Old Viscosity | Port Brewing

Old ViscosityOld Viscosity
Liked This Beer
4.15 w/ 1,982 ratings
Old ViscosityOld Viscosity

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
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 DrewBeechum on 08-11-2004

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,982 |  Reviews: 885
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick dark XXX with coffee and chocolate aroma. Taste with my eyes closed is certainly imperial stout. Smooth and drinkable but I am getting stout first and foremost.

A large bottle found at a well-stocked grocery store called Minute Shop in Solana Beach that I have tried to add, to heads up other BAs.

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Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a HUGE 3 inch khaki head that fades to a small cap. The head is thick and craggy and leaves sticky globs of foam on the drink down. Smells of roasted dark malts, dark fruits, raisins, plums. Taste is same as the smell with nice roasty malt, dark fruits, and citrus zest hops. Mild bitterness in the mouth after each sip. Good level of carbonation with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. This is a very tasty beer, but I question the stout categorization. To me it seems like a mix of a stout and Belgian strong dark ale. Either way, it's very good.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Old Viscosity ON TAP at STONE BREWERY; Black color with a dark short tan head and lovely in appearance-very inviting.

A sweet assertive and most appealing rich sugared coffee nose-smells like a piece of fresh dark chocolate/coffee candy;

Huge dark bitter chocolate flavor with a creamy chocolate mouth and loads of underlying sweet coffee flavors. A big creamy and wonderful drinking stout.

Bigger, creamier, thicker, sweeter and, candidly, more appealing on tap than from the bottle. Nice! I had this with spicy wild boar ribs at Stone's cafe, but this would drink well with most spicy and big meat or game dishes. Also would do well as a nice accompaniment to drink with dessert.

A nice drink with which to simply relax and sip away after dinner or with a cigar.

This stout, ON TAP, can give any of the "big player, prestigious stouts" a run for their money.

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Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Knapp85
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice beer black color with a tan head on top. The retention is pretty decent but not much lacing. The smell of the beer is oaky, roasted and semi-sweet. The taste of the beer has a subtle tart flavor from the oak. There is a balance sweet chocolate with roasted bitterness. The mouthfeel of the beer is pretty thick, it's a bit oily with a sharp carbonation to it. Overall this beer is pretty good all around. Worth having.

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Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high dark beige head that died down a bit but left a thin head that mostly covered the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark and roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a light to moderate amount of bitterness. Hints of oak are also noticeable and linger through the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness from the oak barrel aging and roasted malts.
O: This beer isn't too difficult to drink considering its strength because for the most part the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not one to favor acrid roast or the texture of ash in a stout, Port Brewing devises a smoother, sweeter and more succulent taste. With a total seduction of the palate, Old Viscosity drinks with the sensibility of a big Porter or strong Scotish Ale. Aah, burnt barley never tasted so good!

But with no identity crisis to its appearance the beer pours with darkest of dark brown before falling undeniably black. Absolute opaqueness ensues as the Stout absorbs all light. Its creamy topping of foam is dense and lush as it swirls on top of the beer like espresso creme. As far as lacing is concerned, the Stout favors brandy-type legging over clinging Belgian lace.

Sweet and savory to the nose, the scents of dark chocolate, bold-roast coffee, walnuts, singed molasses, port wine, sherry wine, and a hint of sweet teriyaki join to create a melange in the nose that's somewhat meaty, hearty and oh-so succulently sweet.

And as the taste aligns on the tongue, its equal parts molasses, espresso, and bittersweet chocolate. Keeping the heavy roast and toast in check, the sweetness carries its taste to introduce the robust and almost salty and savory aged sherry, port and worcestershire sauce. The combination seduces the taste buds as complexities of port, brandy, figs, dates, and even walnut and vanilla provide new twists and turns with every sip.

One sip explains why the Stout takes on a namesake of motor oil- it coaxes the mouth with a lush and velvety texture that seeps into the soft tissues with melding creaminess. Despite its tepid carbonation, the beer is still creamy, weighted and velvety. Its malty-sweet finish makes it well suited, not as a complement to dessert, but as a replacement for dessert instead.

Its warm closure is wrapped in a cocoon of malt sweetness just as the mind starts to think cookies n' cream. That vinous and fortified wine-like undertow is the perfect complement to its big sweetness and balanced char. Its an ideal stout when the sweet tooth needs dire satisfaction.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, found in the awkwardly named 'Bier Haus' section of the local Yoke's in Ponderay, Idaho.

This beer pours a pretty solid black hole, with very subtle red cola basal edges when thrust into the light, and a teeming tower of puffy, frothy, and chunky light brown head, which leaves some decently thorough, random sudsy Mercator Projection lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells of roasted, sort of sweet bready caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, cigar ash, dry black licorice, rather faint hints of musty whiskey barrel staves, a small earthy bitterness, and a lack of any sort of alcohol astringency. The taste is toasty and now fairly sweet caramel malt, bready toffee, chalky cocoa powder, those Scandinavian anise suckers, a twinge of cafe-au-lait, very understated whiskey barrel notes - maybe some vanilla, maybe some grainy woodiness - a growing earthy, weedy, and mildly citrusy hop bitterness, and the suggestion of a mention of an echo of booze warming.

The bubbles are nice and soft in their lilting frothiness, the body a sort of wavering medium weight, and generally smooth, both the outside looking in bitter and boozy essences not really in play here, but you'd be forgiven for thinking so. It finishes well off-dry, the toasted cocoa/toffee/coffee thing lingering on and on.

Old Viscosity has been made for over a decade, obviously, and seems to take pride in not self-defining what it actually is (hey, that's what we're here for, isn't it?). A few things: firsties, using the 'Old <insert cool noun here>' nomenclature implies a barleywine brew, but this is certainly not that. Secondly, I agree with the overall BA consensus - this is indeed an Imperial Stout, and a good one at that - just don't go in expecting much of the proclaimed oak barrel to show its face - another good thing.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonic pint glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are pretty high.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger head of lovely cream lacing, appealing tan colour, great thickness, and fantastic retention (especially considering the high ABV). Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Oak, must, caramel, nuts, yeast, and cream. Some chocolate. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Extraordinarily oaky, with all the notes from the nose in a pretty well done balance. The caramel is a bit overdone. All around, the build is admittedly strange - especially for the style. It is a bit simple.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit coarse. Rather thick, but not horribly so - at least not as much as the label and title would want us to believe. I certainly wouldn't refer to it as viscous, and I'm glad that it isn't.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the ABV, but not unique or special. I enjoy it. I'd like to try it on nitro-draught, or aged.


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Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black body with a frothy head of tan foam, spotty bits of lace dot the glass. Little upside-down "W" bird shapes lace the edges. It demonstrates nice head retention, never breaking the surface layer. Cocoa and trace alcohol in the aroma when inhaling deeper.

Rich, bittersweet bakers chocolate flavor, with a mild hoppiness that lingers well into the dry aftertaste. Some charred malt character blends with the layered hop flavors, giving a good deal of complexity to the taste. Very smooth and creamy body, but slightly thin for being a higher abv stout. Easy drinking, nice west coast hop twist makes it unique...Thanks for sharing Jay!

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Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours an espresso black color with a sturdy head that retains nicely and leaves a web of lacing on the glass

Smell: Dark chocolate, oak, rum-soaked dark fruit

Taste: Starts with a roasty, oaky, fruit cake-influenced chocolate flavor that is incredibly intense; by mid-palate, the hoppy bitterness adds complexity and, after the swallow, the chocolate builds in sweet/bitter intensity, portending an entrance to molasses and charcoal flavors that join the fruit cake elements in the finish

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous, with moderate to low carbonation and a bit of heat as the beer warms

Drinkability: One luscious brew, closer to a RIS than a Strong Ale in my book, but I'll not argue with the brewer

Thanks, Boolshot, for the opportunity

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Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of zeff80
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a thick, oily, black color with a small, brown head of foam. It left some sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel malt, coffee, cocoa and some subtle bourbon notes.

T - Great taste of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and sweet caramel. Some nice bitterness and sweetness create great balance.

M - It was soft and smooth. A heavy bodied brew that is definitely a sipper.

D - This is a great tasting ale. I loved the coffee and cocoa flavors.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a black color ale with a off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter roasted malt with some citrus hops is intriguing. Taste is dominated by some medium roasted malt mix with some bitter hops as well as some oak and maybe light bourbon and vanilla notes. Very interesting and complex beer with a full body and no alcohol was discernable.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of largadeer
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Dark, muddy brown; very nearly black. Pours like oil with no head other than a few wispy bubbles floating around on top.

Smell - Chocolate syrup, molasses, hints of oak and vanilla with plenty of noticeable alcohol.

Taste - Molasses, cocoa, toffee, vanilla - sweet at first, and then a permeating bitterness hits the palate. The finish combines intensely bitter roasted barley mixed with a massive herbal hop kick and an astringent alcohol flavor. Much complexity, though it's really a bit over the top; I could never drink an entire bottle of this.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and minimally carbonated. Syrupy on the palate - this is seriously thick stuff.

Notes - Beer for masochists. Sure, there are stronger beers out there, but very few of them have the ability to wreck the palate like Old Viscosity. The Bottle of The Abyss I had yesterday was downright mild compared to this.

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Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 91.9% out of 100 with 1,982 ratings
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