Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,267
Ratings:
4,167
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
14.49%
 
 
Wants:
3,202
Gots:
2,046
For Trade:
178
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,267 | Ratings: 4,167
Photo of stonequarrywest
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 into my KBS snifter

Pours deep dark and beautiful...like motor oil. Really is like motor oil... thin head that doesnt stick around.

Complex nose of deep roasted malts, chocolate, burnt fruits..tobacco. Love it.

Clings to the glass with every sip..Huge thick mouthfeel...fork and knife thick. Sweet coffee, raisins, chocolate....

Insanely good Beer

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Photo of gregc
2.95/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviews of 2008 and 2009...averaged out.

2008 bottle.

pours a motor oil like thick black. with a nice espresso like thin head.
smells of heavily roasted malt, burnt coffee, dark chocolate. Very complex.
taste is very similar to the nose roasted malt, burnt coffee, dark chocolate, caramel. A very complex and intense beer. The mouthfeel is ridiculous, so think almost milkshake like.
A wonderful beer.

2009 bottle

Appearace sucked...poured into a glass, little to no head,
thin looking body.
Aroma started out ok, some chocolate, roasted malts, then
i was hit with the nail polish remover, acetic acid and
sweaty towel. Not really what i was expecting from this
bottle.
Taste was pretty God awful. Burnt meat from a gas grill,
vinegar, and rotten coffee grounds. Im very shocked, i
think i may have gotten a bad bottle, but i have been told
by a few people that they have had similar experiences.
Mouthfeel also sucked...thin, boring.
Drinkability dumped over half the bottle...

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Photo of Adamdc
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

08 vintage (black cap) poured into tulip.

A: Jet black pour with no head whatsoever. Looks very thick!

S: Coffee and dark and milk chocolate. Below this is dark fruit, molasses and soy sauce.

T: Molasses is much more prominent in the taste followed by coffee and chocolate. It's also pretty hot, more than I expected for an '08.

M: The gold standard for 'thickness'. Liquid tar.

D: The 'heat' and the abv limit this beer's drinkability.

This is my second bottle of DL, the first being an '09, and I like this one much better. A very nice beer, a little hotter than I expected but still nice.

Update---just had the '10 version and it is AMAZING!! Lots of coffee, chocolate, molasses and some soy sauce both in the nose and taste. The trademark DL thickness is there and no heat whatsoever. Also smooth as silk!!! This truly is a fantastic drinking experience!!

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Photo of spoons
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap and poured from a bottle. 2010

Pours black and not much head at all.

Smells of dark roasted malt to begin with. Reveals a lot of dark fruits like prunes and cooked figs. A little coffee too.

The mouthfeel is very thick and syrupy. Tastes right away of sweet sugar and molasses. Lots of caramel and roasted malt flavor. The dark fruits seem to be coming across more now after a few months in the cellar. A lot of stewed prune and date flavor come across. I cant wait to try this one in a few years and see where it goes.

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Photo of Mess
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

White wax 2009 bottle. Thanks to Heater for the trade - first time trying Dark Lord! Served in a snifter.

A - Pours like a black hole. Light does not escape. Dark, slick oil, minimal rich crema, hot chocolate head, tight lace.

S - Dark bitter chocolate. Raisins, port, fruit cake. Slight soy?

T - Sweeet, like sugar cupcake icing. Sweet tobacco, like an unlit Swisher Sweet. Molasses, but don't taste any coffee.

M - thick and viscous - coats mouth, yet slick too and frothes on tongue.

O - Hmmm....been waiting waiting waiting to try this beer, patiently cellaring since I traded with Heater in the Spring. Over worked my expectations; not as blown away as I was hoping to be. Sickly sweet. Lot to drink by oneself. Not sure if '09 is 15%, doesn't say on bottle but does not feel like 15%. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of thydarkprevails
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage poured into a Duvel tulip at 46 degrees. Pours a midnight oil black. 2 inch beige head quickly shrinks to nothing. Lacing is minimal. Aroma is dark fruit, plum, raisin, molasses, mild pine, maple syrup, toffee, and caramal. Taste is very sweet. Candi sugar, dates, raisins, molasses, toasted malts, raw earth in the back of your mouth, dark baking syrup, faint grass, and roasted barley. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. There is hardly any evidence of alcohol, which is amazing for a 15%abv. Awesome beer. So complex and amazing. I cannot wait till i try this over the next few years in my cellar.

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Photo of JToad
3.26/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've given Darklord 3 tries, and I keep coming up with the same notes, so hear goes my review:

After obtaining this directly at Darklord day, my expectations were high. I poured it directly into my Samichlaus goblet. It was motor oil pitch black. Thick and dark, with nice tan lacing.

Smells of burnt fruit, and metal. Chocolate and coffee thrown in there as well. A lot of smells going on, almost too many.

First taste is of metallic, bitter chocolate. You can really taste the burnt fruit. Not at all what I hoped for.

It was hard for me to finish this beer. Im not a huge fan of stouts, but there are so many others I prefer. Bourbon County Stout, Kentucky Breakfast I enjoy much more.

All in all, I'm a tad dissapointed. I tried a sample of the Vanilla Bean DL and it was awesome. This beer just seemed like a clusterfu*k of flavors, and it didn't work for me at all.

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Photo of scarnold8
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle poured into a small glass, split amongst 3 good friends.

A - Thick and black/dark brown. Very thin dark brown/tan head.
S - Licorice, malt, and chocolate.
T - Coffee, smokey, chocolate malty-ness, and a bit of bitter alcohol/hops finish.
M - Heavy. Very thick and creamy, more so than expected for the style, but still good.
D - Not great, it's heavy and has a high alcohol content that makes it difficult to drink a bottle on your own, much less more.

The 2010 vintage is definitely better than the 2009 and redeems the Dark Lord name. It is a good RIS that demonstrates the expected coffee, licorice, malty, smokey smells and taste.

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Photo of fastpass17
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 yellow waxed bottle, thanks Nate.

A: Very dark chocolate in color not quiet black in my opinion. Very little head which was expected, a fair amount of carbonation, which may fade over extended aging.

S: Roasted chocolate, coffee, caramelized sugar, a hint of booze, cinnamon and nutmeg. This has a wonderful nose.

T: A very pronounced sweetness hits the mouth first (I wonder if lactose is used). Then roasted malts and coffee come into play. There are a number of things going on spice is mixing with some heat from the alcohol. This has a very distinct flavor for the style.

M,O: This beer certainly coats the palate. It is very unique in so far that I had expected the beer to be slightly dryer on the mouth due to the strength instead there was a nice sweetness. I am interested to see how this beer ages.

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Photo of mryuk
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours extremely dark with little head.

smell is sweet molasses with prunes and some mocha.

taste is smooth sweet molasses with some fruit. slight hints of dark chocolate. not very alcoholic. would be a great beer but a little too sweet.

mouth is very thick with low carbonation.

overall very god but fairly disappointing given what I was expecting. too sweet.

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Photo of dren
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours like motor oil. Smells of cherry, a little chocolate, coffee notes. Tastes the same, very strong sweet cherry flavors but they melt well with the chocolate backdrops. A slight smoked coffee flavor after the rush of cherry and then some bourbon and oak. The flavor is very robust with a long pleasing aftertaste. It's like I'm eating a rich chocolate cake. A very full boddied beer, and I'd say the most full boddied I have had. While this beer was extremely good tasting it was hard to drink because of the weight. I hate to say this but I would rather have a half pint of the stuff for dessert. Finishing an entire bottle would be a chore. I am glad I wasn't the one waiting in line for this brew. It's good but not worth the wait unless you are completely obsessed with stouts, which I am not. The beer does hold up to its expectations as far as tastes go.

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Photo of HoboAGoGo
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 gold wax sealed edition into the oversized snifter glass. Poured with a cascading head, loved watching it bubble up to the surface, a dark brown head sat atop, but fizzled away to nothing in very little time. The nose was strong in a cold, espresso smell, with dark chocolate, and alcohol soaked fruits. The initial flavor on the tongue is of dark roasted chocolate covered espresso beans, with a mild hop bite, alcohol follows the sips down the throat. After letting it warm up, more fruitiness comes into the picture, as you start to get an almost rum covered cherry flavor, a black cherry. After the beer became room temperature, the vanilla comes into play, and makes this beer extremely easy to drink. Last years was a bit easier on the palate to drink, but the complexities that made me put an additional half an hour into this beer makes me wonder at the possibilies of how this beer will taste with a few months put on it, or even another year or two.

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

Big thanks to RoyMunson on this one, Thanks for the opportunity to try this very hyped beer,2008 bottle. Also a 2007 bottle, from another trade!

A-2008 Death black with an evil dark tan head, the lacing and sludge that this beer produces as it warms is second to none, i still cannot see through the glass correctly.2007 looks identical

S-2008 its good but very sweet, sweeter than i imagined for a beer of this caliber, the Abyss, Stone RIS are better more traditional examples of this style, this is still very good. 2007 bottle was IMO better as some roasty coffee was detected which offset the sweetness up front.

T- Once again just ok for the 08 and very good for the 07, it taste like raisans, molasses, sugar, and more sweetness. there is a big disappointment here on the 08, the 07 has a very balanced and more complex less sweet taste. (its is a year older)

M- Very thick, GI BCS is thicker cold but as it warms this is the thickest beer i have ever had, hell it almost frothy like a starbucks mocha..

D- Not bad just very sweet, it makes your lips sticky and the sweetness is off the charts as my lips are very sticky right now. The abv is undetectable.

Well,

2008 bottle, Very good just a little sweet with lack of other flavores to balance it out, outstanding and a must try.

2007 bottle, Outstanding!!! everything i missed in the 08 was found here, some roasted coffee!!

I will continue to seek this out and age if a year of rest makes it this good. Dark lord day 09!!

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Photo of Monsone
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber with silver wax obtained at 2007 DL day. Shared with two of my buddies. Pours out pitch black like burnt motor oil. Man this stuff is thick. Forms a head that is thick and brown.

Smells of coffee, alcohol, sweet malt, and dark fruits.

Taste...WOW!.. Big sweet roasted/burnt malt. Dark fruit and alcohol mix and finished with bitter coffee. So big and complex, but so well balanced.

Overall... This is one amazing RIS. This beer is great and almost lives up to the hype (which is pretty damn good considering). Definately a beer to try if you can get your hands on one. I think the others I bought at DLD will age very nicely.

Mouthfeel is huge full bodied. Creamy and thick. Very nice.

Drinkability takes a hit from the pain it is to get this beer. Also I don't think this a beer that you finish a bomber yourself. The big alcohol makes this a sharing beer. Also $15 a bomber makes it pricey.

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Photo of Bulabeers
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Black beer brown head that vanishes completely in a few seconds
S: Vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate, raisins, maple syrup, or chocolate chip pancakes with maple syrup.
T: Maple syrup, raisins, figs, chocolate, coffee. The alcohol is non existent
F: Syrup smooth sticky thick
O: A very impressive beer. This is on the sweet side. It's complex and lives up to the hype.

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Photo of kfsv034
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this via trade from hayesez, its a green waxed 2010 bottle, thanks for the opportunity to try this brew bro

A - Poured Black with a light tan head that leaves a thin line around the edge of the beer and a nice lacing down the glass. If there ever was a beer that could be described as motor oil this is it.

S - Coffee and a pungent alcohol smell, mild vanilla, chocolate and some sweet dark fruits

T - Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, mild bourbon and a strange metallic taste on the finish not quite sure what that is. It could be the alcohol im not really sure.

M - Full Bodied, milkshake

D - 1 glass is enough if i dont wanna get drunk

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Photo of THANAT0PSIS
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Three Floyds Dark Lord 2013

Appearance: Dark Lord lives up to its name. It pours an extremely dark brown, perhaps even to the point of being black. There is just a half-centimeter of dark tan head, which is not surprising in its relative absence. The lacing is spotty and minimal, and the alcohol legs are just as intense as the color of the pour. This is a typical looking Russian imperial stout, and, at 15% ABV, it cannot be faulted too much for the lack of head.

Aroma: Huge notes of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and alcohol jump out of the glass immediately. It smells very sweet to the point of smelling like double chocolate chip cookies. There is a very mild hop presence, but thankfully it appears Three Floyds did not do their signature over-hopping to this beer. The hops combined with the strong alcohol aromas, an underlying cherry, dark fruit, and anise aroma all help to cut the almost overwhelming sweetness. This is a very complex smelling beer, but it is also a bit sweet smelling.

Taste: Apparently the rumors about Dark Lord are true. The beer is just a little too sweet, and the sweetness is not cut by anything really. The hop presence is still there, but in a sweet hop oil capacity rather than a cutting bitterness. The alcohol also just is not enough, in fact it is a sweet alcohol, which only adds to the sweetness. There is just a touch of the green apple flavor that the 2013 batch was rumored to have, but it meshes well with the rest of the beer for the most part, especially well with the cherries and the dark fruit. The chocolate and coffee are there, but it is more of a mocha than the bitterness one would expect from these qualities in a stout. It is a very complex beer, but it is a little bit too cloying.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is perhaps the best part of this beer. It is velvety, creamy, slick, oily, warming, and thick. It is everything that a Russian imperial stout should be. There is nothing more to say.

Overall: If only this beer was more balanced. It does not quite live up to the hype, but it is still certainly a good beer. Three Floyds has a reputation for pushing the envelope, and I think it fell right off the table on this one. It is still a very good beer, but it is not worth jumping through the hoops that you must to get it. Try it, but do not trade your left arm for it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of jonandhisflask
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 dark lord, my first thanks to my bud jeff

A-Deep hellish ambers to black, great tan head.. holds for about 30 seconds.

S-Bursts of alcohol and dark fruits, chocolates, roasted coffee, caramels. earthy IMO

T-GOOD DARKLORD! HOT! chocolates, coffee, darker fruits...plum. alcohol and hops balance out the malt in this great beer for sure, still very sweet but not too over powering.

M-Very thick(thats what she said) oily, weighs the jaw down, your palate will be satisfied.

O-amazing brew, FFF promises great beer. WILL be attending DLD!! hope i can get a few vintages as well as a few 11's.shared with a great friend=great memories and healthy palates.

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep, dark, very viscous. Pours very slowly, with a thin tan head and nice lacing.

Smell: A simple swirl unlocks chocolate, coffee, smoky fruits and alcohol.

Taste: Holds even more suprises than the aroma, more chocolate and coffee, a even harder hit of smoke and alcohol with notable cherry.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and very velvety. A delight to all the surfaces.

Drinkability: Would have recieved a 5 were not for a above average ABV. As much as I'd absolutley love for this to be an everyday beer, it is an "special occasion" only due to price and my envy for it.

This is very well the best beer I've ever had, prior to this I had a scattered love for deep stouts, but this brought me around. It is simply too good for someone not to try at least once. Were I to have a final meal, this would be my choice of beer, bar none.

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Photo of Luchman
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Straight up black hole in a glass. Maybe not THE blackest I have seen (That would have to go to DFH World Wide...) it is dark nonetheless. All that black topped off with a very mocha colored, half inch head that just makes this beer looks wonderful. The head does fade after a minute or two, but still clings to the edges. Lacing can be found, but is minimal.

S: Lots going on here. First thing that jumps right at you is sugary-sweet molasses. Lingering around the intense molasses is this dark fruit ( plums and currants), chocolate (brownies for some reason came to my mind), mixture that I found to be very delicious. Mocha-java-ness is in there somewhere, but is modest compared to the other aromas.

T: Rich. This is the one word that I couldn't get out of my head while drinking this. The taste follows the smell pretty closely, only that the vinous molasses is very strong in flavor. Thats the flavor that your are guaranteed to at least taste on every sip. With that, there is the chocolate notes that are just plain tasty, as well as the dark fruits. Alcohol is apparent, especially in the molasses flavors, but it is not too harsh. When its all sipped and swallowed, a taste of pure coffee grounds lingers and fades in the mouth. Hops are there.... somewhere... The malts pretty much dominate here, but thats not really a bad thing.

M: It has a full and slick mouthfeel. No complaints here.

D: This is the tough part... Yes, it was a good, complex stout that I am more than happy to have been able to drink, but I do think it could have used a bit more balancing in the taste, as the richness and vinous molasses were a bit strong. I also, do think its a tad over hyped; If you can get your hands on one, with out a doubt, go for it, but I wouldn't travel far or pay much more to get it again.

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Photo of Fieldzy27
4.96/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a goblet.
2010
Pours jet black and almost no carbonation

Aroma smells like ultra dark chocolate and roasted malt , very explosive aroma.

Taste sweet bread dark and milk chocolate raisins dark fruit , fig , dates. Coffee and roast flavor.

Mouthfeel :liquid velvet.

Overall world class. Reviewed from phone.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. The first thing that strikes you about this beer is its thickness. A lot of beers claim to pour like motor oil, this one actually comes close to pulling that off. A thick, viscous, dark liquid poured out of the bottle into my glass. The smell and taste were both very complex, with chocolate, slight coffee, vanilla and roasted molasses coming through.

A great stout, which comes very close to living up to the enormous hype.

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Photo of schmoopsbeer
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to CaptinRedBeard for this
poured into nonic pint
8 oz serving

Color: Black... black as motor oil. A nice one finger khaki head forms on top of this beer. Leaves behind minimal lacing on the glass, but the darkness of this brew does stain the glass.

Nose: Boom! Immense roasted malts and bitter coffee. Vanilla, molasses, syrup, and raisin also appear as this beer warms. I can see why people say they smell soy sauce in this beer, but to me its quite faint and not a real factor in this beer.

Palate: Thick, yet drinkable because the carbonation is spot on. The tongue gets bathed in sweet waves of vanilla, chocolate, syrup, and molasses. Following the sweetness are palate crushing waves of intense bitter coffee and a gentle hop profile. This beer is well layered and smooth despite a tingly warmth from the abv.

Finish: Intense,thick,complex, sweet, and some good bitterness. Overall this stout is a great example of the Russian Imperial form. Very pleased with this beer!

Rating: 93 out 100

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,267 ratings.
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