Black Flag Imperial Stout | Beer Valley Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
86
very good
233 Ratings
Black Flag Imperial StoutBlack Flag Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Beer Valley Brewing Co.
Oregon, United States
beervalleybrewing.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hopsaplenty on 11-09-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
233
Reviews:
146
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
12.3%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
25
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 233 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of stevoj
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Growler from Albertsons. CO2 fill pours out with a fast rising, creamy beige head that stays fluffy throughout. Dark roast grains and bitter chocolate dominate the aroma. Taste follows with tons of roast grain bitterness. A hint of alcohol warmth at the finish, but mostly bitter. Top notch RIS.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

One of my friend's swears by this beer. We met up last night and he offered me a sample from his bomber. Time to give it a ride:

Very thick and dark appearance with a head that doesn't get much and retains poorly. The smell brings out deep chocolate, dextrin, esters, and alcohol, more of the same in the taste. Esters gain definition as it warms. The feel is fat and chewy with only a tad of carbonation. The alcohol is listed at 11.5(!), and indeed this is some intense stuff. Very heavy, even for an Imperial Stout. Enjoy this beer in small servings.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by slasher007.

Pours dark brown with a nice sized khaki head. Aroma is quite a bit of citrus hops as well as some roasted malt. The taste is roasted malt with a solid hop presence. A different take on an imperial stout that I do like. The mouthfeel is where I don't like the beer, as I feel it is too thin for a beer of this style. Overall, it is a very good beer I just wish it was thicker.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Flag has a menacingly opaque appearance, a warning sign for a stout that is over 11% alcohol and over 100 bittering units. Equipped with darkness and an ink-stained foam that gloomily adorns the glass like cobwebs, it looks daunting enough to instill cowardice in the fainthearted (and excitement in the stout lover).

I thought it a tad funny that the brewery sprawled "American Style" across the label in bold, capital letters. It starts to make more sense after smelling it though - the hoppiness not only towers as tall as a coast redwood but also inspirits the leafy, resiny characteristics of the forest. It is herbal and minty, exquisitely blended with a coffee-and-cream roast.

Black Flag drinks something like a gourmet Oreo cookie that's been injected with pine serum, flower petals and citrus piths. With the oiliness and bitterness of coffee, the richness of a chocolate truffle and the delicate sweetness of Madagascar vanilla, it is a full-bodied, fulfilling stout that is, frankly, ridiculously too quaffable for its (supposed) strength.

The combination of Warrior, Chinook, Columbus, and Cascade leaves hardly any stone unturned in the realm of hop flavours. From sticky, sappy resins to sharp-cutting citrus to leafy, botanical florals, there isn't a single part of the palate untouched by some form of hoppy taste or texture. And all this despite the use of ample roasted and dark malts.

Black Flag is hidden treasure. Like most Oregon microbreweries, Beer Valley brands are rarely found outside of the state (and is easy to overlook within it). Rest assured, however, it is pure gold and every bit the beer as Great Divide's Yeti or Founder's Breakfast Stout (both of which it reminds me of). A stout to truly shiver yer timbers! Damn fine grog!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a pitch black, motor oil color. It is hardly carbonated at all, a few lonely bubbles mar the shiny surface. Aromatic notes of burnt prunes, port, alcohol, concentrated malt, figs, . Something akin to a green, almost vegetal note is also here, actually it is probably a green apple note. The aromatic finish is dominated by the ample malt notes; black coffee, burnt caramel, chocolate malt balls and toffee are found towards the end if you dig for it underneath the up front aromatics.

Wow this beer is much more viscous and thick than I was expecting. Sweet malt notes are ample, yet are quite well held in check by the alcohol and roasted notes. The beer finishes with a touch of astringent burnt grain husk and a bit of a chalky notes. The finish has a solid hop bitterness to it that, while not overwhelming, helps to balance the sweet malt character and lingers on in the long finish. The beer is still a bit green around the edges; green apple notes and a lack of carbonation are certainly noticeable. This beer leans more towards the chocolate side of the dark grain spectrum, but still does have a nice, supporting burnt grain character that is especially more noticeable towards the finish. Burnt fruit notes of prunes, raisins and figs are quite noticeable up front.

The lack of carbonation certainly hurts this beer, though being an Imperial Stout it can certainly handle the loss much better than most styles. The longer I sip away this 22oz bottle the more I come to appreciate the balance that this beer strikes. Smooth and mellow (well as mellow as a 11.5% beast can be) with a striking chocolate character that is just balanced by a subtler, yet more aggressive roasted grain notes. Certainly black and silky, sexy even and that is certainly not something I would have guessed during the first third of this beer. This is a beer that definitely benefits from a sample size of at least 16oz. This may certainly be a bit much to ask for from a Imperial Stout, but this one needs it and I don't necessarily think that the alcohol is the one doing the talking here (though that certainly does not hurt).

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Photo of Zorro
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A fairly expensive bottle from BevMo in Thousand Oaks.

In the glass this is a thick oily looking black colored beer that does not pass light. This seems to be very low in carbonation and does not form a head.

The smell is sweet with a clear and strong black licorice aroma. There is a fairly strong blackberry aroma here too that grows as it warms. Additional scents of brandy and coffee.

The taste begins with a strong slightly burned coffee taste. After you acclimate to the coffee and the charred taste a little bit of berry flavor appears but this is clearly a coffee tasting RIS. This needs much more complexity.

The mouthfeel is quite thick but loses points for ultra low carbonation level.

Drinkability is only average. The major problems here are lack of complex flavors and lack of head formation. This wasn't worth the $10 that the bottle cost me.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a dark black, with a small tan head, almost brown, when poured into a goblet,

S: Smells of dark malts, some caramel, chocolate, and coffee.

T: While most big stouts I have had have been dominated by coffee, this one is dominated by chocolate, big chocolate notes overtake the whole stout backed with some light coffee flavours and molasses, very tasty.

M: Very thick, robust and chewy, a very nicely put together stout.

D: I really liked this beer, it is really good on-tap, a really well put together stout, very well done. It is heavy, but has a nice feel to it, which makes it easy to drink.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Bitterbill
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a pitch black with a huge +2 finger head of tan foam.

The smell has notes of roasted malt, coffee, and hoppy bitterness.

The taste has big roasted malt, coffee, a touch of dark fruit, and a quite big hop profile. In fact, this is a *very* hoppy Imperial Stout. The roasted malt is big too. as is the coffee, but they are having a heck of a time competing with the hops. I think if the hops were calmed down to a lower presence, this would be quite the good example of the style but as is, the hops are just to much. Perhaps some aging would help but as this is my only bottle, I'll leave it to someone else to find out. ;^)

It has a nice thickish mouthfeel and the carbonation is light and right for the style. And it *is* one heck of a looker in the glass. Lots of lacing and the head retention is awesome. I'm very glad I got to try it but I probably won't seek it out again.

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Photo of DucksFan16
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger light brown head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Very dark brown color, no highlights. Nose is baked chocolate. Flavor is baked chocolate with hints of molasses and caramel. High ABV is hidden. $9.99 for a 22oz bottle from Liquorama Upland, CA.

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Photo of weeare138
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears pitch black with a thick, 2 finger head of dark tan that retains nicely. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted grains, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, and some ripe, dark fruit.
Taste echoes the aromas with more of a raisin flavor coming through, along with the husky graininess that carries some charred, roasty flavors.
Mouthfeel is somewhat bitter with the roastiness dominating the palate that is already on the thick, chewy side.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a big ass black, its as dark as can be pretty much. Almost a full inch of tan head. There is some yeast or sediment floating around on this one though. Aroma has a significant amount of alcohol noticeable, some dark fruit bitterness notes. Coffee and chocolate to a lesser extent.

Taste is a big 100ibu like bitterness, huge roastiness, striaght up west coast Dark Lord without the sweetness and a little less big. Its not as good as Dark Lord, but it really goes in that direction. Big no adjunct imperial stout. Bomber only format keeps it from being a repeat purchase.

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Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown that's almost pitch black and completely opaque with faint dark amber/mahogany edges when held to a light source. Two finger frothy, pillowy beige head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that coats the glass with chunky rings of soapy lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with a huge earthy floral hop presence with citrus notes. There is a bit of chocolate, toffee, coffee, licorice and toast underneath but this beers smells extremely hoppy, especially for the style. Their is a good bit of citrus peel and grapefruit along with some earthy pine. The hops even overpower the roasted notes of the malt.

Chewy resinous full body with a huge bitter earthy hop blast up front that lingers over the roasted malt body into a dry bitter finish with plenty of alcohol heat. Lots of earthy dry pine notes as well as crisp citrus notes from the hops. Silky chocolate malt with hints of roasted coffee, toffee, oatmeal, nut and licorice. I wouldn't say that this is well balanced because the hops are so dominant, but the malty body provides a good countering flavor. This is the hoppiest stout I've ever had, to the point where they almost overtake all of the other flavors. I would prefer if the malt presence was a little stronger but I still enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A; Poured a deep brown almost black but in the light as it poured it was dark brown. Had a nice tannish head which looked very good.Lots of bubbles and lacing

S: Chocolate, sharp booze notes on the nose, roasted malts, coffee

T: Toasted and burnt grains, cocoa, sharp booze feel, the end has a battle of chocolate and coffee, not your fufu coffee either, more like my gramps Folgers!

M: Nice carbonation, warming, full bodied

D: Great drink and easy to drink.

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Photo of beertunes
3.17/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in 12oz goblet. Poured a slightly translucent black with a thick deep tan head that had good retention and moderate lacing. This beer really was more the color of an exceptionally dark brown ale.

The expected rich, roasty aroma was accompanied by a sharp note of hops. There were no other surprises in the aroma, this smelled exactly like I expect the style to. The flavors were also what you anticipate, nothing out of the ordinary here. Rich, full and roasted malt dominate with a dash of hop spice on the edges.

The body and drinkability were both typical for the style. Overall, except for the lighter than normal color, this beer could used to teach people what to expect from this type of beer. A very good, but not special brew. Worth trying if you see it, worth effort to obtain if you're a stout fan.

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Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Erik-P
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 650 mL capped bottle courtesy of boolshot.

A: The ale is quite dark, dare I say it is pitch black. The ale opened with nary a hiss and revealed little carbonation on pour. As it settles, a cappucino-colored haze develops on top of the beer.

S: The scent is strong on thick, bread-like chocolates and deep wine-like complexity. The aroma makes you anticipate the taste.

T: The taste is quite acrid and bitter initially, providing a bit of tartness (not a brett-like tartness, mind you) that transitions into a burnt malt chocolate flavor. The dry malty flavor has a compliment in a bit of hop bitterness that seems to have a medicinal amarillo hop presence. I find the hops to be rather strong, although well blended into the malt body. The lasting aftertaste is a slightly bitter hoppiness mixed with burnt malts. I am pleased primarily because other reviews were uninspiring, causing me to expect something worse.

M: The mouthfeel is hoppy and burnt, a combination that exemplifies an American double stout.

D: The big abv makes one bomber enough for one night, but I'd gladly snag another bottle if given the chance. The beer has the ability to hold its own with bigger, more sought-after stouts.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - To my suprise, the beer was a very dark brown. Cloudy, with some light able to work its way around the edges. Minimal head and lacing.

S - Roasted malts - bitter cocoa, espresso beans. Smoke, spice and earth.

T - Bitter and smokey blend off dark roasted bitter cocoa, espresso. Nice spice and earthy flavor.

M - Full bodied... earthy, chewy and grainy.

D - Very good flavor, very unique. Would seek out again.

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Photo of DrJay
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting - Day 2. Viggo contributed this one. Thanks!
Very dark brown with garnet highlights and a giant, fluffy, dark tan cap. Pillowy head with chunky, thick lacing. Floral hops in the aroma, almost to the point of perfume, plus some citrus, roast, caramel, and nuts. Solid bitterness that ended up just a bit acrid in the finish. Lots of malt sweetness, roast, caramel, mellow hops, and alcohol towards the end. Medium bodied, a little thinner than expected, with low carbonation. Smooth, but a bit lifeless. Easy drinking for a big stout with well controlled alcohol.

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Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle I picked up at a BevMo in San Fran. Day 2 of epic DrJay visit tasting.

Pours a very dark and opaque brown, some ruby red highlights in the corners, huge latte coloured head forms, tons of lacing on the glass, settles to a thin ring, looks okay. Smell is nice, perfumy, burnt sugar, toffee, brown sugar sweetness, chocolate and roast, oats, cracker, not bad. Taste is nice as well, milk chocolate, big roastiness, oats, woody astringent middle, burnt sugar and milk, some floral and light fruit, decently balanced in the finish, neat stuff. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary, low carbonation, some warmth going down. Not a bad stout but nothing spectacular, although it was in pretty good company that night. Hides the alcohol well, but doesn't drop any bombs.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Quite impressive pour, just what you want to see, jet black, good tan head, the staple of good IS appearance. Nice chunkies floating.

Aroma, very heavy hop bill, decent amount of alcohol in the nose. Big wafting choco coffee rock at yeah.

Taste comes across just like the aroma, this is heavy beer. Mouthfeel, holds up through most of the bottle, drinkability suffers as you start to slow down the pace, via the heavy-ness, and its a bit pricey, considering some of the comparable stouts you can get much cheaper, but overall, a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Bung
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black/dark brown pour. Dark cream head that remained for quite a while. Lacing throughout the beer. Burnt and roast malts, baker chocolate aromas. Almost creamy mouthfeel, but enough bittering coffee and hops to keep it a bit more lively than creamy. Tastes similarly with very roasty malt and coffee. Some chocolate and very little dark fruit and charcoal. Quite full bodied. Alcohol very well hidden. Very good example of the style, without add ons like barrel aging.

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Black Flag Imperial Stout from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
3.82 out of 5 based on 233 ratings.
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