El Gordo
Good People Brewing Company

El GordoEl Gordo
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #27
Ranked #402
4.51 | pDev: 8.87%
Good People Brewing Company
Alabama, United States
El GordoEl Gordo
Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 140 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to David H. for sending me this 750ML bottle. Split with my wife.

The dark liquid smells like sweet malts, bitter chocolate, with a light coating of Mount Yasur ash over the top. Plus something odd & flat. Maybe I can tease it out of the taste.

El Gordo has something unusual going on. Chocolate so bitter that it actually roughens the tongue. Vanilla & roast mid-palate, along with that unusual, almost oaky dryness. Faint raisin, touch of smoke & pine. Heavy & thick, & no alcoholic warmth at all, which is remarkable. Not a problem to put this down.

In 2009 this would have been a stout that made my nipples harden. Now, it’s a very good stout in a world gone mad with same. Looking forward to the variants - this seems like a great base to build on.

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maximum12 from Minnesota, Feb 20, 2019
Photo of Fee
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honestly one of the best stouts I have ever experienced. Pours a dark brown with a nutty/coffee aroma. SO MUCH FLAVOR! This is an exquisite stout. So smooth and flavorful!

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Fee from Pennsylvania, Feb 15, 2019
Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Arrives with an espresso color capped by a mocha head that leaves a dancing pattern of lacing behind

Smell: Dark chocolate, espresso and molasses

Taste: Dark chocolate and espresso forward with the molasses tone building; a hint of prune emerges, as well; through the middle, the hops come through to cut the sweetness and bring a moderate amount of bitterness

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: I tasted the 2017 and 2016 versions side by side and found that while the 17 had a bit more alcohol burn, the 16 was developing a fruity complexity

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brentk56 from North Carolina, Oct 20, 2018
Photo of WickedBeer
3.83/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2017 batch hooked up on draft, Loosa Brews, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Pours viscous and black, fairly cold and left without much head on it. What little residual head and lace appeared was tan in color.

Malt, chocolate, and coffee on the nose. Doesn’t boast anything fancy, just a nice balance of adjunct-free imperial stout goodness. A little bit of vanilla sweetness lingers.

Malty and bold, but quickly followed up by bitter cacao nibs and booze. A nice balance, with a slightly overly bitter finish. However, the complexity of mild vanilla, bourbon, charred malt and chocolate make for an intriguingly complex beer.

Smooth, light but sharp carb, boozy. Smooth, sticky finish, nice mouthfeel. The one thing I will say is I don’t love how it warms.

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WickedBeer from Alabama, Oct 12, 2018
Photo of stevoj
3.75/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle at share. Black pour with small cap of beige head. Aroma comes in a bit sweet, roast grains, sugar, smoky. Taste follows with a bit more of the roasty grains. Nice feel over all too.

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stevoj from Idaho, Jun 21, 2018
Photo of Sabtos
3.88/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Shiny black with a large, airy foamy dark tan head.

Smell is milk chocolate with coffee, molasses, and woody hops that exhibit a sort of light char.

Taste starts off with a darker chocolate, yet also has bitter baker's cocoa and a cedary, woody hop presence that gives off sharp pine resin and grapefruit rind. This is like a more bitter Yeti, and the sharp bitterness builds boldly, with a near Worcestershire tang.

A slick medium-light but round body has a crisp, light carbonation, finishing semi-dry.

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Sabtos from Ohio, Feb 03, 2018
Photo of Buck89
4.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Just a fantastic beer. Poured thick and viscous - opaque with a modest tan head. Rich chocolatey aroma with some toasted malt, coffee, and floral hop notes. Huge dark chocolate on the palate. Mixed in was roasted coffee, caramel, some raisin. Bitterness there as well. Full bodied but not overly sweet. ABV well-hidden for the size.

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Buck89 from Tennessee, Dec 03, 2017
Photo of JacobusFavier23
4.29/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Six month old beer poured into a tulip glass.

L- Tar-y deep black with a minimal brown lacing that hugs the side of the glass.
S- Notes of coffee, chocolate, toffee, roasted oak and nuts, raisins and vanilla. I also get the aroma of alcohol intertwined between the other aromas.
T- Same as the nose but especially focused on the coffee. Roasted oak woodiness is also picked up. Sweet molasses flavor as well as a mocha-chocolate flavor. Bite of alcoholic buzz.
F- Thick and creamy.
O- This beer is a well crafted, flavorful, full bodied, heavy hitter. Best beer to come to from the state of Alabama in my opinion. A real treat.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
3.42/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I understand what Good People represents to the Alabama craft beer scene, but this is the umpteenth beer of theirs that flat-out doesn't match its reputation. Maybe some aging would do it some good, but as a fresh beer this is a pedestrian Imperial Stout, at best. Look is in line, jet lack and viscous-looking with a thin khaki head of large bubbles but minimal lacing. Smell is all coffee and roasted malt, maybe a little bit of vanilla and charred wood, with no spice, dark fruit, chocolate, or licorice to be had. Taste is all coffee, basically a mouthful of dark roast with absolutely zero other notes or complimentary flavors, and certainly nothing resembling bourbon. Extremely disappointing. And the texture is thin and underwhelming, with little but bitter coffee in the aftertaste. Not a bad beer, but very one-note and far from memorable, so I'm pretty perplexed why this beer has the reputation it does.

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AmeriCanadian from Tennessee, Apr 15, 2017
Photo of justinp444
4.54/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 aged bottle. Poured into a tulip it has a dark beige almost khaki head of a half inch with a black body. Smell of slight spice, big dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and roasted malt. Taste is a big amount of roasted malt, dark chocolate, good amount of vanilla, espresso, and some caramel. Mouthfeel is full as well as body with a moderate to full carbonation. A big stout with a ton of flavor that is surprisingly drinkable without any big discernable alcohol notes for its abv. Definitely not the most complex stout, but very drinkable.

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justinp444 from Michigan, Feb 26, 2017
Photo of JackRWatkins
3.82/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2016 bottle into a snifter

A: Opaque black, reddish-brown adobe/khaki colored head
S: Coffee and alcohol immediately and a wine like tannic character, it doesn't seem to be as fragrant as it's barrel aged and mole cousins, a powdery cocoa note comes out as it settles
T: Immediate bitter chocolate, deep, rich, heavy and boozy, a bit of the vanilla filters in with the rich chocolate,
M: Thick, but not overly thick, quite dry in a tannic way
O: An excellent stout fresh, but it would benefit from some of the bitterness smoothing out into the beer, thankfully, I have quite a few vintages of this beaut on the shelf

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Photo of DojoBiden
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite simply the greatest Imperial Stout I have ever tasted. Thick, molasses, rum, raisins, chewy....... delicious. I have tried this style all over the world. Many great ones out there. Nothing compares to this. Truly a special beer.

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DojoBiden from Alabama, Sep 13, 2016
Photo of mothman
4.44/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tan head. Black in color.

This one is very thick. Molasses and chocolate. Raisins and toffee with caramel. Light roast and coffee.

Full bodied. Thick and rich.

This one is very well done. Great imperial stout.

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mothman from Minnesota, Jul 05, 2016
Photo of T_Hass
4.52/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the magic city brewer brew fest. I hyped this one up for myself and it didnt disappoint. Beautiful pour with a big khaki head. Smells sweet and chocolaty. Taste is the same with hints of vanilla and roast. The mouth feel is thick and viscous. One of the best non barrel aged imperial stouts out there

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T_Hass from Georgia, Jun 04, 2016
Photo of dar482
4.94/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The aroma hits of roasted malt, a touch of umami and soy, sweet toffee, caramel, raisins, cherries, intense dark chocolate.

The flavor hits of sweet brown sugar up front, a prickle of heat, almost as if the beer was barrel aged. Milk chocolate throughout, residual sweetness on the back end along with dates and raisins.

The beer is sweet, yet balanced with the alcohol, chocolate, and dark fruit cutting away from the sweetness' intensity. For it's ABV, this beer does what one would hope Dark Lord would do.

One of the best non-barrel imperial stouts.

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dar482 from New York, Apr 28, 2015
Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
4.94/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the most complex beers I have ever tasted. Seriously hard to believe that this is not barrel aged. So thick, flavors keep rolling out non-stop. Awesome beer!

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a snifter at the J. Clyde.

A: Blackish brown with a tan one finger head that lingers. Significant lacing.

S: Espresso, cocoa, brown sugar. Roasty, toasty.

T: Sip this one slow, it will dominate your evening. Light bourbon with cocoa nibs and espresso. Molasses. So robust. Like a Fatso on steroids. More expressive as it warms.

M: Medium to heavy with medium carbonation.

O: Glad I got to try this elusive fat boy. One of the greats in Russian Imperial Stouts.

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brewskifan55 from Mississippi, Jan 27, 2015
Photo of Jfn
4.83/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The best stout I've had. This is big boy stout. The midnight color and aroma are perfect. An incredible winter beer you better sip or it will bite more than their snake handler.

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Jfn from Alabama, Jan 25, 2015
Photo of brahmar
4.93/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22oz bottle into snifter. Batched in 2012, hand-bottled 5/13, and released 12/14. (322 bottle count)

Look - Midnight black with dark head, medium lacing.

Smell - Cocoa, tobacco, and vanilla. Not overwhelmingly boozy for such a big beer.

Taste - Follows the nose with nice espresso and cocoa, some fruit notes .

Feel - Thick, chewey, and sticky to the tongue. Overall, great consistency.

Overall - what a difference age makes with this one. I hope they continue bottling this because the difference between fresh and aged is night and day. So much more mellow when it's had some time to settle in. If you can get your hands on a bomber of this, I highly recommend. No doubt in my mind this is the best offering in Alabama now.

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brahmar from Alabama, Jan 03, 2015
Photo of jwjon1
3.04/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

L: black as night.
S: nose tinging EtOH, with some roast and soy.
T: straight up alcohol, followed by dark fruits, followed by more alcohol.
F: dense, mouth coating as appropriate for a big ass RIS, but man does it burn as it goes down.
O: as the name suggests, this is one over the top, flabby ass booze bomb. To a fault.

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jwjon1 from Pennsylvania, Dec 18, 2014
Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black, with minimal carbonation. This beer is intense, with dark chocolate and raisin notes. It is a bit boozy and really needs some time to mellow which is not always possible given the small bottle run. This beer aged in bourbon barrels would be great.

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Photo of richj1970
4.44/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 32 oz growler into a snifter.

A: Midnight black with two finger chocolate brown head that settles to a nice ring around the edge. A small bit of lacing but consistent with something this high ABV.

S: Big bourbon dominates the nose. Some coffee, bitter chocolate, and vanilla.

T: Follows the nose fairly closely. Bourbon, dark espresso, chocolate, vanilla, dates, and raisins. Alcohol is still fairly dominate but not as much as the nose would suggest.

M: Thick without being syrupy. Coats the tongue nicely, and the alcohol warms you as you drink.

O: Enjoyable imperial stout. I really wish they would bottle this one. I would love the opportunity to age this bad boy for a while.

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richj1970 from Alabama, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of woosterbill
4.05/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewery, at an incredibly reasonable $5 for a 12oz pour.

A: Midnight black body, one-inch head of dense brown foam. Great retention and good lacing for the style and (especially) strength.

S: Huge. Nail polish, dark chocolate, molasses, and port. Spicy alcohol underneath it all. Quite good for this type of extreme RIS, but definitely over the top.

T: Follows the nose - solventy alcohol up front, followed by rich dark fruit, spiciness, and some dark chocolate. Hot and bitter finish, with the bitterness providing some nice balance to the major sweetness. As it warms, the heat mellows a bit and the brownie-batter malt comes more to the fore. Very good.

M: Thick, viscous, and lively. Enough creamy carbonation to prevent stickiness.

O: I made the mistake of ordering two of these while pregaming a Barons game with my wife and her parents, and I was sloppy for all 9 innings. Serious, serious beer. It kind of reminded me of a hybrid between Bell's Expedition and DFH World Wide, and while it was clearly better than the latter I didn't find it quite coherent enough to rival the former. I'd LOVE to see what it would be like on the other side of a year-long stay in a barrel, though...


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woosterbill from Kentucky, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to a mysterious source for the hookup. Served in a snifter.

A - Dark tan foam settles to a partial cap, thick collar, and splotchy lace. Very dark brown, opaque body that verges on black. Impressive considering the ABV.

S - Big notes of molasses, anise, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and espresso. There's some alcohol that distracts a bit unfortunately, but otherwise this is a satisfying mix of roast and sweet flavors.

T - The flavor is better, as the alcohol is more restrained here. Dark breads, molasses, anise, semisweet chocolate, light raisin and dark fruits, and lingering roast bitterness. Nice depth and flavor balance here, although it verges a bit too much towards black licorice for my palate.

M - Chewy, full bodied, sticky, with sufficient heft for the listed 13.9%. Pleasant medium-low carbonation, and a mild amount of alcohol warming on the back of the throat.

D - I liked this quite a bit, although it proved somewhat polarizing at the tasting to which I brought it. I've heard this batch was unusually boozy, so I'd love to try it again on-tap next time I'm in Alabama.

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MasterSki from Ontario (Canada), Aug 14, 2013
Photo of bjwilson
4.41/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12 ounce tulip glass at the good people brewing company in Birmingham. Wow. Instantly all I taste is dark, sweet, and a hint of alcohol. This is a beast of a beer and well worth a try if you ever make it to the brewery. Definitely up there as one of the best imperial stouts I've ever tasted

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bjwilson from Alabama, Jul 17, 2013
El Gordo from Good People Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 140 ratings