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 Porter
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.

669 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 669
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: 669 | Reviews: 321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Desaparecido
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Desaparecido, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

avaldivia, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black with khaki head.

The smell was pretty great with a whiskey woodiness along with a chocolate roast.

The taste was chocolate, wood, and whiskey.

The drinkability was very high while remaining a very complex porter. An easy sipper and no hints of alcohol. I think this beer should have a little more hype around it because it is awesome.

Eriktheipaman, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of FoundersFanatic
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- nice color, very dark with a dark brown/copper head

S- has a great smell. Normal porter smell but with a nice bourbon/boozy smell as well. A bit of a nutty smell as well

T- pretty good taste, but not as good as I was told it would be. It's a normal Porter taste with a good strong addition of bourbon like boozy flavor. But it's definitely not a favorite in this category of beers for me. But worth trying if you have a chance.

M- has a thin feel in the mouth with a kind of fizzy carbonation feel unlike other more smoother dark beers

O- pretty good beer, but nowhere near as good as I thought it would be. Good taste, like the boozy flavor and smell, but don't like the mouthfeel and overall a let down for the price

FoundersFanatic, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of MrKennedy
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to mulder1010. Poured into a Mikkeller tulip.

Has a nice moderately thick pour, black appearance with no light able to permeate through. Deep tan, with hints of orange in the colour of the foam which was a finger in height and slowly receded to film.

Decent sized nose, milk chocolate, milk, vanilla, bourbon and oak all come through in the smell. If anything it smells a little too sweet.

Taste is also full-on. Plenty of bourbon coming through, a little bit of heat, some booze, plenty of warmth. A fair bit of chocolate is there as well, along with the vanilla from the nose.

Nice creamy mouthfeel with the barrel ageing helping to dry out the finish and add a bit of bite at the end.

A big beer, plenty of flavour and things going on. At times it doesn't work all that well with the taste and can seem boozy and a little over the top. Still, very interesting and an overall good beer.

MrKennedy, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

smakawhat, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of crewfan16
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a snifter.

a- pours deep brown/black with some light brown colored head that doesnt rise too high. looks more like a big stout than a porter

s- deep rich chocolate sweetness, bourbon, vanilla, oak. very nice complex rich nose

t- taste follows the nose. lots of rich chocolate and tons of bourbon boozy goodness. a bit of vanilla . finishes with more chocolate and roasted malt

m- this seems just a tad hot and boozy, but i like it. flavors linger on my palate. dont know if i have ever had an barrel aged porter before, so I can only compare to their stout counterparts, but this one is delicious. I wish I could get my hands on this more often.

again, I have never had such a style barrel aged, so I can only compare to barrel aged stouts, but this is tasty. not quite as heavy as a stout and a little more carbonated, but man is it good.

crewfan16, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of projectflam86
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

According to the bottle: 2011 vintage, 9.5%ABV, 85 IBUs. Bottle looks identical to the regular Gonzo Porter except for the words "Barrel-Aged" towards the top. I thought this was originally a 750ml release but this format is a 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a nice black color with a thin light brown head that leaves some spotted lacing.

S- The whiskey barrels make themselves known right from the start. Also some chocolate and roasted scents in the nose.

T- Big dose of alcohol initially with a very rounded sweet finish. Large waves of oak and vanilla become more pronounced as it warms. Roasted malt and pale chocolate keep this on the sweeter side despite 85 IBUs.

M- Smooth and full bodied with medium/low carbonation.

O- A very nice treatment of Gonzo. I'm going to keep one in the cellar for another year or two and see how some age treats this.

projectflam86, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of PolarBear3
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Dark in colour with creamy tanned head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving a thin film.

S - smoky aroma, Vanilla, caramel, dark fruits with a subtle whisky but not at all overpowering

T - Big hit of whiskey then chocolate, coffee and dark fruits come to the fore.

M - Fairly full bodied with good carbonation

O - A fantastic beer that is a great night cap. Although Whisky can be a little overpowering, it is fairly well balanced and is a must try for all beer enthusiasts.

PolarBear3, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of Duff27
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark tan small head at first receding to a nice looking collar. Black colored beer. Great legs!

Whiskey smelling, not overpowering by any means.

The barrel aspect is the most prominent of the taste. Whiskey booziness, 9.5%abv is about right. Subdued hop profile.

Medium mouthfeel. Well carbonated.

A very well put together barrel aged beer. I am a fan of the regular Gonzo but this took it to another level. Expect less hoppiness than regular Gonzo. A real treat, thank for picking this up for me kawilliams81!

Duff27, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of Agold
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours very dark with a nice tanish head which has very good retention but leaves very little lacing. Aroma is mildly fruity with some oak and coco and vanilla. More oak than bourbon which is light and not intrusive. The flavor is a bit light with less of the fruityness and more of the oak and coco. Vanilla is also present with a mild booziness which is welcome. Mouthfeel is a bit light and thin with a small pleasant amount of carbonation. Overall I was a bit disappointed by this beer, liked it a lot, but I liked the regular Gonzo a bit more.

Agold, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of Bung
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz? I guess mine is the same as the wild dog, though the bottle looks like the normal Gonzo with the words barrel aged on it.
Viscous black/brown pour, a nice layer of tan head on it.

The aroma is delicious. Vanilla, caramel, chocolates and some bourbon.

Taste, mostly follows though a tad boozy. Plenty of vanilla and caramelly oak. Some cocoa, and roast malt. Not terribly complex but certainly gets the job done.

It's just a tad thinner than it appears, but still solid medium bodied. Carbonation is just a tad more prickly than creamy. Slightly warming, a pretty good sipper.

Not sure on the age, but I'm guessing I could have sat on this just a bit longer. There just wasn't anything else in the fridge that seemed interesting tonight.

Bung, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of ChadQuest
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown with some browning around the edges, with a cap that fades to a collar of dark tan head.
Ok, this aroma is actually great. The barrel is very presentable and lively, adding warmth and depth, and being the main attraction here with some roasts and vanilla batting 2nd and 3rd.
The flavors get just a touch more pointed, or coarse i should say, with the barrels a bit more piercing and less rounded. Vanilla and chocolate come around and roasts and oak.

A solid beer, one of the better Flying Dogs i have had for sure.

ChadQuest, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gonzo Barrel, 12-oz bottle bought in Chicagoland for some six bucks. I've had this before on tap (Churchkey DC) and found it disappointing. Besides, I thought it came on big bottles only?

(Vintage '11, aged for three months in wooden whiskey barrels)

Appearance: A beautiful pour, extremely black and ominous. One-finger ebony-colored head that dies right away, leaving a rim around the glasses. Overall, a thick and hearty look.

Smell: Delicious whiskey! Creaminess, some vanilla, wood. Tad of coffee with a drop of heavy cream.

Taste: Follows nose, with more whiskey (American, I believe), wood and smoke. Chunky chocolate and ice-brewed coffee. Dark sugar. Not terribly complex, but oh-so-delicious!

Mouthfeel: Super creamy, smooth, easy to drink. Sexy like a thick ebony goddess. Full whiskey flavor and body, great carbonation. A little too filling, unfortunately.

Overall: I don't know what the heck I had at Churchkey but it sure could not be this. I am loving it! If anything, I would point at the one-dimensionality of the whiskey and the heaviness of it all as negatives. But other than that, we got a barrel winner here. A great sipper.

DoubleSimcoe, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of Ungertaker
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A- Half-inch tan head, pours like motor oil with a black lacquer color. Tan lacing from start to finish. 
S- Bourbon, cherries, oak, chocolate, raisins, vanilla. The bourbon pretty much dominates the smell, though
T- bourbon, cherry, vanilla, slight chocolate up front. The chocolate  stays in the middle while some malts ease in before fading out to oak, bourbon, and raisins at the tail end with easy heat at the finish
M- silky, viscous feel with carbonation throughout
O- This beer screams bourbon from the get go. I am a whiskey guy, so I love it. However, if you don't like whiskey, this is not for you. The overall taste is good. The bourbon does fade a bit in the middle, which makes the other flavors more apparent.

Ungertaker, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of ferrari29
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a nonic shaped Pint glass

A - Beer pours with a little head; what is available is small, just under a half finger in size; dissipates very quickly; body has a very, very dark brown color; no visible carbonation; gives the appearance of used motor oil, very viscous; some lacing

S - Deep notes of dark fruit; chocolate; fig; whiskey; touch of dry oak; vanilla; caramel malt notes

T - Rich vanilla flavor; aged whiskey taste with a touch of oak dry oak aftertaste; vanilla bean taste stays on the lips; figs; dark fruit; some hop flavoring; maple syrup

M - Thick and viscous; creamy mouthfeel; lingering flavors or whiskey and vanilla; nice blend of traditional porter flavor and aged whiskey taste; hint of effervescent feel; some mild bitterness but not much, overwhelmed by the vanilla/whiskey flavor; maple syrup; brown sugar

D - Great night cap; awesome aged drink; not usually a fan of porters, but this is really good

ferrari29, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of GallowsThief
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from my man ChugginOil (thanks as always!). Poured into my tulip.

A – Poured out an inky black with ruby tan one finger head. Some spotty lacing down the glass.

S – Chocolate, mocha, vanilla and whiskey of course.

T - Nice smooth mocha and chocolate taste to start. Definite vanilla picked up in there and its smooth. Nice sweetness. Whiskey flavor is very noticeable at the end. You breath and it feels like a Jack Daniels aftershock.

M – Medium bodied and lively carbonation. Leaves your tongue tingling all the way through.

O – Whiskey lovers unite! If you are one you will dig this brew. Has a nice sweetness but finished with a definite whiskey flavor from the barrels.

GallowsThief, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of maximum12
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

No idea how old this is. Cool-ass 750ML bottle that I picked up, dusty & lost, out of a fairly boring store's cooler a couple years back. Who knows how long it had labored their unloved. But all that's behind us now. Split into two goblets & served with a smile.

Opens with a pop just shy of an artillery blast, but luckily no overflow follows. The pour is black with a gigantic brown afro for a big, barrelly beer. A whiff of the cork is enough to send me into writhingly orgasmic "5" territory. Holy crap. The whiskey is spot-on beautifully married to deep, black sweet malts. Don't care if there's anything else. Perfect.

Wild Dog Barrel-Aged Gonzo's first give-off is that this is, indeed, distractingly over-carbonated. Whether due to refermentation or something else, over the years this has developed a serious case of the fizzies. Once past that, this Dog is all sensuous canine. The mild smokiness of the baltic manages to muscle its way into the foreground despite the barrel, which is more subtle than the nose but still flexing nicely. Chocolate is also prominent. The oak seems to have a sour character around the edges that is noticeable but faint & not enough to detract from the brew. Whiskey couples up with the roast to create a nice lingering flavor. Good enough that this is going down nice & easy.

Very good beer with a couple of flaws that keep it from jumping into the elite category. No idea why I held onto this one for so long, but there's zippo alcohol presence anymore. Like to try it fresh, & maybe I will.

maximum12, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of vandemonian
4.1/5  rDev -1%
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

vandemonian, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of cjacobsen
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(A) Black with a small brown head that diminished quickly.

(S) Coffee and booze with coffee undertones. Raisin. Plum.

(T) Whisky and cocoa, coffee, roasted malts and some plum.

(M) Smooth with great medium to full body. Ends a little dry.

(O) Flying Dog? Really? They did this? Wow! I'm thoroughly impressed. Pretty awesome stuff.

cjacobsen, Aug 18, 2011
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.

Knapp85, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of scruffwhor
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Limited 500 case release that included a T-shirt, glass, pin, corked and caged 750ml bottle, a piece of the oak barrel, and a pin. This has been aging for at least four years in my cellar. I shared the bottle with my fiance.

Dark brown head about two to three fingers thick. Great retention that last for the whole 750ml bottle. Black in color with brownie highlights when held to some light.

The aroma is complex and full of rich chocolate, light coffee bean splashed with oakey whiskey notes. The oak aroma adds an earthy aroma to compliment the rich chocolate and coffee smells. These aromas come together with to make this one of the best warm smelling beers ever.

The chocolate and coffee flavors meld so well together with the toasted earthy oak and alcoholic, grainy whiskey flavors, that this beer was one of the best nightcap sippers I've had so far. I could get notes of charred oak even, and maybe a little tart twang from the aged yeast.

This warm, smooth, alcoholic, and oily palate is just relaxing, smooth and phenominal.

scruffwhor, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of ChugginOil
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark chocolate color with minimal tan head cola edging. Oily and spotty lacing clings thouroughly. The nose is bourbon infused with cherry, cocoa, charred oak and vanilla. There is an overlapping milk chocolate flavor lingering as well. The taste is offering much of the same bourbon flavors noticed in the nose but with intense chocolate and a bit of charred/smokey oak. Awesome taste with booze well hidden. Mouthfeel is sticky and pretty thick without compromising drinkability. Overall, this is damn tasty and pretty easily drinkable for such a brew of this magnitude.

ChugginOil, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of Scrumtralecent
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle, poured into a snifter.

A - Pours pitch black with a light mocha head that fades rather quickly, with a film of it holding on at the edges.

S - The barrel aging is forefront, smells like it has that hard bourbon edge to it, rather than a meld with the malts. Chocolate, licorice, and oak notes found, but the bourbon wins over all.

T - Taste is just like the smell, plenty of bourbon in the forefront. Slight roasted malt, but seem to be overpowered by the whiskey. Backbone is a little lackluster, could do a little more on the backend besides the heat of the bourbon. Not the best marriage of brew and barrel I've had, but solid.

M - Little thin and hot from the barrel. Carbonation is solid, but would want a little more substance than alcohol burn.

O - Decent barrel aged porter, but not superb. Not the best meld, but it's nice to have a decent barrel aged beer that I didn't have to clamor tooth and nail for, and grab multiples. Hope the heat dies down in a year or so and lets the beer meld together.

Scrumtralecent, Aug 08, 2011
Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 669 ratings.