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

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Samuel Adams Honey PorterSamuel Adams Honey Porter
914 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 914 |  Reviews: 635
Photo of FenwaySquid
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presenatation: 12 oz. brown bottle, BBD of September 2007 notched into the label (I know), poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a completely opaque deep dark brown color with ruby red hues to it, no carbonation bubbles visible. The head formed a decent one finger thick, and faded quickly into some lacing.

Aroma: Roasted malts and honey, maybe some raw sugar too.

Taste: Roasted malts and honey combine nicely at first, with the honey character becoming more domanint in the middle. The finish is a mixture of honey, caramel malts, and raw sugar.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, very smooth though. The carbonation was mild, and balanced nicely.

Overall: I got this one in a brewmaster's collection six pack some time ago. I was worried when I saw the date that the bottle may have gone bad, but this is not the case. This is an excellent porter, and the honey blends in nicely. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BeerTaster
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a exceptional porter but not bad. Appearance black with brown on edges of glass two finger tan head with good retention. Smell honey, rosted grains and some hops. Taste honey hint of chocolate and coffee enough hops in the end to make it well balanced. Mouthfeel mediem body mediem carbonation. Drinkability not bad this is a once in a while beer but I could have a few.

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Photo of thirtysixbelow
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - slight brown red hue with a 2 finger tan head which stays for quite a while. Good lacing.

s - honey, bread, caramel, a little hops

t - definitely sweet up front though i'm not sure I taste honey. Slight smoky and roasted character. Some spicy hops to balance it out. Not too dry or clean, slight hop linger. Well balanced.

m - well carbonated

d - just good all around. Nothing too excptional, but nothing is lacking. A great porter.

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Photo of scoobybrew
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a Sam Adams glass from the bottle.

A - deep dark amber color - nearly opaque - with a thick head that settles but is retained well in a lacing

S - rich roasted grain-like malt with a touch of honey, hops not apparent

T - much like aroma, rich roasted grainy malt character with a dry finish

M - medium-light body with moderate carbonation

D - interesting beer; it's a solid porter with faint natural honey accents too it; and it's very well balanced; with the word 'honey' in the title I kind of expected a sweet, cloying beer, this was a pleasant surprise

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Photo of evanackerman
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

this beer pours a lovely dark brown with a deep ruby tone against light. nice billowy tan head that has staying power.

aroma is mostly toasted malt and a hint of the bitter hop character that awaits.

taste is very pleasant deep-roasted malt with a hint of sweetness from the honey followed by a rather spicy bitter hop presence. delicious!

mouthfeel is a bit thin for my taste but nothing to get upset about.

drinkability is exceptional.

overall, a very enjoyable porter, the honey is a nice touch, hops used to good effect in this one.

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Photo of malcontent
4.29/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep chocolate brown although not the black that I typically look for. Thin layer of head dissipates within minutes.

Top-notch aromas of bitter roasted malt kissed with a generous portion of honey. Honey grows even more intense as the beer warms some.

Bitter chocolate kick starts with a roasted then sweet body taking over. Sweetness is unmistakably honey prior to hints of marshmallow and coffee surfacing. Spicy hops wind things down for what is a pretty darn good brew.

Mouthfeel is full (although not creamy per se) with plenty of tannic dextrins. The sweetness limits drinkability a bit but overall it's such a well-made beer that it can be overlooked. Great offering from SA. Should be a year-rounder...

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Photo of littleshamrocks
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with an enjoy before date notched on the label. Served in a Samuel Adams specialty pint.

Pours dark brown with two fingers of creamy tan head. Some ruby undertones and lively carbonation bubbles can be seen when held to direct light. The head slowly diminishes leaving behind an impressive amount of sticky lace. The nose yields a pleasant combination of roasted malt, sweet raw honey, spicy hop bitterness, and a hint of nuts. The flavor is very much as advertised in the smell with the roasted malts, floral/herbal hop flavor, an infusion of honey/honeycomb from middle to end, and a roasty/nutty/chocolate/coffee malt finish. A fair amount of hop bitterness serves to help in the balancing. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a mostly smooth texture, an appropriate measure of carbonation, and a well rounded finish.

This is a praiseworthy example of one of my personal favorite styles. It takes the classic robust porter and gives it a twist. The honey not only serves to balance out the roasted malt, but it is also darn tasty. Throw in the hops and this brew adeptly balances between three separate aspects, with the malts taking the desired lead. I mostly enjoyed the fullness of body and taste, as well as the uniqueness of the overall flavor. I think this would appeal more to those with an open palate, for it is not for the faint of heart. I would certainly welcome another and I would feel comfortable recommending this to anyone wanting to try a well made beer with a strong honey presence.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby red color with a thick rocky cherry tan head.

S: The nose bursts with sweet honey and cinnamon bread.

T: The flavor is sweet honey malt, cinnamon, with some sweet heresy chocolate notes. The palate is light per style, and very sweet and finishes with a sweet chocolate smoked woody flavor. There is also some sweet burbon hints sneaking through that finishes out this beer. A really sweet porter style with a good roasted character. Pretty impressed with this beer for what it is and one that stands out in the sam adams line.Overall a solid brew that may be a tad sweet for some, but hey that's just the style.

M: oily with a smooth texture and viscosity from the honey with very good dark roasted malt and chocolate coming through upon warming.

D: good drinkability and roasted malt character.
sweetness may limit mulitiples but nice in moderation.

 879 characters

Photo of hardy008
2.53/5  rDev -31.1%
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 milesfan76
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into the appropriate Sam Adams pint glass...

A: Pours fairly black but lets light through. Two-finger tannish head that retains and clings niceley.

S: Gave it a 3 for smell because it's not real strong. What I do smell is mostly honey (surprise, surprise) and a little bit of roasted malt.

T: Malts are more prominent here than in the smell. Honey is present here too, but more with more balance between it and the malts. Not much in the way of hops.

M: Fairly light-bodied for a porter, nice carbonation level.

D: Quite drinkable. I would session this if I had bought more than one bottle.

Overall a solid porter, definitely worth buying again.

 671 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A coffee/amber color in the glass is topped with a very respectible off-white 2 fingers of foam that leaves very sticky lacing in it's wake.

Aromas of toasted amber malt with just a hint of citrus at the end.

Taste is sweetly toasted malt with bits of coffee and dark, bitter chocolate. The honey smooths everything together and takes out any possibility of a bite in this porter.

Very nice and drinkable.

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Photo of triplecoil
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance is very dark brown with deep ruby highlights. Thin cream-colored head that dissipated quickly. Roasted and somewhat burnt nose, somewhat faint but pleasant. Sweet and slightly burnt malt flavor with a slippery mouthfeel. The sweetness of the fairly big malt with the touch of honey is very well balanced with the bitterness. Hop balance is spot on. Could definitely drink a few of these in a night, but would mingle with other brews.

 489 characters

Photo of medic25
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in my complimentary Sam Adams glass. Color is a rich, dark brown with a white head that laces nicely. Aroma is sweet and malty. Taste is quite sweet; the honey is a nice touch that works well with the toasted malts. Slightly burnt aftertaste. Quite and easy drinking beer.

 279 characters

Photo of wiseguy142
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really like this beer.

Pours very dark brown, almost black, with a thin vanilla head floating on top. I really enjoy the contrast of the sweet honey with the strongly bitter roasted malts. This may be a bad example but it's similar to the experience of taking some liquid cold medicine where you know there's a strong pleasant flavor (honey) battling with the inherent acridity of it. The result is a hesitant enjoyment of something that simultaneously challenges and entices you. (ahh going overboard with the beer rhetoric).

In any case, I've also drank some Scottish heather ales and this is made with heather honey which I think is the defining underlying flavor of the beer that you can't pinpoint unless you know what you're looking for. The heather mirrors the honey/roasted malt relationship with a floral trait that has a fine-line for overdoing it. If you had just a bit more you'd be completely sick of heather, so you're again pushing the limits of your enjoyment.

Finally the Goldings bring you back to earth with the "oh yea this is beer" moment and you forget all the turmoil in the other ingredients and round it off with "damn, what a porter."

Definitely a really cool beer.

 1,198 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

One of the earlier beers that ultimately drove me to BA. Probably closer to ten years ago, I couldn't get enough of this beer. Then it went away. Now it's back. Yay!!

Appearance - pours a dark mahogany with burgundy hues. A nice light mocha cap evens out and bubbles like pancake batter. It sinks back evenly after a minute, leaving arcs of ribboned lace around the glass.

Aroma - I can smell a sweet edge to the malts. They are roasted to a nutty, toasty aroma. Lighter smelling but good.

Taste - dark roasted grain, robust and rich. Definite sweetness up front, a touch of metal as well. Coffee wth sugar. The swallow allows the Goldings to balance out the sweetness. The palate dries and is left with a roasty malt flavor and a trace of lingering hops. The finish is long lasting and tasty. Some emerging alcohol warmth as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - it's okay. Ample carbonation, medium body and smoothness, nothing out of the ordinary though.

Drinkability - lots of flavor without being too sweet. I find it highly sessionable.

 1,037 characters

Photo of shabbtastic
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewmaster's collection continues...

A - Pours a deep mahogany with ruby highlights. Tan 1 finger head, pretty decent lacing with lots of tiny bubbles.

S - Very sweet, honey obviously! Roasted malt detected with faint hops.

T - Starts sweet up front, but there's a kind of artificial aftertaste that I can't quite grip.

M - Smooth and light bodied, a tad bit thin, not what you'd expect by its looks.

D - Overall it was enjoyable and tasty. Very easy to drink. I would drink the rest no problem, recommended.

 513 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Weirdest 'zisss!' I've ever heard upon popping the cap, the audible "pop" was insanely brief and strange-sounding. I expected either a flat beer or a raging torrent and got neither. Alright then.

Good looking beer, with a creamy top that leaves plenty of lace as it dissipates, while the color is one of the darkest I've seen on any porter.

Aroma is honey, with a bit of an off character I can't put my finger (nose) on. Slightly smoky background, but it's mellow.

Flavor is a nice combination of burnt grain and honey. It tires the tongue out a bit, as both flavors are firmly up-front without a ton of depth to chill them out. Some milk-like sweetness comes through, especially near the finish, aiding in the overall enjoyment.

Mouthfeel is where this wins, having a superbly round, milky-smooth body with just enough carbonation to add extra dimension.

Good stuff, even if the honey/burnt flavors become a little cloying midway through the glass. Genuinely full of flavor and definitely not boring.

 1,008 characters

Photo of BDIMike
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark, opaque black color. Tan head with a slight retention.
Nice porter smell. Smell of chocolate malts. A little bit of sweetness in the smell as well.
Nice taste. Taste of burnt, roasted malts. Slight sweentess at the end.
Smooth on the way down. Leaves you with a nice dry taste at the end. Makes me want to take another sip, giving it a nice drinkability as well.

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Photo of sraimondi
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

July 2008 best by date. Poured into a pint glass. I am reviewing this beer as a Specialty category beer re: BJCP guidelines, as the addition of honey in the recipe moves it out of the American Porter category, IMO.

Even tan head which dissipates quickly to a filmy head. Some minor lacing. In light, a dark ruby color, not exactly on the porter style, but quite nice.

Honey does come through in the nose, with a nice roasty profile as well. Some sweet chocolate also. No detectable hops in the smell.

The taste does include some honey sweetness at the start, but a nice hops bite hits quickly which balances things out, although a bit more hops in the finish; which I liked.

The feel was fairly rounded but a little thin for a porter, but not a real issue. Pretty good.

Overall a very drinkable beer, the honey is there but BBC has done a good job of balancing this one out with some real hop character, which is often lacking when brewers use honey. Very sessionable, IMO. One of my recent faves from BBC.

 1,013 characters

Photo of Kingdom4aPint
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle - enjoy before June 2008. Standard pint glass applied.

A - Very dark brown with amber tones. Pours 1.5 finger off white creamy head which dissipates to thin film. Some lacing.

S - Honey smell is definitely there.

T - Smoke, coffee, caramel with maybe touch of chocolate...at the end a dry, alcoholly taste. I'm not really getting a sense of "sweet" in this beer which I have no problem with. Don't taste the honey as much as smell it.

M - Feel is fine, not a big fan of the dryness but no complaints.

D - Very solid beer that I will drink happily when available.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle producing a nice light brown head with about average retention. The aromas coming off from this were rather an enjoyable mix of complex malts and chocolate. The taste was enjoyable with abundant carbonation and what seemed like a relatively complex woody-caramel-bitter chocolate flavor with some residual sweetness. Nice usage of hops tends to balance most of this out leaving just a hint of sweetness behind on the finish.

The deeper into the glass I got, the more I seemed to be able to appreciate the complexity, especially in the finish. It was sort of a quick finish but had just a small amount of sweetness that lingered well. Highly enjoyable, in fact, after I took down my notes I enjoyed a couple more. :-)

Recommended to the porter/stout crowd.

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Photo of JoeyHotrod
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I gave this beer 4's across the board as I feel it's good, though not great by any means.

The beer pours to a very dark brown, though not quite black color and the head is rather nice and tends to last throughout the entire beer.

The smell is of roasted malt first and foremost. There are also slight chocolate tones and a nice honey balance that is neither under or overwhelming.

The taste is light for a porter, though still good for what it is. The honey is more pronounced in the taste, when compared to the nose. It's not overwhelming by any means, though I would prefer just slightly less honey when drinking.

The beer does get points for being easy to get down, as this glass is going rather quickly. There's some roasted aspects that one would expect from a porter, but they are somewhat muted. While not being a bad beer by any means, this is a bit of a porter light... There's a definite place for this beer... but I prefer my porters to be a bit more pronounced and strong.

As with the rest of the beer, would rate the drinkability as good.

Could have a few of these without any problem at all, though again a bit muted for my taste and for that reason would rather drink something else.

 1,206 characters

Photo of Biscuit033
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown almost black with burnt orange highlights, a finger and a half of cream colored head that tetains very nice with nice lacing to boot.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, honey and some earthy?metallic notes.

T: Fresh honey, chocolate, raosted malts, mild smokiness, and some earthy hop notes. I like how the bitterness cuts the honey's sweetness and you are left with a wonderful raw honey taste.

M: Very carbinated but clean and dry.

D: This is very quaffable but pushes my limits for a session at 5.45% ABV. It makes a great couple of beers on a weeknight though.

 581 characters

Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really dark brown, almost black, with an off white, very thick lacy head. It has a very sweet malty scent with a hint of dark honey. The taste is good with sweet, dark roasted malts and a hint at the end of a honey aftertaste. I really enjoyed the flavor, especially the aftertaste. It has a good mouthfeel and it is a very drinkable porter. I think this is a good porter and I would recommend it for sure.

 414 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Better than I remember this being a few years back when I last had it. It pours a dark brown/black with ruby highlights...big ass tan fluffy head....nose is big on the cocoa, and roasted malt qualities...the body is lighter than I expected and it seems a little thin and not the big creamy feel I had hoped for.

The honey is more evident on the taste...lending a sweeter almost sticky element...roasted malts and sweet cocoa are also involved...

An enjoyable beer that leans to the sweet side....a little more body a bit more 'hops" would make this truly special...as it is, it is pretty good

 594 characters

Samuel Adams Honey Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 914 ratings
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