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RATINGS: 579   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.92   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 38   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
A hearty brew that is black as night with a strong roasted malt character and a full body. After its initial release in January 2010, our Imperial Stout was aged for a full year in Bourbon casks from Kentucky. This extended aging presents hints vanilla and oak. This, combined with the robust character of the Imperial Stout make for a smooth, wonderful taste experience. A hearty cellar beer. Very Limited Availability - 22oz Bottles and Draught. Black Gold was named one of "the best" barrel aged beers in the US by Men’s Journal and took home a silver medal at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival® in the Wood and Barrel Aged Strong beer category).

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JorisPPattyn (8645) - Ursel, BELGIUM - APR 20, 2006
Small, gone-in-seconds off-white head; fully black beer. Superb nose of Bourbon cask, vinous, cherries, and other black fruit. Superb (again) vinous, just-not-sweet malt taste, with lots of licorice, woody, and vanilla infused oak. Retronasal however the hops strike back to a pretty harsh, quinine-like flavour. Rich, velvety MF, alcohol without the burn. Creamy, even cobwebby texture. Superb stout, one for the records. Another thankee to my great friend DonGS from Seattle.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Aubrey (3501) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - APR 17, 2006
Dark, murky and brown-black. Creamy dark tan head with sticky and lingering lace. Aromas wafted heavily from the surface. Muscular mouthfeel was just wonderful; still had a sensitive side, too. Huge, lofty aromas of fresh-cut coconut, almonds, vanilla beans, rum-filled chocolates, and sauteed raisins. Faint background notes of plantains, sweet wood and flowers. Happily, the bourbon/whiskey elements were much more restrained than your typical smack-you-in-the-face bourbon barrel aged beer. Nice balance between the sweet and bitter. Warming in the throat gave the beer a nice set of brass balls. Overall, I thought it was an excellent brew. If it were me a few years ago, I might’ve given this a 5. But after experiencing a fresh bottle of the first batch of The Czar and then right-off-the-line bottles of Mephistopheles’ Stout, my personal impy bar was raised pretty high.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kyzr (1164) - Belgrade, Montana, USA - APR 17, 2006
Black as black pour with brown head. Wood bourbon aroma. Vanilla up front on the taste with hints of chocolate, wood, bourbon and light roast. Just a hint of hops on the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MartinT (8661) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - APR 17, 2006
Any first impressions?
-A bubbly head bobs over opaque black.
-Bourbon sweetness and wooden dryness monopolize the nose.
-Chocolate sweets, coffee beans, and malt roastiness decadently take over the palate; a pleasant surprise.
-The smooth and quiet carbonation leaves plenty of room for the maltiness to express itself.

What if you dig deeper?
-The sweetness is multi-layered, starting off chocolatey, then reaching a vanilla character, following into star anise/licorice territory.
-There is some warming from the alcohol, but it never intrudes with the wonderful flavors at play.
-There is no barrel aggression here, this is a well-supervised experiment.
-A very intelligently conceived bourbon-barrel imperial stout which deserves a round of applause.

Bottle; December ’05.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - APR 15, 2006
Poured pitch black color with a large brown head that lasts a long time. Bourbon aroma. Big vanilla, wood, milk chocolate, light roast. It smells creamy. Flavor starts with chocolate and finishes with vanilla. Bourbon notes in the milddle almost cover up the roasty malt. Semi-dry and woody finish with a mild bitterness and nice warmth. Acidic bite on the tongue during the finish. Medium body, that I thought would have been thicker. I actually might be drinking this a little on the warm side so I am chilling the second half of the bottle.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
peter (445) - Normal, Illinois, USA - APR 14, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 4, 2006 Think head over a dark body. Nose of burbon and oak. Chewy palate. Flavours of coconut and musk, balsamic vinegar. Walnut shells and coffee finish the tounge. 2nd round: nose is overpowered on burbon barells and the flavours are strong on rum.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Papsoe (25073) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - APR 14, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 9, 2006 (Bottle 65 cl) Pours a dark brown - close to black - with a creamy, off-white head. Extremely oaky, bourbonish aroma. Full-bodied with tons of roasted malt that never leaves the typical ashy accents most often found in Imp. stouts. But the flavours are bourbon, bourbon and yet more bourbon. So it’s right up my alley, but will probably put many off for the same reasons. Dry finish without much bitterness. Tasted at the Oklahoma Beer tasting March 06 hosted by mjames and lilannie. 240306 and 061006

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beaver (1485) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - APR 10, 2006
22 oz bottle. Pours an opaque dark brown with a very thin tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin collar.

The aroma is strong alcohol, some figs and creamy chocolate and a little bit of a sour tang. As t warms oakey vanilla dominates.

The flavor is strong bitter alcohol initially and a little bit of sour fruits. Some smoother chocolate malts and coffee and oakey vanilla and cherries come out later. The mouthfeel is smooth full and creamy.

Overall, a bit too much harsh alcohol for me (I’m not a big liquor fan), but it is pretty complex and interesting. It gets better the more I drink of it - smooth and well balanced.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
ClarkVV (4425) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 7, 2006
UPDATED: JUL 26, 2006 Bomber from BrockLanders, shared with OldGrowth on 4/6/06
Deep, coal-grey flecked, rich beige head almost immediately runs for cover and sits at a ring on edge. Brown soy sauce-like color with a smattering of chartreuse thrown in for good measure. Filtered, I suppose out of some necessity. Force carbonated, thusly :(
Hmm. Well in the nose I get: Bourbon. Bourbon. Bourbon, more bourbon and finally, more bourbon. Not vicious or overpowering in the sense that it wards off everything else, but it just dosent seem like there is much else. Weak, even, with notes of soy and oxidation. I suppose, upon warming (we let the bottle breath for a good 10 minutes, open, before pouring) and further breathing, there is some roast and light vinous quality. Bit of vanilla, but that’s from the bourbon. Wow, this is severely lacking in malt character (no hops either) and weak, to boot.
Flavor is bourbon, again, with light chocolate. Light bit of German chocolate cake produced from the sweet malts and the bourbony coconut character, but it quickly peters out, suffering from the heavy filtration. The texture becomes near watery and the malts fail to provide ample substance. It’s certainly on the low side for rich, thick texture and in my mind, that just dosent cut it for a bourbon aged beer. Further/extended breathing shows chocolate, fudge, earthy/crunchy malts and some dry, blanding barrel character. Just seems old and tired, with oxidation slightly apparent. Snappy alcohol, however, and deadening tannins build up and won’t let the finish just fade in to the sunset. Very little malt depth. I have very little patience for beers that lack beer and replace it with bourbon, not to mention the sad body and texture. Charred wood, coconut, some black malt, but, it’s mostly bourbon.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
BBB63 (6502) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - APR 6, 2006
Tasted said-by-side against the regular version, sampled in a snifter:
Poured a deep black hue with a small tight head which faded but left very good lacing. Creamier head than the regular version.

The aroma has a noticeable bourbon character with it vanilla and oak character over the standard burnt and chocolate tones of the basic BG stout, you can detect some of that dusty yeast ester in this beer as well but the hops character is completely gone on the nose.

Wow, the taste starts with a big vanilla and mocha flavor, very sweet. Then the woody and earthy character takes over a leads towards a boozy finish. The barrel influence is not exactly hidden in this beer. Just like the nose, there is little notice of hops on the palate. I honestly like the flavor profile of the regular version more than the BA version.

A rich oily and heavy mouth feel greets you with this beer, you know right away this is sipping beer, something to be enjoyed over a long evening. Wonderful!

While I liked the flavor profile of the regular version more, the BA version outdid it’s little brother across the board in all other rating areas. A very good impy, but I am not sure it is worthy of a 4 average. Try it for yourself.
Thanks Steve for the chance to do this sampling!!!

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