Portsmouth Kate The Great | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Kate The GreatPortsmouth Kate The Great
931 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: 931 |  Reviews: 495
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SchuStar
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of pschul4
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of Romulux
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of denimdemon
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of TotallyHosed
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of tarheels86
3.74/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

651mL 2010 Ed thanks to jblauvs. Pours clear deep maroon not black or ink. Bubbly, aerated, weak head. No real thick creamy foam. Nose is tawny, oaky, spiced graham cracker, moderate dark chocolate and cocoa. Taste is earthy, silky, tangy, mild tart acid, mild soil and dirty earth. Finish is sharper and tangy. Seventh bitter. Not overly sweet. Mostly dry. With warning the decanting the nose opens up to show rich dessert complexities: more cinnamon sliced graham cracker, vanilla, moderate bourbon expression, spicy vanilla. Really nice aroma. In taste, very oily with mild brown sugar. Dirty soil and hints of iron metallic off character separate this from the worlds best imperial stouts. 5/27/2012 8/3/7/4/15=3.7

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pitch black with a little bit of cherry cola and tan looking head to it. Lots of soy sauce type aroma with this one, but it pulls through to still remain enjoyable, thanks to the additional chocolate and what seems to be tobacco.

Lots of plum in the taste, more soy, raisin, dark belgian sugar taste. Very sweet tasting, not dry at all. Didn't really pick up on any coffee at all in this one. It does hide the alcohol quite nicely.

The chocolate/cocoa doesn't stand out in a massive way, very underwhelming presence, the sugar and soy sauce feel really have too much presence to be considered one of the super elite imperial stouts out there.

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Photo of digita7693
3.71/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very interested in finally trying the somewhat elusive Kate the Great.

A about what youd expect from an IS, dark as night, with maybe a finger of brownish tan head that disappears rather quickly. I'm really impressed with the ISs that can retain a bit more head and even have some lacing.

S the smell is quite wonderful. Dark chocolate, some coffee, dark fruits (raisins) and some malty sweetness

T follows the nose a bit. some chocolate with a splash of coffee, raisiny sweetness, very sweet, not what I was expecting and a bit too sweet for me.

D almost sickeningly sweet and too little carbonation, half of a bottle was more than enough.

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Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.7/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of badbeer
3.68/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with a beige head, decent retention and lacing. Some milk chocolate, cream, roast, sweet caramel, and a little coffee in the aroma. Sweet caramel, cream, milk chocolate and dark chocolate, some vanilla, and a touch of roastiness. Heavier than medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth. An amazing beer, I need more of this. Thanks to Adam and Cole for the sample.

Update: Had this multiple times now. Smell has had some burnt plastic in every subsequent bottle. Taste has that as well, but not as much. A pretty smooth beer, but just not that big of a fan. Give me a Smuttynose IRS, please. More detailed notes to come eventually.

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Photo of 31Sam13
3.66/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A wonderful experience. When the beer is released it is like a whole different atmosphere; it makes people happy. I agree with the taste analyses by many of you, however, after drinking a fair amount of the stuff (or being lucky enough to) I must say that it has lost it's charm. It's not as otherworldly as some would have you believe. It hits its high notes, but its not the perfect beer, as rated here.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a jet black with ok carbonation and a dirty white head

S: Some funk, wood, dark fruits, tobacco

T: Has aome light funk, dark fruits like fig and raisins, wood, tobacco, vanilla

M: Has sordove a diminsihng feel on the mouth like the beer just feel flat on its face after initial taste

D: Very good

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.63/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Comes in super pitch black with a mixture of that beige and cherry cola colored head on top. Aroma was lots of earthy, soy, tobacco like notes.

Plenty of dark fruit notes, more raisin and soy, kind of sweet. Does have a mouthfeel that absorbs the alcohol quite nicely.

I really never understood why this one was so loved. Its pretty basic stuff, just had a low bottle count, special release kind of thing furthering the hype of a decent beer along Dark Lord lines.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.62/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

09 bottle. Infection check.

Pours a fairly viscous dark brown. Just a bit of fizz for head for a sec.

Nose is fantastic. Big sweet fruit, maple syrup, brown sugar. Big nice sweetness.

Flavor follows the nose for a sec and then turns just a bit tart. Not fully sour, but I think there is a small infection. Hard to tell cuz this is my first Kate and it's not a major infection.

Mouth is medium bodied, a touch dry and low carb.

Seems infected. Not major but it must be. Still drinkable. Not terrible.

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Photo of puzzzl
3.62/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle from BrianK. Finally a chance to try the #3 beer! A bit of a disappointment it is. Warm, caramelly aroma is very one-dimensional. Pretty plain but clean and refined stout flavor. Buttery. Lacking in complexity. It sits in that perilous place between being too big and not being big enough.

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Photo of far333
3.6/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage. Served in a crystal snifter.

Deep dark brown, nearly black, very opaque. A low soapy head rises up minimally and settles out flat. Low aroma of ripe dark fruits, lots of fig and plum. Rich and intense flavor of sharp espresso, smoke and leather, a bit ashey and acrid. Some cocoa notes lie beneath and emerge occasionally, but get pushed back down by the sharper flavors. Very flavorful, with lots of nuances. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and slick, but there is a tingly flourish in the finish. Excited to finally have a chance to try this much celebrated beer. I expected a little more from it, but it is a very good beer.

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Photo of Goliath
3.6/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pure black and completely opaque with a thin dark brown head that quickly disappears.

The aroma is decent. There's a nice bitter dark chocolate with a dying hop aroma. There's a bit of vanilla and caramel as well.

The taste is ok. There's a big malt showing with some bitter dark chocolate and some bitter coffee grounds. There seems like there's almost a light smokiness, though I could be imagining that. Again, there is a bit of a dying hop presence as well. I'm actually pretty under whelmed.

The mouthfeel is a gigantic disappointment. The carbonation is quite low which is what I look for in a good RIS. However, the beer is entirely too thin. It seems slightly viscous when it first enters the mouth but then quickly feels a bit watery as I swallow.

The drinkability is moderate. The ABV is high, but well incorporated which is a plus. I personally feel the nose, taste, and mouthfeel fail to live up to its reputation. I'm pretty disappointed, but still happy for the chance at it.

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Photo of aasher
3.53/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oh sweet Katherine. This bottle is the infamous 09 vintage. It pours a medium bodied midnight black in color with a slight beige lacing around the glass. It smells of roasted malts with smooth chocolates with a slight buttery component. Uh oh. It's not bad but I feel this MIGHT be infected or on its way. The flavor too is slightly tainted butter. You get smooth and light chocolate with moderate sweetness and an interesting roasty finish. The butter though is something that's hard to stop thinking about. Overall its ok but this was from a questionable batch. Interesting beer and I was glad to try it. I'd love to try another vintage.

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Photo of Steamhead
3.53/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 and 2010 side by side, 12-25-10.

2009- typical dark brown stout color, nothing out of the ordinary with good carbonation. The taste was creamy, medium-bodied but finished extremely wine-like. Sourness and tannin mingling in a strange and unpleasing way. I justified this in my mind and to others as not being infected, but the influence of the supposed port-soaked oak spirals used in this beer. However, upon tasting the 2010, which was completely absent of this sour note it seemed considerably less complex. It was a smooth, slightly sweet in its malt profile, well-balanced, better than average, but certainly nothing remarkable. One must wonder what is the real profile of this beer, but the consistency of such a lauded beer must come into question. I would like to believe that this beer is living on the glory of the 06-08 period. I am certainly not intrigued enough by this beer to ever seek out any other vintages. Now, I just wish I had that 20% barrel-aged, bourbon bomb back that I traded for it. Oh well, trade and learn.

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.52/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This April 2015 review relates to a 2012 bottle. Really thin stout with quad-like flavors. Not much on the nose. Really past its prime. Wet cardboard flavors and papery mouthfeel.

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Photo of Callmecoon
3.5/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of Photekut
3.5/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of kbuzz
3.5/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of DaveHack
3.5/5  rDev -22.7%

Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 4.53 out of 5 with 931 ratings