Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 108 | Hads: 183
Photo of Florida9
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer has a bit of an odd look to it. The color is brown, dark brown really, but it still has a good bit of translucency left to it. Held up to the light, it actually appears a dark pastel brown. Forms a moderate sized, creamy, deep tan colored head that slowly reduces to a slight surface coating and a thick ring around the edge. Some moderate lacing.

S: Smell is of roasted malts, cheap coffee, and chocolate. And a little bit of smoke.

T: The taste is assertive and complex. Starts off with a mild malty sweetness. Deeply roasted malts mix with an almost burnt flavor. Coffee, cocoa, brown sugar, burnt caramel. Then a little bit of citrus and pine from the hops - not enough to dominate, but enough to make its presence known.

M: On the heavier side of medium. Smooth, creamy. Appropriate carbonation. Mild bitterness.

O: A quite enjoyable and rather complex beer. Loads of flavor without being overpowering, cloying, or tiring. Very nice.

 959 characters

Photo of chugalug06
1.87/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Big creme brulee colored head. Head is 1/2 foam and 1/2 soapy.

S - A mild home brew scent... not the best. Perhaps this one isn't as fresh as one would wish...??? oups. there's some chocolate lots of caramel.

T - Quite bitter. not too much flavor. Kinda bland.

M - Overly carbonated. Bitter, very bitter.

O - This one could end up in the drain.... :( I wanted to enjoy this one!!! This is hard to drink, it's much like a bad homebrew. What happened to this brew????

 475 characters

Photo of glib
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I loved everything about this beer. Packed with all the flavors mentioned by every other review, yet imminently drinkable with no overpowering. Despite the complexity, it is surprisingly light for as dark as it is.

If I had to choose one beer to drink for the rest of my life, this one might just be it.

 304 characters

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Solid brown. Black at edges. Head is tan, bubbly, and lingers. carbonation looks solid. A good swirl rejuvenates the head time and again. Pours on the heavier side for the style. This bodes well.

Smell: Minerals. Rocks, loads of baker's chocolate. Big dry cocoa. Touches of roasted coffee and chocolate malts. Faintly sweet. Char and smoke as well. Lots of malt complexity. Toasted and roasted malts. Burnt crusty meat edges.

Taste: You can dunk a rock in it. Roasted, burnt malts carry a touch of caramelized sugar and a ton of straight cocoa. Coffee adds a nice burst on the back, but it's almost unrelenting on the minerality. As it warms, the malts jump up a bit and some real chocolate, as in milk chocolate, comes out. Big roasted profile. Some char on the back as well. Super complex for the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Slightly dry. Carbonation is on the high side, but it works with the deep mineral flavor and sweet malts. Almost creamy, but never quite makes it.

Overall: Damn fine take on the style. It's scary how well they copied British water. Tons of flavor and complexity for days. This would probably stand up to some aging, maybe a year.

 1,176 characters

Photo of axeman9182
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, allowed to warm for a few minutes before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Pretty Things December 6th, 1855 East India Porter pours almost entirely black. There's a little bit of cherry shining through at the bottom of the glass, and that's it. There are about three fingers of light caramel head sitting atop the beer. Retention is outstanding, the head's creep down the side of the glass is a slow one. There's a solid ring of lace marking the apex of the head, but below that it's little too spotty. The nose is predominantly roasted coffee, with solid support from dark chocolate aromas. A nice herbal note lies far in the background, but keeps things interesting. The malt profile of the flavor is very similar to that of the aroma, with coffee being the primary note. Chocolate is a little bit more present here though. The bitterness of the coffee melds into bitterness from the hops, before closing with a subdued herbal noble hop flourish. The body is is a serious letdown, nowhere near rich/full enough and it crosses the line into watery. The carbonation is appropriately subdued, and doesn't overtake the lackluster body. I enjoyed this most recent entry in the Once Upon A Time series when it was fresh, but thought a little bit of time would improve it some. I think I was right, but held on to this bottle a month or two too long.

 1,359 characters

Photo of angusblackheart
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
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!

 307 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, no date.

extremely dark chocolate brown in color, not quite black. 1/2" khaki colored head that fades. aroma is pleasant, reminiscent of chocolate, nutmeg, hops. similar in taste. a little roasty, with standard chocolate and coffee highlights normal for the style, but also finishes with lingering hop flavor. fairly thick, it coats the mouth. mild carbonation.

overall, it's definitely hoppier than most porters, especially English ones. I didn't like this one as much as their "KK" in the series.

 516 characters

Photo of stickynotes
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a rolling head that settles to a light brown 1/4" foam. Nose is rich roasted malts, some chocolate, some hops just barely there. Taste is a bloom of roasted malts, some caramel some bitter hops aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pleasant some carbonation off the tongue as it passes through, some roasty flavors find their way through my nose, medium-to-heavy body. A solid porter with a real pop, the hops are an enhancing addition. Robust and malty, this is a porter I'm happy with and would buy again if in the malty mood.

 537 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jay for sharing the bottle.

Appearance -- Pours a chocolate brown hue with a slim sudsy beige head.

Smell -- Roast malt, coffee, cocoa, some moderate charred malt, and moderate hops.

Taste -- Lots of roast flavor, coffee, char, mild treacle sweetness and a mild fresh pine hop bitterness. Not too bad.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with mild bubbly carbonation.

Overall -- Nice. Reminds me of Avery's New World Porter, which I am quite fond of. That beer was better, though.

 493 characters

Photo of 7ways
4.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was worried that this beer would taste like a black IPA. It does not.

Muddy ruby-brown with a dense tan head. It even looks like an antique.

Chocolate, fresh biscuits, cinnamon, and coffee roast. Not picking up much in the way of hops in the aroma.

Tastes of bittersweet chocolate, light smoke (reminiscent of HotD Adam) , and mild coffee. Sparingly sweet and a tad sour. Nutty mid palate that transitions to a slightly hoppy finish. Perfect balance of bitterness.

Creamy, full mouthfeel.

I love this beer. I've been looking for a Porter like this for a long time, it's one of the best I have ever had. Even though it is not technically perfect, I'm giving it a 5 overall because all the elements work so well together and the experience is just so damn enjoyable. I like it better on the cold side, before the hop taste fully kicks in.

 843 characters

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

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown with orange hue 1 finger tan head

smell: roast, coffee, chocolate, malts,

taste: roast, coffee, chocolate,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: pretty decent english porter. glad I got to try it and will probably have again.


 304 characters

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

Poured a 3" mocha head. Deep burnt umber brown body. Smells nicely of hops, caramel, chocolate. Taste is really nice and smooth too emphasizing cocoa and coffee followed by a hops boost to the finish. It all compliments each other unlike some of the other over-hopped dark beers popular right now in which the hops even overwhelm the dark roast flavors.

 353 characters

Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 1,446 characters

Photo of MrOH
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Murky, extra dark brown with 2.5 fingers of khaki head. Good retention. Tons of lace at every sip.

High quality cocoa and dark dried fruits in the nose. This is what I think of when it comes to porter.

The highest quality dark chocolate followed by a long, lingering bitterness. Chocolate and raisins, prunes, currants, etc. Some earthy, tobaccoish hop presence as well. Just amazing.

Medium-heavy body with medium-low carbonation. Perfect for the beer.

Possible, the most perfect porter I've ever had. I'm gonna email the brewery to see if I can get a clone recipe. Amazing. If it weren't so damn pricy, I'd almost alway have it on hand.

 642 characters

Photo of popery
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is dark, murky and brown. It has a creamy, beige head that sticks around for quite awhile.

S: The aroma has sweet cocoa upfront with some cola and mineral/pine hops. It has some bready, toffee-ish malt tones backing up the darker and hoppier notes. Interesting aroma but it pales in comparison to the taste.

T: The taste is much more full and rich than the aroma. There's a big sweet coffee/chocolate note backed up by caramel maltiness. The finish is fairly bitter with a nice hop bite. It's a smooth, full flavor, and the beer drinks bigger than the abv.

M: Smooth, creamy and a bit bracing in the finish.

O: Very good and interesting beer. I would actually prefer it to be a bit less hoppy, though the hops were actually weaker than expected. It's not terribly bitter or anything, but I'd like to taste the rich malt flavors in an even gentler brew. Still, I'm a fan of Pretty Things, particularly these Once Upon A Time beers.

 947 characters

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.

 897 characters

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.

 468 characters

Photo of washburnkid
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Awesome bottle, awesome looking beer. Muddy brown with a good top of tan head. Good retention and lacing.
S: Aromas are roasted chocolate and sweetened coffee.
T: Acidity really comes out with bitterness at the forefront. Very bitter chocolate comes out at the back and a few seconds after each sip, the roasty qualities are highlighted. I love the array of flavors in each sip, which covers the spectrum of bitter and floral to sweet and then to roastiness.
M: Medium to high carbonation gives this an extra refreshing bite.
D: Seriously yum. Solid solid porter.

 567 characters

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.

 699 characters

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!

 403 characters

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.

 344 characters

Photo of augustgarage
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 869 characters

Photo of ms11781
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours an extremely murky, deep brown with a huge, foamy tan head. Head dissipates a bit but a nice, creamy looking finger of foam sticks around for the entire time it took to drink the beer. Really excellent head retention. Nice, thick foamy lacing is left on the glass as well.

Huge roasted malt character leads the way in the nose. As it warms a hint of a sweet, brown sugar-like aroma shows up as does a bit of cocoa. Really though, it's a good dose of some dark roasted malt that stands out the most.

After the first sip it's clear that the nose is just setting the stage for the flavors in the taste. The dark roasted base is here and seems to be present throughout each sip, but a good deal of other flavors come out as well. A subtle chocolate note is present as well as some molasses and the sweet, sugary character that was in the nose. Some earthy hops are here and the beer finishes semi-dry with a nice bitterness that plays very well with the flavor profile.

The body seems to be on the higher end of medium with carbonation on the lower end of medium. It leaves the beer with a smooth and creamy feeling on the palate while still being pretty light. Normally a beer with such a smooth, creamy mouthfeel has a heavier body but this never feels quite that full. Pretty impressive.

Once again, Pretty Things makes a very good beer that defies categorization. It definitely has aspects of a porter, and is probably closest to a porter if it had to be categorized but it has aspects that fit in line with stouts, brown ales and even IPAs in some respect (maybe Black IPAs). Definitely a nice, interesting and flavorful beer, especially at a lower ABV.

 1,714 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

 582 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
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!

 678 characters

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