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Portsmouth Kate The Great - Portsmouth Brewery

Not Rated.
Portsmouth Kate The GreatPortsmouth Kate The Great

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

897 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 897
Reviews: 485
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 2,694
Gots: 170 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: bewareOFpenguin on 04-07-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 897 | Reviews: 485 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok, now this one will be a little lengthy as I feel it really deserves a little bit of exploration to do it justice. First off much thanks goes out to my friend from up north for hooking me up with this a while back, I had not had a chance to properly review it, so I cracked open the last one last night and figured I would give it the respect it deserves.

Pulled this out of the fridge and let it sit for a while to bring it up near sixty degrees and proceeded to pour it into a nice oversized wine glass to really have the full experience. The pour was wonderful, full deep dark chocolate color, absolutely no light coming through this one at all, none, completely, and totally opaque. At first, there was no head, then on it came about five seconds later, a full two finger high head of chocolate tan foam just rose up over the top and never really went anywhere. It literally still had this thick foamy top throughout the entire session, really quite nice. The side glass lace was equally impressive with a huge amount of sticky brown mess all over the side of the glass. This is what I want my stout to look like, rich full, black as night. I was liking where this one was going.

Up next I decided to lean in and see what kind of aromas where coming in off this. I was really quite please with a full rich and dark essence coming right off the glass. Lots of notes of chocolate as you would expect, with a deep sugary sweet layer as well. Very nice little bit of vanilla in there, which was definitely noticeable and more then welcomed. As I sat there and just absorbed it there was a really nice oaky, woody alcohol note coming through as well, nothing harsh, but a little hint that it was lying just under the surface. Nice little touch of coffee coming through as it warms along with just the slightest grassy like nose.

The flavor was wonderful. The body was a little bit lighter then I thought it would have been, but not badly or weak in any way. Lots of carbonation here as well. Really full flavors of chocolate and vanilla coming through really clearly and very big. As it warmed it got even more complex bringing in hints of cookie dough, a nice warming bourbon like alcohol flavor and more sweet flavors as well. The finish was very long and dry with a big coffee and caramel like lasting flavor, very nice. I polished off this whole bottle in a sitting though I probably should not have as I was hurting this morning, but it was soo drinkable, even more so then some of its larger friends in the style. Great creamy feel and a lot sweeter then I thought it would be.

Overall, I have to say this was excellent. Is it worthy of its number two in the world ranking, that is debatable, I honestly liked the abyss a bit more, but to each his own. Still this was top notch and should be right up there in the top ten. An absolutely phenomenal beer, I would bend over backwards to try this one again, it is just that good.

Photo of jwolfie70
4.6/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Overlord for splitting a bottle of this great beer with me.

Poured black with an excellent thick tan head. The smell was fantastic, with milk chocolate, coffee, vanilla and smokey malt coming through. The taste also did not fail to deliver, with bittersweet chocolate, and vanilla both present.

This is a great beer, and is up there with the Abyss and Stone IRS as one of my favorite RISs.

Photo of Overlord
4.65/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled this with angry John McCain on Saturday night.

Pours a deep black. Surprisingly lively and robust light tan head. One of the more carbonated RIS's I've seen.

Smells like chocolate malt mixed with coffee and smoke. Taste definitely leans toward the sweeter side, with the roasted chocolate, dark fruits, and a hint of vanilla being offset by coffee, rather than vice versa. There are some roasted fruits, and maybe even a bit of hops, in here.

The mouthfeel was a nice change of pace for the style, and thick enough that the carbonation wasn't offputting. An excellent beer.

Photo of Wasatch
4.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to purplehops for this brew.

2007 Vintage
22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice deep black color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head, which leaves some nice oil slicks and some sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is big and malty, roasted/burnt/smoke tones, toffee, chocolate, and caramel. The taste is great big and malty, nice tones of roastyness/smokeyness, slight sweetness, toffee/chocolate/caramel. The alcohol is hidden very well and leaves a nice warming feeling. Full/Medium body, a well rounded/complex brew. Very drinkable, to me this brew lives up to it's hype 100%, very smooth, not big on the alcohol that other RIS have. Highly recommended. Thanks Stan!

4.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slides out of the bottle settling in to the glass like used motor oil black. Head is carmel brown in color standing at an inch and a half, fading fast and leaving no lace. The nose imediatly has strong tones of alchol soaked black cherries and some anise all wraped up in dark chocolate syrup. With first sip you get a bold rustic gritty richness that really soaks the senses. Layers of dark chocolate, rich fresh toffee, roasty carmalized maltiness and honey buttered biscuits. This beer really shines with complexity and balance for a big stout. Mouthfeel is big and thick but pleasant with zesty coco notes. A vanilla sense is there also. Exceptionally drinkable and completely worth all the noise. As close to perfect as a stout gets.

Photo of ncvbc
4.55/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank beside the Abyss, very tough competition. The two are worlds apart and very solid.

Kate pours a gorgeous color that isn't quite pitch black and has ruby edges when held to the light. It is a shimmering velvet black that is quite the looker. A light tan head rises up and holds for a minute or so, leaving a ring around the glass and moderate sticky lacing.

Wow, this beer has a whole heck of a lot going on when it comes to smell. Licorice was the first thing that I picked up, followed by dark bitter chocolate, maybe even cocoa powder. There was also an underlying butterscotch and toffee adding depth. A spicy heat also catches my attention.

Taste doesn't quite live up to the nose but is still lovely. Up front, there is the sweetness of the butterscotch and marshmallow. Molasses and dark, somewhat sour fruits show their presence. Bitter dark licorice and chocolate are soon to come. The chocolate flavors become a little more rich and decadent, stealing the show for a second. Out of nowhere on the back of the tongue, an excellent roasted black coffee flavor hit me. It remains indefinitely between sips and feels great on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is rich and velvety but just a tad thin. I don't think it had to do with too little carbonation but maybe the alcohol burn that shows more at times. Maybe a spicyness from some hops? A little prickle on the tongue was unavoidable and unpredictable, while the rich feel was most consistent.

Overall, I thought this was an excellent beer. Very glad that I was able to try it thanks to Ginny, a very helpful and generous BA. I split this bomber doing a side by side with the Abyss but could have had it all to myself. I think that the Abyss is more of a tamed brew even with its bigger body. This, with some age, would be amazing, though. Yummy!

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.22/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber from Jamie2Dope. Thanks for the trade man.

Appearance: Black coffee body with a persistent tan lacing.

Aroma: Spicy, smoky, beefy, meaty, sweet booze, bittersweet coffee, tootsie rolls, and molasses.

Taste: I'm instantly impressed by the meaty, smoky notes and then the spicy/herbal, tobacco flavors. Yummy. Peppery. Boozy. Molasses. Prunes and plums.

Mouthfeel: fairly sweet but in a pleasant way. Rich and smooth. Nicely carbonated. Spicy/bittersweet finish.

Drinkability: It gets a bit syrupy after a while and the booze becomes more filling and pronounced so KTG takes a small hit int his category.

Excellent beer.

Photo of Viggo
4.65/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BIG thanks to my man purplehops for being super generous and hooking me up with this bottle.

Pours an opaque black, some brown in the edges but otherwise as black as can be, medium sized tan head forms, settles down to a solid layer, great retention, leaves behind a bit of lace. Smell is very nice, toffee, lots of chocolate, dark fruits, roasted cocoa, alcohol, some prunes and figs, very rich, alcohol is superbly hidden. Taste is burnt fruits, toffee, charred woord, chocolate roast, nuts, alcohol, light smokiness, coffee, very rich. Mouthfeel is medium bodied but pretty slick, low carbonation, perfect body, not too heavy but just heavy enough. Lives up to the hype, an excellent RIS! Thanks a ton Stan!!

Photo of mully
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to njhcnwk for hooking me up with this fine beer.

A-- Black like night, thick khaki head fades quickly

S-- Blackstrap molasses and coffee roast malts

T-- Deep roast malts almost a smokey hint -- coffee/ chocolate -- dry not over hopped good balance

M-- dry tight carbonation-

D-- The 9.5 percent is well hidden and goes down pretty easily.

A very good RIS, I truly enjoyed it, top 2-3 in my book but not the best I have head a very good beer if you can get your hands on some I strongly recommend you get some from the next release

Photo of NoLiberty
4.08/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Special thanks for grassrootsVT for sharing this rare and delicious beer that he helped brew with Todd.

App: Pours a deep dark solid color. Nice thick head with high bubbly lacing.

Aroma: Big chocolate. Sweet, malty biscuits and alcohol,. Full rich flavor with slight toffee notes.

Taste: Rich, bright, bold with a hoppy finish. Rich Chocolate and colorful.

Mouth: Nice but slightly thinner than I'd expected. Not as round as I'd hoped. Carbonation is ok, but not full enough.

Drink: Pretty drinkable and especially so for a beer of its strength.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.8/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off, I wanna give massive props to drseamus for giving me the chance to drink this masterpiece.

Into my favorite Nonic, pours as black as could be, a solid inch and a half tan head, a bit bubbly for me but it looks delicious, and on the second pour leaves a silky smooth surface to contemplate life and the meaning of beery goodness. It leaves thin streaks of lacing around the glass.

The aroma is a tricky buoy. Its like coffee, but not really. Its like chocolates, but not really. Its like roasted malty toastiness, but not really. Its all of those, and none, which is a testiment to how well they go together and define not individual pieces of a puzzle, but a completed whole. And the taste is much like this too, a very complex thing that takes a whole bottle to unravel. And sure, there are the chocolates, the brown sugar, molasses, coffee, cocoa, some hops and alcohol warming, and its all great and wonderful. But this is one to not think about, to simply enjoy.

The mouth has a very nice tingly feeling to it from a very fine carbonation, a slight warmth too. I feel like the body could be a little bigger, but that very well could detract from it too. In all, this is a damn fine beer, thanks again Jeremy, this was outstanding.

Photo of SacoDeToro
4.85/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to metallitone1 for sharing this bottle at Lost Abbey.

The beer poured a deep coal black with a nice dark brown head.

The aroma of the beer was full of rich coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and some faint vanilla. Also in the mix was port wine. The alcohol helped carry the aroma brilliantly.

The flavor of the beer was full of intense flavors that transitioned well from one to another. Coffee - Chocolate - Rich roasted malts. Some port wine flavors were present and seemed to help bring everything together. The hops were there in good presence, but not too intense. The finish had a faint smoky note that blended very well with the rest of the flavors.

The mouthfeel was thick and maybe just a touch heavy, but it coated your mouth with a ton of flavor. The carbonation seemed dialed in well.

This beer is a masterpiece. It's one of those beers that makes you take pause with its amazingly rich and well blended flavors. Cheers to Tod Mott and his team at Portsmouth for creating a nearly peerless brew.

Photo of IntriqKen
5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours almost black with a half finger of coffee and cream colored foam topping the glass. Head is very sticky as you draw down.

Aromas are lots and lots of coffee, rich coffee...starbucks coffee with none of the bitterness associated with coffee.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth...not too thick...just...well...perfect.

Taste ....uh, oh....this is hard. There is so very much going on in here. Coffee...espresso coffee....caramel....cream....toffy...give me a break! Rich, creamy, sweet, smooth. Everything is wonderful in this beer.
Wow. How did they do this.
I have just discovered my favorite RIS...quite possible (and in my humble opinion) the best RIS in the world.
Thank you, sweet BA for sharing this experience.
This is heaven.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.83/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of sfoley333
4.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz handbottle off growler from njhcnwk(Thanks) poured into a delirium tremens snifter. Poured an oynx black color with a finger thick tan head. Smell is roasted coffee, chocolate, and molasses. Taste is so well balanced not to sweet but with molasses and vanilla carmel flavors mixed with rich coffee and mild hoppiness that combines to form a etheral RIS. The mouthfeel is sticky sweetness, chewy leather,and bitter coffee hoppiness without the alcohol over powering. I wish I could drink this stout everyday.

Photo of hoppymeal
4.58/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a small pumpkin pie orange to brown colored head that quickly recedes to a ring. Some nice bourbony alcohol over top of a bit of leather and a sweet malt aroma, a bit of grapiness. There is also a subtle sweet chocolatiness in the aroma amd some smoky roastiness. The roasted qualities comes thru more powerfully in the taste, though, a sweet caramel, grape, and chocolate maltiness is still evident as it rolls on the tongue. Some twanginess and bourbon in the finish, but very balanced and in the right proportions. Finishes witha warmth and bite from the alcohol at the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is heavy although not overly full nor sticky sweet, just the right amount of body to add a creamy texture to balance the roastiness. Prickles on the tongue and warms the throat at the somewhat drying finish. An incredibly well balanced beer in nearly every aspect. The best things for me was how the roasted qualities were present but not over the top, just proportionate. Also, there is a sweet maltiness that shines through, almost as if this is a blend of stout and a touch of barleywine. Great beer, thanks to Jay and to Stan for this opportunity.

Photo of younger35
4.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review # 200.

Received this brew from LittleBreeze, god love her. This is my first brew from Portsmouth and it couldn't possibly be a better way to start! Drank from my snifter while watching New York vs. Green Bay at about 50 degrees.

Appearance- Pours black as the darkest night with a huge two finger fluffy medium tan head. The creamy hat stays for days and leaves a perfect cap and collar for the duration of the brew. Loads of spotty thick lacing is left all over the glass.
Smell- If the nose of a beer can smell creamy, this one succeeds. Vanilla and caramel give me the perception of a candy bar, not a beer. Chocolate NesQuick, a bit of French roast and a dark berry like fruit are really nice. Very feint alcohol vapors make there way through the thick scents but not to a great extent. One of the best noses I've ever smelled on a Russian Imperial Stout.
Taste- Wow, so much ridiculously good stuff going on here. Dark roasted malts are a plenty as is a resonating vanilla latte like flavor throughout my mouth. Cocoa beans and baker's chocolate are rich and abundant. A caramel/toffee sweetness is perhaps a tad strong but it's definitely not cloying. Some dark fruits (raisins, figs, prunes and maybe even some black cherries) are floating around in the back of my mouth and in the aftertaste. Finishes sweet with a lingering smokiness and plenty of nice warm alcohol.
Mouthfeel- Probably my favorite part of the beer. Its super rich and velvety with a smooth silky feel loads of tiny refreshing carbonation. Perfect!
Drinkability- So the real question that comes to mind is does this brew live up to the hype? I firmly believe it does; and then some. Regardless of what the naysayer's out there (you know who you are, it's not just a regular run-of-the-mill RIS) say, this brew is the real deal. It's unique and loaded with a complexity of flavors that I absolutely loved. Big thanks again to Ginny!! You went above and beyond and I'm extremely appreciative!

Photo of grub
4.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Viggo was nice enough to share this one, which he got from the excellent purplehops. thanks to both eric and stan.

22oz bottle. sampled jan 19/08.

pours nearly black and not quite opaque, with a little garnet showing at the edges. a small dense brown head rises up, dropping fairly fast and leaving spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. licorice. alcohol. bit of grapefruit and tangerine. bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. some dark fruit too - raisin, date, plum.

taste is excellent. alcohol. big caramel. nice dark fruit - raisin and date. dark chocolate. bit of espresso. anise. bit of tangerine. medium-low bitterness level. lots of fruit in layers. definitely not the usual roasty burnt character, more like slightly over-carmelized fruit than anything burnt/roasty.

mouthfeel is superb. silky smooth well integrated low carbonation level. nice big body.

drinkability is excellent too. good balance. tons of fruit carry this one and make it both unique and interesting. truly great stuff.

Photo of seaoflament
4.47/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of deepsouth
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

i big thanks to barefootbrewer for sharing this beer with me.

i should add that this 22 oz. beer was bottled from a growler and it was probably a bit more than a week before it was consumed.

there was a hint of fizz when the bottle was opened, but just a hint. i think this effected my score on appearance and mouthfeel by as much as a full point, so keep that in mind.

the appearance was black with little to no head or carbonation, with i think falls on the lapse in time before consumption. i feel like it would have been "all that" otherwise.

the smell was wonderful. roasty, coffee, malty sweet, molasses. the complexity is astounding. nearly perfect.

the taste is as complex as the smell. there is a good balance of bitter to go along with the sweetness of the beer. this beer is especially smooth. alcohol is present, but not too much.

the mouthfeel of this beer is thinner than expected, but got more full as it warmed. i suspect that a fresh one of these would be ideal.

WOW. i could drink these until i passed out. an awesome beer.

this beer

Photo of blitz134
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to NJpadreFan!

This beer poured a thick black color with very little head (probably due to the growler being a few days older than it should). The smell is malty, sweet, roasted and molasses. The aroma gets deeper as the brew warms. The taste follows the aroma and is very smooth but also complex. The mouthfeel is full and there is a slight alcohol burn. Fantastic RIS.

Again, NJpadreFan rocks!

Photo of Deuane
4.55/5  rDev +0.2%
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!

Photo of BeerTruth
4.88/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.6/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 897 ratings.