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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Holiday PorterSamuel Adams Holiday Porter

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BA SCORE
84
good

2,222 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,222
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 32
Gots: 92 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,222 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of flowerysong
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a very, very dark mahogany.

Smell: Sweet, nutty, roasted malts and some vanilla with a fruity hop aroma.

Taste: Medium malty sweetness tempered by a hefty hit of hops and a light sourness. Malt character is chocolate and walnut.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and a bit tongue-coating.

Drinkability: A nice, solid porter. Something about the finish was a bit off and decreased my enjoyment, but it's still fairly drinkable.

Photo of TheTrevor
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark brown with reddish highlights and a big fluffy three-finger tan head that didn't last for long. The smell is very indicative of a porter, with some coffee and chocolate hints. The taste starts off with a a bit of sweet chocolate followed by some coffee and a some hops that linger on the palate. The mouthfeel is a little more watery than I expected from the pour, but it is still pleasant. This isn't as heavy as some porters, and I'd consider it to be more drinkable than most because of it. This isn't a bad little porter, it doesn't do much to stand out but I'd hardly turn it down if it was offered to me again.

Photo of malty
4.43/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 Winter Classics 12 pack. March is notched on the back label.

Pours pretty much midnight brown/black but has a mahogany glow when held next to a standard 75W light bulb. The head is tight and creamy that is oatmeal in color and stands a sturdy 1". Healthy sheets and quibs of lace all the way down.

A few swirls of my stemmed tulip glass evokes a fresh aroma of chocolate chip cookies, winey dark fruits and a bright earthiness most likely the cause of a good amount of hops.

The flavors of the chocolate chip cookie I enjoyed in the nose has transduced into more of a carob-like chocolate flavor. I really am digging the hops interplaying on the sweet roasted malty backbone. Each one trades complimentary glances, but never stares too long. There's a nice woodiness that allows the hop profile to take a leap forward, but only in texture and (again) brightness. The overall flavor is nicely roasted dark malts with a sweet dark plumy nuance. There's a lot more going on, but its very subtle.

Mouthfeel is superb. Silky, finely carbonated at just the right level and very creamy. Probably the creamiest mouthfeel of any porter I've had. Somewhat dry finish with not much lingering flavor.

Drinkability is high. I'm 8 oz. into my sample and I really would like a couple more to follow. The malts in the brew really play well together and beckon me to further discern each of their characteristics.

All in all a fantastic porter IMHO. Not much roastiness or over-the-top chocolate, but very balanced and refined in its own quiet way. I really could session with this ale all night long. A great porter from a BIG craft brewer. This would make a great gateway beer for newbies and also satisfies someone whose enjoyed quite an array of dark beers from all corners.

Photo of Tilley4
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams should definitely make this one available year round. Best of the Holiday Mix, this one is.

Pitch black. Absolutely black as night, looks like a big bad stout, except not as thick. Good head and lacing too.

Man, this smells deep, dark and rich. Lots of coffee and roasted malt.

Nice solid little porter here. Rich and dark, not as creamy as I was hoping but very intense flavors of coffee and chocolate and malt.

Already looking forward to next year's Holiday Mix so I can grab another one.

Photo of blakesell
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a brandy snifter. Vintage aged bottle from last year 2006's sampler.

Appearance- Jet black pour even when held up to the light. A creamy vanilla foam appears on the top that is a finger deep. Lacing clings to the glass and like glue.

Smell- Coffee, milk chocolate, cashews, dates and rasins. It smells like this beer may not be the best to age back but I did open it in enough time for it to not lose any characteristics.

Taste- Nutty dark malts and fruits. Nut flavors come out upfront then the more standard chocolatey porter flavours. Hops are subdued and balanced. Coffee comes thru as well but not as boldly as the scent would imply.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, fully carbonated, dark and full bodied. Great aftertaste makes you feel like you've been eating milk chocolate minus the cavaties.

Drinkability- I would have to put the drinkability of this very highly. So far the vintage aging of the Sam Adams Winter beers have been a home run. I didn't sit back any of the cranberry lambic for obvious reasons, but I would love to have 6 packs of both old fezziwig and the holiday porter. Please?

Photo of Lupe
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with dark ruby hues when held to the light. Nice thick tan head that stays and leaves behind generous lacing. One appealling looking brew.

Roasted malt aroma of molasses, light coffee, and chocolate. Light hops peak through with a touch of grass.

Lots of roasted malt flavor - burnt caramel, molasses, light toffee, cocoa, and mild coffee. Has a touch of roasted astringency, which along with the light hops, does a nice job of balancing the malt. Finishes dry with lingering roasty bitterness.

Crisp and smooth, fairly light in body. Lighter than expected, but a nice switch from heavy stouts and porters without giving up the roasted character. Easy to drink - this should be in 6-packs, at least seasonally.

Photo of aquaderek
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as part of a Sam Adams winter brew sample case. I poured this beer into a tasting glass. This is a nice looking brew, dark thick, nice head which dissipate quickly, but still leaves a nice creamy lace. The nose has sweet, think cinnamon, chocolate, sugar, spice, especially once warms up a little bit of hops in the background. Agitate this beer a little and the head re-appears, nice and thick. This is a medium to full bodied creamy beer, with stout like characteristics. Not quite a session a beer, but one is great.

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

Poured from bottle into chalice. Pours deep, dark, brown with some ruby highlight when held to the light. Nice off-white head with good retention and lacing. Smell was somewhat suprising as there were more hops present than I expected, not overwhelming but present. Also some chocolate and caramel notes. Taste is a good blend of malt and some hops, although the hops arent as noticeable in the taste. Strong tastes of toasted grain with some coffee and chocolate in the back. Leaves a somewhat dry, oily feeling behind and I'd say has a medium to almost medium-heavy mouthfeel. Best when drunk at warmer temperature (brings out the chocolate and caramel tastes more). Overall a solid 4 for me, I have to say I really enjoyed this and I think might be my highest rated Sam Adams yet. A good beer that could easily stand on its own.

Photo of zeff80
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In the Winter Classics 12-pack.

A - Poured out a dark brown color with flecks of red. A small, tan head left no lacing.

S - It smelled of malt and a nice blending of hops.

T - It tasted of caramel and chocolate. It had an okay hop spiciness.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied porter.

D - This is an okay brew. I had hoped it would be better.

Photo of Ryanbob
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer isn't bad, but it doesn't stand out in any way to me. The color is good, but the taste is a bit carbonated and weak for a porter. Not as rich as I like, but not too pungent either. I wouldn't buy a six pack, but as a part of the holiday twelve-pack its ok. I prefer the cream stout. Not Sam's best.

Photo of BlindPig
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Thick dark tan head on a black body with clear brown and ruby hues where it thins out.
S- Nice chocolate and caramel body with some grass/light citrus hops to balance it out very nicley. Hints of English yeast comes through too.
T- Roasted and burnt malts with a caramel sweetness to back them up. Chocolate comes through too blended in with the light citrus flavors from the hops. Leaves a light to medium bitterness on tongue with mouth feeling dry with roasted characters.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation.
D- It is a pretty decent porter. I will have my other one but wouldn't seek this one out again.

Photo of TheDeuce
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pitch black complexion with fine carbonation, usual suspects of coffee and chocolate hit the nostrils and come around again in the taste. Good job of hiding the alcohol and a very smooth finish. A nice dark sessioner for those cold days. One of my favorite BBC beers, a superb porter, though I admit that many of this style seem to run together a little.

Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the Winter Classics 12 pack.

12oz bottle into my Sam Adams Uber Glass.

Pours a clear medium dark brown with some nice garnet hues around the edges. The head is a nice medium poof of light tan foam that retains well and leaves great lacing. The nose is dominated by roasted malts and toffee sweetness with just a tad of hop citrus lingering in the background.

The taste is big with roasted malt, chocolate sweetness, caramel, bread. Finishes with a little bit of hop bitterness and just a dash of sweetness on the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with a crisp finish.

Mmmm. Sam Adams comes through with a winner of a Porter here. Robust flavor, a good body, and low ABV make this one highly quaffable wintertime brew.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Same as the stout, a pure black liquid with a two inch tan head that fades too quickly but at least leaves a bit more lacing than the stout. This one has a bit more of a malt and chocolate presence with hints of brown sugar. Pretty good hop character here but again as the malts try to catch up but remain unbalanced, I'd stick with the stout if I had a choice

Photo of hustlesworth
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- nice cascading bubble action makes a 2in fluffy puffy tan biscuit of a head. great retention and lots of chunky lace. body is ominous dark brown/black with reddish mahogany highlights.

S- a lot of robust roasty toasty malt complexity goin on, damp wood and dark berries, currant, acai, subdued coffee grounds and dark tea like hop aroma.

T- big malt, slightly metallic, bitter cocoa/mocha espresso, burnt wood, toffee, currant, cranberry, soil, caramel & choco malts stand out but the munichs hang in there and give this ale a fleeting lager taste. bitter citrus peel and herbal flowers in the finish from that load of english hops.

MF- coating, chalky, and hearty, goes down like thick resinous juice. mid-low carbonation, and smooth

D- from the decorative label to the 6 lbs of malt per bottle to the great taste to the moderate abv, this is a contender.

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

Pours dark into my Samuel Adams glass. Decent head , some lacing.

A very faint malty sweetness on the nose.

Dark malts are apparent , some toffee , caramel sweetness with a nice subtle hop bight at the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium/ , good carbonation.

Overall a nice beer that I wouldn't mind getting a sixer of.

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

Poured a dark brown with medium tight tan foam and a fair amount of lace on the glass. The smell of roasted malts and a hint of caramel seem to be evident in the aroma.

The taste was of roasted malts, sort of bitter and loads of coffee, with a hint of caramel. A nice balance of all components in one bottle. A very pleasant surprise from Boston Brewing Co. What a holiday treat.

Photo of dacrza1
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black body with a brown half-inch head that leaves a nice, balanced lace on the tumbler...toffee, caramel--less toasted than the stout, but still noticeable...aggressive early, thinning to the throat with a bit of fiz...creamy/oily in places...sweet and balanced--full-bodied but not arrogant--brings a little bite...not sure where the "holiday" part comes in, but this is a pleasant approximation of the two I love best (Samuel Smith and Yuengling)...

Photo of berserker256
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good looking beer. Coffee black with a foamy tan head. I smell what seems to be burnt carmel, dark chocolate, and coffee. The flavor is similar to the aroma but there's a slightly unpleasant bitter aftertaste. It feels like my tounge has been painted with a coat of coffee-flaovred paint... but in a good way. It feels heavy and creamy and chewy like a good porter should. A good beer drink one of before you go to bed.

Photo of Poser
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark black with frothy, off-white top. Aroma is of dark chocolate malts and some caramel. Nice and complex flavor with roasted malts up front and bitter chocolate in the finish. Aftertaste is lingering. The creamy, thick body makes it a very drinkable porter.

Great for the season.

Photo of beersabound
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an inviting brown color with ruby highlights and a well formed brown foam that crackled quickly into a half inch head. The aroma shows evidence of its caramel sweetness with a slight roast. The flavor has some caramel sweetness but it's well balanced by the UK hop bitterness and the presumably chocolate malt. It's medium bodied with moderate CO2 and leave the mouth with a slight sweetness and dryness. Went down very nicely with a dinner of sauteed greens, slightly blackened shrimp and angel hair pasta. Might sound weird but the slight char on the greens held hands with the roast character and the beer's sweetness can a cunning foil to the peppery and slightly hot shrimp.

I had high hopes for this beer after reading about the medal it picked up in the Uk recently. I was not at all disappointed. WOOHOO!!

Photo of onthefarside
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I love porters, perhaps my favourite type of beer after IPA's. This beer however, as I drink it now is a little disappointing. Maybe I got a bad bottle, but i got it in the Winter Classics pack. April 08 notched on the bottle.

A: a nice porter black, however the head was VERY disappointing, only about 2-3 mm of head, with a decently rough pour. Non-existant lacing was surprising.

S: the smell was acceptable, a typical porter smell of chocolate and spices, a small amount of tasty malt.

T: this beer makes up for the first downfall with a decent taste. Nice chocolate and winter flavours make it dance a little on the tounge. is not offensive

M: Again, disappointing, it feels overly carbonated for a porter, and rather thin.

D: with only 5.8abv its easily sessionable but i'd rather have a better porter.

I like the boston beer company for what they do for craft beer, sometimes they really pull through, their seasonal beers are some of my favourite sessions easily available at typical college bars. However if i had a choice betweent his and Sierra Nevada porter it wouldn't even be close. I would definately try it again because I feel like i got a bad bottle

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

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- It poured a deep red-black with a thin brownish head that quickly became a lace that left behind some nice sticking.

S- The aroma was a lighter combination of chocolate mixed with a little sweet raisin.

T- Mostly bitter dark chocolate and coffee flavors.

M- Solid mouthfeel. It had a slight hop tingle.

D- It was a smooth beer. I could drink more than one in a sitting.

Overall- A decent representation of the style. It didn't push any boundries, but would be a great one for anybody that wants to give porters a shot to try. It's one of my favorites from the Winter mixpack.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a S.A. Boston Lager glass)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a lumpy tan head that fades to a thin film before breaking apart. There is a faint hint of auburn glowing through the base of the glass. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles sticking to the sides of the glass.

S- This beer has a light earthy chocolate malt nose with a slight tart oat hint and a cream finish.

T- The taste of chocolate malt has a slight tootsie roll quality to it with some darker roasted malt flavors in the background. There is cola note after the malt with a slight tartness fading to a very light hint of green herbal hops.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a light creamy texture and a clean finish.

D- Although this beer does have some depth it doesn't really have the nice roasted qualities I like in a porter. The chocolate malt doesn't have that nice freshness to it either.

Photo of umustdrink
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark mahogany brown, mostly opaque. Medium-dark eggshell white head fades to thick patches. Good lacing, patches of varying sizes.

S - Light aroma of toasted malts, some coffee, a little sweetness. Jim Koch sticks his whole nose in the glass cause thats the only way he can smell his beer.

T - Taste starts out with a light bittery bite and some noticeable bready maltiness. Finish leaves a good toasted maltiness, with barely noticeable coffee undertones. Not much happens in between sipping and swallowing.

M - Light mouthfeel, like most SA beers, with just a tad too much carbonation.

D - Nothing really outstanding here. Just filler in the holiday mixpack.

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,222 ratings.