Raven Mad Imperial Porter | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

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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

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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 147
Photo of merlin48
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber pours into a pint glass a deep dark brown body topped by a small khaki head, Good retention and some spotty patch lacing.

Aroma might be the high point of this one. Dark roasty malt notes of bittersweet chocolate and coffee are complimented by smoky charcoal and oaky vanilla. A hint of wine underneath adds intrigue.

Mouthfeel has a medium body and carbonation but thins quite a bit toward the finish.

Taste has standard dark roasty malt notes of coffee, Bittersweet chocolate, and a hint of dark fruits up front. Oak aging adds some vanilla. A nice grassy hops bitterness is a welocme addition. There is a vinous quality from the pinot barrels that throws things off track a bit and just seems out of place in a porter. Slight booziness doesn't really distract.

An interesting experiment with the barrel aging here but I would have enjoyed this one quite a bit more if the pinot barrels had been left out of the process.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Concordia Ale House, Portland, OR

This beverage has the distinction of being the last beer I imbibed on my '11 Oregon beercation.

Poured into a 12oz. glass, an opaque black with a creamy tan head that retained and laced moderately well. Coffee and cocoa in the nose, dark malts, hints of booze-soaked oak, but I probably wouldn't have noticed it was barrel-aged just from the aroma. Taste of dark malts, nutty, with notes of cocoa, vanilla bear, and bitter coffee, more pronounced taste of whiskey-soaked oak, but still not very strong. Decently smooth mouthfeel, medium-bodied, and pretty drinkable overall.

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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

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Photo of grittybrews
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured dark cola brown with two fingers of light mocha head. Aroma of sweet, oaky vanilla mixed with caramel and hints of chocolate.

Moderate carbonation and a fairly thin mouthfeel. Pretty sweet up front with lots of caramel, woody vanilla, and milk chocolate. Just a touch of roasty coffee bitterness on the tail end.

They weren't kidding around with the barrel aging here. Not a subtle beer and perhaps a touch thin/sweet, but I enjoyed it anyway.

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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

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Photo of scootpolute
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1 pint 6 oz. bottle into a Duvel Tulip style glass.

A - Pitch black with 1.5 fingers light tan creamy head. Head retention is amazing, as is the lacing.

S - Smokey roasted malts are at the forefront. Chocolate is well defined in the background.

T - Chocolate and roasted malts now dominate while the smokiness is still present it was mostly in the aroma. Some coffee and hints of dark fruit are present on the back of the tongue. Overall a balanced flavor, but not overly complex...There 'IS' an noticable 'kick' on the end from the alcohol.

M - Medium-heavy bodied, carbonation is definitely noticeable. Finish is slightly drying with lots of roasted malts, here the smoke comes back again.

D - Well rounded, starts out dominating with the smokiness and finishes the same way. No complex flavors but definitely a very good beer. A refreshing improvement from Bridgeport's more popular, "Nightwatch." This one is more complex, more character...over all just a better beer!

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Photo of arcticstout
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

A: Very dark brown, almost black. Minimal tan head which fades quickly leaving no lacing.

S: Whiskey, malt, and dark fruits. Smells delicious.

T: Roasted malts, oak, whiskey, mocha, and a very faint hint of tobacco.

M: Very thin and dry, not a lot of body. But also very smooth. Does not feel like a 7.5% beer. Good drinkability.

O: Very interesting beer. My first Bridgeport and I'm impressed. Not my favorite porter but it's very good. If it was on tap at my local bars I would definitely order it over my usual brews.

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Photo of ChugginOil
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color that is almost opaque and has cola colored edging. There is a very quick dissipating head that is tan in color.

The nose is boozy up front but mellows a bit into a wine-like characteristic. Some raisins and dark fruit are also picked up.

The taste is pretty roasty as the barrel treatment didn't take over the taste completely. There is some whiskey characteristics such as vanilla and oak but they are quite subtle. There is a milk stout like characteristic that brings out a subtle sweetness. The roasty characteristics are the nicest.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin and lacks the body i anticipate from such a brew. However, the carbonation levels are pretty nice.

Overall, this is a decent barrel-aged brew that has some good qualities and some could use improvements.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 edition, 50's pulp novel styled label on a dark background.

Dark brownish black body, billowing dark mocha foam that forms a rocky topographical surface. The head is slow to recede, and leaves a halo of sticky lacing all around the glass.

Smells nice, subdued vanilla and chocolate, dark and bittersweet, some woody barrel notes coming through. Some chocolate covered banana and yeast esters that come out with a swirl.

Definitely tastes like a porter/stout blend, slightly thin but full of flavor. Dark bitter chocolate, light vanilla sweetness, woody oak and tobacco notes, dry finish with lingering woodiness. Fairly smooth and relatively light bodied considering the BA genre and blend. Lightly vinous, with a unique and well rounded flavor. Any distinct bourbon notes are blended into smooth submission, alcohol is well hidden. Overall one of the better offerings from Bridgeport, and at $8 a bomber it's a pretty good deal for a barrel-aged blend.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe. The beer is a rich coffee black with a dark tan head that fades to random patches of thicker head and random bubbles. Sticky lacing. The beer smells unique -- there's a bubble gum sweetness in it with a hint of chocolate. Tastes like bitter chocolate with a glaze of sweet bubble gum, raisins, and burnt malts. Mouthfeel is good because it's not watery with a slightly dry finish. Overall, this is pretty enjoyable. I like the sweet bubble gum taste that's hidden in the dry chocolate. Definitely glad I tried this one.

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Photo of JethroAdam
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 imperial porter, 7.8% abv, partially aged in pinot noir and bourbon barrels, 50 IBUs.

A- Rich dark brown, no real light going through it. Good head from appropriate carbonation that fades to a thin, persistent tan head around the edges.

Smell- I'll say this a lot but the beer really opens up as it warms. Wine is big in the aroma, smoky malt, a touch of oak and bourbon, all with chocolate in the background.

Taste- only gets better as it warms. Solid, not disappointing in any way. Wine up front gives it some acidity that fades to chocolate and oak.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, you might expect more from an imperial beer but the texture borders on a pleasantly dry, almost powdery feel.

Overall- Probably past its prime but a great experience nonetheless. Very unique, not outstanding but a valiant effort. Not sure that all the flavors blend seamlessly but they provide an intriguing experience together. Cool packaging by the way, 3D glasses and all.

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Photo of philbertk
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Raven Mad Imperial Porter--Big Brews Series--2008 22 oz. Bottle. 7.80% ABV. 70 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Thin fizzy mild lace coffee head. Clear dark bronze pour turns opaque dark black. Bottle Conditioned sediment dust. Burnt espresso mild cocoa tangy floral hop front. Crusty dry sweet burnt black bread mild sweet tangy coffee mild fruit rich Porter body. Tangy hop EtOH dry end. Sampled 6/2/2010. 2 @ $4.99.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Maudite snifter. Body is a deep dark brown with reddish highlights, topped by a smaller, creamy, tan head. Very nice, complex aroma of smoky dark malt, dark fruit, oak, pinot grapes, and a whiff of toffee.
Palate is similarly complex. Sweet, slightly smoky dark malt dominates up front. A touch of fruity hops comes through before the swallow, imparting just a touch of bitterness to balance out the malt. Tangy, acidic finish indicates it may have picked up a good bit of leftover wine from the pinot barrels.
Body is nicely carbonated, but a little bit thin for such a strong porter. This is unique enough to be a little offputting at first, but after a few sips becomes very inviting. An interesting, innovative beer from Bridgeport that has benefited from some time laying down in the cellar.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle tried 26 Jan 2010.

Comes with some red/blue 3D glasses for the 3D label...

Served in a 0.5 L Adambrau becker. Large lacy very dark brown head. Deep chocolate brown color, almost opaque. Smells perfumy, a bit soapy, maybe some coffee. Chocolatey, cola and sinnamon. Some floral perfume through the middle. Dark chocolate roastiness at the end. Lots of vanilla throughout. Moderate ethanol. Medium silky body.


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Photo of Derek
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a tan head, thin ring of retention, light lacing.

S: Smoky, cola, coffee, dark chocolate, licorice. Awesome.

T: Licorice, coffee, smoky, spice, fruity, balanced bitterness.

M: Well-attenuated, creamy with a light acidity, drying finish.

D: A good drinker.

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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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sour aroma, great 3D picture and the glasses. Black body with a brown head. Above average mothfeel. Very drinkable, with a good token amount of smoke, rather than only roast.Nice porter.Subtle flavours from barrelling.A bit boozy, but oh my so drinkable.

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Photo of bcm119
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost opaque brown,with a nice durable tan froth. Pinot noir barrels come through in the nose, along with some dark fruit and smoky roasted malt. Soft and lush on the palate. The barrel aging lends a pronounced red berry overtone to the roasted malt flavors. Chocolatey, earthy and roasty. Adequate hopping shows up toward the end with some leafy bitterness. Mouthfeel is fairly light for a strong porter, slightly creamy, with low carbonation. Finishes with some lingering toast and mild hop bitterness. Not a bad concoction, interesting wine barrel flavors and it avoids the heavy, under-attenuated trend in imperial porter/stout. A very nice drinking beer.

The bottle showed signs of cap sealing problems, which may explain the low carbonation in my bottle, and/or the off flavors/bad reviews here.

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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.

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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

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Photo of gford217
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber acquired quite a while back, even comes with some nifty 3-D glasses.

Pours a nice deep chocolate brown that's very close to black with a thick tan head that recedes to a collar leaving some nice lacing along the sides.

The aroma is interesting as it's got lots of dark malts and chocolate but there I definitely get the pinot noir character in the nose with a light wine-like tart fruitiness. Not much bourbon that I can gather.

The taste is dry and chocolaty with lots of cocoa character and a hefty toasted black malt backbone. There is still a bit of the tart fruit in the finish, though it's less prevalent than the nose.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied as imperial stouts go, though it's probably OK for a standard porter. The wine-barrel character lends an interesting dryness to the mouthfeel.

I'll salute BridgePort for the creativity of aging a porter in pinot barrels which lends an interesting feel to the beer. I don't think the underlying porter is quite hefty enough though, at least not to be considered an "imperial".

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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.

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Photo of Docer
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally tried a bomber of this after reading Jeff Alworths comments about it on the beervana blog... I always try Bridgeports stuff.. but the 3D glasses threw me off...

- Nice rich cloudy color.. poured slightly thick, with a nice tan head that was creamy.

- Nice vanilla and oak-like scent with some fantastic ester-wine notes and chocolate malt... nice bitterness too...

- Huge wine barrel flavor but at the same time well balanced with some great vanilla bourbon oak essence mixed with a rather basic and mild porter which is actually refreshing for a change. A nice standard.

- Nice bitterness.. slightly dry, but robust with ester and barrel.... so overall very good.

- Great drinkability but wouldn't recommend even having the whole bottle for one.. but one to share... rather strong on the gut, but still light on alcohol.

On another note aside from judging, the price was great for this, and certainly one I would buy again and again. Must have!

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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?

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Photo of Wasatch
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber
With some 3D Glasses, LOL
Red Foil

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, nice carbonation, very nice looking creamy one-finger plus tan head, with some very nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice malt/toffee/chocolate notes. The taste is malty, sweet, with some toffee/chocolate. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew from Bridgeport, recommended.

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Raven Mad Imperial Porter from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
3.7 out of 5 based on 147 ratings.
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