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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter - Flying Dog Brewery

Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial PorterBarrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

584 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 584
Reviews: 316
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.6%

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: 584 | Reviews: 316 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cjgiant

District of Columbia

3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer poured dark amber brown with thin bubbles collecting at the side, with little to no lacing. Smell hits you with whiskey barrels accompanied by cherries and a small hint of dark fruit.

The taste was no surprise given the nose. The woodiness of the aging comes through more in the taste. There is a subdued chocolatey sweetness that yields to an alcohol sting that is likely a combination of the ABV and the whiskey flavor.

Solid offering for the style. I would get this again, but caution to myself as well as others to let it warm to a proper temp - drinking this "cold" will not give you the best impression of this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2014 22:58:54 | More by cjgiant
Photo of pants678


3.36/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black with a beige head.

Smells of darker malts, coffee and oak/whiskey.

Comes off unexpectedly sweet, a sort of raisin and wood. Has that whiskey and smoke flavor without being terribly hot. Taking a small shot of vanilla extract might be comparable. Well hopped but not sharp, no spice or coffee notes but still rich and complex.

Medium carbonation, porter as opposed to a stout.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2013 16:10:56 | More by pants678
Photo of mdaschaf


3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at PPP, review from notes.

A: The beer is dark brown with a small mocha colored head on top that reduces to a thin cap on top. Some sheets of lacing.

S: A good bit of roasted malt with a bunch of alcohol. A lot of the nice aromas that exist with the base beer were covered up by the barrel.

T: Some dark stone fruit, roasted malt, and again a bunch of alcohol. It is a little on the sweet side as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Definite alcohol presence.

O: Had high hopes for this one, I like the base beer very much, but this one was too boozy for me.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2012 02:18:41 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of kylehay2004


3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery after my tour. Awesome group of guys there and the beer was better than I had anticipated as I had only had their standard beers we get in Florida. This time I got to try the local release stuff.

A: interesting look to this one. It poured with no head but as it sat a single finger tan head slowly formed.

S: pretty much all whiskey here. some tangy dark fruit notes and roasted malts.

T: mostly bourbon/whiskey. some roasted malts. the base beer seems to contribute little.

M: full body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: the base beer is definitly lost but that being said the whiskey isnt overpowering. overall a nice brew.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2012 19:21:57 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of Gobzilla


4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights when held to the light and had a thin head that left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of oaky bourbon booze rules the aroma with vanilla, chocolate roasted malts, mild lactic notes, some dark fruits such as plum and traces of smokiness.

T: the bourbon oaky barrel character was more prominent on the taste alongside vanilla, dark fruits, roasted chocolate malts, and booze accents.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, chocolatey, oaky bourbon barrel, mild fruity and silky finish.

O: definitely a good solid beer all around and was glad to see this one on tap at the infamous 38 degress anniversary party.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2012 23:44:41 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of tobelerone


3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa.

I'd have to have this again in a side by side with regular Gonzo but this was one where I think I'd prefer the non-barrel beer. Just sticking something in a barrel doesn't necessarily improve it and in this case, I felt the results were somewhat iffy. My main issue was the overwhelming booziness and bourbon character totally dominated the other flavors. Perhaps a bit of cellaring would calm this down and cut the heat a bit; this one was way too hot to be very enjoyable. I didn't hate it, I just felt it could have been a lot better. The pour is jet black with a small, quickly settling brown head. Patchy lacing. Roasty aroma with bittersweet chocolate but dominant boozy notes; some vanilla and oak as well.

The flavor follows the nose; up front and in your face is bourbon or more accurately, warming alcohol; some of the vanilla and oak is detected, lots of bitter roast, low sweetness, bittersweet chocolate. Topping it off the body is on the thin side for such a big beer, carbonation is moderate, finish is a little dry and leaves lingering bitterness and a tannin quality in the mouth.

Again, I didn't hate this beer, I just felt it was a bit disappointing, excessively hot, and a little thin. The prominent alcohol and heavily bitter charred taste makes this a little unappetizing.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2012 20:26:57 | More by tobelerone
Photo of barczar


3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black/brown with a solid half inch milk chocolate head that lingers around the rim.

Bourbon, oak, chocolate, malted milk balls, and roast malt comprise the aroma, which finishes with vanilla. There's a touch of rubbery phenol.

Flavor is predominantly roasted malt, a bit acrid, coffee bitterness, with chocolate, bourbon, and oak adding complexity. The chocolate malt typically prevalent in porters is somewhat subdued by the roast character and alcohol. Oak bitterness is evident at the finish.

Body is moderate, with a moderate amount of carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Overall, great aroma, but the flavor is a bit too roasty and acrid. Bourbon is fairly prevalent, but the alcohol is a bit hot. May improve in a bottle with age.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2012 01:53:00 | More by barczar
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Flying Dog last night.

Served in my new Flying Dog glass, of course.

The beer is near black with a thick beige head that plasters the glass with sticky, soapy lacing. The aroma is roasty with a formidable oak presence. The flavor offers chocolate, vanilla, oak, roast, booze. My chief criticism is that this beer is overly tannic and oaky with a sharp, biting finish. Some nice scents and flavors happening, but a bit unrefined. This beer has potential, but barrel aged beers have really gained in popularity and quality over the last few years, and this beer is lagging behind. While this is certainly drinkable and enjoyable, this recipe needs a few tweaks.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2012 23:05:39 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of PorterLambic


4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alright, I really like the original Gonzo. This is easily twice as good.
Arrives a pitch black with a dark caramel head. Retention is weak with just a thin ring remaining after 30 seconds.
Smell is oak up front with malt, dark chocolate, raisins and vanilla. Not the full-on fruitcake but very good. Good balance and great complexity.
Taste is rich with roasted malt, oak, raisins, baking chocolate, earth and alcohol. Balance and complexity are great.
Smooth, rich, full-bodied with a light effervescence. Warming as you might expect. A truly amazing beer, even better than the original.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2012 19:45:11 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours jet black in color with a finger tall tan head. The head reduces to a thin layer over the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Lots of sweetness, dark fruit, and a slight vinous/vinegar like tartness.

T: Starts off with some sweet dark roasted malts, then dark fruit, followed by the vinous/vinegar like tartness, and the finish is lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with light amounts of carbonation.

O: Exactly what you expect in the flavor and aroma of a baltic porter. Very enjoyable but too intense to be an easy drinker. Very much a sipping beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2012 02:52:19 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Merkur


4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Pizza Port, Ocean Beach in San Diego.

Beer pours a nice dark, rich brown color.

Beer smells very strongly of bourbon with a strong vanilla undercurrent.

The tastes starts off with a sweetness of vanilla, followed by some chocolate and roasty flavor, followed up with a pretty good booze burn at the end.

Beer was thick and pleasant to slow sip.

Nice barrel aged beer to have on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2012 12:38:21 | More by Merkur
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had on tap at gingerman after a jam with some buddies. showed up in a snifter. pretty dark in here but this brew is black as night. roasted malts with a whiskey twist, subtle booziness. same thoughts as on the bottle, the barrel just puts the beer on steroids. the barrel flavoring adds thicknes with a boozy shine to the flavor, but the booze is way more present in the finish than anywhere else. great beer, excited to get this on tap!

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2011 02:33:48 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of smakawhat


3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap served at Alewife in Baltimore into a pokal style glass. Kicked the KEG! Therefore, I only ended up with a small glass perhaps a 4 or 5 oz pour. Also I "think" this is the beer I had cause there is a Bourbon one, but I am not sure if that's the one I had, anyone can feel free to correct me.

A nice foamy light tan head, perhaps excessive retention from being kicked, but light tan on a simple dark walnut black/brown body. Looks decent, a little dark in the bar to truly examine but pretty solid.

Nose is kind of faint, some creamy malt sensations, small milk chocolate, kind of banana strangely.

Taste is a giant banana milkshake. Extremely creamy and rich, but totally banana dominant. Seriously nothing else I can add to it.

Overall this is not what I look for, nor was I expecting this in a Gonzo, just total banana mush. If that's your thing then you probably be in love with it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2011 14:17:01 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2011 00:25:28 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of vandemonian


4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had Wild Dog Gonzo that was barrel-aged in Stranahans whiskey barrels at ChurchKey. It was a very nice porter.

A: Dark brown with light lacing. 4

S: Alcohol and honey. 4.5

T: Malty with a hint of woody honey. 4

M: A bit thin. 4

O: Decent. 4

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2011 03:12:28 | More by vandemonian
Photo of dbmernin83


3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It's black. Light khaki head.
Big toffee and caramel. Booze. Light bourbon.
Sweet toffee and sticky caramel. Boozy. Light coffee bitterness.
Big carbonation for the style. Almost too big.
Very sweet. Good in small pours but this is one I have to be in the mood for.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2011 00:54:03 | More by dbmernin83
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Bruery Provisions in Orange, CA

A - Dark black with a small amount of espresso coloured head.

S - Oak, whisky, vanilla, alcohol. Not a lot of roasted malts come through. Not a typical porter nose by any means

T - Whisky, oak, vanilla. No real porter flavours come through at all yet still a nice overall tasting beer.

M - Somwhat watery and light for what I expexted. Light to medium body with light carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2011 15:46:47 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of petacutlasaurus


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As porters go, this is about as good as it gets, people. Look for it at draft houses first, as it's pretty damn hard to track down in a bottle. I've seen it once at Al's beverage in Bethlehem, PA, but other than that, nada.

On tap at ChurchKey, it'll rival anything on the list. The first time I ever had it was after a menagerie 5 from evolution, and it put that beer down immediately. I hardly remembered drinking it. Thicker and smoother than most porters, it's dark-fruity with some perfectly teamed up spices. The bourbon comes through with just the right mixture of sheer booziness and oaky, bourbon flavor.

Grab a bottle if you see it. I'll regret leaving that one behind for a while, and never miss the chance for a fresh pour.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2011 22:10:23 | More by petacutlasaurus
Photo of DoubleJ


4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bruery Provisions, on to the beer;

Polsihed obsidian with tanned lace that creeps around the glass. One sniff of the beer and you know that this was barrel aged. Very fragrant, and very strong in that department, carrying aromas that include brown sugar, vanilla, and a hint of cocao.

In its taste, we come towards toasted oak, plenty of licorice, and brown sugar. At the very least it's better than regular Gonzo. But the barrel aging effect isn't finished; it seems to create a body that is fairly rich and sticky.

Definately a worthwhile effect from the folks at Flying Dog. It took a while to taste this version of the classic Gonzo, but I'm glad that I did.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2011 03:15:17 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of FosterJM


3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

592nd Review on BA
Draft to Taster
@Bruery Provisions

App- A dark dark brown with a ring of bubbles on the edges. Left a slight bit of cling to it but that was about it.

Smell- You could tell the booze on this one with the barrel notes being very upfront. Yet, something was off. It was boozy and oaky but thats really all you got.

Taste- You could tell its a big porter but seemed to be lacking in balance. A bit too sweet with the darker fruits and sweetness being much too prevelent. At last sips some vanilla came into play but too late.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. left me with a bit of a boozy sweet feel to it.

Drink- It was okay. Better than average but not by much. I thought it was too sweet and unbalanced for the style. I just havent really been impressed with Flying dog too much. Probably wont come back to this one.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2011 02:59:44 | More by FosterJM
Photo of harrymel


3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes at bier baron in dc

A: black - no light passes here. Single finger mocha head sticks around. Near cobweb lace.

S: coffee, cocoa, vanilla, dry flour, oats, black cherry, molasses.

T: see above. Add raisins and hints of toffee.

M: actually a bit thin for the style IMO. Low carb. Slight slick on the finish.

O: good beer. Not widely available in my area, but if was I would throw a couple in the cellar.

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2011 08:26:02 | More by harrymel
Photo of corby112


4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at the Rackhouse in Denver, CO.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a one finger mocha head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring.  Minimal spots of lacing.

Sweet whiskey aroma with a prominent barrel character.  Lots of earthy oak, roasted coconut and vanilla along with sweet roasted malt notes.  Hints of chocolate, oatmeal, toffee and licorice.  Smells really nice.

Medium bodied with a strong barrel presence.  Lots of whiskey flavor up front that kind of dominates.  Subtle earthy oak and vanilla but lots of heat and booze.  Underneath some nice smokiness and silky chocolate.  Sweet with toffee, toast and licorice but whiskey heat/sweetness dominates.  Lots of alcohol flavor without being overly hot.  Subtle warmth in the chest.  

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2011 06:20:42 | More by corby112
Photo of ehammond1

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2011 01:47:11 | More by ehammond1
Photo of emmasdad


4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Although this is no longer a Colorado brewery, and not getting much of my money these days, I couldn't pass on this on tonight on tap. Poured a rich black color with a smallish tan head. Aromas of whiskey, chocolate, vanilla and roasted malt. On the palate, this one is medium bodied, with flavors of Colorado whiskey, vanilla, oak, chocolate and roasted malt.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2011 03:17:43 | More by emmasdad
Photo of womencantsail


4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bruery Provisions

A: The beer pours just about black with a thin layer of tan head.

S: Big time bourbon on the nose with a nice vanilla note to it. Plenty of wood with a good, smooth, dark chocolate aroma. Almost no roasted malt aroma, but a nice sweet maple syrup note.

T: Lots of sweet bourbon, vanilla, and maple syrup flavor. A hint of roasted malt and coffee, but plenty of smooth dark chocolate as well as a little bit of milk chocolate providing some additional sweetness.

M: Medium in body with a smooth and creamy carbonation and mouthfeel.

O: Much, much better than the regular version. I enjoyed this one.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2011 01:24:04 | More by womencantsail
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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 584 ratings.