Viven Porter / Viven Smoked Porter
Brouwerij Van Viven

Viven Porter / Viven Smoked PorterViven Porter / Viven Smoked Porter
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Style:
Porter - Smoked
Ranked #18
ABV:
7%
Score:
88
Ranked #13,306
Avg:
3.94 | pDev: 9.9%
Reviews:
57
Ratings:
190
From:
Brouwerij Van Viven
 
Belgium
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  8
Gots
  39
SCORE
88
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
Reviews by EricVonStein:
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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
More User Reviews:
Photo of Euroglot
Euroglot from Belgium

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

Feb 04, 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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christinelovesbeer from District of Columbia

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

Mar 24, 2016
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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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jsmith313 from Texas

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 08, 2016
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ikidunot from Canada (ON)

3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aug 23, 2016
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nightgardener from France

4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Feb 02, 2017
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BelgianBeerChef from Romania

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

Nov 20, 2018
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BeardedWalrus from North Carolina

4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jul 06, 2018
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DvdP from Netherlands

3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Oct 11, 2020
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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
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours nearly black except for some dark brown through out the glass when held to the light,a great looking thick beige head atop that left multiple rings of broken lace as it settled into a frothy mass.Smoke and a tinge of iron starts out the nose, a light molasses element as well to give it a little sweetness, but it's still quite dry.The smoke is on the lighter side flavor wise with some unsweetened chocolate and brown sugar flavors coming into play.As the beer warms the sweetness is magnified and it gets a little sticky but the sweetness is never to big.A really nice smoked porter,all the flavors come together really well.

Mar 01, 2013
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RBorsato from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

May 30, 2014
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kmo1030 from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours an attrsctive dark brown with a moderately sized creamy khaki head.
the aroma is of smokey cocoa powder with dark roasted malt, also some dark plumminess and black cherry.
the smoke is integrated very well, it blends with the pervasive chocolate and slight fruit acidity. finishes dry with moderate bitterness
the mouthfeel is very soft and smooth with finely textured carbonation.
overall, way above average porter that really nails the nails it's smoke dimension.

Jun 16, 2012
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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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Sammy from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +1.5%

Jul 18, 2014
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mholdefer from Alabama

3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Jan 31, 2019
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beerdrifter from Germany

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Dark brown, almost black pour with one finger beige head with decent retention and great lacing. Really roasty, smokey nose with hints of cocoa and chocolate. The taste is dominated by the smokey malt as well along with hints of cocoa, espresso, burnt toast, leather, dark fruits, and some subtle sweet nuttiness. The mouthfeel is a bit more carbonated than most Porters, but I really liked the body and it had a nice dry and almost spicy finish. Overall, another great offering from Viven. I can see why it's called Smoked Porter in the US. Very smokey, but not overdone. Can't wait to cook with it!

Mar 20, 2013
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch frothy tan head that stays around a while. There's a good amount of lacing, too. The aroma is very nice, it smells like smoked meats/malt, chocolate, and some burnt/charred malt. Taste is similar to the aroma, but it's not quite as smoky. It tastes like smoked malts/meat, bittersweet and milk chocolate, burnt/charred malt, and some coffee. There's also a smoky and burnt/ashy bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and slick with a good amount of carbonation. I think it's a good brew, I'll have to try some of the other Viven brews now! $3.99 a bottle.

Jun 14, 2012
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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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falloutsnow from Illinois

3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Etre Gourmet, Beauvechain, BE
Date: Best by 2014-02-15
Glass: Tulip

Viven's porter is a black malt heavy, stout-like porter that features significant burnt toast flavor and phenolics from the yeast used. The aroma is complex, though too mild, while the flavor is overwhelmed by the burned toast and phenolics. This is a fairly simple beer that I've replicated by accident on my own for a fraction of the cost, should I ever want this flavor combination again. Not one I'd return to again.

Pours a 1.5cm tall head of dark beige to light tan colored foam, made up of small-sized bubbles, yielding a frothy appearance. Retention is slightly above average, the foam lasting a bit over one minute, fading to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass and a large, thin island atop the body of the beer. Lacing is excellent, with a thick wash around the entirety of the inner glass, puncuated with occasional dots and lines. Body is a very dark brown to black color, with light bringing out no change. Beer's body is opaque, so carbonation only visible along edges of the glass, where it appears numerous and quite active.

Aroma is rather mild, of light charred toast, cocoa, a bit of Belgian yeast phenolics, and old coffee beans.

Overall flavor is of light base malt sweetness with charred toast and yeast phenolics being most predominant, with some cocoa and old coffee in the background throughout. Front of palate tastes light base malt sweetness with some charred toast and vanilla. Mid-palate experiences moderate yeast phenolics, charred toast with hints of cocoa and old coffee beans, and light base malt sweetness. Back of palate continues with flavors of light base malt sweetness, notable charred toast and yeast phenolics, and hints of cocoa, coffee beans, and vanilla. Aftertaste of yeast phenolics, light burnt toast, faint coffee beans and vanilla.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a mouthfeel that is mostly foamy (9/10) and slightly smooth (1/10). This is appropriate for a 7% ABV porter, rendering is soft and moderately sippable. Closes semi-dry, with medium to medium-high stickiness lingering on the palate and lips.

Feb 26, 2014
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Hellpop65 from Kansas

4/5  rDev +1.5%

Dec 07, 2014
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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
Viven Porter / Viven Smoked Porter from Brouwerij Van Viven
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 190 ratings