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Portsmouth Kate The Great - Portsmouth Brewery

Portsmouth Kate The GreatPortsmouth Kate The Great

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

853 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(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 MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! This one knocked me over (literally and figuratively). Picked up a growler while at the brewpub for lunch.

Poured an almost black in color. Could not get any light to shine through. When I poured I first thought the beer was flat but after about a minute an thick, creamy, tan head formed. Lace was stringing and blotting all around the glass' interior. Nose is full of dark malts and chocolate. Slight bit of hops in there.

Flavor is incredibly complex. Alcohol is still slightly apparent but the vastness of flavors almost conceals the alcohol burn and there is just a slight bite of heat. Lots of coffee and vanilla flavors wrapped around loads of chocolate and burnt malts. Nice creamy flavor. Just a slight whispiness of smoke. The vanilla is what I like most in the flavor--just very consistent and solid throughout. Almost like eating vanilla ice cream. Very full body and creamy feel. Just kind of slides down and I pick up the flavors from the thin coating left on my tongue and cheeks. My only worry is that the open growler will not last another day because this beer is amazingly good.

Serving type: growler

01-22-2006 00:55:35 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

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

Sampled on-tap at the brewpub in Sept. 2005. It was called simply "Portsmouth Imperial Stout" at that time.

This Imperial Stout poured a black color with creamy, brown foam that persisted and clung to the glass and coated the inner walls of the glass as the beer level diminished. The smell was rich: dark malt with a light sweetness. The taste was sweet and rich malty and roasty with low apparent bitterness and flavors of cocoa, chocolate, and light caramel in the mix. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy and rich with very full body and strong carbonation. There was a light bitterness in the finish balance nicely by a lingering malty flavor. This was an excellent Imperial Stout, but alas, they would not sell a growler of it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2006 05:44:55 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2005 03:12:24 | More by francisweizen
Photo of Sycodrummer
Sycodrummer

Massachusetts

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

Had this on tap from the Brewpub. Was presented to me in a 10oz. glass the beer was pitch black with a half-finger of tan/beige head. The head itself was thick and frothy alla cappucino. No outright signs of carbonation, but an impressive sheet of lace formed all down the sides of the glass and lasted throughout the sample. The head retained well as well throughout the sample.

The smell was innitially of darker fruits. Plum and fig are coming through quick nicely with an aromatic blend of roasted malt and alcohol. Also black coffee and slight bitter chocolate in the nose.

The taste releases the fruit flavors quite nicely. The plum and fig taste almost chocolate covered with bitter-sweet chocolate. Roasted (almost burnt) black coffee flavors and a slight but no too strong alcoholic warming. The beer is exceptionally smooth for a 10.5% ABV brew. No aggressive bitterness only that which comes from the chocolate tastes.

The mouthfeel is heavy but not syrupy. An even consistancy and balance to all the flavors. Not an assertive brew that screams alcohol, but raher more mellow and subtlely warming.

This was a great imperial stout in my opinion. It gets all 5's but in a very different way than my other all 5's (as of 10/3/05): Sam Smith Imperial Stout. This Impy has a much more fruitty flavor like a good port wine and is perfect to sip and enjoy after a meal. A very strong offering from the small brewpub.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2005 23:21:14 | More by Sycodrummer
Photo of warriorsoul
warriorsoul

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a 10oz. glass at the brewery...missed it the last time around, so was real glad to see it available.
Arrived in a standard glass w/ very little tan head...beer deep black in color w/ no light passing through. No lacing to be had with this one.
Very pleasant in the nose...sweet dark chocolate, espresso and some vanilla in the end.
Taste is phenomenal...the perfect blend of chocolate and coffee. Molasses, sweet carmelized malt and the very slight hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel is quite thick, but not cloying...carbonation is perfect for the style.
Did not find out what the abv is w/ this batch...I image it is at least 8% as it was slightly noticeable w/ no burn whatsoever.
Most beers in this style don't have this feel w/ out a year or so on it...one of the best I have tried to date and one that will have me up here every time it becomes available.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2005 14:24:52 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of PatandDavid
PatandDavid

Massachusetts

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

Had on tap at the brewpub on Saturday. This was a hard one to order for me...order it early so I can enjoy, but be worried I couldn't drink anything after ;-) Or order it last, but then wonder if I could walk ok? ;-) Well, I had this one after two pints of the Wet Hopped Harevst Ale, and I'm glad I did, as they were the two tastiest beers on. Totally noire, opaque, 1/2 inch of tan petri dish style head, which ended up leaving sheets of tan lacing in my glass. Aroma is really nice: elements of oak, raisins, sugar...and the alcohol couldn't be missed either. Mouthfeel was full, rich, creamy, imo almost like a milk shake consistency. Tastewise, pretty smooth, no rough edges, some chocolate covered raisins, some licorice, maybe a small tannic quility in the finish. Definitely pleasant. Very well made example.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2005 12:56:44 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

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

Had a bottle of the '09 Kate last night (05AUG09) to celebrate the 21st birthday of my 1st daughter, Caitlin (who is on an Alaskan cruise!). I must say it was as fantastic as ever! Full bodied and satiny smooth! Luscious aromas wafting all about in the 'Zebo... Rich chocolate, dark fruit, seductive sweetness... Magnificent!
Happy Birthday, Princess!! Zum Wohl!!

*** ***

26APR09 - Last night I dug into a growler of Kate, which I had originally purchased on 22DEC07. I'll bet it was the last of its kind! Opened up, it still let out a nice little "whoosh". Poured a deep, dark, opaque brown, with a creamy, tan 1/2" head. Maintained a thin layer of fine foam, with excellent lacing. Rich aromas of chocolate and roasty malts waft about. Body is thick and chewy, with a smooth creamy feel. Oh yeah! Flavor still has plenty of roasty chocolate and semisweetness, with minimal bitterness. Dark fruit notes linger in the background, like raisins and currants, along with some brown sugar and molasses. After sitting 16 months in a growler, Kate is as lovely as ever! Prosit!!

*** ***

22DEC07 - Have been to the brewpub the last couple of weekends, and have scored more Kate, both on tap at the source, and in growler form (being quaffed as I type). It's as good as ever! Am upping the appearance score, as it starts with a mousse-like mocha-hued head of about 1/2", dropping to a thin layer yet lacing up the glass lovingly. Nose is beauteous, with roastiness, dark fruit, and choco.... Smooth, full-bodied, thick and chewy....damn!!!
Flavor is chock full of a bit of this and some of that... roasty malts, chocolate, mocha, molasses, figs, currants, floral hop action. Wow! I love this bier, and am not too surprised by the attention being lavished on it right now by bier-lovers near and far. It's better than ever. And, a great value as well. $5.00 gets you 12oz, or a pint if you're in the Pint Club. Forgo a bomber in the store ($10.00) and get a 1/2 gallon growler for $16.00. Dark Lord, you've met your match! Great, great bier, Tod!

Prosit!!

overall: 4.9
appearance: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | mouthfeel: 5 | drinkability: 5

*** ***

I snuck away from home today (17APR05) to one of my favorite brewpubs and scored a few pints of black gold. And all I could think about was how Venom would just simply love this stuff... ;-) ...!!

Being a mug-clubber here, I was able to get a pint of Kate, as opposed to the normal 12oz pour of this higher octane nectar. (And this is a different recipe from Tod, JayT and gang at Portsmouth compared to years past. Old recipe was called Crazed Cossack; now called Kate the Great). 'Twas a jet black, oily thick, dense liquid, with no light penetrating whatsoever. Head was creamy and tan, though fine and rather thin, fading quickly. Lacing was average... Nose was malty, sweet, and with molasses notes. It suggests richness and complexity, with dark fruit and floral aspects. Feel on the tongue was luscious! Thick, smooth, chewy and silky. What a mouthfull! Superb! Flavor was simply a cornucopia of different tastes, running the gamut from sweet to fruity. Sweetness abounds, with molasses notes and choco-roasty flavors (though light). And then there's the loads of dark fruit, coming at you from all angles; raisins, figs, dates, black currants....even almost a chocolate-covered cherry taste...mmm!! Bitterness is rather muted, with just a smidge of floral, hop notes at the finish. Rather, the sweetness is what lingers long and hard on the palate, with the abv warmth making a play for your attention as well. A big time keeper! Made even more pleasurable whilst quaffed in the presence of the one, the only...JohnnyP, at the brewpub. And more kudos are sent Mr P's way, as he picked up a growler of this beauty for me to bring home!! Thnx Bro!!

(4.0/4.5/5.0/5.0/5.0 = 4.70)

Zum Wohl!!!

803

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2005 01:09:13 | More by Bierman9
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
bewareOFpenguin

Massachusetts

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

Ordered some take out last night and headed down to the brewery. Looked up at the board and saw this offering. On an empty stomach, I ordered a 12oz glass. Poured dark with chocolate bubbles. Rich taste, no hint of the ABV, good malt. In fact, it wasn't until I started home that I noticed that warm blow in my stomach. I think it is 12%, but I am not sure. A growler refill at $12? I'll be doing it knowing this beer won't last long.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2005 14:20:09 | More by bewareOFpenguin
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Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 853 ratings.