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Portsmouth Double Oaked Kate The Great | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Double Oaked Kate The GreatPortsmouth Double Oaked Kate The Great
40 Ratings
Portsmouth Double Oaked Kate The GreatPortsmouth Double Oaked Kate The Great

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by joepais on 10-17-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by cosmicevan:
Photo of cosmicevan
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes taken from 9/29 from the craziest bottle share that i have ever been a part of. Thanks so much to the NYC and Hoboken crew for letting me participate in this incredible day of drinking long time wants and insanity.

Thanks kindly to Mike for sharing. This was from the 2011 bottling and enjoyed side-by-side with a regular 2011 bottle of Kate the Great.

a - side-by-side with 11 Kate this one has a little more shine, but there is no head.
s - the double oaked nose is more oak smoothed over. in fact, we all found the 2011 to be a bit oxidized, but the double oaked version seems to swim over that oxidation with a strong oak presence which is a really nice compliment to the beer and seems to have made it a bit tougher against the devastation of time.
t - tastes a lot like kate, but there is more of a vanilla oak presence...duh. the oak seems to hide the coffee flavors. it really just puts a shine of vanilla/caramel oak on top of the regular. the regular kate carries some of the oxidation found in the nose in the taste as well.
m - bit of a slap in the face of oak. easier drinker than the regular kate which seems to have suffered a bit of degradation.
o - overall, it is an improvement on the original. it hides the dark fruit flavor and the oxidation of the regular. i am floored that i have now tried this beer. HOLY MOLY!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Kegatron
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 22oz bottle into a few glasses. Words can’t even begin to describe the thanks I have to Stakem for whipping this one out on us during a tasting. Black with a smooth dark mocha head. Robust retention and lacing. Smells of OAK big time, which is complimented by additional rich notes of dark fruit, vanilla, chocolate cake and roasted coffee. Oak is rather strong here. Taste is more of the same, with tart dark fruit, baker’s chocolate, coffee, some toffee and a splash of vanilla. Woody edges and finish. Full bodied with a smooth carbonation and some slickness from the oak. Alcohol is well hid. Double Oaked is right but general richness of Kate flavors won’t be overpowered. It’s a really interesting take on an already great beer. Thanks for sharing this rarity Adam!

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Photo of jegross2
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the infamous Double Oaked Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery out of New Hampshire. Wales bro!
Score: 87

2011 vintage bottle served in a Kate the Great snifter and enjoyed on 12/14/12.

Appearance: Ink black in color with a thin layer of beige head that settles to a bubbly ring around the glass. Good lacing, excellent retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Lots of fruitiness, dark fruitiness and then fudge. Much fruitier than the 2011 regular Kate we just drank. Some vanilla, but not much oak at all. Lots of red grape sweetness. The aged regular Kate lost a lot of its balance with nearly two years of age, with the vinous port qualities taking over; the Double Oaked Kate followed suit. Sweeter in the nose than regular Kate. As it warms up, more fudge comes through. 4/5

Taste: Quite sweet and vinous. A lot more so than regular Kate. Borderlines too sweet in my opinion. Lots of port and red grape sweetness, followed by mild vanilla and a hint of chocolate. There is ample fruitiness upfront too. Gets sugary-sweeter and fruitier as it warms. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Just shy of full bodied, low carbonation. Malty, fruity. 4/5

Overall: Fresh, Kate The Great lived up to its reputation. However, aged, it was nothing special. The aged Double Oaked Kate was not that much better. This was an extreme let down of a beer. It's good, but it is not very complex.

Recommendation: Save your beer; what you'll have to give up to acquire this brew is likely better than this brew (at least with nearly 2 years of age).

Pairings: Chocolate cake.

Cost: Unknown.

 1,559 characters

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Jason. 2011 vintage.

The body is black as pitch and pours nearly flat. The nose leans toward sweet molasses, chocolate and port. There's a nice grainy oatmeal backbone, and a rubbery oak note that pops out more as it warms. It's much more port and oak dominant on the palate, slightly tart, vinous. Chocolate and oatmeal, a subtle touch of rubber from the oak. Full bodied, silky, light on roast and ash, though the oak lends an astringent note to the finish. This is quite good, though I prefer regular Kate a bit more.

 529 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of andylipp
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of fbc24
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the '07 vintage

Very dark brown color, small khaki head

Fudgy chocolate aroma with some heavy oak. It creates a light smokey smell. Raisins, tobacco, and strong malt sweetness round out the nose.

First thing in the flavor that you notice is the huge oak presence. Dark glazed fruit and fudge. Tobacco/leathery finish. This is one big oaky stout. No noticeable tannins which is nice. I did notice some oxidation though. The strength of the base beer has mellowed a lot leaving the extra amount of oak as a dominant flavor.

The small tweak creates a very different beer from the original. I don't think I prefer Kate with this amount of age though. It lost a little bit of its richness. I had an '08 double oak in the summer of 2010 and thought that was much bolder.

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Photo of smokeypeat
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review #2000. This is the first milestone review I've done, and thought it was only appropriate that I start with this beer. Shared by an insanely-generous advocate of beer when I least expected it. I honestly never even considered drinking this beer, let alone literally having a nice pour handed to me on what had already been an incredible beer-drinking day.

2009 Vintage. The bottle looks like the regular KTG except that "Oak2" is written within the mug on the label. Had I just seen the label and not actually tasted and smelled the differences, I'm not sure that I would have believed it.

Served in a goblet. Up from a black body rises a two-finger tan head that persists for a bit before slowly falling back down into its wondrous lagoon in which would soon make most of my senses weep. Slight lacing dots the edges of the glass and the aroma emanates from below. This is one of the best-smelling beers I have come across.

I'll say from the start that traditional Kate is only "okay" to me in the sense that I don't think it's worth all the hype and I could easily name 10 or more imperial stouts that I prefer. Not the case with this. An excessively-beautiful oaky smell rises quickly from its hiding. It carries along a nice creaminess and a bit of vanilla. Some port is still there, but the oak has definitely taken over.

Waiting in the background is a bit of roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and faint espresso. The prominent oak character really helps everything to shine.

The taste is slightly sweet and combines with the ever-present oak character quite well. Some dates and figs mingle in the background, hiding beneath a cornucopia of flavors reminiscent of the best baked goods--vanilla, chocolate, and coffee meld together exceptionally.

The body is medium and ever-so-slightly tannic, though most of the oak's effects here seem to have faded with age. Just a slight amount of booze and a really creamy body. Excellent finish that keeps inviting me back for more. I would say that this was hands-down the best beer experience--including the atmosphere and the brew itself--that I have ever had. This was one amazing tread and I cannot thank the beer gods enough for passing this morsel my way.

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Photo of projektyle
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of BucketBoy
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of fvernon
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of stakem
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a bomber of the 2011 edition shared with friends and poured into a matching Portsmouth snifter (because im a tool and needed to dirty 6 different glasses during this particular session.) The brew appears black in color with a thin line of lighter brown clarity noticed around the outside edge/rim. A thick finger of creamy mocha to dark brown head sits atop and fades leaving some spotty lacing effect.

The aroma of this is initially dominated by oak. It is very raw with a scent almost more like insence or cedar moreso than oak. As the woodiness calms down a bit, some vinous elements of port emerge with a light tang. The dark grain character imparts almost a fudgy chocolate feel to the nose that blends to more roast like coffee, earth and tobacco, ash and leather.

The taste includes a mild tartness of fruit that is vinous with elements of roast like espresso. It is bitter and earthy with chocolate, coffee, anise, tobacco and raw oak. The aftertaste is just like the aroma indicated with more of a feel like insence or cedar than the advertised oak. As the brew warms up, it has a lasting aftertaste of cocoa that really plays well off of the port inclusion.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation. The oak is pretty intense and almost helps exaggerate the perceived bitterness. At times, the feel of this brew was almost chalky with the roast. Overall, this was an interesting experience to share with friends. It most certainly was different from the normal KTG but I cant really proclaim that I liked it any more than the base. I think the extra contact with the oak certainly brought something new to the table but I was not completely sold on it being something that made the beer better. I would not hesitate to drink this again if the opportunity presented itself. However, I would never shell out the price of admission again on this.

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Photo of joepais
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me explain this brew. First you have to know the ingenious way that the flavors of oak and Port are introduced to the original Kate. Some of the Kate is taken and place in a keg that it filled with port soaked oak spirals. It sits there until they are ready to introduce it to the large batch, thus imparting all the wonderful port and oak goodness to the main batch. Now seeing that Portsmouth is in New England and we are quite frugal they back fill the small keg, and let it sit. Thus producing the double oaked batch of Kate.

Now on to the review; poured into a small snifter it produced a slight tan head that went to nothing, but would come back with a swirl. The color was the typical stout black with light ruby highlights showing off the oak.

The aroma on this batch (09) had a slight lactic smell because of the 7 months of age, but the oak defiantly made a strong showing. Along with the typical roasted coffee and chocolate flavors associated with the original Kate. There was a slight, I mean light sourness to the brew, again from the age I would guess. It did however work well with the strong oak, quality. The alcohol heat associated with the original Kate seems all but lost in this brew. The feel in my mouth was nice and thick, slightly syrupy with good carbonation.

I did enjoy this brew I have tasted this a few times; it is really amazing how the slight difference will change and add to the complexity of this original brew. Its drinkability tended to be a bit higher to me than the regular 09 I had a few weeks back. Defiantly worth the try

 1,573 characters

Photo of CB_Crowe
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of tkone
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So I had the lucky experience of being "brewer assistant for a day" with Tod at Portsmouth in January of 2010. One of my awesome take homes was a bottle of "imperial stout oak squared" with a note of "let this age for at least a year".

18 months later this beer is beating all expectation.

A little lactic tang on the nose followed by cherries and chocolate.

No head to speak of really, nor ringing on the glass. Opaque black and very inky.

Flavor is initially sweet, followed by dark fruits, a nice balanced roast, a little sourness followed by a very mellow oaky after taste.

All around fantastic. Wish I had more of them.

 634 characters

Photo of MA08
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Jwale73
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage courtesy of the Belgianator. Served in my Old Stock snifter. Pours the color and clarity of cola with no head, just a swirl and some clusters of bubbles around the edges. Nose exhibits an oak character, as well as a coppery quality and some tart, tannic dark fruit. Taste starts out sweet, slowly giving way to dark fruit, tartness, a spicy/nutty character and some cinnamon notes. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with virtually no carbonation and a light astringency. Some alcohol heat reveals itself as the brew warms. Double Oaked Kate is a completely different animal when tasted side by side with standard vintages of Kate (we popped a 2010 immediately following). That being said, in terms of drinkability, this one might be a little past its prime, exhibiting some subtle elements of oxidation, but it still has a very interesting character and retains a good deal of complexity. All and all I'd love to see Portsmouth do some more with wood aging because this beer suggests quite a bit of potential.

 1,015 characters

Photo of blisscent
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of DoctorB2B
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Miamilice
5/5  rDev +16.8%

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Portsmouth Double Oaked Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 40 ratings
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