Black Widow Porter | McMenamins

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Brewed by:
United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.35%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally created at the Thompson Brewery over 21 years ago on October 15, 1991 and made by all Thompson Brewers to come after, Black Widow has become an expected and welcome Halloween treat at the Thompson Public House in Salem... This year, however, her web has enveloped the entire company, as every McMenamins brewery will be making a batch.

Malts Used: Bairds Pale Malt, Great Western Wheat, Great Western Munich, Flaked Barley, Bairds 135/165, Bairds Black, Bairds Roast

Hops Used: Nugget, Sterling
(No third addition)

Additional ingredient: 12 oz. licorice

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User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 20
Photo of flagmantho
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I had this beer on-tap in a pint glass at McMenamins Six Arms in Seattle.

Appearance: nice dark brown hue with a finger of frothy tan foam atop.

Smell: light aroma with a little roast and a little caramel. There's also a little hint of unwelcome sourness or something. Not terrible but not my favorite.

Taste: kind of astringent and bitter; usually good qualities in small amounts but kind of overdone here. Some caramel is present, but not much roastiness. It's OK.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with decent carbonation and ok creaminess.

Overall: a bit too astringent for my taste.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pint on tap at Thompsons Brewpub, Salem OR $5.50. Deepest brown,almost black small consistently tan head Good semi dark cocoa nib and coffee. Aromas Taste is much. The same. Nice Very good creamy mouth feel Fantastic stuff indeed.
Best beer from McMenamins in many a year!

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Photo of vkv822
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap @ McMenamins Sunnyside
from notes.

Black, with a foamy, beige head.

Black licorice, roasty malts. Light sweetness.

Medium, creamy body, with foamy, unobtrusive carbonation.

Easily my favorite beer I've tried from McMenamins. Generally I have been unimpressed, or at the least, left without much desire to have the beer again but this one leaves me wanting another glass.

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Photo of Bosazga
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm sure I've had this amazing porter before but I can't remember. I was all about drinkable today! Went to a McMenamins close by and enjoyed this for happy hour in a pint glass on tap. I didn't think to ask for a snifter or globe but it was an even bodied, "stout" porter ( can't think of another adjective) but oh, so drinkable!!! My nose must not be working, or I need a snifter, but I can't smell anything to distinguish this from another neutral beer. I am getting a little licorice on the rear sides of my tongue, but not distracting. Overall, this could do some damage because of its drinkability... Love it!

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Photo of olfolxholme
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle into a New Belgium globe

A - Beautiful deep, dark brown beer. Need some light to see that it's not pitch black. Poured with a massive amount of dark khaki head, but maintains a legit amount of foam the whole time. A nice bit of lacing.

S - Clean, roasty, and toasty. Beautiful malt characteristics shine through with hints of sugary sweetness and chocolate/espresso.

T - Wowza. Roasted malts with a nice hop bitterness in the background. A real nice sweetness in the beer. It's hard for me to pick out the licorice from the other flavors, but this has all the great dark malt flavors that I want from a porter. Chocolate, espresso, yum.

M - Luscious mouthfeel as you drink it. Bit of a lingering buzz with the aftertaste. Very enjoyable.

O - I really enjoyed this and absolutely recommend it. Crazy drinkable.

Now, depending on when and where you are trying it, your glass will invariably be different - McMenamins has multiple brewing locations - but this is probably one of the best beers I've had from McMenamin's. I live in California now, so I always make a point to catch up with the McM beers when I'm in Oregon... Well, I picked up this bottle over Christmas vacation during a visit to the Old St Francis School in Bend... and just now cracked it open... WOW. Now that I'm thoroughly impressed, I'm reading up on the history of the beer, and I'm proud to see that it originated at the Thompson's location in my hometown of Salem.

This beer could give a lot of stouts a run for their money. I'm really glad to see McMenamin's bottling such a bold porter. I was expecting it to be decent, but this really knocked my socks off.

p.s. to glassware nerds - i tried some of it from a Delirium Tremens snifter and found the NB Globe to be a much better experience. DT Snifter brought out hints of iron in the aroma and did not accentuate the sweet roasted malt flavor the same way.

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Black Widow Porter from McMenamins
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 20 ratings