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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

886 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 886
Reviews: 485
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 10.33%
Wants: 2,681
Gots: 170 | 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:
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: 886 | Reviews: 485 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fo5s
fo5s

District of Columbia

4.95/5  rDev +8.8%

22oz brown bottle with generic portsmouth brewery label. Only the poorly inked "Imperial Stout" stamp near the bottom gives hint to the treasure inside. No freshness date, but this one should be good for a long time. 2007 vintage. Drank in celebration of the patriots unbeaten regular season. Poured aggressively into a mug.

Appearance- Thick, motor oil black. As expected for any imperial stout. Very small dark brown head. Shouts "DRINK ME!" and took self control to sit down and get the patriots postgame on before diving in.

Smell- Chocolates, roasted malts, hints of coffee and dark fruits. It already tastes good, and I haven't even put it to my lips yet.

Taste- Makes good on the promises of the smell with dark chocolate, roasted malts, and a deep, subtle fruit taste. Small hint of coffee that hangs with the aftertaste. Alcohol is very well hidden, especially if the 2007 is 11% as I've been hearing. Taste improves as it warms, but is best in the happy medium between the serving temp and room temp.

Mouthfeel- Thick, creamy. Creamier than other imp stouts I've had.

Drinkability- Impressive. If not for the high alcohol (and perhaps rarity) I could drink this all night. The creaminess/smoothness is unlike any imp stout I've ever had and serves to make it even more drinkable.

Absolutely amazing beer. As far as I'm concerned, this is well worth the praise and hype its been receiving.

12-31-2007 16:45:03 | More by fo5s
Photo of HopDerek
HopDerek

Pennsylvania

4.95/5  rDev +8.8%

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.

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

New York

4.78/5  rDev +5.1%

Kate The Great

11/21/07 notes: on tap

Pitch black with a tan head. Smell is a wonderful mixture of chocolate, coffee, dark brown sugar...malts and vanilla.

The taste is like the aroma but all of the elements are working together in a way that you can't really taste each. Outstanding. It is creamy and rich. Sweet. Each taste gets better. It is almost addictive. I prefer it warm. Cold is good too.

These go down pretty fast and easy. I was told Kate came in at over 11% this year. It will sneak up on you.

===

12/29/07 Kate The Great '06

Tried bottles of the '06 and '07 Kate side by side. Wow...the difference a year makes. 06 Kate made the 07 Kate seem boozy and a little rough. '06 Kate is dreamy smooth and mellow. The mouthfeel is down right silky...and I didn't think the mouthfeel could get any better.

12-30-2007 20:05:36 | More by LittleBreeze
Photo of bigman147
bigman147

New Hampshire

4.88/5  rDev +7.3%

Poured at the Portsmouth Brewery on 12/26/07 into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark black with a nice dark tan head. Head never completely settles and floats on top like the creme on a full bodied espresso.

Aroma: Smell of dark chocolate and coffee with hints of dark fruits (cherry, plum, maybe even apple). Alcohol is present but only helps to convey the coffee and toffee notes. Sweet and very pleasant. The kind of beer that you could just sit around all day and smell

Taste: Taste of sweet malt and slight coffee type bitterness. Very well balanced however since the sweetness just helps calm the alcohol in order to cool the mouth and throat. Its delicious and coats the lips driving you to lick our lips and enjoy the next taste until the sadness of an empty glass drives you to order more or buy every drop they have. Its the perfect balance of body, sweetness, bitterness wrapped up in the perfect package.

I would have originally said that my only complaint in general about RIS is the lack of drinkability but this is different. Heck, my dad who is diabetic even ordered a glass after sampling mine. I am sure he paid for it later but he is still talking about how good it was.

The perfect beer at the perfect time for me. Hopefully, it will be for you too (until its all gone)

12-30-2007 20:05:24 | More by bigman147
Photo of Cedromar
Cedromar

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

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

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

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!

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

New Hampshire

4.9/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

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

Pennsylvania

4.85/5  rDev +6.6%

On tap at the brewpub 12/21/07.

Served in a 10oz tulip glass.

Pours a impenetrable pitch black with a beautiful tan head that settles down into a smooth, creamy covering. I don't believe I've ever been mesmerized by a beers appearance before but I just couldn't get enough of watching the swish of blackness and tan head swirl around in the glass, leaving an awesome spiderwork of glass down the edges of the tulip glass. Aroma is a HUGE nose of chocolate sweetness. This mixes with an underpining of faint heat to make for a most pleasant, warming smell.

Much like the nose, the taste is one again dominated by sweet chocolate malt. This is by far one of the sweetness Imperial Stouts I've ever tasted and I loved it! The sweetness isn't absolutley dominate though, as some secondary notes of dark fruits and coffee shine through as well. Finishes with a combo of sweetness and some slight roasty bitterness that lets is end with a bit of an oomph. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, feeling almost viscous at times over the tongue. As I drink it though, I feel like it could almost go a little deeper with the body. Just a bit. Alcohol is present but never detracts from the rest of the beer. It perfectly accentuates the other flavors, adding an undercurrent of warmth and roastiness to the overall taste profile. Definitely one of the best jobs of balancing a higher ABV that I've ever felt in an RIS.

I don't know what else to say about this beer. I drove 8 hours up to New Hampshire to try it and it more than met my expectations. It doesn't possess the deep burnt notes and intense heat of other Russian Imperial Stouts, instead offering a profile that while still complex, is more accessable and most importantly, incredibly drinkable. After this glass, I had another on draft and proceeded to grab 4 growlers of it for myself and friends back home. Well worth the trip and I'll do it again when next year's release rolls around.

12-27-2007 17:52:12 | More by Kegatron
Photo of dciBA
dciBA

Maine

4.6/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

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

California

4.95/5  rDev +8.8%

22 ounce bomber acquired in a trade with brewandbbq, gave up one of my cherished Angel's Share bottles for this one, so I had high expectations going in and I was really hoping it was a great beer, thanks for giving me the opportunity to taste this hard to find brew and I look forward to doing more trades with you in the future, planned on holding on to this one for another six months or so but my will power failed and I gave in like I always do

I have never tried any other beer from this brewery, simply wanted to try this because some friends said it was great and it is in high demand with people on this site, had to see what all the hype was about for myself

Had to drink something special for review #450

Currently sipping on the last of this bottle as I write this, wishing I had more to pour into my snifter

This was not the latest batch that just came out, it was the one released before that, so I think this had a little over a year of age behind its belt

Poured into my Dogfish Head snifter with a dark dark black color, resembled black mud or thick tar, there was inch thick head that was tan color, foamy and bumpy, did not settle for about five minutes, good retention and an amazing amount of lacing

Smell is awesomely strong, sweet chocolate, lots of cream, dark roasted malt, faint coffee notes, toffee, caramel, spices, and a small amount of different dark fruits

Taste was fantastic, lots of sweet malt from the beginning that consisted of chocolate and creamy accents, in the aftertaste I was able to taste faint flavors of raisins, prunes, red apples, and raspberries, very odd for a stout but there was lots of sugar and sweetness in this one, lots of chewiness and still some small amounts of hoppiness that balance some of the tangy malt, the coffee flavors did not come until later when it warmed significantly, the closer to room temperature this got the better it tasted, started tasting some fig and vanilla towards the end, the spiciness in the finish was great as well, went great along with the chocolate malt characters, overall this was an outstanding RIS that I feel lucky for getting to try, with all these different tastes, it was still a calm and easy to drink beer, everything blended together beautifully

One of the thickest bodies I have ever seen and it also had a perfect amount of carbonation, only small complaint here is that the taste does not linger for long, which made me drink this faster than I wanted to

Almost too drinkable if that makes sense, hard to get and only available at the brewery I think, making this sad because I might not have this again for a very long time, not filling at all, goes down easier than any other Imperial Stout, alcohol is well hidden, did not feel like nine and a half percent

This is a little better than Dark Lord in my opinion, definitely easier to drink, probably the best RIS I have to date, so much going on but so mellow at the same time, wish I had a case of this stuff along with two hundred plus other users on this site, this belongs in the top ten of the beers I have tasted so far, Kate is certainly great, I cannot recommend this one enough, worth trading tons of beer to get it which is what people usually require to cough up a bottle, I cannot wait to drink this one again some time, congratulations to Portsmouth for brewing this masterpiece

12-22-2007 06:58:46 | More by Floydster
Photo of barleywinebrewer
barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4.9/5  rDev +7.7%

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!

12-19-2007 13:01:38 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of ampzilla
ampzilla

Massachusetts

4.83/5  rDev +6.2%

Poured into a snifter, this brew was black. A cascade of tiny bubbles packed tightly into a cm tan head which laced the glass moderately. The aroma peaked at about 1 hour, dominated by alcohol with chocolate and candied fruits. The taste was so harmonious it was difficult to distinguish the key elements, but I'm sure I tasted bitter dark cocoa and aged cognac. Truly fantastic.

12-19-2007 02:56:02 | More by ampzilla
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.97/5  rDev +9.2%

Growler obtained in trade with a kind individual. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark brown head over the opaque black brew. Head dwindles slowly, with lots of lingering lace. Aroma is dark, roasty, oaty, yum. Taste follows along, velvety dark maltiness upfront, which flows right into gradual warming on through the experience. Mouthfeel is wow smooth, and drinkability is along the lines of "body saying want more now, brain saying should wait until tomorrow". Glad I had the privilege to enjoy this one.

12-19-2007 01:16:53 | More by ppoitras
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.88/5  rDev +7.3%

Poured from a growler obtained same day from the brewery.

Pours a dark black with a thin tan head that dissipates and laces the glass all the way down. Smell sends out chocolates, and coffee and a faint hop aroma. Some alcohol comes through as it warms. Taste is a chocolatey toffee like sweet indulgence. Has a bit of alcohol warming as it warms. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. I'd love to watch this one age, this is one of the best Imperial Stouts that I've had!

12-19-2007 00:30:30 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Appearance: Pours an almost jet black color with a modest head that still manages to leave some droplets and squiggles of lace

Smell: Dark chocolate and espresso, with hints of molasses, roasted nuts and tar

Taste: The first sensation is fruity, but that is deceptive as the tongue is then greeted by milk and then dark chocolate (one of those high % bars); the chocolate is joined by a subtle hint of citrus fruit for just a moment and then the rich chocolate flavor prevails, although the fruit is definitely there, providing a bitter edge; after the swallow, the vanilla creme flavors arrive, almost like a nougat, providing for a long and silky finish that is reminiscent of fine tobacco

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied and creamy; with moderate carbonation; slight warmth on the finish

Drinkability: For an RIS, this is so smooth it defies description and the unusual flavor profile is what distinguishes this beer from the other great RISs out there; tough to find but worth the effort

Thanks, njhcnwk, for the initial score and mikeale, for the rebound

12-18-2007 22:05:34 | More by brentk56
Photo of drseamus
drseamus

New York

4.72/5  rDev +3.7%

Jet black body with a nice mocha head. Picturesque beer all around.

The aroma is great. There is a bunch of milk chocolate and coffee and it smells delicious.

The taste is crazy good. It is creamy chocolate and coffee blended together. There is a bit of hotness that is probably alcohol but could be some bitterness. I can't wait to see how this ages.

When it's cold, the body seems pretty thick but as it warms it thins out a bit and becomes almost more of an old ale consistency. I prefer RIS's on the thicker end and served on the warmer end, so this didn't quite meet the terms of perfection.

This is a DAMN good RIS. With a little age, I think the bitterness will reduce a bit and make this awesome. This beer is MUCH better cold rather than warm, which is usually the opposite of what I find. It still has good flavor and aroma cold and the body is much better.

12-16-2007 06:07:05 | More by drseamus
Photo of BillyB
BillyB

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev -4.4%

I've searched for this one for quite a while and was able to finally grab some at GABF.

Poured a jet black color with a thick, dark tan, almost brown head.

I sensed some powdered cocoa, chocolate, dark fruit and coffee in this one. Aroma was quite a treat to the nose. Like ovaltine with a shot of whiskey. Deep, rich, dark, chocolatey, roasty and complex.

Tasted of chocolate first. Powdered cocoa, thick chocolate syrup and then some serious roasty chocolate malt. Also strong coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel was smooth and velvety with a sweet thick coating.

Drinkability was great. I could drink these babies all night.

10-21-2007 22:43:15 | More by BillyB
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -7.7%

Much thanks to grassrootsVT for sharing this long time wish list item...
Appears a near black/dark brown with a tan head that slowly fades out into a mild floating head of foam and a light collar. Scattered spots of lace are left around the glass.
Smell is of black grapes, roasted nuts, cocoa, and mild vanilla.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a nice play on the fruity, roasty, cocoa mix.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with cocoa sticking around, light smoke, with a chewy fudginess.
We should've had this before the Dark Knight Returns b/c it was hard to top that intense beauty, which has held up nicely.

07-06-2007 17:00:52 | More by weeare138
Photo of mnj21655
mnj21655

Massachusetts

4.72/5  rDev +3.7%

22oz. Bomber purchased from the Brewery Gift Shop in February.

I've had this on tap as well (it was just as good then) and have simply been too lazy to write a formal review while at the Brewery but this stuff is so damn good I just had to review it.

Pours pitch black with a full 2 fingers of creamy brown head and loads of lacing. Smells of dark roasted malts, chocolate, espresso, and some dark fruits. As for the taste, well... WOW. I can barely begin to describe this. Starts off with a nice coffee flavor which is quickly replaced by a combimation of sweet roasted malts and chocolate. This is followed by an appearance by some hops just before the coffee returns for the finish accompanied by some toffee. Mouthfeel is great, full body, which is just a bit lighter than I expected but still near perfect for the style. Drinkability is excellent. The only distraction is the ABV which quickly makes its presence known with a wonderful warming that quickly makes its way from the stomach to the extremeties. Bottom line: this stuff is amazing. I've had a fair few imperial stouts and this is the best. I suggest you make the trip to Portsmouth and give this brew a try.

04-04-2007 22:09:27 | More by mnj21655
Photo of bjohnson
bjohnson

Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +2.2%

Growler poured sometime in late January at the brewpub. Has been sitting at cellar temp, in the cellar since. Shared with warriorsoul and inHOPpursuit on a lazy Sunday evening after dinner.

Pours a black as night black with a one finger caramel colored head. Dissipation is rather fast, but there is a fine line of retention that hugs the edges of the glass and lasts throughout. With a swirl of the glass the head resurfaces with quickly and leaves fine lacing down the sides. A complex blend of sweet caramel, bitter coffee, and sugary chocolate syrup tickle the nostrils. Heavy spicy thickness of alcohol clears out the aforementioned aromas.

Amazingly smooth and soft on the palate. Sweet caramel and nestle chocolate sauce flavors. Bitter coffee and robust malt notes. A very nice coffee bitterness, which is actually quite hefty, tag teams with chocolate notes rides into the aftertaste. Bitterness is quite apparent in the finish. leafy hop notes show their presence here. Thick and heavy with a full body, but yet amazingly drinkable. High abv goes completely masked by the complex flavors. With each sip a new flavor plays the lead role. Slight residual sweetness left on the lips. So drinkable that it's scary--this beer will knock your f'ing socks off if you have too many, but with each sip you want more. It's just addicting. Kate the Great rocks.

03-26-2007 02:35:05 | More by bjohnson
Photo of goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

4.68/5  rDev +2.9%

growler from ben johnson, probably the coolest trader around

black beer, no light gets through. measly toast-colored head which leaves some spectacularly drippy lacing around the glass in circles.. kind of like a heavy-handed horizontal line by spraypaint. nose approaches the glass and BAM with rich coffee syrup and a butterscotch-laced deep caramelized chocolate malt aroma. complex but not overly assaultive or saccharine.

the flavors of this beer absolutely coat your mouth after sipping.. like chocolate syrup in a sundae flute. the body is light and some fizz is apparent, but the flavor and smooth texture which blossoms with each millisecond the beer spends on the tongue is exponentially awesome. starts with a bit of booze, moves into the bitterness and fruity sweetness of kona coffee. then comes a more pronounced bitterness- nondescript hops and baker's chocolate. the finish is all kahlua-soaked toffee bits and faint hints of dirt. this beer certainly lives up to its reputation as tops on the food chain of russian imperial stouts.

the only place i have to mildly criticize is in the field of drinkability. it's a little too light and airy to bear down with the rough edges of clearly divided alcohol presence and such high bitterness. these will work for some, but the perfect RIS would be just slightly less haywire in these categories.

but that's just me nitpicking. this beer is f-ing good and should be sampled at all costs to the drinker.

03-05-2007 02:46:25 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

May 5 2005 vintage, home bottled from a growler, wax tipped 12oz.

Pours opaque black with a dense, tan head of a half inch at the peak of the pour.
The thick, tightly packed foam receded within 2 minutes revealing stray lines of lacework as well as irratic dots.
Aromatics are thick, fudgy, and rich.
Chocolate cake batter with brownie nuggets and espresso grounds.
Alcohol is non-evident and nose finishes with lingering a hint of fruit, brownie batter, and finally... Vanilla.
Mouthfeel is thick, viscous, and chewy. Some stray carbonation struggles out of solution on the tongue, in a creamy fashion.
Pallet is lucious and heading in a velvety direction. Dark chocolate, caramel coated coffee beans, and hints of Kahlua-spiked Hershey's syrup.
Finishes with a nod twords vineousity, with a lingering mocha-bomb-vanilla profile.
The beer has improved quite a bit from when I had it fresh and cold on tap the day I brought home the growler.
A bourbon barrel would kick Kate closer to the perfect 5, fo sho.

12-24-2006 22:45:40 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of NEhophead
NEhophead

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -2.6%

On tap at the brewery 08.05.06 served in the brewery's own snifter.

Charcoal black in color under a perfectly creamy brown head that lingers to the last sip. Beautifully thin chocolate lacing down every side of the snifter. Aromas of milk chocolate, molasses, and roasted malts. Big chocolate-flavored roasted maltiness up front, followed by hints of dried nuts and caramel. A rustic whole hop bitterness at mid-sip disguised with an unbelievably creamy mouthfeel. Despite the fact that the 9.5% abv is dangerously well hidden, this offering is like a meal in itself. Great flavors and eye candy, but rather filling.

08-08-2006 13:57:00 | More by NEhophead
Photo of dturchin
dturchin

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

an EXCELLENT russian imperial/american double...too bad this isn't more widely available because this is by far one of the best of style ive had (much better than the highly overrated victory storm king, which is inexplicably on top 20 lists all over the place)

straight appearence, smell, taste, mouthfeel review won't do this offering justice, too complex and really attached to personal perception

what you're looking at is a jet black beer with subtle red/orange hues, thin dark tan head that retains well...smell and taste is well, incredible, high malt presence with good hop backbone but definately a slick chewy sweetness up front with the bitterness very subtle at the back and sides of the tongue, excellent balance...coffee and subtle chocolate notes with fruity undertone of berries, plums, raisins, and more...mouthfeel is excellent, full and chewy but not offensively dense or syrupy

drinkability is stellar for this style, with such complex character and high alcohol, doesnt "offend" at all, alcohol isn't "hidden" but certainly isn't in your face, with a late subtle warming effect that i think is crucial for a good imperial stout, one of the most impressive things about this beer, in fact, is how well the alcohol is hidden under all those complex layers of taste and character...that being said this a serious beer that will put some hair on your chest

07-13-2006 01:38:58 | More by dturchin
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.72/5  rDev +3.7%

Well I've refrained from writing reviews on this site up until now, but what better way to get started than with this outstanding, complex imperial.

Had this in a snifter at the brewery in September of 2005

Jet black, ie: opaque in appearance

A very complex smell; currants, dark chocolate, star anise, piney hops, tar, toasted marshmellows, fresh brewed Kenyan coffee

Wow! Taste is remarkable. Vanilla powder, baker's chocolate, rum soaked raisins, melted caramel chews, very slight iron component, fresh green hops, dark roast coffee and malted milk balls all intricately woven together.

A great sipper. Smooth, velvety and lasting. You can really sit back and reflect on the world around you with this one.

Very drinkable for it's strength. No fusil alcohol astringency.

Can't wait to get back to the brewery to try this again.

02-10-2006 19:11:41 | More by Rochefort10nh
Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 886 ratings.