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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial PorterBarrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

648 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 648
Reviews: 321
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 139
Gots: 115 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: DogFood11 on 04-14-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 648 | Reviews: 321 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by charlzm:
Photo of charlzm
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle is labeled "BAG Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter" and the artwork does not match any of the variations listed here on BA. Huh.

Poured into a Bruery tulip, the liquid is just one shade of brown lighter than black. Opaque . A two-finger dark tan head forms during the pour and settles down soon into a think skin and a slightly sticky crown. Some sheeting.

Aroma is all bourbon. Well, there might be a hint of vanilla and chocolate.

Flavor is salty bourbon with a chocolate malt base. Not especially bitter, but what there is reminds me of coffee. Again, tiny hints of vanilla and chocolate. Not very complex, disappointingly.

Mouthfeel is a little smooth and a little creamy but thinner than anticipated.

This is a step up from the standard Gonzo, to be sure, but only a small one. Not the complex bourbon bomb I was expecting.

charlzm, Nov 12, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic a near pitch black except for ruby highlights when held to the light,a fluffy one finger toasted almond colored head atop that stuck like glue to the glass.A mix of toasted oak,roasted nut,and bitter chocolate in the nose,a great mix,quite rich.Flavors have a buttery and burnt element to them intertwined with some vanilla,black licorice, and wood,the wood really lingers in the finish.Smooth and full this beer is rich and a bit of a sipper but its really a niced oaked Baltic porter.

oberon, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.03/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Many thanks to John for this birthday treat. Aged in my cellar for about 5 months before consumption.

Appearance: Nearly black-brown body with cherry hues and a brown head.

Aroma: Dark chocolate, some boozy woody notes, a decent amount of piney hops, and pinches of vanilla and rum.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Boozy. Astringent. Thick. Well, strike that, aggressively carbonated. Needs more time to mellow but still offers some booze soaked chocolate covered cherry sort of notes and some whiskey flavor that I don’t mind too much. Molasses and charcoal. Lacks cohesiveness.

Drinkability: Low. I couldn’t finish more than a half bottle by myself if I tried. With time, I think this would improve a bit.

DaPeculierDane, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, almost black. A small beige head that settles quickly and leaves minimal lacings.

S: Not as powerful as I had hoped. The bourbon dominates with notes of oak and vanilla. Some fresh fruity notes as well. Smooth roasted malts and chocolate in the background.

T: The taste is fairly sweet with bourbon, almonds, vanilla and oak on top of a mildly roasted malty backbone with notes of chocolate and a hint of coffee. A fresh fruity note in the taste as well. The finish is mildly bitter with notes of wood and warmin bourbon-like alcohol.

M: Medium to full body. I would have liked some more carbonation and a slightly smoother mouthfeel.

D: I really like the regular Gonzo, but was not overwhelmed by this one. It wasn't as powerful as I had hoped for and the bourbon takes over slightly too much. But it's still a good beer and I liked it.

ricke, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of ricksrealm
4/5  rDev -3.4%

ricksrealm, May 25, 2012
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine June 2007.

What happens when you age Gonzo Imperial Porter for three months in Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey barrels? This beer.

To call this "opaque black" would be an understat- ment. Its crown is a massive foam head that rises three to four fingers in height and takes an eternity to settle; but as it does, traces are left behind. Aroma is roasty, with layers of wood, chocolate, burnt raisin, vanilla and an oaky sourness. "Smooth" would be an understatement, too--this beer is silky and fluffy on the palate, but what lies beneath is not: an acrid roastiness that sharpens the deeper you quaff. Flavors or coffee, brownie, wood, juicy ripened raisins and earth also come into play. Nice back note of caramel, too. Oak flavors blend with the roasted characters, exaggerating the sharpness a bit more and giving it a raw and green twang. Notes of whiskey only become detectable as the beer warms, residing for the most part within the retro-olfaction alcoholic fumes and the lingering semi-boozy and spicy finish.

Personally, the fact that the whiskey is subtle is nice, but Wild Dog seems to be a bit over-carbonated--which tends to lift and displace many of the beer's po- tential nuances off the palate. Overall, though, this is a tasty treat from the wood meant for a snifter at room temperature, which is when this beer really opens up.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark black pour with a two finger bubbly tan head on top. Nice retention as well. Aromas of dark malts with good chocolate accents. Slightly roasty with big oaky, whiskey scents throughout. Some dark fruity notes and a touch of hops in the background.

First sip brings a smooth roasted maltiness upfront. Real nice chocolate flavors move in with a touch of coffee as well. A note of dark fruits flows into a bold, oaky, woody flavor. As it goes down the whiskey comes in even more. Finishes off smooth with a touch of bitterness. Quite nice. Lingering whiskey on the end.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Medium body with good carbonation. Quite easy drinking and tasty for a 9.5% abv brew. Overall, a tasty barrel aged brew that does go over the top with the barrel flavors. I'm glad I bought one of these when I saw it.

orbitalr0x, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

DaftPatrick, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4/5  rDev -3.4%

SmellsofMahagony, May 22, 2013
Photo of Britton
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Britton, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of megamass
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

megamass, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Jason, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of mctizzz
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

mctizzz, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of reitzbrewing
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

reitzbrewing, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank to Exiled for sharing this 1-liter hand bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the bourbon and chocolate with the slightest bit of soy sauce. The flavor is chocolate, oak, bourbon and vanilla. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An excellent barrel-aged beer.

Mora2000, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of ryancl
4/5  rDev -3.4%

ryancl, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of magictrokini
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Holiday Wine Cellar. Pours dark brown, nearly black, with a thick brown head. Beautiful roasted chocolate, nuts, leather, and whiskey in the nose. Velvety mouthfeel. Incredible taste. Blended cocoa, vanilla, bourbon, oak, smoke, and roasted malt. This beer alone redeems all the other overrated Flying Dogs I've paid too much for.

magictrokini, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of ehammond1
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A dark brown with a thin light brown head. Nice webbing and sticky lacing down the glass.

The nose is really this beer's best characteristic. There's a lot of chocolate, sweet caramel, roasted malt, and a warm bourbon presence.

The flavor is very similar to the nose but I think the alcohol is just a touch too hot and holds a little too much presence. The sweet caramel, toffee, and sweet malts are all still delicious, though they're hidden a touch by the barrel aging process.

Medium bodied.

A really delicious and interesting sipper. An interesting beer. Nothing something I could drink huge quantities of, but a really good bourbon barrel aged porter.

ehammond1, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark oily black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of tan head that quickly fades away. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A rich, sweet, and roasty dark aroma with big whiskey barrel hints. Upfront barrel scent with hints of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Dark roasted barley malts with hints of sweet chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee, burnt toast, biscuit, grains, smoke, and yeast. Sweet hints of burnt molasses and syrup. Dark fruit hints of dark cherry, raisin, and prune. Hints of booze as well. A very good rich aroma.

Taste: As rich as it smells, a sweet and roasty dark taste with a big barrel presence. Big barrel taste upfront with notes of bourbon whiskey, sweet vanilla, oak, and wood. Dark roasted barley malts with notes of sweet chocolate, coffee bean, burnt caramel, toffee, toast, smoke, biscuit, grains, and yeast. Sweet syrupy taste of burnt molasses along with a little anise. Undertones of dark fruit with notes of raisin, dark cherry, and prune. A little taste of booze also. A very good dark and rich taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, creamy, syrupy, and somewhat sticky. A little alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: A very good imperial take on a Porter. Good rich chocolate notes with a very good whiskey barrel presence.

MattyG85, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of kingjames1
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black, with a huge, thick, milk chocolate head. smells incredible: dark, bitter-sweet chocolate, brandy (whiskey barrel aging, I suppose), and rich roasted coffee stand out to me. The taste is sweet chocolate, vanilla, a hint of sour whiskey and coffee, with a touch of lemon (?). The mouthfeel is velvety, smooth, and satisfying. This great stuff, but definitely a slow sipper. Perfect warmer for those cold nights.

kingjames1, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown to black pour, good cream tan head to it. Coats the glass. Good whiskey aroma, smells a little hot.

Minimal smokiness, really around the right amount for my tastes, chocolate, more liquor whiskeyish taste but this time without the alcohol heat. Thick. Barely any sweetness here. Keeps the baltic porter things like smoke and sweetness tame, while amps the barrel aged stout stuff (thickness, liquor, wood). Drop some licorice and mild sour component in it as well the brewer thought possibly. Can't forget the vanilla.

Plenty carbonated, was glad I drank this last out of the tasters provided at the Bruery Provisions.

Beerandraiderfan, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of SPRichard
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

SPRichard, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of HopAttack3
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

HopAttack3, May 28, 2014
Photo of Zonian1
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Zonian1, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a thick light tan head that is three times the size of the body. The head last and last and the body is too dense to see any carbonation.

S- This beer has a big fresh oak nose with some spicy bourbon notes and a hint of wet fresh rain.

T- The dry smoky bourbon flavor is followed nice rich coco notes with chocolate malt and a hint of prunes. There are also notes of slightly sweet brown sugar and cream with some light granny smith apple notes. The finish has a dry white raisin note with the fusel note of bourbon.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a fusel alcohol heat in the finish.

D- This is a big beer with a nice blend of flavors. The malt flavors increase when warm while the bourbon gets softer. This is a big porter with accents of barrel aging not the other way around which is common for many Barrel Aged Porters.

rhoadsrage, Jun 22, 2007
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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 648 ratings.