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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Holiday PorterSamuel Adams Holiday Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,176 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,176
Hads: 2,423
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 17.65%
Wants: 51
Gots: 223 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

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 (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Holiday Porter Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,176 | Hads: 2,423
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.52/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Holiday Porter pours a toffee color which develops into a chocolate brown in the body. The head is light beige and 2 fingers, leaving slight lacing on the sides.

Smelling more like a Dunkel lager at this point, with dark malts and slight cocoa powder. A touch of nuttiness (hazelnut?) also.

Taste comes off funky and sour, with a metallic barley flavor that stays throughout the whole tasting. Only at the end does any chocolate actually surface. Even then, it's faint and riddled with metallic components.

Feel is over carbonated and like a fizzy lager all the way to the finish. There's a slight dryness but it hardly does much to redeem the thin and paltry experience.

The rest of this is going down the drain. Straight from the pour I was disappointed, and now I've determined that the Holiday Porter is a total skip over.

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Photo of HoppyBastard
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "enjoy before month" April 2016.

APPEARANCE: pours a clear, dark brown color with one-finger tan head that quickly dissipated until a thin, broken layer of bubbles remained, medium carbonation, there is significant lacing on the glass.

SMELL: sweet caramel, toasted bread and some chocolate, faint to the nose.

TASTE: initially sweet caramel and toasted bread then a metallic hop bite from the East Kent Goldings hop.

PALATE: medium body and carbonation.

OVERALL: I'm not a big fan of the porter style but enjoyed this one, the toasted note (which I do not appreciate) was understated and the hops were more prominent than most in this style, this beer was well balanced and the caramel and chocolate malt was very tasty.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BB april 16
12oz bottle poured into pint glass
L- dark brown with huge tan head which floats on top of beer for quite some time
S- zesty cinnamon, cloves
T- hints of coffee followed by some zestiness with a predominantly peppery finish
F- medium bodied has a slight creamy feel carbonation has a zing to it
O- nothing outstanding about this beer a nice solid porter

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, semi-transparent, with a short tan head that fades quickly to wisps. Some lacing.

S - Roasty malty goodness. Chocolate and toasted bread overtones.

T - Lovely, bright malts full of chocolate and dark molasses, a hint of coffee-like acidity in the close.

M - Very sharp carbonation, which helps keep the beer light on the tongue.

O - This is one of my favorite beers in the Sam Adams line. Full of good flavor, quite drinkable, and a solid example of the style.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lighter and less coffee taste than most porters and that's a good thing for my taste. From a Seasonal 12-pack, poured into a goblet. Darkest brown, nearly black with lacing that sticks to the glass. Smell of malt and coffee, but the taste is more malt, toffee and a hint of chocolate. Medium mouthfeel, light carbonation. Overall very enjoyable.

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Photo of mike1990
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was a little skeptical at first when I read about the hop bitterness at the end but in reality, it's not too bad

Could smell hints of chocolate, coffee and bread in the aroma
Dark brown in appearance
Didn't taste as bad as I thought it would. Really smooth and the hops bitterness at the end isnt' nearly as strong as I assumed it would be based off reviews.

Overall, a really good beer.

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Photo of ColumbusBC
4.75/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark brown with a tan head. Not a powerful aroma but nice. Not highly carbonated. Coffee and chocolate notes are subtle and there is a hint of hoppy bitterness on the back end. Nice easy to drink porter.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown to black, 1 inch off white head, good lacing

S: Caramel, Chocolate, Bread, Hops

T: Same as nose, I get the caramel, chocolate and a slight hop bitterness at the end

M: Medium

O: A decent beer, I wouldnt mind having again. Got this in the holiday sampler 12 pack which Im pretty sure they didnt have this one in the holiday sampler last year because I got one last year too.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Re-review! Pours a dark ruby color with two fingers of off-white colored head. The head's retention is okay, but plenty of lacing sticks to my glass.

There are gentle roasted touches on the nose, along with some pleasant dark fruit esters. Additional hints of coffee and hops also appear. I like what's here; too bad the general aromatic reticence is underwhelming.

The flavor starts off with notes of coffee and fruity esters (i.e. cherry), transitioning into some caramel and cream flavor. The finish is slightly hoppy. This definitely tastes like a Sam Adams beer, though that's not necessarily a bad there. It's simplistic and a little mild in flavor, but it's pleasant enough.

Light and dry, what this beer lacks in richness it compensates with its high drinkability for the style. Despite its slightly astringent finish and aftertaste, it does feature a modicum of creaminess pre-swallow. Carbonation is subtle.

Not my favorite porter, but it holds a special place in my heart as one of the first examples I've had. Granted, I've sampled many better porters since then, but this isn't really a bad beer at all. It's perfectly fine being featured in the SA Winter 12 pack; I probably wouldn't buy this on its own in six packs.

3.03/5: Acceptable, but quite a few other porters are superior

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Photo of stlfatguy
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very dark brown with reddish edges in the light. Roasted malt smell. Slightly chocolate in the taste with roasted malt. A little bit to the feel, maybe from the carbonation. Not bad. Had it in the mixed 12. In the mix, I would rank it in the middle. Behind the chocolate bock and Boston Lager, but ahead of the seasonal ales. Now I'll have to go check my ratings to see if that's accurate.

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Photo of ColdOneKev
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Black body with hints of brown at the edges when held to the light. Large off white head. Fades slowly and leaves heavy lacing. A beautiful looking beer.
S-Light roast, light coco. No detectable hops.
T-roasted malts. Some coco. Some bitterness from the hops.
M-Body is surprisingly light. Carb is a little high which helps move the flavor across the palate.
O-This is a great beer. Always happy to have a couple around the holidays. Perfect as part of the winter variety pack.

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Photo of NateDyk47
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L- dark brown with a thin light tan head
S- roasted coffee
T- coffee, hints of chocolate & malt
F- slightly lighter body than expected, medium carbonation

Decent porter from Sam Adams. Better than I expected from them, but still not memorable.

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Photo of illpass78
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a stemmed glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a short white head. Held to the light, it's kind of deep amber.

Aroma: Some coffee, some roasted malt.

Taste: Coffee, roasted coffee beans, a little burnt sugar, a touch of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: A bit thinner than typical.

Overall: Solid straight-up porter. Not overwhelmingly holidayish, but works for a cold weather seasonal.

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A decent offering. Not as dark as I would expect from a Porter; a dark amber. The taste of this offering is okay. Not special, but adequate. Had from a bottle in a mixed 12 pack.

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Photo of MichaelProcton
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque brown, but some ruby hues come through; definitely not a black beer. The tan head is smallish and dissipates quickly. The smell is very spice-forward, with some maltiness to it as well. The flavor is a little muted in spite of a big, rich body that could pass for a stout as easily as a porter. This is a good beer, but a pretty uninteresting one.

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Photo of atr2605
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours black with a tan head with decent retention
S-lots of roasted coffee, dark cocoa, subtle burnt sugar
T-mainly roasted coffee flavor dominates, with some chocolate notes in the finish. Hops providing balance but not lending much in the way of flavor
M-medium bodied
O-pretty solid porter, wouldn't mind having again

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Photo of Catracho5
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours dark mahogany lots of light comes through, looks a little thin as well, tan colored head with some slight head retention, decent amount of lacing, head has lots of tiny bubbles giving it a creamy smooth look.

A: Malty sweetness, roasted nut aroma, hints of coffee and chocolate, no alcohol on the nose, has some depth and complexity to the aroma.

T: Malty sweetness, roasted nut not as noticeable but still there, some coffee, bitter chocolate, moderate bitterness in the middle, dry finish with an chocolate/coffee aftertaste, subtle flavors, very drinkable.

M: Light bodied, good amount of carbonation, dry finish, smooth and easy on the palate.

O: I actually enjoyed this beer, very drinkable, has a decent amount of flavor, a good mouthfeel, but compared to other porters it's a little light on the mouthfeel and not as abundantly flavorful as other porters, enjoyable, probably won't seek it out again but I would not refuse if offered.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark almost black, tan head that lingers good lacing. It has a nutty smell you can also smell some bitter chocolate good earthy smell. Taste little chocolate up front oak little smoke flavor hints of caramel. Very smooth has a slight bitter aftertaste does not linger on the palette. Over all a very good porter smells and taste improve as this beer warms some.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear very dark brown color with amber hints when held to the light producing 2 fingers of frothy, variously bubbled, lasting, tan head that leaves chunky sheets & rings of sticky lace. Aromais is roasted malt, bittersweet cocoa, cream, some coffee. Taste is dark & bittersweet cocoa, heavy roast with a dark burnt bread undertone & hints of caramel/molasses/toffee, earth (yeast?) & wood, herbal hops. Smooth start transitions to a dry, gritty/peppery feel in the finish & spicy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, silky cream, low carbonation with a lively finish. Very nice.

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Photo of hman43
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look: It pours a dark brown with a light brown head.

Smell: It has aromas of chocolate, some bread, nuts, and spices of which one is cinnamon. There is not a noticeable hop aroma.

Taste: It has flavors of nuts that come out initially, then some roasted malts, chocolate, spices, and some grassy and floral hops.

Feel: It is highly carbonated with a light moderate texture and fairly smooth on the way down. The finish is lightly bitter and semi dry.

Overall: It a malt dominate beverage with a spice, chocolate,and roasted flavor emphasis. The finish is a bit too carbonated in my opinion, but otherwise easy drinking.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with a nice khaki head. There is not much retention, but quite a few sheets of hanging lacing. Smell is very mild. A hint of roasted malt and not much else to speak of. Taste also roasted malts, but much stronger than in the aroma, and then a sweet dry finish. Feel is medium with good carbonation. Overall a nice beer by Sam Adams, and my favorite out of the Winter Variety Pack.

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Photo of lic217
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Great looking beer, nice thick tan head, brown color
Aroma: Malt, earthy
Taste: Malt, earthly, slight metallic taste, starts sweet, finishes a little dry and bitter
Feel: Creamy, med/low level of carbonation
Overall: a nice beer, but would not buy a sixer of it.

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Photo of teromous
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black body allowing no light in. Off-white head that lasts pretty good and leaves a moderate amount lacing. Before the head fades it is a picture-perfect porter.

Aroma: There's an extremely far-off pinch of charcoal but I would probably drown in this beer if I got any closer to smell it. Nothing here...

Taste: Sweet brown sugar flavor with a bit of char at the end. A touch of woody spruce in the beer. It's actually a very nice tasting porter.

Mouthfeel: It has a great mouthfeel. It's nothing spectacular but it's what you'd expect from this beer. It has a good presence on the palate with a touch of bitterness from both the grain and hops.

Overall: I liked this porter. It's a simple no-frills porter that tastes good and delivers an overall good drinking experience. I felt that it was greatly lacking in aroma but it tasted nice. It's a beer that I would recommend on its own but in my opinion its not worth buying a mix-pack just to get the beer. If I could pick it up in a sixer I might. A few things I want to mention on the side are that this beer is brewed with no spice but it has a lot of character from both the hops and the malts chosen for this beer. Overall I would recommend it.

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Photo of TLWalsh
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of SA seasonal pack. Pours a deep brownish, almost black with lots of carbonated head, Has a sweet malty aroma with a bit of cocoa, feels a little thin in your mouth. The taste has a little caramel hint with plenty of dark malt and fruits. Finishes leaving a little raisin and chocolate flavor. Seems a bit too over carbonated for a porter but not a bad brew.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into glass

Black liquid , dense one finger foam cap, good lacings

Aroma of sweet males

Lightly roasted malt taste

Quick to suds , settled fast , light body

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Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 1,176 ratings.