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Portsmouth Le Chat Noir - Portsmouth Brewery

Not Rated.
Portsmouth Le Chat NoirPortsmouth Le Chat Noir

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BA SCORE
85
very good

56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.17%
Wants: 5
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: DrDogbeer on 04-16-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joepais
4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The bartender was nice enough to go grab me one of these from the cask downstairs it arrived in my Imperial pint glass at cellar temp with a wonderful rich frothy head on top of a jet black body

This cask was dry hopped with Cascade hops so the aroma was a little bit hoppier on this one. You also get the nice Belgian yeast as well. Along with the roasted malts and coffee aromas

You get the same roasted malts and smokiness but the flavor's of coffee and chocolate is more pronounce in the cask version most likely due to the hop bitter as well. The Belgian yeast tends to make this a little sweater than the regular black cat at the start a nice change up on the style

The mouthfeel is great from the cask as well full and rich just the way I like my stouts

Highly drinkable stout, very much a session brew I think the experiment with the Belgian yeast was a success

joepais, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of DIM
4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Note: This is the Black Cat recipie made with a Belgian yeast strain.

a: This was a very dark brownish ruby red color. It poured with a smallish tan head that faded fairly quickly.

s: Somewhat smokey, roasty, chocolate malts are the most obvious aromas. Also, fresh smelling sweet grains, vanilla, and, very faintly, some funky cherry aromas.

t: Wow, I think they got exactly what they were trying for here. I just wish I had tried some Black Cat first for comparison purposes. All the elements of a great Irish Dry Stout are here. Clean, chocolatey, roasty malts that have some smoke and vanilla. The finish is dry and I think made drier by the Belgian yeast. There are some subtle cherry/apple sour flavors blanketing everything that become more pronounced at the end. I swear I tasted some alcohol, but at 5%, that might be my imagination.

m: This is thick, satisfying, and gently carbonated. The dry, roasty, cherry finish lingers for a long time.

d: This is absolutely unique and well worth seeking out. This is inventive brewing at its best. Big, big thanks to DrDogbeer for the chance to try this fantastic Frankenstein of a brew.

DIM, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of projektyle
4.5/5  rDev +19%

projektyle, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of Miamilice
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Miamilice, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of DrDogbeer
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not really an Irish stout, but it starts with their black cat stout, and-Paraphrased from the Portsmouth website- Fermented out with a begian yeast strain- makes it a "belgian style stout"

Anyways- Impressive looking beer- nitro poured deep black with nice 1" tan head. Smells of slight alcohol with little bit of roasted malt. First sip is deceiving- I get teh normal dry stout flavor, but backed up with a nice sweetness from the yeast. Very nice, smooth finish. Irish stouts not being one of my favorite beers, this one is definitely different! Nice change up on the style. Very drinkable and actually refreshing!

DrDogbeer, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of bcastine
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from 22 oz bottle

A: Black with small tan head that faded rather quickly, little to no lacing.

S: First thing upon popping the botttle I was hit with banana, other typical stout aroma'a appear as well.

T: dominate banana sweetness that meshes very well with the other dark fruit flavors, chocolate and coffee flavors as well. Takes a couple of sips to adjust, as it seems really odd at first, but very different, and impressive once adjusted too. This might just be the perfect summer stout.

M: little sticky, lightly carbonated

D: very drinkable with its low abv, really makes me wonder how special this would be with some more heat. Great beer

bcastine, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of Bendurgin
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint at the brewpub. Pours dark brown with a finger of creamy khaki colored head. Real nice retention here.

This one has a very faint aroma. Light coffee aromas with a little bit of plumbs. Nothing very strong here, but pleasing either way. The flavor is chocolatey right up front with light coffee notes and a little bit of fruit in the finish.

The feel is full and ver creamy. Low and soft carbonation. Pretty much your run of the mill nitro feel. Overall pretty good here. A nice take on their black cat stout

Bendurgin, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Cat Stout made with a Belgian yeast strain? Very interesting. Served in a pint glass this was a very dark brown, almost black, beer with a thick tan head and lots of lacing. It had a big coffee/roasted malt aroma. Similar taste, but there was a little sweet interlude in the taste. More on the dry side. Great beer.

lordofthewiens, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nitro-tap at the brewpub on 2/20/09. Served in an imperial pint glass.

Pours a jet black with a finger of super creamy beige colored head. Retains around the edges with some thin wisps in the center. Swirling leaves a huge cascade down the sides of the glass that settles into a solid latticework of spotty lacing and brown oils. The aroma is rich with chocolate malts, coffee, roasted nuts, and a ton of fruity smelling Belgian yeasty character that gives this bouquet quite a deep tangy quality. Also, even though the ABV of this is on the lower side, I swear that I'm picking up some light heat qualities as well.

The taste is similar, with a solid base of chocolate roast, caramel, and coffee starting things off; but once again, that same fruity tang from the Belgian yeast really kicks in, running all over the back of the profile and well into the finish where it leaves a heavy dryness that just hangs in the mouth for a good bit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth and creamy overall feel from the nitro but this is still retaining a firmness in it from the heavier flavors that I'm really digging.

Well as freaky as this Frankenstein of a Irish/Belgian Style Stout sounded at first, I think that this came out about as well as you could hope for and I for one really liked it. Solid Irish Stout flavors that mix it up with some yeasty fruity esters that does give this a touch of a funky edge but thankfully not TOO funky. Another unique brew from Todd & Co. Nice!

Kegatron, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of puboflyons
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brattleboro, Vermont Brewers Festival on May 22, 2010. The pour is a very dark brown with a thin, silky brown head. The aroma has more in the way of malts and oak wood than hops or chocolate. The taste has a wide array of light hops, muted malts, yeast, and a tiny hint of fruitiness. All told it was a nice beer.

puboflyons, May 22, 2010
Photo of ericj551
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apparently La Chat Noir is just the Black Cat fermented with a Belgian yeast. The aroma is fruity with tons of sweet esters contrasting the roasted malt. Ripe banana shows its way through for sure. The flavor is a little more towards the stout end of things at first, with dry burnt, but not astringent malt coming through. This gives way to sweetness and more fruity esters. Overall I like this version of the stout, and I think it's really cool to be able to try two versions of the same beer with a different yeast.

ericj551, May 10, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to the generous trader that pulled this one out of their cellar for me. I cracked it open for a nightcap last night not knowing what to expect. Twenty Two ounce bottle, served at cellar temp in a snifter. Consumed 08/17/2008.

The pour was very nice, deep dark black and completly opaque. Rich head of tan was a little small and faded to nothing, leaving a touch of side glass lace. Still though, this was a very solid looking beer for sure.

The aroma was very odd, but good. Some light sweetness from the malt was evident that this was a stout at heart, but there was a nice bit of dark fruit like yeast present in here now as well. Rich notes of plums and prunes, touches of figs and some light vinous quality on top of some light milk sugar. The flavor was more of the same, it had that dry irish stout taste, but seemed to be blended with a light farmhouse ale. Not much funk for me here, just lots of dark fruit layered on top of the base. Medium feel on this one, could have used a touch more carbonation, but still very good. THe drinkability though was off the chart almost as it was easily a sipper, but at the same time, they were large sips.

Overall not sure what to make of this one. Definitly one of those fun crossovers for sure. Would love to try this on tap as it is probably extrordinary. Still this is something i would not turn away.

mikesgroove, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap yesterday (24AUG11) at the Brewery, during lunch with Alewife.

My imperial pint glass was filled nicely with a deep, dense, opaque black liquid. Sitting on top was a tan, 1/2" layer of pure creaminess, looking as smooth and satiny as all get-out. Lacing was A-1 along the insides of the glass. Aroma was an inviting mix of roasty choco and some enticing bitterness. It was as smooth as expected on the tongue, though the medium body was a slight let-down; was hoping for more chewiness.

Flavor picks up where the aroma left off - with more roasty malts and choco notes. Has a little mocha, and almost a hint of smokiness, then it segues into some tasty floral bitterness and subtle fruity action. Nowhere near as dry as the Black Cat Stout this morphed from. I'd call it a Belgian Stout, if that category existed here. Quite enjoyable, to the tune of 3 pints out on their patio. Prosit!!

4.03 rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1360

Bierman9, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +5.8%

HattedClassic, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of ScreamForMe
4/5  rDev +5.8%

ScreamForMe, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of irs
4/5  rDev +5.8%

irs, May 21, 2013
Photo of phingdong
4/5  rDev +5.8%

phingdong, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of wildcat29
4/5  rDev +5.8%

wildcat29, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nitro tap at brew pub

Big creamy nitro head fades...wait doesn't fade, upside down waterfall settling beer, almost pitch black with slightest hint of brown light coming through, big nitro notched lacing.

nose starts with nitro but doesn't overpower, creamy dark malts, similar to the black cat stout, bit of bakers chocolate and cocos nibs, some caramel, sweet like but not quite as there is no syrupy aromas, a really big mocha.

Taste starts with black cat stout flavors again, dark malts, caramel, soft creamy milk and bakers choc, creamy nitro feel but very light on flavor thankfully, a nice mocha flavor, and hint of vanilla. The difference comes in in the background and more as out warms, light esters and saison like spices, a hint if a peppery flavor, interesting light fruit almost a pear like flavor. Ask those flavors come in lightly in the background mostly overshadowed by the dark malts, chocolate, and nitro. Finish is mostly dry but creamy, bit more mocha and vanilla, saison flavors are long gone.

Mouth is creamy and full, decent nitro carb.

Overall really interesting, black cat stout is dominant as it should be, nitro is there but not overpowering thankfully, nice saison spices, esters, and fruit add a nice change in the background and still plays nicely with the creamy but dry stout, drinkable and nice.

Extra comment, I found out after that they had this in cask as well, and the cask was much better! Without the nitro the true flavors came out much stronger and great. This goes right with my feel that nitro really ruins most beer, and is only good for very few select beers.

jlindros, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of HopStoopid120
4/5  rDev +5.8%

HopStoopid120, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of ajcormier
4/5  rDev +5.8%

ajcormier, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev +5.8%

ElGallo, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Yabev15
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Yabev15, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of Satchboogie
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Satchboogie, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of ZEB89
4/5  rDev +5.8%

ZEB89, Jun 01, 2013
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Portsmouth Le Chat Noir from Portsmouth Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.