Night Rider | Pizza Port Solana Beach

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Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SteveO1231 on 12-21-2005

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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 84
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad in Carlsbad, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some slight coffee bean aromas. Taste is much the same with a stronger coffee-like flavor and a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is quite tasty but very roasty.

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Photo of DCon
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap @ Pizza Port Brewing in Carlsbad, CA for $6. Tapped from the Black Non-Labeled Tap Handle into a 9oz Tumbler Glass.

Aroma- Big espresso smell and alcohol aroma from the start. Can also tell there is a very nutty, roasted malt character hanging out here. A bit of dark chocolate is noticed as well. Very intense but then has a lighter ending on the nose.

Appearance- Received with a .5 finger of dark brown head. Body is a Deep Brown, opaque color and leaves behind tremendous lace!

Flavor- Starts off nutty, with tons of espresso, and rich. Has tons of roasted malts, a hop that is well balanced but still plays a high role, and a unsweetened chocolate flavor that is sharp. Alcohol flavor is around at the finish but not as big as others I've tried.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Low Carbonation, Thinner than most Double Stout and has a light alcohol warming. Leaves coffee behind on the palate.

Overall Impression- What a treat! The body was perfect but then feels thinner than most Imperial/Double Stouts. Roasty, Nutty, and has great complexity. I would say this is my favorite beer @ Pizza Port WITHOUT a doubt! Will be looking for Old/Older Viscosity soon and then compare.

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Photo of ehammond1
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Black color with a thin espresso-colored head. Looks oily and mean--some lacing down the glass.

Roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee in the nose. While all those aromas sound typical, and even standard, this one packed quite the aromatic punch--along with a touch of sweetness, perhaps a vanilla?

Flavor follows the nose almost identically.

Big, relatively thick mouthfeel.

No complaints--it does all the simple things very well. Roasty, chocolaty, a touch of coffee--all comes together to make for a very nice big stout.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The second of 16 Pizza Port beers I drank this night.

A - Black color with a fine mocha head. Surprising bit of lacing on the sides for the type of beer it is.

S - Chocolate, roasted malts, light coffee. Really more chocolate than anything else.

T - Taste follows the nose, with chocolate, light coffee, roasted malt, and a touch of bitterness on the end.

M - Fairly full bodied with some medium level carbonation.

O - Easy to drink for an imperial stout. Solid beer, but not awesome. No problems drinking it though.

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Photo of hamilton23
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours very dark brown, almost black with lots of creamy brown head.

S: Chocolate, hops and burnt bread.

T: Very hoppy and bitter on the front end with some residual sweetness. Burnt coffee is pervasive. It was much more bitter than I expected.

M: Loads of carbonation. Slightly dry.

O: A decent beer, but could have used just a little less hoppiness and bitterness.

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Photo of soze47
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. This was one 4.5 oz. taster of a flight of four I sampled at PP Carlsbad.

This one is almost pitch dark brown. There are nutty and acrid roasted malt tones on the nose. It is sweet for a chocolate stout, but as you drink, some very strong, well-balanced bitterness comes into the secondary and linger flavors. It almost starts like nutty milk chocolate and finishes like dark cocoa powder.

Nice beer. Very surprising that it checks in at a wopping 10%. Nice and drinkable.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Haymarket. Served in a 4oz stange.

A - A finger of light mocha foam settles to a partial cap, thicker collar, and splotchy lace. The body is pitch black.

S - Roasty charred malts, bitter dark chocolate, diner coffee, some heavy dark bread and yeast.

T - Charred and roasted malts, dark chocolate, some pumpernickel bread, very low sweetness and a bitter espresso finish.

M - Smooth, medium-full body with lower carbonation. Sticky and chewy texture and extremely well-hidden alcohol.

D - A solid Imperial Stout, and perhaps more traditional than most I've had from the West Coast. However it's a bit too bitter and roasted for my palate. Well-execute nonetheless and proof that Pizza Ports can make things other than hoppy pale ales of varying strengths.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Poured at Toronado San Diego into a tall tulip glass. Pours a dark brown/black color with a slight tan head that laces at is settles. Nice roasty aroma of coffee, chocolate, and slight booze. Medium/heavy mouthfeel. Sweet dark chocolate start with a nice and balance bitterness. Roasted finish. At 9.5 this goes down fairly easy with little booze evident in the flavor.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours near black. The head is slight and doesn't last too long but leaves some nice legs. The nose is dominated by chocolate and coffee along with a bit of roasted malt in the background. The taste is similar, adding some booze to strong chocolate and espresso. Great feel with nice interaction of the flavors and booze with good carbonation. Drinks really well and was a nice surprise.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at the brewpub. Black with a light tan head. wet roasted grain and sweetened coffee aroma. The flavor is mostly creamy dark chocolate, lightly chalky, with lower bitterness. Full bodied with medium carbonation. After having the Infamous stout at San Clemente earlier in the day, this seemed boring, but was still a nice imperial stout.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Pizz Port Solana Beach on 11/13/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours pitch black in the glass, topped with a near finger of deeply burnt looking mocha colored head. Retains nearly at the same level, flaring up hugely, and leaving heavy swathes of brown foam and goo down the sides of the glass. The aroma is loaded with strength and complexity in the nose. Milk chocolate, toffee, roast, STRONG coffee, and smidge of juicy dark fruits. Great balance here between the sweetness and more burnt character, which despite a very overall roasted feel, still stays very smooth in the nostrils.

The tatse is very similar, with a ton of thick sweetness from chocolate and sticky molasses, which is dotted with extra notes of green citrus and dark cherries. Supremely strong bitter notes of roast, coffee, and hops run through this, but is so well balanced, it hardly destorys the palate at all. Finishes bitter and roasty, with some residual sticky malt activity that coats the mouth. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a tremendous creaminess to the carbonation, seeming to just explode in the mouth at times. A gooey and viscous layer rides underneath, carrying a good bit of that heavy sweetness with it. Warmth hangs on the outskirts of the swallow but the alcohol here is so expertly hidden. Just great drinkibility to this, once the flavors really begin to open up and you can really start getting into it.

This is one of those beers that really grew on me the more I worked on it, turning from a good RIS into a great one. Just so complex, powerful, and delicious, with a smooth as silk body and drinkibility. This is definitely one of my favorites from any of the Pizza Ports.

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Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

Great appearance, jet black and fairly viscous with a two-finger tan head that lasts.

Aroma is roasty and chocolatey with some coffee. Chocolate really stands out on this one.

Flavor is like a roasty beer version of a chocolate milkshake. Really rich and good. Lots of earthy hop bitterness and a hint of coffee in there as well.

Body is full and carbonation is smooth. Hops linger on the finish.

Drinkability is good. This is a very good imperial stout overall, really came out of the blue and wowed me.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in Carlsbad Pizza Port.

This was a good looking beer that had a more brown color to it than black. Nice mocha-coffee head that stuck around. Medium body with no real lacing.

The smell was like the taste, earth. When I say earth I feel like I should clarify by saying malt. Not chocolate malt or a coffee flavor, but dark roasted malt. It had a real deep thick malt smell and taste. With most Imperial Stouts there is a coffee characteristic that this one does not have. I liked the different approach. A real bread-oat taste with maybe some oatmeal. Lots of grains I could taste, the ABV was lighter on the taste. Thick mouthfeel that did not have a lot of pop. I would of drank a few, but was limited on time. Recommended.


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Photo of womencantsail
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If nothing else, you have to try this for the great name...

A: Pours a nice black color with a mocha head. Some pretty nice lacing on this as well.

S: Chocolate, roasted malts, and some light vanilla.

T: Chocolate, faint coffee, roasted malt, and a bit of a bitterness.

M: Great body, moderate carbonation.

D: Surprisingly high for an imperial stout. Definitely a solid beer, but not the best of the style.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Newport Pizza.

I really shouldn't be drinking this at 11:00 AM on a Tuesday, but it's been a rough day at work and I just need a few liters of craft beer to relax. My wife (the slave driver) calls as I'm taking a sip and I tell her I'm working. "It's only a half lie," I tell myself, "After all, my briefcase is in the car and it does contain some files and business cards. I'm actually here to network. This place just happens to have 20 craft brew taps. I didn't actually know they served beer here."

She asks why Reggae is blasting in the background. "I'm networking you old crone! Don't call me at work anymore. I have urgent business to attend to!" I scream into the phone as I hang up. I slam down my 7th pint and quickly order another. "Don't you think you've had enough?" Remarks the female bartender. "What? This is craft beer. You think I'm some sort of alcoholic? Hah. You have no appreciation for craft brew. You're probably some BMC drinker. You wouldn't understand my complex relationship with craft brew. Look, I'll bet you think I'm a snob for that BMC remark. Well, I meant every word of it! But, I'm not a snob. No, you couldn't possibly begin to understand."

"Just one more pint, please...I'm begging you" I plead with dignity. I greedily pour the entire pint down my throat when she sets it before me, half of it spilling all over my white
Ermenegildo Zegna shirt and Armani tie. "I'm not an alcoholic...I just enjoy craft brew."

The beer pours almost black, with huge dark brown head. The retention is great on this frothy, pillowy beast, lasting through the entire pint.

The aroma is of dark chocolate, roasted malt, some sweetness, and molasses. A touch of vanilla is present, as well as a little coffee in the background.

The taste is sweet up front, segueing into dry roastiness. I taste dark chocolate with a hint of astringency and dry bitterness. The chocolate has some sugary sweetness. The alcohol is well hidden throughout, but it's more noticeable in the finish in the form of a slight burn. Chocolate and roast linger after the dry and astringent finish.

The beer is full bodied with a medium level of draft carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. This beer is pretty good, but it does little to differentiate itself in the wide world of Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask pour at Blue Palms in Hollywood, CA.

Pours black with a creamy light brown head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of dark chocolate with creamy roasted malts and small hints of raisins.

Tastes very good. There's more chocolate in the flavor than in the aroma, but it's not overpowering. Roasted malt flavors join the chocolate flavors almost immediately and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with light carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and if not for a solid selection at Blue Palms I would have had another.

Overall this is a very solid stout that translated very well to a cask. Certainly worth a shot.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Newport Pizza and Ale House, San Diego, CA on 7/10/09.

A - Total blackness with a finger's width of creamy tan head that settled to a thin veil and left strands of sticky lace all around the glass. One of the darkest stouts I've come across.

S - Chocolate and licorice aroma with subtle bitterness via roasted malt and coffee notes. Hint of nutty malt. Subtle waft of earthy, leafy hops in the back. Alcohol presence is virtually undetectable.

T - Initial flavor is on the chocolate side of the spectrum with hints of licorice and smoked meat. However, bitter chocolate dominates the flavor and combines with earthy, leafy hops to create a nicely balanced, albeit quite bitter, finish.

M - Medium to full-bodied with a slick, oily texture and moderate carbonation resulting in a bit of bristle on the tongue. Very creamy mouthfeel overall with a smidgen of alcohol warmth and a hint of astringency on the palate. Bitterness is apparent in the finish, but it is not heavy-handed at all.

D - Despite its high ABV%, I found this to be a really drinkable imperial stout. The alcohol remained virtually undetectable throughout. This sucker is heavy on the chocolate but also boasts some subtle complexities with plenty of bitterness to contrast. Gotta love the Port!

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Photo of midaszero
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Opaque black body with dark brown head and good lacing

S - A little sweetness and chocolate with a roasted malt. A little faint.

T - Bitter chocolate and roasted malts. A little alcohol presence and a little bite

M - Medium body with medium high carbonation

D - Good stuff but not to session. Overall easy to drink

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Photo of magictrokini
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this right after the Deschutes The Abyss. In hindsight, I should have had this first because that beer is impossible to follow. Anyways, dark, dark brown pour with a ring of brown bubbles. Sweet aroma of chocolate, cream, coffee, and darker dried fruits (prunes, raisins). Smooth taste reminiscent of a chocolate milkshake, but with bitter coffee, roasted malts, and a nice bitter hop bite. Toffee and vanilla swirl from time to time with hints of caramel. A great Imperial, but I'll have to try it again on its own.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/08/08- Purchased via the tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

Presentation- Via the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Middle of the road black pour..chocolate undertones. Smaller 1/4 inch head and nice patchwork of lace left behind.

Smell- Light nose, but a nice one of deep roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee beans.

Taste- Nose is about what comes through in the taste. Very dark in the chocolate dept, and quite malty. Fair amount of sweetness and just about the right amount of hops provide a nice semi bitter and malty combo. Not as much coffee in the mix though. Alcohol comes through fairly hefty at 10% now.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation, medium to full mouthfeel with a light bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- A very good stout indeed. Wish they bottled this one.

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Photo of badbeer
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, light tan head, recedes to a ring with some head left. Hoppy grapefruit aromas, very roasty, and some bitter chocolate. Citrusy hops, roasty, cocoa, bitter chocolate, and tar; very hoppy. Medium carbonation and body. Thanks to iowaherkeye for the sample.

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Photo of hopdog
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thankd you egajdzis for a chance to try this one.

Poured a dark black color with a very small sized off white head. On the initial whiff I got a nice milk chocolate smell that gave way to smoke, roasted malts, some dark fruits and some vanilla. Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla and a light bitter coffee finish.

Notes from 1/19/06

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Photo of rye726
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pour a deep near black with a dark tan head. The nose has roasted malts, dark fruits, chocolate and coffee. Taste is similar. Lost or burnt and roasted malts balnced by ripe fruits and subtle hops. Full body is well carbonated and drinks well. Classic example of the style. A good brew.

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Photo of paytoplay
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was impreed with this brew on tap at Hamiltons in San Diego. Dark rich, a bit of alc on the finish. Lots of dark roast coffee and coco. Not as smooth as some others but a rare brew to make it out of an actual Pizza Port facility and be at another brew pub. Quality is very high and a good effort was put forward. Carbination was also high which aided in cleaning up the dark richness but maybe too much? 9.5 alc was noted so a strong brew.

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Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pleasant RIS, not exactly a flavor bomb, however.

Pours black with a small tan head. Smells like chocolate and roasted malt.

Taste is roasted malt, some chocolate, a bit of bitter espresso chocolate ... no hops, which surprises, and while it's tasty, it didn't blow me away, either.

Good, not great. Creamy mouthfeel.

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Night Rider from Pizza Port Solana Beach
4.14 out of 5 based on 84 ratings.
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