1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

652 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 652
Reviews: 321
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 140
Gots: 116 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 652 | Reviews: 321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of reyna311
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

reyna311, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of tobelerone
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

tobelerone, Jun 21, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -3.4%

mendvicdog, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black, 1 finger creamy khaki head, good lacing, a few carbonation bubbles at the bottom of the glass.

S - Oak, blend of bourbon & whiskey, cocoa, hint of fragrant/bitter hops, light caramel.

T - Sweet chocolate, hint of smoke, oak, light vanilla & caramel, bitter hops, faint coconut, whiskey soaked dates, light alcohol burn.

M - Full bodied, medium-high carbonation

O - The best beer brewed in Maryland! Fantastic!

VINTAGE12AA

Rickythejeweler, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of barczar
3.85/5  rDev -7%
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.

barczar, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.6/5  rDev -13%
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.

Huhzubendah, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of PorterLambic
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

PorterLambic, May 31, 2012
Photo of ricksrealm
4/5  rDev -3.4%

ricksrealm, May 25, 2012
Photo of CelticAleMan
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

CelticAleMan, May 24, 2012
Photo of Romulux
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Romulux, May 20, 2012
Photo of CraftBeerTastic
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ba Review #163
Served On: 05/10/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 9.5%
Date/ Code: VINTAGE11BB

From A.K.A. Frisco's in Frederick at $5.45 for a 12oz. bottle. Picked up two and put one in the cellar. This bottle does not have Wild Dog on the label, but I'm assuming it is the same beer.

Look: Pitch-black color as expected. Initial head was a rocky 3-fingers of a sandy brown color. Head eventually reduced down to a 1/2-finger cap of sticky foam.

Smell: Sweet notes of whiskey and milk chocolate. Also some buttery notes mixed with some dark roasted malts. It was a very complex and pleasant aroma that was like no other Imperial Porter I've had to date.

Taste: The beer had a heavier mouth feel. First was a creamy roasted malt with some faint semi-sweet chocolate. The middle had a smooth whiskey warmth and a nice sour bitterness that transitioned in to a caramel or toffee-like finish coupled with a roasted note.

This was a very nice brew with qualities that definitely justify the price tag. I think a couple years in the cellar will certainly smooth out the whiskey notes, but they actually were not as harsh as I was expecting.

CraftBeerTastic, May 10, 2012
Photo of abanton
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

abanton, May 08, 2012
Photo of eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

eawolff99, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of popery
4/5  rDev -3.4%

popery, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of dhep16
4/5  rDev -3.4%

dhep16, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of JimmyP
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

JimmyP, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev -3.4%

2dogbrew, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of w00ddy
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

w00ddy, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of harrisjohnson
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

harrisjohnson, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 refrigerated bottle. Poured into a MacAndrew's thistle glass. Pours a very dark, nearly opaque red brown. One finger fine, light tan head with good retention and lacing. Delicious aroma of roasted malt and whisky, some dark fruit. Flavor is roasted malt, oak, dark dried fruit, middle turns a bit vinous and dry. Finishes with complex light oaky wine, dark malt, oak, hint of cherries and a slight hop kick. Medium bodied with some creaminess. This is a nice complex baltic porter with an interesting flavor progression. I'm very sorry that Flying Dog no longer distributes to Washington state.

LiquidAmber, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of guillemiro
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

guillemiro, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of Pahn
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Pahn, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

dbrauneis, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I believe this is a 2010 vintage but I don't see anything on the bottle to confirm that. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. It poured black in color with a thin, frothy, tan colored head to it.

The aroma shows a good amount of the oak wood and vanilla flavors to it, but the bourbon is pretty modest. I get some of the chocolaty notes notes of Gonzo coming through. Pretty nice aroma overall.

The taste also has a good amount of the woody barrel character to it throughout. The chocolaty, Gonzo flavors are complimented pretty well with the oak and some vanilla. Again, the bourbon is pretty reserved in it though.

The mouthfeel is a little light for the style with carbonation being high. Overall it was a good beer but I don't think it comes together well enough to compete with the best of the style.

billab914, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

jfcaa193, Feb 18, 2012
Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 652 ratings.