Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged | Port Brewing

very good
632 Ratings
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Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel AgedSanta's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottoale on 07-25-2009

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 632 |  Reviews: 196
Photo of Onenote81
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Boccu
4.59/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 229 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bum4ever
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chuckgietzen
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of smakawhat
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

 903 characters

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rick778
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IpeeA
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KTCamm
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

 285 characters

Photo of Ljoreilly
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of g00ey
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of WheelsPSU
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CPAles
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sposter4
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Brolo75
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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.

 898 characters

Photo of Hopstout
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Zuidman
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zenithberwyn
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of billshmeinke
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Corked and caged 350ml bottle, poured into a wine glass.

Look: Impenetrable blackness. Quarter inch of khaki head. Dies down to a ring of foam with little lace.

Smell: Soy sauce, butterscotch, alcohol, and bourbon. Pretty astringent smelling. Booze is super prevalent. There's maybe some dark chocolate there too.

Taste: Tastes a LOT better than it smells. Chocolate-y, buttery, vanilla, oak, char, some estery dark fruits, and bitterness round things out. Honestly I was a little scared when I smelled it. The soy sauce and alcohol where so harsh and prevalent, but not nearly so much on the palate. There's still a lot of butterscotch and salinity though. Still not that great.

Mouthfeel: Huge, sticky, light carbonation. Heat kicks you in the back of the throat.

Overall: It's alright, not worth the price. Lost Abbey/ Port are very hit or miss when it comes to barrel aged stouts.

 907 characters

Photo of ccg
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Legs look a little thin and gritty, the barrel-aging has tamed the overly carbonated base beer. This barreled version pours with minimal head. There is only a thin ring of light-tan-colored bubbles around the edge to show the carbonation here.
The smell is huge bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some cocoa. It smells like a huge beer. Having just tasted the base beer immediately before this, it makes sense. The base has a mild, subtle smell, and in this version of it, the barrel aging has completely taken over. I love that bourbon/oak/vanilla smell, but the base beer is lost in the mix.
The taste is almost identical to the smell. Huge bourbon, oak, and vanilla. It's delicious, but at the same time, it's almost more like drinking an oaky bourbon/cocoa cocktail than a stout.
It has a slick, tongue-coating sort of feel to it. Oily. A little bit light for a BA stout.
Overall: If you're a fan of the style, it's delicious. It's boozy and very much bourbon-forward. Tons of oak and chocolate and vanilla as well. Not a lot of base-stout complexity made it past the barrel, though. The roasted grains and hops are in the mix, but the barrel is the star of this show.

 1,164 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass with a half finger light brown head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt and bourbon with light hints of coffee and chocolate; slightly boozy. Flavor is semi-sweet dark toasted malt with light char, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon. Finishes with nice chocolatey malt and bourbon with a light oak note. Great creamy body with a medium to heavy mouth feel. A very nicely made bourbon aged imperial stout. The base stout is great and is one of my favorite stouts, and the bourbon adds its usual magic. There is a bit more booziness to this, almost as if actual bourbon were added to it, but overall its very well balanced and full flavored. Fantastic mouth feel. Top notch barrel aged stout. This was bottle from the basement fridge and I don't remember when I bought it; it may have a few years on it. If so, it has aged superbly. Note to self: buy more.

 947 characters

Photo of pathman
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


7 characters

Photo of jpatag66
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Port Brewing
3.85 out of 5 based on 632 ratings.
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