Payback Porter - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Payback PorterPayback Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

82 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 251
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 5.64%
Wants: 16
Gots: 36 | 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:
Beer added by: Murchmac on 12-21-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 82 | Hads: 251
Photo of TruePerception
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Speakeasy's Payback Porter. 7.5% ABV.

A: A little over a finger of chocolate milk colored head. Black in the glass; very dark brown in the dimple. Thin lacing. Decent sheeting.

S: Roasted coffee, with a touch of dark cocoa. Slight char note.

T/MF: Taste is more of the same, with the coffee coming forward even more. Slightly more char in the mouth.

It's alright. Nothing special.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass. (442 characters)

Photo of preago
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pretty robust, lots of dark roast coffee & chocolate, the chinook hops really stand out at the end. $5 bomber makes for a great value...doesn't stare back at you. (163 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deepest black color blocking light with a thick caramel head with good retention and leaving laces.
Nice and bold aroma with notes of cocoa and coffee.
Flavor with notes of espresso coffee, dark fruits, licorice, oatmeal, mild pecan, roasted malts, chocolate cake, some smoke and a citrus hint. Dry and bitter aftertaste with a long lasting roasted note.
Full body with appropriate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy. Alcohol of 7.5% is simply not there.
Excellent Porter, though it felt to me like a bold stout. Very flavorful. (529 characters)

Photo of seedyone
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%

12/19/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Not very impressed. More aroma than flavor. Not much body but experience dictates that can be the nature of porters. With all the choices in front of me this doesn't make the cut. (217 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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. (1,749 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a bomber from BevMo in early November for $4.99. No bottling date.

Beer pouted cola brown with a decent tan head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is light roast and some cocoa.

Taste is roasted malts, dark cocoa, hints of dark fruits. There is enough hopping to balance out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and not overly smooth.

Overall this is a pretty tasty brew that has some good and average characteristics. Give it a shot as it is reasonably priced. (486 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

To start the color is a deep rusty ruby copper as one peers through it but in general looks brown. A medium to small head formed. It was beige with dense bubbles leaving spotty lacing around the glass. The head maintain throughout my drinking experience.

In the nose there was a roasted malt scent with subtle nuiances of chocolate and coffee. Also, one could smell molasses or dark fruits at the very end.

Roasted malts were the dominate flavor on the palate and quite nearly burnt. I like that.
Like in the nose coffee and chocolate were quite subtle and enhanced the roasted malts.
Label suggests that I might taste some bright hops, well guess what, I didn't. You could taste a low level of hops but at this level why advertise it.

The feel across my palate was smooth and velvetty but also with a fair amount of charcoal ash.

This beer is very easy to drink and has a nice flavor from the roasted malts.
Speakeasy makes some good beers. (946 characters)

Photo of Celtics17
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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. (500 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap in a pint glass at Special Brews in Lynnwood, WA.

Appearance: nearly black hue with a thick head of frothy tan foam. Head dissipated slowly leaving a nice lace on the glass; quite attractive.

Smell: very light malty aroma with a little caramel character. Almost too light, really.

Taste: kind of on the rough side; coffee and roasted malts along with some vegetal hops and a fair amount of astringency. Not bad, but a little rough.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a nice, well-integrated carbonation. Quite creamy, which is an interesting juxtaposition to the rough-and-ready flavor. I like it.

Overall: being on the rough side affects drinkability. This isn't a bad beer, but it just isn't my speed. (718 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and opaque in the glass with a two finger tan head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very good retention with rings and streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Robust aroma with a nice balance of roasted dark malt and earthy, resinous hops. Slightly smokey with hints of burnt toast, oatmeal, espresso bean and dark chocolate countered by sweeter malt notes and dank grassy, piny hops. I'm really surprised how well balanced the nose is with a very inviting floral hop bouquet. I wish that more black IPAs/Cascadian dark ales smelled like this.

Full bodied with an earthy, resinous hop bite up front that provides some dry bitterness that lingers over the complex malt bill into a dry finish. Dry and sticky with grassy pine, dank buds and spruce tip but the hop flavors aren't overpowering with plenty of roasted and sweet dark malts coming through. Subtle smoke character with hints of burnt toast, oatmeal, bittersweet dark chocolate and gourmet coffee with caramel and dessert-like chocolate cake sweetness balancing things out in the finish. I usually do not like darker beers, especially stouts and porters, to have any hop character but I really enjoyed those flavors in this beer. Great balance with interesting flavors bouncing off of each other and the ABV is excellently masked making this beer very easy to drink. This beer was a pleasant surprise and ill definitely be buying more bottles, especially at $6 a bomber. (1,503 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, caramel, toffee, floral, light char, light nuttiness, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of roasted malt notes with a fair amount of hop presence; and good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, milk chocolate, roasted malt, toast, toffee, caramel, coffee, light char, light nuttiness, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Slight coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, caramel, toffee, coffee, light char, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance, complexity, and robustness of roasted and dark malt flavors; with a light amount of hop balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy, smooth, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a really excellent porter style. Great robustness and balance of roasted flavors; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one. (1,390 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint.

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: Heavy dark chocolate scent, comes off slightly roasted with hints of espresso. Has a bbq feel to the scent makes you want to eat the beer.

Taste: This is defintely your after dinner porter....I don't think I would have it all night long because of the heavy smoked bbq feel, complimented with a coffee and chocolate combo that is surreal.

Mouth: Medium body with nice even texture. Stickiness is well above average.

Overall: Straight up good beer, perfectly paired with steak and potatos. You can do whatever you want to do with it but best way I can explain it's complex taste is a rauch meetsyour traditional porter. A glass is all you need. Salud! (834 characters)

Photo of flydudehsv
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber from bevmo. Pours a dark brown color with a good inch of thick cappuccino like head. Pleasant aroma of roast malt, coffee and cocoa powder. The taste kicks off with a strong roasted malt flavor backed by citrusy hops and bittersweet chocolate. Also some light roast coffee and orange peel in the mix. There’s a surprisingly strong citrus presence that nearly overpowers the dark, roasty flavors. The alcohol is also much more subtle than I was expecting. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill Porter. (514 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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. (846 characters)

Photo of slammo
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Recently had the Betrayal Imperial Red which I liked vey much but cannot say the same here. It was above average but nothing special when so many other Potters I have tried are better. The appearance was dark and chocolate but still not totally inviting. The head was gone before you can say bada bada bing bang. Tasting it was better and had some depth to offer. Finish is great with smoky malt notes. (402 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Met my exceptions as dark as it can be slightly viscous with a 1/4 inch of mocha head that seems to stick around forever with a nice lace ring to boot.

S - Smells of decent hops, sweet chocolate, a touch of ashy roast, and some fruity yeasts.

T - Enough porter aspects to remind you it's one. Slightly chalky finish with some ashy roast but mostly a balanced level of bitter and sweet chocolate with a citrus hop finish. It's good.

M - Medium bodied, slightly chewy, well hidden ABV.

Overall Not a bad porter for 7 bucks but nothing I would revisit again. (563 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (500 characters)

Photo of Kendo
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Body is black with a big (2-finger) chocolate-brown head. Good thick rings of lace left behind.

S: Not a terribly strong nose: some chocolate malt and roasted barley malt.

T: Follows the nose, more or less: good chocolate malt sweetness, some roasty flavors (roasted barley, hint of coffee). Not as "burnt" as is often the case with porters; this one's more on the sweeter side. Also some dark chocolate/cacao. Finishes with some decent roasty bitterness, however, providing nice balance. Lingering roastiness on the palate. The 7.5% ABV isn't really noticed at all.

M: Medium in heft, good carbonation.

O: Good stuff. I haven't been overly impressed with the Speakeasy beers I've had so far, but this is good for the style. Reminds me of a Black IPA a little. (811 characters)

Photo of jimilayne
3.04/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a chalice glass.

Beautiful chocolate appearance with a big thick cola head.

Major popcorn butter in the nose with some caramel mixed in. Very unique.

Tastes of melted butter with hints of coffee. Very rich. The buttery taste starts to wear on you about halfway through.

Nice touch of carbonation gives a very subtle bite but its very oily.

Interesting. Never really had anything like this. While reviewing this beer I've just been informed that the popcorn butter quality is considered a flaw. I love Speakeasy beers but won't go back to this one. (578 characters)

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chilled 22 oz. bomber into a shaker pint. No decipherable bottling date.

Look- Opaque ruby brown, two fingers of whipped hot cocoa-colored foam. Decent retention, good lacing.

Smell- Bold, very bold. Fresh-ground French roast and hot chocolate, vanilla, sarsaparilla, dark bitter coffeelike acidic twang. Plenty of dark malt without overdoing the dry, acidic patent feel. Fairly sweet, makes me think of whipped cream or marshmallows.

Taste- Roasty, oat-y, bootstrap molasses, some charred bread crust. Bitter, almost funky tinge towards the end. Light sweetness. Reminds me of Tootsie rolls and baker's chocolate at the same time. Definitely some wet-kilned malt here. Light, mellow finish that steps through black coffee, graham cracker, baked Alaska, and whipped cream. Aftertaste is of cappuccino foam. Overall, light flavor for the style, but very well balanced and tasty. ABV well hidden.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full body, moderate carbonation comes out on the sip. Smooth on the swallow. Drinks like iced coffee with a decent dose of half&half. Quite drinkable.

Overall- Pretty good. Lighter that I usually like, but they do an extremely good job of keeping the sweetness in check. Bitterness is spot-on and comes off like dark roast coffee or dark chocolate. Definitely worth trying. (1,292 characters)

Photo of coldriver
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a near-opaque dark brown with decent head and lacing. Aroma is cocoa and smokey malt. Taste is coffee, dark chocolate and sweet molasses. Bit of a harsh alcohol burn on the finish. Overall I wouldn't qualify this beer as world class - but certainly something I would have again. (297 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a plastic cup at the brewery.

A: Great head. Mocha, pitted, frothy. Black dark even in direct light.

S: Strong coffee. Roasted malts. Perfect porter.

T: Nice porter! Perfectly balanced between sweetish vanillaish malt roasted meaty bitterish. Clean finish. Some hops.

M: Present but not oppressive.

O: I applaud the effort. Well-made and tasty. Recommended. Great example of the style. (405 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass. Just about a finger of head. Color was black with hints of brown. Minimal lacing on the top. Some sporadic film on the sides of the glass.

Smelled of a mixture of smoky fire, coffee and dark chocolate. Nothing too special, nothing too surprising.

Initial taste was smoky fire and charcoal. That outweighed the coffee and dark chocolate by a long way. Usually not a fan of smoky charcoal type beers, but this wasn’t too bad. Really nice finish.

Full body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish.

Nothing too great about this beer, but it was decent for the smoky style. I’d probably try it again. (669 characters)

Photo of JizackFH
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Sunswick 35/35 in Astoria, NY on 2/14/12.

Review taken from notes.

This beer pours a really dark brown color. There is about a finger of tan head resting on top. The head has good retention, and there is some nice lace left behind on the glass. The nose has a good amount of roasted malt. There are some nice aromas of chocolate, coffee, and toffee. Also, I am getting just a little bit of hop presence. The taste pretty much follows the nose. It starts off with a good dose of roasted malt. There are flavors of chocolate and coffee that follow. There are also a little bit of dark fruit flavors, as well as some toffee, and some mild earthy hop flavor. the finish leaves some lingering roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate behind on the palate. This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a nice slimy smooth feel to it. There is some initial sweetness and a good amount of roasted malt bitterness. Also, there is some earthy hop presence. This has good drinkability. It goes down good, and the flavor is nice. Overall, I think it is a good beer and a nice example of a porter. I enjoyed this one, and I recommend checking it out. It's worth trying. I'd drink it again. (1,214 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep and dark brown color with a pretty nice off white head, decent lacing too.

Aromas are of chocolate, light coffee, and earth hops.

Taste is of chocolate, coffee beans, cocoa, and heavily roasted grains and malts. Finish is crisp and dry with earthy hop bitterness. Fairly hoppy for a porter.

Mouthfeel is crisp, with decent body, the carbonation is a bit sharp though and could be toned down a notch.

Overall this is a nice robust and hoppy porter. Would happily drink this one again.  (502 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Payback Porter from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.