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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Black Cat StoutPortsmouth Black Cat Stout
197 Ratings
Portsmouth Black Cat StoutPortsmouth Black Cat Stout

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Yes, Arthur, there is another stout. Our Irish-style "dry" stout is brewed with four different malts, roasted barley and Chinook hops. It is big, bold, smooth & tasty, and we think it's the best thing on either side of St. James Gate.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-30-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 |  Reviews: 104
Photo of kevgod
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of randomdanger
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of Rempo
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of SineWaveFL
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of the_beerist
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap from the Brewpub. It was presented to me in a standard pint glass the beer was a near perfect midnight black with no light able to penatrate. Atop the beer sat about 1.5 fingers of dark tan colored head. No outright signs of carbonation but a good coat of lace developed down the glass throughout the sample. The head retained well and reduced to about a half-finger for the remainder of the sample.

The smell was very strongly coffee upfront with more subtle aromas of toffee, chocolate, and roasted malt. Also some burnt expresso in the background. The smell was ever so slightly sweet like a milk chocolate candy bar.

The beer has a very smooth but robust body. A very milky-chocolately taste resembling a sweet stout (Mackeson, perhaps). Coffee flavors and vanilla were also in the taste and the beer finished as smoothly as it began with no trace of bitterness to speak of.

A moderate to heavy body with a velvety creamy consistancy that proved enjoyable but filling. Almost no carbonation.

A very drinkable stout and it paired well with my fried seafood appitizer. Would have gone equally well with dessert, or as dessert, or with oysters. I liked this one a lot.

 1,192 characters

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark enough to block out the sun. Robust taste, chocolate and malty. The brewery tells me they will never bottle this, so the only way to experience it is on draft, which is ok by me. My favorite stout.

Update: they do bottle this. Must be cold in hell

 255 characters

Photo of gameface23
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black pour in a pint glass. A light tan head laced the glass down its entirety.

S: Not extremely overwhelming, but dry stouts rarely are. There are hints of cocoa and coffee and other dark roasted malts.

T: This is a great example of an Irish dry stout. It's what I always wanted Guinness to be. If Guinness is a 6 on the flavor scale, this is a 9.5.

M: Creamy and silky mouthfeel. We weren't 100% sure if this was on a nitro-tap or not.

D: This is the definition of a session beer.

 495 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A chilled bottle was split between two pint glasses. Black liquid fills the glass. Atop it rests two fingers of thick brown foam. Good lacing is left behind. Some sweet crystal malts, chocolate and a slight bitterness make up the impressive aroma. It gets me excited to take a sip.

This is a well constructed and well balanced beverage. Plenty of dark malts can be tasted, imparting sweetness, but also robust toasted and nutty flavors reminiscent of a fine brown ale. The level of bittering hops is on the small side, but works very well here. It isn't an oily bitterness, nor does it remind me of coffee. It provides a sharpness that can be felt as well as tasted. This is one of the better Irish dry stouts I've had.

The beer is full bodied. At first, it feels like it has low carbonation levels, but if I let the beer rest in my mouth, I can feel a lot of bubbles popping in my mouth. A thin and slick coat is left behind. It's a touch sweet.

This is a very drinkable stout. Next time I'll opt for the growler instead of a bottle. It goes down that well. I'd also want to save some to cook with.

 1,103 characters

Photo of pieface22
4.51/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JeffDam
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of imbibehour
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on nitro tap, 8 oz. into a half shaker pint glass at Portsmouth brewpub in Portsmouth.

What a gorgeous red to this body, deep and dark brown with red edges, given with a super creamy tan head, thin nitro bubbles with hints of speckled white. Lots of lacing and rings while consuming.

Nose is filled with lots of Swiss like milky creamy chocolate. Rich. Dry biscuits and chewy oatmeal cookies out of the oven, this smells fantastic.

Taste is sweet and rich, but in control. Wonderful creamy texture. Palate hits with coffee and milk cream, but very light bodied. Some mild playful carbonation, and a great lime oil finish of hop goodness so subtle.

Super fantastic and super drinkable, great beer!!

 708 characters

Photo of selecter70
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There's nothing like getting something than from it's source: the brewpub in Portsmouth. As we sat down I noticed a gentleman sipping a dark stout along with mussels. While I opted for the fantastic ploughman's platter, I went for the stout eagerly as well. The pint gave looking perfectly poured, black with a wonderful beige with hints of orange head that stayed throughout the quaff. Roasted malt coffee aroma lent to a full flavor that tasted like a nice thick, bitter porter, with slight licorice hints. And then I had another...

 534 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of MrsBeerGuyRIPcsg
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Miamilice
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of aahynick
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

50F in a pint glass on tap nitro

A- opaque black with thick long lasting tan head

S- roasted malt

T- wonderfully nutty and great caramel flavor

M - smooth, rich full body

D- a pleasure to drink. Makes me wish I lived in New Hampshire.

as a side note, if you want to make the staff at Portsmouth Brewery laugh, just ask if they have any Kate the Great in stock.

 367 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Luckily this was just added on tap before I left my barstool to return home. So bartender poured me a pint which showed up black in color with a super thick 2" tan head. Thick coating of lace develops through the drink. Nice aroma of roasted malts and chocolate. Strong roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, light coffee, hint of licorice, and some nice bitterness levels makes the tastebuds very happy.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Medium-heavy in body. The finish is long on the bitter chocolate and roasted tones after swallowing. Another outstanding beer at Portsmouth. It's almost a meal in itself.

 610 characters

Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stuff smells like a better-than-Starbucks mocha, you could almost swear there were chocolate chips floating in it. Has the color and texture of motor oil, as a good stout should. A dark chocolatey head with great lacing as well, but suprisingly only a mild chocolate taste with a more predominant roasted coffee bean flavor. This stuff is Barry White-smooth with just the slightest bit of coffee bitterness at the finish, just barely enough to keep this off a 5 for drinkability (I agonized over this one.) An awesome beer.

Both the beers I tried at this place were really good. I'm going to have to make a special trip up here to try some of the others, or beg and plead these guys to roll some kegs into the Blind Tiger.

 730 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shout out to Reagan1984 for this bomber. He had to drive several hours to the brewery to get it.

Appearance: Pours an oily black with tight brown head. Head slowly expands for several seconds before topping out at around two fingers. Head has a very creamy look to it and pulls fluffy lacing behind it. Great retention as well.

Smell: Big-time mocha, burnt malts, and a dark chocolate bitterness that lingers in the nostrils. A nice milky aroma smooths out the overall smell, making it cool and inviting.

Taste: Sweet chocolate, mocha, caramel / toffee, charcoal-burnt malts, and a dry hoppy finish make this a very well rounded stout. Great balance and consistency. Flavor is mild and very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy with a good amount of carbonation (more than expected). Wish the carbonation were a little lower, but I believe that's a typical characteristic of this type of beer. EDIT: this beer is a meal in itself.

Drinkability: Top notch. The kicker here is the taste: not over-powering but extremely enjoyable. True to it's style, yet very unique. Wish I had another one of these, but oh well... guess I'll have to make another trade.

 1,158 characters

Photo of NardiByNature
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this guy on tap at the Brewery on the 23rd. It impressed me in the sampler (which are sweet), so I ordered a pint of it afterwards.

Black and a creamy short head that sits on top of this beer until the end. Head clings to the glass around the edges so it's sort of smooth and concave.

Licorice, coffee, chocolate and grain smells.

Delicious. I love this. Some of the nose with some roasted grains and toast.

I've seen beer described as "velvety" before, and that seems like one good way to describe it - if you like velvet, that is. Dry, yet creamy. It's great.

Loved it. Try it if you're drinking in Portsmouth then I couldn't speak more highly of the Portsmouth Brewery. The imperial stout is great and so is the Bottle Rocket IPA.

 746 characters

Photo of GrittyMug345
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Portsmouth Brewery on 10/16/09, poured into a shaker pint. Beautiful cascading nitrogenation leaves a two finger tan head on top of a black body, head dies away slowly to leave very thin head, lacing is more like sheeting. Big nose of roasted malt, slightly acrid dark chocolate and espresso. More of the same on the tongue with a complex, dry finish. Medium bodied and infinately smooth. I could drink this one all day, an extremely sessionable stout, very much enjoyed.

 492 characters

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Portsmouth Black Cat Stout from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 197 ratings
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