Older Viscosity | Port Brewing

2,655 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Older ViscosityOlder Viscosity

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged for 12 months in new bourbon barrels.

Added by SacoDeToro on 12-03-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 753 | Ratings: 2,655
Photo of ccg
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Older Viscosity bottle purchased at Binny's in Chicago in 2015. After that, it sat in my makeshift cellar in Alabama for a year. Opened in Texas in April of 2017. This bottle has been on a long journey with me. For no particular reason, I decided to dome it on a random Saturday night.

It's a thick-looking beer, but what little head it has disappears immediately, leaving a flat-looking stout behind. If I tilt it or swirl it, I can see thick legs, which is not surprising, given its 12% ABV.

The smell is mostly chocolate, oak, bourbon, and booze. Normally, that would be perfect for me, but for some reason, the smell is strong initially but disappears almost immediately.

The flavor also contains chocolate, malt, oak, bourbon, maybe a dark and savory fruit like raisins or figs, and alcohol. The alcohol is warming but borderline burning.

I can feel the alcohol as much as I can taste it. It burns the tongue a bit. Also, the beer feels just as flat as it looks. I'm used to barrel-aged stouts having less carbonation, but this one seems almost lifeless.

I remember drinking this for the first time on tap at the South Loop Binny's in Chicago back in 2015. Even after drinking a couple different vintages of BCBS and a Bourbon Barrel Plead the Fifth (all on tap there... it was a good night), I remember being impressed with Older Viscosity. I still think it's a good, solid bourbon-barrel-aged stout, but drinking it on its own tonight, I feel like it's missing something. I'm glad I got to drink it more than once, but this 12.7oz bottle cost me $18.49. At that price, I probably wouldn't buy it again.

 1,614 characters

Photo of KettleBellFreak
4.94/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Standard looking imperial stout. Pitch black with a red Brown head that provides slight lacing at first but doesn't coat the glass as it warms.

Huge nose of fine, well aged bourbon. Absolutely delectable combination of dark chocolate, nuttiness and a syrupy quality that blends into the oak character.

Taste is absolutely divine. This beer is beyond a treat. Insanely boozy, first sip was like drinking straight bourbon. But upon further inspection chocolate, deep and rich roasted malt flavor, coffee, toffee and maple syrup sweetness. All of these wonderful, delectable flavors arrive in the thickest, most rich, luscious, glorious mouthfeel imaginable.

I literally adore this beer.

 689 characters

Photo of CoreyC
4.66/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Pitch black with a solid tan head.
S - Strong bourbon scent with vanilla.
T - Taste is delicious - vanilla, chocolate, toasted coconut. Very smooth with no burn or bitterness.
M - Nice sticky mouthfeel.
O - Overall this is an excellent BA IS and somewhat different than most of the other high end BA ISs - but very expensive.

 333 characters

Photo of jphipps83
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Color is pitch black, tan head that disappears pretty quickly. Smell is all bourbon, don't get much else from the nose, but figured I was in for a treat. Taste was just OK, really boozy to me, but that's what you expect from a 12%'er. The bourbon is very prominent, but not much heat from it. I didn't catch any notes of anything else. Good taste, just wish there was a bit more substance to it. Mouth feel was moderate thickness.

Overall, a good beer and one I would drink again.

 485 characters

Photo of Reema
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I never rewviewed this? Weird.

Serving type: small cork and cage bottle into a snifter glass. 2014 vintage.

Pours a deep mahogany brown, though it is essentially black. Smell is of intense chocolate, vanilla, and oak. Not as prevalent bourbon and sweetness intermingle throughout the aroma. Taste reflects the smell. Initial vanilla and roast flavors lead into oak and bourbon characteristics that lead into a pleasant dark chocolate and roast the lingers for a while. Superb. The feel is thick and viscous (lives up to the Viscosity in the name). Some lively carbonation is present to not make this beer flat. Overall, this is an excellent beer with great barrel aged characteristics all around. Definitely worth the price and seek it out.

 743 characters

4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had never heard of this one or seen it prior to purchasing a bottle off a clearance rack of craft beers . The label sounded great and the alcohol content secured the purchase :)
Well this brew was so amazingly tasty and right up my alley that I ran back the next day and purchased the rest of the bottles which remained .

This Imperial Stout has it all going for it in so many ways . The look, smell, taste and feel just made me smile .
I'm trying very hard to cellar two bottles for down the road, but it's going to be tough . lol

I highly recommend this one to any stout or porter drinker if you can find it available.

It is currently in my Top 10 favorites :)

 683 characters

Photo of hman43
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: It pours black with a dark brown head.

Smell: It has aromas of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and dark chocolate. The vanilla becomes more prominent as the beer warms.

Taste: There are flavors of bourbon, oak, alcohol, cocoa, dark chocolate, roast, a little bit of burnt, and hints of dark fruit.

Feel: It is full body with a bit of a slick feel to it. There is strong alcohol warming and the finish is slightly hot. It has low carbonation.

Overall this is a strong ale with complex combinations of bourbon, oak, and malts with a slight hop compliment.

 558 characters

Photo of SHODriver
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Vintage

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep and viscous black topped by a finger of dense dark tan head that fades slowly to a small collar around the edge of the glass
S: Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and bourbon barrel influence with some caramel and vanilla
T: Taste is caramel and vanilla with some roasted malts, coffee and chocolate as well as a little oak and charred wood. Swallow is more caramel and vanilla barrel influence with some more roasted malt and coffee.
M: This is a big beer with a full mouthfeel and soft carbonation. The beer has a dry finish from the ABV.
O: This beer is top notch. It has great flavors and complexity and drinks pretty well for the ABV. It isn't the greatest BA stout but it's up there. Definitely one to try if you like BA stouts.

 801 characters

Photo of soupyman10
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black pour, not a hint of a highlight on this opaque sucker. A finger of tan head on top, with a touch of lacing. Nice looking brew. Nose is bourbon (stronger as it warms), roastiness, chocolate, a touch of dried fruit. Flavor is a monster. Huge bourbon, roasted malt, a touch of chocolate, mild prunes. Alcohol heat and spiciness at the back of the mouth, as with the aroma, comes on stronger as the beer warms up. Might want to see how this one is aged - let the alcohol mellow somewhat. Body is fairly thick, somewhat creamy. Probably would have expected something somewhat thicker for an imperial stout. Overall a very nice beer - alcohol is a bit strong, but overall nice, unique, full flavors and aromas.

 717 characters

Photo of Hop_God
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: deep espresso to near black. Decent cloudiness. Smedium khaki to tan head.

S: chocolate. Oak. Booze. Dried cherries. Dark fruit. Candied plum. Brown sugar.

T: dark bitter chocolate. Oak. Bourbon. Hops.

F: a bit watery. Bitter all around. Crisp finish

O: very good. Not wort the $16 price point. Glad I finally tried this one but a bit over rated IMO.

 364 characters

Photo of Jovial_Libations
3.84/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 375ml bottle from the brewery last summer for about $15. Just now drinking it after about a year in the bottle. Pours jet black as advertise with little carbonation.
Smell is slightly sweet and chocolatey with alcohol prevalent. Taste is very malty with some coffee and chocolate. Goes down fairly easy for such high ABV but aftertaste has a bit of a burn. Not as heavy or full flavoured as I thought it would be. More of a roasted malt bomb of stout. Not syrupy like some BB stouts with decent feel and body. Overall a huge disappointment for such a rare, expensive beer.

 590 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black body, light brown head and forms a veneer. Cork & caged mini-bottle is sexy. A few dots of sediment on the bottom of my glass. The nose and taste are a miasma of licorice, whiskey spice, oak, dark chocolate, and molasses. The alcohol makes its presence known on the tongue with a taste of ethanol and a warm finish, but it doesn't get wasted and cause as scene at this party. Great balance between all the big, dark flavors and smells here. Feel is thick, heavy, oily, and creamy, but, especially for the name, it needs to be thicker.
Great double stout, it had body, flavor, and "the look". Perhaps a bit heavy on the alcohol notes. Just need more body!

 660 characters

Photo of Gregaroo
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4-13-16 - Whoa. Sit down. 2014 Taster at the brewery in San Marcos. Dark dark brown with mocha colored head. Chalk board for the current version says "black as night & sludgy, like used motor oil". First time for me, but I'm guessing that this one has aged very well. Great! Get it whenever available.
4-17-16 - Picked up a bottle last week in San Marcos. Enjoying it righ now on the way into Coachella day 3. 2015 vintage bottle. Nice and smooth, just not as boozy as last week's '14. Definitely a sipping beer. Super way to start the afternoon.

 558 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.07/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is a tough one to grade here. On tap, it comes close to a perfect 5. Out of the bottle, it can be as low as a 2 because of the lack of carbonation. But it also can be decent and pour something slightly resembling a thin head.

Either way, its always jet black and thick. The aroma has a less than average bourbon barrel quotient, which also brings the vanilla and char in a lighter way. Good amount of dark fruit and chocolate malt feels. Good at absorbing large amounts of alcohol, earthiness.

 517 characters

Photo of jason3125
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The smell is of oak, bourbon, and bit of bakers chocolate. The taste is bakers chocolate and bourbon mellowed out with some mild sweetness. The mouthfeel starts off thick and quickly turns to a coca cola type of feel. Not a pleasant finish. Overall a solid beer that did not stand out as anything special.

 305 characters

Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage (what the hell was this doing in my basement this whole time?)

L - Dark as night with no head at all. Good alcohol legs. Looks like flat coke sitting in the glass.

S - After almost five years, the bourbon is still insanely huge. Following after is lots of oak, black licorice, tobacco, dark chocolate, and some coffee grounds. Really damn nice.

T - Everything from the aroma is here, but subdued - almost as if it is on Quaaludes. Bitter dark chocolate and sticky bourbon up front with trace amounts of the coffee and oak had very little presence. Again, it's all here, just dialed down a few notches.

F - Actually a little thin for a massive 12% BA stout. Some moments of alcohol warmth, but no real sting. A sipper for sure.

O - A great BA stout. Maybe a fresher vintage will yield more pop on the taste, so I may have to re-visit in the future.

 865 characters

Photo of woemad
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz corked and caged bottle given to me three or four weeks ago as a gift by Anthony, an outstanding bartender at Jones Radiator, a wise beer man and all around great guy. I’ve had the “standard” Old Viscosity, but it was some time ago.

Poured into an Iron Goat snifter, this was the color of Donald Trump’s heart, and about as sludgy as the substance implied by the name of this beer. Big, mocha colored head initially, and while it retreated in relatively short order, a nice foamy collar hung around for a while.

Big, bourbony and woodsy aroma to this. There are also aromas of chocolate and cocoa. The chocolaty aromas managed to impersonate rich dark chocolate and milk chocolate, but it’s not a cloying sweetness.

Wow. The taste is both redolent with bourbon flavor and yet surprisingly free of boozy heat. Initially, it drinks surprisingly easy for something that’s 12% alcohol. Such qualities creep up as it warms, yet it never seems alcoholically “hot.” The sweet-bitter combination coming from the bourbon barrel aging leads the charge, with the chocolaty sweetness implied in the aroma pushed more to the background. Interestingly, I also get the tannins of a robust red wine, kicking in around the midway point. It doesn’t seem to end on as sharp a hoppy note as some beers of the style, but that may simply be because this beer has so many other qualities that grab that palate’s attention.

Full bodied, with a luscious mouthfeel. This beer could teach a clinic on mouthfeel for the style.

I can’t imagine having more than one of these in a session, but it’s a fantastic beer to consume after dinner. I just hope I’m able to pack up for going out of town tomorrow with this in my system. I may just stretch out on the coach and doze off before the basketball game I was going to watch even starts.

 1,844 characters

Photo of Ikeithbot
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll skip right to the overall. This beer is really good, really well hidden alcohol heavy bourbon. Better than bcbs. True sticky bourbony goodness.

 150 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Inky black. Head settles out shortly. Thin rings of lacing.

S: Lots of barrel on the nose. Very woody and bourbon forward. Thick, chewy caramel. Multi-dimensional chocolatey tones. Dark chocolate, fudge, double chocolate cake. Moacha. Salted caramel. Dark stonefruits far in the back.

T: Bourbon flavor comes out big time, but the heat of it is very restrained. Lots of corny and sweet bourbon. Very woody. Vanillins bring a marshmallowy taste. Chewy caramel and nougat. Char. Roasty malt flavors lie under all of this. Roasty, chocolate cake, dark chocolate. Alcohols are very apparent but somehow not hot at all. Plum and black currant. Fading chocolatey finish.

M: Rich and thick in the mouth. Creamy, round, and slick. coating and chewy. Gentle prickling carbonation. Deeply warming.

O: This liquid spent a good while in a bourbon barrel, and it sure does show. It's actually quite imbalanced, as the barrel tramples all over everything, even despite the size of the beer. It so happens I don't mind that, but you will REALLY need to like bourbon to appreciate this. What I will say is that for how bourbon-forward it is, it has surprisingly little bite or heat coming from the alcohol.

 1,235 characters

Photo of PDXAmbassador
3.59/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a glass from my cupboard.
Pours black, opaque, not looking very viscous, but over-carbonation results in long-lasting bubbly head.
Aromas of booze, dark malts, slightly metallic.
Taste is a bit harsh, sharp alcohol burn, bit of roast and spiciness. Not sure of the bottle date but tastes like it needs some more time in the bottle. A bit over-carbed for the style, which increases the harshness.
For a beer titled as such, it's not very thick.
Overall, a boozy, burning whiskey bomb of the beer, neither complex nor rich enough for my taste, and not worth nearly the $16 they charge for it. Would take many $5 alternatives before ever trying this one again. I don't understand the high ratings.

 727 characters

Photo of -Rick
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an almost black color, with a slight tan head. Smells like roasty malts, and a slight whiskey nose to it. The taste has nice barrel character to it, some hints of chocolate, malty. Not much carbonation to this beer,and you do feel the alcohol on this one. Overall, a great beer. Might be nice to try one that has been in the bottle longer. 2015 bottle. $15.99

 374 characters

Photo of Trevor11
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I consumed this following a bottle of Avery Tweak so my palate may be a bit off but this stout is much different. The head was decent after a fairly aggressive pour but quickly dissipated. I'm not sure why it is corked. It has an extremely bubbly carbonation so much so that it almost tastes like rochefort 8 or St. Bernardus Abt 12 or even Ayinger Celebrator. Definitely not what I expected. Still good though

 410 characters

Photo of Flounder57
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1500th review I poured the vintage 2011 12.7 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: A minimal head was poured that reduced to nothing quickly. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything.

Smell: Vanilla, bourbon, char, molasses, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, roasted, and toasted.

Taste: The bourbon barrel flavor blends all above flavors nicely. Super smooth with a warm booze finish.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, warm bourbon and boozy alcohol, delicious, tasty, medium bodied, and low carbonation.

Overall: There is really not much to say. This beer is the bomb. Will revisit this one again in the future too.

 635 characters

Photo of SMZBrew
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter.
L: No head. Thick, dark, and black as promised!
S: Nutmeg, chocolate, vanilla, and definitely bourbon.
T: Lots of bourbon, roasted chocolate, vanilla, and some spice. There is some good sweetness there as well.
F: Full body, thick, not much carbonation in the bottle I had
O: One of the few beers that definitely lives up to the hype!

 363 characters

Photo of neurobot01
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage into a Teku at cellar temp.

Look: thick dark brown, though not as thick or as dark as you might expect. Lighter brown head that sticks around.

Smell: chocolate, raisins, something bright and vaguely medicinal or almost gamey somehow.

Taste: very clear bourbon—not overwhelming, just unmistakeable. Yirgacheffe, dark chocolate, overripe dates/figs. Lots of bright fruity character, offset by dark roasty notes.

Feel: thinner than expected, without being too thin. Good (low) carbonation level, a bit dry on the tongue but finishes fairly juicy.

Overall: I first had this several years ago before I was really a beer drinker, and thought it tasted absolutely vile, to the point it went down the drain. This time, I liked it quite a bit. Not something I'd drink often, but the fruity characteristics are interesting and enjoyable. Didn't have a chance to try it fresh, but based on the heat level and overall blend of flavors, I'd guess the time helped this.

 975 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Older Viscosity from Port Brewing
4.32 out of 5 based on 2,655 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.