1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Holiday PorterSamuel Adams Holiday Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

2,231 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,231
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 43
Gots: 117 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DFN on 10-17-2004

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (115) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 2,231 | Reviews: 1,136
Reviews by TaylorK:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep,rich brown with a fluffy mocha colored two finger head that settles very slowly leaving a nice sheet of lace behind,alot of nice aromas going on roasted nuts and vanilla stick out most to me with a hint of milk chocolate as well.Those roasted nuts are quite noticable in the flavors of this beer as well,along with that vanilla not overly sweet a good almost herbal-like dryness comes thru late.Quite flavorful and drinkable maybe a little different take on a porter with some different flavors going on,well done.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark, dark brown to black with a half inch of light brown head.

S- of chocolate, alcohol, a lot of carbonation and a slight hint of coffee and smoke.

T- can definitely taste the chocolate, a little malt and coffee, kind of watery and alcohol tasting.

M- Very light for a porter, has a fizzy carbonation feel. Kind of slick and watery.

D- drinkable.

Notes: A descent porter, a little light and watery feeling for my liking. Good flavor overall and a descent porter.

Photo of Chuggnutt
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Chocolate tan head. Dark brown, like coffee, opaque-ish with red highlights.

Smell: Coffee, roasted grain, bitter (black) malt, slightly smoky.

Taste: Nice¬óroasted, dark, rich. Slightly astringent (dry). Burnt coffee.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy, with a slight puckering astringency. Lighter than expected.

Overall: Despite the brevity of my notes, I enjoyed it. It's a well-crafted example of the style; I wouldn't mind seeing it year-round, actually.

Photo of wrycon
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quite dark, with hints of brown on the edges. Interesting nose. Not much at first, but the malts and cloves appear with deeper inhalation. Deep, roasted coffee at the start, which turns roastier through the mid point, almost turning smoky. The back end turns bitter with the hops, with a spicy tinge. Want to say juniper, but it's hard to pin down.

Like It? Yes

Photo of Engibeer
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 01/01/08 - Happy New Year!

Best by April 2008 from SA's Mixed Holiday Pack.

Pours a deep RICH dark red-brown with a lush toffee-colored head. Nice rings of lace.

Spicy hops and roasted malt on the tongue. Very nice! Chocolate and molasses. Excellent. A bit of bitterness and dryness in the finish.

Excellent drinkability. It really sweetens as it warms making it even more enjoyable.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep brown, nearly black with hints of magenta as the light passes through. Nice tan head as well. Bitter chocolate roastiness, molasses..maybe a hint of citrus peel in the nose. Nice.

Big bitter chocolate malt upfront with some burnt, roasted grain notes and hints of spicy hops on the back of the palate. Hints of caramel and a touch of coffee. Quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel has a nice creamy aspect and good body. This is a nice porter that I could easily drink quite a few of. One of my fave Sam Adams offerings so far. I wouldn't mind seeing some six packs of this.

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

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter tastes a lot like what their Fezziwig would, if it didnt have the orange peel & other spices added.

This is a great looking beer - very dark. Smells of chocolate malt. The taste is mildly chocolatey, with roastiness in the finish. Nicely medium-to-full bodied. Like I said about the Fezziwig ale, it would be great if they sold the Holiday porter by itself, because this one is certainly capable of standing on its own.

This is a fine above average porter from Samuel Adams.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pretty decent beer. Very dark brown/black, with a cafe au lait head that retains well. A nice toffee aroma, with a little chocolate. Coffee/chocolate taste, some hops. Medium to thin mouthfeel. A nice porter, wish there more than two in the 12 pack.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A dark brown with a creamy tan head.

S - The nose is mostly the aroma of dark and roasted malts. There are some hints of coffee as well. Overall, though, it doesn't have a powerful aroma.

T - The sweetness from the malts hits you first. Then you will get some bitter coffee flavors and a hint of toastiness from the roasted malts that were used. These toasted flavors linger on the tongue long after the sip, which is very pleasant.

M - The head lasts for a while, which gives the beer a really nice creaminess. Additionally, the medium body also makes it feel really soft to the tongue.

D - Tasty, low abv, and a great mouthfeel make this easy to drink.

Photo of warnerry
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black with at least three fingers of head. Leaves ome nice lacing.

S - Chocolate malt up front, and a bit of a sweet smell. Unfortunately the aromas a quite subdued, as what was there is pretty good.

T - Chocolate and roasted earthy malt. A bit of sweetness, but not overwhelming. Leaves a slight lingering earthy bitterness. Pretty good.

M - Pretty thin, which takes away from what this beer could be.

O - Pretty good, probably wouldn't have more than one in a sitting, especially with the other options available in the style.

Photo of Todd
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours near black with shimmering dark ruby hues. Think tan head, with a settling lace of ample stick and stay. Roasted malts, blackstrap molasses, subtle coffee, and chocolate. Wonderful complex roasted malt flavor. Burnt, molasses, pleasing acrid astringency, smooth light toffee character beneath, with some chocolate in the finish. A tasty Porter, and another curve ball beer from Boston Beer Co ... keep 'em coming.

Photo of Beaver13
2.38/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark ruby brown with a big fluffy tan head that retains well.

The aroma is roasted chocolate and coffee with some sweet cream and a little bit of dark fruits.

The flavor is bitter roasted chocolate with a big chalky metallic/acidic taste and a finish that is much more bitter (and metallic) than I expected. The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall, the flavor just didn't jibe with me - too metallic and bitter causing it to be unbalanced and not very appealing.

Photo of generallee
4.21/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. There is a freshness date on the label.

Appearance: The body has a dark brown almost black appearance with deep crimson highlights when held up to light. Its has a stiff, creamy thick tan head on top that has very good retention and leaves lots of thick tan lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma fills the nose with lots of roasted sweet malts.

Taste/Mouth Feel: It has a wonderful full body that starts creamy and sweet on the palate. Quickly more roasted flavors take over with notes of burnt caramel and coffee. There is a quick flash of hop bitterness in the middle before the sweeter roasted flavors take over and fade off slowly into the finish. The texture is full and smooth on the tongue with soft carbonation.

Notes: Another great beer from mixed Holiday 12 pack.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in British pint glass.

Pours dark brown and turns black in the glass. Initially a big head forms. It dissipates but lace remains.

The arroma is full of roasted malts a sweetness is present and hints of chocolate

The taste is sweet and lingers the taste becomes slightly roasted with a dry roasted finish.

The mouth is silky and then turns dry

Photo of Doomcifer
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark with some ruby trying to peak through when held to the light. Nice frothy, tan head that retains very well. Nice lacing.

Smell is of sweet malts, coffee, chocolate, caramel...bit of faint hop spiciness.

Taste is of bittersweet chocolate, roastiness, coffee beans, some slight hoppiness in the finish with loads of roastiness sticking to the palate. Wow.

Mouthfeel is extra rich and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Delectable.

Extremely drinkable, this beer is. I remember loving this beer last year as part of a mixed Sam Adams 12 pack on christmas at my father's house last year. This confirmed my memory. Great beer.

Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer lifted from a friends holiday box. Purchase (and consume?) before dating duly noted. Pours a healthy looking very dark brown, with a dark tan/mocha head. Nice retenion exhibited and leaves well developed froth and lacing.
nose is coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malt. Medium bodied and flavorful. Notes of roasted coffee, vanilla, smoke, dark fruits and chocolate. Finish is a tad lite on flavor, but makes up for it with a dry,smooth velvet flow over the tongue. Nice robust porter. Worth a try.

Photo of MisterDeeds
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A little early in the year, but when I see the Sam Winter Classics I am helpless to resist. So I bypass the famous Old Fezziwig, and put the Cranberry Lambics away for my sister-in-law, and I go straight for the Holiday Porter.

It pours dark and somewhat thick. Strangely, it seems to perform a quicker version of the Guinness cascade, leaving a thick head that dissipates slightly but hangs on throughout. The smell is somewhere is between dark roasted coffee and baking chocolate. Not a very appetizing combo, but it somehow works here.

Tastes just like it pours, dark and thick. Starts off with a little sweetness, and finishes with a slightly bitter coffee flavor.

Not sure why I always do this, but I like to suggest a good place to enjoy a beer, and this is definitely a fireplace beer. Even better would be outside on a cold night around a fire.

Photo of tigg924
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown, clean, medium-high carbonation...The head starts small but then got up to a quarter of an inch

Smell: I smell a little dark chocolate malt and a little toffee

Taste: strong coffee first taste--then a burnt caramel aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body--could not feel the carbonation, very easy going down for a dark beer

Drinkability: It is a good hearty winter beer..an above average porter, that I could have maybe two in a session--I guess the holiday packs got it right

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this beer.

Pours a dark brown to black with reddish highlights. The aroma is cherry, dark fruit, vanilla and caramel. The flavor is more of the same with a tobacco and tannic aftertaste, which was unexpected. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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

Samuel Adams: Holiday Porter

A: good head retention, nice lacing all the way through. Tan creamy head with dark coffee like colors throughout the beer

S: A good description would be to say it smells like the woods mixed with some nuts!

T: A good dose of roasted malt and a little bitterness as well.

M: very smooth and silky. Just roles over the tongue

D: Very drinkable for a porter. I would recommend it to someone if they've never had a porter because I think it's a very drinkable introduction to the style.

Photo of frenchblood21
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- black with a finger of tan head. Consistantly good lacing throughout.

Smell- Chocolate and maltiness right away. Maybe some hops and bitter coffee in the back.

Taste- Roasted malt and bitter chocolate. Pretty hoopy for a porter. It does well at balancing all the maltiness.

Mouthfeel- Almost feels like drinking chocolate milk. The balance b/t hops and malt is perfect.

Overall- One of Sam Adams best beers (I've never had the utopias) Its a great tasting porter that could stand up to beers double or triple the price.

Photo of jakester
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from the Winter Sampler case. I drank it in a goblet. Expiry date clearly notched on the label.

Pours a deep garnet/red with light brown tints. A nice, two finger head of tan foam forms on top. The head falls eventually to islands and a ring, with nice lacing.

Aroma is a wonderful combination of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and fruits like cherries and raisins. The smells of vanilla and chocolate go very well together. Floral hops are in the background.

Flavor is tasty chocolate, not real sweet, with notes of dark dried fruits like cherries and raisins. Vanilla comes through later, as does hop bitterness. Aftertaste is semi-sweet chocolate and floral hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, yet kind of dry to medium body. Carbonation is soft to medium, finish very slightly astringent.

The flavor doesn't quite match the great smell somehow, but this is still a very good porter, and a very good representation of the style. Recommended.

Photo of Cavanaghty
2.9/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

Appearance: Dark brown/amber in color with a thin beige head.

Smell: Chocolate and roasted malts mostly.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied. Taste was bitter all around, roasted malts and carmel with a hint of chocolate.

Overall: Not really a fan of Porters, I did not really care for this one. Just personal taste.

Photo of bsp77
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Exceedingly dark reddish-brown with thin tan head and some nice lacing lines down the glass.

Smell: Butterscotch, milk chocolate, licorice, plum & other dark fruit, and spicy Fuggles/Goldings.

Taste: Very nice balance of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, caramel and English hop spiciness. Certainly more bitter and roasted than the sweet and fruity smell indicated. Long Fuggles-like aftertaste.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body (just right for Porter - not thin and not too Stout-like), very dry finish.

Drinkability: My favorite Porter. Also my favorite Sam Adams beer. Damn you Jim Koch for only having this in the Winter Pack. Edit: Deschutes Black Butte is now my favorite.

Photo of magictrokini
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured clear, dark brown with a bubbly 2 finger tan head. Nutty, chocolate aroma with lots of powdered cocoa. Equally strong molasses and toffee scents. Full, malty taste. Again, a lot of milk chocolate, the maltiness gives the beer a "Whoppers" candy taste. Pleasant butterscotch, cereal grain, and roasted almonds accompany this. Kind of thin, but appropriate for the style. While one was very easy to drink and smooth, more than one could get too sweet for me. The beer had a tendency to build up in the mouth in terms of sugar sweetness.

to view more.
Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,231 ratings.