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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial PorterBarrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

325 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 325
Hads: 720
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 160
Gots: 120 | 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:
Beer added by: DogFood11 on 04-14-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 325 | Hads: 720
Photo of xpdrinker
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark cola brown with a tinge of glowing burnt sienna. Thin mocha head dissolves into nothing but a ring around the glass with minimal lacing.

S - Sweet, boozy goodness. The whiskey and a little of the wood really come through at the forefront. Some milk chocolate and toffee step forward once the alcohol is done burning crop circles in my nostril hairs.

T - A 50/50 blend of whiskey and coffee is the first flavor to hit, followed by brown sugar and molasses on the mid-palate. The whiskey/coffee combo punch hold their ground through almost to the end, where a somewhat watery finish showcases a little more roasty coffee bitterness and peppery bite of hops.

M - Lighter than I expected for a barrel-aged porter, and dare I say lighter than even its own base beer, Gonzo. Doesn't really coat the mouth in any noticeable way and the watery finish is a downer. The carbonation seems low but with the unexectedly thin body it actually seems fizzier than it really is. 

0 - Picked this up in one of my first big trades a few months ago after remembering how much I enjoyed it at Churchkey in DC, though if I recall correctly, the first time I had it  was on cask. Gonzo is one of my favorite porters and the barrel-aged version is an improvement flavor-wise, but the body could use a bit more structure.

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Photo of neorunner
3.52/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Blind Beer #1 from DougoftheFuture in Round 6 of the Blind Beer BIF.

Shared w/ Desaparecido on a enjoyable Sunday evening. 12oz bottle split into two tulips. The initial nose after popping the cap is very malt forward with some alcohol intensity, leaning towards imperial stout at this point. After decanting into our glasses we got notes of bourbon, maple, and caramel.

Desaparecido immediately tried to guess the beer, a trend that will continue through a few future reviews. His guess was Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout.

Appearance was dark black with a ring of tan head around the edge of the glass. Taste wise the beer was fairly alcohol forward when cold, but mellowed slightly as it warmed. The body is not as strong or robust as the aroma would lead me to belive, at this point I started leaning towards the beer being a barrel aged porter.

The reveal: Flying Dog Wild Dog Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter. A solid beer and great way to start the BIF.

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Photo of Merkur
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Pizza Port, Ocean Beach in San Diego.

Beer pours a nice dark, rich brown color.

Beer smells very strongly of bourbon with a strong vanilla undercurrent.

The tastes starts off with a sweetness of vanilla, followed by some chocolate and roasty flavor, followed up with a pretty good booze burn at the end.

Beer was thick and pleasant to slow sip.

Nice barrel aged beer to have on tap.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle - thanks to pushkinwow

Appearance - Black/brown colour with an average size dark beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some fairly good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for only a few minutes before is dissipated.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, raisins/currants, malts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste chocolate mixed with malts and some bitter coffee. There is also a bit of a dark fruit flavour mixed with a touch of wood. It ends with a sweet slightly fruity aftertaste.

Overall – I didn't pick up on the barrel aging as much as I thought I would.. but it does have the dark fruit flavour that I've come to expect with baltic porters. The alcohol was well hidden and it went down smooth.

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Photo of azdback
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large snifter. Jet black with no highlights. A very small, less than a finger of tan or cocoa colored head. Lace is minimal.

Smell is wonderful. Bourbon and vanilla has overtaken my senses. Charred wood and smoke. Dark roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Some tart fruit and a big dose of alcohol.

Taste is almost as great as the smell. I think the smell was more along the lines of a BB aged stout and this reminds me more of an Imperial Porter. The same flavor profile is there. Dark roasted malts, vanilla, wood and coffee. The tart fruit is much more prominent in the taste. Cherries and some molasses sweet. Nice!!

Mouth is silky and carbonation is creamy. Body is balanced to full with a long and wet finish.

Overall I think this was fantastic beer. The taste and feel were spot on for the style but with the smell being so big and stout like I think I was over expecting on this one. Great though and a must try.

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Photo of matttttYCE
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I started this whole thing with Flying Dog Gonzo as review #1 so I think it's cool to be able to do Wild Dog Barrel Aged Gonzo as #101. This is apparently 2010 vintage, 12oz bottle. Thank you very much ama for these!

Poured into a snifter, the head that rises is a nice dark tan color, foamy, and a bit less than a finger high. Fades rather quickly, but I'd expect that with the barrel aging and high ABV. Leaves a bit of a ring. Lacing is low. Color of the beer is a dark black with some highlights of brown.

The aroma is very nice with a pretty strong showing of bourbon and wood up front. Behind that are some layers of vanilla, a decent amount of toasted coconut, plenty of milk chocolate, roasted malts, espresso, and notes of dark pitted fruits or dark cherries.

The taste is nice, but a little more subdued than I thought I would get from the nose. All the same players are here, though - Bourbon and oaky spice, vanilla, coconut, milk chocolate, espresso, and nice roasted malts, all with a hint of those dark fruits again.

The consistency is a thinly silky smooth, the carbonation is medium (maybe even closer to the low side), the body is medium, and the finish is actually pretty light and fades after a short while (but I wouldn't say it's quick).

Overall this is a pretty darn good barrel aged beer. Definitely one worth trying and definitely a decent candidate for cellaring. If I could get more of this beer, I'd drink it quite a bit more cause, well, it's one of those kinds of beers. One that I'm not completely BLOWN away by, but one that I do quite enjoy and could easily find myself drinking on a weekly basis.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had on tap at gingerman after a jam with some buddies. showed up in a snifter. pretty dark in here but this brew is black as night. roasted malts with a whiskey twist, subtle booziness. same thoughts as on the bottle, the barrel just puts the beer on steroids. the barrel flavoring adds thicknes with a boozy shine to the flavor, but the booze is way more present in the finish than anywhere else. great beer, excited to get this on tap!

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black with a thin caramel head that slowly disappears.

S- Chocolate and malt with some light coffee notes. Slight hint of alcohol probably from the whiskey barrel

T- Dark malt,, chocolate, oak and a hint of whiskey. Very diverse and balanced.

M- Thick, but drinkable. A sipper, but smooth.

O- Great beer. I like the original Gonzo too, but this barrel aged Gonzo offers different unique notes.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of FoundersFanatic
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
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

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.65/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of crewfan16
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of projectflam86
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of PolarBear3
4.47/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Duff27
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

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Photo of Agold
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of Bung
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.67/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of Ungertaker
4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of ferrari29
4.47/5  rDev +9%
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

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

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Photo of maximum12
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.