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

2,459 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,459 |  Reviews: 1,185
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from the holiday mixed 12 pack.

Appearance: Very dark but clear brown, nearly opaque in appearance except when thinned. Pours with a rich two finger tan head that leaves some sticky lace behind.

Smell: Big malty sweetness that brings to mind milk chocolate, carob and malt balls. Faint balancing noble hops, light roastiness.

Taste & mouthfeel: Malty up front, sweet but not overly rich. Tastes a bit like one of those chocolate-caramel candies. Faint acidity, medium-light in body. Great balance, an easy beer to session as it never overwhelms the palate. The finish is semi-dry and lightly oily, like a bite of dark chocolate.

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Photo of gabe23
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very dark brown with a big tan head. Quickly dissipated to a small layer that hung around until the end and laced nicely.

S - Tons of roasted malt, some coffee, and a little molasses or dark brown sugar.

T - Black coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt smokiness. No real sweetness to speak of, and the aftertaste is bitter. Nothing too notable about the flavor, but it's not bad.

M - More carbonation than I'd like, and kind of thin for a porter.

D - This is a good porter, but I've never had the urge to drink more than one. Not the best in the Holiday Pack, but I certainly don't let them go to waste. Given the choice, I'd rather drink a SA Honey Porter instead.

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Photo of barleyman
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the brown glass 12oz bottle, the appearance is dark brown to black. Very little smell. The beer leaves lace down the glass in very nice ways. The taste is where this beer shines. Wonderful chocolate, smoky malt flavor. Nuances of fig and raisin are present. Mouthfeel is just right for this style. Drinkability is also just right, not light, hot heavy.

Just a thought,


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Photo of Dodo2step
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Beer Xpress in Harrisburg.

A- a beautiful dark coffee bean colored pour. A somewhat fluffy tan head that has good staying power with a nice lacing left on the glass.

S- rich chocolate and toffee malt. some light caramel in the background and it is all complemented very well.

T- a strong medium roast coffee taste with hints of chocolate. A toasted chestnut and caramel malt also comes out in the tongue.

M- a thick and creamy filling in the mouth. A somewhat carbonated feel as well. Very smooth and rich like a a medium roast coffee.

D- a nice abv but it fills a person up quickly. this would be a good beer to have with a steak dinner. A sixer might last a good week. A smooth drink and very tasty though.

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Photo of tigg924
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown, clean, medium-high carbonation...The head starts small but then got up to a quarter of an inch

Smell: I smell a little dark chocolate malt and a little toffee

Taste: strong coffee first taste--then a burnt caramel aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body--could not feel the carbonation, very easy going down for a dark beer

Drinkability: It is a good hearty winter above average porter, that I could have maybe two in a session--I guess the holiday packs got it right

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Photo of GWaters
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this as part of the Sam Adams Holiday 12 pack. This beer brings the collection up to a better level. This porter compliments the Fezziwig nicely.

I would not categorize this as a holiday ale as it is labeled. I would call this a winter ale. There are no spices or festivities going on in this bottle. It is a warm porter to get you through the winter.

Pour: Pours smooth with very little fizz initially, but the head does build to 1.5 fingers or so. Mild roasted color to the foam. The foam dies down pretty quickly after it reaches its zenith.

Smell: Roasted, malty scent with a burnt undertone, and hints of coffee.

Taste: Rich roasted toffee flavor. Finishes with a nutty after taste, and then declines. Doesn't really dance around in the mouth for very long, but it doe shave enough life to carry it off.

Drinkability: Pretty easy to enjoy this proter. I wouldn't say this is the best I have had, but for where it comes from, and the cost, I would say it is very drinkable.

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Photo of damienblack
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours moderately thickly, with a roast-nut shade of dark brown. 1.5 finger head, with some nice merengue-ish foam at first. Like the Old Fezziwig, looks to be carbonated pretty well, as the bubbles rise to the top and make some nice patterns. Not much retention after a couple of minutes, spotty through the middle of the beer, but leaves some nice foam around the inside of the glass. I get a slight roasted/nutty/coffee smell coming off it, but I really can't smell much else besides the house yeast.

Upon first taste, the roasted flavor really dominates here. Burnt malt, little bit of hops for balance. Little thin in the middle, but as it warms it fills out a bit and the burnt flavor kind of goes away. Not a real coating beer in the mouth, but some good carbonation keeps it from feeling stagnant. A decent porter, nothing that I went crazy over, but a nice complement to the Old Fezziwig.

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Photo of Hawthorne
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is an exceptional chocolate brown with a beauty of a head which lingers for a bit before settling to a solid ring. Smell is festive yet not contrived and the taste... Well... it has a nice balance of coco and coffee perfect for the holiday. Enjoy!

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Photo of ahking
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice ale overall. For me the mouthfeel of a porter can make or break it. Too thin and I'll dump it. Sam Adams holiday porter is two fingers above the dump point. That's a good thing because it makes the holiday 12 pack buyable. It pours a deep mahogany brown with a tinge of ruby. Aroma is of malty sweet, fruit bread, and cherry. When the first sip hits my tongue I get a quick hit of smoke that fades to a full bodied smooth and toasty malt bath for my tongue. A bready and fruity wash of cherries, blackberries, and currants. It finishes drier with enough hop bite to please the hop head in me.

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Photo of PatronWizard
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Two bottles from the seasonal 12-pack.

Looks like coca cola. A just barely not-white head of medium sized bubbles.

Solid porter smell o'malts. Decent taste, nothing crazy. Little on the thin side. Carbonation is at a really nice level though. Highly drinkable.

Didn't inspire me to much writing.

Overall: gulp, gulp, gone

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Photo of everetends
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle out of the Sam Adams mixed seasonal case. Served up in a standard pint.

A: Pours a pretty rich, dark brown, when held to light it has some nice ruby hues coming through. A vigorous pour produces a seriously creamy and frothy tan head. The head ha somewhat decent retention, slowly receding down to a solid top cap. The head and cap yields a ton sticky ass lacing that soaks the glass and keeps it all thick on the glass. Seriously good looking brew.

S: Lots of malt coming through that has a somewhat burnt roastiness to it. Getting a touch of hops coming through as well along with some metallic twang in the nose. Nothing else much going on.

T: Once again plenty of malt coming through with some decent sweetness and caramel goodness. That is quickly cut down by a metallic, liquor type taste that is somewhat off putting. That is also a touch of coffee goodness in there but it seems like someone left the pot on too long. Seems like everything good that happens is cut off at the knees by a negative.

M: The feel is medium, but the light side of that. Not nearly as thick as I would expect from a porter because of a somewhat watery feel at times. The ABV is low and mostly only felt in a bit of the taste that forms a metallic twang in the aftertaste. Carbonation is a bit high. Goes down pretty easily for the style.

D: This is an easily drinkable porter that has a wonderful appearance. The aroma, feel and taste are a bit lacking though. It was a bit of a let down. Ah well, can't win em all.

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Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle in pint glass. Color is opaque black with hint of red. Large head formed and left very nice lacing as it subsided.

Smells of roasted malt, caramel, and some chocolate.

Tastes of roasted malt, some coffee, with a slight metallic taste. Well balanced.

Medium light in body. Smooth and creamy. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of MarzenMan
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with a slightly reddish hue. Small brown head disappears completely quickly.

S - Mostly caramel with some slight molasses.

T - Straight forward dark roasty flavor. Very little smoke in the finish. Pretty tame porter with vey little hop profile.

D - Pretty drinkable for a porter do to its mildness. Overall I like it.

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Photo of wingman14
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours out black with red hues and a tan head that fades after awhile. The smell is of roasted malt, some sweet notes, and a hint of chocolate. The taste starts mild and malty, the some sweet notes, finishing with a subtle roasted flavor. The aftertaste is the roasted malt, sticking around for quite awhile. The mouthfeel is not as heavy as I would have preferred, the carbonation was a bit much, but the flavors were well balanced and really are the driving force of this beer. This is an average drinker, nothing that stands out here, a few improvements could make this a top notch beer, but it far from bad. Worth checking out, the winter 12 pack has some great beers. Enjoy.

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Photo of drxandy
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to imperial pint, pours a rich chocolaty opaque with reddish hints, cream colored head fades to lacing after a while

smells of roasty chocolate, slight creaminess, dry grassy hops

taste is lighter bodied, roasty chocolate malt, sweetness, excellent balance, hops hide in back and provide a great bitterness, dry, grassy, almost tannic, not bad!

mouthfeel is bitter and roasty with good depth, sweet and lingering, wish this was year round!

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Photo of turamarth
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pint glass.

Appearance: Large fluffy cream colored head. Appears to be a dark brown, has an amber tone when held to a light, a hint of translucence.

Nose: Some sweet coffee notes right off the bat. Caramel malts then hit the nose. Almost no hops at all present in the aroma.

Taste: Malty. Slight coffee flavor. Very toasty in the finish. There seems to be a slight metallic flavor at first, but I don't seem to notice it anymore. There is an odd flavor I can't put my finger on, I tasted it in SA's Cream Stout, but its not quite so strong in this one. Overall an average porter flavor. Better tasting ones out there.

Mouth: Light carbonation. I think it's sort of light bodied for a porter.

Drink: Overall I think this is pretty drinkable. Again average.

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Photo of tdawgydog
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer as part of a Sam's winter sampler. I have to say that Porter's are not one of my favorite beers. There are a bunch of good beers in this 12 pack. The Fezziweg ale and the Cranberry Lambic are top notch. This one really just lacks distinction. It's the same old porter. There is nothing tha stands out about this beer. It is enjoyable but ordinary. As I said there are other beers in this 12 pack that make it worth while, I just wish they would bundle some of those up seperately. If you like porters you'll probably enjoy this one as well.

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Photo of Hokies
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep red almost black hue with a thin tan head and light lacing on the glass. Their is thin light head that lasts on the beer.

A light aroma with roasted malts, molasses and a light hop aroma.

A very tasty porter with tastes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, toffee and a light hop bitterness.

A highly carbonated brew that has great flavor but is tough to have more than one.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter is a very dark and dim red-brown ale with a frothy, splotchy, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing. It has a roasty chocolate and coffee aroma. In the mouth, it's a fluffy, medium bodied beer with a dry finish. It has a simple, balanced, roasty flavor. I love beers like this.
(rated Nov 30, 2008)

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Deep dark nearly opaque, until held to the light when a ruby clarity shines through. Frothy light tan head with decent lacing. Overall, very attractive.

S-Toffee, chocolate, and some malts. Heady and enticing....A very nice nose.

T-Malts and chocolate carry through, but the first taste is a bit of letdown from the buildup from the smell. Clean finish but a bit of a metallic aftertaste that seems a out of place. Overall, pretty decent, however.

M-Well balanced, like all SA products.

D-Overall, I'd call this a very drinkable porter...not one of my favorites, but it certainly has a place in the holiday 12 pack.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark, deep brown with a nice tan head and lacing.
Smells of roastyness, fruit backdrop with chocolate and coffee as well.
Nice on the palate, nice malt balance with once again the roasted malts coming through. Hop bite accentuates the finish in this beer.
I like the "holiday' style without a lot of the heavy spices that most like to use.

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Photo of LeftyBWS
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. black bottle into a pint glass.
A: Dark brown brew with a huge light brown head that slowly fizzes away.
S: Big nose-filling chocolate malts, with some underlying nutty scents.
T: Not as bold as the smell. Notes of chocolate and caramel (kinda) with a little hoppy nip in the finish. Tasty, for sure, but not much to say.
M: Okay, standard malty chewiness, but hardly a hop feel. Almost seems too watery.
D: For what it's worth, this is easy to drink.

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Photo of sliverX
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poored a dark brown bordering on black held to the light ruby hints are noticed at the bottom of the glass, generous tan head at poor but did nothing but sulk down to a film
Smell is all roasted malts caramel notes poking through
taste is a bit over powering nice dark roasted malts just a bit much of them tends to give a burnt taste the hops help out here with that bitterness you get when your steak is on the charcoal side, the after taste is like eating those roasted peanuts that are real dark and for some reason I can't just ditch even know they don't taste right
mouthfeel isnt thin but not that much more than your avg macro
the beers definitely drinkable I'd rather just pull out an Ed Fitz though

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Photo of HatTrick
3.26/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Just like a porter should look - dark color with a nice rich tan creamy head that reminds of me of root beer floats. Yum!

S: Smells like roasted malts, carmels, brown sugar - not too bad but not as good as I had hoped.

T: The moment of truth...suprisingly mild malt taste. I detect hints of carmel, chocolate, and coffee flavors. Second taste was a little better than the first and by the third I find that I rather like the taste of this takes a minute to start to grow on you.

M: Light and thin to almost a medium bodied feel...I prefer my porters to be a little thicker and heavier on the tongue. Also a bit too much carbonation for me but it isn't too distracting.

D: Not too bad of a drink, not the best porter for sure but is in the top tier.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in the SA Holiday Sampler. Poured into a pint glass.

A=Personally, I love the look of a good porter, and this is no exception. Nice dark color with creamy, almost root-beer float looking head that leaves a nice foam ring. About half of the head remains throughout the drink.

S=hints of coffee and brown sugar

T=The trademark Samuel Adams taste complimented by caramel, coffee. Very good.

M=Great coating feeling that a porter should have.

D=Goes down easy, but probably too heavy for a session.

Overall it's between this and the Cream Stout for my favorite in the sampler.

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Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,459 ratings.
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