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

635 Reviews
Samuel Adams Honey PorterSamuel Adams Honey Porter

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.45%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-12-2002

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Reviews: 635 | Ratings: 913
Photo of abriggs1
1.24/5  rDev -66.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is quite simply, one of the most vile tasting "premium" beers I've ever had the displeasure of tasting. This beer is a challenge to choke down. Syrupy sweet and almost undrinkable. I wish I had something good to say about this beer, but it's really that bad. This tastes more like soda than beer, but much thicker and less refreshing.

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Photo of cottonkoozie
1.84/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A - Nice dark brown color. Not a great head, but a good one finger that hangs around some. Nice lacing.

S - The honey smell really overpowers things, and it smells like cheap honey. There are other smells there, but geez this is just way to overpowering to take the time trying to figure out what the other smells are.

T - I don't know how to describe this other than just bad. Maybe its because I haven't had many porters, but other ones I tried I thought were pretty nice. There is a complexity of flavors, but none of them go together. The hops and malts do not complement each other, and the honey doesn't complement anything. Has a flavor with some sweet, some bitter, and some roasted, nothing blends or balances.

M - Syrupy, enough said.

D - Hard to choke one down, couldn't imagine drinking more of this.

At least everything else from Sam Adams has been at least decent, this is horrible. Some hops compliment some malts, and some malts compliment some hops, the right combination was not found here. And they honey, wow, what is the point, just adds a funky sweetness to an already bad beer. Must have been a mistake that they decided to add honey too and market just to get rid off originally, then some one actually liked it I guess.

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Photo of letsgoblue89
1.92/5  rDev -48%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This is a rare miss by Sam Adams. This beer is terrible. It looks gorgeous, and feels okay in your mouth, but tastes awful, and smells bad. I honestly have to struggle to finish this beer, which is sad because Sam normally makes such amazing beers. I was shocked when I first drank this beer because I am used to delicious Sam. Oh well, I guess you can't love everything.

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Photo of SchmoTerp
2.12/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My favorite style of beer is the Porter, but not this one. Let it be known that I'm not a big Sam fan...and this beer doesn't help. The honey flavor is most overpowering - I don't understand how they can claim any kind of spiciness as there is none. This beer's aroma is simply honey...nothing complexity at all. In fact, all that I can say about this one is its appearance as it does look very tasty and full. I have a couple more in the fridge, but I will most likely not buy or drink this one again as there are PLENTY of better quality porters available....even in Alabama.

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Photo of KTCamm
2.25/5  rDev -39%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown opaque with medium foam. Lacing evident. Lightly sweet smell, notes of coffee and honey. Eveyrthing seems to be in order.

So, this is my view, but I thought it tasted awful. Sickly sweet - like someone had dumped honey into an otherwise bland porter. Maybe I just like honey less than the average person - but this was overload. The taste was more than I could take - half the beer was dumped.

Sorry, Boston Beer! I am typically a big fan of many of your products - to me, this was a swing and a miss.

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Photo of nortmand
2.32/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours dark brown with a reddish hue. Huge frothy, beautiful tan head that leaves fantastic lacing.

Sweet honey aromas, and some cooked veggies in the aroma. No roast.

Sweet corn syrup flavors up front, a breath of roast or chocolate. Hard to tell, as it is so subdued. A bit of bitterness in the back of the tongue. Needs more roast.

Full bodied and very sweet. If this beer was drier and turned the roast up 5 or 6 notches, it would be good. As it is, a sweet mess reminiscent of sub par brewpub fare that really turns me off. Not like any porter I've ever tasted.

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Photo of rsgcwhite
2.41/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Purchased absent-mindedly near the end of its freshness date; this probably skewed my review. Tsk tsk, Manchester Wine and Liquor.

Pours dark with amber edges; a massive head of moderate thickness condenses unevenly.

The aroma is strongly molasses, honey, yeasty. More intense than most beers; a little over fermented. It smells thick, syrupy.

The near end of lifetime on this beer has taken it's toll - it's aroma is now too strong for me to appreciate the subtle nuances of its flavor. The honey flavor seems stronger than expected - this isn't exactly Bärenjäger yet, but it overpowers lightly roasted malts and citrus hop tastes that would otherwise make this a more consumable beer. The sweetness and dry finish are fine, but something isn't right; the balance is off.

The honey flavor makes this beer seem like a porter with a bad aftertaste - I appreciate the boldness and innovation of the Boston Brewing Company, but this is just not my beer.

Mouthfeel is initially sweet and creamy, followed by a strongly dry aftertaste.

One day, I will try this again - until then, I will not look at honey-laced things the same way. I'm avoiding the sugary condiment aisle in the Supermarket for about a month.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Very dark brown, almost black. Thick light brown head that dissipates quickly.

Smell - Roasted aroma dominates. Just a whiff of hops in the background.

Taste - Quite dark, approaching a molasses flavor. Finishes with not indistinct sour hoppiness. Flavor is not entirely pleasant to me - malt and hops don't quite work together.

Mouthfeel - Medium. Actually seems lighter in the mouth than one might expect looking at the beer. Doesn't appear highly carbonated.

Drinkability - The beer itself seems to be of high quality, but this isn't my flavor. This beer gets a little bump for being one of the first brands to turn me away from macros.

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Photo of hardy008
2.53/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - dark, lets some light through, a foamy off white head which stays throughout

Smell - roasted malt with honey

taste - sweet with some bitterness and a bit of a burnt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - sticky mouthfeel, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - ok, nothing special.

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Photo of monkeybeer
2.56/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Very Dark brown almost clack with a tan head and sticky lacing

S-Sweet honey with malt

T/M – roasted coffee with a sweet honey taste, slightly bitter at the end.

D- Not a bad porter for it being a Sam Adams. I am not a did fan of the brand itself but I have had better beers from them. I have also had some better porters. All in all it is not great but not bad either.

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Photo of becktone
2.56/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

To the eye this beer looks appealing. It has a stable head retention with a head the size of the index finger. Head is tannish creamy looking as opposed to rocky and has some nice lacing properties. Color of this brew is dark copper, real dark copper alomst brown. Garnet hues as well.

The nose of this beer definitely has a noticeable honey characteristic. There's also some darker malt aromas in there as well, a little bit of burnt or roasted characteristic along with a light chocolate/coffee aroma. Mostly just honey though. The other aromas are way in the background. No hop aroma

A much lighter taste than one normally gets from a porter, this is probably due to the honey. That was the first thing that hit me. The second was a huge metallic taste. Although the metallic taste is in the finish it detracts from the rest of the brew. Very unporter like in taste, the honey character is noticeable, it pretty much dominates this brew. I don't really taste any of the darker roasted malts that would be expected from a porter. Due to the metallic character of this brew I'd say that it failed pretty badly in my book. I just don't want to drink tin cans.

Extremely light in the mouth, due to the fact that when a brewer adds honey to wort it adds alcohol and lightens body. It goes down easily enough, feels just like a macro BMC in the mouth. I won't be buying this brew again. Doesn't have a good taste, and just sucks in general. In my opinion the only thing Jim Koch got right with this one was an appropriate aroma for a beer brewed with honey and a good appearance.

 1,585 characters

Photo of Riccymon
2.66/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours black with a reddish tint from the bottle with a beautiful finger of brown head. A decent amount of lacing makes this a great looking porter. The smell also comes in above average, with toasty, charred malt notes.

After a great porter look and a great porter smell, I was let down by a below average porter taste. First up was malt and a mix of honey sweetness, and my first few sips tasted metallic. Subtle hops and a medicinal flavor come in toward the finish. Mouthfeel is not as full as I'd prefer, and the medicinal sweetness leaves my mouth a little sticky--not terribly pleasant.

As I didn't enjoy the finish this beer has, I don't consider it terribly drinkable, and I probably won't buy it again.

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Photo of GoodKnight1220
2.71/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a bottle into a glass.

Nice deep redish brown, little head that lingers throughout.

Sweet roasty smell.

Sweet taste to start with a slight roasty flavor, but flavor quickly fades to a bland alcohol taste.

It wasn't bad, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.72/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 2/22/2007 (12oz bottle BB Jul07):

Pours an inky dark brown colored body, with a dark white head, some decent lacing, but diminishing. Has a very strong honey aroma, overpowering. Hmm, Different. Has a malty slight honey taste, but not heavy. Not too bad, and interesting taste.

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Photo of tj4288
2.74/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

strong and bitter, not a beer to drink with out food, great with spicy food and/or burgers. smell is amazing. i prefer this beer served extra extra cold. i would drink it again. ill give it one thumbs up

a- very dark but clear, not the darkest porter i have had, very nice frothy head

s- smell is amazing, and mouth watering the honey smell really comes threw

t- decent for a porter, not a big fan of porters myself

m- bitter, but not a strong alcohol taste

d- better with food

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Photo of Ricochet
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had another Sam Adams, honey porter looked interesting though, with little head and barely see through appearence, I knew what I was going to sample. Nose was really vague, and yet, good coffee, sweet malt and the honey made itself known. Nice and appetizing. Mouth turned foul though, almost like a bitter cheap beer, but saved itself on the bitterness and the slight coffee aftertaste.

Well, this was a disappointment. In all respects, it tasted like a sweet, cheap beer. The honey was a distraction from the porter which I'd say was as average as Yuengling's but when you add the honey sweetness, it really detracted.

Not going to get this again. Tasted like a sugary Yuengling, and I like the Y! I don't like this.

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Photo of JCS
2.76/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer came off a little brash. Was impressed by the roasted effect that I experienced on the smell and on the aftertaste, but it was almost a little too much. In a nutshell, I'd say that it definitely looks better than it tastes, but its definitely not a bad beer. Just mediocre.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.77/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a narrow pint glass, pours a clear ruby red in color. I've never seen a porter that poured like this, and I'm not sure I want to see another one soon. A billowy light tan head slowly caves in to form some spotty lacing.

Smell is light and thin, a bit reaching. A deep breath might gather some hope, grasp it if you can. Notes of honey and beeswax trump all others, slowly opening up to some moderately rich malts. Honey esters do clear out to a degree, showing some hints of light honey chocolate and a touch of hops.

Taste adds a light honey sweetness to an otherwise happy situation. Otherwise a bit gooey and chewy as the malt structure is quite simple here. A moderately sweet ale without much character yet better with a little exposure to the air. I find honey and porter to be strange bedfellows.

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Photo of mjd83goblue
2.82/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz single bottle for $1.69. Seeing this back in sixers now, so thought I'd give it a shot.

A: Pours an opaque dark brownish/reddish with two fingers of rocky head.

S: Smell is predominently raw honey. Some roasted malt if you really try.

T: More balanced than the smell. A nice roasted body with a definite honey taste, but not as overbearing as in the smell. Finishes sweet w/ some burnt honey.

M: Creamy but a little thin

D: Not bad, not as heavy as many porters. A little sweet.

Very 'average'. Nothing bad, but nothing inspiring.

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Photo of ghostmech007
2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz dark bottle poured into a pint glass.

Dark brown almost black with a dark tan and great head retention. Left a nice sticky lace down the glass.

Roasted malts and honey.

Honey through and through and very sickly sweet. Full bodied and smooth. Malts are present and very little hops, no bitterness to balance the flavor. Very sweet from start to finish. Not good at all. I won't ever get this one again.

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Photo of hoplover82
2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This offering I'm not very impressed. This is a very bitter and harsh beer.

It pours pretty nice with a dark brown color and a tan head.

Aroma is of alcohol and honey. Malt

Flavor is a little of honey and harsh stingy alcohol.

Not very enjoyable at all.

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Photo of wedge
2.86/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep, transparent burgundy with a large, rocky tan head that fades to a soapy covering. Smells of sugary caramel and honey - clean with a touch of vanilla. Sweet honey and caramel flavors over a spicy hop character. No real roasted quality to be found. Very smooth and slick, nearly creamy, though medium-bodied at best.

Porter? You sure about that? Maybe an average brown ale, but this is nothing I will return to regardless of the style.

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Photo of granite
2.86/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

A---It poured brown with ruby red highlights. Large rocky tan head held up well.

S---Wildflower honey dominated the aroma.

T---Muddled malt, buttery yeast and sharp bitterness. Honey flavor came through in the end and added a nice dry touch.

M---Medium bodied.

D---Nice honey aroma and flavor but it’s a weak example of a robust porter.

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Photo of deapokid
2.86/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This Sam Adams sampler pick looks like an amazing porter from the get go with a deep brownish color and limited head.

The smell is a bit sweeter than usual, lacking the coffee or chocolate porter aromas and relying too heavily on honey scents.

The taste relies on this honey sweetness as well, lacking the robust porter flavor that could have acted as a balance to the overwhelming sweetness. It's also quite thin in flavor and leaves much to be desired. The honey presence also limits its drinkability considerably.

Hopes were high for this one at first, but a balancing of flavors is necessary for something of this nature to work.

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Photo of brushtachio
2.87/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I don't think I've ever had such a disparity between my scores from category to category. Poured a dark brown, which with a little light behind it reveals a dark amber base. The head is dense and lasting like chocolate mousse.
Smell contains a hint of honey but the prevailing scent is unsmoked tobacco. This literally smells just like open pouch of Red Man (which has a element of sweetness in it's scent too).

The honey asserts itself more in the taste, as is a hop bitterness but there is still a ton of leaf tobacco.

Mouthfeel is exactly what I would want from a porter.

Not so drinkable for me - can't get past the tobacco. Very interesting, unusual brew but not for me.

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Samuel Adams Honey Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.69 out of 5 based on 913 ratings.
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