1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Old Viscosity - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Old ViscosityOld Viscosity

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,641 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,641
Reviews: 837
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.16%
Wants: 157
Gots: 252 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Port Brewing visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 07-09-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Viscosity Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,641 | Reviews: 837 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewandbbq
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mostly opaque with chestnut edging, and a dark tan head of an eigth of an inch.
The "little head that couldn't" faded to a ring around the rim, leaving behind a placid surface and a few errant dots of lacework.
Aromatics lead off with roasted malts, chocolate, and fruit-laden alcohol.
Porter-esque with some bitter acrid notes, and stout-like with aggresive coffee overtones.
There is a struggle for an underlying citrus fruit to come forth, a testament to a heavy hand adding the northwest hops.
Mouthfeel is creamy and bitter, with a mild stinging quality from the alcohol. Not extremely thick or syrupy as you would find in a good imperial stout, which allows for greater drinkability.
Pallet is heavily roasted and hottish from the alcohol. More juicy fruits try to come forth, but are pummeled by the coffee grounds, bakers chocolate, and acrid malt.
Bitterness is firm and drying, with the overall residuals in the brew being quite limited.
Finishes extremely warming on the back of the throat, with lingering roasted coffee beans and a hint of vanilla.
It seem like a beer that leans in the imperial porter/stout area, but the body is a bit thin for that rhelm.
Arrogant Tommee?

brewandbbq, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of jeffjfindley
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy mackarel... What a beauty. Blacker than Pennzoil, this comes in at a whopping 10%. Dense, wonderfully sticky head. The nose is of dark chocolate, cherries, and alcohol. The taste is more like a cross between an Old Ale and an Imperial Stout than my idea of an American Strong Ale. Fantastically malty and sweet throughout, a little tartness at the end kept it from a 4.5 in taste.

Feel is silky, decadent, and yes, oily. Unless you're Andre The Giant, this should in no way be mistook for a session beer, but for it's pedigree is remarkably drinkable. I'm very glad I finally tried some of Port Brewing's offerings.

jeffjfindley, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of Erdinger2003
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a small head with a smaller lacing and has a great black color. The smell is sweet roasted malts with coffee flavors that smell delicious. The taste is very strong with alcohol and coffee roasted malts. The mouthfeel is a little less than ok, but still ok. Overall the drinkability was a little low due to the high alcohol flavors. I don't think I would have another one.

Erdinger2003, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of hoppymeal
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very murky dark chocolate brown with no head, only a little reddish tan foam that quickly disappears. Not sure if the murkiness is because I just received this recently and it hadn't had enough time to settle or if it is normal for this beer, but I like it. Aroma is rich and sugary, a nice rich pruney bw-old ale aroma. Alcohol is evident in the aroma as well, also a hint of smokiness and some coconut sweetness. Taste is at first rich sweet malts, a nice pruniness typical of a bw. This slowly fades to a good size hop presence of bitter and big dryness. A little roastiness and chocolate in the taste as well, a warming alcohol in the finish. Very good beer with some interesting characteristics, I like the murkiness of it and while there are the rich bw-old ale qualities, there is also a decent amount of stout like qualities, esp in the taste. A good hop dryness is enjoyable now, but i will also look forward to a little age to see what is hidden behind it.

hoppymeal, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a minimal head and a bit of creamy lacing. Smell is mainly malt and molasses with a touch of alcohol. Taste is lightly sweet with a strong malt backbone and alcohol notes. Mouthfeel is chewy and rcih. Drinkability is good for this high abv sipper.

edchicma, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of ultrastrong
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours like motor oil, thick and oily looking. Deeply colored orange/amber head comes up with a vigorous pour. Head settles after a few minutes to a fine persistent layer. Very forward aromas of citrus, fig, dates and dark roast coffee. Very rich in the mouth with a spirity burn up the back of the palate. Flavors in the mouth include burnt coffee mixing with subtle ripe banana flavors. Not much hop aromatics, this powerhouse of an ale seems to swagger and tear around the palate with lots of smoky charred wood and sweet, ripe, dried fruit flavors. The finish is a bit rough, almost bitter. Sadly, the bouquet doesn’t follow into the mouth. So much promise in the aroma and not nearly as much showing up in the mouth.. The etoh is a bit overpowering.

ultrastrong, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of loving44
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured thick and pitch black into my Duvel glass. No light comes through at all... amazing. A frothy brown head rises quickly and fades the same leaving a thin ring around the glass. Old Viscosity is the perfect name for this beer....

Smell: raisins, prune, milk chocolate, alcohol, rich and fulfilling aroma. Very nice.

Taste is all over the place with flavor. Roasty bitter chocolate up front, fairly aggressive hops, molasses, smoke, very malty. This tastes more like a massive strong ale than an imperial stout but it's right on the borderline, this beer is right smack dab in the middle. Very malty with good bitterness and more smoke than roasted flavor. Keeps you coming back again and again!

Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy with tight carbonation. Fairly light and pillowy over the palate.

This beer is very drinkable and that's a scary thought.... I suggest splitting a bomber with a friend because this one pack a serious punch!

loving44, Dec 30, 2006
Photo of instrumentality
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For some reason the name "Old Viscosity" didn't tip me off, and when I read the words "Not Your Dad's Wimpy 30 Weight" across the bottom of the label, my naive response was, "huh?" It wasn't until I poured this beast out of its bomber and into my Stone IRS tulip glass that I understood. This beer pours like motor oil, looks like motor oil (with a bit of brown froth on its surface), and smells...well that's where the similarities end. After sticking my nose into my glass and taking a good whiff (good enough to send a little sample partway up my left nostril), what I experienced was a mixture of coffee beans and a mild sweetness somewhere between maple syrup and molasses. It seemed more like a porter than a strong ale to me, but what do I know? Whatever it was, it was tantalizing.

One sip and I knew I was going to be making another run to the liquor store from whence it came, and hopefully finding some on draught when I head down to San Diego County over the weekend. I'm still very new to the American Strong Ale phenomenon; the only examples I've tried that I know of are Arrogant Bastard and Double Bastard (I missed the Pizza Port Strong Ale fest because I was studying for a stupid certification exam for work). That being said, this brew is remarkably different from either of Stone's offerings. To me, it tastes like a porter, albeit an uncharacteristically strong one. Smooth going in, the flavor then builds up as the 10% ABV rears its lovely head, finally settling down into rich roasted coffee beans that quickly subside, leaving a bafflingly clean aftertaste.

Incredibly drinkable for a 10% ABV beer but still one that demands to be savored, I am highly impressed with this, my first bottled brew from Pizza Port, an establishment that continues to amaze me.

The next time I head down to Vin de Pays Liquor, I'm going to grab a couple more of these as well as samples of whatever other Port Brewing/Lost Abbey offerings they have.

Highly recommended.

instrumentality, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to WestSideThreat for this one.

Poured in a chalice a thick black color, not much of a head just some fizzy, some carbonation, no lacing. The nose is very nice of sweet malts, chocolate/toffee/caramel. The taste is awesome of roasted malts, and toffee/caramel. Alcohol is hidden very well, but a nice warm feeling in the throat. Medium body, well balanced brew. Very drinkable, very nice to the style, thumbs up Port Brewing/Lost Abbey. If you can get your hands on some, do it.

Wasatch, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of lackenhauser
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark in color. On the border of being black. No head whatsoever. Low aroma-slight sherry and vinuous aroma but it is very low. Oaky and sherry flavors dominate. Quite vinuous tasting. Small trace of the alcohol. More of a lactic sourness then a bitterness to me. Good body-the alcohol leaves a slight tingle on the tongue. Very good beer-quite interesting. Dont think I have had many US strong ales. Worth a try. Bet this would age nicely too.

lackenhauser, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed November 24, 2006. 22 Oz Bottle. Aroma a light waft of distant fresh coffee, dried plums and hints of creamed brandy. Pour of chocolate centered sienna, with orangey glowing fringes and a rim of whitish. Flavor a hybridization of sweet currant malts, heavy cold sweet cream, with a big estery pear, almond and toasted date and walnut bread, with edges of molasses and melted raw sugar. Starts with the dark intro of an imperial stout, but with a full of dark bourbon notes, before hitting balance with an edge of dryness, then falling into a mellow refined fruit of barleywine type character. Nice oaky char, crispy barbeque crust and fading edges of light hop cones bring balance. Expressive all around. Really amazingly delicious with a rich deep sugar content in the malt. Edges of hop bring balance, but acerbic light coffee liquer and candy help too. This is such a unique offering, for walking so many style lines. Regardless, delicious and a top beer!

CharlesDarwin, Dec 19, 2006
Photo of Franchise
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very pleased to see Pizza Port enter the MA market, with that I couldn't wait to get my hands on some of their delicious beers. This offering from Port Brewing pours a black clear body probably closer to very dark brown but looks black in this light leaving a thin tan head that disappears. The aroma is chocolate, earthy hops, floural, malted milk, this smells and has characterisitc of a milk/oatmeal stout but lets taste. Wow, so sweet upfront really boozey but under control. The alcohal hits the palate upfront then moves to a bitter chocolate sweetness that finishes hoppy and just a bit of a bite from hoppy bitterness and alcohal. Great job on this one stock up!

Franchise, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of Gavage
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a thick black color with a short one finger head that falls pretty quickly. No significant lacing develops.

Smell: simply wonderful. Loads of roasted malts, molasses, coffee, dark chocolates, and hints of alcohol. This is a beer you take a big sniff of before you put it to your lips.

Taste: follows the nose with similiar roasted malts, molasses, slightly burnt coffee, and chocolates. Alcohol is noticeable but well hidden and contributes to the flavor profile in a good way. Nice bitterness and a bit of vanilla is also detectable.

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied beer. Smooth and syrupy. Aftertaste is long on the flavor profile and seems to stick to your tongue.

Drinkability: this is a killer brew. The high alcohol knocks this down a notch but this is a wonderful slow sipping brew.

Gavage, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am sampling this brew at room temp in a pint glass. The beer pours an ultra dark black color with small tan and frothy head foaming up and fading to a small edge layer quickly. Aroma is dark fruit, brown sugar, and lots of molasses. There is just a bit of alcohol too. First sip reveals a very mild and spacious carbonation that is almost non-existent. Body is fairly thick, which isnt a surprise. Flavor starts roasty coffee/espresso notes and some raisins and again heavy molasses. There is a bit of lingering roasted malt and drak fruit in my mouth. Also some booze comes through after each swallow. the thickness and slight booziness makes this a sipper for sure.
A great drinker for a cool nite!

sulldaddy, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This black bodied beer glugs into the glass and forms a thin dark brown head. Lacing is spotty in nature and sparse in quantity. Aroma is sweet. I get figs. Port. Dark caramel. Burnt caramel. A little smoke. A little anise. Alluring aroma. The flavor is thick. Black licorice and fennel seed. Burnt caramel and toffee. Dark berries and fruit. Long lasting bitter hops. Some spicy alcohol mixes in. And lingers after tasting. More bitter than sweet on the palate. The body is pretty high in viscosity. Lightly carbonated. An enjoyable elixir. An elixir that defies categorization.

Thanks for a one of a kind offering from one of my favorite breweries Darren.

Bighuge, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of goschool
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber from Beverage Warehouse in Marina Del Ray.

Appearance: Thick, oozing pour produces a black liquid with ruby highlights and a small ring of light brown lace.

Smell: The nose is has an intense array of malts. Dark malts bring chocolate, coffee, and peat, while sweet malts bring brown sugar, toffee, and molasses. An alcohol aroma is present and strong, but it doesn't get in the was of the beer's other aromas.

Taste: There is a lot going on in this brew. To steal a line from the film Heathers, "Well fuck me gently with a chainsaw." This tastes like a Baltic porter with a major identity crisis. The standouts in the flavor profile are baker's chocolate, light-roast Central American coffee, anise, brown sugar, figs, toffee, vanilla, and looming alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and dry, but oily with a warm, alcohol filled finish.

Drinkability: It's taken me more than an hour and a half to finish the bottle. It's a tremendous sipper.

goschool, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of CRJMellor
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark maroon with brown and black swirls throughout. Carbonation is evident but never breaks the thick, viscous surface, what little that is released is tan in color.
Aroma is a very rich blend of raisins, figs, chocolate, some smoked meat, toffee, caramel and roasted barely.
Flavor has rich caramel as a dominant note but adds a sort of black licorice twist along with some roasty, smoky qualities.
Really, rich and mouthfilling. As it warms, releases more of the dark fruit notes that further compliment the string heavy alt backbone.
Mouthfeel is definitely full bodied, coats the palate with a plethora of enjoyable experiences. Just a hint of the alcohol pop appears through the delicious haze.
Drinkability is very high, really classic brew. Not sure of how it would age but I imagine quite well. Seek this beer out.

CRJMellor, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of ppoitras
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle obtained via trade with Jetsbeer. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a large glass chalice, formed an uneven dark skim over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Nary a bubble left atop the surface after the time if took me to type this far into the review, and lacing is minimal to non-existent. Aroma is sweet dark malts with ample dark fruitiness. Taste is dark sweetness upfront, some raisin in the middle, and the alcohol kicks in on the close. Mouthfeel is a bit slick, and the minimal carbonation is somewhat a downer for me as well. Drinkability is as good as most strong/old ales. Have to see what a little age does to this and revisit, my jury is still out.

ppoitras, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of trep
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle thanks to IntriqKen

Pours a dark black with virtually no head. What bubbles did form are vanilla colored. Only light penetrating is at the edges when held to the light. Looks like black coffee. Wow, incredible aroma. Notes of Granny Smith apples, tobacco, bourbon, and rich leather. All manly smells, all work incredibly well here.

Taste is roasted malt with a touch of bourbon and vanilla. So smooth, so complex. Very creamy mouthfeel. Rich, warming, and delicious. A lil alcohol at the end lets you know that you're probably getting drunk.

Medium-full bodied with light carbonation. Very viscous, as expected. Super creamy. To be honest this is pretty drinkable. You wouldn't think so with all of the strong flavors but i'm glad I have a whole bomber of this to myself.

trep, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Intriqken for this via trade!

Wow, what a brew. Finally a chance to try one of these from a brewery that gets so much blog traffic.

A - midnight black, thick through a swirl. rich dark brown head that start's small and slides to the side of the glass quick so as to not take away from the blackness.

S - Smokey, roasted malt, rich maltes, dark ripe fruit. Wow, a lot going on in the nose.

T - alternating between rich sweet malts and sharp bitter essences - espresso and hops. I lean towards an RIA but it's not that far into the hops. hard to describe but very tasty.

M - full bodied - this is a definer! Ridiculously thick but not cloying or syrupy. How'd they do that?

D - Went down so smooth, so easy. No overwhelming sense from the alcohol. I can easily see buying a case for the cellar and enjoying now and as it ages as well.

Kudos to those that buy and enjoy this beer! Envy that it's in your market and not mine!

barleywinebrewer, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of orfeu
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received today in a trade from Intriqken -- maximum respect, Ken!
As deep and thick a black as I've ever seen on any Imperial Stout with a thin, dense burnt orange head. Big aromas of black and roasted malts, with coffee, molassess, and prune notes. Some alcohol vapors are present, too. Damn, I just can't stop sniffing this one! The nose is truly amazing in its complexity. Okay, finally, a taste: dark fruits of unending variety (black cherry, dried Black Mission figs, raisins, and many more), scorched coffee, composted earth, and a gigantic -- and I mean big -- alcohol flavor. The booziness is kind of jarring at first, but with each sip it becomes more and more integrated to the entire flavor profile, without, however, getting lost in the shuffle. Spruce essence in the burps. Chewy barley malt and piney coffee-ground sandwich. Dense, slick, and utterly full in the mouth. Increasingly milder but ever-present alcohol burn. One of the most amazing things about this beer is the way this alcohol characteristic is always obvious but never harsh or distracting. It's actually pretty mind-boggling. A very difficult beer to pigeonhole: in my estimation, it's by almost all observations an enormous Russian Imperial Stout, but the ostentatious alcohol presence takes it a step or eight beyond that more or less traditional style. It's also a little bit chewier and less vinous than most big stouts... Ridiculously fascinating, all told. It's so huge, I can't say I'd crave one of these more than once a month, but its sheer complexity, originality, and straight-up tastiness makes me wish I had much easier access to this than I do. This one's staying on the "Want" list. Thanks again for the opportunity, Ken!

orfeu, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of clickpush
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pour: 22oz bottle to tulip glass. A half inch of heavy dark brown head sinks quickly to luscious lacings and a big halo over an extremely dark brown beer. No visible bubbles due to the opaque nature of the beer.

Nose: Everything delicious of dark malt characters - chocolate, caramel, burnt toast, and coffee. Smells sweet and smooth.

Mouth: First impression is sweet milk chocolate with fruit filling. The sweet flavors continue all the way through to the swallow, which is when the roast & burnt flavor creeps back into the mouth, going from back to front with burnt toast. Mouthfeel is great: tiny sparkling bubbles tickle all over my mouth; thick and chewy. More flavors of alcohol, whiskey barrels, cherry and bananas, and a spicy heat in the exhale.

This beer is so amazingly complex that it's hard to explain. Drinkability is lower because it is what it says - extremely viscous! Really heavy - should be saved for colder weather.

clickpush, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one crazy beer, like no other American Strong Ale I've ever had. Pours black, period, stout black, like I said, crazy. Slightly off on the nose compared to the rest of the beer-crispy, moody, much like a winters morning.

This is a BIG tasting beer. Infact, moreso than any beer I've had this year. It's late in the year too. Big malty alcohol presence, dark fruits, with a sugary aftertaste. Meyer's Rum inspired. Serious stuff.

One of the best beers I've had this year. My first Pizza Port, or whatever this is is not disappointing at all. Awesome!!!!

FLAbeergutinMASS, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of dogfooddog
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

first beer I have tried from Port Brewing. Pours pitch black with a small 3/4" head into a pint glass, served 50f.

Nose is of a stout (whatever the style says on BA), mildly roasted malt creating a cappuccino-like aroma. I believe this is a stout or stout-like beer from the nose.

Taste is a bit more ambiguous. In part it greatly seems like a sweet stout, with the burnt malt character, but there is something of barleywine in it, of ale that is too strong to suppress in character, presumably there are hops doing this, as the malt and roasted malt is almost the only other thing in the taste.

That said, I never imagined this was 10%. Further into the bottle, the ABV does begin to feel heavier.

Very complex and unusual beer. Worth trying, and worth buying more than one to be able to try at a second sitting to re-evaluate all the taste hitting the palate. My second sitting (a month later) found this beer to be simply excellent, and I am ordering more.

dogfooddog, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Papago in Phoenix, 11/1/06.

Pretty much opaque, ruby/brown around edges when held up against light. Small light brown head. Legs aplenty when swirled.

Aroma pretty mild, but smoke in bar was making it hard to get a good whiff. What I could pick up was port like, mainly raisins, some spices and alcohol.

Taste was confusing at first, had I gotten a stout or a barleywine? Turns out, neither, but I didn't know that at the time. Roast flavors combined with a dark fruit, port like sweetness. Raisins again. Alcohol was evident, but worked well overall. Hops were pretty mild, a little bite at the finish along with some pepper. Very complex.

Very full bodied, with what seemed like medium + carbonation. Chewy and slick. If flawed, it would be that the carbonation seemed a bit high for the style.

Overall, quite a ride. I would happily drink again, but I think there are better barleywines/strong ales out there such as Old Ruffian and Arrogant Bastard.

, Nov 06, 2006
Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 1,641 ratings.