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

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December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)
183 Ratings
December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter)

Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by busterthecat on 05-04-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 |  Reviews: 108
Reviews by WesWes:
Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a really nice roasted malt scent along with a touch of hop aroma and a solid crystal/chocolate malt sweetness. It's dry with an excellent roasted nose. The taste is great as well. Again, the roasted character comes through nicely with dry toasted feel. Chocolate and caramel malts add a beautiful layer of sweetness that really rounds out the flavor. The hop character is outstanding. It packs a powerful bitterness up front and resinates through to the finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine English India Porter. It would be an excellent porter alone, but the hops add a good deal of depth; very nice.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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 jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

EIP opens with a dark, rich, malty nose that speaks of its porter heritage, being full of tobacco, peat, chocolate malt, and heavily-creamed coffee, as well as more subtle hints of toasted nut and a shade of dark fruit esters such as fig.

On the tongue, the beer is immediately and simultaneously porter and hints of IPA. On the porter side, the brew is quite dark--more stout than porter--with large black coffee, tobacco ash, chocolate and black malt notes, as well as hints of toasted nut. On the IPA side, there's obviously a double helping of hops in here based on the strength of the grapefruit flavors, which manage to come to the front despite the massive amounts of malt. Pretty Things' website says that the hops in this brew equal a double IPA, and the grapefruit and pine flavors swim ever closer to the surface as the beer is held on the tongue, and by the latter parts of the aftertaste constitute the larger portion of the flavors. Subsequent sips reveal fruit esters such as fig and lychee nut, as well as a healthy citrus dose from the hops. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, leaving a slight burning sensation on the tongue and soft palate.

Overall, this is a solid beer, and while there can be a slightly-too-powerful alcohol tinge at the edges of the brew--which is surprising since it's only 6% ABV--it's most certainly a delicious porter that features heavily the tobacco flavors of the style.

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Photo of natescape
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, almost black, but with an interesting lightness on the edges (when held up to the light)

S - Smells like a decent stout. Think Sam Smith's Oatmeal.

T - Wonderful. Complex. Leaves a long roasted chocolate flavor.

M - Just a bit of an alcohol taste on the fringe of the tongue. Yummy.

O - Fantastic. Really complex with lots of flavors. Leaves a great smoked flavor that's both intriguing and delicious. Highly recommended.

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Photo of juicebox
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Wine & Cheese Cask in Somerville.

Pours one shade from black with a tan head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with good amounts of dark and milk chocolate and deep pine hops. Also present are lighter, herbal hop notes.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly roasted malts up front are joined quickly by pine hops with hints of deep citrus. Midway through smooth chocolate flavors come into play, fading out into a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is very good, with grainy carbonation.

Overall nothing about this beer was over-the-top, instead it was a solid and easy-drinking beer made above average thanks to the mouthfeel. Well worth a shot.

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Photo of OBIrish24
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

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

Review from notes. Grabbed a bottle of this when I was up in Boston a few weeks ago.

A: Pours a rather nice orange highlighted brown with 1 1.5 finger tan head that had very nice retention, sitting on top for quite some time before settling to a thin layer of foam on top. Decent lacing.

S: A bit of sweet maple syrup, roasted malt and grains, some nice chocolate and a little bit of coffee. Slight floral hop component, but rather faint compared to everything else going on.

T: Quite roasty up front with a little bit of coffee to go along with it. The midpalate has some nice milk chocolate and a slight hop bitterness. Very tasty.

M: Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Slight bitter finish.

O: Quite enjoyable. Easy drinking for the style, and not as hoppy as I was expecting. For once I don't mind that at all. I prefer there to be a slight break between the darker ales and ipas.

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Photo of alamode
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent beer, cross between a brown and a porter.
On tap at The Ginger Man NYC. Lacey, brown body and tan head. Understaed bitterness, despite claims of high IBU. Roast is understated. Oats,wheat, mollasses, lots of malt is what I mostly get.Fuller mouthfeel.

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

Courtesy of ShogoKawada (thanks!) - poured from a 22oz bomber into my Samuel Smith nonic.

Not quite opaque bistre body with a creamy beige head. Good retention, rich lacing, and glassy legs.

Intense roast barley notes - suggesting coffee, tar, and a hint of toffee.

Bittersweet palate entry suggests a fine unsweetened chocolate with hints of tobacco and leather as the ale warms. Subdued but lasting bitterness is accompanied by mild alfalfa/hay, but the hop flavors are fleeting. Bread crusts, coffee, pecans, and burnt sugar show up in the finish.

Creamy, medium-bodied, and somewhat astringent (due to the roast levels). ABV is perfect.

This could be outstanding on cask, though it isn't bad in the bottle. Lacking the multiple layers of roast that my favorite examples sometimes exhibit, this is a robust and direct porter none the less - very enjoyable.

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Photo of hreb
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is a 22oz bottle in what seem to be the newer packaging, bottled in November 2012, reading simply "Once Upon A Time 1855 East India Porter". Beer pours *super* weird -- I was expecting a porter of some sort, but this is almost golden in color. Well, it's a brownish red, but super hazy (and I have not been unkind to the bottle since I purchased it a few days ago). If I was grading this against typical standards for either a porter or an IPA it'd definitely get dinged for appearance, but who knows what 1855-era East India Porter is supposed to look like.

Aroma is much more typical for a porter, with standard roasty notes up front in a big way, and a much subtler suggestion of citrusy hop goodness. Flavor wise, however, East India Porter is the perfect label. It's super roasty in the mouth, as much as any traditional porter, or maybe a dry stout, though mouthfeel is more carbonation-heavy like an ale (I suspect the original 1855 version would not have been gassed and bottled). And then there's a hoppiness which is almost on par with an East Coast American IPA (I wouldn't call it an English IPA, though). It just lacks the citrusy brightness and any of the floral quality of an IPA. I thought it might compare to a CDA/American Black Ale, but no, the extra roast and nuttiness changes the equation qualitatively.

An interesting treat and I don't mind drinking it one bit.

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Photo of WSB
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer appears to pours black, but when held up to intense light it reveals itself to be a deep, dark caramel color. It gives a thick, creamy, brown tinted head.

The smell is malt, malt and more malt. Which shouldn't surprise, as the recipe calls for pale malt, brown malt, black malt, and amber malt. There is slight hop hint as well, and a surprising alcohol presence for a 6% abv brew.

Mouthfeel is warm and alcoholy- full bodied, moderate carbonation.

Taste is... deep and earthy, the roasted malt really stands out. The alcohol seems to warm the palate and intensifies the malty goodness. There is a surprising hops bitter finish that fights through the deep malt backbone of this beer. Its really different, and its fantastic.

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Photo of mikey711
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown, somewhat murky loking, good head when poured but not a ton of retention or lacing.

S: Roastiness and bitter choclate mixed with some pungent hops. Interestning balance of hops and chocolate as both add a different bitter component.

T: Very similar to the taste, its like a a brown pale ale opposed to a black ipa which is a very interesting concept. The bitterness is quite enjoyable, but a little more sweetness to balance would have been nice

M: Slightly chalky and on the thin side.

D: A very enjoyable brew from pretty things and i love the idea that i am drinking a recreated beer. definitely the best one from the series thus far.

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Photo of beerman999999
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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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Photo of OldIronLungs
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the release at Deep Ellum - ripping good time! Top hats abound! I laud Dann and Martha for their great attitude towards brewing and Pretty Thing's consistently exciting takes on historical recipes!

Poured into a nonick pint glass a nice red mahogany - two solid fingers of creamy head slowly establishes itself and clings to the glass like a midshipman.

The nose pops with an earthy pine hop character, bitter chocolate and lightly roasted coffee.

Big smooth sweet malt in front, chocolate jumps out but is quickly brought inline with a roasty, spicy, pine hop bitterness. Body is medium with lower carbonation, but the hop profile makes the endeavor delicious. Clean, mostly dry finish with a lingering hop resin. Brilliantly drinkable.

I can taste it! I can taste 1855! The India Pale Ale gets all the history notes for it's use of hops as preservative, but the darker variety, the East India Porter that Pretty Things has recreated is even better. I can almost picture myself sipping this after a rollicking cricket test match with the local lads in Rangpur. Ahh, colonialism.

Beer how it was, now. Very pleased.

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Photo of angusblackheart
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark brown/black beer with a nice thick tan head and slinky lacing.

Smells like ac hoppy dark beer: citrus, roast, chocolate.

Taste is roast, mild hops, espresso, and chocolare.

Mouthfeel was a little ooff for me, not sure why, but maybe it was a linegring drying feeling?

Still, a great brew!

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Photo of kirkse
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of trevorpost
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

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

Sampled on August 17, 2011. What a fabulous presentation with the ribbon over the cap and the gray tone label that mixes 18th century calligraphy with modern sans serif typewriter font. The pour is a handsome but cloudy brown with a long lasting foamy head. The aromas are rich with baking chocolate, smoke, coffee, and hops. The body is full. The taste is bold with smoky chocolate with a near dry finale. It is also very drinkable. Excellent brew from Pretty Things.

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Photo of bcm119
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A semi opaque brown colored beer with a fine tan froth that sticks around. Dry, toasty malt, more in the way of bittersweet chocolate, woodsmoke and burnt molasses than dark fruit. Hops are dominant, with a nice green stalk flavor. Fresh and bitter, leaving little malt sweetness on the palate. A little sting of mineral/metal in the finish, which is otherwise all hops. Tight, clean, bitter. My kind of porter-- reminds me of several Northwest beers I used to enjoy in OR.

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December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter) from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 183 ratings