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Older Viscosity - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Older ViscosityOlder Viscosity

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2,177 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,177
Reviews: 690
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 501
Gots: 629 | 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:
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: 2,177 | Reviews: 690 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PDXHops
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Spleeb for this 375ml bottle (titanic cork struggle and all). Vintage not noted on the bottle. A narrow LaChouffe tulip is usually a pretty good glass for gathering up head from a strong barrel-aged brew, but there's not a lot going on headwise here. Just a wisp that's soon gone and a scattered bit of lace here and there.

The bourbon and barrel aromas have mostly subdued the roast from the base beer, but enhance the cherry, dark fruit and dark chocolate. Smells quite strong, but more along the lines of warm and inviting vs. straight boozy. Modest carbonation seems a perfect match for the slippery, coating body. The barrel-aging has coaxed out pleasant buttery and vanilla flavors and the bourbon is ever present but never overpowering. Roasted malt again seems to be an afterthought, and it's pretty sweet stuff; I reckon half a bottle would be plenty. Lots of complex dark fruit and multilayered chocolate, though. I'm not so sure I wouldn't slightly prefer the Old version, but Older Viscosity is quite an enjoyable sipper.

Photo of AmgineDanus
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A – Thick, dark brown pour into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip… similar to a fresh, dark brewed coffee. Viscous nature is obvious. Tan, sandy colored head and lacing.

S – Bourbon, sweet bourbon. Everything else is roasted – dark chocolate, espresso beans, and malts soaked in vanilla. Sensational nose.

T – Delicious bourbon again, then the aforementioned olfactory notes reincarnate on the tongue… only stronger and more pleasurable. Yummy malts and smooth oakiness. Vanilla and chocolate in perfect harmony. Roasted coffee beans. I want the whole bottle swishing around in my mouth right now… have to resist the urge to chug it - it’s that amazing. A stupid fruit fly flies into my second pour which I fish out with the end of a paper towel – apparently it’s no less alluring to the insectine world.

M – The strong roasty-ness is more present at the finish, but still smooth despite the 12%

O – Beyond belief scrumptiousness – one of my top 5 favorite beers. It’s a sad moment as the final sip winds down… virtually anything I drink after this will pale in comparison. Too bad it’s so expensive, but well worth the stiff price tag every once in a while.

Photo of beerhan
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Thick dark black with a thin tan head that stays for the duration. Beautiful pour from a 375ml bottle into a snifter.

S-Bourbon, dark chocolate and coffee.

T-Taste is absolutely phenomenal. Lots of bourbon, dark chocolate and toffee. The bourbon does not bite but adds solely to the flavor. Some molasses in the after taste and coffee as well.

M-Drinks more like a cordial than a beer. It is so smooth and crisp and goes down without a burn. This actually feels smoother than old viscosity.

O-Excellent beer. Almost worth the money but it is still expensive. Nonetheless seek this one out.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz corked and cage, no date, thanks to iguenard for trading me this want!

Pours a black, rich pour, a thin mocha head on top recedes to a collar, some legs on this one as well. Nose is rich, brown sugar, oak, vanilla, booze, toffee, light roast.

Wow, intense. Rich sweetness reminiscent of chocolate cake and bourbon soaked raisins, vanilla, leather, dark fruits, molasses, cocoa, a light earthy quality, wood, some light roast, just a hint of cherries. Pretty boozy but it, to a certain extent, suits the richness of this brew; a sipper for sure. Complex flavors, moderate carbonation, viscous mouthfeel that coats your tongue, light dryness in the finish with coffee notes.

Loads of barrel on this beer but in a good way, a really complex and enjoyable beer that rewards your attention, lots going on, interplay of flavors. With Derek, I can see some old ale here - not roasty enough to be a proper stout - though the barrel helps obscure some of the style lines. Nonetheless, a great evening sipper, a real treat that deserves recognition. Thanks Ian!

Photo of Derek
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a few bubbles of tan head, light leg.

S: Huge boozy, bourbon aroma, underlying vanilla and wood, hints of roasted nut, black strap molasses and field berries.

T: The bourbon is upfront but not overpowering, plenty of molasses, roasted nut, woodsy spice, dark caramel/cola, cocoa, pumpernickel rye bread, balanced bitterness, alcohol warmth.

M: Fairly full body has a modest carbonation, light residual sweetness and a drying alcohol finish.

O: One hell of a brew!

Imperial stout? I'd call this an old ale... and one of the best.

Photo of boralyl
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle. 2010 vintage.

A - The cork comes off with a nice carbonation pop. The beer is pitch black with a nice 1/2" of dark tan head sitting on top of it. The heads retention is OK and finally settles leaving a small ring.

S - The nose has strong bourbon notes along with oak and vanilla. There are subtle notes of malt sweetness and burnt caramel throughout.

M - Medium-full in body with light-medium carbonation. A little bit thinner than I expected, but it's close. Some stickiness in the mouth feel, but not overly so.

T - Sweet malts up front with some light chocolate followed up by the oak. Some vanilla comes in next with the bourbon flavor dominating the finish leaving some alcohol heat as it goes down. Along with the bourbon there is also some caramel and toffee flavors.

This beer is full of complexities. I got multiple waves of flavors and aromas with each sip. Both senses seemed to pick up new things with each waft and sip. It's very good, but I don't think I'd pay the 17$ price tag again when there are more affordable and delicious beers like Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout.

Photo of charlzm
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed September 8th, 2011 at BoHo in Hollywood, CA.

Beer is an opaque black with virtually no head. A very thin skin of tan foam fails to provide any meaningful sheeting or lacing.

Aroma is rich, deep and sweet: full of brandy and chocolate, vanilla and pitted fruit.

Flavor is sublime: as aroma but with a slight sour cherry tang as well. Fairly low bitterness.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for as full as the flavor and aroma are. The slightly dry finish is nearly evaporative - unexpected. Some carbonation tingle present.

This is just awesome.

Photo of Fenris244
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

reviewed from notes, had at the distillery in Savannah, Georgia

Pours jet black with a thin tan head, minimal retention and lacing

Intense bourbon, vanilla banana and raisin, bits of oak char, caramel and some brown sugar, some bits of licorice thrown in for good measure as well. Great aroma.

Bourbon comes through strongly, banana and vanilla again(comes with the bourbon) caramel, little bits of coffee and some char for bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth, almost has a creaminess to it, definitely heavy on the palate

Overall, why can't I get this in Texas? It's truly enjoyable, I must have spent a half hour on one glass alone just sipping and marveling, I'd buy this by the case. By far one of the best stouts I've ever had.

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

Pours like an engine oil (and that's a very beautiful sight). No head. Very dark brown in color - almost completely black. Smells a lot like bourbon, but not too overpowering. A bit of burned caramel in the smell. "Viscosity" is a very fitting name. I find this ale to be quite thick. First sip was very powerful. It hit me with everything it had and for a moment I thought I was done. But the more I sip it, the more I come around. Alcohol is not apparent, but it still feels like a very strong beer. Bourbon up front, but what I find absolutely enjoyable is the sweet, chocolatey aftertaste. That is a fine note that after all makes it for a nice, smooth mouthfeel. Generally, this is not my style (not a huge fan of stouts and barleywines and even less of a fan of bourbon), but once in a while it just hits the spot. By the way, I'm tasting the 2009 vintage.

Photo of seand
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is from a year old bottle.

A: Pours a deep, deep black, with a small amount of dark tan head. A layer retains on the surface, with a thicker ring around the edge of the glass, which leaves pretty nice walls of lacing.

S: Hugely full, sweet, and malty, something like a couple coffee beans in a sea melted caramel. There's also just a touch of boozy warmth.

T: Sweet and complex, really nice. It's got a very good depth, which may have been helped along by the extra year it's been aging. Right at the finish there's a bit of burning alcohol, which makes the beer almost feel a touch tart. There's also a lingering bitterness, and it would not be unfair to call it... viscous.

M: Very full body, low but present carbonation.

Overall, extremely good. This is the kind of beer that made the bourbon aged imperial stout such a big part of US craft brewing.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a $40 growler fill of this among a few people. Reveiwing from notes, poured into whiskey glass...

A- Pitch black, extremely thick with virtually no head... Poured out, like oil. Scared us all a little I think... Love the "viscosity", but no head or lacing.

S- Holy shit, bourbon. Nothing else but bourbon, it's scary. Maybe a tiny tiny roast hidden in the deep intricate bourbon whiskey aroma... As this settles on the nose, it sweetens and a bit more dark sweetness and wood come out; still scary alcoholic though. I'm kinda a liquor bitch, so this was too much for me.

T/M- Holy damn, licorice and sweetness galore. Molasses, fig, coffee, roast.. Licorice, licorice, licorice... Subtle bourbon, hidden much more than nose makes you think. Very complex, very sweet. Full body, almost no carbonation at all- whether just from being in growler or its the beer, I dunno. Oily and slick, almost like a milkshake.

O- Nose was too alcoholic and hot from the inense bourbon. Taste was much more sweet and complex. Very anise forward and just a big in your face sweet bomb of a stout. I liked the taste, but a little of this one goes such a long way!

Photo of harrymel
3.58/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 2011

Yet again, I'm allured to the potential of Tomme. Deep breath.

A: Pull the cage off the cork and give the cork a firm twist and tug, the bitch barely moves. Finally work it off to an underwhelming "oop" of cork expanding out the mouth of the bottle. Pours out a dark, dark maduro ale with a sheet of transient cocoa foam. The foam disappears in a few seconds to leave a rim of the same bordering a mirrored surface over this darky. No lace.

S: Oak, licorice, black cherry, molasses and dark malts. Some sweet bourbon notes. Kinda has a cake smell on it.

T: Hot as hell. The alcohol is the first thing I notice. Then toasted cocoa and coffee alongside some vanilla notes and just a whiff of coconut. Some nice bourbon tones. Really, really potent.

M: Thick and viscous (fancy that), carbonated (fancy that!!), an oddly sticky yet dry finish.

O: So here's the thing, I can drink this, and would say it's a decent beer. I would argue it is overpriced compared to similar beers. The barrels really come through stronger than I prefer, but they are exactly that - barrels previously having held alcohol. Would I drink again? Absolutely. Will I purchase another bottle? If I find one at the same price ($17/375ml) that is at least two years old then I will. Otherwise, this one can sit on the shelves.

Photo of GregSVT
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into a wine glass - thanks to fatmcb1 for the chance to try this!

A: Pours black with a big brown head that fades to a ring and leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

S: The nose has a ton of bourbon barrel char, vanilla, and some cocoa and chocolate malts. Really reminds me of GI BCS with a bit less fudge aromas.

T: The taste follows the nose with big vanilla, molasses, slight chocolate malts, and barrel char. The taste is pretty intense.

M: This is the only disappointment of this beer. Way too thin for a big stout like this but it is relatively creamy.

O: This is tasty but the body detracts from the overall experience for me. The flavors are great and I look forward to drinking the bottle I have.

Photo of doopydoogle
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32 oz growler into a dogfish lazeretched glass:

A - dark, dark beer with little sign of carbonation. Some slight bubbles rose upon pouring, with no residual head whatsoever.

S - alcohol, plums, coffee, chocolate, raisins, chocolate coated raisins, cassis, port wine, oak, whiskey, petroleum,

T - direct oaky port vibe, with some cassis, chocolate, and raisins, followed by a rich bitterness that opens up to a roasted malt and coffee tone followed by the lingering alcohol bite. A very aggressive beer with tons of flavor and a surprising vibrancy and acidity for the style. The finish is rich and mellow and keeps you chewing for quite a while, picking out more and more flavors. The oaky whiskeyness predominates.

M - Coats the palate with richness, alcohol, and a slight bitterness. The residual alcohol is slightly overpowering upon the finish.

O - A really good beer. Super-complex, mega-heady, and stays with ya'! I'm curious to try the Old Viscosity now to see how this beer is cut with some stainless steel ages imperial stout. Probably dangerous for me to approach this 32 oz. growler singlehandedly, but we'll see what happens :)!

Photo of CruisaC
3.6/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Keg N Bottle Santa Barbara for $8.99 I think, picked it up b/c I've paid almost twice that.

Pours dark brown-black; a half inch head quickly dissipates. I can actually hear the carbonation form, somewhat akin to pouring a soda.

Smell is very heavy on the bourbon. I can maybe catch a whiff of vanilla on the tail end

Taste also fairly heavy on the bourbon. Some roasted coffee and malts as well but a bit too bourbon-y for me to like it on a repeated basis.

Too thin with the mouthfeel.

Overall, it's one I had been wanting to try for a while and I was let down a bit. Not bad by any stretch, but I probably would have been even more disappointed if I paid $15.99 a bottle.

Photo of fatmcb1
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my friend Keith who brought this back from Chicago

Pours pitch black with a tan head that fades and leaves a ring.

Great bourbon, charred wood smell comes first. There is also plenty of roasted malt and rich chocolate.

Taste is similar to the smell, with perhaps a bit less chocolate. There is also some vanilla. Alcohol is present.

This is very light, thin for the style, and would have benefited from added carbonation.

Overall, I enjoyed the beer. It would have been much better if it had a more creamy, richer mouthfeel. This was overly thin.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

picked this one up last time i was in chicagoland area.

a - opened and filled my dark lord inteligensia snifter. black as oil, thin bubbly off white/tan head that fizzed away in a few moments but could be resurrected with a swirl.

s - deep rich roasted malt. boozy chocolate covered dark fruit. indulgent. rich. bourbon wood.

t - boozy chocolate syrup with a strong alcohol sweetness. very boozy. a bit cloying, but not overly so. the booze is more vodka like than bourbon at first, but the 2nd pour from the bottle had more of the bourbon characteristic to the booze.

m - mouth jumped out as huge and very full bodied. coated the inside of my mouth with boozy chocolate syrup. sludgy...as advertised.

o - overall this is a boozy beer. the stouty parts are very nice, but the booziness is there. a bit thick and heavy. good beer. wasn't really blown away, but i enjoyed this beer. got better as it went and i found myself getting more impressed as i warmed up to the beer more. i wouldn't turn one of these down and might check it out again, but the price point is a bit tough to justify on such a small beer.

Photo of Srsly
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black black black. very small dark head that didn't hang around.

S - really awesome, can definitely smell the bourbon and the barrel as well as some coffee and chocolate.

T - starts big with powerful bourbon flavors and winds down to a smooth vanilla. The finish is mostly espresso, which I wasn't expecting but is a welcome surprise.

M - Not much carbonation, but enough for me to be able to enjoy it.

O - a really excellent beer, i absolutely loved it. For fans of barrel aged stuff or fans of stouts, this really does the trick. the price is prohibitive (at least for my income bracket) so i probably won't have another for some time, and that's a huge bummer.

Photo of 2xHops
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this beer is DARK. It truly did look like motor oil when it was poured in my glass.

I really liked the flavors in this beer. It's oaky as you often see with barrel-aged stouts. The flavor is so rich and lively, it's impossible to not like this.

I think the drawback is for me, that it seems so flat, flat, flat in the mouthfeel department. It also seemed a bit thin too for me. A hint of carbonation will help it be a bit more lively.

Overall, I think it is still a fun beer for anyone to try. It certainly shows that the brewer have a very different idea of how he wanted to make his beer. It packs a punch, so it is good one to have if you wanted to take it slow and savor the abundant flavors.

Photo of afi4lifer
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a slightly chilled bottle into oversized wine glass.

A - This is one cool looking beer. Very dark, lets in almost no light and very little lacing to be seen. I'm excited...

S - A little flat but strong traces of booze, bourbon, chocolate and molasses.

T - Wow is all I can see. Socks you right in the mouth and makes no apologies. Big bourbon taste up front and pleasant finish on the way down. I happen to love bourbon and cannot get over how much I like this one.

M - Very chewy but drinkable, goes down a lot smoother than the ABV would lead you to believe.

O - This beer is simply outstanding, likely the best I have ever had. Port and Lost Abbey never fail to let me down and this beer is the cream of the crop in my opinion.

Photo of Badbobx
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was camping in the San Juan mountains near Pagosa Springs a couple of weeks ago and had a bottle of Older Viscosity. I was sitting by the campfire and poured this into a clear plastic pint glass. In the moon enhanced fire light this had a wonderful dark brown motor oil appearance. There was virtually no head or carbonation.
The aroma was thick with malts, coffee, and oak.
The taste was very rich with smoke, ripe fruit, and a pleasant alcohol finish.
A wonderful experience with a truly great beer.

Photo of WillCarrera
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours an evil black. It's completely opaque and has virtually no head, what little is there stays near the edge of the glass and is mocha colored.

S- Booze, loooots of booze. It smells like a snifter of bourbon. There's also some vanilla along with a good dose of chocolate cake and coffee lurking in the background.

T- The effect of the aging is most apparent up front, the flavor starts out with a big wave of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. As you approach the finish there's a second wave of dark chocolate, chewy roasted malts, coffee, and molasses.

M- Full bodied, low carbonation with a rich, creamy feel. Alcohol is pretty warming.

O- An excellent beer, packed with flavor and layers of complexity.

Photo of Pencible
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 375 ml bottle.

A: This poured an opaque black mahogany, with a bit of tan head.
S: It smelled like strong bourbon with tons of toasted oak and vanilla and coconut, along with some mocha and roasted earthy walnuts, and a bit of burnt molasses and alcohol.
T: It tasted like mocha and cream and vanilla and toasted oak, with some sweet prune and coconut and earthy molasses. It had a mellow and sweet aftertaste, with some alcohol warming.
M: It was thick and viscous with a little carbonation. Very full and slick body.
D: This was one of the better bourbon stouts I've tried. The scent and taste and body were all great. Delicate and complex, but still plenty bold. The alcohol was noticeable but not too strong, and the finish was very smooth, so it was surprisingly easy to drink. The sweet and roasty/burnt flavors were well balanced in this impressive brew. Could probably improve with a few years in the cellar, but great fresh(-ish). Definitely recommended.

Photo of jnn4v
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark - almost pitch black except around the fringes when held to light. Otherwise opaque. No real head at all.

S: This smells absolutely fantastic - tons of chocolate and bourbon and ample coffee all at once. Coconut, vanilla, caramel, and candied pecans or walnuts. Did I mention it smells fantastic? Some dark brown sugar and molasses, hints of maple, and more chocolate, coffee and toffee.

T: Very smooth with little burn up front. Chocolate, caramel, coffee, and toffee on the first two tastes. Some coffee and cocoa powder bitterness develops after a few more sips. Butterscotch and caramel sweetness lingers from the beginning of the sip through the aftertaste. Not as amazing as the scent, but very good. Some alcohol burn in the aftertaste.

M: Silky smooth. Very fine carbonation, but plenty of it. Good
density. Pretty much as it should be for the style.

O: One of the best barrel-aged imperial stouts I've had, and I've had a LOT of them. Excellent scent and very good flavors and texture make this exceptionally well rounded. I wish I had tried it years ago when I first had the opportunity, but I had though it was too expensive at the time. Buy it if you get the chance, and save it for a special occasion. Like a Saturday. Or night time. Or your anniversary. It's that good.

Photo of azdback
4.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. Poured into a small snifter glass. Ultra pitch black. Highlights are just as black and light repelling. Head is just a small half finger and light tan in color. Lace is probably, with the high ABV, not gonna stick around.

Smell is as if I crawled into the barrel itself. Huge vanilla, and bourbon. The sweet is of caramel and molasses. There is some smoke of maybe cigar smoke. Very complex and very fantastic.

Taste is at first the whiskey and charred wood. That is followed closely by the vanilla sweet and very fresh and ripe red cherries. Not all that tart but a sweet cherry. Alcohol vapors finish this up.

Mouth is quite smooth and even superior for the style. Loved every sip of this including the alcohol burn at the end.

Overall I think this is the closest thing I have had to The Abyss (my only 5 score). This is exceptional Barrel Aged Stout. I must thank matttyce for this bottle. Seek this out at all cost!!!

Older Viscosity from Port Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,177 ratings.