Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout
4,304 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

Added by cretemixer on 12-13-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,304 |  Reviews: 1,293
Photo of rcjennings
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of McAndrew
2.32/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

SOY SAUCE in a bottle. Molasses was very heavy just awful

57 characters

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

2009 Edition

Pours an Oil Black with a light tan head around the edges.

Smell of strong raisins, Toffee, Caramel, roasted malts, sweetness all around. Smell is still slightly boozy after a year. A few more years in a cellar would probably not hurt.

Taste of Raisins , strong caramelized sugars, Dark Fruits abound, Coffee and lots of chocolate. Like a barleywine ages, I can only imagine this gets more smooth by the year but it is drinking great right now for slighly over year old. Very smooth, vanilla characters strongly present. I will open my next '09 a few years from now.

Mouthfeel is thick and viscous, just like motor oil. Its thickness lived up to the hype, just not the hype I had seen about it being like drinking swamp muck. Thick Dark Chocolate Candy Syrup/ Oil Viscosity is right on the money.

After staring at this bottle for a year, the time had finally come to open the 2009. My first taste was up to par with what I had expected. Another great beer by 3F.

2012 review of 2009 White wax cap:
After reading my review from 2010, the one thing that has clearly changed is that it is more rounded out and most if not all hotness has faded. The head was not visibly present when poured, and it seems to be nice and still overall. I do pick up some chocolate milk flavors that remind me of the lunch cartons I used to drink in Elementary school in a way. Tons of roastiness, but the milk chocolate flavors may be more present or noticeable than I remember them. Three years of aging seems to have done a great job on this beer.

 1,550 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
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 scootny
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is a stellar RIS. A thick brown head forms atop a black viscous fluid. Retention is nice and the lacing is sticky, very good looking.

Smell is sweet chocolate and caramel malts. Roasted dark grains and coffee. An undercurrent of dark fruits from raisins and prunes to figs and dates. There is a touch of chocolate cherries as well. Burnt sugar and molasses swirl in and out, bringing notes of sweet alcohol.

Taste is chocolate, espresso, and charred sugar. The chocolate cherries really come through now. The thick and full feeling allow the flavors to hang on your tongue for luscious amounts of time. Burnt sugary molasses and charred caramel flow in a viscous fashion. Dark bready malts peep through here and there and blend with the sweet alcohol. Bittering is low and mellow. Just enough to dry the finish and leave a touch of charcoal and toasted buttered molasses bread.

Drinkabiity is criminal for a beer of this strength. Maybe I should give it a five.

Just superb. The taste of this beer would rate a 5.5 if I could.

 1,042 characters

Photo of M1A2
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of MastaShonuf
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of MNBeer1017
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of AmitC
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of TexIndy
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
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 imyourhero21
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Gregf51
4.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ari32
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of PrestigeWorldwide
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Booner818
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Zimm
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of gcamparone
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 3F tulip glass. Acquired from Surge1311, thanks buddy! 2011 vintage

A- Pours a deep brown, nearly black, opaque body with a slowly rising light chocolate colored head that reduces slowly to a ring of foam, leaving some rings of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Very interesting aromas on the nose.. a strong maltyness reminiscent of a mixture of molasses, soy sauce, milk chocolate, and toffee. There's a biscuity, bready aroma too.

T- Woah, way too sweet. I've never tasted a stout this sweet before.. it's like someone mixed simple syrup with an imperial stout, what's up with that? It almost tastes like the sugar fermentation process was stopped short. Getting past the syrupy, almost artificial sweet flavor, I get a little chocolate, coffee, dark fruits on the follow through. The finish is very roasty and charred which is pleasant. You also can't taste the 15% alcohol which is also very nice, but I just can't get past the EXTREME sweetness of this beer.

M- Heavy, sticky, syrupy body. Almost no carbonation.

Am I impressed with Dark Lord? Not the in the least bit. Honestly I have no clue how it gets the ratings it gets on Beeradvocate.

Is Dark Lord a huge, heavy bodied, flavor-packed, monster of a stout? I'll give it that. Just not in the best way possible.

 1,318 characters

Photo of carteravebrew
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of jason_nwx
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of cfrances33
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of Yeti1979
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of RyanTheLion13
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ttylicki
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of UniversitateaDeBere
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

Pours completely opaque, absolute black. Tan head is modest and dissipates quickly to a thick ring and soapy sheen.

Aroma is smokey dark grain, along with a generous oatmeal stout like sweetness. Strong notes of anise, coffee, and alcohol.

Taste has a milk like sweetness initially. Excellent chocolate, dark fruit, and anise flavor. Smokey dark grain, and earthy bitterness then takes over. Very rich and thick. Finish is quite bitter with a lingering liquor like alcohol burn. As this one warms the strong roasted dark grains really make an impression.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and silky smooth.

A rich and complex brew. Alcohol is certainly present, but appears mild when compared to the high ABV. Flavor profile changes as you drink this one. Initially the sweetness stands out. However, as you continue to drink the strong roasted character, dark fruit, and alcohol seem to get more intense. Certainly a brew that any stout lover needs to try.

 953 characters

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 4,304 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.