Flying Dog Gonzo (Barrel-Aged)

(c)2013 popsonhops

(c)2013 popsonhops

Tasting: May 9, 2013
Style: Imperial Porter
Beer #: 462

Another one from Flying Dog. Another chance to tell more of the story of this Maryland-based brewery. As mentioned in my most recent post, the original owner of the brewery, George Stranahan kept with an interesting crowd. One of his friends from the early days in Colorado was Dr. Hunter Thompson, an author/journalist that most notably penned “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. Dr. Thompson described his style as “gonzo journalism” and as you could ascertain, this beer is Flying Dog’s tribute. Thompson also penned a toast for the launch of Flying Dog’s Road Dog Ale and it still is used as a slogan for the brewery…

“There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says “Good People Drink Good Beer.” Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public barroom and you will quickly see: Bad People Drink Bad Beer. Think about it”.

In 2005, after battling a serious illness, Thompson took his own life at the age of 67. As per his wishes, his ashes were fired out of a cannon. His friend Johnny Depp – coordinated the final send off.

This is the barrel-aged version of regular Gonzo. Even though it is labeled as a porter, the regular version of Gonzo won a gold medal at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival in the stout category. This one is 9.5% ABV with a reported IBU of 85. This one is amazingly whiskey forward…wonderful dank oak, vanilla over the mellow roasted flavor of the grains and cocoa powder. Does leave a lingering bitter taste, so the 85 IBU seems right. My overall impression – here’s another example of the barrel helping out what seems to be an okay base beer. The alcohol is nicely concealed in this medium-bodied porter. When it comes down to it – it’s a matter of whether I like it or not and I’m enjoying this one – 91 points from me.

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