Dark Lord Imperial Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Dark Lord Imperial StoutDark Lord Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.27/5
4,293 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:
#643
Reviews:
1,290
Ratings:
4,293
pDev:
14.52%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3,214
Gots:
2,103
Trade:
198
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,293 |  Reviews: 1,290
Photo of stakem
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Multiple reviews added together, scoring reflects the top notes.

2010 bottle reviewed on 11/20/10.

This is the first of my bottles to be opened since DLD and shared with friends who couldn't attend the release. Poured into a snifter, dark lord appears a dark brown color that displays some clarity and lighter brown coloration around the edges. Closer inspection reveals some ruby hues. There is no head to be found, some swirls release some very dark brown bubbles that dissolve immediately.

The smell of this brew is hot with alcohol with indications of licorice, molasses and some smokey notes that come across a bit like bitter black chocolate. Some faint citrus hops are evident in the back.

The taste is bold with alcohol mixed with dark chocolate. Licorice with a bitter roasted quality that leaves a taste of chocolate in the mouth. Some fruity indications suggest citrus hops blended with fusel alcohol that almost has an evaporative quality on the tongue. There is a smokey element and coffee flavors as well as it warms.

This is a thick brew with a low level of carbonation. It clings and coats the inside of your mouth with a sugary grainy sweetness that isn't cloying because of the alcohol and contrasting bitterness. As a sipper at ~15% it is quite drinkable and complex.

- - - -
2008 bottle care of Slatetank on 10/23/10, thanks for sharing Matt!

Pours black with a severely tanned to brown head. It appears nearly black in color with some lighter coloration of brown around the edges. Faint spotty lace clings to the glass. This brew seemingly stains the glass with a sticky particle filled layering.

The aroma is filled with a smokey molasses sweetness and dark roasty grain that imparts a scent of chocolate. A touch of mineral quality and sweet smelling grain that is reminiscent of a fresh brew day. Slight notes of oxidation with a herbal spicy "meatiness" that lingers through the back of the nose.

The taste is sweet molasses with dark roasted grain coupled with alcohol and herbal hops. It leaves an almost meaty flavor inside the mouth that is interesting to say the least. Lingers with a roasted grain and bitterness that is a combo of hops and burnt grain. The abv is still apparent but each sip seemingly yields more sweetness. A very full, thick bodied brew that has a light level of carb yet maintains decent drinkability. It's an experience that everyone needs to try at least once.

- - - -
2011 bottle consumed on 7/5/11 (running low on character space so keeping this brief) This years very well might be the thinnest feeling of the years I have sampled. It is much easier to approach and has a very distinct anise character to the aroma and flavor. A light touch of oxidation/soy included as well as the typical flavors of bitter chocolate, coffee and lingering sweetness/herbal touch of hops. Bold alcohol yet contrasted nicely by the residual sweetness that isnt cloying.

 2,918 characters

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.

 2,669 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of dvmin98
3.16/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

2016 Looks great. Smells like a decent RIS. Tastes like a complete sugar bomb. So disappointed. Glad I shared this because I could barely get through 6 oz. Sad

 165 characters

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -18%

Photo of chippo33
2.47/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

soy sauce. raisin puree. licorice sticks.

41 characters

Photo of rolltide8425
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of imbibehour
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass vintage 2012. Big thanks to Wade5614 for the trade, and Exiled for the advice.

Into the snifter, it pours out chestnut brown, hitting the glass body and barely making a head at all of a simple tan light brown, fading under some faint snapping carbonation. Leaves a little filmy top and can't hang on, giving just a faint collar, with some nice leg action also and scattered leopard lacing barely.

Nose is quite interesting, suprinsingly not hot, mild roast character and dark red fruits. Cherry and raspberry, some dark chocolate and even some sensations of sea salt, maybe even caramel. Quite intriguing and nice, makes me love this salt and chocolate combo which is a favorite of mine.

Palate hits with a tight fizz at first that doesn't seem noticeable after numerous sips later. Extremely thick and syrupy and liqueur like palate. Memories of raspberry syrup hit, maybe some licorice, and then it's full on Luxardo Maraschino liqueur. Roast character takes a bit of back seat with quaffs. Syrup sweetness is quite big but in the context of how the liquor feels it comes off as a digestif and seems to work. Roast lingers slightly and rushes dark fruit toward the end with also a sense of alcohol bitterness (bitters, digsetif, etc...).

Overall it's really sweet for my tastes but tolerable, and also fun. Quite an interesting ride, glad to have given it a whirl. It's a sipper which doesn't always appeal to me for beer, but it's without question worth drinking.

 1,514 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rab53
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of 22Blue
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of imperialking
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of AlexFields
2.15/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is the 2011 vintage, poured from the bottle a few months after its release

Appearance is not ominously black as you might expect from the beer's name, but more of a darkish caramel brown color. I'd believe it if you told me it was an imperial porter or imperial brown. A fairly thin head appears and then disappears.

Smells sweet and malty. Obviously not going to be real big on the roast or smoke.

Wow, the taste is pretty bad. I expected it to be over the top in sweetness, but I did not expect it to be downright awful. The problem here is not so much the sweetness (I like me some really sweet beers, including really sweet imperial stouts) as it is that the flavors just aren't good ones. A molasses bomb in the worst sense, I'm having trouble thinking of other specific descriptive terminology but this is pretty rough. You can tell there's coffee in it if you look for it, but the coffee is contributing an odd caramel kind of flavor and not the roasty coffee flavors found in other, better stouts with coffee added.

Mouthfeel? I'm not really sure. My mouth was in a state of shock over the bizarre flavors of this beer and didn't take a lot of note of how it "felt," but I guess it was pretty thick and chewy.

Overall, just a really terrible beer, by far the worst beer I've ever had that has an A rating on Beer Advocate.

3.9/10

 1,348 characters

Photo of malfunxion
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SadMachine
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

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 a77cj7
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of VeganUndead
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Red Wax, 2012 Vintage, my first ever experience with DL. Midnight black pour with almost no carbonation, nose is licorice dark fruit and alcohol. This has been aging for almost a year, hence why the taste is mellow, but very sweet, and the 15% abv is almost unnoticeable. A ton of lacing as it goes down. I'm very satisfied with this brew, not up there with darkness or abyss imo, but this was supposed to be the worst batch they did, if that's the case I doubt I could handle a 2008 haha. Cheers

 496 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's with much reservation (yet, interest and excitement) that I finally crack open my 2009 Dark Lord. I have no recollection who sent this to me, but hey, whoever you are, thanks.

Hands down, this is the most viscous beer I have ever had. It's so thick that it alters how the carbonation operates, I think. Nose was all molasses. Flavor is extremely thick with malts, touches of molasses and chocolate (just a hint, ya know). Pronounced bitterness in a stout-ish kinda way. I really feel like this whole thing just rests on how thick the liquid is. If for nothing else (as if you really need a reason to try and get one of these), it's worth it just to experience how thick this is. I can almost chew on it. Almost. Lives up to the hype, though, I wouldn't have minded some more complexity on the flavor profile.

 815 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I finally get to try the infamous Dark Lord. '14 vintage shared by Bob at his tasting.

Pours a deep dark pitch black, with small quarter inch head that recedes quickly. Not much lacing.

Smells incredibly sweet, some cherries, coffee, and generic sweet malt.

The taste is similar. It's as sweet as expected, but I still quite like it. Chocolate covered cherries are a huge flavor here, very juicy flavor. Only a faint amount of roasty malt is noticeable. Very smooth coffee flavor from the Unicorn's Blood. The beer is slightly soy saucy near the end.

Thick body, very viscous. Very low carbonation, naturally. Creamy, thick, smooth mouthfeel.

I'm glad I got to try this version, as it is apparently better than some of the other more recent vintages.

 755 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
2.5/5  rDev -41.5%

Photo of mklisz
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rating based on 2013 vintage, orange wax

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Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -29.7%

Photo of jwc215
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ralflord for this one!
2007 vintage:

Pours black/dark brown with a fleeting light brown head. No lacing, but some "legs".

The smell is of prunes, raisins, chocolate. Strong.

The taste is of sweetened prunes/dates/figs with chocolate and brown sugar. Sweet, but not in an artificial way. Very prune-ish. Finishes a bit sticky.

Rich and full-bodied. Syrupy with little carbonation. Very dense. Thick. Sticky. Still, first few sips went down well enough.

It's nice enough to sip on it, but it is like an overly rich cake - can only do so much. The alcohol isn't raw, but does creep in.

Worth the hype? Mixed feelings. It does have a rich maltiness that is subtley balanced (while remaining sweet), but very sticky and almost too rich.

 748 characters

Dark Lord Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 4,293 ratings
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