Payback Porter | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

BA SCORE
87
very good
284 Ratings
THE BROS
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Payback PorterPayback Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States
goodbeer.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
American hops provide a smooth distraction for Payback Porter’s robust strength, which is concealed within the shadows of dark imported malts. Brewed with English chocolate malts and rolled oats, this Robust Porter pours a deep chocolate brown and is rich in roasted malt aromas and coffee flavors. With notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, and sweet, toasted maltiness, Payback finishes with a creamy mouthfeel.

Added by Murchmac on 12-21-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
284
Reviews:
93
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
9.44%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
47
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 284 |  Reviews: 93
Photo of Sammy
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of acurtis
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of GRG1313
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a big, thick, firm and pillowy off-white/tan head. Nice looking.

Nose is sweet ripe pears and peaches with hints of apricots.

Mouthfeel is rich and "half and half" consistency that is pleasant and welcoming.

Flavors are big and bold roasted grain, rich black coffe with an underlying hit of sweetness and black chocolate.

Finish is bitter espresso/bitter black chocolate. Beer is complex and layered but with really nice integration. Very much like a big stout it belies the name Porter. A rich, roasted grain brew all around.

 551 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque dark crimson brown color with a 1 inch khaki head that fades to a very thin cap. Random blotches of lacing form around the glass on the drink down. Smells mainly of dark roasted malts with some minor coffee and chocolate aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and roasted coffee. There is an acidic citrus twang on the palate after each sip. Medium bodied with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good porter with a nice taste and mouthfeel. Also my first beer from Speakeasy which is weird since I go to SF a lot and drink other brews from the area (RR, Anchor) often.

 626 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of nmann08
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high tan head the faded away and left some lacing in the center of the glass along with a ring of bubbles around the edge.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of roasted malts and coffee. There is a light amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and hides its alcohol well.

 639 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Having been watching House of Cards of late, this brewery's period piece labels resonate all the more with me, even despite the obvious temporal incongruity.

This beer pours a solid abyssal black, with slight basal cherry cola highlights, and a teeming tower of puffy, rocky, shiny, and tightly foamy beige head, which leaves some random splattered and streaky lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of gritty roasted pale and caramel malt, wet ash, bitter day-old coffee grounds, bittersweet chocolate, reduced brown sugar, besotted raisins, and a soft metallic booze warming. The taste is more cocoa-heavy up front, the toasted malt ceding the driver's seat early on here, as that ashy character from the nose slowly wafts off, the coffee staying put in yesterday's news, a bit of black licorice rising up, and some vegetal hop notes combining with an edgy alcohol warmth to round things out.

The carbonation is fairly average, just a trilling frothiness for the most part, the body a sturdy medium weight, and perhaps a tad pithy in its otherwise agreeable smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the cocoa and neutered caramel malt still holding tough, the anise flavours niggly in their persistence, and that vegetal hoppiness starting to gnaw at my thus far forgiving good graces.

A pleasant enough new-world porter, overall, though the Americanisms here are limited to a certain cutting of corners sentiment - the hops just seem so plain and even off-putting, but not really to any large degree. Anyways, the other prominent flavours surely make up for it - the chocolate, coffee, and toasted malt providing adequate roughage to dissuade this drinker of any notion of that dreaded misinterpretation of English heritage.

 1,749 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into an An Brainblasta goblet in the Porterhouse Central, Dublin. Reviewed from notes. Note that I'm a sucker for porters and stouts.

A: Two finger tan head of lovely cream and thickness. Black colour.

Sm: Cream, caramel, coffee alcohol. Delightfully complex.

T: Cream open shifts to coffee and caramel build with roasted barley and malt body. Cream is present on the finish as well. Well built and balanced. Complex but bold and innovative. I quite like it.

Mf: Nicely coarse for the style, but not quite dry enough.

Dr: Hides its ABV well, but far from worth the price, at least in Dublin. Surely the price would be better stateside, and I hope to try more brews from this brewery in the future.

 728 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An opaque chocolate brown body topped by two fingers of tan foam. The head retains well, leaving sheets of lace clinging to the glass. Chocolate, subtle black licorice and roasted malt come to me first in the aroma, with a touch of coffee and roasty acidity behind. It's roasty and dry on the tongue, baking chocolate, coffee and burnt toast flavors lending nuance. There's also a bit of alcohol flavor that reminds me of vodka. The mouthfeel is dry but rich, medium in body with substantial carbonation. Dark fruit, coffee and burnt toast linger on the palate in the dry finish. This is very solid stuff.

 605 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, caramel, toffee, floral, light char, light nuttiness, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of roasted malt notes with a fair amount of hop presence; and good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, milk chocolate, roasted malt, toast, toffee, caramel, coffee, light char, light nuttiness, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Slight coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, caramel, toffee, coffee, light char, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance, complexity, and robustness of roasted and dark malt flavors; with a light amount of hop balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy, smooth, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a really excellent porter style. Great robustness and balance of roasted flavors; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

 1,390 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep chocolate brown with huby highlights,a creamy one finger tan colored head atop that never really left.Sweeter chcolate notes along with almost a cookie dough element to it,not overly roasted in the nose.Slightly sharp in the mouth,not overly annoying but it's noticable.A nice mix of sweet and roast on the palate,starts out with some chocolate and molasses then melds into a roasty dryer finish that lingers.A solid porter from a brewery that I miss,I can't get their stuff here in NC.

 500 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of mactrail
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky dark ale with rich roasted flavors.

Not quite black color in the glass with reddish on the edges. Hops are tasty without being excessive. Dark roasted malts with nutty flavors and a touch of bitterness, like Brazil nuts. Fruitcake richness yet only a touch of sweetness. The stronger alcohol content goes nicely with the robust flavors.

Well-balanced flavorful porter. Hard to find fault. My favorite Speakeasy beer to date.

 432 characters

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of smcolw
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown color. Light only passes on the very edge of the glass. Extensive lace on the glass from the modest beige head.

Dark, Baker's chocolate is the initial aroma. I then pick up vanilla and light chalk.

Interesting beginning of milk chocolate which transforms into darker and more bitter chocolate as the taste continues. There's also a distinctly hop bitterness in the swallow. It hits all the right notes and yet remains wonderfully complex. The body and carbonation are quite normal for the style.

 510 characters

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Payback Porter from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
3.92 out of 5 based on 284 ratings.
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