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RATINGS: 388   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.32/5   EST. CALORIES: 420   ABV: 14%
Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout aged in a variety of Bourbon barrels with vanilla beans.

This listing is specifically for Bourbon Vanilla Bean Dark Lord. NOT Brandy.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Leighton (15258) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 5, 2011
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2015 Hand bottle at ChrisO’s Pre-GBBF Shindig 2011. So, although it was great to try this beer, it came at the expense of the great Ken (MadMitch76). For those not familiar with the tale, Ken procured this beer some time ago. It was sent to him in a swing-top, Italian beer bottle (the Amarcord Tabachera). Well, Ken brought this bottle to ChrisO’s tasting. The night wore on and people (Ken included) had lots to drink. Eventually, Ken brought out this bottle. He was convinced it was the Amarcord - even when we pointed out that this beer poured like mud, and the bottle had a sticker reading "VB DL". So, as we all enjoyed his great beer, Ken sat back and obstained, believing 100% this was the Italian beer. A true tragedy it was, and it took about two days before the generous donor realised his oversight. I owe Ken for this one. But I digress. The beer poured thick, viscous, like mud, dark brown with basically no head. Lots of dark malts, dark fruits, rich sugar. Ultra sweet flavor, brown sugar syrup, molasses, raisin. Full bodied with soft to fine carbonation. Warming finish, syrupy, sticky sweet, more molasses, slight alcohol burn, mocha. Huge beer. Delicious. Thanks, Ken. (August 2011, score: 4.5)

Draft at CBC 2012 - Copenhagen. Pours oily black with a thick, brown cream head. Rich chocolate cake aroma, some sugar syrup, vanilla. Hugely sweet flavor with more decadent chocolate cake, light burnt wood, vanilla pods, molasses, brown sugar. Full bodied, chewy, with fine carbonation. Lightly warming in the finish, thick and oily, with lots of dark sugars, vanilla sauce, chocolate syrup, chocolate cake. Extremely decadent overall. If you like big, sweet imperial stouts, then this one’s for you. (May 2012, score: 4.2)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
KyotoLefty (8121) - Kyoto, JAPAN - JUL 31, 2011
Shared by Ken at Chriso’s. Aroma of vanilla, oak, chocolate. Huge vanilla flavor, sour edge with chocolate, rather low roasting, over-sweet, but it is a lovely sweetness. Low bitterness too. Complex enough, though not as much as the regular DL. 

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
harrisoni (15792) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - JUL 30, 2011
At Chriso Pre Gbbf 2011. Its an alright impy stoutlots of choc ans some booze too. Good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
fiulijn (16924) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 17, 2011
Courtesy of Kim, handbottled
Oily black color, flat. Intense chocolate aroma, some cookie dough. Syrupy and thick mouthfeel, as expected for a Dark Lord, sweet, with some chocolate but actually less than expected. Strong alcohol perception.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
alpar (160) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUN 15, 2011
Had on tap at DLD 2011. 2beerornot2beer and I got the last pours on the keg, or so we were told. Regardless after waiting for 3.5 hours in line we were ready to do this up:) A: Jet black, very little carbonation, similar to the regular Dark Lord treatments. S: AWESOME! Huge vanilla notes and some cocoa. I didn’t notice any alcohol in the smell. T: Better than the smell! I was expecting a nuclear vanilla attack but instead go a really sweet balanced marshmallow flavor, it was out of this world! O: This really took me by surprise, I am not a huge fan of the regular Dark Lord beers but this beer really hit home for me, one of the best I have had to date.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
msojka (457) - New Jersey, USA - MAY 22, 2011
Pour is the blackest black with next to no head. Nose is of pure vanilla and bourbon. Taste is so smooth and so delicious I understand why they release it once a year. Words sadly don’t do it justice.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
smith4498 (3317) - Miami, Florida, USA - MAY 20, 2011
Bottle at Maltzilla’s tasting. Pours black with brown head. The vanilla aroma smacks you in the face! Also some roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Flavor is waaay too sweet for me. Medium body with moderate carbonation.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
HonusWagner (1872) - Florida, USA - MAY 14, 2011
UPDATED: FEB 27, 2014 Huge thanks to Diego for scoring a very well-kept handbottle of this. That out of the way, I’d like to say that I think this beer symbolizes a lot of what is wrong with certain elements of craft beer today. It smells fucking divine, vanilla beans for miles and miles and some hot cocoa swirled in and a touch of bourbon. But the taste is pure sugar, under-attenuated as all hell and almost impossible to keep down in more than the tiniest sips. There’s extreme, and then there’s over-the-top, and VB DL strikes me as more of the latter. I’m giving it a 3.0 because it would make a great candle wax or Febreeze. On draft at Hunahpu day, this beer was legit really really good. I’ve become a fan.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
brew3crew (166) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAY 10, 2011
At DLD 11. Great brew with a nice vanilla addition. wish they made it mroe often

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
bittermestupid (247) - Canton, Ohio, USA - MAY 7, 2011
On draft 4-30-11 at DLD in the brewpub. Pours black as oil with a small amount of tan head around the edge of my glass. Smells sweet like honey, also bourbon, vanilla, licorice, coffee, dried dark fruits, and chocolate really come through nicely. Dark roasted coffee and vanilla fills my mouth and coats the palate. Flavors of bourbon, chocolate, and raisins are also noticeable. The mouthfeel is wonderfully thick and oily. The finish of this monster beer is rather smooth and sweet with a subtle roasted coffee bitterness and no noticeable burn from the high abv. This beer for me lives up to all the hype and sets the bar for a ris!

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