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

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very good
268 Reviews
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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 | website

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
Reviews:
268
Ratings:
507
Avg:
3.96
pDev:
18.18%
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
139
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 268 | Ratings: 507
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

9.6%

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

B

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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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Photo of SkeeterBoganski
2.77/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

2012 vintage at 9.6% abv

A - this beer pours a deep black with a khaki colored head that fades rapidly; very minimal carbonation present

S - bourbon, a touch of rubbing alcohol, peat, subtle hints of vanilla; how this beer is under 10 when all I can smell is booze is beyond me

T - the taste of this beer reflects the nose to a tee...the bourbon barrels used have apparently taken over the entire base; the rubbing alcohol notes are unpleasant; I'm happy with the ruffles chips flavors that are in my mouth

M - speaking of mouth, this beer is probably highlighted here: the feel is decent, reasonably carbonated, even drinkably smooth; however, the bitter alcohol flavors leave a sting on the tongue

O - this is a pretty disappointing beer; basically, I paid $11 for a bottle of rubbing alcohol stout; I will try and let it warm and hope for the ability to finish, but I see a drain pour in my future.

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Photo of Charlie_Hoss
2.78/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

I figured I would write my first review on this beer to explain why I gave it such a low rating because I would like to think I like "most" craft brews.

2013 vintage poured into a DFH signature glass, Split between three people.

A: Poured into my glass moderately aggressive and poured a small, quickly diminishing, khaki head. Decent black color, probably one of the most appealing aspects of this beer. (great label, I can sometimes go for bling)

S: Upon initial smell I could smell bourbon,anise, and some fruit and I had high hopes it would be a tasty brew.

T: This is where everything went wrong. Maybe I was serving it too cold but my first sip tasted like fruity soy sauce. I waited for it to warm hoping this would change. It only moderately mellowed and I could not finish my glass (and I absolutely hate to pour beer). One of my friends felt the same, the other liked it, as taste is obviously one's opinion.

M:Very watery and thin, this was one of the biggest disappointments. I was hoping I would be pleasantly surprised but this just wasn't it.

O:Really disappointed in this one. I had high hopes for a barrel aged stout at $11 that was easily available. This was just not it. I will stick with Uinta Labyrinth as one of the best affordable barrel aged stouts that flies under the radar. Cheers

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Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 vintage, only 9.6% as opposed to 11.4. Also this is the first time i've seen this in NJ? Anyway, I've been loving everything full sail lately so I'm hoping this lives up to what I've been having. Pitch pitch black with a half inch of head even with a vigorous pour. Lots of bourbon and chocolate on the nose. Oak and vanilla under it all.

Big bourbon flavor. Vanilla sweetness up front followed by rich chocolate flavor. Spicy oak finish. Nice underlying bitterness on the finish balances the bourbon sweetness that you find throughout the beer. For such a big brash beer, the flavor are layered extremely well, and, typical full sail quality, extremely clean. Probably the cleanest bourbon barrell flavored imperial stout i've ever had (full sail trademark) As the beer opens up a bit you get a bit more malt. For such a big beer its also kind of simple but in a good way. Flavors are quick layered and concise and work well together. Bourbon is a little strong, but laying it down for a couple months might help it fade a bit. Seriously though, good, drinkable, flavorful, simple, and clean is the best way to describe this. Massive body. with thin but steady carbonation.

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Photo of themind
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bourbon bomb anyone? I had high hopes for this brew since it was aged for 12 months in Kentucky barrels. That said it's a bit unbalanced, the bourbon taste is dominant and the flavors don't seem to mesh well. Overall I would say it's an average BB stout. Kudos to the brew master for his efforts but they have fallen slightly short in this case.

Bottom Line: As the beer warmed it became more enjoyable, worth a try.

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Photo of Gavage
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a black color with a short wispy head.

Smell: bourbon and vanilla are up front and pleasant.

Taste: roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, prunes, alcohol, and a moderate bitterness make the main flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Light crisp to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Dryness arrives late. Long aftertaste as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Overall: a slow drinking beer that is a bit boozy. The bourbon flavors are pleasant but a bit more roasted malt tones are needed here. The stout qualities are a bit mild.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.13/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had the 2006 vintage years ago and never reviewed it, whiskey bomb but it was only $4. This 2013 vintage cost me $12.49 and if I wasn't on a bourbon barrel kick lately I would never have paid it. I wish I hadn't. Typical black color with a nice off-white head that left a little cream at the top.Aroma is a complete whiskey bomb with a couple notes of wet wood. was hoping for vanilla and coconut like Firestone Walker but all I could detect was Crown Royal and Jack Daniels. Flavor was sort of thin but heavy on the alcohol. There really wasn't a good malt backbone and I feel like the barrel just destroyed the base beer. Disappointing.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from 2011 courtesy of Leschkie. Thank you for the opportunity Kurtis. Poured to ride the storm out...Kevin Cronin style.

Into my Darkness snifter pours a nice deep black with some darker brown highlights along the edges when backlit. Head is nearly non existent, which isn't overly shocking. The collar is rather uneven with spotty bubbles here and a thin ring there. Some splotchy spatter dots the glass.

Barrel aging is certainly evident as the nose is straight vanilla and bourbon. Not overly complex, but nice none the less.

Vanilla is quite prevalent right from the get-go. Charred paper, dark chocolate, and some spiciness from the bourbon. The heat from the barrel weaves throughout and while not overbearing certainly makes itself known. A drizzle of melted caramel towards the finish is met with drying cocoa and vanilla ice cream at the back end. The flavors really work well together and the 11.4% is never off putting, which is nice when trying to tackle this with just the mildest of assistance from the wife.

If this beer has flaws, it's right here. The mouthfeel is really thin and while the carbonation is a bit high, the body seems to suffer from the barrel aging.

Overall, I have fond memories of drinking Full Sail in Missoula when this bear roamed those parts and it was a pleasant surprise to find this tucked amongst some giants in the box from Kurtis. Were this beer to have a thicker and more luxurious feel, well hell this would be a real under the radar gem. As is, it's a very nice BA Stout that does quite a bit well. What I had anticipated taking long enough to watch the beginnings of Snowmageddon has evaporated all too quickly.

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Photo of birchstick
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 reserve. Pours black into the glass without much of a head on it. Nose consists of chocolates, bourbony vanilla, and a little molasses. Taste starts off with chocolates that move on to a bit of bourbon spiciness. Ends with the chocolaty bourbony spiciness that was prevalent throughout. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and a little luxurious taboot. Overall, this is a really nice bourbon barrel aged beer with a good amount of flavor. Recommended if you like barrel aged stouts.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to leschkie for this beer from an IP trade! Thanks Kurtis!

poured into tulip glass.

vintage 2011.

reviewed from notes taken tonite.

Appearance: black bodied beer with a light to medium brown frothy cap.

Smell: Bourbon forward with some hints of oak. Roasty coffee and vanilla. Very similiar to GI BCBS. Yep...I just said it!

Taste: Big bourbon and oak. A mix of slightly bitter coffee and sweet tabacco. Some chocolate chip cookies in the middle of the beer also. Finishes with a mild sweet vanilla note. As this beer warms the booze becomes more apparent and the tabacco notes intensify.

Mouthfeel: at the high end of a medium bodied beer with low carbonation levels. Its almost got a syrupy mouthfeel, but not quite.

Overall: This is an under the radar beer. Its getting close to BCBS territory in the nose, taste, and mouthfeel just not a big and boozey. Besides the heavy tobacco notes as it warms the similiarity is almost scary. Its an amesome beer that deserves more credit than what its been given!

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Photo of riored4v
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 release which says already aged for 10 months from 2008. Reviewed 10/26/12

Poured a pitch black, mildly thick body. 1/2 finger, brown head. Mild clinging to the glass.

Aroma was pretty solid. Good solid notes of vanilla and oak. Lots of bourbon with a really smooth chocolate and roast aroma. Dark fruits and raisens. Really nice aroma on it.

Taste was very mellow and smooth. Huge amounts of vanilla and bourbon upfront than turned to chocolate and more dark fruits. Prunes and raisens especially. Some good roast in there as well, but all the flavors have blended extremely nice. Mild bitterness on the finish. Alcohol is very subdued for 10.5%

Mouthfeel lack a bit for such a big beer. While its nice to have it feel lighter, the flavors scream to be a big, thick, chewy stout. Medium/heavy body with a medium carb and a fairly dry finish. Wished it was more chewy.

Overall this was a really pleasant beer to drink. Flavors blended amazingly and it was very smooth overall. Loved the big vanilla and bourbon flavors.

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Black Gold Imperial Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
89 out of 100 based on 268 ratings.
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