Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Gonzo Imperial Porter (Flying Dog)

This is a powerful pocket porter, 8.7%abv. US brewers Flying Dog say it's a "turbo charged version of Road Dog Porter", which I assume is their standard offering.

It pours with a lively coffee coloured head, and the same coffee laced with liquorice wafts headily on the nose. Properly black, the brewery claims this uses a double porter recipe and will "bite you in the ass if you don't show it proper respect". As if to underline the point an expressionistic Hunter S. Thompson self portrait stares hollow-eyed from the label.

The malts used are black, crystal and chocolate. First taste is a detonation of flavour with sweet malt, chocolate and coffee atomising on the tongue. It's heady and smoky, and in truth nearly a little too much.

The sweetness is more than offset by a big ass-kick of piney hops that leaves a long, ranging bitter aftertaste. I think this beer would best be served with a rich chocolate dessert at the sort of meal that ex-colonial colonels with impending gout might enjoy.

Further sips reveal a dusting of pepper and I'm finding appreciation acquires as the drink goes down. Its heady, rich and absolutely committed to it's aim, the antithesis of a dull beer.

I don't know much about Flying Dog, but I bet the Brewdog boys enjoy this. It's a complex, tumultuous beer, and a transatlantic bedfellow to their radical offerings.

8/10 - Overwhelming and virile, an impressive cauldron of flavours.

- The Broadside


  1. I think you summed it up beautifuly with "I think this beer would best be served with a rich chocolate dessert" this is a great after dinner beer. Its like the Tiramisu of beer.

    I think this just edges a 9/10 in my book.

  2. Can't disagree on anything here- very, very accurate review.

    Lovely stuff, could have done with a smidge more bitterness for me personally but I can also see it going well with dessert.