Older Viscosity - Port Brewing

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Older ViscosityOlder Viscosity

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2,400 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,400
Reviews: 718
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 499
Gots: 660 | FT: 50
Brewed by:
Port Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SacoDeToro on 12-03-2006

Imperial Stout aged for 12 months in new bourbon barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,400 | Reviews: 718
Reviews by cwguy5:
More User Reviews:
Photo of mychalg9
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Getting a little acetone but otherwise pretty enjoyable.

Photo of ricke
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black, absolutely no head.

The aroma is big and bold with lots of nutty bourbon, roasted malts, cookie dough, caramel and some alcohol.

The flavor is sweet and warming. I love the integration of the dark caramel and cookie dough malty backbone and the bourbon in this one. Notes of chocolate, almonds and vanilla. Ends warming and bitter with lingering notes of bourbon.

Full-bodied and chewy. No carbonation whatsoever, which is really a shame since it is obvious that the flavors are hindered by this.

This is a real treat, but it would be so much better with a little Co2.

Photo of newk340
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle

A: an inky black with hints of brown around the edge, no carbonation or head.

S: like smelling a melted hershey bar.

T: a blast of chocolate that slowly fades to hints of oatmeal/coffee/caramel... reminds me of chocolate chip pancakes!

MF/D: extremely flat but incredibly smooth for how thick it looks, some lasting heat. wish it was capped since the cork lost it its carbonation... barf.

Photo of warnerry
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Don't see a bottle date, but it was purchased in 8/2010

A - Pours pitch black with essentially no head at all.

S - Before pouring, I took a whiff of the bottle and thought it smelled exactly like BB Fourth Dementia from Kuhnhenn: sweet bourbon notes, some oxidation, and a chocolate chip cookie. After pouring, I feel even stronger about this, though there are also some very nice vanilla notes and some more chocolate.

T - Tastes similar to the smell, with more chocolate up front, bourbon vanilla and oak, and some rum raisin. A bit sweet, but not overpowering. No alcohol burn whatsoever. Definitely a bit oxidized, but very good.

M - Thick and chewy, with very little carbonation. Seems to work well in this case.

O - A very good beer. I would like a bit more carbonation, but very nice aroma and taste. I'll have to try this side by side with BB 4D someday. I know they aren't even the same style, but I couldn't get over how much this reminded me of that beer.

Photo of tjthresh
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a tulip. Pours opaque black with a brown head the clings the the glass nicely. The nose has plenty of oak and booze with a nice dose of brown sugar and vanilla. The flavor is more oaky vanilla with some brash, but welcome roasty and bitter notes. Finishes with a nice alco-burn. Medium body with prickly carbonation and a chocolaty but dry finish. Certainly a well made beer worth seeking out.

Photo of badbeer
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Midnight black color with a rich tan head that retains very well and leaves good lacing. Large amounts of bourbon in the aroma, with some vanilla also joining it. Some nice chocolate-y roastiness is also in there, maybe a bit of charcoal too. Thick, chocolate-y, roasty, liquid crawls down my tongue with a very smooth bourbon flavor and finishes with a little bit of alcohol warmth. Body is extremely full bodied with medium carbonation levels. Just a splendid beer to drink, I wish this was more available. I've yet to be disappointed with this brewery; great stuff! Thanks for the sample, Tomme.

Photo of Mora2000
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kaiser81 for sending me this bottle. 2010 vintage.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a brown head. Glad to see this batch was carbonated after hearing about other batches of Older Viscosity that had carbonation issues.

The aroma is bourbon, roasted malt and chocolate. The beer smells very inviting.

The flavor is better than the aroma and is very complex. I get a lot of oak, maple and vanilla, as well as a healthy does of chocolate and roasted malt. With all of these secondary flavors, I get a large amount of bourbon and some hot, warming alcohol.

Full, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I love Old Viscosity and this beer was everything I hoped it would be. Excellent.

Photo of frenchblood21
3.69/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle in small tasting glass. Date of review is 7/21/14.

Appearance- Nothing special whatsoever. A deep dark brown fills the glass. A semi-hard pour results in no head at all. Lack of lacing is present too.

Smell- Sweet malt, bourbon and vanilla in that order. Brown sugar and green apple present themselves as well.

Taste- A bit sweeter than I expected. Also, I get the alcohol burn, but it's 12% ABV what do I expect. Bourbon and vanilla are the two most dominant flavors.

Mouthfeel- Way way too thin for a beer called Older Viscosity. It disappears as soon as you take a sip. It does,however, leave a pleasant sweet taste in your mouth.

Overall- I had this beer a few years ago and I remember it being fantastic. This time around, it was below average for a barrel-aged stout. I will not seek this beer out again.

Photo of JC333
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

The bourbon flavor is the main stage here. But what a smooth clean finish. Starts out a bit boozy but the chocolate and vanilla notes appear as the glass warms up. No head with a dark rich color

Photo of Altenor
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure of the vintage, no date anywhere in the bottle but I would dare to say it is from an old vintage since it cost me $10 at Toronado SF and the description in the label is shorter than the one pictured here.

A: Dark, dark brown, almost black. It is heavy and no head at all. Only saw a little of carbonation when I poured it, other than that, it is completely still. What is amazing is the legs this thing has. It may not seem very viscose, but once you see the film it leaves and grabs on to the sides of the glass you know why it's not your dad's 30 weight.

S: Nose is full of meat for me. Lots of wood, toasted caramel, vanilla, molasses, raisins, bourbon, and a touch of chocolate. It's a very interesting smell. Something I would expect more from a barley wine than a stout. It kind of reminds me of Black Albert but more intense and with bourbon. Not my style but have to accept that it is great smelling beer.

T: This is where the money is. This beer is one of the few that tastes almost like it smells but the experience in the palate is just incredible. So much going on. You get all the fruity sweetness at front (dates, prunes, raisins), then the oaky vanilla notes in the middle, and it ends with the roasty, chocolately, bitterness, topped off by the warm boozy feeling and slight taste of bourbon. Wow. This must definitely be at least a couple of years old, if not older since the alcohol is almost unpercibable. I had tried it before and it was a bit too boozy for me but this is just phenomenal. Once it warms up you get some milky flavors as well.

M: Silky, smooth, with a melted butter sensation that covers your palate. Some stickiness and a little tingling, peppery sensation in the tongue. Can't get better than this.

O: At first I was a little doubtful but I feel this beer tasted much, much better at room temp than cold. It is almost like drinking wine or port. I enjoyed it more and it got more interesting as it warmed up. I prefer a little sweeter stouts but I must say this is a great, great beer. This is one that should be cellared for some years. I can't believe how much it changed with some time. A must try for BA stout lovers, but I must say it still had that Barley Wine taste in it.

Photo of magictrokini
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got my hands on a bottle of this and, Holy Sh*t its good. Pours an opaque dark brown, nearly black. Very viscous, with a 1 cm tall tan head. Dense, low-lying aroma of molasses, leather, bourbon, chocolate, cream, and toasted oatmeal. I will attempt to describe the taste, but I know I will not do it justice. Creamy bitter dark chocolate, with an earthy toasted caramel malt. Notes of vanilla, molasses, tobacco, burnt coffee, and oak. The bourbon comes through near the back and in the finish. It rounds the flavors out perfectly without turning the beer into a boilermaker. Worth every penny of the $20 I paid for it.

Photo of gibgink
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

To me, like fresh Bourbon County Stout. Very good, would recommend.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.92/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

375ml corked bottle from 2008, poured in a stemless snifter. Thanks to stowehop for this!

Pours black with almost no head or anything at all. Nose is sweet, rich and very strong.

Taste is sweet and bourbon nice oaky and malty notes. A solid dark... motor oil beer! A very good compliment to old viscosity.. seek this out!

Photo of jondeelee
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Older Viscosity opens to a boozy, malty, yeasty aroma that is in a very large part bourbon, vanilla, charcoal, and char from the barrel aging, but below that is an incredibly thick, mealy Imperial Stout bearing massive coffee and tobacco notes, as well as heavy portions of dark fruit esters (black cherry, fig, prune, date), touches of heavy cream and caramel, and thick, dark, black breads – the kind that are a meal in themselves. It’s immediately obvious that, even without the barrel aging, this would have been a good Imperial Stout: the aromas are intense, varied, fully developed. The barrel aging simply adds a wonderful, catalytic layer of bourbon, vanilla, and charcoal that plays well off of the stout notes, emphasizing them and mingling with them in a wonderful generative swirl. But not overpowering them: think heavily-creamed world-class coffee with a dollop of bourbon and Irish Cream, sipped in a smoke-laden diner, finished off with a homemade caramel candy, and you’re getting close. In a word: intoxicating. One of the better smelling Imperial Stouts on the market.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a shot of jet-black coffee, ash, and tobacco, joined quickly by a boozy layer of bourbon, and tempered by molasses and brown sugar, caramel and vanilla. Excellent fig, prune, date, and black cherry fruit esters add to the complexity. Tongue-tingling swirls of black pepper add further texture. Small touches of lemon and pine from the hops. Late in the mouthful, as the sugars die off, the ashy underbelly rears up and fills the mouth with smoke and tobacco. The aftertaste is more ash and smoke, with lingering sugars, and a straight-shot-of-bourbon-strength alcoholic vapor. Mouthfeel is a surprisingly light medium (given the strength of the flavors), but oily in consistency, and carbonation is very light.

Overall, this is excellent Imperial Stout, and a must-try for fans of the style. The care and passion that has gone into this beer is palpable, and the skill required to so excellently barrel-age an already fine stout is commendable. As a whole the flavors are well developed, finely nuanced, nicely balanced between ash and sugar, bourbon and bread, vanilla and caramel, with only a slightly heavy alcoholic vapor and a strangely average mouthfeel marring the experience. Well worth the price.

Photo of ehammond1
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Lost Abbey
San Marcos, CA

Black on black on black. Just a few espresso colored bubbles make for the smallest head imaginable--I'm hesitant to even call it a head. Thick and black--though cliched, it looks a lot like motor oil.

A divine aroma. The bourbon is front and center, and from that comes huge waves of vanilla, wood, and molasses. There's a touch of chocolate and coffee underneath it all. The barrels really play a heavy hand here, nearly completely covering up Old Visc's aroma, though, fortunately, the barrels impart a tremendously pleasant aroma into this beer.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, though it doesn't seem quite as spectacular. The bourbon, molasses, and vanilla flavors are all present and do marry well. The alcohol heat is strong and impossible to ignore, though it's not something I particularly mind in a beer like this--definitely a great candidate for aging and sitting on for a number of years. In fact, I think I'll do that with my next bottle.

Medium mouthfeel and a touch prickly. Not quite as full, oily, and thick as I would have predicted or hoped for. Even though the beer doesn't appear well carbonated, it actually tastes, and feels, like it is.

A really interesting and delicious sipper with an astoundingly good aroma. Next time I have this, I'll make sure it's a bottle that's been put away for a while.

Photo of far333
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Opaque and motor oil brownish black with a frothy head of light brown foam that has a tough time kicking up and settles out quickly.

Aroma of cocoa and espresso, brown sugar and molasses, some malty sweetness. Sharp flavor of roasty malt and raisins, burnt leaves and brandy, sharp espresso bitterness, mild currant and cherry. Strong and boozey.

Thin mouthfeel, acrid ashey finish, warm and numbing on the tongue. Vapors rise up the back of the nose. Tasty sipper, but it's packin' heat, which lowers drinkability.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the barrel aged festival, and it confirmed much what I expected from the people complaining about lack of carbonation in the bottles. . . it isn't supposed to have much carbonation, as this one straight out the tap was very reserved in its carbonation amount. Very black, seemed actually less viscous than regular old viscosity.

Aroma of bourbon dominates, subtleties of vanilla are there ever so slightly. Dark fruit abound, plums and cherry, again, slight in relative comparison to the booziness on the palate as well. Really didn't seem super thick. Hides the alcohol taste very well, despite its massiveness in the nose.

Just the right amount of sweetness, counterbalanced with tobacco, this one has a lot of elements of a good RIS to it, a middle ground between the American and Russian styles.

Photo of mondegreen
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler from 5 Points Westside in Athens, GA. Poured into a Founder's Balloon Tulip.

Pours a heavy, dark black with a thin mocha head. Slight Lacing.

Nose is phenomenal. Heavy, sweet vanilla, oak and bourbon with a backdrop of sweet chocolate. Exactly what a bourbon barrel aged stout should smell like.

Taste is on par with the nose. The sweetness of the stout is met with the heat of the bourbon to make a very well balanced HUGE beer.

Mouth is full and creamy. Could be a 5.0, but it doesn't quite match with the mastery of the nose and taste. Still, exceptional.

Overall, this is one of the best barrel aged brews I've had to date. It is everything that I want in a non-coffee barrel aged stout, and I feel extremely fortunate to have snagged this at the local growler station.

Photo of OStrungT
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a jet black color, and as thick as motor oil. It fits the name. It boasts a thin brown head. the head fades slowly, leaving a massive lacing.

This beer smells of Bourbon. Not overwhelmingly though. It also has a mild coffee aroma. Some dark fruit and chocolate mix in as well. It also has a sweet malty aroma. Bourbon dominates though.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. Boubron upfront, with some coffee. Figs and chocolate follow. Sweet caramel flavors are also present.

This beer is very full bodied. It leaves a malty sweet aftertaste. the alcohol warms a little on the way down.

This beer might not be the best session beer. It is very aggressive, and high in alcohol.

Overall: I had this beer on tap at the Bistro in Hayward. It was left over from the Barrel Aged Beer fest a few weeks ago. I am glad that it was still around. This beer was great. Definately a sipper though.

Photo of mahak213
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to sixt9coug for the bottle!

Appearance- Pours very dark brown and sits black in the glass with some light coming through around the edges. Not much head, just a thin ring around the edges of the glass

Smell- Cocoa powder, sweet vanilla, coffee, and maybe a hint of some dark fruits- raisin/dried cherry. Alcohol is definitely well hidden in the aroma

Taste- Starts off with a big dark cocoa presence, moving into vanilla and barrel character. Finishes off with a caramel-like sweetness and a touch of coffee. Warming finish, but the alcohol is well masked on the taste as well

Mouthfeel- A touch on the thinner side for me, with average carbonation. Finishes slick and coating, and definitely on the sweet side

Overall- Super solid, I wish it was available for me. I'm not sure I'd drink a ton of it given the price tag, but it's certainly something I would buy each year!

Photo of jeonseh
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle into a Snifter

A - Dark chocolate brown with just a side amount of foam on the sides

S - Chocolate, covered caramel, vanilla and chocolate up front before you get a hint of oak spice and slight cinnamon and sweet bourbon

T - Up front is thick milk chocolate, light dark cocoa, cinnamon, slight oak spice, caramel and vanilla. The finish has bourbon, which is sweet yet has a slight alcohol burn as well as spice. This is a big and complex beer that brings full flavors as you sit and drink

M - Medium body beer that isn't too thick or thin. It doesn't have a lot of carbonation but because the body isn't too thick it is not as much of a deterrent as it is in some other Lost Abbey beers.

O - Even with all of the newer BA stouts out there, this one still impresses. It has a ton of flavor and it is well balanced. You get chocolate, caramel, and vanilla sweetness while still getting a nice oak spice presence. Everything just works together well in this one.

Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of large amounts of vanilla and butterscotch backed by lightly roasted malts and semi-sweet chocolate. Also present are hints of molasses.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Light roasted malt flavors kick things off and are overtaken almost immediately by vanilla and butterscotch flavors. Hints of spicy hops make an appearance midway through the sip, cutting the sweetness from the barrels. Slight amounts of boozy chocolate come into play near the end of the sip, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this is the second time I've had this beer and it was good to know the pleasant experience the first time wasn't an accident. A very big and nicely done beer that's well worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer pours an inky jet black body to dense to see any light. There is a thin wisp of deep tan head that pushes to a thin ring around the edge of the glass. The beer is to dense to see any carbonation. After arm wrestling with the cork for 15 min. there was a soft pop when it came out.
S- This beer has a big oaky vanilla aroma with dark black smooth roasted malt with coffee malt qualities that are well blended. The full vanilla aroma has some graham cracker notes and a very smooth bourbon hint underneath.
T- The dark roasted black malts are smooth with no astringency or bitterness. There is a nice oaky vanilla flavor to follow. The full roasted black malt flavor lingers after each sip. There is a sweet dark raisin note and a soft black vinous note in the finish aswell.
M- The medium mouthfeel has a very soft alcohol warming in the finish.
D- The big very full black malt flavor is well balanced and smooth with a nice support from the barrel. There is no big astringency or alcohol making this easy to sip especially for the ABV.

Photo of pwoods
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to MiScusi for a great trade.

12.7oz brown bottle, corked and caged, poured into a snifter.

A: Pours solid black and true to it's name sake. 1/2 inch of light khaki head forms and holds for a minute or so. Some dots of lacing.

S: Lots of bourbon, alcohol, and molasses. Very sweet and rich.

T/M: Rich molasses and deeply cooked sugar. Bourbon swims throughout this taste. A light coffee note with stronger, velvety chocolate and caramel and nutty tastes throughout. This is probably 6-8months old and the alcohol is still pretty damn potent, but I wouldn't say gets in the way. I'm sure it probably would if it was fresher. Body is full and a bit chewy with just enough carbonation to keep is somewhat smooth.

D: Obviously a slow sipper but one that you'll savor and finish without complaint. This was much better than the plain Old Visc and I'd recommend it.

Photo of degerbah
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with no head at all. The aroma has a little bit of a maple syrupy aroma which is mostly over shadowed by the whiskey booziness and wood. The mouthfeel is a little thicker than I prefer and this prevents me from rating it any higher than I do.

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Older Viscosity from Port Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,400 ratings.