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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 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 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 alleykatking
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle. Got from OakedCanuck in my Secret Santa...sweetness! Been wanting to try this one out..shared with Supernova777.

A- Pours a nice deep dark brown color. One and a half finger tan head shows medium retention. Very light streaky lacing on the glass itself.

S- Tons of citrus hops in the front of this. Actually if you hold it close to your nose this is about all you can pick up. Hold it farther back and roasted malts along with some nice bitter chocolate notes come out in the backing.

T- Roasted malts come out first of course with some light bitter chocolate notes. The middle of this beer has a coffee like roasted bill to it along with that damn chocoalte note (acutally it was nice). Ending was yet more of the chocoalte note with some light roasted and a huge citrus hop bite to it that lingers along with a light alcohol flavor.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts and chocolate left on the palate. Aftertaste is alcohol heat, chocoalte malt, and light faint citrus hops. This was a very well balanced imperial stout which is hard to find balance wise. Clean and crisp flavors. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- This was a nice drinking stout. The ABV was very well hidden on it. I could have drank this entire beer myself no problem but I suppose sharing means caring right? Next time though I won't bring it!

alleykatking, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of Durge
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Durge, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of aforbes10
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

aforbes10, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of azagthoth
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

azagthoth, May 01, 2008
Photo of badbeer
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color, but lacks head retention and lacing which brings this down quite a bit. Smell was burnt and roasty, some chocolate as well. My notes also say the nose was a bit boozy. Taste was roasty, chocolate-y, and has a bit of booze to it as well. I think I recall this one being even downright charred; which was surpisingly good, IMO. Thick mouthfeel, which I love for imperial stouts, but with a little more carbonation this could be great. I rather enjoyed my sample, and I think age would certainly benefit this one quite well, and a little more carbonation would sure help to. I'd get this again given the chance.

badbeer, Feb 02, 2007
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.

Sammy, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle brought back from Las Vegas by a lady in April.

A: Mostly black with a hint of brown around the edges. A half finger of mocha head with some lacing.

S: A nice mix of chocolate and toffee. A little bit of booze as well.

T: Sweetness and chocolate up front. Tons of roasted malt. It really does not have anything to stand out and make it remarkable but it is a nice beer.

M: Full body with a syrupy body. Sticks to the back of your throat.

D: Not a bad drinker at all. The ABV is an anvil but splitting a bottle was easy enough. If you can grab it I would recommend picking up a bottle.

aerozeppl, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of franksnbeans
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

franksnbeans, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of Buebie
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought this home from Orogon to share.

Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Black in color, 1 inch of off white head. Very thick, long lasting head that finally settles after 10 minutes to a half inch cap of retention. Thick full coverage lace.
Black in color, no light penetration.

Aroma is full of sweet chocolate extract, cake batter and a mild boozie after dinner drink. Very Mild hops.
Taste is much more robust, providing a large unexpected burst of piney hops that just keeps coming and bitters to the very end!
Chocolate upfront with roasted grains and some warming that just goes into hop explosion. Amazing brew.
Hempy, pine resin deliciousness.

Feel is slick with mild creaminess and modest carbonation.

This is one beer that completely took me by surprise. Very good.

Buebie, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of Jmoore50
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is what this beer was like when I drank it. I can only compare it to an experience that I had once.
This goes back to high school. I was rolling around naked with this girl and she was so so hot. She wrestled me down to the bed and slapped the shit out of me, right across my face. I was so stunned and turned on at the same time that I just went crazy.

This beer has a great pour, a dark brown pour and what really sells the overall look is the brown head. My personal pour only came to about half a finger with a very aggressive pour. I AM NOT SURE IF THIS IS THE SPECIAL HOP VERSION OR NOT.

The smell is of liquor, hops, bitter chocolate, awesomeness.

When I first tasted this specific brew it was like getting slapped right across the face. For me the alcohol was one of the first things that I tasted and it just warmed up my entire body. The next thing that I tasted was a bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavor, but really the alcohol really takes over.

The mouth feel is amazing, like drinking a really good stout, because it is a really good stout.

I like drinking stouts on cool winter nights. This beer makes me feel warm and excited. I love Imperial Stouts because they are so strong.

Overall a good beer. If I see it in the store I will buy another one. I will never drink two back to back, they would just overwhelm me. Good brew for a cold night.

j

Jmoore50, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of jdklks
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bottle.

A- dark black with a small medium brown head that dissipates quickly.

S- excellent. the best aspect of the beer. roasted chocolate and malts with a slight hint of coffee.

T- A very good example of the style. the roasted chocolate and malt flavors definitely stand out. The 11% abv is easily perceptible but not in a bad way. a roasty, chocolate with alcohol aftertaste. the second half of the bottle i started to notice an increasingly strong licorice taste. it seemed weird but it definitely added to the complexity and my enjoyment of it.

M- Very thick and full-bodied. smooth on the palate but a little less so going down.

D- like most all stouts, and certainly most imperials, this is a beer that you probably wont want to drink more than one or two of in a sitting. very filling and very warming.

i would certainly recommend trying out this stout, and putting one away to age for awhile.

jdklks, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
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!

biegaman, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of arizcards
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Score
A=4.5
S=3.5
T=4.0
M=4.5
D=4.0

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.

arizcards, May 27, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of Jredner
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nice aroma has hints of beef stock, molasses, dark chocolate, rum soaked raisins and blueberries and espresso. The pours is almost silly...gloppy like engine sludge. No head even bothers showing up. Would look so much nicer if I could tease a small head out of it. The first sip reveals very low carbonation, but fairly strong flavor presence, black chocolate, beef stock, burnt grains galore, more rummy blueberries, but the raisins don’t show up. Big esspresso/chocolate blast in the finish with a solid salvo of hops adding a seperate, but equally intense, flavor point. The far aftertaste reminds me of those dark chocolate Cadbury bars with the blueberries in them.
<P>
The utter stillness isn’t a plus for me. A dose of carbonation, even a tad...(this beer is 10 year old barley wine still)...would greatly improve this beer. Despite that the flavor concentration and range is pretty damn decent and this could be many people’s idea of a great Imperial as it grabs your tastebuds and slaps them around pretty roughly, but with a certain sense of style. Personally with a little more carbonation this gets 5/5 for mouthfeel, 4.4 to 5/5 with a head and another 2 points in overall. This could have been a phenomenal stout.

Makes you wonder how this would age...it can’t get stiller. I almost want to force carbonate it and see what I get.

Jredner, Nov 14, 2006
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.

janubio, Dec 07, 2012
Black Flag Imperial Stout from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.