Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Flying Dog – Gonzo Imperial Porter

I was once told, “If you like anything by Flying Dog, you have no idea what they are capable of until you try their Gonzo Imperial Porter.” I’m not sure if I really truly believed that, I mean, I have sampled some amazing stuff from them and some very strong candidates for my top ten beers I tasted last year. But, I picked up a four pack none the less to see if my new found appreciation for imperial stouts would be entranced by this creation.

I un-capped and poured this into an ale glass, and I have to say I stopped to admire what came out. A thick, syrupy black liquid and beautiful wood colored head just barely fit in the glass, but it was delightful to look at. The smell of it was very alcoholic – there was a twinge of Bourbon sweetness, a wisp of heavy malt.
The taste is amazing. Layers of flavor unfurl in my mouth all at once – a bite and sting of alcohol, a woody, earthy undertone, a malty backbone, a strong sweetness – almost inseparable in their waves of attack. This is one that you don’t soon forget. It warms the throat, hits the tongue with great strength and boldness. I can’t believe this was my first time trying this. I blame my recent bravery and taste for dark beers.
Find this. Track it down, beg for it, even steal it. I’m sure Hunter S. Thompson would approve.


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  1. The Beer Babe

    I’m game for a tasting. Write me a note at and we can arrange one. Thanks for the comments!

  2. Anonymous

    I co-own the Hampton Falls Village Market in NH. I am also the beer buyer. I ordered some of this recently. I took home a 4 pk and poured out a bottle. Very nice color and very little head (as I poured slowly). Fricking awesome! I proceeded to drink all 4. I want to give customers good quality assurance concerning their brews. By the way BeerBabe, I’d love to buy you as much as you can drink as long as I get to help you drink it. Call it my ‘WOW’ customer service approach.

  3. Leigh

    i really enjoyed this too – would love to try a draft version.

  4. Michael

    Good call on th Gonzo Imperial Porter. I think it’s their best product – of the small handful I’ve tried. It runs almost $10 a four-pack here in the desert southwest. I’d be curious what it fetches elsewhere in the country. Great post!

  5. dale

    Gonzo’s one of my favorite brews. It’s great out of a bottle, but it’s incredible on tap.

  6. josh

    Thanks for trying Gonzo. I love that it’s really hoppy and really malty, all at the same time – which seems to balance out the sweetness and bitterness. Good luck with the homebrewing!

    Josh @ Flying Dog

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