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An Brain Blásta | The Porterhouse Brewing Company

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An Brain BlástaAn Brain Blásta

Brewed by:
The Porterhouse Brewing Company

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-20-2001

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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 123
Photo of tjsdomer2
4.61/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Sudsy red-orange with excellent white foam in a goblet.

Smell: Incredibly herbal, soapy smell. Extremely medicinal and old school with a resiny and ether-like background. Smoke, peat, and Scotch.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very similar to the smell. Moderately smokey peat-like Scotch with a heavy dose of medicinal herbs. Fabulous! Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and very sharp on the palate.

Overall Drinkability: Old school bliss.

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Photo of drpimento
4.55/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good brew. Poured slightly cold with a nice, tan, creamy, thick head that soon settles to a light cover and loads of sticky lace. Color is a clear bronze with the ocassional, slow, lonely bubble trail. Aroma is malt, toffee, caramel, burnt sugar, dark ripe fruit. Flavor's like nose, is bitter up front, sweet in back and great carbonic tang to complete the picture. Body and carbonation are spot on. Finish is like flavor, sweetness tapers to a long bitter end, no alcohol buzz. Very drinkable beer. Wish I had more.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.23/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a small cylindrical glass at the brewpub in Dublin.

A: Some creamy head and bubbles. Beautiful! Clear red-copper.

S: An odd creaminess, but with strong citrusy (grapefruity?) hops. Good.

T: Delicious! An Brain Blasta (for so it is listed in The Little Black Book of Beer and Other Stories) tastes a lot of an American double IPA. Allegedly "longer fermentation and thrice hopping" bring about the delicious bitterness that caresses the mouth with spot-on carbonation and strong malts that support the maintaste but fade away before the aftertaste.

M: Drying hops have a biscuity feel, carbonation is very well done, and there is a tinge of warm alcohol. Superlative.

D: Warming, absolutely scumptious, and a pleasure to drink. Definitely recommended, will drink again (in fact, I'll follow this with a pint of the stuff). Porterhouse's best beer.

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Photo of ordybill
4.19/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from an 11.2 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is an amber color with a small off-white head. The aroma is made up of toffee, hops and sweet fruit with a strong alcohol smell. The taste is mostly hops and sweet malt. A really good English Strong Ale.

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Photo of bnes09
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is actually pretty descent. Hazy, fig color with lots of creamy lacing. Dense caramel and dark fruit malts paired against an aggressive earthy, herbal hop. Well balanced.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a nice looking reddish brown color. The head was a cream color and had a pretty good retention to it. The lacing wasn't bad either. The smell of the beer had a bigger hop profile than I expected. The amount of malt used was in there also to give this beer a really nice aroma. The taste was nicely balanced with the toasted malts as well as the lively hops. The mouthfeel of this beer was really drinkable. Overall this beer is worth trying. It was actually much better than I expected it to be.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Porterhouse Central; poured into a tulip pint.

A: Deep, dark red with a one finger head.

S: Not to much smell to pull of this one. There is a hint of carmel and bittersweet hops, but that's about it.

T: The hops hit first, sweet honey and tropical fruits follow, and a defined malty sweetness in the finish.

D: Really smooth and crisp with a oily mouthfeel and a sweet finish. A great aperitif to one of the many excellent meals available at the Porterhouse.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a MacAndrew's thistle glass. Pours a dark coppery red amber with a half finger off-white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, dark and light fruit. Flavor begins with caramel and bready malt, light and dark dried fruit, developing a more nutty malt flavor and finishing with dark fruit, hints of wood and hops. A great malty body and interesting flavor progression. Flavors become more muted as the glass warms. Medium bodied with some creaminess. Some barley wine elements, but fits as an English strong ale. I will definitely return to this ale.

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Photo of korguy123
3.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330cl bottle into tulip.
First of all I have to say that was the most fun opening a bottle of beer ever!

A- Clear dark ruby red with brown highlights. Finger and a half off white creamy head and fantastic lacing.

S- Dark stone fruits, strawberries, mandarin oranges, brown sugar, vanilla, pineapple, pear and grapes. Slight burnt toast and a little on the boozy side.

T- Dark roast, the hops stick out the most it's really quite hoppy. More than I was anticipating. Grapefruit and a touch of vanilla. The stone fruits are minimal cutting way back on the sweetness.

M- Light to medium bodied, great carbonation helps wash away any chance of it being too boozy.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: At the Porterhouse pub in Dublin, I asked for a pint of this off the tap but they were out, so I was given a bottle. Poured into a goblet at the bar. The head is creamy and promising, three fingers size. It's ca clear but very dark amber-gould, like a spiced whiskey colour. Bold and appealing.

SM: Moderate strength scent with many notes: lots of hops, maybe some spice. If you've ever inhaled mould spores (and if you've lived in Ireland, you probably have), you know the musty smell in this beer. Definitely yeasty.

T: Wow. Complex yet refined. A sour note, a hint of cream, and a pleasant finish. This is the type of beer I expected when I first came to Porterhouse, and my favourite of all their own brews that I've tried.

MF: Smooth as it needs to be, but a bit too wet. Dries on the finish.

Dr: If not for the price, I'd order this left and right. If you're at the Porterhouse this is the only beer they brew themselves that's worth ordering.

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Photo of Trosevear
3.82/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Dark red, almost brown with a nice white head that stayed for a little bit and then left leaving lacing down the side that also disappeared almost to nothing.

S: Almost sickly sweet with a slight maltyNess to it. Almost smells like I'm just spelling melted caramel or toffee.

T: Also very sweet, almost a little bit of caramel, but I can't really get past the sweetness.

F: Lowly carbinationated with a full body mouth feel and leaves the taste in your mouth for a while.

O: Quite nice actually but a little to sweet for me.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.81/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz beer was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger hear that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with good clarity and bubbles seen coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Really fruity. Raisins, caramel, toffee, brandy, and toasted malts.

Taste: Raisins, toffee, caramel, brandy, mild hop bitterness, and some bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light bodied, low to medium carbonation, and a little bitterness.

Overall: This strong ale is almost borderline with an English barleywine. Fruity, malty, and delicious.

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Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a small head of off-white foam, resting on top of a clear, amber-brown body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves nice lace.

S - Lots of toffee and caramel aromas with some butterscotch. A little bit of bready cracker malt in the background with no discernible hop character.

T - Mild caramel and biscuit malt up front with some spicy hop flavor. The hops grow stronger and more musty through the middle with increased caramel malt presence. the hop bitterness kicks in hard at the finish with a mustardy bite and some sharp grapefruit qualities to the bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, but not as good as it probably could be with more age. There is a nice malt character in the aroma, but the hops dominate the flavor profile. It has a level and harshness of bitterness that is surprisingly reminiscent of an American barleywine. This beer tastes a bit young to me and I imagine that it would mellow and grow more complex with six months to a year of age.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Porterhouse Brewing 'An BrainBlasta' , an English Strong Ale @ 7.0% , served from an interesting 330 ml bottle with a pull tap bottle cap , purchased for $3

A-pour is an amber/gold from the bottle , into the glass dark amber with little to no head along the pint glass

S-sweet smelling , fruity

T-dry hoppy , dark fruity , sweet malt

MF-medium carbonation , medium/full body , dry bittersweet finish on the palate

Ov-ok beer , we bit harsh on my palate , maybe not my favourite style of beer

sampled alongside 'Plain Porter' & 'Oyster Stout' also from Porterhouse Brewing

prost LampertLand

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Photo of biboergosum
3.76/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle. It's been a while since I've encountered this weird-ass, potential deep gash accident prone cap enclosure. WTF? Is this an Irish countermeasure to binge drinking, or something?

This beer pours a clear, dark red brick amber hue, with three fingers of densely foamy, bubbly, and slightly rocky pale beige head, which leaves a stellar array of sticky, holey cheese lace around the glass as it gently sinks away.

It smells of somewhat biscuity, sweet caramel malt, toffee pudding, complex dark fleshy fruit, demarara sugar, sultana raisins, and floral, leafy hops. The taste is rather bitter up front, but in a certain mirror-world, obfuscated way - floral, perfumed hops, mostly - with a further untethered grassiness, caramel and toffee malts, moderately sour store-brand raisins, restrained brown sugar, and a bit of stony flintiness, perhaps from the well sublimated alcohol.

The bubbles are tamed to the point of obsequious plainness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and mostly smooth, in an equally unfurnished manner. It finishes off-dry, the gritty caramel malt shedding its initial biscuit goodness, while the lingering dark sugar and somewhat boozed up leafy and weedy hops round things out.

A decent tipple, in the way of the main island's strong ales, fo sho, with the same UK malt and hop sensibilities that this brewer may not be altogether comfortable with admitting. Maybe not my favorite, vis a vis the same concept so prevalent here on our shores, but the name is cool, and I would imagine, if I were in Dublin town center, this would be a stellar alternative, to well, anything.

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Photo of Yeastcakes
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brewpub near Trinity College
Serving notes: cool, imperial pint glass
A - alcohol comes through, but not too hot. Some raisins and oatmeal.
A - quarter-inch of head, clear light amber.
M - light body with medium carbonation. Alcohol heat that first appears in the aroma is here as expected and also at a pleasant (not-too-hot) level.
T - Some dark fruits (raisins) with good malt body. Has enough hops to back things up.
D - While this is one of their heavier beers it goes down easily enough and if you've already had a meal at the pub you can still continue the evening.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Single 330 ml bottle poured into a tulip. A flat reddish brown with a finger or just a hair under of bright beige foam, somewhere between frothy and creamy. Sweet malt and fruit aroma with a dash of floral, woody hops ... A toffee and nutty bread base ornamented with raisins and pears. Surprisingly light bodied, at least subjectively speaking, and moderately fizzy, but delivers a big brown sugar, orchard fruit, and brown bread flavor with some added herbal hops. Pears and old brown apples, peach, pretzels, a dry woodiness, and a decent bloom of alcohol. Maybe skews more bready and woody than sweet per se. Finish is dry, more wood and alcohol. A wee bit of oxidation that does not detract. Its English all right but not as rich and redolent as the true classics. Nice of them to print the constituents on the label. The grain bill resembles that of a stout qualitatively if not quantitatively. The hop bill explains the rustic herbal notes.

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Photo of phishgator
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Porterhouse Pub. From a bottle poured into a snifter. Depp amber hue with little head and carbonation. The nose is of rich malt. The taste is sticky sweet, comparatively to a Belgian Dubbel but lacking the Belgian yeast flavor. it is instead replaced with slight tea like hops. This is definitely a beer that showcases the malt throughout.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark coppery brown with a very thick, fluffy and rather persistent cream-white head that leaves some good lacing. Malty aroma has a strong fruity note and a hint of grass. Flavor has a malty core, notes of apple and pear, and a woody and slightly bitter underpinning of hops. Smooth texture has good body and plenty of fizz. Blast your brain - and taste buds - with this one.

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Photo of wl0307
3.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted this beer by a pint at the Porterhouse's Covent Garden branch recently.

A: very dark copper to caramel colour, with a fast-fading out white head, and no lacing...
S: very deeply-running caramel and dark maltiness... it's actually straight-forward malty--not unpleasant but not balanced.
T: caramel-sweet... the dark malty flavour dominates the palate which is decorated with a tinge of sweet flavour of chewy black-current flavoured bubble gum, against a good backdrop of hops. In the aftertaste the hoppy bitterness is dryish, with a residual brown-sugary and sweet, preserved black plum kind of sticky mouthfeel towards the end.
M: overall it's a full-bodied and full-flavoured, albeit overly one-dimensional, strong ale, yet the soft mouthfeel proves a little bit too sweet for me. Having said that, it's still enjoyable, better enjoyed as a digestif...

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Photo of jspruit
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Porterhouse Temple Bar location-it was the strongest of their offering's on tap.

Pours a nice copper with some red amberness that can be seen when held up to the light a bit. White one-finger head that settles away after a bit with little lacing.

Smells a bit malty and caramely with some hints of hops too-not bad.

The sweet maltiness is the most dominating characteristic but the bitter dry hops provide a nice contrast. Not too complex of a beer, but I like it.

The dryness kicks in at the end and that for me is the last part that your mouth is left with-I don't mind it though.

I do think that this is one of the best on-tap Irish beers that I have had here in Ireland, but I can't drink too much of it though because of the 7% ABV. I'm glad that it's so close as I'm going to be sure to have more of it.

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Photo of spdyfire83
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

191st Review
Served in a glass
On-tap at Porterhouse Central

A: Slightly hazy medium cranberry. 0.75 (white) fingernail head.

S: Mostly sweet butterscotch here with hints of wheat, burnt malt, and dark fruit esters. Alcohol definitely coming off the nose, but not too overpowering.

T: Rich and complex - lots going on here. Dark fruit with caramel/toffee sweetness up front followed by sticky butterscotch. Hints of nuttiness and more dark fruit comes into play near the back. Overall, there is more malt than hops here and very subtle bitterness. Alcohol presence is articulated from start to finish, but not overbearing.

M: Medium bodied with dull carbonation.

O: The ABV on this beer is not terribly high, but you can definitely feel it warm the soul a bit. The complexity is welcoming and it is very easy to drink (especially as it warms). Good job for the style! My favorite of all the ales offered at the Porterhouse.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Got this for a great price mixed and matched for $1.75

A - Somewhat clear deep red brown, with a 1/4 inch of head, very sticky off white head.
S - Wow has a somewhat chestnut rum smell with a touch of sour cherry and brandy.
T - Somewhat dry and very bitter that last long into the finish with hops. The caramel and toffee notes are minimal but its overall smooth.
M - Very dry and medium bodied.

Overall its a very hoppy and dry old ale, unfortunately I like my old ales less dry and sweet so I will not be getting this again.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep ruby copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, raisin, apple, pear, toast, brown sugar, light roast, bread, herbal, woodiness, and toast/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, raisin, pear, apple, toast, brown sugar, bread, toffee, light roast, herbal, woodiness, and toast/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy/woody bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, raisin, pear, apple, toast, brown sugar, bread, toffee, light roast, herbal, woodiness, and toast/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hop, and fruity yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, lightly creamy, and fairly crisp/bready mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice Engish strong ale. Good complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast flavors; and very smooth to sip on. This bottle was lightly oxidized, but was a nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Eramen
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A dark amber colour, one inch head which retains fairly well.

S - Strongly caramel, malts, and other highly sweet notes, along with floral.

T - Biscuit malts, caramel & confectionery, some fruit, a little tinge of alcohol, and a nice hoppy punch near the end. It's quite a sweet beer indeed.

MF - Medium carbonation that greatly enhances the taste with a superb body that's a pleasure to just roll around the mouth.

O - Very decent beer, one to return to again and again.

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An Brain Blásta from The Porterhouse Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 123 ratings.
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