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Old Viscosity - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Old ViscosityOld Viscosity

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1,754 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,754
Reviews: 847
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 154
Gots: 266 | FT: 18
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: scottoale on 07-09-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,754 | Reviews: 847 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sholland119
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

A-Pours a deep black with a small tan head that quickly dissipates.

S-Very rich and complex. Lots of caramel and toffee.

T-A chocolate sweetness on the front with a burnt coffee roastiness in the finish. A little bit of alcohol in the finish but very subtle.

M-Very smooth and light on the palate, surprising for this big a beer.

D-A very drinkable strong beer so be careful!

I love Port's beers and this one is up to the standard. Big but balanced and easy to drink.

Photo of willjschmidt
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours jet black with a very small tan head. Quite possibly the blackest beer I've ever seen.

S: Big and bold dark fruits such as figs and cherries mixed with a bit of burnt toffee.

T: Quite an interesting brew. Very complex, layers upon layers of different flavors. I believe the most prominent were anise and licorice. There is also some classic stout flavors such as espresso and burnt toffee. It's on the sweet side and it finishes with some tart chocolate.

M: It's thick with a low level of carbonation.

D: This is a sipper but I found that it was easier to drink than I expected. The alcohol is hidden very well but it certainly catches up with you at some point.

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think they may have updated the bottle design. Very different, I question its claim as an American Strong Ale. Still, I like it. Pours an extremely dark brown with a light brown head that disappears in about a minute thirty. Aroma is chocolate covered cherries (by far the strongest description of the smell). Some light hops in the background. Taste is like a strong sweet stout; coffee, but it has the spirt/hop and alcohol profile of an American strong ale. Intresting Combination. Goes down oily smooth with lively carbonation. Very unique.

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

Got this one from cburian. Thanks Chris!
There was a weak hiss when I popped the cap and a hard pour produced a thin, fine ring of brownish bubbles. Spotty lacing that really stuck to the glass. It looked quite thick off the pour too. Caramel aroma with roasty, dark malts and a bit of fruit. Fairly mellow with a bit of chocolate too. Mild alcohol, slightly vinous. Great flavour. Sweetness up front balanced by roasted grains and moderate bitterness. Notes of chocolate and licorice filled out the middle, along with mild fruit (cherry and raisin). Alcohol became more prominent towards the end, with a peppery finish. Lingering roast and toffee. Lots of chocolate as it warmed. Full bodied, low carbonation, silky/malty texture with plenty of warmth. This is great stuff. Superb balance for such strong character. You definitely need to let this one warm up to at least cellar temperature before the flavour really pops. Too cold and it loses its punch.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler received in a GIF from IntriqKen Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid black that no light gets through. Starts with a thin tan head that goes away quickly. Aroma is really nice chocolates, coffee, some dried fruit, a little caramel. Taste follows the smell, but adds some alcohol bite in the end. Mouthfeel is thick as promised. Excellent brew, very complex, thick, tasty. Send more.

Photo of yourefragile
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Looks like a great RIS, very dark opaque brown with a massive, dense tan head. Head never really goes away and leaves great sticky, thick lacing. Doesn't look quite as thick visually as I expected however.
S: Smells sweet, def not like a RIS. Vanilla, caramel, roasted flavors, light coffee, cream but also strong smell from the bourbon to balance out the sweetness. Surprisingly little alcohol peaking through.
T: Big time malt flavors up front, chocolate, roasted flavors etc. Following is a slight coffee taste before the warming sensation of the bourbon kicks in and finishes with a strong, slightly bitter taste that is very persistent. Alternate drinks would finish slightly sweeter with more of the malt flavors then back to a punch from the bourbon. While this tastes strongly of alcohol I would still say the 10% abv is well hidden and not off putting. Some hops, but not nearly as hoppy as Santa's Little Helper.
M: Very creamy and almost thick mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation. Very warming.
D: For as much flavor as this packs and how persistent the aftertaste is this doesn't become a burden to drink like some other RIS end up being for me. Reminds me of Weyerbacher's Heresy in some ways but much more interesting to drink (and easier).

Photo of francisweizen
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This review is from a fresh bottle from the first batch enjoyed at the Toronado. This beer is dark, seriously, like I mean in a cave speluning dark. No light penetrates this beast of a beer, and there is a small cap of illy espresso foam on the top of this brew that stays for the duration of the tipple. Aromas are dark, burnt, roasted malts, chocolate, heavy duty coffee, and more roasted malts. Hops are green and piney but only faintly in the background here as this is a malt bomb. Taste i heavy with roasted malts, some caramel, chocolate, and more coffee. This is pretty straight up but the balance is so rock solid and that is what really elevates this one to the next level. Mouthfeel is thick and coating, but not cloying with sweetness and the drinkability is good, but limited due to the serious heft that this one holds.

Photo of largadeer
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Dark, muddy brown; very nearly black. Pours like oil with no head other than a few wispy bubbles floating around on top.

Smell - Chocolate syrup, molasses, hints of oak and vanilla with plenty of noticeable alcohol.

Taste - Molasses, cocoa, toffee, vanilla - sweet at first, and then a permeating bitterness hits the palate. The finish combines intensely bitter roasted barley mixed with a massive herbal hop kick and an astringent alcohol flavor. Much complexity, though it's really a bit over the top; I could never drink an entire bottle of this.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and minimally carbonated. Syrupy on the palate - this is seriously thick stuff.

Notes - Beer for masochists. Sure, there are stronger beers out there, but very few of them have the ability to wreck the palate like Old Viscosity. The Bottle of The Abyss I had yesterday was downright mild compared to this.

Photo of ChazMania
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A) Very dark and thick. Pours like a syrup!

S) Malts, caramel, vanilla and slight bourbon.

T) Huge. Big malty chocolate syrup vanilla bourbon and maybe fig.

M) Thick and chewy, nearly like a piece of fudge!

D) Great, but must drink slow.

I have yet to not like anything from Port Brewing/Lost Abbey. Great beer.

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

dmeadows, thanks for this bottle

Pours thick and noisy.

My first sniff confused me. I picked hints of citrus and other fruity smells...cherries. The second pass is where I picked up chocolate, coffee, vanilla, creams, bourbon...along with the citrus and fruit.

The flavors come together well to create an exciting beer experience. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Smooth ride.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber> Fat 24 oz snifter glass

This one made me do a double-take, I mean it looks exactly like what I would expect a really nice RIS to look like, But I know that's not the case because I have a bottle of Santa's Little Helper right in front of me...So with a scratch of the head I continue. This one pours as thick as molases, which is to be expected, but this one is a dark Brown as you can get, no light getting through here, but not exactly black either. The wonderful, stout-like head is a tan and brown color that is 3" deep, smooth and thick. dissipates ultra slow. turtle slow. The lacing is big and very sticky. Clumpy.

The aroma...Creme Brulle. Cooked chocolate and cream with vanilla, roastie oats, Very aromatic malt! The heat is high and tingles the nose. Almond scented coffee with a mild herbalness representing the hops. The complexity is wicked high, high enough so that my girlfriend asked me, "are you just going to smell that beer all night?" I'm still convinced that if I had sniffed this beer blind I would've thought it was a RIS.

The flavor: "Beyond the pale" Big-roastie chocolate, toffee, caramel, Latte-supreme with vanilla and almonds...and that's just the malt flavors!! Very complex. The heat is high, like a whiskey shot, but it adds further depth and finds a nice balance with the spicey, herbal but highly acidic cascade-like hop flavor. West coast Stylie! The after-taste is a smokey, bitter and lingering flavor.

As full as Full can feel! This thing is thick and heady. The alcohol heat provides a warming feel as well. Still, i feel like I'm drinking a big RIS. 'Nough said.

THe Brew trancends a style. high velocity, deep complexity, a true sipper that has an ABV of 10% but it feels like 20%. high grade yummy.

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

Pours black with a rich tan head. There are no limits to the head formation, as much as you want based on how you pour it and it sticks for while, dropping into a rocky, frothy finger cap. The smell is somewhat roasty with a good dose of cocoa powder.

The taste hits with dark chocolate, roasted malt (not to the levels of a stout), and some slight acidity. At 10% ABV, the alcohol is also quite present. Everything else about this beer is good. As a strong ale it delivers with good almost-stout-like flavor. Mouthfeel is pretty slick as expected. About medium-heavy on the weight scale. When in the mood for a strong dark roasty beer like this I can think of few better alternatives.

4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to an almost blackish brown body that shows no light when held to a flame. Head is a chocolate brown foam at about an inch and a half with nice retention. Nose is vesty with rich malt and sweet spices that have hints of alchol, toffee, and cordials. Enters the mouth just as darkness should, long rich and full of flavors such as burnt malt nuttiness, toasted biscuits and subtle dry sweetness. A big dark beer with wonderful complexity. Mouthfeel is warm and welcomed. Alchol is scary well hidden except for the belly warming. There is even a trace of hop bitter to the finish. A super drinkable beer that I wish I could find locally.

Photo of NewSc2
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good beer, compares pretty favorably to Alesmith's Speedway (although it's been a few weeks since I've had one of those). Roasted notes and a good dose of chocolate compliment the beer. The barrel taste is there but not overwhelming (in a good or bad way) like other beers. Drinks well but I had to slow down as I got close to the end of a 22 (duh).

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to SuzyGreenberg for the trade.

This beer pours a thick jet impenetrable black. Thin, thin layer of beige head bubbles despite strong elevated pour. The nose has oak, rich vanilla, bourbon, and cream notes. Smells alittle of alcohol. smells to me almost like tiramisu. Mouthfeel is thick as hell, very chewy. This beer is incredible! The first thing I think of is instantly tiramisu. Black chocolate, coffee, rich cake and thick vanilla flavors. DAMN!! This is an incredible brew. The finish has a nice little hop bite. Smoootttthhhh!!!. I just acquired two older viscosities (thanks JCB) and the first taste of this inspired me to pull the one i put in the fridge out and cellar it with the other. The smoothness of this beer is incredible. Very good, yet light alcohol flavors. This is very much a desert. Incredibly drinkable and very tasty. WOW. I love this beer. This one is defenitely worth all the hype. I am priveleged to have experienced this beer. Thanks again to SuzyGreenberg.

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

a: This beer made a strange glugging sound I hadn't heard before while I was pouring. This beer is thick! The pour produced a massive tan head that lingered for quite a while. Looks like an impy stout.

s: Sure doesn't smell like an impy stout though. Vanilla and a surprisingly strong grapefruit hop are the most obvious aromas. Some fruity esters that suggest cherries and a bit of coffee also. As it breathes and warms the bourbon begins to assert itself.

t: Doesn't taste like an impy stout either. Earthy oaky bourbon and a dry grapefruit hop dominate while allowing some cherries, vanilla, and dark chocolate to peek through. This is an enigmatic, bizarre, and wonderful beer.

m: Sooo thick and silky. This coats the entire mouth with vanilla bourbon goodness. The tongue tickling carbonation is perfect.

d: Bombers of this are a bit pricey in these parts, but somehow I have to force the PA Dutchman in me to buy some more. Port Brewing has made something both unique and delicious, they deserve tons of credit.

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

Pours a very dark, opaque black with no head even off a pretty firm pour. Nose is heavy with alcohol. Very slight roasted tones to it. Flavor is extremely robust with a roasted quality to it that is deep and clings to the palate. Unfortunately, that drops off to a thinner flavor, though there is still a strong lasting aftertaste. Feel is low on carbonation and bordering on syrup like. Overall a pretty good beer. I only wish the initial flavor profile would hold out a lot longer.

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

Bottle. Poured a blackish-brown color with a thick brown head. A very nice aroma of vanilla and bourbon. Maybe even a little hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel is pretty nice, although not as full as the pour led me to believe it would be. Flavor is also not really what I thought it'd be. It was more of a porter or chocolate stout than a Strong Ale, in my opinion. There wasn't really that much bourbon flavor to it. Although this is a good beer (a really good beer), the flavor didn't stack up to the aroma and appearance.

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

Thick and gooey black pouring outa the bomber, yeah, this ain’t my fathers oil.

Surprisingly a malty chocolate aroma, followed by the quaff –whoo, this is one double rich brew. Strong pop of vanilla coffee making their presence know, bourbon aging not as much of a player as I would have like – but I’m also a bourbon man. But the hop kick is impressive and tasty. Very nice brew – no way ya know it’s 10% until you try to get outa your chair.

I got this gem from ol’ leftmindedrighty in a very nice trade, thanks mucho Aaron!

Photo of Bierman9
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz bomber bottle. A mid-Christmas Day break from my daughters arguing with each other over CDs and DVDs and headphones... blah blah blah.... Gimme a break!! Anyhow, to the bier...

Using my Rapscallion goblet, the bier poured jet black, inky and oily, with a miniscule layer of fine, beige bubbles. They mostly opted to cling to the rim, leaving the surface bare and opaque. A little lacing here and there was produced, though minimally. Aroma comes forth with some roasty choco malt notes, some bitterness, and a distinct bourbonish character. Nicely thick, almost to the point of chewiness, Old V has a solid body, with a slick and smooth feel on the tongue.

Flavorwise, roasty notes of coffee and bitter choco abound. Lightly sweet, with suggestions of molasses, the bier coats the mouth nicely, with floral hopping making a late appearance. Traces of bourbon are noticeable, though well-restrained. I hate the wave of bourbon-aged biers which reek of liquor and not bier. Give me subtle, anytime. As far as the aftertaste goes, the roasty attributes meld with the florality and coalesce into a long, pleasurable finish. And try as I might, I get no feel at all that this is 10% abv. Well-hidden, 'tis. A solidly-made bier; a tasty prelude to the inviting Christmas-Day ham cooking away under my Mothers watchful eye. Thnx go to old "Bro" Artied2, who brought forth this bier for my last birthday.... (err, latest birthday; hopefully not my last!).


overall: 4.30
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


Photo of Kudashov
4.76/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was my first introduction to the NBS ~ New Beer Sunday ~ brood . I told Malty that this is my first brew for it but I did not get a chance to put my paperwork to the laptop . This is one of my favorite brews since I started the addiction of looking good beer . On the label it says " Not Your Dad's 30 Weight " but , it does look like motor oil and pours like motor oil . The color of this brew is as black as night and there is a nice full , thick head as it is poured into my beer mug . Smells and looks like a stout . I love this . Roasted coffee , toasted Irish bread and oatmeal raisin cookie aromas are there . Bourbon lingers on the nose when I take a nice deep inhale . After a few sips my glass is " dirty " . The lacing is everywhere and it looks soooo much like used threading oil . Did I tell you that I love this ? With beers that have the ABV well hidden my cheeks turn red , this stuff has that and the tips of my ears red too . Take the chill out of the lousy winter that we are having in the city of Boston ~ but our sports teams are not doing that bad ~ .

The mouthfeel is is thick , oily , chewy / crusty . Like treacle bread . The label says 10.0% ABV but there is no burn and the drinkability is fantastic . This will be one of my " go to's " from now on . Cheers to the lads at Port Brewing for making a brew that is out of this world . Hope Santa puts some of this in my stocking .

Go Pats . C'mon the Hoops ...

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

A: An exceptionally aggressive pour into my DFH snifter resulted in a jet black body with a half inch mocha colored head.

S: This is an incredibly complex aroma. I'm not sure I even know where to start. It is very apparent that some of this beer has seen the inside of a bourbon barrel. That is the primary aroma I smell here; sweet oaky bourbon. That is followed up by raisins, chocolate, and caramel. Reminds me a bit of World Wide Stout or some kind of strong Old Ale.

T: Again, the oak and bourbon are right up front. This is a very boozy tasting beer. There are raisins and a touch of burnt something. The flavor fades into dark cocoa. In short, the flavor is very sweet and fairly boozy.

M: Nice medium heavy body with good smoothness. Many times I'd associate a beer this oaky with a thinner body, but this one is nice.

D: I'm gonna let a couple more of these age and try them in a while. It seems to me like they'll get better.

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

A - Dark black and thick with a slight head that goes to nothing.

S - Chocolate, coffee and sweet malt. Oaky/vanilla/bourbon in there too.

T - Dark fruits, coffee, dark choco and the previously mentioned oaky/vanilla/bourbon. Finish has a nice hop flavor.

M - Thick with a decent carbo. Coats well, but no overly so.

D - Pretty drinkable for a huge 10% beer. The flavors a balanced with out being over powering. I finished my bomber without help.

I really like this beer. Complex with big flavors all playing nice together. Really seems like a stout to me. I will seek this out again.

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

Take me to school yet another time this week. I understand that American Strong Ale enjoys a wide interpretation, but this one does remind one of a Double Stout or a RIS. Pours an opaque darkness with a shallow dark tan head that fades fairly quickly and leaves a nice striated lacing pattern. The smell is full, rich and thick and chocolaty. Lightly toasted with a nice whiff of vanilla from the barrel treatment. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel of this sipper is full bodied, silky smooth with a light tang from the warming 10% ABV. The texture coats the tongue lightly, as you might expect from name, but it isn't as pronounced as some Double Stouts. Full flavored, the taste is great. A nice lightly toasted malt, chocolate and cherry vanilla that lingers appropriately. A really nice drinker. Highly recommended.

Photo of UnionMade
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Popped a bomber bought up in MA about a year ago.
Totally pitch black, with barely a wisp of sandy colored head. Carbonation rises very, very slowly after a good pour, like it's slogging it's way through actual motor oil. Would look perfect if there was any trace of head after the first sip. Given the trouble the bubbles have getting to the surface, it's easily overlooked.
Smells very vinous. Rich notes of sherry sit atop heaps of creamy caramel, black malt and blowtorched molasses. Some alcohol plays with dark, squashed fruit, and there's strong notes of raisin, plum and wine grapes. Don't forget about the figs, they're well present. Cocoa and light vanilla as well. Is this barrel aged?
My most immediate impression upon the first sip is that this is possibly the thickest feeling beer I've ever drank. Very slick and oily, with gentle carbonation barely creeping through to sparkle on the tongue. It has that cask-like low carbonation. Given that I enjoy beers like this, it's very fantastic. The heaping amount of blackened malt doesn't hurt, either. Very, very rich, with enormous sweetness and fruit presence. If it's purple or dark red and grows on a plant, it's in there. Fig, date, cherry, raisin, cabernet grapes, concord grapes, asian plum, prune, blackberry, loganberry and any other kind of dark berry. Drizzle all that with clover honey and gooey caramel, then generously sprinkle over with cocoa powder. Very subtle hop presence, I can't place the variety, though it feels like fuggles and goldings, just a tinge of herbal bitterness beneath the bittersweet malt, maple syrup and boozy finish. Tar, leather, oak and tobacco. Very pleasant aged qualities, smooth and honeyed, with a silky, vinous feel. Super thick and sludgy, I feel like I need a butterknife to finish this one off.
I popped this bottle with the idea that it's an imperial stout, but it seems to be some crazy hybrid of an imperial stout and barleywine, with leanings towards old ale, three threads porter and english strong ale. Very malt driven, which is a nice change in an american big beer. The bottle can't be more than a year and a half old, but it tastes like a 3-4 year old barleywine at least. Very tasty, but hard to sip too much in one sitting. I split up the bomber over the course of 24 hours.

Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 1,754 ratings.