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Gonzo Imperial Porter | Flying Dog Brewery

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Gonzo Imperial PorterGonzo Imperial Porter
BA SCORE
4.02/5
Exceptional
2,933 Ratings
Gonzo Imperial PorterGonzo Imperial Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States
flyingdogbrewery.com

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV varies.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-04-2005

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,220
Reviews:
1,479
Ratings:
2,933
pDev:
10.95%
Bros Score:
3.7
 
 
Wants:
154
Gots:
364
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,933 |  Reviews: 1,479
Photo of donniecuffs
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a rich dark color with a tan head and zero carbonation (e.g. nitro). The smell was dominated by dark chocolate, caramel, and roasted malts, but once again the flavor was a little more subtle; similar to the Road Dog Porter in that respect. The mouth was nice and creamy, likely due to the nitro aspect, but one of these is a meal. Definitely not a favorable session beer.

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Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a nitro tap:

A - Thick and dark with a thin but rich head. Lacing sticks around for the ride.

S - Intense toasted malt scents...hints of chocolate.

T - Intense roasty malt flavors yet balanced by a robust infusion of hops....complex, confusing to the pallet but awesome.

M - Chewy thick rich and lightly carbonated...the nitro adds and extra smoothness.

D - Better to sip and enjoy one rather than drinking all night

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Photo of Working4Beer
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer will shock you a bit at first taste. A well played nod to it's inspiration, perhaps. But, after the first one you'll find yourself going back to the bar for more. Starting with gorgeous bottle art (which, of course, has nothing to do with the taste), this is a beautiful beer to one's eye. It has a nice aroma and, once you get used to it, a very appealing taste as well.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

black with a decent tan head and lacing. aroma is somewhat muted for a beer of this abv, but definitely some chocolatey malts with coffee and dark stone fruits underneath. flavors are the same, moderately sweet malts mostly cleaned out by the hop bitterness underneath and mild roastiness. medium to full bodied, enough carbonation to help this from being cloying. not a monster and not overly complex, but a nice porter.

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Photo of Cs1987
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Almost completely opaque. A slightly over-aggressive pour resulted in three fingers of creamy beige head. Very good retention and lacing.

Smell - Obviously an American beer - the fruity and grassy hops almost overpower the roasted malts.

Taste - Very well balanced. The hop balance is spot on and not overpowering, but I would still like the flavour to be more malty.

Mouthfeel - Lighter than expected for the style, pretty smooth.

Drinkability - It's pretty easy to forget this is 8.7% ABV.

Overall - This would be my new favourite American beer... as far as I can remember...

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review in awhile. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Dogfish Head glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown, almost black, with three fingers of tan head that lingers for a long, long time.

Smell: A mix of dark chocolate and bitter coffee, with a sweet smell in there as well. Hints of alcohol.

Taste: Primarily bitter chocolate and coffee, with a slight astringency. Alcohol is slightly evident. The coffee notes linger for awhile in the aftertaste. Despite the bitter coffee flavors, the overall taste is very smooth. Somewhat one-dimensional, however.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy, high carbonation. Maybe a little too high.

Drinkability: Not the most complex beer, but it's very good, and very easy drinking. Entirely too easy to put down a couple of these. Might become a regular in my rotation.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got my hands on the last three vintages of Gonzo (2007, 2008, and 2009) and received the documentary of Hunter S. Thompson, "Gonzo: The Life and History of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson," from Netflix at about the same time. Decided to do a multi-night vertical while perusing the documentary. All beers poured from 12 oz. bottles into a snifter glass and served at the cellar temperature of 45 degrees F.

Vintage '09: To start things off is the freshest of the bunch, the 2009 vintage, with "VINTAGE09DD" printed on the label.

Pours a deep, dark, nearly opaque brown hue with a full creamy one-and-a-half fingers of mocha-colored foam. The head shows moderate retention, settling leisurely to a thin layer that leaves some nice rings on the walls of the glass.

Aroma is rich and dessert-like, with big, rich notes of velvety dark chocolate. Chocolate dominates the aroma, pushing aside the subdued, coffee-like roastiness.

Body is full but not too thick or even very chewy, with a moderate carbonation serving to keep the viscosity down low. Things open with a nice sweet caramel-and-molasses maltiness that gives way quickly to lovely dark chocolate, which then gives way almost as quickly to a warm alcoholic booziness. Hop bitterness combines with the alcoholic warmth to hold the rich sweetness at bay, leading into a lengthy bittersweet finish.

A bit disjointed and big on the booze for such a (relatively) low ABV content, but these qualities are perfectly suited for the beer's namesake.

Vintage '08: "VINTAGE08EE" printed on the label. Appearance is the same as the '09 vintage, with a similar aroma of rich dark chocolate and espresso. Body and mouthfeel are full and moderately-carbonated.

It's in the flavor that the most striking difference between this and the '09 appears: the first impression is BOOZE. A big heaping helping of alcohol bathes the palate; it's only then that I look at the label and realize that this vintage is at 9.2% ABV, showing a marked decrease between this and the '09 release. The alcohol, surprisingly, mellows out as the beer warms a bit, and richly decadent chocolate and mildly astringent roastiness and hop bitterness.

Vintage '07: Clearly labeled with "VINTAGE 07" and, as with the '08, with a stated ABV of 9.2%.

Pour shows a distinct loss of carbonation, producing only a scant thin cap that puts on one hell of a disappearing act, leaving behind nothing of itself on the surface of the beer or the walls of the glass.

Aromas are similar to the newer vintages but much more subdued, with some oxidation apparent, showing itself as a stale, wet paper-like note.

Very little carbonation, coming across as nearly flat and with a much smoother mouthfeel. The stronger dessert-like notes of chocolate and espresso have mellowed a bit, with the hops coming forward a bit more in the flavor, somewhat herbaceous and grassy in nature. Molasses and prunes come through as well, with some alcoholic warmth showing itself throughout without being overpowering. Finish is very long and caramelly-sweet, with only a mild bitterness to balance.

Still good after two years of aging, though much more time on this would probably not serve it well. Best to consume this one fresh or within one year, and with the latest release being a paltry 7.8%, aging probably isn't as viable. Still, Gonzo serves its namesake well, eccentric and bold in its younger life, yet still powerful in its statement as time goes by.

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Photo of jdklks
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2006 vintage. extra from a trade (thanks to fbm115). pours nicely into an over-sized wine glass. thick and pitch black, almost like an imperial stout. dark tan-brown head. very nice looking porter. smells of sugary sweetness. hops are still present in the smell after 3 years. smells a lot like chocolate covered cherries.

Taste is interesting. a roastiness up front that gives way to a sweetness reminiscent of (as the smell suggested) cherries. hints of chocolate and alcohol in the finish and aftertaste. not a bad porter, but also not the best ive had.

still highly carbonated, but nice and thick, again almost like an imperial stout. wouldn't drink too many of these in a row, but if they were readily available i would buy a few more.

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Photo of Kromes
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a thick dense tan colored head that stays and sticks to the sides of the glass. Very nice look to this beer. The smell is chocolate, alcohol, a little dark fruit and a somewhat smokey, wood aroma. The taste is sweet and tangy chocolate and smoky roasted malt. The alcohol is definitely apparent in the flavor, feel and aftertaste. There is a little hop in there also. It finishes with a little vanilla and burnt chocolately flavors that are rather bitter and dry. Mouthfeel could be a little more smooth and creamy, but it has an ok amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good, it has a nice flavor and is what I would imagine a strong porter to taste like. Would be a decent after dinner beer, but not one that I would go to normally.

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Photo of bpierce2
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Very dark (almost black) and frothy. Thick head and good retention. Head is a brown color.

S - Very nutty malty smell, but slightly sweet

T - Low carbonation and smooth. Definitely sweet initial taste, bitter aftertaste.

M - light and smooth

D - Would probably drink this again

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Photo of wl0307
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Revisiting this ale 3 years since my last and first encounter; this bottle is at 8.7%abv., BB 18/04/10, served cool in Gulden Draak's tulip-shaped bulb sniffer.

A: pours a jet black colour, topped with a 2.5cm thick dark tan froth with pretty good retention, while carbonation is extremely restrained.
S: lively, sweet, fruity - the vanilla-ish sweetness, dense chocolaty-milk maltiness and sweet nuts are underlined by a clean yet intense fruitiness of dark berry-fruits, black cherries, at times a little trace of licorice also sneaks through, as does a faint hint of sour prunes and leather-ish earthiness. In support of the rich malty theme, the flowery and perfumy citric hop aroma lingers elegantly, but overall it's the bold and thick dark malts leading the show. BTW, the roasty edge of malts is not quite pronounced, hindered by the overall sweet components I presume.
T: marvellous, effortlessly delicious with layers of flavours to offer - at first the bitter-sweet chocolaty malts lubricate the palate with nutty, roasty, and treacle-ish flavours, then the mixed dark fruits quickly expand and bring about a delicately sour edge, before the hop bitterness catches up with the main theme and radiates an intensely herbal, piney, and earthy dose of bitter tongue, along with a fine flowery aroma to linger. The finish is not boldly bitter or chewy, but rather aromatic and lightly smoky as in a Chinese smoked walnut-date cake. Interestingly, a stale sourness also makes itself felt in the end, but only just.
M&D: the supremely soft carbonation makes an ideal palate to carry through all the big & subtle flavours without any second of interruption, while the mouthfeel as shown by this bottle is equally impressively mellow as my last encounter. The alc. presence, at 8.7%abv., is really nowhere to be felt on my palate, which I can only contribute to the craftsmanship of the brewer or any (likely) ageing process. This is certainly my favourite beer from Flying Dog and also stands out in the leading group if compared with many counterparts. NICE!

* Tasting Date: 01/07/2006
Purchased at the UTOBEER stall in the Borough Market, S. London. Very expensive it is, costing me 2.6 quid a bottle... 9.5%abv., BB Nov. 2006, served cool in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
4 A: pitch black in colour, poured with a restrained layer of brown foam that gradually fades out to a rimmed head; very low carbonation as far as I could see and hear~~ Looking more like an Imperial Russian Stout than Baltic Porter to me.
4 S: a classic note of flowery+piney+fruity (apricot+orange) American hops floats in the air, adding to the much milder and more settled nose of vanilla, dark chocolates, chewy dark malt grist, and a faint hint of filtered coffee, laced with bits of dark fruits like ripe plums in the background. Not as heavily-malty or roasty as most Imperial Stouts I've tried, but the subtle mix of aromatic hops and dark malts is perhaps an unusual feature of this beer.
4.5 T: a flow of rich and dense filtered-coffee-ish flavour of roast barleys and a mildly bitter-sweet edge of treacle lubricate the palate so smoothly... coating subtly delicious dried dark-fruits (dates+longan-fruits) in the middle, and being kept lively by the considerable amount of citric-fruity and piney hops... quietly leading towards a soothing aftertaste, where the roast-malty fore-taste is joined by a soothingly licorice-spicy, chewy and dry-ish charred-woody bitter, and slightly acidic coffee-ish undertone creeping deep down the sides of the tongue. Elegant finish...
5 M&4.5 D: the mouthfeel is absolutely wonderful, the smoothest in this beer style that I've encountered so far; medium-plus bodied and full-flavoured, it tastes more like a 6-7%abv. robust stout/porter to me, as the strong alc. hides only too well at the back, and the sweet edge of a high-gravity dark ale reveals only at a very late stage of tasting. I'm having a second thought half-way through tasting now, that in a sense the flavour profile is much milder and lighter than an IRS, and perhaps it means to be a cross between Baltic Porter and IRS, for its balanced profile b/w bitterness, fruitiness, and sweetness overall? I'll never know. But what I do know is that it's definitely my cup of tea, despite its sky-high price to pay in London~~ As delicious but light for a digestif as it is rounded and satisfying for a nightcap. Nice~~

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Photo of jgasparine
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Completely opaque... it's probably brown in color, but so dark it looks black. A half-finger of head rests atop this nitro-pour, and it quickly dissipates, leaving no lacing behind. Interestingly, I'm not seeing any "settling" of the head like I would expect from a nitro-tap.

S- Smells very roasty, perhaps a bit of molasses, and some flowery hop aroma. Not getting much else off the nose.

T- As expected, it tastes sweet and roasty, with a touch of hop bitterness throughout. These flavors are quite big, but the three words "sweet, roasty, bitter" seem to sum it all up here. I guess in a literal sense that makes it three dimensional... but in a metaphoric sense I'd call it 1 or 2 dimensional. The Gonzo started out with promise of being a great big beer... don't get me wrong. It tastes mighty good... but I would like to see more going-on here... more nuances.

M- Keep in mind that this is a review of a nitro-pour. As such, I would expect some exceptional creaminess from this beer... and I'm just not getting as much as I thought I would.

Granted, the Gonzo is full-bodied, but most of this mouthfeel is coming from unatenuated sugar... I don't see much contribution from the nitrogen... and that's a disapointment (and not Flying Dog's issue- more of the bar's issue).

The carbonation is good enough, though, to keep this sweet brew from getting too sticky in the mouth.

D- All in all, I'd say this beer is quite drinkable, particularly given its ABV. A better nitro-pour would have helped in all areas... or perhaps I would have been better-off served the beer without the knowledge of it being on a nitro draft system...

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Photo of schoolboy
4.73/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I thought drugs this good were illegal. Just expensive, I guess. This is the best porter. Not the best I have tasted, not the best looking or smelling or anything. No qualifications, this is the best porter.

I am not a porter fan, but I like porter - it's just not my favorite. But this one has so much going on. One just wishes it were more alcoholic for the money, but then you couldn't drink much of it before it would put you to sleep.

So this is the perfect porter. I have to get back out west where they make this stuff...wow.

Revision - 2016 - I think the alcohol got to me. This stuff ain't from out west, it is plenty boozy, and it isn't really as good as I thought in the original. What a dope I am. Still, this stuff held up to an Evil Twin Liquid Double Fudge, almost. Oh, and I love porters.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.41/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Vintage 08 date on the label. Was black in color with lots of carb in center. No lacing. It has a small brown head that quickly settled into a thick collar and whispy foam center.

The aroma was mostly dark fruits with cocoa, sweet malt and a touch of hops. The taste followed the aroma but the dark fruits was toned down a bit which was good. This isn't one of my favorite styles but this one is probably the best I've had in it. I'm sure the aging helped here. Not bad tasting but just not what I'm looking for.

Overall, a decent beer but again not my style. Mild recommend but for me one and done.

[1x]

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Photo of botham
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. pours an opaque balck with a half finger of rich brown head after a hard pour. poor retention and moderate lacings.

aroma is sweet and roasted, with notes of bitter chocolate and a bit of alcohol. little else for the nose, with an understated concentration and richness.

taste is roasted, sweet, and full of black malt notes. a bit of alcohol still gets through, with notes of bitter dark chocolate, coffee, and a bit of vanilla. the brew is less sweet overall than a typical baltic porter, and with good reason; the final product is prefectly balanced between sweet and bitter while bringing on the black malt richness.

mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy smooth in texture. finishes on a semi-dry note with residual burnt and roasted malts.

drinkability is decent. full bodied, thick and full of black malt character. very satisfying and easy-going on the palate, with a soft drinkability and a very pleasant profile. baltic porters can easily get tobe too sweet for the black malt character, and this one bridges the gap between too sweet and too bitter, melding the two into a drinkable and tasty porter. cheers!

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Photo of ricke
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours with a basically black color and quite a big head. Head retention and lacings are quite impressive considering the relatively high ABV in this one.

S: A round and nicely composed smell. Lots of malts with a prominent chocolate character. Notes of dark fruit and vanilla. A pleasant hop kick. The alcohol becomes noticeable as the beer warms up.

T: Lots of malty sweetness with just as much sweet dark chocolate. Big notes of vanilla. Some notes of dark fruits. Very restrained when in comes to roasted malts, which is the main thing setting this one apart from the imperial stouts. Quite a lot of spicy hops. The finish is quite bitter with gentle notes of soy sauce, wood and more somewhat spicy hops. As in the smell, the alcohol becomes more noticeable as the beer warms up. In general, it seems like the flavors get slightly rounder towards the end and the different components seem to get a better fit after a while.

M: Full-bodied, nice smooth mouthfeel and an almost semi-dry finish, but it still manages to leave a sticky feeling in the mouth after a while.

D: I like this beer, I just think it's tasty. However, I've had the opportunity to try the older version a few times, the one with a higher ABV, and it was way better. The older version where more potent, more living and daring, and it had much more character. It's a shame they turned it down a notch, doesn't seem to be in line with the Hunter S. Thompson way of life. Wonder what he would have thought about such rerouting of a bold departure.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7oz. sample bottle poured into a snifter. Vintage08GG printed onto the side of the bottle.

(A)- Pours black as night with a respectable tan head that slowly dissipated to a light layer.

(S)- Rich roasted malts with coffee. Some bready raisins. An almost cinnamon-ish cola on the finish.

(T)- Lots of roasted malts and raisins with slightly sweet molasses.

(M)- Thick texture with ample carbonation. Lightly bitter but rich and sweet at the same time.

(D)- A solid porter that has obviously stood the test of time; it smoothed our really well. A good sipper that requires your full attention. Definitely good when aged. My personal favorite from Flying Dog Brewery

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Photo of Ragingbull
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black in color with a light brown head that resembles the froth on boiling maple syrup. The large bubbles of prickle break up the head resulting in low head retention. There is a dot of lace in the middle when it settles down. No rim, just bubbles.

Deep malt nose is simultaneously sweet and trying to hide traces of smoke. I could smell it across the table after pouring.

Big malty flavor, almost chewy and sweet. It gives way to perhaps the smoothest smoke flavor I have ever encountered. The smoke hangs on like a smooth malt flavor of caramel or chocolate would. The smoke is not obnoxious nor is the malt. It actually serves to cover what alcohol burn this beer is waiting to unleash. There is still a little alcohol burn at the finish.

A little smoky, a little chewy. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 7oz sampler into snifter glass.

A: Big dark rich head, pitch black color

N: Nose dominated by noble hops and slight chocolate malt

T: Taste starts with a tangy stout like malt with chocolate and crystal malts, it has a slight chalky stout quality, some hops also come out at the start, little spicey bitterness shines through the middle that is followed with alcohol, some smoked malt

M: Lots of carbonation and somewhat thick mouthfeel,

F: Finishes with a dry and tangy bitterness with some spice, alcohol and stout, it starts lighter than expected, but finishes strong and dry with bitterness and spice, has some nice stoutiness in the middle as well, almost would have called this imperial stout instead of porter, but that's opinionated, its really good, but the oaked version just goes over the top.

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Photo of farrago
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid finger plus head of dark brown foam, mostly medium to larger bubbles, which may be why it dissolves at a steady pace, thick streaks of lacing cling to the glass sides. Fully black and opaque, no brown coloration to the liquid at all. Extremely sweet nose, drips with caramel, toffee, butterscotch, coffee ice cream, hot chocolate, banana pudding, plum and black grape fruit, you name it, its got it. The nose does develop some green hoppy bite but this is an after effect once the sweetness has congealed a bit. It's full-bodied in the mouth, however, sheds a noticeable amount of weight before it finishes. The carbonation helps break up some of the density in the chocolate, coffee, caramel flavors and here you get more of a roasted edge than in the nose. More scone, baked sweets aspect too while the plum, cherry, grape fruit recedes slightly. Here too the hops surge at the end and lend both bitterness and tingle. Not the most integrated of beers but it does smartly emphasize its best attributes.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
2.7/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. into a pint glass/ no freshness date

P: Jet black with a chocolatey brown head that was thick and creamy with some froth on top initially, but showed poor retention as it disappeared quickly to a thin collar on top. Not much lacing, either. I was expecting much better out of this one, to say the least.

A: Roasted malts, cocoa powder, herbal hops, vanilla, and dark fruits are all in the mix here, but there is a little bit of a strange plastic smell, too. It's not nearly as powerful or bold as even some regular porters I've come across. You kind of have to dig for the aromas in here.

T: The dark, roasted malts remind me of barley and lots of crystal as they deposit some cocoa powder notes on the tongue. But right away I am overwhelmed by a really weird artificial sweetener type of flavor that reminds me of those nasty-ass chocolate flavored energy bars that my wife used to buy. In other words, it tastes powdery and fake with that same plastic-type of flavor as well. There is a little coffee to be found while the vanilla and dark fruits (figs, dates) come to the front. Hops impart a little bitterness to try and offset the sweetness, but to no avail. Sweets win out by a long shot. Booze is well-hidden, but definitely there.

M: Full-bodied with a rich, glassy smooth yet almost oily feel that saturates the tongue and aides in leaving a weird aftertaste (from that plastic?) for quite awhile.

Notes: I am not very impressed by this beer for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, that artificially sweetened taste combines with the plastic and proves to be way too much for me to handle, even with only a 12 oz. bottle. Second, there is not much complexity or power to be found here. Flavors are quite subtle and it lacks the depth and complexity that an Imperial Porter should have. The mouthfeel ends up being too heavy and cloying from all of the sweets, and it leaves a really weird diet soda-like aftertaste. Not sure if I got a bad bottle or what, but this wasn't anything close to what I was expecting out of an Imperial Porter.

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Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black with a this tan head; appealing.

Light coffee and "sharp" carmel nose. Nose has an elegance to it with undertones of chocolate.

Nice medium creamy mouthfeel with pleasant flavors of sweet coffee, carmel and toffee.
Flavors and character a bit more like stout than porter.

Nice big finish of sweet coffee that goes to grapefruit/resin hops. Wonderful character in the middle and appears to be an excellent candidate for foods with big flavors. A very drinkable, consumer friendly porter (stout?)

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Photo of ToddT
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown almost black with minimal tan head. Head fades quickly to a ring and leaves almost no lace on the glass.

S- Roasted malts, coffee, caramel, and toffee.

T- Strong bitter chocolate and warming alcohol are the immediate notes. Dry bittersweet finish with a lingering note of coffee.

M- More than medium in body but not heavy. Carbonation seams light until the finish where some fizz come out. Finish is dry but a little more bitter than what I like in a porter

D- Pretty drinkable for an imperial. The 7.8% ABV is evident but not overpowering.

Decent beer, mostly tried it since it is in honor of Hunter S. Thompson. I don't know if this would have been his beer of choice though.

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Photo of elniko
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into standard New Belgium glass. No brewed on or best by date on the bottle.

A: Very much as I would expect from a Porter. Minimal head with decent looking lacing. Solid looking brewk.

S: Exactly as I would expect, roasty porter tones with some notes of hoppiness as well. Nose like an RIS without the sweetness that I typically pick up.

T & M: Nicely balanced, this is first Baltic Porter style that I have encountered and I cannot imagine one being much better. The standard porter tones are there up front but the finish has a a nice bitter quality. Just melds together well, must say that I prefer the Baltic Porter to the RIS. I think not having the high ABV hotness is rather refreshing.

D: Despite ABV, quite drinkable. By far the best Flying Dog that I have had. Hard to find in North Texas but I will definitely be seeking out again.

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Photo of TheViolator666
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never heard of an 'Imperial Porter', but I imagined it to be pretty similar to a regular stout. I was right, this imperial porter has just a bit more body than a porter and an ABV on the higher end.

Also, this is the first beer I've had from Flying Dog that I would rate above average.

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours as black as a stout. Tan head that leaves a thin cap which lasts till the end. Lacing is pretty full, very nice to look at.

S: Average. Smells a bit bitter, some hop presence, definitely malty.

T: Very bitter, hops definitely have a presence here! Very nicely balanced. Roasted malt, of course, come through as well. The 7.8% ABV is well hidden. The sweet/dry aftertaste is great.

M/D: A nice medium-full body, surprising. Not watery one bit, more reminiscent of a stout like I thought. Very smooth going down. Not much carbonation of course.

Slightly above average for a plain old "stout", but excellent for this specific brewery.

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Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 2,933 ratings
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