Tree House Brewing Company

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Porter - American
Ranked #17
Ranked #2,504
4.19 | pDev: 7.64%
Tree House Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States
Notes: We are pleased to introduce Catharsis, a rich and hearty porter ideally suited for these cold winter months! Catharsis is brewed with an array of pale, chocolate, and roasted malts and hopped ever so gently with Warrior and Simcoe resulting in a beer with progressive attributes and a characteristic Tree House edge. We experience flavors and aromas of cocoa powder, fudge, and caramel balanced by a dark chocolate-like bitterness and a hearty body. Catharsis is robust yet pleasant. It is rich with flavor yet maintains an easy drinking complexion. It is our focused interpretation of what we believe a modern American Porter can be. We could not be more excited to share it with you. Enjoy!
Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 228 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown with a mocha head. Catharsis drinks smoothly, strong cocoa flavor mitigated nicely with a hop backbone that balances this porter beautifully. Deep roastiness, subtle sweetness, and a delightfully long aftertaste. A welcome return to the cold weather darks!

Sep 21, 2020
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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Midnight black with two and a half fingers of dark espresso foam, nice retention and webs of lace.

S: Cocao powder (tastes just like a spoon of hersheys baking cocao) some prailene pecans are the primary aromas. There is an earthy undercurrent from the hopping.

T: Follows the nose and matches the brewer's description, except no fudge to be found for me. This is really pretty standard for a porter profile, just amped up big time!

F: Rich but not syrupy, Medium weight with smooth silky mouthfeel and appropriate carbonation.

O: This is very likely a top two porter for me. Not life changing, but it is very well made.

Aug 23, 2020
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can poured into a snifter.

A: Pitch black with three fingers of light brown head that retains very well. Collars of lacing cling to the glass.

S: Rich and decadent nose of fudge, fudge sauce, brownie batter, dark roast coffee and woody roasted malts. Hint of green and grassy hops in there too.

T: Follows the nose at first. German chocolate cake, fudgey, brownie batter, chocolate sauce. Very rich and sweet. A good dose of malty roast brings flavors of coffee and woody/earthy notes. Plum sort of dark fruit note is tight and buried in the malt onslaught. Slight hop bitterness. Green and grassy and maybe even a bit of orange coming from the hops. Roast and hops temper the sweetness nicely and bring things into balance. Long roasty finish.

M: Full, rich, and thick. Coating and decadently airy and whipped in the mouth. There’s a real sense of weight, but it doesn’t sit like sludge. Carbonation is ample but gentle.

O: This is a beefcake of a porter, and certainly more in the vein of a robust porter. Great depth of malt flavor and awesome texture and mouthfeel. It is able to masterfully balance its sweetness and stay really drinkable despite its size. I have to admit, I had kind of written off this beer. I remember trying batch one in the taproom and not thinking as highly of it. This does not taste like the same beast; it is much improved. I’ll go so far as to say it is one of the best and most memorable porters I’ve had in quite some time.

Aug 13, 2020
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Tucquan from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2020-07-13 near Pittsburgh, PA from a 16oz canned on 2020-05-28

A - Super dark brown; almost black. Short brown head that fades fast leaving little lace

S - Cashews and walnuts. Milk chocolate, caramel and vanilla. Mild roasted grain. Light earthy spice.

T - Roasted grain with some char upfront. Then dark chocolate and earthy spice. Not as sweet as expected from the smell. Finishes with some roasted and hop bitterness. Pretty traditional Porter flavors that are well done.

M - Medium body and light medium carbonation. Light rather than thick feel. Finishes fairly dry.

O - A fine Porter on the higher end of the ABV range. Quite satisfying, even on this warm summer day (in the air conditioning).

Jul 13, 2020
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papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 16oz can, dated 05/28/20. Served in a tulip.

Pours a deep chestnut-black with nearly two fingers of fizzy chocolatey foam. Retention is Something less than so-so, quickly settling down to a feeble little collar and no lacing to speak of. I guess that’s what a ‘robust porter’ is supposed to look like.

A beautiful robust aroma of rich, thick mocha java and espresso and maybe a dozen other different pots of coffee all brewing at the same time. Something like walking past a coffee roaster on a cold day with your face in a bag of chocolate fudge. I may not even drink the beer; I may just fall asleep here next to it...

Never mind. The taste could never live up to the nose and, in fact, it doesn’t, but maybe not by a whole lot. Cold brew coffee, chocolate-covered cherries and marshmallow. Mostly strikes a nice balance between the coffee-dry-bitterness and a chocolate-cherry-marshmallow sweetness but in the end probably tilts a bit more toward a sort of thin sugary sweetness.

Feel is creamy but thin, medium-light bodied with fast and fizzy carbonation.

Overall, nice. A little bit of everything and not too much of anything. The can recommends that I drink it on a cool night in front of the fire and that sounds about right and I kind of wish I had. I’d have preferred my ‘robust porter’ be more dry and less sweet but really this is exactly how you’d expect Tree House to interpret the style.

Jul 03, 2020
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 6/25/20

Deep, dark brown, mostly opaque, pours with a medium sized light tan head that fades to virtually nothing
Dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, cocoa, touches of charcoal and tobacco, dark caramel, molasses, toffee, roasted malts, raw sugar, light burnt bitterness, touch of green hops, not overly rich, not overly sweet
On the heavy side of medium, smooth, carbonation on the low side

This particular can of Catharsis is not fresh (i.e., it's about six months old), but I enjoyed it enough to be compelled to review. And in 2020, time is a black hole so who cares anyway? This is a surprisingly nice porter from Tree House. It's not surprising when Tree House makes good beer, but honestly I have found their stouts and porters to be a bit "too much." Catharsis strikes a nice balance.

Jun 26, 2020
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woodchipper from Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 oz can dated 5/28/2020 into a Nonic.
Pours out very dark, very opaque with medium dark beige head.
Aroma is malty, chocolate, caramel, sugar cane.
Taste is incredibly chocolate. A little sweeter than I like, but I can overlook that for the overall effect this has.
Mouth feel is not as sticky as you would think for the sweetness, but the viscosity is about right. Carbonation is slightly lighter than I would think would be perfect, but not by a lot.
If this was drier I would have rated it higher, but still a pretty good beer.

Jun 21, 2020
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VoxRationis from New York

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decanted from a 16 oz (473 ml) can into a Captain Lawrence, muffin top pint glass; canned 05/28/20, code REACH FOR A BEER I'M GLAD YOU'RE HERE.
A: Pours a rich black hue with walnuts highlights, a less than one finger, tan head, rim retention, and fairly limited lacing.
S: Aromas of unsweetened coffee, unsweetened dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee, and cola.
T: Semisweet. Flavor is a melange of the aromas (although maybe some birch/sarasparilla) with balanced bitterness balancing most of the sweetness.
M: Light to medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation.
O: A delicious and very crushable Porter. Nicely constructed, perfect any time, if you like a rich, dark flavor, like I do.

Jun 09, 2020
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling a cold 16 oz can poured into my snifter. Picked up the can at the brewery in January 2020. Its been kept cold since then.
The beer pours a rich cola brown color with a fizzy and fluffy tan head of 2 cm foaming up on a gentle pour. This foam fades slowly leaving a sturdy surface layer and some tight lattice on my glass.
The aroma is roasted malt and some dark chocolate, also some coffee grounds, but not any sweet malt character and hops are buried here too. The ABV is also hidden on the nose.
First sip reveals a medium body and fine spacious carbonation, this feels almost cask like and is very smooth on my palate.
Flavor is rich and malty, more dark chocolate and some roasted malt notes with a dark espresso roast lingering flavor long after each sip.
I never get any hints of the ABV and hops dont make any showing to speak of here either.

This is an easy drinking no frills porter and I enjoy it. Nice to see a dark beer from Tree House that isnt just a sweet adjunct laden brew. Id drink this one again.

May 19, 2020
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brewandbbq from New Hampshire

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can dated 12/31/19.

Pours opaque dark brown with a quickly fizzling out head of tan. Minimal retention or lacing. Espresso, nougat, chocolate, and roast in the nose. On the fuller side of medium bodied with a slightly prickly mouthfeel. Roasted cocoa with bakers chocolate and coffee on the palate. Finishes a bit sweet with lingering roast, bitter chocolate, and vanilla.

Apr 10, 2020
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16oz tallboy poured into HF stem

canned on 12/31/2019.

Appearance: midnight black with a light kahaki brown bodied head. Head pour a thick 2 fingers tall head that recedes down to a ring around the glass. Not a lot of lace left on the glass.

Smell: Robust milk chocolate and roasted grains/malts are the main event. Hint of smoke as well.

Taste: This beer starts out with a sweetness and roasted grains that is balanced nicely. Notes of milk chocolate, smooth coffee, smoke, and I think I even taste wither coffee creamier or a faint vanilla note. The bitterness builds into the finish and transitions from light to a moderately smooth bitterness. The finish is also drying and gives a dark chocolate / cocoa powder notes.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied porter. moderate carbonation levels. Nicely dialed in dry finish that seems to accentuate the adds a nicely layered chocolate complexity to finish. Just a personal preference, but I like my porters a little thicker. drinks below its ABV; no booze to this 7% porter.

Overall: Well done porter. Very true to style. Hits all the right notes. Treehouse did well with this porter.

Mar 09, 2020
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Gajo74 from New York

4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From the can it pours a viscous dark brown to nearly black color. A dark tan/brown head soon dissipates. Elegant looking brew overall.

The aroma highlights nutty and dark biscuity malts, lots of rich dark chocolate and a bit of light coffee roast. Bright and jammy dark fruit add a nice touch.

Full bodied, silky smooth and wonderfully mouth coating. The carbonation is moderately gentle. The taste opens with a moderate dark toasted, nutty, caramel malt and chocolate fudge sweetness. Slightly charred malts add a nice bitterness and balance. There are notes of walnut, bittersweet dark chocolate, espresso and lightly sour black malts. The earthy hops also add some bitterness, while notes of dark fruit add some nice complexity. The finish is dry with a bittersweet flavor.

A sublimely balanced porter with robust flavors. I really enjoyed this one as it’s thus far my favorite non IPA brew from Treehouse.

Feb 27, 2020
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brewme from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked-up a single can at Tree House Brewery in Charlton for $4.05. My eighty fourth brew from these guys. Like porters, but don't usually consider. This was very smooth, tasted great.

Feb 07, 2020
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sentimetal from Arizona

4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can poured into a Founders CBS Barrel Aged Series Snifter - 08/27/19 dated can stating "Now I don't mind choppin' wood" -

L - Dark with a thin tan head

S - roasted malt, chocolate, cocoa - makes me want to dive in immediately, though the beer is still quite cold at this point

T - coacoa, chocolate, roasted barley malt, slight molasses and very, very slight hint of vanilla. Not much dark fruit, but this porter at this ABV is really easy drinking.

F - What you'd expect of a porter. It's a bit slick but still hearty and roasty after its down the gullet.

O - A really good porter. Porters often become so saturated they're indistingishuable from RIS, Catharsis manages to retain its identity as a porter while delivering a roasty, complex treat,

Oct 20, 2019
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can dated 8/28/19. Poured into Trillium Six States goblet.

L: Little bit of a tan head when poured, but it disappears leaving nothing but a thin ring. Beer is very dark brown.

S: Lots of roasted malts, unsweetened cocoa, dried fruits.

T: Roasted malts, caramel malts, unsweetened cocoa, dried fruits, a little bit of citrus/earthy hopping on the finish.

F: Medium feel, moderate carbonation. Drinks nicely and well-balanced.

O: No-frills porter but done very well.

Oct 04, 2019
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Specialmick from Connecticut

4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance... brown frothy head with a look of chocolate

Smell of very nice cocoa sweet and bitter...
Taste of Syrupy dry bitterness...these dudes get it done
Great thickness nothing too heavy , finishes a tad bitter like a very nice porter and I definitely let it warm up for a few
Always been accused of drinking beers slow...good payoff here
Excellent beer as many are from this place

Oct 04, 2019
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a a frothy tan head, there’s loads of chocolate and caramel notes on the nose, and an earthy hop aroma as well. Wow.

The chocolate and caramel are front and center on the taste, and they are rich flavors indeed. The earthy hop flavors are also present, providing a base for a complex beer that is truly a pleasure to drink.

Sep 16, 2019
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JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Traded for this a while ago, as the date on the bottom of the can read 12/28/17 with "HEY PORTER" written above it and "HEYYYY PORTER!" written below it. Of course, this beer is proud to be one, as opposed to the more typical offering from Tree House, but for some reason, this didn't quite do it for me. Sure, it held up well over time and was true to form but it was just a bit too lackluster and underwhelming for me as it felt like sarsaparilla and light coffee more than anything else...

The pour to this was a very dark brown with one of the most offsetting heads I've seen on a beer in a long time - it was quite light with some chocolate and salmon notes to the hue. Very little lacing was left behind as a few bubbles slid down the side of my pint glass after each sip with the liquid being thinner than I expected. Coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt filled the muted nose as the taste was a bit hoppier and full of lighter malt. Not as roasted as an English Porter and the earthy Warrior and Simcoe hops gave this a distinctively American feel. Some sticky soda sweetness emerged as this fully warmed up but it felt just a bit too light and basic for me to fully appreciate...

There was enough booze here and you'll be thankful for it as it gave the beer the heft it desperately needed. While not bad, I just couldn't warm up to it, even as it fully warmed up. Worth a go once for something different from Tree House, but I know that they're capable of better brews than this one. For a beer with this moniker, the lack of emotions I felt while having this was quite ironic...

Feb 11, 2019
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Gatch from Rhode Island

4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Currently drinking this at the (new to me) brewery! This is a campus, the epicenter of the New England IPA. What can I say about this beer?? This porter is amazing. Tastes like liquid chocolate mixed with dark roast coffee and charred wood. More of a stout-like body, feel, and finish. Rich and delicious, what a great first impression of the new-ish Tree House “factory!”

Picked up some cans at the brewery in September of 2019. “Now I don’t mind chopping wood.” Canned 08/27/19. Just as incredible as I remember. An amazing body with off-the-charts flavor. Top notch Porter.

Nov 08, 2018
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Holderness from Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L -- Pours a very dark brown (almost black) murky body with a finger of light brown head produced with gently aerated pour. Surprisingly little retention or lacing for Tree House
S -- Roast, nutty coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, smoke
T -- Dark chocolate, roasted peanut/walnut/hazelnut, char, herbal hoppiness, brown sugar
F -- Medium mouthfeel, medium carb. Smidge of silkiness, but overall pretty standard
O -- One of the more lackluster offerings I've had from Tree House. Just not very inspired or unique


Sep 19, 2018
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scotorum from Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


Poured from the 16 oz. can into a pina colada goblet.

a; Opaque black with a non-existent head and no lacing.

s; Roasty malt leaning to black coffee.

t; Follows the nose with more emphasis on the cold black coffee, with light to moderate bitterness.

m: Medium, ok body and some carbonation tingle.

o; A pretty good apparently hopped-up porter, which makes it more bitter than many porters. Not likely to be a particularly popular brew with TH's usual adoring IPA fans. That includes this reviewer, who gave this brew one of the lowest ratings of any of the many TH brews I have tried. I did not find the claims of chocolate flavor and "robust" body justified by my personal drinking experience. I also cringed at the self-description of TH brewers as "progressive," which these days has what many people consider unsavory connotations.

Sep 07, 2018
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fitzy84 from Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a can at Tree House yesterday. Beer pours with a somewhat brown but mostly black appearance. Head disappears quickly. Roasty nuts and malts are in the nose. The taste is where this really excels. The flavor is a mix of milk chocolate, some coffee, and a fudge-like aftertaste. Great, creamy body, which helps to make this beer slightly decadent. Overall, a little average on some characteristics, but really is good with taste and mouthfeel.

Sep 02, 2018
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can. Black body with a khaki head. Smells malty with a bit of roast. Tastes of milk chocolate, malt, some coffee, and a bit of a metallic flavor. Creamy body. Surprisingly good. Simple and flavorful.

Jul 10, 2018
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Damian from Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a can purchased at Tree House Brewing Company, Charlton, MA
Served in a Willi Becher

The opaque, near pitch black body was topped by a small, frothy, caramel colored crown that dropped to a lasting collar. A few dots of lacing trickled along the glass after each sip.

The aroma was rich and robust. Super malt forward. Caramel malts came through strongest initially. Moderately sweet. Some dark chocolate and cold coffee notes were also apparent. Slightly nutty. As the beer sat, the nose dried out and big roasted malt notes took over. There was a strong toasted character too. Burnt toast perhaps. Touch of smoke as well.

The flavor was thin and rather disappointing. Roasted malts and dry toasted grains dominated. Not much else going on. Boozy notes appeared as the beer moved along the palate. Espresso later came through in the center. Loads of bitter, roasted malts and char appeared in the finish. Really acrid and harsh. Earthy hop notes and more ashy bitterness lingered after the swallow.

Nice soft, creamy mouthfeel. Medium bodied for the style. The liquid contained a super fine, frothy effervescence that turned fluffy and slick on the palate.

Tree House might make some of the best IPAs and stouts on the planet, but a few of their beers leave a lot to be desired. Catharsis was overly roasty and really thin on flavor. Frankly, most shelf porters are far better than this.

Jun 06, 2018
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csmrx7 from Canada

4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is an incredible porter. Rich and full bodied maybe more so than what you would expect, but really hits all the right notes plus some with the amped up cocoa.

May 24, 2018
Catharsis from Tree House Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 228 ratings