Older Viscosity | Port Brewing

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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:
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Reviews: 750 | Ratings: 2,644
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into my trusty Duvel glass, pours a dark black, slight tinge of brown, a brown head that eases into a thin film, but is readily brought back to a full crown with a few swirls. Lacing in arches, spots, and trails, some drifting, some sticking. In all, lovely.

Fully, deep aroma, lots of chocolates and sweet molasses, licorice, vanilla and some oak, nice bourbon notes, some dark fruits, all melodious.

The taste is just... scrumtrulescent. Lots of bourbon but not in the least bit overpowering, balanced perfectly. Sweet caramels, molasses, and dark fruit here too, vanilla, all working together. Not much carbonation, fully bodied, a smooth, rich brew, definitely one for savoring. But after a while, the lack of carbonation gives it a dull feeling.

In all, I'm very pleased to see this beer live up to the hype. Wish it would've stuck with me all the way though, but I really can't complain, it was delicious.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pennzoil black and equally glossy. Absolutely no highlights are visible, not even with bright sunshine behind the glass. The upper half of the snifter is occupied by a wonderful looking crown of brown sugar colored foam that is surprisingly hearty given the ABV and the barrel aging. What a tremendous looking beer.

I'm confused about whether Older Viscosity is a true Imperial stout or not. Port says that *Old* Viscosity isn't brewed to any specific style and that it blurs the boundaries between porter, stout, old ale and barleywine. Twenty percent of that beer is aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels prior to bottling. That 20% is 100% *Older* Viscosity, if that makes any sense.

Having said that, OV certainly smells like a bourbon barrel-aged double stout. It also smells incredible! I love the fact that both base beer and bourbon are easily appreciated. There's an explosive amount of dark chocolate, caramelized sugar and vanilla, with very little oakiness. I also get a fair amount of oily coconut.

Simply put, Port Older Viscosity is beautiful beer. If you like Imperial stouts and bourbon like I do, you'll be gobsmacked as well. It seems like every craft brewery under the sun is releasing a bourbon barrel-aged stout. However, only a handful are doing them this well. I'd expect nothing less from the incomparable Tomme Arthur.

Actually, Russian Imperial stout is the most reasonable style, but this delicious ale doesn't taste *exactly* like an RIS. There are definitely some old ale or even English barleywine leanings. The flavor profile is astoundingly complex: dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, dark brown sugar, black raspberries, vanilla beans and coconut shavings. Older is also vinous in a way that is reminiscent of tawny port. Whew!

The mouthfeel is the only (minor) letdown, but that's only because a beer with a name like this should be more... viscous. It fills out nicely as room temperature approaches, so all is not lost. Besides, carbonation is spot-on. Part of the lack of chewiness might be that this bottle is from the release prior to the latest one. Which probably makes it a 2007 vintage.

Although it didn't start out that way in the top half of the (much too small) bottle, I'm now tempted to grant the ultimate taste score to Older Viscosity. It's an outstanding, expertly crafted ale that is a near perfect combination of stout, old ale and bourbon. Thanks to Talisker for sending me yet another world-class beer.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$30 for a bottle at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia. I sprung for this and split it with some guy I met from Oklahoma at the back bar at Monk's (who was interested in learning about good beer).

Poured into a flute style glass. Black with very little head.

I was a couple of beers into my evening by this point and it's hard to describe what an impact this spectacular beer had on me.

The perfect complex bourbon aroma could be enjoyed and appreciated for quite some time.

Even more impressive is the full body and complexity of flavor. My notes got very sloppy at this point and it really boils down to a beer that is hard to describe beyond the bourbon notes yet incredibly easy to enjoy. Thick and viscous with an amazing bourbon balance to the imperial stout.

This ranks, to date, as the best mouthfeel of any beer I've had.

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Photo of treyrab
3.97/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I decided to bring out this one after a what felt like forever sitting in my cellar. Split it with jac5084 and poured it into two snifters.

A: I was very surprised at how thin this poured. From the bottle I was expecting this to look like maple syrup mixed with sludge as it came out. On the contrary, it poured like a light porter and looked thin. This yielded no head, but a few small dark khaki bubbles surfaced.

S: The smell is superb. Tons of bourbon soaked raisins, bourbon dipped plums, straight Kentucky Mash, slight burnt coffee and sweet vanilla. The bourbon is definitely the predominant factor in the smell, but the fruit flavors make a great appearance.

T: At the onset, the taste is rather light. The bourbon is heavy, but not overpowering like Bourbon County. The bourbon soaked fruits show very heavily, and with all the bourbon, the coffee and roast try to make an appearance but cannot quite get in there.

M,D: For a big RIS, the mouthfeel was very thin. I was expecting a thick RIS and that was not the case.

Overall, I am glad I got to try this gem. I enjoyed it very much, but I think I may have been hoping for more. Great nonetheless.

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Photo of hellbilly
3.43/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

bottle cracked at the bockyhorseys by rustychiles...

pours very dark brown nearly black with porter-like ruby brown at the edges and no head whatsoever.

lots of bourbon-y sweetness in the nose along with molasses, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla/oak and something menthol/minty/sinus numbing near the end of the sniff... perhaps hops? probably alcohol? either way it is odd.

the palate, as i feared, is far too sweet... flavors of molasses, bourbon and it's spice, brown sugar, malt powder, roasted coffee, chocolate and vanilla with a dry, bitter and nearly ashy finish. full bodied from the sheer volume of residual sugar. thick syrupy and rather brutish mouth feel.

there's a perfectly fine beer hiding in there under that sweetened blanket...8/5/5/3/15/3.6

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Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 375ml bottle from Toronado a while back - this was after drinking one on the premises - and decided to indulge again (and write a review). The description on the bottle really tells it all - it looks like 10W 30 from an old truck. Opened with a pop and after a vigorous pour there is about a half inch of tan head, which dissipates to the edges. No light getting through this at all.

The smell is great - a wonderfully balanced mix of fresh brownies, chocolate, french vanilla, cappuccino all coated in a smooth bourbon aroma. The taste follows but is a bit light and almost too smooth for me. Don't get me wrong - it's delicious but I would like for it to be a bit bolder. There is a great chocolate milk aftertaste that could easily make this a guzzler. Quite carbonated which allows it to dance on your tongue and give it a lighter mouth feel than expected. Can also taste similarities with other LA beers in terms of undertone flavors.

Overall this is a fantastic beer and if it wasn't so expensive it might be my daily nightcap. Definitely one that the Lost Abbey has perfected and I hope continues to produce.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pitch black, off white head, sudsy lacing.

S - Lots of roasted malt and cocoa.

T - Big, big flavors compacted into a sip. Cocoa and deep roasted malt just overcome.

M - So creamy, incredible balance. The sweet and bitter neutralize well.

D - It's such a big beer. You can't really have too much of it.

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Photo of abfraser
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black as night, super viscous with a smallish beige head. A good looking beer but not exceptional.

S: Divine. Bourbon notes hit the hardest but not overwhelming. Wonderful aromas of chocolate, coffee, vanilla wood, roasted malts. Beer geek perfume.

T/M: Lots of bourbon, almost a little overpowering, but it stays in check. Tastes are predominantly as the smell: an awesome chocolate, vanilla milkshake. A little heat from the alcohol. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. Very rich and intense. Awesome stuff.

D: A sipper for sure. When slightly chilled, it hides its alcohol well. But becomes progressively more noticeable as it warms up. If too warm, it's a bit too harsh.

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Photo of drnknmnky
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - wicked dark brown almost no head, but strong color that stuck with the beer until the end.

S - umm BOURBON! molasses , raisins, dark ripe fruit

TM - Bourbon, alcohol, molasseses. sweet beginning nice warming alcohol. finishes with a nice roasted barley bitter, and hints of bitter chocolate. Viscous, carbonation low

D - A sipper, and a slow one at that. nice to have in a snifter and sit by the fire with in your smoking jacket.

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Photo of bbothen
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tackled solo on a random Sunday afternoon while waiting for my big piece of pork to finish in the smoker. What the hell. Apple chucks if you're wondering.

Pours pitch ink cant see a thing black. What I think will be small tan bubbly head quickly dissolves into tiny bubbles around the glass. Looks ominous & fantastic. Not for the entry level beer lover here.

Big bourbon whiskey aroma right off the bat, booze, nice fruity aroma of fig, date, raisin, wood. Nice & also somewhat subdued.

Has a bitter chocolate/coffee taste, more of the dark fruit noticed in the nose, THICK, oaky, bourbon boozy warmth, faint vanilla, nice sugary sweetness. This is a big boy & really complex.

Thick, low carbonation, syrupy, big & full bodied, smooth, velvety, lingering warm booziness.

A meal of a beer right here. Wonder what the calorie count is? Who cares is the answer I think. The cost was a little steep, but this was an enjoyable & unique experience. Would gladly have again.

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Photo of Damian
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12.7 ounce cork and caged bottle
2008 vintage
Served in a snifter

Acquired in a trade with mikesgroove

The beer poured a medium black color with dark brown edges. Seeing as this beer is called "Older Viscosity," I was expecting it to pour thick like motor oil. Instead, it looked a bit thin and light for the style. No head was present but merely a flimsy tan layer of bubbly froth that faded to a persistent ring. Drips of lacing trickled down the glass with each sip.

The aroma was outrageously bourbony yet smooth and mellow. Sweet, rich, malty and boozy with strong notes of brown sugar and oak. Suggestions of dark stone fruits (cherries and prunes) also came through strong.

The taste was super rich, dark and bourbony. Oaky and a bit boozy. Very complex overall. Malty and roasty up front with strong indications of brown sugar. Coffee-like and a touch smoky. Some oxidative notes came through as well. The finish was very espresso-like, roasty, bitter and boozy. Quite dry and somewhat tannic. Subtle oxidative notes were again noticeable. As the beer warmed, the booziness in the finish intensified.

The mouthfeel was creamy and frothy yet relatively thin for the style.

At 12% ABV, this beer was quite drinkable. The oak-aging (and the additional year of cellaring) likely mellowed it out a lot.

Viscosity aside (no pun intended), Older Viscosity is a terrific beer. It does not quite fall into the upper echelon of imperial stouts, but it comes close.

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

Small corked bottle, provided by errantnight, I think.

Poured into a snifter, this beer is quite dark, with little highlight, and an average tan head with good retention and lacing.
Aroma is nice, but not great, chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, coffee. Dark fruits also play a role.
Although still not viscous, it is thicker than Old Viscosity, smooth on the palate, playing notes of fruits, chocolate, vanilla and oak, a bit on the sweeter side, balanced more by bourbon notes than bitterness.
This is not a great beer, but it is very good, and significantly better than the Old Viscosity, with a more noticeable aroma, better integrated flavors, thicker on the palate although still thinner than I would have liked.

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

Bottle from Monk's Cafe, in Philadephia.

A- Pours dark black with a thick brown head that laces the glass fairly well. It certainly looks like engine oil...
S- Fruits. Very fruity for an Imperial Stout. Tons of raisins and currant/fig fruits.
T- The aroma directly translates to the taste. Overpoweringly fruity, with a strong emphasis on raisins. Some currants and figs come through, not a lot of roast and chocolate in this one. Definately some oak on this.
M- Medium to heavy body, with the appropriate mothfeel. Not as heavy as I would have expected, which is quite nice, actually.
D- Not bad. Not bad at all. I don't get all the comparisons to BCS because this is MUCH beter and MUCH more drinkable than Bourbon County Stout. The alcohol is certainly in the foreground but this is one tasty sipping Imperial Stout. If I had second I'd be floored...

Overall, a well done Imperial (Russian?) Stout, but slightly over-hyped. Granted, I wouldn't pass this up in a heartbeat, but it's not worth the $25 I paid for this, and wouldn't go for a second shot at it at that price range.

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

Very dark brown body with a slight, but persistent light khaki head. Lots of bourbon on the nose. Sweetish dark fruits, vanilla, molasses, and oak blend together nicely. Yum. Taste follows nose: lots of bourbon, but it's not overwhelming. Molasses, chocolate, sweet figs, vanilla, oak, and even coffee all dance together nicely in this heady concoction! Big and bold and warming. Full-bodied (good viscosity) and smooth. Reminds me of GI BCS in all the good ways. Wow.

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Photo of schroederm
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In a chalice, 50F:

What really struck me about Older Viscosity was the overwhelming sense of umami. It took me a while, but I eventually got chicken bouillon out of it. This may sound unappealing, but it really worked. It seriously added to the taste.

Other than that, the nose and taste was full of bourbon and molasses. Truly wonderful.

Solid carbonation, beautiful brown color with strong ruby shining through.

Overall: Older viscosity is a very unique beer, absolutely worth at try if you can find it. Not to be confused with Old Viscosity, which is an entirely different experience.

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Photo of alovesupreme
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Extremely dark brown in color with a great red that penetrates the glass. A great ring of head that hung around the edge of the glass for the entire beer.

Very strong bourbon. Lots of molasseses, Raisons, and as schroederm pointed out, boyon cubes.

Molasseses, Bourbon, alcohol, so many flavors I cannot place. The finish is excellent with coffee and a hint of chocolate.

Great syrupy mouthfeel that has a good viscosity to it.

A great beer, very rare but worth trying.

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Photo of kasper
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2007 12.7oz caged and corked bottle compliments of swnicholson

A: Pours a viscous dark, dark brown. Slight creamy head, chocolaty in color, leaving dotted lacing patterns as it fizzes away.

S: Awesome smell. Aromas of chocolate, smokey malts, hints of creamy vanilla and bourbon and a bit of fresh tire rubber. Faint hints of dark fruits in the background, and also a bit of a meaty component.

T: Finally a balanced and smooth bourbon aged brew on par with BCS but with its own distinct character. Flavors of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, with a kick of alcohol on the finish.

M: Thick and sticky. I compare this to BCS because you can, and in this case Older V comes out the winner. A tad lighter, but smoother thanks in part to the year of age on this one, but also the slightly lower ABV.

D: World class barrel-aged stout. To be sought. Very expensive, however, at like $20 per 12.7oz bottle. Lots of balance here. Exciting brew. Very sippable.

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Photo of kajerm
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Russian River-looking 375 mL champagne bottle at Monk's. When the waitress opens it up, I'm half-expecting Supplication to come out.

What comes out is most definitely not Supplication. "40-weight" is a pretty accurate description, it's thick and black with some brown bubbles that vaguely suggest a head.

The aroma is barrel first, beer second-- huge vanilla, bourbon, and molasses dominate, with coffee and dark chocolate in the background. Flavor is similar, opening up sweet, with coffee mid-palate fading into a big swell of vanilla, wood, and molasses. Alcohol is perceptible, but considering the ABV and the style, it's fairly well-balanced-- but drinkable it ain't.

Craft is evident in the fact that this beer doesn't taste like the original beer with oak in it the way some other beers do (I'm looking at you, Oaked Arrogant Bastard), but really does taste like an entirely different beer. Some of the malt bitterness and excess sweetness have dropped out and the flavor profile is more complex and much better for it. That said, there are no real surprises in this beer.

Overall, an excellent barrel-aged stout and a good example of a beer that is elevated (rather than dominated) by the barrel.

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Photo of joepais
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to goryshkewych for this one.
Bottle poured into my snifter produced a small amount of tan head that went to a ring of lace around the glass. The body was a pitch black color, and you can't see any light thru this one.

Aromas' of roasted malts, bourbon, Hints of vanilla and wood this has a great nose. There is a nice sweetness in the aromas that really help this brew along.

This is a real warmer, when you start sipping this big I mean Big bourbon flavor comes at you . You get the wood and vanilla and the alcohol warmth that just permeate your whole mouth. There is also a nice sweetness from the malts that follow at the end of your sip. The mouthfeel is heavy and almost no carbonation in it at all.

A good sipper the bottle size was good for me. It was good to the last drop. I was glad I tried it but don't think I will search it out again because of the price. I will say this RIS is the best of the barrel aged I have tried; you really get the barrel taste to stand out

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Photo of 100floods
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this brew a year ago, bought it again this past august. Tonight felt right.... After all, the melvins are coming to town.

Poured into my caracole tulip glass. Minimal head, slight golden lacing gives way to a dark black elixir with some chocolate and even fruit aromas. Both are blended and give a nice sweet alcohol aroma, there's the barrel talking.

It's nice to taste the stout part of a barrel aged RIS. I've have a few brews recently that taste pretty much like the barrel it was aged in and hardly the beer. Could it be that a RIS is too harsh for some and making the bourbon or brandy attribute shine make it easier to drink? Perhaps. This is beer is big, but it's not hard to down. Definitely hints of roasted malt hiding between the fruiter flavors, which show up after letting the brew sit for a minute or two.

The smell I think is a bit better than the taste, but not enough to mention more. This beer is always a treat, especially because I can't find it in stores here often. I got another one to age and see what happens.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got my hands on a bottle of this and, Holy Sh*t its good. Pours an opaque dark brown, nearly black. Very viscous, with a 1 cm tall tan head. Dense, low-lying aroma of molasses, leather, bourbon, chocolate, cream, and toasted oatmeal. I will attempt to describe the taste, but I know I will not do it justice. Creamy bitter dark chocolate, with an earthy toasted caramel malt. Notes of vanilla, molasses, tobacco, burnt coffee, and oak. The bourbon comes through near the back and in the finish. It rounds the flavors out perfectly without turning the beer into a boilermaker. Worth every penny of the $20 I paid for it.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a jet black color, and as thick as motor oil. It fits the name. It boasts a thin brown head. the head fades slowly, leaving a massive lacing.

This beer smells of Bourbon. Not overwhelmingly though. It also has a mild coffee aroma. Some dark fruit and chocolate mix in as well. It also has a sweet malty aroma. Bourbon dominates though.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. Boubron upfront, with some coffee. Figs and chocolate follow. Sweet caramel flavors are also present.

This beer is very full bodied. It leaves a malty sweet aftertaste. the alcohol warms a little on the way down.

This beer might not be the best session beer. It is very aggressive, and high in alcohol.

Overall: I had this beer on tap at the Bistro in Hayward. It was left over from the Barrel Aged Beer fest a few weeks ago. I am glad that it was still around. This beer was great. Definately a sipper though.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to emerge077 for the bottle.

Pours black with very little tan head and a nice ring of lacing.

Scent of oak, bourbon, dark fruits, vanilla, molasses, and enough malts and an alcohol kick to keep it all together. This is a big scent with some great oak character, just a fabulous representation of a strong barrel aged beer.

Taste is heavy on oak and chocolate, roasted malts and coffee come in and tone the sweetness down, some molasses and vanilla are noticeable in the taste as well. Finishes somewhat dry with a great oak flavor and roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is incredibly full and smooth, lovely.

I must get this beer again, it is just an incredible example of how barrel aging can compliment a suiting beer.

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Photo of hero27
4.84/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle
12% abv

"bring" hooked me up with this great brew, thanks again man!

Pours..well...motor oil black actually.. fitting.
consumed @ room temp..
Gigantic aroma of roasted malts and unrestrained bourbon..vanilla, oak, and dark chocolate are overwhelming to the senses and carry over into the flavor..beyond complex..the rich, swirling flavors penetrate each sip, and the alcohol warmth slips in perfectly. The generous display of toffee-laden malt & raisin mixed with....what the?....god damn, this is gone already?!...apparently that was my last sip.
I request a bigger bottle...or more of this stuff.. at once.

an expensive brew for sure, but a truly magnificent beer..a treat for any beer lover, and one of my new favorites.

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Photo of gford217
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375mL bottle courtesy of jw347 poured into a snifter.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles in the glass as pitch black with a small tan head. It recedes to a ring quickly leaving spotty lacing.

The nose is massive and smells like the inside of a bourbon barrel. It's got the oak, vanilla and bourbon throughout with a big dark roasted malt base and even some raisins and chocolate thrown in.

The taste certainly follows from the aroma and has the barrel character from start to finish. There seems to be a bit more dark fruits, raisins and figs, not to mention the roasted coffee and dark chocolate as well. Very complex and with a dry, slightly bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is perfect - super smooth and slick with minimal carbonation leaving a sticky barrel presence in the mouth.

This is about as good an example of barrel-aging as I've seen in a while. It's extremely complementary to the base beer and doesn't dominate. A great beer.

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Older Viscosity from Port Brewing
4.32 out of 5 based on 2,644 ratings.
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