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Black Flag Imperial Stout - Beer Valley Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Flag Imperial StoutBlack Flag Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
86
very good

223 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 223
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 22
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Beer Valley Brewing Co. visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hopsaplenty on 11-09-2006

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (15) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 143
Photo of sarateee
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Truly enjoyed this beer and it's taste!

Photo of LamontCranston
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

This is not a Lager. Thick creamy brown/tan foam. Bold roasted flavors with hints of hops and chocolate, followed by a sweet malty backbone. Highly recommended for stout lovers.

Photo of avwrite
2.86/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

A - Very dark, black color. Not much visibility due to color.

S - Strong, hoppy smell.

T - Extremely bitter and hoppy. Flavor is a bit overpowering

M - Does not sit in well. Overbitterness doesn't make it smooth going down.

O - Definitely for those who want a full powered, full flavored beer, but not something you can drink on a recreational basis.

Photo of Reappropriated
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is a very good beer, with layers of solid flavor that is often lacking in other stouts. I would definitely recommend this beer, as you get hints of chocolate and spice, with a little earthy vibe, then the a definite hoppy flavor on the back-end. One of the things I complain about is stouts sometimes being boring and one notes, but this is not one of them, this is loaded with flavors, both subtle and not so subtle.

Photo of janubio
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml. bottle, bought in 2d2despuma in Barcelona. Black colour with a big brown foam. Smell of coffee, liquorice and chocolate, with spiciy notes (pepper, nutmeg? Full body, thick palate. Taste of coffee, liquorice, bitter almonds and spices. This a great one.

Photo of suspect
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle (vintage 2011 fresh hop edition) into a Central Waters snifter. Thanks to mrmarmot and my friend Chris for bringing this back from the left coast.

A: Deep dark black hole of a color. Mildly aggressive pour leads to a thick, mocha colored head with the consistency of latte cream. Thick sticky lacing.

S: Big boy beer and you can tell by the nose. The 11% is chomping at the bit to get at your liver and you can tell. It's got a big nice malt backbone and the hops certainly add a bit of character as well. Plenty of cocoa and bitter coffee ground notes in the nose.

T: Nice mix of grains, molasses, cocoa, burnt coffee. ABV is a bit more blended here.

M: Big bodied beer, coats the mouth with what I can only imagine is the same sticky oils coating the glass. A touch overcarbonated or it may have gotten a higher score.

O: This is a solid Impy Stout. Pretty smooth, pretty easy drinking for an 11%-er. A good beer that I would definitely recommend.

Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker mocha colored 2 finger fluffy thick head fades fairly slowly, nice layered lacing, pretty much pitch black beer.

Nose big dark malts, chalky chocolate and bakers dark choc, light roast, some black patent malt, lots of levels of chocolate, and even a little creamy but mostly powered chalky like, some bitterness from roast and light earthy hops. Some caramel and vanilla even.

Taste chewy oats right off, then loaded chocolate, lots of various choc with powdered cocoa, bakers choc, light malted milk ball even, bit of vanilla and caramel too. There is a bit of roast and coffee but barely, and hint of black patent or other black malt, light salty briny like flavor, and fair amount of bitterness thanks to the charred malts and some light earthy chewy almost spicy hops. Pure rich dark malts mostly. Finish is drier but still a bit sticky and sweet, thick rich and syrupy with long lingering layers of dark malts coating my mouth, lingering chocolate, light roast, caramel and light earthy hops with decent bitterness.

Mouth is fuller bodied, rich slightly creamy, thick, good carb, just a bit of warming booze, and would be better if not for the syrupy sticky long finish.

Overall pretty good, this has nice chocolate, dark malts, nice hops, a bit creamy and rich, not overly burnt or briney, booze of hidden well too. Only real problem is the sticky syrupy finish but that can be expected for a beer of this caliber.

Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Flag has a menacingly opaque appearance, a warning sign for a stout that is over 11% alcohol and over 100 bittering units. Equipped with darkness and an ink-stained foam that gloomily adorns the glass like cobwebs, it looks daunting enough to instill cowardice in the fainthearted (and excitement in the stout lover).

I thought it a tad funny that the brewery sprawled "American Style" across the label in bold, capital letters. It starts to make more sense after smelling it though - the hoppiness not only towers as tall as a coast redwood but also inspirits the leafy, resiny characteristics of the forest. It is herbal and minty, exquisitely blended with a coffee-and-cream roast.

Black Flag drinks something like a gourmet Oreo cookie that's been injected with pine serum, flower petals and citrus piths. With the oiliness and bitterness of coffee, the richness of a chocolate truffle and the delicate sweetness of Madagascar vanilla, it is a full-bodied, fulfilling stout that is, frankly, ridiculously too quaffable for its (supposed) strength.

The combination of Warrior, Chinook, Columbus, and Cascade leaves hardly any stone unturned in the realm of hop flavours. From sticky, sappy resins to sharp-cutting citrus to leafy, botanical florals, there isn't a single part of the palate untouched by some form of hoppy taste or texture. And all this despite the use of ample roasted and dark malts.

Black Flag is hidden treasure. Like most Oregon microbreweries, Beer Valley brands are rarely found outside of the state (and is easy to overlook within it). Rest assured, however, it is pure gold and every bit the beer as Great Divide's Yeti or Founder's Breakfast Stout (both of which it reminds me of). A stout to truly shiver yer timbers! Damn fine grog!

Photo of katan
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage - how did this one get lost in the cellar?

A - Pours black - simple - no highlights. Mocha colored head formation, about 1 to 2mm - lots of lacing.

S - Bittersweet chocolate, a little bit of roast. Overall fairly restrained.

T - Starts off light, sweet, smooth, some chocolate flavors and just a hint of grainy/husky flavors. Mid-stream brings it into balance, a little bit of bitterness but not much hopping. Still very chocolate like. Finishes sweet, sticky, and a hint of alcohol in the aftertaste.

M - Full bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Very sticky, huge malt bill here. Alcohol warmth is there but light for a 11% beer.

O/D - A worthwhile stout - I like it. Now I wonder what it would have tasted like if I hadn't let it age so long. Not very filling, a surprise for the size of this beer.

Photo of Thickfreakness
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I believe this is a bottle from 2010

A- Pours deep and dark chocolate brown into my Bruery tulip. A three finger khaki head floats like a butterfly and fades unto itself leaving a thick ring of foam all along the inside of the glass.

S- Over done black coffee, notes of bittersweet chocolate bar, toffee, vanilla macadamia nut brittle, and sticky sweet caramel. Lots of roasted espresso, orange zest and just a touch of pine. Not that complex, but very decent as it warms up. Not quite a Cascadian IPA... but it wants to be.

T- Slapped in the face with burnt espresso beans. Too much coffee and bitter cocoa on the first sip. Huge alcohol notes that I thought would be hidden better by the dark roasted malt and faded citrus hop bite. Reminds me of a subdued Storm King.

M- Bitter chocolate, bitter coffee, bitter citrus... do you see where this is leading? It's kinda bitter. Thin and bitter!

O- I had really high hopes for this one after aging it for almost two years. Don't bother! If intensely bitter coffee and citrus peel is your bag, by all means... buy it up and enjoy! Basically a Black IPA IMHO!

Photo of Pexkool
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a huge chocolate-colored head that overflowed the glass and made a mess in my table. The color is pitch black, no light goes through this beer.

S - Smells like licorice and brown sugar. Spicy and a hint of chocolate, well hidden.

T - Hoppy, strong licorice flavor, coffee and roasted malts and a touch of bitter chocolate at the end.

M - Not as smooth as other stouts I've had, but the mouthfeel isn't unpleasant at all. Little carbonation and pleasant bitterness.

Overall, a very good imperial stout. I enjoyed it a lot, over other imperial stouts I've had because the flavor wasn't as strong or complex. I would recommend it and have it again.

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color, not quite as dark as other stouts I've seen. It has a two finger creamy khaki colored head. The head sticks around for quite a while and leaves solid lines of lacing. Small bubble streams rise to the top, creating an inviting appearance.

S: Roasted malt and coffee are the main players here. There is some dark chocolate noticeable as well. A slight hop bitter aroma appears towards the end.

T: The taste is similar to the aroma. Roasted malts, a bit of coffee, and a touch of dark chocolate. The hops make a bigger appearance in the taste providing a significant bitter bite during the finish.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated, and kind of oily. It coats the palate leaving residual flavors.

O: This one is pretty solid. I like it. Decent aroma, good taste and feel. Bonus points for the cool pirate thing going on with the label.

Photo of scottfrie
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Thanks to Rizalini for this one.

A: Pours black with a huge, billowing, dense, and thick glass of light brown head that took forever to fade into a very bubbly collar leaving tons of specs of lace down the glass.
S: Simple notes of chocolate and roasted oats. Smells a bit like an oatmeal stout with creamy notes of grains.
T: Follows the nose with dominant notes of chocolate and roasted oats, but I’m getting a good dose of leafy bitter hops in the finish. The aftertaste is full of lightly bitter dark chocolate.
M: Medium-full body, full mouthfeel and low, soft carbonation. Alcohol is hidden extremely well.
O: No bells or whistles just a clean, flavorful and easy to drink imperial stout. I thouroghly enjoyed this one.

Photo of ADZA
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black Kola hue which leaves a two finger coffee laced creamy head and similar clingy lacing,the smell is sweet boozy alcohol,coffee,dark chocolate and lots of dark malts,the mouthfeel is just under being full bodied and has tastes very similar to the smell with hints of dark bittersweet chocolate,milky coffee,a touch of molasses,burnt bread,a touch of charcoal in a good way,burnt toffee and finished with a ever present hoppy bitterness that makes this really drinkable and soothes the sweetness first encountered and amazingly enough for a beer of this high ABV i find it suprisingly very well hidden and overall a enjoyable sweet/hoppy Double Stout that i could easily drink again.

Photo of mulder1010
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a dark cola color and settled black. Huge, three finger light tan head. Great body and shape to the head. Slowly worked to a thick collar. Left all sorts of lacing.

S-- Baking chocolate, dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and hops. Big grapefruit nose to this.

T-- Quite hoppy. Lots of hops, followed by chocolate and coffee.

M-- Medium bodied and light carbonation. Pretty straight forward really. Hops calm down in the feel and get more of the roast and chocolate.

O-- Not earth shattering but a well done massively hopped imperial stout.

Photo of
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a huge dark brown rocky head, heaps of lacing and great retention.

Nose is burnt toast initially with touches of vanilla and chocolate milk. Heaps of fresh piney hops.

On the palate theres rich cocoa nibs upfront, plenty of overroasted coffee too. Half way through the beer I got the most distinct flavour of peanut butter, but it faded as quickly as it appeared - very unusual. The beer has a deep rich and complex mix of charred malt and hoppy bitterness.

Overall a decent imperial stout, certainly the hoppiest I've tried. I wonder whether this beer could stand up to a year in the cellar.

Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.39/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A – Pours inky, jet black, motor oil. An aggressive pour yields a HUGE four-finger (!) head of sand colored foam that doesn’t go away. EVER. This is definitely the largest head I have ever seen from a beer of this ABV, and it is so thick it looks like it came out of one of those foam machines. Clumpy, patchy lacing. Amazing.

S – Medium strength aroma of toasted grains, burnt coffee, chocolate, and west coast hops. While nice, the aroma could be stronger.

T – Initial taste of dark cocoa, espresso, and charred grains, but those characteristics are subtle. Strong dark fruit esters of plum and prune become present right before the finish. Finishes with a bit of floral west coast hop kick. Yes- you can taste the hops in this stout. Becomes more and more boozy as it warms, and you can definitely start to feel the 11% ABV. Delicious.

M – Medium bodied and slightly oily. Medium carbonation. Finishes dry. Not really a flaw, but I feel a slightly chewier feel would serve to make this fine beer even better.

O – This brew is substantially different from most Imperial Stouts I have sampled and not an ordinary imperial stout by any means. While some may find that it lacks some depth and punch in the “burnt/roasted” area, I find the fruitiness and hop presence mixed with the traditional elements to be exquisite, and the overall complexity and balance more than makes up for any lack of richness. A fruity and slightly hoppy imperial?? Yes, please! A regular in my rotation, and will continue to be for some time.

Photo of whatthehull
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snifter

A - pours a deep dark brown/black, one finger very tan head and very little lacing

S - molasses, a light vanilla, tons of roasted/toasted malts, slight booze, very nutty, slight dark dried fruits, huge coffee, a nice slight hop, very nice very dark chocolate, wood, soil and some anise

T - very bitter chocolate, nice sweet booze, roasted nuts, toasty malts, nice citrus rind bitterness, vanilla, nice coffee and molasses

M - full bodied, decent balance, medium plus acidity (from the coffee), nice complexity and very long finish

D/O - huge, huge stout. Booze doesn't seem as high as it is. Tons of bitterness, coffee acid and sticks around for a while. If stouts isn't your thing, look else where

Final thoughts - $9 a pop and 11% abv. This beer smells amazing tastes swell and will age very, very awesome!

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 two year old properly cellared bottle. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Dark brown with a nice two finger tan head and lacing. Aroma of roasted malt and dark fruit. Medium to thick bodied, creamy. Dark malts, light smoke, coffee start. Finishes bitter, coffee, dark malt and hoppy. This two year old bottle has integrated nicely and covered the alcohol. Still a bit too bitter and dry on the finish, but overall quite nice and balanced. This has aged well. I will certainly give this another try.

Photo of birchstick
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black color without much of a head on it. Smells of dark chocolates and some roasted notes. Taste is similar to the nose. Starts with dark chocolates and these dominate the palate. There is a subtle amount of vanilla and roasted character toward the backend. Finished with dry dark chocolates. Medium, creamy body and finishes dry.

Pretty solid RIS. Lots of dark chocolates make this a perfect dessert beer.

Photo of rtaps
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, 1 inch khaki thick head. Great retention leaving a laced rim around the glass 

Rich chocolate, roasted malts, nutty.  I think i smell maple mixed in there

Not really picking out any specific flavors initially but leaves a very nice after taste of rich chocolate, smokey, nutty, and coffee.

Mouth feel is nice full body creamy and smooth like a stout should be

Overall I'm happy with this stout, has a nice aroma and a good after taste 

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stout poured out with a nice looking black body and a light brown colored head. The head leaves some lacing behind on the glass. The smell is roasted and a little chocolatey. The taste of the beer gives off a dark chocolate sweetness up front that fades into an interesting hop bitterness in the end. The mouthfeel was moderately thick feeling and had a good carbonation level to it. Overall I thought this beer was quite good, haven't seen it in my area since 2009 though.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strong aroma has a firm overtone of sweet chocolate, like getting a good whiff of a Hershey bar, along with smoky, coffee and nutty hints. It pours a mouth-watering sable that is opaque save at the very edges and has a thick, fluffy, persistent light tan head that leaves some substantial lacing. Smoky flavor has tones of coffee, licorice, molasses and nuts and is subtly sweet - and has quite the alcohol kick! Texture is fizzy and lively, a little oily, very pleasing. This one is worth seeking.

Photo of Nikokristiansson
4.85/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a: coffee black but also pitch black with a half inch of tan head.

s: roasted almonds, coffee, oatmeal. was expecting to smell more chocolate but that comes in the taste.

t: superb taste to this. exactly what you want to taste when it comes to an imperial stout. malty, slight booze, but chocolate over powers booze even at 11%.

m: smooth. very smooth. nuts, still malty but very good on the tongue.

d: super easy to drink. this is the perfect ale for the colder months.

o: lots of expectations for this ale, lived up for sure. i think it's best if you left it warm up a bit. can imagine this going well with a hot fudge brownie rather than a burger although i doubt you could go wrong there either.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.65/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle opened by bmanning. Thanks, Ben. 2008 vintage. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pour yields a black-bodied brew with a very, very small light mocha head that comes up and then dies down almost immediately without leaving anything behind. The nose is quite roasty with a bit of chocolate and a very mild coffee presence. The flavor is just way too dry with overwhelming roast and almost nothing else there. Feel is medium with a dry, dry finish. Not a big fan of this at all.

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Black Flag Imperial Stout from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.