Portsmouth Black Cat Stout - Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Black Cat StoutPortsmouth Black Cat Stout

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

101 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 101
Hads: 185
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 5.68%
Wants: 56
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-30-2002

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.
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Reviews: 101 | Hads: 185
Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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. (270 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
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 (547 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

was very happy to receive this one in a recent trade. I had wanted to try some of their other offerings and this one surely did not disappoint. Served at a decent cellar temp and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/12/2009.



The pour was wonderful. Rich dark black in color with a huge head of tan that came up and over the top, settling down for just a moment and totally coating the insides and the bottom of the glass as it went, really full and very dark looking. Rich roasted malts that came over the nose as I lean in for my first smell. Really very well done here I have to say. Lots of light cocoa and a hint of subtle cookie dough like aroma as it warmed. The first sip revealed a very full bodied and well carbonated dry stout. Very sweet with loads of lactose sugar and a wonderfully complex flavor. Rich chocolate and sweet notes that really just put on an incredible show here. Smooth as could be with as close to a session stout as you are going to get. I had no issue with putting this one away quickly.



Overall this was like kates little sister for me. Rich, smooth, decadent and slightly dry this was a nice lighter stout that I really enjoyed and would have no issue at all going back to another day. (1,243 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (354 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (1,272 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.97/5  rDev -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. (995 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into darkness snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan head. Color is black.

Aroma: Dark coffee, very rich, roasted malts, nuts and chocolate.

Taste: Rich coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, and nut flavors.

Mouthfeel: roasted, slight creaminess. Lighter bodied. Medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, a pretty decent dry stout. Easy drinking. Nice flavors. Good stuff. (408 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,109 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Luckily this was just added on tap before I left my barstool to return home. So bartender poured me a pint which showed up black in color with a super thick 2" tan head. Thick coating of lace develops through the drink. Nice aroma of roasted malts and chocolate. Strong roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, light coffee, hint of licorice, and some nice bitterness levels makes the tastebuds very happy.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Medium-heavy in body. The finish is long on the bitter chocolate and roasted tones after swallowing. Another outstanding beer at Portsmouth. It's almost a meal in itself. (610 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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. (858 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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!! (708 characters)

Photo of Kelp
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured forth the color of cappuccino with a small brown head that went away slowly. Smells like coffee, smoke and cocoa. The taste is probably what guinness would be(if it didn't taste like bog water and chocolate syrup). all the smells com through in the taste and it ends with a nice smokiness too it and coffee lingers on the tongue. It feels silky and creamy and ends with an enjoyable bitterness on my tongue that made me wait longer than usual to have another sip. I actually wanted more of this brew once i had finished the bottle, which for me is a lot to say since i tend to go from one beer to another when i drink, and this was 22oz to boot. I do wonder how much nicer this would have been straight from the tap though. (730 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (578 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to zrrbrrt for bringing this one to the table...
Appears black with a brown hue with an off-white head that quickly fades out. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of grainy oats, cream, caramel, cracked wheat, and cocoa.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a mix of cocoa, cream, and caramelized grain.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, grainy, & mildly astringent. Semi sweetness up front fades away with some roasted coffee notes into a somewhat dry finish. (479 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.17/5  rDev +3%
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. (570 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bomber from the brewery. Shared with janlud (1st review) and ksak.

A: The stout is black, dark as night, nestled underneath a white head. Isolated patches of lace run all around my glass.

S: The nose is cocoa powder with a chemical bubbliness. Roasted malts run alongside the cocoa, a sweet body.

T: The taste is mild, befitting an ale below 6%. The sweet roasted body shows off chocolate, cocoa powder and syrup. The dryness is palpable, wringing out the sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is sweet and dry, a thin flavor that tries to disappear but can't. A powdery taste lingers.

D: Under 6%? Good enough for me. My Irish dry stout on St. Patrick's day. (663 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (463 characters)

Photo of Duff27
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
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! (449 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received for BC2 from none other than mr. purplehops. Thanks Stan!

Pours a clear dark brown, reddish in the light, thick tan head forms, sticks around, nice thick layer, not much lacing. Smell is sweet and malty, some toffee, bitter chocolate, coffee roast, cream, quite nice. Taste is interesting, more brown ale than stout, light roast, caramel, nuttiness, light citrusy kick in the finish, bit of chocolate and coffee. Mouthfeel is light bodied, medium carbonation, little bit prickly. Not as smooth as I like my dry Irish stouts, but a pretty capable effort and definately a treat, flavours were nice and light, but had enough going on. Thanks Stan! (656 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.13/5  rDev +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. (711 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
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. (1,131 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (851 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from MrRetardedMonkey and poured it into a pint glass.

Pours dark brown with hints of ruby around the edges and big tan head that hangs around as a cap for a while and leaves only traces of lacing.

The aroma has a pervasive milky sweetness throughout. on top of that are some mild roasted malts and maybe the faintest hint of hop bitterness.

Sweet roasted malts and dark chocolate start out the taste with the same lactose presence as the smell. There was a little smokiness in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is fairly creamy with little carbonation and with a definitively dry finish. Maybe a tad thin overall.

This is a very good example of a dry stout and very sessionable. (700 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (353 characters)

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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout from Portsmouth Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.