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Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout (Brandy Vanilla Bean)

Serve in Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 100   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.15   IBU: 45   EST. CALORIES: 465   ABV: 15.5%
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This is our massive Russian-style Imperial Stout aged for one year in a brandy barrel with Madagascar vanilla beans. Thick, smooth, complex, and warming, this rare beer with certainly be remembered.

Available at Dark Lord Day 2011

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
HonkeyBra (3370) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - NOV 13, 2011
Sampled from a bottle at the Three Floyds XV anniversary. Again, thank you to the guy that let me try this. Black, oily dark pour with a tan head. The beer stains the glass only the way Dark Lord can. Huge, sweet aroma with tons of vanilla and brandy. Mild fruitiness imposed from the brandy. The vanilla and brandy are just off the charts dominating the aroma. Some notes of chocolate, fruit and oak. Flavor is a wash of vanilla, chocolate, and brandy fruitiness. Quite impressive, actually. Touches of truffle and candies. Normally you’d think this might be a bit too sweet for my tastes but something about this beer makes me open up to it. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
boFNjackson (4133) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 12, 2011
UPDATED: JAN 8, 2012 Bottle shared at the big Hair of the Dog PreSale Tasting... A dark as night black pour with a thin head. This was insanely smooth with cocoa, roast, succulent alcohol tones, and vanilla tootsie rolls. A complete joy and divine beverage.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
sarro (122) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - OCT 5, 2011
6.5oz hand bottle from tap & shared with Weisguy. Pours a thick, viscous black with no head, but is still carbonated after nearly 2 months in the bottle. Smell is vanilla, sweet brandy, chocolate, & oak. Taste is pretty sweet, but works well with the vanilla & fruity brandy notes. Best described as "tootsie roll" like by Shane. Mouth feel is full and has the right amount of carbonation (low). Finishes sweet, with no detectable boozy-ness. There’s no way to taste the 15.5 ABV on this. Very impressive and much more enjoyable than regular Dark lord for me.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
HonusWagner (1380) - Florida, USA - SEP 28, 2011
Is there a rare beer Diego won’t share? (No. The answer is no. Although this might actually be Hopscotch’s but that guy is a jerk. Just kidding I love you Eric.) A lot of brandy. Somehow, this actually works; the vanilla creamer sweetness of regular VBDL is subdued and you actually notice you’re drinking a beer with flavors instead of a kid’s drink with fusel alcohol thrown into the mix. Not overwhelmingly complex, not too fussy, just a tasty interpretation of a tasty beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
BMan1113VR (7858) - Los Angeles, California, USA - SEP 21, 2011
Bottle number 191/433 thanks to alen. Pours with a not quite, but very viscous pitch black body with no head, but some legs on the side of the glass. Huge, strong and gloriously brash aroma. Chewy, fudge, vanilla, oak, chocolate and booze. Vanilla "up the wazoo"! Dark fruit notes, and brandy. Flavors are also quite chewy, oaky, fudge, milk chocolate, nougat, dark fruits, brandy, warming. Very viscous with light bubbles and tons of booze. Sweet, not quite diabetes inducing, but up there. Cream soda, chocolate, raisins. Oily palate. Long duration. Really hot but also really tasty. Rating #5400.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
sneagrams3 (2337) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - SEP 19, 2011
And again, Huge thanks to phaleslu for sharing this delicious brew! Tasted 7/8/11. 22oz bomber. Bottle #44/433. Pours pitch black with a trace ring of head. There’s a huge vanilla note in the nose with a subtle cola nuance to go along with it. Awesome nose!!! Full bodied, rich, thick, sticky, cloying and amazing! A great cream soda sweetness offset by the ample alcohol burn. Nice tingling effervescence. So good! The vanilla amps up the brandy aspect and compiles the sweetness of the brew. Sticky finish and so good! The combination of the brandy barrel and the vanilla really adds to the already amazing base imperial stout! This was by far my favorite of the bunch! Truly black gold!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
brokensail (10916) - Orange County, California, USA - SEP 12, 2011
A: The pour is thick and black in color with a small khaki colored head. S: Smells like I’d expect it to: brandy, booze, and a huge vanilla aroma. There’s quite a bit of coconut, marshmallow, and graham cracker, too. A mild roast note with a touch of oak and some sweet chocolate. T: A very intense chocolate sweetness with a bit of oak. Lots of brandy and a decent booziness. Like the aroma, sweet graham cracker, marshmallow, and almost excessive amounts of vanilla. A very mild roast which can’t even begin to quell the sweetness. M: Very full bodied with low, smooth. carbonation. O: Normally I’m not the hugest fan of the overly sweet, sugary beer, but this was great.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
callmemickey (2778) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 9, 2011
UPDATED: JUN 9, 2012 A: Dark black body. Super thin, dark khaki ring. No defined head or lacing. S: Assault of vanilla bean and chocolate. The nose is intense and quite wonderful. T: Fizzles a bit as the vanilla, chocolate, light brandy and boozey heat are a little too raw. M: Spritzy, a tad overcarbonated and slightly cloying towards the end. Almost cola-like in feel. Slight warming feeling from the booze. O: An interesting experiment in raw, unbridled vanilla warfare. I could not imagine drinking anything more than three ounces unless two scoops of vanilla ice cream were dropped into this bad boy. Now that would be fucking delicious.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sean9689 (277) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 7, 2011
Bottle #327/433 generously shared by Kan at my 30th Birthday Party Extravaganza. Poured into a taster. A - Looks like Dark Lord. Black, tan mocha-colored head that vanishes quickly and leaves nothing behind but the black beer. S - Wonderful booze and vanilla notes, oak, brandy, rich chocolate, very sweet but still excellent. The vanilla in this beer just takes it to another level for me over the regular BA Brandy version. T - Tastes just as good as the nose. The vanilla, chocolate, booze, oak, and rich sweetness is just excellent. The alcohol is really no where to be found in this one. Dessert in a bottle. M - Full, rich, viscous, creamy, very little carbonation. O - Probably my favorite of the 4 BA variants. I’m a huge fan of vanilla and this just killed it with the brandy, vanilla, and chocolate notes. Really enjoyed just sitting around and smelling this beer. Outstanding a definitely recommend.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
hopscotch (9158) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 27, 2011
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2011 Bottle… This beer mega-rocks!… Pours pitch black and ridiculously thick with no head. The brew has the most amazing aroma ever - more amazing than the beers and meads I’ve previously claimed have the most amazing aromas ever. Smells like a blended bowl of Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles – I’m not picking up the usual Dark Lord notes of molasses, dark chocolate, fudge, espresso, etc. Full-bodied with a 20w50 mouthfeel and surprisingly lively carbonation. The flavor is a little more Dark Lord-like than the aroma – molasses, brandy, vanilla and milk chocolate. The finale is more of a luxuriant, chocolaty, brandy and vanilla slow fade than a defined finish. Big-time thanks to Maltzilla for popping the top on this amazing brew!

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