Black Flag Imperial Stout | Beer Valley Brewing Co.

Black Flag Imperial StoutBlack Flag Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
67.4%
Liked This Beer
3.81 w/ 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
Ranking:
#14,392
Reviews:
146
Ratings:
233
Liked:
157
Avg:
3.81/5
pDev:
12.34%
Alströms:
3.76
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
25
Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 233 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of grub
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 2: Stouts and Belgians. Viggo brought this one, so thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled nov 28/08.

pours deep dark brown, not quite black, with a huge cascading light brown head. the big fluffy head drops slowly and leaves lots of clumpy lace behind.

aroma is good. light alcohol. fresh hops, more citrus than pine. bread. biscuit. big floral character too.

taste is good. just over medium bitterness level. espresso. bittersweet chocolate. bread and biscuit. a bit one-dimensional and underwhelming after the last few bottles it was compared against.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. just over medium body.

drinkability is good. decent balance, but not hte depth and complexity i was looking for.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Oily black with brown ring on the edges. Roasted cocoa, burnt coffee, cream, and caramel. Taste is more of the same, but the hops give it a little bite. Some soy sauce tanginess, but agian, somewhat watery. Alcohol is well hidden, but still felt thin. Left me wanting more.

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Photo of hopdog
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle acquired in trade with FlacoAlto (thanks!).

Poured a black color with brown edges and a small sized tan head. Aromas of chocolate, roast, light coffee and I was getting some orange peel. Tastes of chocolate, roast, some dark fruits, coffee, and vanilla. Light alcohol in the finish.

Notes from 8/21/07

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ive had this beer in the cellar for about 6-8 months now and figure with a slight chill in the air it is a good time to drink it.
Pouring at cellar temp into a snifter.
The beer pours a pitch black hue with 3 inches of creamy tan head foaming up and creating a deep spongelike layer in my glass. The aroma is apparent from across the desk with some dark fruit, plums raisins wisping across. Plus I get some roasted malt notes and hints of molasses and chocolate as well. Fairly complex and robust nose on this one!
The first sip reveals a fizzy and lighter than expected body with a slightly sticky texture to the beer. The flavor is malt and booze from the start with molasses, coffee grounds, and plums mixing and letting some slightly astringent peppery alcohol on the finish. There is a little warming on the swallow and a lingering coffee bean flavor as well.
The beer is a sipper due to the booziness, but is well constructed and enjoyable. I am glad to have sampled this beer, just beware it is not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of popery
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big stout with a fantastic burnt malt flavor.

The beer is one percent brown and the rest black. The head is a mocha cushion that puffed right up in my glass. I poured a good sized head that stuck around well.

The nose is sweetly burnt malt. The notes are burnt toast, bitter dark chocolate, sweet whiskey and sugar.

The flavor is brilliantly burnt malt, smoky and warm like good whiskey. The alcohol is present but meshes very well with the smoky malt flavors. The malt is bready and sweet. There might be a lingering citrus flavor. It's burnt but smooth. Marvelous.

The feel is very good. The carbonation goes well with the style and there's little stickiness from the alcohol. The drinkability only suffers from the intensity of the beer's flavor. I very much enjoyed this big, complex stout.

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Photo of joe1510
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

A big thank you goes out to JohnGalt1 for sending me a couple of these in a recent trade, thanks again Toby! Black Flag fills my snifter with a deep dark liquid that actually allows some light to shine through when backlit creating mahogany highlights. The beige head grew to two fingers on the pour and is dense and creamy while leaving sticky lacing down the glass after each drink. The lacing this beer leaves behind is impressive for such a high abv.

As soon as I popped the cap on this big stout I could smell the huge hoppiness. Of course there's a large stout underneath, with a solid roastiness and mild day old coffee grounds, but the Pac NW hoppiness is what takes this beer over. The stout body, although it seems a little thin, lays down a nice base for the big grapefruit pith hoppiness and spicy alcohol. This is like a black IPA on steroids.

The flavor ends up following the aroma stride for stride. I really enjoy this beer with all the great big hoppiness and would have given it a higher score if the bottle was labeled differently. For a big stout I'd expect a lot more roastiness and all around maltiness, for a "black IPA" this fits the bill. The roastiness seems to be a little toned down for the style while the grapefruit hoppiness leads the way. There's even a drizzling of caramel here and there.

The body of this stout is on the bigger side of medium with a hop bite that will stomp on your tongue with each sip. The bitterness grows and grows as this beer disappears. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

The hops in this stout are doing a number on me and I really can't get enough but the alcohol will catch up to you in a hurry. These couple glasses are going fast.

I heard this beer was big on the hops but I never expected this. I really enjoy this beer although I think it's slightly mislabeled and could stand for a little more body and roastiness. Thanks for the treat Toby, I'm anxious to see what some age does to this beer if I can keep the other bottle long enough.

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

Super dark black, with a tanned head. I poured aggressively and was rewarded with a couple of inches of tight foam. I'm impressed with retention, lacing is okay.

Very strong aromas of roasted barley. Plenty of dark chocolate and coffee. Hops are citric, though buried beneath the layers of malt.

Very bitter, both from citric, piney hopping and from roasted coffee malt. Good, creamy mouthfeel that coats the palate and mouth, leaving a bitter residue.

Alcohol is hot and full, although not terribly abrasive - the drinkability is lower than the best of these super-thick black beers, but not poor at all.

Solid if a little harsh - consider this is a DIPA with roasted malt rather than caramel.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: snifter. pours a black-like brown. nice half inch dark tan head. great retention level and wonderful lacing.

S: coffee, toffee, some bitter chocolate, huge roasted malts. some big hop bite in the nose.

T: very sharp bite with this one. tons of roasted malts, coffee, toffee, very bitter but pleasurable. great bitters from the hops.

M: big and bold, full-bodied brew. carbonation is a little higher than I would like.

D: at 11% more than one would be rough, but it is very enjoyable if you like hoppier stouts.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque darkness with a huge double finger stiff tan head that decomposes like an ice cream float with sheets of lacing in it's wake. The smell borders on timid but is classic double stout with rich malty roasted characteristics and boozy cherry vanilla notes. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied with a solid tangy barrel aged character. The 11% ABV is apparent without being distracting. This one will certainly get you there. Really glad that i had the opportunity to consider this one from Jubilation Liquors in ABQ, NM.

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Photo of DIM
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was dark brown with ruby edges. It poured with probably the prettiest head I've ever seen. An extraordinarily long lasting, frothy, creamy, light mocha colored head.

s: Strangely, piny, lemony hops dominate. Some sweet chocolate malts and molasses do manange to peek through. As it warms, the 11% abv becomes apparent.

t. This reminds me of one of those new fangled black IPAs. At first this briefly tastes like an imperial stout with flavors of sweet, roasty chocolate malts. Then a huge wave of piny hops with a little lemon completely takes over. There is a little heat at the end, but not enough to suggest an 11% abv. This is by far the hoppiest stout I've tried.

m: The body isn't all that thick, but the super creamy head gives this a great feel overall.

d: After the initial hop shock wore off I began to really enjoy this. Still, have you ever reached for a glass of what you thought was water and taken a big gulp of milk? Even if you like milk, the shock can be off-putting. Overall, as tasty as this was, it was out of balance and off-style. Thanks to JohnGalt1 for the chance to try this strange brew.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Black Flag came out as dark as night with an aggressive pour and head profile. It came through as a 3-4 finger head with some good retention. It gave the appearance a little later of the root beer float of the ice cream floating in the top of the liquid. Pretty cool.

The aroma was a dominant coffee smell with some hints of chocolate in the back drop. The taste was again up front dominated by that bitter coffee maltiness. It has a really sharp bite in the mouth for the feel as it lets you know who is boss on the way out. The abv is pretty apparent in this one. Not a bad brew but did not provide the depth of flavor I look for in a an Imperial. Definitely worth the look over though.

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Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark and thick. Breathing in chocolate and roast and C-hops. The drink is lunch itself and so very dangerously drinkable. The throast is coated with coconut and oatmeal, roast and some chocolate and coffee. The hops are there and provide some delightful citrus but altogether undistinguishable. Full mouthfeel. Very good IS.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."

--H.L. Mencken

Closed casket black beneath two fingers of dark brown sugar colored foam. Since crown cracking produced a barely audible 'pffft', I gave the beer a vigorous pour. Retention is fairly good and glass coverage ain't too bad either... especially given the ABV.

The aroma is chock full of all the good things that result when barley is roasted to within an inch of its life. I can appreciate dark chocolate fudge, a shot of espresso, blackstrap molasses and citric hops. Let's see how many of the estimated 100+ IBUs are still kickin' after close to one year in the bottle.

Black Flag is good beer. Maybe even very good beer. But it isn't great beer because the malt:hop ratio is slanted too much toward the latter. Not that this American double stout is too bitter, but there's a grapefruit juice quality that gets in the way of the malt love. And beer of this style is all (or almost all) about the malt love.

Although the malt backbone is big, it isn't... shiver me timbers!... big. The fruity flavor of the hops (Warrior, Chinook, Columbus and Cascade) is too prominent, which leads to a malt profile that is less than complex. Beer Valley might have invented the world's first Black DIPA. That's good news for us hopheads. Not so good news for the rest of you.

The alcohol is impressively well-buried. Only the beginnings of tongue numbing and gullet warming betray the double-digit ABV. There's a great deal of mouthfilling volume, without a ton of thick and chewy stickiness.

Black Flag Imperial Stout would be better if Beer Valley Brewing eased back on the hops and added a bit more malt. It isn't "a beer drinking experience like no other other malted beverage on the planet" (website hyperbole), but it is a delicious stout if you're a quart low on lupulins. Just be prepared for a hefty shot of grapefruit juiciness.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.81/5  rDev 0%
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 brentk56
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: After a gusher of an opening, the beer settled down and pours a jet black color with nary a highlight; nice frothy mocha head that leaves massive amounts of lace

Smell: It's hard to differentiate between the Impy Stout and IPA aromas in this bitter beer; the 100 IBUs challenge the roasted charcoal aromas; dark chocolate and molasses, too; not sure I am that fond of it, but it is massive

Taste: Opens like the aroma, with a bitter assault fighting the charcoal roast; the beer is trying to make a point but the question is whether this is a point that is worth making; piney bitter and roasty after the swallow, with the overall effect of a scorched earth on the tongue

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate carbonation; very sticky

Drinkability: This is where it all comes tumbling down; the beer is more of a dare than a craft; it comes at you like Zhukov's army advancing on Berlin; I surrender

Thanks, JohnGalt1, for the opportunity

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a black color with a fat rich an head, nose of roasted malts and chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium. Flavor is dominated by smoky roasted malts, some chocolate and lights hops. Dry finish and some alcohol. Overall quite enjoyable and good to the last drop.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out an oily black color with a thin tan head which disappates rather quickly. Lacing was present throughout. The smell was smoky, chocolatey and coffee. The taste was very similar with more of the chocolate coming through. The mouthfeel was extremely heavy with little carbonation. Overall a great stout. Probably a little much at the time. When its hot outside a stout just doesn't feel right.

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Photo of azagthoth
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into my shorty Double Bastard glass. Perhaps not the favored piece of glassware among the advocates, but I love sipping on my imperial stouts in this baby.

Appearance - As black as black can be. The head is of decent brown with inconsistent sized bubbles on one half of the head pour, while the other half is damn near perfectly smooth without any traces of bubbles.

Smell - The stalwart aspect of the brew right here. Absolutely beauteous with a strapping presence of caramel, chocolate, and roasted malt. I do not detect much in the way of coffee, as the 3 previously mentioned ingredients do all the speaking.

Taste - Very superb in the taste. The aforementioned smell is very much present and concurrent with the taste, as is the alcohol which is very intimidating for even the most extreme out there. What keeps me from giving the taste a higher rating is that a salt-like quality is in the finish (reminiscent to the Drake's Imperial Stout). But damn, they are so close to perfection with this stout and there is no denying that.

Mouthfeel - A tad bitter (which I consider good) and could perhaps use a bit more smoothness to it. The salt-like taste also keeps the mouthfeel from earning a bit higher of a rating. No complaints other than that.

Drinkability - For how present the alcohol is and the unfortunate salty aftertaste - this is very drinkable because the balanced taste and smell alone make up for any of the lesser qualities of this brew.

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Photo of QuentinCompson
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

large bottle into red Dixie cup

A - Head looked nice and yummy, falling into a malty brown for a long, enjoyable pour, dark lacing into the sides of the cup

S - Smoke, burnt oak, chocolate, coffee, hops, caramel

T-M - Malty smoked chocolate brew, deep flavor, hoppy to the max, raisins perhaps within dark coffee swill. Super tasty stout.

D - Really enjoyed this one; extremely drinkable; I look forward to grabbing this one again sometime.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one I received courtesy of Unclejedi that I had been waiting to try out. This weekend decided to pop it open and see what it was made of. The pour was jet black as night. With a thick look to it as it sludged into the glass. A very nice three finger high tan head of lace then rose up over the top and hung on forever. Really thick looking with tons of side glass webs and a sticky presence to it. Very nice look here.

The aroma was very complex with a rich mix of malts and alcohol. The alcohol came across very clearly, and you had to let it warm to really be able to get the full depth of this one in. Lots of dark baker's chocolate, hints of vanilla and roasted coffee were mingling around in it. The flavor followed suit almost perfectly. The start was a nice rich chocolate and coffee like flavor that quickly became over run with unbalanced alcohol. A little harsh, but they cannot all be blended well. The subtle flavors underneath did not begin to show themselves for a quite a little while later, with some nice touches of licorice, vanilla, and molasses starting to come through. This was a very sweet stout, just a little to hot right now. The finish was filled with a musty bitter bite that was kind of odd and ill placed, but there was not much you could do about it. A very full-bodied stout, there was certainly no lack of carbonation here, as it never felt as though it was flat in any way. I did polish off this bottle, however it was a little rough. This one clocked in at over 11% and you felt every last drop of it. Really a very big stout.

Overall, this was not bad at all, though there are certainly better examples of the style out there. On looks alone though, this one is awesome, I just think there were a little too much hops thrown in the finish and the alcohol was very distracting, not being as mellowed as I thought it would be. Nevertheless, it was still a very solid beer, and if you have it around you, I would go out and try it.

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Photo of Beertracker
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Commercial Description: Black Flag Imperial Stout is the first beer released by Beer Valley Brewing. It is a monstrously huge beer brewed for extreme beer & wine enthusiasts who want to test the edge of sensory perception. Brewed with eight different malts and four different hop varieties (Cascade, Chinook, Columbus, & Warrior) to give it depth and complexity, Black Flag Imperial Stout delivers an extreme beer drinking experience like no other beer on the planet! 11% ABV; 100+ IBU's

*Contract brewed by the Sante Fe Brewing Co.

BVBC's Black Flag Imperial Stout pours up with ample carbonation that creates a moderate tannish-brown head that just barely rings the deep oily, jet black body. The burnt roasted aroma features some underlying dark chocolate, espresso character with just a hint of caramel sweetness along with a low-moderate fruitiness. Touch of pungent hops, notable alcoholic warmth. There's just a hint of dustiness (oxidation) that detracts. The heavily roasted flavor shows lots of black barley with minimal chocolate with a touch of coffee & molasses, but features a very pronounced bitterness that delivers an acidic, burnt (acrid), bitter, chalky, dry roasted finish that is rather harsh & unpleasant. Very warming. This medium-full bodied stout seems a bit thin, lacks creaminess, and is overly astringent. This one started off great, but finished a bit lackluster. Raise the Black Flag you dirty scallywags!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer vigorously but only got one finger of beautiful chocolate brown head that does have nice retention and short lace. Body is a thick motor oil blackness. Nose is a sweet rich dark carmel maltiness. Sweet dark toffee and over ripe black fruit notes are there also. As you take first sip you are flooded with a burnt carmel malt sweetness. Dark toffee tones and a silky long creamy notes pile up on the palate. This brew is really dominated by big sweetness but it is well balanced and a very nice represantation of the style. Very thick mouthfeel is almost sticky. This is a very drinkable sipper for those long winter nights.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Black with an enormous head that takes an eternity t fade and leaves thick webs of lacing everywhere on the glass. A mountain of head rests in the middle over still half an inch of head. Very pretty.

S - Pepper, chicory, grasses and some burnt malt.

T - Very dark flavors. Charred malt is the foremost presence, then there is some molasses, dark chocolate and chicory. Bitter char in the aftertaste. It is too burnt tasting, but not too bad.

M - Smooth, thick and refreshing - which is astonishing considering the ABV.

D - Great. I had no problem finishing this brew. It is a powerful stout. The flavor has taken a stance as a particular sort of flavor, and it does a fantastic job at delivering that flavor. But burnt is not what should dominant the stout's flavor in my opinion.

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Photo of clickpush
4.31/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Super dark body with a tan foaming head and impeccable never ending retention and webbing. Smell has a combination of fruit and roast malt. Enters very dry for how high in alcohol the beer is. Flavors are of roasted malts, coffee, and burnt toast - they last forever in the mouth, developing in complexity as time passes. Creamy mouthfeel, not quite as full as I would like.

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Photo of m1ked
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours an opaque blackness, brief greasy looking head that subsides into a small collection of bubbles clinging to the edges of the glass.

S- Roasted malts, some alcohol, very light touch of dark chocolate, a little soy sauce in there.

T- Smokey wood and chocolate upfront mixed with smokey bitterness. Interesting, it seems all the flavors hit me at once. Hard to sort out. Fades out with smooth cocoa and heat.

M- Smooth, low carbonation, little viscous.

D- I like this one, it has all the characteristics that I enjoy, with an added bitterness that I don't normally enjoy in the Imp Stouts I like.

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Black Flag Imperial Stout from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 67.4% out of 100 with 233 ratings
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