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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.

174 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 174
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 48
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:
Photo of kscaldef
1.25/5  rDev -69%

kscaldef, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of bostonryan
3/5  rDev -25.6%

bostonryan, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of TATURBO
3.05/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

TATURBO, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of urwithdave
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a ccb snifter.

A- Black in color. No head. Pours very thin. No lacing left.

S- A bit of dark chocolte and a distant coffee profile. Kind of week in the aroma section here.

T- Dark chocolate with a hint of coffee just like I got in the nose. Not a whole lot going on here.

M- Very thin....water like even.

D- If I were in a chugging contest, it would get a 5, however, I am not. I was pretty dissapointed in this stout. I won't be seeking it out again in the future.

urwithdave, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Portsmouth Brewery.

Pours very black, as the name suggests, but I had no carbonation, no bubbling action, no head or lacing of any kind. If not for the blackness of the stout, the rating would be much lower.

Smell is very smokey with roasted malt, the smoke really takes hold of this beer.

Taste is primarily roasted malt with a decent smokiness to it, not creamy and seems a bit thin in the mouth, overall though the lack of carbonation really hurt this beer, not sure if this is the way it's meant to be presented but it meant I've had much better stouts.

deltatauhobbit, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of Massbmx
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Massbmx, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of scarletfire79
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

looks very nice, smells very nice just needs to grow up more. it reminds me a lot of a beer i had out in oregon called the terminator, just without balls. if all the flavors were kicked up this would be very enjoyable but as is it's kind of boring. i might give it another shot.

scarletfire79, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of Brutus627
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Brutus627, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of rderedin
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

rderedin, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

4DAloveofSTOUT, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of Bmoyer0301
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


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.


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.


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.


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.

Bmoyer0301, May 01, 2011
Photo of anewlanguage
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

anewlanguage, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of Danjal
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Danjal, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of erlenmeyer
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

erlenmeyer, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of lakersfan16
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

lakersfan16, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of Rekrule
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Rekrule, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of Reagan1984
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Reagan1984, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of cnwillis31
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

cnwillis31, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of billab914
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Surly nonic pint glass. It poured black in color with a modest and creamy off-white head to it. The head faded to a very thin covering and remeined through drinking it. It left some decent lacing on the glass as I drank it as well.

The aroma is on the sweet side with milk chocolate and malt leading the way. It has just a touch of roasted malts present as well.

the taste has a mix of milk chocolate and dark chocolate to it. It has just a bit more roast to it compared to the nose, but still pretty reserved. Some sweeter, malty, caramel flavors bring it more towards the sweeter side. The caramel showed even more as it warmed.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is decent, but not great. It was a little on the sweet side for me overall, but not too bad. Enjoyable beer overall.

billab914, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of gentlebubbles
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

9/27/05 on cask at the brewpub

Utterly black with fat yeasty tan head, just like a scoop of ice cream on a float as the (root) beer underneath starts to invade. The fluffiness never gives up, leaving grey clouds on the glass and a lumpy cookie in the bottom.

Very yeasty scent, like bread yeast. I'm still of divided mind as to whether I like this on a beer.

Sweet smooth chocolate that melts like silk on the tongue.

Slightly syrupy body.

Actually, it got a little too sweet and syrupy for me toward the end. If I didn't have to drive home, I would have tried something else.

gentlebubbles, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of MisterDeeds
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

MisterDeeds, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of levifunk
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle shared by caseyk.

a - nice black pour with a nice thick head.

s - coffee dominates the nose. some kind of cream/milk nose, but dry.

t - over-roasted coffee. kind of a weak flavor.

m - thin pallet. on the lower end of carbonation for the style.

overall - not that impressive of a beer, but i may just not like irish dry stouts?

levifunk, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of Sean9689
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Sean9689, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of Damian
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 1 pint 6 fluid ounces bottle purchased at the Portsmouth Brewery, Portsmouth, NH
Served in an imperial pint glass

Tasted on St. Paddy's Day Eve.

The beer poured a near pitch black with a creamy, frothy, two-finger, saddle brown head that left thick rings of sticky lacing all down the glass. Over time, the head faded to a bubbly film.

The aroma was intense. Toasted oats and a distinct powdery yeastiness came through strong. Cereal grains were apparent as well. The roasted malts lent an almost coffee-like quality. All in all, a nice mix of sweet and dry aromas. Definitely much more interesting and complex than your typical Irish dry stout.

The taste was deep, dark and roasty. Somewhat espresso-like. Toasted oats were quite noticeable. Slightly smoky in the center. A bit cola-like. Overall, quite crisp and dry with a lingering, flinty and bitter finish.

The mouthfeel was very light (almost watery) with a super fine and mild carbonation. Where is the widget when you need it?

Although the aroma of this beer was really terrific, both the taste and the mouthfeel were disappointing. I would opt for any nitrogen infused Irish dry stout over this.

Damian, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of Franchise
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Franchise, Jan 23, 2006
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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout from Portsmouth Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.