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

Not Rated.
December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

108 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 108
Hads: 183
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 9.73%
Wants: 40
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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Reviews: 108 | Hads: 183
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cascading foam settles in atop the translucent chocolate liquid; excellent stickage leaving clumps of lace behind

Smell: Burnt brown toast with undertones of dark chocolate, tobacco and pine

Taste: Brown bread, with layers of charcoal, dark chocolate and coffee, up front; by mid-palate, the tobacco, and piney hop character arrive to add a decidedly bitter balance to the roasty malt flavors; after the swallow, a subtle fruity/lactic sourness enters the fold, but the finish is decidedly roasty and bitter, though the sour element lingers into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and a slight puckering sensation from the sour element

Overall: A fascinating beer and thanks to the folks at Pretty Things for bringing this historical artifact back to the present

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
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

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Photo of nickfl
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer pours with a small head of light tan foam on top of an opaque, dark brown body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice rings of lace on the glass.

S - Dark, malty notes of licorice and brown sugar with some spicy hops.

T - Dark bread and brown sugar up front with some spicy hops. More dark sugar character comes out in the middle with notes of molasses and caramel. The beer comes to a finish with spicy hops, licorice and caramel malts as a touch of smoke.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a fairly sweet finish.

D - It is an interesting opportunity to try a beer recreated from the mid 19th century. I am used to historical beers coming from ancient recipes and coming with a rather loose interpretation of the original (ahem, DFH), but this seems to be quite authentic. The dark character is quite different from what one typically gets in a modern porter as this beer is all about dark sugar rather than roasted grain.

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Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yay, a new Pretty THings beer.

Pours a nice creamy almost 1 finger head that fades semi slowly, over dark murky mahogany maroon brown color, touch of lacing.

Nose loads up on malts at first, dark crystal malts, hints of reddish and roasted malts, touch of cocoa, hint of molasses, a decent roasty base underneath somewhere, and an interesting crisp like ale yeast addition, also some light earthy and herbal hops add just a touch of an earthy aroma and slightly spicy.

Taste starts with a nice earthy hop kick actually, some earthy and slightly fruity and touch spicy hops, hint of herbal taste, the hops give a decent bitterness but not a lot, it reminds me a lot of a Cascadian Dark ale. The malts are nice as well, a bit of some roasty malts, some reddish malts, plenty of dark crystal and caramel flavors, bit of toffee, hint of cocoa, bit of sweetness but not a lot, the bitterness grows and starts to get spicy and chewy hop flavors, almost becoming astringent but never really getting too far, and the herbal earthy flavors of the hops come out more on the finish, as it dries, and leaves a bit more malts, light roast, and mild chewy "just chewed on a fresh hop pellet" taste.

Mouth is med to slightly heavier bodied, slightly creamy, and decent carbonation.

Overall pretty good, very drinkable, gets fairly bitter but never too far, lots of nice blended flavors, long finish, reminds me a lot of a cascadian dark ale, but doesn't go crazy like most American Black Ales do.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at O'Reilly's served in a pint on tap.

The color is deep brown, almost black like cola with translucent clarity at the base. The thick tan cap holds well and leaves a thick lace pattern with ultra fine bead. The smell is great with a very expressive dark chocolate nose and slight bitter roastiness which reminds me of dark bread and has a slight coffee-like nuttiness in the aroma. There is a hint of pine from the hops which is pleasant.

The feel is good with plenty of deep roasted and mild bitterness with slight caramel sweetness accenting with an almost creamy body and slightly dry finish without much in the way of alcohol presence. I love the taste - it has woody and slight nutty grain which comes off like a high cocoa content dark chocolate taste with subtle earthy elements and hint of hops giving balance but the balance does seem to be more dry than sweet and bitter with slight pine flavor and gentle dark sugar notes. I recommend this to anyone who likes a nice balanced porter which is not heavy on the sweetness. This is an excellent beer!

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Photo of Rifugium
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had: bottle from Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA

Poured into a Pretty Things wine-style stem glass. Deep dark brown color with a small but lasting beige head. Dark roasty malts in the nose, coffee, piney hops. Notably bitter in the taste, roasty dark malts, a generous dose of piney hops, coffee beans, solid earthiness, ash, with a bitter and almost harsh aftertaste. Body was about medium, actually quite robust compared to other beers of the style. Good overall, but for me, just a little too bitter for a porter.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 02/09/13 notes. Bottled shared by nimbleprop; thanks Mac.

a - Pours a very dark brown mahogany color with one finger of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of roasted malts, coffee, milk cholxate, light floral hops, light pine hops, and some cream. Hops aren't too strong but overall, a pretty nice nose.

t - Tastes of of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, cream, toasted malts, burnt malts, and some light pine hops. Less hops than the nose; I like the taste a touch better.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy, and pretty easy to drink beer.

o - Overall a pretty nice English porter. Normal chocolate and roasted characteristics with a little bit of a twist with the hops. Easy to drink, would have it again.

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Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Impressive, long lasting light beige head. Leaves some spotty/ring lace. Dark brown color, but some light does pass through.

Dark chocolate and chalky aroma. No hop presence considering the IPA Porter monicker.

More Porter than IPA, but the hop presence is distinct. The body is surprisingly thin. The. Finish is cocoa with a bitter kick. Quite appealing.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I purchased a bottle of this at New Beer Distributors in NYC. My wife ended up drinking it as I couldn't fit it into my luggage to bring back. Thanks to Chris (spycow) for allowing me another crack at it.

A - Creamy, light tan foam that settles to a collar and some film, leaving minimal lace. Pretty light in color for a porter - more of a cherry brown color.

S - Smell is a pleasant blend of roasted barley, chocolate, molasses, cola, nuts, and some floral hop character that confirms the "East India" part of the name.

T - Caramel, milk chocolate, roasted grains, and light coffee, followed by fairly intense hop bitterness. Taste is actually more evocative of the (admittedly poorly-defined) American Black Ale style. In any case, it's not a very heavy beer.

M - Medium body, zesty medium-highcarbonation, slightly gritty texture, and no obvious alcohol.

D - I thought this was a pretty successful brew - I'm curious as to the actual historical accuracy of the recipe, but it's a nice hoppy porter/Black IPA hybrid. The bitterness gets a bit fatiguing, but otherwise the low alcohol and nice flavors make it quite easy to drink.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Aaron for sharing. The beer is cola brown with a thin, broken, beige head. The aroma offers coffee, roast, brown sugar. Ok flavor. A tad harsh. Coffee bitterness with lingering charred roast. Moderately low carbonation. Pretty good. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a really nice roasted malt scent along with a touch of hop aroma and a solid crystal/chocolate malt sweetness. It's dry with an excellent roasted nose. The taste is great as well. Again, the roasted character comes through nicely with dry toasted feel. Chocolate and caramel malts add a beautiful layer of sweetness that really rounds out the flavor. The hop character is outstanding. It packs a powerful bitterness up front and resinates through to the finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine English India Porter. It would be an excellent porter alone, but the hops add a good deal of depth; very nice.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my mad Fox glass. Dark brown in color with a creamy, frothy, tan head to it. Nice head retention with good lacing on the glass as i drank it as well.

The aroma has a big herbal, juicy, citrusy hop presence to it. I get some of the darker, chocolaty malts to it as well adding some bitter roasty and sweet malty flavors.

The taste shows more of the roasty, bitter flavors with a little bit of coffee to it as well. I get some bitter-sweet baking chocolate flavors to it up front, while it turns more towards a sweeter, cocoa like chocolate in the finish. Throughout the flavor there is a pretty bold hoppiness coming through with more of the juicy, bitter citrus rind like flavors.

The mouthfeel is about average for the style with carbonation being a little above average. Overall it was a very flavorful and good beer. The hoppiness meshed pretty well with the roasty, chocolaty flavors, which is sometimes hard to pull off. A pretty nice beer overall.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, hazy, chestnut highlighted brown-to-black coloring with a thin, frothy, foamy, off-white head. Aromas of heavy roasted coffee, both bitter and a bit smoky. Flavors are very heavily roasted, with a solid profile of coffee, both bitter and rich. Very heavy coffee profile. The aftertaste is bitter and roast, with a hint of bittersweet chocolate note. Dry, bitter, mid-lingering finish. Solid brew, and fun to see what brews used to be like back in the day, as they say.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Mess for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, some very nice toffee notes, and chocolate hints. The taste is very nice malty, very nice toffee notes, and a touch of chocolate, slightly bitter. Medium Body. This one is very tasty, a joy to drink. Thanks Chris!

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Photo of jdhilt
3.45/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one-finger finger light tan head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving traces of lace. Medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Deep brown almost black color, ton of yeast left in bottle. Nose is roasted coffee and flavor is roasted/burnt coffee. Lingering burnt coffee finish. $8.65 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Cap tape "Once upon a time... 12-6-1855".

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head over the murky, almost opaque reddish brown brew. Head holds steady, with sticky, slow-falling lace. Aroma is dark malts and anise.

Taste starts deep and worty, roasted chocolate in the middle, and finds the anise and some burnt coffee coming on at the close, with a lingering alcohol tinge to keep the dark flavors company. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is very good. This one retains it's use from even way back then. Yum.

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Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown with dark chestnut edges and a dense tan cap. Good head retention and solid sheets of lace clung to the glass. Interesting aroma, an odd combination of hops and malt. Toasted malts and burnt sugar, pine resin with a bit of sharp citrus, mild roast, and a hint of fruitiness. Notes of dark chocolate and vanilla as it warmed. Similar flavour profile with plenty of resinous bitterness, chocolate and roast, toasted bread, and milder contributions from fruity citrus and caramelized sugar. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, a little chalky and slightly astringent. I have to admit that this beer was a bit confusing to me at first, but as I worked through it I kept finding new layers of flavours as it warmed. I ended up liking it quite a bit.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went to Julio's looking for some DFH Hellhound and much to my surprise saw a the last bottle of this on the shelf. Had to purchase it.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a deep, dark brown with a big, fluffy nearly 3 finger head that slowly faded to leave nice side lacing and a frothy halo.

S - Wow, this is complex. The dominant character fo rme is a charred malt type aroma. Its really unique, not burnt or smokey but somehow a combination of the two. Getting some light espresso notes as well as a nice slightly floral hop aroma on the end.

T - Similar to the nose there are some sweet, roasty malts and that really unique charred taste. There are some light chocolate flavours that give way to slightly bitter hops.

M - Low carbonation makes this slightly creamy, though, just barely thin.

O - Really glad I got to try this limited porter. Lots of complex stuff goin on with this one. A great "recipe" from the mid 1800's...go colonialism!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I first had this on tap last month at American Craft in Boston, it was great but I had too many beers to properly review. Until now, as I opened the bottle I brought home ($6.99) at a poker game last night. It hit the spot, at least for the 2 of us that appreciate craft beer.

The label is beautiful, just like all Pretty Things bottles, with a nice story about the historic style: "The modern day beer drinker could be forgiven for thinking that the majority of beer exported from London to India in the 1800s was India Pale Ale. In fact, the majority of beer sent to the East was Porter, & this was drunk by the soldiers. IPA was sent in smaller quantities and was largely drunk by officers. Here, we have recreated zn East India Porter which was first brewed on December 6th, 1855. ... As with our other historical recreations, this beer is hoppy and surprising"

It pours dark hazy brown, translucent with lots of light transmission despite the dark color, with a wet-looking beige foam that lasted forever. roasted malts but still a nice bitter hoppy note to the aroma.

Tasty in a nice English fashion, not like a stouty porter that you get in American brewpubs, this was more like a roasty bitter. Some cocoa and maybe a little smoke, and light (Golding?) hops that give more bitterness than flavor.

Light carbonation, I could have gone for more and I almost wish I hadn't shared it at a game. Great stuff.

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Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev +1%
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.

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December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter) from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
91 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.