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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: 21 | 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 cswhitehorse
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Black Flag came out as dark as night with an aggressive pour and head profile. It came through as a 3-4 finger head with some good retention. It gave the appearance a little later of the root beer float of the ice cream floating in the top of the liquid. Pretty cool.

The aroma was a dominant coffee smell with some hints of chocolate in the back drop. The taste was again up front dominated by that bitter coffee maltiness. It has a really sharp bite in the mouth for the feel as it lets you know who is boss on the way out. The abv is pretty apparent in this one. Not a bad brew but did not provide the depth of flavor I look for in a an Imperial. Definitely worth the look over though.

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark and thick. Breathing in chocolate and roast and C-hops. The drink is lunch itself and so very dangerously drinkable. The throast is coated with coconut and oatmeal, roast and some chocolate and coffee. The hops are there and provide some delightful citrus but altogether undistinguishable. Full mouthfeel. Very good IS.

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

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."

--H.L. Mencken

Closed casket black beneath two fingers of dark brown sugar colored foam. Since crown cracking produced a barely audible 'pffft', I gave the beer a vigorous pour. Retention is fairly good and glass coverage ain't too bad either... especially given the ABV.

The aroma is chock full of all the good things that result when barley is roasted to within an inch of its life. I can appreciate dark chocolate fudge, a shot of espresso, blackstrap molasses and citric hops. Let's see how many of the estimated 100+ IBUs are still kickin' after close to one year in the bottle.

Black Flag is good beer. Maybe even very good beer. But it isn't great beer because the malt:hop ratio is slanted too much toward the latter. Not that this American double stout is too bitter, but there's a grapefruit juice quality that gets in the way of the malt love. And beer of this style is all (or almost all) about the malt love.

Although the malt backbone is big, it isn't... shiver me timbers!... big. The fruity flavor of the hops (Warrior, Chinook, Columbus and Cascade) is too prominent, which leads to a malt profile that is less than complex. Beer Valley might have invented the world's first Black DIPA. That's good news for us hopheads. Not so good news for the rest of you.

The alcohol is impressively well-buried. Only the beginnings of tongue numbing and gullet warming betray the double-digit ABV. There's a great deal of mouthfilling volume, without a ton of thick and chewy stickiness.

Black Flag Imperial Stout would be better if Beer Valley Brewing eased back on the hops and added a bit more malt. It isn't "a beer drinking experience like no other other malted beverage on the planet" (website hyperbole), but it is a delicious stout if you're a quart low on lupulins. Just be prepared for a hefty shot of grapefruit juiciness.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a pitch black with a huge +2 finger head of tan foam.

The smell has notes of roasted malt, coffee, and hoppy bitterness.

The taste has big roasted malt, coffee, a touch of dark fruit, and a quite big hop profile. In fact, this is a *very* hoppy Imperial Stout. The roasted malt is big too. as is the coffee, but they are having a heck of a time competing with the hops. I think if the hops were calmed down to a lower presence, this would be quite the good example of the style but as is, the hops are just to much. Perhaps some aging would help but as this is my only bottle, I'll leave it to someone else to find out. ;^)

It has a nice thickish mouthfeel and the carbonation is light and right for the style. And it *is* one heck of a looker in the glass. Lots of lacing and the head retention is awesome. I'm very glad I got to try it but I probably won't seek it out again.

Photo of brentk56
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: After a gusher of an opening, the beer settled down and pours a jet black color with nary a highlight; nice frothy mocha head that leaves massive amounts of lace

Smell: It's hard to differentiate between the Impy Stout and IPA aromas in this bitter beer; the 100 IBUs challenge the roasted charcoal aromas; dark chocolate and molasses, too; not sure I am that fond of it, but it is massive

Taste: Opens like the aroma, with a bitter assault fighting the charcoal roast; the beer is trying to make a point but the question is whether this is a point that is worth making; piney bitter and roasty after the swallow, with the overall effect of a scorched earth on the tongue

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate carbonation; very sticky

Drinkability: This is where it all comes tumbling down; the beer is more of a dare than a craft; it comes at you like Zhukov's army advancing on Berlin; I surrender

Thanks, JohnGalt1, for the opportunity

Photo of rkuhnel
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a black color with a fat rich an head, nose of roasted malts and chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium. Flavor is dominated by smoky roasted malts, some chocolate and lights hops. Dry finish and some alcohol. Overall quite enjoyable and good to the last drop.

Photo of Beerbuddha
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out an oily black color with a thin tan head which disappates rather quickly. Lacing was present throughout. The smell was smoky, chocolatey and coffee. The taste was very similar with more of the chocolate coming through. The mouthfeel was extremely heavy with little carbonation. Overall a great stout. Probably a little much at the time. When its hot outside a stout just doesn't feel right.

Photo of azagthoth
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of QuentinCompson
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one I received courtesy of Unclejedi that I had been waiting to try out. This weekend decided to pop it open and see what it was made of. The pour was jet black as night. With a thick look to it as it sludged into the glass. A very nice three finger high tan head of lace then rose up over the top and hung on forever. Really thick looking with tons of side glass webs and a sticky presence to it. Very nice look here.

The aroma was very complex with a rich mix of malts and alcohol. The alcohol came across very clearly, and you had to let it warm to really be able to get the full depth of this one in. Lots of dark baker's chocolate, hints of vanilla and roasted coffee were mingling around in it. The flavor followed suit almost perfectly. The start was a nice rich chocolate and coffee like flavor that quickly became over run with unbalanced alcohol. A little harsh, but they cannot all be blended well. The subtle flavors underneath did not begin to show themselves for a quite a little while later, with some nice touches of licorice, vanilla, and molasses starting to come through. This was a very sweet stout, just a little to hot right now. The finish was filled with a musty bitter bite that was kind of odd and ill placed, but there was not much you could do about it. A very full-bodied stout, there was certainly no lack of carbonation here, as it never felt as though it was flat in any way. I did polish off this bottle, however it was a little rough. This one clocked in at over 11% and you felt every last drop of it. Really a very big stout.

Overall, this was not bad at all, though there are certainly better examples of the style out there. On looks alone though, this one is awesome, I just think there were a little too much hops thrown in the finish and the alcohol was very distracting, not being as mellowed as I thought it would be. Nevertheless, it was still a very solid beer, and if you have it around you, I would go out and try it.

Photo of Beertracker
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Commercial Description: Black Flag Imperial Stout is the first beer released by Beer Valley Brewing. It is a monstrously huge beer brewed for extreme beer & wine enthusiasts who want to test the edge of sensory perception. Brewed with eight different malts and four different hop varieties (Cascade, Chinook, Columbus, & Warrior) to give it depth and complexity, Black Flag Imperial Stout delivers an extreme beer drinking experience like no other beer on the planet! 11% ABV; 100+ IBU's

*Contract brewed by the Sante Fe Brewing Co.

BVBC's Black Flag Imperial Stout pours up with ample carbonation that creates a moderate tannish-brown head that just barely rings the deep oily, jet black body. The burnt roasted aroma features some underlying dark chocolate, espresso character with just a hint of caramel sweetness along with a low-moderate fruitiness. Touch of pungent hops, notable alcoholic warmth. There's just a hint of dustiness (oxidation) that detracts. The heavily roasted flavor shows lots of black barley with minimal chocolate with a touch of coffee & molasses, but features a very pronounced bitterness that delivers an acidic, burnt (acrid), bitter, chalky, dry roasted finish that is rather harsh & unpleasant. Very warming. This medium-full bodied stout seems a bit thin, lacks creaminess, and is overly astringent. This one started off great, but finished a bit lackluster. Raise the Black Flag you dirty scallywags!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Black with an enormous head that takes an eternity t fade and leaves thick webs of lacing everywhere on the glass. A mountain of head rests in the middle over still half an inch of head. Very pretty.

S - Pepper, chicory, grasses and some burnt malt.

T - Very dark flavors. Charred malt is the foremost presence, then there is some molasses, dark chocolate and chicory. Bitter char in the aftertaste. It is too burnt tasting, but not too bad.

M - Smooth, thick and refreshing - which is astonishing considering the ABV.

D - Great. I had no problem finishing this brew. It is a powerful stout. The flavor has taken a stance as a particular sort of flavor, and it does a fantastic job at delivering that flavor. But burnt is not what should dominant the stout's flavor in my opinion.

Photo of clickpush
4.31/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

Photo of m1ked
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours an opaque blackness, brief greasy looking head that subsides into a small collection of bubbles clinging to the edges of the glass.

S- Roasted malts, some alcohol, very light touch of dark chocolate, a little soy sauce in there.

T- Smokey wood and chocolate upfront mixed with smokey bitterness. Interesting, it seems all the flavors hit me at once. Hard to sort out. Fades out with smooth cocoa and heat.

M- Smooth, low carbonation, little viscous.

D- I like this one, it has all the characteristics that I enjoy, with an added bitterness that I don't normally enjoy in the Imp Stouts I like.

Photo of dalion037
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

Photo of charlzm
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of warmstorage
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
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!

Photo of dnichols
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of russpowell
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

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

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.

Photo of aforbes10
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of RustyDiamond
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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