Black Flag Imperial Stout - Beer Valley Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 207 | Reviews: 141 | Display Reviews Only:
3.53/5 rDev -7.1%
Consumed on 12/23/07.
Pours black, very little carbonation. Thin orange/brown head forms quickly, dissipated almost as fast. Aromas of bitter chocolate and lacquer with subtle grass and cherry notes. Also, big alcohol smell. Mouthfeel somewhat thin, uncarbonated. Flavor is primarily bitter chocolate with hints of citrus (orange?). Alcohol warmth (almost burn). Lingering, not entirely agreeable bitterness.
Flawed but still enjoyable.
03-01-2008 03:44:53 | More by charlzm
3.9/5 rDev +2.6%
22oz bomber, served in a standard pint glass.
A - dark black color with a good sized brown head of foamy bubbles that fell to a layer, leaving some lacing spots.
S - bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee bean aroma.
T - rich roasted flavors, espresso coffee, bittersweet chocolate, black licorice, finish is bitter with some warming of alcohol.
M - medium/full bodied, creamy textured brew.
D - a better than average glass of Imp Stout.
02-24-2008 21:35:58 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
4.43/5 rDev +16.6%
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.
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!
02-04-2008 04:40:03 | More by warmstorage
3.55/5 rDev -6.6%
I poured a capped 22 ounce bottle into a chalice.
A: It poured a coal black body with a one finger sticky chocolate head that supported a dense even curtain. The head receded slowly to a nice even cover over the liquid that remained far into the experience
S: It had aromas of roasted malt and bitter chocolate and smokiness. There was a smell of dark roasted bitter coffee hints of alochol.
T: There was an initial sweet and creamy dark chocolate flavor that is quickly overcome by the bitter expresso (almot reminiscent of Turkish coffee) and black licorice with a bite from the alcohol. The back end bite it dominant and lingers after the sip is swallowed.
M: This is a creamy full bodied brew with little carbonation and a warm bitter finish and follows long into the aftertaste.
D: It is a bit unbalanced favoring the bitter coffee/espresso flavors and underpresenting the dark chocolate I expected. This is a one and out brew that is worth trying but I doubt it will be a long-term resident of my stash.
01-20-2008 02:42:09 | More by dnichols
3.93/5 rDev +3.4%
Pours black as night with 3 fingers of brown rocky head into a chalice. Superior head retention, & near perfect lacing
S: Chocolate, coffee & a bit of booze, plus husky grainyness
T: Baker's chocolate, a bit of iron, some oaky & vanilla notes up front. Slight dryness, some cakey notes, figs, some toasted grain, hints of raisin bit of leafy hops, & coffee as this warms. Finishes with a bit of boozeyness, pronounced dryness, some figgyness, & a bit of chalkiness& a bit of coffee grounds
MF: Medium bodied, oily; a bit of silkyness with low carbonation.
Drinks great for the ABV, one to age, a lot of subtleties are muted. But not a bad Imp Stout at all.
01-17-2008 06:31:15 | More by russpowell
3.88/5 rDev +2.1%
Picked up a bottle At Lee's in Vegas. Had never head of this one, but it looked like it was worth a go.
Nice simple bottle, black and white and very piratey. Brewed by Santa Fe Brewing for Beer Valley in Oregon? Huh? Oh well.
Pours out deep black and brown with a rich head that instantly fades. Nose is a cascade of smells, with chocolate, sweet fruity malts, and slight alcohol. Taste is syrupy roasted malts. The 11% is fairly well hidden. Mouthfeel is good. Drinkability is not bad. Nice little find, if I do say so myself.
01-14-2008 03:58:08 | More by shivtim
4.2/5 rDev +10.5%
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.
01-11-2008 14:11:03 | More by aforbes10
3.9/5 rDev +2.6%
Purchased from Liquid Solutions. No best-by date on bottle.
Poured super black, without any ray of light shining through. Poured @ 90 degrees, with yielded a smallish 1 finger of tan head with frothy, tiny bubbles.
Aroma- Super chicory, Whoppers, raisins
Taste- Very subdued nose...slightly creamy with dried cherries
Mouthfeel- This is where the beer got interesting. Very gritty mouthfeel...like the bottom of a hot cocoa mug. Somewhat of a hop taste in the bitter finish.
Not sure if I could drink another
01-07-2008 22:47:26 | More by RustyDiamond
4.08/5 rDev +7.4%
Not much fizz when opened. poured into a DFH snifter. Jet black in color. Very slight cocoa head on top. Decent aroma-quite hoppy and fairly citrusy that I wasnt expecting. A lot of hops for the style flavor wise. Good deep roasted flavor. Lingering hop bitterness in the finish. Really good mouthfeel considering the abv-almost hard to believe. Very drinkable. Maybe a bit too heavy handed hop wise for an Imperial Stout but still a damn fine and enjoyable beer.
01-07-2008 00:56:30 | More by lackenhauser
3.05/5 rDev -19.7%
Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with an incredibly thin, off-white head.
Smell: Unsweetened chocoate and scorched coffee along with chimney soot and smoke. Also, there's a hefty amount of citrusy grapefruit befitting an IPA.
Taste: Dark chocolate with a brief, fleeting sweetness. After that, it's a conveyor belt of flavors - charred fruits, pipe ash, and forgotten coffee grounds. Overabundance of citrus hops. The strong hop bitterness couples with a sharp roasted quality that borders on being astringent. Ashen, distinctly alcoholic finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.
Drinkability: This beer was a debacle. Excessively hopped and needlessly astringent, to me, these qualities don't make for an enjoyable imperial stout.
12-09-2007 20:30:40 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.7/5 rDev -2.6%
22 ounce bomber my roommate picked up for me at BevMo in Redlands for around eight dollars
Poured into a mug with a black color and a dark tan head that was close to two inches, left crazy amounts of lacing on the sides from top to bottom
Smell was lots of roasted malt and chocolate, tons of sugar, and smokiness, a good amount of sweet coffee hints, very strong aroma overall
Taste was complex with more hops than most imperial stouts, also had toffee, espresso, black licorice, dark chocolate, and large amounts of roasted malt identified by the smell before, oddly some hints of oranges and grapefruit in the aftertaste through all the roastiness, dry finish makes it harder to get down that most, quite a distinctive taste and gets much sweeter as it gets warmer
This stuff has a grossly thick body with little carbonation, looks like black maple syrup, and the taste does not go away
Ended up sharing this one with another friend because it was so heavy, could not possibly drink much more than ten ounces or so like I did, over eleven percent and so chewy and rich
First beer I have from Black Flag and was a good beer overall, the hops made it unique and different, share a bottle if you grab one, but worth trying, even for the high price tag
11-17-2007 05:09:56 | More by Floydster
4.13/5 rDev +8.7%
Glugs out jet black with a big mocha head. Lots of lacing. Coffee, chocolate and big hops in the nose. Taste is huge on hops. Hoppiest impy stout I have ever had. Very roasty, a little smoke and big bittering citrus rind hops in the finish. Thin in the mouth. ABV is not even close to being felt. Defies the style and a tasty brew.
11-12-2007 07:59:03 | More by franksnbeans
4.4/5 rDev +15.8%
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.
10-04-2007 21:57:33 | More by Gusler
4.25/5 rDev +11.8%
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 didnt expect the hops to be as prominent as they were with the initial taste, but they werent so overwhelming that you cant 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 werent many micro brews there to choose from. I will be recommending this to anybody whos a fan of an American Double or high ABV beer.
10-04-2007 03:14:22 | More by cincymike
3.88/5 rDev +2.1%
One of my friend's swears by this beer. We met up last night and he offered me a sample from his bomber. Time to give it a ride:
Very thick and dark appearance with a head that doesn't get much and retains poorly. The smell brings out deep chocolate, dextrin, esters, and alcohol, more of the same in the taste. Esters gain definition as it warms. The feel is fat and chewy with only a tad of carbonation. The alcohol is listed at 11.5(!), and indeed this is some intense stuff. Very heavy, even for an Imperial Stout. Enjoy this beer in small servings.
09-28-2007 17:38:48 | More by DoubleJ
4.35/5 rDev +14.5%
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.
09-04-2007 00:17:04 | More by Halcyondays
3.98/5 rDev +4.7%
Thanks goes out to sirhc.
Poured into a chalice a black color, some carbonation, no head (at least first pour), no sticky lacing at all. The nose is malty, big on the toffee/caramel/chocolate, some roastiness, and vanilla. The taste is malty, good dose of the big three toffee/caramel/chocolate, some sweetness on the lips from the vanilla. The finish is slightly dry. Alcohol is hidden pretty well, but does warm the tummy up. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew, it does kick some ass with the taste and ABV, recommended.
08-20-2007 23:37:12 | More by Wasatch
3.8/5 rDev 0%
Saw this perched atop a Bevmo shelf, and like so many others who have reviewed it already, decided to give it a try (I'm a sucker for great labels, and Black Flag's Skull and Crossbones fit the bill). It's a little strange that the label was on crooked and looked thrashed straight out of the factory, but whatever.
Pours a deep black, with some serious viscosity. One of the thickest stouts I've seen. The chocolate is bitter, with a hint of sweetness, and the aftertaste is pleasant coffee/bitter chocolate with a not so pleasant charcoal-y or piney sensation.
Mouthfeel is great. No carbonation to speak of. For such a strong tasting beer, there wasn't much smell to it.
For 8.39, I wouldn't revisit very often, but worth a try. ABV is noticeable, and after a while feels like you're drinking beer mixed with molasses/rum.
08-19-2007 08:15:04 | More by Overlord
3.1/5 rDev -18.4%
This brew poured dark mahogany with a nice tan head- very promising. Aromas were dominated by solvent alcohols and boozy malts. Taste was very wild; cherries, currants, more dried fruits then a sudden 180- earthy oily hops come through in strength- extremely bitter and not at all balanced witht he malts. The flavor combo is accentuated by a very dry, tannic character and tobacco flavors run rampant over the tastebuds. A hard one to sip, very challenging and the ABV is definately noticeable. Maybe its just a raw beer, and needs some tweaking- as it is now its not up to par.
08-15-2007 06:34:24 | More by kernalklink
3.85/5 rDev +1.3%
A: Like motor oil that's been used for 20,000 miles too long. Only the tiniest bit of head can be coaxed.
S: Quite chocolatey, with a bit of roasted aromas coming out. Maybe a touch of hops.
T: Intense. Tons of rich espresso and coffee here - quite well roasted too. Hops play a nice role, but you never forget all this malt. Tastes like concentrated espresso sweetened with some tasty dark chocolate. This is thick.
M: Extremely rich. Thick. Chewy. Syrupy. Hot. That pretty well describes it.
D: A bomber will be more than enough, I'd say.
Overall, recommended. I could see age helping this out - especially to mellow the alcohol.
05-30-2007 05:35:01 | More by rallison
4.1/5 rDev +7.9%
Picked up a bomber back in late October at AJ's for $10.99.
Beer poured black as night with a small dark brown head that is not retaining well. Nose is a very good combination of sweet malts, heavy dose of chocolate, and a little hint of coffee. Taste is similar to the nose. Starts off on the sweet side with a generous amount of the sweet chocolate malts and is nicely balanced by a 100 IBU blast of hops that are not that overly noticeable. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth and the beer is medium to full bodied to give it a nice chewy feel. Overall drinkability is good. I went into this beer with some reservations about the 11.5 abv but the alcohol is pretty well hidden. This is definitely worth a try but the price tag is prohibitive for any repeat purchases.
Second Review 1-1-08
Purchased a bomber of batch number 2 in late August at AJ's for 8.99.
Beer poured black as night into my snifter. A nice creamy brown head evolved, leaving a stick lacing behind. Nose is extremely malty with not many other notes detected. Taste is an over the top blast of malts and hops, with a hoppy and creamy coffee like finish. Alcohol is warming in the after taste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied but is extremely smooth. Drinkability is good considering as the high abv is not noticeable on the palate. This is a pretty nice beer that is worthy of a try.
05-26-2007 23:26:36 | More by arizcards
4.05/5 rDev +6.6%
A 650 mL capped bottle courtesy of boolshot.
A: The ale is quite dark, dare I say it is pitch black. The ale opened with nary a hiss and revealed little carbonation on pour. As it settles, a cappucino-colored haze develops on top of the beer.
S: The scent is strong on thick, bread-like chocolates and deep wine-like complexity. The aroma makes you anticipate the taste.
T: The taste is quite acrid and bitter initially, providing a bit of tartness (not a brett-like tartness, mind you) that transitions into a burnt malt chocolate flavor. The dry malty flavor has a compliment in a bit of hop bitterness that seems to have a medicinal amarillo hop presence. I find the hops to be rather strong, although well blended into the malt body. The lasting aftertaste is a slightly bitter hoppiness mixed with burnt malts. I am pleased primarily because other reviews were uninspiring, causing me to expect something worse.
M: The mouthfeel is hoppy and burnt, a combination that exemplifies an American double stout.
D: The big abv makes one bomber enough for one night, but I'd gladly snag another bottle if given the chance. The beer has the ability to hold its own with bigger, more sought-after stouts.
04-02-2007 00:55:36 | More by akorsak
4.28/5 rDev +12.6%
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).
03-27-2007 00:28:41 | More by danielcc
4/5 rDev +5.3%
One odd case of bombers on top of a bevmo shelf. I pulled it down and sure enough a brew I've yet to see or sample. Black Flag Imperial Stout. No price tage but later found out they are $10 bucks a pop. Should I have grabbed 4 bottle so blindly?? The verdict is out.
Poured into a chalice it took an aggressive pour to get any bubbles at all. The cap looked like a hand bottler as it was depressed in the middle and just looked amatuer. First whif and I could tell this beer was not spoiled in the least bit. Heavily burnt malts not only lead this beer into the hell depths but gives it a hardy charred bitterness. The charcoal lingers a bit and then fades gracefully. Ground Coffee type dryness on the backside.
Notes: Lifeless start but who cares the taste was very good. Big Big Big problem here is $10 bucks a bomber is out of control. They have some extremely tough competition in STONE at $4. Nice to see this though and I wouldn't hesitate to buy a bottle again when its around.
03-20-2007 04:39:17 | More by DogFood11
3.25/5 rDev -14.5%
A fairly expensive bottle from BevMo in Thousand Oaks.
In the glass this is a thick oily looking black colored beer that does not pass light. This seems to be very low in carbonation and does not form a head.
The smell is sweet with a clear and strong black licorice aroma. There is a fairly strong blackberry aroma here too that grows as it warms. Additional scents of brandy and coffee.
The taste begins with a strong slightly burned coffee taste. After you acclimate to the coffee and the charred taste a little bit of berry flavor appears but this is clearly a coffee tasting RIS. This needs much more complexity.
The mouthfeel is quite thick but loses points for ultra low carbonation level.
Drinkability is only average. The major problems here are lack of complex flavors and lack of head formation. This wasn't worth the $10 that the bottle cost me.
03-10-2007 04:24:32 | More by Zorro
Black Flag Imperial Stout from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.