THE EDITOR’S DESK :: Three Kings Pt #1 – Flying Dog’s BAG, Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter

by Harvey Gold on April 29, 2013

3 kingsI just had the great fortune of being introduced to, or notably revisiting three extraordinarily good beers over a short span of time. All three flirting with O.A (Optimum Awesome-ocity), they will each receive their own post which we’ll roll out over the next few days.

Flying Dog’s BAG, Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter is being shelved in stores as “new” but appears to be a re-issue from Flying Dog, and we can be grateful for that. I picked up a 750ML bottle of it and stuck it in the fridge waiting (cheap date, remember?) for someone to drink it with. That didn’t take long, but I’m going to be totally forthcoming here. photoI THINK I remember who I drank it with, can’t remember any notes of interest offered by him, and sadly (?), meaning I’ll GLADLY have to run out and get another one, can’t remember anything distinguishing in the nose, but I think I was coming down with something at the time.

What I do, remember, however, was not only finding the mouthfeel to be that of a classically clean light stout/porter, but the flavor notes (no head to speak of, btw) to be outstanding! The first thing that hit me was a unique flavor that had me repeating “Root beer? Birch beer?” It finally came to me that what I was tasting was a magical combination of the seemingly young and raw (perhaps uncharred?) wood of the barrel and a bourbon that rendered a far woodier and less sweet product than most BB offerings I’ve tried. Fueled by a notably solid 9.5% ABV, this was truly GONZO in it’s individuality…I mean the fabulous Ralph Steadman label does bear  the quote:

“It  never got weird enough for me.”
—Hunter S. Thompson.

Coming at the end was a delicious, rounded “milk” chocolate note, rendering this a complex, interesting, and most important, singular offering from our extreme brethren in Frederick MD. An A+++++ for this guy.

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