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Rapadou Porter | AleWerks Brewing Company

very good
56 Reviews
For Trade:
Rapadou PorterRapadou Porter

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by theformula on 12-17-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 186
Photo of ksimons
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-color is a very dark brown color with a thin layer of khaki colored head that quickly disappears to leave a ring around the top

S-aromas of dark roasted coffee, milk chocolate, and some dark fruits

T-roasted malt, chocolate, roasted coffee, molasses, and light dark fruits

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation

Overall a nice full flavored porter, very nice

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Photo of BillRoth
4.49/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Given Feb 2015 version bomber as part of a Virginia sampler Christmas gift pack. Favorite beer of the holiday season. A super rich chewy imperial porter that cascades you with chocolate, roasted coffee beans and sugar kick that is more dark rum-like than candy. ABV is big at 9% but does not dominate or distract. This is as easy a sipper as you will find...decadent and begs for a side dish of nuts, cheese and a full bodied Partagas. have never had a bad beer from Alewerks...but also never had a really positive memorable one either. Well that's over...this is the real deal. World class!
Related, Virginia is growing a large collection of really good breweries...and VA beer trails are very much worth exploring. Throw in immigrant breweries...Stone, Green Flash and Alpine ... and you have all the makings of a destination state for beer road trips

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Photo of bwood06
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A - Head is 2 fingers high after a moderately hard pour and is creamy with some larger bubbles on top. Head is tan in color and dissipates very slowly. Beer is opaque and ultra dark brown, borderline black. Moderate amount of carbonation clinging to sides of glass. 4.25/5

S - Deep dark maltiness with caramel up front. I also get notes of dark chocolate, espresso, and molasses. No real hop profile to this beer on the nose. Aroma is very sweet backed up by ultra dark toasted bread. 4/5

T - Dark toasted bread is the first note I get followed by a sugary molasses (sweeter than just straight molasses). Sweetness is more reminiscent of toffee than caramel and works alongside a note of vanilla. Espresso and dark chocolate form the middle of the tasting and then a grassy hop character comes in at the very end to finish things off. Hops only show up briefly but bitterness does linger in the mouth. There is a slight milkiness throughout that seems to allow the sugar and chocolate to stand out and results in a bit of a sugar cookie note. 4.25/5

M - Full bodied, thick, and creamy with a light drying on the back end that lingers in the mouth. Light carbonation tickle mainly on the front end of the tasting. 4.25/5

O - Excellently executed porter with a variety of flavors that keep the taste buds interested throughout the tasting. Sweetness is balanced nicely with a bit of bitterness from the espresso and grassy hops. The abv is really not noticeable despite the 9% price tag. 4.25/5

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Speiglau glass.

Before I go into the look, the aroma is present right away like strong vanilla alcohol but I will go into that more later.

Look is pitch black with slight red highlights at the edges of the glass. Head is really thin.

Aroma is so strong I had to look up what rapadou was, apparently it is packed molasses. That so speaks to the smell. It is like intense brown sugar with vanilla and alcohol. Intense but good.

Taste is straight vanilla molasses. So super sweet like someone put a brown sugar packet in it. At the end we have a slight roasty dryness. Very enjoyable.

Taste is thin but I expect that from a porter. I think the fact that it is to style allows the rapadou to shine through.

Excellent beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is jet black, with a low profile, off-white head that quickly settles out into a halo on the surface. Aromas of chocolate, molasses, caramel, coffee, earthy tones, hints of vanilla, and a rich, sugary sweetness. Smells deep, dark, and heavy. Flavors are heavily roasted forward, with a dark, bitter, roast coffee backbone, layered with bittersweet chocolate, molasses, caramel, hints of smoke, and a tangy, sugary characteristic. This is very layered, rich, and extremely well balanced. Hints of smoke and char on the back end of the palate. The body is robust and heavy, with a dryness in the bottom. Smoky, rich, bittersweet aftertaste heavy on the chocolate and caramel notes, lingering on through the otherwise velvety smooth, dry finish. This is a beast of a beer. Very tasty!

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Photo of arizcards
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from the Alewerks taproom in mid-May for $9.99. No visible bottling date.

Beer poured dark brown with a tan head that dissipated quickly.

Nose has hints of caramelized sugar.

Taste is sweet but not cloyingly so as there is enough hopping to balance things out.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth across the palate.

Overall this is a solid beer, very dangerously drinkable! Glad i took the opportunity to try - give it a shot if you come across it!

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Photo of uvachief
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a giant Duvel style glass. Pours deep dark purple chocolate brown and no light penetration. Looks delicious. Smells like dark chocolate, toffee, caramel, a boat load of sugar and coffee. Tastes like a traditional porter but much thicker and creamier. Really good with just the right amount of sugar. No bitterness and you can't taste alcohol even though 9%. Smooth and really easy to drink even on a hot humid summer night. Excellent porter.

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Photo of argock
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

An infrequent but enjoyable porter from Alewerks with a distinct oatmeal raisin cookie character finished with some dark malt raisin flavors and aromas, dark chocolate, and light and medium caramel with light-medium bitterness. Medium body at most with a reasonably dry finish. A unique distinctive beer that is enjoyable in the fall with some cookies or cake for dessert.

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Photo of AngusOg
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'm getting hints of something in the nose that is not quite agreeing with me, but it doesn't seem to be translating to the flavor as far as I can detect. Other than that, overall, a pretty nice, big, sweet porter.

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Photo of DLS168
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Very dark chocolate almost black cola color 1" tan head. Very attractive / appealing presentation in glass. Fragrance of brown sugar &, chocolate. Nice mouth feel thick creamy rich. Taste is rum / porter sweet but not overly sweet. A nice desert style beer.

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Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark cola color with a creamy deep beige head atop.Aromas of chocolate and brown sugar,not overly sweet but appetizing.A great feel it's full and creamy wich makes it too easy to drink for the size of the beer.Chocolate and brown sugar flavors but it never gets too sweet to drink,a rich full flavored "big" porter.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Poured into a pint glass. Bottle.

3.75 A: Black color. Two fingers of fizzy light brown head. Retention starts our poor but the last half finger stuck around for quite a while. A short ring of lacing is left.

4.25 S: Really nice aroma on this. This definitely has a nice caramel and brown sugar component to it. I'm not really sure how much of this is due to the rapadou and how much if from the base beer, but I'm guessing quite a bit. Roasted barley, cocoa, and a slight molasses component.

4.5 T: Taste is just as good as the nose. Thick, creamy malty sweetness. Again layers of caramel. Brown sugar, roasted barley, chocolate, molasses. Desert beer sweetness without being at all cloying. Quite nice.

4.5 M: Heavy body. Creamy, velvety mouthfeel. Good moderate carbonation. Supremely smooth and not overly chewy.

4.5 D: Really tasty beer. Probably the best beer I've had from Alewerks.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%

Bottle as part of a fantasy baseball winnings. Thanks. Pours black with a one finger creamy khaki brown head. Very nice aroma of sweet chocolate and sugar, molasses, caramel, anise, some dark fruit. Flavor is sweet molasses, roast, some chocolate and toffee, brown sugar, lightly bitter roast bite to finish. Medium to thick bodied with medium high carbonation and a dry finish. Wow. This is a really good porter and I suspect it would work nicely with some barrels, too.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%

Real nice. Lots of chocolate and coffee; and the coffee notes are real rich and almost dry - Raul feels like he is in the jungle picking the beans himself. This thang is roasty like you are on a camping trip trying to earn your Eagle badge. What's great is that it isn't thin and over-carbonated (I'm looking at you, Sump.)

Good beer.

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Photo of obywan59
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Pitch black in color with only an extremely thin ring of ruby around the base of my glass. Tan 2 1/2 finger head that dissipates rather rapidly giving a very yeasty appearance as it goes, but leaving no lacing.

Coffee, molasses, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and brown sugar on the nose. A bit of dark yeasty bread as well.

Taste is even more fruity than the nose. Dark fruit and brown sugar again, with dark roast coffee to match. A bit tart, with a strong but not harsh bitter quality that carries through to the end.

Full in body with decent carbonation for the style. Syrupy and a bit drying. Spicy warming alcohol in the throat.

A superb offering from Williamsburg Alewerks. Probably the best beer of theirs I've yet sampled. Great aroma plus full flavor with plenty of warmth for this cool October evening or a midwinter's night for that matter.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap:
This beer has a nice amount of sweetness to it, and the typical porter bitterness takes a back seat. I think this almost drinks like a stout more so than a porter (to split hairs in my own way, at least).

A (3.5): pours almost black, without much head, which is definitely gone quickly into the drink. Agitation reveals the beer isn't flat, but not much more

S (4.0): nothing special here, but expected roasted notes, chocolate, coffee, etc.

T (4.0): sweeter than I'd think from a porter (although it is a "sugar porter" given the description of the key ingredient). The opening has just a bit of weak coffee up front, but is brusquely swept aside by the raw sugar flavors that I would guess are from the "rapadou". A pitted-fruit-like tartness tried to come into play, but the sweetened coffee taste pushes it aside. For a second I get some date/fig, but maybe that's an anomaly.

M (3.75): I agree with something I saw in earlier review: oily. I thin the lack if carbonation makes it this way, and it's not too much of a detraction. The sugar makes it seem like a fuller beer than the mid-light rating I'll give it.

O (4.00): mentioned above, a decent beer if you know you're getting into a more dessert-ish beer (not Creme Brûlée dessert, but...)

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Photo of hophugger
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Not being a huge Porter fan, I will have to say that this one is well done. The balance of caramel, malt and roasted sugar are great and has a touch of fruitiness. A touch too sweet but well balanced and a real kick in the ass at 9.00 abv. Another very nice beer by alewerks!!!

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Photo of RacerX5k
4.64/5  rDev +16%

The base beer for my favorite Bourbon Barrel Porter. Had the pleasure of enjoying this on a gorgeous moonlit Eastern Shore evening where the stars were so bright. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, dark northwest cherries, freshly picked blackberries, chocolate. Maybe the best aroma of any beer I've had. The aroma was so fruity out of the bottle, then the empty glass morphed into a tremendous caramel and molasses that smelled great until the next morning.

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Photo of John_Beeryman
3.37/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very dark, oily brown with a dark tan head that disappears soon.

S: Very alcohol forward, strong booze smell, winey and sweet.

T: Much like the smell: Sweet, winey, boozy, hints of raisins.

M: Thick and oily.

O: For all of this, not a bad beer, especially after that 8.5 kicks in.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.32/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a black color. The head is around a finger high, with a lighter tan shade. Slow to fade, it retains a creamy texture as it recedes. A tiny yet uniform ring of lacing is left on the glass.

S: The focus here is on notes of brown sugar and molasses, as expected. Hints of chocolate and caramel also come through. Some gentle, fruity booze notes almost make it resemble rum at times. Could use more roasted characteristics to help balance out the sweetness, but otherwise is a decent nose.

T: Follows the nose to a T. Ergo, the primary flavor is molasses. I'm also pulling up some chocolate, caramel, and brown sugar. It finishes with a bit of plummy fruit notes - again, there's a slight resemblance to rum. This is a fine example of a beer where its subtle booze notes help give it some nuance. Still, given its sweetness level, I wish it was a lot more complex. It's more or less a sipper, without many of the qualities that would make it a world-class sipper.

M: This beer is on the sweet side of things, but since it's light, it's not the cloying mess it could have been. On the other hand, it doesn't really fill rich or decadent. Just sweet. Carbonation is low, natch.

O: Credit is due, this shows off Haitian Rapadou extremely well. I just wish it also showed off some balancing roast, coffee, or dark chocolate, too. Still, a solid dessert porter.

3.3/5: Dessert beer slightly plagued by its simplicity

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a bubbly brownish tan that dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is a dark brown that is opaque. The brown is a very chocolatey brown. The smell has very strong rapadou notes that both dominate and mix well with the other notes. The other notes consist of chocolate notes and sweet cocoa. The rapadou is an interesting smell. Basically, the rapadou resembles a much sugary milk chocolate smell. The taste are similar but the rapadou sugar is a little less strong and the cocoa and roasted malts come out more. The mouthfeel has biting carbonation and is heavy bodied. However, the beer feels pretty smooth and slick as it goes down and has a lingering sugary aftertaste that lasts for a while. Overall, this is a pretty unique and interesting porter that falls on the more chocolatey and sugary side than anything else I've had before.

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Photo of kevanb
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle, no bottle date, poured into an AleWerks snifter.

The beer pours a nice deep black color, hues of cola brown when struck by the light with a small, tight khaki head that has low retention and leaves no lace behind. The aroma is of deep, bitter, bakers chocolate, lightly roasted coffee bean, strong molasses, brown sugar, a bit of coconut and some smokey dark grain. It's interesting, I'm not quite sure it's harmonious, but it's inviting. The flavors are nice, lots of molasses and chocolate, bitter and earthy, coffee bean is light, but present, meshes well with the bitterness, while some brown sugar and sweet grain pops out, lightly toasted without the smokiness found in the nose, although there is a bit of astringent alcohol at the finish that makes it a bit harsh, even as it warms. The mouthfeel is good, a little lighter than anticipated for a 9% porter, but the carbonation is smooth yet lively, coats the mouth very well and finishes nicely, albeit a bit dry.

Verdict: A solid porter from AleWerks that does a good job of highlighting the "rapadou" elements. The complexity is pretty nice, but the balance leaves a bit to be desired. Certainly a nice dark beer for fall and winter.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.35/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Dark brown, relatively clear. Head is almost nonexistent but what cap does appear is a straight tan and creamy. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: Roasted cocoa and a ton of molasses. Chocolate malt and a solid hit of chcolate sweetness. Cherry and vague dark fruit. Sweet, raw sugar. Some leather and spent coffee grinds. Not a ton of depth.

Taste: Almost vegetal up front. Cocoa and worn leather with a bunch of sugar. Roasted malt, coffee, and sugar. Molasses and dark cherry. Raisins and some slight char on the back. A bit too sweet as it warms. Raw sugar and some grass. A touch of alcohol and so much raisin. Chocolate.

Mouthfeel: A touch creamy with a slightly below average carbonation. Medium body.

Overall: Rapadon't.

A bit too much fruit and sugar to really keep me interested.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.26/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Consumed 9/13/13

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark brown - small, light tan head, fades to a few wisps of a cap - leaves some nice spots of lacing

Smell: Roasty, cooked malts and a ton of chocolate - unexpected complexity to the malts, with some roasty aromas, coffee, caramel, sugar, molasses, dark chocolate, milk chocolate - very sweet, with some sugar and a lot of dark fruit

Taste: Sugar, dark fruit, chocolate, and more sugar - loads of dark fruit, like figs - milk chocolate and dark chocolate - caramel, molasses, and brown sugar - roasty malts and coffee - toasty caramel malts - very sweet, which combines with the toast flavor, like... sugary toast

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nicely carbonated, finishes sugary

Overall: "Rapadou," a leading cause of "The Beetus"

The sugary notes here are definitely interesting, but the brown sugar, caramel, and molassess notes are a bit much. This is good to split, but I think I would get tired of an entire bottle.

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Photo of Chaney
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tried this one last month and remember digging it. Didn't review it then, but here we are again.

Served in a teeny-tiny snifter glass.

A: Dark as night, but not quite snot-like. This one jiggled like the best of them. The head melted into nothing.

S: I got molasses, cocoa, and bacon. In that order. I also got some booze on the nose which was unusual but not entirely unwanted.

T: Drink this between entree and dessert. To say this is a dessert beer would cheapen it. Totally on the bright side of the dark beer spectrum, with with more than of bit of cocoa flair.

M: The chalky quality was pretty cool. Not thin in any way, but not a molasses bomb either.

O: I'm so glad they brought this beer back. I've read about it, heard about it on "Craft Beer Radio," and I'm glad I now know what Hatian Rapadou tastes like.

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Rapadou Porter from AleWerks Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.