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

2,458 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: 2,458 |  Reviews: 1,184
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black in color with a frothy off white head.
Smell is black patent malt and some light roasted coffee.
Smell is roasted and slight hoppy. A little bit of a tobacco flavor as well. Some slight dark fruit in the aftertaste. Decent beer, not offensive and very easy drinking.

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

Poured a very dark opaque brown with 1" tan head which reduced to a light covering with good lacing. Strong aroma of roasted malt with tones of chocolate and toffee and a hint of spice. The flavor strongly reflects the aroma with a more pronounced spice flavor. I enjoyed this brew very much. A great addition to Sam Adams lineup.

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Photo of KeefD
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, almost black color with a two finger tan head and nice lacing. Aroma of bitter roasted malts, some green hops, and light notes of chocolate and coffee. Taste is right on with the nose. Roasty toasty goodness, some chocolate, light coffee, and some herbal green hops in the background. Creamy, smooth and yummy. Very nice.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The best of the winter taster pack I bought the other day and split with a friend. Pours an almost black color with some light brown highlights. Tan head with great retention and lacing. Nose is excellent as well. Huge caramel, nice roasted malt, dried fruit. Maybe a touch of chocolate. Flavor is similar: strong on roasted malt, chocolate, and a touch of spice. A touch of coffee. Feel is smooth and creamy, with a nice thick body. Overall, this is a great winter beer. I agree with others that used the word "cozy." I'd drink this one on any chilly winter night (or, screw it, morning).

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Why do I have to buy whole winter sampler for 2 bottles of this?

Sam Holiday Porter pours mostly black with maroon highlights. Beige head that holds for a short while and leaves minimal lace. Smells of caramel malt, blackberries and currant.

Tastes of smooth, unassuming chocolate and caramel malt backbone with a subtle hop and creme de cassis kiss. This is a sexy beer.

SAHP has decent mouthfeel with a high drinkability due to it's pronounced yet unabrassive flavors. A winter favorite.

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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 1fastz28
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very dark black color, with a slight caramel color to it, has a big frothy head on it, looks really nice. smell is of rich malted barley, has a nice smoke flavor to it. taste and mouthfeel is good too, a full flavored creaminess to it, sam adams makes some good brews, this is no exception. drinkability is good, its not too strong, recommended

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Photo of Proteus93
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, but not so deep that it holds light back. Some reddish hues to it, but mostly a chestnut brown. Head is fluffy and pale tan... leaves some nice strips of lacing behind on the way down.

S: Roasted malts and some coffee notes. Something that presents itself almost like a faint prune scent. Some gentle hops add some balance and character.

T: Dark, roasted malts, a touch of bitter chocolate and mellow coffee. A little hoppy bitterness finishes it up.

M + D: Smooth feel, a kinda 'soft' body, with a nice little shimmer of carbonation. Drinks well, straight forward and pleasant. Not too shabby at all.

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Photo of Biscuit033
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights and a nice 2+ finger tan head and great lacing.

S: Chocolate and coffee notes with a bit of vanilla and some earthy hop notes.

T: Chocolate maltiness, bitter coffee, and plenty of English hop flavors (earth and pine).

M: Medium body, creamy and a long bitter finish.

D: There is a lot of hop and malt flavor in this beer. Something I am looking forward to more of.

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Photo of NCBeernut
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby brown with a creamy but somewhat thin head. Aroma is subtle for a roasty porter; chocolaty with dark breads and hints of anise. There is also a smokey quality to the nose. First sip is really smooth. Flavors reflect a very traditional porter character. More anise in the taste, smokiness, just a hint of coffee, a little roastiness, lots of nuttyness, a bit more than faint hop bittering on the finish.

Not a bad brew from one of the best mixed 12 packs out there. Extra style points for really hitting that traditional blended porter taste.

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Photo of beernut
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a black color with a thick tan head that stays with the beer all the way down. Good carbonation, even better lacing throughout. Aroma is roasted malts and chocolate. Taste is some caramel/malt and chocolate. Very good mouthfeel, does not feel heavy, nice and crisp. No strong or heavy aftertaste.

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Photo of kshankar
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black with a nice amount of tan foam. Lacing is pretty good, head retention is decent. Lacing sticks to the glass the entire way down

Aroma: Chocolate, roasted malts...hops are somewhat there, but not too much.

Taste: Roasty and "hearty", I guess, if that word can be used to describe a beer. Bitterness comes through in the end as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth and goes down well. Somewhat creamy as well

Drinkability: Not bad. Tastes fine, nice body, etc so this category is okay.

 509 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, with an ABV noted on the label as 5.8%, contrary to the 5.9% listed here.

Pours dark, nearly black and opaque, only divulging peeks of ruby-brown highlights when closely examined against the light. The bubbly one finger of tan head displays decent retention and leaves nice rings of lace behind on the walls of the vessel.

Aroma and flavors are very similar, with a soft maltiness all around. Chocolate and mild roasted malt flavors are discernible, and become more pronounced as the beer warms. A slight bitterness shows itself in the middle but is rather subdued. Body is nice and full, and mouthfeel mimics the flavors and aromas, being very smooth and rounded.

Overall this is a highly delicious brew, though very mild and soft, and in my opinion displays more qualities of an English ale than an American one, with none of that American extrovertedness whatsoever.

A wonderfully pleasing, calming, warming, and highly drinkable porter. A great addition for the holidays.

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Photo of leif86
2.9/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Best by March, 2009 (I think that is where the notch is, hard to tell).

A: Near black body with a light tan head that is barely there and that quickly departs with any that decided to come along. Minimal lacing.

S: Fruit and molasses coming together to remind me of a very typical wine-like aroma.

T: Molasses with a metallic-like taste (am I sucking on my car keys?) that soon yields to a generic yet pleasant hop bitterness. But damn, that metallic taste stays with it throughout. Maybe it's just mine?

M: With the poor head retention I'd think it would be undercarbonated and that's certainly not the case, in fact, it seems to be a tad over carbonated. I'm not really digging the extra fizziness in the holiday porter style.

D: Molasses almost always kills the drinkability desire for me and that's certainly the case here. Couple that with the metallic taste I get, the pedestrian aroma, and too much carbonation and I think I'll pass. I'll try this again to make sure it wasn't just the bottle I got, but I'll make sure I don't pay for it.

 1,050 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Edition

A twelve-ounce bottle poured into a pint willi glass yields a rich mahogany body with garnet highlights, capped with a thick layer of soft tan foam. The suds retain at a creamy sheet that leaves dissolving swatches of lacing melting on the glass.

The smell has a a dark roasted character and a little bit of a lactic, burnt malty twang.

The taste is crisp and chocolatey with toffeeish munich maltiness and a layer of dark caramel. A dusty, cocoa powder dry finish urges the drinker to enjoy another sip. Sip. Rolling waves of lighter caramel and cocoa-sprinkled toffee become more prominent as the drink progresses.

SA's Holiday Porter is a surprisingly fine beer that really stands out amongst the stalwarts in the Boston Beer Company stable. Fullish-medium in body, the drink is mildly carbonated and extremely drinkable.

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Photo of TheBierBand
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass and was gratified with a 1" head of light beige foam. The head slowly dwindled to a thin cam and left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass. The color of the beer was ebony with hints of ruby when held to light.

The nose was very nice with hints of burnt malt, figs, and a slight hint of dark chocolate.

The taste was similar to the smell only more smokey... and a bitter aftertaste.... not bad.... good.

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy....not too heavy.

Drinkability: Right on style for a porter. I can see myself enjoying many of these throughout the holiday season.

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Photo of gonzo46and2
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark and viscous looking black. It was almost opaque with bits of light peeking through. The head laces nicely but recedes entirely.

Smells like sweet chocolate, caramel, raisin, and molasses.

Taste is sweet and fruity with a little bit of sweet chocolate. There was no bitter aftertaste of hops, dark chocolate, or coffee. This is more on the sweet side of the spectrum.

Medium bodied with nice soft carbonation.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

Very dark brown color, some auburn edges and a small, dense tan head up above it all. Nice start.

Very nice dark roasted malt nose. Some mild bitter chocolate as well, with a little tinge of hops. The taste is fairly bold, roasty and slightly bitter. Creamy all the way through and finishing with some bitter chocolate and hop notes.

Fairly big body, rich and creamy and mild carbonation. A pretty good porter from where I'm sitting.

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Photo of livingregret
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Serving Type was a 12 fl oz bottle that I picked up in a "Holiday" Pack

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, dare I say black?, w/ little fizzy head but there is plenty of lacing.

Smell: A strong fig smell, light molasses, a touch of chocolate and a hint of Winter Warmer

Taste: Light chocolate, roasted malts, and a touch of molasses. The Roasted malt is a touch almost burnt. Overly roasted I guess I should call the taste....if the chocolate, molasses or even a touch more of the Alcohol had come through I would have enjoyed the taste a lot more

Mouthfeel: Smooth at first but than overly carbonated near the end. Very fizzy....instead of a smooth finish you get tingles.

Drinkability: Well...I'll finish the 2 in my Holday pack but I think that is going to be it for me.

 787 characters

Photo of MP72
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-poured a dark brown into Samuel Smith Tulip pint glass.Thick tan head.

S- Chocolate ,Anise, Hops and some coffee

T- Chocolate and Anise/licorice

M-mouthfeel is still somewhat overcarbonated in my opinion but doesnt hurt the beer too much.
A smooth filling mouthfeel.

D- Drinkability ranks a little lower to me than the Cream stout there is a sweetness or licorice flavor that keeps these at a 2 beer max for me.
Still a quality beer worth trying if you like Porter and stout.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A= great head! Rose beautifully awsome lacing. Its a fabulous dark dark amber almost black color
S= great figs and malt smell, chocolate notes and a little special holiday something
T= wonderful holiday spices, a little chocolate and lots of malty goodness
M= not that great. The only thing I don't like about it. Its maybe a little too smooth for a porter but there's a nice bit on the back of the tounge
D= great for the holidays!

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

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into my SA pint glass. It pours nice and dark with a few tinges of red, decent head. The smell is of dried figs and berries. The taste is very enjoyable. There are hints of chocolate and ripe fruits. The porter is medium bodied, smooth and drinkable. This and Old Fezziwig make it worthwhile every year to but the variety pack.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours balck with red tinges,leaves one finger of a biege head that has good retention and it leaves good lacing.Aroma is simple and straightforward. Roasted malt, some nuttiness, and some dark fruit like raisins, and prunes.
Flavor is roasted malt,and there is some nuttiness, as well as some chocolate, raisins, prunes,and a dash of cinnamon. There are also some herbally hops on the finish,
Thin mouthfeel, but somehow it works here. To be honest this is not the best Porter I have ever had but it darn sure went down good,and hit the spot.. Good on Ya Sam .

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Photo of kinger
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured myself a couple of these after returning from driving the family around looking at Christmas Lights. Wasn't thrilled at first but this porter quickly grew on me. Roasted, chocolate malt nose with a noticeable hop scent, also some buttery sweets. Gorgeous pour I was and still am very impressed. Near black darkness with a 2" tan head that calms to about one fourth of that and lacing, man tons of lacing all around and down the glass. Mouthfeel is creamy with a medium body, very drinkable. Sweet chocolate taste gives way to a roasted nuttiness. Bitter english hops tickle the tongue at the end. Great addition to their winter sampler.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in Samuel Adams's Holiday Sampler Pack

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance: A beautiful dark brown, nice tan head that builds as the bottle is done pouring, head dimmished fairly quickly but left excellent lacing. Very little clarity.

Smell: What a smell! Vanilla, biscuits, caramel, milk chocolate are extremley potent in this, a nice fruit floral in the backdrop, not for nothing but this beer emits a smell like none other. Just right for the holidays.

Taste: A nice, clean chocolate/caramel taste, good balance of the roasted malts to the hops, again, vanilla and and the spices mix well in the taste of this. This beer would taste great with some baked ham, or even a batch of gingerbread cookies.

Mouthfeel: Perfect body, not overly carbonated like some other porters I've tried, subtle creaminess will warm you right up on the coldest of winter nights!

Drinkability: Why Samuel Adams's doesn't bottle this or the Ol' Fezzewig Ale in 6 or 12's is beyond me, these 2 beers are monumental to Samuel Adam's entry as being a solid winter performer, don't get me wrong, I love the Winter Lager, but these 2 beer's deserve more recognition then just placing 2 of each in a winter pack. I think we all need to e-mail Jim Koch and let him know how we feel.

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Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,458 ratings.
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