Gonzo - Barrel-Aged
Flying Dog Brewery

Gonzo - Barrel-AgedGonzo - Barrel-Aged
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Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States
Porter - Imperial
Ranked #82
Ranked #4,618
4.14 | pDev: 9.9%
Apr 27, 2022
Apr 14, 2007
Gonzo - Barrel-AgedGonzo - Barrel-Aged
Notes: Aged for months in oak whiskey barrels from A. Smith Bowman, our deep and dark Gonzo gets even more mysterious with notes of vanilla and whiskey warmth.

Malts: Caramel, Black, Chocolate
Hops: Northern Brewer, Cascade
Yeast: American Ale and English Ale
85 IBU
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

Solid black appearance
Medium light carbonation with about an average body.
Aroma is wood,earthy, roasted malt, boozy with some dark chocolate.
Taste was almost dry otherwise stayed true to the aroma.
This was very good,more dry than expected

Apr 27, 2022
Photo of Korbynlehr
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by Korbynlehr from Kentucky

Pours dark as coal. Nice tan head. The bourbon comes through in the nose and taste. Nice warmth afterwards. Very good stuff.

Apr 19, 2022
4.03 by Dougwillhike from New Jersey on Apr 09, 2022
2.78 by CheapBeerBuzz from California on Dec 30, 2021
Photo of ScruffySouthpaw
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by ScruffySouthpaw from New York

Served a snifter from the bottle.

Appearance: a semi thin dark brown espresso coloured body consisting of dark brown which looks black but is evidently transparent super dark.

Smell: Light liquor aroma which dissipates very quickly.

Taste: From the front a darker chocolate malt coming off with heavy whiskey.

Mouth: Heavy whiskey feel which feels almost like a lighter body imperial stout.

Overall: Great grab which comes off boozy but still worth grabbing. Always in a glass!

Dec 12, 2021
Photo of mschrei
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by mschrei from Illinois

2021 vintage. Frothy head and lacing on a chocolate colored beer. Scents of dark malt and bourbon. Dark malt carries over into the taste, some chocolate, a slight tang of booze from the barrel. Medium bodied, a little thin, mild booze presence.

Dec 08, 2021
Photo of mvanaskie13
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

Vintage AA21 poured into a goblet: color is solid black, head is tan with fine and small bubbles, head presents 1-2 fingers thick, head lingers well with a solid top, nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell is bourbon forward with notes oak, vanilla, coffee, roasted malt, chocolate. Based Gonzo is aroma is tamed by the bourbon barrel aging.

Taste has a more balanced porter - bourbon barrel aging mix: roasted malt, chocolate, coffee are initial flavors with the oak, vanilla, char coming through for the finish.

Mouthfeel is moderate carbonation, moderate sweetness, moderate bitterness - lingering drying and sweetness.

Overall this brew takes on the bourbon barrel aging in a big way - the base brew is big but the bourbon barrel agin still showcases the oak/bourbon characteristics very well; aroma/flavor/mouthfeel combines for an easy drinkability.

Nov 29, 2021
Photo of Guppy314
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Guppy314 from District of Columbia

From a bottle, pours as an opaque black with light carbonation and a creamy brown head that quickly dissipated. The aroma is of roasted malt and molasses. Taste is very much syrupy sweet malt forward. Other reviewers remark on its "chocolate" flavor, but I disagree and would characterize it more as toffee and caramel flavors. Hops flavors are missing in action, but that is characteristic of a Porter. Overall, it's an excellent occasional dessert beer, but too much for just every day.

Oct 09, 2021
4.83 by beerrat from Virginia on Jul 19, 2021
Photo of Brutaltruth
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Brutaltruth from Ohio

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice little imperial pours a
deep coal black with a nice head of brown foam that dissipates to a
thick ring, thin dusty layer, and sports some excellent lacing. Nose of
mild bourbon, char, coffee, dark cocoa, and faint oak with touches of
vanilla. Flavors surpass the nose with char, coffee, tobacco, bourbon,
light vanilla, mild oak, and touches of dark orchard fruits of dark cherry
with touches of earthy malts. Nice mouth feel; full body, light soft carbonation,
warming, and a bitter malt finish.

Overall, a solid brew but not up to what I expected from this legendary series.

Jul 03, 2021
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by BEERMILER12 from Maine

Vintage AA21

A: Pours a deep brown, almost black color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, caramel, and a touch of coffee

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a mix of roasted malt, chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla. Picks up plenty of oak, some caramel, coffee, and light leathery tannins. Finishes with lingering bourbon, oak, and leather

M: Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Very dry

O: A very good BA version of Gonzo. The Willett bourbon really adds a nice depth and the oak makes itself very present. Makes for a great sipper at 11.3%. Definitely worth checking out

May 25, 2021
4.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia on May 22, 2021
Photo of mntlover
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by mntlover from Tennessee

Pours black nice tan head falls slow good lace.

Aroma is muted Gonzo as far as I remember with light barrel notes. Seems little disappointing.

Taste is big though roasted malts, chocolate coffee, barrel notes, vanilla some bitterness from hops. A big ass beer with noted alcohol warming that blend well with the flavors.

Mouhfeel is big medium carbonation is lightly peppy.

Overall suprised the most is muted on this big beer, seems little suppressed compared to regular Gonzo but that's based on old memories.

May 16, 2021
3.91 by jwohio from Ohio on Apr 24, 2021
Photo of Peach63
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Peach63 from New York

Pours black with a 1 inch tan head, which fades to a wisp. Moderate lacing.

Aroma of roast malt, coffee, vanilla, licorice.

Taste is roast malt, bourbon, wood, caramel, nutty. Astringent.

Full bodied, light carbonation. Dry, astringent finish.

An excellent Imperial Porter.

Apr 05, 2021
Photo of beergoot
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by beergoot from Colorado

Dark brown, opaque body; thick and frothy head, creamy and light khaki in tone. Nice deep roasted grain and mild chocolate smell. Rich taste; milk chocolate and cocoa; a tease of bourbon; very mellow bitterness. Heavy body; velvety; an excellent undercurrent of alcohol heat.

The bottle stamp has "VINTAGEAA21" and "MMXXI" on it. It is Willett Bourbon barrel-aged. The barrel-aging is nicely done, even-handed and subtle yet definitely packing a punch as it augments the inherent ABV of the beer.

Mar 30, 2021
Photo of Fordcoyote15
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

This started solid. Reminds me heavily of high westified and willetized from lagunitas. Sadly its a little too metallic, acidic and thin to buy again. Id buy in a pinch but its no worls class beer.

Well I bought it again. 5/4/22 and I'd be hard pressed to rate anything about this beer better than a 3.75, which is very low for me.

Mar 10, 2021
4.25 by Maillard from Ohio on Feb 22, 2021
3.99 by DOCRW from Washington on Oct 04, 2020
4.16 by sisterofba from Maryland on Apr 22, 2020
4.36 by Shantzak from Pennsylvania on Mar 04, 2020
3.76 by MGibbons from Maryland on Feb 24, 2020
4 by cp45 from New Jersey on Oct 12, 2019
4 by Hayley_86 from Netherlands on Jul 01, 2019
4.19 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington on May 05, 2019
Photo of Tony210
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Tony210 from New Jersey

Pours pitch black, nearly impervious to light. Fluffy mocha head is slow to recede. Aroma is light, mostly chocolate and boozy. Flavor is rich milk chocolate, dark brown sugar, sweet yet very bitter espresso finish. Bourbon barrel addition really adds a nice depth and complexity. Carbonation lends to a. Ready mouthfeel. Overall a very good BA imperial porter, worth trying.

Draft at Tommy’s
4.25 rating

Mar 25, 2019
4.02 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania on Dec 30, 2018
4.23 by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois on Aug 29, 2018
4.55 by mjw2808 from Maryland on Aug 05, 2018
4.19 by skiking70 from Maryland on Jun 19, 2018
3.31 by hophugger from Virginia on May 17, 2018
4.5 by ajdemma from New York on Apr 08, 2018
Photo of BJB13
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by BJB13 from Maryland

Growler poured into a nonic style pint glass.

Dark brown like oil. Three quarters of an inch of solid, medium-brown foam sit on top. A sheet of micro-bubbles along with oily residue cascades down the side of the glass with every tilt.
Nose is moderate with nice aromas of vanilla, oak barrel, cola-like caramel and biscuit malt that carry through
in the flavor with some roasted malt and a small amount of woody hop flavor. Low to medium bitterness. Finishes with a little warmth.
Medium body with moderate to high carbonation. Smooth and a little creamy.
Get some.

Apr 02, 2018
4.25 by lebriarjr from North Carolina on Mar 19, 2018
4.01 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida on Feb 25, 2018
3.81 by Fubudu187 from Illinois on Feb 16, 2018
Photo of DanO1066
3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by DanO1066 from Maryland

On further review. Following another draught 8oz snifter at the Brass Tap here in Baltimore, I've revised my original ratings in a uniformly upward direction. Still NOT my favorite barrel-aged imperial porter, but definitely better than my original impression.

Could this just be a difference in the 2017 & 2018 "editions"?

Feb 10, 2018
4.07 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois on Jan 18, 2018
4.65 by Bajdog from Maryland on Dec 19, 2017
Gonzo - Barrel-Aged from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1004 ratings