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:
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Ratings: 2,466 |  Reviews: 1,186
Photo of BDIMike
4.39/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark color with a very thin head.
Smells of a very rich chocolate malt. Has slight tones of caramel as well.
Has a great traditional porter taste. Very dark chocolate malt flavor. It has a bit of hoppiness at the end, but is definitely dominated by a chocolate malt taste.
The mouthfeel is a little thin.
Couldn't drink these all day, but porters aren't really meant to be.

Great hearty porter. The perfect beer for dessert or after dinner on a cold wintry night.

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

"For Brewery-Fresh Taste, Enjoy Before Month Notched: APR"
Part of an 07/08 SA Winter Classics 12-pack I picked up from the Columbia Schnuck's for $14.39.

a: Pours a very dark brown with hints of amber around the edges, light tan head sticks around for a while and leaves nice lacing.

s: Typical porter mix of roasted malt, toffee, and dried dark fruits.

t: Chocolate, caramel, good charred/smoke notes with just a taste of hop bitterness towards the end.

m: Rich, creamy, smooth, the finish is a tad bitter.

d: Good balance to his one, might be my favorite from the SA Winter Classics 12-pack and when paired with a slice of pumpkin pie and MU Football, its sure making for a nice Saturday afternoon!

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Photo of weeare138
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears an opaque, near-black with some ruby highlights along the edges. The dark tan head slowly fades out, leaving chunky bits of sticky lacing around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, English toffee, cocoa, roasted nuts, hints of coffee, and caramel.
Taste is that of the mentioned aromas with obvious notes of buttery biscuit in a traditional English Porter holding true to notes of fruit and diacytel.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, semi sweet with nice balance of herbal hops and mild spice with charred sugars.

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Photo of scottyshades
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a gorgeous onyx color with red hues when held to light, monster sand colored 3 finger head which leaves a patchy lace on the of the best looking pours from a porter ive seen

S: Rich aroma consisting of roasted malts, caramel, toffee, coffee, and chocolate

T: Strong notes of smoked flavors, mainly of chocolate, caramel, malts, and finishes a little bitter and very dry

MF: Thick and creamy mouthfeel, medium in body, decent carbonation, goes down super smooth

D: Pretty drinkable, maybe a little too rich to be consumed in mass amounts, but definitely an excellent beer for a BBQ

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Photo of erosier
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one excellent porter. It poured a nice dark brown, almost black into the glass with a nice caramel colored head that was very thick and stuck to the sides of the glass. It smells of dark roasted malts and spices. The taste is really good with roasted malts dominating with some spices coming through in the aftertaste. Some nutty flavors come out in the aftertaste making it really nice for a holiday beer. It has a good sweet malty aftertaste and is overall an excellent beer. I wish they sold it outside of the holiday mix pack.

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

Really a terrific porter, this is maybe the best reason to enjoy the return of Samuel Adams's Winter Classics 12-pack. This beer is full of flavor, creamy smooth, easy to enjoy, and usually leaves me wishing that Sam Adams distributed six-packs of this delicious beer.

The head is typically modest for Sam Adams products, but the beer leaves distinct foam lines around the glass to indicate its rich texture. The flavors are prominent but blend together very well. The roasted coffee, chocolate and caramel work nicely, and the creamy texture makes this a full-bodied yet easy-going porter to enjoy. Personally, among Sam Adams products, their porters I find to be exceptional, unfailingly excellent beverages, and Holiday Porter is no slouch. Porter fans will enjoy. This is a great beer to crack open after shoveling the driveway, or for resting with a book by the fire. First-rate.

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Photo of Brad007
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown color with a small brown head. Aroma is strong and malty with a coffee presence in the nose. Nice and roasty. Taste is nice and smooth, roasty with a lot of the alcohol showing through upfront. A second sip confirms a lot of the roastiness with a bit of a burnt coffee edge to it.

I would say that the alcohol showing through isn't quite what I desire in a porter. Even at 5.9%, there seems to be too much upfront that overshadows the roastiness.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.56/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, with a Dickensian man bringing a giant cask of Porter to an 1800's Christmas gathering, very inviting and appropriate,

A: Pours a dark brown, black from afar, with a thick, off-white, to light tan head, which has excellent retention, and forms a funnel type shape in my tulip as the beer is drunk. Heavy concentric rings of lace straddle the glass, making the beer's presence known. A beautiful beer to look at before it is drunk, and while one is drinking it.

S: Nice smell of roasted caramel malt, toast, bread, chocolate, and a bit of smoke and spice. Not the most robust smelling porter I've ever had, but the qualities of the smell make up for it nicely.

T: Very tasty. Bittersweet, 60-70% cocoa hits at the first sip, with some sweet caramel coming in second. Toasted bread and a bit of molasses add some complexity to the already beautiful, full malt flavour.

M: Smooth and creamy, full-bodied, almost like a liquid chocolate bar, very soothing and enjoyable.

D: I remember liking the Old Fezziwig the best last year, and it still is great, but this year, the Holiday Porter takes the cake. I have been thoroughly impressed by this beer, truly fantastic. The holiday mix pack from Sam Adams is worth it just for this beer, probably the best American Porter I have ever had.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.7/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ooooo. I am so happy to get the Holiday Classics once again. The porter was first out of the box and just as I remembered it, how satisfying it is. It actually tastes a bit boozier than it is, and that's fine. Nothing hidden. Perhaps this was because my drink tonight was barely cool. And that's fine too.

The taste is very complex, yet not at all intimidating. I could drink these non-stop. If I was expecting a run of the mill heavy porter, this would be all wrong, but expecting a slightly "flavored" drink, I get what I want.

I'll have to go out and get me a few 12's of this just in case the price goes up ($11.99 this week) and availablility goes down. I am sure they will keep. In fact, I wonder if they might age well.

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Photo of MisterDeeds
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A little early in the year, but when I see the Sam Winter Classics I am helpless to resist. So I bypass the famous Old Fezziwig, and put the Cranberry Lambics away for my sister-in-law, and I go straight for the Holiday Porter.

It pours dark and somewhat thick. Strangely, it seems to perform a quicker version of the Guinness cascade, leaving a thick head that dissipates slightly but hangs on throughout. The smell is somewhere is between dark roasted coffee and baking chocolate. Not a very appetizing combo, but it somehow works here.

Tastes just like it pours, dark and thick. Starts off with a little sweetness, and finishes with a slightly bitter coffee flavor.

Not sure why I always do this, but I like to suggest a good place to enjoy a beer, and this is definitely a fireplace beer. Even better would be outside on a cold night around a fire.

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Photo of JDK
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich chocolate color with a nice 1 finger head that lingered for quite a while.
Medium lacing that clung to the sides and never disappeared top to bottom.
Very nice mouthfeel. Just the right amount of carbonation for this porter
Very strong tastes of caramel and chocolate but not too sweet at all.
Excellent beer overall and definately worth a try. I got mine in the SA Holiday Sampler

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Photo of Rudgers73
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Sam Adams pint glass. There is a really decent head on this beer. About a 1/2 inch tall and retentive as well. I don't see many porters with rich heads. The beer is a couple shades darker than cola and there is mild carbonation. The nose is very much porter-like. Toasty, burnt, bitter hop aroma. The flavor profile is really nice. It's smooth and complex with good balance. It starts out rich and smooth with a touch of burnt grain, then the burnt flavor introduces the bitter hop taste. It finishes clean and doesn't leave you hanging. I enjoy the mouthfeel of this one. It is neither too thick nor too bold. It is very drinkable just for that reason: it's rich but not too rich, and it's strong but not unsessionably strong. 1 or 2 would be nice on a cold night.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a new Sam Adams glass. pours a dark chocolate color with garnet highlights and a solid tan head that is frothy.

smell is of black and chocolate malts, with a notable roasted character. a light hint of caramel is present as well. a base of bready yeast is also present, which offsets the sweet malts. good balance and concentration.

taste is sweet and malty up front, with a roasted character and notes of chocolate and caramel. finishes on a toasted note without much character in the aftertaste. overall a bit on the weak side when compared to what the aroma suggests.

mouthfeel is a bit thinner than would be expected. a medium to full body makes it a bit weak for a porter. a more bold mix of flavors and a heavier body would do this one well.

drinkability is good for a porter. the thinner body makes this one easier to finish. truth be told, this is a suprizing offer from Sam Adams. a little lacking on the body and boldness. nevertheless, this one is worth a try. cheers!

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Photo of nickfl
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of light mocha colored head, settles quickly but leaves good lace. Black body with a hint of amber when held up to the light.

S - Caramel malt, subtle hops, almonds and perhaps a hint of indeterminate spice.

T - Big coffee flavor followed by hops and a creamy, dark caramel malt character. The finish is a long procession of dark malt: coffee, chocolate, and finally some sweet almonds.

M - Fairly light body, while it is sweet and creamy at first it quickly dries out and finishes roasty and dry without lingering on the palate. High carbonation.

D - Excellent drinkability. Full of flavor, but light in body and easy to drink. This captures the season better than most of the other Sam Adams winter beers, too bad the holiday sampler only comes with two.

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Photo of JamesS
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My second favorite in the holiday pack, this porter is excellent. It’s not very dark, more like an average coffee than a nice dark porter stout, although it does have wonderful head and lacing. It has a fantastic aroma and taste, though! Excellent scents/flavors of chocolate and roasted barley, but the best part is how it smells and tastes almost like a smoked porter. Goes down well and would make a great digestif. Very much worth a try!

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful pour on this one, with a terrific head and great lacing. Little smokey on the nose, but smell is a little lacking, which is not common for a Samuel Adam's brew. Dark chocolately, roasted malts with a nutty flavor as well. Some coffee also, maybe? Medium bodied with a little twingy hop flavor at the end. An overall nice offering by the Boston Beer Company.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love it when the holiday brews come out! This is part of the SA Holday 12 pack.

A robust crimson hued brownish color, deep and vibrant displaying a thick, clumpy and very sticky head that has very slow retention and a nice 1/8" cover remain until the end.

The nose has a robust, zesty chocolate malt, later caramel brown sugar sweetness and a peppery, barbaque-zesty hop underneath it all.

The flavor brings forth a bold smoked-oats and chocolate flavored malt, with currents of vanilla cookies and finishing hop-zesty and a slightly bitter peanutbutter aftertaste. The big malt boldness is also very smooth and hefty, just like it should be, with a slick, creamy feeling.

This is pretty rad winter brew.

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Photo of Chuggnutt
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Chocolate tan head. Dark brown, like coffee, opaque-ish with red highlights.

Smell: Coffee, roasted grain, bitter (black) malt, slightly smoky.

Taste: Nice—roasted, dark, rich. Slightly astringent (dry). Burnt coffee.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy, with a slight puckering astringency. Lighter than expected.

Overall: Despite the brevity of my notes, I enjoyed it. It's a well-crafted example of the style; I wouldn't mind seeing it year-round, actually.

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

Brown head that doesnt last. Nice lacing around glass. Attractive dark color and nice aroma. Thinner than a lot of porters, but still very tasty. Though I appreciate the effort, Samuel Adams makes a lot of stuff that really isnt my style (Winter Lager, Cranberry Lambic, Cherry Wheat, etc.), but they really know how to craft dark beers. Besides this, Cream Stout, Black Lager, and Honey Porter are excellent beers

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

Pulled out of the back of my closet from a holiday pack purchased almost 6 months ago. The beer pours an almost opaque black with a thin head that slowly diminishes. The aroma is of chocolate and black malts. The taste is dominated by black malts and subtle hops with some dark chocolate and molasses present as well. The beer is somewhat carbonated and medium bodied. I will have to give it another try in the winter and see if I enjoy it more.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle consumed 12/06 - review from memory

A - almost clear brown beer, tan head, ok lacing.

S - sweet roasted malty aroma, pretty nice.

T - sweet roasted coffee/chocolate taste, bittersweet chocolate aftertaste.

M - a little thin bodied, close to being overly carbonated.

D - overall, the taste wins out and makes for a good drinkable brew.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with some light brown highlights. Creamy brown head the dissipated rather quickly.

Aroma of dark chocolate, molasses and malts.

Taste is of dark chocolate and sweet malts. Reminded me of a chocolate shake. Quite bitter [for the style] at the end.

Mouthfeel is quite spritzy, cleansing and dry. Seemed a little to carbonated for the style.

Overall, this is a good session beer. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've got a bottle of Sam Adams Holiday Porter and it (was) thursday. That's
enough reason to celebrate. A careful pour gets me a nice stiff tan head
over an opaque black brew. The nose is caramel malt, and carbonation
is hard to guage, but enough to leave a nice skin of foam to contrast with
the brew. The flavor is caramel and bitter chocolate up front with a sharp
hop finish. The mouthfeel is crisp, and there is nice lacing in the glass as
the brew goes down. A nice porter for somebody who likes a bit of hop bite
with that sweetness.

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Photo of Bookseeb
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate brown with a light brown healthy creamy head that sticks around. Smell of dark chocolate and caramel malts with dried fruits. Taste is more the same with smell with added coffee. A medium mouthfeel that has good body, but a bit on the hoppy side for me in a porter. None the less one the better ones from Sam Adams that I've had.

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

Pours a super dark reddish brown, Half inch tan head of dense bubbles that didn't stick around, but did cling nicely to the sides of my pint glass.

The smell was of roasted malt and baking cocoa. Burnt sugar/molasses and honey.

A lot of burnt malt and burnt sugar/molasses right up front. Very smokey character. Dark cocoa powder, with honey flavors and a hint of toffee. Finishes with a bitter dose of fuggle and kent golding hops as well as dry graininess.

The mouthfeel is velvety smooth with just enough carbonation to leave a little bite.

Very drinkable, I could see drinking this as a session beer during the cold months of winter. A very solid offering.

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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