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

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Samuel Adams Holiday PorterSamuel Adams Holiday Porter
2,466 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: 2,466 |  Reviews: 1,186
Photo of Traquairlover
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
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 +4.8%
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 +11.8%
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 +2.2%
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 -9.7%
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 +15.6%
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 -9.9%
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 +16.4%
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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Photo of slagle9480
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nicely-done porter. I love when Sam Adams throws somethin different in their mix packs.

The Winter Classics is my favorite Sam Adams mixer and the Holiday Porter has solidified its position in it.

The dark appearance and the roasted malts present a great looking beer. I enjoyed this beer from the very first sip.

I look forward to next year's batch.

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

My first beer from the Winter Mix...

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass-

A- Dark chocolate brown. Huge head about 2 inches in height- minimal to no lacing.

S- Smell was of roasted coffee malts and spices.

T- Coffee, Caramel, Roasted Malts, Cinnamon intially. Hops were present on the back end of this one- pretty good balance overall but the spices were quite potent.

M- Mouthfeel had a lot of carbonation for a porter, but I enjoyed it. Went down easy and warmed quite nicely.

D- For the robust nature of this beer and all of the spice involved, I might have one or two of these but thats it.

A very enjoyable beer with lots of taste. Although this is nothing that will blow you away.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Pint glass. Poured an opaque black with a huge head. Probably 3 inches that took quite a while to dissipate. Definitely a hard pour. Left lacing down the glass. Aroma is of roasted malts, vanilla and toffee. Taste is much the same except with a bit of overly roasted coffee beans at the finish. Mouthfeel is more full then I expected. Has a sweet yet dry finish. Probably the second best offering out of the holiday pack.

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Photo of burnstar
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown- nearly black with medium tan head. Mild roated malty aroma. Nice malty flavor. Roasted and chocolate. Light herbal hops in the finish provide some balance. A slight toasted malt aftertaste. Pleasant. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. A very drinkable porter.

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

I got the Sam’s holiday mixer as a present this year. So far I have been pleasantly surprised. Let’s see if the holiday porter can continue the streak.

It pours a nice solid dark brown with a three finder thick caramel colored head after a hard pour. The head keeps good retention through a 1/3 of the glass, before it starts dissipating with very little lacing.

Out of the fridge, the only smell I get from the glass is roasted coffee. As it warmed, I was able to detect a hint of chocolate from the malts.

The nose is not deceiving, as I get a strong taste of coffee, hint of chocolate, with a slightly bitter finish. Through the palate, the feel of the porter is mostly smooth. There is a great balance of the nose, malt and carbonation that creates a solid mouthfeel. As it warms the roasted coffee flavor overwhelms, but it remains smooth.

Another solid beer out of the Sam’s holiday six pack. Can’t say I’m surprised about any of their beers, as they were all pretty solid.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

And my journey through the sam adams variety sampler continues. 12 oz brown longneck poured into a pint glass.

Deep brown that looks reddish when held to the light. Creamy head that retained fairly well and left very thick lace.

Smell was lightly roasted malts, some chocolate. Not picking up on the vanilla that some others have mentioned, but my nose is a bit stuffed up. Taste is fairly blah, not a lot of roasted bitterness and a bit sweet for my taste. Mouthfeel is much too thin, almost watery which does not suit the style. What bitterness is there is a bit harsh because of the thin body. Carbonation is medium low and pretty much right on. Overall a decent beer, but not one to seek out. Better to just stick with Dead Reckoning or Anchor Porter.

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Photo of esch
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown, nice bits of red when held up to the light.

S: Vanilla, caramel and malt sugars. This beer smells amazingly sweet.

T/M: Lots of molasses hints of caramel and nuts. The carbonation helps lift chocolate flavors up into the nose. Finishes a bit too coppery.

D: I won't seek this beer out, but I also won't hesitate to drink it again.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a very dark brown with a big rocky off-white head. The head slowly dwindled down over a few minutes and left very good lacing. The smell was lightly roasty and had plenty of chocolate. The taste was very sweet, caramel and chocolate mostly. There was not much roasted bitterness to it, overall it was a sweet porter. The mouthfeel was slightly thinner than I would have liked, but not much of a problem. A very tasty porter I would buy if it were available by itself.

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

P: 12 oz brown longneck bottle, Sam Adams Holiday Sampler 12 pack.

A: Deep brown mahogany amber pour with 2 fingers of intense khaki foam with huge lacing.

S: Roasted malt, sweet caramel

T: Creamy sweet chocolate and roasted malt that is overtaken with slightly bitter hops at the finish

M: A myriad of tastes make this an enjoyable porter as it is nice complex and balanced beer with the initial sweetness then a sudden hops presence on the tongue that is a bit dry.

D: Will defiantly be looking on enjoying the other Holiday Porter!

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Photo of number1bum
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown that shows some ruby hues when held to the light. Big and creamy khaki head builds on top and retention is excellent, leaving a nice lace and lots of stick.

Smells of caramel and chocolate malt, with some coffee too. Not much in the way of hops and the aroma is mostly malty.

Tastes is mostly the same, with a nice malty sweetness comprised of caramel and molasses with some subtle chocolate and coffee. Again not a whole lot of hops going on; definitely not a hoppy porter. Mostly malt, but very nicely done.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium body and is very creamy. Soft on the palate with an appropriately light carbonation. This is a really solid porter that I would have again for sure. One of the highlights of the winter classics case for me.

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

Poured into a pint glass, This beer poured a dark brown with a 3 finger tan head, that left a good amount of laceing down the side of the glass. The smell is of coffee with a hint of spice coming through. The taste is the same, with a slight chocolate after taste. The mouthfeel is very light and this beer is very drinkable.

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Photo of flowerysong
3.24/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a very, very dark mahogany.

Smell: Sweet, nutty, roasted malts and some vanilla with a fruity hop aroma.

Taste: Medium malty sweetness tempered by a hefty hit of hops and a light sourness. Malt character is chocolate and walnut.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and a bit tongue-coating.

Drinkability: A nice, solid porter. Something about the finish was a bit off and decreased my enjoyment, but it's still fairly drinkable.

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

This beer poured a very dark brown with reddish highlights and a big fluffy three-finger tan head that didn't last for long. The smell is very indicative of a porter, with some coffee and chocolate hints. The taste starts off with a a bit of sweet chocolate followed by some coffee and a some hops that linger on the palate. The mouthfeel is a little more watery than I expected from the pour, but it is still pleasant. This isn't as heavy as some porters, and I'd consider it to be more drinkable than most because of it. This isn't a bad little porter, it doesn't do much to stand out but I'd hardly turn it down if it was offered to me again.

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

2007 Winter Classics 12 pack. March is notched on the back label.

Pours pretty much midnight brown/black but has a mahogany glow when held next to a standard 75W light bulb. The head is tight and creamy that is oatmeal in color and stands a sturdy 1". Healthy sheets and quibs of lace all the way down.

A few swirls of my stemmed tulip glass evokes a fresh aroma of chocolate chip cookies, winey dark fruits and a bright earthiness most likely the cause of a good amount of hops.

The flavors of the chocolate chip cookie I enjoyed in the nose has transduced into more of a carob-like chocolate flavor. I really am digging the hops interplaying on the sweet roasted malty backbone. Each one trades complimentary glances, but never stares too long. There's a nice woodiness that allows the hop profile to take a leap forward, but only in texture and (again) brightness. The overall flavor is nicely roasted dark malts with a sweet dark plumy nuance. There's a lot more going on, but its very subtle.

Mouthfeel is superb. Silky, finely carbonated at just the right level and very creamy. Probably the creamiest mouthfeel of any porter I've had. Somewhat dry finish with not much lingering flavor.

Drinkability is high. I'm 8 oz. into my sample and I really would like a couple more to follow. The malts in the brew really play well together and beckon me to further discern each of their characteristics.

All in all a fantastic porter IMHO. Not much roastiness or over-the-top chocolate, but very balanced and refined in its own quiet way. I really could session with this ale all night long. A great porter from a BIG craft brewer. This would make a great gateway beer for newbies and also satisfies someone whose enjoyed quite an array of dark beers from all corners.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams should definitely make this one available year round. Best of the Holiday Mix, this one is.

Pitch black. Absolutely black as night, looks like a big bad stout, except not as thick. Good head and lacing too.

Man, this smells deep, dark and rich. Lots of coffee and roasted malt.

Nice solid little porter here. Rich and dark, not as creamy as I was hoping but very intense flavors of coffee and chocolate and malt.

Already looking forward to next year's Holiday Mix so I can grab another one.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a brandy snifter. Vintage aged bottle from last year 2006's sampler.

Appearance- Jet black pour even when held up to the light. A creamy vanilla foam appears on the top that is a finger deep. Lacing clings to the glass and like glue.

Smell- Coffee, milk chocolate, cashews, dates and rasins. It smells like this beer may not be the best to age back but I did open it in enough time for it to not lose any characteristics.

Taste- Nutty dark malts and fruits. Nut flavors come out upfront then the more standard chocolatey porter flavours. Hops are subdued and balanced. Coffee comes thru as well but not as boldly as the scent would imply.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, fully carbonated, dark and full bodied. Great aftertaste makes you feel like you've been eating milk chocolate minus the cavaties.

Drinkability- I would have to put the drinkability of this very highly. So far the vintage aging of the Sam Adams Winter beers have been a home run. I didn't sit back any of the cranberry lambic for obvious reasons, but I would love to have 6 packs of both old fezziwig and the holiday porter. Please?

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Photo of Lupe
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with dark ruby hues when held to the light. Nice thick tan head that stays and leaves behind generous lacing. One appealling looking brew.

Roasted malt aroma of molasses, light coffee, and chocolate. Light hops peak through with a touch of grass.

Lots of roasted malt flavor - burnt caramel, molasses, light toffee, cocoa, and mild coffee. Has a touch of roasted astringency, which along with the light hops, does a nice job of balancing the malt. Finishes dry with lingering roasty bitterness.

Crisp and smooth, fairly light in body. Lighter than expected, but a nice switch from heavy stouts and porters without giving up the roasted character. Easy to drink - this should be in 6-packs, at least seasonally.

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Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 2,466 ratings