Hot Rocks Lager
Port Brewing

Hot Rocks LagerHot Rocks Lager
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
European Dark Lager
3.76 | pDev: 10.64%
Port Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Hot Rocks LagerHot Rocks Lager
Reviews: 182 | Ratings: 366 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by rrryanc:
Photo of rrryanc
3/5  rDev -20.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque, chestnut brown body with a thinnish, light ecru head.

Smell: Malty nose alive with notes of toasted bread, toasted sugars, and toasted nut shells. Touch of fruitiness and spicy hops.

Taste: Lightly toasted, lightly nutty, lightly grainy maltiness with a sweetish taste of charred, caramelized sugars. Fruity hints of apricot and baked raisins brushed with molasses and brown sugar. Spicy, earthy hops with a medium bitterness. After the bitterness slackens, it's back to the toasted and smoked nuts until you reach the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly enjoyable. It's definitely good to see someone's trying to bring a little excitement to the humble, sometimes dull lager, especially when it's in the form of broiled hunks of granite.

 817 characters

Photo of kwm5067
2/5  rDev -46.8%

Photo of Ego
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"merry new year"
"it's happy, in our country we say Happy new year pal"

hot rocks ? way #1,000,2000,022323,2302k3203,2 discovered to make beer... I think we need a moondust brew, eh, sam over @ dogfish probably already has booked a flight on space x...

dark brown with a ton of geysers of carbonation streaming up the glass, 2 full fingers O fluff, a bit craggy and a bit off white, pretty standard to slightly above average looking

malty with a euro hop smell, musty and earthy, slight citrus notes hanging around for the party.

taste etc...
much livelier than a typical lager... the carbonation is a bit bright for the style (I happen to like it this snazzy though), this really drinks like a red ale... sort of APA thing.. but subdued... but tasty. I think the carbonation might be a bit much in the long haul but for one glass it is fine. this drinks medium in the mouth and rather smooth. the flavors are pretty mellow, sort of a slightly souped up euro ale, it doesn't have the depth of flavor of those however but it is more "american" which might not be bad based on your personal tastes, there is no sense of the alcohol here (not that 6.5 is huge)

an interesting brew that really has some euro flavor with an american slant, that makes it interesting, but not great. Definitely worth a try if you see it on tap, I don't think many will dislike this beer but of course not many may fall head over heals for it either.

 1,456 characters

Photo of Sicem99
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of whartontallboy
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark, opaque brown, with golden highlights on the edges. A huge light mocha head leaves plenty of thick lace.

Smells of toasted malts, caramel, and a hint of smoke.

Tastes of chocolate, a tiny bit of char, fruity grilled pears, with a yeasty tang on the finish.

Medium bodied and smooth, good drinkability. A light carbonation sting hits the tongue, which kind of detracts, but not horribly so.

What a strange beer, I really liked the flavor. Other aspects not so much, but flavor is the king.


 508 characters

Photo of sonorb7
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Blumstein
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of bostonryan
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of blackie
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: thick cream colored head atop a reddish-brown ale, nice retention

s: lager malt base lightly toasted by contact with hot rocks shows brushes of chocolate or carob, the toasted toffee sugars pushes this to the sweeter side but not excessively so

m: very creamy mouthfeel, medium bodied and sporting silky carbonation

t: toasted lager malts with light notes of carob and raw sugars, big notes of toffee, mild citric hop flavor and bitterness

d: perhaps on the heavier side for a lager, but I could see a few of these going down pretty easily

10 oz. pour at the Brickskellar, DC

 583 characters

Photo of Bluecane
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of scruffwhor
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a dark murky brown with a light brown head that recedes after a sip or two. Can't see any bubbles due to the viscous murk of this brew. The aroma is a crisp and dry smelling pumpernickel bread and some dark cocoa powder. The taste is a firm roasted malt with a little coffee and some powdered dark chocolate. The finish is very dry compared to most dark lagers I've had. My guess is that the black granite played a hand in that.

All in all a good dark lager that is easy to drink, and I would love to have again.

 527 characters

Photo of kizyle
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at the rathskeller in DC - a true american dump

cell phone notes

appearance: served in a water glass(?) - an apparent 10oz pour, ebony body with a creamy beige cap - cola-esque

smell: the stone brings out the caramel in a big way, lots of malt - dark fruit in abundance

taste: underwhelming by Port standards but still very solid for what it is - big gummy caramel, big malts - heavy malt profile afterall. interesting beer

mouthfeel: very creamy, milky and smooth

drinkability: high

 497 characters

Photo of Souleman
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one borders on being a schwarzbier in my mind, but it's not quite as dark and the hop tones just aren't there. The way it's brewed is interesting; dropping hot rocks into the wort to produce a boil. The old method....

Pours a dark ruby/chestnut color with a small layer of off-white foamy head. A bit sticky in the lacing as it drank.

Aroma is sweet, a bit smoky, and anise-like. Caramel seems to provide a the backbone, slightly smoked. Anise and/or almond comes and goes.

Flavor isn't bad, just not very noticeable. I think if I had paired this with some Mexican dishes, slightly spiced, the flavor may have popped more. As it is, it's soft. Caramel, anise or root beer-like center...soft. Smoke comes in a bit and the caramel finishes it off. Slight earthy spice.

Thin mouthfeel. Or perhaps it's just so smooth. Again, should have paired it. Makes it quite drinkable. Nothing bad here.

 898 characters

Photo of eorwar
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of russpowell
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first Lager I've had from these guys. I've had a few Stein Beers before, I'll interested to see how this stacks up...

Pours a chill-hazed brown/chestnut with a pinky of mocha colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Breadyness & caramel, metallic hops & jammyness

T: Brown bread, metallic & herbal hops caramel & slight nuttyness, plus dryness up front. Slight smokeyness, more brown bread & a touch of caramel as this warms. I also get some figs & persimmons. Finishes slightly dry, with brown bread. a touch dark fruitty with some figs & herbal hops

MF: Light/medium bodied with low carbonation. Some alcohol warmth once warm

Drinks pretty easy, not perfect, but right in my malt-centric wheelhouse. I wonder if these guys will do Rauch or Dopplebock? They might want to give it some serious thought...

 827 characters

Photo of khargro2
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of jamie2dope
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It is always nice to see something new from Port on the shelf. This bomber was bought at Liquor World in Cambridge for six bucks. I was surprised when I started pouring in that this beer is a lot darker than I was expecting. It has a cola/root beer look to it, and a creamy white heading. One of the best looking beers I have encountered in a while. Nose has some malted milk balls, chocolate, bit of rye and toasted bread. More of the same comes from the taste, which is fine, as all the flavors really work well in unison. Body is somewhere in the middle of light and medium. While it is an easy drinker, sometimes the sweetness of it becomes a bit much. Still let this one unfold, and you will see that there are multiple layers of complexity. A very nice beer they have crafted here. I love the fact that they brewed this style, which I rarely try.

 852 characters

Photo of Profchaos20
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of mithrascruor
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very dark reddish-brown color. Tan head turns to a nice thin film.

Smell: Slightly sweet aroma of roasted malts: chocolate and maybe dates or cherries.

Taste: Big malty flavor with the bittersweet taste of herbs and berries. Finish and aftertaste is a sort of bitter herbal chocolate taste, that I'm not too keen on.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with light carbonation. Quite smooth as well.

Drinkability: The finish and aftertaste really skews the drinkability of this one.

A fun beer to try, with a (these days) rather unique brewing process, but it is not that great a beer to really enjoy (at least not for me). The flavor is very strange and a bit too bitter and herbal for me in a dark lager like this.

 764 characters

Photo of ambruns1979
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Hot Rocks Lager from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 366 ratings