960. Full Sail – Black Gold Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout 2006, 2009, 2011

960. Full Sail - 2006 Black Gold Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout2006 Black Gold Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

TGIF! It’s been a great Friday because I Took the day off work, and did a little bit of Christmas shopping. So after a busy day at the stores, I came home and decided to break up in a big beer from the beer cellar. This beer was given to me by John Harris when he was the brewmaster at Full Sail Riverplace and I got to brew with him as part of my cuisinternship. I’ve been holding onto a whole series of these and may have to crack another year of this beer to do a side-by-side comparison. 

Location: Poured from the 22oz bottle into a large goblet style glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.

Numbers: 10.5% ABV, ~400 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s deep black in color and appears to have a bit of viscosity to it. It had a very thin brown head that disappeared quickly. It has a lightly roasty aroma with dark caramel maltiness, burnt wood and boozy smells.

Taste & Feel: The body is full and the mouthfeel is smooth and slightly viscous. The flavor up front is a roasty sweetness with a good dose of booziness. The roasty malty rich sweetness becomes a bit more rich in the middle, with some roasty bitterness coming in a little bit. The bitterness grows a bit in the finish, but not quite rising to the rich, roasty malt sweetness. The roasty sweetness and a boozy warmth last in the aftertaste for a minute or two.

Food Pairing: This is a big, rich, flavorful beer with a lot of roasty sweetness. I think it would perfectly complement the charred savoriness of a steak.

Overall Impression: I wasn’t sure how this beer would hold up after 15 years, but it was great, and the viscousness of the beer was quite surprising after such a long time being cellared. The mix of malty sweetness, roastiness, and booziness was great. With the great flavors in this beer, I’m really looking forward to trying the other vintages I have.

My Rating: ★★★★½


960. Full Sail - 2009 Black Gold Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout2009 Black Gold Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

It’s now Saturday, and we got up early this morning and delivered poinsettias for the church. Then I watched Mizzou play Georgia in football. Now I’m getting ready for the big Missouri and Illinois basketball game tonight. My wife went to Illinois, so it’ll be a tough night in our household. Therefore, after opening the 2006 last night, I thought I’d go for the 2009 tonight. This was another beer was given to me by John Harris during my cuisinternship.

Location: Poured from the 22oz bottle into a large goblet style glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.

Numbers: 10.5% ABV, ~400 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s deep black in color with a very thin brown head that disappeared quickly. It has a dark, roasty aroma, with hints of cocoa and dark fruits with a bit of oxidation (which I didn’t have in the 2006, but isn’t surprising for a 12 year old beer).

Taste & Feel: The body is full (although not quite as full and viscous as the 2006) and the mouthfeel is smooth. The flavor up front is a sweet malty roastiness with some dark fruit flavors. It has a bit of a cardboard-like flavor mixed in from the oxidation. The middle has a rich, malty, roasty sweetness with some dark cherry fruit-like flavors. The cardboard-like oxidation and booziness come in again during the finish, but it’s the booziness and maltiness that stick around in the aftertaste.

Food Pairing: While this one would also be a good beer pairing for the charred savoriness of a steak, the dark fruit flavors and oxidation would go great with a fudgy or chocolatey dessert.

Overall Impression: I was really impressed with how well the 2006 held up, but the 2009 didn’t fare as great. As soon as I smelled it, I could tell that it had been oxidized. I’m not sure if it was the oxidation – as it had that cardboard type flavor I’m familiar with – but this one also had a dark fruit flavor that was almost like a black cherry. I enjoyed the complexity, but the oxidized flavor knocked my enjoyability down a tick.

My Rating: ★★★★☆


960. Full Sail - 2011 Black Gold Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout2011 Black Gold Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

It’s been a couple weeks and it’s now New Year’s Eve, and so I thought I’d finish off the last of these that I had cellared. Although my cuisinternship was in 2010, I saw these being aged and the brewery and asked my friend Betty to send me one when it finally came out in 2011.

Location: Poured from the 22oz bottle into a large Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.

Numbers: 11.4% ABV, ~400 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s deep black in color with a thick, creamy brown head that fell after a few minutes to a ring around the edge of the glass. It has a mostly boozy aroma, with dark chocolate smells and hints of roasted malts.

Taste & Feel: The body is full (about the same as the 2009 and not quite as full and viscous as the 2006) and the mouthfeel is a bit more silky smooth. The flavor up front is a bit sweet and boozy with a roasty, barrel char-like flavor. In the middle, the sweetness gets sweeter and richer, with roasty malt sweetness with hints of dark fruits. In the finish, the rich, sweet flavors fade slightly behind the boozy, barrel-charred malty flavor. The roasty, charred flavor and booziness last for a couple minutes in the aftertaste, along with a nice warming sensation in the throat and stomach.

Food Pairing: As I’ve said before, this would perfectly complement the charred savoriness of a steak, but with the extra booziness in this one, I might also pair it with a nice chocolate or fudge dessert.

Overall Impression: Of the three, this definitely had the most bourbon barrel aged character – with a good amount of booziness and charred barrel flavors. I think that’s why I enjoyed this one more than the other two. It also had a slightly higher ABV, and therefore, a nice warming sensation on a cold winter night like tonight. Overall, I really enjoyed this one – as well as the others – and I’m going to see if I can get my friend Betty to send me more when these come out.

My Rating: ★★★★½

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Author: kkozlen

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