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

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Samuel Adams Holiday PorterSamuel Adams Holiday Porter
2,465 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: 2,465 |  Reviews: 1,187
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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Photo of Beerislife652854
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the winter variety 12-pack.

A - Pours a dark brown clear colored body with a tan head of thick foam.

S - Strong hops.

T - Bitter hops and chocolate.

M - Heavy, yet smooth.

D - A heavy and filling brew, great with winter holiday food.

This beer is my favorite from Sam Adams winter variety pack.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint.

Pours a deep mahogany with a decent head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma and flavor is of dark chocolate malts with a nice hop backbone that gives a good balance to the beer. There is a slight smoke flavor that is complimentary. The hops flavor is there, although a bit weak and subdued.

Mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation works well with this style.

A nice porter, not outstanding, but a good representation of the style.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
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 +12.9%
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 +5.1%
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 +11.6%
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 +6.7%
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 +21.8%
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 +5.1%
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 +6.2%
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 +8.3%
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 +11.6%
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.

 556 characters

Photo of beernut
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
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 +4.8%
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.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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%
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.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
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 +11.6%
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 -3.2%
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 +4.8%
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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Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 2,465 ratings
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