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Payback Porter - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Payback PorterPayback Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

215 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 215
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.97%
Wants: 15
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
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Ratings: 215 | Reviews: 79 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

t0rin0, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque dark crimson brown color with a 1 inch khaki head that fades to a very thin cap. Random blotches of lacing form around the glass on the drink down. Smells mainly of dark roasted malts with some minor coffee and chocolate aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and roasted coffee. There is an acidic citrus twang on the palate after each sip. Medium bodied with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good porter with a nice taste and mouthfeel. Also my first beer from Speakeasy which is weird since I go to SF a lot and drink other brews from the area (RR, Anchor) often.

UCLABrewN84, May 25, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

djrn2, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

zestar, Apr 20, 2014
Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high tan head the faded away and left some lacing in the center of the glass along with a ring of bubbles around the edge.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of roasted malts and coffee. There is a light amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and hides its alcohol well.

metter98, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Texasfan549, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Charred pecan brown that appears to be opaque when backlit with the overcast morning sky outside my front window. The upper third of the glass is filled with a chunky dollop of pale caramel colored foam that looks good in all ways that matter. Lovely lace too.

American hops and dark malts are a wonderful combination. Actually, American hops and *anything* are a wonderful combination. Each sniff delivers lots of chocolate, roasted barley and citrus zest. Good things are expected on taste bud submersion.

Despite being slightly thinner than it ought to be, Payback Porter is tasty beer if you like fruity-hoppy American porters. The ABV would have been easy to estimate even though no alcohol per se is appreciated in the flavor profile. Hopefully, warming will bring a little more depth and complexity, although this isn't a style that succeeds or fails on that particular litmus test.

Specific flavors include bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans, dark caramel, citrus (primarily grapefruit) zest and pine. In other words, pretty much what was expected. A moderate sweetness is easily exceeded by a crisp, finishing nip of bitterness. The taste score is a tweener (the higher was chosen), but the drinkability score is rock-solid.

More size, more lush creaminess and harder working carbonation would have improved this offering in the mouthfeel department. Despite a barely audible 'pffft' on crown cracking, the beer was far from flat, but it still could have been more expansive.

In my experience, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers brews beer that ranges from pretty good to solidly good. Payback Porter is much closer to the latter. What the hell, I would have no trouble at all laying out the cash for another bomber if the opportunity presents itself.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

GRG1313, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2.3%

jaydoc, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a dark brown color with some slight reddish highlights and a minimal off-white colored head.

S: The nose is pleasantly roasty with some nice notes of coffee and a touch of smokiness. There's a bit of sweetness to the smell as well.

T: The flavor is much like the aroma would lead you to believe. A touch of smoke along with plenty of roast and coffee and just a hint of chocolate. A light bitterness on the finish to work well with the other flavors.

M: The body is medium with a tingly and medium level of carbonation.

D: A very nice porter by Speakeasy. I never would have guessed the beer is 7.5% ABV. I'd pick this one up again.

womencantsail, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

oberon, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An opaque chocolate brown body topped by two fingers of tan foam. The head retains well, leaving sheets of lace clinging to the glass. Chocolate, subtle black licorice and roasted malt come to me first in the aroma, with a touch of coffee and roasty acidity behind. It's roasty and dry on the tongue, baking chocolate, coffee and burnt toast flavors lending nuance. There's also a bit of alcohol flavor that reminds me of vodka. The mouthfeel is dry but rich, medium in body with substantial carbonation. Dark fruit, coffee and burnt toast linger on the palate in the dry finish. This is very solid stuff.

largadeer, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

biboergosum, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Kegatron, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Beer is brown to black and mostly clear at the corners with a decent head and some lacing.

Aroma is smoky, pretty smoky but after the smoke there is a nice Brett c character to the whole thing, almost a citrusy sourness to it. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Beer is light and I don't know if this was infected but the funk character coming from the Brett is playing well with the smokiness of it. I like this beer, not at all what I expected.

drabmuh, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of mactrail
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky dark ale with rich roasted flavors.

Not quite black color in the glass with reddish on the edges. Hops are tasty without being excessive. Dark roasted malts with nutty flavors and a touch of bitterness, like Brazil nuts. Fruitcake richness yet only a touch of sweetness. The stronger alcohol content goes nicely with the robust flavors.

Well-balanced flavorful porter. Hard to find fault. My favorite Speakeasy beer to date.

mactrail, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

mdfb79, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

MarkyMOD, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

DrunkinYogi, May 16, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Rochefort10nh, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into an An Brainblasta goblet in the Porterhouse Central, Dublin. Reviewed from notes. Note that I'm a sucker for porters and stouts.

A: Two finger tan head of lovely cream and thickness. Black colour.

Sm: Cream, caramel, coffee alcohol. Delightfully complex.

T: Cream open shifts to coffee and caramel build with roasted barley and malt body. Cream is present on the finish as well. Well built and balanced. Complex but bold and innovative. I quite like it.

Mf: Nicely coarse for the style, but not quite dry enough.

Dr: Hides its ABV well, but far from worth the price, at least in Dublin. Surely the price would be better stateside, and I hope to try more brews from this brewery in the future.

kojevergas, May 10, 2011
Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

GClarkage, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of woodychandler
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When I had some last summer (July 2009), they were calling it "Hunter's Point Porter". What's in a name? It alludes to the southeast part of The City, where a Naval Shipyard once existed and I visited a few times over the course of my duty in Alameda. Now you know, if you didn't before.

It was presented to me with a finger of deep-tan head with decent retention. Nose smelled like a fresh fudge brownie, direct from the oven. Color was a deep, dense brown with ruby highlights. Mouthfeel was light-to-medium with a wholly chocolate taste on the tongue, This was a dessert beer, to be sure! There is no way, given its 8.5 ABV (that was what was listed at the time) and its sweetness, that I would want a steady diet of this beer. Finish reminded me of chocolate cake, fudge brownie, chocolate chip cookie and chocolate ice cream, all wrapped up in a single package. If that seems appealing to you, have at it. For my own sake, I'm taking a lay-down. Wow!

woodychandler, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of corby112
4.2/5  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.

corby112, Oct 14, 2013
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Payback Porter from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
88 out of 100 based on 215 ratings.