherry aroma. Then the brew warms more and berries, currants, roasted malts and other burnt odors come forth.

First sip was almost too much for the palette to handle. Very complex and HUGE beer. Simply overwhelming. From the coffee blast to the sweetness of chocolate, to a bitter chocolate to some hops, that all atop a huge malt backbone, with what tastes like it could be nearly a half dozen malt flavors fighting for the top levels. The roasted ones make the top tier and sort of perform a landing platform for the rest. Maybe some molasses or brown sugary/caramel notes way late in the sip, right before the alchohol blast, which grows larger as the beer warms completely to room temp. Leaves a strong bittersweet chocolate flavor on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is gigantic, almost too much happening to completely enjoy the beer. I find it almost overdone, but certainly intriguing and enticing in many ways. Drinks like a freakin milkshake, and with much more flavor.

A sipper, and honestly, glad I split out the bottle with 2 others, but, wish I had another for on down the line at the same time.

 1,830 characters

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

presentation: 22oz. bomber with an orange wax sealing the crown. solidified wax drippings stream down the neck of the bottle. label is a full color comic book-like illustration of a muscular, armor clad and caped dark lord with a staff-like weapon in hand standing over the skulls and bones of his fallen opponents. the words "dark lord" are large across the top of the label in a "secret of nyhm" like font. the three floyds logo is on the bottom left. along the right hand side of the label, there are odd charactered words explained by: "beer dark warlord imperial russian strong". three floyds explanation of their russian imperial is also on the right with a map to the brewery. no abv or freshness date is displayed.

appearance: pours black as midnight with no real highlights in a snifter glass. nice rolling reverse cascading head that is a tight and creamy tan 2 inches. retention is amazing. thick, slow moving, almost oozing lacing down the glass.

smell: strong coffee and sweet chocolate aromas. there's tons of dark fruits. plums, cherries, currants, raisins. there's also a charred woody aroma or toasted malts. alcohol aromas as well and a tad vinous as the brew warms.

taste: wow! the flavors are overwhelming. lots of sweet chocolate, coffee and a nice lightly spicy hop bitterness that makes a feeble attempt to balance the malts. there is only the slightest hint of alcohol, but very warming. excellent roastiness. tons of fruit as well. molasses and chocolate coated currants and raisins. there's just so much going on. like in the smell, the alcohol becomes more prevalent as the brew warms. wonderful bitter-sweet chocolate finish and aftertaste. lip smacker between sips.

mouthfeel: this mouthfeel is second to none. rediculously thick. complete coating of the inside of your mouth. between a thick chocolate milk and a thin milkshake. good carbonation and silky swallow.

drinkability: this is the exact opposite of a chugging beer, however, for it's thickness and high alcohol it's easier to drink than expected. tastes so good and is so dessert like, that you want to drink it. but this one's a sipper.

overall: this brew is huge and damn near perfect. flawless appearance, taste and mouthfeel. i can't give a 5 for smell 'cause bell's expedition stout was the best smelling ris i've experienced. but close to perfect in that catagory as well. i love stouts, and the bigger the better. if drinkability wasn't factored in for double stouts, then this is as close to perfect that i've ever had. my greatest appreciation to mnben for hookin' me up with the dark lord in a trade.

 2,609 characters

Photo of HopHeadKen
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First and formost, I love Imperial Stouts. I was at the 2005 release of Dark Lord and acquired a case of these. I did not want to fall into or be influenced to 'follow the crowd'. So I have waited, and patiently consumed THREE (3) of these over time; checking 'quality and consistency' within this one batch (and thats the story I am sticking to).

The bottle opens with a faint Pfffttt. Served at cellar temp (68 F) the beer pours with a deep garnet highlights to a rich black background.
A small (1 finger) rich tan head on the glass.

Smell is sweet, roasty, malty, coffee.

The taste is rich & complex; roasty, coffee, carmel, chocolate covered raisins, blended hops. Its Mel Torme, Al DiMiola, Frank Sinatra, and the Who in concert together. It is brandy like, with an occasional alcohol blast peaking out from behind that huge malt bill.

The mouthfeel is thick and smooth, full, viscous.

You really have to love Big Beers to drink this. My wife will not touch it. It is much more drinkable than it is available. The price is a bit over the top, but it undoubtably is packed with first quality ingredients, care and nurturing and just costs that much to make.So that helps pace the consumption; otherwise I would drink it all the time, and it would become 'normal' which is NOT what Three Floyds is all about !

 1,329 characters

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 4,383 ratings