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Older Viscosity - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Older ViscosityOlder Viscosity

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,958 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,958
Reviews: 675
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 502
Gots: 599 | 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: 1,958 | Reviews: 675 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sonicdescent
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%

Dark liquid with reddish highlights around the top when held to light. Nice mocha colored head and lace.

Smells of booze and dark fruits, dark dark malt: Chocolate and roasted variety.

Really incredible taste, Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, cream, hint of roasted malt. Bourbon level is high but not burninating.

Mouth is thick and low in carbonation. Warming feeling doesn't start until the end of the drink.

Just an amazing, amazing brew.

sonicdescent, May 18, 2009
Photo of bulletrain76
4/5  rDev -8%

Draught at The Bistro. Black with a scant head. Woody, bourbony and roasted coffe-like aroma, with some fruity background action. Thick and oily, with low carbonation. Primarily tastes of coffee and bourbon, with light vanilla, dried fruit and wood as well. Some burnt sugar/toffee gong on too. Intense. Definitely smoother and more complex than the regular old vis.

bulletrain76, May 11, 2009
Photo of phattysbox
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%

Much thanks to kplynch for cracking this bad boy - have been trying to track this sucker down and Kevin was generous enough to share... 2008 vintage

Best thing about this brew IMO was appearance. Split between two glasses, mine poured into tulip glass. Strong carbonation from the get go - lots of pressure under the caged cork. Poured jet black into 3-4 inches of dark brown head. Simply great looking. Head slowly recedes to a patchwork of lace.

Smells of strong bourbon and hot booziness which is surprising because the alcohol is hidden very well. Lots of roasted malts mixing with vanilla and some oak notes, but very faint. No hop aroma can be detected.

Taste is big and hefty bourbon flavor. Dominates for a bit then heavy roasted malts pull through. Slick mouthfeel but nothing to heavy and thick. The brew tastes great but the one negative is there is some astringent flavor that is pervasive throughout the beer. I was thinking it maybe from the roasted malts but kplynch offered it might be from the barrel - a funky/sour quick snap, but not that overpowering.

As with all big brews, drinkability is a bit low for me since I was feeling quite funny towards the end of it - dang that hidden alcohol. The astringent flavor also knocked it 0.5 points for me.

All in all an excellent brew and worth your time to seek out.

phattysbox, May 11, 2009
Photo of Bcaulin
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Served from 375ml caged bottle at Monk's Cafe into snifter.

Pours a deep brown, with very little head. It settled quickly to just a few specks of lingering foam.

You get hit with the oak and bourbon scents first -- very apparent, but not overpowering like a BCS. Seems very well balanced with some vanilla in the background.

The taste is unbelievable. So incredibly smooth and balanced. Not sure how to characterize it -- its not an over the top stout, but it has some of the qualities. Definitely taking some of the highlights from almost a barleywine -- it's on its own as far as I'm concerned. Lingering taste that makes you wish it would never end. Alcohol is quite well hidden, considering the ABV. Still a sipper for sure though.

Mouthfeel is also one of the better ones I've have. Great viscosity (go figure) and it just seems to coat your tongue and not let go. Not easy to find or cheap -- but this is one that I will go out of my way for any day.

Bcaulin, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of prototypic
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%

Bottle released in 2008

After having my first go with Old Viscosity just a few days ago, I felt compelled to finally crack open this bottle. Sorry, I was just a little too curious as to how it stacked up against little brother...whom was very impressive.

As the label suggests, Older Viscosity looks like old, used motor oil. It's onyx in color and not an ounce of light gets through. A mocha colored head caps it off, but it only slightly rises above the surface and recedes very quickly. Light spotty lacing lines the glass. Not too surprising given the abv. The color and apparent viscosity make up for that shortcoming.

The nose is an absolute stunner. The fact that all of this beer is aged in bourbon barrels is readily apparent (as opposed to only 20% for Old Viscosity). It has a very rich, strong bourbon aroma that plays perfectly with its other components. Rather than completely dominating the nose, it remains complementary despite its strong presence. There's quite a bit of sweet chocolate malts. To a lesser degree, vanilla, light coffee, molasses and brown sugar are noted. It's very deep and complex. Alcohol is appreciable. If you weren't expecting that, go home. This is a big, kick-ass stout. What were you expecting?

Older Viscosity delivers. I had my doubts that it would be appreciably better than Old Viscosity, but it is. Chocolate malts provide a fudge-like sweet flavor initially. It's followed by toffee and vanilla. Bourbon is strong and pronounced in flavor. But, it hardly obliterates the other excellent flavors that are commonly found in Stouts. It's more appreciable here than it is in little brother, and it also has a more subtantial positive impact. Damn, this is good stuff. Light roasted coffee, molasses, and a little brown sugar emerge on the tail. Alcohol is easily noted. It may have a slight warming effect, but it's not material enough to have a detrimental effect. It finishes sweet and bourbon-y. There's an interesting flavor in the finish that's reminiscent of Founders Old Curmudgeon, but I can't quite put my finger on it. This is flat out excellent beer. I'm really close to awarding a perfect score, but it's falls just a little short. More on that later.

The body seems to thicken and smooth out as it warms. I wasn't that impressed initially, but it's growing more viscous and silky with each passing moment. Carbonation is dialed down nicely. Despite recent venom about under and over-carbonation with Port/Lost Abbey beers, this one is neither. Seems just right to me. It's very lush and smooth. Drinkability is very high. It's an absolute joy to drink, but it is 12% abv and demands some respect.

Older Viscosity is a (little) bit of a surprise. I was super impressed with Old Viscosity and questioned how much better it could really be. But, it is. It has an incredible flavor. I was (am) very tempted to award it a perfect score, but the finishing flavor that reminds me so much of Old Curmudgeon gives me pause. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice flavor. But, it seems just barely, slightly, faintly out of place and at odds with the sweet chocolate flavor. It's a deduction of the smallest degree. This really is incredible beer.

A comparison with Bourbon Barrel Angel's Share comes naturally. I prefer Angel's Share, but not by much. This one's really close and worth every accolade that comes its way. It's truly special. Seek out a bottle and find out for yourself. World class? Indeed it is.

prototypic, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of charlesw
2.4/5  rDev -44.8%

Beautiful bottle. Way too much carbonation - the cage was just holding the cork. KAPOW! Uh oh. Poured 1 1/2" into my snifter and got 2" of huge head. Uh oh. Nice and dark. Dark head. Lasting lace.

Smells like sweet smoky coffee. Lightly of sweet smoky coffee.

The huge carbonation does seem to balance out the very high sweetness. This is quite unlike any other big beer I've had. Tastes like they've thrown in some sour notes on purpose. You know - given it a little zip. Like old ales should have, I guess. I get some of the bourbon, I guess, but that sharp sour note is just killing me. It's really too bad, too. I mean, it's got a beautiful bottle, you know? There's some milk chocolate and a little coffee in there, too, but, bleh. Sour bitterness. Bleh.

I'll either dump this or blend it with an english barleywine or maybe some scotch. As in, either kick up the mouthfeel and sweetness or knock it down and make it a little smoky.

2008 vintage.

Edit: with the english barleywine... It was absolutely amazing. Alas, it is still rated for what it is - and that's not god. But with the ebw...

charlesw, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%

Pours a gorgeous black with reddish brown highlights. The tan head quickly dissipates right before my eyes in just 5 seconds. Smells of bourbon, burnt malts, tobacco, and dark fruits. First sip is all prunes and raisins - super bitter but incredibly pleasant. There is plenty of oak too. Almost over carbonated but certainly acceptable. Bitter from start to finish, there is not much sweetness here. The sweetness that is present does not last very long. Part of a massive 2 day Stout tasting. On my bracket Older Viscosity beat BA Speedway in the second round but lost to BA Blackbeerd in the semi-finals.

ATLbeerDog, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of tjthresh
4/5  rDev -8%

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.

tjthresh, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%

Into my trusty Duvel glass, pours a dark black, slight tinge of brown, a brown head that eases into a thin film, but is readily brought back to a full crown with a few swirls. Lacing in arches, spots, and trails, some drifting, some sticking. In all, lovely.

Fully, deep aroma, lots of chocolates and sweet molasses, licorice, vanilla and some oak, nice bourbon notes, some dark fruits, all melodious.

The taste is just... scrumtrulescent. Lots of bourbon but not in the least bit overpowering, balanced perfectly. Sweet caramels, molasses, and dark fruit here too, vanilla, all working together. Not much carbonation, fully bodied, a smooth, rich brew, definitely one for savoring. But after a while, the lack of carbonation gives it a dull feeling.

In all, I'm very pleased to see this beer live up to the hype. Wish it would've stuck with me all the way though, but I really can't complain, it was delicious.

objectivemonkey, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%

Pennzoil black and equally glossy. Absolutely no highlights are visible, not even with bright sunshine behind the glass. The upper half of the snifter is occupied by a wonderful looking crown of brown sugar colored foam that is surprisingly hearty given the ABV and the barrel aging. What a tremendous looking beer.

I'm confused about whether Older Viscosity is a true Imperial stout or not. Port says that *Old* Viscosity isn't brewed to any specific style and that it blurs the boundaries between porter, stout, old ale and barleywine. Twenty percent of that beer is aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels prior to bottling. That 20% is 100% *Older* Viscosity, if that makes any sense.

Having said that, OV certainly smells like a bourbon barrel-aged double stout. It also smells incredible! I love the fact that both base beer and bourbon are easily appreciated. There's an explosive amount of dark chocolate, caramelized sugar and vanilla, with very little oakiness. I also get a fair amount of oily coconut.

Simply put, Port Older Viscosity is beautiful beer. If you like Imperial stouts and bourbon like I do, you'll be gobsmacked as well. It seems like every craft brewery under the sun is releasing a bourbon barrel-aged stout. However, only a handful are doing them this well. I'd expect nothing less from the incomparable Tomme Arthur.

Actually, Russian Imperial stout is the most reasonable style, but this delicious ale doesn't taste *exactly* like an RIS. There are definitely some old ale or even English barleywine leanings. The flavor profile is astoundingly complex: dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, dark brown sugar, black raspberries, vanilla beans and coconut shavings. Older is also vinous in a way that is reminiscent of tawny port. Whew!

The mouthfeel is the only (minor) letdown, but that's only because a beer with a name like this should be more... viscous. It fills out nicely as room temperature approaches, so all is not lost. Besides, carbonation is spot-on. Part of the lack of chewiness might be that this bottle is from the release prior to the latest one. Which probably makes it a 2007 vintage.

Although it didn't start out that way in the top half of the (much too small) bottle, I'm now tempted to grant the ultimate taste score to Older Viscosity. It's an outstanding, expertly crafted ale that is a near perfect combination of stout, old ale and bourbon. Thanks to Talisker for sending me yet another world-class beer.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of Yetiman420
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%

$30 for a bottle at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia. I sprung for this and split it with some guy I met from Oklahoma at the back bar at Monk's (who was interested in learning about good beer).

Poured into a flute style glass. Black with very little head.

I was a couple of beers into my evening by this point and it's hard to describe what an impact this spectacular beer had on me.

The perfect complex bourbon aroma could be enjoyed and appreciated for quite some time.

Even more impressive is the full body and complexity of flavor. My notes got very sloppy at this point and it really boils down to a beer that is hard to describe beyond the bourbon notes yet incredibly easy to enjoy. Thick and viscous with an amazing bourbon balance to the imperial stout.

This ranks, to date, as the best mouthfeel of any beer I've had.

Yetiman420, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of treyrab
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%

I decided to bring out this one after a what felt like forever sitting in my cellar. Split it with jac5084 and poured it into two snifters.

A: I was very surprised at how thin this poured. From the bottle I was expecting this to look like maple syrup mixed with sludge as it came out. On the contrary, it poured like a light porter and looked thin. This yielded no head, but a few small dark khaki bubbles surfaced.

S: The smell is superb. Tons of bourbon soaked raisins, bourbon dipped plums, straight Kentucky Mash, slight burnt coffee and sweet vanilla. The bourbon is definitely the predominant factor in the smell, but the fruit flavors make a great appearance.

T: At the onset, the taste is rather light. The bourbon is heavy, but not overpowering like Bourbon County. The bourbon soaked fruits show very heavily, and with all the bourbon, the coffee and roast try to make an appearance but cannot quite get in there.

M,D: For a big RIS, the mouthfeel was very thin. I was expecting a thick RIS and that was not the case.

Overall, I am glad I got to try this gem. I enjoyed it very much, but I think I may have been hoping for more. Great nonetheless.

treyrab, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of hellbilly
3.35/5  rDev -23%

bottle cracked at the bockyhorseys by rustychiles...

pours very dark brown nearly black with porter-like ruby brown at the edges and no head whatsoever.

lots of bourbon-y sweetness in the nose along with molasses, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla/oak and something menthol/minty/sinus numbing near the end of the sniff... perhaps hops? probably alcohol? either way it is odd.

the palate, as i feared, is far too sweet... flavors of molasses, bourbon and it's spice, brown sugar, malt powder, roasted coffee, chocolate and vanilla with a dry, bitter and nearly ashy finish. full bodied from the sheer volume of residual sugar. thick syrupy and rather brutish mouth feel.

there's a perfectly fine beer hiding in there under that sweetened blanket...8/5/5/3/15/3.6

hellbilly, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%

Picked up a 375ml bottle from Toronado a while back - this was after drinking one on the premises - and decided to indulge again (and write a review). The description on the bottle really tells it all - it looks like 10W 30 from an old truck. Opened with a pop and after a vigorous pour there is about a half inch of tan head, which dissipates to the edges. No light getting through this at all.

The smell is great - a wonderfully balanced mix of fresh brownies, chocolate, french vanilla, cappuccino all coated in a smooth bourbon aroma. The taste follows but is a bit light and almost too smooth for me. Don't get me wrong - it's delicious but I would like for it to be a bit bolder. There is a great chocolate milk aftertaste that could easily make this a guzzler. Quite carbonated which allows it to dance on your tongue and give it a lighter mouth feel than expected. Can also taste similarities with other LA beers in terms of undertone flavors.

Overall this is a fantastic beer and if it wasn't so expensive it might be my daily nightcap. Definitely one that the Lost Abbey has perfected and I hope continues to produce.

JoeySchlitz, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

A - Pitch black, off white head, sudsy lacing.

S - Lots of roasted malt and cocoa.

T - Big, big flavors compacted into a sip. Cocoa and deep roasted malt just overcome.

M - So creamy, incredible balance. The sweet and bitter neutralize well.

D - It's such a big beer. You can't really have too much of it.

srandycarter, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of abfraser
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%

A: Pours black as night, super viscous with a smallish beige head. A good looking beer but not exceptional.

S: Divine. Bourbon notes hit the hardest but not overwhelming. Wonderful aromas of chocolate, coffee, vanilla wood, roasted malts. Beer geek perfume.

T/M: Lots of bourbon, almost a little overpowering, but it stays in check. Tastes are predominantly as the smell: an awesome chocolate, vanilla milkshake. A little heat from the alcohol. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. Very rich and intense. Awesome stuff.

D: A sipper for sure. When slightly chilled, it hides its alcohol well. But becomes progressively more noticeable as it warms up. If too warm, it's a bit too harsh.

abfraser, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of drnknmnky
4.22/5  rDev -3%

A - wicked dark brown almost no head, but strong color that stuck with the beer until the end.

S - umm BOURBON! molasses , raisins, dark ripe fruit

TM - Bourbon, alcohol, molasseses. sweet beginning nice warming alcohol. finishes with a nice roasted barley bitter, and hints of bitter chocolate. Viscous, carbonation low

D - A sipper, and a slow one at that. nice to have in a snifter and sit by the fire with in your smoking jacket.

drnknmnky, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of bbothen
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%

Tackled solo on a random Sunday afternoon while waiting for my big piece of pork to finish in the smoker. What the hell. Apple chucks if you're wondering.

Pours pitch ink cant see a thing black. What I think will be small tan bubbly head quickly dissolves into tiny bubbles around the glass. Looks ominous & fantastic. Not for the entry level beer lover here.

Big bourbon whiskey aroma right off the bat, booze, nice fruity aroma of fig, date, raisin, wood. Nice & also somewhat subdued.

Has a bitter chocolate/coffee taste, more of the dark fruit noticed in the nose, THICK, oaky, bourbon boozy warmth, faint vanilla, nice sugary sweetness. This is a big boy & really complex.

Thick, low carbonation, syrupy, big & full bodied, smooth, velvety, lingering warm booziness.

A meal of a beer right here. Wonder what the calorie count is? Who cares is the answer I think. The cost was a little steep, but this was an enjoyable & unique experience. Would gladly have again.

bbothen, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of Damian
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%

Drank from a 12.7 ounce cork and caged bottle
2008 vintage
Served in a snifter

Acquired in a trade with mikesgroove

The beer poured a medium black color with dark brown edges. Seeing as this beer is called "Older Viscosity," I was expecting it to pour thick like motor oil. Instead, it looked a bit thin and light for the style. No head was present but merely a flimsy tan layer of bubbly froth that faded to a persistent ring. Drips of lacing trickled down the glass with each sip.

The aroma was outrageously bourbony yet smooth and mellow. Sweet, rich, malty and boozy with strong notes of brown sugar and oak. Suggestions of dark stone fruits (cherries and prunes) also came through strong.

The taste was super rich, dark and bourbony. Oaky and a bit boozy. Very complex overall. Malty and roasty up front with strong indications of brown sugar. Coffee-like and a touch smoky. Some oxidative notes came through as well. The finish was very espresso-like, roasty, bitter and boozy. Quite dry and somewhat tannic. Subtle oxidative notes were again noticeable. As the beer warmed, the booziness in the finish intensified.

The mouthfeel was creamy and frothy yet relatively thin for the style.

At 12% ABV, this beer was quite drinkable. The oak-aging (and the additional year of cellaring) likely mellowed it out a lot.

Viscosity aside (no pun intended), Older Viscosity is a terrific beer. It does not quite fall into the upper echelon of imperial stouts, but it comes close.

Damian, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev -8%

Small corked bottle, provided by errantnight, I think.

Poured into a snifter, this beer is quite dark, with little highlight, and an average tan head with good retention and lacing.
Aroma is nice, but not great, chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, coffee. Dark fruits also play a role.
Although still not viscous, it is thicker than Old Viscosity, smooth on the palate, playing notes of fruits, chocolate, vanilla and oak, a bit on the sweeter side, balanced more by bourbon notes than bitterness.
This is not a great beer, but it is very good, and significantly better than the Old Viscosity, with a more noticeable aroma, better integrated flavors, thicker on the palate although still thinner than I would have liked.

brdc, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of mrandypandy
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%

Bottle from Monk's Cafe, in Philadephia.

A- Pours dark black with a thick brown head that laces the glass fairly well. It certainly looks like engine oil...
S- Fruits. Very fruity for an Imperial Stout. Tons of raisins and currant/fig fruits.
T- The aroma directly translates to the taste. Overpoweringly fruity, with a strong emphasis on raisins. Some currants and figs come through, not a lot of roast and chocolate in this one. Definately some oak on this.
M- Medium to heavy body, with the appropriate mothfeel. Not as heavy as I would have expected, which is quite nice, actually.
D- Not bad. Not bad at all. I don't get all the comparisons to BCS because this is MUCH beter and MUCH more drinkable than Bourbon County Stout. The alcohol is certainly in the foreground but this is one tasty sipping Imperial Stout. If I had second I'd be floored...

Overall, a well done Imperial (Russian?) Stout, but slightly over-hyped. Granted, I wouldn't pass this up in a heartbeat, but it's not worth the $25 I paid for this, and wouldn't go for a second shot at it at that price range.

mrandypandy, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%

Very dark brown body with a slight, but persistent light khaki head. Lots of bourbon on the nose. Sweetish dark fruits, vanilla, molasses, and oak blend together nicely. Yum. Taste follows nose: lots of bourbon, but it's not overwhelming. Molasses, chocolate, sweet figs, vanilla, oak, and even coffee all dance together nicely in this heady concoction! Big and bold and warming. Full-bodied (good viscosity) and smooth. Reminds me of GI BCS in all the good ways. Wow.

alexgash, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of schroederm
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%

In a chalice, 50F:

What really struck me about Older Viscosity was the overwhelming sense of umami. It took me a while, but I eventually got chicken bouillon out of it. This may sound unappealing, but it really worked. It seriously added to the taste.

Other than that, the nose and taste was full of bourbon and molasses. Truly wonderful.

Solid carbonation, beautiful brown color with strong ruby shining through.

Overall: Older viscosity is a very unique beer, absolutely worth at try if you can find it. Not to be confused with Old Viscosity, which is an entirely different experience.

schroederm, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of alovesupreme
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%

Extremely dark brown in color with a great red that penetrates the glass. A great ring of head that hung around the edge of the glass for the entire beer.

Very strong bourbon. Lots of molasseses, Raisons, and as schroederm pointed out, boyon cubes.

Molasseses, Bourbon, alcohol, so many flavors I cannot place. The finish is excellent with coffee and a hint of chocolate.

Great syrupy mouthfeel that has a good viscosity to it.

A great beer, very rare but worth trying.

alovesupreme, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of kasper
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%

2007 12.7oz caged and corked bottle compliments of swnicholson

A: Pours a viscous dark, dark brown. Slight creamy head, chocolaty in color, leaving dotted lacing patterns as it fizzes away.

S: Awesome smell. Aromas of chocolate, smokey malts, hints of creamy vanilla and bourbon and a bit of fresh tire rubber. Faint hints of dark fruits in the background, and also a bit of a meaty component.

T: Finally a balanced and smooth bourbon aged brew on par with BCS but with its own distinct character. Flavors of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, with a kick of alcohol on the finish.

M: Thick and sticky. I compare this to BCS because you can, and in this case Older V comes out the winner. A tad lighter, but smoother thanks in part to the year of age on this one, but also the slightly lower ABV.

D: World class barrel-aged stout. To be sought. Very expensive, however, at like $20 per 12.7oz bottle. Lots of balance here. Exciting brew. Very sippable.

kasper, Jan 11, 2009
Older Viscosity from Port Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 1,958 ratings.