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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.

2,227 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,227
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 38
Gots: 106 | 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:
Beer added by: DFN on 10-17-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,227 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mnesporov
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: A deep, dark black allowing almost no light through, with a large creamy frothy head.

Smell: Soft full of roast malts and coffee with almost kind of burnt smell to it.

Taste: A great hoppy taste with a kick of roasted malts and dark chocolates and coffee overtures with a subtle bit of dark molasses and sweetness. Also had that distinctive twang that I’ve come to love about Sam Adams

Mouth-Feel: A sizzling mouth with a crispness that I found surprisingly pleasant and a good hoppy finish.

Drink-Ability: Another great one by Sam Adams

Photo of BeefyMee
4.26/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Okay Sam Adams let me see your porter...

Appearance: A picture perfect pint. Two finger head rose right to the top of the glass without me even trying. Body is an opaque black/brown that turns to ruby red when held up to light. Nice webbing of foam down the side of the glass as i drink.

Smell: Very, very chocolatey. Almost seems like a Rogue Chocolate Stout.

Taste: Gets a little more complex here. Chocolate still remains the dominant flavor but it is accompanied by notes of coffee and burnt caramel. An added sugary sweetness is a pleasant surprise that makes this a hard beer to put down (in the literal sense).

Mouthfeel: Tingly and not quite substantial enough. Seems to be the only point where this beer loses some ground. I could have used some of that velvety Rogueness right here, but overall it's not bad.

Drinkability: Good marks here. I could drink this one all night, which is high praise for such a rich beer. Never gets too cloying and goes down oh so easily.

Beef Notes: Man I wish they made this one year round. Definitely one of the better porters I've had recently. Do not miss this beer if you can find it during the holiday season.

Photo of rebel1771
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with a beautiful reddish tint around the edges of the glass when held to the light. Pours with a big frothy head.

Aromas of chocolate, caramel and candied fruit dominate the nose of this beer.

The flavor of caramel is the first thing you notice with this beer along with a slight bitterness. It finishes with a dry chocolate and candied fruit flavor.

I have to say that I enjoyed this brew quite a bit, in fact I think I'll have a couple more.

Photo of NEhophead
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a nonic.
Enjoy before 04.2007.

Deep, maple brown in color with underlying shades of coal. Creamy, light brown head that slowly recedes to an intact, bubbly sheet. Webbed lacing with good strength down half of the nonic.

Sweet caramel and pleasant toffee aroma. An inviting, not quite dry nutty profile: hazlenut, peanut, and nutmeg. Slightly sweet hints of vanilla.

Sweet toffee and peanut brittle engulfed by a rich & robust roasted malt character. The sweetness is gaseous with artificial hints of lasting vanilla. A rough bitterness filled with floral hops leads to a dry finish. The aftertaste is of milk chocolate, toffee, and dried hazlenuts.

Full bodied; rich and chewy, but very harsh on the palate due to the aggressive hop presence.

A flavorful American Porter that tastes artificially sweetened at times. Not my favorite version of the style, but I wouldn't mind having another.

Photo of Budlum
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pouring this beer produces one inch of creamy, tan head. The head is retained nicely with a decent collection held on the side of the glass. The body is a relatively heavy shade of black with a lot of red colors visible.

The nose is quite simple yet still a good porter smell. A roasted barley smell leads in to a smooth chocolate and vanilla blend before a touch of hops at the close. This is much sweeter on the nose than many other porters.

A strong, roasted barley flavor leads off this beer and holds for an entire sip. Hops are plentiful throughout and add a very appropriate bitterness to the all around sweetness of this beer. The finish is rich with chocolate and a strong hop taste. This is a very solid porter.

The mouth presence of this beer is lightly carbonated and has an appropriate thickness for the style.

Drinkability is quite good for this porter. It is definitely not a leader for the style but it is just a solid beer that is easy to enjoy.

Photo of allergictomacros
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Medium tan head over dark, dark, dark liquid.

S - Fruity with some espresso notes.

T - Dark, roasted malts and slight tartness. Mild roasted bitterness in the back with a spicy note. Some coffee as well. Pretty much a basic porter.

M - Maybe a touch on the light side.

D - Tasty, but nothing special. I would chalk this up as yet another porter.

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

A: Pours a thin, looking chocolaty auburn color. Not as thick as your average porter. Head is nice, decently lumpy raw oatmeal color. Its leaving creamy rings behind after every sip.

S: Berries, caramel, chocolate pudding and a bit of roasted coffee beans.

T: Very caramely with marionberry sweetness. Really is a lot like how it smells. Lot of milk chocoloate flavors swirling around as well with smidgeons of butterscotch and vanilla. Moves towards a buttery coffee taste which gently ramps up then finishes with brown sugar and lingers roasted grains.

M: Medium body, full mouthfeel with a good carbonation.

D: I like this beer. Good flavor, well balanced with just the right amount of bitterness.

Photo of gubbt
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a small brown head that dissapears quickly.

Aroma is faint with notes of chocolate and burnt caramel.

Taste follows the smell. There is some chocolate at the tip of the tongue that shifts into a deep roasted caramel flavor that seems to be prevalent in a lot of Sam Adams beers. This then transitions into a slightly bitter somewhat sweet finish where the English hops are noticeable. Big malt character overall.

Mouthfeel is a little watery with tame carbonation that provides a very drinkable beer.

This is a nice changeup from the hop bombs I have been drinking and what I have been craving in these winter months: a nice malty, smooth ale. My favorite out of the holiday pack. Bottoms up!

Photo of Procrastinator
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from holiday 12-pack poured into nonic pint glass. March 2007 best before date on neck band.

Appearance: midnight brown with ruby hues. 2" head after vigorous pour rests into pillowy soft concentrated head with lacing.

Smell: sweet, burnt barley. Bitter coffee.

Taste: semi-sweet, nicely balanced malt sweetness with hop bitterness. Caramel and buttery sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, nice small bubble carbonation. A bit slick on the tongue.

Drinkability: a good drinking beer. Not too harsh with the bitterness
nor too sweet with the malt.

I've had this beer dozens of times thoughout the years. This is a nice well-rounded porter that always leaves me satisfied.

Photo of plaid75
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep murky brown hue with a one finger creamy off white head. There was decent retention and good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a sweet caramel malt with hints of chocolate malt and burnt grain.

The taste consisted of a mildly sweet caramel and a solid coffee and burnt grain flavor. Soft cocoa element and floral hop apparent as well. Mild diacetyl.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness with a good dry finish.

Overall a very good porter. Certainly quaffable and recommended.

Photo of JimFalzone
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best beer in the holiday 12-pack. It's a nice smooth porter with hints of toasted malts and carmel. It's a nice rich, dark brown color with a light frothy head. Head retention is not great, but it's somewhat typical of other American porters I have tried. The after taste on your tongue and mouth is sweet and very slightly smokey. (Not as clear as a smoked porter, it's very subtle.) It's definitely a good beer to enjoy while wrapping Christmas presents in front of the fire. And unlike a barleywine, you can comfortable enjoy three or four of them.

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

This beer pours a dark amber brown color with a tan head that starts out about an inch thick before settling to about 1/4 of an inch. Leaves some nice lacing too. Has sort of roasty, malty aromas of chocolate, caramel, and coffee are dominant along with some spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Has a somewhat sweet flavors of chocolate and coffee upfront followed by the aforementioned spices. Also has a definite hop presence. Fairly good balance. Has a medium body with light to medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and crisp and the beer is quite easy to drink. A good effort indeed!


Photo of Drew966
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter pours a dark brown with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There's chocolate and coffee in the aroma. The flavor also has chocolate and coffee notes, but there are strong hop flavors right in the middle. An Americanized porter that is pretty decent. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of Adamthome1
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near perfect black with good head retention. Smells like rich, nutty, and aged just as it should.

Taste is a good mix of roasted nut, chocolate, and a rich consistancy. Bitterness is noted in the aftertaste and I think is about a perfect amount for the category. Very complex flavors coming out on the palate, this immense flavor was unexpected.

Comes in at a hefty 5.9% ABV, but alcohol is not overly noticable. Worth a try.

Photo of athensbeermaster
2.23/5  rDev -40.1%
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.

Photo of Neehan
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured a very dark, near-black with a very thin head, but some lacing and thickness in consistency. The taste of dark, burnt roasted malts with a hint of sweetness. Dominated by the burnt character. The mouthfeel is quite strong with a high, burning carbonation that has a warming effect that is pleasant, but will make you wait between sips.

Photo of RustythePelican
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am probably not adequately versed in porters to give this a review according to the style. However, I know what I like, and I enjoyed this beer. Smell was of cocoa, coffee, and a hint of berries. The taste was lighter and sweeter than I expected, with a mild honey finish. Mouthfeel was also lighter than I expected; this is not a beer that coats the tongue, which makes it a good choice for holiday session drinking. Overall, another nice beer from Boston Beer Co.

Photo of Saint
4.57/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Amazing. Simply amazing. It has a beautiful and robust grouping of flavors. It is sweetly caramel in flavor, has a yet a nice crisp spice, almost resembling of nutmeg, but best of all is that it finishes out with a smooth chocolaty flavor. The smooth chocolate flavor comes with a fine velvet feel at the end. The beer is stunning, it tastes as though it is significantly more pricey beer then would be featured in a winter variety mix pack.

Photo of coasterfreak75
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The pour was pitch black with a nice two finger beige head that quickly dissapated and left a very thin ring around the top of the beer. Little or no lacing on the glass.

The smell was quite malty with a mix of cocoa and slight coffee aromas. I was suprised by the strength of the hop aroma mixed in the smell.

The drink starts kind of empty and thin with flavors that are hard to pick up, even as it warms. The middle is a light hop spice followed by a nice malt/coffee finish with just a hint of caramel flavor in the end.

All and all quite a good beer, I was just a little let down by the start of the drink. I was hoping for something a little heavier. But I do recommend it.

Photo of arnulfooxblood
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle.

Appearance--nice and dark, decent tan frothy head.

Smell--notable roasted malts, faint cocoa aromas. Not bad.

Taste/Mouthfelle--Good carbonation, fairly thick mouthfeel. The flavors are not as pronounced as I would hope. Tastewise, unfortunately, I think it falls a little flat for an American Porter.

Drinkability--Goes down easy enough, but the weak taste leaves me wanting something else.

Overall--not too bad, but certainly not the best porter I've ever had.

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

a - poured a two fingers thick coffee-colored head into a tumbler. body is black with red hints that make look almost dark purple. nice sheeting action with sticky lace throughout.
s - light chocolate malt with a little spice to it. maybe cinnamon? as it warms caramel tones come through.
t - once again a light chocolate tone with a little caramel in the finish.
m - crisp hop bite to it and a slick mouthfeel.
d - really a nice winter brew. i may have started it out too cold because as it neared room temperature the tastes and scents really came through.

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

Presentation: 12 ounce standard brown glass bottle with a shoulder embossed with a brace of “Sam Adams” text sealed with a gold colored crown cap. The main label looks very similar to the one pictured on BA. ‘Holiday Porter’ is in white text set against a gold edge red sash. As with the ‘Old Fezziwig Ale’, the main label is heavily influenced by Dickensian London with all of its Victorian connotations, a tall chap seems to be delivering a wooden Cask of Holiday Porter to a Tavern. Has a nicked “APR” Brewery Fresh Date and a listed Strength of 5.9% ABV.

Appearance: Jet black body, oh but wait, no, a strong light will produce some thick mahogany flashes, claret like with a burgundy clarity. The head is massive on the pour, a thick tan colored uneven cap soon drops to leave some fantastic looking side wall lacing; a gentle swirl reveals the finely dissolved conditioning and recaptures the crusty head lacing on the glass walls and pulls them back into the body of the beer to recycle them and produce a more uniform ½”thick disc that remains with an envious longevity. Superb looks.

Nose: The malts that escape in vapor form are heavily roasted. The background is of dark chocolate. The finish is of walnuts and caramel.

Taste: Roasted malts are tempered with a toasted backdrop in the beginning. Walnut encrusted Bourneville dark chocolate fills the middle; whilst ember roasted Horse Chestnuts dryness slakes the plate. A chocolate bitterness, no doubt influenced from the Fuggles and East Kent Goldings, breaks the smoothness and leaves a very attractive defined lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Gorgeous creamy body with an above average thickness that assists in enabling the Holiday Porter to exhibit a rich smoothness.

Drinkability: My first bottle was quite literally quaffed in several mouthfuls. The second bottle afforded me some respite to analyze the Drinkability of the Holiday Porter….so yeah, it is rather quaffable…..a terrific “Session Porter” for the Holiday season. Man I love this stuff.

Overall: If I could I’d be picking this one up in Six-Packs tomorrow, hell I’d even buy a case of this terrific Session Porter!!! I’d even be tempted to pick up another Winter Classic Case…well, except for “that” beer, you know, that l….l…l..l..lam…..nah, I can’t even bring myself to say it. Note to Jim: please put four of these in next years Winter Pack and ditch the Turkey Juice.

Photo of Backer2004
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Like many others, picked this up as part of the winter mix pack from Sam Adam's. My smartest move was letting it sit at room temperature about 20 minutes before diving into it. Not sure what's so holiday about it, but it's a pretty good porter on all parts. Lots of caramel, chocolate nose and taste. Easy to drink with a creamy mouthfeel. A great example for someone just getting into this style of beer.

Photo of Dizzy
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a reddish tint. Creamy tan head with lots of lacing, great head retention. Smells like chocolate and coffee. Taste is roasted malt and chocolate. Medium body. This is probably my favorite Sam Adam's beer so far. It's too bad you have to buy the holiday twelve pack to get two of these.

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

Attractive dark brown, keeping a thin film of head for the full term. Nice sheeting lacework. Roasty, nutty aroma, rich with malt and very smooth. Silky coffee with mild english hop undertones. The flavor is smooth and roasty, with caramel sweetness balanced by subtle herbal hops and coffee roastiness. A bit of plum fruitiness rounds things out. Melllow, english-styled carbonation. Lightish body. I'd call this beer exactly to style, nothing more, nothing less. What it lacks in adventurousness, it more than makes up for in tastiness. Probably my second favorite in the holiday variety pack, or equal to the black lager.

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,227 ratings.