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Old Viscosity - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Old ViscosityOld Viscosity

Educational use only; do not reuse.

872 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 872
Hads: 1,920
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 13.04%
Wants: 165
Gots: 312 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States | website

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drewbage on 08-11-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Viscosity Alström Bros
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Reviews: 872 | Hads: 1,920
Photo of BadBrett
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Over all really impressed with the price point and quality of this beer.

A: Really dark, couldn't see through it under light.

S: chocolate, with a hint of coffee.

T: Subtle malted coffee notes with a smooth finish, not hot at all.

F: Mild and a tad creamy with just the right amount of carbonation.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with 2 fingers of a fluffy light caramel colored head.

Aroma is a combination of roasted malt, coffee, and dark fruit.

Taste is rather carbonated and light. Big roasted malt. Extremely toasted/roasty flavors. A big oak present for sure! Easy drinking, rather simple but good stout. Rather creamy mouthfeel. It has an earthiness, almost mushroom like; pretty faint, but it underlines the roasted notes. The heavily roasted malt, almost burnt coffee taste creates a bit of a bitterness near the finish.

Overall, this is a solid, easy going stout. I see it pairing well with chicken mole. It gets a 83.5/100.

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Photo of maxifunk777
3.66/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bought at a super marketing going out of business not sure when bottled dare smeared. Solid B to low B+ beer called an Ale but is truly a stout. A great beer to drink to enjoy a good beer and save your very goid to great stuff. A solid west coast stout.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle with my Stone IRS snifter glass
Notes taken on 05/25/2015

A: Pours much like the namesake. A dark black and oily 30 weight looking brew. A dense cloud of light brown sugar colored head forms over and displays some excellent retention. A head that looks like you could float a quarter on it. Eventually subsiding back down to a clumpy film. Some sporadic dots and patches of lace pain the sides of the glass on the way down.

S: Dark roast grains and earthy roast char meets a green hoppy presence. Further I get some brewer’s licorice with a bit of oak, vanilla-brown sugar, scorched caramels, semi-sweet chocolate and roast coffee bean. Definitely a big brew as there is a kick of alcohol spice in the finish.

T: Old Viscoscity starts off as a big aggressive brew however it maintains a manageable presence and really grows on you, especially as the temps start to warm up. I get some charred grains with dark chocolate and roast coffee layered into a sweet brown sugar and molasses based sweetness. It has a big earthy hop bitterness coupled with some oak tannins to cut across the chewy body and malt sweetness. Alcohol exudes in the finale with a bit of licorice and vanilla spice to the finish. Big, rich, and fairly complex. Somewhat of a bruiser yet it all comes together nicely and goes down smooth.

M: Moderately thick to heavy with a fair amount of chew on it. Has a slight syrupy stickiness to it that is managed by an upper level amount of hop bitterness and woodsy tannin to cut and dry out the finish a bit. Nice lingering sleekness that coats the palate.

D: Old Viscosity is a solid Barrel Aged Stout that I pass up on all too often. Super solid for a 10% brew aged on oak and very approachable at only $7 ducquets. A true shelf terd here.

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Photo of rolltide8425
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 11/14/12(3 years ago today) into tulip. Pours jet black with a long lasting mocha head. Smell is very rich with strong chocolate and sweet malt. Taste follows the nose with a very nice roasty undertone. Thick, full mouthfeel with just a hint of carbonation. Drinking great at 3 years.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Picked up in Chicago on a business trip.

Pours a dark black color with a mocha fluffy head. Very nice.

Smells fantastic. Chocolate and oak.

Taste Starts with rich Cocoa, oak and a touch of vanilla. Finishes with an odd sour flavor.

Mouthfeel is great. Creamy, thick feel but not cloying at all.

This is a well made beer. If the finish was better I would say it's world class. Not sure what is causing the sour finish but it detracts from the overall experience. Glad I got to try though.

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Photo of scuttlebutt21
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Man I loved this beer! Pours black with a 3 finger tan head. Looks appropriately like motor oil but is thinner than expected. Smells great, definitely can smell the oak and booze. Tastes toasty, caramel, coffee and chocolate. Surprisingly didn't taste a lot of the alcohol, but felt it later!

Absolutely great stout, loved it!

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th anniversary snifter glass
From: Barons Market in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $6.99
Purchased: Aug. 28, 2015
Consumed: Aug. 28, 2015
Misc.: Bottled on March 25, 2015

Poured a black color with six fingers of frothy, tan head. Not usual for Port as it wasn’t a gusher. Very good semi-layered foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. Very good retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled dark chocolate, dark fruits, light tobacco, toasty nuts, toffee, caramel, dark cocoa nibs, chocolate syrup, hazelnut, some coffee and dark plum. (Smell - 3.75)

Taste followed the nose somewhat, but felt a bit more like a Russian Imperial Stout. Got thick dark chocolate, coffee, roasty malts, toasty nuts, toffee, caramel, toasty oak, chocolate candy and hazelnut. Alcohol was well hidden. (Taste - 3.75)

Full body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish. (Feel - 4.00)

Slightly disappointed in this one, but I’d probably have it again. Great value for $6.99. (Overall - 3.75)

3.79 | 85 | B+

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Photo of KTCamm
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

8/20...pours black oil (apropos) smooth and high heavy brown foam cap, over 1 inch and retained. Milk chocolate nose, woodsy and oaky. Smooth mouthfeel, coffee, chocolate, milky. Real heavy bitter & boozy. Drinks like oil. A wallop.

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Photo of barczar
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly buttery aroma, big sherry oxidation with notes of roasty malt.

Flavor is very sherry-laden, with a roasty coffee finish. Aged fairly well, though the sherry is pretty dominant.

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Photo of CHickman
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours motor oil pitch black color with brown bubbles cascading up to a 2 finger foamy brown head that was full of bubbles of all sizes that popped as the head dissipated and receded ever so slowly, leaving great foaming rings as it went down and a layer on top.

The nose starts off very sweet with a blast of dark chocolate, burnt coffee grinds, roasted vanilla beans, molasses, soy sauce, brown sugar, cocoa powder and dry brownie batter. After the initial blast of sweet and charred notes the oak/barrel accents come out along with some light booze, chocolate syrup, ashy charred wood, burnt malt and some whiffs of piney hops. The sweetness intensifies as it warms, but it gets more complex and better and not cloyingly sweet. Each sniff is different with nice burnt and sweet malty components, it really gets much better as it warms.

Tastes very rich and malty to start, with some heat coming right after as the 10% ABV seemingly can’t be contained; the flavor is a tasty blend of cocoa powder, very dark chocolate, molasses, chocolate syrup, charred woof, ash, red wine, burnt coffee grinds, earthy noted from the oak/barrel accents, vanilla, soy sauce, brown sugar, acrid/smoked grains, peppery spices and dry leafy floral hops and piney hops. The booze heat is felt but not a negative part of the taste, with the char and smoked malts overtaking the chocolate and coffee. There are some dark fruits after the ash and char fade, as well as coconut and nutty notes like roasted peanuts just before the soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce kicks up again and lets the char, molasses and roasted sugar flow again. Perhaps it’s due to the oak influence, but this seems a tad bit too sweet yet thankfully the oak/barrel and hop bite keeps it mildly balanced, basically just balanced enough to remain very enjoyable and not sugary sweet.

Mouthfeel is creamy, velvety smooth even, with very light to almost watery carbonation, a thick viscous body and a slightly bitter aftertaste that is sweet with a semi-dry finish that’s on the ashy side. It’s a nice slow sipper that gets better as it warms. Not sure if I got buzzed or just conditioned to the ABV as I made my way through the bomber, but the heat in the initial sip was the worst of it – the ABV is very well hidden overall in this brew.

It borders on being too sweet, but is so complex and tasty that it did not bother me all that much since this was quite dynamic for a malt dominant beer that used the hop spice accents to trick you into balance. I’d love to try this on a cold winter night, so I’ll have to order another bottle. I would definitely have this again and thoroughly enjoyed it.

NOTE: This beer hides the ABV quite well as the next day I was hung over from just having the bomber.

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Photo of ryannosaurus
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber poured to tulip.

Pours licorice black brown with 3 fingers of chunky brown head. Head lays down to consistent thick film

Nose is faint, molasses, anise

Flavor is anything but faint, big boozy hit of black licorice, chocolate, coffee, caramel... nice bitterness tho I cannot peg the nature of it.

Mouthfeel is robust but not thick... alcohol thins it out and carbonation livens it up.

Overall an excellent brew... bit more dry/bitter than most Imperials, finishes with notes of black coffee / dark chocolate. If you like this, definitely try and get your hands on the even more awesome barrel aged Older

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Photo of biboergosum
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, found in the awkwardly named 'Bier Haus' section of the local Yoke's in Ponderay, Idaho.

This beer pours a pretty solid black hole, with very subtle red cola basal edges when thrust into the light, and a teeming tower of puffy, frothy, and chunky light brown head, which leaves some decently thorough, random sudsy Mercator Projection lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells of roasted, sort of sweet bready caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, cigar ash, dry black licorice, rather faint hints of musty whiskey barrel staves, a small earthy bitterness, and a lack of any sort of alcohol astringency. The taste is toasty and now fairly sweet caramel malt, bready toffee, chalky cocoa powder, those Scandinavian anise suckers, a twinge of cafe-au-lait, very understated whiskey barrel notes - maybe some vanilla, maybe some grainy woodiness - a growing earthy, weedy, and mildly citrusy hop bitterness, and the suggestion of a mention of an echo of booze warming.

The bubbles are nice and soft in their lilting frothiness, the body a sort of wavering medium weight, and generally smooth, both the outside looking in bitter and boozy essences not really in play here, but you'd be forgiven for thinking so. It finishes well off-dry, the toasted cocoa/toffee/coffee thing lingering on and on.

Old Viscosity has been made for over a decade, obviously, and seems to take pride in not self-defining what it actually is (hey, that's what we're here for, isn't it?). A few things: firsties, using the 'Old ' nomenclature implies a barleywine brew, but this is certainly not that. Secondly, I agree with the overall BA consensus - this is indeed an Imperial Stout, and a good one at that - just don't go in expecting much of the proclaimed oak barrel to show its face - another good thing.

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Photo of OGShotzy
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber into a Spiegelau stout glass. Bottled Jan 9, 2015. Appearance is dark dark brown with a fluffy khaki, maybe even stone colored head. 1.5" at least. A ton of sticky lacing as it goes down. Smell is pretty subdued, but notes of caramel and maybe some licorice come in. The taste is what really kicks this brew up a notch. It's barrel-aged, but there's not any real heat from the barrel. Lots of caramel, toffee, malt and sweetness. No booze at all. Excellent BA imperial stout here.

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Photo of pat61
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours deep ebony under a persistent, clingy 3” tan foam collar.
S: Faint chocolate nose, some sherry and roast, some sweet vanilla
T: Intense dark malts, coffee, chocolate with an espresso astringency and hop bitterness in the background and a hint of cinnamon.
F: Very creamy, smooth and chewy. Has a nitro beer texture without washing out the roast and bitterness.
O: A big beer that hides its alcohol well. Deceptively easy to drink.

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Photo of Beerswag
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Exceptional in all areas. Looks like oil, smells like choco, vanilla, almond, roasted malt, a little coffee. Taste is vanilla, coffee, roasted malt, and a very smooth finish eith almost no sting. Mouthfeel is creamy and not too much chew. Pair with XO hard cheeses, beef stew, or with desserts containing vanilla/chocolate/coffee.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lovely pour, lovely head, but after that less impressive.
Lots of char on nose and also the taste is char' roast, a hint of vanilla, but all a little muted. Tingle on mouthfeel is not good. Really, where is the BA element in this?
More imperials stout than RIS for sure, and maybe less impressive for that to this palate.
Solid, not exceptional.

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Photo of billyblazes
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite from Port Brewing. Yes, I like a thick, bold flavor..........and this has that. Sadly, living on the East Coast makes it near impossible to get any Port Brewing products. I am still trying.

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Photo of Benish
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: pitch black in color. Very insanely thick brown head; just as I was pouring, the head nearly floated over the glass. Retained for quite sometime before dissipating.

Smell: subtle hints of whiskey. Dark sweetened cocoa with raisins and vanilla.

Taste: Very sweet from start to finish. Finishes with a bit of char and heat.
Picked up some tart cherries, dark sweetened chocolate and some oak at the finish.

Mouthfeel: creamy and full-bodied. Yep, I needed a knife and fork.

Overall: just a little bit out of balance, overly sweet. The sweetness could be toned down a bit. Regardless, it’s an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.95/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber gently poured into my snifter glass yielded a tremendous amount of khaki/tan colored frothy foam. Not much in the way of lacing for this viscous black colored stout but the foam settles across the top beautifully. Getting some roast, caramel, molasses, and maybe a vanilla/bourbon scent in the aroma. Old Viscosity is actually, for me, quite flavorful and complex. Getting some chocolate, coffee, toffee, vanilla, caramel, molasses, and roasted malts. I must say this is one of the most carbonated imperial stouts I've ever encountered and the "fluff" from it is coating the palate quite wonderfully. The velvet softness of the carbonation is intoxicating just like the well hidden alcohol. Overall, I had high expectations for this Port Brewing offering and they did not disappoint!

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Photo of dmgeng
4.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had seen this before but hadn't gotten a try so I decided to just trade for one to get it sooner than later.

A - Dark black that pours quite thick with dark brown rocky head and fluffy lacing.

S - Tons of of sweet malt smell with roasted, chocolate, caramel, and some toffee notes radiating out. Has some of the vanilla, oak, and woody character that you would expect and is really a perfect accompaniment. No discernible hops or alcohol.

T - The first sip you are overwhelmed with tremendous flavor having tons of complex flavors. I taste sweet malt on the front, then the rich cocoa, roast, caramel in the middle, and then the vanilla and oak kick in on the backside. After the first couple of sips the beer becomes even more complex with the more subtle flavors playing off of the bold stout flavors.

M - HUGE mouth-feel with full carbonation. Though it is thick and sticky the carbonation allows the flavors to come alive on the palate. If you don't like the full feeling then this is probably not for you. The finish is perfect with a little bit of everything and leaving you wanting more.

Overall, this is one very delicious beer. I haven't had just an "oak" aged stout and I really enjoyed how it complements the stout instead of making the barrel first and foremost. With the gentle vanilla and more complex char flavor I know that I'm not going to overlook this one again. I strongly recommend this oaked imperial stout.

Glass- Imperial Nonic

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Photo of Vlaminck
4.69/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark with great tan head and good lacing that sticks to glass, Smell is a little to alcoholic with hints of bourbon. Taste is great, chocolate, molasses, wood, mildly sweet yet dry with a god balance to the hop addition. Overall im not a huge stout fan but I would definitely drink this one again given the desire for a stout.
Side note: This would be a great beer to make beer batter fish and chips with.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

February 16, 2015

22 oz bottle, snifter

A – Black, only somewhat oily/viscous despite the name, an inch of deep chocolate brown bubbly head, with moderate retention, a thin layer remaining on top basically in perpetuity.

S – Baking chocolate and a massive shot of vanilla, sweet molasses, toffee, and brown sugar. Alcohol warmth, boozy quality, is prominent but in balance with the other strong aromas. Very little hop aroma, though some bitterness is noticeable on the nose.

T – Chocolate, roasty coffee/bitterness, vanilla lower here than in the aroma. Toffee and molasses also present but lower than in the aroma. The bitterness from the hops really makes itself known here, balancing out the strong malt and barrel flavors. A bit of fruity alcohol/ethyl notes, very low and complementary, not harsh.

M – Despite high sweetness, this really leans toward hop bitterness. Medium-full body with medium carbonation, and finishes moderately dry.

O – The aroma of this beer alone is exceptional, irresistible. The hop bitterness actually seems a bit out of balance, masking some very nice flavors from the malt and barrel. Still, an outstanding imperial stout.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

We pour this brew from a bomber into our three quarter sized tasting snifters. It pours out a thick black bean coloring, and two to three fingers worth of a yellowed, manila head. This retains forever, leaving soft but thick sheets of honeycomb lacing. Mild haze is noted on flashlight examination, but no sediment is found. Carbonation appears to be active. Aroma includes burnt caramel and chocolate maltiness, iced espresso, sugary sweet cocoa powder, roasted filler barley, coiny metallics, syrupy toffee sugars, molasses, gentle nectary hop fruitiness, fig and dried plums, red wine vinegar acidity, browned apple sweetness, wheat pizza dough, vinyl plastics, bourbon vanilla woodiness, and a woody, peaty scotch booziness. Wow, the sip kind of takes you by surprise!! It is so surprisingly bitter, and intense, but in the best way imaginable. From the front of the sip you get some of the biggest roasted chocolate and coffee malts we’ve ever had, padded by easier grain of caramel and more standard black malts. Filling the remainder of the taste buds is a blend of black coffee, sweeter hints of the creamiest vanilla latte, bitterly raw cacao nibs, chalky yeastiness, heavy vanilla woodiness, stomach acidity, motor oil smokiness, singed tobacco paper and leafiness, dirty coconut husk, hazelnut sugars, continued booziness of peaty scotch whiskey, mossy and moldy oak, soured lemon rind and pith, concrete and mineral, red raisin meatiness, nori, and raw honeycomb. The body is fully full, and the carbonation is medium, but foams up readily on a swirl around the mouth. Each sip gives incredible slurp, smack, cream, froth, and crisp pop. This leaves the mouth initially coated, but this gives way to the most intense chalky, powdery, astringent dryness in recent memory. The abv is appropriate at 10%, but the thing drinks like it’s nonalcoholic. Stunning.

Overall, this is honestly one of the best dark beers we’ve ever had. At first, you’re a bit surprised at the aroma. It is, no doubt, dark and brooding, but there isn’t much strength or punch to make you think anything incredible is hiding in the flavoring. The sip absolutely obliterates this notion. The level of roast is beyond most anything we can conjure up, leaving the drinker with this fiery, lingering bitterness of said grain. Mixing in are swirls of smoke, taking things to the next level and beyond. Through all of this the finish is incredibly smooth. We certainly agree with the label that they don’t make ‘em much like this anymore. The oak doesn’t do too much, but it doesn’t really need to. For whatever reason we’ve sat on this bottle in our cellar for a while now, and only recently found time to give it the proper time it deserves. We’re so glad we did, and have already put our feelers out for a replacement bottle, or five, to be consumed immediately.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle was poured into a large snifter.

Appearance: A two finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Smokey, caramel, toffee, toasted, roasted, molasses, chocolate, and warm alcohol.

Taste: Like most AIS beers as this beer got better with time. Nicely blended and some ashy bitterness in the rear. Very tasty brew to enjoy during another snowstorm here in Boston.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, ashy bitterness, nice warm alcohol, medium carbonation, and quite the sipper. Very enjoyable.

Overall: This beer reminds me of that old snowblower we have all been using in Boston these past few weeks. It stands the test of time and gets better with age. Well, at this beer gets better with age. Enjoyable now and enjoyable years from now.

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Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.