Friday, December 3, 2010

Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter

There is something to be said about a brewery whose motto is a quote from Hunter S. Thompson, "good people drink good beer." I think of myself as a good person.  And Flying Dog has some really good beers.  The brewery puts out a range of beers, including the "pack" of year-around beers and seasonal beers.  But it is the Canis Major series, beers like the Double Dog Double Pale Ale and the Horn Dog Barleywine that are true standouts.

Another standout Canis Major beer is the Gonzo Imperial Porter. A run-of-a-mill porter is generally dark, with some taste of roastiness, with flavors like chocolate, coffee, or caramel.  An Imperial Porter is usually pitch black, and very roasty, with substantial flavors of chocolate and coffee.  And that best sums up the Gonzo.

As you can see from the picture, it pours black, with a little foam.  The beer is smooth, but not subtle.  With every sip, you can taste the deep flavors of the beer, which come from the Crystal, Chocolate and Black malts used in the brewing process.  You can also taste the alcohol.  The beer's ABV is about 9.2%  The beer is also a little bitter, with an IBU of 85, coming from Warrior, Northern Brewer and Cascade hops.  Flying Dog increased the IBU by dryhopping the beer with, in the brewer's words, "a shitload of cascade hops."

Imperial porters are a rare breed.  Not every craft brewer makes this style and those who do, usually do it right.  Flying Dog does it right with this beer and I recommend it for those who like darker beers.  You can find this beer in stores that generally carry Flying Dog.


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