Old Viscosity | Port Brewing

883 Reviews
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 drewbage on 08-11-2004

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Reviews: 883 | Ratings: 1,972
Photo of OGShotzy
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber into a Spiegelau stout glass. Bottled Jan 9, 2015. Appearance is dark dark brown with a fluffy khaki, maybe even stone colored head. 1.5" at least. A ton of sticky lacing as it goes down. Smell is pretty subdued, but notes of caramel and maybe some licorice come in. The taste is what really kicks this brew up a notch. It's barrel-aged, but there's not any real heat from the barrel. Lots of caramel, toffee, malt and sweetness. No booze at all. Excellent BA imperial stout here.

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Photo of pat61
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours deep ebony under a persistent, clingy 3” tan foam collar.
S: Faint chocolate nose, some sherry and roast, some sweet vanilla
T: Intense dark malts, coffee, chocolate with an espresso astringency and hop bitterness in the background and a hint of cinnamon.
F: Very creamy, smooth and chewy. Has a nitro beer texture without washing out the roast and bitterness.
O: A big beer that hides its alcohol well. Deceptively easy to drink.

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Photo of Beerswag
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Exceptional in all areas. Looks like oil, smells like choco, vanilla, almond, roasted malt, a little coffee. Taste is vanilla, coffee, roasted malt, and a very smooth finish eith almost no sting. Mouthfeel is creamy and not too much chew. Pair with XO hard cheeses, beef stew, or with desserts containing vanilla/chocolate/coffee.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lovely pour, lovely head, but after that less impressive.
Lots of char on nose and also the taste is char' roast, a hint of vanilla, but all a little muted. Tingle on mouthfeel is not good. Really, where is the BA element in this?
More imperials stout than RIS for sure, and maybe less impressive for that to this palate.
Solid, not exceptional.

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Photo of billyblazes
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite from Port Brewing. Yes, I like a thick, bold flavor..........and this has that. Sadly, living on the East Coast makes it near impossible to get any Port Brewing products. I am still trying.

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Photo of Benish
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: pitch black in color. Very insanely thick brown head; just as I was pouring, the head nearly floated over the glass. Retained for quite sometime before dissipating.

Smell: subtle hints of whiskey. Dark sweetened cocoa with raisins and vanilla.

Taste: Very sweet from start to finish. Finishes with a bit of char and heat.
Picked up some tart cherries, dark sweetened chocolate and some oak at the finish.

Mouthfeel: creamy and full-bodied. Yep, I needed a knife and fork.

Overall: just a little bit out of balance, overly sweet. The sweetness could be toned down a bit. Regardless, it’s an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.95/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber gently poured into my snifter glass yielded a tremendous amount of khaki/tan colored frothy foam. Not much in the way of lacing for this viscous black colored stout but the foam settles across the top beautifully. Getting some roast, caramel, molasses, and maybe a vanilla/bourbon scent in the aroma. Old Viscosity is actually, for me, quite flavorful and complex. Getting some chocolate, coffee, toffee, vanilla, caramel, molasses, and roasted malts. I must say this is one of the most carbonated imperial stouts I've ever encountered and the "fluff" from it is coating the palate quite wonderfully. The velvet softness of the carbonation is intoxicating just like the well hidden alcohol. Overall, I had high expectations for this Port Brewing offering and they did not disappoint!

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Photo of dmgeng
4.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had seen this before but hadn't gotten a try so I decided to just trade for one to get it sooner than later.

A - Dark black that pours quite thick with dark brown rocky head and fluffy lacing.

S - Tons of of sweet malt smell with roasted, chocolate, caramel, and some toffee notes radiating out. Has some of the vanilla, oak, and woody character that you would expect and is really a perfect accompaniment. No discernible hops or alcohol.

T - The first sip you are overwhelmed with tremendous flavor having tons of complex flavors. I taste sweet malt on the front, then the rich cocoa, roast, caramel in the middle, and then the vanilla and oak kick in on the backside. After the first couple of sips the beer becomes even more complex with the more subtle flavors playing off of the bold stout flavors.

M - HUGE mouth-feel with full carbonation. Though it is thick and sticky the carbonation allows the flavors to come alive on the palate. If you don't like the full feeling then this is probably not for you. The finish is perfect with a little bit of everything and leaving you wanting more.

Overall, this is one very delicious beer. I haven't had just an "oak" aged stout and I really enjoyed how it complements the stout instead of making the barrel first and foremost. With the gentle vanilla and more complex char flavor I know that I'm not going to overlook this one again. I strongly recommend this oaked imperial stout.

Glass- Imperial Nonic

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Photo of Vlaminck
4.69/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark with great tan head and good lacing that sticks to glass, Smell is a little to alcoholic with hints of bourbon. Taste is great, chocolate, molasses, wood, mildly sweet yet dry with a god balance to the hop addition. Overall im not a huge stout fan but I would definitely drink this one again given the desire for a stout.
Side note: This would be a great beer to make beer batter fish and chips with.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

February 16, 2015

22 oz bottle, snifter

A – Black, only somewhat oily/viscous despite the name, an inch of deep chocolate brown bubbly head, with moderate retention, a thin layer remaining on top basically in perpetuity.

S – Baking chocolate and a massive shot of vanilla, sweet molasses, toffee, and brown sugar. Alcohol warmth, boozy quality, is prominent but in balance with the other strong aromas. Very little hop aroma, though some bitterness is noticeable on the nose.

T – Chocolate, roasty coffee/bitterness, vanilla lower here than in the aroma. Toffee and molasses also present but lower than in the aroma. The bitterness from the hops really makes itself known here, balancing out the strong malt and barrel flavors. A bit of fruity alcohol/ethyl notes, very low and complementary, not harsh.

M – Despite high sweetness, this really leans toward hop bitterness. Medium-full body with medium carbonation, and finishes moderately dry.

O – The aroma of this beer alone is exceptional, irresistible. The hop bitterness actually seems a bit out of balance, masking some very nice flavors from the malt and barrel. Still, an outstanding imperial stout.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

We pour this brew from a bomber into our three quarter sized tasting snifters. It pours out a thick black bean coloring, and two to three fingers worth of a yellowed, manila head. This retains forever, leaving soft but thick sheets of honeycomb lacing. Mild haze is noted on flashlight examination, but no sediment is found. Carbonation appears to be active. Aroma includes burnt caramel and chocolate maltiness, iced espresso, sugary sweet cocoa powder, roasted filler barley, coiny metallics, syrupy toffee sugars, molasses, gentle nectary hop fruitiness, fig and dried plums, red wine vinegar acidity, browned apple sweetness, wheat pizza dough, vinyl plastics, bourbon vanilla woodiness, and a woody, peaty scotch booziness. Wow, the sip kind of takes you by surprise!! It is so surprisingly bitter, and intense, but in the best way imaginable. From the front of the sip you get some of the biggest roasted chocolate and coffee malts we’ve ever had, padded by easier grain of caramel and more standard black malts. Filling the remainder of the taste buds is a blend of black coffee, sweeter hints of the creamiest vanilla latte, bitterly raw cacao nibs, chalky yeastiness, heavy vanilla woodiness, stomach acidity, motor oil smokiness, singed tobacco paper and leafiness, dirty coconut husk, hazelnut sugars, continued booziness of peaty scotch whiskey, mossy and moldy oak, soured lemon rind and pith, concrete and mineral, red raisin meatiness, nori, and raw honeycomb. The body is fully full, and the carbonation is medium, but foams up readily on a swirl around the mouth. Each sip gives incredible slurp, smack, cream, froth, and crisp pop. This leaves the mouth initially coated, but this gives way to the most intense chalky, powdery, astringent dryness in recent memory. The abv is appropriate at 10%, but the thing drinks like it’s nonalcoholic. Stunning.

Overall, this is honestly one of the best dark beers we’ve ever had. At first, you’re a bit surprised at the aroma. It is, no doubt, dark and brooding, but there isn’t much strength or punch to make you think anything incredible is hiding in the flavoring. The sip absolutely obliterates this notion. The level of roast is beyond most anything we can conjure up, leaving the drinker with this fiery, lingering bitterness of said grain. Mixing in are swirls of smoke, taking things to the next level and beyond. Through all of this the finish is incredibly smooth. We certainly agree with the label that they don’t make ‘em much like this anymore. The oak doesn’t do too much, but it doesn’t really need to. For whatever reason we’ve sat on this bottle in our cellar for a while now, and only recently found time to give it the proper time it deserves. We’re so glad we did, and have already put our feelers out for a replacement bottle, or five, to be consumed immediately.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle was poured into a large snifter.

Appearance: A two finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Smokey, caramel, toffee, toasted, roasted, molasses, chocolate, and warm alcohol.

Taste: Like most AIS beers as this beer got better with time. Nicely blended and some ashy bitterness in the rear. Very tasty brew to enjoy during another snowstorm here in Boston.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, ashy bitterness, nice warm alcohol, medium carbonation, and quite the sipper. Very enjoyable.

Overall: This beer reminds me of that old snowblower we have all been using in Boston these past few weeks. It stands the test of time and gets better with age. Well, at this beer gets better with age. Enjoyable now and enjoyable years from now.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with 3 fingers of caramel-colored head that dissolved away into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic! Lots of roasted malt, imparting notes of coffee, dark chocolate, dark molasses, brown sugar, some oatmeal, vanilla, a touch of licorice and smoke, and a little oak.

Taste: Delicious! Strong flavors of roasted malt, some coffee, dark chocolate, dark molasses, brown sugar, some oatmeal, vanilla, a touch of licorice and a touch of well-balanced hops at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as hell, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10%, there is a slight presence of a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: Wow! What a fantastic stout! Awesomely delicious, with some seriously strong flavors of roasted malt, some coffee, dark chocolate, dark molasses, brown sugar, some oatmeal, vanilla, a touch of licorice and a touch of well-balanced hops at the finish. Stout fans will LOVE this!

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Photo of dcmchew
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

Pours oil-like black with a huge light brown head, really dense and quite long-lasting, sticking to the sides also, really messy. Great look. Later on just some floating spots remain.
Chocolate and vanilla pretty obvious on the nose, faint citrus peel and licorice, mild roasted malts, caramel, faint coffee. Woody notes feel a bit weird, with a medicinal alcohol note attached to them. Hmm.
Not the usual trip through an Imperial Stout this one. Alcohol and complex fruit in the front, not just raisin and plum, but also a zesty citrus note and a generic fruitiness that gives off apple brandy, maybe schnapps, maybe even sherry. All atop some bitter dark chocolate, with the hops showing some teeth even this early. Roast follows with a bit of caramel sweetness, a bit burnt, grainy, almost doughy. Something like brownies baked with extra(!) cocoa powder. Some black pepper dropped in there too, plus some stave from the aging. Finishes roastier, boozier, with a bit of leafy hop, some coffee and a bitterness that's a bit more than mild.
Even with tiny sips, there's an almost mouth-numbing alcoholic feel that in one way helps the brew, in another way it makes it harder to drink. Light to medium body, prickly carbonation, a bit viscous, so named appropiately. Aftertaste is fruity, with some roast, hoppy and, yes, boozy.
It's kinda a new style on its own, a "sticky strong dark ale", tasty, but needs to be handled with care. The 0.65l seems a bit too much to handle for just one person, unlike others with the same abv, but i'll manage.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a nice solid black color, almost no brown even along the edges. a huge foamy brown head. pretty strong retention and a strong lacing. dark and completely opaque. small brown viscosity left behind but not quite what the name suggests.

Smell: brown sugar and a molasses to maple syrup. chocolate and some roastiness. slight burnt malts. dark fruit.

Taste: opens up with some syrup to molasses. chocolate and roasted malts come in. just slight burnt quality to it and a little bit of associated bitterness. dark fruits come through towards the end with some dark almost metallic qualities.

Mouthfeel: chewy and heavy. leaves a pretty nice coating on your mouth. some light bitterness to it.

Overall: a very nice imperial stout. nice balance between sweet syrupy adjuncts and a good strong and bitter burnt quality. certainly something I will go for again and something I may check out with some age on.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle with a bottled on date of 10/23/13 (so almost exactly 1 year old); into a pint glass.
Appearance - pours like black gold! Sits black in the glass, but against the light, a hint of brown appears at the bottom of the glass. A thick, foamy, hot chocolate shade head forms on the pour, but recedes fairly quickly to a thin layer. Lacing is outstanding!
Smell - brownie mix, mocha and hints of roasted coffee.
Taste - whoa, right cross; full of robust flavors from the first sip! Espresso, dark chocolate, bourbon, and some raisin!
Feel - full body and the 10% ABV is masked very well! Very complex flavors from the bitterness of dark chocolate, the robust espresso, a hint of sweetness from the booze and what I suspect is raisin.
Overall - incredibly tasty brew, certainly worth the purchase! I'll have again!

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Photo of scotorum
4.64/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

According to my records this is the oldest thing in my beer fridge at the moment, having been purchased in mid-September 2013. Thus aged for a year.

Poured from the 22 oz. bomberr into a Samuel Smith English tulip pint.

a: Opaque black with a huge two inch tall beige head which receded slowly to rocky surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Black coffee, dark chocolate and dark malt.

t; Smoooth dark chocolate and black coffee. Hops bite balanced by the smooth, hefty malt base. Slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat. Dry finish but eventually some lingering bitterness builds.

m; Medium to full and oatmeal stoutlike smooth, sort of like a high octane Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout with some of their Imperial Stout mixed in..

o: An excellent Imperial stout, one of the best I've had. Lots of flavor, silky yet substantial mouthfeel. Highly sippable. Of course it is difficult to say how aging affected this, but other than possibly muting the Imperial hop aspect, surely it did no harm.

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Photo of jellikit
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Appearance: pitch black. Light brown, thin head. Thin lacing.
Smell: prunes, molasses and oak.
Taste: chocolate covered figs with a tobacco and whiskey finish. Alcohol is masked by malts and wood.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. More so than most beers of this style. Big body. Surprisingly dry.
Overall: great barrel aged imperial stout. Different, but tasty. Will buy again.

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Photo of johlac66
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nasty black color with a thick tan head that stayed in the engine block, as it were, for a long time, settling to a cap and leaving dots of lacing.
Dark chocolate fruit on the nose. Hint of roast.
Mostly chocolate caramel flavor.
Somewhat full bodied. Lower carbonation. Slight bittersweet chocolate finish.
The brewer calls this a "Black Barleywine" or "Dark Strong Ale". It is what it is. It is delicious!

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Pours black/very dark brown with a large tan head.
Nose shows cocoa, toasty malt, figs and nutty malt.
Flavours include more roast, sweet burnt toast, some pine and resin.
Too highly carbonated.

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Photo of TheMarkE
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: About the color of used 10w30, with a thick tan head of foam that sticks to the glass like glue.

Smell: Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts.

Taste: Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, hints of dark fruit.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, chewy, and creamy.

The Verdict: Delicious. An imperial stout full of rich dark malt flavor, goes down very smooth despite the high ABV.

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Photo of maltlab
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Pours black as night with dark brown head. Notes of dark bitter chocolate, burnt brown sugar, and dark coffee. A very satisfying, full-bodied stout. Could not pick up any oak, but the stout was fantastic anyways.

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Photo of reyna311
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Euology comes through!!

Jet black with a dark tan bubbles
Smells like it should - chocolate and a slight hint of liquorice
Thick mouthfeel
Alcohol and chocolate on the palate
Solid stout..been meaning to try this for a long time.

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Photo of McStagger
4/5  rDev -3.4%

A: Pours fairly black, massive, massive head.

S: Stout notes of coffee, roastiness, etc. Certain strange Belgian type sweetness.

T: Belgian fruitiness in the mouth as well. Also has dark, roasty notes.

M: Fairly big bodied, but not monstrous. Carbonation is moderate, which offers support to the body.

O: Good, but not incredible. UCLABrewN84 put it right...this one is not quite a stout. It has too much Belgian influence to label it a straight up RIS.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%

Picked this up quite a few months back, having never had this before. I don't normally drink beers like this during the warmer months but I had off this week and finally wanted to give it a go. While not a bad beer, this was too burnt and weak when it came to the alcohol. Stouts tend to be a pretty competitive category and this one fell just a bit short compared to the ones I've had that I truly enjoyed from start to finish.

The pour was pretty much what I expected - dark, thick, but not quite "motor oil" because this wasn't black and there wasn't any "sludge" left in the bottle once I poured this out. The head was quite frothy and I had to let it settle before I could get my first sip in. Mostly burnt coffee in the nose, which was also the predominant flavor when I finally got this up to my lips. Brown sugar, molasses, cocoa nibs, and espresso all mixed in well here with a good amount of carbonation and nice lacing on the back side of my pint glass. This almost had the feel of a Coffee Porter as the booze and licorice that I was hoping for were nowhere to be found.

Maybe this was more like a Smoked Porter? Regardless of the stylistic leanings of this beer, the booze was recessed enough that it wasn't that part to polish off this bomber. With a name like "Old Viscosity", I was hoping that this would be jet black and trigger my olfactory senses from across the room. While not quite on the level, this was a sold Stout that nearly anyone could enjoy, especially with some biscotti or coffee cake. A bit thicker and bolder and this could have been something really special.

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Old Viscosity from Port Brewing
4.14 out of 5 based on 1,972 ratings.
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