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
Green with silver glitter = 2017 - New Label

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,252 |  Reviews: 1,283
Photo of PopnLoads
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of mikereaser
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle on 11/6/09 thanks to Hophead101 for this one
2009 vintage

A - Pours a pitch black with slight brown bubbles rising to the surface

S - roasted malts, chocolate and hints of smoke

T - a smokey taste hits me up front and follows through the mouth, chocolate and oak as well, roasted malts and vanilla

M/D - good flavor, very drinkable, a bit of an alcohol burn, but smooth and oily mouthfeel

 420 characters

Photo of mdlb44
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Eman17
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of frasergrove
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NHhomebrewguy
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this with a couple of really good friends and beer connoisseurs and we were all delightfully surprised! Lots of chocolate, burnt sugar and roasted malts. Thick syrup like mouthfeel. Very enjoyable. Not sure why people give this beer such a bad rap.

 256 characters

Photo of BeerThursdays
3.36/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Edit for 2009 Bottle. Previous score was a 4.38 based on the 2006 bottle.

2009 White Waxed Bottle - Opened May 15

Thanks to Malreever for sharing this one.

Poured from bottle into Snifter.

A - Pours pitch black with a thin layer of tan hear. Lacing is good. No light can penetrate this beast.

S - Super sweet smell. Soy Sauce, and syrup. Dark Roasted Malts and some chocolate. Maybe some grapes, and hops? Smell is very interesting, but hard to pin point any one smell. Keeps changing.

T - Not sure about this one.. Very hot, and sweet. Lots going on, but none of it really seems to fit together well. Plum, molasses, and I just can't get off that soy sauce flavor.

M - Very hot and sweet. Somewhat flat too. Good full body, but this leave me wanting a lot more. Just OK..

O - Well, it's Dark Lord, but it's not.. Recently we opened 06-10, and this was by far my least favorite. Tried it again for this tasting, and still wasn't too impressed. Looks nice, but is lacking after that.
Opened both a 2006 and a 2008 bottle in the same night.

These were both amazing beers. Both looked about the same. Completely black with a dark brown head. The 2006 bottle's head was a bit smaller, but both ended up a nice size. Smells of the 06 were more fruity than the 08, but both had coffee smells with dark fruits (plumbs and raisins). Pretty amazing smells.

Alcohol in the 2008 was subtly more apparent than in the 2006. 2006 was super smooth and fruity, with a coffee/chocolate finish. 2008 was not quite as fruity, coffee and roasted malts much more apparent. Both were an amazing experience. Incredible how this beer ages. 2006 had no hint of alcohol at all, just a sweet, chocolaty syrup with a coffee finish. 2008, alcohol more obvious, but if not for the 2006 comparison, it would be hardly noticeable.

This one is a sipper at any age. You're not going to pound 4 in a night and feel ok about yourself.

 1,923 characters

Photo of linnymtu
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of thebouch01
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of hiphopj5
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of csustar001
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of allenson21
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Winston3737
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Was able to get a pour of this one at a mini bottle share. Poured out of a brown 750 mL bottle with the neck dipped in yellow wax, indicating that this is 2011 vintage. Poured into a small old fashioned glass.

Appearance - Pouring aggressively to coax out a presumably waning head from the three years of cellaring, I'm able to get just a little bit of ecru colored foam that quickly disappears, leaving nothing but inky black motor oil and a slim ring of foam around the edge of the glass.

Smell - Rich and full of roasted malt, cacao nibs, and faint notes of fresh coffee beans. It seems like the time has allowed the coffee notes to fade, as it's all but impossible to detect at this point. In addition to the more prototypical stout aromas, there are some elements that remind me more of a great Belgian quad, with some notes of dark fruit and port wine.

Taste - The initial foray onto my tastebuds seems more savory than expected, with some faint notes of balsamic and figs to go alongside the charred malts and black strap molasses. The coffee is pretty much gone at this point, but some sweeter notes of f vanilla and carmelized sugar still remain. The finish is very rich and savory, like an aged port wine, much like the nose hinted.

Mouthfeel - Viscous and full bodied, with low carbonation and a semisweet finish.

Overall, a really tasty beer. Would love to know how this one tastes fresh, with the inclusion of coffee, but I can't really complain, because I can't help but feel that the coffee would overcome what has become a subtly complex beer, with lots of sweet and savory notes over the course of the glass. Very happy to have been able to try it, but given how limited it is, not sure I'll go out of my way to seek it out again.

 1,752 characters

Photo of M1A2
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of MastaShonuf
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of PSU_Mike
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TexIndy
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Got in a trade with czoch75 back in May and have been cellaring till now per FFF's recommendation. Poured from a 22oz bottle with a silver wax seal and cool graphics into a pint glass. I have to agree with other reviews that it pours like motor oil or thick syrup. It was pitch black even against a light. It had just a tiny hint of head and that was gone in a blink of an eye. The aroma was strong on alcohol and dark fruits at first. Got some strong smoke after a couple minutes but then that faded into the back. By the end, alcohol was the most dominant. The taste was also dominated by alcohol. Very reminiscent of cough medicine. There was some sweetness at the start of each drink but then the alcohol overpowered it. I've had several RIS lately and really liked several but this one is too much. For me, they need to scale back the alcohol taste and add back in some more traditional RIS flavors. For me, this one is overhyped and not worth recommending unless you can easily get it. Disappointed is best way to sum it up. (3, NA, ML, N)

 1,045 characters

Photo of dwoolley1
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of ari32
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of mscudder
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Booner818
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kdown
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of aleigator
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark lord '11 vintage

Many thanks to Kevin for providing the bottle.

Pours a viscous, black color, with a decent, fizzy head.

Exhibits an intriguing nose between bakers chocolate, molasses, toffee, toasted malts and marmelade among a warming alcohol presence. The chocolate aromas are incredible rich on the nose, with all other flavors illustrating it, and chocolate being easily the most dominant ingedient of the beer. The aromas promise a sweeter, complex beer, leaning on toffee, caramel, dried fruits and cane sugar, against charred malts and cold, black coffee.

The beer provides an incredible smooth mouthfeel, revealing its intriguing depth.

Tastes of milk chocolate and earthy toffee, both flavors building the luscious foundation of the beer. Cold pressed coffee acts as a counterpart to the sweeter ingedients, effectivly supported by charred malts and a note of tobacco. On top of that settles a decadent amount of molasses, coating up the other flavors of the beer. During the finish a warm alcohol burn supports the sweet chocolate, providing a rich taste of alcoholic, glazed and earthy pralines.

The beer reveals an incredible depth of flavors, which convince, based on the interplay between chocolate and cold coffee, accompanied by carbonized, earthy malts, setting the balance of the brew. The beer ends just the way it started - sweet, while its middlepart lends a huge amount of bitterness and dryness to the taste, handling its sweeter aspects in a very convincing way, while dried fruits act as a hot peak to the taste. It drinks dangerously easy, no alcohol is detectable at any stage.

 1,617 characters

Photo of Zimm
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,252 ratings.
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