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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.
very good

470 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 470
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 13.6%
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:
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:
Photo of sommersb
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of pjeezus
1.5/5  rDev -62.2%

Photo of Lynn
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

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.

Photo of DCgolfpro
4/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

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.

Photo of piclee
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of 2beerdogs
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to MexicanSkittles!!!

Wow I LOVED this one!
Serving: Bottle
I shared this one at the Bruery Clusterfork in February. Actually liked this one better than the Baller's Stout I brought along.

A: Poured a deep dark brown, very little head, with only a trace left after 10 seconds or so.
N: I got some molasses, roast, and maybe a hint of coconut or vanilla. But the nose was a bit understated.
T: Wow, I really love this beer! Did I already say that? The barrel comes through with a slight alcohol, and bourbon. The flavors that I got up front with the bourbon & barrel were molasses, rich brown bread, and hints of vanilla. But I must state that with each sip I got a different experience of these flavors melding together in a constantly evolving melange. Great beer.
M: Full enough for my palate. I really enjoyed this, almost chewy. Felt good, almost a oily lingering-in a good flavor staying coating your mouth kind of way.

I'll definitely try to get hold of another one these.

Photo of Jparkanzky
3/5  rDev -24.4%

Photo of stakem
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Most recent release (batch 2) big thanks to Joe for sending this bomber unexpectedly my way. Poured into a snifter, it appears black in color with a brown cap about a finger strong. The cap fades to a thin film across the top and leaves spotty lacework on the glass. A light swirl revives a finger back to the surface.

The aroma of this brew includes a strong scent of sweet vanilla and toasty coconut from the barrel aging. A bit of caramel and more of a raw oak character towards the backend. A hint of herbal hops is present as well as a touch of sulfur. It has a light grassy aspect before returning to a dark roasted grain scent that is somewhat of a blend between coffee and chocolate. As it warms up, the sweetness of the vanilla mixes with the roast of the grain and imparts almost a feel of brownie batter scent inside the nose.

The taste is roasty and bold with the alcohol inclusion not hiding at all. The barrel presence starts off soft and smooth with hints of vanilla, coconut and caramel that blends into a bit more harsh character of raw wood and tannic nature that is prickly on the palate. Coffee and chocolate flavors blend into a roasted bitterness that fills out the profile before finishing with a solvent alcohol inclusion. This isn't a bad brew by any stretch, just a little rough around the edges.

Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of this brew is how light bodied it is. Perhaps that is from the high alcohol level but a bit more body would go a long way. With the moderate carbonation seemingly swirling out fairly quick, this brew gets light and watery after only a couple sips. Overall not a bad offering, im glad I got a chance to try it.

Photo of sharpski
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Pencible
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of MASPuros
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased 2-13-2011. Poured from black bottle to pint glass.

A - The beer pours a deep dark brown nearly black color with a huge 2 finger dark brown head. As the beer sits the head slowly fades and turns more of a beige color.

S - The bourbon aroma dominates the nose. A nice roasted chocolate malt is noticeable behind the bourbon with a noticeable heat.

T - Similar to the nose the bourbon flavor strikes first. I found it to be a bit sharp and wonder if I cellared this beer for a while to let it mellow how it'd turn out. My guess is it would be great. The middle of the brew brings a nice roasted malt character with hints of chocolate, vanilla, coffee and alcohol warmth. The beer finishes strong but clean.

M - Full bodied with mild carbonation.

D - It's easy to put down for such a strong beer but again I think it'd be better with a little age.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer. Not my favorite Russian Imperial but it would good. I would buy again, in fact I plan on heading back and picking up another bottle or two to put away. Recommended.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-15-2011 02:45:25

Photo of Birdlegs
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of coldmeat23
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
Big thanks to swillbur for this one! (I've wanted it for awhile.)

This pours up a deep, dark, brown color that, for all intents and purposes, may as well be black. The chocolate brown head of foam is somewhat thin and dissipates quickly, but that's to be expected with a high-octane beer like this one. The lacing is in thin strands and tiny specks, which slide/drag down the oily residue, back to the liquid.

The first scent to hit me is of big chocolate roasted malts. Very nice hints of bourbon. Good vanilla and light oak. Cherries and some other dark fruit sweetness notes. Light traces of espresso beans.

Follows the nose, quite well. Adds a bit of smoke and a good dose of peppery spice.
All of the rest of the scent factors show up again, in the taste.
The bourbon is actually somewhat mild. At least more mild then expected, anyway.

This is barely full-bodied and has an almost medium level of carbonation. As a result it's just barely smooth and has no creaminess to it....a shame, really.

It's good for what it is. Is it representive of it's style? Yes. Are there others out there that are better? Yes. Are there worse? Yes. Would I drink it again? Sure. Would I put effort into seeking it out, next time? Probably not.

Photo of towlea25
1.5/5  rDev -62.2%

Photo of BigE90
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of hoppymcgee
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of Rifugium
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Full Sail, Hood River, OR

Whew, loved this one. Had this during a visit in 2011, but the board listed the ABV as 10.5%, so I'm taking that to mean that this was a vintage keg. Either way, it was great, and one of the better beers I sampled during my week in OR.

Poured a dark black with brownish tints, and a ring of delicate bubbles on top. Aroma thick with bourbon and toffee. My eyes bugged out...I knew this was going to be good. And it was. Taste loaded with toffee, bourbon-drenched oak, and big time vanilla, especially from mid-palate onward. Dark malts and baker's chocolate as a subtle afterthought. Just under full-bodied, alcohol warmth, and quite simply a highly savorable brew that I could sip on all night.

Photo of brentk56
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brewmaster's Reserve 2011

Appearance: A somewhat disappointing appearance, with very little head to cap the dark chocolate colored liquid; rather leggy, however, with dripping dots of foam speckling the side of the chalice

Smell: Bourbon and dark chocolate, with woody overtones

Taste: Dark chocolate and bourbon, up front, with a woody, vanilla character developing by mid-palate; some sourness developing after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation with some warmth in the gullet; the mouthfeel is really thin for the style

Overall: Rather one-dimensional and, with the thin body and hint of sourness developing after the swallow, I have some concerns about how well this will age

Thanks, chumba526, for the opportunity

Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
89 out of 100 based on 470 ratings.