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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 mfavoino


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

2012 bottle poured into a Surly tulip.

Appearance: Appears black that looks like a rich brown with light behind it. Just a rim of bubbly head that pushes to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Some chocolate, oak, and dark roasted malts. Nothing dominating.

Taste: Oak flavor and port comes through, along with a nice chocolate sweetness that isn't overwhelming. Rich roasted malt flavor is satisfying. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Smoothness is superb, but felt like the body was more thin than it should be. Low-medium carbonation.

Overall: Very smooth for a 12% beer and nice flavor. Still, not that wow factor that one tends to expect with a RIS like this.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2012 15:22:43 | More by mfavoino
Photo of Treebs


3.93/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage split three ways. Served in a FW tulip.

A: Pours a dark black color with dark brown edges. A light tan head forms on the pour and recedes to a thin ring. No real lace, just some small splotches.

S: Dark fruity port with some oak. Light roasted coffee bean and some toasted malts. Minimal chocolate.

T: The oak has a much bigger presence than in the nose and the port quickly follows suit. Dark chocolate and roasted wiht some caramelize sugar and raisins.

M: Silky and oily, but a touch thin for a 12% RIS. Medium carbonation as well.

O: This was a nice beer, but definitely not worth everything it commands. I'm glad I got to share this guy and find out what all the fuss is about, but I certainly wont be looking to acquire it again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 18:00:09 | More by Treebs
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.13/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 03:45:25 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


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

Split many a bottle and shared more than a few glasses with angrybabboon. This review is #300 and is of a 2012 vintage. Some additions were made from my notes on previous vintages.

Appearance: Pours thick, dark, and completely black. Dark tan head drops to a thin collar in short order. Wispy head on the beer. Almost nothing. Coats the glass. It's not lacing. It must be congealed awesomeness. Very thick with a decent carbonation given the pour. Sits still and heavy.

Smell: Oak and booze. Deep dark fruits run the gamut from figs and plums to cherry and raisins. Dense on the dark fruit. Port is prevalent, adding some sweetness and dropping a nice sharp woody aroma. Burnt and roasted almost to the point of absurdity. Char, chocolate (both milk and bitter cocoa), with some minor roasted coffee. Leather and fresh, wet tobacco leaf. Almost fudgey without the sugary sweetness.

Taste: Big heat up front. Port and oak make up a big component of the first wave of flavor. Chewy fudge layered with cocoa. Deep red wine, day old coffee. Some dark fruit, with a preference for raisins and plums. Juicy leather. Tobacco leaf, wet and uncut. It's booze soaked dessert. Decadence. Layers of char and burnt and over-roasted malt add a layer of sweetness that helps keep things moving. Massive. Some lingering alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Full and thick. Somehow the carbonation is present. Syrupy without crossing in to the realm of actual syrup. Coats the mouth, but the carbonation breaks it up just enough. So very carefully treads the line of too much. With great risk comes great power...or something.

Overall: She is that damn good.

I've had the privilege to try this beer multiple times starting in '08, only missing '09. It has been and remains the insurmountable representation of the style. The consistent level of complexity gets better with age, but damn if Kate doesn't drink like a beast when fresh. This is a beast and a half. The hype train may have run away with it, bit I have a hard time not accepting the associated accolades.

I've even tried Kate blind in a massive tasting and she stands out. Bias, perhaps, but it's a mighty tasty bias.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2012 18:24:35 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of BeRanger


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

2012 KTG poured into my Portsmouth Tulip.

A: Pours jet black, mahogony rim, hardly any head on it.

S: Chocolate, Roasted Malts, Coffee, Vanilla, Red Wine.

T: Given the high ABV, the booze is definitely hidden in the small and the taste. Rich chocolate, coffee and roasted flavor. It has a red wine complexity to it nice from the port barrels which was nice.

M: Full bodied, rich and creamy - very smooth.

O: I really do like the beer however I dont know it lived up to the hype but nowadays, what really does? Certainly fantastic and I'd love to have more but given the value on the 11.2oz bottle, it wouldnt be my first choice.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 23:17:48 | More by BeRanger
Photo of jeonseh


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

2012 Bottle poured into a HF Tulip

A - Dark, dark brown that is almost black. If it weren't for brown notes on the edges I would think it were black. Had a 1/8 inch mocha color head that sat throughout. It leaves a nice amount of lacing on the glass as I swirl and drink it

S - Mixtures of various scents come forth each time I take a sniff. Coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, and brandied dates come forth. It is interesting how the main smell changes between the sweeter chocolate and the more smoky aspects

T - At first, there is a brandied date and plum. As the beer contained to develop, chocolate and sweet caramel take over. The finish becomes more bitter as the coffee and slight tobacco becomes more prominent. The finish is also rather dry and there is a slight alcohol kick that reminds you that this is a 12% stout. It's nice and complex to get so many flavors from this beer. I'd be curious to see how this ages to see if it settles down just a bit more.

MF - Thick and velvety on the tongue with a light carbonation to it. It has a nice medium body to it. The carbonation leaves a slight tingle on the backend that helps accentuate the dry finish.

O - An interesting and complex beer from Portsmouth. It is definitely near the top of the category for RIS as it brings a ton of flavors that are all well balanced against each other. I'd like to see if this settles down a bit to smooth out the rough edges as if it does, this would be one of the best beers out there.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2012 02:36:27 | More by jeonseh
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 birderbeerer


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

2011 bottle consumed in June 2012.

Beautiful beer. It's hard to imagine a more complete beer. It's very well balanced and doesn't try to be the biggest or to tackle a specific flavor fully.

Great balance of chocolate and roast, but the roast is softened by oak. Very full and rich without being big. A subtle complexity. And on top of all of it is a consistent note of red wine that just adds another great layer of flavor and complexity.

Rich and full without being too big or overbearing. Very easily drinkable and left me wanting much more.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2012 13:48:17 | More by birderbeerer
Photo of NarcoSolo


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

Finally cracked my only 2012 bottle. Had been waiting for a somewhat special occasion, but "Tuesday" turned out to be it.

A: Pours jet black into a small snifter, about a 1/4 inch of tan head that dissolves into a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. A bit of light peaks through around the edges.

S: Wow! Figs, raisins, chocolate, vanilla, dark roasted coffee, caramel. This beer smells fantastic.

T: The flavor doesn't disappoint. Rich coffee and vanilla flavors, hints of sherry and port, a bit of oak and a just a touch of smoke. A hint of coffee bitterness that I really enjoy.

M: Doesn't get any smoother in my book. Perfect mid-level carbonation, velvety smooth.

O: This beer definitely lived up to my expectations. I know other people disagree, but I was very pleased to have this perfectly executed RIS. It was a pleasant respite after all the BA releases of recent times.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 15:13:55 | More by NarcoSolo
Photo of DovaliHops


4.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge THANKS to Mario for bringing this rare gem to my tasting last night. Now I don't need to hunt this one down! 2012 Vintage. Pours a thick, jet black color with a small-medium brown head that disappears quickly. Scent is packed with coffee and dark chocolate cocoa. A bit of cherry and subtle citrus aromas. Taste is just as it smells with an initial burst of chocolate followed by coffee and cherry juice. Some subtle citrus flavors as well. The chocolate flavor isn't as dark and bitter as the nose implied. ABV is impressively well-hidden. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a syrupy finish. Drinkability is high. Overall, this is definitely a good RIS. I really struggle to understand the hype behind this beer. I am very glad to have tried it, but equally glad that I did not end up trading an arm and a leg for it. Basically, this beer is not worth one of my Beatifications. Solid beer all around though.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2012 07:26:41 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of SpottedZombie


1.73/5  rDev -62%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Big thanks to Adam for this one!

2011 Vintage

Pours a viscous black, pretty consistent with the style.

Smells like a heavily roasted bag of coffee, earthy, acrid, slight notes of dark fruits. The coffee smell is off-putting, not sure what the big deal is so far...

The beer starts off with a bitter/sour punch on the tip of the tongue, then moves into a chalky mess mid-palate. Coffee is highly present, not much going on here, chalky and acrid. The aftertaste is pretty awful to match, just more bitter burned coffee.

Overall I can't really see what the big deal was over this beer, it doesn't impress. I don't know if my bottle was stored right, but the mouth feel really didn't feel right, I'm going to revisit this soon.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 03:48:34 | More by SpottedZombie
Photo of beerhan


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

Huge thanks to Cmack15 for sending a bottle my way

A-Jet black very viscous pour into a snifter. About a one finger dark brown head that dissipates into a thin lacing.

A-Lots of chocolate and a bit of espresso. A little oaky and very burned aroma.

T-Lots of coffee up front but balanced by almost plum notes and tons of dark chocolate in a way that nothing overwhelms another flavor.

M-Very smooth minimal carbonation and hides the alcohol very well.

O-Probably the best non-barrel aged stout out there but not entirely worth the effort to get one of these. Kate is fantastic but I would choose other stouts simply over obtainability

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2012 17:38:40 | More by beerhan
Photo of siege06nd


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

Wow, Eric, you continue to be far too generous. Thanks for letting me have a share of this bottle!

2012 vintage poured into a snifter...

A. Thick, rich, motor oil in my glass. Darkest of browns, almost black. About a quarter finger of light brown head with some good, spotty lacing down the sides of the glass. Really nice wisps of head float atop the beer.

S. Mmmm. Cocoa powder, ripe fruit, cherry juice, vanilla, roasted malt, toasted caramel, subtle touches of hops, almost citrus-like. Hints of roasted coffee as well. I really like this...especially the infusion of dark fruit and some citrus zest from what I assume are hops. The bouquet here is near perfectly integrated, and hits a lot of nice notes.

T. Super dark chocolate drops, strawberry, cherry juice, whole coffee bean, bread crust, roasted caramel, mocha, citrusy hop, almost like a chocolate covered orange. De-freakin-licious. Pretty boozy finish, but at this point, I'm not caring. Barrel adds a lot of subtle char qualities but also contributes a cloying dryness that subtly burns the back of the throat. A decadent beer and the complete antithesis to brews like Chocolate Rain. This doesn't try to go over the top sugar-bomb on you. It lets chocolate, coffee, caramel, and roasted malt each have its turn. Very very very impressive.

M. Thick and full bodied with moderate carbonation. Flavors are well-integrated. Slightly boozy and tannic finish detract ever so slightly.

O. A spectacular concoction. Top-notch imperial stout that brings a lot of new flavors to the table, making it an exercise in unparalleled complexity. Might could use some age with the alcohol burn that exists at this stage, but it drinks nicely nonetheless. One of the best coffee and dark chocolate finishes I have encountered, and a great creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Bravo.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 19:18:34 | More by siege06nd
Photo of bobbypaulson


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

got a 2012 bottle about a week after the release. The best part about this beer was that I didn't have to trade away my soul to try a bottle, thanks to a great trader!!! Poured out of the baby bottle into a snifter and the aroma pours out along with the black oily liquor with almost no head that is gone very fast. The smell is sweet chocolately with dried fruits and roasted coffee. The taste is deep and dark with much like a port. I taste a lot of tried sweet fruit, some wood, and chocolate. Delicious beer glad I got to try, however I wouldn't trade away a huge amount of stuff to get this one done.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2012 13:16:01 | More by bobbypaulson
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 version. Pours a one finger brown head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Totally black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Coffee and molasses nose, flavor is roasted coffee and hints of molasses, high ABV is hidden. Good RIS but is this worth two trips to Portsmouth ($21) plus raffle tickets ($20) and $8.00 for a 330ml bottle from the brewery in Portsmouth, NH? No, got it for my collection, this is bottle #3222. Stone has a RIS that is $7.70 for a bomber and is equally good.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2012 22:14:30 | More by jdhilt
Photo of SkiBum22

New York

4.98/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a deep black with with one finger head that descended into a thin frothy lacing, slight webbing as it lowered.

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

T - Chocolate, espresso flavors/bitterness, oak, some alcohol in the finish, anise, molasses, some port flavors as well. Smooth finish.

M - A nice thick heavy mouthfeel, low to medium carbonation.

O - This is a top 10 beer for me. Absolutely lives up to the hype and then some. I've had a lot of great beers in my life but this one stands out. I will be trying to get a bottle every year from here on out.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 14:03:05 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle of the 2010 vintage. Cheers to basilcrow for giving me a ride to Portsmouth just over two years ago. Opened for review #500 and split between my Brooklyn Brewery tulip and my Canadian Breakfast Stout snifter.

Kate the Great pours a solid black, with a finger and a half or so of mocha foam crowning the beer. Head retention is good, but lacing is definitely on the spotty side. The nose shows the beer's age a little bit, with lots of oxidation (albeit pleasant oxidation), joining some nice chocolaty aromas. The flavor's got plenty of chocolate up front, and then some sherry comes in mid palate. It's not quite as intense as in the aroma though. Port/dark fruit notes are a new addition, and come in on the back end to provide a wonderful lingering finish. The mouthfeel is sturdy, and a little bit chewy, without being overly viscous. The carbonation is perfectly subtle, allowing the malt profile to steal the show. Kate the Great clocks in at 12%ABV. I wouldn't have guessed this *at all* if I hadn't looked up as I was finishing this review. It's absurd how, despite being plenty flavorful, how smooth and not syrupy Kate drinks for being relatively high in alcohol. I don't have tasting notes, but I think I might have enjoyed the bottle of Kate I opened right after the release a little more than this one. That said, she's doing just fine right now.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 04:29:40 | More by axeman9182
Photo of FosterJM


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

1271st Review on BA
Bottle to CCB Snifter

2010 Vintage

Shared with JazzPatel, GuruDel & MrHirschybar

App- Kate poured out into a snifter with little fanfare from her. It was a mix of browns and blacks with some decent density behind it. Had a small head that was gone and didnt leave cling but a few bubbles.

Smell- Fairly light all the way around. The dark fruits were a suprise. I didn't know they would be so prevalant. The aromas are of raisins, figs and even some dried plums. A little bit of bitter chocolate rises as well.

Taste- Tastes like I would hoped. Not the greatest stout in the world but she lived up to the hype. A lot of the fruit remained on the flavors but was blended and layered with a slight bitter note and a creamy chocolate layer in the middle.

Mouth- A medium full body. I dont think holding these will change her much. A medium carbonation level with some residual chocolate and dark fruits.

Drink- I was very happy to have her finally. Took a while but was able to share her with some good friends to celebrate Steves Bday and mine as well. I would love to have another bottle of Kate.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 15:32:27 | More by FosterJM
Photo of brystmar


4.08/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh man, I've been after Kate for ages! 2012 bottle, graciously shared by whartontallboy. Thanks!

Unfortunately, it seems she's having one of "those" days, as the combination of this short, stubby bottle and the atrocious label artwork remind me more of a circus poster than either beer or Catherine herself. Every time I look at the bottle, I swear she's blowing one of those birthday party blowout things that make an obnoxious noise as they extend. The new label is just awful.

Fortunately, the beer is pretty. Plenty of thick, white head atop a black body. Aroma is rather typical for an imperial stout and doesn't really stand out in any remarkable way. Maybe some dark fruit in the background but that's about it.

Taste is similarly unimpressive. It's not bad, but the hype behind this bottle seems completely unjustified. Kate is boozy and quite straightforward, taking the path of least resistance down the middle of Stoutsville. Ethan's quip summed it up nicely: "Well, that certainly is an imperial stout."

Viscous body is its standout quality. But when I'm praising mouthfeel as the high point of a beer with this much hype, you know something's up. I came in with high expectations and left disappointed.

This is good imperial stout. It is not a great imperial stout. In fact, I'm unconvinced it's significantly better than Founders Imperial Stout. Perhaps previous vintages were more impressive, but 2012 Kate doesn't live up to its namesake.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2012 08:08:00 | More by brystmar
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 04/28/12 notes. HUGE huge thanks to joepais for sending me a bottle of this one in December for the Secret Santa BIF; been one of my biggest Wants since I've been on the site, so very glad to finally try it. 2011 vintage split with some friends.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with two inches of thick dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet dark fruits, molasses, roasted malts, chocolate, and some black licorice. Very nice nose, quite sweet. Reminds me of 2009 Dark Lord a little bit.

t - Tastes of sweet dark fruits, black licorice, sugar, molassess, roasted malts, sweet milk chocolate, dark chocolate, light coffee. More licorice and sweeter then the nose, a slight step down for me.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Body is very smooth and creamy; a little more carbonation and the mouthfeel would have been perfect. Definitely does not feel anywhere need 12% ABV.

o - Overall I thought this was a very good RIS, though it isn't my favorite. It is very sweet and has a lot of sweet fruit, molasses, and black licorice to it, very similiar to 2009 Dark Lord in my opinion. Definitely does not feel like 12%, though tough to drink a ton of it due to how sweet it is. I drank about 6-7 oz.'s of the bottle and that is probably the perfect amount; glad to see they moved to the smaller bottled this year. Overall this is a great stout, but a bit overhyped and considering how hard it is to get, I'd rather seek out a few others that I could get easier (18yr EC Eclipse, DL, Darkness).

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 19:52:13 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Dope


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

A: Pitch black pour with a dense chocolate milk colored head. Smallish head despite the aggressive pour. Despite the smaller head, retention is rock solid and it leaves a thick sheet of lacing on the glass.

S: Super creamy, almost milky character mixed with wonderful roasted malt. Milk chocolate with some cocoa powder; some char and hints of espresso.

T: Super strong roasted malt character takes me by surprise. It feels even bigger than 12%. Huge stinging coffee and ashy bitterness. More bitterness in the form of dark chocolate in the middle and through to the aftertaste. I get a little bit of black licorice and some wonderful vanilla in the finish and aftertaste (especially as it warms). Once it warms I'm getting a little port wine in there too, adding a bit of dark fruit. You can taste the lingering waves of bitter roasted malt long after the swallow.

M: Huge, thick and creamy. Leaves a syrupy, almost oil-like residue behind. Possibly the #1 mouthfeel of any beer I've had. It sticks with you for several minutes after each sip.

O: A surprisingly bitter and huge RIS. I say surprisingly because most breweries leave lots of residual sugar behind in their big beers, making them (sometimes very) sweet and balancing out all that roasted malt. This beer is made to highlight the roasted malt character. No bourbon barrels, no chocolate or coffee beans add, nada. It's complex in its simplicity, you can really make out all of the aspects of the roasted malt as they are very strong yet bare. I was really surprised by this brew. Pleasantly so.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 04:13:29 | More by Dope
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 jmarsh123


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

Pours deep black with a very minimal head. Some tan legs creep on this one after a bit.

Smells chocolate with an intense roasted malt presence, a little smoke and a certain port like quality. Lots of deep red fruits.

Similar flavors to the nose and wonderfully balanced. A good upfront presence with some baker's chocolate and roasted malts. Just a hint of smoke. Some of the port overtones come through next while the chocolate roast still lingers. Finishes with a nice subtle booze burn. It's there, but not too hot.

This is where this beer shines and what separates the top of the line from the normal RIS. Thick mouthfeel without being cloying and while the alcohol is not completely hidden, it imparts just a slight kick which is perfect with the rest of the flavor profile.

Very glad I got to try this one and absolutely digging the small bottle format. I'd drink more big stouts if I didn't always have to have another stout lover around to crack one open.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 22:32:37 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of ShanePB


4.53/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Both 2011 and 2012 vintages opened side-by-side with mdaschaf during a recent trip to DE. This review score is for the 2012 version, which I thought was better. Review for 2011 is at the bottom.

Vintage 2012
Served into a tulip glass

A: Deep dark black body with very minimal head. Only a thin tan colored head was left around the edges with almost no lacing either. It's a heavy hitting, high ABV beer so some of this is to be expected.

S: Big sweet fruits, lots of port qualities, strawberry, cherry and caramel. Fairly chocolatey with plenty of roasted malts. It's very inviting and balanced with a little booze on the end.

T: Sweet but not overly so. Plenty of berry fruits, obvious port qualities, rich and roasted malts. There's a very "fresh" quality here when directly compared to the 2011 bottle I just love. Perhaps it's the vibrancy of the red fruits that come out in this one. Very unique and delicious.

M: Well carbonated, in my opinion it could be toned down a touch otherwise it would be perfect. Although for such a high ABV it actually helps keep things lively on the palate and break up some of the what would have been stickiness.


Vintage 2011
Served into a tulip glass

A: Deep dark black body with more of a head than the 2012. This stuck around for a bit longer too and had some nice lacing on the glass, as well as a retention cap on the surface of the beer. It could have been the pour, or the fact it was a much bigger sample since it was 22 ounces. (4)

S: Massive dark fruits now, plum, raisin, fig and some dates. The fresh, vibrancy of the port wine now seems a bit muddled and while it smells more smoothed out, it just isn't as inviting. Dark and caramel malts are the heavy hitters as the backbone. (3.5)

T: Like the nose, plenty of raisin, fig and dates with a very roasted, almost to the point of burnt malt back end. It's a bit more blended and rounded in a way, but not in a good one. I don't really care for how the fruitiness of the beer turned for cellaring it. (3.5)

M: Plenty carbonated just a bit less than the 2012, but the overall mouth feel is essentially the same. This could be big and sticky but it does a nice job of livening things up. (4)

O: (3.5)

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 14:09:23 | More by ShanePB
Photo of puzzzl

New York

3.63/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle from BrianK. Finally a chance to try the #3 beer! A bit of a disappointment it is. Warm, caramelly aroma is very one-dimensional. Pretty plain but clean and refined stout flavor. Buttery. Lacking in complexity. It sits in that perilous place between being too big and not being big enough.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 03:01:58 | More by puzzzl
Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 853 ratings.