Portsmouth Kate The Great | Portsmouth Brewery

491 Reviews
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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 491 | Ratings: 926
Photo of CooperEllis
5/5  rDev +10.9%
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.


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Photo of reyes29201
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle, 2011 batch poured into snifter reviewed on 11/28/12.

A: Pours black with a thin tan head that leaves some lacing around glass.

S: Sweet dark malt with dark fruit, carmael and molasses with a hint of alcohol.

T: Starts off with sweet dark malts, raisins, figs and molasses. Leaves a pleasant lingering taste of dark fruit.

M: Super smooth and creamy full body, low-moderate carbonation and a sweet finish.

O: Very interesting and extremely drinkable for an imperial stout, the sweet dark fruit character really seperates this from other big stouts that are available. Easily the best non-barrel aged imperial stout that I have had.

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Photo of birchstick
4/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours chocolaty black into the glass with a thing, white rim that forms around the edges of my snifter

S - nose is chocolate and grain malts with some sweet tobacco in the mix

T - sweet soy chocolates move on to rich milk chocolates. These hold strong for a while but eventually give way to some mild tobacco notes and ultimately ends with more of the chocolate that is so dominant throughout the other phases of this beer.

M - smooth and full bodied makes this a nice RIS

D - good, but not as complex or deep as I was hoping it would be given the hype and difficulty of obtaining a bottle of this. Worth a try, but not at the cost.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.62/5  rDev -19.7%
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 quirkzoo
4.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opened on 9/9 to celebrate the birth of my son, Micah, on 9/6.

Special thanks to ajcormier, I never thought I would get to try this one.

Pours straight black with minimal lacing, not exactly the best looking stout I have ever seen, but not the worst either. I love the stubby bottle.

The smell is very nice, lots of deep, dark aromas, definitely some port and wood, dark fruits, touch of roast but not as much as I expect from a RIS.

The taste is where this one really excels. Amazingly complex and balanced. I kept trying to not buy into the hype because I know this might be the last time I get to try this beer. But damn, it just keeps giving me what I want. I get a lot of chocolate up front, with a strong port wine follow up, fruity but not overly so, with a perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness.

The mouthfeel is phenomenal. No touch of heat but just the right amount of viscosity. It is thick, without being engine oil or cloying, but it is not thin either, it has a good amount of heft.

Overall, this is a great RIS, definitely worth seeking out. It's reputation is well deserved however it is a situation of diminishing returns. It is good, for sure but considering how hard it is to get, it is not an equal measure better than a beer like Abyss or Parabola.

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Photo of tarheels86
3.74/5  rDev -17.1%
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 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review # 500!!!

Huge thanks to Number45forever for trading me this bottle! Thanks Bill.

poured into tulip glass.

reviewed from notes taken on 8/24/12.

I gotta say this has been a beer that I have been hunting down for a long time probably 2 or 3 years! Very ellusive creature this Kate. Lets see just how "great" she is.... Glad to see the wait is finally over. Drank this in celebration of my birthday this year!

Appearance: dark black bodied beer with a 1 finger tall medium brown almost mocha colored head.

Smell: smells of milk chocolate with nice notes of oak barrel. Big smooth roasty, smokey, and charred notes.

Taste: I really like the complexity and balance this beer has; it honestly reminds me of The Abyss but its just tastes way better! The beer starts off sweet with milk chocolate, light vanilla and barrel notes. A hint of port and a decent dose of earthy / woody oak barrel. As the beer progresses, it goes into a lite bacony / meaty smoke note which starts to fade away as the roasty notes begin to surface. Also getting a touch of dark fruits, molasses, and tobacco in the middle of this beer. The beer finishes with a surprisingly moderately charred / roasty bite that still stays in balance with the same level all other flavors in the beer. The charred notes seem to linger on for quite some time after each sip without being an overbearing flavor.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. This beer drinks like its 7 to 8%. Super smooth for a 12% beer; not a hint of booze. The beer is really silky and soft on the palate. Yes it is a little bit thinner than I expected, but that does not really hurt this beer one bit and fits well with the beers flavor profile.

Overall: Kate is truely a fantastic beer! Here is the thing about her though... She is a very delicate and subtle beer that really needs your undivided attention to catch all the flavors going on in the beer. This beer will probably be appreciated more by someone with a veteran palate. I can see how some people are dissapointed by this beer, but what I really enjoyed most from this beer is that everything is so balanced and complex with a nice silky, smooth mouthfeel. Its does not have to be in your face roasty and robust to be amazing an amazing beer which is what most beer nerds crave from this beer style(Russian Imperial Stout). It is honestly a nice change from all of the "in your face" BA RIS out there in the craft beer world today! Kate the Great has got some class!

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Photo of camil1mj
3.16/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was finally able to secure a date with this elusive mistress. Unfortunately she did not deliver as others had promised. She was fun to chase once, but I would not waste my time or effort on her again. She just doesn't stand up against other great stouts I can buy off the shelf in Michigan.

2012 vintage poured at cellar temp.
A: The apperrance of this beer is the best thing it has going. Nice dark stout with brown head.

S: Roasty with some dark fruit notes.

T: Your typical stouts flavors. Roasted malt with some chocolate and coffee notes. I really don't pick up the port.

M: A little thin for my tastes. Well carbonated.

O: More hype than she is worth. Kate is a beer I could care less to try again. Give me a 4 pk of Pt5 over this any day.

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Photo of mfavoino
4.2/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle poured into a Surly tulip.

Appearance: Appears black that looks like a rich brown with light behind it. Just a rim of bubbly head that pushes to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Some chocolate, oak, and dark roasted malts. Nothing dominating.

Taste: Oak flavor and port comes through, along with a nice chocolate sweetness that isn't overwhelming. Rich roasted malt flavor is satisfying. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Smoothness is superb, but felt like the body was more thin than it should be. Low-medium carbonation.

Overall: Very smooth for a 12% beer and nice flavor. Still, not that wow factor that one tends to expect with a RIS like this.

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Photo of Treebs
3.92/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage split three ways. Served in a FW tulip.

A: Pours a dark black color with dark brown edges. A light tan head forms on the pour and recedes to a thin ring. No real lace, just some small splotches.

S: Dark fruity port with some oak. Light roasted coffee bean and some toasted malts. Minimal chocolate.

T: The oak has a much bigger presence than in the nose and the port quickly follows suit. Dark chocolate and roasted wiht some caramelize sugar and raisins.

M: Silky and oily, but a touch thin for a 12% RIS. Medium carbonation as well.

O: This was a nice beer, but definitely not worth everything it commands. I'm glad I got to share this guy and find out what all the fuss is about, but I certainly wont be looking to acquire it again in the future.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.15/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 11.6oz bottle opened on 8.10.12.

A - Pours a motor oil black with a thin dark tan head that moves quickly to the edges.

S - Chocolate hits you first, then some roasty nice malts.

T - Chocolate, strong licorice finish. Not as complex as I was hoping.

D - Decent carbonation with a heavy body. Sweeter finish.

O - A very good beer, but not great. I was very glad to try this one, but it was too licorice heavy for me.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split many a bottle and shared more than a few glasses with angrybabboon. This review is #300 and is of a 2012 vintage. Some additions were made from my notes on previous vintages.

Appearance: Pours thick, dark, and completely black. Dark tan head drops to a thin collar in short order. Wispy head on the beer. Almost nothing. Coats the glass. It's not lacing. It must be congealed awesomeness. Very thick with a decent carbonation given the pour. Sits still and heavy.

Smell: Oak and booze. Deep dark fruits run the gamut from figs and plums to cherry and raisins. Dense on the dark fruit. Port is prevalent, adding some sweetness and dropping a nice sharp woody aroma. Burnt and roasted almost to the point of absurdity. Char, chocolate (both milk and bitter cocoa), with some minor roasted coffee. Leather and fresh, wet tobacco leaf. Almost fudgey without the sugary sweetness.

Taste: Big heat up front. Port and oak make up a big component of the first wave of flavor. Chewy fudge layered with cocoa. Deep red wine, day old coffee. Some dark fruit, with a preference for raisins and plums. Juicy leather. Tobacco leaf, wet and uncut. It's booze soaked dessert. Decadence. Layers of char and burnt and over-roasted malt add a layer of sweetness that helps keep things moving. Massive. Some lingering alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Full and thick. Somehow the carbonation is present. Syrupy without crossing in to the realm of actual syrup. Coats the mouth, but the carbonation breaks it up just enough. So very carefully treads the line of too much. With great risk comes great power...or something.

Overall: She is that damn good.

I've had the privilege to try this beer multiple times starting in '08, only missing '09. It has been and remains the insurmountable representation of the style. The consistent level of complexity gets better with age, but damn if Kate doesn't drink like a beast when fresh. This is a beast and a half. The hype train may have run away with it, bit I have a hard time not accepting the associated accolades.

I've even tried Kate blind in a massive tasting and she stands out. Bias, perhaps, but it's a mighty tasty bias.

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Photo of BeRanger
4.15/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 KTG poured into my Portsmouth Tulip.

A: Pours jet black, mahogony rim, hardly any head on it.

S: Chocolate, Roasted Malts, Coffee, Vanilla, Red Wine.

T: Given the high ABV, the booze is definitely hidden in the small and the taste. Rich chocolate, coffee and roasted flavor. It has a red wine complexity to it nice from the port barrels which was nice.

M: Full bodied, rich and creamy - very smooth.

O: I really do like the beer however I dont know it lived up to the hype but nowadays, what really does? Certainly fantastic and I'd love to have more but given the value on the 11.2oz bottle, it wouldnt be my first choice.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.48/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 Bottle poured into a HF Tulip

A - Dark, dark brown that is almost black. If it weren't for brown notes on the edges I would think it were black. Had a 1/8 inch mocha color head that sat throughout. It leaves a nice amount of lacing on the glass as I swirl and drink it

S - Mixtures of various scents come forth each time I take a sniff. Coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, and brandied dates come forth. It is interesting how the main smell changes between the sweeter chocolate and the more smoky aspects

T - At first, there is a brandied date and plum. As the beer contained to develop, chocolate and sweet caramel take over. The finish becomes more bitter as the coffee and slight tobacco becomes more prominent. The finish is also rather dry and there is a slight alcohol kick that reminds you that this is a 12% stout. It's nice and complex to get so many flavors from this beer. I'd be curious to see how this ages to see if it settles down just a bit more.

MF - Thick and velvety on the tongue with a light carbonation to it. It has a nice medium body to it. The carbonation leaves a slight tingle on the backend that helps accentuate the dry finish.

O - An interesting and complex beer from Portsmouth. It is definitely near the top of the category for RIS as it brings a ton of flavors that are all well balanced against each other. I'd like to see if this settles down a bit to smooth out the rough edges as if it does, this would be one of the best beers out there.

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Photo of coachdonovan
4.71/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

*Attn BA Bros: please don't delete this review. I realize it was not on tap, but I want to create a new review separate from my 2009 bottle.*

2011 bottle, aged in a true cellar. Want to enjoy this in celebration of the impending home purchase (and also to avoid anything bad happening to the bottle while moving). I was at '09 KTG Day, and I can't wait to taste this one again.

A tiny psst when the cap comes off makes me a little concerned, and it takes a hard pour to get just a 1/2 inch of head. Beer itself is obviously jet black. Aroma is that dark mysterious blend I love in a RIS... sweetness although I'm not sure whether it's coming from chocolate or dark fruits; complex roasted malts but not overly smoky; alcohol makes its presence known for sure.

Taste follows the same complex lines. It's fruity without being hoppy, it's roasted without tasting like coffee, it's thick and viscous without feeling like motor oil. I am glad I started this above cellar temp, as I wouldn't want to miss any of the intricacies. I might want a tiny bit more carbonation, but this style really doesn't need it.

I can't get over how smooth this is. It has all the oaky vanilla you get from a bourbon barrel aged beer without any of the burning booze. If you'll excuse me, I'm leaving now to enjoy the rest of my glass without a keyboard in front of me.

God bless you, Tod Mott.

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Photo of birderbeerer
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 bottle consumed in June 2012.

Beautiful beer. It's hard to imagine a more complete beer. It's very well balanced and doesn't try to be the biggest or to tackle a specific flavor fully.

Great balance of chocolate and roast, but the roast is softened by oak. Very full and rich without being big. A subtle complexity. And on top of all of it is a consistent note of red wine that just adds another great layer of flavor and complexity.

Rich and full without being too big or overbearing. Very easily drinkable and left me wanting much more.

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Photo of NarcoSolo
4.64/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally cracked my only 2012 bottle. Had been waiting for a somewhat special occasion, but "Tuesday" turned out to be it.

A: Pours jet black into a small snifter, about a 1/4 inch of tan head that dissolves into a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. A bit of light peaks through around the edges.

S: Wow! Figs, raisins, chocolate, vanilla, dark roasted coffee, caramel. This beer smells fantastic.

T: The flavor doesn't disappoint. Rich coffee and vanilla flavors, hints of sherry and port, a bit of oak and a just a touch of smoke. A hint of coffee bitterness that I really enjoy.

M: Doesn't get any smoother in my book. Perfect mid-level carbonation, velvety smooth.

O: This beer definitely lived up to my expectations. I know other people disagree, but I was very pleased to have this perfectly executed RIS. It was a pleasant respite after all the BA releases of recent times.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge THANKS to Mario for bringing this rare gem to my tasting last night. Now I don't need to hunt this one down! 2012 Vintage. Pours a thick, jet black color with a small-medium brown head that disappears quickly. Scent is packed with coffee and dark chocolate cocoa. A bit of cherry and subtle citrus aromas. Taste is just as it smells with an initial burst of chocolate followed by coffee and cherry juice. Some subtle citrus flavors as well. The chocolate flavor isn't as dark and bitter as the nose implied. ABV is impressively well-hidden. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a syrupy finish. Drinkability is high. Overall, this is definitely a good RIS. I really struggle to understand the hype behind this beer. I am very glad to have tried it, but equally glad that I did not end up trading an arm and a leg for it. Basically, this beer is not worth one of my Beatifications. Solid beer all around though.

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Photo of SpottedZombie
1.78/5  rDev -60.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Big thanks to Adam for this one!

2011 Vintage

Pours a viscous black, pretty consistent with the style.

Smells like a heavily roasted bag of coffee, earthy, acrid, slight notes of dark fruits. The coffee smell is off-putting, not sure what the big deal is so far...

The beer starts off with a bitter/sour punch on the tip of the tongue, then moves into a chalky mess mid-palate. Coffee is highly present, not much going on here, chalky and acrid. The aftertaste is pretty awful to match, just more bitter burned coffee.

Overall I can't really see what the big deal was over this beer, it doesn't impress. I don't know if my bottle was stored right, but the mouth feel really didn't feel right, I'm going to revisit this soon.

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Photo of beerhan
4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Cmack15 for sending a bottle my way

A-Jet black very viscous pour into a snifter. About a one finger dark brown head that dissipates into a thin lacing.

A-Lots of chocolate and a bit of espresso. A little oaky and very burned aroma.

T-Lots of coffee up front but balanced by almost plum notes and tons of dark chocolate in a way that nothing overwhelms another flavor.

M-Very smooth minimal carbonation and hides the alcohol very well.

O-Probably the best non-barrel aged stout out there but not entirely worth the effort to get one of these. Kate is fantastic but I would choose other stouts simply over obtainability

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Photo of siege06nd
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, Eric, you continue to be far too generous. Thanks for letting me have a share of this bottle!

2012 vintage poured into a snifter...

A. Thick, rich, motor oil in my glass. Darkest of browns, almost black. About a quarter finger of light brown head with some good, spotty lacing down the sides of the glass. Really nice wisps of head float atop the beer.

S. Mmmm. Cocoa powder, ripe fruit, cherry juice, vanilla, roasted malt, toasted caramel, subtle touches of hops, almost citrus-like. Hints of roasted coffee as well. I really like this...especially the infusion of dark fruit and some citrus zest from what I assume are hops. The bouquet here is near perfectly integrated, and hits a lot of nice notes.

T. Super dark chocolate drops, strawberry, cherry juice, whole coffee bean, bread crust, roasted caramel, mocha, citrusy hop, almost like a chocolate covered orange. De-freakin-licious. Pretty boozy finish, but at this point, I'm not caring. Barrel adds a lot of subtle char qualities but also contributes a cloying dryness that subtly burns the back of the throat. A decadent beer and the complete antithesis to brews like Chocolate Rain. This doesn't try to go over the top sugar-bomb on you. It lets chocolate, coffee, caramel, and roasted malt each have its turn. Very very very impressive.

M. Thick and full bodied with moderate carbonation. Flavors are well-integrated. Slightly boozy and tannic finish detract ever so slightly.

O. A spectacular concoction. Top-notch imperial stout that brings a lot of new flavors to the table, making it an exercise in unparalleled complexity. Might could use some age with the alcohol burn that exists at this stage, but it drinks nicely nonetheless. One of the best coffee and dark chocolate finishes I have encountered, and a great creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Bravo.

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Photo of bobbypaulson
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got a 2012 bottle about a week after the release. The best part about this beer was that I didn't have to trade away my soul to try a bottle, thanks to a great trader!!! Poured out of the baby bottle into a snifter and the aroma pours out along with the black oily liquor with almost no head that is gone very fast. The smell is sweet chocolately with dried fruits and roasted coffee. The taste is deep and dark with much like a port. I taste a lot of tried sweet fruit, some wood, and chocolate. Delicious beer glad I got to try, however I wouldn't trade away a huge amount of stuff to get this one done.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 version. Pours a one finger brown head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Totally black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Coffee and molasses nose, flavor is roasted coffee and hints of molasses, high ABV is hidden. Good RIS but is this worth two trips to Portsmouth ($21) plus raffle tickets ($20) and $8.00 for a 330ml bottle from the brewery in Portsmouth, NH? No, got it for my collection, this is bottle #3222. Stone has a RIS that is $7.70 for a bomber and is equally good.

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Photo of SkiBum22
4.97/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a deep black with with one finger head that descended into a thin frothy lacing, slight webbing as it lowered.

S - Smelled of dark fruits and chocolate, and almost a bit of a red wine scent in there.

T - Chocolate, espresso flavors/bitterness, oak, some alcohol in the finish, anise, molasses, some port flavors as well. Smooth finish.

M - A nice thick heavy mouthfeel, low to medium carbonation.

O - This is a top 10 beer for me. Absolutely lives up to the hype and then some. I've had a lot of great beers in my life but this one stands out. I will be trying to get a bottle every year from here on out.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.29/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle of the 2010 vintage. Cheers to basilcrow for giving me a ride to Portsmouth just over two years ago. Opened for review #500 and split between my Brooklyn Brewery tulip and my Canadian Breakfast Stout snifter.

Kate the Great pours a solid black, with a finger and a half or so of mocha foam crowning the beer. Head retention is good, but lacing is definitely on the spotty side. The nose shows the beer's age a little bit, with lots of oxidation (albeit pleasant oxidation), joining some nice chocolaty aromas. The flavor's got plenty of chocolate up front, and then some sherry comes in mid palate. It's not quite as intense as in the aroma though. Port/dark fruit notes are a new addition, and come in on the back end to provide a wonderful lingering finish. The mouthfeel is sturdy, and a little bit chewy, without being overly viscous. The carbonation is perfectly subtle, allowing the malt profile to steal the show. Kate the Great clocks in at 12%ABV. I wouldn't have guessed this *at all* if I hadn't looked up as I was finishing this review. It's absurd how, despite being plenty flavorful, how smooth and not syrupy Kate drinks for being relatively high in alcohol. I don't have tasting notes, but I think I might have enjoyed the bottle of Kate I opened right after the release a little more than this one. That said, she's doing just fine right now.

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Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
4.51 out of 5 based on 926 ratings.
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