Perkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter
Heavyweight Brewing Co.

Perkuno's Hammer Imperial PorterPerkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter
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Porter - Baltic
4.31 | pDev: 9.74%
Heavyweight Brewing Co.
New Jersey, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Perkuno's Hammer Imperial PorterPerkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter
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Reviews: 280 | Ratings: 288 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq from New Hampshire

4.01/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from 2003.

Pours opaque black with a thin head of tan. Light char, bakers chocolate, and a hint of smoke in the nose. Medium bodied with a slickish, almost oily mouthfeel. Ashy, bitter chocolate with roasty malt on the palate. Finishes dry with lingering char, wet paper, and a faint tartness.

Jan 23, 2021
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A rare find many years ago on a dusty forgotten shelf. New Beer Distributors RIP (1968-2018)
The bottle was probably a few years old, as Heavyweight had been closed already for some time.

Brownish black body, oxidized malt, tobacco and raisin aroma. Molasses and coffee, tobacco leaf flavors.
The bottle was long in the tooth and had lost some carbonation. A rich and hearty beer, once a legendary classic.

Dec 27, 2018
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kmcnair from California

4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle provided by BeerBeing.

Pours an opaque black and makes a thin tanned head.

Aromas are strong of dark roasted malts, caramelized dark fruits -- namely cherries and dates. Some liquorice too.

Huge complex flavor, sweet balanced caramel, toasty malts and very bitter chocolate, sour twang and some cherry notes. Not sure if the sourness is intended, but it is quite enjoyable.

Full bodied, medium carbonation.

Very tasty beer, shame to see this one fade away as Heavyweight will soon be no more.

Aug 15, 2006
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macster from Florida

4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly thick and oily looking black color with some ruby red highlights along the perimeter. A decent dense tan head is noticed initially, but fades to a thin coating quickly. Some minimal spotty lacing. Sweet, sugary aromas of cocoa and vanilla cream noted on first sniff with some notes of roasted malt, dark rum soaked fruit cake, and French roasted coffee beans also making an appearance. Mouthfeel was moderately thick, full and creamy with a nice restrained carbonation. Full, upfront flavors of dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and vanilla bean, mocha and caramel candy are all balanced nicely. Finishes with a subtle appearance of hop/charred malt bitterness. Alcohol is quite subdued. An admirable rendition of a Baltic Porter.

Aug 13, 2006
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rayjay from Hawaii

4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another bottle from the Philly road trip (not by me), sadly this brewery has shut it's doors and the last few beers remain on the shelves. A shame, I used to love to drink Heavyweight beers before I moved to CA; they were often the highlight of the now famous Jim Anderson's Split Thy Skull fest at Sugar Mom's. No freshness date.

This one is smooth and creamy. Very sweet and rich. Delicious flavor, like a dessert in a bottle. Carbonation is light and it has a pretty sticky feel to it. Flavoring hops are there on the tongue but no detectable bittering hops in the aftertaste, just roasted sweet malt. Rich sweet chocolate, expresso, sticky tobacco, dark rum with molases, gingerbread, sweet lactose. The malts really make this beer special. Well hidden alcohol. Very drinkable and gone in a flash.

Also that porter "thing" going on that you can smell and taste; it kind of reminds me of a homebrewed imperial stout (imperfect, but somehow top quality). Hard to describe, but at least I know what I mean.

Don't buy this beer!!! This leaves more for me if I can make it back to Philly ;-)

Aug 11, 2006
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errantnight from District of Columbia

4.67/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a treat... and what sadness that we're basking in the waning light of Heavyweight's beers... particularly since some of us (me) haven't discovered their brews until quite recently.

The hammer pours viscous inky black with a wispy-thin head that's gone almost as soon as it arrives, leaving little lacing on its way down.

Smells of rich, spicy, peppery malt. French Roast coffee. Yum.

Taste is lively and just as rich, spicy, and peppery as the smell. The coffee is there. Hints of dark chocolate. There's a distinct alcoholic warmth to the proceedings, but never hints of the alcohol, even as it warms. There's a tobacco-y sourness just around the edges. There's never a predominant note that overpowers the rest, just an intoxicating swirl. Really hits its stride sometime in the middle, after some warmth from fridge temp, but before room temp. I love this beer.

Served with some porter cheddar, a heavenly dessert. The tangy creaminess of the cheese both highlights and smooths out the more aggressive tones here.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth, although not as heavy as some imperial stouts, more like a dry irish stout in body, with (much) less carbonation. A great winter or late evening beer.

I rate the drinkability quite high for never breaking down to highlight alcohol, and because I love the spicy/tangy/tobacco notes. These same attributes may make for a delightfully tasting but less eminently drinkable beer for others. In any event, this definitely categorizes as "go find it, NOW, before it's gone" beer, and grab enough to toss in the cellar. This baby'll be drinking for some time to come.

Aug 03, 2006
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wcudwight from North Carolina

4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to enola for sharing some of his bounty from his trade with HimerMan.
Pour is black. No light gets through, but does show some ruby hues when held up to the light. The head disappoints a little with it's lack of volumn and retention.
The smell is of chocolate milk or coffee with lot's of cream. That description doesn't do it a lot of justice though. I kept swirlling it and whiffing for a good while. It's a marvalous smelling beer.
The taste is sweet creamy coffee with a very rich dark chocolate finish. The alcohol starts to show in the flavor as the beer warms, but overall it's well hidden.
Feels smooth and creamy in the mouth.
This is just a sipper for me, but a very good one.
It kind of reminds me of a very big and complex milk stout.

Aug 03, 2006
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Enola from North Carolina

4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to HimerMan for the bottle.

This beer poured a very dark brown with little head. The smell was the high point for me with this beer. It smelled like a gourmet coffee shop. The taste was very malty. The ABV showed its face a little in this brew. There were some hints of chocolate in there as well. The beer goes down smooth. A good beer. Too bad the brewer is shutting down. Makes you wonder why when they are capable of qaulity beers such as this.

Aug 03, 2006
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swhitt from Texas

4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up this at the Wine Gallery Kenmore in a transfer from the Brookline store. This is from their last bit of Heavyweight stuff. I'm really really really sad that they aren't making this anymore as it is one of the best porters that I have ever tried.

I poured this into a snifter and it was deliciously dark, almost opaque. There was little to no head, but what was left is dark brown and wispy but temporary. The smell is first of alcohol but second of smokey malted tobacco and chocolate.

This is one of the most balanced imperial porters or stouts that I have ever had. It's simply divine - it has the punch at the beginning but by the end it left a nice aftertaste.

I'd write more but I think I'm going to go have another.

Jul 28, 2006
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smurphy77 from Pennsylvania

4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great example of the style. Wonderful complexity of caramel, roasted malt, toffee, coffee and dark chocolate.

Medium-bodied with just enough stickiness to pause on the tongue without stalling out.

Pours a dark brown color with virtually no head and very little carbonation.

This beer could be a best in class.

Jul 26, 2006
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51mmz0rz from New Jersey

4.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 0.5L Duvel tulip.

A: Not too much head, loose fluffy and tan. Body is totally black, as it should be. Not much lacing.

S: Intense roasty malts, chocolate and coffee. Toast, but with a slight complex sweetness. Sweetness becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

T: Hit first by a slight sweetness followed closely by burnt malts, followed by more complex sweetness. Burt malt bitterness lingers, and the coffee and chocolate comes through. There is also some residual sweetness. The alcohol is well hidden in this for sure.

M: Fills the mouth nicely, slightly creamy.

D: Just awesome. The burnt malts linger just the way I want them too. Just watch the abv on this, because it's so sneaky.

A very delicious and complex beer. This is the first time I've had it, and it's an instant favorite. I'm sad they have to stop brewing...

Jul 25, 2006
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my friend Dan for bringing me a 6 pack.

Pours a hazy brown/red, opaque, thick tan head, lots of nice lace, and great retention. Smell is sweet, toffee, chocolate, cherry, some anise, real nice. Taste is coffee and chocolate up front, cherries, some toffee. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Real nice baltic, too bad this is the last 6 pack I'll ever have.

Jul 23, 2006
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Liquids from Connecticut

3.53/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Say imperial porter, and I think "Gonzo!"
Pours a black, two finger, creamy, tan colored head. Yeast in the bottom of the bottle which is always a delight, and I drink it separately. Aromas....I smell...German!?..Schwarzbier? Some malt aromas undernearth this, and slight grass, but what the? Odd for a Porter...

...Oh--maybe this is Baltic? I check the label, and yes, despite the front of the bottle saying "Imperial Porter" (I'm thinking english style or at most, americanized) the fine print indicates that it's a baltic-style porter. It also indicates that it's a lager, and uses german hops. While my nose was correct, my impression from the name was not. What are the "roman beans" this recpie allegedly uses? Hmm. I didn't know a baltic porter is so close to a schwarzbier... again, I may be wrong.

Taste is, again, nearly a schwarzbier. Distinctly a lager, and no noticable charred or bitter malt characteristics. I like the schwarzbier style. It tends to be smooth, with a bit less intensity than a porter. This version seems to lack the "midrange" if you will, and I can taste that--like the fine print says--it's focused on pale malts and chocolate malts, making for a "high-fi" brew, if you will. Definitely german in style by taste and hops, hard to see the comparisons to imperial stouts except in color and alcohol. Strong alcohol flavor, and now I see that it's 8% according to the bottle. Uh oh.

Mouthfeel is lighter on carbonation in a good way (not noticable and bubbly or painful, but not at all flat), and medium to full on the tounge. But drinkability wise, the alcohol lingers too long, the name is somewhat misleading, and overall, the taste is nothing too amazing considering the actual style. This is no porter as expected....A fair taste by itself (without a comparitive) but too much alcohol burn for one. I admit it, I'd actually rather a Sam Adams Black Lager. It's not that it's bad, it's just that it's nowheres near as earth shattering as I expected from these reviews. I'm breaking with the expectations and raves here, and think that it's a solid, good, but not a "great" beer. Nevertheless, it's sad to see this brewery go down.

Jul 20, 2006
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Metalmonk from North Carolina

4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to BA jabocu for the trade.

A greasy, oily black substance poured from the bottle, and it was followed by some rapid bubble activity. Unfortunately the head didn't last long at all (what was there was a dark tan/light brown foam).

The expected chocolate/coffee robustness is present in the aroma, but there's also something happening that's lighter, sweeter...fruitier, even. I'm ready...

The flavors remind of chocolate yogurt, cherries soaked in espresso, and toffee-flavored coffee ice cream. A nutty element works its way in too. Whole lot of complexity here, each facet combining to create a perfectly balanced and well-focused porter.

The mouthfeel only helps the flavors along. Creamy, perfectly round, somewhat thick without unwanted heaviness.

Heavyweight is no more??? Damn, I just got turned onto this brewery... It's not fair!!! This is top-notch stuff.

Jul 08, 2006
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DrJay from Texas

4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear and very dark brown with bright chestnut/ruby highlights. The mocha head was composed of fine bubbles, which settled quickly to a ring and produced a bit of short-lived, clumpy lace. Rich malt aroma, mostly dark chocolate with some burnt character and ripe fruit. The flavour starts with plenty of malt combined with some fruit. By the mid, there's increasing roasted malt and mild hop flavour. Bitterness intensifies slight towards the end. Finishes with a bit of sourness and light plum, along with warming alcohol. Full bodied with fine, well-integrated carbonation that produces a silky texture. Lightly drying as well. This is a real gem. I'm glad I have another bottle, but I'll probably head out tomorrow to find some more.

Jul 08, 2006
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EPseja from New Jersey

4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Since I couldn't make it to Andy's Corner Bar farewell to Heavyweight tonight, the least I could do is rate a Heavyweight beer. Thanks to Yelterdow for supplying me with this bottle.

Served from a 12oz. bottle at just under cellar temperature in my trusty Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a maple-syrup viscous deep dark caramel color into my glass. A half-inch, micro-bubbled head rises out of nowhere and disappears within a minute into a thin veil. An island of craggy bubbles hugs the rim of the glass. A quick swirl brings the head back into play for another minute... Lacing is decent, legs are big and thick.

S - Espresso chip sugar cookies. Hot Raisinets covered in toffee. French-pressed coffee dregs. Black cherries baked on a cocoa-covered oak plank. Vanilla bean dust. The moist, warm remains found in the freshly emptied bowl of Uncle Joe's pipe. Lots going on here. Very complex and inviting. Evokes thoughts of autumn.

T - Starts with a medium bodied heavily-roasted malt sweetness that morphs into dark, bittersweet chocolate. Not much smoky flavor here... In the middle it develops an interesting coffee-yogurt tartness before allowing the hops to add their dose of bitter to the back of the throat. The finish is warm and glowing. The aftertaste is quite dry and dessert like without being cloying.

M - Rolling and think entering the mouth. After a few chews, it rises to a hearty, mouthfilling wave. Carbonation is completely in check. Swallow is viscous and coating. Very nice indeed.

D - This is one delicious beer. Lots of character without being overly sweet or one-sided. Excellent as a nightcap. Yum.

Jun 29, 2006
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nlmartin from Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet.

Appearance: The beer is colored dead black. The head was a burnt tan coloration. The beer left major maps of lacing on my glass.

Smell: This beer has a very complex and pleasing smell. The beer has a great combonation of burnt dark espresso, chocolatey, vanilla, oakeyness, berries, anise, spicy alcohol, pine, citus and general porter goodness.

Taste: The beer delivers on the smell big time! The beer has a chared nearing burnt dark roasted espresso flavors. This is complimented by powdery dark semi sweet chocolate. The beer has a maltyness dam near malted milk balls. The beer has a sea of spicy and complimentary flavors. The beer is plenty hoppy. The beer has great piney resin and citrus hoppyness. This beer is just a fantastic beer treat.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied. The beer has a spicy alcohol that demands you "Respect my authority!" This is just a beer treat by any measure I use. I am glad I had an opportunity to sample this beer. If you see make sure you drink it. It is a dam shame Heavyweight is going away. Hopefully the brewers will move on to other brewing endevours.

Jun 25, 2006
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laintringulis from Ohio

4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours into a wide mouth goblet with a dark black/brown color with large frothy tan head with significant lacing. Looks great!
It has a strong espresso coffee smell with vanilla, and an oaky bourbon smell. This beer taste much better than the smell. Very complex. It has a smoky, charbroiled, espresso taste (like expensive Vietnamese coffee), slight bitter, very malty and creamy with a spicy alcohol backtaste. Full bodied, tastes great, excellent chewiness to the mouthfeel. Dangerously drinkable.

Jun 25, 2006
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ggaughan from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tria in Philly a week back. The beer was served in a pint glass and had a deep chocolately brown body with a thick tan head that ran away rather quickly. The aroma is of roasted malts, a bit chocoately and nutty. Very nice. The taste is equally enjoyable on the palate. Although this is a full bodied beer, it is smooth to drink with the tasted of toasted malts, a bit of fruit sweetness and a bit of nuts. A sold beer, despite the full body and high ABV.

Jun 19, 2006
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Golden2wenty1 from Wisconsin

4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A bajillion thanks to Autumnaldave for randomly checking my outdated Wants and Gots and bringing me a bottle third hand when we had a little gathering at Maduro and the Dane a few weeks ago.

Pour is midnight black with a few mm's of dark chocolate head that succombs to the 'Hammer in a few seconds. Nose is a robust concoction bringing in notes of smoke, dark fruit, licorice, dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Taste somehow one-ups the nose, slamming the tongue with charred coffee grounds, dark chocolate-covered berries, smoked jerky, vanilla-biscuit and fuming booze - a crushing blow to the palate. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy; thick, but still smooth. Still...this is probably a one and done for me, just too rich and intense for any more. Has a lot in common with Bell's Expedition Stout, but much more complex and much more nuanced and refined. An outstanding impy porter, breaks my heart to hear the brewery is going under. Another huge thanks to Illinois Dave for hooking my newbie ass up.

Jun 15, 2006
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Westsidethreat from California

4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep murky dark chocolate brown. Dark beige rapidly depleting head is simply a now distant memory.

S: Lots of chocolate and black patent malt. Touch of yogurt on the high notes.

T: Immediate soft sourness blends wonderfully to a mild vanilla milky sweetness. From there the slight coffee roasted flavors emerge...but not dominate...compliment the current subtle sweet flavors. Aftertaste has a touch of licorice, toffee and slight hop/ginger bitterness

M: Thick and oily.

D: I really liked this beer. Too bad its retired and the brewery is closing :(

Jun 14, 2006
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BigDaddyWil from Michigan

4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter glass.
No freshness date.

Let me start by saying that this is one kick ass porter! Pours super dark black in color. A nice half inch light tan colored head forms. Fades quickly, leaving a thin tan line around the glass. Very little lacing is left behind. BIG aromas, I mean big aromas! First, you're hit with a strong blast of sweet dark fruits, like figs, prunes and raisins. Second, big roasted malts, with a hint of alcohol. Last, dark chocolate and burnt coffee. Taste is damn near the same. Lots of roasted malt upfront, next some sweetness, combined with some alcohol. Finishes, slightly bitter and leaves a fantastic chocolate and coffee aftertaste. I really wish I had more of this beer. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and fullbodied. I could drink this all night! My first offering from Heavyweight and might be my last if they are closing down. God, I hope not! One of the best beers I've had in a while, a must try!

Jun 13, 2006
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WanderingFool from Massachusetts

3.57/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Perkuno's Hammer pours black into the glass. A small coffee colored frothy thick head forms on top of the beer. The foam dissolves slowly leaving behind some clumps of lace on the glass. The aroma is a strong roasted malt with some cherry and nutty notes mixed in.

This full bodied beer is very smooth. The rich roasted malt flavor is much like the aroma with notes of nuts and cherry's mixed in. It finishes somewhat sour leaving behind some of the cherry flavor.

I thought this was a descent beer, but the sour flavor was a bit much. Definitely a sipping beer.

Jun 12, 2006
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I find it quite odd that I've never reviewed this beer. It's one of my favorite beers in the world. I keep 3 beers in my fridge at all times - Perkuno's Hammer, Yards ESA, and Flying Fish Abbey Dubble - but it's the hammer that satisfies me the most. And I only need one. It's rich and satiating. I can enjoy it slowly. But it's got strength behind it too. Other beers sometimes leave me wanting more, or something else, but never the hammer. And now it's going away :( Of course it does age well, so maybe I can scrounge up enough cash to grab an extra case for the basement before it's gone.

Light treacle, fruit (raisins, dates, fig), coffee, cocoa, milk chocolate, toffee, seared sugar. Complex but focused. Excellent!

Jun 10, 2006
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bjohnson from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a blackout dinner with a half finger caramel colored head that dissipates quickly, but hugs the sides of the glass well.
S: Aromas of burnt and roasted malts. Caramel and chocolate are also noticeable. All in all very light smelling, but there are distinct smells.
T & M: Tastes of dark fruit hit the palate first. Burnt smokeyness and coffee in there also, but its hard to decipher the flavors--some woodyesque flavors. Sweet chocolatelike ending that leaves a dry bitterness in the mouth. Good overall mouthfeel. Slight chocolatemilk coating feel in the mouth and aftertaste at the back of the throat. Very smooth and easy drinking.
D: Definately a drinkable beer. abv is slightly noticeable in the taste, but all in all, the abv is masked. Definately a good winter drinking impy porter. Would have it again, but fear that it's not going to be available as heavyweight recently went out of business.

Jun 09, 2006
Perkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter from Heavyweight Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 288 ratings