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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

474 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 474
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 13.38%
Wants: 81
Gots: 127 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 474 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of doughanson78
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black, nothing getting through. One finger mocha colored head. Good lacing.

S: Chocolate covered cherries. Other dark fruits. Big bourbon aroma. Nice smell.

T: Lots of dark fruits. Cherries, figs, raisins. Big bourbon. Very hot. Needs some age for sure. Light chocolate and coffee aftertaste.

M: Way to thin for a stout. No creaminess.

O: Would be much better with a year or two on it. Although that won't do much for the mouthfeel.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed by the original three wisemen (Nick, Justin, and Peter) courtesy of prospective wiseman Will. Wisewoman Natalia also partook in this tasting, though chose not to review. Poured into 5 snifters.

Appearance: Pours out dark and oily. Not much head, probably due to the barrel aging. What is there is a thin brown halo. No lacing. Body is very dark but shows shades around the outermost edges. Looks like another delicious barrel-aged imperial stout. N: 3.75; J: 4.0; P: 4.0; W: 3.5

Smell: Vanilla bean, blackberries/sour cherries/black cherries/vanilla cherries (we couldn't decide), rich smooth bourbon, dark chocolate. Justin gets astringent (rubbing) alcohol, and is not too thrilled. Peter gets black licorice as well, and Nick and Justin totally agree. Will agrees with Justin that it's quite boozy. N: 4.0; J: 3.5; P: 4.0; W: 4.0

Taste: Lots of vanilla, bourbon, and oak again. Chocolate covered (mushy, sour) cherries in the front and some coffee in the finish. Bourbon comes through big in the end with a nice boozy burn. Also some smoke and ash in the aftertaste. N: 4.0; J: 4.0; P: 4.0; W: 4.0

Mouthfeel: Nick says wine-like, and the other wisemen concur. Much lighter than other imperial stouts we've come across. Mouth coating not that great, especially for a barrel-aged stout. Dry and slick. Good, but a little lacking. N: 3.0; J: 3.33; P: 3.5; W: 3.0

Drinkability: This one did not blow us away, but it was definitely worthwhile and pretty easy to drink for a bourbon-barrel aged RIS. Not really addictive or mouth-watering but good. For 10.5%, damn pretty damn easy. N: 4.0; J: 3.5; P: 4.5; W: 4.0

Wiseman Nick: B+ (3.85)
Wiseman Justin: B+ (3.78)
Wiseman Peter: B+ (4.00)
Prospective Wiseman Will: B+ (3.80)

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 vintage, only 9.6% as opposed to 11.4. Also this is the first time i've seen this in NJ? Anyway, I've been loving everything full sail lately so I'm hoping this lives up to what I've been having. Pitch pitch black with a half inch of head even with a vigorous pour. Lots of bourbon and chocolate on the nose. Oak and vanilla under it all.

Big bourbon flavor. Vanilla sweetness up front followed by rich chocolate flavor. Spicy oak finish. Nice underlying bitterness on the finish balances the bourbon sweetness that you find throughout the beer. For such a big brash beer, the flavor are layered extremely well, and, typical full sail quality, extremely clean. Probably the cleanest bourbon barrell flavored imperial stout i've ever had (full sail trademark) As the beer opens up a bit you get a bit more malt. For such a big beer its also kind of simple but in a good way. Flavors are quick layered and concise and work well together. Bourbon is a little strong, but laying it down for a couple months might help it fade a bit. Seriously though, good, drinkable, flavorful, simple, and clean is the best way to describe this. Massive body. with thin but steady carbonation.

Photo of colts9016
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour this into a pint glass at 51 degrees.

Appearance: A dark jet black color in the body of the beer. There was a one finger head that last all but a second. There is effervescence in the beer but only visible by it bubbling on the top of the beer. The clarity of the beer is a black as the black hole.

Nose: The first initial aroma was a bourbon glass. There is a very nice dark roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, and phenols. There are hints of alcohol, raisins and a port like aroma.

Taste: A very rich dark roasted malt, espresso, dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, alcohol, and a burnt character. There are hints of phenols, floral, raisins and sap.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonated, rich and creamy. The body of the beer is thick and chewy. The finish lingers for a long while on the palate. This is a refreshing wonderful tasting and easy drinking beer. When I was pouring this beer I could smell the bourbon on the beer like you have been drinking it on the rocks. For it being a RIS, I am a little down on the fact there are not some hops competing with the flavor of the beer. The beer is well rounded, the aged in wood barrels gives this beer some depth. I really like this beer but slightly disappointed in the fact that I was expecting a great RIS aged in a wood barrel; nonetheless it is a very tasty brew.

Photo of elgiacomo
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2011 vintage. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours black with a small brown head that quickly recedes to a wispy cap, leaves nice spotty lacing behind.

Aroma is a bourbon bomb, tons of bourbon, a lot of vanilla and oak, and I reckon there is a stout under there too, featuring dark fruits, anise, roasted malts, and a bit of chocolate and coffee, a lot of sinus-clearing alcohol as well. Very good strength.

Flavor generally mirrors the aroma. Big-time bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, coffee, anise, dark fruits, some caramel, molasses and toffee, moderately sweet, minimal bitterness, noticeable alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied, but a tad thin for the style, very creamy, smooth, light carbonation.

If you like bourbon-heavy stouts, this is a must-try. Huge beer. I love me a barrel-aged stout, but this one could almost use some toning down as it ends up overpowering the rest of the beer. Still, really, really good stuff. Glad to have had a chance to try it. Probably should have sat on it a bit longer, but I got impatient. I’m sure this would age like a champ.

Photo of sommersb
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of ksimons
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 Release 9.6%ABV

A-silky black with about a fingers worth of tan head that leaves a layer of lace

S-you can really smell the bourbon in this beer! Roasted malt, dark chocolate, and vanilla round things out

T-the taste is also full of bourbon which kind of masks the rest of the flavors, which include slightly roasted malt, mocha, light molasses, vanilla, and light spicy alcohol. Alcohol is nicely blended in.

M-actually kind of thin body and carbonation, bourbon sweetness left on the tongue

Overall sort of disappointed. Was really excited to try this, but after the smell the beer kind of went downhill. Not enough body or flavor beyond bourbon to give it much depth.

Photo of BcOneSeven
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of jkane101
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of BillHilly
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of csustar001
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black as an imp stout should be. Head is a tad thin but nice lacing.
Smell: Oh man. Bourbon and wood. That nice creamy oak smell of a barrel ageing done right.
Taste: more of the same goodness. Not that complex, but smooth bourbon stout.
Overall: snagged this when I couldn't get a whole case of abyss. Glad I did.

Photo of megamass
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

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

Reviewed from notes

Black pour with a finger of head. Aroma is some nice toffee and oak from the barrel aging on top of a hoppy, sweet base.

The flavor is huge on vanilla from start to finish. Surely a byproduct of the barrel aging. Underneath is a bit of dry cocoa and some citrus hoppiness. Fairly sweet but not cloying.

The body is medium and carbonation has a bit of a sting. Overall, I am definitely impressed by this beer. The vanilla aspect is especially noteworthy.

Photo of RMoeNay
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of scottoale
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber with a single half-wrap black, gold and white label and thin gold foil over the cap. It pours into my Duvel tulip a very dark brown with a solid two-finger ivory-brown head. Good carbonation is visible, head retention is fair and some nice sticky web lace clings to the glass initially.

The aroma is dynamite, with sweet barrel-aged goodness. Lots of sweet caramel malt, molasses, vanilla, oak, charcoal and of course, bourbon. Could sit and smell this stuff all day long.

The flavor is just as it smells with big malty sweetness and rich tones pulled from the bourbon barrels. Good depth with sweetness, oakiness and a very mild booziness. A beautiful balance with the charcoal adding to the bitter, mildly warming finish. Very well done here.

On the lighter side of full bodied, pretty smooth all around mouthfeel and a barrel-aged licorice like aftertaste that satisfies. A solid brew for this style, not the biggest but certainly up there with the best. Oh so drinkable, really wish I had more of this tasty stout...seek it. Thanks to travisd13 for sending me this gem!

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.

Photo of kirok1999
4.57/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been waiting for this one for a while and my patience just gave out. Pours a clear black, just a little garnet around the edge of the glass and a slight dark head.
Smells like chocolate candy. Yeah, that's it.
Taste is phenomenal. It's like chocolate cake batter in a glass. Maybe you think that's bad but in this case it is wonderful. I honestly don't know how they get that much sweet chocolate taste out of 4 basic ingredients. It's thick, lush and creamy. Sweet in other ways than chocolate, caramel, slight fruit notes. The bourbon comes through in a rich aftertaste that warms beautifully. There is no way I could think of to improve the taste so it got a 5.
Easy enough to drink but the chocolate might make it hard to drink too much of it.
Simply wonderful. Why can't I brew beer like this?

Photo of djre4orm
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of Lynn
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of RuckusDu
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Black Gold Imperial poured a viscous oil color with a single finger foam head that dissipated pretty quickly. Not much in the way of lacing. The bottle came in a cool black and gold label with gold foil on the top.

The smell initially was all oak and bourbon. As it warmed and went on I could pull out some molasses and vanilla. The taste was nice but to me but less complex than what i was expecting. You got the burn of the 10.5 abv, the slight coffee bitterness and oak and bourbon. It was thin to me in relation to other imperial stouts I have tried. It was almost an imperial porter with its thin-ness. Overall not a bad brew but has a little way to go to get to the top of the class.

Photo of Birdlegs
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of klewis
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with a small bubbly head that subsides to a thick halo. No lacing.

S: Plenty of bourbon with a light oak smell. Lacking the aromas typically expected from a stout.

T: Strong bourbon taste with oak and vanilla up front. Flavors of anise and semi-sweet chocolate creep into the mix as the heat subsides. An interesting and complex flavor that takes several seconds to fully experience.

M: Full-bodied and thick with light carbonation. Sticky and viscous.

D: The bourbon is a bit over the top and makes this one a bit rough to drink, but otherwise, a damn fine beer.

Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
89 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.