Black Flag Imperial Stout | Beer Valley Brewing Co.

very good
146 Reviews
Black Flag Imperial StoutBlack Flag Imperial Stout

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

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

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Reviews: 146 | Ratings: 233
Photo of scottfrie
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Thanks to Rizalini for this one.

A: Pours black with a huge, billowing, dense, and thick glass of light brown head that took forever to fade into a very bubbly collar leaving tons of specs of lace down the glass.
S: Simple notes of chocolate and roasted oats. Smells a bit like an oatmeal stout with creamy notes of grains.
T: Follows the nose with dominant notes of chocolate and roasted oats, but I’m getting a good dose of leafy bitter hops in the finish. The aftertaste is full of lightly bitter dark chocolate.
M: Medium-full body, full mouthfeel and low, soft carbonation. Alcohol is hidden extremely well.
O: No bells or whistles just a clean, flavorful and easy to drink imperial stout. I thouroghly enjoyed this one.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a black liquid that's not quite pitch black and not quite syrupy. Small off-white head on top that melts quickly to a ring of almost sticky lacing.
Aromas are mostly coffee and dark chocolate...little else.
Taste is sweet dark fruits and bittersweet dark chocolate with a hint of hops in the middle and then again after you swallow.
Mouthfeel is creamy.
Aftertaste is very nice...sweet dark candied fruits and coffee and bittersweet coffee continues to 'melt' from your mouth after you swallow.
A nice pleasant alcohol warmth follows it all.

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3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
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 blackie
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pitch black stout into my piraat snifter, a light lace of carbonation afloat on the surface

s: pungent roast body carries aromas of smooth charred barley and burnt espresso, soy sauce, licorice, bittersweet chocolate sauce, a wave of smoked meats lurks underneath, burnt molasses, dark fruit reduction left on the stove a little too long, a roast bomb all the way

m: carbonation nearly nonexistent, just a tickle, body on the full side

t: charred barley and astringent espresso, undercurrents of dark cocoa, bitter chocolate finish with long-lingering flavors of soy sauce, again a pure, unbalanced roast bomb - if an enjoyable one

d: pretty easy for the abv, and a solid ris all around

bomber from HimerMan in No BS 4

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Photo of Pellinore1
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to CaptinRedBeard for sending this bottle.

Pours very deep brown, producing a finger of light tan head. This slowly fades to some nice lacing.

Big roastiness in the aroma, especially as it warms. I also pick up bitter chocolate, molasses, and light smoky notes.

The flavor opens with toasted grain, chocolate, and coffee, then leaves you with bitter roasty malts.

Full bodied, with some nice carbonation, this is smooth on the tongue.

Alcohol is very well hidden in this brew, making for quite a drinkable imperial stout.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a mug. 12/30/08.

Pours a deep black color with about three fingers of thick brown head. The head receded slowly leaving all kinds of sticky lacing around the glass. Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, and hops.

Taste is intense with roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, and slight coffee. A generous dose of bitter piny and floral hops kicks in for the finish. Slight grapefruit and dark fruit in the taste as well. The alcohol makes its presence in the taste.

Feel is thick and full-bodied with plenty of carbonation. Leaves a bit of stickiness around the mouth. Slight warming from the alcohol. Drinkability is pretty good for such a big beer. I wouldn't want more than one bottle though, 22 ounces is enough for me,

Overall, a pretty good stout. I'm not usually a fan of well-hopped stouts, but this one isn't bad.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.82/5  rDev 0%
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 Chelsea1905
3.82/5  rDev 0%
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 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 rallison
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Like motor oil that's been used for 20,000 miles too long. Only the tiniest bit of head can be coaxed.

S: Quite chocolatey, with a bit of roasted aromas coming out. Maybe a touch of hops.

T: Intense. Tons of rich espresso and coffee here - quite well roasted too. Hops play a nice role, but you never forget all this malt. Tastes like concentrated espresso sweetened with some tasty dark chocolate. This is thick.

M: Extremely rich. Thick. Chewy. Syrupy. Hot. That pretty well describes it.

D: A bomber will be more than enough, I'd say.

Overall, recommended. I could see age helping this out - especially to mellow the alcohol.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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 suspect
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle (vintage 2011 fresh hop edition) into a Central Waters snifter. Thanks to mrmarmot and my friend Chris for bringing this back from the left coast.

A: Deep dark black hole of a color. Mildly aggressive pour leads to a thick, mocha colored head with the consistency of latte cream. Thick sticky lacing.

S: Big boy beer and you can tell by the nose. The 11% is chomping at the bit to get at your liver and you can tell. It's got a big nice malt backbone and the hops certainly add a bit of character as well. Plenty of cocoa and bitter coffee ground notes in the nose.

T: Nice mix of grains, molasses, cocoa, burnt coffee. ABV is a bit more blended here.

M: Big bodied beer, coats the mouth with what I can only imagine is the same sticky oils coating the glass. A touch overcarbonated or it may have gotten a higher score.

O: This is a solid Impy Stout. Pretty smooth, pretty easy drinking for an 11%-er. A good beer that I would definitely recommend.

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Photo of
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a huge dark brown rocky head, heaps of lacing and great retention.

Nose is burnt toast initially with touches of vanilla and chocolate milk. Heaps of fresh piney hops.

On the palate theres rich cocoa nibs upfront, plenty of overroasted coffee too. Half way through the beer I got the most distinct flavour of peanut butter, but it faded as quickly as it appeared - very unusual. The beer has a deep rich and complex mix of charred malt and hoppy bitterness.

Overall a decent imperial stout, certainly the hoppiest I've tried. I wonder whether this beer could stand up to a year in the cellar.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
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 jlindros
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker mocha colored 2 finger fluffy thick head fades fairly slowly, nice layered lacing, pretty much pitch black beer.

Nose big dark malts, chalky chocolate and bakers dark choc, light roast, some black patent malt, lots of levels of chocolate, and even a little creamy but mostly powered chalky like, some bitterness from roast and light earthy hops. Some caramel and vanilla even.

Taste chewy oats right off, then loaded chocolate, lots of various choc with powdered cocoa, bakers choc, light malted milk ball even, bit of vanilla and caramel too. There is a bit of roast and coffee but barely, and hint of black patent or other black malt, light salty briny like flavor, and fair amount of bitterness thanks to the charred malts and some light earthy chewy almost spicy hops. Pure rich dark malts mostly. Finish is drier but still a bit sticky and sweet, thick rich and syrupy with long lingering layers of dark malts coating my mouth, lingering chocolate, light roast, caramel and light earthy hops with decent bitterness.

Mouth is fuller bodied, rich slightly creamy, thick, good carb, just a bit of warming booze, and would be better if not for the syrupy sticky long finish.

Overall pretty good, this has nice chocolate, dark malts, nice hops, a bit creamy and rich, not overly burnt or briney, booze of hidden well too. Only real problem is the sticky syrupy finish but that can be expected for a beer of this caliber.

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Photo of BilbosNuts
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color, not quite as dark as other stouts I've seen. It has a two finger creamy khaki colored head. The head sticks around for quite a while and leaves solid lines of lacing. Small bubble streams rise to the top, creating an inviting appearance.

S: Roasted malt and coffee are the main players here. There is some dark chocolate noticeable as well. A slight hop bitter aroma appears towards the end.

T: The taste is similar to the aroma. Roasted malts, a bit of coffee, and a touch of dark chocolate. The hops make a bigger appearance in the taste providing a significant bitter bite during the finish.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated, and kind of oily. It coats the palate leaving residual flavors.

O: This one is pretty solid. I like it. Decent aroma, good taste and feel. Bonus points for the cool pirate thing going on with the label.

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Photo of m1ked
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
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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Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stout poured out with a nice looking black body and a light brown colored head. The head leaves some lacing behind on the glass. The smell is roasted and a little chocolatey. The taste of the beer gives off a dark chocolate sweetness up front that fades into an interesting hop bitterness in the end. The mouthfeel was moderately thick feeling and had a good carbonation level to it. Overall I thought this beer was quite good, haven't seen it in my area since 2009 though.

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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 Beerbuddha
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
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 RustyDiamond
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Liquid Solutions. No best-by date on bottle.

Poured super black, without any ray of light shining through. Poured @ 90 degrees, with yielded a smallish 1 finger of tan head with frothy, tiny bubbles.

Aroma- Super chicory, Whoppers, raisins

Taste- Very subdued nose...slightly creamy with dried cherries

Mouthfeel- This is where the beer got interesting. Very gritty the bottom of a hot cocoa mug. Somewhat of a hop taste in the bitter finish.

Not sure if I could drink another

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, served in a standard pint glass.

A - dark black color with a good sized brown head of foamy bubbles that fell to a layer, leaving some lacing spots.

S - bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee bean aroma.

T - rich roasted flavors, espresso coffee, bittersweet chocolate, black licorice, finish is bitter with some warming of alcohol.

M - medium/full bodied, creamy textured brew.

D - a better than average glass of Imp Stout.

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Photo of tpd975
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to SeaBass for this one.

A: pours a very deep dark black hue with a nice dark brown head. Okay retention and some spotty lace.

S: Tons of over roasted malt. Doses of chocolate and coffee. A big hop character pushes through as well.

T: Rather bold, and nice. Big charred malt up front. Waves of chocolate and coffee come next. Light touches of dark fruit and a big bitter hoppy finish. I like it.

M: Rather full in body, smooth with a touch of alcohol burn.

D: Rather good.

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

Pours black as night with 3 fingers of brown rocky head into a chalice. Superior head retention, & near perfect lacing

S: Chocolate, coffee & a bit of booze, plus husky grainyness

T: Baker's chocolate, a bit of iron, some oaky & vanilla notes up front. Slight dryness, some cakey notes, figs, some toasted grain, hints of raisin bit of leafy hops, & coffee as this warms. Finishes with a bit of boozeyness, pronounced dryness, some figgyness, & a bit of chalkiness& a bit of coffee grounds

MF: Medium bodied, oily; a bit of silkyness with low carbonation.

Drinks great for the ABV, one to age, a lot of subtleties are muted. But not a bad Imp Stout at all.

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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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