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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: 268 | Ratings: 507
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well appearance wise it's nothing you'd write home about when it comes to imperial stouts. Black as night, light brown head of about 1/4" and minimal lacing. But that's never the strong point of this style, so moving on...

Aroma and taste: BB aging is notable. Tons of vanilla. Wood. Leather. Special-B or maybe carafa III, I'm not sure, but that raisiny dark-fruit flavor is definitely there. Warming of the throat and belly on the way down.

Carbonation mild, body thick and chewy, overall very enjoyable, especially if the BBA character is what you most treasure in this type of beer. Full sail never disappoints.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Full Sail's Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (2013). 9.6% ABV.

A: Medium brown head. Black, with very dark brown in the dimple. Some lacing.

S: Lots of deeply browned caramel and dark chocolate on the nose. Fairly sweet. Powdered cocoa. Some slight woody notes.

T/MF: Deep oaky caramels on the palate that set in as you swallow, and last way into the finish. Dark chocolate is pushed to a back note, with a more cocoa-y taste. Separate oak note in the background. Slightly soft mouth feel. Not quite creamy.

Not a major standout in BBA stouts, but solid. For $12, though, I'd say go for something bigger for a couple bucks more, or go for a better non-BBA stout (Chocolate Sombrero, for instance) for a couple bucks less. Still, worth a try. And, a good gateway, if your more hesitant about $15+ beers. Actually, since it doesn't have much in the way of bourbon or coffee, perhaps a good gateway into the style, in general!

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of hops202
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber poured into a stone snifter. This is the "Imperial Stout" that is bourbon barrel aged. Does not have the black gold label. Brew Master Reserve 2014. ABV - 9.84%

Pours a light black with hints of dark brown.

Nose has tons of bourbon, some caramel, chocolate and vanilla. Taste is a little on the light side, not as much bourbon, or chocolate and caramel. Kind of a let down.

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Photo of Beerlover
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

the flavors in this beer are all there for a bourbon barrel aged stout it's a little on the light side for body but the thing that totally killed it for me with this beer is the mouthfeel, the carbonation is waaay tooo high, which time will take care of just fine but I needed a less quality bourbon stout for a good base line before my bourbon county stout sampling with rick... Rick my friend get ready to have your socks knocked off, bring on the bourbon county!

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Photo of constantine_272
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Black, dotty, lots of big soapy bubbles.

S: Vanilla cream and bourbon. Creme brûlée. Oak. Minor chocolate.

T: Thick and creamy. Bourbon, vanilla again. Thick sweet and woody with some light smoky flavor. Melted vanilla ice cream. Slight crisp bitter finish with dry bitter dark chocolate finish. Huge flavor, but still mellow.

M: Medium syrupy. Finishes long and sweet. No off weird flavors.

O: Really good. Huge bold flavors, nothing too overpowering. Excellent slow snifter sipper.

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Photo of kdahnke123
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2104 Vintage, poured into a snifter. 9.84% ABV. At cellar temperature.
A - Pours a very dark brown with a two finger crema colored head. The head dissipates slowly leaving a rim of lacing.
S - Bourbon and chocolate up front with a hint of hops at the end.
T - Lots of chocolate up from, very smooth. Next comes moderate bourbon and just a hint of bite from the hops at the end. The alcohol is well integrated.
M - A little on the light side for an imperial stout. Lightly carbonated with very little if any mouth coating quality.
O - An average BB stout. Has a good bourbon nose but comes out a little flat on the flavor and mouthfeel.

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Photo of Uanof
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Brewmasters Reserve 2013.

A: Pours a dark brown appearing black in the glass with a tannish brown head on top. Fairly quick to dissipate it leaves a few spots of lacing.

S: Loads of bourbon notes on this one along with oak and vanilla. Dark fruits are fairly heavy along with a pleasant chocolate aroma. Touch of booze on the backend.

T: Isnt as much of a bourbon bomb as the nose would lead to believe but has a great roasted malt and chocolate profile. Oak and vanilla round out the backend smoothing things out.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. A bit lighter than most stouts on the market as there is a slight watery aspect. Nice mellow feel to it which is enjoyable.

Overall was very difficult to pass up at under $5 a bottle but I am glad I picked a couple up. Well balanced beer that is a good entry level bourbon beer.

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Photo of Jjski
3.54/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-black, small head

S-roasty malt chocolate , mild bourbon and vanilla

T- not overpowering or very assertive at all. A bit mild, but balanced flavors found in nose.

M- thin, effervescent

O- ok imp stout, but for $ 5.79 it is a bargain. It's the best (only?) sub-$6.00 barrel aged stout. As for reasonably priced beer of this style- I think Heavy Seas : Siren Noire is far better at @$8.00 to$9.00

For a bargain: recommended.
If you are looking for a Parabola or Abyss equivalent: skip it

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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.

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Photo of pkalix
4.56/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark, black, as it should be.
boozy bourbon, vanilla, roasty malt aroma. very nice aroma.
a bit thicker than I prefer. boozy bourbon sweetness, roasted malts, hard espresso lingers behind, as if I had just chewed an espresso bean....
overall,, it's very good. I keep chasing the dragon here, though. i'm looking for that ECLIPSE clone. and hoping maybe it's half the price of the Eclipse. maybe that's why the eclipse is so expensive and hard to find. it's just the perfect brew. this one isn't bad; it's very good, in fact. I was hoping much on this one because it is stored in the same Four Roses barrels, along with the Makers Mark and Evans(?). anyway, cheers nonetheless . . . . i'm quite happy I wiped out Total Wine's entire 4 bottle inventory....

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Photo of Flounder57
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a tulip.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer. It is pitch black with no clarity, but little bubbles can be seen at the top of the glass.

Smell: Vanilla, oak, spices, caramel, tobacco, chocolate, molasses. Barrel aged delicious aroma.

Taste: Bourbon barrel deliciousness. Nice warming boozy barrel flavors goes well with the traditional RIS flavors one is looking for.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, warming, boozy, full bodied, medium carbonation, and very delicious.

Overall: Pretty delicious and good bourbon barrel aged RIS.

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Photo of SHerninko
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle procured from NJ and enjoyed at Lee Shelly's - Labor Day 2013

A---Dark and bubbly with a nice whitish head, some lacing.
S--All sweet bourbon goodness.
T--Wow, was better than I thought not knowing the brewery. It is one of their "top of the line" beers, so glad it was impressive. Big, bold, boozy but not hot, carmel, coffee...as it warmed I got a ton of chocolate.
M---only weekness in that it wasn't real thick and not creamy, a bit thin and more carbonation than most stouts that are barrel aged.
O---I will seek this one out and purchase again. Luckily I picked up 2 bottles so I will age one a bit and enjoy later this winter.

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Photo of t420o
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Full Sail Imperial Stout-Bourbon Barrel Aged-Brewmaster Reserve


Bottle: 022

A- pour produces a mocha head fizzing away quick leaving no lacing. Beer is dark brown/black in color. 3.5

S- big bourbon, peat, chocolate, vanilla, caramel. Sweet, but not overly sweet. 4

T- Similar to the smell bourbon is upfront with chocolate, molasses, peat,ripe dark fruit, and some caramel. 3.75

M- lighter than it should be. Fizzy. 3

O- good bourbon barrel aged imperial stout but nothing special 4


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

Enjoyed this chilled slightly in a teku glass from the 22oz w/ myself from Calvert Wines and Liquors in Md.

The appearance is inviting with piano black body with opaque clarity and streams of extremely fine bubbles rise to a ring of ultra fine beads collecting in a medium beige surface with scattered lace on the glass. The smell is very pleasant with lots of vanilla from the bourbon barrel aging with some dark cocoa and wood in the aroma with subtle odor of tobacco and smoke with gentle caramel accent. The feel is okay but a little thin for the style with moderately low carbonation and semi sweet texture with slight tannin from the wood and mild alcohol presence but not heavy on the fusel with some mild spiciness in the finish could be hops

The flavor is very tasty with some dark malt plum and roast flavors up front. the wood in the taste becomes stronger as it warms imparting some of the bourbon flavor with vanilla notes and mild caramel malt adding sweetness in the middle with some light toasted grain and smooth coffee-like roastiness with a mild woody tinge near the finish with a good amount of alcohol considering the abv of this, it seems stronger in the taste than it is with the dark cocoa aspect giving a dry quality in the malt. I was extremely pleased with this beer for the price it is a decent bourbon barrel aged imperial stout....it is low in alcohol compared to some others in the Imperial stout style, but this is also pretty drinkable which adds to the overall score. I would certainly drink it again and appreciate Dan Fields for sharing this with me the first time I tasted it two years ago.

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Photo of SeanDonahue
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewmaster's Reserve 2013:

The color of this beer is an ominous black with very little light getting through it. There was about a finger of a head after the initial pour that dissipated quickly. Big alcohol legs on this beer as well being at 9.6% ABV.

The smell hits you pretty hard. First, off, there are big bourbon notes in this one. Most of the aroma in this one is of bourbon but you get a mix of malts and even some raisin notes similar to Dogfish Head's Raison D'Etre.

As for the taste, this beer's consistency compares to that of Guiness, light but with big flavors. There is that hit of bourbon right in the beginning. Following that, there is a bit of a coffee aftertaste.

Overall, this is a solid beer that would be perfect for any imperial stout lover.

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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.

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Photo of Brewasaurus
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Very dark, no light getting through. Kind of a weak pour, but a very thin, dark brown head, which recedes quickly.

S: Smells sweet of bourbon, but not very overpowering. I can't really detect any other scents.

T: Initial hint of sweetness that builds over time, but it seems to have a little bit of sourness. Not much roasted malt flavors, but some caramel and chocolate, but not overly prominent. Finishes with a nice bit of bourbon.

M: Quite nice, very thick mouthfeel, with a small amount of carbonation.

O: Overall I wasn't thrilled with it, but it was above average. If not for the sour-like flavor, I'd rate it a bit higher. Not bad for the style, but definitely not a top-tier BBA stout. I'd get it in a pinch, but it wouldn't be on my 'must buy' list.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottling

A: into a large snifter, ink black body with slim milk chocolate-colored head; sparse motes of lace left behind

S: bourbon whiskey, chocolatey malts and vanilla

T: bourbon soaked bittersweet cocoa, airs of vanilla and oak; cold, semi-sweet espresso coffee and hints of anise. Big on the bourbon.

M: slippery and relatively thin for an Imperial stout, reasonably dry, not too sticky; smooth - no astringence or alcohol burn of any sort.

O: a well-delivered bourbon barrel-aged stout - nothing ground-breaking, but completely enjoyable, even if not in the big leagues. Warms nicely, and makes for a very relaxing drinking experience. Definitely worth a buy for all BAs and fans of the style and barrel-aging in general.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Full Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (2013 release, 9.6% ABV) opens to a rich, smoky, complex, chocolaty, bourbon-laced aroma that is instantly appealing. Bourbon-soaked chocolate bon-bons are perhaps the closest confection in aroma, with their rich, thick milk chocolate and smoky vanilla bourbon notes, but add to that layers of coffee and ash, tobacco and heavy cream, as well as caramel and touches of molasses, and that served with a thick, heavily-toasted slice of rich yeasty brown bread, and you’re getting close. The beer is very nicely balanced, despite the enormity and variation in the aromas, each note playing well off the others. The sugars are especially nice, with fig, date raisin, and lychee fruit esters, lending a port-like quality to the aromas that meshes nicely with the bourbon. In fact, in a blind smelling test, this beer might easily be mistaken for port, especially after it has sat open for a few minutes and the initial heavy bourbon and ash shock has wafted away. As a whole, this smells fantastic.

On the tongue, the beer is very alcoholic, bourbon and port trouncing the tastebuds almost immediately, followed by chocolate liqueur candies, the stout tasting very much like a cognac-filled chocolate treat. Late in the mouthful a few measures of ash and tobacco come through, as well as dollops of brown bread, but it’s mainly the chocolate liqueur candy that dominates, being fairly sweet and containing heavy alcohol vapors. The mouthfeel is, however, strangely light, a watery medium-light at best, making the beer seem like the bourbon barrel aging is responsible for much of the taste in here, and that without it, the stout would only be semi-decent. Aftertaste is ash and tobacco, with lingering sugars and bourbon.

Overall, while the aromas in here were fantastic, the beer didn’t quite live up to its initial promises, and the heavy reliance on bourbon barrel notes ends up making the underlying stout seem weak and watery.

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Photo of ksimons
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 Release 9.6%ABV

A-silky black with about a fingers worth of tan head that leaves a layer of lace

S-you can really smell the bourbon in this beer! Roasted malt, dark chocolate, and vanilla round things out

T-the taste is also full of bourbon which kind of masks the rest of the flavors, which include slightly roasted malt, mocha, light molasses, vanilla, and light spicy alcohol. Alcohol is nicely blended in.

M-actually kind of thin body and carbonation, bourbon sweetness left on the tongue

Overall sort of disappointed. Was really excited to try this, but after the smell the beer kind of went downhill. Not enough body or flavor beyond bourbon to give it much depth.

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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+

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Photo of rickyleepotts
3.32/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I am stoked to review this beer. Full Sail doesn't usually impress me, but they released a Doppelbock a few weeks ago that I just loved. I have also been reading this one is pretty impressive. They release this beer every two years, and age it for quite some time in the barrels. You know me and barrel aging… I am sick of the trend. However, I have realized that brewing companies are not going to stop, and I need to embrace it. So consider this my first barrel aged embraced brews! I hear that some brewing companies, Lost Abbey included, are going to start aging beers in tequila barrels. That sounds interesting.

This beer used to be called Black Gold, and said Black Gold on the label. The bottle that came out this year does not say that, but I have confirmed, with Full Sail on Twitter, that this is in fact the same beer. Not sure why they leave off the name… but I am excited to drink it. Today is a big day, too. We are leaving here and gong to the Skeptical Chymist for some Firestone Walker 16th Anniversary on draft, then over to Whole Foods for some special release beer from Mikkeller. Just a beer filled Friday night.

Let's try the Full Sail Imperial Stout Bourbon Barrel Aged. Black Gold sounds so much better!

In the Glass: The beer is pitch black and pours like mud. Well, not quite… but close! It is thick, produced a huge head, and just sits there begging to be consumed. There is an incredible lace, too. This is so pretty, I just want to look at it. Nah, forget that… let's drink!

Nose: I could smell this as I was pouring it. Not the beer… the bourbon. They are not hiding the fact this is barrel aged. That's for sure. The beer is malty and there is almost too much bourbon on the nose. As much as I don't want the beer to taste like that, I kind of hope that it does! For beer that is less than 10%, it sure doesn't smell like it. Let's drink!

Flavor: At first, I was asking myself, "Where is the bourbon?" Then, out of nowhere, it hits you. Then it's ALL bourbon and slides down smooth. It is WAY too cold, but I almost got a pint out of it. This will last me for a little bit. On my second sip, I swished it around in my mouth, and while it adds a little bit of flavor, but not much. To be honest, it tastes better without doing that. Each sip this beer does get better, and as it heats up, I am sure it will get better. The mouthfeel might be the best part of this beer.

Mouthfeel: At first, there isn't much going on. When the beer hits the back of the palate, it explodes with the bourbon flavor and slides down smooth. Now that I think of it, the nose might be the best part of this beer. The best part of the mouthfeel is the finish, as the bourbon really fills your mouth. There are no bubbles here, and unless you force them, it just slides down. (I just burped… and with the burp comes the bourbon. Not the best flavor I have seen in a barrel aged beer.)

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is nice, and has a nice smooth finish that begins to dry as you continue to swallow. But for a beer that is $11.99, I expect more flavor. I wonder if the barrel aged porter is any better… not sure I am willing to spend $11.99 to find out. Of course, I will have to wait until next year to even try that one. Like I said, this will probably get better as it heats up, but this is not a beer worth writing home about.

This is our last Full Sail beer on the list, and I am OK with that. Their beers never really impress me, and this one is no exception. It's good… but for the amount of time that this beer sits in a barrel, I had a higher expectation on the flavor. Oh well, on to the next bottle!

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Photo of Kevin73
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I tried the older 9.6% ABV variety. Appearance wise it wasn't the most appetizing beer. A brisk pour produced a very thin head that disappeared quickly. The smell was typical of most bourbon barrel aged beers (and bourbon in general) with brown sugar, vanilla, oak and caramel, so nothing surprising there. You expect an imperial to have more of everything. Hops are in the flavor but are very weak. There are notes of roasted malts; coffee, chocolate, dried fruit, almost like a dark ale. The beer was unusually boozy for being 9.6%, which makes me wonder if it's not mislabeled. Very strong alcohol burn. Overall I didn't dislike the beer--it's hard to not enjoy a bourbon barrel beer--but it came on a bit too strong and wasn't as well balanced as it could be.

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Photo of ZRBE
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had me up until the aftertaste. A tad too bitter, a little burnt. A bit boozy, sure, but I don't see what the fuss is. Yeah, it's no tight rope walker, but the balance isn't terrible. Still, things do start in one direction and then move quickly towards another. Nice smooth, bourbon start, then a hard left towards booze and bitter. A little time would do this well. Not something I'm going to seek out often, but I'm not complaining.

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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 507 ratings.
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