Old Viscosity
Port Brewing

Old ViscosityOld Viscosity
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #842
Ranked #2,110
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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 896 | Ratings: 1,999
Reviews by Tommo:
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

 176 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of soulgrowl
2.64/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Viscous indeed - but not that viscous. Cola black with ruby highlights and a fleeting, malted milk-colored head.

Smell: Weird, gluey, paint-like resin; vanilla, honey, brown sugar, and pancakes. This does not smell how it looks, which is to say that it doesn't smell very strong or good. Something about it reminds me of cinnamon rolls.

Taste: Hmm... rather vacuous and boring. Not much going on here except cheap bourbon, cola, dark chocolate, rum-soaked raisins, and sugary bock-like malts. Not bad, I guess, but not good.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick, creamy, and not too syrupy.

Drinkability: I don't really get this beer. It's imbalanced - too sweet, and the barrel aging comes through in a bizarrely woody way. It isn't bad - at the very least, it's interesting - but it isn't a beer I'd be too excited to try again.

 834 characters

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine April 2007.

"Not your dad's wimpy 30 weight!" shouts the label, with an illustration of a man lying underneath a vintage truck, pulling pints of motor oil from the engine. Yikes!

As suggested on the label, this is one hell of an opaque beer--like, scary opaque. "Motor-oil black" would be a good description; topped with a rich, coffee-colored lacing. Surprisingly soft in the aroma, but full of chocolate, cake, Ovaltine, roasted grains, figs and ripe, dark, forest fruits. Whoa, this is one intensely rich and robust beer--nearly heart-stopping. Mouthfeel is huge and viscous at first, not as full-bodied as we expected. The carbonation is uplifting, tingly, and creates some fluffiness on the palate. Malt flavors are all over the place: dense chocolate cake, blackstrap molasses, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, black treacle syrup, slightly acrid coffee and a nice dollop of rounding toffee. Hints of spicy hops dance around a barely noticeable alcohol presence--though it does get a bit solvent-like after a while. Figs; some vanilla; date-like sugars. A cutting, raisiny edge highlights the beer's acrid notes and pulls through as the beer warms. Finish is very dry, powdery, and leaves you thirsting for another sip, with a big, residual, roasted astringency.

And yes, this is a sipping beer. The 10 percent is well hidden in the dark chaos, so watch your ass with this one. We have no idea what this beer is--motor oil? A Russian Imperial Stout? They call it a Strong Ale, so it's best just to agree and enjoy. Pairing could be futile. Just drop it into a snifter and share with friends.

 1,635 characters

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

I can't believe this is the first time I have had this beer.Pours a jet black except for just a hint of chocolate brown when held to the light,a large fluffy deep beige head atop.Smells like sweet alcohol and dark fruit over top of chocolate and roast.The roast plays a much bigger role on the palate,roasted and charred with caramel and alcohol dipped dark fruit on the palte,I have to say the alcohol lingers.This is an old school favorite and Iam glad to finally try it,it kicks ass.

 486 characters

Photo of JasonA
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a pitch dark mobil oil with little mocha head. Some lacing, but not a lot with the amount of head. Cant see much of anything through this, looks more like a Stout, RIS.

Smell malt and alcohol. Roasted malts, this should be yummy.

Taste kicks me in the ass. Little sweet prolly due to ABV, but very malty, and full. Want to drink more, know I cant have many of these.

Mouthfeel is a little syrupy. Carbonation is good, maybe a little mess.

Drinkability is excellent. I want lots of these. Give me more. Reminds me of my favorite Great Divide Yeti, but thickness isnt the same. More sweet. Overall, excellent.

 625 characters

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

Bottle received as a gift about 5 months ago... not sure how old it actually is.

A - Pours black, decently thick, finger thick tan head

S - Lots of roasted malts, licorice, chocolate, and some booze. Not much barrel to speak of.

T - Big roasted malts up front, followed by a chocolatey sweetness. Some licorice and dark fruits as well. Finishes with a slight hop bitterness. Pretty good stuff.

M - Moderately viscous, carbonation level is on point (bravo Port!).

O - My score says straight 4s... this is a good, but not great beer. I thoroughly enjoyed the bomber and had little trouble polishing it off over an hour or so. I would have this again, but it's not quite up there with the big boys. Maybe thats why they make Older Vis.

 737 characters

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

Poured into a red wine glass after a pretty rough day of work. This was a very pleasant surprise.

Like others have said before me, it pours almost black, but actually it is very dark brown. The pour is slightly viscous and forms a thin layer of light brown head...much like the light brown M&Ms (remember those?). A swirl yields thick fast-dripping legs as well as big rings and thick streaks of foam as it stirs up ample carbonation from the depths of the dark liquid.

The aroma brings on a veritable bouquet of deliciousness. A strong dark fruit presence of dates and figs mix with some cocoa powder, alcohol warmth, toffee, and caramel. Great notes of vanilla and oak round out the nose. The taste follows suit closely, adding only warm roasty flavors and emphasizing the oak. The alcohol is a bit too evident here, but as this is a bottle from 2009, it could probably use a bit of time to mature and mellow.

The beer is very nicely carbonated with a creamy finish. This was really enjoyable and I would definitely seek it out again. Another very solid offering from Tomme Arthur.

 1,086 characters

Photo of RunDWP
3.01/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Notes on the bottle make various comparisons to this brew to motor oil. They need to be a little careful here, because I was indeed making comparisons of this brew to motor oil, but for all the wrong reasons.

Things started well, as I poured this into my tulip glass and a nice, chunky tan head arose above the jet black color of the liquid. The aroma was a little musty, a little roasted malt.

Hard to to describe the taste. Lot's of roasted malt here, and a strong coffee flavor, but coffee that's been sitting in the pot too long, not really good strong espresso coffee. Couldn't really taste the bourbon, but could sure taste the alcohol. Maybe a little raisin? Lot's a roasted bitterness, but not much to balance it.

Well yes, there is some heft to the mouth feel, but I didn't find it highly viscous. Basically what I would expect from a beer of this type.

It was hard to choke this one down with all the strong flavors, alcohol presence, and lack of balance. Frankly, I'd just assume have a decent lager than deal with all the unbalanced and out of control flavors here.

Port Brewing has blown me away with some of their beers, but I'm afraid this isn't one of them.

 1,178 characters

Photo of touchmeimsac
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of kspongeworthy
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Googs
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Eazy28
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of FUF77
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of trep
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle thanks to IntriqKen

Pours a dark black with virtually no head. What bubbles did form are vanilla colored. Only light penetrating is at the edges when held to the light. Looks like black coffee. Wow, incredible aroma. Notes of Granny Smith apples, tobacco, bourbon, and rich leather. All manly smells, all work incredibly well here.

Taste is roasted malt with a touch of bourbon and vanilla. So smooth, so complex. Very creamy mouthfeel. Rich, warming, and delicious. A lil alcohol at the end lets you know that you're probably getting drunk.

Medium-full bodied with light carbonation. Very viscous, as expected. Super creamy. To be honest this is pretty drinkable. You wouldn't think so with all of the strong flavors but i'm glad I have a whole bomber of this to myself.

 793 characters

Photo of irishkyle21
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and dark, very black. A good amount of light brown head. Some lacing as it drops.

So much going on as I smell, boozy, chocolate, some roasted malts. Not much for hops but there do come in and out.

Tastes of chocolate, toasty malts, good hits of alcohol and some hoppiness. Great mouthfeel chewy.

 309 characters

Photo of dukedevil0
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this bomber from Binny's Lakeview in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours a DARK black. No light getting through. Khaki colored head, but not much of it and lots of lacing on the glass from the head that is there.

S: Coffee, Chocolate, and Roast with some alcohol being picked up too.

T: Just like the smell...coffee, chocolate, and roast...and boy is it tasty! Very slight bite from the alcohol/possibly from the bourbon barrel aging, but it's well balanced.

M: Lower carbonation and thus the brew has some creaminess.

D: I'd say very drinkable for a beer of this type. I could drink this a lot on a cold night until I either got full or passed out!

Reminds me of Founder's Breakfast Stout....might have to try them both side by side to see which I prefer. But this a beer that I wouldn't mind having one around...

 816 characters

Photo of GehenHerzog
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of SnatchyMcPants
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of jgluck
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Sergeh
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As promised, this stuff glugs out black as oil, oily as oil. Head is thin, but nice and toasted-marshmallow brown while it lasts. And the label? One of the best ever.

Aroma is dark fruits, carob, molasses, milk chocolate, marshmallow, a trace of alcohol--and not overbearing on the bourbon, fortunately. As it warms a woody smell comes out stronger, which it obviously should since this is a barrel-aged bad boy.

Flavor brings a burnt flavor into the mix, with everything detected in the aroma sliding across the tongue at one point or another. Some graham cracker; more bitter dark chocolate sweetness than the milder milk chocolate detected in the nose; and a remarkable escalation of the bourbon/wood than the smell hinted at. Although I'm not a fanatic of barrel-aged beers, this has plenty of depth beyond just the barrel and the bourbon, especially in its more stout-like characteristics. There's even some steamed milk coming into the flavor with warming. Alcohol warmth is at a perfect level, adding to the experience but never overrunning it. It's simply wonderful with every sip.

Texture is a balance between oily, buttery creaminess and the prickly energy of carbonation. Not near as thick as expected--not as under-carbonated either. Nevertheless, it feels very nice. You want authentic oil-like mouthfeel, try Bell's Expedition Stout. But I've never actually had Quaker State or Pennzoil in my mouth. My bad.

This is incredibly close to a stout, by far the most stout-like of any American Strong Ale I've ever had. But that's a nebulous category anyway. No matter what you call it, it's delicious. Even beer freaks like me who don't faint at the mere mention of "bourbon barrel-aged" should not avoid it. There's most definitely something here for everybody (except for people who simply don't appreciate great beer). I think I'll keep this bottle just for that awesome label...

 1,897 characters

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first Pizza Port offering and a great start I must say. As the label says, pours black as oil with some mahogany highlights around the edges and a tan head. Smell is of dark chocolate, caramel, toasted grains, and dark fruit. Parts of it almost reminded me of chocolate covered cherries. Tastes is amazing as well. Dark chocolate, caramel, fruit, burnt grain and some alcohol. Mouthfeel I would say is medium but bordering on heavy. Doesnt really leave too thick of a taste in your mouth though. Overall a great beer, I have to knock it a little on drinkability as after glass #1 you will start to feel it!

 609 characters

Photo of jlb502
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of ShemRahBoo
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1999 ratings