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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.

881 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 881
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: 881 | Reviews: 634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of granite

New Hampshire

2.83/5  rDev -22.9%

12oz bottle into pint glass.

A---It poured brown with ruby red highlights. Large rocky tan head held up well.

S---Wildflower honey dominated the aroma.

T---Muddled malt, buttery yeast and sharp bitterness. Honey flavor came through in the end and added a nice dry touch.

M---Medium bodied.

D---Nice honey aroma and flavor but it’s a weak example of a robust porter.

02-10-2007 14:39:09 | More by granite
Photo of kpantz


3.08/5  rDev -16.1%

Executive Summary: The first porter I tried from SA was the Holiday Porter, and boy, did I love that one. The Honey Porter, however, doesn't serve to repeat the success on my palate. A confused attempt to me. Not undrinkable, but there are better porters on which I can spend my money.

Appearance: Clear, deep ruby red with a foamy, finger-thick khaki-colored head.

Smell: Deep, sweet malt, but not roasted at all - almost smells more like a doppelbock instead of a porter.

Taste: Roasted malt to start, but quickly takes on an awkward brightness and sweetness no doubt contributed by the honey. I can't really tell what this beer is trying to be.

Mouthfeel: Appropriate for a porter. Chewy, but not so much as to interfere with the lighter character that, to me, helps to separate even the heftiest porters from stouts.

Drinkability: I'm just not wowed enough to go back to the well. If you like the flavor, you'd be able to down a few of these without getting bogged down.

02-10-2007 01:19:28 | More by kpantz
Photo of PBRstreetgang


3.93/5  rDev +7.1%

Pours a very clear, dark ruby-amber. The pale biege three-finger head is a thick cream, holding exceptionally well and leaving wide rings of lacing. Crystal malt, toffee and sack honey in the nose, with soft earthy hops in the background. Caramel and brown malt upfront, followed by herbal honey, a dark roasted flavor, and mild coffee notes. Aftertaste is dried by the roasted barley and a fuggles bitterness/flavor. I washoping for a more pronounced honey character,but it's balanced and the flavors meld well without need for more sweetness. Light-medium bodied and appropriate lower carbonation, a smooth "english handpull" type mouthfeel. Finishes easy; a touch roasty with some residual caramel/honey and earthy hop tones.This is a nice addition to the mix pack, and considering Sammy Adams resonable prices, I would consider picking up a six-pack if the brewery decided to market it.

02-09-2007 07:52:09 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of montageman


4.05/5  rDev +10.4%

Poured into a pint glass. Looks like black tea - deep reddish brown with a nice, foamy tan head that sticks around the whole time and leaves some major lacing. Boy, this really smells like honey and I really like it. There's a slight roasted character and some floral notes as well. Taste is roasted malt up front with a dry hop middle and finishes a little sweet with the honey - an excellent dessert beer. Mouthfeel is rich, but it could stand to be a little creamier. This is a very good beer - very tasty. I could easily drink more than one of these, Recommended.

02-09-2007 00:36:45 | More by montageman
Photo of gmfessen


3.68/5  rDev +0.3%

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is very dark, almost black and has a tan, bubbly head. The smell is of honey, deep toasted malt, sort of reminds me of graham crackers. Taste is mainly of the roasted malt and has a smooth honey finish. Beer is lighter in body than I would have expected and has creamy carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer, light in body and a smooth finish. I would recommend this beer, not outstanding, but very solid.

02-05-2007 03:44:15 | More by gmfessen
Photo of BMoney575


3.35/5  rDev -8.7%

Sampled on 2-3-07
Best by June 2007

Pours much lighter than expected, color is a deep red with and off-white head and lacing that sticks around.

Smell is of honey. Surprising (not a bad thing) honey aroma adds character to a beer that would otherwise be kind of boring.

Taste is decent, honey flavor first followed by a medium maltiness (SA Boston Lager) and a subtle amount of hops. Honey taste lingers long after with an earthy quality.

Mouthfeel is good, creamy and very agreeable.

Drinkability is good, goes down easy. It wouldn't be any trouble to drink several of these.

Overall a very non-offensive brew. As porters go, it's not a very good example, but it is still worth trying if you like honey in your beer.

02-04-2007 02:26:19 | More by BMoney575
Photo of Roderick


4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

First time trying the Honey Porter Brewing and I was pleasantly surprised.
The beer poured a dark-amber with a nice head with an aroma of malt and honey. I liked the initial roasted malt taste with just a hint of honey that adds just the right amount of sweetness.
I would drink this again and its now on my favorites list.
Cost $14.99 for Samuel Smith Brewmasters 12 box.

02-04-2007 00:31:13 | More by Roderick
Photo of veech


4.15/5  rDev +13.1%

I have been nothing but impressed since this beer was revived. I wasn't lucky enough to try it in its first incarnation. I assume it is very true to the original.
A: Style appropriate opaque black with a tan head and resilient lacing
S: Sweet sourwood honey fills the nose and trumps anything else
T: Smooth sweet and substantial. The malts are balanced just enough to be noticed in the presence of the honey sweet base. A different but delicious porter.
M: Maybe a little light and a tad oily for a porter. The only real detriment to this brew.
D: Easily sessionable and I wish I could get this in 6 packs instead of the mixed 12 packs.
Cheers Jim Koch for bringing this one back, hopefully for a long time.

02-03-2007 23:48:40 | More by veech
Photo of becktone


2.48/5  rDev -32.4%

To the eye this beer looks appealing. It has a stable head retention with a head the size of the index finger. Head is tannish creamy looking as opposed to rocky and has some nice lacing properties. Color of this brew is dark copper, real dark copper alomst brown. Garnet hues as well.

The nose of this beer definitely has a noticeable honey characteristic. There's also some darker malt aromas in there as well, a little bit of burnt or roasted characteristic along with a light chocolate/coffee aroma. Mostly just honey though. The other aromas are way in the background. No hop aroma

A much lighter taste than one normally gets from a porter, this is probably due to the honey. That was the first thing that hit me. The second was a huge metallic taste. Although the metallic taste is in the finish it detracts from the rest of the brew. Very unporter like in taste, the honey character is noticeable, it pretty much dominates this brew. I don't really taste any of the darker roasted malts that would be expected from a porter. Due to the metallic character of this brew I'd say that it failed pretty badly in my book. I just don't want to drink tin cans.

Extremely light in the mouth, due to the fact that when a brewer adds honey to wort it adds alcohol and lightens body. It goes down easily enough, feels just like a macro BMC in the mouth. I won't be buying this brew again. Doesn't have a good taste, and just sucks in general. In my opinion the only thing Jim Koch got right with this one was an appropriate aroma for a beer brewed with honey and a good appearance.

02-03-2007 19:45:48 | More by becktone
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +12.5%

I don't know why I've been on such a porter kick lately.

12 ounce bottle, sixteen ounce shaker pint.

A - Fairly light colored for a porter. Light brown with lots of red. Head is small and disippates to a capper.

S - Nice chocolatey, sweet honey smell with some coffee in there.

T - A smooth, sweet tasting porter. Has an unusual (yet delicious) tanginess to it with some great mellow honey in the aftertaste. A nice taste overall and very different from many other porters of either the American or English varieties.

M - Fairly light bodied for a brew with this much flavor (especially the sweetness.

D - Highly drinkable due to its sheer spectrum of flavors and uniqueness. My little gripe about mouthfeel aside, this is a nice drinkable porter that goes down ;ike a session brew but has huge flavors.

02-02-2007 03:24:28 | More by EStreet20
Photo of notown


4.33/5  rDev +18%

Let me start by saying that I love this beer.

Poured a dark brown with ruby highlights with an off-white head.

Subtle aroma of coffee and biscuit with some honey. Medium body and mouthfeel. Not a whole lot of roast and the malt complexity is at a minimum. The complexity comes from the honey.

It is not your typical porter, but it is a great beer and a wonderful porter.

I enjoy porters but sometimes the roast can be overdone, however in this case it was a little underdone. I am not complaining, it is a smooth drinking porter with a complexity brought out by the honey and what seems like a simple grain bill.

01-31-2007 20:08:41 | More by notown
Photo of whynot44


4.08/5  rDev +11.2%

A rich dark reddish chestnut color with a decent tan head that retains well and leaves some nice sticky lacing.

The aroma is honey and a nice roasted malt, hints of coffee.

The taste is subtle but rich with a nice toasted malt base, a bit of coffee and a sweet honey overtone. Very well done, not overpowering, with a lingering honey aftertaste.

Very SMOOTH, medium/full bodied, feels great in the mouth. Easy to drink. If you like porters, or honey, this is one to try.

01-31-2007 04:22:42 | More by whynot44
Photo of themilkman01


4.53/5  rDev +23.4%

(Disclaimer: this review is by a beer-newbie, for beer-newbies. Take into account that everything is this review is reviewed by a beer novice, and the writer hopes to appeal to, primarily, beer novices in their quest to find the perfect beer)

Sam Adams Honey Porter is an excellent beer that delievers great taste, very little bitterness, and a great overall drinking experience.

The appearance of the beer was good. It has a decent head when you get to the bottom of the bottle, but not when you pop the cap. This means you don't get beer all over the place, which is very convenient.

The smell of this beer was great! Very sweet, with the classic smell of beer, plus a hint of honey that almost goes unnoticed. It's not an overpowering smell, that is, you won't smell it immediately after opening the bottle. You have to get down and smell this beer, but once you do get a whiff of it, you'll love it.

The taste is also great. Not overly strong, there are a lot of different tastes that you'll be able to experience in your mouth. The best part? Almost no bitter taste! You can sip on this beer, you can chug it, and it's smooth as silk. Also, the after taste is very slight and not very bitter! This is a huge plus in my book ... as I hate drinking a beer and needing to eat something or drink something else to get the taste out of my mouth! The hint of honey is very subtle, you'll need to "look" for it ... but in the aftertaste you'll taste it a little bit more ... and you'll come to enjoy the aftertaste after a few sips!

The mouthfeel of this beer is great. No carbonation feeling whatsoever, which is my biggest concern in a beer. I hate when you sip a beer and it burns your tongue from the carbonation. To me, that just makes me want to gulp it down and not savor the flavor of the beer. This beer won't do that, plus, as you move it around your mouth, you get a lot of excellent tastes, and no uncomfortable feelings.

The drinkability of this beer is excellent. Again, it's one you can sip or gulp. This could be your stock beer, it's one that doesn't get old very quick ... the only downside is the 5.25% alcohol average. For me, that doesn't give me a buzz until the third bottle or so, but, everybody is different ... it's a good social beer to have.

I definately recommend this beer to anybody who likes porters or honey. Both tastes are not overpowering, it's very well balanced, and that's why this beer novice likes this beer. It's a good "platform beer," that is, a good beer to start off with and keep around.

01-29-2007 16:49:24 | More by themilkman01
Photo of UnionMade

New York

3.63/5  rDev -1.1%

I'm pretty happy to spot sixers of this in the liquor store, after an extended hiatus. Last time I had this I don't believe I was legal drinking age, and I didn't like it at all. I think Newcastle and big cans of Fosters Special Bitter were my beers of choice at the time. Haha.
Pours dark dark brown, tinted red through light. Topped with a thin film of meringue head. Spotty lacing, holding a collar of head through the glass. Honey itakes the lead in the aroma, roasty malts coming through prominently, and a tiny whisper of earthy english hops. I'm gonna guess a traditional fuggles/goldings hopping. Pretty clean. Honey is again most prominent in the flavor, along with malty roastiness and coffee. Doesn't feel like there's any roasted barley in here, though. Not quite charred enough. More of a burnt caramel feel. A bit of prune and raisin fruitiness. This one's on the sweeter side, with a bit more body than I normally expect from a porter. Residual sugars from the honey? Medium bodied with typical Sam Adams carbonation, which is a little fizzier than I prefer. The honey provides some softening sweetness with a distinct, real honey lightness. Finishes a bit dry with lingering roasty flavors. Hop flavor and bittering is minimal. Perhaps a dash of floral/herbal character, but it contributes little to the flavor. Definitely leaning towards the honey and dark roasted malt. Lots of flavor, especially for a mid-strength brew. Kept me interested through two bottles this sitting.
Pretty tasty. A sweeter beer, if you think about it, but seems to be balanced fairly well. I'm happy to see this one again in regular rotation. One of the best offerings from Boston Beer Co. in my opinion. Nothing crazy to hold up to the better porters out there, but unique and delicious in its own way. I do like this now, even though I could only manage 2-3 sips in my younger days. It's crazy how much tastes change in a decade.

01-29-2007 10:00:51 | More by UnionMade
Photo of blackie


3.55/5  rDev -3.3%

appearance: Pours into my favorite beer glass a rich chestnut brown with a 0.5" tan colored head. After the initial recession, a few islands of carbonation are left behind as a ring leaves scant lacing on the side of the glass.

smell: Light-moderate aromas of real honey with toasted caramel and toffee malts. A little buttery. Crisp hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a high medium. The body comes across as thin at times. A little drier than I like a porter to be. Not as smooth as a porter should be, given the high carbonation and lacking body.

taste: Dark toasted malts with a strong undercurrent of real honey. Toasted whole-grain breads. Moderate English hop flavors. Not much to it, but pretty well done from the honey aspect. As a porter, it could stand to be a little richer/more malty.

drinkability: easy enough

notched as best by June 2007

01-28-2007 22:04:19 | More by blackie
Photo of Winter


4/5  rDev +9%

Pours black with auburn highlights visible at the bottle of my pint. Tan creamy head. The aroma consists of roasted malt, caramel, a hint of honey and it also has a mild fruitiness to it. The mouthfeel is full-bodied. Roasted malt with flavors of toffee and caramel to add some sweetness to it. Honey follows midway. Spicy hoppiness emerges toward the back and lingers into the finish. Very nicely done.

I was very impressed with this one. It almost makes me want to run out and get the 12 pack that contains it and the other goodies (Scotch Ale, Black Lager) in it. Perfect set of offerings for the winter time of year.

01-28-2007 20:45:14 | More by Winter
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -2.5%

Best By June 2007. This just arrived in stores and I couldn't resist... a honey porter just in time for a cold Arctic blast in North Jersey.

Served in a pint glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

Appearance- The head on this beer is fabulously creamy... bordering on four fingers of foam on a traditional pour, it settles relatively quickly and leaves behind miles of lacing. Color is clear, chestnut red. One of the nicest looking Sam Adams beers without a doubt.

Smell- Roasted malt, a hint of coffee, a mild chocolate note, and a smooth honey aroma that underscores all of the above. Full-bodied and extremely appetizing, it has a cream or milk stout nose with a distinctive English character. The finishing hops are certainly noteworthy.

Taste- A cloying sweetness interferes enough to rob this beer of being great... it works overall in the big picture but it's just too overstated. No question the robust maltiness and roasted elements are pleasing, even the hops leave their mark right at the end... but it's the honey that might be featured a little less to be perfectly in balance.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Nicely done, well carbonated yet smooth enough after rolling around in the mouth for a few seconds. It's really nice for the style, and it breaks up the aggressive honey profile. Easy drinking and a fun twist on a porter... I'm glad there are still five left.

01-27-2007 03:10:17 | More by yelterdow
Photo of roughsax


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

Bought in the Brewmaster's Reserve 12 pack, mainly just to get 2 bottles of this brew. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Brown/caramel with a thick, creamy head. Garnet colors when held to light. Thick head subsided to a thin layer that remained. Good lacing.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate, honey. Was expecting more honey aroma.

T- Chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. The honey was not overpowering. It provided nice counter to the bitter coffee taste. Just the right blend. Dry finish.

M- Smooth with good carbonation.

D- Good. Again, there was not too much honey. It added a nice sweetness to offset the bitter flavors. Could have a few.

01-25-2007 17:08:35 | More by roughsax
Photo of hylton44


3.38/5  rDev -7.9%

Dark and thick with a creamy head. Honey taste is welcome alongside a slightly roasted malt and somewhat pronounced alcoholic character (I wouldn't have minded that final quality being a little more in the background). Mouthfeel is round and syupy, but almost too much so. Residual syrupy aftertaste dominates the finish. Not my favorite SA offering.

01-25-2007 06:06:11 | More by hylton44
Photo of edchicma


4/5  rDev +9%

Sam Adams come sthrough with another very good brew. This one pours a dark caramel with a good initia head and some lacing throughout. The smell is an inviting blend of honey and malt. I'm almost tempted to heat it and see how it tastes. Taste continues the honey and malt quality...not overwhelming...just right. A nice dry finish balances out the experience. Mouthfeel as above is initially sweet, but with a very dry quality on the finish. Very good on teh drinkability scale...looking forward to my second.

01-24-2007 23:42:32 | More by edchicma
Photo of hckyfn9999


4.03/5  rDev +9.8%

Pours dark brown with a some ruby and golden hues when held to light. There is a small on finger cream colored head that doesnt last too long. Aroma is slightly roasted malt, honey, toffee, and a hint of smoke. Taste has a nice roasted malt base with a nice honey presence. Mouthfeel is very smooth. A pretty easy drinker. A solid beer from BBC.

01-24-2007 02:22:59 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of jwc215


3.48/5  rDev -5.2%

Poured from bottle, best before June 2007

Pours deep borwn with a rocky tan head that slowly thins and sticks around.

The smell is of sweet dark malt and honey.

The taste is of honey upfront that lingers around well into the aftertaste. Beyond the herbal honey sweetness lies more sweet maltiness that is offset by a pinch of bitter coffee. There is something beyond the honey, but not enough to even it out. Sweet finish with just a nod to the bitter hops that stay well-subdued.

The feel is medium to full bodied with a soft, almost buttery, smoothness.

I expected a honey sweetness, and got it, but some more balance would have been nice. A coffee-ish porter was present, enough to give it a decent taste when mixed with the honey, but not enough to round it out. Not a bad brew for but the honey sweetness was a bit too much for me, personally.

01-23-2007 02:17:53 | More by jwc215
Photo of Ieatlambfries

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

Hard poured into a pint glass. Beautiful dark ruby red to brown colors. Three finger tan head full of rocky bubbles. Very nice lace retention as well. Great presentation.

Up front very pronounced honey notes. Some mild burnt grains and toasted malts as well.

Roasted malts hit you head on. A lot of grainy notes. Some faint dry cocoa flavors as well. The finish is slightly sweet with the faintest hint of honey.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Although the head was pretty epic, there is little carbonation "bite." Actually, it's quite smooth.

Very drinkable. Enough flavor to keep me interested, but not so complex that it becomes numbing to the palate.

This beer holds a special place in my heart. It was in fact one of the first beers I purchased when I turned 21. Truthfully, I can probably thank Jim Koch for opening the door to better beer in my life. I'm not sure if this recipe holds 100% true to the original, it's been so long since I'd had one that I really can't remember. But I will say it's a solid offering, and I'm more than happy to welcome it back.

01-23-2007 02:17:21 | More by Ieatlambfries
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

AP: Very Dark brown, not totally opaque with some red hues when in direct light. A very thick and sticky mocha-tan colored head creates some sticky lacing all around the glass and displays good retention qualities.

Nose: A very aromatic brown-sugar and caramalized malted scent dominates with some roasty and doughy scents underneath. Very nice.

Taste: The taste is much more roasty and smoked flavored malt with some mild honey, nutmeg and brown-sugar sweet qualities that flows through after. It's a nice complex malted flavor that starts out hearty and mellows with a nice sweet after-taste.

MF: This is a full bodied brew with long legs that also feels crisp and lively. Very nice feel overall.

DA: This might be my favorite Sammy.

01-22-2007 21:24:32 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of AudioGilz


3.03/5  rDev -17.4%

A dark and translucent ruby red hue is topped off with a highly frothy head of an inch or so that sticks around a while.

The aroma is very sweet and malty, no hop character is noticeable; roasty sweet honey and toffee.

Lots of honey flavor combines with cereal grains and a bit of roasted maltiness; ample creamy mouthfeel with an annoying lingering sweet twang on the palate in the aftertaste.

There's not a whole lot of balance here, very sweet and very full of honey flavor; not a preferred porter for me, not horrible either. I just prefer more traditional darker porters.

01-21-2007 17:57:21 | More by AudioGilz
Samuel Adams Honey Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 881 ratings.