Epic / Dogfish Head Portamarillo | Epic Brewing Company

Epic / Dogfish Head PortamarilloEpic / Dogfish Head Portamarillo
Write a Review

Average: 3.76 | pDev: 9.04%

Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 64

American Porter | 7.00% ABV

Wants   Gots 

Epic Brewing Company
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Notes: This beer is retired; no longer brewed. A collaboration, a Festive brew and the world's first tree tomato beer. A sorta-Porter fermented with New Zealand grown Tamarillos, which were smoked using wood chips from the sacred Pohutukawa tree (also know as the NZ Christmas tree).
Epic / Dogfish Head PortamarilloEpic / Dogfish Head Portamarillo
View: Beers | Events
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 64
Photo of DoubleJ
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Given a few years to age since its discovery on Brewmasters, Portamarillo is a different take on a porter. I get a smokey and date-like flavor, and it doesn't have any stale or obvious oxidized flavors, so it looks like this beer has aged fine. Too bad it's not a standout beer.

 278 characters

Photo of MatthewWilde
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sample: 1 bottle 2011

A: Pours dark brown, almost no head, some decent lacing, moderate internal carbonation, not translucent

S: Interesting nose, lots of smoke, definitely some herbal and vegetal elements, even some malt and caramel comes through

T: Much akin to the nose, smoky and malty, some vegemite qualities to it, some cocoa and a touch of spice, some espresso notes emerge as well, quite unique

M: Smooth, but feels quite thick in the mouth, a bit lingering on the palate as a result, almost oily, moderate smoky aftertaste, and moderately drying

O: A singular and interesting porter, definitely an experience, but certainly not one of my favorites, worth a try, more for the novelty, but still pretty decent

 722 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown-black color with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate malts, smoke vanilla, tomatillos, and some oak.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted chocolate malts, vanilla, and some tomatillos. Through the middle, the smoke and oak flavors come through with some milk chocolate. The finish is mix of roasted chocolate malts, smoke, oak, and some tomatillos.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and smoky finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice smoky porter with some nice complexity from the tomatillos. Good overall balance.

 685 characters

Photo of Lare453
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice cola color with a small light grown head.

The smell is roasty, smoky with a light malt.

The flavor starts out light with a malt middle and a smoky ending. The aftertaste is short but good with a light smoke.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a medium carbonation.

Overall this beer was delicious and I would definitely have it again.

This beer was great I was able to try it at a small pub in NYC. I would recommend trying it if you ever have a chance.

 459 characters

Photo of beer2day
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with ruddy hints of red along the edges. Really looks like port, except for the 1-finger medium cream head. Retention is ok, lace is marginal.

Nose is that of a strong smoked porter. Very strong. Woody with lots of smoke.

Taste is smoked porter up front and lightly spiced bloody mary in the finish. Front side is very nice, back end is just a bit off - but I'm sure the taste is accurate for what they had in mind. Not terribly off-putting, but just different. A bit of vegetable at the end of the glass. Even the celery comes in a bit, or that could just be my imagination.

Feel is about right for a porter. Not too thick or oily. Medium-to-slightly heavy body.

Overall, worth a shot if you are a smoke fan.

 730 characters

Photo of bbeane
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a snifter... Starts with a finger thick off white colored head that disappears quickly leaving a bit of spotted lacing. Beer is dark in color that turns a shade of ruby when held up to the light

S- Nose is chocolatey a faint smokeyness and definite notes from the tamarillos. The smoked aroma becomes more prominent as the beer warms

T- The taste has far more evidence of the smoked malts than the nose let's on. It accompanies the chocolate malts before being joined by some light notes from the sweet fruit in the finish

M- Medium bodied with light carbonation

O- I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. To me, it was a nice smoked porter with the tamarillo adding an unnecessary, yet pleasant finish that is one of a kind


 759 characters

Photo of goblue3509
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brown to dark brown color with visible light along the edges. There is a one finger off white head which quickly recedes to skim and leaves a little bit of lace. The aroma has a caramel malt start but then a big smokey aroma comes through. The smoke comes rising out of the glass. The taste starts with a little thin caramel malt before giving way to a slight bitterness, but then comes a very enjoyable roasty and smokey backbone. The smoke taste is very pleasing. The mouthfeel is lowly carbonated and a little bit thin. Overall this was a good beer, the taste made me want more while having nothing offensive. The taste is the star of the show with the rest slightly lagging behind.

 693 characters

Photo of brotherloco
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. No date, but I believe this was released last summer. Served in a goblet.

Pours almost opaque dark brown. A little bit of light gets through to reveal a root beer hue. A finger plus beige head that settles fairly quickly. Slight bits of lacing.

A strong toffee aroma, caramelized sugar, smoke, and salt. Some christmas spices, much like Anchor's Our Special Ale. No sign of the relatively high ABV (for a porter).

Flavor isn't nearly as sweet as the nose let on. Starts dry with a little caramel sweetness creeping in on the finish. The middle is dominated by a slight sourness. I can only assume that's the Tamarillo coming through. Roasty charred bitterness lingers. Alcohol is nicely buried.

Medium-light modied with medium-sharp carbonation. Overall a medium heft and it's quite drinkable.

 811 characters

Photo of joecast
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

**moved from the dogfish head listing**

Enthusiastic pour creates a massive tan head. This settles to a nice foamy cap leaving a bit of lace. Quite dark without being black. Low carbonation.

Slight smoke wafts from the glass. Not like a true smoked porter, but noticeable. Behind that is well, it's hard to pick out any one thing that stands out.

Taste is interesting. A bit of porter character; not too much roast or heavy malts, not too much hops. Some hearty bitterness but a bit different to the standard hop variety. Perhaps some extraction from the tamarillos? Some acidic character, not too sharp but it fills out the flavor.

Nice mouthfeel, easily drinkable for 7%.

Interesting collaboration. While it's not your typical porter, you wouldn't expect that from DFH, and certainly not in a collab. The addition I can't say makes a better porter as the base beer would probably be damn good, this certainly gives you something else to think about.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-06-2011 09:47:24

 1,014 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours larger 2 finger head that fades at a med pace with a bit of lacing over very dark brown colored beer, with hints of ruby light streaming through.

Nose has some interesting porter aromas, some darker malts with hints of roast, some crystal malts, and other dark malts. Plenty of smoke, light campfire and almost peat like smoke, a light hickory like smoke as well. Some very light peppery aroma, and light sweet molasses or caramel, and hint of creamy dark malts.

Taste brings more smoke to start, light campfire, some hickory smoke, and light peat. Then more malts, darker malts, dark crystal malts, just a hint of roasted malts, etc. Also some light pepper like flavors, and hint of fruity earthy taste that I can't really describe well that I assume is from the tamarillo. It also has a drier smoked and cured like meat flavor (not the meat, just the dried cured flavor). Some bitterness cuts through, a light earthy hop maybe, but mostly from the smoke flavors and tamarillo. A light fluffy malt flavor too. Finishes dry, very dry, with some light spicy pepper, lighter smoked flavors, and some light darker malts all lingering, and a bit more bitterness. It starts to get slightly briny and salty from the smoke very late on the finish.

Mouth is med to slightly bigger bodied, slightly fluffy, decent carbonation.

Overall interesting, a few different smoke flavors, some interesting tamarillo flavors, light pepper, nice malts, a decent bitterness, but a light briny taste at the finish deducts a bit.

Initially reviewed on: 08-09-2011 20:00:30

 1,559 characters

Photo of julian
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with slight amber highlights. Very clear with a nice foamy layer of almond colored head. Little to no lacing.

S: Dark fruits, raisins (special b), smokey, caramel malt, some dark roasted malt bitterness and a hint of alcohol

T: Pretty much follows the nose though with the smoked Tamarillos taking more of a front seat. Some roasted malt flavors come through in the mid palate which lead way to a nice smooth caramel malt biscuity flavor in the finish.

M: Well carbonated, smooth, some alcohol warmth on the finish.

O: Not bad. Smokiness isn't overwhelming, general porter flavor comes through nicely. If you like a little (or a lot of smoke) then this is a nice deviation from your standard porter.

 718 characters

Photo of clarkm04
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- light black appearance, tannish medium head retention

S - I get a slight smoke smell from the beer along with what seems to be chocolate

T- This beer has a smokey and wood foretaste then descends to hit more of the traditional porter notes such as light coffee and chocolate. It has a sweet smokey aftertaste.

M- Pretty thin and light for a porter

O- I found this beer to be just decent. As always I appreciate how DFH strives to produce something different. I like the smokey notes it's a good touch but not overwhelming or overdone. I think this beer would be good to make with BBQ sauce or drink it with BBQ

 617 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried a bottle of this at Max's Taphouse in Baltimore. Saw this on the Brewmaster's Show, pretty curious to try it. Interesting beer to say the least, not too much for aroma but taste is very present. My first thought was a "chocolately tomato", but it somehow works and goes together well with a smooth finish. Not one of the best DFH beers I've had, but unique and definitely something you haven't had before.

 411 characters

Photo of albertjr21
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 11-26-11 in a tulip glass.

Appearance is a very dark brown with an tan colored head. Aroma is a cool sweet creamy milk and roasted chocolate malt one. Roasted dark malt backbone is nicely played upon by the sweet/acidic veggie character of the tamarillo. Notes of cocoa, dry roasted nut and mildly acidic spicy/sweet fruit in a somewhat smokey finish. Overall, I'm quite impressed with "the world's first tree tomato beer."

 436 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.94/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 500mL bottle to tasting glass at a NoVA Beer Tasting on 10/23/11
*From notes

-- I picked this up at the Bowery St. Whole Foods NYC in late July --

A: Chestnut brown. A slightly drunken pour yields a 1.25 finger head. Minimal retention and some mediocre lacing.

S: Fake liquid smoke.

T: More liquid smoke. I get some faint hints of coffee, or maybe dark chocolate, but it's not enough to off-set the undesired smokiness. Luckily, the finish is a bit malty and somewhat saves what's otherwise a train wreck of a porter.

M: Overcarbed for a 7% ABV porter. This lacks the find of feel needed to carry the bloated smoke on the palate.

O: Epic/DFH's Portamarillo is another in a running line of unbalanced DFH brews. The more my palate evolves, the more I seem to be dissapointed in the majority of Señor Calagione's one-offs and specialty brews. This, of course, not being an exception. With a bit more focus, attention and TLC, this could be something worth taking note of. As it is, this is sadly forgettable.

 1,018 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with dish tints. A touch of off-white head. Looks decent. Smells sweet and malty. A nice touch of roastiness. Very sweet on the nose. Tastes sweet and smoky. Roasted sweetness. Well carbonated. No weird flavors like i was expecting. Overall this is great ;)

 276 characters

Photo of BostonBrewins
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Tawny dark brown. A nice brown head too, but not the best retention.

S - Roasted tamarillos really come through in the nose, but somewhat faint.

T - Very smoky. If I didn't know what this beer was I would have guessed its a distant cousin of a rauchbier or the less celebrated but very flavorful Norwegian Juniper beer. A little roasty too. Tamarillo show up in the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but aids the beers overall drinkability.

O - I first saw this on the sadly defunct Dogfish Discovery Channel Show. Never heard of a tomato beer before the concept really intrigued me. Excellent execution and very drinkable. If you like smoky beers I recommend this one.

 682 characters

Photo of MrTopher
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brought this back from my Honeymoon in New Zealand this past Summer, wish I would have checked the “Best By Date” of 19.10.11, because I think this would have been more enjoyable fresh.
Shared with my wife in two Duvel Tulips.

A – Dark brown on the edge of black, almost has a little mahogany to it as well. Poured this at such an angle it didn’t create a head. But it did leave a nice tan lacing from the bubbles on the edges.

S – A lot of roasted malt up front, there was a little smoke to this also and some nice oaky earth notes also.

T – Roasted/Smoked malt, it dominates but not in a bad way. There is a nice inviting sweetness to this also, and an additional layer of complexity, but the complexity wasn’t as expected. But the balance on this is amazing, and my wife, who doesn’t love porters really enjoyed the flavors in this.

M – Decently thick on the tongue, and not overwhelming. I would put this on par with other good porters I have enjoyed. Carbonation was perfect even though it was a little more than a week past due.

O – Really enjoyed this for the most part, was expecting a little more complexity but that could have been lacking because it was past its “Best Before Date”, because I’ve had a few other Epic and many DFH beers and they both make some highly complex beers, this just came it a little underwhelming.

 1,371 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

873rd Review on BA
Bottle to Mug

Best by: 19.10.11

Bought from Aloha liquors, Carson City, NV

App- A great mix of browns and reds and ambers. A big puffy two finger medium receding head with with a little bit of a pond layer. Maybe a few whisps of cling.

Smell- Very much like a Rauchbier with the the smoky flavors from the wood chips. A little bit of the porter aromas from the malts remain but seemingly one sided.

Taste- Its very one sided from the smokiness but its still good. The profile is very porter like. A bit thin. A little malty but this one has a kick with the tamarillos and roasty.

Mouth- A nice porter like thiness with a good bit of malt and roasty. Light/medium bodied and a medium carbonated.

Drink- I had been wanting to try this one since I saw it on the show and just could never find it in So. Cal. Go fiqure I find it in a tiny little liquor store in Carson City, NV. Nice flavor profile. Unique and tasty, just a new profile for me.

 972 characters

Photo of davey101
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 10/19/2011. 500ml bottle into a DFH signature glass. Huge thanks to boobypaulson for the awesome extra!

A - Dark black/brown body with a frothy tan head. Really great lacing and retention.

S - Roasted malts and some light smoke. Not sure what a tamarillo smells like, but I'm not detecting anything really tomato like or savory.

T - Rich smokey body with some nice malty sweetness. Fairly bitter and I'm getting some of the savory flavors which have to be tamarillo. Its not over the top though...very balanced and light. Faint coffee and chocolate lingering in the aftertaste. Mouth feel is a bit on the thin side but it has some nice carbonation.

O - A really unique idea, however I fail to recognize the tamarillo as an ingredient. It really works as a lightly smoked porter though. Really delicious, wish this was easier to find.

 845 characters

Photo of JizackFH
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a real dark brown color. It has about a finger and a half of tan head on it. The head has good retention, and it leaves some lace behind on the glass.

S - The smell starts off with some caramel maltiness and a pretty big smoke character. It smells of smoked ham and light camp fire-like smells.

T - There are bready and caramel malt flavors right away. There is a nice smokiness that is there, but doesn't take over the flavor. There is some roasted bitterness, as well as some hop presence. Also, I am getting some fruitiness on the back end of it. The finish has some dryness to it, and leaves a bit of lingering roasted flavor and fruitiness. This has a pretty complex taste. Not sure I am getting it all.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a nice smooth feel to it. There is some roasted bitterness and a little bit of dryness.

O - This has good drinkability. I could easily drink a few glasses of this. I thought the aroma and flavor were really nice. I really enjoyed the smokiness of it. It didn't dominate the flavor, but it definitely stood out. Definitely and interesting and complex beer. I recommend trying it out if you come across it.

 1,215 characters

Photo of nickhiller
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: dark coffee with a soapy head and lace.

S: pumpkin-y, spicy, meaty char and smoked pepper.

T: basically a standard porter that packs a little salami and too bitterness.

M: high carbonation and the roast don't work well together, making it bitter in an acrid way.

O: all the makings of a good porter with all the makings of a bad one.

 340 characters

Photo of cvm4
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured into a pint glass. Has a good 1.5-2 finger head that takes its time fading. Nice tan head and and brownish-black body.

Smell - I got loads of cocoa, barley and smokey characteristics.

Taste - I could taste the smokey flavor with malt mixed in. There was a slight sweetness/fruity flavor to it. The Tamarillo showed up in the aftertaste.

Mouth - About average for a porter, IMO.

Overall - I would drink again. It's a shame this was a one time release. I'm not a big porter drinker but could definitely put this into my rotation.

 553 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black. Edges reveal dark garnet colors. Head was tanned, creamy, and chock full of lacing power. The aroma was a little earthy, with a subtle spicy fruit note, but predominantly roasted, with a dash of chocolate and light smokiness. Up front, the taste hits you with a spicy, acidic fruitiness, moving to a more roasted, toasted malt character, and then finishing slightly sweet with a mild smoked wood flavor. The body was medium, and creamy on the palate. Smooth, with a clean finish. Carbonation was light.

Overall, this is a good porter. I can appreciate the uniqueness of this brew, and I'm very glad I could give this a try. Is the Tamarillo the next big brewing ingredient? Nah. Definitely worth trying if you can.

 736 characters

Photo of uustal
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with just a bit of a brown hue, light tan two-finger head that sticks around. Aroma of smoky wood, hints of roasted coffee and coco, a bit of fruit and noticeable alcohol. Flavor beings a woodsy kick, followed by semi-sweet roasted notes. Both coffee beans and chocolate. What I assume is the tamarillo dominates the duration of the flavor. Got a grilled/roasted tomato vibe... one that you'd have fresh off of a kabob. Also some nice fruity sweetness and balancing tartness as well. Nice job highlighting the tamarillo.

 539 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Epic / Dogfish Head Portamarillo from Epic Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 64 ratings