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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.

2,214 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,214
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 29
Gots: 89 | 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: 2,214 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jakester
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from the Winter Sampler case. I drank it in a goblet. Expiry date clearly notched on the label.

Pours a deep garnet/red with light brown tints. A nice, two finger head of tan foam forms on top. The head falls eventually to islands and a ring, with nice lacing.

Aroma is a wonderful combination of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and fruits like cherries and raisins. The smells of vanilla and chocolate go very well together. Floral hops are in the background.

Flavor is tasty chocolate, not real sweet, with notes of dark dried fruits like cherries and raisins. Vanilla comes through later, as does hop bitterness. Aftertaste is semi-sweet chocolate and floral hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, yet kind of dry to medium body. Carbonation is soft to medium, finish very slightly astringent.

The flavor doesn't quite match the great smell somehow, but this is still a very good porter, and a very good representation of the style. Recommended.

jakester, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of IntriqKen
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a creamy head that dissapates rather quickly. Dark copper, brown coloring in glass. Slight chocolate and carmel aromas. Mouthfeel is a little thin for a porter but nice, none the less. Smooth chocolate and toffee initial tastes with light alcohol feel in the back of throat. Nice carbonation...not forced at all. Hoppy aftertaste was a little surprising for a porter but nice.
This is a good intro to a porter....not to heavy and not bitter but with a hop taste that makes it nice and clean.
Very drinkable winter beer.
It is now the end of May, 2006 and I found another bottle of this brew in a store who obviously doesn't rotate their stock too well.
Anyway, the color, the pour, the head, the aroma, the mouthfeel...none of it suffered for age. It is still beautiful with no oxidation or off tastes.
It does, however, seem somewhat thicker in the mouth than it did before...a pleasant change.
Still like this stuff a lot...even more now than I did in December.

IntriqKen, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of WetCoaster
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear mahogany with an off-white head. Initially large and dense, but retreats to a thin collar quickly. Some lace. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: Hmmm... this I did not expect. Basically a liquid Heath bar; extremely dense nose of chocolate, caramel, toffee and butterscotch. Nice.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Chocolate sundae with butterscotch sauce, maybe? Sweet, although not cloying. Finishes with a brace of bittering hops and unsweetened chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium-ish and a bit lively.

Drinkability: Not a textbook porter, exactly, but a pretty tasty variation. I liked it.

WetCoaster, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of SteveO1231
4.7/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Still working on that Sam Holiday Pack!

Pours an opaque black, twinkle of purple highlight. Beautiful frothy tan head. Chunky bubbly lacing.

Very tempting aroma of roasted barley and chocolate malts. Hint of caramel and toffee.

Thick on the palate with a nice roasted malt flavor. Little bit of smooth sweetness, followed by a dry, bitter coffee finish. Nice roasty aftertaste clings to the tongue.

Very nice, I wish I could get this in a 6 pack.

SteveO1231, Nov 26, 2005
Photo of cubedbee
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a huge coffee colored head, nice retention, decent lacing. Nose is a nice chocolatey roast, a little sweet. Taste is malty, slightly roasted, with a slight milk chocolate and a caramel finish. Mouthfeel is pretty thin and slightly fizzy. This is an OK beer, not that great though, I prefer the winter warmers from the holiday pack.

cubedbee, Nov 25, 2005
Photo of TastyTaste
2.75/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Didn't try it last year, so I bought the sampler (with the cranberry "lambic") to do so.

Appearance: Extremely dark maroon body, barely lets any light through. Head rises up to about 1/2" and fades to a solid transparent layer on top of the beer.

Smell: Roasted and chocolatey, a little hops, maybe?

Taste: Malts don't play as big of a part as they should in this, a surprisingly large amount of the beer is definded by it's hoppy finish. Moderate chocolate malt. OK.

Mouthfeel: a little too thin, but not the worst I have had.

Drinkability: I don't think I will buy a sam adams sampler again, it is clearly not the best examples from this brewery.

TastyTaste, Nov 24, 2005
Photo of jmz62565
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very black color with a nice two finger creamy head that lasts.The smell is a little weak.There is a hint of coffee and malt,but not much else.The taste is malty,but not as coffee and chocolate filled as other porters.It tastes like a little like a cola.It's not bad,but there are other porters that are much better.The m/f is a little too light for me.This isn't a bad beer,and I would have it again,but compared to other poters it is a little weak.

jmz62565, Nov 24, 2005
Photo of kmcnair
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh boy, another from the 2005 Sam Adams Winter Gift Box.
Deep dark opaque brownish black color, very slight bit of a tan head and some fancy belgian lace. Aroma is rich roasted chocolate. Flavor opens with a rush of peppery spice from the earthy english hops and is dominated by dark bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee-like malts. Medium bodied and coats the palate with a layer of sweet caramel and finishes slightly dry. This is a really nice porter that I think I would pick up regularly if it were a year round offering.

kmcnair, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of babydoc
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part of the 2005 Holiday pack, this bottle was notched "Purchase before April" and cellared at forty-eight degrees. Poured syrupy, dark, molasses that let little light through. There were ruby tones when held up the the light. Generous two-finger spongy head was the color of frozen cola, and was rough and rocky as it disappeared long before the beer was gone.

Nose was disappointing- pleasant but just not a lot there- some roasted malt, a bit of molasses.

Chocolate flavors jump out from the start- both dark and sweet milk choclate, with roasted malts, a bit of hops at the finish, and a bit of metallic flavor finding it's way to diminish the finish. Mouthfeel had moderate carbonation, just a bit thin.

Despite that, I enjoyed this one and would go back for another. It's drinkable indeed.

babydoc, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of Mitchel
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This porter pours a dark, dark redish black with a creamy head that quickly disappears and leaves some lacing which sticks pretty well to the glass. It smells of chocolate, coffee and roasted malt which add to the overall drinkablity.

It tastes of caramel and molasses with light undertones of coffee. As always, it has that Sam Adams bite to it. It is a little spicy and is a relatively dry stout which could be excellent all year round. Chocolaty..mmm.

Mitchel, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of PSUDREW
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I really like this beer. Well balanced and great tasting. this makes for a great brew.

Pours a nice pitch-like color. It has a tanish head, and laces quite a bit. Very light, kinna piney nose. Over all, nice first impression

Tatse is a mixed bag....but in a good way, Carmel, roasted, matly, and balanced all in the same bag. The carmle plays very nicely with the roasted malts. There is some hop interaction, but, it is always in the backround.

Over all a very nice nrew. refershing, tasy, and drinkable. I implore Jim Koch to brew this year round.

PSUDREW, Nov 20, 2005
Photo of fromage
2.25/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Man, I've really not been impressed with this holiday mixer. I've tried them all at this point. They're just so bland!

Poured into a pint glass and allowed to warm. Dark brown, with a good deal of bubbling. Tan, foamy head that did last a while.

Smell was very mild apples and pears and a tiny bit of caramel. Not much to go on.

Taste was dissapointing as well, with just a little bittersweet bite, fairly astringent with some caramel, and a short finish. Not very complicated.

Mouthfeel was medium.

Drinkability not so high. I couldn't believe how little there was to this beer besides a bitter chocolate bite. Ok with PF Chang's Great Wall of Chocolate, but not enjoyable on its own.

fromage, Nov 19, 2005
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tonight was one of those nights. It's the first really butt-cold night of the year, my mind is a week ahead on food and beer, and I come home to a fridge full of beer. Do I go to the gym? No...too cold. But I DO feel like havin' me'self a mug o' porter! And this fits the bill. Pours a deep dark chocolatey brown. A hint of spices are notable in the nose, along with molasses and chocolate malt. Toffee and thick caramel find their way home, with mild notes of dark, bitter chocolate and some pine sap as well. Subtle hoppiness bitters slightly throughout. Carbonation nips the tip of the tongue and hangs there all throughout the aftertaste. Quite nice. Gulpable. One I see myself drinking throughout the holiday season.

IrishRedRock, Nov 18, 2005
Photo of shbobdb
4.4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, now this is a porter.

Like SA's Oktoberfest, there are better porters out there; however, unlike their Oktoberfest, none come to mind. I mean, I can picture the taste of those better porters, but not their names. Regardless, this is a niiice brew. It seems like it is actually brewed with chocolate malt, rather than pale malt with a pinch of black patent thrown in. Smooth, silky, delicious. One of the better porters I have had.

But I can't shake the feeling that I've had this beer before . . . Oh yeah, SA's Schwarzbier! How 'bout that? Swap the lager yeast for an ale yeast and maybe up the ratio of choclate to caramel malt and there ya go!

On second sip (well, OK, tenth), actually, it ain't the malt. Switch noble for english hops.


shbobdb, Nov 18, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of the mixed winter pack. 12 oz., best by April notched on the back and 5.9% ABV - served chilled in a nonic. Pours a black that doesn't really thin at the edges like most porters but has ruby highlights in the right light. It has an inch of beige head that is cratery when it recedes and leaves great lacing for the first half of the beer. The aroma is soft and complex, creamy and buttery, with caramel, sweet chocolate, roasted malts, sweetness, and some kinda spiciness (nutmeg?, spruce?) that is akin to Anchor's Special Ale. The flavor is not as strong, with additions of coffee and piney/spicy hops that leave a good bitterness. The body at first seems quite thick, but it is medium with a carbonation that is a bit high at times. Overall it's a quality beer and I wish it came in sixers.

mmmbeer, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of chOAKbarrell
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter tastes a lot like what their Fezziwig would, if it didnt have the orange peel & other spices added.

This is a great looking beer - very dark. Smells of chocolate malt. The taste is mildly chocolatey, with roastiness in the finish. Nicely medium-to-full bodied. Like I said about the Fezziwig ale, it would be great if they sold the Holiday porter by itself, because this one is certainly capable of standing on its own.

This is a fine above average porter from Samuel Adams.

chOAKbarrell, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of Tim460
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Holidy 12-pack
Pours a deep black with ruby highlights. Thick tan head that leaves large amounts of lacing on the glass. Smells of malt, chocolate, and caramel. Creamy chocolate taste, hops apparent which suprised me due to the style and no hints of it in the smell. Medium bodied, creamy as described earlier. Decent drinkability for a porter. I wansn't expecting much from this beer but was suprised by its taste and smell. A nice brew that I wish I could get in a six pack.

Tim460, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of mattcrill
2.98/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up as part of the beers of winter pack.

Appearance: Deep black pour with a tan pancake batter head. The head slowly fades and sticks to the glass.

Smell: Hmm...not much going on here. A bit of bready notes but it really falls short here.

Taste: A bittering chocolate taste immediately hits the palate. A touch of creamed coffee with a bittering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied and a tad slick. Lingers on the palate nicely.

Drinkability: Pretty smooth and easy. Nothing off but nothing to get excited about either. Worth a try.

mattcrill, Nov 15, 2005
Photo of metallistout
4.78/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this one up in a Sam Adams Holiday 12 pack.

Pours a chocolate brown with a tint of red showing through, with a tan foamy, creamy head.

Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, and caramel.

Taste of roasted matls and chocolate and a very surprising hop flavor, not usually as powerfull on most porter brews.

I must say this truly a delicious porter. When you get this hop flavor mixed with the porter malt flavor, this becomes an excellant combo.

metallistout, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours mahogony to black, barely letting light pass. Tan head was huge anf fluffy but settled down to a 1/4" head half way through the glass and held up the rest of the way with good lacing all the way down.

Smell: Some molasess and raisin with hints of choclate and alcohol

Taste: Smoothness and a pricklyness that showcases choclate, fruitiness and bitterness under the tounge and down the throat. Goes down well on a cool (not cold suprsingly) november night in colorado.

Mouthfeel is lacking a little more malt kick to balance the carbonation level.

This is one of my favorite SA beers, wish I didn't have to buy the winter 12 pack to get at it, but the addition of the black lager & the price ($10.50) are making this a sweet deal

I could drink this well into the night if it were my only choice

russpowell, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of grindcore666
2.58/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with a small quickly fading head. No sign of it 10 seconds later. Looks like a flat coke.

Smells kinda sour and pissy, akin to the smell of a starfish. All I can dig out of this one is cranberry and light molasses, and nasty ocean water.

Has a little roast to it. The sour muskiness from the aroma is carried over unfortunately. I get a little fruity tang to this. Aftertaste is a plus, dry dark fruit.

New flavors, but I was still unimpressed with this one. Probably won't have this one very often.

grindcore666, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of Stimack
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew pours to a dark brown color, actually hedging on black with a thick foamy dark tan head that has incredible retention and leaves thick chunky lacing down the sides of the glass. It has an aroma of sweet caramel and chocolate from the malt, a very nice smelling brew. The taste is very good with its roasted characteristics up front the break to chocolate and coffee like tastes. Pretty dry mouth feel. Over all this is a very good brew, wish I could get it by it self.

Stimack, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of Naes
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This porter pours out black with a bit of reddish hues around the edges. Its head is a tall frothy layer of tan foam.
The aroma is roasty with a bit of chocolate as well.
Its flavor goes well with the aroma. Roasted malt with chocolate and a nice mild hop presence throughout. There are also caramel malt tones in the mix as well.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and a bit over carbonated, though it remains quite drinkable.

Naes, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of silenius
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought this as part of the Holiday 12 pack for $13.99 at the supermarket. It's probably been years since I've bought beer at a supermarket!

Pours a dark brown that allows a little light through. Not dark as a strong cup of coffee, but pretty good. Head is a nice warm brown that quickly settles and leaves a little lacing. Looks a little like a really dark cola to me.

Smell is roast light brown sugar, a little coffee and a moderate dose of hops.

Taste is a nice roasty coffee flavor with a hint of dark spices and hops. Ends with a strange dry cardboard aftertaste that I'm not all that fond of. Half point deduction for that.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and the carbonation bites a bit.

I suppose this is a pretty good Christmas party beer that doesn't make me want to sit by myself and drink it.

silenius, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of Fugazme
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pretty black. Not opaque. Lot's of ruby showing around the edges with some brown. 1/2" tan head. Stays pretty well. Dissipates slowly. Nice lacing.

First whiff is chocolatey with a touch of cinnamon. Second is a bit spicier. Some faint earth tones, as well. Roasty!

A touch chalky, but decent mouthfeel.

Very chocolatey flavor. Malty but slightly hoppy on the back end. This beer lingers. I'd buy again.

Fugazme, Nov 02, 2005
Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,214 ratings.