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Portsmouth Kate The Great - Portsmouth Brewery

Portsmouth Kate The GreatPortsmouth Kate The Great

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

853 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 853
Reviews: 483
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 10.11%

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
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Ratings: 853 | Reviews: 483 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of coachdonovan

Rhode Island

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

*Attn BA Bros: please don't delete this review. I realize it was not on tap, but I want to create a new review separate from my 2009 bottle.*

2011 bottle, aged in a true cellar. Want to enjoy this in celebration of the impending home purchase (and also to avoid anything bad happening to the bottle while moving). I was at '09 KTG Day, and I can't wait to taste this one again.

A tiny psst when the cap comes off makes me a little concerned, and it takes a hard pour to get just a 1/2 inch of head. Beer itself is obviously jet black. Aroma is that dark mysterious blend I love in a RIS... sweetness although I'm not sure whether it's coming from chocolate or dark fruits; complex roasted malts but not overly smoky; alcohol makes its presence known for sure.

Taste follows the same complex lines. It's fruity without being hoppy, it's roasted without tasting like coffee, it's thick and viscous without feeling like motor oil. I am glad I started this above cellar temp, as I wouldn't want to miss any of the intricacies. I might want a tiny bit more carbonation, but this style really doesn't need it.

I can't get over how smooth this is. It has all the oaky vanilla you get from a bourbon barrel aged beer without any of the burning booze. If you'll excuse me, I'm leaving now to enjoy the rest of my glass without a keyboard in front of me.

God bless you, Tod Mott.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2012 00:59:29 | More by coachdonovan
Photo of mdurkee11


4.73/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lucky enough to taste this amazing beer off the tap and was not disappointed. Very light taste and finish for such a big Imperial Stout. KTG starts out with a wonderful aroma and strong head when served. Hints of mint/chocolate combine with the obviously high ABV make for a nice pairing. This brew is light when first sipped but followed by wonderful flavor. A world class beer if you are lucky to get it off draft.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2012 01:18:31 | More by mdurkee11
Photo of TWStandley


4.13/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank multiple snifters at KTG day 2012.

Poured a very dark brown color with a lighter colored head. Head disappeared quite quickly.

Smelled of dark fruits and chocolate, and almost a bit of a red wine scent in there.

Taste is good. I would say this is a hybrid of a Barley wine and a Stout. Definitely can detect the port additions, as well as dark fruits, raisins, plums, prunes, with a tiny bit of chocolate. Some alcohol heat but not overwhelming. Very rich.

Mouthfeel - Good for style.

Overall a solid beer. I personally don't think it quite lives up to the hype, though with that being said I would definitely seek this out again. Being at the release was fun!

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2012 19:23:37 | More by TWStandley
Photo of rlee1390


4.48/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep black two finger brown head that leaves perfect lacing on every other beer.

S-Chocolate, some coffee a tad bit of roasted malt

T-Does not have the roasted malt character that most RIS have. However it has a great chocolate profile, very sweet, some coffee, as it warms some vanilla and a port flavor as well.

M-Medium bodied, slightly creamy but very smooth

O-A wonderful beer that I waited in the cold to try. The first glass did not last long out of pure awesomeness. A great beer that everyone should seek out.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2012 15:52:50 | More by rlee1390
Photo of perogi

4.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is for the 2012 version of this beer.

After waiting for 4 hours, I was lucky enough to make it into the first round. Ten minutes later, I had my first Kate of the day.

A: Dark brown with light brown lace. Not overly heady.

S: When cold, a bit too much alcohol but after warming very complex notes of raisins, coffee, and cocoa.

T: Extremely well balanced beer - not too bitter nor too sweet.

M: For a 10% beer, it goes down very smooth. Tons of different flavors as it warms up - nothing is over the top.

O: An excellent beer well worth the wait. I was lucky to win bottles in the lottery - I will let the first one mature for at least 6 months before drinking. (Root cellar ftw!)

Many people will comment on the Kate the Great day - I personally had a great time. Came alone, met some people in line and hung out with them for the next 6 hours. A very fun day with good food, good people and exceptionally good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2012 00:42:25 | More by perogi
Photo of KarlosT


4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Waited in line for 2.5+ hours, in the cold (and inadequately dressed), to try this beer. And it was definitely worth the wait.

Not sure that I've ever had a more complex tasting beer. The complexity of the notes, very unique, but very harmonious.

Appearance: very dark brown. Looks chocalately. Looks heavy ... like a 90 wt motor oil.

Smell: malty smell. Good, but not "Great" :o}

Taste: ah the taste. My initial sensation was that this was a strong beer (ABV). Sense of a mixed vodka drink. The next sense was of sweet chocolate malts. But then quickly the after taste morphed into a wine-like fruity/floral sensation (but less sweet ... like a drier white wine). Fascinating beer.

Mouthfeel. Perfect amount of heaviness/weight to the beer, with the perfect amount of carbonation.

Overall: A great Imperial Stout (and I'm more of an IPA type of guy). The reputation of this beer is well deserved.

Final notes:
the chalkboard at the Brewery listed this as a 10% ABV beer (not 12% as listed above).
Saddened to see folks getting drunk on this beer by having 4 to 5 glasses. What a waste. Drink Schlitz if you are having more than one.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 16:18:54 | More by KarlosT
Photo of bmonty412


4.7/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow!...what a day, what a crazy experience we had at our first Kate Day. First,We get in an extremely long line that streched all the way around the building at 10 am . Then we wait in 30 degree temps with 20 mph winds for the next 4 hours and 40 mins!! This was a true test of our will and loyalty to this beer and craft beer in general for that matter! Often we wondered if this was worth the wait...turns out...it was!!

A-this beauty pours a dark, almost black opaque rich color with minimum carbonation, also served a little colder than i would expect into a really nice KTG glass, nice oily legs left on the glass.

S- smells unreal! Chocolate, mocha, sweetness and a touch of alcohol

T- oh so good, rich rich choco coffee roasty flavor with a wonderful sweet finish that is super creamy! Could not tell at all that this was 10% abv. Drank so smooth, one person there described it as "drinking velvet." This beer only got better as it warmed. Superb!!

O- This "experience" was amazing and reminded me why I love craft beer so much and in particular great stouts. This is a beer i had to try and was glad I did. Not sure if I will wait nearly 5 hours again to have it, but I will buy scratch tickets again to try and attain this beer. I suspect the lines for this Beer on Kate Day will only grow longer as Craft Beer popularity continues to blow up as it has done in the past couple of years!

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 15:29:43 | More by bmonty412
Photo of Number45forever


4.93/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was my first Kate Day. A buddy and I drove from Vermont down to Portsmouth...we left at 6 am and pulled into the garage behind the brewery at 7:55. The line was around the block and down the alley, at least 150 people in line already. This is not a beer: it's an experience.

In line, we chatted with a couple who flew in from Maryland for Kate Day. Yeah. I briefly chatted with the guys at the front of the line (while walking around to keep some circulation). Despite the 25 degree temps, and 15 mph winds, it was a very, very happy crowd.

At 10:40 or so, the line started moving! The brewery holds 240 people...it was going to be close as to whether or not we got in during the first wave. Fast forward to 11:20 - T-Minus 10 minutes to Kate-tapping. We were at the door...and were called in to fill a table. We hugged as we crossed the door, slapped a high five to people in the front booth, and floated to our booth in pure joy.

15 minutes later, we had Kate. Oh, Kate.

It poured a deep, deep brown - not quite black in my estimation. Big alcohol legs. The chalkboards in there said Kate was 10% ABV - not 12 as previous versions were. Depending on the vigorousness of your pour, Kate BRIEFY retained a 1.5 finger head in the special Kate-Day snifter glass.

Kate has a smell like nothing else. Lots of chocolate, some coffee, dark dank roastiness. It smells, as it would taste...like a symphony of flavors in delicate balance. I could not smell any port or fruit notes....mostly a heavenly deep mocha, like the finest chocolate ever.

Kate tastes magical. The first sip hits you with a splash of bitterness. Hello baby. Then sweet chocolate and the SLIGHTEST dash of dried fruit before a rich, dark, bitter cocoa finish. So smooth. Light carbonation opened up the coffee notes very well. This is a sipper like nothing else I have ever had. It comes at you in waves: Boom, coffee. Boom, dark cocoa. Such balance. Such perfect harmony.

Kate tickles the tongue when the glass is fresh, a light carbonation with a creamy finish. Sassy. As you sip and savor, Kate warms, the carbonation fades, and Kate softens. Ah, now you've won this mistress over. Smooth.

Kate is the BEST beer I have ever had. No, I haven't had everything there is to have. But I know one thing: if I was leaving this earth tomorrow, I'd pick Kate tonight.


I had five glasses of the temptress Kate. Five journeys through the bliss of Kate. Each an experience, each savored to the last drop. Before taking my last sip, I said a hail mary and thanked the beer gods for providing me an opportunity to enjoy such a brew.


Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 01:52:28 | More by Number45forever
Photo of Mkgrenwel


4.23/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma of cherry, chocolate, licorice and a bit of peanut butter. Flavor is sweet and smooth. Lots of licorice and fruit. Chocolate. Cherry. Strong bitter finish washes out the sweetness and balances it nicely. Intensely silky, full mouthfeel. Big bitter cocoa finish. Very tasty and well done, but definitely does not exhibit the complexity I look for in a big imperial stout like this. Really nice beer that doesn't disappoint, but doesn't particularly stand out of the pack of great imperial stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 00:48:18 | More by Mkgrenwel
Photo of Bendurgin


4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a tulip. Pours black with a small dark mocha head tha settles down with some sparse lace.

The aroma has nice notes of dark chocolate with notes of oaky grapes and coffee notes. The pallet is a lot of the same. Nice oaky coffee flavors with coffee notes and some hints of warm chocolate. Nice dark roasted malts with a good sweet edge.

Awesome mouthfeel here good creamy and silky body with good soft carbonation. Overall this one is really top tier. I'll gladly wait in line any time.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2012 22:47:21 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of rudzud


4.63/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review number 700! After waiting in line for Kate day since 5:45am it has arrived....a snifter of Kate the Great!

A - Poured into a 20th anniversary snifter that states "twist off...my ass!" a oily black pour with a nice creamy one finger mocha head that leaves light lacing and fades to a nice thin blanket. A little swirling brings everything back to life.

S - Aromas of sweet roasty malts and deep rich chocolate. Excellent port chips coming through. Very rich and roasty and decadent.

T - Oooohhh yeah. Rich roasted malts and deep delicious liquid dark chocolate. There is excellent oak, earth, vanilla, and some nice port aging notes intermingled in this beer. The finish...no booze. So so harmonious.

M - Mouthfeel is creamtastic. Silky smooth like a velvet curtain drapes along my pallet. Stupendous feel with no ABV detected. Magic.

O - Overall holy zombie Jesus. Beer was well worth the wait to get a pour. This is really good stuff and while the hype is getting out of control it really is an excellent Russian stout. Not sure how they do this. Oh wait...kid magic.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2012 17:23:57 | More by rudzud
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured on-tap and served in a tulip, the beer is jet black, with a thin, off-white head that is clingy and retaining. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, red wine, mint, and a bit of smoke. Amazing! Flavors are ridiculously layered, hitting the tongue all over with a barrage of characteristics. Woody and smokey hinted dark chocolate first, followed by a smooth roasted coffee profile that blends and cleans the palate. Candied and sugary highlights at the end make this absolutely delicious. The aftertaste is super rich and creamy, with smokey mocha flavors. The finish is warming and supersmooth, with a richness and booze cleanliness. Amazing beer, and I can't even imagine what the bottles will age like. Tremendous!

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2012 17:01:14 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Mar02x


4.35/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on Borefts beer festival 2011 at the Struise stand??? Yes I was surprised too, but a well informed BA buddy told me, it was correct. There is a project going on between Struise and Portsmouth. They are trying to make a new brew together, mixing Kate the great and Black Albert.

A - A beer without a head and pitch black in color.

S - A mixed smell between beer and port. There is some chocolate and burned malt in the smell as well.

T - This is beerwine! Very nice and smooth, so complex. Where is the alcohol in this brew? They must have hidden it somewhere. There is dark cherries, chocolate and vanilla in this brew with a lot of sweetness.

M - Nice and smooth again, this time on the carbonation.

O - A good brew, not the best dark beer I ever had but still very good and worth buying.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2011 13:50:03 | More by Mar02x
Photo of Barlow

New Hampshire

4.97/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap on Kate Day 2011 (3 glasses).

Dark body with a small ring of tan head. Looks a bit thinner than some big stouts, but very inviting. Smells lovely. Roasty, chocolatey, goodness.

Taste is quite complex. There is so much going on but so very balanced. Chocolate, plum, roasted malt, vanilla. Mouthfeel is perfect for the flavor profile. 12% abv is barely noticeable.

Wonderful RIS. Very drinkable and perfectly balanced. Can't wait to have this again. Wish it wasn't so hard to come by.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2011 00:13:26 | More by Barlow
Photo of SteveS1

New York

4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Kate the Great 2011, on tap, from notes taken at Portsmouth Brewery:

Look: Pitch black, small, dark brown/caramel bubbly head (head differed greatly from glass to glass, much agitation needed to create decent head). Average lacing, little retention.

Smell: Faint nuttyness and sweet chocolate chocolate chocolate when cold. Licorice and dark chocolate after warming.

Taste: Milk chocolate on the tongue, dark chocolate w/roasted malts on the palate, licorice going down. Strong alcohol after warming up too much. Roast coffee aftertaste, slightly bitter.

-to compare to last year, this one opens sweet and gets complex, 2010's Kate opened sweet and then mellowed

Feel: Creamy, full and rich, but not overbearingly so. More watery milkshake than double churned. Mild carbonation.

Drink: Very drinkable, an excellent brew for all. It's certainly a sipper, but thanks to devoting a whole day to Kate I was able to enjoy many glasses.

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2011 03:31:44 | More by SteveS1
Photo of twelvsies


4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Kate the Great Day 2011. Got in line around 10:45am, just missed getting in with the initial waves... When the bar hit capacity, the line stopped moving, but we still made it in around 1:15 or so. Once inside, the mood was lively but jovial and mellow. All good times.

The beer was nicely poured into shapely glass, about half full (10oz), and with a small but ample brown head atop a luscious opaque dark brown body. Aromas of cocoa, coffee, wood, nuts, leather, and a nice fruity undertone, I assume from the port aging. Rich flavor all over the place - it is both complex and subtle at the same time. Never walloped over the head with chocolate or coffee or roastyness, the flavors seep in and meld together. It comes across as earthy almost, highlighted by mellow chocolate and light smoky coffee, a bit of a woodsy presence and a perfect fruit smack of currants or blackberry underneath it all. The texture is outrageous - a beer cloud. Rich and voluptuous with out being heavy or thick, smooth and soft as can be. This all leads to a supremely drinkable beer, at 12% to boot. A real treat. Kate is the perfectly balanced beer - it's complex in flavor but comes across as simple and perfect, like there's no other way it could be. Definitely lives up to and surpasses the hype - 'tis a special beer.

Bottle version - our crew opened up a couple when we got back from Portsmouth. The bottle version did not quite have the softness and mouthfeel of the draught version, but was equally delicious and had a different character to it. I can't wait to see how it tastes in a year...

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2011 19:36:35 | More by twelvsies
Photo of phingdong

New Hampshire

4.97/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Consumed on tap on Kate Day 2011.

A - Pours a brownish/black with a one finger head. Recedes down to a thin brown ring.

S - Chocolate, woody, roasted malts, some sweetness.

T - Divine. There is so much going on but not one aspect stands out over the others. Extremely well balanced. Chocolate, roasty malts, rich fruit, some sweetness, oak/port, etc. Absolutely delicious.

M - Very smooth and creamy. Not too thick, not to thin. Just right. It begs for another sip. I oblige.

D - Extremely high. The 12% abv is hidden incredibly well. Most 12% or so imperials can be boozy and too hot when fresh. Not Kate. It catches up with you quickly, but what a journey. Four glasses was not enough. I could drink this all day (tolerance permitting).

Well done, Portsmouth. The biggest plus for me was the balance. All those flavors and nuances, yet not one more than another. I just wish I could drink it more often.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2011 01:15:02 | More by phingdong
Photo of TK5150


4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this many times over the past few years, so after yesterday's release, I'm finally deciding to rate it.

2011 version on draft.

A- Pours extremely dark brown/black with a light brown head. The size of the head varied with each pour, ranging from small to large. Nice, small bubbles. Head recedes to a small ring around the glass.

S- Smell did not jump out at me; light roasted malts and liqueur with port like qualities. What was there smelled nice.

T- Bold chocolate liqueur which transitions to port soaked oak (raspberries, and various dark fruits), and finishes with a slight medicinal quality. Completely balanced flavors. Much less emphasis on the port and oak from the past couple of years, which I like. Alcohol is completely hidden to me. The taste of this vintage reminds me a bit of Darkness 2008. Sweet, yet excellent.

M- Full bodied and very smooth. Carbonation was there, yet fairly low - which was good IMO. Not the thickest stout on the planet, but definitely enough body to fit nicely with other top imperial stouts.

D- Dangerously drinkable. 5 glasses later I was wasted.

Overall a fine imperial stout. One of my favorite beers, especially on draft. Way too drinkable. 2008 KtG was my favorite vintage, but this is up there too.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 19:56:05 | More by TK5150
Photo of bishopdc0


4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a table with a group of people, all who had come alone. We shared many rounds and were able to discuss the taste changes over the years.

This is my first kate so I don't have a frame of refrence.

To start this beer is black with a dark tan head. The head becomes a small rim at the glasses edge by the time I start drinking.

The nose is a little faint but the aroma of roasted barley, and a slight fruity tartness.

The taste of this beer is exceptional. It starts with a sweet chocolate and the mouth is very smooth with a light carbonation on the tongue. As the carbonation dissipates a slight amount of alcohol numbs and reveals a roasted and fruit and cherry taste. This is where is stand apart. The overal taste is wonderful.

The brewery stated that is was 12% and you couldn't tell at all.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 17:16:53 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of Brez07


4.78/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had the pleasure of drinking 3 glasses yesterday at Kate Day. 10oz pour, served into a snifter. Note - the ABV listed on the chalkboard was 12%

A: Sits motionless in the glass. Jet black. Very thin mocha head, but a quick swirl of the glass garners about 1/2 finger. Didn't get any retention the first glass, but it was pretty decent in glass 2 and 3

S: To be completely honest, I initially thought this beer basically had no aroma. Towards the end after it warmed a bit, I got some cocoa and vanilla, maybe a little roasted malt. Also just a touch of alcohol

T: My first sip of this beer was devine. A huge chocolate presence but not crazy sweet. Reminiscent of cocoa powder. There was a nice underlying roasted malt flavor that was blended in gracefully. Some light port and dark fruit was detected in the finish. Absolutely no sign of alcohol

M: I've always heard that the mouthfeel was the best part of this beer. And I couldn't agree more. Full bodied. So thick, very smooth. Very light roast aftertaste with some sweetness. Perfect

D: All I wrote in my notes was "holy shit amazing". Kate meet all my expectations and then some. Had planned on just one glass, maybe two because there were other beers I wanted to try. But that wasn't an option as Kate had a strong hold on me. Worthy of all the praise she gets

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 13:24:42 | More by Brez07
Photo of stoutluvr420


5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Black color, coffee brown head. Head retention was medium.

S- Chocolate, maricino cherry, faint coffee esters and a slight woody aroma.

T: Chocolate, cherry, dark dried fruit, tobacco, licorice- in that order. Less sweet and more oak than previous years. The roasted malt here is predominately chocolate, earthy hops are noticeable, yet restrained.

M: Not as thick or viscus as previous years, but still a substantial beer.

D: So layered and complex I could drink it all night, closest thing to a sessionable RIS- besides the abv...

Compared to previous years, this is my favorite batch. Im guessing the port/oak infusion was tweaked. I will be aging this one a year longer than usual...

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 08:09:31 | More by stoutluvr420
Photo of Satchboogie

New Hampshire

4.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap on Kate Day 2011:

A: Pitch black with dark red/mahogany hues around the edges when held to the light. Mostly an inch of mocha colored head that fairly slowly dissipated and left a little lacing (alcohol 'feet' was pretty impressive).

S: Heavenly. Chocolate, licorice, a little coffee, roasted malts, hint of dark fruit, port, etc.

T: Better than the nose. Massive amounts of chocolate and licorice with the dark fruit and oak/port notes in the background. I don't think I've had a stout where the flavors all melded together so perfectly and it was especially impressive as it was fresh off tap. There seemed to be a good hop presence, mostly fruity, but was so well incorporated in the background that it was really hard to put a finger on. Finish was unbelievably smooth chocolate, port, and a little booze.

M: Perfect. Carbonation was right on target for the style and the body was full, viscous, and as smooth as it gets. The body really reminded me of the smooth, creamy mouthfeel of TenFidy, just better!

D: While the alcohol is certainly hidden (12%, I would have never guessed), it does come through a bit in the finish and catches up to you. That said, I simply couldn't get enough of this beer. I had 3 glasses, left, and just had to go back for 2 more before it kicked. It may very well be the perfect RIS (for me at least).

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 03:53:27 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of tr0n


4.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had Kate the Great 2011 on tap at Kate Day this afternoon, and it was completely worth the wait.

Kate came in a 10oz pour completely black with caramel colored head. The chocolate was very apparent, but from talking with my fellow Kate enthusiasts not as sweet as last year. Taste was strong chocolate but mouthfeel was balanced throughout, the 12% abv only apparent after multiple glasses.

Flavors developed as the stout warmed, bringing out the subtle oak and port flavors hidden beneath the balanced chocolate. While this is very much a full and heavy imperial stout, Kate held many nuances only apparent as she warmed. Sip and enjoy the experience.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 01:54:05 | More by tr0n
Photo of mjn5036

New Hampshire

4.78/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

10oz pour from tap, poured into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip glass. When the glass arrives there is a small, crusty head sitting on the surface - mocha in color. Once the head dissipates a galaxy churn of espresso foam twirls about on the surface. Kate herself is a deep, dark black with mahogany edges. A swirl of the glass leaves an intricate pattern of soapy lacing and an oily residue on the sides.

Kate smells really damn good. She starts off predominately of heavy chocolate and an accompanying roasted profile. Dark fruit, coffee, slight hop bitterness and oak are all offered in the background.

The taste starts off the same way as the nose with a lot of chocolate. The port aspects are noticeable, yet do not seem to impart the same amount of influence it did with last year's batch. Dark fruits and raisons add a perceptible yet subtle complexity. Kate this year seems to be drier and less sweet, with a more noticeable coffee flavor that is extremely pleasant. The oak and lingering smoke flavor work together quite nicely.

The mouthfeel and drinkability is killer; simply superb. Kate is amazingly balanced and the 12%abv is nowhere to be found in the nose or taste - it only become recognizable in the aftermath of a few glasses. It is medium-full bodied as far as the mouthfeel is concerned and extremely smooth on the palate.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 01:07:26 | More by mjn5036
Photo of Someguy1989


4.33/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Kate Day 2011, was really really looking forward to trying this one. The real question is, did it live up to the hype?

A- Black color, light brown head. Not the darkest beer I've ever seen. Head retention was medium.

S- Huge amounts of chocolate, with dark fruit, and a slight woody flavor from the oak. Its how I kind of envisioned it to smell. Its got a big aroma that is strong yet nice and subtle.

T- More sweet chocolate that mingles greatly with the taste of dark fruit that enters in midway. Lots of raisins here, you really can taste the port that's added to this beer. The roasted malt here is predominately chocolate and I don't get much in the way of bitter chocolate or coffee here. Instead, I get some balance from the oak, which helps form this almost tobacco like flavor. It blends well and it works. I feel like this beer could be pondered over and explored for a very long time.

M/D: Mouthfeel is full bodied, not as thick as I had envisioned but still a very hefty beer. It was not the silkiest beer I've ever had but the mouthfeel still provided a positive influence on the experience. As for drinkability, its a delicious beer and had I not been the one driving home I would have gone for one more. That being said, it was quite boozy once it warmed and I couldn't drink this beer all night.

In conclusion: I'm glad I took the day off from class and got myself up to Portsmouth to finally get a glass of this. It is an incredible beer, one worth every beer advocates time, effort, and money. Was it my favorite beer of all time? Not really, there are many others out there I would prefer that I don't have to stand in line in the cold for three hours for. That being said I would love to get my hands on a bottle, and age it for a while. I'm sure in a couple years time, it would be absolutely incredible

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 00:05:05 | More by Someguy1989
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Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 853 ratings.