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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter - Flying Dog Brewery

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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter
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668 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 668
Reviews: 321
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 144
Gots: 116 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 668 | Reviews: 321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ParraPalliative
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

ParraPalliative, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of KevSal
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to shadesofgray for a pair of these guys, and for completely squashing me in the bif.

2010 poured into a bruery tulip. Had side by side with the regular version.

A- looks awesome! This guy is very dark and the thin head and look give a good sign the barrel left its mark. Very different than the regular which had a huge head. Reminds me a lot ccb's milk porter, makes me wonder if they used stranahan barrels here too.

S- this is where this beer really shines! Huge chocolate and awesome whiskey upfront. Great sweetness and vanilla. A little bit of the base comes thru near the back.

T- The whiskey and chocolate are there but not over bearing. The base robust porter really shines thru tho and it's very nice. Alcohol non existent.

M- smooth and velvety. Not harsh at all. Either this was done right or the two years in the cellar did its job.

O- awesome beer! A real different beer than the base. I like them both for different reasons. If I had this guy available to me I'd be buying a lot of it! It's not in the same realm as kbs and ba ptf. But as far as ba porters go this guy is top of it's game.

Also I know people knock them for it but I love the presentation of these guys, the ba and regular version, but I am a big hunter thompson fan

KevSal, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of smithj4
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

smithj4, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of skunk242
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

skunk242, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of mulder1010
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355 ML poured into a Lost Abbey snifter
Thanks to Lukie for the bottle
4/22/12 BB

A-- Pours a dark cola color and settled jet black in the glass. Half finger of dark mocha colored head that fades to a decent ringed collar and a bit of film. Decent retention on swirling. Just a few bits of spotty lacing on the sides and some ABV legs. Attractive enough.

S-- Good notes of Oak and bourbon followed by a good amount of dark, stewed fruits. Quite earthy oak and bourbon. Well integrated. Barrel notes pick up more as the beer gets air.

T-- Earthy bourbon and oak followed by milk chocolate, caramel and vanilla. Still carries bits of heat from the ABV and bourbon is quite obvious.

M-- Rich and luscious in the front but smooths out to a bit of a astringent bourbon in the back that is quite dry and very ovious. Dairy milk mixed with bourbon is what I thought. Still carries a lot of punch for it's age.

O-- Nicely done beer. Not too over the top and still has some qualities of the base beer. Better BA beers out there but can not complain with this at all.

mulder1010, Aug 04, 2012
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.

kylehay2004, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of rapidsequence
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle from Pints O'Plenty.

Appearance: It's black. Black, thick, no highlights, dark head. Looks like a RIS.

Smell: It really smells good. Vanilla, caramel, chocolate cake. Bourbony, but not hot, nose burning booze. Some dark roast, but not a lot.

Taste: Very nice sweet chocolate and again caramel and bourbony vanilla. Cake like or like a brownie. The heat from the bourbon is hotter than I expected from the smell. It's roaster than most porters, but that helps it stand up to the barrel.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy-soft. Not overly thick.

Overall: Its a really good beer, and could pass for a good RIS.

rapidsequence, Jul 29, 2012
Photo of ahuckk
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

ahuckk, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of Davit
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Davit, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of beerFool28607
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

beerFool28607, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of playingtrack3
5/5  rDev +20.8%

playingtrack3, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Gobzilla, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of cld253
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

cld253, Jul 05, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black-brown color with a thin finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of oak, vanilla, bourbon, roasted dark chocolate, dark fruits, and some light coffee and booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of oak and roasted milk chocolate with some raisin sweetness in the background. Through the middle, some vanilla and bourbon flavors come through with some more roasted dark malts and a hint of coffee. The finish is a mix of bourbon, vanilla, oak, cocoa, dark fruits, and a bit of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with mild carbonation. Feels smooth and a bit thick with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. The barrel flavor is a bit strong, but overall it works really nicely with the rich imperial porter flavors in the base beer.

ngeunit1, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of shand
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

shand, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of bootsandbeer
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

bootsandbeer, Jun 30, 2012
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!


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
Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 668 ratings.