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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 Jmoore50


4.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 fresh. I have had the 2008 earlier in the year, but this is such a different beast that it needed a different review.

The appearance is dark black with a nice fluffy tan head. The head stays around for a while and leaves very light lacing around the glass. Slight leg.

The smell is of black licorice. I don't understand from other reviewers who have not pointed this out, this brew is so licorice forward that its too obvious. It also has hints of bitter bakers chocolate.

The taste is chocolate licorice, a little ABV hot, still young and not as complex as the one I had with two years on it. Some smooth earthy grains, but nothing much after that. It has that nice thick mouthfeel that I love in RIS, just delicious.

This thing has a lot of hype around it, but for whats in the bottle, it is worth it. The 2008 blew me away, this one is good and has potential to get way better. Hype deserved.

Serving type: growler

04-27-2010 23:04:39 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of BeerAdvocate


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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue I:

Dense, opaque, black--like motor oil-- with a rich coffee-colored head that eventually drops to a ringed lace. Gorgeous. Big, bold nose full of molasses and chocolate cake with a glass of milk on the side. Spicy hops blended with sherry and a tease of anise and char in the back. Tobacco, too. ("So ... damn ... complex," said like Shatner.) Smooth, full-bodied and viscous in the feel. Quite spicy up front, with an herbal, lightly citric hop smack steeping in a borderline boozy, peppery and warming alcohol--a chop to the throat that burns just a bit. Malt characters run deep with tangy blackstrap molasses, honey, treacle syrup, char, brownie/chocolate, burnt coffee and an interesting dark fruitiness that's akin to prunes. Finish is quite tame with powdery sweet chocolate. More hop spice, fumy alcohol (not too hot) and a hint of smoke in the linger.

Kate is indeed great. Balanced (for what it is), insanely complex and ranking right up there with the best of its style. In fact, it recently scored the best beer in America in our December issue of BeerAdvocate magazine. Big-ups to brewmaster Tod Mott and crew.

Serving type: growler

11-13-2009 16:59:00 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of pepsican


2.7/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pitch black with a finger sized tan head. Coffee and licorice dominate the nose. Flavor had strong black licorice, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malts. Overall the flavor comes out too burnt, and the coffee is very dull. Nice and creamy mouth feel but has an intense alcoholic burn that takes away from the overall enjoyment of this one. This is for a growler of 07. Bottles of 07 and 08 weren't as enjoyable, so this one is what I'm going to enter.

Serving type: growler

07-16-2009 23:23:28 | More by pepsican
Photo of FtownThrowDown


4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a growler shared at DLD weekend. Pours a very dark brown in color with a slight head atop the beer. Smell is all cocoa and slight coffee. Full and creamy on the mouthfeel. Plenty of the cocoa and coffee in the taste as well. Has a definite malted milk ball in the taste. Very well done and tasty. Just not overly complex and trend setting.

Serving type: growler

05-13-2008 01:24:12 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.83/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to RustyDiamond for sharing this with a group of us at the Brick Store Pub. He brought it over straight from receiving it from shipping and the growler was in great shape. I'd been looking to try this for a while, and I wasn't disappointed. It strikes me as one of the species of RIS that are more to the winey side with fewer big flavors of coffee and chocolate and more dark fruit- somewhere almost between an RIS and a big Baltic Porter. This beer changed in the glass more than almost any beer I've had developing new flavors and mellowingg the alchohol in the nose out quite aa bit. It poured black with a very dark head- maybe not qquite as dark as Ten Fidy, but close. Good lacing and decent head retention. Big nose of solvent alcohol at first- very heady, but within minutes this had changed considerably to dark fruit, fortified wine, cherries, and even a wisp of smoke. The flavors as well are quite changeable in the glass. It also tastes a little hot to start, but that quickly progresses to a more sustained fruity wineiness, roasty flavors, cherrries, light chocolate, fresh cream, pears and prunes, and some nice earthy hops in the backgground. Complex and delicious. The mouthfeel is very smooth, not huge feeling at all, jut silky and delicious and surprisingly easy to drink. One of the more drinkable RIS I've had. Just a delight, and one I wish would become more available. I was really happy I had a chance to taste it.

Serving type: growler

01-30-2008 21:18:58 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of seaoflament


4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to drseamus for the growler, shared with a couple of people at the Lost Abbey Red Poppy release.

Pours a dark brown color with minimal head, yet a good retention.

The aroma is incredible, one of the best smelling imperial stouts I've had. Dark roasted malts, cocoa, a bit of coffee, dark fruits, and some fruity alcohol.

Tastes similar to the aroma, dark roasted malts upfront with some dark fruits and a cocoa/chocolate malt finish.

A bit dry and hint of alcohol in the after-taste. I'm going to have to seek some more bottles of this one, really an incredible stout.

Serving type: growler

01-20-2008 00:32:40 | More by seaoflament
Photo of blitz134


4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lots of new beer tasted over the past month or so, but only two reviews. I managed to pick this one up New Years Eve at the brewery, I was pretty happy to find it still on tap and I gladly took 64 oz home to have all to myself, mwuhahaha!

I really liked this beer, don't get me wrong. Appearance, aroma, and taste were all really good, something I'd rank between a 4 and 4.5. Its a solid beer no doubt, but I wasn't floored by those three. The thing that made this one for me was the mouthfeel and just overall drinkability.

Basically poured bitch black, small 1/2" dark brown head. Not really any lacing. Might have been better on draft.

Dark roasted aromas, brownie hints. Alcohol is evident after warming. Flavors of dark chocolate and brownie, once again. Some day old, cold black coffee in there. Alcohol flavors once its warmed a bit, but not harsh though, it works in nicely. Nice roasty finish.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Low carbonation lends to an incredible full body and smoothness. Not really any lingering bitterness.

This is a beer with good aroma and flavor that just goes down so damn smooth. You really could drink it all the time.

Serving type: growler

01-12-2008 02:50:59 | More by blitz134
Photo of Deuane


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

Big ups to fellow central PA BA Kegatron and his trusty sidekick Kim for making the journey to Portsmouth to secure us growlers!

Poured into my new Sam Adams "scientifically engineered" pint glasses.

A-Deep black with ruby highlights along the edges. Nice, creamy medium dark tan head.

S- Chocolate, licorice and smoke in the back. Alcohol warming with a bit of coffee in the background. A very complex and enjoyable brew to sniff!

T-Such a complex brew! All the flavors from the smell come thru with the nice burn of alcohol coming in at the end. This is a very tasty and luscious beer.

M-GIANT, smooth and delectable. This is one of the smoothest, best feeling beers I have ever had in my mouth! This is stellar....the overall lack of serious carbonation actually makes this MORE enjoyable....all those damn bubbles aren't getting in the way!

D-This is a seriously good beer. Does this beer live up to the BA hype? I say yes! One of the most complex but yet drinkable RIS I have had...ever. A wonderful effort that may make me take an annual X-mas time pilgrimage to NH!

Serving type: growler

01-10-2008 02:36:28 | More by Deuane
Photo of BeerTruth


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

Keith, you rule. I am forever in debt to you for this growler. You are a man of your word and I can't thank you enough.

64 oz. of bliss poured into a nonic.

Pours an absolute midnight black that doesn't allow a spec of light through. Dark tan colored one finger head that slooowly dies down to a frothy layer of goodness. A thick layer is left behind on the sides of the glass that look like they'll be there forever. Good lord the smell of this one is surreal. Rich toasted oatmeal sweetness up front followed by a creamy cappuccino aroma. An amazing combination of caramel, molasses, fudge, and maple syrup on the nose as well...ok, I have to take a sip, this is killing me. Initial hop bite is quickly taken over by rich coffee flavors and super sweet caramel malt. A fair amount of pepper and spice make an appearance, but they fit in quite well. Brown sugar and toasted almonds find their way on the tongue too. I'm blown away by how complex this beer truly is. A bit of a smokey wood flavor and maple syrup (once again) sweetness make up the aftertaste. Slick, full bodied mouthfeel with a smooth, enjoyable carbonation. I have no clue where the 9.5% is, and I really don't care. The sweetness can be a bit much at times, so I had to take half a point away from the drinkability. Such a big, bold beer that is true to style. How can you not love this beer? Once again, I can't thank you enough Keith. This beer kicks the Dark Lord's ass, hands down. Do whatever you can to get your hands on this one.

Serving type: growler

01-10-2008 00:54:31 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of MiguelMandingo


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

I got to try this courtesy of BeerZack. You gave me more than what was necessary, and I owe you BIG TIME.

Poured part of a growler into a snifter.

Appearance - It is opaque black with a 1/2 finger tan head that slowly rises from the depths of the beer, like the way a thick barleywine produces head. It had been in a growler for about 2 weeks before we got to open it, I was surprised that there was any head at all.

Smell - Oh man, the nose on this beer. It is amazing. There is a huge vanilla scent, roasty with something fruity (raisin perhaps?), and chocolate cake.

Taste - The taste is very close to the scent, but somehow I enjoy the scent more than the flavor. The flavor has notes of vanilla, a roasty coffee-like tone, and chocolate. There is a ery distant dark fruit flavor as well, fig or raisin.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is exceptional for a beer that has been in a growler bottle for the last two weeks. It has a moderate carbonation level, and it is extremely creamy.

Drinkability - The drinkability is really good. It is creamy and smooth, and tastes and smells phenomenal. I enjoyed this way better than I enjoyed the Dark Lord. Easily one of the best RISs I have ever had.

Serving type: growler

01-09-2008 23:02:03 | More by MiguelMandingo
Photo of drumrboy22


4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Mudpuppet for this growler! Poured into a Great Divide Yeti chalice. Beer was all black with a small, chocolate colored head.

Aroma was coffee, smoke, molasses and some spicy hops. Very complex smelling beer.

Very thick, yet smooth tasting. Hops upfront with the other flavors coming through as it goes down. Chocolate, coffee and dark fruit are prominent.

Full flavor that gets better and better as it warms up. Goes down easy and is a real treat. I only wish I mad more than one growler.

It's been almost three years since I've visited Portsmouth brewery and this was on tap the last time I was there. Brought back lots of great memories of road trips visiting breweries on the east coast. Thanks again to Mudpuppet for this rare treat.

Serving type: growler

01-09-2008 19:17:34 | More by drumrboy22
Photo of hero27


4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler received courtesy of Cedromar, many thanks!

Pours from the growler a deep brown, small head of khaki foam leaves wisps of lace behind.
Aroma of rich dark chocolate fudge, burnt toffee, and vanilla.

wow, do the flavors come alive... chocolate malts, green apple, roasted coffee, raisins, bourbon, dark fruits, & vanilla pods...almost a "chocolate-coated cherry" flavor. Hop persistence on the front-end prevents this from being overly sweet...and in fact, surprisingly balanced.
Creamy texture..biting, spicy, lingering finish. Residual sweetness will lay on your tongue and not let up. I could best describe the lingering flavors as raspberries & raisins soaked in alcohol with a dark chocolate fondue.

Well, this shit is for real...
Kate is the hottest chick in the beer world right now.

Serving type: growler

01-08-2008 00:19:23 | More by hero27
Photo of emerge077


4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sample shared by Jay23, acquired via his trade. Thanks!
Great growler art, kitschy apres-ski scenes in 4-color silkscreen.

Into a Chimay chalice it pours a light-absorbing black, with dark crimson highlights, bordering on tones of oxblood. Spotty lace, with the occasional scalloped "m" bird on the horizon. Constant ring of foam around the edges, with a swirling "yin-yang" pattern to the surface skim.

Aromas of dried cherries and plums, light licorice, dark chocolate, with a slight caramelized sugar character that reminds me of cooking sweet plantains. Underneath, there's also crystalized sugarplum, and vague note of alcohol at room temperature.

Massive chocolate character that is deeply fudgy, with smooth oatmeal hints, dried cherry, with a residual dry char. There is a light brandyish alcohol, that is peppery in the finish. Taste is unique with an equally distinctive and enticing aroma.

Impossibly smooth, very much like chocolate milk, given the slight lactic feel. Peppery, bittersweet finish keeps things interesting, and keeps you sipping. If only this was available on draft locally, several pints would be a dream come true.

Serving type: growler

01-06-2008 20:36:17 | More by emerge077
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.75/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler courtesy of citrusjim, thanks, mate! This one's been on my radar for a while, but now that it's in the Top 5, it became a must-have. Sweet, now, it's mine, all mine!

Into a chalice she goes, this Kate, pouring a solid black, with a slim brown ring of head on top. Blackety, black, black, black.

In the nose, bittersweet espresso, dark chocolate, ...didn't impress at first, but grows as it sits in the glass and warms. (This was poured about 15 minutes after taking it from the fridge.) Roast becomes more evident in aroma, favor gets bigger...deep, spicy, earthy, and warm.

Let's drink, shall we?
Enters the mouth and fills it full tilt, to the hilt, big boned and bodacious, our Katie. And there's no simplicity here, it's an intriquing stew simmering on the palate, some roasty malt, some bright tingly hops, some dark fruit...plenty of beans, cocoa and coffee, but mixed smoothly and adroitly, sliding down the throat with easy, and urging further partakings. Chocolate is in charge of the next sip, but the the sweet is matched with roast, and the bittersweet coffee kicks in next. Nice. But then along comes blackberry, and and raisins, and more...mmmm, tasty...bold, but fuzzy, fierce, but mellow, calming, a tonic for a tough night.

Full bodied as they get, with a long, long finish...finish doesn't work, as there is no termination. Just a long languor. That's a good word for it.
languor \LANG-guhr; LANG-uhr\, noun:
1. Mental or physical weariness or fatigue.
2. Listless indolence, especially the indolence of one who is satiated by a life of luxury or pleasure.
3. A heaviness or oppressive stillness of the air.

#2 fits best for our purpose here. Call me satiated by this decadent, luxurious, fruity, hoppy, chocolatey, mellow, deep, dark, and stronger than you think Imperial Stout...what not as strong as I what? I didn't...wait, there it is...

beautiful girl, Kate, lovely, lovely lass!

Serving type: growler

01-06-2008 10:23:10 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of pwoods


4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Here's to you NJpadreFan! I can not believe you were gonna try to send this without me knowing! You're a BA of the finest kind.

Served in my Stone IRS tulip.

A: Poured straight black with only the faintest of ruby trying to peek through at the very bottle of the glass when back lit. Carbonation held up great and produces a nice 2 layered chocolate milk head. The bottom layer is very tight and holds strong while a top fluffy layer lays down and leaves big chunks on the walls.

S: Big fudge and chocolate cake aroma with a pleasant smokiness in the back. Alcohol combined with a solid dose of hops give a crisp spicy bite. A bit of underlying burnt coffee in the back.

T/M: My goodness. Such a large hop profile! A zesty, peppery taste lasts throughout the entire drink. Some chocolate covered orange candy(you know.. those chocolate things you bang on the table and it splits like an orange... anyway, lol). A very pleasant German chocolate cake taste is very persistent but doesn't become cloying as it can tend to get in other brews. A nice alcohol burn starts near the beginning and also lasts through to the end but never becomes abrasive. SO MUCH going on but never becomes too much or confusing. A very nice sweetness with a touch of bitterness smooths things over in the finish. Again, carbonation held up very well.

D: With as robust as this brew is, it's surprisingly drinkable. I feel very privileged to have such a good friend in NJpadreFan. Thanks again for this brew, Alan. You never cease to impress and I got something I think you'll like heading your way.

Serving type: growler

01-05-2008 03:30:26 | More by pwoods
Photo of Todd


4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the source. Man does it suck living only 1 hour away from the brewery. Dual-reviewing this with the bro as I type, but silently so he won't copy me.

Dense, opaque, black, like motor oil, with a rich looking coffee colored head that eventually drops to a ringed lace. Gorgeous.

Big, bold nose full of molasses, chocolate cake with a glass of milk on the side, some spicy hops blended with sherry, and a tease of anise and char in the back. Tobacco, too. "So ... damn ... complex," said in my best Shatner voice.

Smooth, full-bodied, and viscous in the feel. Quite spicy upfront, with an herbal and lightly citric hop smack that's steeping in a border-line boozy, peppery, and warming alcohol chop to the throat that burns; just a bit. Malt characters run deep with some tangy blackstrap molasses, honey, treacle syrup, some char, brownie/chocolate, burnt coffee, and an interesting dark, fruitiness that's akin prunes (aka - dried plums; which I guess sounds better these days). Finish is quite tame with some powdery sweet chocolate. More hop spice, fumy alcohol (not too hot), and a hint of smoke in the linger.

Kate is indeed Great. This is probably the 4th or 5th time I've had this beer and it just keeps on getting better. Balanced, for what it is, insanely complex, and ranks right up there with the best of its style.

Serving type: growler

01-03-2008 21:40:46 | More by Todd
Photo of Jason


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

I've tasted this beer in passing, the last time was probably EBF 06'. Blurry memories so now I'm finally splitting a growler with Todd.

Pours thick and black with a sufficient brown lacing.

Aromas of chocolate cake batter, Tootsie rolls, chocolate covered malted milk balls and dry toasted cocoa beans. Hint of dark berry and spicy herbal from the hop / alcohol combo.

Creamy and a bit slick, almost a little syrupy in the mouth. Smooth carbonation. Alcohol is warming and a little fuming but not hot, hops come through quick with the alcohol before the maltiness lays in. Chocolate syrup, molasses cookies, dried plums and a cocoa powder maltiness slowly appear with each sip as each complex layer peels away. Finishes with some hop flavor, slight charred malt and a semi-sweet choco-flavor.

Perfectly balanced, very complex yet not too over the top so it has a dangerous level of drinkibility. There is so much chocolate and cocoa goodness here, so don't expect a big burnt charred character its more mellow within the sweetness.

Serving type: growler

01-03-2008 21:40:46 | More by Jason
Photo of mountdew1

New Hampshire

4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a pitch black that didn't let any light in. Head was a bubbly chocolate brown that left a "slick" on top of the beer, as well as a ring around the glass. Aroma was slightly sweet, with chocolate and grain undertones. Taste was sweet, chocolatey and also milky. Felt very silky smooth in the mouth. Coated wonderfully, was hinted at when pouring from the growler it looked almost like a cough syrup. Very easy to drink despite the high alcohol content. Probably one of the best imperial stouts I have had.

Serving type: growler

01-01-2008 01:24:13 | More by mountdew1
Photo of mbrandon2w


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

Picked up a growler to share with my fiancee's family over christmas.
Poured absolutely Jet black. No light came through whatsover. Nice dark brown head.
Aroma of chocolate, coffee. Both in the taste as well. The flavor was so complex and unbelievably smooth. Coffee, chocolate, slight roasted grains, some alcohol.
According to the bartender when I bought it, this was closer to 12%, and I can't believe the beer was so smooth if it had that much alcohol.
I wish I could get more of this.
Of the 5 or 6 people that tried it, not a single person did not love it.

Serving type: growler

01-01-2008 00:46:17 | More by mbrandon2w
Photo of HopDerek


4.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a blacker than black that says to light "thou shall not pass" with a good bubbly tan head. Smells of sweet chocolate, roasted chocolate malt, and alcohol. Taste is that of sweet chocolate with some dark fruits, a hint of coffee, with a touch of hops in the finish. Alcohol present the entire time, but it doesn't hinder any of the flavors, actually complimenting and accentuating them very well. Medium to full in body and very smooth. A very drinkable RIS, and very unique compared to most of the others out there. If only it wasn't such a challenge to obtain, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it, thanks to Kegatron for sharing.

Serving type: growler

12-30-2007 23:18:03 | More by HopDerek
Photo of Cedromar


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

Never have I had a better beer. In a word, delicious.

A: Black with a light cocoa head.
S: Caramel, Chocolate and some dark fruit notes lingering in the background.
T: Wonderful chocolate taste throughout. Some vanilla accents as it warms as well.
M: Creamy and thick. Lingers on the palate beautifully.
D: It doesn't get more drinkable then this for a stout.

I made two 4 hour (roundtrip) journey's for to the brewery for this beer and was fortunate to grab a few growlers and bottles for aging. It was more than worth it and exceeds the hype surrounding it.

Serving type: growler

12-30-2007 00:14:30 | More by Cedromar
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

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

Portsmouth- Kate the great

Growler picked up at the brewpub

A- Dark thick black with a small creamy tan head. 2 ring lacing down the glass.
S- Milk chocolate cocoa and creamy sweet coffee.
T- Cream and sugar coffee cocoa powder and hot booze.
M- Sweet and slighty boozy. Slightly cloying in the end.

Overall- Very tasty and creamy. A half growler is enough for an evening.

*update* (12-/30/07) stopped back for another growler and a pint or 2. This stuff is selling fast! Several people at the bar were drinking it and filling up growlers.
*2nd update (06/24/08) Kate the Great day! Sold out quickly and it tastes as good as ever!

Serving type: growler

12-29-2007 23:14:52 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of craptastic

New Hampshire

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

The wife and I snuck out to the Portsmouth Brewery to pick up Kate the Great (KTG) on this mild winter day. We hit the store first and obtained the last two 22s of the aged KTG (nice!). The girl at the counter pointed out that they still had some KTG on tap, but indicated they would be dry by Monday (today being Saturday). I will follow up when I try the aged KTG, but what follows is for the freshies:

A- Dense, dark molasses color. Light does not penetrate this dark brew. Head was a light khaki tan color, leaving a fine lace around the glass.

S- Strong coffee tones with a bit of dark chocolate.

T- Wonderful. Coffee taste to compliment the scent. A bit of molasses gives a nice semi-sweetness. No bitterness, just a smooth flavor throughout hitting

M- Great mouthfeel; it was thick, and creamy just like a stout should be.

D- An everyday beer, if it could only be so. So smooth and pleasant to drink you'd be so lucky to get it at the corner store.

Serving type: growler

12-29-2007 20:33:43 | More by craptastic
Photo of dciBA


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

Well after reading about this stuff in the New England regional forum for the past week I had to see what all the hype was about. Had some time to myself, and needed a break from last minute shopping so i made the drive down to portsmouth and grabbed a growler. Boy am I glad I did. This one really does live up to the hype. Exceptional, balanced, tasty brew. I make the trip down a few times year to the brew pub so i have had many of thier beers, this is definitely the best.

Poured a deep black so black I swear it sucked the light out of the room. Nice, thick consistency, on par with motor oil, and I mean that in a good way. Smells of chocolate, caramel, roasted nuts and a touch of alcohol. Taste, one word? Wonderful. I can only compare to a couple other RIS's but this one is very well balanced and flavorful. A healthy dose of malt initially, followed by a slight hop flavor, then creamy, rich chocolate on the finish. Warms as it goes down, which is expected from a beer pushing 10%, but is very drinkable, which was not expected.

I'd be really curious to taste this one after some aging although there is no chance I could ever have this in the house and not drink it. Another great stout from New England. Nice job Portsmouth Brewery.

Serving type: growler

12-24-2007 23:10:19 | More by dciBA
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

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

finally made it to the pub to try this elusive brew. definitely worth the effort!

A - motor oil. Pitch black color with dark tan head that slowly develops and never dissipates.
S - To my nose at least this was a very mild brew. Once past the mid point of my glass the brew warmed up some and let off nice aromas of smoky, roasty grains, chocolate, molasses and sweet dark malts
T - all I noted above with additional notes of port, oak, vanilla and a barest hint of espresso and piney hop to perfectly balance the sweet side of this beer.
M - rich, full bodied, creamy, medium carbonation, sweet, smooth, heavenly after taste.
D - wow! everything about this beer says big yet the net effect is so sublte, balanced and smooth is belies this big tag and is immensly approachable. Sip after sip, this one only gets better as you reach the bottom of the glass.

so often I have an RIS and it's over the top in one way or another but it leaves me wanting something a bit more in the experience. This one is a work of art and it shows. My hat's off to the brewer on this one!

Serving type: growler

12-19-2007 13:01:38 | More by barleywinebrewer
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Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 853 ratings.