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Black Flag Imperial Stout | Beer Valley Brewing Co.

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Black Flag Imperial StoutBlack Flag Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
3.81/5
Very Good
234 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
Ranking:
#15,439
Reviews:
147
Ratings:
234
pDev:
12.34%
Bros Score:
3.76
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
25
Trade:
0
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Ratings: 234 |  Reviews: 147
Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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 ShadesOfGray
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my tall Allagash chalice/snifter glass. Pairing with a nice plate of cheese: sharp provolone, mature gouda, and asiago. Pours a semi dark brown, with a decent amount of light shining through for a stout. In fact as the glass is full, held up into the light, there's a faint reddish tinge towards the bottom and top edges. Head is very small and slow rising. About half of a finger of soft creamy frothy bubbles. Leaves a very quick sliding fizzy lacing.

Aroma is welcoming. Bitter sweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans, malts, charred wood, raisins, and mild booze.

Flavor is conflicting to me. It starts with a mild sweetness that quickly follows by heavy roastedness. The mid flavors are full of over roasted coffee, mild booze. Then it finishes sweet again, with chocolate and raisins in the back ground. Now what hurts the overall beer for me is the after taste. About 5 to 10 seconds after each sip, a heavy over roasted/burnt coffee bitterness and dryness hits the palate. So I would say the beer has a very good start, but a disappointing finish. Carbonation and booze levels are middle of the road, medium body.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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 dragonWhale
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The 11% was a bit of a surprise to me..well, why not then? A bomber shared by a dear friend for a birthday celebration. Black and looking thick, tan topping..it looks meaty, for sure.
It bears forth bitter chocolate and hop aromas, a pretty hefty bitterness. Little bit of roast and for sure some malt sweetness and alcohol.
Definitely on the bitter side for an Imperial Stout, would like to see this with some more time in the bottle, let that bitterness start to fade, and that chocolate mellow into the rest of the beer. Not overly sweet or boozy, pretty damn nice and drinkable, still thick, though. And the bitter chocolate coats your mouth along with the hops, which becomes a little distracting.

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Photo of Chelsea1905
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very bitter Stout, lots of hops in here and very boozy!

Appears black with a light brown tinge to the outer layer when held under light,

Smell is dark malts, plums, hops, and booze. I almost wanted to know if this was barrel aged.

Taste is too hoppy, and too boozy for the style it represents.

Nice mouthfeel, like the way a stout should be.

I don't know how to drink more than one of these, but even just the one is a little too alcohol overdosed

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Photo of mactrail
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, rich, bitter black ale.

Nice chestnut edge in the glass-- not really black like typical stouts. My 22 oz bottle poured nicely and while the head wasn't big there was enough to look decent, and plenty of carbonation in the mouth. Some nice roasty aromas once the beer warms up a little.

This thing is just really alcoholic and plenty bitter. The warmth seeps down the throat. Quite sippable, but I miss the balanced maltiness of a barley wine. Definitely austere, more like a bitter cordial than a mellow brandy.

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Photo of Buebie
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought this home from Orogon to share.

Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Black in color, 1 inch of off white head. Very thick, long lasting head that finally settles after 10 minutes to a half inch cap of retention. Thick full coverage lace.
Black in color, no light penetration.

Aroma is full of sweet chocolate extract, cake batter and a mild boozie after dinner drink. Very Mild hops.
Taste is much more robust, providing a large unexpected burst of piney hops that just keeps coming and bitters to the very end!
Chocolate upfront with roasted grains and some warming that just goes into hop explosion. Amazing brew.
Hempy, pine resin deliciousness.

Feel is slick with mild creaminess and modest carbonation.

This is one beer that completely took me by surprise. Very good.

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Photo of Phelps
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A small sample shared by a roommate and poured into a perfect pint glass.

Looks: unyielding black, with a large dark tan head that cascades upwards and sticks around for quite a while and grips the glass in thick layers of lace.

Smells: like pepsi. A sweet, caramelized character, along with a bit of licorice, anise, some sage, a bit of oak. Very strong soda syrup character.

Tastes: like anise seeds. Leans heavily upon an acrid licorice flavor, with a sweet Dr. Pepper-ish background. Citrusy hops make an appearance in the form of grapefruit. Also get some sourdough and toasted crackers. Interesting and unexpected, but not so great.

Feels: waveless. Carbonation is perhaps a bit too low for this beer. The body is medium-light and the overall mouthfeel is fine, though an alcohol tinge comes through the nostrils and flames the mouth as well.

Drinks: unlike a stout, to me. Heavy on the licorice and citrus. It's interesting, and perhaps some people are big fans of very hoppy stouts. As it is, I'm glad I wasn't the one that paid for a whole bomber.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an oily, opaque black, topped off with a little bit of tan head. Aromas of coffee, bitter chocolate and maybe vanilla. Decent roasted malt flavors, a little bit sweet, with bakers chocolate and espresso. For some reason I was expecting a little more from this one. Not bad though.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a rich opaque darkness with a finger of strongly steadfast ecru head. Lacing is tall and thick, lasting for a decent amount of time. The nose is dark malts, leather, dark roast coffee, and a tiny bit of chocolate. Th taste accentuates the coffee, retains a portion of the leather; a healthy hoppy bitterness invades and quickly seizes control of the government. The coup is finished by a subtle helping of powdered cocoa, which fades into obscurity along with the last vestiges of the old regime, a hint of coffee. The body is a heavy medium, with moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, a bit on the bitter side, but fairly drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of caresville
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

received this one from saulcharlesworth in an under 100 BIF, thanks!!

a- dark and night and thicker than most stouts. decent sized tan head with minimal lacing.

s- lots of roasted malts going on here, hints of chocolate syrup, mocha coffee beans and some coal.

t&m- thick and smooth, heavy heavy heavy on the roastyness, lots of malts and chocolate. hints of coffee and raisins.

d- not too complex but not super boring. the flavors dont all mesh particularly well together but thats not a terrible thing, it kept me interested throughout the beer.

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Photo of younger35
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this beer from Gibby in a trade. I've had this beer many times on tap when I lived in Boise but never got around to reviewing. Drank from my Darkness snifter.

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish with hints of black with a one finger medium tan head. Surprisingly "light" colored for an Imperial Stout. A thin collar along with a spotty cap remain and manage to leave behind a fair amount of spotty lacing.
Smell- Supremely roasty and chocolaty with a rich milk chocolate nose. Some darkly roasted coffee hides amongst the chocolate as does some lightly sweet caramel. The nose is just really rich and thick smelling with a sort of lactose like sweetness. The hops are noticeable, mostly citric, but the supreme richness of the roast seems to rule the nose.
Taste- Well... The hops that get overshadowed in the nose are MORE than present in the taste. It starts with a big citric bite that holds in it lemon and pinches of grapefruit. Way more than I was expecting, or remember, that's for sure. The malts make their appearance a bit later and the sweet milk chocolate I got in the nose are in the form of raw bitter bakers chocolate. The beer isn't sweet in the least as the coffee is actually more prevalent than the chocolate. The finish is choked full of a charred roast that seems to linger forever with a bit of citric/roasted malt bitterness.
Mouthfeel- Sort of thin for the style but still near medium. The carbonation is super light and the beer has a crazy oily feel. Amazing that this is 11% though because it's not noticeable at all.
Drinkability- Overall not bad. I've had this beer many times but I swear I don't remember it being this hoppy. Maybe this is fresher than what I had? Maybe I just didn't know what I was tasting. Either way I love hops, just not necessarily in my Imperial Stouts (see Darkness). But, saying that, I do like this beer. Maybe it's just a nostalgic thing but who cares. I enjoyed the hell out of it. Thanks Jeff!

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Photo of Popkas
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour is black with a large big bubble caramel head that sticks around for a good while with some good lacing clinging. The nose is of very heavy roasted malts that smells a little like burnt toast with cocoa topping. The taste is of big roasted malts and bitter cocoa. The mouthfeel is full, thick and creamy - possibly my favorite part of the beer. Not my favorite example of the style.

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Photo of hophead247
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells like oil and chocolate. The head could have been more attractive. The beer itself was rather brown and muddy. Flavors were rustic, chocolate, and most certainly exhibiting a hop presence, though nicely integrated into the profile as not to be unpleasantly bitter as some imperial stouts seem to be. There's hints of chocolate covered fruit. The body is on the weaker side of something that is 11.5%, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. All in all, decent and certainly well crafted, but nothing stands out to make it exceptional.

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Photo of froghop
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a black with a small khaki head, and good lacing.

smell is of cocoa, a little coffee, and some vanilla bean.

taste is dry, bitter, chocolate, a little malt in back, and some coffee, end is dry and nicely bitter.

nicely smooth and dry imperial stout, well made

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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 ClockworkOrange
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22 ounce bomber bottle that's been lingering in the cellar for at least two years. Uncapped and poured into my nonic pint glass. The stout appears an opaque black color with a good inch or so of dark ecru foam. The head linger for quite a bit and leaves a decent lace in its wake with each sip. Nose and flavors consist of nearly burnt toast, bitter cocoa, roasted coffee, mocha, caramel, prunes, molasses, grassy hops. Decent medium body and amply carbonated. Not as much alcohol heat as I was expecting. I should have tucked into this one months ago, but I thought it would be too hot. Pretty tasty overall.

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Photo of felipe2toes
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep and brooding black, with a thick 2-finger pillowy and khaki head.

Smelled of roasted malts, milk chocolate, and vanilla. There were even leather and wood aromas after the beer warmed up a bit.

Lots of bitter chocolate and coffee on the palate, but the bitterness wasn't overwhelming--nice balance of malty sweetness. Also faint notes of bourbon and vanilla.

I liked the carbonation on this beer, nice bittersweet finish as well.

Although there wasn't much hot alcohol in the flavor, the 11% abv was noticeable after finishing the entire bottle.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. into a snifter

P: Jet black in the glass, but not completely opaque as rosy brown streams of light decorate the edges of the glass. Even with a vigorous pour I was barely able to achieve a thin film of loose, soapy bubbles on top.

A: The malt bill smells like it's heavily-roasted with some slightly burnt edges to it. I can appreciate creamy dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, caramel, and a little booze. But, these citric hops compose maybe the most prominent hop aroma in any stout I've ever tried. I am an absolute hophead, without a doubt. But even I'm worried that they may have overdone it here.

T: Starts sweet with those heavily-roasted malts at the center, but they offer much more in the way of burnt char than the nose lead on. It's surrounded by caramel, creamy dark chocolate, and some espresso. I get some flavors of roasted nuts and candied sugar in the middle, followed by some slight vanilla notes riding underneath. But once again, those citric hops are crazy prominent. I know the IBU's are 100+, but I was hoping that the hop bill would be masterfully integrated into the rest of the profile. That's not necessarily the case. They don't ruin the beer by any means but they do take too much of the attention away from the malts, which should be on full display in an Imperial Stout. I will say, though, the 11% ABV is extremely well-hidden and only heats things up slightly towards the finish.

M: Black Flag is definitely a full-bodied beer that feels a little oily and syrupy, which makes it pretty smooth as it slides down. However, the heavy addition of hops is probably the culprit that keeps the malt bill from achieving that creamy, chewy feel that I look for in my Imperial Stouts.

Notes: This is a pretty good beer, all things considered. It's memorable in that it's the hoppiest damn stout ever to cross my path. But that's not necessarily a good thing. I love Big Bear Black Stout because of it's hoppiness, but that's because it's integrated into the rest of the profile so well that it works. In contrast, the hops keep this beer from becoming the delicious malt monster that it could be. I would love to see how this beer tastes in a couple years once the hops have died out, though.

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Photo of sprucetip
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Black but with ruby highlights when backlit. Active, decent tan head, some retention, no lacing. SMELL Roasty, black patent, coffee, floral and fruity, hint of caramel malty sweetness. TASTE black patent, coffee, strong roastiness, molasses, hoppy and roasty bitterness, and a big sweet malty base trying to be noticed but mostly being dominated by the aforementioned bold flavors. FEEL med fiz, thick, rich, creamy and luxurious but wit hmoderatly sharp hoppy bitter finish. A bit out of balance, but I appreciate the boldness. Obviously one to savor at 11%. Glad to have tried it.

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Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled with much attention at Capone's. Drinking from a pint glass.

A: The best part of the appearance is watching the dark brown bubbles fall recklessly to the bottom, making way for the lighter brown to surface and become the head, which lasted reasonably long. The head has left a thick film coating the glass and the body follows suit. Not the darkest nor the most opaque Imperial Stout, but the color is a rich, very dark brown with amber and tawny edges.

S & T: A true maltbomb. Mostly milk chocolate & fudge with a subtle hint of coffee. Oats, toasted malts, nuts, and alcohol infused fruit (maybe cherries), very light. General alcoholic warmth is there. I might even call it hot. Citrusy hops are on the nose, barely, but the grapefruit finishes strong on the palette. It may very well be the longest enduring flavor here. The alcohol hits you in the nose and in the back of the throat but it is not offensive.

M: Full body, very thick and chewy, smooth and creamy, nice bitter finish, just enough carbonation.

D: One of the more drinkable Imperial Stouts in my opinion. What sets the Black Flag apart from other IS's I've had is that it isn't too much of *any one* thing. There is no overabundance of one flavor, it really is quite balanced, strong flavor, yes, but quite balanced.

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Photo of beertunes
3.17/5  rDev -16.8%
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 qchic
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No light passes through this black beer, and the couple of fingers of foam are the color of chocolate ice cream. Smells roasty, strongly of vanilla, with some bittersweet chocolate, smoke, and alcohol. Boozy and bitter on the tongue. The malts and hops are duking it out, and for such a big stout I was looking for the malts to dominate here. Still, some good flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, nuts, and smoke. As it warms, I get even more vanilla, toffee, dark fruits, coffee beans, and bready malt. Full bodied with ample carbonation. Stays dry on the palate so that the bomber can be sipped, and the abv will be noticed, perhaps even appreciated on a cool evening.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review From Volume II, Issue I of BeerAdvocate Magazine.

Good ole Black Flag , aka Jolly Rodger--commonly know as the flag with the skull and crossbones on it. A fitting name for the style. Pours out with an almost motor oil viscosity, black as night with slowly rolling brown bubbles which form a massive head that seems to stick everywhere on the glass. Impressive head retention. Extreme aromatics of extra dark chocolate, ripe dark berries and a hefty, oily hop which gives off herbal and slight citric tones in the nose. Creamy full body with a slick mouthfeel as the oily hops coat the palate. Wow, the taste buds get smacked around both from the hops and malt. Aggressive hopping is noticeable throughout with a bitterness bomb that is followed by a thick herbal, evergreen and citric flavor. The malt comes out swinging, with a huge burnt char flavor to start, then high roasted coffee and dark choco-goodness. Finishes bittersweet with a never-ending aftertaste.

Pushing the envelope of flavor here, simply said, this beer is over-the-top. Is that a good thing? That all depends on how much you are looking for and how much you can handle. Black Flag get a thumbs up from us by keeping extreme beer real.

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Black Flag Imperial Stout from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 234 ratings
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