December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)
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English Porter
4.14 | pDev: 9.66%
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)
Notes: According to Dann Paquette (the Brewer), this beer is a Porter, not an American Black Ale. It was brewed in London in 1855, so it is an English Porter.
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Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 183 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Orbfan:
Photo of Orbfan
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of coachdonovan
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hmm, I don't think I've ever had a beer whose name is a historial date. From an undated bottle (no pun intended) this pours the color of coffee, but when held up to the light it's more the color of tea. Wait, is there a difference? Yes, I think there is. A frothy head that brings to mind a root beer float, and it started at an inch plus but settled to a thin layer.

Aroma is full of roastiness - malts, espresso beans, dark chocolate, maybe a little burnt toast. I suppose there are some piney hops hiding in the background. Taste is similar, although it's easier to pick out the hops here. Mouthfeel is refreshingly NOT thin for the style.

This certainly delivers the goods for any porter lover, which I am. The hoppiness isn't off the charts, but it does present a nice change of pace from the norm. I would have loved it if the roasted char had been dialed back just a bit.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle goes for $8.99 at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.

Pours darkest shades of brown, lifting a huge head, with retentive powers in full force. Fluffy and puffy and leaving impressive globs of sheeting and lace.

Sweat cocoa, vanilla, darker grains in the nose.

Freshly full flavor, lots of chalky chocolate, dark and bitter chocolate, dark coffee grounds,blasting herbal hop load lurking in the finish and pushing the flavor package. Creamy and super smooth in the mouth and over the tongue.

Nicely done. I really enjoyed this one.Go get some.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Cap tape "Once upon a time... 12-6-1855".

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head over the murky, almost opaque reddish brown brew. Head holds steady, with sticky, slow-falling lace. Aroma is dark malts and anise.

Taste starts deep and worty, roasted chocolate in the middle, and finds the anise and some burnt coffee coming on at the close, with a lingering alcohol tinge to keep the dark flavors company. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is very good. This one retains it's use from even way back then. Yum.

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Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Impressive, long lasting light beige head. Leaves some spotty/ring lace. Dark brown color, but some light does pass through.

Dark chocolate and chalky aroma. No hop presence considering the IPA Porter monicker.

More Porter than IPA, but the hop presence is distinct. The body is surprisingly thin. The. Finish is cocoa with a bitter kick. Quite appealing.

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Photo of route66pubs
4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks jctribe25 for another great trade

Appearance: poured into a Sam Adams "real pint" glass. What glass should this really be poured into? I don't know. But it poured nice a dark brown, very dark but somewhat watery, with a minimal beige / cream head that has tiny little legs on the glass.

Roasted chocolate overwhelms all else in the aroma, allowing just enough room for hints of toffee and vanilla to poke through.

As with the aroma, chocolate abounds with vanilla and a hint of toffee following. There is the extremely slightest hint of something reminding me of pine at the very back, but in an extremely delightful way.

I normally expect porters to be smooth, rich, and creamy. This, however, has a bit of a bite to it. The richness of the caramel and chocolatey nature is cut through by a hop bite to bring an edge that makes you want to know more of what is going on, without distracting from the original porter-intent.

This is an amazing, wondrous thing. I have a feeling that if I had access to this beer, I would buy as much of it as I could every chance I got to keep it around for as long as I possibly could. From the initial aroma through to the feeling at the back of the throat, every sense and emotion that is evoked by this liquid is pleasant, and most of them blow me away with happy goodness. This would be in my daily rotation if it could be, without question!

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cascading foam settles in atop the translucent chocolate liquid; excellent stickage leaving clumps of lace behind

Smell: Burnt brown toast with undertones of dark chocolate, tobacco and pine

Taste: Brown bread, with layers of charcoal, dark chocolate and coffee, up front; by mid-palate, the tobacco, and piney hop character arrive to add a decidedly bitter balance to the roasty malt flavors; after the swallow, a subtle fruity/lactic sourness enters the fold, but the finish is decidedly roasty and bitter, though the sour element lingers into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and a slight puckering sensation from the sour element

Overall: A fascinating beer and thanks to the folks at Pretty Things for bringing this historical artifact back to the present

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Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown with dark chestnut edges and a dense tan cap. Good head retention and solid sheets of lace clung to the glass. Interesting aroma, an odd combination of hops and malt. Toasted malts and burnt sugar, pine resin with a bit of sharp citrus, mild roast, and a hint of fruitiness. Notes of dark chocolate and vanilla as it warmed. Similar flavour profile with plenty of resinous bitterness, chocolate and roast, toasted bread, and milder contributions from fruity citrus and caramelized sugar. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, a little chalky and slightly astringent. I have to admit that this beer was a bit confusing to me at first, but as I worked through it I kept finding new layers of flavours as it warmed. I ended up liking it quite a bit.

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Photo of JayfromBoston
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of morebeergood
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the new Porter Cafe in West Roxbury. Served in a Harpoon IPA glass. Dirty brown colored body. Thin white head. Chalky powdery cocoa smell. Taste was impressive, though. I found it unique to try a hoppy porter. The chocolate malt was there for the porter aspect, but there was definitely a nice dose of hops on the palate. Mouthfeel was a bit confusing though. Not thick enough for a porter, but heavy for an IPA. Doesn't hide the alcohol though, as I thought it was way above 6%. This is an interesting beer from Pretty Things. I am not sure that I fell in love, but I certainly am always impressed when I try a new PT beer.

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Photo of mrovelli
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I first had this on tap last month at American Craft in Boston, it was great but I had too many beers to properly review. Until now, as I opened the bottle I brought home ($6.99) at a poker game last night. It hit the spot, at least for the 2 of us that appreciate craft beer.

The label is beautiful, just like all Pretty Things bottles, with a nice story about the historic style: "The modern day beer drinker could be forgiven for thinking that the majority of beer exported from London to India in the 1800s was India Pale Ale. In fact, the majority of beer sent to the East was Porter, & this was drunk by the soldiers. IPA was sent in smaller quantities and was largely drunk by officers. Here, we have recreated zn East India Porter which was first brewed on December 6th, 1855. ... As with our other historical recreations, this beer is hoppy and surprising"

It pours dark hazy brown, translucent with lots of light transmission despite the dark color, with a wet-looking beige foam that lasted forever. roasted malts but still a nice bitter hoppy note to the aroma.

Tasty in a nice English fashion, not like a stouty porter that you get in American brewpubs, this was more like a roasty bitter. Some cocoa and maybe a little smoke, and light (Golding?) hops that give more bitterness than flavor.

Light carbonation, I could have gone for more and I almost wish I hadn't shared it at a game. Great stuff.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Mess for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, some very nice toffee notes, and chocolate hints. The taste is very nice malty, very nice toffee notes, and a touch of chocolate, slightly bitter. Medium Body. This one is very tasty, a joy to drink. Thanks Chris!

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Photo of mcallister
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep crimson mahogany colored with a large semi-fluffy off white head holding stead fast with great retention leaving thick sticky lace. Very nice sexy beer.

Wonderful nose of molasses, beet sugar, brunt caramel, toffee, roasted malts, cocoa, earthy hops, dank and a bit wretched. Dried fruits, raisin, prune, fig, and date with plummy notes as well. Fantastic smelling porter.

And the taste follows suit of the nose. Rich and roasty and very bitter. Dark cocoa like tannins which I believe are from the roasted malt, and flavors of unroasted barley. Very pruney in the mouth with raisin and fig about. Bakers chocolate, earthy hops, tobacco and leather. Semi sweetness in the way of burnt sugar and caramel is swiftly dried out in the long chewy finish. Some red currant flavors and molasses rule the palate on the finish and in the middle. Possibly my favorite porter I've had, but hard to say. So much going on and so complex.

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Photo of albern
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good beer and I'm intrigued by the historical recipe that was unearthed to make this beer. No telling what it would have been like in 1855 sans technology, pristine vats, holding tanks, and sanitized lines, but it is intriguing nonetheless. The nose has a slightly charred aroma, but there are bittering hops in the nose as well.

The beer is very interesting, almost like an IPA porter, if there is such a concoction out there. It has a very burnt, charred, and biting hop flavor with all the roasted chocolates, dark malts, and creaminess that you would fine in a porter. It isn't boozy, nor does it have the acerbic caramel and oakiness that you would find in an imperial stout, just the smooth, milky cacao and chocolate powder with some bittering hop that defines the beer. I will go back for another and add to the review.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of GbVDave
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to jayli for this from our most recent trade!

A: Pours a sludgy/muddy, deep cola brown. Actually kind of skanky looking. What saves it is the creamy, dark khaki layer of foam that reached about three fingers before slowly laying down to a thick collar and skim that left a bunch of lace.

S: Heavily roasted malt, cola nut, dark fruit, cocoa, bakers chocolate, and fudge icing. Actually, this reeks of chocolate! Some piney hops sneak in as it warms and assert themselves in a very good way.

T: See above. Killer chocolate-y flavors that mash it up with some piney/grassy hops and a bit of the dark roast coffee. Very nice balance between chocolate, hops, and ample roasted malt flavors.

M: Starts with some slick fullness that grabs some spicy dryness from the hops and roasted malts. Finishes with a subtle wave of espresso type bitterness that acts as a palate cleanser.

O: Another fine historical experiment from the folks at Pretty Things. Hopefully this isn't a one-off and enters their regular rotation.

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Photo of jaxon53
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of nickfl
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer pours with a small head of light tan foam on top of an opaque, dark brown body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice rings of lace on the glass.

S - Dark, malty notes of licorice and brown sugar with some spicy hops.

T - Dark bread and brown sugar up front with some spicy hops. More dark sugar character comes out in the middle with notes of molasses and caramel. The beer comes to a finish with spicy hops, licorice and caramel malts as a touch of smoke.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a fairly sweet finish.

D - It is an interesting opportunity to try a beer recreated from the mid 19th century. I am used to historical beers coming from ancient recipes and coming with a rather loose interpretation of the original (ahem, DFH), but this seems to be quite authentic. The dark character is quite different from what one typically gets in a modern porter as this beer is all about dark sugar rather than roasted grain.

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Photo of Pinto21
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark brown, ok 1 finger light tan head that faded after a minute.
Malts jump up at your nose. Toasted, sweet, roast, molasses.

Hmm nice porter taste. Toasted and roasted with a nice hop bitterness. There is some hop taste, but definitely a porter with toasted up front with some sweetness and molasses, then going to roasted, and finishing with a hop bitterness to balance it all out.

Very very solid porter. Very pleased with this one. Thought it would be hoppier, but a great porter.

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Photo of Damian
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank on tap at Redbones BBQ, Somerville, MA
Served in a pint glass.

Cloudy, dirty brown in appearance with a thin wisp of off-white froth atop the liquid. No lacing whatsoever.

The aroma was surprisingly mild. Some floral notes were oddly detectible. As the beer warmed, I picked up subtle waves of sweet malts, coffee and chocolate. Overall, not as interesting as I had hoped.

The flavor profile was definitely more robust than the aroma. Malty up front with a mild, lactic-like sourness. Coffee and spices were noticeable. Nutty. Some subtle chocolate notes too. The finish contained prominent notes of earthy, herbal hops. This beer seemed to fall somewhere between a hoppy English porter and a brown ale.

The mouthfeel was creamy and medium bodied with a fine, mild effervescence.

The folks at Pretty Things are experts at brewing ancient, obscure styles and they concocted another interesting creation here. This is definitely worth a try, if for nothing more than posterity.

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Photo of nebula1999
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of kevgod
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark muddy brown color with a tight khaki colored head that settles into a light cap.

The aroma has a wonderful chocolate scent, weak coffee, and a woody/peat note. I don't pick up much hops in the nose but the malt is delightful. The chocolate seems to be more cocoa or brownie in nature.

The taste is of roasted malt and a more bitter chocolate than cocoa. This pairs with the grassy bitterness from the hops, which when combined give the beer quite a bitter edge. There are some milk chocolate notes as well as a hint of coffee. There is a general earthy/woody character to the brew. A sour berry note pops through every now and again. Quite a flavorful porter.

The beer is well bodied with tingly carbonation. It has a creamy texture which is crushed by the roasted malt and hop bitterness. The bitterness lingers in the finish.

A very bold porter @ 6%ABV. Outstanding flavor though a bit too bitter. Very much worth the purchase.

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December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter) from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 183 ratings