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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Ratings: 183 |  Reviews: 108
Photo of Centennial
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Earthy Brown, slightly murky, hop resins are apparent.

Smell - Roasted Toffee, and caramel malts, but not of the sweet sense, or if so they are perfectly balanced, if not overcome by the nice hop profile.

Taste - Toasted and roasted, mild hop bitterness, neither malt nor hop overtakes this one way or another, so balanced.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, nice carbonation that fades to a mild poppy bubbling.

Overall - Good brew, if you can't decide between and IPA and a lighter stout or a black ale then this would be the #1 choice.

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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 DrJay
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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 brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
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 route66pubs
4.67/5  rDev +13.6%
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 ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark black-brown color with a finger of frothy tanish head. The head fades slowly down to a thick ring around the glass leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of rich roasted coffee and milk sweetness. There are also some deeper malts and a touch of hops as well.

T - Starts off with some roasted coffee flavor and some sweet milk and malt flavors. Through the middle a bit of hops and some sweet chocolate flavors comes out. The finish is a mix of roasted coffee and a touch of hops that linger nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-low carbonation. The roasted flavors create a nice dry mouthfeel. The finish is also full of roasted flavors with a bit of milk sweetness.

D - Very drinkable. The flavors are nice and balanced and blend together nicely. The hops are a nice addition to traditional porter style.

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Photo of jbertsch
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass.
Not quite black. Dark brown with a reddish hue. Tan had is average size at first. Fizzy and foamy, but more fizzy.

Aroma serves up bread, molasses, brown sugar. Floral hops are noticeable in the back, and become a bigger player as this warms. I also noticed almost a mocha aroma as this warmed.

Its flavor gave me more hops than I smelled. And there’s more hop bitterness than malt. Spices are there, a woodsy note, and malts along the lines of coffee milk. Long bitter finish, but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is is more crisp and carbonated than I expected.

Overall very enjoyable. It had more going that I thought it would. I expected a more straight porter, but characteristics of exciting brown ales and even Belgian style ales are found here.

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Photo of Pahn
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 2 inch, fluffy light tan head that dissipates slowly leaving a couple small bars and spots of lacing. Pours black with dark red brown highlights. Leaves random swatches of lacing.

Smell: Tobacco, raisiny fruit, roasted malt, EKG hops, mild cola. Effervescent and potent. With warmth, light coffee, vanilla, fresh pastry, and liqueur-like notes come out. Beautiful aroma. Smells like either a really good pastry or a really good beer.

Taste: Smooth, malty taste leading to a bitter hop kick then a dry finish. Nice and roasty, but not overwhelmingly so. Very different from the aroma.

The excess of hops advertised on the bottle is present in the entire flavor, coloring everything. This results in some very interesting contrasts. There's lots happening here; creamy coffee, vanilla, and dark malts up front, then a bitter, oily, almost vegetal hop blast, then a finish of tobacco and roasted malt. As complex as a good Belgian quadrupel but in a totally different flavor spectrum.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with the excessive, somewhat oily hops giving an impression of a lighter body. Every sip basically goes smooth and creamy to very-bitter and oily to dry with a lingering roasted malt aftertaste. Mild but sufficient carbonation.

Overall: Pretty Things EIP is a complex and full flavored beer. I don't know how often I would like to drink it, but it delivers generously over a long drinking session (and is, for once in American beer, no more alcoholic than it needs to be).

When I went to review this beer, I noticed that there is more than one instance of the word 'fine' in other people's reviews. Indeed, Pretty Things makes the kind of beer that inspires people to use words like 'fine' when talking about the craftsmanship. EIP is yet another example of this.

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Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
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 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 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 pratyk
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 Oz Bottle. Poured in a Pint glass. Bottled in May 2011.

Appearance: Cloudy Dark Brown with a thick frothy mocha colored head that dissipates slowly.

Smell; Coffee + Choclate with some Malt notes.

Taste: Coffee flavor with a hint of chocolate. Finishes off with a little hoppy but spicy taste. Slight bitterness from the hops covers the palette.However, it's not overwhelming at all.

Mouthfeel: Good amount of carbonation with body that falls on the lighter side as compared to other porters/stouts. Easy to drink.

Overall; Excellent porter when consumed fresh. Another good brew from Pretty Things.

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Photo of phantomwyse
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Deep Ellum in Allston...the only reason to go to Allston.

A: Used motor oil that’s been circulating around a rust engine, crowned with a one finger plus beige head, like an espresso crema. A perfect wall of lacing.

S: Coffee grounds, malted milk, cocoa nibs.

T: Dark roast coffee, half and half, chocolate milk with not enough chocolate. A slight alcoholic bite comes in at the middle. Finishes with a hop wash, a pleasant wash of bitterness, a twinge of oily pine.

M: A solid medium body with a delicate creaminess.

D: Not quite a beer I’d expect to me enjoying in the middle of May, but with all the rain and heavy air, this beer suits it perfectly. A fantastic porter that turns refreshing with hops at the end, making it seem lighter than it is.

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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 WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
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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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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Photo of silentjay
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown to black with a nice sized light khaki head made up of relatively big bubbles that retains well and laces okay.

big roasty chocolaty aroma with a big piney hop kick and some woody earthiness. very aromatic and pleasing.

starts of with earthy, woody flavors, a bit of chewing tobacco, some slight astringency, then the roast takes over, adding some bitter chocolate, burnt coffee, and dark molasses before the earthy hops kick back in and linger a while.

kinda lighter bodied than i expected with subtle, yet prickly carbonation that finishes watery but leaves a pleasant bitter and roasty aftertaste.

overall, something I would drink regularly back in 1855, and could see myself drinking frequently even today. tasty mix of bitter, sweet, and roast.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into short's imperial pint glass.

A- Dark brown with some ruby highlights in the light... Almost amber in the pour but much darker in the glass. Huge sandy tan head that fills up 1/2 the glass. Settles with some heavy lace rings on the glass. 2nd pour leaves a nice creamy head on top for the remainder of the glass.

S- Brown sugar, chocolate, and some sticky icky hops.

T- Big roasty malt, quickly replaced with a b r u t a l bitterness. Wow. Malt comes back in- chocolatey and dark roast coffee. Resiny, piny, bitter, raw hop goodness. Hophead's delight. Like chewing on pine needles.

M- Thick, creamy, great staying power. Bold in flavor and presence for 6%.

O- I like this way more than the other 'once upon a time beer'- love to see a hop bomb with the pretty things twist on it. I would hope that it makes it to at least a rotating release, as I'd love to buy this one on the regular. Very good stuff.


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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 rtepiak
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look is english with a nice two fingers of caramel colored foam. Nose is english... In that it is dominanted by the hard water expected out of a good english porter. Along with other subtlities in a beautiful balance of roast, coffee, and caramel dextrin. Palate is extremely broad for the abv. Coffee blend of tobacco bitter. With a nice forefront of mild sweetness. Maple earth grit that makes it dry with undertones of sweetness that have the dryness . Coal hints make it so so dry grippy.

as an english porter... it thats what you're looking for exactly. this is absolute perfection.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Super dark cola colored beer. A thin covering of brownish head with some spotty lacing. Dead on appearance for a porter.

S: The nose is excellent for the style. Tons of roasted malt. A touch of hops as well. Little bit of citrus as well. Really a nice example of the style.

T: I love what they are doing with this series but this is one of the best Black IPAs that I have ever had. Ha! It is a porter though in body. Just super hoppy for the style. It probably arrived in India tasting around the same as they were used to back home.

M: Light medium body. Carbonation is low but pleasant.

O: Really digging this beer and I am not normally a big fan of porters. Really interesting and an easy drinker.

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Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yay, a new Pretty THings beer.

Pours a nice creamy almost 1 finger head that fades semi slowly, over dark murky mahogany maroon brown color, touch of lacing.

Nose loads up on malts at first, dark crystal malts, hints of reddish and roasted malts, touch of cocoa, hint of molasses, a decent roasty base underneath somewhere, and an interesting crisp like ale yeast addition, also some light earthy and herbal hops add just a touch of an earthy aroma and slightly spicy.

Taste starts with a nice earthy hop kick actually, some earthy and slightly fruity and touch spicy hops, hint of herbal taste, the hops give a decent bitterness but not a lot, it reminds me a lot of a Cascadian Dark ale. The malts are nice as well, a bit of some roasty malts, some reddish malts, plenty of dark crystal and caramel flavors, bit of toffee, hint of cocoa, bit of sweetness but not a lot, the bitterness grows and starts to get spicy and chewy hop flavors, almost becoming astringent but never really getting too far, and the herbal earthy flavors of the hops come out more on the finish, as it dries, and leaves a bit more malts, light roast, and mild chewy "just chewed on a fresh hop pellet" taste.

Mouth is med to slightly heavier bodied, slightly creamy, and decent carbonation.

Overall pretty good, very drinkable, gets fairly bitter but never too far, lots of nice blended flavors, long finish, reminds me a lot of a cascadian dark ale, but doesn't go crazy like most American Black Ales do.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
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 Kkottonmouthkngz
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As with all other Pretty Things so far, wicked excited to try this, I havent been let down yet.
This pours a rustic, muddy brown with a creamy, superfine tan colored head. Lacing is fairly sticky, left behind as the head dissipates fairly quickly.
The nose on this is really cool, interesting roasty toasty malt, with a hop presence that by no means dominates, but boosts the profile enough to be a good mix. Burnt coffee, bittersweet chocolate, dare i say dirt, maybe fresh mulch? Its dank and resinous and i keep sticking my nose in the glass because i keep picking up different scents. Very interesting.
Espresso, hops, cocoa all come through on the palate, it keeps getting better and better. My first sip of this beer was pretty good, several sips into it it starts really putting a smile on my face.
The combination of bitterness and what really turns out to be a phenomenaly creamy mouthfeel with just right carbonation, is a great balance. The bitterness on the finish lasts just long enough, and when it drops off, leaves all the great roasted flavors behind.
Initially was not overly impressed by this, but damn does it really turn around quickly. Delicious.

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Photo of Sensaray
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown red which you cant see through. Has a light tan creamy looking head.

Smells of hops and roasted coffee, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon. Definitely smells like a hoppy porter.

Tastes like coffee, vanilla, roasted flavors. Also you get a hoppy presence that gathers and builds to the finish, which gets bitter never overpowering bitter. Bitter finish comparable to mildly bitter ipa. Has a hop spiciness that pairs well with the coffee flavors. Some sweetness emeges at random.

Medium bodied smooth and creamy

This is good. About what I was expecting. Didn't disappoint. Kinda like a really good hoppy black & tan.

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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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