Black Flag Imperial Stout (Hop Harvest Edition)
Beer Valley Brewing Co.

Black Flag Imperial Stout (Hop Harvest Edition)Black Flag Imperial Stout (Hop Harvest Edition)
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,624
Ranked #10,346
4.05 | pDev: 9.14%
Beer Valley Brewing Co.
Oregon, United States
Black Flag Imperial Stout (Hop Harvest Edition)Black Flag Imperial Stout (Hop Harvest Edition)
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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 42 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by dqderrick:
Photo of dqderrick
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't know the 2008 Hop Harvest Edition was any different until I searched here and found this unique listing. On the right side of the label I see a faint stamp looking impression that states 2008 Hop Harvest Edition. Huh!

A - 4.5
Black, black with a nice creamy brown 1/4" head. Soapy bubbles appeared where I poured. Swirling leaves nice lacing along the sides of my New Belgium goblet. I'm going to say this looks pretty good.

S - 4.5
Very fresh smelling. I know I bought this bottle over 4 months ago... maybe 6. I cellared it at 50°F and chilled it to 35° before serving. I know.... too cold... but I like to start it off nice and cold and then do a slow review while it warms up.

I'm loving the complex smell... dark grains, some wood scent, chocolate malt, smells a bit of some high end chocolate milk. Mmmm, some coffee. Last whiff picked up a unique malt scent... slightly separate from the previous chocolate malt. Just a hint of hops. I wish I had this fresh to experience the full assault of hops.

T - 4.5
Alright! Dark grain and oak flavor hit me. Coffee! Chocolate! But not a lot. Very smooth and balanced. Not harsh at all. I was expecting some harshness... maybe the label made me think that...? This is a VERY good tasting Imperial Stout. It stands out to me by lacking a prominent sweet characteristic. I'm glad I wasn't expecting much... it would not have stood a chance of getting 4 to 6 months aging on it if I had.

Thank you for the hops! I detect them in the bitter finish.

Very little alcohol burn. By this time, I'm at 53°F (measured with my CDN digital thermometer.

MF - 4.0
Overall good with nothing super notable on either spectrum. It feels about right with a nice carbonation and a pleasant aftertaste that is both hop bitter and sweet. A good balance indeed.

D - 4.0
Drinkability is good for 11%. I am really enjoying this 22oz bottle. However, I'd move onto something else next if I was still thirsty. However, tis expected. A 4.0 seems right considering the style and my other scores.

If you didn't get one of these... you are missing out. I am wondering how different this 2008 Hop Harvest Edition is compared to the standard Black Flag...

Arrr matey.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of brdc
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to another kind BA, quite a large sample poured at DLD.

Pitch black, with a nice brownish head, bigger and longer lasting than I expected for the high ABV.
The nose is roasted malts, but despite a few months on it, it still shows signs of fresh hops, different than your usual RIS, grassy, fruity.
Taste is an interesting, if not spectacular combination of roasted malt bitterness, grassy/fruity hoppy bitterness, some malted sweetness and a roasty bitterness.
Medium bodied, could use a bit more punch here; still nicely drinkable, and an interesting take on the style. Wish I could have it fresh.

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Photo of jrob21
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ccrida
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my Deschutes snifter, the 2008 Hop Harvest Edition of Black Flag is a pitch black ruby with a tan head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is bright hops, lime like citrus with some evergreen, with some baker's chocolate as well. Also a bit boozy, but luckily, it's the most evident appearance, although you can taste them on the dry, spicy finish. Like everything else about this awesome brew, the more I drank the more I love it, and the score kept rising.

Taste is very nice super rich but really smooth. I've had the regular Black Flag in the pub a few times and always thought it was actually pretty smooth of being a fiercely intense beer, but the fresh hop edition really is nicely rounded. I didn't think I'd find much difference between wet or dry hops in such a big beer, but I definately think they played a part in softening the edges. Big coffee, chocolate, lots of leafy, wet citrus hops, not overly roasty or bitter (which is my normal gripe with this style), yummy!

Mouthfeel is slick, but not nearly as thick as many stouts of similar stature, and remarkably, smoother then most as well. I wonder if they used oats.

Drinkability is very high for me, I really didn't think I was in the mood for this beer but was to lazy to dig for something else. From the first sip I thought, whoa, be careful, you can suck this down way to fast! And I damn near did...bottom line, I think this is my favorite American Double Stout ever!

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Photo of bitterthebetter
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a midnight black oil with tannish head, slight slight brown hues

chocolate malt, caramel, piney and citrusy hops

rich dry malt, chocolate, caramel notes with a lemony piney citrus backbone, albeit subtle. semi bittersweet chocolate on the finish and slight creamy malty not over the top dryness

super smooth, light bodied for the abv, good malty notes combined with the excellent hop balance. amazingly smooth

smooth, intriguing, balanced and tasty, well worth the dollar, but ill age the regular version, fresh hop demands immediate enjoyment

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown that barely any light shows through. Brownish/tan head. Nose is wet hops and some coffee tones. Not a whole lot showing right now. Flavor is excellent. Really nice hoppy tone with what seems like a touch of a blue cheese edge. Some coffee is there as well. Real interesting combo of flavors. I don't know what's up with this beer, but it does seem like it was wet hopped. Kind of a spicy edge on the side of it. Feel is biting on the carbonation and the liquid is thicker on the body, but not too much so. Really diggin' this stout. There are some things that could be better (smell & carbonation), but the flavor really isn't one of them.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a oversized snifter.

Pours a dark brown (I'm seeing some pretty prominent ruby highlights coming through the bottom of this) with several fingers of billowing mocha colored head. A rigid 1/2 finger of retention thows thick swathes of lacing all over the sides of the glass. The aroma on this is freshly herbal and floral with hops completely dominating the profile. Fortunately, not to the point that you can't pick up some of the other underlying Stout qualities of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and some light heat.

The taste is big up front with roasted malt and coffee bitterness and some thick accents of caramel and chocolate sweetness helping bring some balance. Make no mistake though, this profile is all about the hops, aggresively tearing up the backend, leaving lingering herbal, floral, and citric bitterness behind in it's wake. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a softer carbonation and surprisingly lighter feel considering the flavors and ABV that are at work here. As it warms more, I am picking up some light warmth in the body but not overly so.

Very nice! The fresh hop character adds a lot to this beer and livens up what was already tasting like a pretty decent Imperial Stout. The body and drinkibility of this is the real kicker though. This went down so smoothly, I needed to slow down my intake to make sure that I still had some left to review! Good stuff and I need to check out the regular Black Flag to see how it compares.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of colts9016
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger head that has poor retention. The head is a medium tan color and is creamy with a touch of foam. The color the beer is dark brown nearer to black (used motor oil). The clarity of the beer is opaque. A few carbonation bubble are on the side of glass in the beer.

Nose: A deep roasted malt that gives off chocolate, molasses, espresso, and solvents. Other notes are toasted bread, yeast, floral esters, oak, and phenols.

Taste: A very dark roasted malt that is chocolate, espresso, toasted malt, and burnt. Other flavors. are toasted bread, yeast, floral esters, resin, oak, phenols. solvent, and grainy.

The mouth feel of the beer is chewy, coating slightly astringent, and carbonated.

Overall: The body of the beer is thick and the finish is full. This double is just okay, the same run of mill flavors with nothing really standing out. The flavors are a typical to a double stout, nothing in the beer stands out that say yes drink me. The flavor profile need to be more defined.

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Photo of Floydster
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle with a yellow cap purchased from Cooke's Market for $10.89 last night, second of the two Beer Valley brews my dad and I drank last night, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, pours black and sludgy, big 1 1/2 inch light tan and creamy head, decent retention, good lacing, aroma is complex with malts and I expected that after reading eight different types of malt were used along with a fresh hop flower from Indiana, lots of burned malt, dark chocolate, charcoal, and dried fruits, I was not really impressed with how the scent from the hoppiness came off, flavor was bitter, starts off with bittersweet chocolate and burned malts through the middle, lots of dry bitter hops in the finish and aftertaste, espresso comes out later on and I could definitely smell it then too, much drier than the standard version of this and a little too bitter for an imperial stout for me, mouthfeel is dry, bitter, burned, and roasted, full bodied, light carbonation, taste lingers a long time, alcohol is hidden fantastically for eleven percent but this is one thick heavy beast, no way I could drink a bomber by myself, this stuff will make you feel like you just had a big meal, more of a sipper and dessert beer than anything, I did not enjoy this as much as non frsh-hop version but it is still a good beer, too expensive though, will skip in the future mainly because of the price alone

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Photo of dukew456
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first review ever.

Pours from a 22 oz bomber into my Duvel tulip a very dark brown with ruby highlights around the edge. A thin head forms with big bubbles, not as pretty as others, but it gets the job done.

Hops and roasted malts dominate the smell, as expected. As this beer warms the hops become less pronounced than the malt.

The taste is pretty unique, especially for an imperial stout. Earthy, resiny hops dominate the initial taste, but the finish is chocolate and burnt coffee, backed up by a definite alcohol presence. About what I expected with a fresh hop imp stout, pretty tasty. The mouthfeel is a little thin for my opinions of an imp stout.

This is the second time I've had this beer, the first was on tap. Out of the bottle (and probably not as fresh) this is a little bit less enjoyable than I remember, but I'd never turn my nose up at it.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Even five years later, my friend still swears by this beer. However, when we came across the Hop Harvest Edition at the Pizza Port Bottle Shop, I knew I couldn't resist the temptation. This one is for you Richie. Coming out of a 22 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

A good start in the glass. The foam is two fingers thick and showing good retention. Below that is the black as ink body. Chunks of creamy lace stick around the glass, whcih further makes this beer a looker. It's tough to not like the aroma of this beer. Chocolate fudge aromas take the nose, and the "hop harvest" monikor comes through, providing pine, touch of orange, and grassy aromas to compliment the massive malt.

It's all about the hops. While that aspect doesn't dissapoint, those malts aren't worked as much as one would hope. There is some toasted cocoa and roast upfront, but that quickly dissolves and makes way for the barrage of hops. With the hops come bitter tea, pine, orange, and lots of lingering bitterness. If only the malt backbone were properly excecuted, this would be a fun drink. On the contrary, this one is rather bitter and dominated of hops, and this drink more like a bitter, strong Double India Dark Ale than a stout. The alcohol is hidden quite well. The body is full and silky, with the chink being a very bitter aftertaste.

I was glad to get the hop experience, but I was not glad to come across a dissapointing malt bill. I'm not going to finish the bomber on my own (not that I would anyway), so it looks that the second half of the bottle will be used for cooking in the future.

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Photo of twelveinches
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of bkilpatr
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. 03/17/09. 2008 Hop Harvest edition with a yellow cap.

Pours nearly pitch black with hints of brown around the edges. About an inch of dense tan foam slowly receded leaving gobs of sticky lace all over the glass, pretty good head retention. Aroma is intense with heavily roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and floral hops.

Taste starts with a powerful punch of heavily roasted malt and semi-sweet milk chocolate. That is accompanied by smooth caramel and subtle vanilla flavors. That is followed by bitter dark chocolate and a hint of roasted coffee. The finish is a delightful kick of piny and citric hops. The hops add a slight dark-fruity tinge to the finish. I don't know how this tasted when fresh, the hop presence is quite nice right now. A healthy dose of alcohol is in the taste.

Feel is thick and full-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Slightly resiny but still smooth. Coats the mouth nicely. Moderate warming from the alcohol. Drinkability is very good for such a big beer, though it is a bit heavy. I wouldn't want more than one bottle, especially at 11%.

Overall, this is a very good imperial stout. The only downside is the cost - $9.50 for 22 oz. Great flavor and the fresh hops really add to the experience. I'd love to see a barrel-aged version of this.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this information on RateBeer's profile of this beer: "Black Flag Imperial Stout - 2008 Hop Harvest Edition was brewed in September of 2008 using 200 lbs of fresh, Treasure Valley high alpha CTZ hop flowers from the John Wilmunster hop farm in Greenleaf, ID," a mere 30 or so miles south of the brewery. I poured the 22 oz. bomber (green cap) into a big Michelob Amber Bock tulip glass.

A: The head was enormous. A solid three fingers of soft, tan head that left amazing lacework on the sides of the glass. The body is almost completely black, showing off just a little bit of brown light at the edges. The head drops to a thin lace at the edge of the glass and leaves a small island of foam floating around.

S: It smells massive! Pretty similar air to the Dark Lord, from what I remember from a year ago. Heavy on the burnt grain essence...backed up by a 200 lb. posse of freshness. Hops are floral in character. Alcohol leaves a sweet fruit aroma in the nose, similar to pineapple.

T: The first thing your mouth communicates to the brain is the acrid roasted flavor up front. It's echoed by a soft and subtle burnt quality in the swallow. Charcoal and tobacco notes appear on the exhale. Hops are used to their full effect, balancing the roasted grains of the beer with an intense hop bitterness that coats the tongue and leaves it bruised with hop resins. The burps show the floral hop character off even more. Alcohol is very nicely submerged.

M: Soft, mild carbonation. Full bodied beer. Bitter astringency left in the mouth courtesy of the Treasure Valley hops. I'm curious if the name "Black Flag" was inspired by the fact that they get their hops from Treasure Valley...The alcohol makes almost no impact on the palate.

D: For a Russian imperial stout, Black Flag is in the top of its class for drinkability. The alcohol is hidden so well, and the flavors are so well balanced (not to mention delicious) that I wish I had a damn case of this beer. I'm curious how different the 2008 hop harvest edition is from their standard year-round release?

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tulip glass and enjoyed with Aimstatus and PatronWizard

A: Poured a brownish hue that eventually turned into a black lagoon. Head was big and frothy, but almost looked soapy in a sense. Lacing was marvelous as well.

S: Really hoppy and fruity...which seem to mask the dark malts. Almost reminds me of a mild IPA mixed in with some sort of wheat beer. My friend suggested a mint, which a could be possible.

T: I get a espresso or coffee like taste with perhaps some sort of chocolate, or cocoa property. Bitterness is mild, which is good, but I'm still not sure what to think. It gets a higher score for its ability to hide the 11% alcohol as well the smoothness (not sure if that is a word).

M: A really frothy beer that is a little too thin for a stout, but overall...okay.

D: Alcohol isn't evident....the taste is alright....and overall enjoyable.

Overall: I've heard mixed reviews about this beer, but this it's pretty darn good. A try beer. Cheers!

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Photo of LunaChick
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer really doesn't fall in to a specific catagory. I've had some strongly hopped imperial stouts before but nothing like this. Spectacular.
Pours nearly black. The glass is a fired clay chalice so I can't see any other colors. Billowing tan head that sticks around liked heavily foamed milk on a latte. The aroma is so strong with hops that from a few feet away, the clean citrus smells are easy to notice. Seriously this smells stronger of hops than some IPA's. As it settles a sweetness comes thru and the hefty amounts of turkish coffee become aparent. Slight warmth in the nose--it is 11%. But in the flavor? The mouth is warmed but the flavor is not overpowered by the alcohol.
Flavor starts a big smack of citrus hops. Potent but not bitter. The malts provide a great balance with rich coffee notes and hefty flavors of bitter chocolate. Everything sticks to the mouth like molasas.
Nicely carbonated and super full bodied in the mouth. This beer is thick. Low drinkability. Its intense. Sip with care. And from a 22 oz bottle I could drink maybe 10 oz. This is a beer to experience. The flavors develop very well in the glass.

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Photo of Abrahammer
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: so dark to the point of being opaque. didn't think it'd be this dark from the way it looked as i poured it. but it is. fat head of foam, 2-3 inches, dissipating to at least an inch and a half. pretty lacing sticking to the glass.

s: smells hoppy, but i get a hint of chocolate and coffee as well, but definitely the hops take a front seat. i like strong hops, like the smell of hops, but strong hop taste in an RIS? i shall see.

t: to quote myself--"nice." good chocolate flavor moments after it hits my palate, pleasant hop and coffee finish to counter the sweetness. aw, wait, the chocolate returns as well. nice. alcohol is hard to find in the taste.

m: medium bodied. debating if its a little thin for my RIS taste. yep, medium verging on thin body. decent fizz stimulates my tongue.

d: pretty drinkable, i feel strong that i can finish the 22 oz by my self. i'll see if the 11% teaches me different. i'm a slow learner.

final: not my favorite RIS, but worth having and wouldn't mind having another.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to JohnGalt1 for sending this my way!

A- Dark, almost black. Nice thin tan head formed and dissipated quickly.

S- Wonderful smell. Dark chocolates and roasted coffee beans are the first to hit the nose. Followed by a nice whiff of hops.

T- Absolutely delicious. Nice sweet malt and roasted coffee beans infiltrate the palate. The unique part of this beer is that it was brewed with 200 lbs. of hops, which offer a nice distinct flavor to finish the beer.

M- Thick and viscous. Went down nice and smooth.

D- Highly drinkable given the style of beer. The flavors masked the alcohol and made for a unique taste that was thoroughly enjoyed.

I am very glad to have been the second person to have reviewed this beer. The hops really add a different aspect to this style of beer. Definitely one hell of an experience.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Fresh Hop Edition.

Super dark brown with thick and very firm tan head and the nicest full lacing I've ever seen.

Nose is hershey's chocolate syrup, light whisky-cherries and assertive sweet dried fruit. "Cherry filled chocolates" comes most to mind in the nose.

Mouth is rich and full, bold and creamy. Need more than one taste to fully get this one but it's a great mouth-creamy and rich.

Flavors are complex in the extreme. Flavors are an initial hit of sweet milk chocolate that quikly goes to huge bitter black chocolate; bitter dark espresso and simply very rich, thick and layered roasted grain. This is like a perfect stout mixed with a big hopped brew, but it marries really well.

Finish is bitter grapefruit oil that goes to a very long "chewed espresso bean" bitter.

All around much better than the regular edition; a real winner.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark brown, appearing pitch black. Half finger fine light brown head, dissipates quickly, leaving lots of lacing. Nice aroma of roasted and sweet malt and chocolate. Taste is dominated by roasted malt, chocolate and coffee, finishing with bitter espresso and a hint of smoke. Lingering bitterness from the hops. Nice medium to heavy body. This was fun to drink, but I liked my last 2 year old bottle so much that I think the fresh hopping is wasted for me. The hops kick in too late to be well integrated, but still a nice hopped stout.

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Photo of Kopfschuss
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of PatronWizard
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this at Hollingshead's after taking down a big fat ass tanker of Ten Fidy in the company of OlieIPA and Aimstatus. Good kids. I hoped this brew would follow the fidy nicely. I do believe it did.

Fat pour from Olie, huge frothy head of mushmellow. Looks black in Olie's backyard (not that backyard sicko). Super lacing.

Smells awesome. I believe there is a hop presence. We didn't know when we opened the bottle that we had the hop harvest edition, but I'm glad we did. I smell mint? Pleasantly surprised by the aroma.

Taste is unique. Not awesome, not bad. Some coffee that finishes too bitter. To be honest, the smell is much better than the flavor.

Very smooth, alcohol is completely invisible. Really diggin the hops. If it tasted just a little better...

Overall: good stuff, I would drink more

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Photo of Lazerlobe
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Solid cap of foam, taking its time to recede. Dense pillows on top. Pours a deep brown but this is not as dark as old engine oil.

S: For being last year's harvest, this still has a huge amount of hop character. Intermingled with the stout body, I pick up some more citrus hops, chocolate baking powder, unground coffee. Pleasant but not overpowering.

T: Big hoppy bitterness mixes with char, over-baked brownie, and coffee liqueur.

M: A little light on the mouthfeel but enough viscosity that it holds this together. Some of the hoppiness would likely be covered and increase the palatability were the body thickened.

D: As my palate adjusts, it tastes like I have been chewing on dangerous and possible deadly plants. The bitterness is a bit off putting.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black into a pint glass with a finger of long-lasting eggshell head. Nice roasty dark chocolate aroma with hints of coffee and spicy hops.

Moderate carbonation and a thick, creamy mouthfeel. Nice balance between slightly sweet coffee and chocolate notes with a very nice hop presence on the lingering finish. Very balanced, flavorful, and easy-drinking (had no idea the ABV was 11% until later).

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Black Flag Imperial Stout (Hop Harvest Edition) from Beer Valley Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 42 ratings