Portamarillo | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Very Good
34 Ratings

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by Pinto21 on 07-10-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by Bmoyer0301:
Photo of Bmoyer0301
5/5  rDev +30.5%

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Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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3/5  rDev -21.7%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Gavage
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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.

 582 characters

Photo of PerHops
4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

 555 characters

Photo of southhousebrew
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Furtanken
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of stageseven
4.52/5  rDev +18%
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.

 846 characters

Photo of twenty5
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mavbrew
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

 814 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Lukie
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

 1,027 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

 1,549 characters

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3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

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5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of ADZA
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Portamarillo from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 34 ratings