Samuel Adams Holiday Porter | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Holiday PorterSamuel Adams Holiday Porter
Samuel Adams Holiday PorterSamuel Adams Holiday Porter

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,198 | Ratings: 2,517
Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown/black color; some ruby when held to the light.

Huge khaki head; nice, if spotty, lacing.

Oats & hints of coffee in the nose, not bad!

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Nice toffee, oats & coffee flavor.

Could be a bit bolder, but considering the source this is a nice treat. I'd have another.

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Photo of bgillespie
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown with a light tan head

Smell: A lot of malt, some chocolate. Not strong

Taste: Malt with sweet caramel and a little bittle of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light.

Overall: A nice porter that has some good flavors, nothing to rave about though

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Photo of pubscout
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It’s a shame that this superb Holiday Porter is only available in the holiday pack, along with Old Fezziwig, Chocolate Bock and Winter Warmer. Its malty, coffee chocolate flavors are present both in the nose and on the palate. Robust ( as advertised) and possessed of an excellent mouthfeel, this 5.8% ABV porter is dangerously sessionable. Pours a very dark brown, but flashes of garnet sparkle if held up to a backlight. Simply put, this is a Porter that porter lovers should be able to access year round. Good on ya, Jim Koch!

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Photo of MNAle
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sweet, rich malty aroma, dark fruits, slightest roasty component. After it recedes a bit, some chocolate in the aroma. Vigorous pour results in a tall, light tan head, thick and creamy, dropping moderately leaving thick lacing down the glass as it goes. Dark color, with a bright ruby revealed by a back-light. Moderate amount of rising bubbles. Feel is thick at the beginning, thinning as you swallow. After several minutes, the head becomes a bubbly cap with a thick ring, and a nice-looking glass with the lacing. Initial taste of roasted malts, slight spice. The roasted taste remains into the aftertaste. Bitter finish and aftertaste. Overall, a nice-tasting porter, not too simple in the flavor profile, but hardly complex, either. A well-done porter.

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Photo of SoccerSeuss
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Dark coffee in color and clear with a thin white head. Notes of chocolate and roasted malts, a tad boozy. Taste followed the nose with a bit of a boozy finish Would've hoped-for a bit more chocolate in the taste. Smooth and medium bodied.

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Photo of nick_perry
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color, thin white head. Chocolate aroma and flavor. Sweet, alcoholic finish. Heavy, creamy mouthfeel. Feels more potent than the 5.8% ABV claimed on the bottle. The best beer in their winter pack this year, in my opinion, too bad you have to put up with the others to get this one.

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pour is a very rich and dark brown. I had about 1 finger of a tan head that just crackled down to a skim of light brown on the head.

Smells of roasted malts and some stone fruits.

Taste is of very darkly roasted malts, close to burnt. Some smokiness in the taste.

Mouth is fairly light actually with a nice smoky finish.

While this may not be my favorite porter I do have the perfect application for this beer. Imagine sipping on this sitting around a campfire with friends listening to the sounds of the forest at night and looking up into those inky black blankets of stars.

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Photo of Zopiac
3.39/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark, clear brown/red. Pale head that pours strong and dissipates quickly. Smells sweet, malt underneath warm sugar. Taste is full and rich, but somewhat empty at the same time. Still sweet, still malty, but lacking anything special. No bitterness to my tongue until the very tail. Feel is soft, but somewhat thin. Not spectacular, but I'd drink it to relax, unlike a number of darker brews that do have what I find missing. Extremely friendly.

And as a side note, on the nose I'm hit with a bit of nostalgia back to bath time as a small child, with no-tear shampoo. Don't know what the deal is with that.

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Honestly a very standard porter. It’s predominantly burnt malts with flavors of chocolate and maybe a little coffee. There’s an earthy bitterness on the finish. There’s a little bit of a spiciness, but it’s not overpowering.

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Photo of Milktoast75
2.93/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Dark but not opaque. Small head but good lacing. Spice, chocolate scents. Somewhat weak in flavor. Nothing jumping out in taste. Chocolate seems to rule with a muddle of other spices. Medium feel. Overall calling this a holiday porter seems to give it pause to be a less than desirable porter from a truly higher end brewer.

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Photo of matcris
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

LOOKS: Cola, maybe a little darker, with a finger of tan heads that recedes slowly and leaves a mild lacing.
AROMA: Some mild holiday spices, milk and dark chocolate, and some dried dark fruit.
TASTE: Ditto.
FEEL: Average carbonation, medium-ish body, and fairly dry.
OA: Good TG game brew.

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Photo of JimboBrews54
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has a deep chocolate/cocoa color with a very light tan head. The head is frothy but disappears quickly. Nice robust taste with chocolate overtones and coffee bitterness. The taste doesn’t linger on the palate and finishes clean.

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Photo of srw
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is old, from 2016 so I'm sure it's better fresh.
L: Poured into a teku glass. Dark brown/black color with minimal head.
S: Mostly malt, with a hint of cinnamon
T: milk chocolate, cinnamon
F: Medium bodt and carbonation.
O: A pretty nice porter, especially consdiering it sat in my fridge since last December.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an English pint glass, the appearance was semi-dark brown to black sort of color with a finger's worth of white foamy head that slid off at a decent pace. Trickling lace ran here and there.
The aroma had some milk chocolate sweetness full and up front with some roasty coffee tones and a developing little nutmeg/cinnamon/allspice sort of underneath.
The flavor leaned into the sweet and roastiness initially and as it warmed more of those spicy notes came out in a nice manner. Delicate roasty to sweet aftertaste of the milk chocolate and a touch of the allspice and nutmeg.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sessionability about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt appropriate. Finish was semi-roasty and spicy.
Overall, it's got character, I will give it that, would probably have again during the colder months.

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Photo of Hackattack
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has the normal high quality flavor brewed at one of the greatest of all outfits. Dark ,rich, low carbonation .....just a beautifully balanced porter.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Strong Sweet Aroma. Chocolate, Coffee and Barley.
Dark Black Pour. Creamy Head. Stayed long into the beer.
Standard Porter tastes, chocolate, coffee, etc., plus a touch of earthy spices, nutmeg, cinnamon.
Thick, almost a stout.
A really good beer. I don’t always like Sam, but this one has seemingly gotten better over the years. Glad it's still available, but I wish I could buy a 6-pack of just this. Same for Old Fezziwig.


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Photo of OrtheusMaximusRex
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

For nostalgia I love this beer. I love that the label has a scene from old Feziwig's Christmas party (a great beer from Sam Adams) bringing in a barrel - just like a scene from George C. Scott in "A Christmas Carol". I look forward to this holiday mixer from Sam Adams every year, wish you could get a few of those beers in 6 packs.

A = near black, can't see through, nice creamy head at first that faded.
S = roasty, some spice, a nice warming smell to have in the winter
T = like it smells mostly, smooth, drinkable
M = medium, a bit sugary but not too much where it's hard to drink
O = 3.75. 4 if I am feeling nostalgic and have one in hand.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a murky dark brown with a slight amber hue.

Lightly roasted malts, smoke, peat.

Smoky and burnt wood.

Medium-heavy bodied, low carbonation, smoky and bitter.

Overall, one of the worst porters I've had to date.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

An appearance almost indistinguishable from a stout, this one pours dark. Black even. Thin beige head 1/3". Aroma hits the familiar chocolate and coffee malt nose points.

Taste, wow, this is a thick beer under any pretense, much less something from SA. Kind of bitterness. Tiny amount of smoke/char to it. Some anise. Mild. More coffee roastiness.

Enjoyable. Slightly.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark brown, with copper tones. Fluffy tan head retains and laces well. Mildly sweet roasty aroma, not distinct but toffee-like if anything, faint fruity notes halfway between apple and banana, malt and esters but no hops to speak of, not even classic English varieties. About as sweet and fruity-tart on the palate as nose would indicate, and quite smoky, tobacco-like even, throughout as well. Hop presence in flavor toward the end, nothing particularly bright or bold, melds well with the rest. Dry leaf matter or soil I'd say, perfect with tobacco notes. A bit of peppercorn at the end. Very smoky-bitter aftertaste. Medium-bodied, sloshy, tamer carbonation, semi-smooth, perfect astringency for the style, matches with smokiness.

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Photo of hopsputin
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

a: color is dark dark dark dark dark brown. it has some black notes, but there is definitely light penetrating the bottom. 1/2 finger tan head that fades to a thin film

s: milk chocolate, roasted malts, brown sugar, toffee, burnt caramel, a hint of plum, and a slightly nutty aroma

t: roasted malt and chocolate upfront. some sweet toffee and malt follow that up. there is a bit of a dark fruit presence in here as well - sweet plums. its faint but there. closing everything out is more of that roasted malt

m: medium mouthfeel. a little heavier than i've seen in many porters. its a bit syrup-like too. carbonation level is mild - good for style

o: this is a good beer. its fairly straightforward, but the roasted malt flavor in here is really nice. mouthfeel is probably where this falls a bit short..its a bit too heavy. other than that, its a solid beer. nothing mind blowing, but worthy of a drink

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Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Posted from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Thea appearance is a brown color with a medium sized tan head. The aroma is full of roasted malt, nuts and vanilla. The taste of cocoa, malt and nuts are blended well with the vanilla. An outstanding porter.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.52/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Holiday Porter pours a toffee color which develops into a chocolate brown in the body. The head is light beige and 2 fingers, leaving slight lacing on the sides.

Smelling more like a Dunkel lager at this point, with dark malts and slight cocoa powder. A touch of nuttiness (hazelnut?) also.

Taste comes off funky and sour, with a metallic barley flavor that stays throughout the whole tasting. Only at the end does any chocolate actually surface. Even then, it's faint and riddled with metallic components.

Feel is over carbonated and like a fizzy lager all the way to the finish. There's a slight dryness but it hardly does much to redeem the thin and paltry experience.

The rest of this is going down the drain. Straight from the pour I was disappointed, and now I've determined that the Holiday Porter is a total skip over.

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Photo of HoppyBastard
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "enjoy before month" April 2016.

APPEARANCE: pours a clear, dark brown color with one-finger tan head that quickly dissipated until a thin, broken layer of bubbles remained, medium carbonation, there is significant lacing on the glass.

SMELL: sweet caramel, toasted bread and some chocolate, faint to the nose.

TASTE: initially sweet caramel and toasted bread then a metallic hop bite from the East Kent Goldings hop.

PALATE: medium body and carbonation.

OVERALL: I'm not a big fan of the porter style but enjoyed this one, the toasted note (which I do not appreciate) was understated and the hops were more prominent than most in this style, this beer was well balanced and the caramel and chocolate malt was very tasty.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BB april 16
12oz bottle poured into pint glass
L- dark brown with huge tan head which floats on top of beer for quite some time
S- zesty cinnamon, cloves
T- hints of coffee followed by some zestiness with a predominantly peppery finish
F- medium bodied has a slight creamy feel carbonation has a zing to it
O- nothing outstanding about this beer a nice solid porter

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Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 2,517 ratings