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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.

2,153 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,153
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 20
Gots: 51 | 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: 2,153 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickfl


4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of light mocha colored head, settles quickly but leaves good lace. Black body with a hint of amber when held up to the light.

S - Caramel malt, subtle hops, almonds and perhaps a hint of indeterminate spice.

T - Big coffee flavor followed by hops and a creamy, dark caramel malt character. The finish is a long procession of dark malt: coffee, chocolate, and finally some sweet almonds.

M - Fairly light body, while it is sweet and creamy at first it quickly dries out and finishes roasty and dry without lingering on the palate. High carbonation.

D - Excellent drinkability. Full of flavor, but light in body and easy to drink. This captures the season better than most of the other Sam Adams winter beers, too bad the holiday sampler only comes with two.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2007 23:24:59 | More by nickfl
Photo of JamesS


4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My second favorite in the holiday pack, this porter is excellent. It’s not very dark, more like an average coffee than a nice dark porter stout, although it does have wonderful head and lacing. It has a fantastic aroma and taste, though! Excellent scents/flavors of chocolate and roasted barley, but the best part is how it smells and tastes almost like a smoked porter. Goes down well and would make a great digestif. Very much worth a try!

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2007 01:22:31 | More by JamesS
Photo of bigdeuce


3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful pour on this one, with a terrific head and great lacing. Little smokey on the nose, but smell is a little lacking, which is not common for a Samuel Adam's brew. Dark chocolately, roasted malts with a nutty flavor as well. Some coffee also, maybe? Medium bodied with a little twingy hop flavor at the end. An overall nice offering by the Boston Beer Company.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2007 22:45:30 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love it when the holiday brews come out! This is part of the SA Holday 12 pack.

A robust crimson hued brownish color, deep and vibrant displaying a thick, clumpy and very sticky head that has very slow retention and a nice 1/8" cover remain until the end.

The nose has a robust, zesty chocolate malt, later caramel brown sugar sweetness and a peppery, barbaque-zesty hop underneath it all.

The flavor brings forth a bold smoked-oats and chocolate flavored malt, with currents of vanilla cookies and finishing hop-zesty and a slightly bitter peanutbutter aftertaste. The big malt boldness is also very smooth and hefty, just like it should be, with a slick, creamy feeling.

This is pretty rad winter brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2007 16:09:04 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of Chuggnutt


3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
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—roasted, 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.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2007 18:33:34 | More by Chuggnutt
Photo of biggmike


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

Brown head that doesnt last. Nice lacing around glass. Attractive dark color and nice aroma. Thinner than a lot of porters, but still very tasty. Though I appreciate the effort, Samuel Adams makes a lot of stuff that really isnt my style (Winter Lager, Cranberry Lambic, Cherry Wheat, etc.), but they really know how to craft dark beers. Besides this, Cream Stout, Black Lager, and Honey Porter are excellent beers

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 16:05:37 | More by biggmike
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

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

Pulled out of the back of my closet from a holiday pack purchased almost 6 months ago. The beer pours an almost opaque black with a thin head that slowly diminishes. The aroma is of chocolate and black malts. The taste is dominated by black malts and subtle hops with some dark chocolate and molasses present as well. The beer is somewhat carbonated and medium bodied. I will have to give it another try in the winter and see if I enjoy it more.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2007 02:37:59 | More by atsprings
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle consumed 12/06 - review from memory

A - almost clear brown beer, tan head, ok lacing.

S - sweet roasted malty aroma, pretty nice.

T - sweet roasted coffee/chocolate taste, bittersweet chocolate aftertaste.

M - a little thin bodied, close to being overly carbonated.

D - overall, the taste wins out and makes for a good drinkable brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2007 02:09:21 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of atigerlife


3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with some light brown highlights. Creamy brown head the dissipated rather quickly.

Aroma of dark chocolate, molasses and malts.

Taste is of dark chocolate and sweet malts. Reminded me of a chocolate shake. Quite bitter [for the style] at the end.

Mouthfeel is quite spritzy, cleansing and dry. Seemed a little to carbonated for the style.

Overall, this is a good session beer. I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2007 03:55:29 | More by atigerlife
Photo of shadow1961


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

I've got a bottle of Sam Adams Holiday Porter and it (was) thursday. That's
enough reason to celebrate. A careful pour gets me a nice stiff tan head
over an opaque black brew. The nose is caramel malt, and carbonation
is hard to guage, but enough to leave a nice skin of foam to contrast with
the brew. The flavor is caramel and bitter chocolate up front with a sharp
hop finish. The mouthfeel is crisp, and there is nice lacing in the glass as
the brew goes down. A nice porter for somebody who likes a bit of hop bite
with that sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2007 07:18:46 | More by shadow1961
Photo of Bookseeb


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

Pours a dark chocolate brown with a light brown healthy creamy head that sticks around. Smell of dark chocolate and caramel malts with dried fruits. Taste is more the same with smell with added coffee. A medium mouthfeel that has good body, but a bit on the hoppy side for me in a porter. None the less one the better ones from Sam Adams that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2007 02:20:44 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of Ieatlambfries

New Jersey

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

Pours a super dark reddish brown, Half inch tan head of dense bubbles that didn't stick around, but did cling nicely to the sides of my pint glass.

The smell was of roasted malt and baking cocoa. Burnt sugar/molasses and honey.

A lot of burnt malt and burnt sugar/molasses right up front. Very smokey character. Dark cocoa powder, with honey flavors and a hint of toffee. Finishes with a bitter dose of fuggle and kent golding hops as well as dry graininess.

The mouthfeel is velvety smooth with just enough carbonation to leave a little bite.

Very drinkable, I could see drinking this as a session beer during the cold months of winter. A very solid offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2007 19:06:54 | More by Ieatlambfries
Photo of EPICAC


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

This is another beer that I snagged from beer hour at work. I let this warm a bit and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark, ruby brown with a thick, sudsy, brown head that fades slowly leaving thick lace and persisting as a substantial film.

Smell: Roasty aromas are dominant, there are some nice coffee and chocolate notes. There are also some nice caramel and dark fruit malty notes as well.

Taste: A nicely balanced porter. Upfront there's sweet malts: bitter chocolate and dark fruit. These move into a roasted bitterness with nice coffee and chocolate notes. There are also some nice hop flavors in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, high carbonation, but smooth.

Drinkability: Very nicely balanced. Neither the sweetness or the bitterness ever dominates.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2007 04:13:58 | More by EPICAC
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a brown head and some nice lace. Toasty aroma, hints ofchocolate, hops, nuts, and toffee. I enojoy this beer ever winter it comes out. Available in Winter Pack. Might be able to find this on sale somewhere for a low price, or clear out.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2007 05:37:19 | More by auxiliary
Photo of Wasatch


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

Pours a dark brown/black, nice carbonation, nice little head, leaves quickly, nice islands and some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is of sweet roasted malts, chocolate, toffee, and caramel The taste is slightlysweet, malty, nice touch of chocolate/toffee, slight bitter finish. Medium body. Drinkable, nice little porter at that.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 03:06:42 | More by Wasatch
Photo of pmcadamis


4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - A warm Charles Dickens-esque scene graces the lable, and a thick three finger tan head rises from a cascade effect over a pitch black brew with brown edges. Tons of sticky lace creates spiderwebs down the glass.

S - Chocolate and marshmallow over dark roast coffee. Chocolate s'mores and Count Chocula cereal. Sugary YooHoo chocolate milk.

T - Black coffee and hints of chocolate. Much more roasty and espresso-like than the sweetish aroma. Nowhere near as complex either. The roasty qualities are replaced by a hoppy bite towards the end.

M - Medium bodied, creamy, and lightly carbonated. Neutral finish with a slightly bitter dark-chocolate aftertaste. Nice.

D - Drinkability is where this one shines. This is just about the most drinkable porter that I've tried...it's a shame that you can only get two in a holiday 12-pack mixer. I would buy sixers of this for the holiday season for sure. Come on SA! Give us the good stuff!

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2007 05:22:40 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor


3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured black with a tan colored head into my Stone 10th Anniversary pint glass. Respectable amount of lacing throughout the session.
S: A bit of malts, hint of carmel.
T: To me a lot of SA ales tend to taste similar to eachother. This is a slight exception though. Roasty, with just a flutter of chocolate.
M: Medium bodied at best. I generally expect more from a porter, and so should you.
D: Relatively drinkable. Definitely not the worse selection out of the SA Winter Sampler case.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2007 02:04:23 | More by AWolfAtTheDoor
Photo of Talisker


3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A really nice porter - perfectly to the English style alluded to on the label. Pours nearly black, some red highlights - short brown head dissipates quickly. Balanced nose - toffee and caramel are present, maybe some grape, but integrated without too much of any one thing.

More butter and less smoke or coffee than you might expect, but certainly nothing out of balance. Fortunately I don't detect any added spices - something I feared from the "Holiday" name. Less syrupy than the aroma suggests, medium body and texture, finshes dry and powdery, exactly to style.

Very well-crafted beer. Recommended for fans of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2007 06:05:56 | More by Talisker
Photo of BradBLR


3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark rootbeer brown with a thick tan head. There was a good amount of lacing and the head lasted about three quarters of the beer. The smell was that of a toasted or burnt malt and some hints of chocolate and coffee.

The taste was a very toasted malt flavor, with hints of coffee and a slight taste of hops on the back end. There also seem to be the slightest hint of a citrus flavor, but very very faint. The mounthfeel was ok, but the CO2 was too strong and it seemed slightly thin.

Overall not a bad porter from Sam Adams, a good beer to be in the holiday pack. We definitely give it a try next year if they have it.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2007 20:29:21 | More by BradBLR
Photo of ndekke39


3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank this from a 12 oz bottle that's best by May 2007. This is one of the last beers from my Sam Adams holiday pack. Pours a heavy black color with ruby edges. Very small head - okay retention. Smells of chocolate, chalk, sugar, molasses, and applesauce. Tastes mostly of the chocolate, with the heavy bitterness of a dark-roasted coffee. Low/medium mouthfeel - standard for a porter. An easily drinkable beer - makes me appreciate the style more.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2007 17:37:10 | More by ndekke39
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a solid medium coffee brown, with a thin ruby disc at the bottom. Two fingers of fluffy light brown mousse head retain quiet well. A terrain of lacing maps the inside of the glass.

In the aroma there float the roasted malt standards of cocoa, coffee, dark cherry, and toffee. A mildly spicy blend joins the tickle of hops.

Upon sipping, a baked grain earthiness joins a thin stripe of dark chocolate, sloe fruit, and coffee. A soft spice note backs away to allow a charred biscuit presence to come through. The finish is crisp and dry, and the bitterness lingers well. It's in no way undesirable, but it's also utterly unremarkable.

Between light and medium bodied, it has a small measure of presence, but even that is fleeting, leaking away soon.

It's decent, but pedestrian. The flavor is a testament to playing it safe. It's reasonably drinkable, as it is middle of the road and harmless. Still, what does it say that my current favorite BBC beers are Longshot winners from homebrewers? But if Jim's happy, who I am to argue? I just won't have any more, is all.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2007 21:46:40 | More by Foxman
Photo of Beeryce


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

Nice creamy light brown head on a dark brown-black body. Still rather opaque when held to light but maroon brown in color. Not alot of head retention, but I like that in a porter, produceing some laceing.

Very unique and pleasant nose. Rich malty base with some spicey hops. The balance and contrast is excellent. The malt is chocolatey but there is some thing I can't distinguish; possibly the Carafa malt.

The taste is very good, complex at first then melding to a maltiness acccented with hop bitterness. There is a hoppiness that is characteristic of B.B.C., the use of noble hops makes it a S.A. beer. Still nice and malty but not too much roastiness to it. The chocolate malt and the steeliness of the carmel malt are detectable.

The mouthfeel is fitting and makes it a sessionable highly drinkable porter. Could be more roasty, but a good porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2007 01:37:30 | More by Beeryce
Photo of tempest


4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nothing like a nice porter. Smells of rich chocolate cake. Smooth chocolate flavor with a bit of spice and mild dry bitter finish. Maybe the smoothest porter I've ever had. Can't quite put my finger on the spice, it's fairly light, but its definately there. I always look forward to this beer in the Sam winter pack.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2007 04:59:03 | More by tempest
Photo of ReDave


3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part of the holiday pack.

Pours a very dark brown. With a brownish cream head that actually sticks around for awhile. Nice lace as well.

Toasty [as in toast] aroma.

Tastes like a pretty good porter, not sure what the holiday part is, but this pack had a couple not so Holiday [at least in my view] beers, but that is OK! Some light chocolate, light hops, some nuttiness. Not too bad for pretty cheap beer. Costco had cases for like 18 bucks!!

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2007 04:07:40 | More by ReDave
Photo of BigRedN


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

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is near black with the pour producing a 1/2 inch off white head. As some time passes the head fades to a cover over the liquid. Some good lacing down the glass as I consume the beer.

Smell: Big on the malt aromas. Roasted malts, scents of chocolate, some roasted caramel. there does seem to be perhaps a hint of floral hop scent as the beer warms.

Taste: While it does not scream "malt bomb" that is what carries this beer. Nice roasted malts. Very lightly hopped finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, good carbonation giving it a lively feel keeping it from feeling "heavy". Touch prickly on the tongue, yet provides a slick, smooth finish.

Drinkability: Purchased the mix 12 pack with two of these in it. A bit of a shame as I'd like to be able to purchase a 6 of this during the winter months as a winter seasonal-type offering. A very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2007 05:42:28 | More by BigRedN
Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,153 ratings.