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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Holiday PorterSamuel Adams Holiday Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,194 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,194
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 21
Gots: 71 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: DFN on 10-17-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,194 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
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

tkeHijacker, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked this up in their winter sampler a few months ago.

A: Pours a black body with a pretty carbonated, tan head. The head did not have good retention and dissipated after a few seconds. A decent lacing was left along the top of the beer as well as along the sides of the glass as I drank it.

S: Smells pretty malty and sweet; hints of roasted barley in the undertones, but nothing really up front.

T: A slightly roasted taste with a coffee roasted aftertaste. The taste was slightly malty in the beginning with the roasted barley being more evident later on.

M: Mouthfeel was a little thin. It was fairly smooth and not too carbonated, just a little watery.

D: A pretty drinkable beer overall. Nice, malty taste with some roasted undertones. The nice malts reminded me a little bit of a bock, but overall it was a fairly easy beer to drink.

maddogruss, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of becktone
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eye: The color is a dark cherry brown with garnet highlights. Head is tannish in color, looks creamy and has great retention. Looks appetizing. Lacing is kinda spotty, could be better.

Nose: Overall pretty weak aroma, I get some warm, toasty, caramel and honey-like aromas. In the background I can pick up some chocolate notes. Nice and fairly complex, but just to hard to get a good draft of.

Tongue: Very complex flavor profile. After taking the first sip and thinking about it a while, different aromas come and go across the palate. Initially a sweet malt flavor hits the palate, caramel and toasty flavors, and perhaps then some chocolate, and finally a coffee aftertaste that seems to come from nowhere.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: As the label describes it a "hearty porter," I'd have to agree, it is a full bodied brew with just the right amount of carbonation to bring out certain flavors without getting in the way of others. However, there is a hint of a watery character near the finish of this brew, like the body is slowly thinning out after the first few seconds in my mouth. I wouldn't be opposed to drinking this one again, however, I know there are better American porters out there that hit the spot much better on a cold winter's day.

becktone, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of Homerbag
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very black body with one and half finger thick Sam Adams head.

Smells of roasted malt, coffee, toffee, and some chocolate all in a subtle balance. Tastes of a very nice balance of roasted malts, coffee, and molassess. Has a dry finish that makes it easy to drink and open a few more.

A good example of a porter. Pleasant to drink. Makes the winter sampler a little more fun to buy. Not my favorite example, but good to drink I would get more.

Homerbag, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of Slynger
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark chocolate color with a creamy mid-sized head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is sweet of chocolate malts and burnt caramel. Hints of roasted malts come through, along with earthy-woody hops. Very well-balanced and pleasant smell. Medium bodied and buttery smooth with a creamy carbonation. Slightly sweet of roasted chocolate and caramel malts. Lightly roasted coffee and bitter chocolate come through with mild woody hops into modestly dry finish. This is a very good porter, and probably my favorite Sam Adams offering yet. Very drinkable, very tasty, and the mouthfeel couldn't be better for the style.

Slynger, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of Redwood21
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

straight 4! what can i say its how i feel about this beer all around. its a solid 4...go figure

A: I like the dark black to jet brown color the head is a nice off white brown that is very sticky

S: coffee and esters maybe a toasted whole wheat bagel....yea i know im not sure

T:there is a bit of raisiny taste with some coffee and a very tad hint of Irish cream there is definitely a coffee dry aftertaste

this is a solid porter that if you can grab it is worth imbibing

Redwood21, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of youngleo
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured to a good head that lasted for the entire glass. Also left some very nice lacing. Rings were left with every swallow. Almost black in color. Head was caramel in color.
S- Smelled of caramel and malt and a hint of alcohol.
T- Tasted very dark like a Porter should. Tasted of burnt malt with a heavy Porter finish. Left a slight aftertaste of burnt malt.
M- Felt good in the mouth. Might of been a little heavy on the carbonation.
D- I would have to be carfull drinking a lot of these. The alcohol content was evident and gave you a good buzz in a hurry. It wasnt as heavy as some other dark beers or Porters Ive had.

youngleo, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of BMan1113VR
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma was somewhat weak. What I could smell was mainly malts (toasted grains and chocolate) with some brown sugar. Color was a dark mahogany with a matching light brown head. Flavor was a typical porter with a bitter and sour finish. Mouthfeel was dry with a light alcohol backnote.

BMan1113VR, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of Murchmac
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty solid beer from the 12 beers of christmas offering.

Dark brown with some reddish ruby highlights.

Some heavy malts smell, other ooey sweetness jumps out.

Spicy tastes jump out at ya. Bitter, malts,

Decent mouthfeel, enough to make you want more, but enough to enjoy it.

Overall a good beer.

Murchmac, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of bboven
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown and clear, ruby highlights with a huge head, big lacing. The head is a bit ridiculous on this one, even with a normal pour.

Really sweet, I'm getting vanilla, but that just might be my funny nose. Roast as well.

What strikes me is the tinge of sour in this beer. Porter should have it, but it's a little overwhelming here. All the regular tastes are there.

Way over carbonated, and too thin.

A good beer, not the best porter, but a great attempt from a big brewery.

bboven, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of fitzy84
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one in the winter sample pack. Appearance was excellent. The drink had a light brown head which thinned out nicely. Overall, pretty dark to see through, very little amber colors on the bottom I noticed. The smell was full of flavors such as chocolate, malts, nuts and caramel. The taste is pretty good with a crisp, light malty taste. Definitely a solid, frappe-like body, making it great for those cold days. Overall, Sam does it again.

fitzy84, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of bearrunner44
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black as night. In the few places where light shows through, it's the color of molasses.

The aroma brings to mind everything from maple syrup to spiced rum and raisin cookies. It's sublimely sweet, with fruity date-like hints.

Broadly sweet, roasted malt flavor hits the tastebuds first. The taste has a mellow fruity sweetness similar to plums or dates; dark coffee and chocolate also spring to mind. The sweet character of the malt is balanced by the everpresent-yet-subtle hop flavors. The hop flavor never asserts its independence; it merely provides a slight bitterness that helps to balance the beer. The alcohol pops its head up in the finish, once the sweetness of the malt fades away.

A great winter beer, perfect for enjoying the indoor heat while it's -100 degrees outside.

bearrunner44, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of dirtsocks
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- Pours dark, almost black in color with a finger of brown head. Lacing appears good and the head disappeared moderately fast

s- Smell nice with some dark malts and a hit of caramel and maybe some spices.

t- The malts are very flavorful with the hops kicking in later

m- good mouthfeel, it has a nice creamy texture to it making it very easy to drink.

this is a good cold weather beer and i fully enjoy it

dirtsocks, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of AltBock
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with a Christmas label of a man carrying a barrel of Holiday Porter through the cold and snowy streets of an 18th century New England town to a local tavern. It's looks like the tavern owner has been waiting for this beer for a while because the the expression on his face looks like he's relieved that he's now able to sell this holiday beer to his customers. To the right of the label is the US Government warning and on the left side is the barcode, address of the brewery, and a notched best before date. The date just gives the month, but not the year.

Appearance: When poured into a standard American pint glass, this Sam Adams is a dark chocolate black color with a few dark ruby red highlights along the sides. It started off with a 1/2 inch head of tan foam foam, but that quickly changed when it dissipated into a few foamy tan rings and a streak or two of tan lace.

Smell: It had a mild aroma of roasted malts, a splash of caramel, sweet sugar plums, and milk chocolate. At the end is where the hops aroma will emerge, but the hops were replaced by chestnuts roasting on an open fire. I guess Sam Adams has been listening to some Christmas tunes lately.

Taste: It started off thick with dark roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, splash of caramel, and toasted nuts. After those dark flavors had appeared, it felt like they were washed away by some tasty spring water. Just when I thought it was done, the water was then washed away by roasted hops. It was like a weird taste train. The dark flavors played the part as the engine, the spring water was the car, and the roasted hops acted as the caboose.

Mouthfeel: It was a light to medium bodied beer that had a quick thin aftertaste of roasted malts and roasted hops. I could also detect a little water in there too. Not too much water, but I could still taste it.

Drinkability: I found this Sam Adams to be a run of the mill Porter. It was nothing out of the ordinary or even that good. I doubt I'll buy this one again next Christams season.

AltBock, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the better offerings from the Sam Adam's holiday winter packs.

Pours a dark amber, the reddish hues coming through the light. Good amount of head and lacing.

Smell is mostly a caramel malt and a little bit of spice.

The taste is roasted malt with a good sweetness kick, bit of coffee flavoring and a slight bitterness rounds it out at the end. Pretty smooth with good carbonation, not overly syrupy or thick though.

deltatauhobbit, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of shabbtastic
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another beer in the holiday mix pack. Presented in a 12oz bottle which was clearly marked with freshness date.

A - It poured a deep rich dark brown into a pint glass. Left a creamy head about 2 fingers high. The lacing was pretty good, as it lasted about 3/4 the way through.

S - Rich coffee malts, kinda sweet. Some chocolate overtones were detected. Not bad

T - Watery Molasses taste, sweet with not enough bitterness.

M - A little thin despite the appearance.

D - Overall a decent porter to wind down with on a chilly afternoon. Very enjoyable and easy to drink.

shabbtastic, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 brown bottle poured into a SA glass,best by APR notched in label.

Clear,very deep amber color with brownish highlights. 2"off-white dense,creamy head,good retention,leaving sticky webby lacing down the glass.Very tiny bubbles tightly knitted string round the bottom of the glass.

Sweet malty aromas with dark fruit,some tea-like notes with spicyness and hints of licorace. Nice complex malty aroma with no real standouts.

Clean tastes with light roastyness and semi-sweet chocolate flavors. Spicy and earthy,nicely balanced with a smooth,spicy bitterness. Very pleasing taste.

Light to medium body,not filling with a slight grainy bite. Easy drinking and not too filing with enough taste makes it an almost sessionable dark beer.

jcdiflorio, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was tried form the sam adams winter pack. It is a very refreshing beer and very warm beer. I love having it with a big heavy meal that will put me to sleep especially during the winter months. It pours a very dark brown almost black color with a tan head. There ios some malt on the nose but nothing more some sweetness form it as well. Taste of roasted malt with not a lot of hop flavor inside. Nice smooth sweetness that finishes strong and leaves you wanting more.

JoEBoBpr, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes.

A: Super dark brown color with minimal white head.

S: Not much of a nose on this beer except for some malt.

T: Sweet malt and caramel.

M: Thin body but well carbonated.

D: For a spiced porter fairly drinkable. Could do two of these in an evening no problem.

aerozeppl, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of BretSikkink
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black pour with some great reddish tones. Head is about two inches, tan and fluffy-thick. Lacing is good not great.

Lots of roast in the nose: coffee and chocolate, with molasses showing up in the flavor. Burnt malts provide an acid touch without going overboard, especially important for a porter.

Good abv, and the finish is nice and light, a little sweeter than the overall flavor. Mouthfeel is a little light correspondingly, but the drinkability is solid. Very nice porter.

BretSikkink, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of stewart124
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dense tan head sits atop an almost black beer with ruby highlights.

Smell is of burnt malts, coffee and hints of chocolate. There is a sweetness that seems to come out also. I'm also picking up slight bits of noble hops but just barely.

Big body on this one with hints of toffee, molasses, and rich malts shine through this porter. Nice bitterness to this American Porter. There is a complex malt character and chocolate malts really make this beer. This beer is almost chewy and it leaves a burnt roasted taste in my mouth. Finishes with a sweetness of burnt molasses. A nice beer.

stewart124, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of IPAcraig
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a guiness pint glass from a 12 oz bottle I picked up in Nashville.

This beer pours a fairly thick black with a nice light brown head which lasted.

A very faint aroma. Typical porter aroma: slightly sweet with more chocolate than roast. Light.

More roasty character shows up the flavor. Fairly big in body. There are some hints of brown sugar, and just a touch of hops. Finishes sweet. It really opens up with a bit of warmth.

All in all this is a very nice porter ... just nice.

IPAcraig, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of baggio
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Noticed this in the store and remembered that i had not reviewed this one.

A: Dark brown / Black with a small beige head.

S: Milk chocolate, vanilla, Roasted coffeebeans.

T: Espresso, Chocolate, Dark fruit, Metal, Hops.

M: A bit watery but well balanced and a nice touch of hop-bitterness at the end. Medium carbonation.

Initially a bit sweet but there's a nice bitterness at the end. Another qualitybrew from SA. A nice sipper during the cold season.

baggio, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very deep reddish-brown color with moderate off-white head.
Smell is of roasted malt combined with a dark fruitiness.
Taste also is significant for lots of dark fruit, with a frim sweetness lending to a nice refreshing drinkability.
Finishes with more sweetness, and perfect drinkability.
A great beer to enjoy on a cold winters night.

tgbljb, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of Engibeer
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Engibeer, Jan 07, 2008
Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,194 ratings.