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Santa's Little Helper - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Santa's Little HelperSanta's Little Helper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,153 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,153
Reviews: 540
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 75
Gots: 167 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Port Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 12-09-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,153 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tmzl
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Taste-off: Santa's Little Helper (S) vs. Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged (SBBA)

Look:
S: Pours with a huge, thick, creamy, billowy mocha head, has a good slow, equal retention (breakdown of medium sized bubbles). A very thick, medium-sized, creamy layer stays on top. Dark brown, heavy pour, fair amount of lacing.
SBBA: The head is a lot smaller, higher degree of medium/big bubbles, mocha head a bit lighter. Has a faster retention, mostly diminishing. Looks a bit more transparent and watery.

Smell:
S: Cherry, dark fruit on opening, dominating roast, coffee and milk chocolate, stuffy, mostly dark malt driven. Light sourness, bit salty, soy sauce and some cookie dough.
SBBA: More dark fruit esters on opening, then goes to rum-kokos Casali chocolates with a lot of oak, vanilla. Roast, milk chocolate more on the side here. Alcohol with booze feeling, oak the most dominant aroma here.

Taste:
S: Light acidity and molasses, burned sugar start with fruity forest esters. A bit rum-like transition into milky, dark malt medium sweetness that ends with medium dark coffee bitterness, it's well developed. Small boozy spike towards the end.
SBBA: Bourbon oak dominates this one. Medium molasses, burned sugar sweet start with acidity turned down, the middle, which is overrun with oak dominance, a bit of milky backbone felt, but a lot more subtle. Ends with strong bourbon oak spike that dominates the after with turned down roast, coffee bitterness and alcohol.

Mouthfeel:
S: Full, light heavy body, soft carbonation lingers on the tongue, quite pleasant.
SBBA: A bit lighter on the body (higher alcohol), light warmth, no carbonation to detect.

Overall:
The non-barrel aged version is a lot smoother and very drinkable. Solid, not too demanding take on imperial stouts. The bourbon one is a lot sluttier, the oak is (too) heavy and goes down a lot slower. The age in barrels didn't make it better IMO.

tmzl, May 31, 2014
Photo of TLA
4/5  rDev -0.2%

TLA, 35 minutes ago
Photo of T_Hass
4/5  rDev -0.2%

T_Hass, Yesterday at 07:08 PM
Photo of Qbdoo
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful black beer that smells of roasted malt, licorice and hints of chocolate. Taste is similar but there's are much bolder hop presence than you expect with a Russian Imperial Stout. Somewhat medium-bodied for an RIS and more carbonated as well. A different take on the style but one I enjoyed thoroughly.

Qbdoo, Yesterday at 02:54 AM
Photo of lillitnn92
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

lillitnn92, Friday at 03:27 PM
Photo of ILuvBeer
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Outstanding

ILuvBeer, Wednesday at 01:30 PM
Photo of yancot
4/5  rDev -0.2%

yancot, Wednesday at 02:27 AM
Photo of Stebow1289
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Stebow1289, Monday at 05:00 AM
Photo of smanrob
4.25/5  rDev +6%

smanrob, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of hockeyfighter19
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%

hockeyfighter19, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of MLaVioletteJr
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%

MLaVioletteJr, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of Nick29
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Nick29, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +6%

crob3888, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of LouDogg114
4.25/5  rDev +6%

LouDogg114, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of scotorum
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Cellared this for a year, perhaps a mistake since it's an Imperial, but perhaps the base flavor will be improved at the expense of the loss of any hop flavor.

Cute label graphic of either a silhouetted Santa (?) and Rudolph hoisting brews at a bar tended by an elf holding a candy cane aloft.

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Opaque black with slight ruby highlights when seen through light. Enormous three inch tall tan head dissipated slowly to rocky surface foam and patchy lacing. First pour only filled 40% of the pint glass, the rest was head.

s: Mild dark malt.

t: Smooth dark roasty malt with considerable balncing hop bite. Bitterness lingers at the sides of the tongue, lessens gradually. Bitter finish which mellows out later.

m; Medium to full, silky smooth body, lots of carbonation tingle.

o; Cellaring does not seem to have hurt this powerful brew. Bitterness builds somewhat and the high ABV becomes more evident early on. But it's a helluva holiday beverage which packs a big flavor, hop and alcohol wallup.

scotorum, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of EuphonicHops
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

EuphonicHops, Nov 13, 2014
Photo of Davit
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Davit, Nov 13, 2014
Photo of ThePaleRider
3/5  rDev -25.2%

ThePaleRider, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Griffith, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of MRgnar
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%

MRgnar, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of Andy_Luft
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%

Andy_Luft, Nov 09, 2014
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Santa's Little Helper from Port Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 1,153 ratings.