Review: Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter

As some of you know, Flying Dog recently relocated from their Denver brewery to their new Maryland facility. Sad news for yours truly, who’s fantasies included a small house in Denver within walking distance from said brewery, but alas, it was not meant to be. However, the transition to their Maryland facility was allowed Flying Dog consolidate to a more high tech and efficient facility.  The move was in reponse to increased hop and malt prices, in addition to the loss of several contract brewing jobs.

Now, none of this is going to hinder the ability to get yourself some Flying Dog beer. In fact, I’ve noticed a marked increase in tap houses carrying various Flying Dog brews. The place where I go when I want to get a non-local beer, now carries the Flying Dog Imperial Porter on draft regularly, and it is becoming one of my favorite drafts around.

The Gonzo Imperial Porter is a tribute beer to Hunter S. Thompson, as many of you know or could have guessed. It’s an appropriately strengthed imperial porter coming in at around 7.8 ABV.  It’s stuffed full of 120L crystal, black and chocolate malts giving it a great body and mouth feel. It’s  hopped with Warrior and Northern Brewer hops and finished with a decent amount of Cascade, though I don’t pick up much of the citrus from the Cascade in the aroma, which is dominated by a toasty roasted scent. The hop character, though certainly there, doesn’t get in the way of the maltiness of the beer, as it should be with any imperial porter.

This beer won a Gold Medal at the World Beer Cup in 2008, and is a member of their ‘Canis Major’ line of brews, along with their other big beers, like their Kerberos Tripel, Horn Dog Barley Wine (another one of my favorites), and Double Dog Double IPA.

I really like this beer and recommend you give it a whirl the next time you see it around.  Oh, and I’ll close with a feature on every bottle of Flying Dog, and one of my favorite Hunter S. Thompson quotes, “Good people drink good beer.”

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