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Gonzo Imperial Porter - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Gonzo Imperial PorterGonzo Imperial Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,463 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,463
Reviews: 1,405
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 83
Gots: 146 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
ABV varies.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-04-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,463 | Reviews: 1,405 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by peensteen:
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +4.7%

Nearly jet black, less than a finger of thick white head, some rings of lace around the top of the glass. Smell is of roasted malt, bittersweet and milk chocolate, liquorice, bitter hop and bitter coffee are there as well. Taste is roasty, dark malts, quite hoppy and bitter throughout, chocolate, anise and liquorice are there but seem subtle, some fruit and citrus in the aftertaste with dark malts also got hints of smoke on some sips. Medium carbonation, medium body with some syrupy and creamy points. Really good stuff, ABV nowhere to be found, worth picking up again.

02-11-2012 20:21:08 | More by peensteen
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -1.2%

One of the new big beers popping up around NC thanks to hoppedup for the sample.Poured a deep brown near black color with a mocha colored head.Impressive aromas of smoked malt and wood chips almost like more of a Scottish wee heavy,very nice well rounded flavors headed by the smoked peat and tree bark with a real noticable herbal minty element letting you know the hops are there.Goes down very smooth for how big and robust it is,why cant Flying Dog make more like this?

08-29-2005 02:12:05 | More by oberon
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

3.83/5  rDev -5%

Ralph Steadman's bottle rockets and is a must have for any collector but will the beer inside prove to be more than just a gimcrack and worthy of the $9.50 a four-pack price? Let's see.

As it pours into a poboy's pint glass, my nose is instantly pounded by roasted, no burnt, chocolate malts. There's not much else going on so I let it warm a bit.

There it is: a hint of berries and some tobacco leaf. Still, the overwhelming portion of the aroma, upwards of 95%, is sweet, burnt chocolate malts.

The taste largely matches the nose only chocolatier but it is quickly overshadowed by the powerful mouthfeel.

This Gonzo rips your mouth wide open like an old Batman Comic fraught with: "POWS," "BLAMS," and "SLAPS."

It's so dry that it begins to resemble a Super Tuscan or some other big red in terms of mouthfeel. I'm not sure whether I love it or hate it but I'm sure impressed by it.

Very drinkable, dangerously drinkable even, every sip leaves my mouth thirsty for more. I'm drinking this way too fast.

All in all this beer lives up to the hype and the price, although not by much. Personally, I would like a little more for my cheddar.

Note: I'm currently drinking a bottle purchased on 9-26-05.
I thought that this was a one-off in honor of HST's death so I horded a ton of the first release. Today is 3-6-08. This beer is better than I remembered it. Lots of smoke, plenty of fruit, still well balanced, carbonated, with a great body. Overall, lots more smoke than I remember... Very nice. Oddly...this beer wasn't cellared. It has been in my fridge for over two and a half years...

09-26-2005 16:04:12 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of ricke
ricke

Sweden

3.98/5  rDev -1.2%

A: Pours with a basically black color and quite a big head. Head retention and lacings are quite impressive considering the relatively high ABV in this one.

S: A round and nicely composed smell. Lots of malts with a prominent chocolate character. Notes of dark fruit and vanilla. A pleasant hop kick. The alcohol becomes noticeable as the beer warms up.

T: Lots of malty sweetness with just as much sweet dark chocolate. Big notes of vanilla. Some notes of dark fruits. Very restrained when in comes to roasted malts, which is the main thing setting this one apart from the imperial stouts. Quite a lot of spicy hops. The finish is quite bitter with gentle notes of soy sauce, wood and more somewhat spicy hops. As in the smell, the alcohol becomes more noticeable as the beer warms up. In general, it seems like the flavors get slightly rounder towards the end and the different components seem to get a better fit after a while.

M: Full-bodied, nice smooth mouthfeel and an almost semi-dry finish, but it still manages to leave a sticky feeling in the mouth after a while.

D: I like this beer, I just think it's tasty. However, I've had the opportunity to try the older version a few times, the one with a higher ABV, and it was way better. The older version where more potent, more living and daring, and it had much more character. It's a shame they turned it down a notch, doesn't seem to be in line with the Hunter S. Thompson way of life. Wonder what he would have thought about such rerouting of a bold departure.

07-30-2009 21:30:31 | More by ricke
Photo of abeerdude
abeerdude

California

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

06-22-2012 17:39:12 | More by abeerdude
Photo of ricksrealm
ricksrealm

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

06-05-2012 20:59:34 | More by ricksrealm
Photo of JacobMutberg
JacobMutberg

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

10-09-2012 16:39:03 | More by JacobMutberg
Photo of blackwingedhorde
blackwingedhorde

Virginia

3/5  rDev -25.6%

01-06-2012 05:53:39 | More by blackwingedhorde
Photo of Firefox13
Firefox13


4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

02-06-2013 15:00:19 | More by Firefox13
Photo of newk340
newk340

Wisconsin

3.68/5  rDev -8.7%

A: nearly black, thick pour, with a slight reddish hue, very thin head that quickly dissipates which leaves minimal lacing.

S: like the faint coffee smell, certainly not overwhelming with hints of chocolate and not sour like a porter.

T: pleasant coffee/chocolate initiation fading into a faint sour porter trademark taste on the back end. very interesting combination.

MF/D: sizzle of carbonation that quickly recedes. definitely drinks more like a stout than a porter.

07-14-2010 15:00:10 | More by newk340
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours from the bottle a viscous deep black color with a nice bubbly tan head that lingers atop the brew and leaves strings of sticky lacing as it falls. Wow..hardly any light is getting through this brew. Aromas of dark, toasty roasted malt with some cinammon, cocoa and vanilla. An underlying citric, piney hoppiness is fresh and vibrant..giving this porter a unique nose...pretty heavy on the hops.

First sip brings dark, roasted maltiness featuring chunks of bakers chocolate along with some mild roasted coffee beans. Slight powdered cinammon midway through along with hints of dark fruits and vanilla bean. The brew follows through with a heavy dose of pine needle citric hop oils and finishes slightly chalky on the palate. Quite the enjoyable brew.

Mouthfeel is full with big creamy maltiness. Nice and chewy with a slight dry chalkiness. This brew is amazingly drinkable. I didn't know it was 9.5% until I checked the listing again...alcohol is very well hidden. Sort of reminds me of Alpha Klaus personally...which is definetly not a bad thing. A fitting tribute to the late Hunter S. Thompson (RIP) and probably the best Flying Dog brew I've tried. Thanks to dwvarner77 for bringing a few of these back to IL for me.

07-17-2005 17:24:58 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of blitz134
blitz134

California

3.9/5  rDev -3.2%

Pitch black. Initially had a 1 finger dark chocolate head, that reduced down a only a single bubble thick layer. Not much else, no lacing.

Fairly complex aroma. Semisweet chocolate with toffee and some coffee flavors. Dark fruits come through and present an overall sweet aroma. A bit of alcohol as well, but not overwhelming and certianly doesn't detract from the aroma.

Taste is roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Again sweet dark fruits add a subtleness to the flavor. Definately some alcohol notes come through. The alcohol presents itself with a bit of a burn and its flavor really lingers. Overall a good flavor but this hurts the drinkability aspect of this beer in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is medium or so. Nothing outstanding, but fits the style well. As mentioned above the alcohol flavors hurt the drinkability a bit. Still a tasty beer though.

11-15-2005 04:03:08 | More by blitz134
Photo of sabitu
sabitu

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

04-15-2012 01:18:15 | More by sabitu
Photo of Imaster
Imaster

Sweden

4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

09-13-2013 20:06:33 | More by Imaster
Photo of nickadams2
nickadams2

New York

4.22/5  rDev +4.7%

A_Pours a thick reddish brown with a thick khaki head that dissipates into a thin ring.Spotty lacing.

S_Caramel malt and hops.

T_Caramel,chocolate,coffee,roasted malt. Sweet wit a bitter hop finish. Very different from the on tap version.

M_Thick and chewy. Moderately carbonated.

D_Mouthful but very drinkable for such a high ABV. One of flying dogs best.

09-26-2010 03:08:38 | More by nickadams2
Photo of chOAKbarrell
chOAKbarrell

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev 0%

Thanks to a friend in Kentucky for mailing me this 12oz bottle, since there are none to be found in my area of Maryland.

The first thing I noticed about this thick, black beer is that it has the most beautiful, thick, creamy head on it. It dies down to a manageable height after a few moments. A lovely strong hop aroma greets you, and the taste! Oh my.

It seems there are about 5 different levels to this beer. There's the blast of hops, and the subtle roasty chocolate finish, and inbetween the two are all sorts of things going on that I cant even begin to identify.

The only reservation I have about imperial porters is their very noticeable alcohol scent & taste. But that's a personal opinion and not a reflection on any shortcomings of this beer.

The character illustration on the Gonza Imperial Porter bottle exclaims "Ok! Let's Party!!" And I agree. Pick of a 4-pack of this beer before they're gone.

09-21-2005 23:44:59 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of JasonA
JasonA

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev 0%

Pours an oil slick black. Solid finger of head, not much retnention, lacing present.

Roasted malt, rum raisin

Roasted malt finish, some sweet and bitter, maybe hops.

Sits bitter, sweet ABV

Drinks well for 9.2. The bitter aspect is refrehing for Porters. Much sweeter than most. Ill drink some, but only so much.

08-18-2008 02:36:31 | More by JasonA
Photo of danthehopslamman
danthehopslamman

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

11-07-2012 17:20:18 | More by danthehopslamman
Photo of csmartin6
csmartin6

New York

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

12-08-2012 14:10:27 | More by csmartin6
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.83/5  rDev -5%

12 oz bottle. Pours an opaque black with a smallish fine dark brown head that goes to a thin film and leaves some lacing. Looks pretty thick as it pours out.

The aroma is piney hops, some chocolate, coffee and anise. Smells a little off (alcohol / medicinal?).

The flavor is anise and some slightly sweet chocolate malts initially with a nice bitter hop bite at the finish. The alcohol is very well hidden. The mouthfeel is lighter than I expected. It's still medium bodied and light on carbonation.

Overall, a very fine imperial porter. Plus it's for a good cause...a big memorial fist!

07-29-2005 00:21:14 | More by Beaver13
Photo of FatheadBrew
FatheadBrew

Wisconsin

3.78/5  rDev -6.2%

A: Pours a deep brown with some small ruby highlights. Two fingers of tan head linger decently.

S: I get an earthy/grassy hop aroma along with a hint of alcohol and roast qualities.

T: Sweet taste upfront with a slight alcohol twang. Bitter and hoppy finish with a little roast barley character.

M: Full to medium full with a good level of carbonation.

D: Decent, I could have maybe two or three.

Overall, this was a good beer if you like stronger alcohol beers. The porter flavors get somewhat lost in the strength of it.

12-27-2007 23:54:00 | More by FatheadBrew
Photo of bishopdc0
bishopdc0

Maine

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%

This beer is very dark with a creamy tan head. The smell is hints of chocolate and coffee not to big with some almost root beer aromas. This starts smooth and malty and it takes 3-5 seconds before the roasted barley taste appears. This beer is meant to be drank slowly so it can warm up. It becomes more complex and more flavors appear as it warms up.

02-02-2010 18:56:55 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of bigdipip
bigdipip

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +24.1%

11-21-2011 03:50:36 | More by bigdipip
Photo of Doomcifer
Doomcifer

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%

I'm not a big Flying Dog fan at all, but when I saw they had released an Imperial Porter named after Hunter S. Thompson, I had to pick it up. Besides, I love me a good porter. Looks like I was pouring out my 5,000 mile used motor oil from the bottle. Topped off with a beautiful, creamy, light brown head that sticks to the glass and I was excited!

Smells of dark malts, bitter chocolate, coffee...reminds me of Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. Taste is more of the same yumminess. Dark, roasted roasty malts, bitter chocolate, french roast coffee, finishing off dry and a bit hoppy but nothing overwhelming. Slight alcohol warming going on as well and would be expected from a 9.2% brewha.

This is a HUGE porter, to say the least. And the first Flying Dog beer to impress me. Thoroughly impress me actually. I will be picking up more of this while it's still on the shelf.

10-17-2006 00:40:22 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of iemailjack
iemailjack

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

01-08-2013 03:08:31 | More by iemailjack
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Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 2,463 ratings.