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Portsmouth Kate The Great - Portsmouth Brewery

Not Rated.
Portsmouth Kate The GreatPortsmouth Kate The Great

Educational use only; do not reuse.

489 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 489
Hads: 920
Avg: 4.51
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 2,680
Gots: 168 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bewareOFpenguin on 04-07-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Portsmouth Kate The Great Alström Bros
Reviews: 489 | Hads: 920
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.15/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 11.6oz bottle opened on 8.10.12.

A - Pours a motor oil black with a thin dark tan head that moves quickly to the edges.

S - Chocolate hits you first, then some roasty nice malts.

T - Chocolate, strong licorice finish. Not as complex as I was hoping.

D - Decent carbonation with a heavy body. Sweeter finish.

O - A very good beer, but not great. I was very glad to try this one, but it was too licorice heavy for me.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pitch black with a little bit of cherry cola and tan looking head to it. Lots of soy sauce type aroma with this one, but it pulls through to still remain enjoyable, thanks to the additional chocolate and what seems to be tobacco.

Lots of plum in the taste, more soy, raisin, dark belgian sugar taste. Very sweet tasting, not dry at all. Didn't really pick up on any coffee at all in this one. It does hide the alcohol quite nicely.

The chocolate/cocoa doesn't stand out in a massive way, very underwhelming presence, the sugar and soy sauce feel really have too much presence to be considered one of the super elite imperial stouts out there.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.05/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 Vintage. Yet another huge thank you to Adam for sharing!

(A)- Pours fairly thick and pitch black. Some tan bubbles formed, but otherwise no head formation.

(S)- A good richness and roastedness on the nose. Some molasses, cocoa, and coffee. Rather dry, but a good overall aroma.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A big richness. not as much roasted elements as I would have liked to see, but it does have a big sweetness in its place. Plenty of raisin, molasses, and cocoa, with just a tiny hint of dark oaky fruits from the port chips.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Rich, sweet, yet smooth and well balanced.

(D)- Definitely a great imperial stout. It is rich and sweet with just about everything where it should be. I would have liked to see more roasted elements come through to further balance it out, but perhaps I am just being picky. While this is quite good, I do not see why this is worth the trade value it is getting other than simply of the fact that only 900 are made each year.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received from brdc (thanks Daniel). I had this side-by-side with several other big and rare stouts (Darkness, Dark Lord, and Sexual Chocolate). Through this I was able to make comparisons which normally elude me. It turned out that Kate the Great was pretty unique in this contest. It had the most evident alcohol aroma and flavor, very reminiscent of sake, kind of a sake-RIS.

The beer is dark black with a nice initial 1-2 finger foam. As mentioned earler the smell was sake-like, but included roasted malts (more sweet than burnt). The taste was good but not great, lots of sake up front, then some malty sweetness as it fills the mouth, followed by a lingering sake or alcohol flavor. I'm not sure why alcohol is so evident in this beer versus its competitors, but it makes this more or less one of a kind. The body is standard for the style, thick enough but nowhere as thick as Dark Lord (or Darkness for that matter). Drinkability is very good, I was surprised to find myself wishing for more of this after the beers were gone (although Darkness was the hands-down winner in everyone's book).

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Photo of claspada
4.73/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Adding review of 2011 sampled 1/20/12 with HimerMan. Just as amazing as I remember. Even better actually. Aromas are ridiculous, berries galore. Everything remains true that I described below. Mouthfeel was better than I remember, carbonation was slightly higher in this more recent example, maybe the freshness... Adjusting ratings, this is as close to perfect as a beer can be.

Bottle courtesy of rlmartin at our most recent tasting. 2010 edition. My hand is shaking as I pour the bottle I am so nervous. I have been waiting to try this beer for as long as I can remember.

Pours a dark brownish black, not the darkest I have ever seen, with a nice small dark brown head that you don't see all the time, which quickly recedes leaving some minimal lacing.

Aroma is ridiculous. Waves of initial complex smells; raspberry/blackberry jam, dark and milk chocolate, lesser darker and vinous fruits as well. I am really getting a lot of dark chocolate covered strawberry here. I have never experienced such a berry presence in a beer. Port barrels did this... interesting, wow!

The tastes directly follow the nose with waves and waves of dark chocolate covered strawberries, lesser sweet milk chocolate bar and tons of raspberry jam and a little vanilla in the background. I have never had a stout with so little roasted/coffee presence and so much dark fruit character but I am 100% in love with this, with KATE I guess, whoever she is!

Mouthfeel is soft and sweet and velvety. Low-to-medium carbonation which I normally dislike but I couldn't care less here. This is full yet almost dry in the finish.

Overall, words cannot describe not pleased I am with this beer. Usually the hype train is off course but this beer is worth it, holy S! I wish I had more. I am considering moving to Portsmouth now is how good this was. Highly recommended, track it down, trade for it, just WOW!

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Photo of glid02
4.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Grant – much obliged! 2011 vintage.

Pours black with a one-finger light plum-colored head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing and decent legs.

Smells of soft roasted malts with smooth dark chocolate. Also present are slight hints of vanilla and stronger hints of booze-soaked dark fruits – plums mostly with hints of dates.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more complex. Robust roasted malt flavors kick things off however the associated bitterness quickly recedes as dark chocolate and vanilla flavors come into play. Midway through the sip dark fruit flavors make an appearance, as do small amounts of sweet dessert wine. Earthy oak flavors temper the sweetness near the end of the sip, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It’s got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass very quickly and could have a few more with no problems.

Overall this beer delivered on my expectations – a base RIS that is smack dab in the middle of sweet and bitter with good amounts of roasted and dark chocolate influences with a perfect amount of oak and port. Well worth a shot.

UPDATE: I was lucky enough to try the 2010 vintage shortly thereafter thanks to a generous soul and was surprised by the change - there was a blueberry flavor in the 2010 version and in general the beer seemed sweeter. Still very good, but not quite world-class as the 2011 was. I'd recommend drinking yours now if you've never had it before rather than sitting on it if the 2011 and 2010 vintages are any indication.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.27/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice. 2010 version.

The beer pours a black with disappointing head. It rises less than an inch, and is gone quickly. Light lacing.

The aroma is super light, gives off mostly light coffee. I really wish more was going on here.

The taste is phenominal, its flavorful and balanced. It starts off lightly sweet, then the rest is just the most balanced light bitter coffee I've ever had.

The feel is nice, medium bodied with a nice bitter lasting finish.

Overall, this is really good, but does not justify a top ten ranking. The taste is top ten, but it doesn't have an equal aroma or very good looking. Maybe the 2010 needs some more time in the cellar, but this beer is good and has potential to be great.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.49/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

A-Pours quite black. Thin head. Doesn't appear to be completely black. Has a browner tint to it. I only enjoyed a small sample so it is difficult to properly assess the appearance.

S-Wow, what a unique aroma. It smells a bit like port. I get a lot of dark fruitiness. The standard chocolate and roast is a secondary aspect here. Very neat, almost like a Quad without the Belgian yeastiness.

T-The flavor is, like the aroma, unique and very interesting. I really wish I had a full glass as opposed to a small sample. Kate explodes with dark fruits: fig, prune, raisin. Dark chocolate and port wine. The year of aged has forced the favors to cooperate considerably well. Definitely an individual flavor.

M-Big, velvety and slick. Soft carbonation. Booze is a complete no-show. Excellent feel here.

O/D-Was never expecting to try this and I am super happy I got the chance. Haven't had a Stout quite like Kate. Definitely worthy of the hype. Too bad she's retired.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes: Thanks Jacob for sending this my way.

appearance: dark brown black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: chocolate, vanilla, roast, sweet, malts / barley

taste: smooth chocolate, roast, vanilla, malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, full body,

overall: this is a well down stout and so glad I finally got a chance to try this bad girl. ; )

the CPJ

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 bottle sent to me by xumbi. Thank you so much, Jim! Not only do you have great taste in music, but your generosity is impeccable as well.

A: Black witha dark brown head with good retention and some patchy lace. Dark brown highlights

S: Bakers chocolate up front with coffee and creamy sweetness. Exceptional balance and smoothness. Complex with mild oxidation, brown sugar, mild spiciness reminiscent of cinnamon sugar. Slightly vinous, it makes me think of a good port. Mild alcohol as this warms up.

T: Rich, big and tasty. Opens up with a great balance of unsweetened chocolate and coffee before some mild oxidation appears with a hint of sherry and raisin. This beer is probably the most complex yet balanced non BA RIS I've had. Mild roasty mid palate, finishes mildly dry, mildly sweet and mildly bitter, just exceptionally balanced

ML Full bodied with absolutely spectacular carbonation and a fantastic finish

D: No hint of alcohol, just so smooth and drinkable

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.32/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 2010 vintage.

Thanks to my personal "King of Beers", Adam, for knocking this off my "top 100 to tick" list.

A - Dark brown with mild haze and pitch black in the tulip,. there is some tan head but it's not retained well. A little lace is left decorating the tulip.

S - Warm alcohol and sweet molasses with smooth roasted chocolate malts. A bit of roasted malt bitterness. No hops, light woody finish.

T - Warm alcohol isn't boozy or hot but it cuts through the molasses and chocolate malts a bit. Roasted malt bitterness is low in the flavor.

M - Thick and smooth, Kate is rich and roasted but not bitter or hot. Very nice feel.

D - Great drinkability for an RIS. Smooth and flavorful with a nice finish, I'd LOVE to get my hands on another bottle. Way tasty.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.57/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage courtesy of RomanW70 - beer #3 during the 'Motha of All Stout Tastings.' Poured two shades shy of black with a thin head that dissipates into a narrow, off-white band. No lacing during the tasting. Nose consists of dark malts, licorice and a hit of caramel towards the back. Taste reveals caramel and toffee on a solid, dark malt backbone. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and slightly creamy/oily - a brew that slides down easy and doesn't linger. Incredible balance and drinkability. There's no wonder that this is my top rated beer; however, I have to say that the experience on draft is a little more sublime.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.73/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap, served in a snifter

A finger+ of khaki sits atop a perfectly still ink black body. No light gets through this beer at all. Some mild lacing reveals the sip marks. This is a pretty beer in this glass.

The aroma is mild at best. I expect my big, gargantuan RIS's to be just that; bold and assertive. The nose is tame, more deep than broad. Sherry notes surface first along with dark cherries, ethanol, coffee and a large amount of dark Belgian chocolate.

Wow. Ok. The flavor profile is much more assertive. Dark cherries and plums soaked in alcohol with deep roasted malt and a copious amount of dark Belgian chocolate. An underlying woodiness adds an extra level of complexity. Not overly broad, but deep. The alcohol catches up after a few pulls.

Truly luxurious mouthfeel. Huge. Soft and creamy with an oily slickness that coats the mouth. This is where this beer flexes its muscles. The mouthfeel of this gal is the best I have ever come across, really separates itself here.

This is a big, robust, boozey stout that has numerous complexities and a fantastic flavor profile. The creamy body escalates the drinkability a notch, but this gal is to be respected. A sipper for sure.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a deep black with a tan colored head. The nose has a little oak, light roasted malts, hints of dark chocolate, bright sweet flavors of anise, malt, and dark berries. The flavor is great, lightly roasted, dry dark chocolate, a touch of smoke in the roast, fairly sweet towards the back but not in a sugary way. Blackberry, plums, and cherry are very bright. The body is medium to full, very drinkable, smooth on the palate with a light carbonation and short finish.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review # 500!!!

Huge thanks to Number45forever for trading me this bottle! Thanks Bill.

poured into tulip glass.

reviewed from notes taken on 8/24/12.

I gotta say this has been a beer that I have been hunting down for a long time probably 2 or 3 years! Very ellusive creature this Kate. Lets see just how "great" she is.... Glad to see the wait is finally over. Drank this in celebration of my birthday this year!

Appearance: dark black bodied beer with a 1 finger tall medium brown almost mocha colored head.

Smell: smells of milk chocolate with nice notes of oak barrel. Big smooth roasty, smokey, and charred notes.

Taste: I really like the complexity and balance this beer has; it honestly reminds me of The Abyss but its just tastes way better! The beer starts off sweet with milk chocolate, light vanilla and barrel notes. A hint of port and a decent dose of earthy / woody oak barrel. As the beer progresses, it goes into a lite bacony / meaty smoke note which starts to fade away as the roasty notes begin to surface. Also getting a touch of dark fruits, molasses, and tobacco in the middle of this beer. The beer finishes with a surprisingly moderately charred / roasty bite that still stays in balance with the same level all other flavors in the beer. The charred notes seem to linger on for quite some time after each sip without being an overbearing flavor.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. This beer drinks like its 7 to 8%. Super smooth for a 12% beer; not a hint of booze. The beer is really silky and soft on the palate. Yes it is a little bit thinner than I expected, but that does not really hurt this beer one bit and fits well with the beers flavor profile.

Overall: Kate is truely a fantastic beer! Here is the thing about her though... She is a very delicate and subtle beer that really needs your undivided attention to catch all the flavors going on in the beer. This beer will probably be appreciated more by someone with a veteran palate. I can see how some people are dissapointed by this beer, but what I really enjoyed most from this beer is that everything is so balanced and complex with a nice silky, smooth mouthfeel. Its does not have to be in your face roasty and robust to be amazing an amazing beer which is what most beer nerds crave from this beer style(Russian Imperial Stout). It is honestly a nice change from all of the "in your face" BA RIS out there in the craft beer world today! Kate the Great has got some class!

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Photo of maximum12
3.34/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to ROBORB who recently sent me a 2009 bottle of Kate. I've been hoarding a 2008 bottle in the cellar rec'd from tprokop7 a long, long time ago, but it's one bottle I've just never been able to bring myself to open. We were actually going to bust it on my wife's birthday in December & I came down with the plague. Some things were just never meant to be.

So, popped open & poured into a pair of tulips for my wife & I. Jet black. Even the edges hold out the light better than a velvet blindfold. The smell...oh, the smell. A chocolate factory, malts from deep in the dark mines. It even smells thick.

And Kate...well, after that heavenly smell, it's a big letdown. Taste doesn't follow the smell at all, rather, it's dominated by tart blackbeerry. The malts, & chocolate, & depthless malts are present, but forming only a backdrop, setting the stage. Infection, or intentional? I've read both sides, but I hope this wasn't intentional. Really too bad, because if it should taste anything like it smelled, it would well deserve its lofty rating.

M&T both suffer. It seems very thin given the smell & heft. And I'm still having trouble getting over the disconnect between the nose & the taste.

I'm a little weepy. If I ever decide to crack open the 2008, I'll revisit this review. I'd love to try this fresh, but based on this bottle, I wouldn't pay a trading ransom for a 2010. <sigh>

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Photo of AgentZero
3.88/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jrallen34 for sharing this one.

A - Very very dark, but you can see the brown in this one. Brown on the edge, with a small tan head that dissipated slowly.

S - Nice roastly malts, lots of coffee and some molasses. Hints of cocoa and vanilla.

T - Tastes better than it smells. Oak, vanilla chocolate, and great coffee taste on the end keeps this from growing boring through the taste. Can get some barrel age sense from this, but it's not the huge flavor on this. It's very good, but think it might be overrated due to the rarity.

M - Low carbonation, but full bodied, agrees with this style.

D - Very drinkable for a big stout, thought it was higher alcohol, but 9.5% does it justice. Can sip or chug and and enjoy this nicely.

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Photo of cbutova
4.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Kate the Great 2010, what a day. Missed out on bottles at 5:45, who would've known people would start lining up just after midnight. I had two glasses and enjoyed them extra thoroughly after waiting 4 hours just for the tapping. I wouldn't mind having the bottles but the two glasses were enough to satisfy me. It was pretty interesting, especially when Tod Mott randomly walked up to me taking notes and grabbed my notebook and said, "Holy f*ck, are you kidding me." Pretty random as he ran away immediately after saying that. Had a chat with Peter Egelston about the oak/Port aging that was very interesting. Enough of this, on to the beer. Poured into the signature Portsmouth Tulip beautifully. The beer is pitch black with a massive, almost whip cream textured head, nice and frothy. It had amazing retention and left probably the best lacing I have ever seen. This has got to be the best looking beer I have witnessed. Smell was probably the only thing missing to make this a very high (4.75+) review. The strength of the aromas was just a tiny bit too weak. What I did pick up was dark fruit/raisin from the Port, a bit of alcohol, roast malts and some cocoa. A good mix but it seemed to come and go with decent strength. Taste was very nice. Good balance of the dark fruit, roasty malts, alcohol, cocoa and oak. The Port soaked oak spirals made their presence known. I really think the only thing keeping this from perfection was the strong flavors. The port and booze could be toned down an infinitesimally small amount. I really thought the port character added a very nice dimension to the RIS style. Mouthfeel was absurdly creamy, very smooth and a bit warm. The body could be a bit thicker but the creaminess of this beer was unrelenting and pretty much made up for it. The low carbonation complimented the flavors very well and made for a very enjoyable experience. Drinkability for a great tasting beer is always good. The price, smoothness and Port dimension made this one very drinkable. The second glass was just as good as the first and I will probably go back for more next year. Very good beer and a very nice time at Portsmouth Brewery.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! What a beautiful beer! Dark, dark black with a thick coffee-colored head and impressive lacing. It had a wonderful chocolate odor with a hint of cherry. It had a smooth, sweet, chocolaty taste with a slight hoppiness to it. It felt very nice in the mouth, with only a little carbonation. Very drinkable, just remember to take it easy.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.82/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a college buddy/beer geek in town so decided to rip through as many treats as I could with a few other BAs and friends. This started things off. Big thanks to BearsOnAcid for helping me get to sample this treat and also thanks to cooperellis for picking up the bottle for me!

2011 vintage

a - opened the bottle and had my pour in a cbs snifter. brew poured black as night but had a wateryy glisten. there wasn't much head to speak of, but what was there had a somewhat mocha tan color. swirling the beer really coats the glass.

s - smells of chocolate roasted malts with a hint of vanilla. really nice smelling.

t - oh wow! pretty spot on perfection for what i dig about stouts. great roasted malt with a blast of quality chocolate tamed back with some vanilla notes.

m - great body, thick and rich...smooth as silk. kind of like chocolate milk.

o - overall...this is simply amazing. after discussing the beer a bit with the group it came to light that it is aged in port barrels and there definitely is a port quality that sets the flavor apart. just really wonderful and easy to drink. no hype, this beer is the truth. like really tasty chocolate milk. i had been dying to try this since i first learned of it and i am not disappointed one bit.

--- edit ---
was able to have a sample of the 09 at Capt Lawrence CdC release and it was just as good, if not better. fantastic beer and perma-want.

--- edit --- 2013-01-08
popped open my last bottle of this beer (2012 vintage) tonight to celebrate the 10th anniversary of my first date with my wife. i've had this beer several times in my travels and what i've come to learn is that it don't age all that well and today felt like the perfect night to pop it open (probably already waited too long). poured gorgeous black and the smell has a strong roast with black licorice. the flavor is much of the same. the roast is intense, but not like a southampton IRS. it really is a great stout for something not aged in barrels, but not as amazing as it's reputation is. the heat is on and the booziness is a bit in your face, but all in all one of the better of the brewery only release stouts. the port barrels are there, but everything is somewhat hidden behind the heat. my palette today would probably rate this more between a 4 and a 4.5 than the 4.85 of my first impression...that being said, the 2011 vintage was superior to the 2012 in my opinion.

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Photo of Rutager
4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2011 bottle thanks to Yeahnatenelson. Served at cellar temperature.

Appearance. Pours black with 1/2 a finger of khaki head.

Smell. Prunes, raisins, chocolate, rum, cherries and caramel. Despite that description it's very unique smelling and keeps me coming back for more.

Taste. Tobacco, prunes, raisins, chocolate, plums and molasses.

Mouthfeel. On the lower side of full body with medium-low soft and smooth carbonation, unbelievably smooth.

Overall. Smooth and delicious.

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Photo of gford217
4.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #700. Much, much gratitude to MrRetardedMonkey for passing this gem along. 2008 bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours pitch black with a large, creamy tan head that sticks to the side of the glass on the way down and remains a big bubbly collar for the duration.

The aroma is pretty much textbook RIS with tons of dark roasted malts dominating the nose throughout. There is plenty of nuance on top of that with licorice, chocolate and some dark fruits in there as well. As this thing warms, the opens up BIG time, especially with some citrus hops which I definitely didn't get earlier.

The taste is more complex than the aroma indicates. It's got an initial chocolate and dark fruit sweetness that blends seamlessly with the dark malts that form the backbone. The finish is slightly bitter with some bakers chocolate and licorice.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with plenty of carbonation. Despite a relatively low ABV for the style, there is some alcohol burn in the finish though nothing too distracting.

This is a great RIS and one of the truest to the style that I've tried. It doesn't blow you away with any aspect, but as a package it's excellent. Thanks again Scotty for the opportunity.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kate the Great '11

A: Pours thick and syrupy, with only a tiny mocha head that lines the edge of the glass. There is very little lacing as it drinks.

S: Smells mainly of brown sugar, molasses, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. There is a slight alcohol presence in this beer, but it's very subtle.

T: Tastes exactly like it smells. Roasted malt, molasses, and brown sugar. I also get hits of raisin, plum, cherry, and vanilla. This is a really complex beer. I'm amazed at how much is going on here. It's absolutely delicious.

M: Full bodied beer, that coats the palate and hangs on for dear life. Slightly sticky and chewy, but that fades.

O: This beer is wonderful. It totally lives up to the hype.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this twice at the brewpub once last December and once just a month or two ago during a Portsmouth pit-stop on the way home from Maine. This stuff is dark black, pretty much opaque, with no light shining through. The head is a dense mocha-cocoa foam that lasts and leaves decent lacing as well. The aromas are all dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malts, coffee, and bitter belgian sugar. The taste follows suit with many roasted malt and cocoa notes up front, with a nice smooth maltiness in the middle and a slick, slightly oily finish of roastiness and green resinous hops. Mouthfeel is thick and coating, rich and warming. Drinkability is good for a big imperial stout. I quite like this one, but it will get you drunk quite fast, so watch out!

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.55/5  rDev +0.9%
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).

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Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 489 ratings.