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.)

Tidings - Port City Brewing

Not Rated.
TidingsTidings

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

106 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.36%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Port City Brewing visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WMEugene on 11-19-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 37
Reviews by guild337:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Good amount of lacing on the glass, mild haze in the pale golden color

SMELL: Ginger, coriander, earthy spice, mild honey, grassy, estery, bready

TASTE: Crisp, smooth, medium body, warming alcohol, peppery, ginger, faint but bitter coriander, earthy hops, pineapple, nutty yeast, finishes semi-sweet and spicy

Love the angle (brewers intention) on what a winter seasonal can be. Enough spicing to say "holiday brew" but not enough to take over, love the level of alcohol as well ... warming but not something that will make you say goodnight.

Photo of smakawhat
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Christmas leftovers! Poured into a tulip glass, going back to the old neck of the woods.

A faint white head forms off the pour with soapy character. Settles down to a puck quickly. Body is a dull brass and hints of dark lemon on the edges with nice looking carbonation.

Nose is an interesting mix of Belgian sweetness and spices. Quite distinct from most spiced Belgian beers I've had. Nice touch, it's highly sweet clove and some cardamom it seems.

Mouthfeel seems a bit too weak and watery, it doesn't match the good assertive palate of chewy malts, sweet spices, and clove goodness. Flavors here are very nicely put together, and this feels like a distinct American version of the style which is a nice take.

Overall, not bad, I do like it. Even the boozyness factor is toned down quite nicely too. Nice job.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very pale straw color - we're practically talking light beer territory. The head is impressive, though; at three fingers high with good retention and a creamy texture, it really creates an aesthetically pleasing brew. Some patches of lacing are left behind, which is somewhat unusual for a BSPA.

S: Holy freaking spices. Not just the usual suspects - i.e. coriander and cinnamon - but also notes like oregano, black pepper, ginger, and thyme. It's the coriander, in particular, that's striking me the hardest. There isn't much of anything when it comes to malts or esters: their neutrality seems to suggest a desire of showcasing the spicing more than anything. Certainly an interesting nose, if not a great one.

T: To the surprise of no one with a working nose, the flavor is spicy as well. Just a hint of malt sweetness opens it up, before the spice profile comes down like a damn hammer. Coriander, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, you name it, it's here. It's strong enough to give the finish a surprising bitterness. What ultimately rules, however, are the honey notes suddenly appearing. A reasonably good brew that could use a bit more balance.

M: Doesn't seem to have the dryness or zesty carbonation of a typical BSPA. The honey really comes through on the feel: it gives both a lingering sweetness and a building dryness. It is pretty drinkable for nearly 8%, then again, it freaking SHOULD be.

O: Interesting. While it's ultimately too sweet to really succeed as a BSPA, it does do a decent job of showcasing the spices. A few tweaks will make this one really good.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, honey-yellow color with no head what-so-ever.

Aroma: Strong notes of honey and clover and clove, but not much in the way of malt or hops. There’s some Belgian yeast aromas there, imparting notes of straw and a little barnyard funk, but the predominate aroma is honey.

Taste: Very Belgian saison- or triple-like. Tons of Belgian yeast, providing lots of clove, bubblegum, coriander, and some black pepper, all under a honey backbone.

Mouthfeel: Thin to almost watery. No carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.8%, there is just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty good beer, but not what I was expecting for a Christmas/Winter beer. There’s some good Belgian yeast notes and honey, but I was expecting a darker beer loaded with winter-like spices. Belgian fans should like this.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Shane and Mike for this one.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a one finger white head upon pouring. Not much rentention, ultimately reducing to a thin ring of foam. Not much lacing at all.

S: Quite spicy, with pepper, coriander, and cloves up front. There is a bit of lemon and orange in the middle.

T: Lots of orange and lemon upfront with more of the spices from the aroma, coriander and cloves. Has a slightly sweet finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied, kind of light, but in a good way, especially at 7.8%. Extremely easy drinking.

O: Have tried a few others from Port City and this beer is by far the best one yet.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin white trace of head, hazy blond body.

Nose is mostly sour malted wheat.

Decent taste; quite wheaty down to the finish which explodes in spices. Wheatiness, then honey, then whatever fun spices are thrown in there. I guess I believe the claimed cardamom. The spice is a bit overbearing though, and it comes through as an almost metallic warmth, but not from booze, if that makes sense.

Feel is pretty average, maybe its the carbonation I'm tasting...

This is decent. Possibly overpriced, but a decent winter seasonal. I don't think I'd categorize it as a Belgian Strong Pale though.

Photo of TheStig
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up fresh from the brewery, but it slept in my fridge for a little while before I opened one up.

A- Foggy golden color, with a fluffy, two-finger cumulus cloud for a head. The head disappeared after a short time and left no lacing.

S- Mulling spices, ginger, honey and a little whiff of yeast. Very pleasant, like fresh gingerbread men right out of the oven

T- Ginger! Very strong notes of ginger, some hoppy bitterness but all of this serves as a foundation for delicate flowery notes that play with spices and honey.

M- Fizzy, but not aggressive.

Overall, a well balanced and tasty seasonal beer that --unlike other seasonal beers that rely on a gimmick-- stands well on its own or paired with something else.

Photo of goldbot
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours fizzy and straw yellow; a bit hazy. The head dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. Intense yeast and spice aromas; tart and estery with a grainy malt backing and a touch of caramel. The flavor is simultaneously sweet and spicy. Medium to full malt body with cherry and raisin fruit notes. Borders on cloying at times. Sharp, spicy yeast character, with lemon and coriander notes. Not a bad warmer for the holidays but the malt sweetness is a little out-of-whack with the slightly more subdued yeast and spice notes.

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

single from WF, brewed with Virginia red winter wheat and Maryland honey

a: served in a unibroue tulip, the beer is a hazy golden hay in color, the pour producing a small head that recedes to a thin ring in short order

s: coriander and cardamom occupy the nose with complex perfumes - underneath is a honey sweetness, phenolic, ginger and white pepper, clean wheat grain, fruity bubblegum esters, white flower nectar, and a slew of yeast output, benign papery hops, the spicing is a bit strong for my nose, but it's a nice spice blend, and kinda creeps on me after a bit

m: carbonation light-moderate, smooth, light bodied

t: spice again takes center on the palate - big coriander and cardamom with ginger, phenols, cleanly sweet flavors of wheat and honey, suggestions of pepper after the swallow, hops mildly flavored with a slight bitterness, spices lingering very long, good but an unbalanced mess of spice at times

o: my gripe here is not with the spice itself, but the fact that a large majority of the character of this beer seems to be derived from the spice bill, a combination of the mild structure of the beer and sheer volume of spice, not to say it's all bad of course - I'm a fan of these spices, and they provide a warm aroma and while creating an interesting drink

Photo of metter98
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Ale House, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head.
S: Light to moderate aromas of cardamom and other spices are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts out with lots of spicy flavors—coriander and cardamom stand out in particular—and finishes with some sweetness from the honey and some notes of ginger.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very interesting and complex—I liked how the honey helped to balance things off and prevent this from being overly spicy.

Serving type: on-tap

Photo of obywan59
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My first sampling of a Port City brew.

A hazy golden verging on pale orange in color with a 2 finger off white head that recedes rather quickly to a ring around the glass and a bit of patchy film on the surface. Light carbonation.

Spice in the forefront, mainly coriander and ginger, with light honey and doughy bread.

Ginger and coriander and honey on the tongue as well, with some light tart wheat and a not quite acrid bitterness.

Crisp and peppery. Light to moderate in body with warming alcohol. Drying on the palate.

A nice winter warmer for a frigid winter night. Tasty with decent balance. Just a hint of cloy, but that's a Belgian for ya.

Photo of ShanePB
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle courtesy of Mike, fresh from the brewery. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Cloudy golden orange body with an initially fluffy, creamy white head. The dissipation was fairly standard, and it did leave some minor lacing and a thin foamy ring. Not at all what you'd expect for a typical "winter" beer, but Port City seems to be taking a different approach in style.

S: Lemon, wheat, coriander, clove, orange oils, white pepper and a bit of sweet honey/mead in the back end. It's a very light, airy smelling beer which I really do like about it. Well spiced and tons of aromas are going on, nicely done.

T: Zippy lemon and orange citrus notes up front, backed with a seriously nice wheat and pale malt backbone. The coriander and clove come in mid-palate and give this a very bright spicy character. The back end has some sweet honey notes and a touch of a peppery flavor.

M: Well carbonated, lots of tiny bubbles around the mouth giving the illusion of a very silky, smooth feel. Quite impressed, no off lingers or flavors - a sharp cut. For being 7.80% ABV this is dangerously well hidden.

Port City took a chance at doing something other than your traditional Belgian Strong Dark, Strong Ale or Winter Warmer style for the winter. A Belgian Strong Pale Ale? You just don't see that as a winter seasonal, but this works really well. It has a lot of Witbier spices with some warming winter-like spices that really make this beer shine. A fine attempt at their first one.

Photo of GregBarleycorn13
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

beautiful golden yellow color. Not overpowering with the spices. Can detect the alcohol. Still a good belgian tasting xmas beer.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 12/7/11
*From notes

A: Slightly cloudy yet fairly transparent pale golden. A decent pour yields a disappointingly soapy and rather loose white .25 finger head.

S: Fresh cardamon, grass and a slight twinge of citrus.

T: A substantial amount of wheat is the front runner, and overwhelms the beer. Underneath I find a thin layer of spice and freshly minced garden herbs. It's actually a bit more flavorful then I originally expected.

M: Decent yet unspectacular. Thinner then a winter seasonal like this should be, and therefore it limits what could be a fairly complex little brew.

O: Port City's Tidings isn't a bad offering. In fact if you're into minimally spiced holiday offerings, I recommend checking it out. I don't foresee myself getting back into this, but I wouldn't discourage anyone from doing so.

*Keep churning out the new and seasonal offerings, guys. So far, so good.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Amyliz4 for grabbing a sixer of this at Rick's in Alexandria last night. Served in a mug.

Pours a hazy golden-yellow color with a good white head and a good bit of lacing on the sides of the mug. Good retention as well and a thin cap throughout. The nose brings forward plenty of spice along with a bit of malt sweetness and honey. Light pepper, clove, and coriander. Flavor is a good mixture of malt sweetness and spice. Nice yeast presence. Medium body and slightly chewy. Good carbonation for the style. Quite nice for a Christmas ale.

Photo of Rifugium
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

First had: on tap at Port City

Cloudy golden-yellow pour with a thin, bubbly head that sank to a small ringlet; minimal lacing. Light aroma of toasted grains and mild spice and fruity esters. Taste was a bit bland, Honey Nut Cheerios, light notes of ginger and coriander, herbal hops. More grainy than sweet. Light-medium body, fairly drinkable, but nothing that really stood out to me.

Photo of 00trayn
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a cloudy gold/yellow color with a finger-width's head that faded pretty quickly. No lacing really with low carbonation.

S - Smell has a thick spicy scent with sweet undertones. It's definitely appropriate for a spiced holiday brew.

T - I suspect this beer has a similar base to the Port City Optimal Wit. The belgian wheat flavor has a nice spice profile with a sweetness on the finish. The spice can be a bit overpowering for the first few sips, but it mellows out nicely.

M - Bubbly but not overly so. It has a heavier mouthfeel and it really carries the spice flavor throughout.

O - This beer is second to my favorite Port City, the Optimal Wit, and warranted buying a 6-pack after tasting a single bottle from Total Wine. The spice flavor can be a bit much until you get used to it.

Photo of mpyle
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold color, a bit hazy. Pours a nice white head, smallish but with good retention.

Strong spicy aroma with some mint and cinnamon that has me afraid to taste it. A bit overpowering.

Slightly sweet initial flavor with the Belgian spices noted in the aroma. The use of honey is evident in the flavor as well. Never bitter, but does dry a bit in the finish. Some complex flavors, and definitely doesn't taste like an everyday beer.

MF - Medium body and carbonation. Has a distinct but gentle alcohol warming.

I'm not a huge fan of spiced ales, so I found the spices a bit too much for my taste. However, a nicely made stronger seasonal offering from Port City, and worth a try.

Photo of kevinv
3.09/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 6-pack from Rick's sometime in early December. No dating noted on the bottle, but it's freshly brewed.

A - The beer pours a slightly hazy golden yellow. Only the slightest head forms on top which quickly faded away. Lots of active carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of my glass. No lacing.

S - The smell is a prominent honey with a light lemon zest. Fairly light scents overall, but definitely interesting. Not like many other beers I've smelled.

T - The flavor is pretty sweet and again, honey is at the forefront, followed by a mild bitterness, with the spices coming through on the back end. I keep getting a medicinal aftertaste that I've noticed in each bottle. The honey definitely lingers in the aftertaste and it feels like it's coating the inside of my mouth.

M - Medium bodied brew with a fairly low carbonation.

O - Overall, it's not my favorite offering from Port City and while not bad, I don't think I'd recommend it.

Photo of jayhawk73
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky yellow color with a thin off white head. Minimal lacing on the side on my snifter glass. The nose is very medicinal, with lemon, pepper, and other spices coming through. The medicine quality really detracts from this category however. The taste is better than the nose. The medicine taste is minimal, and the lemon, spices, and malt really shine through. Feel is medium, with little carbonation, and a slightly syrupy vibe to it. Overall, this is a decent brew- but I probably won't look for it again.

Photo of heelsn02
3.39/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

props to my buddy ASUGeog for dropping this off in my freakin' mailbox last night. gotta love those random sunday night mailbox drive-bys

pretty cool label - love the strands of christmas tree lights dancing around the blue diamond. poured 12 oz bottle into my trusty busy bee cafe tulip. pours golden yellow... very cloudy... hardly any head. murky, dusty. not very pretty. zero lacing.

very strong belgian smell. banana, coriander, clove... and lots of spice coming thru too

I'm getting alot of of lemon flavor... some peppery notes... average/slightly above average taste for the style I suppose. a bit of sweetness coming thru from the honey

mouthfeel - hardly any carbonation whatsoever. not flat, but doesn't seem right

not a bad belgian pale, but not a great one either. probably wouldn't seek this one out to be honest. might give it another shot on draught though. thanks lewt.

Photo of delta490
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-poured out a deep clear gold. Minimal head or retention.

S-honey and spices are abundant in the aroma

T-has a certain tangy quality to it. The spices, honey, malt and earthy hops blend quite well

M- thinner and smooth. Fits the flavor profile well

O-an full flavored holiday ale that doesn't overwhelm with its flavors

Photo of clayrock81
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clearish gold with minimal head on top of a light, citric and spicy aroma that is complete w/ some yeast twang and a sturdy malt base. This beer is light and simple, and yet real easy to relax with. Passes over easy and smooth, but not watery, and has a nice citric zip as well as a good wheat/yaest twang. The beer is rounded out with a spicy, peppery edge and some candi sugar sweetness. Wish I could say more but that's about it, but like first said, this is a beer you can just relax with at the bar b/c it's light and simple and beats the shit out of a bud light (no caps on purpose).

Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 pack of this today at the brewery, $10.99/6er. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass.

a - Pours a murky pale golden-yellow color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing left on the glass and about two to three minutes of head retention.

s - Smells of wheat, coriander, lemon, pepper and spices, cloves, and light honey. Not as citrusy/lemony as their Optimal Wit, but the coriander and spices come out a lot more. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of coriander, spices, pepper, cloves, wheat, bready malts, light citrus and floral notes, and light honey. Again, heavy on the spices, and pretty nice.

m - Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation. A touch too carbonated, but still nice and pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty good beer. Tried after an Optimal Wit and while I think I like that one a little more, this is still pretty nice. This obviously had a ton more spices, while the Optimal Wit is more citrusy and lemony. Tons of coriander here and overall pretty easy to drink. Worth checking out.

Photo of Minkybut
2.64/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was just plain ugly. No head, no lacing, cloudy, just ugly. The beer smelled citrus like and tasted like it but I could not identify what fruit. The taste was a little sweet. The big taste was alcohol and that was it. Way too much heat, blew away any flavor notes. I will not buy this beer again.

to view more.
Tidings from Port City Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.