First the story about how I got this beer. So a few months back I reviewed Flying Dog's K9 Winter Ale. It was a decent brew, but nothing exceptional, so that's essentially what I wrote. Then, to my surprise, I get a comment posted by a rep from the Flying Dog brewery saying that they were sorry I didn't like the K9 all that much and that they'd send me some more beer to try. Well that pretty much obligates me to blog another one of their brews, so here you are: Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter.
Spring is coming. In California, that means bouts of warm weather. Here in Philly, it means that riding to school in the morning I no longer worry about whether my ears will freeze and break off. But it's still cold enough to indulge in dark, alcohol-heavy brews. So Flying Dog's porter is still quite in season.
The verdict? Well this time Flying Dog delivers up a solid brew. The beer is full bodied and packed full of flavor. The predominant taste is sweet and super-smoky malts, though for a porter it's also quite hoppy. That means a full scale assault on your tastebuds beginning the moment it his your lips and a long-lasting (though fortunately not unpleasant) aftertaste. In the case of an imperial strength brew, this is probably a good thing, since the beer manages to mask the taste of alcohol pretty much completely. You'd never know you were drinking an imperial unless you looked at the label... until the alcohol kick hits and you walk over to the thermostat to see if the room just warmed up.
All in all this is a beer I definitely recommend to other dark-beer lovers. It's also definitely one of the better high-alcohol beers I've had (though at 7.8%, some might quibble that it's not truly "imperial"). Cheers!