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

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Ratings: 2,465 |  Reviews: 1,186
Photo of Hibernator
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 12 oz bottle and served it in a British imperial pint glass. Cool looking label a la Old Fezziwig with a man carrying a keg of Holiday Porter in a wintery backdrop. A surprise addition to this year's Sam Adams Winter Classics 12 pack seasonal. Freshness date is clearly marked on the side of the label for March.

Appearance is solid black in color with a tannish, fluffy brown head that rests on top. The head diminshes, but keep some form with awesome sticky lacings.

Blended aroma of chocolate, caramel and hops.

Silky and creamy mouthful. Roasted malt profile give some nice chocolate and mocha flavors. Mini hop snap bite on the finish. Is that the East Kent Goldings ? The hop feel, even though much smaller in presence reminds me of the Brooklyn East IPA.

Very nice porter and one of the better offerings from Boston Beer Company in a while. BBC should consider selling this beer all year round.Ever since the void of the Honey Porter, this would make a nice year round addition to their line up of beers.

5.9 % ABV

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Photo of AsburyParkJMH
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i found this to be spot on and a pleasant new additon to the winter classics pack. it pours a lovely deep brown colour with a big fluffy and chunky off white head that leaves a mess of residue on the glass. the smell is subtle but solid: caramel, chocolate, a touch of coffee and some roasted malt. a touch sweet and a touch earthy. nice. the flavour is equally good if not better: sweet but not overpowering earthy and malty but not too rugged. it definitely has a winter/holiday tone to it. there's a warmth here that just fits in right, and it;s not the alcohol as it does not make itself known at all throughout. it tastes at times almost likea mix of the chocolate bock and the honey porter bleded together seemlessly. really good stuff. if only they could eliminate the cranberry lambic and add an extra one of these and the fezziwig. grab the winter classics for this one alone, i'd say.

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

From the 2004 Winter Classics 12 Pack. An English-style porter was a nice edition this year. The label artwork has a similar "Dickens" feel to it and compliments the Ol' Fizziwg bottle nicely. I'd love to see more of these and less of the Cranberry and SA Light.

Pours a dark brown/near black in color with a light tan head. Aroma of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel and a touch vinous. Full-bodied and well carbonated mouthfeel. Front features dark chocolate flavors and roasted malt. Hop bitterness emerges midway and really dries out the palate. Vinous flavor seeps through behind the hops. Dryness continues in the finish.

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Photo of danadeny
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice black body with brown head. Smells bready and sweet. Flavor is overall light, kick of flavor in the beginning and coffee aftertaste. The mouth feel is light and crisp, and drink ability is pretty good. Not a big beer that a lot of BA's look for, but it's light charactor is refreshing when you are not looking to blow your sences away.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.57/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice black color and has a thick tan head that leaves decent lace rings in my glass. It has a wonderfully smooth malty aroma that screams drink me. The flavor is very smooth and the dark malts are in balance with the caramel and they don't overpower the flavor like most porters. I love the balance of the hops too. This is a great porter and hopefully it will see time in Boston Beer Company's regular rotation. Thank you Jim Koch and the brewers at BBC for another fine beer.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
2.66/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This porter pours an average dark oil-like color with no transparency. The head is tannish and thin with no lingering lace to speak of.

The aroma is barely noticable. I detected small traces of malt, but no chocolate or coffee flavors that are normally associated with a porter.

The taste is fairly bland, but bitter. The malt taste is barely there. There may be a hint of caramel as it is mildly sweet. Most porter that I have tried have some sort of flavor, but this one is not very flavorful.

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Photo of Hhawk06
4.37/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much like the other reviews of this beer, I was also very excited for the new addition of the Sam Winter pack. Specifically bought a 12 just to get my hands on three of these babies. I will say it did not disappoint either. The presentation is wonderful, a deep ruby brown and nudging toward opaque. The head is a perfectly formed, fluffy and tan, and about an inch in stature. The odor reeks of roasted chocolate malts and that's when I get excited. Before any of the actual flavor, I notice how robust the mouthfeel is, but how smooth it remains. The actual characteristics combine a nutty taste with a more omnipresent mocha overtone that is delightful. It finishes bitter and dry, a transformation from a roasted malt to a burnt cocoa taste. Great interpretation of the style.

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

My bottle was from the Sam Winter Sampler pack. The beer pours an incredibly dark color with a thick amber head. Immediately chocolate is noticable in the smell and also is present in the taste along with a coffee like flavor. Mouthfeel is similar to a Guiness with a watery feeling but this has much more of an alochol taste. I wish this were available outside of the sampler pack as I would definetly make this a routinely drank beer.

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Photo of hobbes2112
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from the Holiday package

Pours a very deep black, reddish core when held up to the light. Large creamy head colored a light tan. Aroma is chocolate and a nut-like (almond?) extract. Decent alcohol in there also. Taste is more of the chocolate, and roasted coffee, slight bitterness in the finish. A little watery/loose feeling, leaves a little to be desired. Pleasant beer that I wish was available outside of the holiday package.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy tan/brown head that slowly fades. The aroma is great. It has a smooth and sweet chocolatey scent that is very pleasant to the nose. There are also hints of patent and crystal malts, but the chocolate scent is overpowering. The taste is good. It has a rich black malt presence along with a chocolate element. It goes down easy and finishes rather dry. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good porter. It is full of body and flavor, although the taste just wasn't what I expected from the aroma. This is a good drinker regardless.

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

I had the privilege of tasting this porter at the Sam Adams brewery this past summer, and was anxiously awaiting it's release. I wish I had jotted down detailed notes when I first tasted it... while I was so happy to find two bottles in my Winter Classics 12-pack this year, it wasn't quite as good as I remember, and wish I knew what was different about it. Maybe it was because I was tasting a small batch fresh from the tap at that time. But somehow after tasting it on a hot July afternoon, I expected it to taste even better on a brisk November evening.

As for a more positive take, I found this a welcome addition to the holiday pack this year. I personally love porters, and find them the perfect style for late autumn and winter. This one has the classic toasty, slightly chocolate, coffee and caramel taste that draws me to the style. It has enough of a hops presence to act as a counter-balance, but certainly not overwhelming. Very drinkable and enjoyable, but I can't find a characteristic that makes it distinct from other good porters.

My only other wish is if I could buy it in it's own six-pack, and not have to figure out what to do with the Sam Light and Cranberry Lambic included in the 12-pack that I'd rather do without.

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Photo of oelergud
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Cozy old fashioned image on the label and the usual blurb about the beer around the neck.
Dark almost black body, maple syrup color around the edges. Large tan head, mostly tiny blubbled, good retention and great lace.
Classic porter burnt and roasted smell with a hint of alcohol in it, caramel and faint chocolate.
Taste is quite good, sweet with burnt roasted coffee beans, some chocolate and hint of almond, alcohol apparent in the taste as well. Aftertaste is a lingering roasted flavor with strong hop presence, very pleasant and well balanced.
Mouthfeel is perfect for a porter, chewable but not too much, this is a meal in a bottle. A good new offering from the micro brew which is not so micro anymore.
One of the better winter beers and I will have this again no doubt.


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Photo of DFN
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Holiday Porter is the newest addition to the Samuel Adams Winter Classics collection, and it's a winner. It is the color of Coca-Cola, with a thick tan-colored head (about 3/4") that lingers for several minutes. Smell is slightly malty, not too intense. Taste is pleasant, a bit on the bitter side. Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly thick. Alcohol content is 5.9%. An above-average brew, but not one of the great ones.

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Photo of Zraly
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a midnight black hue with a beautiful tan head. Smells of chocolate and alcohol, two things I've yet to complain about in my life. Nice, smooth lacing.

The flavor is of roasted malts, burnt sugar (think creme brulee), and bittersweet coffee with a finishing note of dark, "high content cocoa" chocolate. It has even the slightest chew to it. Smooth and somewhat creamy, with a slightly bitter finish on the palate. It's a friendly bitter, though, like a nice shot of espresso. Sam Adams makes use of Fuggles and East Kent Golding hops, perfect for a tasty, traditional English-style porter.

I'm not sure why this is a "holiday" porter. I'll leave such philosophical ponderings to the professionals.

Glad I picked up the Sam Adams Winter Pack this year. This makes the line up of the pack even more varied and interesting.

Mmm. Brown rice and rich mushroom gravy to go with this ale. Hello.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apparently this is new from Samuel Adams for the 2004 Holiday season. I received this in a "Winter Classics" 12 pack that has the old favourites such as Old Fezziwig, Winter Lager, and Cranberry Lambic. Two of these were included in the twelve-pack.
This thing pours extremely dark brown, almost black. One can very slightly see light through it. It has an off-white head that dissipates quickly and subsides to a ring of lace. The smell is of unsweetened bakers chocolate and a little bit of roasted malt. These things are present in the taste, too, but along with a bitterness. There is a burnt or charred taste that is very faint that you must look for on the finish. Mouthfeel is pretty good, but it isn't as "heavy", or perhaps "viscous" would be a better word, as I'd have liked it to be.
Overall, not a bad addition to the Sam Adams family. I can thnk of many other things Sam Adams makes that I care for much less than this. Not bad at all.

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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