1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

An Brain Blásta - The Porterhouse Brewing Company

An Brain BlástaAn Brain Blásta

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

86 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 13.39%

Brewed by:
The Porterhouse Brewing Company visit their website

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-20-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 41 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of tjsdomer2


4.61/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Sudsy red-orange with excellent white foam in a goblet.

Smell: Incredibly herbal, soapy smell. Extremely medicinal and old school with a resiny and ether-like background. Smoke, peat, and Scotch.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very similar to the smell. Moderately smokey peat-like Scotch with a heavy dose of medicinal herbs. Fabulous! Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and very sharp on the palate.

Overall Drinkability: Old school bliss.

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2014 21:50:54 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of spdyfire83


3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

191st Review
Served in a glass
On-tap at Porterhouse Central

A: Slightly hazy medium cranberry. 0.75 (white) fingernail head.

S: Mostly sweet butterscotch here with hints of wheat, burnt malt, and dark fruit esters. Alcohol definitely coming off the nose, but not too overpowering.

T: Rich and complex - lots going on here. Dark fruit with caramel/toffee sweetness up front followed by sticky butterscotch. Hints of nuttiness and more dark fruit comes into play near the back. Overall, there is more malt than hops here and very subtle bitterness. Alcohol presence is articulated from start to finish, but not overbearing.

M: Medium bodied with dull carbonation.

O: The ABV on this beer is not terribly high, but you can definitely feel it warm the soul a bit. The complexity is welcoming and it is very easy to drink (especially as it warms). Good job for the style! My favorite of all the ales offered at the Porterhouse.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2012 09:42:10 | More by spdyfire83
Photo of mdfb79

New York

2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From 08/13/11 notes. Had on tap at Balston's Rustico in Arlington, VA. Served in a tulip.

a - Pours a dark red color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Few minutes of retention and lots of lacing.

s - Smells of light fruity malts, caramel malts, and toasted malts. Not bad, but not very strong at all. Pretty average.

t - Taste has even less than the nose. Some light fruity and toasted malts, but that is about it. A step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

o - Overall not a bad or offensive beer, but just kind of there. Not much going on in either the nose or the taste. Wouldn't seek it out again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2011 19:51:44 | More by mdfb79
Photo of drabmuh


2.68/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer is red and mildly hazy with a big off white / brownish head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass, head has nice retention overall and a great view to it. Looks like beer.

Aroma is sweet and mild with a slight roast to it, it smells fine.

Can you bottle boring? Apparently. Beer is too thin, watery, nearly no flavor, mild bitterness at the end. It's like water, big disappointment here, which is odd because I didn't have expectations. It doesn't taste bad I guess, it just doesn't taste like anything.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2011 00:17:22 | More by drabmuh
Photo of JohnnyChicago


3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Porterhouse Central; poured into a tulip pint.

A: Deep, dark red with a one finger head.

S: Not to much smell to pull of this one. There is a hint of carmel and bittersweet hops, but that's about it.

T: The hops hit first, sweet honey and tropical fruits follow, and a defined malty sweetness in the finish.

D: Really smooth and crisp with a oily mouthfeel and a sweet finish. A great aperitif to one of the many excellent meals available at the Porterhouse.

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2011 15:01:40 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of AgentMunky


4.28/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a small cylindrical glass at the brewpub in Dublin.

A: Some creamy head and bubbles. Beautiful! Clear red-copper.

S: An odd creaminess, but with strong citrusy (grapefruity?) hops. Good.

T: Delicious! An Brain Blasta (for so it is listed in The Little Black Book of Beer and Other Stories) tastes a lot of an American double IPA. Allegedly "longer fermentation and thrice hopping" bring about the delicious bitterness that caresses the mouth with spot-on carbonation and strong malts that support the maintaste but fade away before the aftertaste.

M: Drying hops have a biscuity feel, carbonation is very well done, and there is a tinge of warm alcohol. Superlative.

D: Warming, absolutely scumptious, and a pleasure to drink. Definitely recommended, will drink again (in fact, I'll follow this with a pint of the stuff). Porterhouse's best beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2011 23:40:25 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of nickfl


3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a small head of off-white foam, resting on top of a clear, amber-brown body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves nice lace.

S - Lots of toffee and caramel aromas with some butterscotch. A little bit of bready cracker malt in the background with no discernible hop character.

T - Mild caramel and biscuit malt up front with some spicy hop flavor. The hops grow stronger and more musty through the middle with increased caramel malt presence. the hop bitterness kicks in hard at the finish with a mustardy bite and some sharp grapefruit qualities to the bitterness.

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

D - Not bad, but not as good as it probably could be with more age. There is a nice malt character in the aroma, but the hops dominate the flavor profile. It has a level and harshness of bitterness that is surprisingly reminiscent of an American barleywine. This beer tastes a bit young to me and I imagine that it would mellow and grow more complex with six months to a year of age.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2010 05:46:20 | More by nickfl
Photo of Yeastcakes


3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brewpub near Trinity College
Serving notes: cool, imperial pint glass
A - alcohol comes through, but not too hot. Some raisins and oatmeal.
A - quarter-inch of head, clear light amber.
M - light body with medium carbonation. Alcohol heat that first appears in the aroma is here as expected and also at a pleasant (not-too-hot) level.
T - Some dark fruits (raisins) with good malt body. Has enough hops to back things up.
D - While this is one of their heavier beers it goes down easily enough and if you've already had a meal at the pub you can still continue the evening.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2009 22:41:38 | More by Yeastcakes
Photo of Oxymoron


3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Advertised as a English barleywine versus an English Strong listed here. Arrived a mostly merky dark drown color. Some lighter brown hues around the edges and a light red tint to it. A light ring around the glass for foam, but did remain for the tasting. But no lacing to speak of.

The nose is malty with a more caramel and light melonadian aroma. Some chocolate and a bit of brown sugar aromas as well. A bit sweet but there is no hops really to speak of to balance off of. There is a yeasty aroma but mostly clean. A bigger plum aroma with some black currant and figs in the mix. Some butter as it warms as well.

The taste is a bit more balance but still sweet and malty. The malt is similar with more of a sugary caramel note. Some sugary notes and an almost Special B like quality. The hops are very limited. No real bitterness, which would really help versus the sweetness. Some minor earthy hop notes in the finish. The yeast is very present as well. Some plums, bubblegum and weirdly enough, gummy drops. The diacetyl some out more though and really off sets some of the nice esters.

The body is moderate, but the sweetness gives it a perception that it's bigger than it really is. The sweetness is a bit of a deterrent. Some slickness as well, which really hints at the diacetyl. Overall some nice complexity but some major flaws really hold this beer back. Clean those out and now were talkin.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2009 19:31:10 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of atis


3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear red brown with dense 1/2 finger slightly off-white head, excellent retention, head lasted almost till the end of the glass, very good lacing. Aroma is mild caramel malty, no alcohol, despite hight ABV. Taste is rather intense nutty and citrus bitterness, hints of wild fruit, berries, dry finish and long lasting bittery citrus aftertaste. When it warms up, caramel malt is stronger felt. Mouthfeel is smooth, rather high carbonation.

Overall, the beer felt very hoppy and bittery, harsh sometimes, but what I liked was that alcohol was very well hidden. Quite drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2009 18:34:43 | More by atis
Photo of jspruit


3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Porterhouse Temple Bar location-it was the strongest of their offering's on tap.

Pours a nice copper with some red amberness that can be seen when held up to the light a bit. White one-finger head that settles away after a bit with little lacing.

Smells a bit malty and caramely with some hints of hops too-not bad.

The sweet maltiness is the most dominating characteristic but the bitter dry hops provide a nice contrast. Not too complex of a beer, but I like it.

The dryness kicks in at the end and that for me is the last part that your mouth is left with-I don't mind it though.

I do think that this is one of the best on-tap Irish beers that I have had here in Ireland, but I can't drink too much of it though because of the 7% ABV. I'm glad that it's so close as I'm going to be sure to have more of it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2008 20:32:03 | More by jspruit
Photo of cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Porterhouse, Dublin

Pours with a deep red amber body, tight slightly off white head with good retention. Some lacing down the glass

Smell, some malt, almost cask like on the nose (slightly yeasty), some sweet esters and a few floral notes

Taste, served far too cold so it really knocked alot of flavour out the window. I let the pint warm for 10mins or so, then sampled. Sweet caramel malt, some dry biscuity crispness also, a few esters lingering in the background.Very little hop profile, mainly a huge whack of malt, some yeast on the finish

A little unbalanced and unrefined, slightly harsh also but solid none the less

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2006 05:18:23 | More by cypressbob
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted this beer by a pint at the Porterhouse's Covent Garden branch recently.

A: very dark copper to caramel colour, with a fast-fading out white head, and no lacing...
S: very deeply-running caramel and dark maltiness... it's actually straight-forward malty--not unpleasant but not balanced.
T: caramel-sweet... the dark malty flavour dominates the palate which is decorated with a tinge of sweet flavour of chewy black-current flavoured bubble gum, against a good backdrop of hops. In the aftertaste the hoppy bitterness is dryish, with a residual brown-sugary and sweet, preserved black plum kind of sticky mouthfeel towards the end.
M: overall it's a full-bodied and full-flavoured, albeit overly one-dimensional, strong ale, yet the soft mouthfeel proves a little bit too sweet for me. Having said that, it's still enjoyable, better enjoyed as a digestif...

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2005 02:12:19 | More by wl0307
Photo of cbl2

New York

2.7/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2


Orangish brown with little to no head (off white)


Tough to discern an odor inside the bar (I was in Dublin just prior to the smoking ban), but the aroma I am getting isn't exactly pleasing.


At first a short sharp shock of hops followed by a fruity (tropical) flavor. Finishes with a floral quality due to the hops. Not my favorite.


Woke up the next morning, with little memory of the night before. Definetly a brain blaster.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2004 20:33:09 | More by cbl2
Photo of stcules


2.85/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Strong red colour, with oranged reflexes, compact foam, typical of an ale, not very persistent.
The smell is floreal and hop (hop flower), with some fruity (sweet cherry), and then caramel. Sweet, creamy and wrapping.
Medium body, sweet aftertaste, with vanilla, and bitter and toasted too!

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2003 19:31:52 | More by stcules
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml pull tab bottle poured into tulip 29/1/14

A hazy dark amber with some ruby when held to the light, a finger of tan foam sits around far a few sips leaving some polka dot specks of lace

S green apple, toffee, cotton candy, butterscotch, some herbal notes, smells a little sour though, nothing bad but nothing great either

T spicy hops, caramels are soft, not as much sour apple, some bread, still lots of herbal notes, better then the nose but a little average

M silky upon entry and creamy from the bubbles, has some body to it and some English hops linger, perhaps a highlight

O OK brew but nothing to write home about, the nose left something to be desired and other then the solid feel it didn't really excel anywhere

another decent but brew that I wont remember, I could see some people loving the "English balance" and raving about this one but its a one and done for this guy

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 23:59:51 | More by wordemupg
Photo of Flounder57


3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz beer was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger hear that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with good clarity and bubbles seen coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Really fruity. Raisins, caramel, toffee, brandy, and toasted malts.

Taste: Raisins, toffee, caramel, brandy, mild hop bitterness, and some bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light bodied, low to medium carbonation, and a little bitterness.

Overall: This strong ale is almost borderline with an English barleywine. Fruity, malty, and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 08:17:01 | More by Flounder57
Photo of metter98

New York

3.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy deep amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Rather complex aromas of brandy, raisins, toasted malts and toffee are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and also has hints of earthy yeast and a light amount of bitterness, the latter of which which masks any sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Slight bits of warming are perceptible.
O: I enjoyed the complexities in the smell and taste of this beer. It is relatively easy to drink but pleasant enough to sip.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 17:18:02 | More by metter98
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle. It's been a while since I've encountered this weird-ass, potential deep gash accident prone cap enclosure. WTF? Is this an Irish countermeasure to binge drinking, or something?

This beer pours a clear, dark red brick amber hue, with three fingers of densely foamy, bubbly, and slightly rocky pale beige head, which leaves a stellar array of sticky, holey cheese lace around the glass as it gently sinks away.

It smells of somewhat biscuity, sweet caramel malt, toffee pudding, complex dark fleshy fruit, demarara sugar, sultana raisins, and floral, leafy hops. The taste is rather bitter up front, but in a certain mirror-world, obfuscated way - floral, perfumed hops, mostly - with a further untethered grassiness, caramel and toffee malts, moderately sour store-brand raisins, restrained brown sugar, and a bit of stony flintiness, perhaps from the well sublimated alcohol.

The bubbles are tamed to the point of obsequious plainness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and mostly smooth, in an equally unfurnished manner. It finishes off-dry, the gritty caramel malt shedding its initial biscuit goodness, while the lingering dark sugar and somewhat boozed up leafy and weedy hops round things out.

A decent tipple, in the way of the main island's strong ales, fo sho, with the same UK malt and hop sensibilities that this brewer may not be altogether comfortable with admitting. Maybe not my favorite, vis a vis the same concept so prevalent here on our shores, but the name is cool, and I would imagine, if I were in Dublin town center, this would be a stellar alternative, to well, anything.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 00:46:16 | More by biboergosum
Photo of MDDMD


3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-copper color with a nice off-white head and good lacing

S-toffee, malt, floral, hint of dark fruit

T-sweet malt, toffee, brown sugar, raisins, floral, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth

O-interesting ale, flavors are decent but balance is off

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2013 07:43:50 | More by MDDMD
Photo of beergoot


3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Dark, copper-colored body topped with a thick, foamy, white head. Heady caramel aroma with a twinge of spicy, pine-like hop aroma. Light caramel malt flavors with a tingling alcohol aftertaste. Thin, kind of watery body; mostly dry finish.

Doesn't live up to first impressions - looks good and smells promising. More boozy than flavorful and fairly weak body.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 19:37:37 | More by beergoot
Photo of DrDemento456


3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Got this for a great price mixed and matched for $1.75

A - Somewhat clear deep red brown, with a 1/4 inch of head, very sticky off white head.
S - Wow has a somewhat chestnut rum smell with a touch of sour cherry and brandy.
T - Somewhat dry and very bitter that last long into the finish with hops. The caramel and toffee notes are minimal but its overall smooth.
M - Very dry and medium bodied.

Overall its a very hoppy and dry old ale, unfortunately I like my old ales less dry and sweet so I will not be getting this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 01:04:52 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger cream head that fades very slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Deep clear copper/amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Toasted malt nose and flavor is toasted malt and some caramel. $4.99 for a 330ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, MA.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 22:26:42 | More by jdhilt
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Porterhouse Brewing 'An BrainBlasta' , an English Strong Ale @ 7.0% , served from an interesting 330 ml bottle with a pull tap bottle cap , purchased for $3

A-pour is an amber/gold from the bottle , into the glass dark amber with little to no head along the pint glass

S-sweet smelling , fruity

T-dry hoppy , dark fruity , sweet malt

MF-medium carbonation , medium/full body , dry bittersweet finish on the palate

Ov-ok beer , we bit harsh on my palate , maybe not my favourite style of beer

sampled alongside 'Plain Porter' & 'Oyster Stout' also from Porterhouse Brewing

prost LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 05:20:25 | More by LampertLand
Photo of RblWthACoz


2.39/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The caps on this brewery's bottles always strike me as funny. Lots of caramel and malts on the nose and flavor profile. It could work if it were more balanced, but unfortunately, it is not. Too much sweetness and it's cloying really. This is by far my least favorite beer from this brewery. The others I tried of theirs were much better.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 04:26:35 | More by RblWthACoz
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
An Brain Blásta from The Porterhouse Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.