1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Samuel Adams Holiday PorterSamuel Adams Holiday Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,116 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2116
Reviews: 1136
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.63%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: DFN on 10-17-2004)
View: Beers (116) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Holiday Porter Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 2,116 | Reviews: 1,136 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Kooz

New York

1.9/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Nice 3/4 inch head; tannish. Heavy sticky lacing. dark, but more deep amber/red than black--sort of light for a porter.

Crisp, clean smell; a little malty.

Tastes too acrid and sour.

Mouthfeel is a bit weak for a porter--not much body at all. Also just feels ... thin? I can't think of a better way to describe it.

Not terribly drinkable. Too many negatives. Disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 02:24:02 | More by Kooz
Photo of bobhits


2.1/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Holiday Porter

Pours deep dark amber into the glass and turns black. Held to the light the deep amber is visible. Pours an ok head that leaves lacing and leaves rather quickly. Another technically perfect sam adams beer but leaves me rather underwhelmed.

Light burnt malt, touch of vanilla. Pretty darn weak smelling.

A very funky porter. That should read "really english" tasting. The malt is caramel and chocolate and dominated by earthy hops. The beer never gets really sweet nor does it get really bitter. The flavors fight each other and the beer imo fails because of this. A bit more hops or a bit more sweetness could really work well here. Instead I have a funky dark looking beer. Ultimately the hops do over show the malt, but again these flavors do not mix.

This beer has a good amount of carbonation, moderate body, and is rather drinkable. The flavors make it less than enjoyable to drink.

I really like east kent hops in a great many beers. They simply do NOT work with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 19:40:27 | More by bobhits
Photo of hdf561


2.1/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Another beer from the Sam Adams Holiday Classics 2011 Variety Pack

Served and consumed out of a bottle, hard to decifer look so not rated down or up for that.

The smell is harsh and I can not notice any of the "ingredients" that they say this is brewed with.

The initial taste was so harsh I almost spit it out, although it got better as I went it sitll did not get very good. I had a hard time finishing this beer.

The mouth feel is very bitter and dry, and just not my style. I will not be picking this up again ever, and probably wont finish the 2nd one in the variety pack. I think there are many better winter brews from Sam Adams such as Winter Lager.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 01:02:45 | More by hdf561
Photo of Greggy


2.17/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Pours a dark brown/black with ruby highlights. The head is a 1 finger semi-soapy tan color that recedes in about 1 minute. some slight lacing coats the glass.

S- dark fruits (raisin, prune, some fig), anise, some chocolate malt. There's just to much spicy fruit here.. This isn't exactly a porter nose.

T- Starts out a bunch of dark fruit and spice then some super quick dry chocolate, then a bunch of anise, and a really off dry malt. The finish is quite odd as well. This is miles away form a porter.

M- Low carbonation is fine but the finish is pretty haggard

D- The brutal honest truth is that this was a terrible porter. I am truly glad that I got this bottle for free. Will never drink again.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 05:12:57 | More by Greggy
Photo of athensbeermaster


2.2/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Well at least this porter replaced the light beer from last year in the sample pack for x-mas! Though this is my least favorite porter I've ever tried. Very small head. The smell reminded me of two day old coffee. The faint hint of chocolate almost made this drinkable.
I like a porter, this one is just a bad example. I'll stick to Fullers,
Anchor,or Carnegie for a great version of a porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2006 22:01:01 | More by athensbeermaster
Photo of fromage


2.25/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Man, I've really not been impressed with this holiday mixer. I've tried them all at this point. They're just so bland!

Poured into a pint glass and allowed to warm. Dark brown, with a good deal of bubbling. Tan, foamy head that did last a while.

Smell was very mild apples and pears and a tiny bit of caramel. Not much to go on.

Taste was dissapointing as well, with just a little bittersweet bite, fairly astringent with some caramel, and a short finish. Not very complicated.

Mouthfeel was medium.

Drinkability not so high. I couldn't believe how little there was to this beer besides a bitter chocolate bite. Ok with PF Chang's Great Wall of Chocolate, but not enjoyable on its own.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2005 13:48:20 | More by fromage
Photo of Beaver13


2.28/5  rDev -38.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2005 05:44:41 | More by Beaver13
Photo of adamette


2.42/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Live review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Samuel Smith clean clear pint glass. Best by date of March 2009 stamped on the side of the label. Whew...just made it.

A Satisfying generous one inch head that stuck around for 3 to 4 minutes. Great looking dark dark brown body that does allow some direct light to show through as a deep deep burgundy. The look is identical to the Cream Stout that I enjoyed last night and is part of the "Brewmasters Series" along with this beer.

S Kind of a minimal smell basic porter, a bit dissapointing and even a bit boring. Sure, there is the roasted malt but it is thin smelling and not much else going on.

T Eh...thin roasted malt taste without much body behind it. This is actually what I expected most Sam Adams offerings to be like but a few (Old Fezziwig and Cream Stout to name two) were nice surprises. This is a better-than-BMC-but-not-by-much tasting beer. The roasted malt is probably medium roasted. The aftertaste produces a soapy taste that is fleeting and unpleasant (no, my glass did not have soap in it!).

M So maybe Porters are supposed to be thin and maybe I am subconsiously comparing this to several Stouts I have had recently (not fair if I am) but it is just too thin for me.

D Not good.

Notes: A thin Porter from Sam Adams that will not have me coming back for more.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 02:42:38 | More by adamette
Photo of schellsbeer


2.5/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Very disappointed with this one this year. Not up to the Porter name. Weak in almost every area. Sam...what are you doing?

Dark brown but thin. Not up to the norm.

A - Good but this is the highest mark that I can give.

S - Average at best.

T - Bland and weak. What is happening? Are you cutting corners this year? Easy to forget with all of the other great porters out there. Glad I just got one Winter Sampler this year.

M - Low marks again. Thin and not up to snuff.

D - Ok. Lower alcohol than most good porters but this is not the reason that I drink a porter. A good porter should taste like something....not just look like one.

Until next year Holiday Porter...I hope you get better next year.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2008 03:55:38 | More by schellsbeer
Photo of grindcore666


2.58/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with a small quickly fading head. No sign of it 10 seconds later. Looks like a flat coke.

Smells kinda sour and pissy, akin to the smell of a starfish. All I can dig out of this one is cranberry and light molasses, and nasty ocean water.

Has a little roast to it. The sour muskiness from the aroma is carried over unfortunately. I get a little fruity tang to this. Aftertaste is a plus, dry dark fruit.

New flavors, but I was still unimpressed with this one. Probably won't have this one very often.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2005 05:04:02 | More by grindcore666
Photo of bwan15

New York

2.6/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Beautiful pour. Super dark-brown opacity with a foamy, two-finger head that clings nicely to the glass as it settles down.

Smell: Gentle cocoa with metallic underpinnings wafts up following subtle agitation.

Taste: The chocolate is barely there but bright and roasty when it is. The aftertaste is boring and centers on sawdust and bottle-caps.

Mouthfeel: Pleasantly dense.

Drinkability: Meh. This beer is rather boring. One is enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 05:19:34 | More by bwan15
Photo of jar2574


2.63/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Great pour. Full, tan head. Very dark brown-black beer. Yummy looking.

Chocolate and malts in smell and a touch of licorice as well.

Rich, thick, smokey, coffee-tasting beer. Bitter chocolate rather than milk chocolate flavor. But mostly this is just a smoky, acidic, coffee-like brew.

I want to be open to the style, but doubt that this is it's best representative. It doesn't taste good, and I don't need another.

Each pint is a meal, and coffee is the main ingredient. I'll pass.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2007 21:37:14 | More by jar2574
Photo of abcsofbeer


2.65/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This porter pours an average dark oil-like color with no transparency. The head is tannish and thin with no lingering lace to speak of.

The aroma is barely noticable. I detected small traces of malt, but no chocolate or coffee flavors that are normally associated with a porter.

The taste is fairly bland, but bitter. The malt taste is barely there. There may be a hint of caramel as it is mildly sweet. Most porter that I have tried have some sort of flavor, but this one is not very flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2004 01:24:46 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of kojevergas


2.65/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are moderately high; this is me favourite style.

A: Pours a five finger head of nice pleasant appealing cream, good thickness, and good retention - though the ABV is only average. Colour is a nontransparent dark brown. It's littered with bubbles, indicating potential overcarbonation.

Sm: Heavy nuts, cream, light caramel, and vanilla. Moderate in strength. Generally appealing.

T: Heavier caramel than expected, which is a bad thing. Some nice cream is put to the side by the strangely out of place chocolate. The problem is the foundation, which I assert is munich malted barley. Munich aids the drinkability, but this is a porter, not a festbier. They need to pick a more suitable foundation; this the beer's main flaw. It's fairly complex but a touch over-hopped for a porter. Overall, it's badly balanced and strangely built; it lacks a clear focus or direction in terms of style - which doesn't work for this beer.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Not creamy enough. Too thick for the flavour. It doesn't really complement the beer, but it does suit the style.

Dr: It's drinkable, but forgettable. Munich malt was a flat out bad choice. It doesn't feel like a proper porter, but it drinks like one. I won't be getting it again, but I'd happily try it on draught. Normally I find their seasonals to be better than the Boston lager, but this is an exception.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 05:30:13 | More by kojevergas
Photo of bort11


2.73/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle purchased as part of a mix-and-match six pack. Best By date lists Apr 06, so I'm a month behind. I like the label design, it's much more interesting than a regular Sam Adams label.

Poured into an Imperial pint glass. Color is black with reddish tints around the edges. Solid tan head about a finger thick. Nice lacing. Smell is of coffee/toffee malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

So far, everything that I would expect from a porter. The taste is the suprizing part. It is very hoppy for a porter. Usually I would expect maltiness up front with a slight hop flavor to finish. This one is almost in reverse. It doesn't seem very balanced. I don't think this is due to it being past it's prime. There are many other porters I will go to before coming back to this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2006 03:53:26 | More by bort11
Photo of tkeHijacker


2.73/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark Brown to black with a 1' mocha colored head. Dissipates at an average pace leaving a nice lace on the inside of the glass.

S: Alcohol, toffee, chocolate and a slight earthy hops aroma

T: Alcohol comes through, coffee and chocolate (a bitter bakers chocolate type flavor), some nutmeg?

M: Seems a little to thin being light to medium. Nice carbonation.

D: one maybe two of these at most in a session but no more. Good for a nice cool winter evening with a few friends.

Tasted on 1/17/08

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2008 19:37:43 | More by tkeHijacker
Photo of livingregret


2.73/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Serving Type was a 12 fl oz bottle that I picked up in a "Holiday" Pack

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, dare I say black?, w/ little fizzy head but there is plenty of lacing.

Smell: A strong fig smell, light molasses, a touch of chocolate and a hint of Winter Warmer

Taste: Light chocolate, roasted malts, and a touch of molasses. The Roasted malt is a touch almost burnt. Overly roasted I guess I should call the taste....if the chocolate, molasses or even a touch more of the Alcohol had come through I would have enjoyed the taste a lot more

Mouthfeel: Smooth at first but than overly carbonated near the end. Very fizzy....instead of a smooth finish you get tingles.

Drinkability: Well...I'll finish the 2 in my Holday pack but I think that is going to be it for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 00:36:11 | More by livingregret
Photo of fourplayed


2.73/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from SA holiday 12 pk.
Lite Brown rocky head. Dark Brown color with Red Hi-lites.

Smells are very subtle roasted/burnt chocolate malts, caramel, coffee. some burnt bitterness.

Tastes a Mild chocolate roated malt, caramel, coffee hint.

Medium body, medium carbonation (a bit too much carb). Somewhat watery.

Drinks fine, but could use more flavor & better balance. All too subdued to my mind for a solid porter. Not a brew I will look for in the future.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2010 16:24:46 | More by fourplayed
Photo of CraftBeerTastic


2.73/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Ba Review #103
Served On: 01/07/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 5.8%
Date/ Code: April

Got this from the current Winter Classics mixed pack.

Look: Pitch black pour with a thick tan head that dissolved quickly but left some amazing lacing.

Smell: I couldn’t pick up on much aroma. I got some faint hops. That was about it.

Taste: Upfront was burnt sugar with a mild bitter coffee. Finish was a residual bitterness that started to get annoying. Very watery mouth-feel for the style.

Not much was going on with this beer. A little disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 21:15:51 | More by CraftBeerTastic
Photo of TastyTaste


2.75/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Didn't try it last year, so I bought the sampler (with the cranberry "lambic") to do so.

Appearance: Extremely dark maroon body, barely lets any light through. Head rises up to about 1/2" and fades to a solid transparent layer on top of the beer.

Smell: Roasted and chocolatey, a little hops, maybe?

Taste: Malts don't play as big of a part as they should in this, a surprisingly large amount of the beer is definded by it's hoppy finish. Moderate chocolate malt. OK.

Mouthfeel: a little too thin, but not the worst I have had.

Drinkability: I don't think I will buy a sam adams sampler again, it is clearly not the best examples from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 05:07:38 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of waughbrew


2.78/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice frothy head and lacing, deep redish black. Smell is very roasted with some acidity apparent, toffee, and a fuzzy creaminess. Taste is sweet dough, dark chocolate, and a roast acidity that is a little too much in the finish, which is very dry and hoppy. "Bitter beer face!!!" Low carbonation but still a little bubbly. As far as porters go, this is one of my least favorites.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2005 22:20:09 | More by waughbrew
Photo of goldbot

District of Columbia

2.78/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep brown in color with thick, fluffy tan head. Great head retention and plenty of lacing. Aroma is muted malts, slightly roasted with a touch of herbal hops. Malty flavor with hints of chocolate with a lingering charred, astringent taste. Medium body and decent drinkability. Nothing to write home about here; as far as porters go this one is below average in most respects.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 00:35:58 | More by goldbot
Photo of SuperNova777


2.78/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes from 11/24/10

A:Pours a see thru brown with a white head that falls really fast leaving no lacing
at all

S:Not much coming thru except for some roasty malts, also a metallic aroma is coming
off it as well.

T:Just as the nose detects there is roastiness up front and in the middle followed
up by that sour metallic taste that hits on the back and lingers around.

M:Body was fairly thin but it was decently carbonated. Not to much of a great taste left
in the mouth

D:A not impressive version of a porter going on here. Not very tasty and pretty
un-enjoyable, Sorry Sammy wasn't digging this one at all.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 22:46:38 | More by SuperNova777
Photo of AdamBear


2.78/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-very dark brown with a thin light tan head, fairly bubbly. there's a great lacing that keeps track of every sip.

S-strong malts with some barley and chocolate. light strength

T-hits with a strong but short burst of low quality chocolate malts. it then goes in to a very bitter after-taste of some more low quality chocolate malts. this is an embarrassment to the porter style. this is just a bland representation of a porter for people who are used to drinking BMC beers.

M-heavy carbonation with a slightly dry finish

D-i'm not sure if i should've expected more from a Sam Adams porter but i guess, considering the brewery, this beer is on par. As far as other porters go, this is just gross. It does however go down easily, but then again most american porters do, in fact this might go down the harshest out of the ones i've tried. there's still one more bottle in the fridge...anyone want it?

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 02:57:32 | More by AdamBear
Photo of azdback


2.78/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Fretzy's pint glass. Pretty dark black color. Highlights are just a bit non opaque with a tinge of light coming through. Head is a very small one finger and tan to off white in color. Lace seems to stick...

Smell is of tart cherries and thin roasted malts. But pretty watery smelling past that.

Taste is of leathery cherries with a hint of coffee. Huge overly roasted coffee bitterness finishes this one. Not very pleasant at all.

Mouth is brightly carbonated, with an almost spritzy feel. Body was a bit watery and finish was dry and unappealing.

Overall I didn't even come close to liking this. I will though, be open minded enough to, rate this on the style and not my preference. I tried really hard!!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 07:14:04 | More by azdback
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,116 ratings.