After a few nights in the lower 20's, the time is right for another Baltic-style Porter. Previous cool evenings have found us enjoying Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter and Victory Baltic Thunder. This evening I opted for the Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery, recently of Maryland.
The beer pours opaque black with a thick dark tan head. The head slowly fades to leave plenty of lacing on the sides of the glass. A strong aroma of dark chocolate initially hits the nose, followed by coffee and light citrus hops. Do I detect a bit of smokiness as well? The flavors are as complex as the aroma with heavy roasted malts, chocolate and expresso flavors coming through. All this is followed by a kick of citrus hoppiness that hangs on through the finish. This comes from dry hopping with Cascade hops. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, with some sticky sweetness that is not unexpected. At 9.5% ABV, this is one to savor patiently.
Gonzo Imperial Porter is part of the brewery's Canis Major series. I discussed another member of the pack, the Double Dog Pale Ale here. A bottle of their Horn Dog Barley Wine is waiting in my refrigerator, and the brewery plans to add a fourth brew, Kerberos Tripel to the mix this year. If the first two members of this pack are any indication, the next two won't disappoint.