Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter - Flying Dog Brewery

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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

678 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 678
Reviews: 323
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.14%
Wants: 144
Gots: 115 | FT: 7
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: 678 | Reviews: 323 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Jason and Mike. One of the few barrel-aged to be widely available. Great aroma, dark colour, a bit sour as you expect from a baltic porter, smooth. Some coffee there, significant bitterness, a slow sipper. Some woodiness, whisky balances it all.
Had 3.5 years later, boozy, thin and acidic.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.98/5  rDev -28%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Thanks to bum732 for sending me this one!

The cork on this bottle did not pop or make any noise for that matter. Not a good sign.

Pours a pitch black color with absolutely zero head and zero lacing. Smells of roasted coffee, toasted coconut, vanilla, wood, and some bourbon notes. Taste is exactly like the nose but the coffee taste is subdued and there are some soy sauce flavors. Slight alcohol taste and burn in the back of the throat after each sip. Ok, this beer has ZERO carbonation. It is super flat, super thick, and a chore to even take a swallow. Horrible, horrible feel. Overall, this beer is obviously off in the carbonation department. I am not sure what happened here since the other reviews I am reading don't have this issue. I bet this would be pretty awesome if the carbonation and mouthfeel issues were normal.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice black color with a good mocha head and a bit of sticky lace. The nose brings some nice bourbon, oak, coffee, vanilla, and light chocolate. Flavor is a bit more tame with some roast and bourbon; it's not as integrated as the nose. Good heavy body with nice booze. Very drinkable.

Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of metter98
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured jet black with a thick beige head. The beer is opaque but some rising bubbles are visible near the edges of the glass.
S: There are lots of bourbon flavors in the nose along with some notes of malts, oak and vanilla.
T: Bourbon flavors really stand out in the taste, although these are not overwhelming and are balanced by chocolate and toffee flavors from the roasted malts. There is some bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and relatively smooth on the palate; there is some dryness in the finish.
D: The beer has a good amount of drinkability considering its alcohol content.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a coal color with a tan head that retains well and leaves sheets of lacing

Smell: Rum-soaked dark fruit, dark chocolate, and tobacco - some oaky sour tones try to sneak through

Taste: The rum-soaked dark fruit (almost burnt) element jumps out from the get go, that becomes quite spicy with an increasingly bitter roasted character; by mid-palate, the alcohol really builds; after the swallow, the sour oak and vanilla join the fray and dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body but loads of carbonation

Drinkability: As other reviewers have stated, this one needs some more aging to settle down; I have tried it twice and with the passage of time it is now drinking much better but still has problems with the flavors blending together

Photo of BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Apparently they can age this beer in any container and for any amount of time and it is still a quick, swift kick in the pants. Although the barrels sanded off the most aggressive burrs, the beer continues it's harshness and roughness. Still, very rich, thick, and boldly flavored of espresso, cocoa powder, and booze. Aromas pick up on very raw and earthy / pungent citrus hops, which flow right into the flavors and bittering. Feels every bit as thick as discribed, along with a charred coal, ashey flavor and feel that I could live without. The barrels seem to give a marshmellow texture and a bit of mellowing. The beer will certainly improve with time, but until it matures, I'll not be the biggest of fan.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a deep brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of whiskey notes are dominant with light vanilla and some nice black chocolates are also noticeable. Taste is also dominated by strong whiskey notes with some wood notes with nice creamy black chocolate notes and some light vanilla. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Solid beer with quite dominant barrel-aged characteristics.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark, opaque brown with a huge, overflowing brown head. Absolutly no fade on this one, fantastic retention with significant lace throughtout the glass. Smell was very rich, full of chocolate and sugar, with hints of caramle and a slight hoppiness. The taste was great, full, creamy, and exceptionally smooth. Lots of roasted malts, chocoalte and caramel hints throughtout. A slight warming from the alcohol, but hardly noticeable and very tolerable. Nice hints of oak as it warmed, nothing overpowering like some other beers i have had that have been oak aged. Overall this was remarkably good, and dare I say an improvement over the regular Gonzo which in and of itself is a great brew. Very nice and definatly a winner.

Photo of womencantsail
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is really good, This brew poured out as a deep black color with a thin brown head on it that just leaves a swirled film over top of the beer. The smell of whiskey fills the air, the boozy aroma also form on the nose too and some chocolately malts as well. The taste of the beer is nice and smooth but has a really interesting whiskey taste to it, blended with some roasted malts and some wood flavors. The mouthfeel is a pretty thick which I like a lot. Overall this beer is big, I really enjoyed it and will probably buy more when I see it again.

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, altogether murky body with a thin, bubbly, tan head.

Smell: Pleasantly sweetish, whiskey-soaked nose upfront with all it's accompanying notes. Also dark malts, caramel, chocolate, and roast. Good waft of alcohol as well.

Taste: Roasty dark maltiness with full tastes of chocolate sauce and dark caramel. Medium sweetness. Pop of warming alcohol follows fast. Whiskey tastes of oak wood and vanilla. A rebound of roastiness leads us to the somewhat coarsely alcoholic finish, though a hint of chocolate tries to smooth it out.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: A reasonably competent barrel-aging execution by Flying Dog.

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.

Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 edit: not as good as years past... seems fairly oxidized.

2007:i
750mL bottle opens with a pop, the deep black liquid pours into a chalice and generates a big amount of cascading foam. It's surface is actually convex at first, and transitions in color as the liquid trickles through it. The cappucino tan head fades into a charred mahoghany tone closer to the liquid line.

Thick rings of lace hang on the inside rim of the glass. They have a rounded out dimension to them, like a cartoon smoke ring. Fantastic.

A swirl of the glass at room temperature brings out chocolate, coffee, plum, leather, and a mild coconut/bourbon barrel character.

This is certainly an "imperial" version, i've never had a porter this rich and complex. There's a good amount of carbonation at first, but it settles down fairly quickly. It shares a roasted malt and plum combination that i've only tasted before in De Dolle's Extra Export Stout. The fruity note seems closest to plum and slightly like pear. This is minor though, playing second or third to the onslaught of rich earthy roastiness, bittersweet chocolate, tobacco/oak.

Hops are in there in the end, this is Gonzo after all, but they seem subded in comparison to the regular version. Bourbon becomes apparent as it warms, and adds a welcome dimension to the earthy char in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is full, some slickness, but finishes dry. As I work through the bottle, i'm realizing this is pretty decadent stuff. Maybe better classified as an American Porter due to the barrel-aging and Imperial distinction.

Highly Recommended.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a ChurchKey becher.

Y'know, sometimes things line up when reviews are being written past the midnight hour (Wilson Pickett waited quite a while for this time o' night). In this case, nothing says "gonzo" like the strange short on my TV, called "Circus on Ice". Thank God Joel and the 'Bots are here to mock it along with me. Now, this beer is gonzo, but not in the same way: it's more of a positive, "The only word to describe my species is 'weirdo'" brand. The pour results in an opaque black-brown capped by a half-fingerof bubbly foam; the color is too dark to be called tan and too light to be called brown. Dammit, I can't remember my crayon box well enough to come up with the proper term. ["Women are torn apart like french bread." Classic.] My 'strils are smacked around by a well-exercised fist of oak. This is followed 1-2 style by some spruce, dark malts, caramel, and sweet, sweet vanilla. I want to drink this. Yes, I do. [Ah, at last, "Monster A-Go-Go" is starting! I can't wait to wretch! ... "It's Billy Pilgrim." Wow, Vonnegut and Thompson references simultaneously? Pinch me! (And there's some BNL!)] The aforementioned oak fist reballs itself for another pummeling, this time aimed at my 'buds. It's got a new posse, though: bitter chocolate powder, red apples, whiskey, maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses, and, still hangin' with his boy, good ol' spruce. I guess if the fist analogy were extended to these guys, whoever's swingin' the oak has about seven fingers or so. ...That's if I extended properly... The liquid sits heavily, but in a lighter-than-usual sort of heavy way. The moderate carbonation and only semi-syrupy coating assures me that, given the chance, this brew and I would be spending lots o' time together. Hunter would be proud to sip on this Wild Dog.

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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 678 ratings.