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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 charlzm
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

charlzm, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a rich opaque darkness with a finger of strongly steadfast ecru head. Lacing is tall and thick, lasting for a decent amount of time. The nose is dark malts, leather, dark roast coffee, and a tiny bit of chocolate. Th taste accentuates the coffee, retains a portion of the leather; a healthy hoppy bitterness invades and quickly seizes control of the government. The coup is finished by a subtle helping of powdered cocoa, which fades into obscurity along with the last vestiges of the old regime, a hint of coffee. The body is a heavy medium, with moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, a bit on the bitter side, but fairly drinkable nonetheless.

TMoney2591, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of corby112
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown that's almost pitch black and completely opaque with faint dark amber/mahogany edges when held to a light source. Two finger frothy, pillowy beige head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that coats the glass with chunky rings of soapy lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with a huge earthy floral hop presence with citrus notes. There is a bit of chocolate, toffee, coffee, licorice and toast underneath but this beers smells extremely hoppy, especially for the style. Their is a good bit of citrus peel and grapefruit along with some earthy pine. The hops even overpower the roasted notes of the malt.

Chewy resinous full body with a huge bitter earthy hop blast up front that lingers over the roasted malt body into a dry bitter finish with plenty of alcohol heat. Lots of earthy dry pine notes as well as crisp citrus notes from the hops. Silky chocolate malt with hints of roasted coffee, toffee, oatmeal, nut and licorice. I wouldn't say that this is well balanced because the hops are so dominant, but the malty body provides a good countering flavor. This is the hoppiest stout I've ever had, to the point where they almost overtake all of the other flavors. I would prefer if the malt presence was a little stronger but I still enjoyed this beer.

corby112, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of dnichols
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

dnichols, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of jnn4v
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle with unknown age acquired as an extra from akorsak. In fact, he made sure I knew that he wouldn't vouch for its age or quality.

A: Pitch black in color. Off white color head. No discernible sediment.

S: Coffee is the dominant scent. Some anise and alcohol are evident as well. Minor licorice and molasses.

T: Coffee is the first flavor, followed by some malty flavors and molasses, ending with bitterness that lingers through the aftertaste. Almost chemical bitterness in nature, but at least a hint of the coffee flavor helps justify the flavor.

M: Good texture through and through. Deep body with some silkiness and richness.

D: High ABV was evident, but not the dominant trait. Lack of subtlety and balance from the flavors detracted from the drinkabiliy.

jnn4v, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of broken22
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So I have been walking past this bottle of beer at the store for a while. The label is what initially caught my eye. I pick up the bottle to see what its all about and there isn't any description at all on the bottle so I put it back. I went to their website and they only say something like "MOST EPIC BEER EVEH!" (you need to read that in your best 300 movie voice) Since I'm a big dark beer fan I couldn't resist and finally purchased one to try it out. I figure with the high alcohol content that a lot can go wrong but still end up tasting pretty good.

So I pop and pour this thing out. Not a lot of head is forming at all and it is a little lighter than expected but definitely not light. This beer smells great. It has a nice coffee chocolate smell to it, so things are looking good so far and I am ready to taste this bad boy. Well much like I was expecting from the pour this thing is rather light on the mouth as its not to thick. The flavor is pretty complex. The initial taste is a sweet caramel and then the finish is a nice bitter chocolate. The bitterness really hangs on and fades out slowly. You can definitely notice the higher alcohol content taste as it is also a little sharp in the beginning.

So I'm pretty happy with this beer. I'm glad to this thing ended up being OK. I think the brewery could a better job on this beers label by putting a little more info about the beer. I'm cool with neat looking labels but I don't want to feel like this is the coolest thing about the beer. I want to know a little bit about the beer before I buy it. So if you looking for a new dark beer to try give this one a shot. My local beer store is selling these for $10.99 per 22oz bottle.

broken22, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of DrJay
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting - Day 2. Viggo contributed this one. Thanks!
Very dark brown with garnet highlights and a giant, fluffy, dark tan cap. Pillowy head with chunky, thick lacing. Floral hops in the aroma, almost to the point of perfume, plus some citrus, roast, caramel, and nuts. Solid bitterness that ended up just a bit acrid in the finish. Lots of malt sweetness, roast, caramel, mellow hops, and alcohol towards the end. Medium bodied, a little thinner than expected, with low carbonation. Smooth, but a bit lifeless. Easy drinking for a big stout with well controlled alcohol.

DrJay, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of mulder1010
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a dark cola color and settled black. Huge, three finger light tan head. Great body and shape to the head. Slowly worked to a thick collar. Left all sorts of lacing.

S-- Baking chocolate, dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and hops. Big grapefruit nose to this.

T-- Quite hoppy. Lots of hops, followed by chocolate and coffee.

M-- Medium bodied and light carbonation. Pretty straight forward really. Hops calm down in the feel and get more of the roast and chocolate.

O-- Not earth shattering but a well done massively hopped imperial stout.

mulder1010, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of brentk56
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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

brentk56, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of trenten
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Everything a RIS should be, viscous, black as night and with a nice creamy beige head.

Smell- dominated by coffee but there's also a good amount of toffee and dried stonefruits very reminiscent of classic barleywines. No hiding alcohol aroma in an 11% beer so don't expect it to be absent.

Taste- very mellow up front, the deep espresso flavors hit you first folllowed by some subtle hints of sweetness that are then overwhelmed by prolonged drying bitterness and finally the alcohol warmth on the back of the throat. The aroma implies that it woudl be sweeter than it really is. That's a pleasant surprise but the alcohol isn't as mellow as some other beers of equal strength (eg Abyss)

Mouthfeel= Carbonation is low enough to taste the full weight of this one but high enough to lighten up the dense alcohol flavor. Could be a bit creamier but not too shabby.

Drinkability - With the alcohol in this one and the way the coffee lingers around for about 5 minutes after every sip there's no need to rush it but you probably could if you wanted to. I'd say its not the smoothest of RIS's that i've had but adhere's to the style decently.

trenten, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my tall Allagash chalice/snifter glass. Pairing with a nice plate of cheese: sharp provolone, mature gouda, and asiago. Pours a semi dark brown, with a decent amount of light shining through for a stout. In fact as the glass is full, held up into the light, there's a faint reddish tinge towards the bottom and top edges. Head is very small and slow rising. About half of a finger of soft creamy frothy bubbles. Leaves a very quick sliding fizzy lacing.

Aroma is welcoming. Bitter sweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans, malts, charred wood, raisins, and mild booze.

Flavor is conflicting to me. It starts with a mild sweetness that quickly follows by heavy roastedness. The mid flavors are full of over roasted coffee, mild booze. Then it finishes sweet again, with chocolate and raisins in the back ground. Now what hurts the overall beer for me is the after taste. About 5 to 10 seconds after each sip, a heavy over roasted/burnt coffee bitterness and dryness hits the palate. So I would say the beer has a very good start, but a disappointing finish. Carbonation and booze levels are middle of the road, medium body.

ShadesOfGray, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of OStrungT
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very dark mohogany color, with a brown head. The head is thick, and fluffy, fading very slowly, leaving a huge lacing.

This beer has a robust malty aroma. It smells of chocolate, and caramel. A mild coffee aroma mixes in. Some dark fruit also, figs mostly.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Sweet chocolate and caramel with some coffee. Figs and a slight fusel alcohol flavor. The flavor is just a little off. Not that bad, but a little off.

This beer is very thick and full bodied. It leaves a chocolate aftertaste. It is a little more carbonated than I would expect from the style.

This beer is probably not the best session beer. It is quite aggressive, and the alcohol content is high.

Overall: This beer is decent. Nothing special. I think it is a little over the top with alcohol.

OStrungT, May 05, 2009
Photo of mactrail
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, rich, bitter black ale.

Nice chestnut edge in the glass-- not really black like typical stouts. My 22 oz bottle poured nicely and while the head wasn't big there was enough to look decent, and plenty of carbonation in the mouth. Some nice roasty aromas once the beer warms up a little.

This thing is just really alcoholic and plenty bitter. The warmth seeps down the throat. Quite sippable, but I miss the balanced maltiness of a barley wine. Definitely austere, more like a bitter cordial than a mellow brandy.

mactrail, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of DIM
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was dark brown with ruby edges. It poured with probably the prettiest head I've ever seen. An extraordinarily long lasting, frothy, creamy, light mocha colored head.

s: Strangely, piny, lemony hops dominate. Some sweet chocolate malts and molasses do manange to peek through. As it warms, the 11% abv becomes apparent.

t. This reminds me of one of those new fangled black IPAs. At first this briefly tastes like an imperial stout with flavors of sweet, roasty chocolate malts. Then a huge wave of piny hops with a little lemon completely takes over. There is a little heat at the end, but not enough to suggest an 11% abv. This is by far the hoppiest stout I've tried.

m: The body isn't all that thick, but the super creamy head gives this a great feel overall.

d: After the initial hop shock wore off I began to really enjoy this. Still, have you ever reached for a glass of what you thought was water and taken a big gulp of milk? Even if you like milk, the shock can be off-putting. Overall, as tasty as this was, it was out of balance and off-style. Thanks to JohnGalt1 for the chance to try this strange brew.

DIM, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

mrasskicktastic, Mar 23, 2008
Photo of Floydster
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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

Floydster, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of froghop
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a black with a small khaki head, and good lacing.

smell is of cocoa, a little coffee, and some vanilla bean.

taste is dry, bitter, chocolate, a little malt in back, and some coffee, end is dry and nicely bitter.

nicely smooth and dry imperial stout, well made

froghop, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of ADZA
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black Kola hue which leaves a two finger coffee laced creamy head and similar clingy lacing,the smell is sweet boozy alcohol,coffee,dark chocolate and lots of dark malts,the mouthfeel is just under being full bodied and has tastes very similar to the smell with hints of dark bittersweet chocolate,milky coffee,a touch of molasses,burnt bread,a touch of charcoal in a good way,burnt toffee and finished with a ever present hoppy bitterness that makes this really drinkable and soothes the sweetness first encountered and amazingly enough for a beer of this high ABV i find it suprisingly very well hidden and overall a enjoyable sweet/hoppy Double Stout that i could easily drink again.

ADZA, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle screamed "I wanna be adored" with a schmaltzy yet mystery evoking Jolly Roger style cartoon design. This has been my downfall before with the label hype but let's try this game again.

Pours with a dark curtain of midnight buh-lack allowing no light through this used motor oil offering topped with a scant thin tan collar that skids down the glass with no lace!

Nose creation of deep toast and roast. Plenty of molasses and spice wafer that is actually bold with some pep that holds in there with the best of 'em. If 11.5% ABV is true, then this is impressive.

First swigs: Messy oily buttery pumpernickel toast and spice. Some booze that is understated. Tad all over with a toasty malt that slides to a charcoal. Close to a 4/5 but slides around a lot towards a hot stout.

Feel is buttery and oily with a middle body of chewy bready cud.

Last swigs: A warm but not hot, heat seeker of an American Stout, but a welcome offering nonetheless. 11.5% ABV is hard to beleive.

Beer is good. Happy big Am beering.

blitheringidiot, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of Pencible
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a very dark mahogany with nice tan head. It smelled like roasted coffee and milk chocolate, with copper hops and caramel. It tasted like burnt coffee and milk chocolate, with rusty copper hops and some caramel and licorice. It was fairly thick with some carbonation, and had a bitter metallic aftertaste. Overall this had a decent scent and flavor, but it was a bit harsh. It had excellent body and hid the alcohol well, but the taste made it not so easy to drink. I'm not sure what age this bottle is, so maybe it's better fresh, or with more age? As I had it, it was decent but certainly not great.

Pencible, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Jason, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of rolandboy
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

rolandboy, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of mtomlins
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

mtomlins, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of DerrickW
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

DerrickW, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of spinrsx
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

spinrsx, Jul 07, 2014
Black Flag Imperial Stout from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.