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Hot Rocks Lager - Pizza Port Solana Beach

Not Rated.
Hot Rocks LagerHot Rocks Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

360 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 360
Reviews: 183
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 10.96%
Wants: 20
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Kegatron on 03-17-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 360 | Reviews: 183
Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

$20 bottle at Fallen Rock club, Denver. Shared with JMSHB. Darkish body, almost nohead though lace. Sweeet with spices and pepper, root beerish.Chocolate, caramel, nuts. A brown ale more than anything. Average mouthfeel.Understated carbonation.Needed something very American, smoke or whatever.

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 4/6/12.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, slight caramel, and some mineral aromas. Taste is of roasted and toasted malt and some burnt caramel and slight mineral flavors. There is a medium roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I prefer the way it smells over the way it tastes.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is jet black in color and has bits of carbonation visible near the edges of the glass. It poured with a two finger high off white head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of dark and roasted malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of dark and roasted malts in the nose along with notes of chocolate and hints of sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little watery and airy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and seems a little reminiscent of a schwartzbier and a porter.

Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Coffee brown color, with a mocha milkshake film that leaves quite a few squiggles of lace behind

Smell: Brown bread and toasted marshmallow

Taste: The brown bread and toasted marshmallow flavors present themselves immediately, with a bit of caramel sweetness developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the dark malt flavors continue to dominate though there is a bit of European hop bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A lot of malty flavor, like a big dunkel but a nicely balanced hop profile, too

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Roasted pecan brown that becomes glowing ruby red when backlit with morning sunshine. Up top sits a thick chunk of golden sandstone colored foam that looks good in all respects. It's also sticky enough to grace the pint glass with scattered patches of lace. Based on appearance, schwarzbier seems a more accurate choice.

The aroma is dark without being black. Closer to a brown ale than a porter, though neither one of those is a serious consideration since HR is a lager. Repeated sniffs result in a whiff of earthy malt... and very little else. Warming results in enough of a power and personality increase for an above-average score to be granted.

Until reading the label, I had no idea that Port Hot Rocks Lager was brewed with hot rocks. That must have been some interesting (and fun!) brewing session. Whether or not that procedure added anything of value to the beer's flavor or mouthfeel is another matter entirely. Cool idea, though.

As far as style goes, schwarzbier still fits. Unlike the aroma, the flavor is definitely 'black' enough to qualify. There's an impressive amount of licorice/anise present, without much roasted maltiness. Maybe that's due to the mash being superheated so suddenly by the rocks, rather than more gently by more modern methods. Since I'm neither zymurgist nor brewer, I have no idea.

The flavor profile is on the simple side. Again, black licorice leads the way, followed by dark chocolate, English toffee and a hint of medium-dark fruit. Actually, the fruity esters that an ale yeast would have provided would have been an improvement. Although hop flavor is lacking, sweetness and bitterness are fairly evenly matched. Given the spicy quality of the beer, German hops would be a good guess. Either that or a small percentage of rye malt. On second thought, the cumulative bitterness tells me that the IBU count might be pushing 50.

Considering the ABV, the mouthfeel could stand to be more full. It does manage to achieve a light creaminess and a lagery smoothness by the bottom of the first glass, however. In addition, the carbonation is pretty much right on the money: lightly and softly tingly.

The process by which Hot Rocks Lager was brewed is more interesting than the beer itself. That said, this is a pretty enjoyable schwarzbier that is a few more flavor facets away from being worthy of a repeat purchase. If it's ever released again, that is.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this one out of the fridge where it had been sitting forever it seemed. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 11/22/2009

Dark brown pour and was not really expecting that at all. Rich looking caramel color with a nice touch of off white lacing around the sides of the glass. Rich caramel and roasted malted tones here on the aroma. Even more so as we dive into the flavor. Really intense malt presence here. Lots of bready notes and light notes of molasses almost it seems. Clean and smooth flavor, not much in the way of crisp though as the medium body really sticks to the tongue thoughout the session and lets the malts really settle in something fierce,

Overall this was a really intresting beer and not at all what I was expecting.

Photo of StonedTrippin
2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

this beer is disgusting. i love the idea, but the execution is appalling really. granted, my bottle had a little date on it, and may have deteriorated some, but i cannot imagine a great beer ever lived in here. sticky brown caramel color with some tan suds. the nose is sweet malt, but not fresh and harvest grainy, but more a euro extract thing, like a home brewers extract. no hops at all in nose or taste, but thats there least of the worries here. the flavor is an acrid funk that turns into unfermented sweetness. old taffy and gum and gross fair candy come to the forefront, behind stale grain and other off flavors. hard to believe this is rated as high as it is. thick and textured for a lager, although carbonation is fine. the price is right on some of these port bombers, but as much as midnight expression made my day for being so awesome and cheap, this one turned me right back off. if you can make older viscosity, you can do better than this.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle dated March 2010 - I love that Lost Abbey and Port Brewing have started dated their beers. Much appreciated.

From a bomber into a nonic, Hot Rocks is a dark mahogany brown with a bone-colored head that crackles away like cola. Actually, the beer has a cola-like appearance in general.

It smells hugely metallic initially, but toastier as it has a chance to breathe. Whole grain bread, toasted nuts, a whiff of caramel sweetness, this could be confused for a brown ale.

There's a metallic roughness to the flavor that's supported by toasted and caramelized malt, light roastiness, hints of coffee and fruitiness. It's rather full-bodied and rich, making it not exactly sessionable, but certainly enjoyable and easy enough to drink a pint of. It's nice to see new breweries using traditional, arguably archaic brewing methods such as this - I don't think I've had another stone beer beyond this one, but I'd love to try more.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque, chestnut brown body with a thinnish, light ecru head.

Smell: Malty nose alive with notes of toasted bread, toasted sugars, and toasted nut shells. Touch of fruitiness and spicy hops.

Taste: Lightly toasted, lightly nutty, lightly grainy maltiness with a sweetish taste of charred, caramelized sugars. Fruity hints of apricot and baked raisins brushed with molasses and brown sugar. Spicy, earthy hops with a medium bitterness. After the bitterness slackens, it's back to the toasted and smoked nuts until you reach the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly enjoyable. It's definitely good to see someone's trying to bring a little excitement to the humble, sometimes dull lager, especially when it's in the form of broiled hunks of granite.

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malts, lager yeast, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with a strong roasted malt character and sweet flavors of chocolate, caramel and dark fruit. There's also a touch of smokiness in the background. The hop presence is mild but complementary and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, different representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink if you're looking for a poundable darker beer that is different from your typical stout or porter.

Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Port Brewing/Lost Abbey tasting bar on 3/14/09. Served in a pint glass. This a collaborative Stein Lager between Tomme Arthur and Tonya Cornett of Bend Brewing.

Pours a murky dark brown with a thin covering of light tan foam. There isn't a whole lot of retention, mostly hanging around the edges, leaving some light spotty lacing and brown residues behind. The aroma possesses a deep bready sweetness, a touch of fruity tang, some light floral hops, and a definite touch of Lager yeast in the nose.

The taste is quite similar, with an assertive bready sweetness that mixes with the present citric character to really give this profile a tangy feel. I'm also getting a sense of that particular Lager yeast and some moderate hopping that nicely drys out the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a firm carbonation and crisp feel. There is a touch of beef to the body but it does do a nice job of bringing out that deep bready character in this and doesn't inhibit the drinkibility at all.

This was quite the tasty Lager, with a deep tangy feel to it and a solid drinkibility that worked for me. Good stuff and it's nice to see another Lager beer coming out of Port Brewing.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice dark lager. When I got the initial hits of malt and caramel, I was worried that it was going to be too much. But it ended up being quite balanced and even. Thorough flavor profile. Even delivery. Not overly complex, but it works. I can dig it.

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

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Hot Rocks Lager from Pizza Port Solana Beach
84 out of 100 based on 360 ratings.