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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

621 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 621
Reviews: 319
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.36%
Wants: 136
Gots: 111 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter Alström Bros
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Ratings: 621 | Reviews: 319 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2007 05:34:35 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev -3.6%

09-27-2012 01:40:32 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

2.98/5  rDev -28.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2011 04:41:38 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.6%

12-13-2011 21:54:21 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 23:11:30 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2010 23:17:07 | More by metter98
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2007 01:11:21 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2007 01:55:03 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2013 18:05:01 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2007 18:35:14 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

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
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2008 17:51:12 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

12-04-2011 23:25:08 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

01-13-2013 22:36:48 | More by spycow
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

01-16-2012 06:44:01 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

11-17-2011 03:56:36 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 02:34:41 | More by oberon
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

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 Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 16:40:39 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2010 04:22:16 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2007 02:23:22 | More by emerge077
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -3.6%

12-29-2011 22:19:16 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, 15 February 2009.

Although I'll say that I loved the Gonzo Porter (gave it an A here on BA), and I REALLY, REALLY loved the bottles with Brett (was that intentional or a mistake?), I don't think that the whiskey barrel aging did much for this beer. Sure, there was a bit of an addition to the nose, OK, but it wasn't any better than it was before, just different. And the woodiness kind of softened it. Although, in retrospect, I do think that was a good thing. Smoothness is (almost) always good. On the other hand, it lost a lot of its hoppiness. Hmmmm... ? I kind of wish I'd had a bottle all to myself at home one night with a good book rather than just a glass of it on tap at the bar - I'm not sure that does it justice, and I'll have to see if I can find one somewhere. There must still be bottles around, right? But back to what I was saying, it's an alteration of the beer, and it's a good one, but it doesn't improve the initial beer in a significant way. It's still an A, just a different A.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2009 05:08:19 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4/5  rDev -3.6%

01-17-2012 06:43:39 | More by nickfl
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thin tan head. Nose is malty tar. Flavor is touches of vanilla and bourbon. Thick molasses and malty character. Slightly hot. Feel is slick on liquid and the carbonation is low. This is a good baltic porter. Robust and edgy, but fairly easy to drink (though not so much for the inexperienced palates.)

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2009 05:37:23 | More by RblWthACoz
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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 621 ratings.