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

1,183 Reviews
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by DFN on 10-17-2004

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Reviews: 1,183 | Ratings: 2,456
Photo of Surefire
4.97/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The only thing that I dislike about Sam Adams Porter is that it is only offered once a year, and in a variety pack. This product is so outstanding that I think it should be offered all year around by itself!

A: Execllent dark appearance, no flaws.

S: Multi layered smells include Mild chocolate, coffee, mocha, regular chocolate, and spices (from the hops).

T: Serious flavors, and multi-layered. Chocolates, coffee, cream, mocha, spices, etc.

M: Heavy to full body, and layers of cream.

D: Best porter I have ever tried. Has the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and bitter.

Overall, it is a shame this porter is not available all-year around as a stand-alone product. Sam Adams hit a grand slam on this one, and yet only sells it in limited ways.

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Photo of quad07
4.75/5  rDev +27%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Came in winter release verity pack from UFS.

It poured very dark in my large tulip shaped beer glass with a small off white creamy head. I could not see through it holding up to the light. This is my first porter.

It smelled of chocolate malt and cream. Very subtle hop smell and not hint of alcohol.

I really like the taste of this stuff and it felt very good savoring it in my mouth. Nice lacing all the way to the bottom.

There is some carbonation but I think there is just enough.

This being my first porter I’m looking forward to trying more. I would love to brew my own or get as close as possible.

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Photo of ColumbusBC
4.75/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark brown with a tan head. Not a powerful aroma but nice. Not highly carbonated. Coffee and chocolate notes are subtle and there is a hint of hoppy bitterness on the back end. Nice easy to drink porter.

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Photo of metallistout
4.73/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this one up in a Sam Adams Holiday 12 pack.

Pours a chocolate brown with a tint of red showing through, with a tan foamy, creamy head.

Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, and caramel.

Taste of roasted matls and chocolate and a very surprising hop flavor, not usually as powerfull on most porter brews.

I must say this truly a delicious porter. When you get this hop flavor mixed with the porter malt flavor, this becomes an excellant combo.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.7/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ooooo. I am so happy to get the Holiday Classics once again. The porter was first out of the box and just as I remembered it, how satisfying it is. It actually tastes a bit boozier than it is, and that's fine. Nothing hidden. Perhaps this was because my drink tonight was barely cool. And that's fine too.

The taste is very complex, yet not at all intimidating. I could drink these non-stop. If I was expecting a run of the mill heavy porter, this would be all wrong, but expecting a slightly "flavored" drink, I get what I want.

I'll have to go out and get me a few 12's of this just in case the price goes up ($11.99 this week) and availablility goes down. I am sure they will keep. In fact, I wonder if they might age well.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.67/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Still working on that Sam Holiday Pack!

Pours an opaque black, twinkle of purple highlight. Beautiful frothy tan head. Chunky bubbly lacing.

Very tempting aroma of roasted barley and chocolate malts. Hint of caramel and toffee.

Thick on the palate with a nice roasted malt flavor. Little bit of smooth sweetness, followed by a dry, bitter coffee finish. Nice roasty aftertaste clings to the tongue.

Very nice, I wish I could get this in a 6 pack.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.65/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was really looking forward to this beer as I still pine for the Honey Porter and yes I know this is not it.

Pours a deep dark brown with a creamy tan head. Smells of smoky chocolate, roasted/burnt malt. Very rich nose. Lightly bitter and hints of almond.

Tastes as rich as it smells. Smoky roasted malt. A chocolate flavor that vasilates between bitter and milky. A nice hoppy finish, kind of spicy bitter hops instead of floral flavors. It is just so damn good. Wel-balanced and full flavored. Creamy mouth. Oh so tasty and goes down easily. This is not a huge knock-you-over-the-head style porter. Just well crafted and well balanced. Tasty as all get out and just a real honest, straight-forward brew. I love it. It's been awhile since i've enjoyed a porter this much. Bravo! Hope to see it regular.

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Photo of Phatz
4.6/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served at nearly room temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown that looks black in the glass. It’s mostly opaque (letting slight bits of light through when the glass is raised to the light). Nice 2 plus finger head that is beige and very thick and creamy frothy with good retention.

Smell: I get oak, roasted malt, definitely chocolate a bit (just a hint) of coffee, and I think that's vanilla. But all of this is mild in porter style, not intense like an imperial stout (though this tasty beer is as good as some stouts). As the beer reaches room temperature more caramel comes to the forefront.

Taste: Starts off (remarkably smooth) with sweet malts and chocolate, followed by white chocolate or vanilla and it has a hint of nuttiness to the flavor. There is also caramel and some other spices hidden in the flavor. mmmm

Mouthfeel: Full bodied but not heavy. It has a medium weight that feels frothy and darn near perfect. Fantastic crisp dry finish that leaves the palate empty and begging for more.

Drinkability: WOW! This beer goes down way too easy. I just (accidentally) finished the second one. Not many porters are this sessionable. It is so smooth and easy going that it just moves from glass to stomach with the utmost of ease!! :)
I love a good porter and this is exactly that. I highly recommend giving this one a try!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of flatblack80
4.58/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A. Good Head and Lacing that stays for quite a while. Very dark with a little light showing through. Beautiful!

S. Good Smooth light hops with light chocolate and coffee.

T. Oh so wonderful Hops with dark Malty goodness.

M. Smooth with thick film that hangs along for the ride.

D. Great powerful Hops makes for a brew that I would love with a Steak or Roast.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.58/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really a terrific porter, this is maybe the best reason to enjoy the return of Samuel Adams's Winter Classics 12-pack. This beer is full of flavor, creamy smooth, easy to enjoy, and usually leaves me wishing that Sam Adams distributed six-packs of this delicious beer.

The head is typically modest for Sam Adams products, but the beer leaves distinct foam lines around the glass to indicate its rich texture. The flavors are prominent but blend together very well. The roasted coffee, chocolate and caramel work nicely, and the creamy texture makes this a full-bodied yet easy-going porter to enjoy. Personally, among Sam Adams products, their porters I find to be exceptional, unfailingly excellent beverages, and Holiday Porter is no slouch. Porter fans will enjoy. This is a great beer to crack open after shoveling the driveway, or for resting with a book by the fire. First-rate.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.57/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice black color and has a thick tan head that leaves decent lace rings in my glass. It has a wonderfully smooth malty aroma that screams drink me. The flavor is very smooth and the dark malts are in balance with the caramel and they don't overpower the flavor like most porters. I love the balance of the hops too. This is a great porter and hopefully it will see time in Boston Beer Company's regular rotation. Thank you Jim Koch and the brewers at BBC for another fine beer.

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Photo of Saint
4.57/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Amazing. Simply amazing. It has a beautiful and robust grouping of flavors. It is sweetly caramel in flavor, has a yet a nice crisp spice, almost resembling of nutmeg, but best of all is that it finishes out with a smooth chocolaty flavor. The smooth chocolate flavor comes with a fine velvet feel at the end. The beer is stunning, it tastes as though it is significantly more pricey beer then would be featured in a winter variety mix pack.

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Photo of imanidiot777
4.56/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a VERY dark brown, so dark you cannot see through it but it isn't quite black. Tan color head that stays for the entire drink and lacing also for the entire drink. One of the best looking I have seen.

S: I'm not good with the smells but possibly coffee, and I can actually smell the alcohol in this one I think. Not sure if that is a good thing.

T: Some coffee, toasted malt, and some kind of spice in the after taste but I can't decide what it is, maybe cinnamon.

M: Good carbonation level, feels pretty smooth.

D: Goes down smooth, the only problem, not a problem to some people, is that it is really heavy and fills you up fast.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.56/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Happy Holidays to me! I picked up a Winter Sampler pack yesterday and I have been entranced by it today.

From the bottle: "Samuel Adams Holiday Porter is a full-flavored porter inspired by the famous drink of London's Victorian era luggage porters. Brewed with generous portions of Caramel, Munich and Chocolate malt, this hearty porter finishes with traditional English Fuggles and East Kent Goldings. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch".

This is the most singular beer of my life, right off of the bat! The head rose to slightly better than a finger, but it was of a most unique shade of mocha-brown. Lovely! It held in, with its rocky condition, until I returned from my break (ahem), at which time it began to fall leaving some lovely lacing behind. Color was a deep, dark-brown with ruby highlights. The highlights are the stuff of legend. Deep, rich reds at the edges, at the bottom and perhaps the sides of a porter, those were famed, boys! The nose had a dusty chocolaty odor, like a tin of cocoa had been overturned recently. Mouthfeel was MUCH fuller than anticipated, with porters having been watered down for their intended audience. I felt like an iron fist encased in a velvet glove had grazed my jaw with that first sip. It was soooo smooth and unobtrusive and then, Wham!, playtime was over! Milk chocolate, caramel, spice (perhaps allspice, maybe cinnamon) all of a sudden made an appearance. My palate was overwhelmed. Finish was slightly bitter, slightly smoky, slightly sweet. Zounds! I'll tell you what, my good man, you haul a cask like the one on the label over to Chez Wood and I'll send the neighborhood lad to fetch that big goose in the butcher's window to be roasted for the both of us, by gar!

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.56/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, with a Dickensian man bringing a giant cask of Porter to an 1800's Christmas gathering, very inviting and appropriate,

A: Pours a dark brown, black from afar, with a thick, off-white, to light tan head, which has excellent retention, and forms a funnel type shape in my tulip as the beer is drunk. Heavy concentric rings of lace straddle the glass, making the beer's presence known. A beautiful beer to look at before it is drunk, and while one is drinking it.

S: Nice smell of roasted caramel malt, toast, bread, chocolate, and a bit of smoke and spice. Not the most robust smelling porter I've ever had, but the qualities of the smell make up for it nicely.

T: Very tasty. Bittersweet, 60-70% cocoa hits at the first sip, with some sweet caramel coming in second. Toasted bread and a bit of molasses add some complexity to the already beautiful, full malt flavour.

M: Smooth and creamy, full-bodied, almost like a liquid chocolate bar, very soothing and enjoyable.

D: I remember liking the Old Fezziwig the best last year, and it still is great, but this year, the Holiday Porter takes the cake. I have been thoroughly impressed by this beer, truly fantastic. The holiday mix pack from Sam Adams is worth it just for this beer, probably the best American Porter I have ever had.

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Photo of KoG
4.55/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hands down the best porter I've had to date.

Filled up my glass with a nice, dark red hue creating a 2-3" head that stayed creamy til I was nearly finished. Left lacing galore around my mug.

Smell was of sweet malt, caramel, estery hops, and a slight chocolate hint.

Taste was damn near perfect. So nice and rich with sweet malt and caramel followed up by a good balance of bittering hops. Very tasty.

The mouthfeel of this porter was way better than any other I've had. Most porters come off a bit too thin, but this hits it on the nose without going too syrupy. Good carbonation that supports the flavors and goes down ultra smooth.

I could drink this brew year round without a problem at all. I prefer this to the Ol' Fezziwig and hope they bring it to market as more than a seasonal offering.

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Photo of GregBlatz
4.54/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark in color. Some transparency when held up to the light. Dark brown and clear at that point. head is tan, and starts at 1/2 inch, then stabilizes thin for a long time. It laced the glass between where it started and where it settled.

S - Very diacetyl in aroma. Very very English smelling. Reminds me of a Samuel Smith product from this aspect. Some alcohol aroma as well. Dark fruit, prunes and raisins. Smells like an English porter rather than an American interpretation. Legit.

T - Fruit, butterscotch and malt. Finish is bittersweet. A great balance of sweet and bitter that you will notice on the finish.

M - Velvet like, smooth with some alcohol warmth. I would guess it to be higher in ABV than it is.

D - I don't know how many of these you want to knock back in an evening. Not a big beer, but it can fool you into thinking that it is.

Overall, I really like this. Very British and legitimate. It has been a while since I tried some English Porters, this reminded me of them and may be better than some. Often an American Porter is not very exciting, but I think they nailed it.

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Photo of RobH
4.53/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

120z. bottle from Winter Classics 12-pack.

A: Nearly opaque shimmering black.

S: Roasted malts with a note of non-cloying sweetness.

T&M: Beautiful smooth mouth feel with a fantasticly balanced array of burnt coffee and sweet chocolate maltiness. Not at all too bitter for those who don't like bitter porters, yet not too sweet for those who don't like sweet Porters. Just a nice balance.

D: Very highly drinkable and I wish they made this one year round. Alas, they have the Cream Stout year round.

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Photo of maddamish
4.53/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Caramel notes were very strong accompanied with a slight hoppy smell. The chocolate and caramel notes in the taste were very strong, This is one of the best porters I have ever had. Anyone that tells you different is not giving the Sam Adams label the respect it deserves.

The mouth feel was creamy and smooth.

What can I say? I have a new found respect for the Sam Adams label after drinking this fine porter.

Good job! The only thing I was disappointed in was the fact that I most likely will have to wait till next year to taste this great brew!

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.52/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter brewed by Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), with an ABV of 5.80% This brew pours out a deep brown color with a nice off white head. This brew has the look of coffee, not saying that is a bad thing. I like the look of this brew. The smell of this brew is rich with roasted grains, malts and hops. There is also a nice smooth, sweetness to the smell of this brew. This brew has the look and smell of most porters on the market. Now for the taste, it is bold with roasted grains, and malts. I like the taste of this brew, it is bold and rich. Samuel Adams Holiday Porter has a nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. This is a nice drinking brew. The mouth feel of Samuel Adams Holiday Porter, is rich bold, clean, and refreshing. Overall I'm giving Samuel Adams Holiday Porter a 4.50 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), did a nic job with this one.

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Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
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 jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoy by April '08 notched on label:

The smell is of roasted dark malt - caramel/toffee, chocolate with a touch of fruitiness.

The taste is of roasted dark malts - caramel/toffee and chocolate with a fruity/earthy/spicy English-style hop bitterness. Nicely balanced. Finishes with a roasted, balanced sweetness.

Rich and hearty, yet smooth.

A great porter - English-style with an American flair. It has a good amount of complexity. A great balance with a nice use of hops that are supportive enough to showcase the malt complexities. I could enjoy several of these, and year-round, to boot!

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Smells of chocolate, a lot of malts and some Noble hops in the back. Taste has that chocolate taste with the malts blending together to give a toffee/caramel taste to it. At the end of the taste though is where it really makes it unique because it has this bitter dry hopped taste that mixes with the chocolate. The blend of the surprising amount of hops used with the chocolate of course creates a burnt chocolate/dry finish. This beer is awesome and Samuel Adams really knows how to make a good beer hands down. The whole winter pack this year is awesome.

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Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer, love getting this one every year in the variety pack every year, I allways have one of these and then an old fezzywig...great combo! Very hearty tasty brew, one of the best handcrafted artesian brews!

Malty, coffee, roasted caramel ...thats right, just like it sounds super mega deliscious!

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Photo of likethetaste
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer in the Sam Adams Winter variety pack! Wow, this one, the Sam Adams Cream Stout and the Winter Lager in this pack are all fantasic!

The Sam Adams Holiday Porter pours a very dark brown. This is one smooth Porter with no bitter aftertaste. This is one smooth brew that is very drinkable. If you have not tasted this or the other samples in the Sam Adams Winter variety pack you need to ASAP. This has some of the best Sam Adams beers available and these are exceptional brews in general!!!

I will enjoy this winter with these Sam Adams selections for sure. Exceptional beer available at you local Grocery Store all Winter. Get this variety pack!

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Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,456 ratings.
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