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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Honey PorterSamuel Adams Honey Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

884 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 884
Reviews: 634
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 33
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.45% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 884 | Reviews: 634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of malcontent
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%

Deep chocolate brown although not the black that I typically look for. Thin layer of head dissipates within minutes.

Top-notch aromas of bitter roasted malt kissed with a generous portion of honey. Honey grows even more intense as the beer warms some.

Bitter chocolate kick starts with a roasted then sweet body taking over. Sweetness is unmistakably honey prior to hints of marshmallow and coffee surfacing. Spicy hops wind things down for what is a pretty darn good brew.

Mouthfeel is full (although not creamy per se) with plenty of tannic dextrins. The sweetness limits drinkability a bit but overall it's such a well-made beer that it can be overlooked. Great offering from SA. Should be a year-rounder...

malcontent, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of littleshamrocks
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%

12oz brown bottle with an enjoy before date notched on the label. Served in a Samuel Adams specialty pint.

Pours dark brown with two fingers of creamy tan head. Some ruby undertones and lively carbonation bubbles can be seen when held to direct light. The head slowly diminishes leaving behind an impressive amount of sticky lace. The nose yields a pleasant combination of roasted malt, sweet raw honey, spicy hop bitterness, and a hint of nuts. The flavor is very much as advertised in the smell with the roasted malts, floral/herbal hop flavor, an infusion of honey/honeycomb from middle to end, and a roasty/nutty/chocolate/coffee malt finish. A fair amount of hop bitterness serves to help in the balancing. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a mostly smooth texture, an appropriate measure of carbonation, and a well rounded finish.

This is a praiseworthy example of one of my personal favorite styles. It takes the classic robust porter and gives it a twist. The honey not only serves to balance out the roasted malt, but it is also darn tasty. Throw in the hops and this brew adeptly balances between three separate aspects, with the malts taking the desired lead. I mostly enjoyed the fullness of body and taste, as well as the uniqueness of the overall flavor. I think this would appeal more to those with an open palate, for it is not for the faint of heart. I would certainly welcome another and I would feel comfortable recommending this to anyone wanting to try a well made beer with a strong honey presence.

littleshamrocks, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%

A: Pours a dark ruby red color with a thick rocky cherry tan head.

S: The nose bursts with sweet honey and cinnamon bread.

T: The flavor is sweet honey malt, cinnamon, with some sweet heresy chocolate notes. The palate is light per style, and very sweet and finishes with a sweet chocolate smoked woody flavor. There is also some sweet burbon hints sneaking through that finishes out this beer. A really sweet porter style with a good roasted character. Pretty impressed with this beer for what it is and one that stands out in the sam adams line.Overall a solid brew that may be a tad sweet for some, but hey that's just the style.

M: oily with a smooth texture and viscosity from the honey with very good dark roasted malt and chocolate coming through upon warming.

D: good drinkability and roasted malt character.
sweetness may limit mulitiples but nice in moderation.

beerthulhu, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of hardy008
2.53/5  rDev -31.1%

Appearance - dark, lets some light through, a foamy off white head which stays throughout

Smell - roasted malt with honey

taste - sweet with some bitterness and a bit of a burnt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - sticky mouthfeel, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - ok, nothing special.

hardy008, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of milesfan76
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%

12oz. bottle poured into the appropriate Sam Adams pint glass...

A: Pours fairly black but lets light through. Two-finger tannish head that retains and clings niceley.

S: Gave it a 3 for smell because it's not real strong. What I do smell is mostly honey (surprise, surprise) and a little bit of roasted malt.

T: Malts are more prominent here than in the smell. Honey is present here too, but more with more balance between it and the malts. Not much in the way of hops.

M: Fairly light-bodied for a porter, nice carbonation level.

D: Quite drinkable. I would session this if I had bought more than one bottle.

Overall a solid porter, definitely worth buying again.

milesfan76, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of IntriqKen
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%

A coffee/amber color in the glass is topped with a very respectible off-white 2 fingers of foam that leaves very sticky lacing in it's wake.

Aromas of toasted amber malt with just a hint of citrus at the end.

Taste is sweetly toasted malt with bits of coffee and dark, bitter chocolate. The honey smooths everything together and takes out any possibility of a bite in this porter.

Very nice and drinkable.

IntriqKen, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of triplecoil
4/5  rDev +9%

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance is very dark brown with deep ruby highlights. Thin cream-colored head that dissipated quickly. Roasted and somewhat burnt nose, somewhat faint but pleasant. Sweet and slightly burnt malt flavor with a slippery mouthfeel. The sweetness of the fairly big malt with the touch of honey is very well balanced with the bitterness. Hop balance is spot on. Could definitely drink a few of these in a night, but would mingle with other brews.

triplecoil, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of medic25
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%

Served in my complimentary Sam Adams glass. Color is a rich, dark brown with a white head that laces nicely. Aroma is sweet and malty. Taste is quite sweet; the honey is a nice touch that works well with the toasted malts. Slightly burnt aftertaste. Quite and easy drinking beer.

medic25, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of wiseguy142
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%

I really like this beer.

Pours very dark brown, almost black, with a thin vanilla head floating on top. I really enjoy the contrast of the sweet honey with the strongly bitter roasted malts. This may be a bad example but it's similar to the experience of taking some liquid cold medicine where you know there's a strong pleasant flavor (honey) battling with the inherent acridity of it. The result is a hesitant enjoyment of something that simultaneously challenges and entices you. (ahh going overboard with the beer rhetoric).

In any case, I've also drank some Scottish heather ales and this is made with heather honey which I think is the defining underlying flavor of the beer that you can't pinpoint unless you know what you're looking for. The heather mirrors the honey/roasted malt relationship with a floral trait that has a fine-line for overdoing it. If you had just a bit more you'd be completely sick of heather, so you're again pushing the limits of your enjoyment.

Finally the Goldings bring you back to earth with the "oh yea this is beer" moment and you forget all the turmoil in the other ingredients and round it off with "damn, what a porter."

Definitely a really cool beer.

wiseguy142, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

One of the earlier beers that ultimately drove me to BA. Probably closer to ten years ago, I couldn't get enough of this beer. Then it went away. Now it's back. Yay!!

Appearance - pours a dark mahogany with burgundy hues. A nice light mocha cap evens out and bubbles like pancake batter. It sinks back evenly after a minute, leaving arcs of ribboned lace around the glass.

Aroma - I can smell a sweet edge to the malts. They are roasted to a nutty, toasty aroma. Lighter smelling but good.

Taste - dark roasted grain, robust and rich. Definite sweetness up front, a touch of metal as well. Coffee wth sugar. The swallow allows the Goldings to balance out the sweetness. The palate dries and is left with a roasty malt flavor and a trace of lingering hops. The finish is long lasting and tasty. Some emerging alcohol warmth as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - it's okay. Ample carbonation, medium body and smoothness, nothing out of the ordinary though.

Drinkability - lots of flavor without being too sweet. I find it highly sessionable.

brewdlyhooked13, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of shabbtastic
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%

Brewmaster's collection continues...

A - Pours a deep mahogany with ruby highlights. Tan 1 finger head, pretty decent lacing with lots of tiny bubbles.

S - Very sweet, honey obviously! Roasted malt detected with faint hops.

T - Starts sweet up front, but there's a kind of artificial aftertaste that I can't quite grip.

M - Smooth and light bodied, a tad bit thin, not what you'd expect by its looks.

D - Overall it was enjoyable and tasty. Very easy to drink. I would drink the rest no problem, recommended.

shabbtastic, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%

Weirdest 'zisss!' I've ever heard upon popping the cap, the audible "pop" was insanely brief and strange-sounding. I expected either a flat beer or a raging torrent and got neither. Alright then.

Good looking beer, with a creamy top that leaves plenty of lace as it dissipates, while the color is one of the darkest I've seen on any porter.

Aroma is honey, with a bit of an off character I can't put my finger (nose) on. Slightly smoky background, but it's mellow.

Flavor is a nice combination of burnt grain and honey. It tires the tongue out a bit, as both flavors are firmly up-front without a ton of depth to chill them out. Some milk-like sweetness comes through, especially near the finish, aiding in the overall enjoyment.

Mouthfeel is where this wins, having a superbly round, milky-smooth body with just enough carbonation to add extra dimension.

Good stuff, even if the honey/burnt flavors become a little cloying midway through the glass. Genuinely full of flavor and definitely not boring.

Metalmonk, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of BDIMike
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%

Nice dark, opaque black color. Tan head with a slight retention.
Nice porter smell. Smell of chocolate malts. A little bit of sweetness in the smell as well.
Nice taste. Taste of burnt, roasted malts. Slight sweentess at the end.
Smooth on the way down. Leaves you with a nice dry taste at the end. Makes me want to take another sip, giving it a nice drinkability as well.

BDIMike, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of sraimondi
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%

July 2008 best by date. Poured into a pint glass. I am reviewing this beer as a Specialty category beer re: BJCP guidelines, as the addition of honey in the recipe moves it out of the American Porter category, IMO.

Even tan head which dissipates quickly to a filmy head. Some minor lacing. In light, a dark ruby color, not exactly on the porter style, but quite nice.

Honey does come through in the nose, with a nice roasty profile as well. Some sweet chocolate also. No detectable hops in the smell.

The taste does include some honey sweetness at the start, but a nice hops bite hits quickly which balances things out, although a bit more hops in the finish; which I liked.

The feel was fairly rounded but a little thin for a porter, but not a real issue. Pretty good.

Overall a very drinkable beer, the honey is there but BBC has done a good job of balancing this one out with some real hop character, which is often lacking when brewers use honey. Very sessionable, IMO. One of my recent faves from BBC.

sraimondi, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of Kingdom4aPint
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%

12oz bottle - enjoy before June 2008. Standard pint glass applied.

A - Very dark brown with amber tones. Pours 1.5 finger off white creamy head which dissipates to thin film. Some lacing.

S - Honey smell is definitely there.

T - Smoke, coffee, caramel with maybe touch of chocolate...at the end a dry, alcoholly taste. I'm not really getting a sense of "sweet" in this beer which I have no problem with. Don't taste the honey as much as smell it.

M - Feel is fine, not a big fan of the dryness but no complaints.

D - Very solid beer that I will drink happily when available.

Kingdom4aPint, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle producing a nice light brown head with about average retention. The aromas coming off from this were rather an enjoyable mix of complex malts and chocolate. The taste was enjoyable with abundant carbonation and what seemed like a relatively complex woody-caramel-bitter chocolate flavor with some residual sweetness. Nice usage of hops tends to balance most of this out leaving just a hint of sweetness behind on the finish.

The deeper into the glass I got, the more I seemed to be able to appreciate the complexity, especially in the finish. It was sort of a quick finish but had just a small amount of sweetness that lingered well. Highly enjoyable, in fact, after I took down my notes I enjoyed a couple more. :-)

Recommended to the porter/stout crowd.

SIRIUS2, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of JoeyHotrod
4/5  rDev +9%

I gave this beer 4's across the board as I feel it's good, though not great by any means.

The beer pours to a very dark brown, though not quite black color and the head is rather nice and tends to last throughout the entire beer.

The smell is of roasted malt first and foremost. There are also slight chocolate tones and a nice honey balance that is neither under or overwhelming.

The taste is light for a porter, though still good for what it is. The honey is more pronounced in the taste, when compared to the nose. It's not overwhelming by any means, though I would prefer just slightly less honey when drinking.

The beer does get points for being easy to get down, as this glass is going rather quickly. There's some roasted aspects that one would expect from a porter, but they are somewhat muted. While not being a bad beer by any means, this is a bit of a porter light... There's a definite place for this beer... but I prefer my porters to be a bit more pronounced and strong.

As with the rest of the beer, would rate the drinkability as good.

Could have a few of these without any problem at all, though again a bit muted for my taste and for that reason would rather drink something else.

JoeyHotrod, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of Biscuit033
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

A: Very dark brown almost black with burnt orange highlights, a finger and a half of cream colored head that tetains very nice with nice lacing to boot.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, honey and some earthy?metallic notes.

T: Fresh honey, chocolate, raosted malts, mild smokiness, and some earthy hop notes. I like how the bitterness cuts the honey's sweetness and you are left with a wonderful raw honey taste.

M: Very carbinated but clean and dry.

D: This is very quaffable but pushes my limits for a session at 5.45% ABV. It makes a great couple of beers on a weeknight though.

Biscuit033, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev +9%

Pours a really dark brown, almost black, with an off white, very thick lacy head. It has a very sweet malty scent with a hint of dark honey. The taste is good with sweet, dark roasted malts and a hint at the end of a honey aftertaste. I really enjoyed the flavor, especially the aftertaste. It has a good mouthfeel and it is a very drinkable porter. I think this is a good porter and I would recommend it for sure.

erosier, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of ZAP
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%

Better than I remember this being a few years back when I last had it. It pours a dark brown/black with ruby highlights...big ass tan fluffy head....nose is big on the cocoa, and roasted malt qualities...the body is lighter than I expected and it seems a little thin and not the big creamy feel I had hoped for.

The honey is more evident on the taste...lending a sweeter almost sticky element...roasted malts and sweet cocoa are also involved...

An enjoyable beer that leans to the sweet side....a little more body a bit more 'hops" would make this truly special...as it is, it is pretty good

ZAP, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of budgood1
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%

pours out a very dark burgundy colour with a thin bubbly head that sticks. thin lacing present. chocolate malts dominate the nose with a good dose of sweet honey in the mix. there is another odd, out of place, off putting aroma i can't quite grasp. nice chocolate, caramel and nougat flavoured malt notes in the flavour profile, all sweetened nicely by the added honey. nicely spiced by some EKG hops. medium bodied with a full, schwarzbier lager mouthfeel make this quite enjoyable. it has a somewhat chalky, dry finish. drinkability is very good...it seems to be a nicely decorated version of their black lager. delicate, nuanced, complex and well balanced.

a nice beer. there is a lot going on to ponder about, yet the ease of drinkability erases any lingering questions.

budgood1, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of jbphoto88
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a luscious dark amber, reddish brown with a nice foamy head about one inch thick. The head is solid and creamy but not guinness creamy, think larger bubbles.
The smell is very sweet and all about the honey. Not a whole lot else going on in the scent of this beer. It has no discernible malt or hop profile.
The taste is interesting. I have to admit the first time I tried it I was very disappointed. This time around I find myself to be pleasantly surprised. The honey is again the dominate flavor but behind that is a nice malt and the sour bitterness of some hops. I think this beer is too sweet to drink a lot of but one or two isn't bad.
It's worth a try if you see it in the store and aren't opposed to sweeter beers. This one has some interesting flavors but still has a good porter finish.

jbphoto88, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%

A: A ruby & deep golden amber hue meshed together. Head is a little more creamy than sizzly, which is nice... and the lacing spiderwebs the glass right down.

S: Caramels, brown sugar, and honey aromas. A bit of persistent hops that come through it all.

T: Sweet on the front, but becomes a little bitter sweet and somewhat medicinal through the body, finishing with touches of caramel / chocolate and a little bit of a burnt flavour, with the bitterness persisting through - perhaps seems a little unbalanced to my palate.

M: It's just heavy enough to coat the tongue with flavour, which is good in terms of mouthfeel in general... perhaps a tad too syrupy. Unfortunately, the taste is not one I find myself savouring.

D: A little too sticky-sweet on initial taste, and doesn't really beckon for another too quickly. Not something I could see myself rushing out for, but it smells alright!

Proteus93, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of HopDerek
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours dark brown almost black in appearance, but is more brown with red hues in direct light. Has a nice 1/2 inch of creamy tan head with average retention and good lacing. Smells are sweet, of honey, caramel, and some chocolate. Tastes of burnt wood, coffee, caramel, nuts, chocolate, and honey mixed with a nice bitter hoppy finish. Medium in body with good carbonation and a creamy character. A little too sweet, but still easy to drink with a nice chocolate presence.

HopDerek, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%

Poured into a mug and got a almost black body with slight head and not much retention. Picked up honey and malts in the smell, but not much else. The malt presence is heavy in this but there is a smooth aftertaste of honey, but not much else. I could have one or two of these here and there. I am disappointed, this just isn't one of Sam Adams better offerings in my opinion.

clayrock81, Jan 19, 2008
Samuel Adams Honey Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 884 ratings.