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Older Viscosity - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Older ViscosityOlder Viscosity

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,042 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,042
Reviews: 681
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 500
Gots: 611 | FT: 53
Brewed by:
Port Brewing visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged for 12 months in new bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: SacoDeToro on 12-03-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,042 | Reviews: 681 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GarrettMD
3.85/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark. No light coming through the edges. Very thin head with tiny off white bubbles that fades to a ring around the edge almost instantly.

S - Dark fruits, oak, coffee, slight hints of chocolate. Everything you would expect from this style. Dark fruits are very prominent though, mostly plum and fig.

T - Very unique. I can't quite place it. Definitely some alcohol in there. As the taste fades, it's mostly coffee and dark chocolate. At first it is

M - Very thin for a stout. Carbonation is very light too. It's a slightly watery mouthfeel from the alcohol. Finish is sweet with dark fruits.

O - This would probably do better with age. I liked it, but it seemed like a lot of the flavors weren't blending well enough together. I'll try aging one next time.

GarrettMD, Jul 24, 2011
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.

ehammond1, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of
3.28/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2011 Bottle

a-jet black with a tan head.

s-some coffee, wood and alcohol. average at best.

t-some coffee, alcohol, barrel, anise. Not a ton going on, but is drinkable.

m-carbonation was good, felt a little light for a stout.

o-not super impressed with this beer.

, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of jneiswender
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bomber bottle into a four ounce tasting glass. Served cool.

A-ink black body and a thick tan head.

S-woody, anise

T-grainy, sweet, licorice is pronounced

M-full, very slick

D-very nice. I would drink this beer again. The beer is a nice representation of the style.

jneiswender, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2011 - 12oz bottle obtained from the brewery on a recent trip to SoCal. Poured in to a Founder's Tulip glass.

A - Dark black with a small amout of espresso coloured head. Poured a thick consistency but not as sludgy as I expected from the label.

S - A very robust nose of oak, vanilla, and whisky are dominant in the nose. Some background scents are present as well, including molasses, coffee and brown sugar.

T - Heavy oak and bourbon flavours hit the palate right away with some of that vanilla from the nose rounding out the primary flavours (but not as much vanilla as the nose indicated). Some muted coffee flavours in the background along with some sweet molasses. The ABV is slightly noticeable but only if you are looking for it. Otherwise, you get lost in the oak and bourbon flavours. The finish has bourbon and oak flavours that linger considerably on the tongue.

M - Full body. Viscous and somewhat sludgy, as the label indicated. For some reason I expected more, but this beer still offers a thick, full body.

O - An excellent beer. I feel like there was something missing to put this one really over the top and make it a perfect beer. Still an excellent beer that is worth seeking out.

TheSevenDuffs, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of rvdoorn
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage, forgot how I got it, but whoever sent it to me, thanks
Look: the beer pours a oil black color with almost no head, but the lacing was nice and dark-brown.
Smell: Dark chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla, subtle bourbon, and roasted malts.
Taste: in the nose, the bourbon was subtle, in the taste it come forward very strong. However, it is, not disturbing. Roasted malts, dark chocolate, vanilla, wood, dark fruits. Some hints of coffee in the aftertaste. Alcohol is a bit too much present here.
Mouthfeel: Thick body, low carbonation. Very smooth.
Overall: This is a very tasty beer, would drink it again. My bottle however, was very flat with almost no carbonation. Also the alcohol is not too well hidden, but besides that, very very good

rvdoorn, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of BlackWednesday
2.5/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

375 ml bottle; 2008 vintage via Sinner’s Club; thin jet black with fluffy dark brown head fading slowly; intense nose of chocolate cake, oak, bourbon and candy apples; texture is thin and a little oily on the teeth and glass; decadent roast with creamy bourbon, chocolate; level of bourbon is just about perfect to me as it complements rather than dominates; Old Viscosity itself is a rich, decedent brew and this just ups the ante; chocolate and dark fruits with honey, oatmeal and vanilla; very nice

BlackWednesday, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Public House, in San Francisco.

Older Viscosity pours a gritty motor oil black with a head that's like cement both in colour and in form, at least in most spots, there are patches that fizzled out. It may have a bit of brown in its edges but there's certainly no seeing through this beer anywhere. The lacing it leaves is the colour of caucasian skin and endures like super-glue.

The aroma signs a wonderful melody of heavily charred wood, vanilla bean, macerated dark chocolate and has a resounding chorus of bourbon. The alcohol is quickly and easily perceived, but it is well fairly integrated and, if anything, works fine with such a rich cast of flavours. With warmth, the beer starts to smell like a bourbon-soaked tootsie-roll.

Bourbon is unquestionably the star of this profile, but it's one of many. Black licorice follows start to finish and Spanish coffee and dark chocolates pop up here and there along the way. Roasted malt impressively manages to stand up to all the bourbon notes (and their astonishing level of vanilla). The barrel - not the alcohol - has final say on the finish.

Older Viscosity doesn't make you breath fire (although it's not a bad idea to keep it away from open flames). The 8 ounce pour I had lasted me the length of four innings of a baseball game; I found it a very pleasurable drink but one that better suited to a leisurely pace. The aftertaste is bitter (you can really tell Old Viscosity is heavily hopped) and strong, but more soothing than belligerent. Bourbon is a detail on the edifice not the foundation of it.

Some feel we shouldn't reward beers simply for trading in their drinkability for strength and intensity. But it's hard not to. Older Viscosity (like any bourbon barrel-aged double digit beer) is not one to think of in terms of six packs - it's one to think of in terms of six people. It's meant to be enjoyed at a different pace. So grab a snifter and shut-up already!

That said, a lot of bourbon barrel-aged beers are highly rated solely because the intensity and departure the barrel affords them. For me, the rose already came off that bloom; long gone are the days when I was impressed solely by a beer because it was barrel-aged. But to this day Older Viscosity fascinates me. Offering bourbon as a detail on the edifice not the foundation, it is perhaps the most refined such beer I've come across. Worth every penny.

biegaman, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark brown with a moderate frothy brown head that mostly diminished with fair lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted malt, woody with a small alcohol aroma. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Heavy bourbon woody and malt sweet flavor with a heavy bittersweet finish of long duration. This is a standout beer.

tmoneyba, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of ArrogantB
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hops and Pie, 10oz for $8 is not bad considering that a 375ml bottle costs $17. Dark black, no surprises there. Smells fantastic like chocolates and a very subtle barrel and bourbon character. the taste is equally fantastic, chocolate, slightly boozy but the barrel and bourbon never take over. This is a very well done beer, other breweries should take notes because most barrel-aged beers are all barrel and booze. Oh, it wasn't flat either.

ArrogantB, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap this evening at Hops and Pie. I've had this one before (bottles) and while enjoyable, I haven't been all that impressed. I am now. Poured a deep, dark black color with a good tan head. Aromas of bourbon, roasted malt, dark fruits and dark chocolate. On the palate, this one is full bodied, with big (yet very balanced) bourbon flavors, along with roasted malt, dark chocolate, plums, vanilla and oak. Excellent balance, drinkable and delicious. I didn't want to finish the glass.

emmasdad, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of DoubleJ
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally! On-tap was a 2010 vintage at 38 Degrees (the place, not the serving temperature), on to the beer;

The color is as black as ink, while the head on top has a milky texture and is somehwat tanned in color. And then this....tons and tons of aroma therapy potential, and by this we're talking mounds of cocoa and dark malt with accents of wood. One small ding is a little rub of rubbing alcohol, otherwise the nose is just what I want.

As good as the nose was, the taste is even better. If the aroma can be described by mounds, then the taste can be describes by an avalanche. There's so much coconut and chocolate that I'm only short of the almonds to be drinking liquid Almmond Joy. With the addition of vanilla specs, it takes on the character of a great ice cream. Then there's a whisper of peat, did somebody drop scotch in the beer? The only reason it misses a "5" is because the alcohol has a less than pleasurable solvent character. Even a pleasant warming alcohol would have been enough to put Older Viscosity into the ring of the elite. There's little surprise with the mouthfeel, which is rich and fairly smooth and a tad carbonated, no worres of a flat liquid from a keg.

Older Viscosity is walking on the line of very good and elite, and I think would make an excellent cigar beer. Yet despite such accolades, I remain very hesitant to pull the trigger on a bottle for two reasons: the $17 pricetag for a 375 ml bottle at a store (versus $7 for 10 ounces on-tap at a bar), and the brewery's reputation of erratic carbonation control in its bottles. Looks like I'll have to wait to find it on-tap again.

DoubleJ, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of LaneMeyer
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip

A- Black black, can't see through this beer one bit, about a finger and a half of head.

S- Alcohol, bourbon, dark fruits, raisins, fig, prunes, maple syrup.

T- Prunes, raisins, fig, bourbon, lavender, dark cherries

M- Rich, medium thick, not much carbonation, goes down smooth, warmth down the throat

O- I love this beer. So delicious. Only complaint is the price tag, paid 15.99 for the 12.7 oz. bottle.

LaneMeyer, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 38 degrees Barrel aged week.

Look: Very very deep purple color with a very slight brown ring around the top. 1/4 tan head with zero retention

Smell: Hints of bourbon and roasted malt, followed up nicely with traces of coffee and bitter chocolate

Taste: Bitter chocolate right up front followed up by just a hint of coffee and vanilla with a bourbon finish and a nice amount of heat

Mouthfeel: Typical barrel aged stout. Very warm mouthfeel to it and a little silky on the palate

Overall: This beer is very enjoyable. Great flavor profile with a nice amount of bitter chocolate which I love. Very well balanced and just the right amount of heat that it shouldn't turn you away.

DarthKostrizer, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of zrab11
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice Dark motor oil and has a nice 1 finger tan head with alittle bit of lacing

S- I get chocolate and bourbon from this beer. also smeel alittle bit of vanilla and malts

T- Has a nice bourbon flavor up front then the middle has a nice chocoalte vanilla flavor in the middle and then finished with a nice malty creamyness

M-Medium to full bodied with good carbonation

D- overall this was a very tasy brew. Glad i seeked this out and wish i had more. This jut has such a nice bourbon and chocolate flavor and goes down soo smooth. def. try this brew

zrab11, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of DovaliHops
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. Pours a pitch black, thick liquid with a small tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is AMAZING! Inviting bourbon aroma with sweet vanilla and toffee. Some nice chocolate aromas also. Taste is JUST AS AMAZING! Thick bourbon, chocolate, and coffee flavors! For being fresh, this beer is amazingly well-balanced and smooth. The flavors all blend together so well. Vanilla is lingering on the tongue after each sip. Mouthfeel is thick and engine-oliy. Drinkability is high. Overall, this beer is fantastic, to say the lease. I'm aging one bottle, but I feel like I will regret it because of how well it is drinking now.

DovaliHops, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of Casey10
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow what a exceptional beer this is really that all that can be said. Picked this up about 8 months ago and been sitting on it picked up another so I thought I give it a try.

The appearance dark very slight head.

Smell strong smell of tobacco and burbon.

Taste well it is subjective you might either hate or really love it. It is a sipper for sure. Wood (oak) and burbon dominate.

M - This one leaves its feel forever and is so good I had to give it a 5.

O - Really had heard about this a lot it lives up to the hype for me. You have to understand I think or want to like a bit of burbon spirits to really get into it. If you don't that's okay this is a must have for anyone wanting to try one of the best out there.

Casey10, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Older Viscosity does look a good bit like motor oil, black and viscous. A slim brown head rises and settles down quickly, leaving just a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

The aroma has a lot of barrel to it. Wood, vanilla, whiskey, a little bit of dark fruit.

The barrel dominates the flavor also, with tons of whiskey and a good bit of heat. A lot of spicy oak characteristics come through, with vanilla and maybe a little bit of coconut to go along with it. Notes of charcoal come through also. A little bit of chocolate, and maybe some dark bread. The middle tastes a little bit like someone dropped a shot of vodka in my glass. The finish has a strong dose of coffee. The aftertaste is fairly pleasant, with lots of coffee, some chocolate and just traces of bourbon and barrel; probably my favorite part.

The body is lush and full, with a good bit of smooth carbonation to it.

A little too hot and boozy for me, and I would like to see a little more beer in my beer. The harsh alcohol flavors in the middle are also unwelcome. Overall Older Viscosity has its flaws, but it is better than the plain old, and it isn't a bad sipper.

Hojaminbag, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of StoneTSR
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Like the last reviewer said, the cork on this one put up a hell of a fight. Once popped, however, the Older Viscosity lived up to it's name, not letting a single ray of light through, even when held up towards my desk lamp. There was no reddish hue, no clarity at all, just a solid black wall. In terms of the head, a thick one developed quickly. maybe two inches or so, before quickly leveling off to about a quarter inch. From there it slowly dissipated and eventually left a few wisps of foam to linger around the surface for the remainder of the glass. Lacing was minimal.

SMELL: This stuff smells fantastic. It is one of those rare brews that makes you sad to finish because you can no longer stick your nose in the glass. It is very boozy and reminded me a lot of the Bourbon County Stout aroma with just a little less oak and vanilla in the nose. The smell got my hopes way up for this beer and given the intensity of the aroma I knew there would not be much room for the flavor to hide.

TASTE: As I suspected, the OV did not disappoint. A big, strong, boozy start greeted the palate with a full array of vanilla bourbon, alcohol, oak and a touch of smoke. As the bourbon, booze and smoke flavors all faded, the woody oak remained strong for the finish leaving a pleasant aftertaste.

MOUTHFEEL: Here's a shocker - this one in pretty oily. Unlike some other oily beers, however, it is not at all mouthcoating and, in fact, is quite dry. I was surprised by the lack of sugary feel and flavor this beer is given how thick and oily it is.

OVERALL: This is an absolutely outstanding beer. Since the Goose Island sell out I have been bummed that buying BCBS will create a moral dilemma for me, but the OV comes close to substituting for it. If you can get your hands on this stuff, do it. Also, thanks to Robb at Papi's Pizza in Estes Park, CO for the bottle. I don't think I would have even known about it if he had not so graciously offered me a bottle on the house last time I was there.

StoneTSR, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of ratedz
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been wanting to try this one for quite a while and was surprised to see one in a box I received from MrTopher. Thanks (as always) Chris!

A - The cork put up a mighty fight and finally popped out with zero fanfare. I have come to expect no audible pop from Port/Lost Abbey corks, so I wasn't surprised. Pours pitch black with zero head. Color is spot on for an imperial stout and I know that barrel aged beers typically don't have much of a head, but I poured this one aggressively and still got nothing.

S - Amazing. Hints of bourbon, chocolate, oak, and vanilla all play nicely together.

T - A little bourbon up front, but notes of sweet vanilla and roasted malts take over as it sits on the tongue for a second. The bourbon makes a reappearance at the back of the tongue and on the finish.

M - Slightly above average body with zero to little carbonation. The lack of carbonation certainly doesn't hurt this beer as I tend to enjoy my imperial stouts a little on the flat side.

O - An awesome smelling and tasting beer. If you like hot bourbon barrel aged beers like I do, this one is a must try.

ratedz, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of camil1mj
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle at cellar temperature into my Founder's Snifter.

A: Dark as the motor oil that cones out of an engine way overdue for an oil change. Light tan head that quickly disappears. Very light lacing.

S: Chocolate and vanilla bourbon bliss.

T: Immediate bourbon heat. Just like described in the smell, there are strong, sweet vanilla and chocolate flavors running wild. So good!

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation levels. Falls just shy of the sweet stickiness I love in BCBS. This is the only thing keeping this from being one of the best.

O: This ranks in my top 10 favorite stouts!

camil1mj, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of badboyrsl84
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a fizzy white head.

Smells - Bourbon, Bourbon, more Bourbon. Vanilla and chocolate.

Taste - fantastic! It hot up front with Bourbon but settles in with chocolate that rides you all the way through till the end where another hit of Bourbon and some vanilla kicks in. Alcohol is very present in the throat.

Overall - I love this beer and if I could afford it I'd drink it everyday. Go get you some!

badboyrsl84, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks cam

A - very dark brown body, basically black, with a small grey/brown head.

S - raisin, bourbon, heat, caramel/toffee

T - sweet dark malty flavors, bourbon notes.

M - big, fairly smooth mouthfeel

O (D) - this is a big beer, tasty, and interesting. too expensive.

ColdPoncho, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of pmarlowe
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Kuhnhenn tulip.

Pours very dark brown coffee shade with some largish bubbles and a light tan right of head which sticks around for the duration. Not as thick as the elaborate description on the bottle had me expecting. Smell is sort of a creamy sweet vanilla like vanilla ice cream, bourbon, some oak and cocoa powder and a little booze. Not getting much malt at all. Tastes again like creamy vanilla, with the oak a little more in the forefront, booziness more noticeable, and finally some malts. As it warms, there's more oak, bourbon, milk chocolate, and dark fruit present. A little alcohol burn in the chest after swallowing. Medium carbed, mouth coating full body, although again not particularly "thick", and really smooth. Overall, a super tasty, big bbal stout, with an interesting creamy character to it. For comparison, I would say there's less bourbon/oak than KBS.

My only complaint is the price point: ~$15 for a 375ml is a little steep. For comparison, that's about four times the price of a KBS, or about twice as much per oz. as Parabola.

pmarlowe, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks lisomiso.

Pours a thick dark dark brown with a nice reddish tint. A nice bit of light brown head. Incredibly thick and viscous. Smells heavily of bourbon. Way overpowering but great. Tastes chocolatey and sweet. Tons of oak and vanilla from the bourbon. Very very potent. Overall top notch

Urbancaver, Jun 22, 2011
Older Viscosity from Port Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,042 ratings.