Name: Gonzo Imperial Porter
Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Frederick, Maryland
Style: Black Porter
Alcohol Content (ABV): 7.8%
First Brewed: 2005
Pours black with a thick tan head, leaving abundant lacing. Smells of roasted coffee beans, dark fruits, and piney hops. Complex on the tongue, with smooth, chocolate, and caramel notes added to the mix. Lingering coffee and hops leave a final bittersweet impression.
I didn’t really want to drink a beer tonight. I have had a LONG day… and it’s only Tuesday! Regardless, we are dedicated to this project and to you, the beer drinker. That being said, I know it’s late but we popped a bottle of Gonzo Imperial Porter. It’s classified as a “black porter”, even though the bottle says it’s an imperial porter. No idea what the difference is, but I like a good porter… especially one that has such a strong nose as this beer does.
When the beer is poured into the glass, it has a very thick tan head and sits in the glass almost like a soda… not beer. But before I can even finish pouring my glass, I can smell the chocolate notes coming off this thing. It is just screaming to get out of the glass and into my belly. After smelling ti a few more times in the glass, I can tell that this beer will get better as it reaches room temperature. We pour all these cold, right from the fridge, but some of them need time to settle in, if you know what I mean. Let’s see what this puppy tastes like.
You are immediately hit with carbonation on the back half of the tongue. Then the typical porter notes squeeze out over the first swallow. Then it hits you with some bitterness, then almost sour… a lot is going on here. I mean that though… it’s not just a one and done flavor. Your entire palate really gets hit with flavor here. And the aftertaste, while it’s not all that powerful, it’s always present on your tongue… it sticks around for a good two, three minutes after your first sip.
The beer has a pretty big ABV, but it has come down over the years. I would love to have tried this when it was at 9%. Regardless, a 7.8% is still pretty big and after a few pints of this you would be feeling good.
This beer is not a typical porter… but that’s okay. It’s good. It’s really good. I like this beer a lot, and I think the aftertaste is my favorite part. You just experience so many different flavors in one sip. I would totally order this again… bottoms up people.
The first thing I noticed about tonight’s beer is that it looks very chocolaty when poured into a glass. It is very thick and dark looking, with a strong tan colored head. I stuck my nose in the glass to see if it smelled as chocolaty as it looked, but it didn’t really smell like chocolate at all. I can’t quite explain what it smells like… kind of a bread smell. You know, that smell that you get at a brewery – it smells good, but not too hoppy.
I’m not quite sure what I think of this beer upon first taste. I just took another sip, and I’m still not sure. It has kind of a burnt coffee taste to it. Everyone says that Starbucks coffee tastes burnt, so just imagine going into Starbucks and ordering a black coffee. This might have some elements of that taste to it. It definitely has a long-lasting aftertaste to it, but I’m not really fond of the aftertaste on this one. It just sits on your tongue, and while sometimes that’s not such a bad thing, to me it’s just not that great of a taste. I love porters, but as I’ve said… it’s difficult to impress me with one. And I can’t say this one impresses me much, which is disappointing, since it’s actually an imperial porter. Imperials are supposed to be “big”, and to me this one just kind of falls flat.
949 bottles of beer on the wall…