1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
very good

468 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 468
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 80
Gots: 126 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 468 | Reviews: 262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GOMECK
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

GOMECK, Aug 09, 2012
Photo of Wowcoolman
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Wowcoolman, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +0.8%

djrn2, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of scottfrie
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2011 release. Thanks for sharing Justin. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours near black with dark brown edges beneath a finger of dark tan head that faded to spotty lace.
S: Boozy nose. I get notes of bourbon vapors, coconut, and caramel, with light notes of oak and vanilla.
T: Very warm alcoholic notes of caramel, roasted coconut and raisins. I get some chocolate in the finish, but the aftertaste reminds me of an ashtray.
M: Full but could be fuller. Medium carbonation and a fairly smooth mouthfeel, although the alcohol is still a bit warm.
O: A solid stout but it’s still a bit young. If this was a tad thicker too it was be perfect. Thanks again QuadrantThree.

scottfrie, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of elgiacomo
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

elgiacomo, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of enelson
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

enelson, May 26, 2012
Photo of Durge
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pitch black, thick as tar brew with a fair light brown film on top and good lacing. The aroma is super serious with whiskey and malty licorice with a nearly mentholated overtone that let’s you know there is some high octane beer involved. Almost smells more like whiskey than beer, but no complaints. Classy and big! The flavor offers a more boozy whiskey malt with a velvetty feel and plenty of licorice sweetness. It’s only a medium bodied brew which was a bit of a surprise, if not disappointing, but the feel is still nice and this offers pleasant carbonation and solid flavor. Nice.

Durge, May 19, 2012
Photo of MystikCelt
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

MystikCelt, May 19, 2012
Photo of ithinkimasofa
4/5  rDev +0.8%

ithinkimasofa, May 17, 2012
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +0.8%

imperialking, May 11, 2012
Photo of MarkIntihar
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

MarkIntihar, May 09, 2012
Photo of Underdogbisco
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Underdogbisco, May 08, 2012
Photo of bsuedekum
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

bsuedekum, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of Rathakem
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Rathakem, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of GlassHalfFull
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic and underrated. Great color with nice lacing. Very slightly boozy, but with nice carmel, chocolate tones. Everything you would expect from a quality bourbon aged stout, but a lot less hype than some of the others.

Bang for the buck, this one is exceptional!

GlassHalfFull, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of mactrail
2.73/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown in the big globe. Modest head with nearly nonexistent lacing. Not a bad nose of vanilla and lots of wood. Fairly flat mouthfeel. Woody flavor, as in seriously barreled. Clearly 10 months is too long. The stuff seems to have lost aromatics and every trace of sweetness.

Certainly drier than nearly every Imperial Stout I've tried. Tastes like they used alcohol to leach out the malt flavors. 2011 version from Royal Liquor in Encinitas. Astoundingly overpriced at $14.99. There are so many booze and barrel flavored beers these days, and most of them are a lot better than this.

mactrail, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of TheCrowsNest
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass, this high-ABV beer forms a thin tan head that fades quickly to a very, very dark brown. A solid oak aroma is immediately present along with a decent amount of vanilla and a little warmth right before the first sip. Most of the roasted bitterness has probably faded in the barrel leaving mostly chocolate and oak. Still some coffee, but it’s hiding behind some vanilla. Finishes with just a little twang. There’s more carbonation in this than it shows in the pour but the finish is a little too quick.

TheCrowsNest, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 3/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours jet black, with a moderate light brown head and nice lacing. Mild aroma of dark fruit and roasted malts, strong bourbon. Taste follows. Bourbon and dark, roasted malts and some dark fruit. Nicely made, but a bit lighter and not as well balanced as some. I'll age one, but might not be complex enough to improve. Certainly worth trying this series each year.

LiquidAmber, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of sommersb
4/5  rDev +0.8%

sommersb, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of pjeezus
1.5/5  rDev -62.2%

pjeezus, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of Lynn
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Lynn, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 23 Nov 2011. 2011 version. Served in the 0.4 L Ulmer Munster snifter.

Small dark brown head. Well carbonated. Very dark brown to black in color. Aromas of roasted burnt malts, bourbon, licorice, chocolate. Flavor is dominated by chocolate upfront. Licorice slowly becomes noticeable, then ethanol warmth from throat to gut. Lingering burnt dark cocoa malts. Full bodied, very warming ethanol.

Decent but a little rough around the edges. Still, reasonably priced for a barrel aged RIS.

htomsirveaux, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of DCgolfpro
4/5  rDev +0.8%

DCgolfpro, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of draheim
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was one of the first barrel-aged imperial stouts I tried, about a year ago - and I remember thinking it was surprisingly good. Now that I've had KBS, Parabola, Abyss... curious what my impressions will be.

22oz bottle (2011) into a snifter. Pours a deep brown/black w/ minimal head that dissipates almost instantly.

Aroma is heavy bourbon, vanilla, hint of chocolate. Some molasses, dark fruit, and earthy nuts as the glass warms up. Mostly bourbon though.

Taste is bourbon, dark roasted malt, vanilla, oak. Warming boozy heat.

Mouthfeel is slick and oily, sticky.

Overall I can't say I'm not enjoying this, but I like bourbon. I feel like the barrel aging was used with less finesse than with some other beers. Bourbon aroma/taste is just overwhelming. Seems like it was used to mask weaknesses/flaws in the beer rather than to enhance what's already there.

draheim, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of portia99
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz (2011 Brewmaster Reserve) gold foiled bottle courtesy of Wasatch - Thanks John!...poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours an almost pitch black color with a thin film of dark tan, slightly fizzy foam that falls quickly to leave behind a thin collar.

S - Thick, sweet vanilla and caramelized sugar up front, bourbon, buttery. The barrel treatment covers much of the base beer's aroma. Really don't pick up much of anything for roasty or otherwise "stout-y" aromas...more or less bourbon and barrel.

T - Roast does come out in the flavor, thankfully. Some coffee, dark roasted grains, a bit of burnt bitterness. Bourbon comes in on top of the roast, a bit boozy tho I wouldn't call this hot. Lots of oak, vanilla and caramelized, burnt sugar - creme brulee topping-like. Really rich barrel flavors here - the vanilla is most dominant, but sweet and sugary flavors abound as well.

M - Quite thick and full bodied. Carbonation is rather low, not quite still, but barely kicking. Feel is soft, creamy and a bit syrupy. Alcohol adds some warmth in the swallow. Vanilla lingers past the swallow to the point that every exhale gives another taste of vanilla. The mouthfeel might be the highlight of this beer...so, so smooth.

O - Wish there was a bit more balance between the stout and the barrel. The bourbon adds a lot to this beer, but really overpowers the base. Seems more like drinking a bourbon that's been cut to reduce its alcohol, but doesn't add anything to it. Enjoyable, but would be so much better if a higher level of roasty, coffee, chocolatey, dark fruit existed...any or all of these would make this much more well rounded.

portia99, Mar 11, 2012
Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
89 out of 100 based on 468 ratings.