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Black Flag Imperial Stout - Beer Valley Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Flag Imperial StoutBlack Flag Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

209 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 209
Reviews: 141
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 22
Gots: 15 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: hopsaplenty on 11-09-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Flag Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 209 | Reviews: 141 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chumba526
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours solid black with a small brown head.

It smells slightly sour. I get a smooth citrus hoppy smell. I also get a slight roasted coffee smell and a bit of a dark chocolate smell. There is also a mild sweet malt smell.

It tastes of smooth citrusy malt: mostly orange flavored. I get a bit of a chocolate and roasted coffee smell. There is a very strong bitter aftertaste. This is very malt heavy with strong roasty notes but there is also a strong hop present. It is a pretty smooth beer.

There is a low carbonation to the beer. There is a somewhat smooth and creamy mouthfeel to the stout.

Overall a great smooth hoppy imperial stout. It goes down quite smooth when considering how high it is in alcohol.

chumba526, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a pitch black, motor oil color. It is hardly carbonated at all, a few lonely bubbles mar the shiny surface. Aromatic notes of burnt prunes, port, alcohol, concentrated malt, figs, . Something akin to a green, almost vegetal note is also here, actually it is probably a green apple note. The aromatic finish is dominated by the ample malt notes; black coffee, burnt caramel, chocolate malt balls and toffee are found towards the end if you dig for it underneath the up front aromatics.

Wow this beer is much more viscous and thick than I was expecting. Sweet malt notes are ample, yet are quite well held in check by the alcohol and roasted notes. The beer finishes with a touch of astringent burnt grain husk and a bit of a chalky notes. The finish has a solid hop bitterness to it that, while not overwhelming, helps to balance the sweet malt character and lingers on in the long finish. The beer is still a bit green around the edges; green apple notes and a lack of carbonation are certainly noticeable. This beer leans more towards the chocolate side of the dark grain spectrum, but still does have a nice, supporting burnt grain character that is especially more noticeable towards the finish. Burnt fruit notes of prunes, raisins and figs are quite noticeable up front.

The lack of carbonation certainly hurts this beer, though being an Imperial Stout it can certainly handle the loss much better than most styles. The longer I sip away this 22oz bottle the more I come to appreciate the balance that this beer strikes. Smooth and mellow (well as mellow as a 11.5% beast can be) with a striking chocolate character that is just balanced by a subtler, yet more aggressive roasted grain notes. Certainly black and silky, sexy even and that is certainly not something I would have guessed during the first third of this beer. This is a beer that definitely benefits from a sample size of at least 16oz. This may certainly be a bit much to ask for from a Imperial Stout, but this one needs it and I don't necessarily think that the alcohol is the one doing the talking here (though that certainly does not hurt).

Gueuzedude, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of jmccraney
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

jmccraney, Oct 31, 2012
Photo of Bung
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Bung, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of hopdog
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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

hopdog, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of sulldaddy
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

sulldaddy, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of cincymike
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

cincymike, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of Shaimless
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Shaimless, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of borrachoso69
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

borrachoso69, Oct 01, 2013
Photo of pdxbeerdrinker
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

pdxbeerdrinker, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of Reeba
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Reeba, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of JoelClark
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

JoelClark, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of danielcc
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
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).

danielcc, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of QuentinCompson
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

QuentinCompson, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

LiquidAmber, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of clickpush
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

clickpush, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of rfgetz
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

rfgetz, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of farrago
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

farrago, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of Halcyondays
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Halcyondays, Sep 04, 2007
Photo of Gusler
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Gusler, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

SPLITGRIN, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of Grabbin2nd
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

Grabbin2nd, May 26, 2009
Photo of warmstorage
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
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!

warmstorage, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

TempeBeerMan, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

gleemonger, Jun 22, 2012
Black Flag Imperial Stout from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.