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)

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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Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 183
Photo of chugalug06
1.87/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Big creme brulee colored head. Head is 1/2 foam and 1/2 soapy.

S - A mild home brew scent... not the best. Perhaps this one isn't as fresh as one would wish...??? oups. there's some chocolate lots of caramel.

T - Quite bitter. not too much flavor. Kinda bland.

M - Overly carbonated. Bitter, very bitter.

O - This one could end up in the drain.... :( I wanted to enjoy this one!!! This is hard to drink, it's much like a bad homebrew. What happened to this brew????

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Photo of jrallen34
2.6/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Chris for this, how in the heck is this on the buzzed list... light brown with an amber hue, light tope head, ok retention and lacing... the nose is all black ipa, a hint of yogurt, ok... the taste is not good, all roasted soap, not worthing trying

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.04/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a seriously creamy brown. Lots of lacing, frothy head. Looks great, dense and inviting.

Cocoa, earthy hops.

Oak, burnt coffee, earthy notes. Kind of boring, neither the hops nor porter aspects really stand out, everything just tastes passable.

Dry and bitter mouthfeel. Light to medium bodied.

Not really complex or interesting but certainly not bad.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Extra cloudy brown, reddish tint. Small off white head, turns into moderate lacing quickly.

S: Smooth milk chocolate, malt, mild earthy hops and mild coffee aromas. Dark fruits and grain alcohol slowly make their way to the nose.

T/M: Interesting combination of stout-like flavors; such as roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, cream and molasses - and IPA-like flavors; like lemon zest, pine, dry hops and spices. Not the greatest balance of flavors, a little too unique to be combined in my opinion. Medium carbonation with a medium body. Lingering dry/bitter hoppy aftertaste.

D: I feel like Pretty Things, as a brewery, are always on the overly complex side of their brews, and this concoction proves my point. Still worth trying if this is your preferred style.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.45/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one-finger finger light tan head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving traces of lace. Medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Deep brown almost black color, ton of yeast left in bottle. Nose is roasted coffee and flavor is roasted/burnt coffee. Lingering burnt coffee finish. $8.65 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
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 jmdrpi
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, no date.

extremely dark chocolate brown in color, not quite black. 1/2" khaki colored head that fades. aroma is pleasant, reminiscent of chocolate, nutmeg, hops. similar in taste. a little roasty, with standard chocolate and coffee highlights normal for the style, but also finishes with lingering hop flavor. fairly thick, it coats the mouth. mild carbonation.

overall, it's definitely hoppier than most porters, especially English ones. I didn't like this one as much as their "KK" in the series.

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Photo of Damian
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
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 yeahnatenelson
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jay for sharing the bottle.

Appearance -- Pours a chocolate brown hue with a slim sudsy beige head.

Smell -- Roast malt, coffee, cocoa, some moderate charred malt, and moderate hops.

Taste -- Lots of roast flavor, coffee, char, mild treacle sweetness and a mild fresh pine hop bitterness. Not too bad.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with mild bubbly carbonation.

Overall -- Nice. Reminds me of Avery's New World Porter, which I am quite fond of. That beer was better, though.

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Photo of stickynotes
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a rolling head that settles to a light brown 1/4" foam. Nose is rich roasted malts, some chocolate, some hops just barely there. Taste is a bloom of roasted malts, some caramel some bitter hops aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pleasant some carbonation off the tongue as it passes through, some roasty flavors find their way through my nose, medium-to-heavy body. A solid porter with a real pop, the hops are an enhancing addition. Robust and malty, this is a porter I'm happy with and would buy again if in the malty mood.

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Photo of Sam21
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased for $7.99. Original recipe was brewed on 12/6/1855. Poured into snifter.

Appearance – Dark cola brown with murky clarity. Wonderful creamy khaki head with good lacing and retention.

Smell – Burnt sugar, charred malt, rich fig jam, and a boatload of earthy hob character. Overall, it feels a bit rustic and unrefined.

Taste – Sweet sugary malt, bitter burnt roasted malt, perhaps a hint of vanilla, and rounded out by a heavily hopped finish. Earthy, herbal, with a sharp bite that cuts through the malts. Bitterness lingers alongside smoky burnt malt with hints of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel – Soft medium body. Smooth carbonation. Pleasant all around.

Drinkability – I love the idea behind the Once Upon a Time beers. Taking a look into the past and reviving an original recipe. This is a unique beer with rough charred edges and a boatload of hops. Really great with steak and dark chocolate. Great stuff, Pretty Things.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Aaron for sharing. The beer is cola brown with a thin, broken, beige head. The aroma offers coffee, roast, brown sugar. Ok flavor. A tad harsh. Coffee bitterness with lingering charred roast. Moderately low carbonation. Pretty good. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

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Photo of morebeergood
3.7/5  rDev -10%
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 MbpBugeye
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I gotta say I love the "Once Upon a Time..." series. The history of beer and the culture around it is what got me interested in beer. I'm glad that the guys at Pretty Things are keeping the history alive.

Given to me by ShogoKawada. Poured into a Fantome tulip, also given to me by ShogoKawada. Huge thanks Phil!

This certainly doesn't look like today's porters. It pours out looking very ruddy, muddy and cloudy. Its got a much redder hue as well. It collects in the glass a much deeper color, but its still not the typical color of a modern porter. Its very purple and red, its beer isn't black by any means. It has a really nice, large, dense head that leaves a full coating of lace.

Wow, what a surprisingly hoppy-ass beer. This thing is a full on hop bomb. It almost smells like a black IPA, but this beer makes the distinction between black IPA and hoppy porter. Lots of pine matched up with coffee of equal strength. Dark fruits slink in and out. There is a raw, earthy, woodiness about the whole thing. So earthy that I can actually pick out aromas of wet dirt.

Yeah, this stuff is really hoppy. The hops take over the flavor, nearly. A faint flash of citrus is caught on the tip of the tongue. Things move into a very bitter realm of pine and deeply roasted, black coffee. That earthy, dirt and wood essence is here, but not out of place. A bitter coffee roast carries things to the end. The aftertaste is very bitter, like chewing on charcoal. Bitter, bitter, bitter. Bitter. Bitter....Bitter.

Carbonation starts out aggressively but can be tamed easily with swirling. The beer's body is a heavy medium with a long lingering aftertaste.

Wow, these old school British folk knew their way around an aggressive pint of beer. And this stuff is aggressive by today's standards. I wish England was still making beers like these.

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Photo of angelogarcia3
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good beer dark in color with a slight tinge of blood red. The brownish head slowly wisps away like a ghost. The aroma of this beer hints at licorice, and roasted malts. A slight creaminess gives way to a slight bitterness with hints of burnt coffee, roasted malts, and anise. Had it at Sapsuckers in Huntington, New York.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had: bottle from Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA

Poured into a Pretty Things wine-style stem glass. Deep dark brown color with a small but lasting beige head. Dark roasty malts in the nose, coffee, piney hops. Notably bitter in the taste, roasty dark malts, a generous dose of piney hops, coffee beans, solid earthiness, ash, with a bitter and almost harsh aftertaste. Body was about medium, actually quite robust compared to other beers of the style. Good overall, but for me, just a little too bitter for a porter.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - a nice deep brown with a good vanilla colored head on it about two fingers thick. recedes quickly but laces the glass nicely.

S - gorgeous nose on this. roasted coffee, chocolate, toffee, caramel with a bit of a piny hop smell poking in there.

T - sweet caramel malts hit first and are abruptly punctuated by a bitter resiny hop taste. this erodes into roasted coffee chocolate malt finish. there is a lot going on here. my one complaint would be the resiny hop taste doesn't complement the roasted/chocolate flavors in my opinion. still it's an interesting brew with a complex bill.

M - theres good carbonation in this. it feels slightly lighter than most porters i've had but its not necessarily a bad thing and i think that the slightly lighter feel works better given the hoppyness it exhibits.

O - this is an interesting creation from pretty things. lots of malts lots of hops. overall this all comes together well but i would have to say that this is not a particular favorite out of their selection. still definitely worth a try (all of their stuff is).

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another interesting beer from Pretty Things.

This one pours a muddy brown color with a thinnish tan head, head doesn't last long but does leave some patches of bubbles on top, not much lacing on the glass.

Smell has an odd mix of chocolaty roasted malt with musty hops and a tinge of pine.

Taste has a more upfront hop aspect with a long lingering bitterness, it isn't a harsh bitterness because of the roasted malt presence, it's actually like a burnt bitterness with a piney presence, carbonation is right in the range it's supposed to be and helps lends a touch of creaminess.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 02/09/13 notes. Bottled shared by nimbleprop; thanks Mac.

a - Pours a very dark brown mahogany color with one finger of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of roasted malts, coffee, milk cholxate, light floral hops, light pine hops, and some cream. Hops aren't too strong but overall, a pretty nice nose.

t - Tastes of of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, cream, toasted malts, burnt malts, and some light pine hops. Less hops than the nose; I like the taste a touch better.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy, and pretty easy to drink beer.

o - Overall a pretty nice English porter. Normal chocolate and roasted characteristics with a little bit of a twist with the hops. Easy to drink, would have it again.

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Photo of KarlosT
3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

interesting beer. different.

East Indian Style Porter, historically designed/brewed to mimic the beers from 1885 London. Apparently, porters from England were sent to the troops, whereas the IPA's were reserved for Officers (also brewed in England).

brown, muted. something between a brown ale and a stout. little to no head. little carbonation.

it smells great. fresh, crisp, hints of the hoppiness of an IPA. The smell/aroma set my expectation high for the taste, which fell short (sigh)

complex taste. very sharp, tangy (not just from the bitterness of the IPA). sometimes I think I taste notes of burnt coffee.

very interesting and different. it evervesces on the tongue ... somewhat like an over carbonated beer.

Overall: very interesting and complex beer. suspect for many folks (with a better pallette) than moi would appreciate it. Perhaps w/ time I would like it more.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I purchased a bottle of this at New Beer Distributors in NYC. My wife ended up drinking it as I couldn't fit it into my luggage to bring back. Thanks to Chris (spycow) for allowing me another crack at it.

A - Creamy, light tan foam that settles to a collar and some film, leaving minimal lace. Pretty light in color for a porter - more of a cherry brown color.

S - Smell is a pleasant blend of roasted barley, chocolate, molasses, cola, nuts, and some floral hop character that confirms the "East India" part of the name.

T - Caramel, milk chocolate, roasted grains, and light coffee, followed by fairly intense hop bitterness. Taste is actually more evocative of the (admittedly poorly-defined) American Black Ale style. In any case, it's not a very heavy beer.

M - Medium body, zesty medium-highcarbonation, slightly gritty texture, and no obvious alcohol.

D - I thought this was a pretty successful brew - I'm curious as to the actual historical accuracy of the recipe, but it's a nice hoppy porter/Black IPA hybrid. The bitterness gets a bit fatiguing, but otherwise the low alcohol and nice flavors make it quite easy to drink.

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Photo of coachdonovan
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
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 GarthDanielson
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, hazy, chestnut highlighted brown-to-black coloring with a thin, frothy, foamy, off-white head. Aromas of heavy roasted coffee, both bitter and a bit smoky. Flavors are very heavily roasted, with a solid profile of coffee, both bitter and rich. Very heavy coffee profile. The aftertaste is bitter and roast, with a hint of bittersweet chocolate note. Dry, bitter, mid-lingering finish. Solid brew, and fun to see what brews used to be like back in the day, as they say.

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Photo of mikey711
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
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 dragonWhale
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A sexy silver label draws my attention..What is this EIP?
Pours dark brown but not thick, can see a bit through the amber edges. A finger or so of off-white head.
Can smell the hops off the bat with a little bit of chocolate and coffee. It's got a pretty decent bitterness, fading into the malt and chocolate and then back to the pine and floral hops. She drinks easy and delightful. Not thick, medium-bodied, but very pleasant. Yes, another pretty thing.

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December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter) from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
4.11 out of 5 based on 183 ratings.
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