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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Honey PorterSamuel Adams Honey Porter

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894 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 894
Reviews: 634
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 34
Gots: 14 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-12-2002

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 894 | Reviews: 634
Photo of themilkman01
4.52/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(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.

Photo of UnionMade
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of blackie
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of Winter
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of yelterdow
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of roughsax
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of hylton44
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of hckyfn9999
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jwc215
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Ieatlambfries
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of AudioGilz
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of JMendyka
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a sixer of this for a dinner party with my parents and their friends tonight, but busted into it early.

It pours coffee black with the expected creamy head and is barely translucent when held up to the light. The head sticks around to the very end leaving lacing on the glass.

It has a soft, slightly sweet nose that doesn't intimidate like some porters can. The hops are faint, but they are there. The aroma is mostly of malt, though. Overall, it could be stronger, but at the same time I feel like for the brewery's market, it's perfect. It certainly doesn't detract from this beer's quality.

The taste is dinner party fun, thankfully. It doesn't titilate the senses with all kinds of different activities. Instead, the slightest bit of malt and mocha hit the tip of the tongue, followed by the taste of the British hops that give porters and pale ales their class. There's none of the classic American citrusy flavor that some American microbrewers use to ruin stouts and porters. If you sit back in between sips, that hops flavor is left in the back of the throat, reminding you to keep drinking!

This goes in and goes down just like a porter ought to. It's January and I'm looking for something to stick to my ribs. It's creamy and satisfying without being overly filling. Also, the subtelty of the flavor leaves me wanting more rather than anticipating it just being over.

Photo of Hibernator
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Honey Porter
12 oz brown bottle
5.45% ABV (http://www.samueladams.com/world_of_beer.aspx)
Best before June 2007
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

This is one of those I feel like I often respond with a "I'm remember Sam Adams when..."

Pours a dark chestnut brown with ruby highlights. A decent head forms and leaves random trails of sticky lace.

Pleasant aroma of roasted malts & sugary goodness.

Dark roasted malts with a pronounced honey sweetness. A hint of coffee with a sugary honey-smoothness and nice hop presence.

I enjoyed this beer, but I swear I don't think this is the same recipe. The true honey flavors (which I enjoy) are greater than I remember and I also think the malt presence was heavier.

Nevertheless, I'm glad this offering is back in the rotation. A solid porter and one that I voted for in the "Beer Lover's Choice" Sam Adams promo at The Linwood several months ago.

Photo of neenerzig
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a pretty dark brown color with some amber red highlights around the edges. The head was about an inch when poured. It doesn't stay that big for long but it does have very good staying power once it shrinks to a very nice, foamy layer on the surface of the beer. Very nice lacing too. Aromas of sweet roasted malt and some honey. not really much else smell wise. Not a very complex aroma, but a good one! In some ways the taste actually reminds me of root beer a little bit, and in a good way too. Tastes pretty much the way it smells, sweet upfront with flavors of roasted malt and honey follwed by a bit of hops. It has a nice, smooth mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink. I have another one and I am tempted to drink it now, but won't since I have to get up fairly early for work tomorrow. I actually feel quite buzzed after drinking only one of these, which leads me to believe that the ABV may be a bit higher than the average porter. And no I didn't have anything else alcoholic to drink tonight. Definetly worth a try!


Photo of Pinto21
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a nice dark mahogany with little off white head
smelled sweetly malty with the same taste
good mouthfeel and drinkability, i would drink a few tonight if i didnt have to get up early tomorrow
overall pretty good but little too sweet for my tooth without anything to say wow

Photo of slyke
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Samuel Adams Honey Porter pours dark brown with a little red around the edges and a thin off-white head. The aroma is roasty and sweet. Taste also roasty and sweet, but sweeter than I prefer. Mouthfeel is good for the style. Drinkability is better than average, but I don't think I'd drink more than one in a sitting. This beer is worth a try.

Photo of clemtig76
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from the new Brewmaster's 12-pack. Pours a beautiful mahogany black with ruby-red highlights and a nice half inch tan head that dissipates slowly leaving a fair bit of lacing. Nice maltly aroma with some honey sweetness. Taste is very smooth for a porter. Good roasty malt background with just a hint a sweetness from the heather honey. Very well balanced with a creamy mouthfeel. An outstanding offering from the folks at SA. Good job Jim!

Photo of malty
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoy before June '07.

Pours a cola colored clear liquid with ruby highlights. A quick forming creamy light beige head about 1/2" thick.

Sweet scents of honey graham crackers and Concord grapes. After a few more brisk swirls I detect milk chocolate and marshmallow cream.

Flavors of slightly charred wood and molasses hit my palate first. A spiciness evokes (and a dryness also) from the English golding (listed on neck label) hops, makes me think of chestnuts. There's a metallic aftertaste when these quickly fading flavors fall-off.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with a slightly watery body. Dry finish.

Drinkability for me is so-so. I'll finish this bottle, but still feeling a bit unsatisfied.

Overall an OK porter that has a nice sweet/dry thing going for it. The body and mouthfeel seem limp to me. The flavors didn't stick around long as they quickly diminished after they hit the back of my throat. I've heard great things about this ale when it first came out 6-7 years ago, so I believe the recipe must have changed some (?).

Photo of Phatz
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours almost black with a light beige color creamy head that has excellent retention. Lacing lined the walls of my pint glass. This is really an attractive beer.

Smell: Sweet sugar caramel and cereal grains and honey. It has a soggy Cinnamon Toast Crunch aroma. Maybe a bit of vanilla with that malty nose.

Taste: Approachable and pleasant. It starts with sweet honey over a roasted malt typical porter body. Cinnamon and light hops with a dry-ish finish and a lingering roastyness.

Mouthfeel: A rich creamy feel that that is a bit lighter than I'd hope but decent enough.

Drinkability: This is a easy beer for a porter fan but a bit artificial. Still, I have a 6 pack and I am about to open another.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of Byeast
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark , semi-clear brown , with a rocky tan head that left lots of sticky lacing on my pint. Aromas are roasty , burnt sugar , definate honey scent , and some sweet malt. Taste is smooth and roasty , with sweet honey throughout , just a little bit of bitter and lightly spicy hop in there. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Overall a very tasty porter with a good twist. The honey is definately noticeable , and makes the brew on the sweet side for the style. Once again BBC does not dissapoint.

Photo of BeerSox
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug. Best by June '07, fresh sample.

Dark opaque brown, with a ruby red glow at the bottom. A tan one inch head that lasts forever, leaving a smooth silky appearance. The head settles to a thick cap. Layered sticky lacing.

Rich robust smell that has a dark roasted grainy aroma. A touch of honey sweetness can be detected.

Dark roasty malts with decent bitterness. Some bitterness from the hops, especially since it's dry-hopped. A little bit of the honey can be tasted in the end. Full bodied with good carbonation. The finish contains the dark grain, and at the very end a little bit of honey residue lingers.

Sam Adams brought this one back from demand. They gave a choice between two beers and this one reigned supreme. I'm glad they brought it back, because this is one tasty beer with a bit of a sweet twist added to a great porter. Highly recommended.

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice SA selection. Pours a near-black/dark brown body with a two finger tan, foamy head, leaving a considerable amount of lacing on the glass. Smell was one of honey, malt, and alcohol. Taste reminded me of a brown ale; a little bitter, with hints of honey that come through more toward the end. A nice smooth finish makes me consider having this as a session beer. Very enjoyable.

Photo of Gatch
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found it in a six-pack, which was surprising.

Dark, typical porter hue.

Smell was of raisins, roasted malt, and slightly honey.

Taste was a bit light. A medium body for a porter. Not watery, but not too flavorful. Ample honey taste though. Along with dried fruits.

Mouthfeel, again, a bit light. Honey and roasted malt showed on the palate.

I could definitely have a few. The medium body was disappointing, but helps its drinkability. You should try it without hesitation.

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Samuel Adams Honey Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 894 ratings.