Gonzo Imperial Porter | Flying Dog Brewery

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,462 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good
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Gonzo Imperial PorterGonzo Imperial Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States | website

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
Reviews:
1,462
Ratings:
2,862
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
15.17%
 
 
Wants:
140
Gots:
332
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,462 | Ratings: 2,862
Photo of RacerX5k
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Yes. An across the board 4. Porter? IDK. looks like porter but in reality, an drinkable and delicious hop forward black ale. After 2 weeks of Bourbon County and High Westified i needed some hops ... would not neccesarily seek this out but would drink this anytime.

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Photo of stevoj
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from Cindys Spirits. Pours out dark brown and oily, small head which dissipates quickly. Right from the bat, this porter gets down to business. Dark, biting roast grain bitterness, slick body, peat, smoke and wood all play here. Very mild warmth from the alcohol, but not over the top. A classic.

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Photo of Myotus
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured at 46°F from a 12oz bottle (I can only make out the year 2015 from The smeared bottle date) into a nonic pint glass. Consumed on 22Feb16.
LOOK: Pours with two fingers worth of khaki foam that dissipates into one finger's worth after 3 minutes. Black in color with an orange tint. There is an abundance of small sized rising bubbles. Lacing is high in quantity and very thick.
SMELL: Mild aromas of sweet chocolate, bitter roasted malts, spicy hops, and floral hops are backed by subtle aromas of vanilla and hints of alcohol. The bitterness to the roasted malts is pretty low. I would say a 2 out of 5 in regards to just bitterness.
TASTE: Strong sweet chocolate and mild bitter roasted malt flavors first strike the palate and are immediately trailed by subtle floral hop flavors. Mild spicy hop flavors are next to appear on the palate as floral hop flavors grow to mild. Subtle vanilla and bitter hop flavors enter lastly as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Somewhere between medium-bodied and light-bodied. Moderately carbonated. Goes down somewhat smooth. Finishes with a strong dryness.
NOTE: I've had other beers from this brewery that were alright, but this took me by surprise. Incredibly balanced between sweetness, roasted malts, and hops, I was not expecting this from a Porter, let alone Flying Dog. Great job, guys.

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

Bottle dated "VINTAGE15 JJA" (whatever THAT means...). Straight from the bottle, as befits a Gonzo brew. Initial impression is roasted toffee/caramel malts and a very chewy, very robust mouthfeel. Wow. This is good. Alcohol well hidden. This ranks right up there with some of my favrite Imperial Porters and/or Imperial Stouts. Excellent offering from Flying Dog.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Baltic Porter. I thought it was an interesting and complex brew.
It poured a dark brown with a fingernail length tan head and lace that retained well throughout.
In the nose, I detect chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. It also has a woody and smoked quality.
There is a lot going on in the taste. The dark roasted malts predominate and the bitterness is medium to high. It feels like a strong espresso. The roasted malts have a slightly burnt quality that mellows out as the drink warms. Also, as it warms, I notice a sweeter undertone of chocolate. The finish has licorice and a noticeable bittering hops presence. The coffee aftertaste lingers.
The feel is full bodied, fluffy in the mouth and slightly crisp on the tongue.
I liked this one and will definitely try again.

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Photo of Kaingers
2.39/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Unbalanced, harsh and extremely hard to drink. Bitterness dominates the palate and makes for a rough ride. It literally took me 50 minutes to finish. Thankfully I only purchased a single. Smuttynose has a much better example of a imperial porter, spend your money elsewhere and thank me later.

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Photo of NastyNorseman
3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The porter flavor of this imperial did not meet my expectations. The higher a/v% seems to effect the flavor too much. I would have this again, but not if there was another to choose from. The color was normal for a porter although it's head was quite frothy which was nice. The feel was fairly smooth, but the porter taste was not potent enough for me.

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Photo of Arthuros
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

What a (Baltic) porter !

Looks are all you'd expect, dark brown with a beige thick head that dissipates quite quickly.
Aromas are hoppy at first, gradually letting charred ash through. A lot going on.
Flavors are similar, IPA-like at first, and then blending itself into classic porter roundness. Not so sweet.
Thin but strong carbonation, delicious mouthfeel to raise the hoppy flavors out of this.

I guess it's what you should expect from Flying Dog, a hoppy, strong Baltic/Imperial Porter where alcohol is well masked (despite the 9%ABV), with hoppy bitterness and not too much malt sweetness.

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Photo of curasowa
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Opaque, deep ruby color with one finger of dark brown head that fades to a ring with a fairly uniform curtain of lace.

Aroma: Roasted malt, boozy, band aid and a bit medicinal.

Taste: Roasted malt, cocoa and molasses up front, then some mild, earthy bitterness, finishing a little boozy and mildly astringent.

The Rest: Not bad, pretty creamy.

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Photo of Kubishark
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had at the brewery.

It's obviously dark. The smell is like your standard porter, but more boozy. The taste as well can only be described as big and boozy. Bitter as well. It's a thick and heavy beer it seems, but it's decently smooth. I liked it and I'm glad I finally tried it, but I don't think I can say it's in my favorites.

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Photo of do_ob
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into a snifter. Viscious dark brown pour, and black as coal in the glass. Nearly 3 fingers of sticky, mocha colored foam on top. Great looking beer for a porter. Disappointingly weak aroma. Some coffee, some roasted malt, some booze. The taste follows the nose, with a slight intensity. Decent roastiness with some hints of coffee and chocolate, but there's a sharp alcohol bite in there that doesn't mesh. This beer isn't boozy, but the taste is just a little off from what it ought to be. Good feel; moderate carbonation and relatively smooth for 9.2%. Just a little lacking in flavor for me.

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Photo of glass_house
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Looks good, near black with a thin tan head. Smells okay, but a bit muted. Some general dark roastiness with hints of coffee and cocoa. Tastes good....for the most part. Starts off extremely dark and roasty as you'd expect. Mostly burnt coffee and intense bittersweet chocolate. However, I'm getting a slightly tangy metallic note in the finish that keep s this from being quite as good as I think it could be. For the price, probably won't bother trying it again.

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Photo of jooler
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great look. Smell is good. Taste is pretty damn good. It is just like the new English zumbar imperial porter but without the chocolate. But I do like the zumbar more

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into Spiegelau glass

A: big head with nice off white tannish head deep rich chocolate body with no light escaping the corners

S: big rich and malty lots of roasted malts with chocolate and very light licorice smells very sweet a little alcohol as it warms.

T: Nice roasted maltiness chocolate tastes a little nutty just a touch of licorice not as sweet as the nose would imply. A little hoppy as well but very chocolatey

M: creamy, and velvety and very full gives the beer an even more rich feel

O: Very good porter although I would say stout if it were so claimed as the style. Lots of rich chocolate and toasted maltiness and a stand up mouthfeel. I like that it isn't anywhere as sweet as the smell implied.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gonzo Imperial Porter - Flying Dog Brewery. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this beer's head is two fingers thick and eggshell brown, with solid lacing, and a pitch black body.

Smells like toasted malts, along with black coffee and dark chocolate. Also a touch of hops, even.

I taste the toasted malts above, along with an almost maple type of sweetness included with the coffee and chocolate notes. The hops also make their arrival here in the form of a bit of pine aftertaste. I'm really liking this non-offensive blend of rather bold elements.

The mouthfeel here is smooth. Not entirely clean, you get a bit of lingering hop oil and coffee, but it doesn't stay for very long

I'll choose to award Gonzo Imperial Porter - Flying Dog Brewery with a 4.5. A great 1st Baltic porter, I'll certainly pick this up as the weather cools down.

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Photo of Dirtyhands
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Easily one of the best Imperial Porters I've ever had. Nose is roasted malts, chocolate. Very, very dark brown. Leather colored head that settles to a fingers level. A strong bitterness and notes of coffee interplay with the velvety smooth mouthfeel to deliver a stunningly well put together porter. Way to go Flying Dog.

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Photo of mlockman
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best Baltic Porters I have had to date, rivals Three Floyds' Topless Wytch, in my humble opinion. The hop-aroma follows on the palate, but not overwhelmingly so. Very balanced, highly nuanced, a must-have for any and all fans of the style.

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Photo of K-Dog
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Not much smell for a porter. This taste much more like a black ipa than an imperial porter. That said I thought this was pretty good. Very hoppy and bitter. Saved one bottle to see what some aging will do to this one.

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Photo of Marraybay
2.94/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another of those curveballs: Starts out promising, with nice roasty sweetness, great head/retention/lacing decent mouthfeel, etc. But there's something in the nose and the taste: leather, medicine, don't know quite what it is, but I know I don't like it. Finish also too bitter and boozy. Definitely better than many others, but the reverse is true as well. Not likely to revisit.

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Photo of shadwow13
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

FLYING DOG GONZO IMPERIAL PORTER
Baltic Porter
12 ounce bottle poured into Snifter Glass
9.2% ABU 85 IBU

Appearance - 3.75/5
The head is frothy and tan in color, approximately three fingers thick and dissipated quite fast. Exceptional lacing left behind in the glass as the porter is indulged.

Smell – 3.75/5
The aroma has a faint whisper of roasted malt.

Taste - 4.25/5
This porter incorporates flavors of smooth roasted malts, chocolate and hints of coffee. There is a bitterness that is bold, distinct and strong but not offensive.

Mouth Feel - 4/5
The beer is heavy-bodied, smooth and syrupy. The carbonation is slight and makes the tongue tingle just a bit. The alcohol is hidden well however there is a slight aftertaste that hangs around on the tongue well after sipping this beer.

Overall - 4/5
I enjoy Porters a great deal and I have had one other Baltic Porter. Flying Dogs Baltic Porter is a solid well rounded version of this style. The complex flavors are subtle, the bitterness is strong, the alcohol is hidden well and the feel is heavy and smooth resulting in a solid offering from beginning to end. I would drink this offering again however I would not go out of my way to track it down.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, almoust black liquid. Brown, three finger high head that dissapears realively quickly to a thin 1 mm head leaving a lot of lacing on the glass.

Nose: Cocoa, coffee, tobacco, wood, leather, grass, cream, roasted malt, toffee and caramel.
Taste: Dark chocolate, bitter almond, roasted malt, espresso, creamy, brown sugar and soy sauce.
Moderate body with a creamy feeling. Little carbonation (just perfect). Simply just great!

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Photo of ARoman
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. The beer is a dark deep coffee brown hue with a dark and dense, creamy-foamy brown head that retains and laces quite well. The aroma is initially a bright, sweet cherry note with a wood character and a background note of caramel that strengthens later. The taste is a balanced medium high bittersweet. It’s thick and syrupy, with a touch of stickiness and a creamy thick head. The medium-full body has lots of chocolate and coffee notes. There’s some jolly rancher sugary fruits tucked away in there too that come through more at the finish which is primarily caramel syrup in flavor and texture that brings with it a subtle tabacco note that lingers mildly in the waxy, dry coffee aftertaste - kinda like smoking a mellow cigar.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Label says Vintage 14CC.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light brown head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Heavy dark roast with a punctuated sweetness that brings to mind brown sugar, molasses and raisin. Moderate booze fume. There's also a solid dose of hops.

T- Sweet at first but then the hop bitterness comes in followed by the heavy dark roasted malt which is quite intense. Charry aftertaste. As the palate acclimates, that charry aftertaste gets to be enjoyable as it exhibits some dark fruit and raisin notes. The big alcohol presence brings a sherry-like quality to the table. Subtle caramel and vanilla notes mingle with the rest of the extreme flavors. Interesting hop/roast burps.

M- Thick and chewy with medium carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- The complexity of the flavor profile combined with high drinkability make this a nice imperial porter. It's a little abrasive but manages to somehow work within the realm of what I consider good beer. Sip it slow and you'll have a great time.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours dark brown, almost black, with a frothy rich deep brown head that hangs around and laces well.

S: Dark roasted malt, some coffee, a little bittersweet chocolate, some dark fruity notes, and a bit of toffee sweetness.

T: Roasted malt, dark and bittersweet chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, maybe a bit of dark fruit, pine and earthy hops, and maybe even a touch spicy with a little alcohol coming out on the finish.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, quite smooth,

O: I think I like this one more as it warms. The flavors really come out and blend together well.

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Photo of tillmac62
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Outstanding head characteristics. Classic porter nose. Heavy medium body with a rich smooth texture. A chocolate onslaught with a rich underlying sweetness over a mild roast bitterness.

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Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 1,462 ratings.
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