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Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.27/5
Outstanding
4,316 Ratings
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States
3floyds.com

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

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#659
Reviews:
1,296
Ratings:
4,316
pDev:
14.52%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3,213
Gots:
2,102
Trade:
198
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,316 |  Reviews: 1,296
Photo of edchicma
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to wyldder for the sample. Pours jet balck and syrupy. Smell is of molasses and soy sauce....interesting. Taste was somewhat disappointing...a lot of malt, naturally some alcohol, but not a great deal more. Mouthfeel is thick and it is too syrupy. Drinkability is smooth and coats the tongue nicely.

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Photo of bditty187
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
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 Boto
4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz Bomber: This beer pours thick: It has the consistency of motor oil. The color is almost the same, but it is a very dark brown. If you hold it to the light, it actually has a hint of a Guinness-like cascade. The head is strong and brown. The aroma is interesting: imagine if you will chocolate hops, because that is what it smells like. The taste is heavy and sweet: mainly chocolate, with hints of plums and coffee, other varied fruits. I can also taste some hops, but no bitterness makes it through. Excellent! Thanks to TAR for this trade!!!

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

She came out with a hard rumble. After almost a full year of banishment she has finally made it home. Little does the Dark Lord know, the journey has only just begun. Don't let the name fool you, this brew is all women. Only a female could be so evil; yet so good at the same time.

The Lord rejoices upon being freed. A slight raise of its menacing head shows her gratitude. She retreats but I'm eagerly led into a world of daring pungency. The touch of her sweet lips masks all co-existing foulness.

Things don't begin to get scary until I lay her down. Ripping, tearing, biting, scratching, this is a wild one. Her chocolate coloured skin is smooth as the finest silk and warm to the touch. Teased by chocolate coated prunes I beg for more. I'm quickly obliged by mouth fulls of dates, raisins, and cherries. All of which seem to have taken a good rum bath.

We began to make love on her bed of fresh hop flowers. Alas, she proved to be far too much woman for me. She laughed, and left me alone to soak in my sorrow. We will meet again Dark Lord, maybe next time I'll be ready.

I can still taste her kiss on my lips and smell her sweat on my body.

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Photo of marc77
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Utterly pitch black and absorbant. Dogged, stiff, dark beige head leaves coating lace. Barbed wafts of pepper, melted black licorice and singed anise hit the nose initially. Ensuing are seductive, rounded notes of dark caramel and butter laden fudge encrusted in lightly crushed espresso bean. Swirling releases searing hints of ethanol macerated ripe prune. In flavor, incipient is an enveloping, lingering mélange of creamy, dense dark chocolate truffles rich in cocoa butter, molasses sweetened mocha and praline. After the palate adjusts to the initial decadence, fruitiness of a plum and allspice nature emerges, but all is still drenched in melted fudge. Mid palate ethanol impressions surface, and when combined with the static hop flavor facilitate suggestions of oaky, bourbon drizzled chocolate and candied orange infused fudge. Supremely burly in overall body, with a mouthfeel of commanding viscosity. Finishes sluggishly, with protracted notes of smokey, fresh roasted cocao bean, toasted nut encrusted biscuit and cool espresso all lingering agreeably. Dark Lord is a superlative beer in all respects. It is, unequivocally the finest imperial stout I've had the pleasure of drinking, and may now rank amongst my very favorite overall brews thus far. Addictive and unparalleled in drinkability. Stunning.

A most sincere thank you goes to Buckeyenation for allowing me this delectable opportunity.

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

I sold my eternal soul for this bottle. Actually, I just traded a bottle of Pizza Port, but I *would* have sold my soul, damn it. And it would have been worth it.

Lots of beers are black. This is darker. No hints of ruby around the edges when you hold it up to the light. In fact, it actually seems to absorb light. The room gets a little darker when you pour this, even as your eyes light up. I'm surprised there's a head at all to this monster, even if it is just a thin rim. But it lasts.

Big malt aroma with huge alcohol spiciness and heat. Ridiculously roasty. Plums and currants dance gingerly amidst their more assertive aroma neighbors.

The mouthfeel is like syrup. I've had plenty of Imperial Stouts, and some of them were pretty thick. But this is amazing. A true joy to swirl around the tongue. Viscous, chewy, and delightful.

Delicious roasty malt flavors dominate, with more hints of black cherry and a strong, but not at all out-of-place, alcohol presence. Bittersweet chocolate and molasses.

Just for kicks, I poured the last inch of the bottle in to my glass, though I had been amply warned that it would be undrinkable. These dregs left trails down the glass of a sort I'd never seen before. I'm not sure one trip through the dishwasher is going to get that out.

An amazing beer. Utterly disproportionate, over-the-top, ginormous and massive. But a joy to drink nevertheless. A true one-of-a-kind.

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Photo of DrewBeechum
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A tall bottle of the infamous Dark Lord with red wax cap and the cool spooky label. Bottle procured in a nice trade at the Hopleaf courtesy of Silenius.

Beer was stored carefully upright and settling for 2 months in my fridge to allow the full sludge settling time.

Split among three water glasses with plenty of room to spare.

Beer pours into the glass like motor oil. For once, the description is dead on and accurate. Head is large, brown and holds forever.

Aroma is cherries, tobacco, plums, dark chocolate, piney bitter hops.

Body is milkshake like, thick, viscous and hearty with a long draw from lip to gullet.

Flavor is more dark chocolate, bitter black coffee and a sharp resinous hop bite.

Word of warning... don't pour out that last bit. You don't need it and you don't want it!

Overall, an interesting beer, but a bit of a disappointment from the brewery.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in the 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. The color is jet black with a foamy tan head with an amazing amount of retention for the ABV. The smell is a dark, sweet chocolate and just a hint of licorice, and just a hint of alcohol. The taste is a nice chocolate sweetness, with a good anise flavor in the backing, and just the right amount of hop bitterness in the aftertaste; alcohol is noticable, but certainly doesn't seem like almost 14%. Mouthfeel is creamy and 10W30 thick. As for drinkability, this one could be dangerous, since I could drink these all day not knowing the ABV.

Well, we decided to open this one up in order to celebrate the beginning of "Big" Ben Roethelisberger's long Steeler career, and it's certainly fitting. This is the perfect Imperial Stout, and easily the best in the world...so rich and chocolatey and anisey, but without alcohol getting in the way, and this is one that I would absolutely kill to have again!!! Thank you to trbeer and cretemixer for getting me the bottle!!!

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Photo of tavernjef
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
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 faernt
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK....I've been holding onto a couple of these until the flurries of praise subsided. I just extracted the cap from the wax. Prior to this I had a bottle of Old Rasputin. It's one of my house faves and I thought I'd use it as a base.

It pours into the glass with an oily slickness that coats the sides of the glass. Little foam happens. It's sitting in the glass at 56 degrees F. (love the thermometer) The smell is of English walnuts, very complex Port and some Indian spices I can't place but remember after the meal. It might be fennel. I'm not much of a nose guy but this one sticks it into my nostrils. This is amazing!

The taste is JW Lees meets Thomas Hardy. I don't know how they do this but it seems that they must throw massive amounts of original material into the mash. Whoa!...I just poured the last 2 inches of the bottle into the glass. It looks like hot fudge. It is thick and gritty. I can''t imagine sharing this with anyone who isn't seriously experienced in huge beer. This is sensory overload.

This is memorable and even though I paid $18.00 a bottle for it I consider it highly drinkable. Too bad it's gone for now. I hope they do it again. My only other 5 is Hair of the Dog Adam. This is one of the best beers I've ever had.

P.S.

I'm speaking to you from the future...It's 2005 now and I just opened a new edition of the Dark Lord...orange wax...Damn...this is good!!! I get smell meat and I'm no vegan...This is nose ass beer. The taste is knock down good. The pour was 30 wt. The head was slight and two toned with streaks of white which mysteriously disappeared. No more reviewing for now...time for drinking...All's well...Thank you Floyds.

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Photo of silenius
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So I saved this one for my 100th review. This one has been ageing the 6 months or so since it came out. This is really two beers in one, the first 2/3 of the bottle and then the 2.25 inches of sediment at the end that scared me to drink it thinking I'd be on the pot all the next day. Good thing I wasn't working.

The bottle is the same waxed cap that is in the picture. Others have described the Dark Lord figure with the battle-axe like mash paddle. I thought that was clever.

I poured the beer and it really isn't as dark as I thought it would be coming out of the bottle. I could see that it is a seriously dark brown, but light got through. Once in the glass, only crimson slivers at the edges let you know this isn't pure black. The thin, slow to appear head dissapates quickly into a collar around the glass.

When I first smelled it I was underwhelmed, but later once it warmed up a bit more, the dark unsweetened chocolate, raisin and fig characteristics came through. Not as big of a smell as Bell's Expedition or Rasputin, but nice.

The taste kicked my ass. HUGE dark chocolate syrup overwhelms and leaves a nice espresso bean bitterness when it leaves. As it warms it takes on more dark fruit characteristics with raisins and figs. Not as complex as others have described it, though. But no other beer comes close to these flavors. HUGE. It gets a 5.

Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy with a bit of carbonation to remind you this is a beer. Something out of the ordinary to say the least. Althought the last 1/3 of the bottle is like drinking beer ingredients rather than the beer itself. The dregs are green hop bitterness and leave a bittering grit that doesn't want to leave.

This beer made me want to drink it and the first 2/3rds were delightful to sip. The last 1/3 was too much. I have to knock points.

I have 6 left and will be ageing these and will have one a year until they are gone.

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Photo of shapudding
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

My god... finally a chance to try The Lord!

Thanks to Jeff for bringing this to the General Lafayette tasting! love ya!

Got to be the official pryer on this one, while everyone screamed at me in anxiousness as I ripped at the wax to get this out...

Insane difference in the first and last pours...wow! First pours are thin milkshakey thickness, but the last pours came out as more crazy V8 juice consistancy... Scents of portwine, bits of coffee and chocolate.... Tastes vineous... merlot... alcohol....
Rye seeds, black dark coffee...
So thick and chewey....

All I can say is god I adore this stuff!

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 22oz. grim-graphic label bomber. Dipped in red wax.

Appearance: Upon pouring this vile-looking liquid into my goblet (where's a good skull when you need one, to properly enjoy a beer like this?), I honestly thought it was trying to suck the light into it. Dark-as-night inky blackness in color, there is a wafer-thin layer of tan-colored head that tries to avoid being consumed by the evil upon which it is perched. Rings of this lace try to escape by clinging to the glass.

Smell: Ambrosia for the olfactories. A complex myriad of aromas. Freshly roasted coffee. Baking chocolate. Toffee. 151 rum-soaked dark fruits. Bonfire smoke.

Taste: Quite simply one of the best beers I have tasted and more than likely ever will. Elephant-like in size, it hits your palate full-force, wrecking havoc with a chco-coffee blast. Nothing gets past this once you've tasted it. Cameo appearances by more dark fruit, some bitter hops, toffee, and charred wood. Finishes with a long-lasting (and smile-inducing) bitterness that makes you crave another hit of this liquid addiction.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: As big a beer as you'll ever find. This is simply gargantuan in mouthfeel. Super-thick, super-creamy. Words fail to describe just how incredibly thick this beer is. Drinkability is also top-notch. There is no way I would have known this was a hefty 13% ABV. It's woven into the tapestry of flavor with the skill of an artist.

Notes: I am deeply indebted to CreteMixer for this bottle. Just an epic tasting and one that I'll remember and cherish for quite a long time.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This came in a menacing looking 22oz bomber that was dipped in red wax to give the appearance of being sealed in blood. A cartoon picture of the dark lord is on the label as well to add to the overall Dark Lord theme. Looking like the used oil at jiffy lube this stuff pours out as thick as I have ever seen. It is pitch black almost verging on sucking in all surrounding. The head starts impressively before falling into a cap of bubbles and leaving not lacing but a film over any portion of the glass that it comes in contact with. Aroma is of chocolate covered berries, molasses and roasted malts. The flavor is tremendous standing out much more than the scent with chocolate, roasted coffee and dark fruits blending for a complex palette experience. A slight coffee bitter aftertaste is also present as well as a slightly sour taste as it warmed. Mouthfeel is ridiculous I have had nothing as thick as this ever and it is amazing. It coats the entire mouth and sits heavy on the tongue, very nice. Drinkability is also excellent there is no sign of the 13% anywhere in this monster. The thickness is the only thing that slowed me down while drinking it. Impressive in all ways I highly recommend this to anyone, hopefully I can come across more bottles of this in the future.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.66/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

OK, its 2 am, but I wanted to get this in before bed. First off, what a surprise when the guy at the end of the table says there is a 13% Imperial Stout on cask at the Maproom, let's go! Opaque black with an awesome tan head and lace as well. Aroma fell alittle short, but still found notes of hops, charred and roasted coffee, some dark fruit and warming alcohol. Taste hits you like none other, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, molasses, and some alcohol here as well. Thick, chewy, HUGE mouthfeel. Made your lips just stick to the glass! How awesome.

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Photo of aracauna
3.48/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is thick. It pours thick, it feels thick and it sticks to your ribs like a stack of pancakes. Pitch black with a thin brown head. The aroma is chocolate, a little vanilla and soy sauce. The flavor continues with the chocolate and soy sauce with a little bit of molasses. I’m really surprised to not notice much if any roast malt in the mix. I’ll have to try to make it up north when it’s on tap and try this again, but this definitely did not live up to expectations.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.26/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Glugs out of the bottle with a deep tan head that cascades in slow motion...very surreal to watch it s l o w l y collapse. Jet black color in the glass, impervious to light. Intense deep dark fruit nose with prunes dominating, some herbal roasty/grainy notes. Very thick viscuous mouthfeel really detracts here, coats the mouth and doesn't let up, with more pruney flavor, sweet treacle and molasses then an undercurrent of roasted malt comes in clear. Afterwards, some hop bitterness shows up as an afterthought. The finish is long due to the oil-like thickness of the brew. It's really a tad too thick for me to enjoy at all, I'm glad to finally get to try this one, but to me it just does not live up to the hype here. I'll take a Bell's Expedition over this anytime.
Thanks to jackndan/BIF6.

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Photo of jlervine
4.94/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured thick and black like used 15w50 motor oil in our diesel. Slight bit of coffee-colored head rose up, than sank beneath the surface, leaving behind only remnants of lacing in the middle of the beer. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, rum-soaked plums waft from the glass. Taste is wow. Just.... wow. It tastes as thick as it poured, tons of malt loaded in here, takes 15 seconds just to clear your palate. Alcohol is very subdued - one deadly brew here. Roasted malts, chocolate, incredible residual sweetness. Unholy hell, this is the epitome of imperial stout. I could drink this stuff all week long, since the syrupy sticky mouthfeel makes rapid quaffing of this brew impossible. Absolutely fantastic stuff.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
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 frank4sail
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Friggin' rich dark black motor oil of a look. Thick persistant milk cocoa colored head. Very rich lookin'. Sweet bitter chocolate and expresso pungent nose. Thick coffee, mocha, rich malt and a hoppy green flavored finish. The thickest fullest mouth I have ever had in a beer. Very good and very overwhelming. Rediculas!

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

I was lucky enough to share a second bottle of this oh-so-wickedly-wonderful beer, so I figured I should review it this time. I hope the bottle is gone when I get home, because it will yell at me for not giving it all 5's. I do believe last night it was telling me over and over "You love me. You love me. You love me." Like a freakin cult leader or something! OK, OK, i love you, I do.

Appearance was very black and thick, when held up to the light it looked a bit like old blood around the edges, but in a good way. Had a bit of a brown head that didnt last very long. It smelled good but not much. It didnt give off enough of an aroma, that's why I had to dock points. It smelled a bit like fresh coffee, then old coffee, and slightly vinous. It tasted absolutely perfect! So much going on, and in such a great blend. Chocolate fudge syrup, roasted coffee, cherry wine, a hint of chocolate covered Belgian waffles that you get in Belgium, with an aftertaste thats similar to the aftertaste of strong coffee. Pretty sweet but too much so, with a bitter end. There really isn't more than a teeny hint of alcohol in the taste. I guess there's just too much other stuff going on. Mouthfeel is THICK. Well in the beginning of the bottle it is just regular syrupy thick, and as you get down to the bottom, well it almost gets to be too much. It's a bit ridiculous. Like pudding that's not quite set yet, real thick but still drinkable. I got the absolute end of the bottle and I really did have to chew. That was a little disturbing, but kind of cool at the same time. Drinkability, well, I know this is it now, but I want more, lots more! It's so drinkable. At 13% abv, it does not taste or feel like it. Like a happy chocolatey sweet waffle meal with wine and coffee and pudding, all together in one bottle.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review Number 400.

Pours a molasses thick deep brown/black with burgundy highlights. Pencil thin ring of deep tan head and spotty lace on the goblet.
Aroma of cocoa, coffee, and malts, licorice, some grapefruit, grapes, many other things that I can't even begin to explain.
Flavors of molasses, port, dark fruits, citrus and earthy hop notes. Chocolate permeates as does liquor.
Mouthfeel is very sweet malt with citrus, port like sweet tones. Bitring is light but there. Alcoholic pop just enough to know that you are drinking something very special.
Drinkability is enormously high. Have to find this on draught next year. Wow, I'm really speechless on this one, simply great beer. Can't imagine a better beer.

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

Another one of those beers from Three Floyd's "It's not normal", well when I heard about this 13% Imperial Russian Stout I thought to myself that's not normal. Well, here we are about to break through the layer of red triple dipped wax to break the seal of the beastly brew. The bottle depicts in comic book fashion a demon possessed viking crushing skulls and what not, but either way I'm guessing he's the Dark Lord. Let's see what he has to offer my senses. Appearance on this one goes as follows, in the pour this maybe the thickest textured brew I have ever poured the addition of molasses may have something to do with that. Color spectrum yep it's dark simply engulfs all visible light waves leaves behind a resilient line of thin moccha tan head that with my first sip starts to leave trickles of lace. Aromatics contained in this nectar are deep thunderous colliding waves dark chocolate, wine like fruit notes arising from the trenches of this beer, along with an espresso barrel aged like finish hop presence is evident and as it warms this is even more so for 13%abv it's not burning any nose hairs, which is a good thing. If nothing else about this beer grabs ahold of you, the flavor is sure to. Massive unparalleled possibly brings another style about redefining the Imperial Stout category for me, brings huge staggering amount of slightly burnt dark roasted malts to the palate the molasses is evident with alcohol infused fruit namingly tart cherry notes screaming out while blending perfectly in this orgy of flavor. A definite strong coffe presence is welcoming and eye opening at the same time, just burped up a load of hops bringing about another wonderful aspect of this beer. Three Floyd's have done it again the Dreadnaught stands as my favorite Imperial IPA this may just take the throne as my all time favorite Imperial Stout. Mouthfeel is chewy yes a beer can be chewy, don't believe me try this one it says it all. Once again the molasses takes the reigns adding to this full bodied beers complexity on the palate tame carbonation wouldn't want it any other way, after pouring in the final yeast sediment from the bottle the texture becomes thicker which is hard to believe. Drinkability couldn't believe that a beer this massive could be so tasty and drinkable in a 22 ounce portion, I don't know what has me completely sold on this beer but it's amazing. Complex as all hell with a huge mouthfeel, aromatics are mesmorizing, and the taste is orchestrated to perfection. Believe the hype this brew will humble you to the Dark Lord the true master of this style, the 3F's have pushed the envelope and succeeded once again I smell a victory.

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Photo of Dantes
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
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 Gusler
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What the hell can I say about this magnificent creation that has not already been said? This was to be my 6000th beer, but I decided to take it to Papago and as we often bring special beers to sample, this was my choice.

The beer as it slowly oozes out of the 22-ounce brown bottle pours as thick as molasses in January in Maine, it literally makes a glugging sound as it excavates itself from its container. Onyx in color, the head a deep chocolate brown that is creamy as whipped chocolate icing and portly in size, the lace a coat of brown to obscure the glass. Nose is rich bittersweet chocolate, burnt coffee, sweet malt, a treat for both the olfactory and ocular senses, a beer you must sniff to understand its complexity, start is thick and chewy, ambrosial and the top as full as any beer I have ever tasted. Finish is pleasing in its acidity; hops are powerful in their spiciness, the alcohol quite noticeable and the rich sweet chocolate and burnt coffee flavors continue to the parched desert dry aftertaste a quite noticeable tummy warming sensation. “Just one fantastic beer”, but a word of warning not meant for the weak of palate or people not into strong over the top beers, so if you fall into these categories and you have a “Dark Lord” sitting around, send it to me immediately if not sooner. lol

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 4,316 ratings
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