Portsmouth Kate The Great | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Kate The GreatPortsmouth Kate The Great
932 Ratings
Portsmouth Kate The GreatPortsmouth Kate The Great

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bewareOFpenguin on 04-07-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 932 |  Reviews: 495
Photo of readicculus
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of mbrandon2w
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a growler to share with my fiancee's family over christmas.
Poured absolutely Jet black. No light came through whatsover. Nice dark brown head.
Aroma of chocolate, coffee. Both in the taste as well. The flavor was so complex and unbelievably smooth. Coffee, chocolate, slight roasted grains, some alcohol.
According to the bartender when I bought it, this was closer to 12%, and I can't believe the beer was so smooth if it had that much alcohol.
I wish I could get more of this.
Of the 5 or 6 people that tried it, not a single person did not love it.

 563 characters

Photo of Britton
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of fdrich29
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The joys of being a father know no bounds...

So at the tail end of my three month vacation I took to be a stay at home dad with my daughter I received a call from rocketfrog asking me if I wanted to go to Kate the Great Day at Portsmouth Brewing. "Why the hell not?" I say and a few days later with my daughter in tow we're heading up to New Hampshire.

We arrive around 1:30 or so and are among the last people to get a calendar page (November 7 & 8 I believe). The beer was released at 2:27pm. We wait and chat with the other people in line. Many familiar BA faces, some of which had just volunteered at the ACBF in Boston. I was offered a taste of Kate while we were waiting outside.

Love at first sip.

When the calendar dwindled down to the early Fall and we did the math, we realized we most likely weren't going home with Kate. October was called one day at a time, instead of the entire month. All of October received their beer, but that would be the end of Kate for the day. We were told to come back on rain check day with our calendar pages and we could buy the beer when they bottled more.

We had talked with Blackkristos for much of the wait and as he was leaving with his four bottles of Kate handed me one bottle as a gift for having waited for so long with my daughter. Tremendous beer karma goes out to him.

Rocketfrog and I had a glass at the bar before heading back home, and I had two glasses on that Friday with joepais when I went back up to collect my bottles on rain check day.

As for my review of Kate the Great....Totally, 100% worth the hype.

 1,579 characters

Photo of kneary13
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of IntriqKen
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours almost black with a half finger of coffee and cream colored foam topping the glass. Head is very sticky as you draw down.

Aromas are lots and lots of coffee, rich coffee...starbucks coffee with none of the bitterness associated with coffee.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth...not too thick...just...well...perfect.

Taste ....uh, oh....this is hard. There is so very much going on in here. Coffee...espresso coffee....caramel....cream....toffy...give me a break! Rich, creamy, sweet, smooth. Everything is wonderful in this beer.
Wow. How did they do this.
I have just discovered my favorite RIS...quite possible (and in my humble opinion) the best RIS in the world.
Thank you, sweet BA for sharing this experience.
This is heaven.

 737 characters

Photo of mutterfudder
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Recently opened an '08 bottle at a tasting at my buddy's house. We had heard that the 08's were aging poorly so it was time to crack one open and see what was what. Many props for pulling out this from the cellar!

A - Kate poured viscous and dark into the snifter. There was an ever-present dark tan head that stuck to the sides of the glass. Swirling the beer left a thin layer of the beer on the sides of the glass that would slowly drip down to join the rest of the beer. Nice.

S - Any concerns that the beer had gone south were set free by a smell of the nose. Roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate and alcohol. Wonderful.

T - Ok, then there was NO concern about the beer. Malts opened up to a fresh roasted dark coffee tempered by whiskey notes. The few years in the cellar really mellowed out Kate's alcohol side, as there was no warmth generally associated with the style or the ABV.

M/D - The beer was soft and chewy on the palate. All the notes played well together and nothing stood out as off. Drinkability? Well I only wish that I could drink these all night. I slowly savored the glass I had but could have easily had more if it were possible.

I hate to add to the hype around this one, but Portsmouth did a great job with 08 KtG. Can only hope '10's batch is this good...

 1,289 characters

Photo of seanthornton152
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of mikeale
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

February 09 bottling. Served in my new Portsmouth snifter.
Worth the wait in line!
Yes Perfect 5's!

A. Pitch black body with tan head. The head disipates in a few minutes with nice lacing.

S. Very complex. I'm getting hints of rum soaked fruits, coffee, and chocolate.

T. Mocha, creamy chocolate, malted milk balls, do I keep going or when do I stop? Roasted malt the hops are so balenced.

M. rich, creamy, warming alochol

D. Highly drinkable! I'm restraining myself from getting another from my stash! Not as thick as the Dark Lord. My wife said "the Stone IRS has a bite but Kate does'nt"

When the camera crew came around and interveiwed my wife, daughter and myself, they asked my wife how she felt about my love of the other woman Kate. My wife responded "we have an open marriage when it comes to beer".

I love Kate! She is great!

 845 characters

Photo of DNuggs
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ordered some take out last night and headed down to the brewery. Looked up at the board and saw this offering. On an empty stomach, I ordered a 12oz glass. Poured dark with chocolate bubbles. Rich taste, no hint of the ABV, good malt. In fact, it wasn't until I started home that I noticed that warm blow in my stomach. I think it is 12%, but I am not sure. A growler refill at $12? I'll be doing it knowing this beer won't last long.

 434 characters

Photo of deathcharms
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of growlerfills
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of tobin
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Kate the Great Day - 3 glasses served in snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a finger of tan head. Head recedes leaving a film on the inside of the glass

S: Smell is not overwhelming but hints at the flavors hiding within of chocolate, oak, caramel and coffee

T: Tastes of dark chocolate and roasted/smokey oak with first sip. Finishes with hints of caramel, molasses and lots of dark fruit/port.

M: Full bodied, smooth and creamy. Seems to have the perfect amount of carbonation

D: A very delicious beer and I really couldn't taste the 9.5% ABV. Kate lives up to the hype and I wish I could have scored more without coming off as a glutton!

 650 characters

Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of garrisonp
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Snellgg5
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of CooperEllis
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Composite review of bottles (22 and 11.2oz) from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Appearance - Thin head, tan, light lacing; deep brown liquid with little feathering or ruby highlight at the edge. Even 2009 did not have much of a head, no gushing, etc..doubt there was an infection issue but, as notes below, there are different highlights in each vintage.

The aroma is one of the best for the style. It's always enjoyable when an imperial stout is not buried under a barrel. Here, there is no shortage of depth with roast malt, black cherry, plum, and a light brown sugar sweetness.

Lovely balance; fruit-forward with complex malt in the middle. The carbonation does assist in rounding out the depth of flavor at the end. The 2011 bomber is by far my favorite incarnation, with a strong port presence without any sour note in the finish.

Excellent mouth feel, a bit chewy with a clean finish. This is true across all of the vintages that I've had. While certain aroma/taste notes may push to the front from year-to-year, the overall composition of this RIS are consistent throughout the vintages.

I've had the 2011 and 2012 side-by-side with the port from Flag Hill and the '11 has more port presence IMO. This is one of my favorite bottles, hope to see it's next incarnation back around and available soon.


 1,316 characters

Photo of liquorpig
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of bombadil
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of TheKingsOfHop
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of jmccrum
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of gregshead
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of boonejag75
5/5  rDev +10.4%

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Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 4.53 out of 5 with 932 ratings