Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Old Viscosity | Port Brewing

879 Reviews
For Trade:
Old ViscosityOld Viscosity

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by drewbage on 08-11-2004

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 879 | Ratings: 1,949
Photo of DaveBar
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got on trade! 650ml bottle served at 8deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a 1" head that lasts for a few minutes before film out. Very dark brown colour

S- Nice malt and sugar. Good chocolate and some heat.

T- Chocolate and malt. Some bittering hops but not much. Burnt at the end. Ok but just not that roasted malt this way fan of 2 row.

M- Dry and tart. Not that creamy going down.

O- Not a bad brew. Pretty average but believe would be a good base on a bourbon barrel aged stout.

Food Pairing

This not too bad brew went well with..... Marxhmellows and chocolate with hot crispy wafers of the graham type!!


 629 characters

Photo of Tommo
3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

based on older viscosity, i thought id like this. Was mediocre at best. I felt the beer was overly bitter, not carrying enough body, and too hoppy. mildly acrid if that is fair

 176 characters

Photo of mjpolzin
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A good, complex tasting imperial stout but lacked the barrel aged character that I was hoping for with something that is in fact barrel aged. One positive I will say is that with a decent amount of roastiness, I think this one could age very well.

 248 characters

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

Looks excellent, truly like used motor oil just as much as any other beer, full on inch of head on the top, tan. Aroma was lots of chocolate malt, roastiness, vanilla, coffee malt smells in that order.

Hides the alcohol, chocolate malt just chews and chews the hell out of it, makes this so smooth and drinkable. Some earthy tobacco and thick consistency make this a great cigar beer as well.

One of the best non barrel aged imperial stouts out there.

 457 characters

Photo of unclekeith
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 in a goblet

L: Jet black with a small tan head disipatting quickly to a collar
S: Dark fruit, roasted malt, alcohol,
T: Roasted malt, coffee, nice bitterness, dry
F: Full bodied, great carb,
O: A great stout, very drinkable considering the viscosity

 256 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Super dark with a tan head that left a spot or two of lacing. Smells like oak, booze and chocolate. The taste is bitter burnt coffee, chocolate, oak and booze. Really solid stout.

 179 characters

Photo of CoreyC
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - motor oil, as you would expect
S - nice brunt malts
T - coffee, chocolate and slightly bitter
M - thick
O - solid stout, not too complex, may be a good one to age, especially at the very reasonable price point

 213 characters

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.

 302 characters

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.

 626 characters

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.

 253 characters

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.

 1,798 characters

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.

 297 characters

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.

 523 characters

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!

 327 characters

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+

 1,041 characters

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.

 232 characters

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.

 184 characters

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.

 2,771 characters

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

 619 characters

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.

 1,841 characters

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.

 493 characters

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.

 446 characters

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.

 330 characters

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.

 345 characters

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.

 209 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 879 ratings.