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 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 bcm119
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
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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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a soda color. A lighter tan head forms from the pour and retains very well. Rings of lace stripe the glass. An attractive porter. I have come to love how porters look. Dark, yet still showcasing some highlights of color when held up to light. This one is a looker.

S-Smell roasty and milk chocolatey. Textbook porter aroma with a subtle yet noticeable hop kick. Alcohol is a non-factor in the nose. Just has a nice standard porter aroma.

T-Yum. This is a pretty aggressive tasting porter. The hops surprisingly attack the palate before any other flavors. Piney and some floral hops lead to some lasting bitterness. After the hops comes those great roasty, coffee, and chocolatey flavors. Much more flavor than expected from seeing the %6 ABV. One of the more bitter porters I have had.

M-Medium to heavy on the body. A bit slick. Very soft carbonation. Good feel. Dry from the bitterness.

O/D-What a big porter; especially for the ABV.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
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 Krakistophales
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours really dark brown with a minimal tan head that recedes quickly.

S: Sweet, caramel malts, dark roast, a bit of smoke, and a very dry sort of bitterness, kinda like an espresso bitter smell but very faint.

T: Lots of woody, earthy, smoky flavor notes coming forward right away, then quickly touched on by some sweet malts, and finished with a very dry, bitter, but clean sort of coffee/roast finish. Quite tasty, and dangerously drinkable.

O: This has made me reconsider pretty things after having their terrible quad. This is a fine ale, and I can so imagine some officers in an english style pub swilling this down. Quite a glimpse into the past.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a beautiful opaque brown. a two inch khaki-colored head crowns the beer and leaves behind a light slip of lacing. Retention is good.

S: Huge hits of caramel, toffee, and freshly roasted coffee. Smokey and minerally scents as well. Milk chocolate. Hops are European. Earthy and floral.

T: Sweet cola followed by caramel and toffee. Mineral tastes. Fig and date fruit tastes. Very smokey mid palate. Bitter dark chocolate and bitter black coffee. Hops are floral, but really only background noise. Long, intense finish with black coffee, dark chocolate, and smoke featured prominently. An assault on the taste buds. Excellent.

M: Moderately thick, very creamy and slick. Almost velvety. Low carbonation. Very good.

O: A damn fine beer.

Notes: This is one great porter. The finish lasts for days, and it's packed chock full of vibrant tastes. If this is anything like what the British were drinking in the 1800s, they were truly spoiled. The history buff in me is really loving Pretty Things' dedication to these recreations too. Keep up the good work guys (and ladies).

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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 Pinto21
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
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 mcallister
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
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 rowingbrewer
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one solid beer, I have had both on tap and bottles, but enjoyed the tap better so i will review it as on tap

The beer pours a dark brown to almost black with very little to no light getting through. the head is tan and thick and holds to the side of the glass. the smell is rich roasty and hoppy. the flavor follows suit with a bit of hop flavor melded together with the roasted malt flavor, followed by a nice bitter finish. the mouthfeel is medium bodied and low to medium carbonation. overall a really excellent brew.

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Photo of WSB
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
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 SkunkWorks
4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Look: murky, reddish brown with a two finger, tan head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: roasted malt with some dark chocolate and resinous hops. Smells great.

Taste: follows the nose with a big roasted grain taste, some dark chocolate, coffee, and resinous hops. This is an incredibly roasty beer and, as a big fan of roasted flavors in my beer, I love it. The hop bitterness isn't as much as I thought it was going to be. Very good.

Feel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, hidden alcohol, and easy drinking to where it'd make a fine beer to have a session of.

Overall: I'm pretty impressed by this beer. I think this and Jack D'Or are my favorite Pretty Things beers and as a porter/stout fan, I think this is great. If this is the beer that was popular in the 1800s, I'm jealous. I would pick this up as soon as you can. Cheers!

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Photo of Jayli
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a murky yet deep chestnut brown with a two finger of sudsy khaki head. Head recedes at a moderate pace leaving wisps of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is nice chocolate, deep burnt malts, minor smoke and a light citrus hop note.

T: Taste starts with a rich milk chocolate flavoring before a prominent burnt malt flavoring. The burnt notes lend to a lighter coffee flavoring. A mild woody mingled with grapefruit citrus hops.

M: Lighter side of medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly prickly with a dry finish.

O: Goes down easily, very tasty, not filling, mild kick, great representation of style. This has got to be one of my favorite porters. Yet another solid offering from Pretty Things.

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Photo of Dope
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark brown pour with a beige head. Good lacing and good retention. Very solid.

S: Roasted malt and coffee primarily. Maybe a tiny bit of nuttiness and some hops perhaps? Little bit of chocolate as it warms. Mostly overpowered by the former but it's there.

T: Wow, very interesting taste. Hard to describe. There are hops but it's most apparently in the bitterness more than anything. Some slight hints of citrus, pine and earth but mostly the roasted malt, coffee and a little chocolate dominate.

As the beer warms, the hoppiness starts to come alive but never really overpowers the other aspects of this beer. Still quite a nice angle on a porter, regardless.

M: Pretty typical of a porter. Hoppy and coffee bitterness lasts quite well. There is a sort of burnt feeling accompanying this that lasts in your mouth

O: This is an excellent porter and definitely an interesting piece of history at the same time. I like porters but I find that most are a bit too smoky - a characteristic that isn't overpowering in this brew. The hoppiness is quite intriguing, it's kinda like an american black ale/black ipa but with extra roast and chocolate and coffee.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$8.00 bomber from Abe's.

Extremely dark brown body, topped by half an English pint glass of light tan foam. Very good lacing.

Aroma is inviting well roasted coffee. Earthy. Hints of fresh hay in the background.

Rich roast coffee taste, with an undercurrent of chocolate. Earthy hop signature at the swallow, with a good nip in the aftertaste.

Rich smooth chocolate syrup mouthfeel.

Overall, delightfully drinkable and highly recommended.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my mad Fox glass. Dark brown in color with a creamy, frothy, tan head to it. Nice head retention with good lacing on the glass as i drank it as well.

The aroma has a big herbal, juicy, citrusy hop presence to it. I get some of the darker, chocolaty malts to it as well adding some bitter roasty and sweet malty flavors.

The taste shows more of the roasty, bitter flavors with a little bit of coffee to it as well. I get some bitter-sweet baking chocolate flavors to it up front, while it turns more towards a sweeter, cocoa like chocolate in the finish. Throughout the flavor there is a pretty bold hoppiness coming through with more of the juicy, bitter citrus rind like flavors.

The mouthfeel is about average for the style with carbonation being a little above average. Overall it was a very flavorful and good beer. The hoppiness meshed pretty well with the roasty, chocolaty flavors, which is sometimes hard to pull off. A pretty nice beer overall.

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Photo of Gushue3
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- translucent brown out of the bomber and dark brown/ black in my Stone snifter. 1 finger head with small retention and lacing

S- big ole malt scent dominates with some sweet molasses behind that. Lighter sweet nuts in there as well.

T- malty all around then follows the nose. Sweetness is there but not overdone while theres a light bitterness towards the end. Nicely done porter.

M- medium mouthfeel that wouldnt feel odd srinking on warmer days. Carbonation is lighter making this brew very smooth.

O- nicely made porter. Im a sucker for baltic porters with bigger taste and bodies but this one definately satisfied and stands out above other porters ive had.

Editing 10 minutes later. The hops really come out after its qarmed up a bit. Nice hop bite that doesnt take over the porter flavor. Stuffs fantastic.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
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 rinhaak
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Canary Square in Jamaica Plain, MA

Pours very dark black with a small head. The servers at Canary Square were having troubles with either overpouring or underpouring, and I suspect a different pour would yield a bigger head.

The nose is not too overpowering, with aromas of coffee, chocolate, light smoke, and bourbon.

The taste is phenomenal, very dark, and hugely complex. Unsweetened cocoa , burnt coffee grounds, and a hoppy bitter finish are subtly transformed into a Valrhona chocolate bar. Though never sweet or like a shake, by the end of the glass, I tasted more bitter chocolate than anything.

Overall a fabulous beer that I would happily drink over and over. Once again, the Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project has produced one of the better beers in New England.

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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 metter98
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy brown in color and poured with a finger high beige head that quickly died down but never completely faded away and left a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. A light to moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell but is a bit more complex, also having flavors of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans. The hops contribute a light amount of bitterness, which particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and slightly creamy on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There is a hint of dryness towards the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and goes down smoothly because there is a good balance between the roasted flavors and bitterness.

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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 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 smcolw
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
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 greybeardloon
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a thick, uneven head that retains well and leaves splotchy lace as it recedes.

S: Chocolate, caramel and herbal hops. As it warms, the hops take over.

T: Chocolate, a little vanilla and roastiness with a good earthy hopiness. At the finish, there's significant burnt and hoppy bitterness. When I first started drinking this, I got a milk chocolatey sweetness at the beginning and a touch of a not unpleasant sourness on the finish. As I continued drinking, I lost both to the nicely lingering hops and burned bitterness.

M: Medium full with good carbonation.

O: This is not a novelty beer. This is a tasty and well constructed, very hoppy porter. If this were regularly available, I would probably buy it as frequently as the Smuttynose and Founders porters. However, one bomber is certainly enough for a sitting.

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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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