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Older Viscosity - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Older ViscosityOlder Viscosity

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2,276 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,276
Reviews: 702
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 500
Gots: 651 | FT: 51
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: 2,276 | Reviews: 702 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.77/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Photo of StoneTSR
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of ratedz
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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!

Photo of badboyrsl84
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

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.

Photo of pmarlowe
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of Urbancaver
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
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

Photo of Cavery
3.22/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes, shared with Klym this past weekend.

Poured into Stone Nonic.

A: Really quite flat in appearance. Classic quill pen ink, no head formation at all, even with a violent pour. Though this isn't uncharacteristic for bigger stouts.

S: Cinnamon bourbon and nutmeg jump at the nose. Slightly tart craisins, wet bourbon bite that goes into potent cherries and old fruit cake. This is a bit perplexing, kind of smells like something I wouldn't want to pull out of the fridge.

T: Tastes like alcohol sweet bread pudding. Alcohol rocks your socks, while spices fight a losing battle. The cinnamon and molasses create a lightly swirling flavor that only slightly relieves the booziness. A slightly drier finish saves the alcohol from being completely palette numbing.

M: A very flat beer. Even for barrel aging, this feels like a shot. the mouth is even a bit thin. Holding this too long in your mouth will cause nerve damage, you've been warned. A disappointing mouth experience where any sense of carbonation is trumped by an alcohol fire.

O: This beer can simply be explained as too hot. The alcohol bleeds into every aspect of this beer. I had to really pull back in order to focus on the separate categories, it wasn't easy. Even then the alcohol factor couldn't be avoided. All in all a lack of balance is the undoing of grandpa viscosity.

Photo of Klym
3.82/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours like coke: dark with an audible carbonation that starts with a very modest head and fizzles quickly into nothing. Uninspiring pour and appearance.

S: Hot in the nose with raisins, spices, and a little sugar kick. Smells much like the large group of barrel aged stouts out there like BCBS, Old Rasputin XII, etc.

T: Hotness comes through pretty clearly with stale coffee and isn't masked under spices and flavor blending quite like many other barrel aged stouts. The flavor transition is pretty interesting, going from upfront alcohol into spices and raisin then cocoa shavings back into a bitterer chocolate/preserved cherries and finally into a sweet chocolate with a little roast. Hard, though, to not feel like this is just another barrel aged stout to throw in with the many that fit the exact same flavor profile. Little original here that is strongly present and enjoyable.

M: Not much viscosity for something that goes by the name. Thin in the mouth and carbonation is more soda-like and ephemeral than is appropriate for the style.

O: It's hard for me to separate anymore my independent evaluation of a beer and the context of the many drinks I've had. Honestly, seems like another drop in the bucket of barrel aged stouts-- booziness, dark fruits, spices, chocolate, coffee; as much as I love them I feel myself getting bored. Looking at it without the boredom, it has pour mouthfeel, seems too hot and doesn't mask the alcohol very well, and while aging might mellow it I can only see it becoming a BCBS at best, which alone isn't that high of a bar. One of the poorest of the best stouts out there.

Photo of dmsohyea
3.39/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Hamilton's in South Park. Served in a mini challis.

Pours dark brown like nasty motor oil, and probably equally as thick (hyperbole). No head. No lacing. A swirl shows a small bubble structure that dissipates immediately.

Smell is chocolate and molasses. Brown sugar, vanilla and some coffee, but this one seems to be mostly chocolatey.

Tastes, as a friend described it, "like Kahlua mixed with club soda." That made me laugh. And really, a quite apt analogy to the flavor. Tons of chocolate, super sweet and syrupy. Tastes a lot like alcoholic chocolate milk. Considering the high ABV, it's well hidden. Thick and rich, I couldn't finish the glass for I had to drive home.

Mouthfeel was extremely oily and flat (shocking, a Lost Abbey beer that's flat?! Wait, this was on tap...). Anyways, it really suffered from the extremely low carbonation. Not terrible, it was certainly full bodied and thick.

Overall, I don't think I'd drink this again for a while. It's too heavy and undercarbed to be fully appreciated for it's nice flavor.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darkest black with brown sugar foam. Looks quite stout indeed, although there's a fair component of brown malt to the coloring. The nose is full of bourbon, smoke, and sweet malts. Chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, caramelized sugars, and vanillin are all appreciated. Very nice.

Older Viscosity is as good as I expected. With such an unusual base beer as Old Vis, I assumed as much. This one is malt-heavy and thick, as the name would suggest. I encountered little bits and hints of a thousand different flavors: fruits such as raspberry, blackberry, and fig; roasted notes such as coffee, chicory, chocolate, and molasses; sweetness from bourbon, vanilla, tobacco, and coconut.

Great beer, super complex, and definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of elgiacomo
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle, 2011 release. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours dark brown to black with a one finger brown head that recedes to a wispy cap and ring, leaving only a few spots of lacing behind. Also not as thick as I had thought it would be.

Aroma is an absolutely wonderful wave of bourbon, one of the better bourbon noses I’ve encountered. Also tagging along are notes of oak, rich chocolate, premium coffee, vanilla, anise, figs, plums, black currants and other dark fruits. Excellent strength.

Flavor is again more tasty bourbon, well pronounced but doesn’t overpower the chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, oak, vanilla, and a strong dark fruit component. There is noticeable alcohol on the finish but within tolerance for a big bourbon barrel aged beer. Very complex.

Mouthfeel is medium to high, creamy with low/medium carbonation.

Freaking fantastic. One of the more bourbon-heavy beers I’ve had but still integrates very well and doesn’t completely take over the base beer. Incredible aroma, one of those beers where I’ll keep the last ounce in the glass for as long as I can so I can keep taking it in. Rich and complex, a treat all around and worth the price tag IMHO.

Photo of Phelps
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review number 600!

Enjoyed in a snifter at Tops.

Black as a starless night sky and topped with a half-finger head of tan. It’s nice and fluffy, but short-lived, becoming a thin ring quickly.

Pretty amazing nose. Toasted coconut, butterscotch, dark chocolate before hints of plum, charred oak and vanilla. Incredible blend.

Waves of varying intensity of flavor. First is new oak along with cooked flavors of buttery vanilla, butterscotch and toasted coconut. The stout-ness emerges mid-palate with dark, sweet plum syrup and brandy, resulting in a tangy sweetness. The finish leaves lingering notes of burnt bread and dark chocolate, with some cocoa bitterness in the back. A long, sweet finish.

The medium body, though buttery, is a bit thinner than I'd like given the beer’s name. Unlike the last bottle of this I tried, I do get some light, tingly carbonation and a soft fizziness. Some alcohol heat comes through the nose and numbs the tongue, but for the most part it’s impressively well-hidden.

For such dark, heavily-flavored stuff, Older Viscosity goes down easily. When carbonated, it has its place among the top barrel-aged stouts.

Photo of Knapp85
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours out as a very dark looking black color. The light can barely get through on this one. The head wasn't very big but it did leave a light lacing. The smell of the beer is heavily roasted, a little smokey, some bourbon, vanilla and a bit of earth. The taste is strong with some booze, molasses, bourbon, chocolate, and some earthy burnt malts. The mouthfeel is pretty thick, very nice body on this beer. Overall I found this beer to be very good all around.

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

This beer pours a a thick black color with a very very small trace of tan head. The aroma is strong with chocolate, raisins and alcohol. The taste is similar, with strong notes of chocolate, raisins and a slight note of alcohol as well. The mouthfeel is velvety but and nicely carbonated. Overall and amazing beer.

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

A- dark almost black pour. Some tan head that quickly subsides. Very little lacing. Thee is a carbonation here that i'm not used to with the stouts I drink.

S- slightly boozy. Bourbon really is at the forefront. Im getting vanilla and coffee flavors as well.

T- really enjoying this one. Taste is less boozy than I would have thought. Getting lots of vanilla and nuttiness. Very drinkable.

M- medium feel and smooth. Slight carbonation but still a creamy quality.

O- not big fan of this brewery but was blown away by this one. I will by trying to get my hands on more right away.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.97/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark, jet black, thick pour, and a big bubble head. Looks like this one has carbonation for sure, but I'm not sure if it will be too much, then again it is PP.

S- The smell is good, oak, bourbon, vanilla, and some butterscotch.

T- Very tasty, oak, and vanilla, chocolate, with a nice dark malt background. The butterscotch taste is good. I know when homebrewing I got dinged for having too much dactyl/butterscotch flavors in my stout. But yet here it is in this, and people love it. Strange double standards to what brewers can do and what homebrews get dinged for.

M- The carbonation is actually good, I was worried that it wouldn't be smooth carbonation, but chunky and frothy in the mouth.

O- Tasty, almost similar to a GIBCS.

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

Appearance: Dark brown color with dark beige head that slowly faded. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Bourbon, toffee, & vanilla. Nice aroma.

Taste: Bourbon, toffee, brown sugar, and vanilla. Some hints of alcohol creeps through in the finish.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall: A prototypical Bourbon Bal-aged dark ale. I'm good with that.

2011 Vintage

Photo of Allpe45
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage on tap at the Hungry Monk
Pours pitch black with a fluffy, frothy light mocha colored head, dissipates at a moderate speed leaving a fair amount of lacing. Very bourbon forward in the smell. Boozy, with roasted malt, bourbon-soaked dates, and molasses. Taste is also very bourbon forward. Boozey dark fruits and bourbon up front, some vanilla woodiness and dark roasted malt, hints of dark chocolate and smoke, followed by bourbon in the finish. The alcohol heat carries through from the middle to the finish. Full bodied, low carbonation, rich and velvety. I've had this beer fresh, at 6 months, and at 12+ months. I found it most enjoyable after a year. Time balances this beer out so that the base stout can still shine through the bourbon and the chocolate becomes much more noticeable.
Unfortunately this is a review of a fresh one, so the score is not as high as it would otherwise be. If you score only one bottle of this brew, try to wait before opening.

Photo of EricCioe
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours almost totally black, but at the very bottom of my oversized wine glass I can see just a hint of brown. The espresso crema head is half a finger and dies down to a ring and island. On the nose there is an amazing combination of subdued bourbon, dark, bitter chocolate, vanilla, and oak. In the mouth, the dark chocolate and bourbon dominates the lower-key vanilla and oak. There might be some molasses a bit deeper into the flavor profile, but dark chocolate and bourbon take the cake. The body is medium full rather than fully full, with a long, boozy finish that I found quite pleasant.

Overall, this is a fine brew, a great combination of a big ale and barrel aging. The bourbon at times dominated but never got to overpowering. I like the idea of taking a great beer and barrel aging a portion of it rather than the whole thing, so that the base can shine through a little more. This is a perfect example of just that.

Photo of Rifugium
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Pours a dark brown-black, thick like oil, little to no head, just a thin layer of bubbles. Big malts in the aroma, and bourbon-soaked oak right up front. REALLY packs a punch. Rich chocolate taste, molasses, tar, vanilla beans, and hints of dark, dried fruit. The 12.5%ABV is no lie, and you can feel and taste every bit of it. But it doesn't cut back on the general flavor at all. Thick, and viscous, full-bodied; strong, but very drinkable. I really loved this one.

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

on-tap, local option - chicago

appearance: served in a small snifter - completely sufficient serving size of this monster. motor oil, dark brown, shockingly not flat with evidence of chocolatey carbonation

smell: bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, lush and fierce

taste: taking Old Viscosity to the next level - bourbon overload, but smoothed by the vanilla and oak. could easily convince me this is a bourbon barrel strong ale, as the stout gets lost in all of the extreme flavors. very quality stuff - won't have to bite the bullet on the very expensive bottles to try this anymore

mouthfeel: smooth, moderate bitterness

overall: high quality

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.

Older Viscosity from Port Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,276 ratings.