Raven Mad Imperial Porter | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

81 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Raven Mad Imperial PorterRaven Mad Imperial Porter

Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Oregon, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
70 IBU

Released Fall 2008.

Added by ccrida on 10-30-2008

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 147
Photo of harrymel
1.64/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Vintage 2011: 50% aged in Whiskey barrels; 50% aged on oak Pours a brown ale with some fleeting light tan foam leaving a solid sheet of the same. No lace. Smells of oak, cigarette smoke, ash, stale popcorn and some coffee grounds. Not impressive smell. Flavor is ashy and has some bitterness as well as some oak flavor mingling with banana esters. Medium bodied with low carb and a semi dry finish. This beer was a total miss for me. Not good at all. 3/1.5/1.5/2//1.5

 467 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
1.64/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Wiseman Justin Reporting:

Appearance: It's as black as a beer is going to get. Held to extreme angles against bright light you see a very dark brown. Conclusion: Opaque as shit. Head is very fine and dissipates quickly. Light tan; could be better. I'd say 4.25 but whatever right? If you swirl it like a glass of wine the head becomes darker and thicker.

Smell: I smell something really "unique." It reminds me of when I would have to help my parents change my siblings diapers. Not a used diaper, but the "new" diaper smell. I get no chocolate, coffee, or anything you would normally find in a porter. I would like to emphasize anything. This smells nothing like a porter. I can't name anything else in this smell. Smell 2.5

Taste: This beer is terrible. It taste like I drank highlighters or something else extremely chemical. It's awful. Taste: 1.0

Mouthfeel: I want to pour the rest of the beer down the sink due to how bad it taste. But I fight on for beeradvocate. If you ignore the taste that reminds me of something I'd drink in hell... it's 'mouthfeel' isn't all that bad I guess. Unless by "mouthfeel" you mean how it makes my mouth...feel (It makes me wish I'd never found beer)

Drinkability: This is a beer that I would give to minors to teach them that underage drinking is bad. This beer does not taste skunked it's much worse than that. I hope that I have a bad beer and if this beer was skunked then I'll re-review it.

I notice my reviews are much different than other people. Until I verify this with a second beer I would assume that I had gotten a terribly skunked beer. This beer as it stands now is one of the few beers that I want to pour down the sink

 1,681 characters

Photo of iD9
2.33/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served in a straight pint glass.

Appearance: Dark, you cannot see through this beer. Chestnut browns are evident on the very rim of the glass. Upon pouring a fuzzy, off-white head forms. The tannish foam dissipates rather quickly and the lacing doesn't adhere to the edges of the glass very well. I'm sharing this bottle with Wiseman Justin. His looks much much better than mine.

Smell: It has a spicy smell to it. Perhaps hints of licorice? Slightly stringent smell. This does not smell like a porter to me.

Taste: Ok, I think this beer is bad. Perhaps not the actual recipe itself but the bottle must have been left out in the sun. Much like the smell, the taste has a stringent quality to it. I don't get any of the typical chocolatey, roasty, malty flavors of a good porter from it. There is a slight bitterness on the back that may be from the hops or just my imagination. I don't know.

Mouthfeel: A fairly light body for a porter. It is relatively insubstantial. Not the worst mouthfeel in a beer I've had by far but weak in comparison with other porters.

Drinkablility: Again, as with the other categories this beer must be bad. I have no desire to continue drinking it and I hope this is due to poor storage since I love many of Bridgeport's products. Quiet simply put the combination of stringent smell, caustic taste and lack luster mouthfeel make this particular bottle undesirable.

 1,398 characters

Photo of homebrew311
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well this is possible one of the cheapest barrel aged brews I've come across, @ 2.99 for a bomber, I couldn't resist trying it out. The pour is slightly thin for the style, minimal head forms, just a thin collar remains. Some spotty lacing. The aroma features some mellow cocoa along with light vanilla accents. Not really picking up much in the way of oak. The taste starts the way the beer smells...mellow vanilla and cocoa. There isn't much depth. Things take a turn to the sweet and sloppy with some unpleasant astringency. For a relatively light imperial porter, this tastes somewhat harsh. The mouthfeel is thin and prickly. Well the age old saying of "you get what you paid for" applies in this case. While its not bad or offensive by any means, this beer is not well balanced and the barrel aging seems barely present. I often cringe when I plunk down big bucks for the high rated bourbon stouts, but I must say that the extra dollars show up in this quality. I wouldn't buy this again, even at its low price.

 1,017 characters

Photo of eclipse54
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Happy hour tap at The Front Door, served in a 16 oz. mug. Live review.

Black body with tan/light brown head. Good retention, and plenty of lacing. There's a separate ring of foam on the glass for each sip I've had.

Smells of chocolate, light sugar, fresh fruits, and a tinge of caramel. Not really much roast, and a lot sweeter than expected.

Tastes accentuates the fruits and sugars, with candy apple and perhaps coconut showing up. Chocolate, cane sugar, and light caramel finish it off.

Carbonation is fine, but it finishes extremely dry and sticky. Sugary coating left on the palate.

Overall, a strange imperial porter. Very sweet for the style, and a bit brutal in texture and finish.

 695 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.17/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Black with a half finger of tan head.

Pleasant smell of wood, roasted malt, molasses and vanilla. Nicely balanced and subtle.

Sweet tasting, then charred wood and lots of it. The rest of the taste cannon escape the charred wood, neither can my mouth. The burnt malt tried to play was suppressed. The vanilla squeaks out at the very end but it isn't enough to overcome the charred wood.

Medium body, almost chewy. Moderate carbonation.

It smelled great. The taste was just wood and more wood; a bit much for me.

 541 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.22/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Blackish brown, no head. Rim of beige lace some bead. Bit blah.

Coffee roast on the nose. Sweet caramel toffee and some spice blending maybe with some light herbal hoppy notes. Sweetish really, not bad.

Tastes a little weak upfront, with an under-cooked coffee note and some burnt toffee. Gets stronger darkness midway with a big oomph of roasty coffee and char. Finishes with a little vegetative note, kind of blandly bitter. OK for its flaws but nothing really great.

Surprisingly thin, little bit of carbonation fizz. Finishes OK.

A bit half-baked and not quite there in all the parts it should be.

 608 characters

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A Pours a dark brown that borders on black that is topped off with a off white head.

S Some bourbon, oak, and some roast

T Lots of roast, some bourbon and vanilla but its quite muted compared to the roast which is a nice contrast to most barrel aged beers. A bit of wood is present as well.

M Kind of a light body with some good carbonation.

Overall an average porter, its quite drinkable and at the price point was worth getting, however there isn't really anything special about it that makes it stand out.

 552 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful little extra received from JohnGalt1 in a recent trade. Thanks, Toby!

Pours a deep black with hints of ruby on the edges. Big frothy tan head on top that retains wonderfully, leaving gorgeous webbing and lacing all over the glass. Smells of cocoa, coffee, bread, and leather...all there, just not bold.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth. Dries the mouth a bit on the finish. Not bad for a big Porter. Flavor is of black coffee, fresh bread, licorice, and slight black tea finish. I feel dried out a bit when I drink this one. This is pretty good all around though. I'd have it again.

 589 characters

Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber into standard pint.

A: Dark and opaque with deep amber highlights. One finger mocha head that dissipated quickly into nothing and leaves no lacing.

S: Sweet and woody with chocolate malt. Not much hops on the nose.

T: Light hops at first that carries through the whole time, a good bitterness. Dark malt and charred wood. Slightly fruity like dried dark fruits. Very small whiskey presence. A little alcohol warmth on the finish but not much.

M: medium bodied and smooth, goes down easy.

O: Good amount of wood and smoke in it from the barrels and chips. Not a bad brew, I would drink it again.

 607 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle into a goblet. Pours a dark brown. looking opaque and near black in the glass. A moderate size, durable tan head leaves a temporary but full coat of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: a clear touch of whisky and oak here; dark roasted grains with a slight hint of burnt malt. Some dark fruit and roasted nut notes.

Flavor:disappointing, given the aroma, mainly due to an overbearing contribution from wood (oak?). Whisky mainly appears in the finish and aftertaste. Plenty of dark roasted malts, subtle dark fruit notes, and a hint of sour fruit.

Mouthfeel: medium body and carbonation.

Overall: too woody to recommend.

 632 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with 1+ finger of mocha colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Coffee & dark chocolate, herbal & minty hops as well

T: Chocolate, roasty grain & nutty notes up front. Some boozey Bourbon notes, kind of rough & vanilla/oaky notes as this warms

MF: Fairly thin, over carbonated. Body becomes creamier once warmer

Not a bad porter, doesn't really live up to the Imperial side on all factors. Would rate this at least .5 lower across the board as an IMP Porter. I would drink this again if pressed, but wouldn't seek it out

 551 characters

Photo of kwjd
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very dark brown colour with a small tight brown head. Smells a bit of chocolate and roast. Taste has a small amount of bitterness. The mouthfeel was a little bit too thin for my liking of the style. Very drinkable though.

I would have liked to have some 3D glasses to look at the bottle.

 290 characters

Photo of litheum94
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark black, oil colored. Brown head that leaves a pool of foam in the middle.

Coffee, chocolate, vanilla and oak on the nose.

Roasty coffee notes. Chicory and chocolate. Some vanilla and bourbon type alcohol burn. Smooth with some bitterness.

Pretty good BA porter, especially for $2.99? a bottle. Worth much more than that.

 330 characters

Photo of lupulinwolf
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a medium black when expecting an imperial porter to pour a dark brown to low level black color.
Aroma was pleasing with hints of chocholate, burbon, coffee, and roasted malt.
Inital taste was impressive with not much in the middle to back it up, missing complexity.
Mouthfeel was appropriate for an imperial porter with an astringent aftertaste that must be contributed from the massive wood ageing.
Drinkability is reasonable for and IP. I only drank one, but if I drank more, I would know what a beavers mouth felt like after falling "the big one".

 557 characters

Photo of zeledonia
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted 13 August 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours effectively black, with a faint hint of brown at the very edges. One finger of dense medium-brown head, quite dark. Good retention and solid lacing. Good stuff.

Smells like an oaky porter. I don’t get much whiskey, and I’m okay with that. Very roasty, dark chocolate with a touch of char.

Taste is good, but a little funny. I still don’t get much whiskey in it, which surprises me. Starts out with cocoa (unsweetened), then goes into a deep char, then relaxes into a soft bitterness. It’s very three-part, with pronounced transitions between those segments. I’d like them all better if they blended into one. As it is, it feels fragmented and jolty. Smooths out as it warms up, but also becomes a bit hollow.

Mouthfeel is fine, though it’s light-bodied for an “imperial porter”. Medium-low carbonation. Not bad, not great.

An interesting beer. I really can’t find much influence of the barrels. Fine and dandy, but not more.

 997 characters

Photo of Hopswagger
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass...

P: Pitch black complete darkness even in the cascading light. A dark coffee 1/2 inch of frothy head that quickly disappears into the black depths, leaving a luscious rootbeer float layer of goodness.

S: Toffee, nutmeg, salty nuts and cinnamon bananas swarm this subtly boozy aroma. Flying along is yeast, leather hints of vanilla bean and roasted malts.

T/M: a weirdly carbonized almost weightless feel. A almost waters down sloshy cola. Toasty malts, wood, coffee and bourbon blast the palate. A vanilla backbone with fresh hop bitterness. Once warmed this bird flocks your palate with heavy molasses and bourbon.

O: Very mild when cold but the flavors really shine when it warms. An uncaged flight of flavors that marry well together. Hark the raven never more...

 810 characters

Photo of dbossman
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Quite black with a red tinge and a thin film of a head; nice lacing

S: A bit woody with subtle bourbon notes; sweet and malty; some subtle dark fruits; but a bit subdued overall

T: Roasty malts; some bourbon but more of a subtle rubbing alcohol flavor; definitely an oaky presence; the roasted malts and slight chocolate and coffee help save the flavors, which seemed nearly destined to be a mess

F: A touch thin and the beer evaporates rather quickly

O: A decent porter but a bit boozy and thin with not enough bourbon or body to make this interesting

 559 characters

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Okay, so although I am intriqued by the 3D label and glasses that come with this beer, the novelty of silly marketing doesn't usually win me over, sometimes does the opposite...repelling me from a beer. This one does have a nice foil wrapping though, which marketing or no, is a nice touch that I appriciate them taking the extra time/money to do.

Label lists random percentages of what was aged in what.

Deep black with a tan head.

Smells of sweet cereal grains, grape nuts, burnt espresso and chocolate. Some vanilla in here too.

Slightly harsh at first, slight soggy wood and some nutty chocolate. It immediatly sweetens up to almost cloying levels, huge malt bill in here, almost too sweet. Candy and molassass sugar. Not getting much oak/bourbon/aged characteristics, this beer tastes young, perhaps it needed more time in the barrels. It's got a sticky mouthfeel and aftertaste, and isn't very drinkable because of this.

The ABV is kind of low for an impy porter, as is the flavor profile. It's just a regular american porter to me, nowhere comparing to beers like backbutte xx, alpha klaus, top sail, etc...which to me are real imperial porters.

 1,161 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine in early January for $5.49. Received at Total Wine in mid December.

Beee poured dark brown with a nice tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is slight roast, northwest hops, hint of mocha.

Taste is somewhat roasty, a little sweet from the malt base, a hint of sour mash and hint of vanilla from the barrels.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth and somewhat thin.

Overall not a bad beer but nothing special.

 445 characters

Photo of rye726
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head. Nose has a nice vinous oak presence along with roasty malts and subtle hops. Taste is average at best. Mostly dry roasted malts. Not much of a barrel presence. Body is a bit thin. Not a bad porter, just nothing special.

 260 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours an opaque black color with a creamy cap of dark tan head. Average retention and lacing.

Nose shows a nice balance of bourbon oak and sweet chocolate. Not overly roasty and the hops are there only if you look for them. Smells pretty good, really.

Flavors are a bit muted, but what is there is good. A nice mix of roast and chocolate with a fair amount of alcohol and hop bitterness poking through. Wood is a bit sharp and has a mild sourness that reminds me of Guinness Extra. Meh, its ok, but Im a little disappointed in it. Not sure what I expect from a $4.99 barrel aged beer though. I dont really think cellaring this will fix the problems it has, but I might try with the other one I bought just for shitzangiggles.

 740 characters

Photo of codsmith
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark black with nice 2 finger mocha head that dies down to about 1/2 finger.

S: A subtle vanilla, oak and roasted grain aroma. Not picking up any bourbon. Nothing special or outstanding.

T: Has a charred watered down whiskey aftertaste that is fairly herbal & bitter. Not really sure what they were going for here

M: Medium to full bodied and rather chewy. Leaves you with a dry mouth-feel.

O: Bridgeport does so many good IPA's and other beers I was looking forward to this, but was sadly disappointed.

 519 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First, a beer that comes with 3D glasses has to be pretty cool, right?

A - Pours a near pitch black with the faintest of dark brown comng through around the edges. SOlid two finger brown head fades to about a 1/2 inch cap. Excelletn lacing left behind.

S - Roasted nuttiness and alot of dark fruit. Hints of red wine come through initially and as the beer warms a touch of oaky whiskey comes through. A little boozy in the nose as well.

T - Roasted malt and a rather strong whiskey taste. Light fruitiness underneath with dark fruit flavors dominating. Hints of bitter chocolate as well. Alcoholis noticeable but not overwhelming.

M/D - On the thin side and a touch too much carbonation. The flavors meld well and make for a good porter, but certainly nothing great.

 770 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Forest Cake black with slim highlights of burnt orange. A substantial slab of coffee mousse colored foam looked good after the pour and looks even better once it starts to melt. Shredded sheets of sudsy lace look fine as well, especially since barrel-aged ales usually leave a fairly clean glass.

A portion of this beer was aged in Jack Daniels barrels and a portion in Pinot Noir barrels. Unfortunately, neither of those is appreciated in the nose (note: subsequent sniffs give off a faint hint of the whiskey). The usual aromas of dark chocolate and black coffee dominate. More power would have been nice.

It's hard to think of a 7.8% <anything> as being Imperial. The beer doesn't taste big and bold, it tastes like a standard American porter that has a mild-moderate amount of barrel-aged character. If you're looking to be hit over the head with shovelfuls of malt, a fifth of whiskey and a flagon of wine, drink something else.

Raven Mad is too tame to stand out from the crowd. It doesn't have quite enough malty guts and it's a little too tangy. More malt sugars... or more hops... or more whiskey (J.D. isn't bourbon)... or more Pinot Noir wouldn't have allowed the tart fruitiness to flourish to such an extent. This isn't bad beer, it just lacks coherence and a flavor hook.

The mouthfeel is acceptable at the start, then wanders away too quickly on the finish. At the risk of beating a dead horse, more malt sugars would have shored up the bottom end and would have resulted in more 'hang on' on the back end. Bubbles are on the scarce side, which is fine by me.

Raven Mad Imperial Porter sounds better on paper than it tastes. If you're looking to dip a toe into the barrel-aged porter and stout style, this would be a pretty good place to start. If you no longer need training wheels, set your sights higher. Now why didn't I get the 3-D glasses that are supposed to come with each bomber?

 1,920 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Raven Mad Imperial Porter from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
3.7 out of 5 based on 147 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.