Churchill's Finest Hour 2010 - Port Brewing

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Churchill's Finest Hour 2010Churchill's Finest Hour 2010

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BA SCORE
88
very good

23 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 23
Hads: 37
rAvg: 4
pDev: 9.25%
Wants: 74
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Port Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: PeprSprYoFace on 03-06-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Gold wax.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 23 | Hads: 37
Photo of Jwale73
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an inky black with no head. Great nose - toffee and caramelized sugar. Taste predominantly expresses a soy sauce quality, dark malts and notes of cinnamon. Mouthfeel is light in body with a carbonation falling just shy of lively. Overall, a decent English Barleywine that is a bit past its prime but has still held up quite well, despite its age. (356 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Marcos surprised us with this 2010 bottle, and it then surprised everybody by not being infected! Opened alongside the 2012.

A handsome stout, boasting hearty tan head above its black body. Dark, burnt malts kick things off. Smokey, plenty of chocolate, light tobacco aroma too.

Taste follows the nose with distinctively dark, smokey cigar undertones throughout. Chocolate, dark fruits, and burnt malts join the fray, adding their flavors as the boozy warmth creeps in towards the end. A touch sweet in the middle; finishes with bitter dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is thick and dead on for the style.

Been a few months since I had the 2011 so it's hard to say how this compares, but one thing is clear: 2012 is Churchill's finest vintage so far. (745 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.01/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brought this to tasting on about 4 occasions and never got around to it... so I said, forget it, gonna drink it myself... Poured from a waxed and capped 22oz. bomber into a Southampton oversize snifter.

A: Big fizz as I pop the cap. Amid cries of infection, this is NOT a good sign. Beer pours a 1 finger coarse mocha head with good retention. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is frothy and thick with moderate cling and decent legs.

S: I don't even have to put my nose in the glass to know this one's infected. Aroma wafts from the open bottle. As my nose peers over the rim of the glass, all I get is a pungent, rotting sour cherry smell and plastic. There's a good bit of milk chocolate and roasted malt in the background, hinting at what this could've been but that's long gone now. All I get is an infected mess that makes me wanna puke. I almost have to hold my breathe as I take a sip so as to avoid the odor.

T: Effect on the palate is surprisingly decent, considering the horrible nose. Definitely infected though. Opens sour cherry, ethanol, and sour roasted malt. Chocolate lingers submissively in the background. Dark fruit is present but they've all turned sour. Noticeable unripened prune tartness at the middle to end. Chocolate becomes a bit more prominent at the finish as does the sour cherries. Complemented in the finish by a bit of smokiness. Aftertaste is sour cherries and cocoa powder.

M: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Prickly and abrasive in the mouth but smoothes out significantly as it warms and actually becomes oily and slick. A tad tingly going down but viscous and thick. Messy finish with a filmy, lingering aftertaste.

D: Considering the infection, this beer is not all bad and its the first infected stout that I haven't drainpoured almost immediately. Tartness here is not overwhelming and although overcarbonated, its bearable and smoothe out considerably as it warms. Nose is hellacious though. Drink this one now if you have it, if you don't and can get it for cheap, its worth a try. Definitely infected but that does surprisingly well for this beer. (2,110 characters)

Photo of Gfunk720
3.36/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Split with some buddies while watching the Super Bowl. Out of my Maudite tulip.

A- Nice and black, pours with a healthy mocha colored head. Good retention and lacing

S- Bourbon, oak, chocolate, coffee, and creamy malt. Some vanilla/brown sugary notes, definitely pretty sweet smelling.

T- An oaky blend of chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. No signs of infection which is good. The oak is very prevalent. Soy saltiness, and some tobacco

M- This is probably the worst part of this beer, as it is way too fizzy and lacks body. It has a strong bite at first, and then falls off quickly. Aftertaste is almost non-existent.

EDIT: Got much better after it warmed up and breathed a little bit. The aftertaste was still pretty weak

D- A good beer, but not as good as Older Viscosity or some other Port/LA offerings IMO. While I am happy it wasn't infected, it was a somewhat mediocre barrel aged stout. (898 characters)

Photo of GoGriz
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reluctantly traded for due to the rumored infection issues. SO HAPPY I DID!

Pours a wonderful inky black with a nice dark mocha head.

Smells of bourbon, chocolate, raisins, vanilla and more bourbon.

Decadent dark chocolate, milk chocolate, soft bourbon, vanilla, coffee, some of the best flavor integration I have ever had. The flavor lingers with a bitter but welcomed mouth cleansing finish.

Medium bodied with a touch too much carbonation for me. The one detraction of this beer but not a killer.

Drinks beautifully. Such an easy beer considering the abv. One of the better barrel aged stouts I have drank. Feeling fortunate that this didn't suffer the same fate as others. (683 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big, big thanks to bmanning for sharing this at a tasting. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep, dark brown with a nice head and some pretty good lacing. The nose brings bourbon, oak, vanilla, a bit of char, brown sugar, chocolate, and some roasted malt. The taste is bourbon mixing wonderfully with some sweet notes, vanilla, and a bit of roast. Good feel with nice balance between alcohol, barrel flavors, and the base. No sourness detected in this bottle. Not sure if we were just lucky or it was because this had been refrigerated throughout its lifespan. Overall, taste is quite good and the nose was really nice. A really great beer that I was glad to try. Thanks, Ben. (673 characters)

Photo of koopa
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wax coated bomber received in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a dark ink like black with a super dark brown 2 finger rocky crown that shows little retention and some lace. Funny thing is that upon second pour (when bottle was much warmer) the crown has lightened in color significantly and has also become much more dense with tons more retention! This is the first time I think I've noticed temperature playing a role in crown appearance!

Smell: Overly roasted malt (espresso like), bourbon sweetness, oak, plums, prunes, dates, and cherries perhaps.

Taste: Same as nose but more balanced and interesting than I was expecting. I get chocolate malt and coffee notes up front with mellowed dark fruits and bourbon in the background. Nicely done!

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium bodied with good carbonation. I'd prefer it to be a bit creamier. UPDATE: It got much better upon warming (damn I review beers to fast sometimes!) so 4.5 instead of 4.0

Drinkability: Really good considering the double digit abv, the bourbon, and the burnt malt. I'm enjoying this brew and regret that it is so limited. I have one more bomber and would be torn to trade it at this point because of how much I'm enjoying it and how limited it is. (1,254 characters)

Photo of JAXSON
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, thanks Matt. Open with a big hiss, and foam actually starts creeping out, which is weird for this style. Pour is black with a huge, spongy beige head. Nose is pretty much dark malts, some bourbon, and a really strong chocolate that borders on annoying. Slightly tart in the mouth, some dark sour cherries. Boozy and hot. Doesn't really work as an imperial stout because of the sour level, but actually not bad when looked at as a dark sour ale a-la Perseguidor 4, Black Cherry Bomb, or Sinners 09. Not quite as good as any of those though as the body is really overly thin. Not great, I don't see any reason to age these further. (637 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle. Shared graciously by Mothman. Roasted malt along with a slight bourbon note in the aroma. Very good head retention. The taste has notes of the roast malt, dark fruits, with a nice slight bitter coffee aftertaste. Pretty smooth. Really happy we didn't get a soured bottle as some have reported. The 1 thing holding this beer back is the mouthfeel for me. It just is a little light in my opinion but other than that this is a pretty good beer. (449 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thedindaniel for sending this one out.

Shared this with a few buddies at the Great Taste. None of us thought it was sour.

Poured into snifter

Pours 1/2 finger of tan head. Color is a deep black. Good head retention.

Aroma: Big whiskey, oak, vanilla, chocolate, and light roasted malted.

Taste: More oak up front then the warming whiskey comes along. Some dark fruits show with vanilla and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, a tad fizzy. Medium bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Ends clean with whiskey flavors.

Overall, I was very happy with this beer and glad it wasn't sour like some have sad. Pretty drinkable with a nice amount of warming whiskey flavors showing. Glad I got to try this one. (733 characters)

Photo of capra12
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed with kbutler, mothman and translucent.

Appearance: jet black with 1 1/2 finger of brown chocolate head.

Smell: I get a bunch of bourbon, vanilla and dark malts.

Taste: opens with a ton of dark malts and a bunch of bourbon. There is bunch of dark fruit. There is a subtle vanilla in the background. I got dark malt and fruit aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation with a medium body. Leaves a film on the palatte.

Drinkability: I would have this again if it wasn't a sour bottle. I recommend this to someone seeking a solid stout but with all the bottle variability it is tough. (600 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.22/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared by Alex (Masterski) and poured into CCB snifter.

A - Pours black, tan-colored head that large and frothy (uh-oh), some lacing along the sides of the glass and a nice cap remains.

S - Freshly baked chocolate brownies, milk/dark chocolate, dark fruits. Really a wonderful-smelling beer we have here. The chocolate notes were unlike anything I've had recently, in a good way.

T - This is where I encountered a problem. This beer is infected, no doubt about it. The first clue was the huge huge head and with these tart/sour notes, I can confirm this. So, tart/sour dark fruits, slight chocolate, but really, the tartness is overpowering the beer here. I wish I could have enjoyed this one more...

M - Medium, rich, smooth, oily finish.

D - I don't want another bottle, that's for sure. I wish this wasn't infected, it had "Outstanding" written all over it until I tasted the infection. What a f'n shame. Can't recommend. (936 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Firstly, huge thanks to Shane for sending me this bottle as a surprise. I appreciate the generosity. Unfortunately we've both encountered a discouraging trend regarding this beer as it ages. I shared this with two other (uninformed) friends to get an unbiased opinion. Served in a snifter.

A - Pours with a couple fingers of tan foam that eventually settles to a thin cap. Nice lacing for a high-gravity barrel-aged stout. Black body with a hint of brown at the bottom of the glass.

S - Smells like a decadent chocolate cake. You can make out the Belgian yeast character of Serpent's Stout, as well as the dark roast malts of Older Viscosity. The Jack Daniels barrel quality is a little understated, but contributes a touch of barrel and vanilla. There's a slight lactic note, but it's in the periphery.

T - Uh oh. Tart sour cherries, lactic sourness, wet wood, and barrel tannins. A bitter licorice finish. This hasn't totally gone off the cliff, but it's definitely headed that way and it's probably not going to get any better. If you like sour Abyss, you'll probably love this.

M - Slightly over-carbonated for the style, probably due to infection. Otherwise it's pretty solid for a barrel-aged RIS. Medium-full body, dry tannic finish, and light residual stickiness.

D - This is tragic. Like I said, my two friends perceived the infection without any foreknowledge, so it's not just the power of suggestion here. The abundant foam and over-carbonation are pretty strong evidence too. If this beer tasted like it smelled it'd be a borderline A+ brew. Drink now, keep refrigerated - DO NOT cellar. Doubt Tomme will offer trade-ins on this one as I'm guessing the whole barrel suffers from the same problem. (1,714 characters)

Photo of berkey
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm aware this bottle probably needs more time to develop but I'm reviewing it anyway. I figure it will help others decide whether to open a bottle or not. Bottle courtesy of Danny Hipps. From notes 06/03/10.

Dense black with some dark brown at the edges much like Port/Lost Abby's other big stouts. Minimal head formation and retention. Thin arcs of lace are left as I rotate the glass.

Smells strongly of molasses with choclate, whiskey, vanilla and very subtle roasted coffee notes.

Wood and booze are stronger on the flavor than they were on the aroma while the molasses still makes a strong showing. Bitter coffee-like flavors are mostly an afterthought and barely detectable with everything else going on.

Carbonation seems somewhat high for a stout. I seem to have a slightly higher tolerance for alcohol heat in my beer than many but this one is really pushing it and stops just short of being offensive.

Drinkability obviously takes a hit because of the heat. Still pretty tasty but this probably needs another year before it's really ready. (1,056 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is certainly a thing of beauty. A dense black beer with a fluffy mocha colored head on top.

S: The nose is full of whiskey and vanilla with some nice notes of oak and chocolate. The whiskey really is a bit too strong for my liking, however.

T: A bit sweet beer with plenty of oak and whiskey coming through despite the onslaught of chocolate, vanilla, and caramel flavors. Perhaps even a touch of molasses and some dark fruits as this one warms up.

M: Unfortunately, the body seems a bit thin (though perhaps it is from all the other beers I tried before), though the carbonation is proper.

D: A bit heavy on the booze character, but still a nice beer. I would imagine that this one will become a nice treat in a few months. (740 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber generously shared by Nick3 at a tasting. Of course it's your finest hour when the great Tomme Arthur brews a beer for you, and Tomme was nice enough to remind Churchill's of this indisputable fact.

This one pours black with a lasting, fairly dense tan head. Some swirls remain on the beer as it settles down.

The aroma on this one is amazing. Really showcases all that a -bal aged imperial stout can be. You get your typical roast, chocolate, and coffee, along with a malty sweetness and subtle barrel notes and whiskey.

Flavor is also really damn good. Sweet caramel malt and subtle roast, rich chocolate, molasses, oak, vanilla, coffee, whiskey, and even some dark fruits. Really comes together well.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick and exceedingly smooth and creamy. Low carbonation, but not low to a fault like beers from this brewery can sometimes have.

Damn it, Tomme did it again. Nobody in the beer world makes beer geeks love him and hate him like Tomme does. Brewing - or blending I guess - this awesome beer was definitely one of Tomme's finer hours, I must say. (1,083 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by local beer stud, Nick3. Thanks, Nick.

A: Pours a pitch black body with a light mocha colored head on the glass. I'm so surprised to see a Lost Abbey non-sour beer with carbonation that I find myself momentarily overcome with tears. Hold on... hold on... I'm still a little choked up, but I'm ok now.

S: Whiskey, chocolate, caramel, coffee/roast, and oak. It's nice, though not particularly complex or special against other barrel-aged stouts.

T: Thick, chewy chocolate, bourbon, and caramel. This is incredibly sweet and tasty; I'd venture to call it delicious, but I know I'd get sick of it in a larger pour size. I pick up anise, oak, vanilla, molasses, toast, and raisins. Quite a nice flavor overall, though incredibly sweet and a bit hot.

M: Thick, chewy. Great for the style. Carbonation is low-moderate. Noticeable booze -- pretty high, actually. I've had smoother 11%ers.

D: I felt like my pour was satisfactory. I wouldn't go after this beer again; I enjoyed it, but goddamn, the thought of drinking a full bottle scares me. Especially given what I'd have to give up for it. (1,143 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2010 batch, 22 oz bottle generously shared by Nick3 last weekend. The body is black and opaque, and an upper-moderate level of carbonation keeps the beer topped by a frothy dark brown head.

An aroma of rich dark chocolate cake is prominent, with lesser notes of whiskey and caramel, vanilla and toasted oak. There's a faint whiff of alcohol once it reaches room temperature. This is mellow and wonderful.

Tootsie Roll, chocolate cake and whiskey flavors hit the palate first. Further imbibing brings out subtleties: bitter dark chocolate, toasted coconut, chocolate-caramel candies. There's a trace of oak, a mellow whiskey heat, a bit of bitter chocolate and toast in the finish and a mild lingering note of alcohol. It's full-bodied, though neither syrupy nor overly sweet. An amazing barrel-aged stout. (807 characters)

Photo of mrkrispy
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at Churchill's anniversary. I allowed it about 20 minutes to warm up before taking notes.

Nice tan head, deep dark color, almost black.

Whisky is immediately noticeable in the aroma, with a sugary molasses smell. Slight coffee in the nose. Indeed, smells similar to other Port/Lost Abbey stouts.

Big body, lots of chocolate and fruit flavors abound. Dark fruits rather, raisins, brown sugar. Some vanilla. Fairly sweet but not cloying. A bit boozy but I don't get a hotness. Whisky is in there quite well. Oak barrel characters come out in the middle and the finish...a touch of astringency, some tannins.

Decent mouthfeel, thick, somewhat creamy finish. Draft is moderately carbed.

A good blend, drinks well now. Lots of character, has the Lost Abbey signature twang, definitely reminds of Serpent's Stout. I look forward to trying the bottled version. (881 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2/6/2010

Serpent's Stout and Old Viscosity were aged in two separate Jack Daniels barrels for a year and then blended to create Finest Hour for Churchill's Pub in San Marcos. Consumed on tap at Churchill's Renaissance 2010.

I tried this on tap earlier in the day and while I enjoyed that iteration, I found the bottle to be superior. The aromas and flavors I found in the tap version were present here, but seemed more harmonious. The mouthfeel was a little creamier and the carbonation longer lasting. Thanks to the gentleman in the Toronado shirt who contributed $10 to the bottle price in exchange for a strong pour.

The beer is black in the snifter with a one finger light brown head that exhibits excellent retention and yields scattered lacing. Legs are evident with a swirl of the glass.

The aroma opens with big whisky notes and brown sugar that quickly meld with notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, and a moderate roast. A dash of coffee is apparent, as well as a light astringency and evident oak. Dark fruit is subtle, and a whisper of coffee is noticeable.

The flavor is of sweet whisky with a light roasted malt character, a touch of dark fruit, and a nice level of booze heat. Brown sugar is coupled with rich dark chocolate notes and a moderate oak presence. The whisky dark fruit brown sugar finish is tannic and drying.

The mouthfeel on the bottled version is better than the tap version, full and creamy with a lower moderate level of carbonation. The improved mouthfeel makes the bottled version a more enjoyable beer. Excellent stuff. (1,558 characters)

Photo of mikedashg
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on release day at Churchill's Pub in San Marcos, CA on tap into a snifter. Jack Daniels barrel aged Serpents and Older Viscosity blend. Brewed specifically for Churchill's by Pizza Port.

A - Pours a deep rich black with a large sized dark tan head

S - Roasted Coffee, Roasted Malts, Bourbon, a little alcohol heat

T - Tastes like serpents and older viscosity alright, only with more bourbon, and a little sweet. Dark fruits. Hint of Vanilla. Pretty amazing stuff.

M - Moderate carbonation. Very creamy and velvety.

D - Pretty drinkable and tasty, not too hot. The barrel aged serpents seams to calm down the older viscosity in the heat. I would try blending the regular versions for sure just because of this. (723 characters)

Photo of paytoplay
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

draft at churchill's, bottles seemed very similar which is a great thing: carb, mouthfeel smell ect. dark rich color. really smelled as described, 50 50 ba serpent and older visc. dark rich chocolate vanilla booze like ba serpent, which i've never tried by itslef, and the herb, thick, smoke, oak, and intensity you get from older viscosity. 10 cases sold "to go", other 40 of the 50 total production minus kegs, were for onsite only. $25 a pop these 22oz bombers were a bit expensive, but the process, time, aging was intense. and it's a great beer. not sure it would really age and improve with time, really seemed ready to go. were a regular older visc I'd say you could hold, the ba serpents part seems to balance and mellow this beer to be drinking great from the start.

awesome label which counts for zippy... (817 characters)

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchill's Renaissance.

Pours a jet black with no head and no lacing.

Aroma is of alot of bourbon. Some oak and a different sweetness aroma I don't recognize.

Taste is different than most BA RIS's. Has a good amount of bourbon. Little too much IMO. It has this different sort of tartness. I can't explain it. Pretty tasty though. You get a good amount of raisins too.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than most and has a little less carbonation.

Overall a tasty beer that I can't wait to buy my bottles of. (529 characters)

Churchill's Finest Hour 2010 from Port Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.