1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

263 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 263
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.07%
Wants: 24
Gots: 86 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Aged and seasoned for three months in whiskey barrels.

Duplicate of this beer

(Beer added by: endincolorado on 11-18-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of keanlacrosse
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

keanlacrosse, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of sneth019
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

sneth019, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of Marti403
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Marti403, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of cthomas78
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

cthomas78, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of DapperGrowler
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

I tried this beer on tap at Meridian Pint in Washington DC. THis beer was served in a pint glass.

A: A black beer with a small head and not that much lacing around the glass.

S: When I brought the glass to my nose i was pleasantly happy to smell vanilla, a general sweetness and a slight smell of alcohol.

T: I though that this beer was quite complex with a lot of various flavors. On the front of the pallet I detected a sweet malt taste while on the back was a feeling of alcohol along with a vanilla aftertaste.

M: this was a full bodied beer and very smooth to drink.

O: this was a good barrel aged porter. It is not the best, but i really enjoyed it.

DapperGrowler, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of bertram
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%

pours a thick, viscous black with a small amount of tan head.

smell is sweet, and malty, followed by chocolate, raisin & bourbon.

the taste follows the smell - chocolate, malt and bourbon, with a hint of raisin and fruit.

the mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and thick.

overall a nice enough beer - based on a very good porter IMO - and a style I'd like to see done more often.

bertram, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of jmarsh123
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%

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.

jmarsh123, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of C2H5
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

C2H5, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of russwbeck
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%

A: Black pour with a huge brown head. Very large bubbles build up and create a beautiful looking beer. Retention is great, and a lot of lacing sticks to the sides of my Deschutes Tulip.

S: Whiskey forward aroma for sure. Chocolate and roast remain from the base Gonzo Imperial Porter. I'm not surprised some of the roast remains from Gonzo, and thankfully it plays well with the whiskey.

T: Stranahans Whiskey is simply delicious. Not intrusive, this whiskey adds a nice character to the beer. Oak, vanilla, and whiskey come together with chocolate and roast to create a nicely balanced, albeit whiskey focused, taste. You start off with some whiskey and chocolate, graduate to stronger whiskey and perhaps a hint of booze, and finish with a big roast and lingering whiskey.

MF: My only wish is that the base beer of Gonzo imparted more body to this beer. It seems a bit thin. Low carbonation as I would expect, I just wanted this to be a bit more rich. Insanely drinkable.

O: This was $20 for a 750ml bottle, which I say was worth it once, but not again. The bottle shop I picked it up from only got 6 bottles and I was lucky enough to grab one. It's pretty good, but not mind blowing.

russwbeck, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of pirmannt1
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

pirmannt1, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of klipper
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

klipper, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Exiled, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Eriktheipaman, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -4.1%

From 01/07/12 notes. Had at the last RB tasting. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon, oakm vanilla, and light coffee. Bourbon isn't overpowering, pretty nice nose.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, bourbon, chocolate, coffee, oak, vanilla, and dark fruits. More bourbon than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a very nice beer. Bourbon isn't too strong, but definitely there. Would like to have it again.

mdfb79, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of WankelEngine
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter

A: As I pour there is hardly any head at all. Near the end of the pour, I pull the bottle away to try to stimulate some head. Even with this vigorous pour, there is only a one-finger dark tan head which fades quickly to a ring of foam around the edge of the glass leaving no lacing.

S: The nose leads with sweet brown sugar and molasses. There are also notes of dark chocolate and coffee. Raisin and fig meld well with the sugars and complement the bitterness. Whiskey is present and adds a little bit of heat.

T: Dark chocolate and raisins are the first thing I taste. As I savor, the chocolate flavor transforms into more of a coffee flavor. There is a little bit of spicy oak. Molasses and caramel sweeten everything up. The whiskey flavor is actually relatively mild and smooth, but still notable. The finish lingering and dry, but not overly bitter.

M: Not as thick as I would have expected. I wouldn't call it watery but it's definitely easier to drink that your typical whiskey barrel aged anything. Ever so slightly sticky and a playful effervescence.

O: A relatively easy drinking porter. Dark but smooth without an overwhelming whiskey presence.

WankelEngine, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev -4.1%

2dogbrew, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

ygtbsm94, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of sidetracked
2.83/5  rDev -32.1%

Pours black with a nice foamy light brown head.

Aroma has a moderate bourbon presence, wood, some bitter roasted malts. Slightly sweet. Light alcohol heat as it warms.

Upfront taste is bitter baking chocolate, light bourbon and wood, and roasted malts. Finish is sweeter with some molasses and light bourbon, roastyness, and chocolate. Flavor isn't that strong. Some alcohol at the finish as it warms.

Medium to full bodied with a medium carbonation. Crisp and dry. Could be more substantial.

Falls short of what I expected. Aroma is great, but the taste and body don't match it. Seems kind of watery. Disappointing.


sidetracked, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of Brickwall316
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Brickwall316, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%

Snagged a few of these in a trade with ruizjoe!

The beer pours a jet black with a thick tan head that fades. The reason I'm giving this beer a slightly higher appearance score than usual is because of how damn rich it looks for an american porter...although I have my suspicions about this being an american porter vs a baltic.
There is very little lacing, but an oily residue is left behind in its place.
When the light hits the beer, the edges glisten a color that is purely sunset.

A touch of yummy whiskey followed by a rich, chocolaty sweetness. The vanilla from the wood offers another candy element to this beer's nose. This smells very rich and smooth.

Tastes like it smells with gorgeous wood barrel, caramelized sugars, chocolate, and roastiness pulled together by syrupy sweetness and high octane alcohol. The fruitiness that lingers after each sip reminds me of figs, raisins, and tobacco (not a fruit...).
It's one of the best barrel aged beers I've had ever, and almost reminds me of how I felt drinking BCBS for the first time.

Thick, medium-full bodied beer with more carbonation than expected and heavy, heavy flavors that sit on your palate and linger. This is definitely a sipping beer and should be consumed at a slightly warmer temperature to experience its full potential. Kind of like biting into a whiskey, fudge brownie.

Super impressed with this beer and I think it's the best FD beer available. The bottles cost $6-7 for a 12oz, which is quite reasonable and worth the cost. I also shared this beer at a recent bottle sharing event and most people were as impressed as I was with this beer.

ThePorterSorter, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of aprilianewman
5/5  rDev +19.9%

aprilianewman, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of mjmadsen21
5/5  rDev +19.9%

mjmadsen21, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of nucmedmario
4/5  rDev -4.1%

nucmedmario, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of stbo101
4/5  rDev -4.1%

stbo101, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of BB1313
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%

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..

BB1313, Jan 09, 2012
Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.