1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Rapadou Porter - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Rapadou PorterRapadou Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

165 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 165
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 13
Gots: 22 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: theformula on 12-17-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 165 | Reviews: 48
Reviews by DrinkSlurm:
More User Reviews:
Photo of RaulMondesi
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%

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.

Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue V:

This limited edition Imperial Porter is brewed with an unrefined cane sugar from Haiti called rapadou. Bottle #929 of 2007.

Take care in decanting as the slurry on the bottom is loose and will fall into the glass, leave about an inch or more of the beer in the bottle and you'll be fine. Pitch black color, there is no light coming through at all. Tight tan lacing holds together quite well. A complex aroma of raw dark sugar is similar to the light molasses, anise or licorice root and brown bread. Lush creamy full body flows well with a smooth carbonation. Real wood charcoal, dark chocolate and even dark roasted coffee beans come to mind as the malt drops a roasted bomb on the palate. Molasses flavor settles in the middle with a faint earthy tone, then the fruitiness bursts with dried plum, burnt raisin and black currant. Alcohol is warming but a bit hidden for a 9 percent ABV beer. Mild hopping shows more bitterness than flavor and helps to balance the sweetness within. Bittersweet finish.

Big and bold but not so complex to make it unapproachable. Heavy-handed malt bomb with a roasted character that still comes off as being quite drinkable. Cheers to Williamsburg Aleworks for this beauty.

Photo of asabreed
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage Bomber split with friends into some tasting glasses.

Appearance: Imperial Stout black in color, with a decent mocha-colored head. Expected and nice.

Smell: Chocolate-covered cherries, cocoa powder, and bitter coffee round out the triumvirate. A good combination.

Taste: A lot less dense than the aromas seem, and the subtleties are masked a bit because the flavors just don't come out as well as I thought they would. But they're there, even though they're lighter than I'd hoped. The dark berries and chocolate covered cherries, mild coffee, cocoa powder and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: A bit viscous and lighter than I originally thought it would be, and could use a bit more carbonation with a future batch.

Drinkability: A solid effort, but with another batch in the future, this could be amazing stuff. Worth trying if you're a fan of the style.

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Radek. Black with brown head, lacey and soapy head. Aroma with significant chocolate. Taste is sweetish, with toasted barley, big but well integrated chocolate, smoke, a little sourness. Overall good porter with above average mouthfeel.

Photo of hophugger
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

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!!!

Photo of Riverwarrior
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was bottle 180 out of 2007 in the "Brewmaster's Reserve Series".

S = Chocolate and roasted coffee beans

T = Dark chocolate upfront with some caramel sweetness in the middle. Near the end, some bitterness swoops in to round out the sweetness.
The finish is a mixture of burnt sugar and slight bitterness. The alcohol was completely hidden.

MF = Full body, thick, creamy, and rich. Moderate carbonation. If I didn't know better, I would have thought this was a Russian Imperial Stout.

Overall, I truly enjoyed the complexity of this particular beer. This is definitely not your average American Porter. I will be buying several more of these.

Photo of BeerSox
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into nonic. 2007 Vintage, bottle 880 of 2007.

Dark brown, almost 100% opaque except for a whiskar of ruby toward the bottom of the glass when held up to light. The light brown head is dense and slowly settles to a thick, marble smooth cap. The lacing sticks to the glass making a solid wall.

The Rapdaous is evident in the aroma as it is very sweet. The roasty malts come through among hints of coffee and chocolate. A touch of creaminess is in there as well.

The malts are roasted and slightly bitter, but are offset by the plentiful dextrins. Some of the coffee is in there as well. The label boasts a toffee flavor, which seems to be present (flavors are always in the mouth of the beholder, anyways). Full bodied and very thick from the Hatian sugar used. The website lists the beer at 9%ABV, which is well hidden. The malts linger for a while in the mouth. The sugar doesn't go away either. There is a unique smokiness in this one, perhaps something from the sugar.

This is a heavy beer that could be considered a meal in itself. Claimed to be an Imperial Porter, maybe not quite a Baltic Porter (as those tend to have lager yeast). Beers with a unique ingredient (in this case Rapadou, a Hatian sugar) are great to enjoy as they showcase a quality that generally isn't found in other beers. This one presents itself well, being complex, full bodied, and packed full of flavor. Recommended.

Photo of jfmorey
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 1954 of 2007 poured into a pint glass.

Nice dark color, almost no head which quickly disappeared.

Taste is good, somewhat sweeter than I like in a porter but lots of roasted malts, coffee flavor.

Full bodied, good mouthfeel.

Very drinkable for an Imperial (9% ABV on the brewery website); little alcohol taste. No problem finishing the 22 oz. bottle on this 2009 New Years day after dinner (did not reach the freezing mark outside all day) but that was enough.

Photo of smakawhat
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A simple pour brings a foamy and creamy light tan head, and even bubbles. Settles to a simple collar with no lacing on top of a black walnut body, opaque, with maybe just a faint hint of red.

Good simple toasty grains, with a nice mellow coffee like roast. Light. Almost a sweet sense of cream. No so much sugar, but a nice milky light sweetness. Pretty solid.

A nice super creamy mouthfeel, which is expansive and rich. Light hints of dark chocolate, coffee roasting warmth and soft creamy milk. Molasses bent on the finish with a chewy texture and flavor. Really nice texture, and a very down played controlled sweetness that I really enjoy (sugar bomb this is not).

Overall a fun tasty porter, kind of gets a bit large almost feeling Russian Imperial territory, but a worthy addition to Williamsberg's lineup.

Photo of blackie
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle 1246 of 2007, apparently this is already a couple years old

a: opaque dark brown in color, the thin cap of carbonation soon recedes to only a few threads on the surface, and eventually nothing

s: deep, rich streams of bitter chocolate, licorice, and molasses form a powerful aroma, love the raw sugary depth lent by the caramelized rapadou - rum-like after warming, caramels coated with cocoa liquor reduction, brownie batter, wave after wave of roasted and caramelized complexity - smells thick and chewy before I even set lip to it, and fresh nuances are discovered with each whiff, smoky underbody, leathery dried fruits - black figs especially, a little boozy, lovely and pretty close to perfect

m: carbonation on the low side, with a full body

t: molten bittersweet chocolate drizzled over rich caramel, licorice, dark roasted barley brings woody smoke and flavors of coffee bean, near-burnt raw sugars, all flavors carry well into the finish with an astringent, husky roast shuffling in, hops herbal - and seem to take a backseat

d: a slow sipper it is, challenging and a bit boozy, and drinkability does unfortunately take a hit

bomber from Grape & Gourmet, Virginia Beach, VA

Photo of angrybabboon
3.26/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

Photo of obywan59
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

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.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber courtesy of bboyshatter, thanks a lot for this one! Numbered 982/2007. Pours a black color with no highlighting. Fluffy brown foam leaves a nice collar, not much lacing.

Nose is dark raisins, figs and various other dark fruits...very fruity aroma with a nutty, dark roast aspect. Alcohol is notable, but not fusel and is secondary to the fruit and toasted roastiness.

Taste is like the burnt sides of an over-baked chocolate cake with a couple hard-core roasted coffee beans thrown in. Smoke, cigar tobacco finishing flavor. Fruit is surprisingly absent on the flavor. Opens up nicely as it warms, smoked dark chocolate Milky Way candy bars come to mind. Body is nice and creamy and carbonation is never a hindrance. This was a very fun beer to try, thanks again Sean.

Photo of HattedClassic
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of ksurkin
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber #1229 from grape & gourmet. pours an oily thick, deep, dark brown with a thin, dark tan head and a great ring of lace. aroma is excellent with huge notes of brown sugar and toffee, dark fruit notes of fig and prune, and touches of chocolate and wood. flavor is great as well with big, dark roasted malts, sweet toffee, slightly sour dark fruit notes, bitter chocolate, and a touch of smoke and coffee on the finish. palate is full bodied and silky smooth with great carbonation and well integrated alcohol. overall, a damn nice imperial porter.

Photo of weeare138
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 1737 of 2007...
Appears dark brown, nearing black with crimson highlights when held to the light. A large, fluffy tan head sticks around for quite some time before mellowing into a gentle cap of foam. Steady streams of CO2 quickly rise to the top. Scattered streaks of lacing are left scattered around the glass.
Smell is of brown sugar, molasses, toffee, caramel, ripe fruit, grapes, and cocoa. Wow!
Taste is of the aromas with a greeting of dark cocoa nibs, ripe fruit, brown sugar, and cream.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, smooth, chewy, and complex in the finish. I'm not sure if the aging worked wonders but I wish I had a few more of these laying around.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

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.

Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one...Limited edition - 1931 of 2007:

Pours jet black with a thin light brown head/dark tan head.

Well - never smelled Rapadou before (that I know of) - but by description on label - fits the unrefined brown cane sugar well enough - so I'll assume that that's it. Toffee backs it up.

The taste is of burnt sugar (again - Rapadou, I assume). Acidity and burnt tastes soon mellow revealing chocolate and toffee. An earthy bitterness balances it out and adds to depth and complexity. It has a dry, alcoholic/boozy finish.

The full-bodiedness that was there at first weaves in and out, but hangs on comfortably to high end of medium bodied at the least.

A big, unique brew. Too much for more than a slow sipper. One that I enjoyed the more it progressed.

Photo of Saunapoika
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nearly black pour with slight dark ruby accents when held to bright light. Thick, brown head that quickly receded into a thin ring around the edges.

S: Alcohol on the front, roasted maltiness, slight coffee hints, molasses as well.

T: Very tasty indeed. Sweet up front with a slow bitterness creeping in for the finish. Hints of figs mixed in with something resembling a port wine. I think this is a very well balanced beer considering the hugeness of it.

M: Smoooth. The head is creamy and thick. Likewise with the body of the beer. Completely full bodied.

D: I don't think I could drink more than one of these. Not because it's not good, but because it's very heavy and sweet. Great for an after dinner brew. Packs one heckuva punch as well. I wish I could cellar more of these for enjoying on a stormy winter night.

Photo of AngusOg
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #892 of a batch total of 2007.

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1" tan head that lasts a bit. Light lacing develops.

Smell: roasted malts with hints of fruit sweetness and alcohol.

Taste: roasted malt, prunes, molasses, raisins, some bitter chocolate, hints of coffee, and alcohol make up a hearty porter. Bitterness is mild but balancing.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp to start, smooth and a touch dry at the end. Alcohol provides some warming. Long aftertaste. Lighter side of a heavy bodied beer.

Drinkability: decent for flavor but down a bit for alcohol. A bomber is the right serving size for this, I would venture into a second bottle.

Photo of JayQue
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very tasty. Bottle 0098 of 2007. Pours a dark brown color with a medium size tan head. Some lacing on the glass. Aroma is roasted malts and bitter chocolate.

This is not a standard American Porter. The roasted malt, coffee and chocolate are there, but there is also dark fruit and an alcohol element, like a rich port wine that is more reminiscent of Imperial Stouts than Porter. Nothing boring about this beer!! Big rich taste, makes you think it is a higher abv than it probably is.

Mouthfeel is very rich and luxurious. The tastes are strong and the overall effect is smooth and rich.

I split this bomber, but could have easily and enjoyably finished this one by myself. Very tasty, might grab another one from Grape and Gourmet. This one is worth seeking out!!!!

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a gift set given to me for Christmas by my new favorite coworker.

1806 of 2007 according to the bottle. Poured into a pint glass from a bomber. Could smell some chocolaty goodness as I was pouring. Very dark brown (light black??) color, no signs of ruby edges or anything. Tan head is thick and tight. Lacing is fair as it fades.

This has a big rich chocolate aroma, on the bitter side and very pleasing. Some alcohol blends nicely with this and dark roasted malts twitter around in the background.

Taste is alive with baker's chocolate, bitter and warm with alcohol. Roasted malts make their presence known, and some bitter hops introduce themselves to you is the finish, but even after that it comes back to a chocolate flavor that reminds me of the 78% cacao I have recently been turned on to. Dry and biting but addicting nonetheless.

This porter is every bit an Imperial Stout in my opinion, and a good one at that. Big bodied, rich and creamy, minimum carbonation present in the feel. Nice. I am going to have no problem with this bomber.

Photo of teromous
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown completely opaque body with a creamy khaki head. Some very tiny meager spots of lacing.

S: It has a very subtle scent of coffee, but that's about it.

T: I taste light coffee with some dark chocolate flavor. There's a bit of roasted charcoal flavor, like the caramelized outside of cooked ribs. The beer would go very well with BBQ. There's a bit of walnut flavor in there as well. There is some residual sweetness.

M: The beer is very smooth and easy to drink, with a medium body and light roasted bitterness.

O: Once again, a beer is brewed with an ingredient that I don't notice. In this case it is "Hatian Rapadou" which must contribute some mystical flavor that I don't taste. In any event the beer is very tasty. This beer is a little more on the toasty side, and it has a bit more sticky sweetness than other porters (maybe the Hatian Rapadou?). For a 9.0% it hides the alcohol very well. I would recommend it for those who like smokey, roasted, and mild charcoal flavor to their beer. Personally I didn't think it was anything special, but for a stronger porter it was worth drinking.

to view more.
Rapadou Porter from AleWerks Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.