Heavy Seas - Letter Of Marque 2010 (Rye Porter) - Heavy Seas Beer
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 76 | Display Reviews Only:
3.45/5 rDev -12.4%
22 oz. bomber,
A: Pours a dark red with an average off-white head, solid retention.
S: Bitter melon, but fairly limited.
T: Definite rye type spice notes, some dark malt, tastes a lot like a hypothetical Dark RyePA more than a porter.
M: Medium-bodied, well structured, smooth and creamy.
D: A solid effort, just not complex at all. Pretty much a standard release.
12-11-2010 05:30:43 | More by Halcyondays
4/5 rDev +1.5%
"To write a good love letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say, and to finish without knowing what you have written."
Coca-Cola brown with generous burnt orange borders and a lack of opacity when backlit with overcast morning sunlight. A thick and chunky slice of sandstone colored cream was produced on the pour and seems to have no interest in shrinking. Finely dotted... then tattered... sheets of lace help the cause.
The aroma is an aromatic mixture of roasted malt, earthy rye and spicy hops. A Spring release means that abundant hops would be a wonderful surprise at this stage of the game. Looking good and smelling good. Now let's see about tasting good.
Letter Of Marque 2010 checks that box with ease. Kudos to the two homebrewers (see above) who designed this tasty brew. And kudos to Clipper City for acknowledging their efforts and for allowing the rest of us to taste the result... even if it's only a one-off. Might want to reconsider that, guys.
When used correctly, rye malt adds an interesting flavor facet to most styles of beer. A generous amount of little green cones doesn't hurt either. The intriguing combination of sweet, bitter, earthy, spicy and citrusy is pleasing my taste buds to no end. Wonderful balance all around.
Even though the mouthfeel could be a mite more fully and creamy, it matches the flavor profile well and allows the beer to be even more easily drinkable than it already is. Sure, an ABV of 7.8% is hardly stratospheric, but the alcohol is buried without a trace.
Clipper City Heavy Seas Letter Of Marque 2010 Rye Porter is a fine opening salvo in what is scheduled to be a yearly 'homebrew competition winner' release. Here's hoping they're all this good. Or better yet... better. Aargh!
12-09-2010 14:02:38 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.18/5 rDev +6.1%
Bomber poured into Sam Adam's Glass
A: Pours a nice black color, with some ruby highlights when held up to light. Forms a nice 2 and a half finger creamy, tan head that slowly dissipated, leaving some very nice lacing on the sides of the glass.
S: Hoppy, with floral and grassy notes, bready, roasty, with chocolate and coffee notes, and a hint of spicyness as well.
T: Lots of chocolate and dark malts, with chocolate and coffee notes at the beginning. Lots of hoppiness, with floral, earthy and grassy notes prevalent. Near the end, spicy breadiness from the rye. Finishes dry, grassy and spicy.
M: The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than expected for a porter, but almost on par. It is full-bodied and has a slight stickiness to it from all of the hops.
D: Enjoyable to drink, but the high abv means this is a one and done kind of beer. Its a very enjoyable sipper though
Overall, this is one of the best Clipper City beers i've had. I hope they do this one again sometime in the future.
12-05-2010 14:59:45 | More by cdbooth219
3.65/5 rDev -7.4%
Rye porter you say? Never had one before...thanks to fthomasl for this one. 22 oz bomber pours a dark crimson color with nice clarity. Tall, creamy tan foam with some sticky lacing. Awesome looking brew.
Nose has alot of rye, very bready with some spicy hops. Gets grassy somewhere along the line and the malts are near-burnt toast and roast.
Hoppy rye bread on the flavor, leafy and bitter. Roasted malt comes through aplenty with a smoky, mild unsweetened chocolate aspect. A tad thin on the mouthfeel, malts need to be dialed up some and as a result, the hops are somewhat coarse. Pretty good, definitely worth a try. On a side note, I dont think this would age well.
11-06-2010 03:03:22 | More by twiggamortis420
4.35/5 rDev +10.4%
On tap at Rocky's SubPub in Jeffersonville, IN, on the Ohio River.
Poured dark brown, almost black, with two inches of creamy, tan head that maintained at about 1 inch for the duration. It left a thick and even lace in the glass. The light revealed a clean amber-brown hue around the edges. Beautiful.
Smelled hoppy, rich and roasty like a good porter should.
This beer was packed with chocolate and dark roasted malt flavors, a hint of coffee and HOPS! The addition of rye is perfect. It was complex and robust with a minimal sweetness and a dry, spicy finish. Fantastic.
It has a rich, full mouthfeel and a medium-full body. Not heavy, but absolutely satisfying and left me wanting more.
The appearance and flavor of this beer was above average. This is one of the best Porters I've ever had.
Another home run for Clipper City.
11-05-2010 21:55:34 | More by johncampbell
3.95/5 rDev +0.3%
A hearty and hoppy Porter with the unmistakable underlying spicy, earthy, pungent rye rawness.
The Rye Porter pours a creamy, froathy, and malty looking deep brown color with complete darkness and opaqness. A dense tan head forms on the beer and holds very firm while retaining throughout the session and lacing as the beer falls.
Deep bitter chocolate, medium coffee, and deep caramel/toffee aromas abound, but with the spicy and earthy notes of freshly uncovered soil and a pungent/sharp grain (not unlike the carroway seeds of pumpernickle rye breads). Citrusy/piney hops compliment and blend the rye into the beer with ease.
Deeply rich flavors of toffee, chocolate, coffee, and the earthy rye flavors that remind me a bit of peated malt of Scottish Ales. Delicious and characterful in the complex malt make up. Balanced by resiny, piney, and grassy hops, the cones also contribute the citrus mix of grapefruit piths and rinds. Any fruitiness or phenolic character is too light to detect.
Rich and malty body also reminds me of Scottish Ales but with a heavier finish. Full and creamy, the inital sips go from robust to a fleeting malty mouthfeel but never reaches dryness. Alcoholic dryness, hop spiciness, and the acrid rye help to give the impression of drinkability late, but with a long cocoa and coffee linger and aftertaste.
As expected, this Porter is bold and robust but I can see where the rye wouldn't be well recieved although it adds a lot of layers of intrigue and variance. It's just a bit dirty in the end.
10-23-2010 06:58:47 | More by BEERchitect
3.85/5 rDev -2.3%
22oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth tulip.
A - Pours a dark brown that nearly approaches black. Mild ruby highlights when held to the light. A thick finger of dense khacki foam forms and lingers for a couple of minutes before falling to the surface. Sparse lacing is left behind...enough to be noticeable, but not enough to be impressive.
S - Alcohol, spicy rye, hints of sweet and bready malt. Some mild dark roasty aromas.
T - There is no mistaking this as a rye beer. Big rye flavor up front - spicy and earthy in nature. Assertive hop bitterness and some citrus and grassy hop flavor. Very mild roasted malt flavors. Tastes more like a rye infused black IPA than a porter.
M - Medium body with medium carbonation level too. Overall impression is a prickly feel with a bit of a burnt around the edges bitterness that lingers along with the rye past the swallow.
D - Seems to me that this would be better along with food than as a straight drinker. Something grilled, perhaps with a bit of char to it should pair nicely with this. There is nothing shy about the flavor level in this beer...very powerful and distinct. Really not getting a porter vibe from this tho.
10-17-2010 16:53:43 | More by portia99
3.68/5 rDev -6.6%
Poured into a New Belgium tulip.
Pours an extremely deep ruby against a strong light bulb, absolute black otherwise. Atop sits two fingers of tan head that slowly disolves into one. Good mix of large and small bubbles. Eventually goes to a whisp of foam. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass.
Aromas of roasted malt and chocolate along with some citrusy hops.
First sip is creamy and roasty, with a burst of citrusy hops. Some dark chocolate at the back of the sip. A little spiciness from the rye. But the most notable flavor is the roasted malt. A little heavy for a porter. Toward the middle of the bottle, as it warms, I notice a little chocolate covered citrus peel (grapefruit?) in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is initially creamy, but a little drying in the aftertaste from the roasted character.
Although this is a little off the mark on most style characteristics, it's a very drinkable beer. Very nice effort.
10-12-2010 00:16:01 | More by JamnesCameron
3.98/5 rDev +1%
really not sure what to make of this one, but i was surprised lets put it that way. served chilled in ,y trusty white birch glass, this one was consumed on 10/08/2010.
with a huge pour that thick black beer pours into the glass and leaves a huge head of tan that totally covers the top of the glass with a thick head of lacing that is simply immaculate. really just a tremendously good looking beer.
but the aroma threw me for a loop, was expecting some sort of barrel aged porter but i get the bright floral hops with a touch of roasted malts, but the profile here screams of ipa, what is this. as i take the sip i do notice it is coming off a touch light for my tastes, but the flavor is there. a black ipa, not a porter this should have been billed as. rich pineapple and orange with hints of grapefruit dominate and only slightly get balanced out by a touch of smokey malts. really an off mix of flavors here as the finish is light, crisp and definitly bitter with a touch of roasted coffee cutting through the hops.
overall not sure at all what to make of this one, not a porter i can tell you that, so not really sure what to make if it, but it was tasty.
10-09-2010 00:36:09 | More by mikesgroove
3.78/5 rDev -4.1%
Blind bomber poured into a pint glass to start off my night.
The first words that jumped into my head were thick and creamy. This head reminds me of pudding with how it looks on top. It is this off-white, brown tinged amazing head. Its retention is unbelievable. I'm staring at this pint glass for MINUTES without even a deviation of a millimeter from the height it sits upon.
The bubbles are crammed tight as they sit upon a seemingly pitch black liquid. As I drink it down, I can't help but think how amazing the lacing is on this glass. Holding it up to the light reveals a deep ruby beer. It barely lets light through and relies upon the outer edges to balance the deep depths that exist.
This has an interesting nose. It has many light flavors and only a few medium ones that come out frequently. I find the more apparent molecules to be bitter pine hops and citrus. Beyond that the fruits come out to play.
Pineapples, mangoes, and what could be grapefruit. I think the nose is a bit underdeveloped, but that might be partially due to the impenetrable barrier of head.
Very different than what I was expecting. Is that hops? What is that... Either way, the hops come forward to do a initial surgical strike, but faded into the background as a new contender appeared. This bad boy was the alcohol that bit down like an antiseptic on my tongue. At once metallic and medicinal, but very brief thank goodness.
Nice sweet malt presence perks up momentarily before morphing into the finish that reminds me of an IPA. Nice piney bitterness lying on my palate begging for a new sip.
Amazingly creamy. Perfect amount of carbonation to match this brew. Medium bodied. Leaves a nice residue all over the place that I enjoy discovering over and over.
This was incredibly tasty. I want to call it some IPA, but it is insanely dark and odd in other characteristics for it to be that. It is insanely hopped up for whatever other style it is. I would definitely drink it again. It reminds me of a beer milkshake in how it turned out.
10-03-2010 01:52:24 | More by Khazadum
3.83/5 rDev -2.8%
Thanks to Stephan for bringing this back from Baltimore and sharing. The porter part was good, but not great, with a simple smoky chocolate malt character. What makes this beer really worth trying is the bitter and spicy mix of rye and hops. The rye doesn't stand out so much as it just nicely blends into the finish of the beer.
09-27-2010 02:46:25 | More by tempest
3.68/5 rDev -6.6%
Review is from notes taken on 9/25/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.
Appearance: Pour is a very dark brown, like a cross between coffee and cola; starts with a 1/2 finger creamy tan head that fades quickly to nothing other than a thin and cloudy wisp and a thick, uneven ring around the surface; body is mostly opaque, but shows some dark mahogany highlights when held to the light;
Smell: Wow, no joke about that rye, also a very grassy hop presence emanating from the glass
Taste: Very robust flavors, and the bitter rye really takes the lead, but it's also a very hoppy porter as mentioned in the smell -- grassy, but with a bit of a zesty orange citrus aspect to it as well; a burnt roastiness lies behind the big grain and hop flavors; overall, it's not bad, but I kind of wonder what this one would be like with some time on its side to allow those hops to mellow out and see what kind of flavors the malts could bring about; ultimately, reminds me a bit more of a big black IPA than a porter.
Mouthfeel: Body is ultimately pretty light, and thin even for what's supposed to be a porter; carbonation is strong, but not overpowering and actually finishes out fairly soft; a fairly thick and semi-dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth.
Drinkability: Overall, it's an interesting beer, but not something that I really think about when I think "porter," rye, or not. I may pick up another bottle before it disappears though and put it away for 12 - 18 months to see how it may do with some time on it. Nice flavors and scents, and certainly worth trying at least once -- not my favorite Heavy Seas release from Clipper City, but it likely won't be the worst I ever come across.
09-26-2010 01:21:13 | More by bamadog
3.6/5 rDev -8.6%
Had this on tap at Bodega in Columbus.
It was listed simply as a Porter, so perhaps my impressions were a little skewed. I had this pegged as a super hopped-up Porter, but a Rye Porter makes even more sense.
It was about average in appearance and mouthfeel. Nice and dark but fairly thin. This had a nice spicy kick to it from the rye though.
Smelled very hoppy. The flavor profile was the same, tons of hops and rye and not much of the dark roasty character I like to see in a porter.
It got pretty bitter toward the end, so drinkability isn't that high - I wouldn't want more than one in the row.
09-24-2010 03:12:50 | More by Spider889
3.58/5 rDev -9.1%
A big porter - no question. Black tinged with brown. A touch acidic up front, dark roasted malt flavor with a high, spicy note from the rye. A sharpness prevails throughout the flavor that is at first interesting, but as time goes on becomes a bit opressive and tiresome. By the end of the bomber the note has grown overbearing - an interesting beer, in small quantities.
09-22-2010 15:26:01 | More by Brent
2.42/5 rDev -38.6%
A - light through center of glass. Tall creamy near white head that leaves some lacing.
S - much hoppier than I would like. It is in the area of an IPA but with a tiny bit of malt, but not much.
T - hoppy, but not as overpowering as in the scent. Some roasted malts in there, and mathematically some caramel.
M - good coating and a tingle on front of tongue and back of throat that increases over time.
D - not a hop fan, pass.
09-20-2010 00:05:40 | More by biglite351
District of Columbia
4.43/5 rDev +12.4%
I had this one on tap at Hard Times Cafe in Woodbridge, VA, and I've just gotta say, "Man what a treat!"
A: Almost black, with a tinge of light showing through around the edges, and about an inch worth of head.
S: Hoppy, fruity, BBQ scent. Wow, this is different.
T: Citrusy, yeasty, and VERY yummy! The overall taste profile reminds me very much of FFF "Black Sun Stout." Ahhh...a good descriptor just popped into my head: "Fruity Pebbles" in high grade dark chocolate milk.
M: Fills out the mouth nicely. The carbonation actually adds to the enjoyment of this brew.
D: I totally wasn't expecting this beer to be as good as it was. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is the best Heavy Seas product I've ever tasted.
ON 11/23/11 - I HAD THIS ONE AGAIN ...and it didn't disappoint. The same fruity, molasses-like quality I got back in 2010 is still there, along with the very thick mouthfeel. I totally dug this beer. Too bad this is probably the last time I will ever get to taste it. :(
09-12-2010 01:53:28 | More by Chaney
3.93/5 rDev -0.3%
Appearance - very dark, burgundy beer with a finger of light tan head. A good solid coating or lace all the way around.
Aroma - roasty rye grain dominates. Not much beyond that but it's alright.
Taste - big crisp rye impact right away. Big and robust, fresh rye grain flavor. A nice smack of hops on the swallow, they meet the spicy rye grain and hold through the swallow. Sustained bitteness on the aftertaste, some light alcohol heat in there, too.
Mouthfeel - pretty crisply carbonated, yet maintains a level of decent smoothness.
Drinkability - nice brew from Heavy Seas. An all-seasoner in my book.
08-24-2010 03:01:55 | More by brewdlyhooked13
3.9/5 rDev -1%
I really love the different things that you can do with rye and this is a great example.
A: Poured a dark brown with only a little bit of slightly brownish head. Dead on for a porter.
SL The rye was right up front. A little bit of spiciness with a touch of breadiness. After that the chocolate was there and the two worked quite well together. The hops did shine through but perhaps a little bit too much.
T: They just let the rye shine. The malty chocolatey backbone and the spiciness and earthiness of the rye was a nice touch. The porter is there but it is more rye than porter.
M: Good carbonation. Solid body.
D: I really liked this beer. It drank like a champ and had quite a bit of taste. They had me at rye to be fair though.
08-12-2010 01:59:05 | More by aerozeppl
4.2/5 rDev +6.6%
Appearance- Dark for a porter, mostly black with a slight ruby tint, able to peer through if held up to light. Wonderfully thick head with great retention.
Smell- Good level of citrus hops, possibly centennial? Rye, and caramel.
Taste- Hops upfront. Classic American hop character, citrus floral with a earthiness from the Rye, some roasted feel toward the end. I must say very tasty.
Mouthfeel- Decent without being heavy. Some beers with this flavor profile tend to be a meal in themselves however this is quite pleaseant and clear and crispt.
Drinkability- Quite above what I expected from Heavy Seas. At 7.8% I would say it's right at that level of dangerous. Drinkable and strong. I would say this could make year round or seasonal easily.
08-09-2010 04:04:15 | More by Burl41
3.6/5 rDev -8.6%
Pours a very dark coffee brown with deep ruby highlights. Has a thick tan head that thins out quickly, but holds throughout.
Strong aroma of rye, malts and hops, with a certain sweet fruitiness. There are also hints of coffee and cocoa.
Taste is bittersweet. Heavy flavors of rye and malt, followed with a distinct hoppy bitterness. There are hints of coffee and nuts, and a slight, but long lasting, bitter aftertaste.
A good heavy body to it, but a little more carbonation than you might expect from a porter. It leaves your mouth feeling dry and sticky.
Definitely a beer to sit and take your time with, and probably not something you would drink more than one of.
08-08-2010 00:34:16 | More by RDHerm
4.03/5 rDev +2.3%
Thanks to billab914 for sending me this 22 oz. bottle in a recent trade. Been on a rye kick so this one fits right into the wheelhouse. Split with my wife upon returning from six splendid days in the Canadian wilderness.
Placed under the interrogation lamp, this porter gives up a surprising amount of amber around a dark, but not black, body. Smell has been cowed already, faint rye, malts, not much happening.
Letter of Marque hides behind a bland nose but packs a nice kick of taste. In another twist of the plot, the rye is the defining characteristic of the brew. It lends a wry, knowing wink of gentle spice & warming caraway kink. Following is a dirty hop buzz, & a sliver of roasted malts. The base porter is swarmed over by the rye & disappears under the pile. No matter. I like the rye, which gives this a unique profile & makes the summertime drinkin' easy. Dry, lively, & earty in the mouth.
Excellent beer. Great interpretation of a solid if unexciting style that's pulled off. Well done.
08-06-2010 02:21:55 | More by maximum12
4.15/5 rDev +5.3%
A: Dark brown, light will penetrate if you hold it up to light, really nice thick head
S: toffee, caramel, vanilla
T: Some nice rye and malt but quickly hammered back by a strong hop presence that lingers
M: Thick but appropriate for style
D: Due to the bitter aftertaste and the heaviness of the brew, a 22 oz bomber is about right
Notes: This is a really good brew from Clipper City. Their Loose Cannon is also an excellent DIPA. This brewery is really coming on lately IMO after an average start.
08-04-2010 00:33:26 | More by luvND
4.28/5 rDev +8.6%
A: A nice fluffy 1.5 finger head rises up and leaves a small lacing as it fades semi slowly. The beer is a very dark brownish maroon color with hints of light coming through.
N: Ooh, some really nice hop aromas hit. A nice spicy and slightly earthy as well as grassy and noble hop aromas. There is a slight spicy and fruity rye aroma in the background. Then some very light dark malts and porter aromas, light roast, little chocolate, slight creamy aroma.
T: Starts with some dark malts, porter flavors, chewy malts a little caramel, some roast and very light creamy chocolate. Some light rye in the background brings some spicy flavors. Then more hops, some bitterness, mostly fresh hops, a little grassy and noble hop flavors. There's also a little coffee with the roast. An interesting blend of all the flavors, but perhaps too many complex flavors.
M: Medium body, slightly creamy, and good carbonation.
F: Finishes slightly sweet and a little creamy still. Quite a bit of bitterness, now even a little earthy charred malt bitterness from the roast and coffee flavors comes through, combining with the earthy, grassy, and noble hop flavors and bitterness of the hops. The coffee really comes through all over the mouth as I breath in. More slight rye flavors, as well as more roasted malt, slight chocolate, and little caramel malts. The bitterness haunts the mouth for a while on the finish with more fresh hop pellets, and almost gives the feel like when I just chewed on a hop pellet to taste the hop. After a few seconds it dries quite a bit.
07-30-2010 02:21:03 | More by jlindros
4.25/5 rDev +7.9%
22oz bomber poured into a Prague style pilsner glass. Color is very dark coffee brown and there is a substantial lingering head.
On the nose you get the rye spice immediately, along with the dark malt sweetness typical of a porter and more citrusy hops than I would have expected.
Sipping, you get the pop of malty sweetness and rye warmth right away which transitions through a bitter chocolate midpoint to finish in a very strong, dry hop bitterness. You get a lot of different aspects that round out a very complex whole. The texture is a bit chewy, and it coats your mouth with a little more stickiness than I would like.
The hops become more apparent as I near the bottom of the bottle - this is a good deal more bitter than I would expect from a porter style and while the flavors are good, I'm afraid much of the rye is lost beneath the pithy hops.
In the end this is quite good, but almost more of a black IIPA than a true porter. Interesting, delicious, and worthy of its special release status.
07-28-2010 03:18:39 | More by SluggerOToole
District of Columbia
4.1/5 rDev +4.1%
Very nicely rounded brew, and "rye porter" is a great definition for they experience ahead.
Presentation: 22 oz brown bottle. Perfunctory pirate skull themed label on this occasion with a predictable badly designed reproduction of the standard logo repeated over itself on the hat and the center of an old pirate letter. Already part of the branding overhaul, of which these big bottles have changed the least. Side narrative goes over the intent of the brewing series, pirated themed inspiration, main description of the brew, and recognition of brewer's recipe from Frank Butt and Neik Heinlein. Notes vintage date (2010) Shows Alc. by Vol. (7.8%) Served in a tulip glass.
A - Black pour with dark brown edges, generous head with good retention and lacing.
S - Noticeable rye nose, with a hoppy touch behind it and pushed away by some roasted notes.
T - Taste follows with a rich rye profile riding rich roasted notes with hints of coffee and chocolate. A resinous hoppy touch lingers close to the rye but plays second fiddle to it. Spicy touch as it weaves itself back to the roasted rye.
M - Medium body and carbonation, with a rye gritty, grainy texture. Quite distinct and with a nice rhythm throughout.
D - How it all comes together is quite remarkable. Very quaffable and rich.
Notes: While some may like to label it differently this feels right at home under the name of a rye porter. The rye characteristic is prominently crafted with dexterity over a roasted range that makes it quite a delight. Granted, I'm quite keen on the rye range presented here but the way it is offered around the malt character gives it a nice range. I wish this were not a one off and could become at least a seasonal offer... This is one of the better offerings from Clipper City.
07-26-2010 08:51:56 | More by Daniellobo
Heavy Seas - Letter Of Marque 2010 (Rye Porter) from Heavy Seas Beer
88 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.