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

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Ratings: 914 |  Reviews: 636
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Walls of thin, sticky lace coat the glass throughout the entire serving as you drain it, sip by sip. The tan head maintains a thin but solid surface covering; and the clear, deep mahogany body glows with a crimson and ruby cast.

Some honey is found in the nose, along with some almost scorched sugar and a whiff of gently vinous dark fruit, perhaps plums; and the honey returns much more solidly in the flavor.

It's not chocolatey, although there is an edge to it, but mainly it displays deeply caramelized sugar, a dark fruitiness, a smear of ceral-like graininess, and honey. It's mildly roasty, but coupled with the dark sugar even that seems softened. The honey comes and goes, appearing in different places... sometimes at the start, and often lingering into the finish. The bitterness is more than firm, solid but not bold, but dull, perhaps muted by the honey sweetness. It finishes kind of dull and muddied, with some sticky honey (that's not necessarily sugary, but coating, and with honey flavor), and a solid bitterness and some dark malt acidity. It's very nice upfront, but offers a sloppy finish.

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

I was pleasantly surprised to find this in a mix-pack - I hadn't seen this beer for several years and thought it permanently retired. Poured a dark chestnut with tan-tinged head. A bit sweeter than the average robust American porter, and a little less hopped. Pleasant roasted malt flavor with no grainy off notes, well complimented with the moderate sweetness. Finish was smooth with no acidity. A nicely made beer.

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Photo of Matteox3
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought in a mixed case of 6 sam adams types at Sunshine Beverage in Laureldale, PA.

This beer definately had a discernable honey taste without going overboard. Sweet, however there were roasted grains present and enough hop spice to make the sweetness not overbearing. Porter quality took a back seat to the upfont presence of honey, roasted grains, and balancing hops.

Good smell and appearance. I found this bear to be very subtle in its flavors, where specialty brews like this can often be very syrupy. On drinkability, I wouldnt think more than two of these in a sitting would be recommended as it is still very filling.

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

12 oz bottle. Best before Jun 2007. Enjoyed 1/21/07

Appearance- Pours a roasted brown color with a healthy head that is heartily replenished. Some brussels lace.

Smell- Roasted malts with a touch of honey. Also a hint of cream.

Taste- A little on the sweeter side but not as sweet as I'd like to see given the name. There's a good bit of roasted flavor here with just a bit of chocolate evident. Hops are here too, providing a good bit of balance... but as I stated earlier, with a name like honey porter, I'd like to see this be a bit sweeter. There are some honey notes, but they're pretty subdued by the roasted malt and hop combination.

Mouthfeel- Full and robust. About the perfect thickness for a porter.

Drinkability- Fairly easy to quaff.

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

served into a nonic glass from a 12oz. brown long neck bottle with a crimped cap.

Deep ruby red,brownish hue,clear lets light pass. 3 to 4" thick off-white towards tan head. Good retention with spotty,clumpy semi-curtians of lace.

Moderate malty aromas chocolate,carmell,slight burnt aromas.Subtle sweet honey aromas. A good tempting aroma.

Tastes of chocolate and carmell,some burnt tastes also. Woody/earthy with a hint of molassass. A slightly sharp pleasing bitterness. Subtle honey tastes throughout,leaves a nice taste of honey lingering on the palate.

A medium mouthfeel,creamy,feel very light floating around in the mouth.
Easy drinking,could drink several of these and would love to drink more.
A bit filling,but drinkable,neverless. A good solid beer,one to give a try.

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Photo of tweeder263
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out an red\brown brew with 2 finger head. smell of honey,,mild licorice. taste very smooth like a mild porter. very subtle honey flavors,,very well balanced. mouthfeel pretty standard stuff . Very drinkable beer,,i could put a few of these away.

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

Sam Adams Honey Porter pours a very dark ruby color that's almost black in the glass. A creamy light tan head sits on top and slowly dissolves to a thick ring and thin sheet on the beer. As the foam dissolves a lot of lace clumps and nets cling to the glass. The aroma is mainly honey and wildflowers with a hint of toasted malt.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer has a nice firm carbonated tingle on the tip of the tongue. The flavor begins with roasted malt but the honey quickly dominates. A hint of wildflower is mixed in. At the end the beer finishes dry with a taste of hoppy pine. Once gone some roasted malt, hops and sweet honey lingers on the palate.

I thought the honey would totally dominate this beer, but there's enough malt and hops to balance it out. It's very tasty and quite drinkable. I look forward to another glass of this beer.

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Photo of billybob
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark brown with a ruby tint to the color and a tan two finger head and a mild lacing to the finish. smell is roasted malt, coffee, with a mild honey coming through. taste roasted malt with coffee honey finish. mouthfeel is medium, good blending of flavors and just right carbonation to match. i was very doubtful about this one thinking the honey would be over powering or be weak bodied but its a very nice beer and its on my buy again list.

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Photo of granite
2.86/5  rDev -22.1%
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 itÂ’s a weak example of a robust porter.

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Photo of kpantz
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Executive Summary: The first porter I tried from SA was the Holiday Porter, and boy, did I love that one. The Honey Porter, however, doesn't serve to repeat the success on my palate. A confused attempt to me. Not undrinkable, but there are better porters on which I can spend my money.

Appearance: Clear, deep ruby red with a foamy, finger-thick khaki-colored head.

Smell: Deep, sweet malt, but not roasted at all - almost smells more like a doppelbock instead of a porter.

Taste: Roasted malt to start, but quickly takes on an awkward brightness and sweetness no doubt contributed by the honey. I can't really tell what this beer is trying to be.

Mouthfeel: Appropriate for a porter. Chewy, but not so much as to interfere with the lighter character that, to me, helps to separate even the heftiest porters from stouts.

Drinkability: I'm just not wowed enough to go back to the well. If you like the flavor, you'd be able to down a few of these without getting bogged down.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear, dark ruby-amber. The pale biege three-finger head is a thick cream, holding exceptionally well and leaving wide rings of lacing. Crystal malt, toffee and sack honey in the nose, with soft earthy hops in the background. Caramel and brown malt upfront, followed by herbal honey, a dark roasted flavor, and mild coffee notes. Aftertaste is dried by the roasted barley and a fuggles bitterness/flavor. I washoping for a more pronounced honey character,but it's balanced and the flavors meld well without need for more sweetness. Light-medium bodied and appropriate lower carbonation, a smooth "english handpull" type mouthfeel. Finishes easy; a touch roasty with some residual caramel/honey and earthy hop tones.This is a nice addition to the mix pack, and considering Sammy Adams resonable prices, I would consider picking up a six-pack if the brewery decided to market it.

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Photo of montageman
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Looks like black tea - deep reddish brown with a nice, foamy tan head that sticks around the whole time and leaves some major lacing. Boy, this really smells like honey and I really like it. There's a slight roasted character and some floral notes as well. Taste is roasted malt up front with a dry hop middle and finishes a little sweet with the honey - an excellent dessert beer. Mouthfeel is rich, but it could stand to be a little creamier. This is a very good beer - very tasty. I could easily drink more than one of these, Recommended.

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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is very dark, almost black and has a tan, bubbly head. The smell is of honey, deep toasted malt, sort of reminds me of graham crackers. Taste is mainly of the roasted malt and has a smooth honey finish. Beer is lighter in body than I would have expected and has creamy carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer, light in body and a smooth finish. I would recommend this beer, not outstanding, but very solid.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 2-3-07
Best by June 2007

Pours much lighter than expected, color is a deep red with and off-white head and lacing that sticks around.

Smell is of honey. Surprising (not a bad thing) honey aroma adds character to a beer that would otherwise be kind of boring.

Taste is decent, honey flavor first followed by a medium maltiness (SA Boston Lager) and a subtle amount of hops. Honey taste lingers long after with an earthy quality.

Mouthfeel is good, creamy and very agreeable.

Drinkability is good, goes down easy. It wouldn't be any trouble to drink several of these.

Overall a very non-offensive brew. As porters go, it's not a very good example, but it is still worth trying if you like honey in your beer.

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Photo of Roderick
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First time trying the Honey Porter Brewing and I was pleasantly surprised.
The beer poured a dark-amber with a nice head with an aroma of malt and honey. I liked the initial roasted malt taste with just a hint of honey that adds just the right amount of sweetness.
I would drink this again and its now on my favorites list.
Cost $14.99 for Samuel Smith Brewmasters 12 box.

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Photo of veech
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been nothing but impressed since this beer was revived. I wasn't lucky enough to try it in its first incarnation. I assume it is very true to the original.
A: Style appropriate opaque black with a tan head and resilient lacing
S: Sweet sourwood honey fills the nose and trumps anything else
T: Smooth sweet and substantial. The malts are balanced just enough to be noticed in the presence of the honey sweet base. A different but delicious porter.
M: Maybe a little light and a tad oily for a porter. The only real detriment to this brew.
D: Easily sessionable and I wish I could get this in 6 packs instead of the mixed 12 packs.
Cheers Jim Koch for bringing this one back, hopefully for a long time.

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Photo of becktone
2.56/5  rDev -30.2%
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.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.14/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't know why I've been on such a porter kick lately.

12 ounce bottle, sixteen ounce shaker pint.

A - Fairly light colored for a porter. Light brown with lots of red. Head is small and disippates to a capper.

S - Nice chocolatey, sweet honey smell with some coffee in there.

T - A smooth, sweet tasting porter. Has an unusual (yet delicious) tanginess to it with some great mellow honey in the aftertaste. A nice taste overall and very different from many other porters of either the American or English varieties.

M - Fairly light bodied for a brew with this much flavor (especially the sweetness.

D - Highly drinkable due to its sheer spectrum of flavors and uniqueness. My little gripe about mouthfeel aside, this is a nice drinkable porter that goes down ;ike a session brew but has huge flavors.

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Photo of notown
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start by saying that I love this beer.

Poured a dark brown with ruby highlights with an off-white head.

Subtle aroma of coffee and biscuit with some honey. Medium body and mouthfeel. Not a whole lot of roast and the malt complexity is at a minimum. The complexity comes from the honey.

It is not your typical porter, but it is a great beer and a wonderful porter.

I enjoy porters but sometimes the roast can be overdone, however in this case it was a little underdone. I am not complaining, it is a smooth drinking porter with a complexity brought out by the honey and what seems like a simple grain bill.

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Photo of whynot44
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A rich dark reddish chestnut color with a decent tan head that retains well and leaves some nice sticky lacing.

The aroma is honey and a nice roasted malt, hints of coffee.

The taste is subtle but rich with a nice toasted malt base, a bit of coffee and a sweet honey overtone. Very well done, not overpowering, with a lingering honey aftertaste.

Very SMOOTH, medium/full bodied, feels great in the mouth. Easy to drink. If you like porters, or honey, this is one to try.

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Photo of themilkman01
4.52/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(Disclaimer: this review is by a beer-newbie, for beer-newbies. Take into account that everything is this review is reviewed by a beer novice, and the writer hopes to appeal to, primarily, beer novices in their quest to find the perfect beer)

Sam Adams Honey Porter is an excellent beer that delievers great taste, very little bitterness, and a great overall drinking experience.

The appearance of the beer was good. It has a decent head when you get to the bottom of the bottle, but not when you pop the cap. This means you don't get beer all over the place, which is very convenient.

The smell of this beer was great! Very sweet, with the classic smell of beer, plus a hint of honey that almost goes unnoticed. It's not an overpowering smell, that is, you won't smell it immediately after opening the bottle. You have to get down and smell this beer, but once you do get a whiff of it, you'll love it.

The taste is also great. Not overly strong, there are a lot of different tastes that you'll be able to experience in your mouth. The best part? Almost no bitter taste! You can sip on this beer, you can chug it, and it's smooth as silk. Also, the after taste is very slight and not very bitter! This is a huge plus in my book ... as I hate drinking a beer and needing to eat something or drink something else to get the taste out of my mouth! The hint of honey is very subtle, you'll need to "look" for it ... but in the aftertaste you'll taste it a little bit more ... and you'll come to enjoy the aftertaste after a few sips!

The mouthfeel of this beer is great. No carbonation feeling whatsoever, which is my biggest concern in a beer. I hate when you sip a beer and it burns your tongue from the carbonation. To me, that just makes me want to gulp it down and not savor the flavor of the beer. This beer won't do that, plus, as you move it around your mouth, you get a lot of excellent tastes, and no uncomfortable feelings.

The drinkability of this beer is excellent. Again, it's one you can sip or gulp. This could be your stock beer, it's one that doesn't get old very quick ... the only downside is the 5.25% alcohol average. For me, that doesn't give me a buzz until the third bottle or so, but, everybody is different ... it's a good social beer to have.

I definately recommend this beer to anybody who likes porters or honey. Both tastes are not overpowering, it's very well balanced, and that's why this beer novice likes this beer. It's a good "platform beer," that is, a good beer to start off with and keep around.

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

I'm pretty happy to spot sixers of this in the liquor store, after an extended hiatus. Last time I had this I don't believe I was legal drinking age, and I didn't like it at all. I think Newcastle and big cans of Fosters Special Bitter were my beers of choice at the time. Haha.
Pours dark dark brown, tinted red through light. Topped with a thin film of meringue head. Spotty lacing, holding a collar of head through the glass. Honey itakes the lead in the aroma, roasty malts coming through prominently, and a tiny whisper of earthy english hops. I'm gonna guess a traditional fuggles/goldings hopping. Pretty clean. Honey is again most prominent in the flavor, along with malty roastiness and coffee. Doesn't feel like there's any roasted barley in here, though. Not quite charred enough. More of a burnt caramel feel. A bit of prune and raisin fruitiness. This one's on the sweeter side, with a bit more body than I normally expect from a porter. Residual sugars from the honey? Medium bodied with typical Sam Adams carbonation, which is a little fizzier than I prefer. The honey provides some softening sweetness with a distinct, real honey lightness. Finishes a bit dry with lingering roasty flavors. Hop flavor and bittering is minimal. Perhaps a dash of floral/herbal character, but it contributes little to the flavor. Definitely leaning towards the honey and dark roasted malt. Lots of flavor, especially for a mid-strength brew. Kept me interested through two bottles this sitting.
Pretty tasty. A sweeter beer, if you think about it, but seems to be balanced fairly well. I'm happy to see this one again in regular rotation. One of the best offerings from Boston Beer Co. in my opinion. Nothing crazy to hold up to the better porters out there, but unique and delicious in its own way. I do like this now, even though I could only manage 2-3 sips in my younger days. It's crazy how much tastes change in a decade.

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Photo of blackie
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Pours into my favorite beer glass a rich chestnut brown with a 0.5" tan colored head. After the initial recession, a few islands of carbonation are left behind as a ring leaves scant lacing on the side of the glass.

smell: Light-moderate aromas of real honey with toasted caramel and toffee malts. A little buttery. Crisp hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a high medium. The body comes across as thin at times. A little drier than I like a porter to be. Not as smooth as a porter should be, given the high carbonation and lacking body.

taste: Dark toasted malts with a strong undercurrent of real honey. Toasted whole-grain breads. Moderate English hop flavors. Not much to it, but pretty well done from the honey aspect. As a porter, it could stand to be a little richer/more malty.

drinkability: easy enough

notched as best by June 2007

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Photo of Winter
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with auburn highlights visible at the bottle of my pint. Tan creamy head. The aroma consists of roasted malt, caramel, a hint of honey and it also has a mild fruitiness to it. The mouthfeel is full-bodied. Roasted malt with flavors of toffee and caramel to add some sweetness to it. Honey follows midway. Spicy hoppiness emerges toward the back and lingers into the finish. Very nicely done.

I was very impressed with this one. It almost makes me want to run out and get the 12 pack that contains it and the other goodies (Scotch Ale, Black Lager) in it. Perfect set of offerings for the winter time of year.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best By June 2007. This just arrived in stores and I couldn't resist... a honey porter just in time for a cold Arctic blast in North Jersey.

Served in a pint glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

Appearance- The head on this beer is fabulously creamy... bordering on four fingers of foam on a traditional pour, it settles relatively quickly and leaves behind miles of lacing. Color is clear, chestnut red. One of the nicest looking Sam Adams beers without a doubt.

Smell- Roasted malt, a hint of coffee, a mild chocolate note, and a smooth honey aroma that underscores all of the above. Full-bodied and extremely appetizing, it has a cream or milk stout nose with a distinctive English character. The finishing hops are certainly noteworthy.

Taste- A cloying sweetness interferes enough to rob this beer of being great... it works overall in the big picture but it's just too overstated. No question the robust maltiness and roasted elements are pleasing, even the hops leave their mark right at the end... but it's the honey that might be featured a little less to be perfectly in balance.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Nicely done, well carbonated yet smooth enough after rolling around in the mouth for a few seconds. It's really nice for the style, and it breaks up the aggressive honey profile. Easy drinking and a fun twist on a porter... I'm glad there are still five left.

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