Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter | Flying Dog Brewery

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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial PorterBarrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter
765 Ratings
Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial PorterBarrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DogFood11 on 04-14-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 765 |  Reviews: 331
Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Jason and Mike. One of the few barrel-aged to be widely available. Great aroma, dark colour, a bit sour as you expect from a baltic porter, smooth. Some coffee there, significant bitterness, a slow sipper. Some woodiness, whisky balances it all.
Had 3.5 years later, boozy, thin and acidic.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery after my tour. Awesome group of guys there and the beer was better than I had anticipated as I had only had their standard beers we get in Florida. This time I got to try the local release stuff.

A: interesting look to this one. It poured with no head but as it sat a single finger tan head slowly formed.

S: pretty much all whiskey here. some tangy dark fruit notes and roasted malts.

T: mostly bourbon/whiskey. some roasted malts. the base beer seems to contribute little.

M: full body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: the base beer is definitly lost but that being said the whiskey isnt overpowering. overall a nice brew.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.98/5  rDev -28%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Thanks to bum732 for sending me this one!

The cork on this bottle did not pop or make any noise for that matter. Not a good sign.

Pours a pitch black color with absolutely zero head and zero lacing. Smells of roasted coffee, toasted coconut, vanilla, wood, and some bourbon notes. Taste is exactly like the nose but the coffee taste is subdued and there are some soy sauce flavors. Slight alcohol taste and burn in the back of the throat after each sip. Ok, this beer has ZERO carbonation. It is super flat, super thick, and a chore to even take a swallow. Horrible, horrible feel. Overall, this beer is obviously off in the carbonation department. I am not sure what happened here since the other reviews I am reading don't have this issue. I bet this would be pretty awesome if the carbonation and mouthfeel issues were normal.

 831 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Knapp85
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is really good, This brew poured out as a deep black color with a thin brown head on it that just leaves a swirled film over top of the beer. The smell of whiskey fills the air, the boozy aroma also form on the nose too and some chocolately malts as well. The taste of the beer is nice and smooth but has a really interesting whiskey taste to it, blended with some roasted malts and some wood flavors. The mouthfeel is a pretty thick which I like a lot. Overall this beer is big, I really enjoyed it and will probably buy more when I see it again.

 557 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.51/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured jet black with a thick beige head. The beer is opaque but some rising bubbles are visible near the edges of the glass.
S: There are lots of bourbon flavors in the nose along with some notes of malts, oak and vanilla.
T: Bourbon flavors really stand out in the taste, although these are not overwhelming and are balanced by chocolate and toffee flavors from the roasted malts. There is some bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and relatively smooth on the palate; there is some dryness in the finish.
D: The beer has a good amount of drinkability considering its alcohol content.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Apparently they can age this beer in any container and for any amount of time and it is still a quick, swift kick in the pants. Although the barrels sanded off the most aggressive burrs, the beer continues it's harshness and roughness. Still, very rich, thick, and boldly flavored of espresso, cocoa powder, and booze. Aromas pick up on very raw and earthy / pungent citrus hops, which flow right into the flavors and bittering. Feels every bit as thick as discribed, along with a charred coal, ashey flavor and feel that I could live without. The barrels seem to give a marshmellow texture and a bit of mellowing. The beer will certainly improve with time, but until it matures, I'll not be the biggest of fan.

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Photo of oline73
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Victoria Gastropub. Served in a 5oz. sample glass.

Appearance: Pours almost black with a very little bit of light coming through at the edges. There is a finger of thick tan head that leaves a layer through the whole pour.

Smell: Sweet roast with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, and bourbon.

Taste: Follows from the smell. Initially quite sweet and roasty with some dark chocolate notes. After a little bit the bourbon shows up along with vanilla and oak. Smooth with some alcohol burn and some bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side of medium. The carbonation is mild and the finish is dry.

Overall: A very smooth and easy to drink beer. The finish was a bit more bitter than I expected, but that's just nitpicking.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of emerge077
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 edit: not as good as years past... seems fairly oxidized.

750mL bottle opens with a pop, the deep black liquid pours into a chalice and generates a big amount of cascading foam. It's surface is actually convex at first, and transitions in color as the liquid trickles through it. The cappucino tan head fades into a charred mahoghany tone closer to the liquid line.

Thick rings of lace hang on the inside rim of the glass. They have a rounded out dimension to them, like a cartoon smoke ring. Fantastic.

A swirl of the glass at room temperature brings out chocolate, coffee, plum, leather, and a mild coconut/bourbon barrel character.

This is certainly an "imperial" version, i've never had a porter this rich and complex. There's a good amount of carbonation at first, but it settles down fairly quickly. It shares a roasted malt and plum combination that i've only tasted before in De Dolle's Extra Export Stout. The fruity note seems closest to plum and slightly like pear. This is minor though, playing second or third to the onslaught of rich earthy roastiness, bittersweet chocolate, tobacco/oak.

Hops are in there in the end, this is Gonzo after all, but they seem subded in comparison to the regular version. Bourbon becomes apparent as it warms, and adds a welcome dimension to the earthy char in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is full, some slickness, but finishes dry. As I work through the bottle, i'm realizing this is pretty decadent stuff. Maybe better classified as an American Porter due to the barrel-aging and Imperial distinction.

Highly Recommended.

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Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a coal color with a tan head that retains well and leaves sheets of lacing

Smell: Rum-soaked dark fruit, dark chocolate, and tobacco - some oaky sour tones try to sneak through

Taste: The rum-soaked dark fruit (almost burnt) element jumps out from the get go, that becomes quite spicy with an increasingly bitter roasted character; by mid-palate, the alcohol really builds; after the swallow, the sour oak and vanilla join the fray and dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body but loads of carbonation

Drinkability: As other reviewers have stated, this one needs some more aging to settle down; I have tried it twice and with the passage of time it is now drinking much better but still has problems with the flavors blending together

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, 2012 vintage bottling. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, molasses, toast, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, dark bread, light smoke, and roast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, molasses, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, dark bread, smoke, light char, and roast/oak earthiness. Fair amount of deep roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roast, coffee, toast, molasses, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, dark bread, smoke, light char, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity of intense dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/barrel flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy, slick, and lightly chalky/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible barrel aged imperial porter! All around awesome complexity of intense dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,534 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a deep brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of whiskey notes are dominant with light vanilla and some nice black chocolates are also noticeable. Taste is also dominated by strong whiskey notes with some wood notes with nice creamy black chocolate notes and some light vanilla. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Solid beer with quite dominant barrel-aged characteristics.

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Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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

Finally got to try this about a week ago. Had it on tap.

Color is a deep brown, basically black. Pours a dark tan head.

Aroma: Bourbon, caramel, oak, chocolate. This is one big and malty beer. The 9.5% abv really shows in a good way through the Bourbon.

Taste: Bourbon in an awesome way. Really enjoying it. Caramel, chocolate, fresh earthy hops. A very big malt bomb that rocks.

Mouthfeel: Rich, smooth, creamy, and bourbony. Very good carbonation. Full bodied. The aftertaste has a nice coffee surprise. I really enjoyed this.

Overall, I am really liking this beer. Very drinkable and tasty. I would love to find a bottle of this, but that may be hard to do at this point. A must try if you can find it.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours jet black in color with a finger tall tan head. The head reduces to a thin layer over the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Lots of sweetness, dark fruit, and a slight vinous/vinegar like tartness.

T: Starts off with some sweet dark roasted malts, then dark fruit, followed by the vinous/vinegar like tartness, and the finish is lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with light amounts of carbonation.

O: Exactly what you expect in the flavor and aroma of a baltic porter. Very enjoyable but too intense to be an easy drinker. Very much a sipping beer.

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Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 765 ratings