Viven Porter / Viven Smoked Porter
Brouwerij Van Viven

Viven Porter / Viven Smoked PorterViven Porter / Viven Smoked Porter
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Porter - Smoked
Ranked #18
Ranked #13,262
3.94 | pDev: 9.9%
Brouwerij Van Viven
Very Good
Viven Porter / Viven Smoked PorterViven Porter / Viven Smoked Porter
Notes: Viven porter is a rather bitter porter with nice roasted flavours. Viven porter is an art of brewing. The Porter has a very enjoyable aftertaste and makes many friends.
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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 190 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

3.21/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

330 ml bottle, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 7.0%. Black colour, beige head. Aroma of roast malts, smoked malts and smoked meat. The flavour is mid between dry and sweet, moderately roasty with distinct notes of smoke. Moderate bittering hops.

Apr 21, 2021
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JonnoWillsteed from England

3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

#1768 - Blind-tasted except for the beer's name and brewery/country, zero reviews below read (yet!)...
L- Black to the eye tho held to the light it's a clear ultra-deep ruby red. It's poured clear though I see there is very minor sediment left in the bottle. 3mm quite deep tan fine-bubble head. ps @ +10mins holds well.
S- Clearly smokey, roasty/toasty/smokey log fireplaces.
T- The Smell^ carries right over, log fireplaces. Then notably hoppy-dry, as the smoke+charring linger.
F- It is quite surprising how it lacks richness, well for a 7.0% I think you anticipate at least a bit, but it's not noticably present (to me) here. This seems to be a side-casualty of a beer with a very pungent flavour, even at a solid 7%ABV.
O- Coincidentally this is the 3rd new beer to me tonight, of 3 total, and all of them have been of pungent taste variously over-shadowing any richness... or even 'balancing fullness' on the palate. It's a pleasant beer and certainly something a bit away from the ordinary but I'm rather craving something with just a bit of malty richness/reward for my palate...
Review/scoring all done, now the reveal, I get to read the bottle lables to see what I missed! ==> Bottle refermented.
330ml bottle BB: 12/03/2022 Bought from BeersOfEurope/King's Lynn as part of a large pick-your own consignment to London.

Apr 21, 2021
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Bruno74200 from France

4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Easily drinkable. Balanced with a nice alcalinity, nice smokiness, some chocolate character.
Vivid carbonation. A bit of yeastie presence which rounds up the whole things with esters.
A well made english style porter.

Dec 11, 2019
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz brown bottle. Best by date stamped on label is '19/08/16'. Label says 'Brewed and bottled for Brouwerij van Viven by Brouwerij De Proef.'.
Black colored body with garnet back lit highlights. Two fingers of tan head, settles back after several minutes to a thick cap and high ring. Leaves behind a good webbing of lacing.
Aroma of smoked roasted malts, with some char (smells like smoked meat). Also expresses some old coffee and dark chocolate, with some floral hops.
Taste of smoked roasted malts, with lots of char. Some later flavors of dark coffee and dark chocolate. Floral hops float above.
Mouth feel is thin, but somewhat coating. Good carbonation. Has neither sweetness nor heavy bitterness.
This beer is very smoky, but this is not noted on the label. The body is thin but the beer is "heavy".

Mar 27, 2019
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising slowly along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown colored highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that slowly reduce to large patch of slightly mottled medium thick film surrounded by a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of roasted, charred, smoked, and caramel malts with a hint of dark fruit sweetness (plum + fig + cherry). Light aromas of cocoa + slightly stale coffee. Hints of earthy + herbal hops aromas.

T: Upfront there are slightly stronger than moderate flavors of roasted, charred, smoked, and caramel malts with a hint of dark fruit sweetness (plum + fig + cherry). That is followed by moderate flavors of cocoa + slightly stale coffee. Hints of earthy + herbal hop flavors. Moderate amounts of roasty bitterness which lingers through the finish along with light to moderate amounts of smoked malts.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: This is a pretty intensely smoky porter which makes it a little tougher to drink - definitely a slow sipper. Alcohol is well hidden.

Jul 04, 2018
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle, part of some rather dear 4-packs currently inhabiting Alberta's 'finer' bottleshop shelves of late.

This beer pours a very solid black abyss, with the barest of amber basal edges, and three fingers of puffy, rocky, and bubbly brown head, which leaves some nice frilly and sudsy lace around the glass as it quickly fades away.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, roasted big game, roasted dark orchard stone fruit, roasted coffee, roasted milk, and sure, roasted leafy, earthy, and musty green hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy caramel malt, smoked fish/beef/pork - take yer fuckin' pick - bittersweet cocoa powder, day-old cafe-au-lait, more free-range ashiness, a subtle smoked fruitiness, and some tame earthy, weedy, and scorched grassy verdant hoppiness.

The carbonation is adequate in its basically supportive frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and mostly smooth, with just a bit of char worming its way into my various palates, as such. It finishes off-dry, the smoke, caramel, and coffee esters fussing about the end of the world, or something.

Overall, this is certainly one hell of a smoky offering, for one that absolutely does not mention it on the label - I can't imagine what the 'actual' Viven Smoked Porter is like. Lots of ashy and charred notes abounding here, but not wholly to the detriment of the offering, what with the caramel, cocoa, and coffee rejoinders. Good, sure, but get a better import agent, already.

Mar 15, 2017
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MoohMooh from France

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black, with a two finger creamy tan head. The foam takes a while to recede to a thin ring and leaves very pretty lacing.
Smell is smokey (almost reminiscent of cured meat somehow), a bit on the crisp side; pretty sweet, with coffee, chocolate and alcohol dominating.
Taste is smokey as well, with lots of coffee and some bitterness, but less sweet than you'd think from the smell. A warm note of chocolate in the end. It's a little spicy too, and there's just a touch of hops. It's got a nice medium body that gets fuller as it warms, medium carbonation.

This is great. It's not really a beer you can gulp down in five minutes, but you have to leave it time to warm up a bit anyway.

Sep 10, 2016
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EmperorBevis from England

4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black body with spotty off white head
Aroma off campfire coffee and treacle
Slightly smoky just ever so slightly sweet burnt wood and light spice
Easy drinking but by no means thin
Good stuff

Aug 28, 2016
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with a one finger, tan head that dissipates quickly.
Smells of baking chocolate and slight smoke.
Wonderful chocolate malt taste that rolls off silky smooth. A slight bite of hop, nice spice and smoke that comes together well. Very good yeast qualities.
All comes together well to create a great mouthfeel. I'm glad I grabbed this one.

Aug 10, 2016
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peensteen from Canada (ON)

3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jet black with 1.5 fingers of tan head, some lace. Smell is toasty with anise and chocolate, some smoke and to a lesser extent coffee comes through. Taste start of well roasted with chocolate and black liquorice, herbal and spicy points as well as molasses and smoke. Medium carbonation, light-medium body. Not bad, quite drinkable but not a favourite.

Apr 05, 2016
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Chris_r2112 from Canada (ON)

3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Straight black with a massive creamy head. Literally no light gets through.

Smell: Coffee, overly sweet, almost artificial chocolate. Not too complex. However, not bad.

Taste: Delicious, velvety milk chocolate, coffee, slight smoke. I was expecting much less based on the aroma, but this one is nice.

Feel: Oh so creamy. Medium-heavy body, light-medium carbonation.

Overall: This one is a little rough around the edges, but it is definitely solid. I didn't have a great first impression of this beer due to its overly sweet, almost artificial aroma. The taste surprised me though, and overall this turned out to be a very good brew.

Mar 10, 2016
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Mar 3 2017. Served slightly chilled.

Pours inky black in hue, fitted with a half-inch crown of frothy, tan-coloured head. It dissipates steadily over the next five minutes or so, eventually being replaced with a thin cap and wide, foamy collar. An uninterrupted curtain of tan-tinged lacing is also deposited. Lightly smoky and ashy on the nose, with additional notes of molasses and bready malt. Faint suggestions of coffee and baker's chocolate and a bit of spiciness. Rather subdued, but overall not bad, and the woodsmoke facets open up nicely as the glass gains warmth.

A real nice smoked porter. Roasted grains, toasted bread, molasses and caramelized sugar, along with a leathery quality, are the first flavours I pick out, followed by restrained notes of cocoa and coffee grounds. The smokiness is not particularly subtle, and probably the most dominant feature of the back end. Hints of bitter ash and licorice towards the finish, with a roasty coffee astringency that persists into the aftertaste. Ends dry-ish. On the fuller side of medium-bodied, with slightly assertive carbonation; a little prickly on the first few sips, but it smooths out over time.

Final Grade: 4.02, an A-. Viven Porter is an excellent smoked beer, though they might want to highlight that aspect of the flavour profile a little more thoroughly (i.e. mention it somewhere) on the label. Smoked beers are an acquired taste, and I can understand why someone who was not expecting this sort of beer would be turned off by this. That being said, it's a beautifully-crafted porter, and certainly worth a pick-up if you're at all partial to smoked beers. I'll probably grab another bottle or two for safe-keeping.

Feb 14, 2016
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DJ-Hophead from England

4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle, Beergium- Pours dark black with a large tanned foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Smell - coffee, roasted malts, slight caramel. Taste - light smoky foretaste, roasted malty backbone, light dry bitter finish. Very nice dark ale, particularly the light smokiness. really liked this one and worth finding.

Jan 22, 2016
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Brew_Darrymore from Bulgaria

3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Just opened a 0.33ml bottle in Toronto, Canada. Nice smoky aroma from roasted malt. Very dark colour, brownish head and amazing mouthfeel. One of the best!

Jan 07, 2016
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jrenihan from Canada (ON)

3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a smoked porter, and the smoke is quite prominent. The nose has a strong smoke scent, makes me think of pork. The taste has more happening. Smoke is upfront, but there is a lot of chocolate and caramel malt. A tad overcarbonated for my liking. Overall, quite good.

Dec 12, 2015
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Viven Porter has a black colour that suitably embodies its notes of dark chocolate, coffee, and leather. And as sure as every banana comes with a peel, every Belgian beer has a thick, thriving head. This one is of course no different, except that its bubbles and lace are tinted cappuccino brown.

A combination of chunky bakers chocolate and freshly-ground coffee beans, this is exactly what I was looking to wind down my evening with (though a profile like is something one might also crave to begin their day). The smell is semi-rich and, semi-curiously, unobstructed by fruity, spicy Belgian yeast. There's also a light whiff of smokiness that's rather reminiscent of singed firewood.

Viven Porter hails from a town I'll never be able to pronounce (Sijsele) but acts like it's from an English-first language country. It has the ashy, roasted-to-near-burnt barley qualities of a British porter as well as the broad, sleek, coffee oil-infused mouthfeel of a modern American example. That little 'something smoky' reappears, almost convincing me to list chocolate-covered bacon as a flavour.

I'm still surprised by the absence of flagship Belgian yeast. Generally speaking, I think the dark fruit esters and clove- or anise-like phenols inherent to those strains make fairly nice compliments to stouts and porters. That said, sometimes you just want to enjoy the chocolate truffles and espresso!

And indeed Viven Porter allows Belgians, or whomever comes across it, to enjoy their dessert in peace. While conventional and uncomplicated, this dry, reasonably robust porter isn't a standout but is worth shelling out for. Put it this way: you might not be wowed, but you won't be disappointed.

Dec 10, 2015
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TerryW from Canada (ON)

3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nope. Nothing here for me. Pours up nice. Dark walnut, decent head, good lace. After that it's all meh. Thin-bodied, lots of smoke, some chocolate and coffee. 7%, but you wouldn't know it. Sorry, not particularly interesting.

Dec 10, 2015
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andrenaline from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice bark brown, finger of head with some retention and sporadic lacing. Dark cocoa, hints of smoke and yeast esters on the nose. Flavours are much the same with the dark cocoa up front, some grassy hop notes, and a solid dose of smoke that lingers on the palette alongside some chalky cocoa notes. Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness. A very solid smoked porter that I will definitely grab more of.

Dec 05, 2015
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akdo from Canada (ON)

4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: The beer's body is black and produces a two-finger head that has the colour of sand. The head recedes to a very resilient layer.

Smell: The nose offers a hint of sweetness, notes of roasted coffee beans and a smokey feel.

Taste: With a slight carbonation, the palate has brief notes of homemade pop. Then it shifts to notes of chocolates and lightly roasted coffee. The beer also has a smokey taste, but it is a notch lower than that of a rauchbier in that it is not too bitter.

Feel: There is a creamy sensation in that a little bit of the beer stays in our mouth upon being sipped. However, despite its high ABV, which is 7%, the alcoholic warmth was hardly noticeable, which was weird.

Overall: This Porter is very drinkable. However, it disappoints as it doesn't take advantage of its high ABV the way an imperial stout would. I would drink this again because of the pleasant taste.

Nov 28, 2015
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Picked up a bottle from the LCBO for an entirely reasonable $2.65 CDN.

Appearance- pours a dark chocolatey brown color with some amber hues directly in the light. A decent finger or so of tan head is poured with a modest retention.nsome sparkling and sticky lacing is left behind.

Smell - plenty of roast malts, some nuttiness, some smoke and some slightly burnt butterscotch and brown sugar smells.

Taste - dense and thick roasty flavor. Plenty of smoke, some ash, and hints of nuts. Intense flavours and the smoke continuously grows after repeated sips.

Mouthfeel - full and thick, a very dense beer. Finishes exceptionally dry. Drinks like a slightly bigger beer than it actually is which is something rare.

Overall - a big and bold smokey porter, those liking a full bodied beer with smoke are bound to like this. Drinks like an imperial stouts! with a thick chewy mouthfeel and enormous body. It's good but ones the limit in a night. Worth a try though.

Nov 20, 2015
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EricVonStein from Canada (ON)

4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Black as night with an equally dark brown head of large bubbles. It sticks around for a while, going rocky as it fades. plenty of carbonation visible.

sweet malt and smoke on the nose, dried dark fruit, tobacco. Nice depth on the aromas.

Taste follows with bigger hits of smoke and wood, leather, and the blackest molasses. Dark pumpernickel bread a bit burnt makes it hearty and bold. Hops lend a bitterness to the finish which keeps it drinkable.

Plenty of carbonation on the tongue and not all that thick.

Perhaps a bit bubbly and thin for a big bad porter but the nose and flavours make up for it and then some. Very rich while never being cloying or overbearing. Will get again for sure.

Nov 11, 2015
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DaveBar from Canada (ON)

3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at the LCBO for just over the $3.00 mark for a 330ml bottle. Served at 8deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a 2" high brown head that lasts forever. Very dark brown colour

S- Not a lot here. So subdued

T- Artificial smoke. Not for me. Very light porter backbone but that smoke kills this brew

M- Just a quagmire of everything

O- Not for me. Bringing the other back for refund. Rest down the sink.

Food Pairing

I will try to pair this correctly but it's not easy....... This brew might go well with....... Something so hot that anything is great! LOL

Enjoy if dare!

Nov 05, 2015
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Cramshawbar from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think the deciding factor when it comes to smoked porters, is whether you grew up around smoking chimneys or not. That will determine whether you like the style or not....
I am KIDDING of course, but there is in fact something to be said for childhood memories. To me, the smell of smoke (NOT of the cigarette variety) does take me back to an innocent age. As such, I get a nostalgic feeling from the nose of a smoked porter alone, to say nothing about its wonderful taste when it is done right - and it is here!
Pushing the quality of my favourite smoked porter (Iceland's Lava), there is an almost perfect combination of flavours, carbonation and alcohol content present in the bottle.
I am so happy I have found this. I will definitely get more.

Nov 04, 2015
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drmeto from Germany

4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a small to medium, foamy,sand-coloured head
-smoke,chocolate,oats,mocha,licorice,faint coffee,phenolic
-chocolate,oats,licorice,syrupy,smoke,phenolic,toasty finish
-medium to high carbonation (overcarbonated for the style)
-medium to full body
-slight alcohol warmth
Almost flawless smoked Porter

Oct 05, 2015
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Jeffsta1 from Washington

3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice dark color, pretty tan head.

Smell is malty, smokey, chocolate, seawater, soy.

Flavor: mild, well integrated, smoky malt flavor. Little evident hops.

Moderately rich mouthfeel, fine carbonation, would prefer just a bit less.

Nice finish. Not very intense, but well integrated. Just a little hoppy bitterness finally showing through the malt and unsweetened chocolate.

Sep 30, 2015
Viven Porter / Viven Smoked Porter from Brouwerij Van Viven
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 190 ratings