Raven Mad Imperial Porter - BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

Not Rated.
Raven Mad Imperial PorterRaven Mad Imperial Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

144 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 144
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 14.13%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ccrida on 10-30-2008

70 IBU

Released Fall 2008.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 144 | Reviews: 80
Reviews by merlin48:
Photo of merlin48
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber pours into a pint glass a deep dark brown body topped by a small khaki head, Good retention and some spotty patch lacing.

Aroma might be the high point of this one. Dark roasty malt notes of bittersweet chocolate and coffee are complimented by smoky charcoal and oaky vanilla. A hint of wine underneath adds intrigue.

Mouthfeel has a medium body and carbonation but thins quite a bit toward the finish.

Taste has standard dark roasty malt notes of coffee, Bittersweet chocolate, and a hint of dark fruits up front. Oak aging adds some vanilla. A nice grassy hops bitterness is a welocme addition. There is a vinous quality from the pinot barrels that throws things off track a bit and just seems out of place in a porter. Slight booziness doesn't really distract.

An interesting experiment with the barrel aging here but I would have enjoyed this one quite a bit more if the pinot barrels had been left out of the process.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out in a viscous stream, producing a bubbly toasted brown head an intensely black body.

Aroma is nutty, woody and sweet. Shades of dark baking chocolate, watery chocolate milk and frothed milk. None of this is intense or dominant, but the nuttiness prevails most.

Flavor offers char, husky nut character, dark chocolate, coffee, succulent dark berry and frothed/boiled milk. Sweet it is, but balanced by the roast and nutty elements. Nut, coffee and chocolate linger in the finish. A mild wave of alcohol comes through further into the bottle and with warming. Alcohol presence is probably in large part due to the bourbon and wine characters that rubbed off in the barrel-aging. 41% of Raven Mad was aged in various oak barrels, and the wood provides an underlying essence, giving it a remarkable depth. For barrel-aged beer lovers, it might seem a bit too subtle, but for those who prefer the wood to lay low, it's simply a welcome addition to a long list of flavor characteristics.

Medium-bodied at best, with a round, slippery texture that offsets the considerable carbonation. Just about right, I'd say.

This is a complex beer, although not a terribly busy or extreme one. It just performs very well and is a must-try for porter enthusiasts. (The 3D effect wasn't all that great, but 3D rarely is. It's a fun gimmick, though, and I gratefully thank msubulldog25 for sending the whole deal.)

Photo of Magpie14
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black, mostly black with some dark caramel colored edges. No head, I wonder if the bar keeps know it is all right to leave at least a little? Small foamy ring of lace at the very top...otherwise nothing

S: first and foremost. Alcohol notes, raisins, roasted grains, and soft vanilla caramel scent

T: husky dark grains followed by dry stale coffee characteristics. Sweetness follows suit as in the nose, soft spiced vanilla and caramel, maybe lactose sweeteners. Slight woodiness and astringency in the finish. As it warms the coffee and sweeter notes become stronger and push through. This is the same for the alcohol...

M: smooth, just shy of creamy. Carbonation maybe helps dig away a the smoothness factor and the body is heavy and carries itself well down the hatch

D: I found this one to go down rather easy, not to heavy but enough bulk to be a good smooth porter. Good beer on a cold winter day, very nice

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sour aroma, great 3D picture and the glasses. Black body with a brown head. Above average mothfeel. Very drinkable, with a good token amount of smoke, rather than only roast.Nice porter.Subtle flavours from barrelling.A bit boozy, but oh my so drinkable.

Photo of ElGordo
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Maudite snifter. Body is a deep dark brown with reddish highlights, topped by a smaller, creamy, tan head. Very nice, complex aroma of smoky dark malt, dark fruit, oak, pinot grapes, and a whiff of toffee.
Palate is similarly complex. Sweet, slightly smoky dark malt dominates up front. A touch of fruity hops comes through before the swallow, imparting just a touch of bitterness to balance out the malt. Tangy, acidic finish indicates it may have picked up a good bit of leftover wine from the pinot barrels.
Body is nicely carbonated, but a little bit thin for such a strong porter. This is unique enough to be a little offputting at first, but after a few sips becomes very inviting. An interesting, innovative beer from Bridgeport that has benefited from some time laying down in the cellar.

Photo of dbossman
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Quite black with a red tinge and a thin film of a head; nice lacing

S: A bit woody with subtle bourbon notes; sweet and malty; some subtle dark fruits; but a bit subdued overall

T: Roasty malts; some bourbon but more of a subtle rubbing alcohol flavor; definitely an oaky presence; the roasted malts and slight chocolate and coffee help save the flavors, which seemed nearly destined to be a mess

F: A touch thin and the beer evaporates rather quickly

O: A decent porter but a bit boozy and thin with not enough bourbon or body to make this interesting

Photo of Fatehunter
3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Black with a half finger of tan head.

Pleasant smell of wood, roasted malt, molasses and vanilla. Nicely balanced and subtle.

Sweet tasting, then charred wood and lots of it. The rest of the taste cannon escape the charred wood, neither can my mouth. The burnt malt tried to play was suppressed. The vanilla squeaks out at the very end but it isn't enough to overcome the charred wood.

Medium body, almost chewy. Moderate carbonation.

It smelled great. The taste was just wood and more wood; a bit much for me.

Photo of scootpolute
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1 pint 6 oz. bottle into a Duvel Tulip style glass.

A - Pitch black with 1.5 fingers light tan creamy head. Head retention is amazing, as is the lacing.

S - Smokey roasted malts are at the forefront. Chocolate is well defined in the background.

T - Chocolate and roasted malts now dominate while the smokiness is still present it was mostly in the aroma. Some coffee and hints of dark fruit are present on the back of the tongue. Overall a balanced flavor, but not overly complex...There 'IS' an noticable 'kick' on the end from the alcohol.

M - Medium-heavy bodied, carbonation is definitely noticeable. Finish is slightly drying with lots of roasted malts, here the smoke comes back again.

D - Well rounded, starts out dominating with the smokiness and finishes the same way. No complex flavors but definitely a very good beer. A refreshing improvement from Bridgeport's more popular, "Nightwatch." This one is more complex, more character...over all just a better beer!

Photo of russpowell
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with 1+ finger of mocha colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Coffee & dark chocolate, herbal & minty hops as well

T: Chocolate, roasty grain & nutty notes up front. Some boozey Bourbon notes, kind of rough & vanilla/oaky notes as this warms

MF: Fairly thin, over carbonated. Body becomes creamier once warmer

Not a bad porter, doesn't really live up to the Imperial side on all factors. Would rate this at least .5 lower across the board as an IMP Porter. I would drink this again if pressed, but wouldn't seek it out

Photo of cannabanaceae
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not impressed by the 3-D, The raven barley moves. I smell gimmick.
Poured violently yeilding a frothy brown head, pitch black in color. Lacing.

Smell was toasted malts, Oak, chocolate, stale red wine, alcohol.

Taste was very smooth. Toasted oak barrels, tiny bourbon taste, Goes down like a melted milk shake with lots of hop bitterness that is balanced by the slight sourness from the wine barrel aging. Great hop back. Medium body. Mouthfell was velvety.

A very good beer. I wish that it was all barrel aged with more bourbon. It was mixed with 59% porter, making it mellow but 'big'.

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 edition, 50's pulp novel styled label on a dark background.

Dark brownish black body, billowing dark mocha foam that forms a rocky topographical surface. The head is slow to recede, and leaves a halo of sticky lacing all around the glass.

Smells nice, subdued vanilla and chocolate, dark and bittersweet, some woody barrel notes coming through. Some chocolate covered banana and yeast esters that come out with a swirl.

Definitely tastes like a porter/stout blend, slightly thin but full of flavor. Dark bitter chocolate, light vanilla sweetness, woody oak and tobacco notes, dry finish with lingering woodiness. Fairly smooth and relatively light bodied considering the BA genre and blend. Lightly vinous, with a unique and well rounded flavor. Any distinct bourbon notes are blended into smooth submission, alcohol is well hidden. Overall one of the better offerings from Bridgeport, and at $8 a bomber it's a pretty good deal for a barrel-aged blend.

Photo of Docer
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally tried a bomber of this after reading Jeff Alworths comments about it on the beervana blog... I always try Bridgeports stuff.. but the 3D glasses threw me off...

- Nice rich cloudy color.. poured slightly thick, with a nice tan head that was creamy.

- Nice vanilla and oak-like scent with some fantastic ester-wine notes and chocolate malt... nice bitterness too...

- Huge wine barrel flavor but at the same time well balanced with some great vanilla bourbon oak essence mixed with a rather basic and mild porter which is actually refreshing for a change. A nice standard.

- Nice bitterness.. slightly dry, but robust with ester and barrel.... so overall very good.

- Great drinkability but wouldn't recommend even having the whole bottle for one.. but one to share... rather strong on the gut, but still light on alcohol.

On another note aside from judging, the price was great for this, and certainly one I would buy again and again. Must have!

Photo of Spikester
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with a small tan head. Moderate lacings.

Aroma is leather and spice.

Taste is dark cocoa, some coffee, good amount of bitter hops.

Mouthfeel is full and rich.

Drinkability is good if you are just having a pint or two. Overall a pretty good Imperial Porter.

Photo of bcm119
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost opaque brown,with a nice durable tan froth. Pinot noir barrels come through in the nose, along with some dark fruit and smoky roasted malt. Soft and lush on the palate. The barrel aging lends a pronounced red berry overtone to the roasted malt flavors. Chocolatey, earthy and roasty. Adequate hopping shows up toward the end with some leafy bitterness. Mouthfeel is fairly light for a strong porter, slightly creamy, with low carbonation. Finishes with some lingering toast and mild hop bitterness. Not a bad concoction, interesting wine barrel flavors and it avoids the heavy, under-attenuated trend in imperial porter/stout. A very nice drinking beer.

The bottle showed signs of cap sealing problems, which may explain the low carbonation in my bottle, and/or the off flavors/bad reviews here.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 picked up at the Coop... equipped with the 3-D glasses.. paid about $5... shared with Brenda.... mine into my Chimay goblet.

1" lite tan head.. great lacing and a nice cap.. the brew is darker than a standard porter... but.. I'm not complaining..

Nose is roasty with a little char.. chocolate malts are nice.. smells creamy.. sorta milky.. a little vanilla and maybe port.

flavor is a big blast.. but seems like a mish-mash.. roasty grains and alot of fruitiness... dark cherry essence.. some plum.. fairly sharp roasted grain for the entire sip.. the barrel aging only shows up as it really warms up.. vanilla and sorta fruity notes.. finish is verging on dry chocolate and vanilla soda essence with a nice woody presence that ties it all together.. The body is on the lite side for an Imperial Porter.. but don't let that disguise the interior.. this is a pretty classy brew.. not out of the world by any standard.. but it is very nice straight out of the bottle and will only get better with some time on it.

The label gimmick may do more to discredit this brew than help it... Bridgeport makes thoroughly solid beers for the most part... I can only assume they thought the campy label was used to get more people interested.. but I honestly believe that this brew deserves credit on its merits.. not the label... (even though I really dig it.. and am putting 1 into my "save the full bottle" cellar). Interesting.. and better than it is gonna get on BA.


Photo of djeucalyptus
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black. No other way to describe it. Light refuses to venture into the depths of the glass. just a sliver of orange caramel color at the very edge, but it's a stretch. A rich orange mocha colored head of fine bubbles has decent retention before fading leaving some massive lacing.

Hints of fruit and dark roasted malt waft upward from the pour. Aroma reminds me of being in the Bridgeport pub... malt profile is very similar to their stout (and maybe porter?). Rich, full, and nutty. a bit of charred wood and a bit of vanilla cream. Plums and black grapes intermingle with burnt hickory and pine.

Taste follows the aroma fairly closely... rich and dark malts lead the way, with some woody and oaky notes filling out the middle. More plums and grape come through along with a healthy dose of cherries. bittersweet cocoa. hints of pinot noir tannins, almost like bottom of bottle red wine sediment. A touch metallic and a touch astringent. Not necessarily offputting... the vanilla and wood notes offset the sweet and the sour, yielding a pretty nicely rounded strong brew.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and light, which is how I find bridgeport's standard porter and stout. Okay, but given the power of the flavors, I'd hoped for more. Regardless, it feels nice on the tongue, smooth with some light carbonation... more and it could have been a bit fuller/creamier. A bit of bittering tingles the tongue without being overpowering.

I tried a bottle fresh and wasn't blown away. Sitting down with this bottle, a month and a half later, is a completely different (and significantly more enjoyable) experience. Interesting on the whole, with some unique flavors that make it different enough to be worth buying a few bottles. The wood aging is nice but not over the top; maybe a bit subtle for some, but beautiful. Nice to see Bridgeport attempting more of these big brews. this one is definitely a win.

Photo of scottoale
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. brown bomber with red foil over cap/neck and a 3D label complete with 3D glasses...very novel idea. No freshness date but the label states: 59% Porter - 8% Porter aged in oak Bourbon barrels and 33% Porter aged in oak Wine barrels.

It pours a very dark (almost black) mahogany brown with a finger of very light brown head. Some sticky lace clings as the head settles, the carbonation is mild.

The smell is somewhat sweet and dark roasty, kind of nutty even. Hints of roasted dark malt, oak, charred oak, dark grapes, vanilla and hazelnuts come through. Just a wee bit of alcohol in the nose as well.

The taste is as it smells, but a little stronger, less the alcohol. Very nice full roasty front, lots of oak and toasted oak. The bourbon doesn't come through at all, compared to the wine aspects. The whole flavor does balance nicely and the alcohol is really well hidden.

Medium body just lacks a bit of carbonation that could add a smooth fullness to the feel. Easy to drink, none the less and a well done blended Porter for sure.

Another extra from a super generous trader, thanks travisd13!

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours an opaque black color with a creamy cap of dark tan head. Average retention and lacing.

Nose shows a nice balance of bourbon oak and sweet chocolate. Not overly roasty and the hops are there only if you look for them. Smells pretty good, really.

Flavors are a bit muted, but what is there is good. A nice mix of roast and chocolate with a fair amount of alcohol and hop bitterness poking through. Wood is a bit sharp and has a mild sourness that reminds me of Guinness Extra. Meh, its ok, but Im a little disappointed in it. Not sure what I expect from a $4.99 barrel aged beer though. I dont really think cellaring this will fix the problems it has, but I might try with the other one I bought just for shitzangiggles.

Photo of Zorro
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received from thethrone in the Barrel 'O Beer BIF.

Might as well call this beer black with a very small brown colored head.

Smell is chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, quite sweet smelling. Oak from the barrel is reasonably strong but not the major scent here. There is a general fruity scent to this also.

Starts of a bit charred in taste with a sweet aftertaste. Lots of patent malt flavor and it is quite aggressive. The vanilla is in here but the oak gets lost in the burned flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Less drinkable than I would like, the simply used too much patent malt in this one and let the burned taste take over.

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Okay, so although I am intriqued by the 3D label and glasses that come with this beer, the novelty of silly marketing doesn't usually win me over, sometimes does the opposite...repelling me from a beer. This one does have a nice foil wrapping though, which marketing or no, is a nice touch that I appriciate them taking the extra time/money to do.

Label lists random percentages of what was aged in what.

Deep black with a tan head.

Smells of sweet cereal grains, grape nuts, burnt espresso and chocolate. Some vanilla in here too.

Slightly harsh at first, slight soggy wood and some nutty chocolate. It immediatly sweetens up to almost cloying levels, huge malt bill in here, almost too sweet. Candy and molassass sugar. Not getting much oak/bourbon/aged characteristics, this beer tastes young, perhaps it needed more time in the barrels. It's got a sticky mouthfeel and aftertaste, and isn't very drinkable because of this.

The ABV is kind of low for an impy porter, as is the flavor profile. It's just a regular american porter to me, nowhere comparing to beers like backbutte xx, alpha klaus, top sail, etc...which to me are real imperial porters.

Photo of schwaeh
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another bomber from scotchboy. Pretty exciting.

A: pours dark black with moderate carbonation. 3/4" tan head that recedes slowly.

S: Nice smokey dark malts with that woody oak spiral aroma. Not too much in the way of whiskey but oak is very apparent here. Chocolate malt with some very light earthy hops.

T: Good roasted malts, cocoa, chocolate. I get all the blending they do in this, it's a nice combination of barreled porter and stout. Woody earthy oak is the main barrel component, don't come into this expecting whiskey. Ashy, bitter, and Smokey notes.

M: Nice solid body here, it's real creamy. Drinks smooth.

O: Good go-to porter if you get it in your area. I know the price is right on this one. Easy drinking enough for any time. They might as well not put whiskey aged on the bottle though.

Photo of Reidrover
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost completely black ale ( some brown hues do show through, a great thick brown head, followed by luscious lace.
Strong roasted malt aromas,kinds boozy in a good way.
Bitter to begin with but smoothes out quite well, has some fruitiness near end, dark coffee, raisins,liquorice.

Pretty nice and refeshing on the tongue, this feels quite well carbonated but doesnt make it "thin".
Overall a nice Impy Porter from Bridgeport..more drinkable than most but not top of the class.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe. The beer is a rich coffee black with a dark tan head that fades to random patches of thicker head and random bubbles. Sticky lacing. The beer smells unique -- there's a bubble gum sweetness in it with a hint of chocolate. Tastes like bitter chocolate with a glaze of sweet bubble gum, raisins, and burnt malts. Mouthfeel is good because it's not watery with a slightly dry finish. Overall, this is pretty enjoyable. I like the sweet bubble gum taste that's hidden in the dry chocolate. Definitely glad I tried this one.

Photo of jsapunor
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown into a nonic tumbler. Good retention of the tan colored head.

The aroma is roasty, slightly burnt coffee.

The taste is coffee, burnt malt with sweetness. The sweetness is very noticable but doesn't overpower the other flavors. The whole effect is very nice. The body is a little thinner than I expected. Low carbonation and not much alcohol warmth.

It has a great label and the 3-D glasses are a nice gimmick.

This is a nice porter although not as strong in flavor, mouthfeel or alcohol as other Imperials. It's definitely on the sweet side and is very smooth and easy to drink

Overall, a very good porter that I enjoyed and would drink again.

Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Concordia Ale House, Portland, OR

This beverage has the distinction of being the last beer I imbibed on my '11 Oregon beercation.

Poured into a 12oz. glass, an opaque black with a creamy tan head that retained and laced moderately well. Coffee and cocoa in the nose, dark malts, hints of booze-soaked oak, but I probably wouldn't have noticed it was barrel-aged just from the aroma. Taste of dark malts, nutty, with notes of cocoa, vanilla bear, and bitter coffee, more pronounced taste of whiskey-soaked oak, but still not very strong. Decently smooth mouthfeel, medium-bodied, and pretty drinkable overall.

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Raven Mad Imperial Porter from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
83 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.