auerbrau (3182) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - SEP 18, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 21, 2008 "We were somewhere near Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the Imperial Porter began to take hold." This beer is the perfect 300 for me. A malty dark elixir, branded especially for such an influential man. While Big Brother and the Holding Company is blasting and the night is calling, things could be more gonzo around here. I am a little high on duck and goose livers, but it’s just not the same as ether at Circus Circus or Singapore Slings with mescal on the side at the Beverly Hills Polo Lounge. Nonetheless, I’m drinking THIS beer for Hunter, the tortured bastard that he was. I’ve thought of him often while pounding the pavement and the words that he wrote. So, here’s to you Hunter! Rushing out of the bottle, like the rising waves of an acid fenzy, it doesn’t get any more oil pitch black than this one. Hinted with a small glimt of sunset red. Lined, surreptitously with a sticky, lacing tan head. Swirling with foam and sticky to the glass. When swished the head grows into a fury of ruby chocolate. The aroma rises so fragrantly from the glass, a real potpourri of floral perfume. Really floral, not hop floral, wicked with sweet malt. Bold and dashing, this aroma is. It beckons. On the tounge, the floral dissapears and runs into a first good blast tart fruit, like my Grandmother after two packs of Virginia Slim lights and three Maker’s Marks. Its second phase lacks a destiny, with an almost watered hoppy flair, but it doesn’t last long, before the pedal hits the metal. Here in the backend of the beer is the true glory, an honor to depth and savageness. It glows roasty and chocolate, bold with some oaken character. The alcohol keeps this beer high, complementing the fresh coffee and nicotine infused wishes this beer demands. "Wait, we can’t stop here! This is Bat Country!" Indeed, Hunter, this is truly bat country, it always will be.
madcow75 (426) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 16, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours black as midnight with a thin light brown head with a few bubbles. Interesting aroma. I initially smell toasted malts, but it is quickly overcome with a piney hop aroma. Weird.....but intersting. Tatse is a combination of malts and hops. Mostly the piney hops is what I taste. The aftertaste kind of mellows back to the toasted marshmellow side. This is definitely a one of a kind porter. Canít decide if I like it with one glass. The alcohol is well hidden. Very drinkable for 9.5%.
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - SEP 16, 2005
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Wacky hoppy aroma comes from the 12 oz bottle, youíd swear itís an ipa. Taste is also surprisingly hoppy, Some flavors of chocolate and sweet flowers. Baltic porter? I dont think so. Hoppy porter, hell yeah.
thedm (5002) - Fort Wayne, USA - SEP 16, 2005
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
This corked and caged bottled brew marked June 2005 limited edition poured a long lasting large sized head of foamy fine to medium sized dark brown colored bubbles that left behind an opaque dark black body with no visible carbonation and a good lacing. It had a strange malty aroma that was quite different from the norm with dirty musty notes that I found hard to describe. Its mouth feel was initially smooth hoppy and malty and a mildly hoppy finish mixed with strong malty notes. It had a malty dark malt hoppy roasted malt flavor.
yayforbeer (753) - Orange Park, Florida, USA - SEP 16, 2005
3.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Beer pours black and thick with a small dark tan head that doesnít last long. Aroma is herbal, medicinal and alcoholic, not especially pleasant. Flavor is dark malt, coffee, and chocolate, with some roasty bitterness. Thick and silky, even oily. Not much carbonation. The label is somewhat of a turn-off, it looks to have been designed by someone imbibing in something stronger than 9.5% beer, or else just another exercise in stupidity like the rest of the Flying Dog lineup. No class. The beer is interesting, flavorful, and fairly complex, but the overall experience is sub-par. $7.99 for a four pack at Broudyís, Orange Park, FL.
TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - SEP 14, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Virtually opaque black. Rocky and sticky light cinnamon froth. Mint mocha chocolate, shoe polish, and burnt toffee aromas. Velvet soft carbonation. Deceptively watery. Sprucey hop flavors abound as substantial acidity puckers the cheeks and deflects the decadent bittersweet chocolate truffle notions. Quite thin, as a result of the acidity. Silky blanket of chocolate malt coats the tongue and makes a valiant attempt to strengthen the body, but the acidity continues on. Solid earthy roast depth, though, and well nuanced with fresh grains. Alcohol lends a mint-mocha effect, which dries it out, but is not a factor otherwise. Finishes with a gritty dusting of cocoa, espresso, and unspent roasted grains over a soupy foundation of molasses fudge cake and spruce flavored hop belches. Looks and smells nice, but the excessive acidity is a major hindrance. Will not age well.
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - SEP 14, 2005
3.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2005: Pour is thick dark black with a big fast fading tan-ish dark brown head that left some nice lacing...something seems horribly wrong with the nose...every third or fourth whiff, I smell burning plastic...also lots of hops in the nose...some light herbal notes along with coffee...thick out slick oily mouthfeel with some nice rich chocolate and a few other malt flavors up front, fading into a thick hoppy alcoholic finish...very different than most other Baltics Iíve had...
Nate (3806) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 12, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to Todd at Tuluneís for selling me his last bottle until his (hopefully) next shipment. Huge hop profile, ozone and resin with grapefruit and orange rinds. Underlying this hoppy frontal assault is a deep coffee and toasted malt sweetness. Big malt and coffee hits in the second half of a sniff. Amazing that these two distinct profiles can exist so harmoniously. Dark black and oily body with heavy chocolate-tan foamy lacing head. Thick oily body, chewy, with medium carbonation and nice warming effect. Big malty start. Thick chewy chocolate malts and bitter coffee notes. Big bitter hops to curb any sweetness the astringent coffee bitterness didnít kill off. From start to finish, this is just big on flavor and big on hops. Almost cloying finish and heavy bitter chocolate resinous after. Damn fine porter.
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 12, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark dark brown body. Thick creamy brown head, fades into a lasting creamy ring.
Chocolatey roasted citrusy cascade hops.
Finishes with a slight roasted chocolate grassy hop. Very late finish has coffee grounds.
Great balanceÖ love the hoppiness in the porter base. Good smooth bright, yet roasted sweet flavor.
allfreej (553) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - SEP 11, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 5, 2008 Great armoa, hinting at the fine flavor to come, Gonzo pours deep brown with a lacy, medium tan head. Very malty, with caramel notes and a full mouthfeel, but the amazing feature of this brew is the hoppiness that asserts itself from the first taste to the finish. A wonderfully balanced ale, I can only hope that the fine folk at Flying Dog keep tabs on these reviews and add Gonzo Imperial Porter to their litter of other fine ales!