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

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88
very good
513 Ratings
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Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States
fullsailbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
513
Reviews:
270
Avg:
3.96
pDev:
13.13%
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
143
For Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 513 |  Reviews: 270
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to black13 for sending me this one!

2009 vintage. 10.5% ABV.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch puffy dark khaki head that settles to a thin film. Small thin streaks of lace form on the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is very nice with bourbon, wood, and vanilla up front and dark roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate if I search for it. Taste is of dark malts, cocoa powder, vanilla, oak, and bourbon flavors. There is a very slight sour flavor to this one as well. There is a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat. This beer has a bubbly level of carbonation with a smooth but slightly watery mouthfeel. There is something in this beer that dries the palate as well. Overall, this is a a good RIS with a better smell than taste and the drying effect this has on my palate is weird.

 815 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 edition, no longer labeled as black gold, but the abv and everything else match up. tons of bourbon on this inky black but thin bodied imperial stout. a massive erupting mocha head rises up and only falls back a little. the nose is great, tons of sweet bourbon and dark coffee notes to it, heavy roast, and woody and smooth. the flavor matches the nose, but to me may e a little but too heavy on the bourbon, like its stout beer with the whiskey actually added to it in liquid form, which i think contributes to a weird mouthfeel thats boozy and thin, although the overall flavor profile on the beer is darn good. chocolate overtones and roasty bitterness are tempered by sweet liquor in the finish. silky texture, i just want more body. reasonably affordable from what i can remember, something i always appreciate from fullsail. i like this a lot better than the top sail bourbon porter, but the over barreled aspect is quite similar on the whole. worth trying if thats your thing.

 988 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -30.6%

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that slowly died down and left lacy patterns of bubbles across the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of bourbon in the nose.
T: Moderately strong flavors of bourbon stand out, although these are well incorporated into the taste and are not overpowering. There are some hints of roasted malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a low amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol in the finish.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink for the style because the alcohol is well hidden.

 587 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Promoting the sense of roast, Full Sail's larger-than-life Stout employs the full gamut of tools to heighten the sense of roast- from its dryness, to its carbonation, its spices and its bitterness all work hard in that direction. Balance has very little place in this beer.

The expected black beer layers into the glass with a slow and steady separation of foam from ale. Its dark body is nearly black as garnet highlights penetrate its edges. Its creamy cap of foam shows long-lasting retention and well defined rings of lace.

Highly roasty aromas couple with medium bourbon notes for a dry coffee and caramel scent. Burnt wood, espresso, walnuts, cocoa and campfire all sing the praises of the beer's tremendous roast. The alcohol scent gives a sweeter and spicier tone to balance the roast scent while light hop presence of burnt grass comes out to play.

Its taste is fully roasted- burnt caramel and toffee, burnt dark fruit, burnt wood and grass all create a strong roasted coffee and cocoa taste. Its bourbon flavor is dry, spicy and boozy just ahead of its bitter finish. Burnt hops, coffee-like bitterness and alcohol bite easily balances the dry malt taste and gives its finish a mild taste of burnt embers and ash.

Full bodied, but the beer's high level of attenuation gives dry impressions immediately. With little malt weight to support the roast, its dry and rough edges poke and prod at the soft tissues of the mouth with spicy pangs of astringency from wood spices, roast grain spices, sharp hops and prickling alcohol. Further exacerbated, the beer's high carbonation provides an arid texture that promotes ash qualities in aftertaste.

Full Sail's Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Gold is a a fantastic Stout, but you gotta lik'em roasty as hell! Everything about the beer reinforces the taste of all-things-burnt. Any balance from malt sweetness is hard to come by, but this allows for a surprisingly high level of drinkability.

 1,944 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.02/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I had to do some googling to make sure I was reviewing the correct beer. My bottle does NOT say "Black Gold"; it simply says "Imperial Stout Bourbon Barrel Aged" on a black and gold label. I've confirmed that this beer is indeed Black Gold - albeit an alias thereof. Brewmaster Reserve 2013. Price was $10.99 at a local SoCal beer store. 9.6% ABV. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded black pressure cap served into a flared tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are low; I'm not a fan of Full Sail - but then I've only had their Trader Joe's beers for the most part.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head of decent cream, decent thickness, and poor (<1 minute) retention. No lacing on the sides of the glass. Body colour is a solid dark black. Nontransparent; opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Typical of the style, but nothing stands out. There's nothing unique or special here, but there are no overt or obvious flaws. Generally appealing.

Sm: Light vanilla and buried light oak - but they come off somewhat artificial; this is not good bourbon barrel aging. Cream. Dark malts. It's shockingly bland for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. An average strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

T: I like the simple vanilla notes. Unobtrusive dark malt foundation. The bourbon aspect is nice, but it's rather one-dimensional and simple for a bourbon barrel stout. Where's the complexity and subtlety? Some cream. No real oak. It's balanced, but it's unbelievably simple. I like it, but it's wanting. No yeast or alcohol comes through, though my stomach does get a bit warm after consumption. Any hopping is minimal.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit of cream. Decent body. Decent carbonation. Good thickness.

Dr: Very drinkable for a barrel aged imperial stout, admittedly. But it has none of the complexity or subtlety I want from the style. It's as neutral, muted, and simple as an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels can be. This would make a great introduction to the style, but it's not for those of us who have had the greats. Overpriced for what it is. Comparatively, it may be Full Sail's best beer - but that isn't saying much. I might try it on-draught if there's no better option, but it's rather forgettable stuff. Still, it's better than I expected. ABV isn't well hidden. Overall, this is about as mundane a bourbon barrel imperial stout as you'll ever find.

Low C+

 2,665 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brewmaster's Reserve 2011

Appearance: A somewhat disappointing appearance, with very little head to cap the dark chocolate colored liquid; rather leggy, however, with dripping dots of foam speckling the side of the chalice

Smell: Bourbon and dark chocolate, with woody overtones

Taste: Dark chocolate and bourbon, up front, with a woody, vanilla character developing by mid-palate; some sourness developing after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation with some warmth in the gullet; the mouthfeel is really thin for the style

Overall: Rather one-dimensional and, with the thin body and hint of sourness developing after the swallow, I have some concerns about how well this will age

Thanks, chumba526, for the opportunity

 750 characters

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.

 493 characters

Photo of largadeer
2.73/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle from bgramer. Thanks, this was one hell of an extra.

Appearance: Dark brown with a bit of transparency, dark amber highlights and only a wisp of head.

Smell: Somewhat muted. Licorice, charred grain and oak. Not the most enormous bourbon barrel presence, this stuff only reveals a hint of that signature vanilla and caramel character.

Taste & mouthfeel: Up front spicy cola flavors (thanks Arne) and big, almost acrid roasted malt. Medium-bodied, a touch lighter than I'd like. More residual sugars would have been beneficial here, as it tastes a bit thin and flat on the whole. This was clearly put in a barrel, but the bourbon isn't dialed-in as well as it could be; it's somewhat lifeless. Bitter, semi-dry finish. Solid stuff but it fails to stand out in a very saturated style.

 797 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of jlindros
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage.

Pours a quite dark colored foamy head that barely covers the beer and fades fairly quickly, spots of lacing, over pitch black thick beer with decent legs too.

NOse brings tons of chocolate, dark chocolate, powdered cocoa, melting Belgian creamy chocolate, then into barrel with lots of nice vanilla, little caramelized oak sugars, and even some straight up bourbon, with a bit of dark caramel and sweet characters, faint hint of booze.

Taste brings more nice bourbon stout characters, starting with a nice mellow bourbon actually, smooth and oaky bourbon with plenty of vanilla again. Then the malts take over, nice chocolate and cocoa powder, baker's choc, a bit of a creamy dark melting chocolate, light roast and coffee but not really acrid. Woody esters come through behind the malt wave, as well as a creamy thick almost nougat like taste, some caramel, and a bit of warming booze as well. Powdered slightly chalky cocoa taste too and a bit of minerality. Finish is drier but a bit sticky, bit more hot booze warmth, more powdered chalky cocoa and some caramel, but also a nice bourbon flavor and bit of vanilla barrel as well as bit of wood flavors all lingering in a complex finish.

Mouth is fuller bodied, lighter but decent carb, thick and creamy with a milky feel, bit of warming booze.

Overall not bad, a nice bourbon barrel character, nice chocolate malt characters, light roast but not a lot, a bit of booze warmth but expected, carbonation could be a little more, but overall decent beer.

 1,521 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Kegatron
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mactrail
2.77/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown in the big globe. Modest head with nearly nonexistent lacing. Not a bad nose of vanilla and lots of wood. Fairly flat mouthfeel. Woody flavor, as in seriously barreled. Clearly 10 months is too long. The stuff seems to have lost aromatics and every trace of sweetness.

Certainly drier than nearly every Imperial Stout I've tried. Tastes like they used alcohol to leach out the malt flavors. 2011 version from Royal Liquor in Encinitas. Astoundingly overpriced at $14.99. There are so many booze and barrel flavored beers these days, and most of them are a lot better than this.

 590 characters

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.

 744 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

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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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