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Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Port Brewing

Not Rated.
Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel AgedSanta's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

421 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 421
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 14.62%
Wants: 44
Gots: 142 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Port Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 07-25-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 421 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fresh
Fresh

California

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

12-30-2012 18:25:31 | More by Fresh
Photo of fehrminator
fehrminator

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +9%

12-26-2012 01:42:10 | More by fehrminator
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khall

California

4/5  rDev +2.6%

12-26-2012 00:23:58 | More by khall
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purdueflyguy

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

12-24-2012 20:36:14 | More by purdueflyguy
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oldvines

Illinois

4/5  rDev +2.6%

12-20-2012 03:42:29 | More by oldvines
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Omer4176

California

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

12-17-2012 23:35:48 | More by Omer4176
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ralphw56

Nevada

4.25/5  rDev +9%

12-16-2012 01:30:47 | More by ralphw56
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BoRaeCho

California

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

12-15-2012 21:11:06 | More by BoRaeCho
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HaveUSeenMyCellar

California

4/5  rDev +2.6%

12-15-2012 06:56:31 | More by HaveUSeenMyCellar
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Treb0R

Oregon

4/5  rDev +2.6%

12-13-2012 15:52:22 | More by Treb0R
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t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev +9%

12-12-2012 03:54:21 | More by t0rin0
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RashyGrillCook

California

4/5  rDev +2.6%

12-12-2012 01:07:31 | More by RashyGrillCook
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sendbeer

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

12-09-2012 19:37:51 | More by sendbeer
Photo of DonFrap
DonFrap

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +9%

12-09-2012 01:42:41 | More by DonFrap
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally had a flat bottle of the 2009 and scored it a 1.65 because it was a flat bourbon bomb. This bottle came over the pond from Vanlingleipa. Cheers for the brews man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2012
Note: Drunk right after the base beer.

APPEARANCE: Pours out thin and transparent, just like the base beer, yielding a one finger, medium looking, tan head with decent retention. Head fades to a thin wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. Black, relatively clear body with medium carbonation evident. A slight wisp remains but leaves no lacing down the glass. Thin for the style, but the head is alright.

SMELL: Bolder nose of oak, vanilla and caramel for sure. Light roasted notes with milk chocolate as well, but mostly lots of oak, vanilla and some surprisingly restrained bourbon from the bourbon barrel.

TASTE: Oak and caramel/toffee sweetness up front, then licorice, roasted and slightly burnt malts and bourbon barrel at the swallow. Aftertaste is bold with bourbon, more oak and wood from the barrels, as well as dark chocolate and burnt malt notes from the base beer. Surprisingly well balanced and the base beer pushes through the bourbon barrel aging. Some alcohol lingers on the palate after the swallow. A well balanced brew and more interesting than the base beer alone.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate but not quite as weighty as the base beer, goes down fine with a bit of a burn after the swallow and finishes rather sticky. Needs a touch more weight and could be smoother for the style.

OVERALL: This is a solid barrel aged beer. The bourbon barrel adds a layer of complexity that complements the base beer, making this a more complex brew than the regular Santa's. This was way, way more balanced than the '09, and the carbonation helped make it far more enjoyable as well. Still not something I'd jump through hoops for, but certainly something I'd gladly drink again. Thanks again Vanlingleipa!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 19:39:12 | More by Jeffo
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CelticAleMan

California

4.25/5  rDev +9%

12-06-2012 04:30:44 | More by CelticAleMan
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wdarcy77

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.6%

12-03-2012 16:14:31 | More by wdarcy77
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06

Colorado

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2011 into an Avery tulip

Very little white creamy head. No lacing. Thin (pitch) black brew.

Tons of oak-y vanilla. Smooth and milky. Great aroma.

Very smooth up front with nice smooth oakeyness. Milky, light, thin. As flavor fades horrible rubber bitterness shows up and becomes nearly undrinkable. I love the flavors, but can't stand the mouthfeel. High rubbing alcohol flavors.

By far nowhere near the best Imperial Stout on the market.. This brew doesn't even hit top 20, IMO. Port needs to bring this brew back to the drawing board. It's very uneven and unbalanced. Great aroma and flavors, but horrid appearance and aftertaste... Can't recommend @ $17/bottle

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 21:27:14 | More by chugalug06
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tbeq00

California

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

11-30-2012 04:03:55 | More by tbeq00
Photo of PeterIngemi
PeterIngemi

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle 2011 vintage... Poured into a duvel glass

A: pours a very very dark cola brown, little to no head, no lacing either...

S: the aroma really starts to step this brew up, nice dark chocolate notes laced with great notes of toasted oak and burbon. The burbon gives great vanilla notes and coconut... Great aroma.

T: taste doesn't dissapoint either, overall id say the taste reminds me of a nutty dark chocolate burbon brownie.... Absolutely delicious. Very well rounded. The chocolate and the oak blend together so nicley with a rich of roasty malt flavor on the end, for a brief hint of coffee... Excellent.

M: medium body, with very little carbonation, I wish the brew had a bit more heft and a nice bit of creamy carbonation. A touch dry on the finish.

O: this is a great burbon barrel beer, incredible barrel flavor and balance, a must try for any fan if this style.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 03:39:01 | More by PeterIngemi
Photo of Jeb37
Jeb37

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I opened this bottle today which was a Stocking stuffer from my girlfriend last Christmas (2011). Poured into a 20oz pint glass

Appearance
Beer pours a deep super dark brown that entices you. Very little carbonation, head disappears quickly and leaves slight amount of lacing on the glass.
Smell
This beer smells heavy with coffee, chocolate, and caramel.
Taste
Really tastes of chocolate and coffee, really surprisingly smooth and balanced for a beer that says its ABV is 12%, it doesn't have that warming alcohol sweetness.
Mouthfeel
This beer is very light for such a high ABV, very easy to drink.
Overall
I was very surprised that a Stout this high in ABV would be so delicious and well balanced. This was a beer I thought would be heavy on the alcohol warmth and sweetness seeing as it was aged in oak. I wonder how holding it for a year may have changed the balance of flavors and mouthfeel. I will definitely get 2 of them this year, one to have now, and one to hold till next year. I recommend this beer as a great stocking stuffer or just to enjoy with family of friends.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 19:00:24 | More by Jeb37
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ASUBeer

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

11-25-2012 13:57:40 | More by ASUBeer
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ejimhof

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +9%

11-24-2012 11:16:24 | More by ejimhof
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uvm2003

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +9%

11-23-2012 18:13:41 | More by uvm2003
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Vancoubeer

Washington

5/5  rDev +28.2%

11-17-2012 04:50:26 | More by Vancoubeer
Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Port Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 421 ratings.