Santa's Little Helper | Port Brewing

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,475 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Santa's Little HelperSanta's Little Helper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States
portbrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Santa’s Little Helper, our Imperial Stout, starts with an emphasis on dark cocoa and roasted coffee aromatics. The finish lends hints of sweet crystal malt, warming tones of alcohol and a touch of hops, making a perfect accompaniment to leftover fruit cake and sugar cookies.

Added by Boilermaker88 on 12-11-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,475
Reviews:
575
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
264
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,475 |  Reviews: 575
Photo of fthegiants
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dvmin98
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle. This is a nice straightforward imperial stout. No adjuncts, not barrel aged, very roasty with a thick mouthfeel. Really no flaws with this beer.

 165 characters

Photo of vidisad
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of philbe311
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hoping this helps with the stout craving I've been having recently...

L - Standard pour yields a voluminous four fingers worth of dark khaki / medium brown colored creamy froth comprised of loads and loads of big chunky bubbles... Excellent retention... Gobs of lacing cling to the sides of the glass... The color is a deep dark brooding brown with faint reddish mahogany highlights... Still with no discernible carbonation anywhere... A really beautiful looking brew...

S - Rich roasted malts... Bitter dark chocolate... Hints of licorice... Some light dark fruit notes.. Just a kiss of soy sauce mixed in as well... Outstanding aroma but a bit more subdued than I would have expected...

T - The roasted malt cuts through everything else and is dialed exponentially on the palate... Next up is the dark chocolate which only provides a glancing blow... Everything else comes next in a highly muddled fashion - licorice, dark fruits, soy sauce and even a hint of sweet milk chocolate as well...

F - On the lighter side of full bodied... A surprising bit of carbonation on the tongue... A bit chewy... A bit sticky... Goes down smoothly and easily enough... Perhaps a bit thin overall given the style...

O - World class appearance... Outstanding smell... The taste and feel our solidly above average... The end result is a really really good Russian Imperial Stout... Just a notch or two below exceptional... Definitely worth seeking out and having in your fridge on a dark, cold even leading up to the winter holidays...

 1,550 characters

Photo of brianmandell
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Timtac
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of firkingroovin
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeenTired
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of josanguapo
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From Cervezalandia. In Teku glass. Playing The Bug Butcher and Blackwell's Epiphany Sweet, smooth, with no torrefact notes and a noticeable alcohol presence that goes up to the head pretty easily. Very foamy

 208 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A RIS, maybe destined as a classic.
Looks like I expected. Aromas recognizable, but balanced. Tastes are toasted malts and balanced well with hops.

147 characters

Photo of Stevenw7474
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of akk14
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Marius
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at August THT. Pitch black with a medium height tan head. Notes of roasted malts, dark cherries, molasses. Medium to full bodied with a roasty bitter finish.

 171 characters

Photo of MikeBogert53
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of powdersoldier
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mmilyko
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is definitely a winter Russian warmer! Sharp edge with Leah. Sweet, bitter and heavy on the alcohol. If your cold and in need of warming, hit this one! Excellent choice for a cold snowy night!

 197 characters

Photo of Nunya
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very solid imperial stout.

26 characters

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

on draft. coffee, dk choc mixed w decent booze. very good on cold evening

73 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, dated 2014, non-BA version. Pours black with a huge sized dark khaki head; some lacing. Smells of roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, licorice, earthy/lager hops, dark fruit, and char. The taste follows exactly with roasted malt, cocoa, licorice, hops, caramel, coffee, dark fruit, and char; fairly good intensity. Medium sweetness, bitterness, and dryness. No noticeable spice. High carbonation and above average body for the style. Overall, it isn't spiced despite the festive labeling, but it's a solid RIS with some depth. Worth a try.

 553 characters

Photo of Tdizzle
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2016 edition.

L - Poured into a snifter, Santa's Little Helper pours black with a light brown head of very effervescent foam. Seems over carbonated for an imperial stout of this stature. Regardless, the head gradually settles to a thick cap atop the beer, leaving a few streaks of lacing clinging to the glass on the drink down.

S - Bold, rich notes of espresso, bitter baker's chocolate, sweet milk chocolate, star anise, and over-ripe dark fruits prevail. A bit of leafy hoppiness and a touch of alcohol phenols linger in the background. However, the hefty 10.5% ABV is very well hidden. A good swirl reveals a kind of woody note, but mostly just augments the enticing stout aromas.

T - Flavors of heavily-roasted grain, bitter espresso, and dark chocolate hit the palate, accompanied by more bitterness in the form of hops and a fairly prevalent phenol alcohol presence. The finish is very dry, leaving a lasting bitterness of both the astringent and roasted variety.

F - This beer is over carbonated. Aggressive bubbles scrub the palate clean between sips. However, the texture is viscous and a bit chewy. You can tell that there's a great imperial stout "feel" competing with the carbonation.

O - This would be a terrific imperial stout if it weren't for the off-kilter carbonation. Still, this is certainly a beer worth trying. I pick it up once every other year or so, just to check in on it. Not bad, but just misses the mark. I can forgive the boozy quality of the flavor because I'm sure the brewers created this with a "built to age" philosophy behind it.

 1,576 characters

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NickMunford
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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Santa's Little Helper from Port Brewing
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,475 ratings.
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