1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Older Viscosity - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Older ViscosityOlder Viscosity

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,181 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,181
Reviews: 691
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,181 | Reviews: 691 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spointon
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 500ml corked and caged brown bottle. Its been so long since I got this in a trade I forget who sent it to me...so a big thanks to the BA that did!

A= This ale poured inky black with zero light penetration even when held up to a strong light. The head rose just about 1/4" and then settled quickly to a thin ring. Some spotty lace left behind on my glass.

S= Lots of things going on in the nose. I found bourbon, oak, coffee, vanilla, and chocolate among other things.

T= Similar to the nose but even more complex. Started off with malty notes of caramel and toffee, followed by roasted coffee, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark fruit, and finally a big complex alcohol note that almost defies description. The finish is delicious, boozy, and turns into a great aftertaste.

MF= Heavy body, quite viscous, with a light to medium carbonation level.

D= Its fantastic but not something I could drink too much of in a sitting. The bottle I had was a perfect nightcap on a chilly Fall evening. I will make it my mission to get some more of this one!

Photo of DaveHS
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, slick, sludgy black with heavy rings of dark lacing, marking each sip. The nose is intense. Loads of oak, bourbon, and phenolic alcohol. Notes of vanilla, coffee bean, and chocolate covered raisins. The big flavors of roasted malts and chocolate, presented parallel to the intense bourbon flavors, prevent any astringent bitterness or chalky flavors that sometimes occur in such dark, strong, high ABV stouts. The finish is smooth and complex, and lingers long after the last sip. Almost no carbonation, and a rich, mouth coating "viscosity." Take your time with this one, it's a beast.

Photo of kbutler1
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Really excited to try this one after I found it on shef at Binnys. Pours a deep black color with a slight tan head that collars around the snifter. Huge bourbon notes in the nose along with dark chocolate and some booze. The taste is awesome. Very smooth with a nice bourbon flavor. Some dark chocolate, coffee, and leather after taste flavors. The bourbon really does meld well into this one. Medium/heavy mouthfeel. I could drink this all the time but it would get a little pricey at $12/bottle.

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tony's Darts Away.

Jet black, opaque body poured into a snifter with no head. From the get go you could tell this beer is one heavy, viscous monster.

On the nose faint vanilla which is barely perceivable beneath the roasted barley, melted chocolate, toasted sugar, molasses, and alcohol scents.

The taste lines up with the nose quite well with the addition of a cinnamon and toasted hazelnut component. The alcohol is noticeable throughout the taste but it remains restrained only imparting a very pleasant warmth. French chocolate lingers for an exceptionally long time in the finish.

The most enjoyable aspect of this beer for me was its mouthfeel. While being on the syrupy side it wasn't nearly as heavy as I had imagined. Just so smooth, with a medium to full body and a higher level of carbonation that keeps this beer formidably sippable, in a good way. Additionally this beer in not surprisingly tongue coating. You can actually taste this beer hours later after finishing it...Well not really but you get the idea.

All in all a richly decadent, mouth enveloping, alcohol warmth soothing, special imperial stout, that I had the pleasure of enjoying with a friend.

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

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

Photo of homebrew311
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Durty Nellies.

A: thick, viscous, pitch black, no head, heavy lacing....looks menacing

S: huge aromatic bourbon character on the front with a ton of vanilla and oak, this sit on top of a deep rich chocolaty notes. The smell is bold and in your face, very good.

T: like the nose, the taste is front loaded with bourbon. While the flavor is strong, the base beer does a good job of holding up to the bourbon. Huge chocolate notes cut through the intense bourbon flavors and take this beer to a new level. Delicious.

MF: thick and heavy, low carbonation

D: this is by far the best Port/LA beer I have tried. The bourbon is wonderfully executed and the base beer complements it.

Photo of DNICE555
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nightcap after an eli's night with Hoagie and The larse. Thanks to thebestever for this trade. Lovin the aroma and the taste. Choclate, coffee, caramel, fruit. The bitterness adds a whole new dimension. The alcohol is warming and adds to the mouthfeel. Burns just a little bit otherwise the mouthfeel and drinkability would have gotten a 5. I def want to land another one of these.

Photo of cjacobsen
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap into a small snifter. Had it at Barley House, Algonquin, IL

Pours a really dark stout color with a dark brown head. Sits thick in the glass.

The smell is of chocolate, fruits and some hints of coffee.

The initial taste is sweet, fruity. Then the chocolate notes hit you halfway through. Ends with the bitter-like taste like you'd get from a very good dark chocolate.

The beer is well carbonated but you can't really get that out of how it reacts in your mouth. This is thick and syrupy with a smooth pour.

As it warms up its get more bitter and the coffee flavor comes out stronger. It's a great after dinner beer.

Photo of aewinte1
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this twice now, once on tap at pizza port ocean beach and just popped a 375 ml bottle. Bottle actually gave a pop when I opened it and carbonation was perfect....Whew thank god not another flat expensive lost abbey beer.
A- Pours pitch black like a stout. Force poured an inch head, but hey its better than nothing.
S- Smell is good. First thing I notice is chocolate and raisins. I get a hint of coffee and other dark fruits. I think the most notable smell is chocolate and raisins. You can smell some booze as well
T- Taste is seriously chocolate covered raisins. Really quite good. I get a little bit of coffee bitterness as well. The raisin flavor is a little more powerful than the chocolate, but it turns out being complex and delicious.
M- Carbonation dissipated almost immediately after the pour, but it wasn't super flat or anything. Body was thick, but extremely creamy. The creaminess was really nice.
D- Drinkability is pretty good. When smelling it, I thought it would be quite boozy, but it was extremely well hidden. However, due to the price, I can't imagine having more than one of these in a sitting.

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

2010 Vintage
100th review

A: Pours "stout black", a couple centimeters of milk chocolate head. I suppose that I wasn't expecting a huge head on a 12% Impy. Appearance remains "good".

S: Wow, a complete blast of everything that makes an Imperial Stout smell so good. Barrel, dark chocolate, slight coffee, dark fruits galore. Tons of fidelity, very strong. Alcohol is less apparent than I was expecting.

T: My first thought is actually how well the ABV is masked @ 12%. A testament to just how much flavor is packed into this beer. Sweet, approaching cloying but never really gets there. Probably an "after dinner" stout. Bourbon barrel is stern but not overdone, complimentary to the layers of dark chocolate, dark fruits, and coffee. Not terribly roasty or smokey until the finish, mostly sweet.

M: Thick, yet the carbonation really hits the spot. Good balance here which lends to drinkability.

D: Surprisingly good. I would pin this beer at a lower ABV than advertised. Sweetness does affect drinkability, but it is what it is. This is one of my favorite big stouts so far.

Photo of newk340
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle

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

S: like smelling a melted hershey bar.

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

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

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

A: Dark black, thin pour. Poured with almost not carbonation. Even poured it into a second glass just to make sure I didn't pour it too soft.

S: A very strong bourbon smell dominates/overpowers with a little bit of roasted grain smell poking through.

T: Strong bourbon dominates with roasted grain/coffee taste, vanilla/oaked and chocolate taste

M: The bourbon feel goes straight to your nose. Mouthfeel is little bit more what I imagine motor oil is like rather than the other double stouts I've had. Light feel rolls smoothly off the tongue. A little bit under-carbonated/flat mouthfeel for me.

D: Wow, a very potent beer. I did enjoy it. A sipping beer even with a full stomach. I had a 12.7 ounce bottle and could not drink any more.

Also, $15 for a 375ml beer in its hometown/county when other bourbon barrels that are bottled in 750ml are about the same price. things that make you go hrmm. Don't know that I'm stoked to get it again any time soon all things considered.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Anno 2010

Appearance -- Pours nearly black with a thin fog of tan head.

Smell -- Bourbon and vanilla are most present, along with chocolate, malted milk, and caramel, . Alcohol is evident, but not sharp. The nose on this beer is sooo inviting.

Taste -- Up front lots of vanilla and chocolate, along with the bourbon, caramel, malted milk, burnt bread crusts, and minty hop flavor in the finish. The burnt malt flavors that are a bit overwhelming in Old Viscosity are well-tamed in the Older. Not as much depth of flavor, but what is there is quite good.

Mouthfeel -- Full bodied, a little viscous with mild prickly carbonation. Mild alcohol bite in the finish, but the gentle alcohol warming makes up for it.

Drinkability -- Wow. It's hard to believe that this is related to Old Viscosity at all. I was expecting a sharper bourbon note, but what I found was a very smooth and well-integrated.

Had somebody told me this was an aged Goose Island BCS, I might be fooled. This was certainly a treat, but in the future I'll stick to BCS, but only due to the price tag.

Photo of Bubba83
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2010 version.

12.7oz bottle poured into a snifter at 50 degrees. Completely midnight black body topped off by a medium tan 1 finger width head. The head dissapated quickly, but left a decent ring. Good legs, and a little bit of lacing. Seemed really thick as I was pouring it, so it goes with the theme well.

Huge leather component in the aroma, along with some licorice, chocolate, brown sugar, cherries, smoke, and vanilla. Somewhat of a nutty presence here too. Pretty huge and nice to smell.

Nougaty sweetness and brown sugar props up first, followed by a big chocolate and vanilla combo. A considerable amount of licorice and cherries follow that up. Leather quickly follows, as well as some chocolate covered raisins and a yogurty twang. There is a significant amount of alcohol presence too, but surprisingly, the last thing I taste on the swallow is grade A coffee. Complex, beautiful, and worthy of a 5/5.

Incredible mouthfeel! Almost wants to make me go back to a few other beers I've rated the mouthfeel a 5 on and lower them to 4.5. I didn't know a nicer mouthfeel existed until this beer! They got the carbonation right on this batch, it's mellow but it's there. Extremely smooth and carresses the tongue, creamy as all get up and thick, my god is it thick! It coats my palate so well that I can sit there tasting it long after every sip just by licking the top of my mouth.

Drinks pretty well for as gigantic as it is. It's something that I would definitely recommend just sipping on for an hour or so, as it does have a good bit of heat on the swallow. This beer is also a great candidate for aging, and I may pick up another one to do just that. I actually didn't think I was going to like this beer as much as I did. A very awesome beer indeed.

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

Thanks to Kshock for this one!

12.7oz brown glass squatty cork & cage finished bottle. No date that I can find.

Pours a thick oily black with no head, but a thin lace of tan bubbles around the edge of the tulip.

Nose is full of lots and lots of big black vanilla beans, coffee ice cream, and maybe some blackstrap molasses. Smells great!

Palate is big and spicy with alcohol. Thick with residual sugar, lots of vanilla bean, coffee extract, toffee, and dark caramel. Light molasses or sugar-in-the-raw comes to mind too.

Notes: Big bourbon character but *excellent* integration with the beer. Some beers don't benefit from barrel-ageing - this one definitely does. Very impressed.

Photo of twelvsies
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'd like to start out this review with a virtual cheers to my pal Joe (jfunkk79) for adding this beer to my cellar as an engagement gift. Popping it today in celebration of the beginning of football season (go Pats) and as a perfect follow up to an afternoon of smoked pork shoulder and couch-sitting. May as well call it a "special occasion". Alrighty then..

Older Vee, as I like to call it. Great presentation in the corked and caged 12.7 oz bottle. Beaut of a pour, pitch brown opaque and silky looking, slim and brown hued head as expected (from an aged beer) and some serious legs, aka viscosity. The nose is wonderful - I don't want to say it's one-dimensional, because it is actually quite complex - but straightforward, in that it is very bourbon-centric and oaky, and loads of roast. This beer explodes upon the palate. Lots of levels here - initially the bourbon and oak, vanilla, rich and full, and a delicious array of roasty malt goodness. I've had this beer several times now and I always get a phantom flavor of blueberry pie. Dunno what it is but I love it. As good as this tastes, the mouthfeel takes the cake and is kind of the essence of this beer, as hinted at by the name. It's just so damn soft and silky. Quite a joy to drink.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

09 bottle poured from 375ml into a Ballast Point Brewery pint glass...

A - Poures pitch black with almost no head. The little head that does pour dissipates very quick. Dissipointed in the lack of head...

S - Chocolate, vanilla and good dose of Bourbon smell. This one smells like it has a big abv...

T - Lots of roasted malts and chocolate with some caramel and vanilla. The smooth taste of bourben finishes this one off. Alot smoother than expected from the smell. Abv is very well hidden...

M - Thick and creamy like a good heavy stout should be. Carbonation is next to nonexistent...

D - Glad I tried this one, but I think overall Old Viscosity is a better brew. Even though this one is exceptionally tasty, I don't think the taste is equivalent to the price. I could buy three Old Viscosity's for the price of one of these, and for that reason, I don't see myself buying one of these again except for maybe a rare special occasion. Something I would definitely recommend though to somebody who has not tried one before. Excellent example of the style...


Photo of MinorThreat
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough tho have a really cool couple of friends come to my wedding. This bottle as well as a few bottles of equally impressive liquor were their gift. Very much appreciated Andre and Emma.

A-Pours like used motor oil with a soft white head that somehow pushes through the dense, syrupy body. Looks like TenFidy with a more polished head. Impressive.

S- Take all of the great characteristics of a bourbon and take away the heat and leather. Tons of caramel, vanilla, toasted and roasted grains. Some sweet licorice and coffee. Deep, rich and amazing.

T-The smell comes out in the taste. Deep bitter roasted flavors of espresso, bakers chocolate, roasted grains and bitter figs balance with the sweet vanilla, honey and oak. So intense, complex and well integrated. The booze is completely hidden.

M- Thick, rich, creamy and perfect/

D-I have a hard time believing this is as high ABV as the bottle reads.

I was lucky to get to try this beer. I have been somewhat critical of the Port Brewing beers. I cannot be of Older Viscosity. This is as good as it gets, not only in style but in general. If you get a chance, try it and be glad people are cfrafting beers of this quality.

Photo of TJBurgess
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


2010 bottle 375ml corked and caged, poured into an oversized Bourbon snifter.

A: Black as black can be. Slight carbonation, but no head to speak of. 4.5

S: Bourbon, chocolate and malts, slightly syrupy and sweet. Amazingly similar to an aged BCS. This did not disappoint. 4.5

T: Lots of caramel and chocolate with a slight sweetness that's balancing the bourbon very well. Malty backbone with the bourbon finishing clean, but lingering nicely on the tongue afterward. This belongs amongst the top tier bourbon stouts in the country. 5.0

M/D: Incredibly smooth and creamy, light carbonation perfectly interlaced in every sip. 4.5/4.5

I've had KBS, BCBCS, BCS, Parabola, and many other great bourbon stouts and must say this holds its own. I made the comparison earlier, but it tastes like an 08 BCS right now. There's a little more caramel and sweetness in the older viscosity, but otherwise they are both upper tier bourbon stouts.


Photo of Bonis
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Props to kshock for the bottle

A - Black as night, quarter inch tan head quickly fades to ring of bubbles. No lacing left at all. While drinking I notice a strange tan sediment sitting at the bottom, guessing this is just more flavor.

S - Bourbon, chocolate, and more sweet bourbon. Warming offers brown sugar and molasses, with hints of vanilla.

T - Pretty much follows the smell, except the bourbon is a little more subtle in the taste. This is a well balanced brew with the alcohol taste well masked by the intense sweet characteristics. Sweet roasted sugar flavors explode as this one warms up. Very nice.

M - Sweet bourbon coats the mouth with each sip. Big bodied, but no 12% big. Smooth and creamy for the ABV. Alcohol is pretty much only noticeable on the way down.

D - Pretty good for 12%, but it's so intense, I couldn't see myself drinking more than one on any night... Plus, I don't even have access to this beer, so I'm just glad I had the opportunity to try it.

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

Again, I love this style. Barrel aged beers are my favorite. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black. Slight carbonation on the sides, no head.

Smell - Awesome bourbon nose. Brown sugar. Malt

Taste - Follows the nose. Brown sugar, vanilla, oak.

Mouthfeel - Typical of imperial stout. Plus a little heavier than expected

Drinkability - If you love bourbon barrel aged beers, expecially stouts/imperial stouts, don't pass this up.

Photo of Wisconsinality
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL bottle poured into Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a deep black and just a small bit of mocha around the edges. Pours with no head and no lacing left around the glass.

S- Big amounts of bourbon, caramel and some brown sugar. Maybe some hints of black licorice and the alcohol is pretty detectable but not overpowering.

T- A bunch of sweet caramel and brown sugar. A lot of bourbon but it works well with the brew and ads a good balance. Just a small amount of heat from the alcohol.

M- Full bodied with not too much carbonation. Very smooth on the tongue and just a little burn on the back of the throat from the alcohol.

D- This brew is very balanced for being a bourbon barreled stout. Great flavors and the alcohol is at a minimum. One of the more balanced barrel aged beers I have had.

Photo of mkorpal
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at choice city butcher and deli for five bucks a half pint. Poured into s tasting glass with an tan/brown head, about a quarter inch, which fades into a ring around the glass. pitch black in color, with maybe a tenth of an inch of viability when held up to the light. To be honest, almost all imperial stouts look pretty much like this. So, it gets a 4.

Smell is of bourbon, some roasated malts, bit of vanilla oakyness. Through oddball in the scent is a fairly predominate brown sugar. Interesting.

Taste mimics the smell, but without the brown sugar. Lots of bourbon, some roastyness, and a bit of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily, as you would expext. drinkability is what you would expect from this beer, and any beer with this much booze. It is good anyway

Photo of boomer31
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been holding on to this one since DLD...big thanks Masterski.

A - Murky dark brown almost black. Deep beige head but does not linger.

S - Big bourbon followed by chocolate, vanilla and oak. Perhaps a touch of roasty malt but the bourbon is in the forefront

T - Bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla dominate. I don't get the roaty character of a stout, perhaps why port doesn't consider this a stout...not sure why BA does. There is a touch of residual sweetness.

M - Chewy chocolate and bourbon. I love the low carb, great work here! I've read complaints of previous post having little/no carbonation but this hits the carb right on. Huge stout/american strong ale

D - A sipper but what do you expect.

Overall I'm impressed with this and yes it had huge expectations for me. I've been saving this for a special occasion and why not draft night, Boise St V Virginia Tech and Labor Day?? I'll be seeking another one of these

Photo of domtronzero
3.63/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottling.

A - Slightly murky very deep, dar brown, almost black. Nearly opaque. Low forming, long lasting tannish head.

S - Caramel, vanilla, coffe, chocolate, oak, alcohol.

F/M - Slight burnt, acidic, acrid malt flavor. Coffe, cocoa, vanilla. Firm bitterness that is definitely accentuated by the dark malts. Hot solventy boozy alcohol is distracting. Full bodied, oily and viscous as the name implies. Medium low carbonation - just right for once :P

D - Alright. Its such a big beer and the hot, solventy, boozy flavors make it hard to put down more than a 375mL bottle of this solo (believe me, I've tried several times). Maybe after a year or two the alcohol will be a little softer from aging.

Older Viscosity from Port Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,181 ratings.