El Gordo | Good People Brewing Company

103 Ratings
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El GordoEl Gordo

Brewed by:
Good People Brewing Company
Alabama, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GPHarris on 07-09-2010

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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 103
Photo of AmeriCanadian
3.42/5  rDev -23.1%
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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Photo of justinp444
4.54/5  rDev +2%
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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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.82/5  rDev -14.2%
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 +12.4%
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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Photo of mothman
4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
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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Photo of T_Hass
4.52/5  rDev +1.6%
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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Photo of dar482
4.94/5  rDev +11%
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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Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
4.94/5  rDev +11%
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 -1.6%
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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Photo of Jfn
4.83/5  rDev +8.5%
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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Photo of brahmar
4.93/5  rDev +10.8%
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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Photo of jwjon1
3.04/5  rDev -31.7%
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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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%
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 -0.2%
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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Photo of woosterbill
4.05/5  rDev -9%
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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Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev -4.9%
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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Photo of bjwilson
4.41/5  rDev -0.9%
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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Photo of hopjake
4.77/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this three times at beer festivals in Birmingham. 13.9% ABV - not coincidentally the legal limit in AL.

Black motor oil with a dark tan head. Even during a humid 85 deg day it looks inviting. Smells of dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and a hint of booziness. In addition to the coffee and chocolate, you get some vanilla and dark fruit. More booze in the taste compared to the aroma. Strong malt backbone. Thick, chewy, and satisfying. Hope to have a full pint instead of the 3 oz festival servings sometime.

I agree with some other reviewers - its up there with Ten Fidy and the best RIS's around.

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Photo of Maddmartagan
4.68/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A great beer. Had it on tap at the Good People taproom in a snifter.

Beautiful pour. Pitch black with tan/coffee color head. Head dissipated into a thin ring and left some great legs, like wine.

Rich chocolate, vanilla, stone fruits, coffee, booze, with just a hint of raspberry in the nose.

Full-flavored. All the chocolate, fruits, and raspberry are present with a little licorice. A little too much booze, but hey, it's almost 14%. Overall, very well incorporated.

Nice, big bodied stout. Sticks to the tongue.

Really tasty beer. Wish it was available in bottles so I could sit on one. Or maybe some special versions like Vanilla, Coffee, or Bourbon-aged.

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Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.8/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best stouts around. It absolutely hangs in elite company. I previously had small tastes of this at Magic City Brewfest, but an exceptionally rare keg made its way to the Clyde over the weekend. It's huge, deep, booming. Coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, molasses, booze, all kinds of stuff going on here.

It's not THE absolute best imperial stout I have ever put to my lips (thus not a perfect score) but it is damn close. Wish this would go in bottles so I could sock a handful away and see what it does over 5 or 10 years.

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Photo of jblair9471
4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on-tap at 2011 Magic City Brewfest on 6-4-11

Appearance - Thick and very black with a nice brown head

Aroma - dark fruits, chocolate, and espresso

Taste - I got espresso and chocolate right off, with a hint of that 13.9% and i love it

Mouthfeel - thick and heavy, just how i like my stouts

Drinkability - When it is very drinkable on a sunny, 90 degree or so day, it would be perfect on a nice winter day.

Best RIS i have ever had, and i wait till they can it so i can buy it all.

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Photo of sepharious
4.9/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

If ever a more amazing beer were served at a more inappropriate time of year then I know not of it. El Gordo is a massive RIS which debuted at the 2010 Magic City Brewfest and came back in the sweltering heat for 2011's. While kolshes and saisons might be better suited for the weather, El Gordo *insists* that you pay attention to it and come back for seconds...and thirds. A dark fluid emanates from the tap coating the sides of the tasting glass like some Texas tea. The heady aromas of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruits exude forth. A taste reveals the unctuous, thick richness of a dark chocolate covered raspberry. One can almost grasp a glimpse of Nirvana and there are whispers of a heavenly chorus as the experience washes over your tastes buds and tickles your brain. Jason Malone needs to attempt to contain this dangerously quaffable beverage in some select barrels and sequester it away till winter time... I can only imagine how that could usher this beer to its true zenith.

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Photo of CaskBeerouac
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the "Fat Man" on tap at Magic City Brewfest.

Pours pitch black with nice, dark brown head. The head dissipated quickly, leaving behind some sticky oily residue, but not much lacing. Basically this beer is motor oil.

Great aroma. Raspberry, chocolate, coffee, hints of caramel and vanilla. Even though this is a big abv (just under 14%), the complex aroma all but hides the booze.

Very similar to the nose, with chocolate and coffee being the most dominant players. The raspberry so prevalent in the nose is a little more subdued and plays more of a support role with the vanilla. The booze isn't as incorporated quite as perfectly as in the nose. It rears its head a little in the finish, but still not overpowering.

This beer is as thick and full as they come. It feels very akin to Ten Fidy.

Love this brew. Even in the sun and 100 degree Alabama heat, this drinks pretty good.

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Photo of harpus
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer at the Birmingham Brewfest hosted by Free the Hops

Appearance - very black with a brown head

Smell - Dark fruits and Chocolate

Taste - Dark fruits, Chocolate, and a little portish

Drinkablility - Drank this on a hot Alabama day and it was still good. It would be great to have on a cold day.

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Photo of StuartCarter
4.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Magic city Brewfest.

Appearance: black, black, black. No light coming through this one. Creamy brown head.

Smell: dark fruits - think plums, cherries, raisins.

Taste: follows through on the promise from the smell.

Mouthfeel: thick, viscous, but not syrupy.

Drinkability: even on a hot Alabama summer day, temp and humidity in the high 90s, I wanted more!

If you like big, chewy Imperial Stouts, El Gordo will put a big smile on your face.

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El Gordo from Good People Brewing Company
4.45 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
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