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Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve) | Full Sail Brewing Company

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Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)
Very Good
516 Ratings
Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
3rd Release - 2013 (9.6% ABV)
2nd Release - 2011 (11.4% ABV)
1st Release - February 2009 (10.5% ABV).

After its initial release in February 2008, this Imperial Stout was aged for about 10 months in Bourbon casks from Kentucky.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 516 |  Reviews: 270
Reviews by elgiacomo:
Photo of elgiacomo
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2011 vintage. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours black with a small brown head that quickly recedes to a wispy cap, leaves nice spotty lacing behind.

Aroma is a bourbon bomb, tons of bourbon, a lot of vanilla and oak, and I reckon there is a stout under there too, featuring dark fruits, anise, roasted malts, and a bit of chocolate and coffee, a lot of sinus-clearing alcohol as well. Very good strength.

Flavor generally mirrors the aroma. Big-time bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, coffee, anise, dark fruits, some caramel, molasses and toffee, moderately sweet, minimal bitterness, noticeable alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied, but a tad thin for the style, very creamy, smooth, light carbonation.

If you like bourbon-heavy stouts, this is a must-try. Huge beer. I love me a barrel-aged stout, but this one could almost use some toning down as it ends up overpowering the rest of the beer. Still, really, really good stuff. Glad to have had a chance to try it. Probably should have sat on it a bit longer, but I got impatient. I’m sure this would age like a champ.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of emceecue
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of Proteus93
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Jet black... completely opaque, with a lighter brown or tan coloured head that doesn't retain as well as some. A nice collar remains, though, so it evens it out a bit.

S: Very robust... a definite oak aroma with a good note of bourbon left behind. Some vanilla in there, unsweetened chocolate, and a bit of black currant.

T: Wow, this one has a big flavour... it's a shame that I had not tried the regular release previously to have something to compare against, but the barrel aging seems to have made a big difference in the overall flavour. Huge boubon flavour, without being overly hot... it's quite smooth. Some rich vanilla, a big oak flavour and a lot of anise flavours. Massive taste that sticks around for quite a while after it goes down.

M + D: Smooth and big bodied, yet it has a shimmer of carbonation to add just a touch of bite. It comes across as a bit 'bigger' than others, and though I enjoy a good RIS any time of the year, this is one that I would think of as being more appropriate during the cooler months. Good stuff.

 1,049 characters

Photo of Uanof
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours as dark as the night with a quick dissipating head and a thin lacing lacing left behind, this impeeial stout has a huge taste of bourbon and vanilla with a roastiness that balances well it's bitterness. Medium to full bodies with a warm aftertaste of alcohol this beer is not too demanding or overpowering, but instead it balances itself to a very welcoming warmness.

 373 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of DruRho
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of bonkers
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of smccann
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of midaszero
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque body with one finger of coffee head that doesn't stick around to long. A small bit of lacing as well.

S - Smells awesome even from a distant. Sweet sweet bourbon smell.

T - Chocolate bourbon goodness. A little hot but not nearly as bad you might expect from a 10.5 ABV

M - Medium thick body with light medium carbonation. Coats the gums some as well.

D - Very easy to drink for the high ABV and almost sessionable. Very enjoyable especially if you like bourbon aged beers.

 487 characters

Photo of anteater
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of HalfFull
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Often a Barrel Aged RIS becomes an Amer/Impy Stout. Apparently in this case, the opposite is true. The style characteristics seem to favor the former though the ABV is middle ground for both offerings. Just a bit of semantics perhaps.

This years release is poured into a wine glass from a 22 oz. capped bomber, showing nearly black in color and with a light mocha cap. Moderate retention and light lacing follow.

Potent notes of bourbon, oak, cherry and caramel on the nose. Roasted malt and chocolate notes contribute more with warming and exposure. Alcohol is present as this is surely a 'wet' barrel aged beer, though its presence does settle out after a few minutes.

Just a hint of bourbon on the taste, along with oak and vanilla and lesser hints of chocolate and cherry. Offers more of a toasted malt finish with enough texture and carbonation to balance the sweetness and ABV well on the tongue. Finish is reasonably full though somewhat more brief than expected given the bourbon influences, and with a bit of caramel and chocolate.

Initially overbearing with bourbon influence, this beer becomes a nice sipper as it warms; yet will always be an outsider to the 'family'. Apparently a different animal than prior releases I would gather.

 1,251 characters

Photo of jason_nwx
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of busternuggz
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 10 oz pour on tap at 1702. Served in a small pilsner glass.
Opaque brownish black with a 1/4"-1/8" khaki head. No lacing, but I think the glass may have been wet or something.
Rich and inviting nose. Leads with bourbon notes, then toffee, vanilla, some oak, and a kind of sweet creaminess. Lactose maybe? As it warms, a little licorice and molasses come out.
The taste is similarly rich and complex, leading with bourbon and oak, then jumping around between molasses, toffee, roasted malt, milk chocolate, and espresso. Medium sweet, ends lightly sweet and roasty with a pleasant and long finish/aftertaste. The bourbon adds to the taste without overpowering, just how I like it.
Very nice texture too, full bodied, viscous and creamy. The carbonation is just right, balanced and smooth.
I kind of didn't expect much from this beer, but I was really impressed. Balanced, complex, and delicious. Damn!

 906 characters

Photo of mttdls
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of paco1029384756
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small off white head.

Scent of chocolate, toasted malts, some coffee, oak, spices, some dark fruits, molasses, and alcohol.

Taste of oak, whiskey, earth, coffee, roasted malts, and chocolate. Good, but seems a bit weak after the barrel aging.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth.

 310 characters

Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Smakawhat
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks kindly to colts9016 for the bottle! No foil cap presented, but it is Brewmaster Reserve 2009.

Out of the bottle she pours dark walnut. Give to thick legs with faint spotted lacing. Head is a light cocoa but doesn't stick aorund much. Body color is a very dark dark red cherry, it does appear to be somewhat clear but the color is incredibly dark that you can not.

First bouquet and smell is reminiscent of Barleywine style. Hints of cherries mixed with alcohol heat. Nice cherry fruit basket, almost kind of jammy.

Taste is a big surprise, slight fizz tingle then that cherry fruit comes through giving way to a dense malt. On the swallow it's dark chocolate smooth, almost nougat like. Great body and mouthfeel, lots at play here with the malt, then cherry bent and tastes of chocolate. Even a small hint of sour which just makes it like a tease. Top roof palate of my mouth leaves just a hint of dried tobacco leaves.

Overall this is like the composition of a great barleywine and a great Russian Imperial aged stout together it feels just flat out fantastic. Lots of win here.

 1,090 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.26/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed on 06/04/2009. Bottle at PPRBSG09. Pours dark brown. Aroma is completely bourbon. Flavor is also bourbony with a faint background of roasted malt. Am I drinking bourbon or beer? Tastes exactly the same as the bourbon aged imperial porter...like bourbon.

 262 characters

Photo of calvin233
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of piclee
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Dburke
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of coldmeat23
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
Big thanks to swillbur for this one! (I've wanted it for awhile.)

This pours up a deep, dark, brown color that, for all intents and purposes, may as well be black. The chocolate brown head of foam is somewhat thin and dissipates quickly, but that's to be expected with a high-octane beer like this one. The lacing is in thin strands and tiny specks, which slide/drag down the oily residue, back to the liquid.

The first scent to hit me is of big chocolate roasted malts. Very nice hints of bourbon. Good vanilla and light oak. Cherries and some other dark fruit sweetness notes. Light traces of espresso beans.

Follows the nose, quite well. Adds a bit of smoke and a good dose of peppery spice.
All of the rest of the scent factors show up again, in the taste.
The bourbon is actually somewhat mild. At least more mild then expected, anyway.

This is barely full-bodied and has an almost medium level of carbonation. As a result it's just barely smooth and has no creaminess to it....a shame, really.

It's good for what it is. Is it representive of it's style? Yes. Are there others out there that are better? Yes. Are there worse? Yes. Would I drink it again? Sure. Would I put effort into seeking it out, next time? Probably not.

 1,299 characters

Photo of ilikebeer03
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 516 ratings