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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

470 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 470
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 80
Gots: 128 | 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:
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 added by: msubulldog25 on 02-02-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 470 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by atowle25:
Photo of atowle25
2.83/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint class, pitch black. Best thing about the beer is the look, not much of a head but looks thick and syrupy. The smell..the smell was nothing but bourbon and booze to me. Perhaps my nose is unrefined, but I didn't detect much else. Very astringent smell to it that I did not like at all. Taste was mostly bourbon upfront with some caramel and maybe even some dark fruits on the finish? Interesting. Slight chocolate taste in there too but everything is overwhelmed by the bourbon.

Too much barrel, not enough beer here. Not my kind of thing, but I'd be curious to try this after it had a few years on it. There are some interesting things going on in the beer that seem very muted by the bourbon. If you like harsh/boozy stouts, you'll probably like this fresh..otherwise I'd steer clear until this mellows out a bit. Has potential, but I would not buy this again unless I planned to sit on it for a while.

atowle25, May 02, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This came out a very dark, almost black stout with wonderful ruby highlights around the edges. The head was moderate and beautifully browned.

Smell – Oh, this is bourbon at its finest. We always have a couple good bottles of bourbon around the house, so when I popped the top on this we passed it around with a few bottles from Bourbon County, Kentucky. They really did hit the mark here.

The rest of the beer was just as pleasant. The malts were very dark but the sweetish whisky and sugars balanced things out nicely.

Taste – The malts were bigger at the taste. They were very crisp. The bourbon was smooth and satisfying. There was also most definitely a light sense of coconut.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied and had a light stingy feel from the high ABV.

Drinkability – If you enjoy bourbon you’ll really like this RIP. If you don’t, get over it and buy a bottle anyway.

Comments – Thanks to skyhand for not only strongly recommending this purchase but for talking me into cellaring this for six months before drinking. Dead right on both counts.

RoyalT, May 03, 2006
Photo of marvin213
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black like it's supposed to be, it looks good. The smell is sweet, but it's Kentucky. Beer aroma analysis has also taught me about bourbon: this beer is aged in Kentucky (not Tennessee) bourbon barrels. It doesn't smell overly sweet, but it does smell like bourbon.

The taste is dark goodness with the flavor of good (but not great) bourbon. This can't be Perry Van Winkle! I'd even prefer Beam. Is it Kentucky Gentleman? The beer and the beer work well together, as it's a legitimate, big-boi RIS aged in bourbonized wood. It can't really compete with the southern (more local? better??) bourbon-aged brews, but it'd be too harsh to say it ain't good.

It seems to me that barrel-aging really thins the mouthfeel. Other than perhaps the BA Old Rasputins, I don't come across chewy bourbon beers. With craft brews what they are today, it's tough for me to rate this one higher than a coffee + infused RIS. Maybe that's unfair, but don't blame me...blame the game. ;^)

marvin213, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of Beaver13
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours an opaque dark brown with a very thin tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin collar.

The aroma is strong alcohol, some figs and creamy chocolate and a little bit of a sour tang. As t warms oakey vanilla dominates.

The flavor is strong bitter alcohol initially and a little bit of sour fruits. Some smoother chocolate malts and coffee and oakey vanilla and cherries come out later. The mouthfeel is smooth full and creamy.

Overall, a bit too much harsh alcohol for me (I'm not a big liquor fan), but it is pretty complex and interesting. It gets better the more I drink of it - smooth and well balanced.

Beaver13, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of Doomcifer
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%

Doomcifer, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of megamass
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

megamass, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of badbeer
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with an off-white head, quickly recedes to a ring around the glass. Sweet bourbon and caramel aromas; bourbon is pretty dominant. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, and roastiness in the taste. Light body with a dry finish; higher end of carbonation. Thanks to cokebottle, or whatever his current name may be.

badbeer, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this at the May Freetail bottle release.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a brown head. The aroma is heavy on the roasted malt with a lot of bourbon whiskey notes. I get some oak, as well as some alcohol and maple.

The flavor is more complex. In addition to the oak and bourbon notes, I get a lot of chocolate, brown sugar and a little bit of dark fruit. The roasted malt is also present but takes a back seat to the chocolate.

Thick mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation. A very nice barrel-aged beer.

Mora2000, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of BigE90
4/5  rDev +0.8%

BigE90, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of jondeelee
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Full Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (2013 release, 9.6% ABV) opens to a rich, smoky, complex, chocolaty, bourbon-laced aroma that is instantly appealing. Bourbon-soaked chocolate bon-bons are perhaps the closest confection in aroma, with their rich, thick milk chocolate and smoky vanilla bourbon notes, but add to that layers of coffee and ash, tobacco and heavy cream, as well as caramel and touches of molasses, and that served with a thick, heavily-toasted slice of rich yeasty brown bread, and you’re getting close. The beer is very nicely balanced, despite the enormity and variation in the aromas, each note playing well off the others. The sugars are especially nice, with fig, date raisin, and lychee fruit esters, lending a port-like quality to the aromas that meshes nicely with the bourbon. In fact, in a blind smelling test, this beer might easily be mistaken for port, especially after it has sat open for a few minutes and the initial heavy bourbon and ash shock has wafted away. As a whole, this smells fantastic.

On the tongue, the beer is very alcoholic, bourbon and port trouncing the tastebuds almost immediately, followed by chocolate liqueur candies, the stout tasting very much like a cognac-filled chocolate treat. Late in the mouthful a few measures of ash and tobacco come through, as well as dollops of brown bread, but it’s mainly the chocolate liqueur candy that dominates, being fairly sweet and containing heavy alcohol vapors. The mouthfeel is, however, strangely light, a watery medium-light at best, making the beer seem like the bourbon barrel aging is responsible for much of the taste in here, and that without it, the stout would only be semi-decent. Aftertaste is ash and tobacco, with lingering sugars and bourbon.

Overall, while the aromas in here were fantastic, the beer didn’t quite live up to its initial promises, and the heavy reliance on bourbon barrel notes ends up making the underlying stout seem weak and watery.

jondeelee, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of Seattle_Suds
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Seattle_Suds, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of HoppySeb
4/5  rDev +0.8%

HoppySeb, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of valkyre65
4/5  rDev +0.8%

valkyre65, May 21, 2013
Photo of daveytheformer
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a thick oily black with a thin tiny tan head that immediately fades to a few spots.

Smells like vanilla, caramel, oak and sweet beautiful bourbon.

Taste a little chocolate and a lot like the aroma. Lots of bourbon and dark malt.

Mouthfeel is honestly little thin for what I'm used to for the style.

Overall is good and probably the best Full Sail beer I've had.

daveytheformer, May 27, 2011
Photo of kevwcamp
4/5  rDev +0.8%

kevwcamp, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a sticky bubbly tan head that fades to a sheet after a bit. There are a few microbubbles that can be seen through the dense body of this beer.

S- The dark sweet malt aroma has notes of raisins and graphite with fresh sweet oak and a slight vanilla note to it coming through. There is a peaty bourbon note that comes through as the beer warms a bit. The notes of sesame seeds becomes part of the malt aroma and Kleenex tissue becomes part of the oak aroma as the beer warms.

T- The black sweetness has some sweet oaky flavors to follow with prune and dried fruit flavors underneath. There is a soft roasted flavor without any bitterness in the finish that turns inky as the beer warms. There is a soft alcohol flavor that combines with it but is not fusel.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slightly slippery texture and a very mild alcohol warmth on the exhale.

D- This is a big smooth great sipping beer that is not really heavy and doesn't have much bitterness to balance the sweeter flavors, but that is ok as the inky flavors come through and the malt isn't overly sweet in itself. This beer starts of with big complex flavors but as the beer warms the flavors and aromas tend to get a bit washed out.

rhoadsrage, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of Reino
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- One finger of mochaccino (yeah, I said it) head rises to the top of my Duvel tulip and recedes to a creamy film atop this pitch black monster. There are only a few spatterings of lacing. Body=great, head and lacing=meh.

Smell- Chocolate, black cherry bourbon, dark fruits, vanilla, caramel, oak, brown sugar... pretty much everything you'd expect from a good bourbon aged stout. The more I smell it, the more the bourbon vanilla and caramel notes dominate.

Taste- Am I crazy or does this taste quite a bit like Cherry Adam from the Wood? I think the reason I'm getting that is the tannins running wild through the rest of the flavors. There are some beautiful bourbon flavors of oak, vanilla, and caramel coming through, but the fruits are more sharp than sweet. Some bitter baker's chocolate is mingling, as well. This needs time to come together.

MF- Full bodied on the lowest end of medium carbonation. The full body doesn't hold up to it's competition, however. I actually think their imperial porter has a fuller body. It's still quite pleasing on the tongue except for those damn tannins clinging where they don't belong. The heat isn't much of a problem for me, but I'm starting to become numb to it after all of these big beers this winter.

Drinkability- It goes down very easy considering the abv, tastes good, but a bomber is enough for me. Time will definitely improve the flavor, but I'm still quite disappointed with this beer. It's a good beer for the style, but I think their Top Sail Imperial Porter is better in every way, and almost more of an Imperial Stout than this is. I'm not an Abyss whore like a lot of people, but when I drop over $10 on an impy stout that's brewed in OR, there are certain expectations, and this didn't live up to them.

Reino, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of pwoods
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Shane(beachbum1975) for sharing this.

A: Pours nearly pitch black with basically no light. Nice sized head with some retention and decent lacing.

S: Plenty of chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and a bunch of hefty alcohol. Some dark fruits in the back and more as it warms, definitely some grapey flavor and maybe some black currants.

T/M: Very nice flavor complexity. Same as the nose with enhanced coconut and great alcohol. Alcohol is great, very hot but very enjoyable. The wood comes through even past the bourbon and adds so much depth. Body is medium to medium full and extremely smooth.

D: It's pretty damn hot but very tasty. Right now the drinkability isn't so great but it'll age beautifully.

pwoods, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

acurtis, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of TheLevi4000
4/5  rDev +0.8%

TheLevi4000, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of CloudStrife
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

CloudStrife, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of switzer
3/5  rDev -24.4%

switzer, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +0.8%

mdaschaf, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of mudbug
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bomber into a standard pint glass results in a heart of darkness black body with a half inch head of tan foam with good retention, nice.
Yow, this one is pungent! Bourbon up front with lots of dark chocolate and espresso and booze, complex and in your face the aroma is outstanding.
Taste is bold, strong chocolate with a bourbon backbone And at the end there is a clean bittering of hops, not as sensational as the smell, but darn good with a nice alcohol warming.
Not as thick as some RIS, not overly chewy, medium bodied for the style.
Overall, this is one very nice Bourbon Barreled RIS all the correct parts are there and I think a few years ageing will put it up another notch. BRAVO!

mudbug, Aug 17, 2011
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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 470 ratings.