Hambleton Nightmare (Extra Stout Porter) | Hambleton Ales

very good
77 Ratings
no score
Send samples

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 71
Photo of ypsifly
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz into an imperial pint. The back of the label stated that the best before date could be found on the base, but none was found.

Inky black with a tan head of approx. 2cm that lingered for a few minutes and then fell to veiled, foamy ring.

Roasted malt makes up most of the nose. Mocha java comes to mind. There's a slighly dry hop note that's buried underneath.

The roasted notes dominate the taste. There's a quick bite of hop dryness that pokes up, but the finish is mostly roasted malts. The medium mouthfeel is appropriate for the style.

Enjoy it with roasted nuts.

 601 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +10%
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.

 558 characters

Photo of ybnorml
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
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 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.

 639 characters

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.

 1,193 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 1,796 characters

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%.

 603 characters

Photo of cbl2
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

 294 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown or red with bright white head and minor lace on the glassware.
Aroma of minor chocolate, heavy coffee and some piney bitterness.
Flavors of chocolate , oatmeal, resiny bitterness and some light espresso.
Mouthfeel starts with oatmeal and minor sweetness shifts to a slightly charcoal and oily and resiny finish.
Drinkability is pretty good. A little thin or atery for style but nice beer.

 409 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured blackish brown with ruby translucent highlights. The head was off white and lasting to lace the glass.

The aroma was toffee, caramel, chocolate and diacetyl.

The flavor was smoky with chocolate and slight coffee. The smoke reminds me of summer sausage and is restrained. The bitterness is large enough to balance the malt, but the smoke rules the day. There is also a restrained fruitiness in the flavor.

The finish was dry and chocolate smoky. The body was just a smidge past medium.

16.9 ounce bottle.

 531 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a two-finger tan head that fades quickly to just a thin layer leaving an even lace. Deep red/amber color nearly opaque. Light carbonation, medium bodied. Nose is a smokey roast. Starts with a roasted sweetness and finishes smooth with no bitter aftertaste. A good porter too bad it is $6.25 for a 500ml bottle.

 321 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

 1,712 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – I swear this beer was damn near purple. That’s right, a deep, dark, almost black purple. The head was rather flat.

Smell – Very rich in the nose. There’s some deep, luscious cocoa here along with Welch’s grape juice and a touch of alcohol.

Taste – Grape juice, raspberries, and cocoa powder is what I’m getting here, and believe it or not it is pretty damn good. There’s also a mild tart note that sets things off. This is really good.

Mouthfeel – Typical of English drink, this one is medium-bodied and very smooth. If you’re expecting something like a Stone Porter you’ll be greatly disappointed. This is much thinner but also much smoother.

Drinkability – This went down really well and will go down as my first session Porter.

Comments – My reference to grape juice may sound nuts, but chocolate cocoa and grape juice actually have pretty similar tastes, especially when the grape juiced is mixed with something tart. Don’t take my word for it. Mix two ounces of vodka with a half a shot of black raspberry liquor (very grape-like), a dash of sour mix, and fill with Sprite or 7-Up. It will taste amazingly like cocoa.

 1,164 characters

Photo of edchicma
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

 318 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

 812 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

 498 characters

Photo of sponberg
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown with a tan head that lasts. A nice toffeelike aroma does not hint of the complexity to come.

Starts out toffee and slightly roasty, then a peppery component not dissimilar from the smoky peppriness of a good Anejo tequila cuts in mid sip, followed by some roasted coffee and chocolatey notes. At first I thought I was weird for tasting tequila in this, but a bud of mine who's a tequila fan picked up on it as well. Finishes pretty clean, with a lingering roast-toffee character. Slightly thin but not offensively so. An interesting, very enjoyable brew.

 568 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 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 budgood1
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
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?

 861 characters

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.

 477 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brown-ruby body (a description used no else in nature except the beer world). Topped by an large oatmeal colored foamy head. Head settles quickly into a a half inch thick table top. Leaves some nice lacing . A lot of cocoa in the aroma, with some licorice lurking about. Taste is cocoa and coffee, coffee with a big dollop of cream tossed in. Slight hop signature in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel starts full and rich, but finishes a bit thin, actually the opposite of my preferences. Smoothly drinkable. A nice example of an English porter.

 537 characters

Photo of Shiredave
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
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 NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 672 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

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.