Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Porter - American
3.88 | pDev: 17.01%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Notes: For the collaboration, Luke Nichols of Epic came to Dogfish in June of 2010 for the intial test batch (we brewed it in our Rehoboth Beach, DE brewpub).

An Imperial sorta-porter fermented with Brazilian Rapadura sugar and a couple of really unique New Zealand ingredients.

To make the Portamarillo we first grilled tamarillos (sweet, fruity NZ tomatoes) over Pohutakawa wood at our pub then pureed and added them to the boil. Luke sourced this unique wood for us from his motherland - Pohutakawa has found an important place in New Zealand's culture, both of the European settlers and Maori - being venerated for spirituality, strength and beauty.

The wood and tamarillos do truly add a smoky, fruity, roasty beauty to this beer.

50 IBU

This listing is for the draft-only version available at Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats. Reviews for the bottled version should be entered here - http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/15925/70424
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 34 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Gavage
Gavage from Nevada

3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown almost black in color with a short 1/4" head.

Smell: malt sweetness, some earthy tones, and a bit of a vegetable aroma rose from the glass.

Taste: toffee, mild roasted malt flavor, brown sugar, and that interesting vegetable tone lingers in the background. There is a bit of a woody / earthy flavor here. Bitterness is nicely balancing.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. A medium bodied beer.

Overall: not knowing what tamarillos are, nor the wood they were smoked on, this beer had a unique flavor. Easy to drink this beer. On tap at the brewpub.

Mar 11, 2012
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whatthehull from California

4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A - a deep dark ruby red brown, 1/6 finger tan head and some minimal lacing

S - dark fruits, sugar, spices, huge sweet malts, caramel, vanilla, hops, wood, earth and maybe that fruit/veg

T - very nIce fruit, dried dark berries, flowers, sugar, nice biting hop, cherry, wood, terrior, I may be tasting the fruit used for this ale, I have never had it though so I can't tell. All the flavors are very nice

M - medium body, low acidity, well balanced, awesome complexity and medium very nice finish

D/O - one of the most drinkable beers I have ever had. Lots of taste. Not overwhelming. Refreshing and just an all around lovely beer. Huge flavors all are awesome

Final thoughts - $11 is really high, but worth the try. 7% abv could be higher. But this is a huge delight. Dogfish has done a great colab, need to try more epic stuff

Feb 19, 2012
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PerHops from California

4.46/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- JET black. Perfect head that slowly settles and hangs around for the ride. I have to believe this is a porter or stout.

S- Grass, Flowers, Cherries, and just a hint of chocoalte.

T- A whole lot of chocolate. Not too sweet though. Some cherries and ripe berries. Very little cofee present until the finish which goes perfect with the lingering smoke. Has near perfect balance

M- Fits perfectly with this beer. Malty but good carbonation to lighten it up a bit.

O- I remember watching the episode where they made this beer and it did not disappoint.

Aug 09, 2011
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mavbrew from Massachusetts

3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color with amber highlights when held up to light. The head is about a finger thick and light tan in color, there is no lacing apparent.

S: The scent is very malty, I'm not picking up any roasted characteristics, but a molasses like malt scent.

T: The taste is much different than the smell, it is malty, but there is more of a roasted/smokey flavor to it. Now, I've never had a Tamarillo before, but there is an upfront tart flavor, it must be it. There is bitterness in the middle and the finish is dry and malty. Not your everyday "Porter."

M: This beer has a thin medium body with some tingly carbonation. The feel is malty.

D: Definitely not a typical porter, the tamarillo seems to add an interesting kick to this beer. The flavor is very malty but it blends together fairly well.

Jul 03, 2011
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SolomonGrundy from California

3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

OK, that's damn irritating..Why the HELL did stupid fB just make me replicate a Captcha to post on my own freaking page???!!! That happens again they're getting the what for!!!

I'm curious if this has been imported to the U.S. I'm sure it has, because that label I used as the picture says it was imported by Shelton Brothers...It musta been a small allocation though 'cause I haven't seen it round these parts...

This is a collab with Dogfish Head, as many of you will remember from the episode of Brewmasters. Thanks to great trader Mr. Kennedy of Oz for this brew!! Cheers!!

Pours a dense mahogany, very dark. Close to opaque. Beautiful, creamy head which persists and leaves pleasant, sticky lacing. Medium carbonation. Nice looking brew...

Very robust and super-unique aromas. You get the sense of both the weird wood smoke and also the tanginess of the tamarillo used. Nice malt bacbone to it also...Also a nice herbal note in there, kind of like oregano. Very excellent thus far.

Flavor is interesting, and now I see where the folks in NZ didn't offer a medal to it. Not nearly as robust as either the aroma or appearance would suggest. Rather than evolving through flavors, it all seems to be mish-mashed together into one, very long flavor. The smoke aspect is almost completely absent, which is a bummer. I woulda liked to have seen that more forward. Carbonation is excellent and sets up the middle well. The flavor is definitely a porter, but slightly thin for one.

Almost forgot - The Basics: 7.0% ABV and no idea on price. Heck, it would be in Aussie dollars anyway!!

Where was I - oh, yeah: This is DEFINITELY the Nicole Kidman (yeah, I realize she's not from NZ, get over it) of beers: Looks fantastic, smells great, but is too thin.

Finish is long and bitter, and I like the bitterness.

What I like Most: The wonderful appearance and unique aroma profile.

What I like least: The confused cavalcade of flavors all mish-mashed together.

Verdict: Good enough to definitely try if you see it, but not as excellent as I had hoped.

May 07, 2011
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lacqueredmouse from Australia

3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What an awesome collaboration. So pleased we're really getting some craft beer love down here in the Southern Hemisphere, even if most of the impetus is coming from our New Zealand friends, who (let's face it), are killing our Aussie asses on the craft beer front.

Purchased this one from Platinum Liquor in Bellevue Hill in Sydney.

Pours a dark, but relatively clear black-brown colour, with a light dusting of tan for the head. Body looks quite lightweight, although the carbonation is fine enough to stay quite static when swirled. Lacing is patchy and sudsy. Not a bad look.

Nose is a little meaty, with just a twinge of smoke character (certainly not a big emphasis). Some dark grains and a little leavened sweetness, perhaps sticky dates. Very nice.

Taste is similar, with big roasted notes on the front that slip away to a cleansing and soothing light sweetness on the back. Flavours of carob and dried fruits arise on the back with a smooth vanilla note, while the tantalising roasty, smoky character dances on the finish. Feel is light, but slick and smooth despite this. It makes for a nicely balanced and rather delicate palate.

Very nice brew, although probably not as out there and envelope-pushing as I expected from a trans-hemispheric collaboration between two breweries that are not averse to pushing the envelope individually.

But what they've come up with instead is a really nicely balanced, interesting, and drinkable brew. Let's hope for some more such collaborations in the future.

Mar 23, 2011
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laituegonflable from Australia

3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark, almost impenetrably dark, brown, but with ruby-red tinge up to the light. Head is extremely generous - beige in colour and tightly-pakced bubbles, nice cratering on top and small trails of lace. Retaining about an inch of head. A powerful-looking porter; does it have heart?

Smells very meaty and smokey. A good rich bacon aroma with very pleasant spicy notes around the edges; reminiscent of peat smoke but with some tasty cumin and star anise fragrances as well. It's still just a smokey aroma though, pleasant and rounded though it be.

Hard to get past the smoke aroma, but thankfully the taste doesn't stab you with it all the way through. Starts pleasantly dark 'n' quite mild, with roasted chocolatey malt and slight hints of burnt toast and espresso - especially late-mid where the smoke starts to show again and really accentuates the coffee notes. As I said, smoke emerges again towards the back, giving woody notes and a fairly sour meaty character, but interestingly gains a peppery spice on the back, with a slight licorice hang. Well-constructed porter palate with a nice addition of smoke on the back. Good job.

Fairly - though not complete - full. Slight note of carbonation late, not enough to be harsh but enough to expose the shortcomings of the body.

I kind of wish this collaboration had produced something more...tasty? Rather than experimental? But I also feel this beer recapitulates what I think of DFH in general - talented at brewing but never seems one to make a beer for general, everyday drinking.

Mar 14, 2011
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THECPJ from Delaware

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown with a 1 finger off white head

smell: roast, smoke, wood, tamarillo

taste: roasted malts, little smoke, tamarillos

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

drinkability: had this one on draft at dogfish when they were working on this recipe. very nice smoked porter

I would definitely give this beer another go round if it ever shows up in the United States.


the CPJ

Mar 12, 2011
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brendan13 from Australia

3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown with mahogony hints. 3cm of beige head slowly falls away.
S - Slightly roasted malt character with some smokey and herbal hints.
T - A great porter taste; slightly roasty with chocolate hints along with smokey touches.
M - Higher side of medium bodied with a medium carbonation and moderate bitterness.
D - Well worth trying. A tasty porter with enough difference without going into over the top territory.

Mar 11, 2011
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Lukie from Australia

3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first beer review in a loooong time. I shall be doing this more often, methinks.

Poured out a black hue, with glints of oak brown in the light. Good, bubbly, thick head, which dissipitated slowly into solid head retention, which clung to the glass most of the way down.

Aromas of light smoke, cocoa, caramels, almost slight burnt sugar and hints of tart fruit. Very hard to pick up though.

Smoke hits in the front of the pallate, but dissipitates quite quickly, with none of the big bacon flavours of a rauchbier. It then mellows out from typical porter flavours, with roastiness, down to a light, almost... I will use the word, tomatoey finish. It was subtle, but quite distinct in the fact it was not something I expected, and it was hard to describe.

I was expecting a lot more smoke, with alot more flavours like in a Rauchbier, but I was thankful they weren't there. It was good, if not unspectacular. If I rated it as a typical porter, it is one of the best I have had, but I went into it with higher expectations.

Feb 12, 2011
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ADZA from Australia

3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First of all ive gotta say Dogfish and Epic wow man hope to see more of these USA/NZ brews thats for sure and this one pours a nice kola beer hue with beautiful carbonation that leaves behind a creamy two finger head that stays and heaps of lacing everywhere,the smell is very smokey with aromas of smokey bacon,woodfire,caramel candy and toasted bread,it has a easy light-medium bodied nicely carbonated mouthfeel which feels quite smooth and has tastes of burnt marshmallows,silky smooth caramel candy,a tinge of dark fruitiness and ends with a bitter dark chocolate finish and overall it was a pretty decent drop that didnt have too many bad points about it but in saying that nothing really jumped out at me to say this brew is a one off collabration from these 2 great breweries from different countries and i hate to say it i really was expecting a tad more.

Feb 01, 2011
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stageseven from Delaware

4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Rehoboth brew pub.

Ap - dark brown color with a 1 finger light tan head. Not much retention and no lacing.

Ar - smokey character and a bit of caramel sweetness.

T - good lightly smoked flavor with some sweetness in the front and a decent hop backbone. There's a dominant bitterness to it that seems like a combination of darker malt and the New Zealand hops. There's just a touch of tang in the flavor of the tamarillos coming through. Very similar to tomato.

M - decent carbonation levels. Medium full body.

D - good flavor, nice and strong. Not really a beer I'd like to have more than 1 or 2 of, but that doesn't seem to be the goal. It's really a burst of unique flavor that I haven't had in any other commercial beer before. I don't have any complaints about this beer. Dogfish and Epic really delivered on this one.

Jul 17, 2010
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Pinto21 from Arizona

3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at the DFH brewpub in Rehoboth

Poured near black with at touch of redness on the edge. Not pure black but close. Nice head near white head to it.

Smelled like a ported, kinda smokey and a bit sweet

Taste is interesting. IBUs of a porter but smokey and sweet at the same time. A little fruity too. A complex taste. I'm not too sure how to describe it completely. Some new flavors to me.

Mouth and drink is of a 7% porter. Could drink another, but that's about it. Mouthfeel is on for a porter

Jul 10, 2010
Portamarillo from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 34 ratings