Heavy Seas - Letter Of Marque 2010 (Rye Porter) | Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - Letter Of Marque 2010 (Rye Porter)Heavy Seas - Letter Of Marque 2010 (Rye Porter)
Very Good
93 Ratings
Heavy Seas - Letter Of Marque 2010 (Rye Porter)Heavy Seas - Letter Of Marque 2010 (Rye Porter)

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Winners from our 2009 Letter of Marque Homebrew Competition will work along side our brewers to create this one time special release. Letter of Marque will feature a different beer every year selected from our national homebrew competition. Historically, a Letter of Marque was a document that made a Pyrate a legitimate professional. Hence, our Letter of Marque makes a home brewer a legitimate professional as well!"

This year's recipe is from Frank Butt and Neil Heinlein. ABV is 7.8%.

Added by Kegatron on 04-20-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 76
Photo of FickleBeast
4.57/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at churchkey in DC. Reviewed on my droid.

Comes with one finger of foam on a near pitch black beer. Lacing coats the glass. Wonderful hop aroma... this beer truly smells amazing.

Wow. I'm really digging this beer. Hops shine through and impart a grassy hop flavor. The roasted malts round out the beer nicely, but the hops are what make this beer great.

Mouthfeel is smooth with light carbonation, and drinkability is high due to the great hop and malt interplay. Highly recommended!

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Photo of mwa423
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a beautiful black with two fingers of tan head that left a nice lacing.

S - Mix of strong hoppy aroma with rye spiciness, very nice.

T - Taste is complex mix of rye spiciness chased by lots of hop flavor. I don't get how this is a porter at all, because I really don't get any porter flavors from this. I would call this closer to a Rye Pale Ale. That detail aside, the mix of rye and hops is killer.

M/D - Mouthfeel is very even with accents from the rye spiciness and the strong hops. This is really a sipping beer which is better colder than warmer. This is something I am very glad to have tried, and I'm glad I have a local beer very similar to this available year round.

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Photo of mcphish22
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured to a pint glass from draught. Had a dark brown/black color and a mostly thick texture. There was a half inch of foamy/creamy head and excellent lacing.

S: Smelled of coffee, chocolate, malt and some hops. Very aromatic.

T: Tasted of chocolate, malt, coffee, and a surprisingly high hops content. Complex and flavorful. Almost closer in character to a stout, but still very tasty.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Drinkable. One of Clipper City's best efforts.

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Photo of Chaney
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at Hard Times Cafe in Woodbridge, VA, and I've just gotta say, "Man what a treat!"

A: Almost black, with a tinge of light showing through around the edges, and about an inch worth of head.

S: Hoppy, fruity, BBQ scent. Wow, this is different.

T: Citrusy, yeasty, and VERY yummy! The overall taste profile reminds me very much of FFF "Black Sun Stout." Ahhh...a good descriptor just popped into my head: "Fruity Pebbles" in high grade dark chocolate milk.

M: Fills out the mouth nicely. The carbonation actually adds to the enjoyment of this brew.

D: I totally wasn't expecting this beer to be as good as it was. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is the best Heavy Seas product I've ever tasted.

ON 11/23/11 - I HAD THIS ONE AGAIN ...and it didn't disappoint. The same fruity, molasses-like quality I got back in 2010 is still there, along with the very thick mouthfeel. I totally dug this beer. Too bad this is probably the last time I will ever get to taste it. :(

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Photo of jgasparine
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the bottle with a substantial, retained, semi-rocky, light-khaki-colored head. Some very nice lacing throughout. The body is a very dark garnet color. No visible carbonation... although any carbonation could be easily obscured by the dark color...

S- Wow. The nose is jam-packed with spicy rye and substantial herbal hop aroma... medium to high alpha acid. There is a faint undercurrent of roasted/candy malt there, but it is certainly rye- and hop-forward. Overall a very rich nose.

T- It is delicious in the mouth as well. First, you get a brief flash of stewed malts, which is IMMEDIATELY overtaken by some spicy rye... the very next instant, these hops kick-in full-force. The malt and rye are just a relative flash in the pan, and then this hop bitterness comes rushing-in midway; intense hoppiness, but not overpowering. The hop bitterness just lasts on the tongue throughout the dry finish. A bucketload of hops without making you pucker your face from any harsh astringency...

M- A solid medium-plus body with a decent texture from presumed unattenuated sugar or particulate from dry hopping. A nice soft carbonation throughout and surprisingly no astringency!

D- This is a very quaffable beer with the alcohol very well hidden throughout. One of my favorite Heavy Seas brews to-date.

Note: Kegatron points out this this seems to be missing some elements of a classic American porter... likening it more to a Black Rye IPA. I would agree with him that this strays a bit from the classic style. But overall, I find this to be a wonderfully rich beer that showcases the skillful use of Hops and Rye. Accordingly, my review is conducted to assess overall likability, rather than "to-style".

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Photo of cskysbread
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: an opaque chestnut/koa wood color, almost the color of young rottweiler eyes with a light chocolate, bevarian cream colored head that was extremely well lofted. the head floated above the rim about a half finger without a single bead sweating down the edge.

S: very earthy, with a strong polyphenol aroma, probably the heavy tannins or flavonoids. reminded me a lot of a jay kasbohm robust porter--incidentally, his very first homebrew.

T: in the best possible way, i felt like i took a bite out of my lawn, dirt and all, but more like a lawn turned with garam masala, dark malts and chocolate. tannins really came through and gave me the remnants of a dank ipa. this tasting was preceded by two other tastings, so my girlfriend/sampling partner and i tackled the garden only to return to a coffee-like, cask-like experience--i would repeat this method. nonetheless, it didn't taste like what i would consider to be a traditional/rye porter. the polyphenols really mask the malts.

M: smooth astringency, didn't coat my mouth. still has the essence of french kissing my lawn--which i kinda love.

D: very good, not for the faint of hop. the porter label might be a little misleading.

spoke with hugh sisson at a tasting last week at nikki's liquor. really personable guy, really into beer. of course, he revealed the letter of marque trivia to us which is actually a pretty funny and clever way to go about saluting home brewers; however, i was kinda saddened when hugh started knocking on home brewing. though, i suppose he does have good reason to promote his babies. overall, good interaction with him and his beers. also, go to a heavy seas tasting with huge. he gives out bumper stickers and "pyrate" eye patches which say, "heavy seas" when worn in the traditional fashion, and, "Aargh!" when flipped above the eye. silly and sassy.

note: when doing tasting in RI ask for half samples because i was told the law permits a maximum of 6 samples per person. not sure if that applies only to liquor stores, or if it's based on volume, or just strictly quantitative. either way, we were able to sample all they had to offer using this method.

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Photo of johncampbell
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rocky's SubPub in Jeffersonville, IN, on the Ohio River.

Poured dark brown, almost black, with two inches of creamy, tan head that maintained at about 1 inch for the duration. It left a thick and even lace in the glass. The light revealed a clean amber-brown hue around the edges. Beautiful.

Smelled hoppy, rich and roasty like a good porter should.

This beer was packed with chocolate and dark roasted malt flavors, a hint of coffee and HOPS! The addition of rye is perfect. It was complex and robust with a minimal sweetness and a dry, spicy finish. Fantastic.

It has a rich, full mouthfeel and a medium-full body. Not heavy, but absolutely satisfying and left me wanting more.

The appearance and flavor of this beer was above average. This is one of the best Porters I've ever had.

Another home run for Clipper City.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black pour forms nicely with a big light beige tan head. Lacing is fine and even don't ask don't tell like the military. Aroma has a nice piney chocolate covered minty note that I haven't quite smelled in a beer before. Flavor is more of the same, straight up mint/pine covered in dark roasted malts more than anything else. I give it up to th hops first, Mouthfee is even to medium bodied carbonation flows nicely can't get enough of this brew. Drinkability is more of the same strong herbal piney minty accent wrapped in dark chocolate, god love the American beer scene.

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Photo of degerbah
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown that is almost black with about an inch of head. There is a tremendous amount of lacing at the top of the glass as I start to drink it down. The aroma is tremendously hoppy. The hops tend towards a steely sharp flavor that is still very pleasant. The amount of hop flavor makes for a long lasting aftertaste that is a little more pronounced than I'd like. This is one of the best beers I've had from Heavy Seas and the best I've ever had from one of their large format bottles.

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Photo of John_M
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is surprising (in a good way), and shows considerable hoppy perfume interwoven around the noticeable rye. In combination I thought it made for a very impressive aroma profile. Flavors replicate the nose, and I'm impressed by the amount of flavor I get in this excellent beer. The hoppy bitterness marries well with the rye, and I appreciate the minimal sweetness and long, drawn out, dry, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, but there's no denying the impressive amount of flavor this beer delivers. Drinkability is quite good in this 8% beer.

Absolutely delicious... well done Clipper City!

Completely agree with Scott (Sholland199) on this; this really is more like a black IPA.... but who cares, it's delicious whatever style you want to call it.

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Photo of mgbickel
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. My aggressive pour porduced a massive, thick, 3 finger butterscotch head that slowly thinned out and dissipated, leaving behind massive amounts of lace. The body is a clear mahogany color with ruby edges.

Hmmm...not the nose I was expecting...floral hops, caramel, roasted malts and grains (rye?)...in order of strength.

Man...I am not sure how this can be considered a porter! I decided to rate this as an unknown, not against a style. The taste has a bitter hop presence from start to finish...intensifing at the end. The middle finds some sweet malts and a little of the caramel from the nose. A little alcohol burn meets the hop oils in the aftertaste.

This is a noteworthy mouthfeel. The creaminess make is feel thicker than what it actually is. Well carbonated, but buffered...

This one threw me for a loop. Is it drinkable?...hell yes! Would I buy it again?...hell yes...again!

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Photo of jlindros
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A nice fluffy 1.5 finger head rises up and leaves a small lacing as it fades semi slowly. The beer is a very dark brownish maroon color with hints of light coming through.

N: Ooh, some really nice hop aromas hit. A nice spicy and slightly earthy as well as grassy and noble hop aromas. There is a slight spicy and fruity rye aroma in the background. Then some very light dark malts and porter aromas, light roast, little chocolate, slight creamy aroma.

T: Starts with some dark malts, porter flavors, chewy malts a little caramel, some roast and very light creamy chocolate. Some light rye in the background brings some spicy flavors. Then more hops, some bitterness, mostly fresh hops, a little grassy and noble hop flavors. There's also a little coffee with the roast. An interesting blend of all the flavors, but perhaps too many complex flavors.

M: Medium body, slightly creamy, and good carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly sweet and a little creamy still. Quite a bit of bitterness, now even a little earthy charred malt bitterness from the roast and coffee flavors comes through, combining with the earthy, grassy, and noble hop flavors and bitterness of the hops. The coffee really comes through all over the mouth as I breath in. More slight rye flavors, as well as more roasted malt, slight chocolate, and little caramel malts. The bitterness haunts the mouth for a while on the finish with more fresh hop pellets, and almost gives the feel like when I just chewed on a hop pellet to taste the hop. After a few seconds it dries quite a bit.

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Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1/2" tan colored head. A thick surface foam lasts after the head falls.

Smell: roasted malt, some bitterness, and a hint of dark chocolate comes through to the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, some ripe fruity sweetness lingers in the background, a hint of chocolate, and loads of citrus hop bitterness. The rye brings out some dryness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short lived.

Drinkability: this one went down quickly despite the higher alcohol level. The bottle provided a perfect match to a big medium rare rib eye on the grill.

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Photo of weezarc
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of MarvinSnyder
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Burl41
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark for a porter, mostly black with a slight ruby tint, able to peer through if held up to light. Wonderfully thick head with great retention.

Smell- Good level of citrus hops, possibly centennial? Rye, and caramel.

Taste- Hops upfront. Classic American hop character, citrus floral with a earthiness from the Rye, some roasted feel toward the end. I must say very tasty.

Mouthfeel- Decent without being heavy. Some beers with this flavor profile tend to be a meal in themselves however this is quite pleaseant and clear and crispt.

Drinkability- Quite above what I expected from Heavy Seas. At 7.8% I would say it's right at that level of dangerous. Drinkable and strong. I would say this could make year round or seasonal easily.

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Photo of SluggerOToole
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Prague style pilsner glass. Color is very dark coffee brown and there is a substantial lingering head.

On the nose you get the rye spice immediately, along with the dark malt sweetness typical of a porter and more citrusy hops than I would have expected.

Sipping, you get the pop of malty sweetness and rye warmth right away which transitions through a bitter chocolate midpoint to finish in a very strong, dry hop bitterness. You get a lot of different aspects that round out a very complex whole. The texture is a bit chewy, and it coats your mouth with a little more stickiness than I would like.

The hops become more apparent as I near the bottom of the bottle - this is a good deal more bitter than I would expect from a porter style and while the flavors are good, I'm afraid much of the rye is lost beneath the pithy hops.

In the end this is quite good, but almost more of a black IIPA than a true porter. Interesting, delicious, and worthy of its special release status.

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Photo of blackie
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: deep brown in color, average retention of a light mocha head

s: big aroma - lots of toffee and coffee roasted barley, full spicy rye, pungent hops bring an earthy citrus side

m: carbonation moderate, body medium but tilting towards the full end

t: slightly sweet toffee quickly dries into dark barley roast, big rye hit, dry cocoa, full earthy hop flavors precede a full bitterness with lingering barley char, a big and flavorful version of the sub-style

d: no problems here, my favorite of the line thus far, missed the bottles but glad to find it on tap at the hut

draft at Galaxy Hut, Arlington

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Photo of biggred1
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby amber with a fluffy, red tinted tan head that leaves some blobs of lace on the glass. Spicy hop aromas dominate the nose with a solid rye aroma in the background. I don't know if I would call this beer a porter but it is delicious. The flavors are more in line with a black rye IPA than a porter but who cares? Huge spicy hop flavor with plenty of rye and just enough roasty malt to almost balance. Medium bodied with smooth carbonation. I think this has to be the hoppiest beer Clipper City(Heavy Seas now, I guess) has ever made and one of the better deals out there too at $6.50 a bomber.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown color pour with a two finger frothy off white head , good retention and lacing , medium carbonation . Aroma of roasty malt , spicy hops, rye , coffee and a faint note of cherry pipe tobacco . Flavor is full of rye , earthy spicy hops , coco, caramel and coffee , nice balance , long dry spicy rye finish , full body , very drinkable and one of the better offerings I have had from this brewer , nice work , great ale .

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Photo of atsprings
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Duvel snifter pours a deep brown almost black with a thin light khaki head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves nice rings of lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice blend of chocolate malt and rye with slight coffee and a nice hop backbone. The taste is a nice amount of smoky coffee, rye spice and cocoa balanced nicely with a decent amount of hop bitterness rounding things out. The beer is medium bodied but surprisingly smooth and easy drinking, even for a dark beer this time of year. This one really did pleasantly surprise me, its one I'd certainly have again.

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Photo of tigg924
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1 inch head, clear

Smell: coffee, rye, and roasted malt

Taste: roasted malt and chocolate at the start to a bit of citrus hops in the middle, to a big rye and cream finish

Mouthfeel: smooth, sweet start with bitter middle to end, moderate body and carbonation

Drinkability: Love the rye in this beer. Very complex from start to finish--especially for this style. Could be my favorite brew from this brewery. One per sitting but well worth seeking out again.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with one finger of light tan head that has nice lacing and retention. Light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, some pine and citrus hops maybe, sweet caramel malts, and some rye.

t - Tastes of chocolate, citrus hops, rooasted malts, and rye/wheat. Very interesting but mixes well.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty smooth.

d - A pretty good beer. I thought it was very interesting but that everything worked well together. Very easy to drink as well. Would definitely try again.

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Photo of cdbooth219
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into Sam Adam's Glass

A: Pours a nice black color, with some ruby highlights when held up to light. Forms a nice 2 and a half finger creamy, tan head that slowly dissipated, leaving some very nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Hoppy, with floral and grassy notes, bready, roasty, with chocolate and coffee notes, and a hint of spicyness as well.

T: Lots of chocolate and dark malts, with chocolate and coffee notes at the beginning. Lots of hoppiness, with floral, earthy and grassy notes prevalent. Near the end, spicy breadiness from the rye. Finishes dry, grassy and spicy.

M: The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than expected for a porter, but almost on par. It is full-bodied and has a slight stickiness to it from all of the hops.

D: Enjoyable to drink, but the high abv means this is a one and done kind of beer. Its a very enjoyable sipper though

Overall, this is one of the best Clipper City beers i've had. I hope they do this one again sometime in the future.

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Heavy Seas - Letter Of Marque 2010 (Rye Porter) from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 93 ratings