Old Viscosity
Port Brewing

Old ViscosityOld Viscosity
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #796
Ranked #2,049
4.16 | pDev: 8.89%
Port Brewing
California, United States
Old ViscosityOld Viscosity
Notes: This is definitely not your Dad’s 30 weight!

An enormously rich and satisfying beer, Old Viscosity begins with a malty nose with caramel and chocolate overtones. An incredibly rich beer with substantial malty notes, Old Viscosity finishes with a dry, sweet Dark Chocolate bitterness.

HopsGerman Magnum

Original Gravity1.091

AvailabilityYear Round
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Reviews: 896 | Ratings: 1,998
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bitter and creamy. Chocolate and coffee. Roasty and a touch of vanilla. These are some of the qualities that make good stouts, and these are all qualities for this one. Very good, what a stout should be, but not quite at the level of Fremont Dark Star to hold my interest over the long haul.

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Photo of beergoot
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black and opaque body; thick, dense, and creamy light tan head. Huge roasted and charred grain aroma; suggestions of dark chocolate. Big cocoa and roasted grain flavor; chocolate sweetness offset with medium-strength hop bitterness. Heavy body; thick and velvety; some grain husk astringency; fine blend of chocolate sweetness and dark grain and alcohol dryness.

This beer exudes stout goodness at all levels. It is very rich and satisfying with a robust character and complex and well-balanced depth. Awesome...coats the palate with thick and satisfying goodness throughout the tasting experience.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Can into pint glass. Pours a very dark brown with a coarse light tan head. Initial impression is thick milk chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, and oak. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy-smooth; carbonation is just enough to showcase the flavors. Alcohol is well hidden. Finish is more coffee, dark chocolate, oak and a slight lingering bitterness. This would not be something that you would open more than one of, but the one you open will prove thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with nice tan foamy head and abundant lacing that remain thru entire beer.
N: Lots of coffee, dark chocolate, malt, barley and minor vanilla.
T: Follows the nose, thick creamy coffee goodness with dark chocolate bitterness, some light malt and vanilla.
M: Thick, creamy and easy to drink.
O: Loved it, very drinkable, loads of flavor, and very well balanced.

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Photo of RacerX5k
3.47/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Of course, for old times sake I had to try the newly released 19.2 can. But back in the day this was questionable quality at $6 per bomber. Not much has changed except it's more expensive now.

Looks ok. Smells and taste big chocolate, roasted, hoppy, full flavored beer I question the categorization now of Imperial Stout as this used to be Strong Ale, wasn't it? My issue with this beer and it has always been that it becomes increasingly annoying as you go. Would be much better marketed in 12 oz 4 paks at a reasonable price.

Bottom line, one and done. Port Brewing needs to step up their game, and this used to be one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of BarrelchesterHamfist
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautifully carbonated blend of fresh and barrel aged black ale that nicely coats the glass.
The subtly sweet vanilla almond scent of the barrel melds with the initial taste of dried figs to balance out a drying finish of oak, cacao, and bitter hops.
Ive had it fresh and a couple years old, excellent staying power... the beer jumps off the line a bright barleywine-ish dark ale and matures into a smooth Imperial Stout with some time - Win/win.
CAUTION to those that disparage cellaring, welcome to your gateway beer.

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Photo of toddplatek
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Call me Stupid for not having bought a few cases of Old Viscosity. Port Brewing does just about all their ales right, but Ol' Vis was incredible. Bring it back, boys/girls!!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/7/14. Paid $6.99 at Island Grocery. Label says they won't claim what kind of beer it is, and label it as a dark ale.

Dark chocolate-coffee bean pour with a sudsy tan to red head. Head retention is good.

Aromas of caramel, dark fruit, molasses, licorice, and some oak barrel.

Flavor is much more bitter than expected, very hoppy, but yields a nice espresso roast character with some molasses, horehound, alcohol heat, oatmeal, tin, and barrel. I think the hoppiness and the tin gets in the way of the other flavors which could have imparted a much sweeter, more molasses-focused old ale style.

Feel is creamy and smooth, with a proper carbonation level, heavy bodied, and has a hot finish.

Overall, the beer has held up well over the last 3 years, but the taste profile leaves a bit to be desired. My first Port beer, but probably not my last. From what I hear these guys can really brew some outstanding brewskis.

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Photo of Tony210
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

** Purchased in 2015 **
Pours very, very dark, quite thick with a foamy head that hangs around a while. Lots of burnt malts on the nose, bittersweet chocolate, some espresso. Thick, creamy, chewy, lots of bittersweet chocolate at first, burnt sugar, big roasted malts, bitter espresso finish. Perfect carbonation makes the beer feel bigger and fuller - excellent! Overall this is a nice imperial stout, the barrel doesn't come through until you swallow it and feel the tannins in the back of your tongue. Glad I tried it!

Bomber, no date, purchased in 2015
4 rating

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Photo of monkist
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is simply crazy. An awesome imperial stout? porter? strong ale?
Amazingly heavy, amazingly intense in flavor, with a complex, full body. Most admit that I don't really like porters nor stouts but this one is something special. Something coffe-y, something roasted, aged in oak barrels... wow. This is good ole' viscosity, like the picture shows, old engine oil drained into a glass... "not your dad's 30 weight!"
This is a real heavyweight champion!

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

$ 13.57 (Including shipping)/bomber ($ 0.617/oz) from Blackwell’s, San Francisco, CA.
Undated bomber at 42 degrees. Served at 57 to 61 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – caramel and a hint of chocolate. Fades to nothing.
Head – Enormous! Maximum of eight cm, aggressive pour. Light brown, high density foam, creamy with a few rocks, average retention. Diminishing to a wide irregular creamy ring varying from five to fifteen mm and a heaped creamy partial layer with rocks.
Lacing – good. Thick wide partial rings of mostly tiny to small bubbles.
Body – dark brown to black, opaque.
Flavor – begins with a slight malt bitterness and a caramel and chocolate taste with definite overtones of alcohol as it warms in my mouth. Gastric burn quickly follows. Neither hops nor diacetyl are tasted. Oak barrels, you say? I’m not detecting any vanillin or tannin either.
Palate – full, creamy, lively carbonation.

A good imperial stout, just not detection any barreliness. At $ 7/bomber (Prior to shipping costs), this is a bargain.

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.25.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1 PINT 6 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with an inch of mocha head.

I get aromas of chocolate and roasted malt.

The taste has chocolate and coffee with some oak. The finish is somewhat dry and woody.

Full mouthfeel and medium carbonation

This is a very nice stout. I like the dimension that the oak adds to it. I can definitely tell it has been in an oak barrel. I was a little worried that I hung on to the bottle too long. I think it aged well and would not hesitate to buy another bottle.

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Photo of Reema
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Serving type: 22 oz bomber into a snifter

Pours a deep crimson brown, essentially black. Smell is of heavy roasted malt, espresso, slight vanilla, and darker chocolate. Taste reflects the smell perfectly. Initial dark chocolate and heavy coffee like roastiness lead into a slight vanilla taste with a lingering roasty bitterness. Feel is thick and the end of the drink is slightly grainy feeling, very pleasant. Overall this is a fantastic stout that is is easily found.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.89/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Sovereign in Washington, DC. Poured into a large chalice. I received the last pour from the keg, so only half a glass but free.

Almost a chocolate milkshake but not. Now one of my favorite beers. 5

A - Pours black with a frothy tan head. 4.75

S - Aromas of dark chocolate and bread so yummy that it's almost like I am sampling a cookie. 5

T - Roasty but not burnt, some bitterness in the finish, dark chocolate, small vinous quality and a little bit of oxidation like an old ale. 4.75

MF - Great mouth fell smooth but with a frothy lightness that gives only a med heavy body. A bit of viscosity! Semi dry finish. 5

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.51/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a nice thick tan head. Good retention and lacing. Nose is a bit of toasted oak and malt. Palate is toasted malts, and a bit of oak. Not very much going on. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and over carbonated in my opinion.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours jet black with a thick head. looks a bomb ass stout.

smells like coffee and chocolate. has a nice mellow booze to it.

taste hits sweet then boozy/sweet. good oak aged beer. smooth flavor to this as well. finishes with a slight booze burn.

overall this is pretty good, has smoothness and slight alcohol burn to it.

honestly thought this was an old ale aged in oak. not that i'm complaining i just thought this was a different kind of beer.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got on trade! 650ml bottle served at 8deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a 1" head that lasts for a few minutes before film out. Very dark brown colour

S- Nice malt and sugar. Good chocolate and some heat.

T- Chocolate and malt. Some bittering hops but not much. Burnt at the end. Ok but just not that roasted malt this way fan of 2 row.

M- Dry and tart. Not that creamy going down.

O- Not a bad brew. Pretty average but believe would be a good base on a bourbon barrel aged stout.

Food Pairing

This not too bad brew went well with..... Marxhmellows and chocolate with hot crispy wafers of the graham type!!


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Photo of Tommo
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

based on older viscosity, i thought id like this. Was mediocre at best. I felt the beer was overly bitter, not carrying enough body, and too hoppy. mildly acrid if that is fair

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A good, complex tasting imperial stout but lacked the barrel aged character that I was hoping for with something that is in fact barrel aged. One positive I will say is that with a decent amount of roastiness, I think this one could age very well.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Looks excellent, truly like used motor oil just as much as any other beer, full on inch of head on the top, tan. Aroma was lots of chocolate malt, roastiness, vanilla, coffee malt smells in that order.

Hides the alcohol, chocolate malt just chews and chews the hell out of it, makes this so smooth and drinkable. Some earthy tobacco and thick consistency make this a great cigar beer as well.

One of the best non barrel aged imperial stouts out there.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 in a goblet

L: Jet black with a small tan head disipatting quickly to a collar
S: Dark fruit, roasted malt, alcohol,
T: Roasted malt, coffee, nice bitterness, dry
F: Full bodied, great carb,
O: A great stout, very drinkable considering the viscosity

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Super dark with a tan head that left a spot or two of lacing. Smells like oak, booze and chocolate. The taste is bitter burnt coffee, chocolate, oak and booze. Really solid stout.

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

A - motor oil, as you would expect
S - nice brunt malts
T - coffee, chocolate and slightly bitter
M - thick
O - solid stout, not too complex, may be a good one to age, especially at the very reasonable price point

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Photo of BadBrett
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Over all really impressed with the price point and quality of this beer.

A: Really dark, couldn't see through it under light.

S: chocolate, with a hint of coffee.

T: Subtle malted coffee notes with a smooth finish, not hot at all.

F: Mild and a tad creamy with just the right amount of carbonation.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with 2 fingers of a fluffy light caramel colored head.

Aroma is a combination of roasted malt, coffee, and dark fruit.

Taste is rather carbonated and light. Big roasted malt. Extremely toasted/roasty flavors. A big oak present for sure! Easy drinking, rather simple but good stout. Rather creamy mouthfeel. It has an earthiness, almost mushroom like; pretty faint, but it underlines the roasted notes. The heavily roasted malt, almost burnt coffee taste creates a bit of a bitterness near the finish.

Overall, this is a solid, easy going stout. I see it pairing well with chicken mole. It gets a 83.5/100.

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Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1998 ratings