1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Oak Nutcracker Porter - Black Oak Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Oak Nutcracker PorterBlack Oak Nutcracker Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 7
Gots: 0 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-16-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Seumas:
Photo of Seumas
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

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.

Seumas, Sep 13, 2003
More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
1.5/5  rDev -61.4%

beerhunter13, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

Mora2000, May 18, 2010
Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

SkinnyElvis, May 04, 2008
Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%

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.

biboergosum, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

Sammy, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

joemcgrath27, May 31, 2014
Photo of eat
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

eat, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10%

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.

Phyl21ca, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

*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.

TheSevenDuffs, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of ZorPrime
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

ZorPrime, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
4.83/5  rDev +24.2%

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,

mikesgroove, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of mtomlins
3.85/5  rDev -1%

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.

mtomlins, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of dipso123
4/5  rDev +2.8%

dipso123, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of ritzkiss
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

ritzkiss, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of MaxwellSchaefer
3.05/5  rDev -21.6%

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.

MaxwellSchaefer, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of papat444
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%

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.

papat444, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of baiser
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%

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.

baiser, Dec 31, 2004
Photo of spinrsx
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%

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.

spinrsx, May 10, 2014
Photo of Ian_Hammons
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Ian_Hammons, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +2.8%

RedAleMan, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of liamt07
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

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.

liamt07, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of philmen
4/5  rDev +2.8%

philmen, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of mrmanning
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%

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.

mrmanning, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of thehyperduck
4.2/5  rDev +8%

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.

thehyperduck, Dec 30, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Black Oak Nutcracker Porter from Black Oak Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.