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

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Samuel Adams Holiday PorterSamuel Adams Holiday Porter
2,462 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: 2,462 |  Reviews: 1,187
Photo of BlindPig
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Thick dark tan head on a black body with clear brown and ruby hues where it thins out.
S- Nice chocolate and caramel body with some grass/light citrus hops to balance it out very nicley. Hints of English yeast comes through too.
T- Roasted and burnt malts with a caramel sweetness to back them up. Chocolate comes through too blended in with the light citrus flavors from the hops. Leaves a light to medium bitterness on tongue with mouth feeling dry with roasted characters.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation.
D- It is a pretty decent porter. I will have my other one but wouldn't seek this one out again.

 614 characters

Photo of TheDeuce
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pitch black complexion with fine carbonation, usual suspects of coffee and chocolate hit the nostrils and come around again in the taste. Good job of hiding the alcohol and a very smooth finish. A nice dark sessioner for those cold days. One of my favorite BBC beers, a superb porter, though I admit that many of this style seem to run together a little.

 354 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the Winter Classics 12 pack.

12oz bottle into my Sam Adams Uber Glass.

Pours a clear medium dark brown with some nice garnet hues around the edges. The head is a nice medium poof of light tan foam that retains well and leaves great lacing. The nose is dominated by roasted malts and toffee sweetness with just a tad of hop citrus lingering in the background.

The taste is big with roasted malt, chocolate sweetness, caramel, bread. Finishes with a little bit of hop bitterness and just a dash of sweetness on the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with a crisp finish.

Mmmm. Sam Adams comes through with a winner of a Porter here. Robust flavor, a good body, and low ABV make this one highly quaffable wintertime brew.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Same as the stout, a pure black liquid with a two inch tan head that fades too quickly but at least leaves a bit more lacing than the stout. This one has a bit more of a malt and chocolate presence with hints of brown sugar. Pretty good hop character here but again as the malts try to catch up but remain unbalanced, I'd stick with the stout if I had a choice

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- nice cascading bubble action makes a 2in fluffy puffy tan biscuit of a head. great retention and lots of chunky lace. body is ominous dark brown/black with reddish mahogany highlights.

S- a lot of robust roasty toasty malt complexity goin on, damp wood and dark berries, currant, acai, subdued coffee grounds and dark tea like hop aroma.

T- big malt, slightly metallic, bitter cocoa/mocha espresso, burnt wood, toffee, currant, cranberry, soil, caramel & choco malts stand out but the munichs hang in there and give this ale a fleeting lager taste. bitter citrus peel and herbal flowers in the finish from that load of english hops.

MF- coating, chalky, and hearty, goes down like thick resinous juice. mid-low carbonation, and smooth

D- from the decorative label to the 6 lbs of malt per bottle to the great taste to the moderate abv, this is a contender.

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Photo of Raymond69
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark into my Samuel Adams glass. Decent head , some lacing.

A very faint malty sweetness on the nose.

Dark malts are apparent , some toffee , caramel sweetness with a nice subtle hop bight at the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium/ , good carbonation.

Overall a nice beer that I wouldn't mind getting a sixer of.

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

Poured a dark brown with medium tight tan foam and a fair amount of lace on the glass. The smell of roasted malts and a hint of caramel seem to be evident in the aroma.

The taste was of roasted malts, sort of bitter and loads of coffee, with a hint of caramel. A nice balance of all components in one bottle. A very pleasant surprise from Boston Brewing Co. What a holiday treat.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black body with a brown half-inch head that leaves a nice, balanced lace on the tumbler...toffee, caramel--less toasted than the stout, but still noticeable...aggressive early, thinning to the throat with a bit of fiz...creamy/oily in places...sweet and balanced--full-bodied but not arrogant--brings a little bite...not sure where the "holiday" part comes in, but this is a pleasant approximation of the two I love best (Samuel Smith and Yuengling)...

 458 characters

Photo of berserker256
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good looking beer. Coffee black with a foamy tan head. I smell what seems to be burnt carmel, dark chocolate, and coffee. The flavor is similar to the aroma but there's a slightly unpleasant bitter aftertaste. It feels like my tounge has been painted with a coat of coffee-flaovred paint... but in a good way. It feels heavy and creamy and chewy like a good porter should. A good beer drink one of before you go to bed.

 419 characters

Photo of Poser
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark black with frothy, off-white top. Aroma is of dark chocolate malts and some caramel. Nice and complex flavor with roasted malts up front and bitter chocolate in the finish. Aftertaste is lingering. The creamy, thick body makes it a very drinkable porter.

Great for the season.

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Photo of beersabound
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an inviting brown color with ruby highlights and a well formed brown foam that crackled quickly into a half inch head. The aroma shows evidence of its caramel sweetness with a slight roast. The flavor has some caramel sweetness but it's well balanced by the UK hop bitterness and the presumably chocolate malt. It's medium bodied with moderate CO2 and leave the mouth with a slight sweetness and dryness. Went down very nicely with a dinner of sauteed greens, slightly blackened shrimp and angel hair pasta. Might sound weird but the slight char on the greens held hands with the roast character and the beer's sweetness can a cunning foil to the peppery and slightly hot shrimp.

I had high hopes for this beer after reading about the medal it picked up in the Uk recently. I was not at all disappointed. WOOHOO!!

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Photo of onthefarside
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I love porters, perhaps my favourite type of beer after IPA's. This beer however, as I drink it now is a little disappointing. Maybe I got a bad bottle, but i got it in the Winter Classics pack. April 08 notched on the bottle.

A: a nice porter black, however the head was VERY disappointing, only about 2-3 mm of head, with a decently rough pour. Non-existant lacing was surprising.

S: the smell was acceptable, a typical porter smell of chocolate and spices, a small amount of tasty malt.

T: this beer makes up for the first downfall with a decent taste. Nice chocolate and winter flavours make it dance a little on the tounge. is not offensive

M: Again, disappointing, it feels overly carbonated for a porter, and rather thin.

D: with only 5.8abv its easily sessionable but i'd rather have a better porter.

I like the boston beer company for what they do for craft beer, sometimes they really pull through, their seasonal beers are some of my favourite sessions easily available at typical college bars. However if i had a choice betweent his and Sierra Nevada porter it wouldn't even be close. I would definately try it again because I feel like i got a bad bottle

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

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- It poured a deep red-black with a thin brownish head that quickly became a lace that left behind some nice sticking.

S- The aroma was a lighter combination of chocolate mixed with a little sweet raisin.

T- Mostly bitter dark chocolate and coffee flavors.

M- Solid mouthfeel. It had a slight hop tingle.

D- It was a smooth beer. I could drink more than one in a sitting.

Overall- A decent representation of the style. It didn't push any boundries, but would be a great one for anybody that wants to give porters a shot to try. It's one of my favorites from the Winter mixpack.

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

(Served in a S.A. Boston Lager glass)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a lumpy tan head that fades to a thin film before breaking apart. There is a faint hint of auburn glowing through the base of the glass. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles sticking to the sides of the glass.

S- This beer has a light earthy chocolate malt nose with a slight tart oat hint and a cream finish.

T- The taste of chocolate malt has a slight tootsie roll quality to it with some darker roasted malt flavors in the background. There is cola note after the malt with a slight tartness fading to a very light hint of green herbal hops.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a light creamy texture and a clean finish.

D- Although this beer does have some depth it doesn't really have the nice roasted qualities I like in a porter. The chocolate malt doesn't have that nice freshness to it either.

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Photo of umustdrink
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark mahogany brown, mostly opaque. Medium-dark eggshell white head fades to thick patches. Good lacing, patches of varying sizes.

S - Light aroma of toasted malts, some coffee, a little sweetness. Jim Koch sticks his whole nose in the glass cause thats the only way he can smell his beer.

T - Taste starts out with a light bittery bite and some noticeable bready maltiness. Finish leaves a good toasted maltiness, with barely noticeable coffee undertones. Not much happens in between sipping and swallowing.

M - Light mouthfeel, like most SA beers, with just a tad too much carbonation.

D - Nothing really outstanding here. Just filler in the holiday mixpack.

 674 characters

Photo of argock
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass

A: Deep brown-black with thin tan head

S: Chocolate, coffee, and toasted malt aromas

T: Delicious burned malt and molasses flavor with a touch of acrid astringency that is not over the top or unpleasant. Sweet caramel and coffee flavors are there to enjoy.

M: A good mix of astringency with smoothness. Very pleasant coffee and molasses aftertaste.

D: A really nice offering without the over-the-top acrid, bitter qualities that sometimes turn me off to porters.

 521 characters

Photo of Jmamay22
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased recently in the Sam Adam's mixed winter twelve pack. Good till May 2008, 5.8% abv, and features a great old world winter scene.

Sam's Holiday Porter pours a dark ruby red mahogany with a creamy coffee colored head into my imperial pint glass. The head recedes to a thin covering. Decent lacing left, too.

Smells of roasted malt, coffee, dash of diacetyl and loads of chocolate. Not much else to speak of, but pleasant nonetheless.

Tastes of roasted malts and sugar ladened coffee. Roasted qualities are overwhelmed only by an unusual amount of diacetyl. While not out of place it is too much for me to handle. Chocolate that was in the nose seems to have been tossed out the window.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Drinkability is a bit low due to the diacetyl all over the place. Okay, but not Sam's best.

 820 characters

Photo of quad07
4.75/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Came in winter release verity pack from UFS.

It poured very dark in my large tulip shaped beer glass with a small off white creamy head. I could not see through it holding up to the light. This is my first porter.

It smelled of chocolate malt and cream. Very subtle hop smell and not hint of alcohol.

I really like the taste of this stuff and it felt very good savoring it in my mouth. Nice lacing all the way to the bottom.

There is some carbonation but I think there is just enough.

This being my first porter I’m looking forward to trying more. I would love to brew my own or get as close as possible.

 611 characters

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

Appearance: Dark porter with a good 2+ finger head after a hard pour. The creamy tan head lasts a good while.

Smell: Coffee, malt, chocolate, and caramel. Very good things to smell in you porter.

Taste: Sweet almost fruity flavor up front. You also get the malty chocolate that was present in the nose in the middle, and then the semi-sweetness is back along with a small hoppy flavor.

Mouthfeel: Decent thickness. Coats the mouth well and leaves a pleasant taste behind.

Drinkability: Quite high. I am usually disappointed by many of the Porters that I try, but this one is surprisingly good. Not big on the ABV, so you can do several if you like. Nice beer for a cold evening.

 683 characters

Photo of flatblack80
4.58/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A. Good Head and Lacing that stays for quite a while. Very dark with a little light showing through. Beautiful!

S. Good Smooth light hops with light chocolate and coffee.

T. Oh so wonderful Hops with dark Malty goodness.

M. Smooth with thick film that hangs along for the ride.

D. Great powerful Hops makes for a brew that I would love with a Steak or Roast.

 363 characters

Photo of goochpunch
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep ruby brown with a small beige head which leaves creamy, thick lacing on the glass. Smell is a mix of coffee, molasses and anise, along with earthy and floral hops. Anise comes out a bit much aside from the other flavors, however, there is a significant hop presence giving some nice English hop flavors. Finishes a bit dry ans with a roasty lingering effect. Mouthfeel is solid in weight, but a little spritzy for my taste. Overall, this is a solid porter.

 473 characters

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

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Nice dark brown with a thick head.

S - Sweet, nutty and chocolatey.

T - Rich, sweet with a bitter finish, roasted coffee and chocolate flavors.

M - Medium body with a good carbonation.

D - Good beer to kick back and enjoy.

 262 characters

Photo of BigJTrucker
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obtained this brew as part of the "Winter Classics" collection. Pours a deep brown color, with 1 1/2 finger thick tan head, that settles. Smell is slightly toasted malt, some very faint grape style sweetness. Very subdued aroma. Flavor has many woodsy notes, very faint coffee. Can also definetly taste the european hops used. Mouthfeel is very coating and smooth. some slight astringency, along with a slightly moist finish. Fairly solid beer. Im glad I have a few more of these.

 480 characters

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

Small capped bottle pured into a pint, producing a very dark, almost impenetrable if not for a faint reddish highlights, and a nice creamy coffee and milk colored head that goes down but leaves a collar all the way down.
Aroma is quite pleasant, but not as powerful as I like, toffee and caramel, but none of the usual coffee. Interesting and pleasant, if not "strong".
It is medium on the palate, but the carbonation gives enough bite. Taste is quite peculiar for the style, it is buttery, somewhat sweet with a fruity bitterness that is very different than the usual roasted, bittersweet chocolate and/or coffee, of which there is very little here. Some diacetyl/buttery notes here feel a little off.
Different, interesting, but did not really go well for me.

 763 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dumps a dark coffee colored body with an almond head that retreats to a ring of foam. Good carbonation, however. The Holiday Porter gives off an intricate aroma, with almost too many notes to count: chocolate, cinnamon, plum, raisin, dark bread, caramel, molasses, and brown sugar.

Great taste on this porter: roasted & coffee malts, burnt chocolate, caramel, plum, fig, and a bit of spice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated with a lingering, bitter chocolate finish. Drinkability is good. While this isn't the best porter I've ever tasted, it's definately a complex and tasty one. I'll be having it again next year for sure.

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Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 2,462 ratings
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