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Old Viscosity - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Old ViscosityOld Viscosity

Educational use only; do not reuse.

873 Reviews

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Reviews: 873
Hads: 1,922
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 13.04%
Wants: 165
Gots: 312 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Viscosity Alström Bros
Reviews: 873 | Hads: 1,922
Photo of ptykozoon
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dense liquid crawls from the bottle. Pours black, head is massive and frothtastic.

Fudge, dark chocolate, smoke, maple syrup, fresh roasted coffee.

Taste mirrors the nose. Hops.

Mouthfeel is dense. (I'd prefer a bit denser).

A good beer to age - let the hops die down a bit.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to jfam for this - 2011 vintage

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains, coffee, smoke

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some dark fruit, a smokiness and some hops. There isn't much barrel/wood coming through.

Overall - A solid RIS. Seems to be regularly available and reasonably priced. Not something that blew my mind, but still very above average for the style. Also good for those who don't like a whole lot of barrel presence.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.82/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle into a tulip. From notes.

A: Pours a pitch black color with notable sediment near the bottom of the glass. The head is damn impressive - four fingers high, tan shade, and insane/annoying retention. There are also nice rings of lacing left behind. Sediment aside, this one looks fantastic.

S: Very chocolaty at first. Once it warms up, more dark fruits come out. There are supplementary notes of roast, licorice, and maybe even oak. Make no mistake, the aroma is nicely rich and decadent.

T: Chocolate and dark fruit hit the palate immediately, with some cola flavors appearing in the middle. The finish is gently roasted - at first - and oaky. Near the bottom of the glass, it starts getting really charry tasting. Really close to a 4, but the flavors don't seem perfectly balanced and cohesive.

M: Along with the sweeter flavors, the slick (perhaps even slimy at times) palate make me think 'porter' instead of 'stout'. Oak tannins give it a bit of dryness. As such, it goes down fairly easily for a big, sweet, 10% beer; unfortunately, it becomes tiring after a while. Low carbonation.

O: This is really nice sto...por...whatever it is (called a strong ale on the other site), it just lacks the finesse and cohesion to be world class. Still, a very solid dessert beer.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Port Brewing's Old Viscosity, ale aged in oak barrels. 10% ABV

A: Pours a ridiculously dark brown, with a frothy, fluffy brown head. Deep black in the glass. The slightest bit of deep red-brown in the dimple. Some slight lacing.

S: Very dark powdered cocoa in the front. Roasty coffee. Malt powder. Some dark caramel in the background. Slight woodiness, like in a Bourbon barrel-aged beer (though, I think they use untouched oak).

T/MF: Mmm. It's got a creamy thickness to it. Fair amount of sweetness to it! Vanilla and oak pop out, but rich coffee flavor dominates. As I continue to sip, bitter char becomes apparent around the edges. Has some crisp to the mouthfeel. Almost like a stout, but not quite. Some kind of very dark fruit backing, as well.

Not up to a proper BBA beer, but a pretty damn good dark beer.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of JCarey
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Attractive, simple bottle labeling and no mention of style. Simply Ale Aged in Oak Barrels. I'll be reviewing based on it being an Imperial Stout.

Pours a deep, dark, midnight black like motor oil, reminiscent of the labeling. A generous amount of head forms from the bottom to the top of the glass and invades a good 2 inches of space to the brim. Head is a large-bubbled, dark brown to the outsides and frothy tan in the middle.

Distinctly stout on the nose with a clean alcoholic aroma. Very, very slight hints of Oak aging, but this was bottled 7/19/13 so I'm sure it has mellowed quite a bit in those 9 months.

Again, distinctly Stout in flavor. Strong coffee and dark chocolate mix with some burnt toffee and caramel. Slightly acidic and a tiny bit oxidized. Stronger oak than on the nose but still doesn't pull too much char or vanilla flavors out. I think the vanilla would come out more underneath the hot alcohol. Very pleasing, in all.

Mouthfeel is exactly what you'd think of from a beer named old viscosity. This isn't your daddy's Beast ICE. Super smooth and perfectly carbonated even after 9 months.

Overall, I feel like this beer suffered from being held too long, but is still a worthy candidate for your collection. Being my first experience with the brewery I will definitely pick up some other offerings.

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Photo of auee92
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Aroma: light hints of chocolate, oily coffee and alcohol

Appearance: black, frothy luxurious head, fine and rich tan foam

Taste: medium sweetness up front, giving way to a medium bitterness, lightly sour on the finish

Palate: medium body, creamy, slick mouth feel, softly carbonated, long and bitter finish

Overall: While the lack of pronounced aroma is a little disappointing, the absolutely brilliant appearance makes up: this beer is a work of art in the glass. A very satisfying Porter-like stout that presents boozy chocolate and coffee up front and finishes with long, sour bitter hops.

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Photo of Radome
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into a goblet.

A - When the first few drops hit the glass they look dark brown, but as soon as there is a significant amount it appears not-quite jet black. No light gets through when you hold it up to a light bulb. The head is dark brown, smooth, creamy and huge. After a few minutes it recedes to a thick island of bubbles in the center of the glass, a sheen of tiny bubbles over the remainder, and thick lacing. Beautiful.

S - Aromas of molasses and brown sugar from the malt, some roast, but no much. Only a small hint of spicy hops (I may have an older bottle that doesn't show the typical hops nose). through it all is a strong oak barrel note and a rum-like aroma of strong alcohol. It reminds me very much of DFH Palo Santo Maron, which is a very good thing.

T - The flavors are not as layered and complex as the aromas. I get brown malt with slight roast, like a brown porter or old ale. The hops flavors do not come out, although there is a medium bitterness that dries out the finish. The oak is there, but not as much as in the nose. Surprisingly littel alcohol flavor.

M - Thick body with a velvety feel. Smooth, creamy carbonation. Little hops or alcohol burn.

O - This is a great looking beer with a wonderful, layered nose. I was a bit disappointed with the taste, but only because it was not as complex as I was hoping. There are no flaws here, but it is not as wonderful as the aromas led me to hope.

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Photo of alex11ibanez
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: bottle is a growler with freshness date and a little info. wow, pours thick, dark, with a thick head of chocolate-brownie frothiness… I hope that makes sense, I can’t even see through it except for a eclipsing sense of cacao goodness.
Smell: I can really smell the dark malt, light chocolate and fresh bread… Nutella? Sweet woody smells, most definitely from the oak barrel.
Feel: surprisingly dry and bubbly for such a thick beer, which I like, but still maintains a heavy syrup density that just slowly moves down the palate and lingers around the tongue like oil on a bar of soap.
Taste: at first sip has is a rich dark chocolate notes that crumble into bready loafs of black coffee. But there is also some hints spice hops. Interestingly I can feel the alcohol before I could even taste it, so for a strong ale/stout I can barely taste it.
Overall: Though this beer says ale, it tastes more like a dry imperial stout. It just crumbles like a brownie that I almost wish I could dip it in milk, and yet it is so seductive with every poor, just like motor oil, which is oddly appealing. This is a fun and tasteful beer that will get you going.

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Photo of ssteakley
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

See KYgunner, no reason to state the same. I bought this cause it was on sale and BA rated it high. I only drink Stouts a few times a year. This one took me about 3/4 glass to get right Into it. I'm hooked, I am convinced this brewery knows beer! See if you can get your girlfriend to drink it?

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Photo of KYGunner
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This had a deep ebony appearance with a small cap of dense tan foam.

Lots of dry chocolate on the nose, with notes of char and roasted coffee but the chocolate is very prominent.

The flavor is chocolatey as well with a full but dry cocoa nib taste. There's hints of roast and coffee but the chocolate is again prominent.

The feel was a bit too carbonated and bubbly for the style but it failed to detract from the experience.

For this of you who like a stout with lots of chocolate properties this is right up your alley.

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured an opaque black. Fluffy mocha colored head. Sticky lace.

Dark chocolate smell, followed by roasted malt, and a hint of oak.

Tastes of roasted malts, dry baking coco, with a slight lactic sweetness. Good hop presence that works well with the deep oak flavors in the finish.

Slick oily mouthfeel, but much thinner than expected.

Overall a nice double stout. Excellent use of barrel aging. I was however disappointed with the mouthfeel. Though my expectations may have been tainted being I've had Older Viscosity a few times prior to trying Old Viscosity.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with a foamy brown head.

S: Oaky, coffee, roasted malt, floral and citric hops in the nose.

T: Coffee, roasted malt, floral hops. Floral hops and a bit of orange citrus. A touch of oak as well.

M: Full bodied and smooth. Very nice and complimentary for the style.

O: This is a really good imperial stout. Hops are present, which is nice, though I prefer Older Viscosity.

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Photo of pknyc
3.74/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 11/14/12. Bottle opened 01/30/14.

A: A big hiss upon opening. Lots of carbonation with a semi-aggressive pour. There was a huge mocha colored head. Some very large bubbles, however they recede into a small film. Weird head for an imperial stout. Nice lacing. Color is opaque black.

S: Big dark chocolate. Lots of alcohol. I figured after a year and change the alcohol wouldn't be so prominent, but I was wrong. A bit of oak and espresso. A hint of smoke.

T: Surprising. I was thinking there would be more. Mostly alcohol, some chocolate and coffee. Real alcohol bite. Bitter.

M: Thin, but coating. Too much carbonation for the style, which really affects the mouthfeel.

O: I was very excited for this one. The Old Viscosity is only my second Port Brewing beer and I'm not sure if there was an issue with this bottle. It was good, but I feel it didn't live up to the general consensus.

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Photo of RummyRedbeard
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bomber dated 10/23/13 in to a 12 oz tulip

My fucking God, I regret that it has taken me so long to try this beer! The appearance is brilliant, pitch black, dark brown creamy head that is lasting the whole way slight lacing retention. Smell is smokey and oily, dark fruits with bourbon/oak. Upon sipping I taste a mix of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, bourbon; smoke and toffee on the roll around. Mouth feel very thick, not much carbonation. Good Lord almighty, try this beer. Immediately. Like right now. THIS IS NOT YOUR DAD'S 30 WEIGHT!

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Photo of DrRambis
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/23/13 -
Poured into an over-sized goblet

Appearance - Darkness! Holding it up to the light it is pure jet black. I was a little over-excited and my pour was extra hard, nevertheless atop my glass rested a beautiful dark tan 1 1/2 finger head that slowly churned and gurgled into nothing.

Smell - Sweet oake-y wood, strong overtones of licorice, and some light coffee aromas - smells more like roasted barley. Some dark fruit notes lingering in the background.

Taste - Much more coffee in the taste than the smell while on the other hand I find that the licorice notes I smelt were not nearly as strong in the taste; backed up by some nice chocolate flavors and a lot of bitterness in the finish. Very sweet oak flavors throughout which I find very pleasant - smooth oak not fire-charred barrel oak. Alcohol is present but the oak-aging has really stomped down its impact making this brew incredibly drinkable.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and rich, velvet would not be an understatement. First time having this beer and from the name and description I assumed it would actually be more "viscous." Still not disappointed by the texture, IMO it is superb - probably the finest thing about this beer.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this in a Becker pint. Reviewed from notes.

This beer is black! Nothing coming through the glass on this one. The khaki head is easily a few finger's in width with specks of lacing being left behind as the head dies slowly.

"Complex" and "strong" are good words for the aroma profile of this beer. The sweet malts have a powdered cocoa quality. It is easy to pick out the roasted malt, which has a nice espresso-sense. Dark fruits barely peek through, but they are there. Good stuff!

The palate has the same impression of being strong, yet complex. The first flavor is of a strong roasted malt, tastes like a huge stout. Then, as some time is taken to sip and appreciate, cocoa powder and espresso develop into the finish. A couple of exhales also present some sweeter port impressions, like dark cherries, mingling with a hardy char. Still, be ready for that extremely stout-y roasted malt to dominate.

The feel is a little more on the medium to medium-light side, and the stick is decent. It does not punch one in the face, but it leaves a nice impression with a slight drying finish.

Old Viscosity is a delicious stout, easy as that. This thing is roasty and bold, but give it some time and it will reveal a whole new layer of scents and flavors. I probably will not see this beer again, except by serendipity, looking forward to that day!

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Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of ghostwalker
3.62/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Super low carbonation. I almost thought it was completely flat at first pour, then a little off-white mini-head formed. Deep chocolate-brown body.

Smells of dark fruits and sharp, bitter chocolate.

Flavor is deep and dark. More dark fruits and bitter chocolate here. Richness on the finish. Some tangy coffee also.

Mouthfeel is slick and rather thinner than I expected. Slight chalkiness residue.

Overall, a very good brew, but maybe not great. I expected a richer, thicker body with more deepness of flavor.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My children, this is pretty much just one of those thangs. It's simply there, to exist (and it's ok) but it's just kind of there - ya feel me? Like an ex that you enjoyed your time with, but never thought of again post thang thang. Nice chocolate/oatmeal aroma, and decent enough taste and mouthfeel wise...but like said ex, it's a bit thin and I'll probably never think of it again. You were always good to me, girl, but at times it's time to let go.

Have a sweet one, my children.

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Photo of brurevu
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From my tasting notes: Wow, this was a big one! It pours like used motor oil, dark and thick with a large tan head. I let it sit and warm a bit and the aroma sent notes of sweet malts, vanilla and booze. The taste was like a huge barely wine brewed with loads of chocolate malts and notes of vanilla, dark chocolate, a bit of coffee, and booze. You can taste the oak barrel aging and it gives it some nice depth and a really smooth character. The Old Viscosity is a big and bold exceptional beer that is something really special.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A 2012 bottle brought by a friend from California. I am drinking this gem while watching Monday Night Football. I poured the beer into a Samuel Smith's nonic pint glass.

Right off the bat, the huge frothy head with a mocha or cappuccino resemblance surges to the top of the glass. The beer itself is a deep oil color, which makes sense considering that viscosity reminds me of old Pennzoil commercials. The lacing is abundant and the head remains long after the pour.

The beer smells of roasted malt, fireside smoke, and oak. There are notes of chocolate, caramel and subtle sweetness. I had to revisit the smell to really get some of the aroma, but as I continued drinking they emerged well.

For a beer with 10% alcohol, I was really impressed by how well it was masked on the taste. I suspect a year of aging may have something to do with this, but either way, the beer is smooth-sipping and free of burn, which allows more focus on other flavors. The beer starts off dry and offers plenty of roasted malt and caramel, then coffee, chocolate and a bit of oatmeal.

After having Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout earlier in the day, that set the standard for smoothness and creaminess in a stout. However, this beer, while not as thick on the mouth and creamy, is still smooth and doesn't burn the mouth.

A great beer and essentially everything I expect from the spectacular Port Brewing outfit.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Let's Pour. Smells like roasted grain with a hint of cocoa coffee. Lighter on the palate than expected. A hop bite after some smokey roasted malt, bit of chocolate but more roast than anything else. Very flavorful. Probably best described as a porter. But has enough hop bite for the black ipa category. A good changeup from overly sweet stouts, though a bit more body would have been nice. Especially with a name like viscosity.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 8/7/2012. Pours pitch black color with a nice 1-2 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, light char, toast, dark bread, toffee, light raisin, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, char, toast, dark bread, light raisin, toffee, and roasted earthiness. Moderate coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, char, toast, dark bread, light raisin, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors; with a good bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, chalky, and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent imperial stout. All around great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The appearance is super dark brown/black with a nice thick head of brown foam that sticks around forever. Lacing is phenomenal.
S - Chocolate, slight roasty coffee flavor, raisins, bread.
T - Chocolate, roasted coffee, toast, raisins, smoke, peat. Like a mix between an Imperial Stout and a Wee Heavy.
M - Thick, medium-heavy, but not on an imperial stout level. The roasty/smokey aftertaste is nice. Alc is completely covered in the taste, but warms your stomach.
O - This is a great beer, I'm amazed at the head retention. It gets an A for taste, and and A+ for originality. It's truly good in completely it's own right. I'd encourage trying a few Imperial Stouts and a few Scotch Ales/Wee Heavies first, and then going on to this, because it bridges the gap between perfectly.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not one to favor acrid roast or the texture of ash in a stout, Port Brewing devises a smoother, sweeter and more succulent taste. With a total seduction of the palate, Old Viscosity drinks with the sensibility of a big Porter or strong Scotish Ale. Aah, burnt barley never tasted so good!

But with no identity crisis to its appearance the beer pours with darkest of dark brown before falling undeniably black. Absolute opaqueness ensues as the Stout absorbs all light. Its creamy topping of foam is dense and lush as it swirls on top of the beer like espresso creme. As far as lacing is concerned, the Stout favors brandy-type legging over clinging Belgian lace.

Sweet and savory to the nose, the scents of dark chocolate, bold-roast coffee, walnuts, singed molasses, port wine, sherry wine, and a hint of sweet teriyaki join to create a melange in the nose that's somewhat meaty, hearty and oh-so succulently sweet.

And as the taste aligns on the tongue, its equal parts molasses, espresso, and bittersweet chocolate. Keeping the heavy roast and toast in check, the sweetness carries its taste to introduce the robust and almost salty and savory aged sherry, port and worcestershire sauce. The combination seduces the taste buds as complexities of port, brandy, figs, dates, and even walnut and vanilla provide new twists and turns with every sip.

One sip explains why the Stout takes on a namesake of motor oil- it coaxes the mouth with a lush and velvety texture that seeps into the soft tissues with melding creaminess. Despite its tepid carbonation, the beer is still creamy, weighted and velvety. Its malty-sweet finish makes it well suited, not as a complement to dessert, but as a replacement for dessert instead.

Its warm closure is wrapped in a cocoon of malt sweetness just as the mind starts to think cookies n' cream. That vinous and fortified wine-like undertow is the perfect complement to its big sweetness and balanced char. Its an ideal stout when the sweet tooth needs dire satisfaction.

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Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 873 ratings.