Raven Mad Imperial Porter - BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

Not Rated.
Raven Mad Imperial PorterRaven Mad Imperial Porter

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80 Reviews
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Reviews: 80
Hads: 145
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 14.02%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 80 | Hads: 145
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Forest Cake black with slim highlights of burnt orange. A substantial slab of coffee mousse colored foam looked good after the pour and looks even better once it starts to melt. Shredded sheets of sudsy lace look fine as well, especially since barrel-aged ales usually leave a fairly clean glass.

A portion of this beer was aged in Jack Daniels barrels and a portion in Pinot Noir barrels. Unfortunately, neither of those is appreciated in the nose (note: subsequent sniffs give off a faint hint of the whiskey). The usual aromas of dark chocolate and black coffee dominate. More power would have been nice.

It's hard to think of a 7.8% <anything> as being Imperial. The beer doesn't taste big and bold, it tastes like a standard American porter that has a mild-moderate amount of barrel-aged character. If you're looking to be hit over the head with shovelfuls of malt, a fifth of whiskey and a flagon of wine, drink something else.

Raven Mad is too tame to stand out from the crowd. It doesn't have quite enough malty guts and it's a little too tangy. More malt sugars... or more hops... or more whiskey (J.D. isn't bourbon)... or more Pinot Noir wouldn't have allowed the tart fruitiness to flourish to such an extent. This isn't bad beer, it just lacks coherence and a flavor hook.

The mouthfeel is acceptable at the start, then wanders away too quickly on the finish. At the risk of beating a dead horse, more malt sugars would have shored up the bottom end and would have resulted in more 'hang on' on the back end. Bubbles are on the scarce side, which is fine by me.

Raven Mad Imperial Porter sounds better on paper than it tastes. If you're looking to dip a toe into the barrel-aged porter and stout style, this would be a pretty good place to start. If you no longer need training wheels, set your sights higher. Now why didn't I get the 3-D glasses that are supposed to come with each bomber?

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle - $6.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a black, inky-looking body with an inch of tan-hued foam.

Smell: Dark chocolate enveloped roasted malt joining a vigorous, vinous fruit aroma atop subtle tannic hints of oak barrel.

Taste: Starts off with a sweet, smooth roastiness introducing dark chocolate and a lively blend of fruits: raisins, plums, and sourish dark cherry. There's a gentle charred oak character, though never much in the way of a bourbon flavor. Earthy, vaguely spicy hops with a balancing medium-low bitterness. Semi-dry, fruity, faintly roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I actually found it to be rather likable and quaffable.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
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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Photo of russpowell
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
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

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Photo of Zorro
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650ml bomber given to me by my brewing lecturer. This particular bottle may have been ~12 months old. Shared with Sam.

Pours a deep, dark brown colour, lighter at the edges, with a muddled, flaky cola-coloured head. Some streaky, but thin and watery lace. Fine, perhaps thin, body with minimal carbonation. Overall, it doesn't look particularly exciting.

Nose is mild and toasty, with a bit of sweet, estery fruit: banana coming through in particular. Slight peppery characters, and some cocoa and sweetness as it warms, giving it a toasted banana bread character. There's not a lot to it, to be honest, but it's not bad.

Taste is a bit better. Sweet darkness on the front, with raisins, sultanas and some toffee, before a robust, almost ashy bitterness swells on the finish. There's some rummy booze, a hint of pepper again, and some earthiness. It's maybe a little bit too thin in the mouth, but the carbonation is fine.

Overall, yeah, it's nice enough, but it's far from being really exciting or interesting. It's just decent. It's missing some overarching structure and complexity, and ends up feeling a little too generic.

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Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Horsebrass the other day.

The beer pours the expected dark black with an impressive, creamy head, good retention and excellent lacing. On the nose I get an interesting interplay of vanilla and licorise, along with some underlying hoppy bitterness. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, and I have to say this is an unusual, interesting take on the style. Despite all the barrell aging, this porter is on the dry side and surprisingly light on the palate. It is absolutely nothing like the Black Butte XX for instance, and I'm surprised the abv. is as high as is listed on this site. The porter is not the least bit boozy, and the complexity is astonishing. Despite the dry, low abv. mouthfeel, I still get a boatload of vanilla and licorise, with some hoppy bitterness on the finish. There's a hint of coffee and chocolate as well, but it's really no more then an afterthought. There's also something of an aged sherry component to the flavor profile, something I normally associate with aged ales and extended barrel aging. The beer is also pretty creamy and long on the palate. It's all pretty interesting, but in this case I think the sum of the parts is greater then the whole. The combination of upfront licorise and vanilla is a bit much for me, though I can see where others might really like it.

This is an interesting, very solid beer, but it's just not blowing my socks off. Nevertheless, an impressive offering from Bridgeport brewing.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber
With some 3D Glasses, LOL
Red Foil

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, nice carbonation, very nice looking creamy one-finger plus tan head, with some very nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice malt/toffee/chocolate notes. The taste is malty, sweet, with some toffee/chocolate. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew from Bridgeport, recommended.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
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.


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Photo of Derek
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a tan head, thin ring of retention, light lacing.

S: Smoky, cola, coffee, dark chocolate, licorice. Awesome.

T: Licorice, coffee, smoky, spice, fruity, balanced bitterness.

M: Well-attenuated, creamy with a light acidity, drying finish.

D: A good drinker.

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Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

55% Porter, 8% Porter aged in oak Bourbon barrels, 33% Porter aged in oak Wine barrels.
Bomber (complete with 3-D glasses to view the Hitchcock label) poured into my Meantime Snifter, Rave Mad is a very dark blackish brown with a tan head that leaves a persistent skim and sticky foam.

Smell is milk chocolate and cereals, with touches of wood (lumber), new leather and pipe tobacco.

Taste is nice, robust, full flavored, pretty smooth. Sweet chocolaty crystal, followed by a slightly acrid roastiness and anise, which is amplified by the dry finish and sweet, boozy aftertaste. Light waxy phenols, maybe the lactose like milky sweetness I gathered from the nose, but regardless, I don't care for in the taste either. Good though, and as the name implies, not your average American Porter, but bigger, ramped up to today's tastes. Reminds me of Boulder's Obovoid Empirical Russian Stout.

Mouthfeel is dry and tannic, medium bodied and not too hard to digest.

Drinkability is pretty good, this tasty and robust without being to gratuitous, and nicely done. Given a bit of time for the edges to round out, I'm sure it will improve. As usual, another quality, value priced Bridgeport Big Brew. Phase out some of the tired classics and use these to revamp the lineup!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong, smoky aroma has a decided overtone of whisky barrel and subtle coffee and chocolate notes. It pours a rich, deep, opaque sable with a thick, fine-bubbled tan head that leaves generous lacing. Flavor is - where to begin? Whisky and woody overtone; earthy, chocolate, coffee, molasses, licorice and nutty notes - each sip seems different. Texture has about average body and a decent amount of fizz. Lip-smacking finish has woody and smoky notes and a hint of sweetness. This one will have you "raven"! :D

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of gford217
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber acquired quite a while back, even comes with some nifty 3-D glasses.

Pours a nice deep chocolate brown that's very close to black with a thick tan head that recedes to a collar leaving some nice lacing along the sides.

The aroma is interesting as it's got lots of dark malts and chocolate but there I definitely get the pinot noir character in the nose with a light wine-like tart fruitiness. Not much bourbon that I can gather.

The taste is dry and chocolaty with lots of cocoa character and a hefty toasted black malt backbone. There is still a bit of the tart fruit in the finish, though it's less prevalent than the nose.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied as imperial stouts go, though it's probably OK for a standard porter. The wine-barrel character lends an interesting dryness to the mouthfeel.

I'll salute BridgePort for the creativity of aging a porter in pinot barrels which lends an interesting feel to the beer. I don't think the underlying porter is quite hefty enough though, at least not to be considered an "imperial".

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.22/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Blackish brown, no head. Rim of beige lace some bead. Bit blah.

Coffee roast on the nose. Sweet caramel toffee and some spice blending maybe with some light herbal hoppy notes. Sweetish really, not bad.

Tastes a little weak upfront, with an under-cooked coffee note and some burnt toffee. Gets stronger darkness midway with a big oomph of roasty coffee and char. Finishes with a little vegetative note, kind of blandly bitter. OK for its flaws but nothing really great.

Surprisingly thin, little bit of carbonation fizz. Finishes OK.

A bit half-baked and not quite there in all the parts it should be.

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Photo of tpd975
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to SeaBass for this one.

A: Pours a very dark black hue with an average sized mocha head. Good retention with some spotty lace.

S: Bold roasted malt, with would you believe banana? Big blast of dark fruit with hints of vanilla.

T: Very dark roasted malt up front with hints of chocolate. Where is the oak I was expecting? Hints of molasses and nuts with a dash of green hops in the finish.

M: Medium to full in body pretty smooth.

D: Good. Pretty good brew. It was a real treat as it was one I had never even heard of.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.17/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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Photo of Reidrover
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of kwjd
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very dark brown colour with a small tight brown head. Smells a bit of chocolate and roast. Taste has a small amount of bitterness. The mouthfeel was a little bit too thin for my liking of the style. Very drinkable though.

I would have liked to have some 3D glasses to look at the bottle.

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Photo of merlin48
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer hit the shelves back in October, arriving in 22 oz. bottles crowned with bright red foil and labeled with a disturbingly blurry label. Blurry, that is, until the attached 3-D glasses are donned - then a campy, Hitchcock-inspired scene of eye-gouging raven/screaming victim becomes clear... and three-dimensional (sorta...)!

A blend:
59% Porter (non-aged)
8% Oak-Barrel Aged (Bourbon)
33% Oak-Barrel Aged (Wine)

Bottle poured to a pint glass during the opening minutes of the NHL All-Star Game.

A: No big complaints, looks-wise: it's a perfectly dark brown, showing some ruby/auburn at the edges. Head is a sandy ivory, creamy but falling quickly from about a finger to near nothingness. Very good lace, sticking in draping sheets of cobwebs.

S: Served pretty cool, so I expected the aroma to lag. Waited and waited for a big burst of dark grain, chocolate, even wood or booze. Never really developed for me. Subtler notes of cocoa and espresso, a little vanilla and some earthy berries.

T: A roasted mouthful of roasted coffee and baker's chocolate, a heavy bitter/sweetness. I find curious notes of dark cherries, vinous grapes, earthy fruitskins and woody spicing - these all make sense since more than 40% of this beer is barrel-aged. The flavors are subtle and likable, marrying well with the dark malt roasts.

M: Rich, chewy texture yet with a medium body. Nice carbonated feel that's lively without being TOO active; becomes smoother as it warms and coats with a veil of grainy grit.

D: Full flavor with good balance and nice blending. I actually expected more of the 'boozy' flavors often imparted by used barrels to be present; instead they're presented sparingly. And that's a good thing. Nicely crafted brew from BridgePort, one worth seeking.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well this is possible one of the cheapest barrel aged brews I've come across, @ 2.99 for a bomber, I couldn't resist trying it out. The pour is slightly thin for the style, minimal head forms, just a thin collar remains. Some spotty lacing. The aroma features some mellow cocoa along with light vanilla accents. Not really picking up much in the way of oak. The taste starts the way the beer smells...mellow vanilla and cocoa. There isn't much depth. Things take a turn to the sweet and sloppy with some unpleasant astringency. For a relatively light imperial porter, this tastes somewhat harsh. The mouthfeel is thin and prickly. Well the age old saying of "you get what you paid for" applies in this case. While its not bad or offensive by any means, this beer is not well balanced and the barrel aging seems barely present. I often cringe when I plunk down big bucks for the high rated bourbon stouts, but I must say that the extra dollars show up in this quality. I wouldn't buy this again, even at its low price.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Bridgeport Brewery in Portland, OR

This was one remarkable porter. I didn't have any expectations when ordering it and I had to do a double-take when I had my first sip.

It was brought to me in a 16 oz glass and was jet black with no head.

There wasn't a lot of smell but the taste was impressive. First impression was of chocolate, toasty grains and oak (probably due to the wine and bourbon oak barrel aging of about 40% of this porter). There must be a dozen different, subtle tastes in this porter. You've got to try it to see. There's a medium bitterness to well-balance the malts. The carbonation was medium.

It was so good, I had another one. Give this one a try.

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Raven Mad Imperial Porter from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
84 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.