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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout - Portsmouth Brewery

Portsmouth Black Cat StoutPortsmouth Black Cat Stout

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

162 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
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 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 WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

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

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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

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

Pennsylvania

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

On tap at the Portsmouth brewpub on 3/12/11. This was a nitro pour served in a pint glass. It appears black in color with a finger and a half of fluffy mocha head. A webbing of patchy lace sticks all over the glassware in a sort of spotty curtain as more sips and swirls are taken.

The smell of the brew is roasty with dark chocolate malt and an overall very even, appealing roasted character somewhat like charcoal mixed with citrus hops. The hoppiness only really makes itself known across the back with a light mineral touch.

The taste is minerals mixed with roasted malt. There is a lasting light bitterness that is lightly chalky to charcoal in character with the way it coats the mouth. Lingering flavors of chocolate meets coffee persist but are mild coupled with contrasting citrus hop flavor.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. The nitro delivery was not 100%, it was clearly a blend of beer gas nitro/c02 because the initial pour and head formation was short lived. Overall easy drinking and not bad. In the dry stout category this is among the better ones I've had.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-31-2011 16:15:47 | More by stakem
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

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

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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

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

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tap at brew pub

Creamy 1 finger nitro head, pitch black beer. Messy lacing all over the glass.

Nose lots of choc malt, bit of roast, coffee, toffee, hint of caramel, creamy nitro pour aroma, hints of earthy hops, and stouty bitterness.

Taste starts creamy with a definite nitro pour, creamy dark malts, some choc malts, touch of cocoa, some roast with coffee and toffee, fairly rich and creamy but not very heavy. Plenty off earthy hops giving it some bitterness combined with a bit of roasty stout bitterness. Finishes with lingering hops earthy bitterness, some stouty dark malts and hint of creamy milk choc.

Mouth is med bodied, little lighter than i expected, creamy nitro carb.

Drink is decent, creamy and smooth, no bad flavors, could have used a bit more dryness on the finish, and I would like to try it without the nitro. The more I drink the more some earthy and a little herbal hop flavors come out, and start to interfere with the rest of the beer a bit, but that's my opinion.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-30-2011 13:42:25 | More by jlindros
Photo of aahynick
aahynick

Florida

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

50F in a pint glass on tap nitro

A- opaque black with thick long lasting tan head

S- roasted malt

T- wonderfully nutty and great caramel flavor

M - smooth, rich full body

D- a pleasure to drink. Makes me wish I lived in New Hampshire.

as a side note, if you want to make the staff at Portsmouth Brewery laugh, just ask if they have any Kate the Great in stock.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-20-2010 14:12:11 | More by aahynick
Photo of GrittyMug345
GrittyMug345

Maine

4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Portsmouth Brewery on 10/16/09, poured into a shaker pint. Beautiful cascading nitrogenation leaves a two finger tan head on top of a black body, head dies away slowly to leave very thin head, lacing is more like sheeting. Big nose of roasted malt, slightly acrid dark chocolate and espresso. More of the same on the tongue with a complex, dry finish. Medium bodied and infinately smooth. I could drink this one all day, an extremely sessionable stout, very much enjoyed.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-20-2009 01:02:14 | More by GrittyMug345
Photo of joepais
joepais

Maine

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

Again I have to say you can't get any prettier looking stouts than one poured from a nitro tap. Wonderful cascading tiny bubbles producing a great looking coco colored head in my Imperial pint glass. The color of the brew was the standard black stout no light coming thru at all

A rich roasted malt profile comes thru in the nose whit an ample hop presence. The flavors are more of the same, along with a slight coffee espresso note thrown in for good luck. Again the Nitro dose a lot for this brew and for sure it helps out in the way it feels in your mouth. Rich smooth and creamy are good adjectives for it.

Good drinkability on this as well, but I tend to use it as a session closer more than a session brew.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-01-2009 16:53:46 | More by joepais
Photo of JohnQVegas
JohnQVegas

Tennessee

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

Draught (nitro) @ Portsmouth Brewpub.

Pours opaque black with a moderate, creamy tan head.

Nose is roasty, a bit of cocoa.

Taste is round and smooth - cocoa and a bit of coffee, roasty malt, and a very light acidity to balance, very light roasty dryness on the smooth finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy with a big round body. Delicious beer.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-09-2009 12:22:31 | More by JohnQVegas
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 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
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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout from Portsmouth Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.