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Black Flag Imperial Stout - Beer Valley Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Flag Imperial StoutBlack Flag Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

144 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 144
Hads: 228
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.98%
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 144 | Hads: 228
Photo of Nikokristiansson
4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
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. (708 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.84/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a quarter of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Wow! Massive, rich, earthy, inviting aromas of roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted dark bread, freshly ground espresso beans, tons of brown sugar and dark molasses, lots of dark chocolate and hints of smoke. Awesome!

Taste: Delicious! There’s tons of rich, earthy, roasted malt, up front, followed by hints of coffee, dark chocolate and licorice, tons of brown sugar and dark molasses-like sweetness, and quite a bit of smoke, which really gives this imperial stout a rauchbier feel and taste, without the uppercut to the face punch that most rauchbiers have. Finally, at the finish, there’s just a touch of slightly bitter hops. Truly a delicious beer!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and very smooth, as there’s just a touch of carbonation. With an ABV of 11%, there is just a touch of a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is another delicious American, Russian Imperial Stout! I love the flavors and the addition of smoke. Highly recommended! (1,210 characters)

Photo of popery
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big stout with a fantastic burnt malt flavor.

The beer is one percent brown and the rest black. The head is a mocha cushion that puffed right up in my glass. I poured a good sized head that stuck around well.

The nose is sweetly burnt malt. The notes are burnt toast, bitter dark chocolate, sweet whiskey and sugar.

The flavor is brilliantly burnt malt, smoky and warm like good whiskey. The alcohol is present but meshes very well with the smoky malt flavors. The malt is bready and sweet. There might be a lingering citrus flavor. It's burnt but smooth. Marvelous.

The feel is very good. The carbonation goes well with the style and there's little stickiness from the alcohol. The drinkability only suffers from the intensity of the beer's flavor. I very much enjoyed this big, complex stout. (800 characters)

Photo of dalion037
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this stout on a stout buying frenzy and i was impressed on what I found (and so was my wife). I poured it into a 22 ounce scooner and it had over four inches of head that took forever to burn off. The color was a typical bark brown stout color. The smell was of a nice chocolate and coffee aroma. The taste was a bittery, chocolatey, champagney taste. The mouthfeel was higher in effervenecent than expected but we got used to it ver quick. Of yeah, we finished the bottle so it was definately drinkable. (513 characters)

Photo of LamontCranston
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

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. (177 characters)

Photo of jminsc76
4.49/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a tumbler. Exhibits a large espresso head atop an almost impenetrable dark body (a little light coming through). Nice legs as I tilt the glass, though the lacing is virtually non-existent.

A medium strength bouquet, with aromas including cocoa, roasted malts, coffee, and slight oak. Some sweetness in the nose that must be derived from the cocoa. Initially, the smell is pleasant but nothing to lift the nostrils. As I agitate, more powerful roasted coffee flavors come through on the bouquet.

The taste is also fairly medium strength but the flavor spectrum is intense. Flavors of chocolate, coffee, and hops up front, and an espresso bitterness that jumps out on the back end and really surprises you. Excellent taste and a smooth mouthfeel, which at 11% is quite impressive. I paired it with some Roquefort cheese, and the flavors of the two just dovetail together, exploding the sharp and pungent flavors of the cheese.

An overall excellent Imperial Stout. (984 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer vigorously but only got one finger of beautiful chocolate brown head that does have nice retention and short lace. Body is a thick motor oil blackness. Nose is a sweet rich dark carmel maltiness. Sweet dark toffee and over ripe black fruit notes are there also. As you take first sip you are flooded with a burnt carmel malt sweetness. Dark toffee tones and a silky long creamy notes pile up on the palate. This brew is really dominated by big sweetness but it is well balanced and a very nice represantation of the style. Very thick mouthfeel is almost sticky. This is a very drinkable sipper for those long winter nights. (642 characters)

Photo of warmstorage
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, $8.50 from Plaza Liquors, Tucson, AZ.

Appearance: deep brown to basic black, with a huge dense light brown head that leaves little head.

Aroma:

Taste: chocolate, burnt roastiness, and noticeable ethanol in the nose.

Taste: bitter, roasty, bitter, espresso, bitter, and more roast. Hints of licorice and maybe prunes or figs, but mostly roasty everything.

Mouth: medium thin, warm alcohol, tingly carbonation.

Overall: delicious -- I'd buy it again! (477 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Upon its release from the 22 ounce brown bottle, the beer sets in the glass and soot black with a portly chocolate brown creamy head that slowly fades away leaving a thick coating of lace to obfuscate the glass. Nose has a large burnt grain aroma, bittersweet chocolate also present, and all backed up by a hint of malt and fusel alcohol, “Woo Hoo”, you gotta love it. Start is thick and chocolaty, heavy burnt grain and a definite alcohol bitterness, full in its feel to the palate. Finish is packed with hops and alcohol, the acidity pleasant. A “Stout Lovers Stout” this beer, and well worth a try. (605 characters)

Photo of Grabbin2nd
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From Notes: 3/28/09
Beer Valley Brewing Co.
Black Flag Imperial Stout
11% Abv.
22oz. Bomber into NB snifter

Appearance= Vigorous pour into NB snifter yields a fat 2 finger stout colored head (caramel, tan whatever). Black body w/minimal carbonation. Sweet lacing on sides of glass as this delish brew goes down.

Smell= Good smell, choco, coffee. Typical Imperial Stout smell.

Taste= Awesome! Lingers in your mouth. Fat Stout. Bittering hops on the back end. Coffee, roasted malts dominate.

Mouthfeel= Nice and stouty! Thick and awesome. Lingers on the tongue.

Drinkability= Abv. is not present. Flavor is awesome. Thick mouthfeel. Really, really good. Would be a 5 but you can;t pound these. (696 characters)

Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
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. (1,582 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - To my suprise, the beer was a very dark brown. Cloudy, with some light able to work its way around the edges. Minimal head and lacing.

S - Roasted malts - bitter cocoa, espresso beans. Smoke, spice and earth.

T - Bitter and smokey blend off dark roasted bitter cocoa, espresso. Nice spice and earthy flavor.

M - Full bodied... earthy, chewy and grainy.

D - Very good flavor, very unique. Would seek out again. (418 characters)

Photo of farrago
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very large head, at least three fingers of thick brown foam that dissolves at a glacial pace. When it does leaves considerable sticky lacing behind. It's pleasing to see some dark brown in the glass mixed in with the basic black color, still it's completely opaque. Rich, creamy nose of hot chocolate, hazelnuts, vanilla, licorice and molasses reduction, there's a certain pineyness as well, the plum, black cherry scents skirt around dried fruit nature, as it warms you get a lot more white grapefruit zest. In the mouth it's full-bodied and the intriguing hoppiness not only keeps the grapefruit and pine front and center but also focuses the black licorice and nuttiness. This not to say that it's lacking in milk chocolate, vanilla, toffee flavors, far from it. Would have more of a roasted character were it not for the sweet plum, cherry, apricot fruit. The carbonation comes across as tiny prickles more than bubbles. Chicory and licorice build through the finish. This is no soft and cuddly stout, not always perfectly balanced but its ambitions are in large part met. (1,076 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a dark black, with a small tan head, almost brown, when poured into a goblet,

S: Smells of dark malts, some caramel, chocolate, and coffee.

T: While most big stouts I have had have been dominated by coffee, this one is dominated by chocolate, big chocolate notes overtake the whole stout backed with some light coffee flavours and molasses, very tasty.

M: Very thick, robust and chewy, a very nicely put together stout.

D: I really liked this beer, it is really good on-tap, a really well put together stout, very well done. It is heavy, but has a nice feel to it, which makes it easy to drink. (656 characters)

Photo of clickpush
4.31/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Super dark body with a tan foaming head and impeccable never ending retention and webbing. Smell has a combination of fruit and roast malt. Enters very dry for how high in alcohol the beer is. Flavors are of roasted malts, coffee, and burnt toast - they last forever in the mouth, developing in complexity as time passes. Creamy mouthfeel, not quite as full as I would like. (374 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.3/5  rDev +12%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of danielcc
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I saw this one at the store and grabbed it despite the hefty price tag ($8.50). It was one of those beers I've never seen anywhere before, so the WTF Factor kicked in and I got it.

Unlike a lot of other reviewers, I had no problem coaxing a huge head out of this beer. It poured a jet-black, almost-but-not-quite syrupy liquid (the viscosity of it is up there for sure) with plenty of head into a 22-oz mug I bought at WalMart for the purpose of doing bombers. The mug has served me well, and this beer looks great in it: no light comes through, despite holding it up to the window and almost trying to force sunlight through! The head on this IStout was almost too much; I was expecting very little (even less since it was a fairly easy pour), but it surprised me and almost foamed past the edges of the glass. The retention is great, too, as it' still got about a half-inch of head even halfway through the well-laced mug.

The smell is...different. It's not like what I'd associate with other IStouts I've tried. Think something along the lines of pine tar and I think you'd be close. I could faintly detect some kind of fruits; I think one reviewer put it best when he mentioned "rum-soaked raisins." It smells pretty good overall, and I think you could probably get a bit of a buzz just sniffing this stuff.

The taste is...excellent. It's got a piney note to it (thinking that must be the hops), and you can definitely taste the roasted coffee quality (must be the malts). I can get faint chocolate notes in the after-taste, too, along with the alcohol. A weird taste, kinda like an orange smacked into a pine tree, is showing up in the after-taste, too; I found this a bit off-putting at first, but it's definitely growing on me as I drink more.

I find the taste category to be inextricably linked to mouthfeel, and this beer is spot-on: it's thick, lightly-carbonated (despite the huge head), and easily quaffable. The alcohol seems fairly high (just over 11% ABV), and it's definitely there, giving an awesome warming effect. I served this thing cold (warming up a bit as I write this), and the hops were definitely there. It could stand to age a bit to mellow those same hops a tad, but I have no complaints.

Drinkability...definitely drinkable, but I don't think I'd session it. The high ABV makes it hard to throw back more than 2 of these; more than that, and I'd be in trouble :) Overall, an excellent beer, and I'd go for it again (despite the painful pricetag). (2,491 characters)

Photo of QuentinCompson
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

large bottle into red Dixie cup

A - Head looked nice and yummy, falling into a malty brown for a long, enjoyable pour, dark lacing into the sides of the cup

S - Smoke, burnt oak, chocolate, coffee, hops, caramel

T-M - Malty smoked chocolate brew, deep flavor, hoppy to the max, raisins perhaps within dark coffee swill. Super tasty stout.

D - Really enjoyed this one; extremely drinkable; I look forward to grabbing this one again sometime. (444 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ive had this beer in the cellar for about 6-8 months now and figure with a slight chill in the air it is a good time to drink it.
Pouring at cellar temp into a snifter.
The beer pours a pitch black hue with 3 inches of creamy tan head foaming up and creating a deep spongelike layer in my glass. The aroma is apparent from across the desk with some dark fruit, plums raisins wisping across. Plus I get some roasted malt notes and hints of molasses and chocolate as well. Fairly complex and robust nose on this one!
The first sip reveals a fizzy and lighter than expected body with a slightly sticky texture to the beer. The flavor is malt and booze from the start with molasses, coffee grounds, and plums mixing and letting some slightly astringent peppery alcohol on the finish. There is a little warming on the swallow and a lingering coffee bean flavor as well.
The beer is a sipper due to the booziness, but is well constructed and enjoyable. I am glad to have sampled this beer, just beware it is not for the faint of heart. (1,030 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up by shivtim. thanks, Paul! Pours thickly and massively black with a thin, poorly established head.

Huge nose with fruity dates, candied apricots and plums, and chocolate. smells boozy and huge and delicious. Amazing complex aroma, very exciting.

Taste doesnt quite live up to the great smell. Still tasty but missing the fruitiness. Astringent coffee and some dark chocolate. Alcohol well hidden. Creamy and sweet.

Full-bodied to syrupy in feel. Very thick and rich.

A nice beer that *smells* like the next dark lord, but doesn't hold up over the rest of the drinking experience. (600 characters)

Photo of azagthoth
4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into my shorty Double Bastard glass. Perhaps not the favored piece of glassware among the advocates, but I love sipping on my imperial stouts in this baby.

Appearance - As black as black can be. The head is of decent brown with inconsistent sized bubbles on one half of the head pour, while the other half is damn near perfectly smooth without any traces of bubbles.

Smell - The stalwart aspect of the brew right here. Absolutely beauteous with a strapping presence of caramel, chocolate, and roasted malt. I do not detect much in the way of coffee, as the 3 previously mentioned ingredients do all the speaking.

Taste - Very superb in the taste. The aforementioned smell is very much present and concurrent with the taste, as is the alcohol which is very intimidating for even the most extreme out there. What keeps me from giving the taste a higher rating is that a salt-like quality is in the finish (reminiscent to the Drake's Imperial Stout). But damn, they are so close to perfection with this stout and there is no denying that.

Mouthfeel - A tad bitter (which I consider good) and could perhaps use a bit more smoothness to it. The salt-like taste also keeps the mouthfeel from earning a bit higher of a rating. No complaints other than that.

Drinkability - For how present the alcohol is and the unfortunate salty aftertaste - this is very drinkable because the balanced taste and smell alone make up for any of the lesser qualities of this brew. (1,483 characters)

Photo of Bung
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black/dark brown pour. Dark cream head that remained for quite a while. Lacing throughout the beer. Burnt and roast malts, baker chocolate aromas. Almost creamy mouthfeel, but enough bittering coffee and hops to keep it a bit more lively than creamy. Tastes similarly with very roasty malt and coffee. Some chocolate and very little dark fruit and charcoal. Quite full bodied. Alcohol very well hidden. Very good example of the style, without add ons like barrel aging. (469 characters)

Photo of hopdog
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle acquired in trade with FlacoAlto (thanks!).

Poured a black color with brown edges and a small sized tan head. Aromas of chocolate, roast, light coffee and I was getting some orange peel. Tastes of chocolate, roast, some dark fruits, coffee, and vanilla. Light alcohol in the finish.

Notes from 8/21/07 (317 characters)

Photo of cincymike
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I never had actually tasted this beer, but had seen it a few times on Bevmo.com. But over this past weekend I got to have a taste and actually talked with the brewer while I was at the "Hops Beer Tasting of Las Vegas" inside the Planet Hollywood Casino.

First thing I noticed was the label on the bottle, which was proudly displayed as a flag behind the booth. It certainly is a fitting description of what you would expect from the beer.

Pours very dark and syrupy with a tan head. Not as much of a smell as you would expect, mostly dark malts and chocolate. Taste was great. At first I didn’t expect the hops to be as prominent as they were with the initial taste, but they weren’t so overwhelming that you can’t recognize all of the malt. Coffee, dark chocolate and maybe a hint of caramel with a good dry finish. Mouthfeel not quite as good as the taste but not bad either. No carbonation that I could since, always a plus.

Overall my favorite beer from the whole event. Sadly there weren’t many micro brews there to choose from. I will be recommending this to anybody who’s a fan of an American Double or high ABV beer. (1,133 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A pitch brown-black color with a giant tan foamy head and lots of chunks left lining the glass. The aroma is a nice malted milkshake with coffee and toffee ideas. Love it. The flavor brings out the same chocolate malt sweetness but now I pick up quite a bit of licorice bitterness blended in nicely as well. This is a very smooth, slightly resinous, mid-plus bodied brew. Silky. Coffee is present as in the aroma and mild ideas of citrus hop. It's drinkable enough but I think it has a little too much alcohol to go crazy. All and all this is definitely a smooth and flavorable stout, sure to please. (600 characters)

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Black Flag Imperial Stout from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.