Review - Flying Dog Brewery's Wild Dog Series: Barrel-aged Gonzo Imperial Porter
"This unique version of Flying Dog's popular Gonzo Imperial Porter was brewed and transferred into charred White American Oak whiskey barrels that the neighboring Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey had aged their whiskey in for a minimum of two years. After aging in the wood barrels for three months, the Imperial Porter was hand bottled, corked and labeled and conditioned for another six weeks before being shipped. According to Head Brewer Matt Brophy, the resulting taste will 'remind you of sweet chocolate, dry oak and smooth whiskey. The barrel's distinctive characteristics will compliment the Imperial Porter's already robust, full-bodied flavor.'" -- Flying Dog Brewery
Pours a dark chocolate to dark caramel color, topped off with a beautiful, light brown, chunky head. The body on this one has a muddy look to it, with a light viscous weight to it. Excellent retention from the head, and equally impressive lacing with nice, thick rings. Aroma is mellow, indicitive of the barrel-aging process. The nose is loaded with under-stated alcohol, accompanied by oak/ash notes. Also noted were hints of peach, grapes, brandy and, last but not least, whiskey. The barrel-aging has clearly tamed the nose on this dog quite a bit, but at the same time has brought out its subtleties. The initial taste has some sourness to it paired with an alcohol tinge, but it quickly mellows into a light sweet finish with an essence of bitter chocolate. With its medium body, it fills the mouth with joy, leaving an oily mouthfeel with gentle carbonation.
Reviewer's notes: This bottle was ever-so-graciously sent to us by Devon from Flying Dog. We received it at around 4 this afternoon, and we're reviewing it just five hours later. We'll have to get our paws on another one and let it age for a while to compare the two. Whereas the Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard seemed to take a great beer and reduce it to ok, the Barrel-aged Gonzo has taken an already great beer and gently massaged it into, if not a new beer, an improvement over the original.
Reviewed on April 11th, 2007.