Hambleton Nightmare (Extra Stout Porter) | Hambleton Ales

very good
77 Ratings
no score
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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

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Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 71
Photo of atrocity
2.5/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of drseamus
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at Mahar's.

It pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. It had a good biscuity aroma, but it was fairly light. It has a roasted flavor but it's very light. I personally think the body is too light for a porter. I would give this slightly below average drinkability because the body is so off and the flavor is too light.

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Photo of woemad
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $7.63. Label says there's a best by date somewhere on the base, but, try as I might, I find no sign of it.

Poured what appeared to be a color darker than the mood of any fan who watched the New Orleans Saints last night (go Seahawks). However, when held to the light, a very slight rubyish color can be seen if the glass is peered at closely. Very sparse, tan head that vanished quickly, though it fizzed noisily upon it's appearance.

The smell is more or less what one expects from a porter, though perhaps a little on the sweet side. Along with a roasty maltiness, there is a dominant odor of chocolate.

The taste is a little weak on this one. It's roasty and chocolaty, but the chocolate flavor has too much of an upper hand. Too much sweet, not enough bitter. This could use a little more coffeeish flavor, which is only a vague whisper here.

This is disappointingly thin for a porter, far too watery than it has any right to be.

This is a very average porter from the bottle. Yet another case of a fantastic beer on cask being bottled, thereby becoming rather dull.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Half inch thick khaki head with dark brown/black body with ruby red highlights. Has a smell similar to a rootbeer or a black licorice. Tastes rather roasty with sweet malt and licorice notes. Alcohol can also be tasted oddly enough... Medium bodied. Reminds me in many ways of Sam Smith’s Taddy Porter, but fuller bodied and more roasty. Hops also evident. I think I’d like it better if it didn’t have that black licorice quality in the flavor. Still a flavorful solid beer.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tumbler at 50 degrees. Beer was a nice porterish dark color. Smell was coffee/toffee with roasted almond smell and quite pleasant. was disapointed it did not taste so. I thought the beer was kinda thin on taste and finished way to dry. I will not purchase gain.

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Photo of nomad
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brown with a tiny frothy head and negligible lace. Nose was of nuts, toast, a hearty malt body, and some earthy hops. Taste was burnt toast, chocolate, and malt that was complex but in a muddled manner to me. Hops were heard to get a bead on. Soon developed a strong nuts taste. Thin mouthfeel, this beer had a pretty talc-like dry finish.

Definitely a “real ale” – beers don’t taste like this in America. Surely complex but too quietly so, if at all.

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Photo of lillitnn92
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of sevineyes
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown bottle featuring a silver horse.

A: Lighter than what I was expecting, but very red in color. Some highlights were bordering on scarlet. Thin but persistent head, but with little lacing.

S: Light, but roasty.

T: Well balanced. Especially as the beer warmed the initial taste seemed more of a toffee or caramel that moved into the expected chocolate and coffee flavors. Throughout is a very nice roastiness.

M: Great. Coats the mouth, creamy, and a little oily. No "watery" feels from this porter.

D: A really drinkable porter. No problems here.

Overall: I could stare at the color of this for a while. Tasted sweeter than I was expecting, but still it's a balanced beer. Nice variations make this stand out in a good way.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Pizzeria Paradiso in Old Town. Served in a willi becher. Pours near-black with a good tan head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a touch of earth, chocolate, and roast, with just a touch of very light ashy smoke in the background. Flavor has a nice chocolate and roast component with a faint touch of fruit in the background. Body is light-medium with normal cask carbonation. Quite smooth and tasty. I would certainly have this again.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label on my bottle is different than what's pictured here. It says: "Nick Stafford's Hambleton Ales: Nightmare." and calls itself a Premium Yorkshire Stout. I can only assume I'm in the right place and some sort of a rebranding went on at the brewery, that Nick Stafford is an egoist, and that people in Yorkshire have nowt a clue what a stout is.

Pours a dark reddish brown topped by a sticky, off-white head and nice, sticky lacing. Top marks here.

Aroma is earthy, like a freshly dug grave, and slightly roasty, like a single coffee bean that was ground on the other side of the room earlier the same day, with a waft of halitosis from a far-off aged Alsatian.

The taste is coffee, baker's chocolate and caramel with a mix of tartness and bitterness that is interesting to say the least. A little nuttiness, a black licorice bitterness lingers in the aftertaste (in a good way). More like an extra brown ale - porter sort of hybrid than anything deserving to be called stout, but whatever you want to call it it's a little different and I like it, and I tend not to like a lot of English beer, so that's saying something.

Mouthfeel is medium, well carbonated. It works.

There's something off about the aroma for me, but overall I kind of dig this beer.

 1,264 characters

Photo of Viking
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark and murky coppery-brown. Good initial head that, sadly, just doesn't last. Nice aroma of creamy chocolate and caramel with hints of coffee and roasted malt. Taste is a bit weak, but still pretty good. Mostly roasted malt with backing chocolate and caramel flavors. Not as thick as I like in a porter, but still a bit chewey and creamy.

 345 characters

Photo of TheDM
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured a small head of fine to medium sized light brown bubbles with a good lacing and a opaque black brown body. Its aroma is that of a mild malt. It starts off smooth and finishes smootly with a lingering coffee/chocolate after taste. Its a bit heavy for a porter, more like a stout. Notes of coffee dominate its flavor.

 332 characters

Photo of BuckSpin
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 500ml bottle in a flared mouth pint glass

Not thick out of the bottle, it had a nut brown hue out of the bottlemouth. However, in the glass it was a deep, earthy, port/garnet red, very deep in color. Head was a solid fat finger of active, loose, latte hued foam that laced curtain like, very sticky, fading steadily & quickly but not altogther.

Nose is initially breadlike, biscuits, even a wisp of cinnamon, but that soon gives way to a more pronounced & lasting burnt coffee and high end dark chocolates. Perhaps a hint of black licorice.

Its creamy on the tongue, mild, warm (not hot) black coffee that has lost that severe bitter edge, but a hint of bitterness does remain. Its a little watery though, maybe a echo of that black licorice but a whisper at best. This mild quality continues on the pallete, warming nicely & allowing the taste to meld and mingle to a soothing, comfortable mouthfeel, but certainly not overwhelming, or even strong. Ironic the deep cocoa on the nose is non-existant in the flavor. On a whim, I try it with a bite of dark chocolate brownie (aka a "grownup brownie") and that does seem to activate some of the bitterness on the pallete, which to me beats the rather dull melding prior to said brownie. I've found chocolate (good chocolate) to be an excellent trigger for taste qualities in other porters & stouts, so remember that if you would like to try.

It finishes thin, with a nice little bittersweet kick and the aftertaste of coffee, while watery, is nice.

Keeping in mind this is an English Porter, I guess I'm just I'm predispositioned to the stronger, more intense & vibrant interpretations of the American Porter genre. Having been spoiled silly on GLBC Enmund Fitzgerald, this comes up lacking to me, but again that is the style. Its a nice porter, and I would drink it again if offered one, but personally I don't think I'll be having any more "Nightmares", dreaming instead of American versions, and not lose any sleep as a result.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Winking Lizard. This beer pours a mostly clear dark brown color with a thin dark tan head that dissipates steadily. Thin rings of lacing. The aroma has a slightly smoked character, with roasted malt, coffee and chocolate behind it. Medium-bodied with flavors of malt, coffee and bittersweet chocolate, with smoke in the background all the while. The finish consists of coffee and hops with a lingering bitterness. Above average overall.

 446 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the maliter smelling beers I have come across. Smells like those non-alcoholic sweet malt beverages. Black with a thich head that compresses down to the thickness of a quarter. Coffee and malt dominates. Some bitterness in the finish and a mild roastiness. Palate is fairly sturdy for a porter, but there is a watery tinge in the aftertaste.

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Photo of charlatan
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Half pint at Wetherspoons in Greenock. A peaty coloured beer with a big offwhite head. A slightly woody, smoky roasted malt nose with a hint of plum and dried fruit. It did indeed taste fruity (plums and figs) and smoky. This is the taste of getting drunk in a bothy with a roaring fire on the go: highly recommended, although perhaps not what you would want every day. It has a relatively smooth feel and is damn good beer.

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Photo of Sephiroth
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer looks opaque at first glance, but is barely translucent when held in front of a light. It is extremely dark brown. I smell dark chocolte and roasted malt.

The taste is merely a shadow compared to the smell. I taste chocolate and roasted malt. I am not sure that I detect any hops at all. The hint of bitterness may come from the roasted malt. The flavor is good, but too understated. The mouthfeel is a bit thin for my taste. That being said, I could drink this all night if not for the lack of flavor.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really looking forward to this and I am quite pleased, but not blown away.

Great dark ruby-black appearance with a thin but persistent tan head. Scent is of espresso, roasted coffee beans, cocoa and burnt malt. Cocoa bitterness is quite noticeable in the scent and the taste. That is my only real complaint about this porter: the very noticeable bitter-sweet taste reminiscent of pure cocoa or baker's chocolate. The other flavours -burnt/roasted malt, coffee beans and fresh brewed espresso are all very pleasant and fitting.

Low carbonation, smooth on the tongue. Very drinkable despite the bitter-sweet flavours.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle.

Very dark auburn color with ruby tones. Good head dissipates to a nice, light tan cap. Very light carbonation. Aroma is malty sweet and roasty. Taste is sweet, a little roasty and also a little mineral-like. Clean finish with just the slightest hop presence. Mouthfeel is fairly light and clean with a pleasing smoothness. Overall, a nice, drinkable beer that has some good roasted malt flavor and a smooth quality.

 433 characters

Photo of hotstuff
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When poured into my glass, this brew had a small tan head with fine-small bubbles. The head quickly diminished. The body was dark brown in hue. This brew left good lacing on all sides of my glass. The aroma was that of malt and coffee. It had a smooth coffee flavor that I enjoyed drinking.

 290 characters

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From McKean and Charles in Waldoboro (thanks again Todd) Pours dark brown, almost no head whatsoever on the pour. Smells like cocoa but not too intensly. Tastes like burnt cocoa, a bit on the bitter side, sweet malt in the background and finishes again bitter. Mouthfeel feels a bit thin for the style. Overall though it's a pretty decent beer. If your looking for an alternative for a dark session beer this would make a great substitute for Guinness.

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Photo of gbontrag
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's looks like coffee with a red hue at the edges. It looks a bit like a red light bar at the end of an alley. Nice economy-it fits perfectly into an english pint. The head caresses the rim, and becomes an outline to the pitched darkness in the center of me mug. Oh hello you dark chocolate bar, you smell like you walked through a grass fire. This beer definitely smells like it's done some manual labor on machinery, it's oily. As such, it tastes like a dark roasted,oily coffee bean. My palate's warming up now. It's not terribly high in alcohol. Coffee-malt; bittersweet chocolate; molasses-blackstrap molasses. There's a little 'old horse barn' in there, kind of musty, a little straw, and leathery. Smells a little like old timber, now. Umm, I'm liking how this opens up. As it gets warmer it tastes like an over-done black forest torte.

Actually, I think it's a little too bitter. A little oily. It pushes my opinion of english porter, and I like that. "Champion Winter Beer of Britian 1997" it says. A one time champion, perhaps. A damn sassy champion, but I think I'd rather split this with a drinking buddy, move slowly through it, then move on to something completely different.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gravity pour at the Brick Store Pub. Poured a very dark reddish brown, approaching black, with a typically rocky cask head- off-white in this case. Smells light, malty, and roasty, with an intriguing nuttiness lurking as well. Tastes of slightly sour grain up-front, then some light roastiness, and some earthy bitterness on the end. Light notes of chocolate fudge throughout. I had this beer freshly tapped, but from a couple of other reviews it seems that this is one best to have fresh before the sour graininess takes over. Light and soft in the mouth, and with just the right amount of carbonation for a cask beer for me. Nice.

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Photo of rkhaze
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a mahogany color with a nice sized creamy head. Decent lacing.
Nice smells. Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, raspberries and a bit of licorice.
All the aromas were in the flavor, but it didn't seem to quite come together. The tangy bittersweet interplay was good, but it seemed to lack the intensity of taste that the smell promised. Finishes dry and chewy with an almost green wood tartness. It definitly improved as it warmed.
Light to medium bodied with a smooth, creamy, chewy mouthfeel.
Good soft carbonation.
This was an easy drinking Porter...almost too easy. Good thing it's only 5%.

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Photo of Skidz
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out dark orange brown and sits dark chocolate brown in the glass with a big fluffy light tan head with great lacings and good thick skim.

Smells of dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee, brown sugar and some rasin in and around from behind.

Initially bitter with intensifying bitterness. Heavily roasted with coffee and woodenlike bitterness. Lightly tangy, tannin flavors. Finish is mildly bitter with lingering roastedness.

SMooth in a medium body with fine and thin carbonation. Lacked a bit in the body, but still has a good feel to it.

Easy drinking here, good raosty flavor profile and plenty of it to go around.

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Hambleton Nightmare (Extra Stout Porter) from Hambleton Ales
3.91 out of 5 based on 77 ratings.
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