Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged
Port Brewing

Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel AgedSanta's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged
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Port Brewing
California, United States
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,638
Ranked #11,742
3.98 | pDev: 12.81%
Feb 17, 2021
Jul 25, 2009
Very Good
Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel AgedSanta's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged
Notes: None
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3.75 by mpenske from California on Feb 17, 2021
4.26 by Tcsox from Massachusetts on Jan 17, 2021
4.21 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts on Jan 17, 2021
Photo of RyanK252
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by RyanK252 from California

Bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours dark brown with a frothy tan head that settles to a light layer and leaves a little nice lacing.

S: Big brown sugar, toffee, and smooth bourbon, peppery spice, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, a little earthiness, and light of herbal pepper minty notes.

T: Roasty, smooth bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate, a touch of peppermint, earthy slightly herbal notes, and a little coffee.

M: Full body, mild carbonation, creamy smooth, with just a touch of warmth.

O: This bottle has some years on it. I'm not sure exactly how many, at least 3+, and it's aged well. I'm drinking it side by side with the standard and the bourbon barrels bring so much more to the table. Perfect on a cold December night.

Dec 31, 2020
4.4 by hopley from Massachusetts on Dec 29, 2020
4.31 by bigpoppa67 from Wisconsin on Feb 29, 2020
4.12 by stage_master from New York on Jan 31, 2020
3.75 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania on May 01, 2019
Photo of REVZEB
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by REVZEB from Illinois

Somehow missed this one from the past. Tons of bourbon all the way through the taste and smell. Molasses, coffee, dark chocolate, slight vanilla and licorice all present. Not the heaviest, in fact pretty dry and thin for an imperial stout. Booze is so powerful, begins to burn as you go down the glass. Like the regular version better

Jan 15, 2019
4 by Patches826 from Massachusetts on Dec 31, 2018
Photo of patre_tim
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by patre_tim from Thailand

Dark brown to black with a quarter finger of beige head.

Smells of black liquorice, molasses, soy sauce, umami, brown sugar and a hint of vanilla.

Tastes of umami, soy sauce, and black liquorice. I get a bit of the bourbon barrel but its really faint.

Thick, syrupy, oily body with moderate to low carbonation. Burn in the throat.

Got this at Liquor Barn this evening, drinking in Redding, Dec 1st, 2018. Same same, I don't know why I keep trying some of these imperial stouts, but there it is.

Dec 02, 2018
3.93 by deereless from Colorado on Dec 01, 2018
4.5 by bdiiorio from Connecticut on May 07, 2018
Photo of monkist
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by monkist from Hungary

Now this is something amazing!
Port Brewing makes outstanding beers and make wonder out of imperial stouts and porters, just like Old Viscosity (that is one of the best imperial stouts I have ever had).
Here we are again with the Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Stout and it is just stunning. Pitch black, thick like tar, smells boozy at 12% ABV. The taste is very intense full of sweet caramellized malts - not sure about hops though but there is quite a distinct taste to it, which is perhaps to the combination of the malts and no hops, as we are talking about a truly imperial stout.
I mean, here we are in SoCal where you would look for (imperial pale) ales but Port can make a heavy stout that suits the all-year-long-summers and not just winters.
An instant classic, from the moment you pull the cork.

Mar 31, 2018
4.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia on Jan 02, 2018
4.52 by stephenlee from England on Dec 27, 2017
Photo of bret717
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by bret717 from Pennsylvania

Poured into a snifter after being out of the fridge for 15 minutes. I think this is a vintage 2014, but the date is smudged so I'm not sure.

Look- Pours pitch black with a thin tan head and minimal lacing. Some tan sediment settled on the bottom of the glass

Aroma- mostly chocolate with some black licorice and bourbon

Taste- follows the nose in that it's predominantly chocolate with bourbon and some roast, black licorice and vanilla rounding things out. Bourbon and and very mild bitterness from the roast linger in the aftertaste

Feel- medium bodied and creamy. Moderate carbonation

Overall- this was very pleasant to drink with full, smooth and balanced flavors.

Dec 25, 2017
4.25 by jgunther71 from Illinois on Dec 22, 2017
Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by PBRmeasap1980 from Indiana

A- Black
S- Chocolate and bourbon. Smells great
T- Bourbon and cola, kind of overly sweet like cola
F- Medium thin
O- Good but not great. I don't think I would seek it out again.

Nov 16, 2017
4.25 by paresis from Massachusetts on Sep 12, 2017
Photo of spinrsx
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by spinrsx from Canada (ON)

Bottle received in trade with Ian

Sep 11, 2017
4.18 by MickeyHops from California on Jul 07, 2017
4.13 by Onenote81 from North Carolina on May 19, 2017
Photo of Boccu
4.59/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Boccu from New York

Pours black nice brown head that fades quickly. Light lacing. Aroma of dark chocolate, molasses and plums. Taste dark passion fruits, molasses, brown sugar,vanilla and raisins. Nice light bourbon finish. Very tasty bourbon stout.

Apr 04, 2017
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

On-tap 3/19/2017 at Natty Greeneā€™s Tavern in North Attleboro, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large tan head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts licorice, dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of chocolate, bourbon and molasses. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid big stout to drink for a long time.

Mar 20, 2017
4.53 by Bum4ever from California on Jan 19, 2017
4.04 by chuckgietzen from Michigan on Jan 03, 2017
Photo of Smakawhat
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Smakawhat from Maryland

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

Light to reddish mahogany brown body color off the pour, with virtually no head creation at all. Settles to a fine tan collar though, and leaves a pretty solid faint whispy top.

Real nice aroma. Fruity and spicy with dark chocolate notes and hints of spicy cherries. Slightly hints herbal as well with some nice milky chocolate tones, even minty. Definitely has a Christmas almost minty candy cane quality to it. Very very nice.

Pleasant first sip. Light bodied for barrel aging, but the barrel is imparting flavors and has a good solid roasty malt backbone. Minty mid palate and really nicely accented by hop and herbal mint like character. Roasty and chocolate milk hit the mid palate, and there's an almost mint and brandy warmth going on here.

Real nice beer for the December holiday season, fits the characters well and very memorable.

Dec 31, 2016
4.41 by leprechaunandfatman from Ohio on Dec 31, 2016
3.75 by Rick778 from California on Dec 26, 2016
3.84 by IpeeA from Missouri on Dec 24, 2016
Photo of KTCamm
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by KTCamm from New Jersey

12/18...pours dark black, flecks of brown, some brownish foam rings but none on top. Strong bourbon based nose, more powerful than the combo from the stout. Milky stout flavor overwhelmed by a whisky snap. Packs a punch. Bourbon throughout. Really well blended. Solid.

Dec 20, 2016
3.92 by Ljoreilly from Georgia on Dec 18, 2016
4.42 by g00ey from California on Dec 15, 2016
3.72 by WheelsPSU from New Jersey on Dec 09, 2016
3.73 by CPAles from Illinois on Dec 04, 2016
4.21 by sposter4 from Pennsylvania on Nov 25, 2016
4 by paulish from New York on Nov 03, 2016
Photo of Brolo75
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Brolo75 from California

375 ml bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with a soapy tan colored film, no head retention, slight lacing, low carbonation, looks like motor oil.

A: Very hot, bourbon, toasted coconut, vanilla, oak, dark fruits, dark chocolate, alcohol comes through pretty strong.

T: Big bourbon barrel notes up front, oak, vanilla, aroma is much better than the taste, not a lot of complexity or depth to the taste, very hot, overwhelmingly hot and straightforward. Some chocolate notes come through as the beer warms.

M: Medium bodied with a thick oil like mouthfeel, semi-dry finish.

O: Great look and aroma, however, the taste doesn't live up, still very good but it lacks depth and complexity due to the alcohol coming through very strong on the taste. Some time in the cellar might help to balance the beer out, still very good and enjoyable, will cellar a bottle and check it in a year.

Oct 24, 2016
4.5 by Hopstout from Minnesota on Oct 18, 2016
Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 653 ratings