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

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Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

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.

Added by msubulldog25 on 02-02-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 268 | Ratings: 505
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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Photo of Brewasaurus
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Very dark, no light getting through. Kind of a weak pour, but a very thin, dark brown head, which recedes quickly.

S: Smells sweet of bourbon, but not very overpowering. I can't really detect any other scents.

T: Initial hint of sweetness that builds over time, but it seems to have a little bit of sourness. Not much roasted malt flavors, but some caramel and chocolate, but not overly prominent. Finishes with a nice bit of bourbon.

M: Quite nice, very thick mouthfeel, with a small amount of carbonation.

O: Overall I wasn't thrilled with it, but it was above average. If not for the sour-like flavor, I'd rate it a bit higher. Not bad for the style, but definitely not a top-tier BBA stout. I'd get it in a pinch, but it wouldn't be on my 'must buy' list.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottling

A: into a large snifter, ink black body with slim milk chocolate-colored head; sparse motes of lace left behind

S: bourbon whiskey, chocolatey malts and vanilla

T: bourbon soaked bittersweet cocoa, airs of vanilla and oak; cold, semi-sweet espresso coffee and hints of anise. Big on the bourbon.

M: slippery and relatively thin for an Imperial stout, reasonably dry, not too sticky; smooth - no astringence or alcohol burn of any sort.

O: a well-delivered bourbon barrel-aged stout - nothing ground-breaking, but completely enjoyable, even if not in the big leagues. Warms nicely, and makes for a very relaxing drinking experience. Definitely worth a buy for all BAs and fans of the style and barrel-aging in general.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.02/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I had to do some googling to make sure I was reviewing the correct beer. My bottle does NOT say "Black Gold"; it simply says "Imperial Stout Bourbon Barrel Aged" on a black and gold label. I've confirmed that this beer is indeed Black Gold - albeit an alias thereof. Brewmaster Reserve 2013. Price was $10.99 at a local SoCal beer store. 9.6% ABV. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded black pressure cap served into a flared tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are low; I'm not a fan of Full Sail - but then I've only had their Trader Joe's beers for the most part.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head of decent cream, decent thickness, and poor (<1 minute) retention. No lacing on the sides of the glass. Body colour is a solid dark black. Nontransparent; opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Typical of the style, but nothing stands out. There's nothing unique or special here, but there are no overt or obvious flaws. Generally appealing.

Sm: Light vanilla and buried light oak - but they come off somewhat artificial; this is not good bourbon barrel aging. Cream. Dark malts. It's shockingly bland for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. An average strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

T: I like the simple vanilla notes. Unobtrusive dark malt foundation. The bourbon aspect is nice, but it's rather one-dimensional and simple for a bourbon barrel stout. Where's the complexity and subtlety? Some cream. No real oak. It's balanced, but it's unbelievably simple. I like it, but it's wanting. No yeast or alcohol comes through, though my stomach does get a bit warm after consumption. Any hopping is minimal.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit of cream. Decent body. Decent carbonation. Good thickness.

Dr: Very drinkable for a barrel aged imperial stout, admittedly. But it has none of the complexity or subtlety I want from the style. It's as neutral, muted, and simple as an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels can be. This would make a great introduction to the style, but it's not for those of us who have had the greats. Overpriced for what it is. Comparatively, it may be Full Sail's best beer - but that isn't saying much. I might try it on-draught if there's no better option, but it's rather forgettable stuff. Still, it's better than I expected. ABV isn't well hidden. Overall, this is about as mundane a bourbon barrel imperial stout as you'll ever find.

Low C+

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Photo of rickyleepotts
3.32/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I am stoked to review this beer. Full Sail doesn't usually impress me, but they released a Doppelbock a few weeks ago that I just loved. I have also been reading this one is pretty impressive. They release this beer every two years, and age it for quite some time in the barrels. You know me and barrel aging… I am sick of the trend. However, I have realized that brewing companies are not going to stop, and I need to embrace it. So consider this my first barrel aged embraced brews! I hear that some brewing companies, Lost Abbey included, are going to start aging beers in tequila barrels. That sounds interesting.

This beer used to be called Black Gold, and said Black Gold on the label. The bottle that came out this year does not say that, but I have confirmed, with Full Sail on Twitter, that this is in fact the same beer. Not sure why they leave off the name… but I am excited to drink it. Today is a big day, too. We are leaving here and gong to the Skeptical Chymist for some Firestone Walker 16th Anniversary on draft, then over to Whole Foods for some special release beer from Mikkeller. Just a beer filled Friday night.

Let's try the Full Sail Imperial Stout Bourbon Barrel Aged. Black Gold sounds so much better!

In the Glass: The beer is pitch black and pours like mud. Well, not quite… but close! It is thick, produced a huge head, and just sits there begging to be consumed. There is an incredible lace, too. This is so pretty, I just want to look at it. Nah, forget that… let's drink!

Nose: I could smell this as I was pouring it. Not the beer… the bourbon. They are not hiding the fact this is barrel aged. That's for sure. The beer is malty and there is almost too much bourbon on the nose. As much as I don't want the beer to taste like that, I kind of hope that it does! For beer that is less than 10%, it sure doesn't smell like it. Let's drink!

Flavor: At first, I was asking myself, "Where is the bourbon?" Then, out of nowhere, it hits you. Then it's ALL bourbon and slides down smooth. It is WAY too cold, but I almost got a pint out of it. This will last me for a little bit. On my second sip, I swished it around in my mouth, and while it adds a little bit of flavor, but not much. To be honest, it tastes better without doing that. Each sip this beer does get better, and as it heats up, I am sure it will get better. The mouthfeel might be the best part of this beer.

Mouthfeel: At first, there isn't much going on. When the beer hits the back of the palate, it explodes with the bourbon flavor and slides down smooth. Now that I think of it, the nose might be the best part of this beer. The best part of the mouthfeel is the finish, as the bourbon really fills your mouth. There are no bubbles here, and unless you force them, it just slides down. (I just burped… and with the burp comes the bourbon. Not the best flavor I have seen in a barrel aged beer.)

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is nice, and has a nice smooth finish that begins to dry as you continue to swallow. But for a beer that is $11.99, I expect more flavor. I wonder if the barrel aged porter is any better… not sure I am willing to spend $11.99 to find out. Of course, I will have to wait until next year to even try that one. Like I said, this will probably get better as it heats up, but this is not a beer worth writing home about.

This is our last Full Sail beer on the list, and I am OK with that. Their beers never really impress me, and this one is no exception. It's good… but for the amount of time that this beer sits in a barrel, I had a higher expectation on the flavor. Oh well, on to the next bottle!

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Photo of Kevin73
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I tried the older 9.6% ABV variety. Appearance wise it wasn't the most appetizing beer. A brisk pour produced a very thin head that disappeared quickly. The smell was typical of most bourbon barrel aged beers (and bourbon in general) with brown sugar, vanilla, oak and caramel, so nothing surprising there. You expect an imperial to have more of everything. Hops are in the flavor but are very weak. There are notes of roasted malts; coffee, chocolate, dried fruit, almost like a dark ale. The beer was unusually boozy for being 9.6%, which makes me wonder if it's not mislabeled. Very strong alcohol burn. Overall I didn't dislike the beer--it's hard to not enjoy a bourbon barrel beer--but it came on a bit too strong and wasn't as well balanced as it could be.

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Photo of ZRBE
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had me up until the aftertaste. A tad too bitter, a little burnt. A bit boozy, sure, but I don't see what the fuss is. Yeah, it's no tight rope walker, but the balance isn't terrible. Still, things do start in one direction and then move quickly towards another. Nice smooth, bourbon start, then a hard left towards booze and bitter. A little time would do this well. Not something I'm going to seek out often, but I'm not complaining.

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Photo of SkeeterBoganski
2.77/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

2012 vintage at 9.6% abv

A - this beer pours a deep black with a khaki colored head that fades rapidly; very minimal carbonation present

S - bourbon, a touch of rubbing alcohol, peat, subtle hints of vanilla; how this beer is under 10 when all I can smell is booze is beyond me

T - the taste of this beer reflects the nose to a tee...the bourbon barrels used have apparently taken over the entire base; the rubbing alcohol notes are unpleasant; I'm happy with the ruffles chips flavors that are in my mouth

M - speaking of mouth, this beer is probably highlighted here: the feel is decent, reasonably carbonated, even drinkably smooth; however, the bitter alcohol flavors leave a sting on the tongue

O - this is a pretty disappointing beer; basically, I paid $11 for a bottle of rubbing alcohol stout; I will try and let it warm and hope for the ability to finish, but I see a drain pour in my future.

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Photo of Charlie_Hoss
2.78/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

I figured I would write my first review on this beer to explain why I gave it such a low rating because I would like to think I like "most" craft brews.

2013 vintage poured into a DFH signature glass, Split between three people.

A: Poured into my glass moderately aggressive and poured a small, quickly diminishing, khaki head. Decent black color, probably one of the most appealing aspects of this beer. (great label, I can sometimes go for bling)

S: Upon initial smell I could smell bourbon,anise, and some fruit and I had high hopes it would be a tasty brew.

T: This is where everything went wrong. Maybe I was serving it too cold but my first sip tasted like fruity soy sauce. I waited for it to warm hoping this would change. It only moderately mellowed and I could not finish my glass (and I absolutely hate to pour beer). One of my friends felt the same, the other liked it, as taste is obviously one's opinion.

M:Very watery and thin, this was one of the biggest disappointments. I was hoping I would be pleasantly surprised but this just wasn't it.

O:Really disappointed in this one. I had high hopes for a barrel aged stout at $11 that was easily available. This was just not it. I will stick with Uinta Labyrinth as one of the best affordable barrel aged stouts that flies under the radar. Cheers

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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.

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Photo of themind
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bourbon bomb anyone? I had high hopes for this brew since it was aged for 12 months in Kentucky barrels. That said it's a bit unbalanced, the bourbon taste is dominant and the flavors don't seem to mesh well. Overall I would say it's an average BB stout. Kudos to the brew master for his efforts but they have fallen slightly short in this case.

Bottom Line: As the beer warmed it became more enjoyable, worth a try.

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Photo of Gavage
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a black color with a short wispy head.

Smell: bourbon and vanilla are up front and pleasant.

Taste: roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, prunes, alcohol, and a moderate bitterness make the main flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Light crisp to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Dryness arrives late. Long aftertaste as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Overall: a slow drinking beer that is a bit boozy. The bourbon flavors are pleasant but a bit more roasted malt tones are needed here. The stout qualities are a bit mild.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.13/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had the 2006 vintage years ago and never reviewed it, whiskey bomb but it was only $4. This 2013 vintage cost me $12.49 and if I wasn't on a bourbon barrel kick lately I would never have paid it. I wish I hadn't. Typical black color with a nice off-white head that left a little cream at the top.Aroma is a complete whiskey bomb with a couple notes of wet wood. was hoping for vanilla and coconut like Firestone Walker but all I could detect was Crown Royal and Jack Daniels. Flavor was sort of thin but heavy on the alcohol. There really wasn't a good malt backbone and I feel like the barrel just destroyed the base beer. Disappointing.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from 2011 courtesy of Leschkie. Thank you for the opportunity Kurtis. Poured to ride the storm out...Kevin Cronin style.

Into my Darkness snifter pours a nice deep black with some darker brown highlights along the edges when backlit. Head is nearly non existent, which isn't overly shocking. The collar is rather uneven with spotty bubbles here and a thin ring there. Some splotchy spatter dots the glass.

Barrel aging is certainly evident as the nose is straight vanilla and bourbon. Not overly complex, but nice none the less.

Vanilla is quite prevalent right from the get-go. Charred paper, dark chocolate, and some spiciness from the bourbon. The heat from the barrel weaves throughout and while not overbearing certainly makes itself known. A drizzle of melted caramel towards the finish is met with drying cocoa and vanilla ice cream at the back end. The flavors really work well together and the 11.4% is never off putting, which is nice when trying to tackle this with just the mildest of assistance from the wife.

If this beer has flaws, it's right here. The mouthfeel is really thin and while the carbonation is a bit high, the body seems to suffer from the barrel aging.

Overall, I have fond memories of drinking Full Sail in Missoula when this bear roamed those parts and it was a pleasant surprise to find this tucked amongst some giants in the box from Kurtis. Were this beer to have a thicker and more luxurious feel, well hell this would be a real under the radar gem. As is, it's a very nice BA Stout that does quite a bit well. What I had anticipated taking long enough to watch the beginnings of Snowmageddon has evaporated all too quickly.

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Photo of birchstick
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 reserve. Pours black into the glass without much of a head on it. Nose consists of chocolates, bourbony vanilla, and a little molasses. Taste starts off with chocolates that move on to a bit of bourbon spiciness. Ends with the chocolaty bourbony spiciness that was prevalent throughout. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and a little luxurious taboot. Overall, this is a really nice bourbon barrel aged beer with a good amount of flavor. Recommended if you like barrel aged stouts.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to leschkie for this beer from an IP trade! Thanks Kurtis!

poured into tulip glass.

vintage 2011.

reviewed from notes taken tonite.

Appearance: black bodied beer with a light to medium brown frothy cap.

Smell: Bourbon forward with some hints of oak. Roasty coffee and vanilla. Very similiar to GI BCBS. Yep...I just said it!

Taste: Big bourbon and oak. A mix of slightly bitter coffee and sweet tabacco. Some chocolate chip cookies in the middle of the beer also. Finishes with a mild sweet vanilla note. As this beer warms the booze becomes more apparent and the tabacco notes intensify.

Mouthfeel: at the high end of a medium bodied beer with low carbonation levels. Its almost got a syrupy mouthfeel, but not quite.

Overall: This is an under the radar beer. Its getting close to BCBS territory in the nose, taste, and mouthfeel just not a big and boozey. Besides the heavy tobacco notes as it warms the similiarity is almost scary. Its an amesome beer that deserves more credit than what its been given!

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Photo of riored4v
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 release which says already aged for 10 months from 2008. Reviewed 10/26/12

Poured a pitch black, mildly thick body. 1/2 finger, brown head. Mild clinging to the glass.

Aroma was pretty solid. Good solid notes of vanilla and oak. Lots of bourbon with a really smooth chocolate and roast aroma. Dark fruits and raisens. Really nice aroma on it.

Taste was very mellow and smooth. Huge amounts of vanilla and bourbon upfront than turned to chocolate and more dark fruits. Prunes and raisens especially. Some good roast in there as well, but all the flavors have blended extremely nice. Mild bitterness on the finish. Alcohol is very subdued for 10.5%

Mouthfeel lack a bit for such a big beer. While its nice to have it feel lighter, the flavors scream to be a big, thick, chewy stout. Medium/heavy body with a medium carb and a fairly dry finish. Wished it was more chewy.

Overall this was a really pleasant beer to drink. Flavors blended amazingly and it was very smooth overall. Loved the big vanilla and bourbon flavors.

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Photo of spicelab
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber with big thanks to MrKennedy for sharing. Reviewed from notes.

Jet black with a dark tan head. Decent retention and some spotty lacing. Nice alcohol legs on swirling.

Coconut, cherry-ripe, oak, milk chocolate. Pretty straightforward stuff.

Tar, scorched treacle, chocolate fudge, mild plastic and somewhat detached dry roast character.

Pretty light for the ABV, but otherwise a generally orthodox smooth and velvety RIS mouthfeel.

Yeah nice enough, but rather one-note. For a big, barrel-aged RIS, that is somewhat damning.

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Photo of billab914
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into my CBS glass. Close to black in color with a thin tan lacing scattered across the top of the beer. Decent retention and lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a really good oak and bourbon presence to it. I get some notes of chocolate and a touch of coffee as well. The bourbon barrel dominates a little, but it's a really rich and smooth flavor overall.

The taste shows a lot of the bourbon barrel influence. Oak, vanilla, brown sugar and bourbon all come out. The finish is where more of the darker, roasted malts start to come out. The bourbon is very smooth. The base beer feels a little overshadowed, but the flavors overall are very good. It really comes together well and the flavors really compliment each other.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being low. The carbonation is well done but it could have been a little heavier feeling overall. Overall, it was a really good beer. Everything came together very well and it had some great flavors to it. The barrel aging was very well done. The beer flavors could have been a little bolder, but overall I thought it was a really good beer. It definitely exceeded my expectations this evening.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Glencairn glass. 2nd edition.

A: Pours viscously, with no head. Opaque and completely black.

S: Big, dark, bourbon-filled, flat malt. Sugars, milky, nice. Smells like a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. I'm reminded of Dragon's Milk.

T: Good! Chocolate malt, sweet-thick body, lightly bitter (dark chocolate), with strong vanilla. Basically no hops. Aftertaste is bitter-sweet, sticky, and not the best part of the beer.

M: Thick and smooth, if a touch flat.

O: Solid imperial stout. Never transcendent, but not really disappointing. Would have again, if not recommend.

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Photo of Kopfschuss
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brewmaster Reserve 2009 10.5%, bottle poured into a Westmalle chalice.

Appearance: Pours a near opaque black with a brown crown. Thin mocha head that dissipates quickly as this is a BA beer. Looks delicious.

Smell: Chocolate stikes first and strongly. Dark fruit, leather, slight sherry notes accompanied by black licorice.

Taste: Again, chocolate is strong in the beginning and is quickly transformed into the aforementioned aromas with the addition of the bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee, and a slight soy sauce taste.

Mouthfeel: Coats the mouth with a more than average viscosity and lingers on the palate well. Carbonation is good for the style.

Overall: I was excited to give this a try when I found it off the shelf at a local bottle shop with trusted storage conditions. This beer has more redeeming qualities that flaws, however, for me this beer is past its' prime. Most likely will not seek again unless from a different vintage.

Other notes: I don't enjoy the taste of soy sauce in beer.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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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 268 ratings.