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Beer Reviews

Gonzo Imperial Porter

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Flying Dog Brewery
Denver, CO

Style: Porter
ABV: 9.0%

Franz’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (World class.)

It’s been awhile since my last review due to the fact that yours truly is getting hitched and it never really seems like you are done with the wedding plans. Sorry to disappoint all you Beer Dork groupies out there and the ones that are stalking my house better get it straight, the soon to be Mrs. Muller won’t miss next time with her shotgun.

Every once in a while I will stray from the Midwest craft beer scene and try other area beers. The good folks at Flying Dog Brewery of Colorado have a great marketing idea on their hands. In the endless sections of beers, their carriers seem to pop out better than the rest. This happened to me when I was in the stout/porter section with Flying Dog Brewery’s Gonzo Imperial Porter. Every one of Flying Dog’s brands that they produce have an out-of-this-world sketch on the carriers. The particular sketch on this carrier is an abstract version of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s alter ego. To anyone out there unfamiliar with this person or his alter ego I suggest renting the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This beer is dedicated to this man and I’ll say the image fits the character.

The instant this beer is poured into the glass I am reminded of changing the oil of my car. It is dark and thick as can be, but when you are describing the visual for a stout or porter there really is nothing more that can be said. What amazed me was the fact that there was a strong hop aroma upon sniffing. Traditionally, porters are the scaled down version of a stout with a little more hop aroma, but this thing would make Sir Nigel, hophead extraordinaire, proud. I mean this beer puts to shame a lot of the pale ales and IPAs that I have tasted: kudos to all at the Flying Dog Brewery. The first sip of this brew also took me back because I was expecting the high levels of hops used to totally take over the taste, but it certainly wasn’t the case. I could taste the nutty-chocolate-coffee characteristics usually associated with a porter along with a slight astringency. I was surprised, however, that it wasn’t as alcoholic or astringent as most beers with an alcohol content of 9% alcohol by volume. Gonzo’s Imperial Porter has the perfect flavor and blend of dark roasted malts and hops that nicely dull the astringency.

This is a hardcore beer for hardcore drinkers. It is true to the spirit of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson who marched to the beat of a different drum. Flying Dog has brewed an imperial porter in all the aspects of what makes this a great beer that will also get you good and buzzed up. Everybody associated with making this beer deserves a big congrats.


Reviewed by Franz Mueller on April 10, 2007.
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