1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Payback Porter - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Payback PorterPayback Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

208 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 208
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 14
Gots: 21 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Murchmac on 12-21-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Celtics17:
Photo of Celtics17


4.21/5  rDev +7.4%

This was a solid porter, and it played well with a lot of milk chocolate notes.

Appearance: Thick brown, almost opaque unless you look at how it pours. Head is light tan just about a one finger's length with a hard vigorous pour.

Smell: Chocolate scent, comes off slightly roasted with hints of espresso.

Taste: This porter has a lot of stout feels in the mouthfeel. Slight coffee, but not a lot coming through. This porter has slight Smokey flavoring, but this porter is full of chocolate notes.

12-05-2013 07:52:50 | More by Celtics17
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured a deep chocolate brown with huby highlights,a creamy one finger tan colored head atop that never really left.Sweeter chcolate notes along with almost a cookie dough element to it,not overly roasted in the nose.Slightly sharp in the mouth,not overly annoying but it's noticable.A nice mix of sweet and roast on the palate,starts out with some chocolate and molasses then melds into a roasty dryer finish that lingers.A solid porter from a brewery that I miss,I can't get their stuff here in NC.

12-03-2012 21:18:02 | More by oberon
Photo of andyfrancis


3.73/5  rDev -4.8%

Black beauty in a glass. Nice brown head that's holding up nicely and condensing in to a froth. Roasty malt on the nose, hint of something sweet. Nice. I loves me a good porter and this one passes my test. nice subtle carbonation, drinkable without being too watery. Wouldn't want more than two or three in a sitting, but I'd gladly come back to it again.

05-04-2010 21:45:40 | More by andyfrancis
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

22 ouncer, purchased this evening at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY for $6.99. No freshness info offered. Pours near black, very dark khaki head, initially over 2 inches, then slowly fading to a thick and blotchy film, leaves nice looking thick sheeting in spots and plenty of scattered ribs of stickage. The sniff is of dark malts and vanilla. Bold porter, more then ample dark malts, more vanilla, milk chocolate, then quite dry hops in the finish to balance things off. Highly enjoyable American style porter, go get some and enjoy this quality brew

03-10-2010 02:03:25 | More by Billolick
Photo of magictrokini


3.83/5  rDev -2.3%

Tap @ Hamilton's. Black pour with a squatty tan head. Old coffee and cream with cocoa powder in the nose. Bitter baker's chocolate up front that melds into a coffee-nuts-malt carpet on your tongue. A bit grainy and metallic at times Some nuts and smoke/roast comes through, but inconsistently. I still liked it despite its warts.

12-16-2008 18:14:48 | More by magictrokini
Photo of mjtiernan

New York

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

10-10-2012 02:54:08 | More by mjtiernan
Photo of Milkysunshine

New York

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

10-29-2012 23:03:48 | More by Milkysunshine
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.84/5  rDev -2%

Picked this up on Haight St after the barleywine festival.

Pours out a sturdy dark brown onto the desert playa. Seems to have ample carbonation and head. Was worried about freshness, but a vibrant coffee, hops and chocolate aroma still bursted from this one.

Taste, man, total porter/cascadian dark ale hybrid I guess. Very hoppy, a little more thin on the mouthfeel from the malt perspective, of some porters. Being that I drank this about 4 months after purchase, I was worried about the hopping. Man, it was still huge. Price at $6 for a 22 was more than I wanted to pay, and the beer is probably challenging to those outside of its niche, but I would definitely have it again. Not sure how it differs from their blacktop iba though. Both good.

08-17-2010 22:06:34 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of glid02


4.28/5  rDev +9.2%

Had on-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown in Washington DC.

Pours black with a half-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of dark chocolate and roasted malts with a good amount of underlying earthy aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Large dark chocolate flavors mix with roasted malts up front. Near the end of the sip a very faint hint of dark fruit flavors sneaks out before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a great thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall I was impressed with this beer. Halfway between a porter and a stout I'd say this is worth a shot.

10-13-2009 03:16:51 | More by glid02
Photo of ste5venla


4/5  rDev +2%

08-22-2012 19:37:16 | More by ste5venla
Photo of InfernoBoss


4/5  rDev +2%

11-30-2012 02:31:11 | More by InfernoBoss
Photo of crowsoup


3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

01-13-2013 02:42:36 | More by crowsoup
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.96/5  rDev +1%

22oz bottle. Having been watching House of Cards of late, this brewery's period piece labels resonate all the more with me, even despite the obvious temporal incongruity.

This beer pours a solid abyssal black, with slight basal cherry cola highlights, and a teeming tower of puffy, rocky, shiny, and tightly foamy beige head, which leaves some random splattered and streaky lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of gritty roasted pale and caramel malt, wet ash, bitter day-old coffee grounds, bittersweet chocolate, reduced brown sugar, besotted raisins, and a soft metallic booze warming. The taste is more cocoa-heavy up front, the toasted malt ceding the driver's seat early on here, as that ashy character from the nose slowly wafts off, the coffee staying put in yesterday's news, a bit of black licorice rising up, and some vegetal hop notes combining with an edgy alcohol warmth to round things out.

The carbonation is fairly average, just a trilling frothiness for the most part, the body a sturdy medium weight, and perhaps a tad pithy in its otherwise agreeable smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the cocoa and neutered caramel malt still holding tough, the anise flavours niggly in their persistence, and that vegetal hoppiness starting to gnaw at my thus far forgiving good graces.

A pleasant enough new-world porter, overall, though the Americanisms here are limited to a certain cutting of corners sentiment - the hops just seem so plain and even off-putting, but not really to any large degree. Anyways, the other prominent flavours surely make up for it - the chocolate, coffee, and toasted malt providing adequate roughage to dissuade this drinker of any notion of that dreaded misinterpretation of English heritage.

04-19-2014 03:02:01 | More by biboergosum
Photo of TheSixthRing


3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

Appearance - Pours a near black, deep, dark cordovan brown with a powder chocolate colored 2 finger head. Good retention. Healthy amount of lacing left along the sides of the glass, sip after sip.

Smell - Strong notes of buttery chocolate (chocolate chip cookie?) wrapped around hints of caramel. Cream.

Taste - Initial roast quickly gives way to sweet milk chocolate and buttery, creamy qualities. Moderate notes of caramel. Finishes like cold coffee with a heavy dose of creamer to smooth out all bitterness, which is sorely lacking.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. Creamy. Goes down with nice smoothness.

Overall - Great beer, but missing a nice bitter punch, or any bitterness really, to take it to the next level. As is, it drinks like a dessert beer; something I wouldn't want to drink more than a bottle a night.

02-24-2013 05:14:24 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of dertyd


3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

08-25-2013 07:27:58 | More by dertyd
Photo of Ralphs66

New York

4/5  rDev +2%

02-15-2012 00:40:21 | More by Ralphs66
Photo of Kegatron


3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

06-17-2013 22:42:35 | More by Kegatron
Photo of falconxman


3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

06-05-2013 21:29:18 | More by falconxman
Photo of zillo043068

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

04-13-2013 16:59:58 | More by zillo043068
Photo of negroobserver

New York

4/5  rDev +2%

UPDATE- 2/3/11

I just bought a bottle, my original review below was a beer from tap.

This time, I noticed strong smoky chocolate notes in the smell and taste of the beer. Great stuff.



First time I've tried this and I was very happy with it. I was enjoying the beer with food, so I am a little reluctant to rate it too highly. The beer has a nice dark color (almost black) with very little light penetrating the glass. I could smell the barley and the dark malt. The taste is also very malty and a bit sweet. It has a rich body with chocolate undertones. I would totally drink this again and would love to have another right now.


01-17-2011 21:48:00 | More by negroobserver
Photo of WestValleyIPA


3.88/5  rDev -1%

Poured into my Zatec fluted glass. A great looking 3 fingers of head. Tan and firm. Smells like cream, coffee, chocolate. Light smoke. Typical Porter. Tastes strongly of bitter chocolate along with light bitter hops. Mouth feels slightly powdery/chalky. Very little evidence of the 7.5 abv. Goes down nicely for such a big beer.

04-12-2010 01:10:26 | More by WestValleyIPA
Photo of GRG1313


4.22/5  rDev +7.7%

Pours black with a big, thick, firm and pillowy off-white/tan head. Nice looking.

Nose is sweet ripe pears and peaches with hints of apricots.

Mouthfeel is rich and "half and half" consistency that is pleasant and welcoming.

Flavors are big and bold roasted grain, rich black coffe with an underlying hit of sweetness and black chocolate.

Finish is bitter espresso/bitter black chocolate. Beer is complex and layered but with really nice integration. Very much like a big stout it belies the name Porter. A rich, roasted grain brew all around.

03-13-2010 09:10:08 | More by GRG1313
Photo of EagleTalon


4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours to a thick tan head and opaque dark brown color. Aroma is roast coffee, dark chocolate and earthy hops. Flavor is a malty, roasty explosion backed up by malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and moderate CO2. Overall, I would say this stuff is a very well made and tasty American porter.

05-15-2010 01:06:36 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of rowbow


3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

06-06-2014 16:37:05 | More by rowbow
Photo of innuendobrewskiman63

New York

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

04-10-2012 23:44:37 | More by innuendobrewskiman63
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Payback Porter from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
88 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.