Posts Tagged ‘three floyds dark lord’

Three Floyds Dark Lord Vertical – 7 years

Saturday, October 1st, 2016
Dark Lord lineup for the vertical: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.  Yes, that is my wife in the background with a Dark Lord shirt on.

Dark Lord lineup for the vertical: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Yes, that is my wife in the background with a Dark Lord shirt on.

2010 was my first Dark Lord Day. It was an unbelievable experience. Mayhem ruled the day. Pushing, shoving, and trickery were all on hand to help an individual get beers. In that day gone by, one person could use two tickets and each ticket warranted eight bottles of Dark Lord at $15 each; as long as there was enough beer in the first-come, first-serve process. I remember people showing up without tickets in case there was still Dark Lord left after a certain time as it was opened up to walk ups. I ended up with 16 bottles of green waxed Dark Lord, trading many of those bottles away for beers long forgotten.

Fast forward to 2016. The event is bigger: more bands, more people, short release barrel variants, and more drunks, but, the chaos and my love for the event (I didn’t bitch about 2016, I was too tired) has faded.

Needless to say, I haven’t traded nor drank many of the Dark Lords in the last 2 to 3 years. But, I have wanted to do a vertical with the Thursday Night Beer Club (TNBC) for quite some time. The biggest challenge was getting the guys together, with the beer and designated drivers for everyone. No sleeping at my house.

Participant 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Rich 6 7 2 3 1 5 4
Steve 5 7 6 2 1 3 4
Pat 6 4 3 1 2 5 7
Miles 6 5 3 1 2 4 7
Drew 4 7 6 1 2 3 5
Andy 7 5 2 1 4 3 6
Scot 6 4 2 1 3 5 7
John 7 4 3 1 2 6 5
Totals 47 (7) 43 (5) 27 (3) 11 (1) 17 (2) 34 (4) 45 (6)
Average 5.873 5.375 3.375 1.375 2.125 4.250 5.625

I came up with the idea of a midday get together, on a Saturday, with food shared by everyone, including the wife, mistresses and kids. We also needed to get at least seven guys. Chuck and Matt, TNBC guys, couldn’t make it, that means we needed three other participants besides Rich, Steve, Pat and myself. Ask thy friends and neighbors. We landed Miles, Drew and Andy. John, Rich’s middle son, decided to join us as well. The main course was brawts from the local meat market. The appetizers, side dishes and desserts were supplied by everyone that attended.

three floyd dark lord 2 ounce vertical pours

Pat brought along some two ounce plastic cups that I will dub the brightest idea of the evening. It made the seven pours easy, no over pours. It made clean-up a cinch, throw them out. And, it made tastings for others and other beers flow smoothly, no need to clean glasses.

Each person started with their seven pours, one for each year, deciding on the best way that suited them to taste the vertical. Most either started at ’10 and went up or started at ’16 and went down. I chose the latter.

Tasting in such a manner gave me the ability to see how the beer has developed as it has aged. It also allowed me to see how the sweetness really mellows. Dark fruits develop by the middle years, first raisins then changing over to prunes. Coffee was most prevalent in the 2015 bottle, while disappearing in the 2014 and later.

Based on the ratings, see table above, I would say to not drink Dark Lord young, giving it at least two years. I would also say to not go past five years of aging too: the sweet spot, for the group, was by far, the 2012 – 2014 versions. With 2013 and 2014 way out ahead as the favorites. My word of advice: don’t trade away the cellar or, if you are into purchasing, don’t waste large sums of cash on really old (6+ years) Dark Lord.

By the end of the evening, the process of killing a bottle got applause for whomever bit the bullet, with the lowest rated bottles drawing the biggest praises.

Overall, the company, catching up with old friends, and the typical guy banter was more enjoyable than the Dark Lord. I would do it again, especially if the entire TNBC crew could be there. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: A nepheligenous is someone filling a room with tobacco smoke.

2015 Dark Lord Day

Monday, April 27th, 2015

dark lord day store front

2015 Dark Lord Day was by the worst day weather wise since I have been going to the event (2010 Dark Lord Day). Weather reports called for rain starting on Friday evening with up to an inch of total rain before it stopped late on Saturday afternoon. Besides the rain, the temperature never made it out of the mid-40s, making for a nasty mix of early spring Chicago weather.

Upon arriving at the business park that Three Floyds is situated at the back-end, I was directed to park by festival workers. At five miles per hour, I avoided the sporadic, stammering, non-coherent strides of patrons that were five or more drinks past their limit, I finally arrived at the parking lot, the only one that seemed to be open to the public. $25 lighter, I found a parking sport amazingly close to where Rich and Chuck had been hanging all day.

Dirty and drunk isn't my idea of a fun day at Dark Lord Day.

Dirty and drunk isn’t my idea of a fun day at Dark Lord Day.

Shortly after meeting with the boys, Chuck opened a 2014 Dark Lord to share and I was greeted by a man walking (if that had any chance of being walking, I am world class sprinter) a woman to a car. She was covered in mud to her waste, nice and wet; filthy. No way she would be getting my car but the dude through her in the front seat. Dirty and drunk isn’t my my ideal way of spending Dark Lord Day. Fast forward an hour or so: the woman wakes up, opens the car door and the alarm goes off. The guy must of locked the doors as he left. Stupidity. One of the guys in our decided to help out and disconnect the car battery. Silence is bliss.

dark lord day muddy mess

The mud. Did I mention that an inch of rain, mixed with 6,000+ people trampling over grassy areas makes for a perfect cocktail of mud. I didn’t arrive until the late afternoon, when it stopped raining, plenty of time for the dragging of drunken shoe soles to mutilate the grass and wood chipped areas. Many people were wet up to their knees as the jeans they were wearing soaked up the rain. Many were donning mud up to their knees as well, while a few had fallen completely in the mud, similar to my first aforementioned woman above. I believe a few “adults” were looking at being dirty as a badge of coolness. Needless to say I am glad I am not cool.

dark lord day tents

Dark Lord Day is know for having Dark Lord, some Dark Lord variants, and great guest craft beers on tap. Walking around the tap tents didn’t impress me as much as it has in the past. Prices are up. Way up! More on that shortly. The guest tap list wasn’t as strong as in the past. Zombie Dust was no where to be found. Rich did have a couple pints of a Brew Kettle IPA that was on tap. I don’t remember the name but the aroma and flavor of the hops smacked tropical fruits all over the senses. Damn solid.

As the day wound down towards the E group (6:30 – 8:30pm), Chuck became more inebriated, Rich and I decided to wait out the line, and we all listened to death metal while laughing at the over served. During this time, a guy fell (drunken stumble) while carrying 12 bottles. One of the four packs hit the ground, breaking the bottles. $80 of dark, devilish liquid mixed with the rain soaked asphalt. What a waste.

If you look close enough there is probably a bottle that still has beer in it. I am surprised that Chuck didn't try to drink it!

If you look close enough there is probably a bottle that still has beer in it. I am surprised that Chuck didn’t try to drink it!

Chuck’s pickled liver forced his brain to short circuit. He started going up and down the isles of picnic tables that were stuffed with empties and some not-so-empty bottles of craft beer. Chuck took this an opportunity for free beer. Luckily he tried to pour the first into glass. The chunks that rushed out made me think cigarette butts, not yeast. A bit of coaxing allowed me to pour both out. Trying to be a responsible “advocate” (Chuck’s words), I kindly reminded him that he had to drive home from Rich’s house after the event. He promised to stop drinking as we headed for the bottle line.

Three Floyds is not your friend. They want your money: quickly and efficiently as possible. The cost continues to rise. In six years of going I never had to pay for parking. The price made me think I was in Chicago, not Munster. The cost of each ticket, with fees, is up to $45+. The bottles went up $5 to $20 per bottle. If you factor in the cost of the ticket, the bottles are over $30 each. If you want to throw in the parking costs and the intangible of your time, gas, wear and tear on your car the cost sky rockets. All this for an okay beer at best. Good thing friends are there to talk me off the ledge.

Some lessons learned:

  • A drunk Chuck is a lier and speaks Chuckese while in that state.
  • Chuck passing out in my car is better than him throwing up in said car.
  • FFF only cares about your cash.
  • Rolling around in the mud as an adult on a 40*F day is not cool. Drunk or not.
  • Dark Lord Day is easier to enjoy when it is sunny and at least 60*F.
  • Rich thinks he owns my car radio.
  • This was probably my last Dark Lord Day.

Time spent with friends is much better than Dark Lord will ever be. If I do go in the future it will only be to point and laugh at Chuck! Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.

Baby Shower = Dark Lord!?!?

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

2007 and 2008 three floyds dark lord

How does Three Floyds Brewing Company Dark Lord and a baby shower come about? Easily when Chuck is the soon to be first time father. He has been planning the shower from the standpoint of beer for a long time (uncanny how differently men and women look at a baby shower).

Prodding from his wife made him brew four beers for the event. I am horrible with names of people let alone beers, so I will briefly describe each:

  • Fuggli – A Belgian style beer made with all Fuggles hops. Light.
  • Pink (I think as he is having a daughter) – A light beer that was infused with hibiscus, to give it a pink color, and aged on oak. My favorite out of the group.
  • A porter
  • A DIPA that had been infused with an apricot liquor

I knew Chuck had a plan to bring some older Dark Lord bottles to share with the worthy. Glad I am worthy. He opened up a bottle of 2007 and 2008 Dark Lord. His friend Michael and I were responsible for splitting a bomber equally between ten pours of each: the worthy were to get 2 ounces of joy from each bottle. Luckily the plastic cups had a line that I determined to be the 2 ounce marker; amazingly it was.

2007 had a charred flavor that over whelmed, distracting from the experience. I would say it is past its’ prime. 2008 was much smoother, not having really much character compared to the first. It was hard to go back and forth without cleansing the palate. I might also just be that bad of a taster. Both beers still had hints of alcohol while leaving the lip sticky. Not quite cloying but awfully close. I would like to try them both again in a more controlled environment. I imagine that 2009 has to be drinking well at this time.

I did bring chuck a bottle of Bourbon County Bramble Rye as my baby shower gift (Yes, my wife did get real baby shower gifts). Once the baby comes, I have a special treat to open on a Thursday night when Chuck can make it out. Enjoy!

Useless Fact:Starch is used as a binder in the production of paper. It is the use of a starch coating that controls ink penetration when printing. Cheaper papers do not use as much starch, and this is why your elbows get black when you are leaning over your morning paper.

Three Floyds Brewing Company Dark Lord 2009 (365 Day 151)

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Three Floyds Dark Lord Logo

How quick Dark Lord Day seems to come and go. The only part of it that seems to take forever is waiting for it the next year. Some consider Dark Lord, the beer, one of the finer Russian Imperial Stouts out there, while others consider it a sugary mess of an interpretation. No matter what side of the fence you are on, Dark Lord Day is an even to behold for American craft beer.

Dark Lord by Three Floyds Brewing Company is released each April. It is a highly sought after beer in the beer geek world because of the high praise it receives, the rarity of the beer, and the overall craziness of Dark Lord Day itself.

I have had the privilege to try a couple of different vintages of these beer with the 2009 being shared by Tim, a beer geek that I met while waiting in line for my turn to scratch (and lose) and pick up my allotment of four beers. I have also had the 2010 vintage. I will have to say that beer number 151: Dark Lord 2009, is much better than the 2010 version. Obviously 2009 had two years of age on it, while 2010 was less than a year old when I had it. It was mellow, not cloying, and actually easy drinking for such a big beer. It was surprisingly carbonated for a two year old beer but this did not take away from the appreciation of the beer. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: In third-century China, kites were used as games, ritual objects, musical instruments, transmitters of messages, distance-measuring devices, weapons and parachutes.

Dark Lord Day 2011 Recap

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Dark Lord Day 2011 Scratch Off Ticket

Because it happens only once a year and it is one of the biggest get together for beer geeks in the Midwest; on why Dark Lord Day is such a big deal. This year everything changed. I would say for the better.

When days like this start to get out of hand, as they did last year, more rules are good. The rules really helped to keep the day running smoothly, get rid of some of the over crowded goofyness, stop a lot of line jumping, and just make the day easier and more enjoyable for people like myself just picking up beer and leaving.

Yes, I had to leave early as there was a family communion. Stinks but family is important. My wife already informed me that my middle child will be having communion next year and could quite possibly land on Dark Lord Day 2012, not allowing me to even attend. YUCK!

It took us a mere two hours to go through the entire line and get our beer. Chuck and I met two Illinois locals: Tim and Brendan, that were kind enough to share a few beers with us while we were in line. After numerous people in line helped solve today’s cross word puzzle, the four four of us talked home brewing, Dark Lord Days past, American craft beer, trying to open a brew pub, and various other tidbits. The addition of their conversation was appreciated.

After getting our beers we huddled up around my car for a Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (2010), Founders Nemesis (2010), Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, and a Three Floyds Dark Lord (2009). A quality selection of beers.

In all the day was great. We had an hour of sun light to warm the air, people were courteous, and the process of getting a beer was fairly quick. My only gripes are the fact I couldn’t make a day of it and that Rich had a different time, not allowing me to have a few brews with a good friend. Enjoy!

Videos of how big the crowd was:

Useless Fact: In medieval China and parts of Africa one method of enforcing chastity was to sew up a girl’s vaginal labia as soon as she reach puberty. The stitches were not cut until the marriage; the husband then had the option of sewing them up again if he was called to war or on a long journey.

Project Finished – Time for Beer Again!

Monday, June 28th, 2010

It is hard for me to believe that it has been two weeks since I said how busy I have been and that I would be writing on a regular basis. So much for that idea. I will not apologize as life brings us all the unexpected; learning to deal with it is part of life.

This past Friday, while speaking to Rich, I told him that I was done with this huge project, so I stopped by to discuss beers and he went and did it: grabbed a bottle of 2010 Three Floyds Dark Lord from the cellar. Unfortunately, my wife gave a call and we had to put the tasting aside for another day. Just so the wife doesn’t get a bad name, she didn’t ask me to come home, I wanted to.

I guess when you finish a tough project, luck is on your side. The wife and I found our way over to Rich’s house around 10:00pm on Saturday night. This time the total and complete intent of the visit was to have Dark Lord. And have Dark Lord we did.

Outstanding is the easiest way to describe it. The aroma and flavors are deep and complex: dark fruits (raisin, plums, cherry), roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, some booze, and even smoke. It is thick, heavy, and a meal in a bottle. I will have to have another soon as I didn’t review the beer, I just wanted to savor the beer.

Now that that episode of my life is over, I can get back to more home brewing and American craft beer reviews. I think I might still be on target for 365 reviews this year. If not, it is catch up time. This weekend will find me in Minnesota for a Surly tour and a visit to Flat Earth, Town Hall, and Summit. Enjoy!