Raven Mad Imperial Porter | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

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Raven Mad Imperial PorterRaven Mad Imperial Porter
147 Ratings
Raven Mad Imperial PorterRaven Mad Imperial Porter

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

Style: American Imperial Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
70 IBU

Released Fall 2008.

Added by ccrida on 10-30-2008

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Ratings: 147 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of Tucquan
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Bridgeport Brewery in Portland, OR

This was one remarkable porter. I didn't have any expectations when ordering it and I had to do a double-take when I had my first sip.

It was brought to me in a 16 oz glass and was jet black with no head.

There wasn't a lot of smell but the taste was impressive. First impression was of chocolate, toasty grains and oak (probably due to the wine and bourbon oak barrel aging of about 40% of this porter). There must be a dozen different, subtle tastes in this porter. You've got to try it to see. There's a medium bitterness to well-balance the malts. The carbonation was medium.

It was so good, I had another one. Give this one a try.

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Photo of Zorro
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received from thethrone in the Barrel 'O Beer BIF.

Might as well call this beer black with a very small brown colored head.

Smell is chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, quite sweet smelling. Oak from the barrel is reasonably strong but not the major scent here. There is a general fruity scent to this also.

Starts of a bit charred in taste with a sweet aftertaste. Lots of patent malt flavor and it is quite aggressive. The vanilla is in here but the oak gets lost in the burned flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Less drinkable than I would like, the simply used too much patent malt in this one and let the burned taste take over.

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

Serving Temperature, 45 degrees. Serving Glassware, 12 ounce Tulip with a long stem (Pike Brewing).

This imperial porter has a dark but strong off white foamy head that conceals the dark and light-less fluid beneath a crown of lace that makes it appearance shortly after resting in the glass.
As I swirl the glass around I detect faint aromas of
The taste has since waned into an ashen like dryness, roasted character, faint oak is present, along with a coffee like finish on the back end, but I fear that this beer should not have been on the shelf at this point.
Mouthfeel is medium but still remains with little or no cloying.

Overall drinkable but I am curious why I waited so long to buy myself a bottle of this. Compared to The Top Sail "Imperial" Porter from Full Sail I find this one really lacking the barrel aged qualities.


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Photo of lupulinwolf
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
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".

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer hit the shelves back in October, arriving in 22 oz. bottles crowned with bright red foil and labeled with a disturbingly blurry label. Blurry, that is, until the attached 3-D glasses are donned - then a campy, Hitchcock-inspired scene of eye-gouging raven/screaming victim becomes clear... and three-dimensional (sorta...)!

A blend:
59% Porter (non-aged)
8% Oak-Barrel Aged (Bourbon)
33% Oak-Barrel Aged (Wine)

Bottle poured to a pint glass during the opening minutes of the NHL All-Star Game.

A: No big complaints, looks-wise: it's a perfectly dark brown, showing some ruby/auburn at the edges. Head is a sandy ivory, creamy but falling quickly from about a finger to near nothingness. Very good lace, sticking in draping sheets of cobwebs.

S: Served pretty cool, so I expected the aroma to lag. Waited and waited for a big burst of dark grain, chocolate, even wood or booze. Never really developed for me. Subtler notes of cocoa and espresso, a little vanilla and some earthy berries.

T: A roasted mouthful of roasted coffee and baker's chocolate, a heavy bitter/sweetness. I find curious notes of dark cherries, vinous grapes, earthy fruitskins and woody spicing - these all make sense since more than 40% of this beer is barrel-aged. The flavors are subtle and likable, marrying well with the dark malt roasts.

M: Rich, chewy texture yet with a medium body. Nice carbonated feel that's lively without being TOO active; becomes smoother as it warms and coats with a veil of grainy grit.

D: Full flavor with good balance and nice blending. I actually expected more of the 'boozy' flavors often imparted by used barrels to be present; instead they're presented sparingly. And that's a good thing. Nicely crafted brew from BridgePort, one worth seeking.

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Photo of Magpie14
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black, mostly black with some dark caramel colored edges. No head, I wonder if the bar keeps know it is all right to leave at least a little? Small foamy ring of lace at the very top...otherwise nothing

S: first and foremost. Alcohol notes, raisins, roasted grains, and soft vanilla caramel scent

T: husky dark grains followed by dry stale coffee characteristics. Sweetness follows suit as in the nose, soft spiced vanilla and caramel, maybe lactose sweeteners. Slight woodiness and astringency in the finish. As it warms the coffee and sweeter notes become stronger and push through. This is the same for the alcohol...

M: smooth, just shy of creamy. Carbonation maybe helps dig away a the smoothness factor and the body is heavy and carries itself well down the hatch

D: I found this one to go down rather easy, not to heavy but enough bulk to be a good smooth porter. Good beer on a cold winter day, very nice

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Photo of tpd975
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to SeaBass for this one.

A: Pours a very dark black hue with an average sized mocha head. Good retention with some spotty lace.

S: Bold roasted malt, with would you believe banana? Big blast of dark fruit with hints of vanilla.

T: Very dark roasted malt up front with hints of chocolate. Where is the oak I was expecting? Hints of molasses and nuts with a dash of green hops in the finish.

M: Medium to full in body pretty smooth.

D: Good. Pretty good brew. It was a real treat as it was one I had never even heard of.

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Photo of xpimptastikx
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to djeucalyptus for this brew.

A - Pours the darkest brown I've seen in a while and is opaque in the glass. 1 cm of mocha head rises.

S - Smoked malts, oak, kinda nutty. I mix of smells.

T - It tastes pretty big; Roasted, bittersweet, some dark fruit, but not as much oak as I hoped for.

M/D - It was a little thin, and lacked enough carbonation. It took me a while to finish my half of the bomber as compared to my friend.

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Photo of Wackyfoot
4.82/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Velvety brown pour, huge tan head that fades quickly. Aroma of bourbon, grapes and a little oak. Cold it tastes heavily of vanilla, warmer it fades to heavy bourbon notes and milder vanilla and coffee flavors. Slightest hint of grape. One of the best aftertastes of any beer I've ever had, creamy and vanilla laden. Awesome label with the 3d glasses and all.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out in a viscous stream, producing a bubbly toasted brown head an intensely black body.

Aroma is nutty, woody and sweet. Shades of dark baking chocolate, watery chocolate milk and frothed milk. None of this is intense or dominant, but the nuttiness prevails most.

Flavor offers char, husky nut character, dark chocolate, coffee, succulent dark berry and frothed/boiled milk. Sweet it is, but balanced by the roast and nutty elements. Nut, coffee and chocolate linger in the finish. A mild wave of alcohol comes through further into the bottle and with warming. Alcohol presence is probably in large part due to the bourbon and wine characters that rubbed off in the barrel-aging. 41% of Raven Mad was aged in various oak barrels, and the wood provides an underlying essence, giving it a remarkable depth. For barrel-aged beer lovers, it might seem a bit too subtle, but for those who prefer the wood to lay low, it's simply a welcome addition to a long list of flavor characteristics.

Medium-bodied at best, with a round, slippery texture that offsets the considerable carbonation. Just about right, I'd say.

This is a complex beer, although not a terribly busy or extreme one. It just performs very well and is a must-try for porter enthusiasts. (The 3D effect wasn't all that great, but 3D rarely is. It's a fun gimmick, though, and I gratefully thank msubulldog25 for sending the whole deal.)

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black. No other way to describe it. Light refuses to venture into the depths of the glass. just a sliver of orange caramel color at the very edge, but it's a stretch. A rich orange mocha colored head of fine bubbles has decent retention before fading leaving some massive lacing.

Hints of fruit and dark roasted malt waft upward from the pour. Aroma reminds me of being in the Bridgeport pub... malt profile is very similar to their stout (and maybe porter?). Rich, full, and nutty. a bit of charred wood and a bit of vanilla cream. Plums and black grapes intermingle with burnt hickory and pine.

Taste follows the aroma fairly closely... rich and dark malts lead the way, with some woody and oaky notes filling out the middle. More plums and grape come through along with a healthy dose of cherries. bittersweet cocoa. hints of pinot noir tannins, almost like bottom of bottle red wine sediment. A touch metallic and a touch astringent. Not necessarily offputting... the vanilla and wood notes offset the sweet and the sour, yielding a pretty nicely rounded strong brew.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and light, which is how I find bridgeport's standard porter and stout. Okay, but given the power of the flavors, I'd hoped for more. Regardless, it feels nice on the tongue, smooth with some light carbonation... more and it could have been a bit fuller/creamier. A bit of bittering tingles the tongue without being overpowering.

I tried a bottle fresh and wasn't blown away. Sitting down with this bottle, a month and a half later, is a completely different (and significantly more enjoyable) experience. Interesting on the whole, with some unique flavors that make it different enough to be worth buying a few bottles. The wood aging is nice but not over the top; maybe a bit subtle for some, but beautiful. Nice to see Bridgeport attempting more of these big brews. this one is definitely a win.

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Photo of scottoale
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. brown bomber with red foil over cap/neck and a 3D label complete with 3D glasses...very novel idea. No freshness date but the label states: 59% Porter - 8% Porter aged in oak Bourbon barrels and 33% Porter aged in oak Wine barrels.

It pours a very dark (almost black) mahogany brown with a finger of very light brown head. Some sticky lace clings as the head settles, the carbonation is mild.

The smell is somewhat sweet and dark roasty, kind of nutty even. Hints of roasted dark malt, oak, charred oak, dark grapes, vanilla and hazelnuts come through. Just a wee bit of alcohol in the nose as well.

The taste is as it smells, but a little stronger, less the alcohol. Very nice full roasty front, lots of oak and toasted oak. The bourbon doesn't come through at all, compared to the wine aspects. The whole flavor does balance nicely and the alcohol is really well hidden.

Medium body just lacks a bit of carbonation that could add a smooth fullness to the feel. Easy to drink, none the less and a well done blended Porter for sure.

Another extra from a super generous trader, thanks travisd13!

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with very little off white head and good lacing.

Scent of bubble gum, candy, roasted malts and hints of chocolate. Not really like a traditional porter, but good.

Taste of wine, oak, candy, roasted malts and a hint of alcohol.Finishes with oak, roasted malts, and some lasting sweetness. A little too much sweetness, but an interesting beer to try.

Mouthfeel is full and clean.

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

pours a jet black with a medium size khaki head, and good lacing.

smell of cocoa, coffee, some vanilla, and malts.

taste is smooth, cocoa, some coffee, sour malt, some roasted nuts, and a touch of dark fruit in the back, ends slightly bitter.

overall a very nice porter.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good porter -- not my typical type of beer, but tasty nonetheless. Pours black and tarry with a thin filmy head, surprising lacing. Smoke and molasses smell, and the taste adds some cherry. Mouthfeel is thick and meaty but not clingy or sticky. Very drinkable, if you drink it slowly, I think.

2012-04-10 Still agree with original review. Although I might appreciate it a bit more now.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 picked up at the Coop... equipped with the 3-D glasses.. paid about $5... shared with Brenda.... mine into my Chimay goblet.

1" lite tan head.. great lacing and a nice cap.. the brew is darker than a standard porter... but.. I'm not complaining..

Nose is roasty with a little char.. chocolate malts are nice.. smells creamy.. sorta milky.. a little vanilla and maybe port.

flavor is a big blast.. but seems like a mish-mash.. roasty grains and alot of fruitiness... dark cherry essence.. some plum.. fairly sharp roasted grain for the entire sip.. the barrel aging only shows up as it really warms up.. vanilla and sorta fruity notes.. finish is verging on dry chocolate and vanilla soda essence with a nice woody presence that ties it all together.. The body is on the lite side for an Imperial Porter.. but don't let that disguise the interior.. this is a pretty classy brew.. not out of the world by any standard.. but it is very nice straight out of the bottle and will only get better with some time on it.

The label gimmick may do more to discredit this brew than help it... Bridgeport makes thoroughly solid beers for the most part... I can only assume they thought the campy label was used to get more people interested.. but I honestly believe that this brew deserves credit on its merits.. not the label... (even though I really dig it.. and am putting 1 into my "save the full bottle" cellar). Interesting.. and better than it is gonna get on BA.


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

Almost completely black ale ( some brown hues do show through, a great thick brown head, followed by luscious lace.
Strong roasted malt aromas,kinds boozy in a good way.
Bitter to begin with but smoothes out quite well, has some fruitiness near end, dark coffee, raisins,liquorice.

Pretty nice and refeshing on the tongue, this feels quite well carbonated but doesnt make it "thin".
Overall a nice Impy Porter from Bridgeport..more drinkable than most but not top of the class.

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Photo of cannabanaceae
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not impressed by the 3-D, The raven barley moves. I smell gimmick.
Poured violently yeilding a frothy brown head, pitch black in color. Lacing.

Smell was toasted malts, Oak, chocolate, stale red wine, alcohol.

Taste was very smooth. Toasted oak barrels, tiny bourbon taste, Goes down like a melted milk shake with lots of hop bitterness that is balanced by the slight sourness from the wine barrel aging. Great hop back. Medium body. Mouthfell was velvety.

A very good beer. I wish that it was all barrel aged with more bourbon. It was mixed with 59% porter, making it mellow but 'big'.

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Photo of erikm25
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark raven black chocolate with subtle purple tints. Glossy three fingered head that is a two-toned mixture of brown sugar and burnt mocha hues. Impressive retention. Lacing leaves a tightly speckled caramel bubbled ring.

S: Aromas of smoked chocolates with roasted caramels rounded off with vanilla extracts. Campfire of grapes, spices, and cider. Splash of bourbon and grapefruit citrus hops thrown in toward the back of the nose.

T: Toasted chocolate, blackened plums, and oak flavors warm the mouth. Grilled ginger, roasted malts, and barley. Buttery cocoa and toffee polished with red wine and subtle coffee flavors. Minimal hops sharpen everything out.

M: Medium body with a creamy and milky mouth feel. Rich and complex.

D: This beer scores high marks on both drinkability and trippiness. 3D glasses coupled with an Alfred Hitchock themed bottle. Complex tastes and delicious. Tune in, drop out, and drink on.

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Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Horsebrass the other day.

The beer pours the expected dark black with an impressive, creamy head, good retention and excellent lacing. On the nose I get an interesting interplay of vanilla and licorise, along with some underlying hoppy bitterness. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, and I have to say this is an unusual, interesting take on the style. Despite all the barrell aging, this porter is on the dry side and surprisingly light on the palate. It is absolutely nothing like the Black Butte XX for instance, and I'm surprised the abv. is as high as is listed on this site. The porter is not the least bit boozy, and the complexity is astonishing. Despite the dry, low abv. mouthfeel, I still get a boatload of vanilla and licorise, with some hoppy bitterness on the finish. There's a hint of coffee and chocolate as well, but it's really no more then an afterthought. There's also something of an aged sherry component to the flavor profile, something I normally associate with aged ales and extended barrel aging. The beer is also pretty creamy and long on the palate. It's all pretty interesting, but in this case I think the sum of the parts is greater then the whole. The combination of upfront licorise and vanilla is a bit much for me, though I can see where others might really like it.

This is an interesting, very solid beer, but it's just not blowing my socks off. Nevertheless, an impressive offering from Bridgeport brewing.

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Photo of Spikester
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with a small tan head. Moderate lacings.

Aroma is leather and spice.

Taste is dark cocoa, some coffee, good amount of bitter hops.

Mouthfeel is full and rich.

Drinkability is good if you are just having a pint or two. Overall a pretty good Imperial Porter.

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

55% Porter, 8% Porter aged in oak Bourbon barrels, 33% Porter aged in oak Wine barrels.
Bomber (complete with 3-D glasses to view the Hitchcock label) poured into my Meantime Snifter, Rave Mad is a very dark blackish brown with a tan head that leaves a persistent skim and sticky foam.

Smell is milk chocolate and cereals, with touches of wood (lumber), new leather and pipe tobacco.

Taste is nice, robust, full flavored, pretty smooth. Sweet chocolaty crystal, followed by a slightly acrid roastiness and anise, which is amplified by the dry finish and sweet, boozy aftertaste. Light waxy phenols, maybe the lactose like milky sweetness I gathered from the nose, but regardless, I don't care for in the taste either. Good though, and as the name implies, not your average American Porter, but bigger, ramped up to today's tastes. Reminds me of Boulder's Obovoid Empirical Russian Stout.

Mouthfeel is dry and tannic, medium bodied and not too hard to digest.

Drinkability is pretty good, this tasty and robust without being to gratuitous, and nicely done. Given a bit of time for the edges to round out, I'm sure it will improve. As usual, another quality, value priced Bridgeport Big Brew. Phase out some of the tired classics and use these to revamp the lineup!

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Raven Mad Imperial Porter from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 147 ratings