Perkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter | Heavyweight Brewing Co.

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Perkuno's Hammer Imperial PorterPerkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter
286 Ratings
Perkuno's Hammer Imperial PorterPerkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter

Brewed by:
Heavyweight Brewing Co.
New Jersey, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 10-24-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 286 |  Reviews: 278
Photo of waldowin
2.56/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown, that turns to a milky blackness, no light gets through the glass. Has a light brown head that fades quickly into nothingness. No lacing visible.

Smells of sweet molasses, milk, and plums.

Tastes of plums, malted milk, and a sour milk finish that is somewhat off-putting. Somewhat disappointing, considering what a fan of Okocim I am.

Mouthfeel is full, silky and smooth, cut nicely by the carbonation.

Unfortunately, I was unable to finish the bottle. Maybe some day when I've developed a taste for the style I can try this again, and appreciate it better.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
2.7/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle

Pours a rich black color with a mocha head that stays. Nice lacing on the glass.

A very distinct sweetness in the aroma with a nice rich roasted grain smell.

A bit of raostedness up front followed by an unpleasant "tangy-ness". It's both sweet and sour at the same time and it makes my mouth pucker. It finishes roasty and sweet.

Average body.

I wanted to like this beer, but I just do not. I am having a hard time finishing one.

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Photo of Hautacam
2.86/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black with a tan head that drops quickly to a collar.
Smells like roasted malts, kind of winey and alcoholic.
Heavy roasted malt flavor ..some port wine..semi sweet..with a sour, slightly metallic taste at the end. Somehow , the flavors just don't meld well for my palate.
Mouthfeel is about medium...expected it to be heavier...low carbonation...very smooth.
Not too drinkable.One will do.
Not too crazy about this one.
I love just about everything else Heavyweight makes...kind of disappointing.

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Photo of TXHops
3/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A weird beer. Not a weird style, but a weird beer: oddly contradictory... I found the Hammer (which has, possibly the worst label art I've ever seen on a commercially-available bottle of beer) to be a strange mix of long, lingering bitter burnt flavors and quick, effervescent dryness. The aroma is that of many sweet stouts--roasty, but not overwhelming--actually quite subtle, belying the use of lager yeast in primary fermentation. The look of the beer is weak at first--the large bubbled, quickly-dissipating head sits uneasily atop the DEEP black body. Then a thick crown of rich, brown foam percolates up from the onyx body and forms a persistent collar of lasting head. The medium-heavy body performs the same type of schizophrenic dance--first sprightly-dry and prickly in the sharply-carbonated body, then smooth and lingeringly semi-sweet and roasty in the earthy, long, not-too-hoppy finish. There's also an inexplicable saltiness that’s strangely persistent--appearing and reappearing in various sips.

I liked this beer--it took some thinking about to drink. I also really liked the fact that the 8.3% ABV was hardly noticeable.

May 2003--re-review. OK, I sat on this beer for 6 months and then tried it again. The score did not go up. It tastes exactly as I remembered it: odd. The strangeness that I couldn't quite put my finger on back then I'll describe now as an astringent tartness that tastes oddly citric, but not fruity--like a zinc pill perhaps. There's also a very intense oily-coconut flavor that I couldn't peg in the initial tasting that is equally unusual. The yeast in this beer sure contributes to the flavor profile. Like last time, I found this beer way more interesting than good. Very complex, but not very enjoyable. Weird beer...

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.03/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

Thick opaque brown with very nice dark tan head (tiny bubbles). Had doesn't linger long, and no appearent lacing.

Smells of deep caramel malts with strong alcohol esters. Very sweet, roasted malts taste with deep warming alcohol character. Too much alcohol if you ask me, but upon reflection the the intensity of the maltiness may warrent the alcohol. Not sure of the freshness of the bottle. I may have to trek to the brewery to find out.

Extremely full bodied with creamy mouthfeels. The intensity does not make it very drinkable.

Notes: I enjoy this one about 8 oz at a time. By the end of the 12 oz bottle I'm disliking it. I'm thinking it's the alcohol, perhaps the combo of strong sweet and smokiness along with alcohol that turns me off after a while. This is intense as I've had of any beer.

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Photo of jslot38
3.15/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: This one just overflowed from the bottle, all over my pants and everything. Luckily I salvaged a good portion of this baltic porter. Anyways, it pour, or spewed a dark brown towards black, completely nontransparent. Tan head, leveled down to a top covering with some slight orange tints.

Smell: Dark malts, chocolate, roasted coffee beans, touches of toffee.

Taste: Interesting sourness for a stout. Diacetycal, buttery toffeeness, touches of caramel. But, the tartness that hits you up front just really takes away from this beer.

Mouthfeel: Very low level of carbonation, goes down easily, seems a little off for such a low level of carbonation and tartness.

Drinkability & Notes: I looked forward to this beer with some great anticipation, but it just tasted off and green. I don't know, I'd be certainly willing to try it again, but reviewing the beer in front of me.

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Photo of jackndan
3.23/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Perkuno’s Hammer Imperial Porter: I’ve never heard of an Imperial Porter. The label makes reference to a Baltic Porter style brew, and that makes more sense. Great looking beer, very dark, and no light will penetrate this brew. The head is remarkable: tawny brown, thick and creamy with tremendous staying power. Clearly this is a bottle conditioned beer, as there are flecks of yeast on/in the head. The aroma is strong, coffee and chocolate. Extremely sweet tasting brew, expansive sweet and roasted malt profile, with an almost honey sweet aftertaste. There are also definite hints of yeast as well, giving this beer an understated banana flavor as well. Nicely made, but not really my cup of tea.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.29/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Finally getting around to rating that one! It pours quite dark, close to black. The thin light brown head quickly laves completely though. Aroma is rich with malts boasting plenty of caramel and chocolate. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had used molasses in fact. Firm roastiness, a bit of vegetal tones, cane sugar and rum hints. I don’t know how well the flavors were melting together, but it made for a nice change of pace after a few underwhelming porters. Surprisingly enough, it had more acidity than I expected in mouth, coke-ish with soy sauce notes. Greenish hoppiness stays nicely in the back. Earthy, chocolatey and still well roasted, but I’ve trouble dealing with roasted-sour combos. Quite creamy texture, fudge reminiscent, moderately carbonated. Okay stuff, I certainly expected more with the general quality of Heavyweight beers I’ve had and the fact that this is one of their most highly regarded brews. Seems to be in the global tendency to overappreciate dark and bold stuff.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Perkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter by Heavyweight is a highy touted beer so I couln't wait to drink this.

The "Hammer" poured a pitch black. I held it up to my lamp and no light penetrated it! It had a nice frothy brown head with a nice roasted coffee aroma.
Perkuno has a very burnt coffee taste that is very sweet. Too burnt for me. The "Hammer" has a nice smooth feel on the tongue with a sweet coffebean aftertaste.

Perkuno's Hammer wasn't as tasty as I thought it was going to be. I just don't like the burnt taste certain beers offer. Sorry, not a fan of this Imperial Porter

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Photo of Naes
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours out black with a small tan head.
Its aroma is malty and chocolaty.
The flavor is quite roasty with bits of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit (raisin).
Mouth feel is full bodied, lightly carbonated and the alcohol is hidden well,
This is definitly a quality beer, but it is not my first choice.

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Photo of sacfly
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours very dark with ruby reddish highlights. Thick, brown head with strong small and medium sized bubbles. Sweet, malty smell; sweet malty taste. High alcohol content is well hidden. Just a slight hint of roasted grain, coffee flavor. Somewhat earthy. Somewhat boring. The boredom lasts the entire glass. I started reading the bottle and it says that this is brewed with beans. That may be what is giving it an earthy tone... I’ve got to say, after drinking the Okocim porter the day before, this one just did not stand up. Not bad by any means, but not something I would choose on a regular basis. Especially if Okocim is around.

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Photo of CSimon
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I wanted to like this beer more. I like the idea of an Imperial Porter, and there aren't a ton of them out there. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I had hoped. Good. Not great.

Pour: A decent 1/4 inch head former at the top of the 12 oz goblet. No brussels lace. After the head settled, it's appearance deteriorated a little. It settled into a pallid, stale look. Dark, but I could still see through it at the sides of the glass, so it wasn't as black as some of the darkest American stouts and porters.

Smell: Coffee domintaes. Surprisingly, some fruit, too. Banana, if you can believe it.

Taste: Sweet, strong cappucino. Some chocolate and malt, too. And, again, banana! And I imagining that? I'm getting lots of banana with the coffee and chocolate. Some vanilla and spice, too. But, ultimately, the flavors fall a little flat. Good, but lacking the backbone to make it great.

Mouthfeel: Somehwat creamy, but should be creamier. You want it to be like mud, but it's not.

In sum: a tasty beer that doesn't reach the heights it could.

Caveat: I reviewed this beer right after a 2003 Bigfoot. It's tough to stand up to those extreme flavors, so perhaps I need to review it again. However, I have ahd this beer a few times before, and it has never blown me away.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of Mitchster
3.52/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Brewed with Munich and English chocolate malts, German hops, Roman beans and ale yeast. 8.0% ABV.

Pours out to a very dark, nearly black, forming a dense dark cinnamon colored head with very good retention and average lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is enticing, redolent with notes of black walnut, wisps of dry alcohol, lactose, cardomon. Mouthfeel is oily with a dense body. Taste starts with abrupt sourness, followed by thick coffee, sharply roasted grains, alcohol, a wierd off-metallic sensation like biting into a piece of aluminum foil or sucking on oxidized pennies, sans the metallic taste. Bitterness is mild and herbaceous, green and leafy.

An interesting brew, but unfortunately smells better than it tastes. The sourness and herbacious twang limits its drinkability and 1/2 a bottle is plenty for me. Thanx to Mike for letting me sample this.

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Photo of Liquids
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

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Photo of lou91
3.56/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I’ve had this several times and it has never really impressed me but I’ve never stopped and determined why. It looks great on the pour. It also smells like bitter chocolate and cheap coffee, which is ok. The taste is rich, chocolate yet bitter which is not ok imo. Fans of bitter chocolate may appreciate this more but it lacks a body and balance that is present in top chocolate beers.

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Photo of allboutbierge
3.56/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Unfortunately, this was completely flat. I dont know if it was a blown line, first pour, or misadjusted pressure but for some reason it came out like syrup at D's the past wednesday night (5/20).

Color is much like an oily colored syrup with no head ontop. Flavor is brutal and really beats up the taste buds. Flavors of bitter chocolate, maple sweetness, and alcohol show up, mostly blocking a weak background of coffee-like flavors. Mouthfeel was heavy, thick, and syrup-like due to lack of carbonation. It sat so heavy in the stomach that I really had no desire for another considering my other options.

It can be assumed that was a screw up in the tap. But, even if there wasn't I feel that this review reflects my feelings quite well--especially so when I say that this beer is for imperial stout lovers only. Anyone else would have trouble getting past the first couple ounces. Its good, but like Arrogant Bastard, not for the weak hearted.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.57/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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Photo of ZAP
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What an awesome looking beer...every bit the Imperial...Black as can be and a wonderful creamy tan/brown head on top...Nose is very interesting, and inviting...chocloate malts, dark fruits like plums, and a slight wiff of molasses...Body is thick and hearty but creamy smooth....a lot of unrped dark fruit at first and then a hit of molasses on the buds...very yeasty and tad bit sour on the finish which I could do without...reminds me a little of some of the Bell's yeasty sour finish they have with some of their beers....none-the less a real fine beer that just doesn't fit my "perfect"flavor profile...

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Photo of Naerhu
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to RobBeer for bringing this to Japan for me.

A - Midlnight black body with a small head and no lacing.
S - A vinous cacao aroma with notes of wood
T - Slightly vinous, medium bitterness. Earthy roasted maltyness. I expected more sweetness for a baltic porter. This is more stout-like that baltic porter.
M - Thick body, light carbonation.
D - A bit heavy and lacking in sweetness. Enjoyable, I would like to have again served at colder temperature.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

sampled as part of 'heavyweight night' at moan and dove

dark dark dark appearance with a thin tan foam. this beer is wholly impenetrable by light. aroma is bubblegum and mocha, a strange enough combination but seriously appetizing. tart but strong in the nose. taste is bitter, unsweetened coffee with dark berry notes and very nutty in the aftertaste. not the ideal beer for a cask, but still showed a unique character.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
3.64/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up in a 4 pack at wholefoods in vienna, va. Poured into a DT glass. Very dark, almost black. Dark tan head. Aroma is very odd, almost unpleasant. I can't place it but something just does not smell very good. Taste however is a different story. Bakers chocolate, coffee, a touch of wine perhaps and a very creamy mouthfeel all layer together very nicely. Warming alcohol finish. A nicely done example of a neglected style, except the smell. Something very odd there.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A powerful sour acid, evidently from romano beans that subtracted from stoutlike characteristics of roast, herbal hops, anise,some chocolate malt, molasses. With undated bottle, who knows? Thanks for the sample, lubiere. Watch for the alcohol creeping up on you.

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Photo of Franchise
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured hard leaving a cascading body that has a small tan head. The body is very dark almost black, the aroma is sweet, candied plum, apricot, and an anise backdrop followed by fig sweetness. The taste starts sweet with a distinct fig syrupy reduction in the forefront. There is a minimal hop presence but dominated with fig and a candied sugar finish. Overall this is a decent beer, I paired this beer with Tekka Maki sushi. The sweetness in the beer really paired well with the saltiness in the soy sauce and delicate tuna flavor in the fish.

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Photo of cooter
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Some caveats: this beer was harmed by long shelftime, accidental freezing, and some accidental water drops in the chalice. But it retains its good looks anyway, looking positively dashing, in that dark, handsome way it does in an Ommegang goblet. Zero visibility through pure black body. Earthy brown head, reduced from piled bubbles upon pouring to a miniscus and thin wisps across the top.

Smells of nuts and orange peel and black chocolate espresso. Low carbonation but excellent mouthfeel, very pleasant and smooth, not syrupy or cloying in the slightest. Alcohol in the taste, some oversweetness too. Good roasted flavors, like a good burger (not a steak). Tastes slightly even of the iron/blood you get on a good, rare burger. Beginning to worry that the freezing affected it more than it should--this is not outstanding, but isn't a quality of a Baltic porter that it should stand up to heat drought?

By now it's rather biting and half-hearted. I can see the porter elements--roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, low carbonation--and I can see the imperial qualities--alcohol, powerful malt and hops both--but I don't see any serious synergy, nor a complexity or depth of flavor that I expect. I suspect it's the freeze. My bad...but the review goes on.

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Perkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter from Heavyweight Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 286 ratings