December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter) - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

183 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 183
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 44
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: busterthecat on 05-04-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

According to Dann Paquette (the Brewer), this beer is a Porter, not an American Black Ale. It was brewed in London in 1855, so it is an English Porter.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 | Reviews: 108
Reviews by RyanLigeia:
Photo of RyanLigeia
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Extremely dark brown that lets zero light through. Creamy off white head that disappears fast. It almost looks solid unless you look very closely and can see some carbination.

Smell- A faint roasty coffee smell mixed with something unique that I cant quite figure out.

Taste- The taste delivers way more than I expected after smelling it. Very robust. A HINT of some dark chocolate, some more mellow roasted coffee notes, maybe a little smokyness and lots of malty sweetness. Theres also some bitterness in the after taste that gives it a nice twist. The flavor lingers and does NOT dissapoint.

Mouthfeel- A little warmth from the alchohol, plenty of body with some detectable carbination, matches the flavors real well.

Overall- Awesome porter. I'll definitely go back and buy another to share with a friend.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle goes for $8.99 at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.

Pours darkest shades of brown, lifting a huge head, with retentive powers in full force. Fluffy and puffy and leaving impressive globs of sheeting and lace.

Sweat cocoa, vanilla, darker grains in the nose.

Freshly full flavor, lots of chalky chocolate, dark and bitter chocolate, dark coffee grounds,blasting herbal hop load lurking in the finish and pushing the flavor package. Creamy and super smooth in the mouth and over the tongue.

Nicely done. I really enjoyed this one.Go get some.

Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

EIP opens with a dark, rich, malty nose that speaks of its porter heritage, being full of tobacco, peat, chocolate malt, and heavily-creamed coffee, as well as more subtle hints of toasted nut and a shade of dark fruit esters such as fig.

On the tongue, the beer is immediately and simultaneously porter and hints of IPA. On the porter side, the brew is quite dark--more stout than porter--with large black coffee, tobacco ash, chocolate and black malt notes, as well as hints of toasted nut. On the IPA side, there's obviously a double helping of hops in here based on the strength of the grapefruit flavors, which manage to come to the front despite the massive amounts of malt. Pretty Things' website says that the hops in this brew equal a double IPA, and the grapefruit and pine flavors swim ever closer to the surface as the beer is held on the tongue, and by the latter parts of the aftertaste constitute the larger portion of the flavors. Subsequent sips reveal fruit esters such as fig and lychee nut, as well as a healthy citrus dose from the hops. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, leaving a slight burning sensation on the tongue and soft palate.

Overall, this is a solid beer, and while there can be a slightly-too-powerful alcohol tinge at the edges of the brew--which is surprising since it's only 6% ABV--it's most certainly a delicious porter that features heavily the tobacco flavors of the style.

Photo of natescape
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, almost black, but with an interesting lightness on the edges (when held up to the light)

S - Smells like a decent stout. Think Sam Smith's Oatmeal.

T - Wonderful. Complex. Leaves a long roasted chocolate flavor.

M - Just a bit of an alcohol taste on the fringe of the tongue. Yummy.

O - Fantastic. Really complex with lots of flavors. Leaves a great smoked flavor that's both intriguing and delicious. Highly recommended.

Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Wine & Cheese Cask in Somerville.

Pours one shade from black with a tan head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with good amounts of dark and milk chocolate and deep pine hops. Also present are lighter, herbal hop notes.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly roasted malts up front are joined quickly by pine hops with hints of deep citrus. Midway through smooth chocolate flavors come into play, fading out into a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is very good, with grainy carbonation.

Overall nothing about this beer was over-the-top, instead it was a solid and easy-drinking beer made above average thanks to the mouthfeel. Well worth a shot.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Grabbed a bottle of this when I was up in Boston a few weeks ago.

A: Pours a rather nice orange highlighted brown with 1 1.5 finger tan head that had very nice retention, sitting on top for quite some time before settling to a thin layer of foam on top. Decent lacing.

S: A bit of sweet maple syrup, roasted malt and grains, some nice chocolate and a little bit of coffee. Slight floral hop component, but rather faint compared to everything else going on.

T: Quite roasty up front with a little bit of coffee to go along with it. The midpalate has some nice milk chocolate and a slight hop bitterness. Very tasty.

M: Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Slight bitter finish.

O: Quite enjoyable. Easy drinking for the style, and not as hoppy as I was expecting. For once I don't mind that at all. I prefer there to be a slight break between the darker ales and ipas.

Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent beer, cross between a brown and a porter.
On tap at The Ginger Man NYC. Lacey, brown body and tan head. Understaed bitterness, despite claims of high IBU. Roast is understated. Oats,wheat, mollasses, lots of malt is what I mostly get.Fuller mouthfeel.

Photo of augustgarage
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of ShogoKawada (thanks!) - poured from a 22oz bomber into my Samuel Smith nonic.

Not quite opaque bistre body with a creamy beige head. Good retention, rich lacing, and glassy legs.

Intense roast barley notes - suggesting coffee, tar, and a hint of toffee.

Bittersweet palate entry suggests a fine unsweetened chocolate with hints of tobacco and leather as the ale warms. Subdued but lasting bitterness is accompanied by mild alfalfa/hay, but the hop flavors are fleeting. Bread crusts, coffee, pecans, and burnt sugar show up in the finish.

Creamy, medium-bodied, and somewhat astringent (due to the roast levels). ABV is perfect.

This could be outstanding on cask, though it isn't bad in the bottle. Lacking the multiple layers of roast that my favorite examples sometimes exhibit, this is a robust and direct porter none the less - very enjoyable.

Photo of hreb
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is a 22oz bottle in what seem to be the newer packaging, bottled in November 2012, reading simply "Once Upon A Time 1855 East India Porter". Beer pours *super* weird -- I was expecting a porter of some sort, but this is almost golden in color. Well, it's a brownish red, but super hazy (and I have not been unkind to the bottle since I purchased it a few days ago). If I was grading this against typical standards for either a porter or an IPA it'd definitely get dinged for appearance, but who knows what 1855-era East India Porter is supposed to look like.

Aroma is much more typical for a porter, with standard roasty notes up front in a big way, and a much subtler suggestion of citrusy hop goodness. Flavor wise, however, East India Porter is the perfect label. It's super roasty in the mouth, as much as any traditional porter, or maybe a dry stout, though mouthfeel is more carbonation-heavy like an ale (I suspect the original 1855 version would not have been gassed and bottled). And then there's a hoppiness which is almost on par with an East Coast American IPA (I wouldn't call it an English IPA, though). It just lacks the citrusy brightness and any of the floral quality of an IPA. I thought it might compare to a CDA/American Black Ale, but no, the extra roast and nuttiness changes the equation qualitatively.

An interesting treat and I don't mind drinking it one bit.

Photo of WSB
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer appears to pours black, but when held up to intense light it reveals itself to be a deep, dark caramel color. It gives a thick, creamy, brown tinted head.

The smell is malt, malt and more malt. Which shouldn't surprise, as the recipe calls for pale malt, brown malt, black malt, and amber malt. There is slight hop hint as well, and a surprising alcohol presence for a 6% abv brew.

Mouthfeel is warm and alcoholy- full bodied, moderate carbonation.

Taste is... deep and earthy, the roasted malt really stands out. The alcohol seems to warm the palate and intensifies the malty goodness. There is a surprising hops bitter finish that fights through the deep malt backbone of this beer. Its really different, and its fantastic.

Photo of mikey711
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown, somewhat murky loking, good head when poured but not a ton of retention or lacing.

S: Roastiness and bitter choclate mixed with some pungent hops. Interestning balance of hops and chocolate as both add a different bitter component.

T: Very similar to the taste, its like a a brown pale ale opposed to a black ipa which is a very interesting concept. The bitterness is quite enjoyable, but a little more sweetness to balance would have been nice

M: Slightly chalky and on the thin side.

D: A very enjoyable brew from pretty things and i love the idea that i am drinking a recreated beer. definitely the best one from the series thus far.

Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark muddy brown color with a tight khaki colored head that settles into a light cap.

The aroma has a wonderful chocolate scent, weak coffee, and a woody/peat note. I don't pick up much hops in the nose but the malt is delightful. The chocolate seems to be more cocoa or brownie in nature.

The taste is of roasted malt and a more bitter chocolate than cocoa. This pairs with the grassy bitterness from the hops, which when combined give the beer quite a bitter edge. There are some milk chocolate notes as well as a hint of coffee. There is a general earthy/woody character to the brew. A sour berry note pops through every now and again. Quite a flavorful porter.

The beer is well bodied with tingly carbonation. It has a creamy texture which is crushed by the roasted malt and hop bitterness. The bitterness lingers in the finish.

A very bold porter @ 6%ABV. Outstanding flavor though a bit too bitter. Very much worth the purchase.

Photo of OldIronLungs
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the release at Deep Ellum - ripping good time! Top hats abound! I laud Dann and Martha for their great attitude towards brewing and Pretty Thing's consistently exciting takes on historical recipes!

Poured into a nonick pint glass a nice red mahogany - two solid fingers of creamy head slowly establishes itself and clings to the glass like a midshipman.

The nose pops with an earthy pine hop character, bitter chocolate and lightly roasted coffee.

Big smooth sweet malt in front, chocolate jumps out but is quickly brought inline with a roasty, spicy, pine hop bitterness. Body is medium with lower carbonation, but the hop profile makes the endeavor delicious. Clean, mostly dry finish with a lingering hop resin. Brilliantly drinkable.

I can taste it! I can taste 1855! The India Pale Ale gets all the history notes for it's use of hops as preservative, but the darker variety, the East India Porter that Pretty Things has recreated is even better. I can almost picture myself sipping this after a rollicking cricket test match with the local lads in Rangpur. Ahh, colonialism.

Beer how it was, now. Very pleased.

Photo of angusblackheart
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark brown/black beer with a nice thick tan head and slinky lacing.

Smells like ac hoppy dark beer: citrus, roast, chocolate.

Taste is roast, mild hops, espresso, and chocolare.

Mouthfeel was a little ooff for me, not sure why, but maybe it was a linegring drying feeling?

Still, a great brew!

Photo of puboflyons
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on August 17, 2011. What a fabulous presentation with the ribbon over the cap and the gray tone label that mixes 18th century calligraphy with modern sans serif typewriter font. The pour is a handsome but cloudy brown with a long lasting foamy head. The aromas are rich with baking chocolate, smoke, coffee, and hops. The body is full. The taste is bold with smoky chocolate with a near dry finale. It is also very drinkable. Excellent brew from Pretty Things.

Photo of bcm119
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A semi opaque brown colored beer with a fine tan froth that sticks around. Dry, toasty malt, more in the way of bittersweet chocolate, woodsmoke and burnt molasses than dark fruit. Hops are dominant, with a nice green stalk flavor. Fresh and bitter, leaving little malt sweetness on the palate. A little sting of mineral/metal in the finish, which is otherwise all hops. Tight, clean, bitter. My kind of porter-- reminds me of several Northwest beers I used to enjoy in OR.

Photo of Sensaray
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown red which you cant see through. Has a light tan creamy looking head.

Smells of hops and roasted coffee, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon. Definitely smells like a hoppy porter.

Tastes like coffee, vanilla, roasted flavors. Also you get a hoppy presence that gathers and builds to the finish, which gets bitter never overpowering bitter. Bitter finish comparable to mildly bitter ipa. Has a hop spiciness that pairs well with the coffee flavors. Some sweetness emeges at random.

Medium bodied smooth and creamy

This is good. About what I was expecting. Didn't disappoint. Kinda like a really good hoppy black & tan.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, muddy liquid. Head was a tan shade, but didn't stay around for too long, dissipating to nothing.

Aroma packs a big coffee and roast punch. Hops are distant if at all in the nose, but I shouldn't be thinking ABA anyhow.

Big bitter hop taste comes through with a vengeance. Roasted notes, chocolate, lighter coffee notes.

The feel is near medium in body, very slick, slight creamy texture. I bit heavier woud be good, but for an EIPA, it's right good.

Don't go into this with any preconceived notions, because I think it will end up being vastly different than you imagine. But it's a very nice brew and I'm honored to have tried a bit of beer history!

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber to snifter. $13 for the single. Sampled 11/11/11.

A: Pours with a beautiful, 3 finger khaki-colored head, thick, mousse-y, & compact. The head throws a seriously thick web of lace across the glass, while the dark brown body adds torn sheets.

S: Huge roasted notes of chocolate and coffee with lightly toasted toffee and caramel to add depth and complexity. Hop character is big as well, imparting aromas of dank pine resin and herbs. There is an earthiness about this beer as well plus a little green leaf. Fantastic.

T: Every bit as good as the nose suggested. The bitter chocolate flavor is layered and there is a light acridness courtesy of the intensely roasted coffee. Huge hop presence keeps the finish very bitter. With very little sweetness, this beer is dry the entire way through. There is a hint of paper that comes across more as old wood than in an oxidized way.

M: The mouthfeel was let down considering everything else about this beer is incredible. The body is a bit light; the texture a bit thin. And with only a gentle amount of carbonation, the texture is also slick. Ideally, the beer would hang onto the tongue a little longer and not [kind of] glide over it.

O: Mouthfeel aside, this beer is a winner. Over the last 2 years, I've come to trust that Pretty Things will deliver a quality brew. And if this beer is an accurate recreation, as the label suggests, then them soldiers were drinking pretty damn good.

Photo of jsanford
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From THE CPJ. 22oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a dark mahogany with an ivory colored head that settles to a thin haze and creamy ring, leaving some spotty lacing clinging to the glass.
S - Nice "roasty" aromas of baking chocolate, coffee beans, and dark malt with a touch of sweet cream. If I was blindfolded I'd say this was a Milk Stout.
T - Robust flavors of bitter chocolate, coffee, and dark malt with a touch of caramel and cream. Finish is long and intensely bitter, like accidentally eating a piece of baking chocolate, but in a good way.
M - Very smooth and a bit creamy, with a medium body and good carbonation. Surprisingly drinkable despite the bitterness, this is going down easy.
O - A memorable beer in a style category that is usually underwhelming to me, I'm stoked I got to try this!

Photo of mikesgroove
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark brown liquid that was only barely translucent. Huge head of tan foam on the top that settled down only briefly to coat the sides of the glass with a thick, spider like web of lace. Dark roasted malts are all over the aroma. Notes of molasses, cocoa, hints of brown sugar and light touches of everything from licorice to dark fruits. As it warmed it got a touch one sided as some elements of peat started to break the surface. But taken the first sip all was forgotten. Just huge rich notes of chocolate malts and a touch of licorice just come across the tongue in waves of flavor. Rich and very sweet, hints of molasses and roasted coffee now come across the tongue. Very well put together

Photo of angrybabboon
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Review adapted from notes taken 9/18/11

Appearance: A rich, dark brown - beige head, good lacing

Smell: Well, it's definitely an English Porter - toasted malts, some burnt, some roasted - some herbal, leafy English hops - a lot of minerality - some chocolate and cocoa powder

Taste: Chocolate, burnt, and rocks - seriously - chocolate malts, dry baker's chocolate, light cocoa - minerality is quite high, and this kind of tastes like licking a rock - bitter, English hops, slightly herbal

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, dry

Overall: Good, and so English

This is remarkably English-tasting considering it was brewed by Pretty Things. This is interesting, and I am glad I had the opportunity to try it.

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy brown in color and poured with a finger high beige head that quickly died down but never completely faded away and left a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. A light to moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell but is a bit more complex, also having flavors of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans. The hops contribute a light amount of bitterness, which particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and slightly creamy on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There is a hint of dryness towards the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and goes down smoothly because there is a good balance between the roasted flavors and bitterness.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another interesting beer from Pretty Things.

This one pours a muddy brown color with a thinnish tan head, head doesn't last long but does leave some patches of bubbles on top, not much lacing on the glass.

Smell has an odd mix of chocolaty roasted malt with musty hops and a tinge of pine.

Taste has a more upfront hop aspect with a long lingering bitterness, it isn't a harsh bitterness because of the roasted malt presence, it's actually like a burnt bitterness with a piney presence, carbonation is right in the range it's supposed to be and helps lends a touch of creaminess.

Photo of coachdonovan
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hmm, I don't think I've ever had a beer whose name is a historial date. From an undated bottle (no pun intended) this pours the color of coffee, but when held up to the light it's more the color of tea. Wait, is there a difference? Yes, I think there is. A frothy head that brings to mind a root beer float, and it started at an inch plus but settled to a thin layer.

Aroma is full of roastiness - malts, espresso beans, dark chocolate, maybe a little burnt toast. I suppose there are some piney hops hiding in the background. Taste is similar, although it's easier to pick out the hops here. Mouthfeel is refreshingly NOT thin for the style.

This certainly delivers the goods for any porter lover, which I am. The hoppiness isn't off the charts, but it does present a nice change of pace from the norm. I would have loved it if the roasted char had been dialed back just a bit.

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December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter) from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
92 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.