Review #90 – Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter 88/100
You may know Hunter S. Thompson as the author behind Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, his most widely recognised book which was later turned into a film starring Thompson’s close friend Johnny Depp. This beer is dedicated to the man himself, the father of Gonzo journalism and the man who said “good people drink good beer” and he was damn right. The art on all of Flying Dog bottles is done by Ralph Steadman who also illustrated Thompson’s books, another close friend of HST. Anyway, on to the beer.
Out of the bottle and into the glass the Gonzo pours with a viscous texture of crude oil, producing a small amount of sediment which quickly settles in the bottom of the glass. The beer produces a medium height biscuit coloured head which it retains quite nicely.
On the nose there is a decent amount of alcohol which accompanies the decadently rich aromas of dark roast coffee, freshly scraped vanilla pods, toasted cacao nibs and charcoal. There is a really nice sweet aroma reminiscent of burnt caramel, this combined with the aroma of charred toast produces a very alluring nose.
On the palate the Gonzo proves itself as a solid brew, you can tell straight away that tons of coffee and chocolate malt have been used in the brewing process, producing those those heavily roasted flavours of dark roast coffee and a rich bitterness reminiscent of raw cacao. There is a definite sweetness coming from the malt, there is a small amount of sweet spice present too which reminds me of walnut cake. The beer has a long dry finish with a linger of bitter chocolate and a decent alpha acid kick, the hop profile of this beer is very earthy and spicy, perhaps some form of Goldings?
One of my favourite stouts dedicated to a legend. I’d say RIP HST but if there is a heaven he’s probably there staggering around in the depths of an ether binge.