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

144 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 144
Hads: 227
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 22
Gots: 22 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 144 | Hads: 227
Photo of Thorpe429
2.65/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle opened by bmanning. Thanks, Ben. 2008 vintage. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pour yields a black-bodied brew with a very, very small light mocha head that comes up and then dies down almost immediately without leaving anything behind. The nose is quite roasty with a bit of chocolate and a very mild coffee presence. The flavor is just way too dry with overwhelming roast and almost nothing else there. Feel is medium with a dry, dry finish. Not a big fan of this at all. (476 characters)

Photo of chumba526
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (711 characters)

Photo of Bludgeon
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this stout. I bought a 22 oz bottle and split it with my pops. I poured it into frozen pint glasses.

The appearance was dark brown, almost black and very inviting with almost two fingers of beige foam and lots of lacing.

The smell was malty and woody. I could smell the high alcohol content.

The taste was also malty with a bit of a smokiness and again I could detect the high alcohol content. It had a rather woodiness to it as well. Nothing a long the lines of chocolate like a lot of stouts but just a slight hint of coffee.

The mouthfeel was nice but only if you like tasting the alcohol, this beer did not hide or disguise its high alcohol content very well but I like that about it.

The drinkability was very drinkable but again, only if you like a beer that you can taste the alcohol.

I really like this stout, a strong dark smokey American Style Imperial Stout. A very good drink, but again, for the millionth time, only if you like beer that does not hide its high alcohol content folks! Sorry if I sound like a broken record but the 11% alcohol is a characteristic of this beer that cannot be denied. (1,123 characters)

Photo of Pellinore1
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to CaptinRedBeard for sending this bottle.

Pours very deep brown, producing a finger of light tan head. This slowly fades to some nice lacing.

Big roastiness in the aroma, especially as it warms. I also pick up bitter chocolate, molasses, and light smoky notes.

The flavor opens with toasted grain, chocolate, and coffee, then leaves you with bitter roasty malts.

Full bodied, with some nice carbonation, this is smooth on the tongue.

Alcohol is very well hidden in this brew, making for quite a drinkable imperial stout. (533 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (600 characters)

Photo of Dlish
2.64/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours black, with a kaki head, and very good head retention.

S- Well I poured this, and have let this warm up for about 5 minutes, and I'm getting not much arouma, just some malt, marshmellow, and a bit of toasted malt. Not impressive at all for a imperial stout!

T- Very dark roasted malt, Chocolate, very grainy, even the toasted malt taste a little off. Bit of hops at the end, they come through with a lot of alpha acid, that you exspect in an IPA. I mean you exspect big IBU for a imperial stout but its so off. I'm not impressed by this taste at all.

M&D- The bitterness of the hops are pretty lasting and and don't mix well for this blend of malts. Little alcohol burn. I'm about half way through this pint, and i'm not looking forward to finishing this. This imperial has a lot to work on, i'm a huge fan and not impressed at all. Get on it BEER valley! (868 characters)

Photo of broken22
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (1,698 characters)

Photo of TheBeerCarl
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This stout poured out with a nice deep brown headwith reddish tint. The beer it self is practically a black hole with no light escaping.

The smell hits right away with strong coffee and notes of brown sugar. While the beer is 11% ABV, there is next to no heat on the nose

The first flavor to hit my tongue was vanilla, and then coffee, whiskey, coffee, and a hint of cherry. Also this stout definitely has its fair share of residual sugar. Be sure not to spill any down the side of the glass or your hand will be stuck there permanently the next time you go for a drink.

This stout had way too much carbonation. The mouthfeel could be a lot smoother. The carbonation takes away from the flavor.

All in all, it is a decent stout but I'm not sure I'm gonna spend another $10 on it. If they tone down the residual sugar and the carbonation, I'll consider it though. (866 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
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! (1,395 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured dark brown in color with a moderate, creamy, tan head to it. The head had some pretty good retention to it and left some decent lacing as well.

The aroma shows a pretty good amount of bitter, citrusy, hoppiness to it. Some roasty flavors come through behind that to add a bit more bitterness. A slight chocolaty flavor is there too.

The taste shows a lot of dark and bitter-sweet chocolate to it, along with a moderate roasted malt, burnt, slight coffee flavor. I'm getting a pretty big hoppy, citrus flavor in it as well. It's very big on the dry, bitterness overall. The finish shows more of the bitter chocolate, which lingers.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being a little high for the style. Drinkability is decent, it was flavorful but not very smooth. It could have used some more sweetness to balance out the bitterness some. Tho hoppiness just didn't mesh well with the roasted bitterness for me that well. Not a bad beer at all though. (1,032 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger light brown head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Very dark brown color, no highlights. Nose is baked chocolate. Flavor is baked chocolate with hints of molasses and caramel. High ABV is hidden. $9.99 for a 22oz bottle from Liquorama Upland, CA. (323 characters)

Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (1,152 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A; Poured a deep brown almost black but in the light as it poured it was dark brown. Had a nice tannish head which looked very good.Lots of bubbles and lacing

S: Chocolate, sharp booze notes on the nose, roasted malts, coffee

T: Toasted and burnt grains, cocoa, sharp booze feel, the end has a battle of chocolate and coffee, not your fufu coffee either, more like my gramps Folgers!

M: Nice carbonation, warming, full bodied

D: Great drink and easy to drink. (463 characters)

Photo of dragonWhale
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The 11% was a bit of a surprise to me..well, why not then? A bomber shared by a dear friend for a birthday celebration. Black and looking thick, tan topping..it looks meaty, for sure.
It bears forth bitter chocolate and hop aromas, a pretty hefty bitterness. Little bit of roast and for sure some malt sweetness and alcohol.
Definitely on the bitter side for an Imperial Stout, would like to see this with some more time in the bottle, let that bitterness start to fade, and that chocolate mellow into the rest of the beer. Not overly sweet or boozy, pretty damn nice and drinkable, still thick, though. And the bitter chocolate coats your mouth along with the hops, which becomes a little distracting. (703 characters)

Photo of Chelsea1905
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very bitter Stout, lots of hops in here and very boozy!

Appears black with a light brown tinge to the outer layer when held under light,

Smell is dark malts, plums, hops, and booze. I almost wanted to know if this was barrel aged.

Taste is too hoppy, and too boozy for the style it represents.

Nice mouthfeel, like the way a stout should be.

I don't know how to drink more than one of these, but even just the one is a little too alcohol overdosed (454 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (519 characters)

Photo of Buebie
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (802 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A small sample shared by a roommate and poured into a perfect pint glass.

Looks: unyielding black, with a large dark tan head that cascades upwards and sticks around for quite a while and grips the glass in thick layers of lace.

Smells: like pepsi. A sweet, caramelized character, along with a bit of licorice, anise, some sage, a bit of oak. Very strong soda syrup character.

Tastes: like anise seeds. Leans heavily upon an acrid licorice flavor, with a sweet Dr. Pepper-ish background. Citrusy hops make an appearance in the form of grapefruit. Also get some sourdough and toasted crackers. Interesting and unexpected, but not so great.

Feels: waveless. Carbonation is perhaps a bit too low for this beer. The body is medium-light and the overall mouthfeel is fine, though an alcohol tinge comes through the nostrils and flames the mouth as well.

Drinks: unlike a stout, to me. Heavy on the licorice and citrus. It's interesting, and perhaps some people are big fans of very hoppy stouts. As it is, I'm glad I wasn't the one that paid for a whole bomber. (1,066 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an oily, opaque black, topped off with a little bit of tan head. Aromas of coffee, bitter chocolate and maybe vanilla. Decent roasted malt flavors, a little bit sweet, with bakers chocolate and espresso. For some reason I was expecting a little more from this one. Not bad though. (286 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (704 characters)

Photo of caresville
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

received this one from saulcharlesworth in an under 100 BIF, thanks!!

a- dark and night and thicker than most stouts. decent sized tan head with minimal lacing.

s- lots of roasted malts going on here, hints of chocolate syrup, mocha coffee beans and some coal.

t&m- thick and smooth, heavy heavy heavy on the roastyness, lots of malts and chocolate. hints of coffee and raisins.

d- not too complex but not super boring. the flavors dont all mesh particularly well together but thats not a terrible thing, it kept me interested throughout the beer. (551 characters)

Photo of younger35
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this beer from Gibby in a trade. I've had this beer many times on tap when I lived in Boise but never got around to reviewing. Drank from my Darkness snifter.

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish with hints of black with a one finger medium tan head. Surprisingly "light" colored for an Imperial Stout. A thin collar along with a spotty cap remain and manage to leave behind a fair amount of spotty lacing.
Smell- Supremely roasty and chocolaty with a rich milk chocolate nose. Some darkly roasted coffee hides amongst the chocolate as does some lightly sweet caramel. The nose is just really rich and thick smelling with a sort of lactose like sweetness. The hops are noticeable, mostly citric, but the supreme richness of the roast seems to rule the nose.
Taste- Well... The hops that get overshadowed in the nose are MORE than present in the taste. It starts with a big citric bite that holds in it lemon and pinches of grapefruit. Way more than I was expecting, or remember, that's for sure. The malts make their appearance a bit later and the sweet milk chocolate I got in the nose are in the form of raw bitter bakers chocolate. The beer isn't sweet in the least as the coffee is actually more prevalent than the chocolate. The finish is choked full of a charred roast that seems to linger forever with a bit of citric/roasted malt bitterness.
Mouthfeel- Sort of thin for the style but still near medium. The carbonation is super light and the beer has a crazy oily feel. Amazing that this is 11% though because it's not noticeable at all.
Drinkability- Overall not bad. I've had this beer many times but I swear I don't remember it being this hoppy. Maybe this is fresher than what I had? Maybe I just didn't know what I was tasting. Either way I love hops, just not necessarily in my Imperial Stouts (see Darkness). But, saying that, I do like this beer. Maybe it's just a nostalgic thing but who cares. I enjoyed the hell out of it. Thanks Jeff! (1,961 characters)

Photo of Popkas
3.16/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour is black with a large big bubble caramel head that sticks around for a good while with some good lacing clinging. The nose is of very heavy roasted malts that smells a little like burnt toast with cocoa topping. The taste is of big roasted malts and bitter cocoa. The mouthfeel is full, thick and creamy - possibly my favorite part of the beer. Not my favorite example of the style. (387 characters)

Photo of hophead247
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells like oil and chocolate. The head could have been more attractive. The beer itself was rather brown and muddy. Flavors were rustic, chocolate, and most certainly exhibiting a hop presence, though nicely integrated into the profile as not to be unpleasantly bitter as some imperial stouts seem to be. There's hints of chocolate covered fruit. The body is on the weaker side of something that is 11.5%, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. All in all, decent and certainly well crafted, but nothing stands out to make it exceptional. (540 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
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 (268 characters)

Black Flag Imperial Stout from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.