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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout - Portsmouth Brewery

Portsmouth Black Cat StoutPortsmouth Black Cat Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

163 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.4%


Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Yes, Arthur, there is another stout. Our Irish-style "dry" stout is brewed with four different malts, roasted barley and Chinook hops. It is big, bold, smooth & tasty, and we think it's the best thing on either side of St. James Gate.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-30-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 102 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: A little bit too much foam, initially, but it settles down to an impressive head level with plenty of streaky lacing left behind; the fudge brown liquid reveals some ruby highlights

Smell: Roasty, with chocolate and woodsy tones

Taste: Roasty and ashen, up front, with chocolate and a hint of mint; dry finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation; could be creamier

Overall: This bottle has a few years in it but it still drinks nicely; the mouthfeel would need to be a bit better to take the rating up to the next level

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 20:56:19 | More by brentk56
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served at a proper temperature at the pub, looking black and topped with a light tan head. Great roasted grain and bitter chocolate aroma; taste follows suit with an additional well-balanced hop bitterness. Medium-light body; dry finish.

This was a nice "desert" beer after eating their pollock fish and chips. The beer packed in the good, dark roasted malt flavors and felt relatively light yet rich and smooth going down the hatch. Very delightful, very drinkable...

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2013 01:26:13 | More by beergoot
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by July 2013:

Into a regular pint glass:

A: jet black body with less than a finger's worth of a creamy head, some light lacing clings to the sides of the glass and spider webs just a bit

S: dry coffee, slight biscuit and some light milk chocolate

T: somewhat sweet but has a dry rich sort texture, dry aftertaste and finish

M: light to medium, sessionable, carbonation seems to be felt a little more than other Irish Dry Stouts I've had

O: still this is good for its style and good to me, I'd have it again

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2013 19:18:24 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on nitro tap, 8 oz. into a half shaker pint glass at Portsmouth brewpub in Portsmouth.

What a gorgeous red to this body, deep and dark brown with red edges, given with a super creamy tan head, thin nitro bubbles with hints of speckled white. Lots of lacing and rings while consuming.

Nose is filled with lots of Swiss like milky creamy chocolate. Rich. Dry biscuits and chewy oatmeal cookies out of the oven, this smells fantastic.

Taste is sweet and rich, but in control. Wonderful creamy texture. Palate hits with coffee and milk cream, but very light bodied. Some mild playful carbonation, and a great lime oil finish of hop goodness so subtle.

Super fantastic and super drinkable, great beer!!

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-28-2012 18:52:17 | More by smakawhat
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is jet black with a low profile, dense, off-white head that clings to the glass like glue. Smokey and coffee roasted aromas, which smell light, and very tasty. Flavors are dry and smooth, with roasted coffee and a slight molasses highlight. Cloying, bitter aftertaste that is pleasant and rich. The finish is dry and bitter, cleaning the palate. Very tasty brew.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2012 23:18:58 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this beer at a tasting with local BA buddies on 2/11/12. Review is from written notes.

Thanks for bring this rarity Duff!

Appearance: light black bodied beer with a huge fluffy head composed of many small dense bubbles. Head drops quickly leaving spotty lacing.

Smell: kind of a weak nose. Mild roast and some milk chocolate. Hints of fruit and smoke. You really gotta put your nose in this beer to get a good idea of whats in the nose.

Taste: Faint roasted coffee that is mildly bitter. Hints of smoke and a little fruitiness. Finishes fairly clean and with a bitterness that quickly fades away.

Mouthfeel: light bodied Irish dry with high carbonation levels. Its a bit overcarbonated, but it does effect the beers other qualities too much. Carbonation is even prickly at times. Easy to drink this; you could kill a bomber yourself with getting a buzz.

Overall: Not your typical Irish Dry stout; I would place it as an American stout. The beer needs to be a little more roasty and creamy to be a good Irish dry stout. I enjoyed the oppurtunity of tasting this beer and it was the first beer I have tried by Portsmouth.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 01:36:27 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of TATURBO
TATURBO

Illinois

3.05/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tried this at a tasting I hosted thanks to Duff 27 for sharing.

Appearance was Opaque Black with close to 2" of head.

Smell: I got some dark fruits, almost "raisin-like" Slight sweet & sour smells going on.

Taste: Strong burnt/roasty flavors. Nothing really special going on to draw me back for more.

Mouthfeel: This is what kinda killed this beer for me, It was way too carbonated for my liking. Average otherwise.

Overall: Carbonation Overkill. (Bad bottle maybe?) although others tried it in our tasting group the same time as I did. Just not one that would bring me back again. Too many other better stouts out there and more easily available.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2012 22:24:56 | More by TATURBO
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a huge two inch tan head on a black body. Excellent lacing and head retention.

Its got that metallic baltic porter aroma. Not off poutting but doesn't really do anything for me.

Nice roasted notes, almost burnt or coffee-like. "Charred." Might guess at a higher ABV. Some dark fruits come out as it warms.

Medium mouthfeel, carbonation on the higher end.

A nice beer, first Portsmouth beer. Enjoyed a lot moreas it warmed. Thanks mikeyv35!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 02:57:48 | More by Duff27
Photo of BierBliss
BierBliss

New Hampshire

4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint on cask with coffee.

Aroma: obvious coffee tones

Appearance: pours black, good lacing

Flavor: slight bitter finish, no carbonation or booziness

Mouthfeel: served warm on cask, smooth

Overall impression: my favorite stout from Portsmouth. I don't always get the cask versions because they normally get hopped to much when they create cask versions.

Very drinkable and tasty

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2012 20:02:56 | More by BierBliss
Photo of Gatch
Gatch

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewery.

A - Pitch black with a creamy, light brown head. Hangs around for a long time.

S/T - Smoky, charred, roasted malt.

M - Smooth, roasty, and dry in the finish.

A good example of a traditional stout. Went well with the pulled pork sandwich.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2011 00:02:34 | More by Gatch
Photo of NardiByNature
NardiByNature

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this guy on tap at the Brewery on the 23rd. It impressed me in the sampler (which are sweet), so I ordered a pint of it afterwards.

Black and a creamy short head that sits on top of this beer until the end. Head clings to the glass around the edges so it's sort of smooth and concave.

Licorice, coffee, chocolate and grain smells.

Delicious. I love this. Some of the nose with some roasted grains and toast.

I've seen beer described as "velvety" before, and that seems like one good way to describe it - if you like velvet, that is. Dry, yet creamy. It's great.

Loved it. Try it if you're drinking in Portsmouth then I couldn't speak more highly of the Portsmouth Brewery. The imperial stout is great and so is the Bottle Rocket IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2011 20:28:16 | More by NardiByNature
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the PBC in Portsmouth NH.

Pours jet black with off white creamy foam. Very sticky. Rich roasted smell, some coff. Smooth taste with a real dark chocolate flavorful finish. Low to no carbonation. Finishes like a candy bar. Nice blend of bitter and sweet.

Very good stout.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2011 11:39:43 | More by KTCamm
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to cooperellis for picking this up for me (along with others) when visiting the brewery. enjoyed out of a portsmouth sniftery tulip.

a - opened the bottle and filled my glass...poured thick oil like black with a thin off white creamy head that was gone quick leaving sparse bubbling on the surface of the brew.

s - very nice creamy roast. some menthol. some powdery cocoa. irish cream.

t - starts off with a charred powdery chocolate then a touch of roastiness and finishes with irish cream.

m - mouth is light and the beer leaves a charred feel. quite nice.

o - overall, this beer is to beer...what baileys is to booze. it is pretty light and has a nice irish cream thing going on. mostly char and roastiness with some subtle notes of coffee and a nice presence of powdered chocolate. this beer is totally hitting the spot right now.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 00:05:56 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of jamescain
jamescain

Texas

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer.

Appearance: Jet black with an off white head about a finger thick that fades into a thin lacing over the top of the beer.

Aroma: Notes of roasted grain, chocolate, and a hint of caramel.

Taste: A lot more chocolate in the taste then in the aroma. Roasted notes and surprisingly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation easy enough to contemplate drinking a few more.

Overall: Probably the best Dry Stout I've had, which is not that many since they seem to be hard to come by in the craft world.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 15:04:32 | More by jamescain
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub.

A - Pours black, tan-colored head, thin cap, thin collar.

S - Nice malty backbone, coffee, roast, light chocolate.

T - More chocolate-forward here, some coffee, roast, malts, and a touch of hops.

M - Light body (perhaps a touch too thin, but still, it's only 5.5%), creamy finish, good carbonation.

O - Enjoyable. I really am a fan of the Irish Dry Stout, so this was hit home for me. That said, I've had better, but still, I enjoyed it for the most part.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2011 16:48:27 | More by Sean9689
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into an imperial pint. Special thanks to jayli for this from our most recent trade!

A: Pours a deep cola black with russet highlights at the edges. One finger of light brown cream layed on top, briefly, before settling down into a thick and creamy collar that left a few tendrils of lace in the glass.

S: Heavy roast and burnt chocolate. Subtle coffee with cream, campfire ash, fudge, and chocolate dipped cherries.

T: Close to above with the fudgy, chocolate-y flavors dominating. Coffee puts up a valiant effort, but is steamrolled by the chocolate. Nice ashy flavor during the long finish.

M: Killer mouthfeel! Slightly sweet and incredibly creamy with a thickness I've never before experienced in this style. Excellent dry and ashy prickliness that picks up steam in the finish.

O: A wonderful example of the style. The care they put into their "everyday" beer is very apparent. Send more jax!

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 16:56:26 | More by GbVDave
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this while at the brewery. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice dark oily black with a rich two finger head that slowly fades leaving nice amounts of side lacing and a thick film on the brew.

S - Good roasted coffee notes as well as some light chocolate. Some very faint hops too.

T - Similar to this nose the flavours are all quite smooth together. Starts a little roasty and bitter coffee notes that fade to your usual coffee and qualities with some light hop finish. Very, very light.

M - Quite thin like this style is. Ever slightly creamy too.

O - Overall this is quite the irish dry stout. Nice and creamy, really good appearance and smell. A solid brew from Portsmouth.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 02:32:31 | More by rudzud
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 6/11 at the brewery
Served in a pint glass

A: This beer pours an opaque black with a 2 finger of creamy brown head. Head retains nicely and leaves ringlets of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is dark chocolate, light coffee notes and a hint of toffee sweetness.

T: Taste is supremely balanced! Starts off with great coffee notes, mingled with a nice roastiness. Lighter toasted malts come through. A nice milk chocolate and minor dark chocolate then come through. A huge roast presence with a light hoppiness comes in during the finish.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, on the lighter side but slightly creamy.

O: Goes down easily, ridiculously tasty, not too filling, mild kick, and excellent representation of style. This is a phenomenal drinking Irish Dry Stout. One of the easiest drinking of the style that I've had. Yea - I could get with this one all day, every day!

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2011 08:29:40 | More by Jayli
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a respectably dark brown/black color with a thinnish tan head that I had to coax with a vigorous pour. Roasted coffee and caramel fill my nostrils along with powdered dark chocolate and a hint of toffee. Taste is roasty and creamy almost like a sweet stout rather than a dry. Chocolate and coffee mixed with caramel and toffee. Longer lingering roasted coffee bitterness mixed with just enough sweetness finishes every sip. Medium body with a light level of carbonation and a creamy smooth mouthfeel. Another great brew from the folks up at the Portsmouth brewery.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 23:25:17 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of afksports
afksports

New York

4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Introduced to me through my friend John who provided the bottle, Black Cat is supposedly thought by some to be as Great as Kate. It seems that annual release of 900 bottles has turned some towards the more readily available option.

And I'm certainly not complaining. Black Cat pours a deep brown to black body, leaves bubbles tickling the glass, and sustains a ring throughout the drink. It smells like chocolate and coffee, rather standard I guess, but well-composed. The taste is really not all that boozy, and features dark chocolate and hops bitterness that pair up for a colorful tinge. Plus, from start to finish, sweet sweet stout malts. Those are probably the only overwhelming component of the brew - it just might be too thick to drink that much of.

Still, with its full body, this Black Cat makes me just as happy as Janet Jackson's "Black Cat" made my sister back in the day (Black Cat was a song title, right? I'm not being dirty).

That said, I'll withhold judgment on the debate between Cat and Kate. I'd rather have both.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 03:49:25 | More by afksports
Photo of danmcg62
danmcg62

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber bought at the Portsmouth Brewery store up in NH.

A-Pours a deep, dark black color with a creamy head. Very nice.

S-Dark chocolate malt comes to mind first. Sweet caramel is around there too.

T-Thick and choclately, super malty. Tastes like a dark chocolate bar in a glass. Very tasty.

M-Chewy and creamy. Feels like a chocolate milkshake.

O-Overall this is a very good stout. Very drinkable and very pleasing to all the senses.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 23:35:25 | More by danmcg62
Photo of Flounder57
Flounder57

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this bomber on the way back from snowboarding at Wildcat and decided to take a slight . I poured the beer into an Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a pitch black color with a one finger mocha color head. It reduces down to a thin layer of head and slight lacing right before I decided to take a sip.

Smell: Roasted caramel sweet malts and some slight coffee and chocolate hints.

Taste: same flavors that I could smell folllowed by some dry bitterness towards the end.

Mouthfeel: slightly chewey and medium bodied. Very smooth and medium carbonation.

Overall: I think this beer fits the style very well. Would purchase this again at the brewery to take home or have a pint if I was ever driving through Portsmouth. Very easy drinking beer and would recommend it to anybody.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 21:15:58 | More by Flounder57
Photo of Bmoyer0301
Bmoyer0301

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:

Tonight I pulled out another one of my favorite glasses and this is probably the most frequently used, my trusty English pint glass. As I proceeded to pop the cap there was a generous amount of hissing and the carbonation gasses seeped out and floated away. On the pour I decided to go slowly just in case the head wanted to flow over the neck of my glass. When I was done I was left with a good looking one finger thick head that was a milk chocolate mocha colored. As I hold my glass up to the light this baby is deep deep black and has absolutely no light passing through it at all. There is no yeast chunks or haze floating around which is a good sign. As I give a quick swirl the viscosity seems pretty tame and nothing really to mention of and not leaving any long streaking legs on the walls of my glass.

Smell:

Roasted malts, and cocoa powder are the main event here. Some slight ashy undertones followed by chocolate and raisins. As I left my glass warm up a bit there are lots of dark fruits shining through and some rum-esq aromas. In the middle I am pulling out some light roasted coffee maybe a iced coffee smell, actually to be more specific I am reminded of non-dairy coffee creamer. I am liking the faint sweetness that rounds out the roasty bitterness through.

Taste:

Its really nice to sit back and enjoy a simple style like this once and awhile because it really puts the extreme beers back in check and makes you appreciate other styles so much more. Right out of the gate you are loaded with dry roasty malt and dark cocoa flavors and even a touch of molasses. Very thin on the palate and easy drinking makes this quite a session-able beer when you have a craving for a few darker beers. In the middle I am pulling out some minerals that resemble ocean water maybe some salt? (Oyster Stout?) I don't want to forget to mention that I am actually tasting some citrus hops behind all of these flavors which really surprises the heck out of me for this being a dry stout. The finish is long and really leaves you with a great coating of chocolate that goes on and on and pulls you in for another sip.

Drinkability:

This is as good as they come in my opinion, easy drinking and oh so smooth. Don't get me wrong when it comes to Portsmouth, Kate the Great is where it's at but don't turn your nose up to their other offerings because they are just as good. I believe this is my sixth or seventh bottle from these guys and I have yet to have on that was bad or off flavored. So again I say if you get a chance to try or trade for one tonight's beers, this is a no brainer and sure win in the flavor category.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 18:35:12 | More by Bmoyer0301
Photo of greenmonstah
greenmonstah

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber purchased at the brewery yesterday. Poured into my new Portsmouth tulip.

A - Black pour with a finger of light brown head. Dark as an imperial stout. Brown edges. Avg retention and lacing.

S - Roasted coffee and some earthy hop. Some bitter dark chocolate.

T - Sorta plain. Earthy hop and a watered down coffee. Very light and easy to drink. A bit of roasted malt. Works for the style, but might be a little subdued for my tastes.

M - Thin as water. Thin as a Guinness. Normally this would give me pause, but this is honestly right on for the style.

O - Unbelievably easy to drink. Calm and smooth. This is really something. This is a perfect example of an Irish Dry Stout. I've never finished a bomber so fast. Wow. I'd love to get my hands on more.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 23:18:33 | More by greenmonstah
Photo of muttyd
muttyd

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bunch of bottles of Portsmouth over the weekend. I've had the BC stout several times at the brewery, huge fan of this beer.

Pours a near pitch black, brown with a faint tan head that fades into an offwhite ring. Big roasted malt, coffee, milk chocolate aroma. Very faint citrus hops in the nose as well. The flavor follows the nose with a big roasted malt profile with loads of coffee and milk chocolate. Finishes with a leafy/herbal hop bite. Creamy, smooth, and silky mouth feel. Dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 00:26:40 | More by muttyd
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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout from Portsmouth Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.