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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout - Portsmouth Brewery

Portsmouth Black Cat StoutPortsmouth Black Cat Stout

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162 Ratings
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Ratings: 162
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: 162 | Reviews: 102 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of beergoot


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 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 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


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


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

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 Sean9689


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 Jayli


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 bcastine

New Hampshire

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

Poured into a pub pint glass at the brewery, fresh batch

A: Doesn't get any better then this. Black with the slightest tinge of red on the edges when held to the sun. 1 finger dense white head that left exceptional lacing allowing you to count the sips down the glass.

S: Roasted malt, coffee, bakers chocolate, oats and carmel

T: Balance! the perfect of amount of roast, hops and sweetness. Perfect harmony of the expected dry stout flavors. Comes across as very fresh in the malt flavors, where as many pub stouts have a stale out of balance astringency from the roasted malt.

M: If you never had a Portsmouth Brewery stout or porter you don't know what a 5 in feel is lol. It is the slickest, silkiest stout you will ever drink. Its almost as if they cheat somewhere in the brew process to achieve this feel. As a brewer myself I've tried with no success to duplicate the feel of Portsmouth's black beers.

D: As drinkable as a 5%+ stout can be. The feel really leaves you longing for another sip. This is by far the best dry stout I've ever had the chance to drink. Been all over Great Britain and the US drinking stouts and this is the best Dry Stout imho.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2010 21:18:18 | More by bcastine
Photo of TimWithNumbers

New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the brewery with dinner before diving into the sampler.

Appearance: A pretty deep black, very thin (as in little to no) head, surprising for a stout. Very little cling to the glass.

Smell: A very pleasant, rich malt scent. More than a hint of dark chocolate, with a touch of dark roast coffee.

Taste: First sip left me wanting more and more. Very pleasant to the palate. Bitterness to be expected with a stout, but an almost sweeter, stronger presence of cocoa as well.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin, but not too watery. Finishes nicely, lending itself to...

Drinkability: Finishes much easier than stouts I'm used to. This beer paired really well with my haddock - they complimented each other nicely, rather than got in one another's way. Would absolutely try again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-30-2010 16:24:27 | More by TimWithNumbers
Photo of KrisPaulk77


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Brewery.
The beer was served in one of the brewery's branded pint glasses.
The beer was deep and dark, with a tight collar of creamy, khaki-colored foam. The head stayed substantial for quite a few sips, and never really receded. Impressive rings of lace showed the progress of this pint as it was consumed.
The aroma was rich and roasty, with a touch of bitter chocolate, some caramel, and sweet grains, with a balanced hop profile.
The taste was good, rich in flavor, with tastes of cocoa, coffee, sweet grains, a nice, clean hop flavor, and a good dry finish. The mouthfeel of this beer was smooth, silky and creamy.
I could drink this beer all day. My first offering from the Portsmouth Brewery. I picked up a bomber to bring home.

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2010 01:55:31 | More by KrisPaulk77
Photo of IBUnit63


4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2009 12:02:29 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of gameface23


4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black pour in a pint glass. A light tan head laced the glass down its entirety.

S: Not extremely overwhelming, but dry stouts rarely are. There are hints of cocoa and coffee and other dark roasted malts.

T: This is a great example of an Irish dry stout. It's what I always wanted Guinness to be. If Guinness is a 6 on the flavor scale, this is a 9.5.

M: Creamy and silky mouthfeel. We weren't 100% sure if this was on a nitro-tap or not.

D: This is the definition of a session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2009 22:38:24 | More by gameface23
Photo of jbertsch


4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Skipped work and hung out at the Portsmouth brewery for lunch. Not a bad gig.

The Black Cat is tight. It was virtually black. I noticed some red tints on the bottom edges when the sunlight hit it.

The head had an attractive creamy cappuccino color to it, and was 2-finger in size. Nice ringed lacing.

I smelled toasted malts, espresso beans and oats. Even a little smokiness. Yum.

I liked how it tasted gritty/oaty and semi-sweet at the same time. A great balance of oatmeal and coffee. I enjoyed not getting much of chocolate on the palate, which kept this brew on the bitter side. Too many stouts and porters have chocolate in them...not necessary.

Mouthfeel was smooth, and of medium body. Finished dry.

Drinkability was pretty high for a stout. Not as thin as a Beamish or Murphy's, but delicious enough to have multiple.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2009 01:47:39 | More by jbertsch
Photo of selecter70


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

There's nothing like getting something than from it's source: the brewpub in Portsmouth. As we sat down I noticed a gentleman sipping a dark stout along with mussels. While I opted for the fantastic ploughman's platter, I went for the stout eagerly as well. The pint gave looking perfectly poured, black with a wonderful beige with hints of orange head that stayed throughout the quaff. Roasted malt coffee aroma lent to a full flavor that tasted like a nice thick, bitter porter, with slight licorice hints. And then I had another...

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2008 23:04:01 | More by selecter70
Photo of cleeze


3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Now I'm still new to the porters and stouts but I've been really enjoyinh them lately

Appearance was quite dark. Black as can be with a nice tanish to brown head on with obvious sticky lacing

Smell was of roast malts with a pinch of choclate. I think I might of even picked up on some coffee as well.

Now this baby was a lot sweeter than I was expecting. Hell of a lot sweeter than my ex girlfriend but that's another story. Deffiant chocolate taste with a little chocolate in the mix. Very sweet. Maybe some mocha in there as well. But what I liked most about it was the nice hoppy aftertaste.

I could drink this black beauty all night. (once you go black, you never go back)

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2008 19:23:40 | More by cleeze
Photo of magictrokini


3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


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

Had this on-tap at the brewpub in Portsmouth. Poured black with a beautiful head that is satiny smooth with very tight bubbles. Great, very fine lacing. Smells roasty and creamy with an undernote of espresso. Tastes roasty as well, followed by a slight nuttiness, the slightly startling and faint flavor of oyster liquor, and a creamy finish. The oyster flavor I'm referring to is a brash brininess with a metallic tang and is evocative of the sea. Mouthfeel is extremely creamy, and this is a pleasure to drink. Quite a complex Irish dry stout, particularly for such a low abv.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2008 18:01:47 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of deltatauhobbit


3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2008 17:55:07 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of jneiswender


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

Got this beer at the brewpub. Served as part of a 10 beer 3oz sampler package.

A-Dark, ink black with a tan head.

S-smoky, earthy

T-peat like, chewy, grassy

M-thick, full body, slick

D-Very true to the Irish dry stout tradition. Probably too filling to drink alot of, but certainly tasty enough.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2008 23:24:36 | More by jneiswender
Photo of MrRetardedMonkey

New Hampshire

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

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery.

Pours a jet black with some tan highlights, with a two finger creamy chocolate colored head which faded slowly leaving a nice cap. Beautiful concentric rings laced the glass with every sip.

Nose is of roasted, biscuity malts, with a little chocolate and coffee coming through. It is slightly sweet, and there is a very faint floral hop aroma in the background as well.

The taste is dominated by the roasted malts with a touch of toffee and caramel. There is a distinct lack of any bitterness, even in the finish.

It has a creamy full-bodied mouthfeel, and with the lack of bitterness it is very smooth.

This is a very drinkable stout, especially with the low ABV. Had I not wanted to sample more of their offerings, I could have easily sat at the bar and knocked several of these back, given that it was a raw, rainy, cold and windy night on the NH coast..

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2007 16:05:49 | More by MrRetardedMonkey
Photo of scarletfire79

New Hampshire

3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2007 15:00:39 | More by scarletfire79
Photo of lordofthewiens


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

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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2007 22:10:56 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of mountdew1

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. A nice dark brown/black color with a light chocolate colored head. The head clung to the sides of the glass and lasted for about 1/2 the beer. Aroma was malty with slight hidden sweetness, maybe brown sugar?? The taste was solid. Very little acidity/bitterness that was not noticable. Hints of malt and with slight sweet, same as the aroma. Very easy to drink, felt solid in the mouth. A well rounded stout, good choice to be on their taps year round.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2007 00:57:13 | More by mountdew1
Photo of CharlesDarwin

Rhode Island

3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2006 03:32:54 | More by CharlesDarwin
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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout from Portsmouth Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.