Black Oak Nutcracker Porter - Black Oak Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Oak Nutcracker PorterBlack Oak Nutcracker Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

74 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 6
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Black Oak Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-16-2003

Festive and fortifying for the winter holiday season, it’s a porter that has been spiced with cinnamon. Perfectly balanced roasty malt with subtle hops delivers character and flavour. Dark ebony colour, enticing hoppy aroma with hints of figgy pudding, mild carbonation leads to a distinctive taste in a full bodied beer.
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 50
Reviews by Molson2000:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours dark brown with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the coffee and roasted malt. The flavor is a mix of coffee and roasted malt with some chocolate thrown in. A pretty basic porter flavor profile. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to biegaman/Jan for this brew from SS 2007. Cheers.

Pours black with a thin head. Smell is mostly malt. The taste has a good bit of spice which was not expected. Mouthfeel is smooth. Drinkable and not a typical porter. Glad to have tried it. Cheers.

Photo of biboergosum
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at C'est What.

This beer appears a dense black, with no discernible edges, and one finger of creamy beige head, which very little lace remaindered. It smells of dry chocolate malt, and espresso. The taste is dry roasted malt, more bitter coffee, and weey, herbal hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body on the light side of medium weight, and it finishes dry and fruity.

A nice porter, drinkable and smooth.

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at The Rhino, a fresh beer and a fresh review, five years later. A peppery beer, smooth not too sweet. Beautiful white head on very dark brown. Sweet smell with cinammon. Smooth drinker. Some carbonation, on cask serves it right. Great dessert.

Photo of eat
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This black beer retains a thin cover of caramel coloured head, leaving some lacing behind.

Smells like chocolate cake, caramel, light molasses and coffee, bits of vanilla, whiskey and hops. The ingredients list cinnamon but I'm not getting any here; I'm actually getting some nutmeg instead. Strange. Pretty nice smell.

The flavour focuses on a nice balance between dark chocolate and hops. Some subtle spice is noticeable here, though it tastes more like a mixture (nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon) rather than cinnamon specifically. Some vanilla joins in, with a touch of whiskey and a dark fruitiness. The flavour is decently complex however it comes off a little watery. Everything else is nice but I'd like to have some more malt in there to fill it out.

The downside to this otherwise fine beer is the feel. This beer definitely needs some more body to it. I wouldn't call this full bodied as the label claims; it's medium bodied at best, though I'd even say it's light bodied. The finish is moderately dry and the carbonation light.

This is a really decent beer that could be great with a couple minor changes: more malt presence and a bigger (or maybe just more viscous) body. As is, I would drink this again but won't be going out of my way to get any.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a black color porter with small foamy dark brown head with good retention. Aroma of roasted malt with some light cinnamon. Taste is quite rich with a nice dose of roasted malt and some spices, which definitely includes cinnamon. Notes of chocolate and coffee are identifiable but a more important presence would have been nice. Body is above average.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

*ratings adjusted based on two different servings of the 2013 bombers. Text from original review remains.

Poured in to Duvel Tulip.

A - Dark brown/black with one finger of light brown head.

S - Dark roasted malts, sweet chocolate and some coffee notes.

T - Dark roasted malts with a nice sweetness; milk chocolate, some coffee and a slight bitterness. Very faint spice notes in the finish but I don't specifically pick up the cinnamon.

M - Medium body, slight chew; light to moderate carbonation.

Photo of ZorPrime
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to liamt07 for sending me this bottle in a recent trade. Cheers!

Dark color with a creamy head (beige color). A dark Porter. In the nose I get some nuts and chocolate. Very inviting. The taste is chocolate and nuts again. Full body beer but so easy to drink. It is well balanced and very good.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.8/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to a canadian brther for hooking me up with this superb beer. This had to be one of the best porters I have ever had hands down. Served at a comfy fifty degrees and decanted into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/15/2008.

The pour was wonderful, a rich dark black color with a creamy tan head that reached a height of damn near tow inches. Opaque, with no light shining through at all let me know that this thing was surely a monster. Rich and delicate webbng of lace down the sides of the glass.

The aroma was heavenly. Rich notes of caramel, smooth chocolate and roasted malts. A touch of coffee and molasses as it warms up. huge aroma hear and very sweet, the taste though was other worldly. Smooth and delicate and rich and creamy. I do not belive I haveever seen a porter come close to this flavor. Super notes of chocolate and coffee, hints of campfire like smoke and a touch of bitter in the finish. Simply superb. Full bodied with wonderful carbonation.

I cannot say enough good things about this one, it may have been the best porter I have ever had. So rich and full, I would stand this one up against anything. I need to find this one again,

Photo of mtomlins
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a stemmed tulip glass at a holiday sampling.

Pours black in color, with a thin head falling to a nice collar with nice nacing. Has a nice malty nose with lots of dark chocolate and and roasted notes. The taste follows suite with nice dark chocolate and a touch of spice (nutmeg and raw cinnamon stick). The beer rounds out as it warms. It's a bit thin on the palate, but overall a decent holiday porter.

Photo of ritzkiss
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint at C'Est What, arrives a dark brown with a finger of creamy tan head, leaves a few rings of lacing on the way down.

A pretty nice, straightforward offering - something you don't find a lot of for porters in Ontario. Dark chocolate, a light roast, a hint of smoke, molasses, dark fruits, a light bitterness in the finish with a moderate sweetness. Medium mouthfeel, spot on carbonation. Pretty bang on for the style. Nothing flashy but as a solid as they come. A nice offering I wish was around in the LCBO year round.

Photo of MaxwellSchaefer
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Not so good, the head appears brownish and the drink is very dark in color.

Smell: Subdued chocolate notes and there is a "brightness" in the nose that I cant quite place.

Taste: Good bite, heavy on the coffee flavor rather than chocolate. It was a little too bitter and with its heavy coffee notes it kind of make me want to add some coffee mate to it. (I didnt)

Overall: a fairly light bodied stout that was slightly over-bitter, I think less hops in the beer would have made me not reminisce of those days where I forget to buy milk for my morning coffee.

Photo of papat444
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle, no freshness info (but i know it's this winter's release).

Appearance: Very dark brown body with a small to average head and little beads of retention on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Candy cane, nuts, caramel, dark fruit, holiday spices and toasted coconut.

Taste: Don't want to sound like a broken record but it tastes what it smells like. Candy cane blends seamlessly with spices and dried fruits. Lingering coconut as well.

Mouthfeel: Very malty, warming, creamy and pleasant.

Overall: Very happy to have tried this and wish i had a sixer of this one.

Photo of baiser
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown body, with ruby highlights and a creamy tan head. Good retention, and nice lacing. Aroma of chocolate, coffee and a bit of spice. Tastes delicious. Intense chocolate, coffee, roasted nuts. Great balance between malt and hops, good amount of burnt bitterness. Some fruit mid sip. Excellent porter.

Photo of spinrsx
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber from the Ottawa LCBO for $6 or so

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains, coffee, all spice

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some all spice and a hint of dark fruits.

Overall - A nice very drinkable porter with some festive spicy flavours mixed in. A solid beer that I'd buy in 6 pack format around the holidays if available.

Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewery, this one was picked up last summer and has been sitting in the cellar for a bit. 341ml bottle into a tulip, consumed January 13.

Pours a shade off black, with a finger of tan head. Thin collar and some light retention prevail. Cocoa and cinnamon (among some other holiday oriented spicing) come through, with a lesser notion of some dark fruits. Taste has significantly less cocoa than the nose, with more milk chocolate and less spicing than the smell although still prominent. Touch of dark fruit in the middleground of the palate. Mouthfeel a bit thinner than I would've desired but reasonable drinkability.

Photo of mrmanning
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap-Black body, topped with a foamy mocha head. Aroma is nutty,black coffee , roasted malt and toffee with a good hit of spices. Roasted malt , sweet nuts and black coffee taste. Finish is creamy, with a smooth and delicate mouthfeel all the way. Nice beer.

Photo of thehyperduck
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO. I've been hearing good stuff about this spiced porter for at least the past few winters, so I was pumped to finally spot some bottles available locally. Served slightly chilled and poured into a mug.

Pours an opaque brownish-black colour, topped with a half-inch of frothy, short-lived, beige-coloured head that soon disappears. A narrow collar and thin film are all that is left in its wake; not much in the way of lacing, either. Not the most attractive-looking beer I've had in the past few weeks, but it certainly has a nice aroma. Cocoa powder, toasted hazelnuts and roasted malts are quite prominent, in addition to a light touch of cinnamon, fruitcake and coffee; quite enticing.

And not misleading, as this is one of the best porters I've tasted in months. The roasted malts dominate at first, with a good mixture of dark chocolate and espresso flavour that transitions into a combination of dark fruits and molasses sweetness. Cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness work their way forward next, with a somewhat spicy finish that includes bittersweet baker's chocolate note. Pleasant, lingering, roasty aftertaste with a toasted nutty quality. Medium-bodied; fairly smooth with carbonation levels that are a little more aggressive than I tend to prefer from my porters. While I would have no problem drinking this fairly quickly, I am enjoying this brew way too much for that to be a viable course of action.

Final Grade: 4.2, an A-. Black Oak beers were impossible to find in this town as recently as October, but the local shop has been making a concerted effort to bring in more of their brews - and I for one couldn't be happier. Nutcracker Porter is my favourite Black Oak beer so far. It's a superb yuletide brew with a delicious, balanced flavour profile that contains just the precise amount of spice required to transform this from a mere quality session ale into an outstanding Christmas warmer. This one is well worth seeking out and sampling, and I suspect I'll be back for more next December.

Photo of grub
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. sampled march 27/08.

pours deep brown showing a little ruby at the edges. a small light brown head forms, dropping quickly to a ring around the glass. spotty lace.

aroma is nice. cinnamon right away, followed by porter. light roast. bit of dark chocolate. solid bready malt. a bit of fruit. touch of alcohol.

taste is good. light roast. bit of coffee. dark chocolate. cinnamon is obvious but not overpowering, just enough so you know it's there. lightly toasted bready malt. bit of alcohol. low bitterness level. touch of caramel.

mouthfeel is nice. medium carbonation level could be a touch lower for me. medium body.

drinkability is good. alcohol is hidden well. nice balance. just the right amount of spice, complimenting without dominating. i've enjoyed this one in the past and look forward to it in the future.

Photo of hopdog
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle acquired in trade.

This one initially poured all head (light brown). Settled into a dark black color. Aromas of roast, coffee, dark chocolate and very light spices. Tastes of roast, dark chocolates, light coffee and some caramel. I wasn't really getting a large amount of cinnamon out of this as the description says (a little in the aroma and maybe some in the background tastes).

Notes from 12/31/06

Photo of Seumas
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know porter is a pretty broad class, but I always thought of Nutcracker as an old ale or winter warmer (although on the low-alcohol side for either of those styles).

According to my notes, it was sweetish and slightly vinuous, medium-bodied for what I saw as a winter warmer.

I hope Ken rushes his next batch of this fine ale.

Photo of funkengruven
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 of this Fresh from the brewery, According to the Owner, this was bottled only 45 minutes ago.

This poured a deep black with a tan head that dissipated slightly leaving a cloud on the top of the glass and a nice tan ring with it, lacing is abundant. Smell is very bold, and sweet, reminds me somewhat of those chocolate covered maraschino cherries. This stuff tastes great, very bold and complex. This has a slight coffee-like bitterness, with a very slightly smoky aroma in the finish. I also found this one to be impressively smooth and creamy,

A terrific beer. Very recommended.

Photo of Derek
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on cask at Volo. It might be the best porter I've had... but I haven't had many fresh from a cask.

A: Dark, brownish-black with a generous tan head (for a cask). Nice lacing too!

S: Malty (very chocolatey with a little nut); some fruit & spice as well.

T: Plenty of chocolate with a little biscuit (quality malt) and nut. It seems a little fruitier & spicier than last years bottle (could be the fresh cask).

M: Solid moderate body is very impressive for it's weight (is this still only 5%?). Silky smooth, modest carbonation from the cask.

D: Very enjoyable. I could drink this all winter.

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

650 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for about $5. Looked interesting and figured that the winter seasonals were about to go the way of the dodo for at least another year so i thought I'd pick this up.

Appearance - 1 finger of tan head that doesn't last rests on a nearly black beer that is very opaque. After the head recedes some frothy wisps are left on top.

Smell - Chocolate and nuts namely dominate on the nose. There is some sort of overall rich decadence that seems baked into beer sin this style. Coffee and mocha aromas abound as well. Well but together but slightly less fragrant than expected.

Taste - Thin and a bit watery with some leather taste, transitioning to nuts and then coffee with a dark chocolate blend. Smokey roasted characteristics throughout. But even with some high carbonation there is a thinness to the flavor that allows for computation of significant quantities. However, the main drawback is the thinness and lack of flavor intensity since a bit more could really elevate this beer.

Mouthfeel - A bit thin at first but as it warms the mouthfeel aspect of this subsides and gives it some more body. Fairly high carbonation here.

Overall - A more sessionable porter with nutty characteristics blended with coffee makes the a beer that promised everything that it would be, yet I walk away just a bit disappointed as with a little more flavor intensity this could have been so much more.

Photo of jrenihan
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is dark brown. A very small tan head on top. Good lacing.

Smell is fairly light. Lightly roasted malt, nuts and a bit of cocoa.

Taste has lots of malty bread flavours with plenty of nice spices. Nutmeg sticks out, but a lot else is there too, like cloves. A lot of nutty flavours as well, a bit roasted. A slight bit of bitter hops. Ginger flavours at the finish.

Pretty high carbonation level, medium body.

Overall, pretty tasty beer. The spices are work really well.

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Black Oak Nutcracker Porter from Black Oak Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.