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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

1,078 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,078
Reviews: 536
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 70
Gots: 152 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Port Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% 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: 1,078 | Reviews: 536 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of czechsaaz
czechsaaz

Washington

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of 2006 that is now from Port's new production brewery. Now a winter seasonal. I did have this once on tap at Port Carlsbad but my first review.

Huge roasty malt nose with a whole lot of fruity fermentation. I get coffee and burnt toast and black treacle from the malt and black cherries, overripe plums and red grapes from the fermentation. Little bit of spicy hops in the background too.

Deep black colored with a very small tan head. It's strong enough that it actually has "legs."

Huge flavor, black licorice, more black cherries, chocolate, and a little red-wine vinuous fermentation effect. Then there's coffee and big roast malt in the aftertaste. Pretty hop bitter, but there's so much malt behind it that it's just there for ballance. Overall, great impy stout flavor.

Big bodied but the carbonation level is a little light. Not quite flat but not really lively.

Definitely a solid sipping beer. But it's very well balanced so it's approachable on it's own but also a great match for spicy food or a big thick steak. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2007 06:01:26 | More by czechsaaz
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Inky black. Thin brown head. Lace is ample enough. Inviting Black Goodness.

Aroma: A little alcohol. A little fig. Some dark fruits. Anise oil.

Taste: Some nice deep roasted malt tones up front. Licorice. Black currants. Some definite char. Baker's chocolate. Pretty good blend of flavors. An oily bitterness lingers.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation: Medium bodied. Some alcohol is present, but it's not distracting.

Drinkability: There's a nice depth of flavors in this Impy, but it's not an over-the-top-in-your-face type of IS. It's quite drinkable actually.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2007 04:28:52 | More by Bighuge
Photo of SacoDeToro
SacoDeToro

California

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured deep black with a minimal brown head.

The aroma was of rich roasted malts, chocolate, some hops, and herbal notes.

The flavor of the beer was richly roasty and chocolately without being harsh or ashen. The malts cascaded through a variety of flavors. There were subtle notes of licorice. The hops were well balanced and weren't too powerful.

The mouthfeel was thick and creamy. The carbonation was spot on. The drinkability was good. This is on the lighter side for American brewed Russian imperial stouts and that helped make it very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2007 19:08:53 | More by SacoDeToro
Photo of hoppymeal
hoppymeal

Michigan

3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thin reddish tan head that quickly dissipates. Aroma is somewhat smoky, nutty roastiness and a nice dose of bourbon and whiskey. chocolatey and sugary up front in the taste, followed by a smokiness and roasted flavor and finishing with a nice acidic tang that gradually gets stronger mixing with some bitterness and a warmth of alcohol in the back of the throat. fairly good size body, smooth up front, a very small amount of dryness in the finish. Tasty stout, I am not blown away flavor or aroma wise, but extremely drinkable especially considering the alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2007 23:47:33 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of Westsidethreat
Westsidethreat

California

4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep ebony color, completely opaque. Head started nice but fell quick, leaving a truffle colored film behind.

S: Oily chocolate, almond butter, vanilla extract, coffee mascarpone, licorice and candied prunes.

T: Begins very chocolaty leaning towards the mousse end of things. Nice dark berry sweet and sourness toys along, waiting for the coffee to emerge. Coffee does sometimes have berry aspects to it, so this is quite a natural transition for the flavors. Vanilla, some black pepper and buttery roasted grains move in next allowing the beer to crescendo into a bitter peak. Some piney hops can be found lurking about but are overwhelmed by the robust flavors. Finishes slick and oily, like if bitter chocolate separated and the oil was poured straight into this beer.

M: Full body, nice mouthfeel with just a touch of fuzzy carbonation.

D: Very tasty beer. Good balance with flavors hitting all over the palate.. Unfortunately, there has been a monumental amount of good imperial stouts on the market recently and this one could get lost in the crowd. Ha, 4.35 and it could get lost in the crowd. I suppose I drank too much Abyss and Darkness ;)

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2007 05:12:13 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of barleywinebrewer
barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to intriqken for this via trade! I always enjoy an imperial stout so how interesting to find a holiday imp stout?

A - Nice midnight black, robust rich tan head. Some sediment in the bottle. Bottle conditioning - yeah!
S - Not sure what I was expecting. Modest classic imp stout aromas with an undertone of vanilla and cocoa. I say modest because the typical strong roast malt / sweet malt was not as strong as many I've had as of late.
T - similar to the smell but a nicely blended swirling of the aromas.
M - medium to full bodied. smooth across the tongue. Finishes clean.
D - Went down real easy. Not even a wiff of the 10% ABV in this one. One bomber was plenty for an evening. I would gladly drink this again. Luck west coasters!

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2007 15:25:03 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
RidiculedDisplay

California

4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Pours with a, dare I say, cute coffee bean colored head, about a quarter's finger thick. Lacing is a bit above average, a lot of dots coat the ring of the glass after a good swirl. A dark crude body with no penetrable light. Hard to judge a stout by its body color, however, as most are, generally, pretty uniform. Just sort of the nature of the style, however.

Smell: Cream, a roasted nuttiness, Toblerone-like chocolate. Man that hoppiness is unexpected. It's almost a lemoney spritz or a chocolate covered citrus fruit aroma, lurking a few layers under the chocolate. Reminds me a bit of Big Bear Black Stout by Bear Republic in this sense. A general hop sting also hits your nose, unlike that beer, however, which suggests this is one of the hoppiest RIS's in existence. A definite alcohol under there, but it's about the level of a Double Stout, less "hot" smelling (and tasting) than some other RIS's I've tried, which sometimes is an RIS's downfall, in my opinion. Does get a little hotter as it warms up, however. Some coffee and caramel notes. A pretty damn interesting nose, with the aforementioned hop character taken into consideration.

Taste: Roasted malts, coffee, again with a slightly unidentifiable citric hop presence, which has the same chocolate-covered orange effect as the nose. It's a little less pronounced here, however. Light coconut milk - a flavor I've noticed in quite a few stouts lately. A general creaminess. Deeper bodied coffee. Less hot than the nose in terms of alcohol. A good taste, but I'm disappointed that I pick up less hoppiness in the taste than the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Considering Port's first bottlings have a reputation for carbonation problems/being flat, this seems relatively unscathed. Smooth, lightly carbonated, even downright creamy. Every so slightly astringent, but really nothing to raise an eyebrow to.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable, excellent RIS that, like Big Bear Black Stout, would serve as a good stepping stone for Hopheads looking to get into stouts. Even on its own, however, it is a very interesting an excellent example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2007 03:59:36 | More by RidiculedDisplay
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a coal black liquid, but doesn't form a head.

Smell is sweet and candy like with a good scent of Kahlua at the start. Fruit aromas of figs and cherries mix well with a chocolate aroma. Sweet and mellow this something like spiced chocolate in scent.

Taste begins sweet chocolate with a spicing of carrot tasting hops. Good flavor of coffee and patent malt kicks in and joins the California signature of lots of hops. The one beer in the world like this is Gonzo Imperial Porter, another very hoppy strong dark beer.

Mouthfeel is milkshake.

A good beer this is nearly a clone of Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 01:36:48 | More by Zorro
Photo of BeerRun13
BeerRun13

California

4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark to black. Only the slightest traces of light can be seen through the glass. A creamy tan head thins out a bit and stays around for the long haul. Super, wavy lacing.
Somewhat subdued aroma, or I'm getting a slight cold. Cocoa and dark malt aroma. More patent like than roasted malt. Slightly malty and caramel.
Roasty with a slight dark fruit touch. Very slight alcohol. Whats really stands out is a piney/spruce like hop flavor. Quite a nice touch for a RIS. Good bitterness.
Full bodied and low to moderate carbonation. Smooth yet bittering finish. A touch warming.
Quite drinkable and overall a very good beer. I really like the use of hops in this one. I really would like to try this one on tap.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 00:05:47 | More by BeerRun13
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a chalice. Takes alot of effort to achieve much of a head. I wasn't expecting a ton of froth but pizza port lost abbey is famous in this household for being "head impared" so it was not a shocker and for the style is acceptable. Dark body.

First drink had me thinking "what are the IBU's on this puppy" as they stood out over an incredibly thick and rich toasted malt body. Even besides the hop presence this draws a rather large bitterness aspect from the charred malts. Combine the two and you've got a Large and IN CHARGE brew. Warms you up real quick like a hot coffee and whiskey on a cold morning this will do the trick in spades. This is a beautiful thing. Spices are mild, but again, anything getting through this body has to be bold as hell and they come through with a nice addition to the warming finish.

Notes: Imperial stouts are grand in their very nature so its a tough style for me to judge. This is Very good and enters the elite in my opinion. Whats lacking in appearance it makes up for bigtime in the 2 other big categories.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2007 05:32:46 | More by DogFood11
Photo of BlindPig
BlindPig

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Thin dark mocha head on a pitch black body. Thin lacing on top with a collar.
S- Some citrus hops with a huge malt surrounding all the hops. Coffee and roasted malts. Maybe even a hint of oak or a woodish smell. Hint of vanilla too.
T- A lighter tone right off the bat. Like hops come through more and then they just get washed away by a big flavor of malt swarming it. The bitterness manages to linger on the tongue though. Strong coffee flavor as soon as you swallow. The coffee and bitterness linger in the aftertaste. There is a nice big warming from alcohol in the back of the throat too. Maybe some light roasted malts are also thrown in there. Hints of a smokey wood come through too with a touch of vanilla. A lot more chocolate as it warms up too.
M- Medium to full body (more on full side) with low carbonation.
D- It is a nice bitter stout. It's a really well balanced and complex stout. Wish it was easier to get a hold of

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2007 03:59:50 | More by BlindPig
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

December 2004
Bottle #225

Presentation: 750ml green glass bottle, sealed with a small crown cap. Single wrap around white label with a picture of Santa’s sleigh sat atop the Pizza Port location. Listed as ‘Brewed and Bottled by Pizza Port Solana Beach, CA’ and listed as ‘Santa’s Little Helper Imperial Stout’. Lots of bumpf on the back of the label. This is hand numbered bottle #225 with a quoted strength of 9.75%. Not the San Marcos produced stuff from Port Brewing/Lost Abbey but I can't add anything under that location anymore, so it's getting listed here.

Appearance: Shockingly dark, pitch black like my shite after 18 Pints of Guinness. The body has little to offer, capturing and holding any bit of light that happens to fall upon it and holding it prisoner with little to no chance to escape. Rising brown cocoa head, infinitely small bubbles form a rich deeply textured covering that starts at a healthy ½” thick but quickly fizzles slowly like a dissolving tablet. The powder puffy dark tanned head slowly disperses to a thinner covering given time. The carbonation is finely dissolved, gentle Brandy like swirls in my Stone RIS glass. Firm looks and a great appearance.

Nose: Punching roasted malts and a lot of roasted coffee with a background anise and liquorice aroma. Complexity builds as dark fruits enter the fray, but they are low key in strength. The aromas are enticing, complex and yet subliminal at times.

Taste: The sweetness is roasted; chocolate malts pulsate with some nutty roasted horse chestnuts and a soothing warming Port like alcohol which relaxes. The alcohol is not raw here; moreover, it is mature, nicely dissolved into all of the components. Flashing cameos from burnt toast, black leather straps, dark bitter cooking chocolate and a rich exotic finish which is irresistible in the way it caresses the back of the throat whilst punching the cheeks. Lingering finish is lengthy, liquorice and a Pontefract Cake driven finale. Bitterness actually rises as you work through this one; I almost forgot to mention that, such is the lovely deeply entrenched smooth cultured roasted belly of this brew.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as a silky chocolate milk shake. Roasted malts stiffen up the backbone; the scaffolding is root liquorice with an impish finish. The roasted input is mature, well balanced and neatly dissolved into the DNA of this Imperial Stout.

Drinkability: I started sipping this, but after writing a few lines I soon found myself racing through this one. The lingering aftertaste is such a treat. Like a drunken Glaswegian on Boxing Day, this is very dangerous, try not to make direct eye contact and you may be alright, otherwise you'll be gettin' a Scotch Kiss.

Overall: Superb stuff. I always find it hard to open a bottle that I’ve aged for a bit, as was the case here, and to a certain extent I wished I had shared this, but what the heck, this was a present to myself today! Cracking stuff, it will be interesting to see if the new San Marcos produced SLHIS holds up to this previous batch from Solana Beach.

It's aging nicely and its not done yet I feel. A great brew that turns your teeth brown.

Happy F’in Christmas. Bah Humbug!

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 04:23:00 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$5.99 at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. First sighted today, consumed today.

Pours a beautiful coal chocolate brown-black, looks like crude oil pouring out of the bottle. But since I know I'm gonna drink that stuff, we will stop that analogy right now. A pretty creamy chocolate milk brown head sits atop, but it quickly fades to nearly nothing. Good while it lasted.

Aroma of bitter chocolate and peat smoke, some almost rauchbier-like notes. Flavor of roasted malts, rich and solid, chocolate-covered espresso beans with a dry ending. Includes some creamy/milky sweetness underneath, but hidden by the overpowering roastiness- much more dry than sweet. Some sour milk. In reading what I just wrote, it doesn't sound too appetizing, but you know what? This works. Alcohol notes (whisky-like) are too strong, a big drawback for me. Some aging would probably mellow that right out (I hope).

I like it, but the alcohol keeps me from loving it. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2006 02:18:56 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of CharlesDarwin
CharlesDarwin

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed November 26, 2006. On tap at Port Brewing Company. Light, yet piquant, aroma of touching bold cherry aroma, with some kirsch-like syrup qualities. Pour of dark, deep brown, with a ruby glint and a rim of tan. Flavor continues in a boldly cherry and bright red fruit line, again holding an amalgamation of chocolate and cherries, all in a sweet, and tart, and dry way. The dryness of the pits combos with the light roastiness to yield character. The sweetness creates delicious sippable boddy. Well rounded and excellently balanced.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2006 19:13:41 | More by CharlesDarwin
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First released in 1997, this is the latest version of Port Brewing's holiday cheer...fresh from the source 2006. From a 22 fl.oz. brown bomber with PP silver cap and a new label with an elf pouring pints for Santa and Rudolf...it pours a beautiful opaque black with a muddy brown head of 1" thick. Good carbonation for this imperial stout, as the foam settles down you get a bit of lace and a ring. This stuff look's great.

The smell is of sweet dark ripened fruit, toffee chewy malt and a strong hop presence, followed by a belgian strain of yeast.
As it warms a bit, the hop notes fade and some potency from the alcohol is released...it really smells like a STRONG, tasty brew.

Wow...the taste is superb! Big body with some big, bold flavor ...sweet dark fruity and roasty with fig, currants, toffee, licorice, dark chocolate and a spicy hop of a finish...complex brew going on here indeed. Plenty of warmth from the alcohol in this drop as well, I think this years brew will age like a gem.

Excellent beer for the holidays and the cold Winters months...this is a top-notch brew that I know will turn some heads. Fricken cheers and happy holiday's to all !

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2006 07:41:59 | More by scottoale
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle # 411. It has a definately Belgian aspect in the head, flavor and aroma. The color is black with a very large, frothy and creamy head of light tan foam. The aroma has a definate winey fruitiness along with hints of chocolate, coffee, roast and brown sugar. The flavor again has a Belgian aspect to it with an extreme amount of dark fruitiness, candy sugar and possibly a Belgian strain. Notes of chocolate and roasted malts. Silky, full body and mouthfeel. This is such an unorthodox way of approaching the style but it straight up rocks and there is no denying it.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2006 01:51:52 | More by Crosling
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very deep brown to blak color. No light comes through, but when pouring it looked brown to me. A finger of tan head falls to a fairly solid yet patchy coating over top. Nose really works for me. I'm getting a good dose of chocolate and incredible dark fruits. There is a very slight puff of alcohol, but not big. Flavor is very nice as it progresses from sip to finish. I first get a blast of sweet chocolate and a light touch of soy sauce twang and figgy fruityness, but this moves very quickly to a nice dark roasted maltyness, not quite coffee, but very nice and roasted. This hangs on to the finish leaving a dark chocolate flavor as things dissipate. I'm really enjoying the flavor here. Lots of complexity from the start to the finish. Mouthfeel is thick with a light to moderate carbonation. Its almost a touch slick and syrupy, but it works well with the beer. Really no hint of the 10% in this beer other than a light puff in the nose. I think this is a very well built beer. Best part is the development of flavors from start to finish. Tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2005 03:01:24 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

2.95/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Well I thought this could have been something really special from the accailmed Pizza Port, but it was more of a flop.

Pour a nice dark body with a slight tan head, no real lacing noticed. Smells winey and alcoholic with some roasty bits of malt. Taste is very winey, more like a sweet barely wine laced with alcohol and a roastedness more like a regular stout than an Impy. The hops are really not there and I wish it was a bad bottle or something but it does not taste oxidized at all or anyhting else that would constitute a bad bottle. The body was thin and wel carbonated. A sipper for sure but not something worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2005 15:50:13 | More by Higravity
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yeah, I've been sitting on this one about a year and I finally encountered the right time to crack it open. Thanks to OstrungT for the bottle and three BAs for sharing it at a BA gathering organized by crosling. Pours a one-finger brown head over a pitch black liquid. No edging when held to light. Smells chocolate and toffee with a hint of alcohol sting. Coffee upon further examination. Tastes sour tart black patent, but also sweet caramel and toffee. Coffee is understated compared to the other flavors and I picked up either some falling apart grassy hops or some developing cardboard (ie; oxidation). Dry coffee roasty aftertaste. Md-heavy to heavy body and moderately carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 06:29:10 | More by mentor
Photo of rowew
rowew

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750 ml green bottle capped. Hand numbered (# 539). Beer description on the back.

Appearance: Completely black with a great coffee and cream colored head. Good retention and lacing.

Smell: Lots of hops in the aroma, with some roasted coffee and chocolate as well.

Taste: Coffee in the start, and then the hops take over. Nice bitter finish. Slight warming hint of alcohol.

Overall impression: Nice imperial stout - plenty of backbone to this one. Stands up well to a cold winter night and a cigar.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2005 00:26:31 | More by rowew
Photo of OStrungT
OStrungT

California

4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been sitting on this bottle since Christmas, and I just couldnt wait any longer. Luckily, I still have a bottle left. This beer pours jet black with a dark brown head. When held to the light, no light shines through the thick tar like liquid. The head is very thick. It fades very slowly leaving very thick laces. This beer smells very strongly of coffee. Also, I detect a very strong chocolate aroma. The alcohol is also very present in the aroma. It smells slightly of caramel. It smells sweet. That beer tastes very strongly of coffee. The alcohol warms my throat as it goes down. It has a chocolate flavor. Also, is tastes slightly of caramel. The malty sweetness is also present. I dont detect much in the way of hops, but that is probably because the strong malty flavors are so present. This beer is still carbonated well despite the 10 months of ageing. It goes down smooth leaving a warm, coffee flavor on my palate. I dont think this beer would make a very good session beer because it is very aggressive, and the alcohol content is high. But this beer is wonderful. It is great in small doses. This is one of the best Imperial Stouts I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2005 00:36:44 | More by OStrungT
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as midnight. Huge foamy head, big lacing lasts as long as you want it to. Weird nose of brown sugar, grapey, juicy fruits create a really vinous atmosphere, lots of yeast in there, I like that. Zesty orange, coffee… Belgium reminiscent stout, perhaps inspired by Hercules Poirot as well? Nutty, more brown sugar.. I assume they haven’t used any spices, but the yeast procures interesting spicy nuances, from cinnamon to licorice, from flour to anise… Interesting to say the least, the finish passes swiftly from the very vinous side to the smokier one. Highly yeasty all the way, it procures obvious warmth. Slight acidity all the way is just another aspect I can’t quite decide if I like or not. Full airy body, perhaps its strongest point, excellent carbonation, light charred smoky malts. Well well well.. this is one beer I’ll definitely enjoy sampling again to settle my opinion…I’ve yet to have a Pizza port beer that doesn’t ask for reflexion after having been drunk.. of course I’ve mostly had their special bottled stuff, but still..

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2005 15:31:44 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to mzwolinski for the trade! Shared with sckressler.
Appears pitch black with a 4 finger dark tan head. Traces of lacing seen in the glass.
Smell is of dark fruit, bitter chocolate, caramel, vanilla, cocoa, and a hint of oak.
Taste is of creamy cocoa, sweet vanilla, and bourbon soaked oak.
Mouthfeel is not overly appealing. Lots of alcohol blended with cocoa and oak with sweetness being the mainstay. Definitley needs to be more rounded to be upon an elite beer, which the smell and taste were close to being up there with Thumbsucker but alas, falling short.
Drinkability was ok. I had a half of one of these big bottles and that was more than enough for me.

Finger licking good.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2005 20:17:51 | More by weeare138
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a glass of this on-tap at Pizza Port Solana Beach and decided to take a growler home. Actually worked out cheaper than buying it by the bottle that way, and I could tell the stuff wasn't going to be sitting around my fridge for long.

Quite black off the pour with a nicely creamy dark tan head. Quite a looker. The aroma was dominated by roasty malts but fairly well-hopped. A coffee-like roastiness pervades the flavor, with hints of bittersweet chocolate. Fruitiness is very understated, mostly plummy with just a hint of grape acidity. A bit hot at the finish, but hey, this is still a very young beer. Very, very dry.

Tasty!

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2005 00:59:33 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of DukeMeister
DukeMeister

California

4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solona Port brews this & it came outa the tap with a rich, thick, tasty, tan head.
The scent had sweetness, roasted grains & coffee.
The flavor reminded me of pancakes with real peanut butter & maple syrup.
The aftertaste seemed malty, chocolate, & somewhat earthy.
Swirl this after a few drinks & you'll see a rich coating on the side of the glass. ;) Yup it's rich!
.
I seem to remember a little less sweetness, more coffee, smokeyness, & complexity last year. Maybe a little age will help it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2004 07:44:51 | More by DukeMeister
Santa's Little Helper from Port Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.