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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Ratings: 2,458 |  Reviews: 1,183
Photo of bearrunner44
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black as night. In the few places where light shows through, it's the color of molasses.

The aroma brings to mind everything from maple syrup to spiced rum and raisin cookies. It's sublimely sweet, with fruity date-like hints.

Broadly sweet, roasted malt flavor hits the tastebuds first. The taste has a mellow fruity sweetness similar to plums or dates; dark coffee and chocolate also spring to mind. The sweet character of the malt is balanced by the everpresent-yet-subtle hop flavors. The hop flavor never asserts its independence; it merely provides a slight bitterness that helps to balance the beer. The alcohol pops its head up in the finish, once the sweetness of the malt fades away.

A great winter beer, perfect for enjoying the indoor heat while it's -100 degrees outside.

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

a- Pours dark, almost black in color with a finger of brown head. Lacing appears good and the head disappeared moderately fast

s- Smell nice with some dark malts and a hit of caramel and maybe some spices.

t- The malts are very flavorful with the hops kicking in later

m- good mouthfeel, it has a nice creamy texture to it making it very easy to drink.

this is a good cold weather beer and i fully enjoy it

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Photo of AltBock
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with a Christmas label of a man carrying a barrel of Holiday Porter through the cold and snowy streets of an 18th century New England town to a local tavern. It's looks like the tavern owner has been waiting for this beer for a while because the the expression on his face looks like he's relieved that he's now able to sell this holiday beer to his customers. To the right of the label is the US Government warning and on the left side is the barcode, address of the brewery, and a notched best before date. The date just gives the month, but not the year.

Appearance: When poured into a standard American pint glass, this Sam Adams is a dark chocolate black color with a few dark ruby red highlights along the sides. It started off with a 1/2 inch head of tan foam foam, but that quickly changed when it dissipated into a few foamy tan rings and a streak or two of tan lace.

Smell: It had a mild aroma of roasted malts, a splash of caramel, sweet sugar plums, and milk chocolate. At the end is where the hops aroma will emerge, but the hops were replaced by chestnuts roasting on an open fire. I guess Sam Adams has been listening to some Christmas tunes lately.

Taste: It started off thick with dark roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, splash of caramel, and toasted nuts. After those dark flavors had appeared, it felt like they were washed away by some tasty spring water. Just when I thought it was done, the water was then washed away by roasted hops. It was like a weird taste train. The dark flavors played the part as the engine, the spring water was the car, and the roasted hops acted as the caboose.

Mouthfeel: It was a light to medium bodied beer that had a quick thin aftertaste of roasted malts and roasted hops. I could also detect a little water in there too. Not too much water, but I could still taste it.

Drinkability: I found this Sam Adams to be a run of the mill Porter. It was nothing out of the ordinary or even that good. I doubt I'll buy this one again next Christams season.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the better offerings from the Sam Adam's holiday winter packs.

Pours a dark amber, the reddish hues coming through the light. Good amount of head and lacing.

Smell is mostly a caramel malt and a little bit of spice.

The taste is roasted malt with a good sweetness kick, bit of coffee flavoring and a slight bitterness rounds it out at the end. Pretty smooth with good carbonation, not overly syrupy or thick though.

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Photo of shabbtastic
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another beer in the holiday mix pack. Presented in a 12oz bottle which was clearly marked with freshness date.

A - It poured a deep rich dark brown into a pint glass. Left a creamy head about 2 fingers high. The lacing was pretty good, as it lasted about 3/4 the way through.

S - Rich coffee malts, kinda sweet. Some chocolate overtones were detected. Not bad

T - Watery Molasses taste, sweet with not enough bitterness.

M - A little thin despite the appearance.

D - Overall a decent porter to wind down with on a chilly afternoon. Very enjoyable and easy to drink.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 brown bottle poured into a SA glass,best by APR notched in label.

Clear,very deep amber color with brownish highlights. 2"off-white dense,creamy head,good retention,leaving sticky webby lacing down the glass.Very tiny bubbles tightly knitted string round the bottom of the glass.

Sweet malty aromas with dark fruit,some tea-like notes with spicyness and hints of licorace. Nice complex malty aroma with no real standouts.

Clean tastes with light roastyness and semi-sweet chocolate flavors. Spicy and earthy,nicely balanced with a smooth,spicy bitterness. Very pleasing taste.

Light to medium body,not filling with a slight grainy bite. Easy drinking and not too filing with enough taste makes it an almost sessionable dark beer.

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

This was tried form the sam adams winter pack. It is a very refreshing beer and very warm beer. I love having it with a big heavy meal that will put me to sleep especially during the winter months. It pours a very dark brown almost black color with a tan head. There ios some malt on the nose but nothing more some sweetness form it as well. Taste of roasted malt with not a lot of hop flavor inside. Nice smooth sweetness that finishes strong and leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes.

A: Super dark brown color with minimal white head.

S: Not much of a nose on this beer except for some malt.

T: Sweet malt and caramel.

M: Thin body but well carbonated.

D: For a spiced porter fairly drinkable. Could do two of these in an evening no problem.

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

Black pour with some great reddish tones. Head is about two inches, tan and fluffy-thick. Lacing is good not great.

Lots of roast in the nose: coffee and chocolate, with molasses showing up in the flavor. Burnt malts provide an acid touch without going overboard, especially important for a porter.

Good abv, and the finish is nice and light, a little sweeter than the overall flavor. Mouthfeel is a little light correspondingly, but the drinkability is solid. Very nice porter.

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Photo of stewart124
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dense tan head sits atop an almost black beer with ruby highlights.

Smell is of burnt malts, coffee and hints of chocolate. There is a sweetness that seems to come out also. I'm also picking up slight bits of noble hops but just barely.

Big body on this one with hints of toffee, molasses, and rich malts shine through this porter. Nice bitterness to this American Porter. There is a complex malt character and chocolate malts really make this beer. This beer is almost chewy and it leaves a burnt roasted taste in my mouth. Finishes with a sweetness of burnt molasses. A nice beer.

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Photo of IPAcraig
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a guiness pint glass from a 12 oz bottle I picked up in Nashville.

This beer pours a fairly thick black with a nice light brown head which lasted.

A very faint aroma. Typical porter aroma: slightly sweet with more chocolate than roast. Light.

More roasty character shows up the flavor. Fairly big in body. There are some hints of brown sugar, and just a touch of hops. Finishes sweet. It really opens up with a bit of warmth.

All in all this is a very nice porter ... just nice.

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Photo of baggio
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Noticed this in the store and remembered that i had not reviewed this one.

A: Dark brown / Black with a small beige head.

S: Milk chocolate, vanilla, Roasted coffeebeans.

T: Espresso, Chocolate, Dark fruit, Metal, Hops.

M: A bit watery but well balanced and a nice touch of hop-bitterness at the end. Medium carbonation.

Initially a bit sweet but there's a nice bitterness at the end. Another qualitybrew from SA. A nice sipper during the cold season.

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

Poured a very deep reddish-brown color with moderate off-white head.
Smell is of roasted malt combined with a dark fruitiness.
Taste also is significant for lots of dark fruit, with a frim sweetness lending to a nice refreshing drinkability.
Finishes with more sweetness, and perfect drinkability.
A great beer to enjoy on a cold winters night.

 344 characters

Photo of Engibeer
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 01/01/08 - Happy New Year!

Best by April 2008 from SA's Mixed Holiday Pack.

Pours a deep RICH dark red-brown with a lush toffee-colored head. Nice rings of lace.

Spicy hops and roasted malt on the tongue. Very nice! Chocolate and molasses. Excellent. A bit of bitterness and dryness in the finish.

Excellent drinkability. It really sweetens as it warms making it even more enjoyable.

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Photo of bozebus17
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark reddish brown. You can see through this beer when held up to the light. There is a huge off-white head with great staying power and a nice amount of lacing.

Smells of rich caramel malts, toffee, and freshly baked bread. Very appealing aroma.

After taking a couple of sips a bread flavor seems to dominate this brew. It is followed up by toffee and just a hint of bitterness. This one isn't overly roasty like other porters I have had. The mouthfeel is creamy and it goes down easy and smooth. Very drinkable.

I really enjoyed this beer. Boston Beer has been putting out some great products and this is another one. It is possibly my favorite from the winter 12 pack. Well done.

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Photo of genog
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into my Sam Adams glass.
Pours a black color with plenty of creamy light brown head. Smell is of a dark roasted malt aroma and light hops. Taste is smokey with some touch of bitter hops. Mouth feel is a little watery but very nice.

 251 characters

Photo of Kallessin
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It had about a 1/4 inch head that dissipated very quickly. The beer is a deep reddish brown color.

It has an aroma that I can't quite put my finger on. For lack of a better description it's a roasted sweet syrup-like smell. I can also pick up a little scent of the alcohol.

The caramel and munich malts come through first with some molasses like flavor, then towards the end the roasted chocolate malts are pretty prominent. The hops also really come through at the end.

It has a very nice mouthfeel. It's pretty smooth with a little bite from the carbonation. A little dry towards the end.

This beer is very drinkable. It's not as heavy as you would think from the dark appearance. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark reddish, brown, large tan foamy head, lots of great lacing.

S = Fresh smell of hops cuts through a good sweet malt scent with traces of chocolate and spice. Fairly complex smell and well balanced.

T = Taste is a little too sour for me. It has a lot of bitterness, but there is also just a plain sour taste at the first taste, a sweetness then start pushing through in the middle so by the finish there is an interesting sweet/tart finish. The whole though is not as well balanced as the smell suggested it would be. Good, but not great.

M = Light to medium bodied, good carbonation, fair mouth coating. As with th etaste, good but not great. I think it should have had a little more body. That would have increased my score for sure.

D = This is a pleasant drinkable beer. The faults I noted would not stop me from having a second of these immediately or from having more in the future. A nice Winter porter.

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

A-Pours very dark,when held to a light you can see deep red tones,a soft looking tan head that leaves behind thick lacing as it dissapates.

S-sweet sugary fruits,and dark roasted coffee,with slight hints of french vanilla

T-Delicious dark malts ,followed by fruit and milk chocolates ,with a suprisingly dry finish

M-great full body,lots of carbonation,very creamy,again a bit dry,but it goes great with this beer

D-Its definently a heavy brew but I think I could down half a six pack in short order! (fo sho)

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Photo of n0315
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice pour out of the bottle with a nice dark color with some amber highlights you can just barely see through. The smell I dont think is too much differnt than any other porter so I gave that an average. The taste is great though, not as strong as others and goes down very nicely. Mouthfeel is just what I like in a porter. taste of chocolate with a bit of bitter sweetness. A nice beer for christmas!

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Photo of armock
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured basically a black color with a brown head

S - Roasted malt chocolate and caramel

T - Roasted malt and chocolate

M - There is a lot of carbonation in this one for a porter

D - I enjoyed this beer quite a bit yet again too bad they only put two in the mix pack

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Photo of letsgopens
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours near black with some thin ruby highlights. The very rocky sizable tan head holds well and leaves some nice sticky lace around the edges.

Some decent but mild roasted malt is present and accompanied by some cream and dark fruit. Sweet caramel and and toffee comes out as well and primes the palate for this nice tasting porter.

Roasted malt and dark fruit again. Some toffee and molasses; sweet but not abundantly so. As the brew warms, a slightly metallic quality arises and a bit of the booze is uncovered. I always like to evaluate a beer (especially porters and stouts) at their suggested serving temp then let it warm a bit more and see how the flavors and textures adjust. This beer doesn't warm particularly well but it's still pleasurable throughout.

Smooth in texture and moderate/full bodied. Also moderately carbonated with a slick, somewhat juicy finish. A bit of light warmth can be detected as well. Solid throughout; a nice festive brew.

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Photo of dubman003
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So it's my birthday and I bought the Sam Adams Winter Pack. Of course, I remembered liking this beer two years ago, but I couldn't really REMEMBER the beer, if you know what I mean.

The smell is unremarkable with the exception of polite chocolate (I was afraid it was going to be an average microbrew porter, but of course sam adams never disapoints), but after drinking the beer out of the new exclusive Sam Adams glasses, I was satisfied and happy. Almost as thick as a stout, I would have loved to have had this beer with Christmas dinner. Holiday Porter would be a 6-pack that would put me to sleep before the party started haha.

The mouthfeel is good, but not exceptional because it ends dry. It heads towards bitter but is so slight I'd expect many to miss it. Considering the high alcohol content, subtle notes could be overlooked by the beer's thickness.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A deep black porter, nicely topped with a beige head that leaves plenty of lace as it drops.

Aroma reminds of chocolate cheescake, also a tad fruity, with background toffee/caramel notes.

Chocolate and dark fruits come forth first in the flavor, with some lingering roasted/coffee goodness. has this bitterness that takes away rather than adds to the flavors. Seems to be fighting against the succulent sweet/malt elements, carrying a metallic glaze that also rides into the finish. It doesn't quite ruin the experience, but it's too dominant and I can only shrug and move on.

Of the beers in the holiday variety pack, I preferred the Old Fezziwig, Cream Stout, and even the Cranberry Lambic over this. It's not bad at all, just a little off-center to this tongue.

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Photo of ajmoody76
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bought at local liquor store. comes in a mix 12 pack. bottle to tulip glass. extremely dark brown bordering on black. good clarity. two finger cream head that thins out to a fine layer. looks good.

light malt aroma with a stronger fruit presence. no off odors.

roasty with a big helping of hops. the hops give this beer a great taste. chocolate aftertaste. hops out in front but it is balanced well. on for style.

carbonated well. full bodied. some lace. great porter. unfortunatey can only get when it is cold outside. could do a session. will drink again.

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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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