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Imperial Espresso Porter | Flying Fish Brewing Company

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Imperial Espresso PorterImperial Espresso Porter

Brewed by:
Flying Fish Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by 86sportster883 on 01-24-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 110 | Ratings: 130
Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a wispy, lightly frothed, off-white head.

Aromas begin with sweetish, chocolate, roasted barley malts. Then you get some espresso, candied raisins and some dark brown sugar.

The tastes begin with toasted, chocolaty dark maltiness with some definite sweeter milk chocolate qualities. As it warms you get more and more freshly ground espresso. Light earthy bitterness, maybe hops or maybe the coffee. Tastes of brown sugar and raisins precede the finish that adds a revisit of coffee and chocolate.

The mouthfeel is meedium-bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is lightly bitter from the espresso but semi-sweet from the base Imperial porter.

Overall this is a sweet and easy-drinking, and, semi-complex porter. No dog in the flavor department but nothing worldly or too distinctive in the coffee additional beer category.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the better beers this brewery put out and they retire it... I'll never figure it out I guess.

This beer poured out much like any other porter out there, it's got a deep dark brown color to it with some nice red highlights. The smell of the beer is loaded with coffee, the taste is also full of coffee and some roasted malts. The mouthfeel was smooth and had a great drinkable quality to it. Overall this brew was really nice in my opinion. I was looking back at some notes I took on it and thought I'd like to get this one again and now I won't be able to. Glad I got it when I did though. It was worth it.

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Photo of Nesued
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Poured a tan/dark brown color from the 12oz bottle that has been sitting in my fridge for a while. Figured I better review it before too much time passed. Since it's now retired, all the more to give it a parting comment or two. The carbonation seemed slight, causing a very limited head to form upon the inital pour. As I prepared this review the head resolved to nothingness. Needless to say, "head retension" is absent.

Smell - Rich coffee notes are the first to hit your nose, even from a foot away. Some sweet malty/caramel comes through as well.

Taste - The sweetness and coffee battle for top billing from the onset. Big roast coffee notes are here. Don't want to know how much was used, but this may keep me up late this evening. By the time it hits the middle of your tongue, the sweetness has won the middle game. The finish is crisp, almost tart, on your tongue.

Mouthfeel - Thin. Perhaps due to the lack of a heavy (even moderate) carbonation transport mechanism. There is some body, but not much.

Drinkability - Not sure what to say about this one. After getting this far, I looked at a few reviews from others to see if the lack of carbonation was a oddity on my end, or common-place for this offering. It seems the latter, so I'll continue and finish my review. All in all, if you are into a big bold coffee presence in your beer, this one is (was) for you. To me, it seemed off-balance and didn't do it for me. Lots of good and great porters out there.

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Photo of ajfa531
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2-21-11: No date on the bottle. I want to guess it's about 2 yrs old. Refridgerated the entire time.

Poured gently into a Phillies pint glass. No head. Some whte/off-white bubbles congregated.

Brown-black. Some light coming through the edges of the glass with a bit of ruby color in the thinner areas.

Smells good. I remember the aroma being a lot stronger when it was fresh. (This was one of the first beers I put aside to age before I understood the prereqs for cellaring.) The aroma is dominated by coffee and chocolate. Maybe some earthy hops, a little alcohol, and sweet toffee.

The malts are up front in my opinion. The coffee comes in after. Sweetness from the caramel malt. Along with a little dryness from the black and choco malts. Bitterness from the coffee. Not picking up a lot of hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is so-so. I imagine the freshness is a huge factor. I can see the right carbonation making this a fuller feel. Sidebar: I find that a lot of porters end up being a bit thin.

Nothing about this beer takes away from its drinkability. The trace alcohol has disappeared in this one. Making it a bit easier to put a few away.

I was completely unaware that this beer was retired. Most likely in preparation for a new anniversary beer. This one was probably meant to be enjoyed fresh, or else, it would've been bottled-conditioned. I know this now.

I have a couple more-- So, updates may follow.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a dark brown coffee color with a big fat 1 finger head. The aroma is that of coffee roast (duh), molasses, brown sugar, and slight leather. The head recedes rather quckly and leaves minimal lace as it settles. Medium mouthfeel. Sweeter than I anticipated with a mild dark chocolate start that gives way to a more medium roast style flavor of coffee. For being an imperial it doesn't really have that over the top booze flavor that some get. Enjoyable but I'd have liked to see a more coffee forward flavor in this to really put it over the top.

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Photo of meatyard
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle is probably at least 1 1/2 year old, maybe older.

Pours a very dark brown with brown highlights at the glasses edges. The head is about 1-finger and a medium tan color that leaves some decent lacing.

The smell is very roasty malt with some noticeable alcohol.

The taste is chocolate and coffee with toasted malt.

Mouthfeel is medium, smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: It appears that age has caused the main coffee notes to almost vanish which is OK by me. It's likely that I've had this much fresher but can't recall exactly. Chances are, I would prefer this with some age. The mouthfeel is nice at this point though it does thin as it warms. It's not great but it is good and I will gladly drink it again.

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Photo of DIM
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a dark, ruby tinted chestnut color. It poured with a small, fizzy tan head.

s: More chocolate than coffee, smells pretty sweet actually. The chocolate masked all but a little of the traditional porter elements.

t: Chocolate first with some mildly bitter coffee showing up at the finish. Its hard to say how, but this was vaguely porter like, though chocolate was the dominant component.

m: Average body for a porter, imperial or otherwise with low carbonation.

d: This isn't up there with the best coffee beers, but it was pretty damn good. I would definitely buy more of these.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a- bottle poured into a tulip, one onger of tan, bubbly head, deep, dark oqaque brown coloring, uneven lace with a ring around the glass.

s- lots here, coffee for sure, smells like a pile of coffee grounds, some milky sweetness, caramelized brown sugar, some alcohol as it warms, nice coffee flavor, some bitterness, slightly charred brown sugar sweetness, alcohol slightly evident at the start, showing more and more as it warms.

m- medium to full, coating, with a bit of chew to it.

d- good drinkability, i paired this with fresh strawberries and cream puffs, gotta say it went really nicely! the alcohol here hinders drinkability a bit.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am not sure I really get the point of this beer. My tasting notes end with "Why?" The beer is OK, a perfectly decent porter, but I don't think the espresso adds a vast amount and there isn't anything that screams "imperial."

Pours black with a decent offwhite head. Smell is solventy with a burnt coffee edge. Flavor is smooth and milky, with a mild coffee flavor fading into a gentle smooth caramel. The finish is sweet with the burnt edge of used strong coffee grounds. The mouthfeel is quite creamy.

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Photo of tjd112
4.73/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap at the Pour House for $4.28, and it was in a regular pint glass

This beer starts out OK, has a beautiful opaque black look, but head could be a little bit better. Lacing is decent though. The smell is mocha and the taste is mocha, with a bit of chocolate and dare I say even some plum. The mouthfeel was not overly heavy, but also very dry and alcoholic, but it leads to heavy drinkability. Overall, this is another great seasonal from my homestate, get it now because by March, it will be all gone.

I just wish I could get a growler of this stuff.

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Photo of IgnatiusReilly
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle to a tulip glass.

Pours deep brown, dark ruby, nearly black, with a thin tan head. Doesn't retain head too much - thins out pretty quickly. Would have given it a higher score if it stayed longer. Sweet, roasty smell. Taste mimics the smell, roast flavor, some plum and raisin taste, chocolate and coffee come through as well. The coffee is noticeable yet subtle. Burnt aftertones - finishes dry and alcoholic. Very well balanced - not too fatiguing. Slick mouthfeel, slightly syrupy, not overly viscous.

I think this is a very drinkable imperial porter. Again, very balanced with each strong flavor held in check, and the high alcohol is not overwhelming. Easy to have a second.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Black liquid with no head at all and non-existent lacing. Not disgusting, but not incredibly appetizing either.

S: Faint roasted coffee and malt with mild sweetness. I was a bit surprised at how much the aroma of this reminded me of actual coffee; I was expecting some kind of artificial/odd scent. Basically, my expectations weren't high for this one, but have already been exceeded.

T: My initial reaction was "yum" followed by "hmm?" Mildly sweet up front along with slight coffee, malt and at the back of the first sip, there was an odd bitterness, probably from the coffee. I cannot explain that first sip, but subsequent sips and that odd bitterness is gone. This one was better than I expected, by alot.

M: Nicely carbonated and just a hint of chalkiness due to the malts, but otherwise this one is just a bit watered down. Still, much more balanced and true to style/what this guys were trying to do than I thought it would be.

D: One would have to be in the mood for this kind of porter; the average person probably consumes four to six cups of coffee on any given day. So coffee in other beverages could get a bit tiresome even quicker than your average beer. Still, it's something to try for those who like sweet stout/porters or generally prefer darker, less hoppy beers.

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Photo of BubbaNJ
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a gift from my newest Brother In-law . Once opened I immediately smelled the espresso . Pleasant aroma . First taste was chock full of espresso flavor , strong , dark and lightly sweet with a bit of an alcohol bite . Very tasty and not bad for my first ever "Capbeerchino" . Very hard to come by as I understand , this came directly from the brewery in a 4 pack . Worth a shot but not something I could drink a lot of , 4 would probably get me through the winter .

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Photo of maximum12
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mikey711 for dropping this into a fall trade as an extra. Exit 4 last night, Imperial Espresso Porter tonight, & there's no more Flying Fish in the house.

Poured into my lovely Flying Fish tulip rec'd from marcpal in a long-distant trade. Porter black. Espresso smell is immediately apparent on the pour, & follows me all the way to the recycling pile.

The Imperial Espresso Porter isn't messing around. The taste mimics the smell: violent, fire-breathing espresso on steroids. The porter underneath this coffee battery must be damn good, because the sweetness of the malts keep this from being overwhelming to a non-coffee drinker like myself, & a balancing act follows between the sweet & the bitter. Smooth drinking, this one is a brew I'd prefer to take gulps of over dainty, savoring sips. Surprised this is 8% I would have figured it at least a few percentage points lower on the liver.

This one scales the bar of coffee beers & leaves a distinctly pleasant impression. Very good brew. Subtle, sweet, balanced. My kind o' coffee beer.

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Photo of drtth
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a nice rich dark brown color with a 1/8" light tan head that soon recedes to a ring and a large patch of foam which then gradually disappears, leaving only a small patch. At first sipping leaves scattered sparse speckles of lacing. By the end of the glass there is no ring or patch of foam and sipping leaves no lacing at all.

Smell: The aroma is quite pleasant and filled with chocolate and coffee, accented with a hint of licorice.

Taste: The flavor is lightly sweet chocolate and coffee. There is also a slight smoky character from the licorice flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and soft with faint almost prickly carbonation that persists for most of the beer. The finish is medium long and begins as the coffee fades leaving light chocolate sweetness in charge. Then the chocolate is gone and the sweetness fades to a nice lightly dry feeling in the back of the mouth that invites another sip.

Drinkability: I liked this beer. It has a nice drinkable character in that none of the flavors dominate or cloy and one sip led easily to the next. At this ABV I'd probably not be having more than a couple at one time, but I certainly intend to revisit this beer in the future.

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Photo of ATPete
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

2008 Vintage

Pours a very deep ruby brown color with a small brown head. Coffee beans, musk, chocolate cake, vanilla coffee creamer, marshmallow circus peanuts, a cherry sweetness and mild waves of alcohol. Medium bodied, creamy enough and not too sweet. A very nice quick sipper, recommended.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour - super dark brown to black in color. Wow. This is certainly is a rather imposing beer. The head is white and very slight. It doesn't quite fill in the top of the glass.

Aroma - dark roasted coffee grounds, dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate, chicory, licorice and/or anise. Lots of dark toasty/roasty stuff going on here.

Taste - oh man...that's good. Nice big dark roast coffee flavors along with some sweet malt and a hint of licorice and caramel. Definitely leans towards the bitter black coffee spectrum when it comes to taste. If you are a coffee beer lover you should find some solace in this one.

Overall - very smooth and flavorful. Not thin or watery and not too over the top. Plenty of coffee taste packed into a very drinkable porter with just enough kick to provide a little warmth during those winter months.

Would I buy more of it? - sure, if I happened to be lucky enough to stumble across some bottles of it while it was in season.

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Photo of Lothore
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep brownish hue with a 3 finger, chunky, medium brown head.

S- Smells like a barbecue pit, deep coffee notes.

T- BBQ pringles up front, roasted malt, coffee.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- The BBQ notes really rubbed me the wrong way ... especially in the nose.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with ruby highlights; the rocky head fades somewhat quickly and leaves only a faint smattering of lace

Smell: Sweet mocha

Taste: Sweet mocha, up front, with a developing bitter aspect that is rather sherry-like, by mid-palate (the bottle has a bit of age on it); after the coffee elements become a bit more pronounced but the close is very sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit thin for the style

Drinkability: The sweetness of the beer limits its drinkability, though the flavor profile is rather enjoyable

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Photo of beerphan
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> pint
no date

Pours black with a nice mocha head that sticks around and leaves some pangean clumbs of lace. Some faint crimson along the edges when held to the light.

Nose: Coffee beans, burnt coffee, cocoa, currants, sugar

Thick and oily. Lots of coffee and dark malts. Dark fruit flavors currant and plum. Mild bitterness and mild drying chocolate finish. .

A big rich porter that drinks easy, could be dangerous. Improved as it warms, sometime i forget to let my dark beers warm in the summer months.

Thank you PhishTube!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a wispy, lightly frothed, off-white head.

Smell: Sweetish, fruity nose smelling of chocolate, roasted barley, espresso, candied raisins, dark brown sugar, and a small snifter of Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry.

Taste: Toasted, chocolaty dark maltiness with some definite sweetish qualities. Enter in a good shot of espresso, but the taste fades all too soon. There are some strong raisiny, and distinct sherry-like notes to the beer, which makes me question the age of this beer, but, as is often the case, there is no born on/expiration dating whatsoever on the bottle. Light earthy bitterness, just enough to show some hops were in use. Tastes of brown sugar and raisins precede the finishes that adds a revisit of coffee and chocolate, but mainly still tatses of brown sugar and raisins.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Sweet and easy-drinking, and, perhaps, showing some oxidation as a ramped up fruitiness, but, it's still plenty drinkable. On the other hand, it doesn't really live up to the implied "imperial" promise and feels pretty light, overall.

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Photo of shanem
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark brown, looks like it would want to be a thinner stout? so i give bonus points for being a heavier porter

S: Coffee with some sweet roastiness

T: Coffee is there, not as much as in the smell. Also nice classic porter flavors with some sweetness and a coffee finish

M: Really excellent for a porter, Good body and carbonation level. it may have a stout-like appearance but it isn't supposed to be one, and therefor you can't think it should have that mouthfeel.

D: I thought this was really good and would gladly enjoy again

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a standard shaker "pint" glass. Appears a clear but dark brown color with about two fingers of fluffy light ecru foam. Nose and flavor are of medium roasted coffee, bitter cocoa, dark roasted grains, dry baking chocolate. Medium in both body and carbonation. Not too shabby, but it really lacked the espresso part in the taste and nose.

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Photo of bklynbeerbaron
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A deep, reddish brown. A thin head fizzled out almost immediately, leaving a thin ring.

Smell: Espresso, dark chocolate and liqueur, almost truffle-like. Nice.

Taste and mouthfeel: Espresso, espresso and more espresso. Not overly sweet. But it's too carbonated, which gets in the way of the taste.

Drinkability: The excessive carbonation makes it a bit of a chore to drink.

Notes: Not bad, but needs to be smoother for me to have one again.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of proteus93 - thanks! - and split w/ dkachur. Poured into a brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours an inky, oily-looking mahogany brown, capped by a one-finger of relatively fizzy, spongy-looking, medium brown head. It fades relatively quickly, but does leave a nice solid collar of lace and a thick dusting of foam atop the surface.

Aroma: A strong earthy, slightly dirty espresso note is (surprise) very evident up front. It's slightly sweet, or at least "heavy," and almost liqueur-like in places.

Taste: A good array of flavors. Espresso is not nearly as prominent as it is in the nose, but it's definitely there - heavy roast, still slightly "fake" and liqueur-like. Cocoa and toasty notes - slightly sweet, but mostly earthy - fill in the remainder of the malt notes. Fruity, too, with overtones of cherries and grapes, a few heavier notes as well.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated for a beer of its size, sweetness, and abv%, with a crisp, bubbly underlying zip that does a decent job of enhancing most of the flavors. A little too zippy, though.

Drinkability: An interesting beer. On the bad side, it's a little "phony," slightly too sweet, and - at 8% - not particularly sessionable. On the other hand, it is fairly tasty, sports a balanced and interesting flavor profile, and, well, has coffee, and I like coffee. Worth a shot.

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Imperial Espresso Porter from Flying Fish Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 130 ratings.
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