Night Rider - Bourbon Barrel Aged
Pizza Port Solana Beach

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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #171
Ranked #1,046
4.43 | pDev: 8.35%
Pizza Port Solana Beach
California, United States
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 86 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black and nearly opaque with faint chestnut brown edges and a two finger frothy mocha head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very good retention for style and ABV leaving streaks of soapy lacing behind.

Very inviting and complex aroma with a luscious barrel presnce that's nicely integrated into the characteristic of the base beer. A decent amount of sweet, spicy bourbon but no overpowering or too boozy. Lots of vanilla bean and toasted coconut along with subtle dry oak. This is countered by delicate roast and silky chocolate malt sweetness. Hints of bakers chocolate, caramel, oatmeal and gourmet coffee beans. Smells awesome!

Medium body with a blast of spicy, boozy heat that dominates the flavor lingering over the subtle roast into a boozy, bone dry finish. Strong char with heavy oak and bourbon flavor. Strong whiskey presence along with toothpick and burnt wood. Not as complex or well balanced as the nose suggests. Slightly smokey/peated but most of he vanilla and coconut smoothness from the nose is missing. Underneath, there is some dry roast with oatmeal, spent coffee grinds, burnt toast and biittersweet dark chocolate. Lacking the dessert-like sweetness from the aroma. One dimensional and lacking in balance. Needs less whiskey/heat and a more complex barrel character. Also, the body is a bit thin and overall could used more sweetness.

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Photo of cbutova
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage on-tap at Ocean Beach Pizza Port during SDBW, reviewed from notes.

A- Black as the night when driving through the San Bernardino mountains after dark (oddly specific eh?) with a one finger cocoa brown head. Decent foam retention and the creamy ring that remains leaves just a few lace spots.

S- Charred oak Bourbon barrels off the top on a big base of fudgey cocoa, rich chocolate malts. The whiskey balances nicely and doesn't feel hot, blended and maybe the age helps. It also just smells like a good Bourbon. Some aged caramel, vanilla and oak wood as well.

T- Maybe fifty-fifty here with the barrel and the big, decadent base brew. Just the right amount for me with quality Bourbon, vanilla and charred oak notes balancing roasted grains, chocolate malts, caramel and hints of dark fruits. Vanilla dessert sweets and good espresso also comes to mind.

MF- Creamy and thick bodied with just a decadent overall feel. Moderate level of carbonation and smooth. Finishes warm, in a nice way.

Really good balance of a great stout and the barrel used to age it. Reminds me of KBS in ways and a brew I would love to have again.

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Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

Pours black with a thin tan head that maintains a collar throughout the glass. Very little lacing. Aroma has a lot of vanilla, chocolate, some oak and a bit of booze. Taste had more milk chocolate than I remember getting from any other imperial stout. Bourbon is still quite forward in the taste, but blends in well. Taste also has some coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Not much roasted malt in this one. Mouthfeel is full but not overly heavy, with a bit of numbing alcohol on the finish. Overall this is a really tasty bal-aged stout that is neither super roasty or super sweet, which seems to be an accomplishment in and of itself.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad in Carlsbad, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a woody finish. There is 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 very good beer that is quite drinkable but it tastes better than it smells in my opinion.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.55/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at FFF

A - Pours a dark deep brown with a twinge of red near the edges. Small cocoa colored head that sits on top. Looks to have a slightly sticky body

S - Cocoa powder, caramel, vanilla, and oak are picked up in the nose

T - Sweet cocoa intermingles with dark chocolate and salted caramel. There is light vanilla and oak before getting dark fruits - think dates and raisins. The finish is slight bourbon, dark chocolate and dates with a twinge of oak that lingers on the tongue. A wonderfully delicious and complex beer that allows all of its flavors to blend together terrifically. One of the few beers I've had in a while that made me go "Whoa that is good"

MF - Thick, vicious and silky smooth. Has smooth light carbonation that prevents it from becoming cloying. Light oak tinge that lingers on the tongue

O - Overall, a great beer by Pizza Port that I'm happy I got to try. The integration of the barrel aging is absolutely amazing and shows how well a barrel can be put to use. I'm happy I made it over here to try it.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Black with a thin dark brown head.

S: Pretty much all bourbon. Some chocolate hidden in the background.

T: A lot of smooth bourbon upfront. A bit of roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee on the finish. The vanilla from the bourbon really helps this beer out a ton. Nicely done.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Pizza Port
Carlsbad, CA

Nearly black with a small brown head. Looks heavy, thick, and substantial in the glass and as it moves. Not much lacing left on the glass.

A collection of pleasing scents overflow from this beer: bourbon, vanilla, wood, earth, chocolate, and just a touch of roasted coffee beans.

A fantastic dessert stout. This drinks like melted chocolate with added bourbon and vanilla. The bourbon is a touch spicy and full of vanilla, there's a hint of wood, and plenty of bitter chocolate and roasted coffee. A transformed beer. While Night Rider is good, this version is incredible.

Full, thick, luscious mouthfeel. Coats the mouth.

A wonderful surprise. Night Rider isn't one of my favorite imperial stouts, but this aging process has transformed it in to an absolutely stellar offering. Thank you, Pizza Port.

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Photo of gregshead
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad today

A: A finger of dark tan head dissipates slowly

S: Sweet/hot bourbon dominates. Stronger bourbon on the nose than most BBSs. The more I smell is the more some vanilla sneaks in.

T: Strong bourbon up front pushes into vanilla. Sweet vanilla lingers. The dark malt backbone keeps this one from being too hot.

M: Some foamy taste up front from the head that remains. Thick and creamy as well. Some lingering heat on the tongue.

O: One of the top ten bourbon barrel stouts. A really well made bourbon barrel stout I'd recommend anyone try.

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Photo of Kshock
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- jet black with a little off white retention and good lacing. Bright color, like liquid obsidian.

S- awesome chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon in the nose. Loving the aroma.

T- wow, damn. Big flavor on this one. Awesome chocolate notes with great bourbon qualities. Big flavor but complex and awesome.

M- heavy body but dangerously drinkable.

O- one of the best period

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Photo of 1Adam12
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap yesterday at 3 floyds brewery. Dark black. Amazing nose, full of bourbon. Heat from the nose. Taste was an awesome blend of chocolate, coffee, malt, and bourbon. Perfectly balanced bourbon. This beer is a sipper and it got better as it warmed. Very creamy, little carbonation. This was an amazing brew that I really want to get my hands on again.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Oakquinox

A: The beer pours black with a finger of light brown head.

S: Smells of bourbon, a lot of bourbon, and perhaps a little more of the alcohol than the more enjoyable bourbon/wood/vanilla notes. That said, there is some nice vanilla, dark chocolate, and roasted malt.

T: A good sweetness with plenty of chocolate and vanilla. Some coffee and roast in the background, but the bourbon is rather overpowering and makes the beer taste more boozy than I prefer.

M: Medium to full in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: Wasn't terrible, but the regular Night Rider is probably better.

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Photo of MrHirschybar
4.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

13th taster at Port's Barrel Blast

A - Pitch Black with a little mocha colored head

S - Vanilla, Chocolate and Bourbon/Alcohol

T - Bourbon, Chocolate, Vanilla - definitely more pronounced with the alcohol and the vanilla in this

M - Smooth, Fairly more carbonated than some of the other offerings with a more alcohol felt heat to the taste

D - I liked this brew, and near the end of the tasting day, this felt smoother than it should have - I definitely noticed the heat and the vanilla was more noticeable then a few of the other Port offerings - at 11% the heat is there but was hidden enough you would have thought it had less ABV. I was impressed by all of Port's home offerings...

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at barrel blast

A: poured a black as night black in color with a thin brown bubbly head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: a strong boozy aroma pops out with roasty, chocolate, mild maple, and vanilla notes were also present.

T: the taste had more roasty character on the palate and the booze was more hidden. It had chocolate vanilla accents and a touch of maple on the backend.

M: the brew was medium ot full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, bourbon barrel and slight boozy finish.

D: was very drinkable for a barrel aged brew and diid add some complexity to the base beer.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Had this at Pizza Port Ocean Beach with mrkrispy, IIPAbrewer, and Stawn. This was a pleasant surprise.

Near black with a small brown head. Aroma is decadent with strong brown sugar, maple, vanilla, and bourbon notes atop dark chocolate. Almost a bourbon chocolate stout. Flavor is dark chocolate with a blast of maple, some toffee, vanilla, and a healthy dose of brown sugar. Very dessert like, the barrel aging has transformed this. The maple and brown sugar notes are very strong. Malt is moderately roasted with little coffee. Booze presence is moderate, and also adds warming in the finish. Mouthfeel is full and creamy with moderate carbonation. Great beer. The beer has been transfigured, almost unrecognizable, but it's very tasty.

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Night Rider - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Pizza Port Solana Beach
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 86 ratings