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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 147
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.

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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.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting with rye726 and ratman197. Beer #4 of 8. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a New Belgium snifter.

A- Dark black with a thin white head. Quickly dissipated and reduced to a thin ring around the glass.

S- Mostly got some coffee beans and some oak. There was a little bit of roasted character as well. The aromas were just way too subtle for me. Nothing really stood out.

T- Oak up front. Also some sweetness from caramel malts accompanied by a little bit of roasted coffee beans. The finish had a slight vinous quality.

M- Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

D- Drinks pretty well. Had no problem putting this one down.

Overall, it wasn't so much that there was something that was wrong with the beer, but more that there really wasn't anything in this beer that appealed to me. I appreciate the attempt at complexity, but the flavors just weren't meshing quite to my liking.

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Photo of cbros
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type- A 22 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours black with a one finger tan lace. There seems to be a nice cling to the glass. I don't see any carbonation after the pour.

S- I smell hints of roasted malts with a sense of chocolate.

T- I get flavors of malt and a hint of some fruity flavor. There is a bitter presence to this beer from start to finish. Little bit of a weird flavor combination. Mellow yet bitter.

Recieved this as an extra in a trade with madhombrewer. I hsave had other BridgePort offerings(the IPA and Stout) but this is an offering in a reserve type series for them. A decent brew that I liked but not something that I would get again. Thanks madhombrewer.

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Photo of meatyard
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a very dark brown with a tan head that falls to a, mostly, covering leaving small bits of lacing.
The smell is roasted malt, a little coffee and some cola & vanilla.
The taste is burnt coffee, some alcohol, tannin and a bit of bitterness/astringency in the end.
Mouthfeel is thin and carbonation is low.
Drinkability is pretty decent.

The blended porters makes for an interesting, if subtle, beer. It's definitely worth trying. Not one of my top 5 porters but it is a curiously tasting one.

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Photo of jsapunor
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown into a nonic tumbler. Good retention of the tan colored head.

The aroma is roasty, slightly burnt coffee.

The taste is coffee, burnt malt with sweetness. The sweetness is very noticable but doesn't overpower the other flavors. The whole effect is very nice. The body is a little thinner than I expected. Low carbonation and not much alcohol warmth.

It has a great label and the 3-D glasses are a nice gimmick.

This is a nice porter although not as strong in flavor, mouthfeel or alcohol as other Imperials. It's definitely on the sweet side and is very smooth and easy to drink

Overall, a very good porter that I enjoyed and would drink again.

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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.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Extra special thanks to JohnGalt1 for this one as an extra in a trade! An EXTRA!!! Awesome man, awesome!
22oz Bomber, awesome 3D label.

A: Extremely dark brown, almost black with a tan head, about half an inch that reduced to about a quarter. Head is very dense, almost nitro like in appearance, dense bubbles and big sticky clumps of lacing. Oh yeah. This looks tasty.

S: Smoke and roastiness, cocoa, booze, chocolate, and a few hints of burnt coffee. Smells tasty, and spot on for the style.

T: Wow, not nearly as intense as I had planned on, black patent malt really shines through, and a lot of alcohol heat. Big time hop bitterness at the end, quite citrusy, smoke and roasted coffee are also quite present. Sadly the cocoa and chocolate that is in the nose doesn't show up in the mouth, and that is sad.

M: Really thin, even for a standard porter, fair amount of booze heat, and really dry. Kind of a letdown here.

D: For what it is, it is a tasty beer, even if it is lacking a few things. I could probably drink another bomber, especially if sharing it with someone. There are some good things going on here, but it is lacking a little bit in the mouth.

Thanks Toby, this is a solid beer!

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Photo of bkilpatr
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. 03/04/09. Bottle has a cool 3D label. According to the label, this is 59% porter, 8% porter aged in oak bourbon barrels, and 33% porter aged in oak wine barrels.

Pours a deep dark black color with a finger of dense chocolaty brown head. The head slowly dropped to a thin layer with decent retention and lacing. The aroma is very interesting. There's chocolate, roasted malt, subtle bourbon and vanilla, and a fruity red wine aroma. Smells pretty good!

The taste is also interesting. Up front there is a lot of sweet chocolate and roasted flavor. Next comes bourbon and vanilla with slight caramel mixed in. This is all followed by a strong red-wine and oak presence. Complex and interesting, very tasty. The finish has a strong vanilla sweetness to it though, almost cloying.

Feel is medium-full bodied and carbonation is just a spot low. It's sticky and slightly chewy, and a bit thin at the same time. Drinkability is decent for a big beer. The alcohol is nicely hidden, but the feel and sweet finish detract from this. One bottle is plenty enough for me.

Overall, a very interesting beer. The barrel aging adds complexities to the aroma and taste. If you're a fan of big porters or barrel aged beers, give this one a shot.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
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%
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 +8.1%
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 -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".

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
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 +12.7%
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 +2.7%
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 +6.2%
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 +30.3%
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 +13.5%
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%
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 +14.3%
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 +2.7%
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 +8.1%
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 +17.6%
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 +13.5%
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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Raven Mad Imperial Porter from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
3.7 out of 5 based on 147 ratings.
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