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

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Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel AgedSanta's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged
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643 Ratings
Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel AgedSanta's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: American 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 643 |  Reviews: 201
Photo of jose_alehouseSD
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of GarrettB714
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of TheRealDBCooper
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of monkist
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

 807 characters

Photo of SageO
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of Vancoubeer
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of imyourhero21
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of ericat78
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Such a good balance of spice and bourbon

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Photo of kenm2118
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of heyta
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of AApparel
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of ineva
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of Mscarpen
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of pamulli
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of ctylinebeer
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of askham
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of FARGO619
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BOTTLE 22oz into tulip. 55 degrees. Glass room temp.

A - Pours a deep black with some thick with a nice mocha head.

S - Strong vanilla and caramel aromas followed by some dark roasty smells. Bourbon is very noticeable, but not in an overpowering way...smells very good.

T - Smooth and creamy tasting with some spice and vanilla, caramel, brown sugar and molasses flavors. Lightly roasty and a well balanced bourbon flavor mixed with slightly hot alcohol.

M - Full bodied with a lowish carbonation level.

D - Excellent barrel aged beer...smooth and creamy, lots of barrel character, mild bourbon heat...enjoyed this very much.

 645 characters

Photo of BastardKing24
4.87/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have had this about 5 times over the years. Once it was flat, other times thin. This year very nice.

Pours a jet black with a finger of foam that dissipates to a thin layer with aggressive lacing. tan head with nice bubbles.

Smell is immediately bourbon and chocolate, molasses, roasted malt, coffee, toffee, raisin, plum, chewy leather, and wood.

Taste is the same as the smell with a big smack of bourbon soaked dark fruit and oak, some nuttiness, roasty malt, slight lingering bitterness from oak and dark malt, along with this very nice cookie dough flavor i have come to love from certain barrel aged imperial stouts. Very impressive by me as not a lot of these meet my standards and this is my favorite beer style.

Mouthfeel is a little light this year but still viscous enough to pack a wallop of a taste. Lingers on the palate for about 30 seconds. Good carb this year (its had issues with that) and i feel its hard to get it any better.

Over all i feel this beer is extremely underrated and it is quite a warmer to sip by a fire or share with friends. Highly recommended to anyone able to find it. Cheers!

 1,121 characters

Photo of rye726
4.84/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours near black with shades of deep brown around the edges. Not much head.

Nose has bourbon, oak, vanilla, cocoa, dark malts, coffee, molasses, subtle hops and ripe pitted fruits.

Taste also has a big whiskey, vanilla and wood presence from the barrels that is well balanced by chocolate malts, espresso, cherries, plums and bitter molasses.

Thick, creamy body is a bit under carbonated but still drinks well.

Another world class barrel aged ale from Port/Lost Abbey. Talented brewers with great barrels.

 511 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.83/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Comes out of the bottle a rich, warm sable just a whisker above jet with a fairly thick light tan head that leaves substantial lacing. Smoky aroma has an overtone of bourbon and notes of chocolate and molasses plus a hint of toffee. Splendiferous flavor fills the mouth with a symphony of tastes: bourbon, chocolate, molasses, burnt oak, toffee, caramel, coffee. Each sip seems a little different. Over all is a firm but not fierce alcohol bite. Full-bodied texture is smooth as fine silk and has a subtle but lasting fizz. This nice beer is well worth the "naughty" price!

 573 characters

Photo of NickMunford
4.79/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque dark brown to black with little head. Some retention consisting of larger bubbles.

S: Perfect mix of espresso & bourbon.

T: Same as the smell, with super dark chocolate thrown into the mix. Picks up some charred wood flavors in the finish as it warms up.

M: Little carbonation, bitter aftertaste, slight booze burn, in the best possible way.

O: Tastes like an imperial stout poured over a shot of bourbon. Love it!

 437 characters

Photo of ianroodt
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of Hooshpower
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

Tastes vary when at different temperatures.

Right out of the fridge:Smooth. Chocolaty. Slight spice. Cloves.

About 40 degrees Fahrenheit: Start tasting that bourbon a lot more which also ups the spiciness of it. Pronounced chocolaty. The best way to describe it is a bourbon liquor chocolate.

About 50 degrees Fahrenheit: I can't remember ;) I think it was awesome!

 370 characters

Photo of Grant35
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

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Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 643 ratings