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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.

2,176 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,176
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 21
Gots: 66 | 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: 2,176 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pweis909


3.83/5  rDev +3%

The third seasonal brew I've tried from my SA winter mix pack.

A- This one pours dark, chocolate, paque, with coffe tawny foam. The head dissapates fast.

S-Some fruitiness and chocolate in the nose, not too intense

T-Fuit and chocolate in the mouth as well. Mild hopping. Slightly sour finish. There seems to be a lot going on here, but nothing intense. A little hard to tease out and put a name on the different taste elements

M - Full bodied

D- I like this one, but I might get tired of it. The various tastes as tough to find, so I could see myself losing patience.

11-16-2006 17:49:49 | More by pweis909
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +8.3%

Part of the 2006 Winter Sampler... fresh through March of next year. Served in an imperial pint glass at cellar temperature.

Appearance- This beer is a very rich mix of brown and caramel red that displays beautiful nuances as it pours along the inside of the glass. The bold three finger head shows some fine structure... after several minutes in the glass, it remains a soapy mass that drapes walls of lacing the whole way down. Really nice on the eyes.

Smell- The strongest aroma here is clearly chocolate malts, with some fainter suggestions of the others and what smells like molasses. Not as burnt of a nose as some other popular porters from the Northeast.

Taste- Here's where the props come... the seamless integration of caramel, Munich, and chocolate malts work better here than the aroma. Dark and full, the flavors combine and never outdo each other... in the middle, the hops begin their drying bitterness, and in the end we have a feeling of roasted coffee and dark, bitter chocolate along with a bone dry English hops.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Lately it seems that Sam Adams' beers have a superb handle on mouthfeel... this one really shines, with a silky texture with barely noticeable carbonation that just rolls like seafoam. The light, airy weight is perfect and certainly carries the true character of an American Porter, with its effortless drinkability over an entire session. Smooth.

11-16-2006 04:21:38 | More by yelterdow
Photo of mnj21655


4.1/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours nearly black with hints of ruby around the edges and a nice two-finger fluffy light brown head and great lacing. Smells of roasted chocolate malts and hints of coffee. Tastes much like the smell raosted dark chocolate malts that add a hint of bitterness and some spices. Nice, smooth mouthfeel that is smooth and creamy. Body was solid enough to let you know it was there without being too heavy. Drinkability is great. I can certainly see how this is great for a winter's day but I would enjoy drinking this tasty porter year-round.

11-16-2006 01:57:45 | More by mnj21655
Photo of dustylong


3.48/5  rDev -6.5%

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with nice, thick, creamy head, and very good retention and lacing to match (poured from a bottle into a mug). Has a very malty smell to it with a hint of chocolate and caramel. The taste is also very malty with more than a hint of coffee. Toasty. Strong after-taste. Feels very thick, and heavy in the mouth, although there are thicker porters i've had. Overall a good beer. I was kind of disappointed with a few of the other Sam Adams holiday beers, so I didn't get my hopes up...but it ended up being one of the better ones in the mix pack.

11-15-2006 03:57:26 | More by dustylong
Photo of EPseja

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +2.2%

Served from a 12oz bottle in a pint glass at just below cellar temperature. Best by April 2007... a nice fresh bottle.

A - Deep, clear burnt umber color with dark ruby port highlights. Head rises slowly and steadily to a full inch; sand in color, rocky in texture. Staying power is very good. Lacing is fantastic.

S - Toasty caramel malts laced with molasses. Faint flowery hoppiness and light chocolate notes. Some wet cardboard. Good balance overall.

T - Sweet, roasted malts and dark chocolate start off the taste. The middle reveals dark figs and some alcohol. The back of the tongue perceives a nice, crisp bitterness that follows all the way through the swallow. Medium dry.

M - Nice and tingly on the way in, rising to a dense froth that makes it seem very dessert-like. Viscous, satisfying swallow.

D - Another reason to look forward to the coming of winter -- Sam Adams' Holiday Porter. A very nice take on the style, and one that I wish they would sell in sixers. Easy to drink, easier to enjoy.

11-15-2006 02:10:08 | More by EPseja
Photo of eberkman


3.8/5  rDev +2.2%

Appearance: Dark brown with red highlights visible when held up to a light. Nice creamy light-brown head which left its lacing and seemed to hold up.

Smell: Malty sweetness with an aroma of dark chocolate and dark fruit.

Taste: Again, malty sweetness with a slightlier hoppy finish, brief sweet aftertaste and a lingering mild hoppy bitterness on the back of my tongue. Very pleasant -- definitely spicier and hoppier than other porters I've had recently.

Mouthfeel: Thick-bodied and chewy. Very satisfying. A big beer in presence of not necessarily in alcohol content.

Drinkability: nice drinkability. I especially like the lingering hop bitterness that remains after each sip.

Overall, I'd probably buy this again if it was available on its own, I was looking for a good porter at a reasonable price, and I couldn't find any Sierra Nevada porter. And I really can't see why this isn't available on its own, as I didn't detect anything particularly "wintery" or "holiday" about it -- certainly none of the egg-nog-in-a-bottle spicing you typically associate with a winter warmer type beer. Why not just call it Samuel Adams Porter and make it available year-round?

11-13-2006 03:46:50 | More by eberkman
Photo of veech


3.63/5  rDev -2.4%

This is a mild but just flavorful enough to be enjoyable porter that was in the winter classics 12 pack from Sam Adams. A: medium to dark brown with thin head and transitory lacing. S: Very mild chocolate malts with a hint of coffee comes through late on the palate. T: Very smotth with a pleasant chocolately bitterness that is complimented by the light hop finish. M: A little thin for a porter but it didn't really detract from the enjoyment of the beer. D: A very drinkable porter, I just wish the 12 pack had more than one bottle in it.

11-12-2006 20:32:06 | More by veech
Photo of xav33


3.3/5  rDev -11.3%

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter
12 oz bottle
Best before 04/07, Portaged 11/06
Medium pour in an English pint.

Poured black with mahogany highlights with an average light brown frothy somewhat diminishing head with good lacing.

Smelt of moderate sweet licorice, toffee, dark chocolate, smokiness.

Taste was upfront moderate sweet black licorice with light bitter roast followed by a moderate dark chocolate, dark soil and vanilla on an average length bitter coffee finish. Palate was medium to full bodied, velvety and creamy, softly carbonated with light astringency.

Overall, this porter turns harshly from sweet to bitter, and shows too much schizophrenic character to be truly enjoyed.

11-11-2006 06:02:52 | More by xav33
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -2.4%

Chocolaty brown color under a cocoa brown head. Nice retention. When the head does fade it leaves a bit of sheety lace. Nose is full of smooth caramel and chocolate, slightly nutty and lightly vanilla. Flavor matches well. Its a bit more roasty, and this plus the bitter hoppiness contrast the sweet malts rather well. Mouthfeel is decent. Smooth and soft, with a full-medium body. The light prickly carbonation meshes well with the bitter finish.

A friendly, easy drinking porter...

11-10-2006 01:55:30 | More by tastybeer
Photo of Blakaeris


3.03/5  rDev -18.5%

Pours deep chocolate brown with a massive tan head that leaves wonderful sheets of lacing.

Smell is nutty, chocolatey, with herbal hops. Overall though, aroma is rather mild for the style.

Taste is similiar to the nose, with the addition of roasted malt and a touch of dark fruit. Finish has more hops than expected, once again with an herbal quality. There is also a lingering spicyness.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. On the thin side.

I found this beer to beer a mediocre example of a porter. It looks great, but the flavor is weak and meandering. Drinkable and innoffensive, but there's nothing to get excited about here. Let this one warm or you won't hardly get any flavor at all.

11-10-2006 00:38:14 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of edskirk3


3.73/5  rDev +0.3%

Enjoy by March 2007.

Pours translucently opaque black with ruby accents. Thin, creamy light tan head does not last long; minimal lacing. Aroma of toasty/burnt malt. It tastes the same, with features of bitter coffee.

Mouthfeel isn't too heavy, and at the end I am left with a bitterness-of-coffee aftertaste.

I don't really see what's so "holiday" about this porter. I mean, it's a good porter and all. Boston Beer Company could make this all year round if they wanted to. Yuengling does it.

11-09-2006 04:03:47 | More by edskirk3
Photo of bashiba


3.03/5  rDev -18.5%

Poured a nice dark black with an inch of tan head that was quickly gone.

Smell was light with just a bit of bitter burnt malts.

Taste had a very burnt bitter taste with some coffee hints, but was dominated by the burnt malt flavor.

Mouthfeel was light yet creamy.

Not a bad porter, just a little the simple and boring side.

11-08-2006 22:34:21 | More by bashiba
Photo of adam42381


4.13/5  rDev +11%

Appearance: Pours a near-black, coffee-like color with a nice, dark cream 1-2 finger head. Lacing doesn't dissipate too quickly.

Smell: Smell is quite faint but nice enough. Has a bitter-sweet aroma that reminds me of coffee with caramel.

Taste: Excellent mix of chocolate and coffee with a slight hint of citrus. Very enjoyable bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Not as heavy as a lot of porters, which I actually prefer. Quite nice.

Drinkability: I'd say that it has high drinkability. Not a beer you want to pound a lot of, but a good beer to enjoy on a crisp evening.

Overall: I'm very happy with this offering from Samuel Adams. An excellent offering from the Winter Mix pack. I only wish it were available all year. Very good porter and I would highly recommend.

11-05-2006 18:49:06 | More by adam42381
Photo of MrHurmateeowish


3.85/5  rDev +3.5%

Very dark brown almost black nearly opaque body with a couple fingers of head and a few ruby-red highlights. Smells roasty and hoppy, but not very strong. Tastes roasty and chocolatey... Flavor isn't overwealming like a normal robust porter, but very tasty and enjoyable. Body isn't as full as some robust porters either... Definitely a solid porter. Reminds me in some ways of Geary's London Porter if you can find it. Yummy.

11-03-2006 02:15:54 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of edchicma


4.1/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours a dark caramel bron with a small head, but very nice lacing. Smell is coffee, malt, molasses...nice on the nose. Taste is hints of coffee, chocolate...not overly cloying. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slight creaminess, yet with a slightly dry finish. Very refreshing and smooth..a definite recommend.

11-01-2006 00:03:44 | More by edchicma
Photo of AustinBeerLvr


4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

I am not usually a huge fan of porter beers. (Please nobody send me an e-mail telling me I am wuss for that!)

This however, I found to be a very good brew. It pours a jet black appearence with a huge amount of head. The smell was very much choclate and toffee. This porter's taste is what differentiates it from other porters in that it has a very nice balance between the choclate and coffee flavors that get rounded out nicely at the end by a somewhat clean malt. Additionally, the mouthfeel may not be heavy enough for some, but for me, I thought it was just about right at it wasn't too heavy to make it's drinkability lower.

Another awesome brew in the Sam Adam's winter mix pack. In my opinion, they should just replaced all the other brews and put six of these in there and six of the Old Fezziwig Ales in there. I hope the BBC keeps em coming with these kick ass brews!

10-26-2006 03:50:31 | More by AustinBeerLvr
Photo of gunnerman


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%

Poured into a glass, pours a black color with a reddish tint that has a awesome head that leaves nice lace to the glass. Smell is bitter sweet malt. Taste is a very strong coffee with some hop bitterness in there as well, I can see why they call it a Holiday porter it would really warm you up on a cold winter day. Very robust and full flavored and a good addition to the Holiday pack from Sam Adams.

10-25-2006 22:29:50 | More by gunnerman
Photo of treehugger02010


3.85/5  rDev +3.5%

A good solid beer. It looked like an Irish Stout, and didn't have much of an aroma (or at least that I sense). I poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It left a bunch of lace, that ended up being really sticky. I got it in a Winter Classics case, and am happy about it because I don't think I could drink an entire case of it. Don't drink and review.

10-08-2006 00:11:07 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of rarevos

New York

4/5  rDev +7.5%

A: Very dark brown, and a bit amberish-brown at the edges. Very pronounced tan head that takes its time to dissipate, becomes very light lacing.

S: Roasty, hint of chocolate. There's a trace of citrus in the nose, but it's not dominant. A little spice. Cinnamon?

T: A slight hint of cocoa with marshmallow in it. Lightly bitter finish. Dry, warming.

M: Medium-bodied and very smooth.

D: There's nothing really "holiday"-like about this, but it's a pretty tasty porter regardless of the name. Very drinkable porter.

09-05-2006 02:57:21 | More by rarevos
Photo of UncleJimbo


4.13/5  rDev +11%

12 oz bottle.

This porter poured a deep brown (almost opaque) color with reddish highlights. The foam was tall and creamy and light brown, and it persisted and left some lacing. The smell was strongly malty with some yeastiness together with resinous hoppiness. The taste was richly malty with complex flavors: some chocolate and hints of fruitiness. There was a goody hoppiness to balance. The mouthfeel was dry and creamy and smooth with medium-full body and good carbonation. The finish was dry and spicy. This was a very nice holiday porter.

09-04-2006 20:49:09 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.78/5  rDev +1.6%

Best by April 2006.


Pours a pitch black ichor with minimal head on top that is mainly tan.


Hot cocoa/coffee with ripe fig/raisin overtones. Dark rich and inviting, smells fantastic.


Thin bodied with sweetened coffee flavors coupled with a rich raisin background. Finish is slightly alkaline, though it brings you back for more.

07-30-2006 14:30:53 | More by cbl2
Photo of AaronHomoya


4/5  rDev +7.5%

12 oz brown bottle from holiday mix-pack.

The holiday porter has a decent head and appears a near-black, very dark brown color. The aroma is nice and sweet and roasty. The taste follows with malty sweetness followed by roasted flavors and finished with some hops at the end. Mouthfeel is clean and medium to light bodied. This is a very drinkable beer, probably my favorite from the mix-pack, and overall solid.

06-29-2006 22:16:48 | More by AaronHomoya
Photo of bort11


2.73/5  rDev -26.6%

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.

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


4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Into a Guiness glass, pours a near black, slight ruby hues around the edges, with light tan head and lots of streaky/bubbly lacing down the glass. Aroma is thick, molasses, roasted malt, faint dark fruits, and toffee. Taste has an astringent quality to it, burnt malts, with molasses and dark fruits, a warming feel to it, finishing with hints of chocolate and toffee. A beer to look forward to (though, a bit odd to drink in May).

05-16-2006 21:54:28 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of ism

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +6.2%

Nearly opaque black body with mahogany highlights, topped with a creamy mocha head that leaves nice lacing along the glass. Good retention. Nose is sweet, chocolate malt and currants and berries, just enough hop to make itself known. Hits the tongue with gently moderate carobnation, a nice medium body, roasted malt, chocolate, raisins, somewhat buttery. Good on the way down with a crisp bitterness, and other fruits emerging, the hops pronounced a bit more than usual for the style, but in a good way.

Doesn't quite pack it like others of the style, but pleasurable in not being overpowering with sweet thickness. Makes for a nice, relaxing end to a winter workday.

03-21-2006 03:38:38 | More by ism
Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,176 ratings.