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Old Viscosity - Port Brewing

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Old ViscosityOld Viscosity

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1,779 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,779
Reviews: 854
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 155
Gots: 271 | FT: 19
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: 1,779 | Reviews: 854 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Papagos Brewing
Poured a deep black with a thin white head. Nose is of dark fruits, oak, vanilla and chocolate, relatively faint. Taste is cocoa, oakiness, roasted malts and hints of vanilla. Mouthfeel was good but not that creamy. Good brew but I enjoyed the bottle version much better.

Photo of davey
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass out of a 22oz bottle. Got this two days ago at "By the Bottle" in Vancouver, WA. I've heard a lot of nice things about this beer, and have been looking forward to trying it.

A-Very dark , not as thick as I thought it would be. Pours with a nice sandy colored head.

S-Not getting much in terms of smell. Light caramel and chocolate with roasted malt. The alcohol is hidden well, but the bourbon is there.

T-Definitely tasting the roasted malts. Vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and cherry. Maybe even a little licorice. Goes down really smooth and silky. The bourbon flavor doesn't really hit you until it goes down.

M-Really thick, light syrup feel.

D-For 10%, this is very drinkable. I could definitely have 1 or 2 more of these. Really enjoyed drinking and can't wait to get my hands on more brews from Port.

Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received recently from prufrock in secret santa 08.

Appearance: This beer pours a very deep and dark brown color with a very small dark brown head on it.
Smell: The nose starts out with plenty of sweet molasses, licorice, chocolate, and smokey charred oak. The aroma is quite sweet and as the beer warmed toffee and caramel are very present.
Taste: The flavor profile starts out with a blast roasted malt and dark cherries. The finish has plenty of bourbon, anise, and even some coffee lingering in the background.
Mouthfeel: It is very thick and chewy with the alcohol very apparent in the mouthfeel, but at 10% that is to be expected.
Drinkability: I wouldn't reach for this very often, but this sipper is nice if you like bourbon barrel aged type beers.

I personally wasn't a big fan of this beer, and wouldn't be reach for it very often. The alcohol and bourbon overtook most of the other flavors and the complexity of this beer didn't shine through as well as it should have. I am curious if some age on this beer would mellow out those flavors a little bit, and then I think this beer would be a real winner. I tend to vary more on the side of balance when it comes to bourbon barrel aged beers.

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

It looks like delicious, delicious tar. Or motor oil after 12,000 miles in an old beater. It's thick and dark, and has heavy chunks of sediment resting at the bottom.

So, as I mentioned previously, this is thick and dark. It pours in a syrupy fashion, generating only a thin film of head which laces surprisingly well.

It tastes chalky, tarry, dark, bitter, sweet, smokey, and molassesy all at the same time. There's a lot going on here.

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

Opaque black beer with a small tan head. Not much Belgian lace. Roasted black malt aroma and somewhat sweet smelling. Flavor was that of a warm high alcohol American Imperial Stout should be. Rich, chocolate and coffeelike. Nice hop balance. Very smooth and easy drinking but definently a sipping beer.

Photo of Packforever1976
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes. Consumed on 10-12-08

A: Jet black, thick tan head, good retention. Decent lacing.

S: Bitter malt, chocolate, dark roast coffee.

T: Hot up front. Bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee. Bitter at the back. I also pick up some ginger and molasses.

M: Moderate carbonation, thick and chewy.

D: Drinkable for the style. A little hot for me, but still good.

Photo of GilGarp
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to rnorgart for this one, the last of his generous trade. At the time, I couldn't get this in Colorado but now it's everywhere. Not that I'm complaining...

Pours from a bomber into the curvy sam adams glass with little head. Very dark brown, almost black, in color with a skim layer of bone head.

Aroma is sweet and malty with some carmel and coffee.

Flavor is very big with tons of roasty malt character, some dark cherries, and french roast coffee.

Extremely full bodied (hence the reference to motor oil on the bottle) with great mouth coating ability. Suitably low carbonation in keeping with the style.

Drinkability would be limited mostly because of the thickness and alcohol.

Overall a very good beer but I have to disagree with the clasification. All signs point to imperial stout.

Photo of MisterClean
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at kerstbier tasting at the Shack. Somebody else brought in.

A - Pours dark brown, 1 fingered head, but dissipates fast.

S - Anise, leather, chocolate, and dark roast coffee. Several of us disagreed on the smells, but we all found this in common.

T - Anise, dark roast coffee, chocolate, and light to medium warming alcohol.

M - Slightly thin, but good. For a name like old viscosity, expect a little more richness and thickness in the feel.

D - It's good, but a little thin on the viscous. This would be a great beer to age to see what it tastes like when it grows up.

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

pours a jet black (like motor oil, 30 weight perhaps?), thin brown head, good lacing.

smell is of cocoa, some coffee, vanilla, licorice, touch of roasted nuts.

taste is thick and creamy at first, then becomes more chewy, deep dark chocolate, licorice, some wood, ends dry with some bitter.

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass: No freshness date to be found

P: Simply put, it exits the bottle looking midnight black like dirty motor oil. As it sits blacker than black in the glass, it looks like some axel grease from an old '69 chevy. Not much of a head was produced, even with an aggressive pour. But, what was there was a creamy, light brown skin of foam that retreated quickly to form a halo of bubbles around the top of the glass, with no lacing left behind.

A: Smells of roasted chocolate malts, coffee, nuts, and Bourbon.

T: Surprisingly sweet. Roasted chocolate malts, a wee-bit of burnt sugar, and dark fruits backed by a bit of a hickory-smoked wood flavor and some Bourbon. The Bourbon-flavored alcohol builds like a creshendo and peaks at the pleassantly dry finish that is packed with chocolatey, coffee-ridden flavors that tend to last. With that being said, the Bourbon doesn't heat the mouth or throat, but does light the furnace in the chest for sure. Very tasty!

M: Old Viscosity is a bit shy of being truly full-bodied. It's very creamy, silky-smooth, and luxurious, while at the same time being a bit airy. Very leniently carbonated, as there is little to no "bite" on the tongue.

D: Anything this tasty is very drinkable in my book. I put down a 22 with no problem at all. But, seeing as how this is a 10% brew, I'm not sure how long I could drink these. One thing's for certain, I'd go down swingin' with all my might!

Notes: It's listed as an American Strong Ale, but it sure tastes like it's bordering on being a Stout to me! Very tasty, and so easy-drinking for such a big beer that it's scary. Anyone who is a fan of the darks should do themselves a favor and drink some motor oil - uh, I mean some Old Viscosity, for sure. Highly recommended!

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 Bung
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black chocolate pour with little bubbles permeating and a brownish head. Coffee/mocha and roasted aromas. Coffee that blends into mocha and roast maltiness. Coffee bitter mellows as the beer warms. Finish with some faint charcoal. Some alcohol warmth for sure, but not bad or overpowering. Pretty much full bodied. Excellent, would love to get my hands on the older. Guessing it has more sweet tones and barrel.

Photo of Chelsea1905
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured Very Dark, into a pint glass. Held up to a table lamp and got some light brown tints at the bottom of the glass, and that was all! Head was Khaki in colour and faded very quickly. New Pint glass, so not sure if that has something to do with it, but NO lacing at all!!!

Smelled like fresh seaweed, smoke, peat, chocolate, mature cheese, and coffee. Not much of a smell fo alcohol

The alcohol hits pretty hard in the initial rush of flavour, but soon subsides to malt, chocolate, coffee and damp wood (not that I eat damp wood!)

Slightly gassy, and not as smooth as say a stout, but nice.

10% ABV, didn't notice till I was done, so pretty drinkable, but not going to be knocking these babies back

Photo of dukedevil0
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this bomber from Binny's Lakeview in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours a DARK black. No light getting through. Khaki colored head, but not much of it and lots of lacing on the glass from the head that is there.

S: Coffee, Chocolate, and Roast with some alcohol being picked up too.

T: Just like the smell...coffee, chocolate, and roast...and boy is it tasty! Very slight bite from the alcohol/possibly from the bourbon barrel aging, but it's well balanced.

M: Lower carbonation and thus the brew has some creaminess.

D: I'd say very drinkable for a beer of this type. I could drink this a lot on a cold night until I either got full or passed out!

Reminds me of Founder's Breakfast Stout....might have to try them both side by side to see which I prefer. But this a beer that I wouldn't mind having one around...

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

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black color with a nice sized tan head that left bits of sticky lacing behind.

S - roasted malty aroma with a light earthy undertone.

T - rich roasted malty flavor all the way through, the barrel aging takes a back seat to the bold malty taste.

F - medium/full bodied with a smooth feel.

D - a delicious treat to savour sip by sip.

Photo of swizzlenuts
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The nose on the beer has a bit of chocolate and burnt hints to it, but not much else. Alcohol comes through a bit, but it doesn't ruin the nose. The beer poor a very very dark ruby colour with a tan head of about an inch. Pretty good retention and looks pretty damn tasty. The alcohol is definitely the most present taste at first with a nice burnt roasted flavour in the back ground. There are some caramel hints to the beer as well as some Scottish flavours. There is actually a lot going on in this beer but it's almost like there is too much and they come into one huge flavour that I can't describe. At the end of the drink the roasted bitterness is quite tasty. More drinks of the beer make it really smooth with it's bitterness and roasty flavours. The alcohol is still present, but it's tasty. The mouth feel is nice and thick! Exactly what I wanted! It's decently drinkable.

Photo of roadhouse
3.16/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appears jet black in color, thick and viscous, no surprise. Tan head of about one-third of an inch sinks to a skim quite quickly. Spotty lacing is left behind.

Aromas of oak, anise, vague roasted malts, and a very slight caramel sweetness. This is bourbon barrel aged? Where's the bourbon?

The taste is similar with the oak and anise up front, more roasted malts, a bit of charred wood, then the end is vinous kind of like wine. Again, where's the bourbon?

Mouthfeel is medium-full, kind of chewy, with a soft carbonation.

This reminded me of Haand Dark Force which I did not enjoy. It must be aged in bourbon barrels that have never had bourbon in them. Not what I expected at all, I would not recommend it.

Photo of rtepiak
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour is quite dark. quite thick. black in a poorly lit hopleaf. the head is nice. some lace. as stated on the hopleaf tap menu: porter with 20% from bourbon casks. 10.5abv. the nose is a nice malt, wood, apple, plum, under a heavier cocoa and a neatly blended bourbon vanilla. not boozy at all surprisingly. at taste i thought it was a RIS. the bitter comes like a nail... but just momentarily. goes down a warm chalky cocoa, with an instance of stale grape malt sour porter that quickly fades to warm wood tobacco hop. very old ale like. vanilla sits nicely on the tongue. this is a very nice brew. but it has potential of being fantastic... i would like to feel the porter aspect a bit more. i feel the blended aspect but of a porter in this. i could see where the guys at hopleaf got that but i would like more. i have found myself looking for something between a porter, old ale, RIS. great beer. will have again. would like to cellar though.

had it again in a bottle. the chocolate is more prevalent. a bit overcasting on the rest of the favors. still a fan though. i would recommend letting it breath if that makes any sense.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 3/31/08. Bottle. Poured a dark black with a slight dark tan head that dissipated. Aroma of coffee, smoke, medicinal esters (faint). Taste of coffee, medicinal esters (particularly cough syrup), chocolate, more smoke. Finish of bitterness and alcohol. Mouthfeel was thick, syrupy. I thought this was more like an imperial stout than an American strong. A solid, enjoyable brew. 8/5/7/4/15 (3.9/5)

Photo of ccrida
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into my Delirium snifter, Old Viscosity is black, with a very creamy, dark tan head that leaves light, sticky lace.

Smell is deep, dark fruit, chocolate andvery vinous, waxy .

Taste is incredible, I was not expecting this, remarkably reminiscent of Oerbier Gran Reserve, I wasn't aware of the acidity. Wow. After the Allagash Black (which had 2 more months then this 3 month old), I'm feeling incredibly fortunate - and gluttoness!
very rich and complex. Very vinous, black cherry esters, oaky, moderate phenolics and fusels, extreme depth. I wasn't expecting the acidity but I dig, although I could do with less heat. As it warms, there's to much spicy potpourri, with an almost dusty floral bite. Some cherry cough syrup that I really don't mind at all! Most like a Baltic porter, which I love, but still a bit hot, could probably go a long while. Soapiness built up. Like Cherry Adam.

Mouthfeel is dry and solvent like, medium bodied, but with a remarkable creaminess that leaves a film on the lips like cocoa foam.

Drinkability is high, in that this is a fantastic beer. With exceptional depth, it's not one to drink with anything but a revered appreciation. I had no idea what to expect other then a strong dark ale, and am floored. Available it Washington on occasion., I'm stocking up next time I see it. Tastes nothing like snake bile, but not as good for the eyes. And if snake penis was used I would possibly be more viral, but that is not the case or necessary anyways.

Photo of drumrboy22
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade from psprings. 2007 bottle. Poured from 22oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter. Beer was a thick, black color with a small, toffee colored head.

Aroma was bourbon, cherries, raisins, vanilla and oak.

Taste was coffee, bitter chocolate, earthy hops and burnt grains. Not as sweet as expected.

Long, moderately bitter finish.

Surprisingly smooth sipper. Complexities open up as the beer warms. A unique beer that leans towards the RIS side of things. Very tasty beer and one that I would imagine would age quite well.

Photo of bigkahunas4
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Poured a thick inky black, with a big frothy tan head. Some nice suddy lacing. Aroma is big in alcohol, vanilla, and caramel malts.

My non beer drinking sister said it tasted like steak sauce before I tried it, and after my first sip, I said, okay, I see where you're coming from. That said, there were some sweet up front malts, very spicey, with lots of oak and vanilla. Finish is sticky, and roasty like a nice stout. Really a nice combination of what I'd call a strong ale and impy stout.

With a high ABV, it is quite warming. It's complexity, while intriguing isn't meant for serious consumption. Tastey, and worth a try though!

Photo of callmescraps
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, I've been eying this one for awhile now. It may not be my favorite style (not that I'm sure what it's style is) but I do love the Port Brewing crew.

Appearance - Like motor oil. Seriously, they weren't kidding. It's unbelievable. Not only is it black, deep, dark black, but it even pours thickly. It also comes with a cocoa colored head and some excellent lacing.

Smell - Some real malt here, really roasted smelling. Almost a marshmellow hint.

Taste - At first I thought it was pretty down the line. Then I realized it kind of tasted like bourbon. Then some roasted maltiness, with a real alcohol kicker. It's a 10abv that isn't messing around. Then there's that stout-y aftertaste, which I never really enjoy, but is pretty typical of the style.

Mouthfeel - Really excellent. Thick and heavy without being syrupy. Almost creamy.

Drinkability - Every ounce of it's 10abv. It's definitely no joke. It's not impossible, but one is enough.

Well, maybe I should just stop trying to pretend that I like this style. This is a very interesting beverage, and I dig the bourbon, but next time I'll grab a WIPEOUT and go with the sure thing.

Photo of biegaman
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Viscosity seems aptly named; the beer appears thick, turbid and staunchly black. I'll coin the phrase 'soy sauce at midnight' to draw a visual. It is so stubbornly opaque that it refuses any highlighting even when scrutinizingly held under the light. Its head is sienna brown and dresses the beer in a sepia tone.

I get the impression from my first few sniffs that smelling this thing could become a rather time consuming affair. While it might not have enough bourbon to make a Kentucky colonel proud, it sure as hell as enough to make most beer connoisseurs foam at the mouth, myself included.

Port's website says that the initial 80% of this beer was produced from stainless steel fermentation tanks and then blended with 20% that was barrel aged in bourbon vessels. This ratio blends just the right amount of vanilla spice and ashy oak to backdrop a foreground of heavy roast and heated, debittered chocolate.

A few sips in reveals even more of the dark, unrefined cocoa beans now being elegantly blended alongside notes of singed wood, stale coffee, black licorice, crunchy nougat and Madagascar vanilla. The big picture is something that resembles a rich vanilla custard infused with dark caramel and topped with cocoa shavings, hazelnut chunks and butterscotch drizzle.

The mouthfeel is, indeed, thick and sludgy and drinks with a very leathery quality. It is coarse on the palate and resoundingly bitter, again possessing a strong leathery texture. A good portion of the 10% heats through and provides a great deal of warmth to each sip, only to enrich the already decadent profile.

I do favor the Older Viscosity (this same beer only 100% bourbon oak aged for 6 months) but I still commend this for being an exceptional ale. The brewers claim it to blur the boundaries of porter, stout, old ale and barleywine; I'd agree it's hard to define. Whatever it's considered, it's undoubtedly considered good. Nay, really damn good.

Photo of trekbiker3000
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this dark brown/black beer into an oversized mug. The two fingered tan head was creamy and lasted quite a while in the mug. The aroma was coffee and bourbon barrel. Nice and sweet. The taste was a nice sweet bourbon flavor, which was quickly replaced wit the heavy dark coffe and choclate flavors. The aftertaste was very reminiscient of roasted pecans. The alcohol came through a little, but was not bad.
The mouthfeel is very full-bodied, just coating the palate with strong roasted malts. While it is very difficult to finish just one of these bombers, it lasts and lasts, so you really don't need more than one bottle to last half the afternoon.

This bottle was purchased at The Blue Dog Pub in Lansdale, PA (bar with a nice selection of micro-brews, on-tap and sold in their six-pack shop.

Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 1,779 ratings.