Tree House Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Porter
Ranked #22
Ranked #2,715
4.18 | pDev: 7.89%
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!
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 174
Photo of ovaltine
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

 345 characters

Photo of Specialmick
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Toasty /chalky/roasty chocolate with some bitterness. Just another awesome beer from a company that knows how to brew exceptional beers.
The smell of chocolate is def apparent in this one...enough bitterness with the coffee to balance the beer and not too much sweetness.

 273 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.69/5  rDev -11.7%
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...

 1,589 characters

Photo of Gatch
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

 343 characters

Photo of Holderness
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%
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


 517 characters

Photo of scotorum
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

 877 characters

Photo of fitzy84
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

 448 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.52/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

 206 characters

Photo of Damian
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

 1,413 characters

Photo of csmrx7
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

 164 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice and voluminous foamy brown head that dissipates at a moderate pace. The beer itself is a delicious deep dark chocolate black with a good heft to the texture. It's like a melted dark chocolate bar.

The smell is pretty good. It has a good mix of caramel and smoked wood note. The cocoa is a bit lighter than in the taste but still adds a nice contrast to the other notes.

The taste is fantastic. It starts off with a moderate caramel note that goes into a delicious cocoa note that hovers above a much more powerful fudge note. The later brings up a good smoked wood note. The beer finishes with a slightly bitter hop note.

The feel is good. It has a medium body with tickling and fizzy carbonation. It's good but it's a bit of a letdown after the high points with the other parts of the beer.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer worth getting. It's delicious and definitely worth having on a cold day.

 926 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Solid black body with a dark finger of head looked very stout-like... While there are definite milk chocolate and coffee caramel aspects to the beer, I found it to be fairly well-hopped, which presented me with notes of both dark and citrus fruits, kinda melded in with the roastier malt impressions, and producing earthy, bright, fruit-sweet, and almost chewy characteristics. More of an IPA guy than a porter guy (I tend toward the imperial stout when I want something dark), I found this beer very enjoyable. There is a smooth fudginess to it, mildly sweet, mildly bitter, very softly carbonated... The body was full for a porter, and I liked that, too... 5/1/18 canning...

 676 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16oz. can into Night Shift stemware.

Nose is cocoa powder, coffee beans and roasted malt. Mellow with a nice creaminess. Beer opens with roasted malt, cold brew coffee, smoke, chocolate and cocoa powder. A light tartness from the malt mixes nicely with a bittersweet chocolate that mellows and turns a touch creamy right before a slightly grainy, cocoa powder finish. Body is light to medium with moderate to low carbonation. For a porter, this is spot on. Fluffy on the palate and goes down dry with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Super drinkable.

This is very solid. The ABVs could be lower still but this is drinkable as hell. Perfect for the transition (or lack of) from Winter to Spring.

 697 characters

Photo of von_kaiser
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

i finished this way too quick than i preferred. dark appearance w/ a 1.5 finger foam khaki head. roasty bitter chocolate flavor...mildest touch of sweetness. full feel for the style. kicking myself for only purchasing a can. this is a must have porter worth seeking out....following suit w/ the rest of their offerings.

 325 characters

Photo of craftaholic
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Roasted coffee, chalky dark chocolate malts, chewy molasses, finish is fudge but surprisingly thin? If this was a stout it would finish like a milkshake.

 153 characters

Photo of gibgink
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in recent trade. Pours a beautiful dark brown, almost black with off-white/tan head. Roasted malts on the nose, and a nice "porter taste" round out this beer. A well made porter at the end of the day.

 224 characters

Photo of Kendo
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 3/17/18; consumed on 3/29/18.

A: Poured from the can into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is RIS-black, with a 1.5-finger chocolate-brown foamy head on top.

S: Very nice Porter nose: big time roastiness, with roasted barley malt and coffee.

T: Follows the nose, pretty much, though not as strong: roasted barley malt, coffee beans and milk chocolate, all over a fruity sweetness (think ripe plums) and a hint of molasses.

M: A bit watery and thinnish - good for a Porter - but a wee bit too slick. It could use a bit more carbonation or bite.

O: Very good. Loses steam a bit after the impressive nose, but still quite good.

 651 characters

Photo of Devileyedog
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

All that matters is taste. Not how it pours, not how it smells, not how it looks in the glass.

Calm down Treehouse crazy fanatics.
This is a good beer. It is not a great beer. Some of you are rating this like it's the best thing since two tiny atoms collided and started to form life.

I do not like IPAs. Treehouse does make some pretty epic IPAs.

What they don't make, are epic least not yet.
Some calm the crazy train down.

Good solid porter, yes.
Some of these reviews are solely based on the fact that people seem to think everything Treehouse puts out is epic.

If you happen to be at treehouse for one of their actual good IPA beers and this is on the menu then try it out. However, don't drive and wait in an hour plus line to get six cans of this stuff.

There are plenty of other better Porters out there

 845 characters

Photo of ScaryEd
3.52/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at the brewery.

Pours a dark cola brown with a creamy tan head. The head leaves little lacing before settling into a ring around the glass.

The aroma is very roasted and malty, bringing notes of caramel and sweet bread. Back end is full of dark chocolate with just a hint of piney hops.

The taste, like the nose, is very roasted with notes of caramel, chocolate, and doughy bread. Good but entirely standard for the style.

The feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy with a dry finish.

Overall, a good but entirely underwhelming porter. It doesn't stand out from anything you can just get on the shelf at the local package store. Still, solid all around.

 700 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to rudzud for picking this up for me. Canned 12/28/17

Pours a darker mocha colored thick frothy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, tons of lacing, super dark pitch black beer

Nose brings roasted malts out front, toasted roasty with a touch of char, a little biscuity little caramel and some roasted coffee, but also some cocoa and milk chocolate, some earthy spicy hops.

Taste more roast and chocolate, a bit of fudgey cocoa and marshmallow nougat candy, but lots of roast, charred malts and charred coffee beans, ground almost burnt coffee, bitter slight acrid, a touch of biscuity malt and milk chocolate like malted milk ball, a touch of spicy hop late, finishing a bit drier, dried lactose with a touch of alcohol warmth, big chocolate and roasted coffee and a bit acrid too like burn coffee beans.

Mouth is med to heavier bod, a bit creamy and rich, a bit light on the carbonation but decent, a touch of alcohol late.

Overall not that great, roast and acrid burnt coffee sticks out a bit too much. Nate, I think you got the wrong roasted barley/carafa again. This one comes out too acrid and burnt coffee like flavors, not the nice rich roast and fresh coffee, although the chocolate was nice.

 1,215 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap. Pours opaque dark brown in color with one inch creamy head. Taste is dark chocolate, roasted malt and light cream. Medium heavy bodied, low carbonation and roasty. Makes for a really good example of the style. Prefer other malty beers from the brewery though.

 273 characters

Photo of gcamparone
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a Treehouse Willi glass. Purchased at the brewery.

Pours a deep brown body with a two finger frothy light brown head that reduces to leave good lacing and retention.

Aromas are roasty, light coffee, smokey with some cocoa notes. The tongue matches the nose with lots of sweet milk chocolate, roasty, light coffee notes and some smoke sitting in the background. Medium body and carbonation.

 420 characters

Photo of curtis6290
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned 12/28/17 (HEY PORTER! HEYYYY PORTER!) Enjoyed 1/16/18 in my TH tulip.

Look: Jet black thin liquid, 2 finger frothy tan head that lingers and laces.
Smell: Chocolate Fudge, Vanilla, Coffee, Cocoa, Maple Sugar Candy, Tiramisu.
Taste: Grass, Moss, Oak, Pine, Coffee, Hints of sugar. I got more of a savory and bitter taste on this one.
Feel: Watery and thin - a perfect porter mouthfeel. Resin/Chalky/Syrupy in the aftertaste.
Overall: This is a very interesting and delicious brew. You can tell it's a Nate concoction because its super clean, flavorful, and smooth. I was expecting more sugars to come through on this one, but it is still very enjoyable. More bitter than sweet, would go great with a spicy seafood soup (NE Cam Chowder) or some spicy BT's Jerky. Keep em' comin!

 784 characters

Photo of Vivs85
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: dark, black with light brown head- which dissipated quickly
Smell: burnt wood, cocoa
Taste: burnt coffee, and dark chocolate- really tasty brew
Feel: thick mouth, the highlight of this beer IMO
overall: a Very solid brew from Treehouse... The place does some solid dark stuff- I'd like to see more of this, I'm over their IPAs- I mean they're
Awesome, but I'd love to see more of this

 390 characters

Photo of workerman
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a great tasting porter, American style. I’m going with the 7.4 ABV on description above, but the can doesn’t have much in the way of stats. Very easy to drink, not too cloying, dark as night and tastes delicious. Love this porter. Thanks Lyn and Brian for standing in the New England freeze to secure a few of these!

 328 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Catharsis from Tree House Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 174 ratings