Nutcracker Porter
Black Oak Brewing Co.

Nutcracker PorterNutcracker Porter
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From:
Black Oak Brewing Co.
 
Ontario, Canada
Style:
American Porter
ABV:
5.8%
Score:
87
Avg:
3.88 | pDev: 11.34%
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
30
Status:
Active
Rated:
Dec 21, 2017
Added:
Jan 16, 2003
Wants:
  6
Gots:
  3
SCORE
87
Very Good
Nutcracker PorterNutcracker Porter
Notes: Our Nutcracker Porter is a full-bodied ale that is perfect for the cold-weather holiday season. This brew pours a thick, inky black and the cinnamon sticks that were tossed into the brew give it a spicy warmth on both the aroma and the palate. It is perfectly balanced with notes of roast and toast with a subtle hop backbone.
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Photo of patre_tim
Reviewed by patre_tim from Thailand

3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Dark brown with a ruby tinge when held to the light. Lots of carbonation and a half finger of reddish, beige tinged head.

Smells of dark toasted notes, coffee, and chocolate.

Tastes of chocolate and dark toasted notes, then a seasonal twist of cinnamon and perhaps some ginger comes in. They are soft and in the background, making the porter the highlight.

Medium body, smooth, slightly foamy carbonation.

Got this in Bracebridge yesterday, drinking it in Muskoka tonight, Dec 20th, 2017. Excellent brew, a nice twist with a holiday theme.
Dec 21, 2017
 
Rated: 4.36 by StormAles from Canada (ON)

Jun 29, 2017
 
Rated: 4.04 by DaPan from Canada (ON)

Mar 11, 2017
 
Rated: 4.24 by ikidunot from Canada (ON)

Aug 23, 2016
 
Rated: 3.29 by boszormeny from Canada (ON)

Feb 03, 2016
 
Rated: 4.25 by fortyfield from Canada (ON)

Jan 19, 2016
Photo of kevinlater
Reviewed by kevinlater from Canada (ON)

3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
650ml bottle into snifter. brewed with cinnamon and toasted wheat. "2514 A2 2239" printed on the bottom of the bottle. consumed nov 25 2015

a: pours a dark chestnut, developing into pitch black with a slight chestnut glow at the bottom of the glass. nice light brown, creamed-coffee head

s: deep roasted coffee and cocoa, smells very good. slightest hint of cinnamon

t: like the nose, very chocolatey and roasted coffee-like with a pinch of cinnamon spice. toasted bread flavours as well. the lack of cinnamon flavour is a little disappointing

m: light with medium-minus carbonation

o: barely any cinnamon detected but a great, super-roasty base beer anyway!
Nov 25, 2015
 
Rated: 3.87 by Glorithm from Canada (ON)

Nov 13, 2015
 
Rated: 3.69 by CurtisD from Canada (NB)

Apr 28, 2015
Photo of TheHammer
Reviewed by TheHammer from Canada (ON)

3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5
Appearance: Poured with a pinky finger of head, the body is a dark black with a couple of subtle ruby red notes to it. Decent lacing but very poor retention on the head.

Smell: Deep roasted malts with notes of coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, fig and dark chocolate that requires a good portion of warming up to come out, but when they do, it's quite good.

Taste: Uhh....well I hate to be a downer on this one, but it tastes like a Porter with cinnamon added to it. I mean it's a good porter, it starts with a fig like sweetness with a hint of chestnut that turns to a heavy roasted malt, dark chocolate that get into a tug of war with a misplaced cinnamon yank and ending with a thin touch of yeast fruitiness and coffee.

Mouthfeel: The cinnamon yank that I spoke of earlier, is more out of place then an Iguana at a dog show. It ruins any smoothness this beer should have. The carbonation also falls lacklustre incredibly quickly. The mild cinnamon aftertaste is the only thing that saves it.

Drinkability: It's heavier then you'd expect, given the spicing, but then again it is a porter so I'll give it some slack here. After a while it does come across as a bit boozey, but it's drinkable.

Final Thoughts: Fitting this beer is an Xmas time beer, as it reminds me of fruitcake and Xmas cookies you don't really want to have. Sure the first one is alright, but it quickly overstays it's welcome and your left just waiting for it to end. All in all, it a positive experience, but one I'd probably not care to repeat. My thumb is sideways on this one, which is in a way a bit of a disappointment for me, given I've always had great experiences from Black Oak.
Mar 02, 2015
 
Rated: 3.5 by Mr_Hoptimistic from Canada (ON)

Mar 01, 2015
 
Rated: 3.79 by Wajohnst from Canada (ON)

Jan 11, 2015
 
Rated: 3.45 by WillAndSarah from Canada (ON)

Jan 01, 2015
 
Rated: 3.4 by lgmol from Canada (NS)

Dec 23, 2014
 
Rated: 3.71 by sdm9465 from Canada (NS)

Dec 23, 2014
 
Rated: 4.5 by hunterjames from Canada (ON)

Nov 22, 2014
Photo of Jeffo
Reviewed by Jeffo from Netherlands

4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Got this one from hopsolutely this past summer. Thanks for all the stuff guys. Really appreciate it.

From a bomber into a snifter
14.1 degrees Plato
Porter brewed with cinnamon

APPEARANCE: Clear brown pour yields a 1+ finger, medium looking, creamy, light tan head with very good retention. Head slowly fades to a nice cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. Transparent bistre brown in color, almost black, with medium levels of carbonation. A faint wisp remains with some dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Nice roasted notes, leather, chocolate, light vanilla and fudge notes on the nose. Very nice, and definitely bold enough.

TASTE: Roasted flavors, chocolate chips and fudge initially, with some leather coming in through the middle into the swallow. Bold and lingering finish of chocolate fudge, leather, roasted and burnt malts, and a touch of chocolate bitterness as well. Some nut flavors round it out as well. This is really good, complex and enjoyable. Exceptionally flavorful and interesting up front as well.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: This is excellent. Really, really good, with a lot of flavor and complexity from the beginning straight through the finish. Not much in terms of cinnamon here, or perhaps the cinnamon has combined with other elements to give it much of the fudge and leather character this one has, but on the other hand, too much cinnamon can be overpowering, so this is probably for the better. Really good stuff and I’d love to drink more of it. Thanks again for the brews Hopsolutely. Highly recommended.
Oct 16, 2014
 
Rated: 4.25 by joemcgrath27 from Canada (AB)

May 31, 2014
 
Rated: 4.25 by Molson2000 from Canada (ON)

May 11, 2014
Photo of spinrsx
Reviewed by spinrsx from Canada (ON)

3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Bomber from the Ottawa LCBO for $6 or so

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains, coffee, all spice

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some all spice and a hint of dark fruits.

Overall - A nice very drinkable porter with some festive spicy flavours mixed in. A solid beer that I'd buy in 6 pack format around the holidays if available.
May 11, 2014
Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
Reviewed by BuckyBeerBeaver from Canada (ON)

4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bucky missed out on Black Oak's Nutcracker Porter ("Nutcracker") last Christmas when an article in the Star caused a run on the beer, but this year he managed to pick up a 6 pack at the brewery's retail store. Nutcracker came in a brown 341 ml bottle, and was 5.8% alcohol by volume. There was no visible production date on either the bottles or box, possibly because the brewery ran out of Nutcracker boxes and had to sell the beer in Nut Brown Ale boxes.

Nutcracker poured an opaque dark brown, nearly black colour, with a thin tan coloured head that quickly shrank to a collar of foam. There was little lacing or spotting left down the first half of the glass, but the remaining collar of foam left a surprising amount of lacing through the bottom half of the glass for its small size. Its aroma was mainly of chocolate and coffee malts, with a subtle presence of hops. Nutcracker had a BIG chocolate malt flavour up front, transitioning to coffee and spice, with a mild bitter coffee finish that lingered for a while as an aftertaste. Even without the added cinnamon, this would have been a good flavourful porter and nicely balanced. The beer was medium bodied, had the moderate carbonation normally characteristic of a porter, was very enjoyable on a cold winter night. I look forward to the reappearance of this beer next winter.
Apr 13, 2014
Photo of taxandbeerguy
Reviewed by taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
650 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for about $5. Looked interesting and figured that the winter seasonals were about to go the way of the dodo for at least another year so i thought I'd pick this up.

Appearance - 1 finger of tan head that doesn't last rests on a nearly black beer that is very opaque. After the head recedes some frothy wisps are left on top.

Smell - Chocolate and nuts namely dominate on the nose. There is some sort of overall rich decadence that seems baked into beer sin this style. Coffee and mocha aromas abound as well. Well but together but slightly less fragrant than expected.

Taste - Thin and a bit watery with some leather taste, transitioning to nuts and then coffee with a dark chocolate blend. Smokey roasted characteristics throughout. But even with some high carbonation there is a thinness to the flavor that allows for computation of significant quantities. However, the main drawback is the thinness and lack of flavor intensity since a bit more could really elevate this beer.

Mouthfeel - A bit thin at first but as it warms the mouthfeel aspect of this subsides and gives it some more body. Fairly high carbonation here.

Overall - A more sessionable porter with nutty characteristics blended with coffee makes the a beer that promised everything that it would be, yet I walk away just a bit disappointed as with a little more flavor intensity this could have been so much more.
Mar 14, 2014
Photo of mtomlins
Reviewed by mtomlins from Canada (ON)

3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Poured from a 650ml bottle into a stemmed tulip glass at a holiday sampling.

Pours black in color, with a thin head falling to a nice collar with nice nacing. Has a nice malty nose with lots of dark chocolate and and roasted notes. The taste follows suite with nice dark chocolate and a touch of spice (nutmeg and raw cinnamon stick). The beer rounds out as it warms. It's a bit thin on the palate, but overall a decent holiday porter.
Feb 21, 2014
 
Rated: 3.75 by KrisDLSmith from Canada (ON)

Feb 16, 2014
 
Rated: 4 by bigox420 from Canada (ON)

Jan 19, 2014
 
Rated: 4 by Bf_89 from Canada (ON)

Jan 05, 2014
Photo of leaddog
Reviewed by leaddog from Canada (AB)

3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate brown with a finger width of beige creamy head.

Smell - Cocoa, roasted malts, dark fruit, slight nuttiness and coffee bean aroma.

Taste - Moderately strong roasted malt flavour with accompaniments of cocoa, raisin/plum, nuts, and coffee bean. Touch of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - A pleasant spiced porter by Black Oak. This has been on my wants list for some time and I'm glad to have sampled a bottle. Warm and well-balanced flavours.
Jan 04, 2014
Photo of thehyperduck
Reviewed by thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
650 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO. I've been hearing good stuff about this spiced porter for at least the past few winters, so I was pumped to finally spot some bottles available locally. Served slightly chilled and poured into a mug.

Pours an opaque brownish-black colour, topped with a half-inch of frothy, short-lived, beige-coloured head that soon disappears. A narrow collar and thin film are all that is left in its wake; not much in the way of lacing, either. Not the most attractive-looking beer I've had in the past few weeks, but it certainly has a nice aroma. Cocoa powder, toasted hazelnuts and roasted malts are quite prominent, in addition to a light touch of cinnamon, fruitcake and coffee; quite enticing.

And not misleading, as this is one of the best porters I've tasted in months. The roasted malts dominate at first, with a good mixture of dark chocolate and espresso flavour that transitions into a combination of dark fruits and molasses sweetness. Cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness work their way forward next, with a somewhat spicy finish that includes bittersweet baker's chocolate note. Pleasant, lingering, roasty aftertaste with a toasted nutty quality. Medium-bodied; fairly smooth with carbonation levels that are a little more aggressive than I tend to prefer from my porters. While I would have no problem drinking this fairly quickly, I am enjoying this brew way too much for that to be a viable course of action.

Final Grade: 4.2, an A-. Black Oak beers were impossible to find in this town as recently as October, but the local shop has been making a concerted effort to bring in more of their brews - and I for one couldn't be happier. Nutcracker Porter is my favourite Black Oak beer so far. It's a superb yuletide brew with a delicious, balanced flavour profile that contains just the precise amount of spice required to transform this from a mere quality session ale into an outstanding Christmas warmer. This one is well worth seeking out and sampling, and I suspect I'll be back for more next December.
Dec 30, 2013
 
Rated: 2.75 by Vyronian from Canada (ON)

Dec 23, 2013
 
Rated: 3.5 by Cramshawbar from Canada (ON)

Dec 21, 2013
 
Rated: 4.25 by nullbort from Canada (ON)

Dec 18, 2013
 
Rated: 4 by RedAleMan from Canada (ON)

Dec 16, 2013
 
Rated: 4 by andrenaline from Canada (ON)

Dec 14, 2013
 
Rated: 3.75 by Ian_Hammons from New York

Aug 13, 2013
 
Rated: 4 by philmen from Canada (ON)

Mar 03, 2013
Photo of papat444
Reviewed by papat444 from Canada (QC)

4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle, no freshness info (but i know it's this winter's release).

Appearance: Very dark brown body with a small to average head and little beads of retention on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Candy cane, nuts, caramel, dark fruit, holiday spices and toasted coconut.

Taste: Don't want to sound like a broken record but it tastes what it smells like. Candy cane blends seamlessly with spices and dried fruits. Lingering coconut as well.

Mouthfeel: Very malty, warming, creamy and pleasant.

Overall: Very happy to have tried this and wish i had a sixer of this one.
Feb 13, 2013
Photo of MaxwellSchaefer
Reviewed by MaxwellSchaefer from Canada (ON)

3.06/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Appearance: Not so good, the head appears brownish and the drink is very dark in color.

Smell: Subdued chocolate notes and there is a "brightness" in the nose that I cant quite place.

Taste: Good bite, heavy on the coffee flavor rather than chocolate. It was a little too bitter and with its heavy coffee notes it kind of make me want to add some coffee mate to it. (I didnt)

Overall: a fairly light bodied stout that was slightly over-bitter, I think less hops in the beer would have made me not reminisce of those days where I forget to buy milk for my morning coffee.
Jan 11, 2013
 
Rated: 3 by cfalovo97 from Canada (ON)

Jan 05, 2013
 
Rated: 4.75 by kinguy from Canada (ON)

Nov 10, 2012
 
Rated: 3.75 by hopsolutely from Canada (ON)

Jul 20, 2012
Nutcracker Porter from Black Oak Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 82 ratings