Imperial Porter - Ten Ninety Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial PorterImperial Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

78 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 78
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 15.67%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ten Ninety Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TMoney2591 on 06-10-2013

Created in 18th century London, porters were some of the first mass-produced and consumed beers of the industrial revolution. Porter evolved from a blend of brown and darker beers that were precursors to stouts. Tradition has it that these beers were favored by porters and other physical laborers.

Ten Ninety Imperial Porter is fiery elegance. Our porter is brewed with ample Munich, mild brown and de-bittered black malts for a chocolaty, espresso base. To contrast this bittersweet backbone, we added an ample dose of cayenne pepper, and tempered this heat with tart pomegranate juice.
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 14
Reviews by WolfsbaneBloom:
More User Reviews:
Photo of pandow
1.91/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Tastes bad; thin and offensive.

Photo of AndyEdgar
2.98/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

not very balanced and I just don't care for the pomegranate and peppers together

Photo of TMoney2591
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pokal at Bar Louie - Mt. Prospect.

My first crack at these fairly-local newcomers is a strong porter brewed with cayenne pepper and pomegranate juice. It pours a murky black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts and cocoa. I don't get any of the pepper or pomegranate here, just straight porter. And it's quite pleasant. The taste holds notes of mild roasted malts, cocoa, a hint of nigh-apple (I'm gonna assume this is actually pomegranate, but I tasted what I tasted), and some spicy pepper heat throughout the back end. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a smooth-ish feel, and a drying finish. Overall, a damn fine porter, one whose spice really sets it apart from its comrades and whose fruit works as a welcome and subtle compliment. I look forward to more from these guys.

Photo of Bonis
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a very weird blend of flavors in a beer, but for some reason it works for me. Almost a puckering tartness up front from the pomegranate, cayenne mixes with chocolate next, with a mellow malty roasty finish. Heat lingers a bit, but not overwhelmingly. The peppers help hide the alcohol. This is a big beer, but a slightly thin body makes it an easy drink. I'd try it again if I ever see it.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Moderate gusher upon opening, didn’t loose too much of the bottle. Pours hazy very dark brown color with a small dense tan head with solid retention, that reduces to a spotty cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big pomegranate, raisin, plum, cherry, milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, cayenne pepper, and fruity/spicy earthiness. Very nice aromas with prominent dark fruit/pepper spice and moderate dark/roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of pomegranate, raisin, plum, cherry, milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, cayenne pepper, and fruit/spice earthiness. Moderate pepper spice and light-moderate fruit tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of pomegranate, dark fruit, milk chocolate, cocoa, toast, cayenne pepper, and fruity/spicy earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and robustness of dark fruit/pepper spice and dark/roasted malt flavors; with a great tartness/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Pepper heat builds up on the finish as you finish the glass, but does not get overwhelming. Light carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly acidic/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with no noticeable warming due the heat of the pepper. Overall this is a very nice fruit/spiced imperial porter. All around good balance and robustness of dark fruit/pepper spice and dark/roasted malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV, even with the prominent pepper flavor. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of Gotti311
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

This thing was truly a mess. I enjoy pepper beers that have something to offset the spice. I prefer it to be a note in the overall flavor profile rather than an onslaught. The body is too thin, the pomegranate is hidden in there but overwhelmed. I think elegance is the last word I would ever use to describe this beer. Unless you consider a jean claude van damme karate chop to the mouth and throat elegant.

Photo of bcm75
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Let's cut to the chase on this one. The big question here is, do you like heat? I love spicy food. I'm the guy who's always asking for hot sauce at restaurants, and telling the Thai and Korean restaurants to make my food how they would eat it.

This is one spicy beer, probably the spiciest I have ever had. It's just a bit over the top for my tastes (for a beer), otherwise my score would have been higher. (insert comments here about lovely nose and malt backbone and tender ... ahhhh whatever).

Oh, and the beer basically exploded when I opened it. Lost about 1/3 of a 750ml bottle on the kitchen floor. Annoying.

Photo of beerman2688
2.85/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer starts off very smooth and rich. A good strong porter. The finish, however, is horrible. That good dose of cayenne is too much. It seems it should have a smooth, warm finish like the start, but is a spicy hit to the throat. I love spice, but not like this. If they could pull back on the cayenne or incorporate it into the taste of the beer more, I think it would be great. I feel cayenne could add a great layer of complexity to a rich stout like this. As is, the spice overpowers the end and leaves a terrible after taste. I wasn't able to finish the beer, which I never do.

Photo of JBON
4.75/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured silky black with a reddish-tan head. I got dark fruit and chocolate with hints of soy sauce and spice rack on the nose. The taste begins rich and malty but is almost immediately joined and balanced by the savory warmth of the cayenne. The mouthfeel is smooth and a bit thinner than its appearance would suggest, with minimal carbonation, the faint peppery heat dancing around my mouth and lingering happily on the back of my throat; an experience I enjoyed reliving with each sip. Overall, this beer manages to be both rich and refreshing, which for me is what a good porter should be. Any tingle of heat from the alcohol is masked by the cayenne, giving it the guise of a sessionable beer, so drinkers beware!

Photo of joe1510
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Binny's - Willowbrook

Ten Ninety's ImperialPorter pours like a Coke. A body so brown you can't see through it. Head that I can actually hear crackling and fizzing before it bubbles away to nothing. Tiny bubbles are active and try to keep at least a ring alive but even that is too difficult in this high gravity libation.

The nose seems to step it up a notch, which honestly wouldn't be all that difficult. The roast is dark and brings along a goodly amount of freshly brewed coffee.I'm assuming it's the pomegranate that's providing the berry like flavors, but it could just be the roast, because I'm not getting pomegranate. A dash of cream compliments the coffee and I can certainly pick out the cayenne, adding a touch of earthiness on the periphery. I'm liking the smell of this beer.

The pomegranate is more forward in the flavor than the nose, again reminiscent of berries more so than pomegranate. The roast is darkly fruity, plums and figs mostly, both overripe. The cayenne adds to the fruit aspect with an earthiness that rounds it all out and adding a touch of wet tobacco. The coffee and cream isn't as noticeable as in the nose but it's there if you pay attention.

A heftier body would help out this monsterous porter. The weight is moderate and the active carbonation makes it feel even lighter but does add creaminess on the swallow. This gripe is fairly minor. The cayenne brings moderate lingering heat to the back of the throat that's actually quite welcomed. Drinkability is low simply because of style and heat but I could,and will, spend a while drinking this slowly.

This is by no means your average porter. Some may say it's overdone, some may say it's too hot, some may say...Who gives a shit what some say? I think it's a unique treat that I'd pick up again in the future. I have some minor gripes but they're nothing to stop me from drinking this again. Whether you end up enjoying this beer or not it's worth a try.

Photo of SerialTicker
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

$4 single poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: Poured straight down the glass and got a fizzy finger of head that went away within seconds. The color is strange -- murky brown. Looks like a brown ale if anything, not a porter. Really, it looks like muddy water in the glass.

Smell: Deep roasted (almost burned) smelling malt, with some caramel, and quite a bit of the pomegranate. Smells as advertised, really... no use in me coming up with aromas that aren't there.

Taste/feel: Decent enough porter at the start with the roast/smoke kind of flavor -- then comes the pomegranate, which is pretty distinctly pomegranate to me, since it has that same kind of tartness. The finish is the cayenne, and I'm honestly surprised by the heat in this beer ... I thought it'd be a little accent like so many breweries like to do, but this is reasonably significant: roast+smoke, quick pomegranate tart and sweetness, smack of cayenne heat (but not flavor), and then a light roast/ash finish. The cayenne lingers at the back of the tongue long after each sip, so if you don't like spice, stay away. The mouthfeel isn't especially porter-y to me, as this has a big body on it a somewhat modest carbonation. 10.8%? I'd guess 7% because of the body alone, but there's nothing to suggest 11% in the taste... any heat from the alcohol is likely masked and then some by the cayenne, too. As I drink, the cayenne becomes more subtle/less noticeable to my tongue, which unfortunately leads to a bit less of intrigue in this brew.

I always like an interesting beer, and this definitely is one. It's not an excellent beer, but the pomegranate juice and cayenne likely made a fairly mediocre imperial porter one worth telling your friends about. Well worth a try.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

my first beer from these guys is a real oddity on many levels. i think the interplay between the cayenne (which is brilliantly subtle, just warm in the throat) and the pomegranate (which is thick and tangy sweet more like the molasses) is really unique on the palate and very well executed. not too sure about the base porter though. as cool as it is that its almost 11% abv and you cant taste the booze, i am troubled by its lack of body, it feel almost watery for what it is, definitely a less desirable vehicle for these awesome flavors, at least in my opinion. i wanted a richer feel to go with the dark chocolate flavor and the tangy fruit, the beer is so unique that it should last a little longer than it does, which i guess is my only real critique of an otherwise magnificently conceived beer thats spot on in the winter season. the cayenne is light but unmistakable, and the chocolate malt is a great match. the flavors are awesome, and i wonder if all the beers these guys do are this clever...

Photo of StinkyFishBoys
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So unique and so cool, pomegranate and cayenne pepper, your boy will try to pour this out in the sink, grab him by the swats and make him drink.

Photo of jera1350
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sounds a bit weird, but I have to say, this beers ingredients actually work. It's murky looking and overflowed upon opening. The nose is chocolate covered raisin, plum and grape juice. Pomegranate and red grape up front with a nice chocolate Porter base, chocolate pudding and raisin. The cayenne is in the finish and adds a nice bit of bite and heat. A bit like fruity Mexican chocolate. The feel is a bit undercarbonated, but smooth. Overall, a pleasant surprise of a beer with dessert beer written all over it.

Imperial Porter from Ten Ninety Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.