Best Beers of 2010: #10 3 Floyds Dark Lord

21 12 2010

There are some beers where the reputation precedes itself. These are the Holy Grails of beer. These are the beers that make the drinker a holy guru just by having consumed it. Whether these beers deserve the accolades are beside the point. They are great just because everybody thinks they are.

Usually these beers are on a super limited release. So limited, in fact, one has to be at the right place at the right time in order to get it. Usually at the brewery on the release date. Belgium’s Westvleterlin is an example of this. Another example is this one: 3 Floyds Dark Lord. Available only with a ticket, at the Munster, Indiana, brewery on the last Saturday in April, Dark Lord is one of the rarest beers in the world. People trade dearly beloved items from their collections in order to get a ticket to Dark Lord Day. People will travel the world to get to a small city on the outskirts of Chicago. It is a big deal.

I actually have never been to Dark Lord Day in Indiana. Although I know some one who has. He says it is an amazing time. Beer drinkers from all over the world come and trade, share and talk beer. It is a festival to rival any domestic Oktoberfest celebration. And it is a thing of legends.

Instead, I got my taste of The Dark Lord at a 3 Floyds tasting last June that coincided with the Savor festival in Washington DC. The brewmaster flew in from Indiana with about a dozen beers, all of them great! From their amazing American Wheat (Gumballhead) to their barleywines and imperial ales, I loved them all. But in the end, the penultimate beer was The Dark Lord. Made with Intellegentia Coffee, vanilla, molasses and aged for a year on Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels, it was intense, smooth and (as the name suggests) dark. Just a little three ounce pour sent me far and away. Maybe someday I will be able to make it out to Munster for a Dark Lord Day. But in the meantime, I will just have to hang on to the memory.

3 Floyds Dark Lord
Style: Imperial Russian Stout Score:
100 Points (100 for Style)

Photo Credit:

Appearance: Dark, through and through. Slight ruby highlight with thick, mousse-like mocha head. No apparent carbonation.

Aroma: Espresso, caramel, bourbon, oak, vanilla. Slight umami/soy sauce tang. Earthy hop aromas.

Taste: Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon whisky, umami/soy sauce meatiness. Booziness on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, chewy and velvety. Boozy heat and astringency.

As for food pairings, I would not pair this with anything. A post-dinner aparatif seems like the perfect job for this one. But if I had to choose something, sweet red meat would be perfect. Fillet Mignon or prime rib would be ideal. Or, if you blew all your budget on the beer, meatloaf with mashed potatoes.




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