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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Ratings: 183 |  Reviews: 108
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 jmdrpi
3.62/5  rDev -12.6%
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 stickynotes
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
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 yeahnatenelson
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
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 7ways
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was worried that this beer would taste like a black IPA. It does not.

Muddy ruby-brown with a dense tan head. It even looks like an antique.

Chocolate, fresh biscuits, cinnamon, and coffee roast. Not picking up much in the way of hops in the aroma.

Tastes of bittersweet chocolate, light smoke (reminiscent of HotD Adam) , and mild coffee. Sparingly sweet and a tad sour. Nutty mid palate that transitions to a slightly hoppy finish. Perfect balance of bitterness.

Creamy, full mouthfeel.

I love this beer. I've been looking for a Porter like this for a long time, it's one of the best I have ever had. Even though it is not technically perfect, I'm giving it a 5 overall because all the elements work so well together and the experience is just so damn enjoyable. I like it better on the cold side, before the hop taste fully kicks in.

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Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown with orange hue 1 finger tan head

smell: roast, coffee, chocolate, malts,

taste: roast, coffee, chocolate,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: pretty decent english porter. glad I got to try it and will probably have again.


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

Poured a 3" mocha head. Deep burnt umber brown body. Smells nicely of hops, caramel, chocolate. Taste is really nice and smooth too emphasizing cocoa and coffee followed by a hops boost to the finish. It all compliments each other unlike some of the other over-hopped dark beers popular right now in which the hops even overwhelm the dark roast flavors.

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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 MrOH
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Murky, extra dark brown with 2.5 fingers of khaki head. Good retention. Tons of lace at every sip.

High quality cocoa and dark dried fruits in the nose. This is what I think of when it comes to porter.

The highest quality dark chocolate followed by a long, lingering bitterness. Chocolate and raisins, prunes, currants, etc. Some earthy, tobaccoish hop presence as well. Just amazing.

Medium-heavy body with medium-low carbonation. Perfect for the beer.

Possible, the most perfect porter I've ever had. I'm gonna email the brewery to see if I can get a clone recipe. Amazing. If it weren't so damn pricy, I'd almost alway have it on hand.

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

A: The beer is dark, murky and brown. It has a creamy, beige head that sticks around for quite awhile.

S: The aroma has sweet cocoa upfront with some cola and mineral/pine hops. It has some bready, toffee-ish malt tones backing up the darker and hoppier notes. Interesting aroma but it pales in comparison to the taste.

T: The taste is much more full and rich than the aroma. There's a big sweet coffee/chocolate note backed up by caramel maltiness. The finish is fairly bitter with a nice hop bite. It's a smooth, full flavor, and the beer drinks bigger than the abv.

M: Smooth, creamy and a bit bracing in the finish.

O: Very good and interesting beer. I would actually prefer it to be a bit less hoppy, though the hops were actually weaker than expected. It's not terribly bitter or anything, but I'd like to taste the rich malt flavors in an even gentler brew. Still, I'm a fan of Pretty Things, particularly these Once Upon A Time beers.

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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 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 washburnkid
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Awesome bottle, awesome looking beer. Muddy brown with a good top of tan head. Good retention and lacing.
S: Aromas are roasted chocolate and sweetened coffee.
T: Acidity really comes out with bitterness at the forefront. Very bitter chocolate comes out at the back and a few seconds after each sip, the roasty qualities are highlighted. I love the array of flavors in each sip, which covers the spectrum of bitter and floral to sweet and then to roastiness.
M: Medium to high carbonation gives this an extra refreshing bite.
D: Seriously yum. Solid solid porter.

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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 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 jdhilt
3.45/5  rDev -16.7%
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 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 ms11781
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours an extremely murky, deep brown with a huge, foamy tan head. Head dissipates a bit but a nice, creamy looking finger of foam sticks around for the entire time it took to drink the beer. Really excellent head retention. Nice, thick foamy lacing is left on the glass as well.

Huge roasted malt character leads the way in the nose. As it warms a hint of a sweet, brown sugar-like aroma shows up as does a bit of cocoa. Really though, it's a good dose of some dark roasted malt that stands out the most.

After the first sip it's clear that the nose is just setting the stage for the flavors in the taste. The dark roasted base is here and seems to be present throughout each sip, but a good deal of other flavors come out as well. A subtle chocolate note is present as well as some molasses and the sweet, sugary character that was in the nose. Some earthy hops are here and the beer finishes semi-dry with a nice bitterness that plays very well with the flavor profile.

The body seems to be on the higher end of medium with carbonation on the lower end of medium. It leaves the beer with a smooth and creamy feeling on the palate while still being pretty light. Normally a beer with such a smooth, creamy mouthfeel has a heavier body but this never feels quite that full. Pretty impressive.

Once again, Pretty Things makes a very good beer that defies categorization. It definitely has aspects of a porter, and is probably closest to a porter if it had to be categorized but it has aspects that fit in line with stouts, brown ales and even IPAs in some respect (maybe Black IPAs). Definitely a nice, interesting and flavorful beer, especially at a lower ABV.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
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 EgadBananas
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, muddy liquid. Head was a tan shade, but didn't stay around for too long, dissipating to nothing.

Aroma packs a big coffee and roast punch. Hops are distant if at all in the nose, but I shouldn't be thinking ABA anyhow.

Big bitter hop taste comes through with a vengeance. Roasted notes, chocolate, lighter coffee notes.

The feel is near medium in body, very slick, slight creamy texture. I bit heavier woud be good, but for an EIPA, it's right good.

Don't go into this with any preconceived notions, because I think it will end up being vastly different than you imagine. But it's a very nice brew and I'm honored to have tried a bit of beer history!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark brown liquid that was only barely translucent. Huge head of tan foam on the top that settled down only briefly to coat the sides of the glass with a thick, spider like web of lace. Dark roasted malts are all over the aroma. Notes of molasses, cocoa, hints of brown sugar and light touches of everything from licorice to dark fruits. As it warmed it got a touch one sided as some elements of peat started to break the surface. But taken the first sip all was forgotten. Just huge rich notes of chocolate malts and a touch of licorice just come across the tongue in waves of flavor. Rich and very sweet, hints of molasses and roasted coffee now come across the tongue. Very well put together

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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 Sam21
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
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 Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served at 53 degrees in my Lost Abbey tumbler. Pours a semi-hazy brownish mahogany with a half inch, dense, khaki-colored head. Head eventually settles into a consistent quarter inch cap. Textured bands of lacing are revealed during the tasting. Great nose - roast, mocha notes, lactose, artificial sweetener and a faint piney/citrus quality. Taste consistent with nose - lactose creaminess really comes out in the flavor profile, as well as a trace of char and a piny/herbal bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a lively carbonation and a pleasant, creamy texture. I wasn't sure what to expect based on the description, but I get something of a porter/black IPA hybrid from this beer. Well worth your time if you have the opportunity to try this one.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.89/5  rDev -6%
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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December 6th, 1855 EIP (East India Porter) from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 183 ratings
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