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
BA SCORE
3.97/5
Very Good
641 Ratings
Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel AgedSanta's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#9,064
Reviews:
200
Ratings:
641
pDev:
12.85%
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
193
Trade:
9
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 641 |  Reviews: 200
Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Brolo75
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
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 +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Zuidman
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zenithberwyn
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of billshmeinke
3.03/5  rDev -23.7%
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 +4.8%
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 +6.8%
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 -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

7/10/16

7 characters

Photo of jpatag66
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of Syracuse12
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of carlso_aw
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BEER88
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Sazz9
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Roy1586
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.59/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of sd123
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 version - aged 2 years

27 characters

Photo of rspauldi
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BenBreeg
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black pour with very little head, 1/10" tan range.

Aroma was chocolate, bourbon, oak, heat, mild vanilla and char.

Taste hit with plenty of roast that wasn't evident in the nose. Mild carbonation allows for more of the char and vanilla which are very mild to intrude and play nicely.

Its a good beer, and an improvement on the base, but its a crowded field to stand apart in. Notch this one in the second tier imperial stout barrel aged genre.

 454 characters

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Brew33
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 641 ratings