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Hambleton Nightmare (Extra Stout Porter) | Hambleton Ales

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Very Good
77 Ratings

Brewed by:
Hambleton Ales
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-03-2002

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 71
Photo of StargherKing
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beer pours with a two-finger khaki colored hea. Colors of mahonganny and hints of ruby. The scent is slightly bready, malty, light coffee and cocoa. Flavor is very much same as scent with cocoa coming out full force with hints of both coffee and toffee. Little, if any, hops of note. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy; however somewhat lighter than expected. With as heavy as this beer looks in the glass I can see where others would say that it is watery. Drinkability is fantastic! Goes down easy, not too heavy. Still has plenty of character and flavor, and with the ABV not being outrageous, I can easily see this being a great session beer.

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Photo of Tibi81
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of coldmeat23
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of fretlessman71
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: Says here on the bottle that this was the Champion Winter Beer of Britain in 1997. Hope it hasn’t lost its touch – it’s been 8 years, fer cryin’ out loud. Cool label.

APPEARANCE: Deep ruby/mahogany and somewhat clear (maybe it’s just that dark). Firm tan head, 2” thick. Light lacing.

AROMA: Dark chocolate and dark fruit first, then a somewhat metallic but not unpleasant odor joins. No hops. Coffee grounds on last smell.

FLAVOR: Here the hops come through a little better. Good balance of hops and malt; chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit flavors all have a go at the same time. Just enough black malt to keep things from getting too sweet. Toffee comes out as the beer warms. This is getting better and better.

MOUTHFEEL: REALLY nice. Frothy and light while still having a certain weight to it. Not many beers have managed to do this in my estimation.

DRINKABILITY: At 5.0% ABV, this is definitely a quaffer. And one that won’t become uninteresting as the night progresses.

OVERALL COMMENTS: I can see why this one won! Quite an achievement for this beer, and one that I’ll be certain to revisit whenever I can.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The bottle currently in hand is very different than the one pictured. A black label with lots of shadows of graves and a little emblem with a horse, accompanied by Nick Stafford's Hambleton Ales, is the bottle I will review. This is a Yorkshire Porter (doesnt day Extra Stout Porter anywhere on the bottle). With that assumption:

The beer emerges from a 500ml bottle into an imperial pint glass. A very dark, nearly opaque beer emerges with a nice creamy head of decent size that enjoys the entire session.

Aroma is of chocolate and roasty, toasty malts. Lots of breadiness involved as well. Quite a nice aroma.

Wow! Straight up coffee and chocolate. This one tastes like a dessert, but not sweet at all. Nice, bitter coffee and burnt chocolate to back up the roasted malts. I must say, this is one stout porter. Extra dry in the finish.

Off the top of my head, this is one of the best porters I have had. Nice, smooth and creamy mouthfeel with some bitterness at the end due to the burnt and toasty malts. Mouthfeel does have some astringency that kicks up the bitterness factor. Otherwise, this would be a 5 in my book on taste and mouthfeel. Great sessionability with the 5% abv. This could definitely be something to keep around the house as a dinner time drink.

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Photo of jdoolin
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 1 pint 9oz bottle, poured into an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, but not quite opaque. Had a nice, foamy, light tan head that lasted for quite a while.

Aroma: Heavenly. Roasted malt, chocolate, a hint of coffee, and I detected a hint of whiskey aroma that was very pleasant.

Taste and mouthfeel: Slightly chewy but not quite creamy. A very nice roasted malt character with an assertive chocolate flavor, and a definite sweetness. Hints of caramel and coffee. Not much in the way of hop bitterness, just enough for balance.

Notes: At first I sipped this beer by itself. When I was about halfway done, I paired it with a hot fudge sundae, which was a perfect match. I finished the last few ounces by adding a dollop of ice cream and finished it as a float. A good dessert beer!

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hand pulled pint as a nightcap in my local Spoons 10th Feb 2012.

What the hell is an extra stout porter? Well this one was dark creamy and tastey!

Aroma of dark chocolate and ground coffee beans.

The taste was a rich blend of the smells with a mini bitterness and dry finish.

I really enjoyed it (after an evening of golden bitters it did the trick and I went home happy).

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Photo of tavernjef
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Super dark brown nearly black color, thats favorably thick and rich, a tall one inch crown of light chocolate brown sits on top all smooth and lumpy much like a whipped frappucchino. Settles slowly down to leave a solid skim always present and the lace in thin sheets and of all kinds of inky blobs that have amazing sticking power.

Aroma is heavenly roasted, just right, not to burnt, rich and welcoming with some excellent cocoa/chocolatey tones that maintain an acute drying sense within. Really nice at first but it seems to lose some of its power as it sits.

Flavors are just right from becoming too mild with a favorable but lightly placed roasted malt tone thats substantially smooth. An ample chocolatey/cocoa creamy thickness lasts throughout each sip and gulp yeilding a bit of chocolatey sweetness over the top of the roasted bitterness. Its like a thick chocolate milk with some roasted coffeeness to it. Enticingly fine flavors that sit well across the palate.

Feel is medium bodied with a light fluffy, almost chalky sense in a few areas that's very light, yet it continues to be smooth and creamy with a light finish that kinda drops out a bit. Could use a boost there, for most other porters that I like, thats where all the fun happens, in the finish. This fades out too quickly with a very light drying cocoa sweetness.

Still, not a bad beer, not at all frankly, in fact its quite nice to behold, the overall smooth character and security of flavors sets it apart from most. One thing's for sure, that it's altogether drinkable and at 5% will make for a good session porter. But price wise @ $5.50 per 500ml bottle may be a bit much. Still worth checking out if ya get the chance.

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Photo of corby112
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hand pump cask at Cahrlies Pub in Cpenhagen, Denmark.

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with mahogany edges and a thick foamy tan head that settles into a lasting lace. Chcolate malty aroma with dark fruit, hops and oatmeal. This is a very smooth quaffable stout. Huge chocolate malty flavor with dark fruit notes(especially cherry and fig), oatmeal and a bitter sweet dry hoppy finish.

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Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a very dry scent that boasts of black patent and chocolate malts. It is quite rich and complex. The taste is good. It has a very smooth black malt flavor that goes down quick and finishes dry and chocolatey. It has a bit a black malt/earthy aftertaste which resonates. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good Yorkshire porter. It has tremendous aroma and flavor; a good drinker.

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Photo of budgood1
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a relatively dark, dark brown colour. simple tan head that dies down to fine thin lace. awesome roasted and chocolate malt aroma. one of the best smelling brews i've sampled lately. typical porter character...lots of dark roasted malt...ample characteristics of choco and caramel...not really bitter but sort of sweet. maybe a bit thin in mouthfeel but awefully smooth and drinkable and extremely delicious. lots of residual malt sweetness and flavours to be had. this is a damn fine brew...one that should be had and contemplated in the darker months of the year. a whole lot of goodness for porter lovers and a chocolate malt lover's delite. if this had a bit more body to hold up the flavour profile...it would be world class. oh well....a summer surprise it is and appreciated nonetheless.

just what the hell is an "extra stout porter" anyway?

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown, tipping into black, with a nice, raucous, toasted tan head.
Aroma, perfectly portery: big, creamy, with distinctive coffee and mocha notes, richly roasted, spicy, earthy, even oily...an impressive amalgamation of all the things I want out of a good porter.
Taste: smooth, clean, creamy, but again we're treated with a helping of flavor, rich, roasty, abundant with chocolate notes, slightly bittersweet. Full-bodied, great, gritty texture, some fruity character shimes in, too, a little taste of cherries. Body bottoms out some, though, toward the end. Still, a great porter, right up there with the best.
I haven't had this in years and forgot how good it is. I'd still say your money could go farther with a 6'er of, say, Anchor Porter, but don't let that stop you from trying this gem out.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle

Pours a rich black color with a creamy tan head that thins, but maintains. Mild, speckled lacing on the glass.

Nice roasty aroma full of cocoa and espresso tones. There is also a light breadiness present.

Deep roasted taste upfront melting into dark espresso and cocoa flavors. Mild bitterness before it finishes with a lingering roasted taste.

Light body, mild carbonation.

A flavorful and easy drinking English porter. Would make for a very nice session brew, wish I had more.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't know why this British-brewed 'Yorkshire Porter' is designated as an American Porter, nor do I quite know what an Extra Stout Porter is, if not some version of a Baltic Porter. Since these are but two of the many things I don't know, I'm not too concerned.

I expected Nightmare to be light-sucking black, but it isn't. It's reddish mahogany with light visible all the way through the glass. Without at least a moderately bright light source, however, one would never be able to tell that it isn't opaque. The head is light toasty brown and is exceptionally creamy. It isn't huge to start with, but its dense whipped creaminess allows it to persist nicely and to leave nearly unbroken sheets of lace on the glass.

The aroma is of roasted dark malt and dark chocolate fudge. There's a smidgen of coffee and pipe tobacco as well. I wish the nose was stronger because it's a good one. This beer has a wonderful, classic porter flavor regardless of which side of the Atlantic its spiritual origins lie. Roasted barley and chocolate again assume center stage and they work well in tandem, neither hogging the spotlight. The coffee is unmistakable now, but is still in the background.

Mildly sweet at the start, fading to mildly bitter on the finish. The transparent color led me to expect nothing more than a medium body and that's exactly what I got. A full, creamy chewiness would improve things substantially, but it's pretty pleasant in the mouth as is. Drinkability is on the high side due to the first-rate flavor and the relatively light body.

Hambleton Nightmare is an impressive porter. I'd like it to be bigger and more mouth-filling (Extra Stout would be nice), but otherwise it's hard to find fault. Rather than a nightmare, this is the stuff of which daydreams are made.

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Photo of edchicma
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Name is definitely a misnomer...appearance was extremely dark with a beautiful head. Smell was lightly aromatic and suggested what taste would be like. A light, smoky taste was extremely pleasing and well-rounded. Mouthfeel was light but rounded, extremely drinkable and refreshing....a definite try for Porter lovers.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown color with red highlights and a tan head that disperses rather quick. Aromas of toffee, chocolate, butterscotch and scorched maple syrup. Big creamy maltiness- diacetyl butteriness and bitter chocolate and toffee notes, not a lot of hops. They're there, just masked by the malt. A little thin, but not out of its style, being English and all... Overall, a good English porter best drank a bit on the warmer side to appreciate the big maltiness this beer showcases. At 5%, very drinkable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear brown highlights show through a very dark brown body. Pours a nice, frothy, light-tan head that holds well and leaves excellent lace. The aroma displays notes of toffee, cocoa, and maybe a little butterscotch. The body is medium-thin and the carbonation is moderate giving a light bite on the tongue. The taste is gently fruity, lightly chocolatey, somewhat toasty and mildly bitter. Roastiness appears in the finish along with a gently lingering toffee note. Very round and well balanced. An excellent session beer! This an English porter that should be enjoyed at close to cellar temperature to realize it's full character. Well worth seeking out. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of scooter231
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown wth a nice tan head, and some lacing. Smells like a very, very rich chocolate. Next to Kelpie, this is a bit deeper, a bit stronger. Taste is similar, with more coffee flavors. Definitely a dessert brew- and/or a sipper. I think I'd rather have this than cake. Or cookies. Or whatever the sweet might be. Mouthfeel is chewy, smooth. This is a tasty beer- if I could get it easily, I would have it more often.... alas, I purchased this over a thousand miles away. Poor me.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a shiny pony!
A pretty shiny pony.
A black, tan headed pony with a rich and pleasant aroma.
Nothing really nightmarish going on here.
Well rounded, well balanced... portery all around.
Roasted notes, coffee notes, chocolate notes, sugary notes, an underlying coffee bitterness...
There's nothing striking going on here but all in all it's good stuff.

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Photo of cbl2
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Absolutely black with a nice tan head.


Hints of marshmallow abound with a little smoky character.


Damn yummy. Sweet chicory flavor tickles the tongue at first sip. A slightly bitter finish that does not at all detract from this delicious brew.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown in color with a pretty thin but persistent head. Aromas of roasted malts, a touch of burnt toast. Smooth / creamy mouth feel and a medium body. On the palate....robust flavors... were notes of roasted malt, tiny hints of chocolate, and toasted bread…all flavors become more assertive as it warms a bit. Overall a very enjoyable brew porter...

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Photo of ybnorml
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown/black beer with deep mahogony highlights. Has a big light brown head. There is a very heady aroma of roasted malt, molasses and licorice. The flavor is a robust combination of molasses and licorice. With a smooth roasted malt bitterness combined with some coffee background and a nice dry finish.

 309 characters

Photo of Shiredave
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfect condition and pour , beautifull deep clear garnet color when back lit; low, creamy tan head- a 1/2 inch halo clung to the top of my glass mug and remained w/ out drooping till the next day when washed. Aroma is all smokey charred coffee with hints of sweet and sour apples. Light to medium body, the initial sweetness fades quickly to complex hop flavors blending with the nutty dryness of the dark grains. Finish is long and bitter with great hop flavors surrounding the tongue.
A Classic.

 510 characters

Photo of dgallina
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml brown bottle without freshness date.

Pours clear deep brown with minimal tan head and decent lace. Smells richly malty. Burnt bread notes dominate with sweet dark chocolate, raisins, and plums in the background. The initial flavor showcases dark fruit elements, but segues into a cookie dough and carmel center. A strong burnt toast finish is drying and quite long. Body is medium-thick, a bit oily and quite creamy for a 5% beer. Not the most complex porter, but very tasty if you like well-toasted malt.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, bought in Scarborough. Dark reddish brown colour, nearly black. Large and creamy tan head. Pleasant vinous aroma, notes of prunes and tobacco, hints of liquorice, chocolate and red wine vinegar. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Flavour of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate, a hint of liquorice. Moderate hops in the finish. Good beer!

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Hambleton Nightmare (Extra Stout Porter) from Hambleton Ales
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 77 ratings
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