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

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1,183 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,183 | Ratings: 2,453
Photo of mothmanscott
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear very dark brown color with amber hints when held to the light producing 2 fingers of frothy, variously bubbled, lasting, tan head that leaves chunky sheets & rings of sticky lace. Aromais is roasted malt, bittersweet cocoa, cream, some coffee. Taste is dark & bittersweet cocoa, heavy roast with a dark burnt bread undertone & hints of caramel/molasses/toffee, earth (yeast?) & wood, herbal hops. Smooth start transitions to a dry, gritty/peppery feel in the finish & spicy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, silky cream, low carbonation with a lively finish. Very nice.

 589 characters

Photo of hman43
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look: It pours a dark brown with a light brown head.

Smell: It has aromas of chocolate, some bread, nuts, and spices of which one is cinnamon. There is not a noticeable hop aroma.

Taste: It has flavors of nuts that come out initially, then some roasted malts, chocolate, spices, and some grassy and floral hops.

Feel: It is highly carbonated with a light moderate texture and fairly smooth on the way down. The finish is lightly bitter and semi dry.

Overall: It a malt dominate beverage with a spice, chocolate,and roasted flavor emphasis. The finish is a bit too carbonated in my opinion, but otherwise easy drinking.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with a nice khaki head. There is not much retention, but quite a few sheets of hanging lacing. Smell is very mild. A hint of roasted malt and not much else to speak of. Taste also roasted malts, but much stronger than in the aroma, and then a sweet dry finish. Feel is medium with good carbonation. Overall a nice beer by Sam Adams, and my favorite out of the Winter Variety Pack.

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Photo of lic217
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Great looking beer, nice thick tan head, brown color
Aroma: Malt, earthy
Taste: Malt, earthly, slight metallic taste, starts sweet, finishes a little dry and bitter
Feel: Creamy, med/low level of carbonation
Overall: a nice beer, but would not buy a sixer of it.

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Photo of teromous
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black body allowing no light in. Off-white head that lasts pretty good and leaves a moderate amount lacing. Before the head fades it is a picture-perfect porter.

Aroma: There's an extremely far-off pinch of charcoal but I would probably drown in this beer if I got any closer to smell it. Nothing here...

Taste: Sweet brown sugar flavor with a bit of char at the end. A touch of woody spruce in the beer. It's actually a very nice tasting porter.

Mouthfeel: It has a great mouthfeel. It's nothing spectacular but it's what you'd expect from this beer. It has a good presence on the palate with a touch of bitterness from both the grain and hops.

Overall: I liked this porter. It's a simple no-frills porter that tastes good and delivers an overall good drinking experience. I felt that it was greatly lacking in aroma but it tasted nice. It's a beer that I would recommend on its own but in my opinion its not worth buying a mix-pack just to get the beer. If I could pick it up in a sixer I might. A few things I want to mention on the side are that this beer is brewed with no spice but it has a lot of character from both the hops and the malts chosen for this beer. Overall I would recommend it.

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Photo of TLWalsh
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of SA seasonal pack. Pours a deep brownish, almost black with lots of carbonated head, Has a sweet malty aroma with a bit of cocoa, feels a little thin in your mouth. The taste has a little caramel hint with plenty of dark malt and fruits. Finishes leaving a little raisin and chocolate flavor. Seems a bit too over carbonated for a porter but not a bad brew.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into glass

Black liquid , dense one finger foam cap, good lacings

Aroma of sweet males

Lightly roasted malt taste

Quick to suds , settled fast , light body

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Photo of puck1225
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint jar.dark brown color with a nice thick head and good lacing. Nice smell of nuts an chocolate. A pleasant taste of raisins and other dark fruit, nuts, hint of wine.

 196 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4.52/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter brewed by Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), with an ABV of 5.80% This brew pours out a deep brown color with a nice off white head. This brew has the look of coffee, not saying that is a bad thing. I like the look of this brew. The smell of this brew is rich with roasted grains, malts and hops. There is also a nice smooth, sweetness to the smell of this brew. This brew has the look and smell of most porters on the market. Now for the taste, it is bold with roasted grains, and malts. I like the taste of this brew, it is bold and rich. Samuel Adams Holiday Porter has a nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. This is a nice drinking brew. The mouth feel of Samuel Adams Holiday Porter, is rich bold, clean, and refreshing. Overall I'm giving Samuel Adams Holiday Porter a 4.50 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), did a nic job with this one.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle notched BB Jun at 42 degrees into hand washed and dried nonic; allowed to warm to 51 degrees
Aroma weak – some roasted malt – totally fades away
Head large (5.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy, diminishing to five mm frothy ring and depressed layer
Lacing poor – fair – few broken segments of rings, small to medium bubbles
Body dark brown, clear
Flavor starts slightly sweet quickly fading to slight bitterness, caramel and roasted malt come through; no hops flavor, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.5, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of AC-Mivsek
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bloody amber, lighter than most porters I've come across. Smells of Vanilla, hops, roasted malt. Big hop character on this porter. This drinks like a sweet black IPA.

 172 characters

Photo of Parmesan
3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look: Dark brown Amber color. Pours a small off white head.

Smell: Sweet molasses, some roasted malt, and a little bit of cocoa, slight metallic smell.

Taste: Some cinnamon, a little roasted malt and quite sweet flavor. All of the flavors blend and nothing stands out.

Feel: Seems over carbonated for a porter with a medium body.

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Photo of Wer34truh
2.29/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Small bubbly head, with a dark, yet relatively light, color for a porter.

A relatively straight-forward coffee bean smell, with some vanilla sweetness.

A skanky malty taste, with some minor cacao undertones. Has a fair amount of sourness to it. Overall, a quite unpleasant beer.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams). Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this beer's head is one finger thick with lateral lacing, and a very deep brown body.

Smells like roasted and caramelized malts with a small touch of cinnamon.

I taste very much of the same elements in the scent, but also a very nice small tartness at the end that balances this beer out very well.

The mouthfeel I'm picking up here is medium, smooth, and clean.

Overall, I'll give Samuel Adams Holiday Porter - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) a 4.25. This came as part of this year's winter seasonal variety pack, but I'd grab this in sixers and cases.

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

A solid porter. Finishes clean. A bit fizzy in the mouth and a bit light tasting and good flavor. Good chocolate, coffee and molasses flavors. A good brew. Would drink again. Cheers!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased as part of the Winter Classics pack.

This pours a dark brownish black color, with a half inch foamy head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like chocolate, caramel, smoke, and roasted malt, fairly classic porter aroma.

This tastes like a classic tasty and straightforward English porter, definitely one of Sam's better beers. Lots of warm and inviting roasted and smoky malt, almost feels like sitting in front of a warm fire on Christmas Eve. There's some chocolate, and some sweetness from the caramel. Despite that sweetness, it's a fairly bitter porter, earthy and roasty.

This is a little bit thin, I wish it was a bit more rich and creamy. It's got a moderate level of carbonation.

A really nice porter from Sam Adams, been wanting to try this one for a long time. Really glad it's back in the winter pack.

 836 characters

Photo of hophead723
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This was part of the variety pack that had six different beers, two of each. Time to give it a try.

Look: Deep dark chestnut brown with deep ruby hues in the light. Tan head that leaves solid rings of lace. Definitely a good looking porter.

Smell: Molasses, roasted coffee beans, caramel, and a bit of toffee in the aroma.

Taste: The taste is a wholesome molasses base with coffee undertones. The flavor is pleasantly burnt and caramelized, mildly acrid, and toasty.

Feel: The feel is medium-full bodied and creamy, but with a less smooth finish that was unexpected.

Overall: A great beer for the winter time. I found it enjoyable.

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Photo of MarkLinton1
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One of the offerings in the 2015 Samuel Adams Holiday 12 Pack. Pours nearly black with reddish hues and a thin foamy head that holds for a couple minutes. A lemongrass and sweet malt smell with very interesting flavor structure. Nice balance of hops and malts. Flavors of raisins, dark fruits, coffee and dark chocolate malts. Nice finish with carmel and a little hops bitterness. One of Samuel Adams best Winter brews. Wish I could find this beer in six packs in my area.

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Photo of DirtyMikeandTheBoys
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer is all there and then some. Poured from a bottle into a Hefeweizen glass. Color is black with a big foamy head that lasts a few minutes and leaves with some nice lacing. The smell is a grassy, hoppy malts. The tastes is smooth and creamy. Hints on raisin and figs. The Carmel is there and has kinda a milky aftertaste with mild to moderate hops. It's a good cold, rainy weather winter brew. I'd drink this beer again!

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Photo of barczar
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer is 3.5 years old...

Pours an opaque deep brown with a frothy tan head that lingers.

Aroma is comprised of chocolate, raisins, prunes, and figs.

Oxidation has set in and done this brew some good. Notes of raisins, prunes, and plums emerge in the flavor. There's a touch of diacetyl. The chocolate malt backbone is still strong, with a lightly bitter finish. Nutty notes weave throughout. Floral hops accent the aftertaste.

Body is a touch full, with modest carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Nice beer that has some shelf life. I'm sure the fruity notes are due to age.

 587 characters

Photo of gillagorilla
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (best by April, I'm assuming 2014)

A: A nice dark amber brown body with a minuscule slightly brownish head that dissipates pretty fast. No lacing.

S: Slight roast with just some lightly sweet malts.

T: A lot better than I was expecting. Very light and drinkable. Nice roast on the aftertaste. Just a very general and mild Porter. Good level of sweetness.

M: Slight massage from a parade of bubbles.

O: Got it from a party and it is decent. I didn't even know about this beer from Samuel Adams. Another good porter. Not bad, well done.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has a very nice frothy light tan head that leaves a lot of lacing.

It smells and tastes of caramel malts and toffee. Fairly sweet. Also some chocolate and smokey flavor. It is fairly bitter, especially in the aftertaste. I think there is raisin or some sort of dark berry too.

Pretty solid medium body with a nice feel. Almost milk stout like.

Excellent porter. Full of roasty flavors with a hint of semi sweet dark fruits to set it apart from many other porters. Great holiday brew indeed.

 499 characters

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark almost black, with nice dark tan head. The head did not last very long time, but did leave a nice foam coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a nice balance. Can smell both the hops and roasted malts, but neither dominates the other.

Taste: A nice mix of hops and malts, and the hops are a little more prominent than in other porters. There are hints of some sweetness from the malt. There is a nice mix of hop and malt influence in the after taste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and with an average body.

Overall: This is an interesting porter, and worth drinking again.

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Photo of BodiesLexus
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

updating my rating and review, not having had since '11. Things have changed, both on BA and in my mouth since those times.
Bottle from the Winter mix '15, this beer and Chocolate Bock are the vote winners from the vote-off I believe.
Pours black with white head, sudsy/sticky lacing apparent.
Smell is nice dark mix of roasted malt and licorice, a tad of cocoa.
Taste tops the smell. classic roast mixes evenly with the midpoint of dark and sweet chocolate, with sweet cocoa filling up the mouthspace. A bit of assertive hop cuts off the dark tastes, creating a dryness that's almost welcome.
Feel is extremely smooth, similar to founders porter for 'softness' but a bit thinner overall.
The taste combo here is class A for standard porter. Not super complex, just really great, and more taste than you'd expect from a truly basic beer on the whole. Why they don't offer this as their year-round porter is a question I'd like answered. This and Noble Pils are, to me, the best standard non-bostonlager SA offerings, and they've decided to not produce them anymore. Hmmm.

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Photo of dbossman
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish dark brown hue with a huge and fairly steady head; nice lacing

S: Some spicing up front and lots of herbal, musty, and grassy hops--quite bready and toasty

T: Kind of a strange metallic, slightly sour flavor up front followed by herbal and grassy hops and finally toasty, caramel, bready malts

F: Medium body; fairly creamy and chewy

O: A decent porter but the herbal, almost metallic flavors up front are hard for me to get past; but I really like everything else about this beer--but like I said, something doesn't quite mesh on the flavors and though it's not bad, it's a bit difficult to get past

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Samuel Adams Holiday Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,453 ratings.
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