Old Viscosity - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Old ViscosityOld Viscosity

Educational use only; do not reuse.

858 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 858
Hads: 1,851
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 8.23%
Wants: 155
Gots: 294 | FT: 22
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Viscosity Alström Bros
Reviews: 858 | Hads: 1,851
Photo of kmo1030
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours like used motor oil into the glass. traces of head right off the bat, but it dies quickly.
the nose has some big roasted characteristics... chocolate, expresso, caramel, vanilla, traces of charred wood, licorice, and some faintly fruity almost red ale type aromas. the smokey burnt wood builds strength. it's also got some rum-like alcohol, and some molasses soaked dark fruits like fig, plum, and raisin, these are pretty far in the background though.
the taste conatains the same malty chocolate, expresso, vanilla, etc. to varying degrees, along ith the molasses/brown sugar flavors to a slightly higher degree than the aroma. the smoke takes a little bit of a backseat when compared to the smell also, showcasing the sweetness a little more. there is also a surprising amount of bitterness middle to back though. it's clear a good amount of hops were used here. the alcohol warms the throat on it's way down.
the mouthfeel is full with light delicate carbonation.
drinkable for the hugeness of this beer, but in the grand scheme of things only gets away with an average score here.
i'm thinking more of an imp stout here, but by whatever name a pretty damn good beer. (1,182 characters)

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
Pours an impenetrable inky oily color with a smallish tan head on top and some patchy and trailing lacing.
A sweet smoky smell leaps out, as is a background smell of dark roasted coffee. A faint smell of pine and chocolate is noticed. A rummy whiff of alcohol is noticed throughout.
The flavors are all over the place, yet complimentary of one another. Black licorice, coffee, dark chocolate and deep roasted biscuity malt flavors mix and mingle with piney hops, orange zesty bitterness and a slight metallic tang. A nice warming dark rum fuminess rounds things out.
This is one big beer! (630 characters)

Photo of far333
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Onyx colored with no light getting through. A low light brown head rises up just a bit and settles out quickly.

Inviting aroma of dark sweet malt, molasses, and a bit of smoke.

Rich flavors of molasses, smokey burnt oak, hop bitter, espresso, and dark chocolate. There's a sharp bite in the finish seemingly from the alcohol, and an alcohol warmth envelopes the mouth. I think my tongue is numb. Seems more Imperial stout than an Old or Strong ale. The portion aged in bourbon barrels definitely contributes to the flavor profile.

Slick mouthfeel, but lots of carb tingles upfront and warmth throughout the mouth. (616 characters)

Photo of Crosling
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. The last few months I have had several bottles of this beer, and I really enjoy it! Dark brown to black color, very light colored brown froth. The nose is awfully soft and dull. only a very light hint of fruits and perhaps a light hint of chocolate, bourbon and wood. Interesting flavor of very light bourbon and wood, rich malts, dried cocoa, fruits. Very complex. A great brew! (396 characters)

Photo of k3n
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber.

A: Pours a thick, viscous black, like motor oil. Tan head which fades nicely.

S: Toasty malt and coffee. Smells good.

T: I agree with many of the other reviewers of this beer, in that this tastes more like a stout. I certainly wouldn't put it in the same category as Arrogant. Lots of toasty coffee flavors, and even more dark chocolate sweetness as it warms a bit. Don't you dare drink this one too cold!

M: When I said 'like a stout', it was because of the feel. It doesn't feel as thick as a stout, in fact, the lighter body is quite a nice balance to the intensity of flavor.

D: Yes! Quite drinkable. Espcially considering the 10% ABV.

I didn't experience the overwhelming alcohol characteristics that other reviewers have mentioned, but I also found that pairing this beer with some strong cheese helped balance it out immensly.

Two big thumbs up! (886 characters)

Photo of Boto
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber: This one pours a slightly thick, extremely dark brown. It looks a bit like used 30 weight oil. It forms a small but dense tan head. Coffee and chocolate are the first things that hit the nose. Some bourbon and possibly a hint of vanilla in the background. Very tasty. There is a hint of the alcohol right up front, along with the chocolate malt. A hint of fruits follow, but no real sweetness to it. Feels a bit warming in your mouth. This is excellent. I’ve got to try and get a few more before they are gone! (525 characters)

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Bauer Wines on Newbury

Pours an opaque black with a beautifully thick, full milk chocolate head. the nose is unbelievable. spices and dark choclate fill the room. cinnamon, molasses, other dessert spices in there (nutmeg??). taste is similar - big alcohol presence when the brew was a bit colder. as the brew warmed up, it opened up a bit and the flavors really started to come out. very little hop presence. very robust taste however. like a good port. mouthfeel is great - chewey and thick, it coats the mouth. drinkability suffers a bit from the high alcohol content.

a great brew. don't think i would want one very often, but on a cold boston night, it really hit the spot. (699 characters)

Photo of JasonA
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a pitch dark mobil oil with little mocha head. Some lacing, but not a lot with the amount of head. Cant see much of anything through this, looks more like a Stout, RIS.

Smell malt and alcohol. Roasted malts, this should be yummy.

Taste kicks me in the ass. Little sweet prolly due to ABV, but very malty, and full. Want to drink more, know I cant have many of these.

Mouthfeel is a little syrupy. Carbonation is good, maybe a little mess.

Drinkability is excellent. I want lots of these. Give me more. Reminds me of my favorite Great Divide Yeti, but thickness isnt the same. More sweet. Overall, excellent. (625 characters)

Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22 oz bottle, poured into a chalice at 45 degrees.

A - Pours a dark black with mocha highlights and a matching head. Thick lacing forms around the glass.

S - Dark chocolate and spices dominate the aroma...eventually leading to a slightly fruity whiff.

T - Complex flavor combination beginning with a blast of dark chocolate. After the cocoa rush, burnt (but not overdone) toffee mixed with spices fills my taste buds. Eventually, a nice fruit sensation remains...mostly black cherries, raspberries, and some tart apples. Wonderful aroma that leaves a slightly sweet coffee aftertaste.

M - Thick and creamy body with a smooth, crisp finish. Alcohol is definitely noted, but not overpowering at all.

D - Very enjoyable..I wish I had several others to sample! I'd imagine I wouldn't reach for more than one per evening, but makes for the perfect nightcap. (883 characters)

Photo of koolchas
3.32/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bomber poured into a pint glass ... a strong ale? maybe for some but, this seemed more like a strong stout to me.

a: poured thick and dark with no head, no lace, and no carbonation.

s: smells of chocolate, deep cherries, and black licorice.

t: like one of those chocolate candy cordials filled with liquor.

m: alcohol takes over the mouth. lots of bite.

d: a bit too strong on the alcohol side for my taste. it's just to prevalent and takes over.

i am actually a fan of pizza port brews but, this is one that i won't buy again. i even treated this brew like wine by letting it "breathe" for at least half an hour on my second pour. the bite was still too strong. (680 characters)

Photo of badbeer
3.64/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out black with a tan head that doesn't last and leaves no lacing. Smell is excellent, chocolate-y, dark fruits, vanilla and oak. Unfortunately, the taste has a strong alcohol taste and burn to it. You can sense the malty flavors beneath, but they're being overpowered at the moment. Thick mouthfeel, carbonation was borderline flat. Too much alcohol for now. I think this would be amazing with age on it. (410 characters)

Photo of nase
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber

Like others, I've had difficulty categorizing this; my experience in old ales is limited but this does remind me more of some RISs that I've had moreso than strong ales (pretty much limited to Stone's offerings). Appearance leaves some nice lacing throughout but the head goes away quickly at the beginning. Strong burnt coffee aftertaste (again, reminiscent of RISs). Doesn't smell like an RIS though; not quite sure but it seems similar to that of a barley wine or strong ale. Terrific mouthfeel. Very high drinkability as the alcohol isn't overbearing. Nicely balanced.

App. - 4.5, Smell - 3.5, Taste - 4.0, Mouthfeel - 4.5, Drinkability - 5.0 (671 characters)

Photo of warriorsoul
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok...I'm expecting good things here...let's just put it out there right now.
Spent motor oil in color...less than 1/4 finger of tan head. Lacing thin and lasting only a handful of seconds.
Beautifully inticing in the nose...vanilla, oak, chocolate and more (but I'll save some for the flavor).
Rum soaked raisins up front...molasses, roasted almond, more dark chocolate and some fruity hops rounded up the taste.
Alcohol is there...no hiding the fact, but goes down super smooth with each sip and this is definitely a sipper.
Thick mouthfeel...bitterness takes away any sweet, cloyingness that may try to show. Quite carbonated, but wouldn't know it from the pour.
Gonna have to equal out the drinkability...no doubt I can consume this bomber, but don't think I'm reaching for anything else after...forget it.
Great offering from my new best friends in MA....welcome! (874 characters)

Photo of dbalsock
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

App: Poured very black with a little reddish brown head that stays around longer than I expected. There was no lacing and I found this thing rather boring to look at.

Smell: Sweet fruity esters come out with brown sugar and one of the greates smells of all time... Vanilla Cake!

Taste: Discernable alcohol, chocolate and cherries make up the base of this brew. There are hints of grapefruit, granny smith, coffee and vanilla again, but mostly these come and go with the warming of the brew.

Mouthfeel: It's almost chewable. The alcohol is prominent and there's some bitterness, but the main feeling is a thick coating of the palate. I like it because it's so strange. It's the thickest beer I've ever had... bordering on keifer territory.

Drinkability: I would love to try this on cask, but other than that I can't imagine myself having this again. It's so hard to even swallow. (890 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This in not your daddy's Guinness. Not even close. I know it's listed as an American Stong Ale here, but this one goes up against the stouts of this world and just pummels them into submission. I am not a violent type of person, but this one stands up and beats and beats and beats. Not a bad thing, but it is a stout gone wild in my humble opinion- rich and full and huge alcohol, all just all over anything in the way.

I need this one in much smaller quantities than the 22 oz bombers in which it is sold. I'll take some 12% beers before this one. I had the opportunity to try the chipolte pepper-infused version of this a few months back- it can certainly hold up to the brewer twisting it that way. Very flavorful, but recommended in small doses. (753 characters)

Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Hi-Time Wine Cellars. Pours a red tinted darl brown but settles full black with a finger thick tan head that is mostly dimining. Considering the way it glups into the glass that it even has a head is impressive. The aroma is chocolate cake, nuts, walnut skins, sweet cream, vanilla and liquor soaked dark fruits. It manages not to be very intense in aroma while still having quite a range.

Very thick and still feeling with some burnt bitterness, burnt black chocolate, face flushing alcohol heat, low acidity coffee notes and a hot and bitter finish. Not as impressed witht he flavor as the aroma, but it’s still a very interesting beer worth trying and definitely worth aging to see what happens to it. (720 characters)

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours with the tiniest, quarter of quarter's finger's worth of tannish head, which quickly dissipates to absolutely nothing. There is no lacing to speak of, just sort of slides off the glass in a solventy fashion upon swirling. Body is a dark, dark, dark, dark, dark (did I say dark?) brown, which only shows some light through if you hold it right up to a lightbulb. Overall, a rather bland appearance because of the lack of head.

Smell: Deep dark fruits - raisins, plums, figs, a little cinnamon, a little general sugary sweetness in the aroma, black cherries, which then collides with stout aromas - chocolate, a little coffee with some bite to it suggesting espresso, some woodsiness, caramel-like hints, some light pine on the back end. Really a surprisingly deep and complex aroma. Sort of like a collision between an English IPA, an Old Ale, and an RIS. Some alcohol is definitely lurking at the end of every perceptible aroma, but this is "big and bad" enough that I think such a presence is appropriate.

Taste: Dark chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, alcohol, caramel, dates, much more pine than in the nose, with maybe a little citric, apple cider, black cherries, chocolate-covered cherries, more alcohol. Some sweetness swirls around your tongue at the same time as you're simultaneously thrashed by the largeness of the flavors and the big alcohol presence. This is a huge, bad, menacing beer that you should not serve to anyone without some prior appreciation of stouts, Old Ales, or something equally as hard-hitting. Excellent, complex, and just plain indiscernable. You could probably find a ton of aromas and flavors in this beer each time you try it that were imperceptible before. Its elusiveness I think adds to its "oeuvre."

Mouthfeel: Man, Port Brewing, what the fuck? Sorry for my language, but they need to get their carbonation issues under control. There was no head at all, no lacing at all, so I'm not too surprised that the mouthfeel of this one is generally flat. A little fizz, but it needs more liveliness. Otherwise, a little hot, a little watery, and a little oily.

Drinkability: An absolutely one-of-a-kind beer. "Strong Ale" is such a catch-all style in some ways, that it's nice to see a beer that really does live up to that sort of elusive, out-of-bounds philosophy the style suggests. Not one you would drink everyday, nor more than one a day, however. (2,450 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
4.2/5  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? (1,203 characters)

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (623 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.24/5  rDev -21.5%
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. (377 characters)

Photo of hoppymeal
4.23/5  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. (974 characters)

Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (271 characters)

Photo of ultrastrong
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (754 characters)

Photo of loving44
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
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! (948 characters)

Photo of instrumentality
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (1,986 characters)

Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 858 ratings.