1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Portsmouth Kate The Great - Portsmouth Brewery

Not Rated.
Portsmouth Kate The GreatPortsmouth Kate The Great

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

894 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 894
Reviews: 485
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 2,691
Gots: 169 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: bewareOFpenguin on 04-07-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Portsmouth Kate The Great Alström Bros
Ratings: 894 | Reviews: 485 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of boonejag75
5/5  rDev +9.9%

boonejag75, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of rondufresne
5/5  rDev +9.9%

rondufresne, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of jegross2
5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BEER REVIEW #200! Since beer review #100 was CBS, I had to pull out something epic to top it (especially since I took the MPRE in the morning).

Reviewing the infamous Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery out of New Hampshire. This is one of highest rated and most sought after beers in the world. I am absolutely ecstatic to have had the opportunity to try this beer.
Score: 100

2012 vintage bottle served in a Dogfish Head snifter and enjoyed on 03/17/12.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown coffee color with just under a half finger of creamy tan head at pour that settles into a ring around the glass and foggy layer atop the beer. Totally opaque save for a thin brown highlight strip at the top of the glass when held up to light. Above average frothy and oily lacing mix with absolutely superior retention. 5/5

Smell: Loads of rich and roasted chocolate and smooth, percolating coffee. A really nice aromatic mix of milk chocolate and chocolate. Toasted oats, prunes, figs, and roasted malts. A very light vanilla and licorice smell too. As the beer approaches room temperature, a very small amount of dark cherry comes out in the nose. Very inviting! 5/5

Taste: WOW! Move over Darkness, there is a new Russian Imperial Stout in town. The first thing I notice is the rich, complex and layered medley of chocolate flavors in this beer. There's creamy milk chocolate, fudge, bittersweet chocolate morsels, mocha and dark chocolate throughout. There's a modest amount of fig flavor and "dark chocolate raisinets" flavor on the midpalate in addition to some brown sugar. There is a light alcohol warming effect (but not flavor) on the midpalate too, but just the perfect amount to give some liveliness to the rich chocolateness of the beer. There's some toasted oat flavor and smooth coffee too. This beer honestly strikes the perfect balance between chocolate and coffee -- smooth, rich and flavorful, but not too bitter, sweet or acidic. There's another wave of rich mocha and dark chocolate flavor towards the finish, which seems to grow as the beer layers. Finishes with the perfect mocha and raw chocolate flavor that you'd expect and desire from a Russian Imperial Stout. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Rich, creamy and chewy mouthfeel. Finish is dry, chocolatey and bittersweet. 5/5

Overall: I never thought that I would ever consume a beer that I enjoyed more than Surly Darnkess, but here we are. Kate The Great is truly a perfect beer that lives up to the hype. Rich, complex and infinitely chocolatey. You could absolutely hate beer and love this brew. If only this one was more available and easy to find, it would be the only beer I would stock in my fridge for regular consumption. People covet this beer for a reason, and I would absolutely recommend paying well over the cost to acquire a bottle for a special occassion. World class indeed!

Recommendation: Seek this beer out. I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Pairings: Vanilla ice cream or steak.

Cost: $8 for an 11.2 oz bottle, but when you consider the cost of purchasing a lottery ticket to entitle you to a bottle and the probabilities of winning, each bottle actually costs $23.

jegross2, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of london1o1
5/5  rDev +9.9%

london1o1, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of deldredge
5/5  rDev +9.9%

deldredge, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of mcintire78
5/5  rDev +9.9%

mcintire78, May 28, 2013
Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +9.9%

FreshmanPour77, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Lenny1203
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Lenny1203, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Hopsiam14
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Hopsiam14, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of bkny27
5/5  rDev +9.9%

bkny27, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of angrybabboon
5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is a combination of notes taken 7/1/08, 3/22/10, and memories burnt into my mind from 4 bottles ranging from 2008 - 2011 (and some on-tap). Most recently updated on 4/28/12, from a 2012 bottle.

Note: 200th review posted to BA, I've been waiting to write this for a while

Note 2: No amount of rambling will do justice to this beer, so I'm going to attempt to be concise. I will likely be revising this in the future.

Appearance: Pours dark brown, slightly viscous-looking - head is a beautiful tan color, doesn't stick around forever, but the ring of carbonation that sticks around leaves great lacing

Smell: Simply intoxicating - a number of distinct aromas - burnt coffee, chocolate malts, baker's chocolate, dark chocolate, molasses, and dark fruits (figs, grape skin), and some burnt port, a touch of wood - some hoppy aromas (when fresh), and they add a herbal/spicy character that blends with the dark malts - rich, complex malts, a beautiful blend of roasted malts, burnt malts, and cake-like sweetness

Taste: Beyond perfection - a complex harmony of bitter, burnt tones, somewhat sweet, candy-like tones, and some spiciness from the hops - dark, burnt malts - definitely burnt, but not excessively charred - dry, baker's chocolate, as well as sweeter, semisweet chocolate - roasted coffee - some incredible dark fruit flavors, perhaps from the port, which also adds a touch of tart - some sweetness that is reminiscent of a spice cake, as well as toffee - just breathtaking overall - the taste itself really comes in stages, with some rich sweetness at the start, chocolate in the middle, and a gloriously roasty aftertaste - definitely some variation from fresh to aged, but a 5/5 regardless

Mouthfeel: Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Kate - heavy, but not sludgy - insanely smooth - nicely carbonated (actually varies batch to batch) - absolutely, stupidly, and mind-blowingly drinkable

Overall: No other beer has caused me so much joy (and so much pain)

Having the opportunity to drink Kate the Great is simultaneously one of the best and worst things to ever happen to me. The good things are outlined above... The problem with this beer is that it's so good that it has cast a shadow over every stout I've had since the summer of 2008. Nothing is as good as Kate. And this beer is so f--- hard to get. I've waited in line for so many hours. It's an unhealthy relationship. It's become the prototype for why I hate hype. To summarize, I absolutely love and absolutely hate everything about this beer.

angrybabboon, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of BZero007
5/5  rDev +9.9%

BZero007, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of RBCORCORAN
5/5  rDev +9.9%

RBCORCORAN, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of andylipp
5/5  rDev +9.9%

andylipp, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of dannyfayy
5/5  rDev +9.9%

dannyfayy, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of EnronCFO
5/5  rDev +9.9%

EnronCFO, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of rfraga77
5/5  rDev +9.9%

rfraga77, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of kevgod
5/5  rDev +9.9%

kevgod, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of ejyoung
5/5  rDev +9.9%

ejyoung, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of bespin15
5/5  rDev +9.9%

bespin15, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of kirbsicles
5/5  rDev +9.9%

kirbsicles, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of pathman
5/5  rDev +9.9%

pathman, May 25, 2014
Photo of anichols70
5/5  rDev +9.9%

anichols70, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of splax23
5/5  rDev +9.9%

splax23, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of ROBSTARR
5/5  rDev +9.9%

ROBSTARR, Nov 13, 2012
Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 894 ratings.