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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

272 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 272
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.83%
Wants: 30
Gots: 85 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: endincolorado on 11-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Aged and seasoned for three months in whiskey barrels.

Duplicate of this beer
 http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/68/36342 
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 49
Reviews by chanokokoro:
Photo of chanokokoro
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

Pours an opaque black with a beige one and a half finger head with dissipates into a thin foam ring bordering the inside of the glass. A aroma of chocolate, oak, roasted malt, and a bit of whiskey booziness rises from the glass. Initially chocolate and a bit of dark fruit, transtions into slight sweet roasted malt which eventually finishes with oak and whiskey and a bit of alcohol heat. Very pleasant mouthfeel. Perfect level of carbonation with a heavier medium body. Very smooth from start to finish. A very solid barrel-aged porter and an overall tasty brew. Recommended and worth revisiting.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jeonseh
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Poured with no head and only had a small edge of foam on the edges. Much darker than the original Gonzo

S - Dark chocolate, vanilla sweetness and a strong whisky presence as well. Get hints of oak from the barrel and hints of plum as well.. Actually a bit surprised by how much barrel you get in the nose give its only aged a few months

T - Chocolate, hints of brandied dark fruits and a hint of oak. Near the end of the beer, there are hints of vanilla and bitter coffee and hops. You do get a slight kick from the alcohol as well.

MF - Medium body with a light syrupiness to it. Has a decent amount of carbonation as well. Leaves a slight oak tingle on the tongue that lingers in the aftertaste

O - Good BA porter from Flying Dog. The barrel adds a new layer of complexity to the normal Gonzo. Worth trying if you find one.

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sour bourbon, edgy, big bourbon aroma. Nice imperial porter. 'bout time I rated it. Buffalo BA gathering. A sipper, smoother mouthfeel than the last time I had it, aided by understated carbonation.Deep brown colour. Must have something soothing after it.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a fantastic looking beer. Dark brown color with a massive soft espresso colored head that's persistent.

Strong vanilla and wood bourbon notes with burnt malt.

The wood is overdone in the taste and drowns out anything the malt tries to contribute. It's extremely hot, even for a BA.

Mouthfeel has too much carbonation and is prickly.

Overall, an average at best BA beer and the price tag makes this a huge miss for me.

Photo of hdofu
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wowsers... I've had gonzo before but this was my first time with the barrel aged variant... they weren't kidding about it being weird turned pro... granted I wouldn't say it was weird... it was a pretty normal imperial porter... now is where it gets weird... a porter with that kind of oak whisky taste. This beer tastes and smells like whiskey... no 2 ways about it. It has an amazing reddish brown head that quickly dissipates despite bubbling out of the top of the glass. Taste is like dark chocolate and coffee beans. This beer is amazing.

Photo of Gmann
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a near black color with brownish highlights at the edges. The creamy head is smallish and settles into a thick ring with some lacing on the glass.

The aroma is a bit faint for a whiskey barrel brew. I pick up some smooth caramel and vanilla with a hint of oak. Not much else.

The taste is of a light pumpernickle base with nice vanilla flavor and some caramel. A bit of oak and the whiskey pop through. Some roasty bitterness in the end, perhaps some dark chocolate. The whiskey doesn't really pop.

The feel is moderate with softish carbonation. Sweet on the palate and finishes with a slight bitter edge and dryness. Drinks very easy for a barrel aged brew, abv well hidden.

Falls a bit short for a barrel aged brew but it does have nice flavors and is quite easy to drink.

Photo of Rutager
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Yeahnatenelson for this one. Vintage 11AA

Appearance. Pours black with a thin, espresso foam head.

Smell. Chocolate and roasty malts with a little oaky vanilla and booze. Just a slight sourness too.

Taste. Sweet bourbon, some roasty malts, a bit of semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-low carboantion.

Overall. Drinks pretty easy considering abv and tastes good.

Photo of n2185
3.37/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black with three fingers of brown head that fades into a thin layer with no lacing.

S: Roasted malts with semi-sweet chocolate, char, and touches of smoke. Hints of vanilla, oak, and whiskey follow, though they're pretty mellow.

T: Roasted malts with bitter chocolate and char dominate here. There is a light smokiness as well. The finish has some oak and whiskey notes along with a light alcohol burn.

M: Medium-thick body with moderately low carbonation, this beer is a little watery and boozy feeling in the mouth.

O: A decent beer overall, though not great. I'd like there to be a bit more presence from the whiskey barrels with less of an alcohol burn and a creamier body.

Photo of smakawhat
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I realised I had this review in the wrong place, this makes more sense now that I can see the bottle pic. Originally reviewed May 30th.

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Vintage 11BB.

Very similar to it's on tap brother, creamy large milk chocolate brown/tan head settles nicely to a good whispy top, classic dark walnut body and hints around the edges of red. Looks real nice.

Nose is spicy milk chocolate, and yes banana. Choco banana, and even some salt.

Taste seems kind of lacking. Mild licorice, not much of a big sweetness but some residual charring and roast. Slightly silky but also some weak wetness also and a hint of fizz.

Overall I forgot I had this before (didn't), but boy that was sometime ago and getting the bottom of a keg. THis is more enjoyable slightly a bit out of the bottle, it seems to have more roast character and not as sweet as I remember.

Photo of jmarsh123
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a minimal mocha head fading almost immediately. Some lacing down the glass.

Just a touch of the roasted malt and quite a bit of the chocolate remains from the base beer aroma. The booze is subtle, but the barrel characteristics dominates. Loads of sweet vanilla and some oak are present.

Chocolate up front in the flavor. Some vanilla (though not as much as the nose), oak and leather come into play and it finishes with a roasted malt taste backed with a subtle hint of booze. Flavors are integrated well.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation levels. Would prefer a touch less carbonation.

Good solid beer, but nothing spectacular and I think I prefer the base beer. The booze is subtle on it, but it still gets a bit too sweet at times.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Barrel-aging can really work wonders, eh? The standard Gonzo Imperial porter was okay - nothing revolutionary, right, but I really enjoyed this barrel-aged version...

A: pitch black in my flute glass - decent finger of dark tan head slimmed quickly leaving but traces of lace

S: chocolatey malts and roastiness overlaid by sweet, smooth whiskey oak notes

T: a real classy drink - rich and full, bittersweet and roasty, with airs of whiskey and oak; some espresso stayed relatively subdued in the backgrund, allowing the dark malst and barrel-aging flavors to take center-stage.

M: smooth, light (for an imperial porter), mellow, great balance of bitter and sweet; great finish, too - nothing coating or sticky, just a dry, semi-sweet cocoa vibe

O: wonderful drink, highly recommended

Photo of endincolorado
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a crema-like, foamy tan head and lots of lacing. Aroma is rich and roasty with sweet molasses, dark fruit, vanilla and wood. Black coffee and burn toast up front in flavor, followed by strong, dark-chocolate and a real vanilla-caramel sweetness that reminds me of some kind of baked-good. A complex medley of flavors lingers on the palate long after each sip. A full, creamy body and perfect carbonation make up the mouthfeel, followed by an alcoholic warmth from the whiskey barrel.

For the style, I feel that this is a nuanced, welcome escape from the norm, and a bit sweeter than most.

Photo of DustinSmall
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Flying Dog brewery, also had the cask version with cherry, but this review is from the growler of it i picked up

A- A dark reddish brown on the curve, the beer over all is a dark dark mahogany almost black, little carbonation, half finger head, nice alcohol legs on this

S- Bourbon right up front, sweet malts, caramel, dark fruits coming through, and im getting some wood on this

T- A hit of bourbon up front, then sweet malts and a huge woody flavor come out, the after taste is slightly bitter and coffee like

M- This thing is great heavy/medium coats the mouth nicely

O- wonderful wonderful

Photo of Etan
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a brandy snifter. Looks like it's a 2011 ("VINTAGE11AA").

A: Pours an opaque black with a small tan head.

S: Whiskey dominates the nose. Big vanilla, oak, smooth liquor, a tiny bit of chocolate from the stout underneath.

T: Oaky liquor, heavy wood, very subtle vanilla tannins, a bit of chocolate in the background, raisins. Huge charred roastiness in the finish.

M: Full-bodied, fine carbonation.

O: The heaviness of the oak and roast in the flavor detracted from this beer. Looking for a little more sweetness. Good, but could have been better.

Photo of BB1313
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a light black, light getting through, not too much head, lacing, retention, but still looks nice. Lots of rich milk chocolate blended with oak and whiskey. The whiskey is noticeable, but not completely dominant. More wood in the flavors and alot more chocolate. I can also pick up a nice amount of vanilla. More milk chocolate, roasted chocolate, chocolate. Chocolate is the star, followed by the oak. Bittersweet flavors. Mouthfeel is nice, light, and well carbonated. Maybe not as velvety as I expected, but there's still not much to complain about. This is a very easy drinking beer and the alcohol goes unnoticed.

This might not be a mind blower, but it's very well done. Great beer! Very tasty..

Photo of masterofsparks
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vanilla, oak and booze swirl through the nose. Mouthfeel is thin to medium, right on for a porter but this looks so much like a stout that I was initially expecting more.

Taste-wise, this is a treat. The roasted flavors that are typical of a porter mesh beautifully with the barrel character. Vanilla is the dominant flavor from the barrel, but it doesn't overwhelm the other characters or the flavor of the beer itself. Well-balanced, smooth, and delicious. I'll buy this every time I see it.

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a deep, dark, inpenetrable brown, with a 1/4" tan head that slowly reduces to a thin skim of foam.

The smell is powerfully malty, with rich vanilla, cream, kahlua, maple syrup, and warm alcohol. It's so rich, just taking a sniff is like biting into a finger of tiramisu. There's no question that the barrel aging is having a huge impact upon this ale's aroma.

Boozy, the whiskey barrel aging is dominant, as if a half-shot of whiskey was dropped into this porter prior to serving. Malty and sweet, with honey, cream, bits of vanilla, and dark chocolate, there's a ton going on in this brew. So rich as to border on overwhelming, this is a slllooow sipper of a porter, more like a rich stout. Finishes with a slight bitter that's more coffee or dark chocolate than hop.

Full bodied, a true "fork and knife" mouthfeel brew. Smooth and creamy to start, the whiskey aging does begin to tire the tongue a bit as you get further into the beer, leaving it dry and almost chalky.

A real big brew, this beer in some ways is quintessentially American. Bold, complex, over the top and unapologetic, this imperial porter not only laughs disdainfully at other porter, it scoffs at most other stouts as well. It stands atop the food pyramid of porters, an alpha predator that will school other more timid ales. Pour one if you dare!

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle labeled 11AA. Poured into a CCB Snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown body. Aggressive pour yields a fizzy 1 finger head. Head dissipates quickly with little lacing, but settles to a nice silky rim.

S: Bourbon forward, dark figgy-like fruits, vanilla sweetness, caramel, chocolate, a strong molasses waft. As it opens up and warms, the bourbon smell fades a bit and the molasses and fig smells becomes more prominent.

T: Wow, this one is complex. The sweetness of the dark fruit and vanilla character balance and mellow out the bourbon well. At the finish, there is a ton of chocolate and oak.

M: medium-full body. Nice and creamy. Booze is hidden well. Low-moderate carbonation.

O: After a couple years in the cellar, this one has aged very well. The complexity of this is really wonderful. It definitely improved as it warmed. I love the balance of sweetness with the bourbon.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.91/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: really dark black porter. head is light to medium brown poring out to 1 full finger of head that dies down to a ring around the top of the beer. good looking dark beer!

Smell: strong whiskey and oak notes that overpower all else. The nose is all business, nuff said.

Taste: upfront some malty sweetness represented by a chocolate bar and a mild roasty coffee. U get a little bit of vanilla mixed with black licorice and oak. Then the whiskey takes over and dominates this beer from midtaste to the aftertaste. Mild boozey kick that works good with the flavors that are present.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with low to carbonation. Appropriate for the beer style, fairly close to where it should be. Oily and fairly viscous for a baltic porter. Still feels a bit thin, but I am used to drinking barrel aged stouts and this is a porter. So that is to be expected.

Overall: really nice barrel aged porter. Had the non-barrel aged version of Gonzo many times before and I prefer the whiskey barrel treatment for this beer... it really does wonders for this porter. I would have to say that this beer is the best offering I have ever drank from flying dog brewery.

Photo of justintcoons
3.26/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a large wine glass.

Appearance
Pitch black with a short brown head that dissipates quickly.

Nose
Toffee, sugar and prune. Dark chocolate, raisin and a touch of blended whiskey.

Taste
Toffee, semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa nibs. Prune juice and raisin. Very sugary with touches of blended whiskey. Very light barrel character.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, smooth, silky and warming.

Overall
This one is very sugary sweet. Lots of toffee and prune. Again, this is very light on the barrel character. Not really worth the $8/12oz bottle.

Photo of davey101
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage11BB. This is the "non wild dog" version. 12 Oz. bottle into a complimentary plastic hotel cup. Pours a dark brown body with a really dense mocha head. Thick lacing and retention. Smell is strong on the whiskey. Roasted malts, chocolate, toffee, dark fruits, and an oddly sweet finish. Taste is the same with some alcohol heat. Mouthfeel is medium with a coating finish. Not bad at all.

Photo of John_M
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Max's today during their rare beerfest. This is the barrel aged version, but with vanilla nibs and chipolte.

The beer pours blackish brown color with fairly good head retention and decent lacing. The nose is just great on this stuff, as I pick up considerable dark chocolate, vanilla, nestle's quick and light coffee. The flavor profile is even better, as I pick up some heat from the chili's, a touch of bourbon, along with everything I got in the nose. The beer is fairly sweet, but the bourbon tones that down nicely in this fine beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a soft, almost creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is noticeable, but is not over the top or overdone.

Just an all around well made, well crafted beer from Flying Dog. Impressive stuff.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was a fan of their regular porter and definitely had to try their barrel-aged version. This brew was aged and seasoned for three months in wood barrels from the brewery’s neighbors at Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. Poured from bomber into a tulip glass. Pours brown with a foamy, tan head. Bit of dark malts in the nose, some mild roast, some toasty caramel. Big sweet bourbon flavor, roasted malts, and dark sugars. Medium to full bodied with fine carbonation. Mild warmth in the finish, some light roast, wood, dark sugar, and some dark fruits as well. Very nice imperial porter!

Photo of FosterJM
3.36/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

1714th Review on BA
Bottle to Hangar 24 taster
12oz

Split with the Beer Geek Radio Guys.

App- This was a very dark brown with a dark center and a nice puffy head on it. Filled up the taster glass. Semi decent cling, but looked really nice in the glass. A good looking little taster glass.

Smell- I get the porter notes, but there is a raisiny off flavor behind this one. The aromas are a bit sweet with some of the prickly whiskey coming up to great you. Doesnt smell all that impressive really.

Taste- This just didnt go well for me. The porter notes are a bit thin and what I could day as the raisins from the aroma come in as well. The beer is just a bit better than average and dont do all that much for me.

Mouth- A bit of a lighter medium body with a lighter carbonation. Fairly bubbly and a little creamy. Residual oaky and raisin flavors.

Drink- Just kinda above average for me. Wouldnt say meh. But just okay. Not my favorite profile.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from MeadMe, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid black with a good sized long lasting khaki head. Smells of chocolate and caramel with bits of dark pitted fruit, vanilla, oak, and bits of wood and bourbon. Smooth sweet chocolate with bits of dark fruit drizzled with vanilla and bourbon. The finish leaves a bit of bitter chocolate and roast with smokey ash on the palette that lingers long after each sip. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet creamy and syrupy mouthfeel. Wow I really liked this one!

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Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.