Gonzo - Barrel-Aged
Flying Dog Brewery

Gonzo - Barrel-AgedGonzo - Barrel-Aged
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Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States
Imperial Porter
Ranked #84
Ranked #4,687
4.14 | pDev: 9.9%
Apr 11, 2023
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 VABA
Reviewed by VABA from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a dark black color with a nice tan head and lacing.
Aroma has a nice whiskey and vanilla hints
The taste has nice whiskey and vanilla notes
A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
A good Imperial Porter
Apr 11, 2023
Photo of KT3418
Reviewed by KT3418 from Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
This just wasn't as dope to me as I'd hoped, but overall still solid, easy feel for the beer still despite the abv percentage but I just found it a little meh honestly. Pretty high floor though still would have again
Mar 24, 2023
Rated: 3.93 by NappyB from Illinois

Oct 02, 2022
Rated: 4.12 by Gkruszewski from New York

Sep 03, 2022
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Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Vintage 22A

I remember hearing about OG Gonzo being an awesome beer when I first joined BA. I looked around for it for a while but never ended up finding it. Fast forward 4 years and I end up finding the barrel aged version instead. Let’s see if it can live up to my expectations from all those years ago

Pours nearly pitch black with 2 fingers of tan head that fades to a thin cap and leaves decent lacing

There is a hefty bitterness to the nose here, just really intense. I’m picking up on aromas of herbal hops, toasted oak, cacao nib, earthy whiskey, burnt toast, toffee, and light vanilla

It shows a similar bitterness in taste, but it’s nicely done. On the front end of the sip I’m tasting cocoa powder, burnt coffee, dark toast, earthy whiskey, herbal hops, light caramel, and molasses. The swallow brings notes of burnt toast, herbal hops, earthy whiskey, toasted oak, cocoa powder, toffee, brown sugar, and light raisin

A medium body pairs with gentle carbonation, resulting in a brisk and bitter beer. Finishes slightly sticky but goes down remarkably easy for the abv

It’s nothing amazing like I was told it was back in the day, but it’s a very solidly done beer in the old school fashion
Aug 25, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by doctorgary from New York

Jul 04, 2022
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
Reviewed by HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
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
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Rated by MutuelsMark from Kentucky

4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
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
Rated: 4.03 by Dougwillhike from New Jersey

Apr 09, 2022
Rated: 4.6 by selekt0r

Feb 20, 2022
Rated: 2.78 by CheapBeerBuzz from California

Dec 30, 2021
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Reviewed by ScruffySouthpaw from New York

4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
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
Reviewed by mschrei from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
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
Reviewed by mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Reviewed by Guppy314 from District of Columbia

4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 4.83 by beerrat from Virginia

Jul 19, 2021
Photo of Brutaltruth
Reviewed by Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Reviewed by BEERMILER12 from Maine

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 4.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia

May 22, 2021
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Reviewed by mntlover from Tennessee

3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
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
Rated: 3.91 by jwohio from Ohio

Apr 24, 2021
Photo of Peach63
Reviewed by Peach63 from New York

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
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
Reviewed by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
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
Rated: 4.25 by Maillard from Ohio

Feb 22, 2021
Rated: 3.99 by DOCRW from Washington

Oct 04, 2020
Rated: 4.16 by sisterofba from Maryland

Apr 22, 2020
Rated: 4.36 by Shantzak from Pennsylvania

Mar 04, 2020
Rated: 3.76 by MGibbons from Maryland

Feb 24, 2020
Rated: 4 by cp45 from New Jersey

Oct 12, 2019
Rated: 4 by Hayley_86 from Netherlands

Jul 01, 2019
Rated: 4.19 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

May 05, 2019
Photo of Tony210
Reviewed by Tony210 from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 4.02 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania

Dec 30, 2018
Rated: 4.23 by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

Aug 29, 2018
Rated: 4.55 by mjw2808 from Maryland

Aug 05, 2018
Rated: 4.19 by skiking70 from Maryland

Jun 19, 2018
Rated: 3.31 by hophugger from Virginia

May 17, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by ajdemma from New York

Apr 08, 2018
Photo of BJB13
Reviewed by BJB13 from Maryland

4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Growler poured into a nonic style pint glass.

Dark brown like oil. Three quarters of an inch of solid, medium-brown foam sits 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
Gonzo - Barrel-Aged from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1010 ratings