Night Rider - Pizza Port Solana Beach

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Night Rider
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83 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 83
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 6.81%
Wants: 6
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SteveO1231 on 12-21-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by sfoley333:
Photo of sfoley333
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on cask at pizza port several times in the last couple of weeks. Poured into a pint glass a cascade mocha waterfall into a jet black color with dark tan head. Smell is chocolate and coffee but very light in the smell dept. Taste is chocolate, roasted malt, milk and cream with a hint of coffee and alcohol(very little alcohol heat for 9.5). The mouthfeel on cask is insane, the smoothest creamest stout on cask I have had in a while diffently in the top 1% for mouthfeel. The mouthfeel along with taste make this an easy drinking beer on cask at 9.5 % alcohol.

If you have a chance to have it at the port c-bad get it off cask if possible. The cask version blows the regular ontap out of the water due to the mouthfeel.

More User Reviews:
Photo of badbeer
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, light tan head, recedes to a ring with some head left. Hoppy grapefruit aromas, very roasty, and some bitter chocolate. Citrusy hops, roasty, cocoa, bitter chocolate, and tar; very hoppy. Medium carbonation and body. Thanks to iowaherkeye for the sample.

Photo of magictrokini
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this right after the Deschutes The Abyss. In hindsight, I should have had this first because that beer is impossible to follow. Anyways, dark, dark brown pour with a ring of brown bubbles. Sweet aroma of chocolate, cream, coffee, and darker dried fruits (prunes, raisins). Smooth taste reminiscent of a chocolate milkshake, but with bitter coffee, roasted malts, and a nice bitter hop bite. Toffee and vanilla swirl from time to time with hints of caramel. A great Imperial, but I'll have to try it again on its own.

Photo of ehammond1
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Black color with a thin espresso-colored head. Looks oily and mean--some lacing down the glass.

Roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee in the nose. While all those aromas sound typical, and even standard, this one packed quite the aromatic punch--along with a touch of sweetness, perhaps a vanilla?

Flavor follows the nose almost identically.

Big, relatively thick mouthfeel.

No complaints--it does all the simple things very well. Roasty, chocolaty, a touch of coffee--all comes together to make for a very nice big stout.

Photo of OStrungT
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at O'Brien's. I must say that I was very impressed. Even my wife, who is not too fond of most Imperial Stouts, enjoyed it. It is from the Carlsbad location.

This beer pours black as night. It looks quite thick. It has a thick dark brown head that fades slowly, leaving a good amount of laces.

This beer has a very malty aroma. I detect some coffee. Not as strong as the coffee, I detect chocolate. It has a hint of licourice. The alcohol content is slightly noticable in the aroma.

This beer has a strong taste of alcohol. It also has a huge malty flavor. Licourice is the dominate flavor. Coffee, chocolate, and caramel is also noticable in the flavor.

The alcohol in this beer warms the throat as it goes down. It is very thick and creamy. This beer leaves a licourice aftertaste. This beer is low in carbonation, going well with the style.

I dont know how much alcohol is in this beer, but I assume it is high. I doubt it would make a good session beer because of that. Also, the flavor is slightly aggressive. However, drinking one is great. I will definately have this beer again.

Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask pour at Blue Palms in Hollywood, CA.

Pours black with a creamy light brown head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of dark chocolate with creamy roasted malts and small hints of raisins.

Tastes very good. There's more chocolate in the flavor than in the aroma, but it's not overpowering. Roasted malt flavors join the chocolate flavors almost immediately and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with light carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and if not for a solid selection at Blue Palms I would have had another.

Overall this is a very solid stout that translated very well to a cask. Certainly worth a shot.

Photo of Sammy
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap and on cask, though the latter guided me as it is a first-rate cask beer worth the taxi ride fare to Port Carlsbad. Chocolately nutty and creamy, like a nitro.Dark brown with a mocha head, and lace. Finishes with a wine-like taste. Could have had all night, great stout.

Photo of bradford
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at PP Carlsbad after the Stone 10th aniversary fest, and the guy behind me in line commented on my Naja's shirt and we got to talking and I let it slip that it was my 21st birthday that night so he paid for a pint of this for me. Pours a very dark black with a bigger foam head than i anticipated. Smelled very chocolatey and almost nutty. Taste was very good. Silky and chocolatey. mouthfeel was on par for what I would expect out of a double stout. Very good stuff, can't wait to get back down to SoCal to try more beers from Port.

Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

Great appearance, jet black and fairly viscous with a two-finger tan head that lasts.

Aroma is roasty and chocolatey with some coffee. Chocolate really stands out on this one.

Flavor is like a roasty beer version of a chocolate milkshake. Really rich and good. Lots of earthy hop bitterness and a hint of coffee in there as well.

Body is full and carbonation is smooth. Hops linger on the finish.

Drinkability is good. This is a very good imperial stout overall, really came out of the blue and wowed me.

Photo of Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Pizz Port Solana Beach on 11/13/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours pitch black in the glass, topped with a near finger of deeply burnt looking mocha colored head. Retains nearly at the same level, flaring up hugely, and leaving heavy swathes of brown foam and goo down the sides of the glass. The aroma is loaded with strength and complexity in the nose. Milk chocolate, toffee, roast, STRONG coffee, and smidge of juicy dark fruits. Great balance here between the sweetness and more burnt character, which despite a very overall roasted feel, still stays very smooth in the nostrils.

The tatse is very similar, with a ton of thick sweetness from chocolate and sticky molasses, which is dotted with extra notes of green citrus and dark cherries. Supremely strong bitter notes of roast, coffee, and hops run through this, but is so well balanced, it hardly destorys the palate at all. Finishes bitter and roasty, with some residual sticky malt activity that coats the mouth. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a tremendous creaminess to the carbonation, seeming to just explode in the mouth at times. A gooey and viscous layer rides underneath, carrying a good bit of that heavy sweetness with it. Warmth hangs on the outskirts of the swallow but the alcohol here is so expertly hidden. Just great drinkibility to this, once the flavors really begin to open up and you can really start getting into it.

This is one of those beers that really grew on me the more I worked on it, turning from a good RIS into a great one. Just so complex, powerful, and delicious, with a smooth as silk body and drinkibility. This is definitely one of my favorites from any of the Pizza Ports.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on February 10, 2005. Handbottle. Pours an oil black with mahogany fringe and a rim of coffee and cream. Light carbonation. Aroma of chocolate malt and light fruity syrup. Non-descript and weak. Flavor is a classic strong roast, with vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and light oakyness. Sugary with hints of caramel and melted ganache. The chocolate in this beer is quite desirable and silky and not brashly roasted. Most impressive in this beer is the use of hops, with a gentle floral and resin quality shining mid-way in the palate. My recognition of this really surprises me. Some chocolate drizzled over candied orange rind. Palate is gentle sweet, somewhat oily and silky texture, that really carries the beer’s flavor. Tasty!Pours an oil black with mahogany fringe and a rim of coffee and cream. Light carbonation. Aroma of chocolate malt and light fruity syrup. Non-descript and weak. Flavor is a classic strong roast, with vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and light oakyness. Sugary with hints of caramel and melted ganache. The chocolate in this beer is quite desirable and silky and not brashly roasted. Most impressive in this beer is the use of hops, with a gentle floral and resin quality shining mid-way in the palate. My recognition of this really surprises me. Some chocolate drizzled over candied orange rind. Palate is gentle sweet, somewhat oily and silky texture, that really carries the beer’s flavor. Tasty!

Photo of scottoale
4.78/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cask-conditioned at O'Brien's served in a pint glass. Very, very dark brown with the creamiest, thick cocoa brown head of a fat finger. The head is there too stay, the lace...thick, sticky and creamy as all hayell. Trully impressive!

The smell is liquer like, very strong espresso coffee and hints of molasses and black licorice.

The taste, much like liquor soaked espresso beans, much as it smells, but with a trace of black licorice. This stout tastes awesome...nothing short of awesome! As you near the end of the pint, the boozy alcohol really stands out.

Heavy-duty body, the smoothest, creamiest mouthfeel imaginable, a warming from the alcohol that's most pleasant...this stuff is a stout lovers dream.

This is a Stout to be reckoned with, it's up in my top three favorites and I highly recommend it...Cheers!!

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hand bottled courtesy of egajdzis...
Appears a black color with a brown hue. Tiny tan head leaves little lacing around the glass.
Smell is of roasty milk chocolate, nuts, vanilla beans.
Taste is of the same aromas mixed with some dark fruits.
Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, with touch of silky and burnt cocoa and coffee.

Photo of hamilton23
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours very dark brown, almost black with lots of creamy brown head.

S: Chocolate, hops and burnt bread.

T: Very hoppy and bitter on the front end with some residual sweetness. Burnt coffee is pervasive. It was much more bitter than I expected.

M: Loads of carbonation. Slightly dry.

O: A decent beer, but could have used just a little less hoppiness and bitterness.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours near black. The head is slight and doesn't last too long but leaves some nice legs. The nose is dominated by chocolate and coffee along with a bit of roasted malt in the background. The taste is similar, adding some booze to strong chocolate and espresso. Great feel with nice interaction of the flavors and booze with good carbonation. Drinks really well and was a nice surprise.

Photo of hopdog
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thankd you egajdzis for a chance to try this one.

Poured a dark black color with a very small sized off white head. On the initial whiff I got a nice milk chocolate smell that gave way to smoke, roasted malts, some dark fruits and some vanilla. Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla and a light bitter coffee finish.

Notes from 1/19/06

Photo of AgentZero
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The second of 16 Pizza Port beers I drank this night.

A - Black color with a fine mocha head. Surprising bit of lacing on the sides for the type of beer it is.

S - Chocolate, roasted malts, light coffee. Really more chocolate than anything else.

T - Taste follows the nose, with chocolate, light coffee, roasted malt, and a touch of bitterness on the end.

M - Fairly full bodied with some medium level carbonation.

O - Easy to drink for an imperial stout. Solid beer, but not awesome. No problems drinking it though.

Photo of charlzm
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Pizza Port San Clemente, 02/25/08.

Nearly black pour with plenty of carbonation.

Chocolate/coffee bitterness promised by aroma does not disappoint on palate, though it is milder than expected. Mouthfeel is a touch oily, but not too much so. Some astringency and alcohol heat. Aftertaste is bitter coffee with some chocolate undertones: no surprise here. Failed to detect any hop flavor.

Well done, but not an outstanding example of the style.

Photo of womencantsail
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If nothing else, you have to try this for the great name...

A: Pours a nice black color with a mocha head. Some pretty nice lacing on this as well.

S: Chocolate, roasted malts, and some light vanilla.

T: Chocolate, faint coffee, roasted malt, and a bit of a bitterness.

M: Great body, moderate carbonation.

D: Surprisingly high for an imperial stout. Definitely a solid beer, but not the best of the style.

Photo of DCon
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap @ Pizza Port Brewing in Carlsbad, CA for $6. Tapped from the Black Non-Labeled Tap Handle into a 9oz Tumbler Glass.

Aroma- Big espresso smell and alcohol aroma from the start. Can also tell there is a very nutty, roasted malt character hanging out here. A bit of dark chocolate is noticed as well. Very intense but then has a lighter ending on the nose.

Appearance- Received with a .5 finger of dark brown head. Body is a Deep Brown, opaque color and leaves behind tremendous lace!

Flavor- Starts off nutty, with tons of espresso, and rich. Has tons of roasted malts, a hop that is well balanced but still plays a high role, and a unsweetened chocolate flavor that is sharp. Alcohol flavor is around at the finish but not as big as others I've tried.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Low Carbonation, Thinner than most Double Stout and has a light alcohol warming. Leaves coffee behind on the palate.

Overall Impression- What a treat! The body was perfect but then feels thinner than most Imperial/Double Stouts. Roasty, Nutty, and has great complexity. I would say this is my favorite beer @ Pizza Port WITHOUT a doubt! Will be looking for Old/Older Viscosity soon and then compare.

Photo of TheDruid
4.54/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Being a local, and a huge PP fanatic, i am quite familiar with the night rider. its a favorite of mine at the carslbad location and i drink it regularly when they have it. having said that, when i went in and saw that it was on cask, i knew it would be something special, and indeed it was. this was a whole different monster from the regular draft version.

a - i love the cascading effect from the with brown floating up to the top to create a fluffy finger-ish head.

s - wasnt served cold (duh), but slightly below room temperature. i knock the smell because it didn't have much strength in the nose until it was all the way up to room temperature or so. even then, not as dominant as i hoped for. strongest scent was coffee, with a bit of alcohol behind it, chocolate was there but not easy to pick out.

t - oh my word. i think this is the best beer ive ever had. having it from the cask did things to this beer that i couldnt have expected. major coffee and chocolate (much more in taste than nose) and a pretty major alcohol presence. some lesser flavors served to balance it out very well - a slight roastiness and a bit of dark fruit in the background

m - super super awesome. creamy and thick...was almost like chocolate whole milk or something. carbonation was very super low. to me, it was perfect.

d - there was pretty noticable alcohol, but it was only to the benefit of the beer, and it tasted SO DANG GOOD that i woulda drank 2 more if i could have walked out afterward.

this is probably the best pint of beer ive had. really.

Photo of
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone.

Opaque black in color. No light escaping this one. Small, brown head. Yep, it's a stout...

Coffee, chocolate, and herbal notes greet the nose. Obligatory roast notes. Dark fruits, pretty mild and fighting to get past the prior scents. Alcohol.

Taste is very similar to the aroma, but the chocolate really seems to come forward. Bittersweet, of course. Port-like also, from raisins and dark cherries. A little bit of spice/pepper at the finish.

Heavy in body. Fairly high carbonation, which helps manage the body. Juicy and smooth.

An excellent stout and a fine way to start my tour of Stone Brewery. If you have the opportunity to try this, I strongly encourage you to do so.

Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/08/08- Purchased via the tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

Presentation- Via the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Middle of the road black pour..chocolate undertones. Smaller 1/4 inch head and nice patchwork of lace left behind.

Smell- Light nose, but a nice one of deep roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee beans.

Taste- Nose is about what comes through in the taste. Very dark in the chocolate dept, and quite malty. Fair amount of sweetness and just about the right amount of hops provide a nice semi bitter and malty combo. Not as much coffee in the mix though. Alcohol comes through fairly hefty at 10% now.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation, medium to full mouthfeel with a light bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- A very good stout indeed. Wish they bottled this one.

Photo of SteveO1231
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a pint at Pizza Port C-Bad.

Pours a beautiful opaque black with a nice foamy, dark-tan head. The tan head reducd to nice thick tan bubbles lacing along my glass.

Huge aroma of roasted caramel and chocolate malts and coffee. I could smell strong notes of alcohlol.

Very big, roasted caramel, toffee, and chocolate flavors. Thick and chewy on the palate. Has a strong, dry finish that leaves a espresso like bitterness on the back of the tongue accompanied by an alcohol bite at the end. Warms my cheek as I drink.

Very nice beer, balanced and drinkable covers the specrum of flavors that any good double stout contains. ABV makes it kind of a sipper.

Awesome brew

Photo of midaszero
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Opaque black body with dark brown head and good lacing

S - A little sweetness and chocolate with a roasted malt. A little faint.

T - Bitter chocolate and roasted malts. A little alcohol presence and a little bite

M - Medium body with medium high carbonation

D - Good stuff but not to session. Overall easy to drink

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Night Rider from Pizza Port Solana Beach
91 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.