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Santa's Little Helper - Port Brewing

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,333 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,333
Reviews: 559
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 75
Gots: 213 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Port Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Boilermaker88 on 12-11-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,333 | Reviews: 559
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Photo of superspak
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 8/27/2012. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy tan head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toast, brown sugar, char, candi sugar, raisin, light coffee, and earthy hop spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt notes with moderate hop balance. Taste of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, pine, char, caramel, toast, brown sugar, coffee, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roasted pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, char, toast, brown sugar, coffee, pine, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted flavors, dark malt sweetness, and piney/spicy hops; with no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very excellent Russian imperial stout. All around nice complexity and balance of roasted/dark malt flavors with moderate piney/spicy hop balance; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

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3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of vfgccp
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Killer looking stout. Towering khaki head with thick clouds of lace. Near-solid black with just the lightest rim of cola highlights.

S - At first whiff it feels relatively simple, but a second look shows some remarkable complexity. Light white booze and burnt caramel. Nutmeg, edge of cinnamon, andes mint chocolate, candy cane, and allspice.

T - Spicy for a stout. Dusty mint, burnt chocolate, charred coffee beans. Allspice, booze, gingerbread, and raw licorice root.

M - Medium frame.

O - Great appearance and nice complexity in the nose. Nice spice notes in the flavor profile, but I'm ambivalent about the mint flavors I'm picking up in the beer.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage acquired via trade. Poured from a bottle into a DFH snifter. Pours out dark brown, not quite black, with some light getting through. It's almost like an extremely dark Scotch Ale. On the nose I get some dark fruit, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Sadly, I don't get much in the way of roasty notes. Still nice.

The beer is full-bodied and has intense flavors. I don't get roasty flavors out of this one. No noteworthy coffee or chocolate notes. None of the flavors one expects from an imperial stout. There's plenty of toffee, plums, figs, and of course, bourbon. There's lots of nice bourbon flavor to be found here. It's not hot, but it is definitely warming. The feel is good, though a bit thinner than I like in this style, which seems to contribute to the booziness.

This beer drinks more like an American (very) Strong Ale or barleywine. It's good, but I swear if it didn't say ``Imperial Stout'' right on the label, I wouldn't have been able to identify the style. I'm sure the age has something to do with it, but I wouldn't think that roastiness would vanish and bourbon flavors would intensify and the color would fade. At any rate, a very enjoyable beer, but not one I would trade for again. Cheers!

Photo of kels
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cheers to Carly for this unexpected gift! Don't get to see much lovely Port brew out here in Virginia.

Pours a lovely super dark chocolate brown, completely opaque with an assumed heaviness from the way it holds the rich skim of cocoa-powder brown foam. The head hangs around throughout the drink, little chocolate-milky bubbles studding the surface and stringy rings of lace hang about the walls of the glass.

Smell is powdery - a little Nestle Quik going on with a medium-bodied coffee roast. A hit of something vegetal sneaks in there and messes with my senses.

Holy mouthful of roast! Excellent boldness of the roast with a smooth and dry finish. Hit of chicory-like flavor. No hint of any cocoa in the taste. Hops are surprisingly notable in a dank way that seems to contribute a little to the veg in the nose. Carbonation higher than expected for the style. Helps lighten it up but interferes with the ability to get the full effect of the taste.

Overall pretty enjoyable beer. Definitely something worth sharing.

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Santa's Little Helper from Port Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 1,333 ratings.