Colossal Five
Port City Brewing

Colossal FiveColossal Five
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
English Old Ale
Ranked #70
Ranked #19,096
3.9 | pDev: 7.69%
Port City Brewing
Virginia, United States
Very Good
Colossal FiveColossal Five
Notes: Great American Beer Festival 2016 Silver, English-style Old Ale.

COLOSSAL V is a rich, full-bodied ale that hews close to the English tradition of old ales, with a dark mahogany color accentuated by ruby highlights. Flavors of toffee and dried fruit are complemented by a subtle hop presence. This beer is specifically crafted for cellaring months or even years.
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 38
Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the pub in a snifter. Dark brown colored liquid with a ring of foam. Nice aromas of caramel and fig. Great flavors of cocoa, caramel, dark cherries and prune. Smooth and silky.

 193 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i thought they did a nice job with this, not enough old ales out there anymore, especially ones that arent aged in barrels, and i appreciate the straight ahead nature of this excellent strong ale. rich malty brew with molasses and candied nut characteristics, a little chestnut and honey as well, some fusel alcohol, and a kilned long boiled grain complexion that really delivers a lot of depth and warmth. its not overly layered or complex, the reddish brown brew kind of comes on all at once, with figs and molasses coming to mind right away, a little booziness and oxidation too, elements i dont mind, or even like in this style. i also really dig the english ale yeast profile, i always miss it when its not as robust in these, its bready and brings cool balance to the flavor, added richness. some cooked banana character at the end, a little toffee thing, and a ton of body. this is what these are supposed to taste like, no barrel needed. a wonderful first impression for me of port city brewing! more old ales please!

 1,025 characters

Photo of Griffin2
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.
L - Pours a hazy brown with a slight white head.
S - Smells of dark fruits and booze.
T - Starts out with caramel and dark fruits with some sweet toffee on the finish. A little boozy, but in a nice way.
F - Medium body with light carbonation.
O - Perfect for sipping on a cold night.

 326 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown, a tad murky; frothy, sticky head. Deep roasted grain notes; toffee; cocoa nibs. Rich, malty flavor; toffee and caramel; just the right touch of alcohol presence with a note of hop bitterness. Very rich and velvety on the palate; sweet with a slight dry edge at the finish.

Overall, this is a luscious, very satisfying old ale, strongly profiling a rich, roasted malt backbone with a nice balance of sweetness and a touch of alcohol to bring everything together. Too bad I only have one more bottle as I think this would age well over a couple of years.

 565 characters

Photo of Beejay
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown as it pours, and black in the glass, with a small tan head.

S: Rich caramel and molasses, with touches of dark fruit, and toffee.

T: Slightly fruity with caramel notes at the beginning, followed by toffee and a long caramel and toffee finish.

M: Medium thick, with very active carbonation.

O: CHuck this in a bourbon barrel, an whew boy! You'd have a time!

 378 characters

Photo of seedyone
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Deep ebony look w/creamy yet slim head. Slight lacing on the retreat. Malty slightly licorice aroma that arrives big time in he taste. Smooth, medium texture caps the experience of this well made brew. The 9.8% ABV is what stays the hand from flagging the bartender down for a quick refill, but I'll be back.

 337 characters

Photo of Cyrano41
3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.
Murky, rust brown color with very little head.
I smell molasses and malt.
Very little carbonation, thick and flat on the tongue.
Very sweet malt flavor, maybe bread and chocolate I'm picking up.
I'm not familiar with the style, so take my rating with a grain of salt, but I didn't enjoy this one so much.

 356 characters

Photo of Phigg1102
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Murky, reddish-brown color with a half finger tan cap. Nose is caramel, raisin, plum, chocolate, and a touch of green apple as well. Toasted bread (with crust), heavy caramel, chocolate, and a background hop bitterness that gives good balance. medium-full body, finishing fairly sweet while being balanced by a bit of lingering bitterness. Alcohol presence is about where I would expect it to be, present, but not hot.

 418 characters

Photo of CTHomer
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: opaque; medium brown with a reddish tint; 1 finger medium tan head that receded to a wispy cap; nice lacing;

S: caramel, molasses, chocolate;

T: follows the nose from start to finish with a little dark fruit; mild bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish; hides the ABV really well;

O: very enjoyable;

 349 characters

Photo of delta490
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a nice murky brown with just a hint of red. There is a thin ring of head that leaves small amounts of lacing. The aroma needs time to warm to its peak, with dark fruit and dark sugar dominating. The taste is much the same but has just enough hops to balance it. The body has a nice thick weight and feel but also just a smidge too much carbonation.

 354 characters

Photo of garymuchow
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks @cjgiant for this nice little sample from Port City. Bottled on 1/29/16
Rather dark for style with some red in the highlights and in the sun. Nice small and dense tan head.
Aroma is rather indistinct with more yeast than malt character. But there is some rich malt that isn't too suit or fruity. No discernible hops.
Flavor is nice. Good fullness on the feel adn soft too. Enjoyable mix of flavors with an extended bitterness and drying on a rather long finish. Nice hop character that never dominates and blends nicely with the malt. Speaking of the malt - a little chocolate, a hint of non-sweet candy up front, a little caramel, a little dried fruit and a smooth hit of alcohol enhance and not distracting.
This is a nice drink. I'm a fan of old ales and this one fits the bill nicely.

 805 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 1/29/2016:
This beer pours a deeper brown, looking a tad hazy, though it's hard to make out. Nice tan head thickens slowly towards the edges. Lacing is pretty nice.

Nose is leaning a little chocolatey, with some notes of fig and a bit of cola. With some warmth, the chocolate fades and the cola turns more spicy - cinnamon and light brown sugar. A little light on the aroma strength. Feel is medium in heft, and there is a nice massaging carbonation feel that is quite nice.

The taste itself doesn't go as chocolatey as I might've thought. The flavors aren't overpowering, but are nicely layered: a little cola and chocolate to open; then a little bit of spice, helped by carbonation; the bittering agent comes in next, adding the lightest of woodiness as well; lastly the fig note peaks out as the flavors slowly fade.

A nice brew and I don't get the alcohol at all. This seems to have some of the aspects of a deep, bold brown, especially in the opening. The spice notes come in more with warmth. The bitterness is different, and the ending lingers with that dark fruit flavor, taking this definitively away from that style. The bottle says it can be aged, but I'm not sure if I'll be patient enough to find out.

 1,240 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Ironhorse in DC.

A nice beer but a disappointment if one is looking to have an old ale. A strong dark ale with very little of the oxidized taste that gives an old ale its distinctive flavor.

 205 characters

Photo of Smakawhat
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Deep and slightly murky dark chestnut brown, but with some lighter deep blood red qualities in color for the body. Head manages a slightly creamy one finger tall height and standard tan color. Dissolves to a fairly big bubbled collar and whispy top. Not bad looking, slightly oily sheen on top, but a mix of some neat qualities.

Aroma is pretty quiet. Slight sensing clove and mild phenols, a little bit of clean and mineral watery smells strangely. Some mild sensing cinnamon and raisin but not much malt depth going on here unfortunately which would be a nice addition.

Palate manages to save itself a bit. Slightly light wet bodied but with a moderate sense of toffee chew in the teeth. Coats with a good caramel flavor in the mid palate, but aftertaste washes away quite clean and a little bit fast. Leaves a very good herbal to tea like hop bent, with hinting nutmeg and brown like baked spices. Moderate sort of dates and figs quality, but with far less emphasis on sweetness and more towards sticky caramel. Faint hints of dark bread crust toast of grain just peak out slightly.

Don't seem to get too many straight-forward Old Ales but this is fine for what it is.

 1,230 characters

Photo of GuitarIPA
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

L - Good looking beer with brown body and light tan head.
A/T - Caramel, malt, some sweetness, booze and light bitterness on the finish
F- Medium body, easy to drink - hides the ABV pretty well. Well carbonated with a nice tingle.
O - As described by my favorite purveyor of carbonated beverage stated, it's a nice combination of barley-wine and stout.

 354 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer has a nice light tan head. The beer itself is a very nice brown color and opaque. The brown is fairly full and is a good look for the style.

The beer smell has a nice sweet and strong caramel note with a light bit of roast. The taste has some fairly medium toffee notes that mix well with the caramel but is still able to remain distinct from it. Overall, the malt notes are good and work well with each other. There also happens to be some noticeable hop bitterness running through the beer that lightly contrasts well with the malt notes but doesn't draw away from it.

The taste is very good and does a better job of capturing the complexity of the brew. The taste contains flavors with strong malt notes such as toffee, caramel, and a bit of roast. The toffee and caramel tend to be the dominant notes. There is also a hop bitterness that is surprisingly present and presents a nice noticeable, but not detracting, contrast.

The feel is pretty good but is a tad, bit light for the style. The beer is heavy bodied but with some effervescent carbonation makes the body a bit lighter and drinkable. The texture is a little bit thick but it's a good smooth thick that shows it has body.

Overall, this a beer is a very good old ale and worth getting at least once. It has a very good and memorable flavor even though the smell is decent. Go for it.

 1,364 characters

Colossal Five from Port City Brewing
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 38 ratings