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RATINGS: 585   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.93/5   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 Mens Journal and took home a silver medal at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival in the Wood and Barrel Aged Strong beer category).

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - APR 25, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 25, 2008 Tried this again in Dec. 07 and it has aged quite nicely. In fact Im bumping my score up a bit.

Pours a nearly opaque black with a nicely-lacing light tan head. Rich, almost pure bourbon aroma has lots of vanilla, oak and toasty caramel toffee. Body starts with some sweet toasty caramel with hints of milk chocolate, coconut and nuts along with plenty of bourbon and a nice malty presence. The bourbon character is nearly overwhelming right now, but this should age very well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - APR 23, 2006
Thanks to MIBRomeo for sharing this one. Pours a pitch black color, small off white head. Nice dots of lace. Aroma is huge, lots of roasted malts, butterscotch, bourbon, dark chocolate. Ooooo sweet and delicious. Well balanced. Sweet, lots of butterscotch and bourbon. Sweet chocolate malt balances it out. Quite tasty!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
1FastSTi (3360) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - APR 23, 2006
Thanks Chuck. The beer pours to a deep black body with a creamy tan head. The aroma is dark fuits, licorice, vanilla, dark malts, nice oak. The flavor is tart vanilla, chocolate malt, light bourbon, graham cracker, coconut, alcoholic raisins. The palate is medium-full bodied, alcoholic, rich. Quite good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
LePoopie (151) - Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA - APR 23, 2006
Thanks to Chuck for the sample! Has a pretty nice coffee aroma, with a little alcohol noticable. Black body with a thin beige head. Flavor is nice, bitter, coffe-flavored. Decent body and texture, and lively carbonation. Overall, this is a good beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MIBRomeo (2570) - Wisconsin, USA - APR 23, 2006
dark black pour w/ a tall thick tan head and some great lacing. Aroma is vanilla and roasted malt some light coffee notes with a light bourbon finish to the scent. Palate if full and well coated and has a nice coat and a light creaminess. Flavor is a big buttery bourbon oaky roast malt aroma with lighter notes of vanilla and coffee. This is pretty good but may be better w/ some age, Id like some more.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - APR 22, 2006
Thanks to Harlequinn for the trade. I like the commercial decription. Black. Large, dense, frothy brown head settles quickly leaving some nice lacing behind. Nose: roasty vanilla, oak, licorice, vanilla cream, smores, burnt malt, subtle coffee, and alcohol. Flavor: smores, vanilla, oak, whiskey, roasty malt, bittersweet chocolate, and an alcohol laden anise finish. Burnt smores aftertaste. Full, rich, smooth body; livened up a bit by the alcohol burn. Great imperial, should be even better with few years of age.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JorisPPattyn (9599) - 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 (3509) - 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 mightve 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 (1393) - 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 (9499) - 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.

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