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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout - Portsmouth Brewery

Not Rated.
Portsmouth Black Cat StoutPortsmouth Black Cat Stout

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

174 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 174
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 47
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
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: 174 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by IBUnit63:
Photo of IBUnit63
IBUnit63

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev +1.2%

On tap at the Portsmouth Brewery. Thankfully, they also had a couple bottles left in the off-premise store for me to take home...served in a standard pint glass.

Solid ginger head on licorice body-decent retention and lacing. Looks extra dark with a nice, bright head that stays around for quite a while.

Scent is a little mild-maybe some hop grass and a little chocolate malt and tannin but that's it at first. Fortunately, smoke and slate emerge with warmth.

Nice, clean and dry...malts emerge with solid roasted quality and great hop grass. Slate-ish on the back end, putting an exclamation point on the dry nature of this beast.

Creamy is a good way to describe this...creamy and austere. Nice, clean and even finish...yet hearty. Hop grass cuts what little weight there is, but fortunately it's by no means thin in body.

Goes down quickly. I want to down this stuff quickly, but better discretion limits the possibilities. Nothing against Guinness; it serves a purpose, but if you could have this on tap why would you even consider anything else? Extremely well-constructed.

10-08-2009 12:02:29 | More by IBUnit63
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%

My wife actually had this offering before I had a chance to try it and she even liked this one,pours a pitch black with a great creamy,sticky head.Aroma is roasted to the hilt along with some sweetend chocolate hints.Taste is roasted malt and chocolate with a marshmellow quality about it,a very enjoyable beer to savor the different flavors of this one.

10-18-2003 23:46:52 | More by oberon
Photo of JeffDam
JeffDam

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

07-25-2013 16:44:01 | More by JeffDam
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.03/5  rDev 0%

Can't believe, in all my trips to this place, that I've never tried this beer. It's really nice, what I'd consider an unstoutlike stout. It's dark brown, almost black, with a sticky, coffee-colored head. It has a roasted grain/coffee aroma. Taste of coffee and chocolate, but pretty smooth, like there's some cream in it. Very enjoyable, drinkable beer.

04-25-2007 22:10:56 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of muffguy4beer
muffguy4beer

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -4.5%

Appearance - Healthy pour into imperial pint glass. Nice tan head. Deep black in color. ominous.

Smell - Roasted Coffee, chocolate pretty typical for the style.

Taste - Again with the coffee and chocolate. Actually this is pretty tasty even though its pretty common. The only difference I taste is that its a touch milky which is very nice. Hops are only somewhat part of the taste. A little bitterness from said hops.

Mouthfeel - A medium bodied stout with a nice creamy finish.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable @4.5%. I could suck down a couple of these at the pub or at home watching a game. Nice work portsmouth.

02-23-2007 20:15:54 | More by muffguy4beer
Photo of MisterDeeds
MisterDeeds

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -9.9%

Thanks to DrDogBeer for grabbing this for me while up North. Aside of StoutTrooper, this is the only beer I have ever requested based on the label.

Pours pitch black with, a thin tan head that fades quickly to the outside of the glass and clings around the sides.

Smell is dark and malty. Something roasted coffee-like, maybe toasty.

Taste is malty and slightly bitter all at once. Somewhat earthy, balanced with a little bit of a bready bite. Finishes dry.

Feels a little thin for a stout, but very little carbonation makes it very smooth and drinkable. The dry finish makes it hard to put down. A vicious cycle.

If you are a fan of Uncle Arthur, this a nice similar stout. Less creamy, more bitterness. I'm not sure which would be considered more drinkable, but this is worth a shot to see what you think.

02-07-2010 03:21:11 | More by MisterDeeds
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Tap @ the Brewery. A little thin for my tastes, though it could be because I had it alongside the Portsmouth Kate. Black pour with no head. Lighter aroma of caramel and roasted malt. More chocolate and sweetness than expected. Good hop bite in the back. Very good.

12-12-2008 21:49:10 | More by magictrokini
Photo of jmz62565
jmz62565

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev -1.2%

Pours a jet black with a smallish tan head. The smell is pungent with coffee,chocolate,and roasted malt. The taste has a full flavor with roasted malt,coffee,and chocolate. A pretty good tasting stout. The m/f is light with all the flavors mixing well. A very good stout from a very good brewery.

06-01-2009 00:21:14 | More by jmz62565
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -3.7%

Oakes bottle. Damn good for its style this one. The smell of chocolate. A bit of smoke, lighter mouthfeel. Quite nice. Chocolate and roasty flavour held up well enough after room temperature that I finished another good sized sample then. Black, nothing special on head.

09-01-2008 22:56:10 | More by Sammy
Photo of jh1982
jh1982

Nevada

4/5  rDev -0.7%

11-24-2011 03:42:49 | More by jh1982
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.2/5  rDev +4.2%

Thanks to Cody (GoGriz) for this one. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger frothy mocha head with moderate. Beer is an oily, viscous, opaque black. Lacing is thick and frothy right at the top with tiny legs and good stick.

S: Nose is toffee, roasted malt, coffee beans, milk chocolate, and bitter liquorice. Not the most aromatic but very appropriate and appetizing. No off flavors at all.

T: Opens toffee, sweet milk chocolate, and roasted malt. Very subtle coffee sourness. Nutty. Caramel sweetness. Robust sweet liquorice and chocolate backbone reveals itself towards the middle. Sweet chocolate and coca-cola at the end. Finish is liquorice and cocoa powder with a sweet and bitter coffee aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Smooth, silky, and oily in the mouth. Just perfect. Rich and robust on the palate and going down. Finish is subtle and aftertaste doesn't really linger.

D: I recall having this at Kate Day earlier this year and really enjoying it. However, revisiting it in bottle form has been a revelation. This is another very solid beer from Portsmouth. Feel is perfect and drinks much bigger than its ABV suggests. Really good and worth seeking out.

12-28-2010 20:23:30 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -1.2%

So I am in New Hampshire for the Great Bay Half Marathon...its the night before a race and ....why not drink some....ok....alot of the local beer!!! Here Kitty kitty kitty....The Black Cat stout from Portsmouth is good. This beer has was dark/black in color with thin ecru head and great lace. The smell has a subtle roast coffee nose. The smell funnels into the taste of this beer. The reasonable ABV leads to this beer being a Session...certainly worth a taste.

04-03-2011 02:22:11 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of qcbrewer
qcbrewer

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -0.7%

07-10-2014 00:54:46 | More by qcbrewer
Photo of cliff1066
cliff1066

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

12-13-2012 04:50:40 | More by cliff1066
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
bewareOFpenguin

Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +15.4%

Dark enough to block out the sun. Robust taste, chocolate and malty. The brewery tells me they will never bottle this, so the only way to experience it is on draft, which is ok by me. My favorite stout.

Update: they do bottle this. Must be cold in hell

09-30-2002 08:15:31 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.7%

On nitro-tap @ the Portsmouth Brewery (Portsmouth, NH) on 3/13/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a flat black in the glass, with ½ finger of creamy mocha colored head. This maintains a rich frothiness to it, ringing the sides of the glass with robust creamy lacing. The aroma has a nice moderate fullness here to it, with notes of cocoa, coffee, and ripe citric fruit. Going deeper reveals some additional a sweeter caramel flavor and a fresh leafy hops. This is nice.

The taste is also fairly rich with chocolate, dark roast, and bitter citric hops. Those fruitier flavors sit with a touch of boldness across the back of the palate. Overall, this feels drier with bitterness than actual roast but you do get some light dark accents from the malts which hang on the tongue. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a pleasant smooth crispness to it that has also has a touch of a chewier feel underneath. This feels about right for a 5-6% Stout.

While this didn't quite come off as a traditional Dry Irish Stout to me, this definitely packed some quality full flavors and a well balanced feel into its easy drinking sub 6% package. I could have easily had a couple of these. I believe that this is usually their staple dark beer here and it's a good one to have around.

03-22-2011 19:27:24 | More by Kegatron
Photo of CharlesDarwin
CharlesDarwin

Rhode Island

3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Originally reviewed May 29, 2005. On tap at the brewpub. Light roasted coffee aroma. Deep balck with a super creamy deep tan head. Fresh sea salt flavors, with some very chocolate and coffee tones. Finish is smooth and creamy, like a drop of sweetened condensed milk in a teaspoon of fresh espresso. Very nice! A little oaky on the back end, with some complex depth in raisins, cinnamon and lots of chocolate, coffee and rum.

08-11-2006 03:32:54 | More by CharlesDarwin
Photo of ChrisL24481
ChrisL24481

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -0.7%

02-10-2013 18:58:30 | More by ChrisL24481
Photo of Kinsman
Kinsman

California

4.1/5  rDev +1.7%

Had the chance to stop by Portsmouth this afternoon and grab a few pints. Out of the three I had, this was the only one I had had before but never on cask. This cask version had been dry-hopped with one of the noble hops, but the bartender could not remember exactly which one of the top of her head.

Pours a nice opaque black body with a creamy and dense looking tan head, which settled down to about 1 finger of thickness.

Aroma featured some of the roasted barley malt as well as some chocolate-like sweetness in addition to a nice grassy hop presence.

The cask and dry-hopping seem to work wonders on this beer. Starting with a base that consists of roasted barley and coffee-ish flavors with some dark chocolate mixed in, the dry hopping adds a tasty grassy and earthy hop flavor that I found to be quite pleasing.

Cask beers always deliver a wonderfully smooth mouthfeel and this one was no different. In particular, this was a bit chewy and full bodied too. Overall, I've always enjoyed this stout because it really is a more flavorful version of Guinness and/or Murphys, but the cask and dry hopping really take this one up a notch. Keep up the good work, Portsmouth!

04-01-2011 00:56:42 | More by Kinsman
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

10-16-2011 11:39:43 | More by KTCamm
Photo of Jettanbass9
Jettanbass9

Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

hauled back from KTG day by Alex (rhinos00) and sent out to me. Thanks buddy!!

A - vigorous pour allows a pillowy head to erupt but dissipates to a thin, lacy head. Pitch black with a dark tan head. Good looking beer that fits a it's very traditional style.

S - Freshly roasted coffee beans emanate from the obvious presence of roasted barley, there is a slight nuttiness that seems reminiscent of maris otter and the unmistakable aroma of flaked barley. It's robust roasted edge puts this beer above average but is nothing out of the norm.

T - major roasted coffee notes, followed by a light nuttiness that lingers in the background. There is a unmistakable presence of flaked barley and a minerally finish, almost chalky. Again robust enough to put it above average but nothing out of the norm, chalky after taste becomes slightly distracting.

M - with out a doubt you can tell this beer is dry. it never becomes cloying or sweet, this beer has the classic irish dry down pat. there is a slight creaminess that emerges from the use of some flaked ingredient and from what seems like a high mineral content. The mouthfeel is nothing but classic, I can only imagine the stouts of back then used to go down this easy.

D - Ever so easy. Such a sessionable brew that could be an everyday drinking, pending its availability of course. Great beer from Portsmouth, I'd seek this out especially for fans of Oharas Irish stout.

03-24-2009 02:02:02 | More by Jettanbass9
Photo of trevorpost
trevorpost

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -0.7%

06-27-2012 23:11:35 | More by trevorpost
Photo of Hagbard
Hagbard

Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev +4.7%

The Black Cat Stout was my last remaining bomber from a recent trip to the Portsmouth area. I was sad to see it go because I enjoyed all of them so much, but I certainly wasn't sad to do the drinking! It pours into my glass pitch black with no light penetration. A thin tan head forms and leaves a nice lacing. The aroma is very nice and strong, full of a roasted malt element perfect for the style. The taste follows in this vein. A very nice roastiness comes in providing a very different bitterness than I'm used to drinking so many IPAs. There seems to be a subtle chocolate note in the background. It finishes very dry with an added kick of roasted bitterness. The mouthfeel is good, but does seem to become a bit light towards the finish. Very drinkable. This is a very good stout that exemplifies the style. There's nothing in it that tries to set it apart from its peers, it succeeds in doing this by just being a very, very solid example of the style. No gimmicks.

12-20-2005 13:26:54 | More by Hagbard
Photo of Franchise
Franchise

Oregon

3.7/5  rDev -8.2%

Pours a light black almost dark brown or a burnt brown and leaves a sticky lace on the glass. The aroma is espresso, soft cinnamon, nutmeg. The taste on the palate is some what watery which is how the mouth feel is suppose to be, more of a smooth sipping stout. The body gives you a quick taste of coffee followed by some astringent smokey hop bitterness but quickly dissapates leaving you somewhat waiting for more flavor.

01-23-2006 15:53:44 | More by Franchise
Photo of CooperEllis
CooperEllis

New York

4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

22oz bomber into the Southamton IRS release snifter (slight different than my dfh snifter, but really, it's all just glass)

Great dark color with a silky head. The head dissapates quickly, but leaves very nice mily lacing.

Very strong grain presence in the nose, slightly milky/cafe latte aroma.

Mistakenly was told this was a 'coffee' stout, but this is an Irish Dry stout and an excellent brew across the board. Wonderfully subtle notes within the milky malt body. This is highlighted by a full and rich mouthfeel, but the end is crisp, very nicely balanced.

Despite all the wonderful characteristics of this stout, I'm a bit unhappy. It's probably because I was expecting a stronger coffee presence. Still, damn fine across the board.

(1-1-5, I'll never catch afksports)

03-15-2011 23:22:16 | More by CooperEllis
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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout from Portsmouth Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.