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

Samuel Adams Holiday PorterSamuel Adams Holiday Porter
2,460 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,460 |  Reviews: 1,186
Photo of Jettanbass9
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This porter is listed as an American Porter, I would have to disagree on that. It definitely has more roots akin to Brown Porter, the English variety. Since there are major differences between American Porter and Brown, I will be reviewing this as if it were listed as a Brown Porter.

A - Deep mohogany brown with ruby red highlights. This brew is spot on with light carbonation and a persistant head.

S - Notes of roast, amber and/or brown malts, light earthy hop note, toffee and caramel. Roast aroma is a little too light.

T - Amber and brown malts, caramel, molasses, and more caramel. Roast character lingers, however, never becomes that present. I keep searching but thats all thats there.

M - Almost a cloying sweetness and low carbonation make this beer almost viscous. Definitely within style but could be a tad dryer.

D - an Imperial pint or two is enough to satisfy on a cold winter evening, i wouldn't suggest anymore.

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

Pours about as dark as brown can get with eggnog colored fluffy head which fades to a few clumps and leaves thick lacing. Smell: roasted malt, chocolate and a touch of coffee, faintly buttery. A little understated. Taste: semi-astringent burnt, roasted flavors upfront, followed by a touch of chocolate and dry oats. Medium bodied with a dry, oaty finish. I wouldn't mind having this option year-round, but it's not at the top of the style.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of the SA Winter Mix Pack. Best by April 2009 indicated on the bottle. Served in my SA Sensory Pint. Poured the color of cola with a half inch, fizzy, khaki-colored cap. Head dissipated quickly into a soapy skim with a thick, broken band around the shoulders of the glass. Mild nose consisted of chocolate malt and a mere suggestion of dark fruit. Taste was roasty chocolate up front with a light, toffee sweetness towards the back and a kiss of hops at the finish. Consistency fell between light- and medium-bodied. Carbonation was a little bolder than I would have preferred. Fairly easy drinking and flavorful porter; however, carbonation affected the overall experience for me.

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Photo of tpd975
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was suprised to see the Sams Holiday pack in the cooler at the work holdiay party.

A: Pours a nice brown hue with a small creamy head. Little retention and spotty lace.

S: Lots of roasted malt with hints of chocolate and coffee.

T: Very similar to aroma. Toasted malt and chocolate lead the way. The coffee is not there instead I detect some sweet dark fruits. Subtle notes of spice can be picked up as well.

M: Medium in body, fairly smooth.

D: Not bad.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear, dark brown. Light brown head rises 2 fingers. Retention is quite long and a thick cap remains. Moderate lacing as well.

S - Roasted aroma with a lot of chocolate as well. A touch of smoke and fruit with a little bit of anise hiding out.

T - Rich roasted malt pulls through first with hints of wood and smoke. Mid palate the brew sweetens up a bit with indistinct fruit flavors and some buttery notes along with noticable brown sugar. Finishes a little bitter and metallic with some earthy overtones.

M - Starts off somewhere between medium and full, but turns fairly thin by the end of the sip. Carbonation is moderate and a bit too prickly for a porter.

D - A decent enough porter. Perhaps a little forgettable but overall a solid, drinkable beer.

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Photo of Greggy
2.21/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Pours a dark brown/black with ruby highlights. The head is a 1 finger semi-soapy tan color that recedes in about 1 minute. some slight lacing coats the glass.

S- dark fruits (raisin, prune, some fig), anise, some chocolate malt. There's just to much spicy fruit here.. This isn't exactly a porter nose.

T- Starts out a bunch of dark fruit and spice then some super quick dry chocolate, then a bunch of anise, and a really off dry malt. The finish is quite odd as well. This is miles away form a porter.

M- Low carbonation is fine but the finish is pretty haggard

D- The brutal honest truth is that this was a terrible porter. I am truly glad that I got this bottle for free. Will never drink again.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours into a pint glass a very dark brown color with just a skim layer of head on top.

Aroma is slightly roasty with some spice and fruit.

Flavor is very similar to old fezzilwig but with the roasty dark malts of a porter.

Mouthfeel is good and clean, not too heavy.

Drinkability is good but I would probabaly prefer a standard porter for a session. The spice can get a bit old.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark dark brown--essentially black--with ruby highlights. A sticky tan head floats above that left some nice lacing on the glass. A roasted malt nose with mostly chocolate, some coffee, and a little earthy spice. Medium bodied brew with a nice round smooth feel. Chocolate, cocoa, coffee, and some deep dark fruit in the flavor profile. A burnt bitterness leaves the palate slightly dry at the end. A very faint of hint of cinnamon appears at the finish. This is a solid seasonal from the folks at Samuel Adams.

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Photo of bigkahunas4
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this as part of the SA Winter variety pack, poured into my SA lager glass. Body was ink black, with about a 1.5 finger head with some solid retention. Nice suddy lacing. Nose is faint, some slight chocolate and milk.

Brew has some nice viscosity on the tongue and finishes smooth. Taste starts a little sour and then moves to a roasty flavor, before coming back to a slight sour finish. A nutty feel with some accents, makes for a good tasting brew.

Nice brew with some flavor. A highlight of the pack for sure.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this up as part of the winter variety pack. This beer pours with a decent head that quickly subsides. Fairly light for a porter too. Fairly nosy beer, all the usual dark coffee/chocolate malts, perhaps a little bit of licorice too? Taste is surprisingly metallic, but the good mouthfeel makes up for it somewhat. Not terribly coffee-esque for a porter, an interesting take on the style.

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Photo of Rayek
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep mahogany color, bordering on black. Good sized cream colored head is rocky and firm. The head has nice retention and leaves a nice lace.

S: Cocoa, vanilla, coffee and a bit of molasses come together to make a complex aroma.

T: The taste isn't as complex as the aromas, but is still quite good. Cocoa and molasses flavors come through first. A mild burnt bitterness follows. Underneath everything was a slight mineral flavor.

M: Medium body feels a bit over carbonated.

D: Another nice SA beer. I'm happy that there is one of these still left in my box.

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Photo of Applesauce1
4.26/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this as part of a holiday classics 12 pack.

Appearance: dark, dark, brown with a nice 1/2" light brown head that stays there the whole way through
Smell: coffee with a little bit of hops and burnt bread
Taste: definitely hoppier than most porters (it says fuggles and kent goldings on the bottle)....burnt bread with a coffee taste very prevalent (must be some of the munich malt)
Mouthfeel: light to medium body
Drinkability; could do two in a night

Overall, I'm of the better ones from Sam Adams

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first review, so it might take me awhile to get the rating scale down, so bear with me...

Appearance: I poured this into a standard pint glass. Pours a very dark brown. Very small amount of head that quickly dissipated, but it did leave a decent bit of lacing.

Smell: Malty, with hints of chocolate and coffee. Hints of the alcohol came through, and it smelled like there was more alcohol in it than the 5.90 ABV. Wasn't a bad thing, however.

Taste: Very smooth. Coffee undertones definitely came through in the aftertaste. The more sips I take, the more I like it. This one definitely tastes better as it warms. Nothing particularly spectacular about it, however - I can't say I'd necessarily prefer this over any other porter.

Mouthfeel: Feels thick in the mouth, which is something I like in a porter, but a little too carbonated. I think the carbonation overpowers the taste a little bit.

Drinkability: Despite the high carbonation, it is definitely something I could drink a couple of at once. Like most Sam Adams', a quality beer.

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Photo of buffettfan
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours very dark, almost black, with hints of almost ruby red in the light. Thick fluffy off white head, with good lacing. Pretty beer!

Aroma was pleasant. Chocolaty malt, hint of coffee.

Taste was a great thick, malty rich flavor. Hints of coffee as well. The finish is very pleasant, and warm.

A smooth, sort of thick mouthfeel. A nice, warm feel to this beer.

A very nice, drinkable beer, one of the best from Sam Adams. Loved it!

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into an imperial tulip pint glass the beer was a very dark brown--near black--with hints of ruby rud around the edges. Two plus fingers of slightly tan head formed a bubbly creamy top to the beer. Excellent lacing thoughout the sample.

The nose is roasty with hints of chocolate and carmel and dark roast coffee.

The taste has a big roasty flavor with a slight smokey character (reminds me a bit of Stone Smoked Porter). Chocolate covered raisins, caramel and dark nearly burnt chicory and coffee.

Suprisingly higher carbonation than expected with takes away a bit from the big body lurking under all those bubbles. Still, firm and on for the style.

It had been a while since I had this one and I forgot just how good it was. Nice and robust smokey roasted flavors make this one a very drinkable and enjoyable porter.

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Photo of birchstick
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - pours dark with a small head. I love the picture on the label.
S - smells of toffee, very sweet chocolate, and malts
T - tastes sweet at first, which gives way burnt malts.
M - thin and oily
D - this did not come across as being as bold in flavor as some of my more favorite porters--very good porter none-the-less. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of marcpal
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the Winter Assortment pack- poured into shaped Dogfish glass.

Bottle Graphics: 8/10. Happy holiday feel- leaves you reaching for a xmas cookie.

A: Chocolate brown with a whipped off white head and abundant lacing.

S: Chocolate and smoke. Sweet and toasty, not picking up the hop structure but sweet and good aroma for a porter. Caramel and dried figs, the really dark small shriveled kind.

T: A whole lot of chocolate, same smokiness, tobaccolike. Coffee flavors become dominant and if there is any downfall it has something of a burnt aftertaste.

M: Creamy and chewy. Pleasant spiciness on the tongue. Some dissapointed again by the burn in the after swallow.

D: A good porter. At first, I wasnt sure what made it a holiday porter but as I drank through it the spices and the chocolate combine nicely for the season.

Not as good as the Fezziwig but a good part of this sample back. Not being a porter junkie, found fun in this bottle.

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Photo of HeavyG
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown with about 1.5 fingers of head.

S: A nice mix of smells with this beer. You can pick out a hint of chocolate, caramel and a bit of smoke.

T: Great flavors, you can taste chocolate, caramel and just a hint of coffee.

M: Very smooth on the tongue.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the Sam Adams Holiday Classics box, this poured from a 12 oz bottle a garnet color with small off-white head and light lacing. Nose of light roasted malts and some chocolate. Medium mouthfeel. Flavor is again of burnt malts with some bitterness. Slightly bitter finish. OK, but not great.

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Photo of crayphish
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this brew with Thanksgiving dessert and again this evening as I surf the web. This porter pours a deep dark ruby liquid with a scant head that diminishes quickly. A fair amount of lacing adorns my glass. Smell is a smoky tobacco and malt affair. Pleasing. Taste shows off a bitter chocolate aspect, with coffee and dark fruits around as well. Mouthfeel is dry and astringent from an unseen hop front. A very drinkable brew that surely should make it's way to 6-pack availability.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This ale from Samuel Adams comes in their holiday variety pack. I love the artwork on the cover of a guy carrying a fresh barrel of porter in to a pub on a snowy evening. I poured this in to a Duvel glass. It came out a dark brown color, a shade or two away from black, and had a finger worth of white heading. Smell is very lovely in subtle ways. Dry dark grains, milk chocolate, coal, a hint of dark berries. Flavor is much of the same, but not to the degree that the aroma showed. Bottle says it is a full bodied brew; and I would have to agree to an extent. It felt more medium sized than large for me, but lingering in that territory. Drinking this gets easier with each sip, as it does unfold a lot as it warms. I went in to this beer not expecting for it to deliver as much as it did. Perfect for the holiday season. Now I only wish they would put this and the Old Fezziwig in six packs. This one gets a thumbs up from me.

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

Pours near black with crimson around the edes. A thickish tan head of about 1 inche forms from aggressive pour. As the head settle it leaves a sticky lace around the edges.

There are aromas of coffee, bittersweet choclate, and roasted malts.

The flavors is like the nose with an added complexity of maollases and maybe even a little toffee.

Mouthfeel is near full bodied with a mild but adequate carboantion for the style.

I had several of these alst night during the Thanksgiving festivities and was disappointed when they were gone.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark brown color with some redish hues. A medium pour yields an off-white foam head.

S: Not an abundance of aroma. Some hints of honey, coffee and some hops.

T: Some chocolate flavoring with a hint of some earthy hops and honey. Not as much flavor as I thought there would be.

M: A medium body. Leaves hardly any aftertaste.

D: Not my favorite porter but worth trying.

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Photo of matt062286
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - very dark brown, nearly opaque. Tells me that this brew is going to be packed with flavor.

Smell - Dark fruits, a bit of citrus, and a touch of honey. Nothing too special but not bad.

Taste - A sweet and robust mixture of flavors. I taste the flavor of dates, a bit of toffee and caramel, and an aftertaste that hints chocolate. I also taste a tiny bit of pine sap, which may sound off-putting but really blends well with the other flavors.

Mouthfeel - surprisingly light considering it is such a dark beer. Not much of a heavy aftertaste in the mouth either which I like.

Drinkability - I could see myself drinking a few of these in one sitting, which may be tough since you can only get two at a time in the Sam Adams Winter Classics sampler pack. Along with the cream stout, this is my favorite brew in the sampler.

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Photo of froghop
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark brown with a red tint, has a small tan head, and decent lacing.

smell is of sour malt, spice, whiff of caramel.

taste is tart at first, spice, sour malt, some chocolate, and some caramel.

overall a nice beer to start my thanksgiving, while watching the lions get stomped.

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Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 2,460 ratings
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