Põhjala Brewery

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Põhjala Brewery
Porter - Imperial
Ranked #140
Ranked #9,378
4.05 | pDev: 6.42%
Dec 24, 2021
Dec 14, 2016
Notes: Translation: Christmas Night. A silky smooth chocolate-vanilla oak aged imperial porter brewed for the winter nights. Aged on cacao nibs, fresh vanilla pods, and French oak for a heady chocolate dessert character with a luscious vanilla taste and aroma.
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3.96 by JTuomi from Finland on Dec 24, 2021
3.77 by pkalix from California on Nov 07, 2021
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by StonedTrippin from Colorado

this is incredible beer, approaching epic, cannot believe the scores are not higher for it here on BA, it really is something, and i love these flavors and all this depth and body in a beer this modest in abv, really impressive offering top to bottom. chocolate and vanilla in this, aged on oak, silky smooth, massive texture, pure velvet. the head is tan and thick as shaving cream on it, an inch high and permanent, espresso crema look to it, the body of the beer is shiny and close to black, nice legs on the edges of the glass, dead sexy, ever so slightly intimidating. the nose is wild, powdered dry dark baking type chocolate and rich vanilla, not overly sweet to me, nutty too, hazelnut even, with a neat almost english yeast thats kind of baked in here and quite a lot of oak, giving it a cognac vibe, smooth and mellow but very complex. the flavor is chocolate before vanilla, wonderful depth to the malt build too, special dark, roasted barley, cocoa nib type bitterness, raisin, light smoke even, then the sexy vanilla woven through it, more of that as the temperature comes up, and as i hold it in my mouth. it isnt quite sweet enough to stay on my teeth and tongue which i like, but it has all the body in the world, especially with the oak, which seems new and robust in the taste. this is luxurious and gentle feeling, but its sturdy as they come, and no sign of the alcohol at all. this is amazing quality beer, unique in a samey space, and it makes me realize i have not had nearly enough beers from these guys. you can count on my buying all i see for awhile, this was money!

Oct 07, 2021
Photo of Rogerlb
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Rogerlb from California

Pours a nice, slightly think dark dark. Thin and beautiful brown khaki head that dissipates pretty quickly. Aroma is subtle, bit malty, coffee, chocolate hints.

Taste is much more present: Chocolate cocoa, bit of boozy heat, vanilla, bit of raisin, bit of wood all together in a silky mix. All the tastes listed on the bottle. Citrus aftertaste. Might be able to pull out sour cherry but could be an illusion (sweet crossed with cocoa and malt?). Body is not overly roasty, but full. Not stout, still a porter, but a dessert porter to be sure. Slight oily texture, and coffee comes in as it warms.

Apr 21, 2021
Photo of Jack_14
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Jack_14 from Italy

8% Imperial Porter, French Oak aged with cacao nibs and fresh vanilla pods.
Literally silky, as indicated in the can.
Robust body, but suitable (perfect, in my opinion).
Beer with intense toasted scents (coffee, cacao nibs).
Dark chocolate.
Vanilla (delicate, but elegantly perceptible).
Alcoholic note, reflective liqueur (almost cognac, but dry).
On the tongue, after the dry finish, there is a very delicate and pleasant vanilla flavor. Really valuable.
The toasted taste remains on the palate.

Mar 17, 2021
Photo of clayrock81
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by clayrock81 from Florida

Poured an almost black body (could be the low lighting I was under) with a decent khaki head that quickly died. The aroma came across mostly has boozy with hints of dark fruits like chocolate covered cherry; other than that I can't say I got expected notes of woody, booze, chocolate, coffee et al. Conversely, the beer is fuller-bodied and dry with notes of roasted coffee malts and then just hints of chocolate on the finish that also has notes of booze.

Mar 11, 2021
3.94 by Dazka from Italy on Jan 05, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Sigmund from Norway

Shared bottle, from Vinmonopolet Hillevåg. Black colour, tan head. Very sweet, with chocolate, vanilla, oak and a moderate roastiness in both aroma and flavour. This is a dessert beer, to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Jan 05, 2021
Photo of vinicole
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by vinicole from England

Bottle conditioned. Nearly black with a frothy tan head. Oily lacing.
Boozy aroma of chocolate, cocoa and vanilla. Quite woody.
Taste is similar to the aroma. Heavily roasted coffee provides a bitter bite.
A viscous feel with a tight carbonation.
A delicious start to Xmas day.

Dec 25, 2020
3.98 by StoutBoi from New York on Nov 25, 2020
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25
by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

L: Black brew with a half-finger tan head fading to a partial cap with great retention and temporary spotty lace on the glass.

S: Vanilla and oak, and a bit of belgian dark ale and cherries on the nose. But the porter is in there!

T: Cocao comes in on the palate along with dark roast, oak, and vanilla. Quite good. Who says otherwise?

F: Good medium weight. Awesomely downable. And so silky smooth - I know that's not a porter trait but this is better for it. So wonderful. Love it so dearly. If all Porters felt like this they'd be my favorite style.

O: Judging across Põhjala brews or across BA Stouts or another disimilar style, it's not the best. Across Porters though this is rediculoulsy underrated. So smooth and so fine.

Jun 10, 2020
4.16 by Bruno74200 from France on Apr 28, 2020
Photo of Sabtos
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Sabtos from Ohio

8 ball black with a moderately tall wavy tan head that retains well but dies to a creamy tan ring.

Taste is classically woody roast, contrasted by a smooth creaminess with accents of toasted nuts, semi-bitter cacao, and sweet vanilla before a cleanly semi-dry finish.

On the nose is cigar and dark roasted coffee with ribbons of vanilla, coming across as bitter espresso on the palate, but I don't get a terribly present level of oak in any regard.

Apr 05, 2020
Photo of Brutaltruth
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Brutaltruth from Ohio

From the 11.2 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice little porter
pours a pitch oily black with a light head of khaki foam
that settles to a thin ring, light dusty layer, and shows
faint lacing. Nose of coffee, light anise, and rich dark
fudge with hints of coffee. Flavors lightly exceed the nose
with dark cocoa, subtle oak, light anise, light booze, earthy
malts, and mild vanilla. Nice mouth feel; full body, slick, lightly
coating, light carbonation, and a rich roasted finish with light char
and bitter malt.

Overall, a solid little porter.


Dec 31, 2019
3.99 by desint from Belgium on Dec 04, 2019
3.99 by Korbynlehr from Kentucky on Dec 01, 2019
Photo of Beech105
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Beech105 from Missouri

Poured from a bottle, not much if a head. Smelled molasses quitt a bit, but with a bit of chocolate too. Tastes good. Thick mouth feel. Creamy with a good amount of carbonation.

Oct 01, 2019
Photo of Mark-Leggett
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Mark-Leggett from Missouri

Poured from a bottle: Dark with a small white head. Smells of coffee, chocolate and alcohol. The alcohol is not super evident in the taste but coffee and chocolate come through.

Sep 28, 2019
4.5 by bigred89 from Maryland on Sep 15, 2019
4.17 by Robertas from Lithuania on Sep 12, 2019
Photo of OlaB
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by OlaB from Norway

Pours a deep black color with a medium top off brown head that dissolves slowly.
Aroma is pleasant of roasted malts, dark chocolate, cocoa, vanilla and coffee.
The flavour starts off slightly sweet with strong roasted malt notes. I sense chocolate, cocoa and coffee strong in the flavour as well as some sweeter vanilla notes. The finish has some slight bitterness that is well integrated with the roasted notes in the back and leaves a long and strong aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is soft and creamy with a medium carbonation and a full body.
A really delicious and enjoyable imperal porter. This brewery impresss again.

Aug 17, 2019
Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by BEERchitect from Kentucky

So, the accepted cheat code for dark beer has hit Estonia. Vanilla, chocolate and oak has the potential to take any old dark beer into a dessert-like session; one that's fit for such occasions as Christmas night.

Dark brown and crowned with a creme tan cap, the luscious scent of Jouluoo starts with strong coffee impressions with those chocolate and vanilla scents suggesting something more of latte or cappuccino. Sweet on the tongue, the early palate is greeted with caramel, vanilla cream and chocolate.

But as the porter dampens its sweeter and more malty flavors on the middle pallate, its chocolate turns to a more robust cocoa to meet the underlying coffee notes with an element of char and campfire. A late balance of chicory spice continues a drying trek for the ale while its broad and woodsy hops are soothed with mild vanilla softness on the late palate.

Full bodied but seeming to steer slightly more toward medium as the carbonation and full attenuation suggests something lighter, simpler and perhaps more drinkable. Eventually a taste of spent coffee grounds, cola and a stale nuttiness continues to show a weakening of the beer's character into a medium long aftertaste.

Aug 09, 2019
4.19 by khargro2 from Tennessee on Aug 09, 2019
Photo of Jeffo
3.08/5  rDev -24%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3
by Jeffo from Netherlands

Got this one from the Duvel guy in Utrecht

From a bottle into a snifter
Best Before 31 August 2019
Chocolate-Vanilla Oak Aged Imperial Porter
Silky smooth porter, aged on cacao nibs, fresh vanilla pods and French oak

APPEARANCE: Clear black pour yields a 1+ finger, loose, foamy, light tan head with okay retention. Head quickly crackles and fizzes down to a thin wisp with piles of bubbles decorating the top. Black body with lots of carbonation evident. Bubbles all over this one, which is usually a bad sign. Full wisp remains leaving no real lacing down the glass as it empties.

SMELL: Bolder aromas of oak, vanilla beans, cacao nibs, roasted aromas and coffee as well. Quite roasted and a decent dose of oak here. Enticing.

TASTE: Oak, woody flavors, some roasted character, with light hints of vanilla up front. Some more roasted flavors and a bit of solvent at the swallow, moving into a bolder and lingering finish of oak, hints of vanilla and cacao, some roasted flavors and bitter coffee, as well as a touch of paint solvent.

PALATE: Thinner body with higher levels of carbonation. Light, and definitely foamy and bubbly on the palate, goes down fine and finishes a bit mouth-coating.

OVERALL: This has lots of good stuff going for it, especially in the nose, but the overly carbonated body tells me something might have been off at bottling. This is confirmed by the faint but present solvent quality through the swallow into the aftertaste. These guys are always good times but every now and then a batch doesn’t quite work out the way it should. This time something probably went wrong at bottling. Still, a decent beer as it is but not something I’d go around recommending to people. Try one of their stellar Cellar Series beers instead. But if you’re in the Utrecht area, leave them at Duvel guy so I don’t get shut out. Thanks!

Jul 20, 2019
3.94 by westcoastbeerlvr from California on Apr 28, 2019
4.34 by stephenlee from England on Mar 25, 2019
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Lone_Freighter from Vermont

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a beautiful dark brown close to black color topped by a quickly dissolving off-white to eggshell white foamy head. Just a wisp of concave lace.
The aroma had a wonderful blend of milk chocolate to sweet oak spirals rolling into a light spicy woody note. Subtle vanilla sweetness mildly plays with some roast and coffee sweet notes. Touch of sweet nuts on the side.
The flavor took all of those prior mentioned aromas to blend together sweetly initially then developing a nice roasty to toasty character. Wonderful aftertaste of dark chocolate with a vanilla beany to dried oaky bark character.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied, perhaps a touch above with a fine sipping quality about it. Good carbonation and ABV. Definitely a dry oaky spicy finish with some vanilla bean and dark toast, slight dark chocolate too.
Overall, a very nice imperial porter well worthy of coming back to.

Mar 23, 2019
4.02 by BirdsandHops from Oregon on Mar 06, 2019
3.75 by Hayley_86 from Netherlands on Mar 05, 2019
4 by paulish from New York on Feb 27, 2019
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Thomas_Wikman from Texas

I thought this porter was very good as well as relatively easy drinking.

Look: dark brown / black with a very big fluffy mocca colored head.

Aroma: roasted malts, chocolate, maybe coffee

Flavor: Chocolate, lots of vanilla, some roasted malts, and maybe oak

Feel: silky, smooth, easy drinking

Jan 23, 2019
4.24 by Dentist666 from Russian Federation on Jan 08, 2019
4.1 by dpgoblejr from New Hampshire on Jan 01, 2019
Photo of rex_4539
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by rex_4539 from Greece

L: Very dark brown color, quarter finger brown head, messy lacing, no visible carbonation.

S: Chocolate, coffee, sweet.

T: Chocolate, vanilla, oak.

F: Medium bodied, plenty of flavor.

O: Good winter beer.

Dec 31, 2018
3.83 by Zazzi82 from Tennessee on Dec 30, 2018
Photo of rudzud
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by rudzud from Massachusetts

Picked up at Julio's and shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black with decent mocha head that fades to leave light lacing and a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of light vegetative vanilla, not much chocolate or barrel notes. Not overly acrid or metallic like the base.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with loads of sweeter vanilla. Tons of oak going on here as well, almost raw wood. Little bit of chocolate but it's super overpowered by everything else.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, creamy, alcohol hidden nicely.

O - Overall this was a very enjoyable imperial porter. The vanilla is nicely sweet too, but I suspect that used oak chips.

Serving Type: bottle

Dec 29, 2018
Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by jlindros from Massachusetts

THanks to rudzud
Big pillowy creamy almost 1 finger head fades at a med pace, nice retention, decent lacing, super pitch black beer

Nose starts with dark chocolate, chocolate milk, a little vegetal vanilla but not a ton, mild char and roasty burnt malts again, more pillowy marshamallowy nougat like, very light oak

Taste starts with lots of vanilla, sweet raw vanilla bean, then big oak, like raw oak chips, a bit of creamy luscious chocolate but not a ton, chocolate ganache, a little mild bitter roasted malt but not really acrid this time, a little cocoa dust and coffee grinds, dry finish, touch of perfumey alcohol not fusel

Mouth is med to a bit fuller bod, creamy lush, decent carb, a flash of alcohol

Overall not bad, much better than the porter, vanilla and oak is nice, but nose was lackluster, chocolate was not too strong either, but still nice for a beer from Estonia

Dec 29, 2018
3.92 by mig100 from Texas on Oct 22, 2018
4.21 by Beer-Ed from Netherlands on Sep 30, 2018
4.75 by atlbravsrno1 from New Hampshire on May 06, 2018
Jõuluöö from Põhjala Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 64 ratings