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Churchill's Finest Hour 2012 - Pizza Port Solana Beach

Not Rated.
Churchill's Finest Hour 2012Churchill's Finest Hour 2012

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

184 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 184
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 7.93%
Wants: 531
Gots: 29 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Each Churchill's Finest Hour release is a unique blend of various Port Brewing barrel-aged stouts. Copper wax.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 02-07-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 184 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a tan head that fades to nothing. No lacing is present on this one. So far this looks pretty much the same as the 2011 blend. Smell is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon, and wood. Taste is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon, and wood. The cocoa flavor in the 2012 blend is much more robust and enjoyable than the 2011 blend. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel and a nice medium body. Again, the mouthfeel is pretty much the same as the 2011 blend. Overall, this is an exceptional barrel aged stout that I enjoyed a bit more than the 2011 blend. Both years are great beers but this year’s blend was my favorite.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

djrn2, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

zestar, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -11.9%

acurtis, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

GRG1313, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing, Shane.

Pours black in color with a khaki head. Nose of whiskey, vanilla, oak, and roast. Very heavy on the chocolate notes. Fudge, cocoa, and dark chocolate are quite strong in this. Slightly sweet on the palate with heavy dark chocolate character. Oak, whiskey, and a touch of vanilla. Some molasses and burnt sugar give most of the sweetness. Definitely some coffee and a moderate roast quality. Very nice.

womencantsail, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -11.9%

spycow, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Willy. Thanks.

Opaque black body, pretty leggy and viscous. Incredible nose on this one. Maple syrup, cocoa, toasted coconut and caramel. A huge bourbon barrel presence along with faint soy sauce oxidation. The palate has a big milk chocolate and caramel character, with maple and toasted coconut in the background. A little alcohol warmth, though it's mellow on the whole, especially given the freshness. The body is viscous and full. Overall this is another exceptionally good blend, possibly the best Finest Hour to date.

largadeer, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

SocalKicks, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of MasterSki
4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Jason. Thanks dude! Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - Dark mocha foam settles to a thick collar, wisps, and a few tiny specks of lacing. Very, very dark brown body that is largely opaque.

S - A delightful blend of oak, whiskey, roasted malts, anise, nuts, dark chocolate, caramel, and perhaps a hint of marshmallow.

T - Taste is also quite enjoyable with flavors of dark chocolate, roasted grains, weighty multi-grain loaves, vanilla, and lighter touches of oak and bourbon.

M - Medium body that feels a touch light for the listed 11%. Dry, roasty texture, with a tannic finish and only mild warming alcohol. Pleasant lower-to-moderate carbonation. Quite easy to drink for the style and alcohol content.

D - An exceptionally well-crafted barrel-aged stouts with rich and complex flavors and no real flaws. I look forward to drinking my own bottle of this in the near-future. A worthy follow up to the equally excellent 2011 edition.

MasterSki, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
4.65/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12/01/12 notes.

a - Pours an almost black color with one inch of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, toffee, and alcohol, toasted malts, oak, and some dark fruit. Lots of chocolate and some nice bourbon, I'm a big fan of the nose.

t - Tastes of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, oak, toasted malts, caramel malts, and toffee. More bourbon here than the nose which I like a lot, and less overall alcohol heat. Mixes together wonderfully; an amazing taste even better than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Somewhat thick and pretty nice body.

o - Overall I thought this was a great stout; it's blended great and the taste is perfect. Awesome mix of bourbon and chocolate and not hot at all for the ABV. Would love to get another bottle of this.

mdfb79, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
3.78/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a 4 oz taster at the Churchill's Finest Hour Release earlier this year. 2012 vintage (obviously). Reviewed from notes taken standing up in the crowded pub; I couldn't go as in-depth as I wanted as a result. Consumed side by side with the 2011 vintage.

A: Pours no head at all. Body colour is a dark solid black. Opaque. There is a floating ring about the edges of the glass which is khaki in colour.

Rich and inviting. Vibrant. Silky. Attractive. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Chocolate, licorice/anise, caramel, dark amlts, vanilla. Complex, with no boozy notes. Inviting. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Chocolate malt, chocolate, dark malts. Light alcohol warmth. Caramel. Refined and decadent. Balanced, if boozy. Not as complex as expected. I do like it. Definitely a sipper, though. It's tasty. Far boozier than the 2011. Much more licorice and anise than the 2011 as well; licorice is one of the flavours I'm not a big fan of - just in terms of my own personal tastes.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and full-bodied. Heavy. She's a sipper alright. Unrefreshing. Refined. Good presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile well. Perfect carbonation. Heavier on the palate than the 2011 vintage.

Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV, yet still a sipper. You wouldn't chug it. I'd have to share a full bottle with others, but a 4 oz sample is lovely. A tasty imperial stout, but not among the best I've had. Not worth seeking out; I'm glad the other beers at this event made it worth the time and expense. I expected to be blown away, but that wasn't the case. It's another solid brew from Port/Lost Abbey, and I'd definitely get it again if possible, but I wouldn't trade for a bottle. I'd sure like to revisit it in a better environment to really go into as much depth as I like to.

Low B+

kojevergas, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of beernads
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

beernads, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

imperialking, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of yourefragile
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

yourefragile, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -17.4%

drewone, Jun 17, 2012
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Gonzoillini, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of billab914
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

billab914, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Bottle poured into a snifter at Churchill's.

A: Black and viscous with an inch of light brown foam.

S: Cocoa and dark chocolate with aggressive bourbon aromatics. Coconut blends with vanilla, brown sugar, maple, and oak. Caramel meets a dash of coffee. Smells fantastic. 

T: Rich dark chocolate and brown sugar accompany bourbon and vanilla. I get a little coconut with a restrained nuttiness and evident oak. Roasted grains are pronounced. Caramel is present. The chocolate profile is fantastic. Booze is notable but it's not over the top and I think it's at a nice level right now. Not at all harsh.

M: Full in body with upper medium carbonation. 

Overall: Another amazing vintage blended for an awesome pub. This might be better than last year's blend. I consider myself fortunate to be able to enjoy this in a calm setting on premise.

HopHead84, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of ShanePB
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2012, big THANKS goes out to Scott (smarcoly) for hooking me up with this bottle. Served into a tulip glass.

A: Deep dark black, slightly dark brown on the pour but this is like motor oil coming out. Topped with a creamy, bubbly and quite actively carbonated tan head. A bit of lacing on the walls and only really a ring around the edges.

S: Big bourbon, wood, dark malts and then just tons of chocolate pouring out of the glass. Huge fudge notes, cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate and a faint nutty element. Such a complex and wonderfully smelling barrel aged beer.

T: Almost precisely like the nose. Dark malts lay a nice foundation and then plenty of barrel elements come in with touches of oak. There's a nice sweetness transitioning into the back end with more chocolate, fudge and cake. It's so rich and decadent but at the same time, completely balanced and drinkable. No heat whatsoever given the high ABV.

M: Well carbonated, perhaps a lot more than I'm used to or expecting for a barrel aged Imperial Stout of this size. It helps to break up the flavors nicely though and smooths things out. A bit less would have been welcomed, however.

I have to say, this is probably one of the best bourbon barrel Imperial Stouts I've had to date. The blending is so masterfully crafted and it's dangerously drinkable for 11% ABV. The chocolate and bourbon combination is unlike anything I've had in a beer before. Really exceptional stuff right here.

ShanePB, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.53/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Inky black. Good bit of a khaki head. Decent retention.

Smell - Wow. Booze, bourbon, and barrel. Rich roasted character. Vanilla and oak all over, but the stout comes through nicely. Awesome, but boozy.

Taste - Bourbon is less intense, but the barrel is more intense. Vanilla and oak. Someone said, "Peanuts," and for a brief moment, I agree. Rich chocolate malts. Slight dark fruit/licorice character. Great flavors. Maybe a little astringent.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly dry. That might be the Older Viscosity in this. Boozy, but a nice feel. Well carbonated and not tremendously heavy for what it is.

Overall - Really impressive. Dry and a little astringent, but otherwise damn near perfect barreling of a great stout.

Alieniloquium, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of wordemupg
4.44/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber poured into tulip, cheers mattsander for opening this bad boy

A black with a deep cola edge, not much for head or lace but not the biggest pour so take it with a grain of salt I suppose

S fortified wine, a little smoke, fudge, vanilla, oak, a little booze, bruised dark fruit and faint molasses, smells rich

T great but different, roasts darker, some black strap, a little licorice, lots of barrel but I can't pinpoint, some espresso and chocolate covered raisins, burnt brown sugar rounds things out

M thick and a little sticky on the lips but slick on the palate, some heat but not much, a little burnt wood on the finish and it numbs the lip just a tad

O great stuff, lots of barrel, the booze is mellow, smells and tastes awesome, perhaps the highlight of the night and considering what we drank that says something

one of those beers that I'm just glad I got to try and the fact that it kicked ass is just a minor detail, thanks again Matt

wordemupg, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Rhettroactive, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of xnicknj
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into taster - thanks pat

Pours an inky blacked out color with a slight darkly tanned head resting on top. Fades out completely, leaving a few traces of lacing on the glass.

Heavy, intense and rich in the nose - driven by oaky bourbon, sweet vanilla beans, and roasted dark malts. Complex and intoxicating, it took me about 5 minutes before I could even take a sip. Boozy warmth with hints of syrupy sweetness and raisin.

Plenty of boozy warmth up front, but tempered by pleasant dark chocolate and bourbon soaked vanilla. Soft oaky char with raisin and roasted dark malts. Continuing layers of malt throughout the backbone, dotted with hints of caramel and more chocolate. Boozy and sweet on the finish.

Fuller body, milder carbonation, sticky and smooth on the tongue. Similar to the 2011 release, this is a wonderfully rich and complex beer which had me thinking and marveling for quite some time. It's definitely boozy and sweet, but lands near-perfectly on the line before crossing into the harsh and cloying category.

xnicknj, Dec 06, 2012
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Churchill's Finest Hour 2012 from Pizza Port Solana Beach
100 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.