Black Flag Imperial Stout (Hop Harvest Edition) - Beer Valley Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by bkilpatr:
4.3/5 rDev +7.2%
Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. 03/17/09. 2008 Hop Harvest edition with a yellow cap.
Pours nearly pitch black with hints of brown around the edges. About an inch of dense tan foam slowly receded leaving gobs of sticky lace all over the glass, pretty good head retention. Aroma is intense with heavily roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and floral hops.
Taste starts with a powerful punch of heavily roasted malt and semi-sweet milk chocolate. That is accompanied by smooth caramel and subtle vanilla flavors. That is followed by bitter dark chocolate and a hint of roasted coffee. The finish is a delightful kick of piny and citric hops. The hops add a slight dark-fruity tinge to the finish. I don't know how this tasted when fresh, the hop presence is quite nice right now. A healthy dose of alcohol is in the taste.
Feel is thick and full-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Slightly resiny but still smooth. Coats the mouth nicely. Moderate warming from the alcohol. Drinkability is very good for such a big beer, though it is a bit heavy. I wouldn't want more than one bottle, especially at 11%.
Overall, this is a very good imperial stout. The only downside is the cost - $9.50 for 22 oz. Great flavor and the fresh hops really add to the experience. I'd love to see a barrel-aged version of this.
03-18-2009 05:05:18 | More by bkilpatr
More User Reviews:
4.03/5 rDev +0.5%
(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a coco colored creamy head that last for the full beer. This beer is to dense to see any signs of carbonation.
S- The soft smell of pine hops during the pour give way to aromas of cream and dark roasted malt with some notes of black coal. As the beer warms there are dark chocolate malt notes that really grow.
T- The taste of dark roasted black malt is rich but fades a bit as the beer warms. The finish is a big green pine flavor with mint qualities and a char black bitterness that lingers just a bit after the finish. As the beer warms the big black bitterness turns inky with anise notes to it and starts to dominate other flavors.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noted.
D- As the beer warms the malt flavors fade and the hops become overtaken by the big roasted black malt bitterness in the finish. This covers up some of the nice complexities. This is a big beer with some bigger black bitterness. This would be a great sipping beer for the winter months.
04-22-2009 14:24:34 | More by rhoadsrage
3.85/5 rDev -4%
A: Solid cap of foam, taking its time to recede. Dense pillows on top. Pours a deep brown but this is not as dark as old engine oil.
S: For being last year's harvest, this still has a huge amount of hop character. Intermingled with the stout body, I pick up some more citrus hops, chocolate baking powder, unground coffee. Pleasant but not overpowering.
T: Big hoppy bitterness mixes with char, over-baked brownie, and coffee liqueur.
M: A little light on the mouthfeel but enough viscosity that it holds this together. Some of the hoppiness would likely be covered and increase the palatability were the body thickened.
D: As my palate adjusts, it tastes like I have been chewing on dangerous and possible deadly plants. The bitterness is a bit off putting.
10-06-2010 01:07:29 | More by Lazerlobe
4.15/5 rDev +3.5%
22 oz bottle into a oversized snifter.
Pours a dark brown (I'm seeing some pretty prominent ruby highlights coming through the bottom of this) with several fingers of billowing mocha colored head. A rigid 1/2 finger of retention thows thick swathes of lacing all over the sides of the glass. The aroma on this is freshly herbal and floral with hops completely dominating the profile. Fortunately, not to the point that you can't pick up some of the other underlying Stout qualities of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and some light heat.
The taste is big up front with roasted malt and coffee bitterness and some thick accents of caramel and chocolate sweetness helping bring some balance. Make no mistake though, this profile is all about the hops, aggresively tearing up the backend, leaving lingering herbal, floral, and citric bitterness behind in it's wake. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a softer carbonation and surprisingly lighter feel considering the flavors and ABV that are at work here. As it warms more, I am picking up some light warmth in the body but not overly so.
Very nice! The fresh hop character adds a lot to this beer and livens up what was already tasting like a pretty decent Imperial Stout. The body and drinkibility of this is the real kicker though. This went down so smoothly, I needed to slow down my intake to make sure that I still had some left to review! Good stuff and I need to check out the regular Black Flag to see how it compares.
01-15-2009 18:02:32 | More by Kegatron
4.53/5 rDev +13%
2009 Fresh Hop Edition.
Super dark brown with thick and very firm tan head and the nicest full lacing I've ever seen.
Nose is hershey's chocolate syrup, light whisky-cherries and assertive sweet dried fruit. "Cherry filled chocolates" comes most to mind in the nose.
Mouth is rich and full, bold and creamy. Need more than one taste to fully get this one but it's a great mouth-creamy and rich.
Flavors are complex in the extreme. Flavors are an initial hit of sweet milk chocolate that quikly goes to huge bitter black chocolate; bitter dark espresso and simply very rich, thick and layered roasted grain. This is like a perfect stout mixed with a big hopped brew, but it marries really well.
Finish is bitter grapefruit oil that goes to a very long "chewed espresso bean" bitter.
All around much better than the regular edition; a real winner.
01-07-2010 05:22:53 | More by GRG1313
4.43/5 rDev +10.5%
On-tap at Naked City Taphouse, served in a schooner.
A: Poured a dark black hue from which no light escapes. Midnight black. Virtually no head, with some toasted marshmallow swirling bubbles near the top. Sticky lacing.
S: Aromas of light smoke and sugary sweetness hit the nose, jam-packed with leafy, piney hops. The smoke/sugar combo packs a punch reminiscent of hickory BBQ sauce. Fresh, intriguing, and complex. Undertones of earthy bark, molasses, and more rich, dark chocolate. Hops are really pleasant and sticky smelling!
T: Earthy, leafy hops hit the tongue immediately followed by a swarm of rich, rich chocolate. Complex chocolate characteristics comparable to dark chocolate truffles, with a smooth, creamy finish and a bitterness similar to powdered cocoa nibs. Not as sweet as the nose would suggest.
Detectable flavors of roasted cashews, molasses, and bark amid the explosion of syrupy chocolate, light smoke and char. Not an overly roasted beer, adding to its appreciable balance. Finish is smooth. Super tasty….
MF: The mouthfeel is killer. Rich, full-body with insane drinkability. Smooth, creamy, complex and big, but not filling, allowing you to drink a few of these without getting a gut ache. A bit chewy with lingering hops. Medium carbonation.
O: The fresh, piney, earthy hops match superbly with the dry chocolate bitterness. Unbelievable balance and character to this beer. For a whopping 11% ABV, you can't even tell.
This beer blew me away. The fresh hop addition took the original Black Flag to a whole different dimension. If you haven't had this beer, like imperial stouts, chocolate, and hops- you are missing out. Track it down.
12-25-2011 16:20:24 | More by suncrust
3.68/5 rDev -8.2%
My first review ever.
Pours from a 22 oz bomber into my Duvel tulip a very dark brown with ruby highlights around the edge. A thin head forms with big bubbles, not as pretty as others, but it gets the job done.
Hops and roasted malts dominate the smell, as expected. As this beer warms the hops become less pronounced than the malt.
The taste is pretty unique, especially for an imperial stout. Earthy, resiny hops dominate the initial taste, but the finish is chocolate and burnt coffee, backed up by a definite alcohol presence. About what I expected with a fresh hop imp stout, pretty tasty. The mouthfeel is a little thin for my opinions of an imp stout.
This is the second time I've had this beer, the first was on tap. Out of the bottle (and probably not as fresh) this is a little bit less enjoyable than I remember, but I'd never turn my nose up at it.
02-15-2009 22:50:02 | More by dukew456
4.15/5 rDev +3.5%
22 oz picked up yesterday at the Boise Coop... Label identical to the normal Black Flag except it has a White Stamp on the label that says "2008 Hop Harvest Edition." The cap is also green... not the normal black ... It was about $10.
Here's what the website has to say, "This edition of Leafer Madness Imperial Pale Ale was brewed with 200 pounds of fresh Chinook hop flowers. The 2008 fresh hop harvest edition of Black Flag Imperial Stout was brewed with 200 lbs of fresh CTZ hop flowers. Both of these special brews are designated with a green bottle cap and stamped on the right side of the label with "2008 HOP HARVEST EDITION". Only 2400 bottles of each of these special beers were packaged. Available in October, 2008!"
Fairly aggressive pour produced a minor bubbly head that
stuck around for a while, but was not what I expected. Brew is black but does let a little bit of light shine through.
Nose is expected RIS aromas, but seems a little light.. a little buttery.. hop nose is a little grassy, but not off the charts... dark chocolate and lite French Roast.
Flavor is surprisingly smooth given I just had the Leafer Madness.... I remember the original Black Flag having a much much larger hop bitterness and hop flavor. Big chocolate malt and not as roasty as I remember... the hop flavors seem limited to the grassy side of things. Mouthfeel is thick but not overbearing... carbonation is very light emphasizing a smooth viscosity. A little yeasty fruitiness reminds me of dried cherries on the finish.. more grassy hops... alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.
I actually like this more than the regular Black Flag.. I always think the regular is just too much enamel stripping hopped.... this is very enjoyable... I actually think it is gonna get quite a bit better with a few months in the bottle.
10-26-2008 02:25:22 | More by JohnGalt1
4.1/5 rDev +2.2%
Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark brown, appearing pitch black. Half finger fine light brown head, dissipates quickly, leaving lots of lacing. Nice aroma of roasted and sweet malt and chocolate. Taste is dominated by roasted malt, chocolate and coffee, finishing with bitter espresso and a hint of smoke. Lingering bitterness from the hops. Nice medium to heavy body. This was fun to drink, but I liked my last 2 year old bottle so much that I think the fresh hopping is wasted for me. The hops kick in too late to be well integrated, but still a nice hopped stout.
02-04-2012 04:36:27 | More by LiquidAmber
4.2/5 rDev +4.7%
22oz. brown bomber bearing the standard Black Flag label, with 2008 Hop Harvest Edition stamped on the upper right-hand side. It pours a very dark walnut brown with a finger of thick, foamy latte looking head. Excellent head retention and tons of lace left clinging to the glass.
Smells of dark roasty malts, almost burnt with notes of strong back coffee, bitter baking chocolate, stiff piney hops and just a touch of alcohol.
The taste is strong toasty and roasted dark malt with very little sweetness. Bitter black coffee comes through with some charcoal to follow. More bitterness to the finish as a heavy hop load winds it all down. Roasty, toasty and hoppy, not much sweetness at all. The alcohol keeps things going but is buried deep in the roasty bitter flavor.
A little prickly and astringent in the mouthfeel, the carbonation is good but the overall body is a tad thin. The drinkability is no prob for such a high ABV, if you don't mind the overall bitterness. A nice Imperial Stout and I prefer this one over the standard Black Flag, it's got some balls!
12-20-2008 22:01:10 | More by scottoale
4.25/5 rDev +6%
This beer really doesn't fall in to a specific catagory. I've had some strongly hopped imperial stouts before but nothing like this. Spectacular.
Pours nearly black. The glass is a fired clay chalice so I can't see any other colors. Billowing tan head that sticks around liked heavily foamed milk on a latte. The aroma is so strong with hops that from a few feet away, the clean citrus smells are easy to notice. Seriously this smells stronger of hops than some IPA's. As it settles a sweetness comes thru and the hefty amounts of turkish coffee become aparent. Slight warmth in the nose--it is 11%. But in the flavor? The mouth is warmed but the flavor is not overpowered by the alcohol.
Flavor starts a big smack of citrus hops. Potent but not bitter. The malts provide a great balance with rich coffee notes and hefty flavors of bitter chocolate. Everything sticks to the mouth like molasas.
Nicely carbonated and super full bodied in the mouth. This beer is thick. Low drinkability. Its intense. Sip with care. And from a 22 oz bottle I could drink maybe 10 oz. This is a beer to experience. The flavors develop very well in the glass.
01-27-2009 02:48:00 | More by LunaChick
3.98/5 rDev -0.7%
a: so dark to the point of being opaque. didn't think it'd be this dark from the way it looked as i poured it. but it is. fat head of foam, 2-3 inches, dissipating to at least an inch and a half. pretty lacing sticking to the glass.
s: smells hoppy, but i get a hint of chocolate and coffee as well, but definitely the hops take a front seat. i like strong hops, like the smell of hops, but strong hop taste in an RIS? i shall see.
t: to quote myself--"nice." good chocolate flavor moments after it hits my palate, pleasant hop and coffee finish to counter the sweetness. aw, wait, the chocolate returns as well. nice. alcohol is hard to find in the taste.
m: medium bodied. debating if its a little thin for my RIS taste. yep, medium verging on thin body. decent fizz stimulates my tongue.
d: pretty drinkable, i feel strong that i can finish the 22 oz by my self. i'll see if the 11% teaches me different. i'm a slow learner.
final: not my favorite RIS, but worth having and wouldn't mind having another.
12-16-2008 08:24:20 | More by Abrahammer
4.18/5 rDev +4.2%
Poured a dark brown color with a huge sized (5 finger) off white head. Aromas of chocolate, floral hoppiness, pine, roast, and some coffee. Definitely still a bunch of hops in the aromas. Tastes of chocolate, coffee, floral hoppiness, roast, and citrus. I found the tastes to be a little bit of a let down compared to the aromas (couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it was just different). Alcohol content well hidden.
03-23-2009 00:50:51 | More by hopdog
4.38/5 rDev +9.2%
Split with pal into 2 Brooklyn snifters. Dark brown/black with a nice oatmeal head. Glowing hop speckles floating in orbit. Fruity hop aroma, chocolate, plums. Great hop flavor and pretty full bodied Imp Stout. Chocolate and coffee going on as well. Finishes bitter, long lasting hop flavor. Dry cocoa nibs felt in the mouthfeel. Very smooth and very drinkable. Could easily be a Black IPA, with some beefy malt.
02-03-2009 22:11:16 | More by RustyDiamond
2.78/5 rDev -30.7%
A: Pours a black beer of ultimate opaqueness, and a single to two finger, thick and whipped tan head. Falls slowly and leave a quilt of the same. The beer also leaves halos of lacing.
S: Oaty. Toasted oats, tea like hops, graham. Cocoa, toffee. Nice. Very nice. I figured it's about six months out for this beer, and the hops should have balanced out nicely in this. I think another couple months will only help.
T: Alcohol comes thru a bit strong. Beyond that, we've got charcoal, cocoa, nuts, soil, tea like hops. Bitter and creamy. A near chalky finish. Still plenty of sweet cinnaon and graham flavors. The alcohol is too high and the hops are too aggressive. The beer tastes a bit burnt as well.
M: Thick, warm and sticky with low carbonation. Excellent mouthfeel.
O: Primary compaint is that on the flavor, the beer is a bit too bitter. I would like a little less hop power on this beer. Fresh hops can be appreciated without a severe increase in the hop approach - it can be done tastefully. Otherwise, the beer is crafted with likely decent shelf/cellar life, and the beer has a nice nose.
04-29-2011 16:11:39 | More by harrymel
4.35/5 rDev +8.5%
I didn't know the 2008 Hop Harvest Edition was any different until I searched here and found this unique listing. On the right side of the label I see a faint stamp looking impression that states 2008 Hop Harvest Edition. Huh!
A - 4.5
Black, black with a nice creamy brown 1/4" head. Soapy bubbles appeared where I poured. Swirling leaves nice lacing along the sides of my New Belgium goblet. I'm going to say this looks pretty good.
S - 4.5
Very fresh smelling. I know I bought this bottle over 4 months ago... maybe 6. I cellared it at 50°F and chilled it to 35° before serving. I know.... too cold... but I like to start it off nice and cold and then do a slow review while it warms up.
I'm loving the complex smell... dark grains, some wood scent, chocolate malt, smells a bit of some high end chocolate milk. Mmmm, some coffee. Last whiff picked up a unique malt scent... slightly separate from the previous chocolate malt. Just a hint of hops. I wish I had this fresh to experience the full assault of hops.
T - 4.5
Alright! Dark grain and oak flavor hit me. Coffee! Chocolate! But not a lot. Very smooth and balanced. Not harsh at all. I was expecting some harshness... maybe the label made me think that...? This is a VERY good tasting Imperial Stout. It stands out to me by lacking a prominent sweet characteristic. I'm glad I wasn't expecting much... it would not have stood a chance of getting 4 to 6 months aging on it if I had.
Thank you for the hops! I detect them in the bitter finish.
Very little alcohol burn. By this time, I'm at 53°F (measured with my CDN digital thermometer.
MF - 4.0
Overall good with nothing super notable on either spectrum. It feels about right with a nice carbonation and a pleasant aftertaste that is both hop bitter and sweet. A good balance indeed.
D - 4.0
Drinkability is good for 11%. I am really enjoying this 22oz bottle. However, I'd move onto something else next if I was still thirsty. However, tis expected. A 4.0 seems right considering the style and my other scores.
If you didn't get one of these... you are missing out. I am wondering how different this 2008 Hop Harvest Edition is compared to the standard Black Flag...
06-25-2009 05:26:14 | More by dqderrick
4.35/5 rDev +8.5%
Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.
Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some hops, chocolate, toffee, some roasted nuts. The taste is very nice malty, hoppy, nice notes of chocolate/toffee, nutty with some roastyness, and some vanilla sweetness. Medium body, the alcohol is hidden very nicely. Very Drinkable, I like this one alot better than the original, Thanks Toby.
01-15-2009 22:26:33 | More by Wasatch
4.03/5 rDev +0.5%
Thanks to another kind BA, quite a large sample poured at DLD.
Pitch black, with a nice brownish head, bigger and longer lasting than I expected for the high ABV.
The nose is roasted malts, but despite a few months on it, it still shows signs of fresh hops, different than your usual RIS, grassy, fruity.
Taste is an interesting, if not spectacular combination of roasted malt bitterness, grassy/fruity hoppy bitterness, some malted sweetness and a roasty bitterness.
Medium bodied, could use a bit more punch here; still nicely drinkable, and an interesting take on the style. Wish I could have it fresh.
05-05-2009 01:20:21 | More by brdc
4.25/5 rDev +6%
Pours a very dark brown that barely any light shows through. Brownish/tan head. Nose is wet hops and some coffee tones. Not a whole lot showing right now. Flavor is excellent. Really nice hoppy tone with what seems like a touch of a blue cheese edge. Some coffee is there as well. Real interesting combo of flavors. I don't know what's up with this beer, but it does seem like it was wet hopped. Kind of a spicy edge on the side of it. Feel is biting on the carbonation and the liquid is thicker on the body, but not too much so. Really diggin' this stout. There are some things that could be better (smell & carbonation), but the flavor really isn't one of them.
04-17-2009 00:21:16 | More by RblWthACoz
3.7/5 rDev -7.7%
Poured into a Tulip glass and enjoyed with Aimstatus and PatronWizard
A: Poured a brownish hue that eventually turned into a black lagoon. Head was big and frothy, but almost looked soapy in a sense. Lacing was marvelous as well.
S: Really hoppy and fruity...which seem to mask the dark malts. Almost reminds me of a mild IPA mixed in with some sort of wheat beer. My friend suggested a mint, which a could be possible.
T: I get a espresso or coffee like taste with perhaps some sort of chocolate, or cocoa property. Bitterness is mild, which is good, but I'm still not sure what to think. It gets a higher score for its ability to hide the 11% alcohol as well the smoothness (not sure if that is a word).
M: A really frothy beer that is a little too thin for a stout, but overall...okay.
D: Alcohol isn't evident....the taste is alright....and overall enjoyable.
Overall: I've heard mixed reviews about this beer, but this it's pretty darn good. A try beer. Cheers!
02-24-2009 04:27:37 | More by OlieIPA
3.38/5 rDev -15.7%
Even five years later, my friend still swears by this beer. However, when we came across the Hop Harvest Edition at the Pizza Port Bottle Shop, I knew I couldn't resist the temptation. This one is for you Richie. Coming out of a 22 ounce bottle, on to the beer:
A good start in the glass. The foam is two fingers thick and showing good retention. Below that is the black as ink body. Chunks of creamy lace stick around the glass, whcih further makes this beer a looker. It's tough to not like the aroma of this beer. Chocolate fudge aromas take the nose, and the "hop harvest" monikor comes through, providing pine, touch of orange, and grassy aromas to compliment the massive malt.
It's all about the hops. While that aspect doesn't dissapoint, those malts aren't worked as much as one would hope. There is some toasted cocoa and roast upfront, but that quickly dissolves and makes way for the barrage of hops. With the hops come bitter tea, pine, orange, and lots of lingering bitterness. If only the malt backbone were properly excecuted, this would be a fun drink. On the contrary, this one is rather bitter and dominated of hops, and this drink more like a bitter, strong Double India Dark Ale than a stout. The alcohol is hidden quite well. The body is full and silky, with the chink being a very bitter aftertaste.
I was glad to get the hop experience, but I was not glad to come across a dissapointing malt bill. I'm not going to finish the bomber on my own (not that I would anyway), so it looks that the second half of the bottle will be used for cooking in the future.
04-12-2012 05:12:22 | More by DoubleJ
Black Flag Imperial Stout (Hop Harvest Edition) from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.