Old Viscosity - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Old ViscosityOld Viscosity

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1,842 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,842
Reviews: 860
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 155
Gots: 292 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
Port Brewing visit their website
California, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,842 | Reviews: 860
Reviews by mchengcit:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I can't believe this is the first time I have had this beer.Pours a jet black except for just a hint of chocolate brown when held to the light,a large fluffy deep beige head atop.Smells like sweet alcohol and dark fruit over top of chocolate and roast.The roast plays a much bigger role on the palate,roasted and charred with caramel and alcohol dipped dark fruit on the palte,I have to say the alcohol lingers.This is an old school favorite and Iam glad to finally try it,it kicks ass.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine April 2007.

"Not your dad's wimpy 30 weight!" shouts the label, with an illustration of a man lying underneath a vintage truck, pulling pints of motor oil from the engine. Yikes!

As suggested on the label, this is one hell of an opaque beer--like, scary opaque. "Motor-oil black" would be a good description; topped with a rich, coffee-colored lacing. Surprisingly soft in the aroma, but full of chocolate, cake, Ovaltine, roasted grains, figs and ripe, dark, forest fruits. Whoa, this is one intensely rich and robust beer--nearly heart-stopping. Mouthfeel is huge and viscous at first, not as full-bodied as we expected. The carbonation is uplifting, tingly, and creates some fluffiness on the palate. Malt flavors are all over the place: dense chocolate cake, blackstrap molasses, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, black treacle syrup, slightly acrid coffee and a nice dollop of rounding toffee. Hints of spicy hops dance around a barely noticeable alcohol presence--though it does get a bit solvent-like after a while. Figs; some vanilla; date-like sugars. A cutting, raisiny edge highlights the beer's acrid notes and pulls through as the beer warms. Finish is very dry, powdery, and leaves you thirsting for another sip, with a big, residual, roasted astringency.

And yes, this is a sipping beer. The 10 percent is well hidden in the dark chaos, so watch your ass with this one. We have no idea what this beer is--motor oil? A Russian Imperial Stout? They call it a Strong Ale, so it's best just to agree and enjoy. Pairing could be futile. Just drop it into a snifter and share with friends.

Photo of JasonA
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a pitch dark mobil oil with little mocha head. Some lacing, but not a lot with the amount of head. Cant see much of anything through this, looks more like a Stout, RIS.

Smell malt and alcohol. Roasted malts, this should be yummy.

Taste kicks me in the ass. Little sweet prolly due to ABV, but very malty, and full. Want to drink more, know I cant have many of these.

Mouthfeel is a little syrupy. Carbonation is good, maybe a little mess.

Drinkability is excellent. I want lots of these. Give me more. Reminds me of my favorite Great Divide Yeti, but thickness isnt the same. More sweet. Overall, excellent.

Photo of soulgrowl
2.64/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Viscous indeed - but not that viscous. Cola black with ruby highlights and a fleeting, malted milk-colored head.

Smell: Weird, gluey, paint-like resin; vanilla, honey, brown sugar, and pancakes. This does not smell how it looks, which is to say that it doesn't smell very strong or good. Something about it reminds me of cinnamon rolls.

Taste: Hmm... rather vacuous and boring. Not much going on here except cheap bourbon, cola, dark chocolate, rum-soaked raisins, and sugary bock-like malts. Not bad, I guess, but not good.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick, creamy, and not too syrupy.

Drinkability: I don't really get this beer. It's imbalanced - too sweet, and the barrel aging comes through in a bizarrely woody way. It isn't bad - at the very least, it's interesting - but it isn't a beer I'd be too excited to try again.

Photo of RoyalT
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This is a deadly brown in color with some light ruby hues around the edges. The booze killed the head, but there’s still lacing on the glass because the thick malty liquid coats it like grease in a pot.

Smell – This is fine malt in its purest form. It’s made up of some light baker’s chocolate, very light coffee bean, a hint of vanilla, and raw burnt grain. The sugars are mostly raw brown but they are mild. The alcohol is elegant and light, like the kind you get from a Godiva liqueur.

Taste – The blackened grain comes out wonderfully at the taste. It leads the way for the other characteristics from the nose. The booze is a little stiffer but not harsh; again like a fine chocolate liquer. The chocolate itself turns super-dark.

Mouthfeel – This is bigger than medium-bodied but not full and the alcohol is slightly stinging but not harsh. The beauty here is its namesake – the viscosity. It is so slick and greasy in the cheeks you get the feeling of what an engine experiences after a can of Slick 50.

Drinkability – Are you kidding me? This is one of the best ASAs on the market and certainly one of the most drinkable big beers that I’ve ever had.

Photo of blitz134
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been holding on to this one for several months now. Received in a trade I know, but unfortunetly it was too long ago for me to remember. 350th beer review, figured I'd break out a supposedly great beer.

Pours dark brown, but sits in the glass nearly opaque. Dark brown hues show through at the edges. Small light brown head formed on the pour but reduced to a skim layer. Head formation, retention and lacing are weak.

Aroma is nice. Chocolate and coffee, dark roasted malts. Wiffs of smoke. Very stout like to me. Straightforward aroma really.

Nice chocolaty flavor, coffee and roasted notes all over the place again. Has some caramel and dark fruit undertones and some basic hopping of pine and grass. Well hidden alcohol, there are some faint flares of it, but its not a detractor.

Flavor coats the mouthwell and leaves behind a nice roasted flavor. Full bodied and slick on the tongue. A good bit of carbonation makes this really refreshing and a bit crisp.

Great drinkability. Dark roasted flavors but refreshing crispness. Hidden alcohol and smooth overall flavor make this one go down easy. Good stuff. Kind of breaks style guidelines, not a typical strong ale...closer to a double stout. Similar to Dark Horse's Black Bier.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've got to get more of Port Brewing's beers; the ones I've tried have been excellent. This beer was a very dark brown with red highlights. A medium tan head with good lacing. Coffee, chocolate, dark fruit aroma. Ditto on the taste, with some bread also. The alcohol is noticeable, but not intrusive. Very comfortable beer.

Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on date is smeared, but this was purchased August 2010.

A - Pours black with two fingers of brown head. Head has decent retention, but doesn't leave much lacing.

S - Aroma is chocolate, oak, nuts, some dark dried fruits and a faint sweetness.

T - Rich chocolate cake, nice oak presence with a faint amount of char, some dark dried fruits (maybe fig), faint hops presence, coffee and a bit of alcohol. Very nice overall.

M - Mouthfeel is on the fuller end of medium, not as think as I thought it would be. Has some creaminess too it, and finishes with a tannin dryness.

O - A very enjoyable beer. The medium mouthfeel works well here, showing that big flavored beers don't need to be heavy.

Photo of Beaver13
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with a creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet baking chocolate, some coffee and grains, a touch of molasses and fruits.

The flavor is sweet fudgy chocolate followed by some roasted nuts, coffee and some dark fruits. There is some alcohol present, but it's well done and not offensive. The finish has a good amount of bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, this is very complex and could easily be a mixed together mess, but it is very well put together and all the different flavors just accentuate each other. It's sublime and a very decadent and tasty treat.

Photo of barhoc11
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

solid Imperial Stout, not as viscous as I would have expected but it wasn't too thin that made me want more. I can't wait to try older viscosity

Photo of Beerswag
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, no freshness indication, pours dark, real dark, great looking dark tan head, leaving fine, scattered lacing and nicely knit sheeting. sniff of an alcoholic dark chocolate milk shake. Yum. Intense, complex and interesting concoction....loads of dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, rum soaked fudge, black expresso beans. Fine beer, dark beer lovers rejoice and go get some.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok...I'm expecting good things here...let's just put it out there right now.
Spent motor oil in color...less than 1/4 finger of tan head. Lacing thin and lasting only a handful of seconds.
Beautifully inticing in the nose...vanilla, oak, chocolate and more (but I'll save some for the flavor).
Rum soaked raisins up front...molasses, roasted almond, more dark chocolate and some fruity hops rounded up the taste.
Alcohol is there...no hiding the fact, but goes down super smooth with each sip and this is definitely a sipper.
Thick mouthfeel...bitterness takes away any sweet, cloyingness that may try to show. Quite carbonated, but wouldn't know it from the pour.
Gonna have to equal out the drinkability...no doubt I can consume this bomber, but don't think I'm reaching for anything else after...forget it.
Great offering from my new best friends in MA....welcome!

Photo of ElSid
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Beers of California


Bottled Date: 11/14/12

A: Black, thick, and viscous like oil with a soft pillow of light brown head, which beckons my sleepy head and refuses to dissipate.

S: Bouzy with sweet cocoa, vanilla, and espresso bitterness. There are also some notes of raisins and moist soil.

T: There is a large vein of bouziness with branches of vanilla and espresso bitterness. The edges are burnt wood and there is an added component of raisiny sweetness. The vanilla smoothness brings to mind marshmallows, paired with leaves, earth and the smell of soiled hands after a hard days work.

M: Smooth as silk yet still manages to pack a wallop. Perfect carbonation and full bodied.

O: Round and strongly built, this sturdy stout is smooth and complex but not overpowering. Port shoots for the moon and barely misses landing in the stars. This stout, although not amongst the greats, still deserves respect.

Photo of tigg924
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/4 inch head, clear, high carbonation

Smell:sweet cream, burnt malt, caramel

Taste: burnt malt, cream, chocolate, oak, and licorice

Mouthfeel: heavy, medium/high carbonation, sweet with the bitter burnt malt backbone

Drinkability:This is a good sipper just due to the fact that it is one of the heaviest beers I have ever had. I could have two. I like the oaky taste a lot. Very good.

Photo of badbeer
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out black with a tan head that doesn't last and leaves no lacing. Smell is excellent, chocolate-y, dark fruits, vanilla and oak. Unfortunately, the taste has a strong alcohol taste and burn to it. You can sense the malty flavors beneath, but they're being overpowered at the moment. Thick mouthfeel, carbonation was borderline flat. Too much alcohol for now. I think this would be amazing with age on it.

Photo of Mora2000
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kaiser81 for sending me this bottle as an extra.

Pours black with a beige head. The aroma is strong roasted malt and oak. The flavor is great, with coffee, oak and roasted malt. You also get some vanilla. Not much alcohol in the flavor but you do get some alcohol warming. You get a little bitterness at the very end. Very viscous beer and very smooth and creamy. Awesome beer.

Photo of mattster
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened 22 ounce bomber bottle, poured into Nonic glass.

Poured a dark tan colored head of ½" atop a dark black opaque brew (it was that dark).

Smell is of dark chocolate with notes of coffee... Almost frappacino smelling. Taste is similar to smell, with a slight hint of vanilla, presumably from the oak, but I really have to look to find any oak at all. Mouth feel is a bit viscous - as the name might suggest - really nice brew. Finish is good with slight but present aftertaste. Really nice finish. I plan on buying more of this.

As I look at the bottom of the empty bottle, the smell is almost as impressive as what is coming from the glass... Really good stuff.

Photo of magictrokini
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Okay, this is just a phenomenal beer. Black pour, thick short brown head, solid aroma of molasses, roasted malt, chocolate, and some hops. Strong taste of mostly the same, with leather, old wood, soy, and some alcohol in the finish. Very smooth. Love that they bottled this.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a stemless snifter.

Pours black as motor oil with just a tinge of dark brown lacing. Nose is a bit boozy and sweet, nice and roasty.

Taste is very sharp but surprisingly not boozy at all. Lots of roasted dark malts and some earthy/raisin notes with a good sharp finish. Overall a pretty easy drinker for such a big beer.

Photo of RTEdmunds
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22 ozer into a pint glass.

Pours nice and thick, sludgy in appearance. the label itself looks pretty awesome too, I must say.

Smells roasty, and pretty sweet. Very appealing.

Tastes bold, but not overpowering. Nice complex flavor with some molasses in it.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth considering its alcohol content. Some nice chocolatey aftertaste can be detected.

Overall an excellent product. Cheers.

Photo of ehammond1
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2010)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

(Aged for 1 year)

The very darkest of auburn browns, but not quite black, with a thick, persistent brown head. Leaves webs of lacing down the glass.

The aroma primarily consists of espresso and coffee, with some sweet chocolate, along with faint vanilla, wood, and earth.

Lots of interesting flavors blend together, this is not a typical American-style big stout. Wood and vanilla highlight the roast and coffee flavors, along with some chocolate, some earth, and a medicinal alcohol edge.

Thin to medium bodied with a strong and hot alcohol component.

Not one of my favorite Port offerings or favorite big stouts, though still decent, above average, and worth drinking.

Photo of far333
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Onyx colored with no light getting through. A low light brown head rises up just a bit and settles out quickly.

Inviting aroma of dark sweet malt, molasses, and a bit of smoke.

Rich flavors of molasses, smokey burnt oak, hop bitter, espresso, and dark chocolate. There's a sharp bite in the finish seemingly from the alcohol, and an alcohol warmth envelopes the mouth. I think my tongue is numb. Seems more Imperial stout than an Old or Strong ale. The portion aged in bourbon barrels definitely contributes to the flavor profile.

Slick mouthfeel, but lots of carb tingles upfront and warmth throughout the mouth.

Photo of marquinoftroy
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is really dark, like straight black coffee, with squid ink. Smells like dark toasted coffee and chocolate. On the initial taste, it's very roasty, almost burnt, but as you sip it some more you notice different layers and it grows on you; gets really good. A good sturdy and viscous beer. This booze is well hidden, does not feel like ten percent. What also makes this beer even better is that it's not that expensive for it's style and it's taste.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As advertised, looks like old viscosity (the oil), has a tan head, 1" thick, nice, no carbonation problems here. Aroma, a little bit of everything, chocolate, vanilla, coffee. Chocolate dominates.

Like I said, chocolate, a lot for a beer w/o chocolate in the name (Younger's, Rogue, Southern Tier all have more, but are marketed as such, in fact, we had Rogue's Chocolate just before this beer). Damn, this hides the 10% alcohol extremely well. Throw in a tiny amount of cherry, wood, syrup/molasses and tobacco in the mouthfeel.

Drank this while watching Nevada choke against Hawaii. Was so drinkable. Sipper? Yes, but who says you can't sip and sip and sip for hours on end?

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Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 1,842 ratings.