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Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve) - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

266 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 266
Hads: 496
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 87
Gots: 137 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 02-02-2009

3rd Release - 2013 (9.6% ABV)
2nd Release - 2011 (11.4% ABV)
1st Release - February 2009 (10.5% ABV).

After its initial release in February 2008, this Imperial Stout was aged for about 10 months in Bourbon casks from Kentucky.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 266 | Hads: 496
Photo of HattedClassic
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours very little lightly tan head that disipates very quickly. The beer itself is an opaque black. The texture doesn't seem to be very appealing and a bit muddy.

The beer smell is pretty strong in the barrel notes. The beer has a very strong vanilla note and a very present bourbon note to it. The beer seems to have some of the other notes such as chocolate and a light, bitter hop note but they seem to be overwhelmed.

The taste is pretty good and better than the smell with a bit more complexity. In addition to the vanilla and alcohol, the beer also has a whiskey note to it as well.

The mouthfeel is heavy but seems to be lacking thickness (probably due to the aging). The carbonation is biting and not bad but the beer just feels too light for the style.

Overall, this is a decent imperial stout but you're not missing anything. The beer isn't that complex and seems to have been overwhelmed by the aging.

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Photo of beergoot
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Label data: brewed in 2013, bottle number 029.

Black abyss of a body; thick, dense, light tan head. Dark chocolate aroma with cherries, and anise. Rich cocoa flavor; tantalizing touch edge of whiskey mid-way through the sip and lingering at the finish; mild astringency; nice bitterness. Primarily heavy body; some residual sugar heft.

The balance and depth of the flavors make this a distinctive barrel-aged stout. Well-rounded and very delicious. The body, while heavy, also seemed to have a certain contradictory thin (if not watery) quality to it. I would have expected a deeper, richer feel for a beer such as this. Regardless, this is a superb offering.

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Photo of DeepBrew
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Labeled Brewmaster Reserve 2013, ABV 9.6

Poured from 22oz bomber into snifter

A: Black with medium tan foam and good retention. Leaves behind good lacing.

S: Beautiful smell of caramel, malt, barrel, vanilla and booze

T: Tastes less rich than it smells, the sweet is still there and the chocolatey bitter, but the vanilla is gone and the barrel is muted compared to what I expected after 12 month of aging. The aftertaste was somewhat dry for the style.

M: Creamy, medium strong, medium carbonation

O: After taking in the beautiful looks and smell, the taste was somewhat of a let-down.

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Photo of GabeBoise
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

2013 edition. Not labeled as Black Gold. Delicious bourbon aromas and smooth, bourbon infused stout flavor. Thinner and creamier mouthfeel than many other imperial stouts.

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Photo of Dwreck
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Thick, opaque black pour with a light cinnamon head. Big dark chocolate and cherry smell with coffee notes. Bit o toffee and caramel. Tastes just like that. Lots of dark chocolate covered cherry. Low carb. Pretty tasty brew. Not the best, but very tadty and different from other stouts. Good change of pace from the big coffee flavors. Hoppy flavor helps highlight those flavors.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 edition, no longer labeled as black gold, but the abv and everything else match up. tons of bourbon on this inky black but thin bodied imperial stout. a massive erupting mocha head rises up and only falls back a little. the nose is great, tons of sweet bourbon and dark coffee notes to it, heavy roast, and woody and smooth. the flavor matches the nose, but to me may e a little but too heavy on the bourbon, like its stout beer with the whiskey actually added to it in liquid form, which i think contributes to a weird mouthfeel thats boozy and thin, although the overall flavor profile on the beer is darn good. chocolate overtones and roasty bitterness are tempered by sweet liquor in the finish. silky texture, i just want more body. reasonably affordable from what i can remember, something i always appreciate from fullsail. i like this a lot better than the top sail bourbon porter, but the over barreled aspect is quite similar on the whole. worth trying if thats your thing.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by MrBarleywine, thanks for the opportunity!
solid black color with a smallish tan head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of roasted grains, coffee and hints of chocolate with a mild earthiness to counter. The flavor is a sweet malty roasted affair with bits of coffee and chocolate and just a touch of earth and light fruitiness. Medium to thin body with a moderate level of carbonation. Decent enough beer, but couldn't hold up to some of the other brews that we had Saturday night!

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. 2013 Vintage. Pours a pitch black color with a half inch of head. Good amount of lacing. The aroma is bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, and sweet chocolate. The taste is lots of rich chocolate syrup followed by some woody bourbon. Hints of caramel and vanilla. Earthy with some coffee at the finish. Woody aftertaste. Moderate alcohol burn but not as boozey as most of the other Bourbon Barrel Aged Stouts. Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I was expecting. I'd be interested in trying this one fresh. Overall, pretty good Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. I tad pricey compared to some other/better options but certainly worth buying.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well appearance wise it's nothing you'd write home about when it comes to imperial stouts. Black as night, light brown head of about 1/4" and minimal lacing. But that's never the strong point of this style, so moving on...

Aroma and taste: BB aging is notable. Tons of vanilla. Wood. Leather. Special-B or maybe carafa III, I'm not sure, but that raisiny dark-fruit flavor is definitely there. Warming of the throat and belly on the way down.

Carbonation mild, body thick and chewy, overall very enjoyable, especially if the BBA character is what you most treasure in this type of beer. Full sail never disappoints.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Full Sail's Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (2013). 9.6% ABV.

A: Medium brown head. Black, with very dark brown in the dimple. Some lacing.

S: Lots of deeply browned caramel and dark chocolate on the nose. Fairly sweet. Powdered cocoa. Some slight woody notes.

T/MF: Deep oaky caramels on the palate that set in as you swallow, and last way into the finish. Dark chocolate is pushed to a back note, with a more cocoa-y taste. Separate oak note in the background. Slightly soft mouth feel. Not quite creamy.

Not a major standout in BBA stouts, but solid. For $12, though, I'd say go for something bigger for a couple bucks more, or go for a better non-BBA stout (Chocolate Sombrero, for instance) for a couple bucks less. Still, worth a try. And, a good gateway, if your more hesitant about $15+ beers. Actually, since it doesn't have much in the way of bourbon or coffee, perhaps a good gateway into the style, in general!

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of hops202
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber poured into a stone snifter. This is the "Imperial Stout" that is bourbon barrel aged. Does not have the black gold label. Brew Master Reserve 2014. ABV - 9.84%

Pours a light black with hints of dark brown.

Nose has tons of bourbon, some caramel, chocolate and vanilla. Taste is a little on the light side, not as much bourbon, or chocolate and caramel. Kind of a let down.

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Photo of Beerlover
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

the flavors in this beer are all there for a bourbon barrel aged stout it's a little on the light side for body but the thing that totally killed it for me with this beer is the mouthfeel, the carbonation is waaay tooo high, which time will take care of just fine but I needed a less quality bourbon stout for a good base line before my bourbon county stout sampling with rick... Rick my friend get ready to have your socks knocked off, bring on the bourbon county!

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Photo of constantine_272
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Black, dotty, lots of big soapy bubbles.

S: Vanilla cream and bourbon. Creme brûlée. Oak. Minor chocolate.

T: Thick and creamy. Bourbon, vanilla again. Thick sweet and woody with some light smoky flavor. Melted vanilla ice cream. Slight crisp bitter finish with dry bitter dark chocolate finish. Huge flavor, but still mellow.

M: Medium syrupy. Finishes long and sweet. No off weird flavors.

O: Really good. Huge bold flavors, nothing too overpowering. Excellent slow snifter sipper.

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Photo of kdahnke123
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2104 Vintage, poured into a snifter. 9.84% ABV. At cellar temperature.
A - Pours a very dark brown with a two finger crema colored head. The head dissipates slowly leaving a rim of lacing.
S - Bourbon and chocolate up front with a hint of hops at the end.
T - Lots of chocolate up from, very smooth. Next comes moderate bourbon and just a hint of bite from the hops at the end. The alcohol is well integrated.
M - A little on the light side for an imperial stout. Lightly carbonated with very little if any mouth coating quality.
O - An average BB stout. Has a good bourbon nose but comes out a little flat on the flavor and mouthfeel.

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Photo of Uanof
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours as dark as the night with a quick dissipating head and a thin lacing lacing left behind, this impeeial stout has a huge taste of bourbon and vanilla with a roastiness that balances well it's bitterness. Medium to full bodies with a warm aftertaste of alcohol this beer is not too demanding or overpowering, but instead it balances itself to a very welcoming warmness.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Brewmasters Reserve 2013.

A: Pours a dark brown appearing black in the glass with a tannish brown head on top. Fairly quick to dissipate it leaves a few spots of lacing.

S: Loads of bourbon notes on this one along with oak and vanilla. Dark fruits are fairly heavy along with a pleasant chocolate aroma. Touch of booze on the backend.

T: Isnt as much of a bourbon bomb as the nose would lead to believe but has a great roasted malt and chocolate profile. Oak and vanilla round out the backend smoothing things out.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. A bit lighter than most stouts on the market as there is a slight watery aspect. Nice mellow feel to it which is enjoyable.

Overall was very difficult to pass up at under $5 a bottle but I am glad I picked a couple up. Well balanced beer that is a good entry level bourbon beer.

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Photo of Jjski
3.54/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-black, small head

S-roasty malt chocolate , mild bourbon and vanilla

T- not overpowering or very assertive at all. A bit mild, but balanced flavors found in nose.

M- thin, effervescent

O- ok imp stout, but for $ 5.79 it is a bargain. It's the best (only?) sub-$6.00 barrel aged stout. As for reasonably priced beer of this style- I think Heavy Seas : Siren Noire is far better at @$8.00 to$9.00

For a bargain: recommended.
If you are looking for a Parabola or Abyss equivalent: skip it

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Promoting the sense of roast, Full Sail's larger-than-life Stout employs the full gamut of tools to heighten the sense of roast- from its dryness, to its carbonation, its spices and its bitterness all work hard in that direction. Balance has very little place in this beer.

The expected black beer layers into the glass with a slow and steady separation of foam from ale. Its dark body is nearly black as garnet highlights penetrate its edges. Its creamy cap of foam shows long-lasting retention and well defined rings of lace.

Highly roasty aromas couple with medium bourbon notes for a dry coffee and caramel scent. Burnt wood, espresso, walnuts, cocoa and campfire all sing the praises of the beer's tremendous roast. The alcohol scent gives a sweeter and spicier tone to balance the roast scent while light hop presence of burnt grass comes out to play.

Its taste is fully roasted- burnt caramel and toffee, burnt dark fruit, burnt wood and grass all create a strong roasted coffee and cocoa taste. Its bourbon flavor is dry, spicy and boozy just ahead of its bitter finish. Burnt hops, coffee-like bitterness and alcohol bite easily balances the dry malt taste and gives its finish a mild taste of burnt embers and ash.

Full bodied, but the beer's high level of attenuation gives dry impressions immediately. With little malt weight to support the roast, its dry and rough edges poke and prod at the soft tissues of the mouth with spicy pangs of astringency from wood spices, roast grain spices, sharp hops and prickling alcohol. Further exacerbated, the beer's high carbonation provides an arid texture that promotes ash qualities in aftertaste.

Full Sail's Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Gold is a a fantastic Stout, but you gotta lik'em roasty as hell! Everything about the beer reinforces the taste of all-things-burnt. Any balance from malt sweetness is hard to come by, but this allows for a surprisingly high level of drinkability.

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Photo of pkalix
4.56/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark, black, as it should be.
boozy bourbon, vanilla, roasty malt aroma. very nice aroma.
a bit thicker than I prefer. boozy bourbon sweetness, roasted malts, hard espresso lingers behind, as if I had just chewed an espresso bean....
overall,, it's very good. I keep chasing the dragon here, though. i'm looking for that ECLIPSE clone. and hoping maybe it's half the price of the Eclipse. maybe that's why the eclipse is so expensive and hard to find. it's just the perfect brew. this one isn't bad; it's very good, in fact. I was hoping much on this one because it is stored in the same Four Roses barrels, along with the Makers Mark and Evans(?). anyway, cheers nonetheless . . . . i'm quite happy I wiped out Total Wine's entire 4 bottle inventory....

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Photo of Flounder57
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a tulip.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer. It is pitch black with no clarity, but little bubbles can be seen at the top of the glass.

Smell: Vanilla, oak, spices, caramel, tobacco, chocolate, molasses. Barrel aged delicious aroma.

Taste: Bourbon barrel deliciousness. Nice warming boozy barrel flavors goes well with the traditional RIS flavors one is looking for.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, warming, boozy, full bodied, medium carbonation, and very delicious.

Overall: Pretty delicious and good bourbon barrel aged RIS.

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Photo of SHerninko
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle procured from NJ and enjoyed at Lee Shelly's - Labor Day 2013

A---Dark and bubbly with a nice whitish head, some lacing.
S--All sweet bourbon goodness.
T--Wow, was better than I thought not knowing the brewery. It is one of their "top of the line" beers, so glad it was impressive. Big, bold, boozy but not hot, carmel, coffee...as it warmed I got a ton of chocolate.
M---only weekness in that it wasn't real thick and not creamy, a bit thin and more carbonation than most stouts that are barrel aged.
O---I will seek this one out and purchase again. Luckily I picked up 2 bottles so I will age one a bit and enjoy later this winter.

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Photo of t420o
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Full Sail Imperial Stout-Bourbon Barrel Aged-Brewmaster Reserve


Bottle: 022

A- pour produces a mocha head fizzing away quick leaving no lacing. Beer is dark brown/black in color. 3.5

S- big bourbon, peat, chocolate, vanilla, caramel. Sweet, but not overly sweet. 4

T- Similar to the smell bourbon is upfront with chocolate, molasses, peat,ripe dark fruit, and some caramel. 3.75

M- lighter than it should be. Fizzy. 3

O- good bourbon barrel aged imperial stout but nothing special 4


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Photo of Slatetank
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this chilled slightly in a teku glass from the 22oz w/ myself from Calvert Wines and Liquors in Md.

The appearance is inviting with piano black body with opaque clarity and streams of extremely fine bubbles rise to a ring of ultra fine beads collecting in a medium beige surface with scattered lace on the glass. The smell is very pleasant with lots of vanilla from the bourbon barrel aging with some dark cocoa and wood in the aroma with subtle odor of tobacco and smoke with gentle caramel accent. The feel is okay but a little thin for the style with moderately low carbonation and semi sweet texture with slight tannin from the wood and mild alcohol presence but not heavy on the fusel with some mild spiciness in the finish could be hops

The flavor is very tasty with some dark malt plum and roast flavors up front. the wood in the taste becomes stronger as it warms imparting some of the bourbon flavor with vanilla notes and mild caramel malt adding sweetness in the middle with some light toasted grain and smooth coffee-like roastiness with a mild woody tinge near the finish with a good amount of alcohol considering the abv of this, it seems stronger in the taste than it is with the dark cocoa aspect giving a dry quality in the malt. I was extremely pleased with this beer for the price it is a decent bourbon barrel aged imperial stout....it is low in alcohol compared to some others in the Imperial stout style, but this is also pretty drinkable which adds to the overall score. I would certainly drink it again and appreciate Dan Fields for sharing this with me the first time I tasted it two years ago.

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Photo of SeanDonahue
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewmaster's Reserve 2013:

The color of this beer is an ominous black with very little light getting through it. There was about a finger of a head after the initial pour that dissipated quickly. Big alcohol legs on this beer as well being at 9.6% ABV.

The smell hits you pretty hard. First, off, there are big bourbon notes in this one. Most of the aroma in this one is of bourbon but you get a mix of malts and even some raisin notes similar to Dogfish Head's Raison D'Etre.

As for the taste, this beer's consistency compares to that of Guiness, light but with big flavors. There is that hit of bourbon right in the beginning. Following that, there is a bit of a coffee aftertaste.

Overall, this is a solid beer that would be perfect for any imperial stout lover.

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Photo of jlindros
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage.

Pours a quite dark colored foamy head that barely covers the beer and fades fairly quickly, spots of lacing, over pitch black thick beer with decent legs too.

NOse brings tons of chocolate, dark chocolate, powdered cocoa, melting Belgian creamy chocolate, then into barrel with lots of nice vanilla, little caramelized oak sugars, and even some straight up bourbon, with a bit of dark caramel and sweet characters, faint hint of booze.

Taste brings more nice bourbon stout characters, starting with a nice mellow bourbon actually, smooth and oaky bourbon with plenty of vanilla again. Then the malts take over, nice chocolate and cocoa powder, baker's choc, a bit of a creamy dark melting chocolate, light roast and coffee but not really acrid. Woody esters come through behind the malt wave, as well as a creamy thick almost nougat like taste, some caramel, and a bit of warming booze as well. Powdered slightly chalky cocoa taste too and a bit of minerality. Finish is drier but a bit sticky, bit more hot booze warmth, more powdered chalky cocoa and some caramel, but also a nice bourbon flavor and bit of vanilla barrel as well as bit of wood flavors all lingering in a complex finish.

Mouth is fuller bodied, lighter but decent carb, thick and creamy with a milky feel, bit of warming booze.

Overall not bad, a nice bourbon barrel character, nice chocolate malt characters, light roast but not a lot, a bit of booze warmth but expected, carbonation could be a little more, but overall decent beer.

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Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
89 out of 100 based on 266 ratings.