Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve) | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

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Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
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.

Added by msubulldog25 on 02-02-2009

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Reviews: 270 | Ratings: 513
Photo of corby112
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque even when held to a light source and a two finger creamy dark beige head. Very good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring and cap.

Very oaky bourbon aroma with a lot of roasted chocolate malts. Hints of toffee, roasted coffee bean, toast, licorice, alcohol, dark chocolate, lactic cream and lots of bourbon. Also, a good bit of vanilla from the oak.

Chewy viscous mouthfeel with a prominent bourbon alcohol heat up front that is quickly countered by a deep roasted chocolate maltiness. Hints of silky dark chocolate, roasted coffee, toffee, slight lactic cream, licorice, burnt toast, and some earthy oak notes with a good bit of vanilla. Alcohol warmth and bitter hops in the finish. The bourbon is very prominent but doesn't overpower the other flavors, allowing the complexity of the roasted maltiness to shine through. Delicious and very quaffable. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As a great nightcap, we decided to share a bottle of Black Gold at "The Bayou" While I was initially disappointed that they were out of Stock on Deschutes Black Butte XXI, this provided me with the opportunity to try this excellent beer. Don't believe it was on the menu. If it was, the description had not mentioned bourbon barrel aging. Only through discussions with our waitress, did she realize this is what we were looking for. Kudos for her for grabbing this gem for us.

Enjoyed this out of a chalice.. No head at all formed atop this black gem. The beer is a shiny deep black color without any brown highlights on the edges. No lacing either..

Aroma was fantastic and a combination of vanilla, bourbon and black licorice.

As expected the flavors continued to grow more complex as the beer approached room temperature. Black licorice, dark chocolate, vanilla and the warming sense of bourbon are all present in the complex flavor. A touch of dark fruit in the background and a small sense of dark roasted malt. Fairly complex and very nice. The bourbon flavor provides a nice warming sense but is not "hot" at all.

Mouth feel is slick, carbonation is slight and spot on. The body is medium thickness and a touch too thin for this to be perfect.

Excellent beer, in the end, I am quite excited that they were out of the Butte XXI and that I had the opportunity to try this. Sometimes we just get lucky. Excellent beer.

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Photo of Jules11788
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark coffee-black that lets barely any light in through the edges; no head, no lacing

S: Strong notes of bourbon-infused wood, sweet malt, chocolate, and more sweet bourbon

T: Starts off with a woody milk chocolate flavor; opens up as it hits the middle of the tongue to reveal more notes of wood, bourbon, and chocolate; finishes with a sweet bourbon/wood flavor that mellows nicely on the back of the palate. Surprisingly there is barely any hint of booze at all, a wonder considering this thing is packing a whopping 11.4%.

M: Medium viscosity, barely any carbonation, super smooth; this stuff just melts ever so softly over the tongue

O: This is one of the best barrel-aged beers I've ever had, and it's also one of the best Imperial Stouts I've ever had as well. If you're a fan of big dark beers then you should not miss this one.

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Photo of busternuggz
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
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!

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Photo of Chelsea1905
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber

Poured almlost lifeless untill an agressive pour produced some head. The head was minimal, and gave-way quite quick;y before leaving a small brown-tinged head that left minimal lacing.

Smelled of bourbon barresl, with dark roasted malts dominating that background. Whiskey, bourbon, and wood of an almost Cedar quality.

Taste is somewhat dominated by the alcohol, but leaves a little warmth of black fruit before giving way to the chocolate/burned malt flavourings, then the alcohols whooshes over almost like a revival adding to the complexity of the beer

Medium to light mouth feel for a Stout, and I very much doubt you'd be drinking too many of these

Overall, a great beer, not as good as the Abyss, but for a little less spondulla it's certainly worth a shot!

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Photo of peacebone116
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a current review of an cellared beer from 2011--11.4%ABV--reviewed 11.04.2013

A: Black beer with nearly no head despite a straight pour. Tan lace rims the glass.

N: Aroma of licorice and chocolate with a light touch of vanilla and oak.

T/M: The mouthfeel on this is a bit light, but not terrible, just lighter than what you might expect from a big, bold stout. The taste follows the nose but with more chocolate and vanilla, finishing with oak and booze and a touch of raisin as it warms.

Age does not seem to have done too much to this beer. It was good in early 2011 & still good in 2013. This one was a surprise for me when I found it and this time, knowing what to expect, it is still a bit of a surprise. I honestly expected the body to thin out a bit more than this, but it has stood up very well. The booze seems a less overpowering, but that could be due to my exposer to stronger beers of this irk more than anything.


Poured from gold foil capped bomber to tulip--in late April of 2011.

A: Black as night! Light tan, almost brown, head fades rather quickly leaving lace at the leg of the glass.

N: Vanilla and chocolate. A slight hint of raisins.

T/M: Vanilla and chocolate. Rummy, bourbon boozyness in the middle accompanied by a bit of sweet plum, which tries to hide behind the booze. This is followed by notes of coffee on the finish. Hot alcoholic feel, but the beer remains creamy and smooth. Vanilla notes sit and stay on the back of my tongue leaving a great flavor. Excellent! A little lighter body than expected but it feels appropriate.

Full Sail beers, while good, have never left me super impressed. I have been really happy with this offering and it stands out amongst some of the other barrel-aged beers I have had the pleasure of trying.

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Photo of Crosling
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

MMMM. This was good. I have no idea how such a shitty Imperial Stout like Black Gold could turn into this Bourbon Countyesque, rich and decadent, deliciously awesome Imperial Stout. I like Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stouts that absord a ton of oak, like this, which exudes flavors of chocolate, fudge cake, icing, tiramisu, cocunut, vanilla, nutmeg, toasted wood and just a subtle hint of bourbon, but itÂ’s in the backround, not hot at all. Also light hints of fruits, like banana, plums and black currants.

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Photo of Vierenner
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice. Picked up while on a trip to Tucson. Exactly the style of beer I like ... a robust stout with bourbon barrel overtones, hints of vanilla, and most importantly lacking the overpowering hop flavor present in so many beers. There is a subtle hint of hops, but it's a delicate, controlled level of bitterness. My only criticism is it seems slightly watery. Almost like it begs for a few additional flavors to make it feel more full ... and ingredients to make it feel thicker. Oh, and I wish it were available in Ohio!

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Photo of bignick
4.46/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle courtesy of Skyhand. Poured into a St. Bernardus glass.

Superb. This beer pours a beautiful near black with a thick, creamy-looking head. There are many different facets to the taste. It tastes of coffee and chocolate from the rich dark malt as well as bourbon and oak from the barrel. There are also hints of dried fruits, licorice, and a bit of caramel. All the tastes come through, but none are overbearing. This is a beer that goes down very well, and the abv is scary. I could drink it all night.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black as an imp stout should be. Head is a tad thin but nice lacing.
Smell: Oh man. Bourbon and wood. That nice creamy oak smell of a barrel ageing done right.
Taste: more of the same goodness. Not that complex, but smooth bourbon stout.
Overall: snagged this when I couldn't get a whole case of abyss. Glad I did.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this as an extra in a recent trade! Been wanting to try this one for awhile.
Pours a dark, viscous brown in color. A very nice inch and a half of dark tan head forms on the pour.
Very nice bourbon barrel notes in the smell. Soft bourbon, some vanilla, as well as a good amount of cocoa.
This tastes very good. Well rounded, soft bourbon flavor. Absolutely velvetty and decadent. Everything is put together so well in this beer. A little bit of roast and some chocolate to round out the flavor profile. Solid mouthfeel, with hardly any hint of the ABV. Very sad to get to the end of the bottle. I will definitely seek out more of this.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black with a modest, beige head of a quarter-inch.
What head did arise, quickly faded to a few whisps of bubble trails.
Aromatics are heavily bourbonized.
Bitter chocolate, charred malt, and dark roasted coffee beans are well integrated and support the prevolent whiskey.
The mouthfeel is thick, chewy, sticky, and lightly syrupy. Low carbonation adds some sophistication. On the thinnish side of body by todays American RIS standards.
The pallet is, as promised, a blast of bourbon.
Plenty of Imperial stout character, but the whiskey overwhelmes it. Not a bad thing, eh?
Dark, bitter chocolate, espresso grinds, acrid black malt, and charred oak follow through the searing alcohol.
The finish builds with plenty of numbing heat, lingering bakers chocolate drizzled with Kahlua, and vanilla.

At 2 years old, this beer could still use some additional cellaring to help round out the booze.
Luv's me barrel-aged Imperial stouts, at any age tho!

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Photo of Bartian
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Given a bottle of the magnificently exciting Full Sail Black Gold Imperial Stout Bourbon Barrel Aged beer. Acquired 22oz. bottle for $9.49 at QFC in Portland.

Appearance is similar to other black gold experiences - a very dark stout!

My goodness, a total licorice bomb! The first, second and third whiff was like opening a box black licorice and shoving your nose in it!

And the taste is equally reminiscent! A highly complex, multi-layered experience with an initial hint of licorice and then a wave of strong, coffee enlivened stout! A real treat!

The mouthfeel is good but a bit too heavy for me; even for a stout. I suppose that is a biproduct of all of the loaded goodies inside.

As for drinkability, I found it to be more work than other stouts I would prefer. This is a great treat, but like many great deserts, a little goes a long way!

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Photo of Iguana
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This gem poured black with brown hues around the edges, with a almost non existent head. As I poured it I was greeted with the scents of vanilla and bourbon. Taste started out like roast coffee with a huge bourbon punch of a finish. As it warmed it got smoother and smoother. Very thick almost syrupy in texture. I would call this a sipping beer, mainly because the bourbon finish is so strong. Wish I had more of this beauty for aging but alas I only got 1 bottle. A great change of pace from Full Sail in my opinion and a truly great beer for the RIS lover and the bourbon lover alike.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to colts9016 for this one! 2009 vintage. 22oz. bomber served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown/black with less than a finger of tan head that quickly dissipated. Great aroma of chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. Also a bit of alcohol. Full bodied with a nice rich, creamy mouthfeel. Flavor has lots of chocolate with more bourbon and a little roasted malt. Great flavors from the bourbon barrel. Long finish of chocolate and vanilla. Got a little boozier as it warmed. This is a great beer. I've been a little burned out on Imperial Stouts lately, but this is top notch.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size brown foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of bourbon and sweet creamy barley without too much alcohol ester. Taste is a complex mix between some sweet roasted malt with creamy barley notes and some dominating bourbon with light vanilla touch. Bourbon is very present but without any alcohol ester. Which I very much appreciated. Full body with good carbonation. Very well done and something I would have more often.

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Photo of scottoale
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber with a single half-wrap black, gold and white label and thin gold foil over the cap. It pours into my Duvel tulip a very dark brown with a solid two-finger ivory-brown head. Good carbonation is visible, head retention is fair and some nice sticky web lace clings to the glass initially.

The aroma is dynamite, with sweet barrel-aged goodness. Lots of sweet caramel malt, molasses, vanilla, oak, charcoal and of course, bourbon. Could sit and smell this stuff all day long.

The flavor is just as it smells with big malty sweetness and rich tones pulled from the bourbon barrels. Good depth with sweetness, oakiness and a very mild booziness. A beautiful balance with the charcoal adding to the bitter, mildly warming finish. Very well done here.

On the lighter side of full bodied, pretty smooth all around mouthfeel and a barrel-aged licorice like aftertaste that satisfies. A solid brew for this style, not the biggest but certainly up there with the best. Oh so drinkable, really wish I had more of this tasty it. Thanks to travisd13 for sending me this gem!

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Photo of BarleyMine
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a snifter:

L- BLACK! With a thick tan head and sticky lacing.

S- Molassas, brown sugar, bourbon, roasted grains and wood.

T- Bourbon, roasted malts, alcohol and a slight toasted coconut finish.

B- full, thick body with nice smooth carbonation.

Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Full Sail, Hood River, OR

Whew, loved this one. Had this during a visit in 2011, but the board listed the ABV as 10.5%, so I'm taking that to mean that this was a vintage keg. Either way, it was great, and one of the better beers I sampled during my week in OR.

Poured a dark black with brownish tints, and a ring of delicate bubbles on top. Aroma thick with bourbon and toffee. My eyes bugged out...I knew this was going to be good. And it was. Taste loaded with toffee, bourbon-drenched oak, and big time vanilla, especially from mid-palate onward. Dark malts and baker's chocolate as a subtle afterthought. Just under full-bodied, alcohol warmth, and quite simply a highly savorable brew that I could sip on all night.

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Photo of Derek
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 release, 11.4%.

A: Black with a tan head, thin ring of retention, nice lace.

S: Boozy bourbon aroma, plenty of molasses, licorice, esspresso & bakers chocolate.

T: The bourbon is great and really melds with this aged stout. Slightly woody, molasses, licorice, dark roasted coffee, burnt caramel, solid bitterness, warming alcohol (though with all this flavour, I wouldn't have thought it was quite as strong as it is).

M: Fairly full body, light carbonation, slight roasted acidty, slightly drying alcohol finish.

D/O: Incredibly drinkable for its weight, very well-crafted, great brew. This is how bourbon barrel aging should be done.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from notes:

22oz bomber bottle with gold foil on the top.

Super dark black with a nice espresso coloured head of foam that initially dies, but is revivable to a certain degree. Aromas of vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, fig, and other dark fruit variants. Taste is silky smooth with non boozy bourbon and vanilla in the foreground, slight herbal hop, fresh baked doughboy rolls and raisins in the back palate. Mouthfeel is think, but not over the top which keeps the drinkability high. The bourbon aging really wakes this formerly boring impy stout up and gets him going right. Pretty nice. As a side note, I wish I could still get this now!


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Photo of mattmaples
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now this is one BIG brew. It pouts thick and inky black. The aroma is big vanilla and substantial bourbon. The flavor is roasty, coffee and licorice with bourbon, vanilla and oak. This is a stupendous stout with a big wood component. It is a massive heady brew now and should mellow and age well over the next 3 to 5 years.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with skyhand. Thanks for the opportunity... Gold foiled cap.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a tight 1/8" tan head above the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is down to a swirl of bubbles in scant moments, with minimal lace, tending more towards legs. Aroma is dark malt with vanilla-tinged bourbon. Taste starts with a sweet darkness, goes with a peek of fruit and some wisps of vanilla in the middle, and then closes with bourbon and lots of alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is amazing, and drinkability is dangerous. Worth the trouble to find and experience.

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Photo of edmedina
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep dark black. This is one of the darkest beers I've seen. The head even comes off brown but full

Aroma: Vanilla and bourbon, nothing else. I tried to see if I could get hints of roast malt or anything else, but I got nothing.

Taste: I get tastes of the roasted malt. Almost chocolate like but that is immediately replaced with vanilla and the oak from the barrels.

Mouthfeel: Starts off very creamy and ends with a bourbon after taste. It's subtle but there.

Overall Impression: OK when I first took my smell I thought, Wow this is going to be full on bourbon but the taste was nothing like that. The beer behaves like a Russian Imperial Stout but ends with a bourbon bite. I like how balanced Full Sail made this beer. You can definitely tell this is a big beer for the big boys.

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Photo of genog
4.53/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle.
Pours a rich black color with a creamy tan head. Great amount of lacing as well as head comes back with every swirl of your glass. Smell is of chocolate, a little mild coffee smell and some toffee as well. All of this is paired beautifully with the vanilla bourbon notes creating a great mixture. Taste is sweet followed by a lingering bitterness. Not very boozy from the bourbon making this a delicious sipper with a creamy mouth feel.

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Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.96 out of 5 based on 513 ratings.
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