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)

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.

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 93
Photo of biglite351
2.4/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - light through center of glass. Tall creamy near white head that leaves some lacing.

S - much hoppier than I would like. It is in the area of an IPA but with a tiny bit of malt, but not much.

T - hoppy, but not as overpowering as in the scent. Some roasted malts in there, and mathematically some caramel.

M - good coating and a tingle on front of tongue and back of throat that increases over time.

D - not a hop fan, pass.

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Photo of Katahdin
3.16/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark, murky black in color with a nice head of about 2 inches. The initial smell was all floral hops, no rye smell at all which was surprising. Taste was quite betraying, reminded me more of an IPA than a Porter with a rather grassy flavor likely from the hops. No porter or rye taste to it. If it is what you are looking for then it is quite drinkable but as an interpretation of a rye porter I'd have to give it a thumbs down for the style.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a Heavy Seas imperial pint (proper!). Poured a massively dark brown with a one finger very light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, spice, rye, and subtle wheat. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, metallic, spice, earth, and rye. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly decent brew. The spicy/rye aspect on the flavor of this brew totally dominated it which was unfortunate. You could tell it was a porter underneath, but the spicy aspect wouldn’t allow it to shine through at all. Kind of sad in a way honestly. Worth trying at least once if you can and if you like rye in your beer. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to do so.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Porter + rye = my piqued interest. The pour results in a very dark garnet-brown with a rather tall, dirt-grey/ecru foamy head, which leaves some nice lacing behind as it sinks to Davy Jones's locker. It makes me wonder: What about Mickey Dolenz's locker? Anyway, my nose is downright smacked by rye spice, with some pepper, greens, and light citrus hops mixed in there as well. The rye then lands a devestating haymaker on my tongue, following up with a harsh peppery jab. Some bitter chocolate powder and some faint coffee are also involved, but the rye really overpowers things. It's like a rye Tyson against Michael Spinks: no contest, just the fury of Tyson's rye savagery. Bottom line: too much rye. The body is medium, with a moderately active carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, something that could have been great, but instead OD'ed on rye. Shame, really.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours what looks like a ruddy amber brown at first but holding it up to direct light reveals a deep translucent ruby hue instead. This is topped with about 1 ½ fingers of tight off-white (that's bordering on light tan) head, which retains with a good bit of richness to it, staying very frothy and leaving a pretty heavy amount of sticky lacing down the sides of the glass. The rye makes itself known in the aroma right off the bat, with a ton of earth, spice, and bread immediately filling the nostrils. Gentle floral hops help accentuate the spicy textures in the nose and some roast and sweetness shows itself a bit underneath but man, the rye is VERY deep here. I could smell it as soon as I popped the cap on the bomber.

The rye in the taste is somehow even stronger; with gritty grains, earth, bitterness, and spice just being off the charts. Aggressive piney hops and roast run through the middle of the profile and some sweeter malty accents of chocolate and toffee hang on the outer edges but the rye just overly dominates here. To be fair this does start to balance out just a bit as the liquid is hitting room temp but the spiciness of that finish is really hard to take at times. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a rather forceful sharpness to the carbonation and then an oily slickness that runs underneath. I think the body is telling in just how hoppy this is; which the strength of the rye kind of covers up some. Not a whole lot of alcohol is present for almost 8% ABV. Just some warmth in the chest after each sip and some added intensity to that already out-of-control spicy finish.

I like the effort here for the most part (and I LOVE the concept of this new Heavy Seas series) but I got a WHOLE lot of rye and hops here but with not nearly enough of that Porter character coming through. This almost came off like a heavy Black Rye IPA at times. Dial things down a couple of notches and this would have been really nice. In this case, all of that spiciness just wasn't my thing.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a dark red with an average off-white head, solid retention.

S: Bitter melon, but fairly limited.

T: Definite rye type spice notes, some dark malt, tastes a lot like a hypothetical Dark RyePA more than a porter.

M: Medium-bodied, well structured, smooth and creamy.

D: A solid effort, just not complex at all. Pretty much a standard release.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drank at another session with jrallen34.

A - Very dark mohagany color that looks a beautiful deep, ruby read in the light. Head dissipates to a tiny ring, with some chunks left on the side.

S - Smells like a porter, with a decent amount of coffee and some decent roasty characters, and then heaped with a ton of rye on top of it. It definately does what it says.

T - Powerful rye taste, little soy sauce, over a fairly roasty porter taste. The rye taste gets weaker as you go bringing out the porter. Roasted malts, bit of coffee in there, porter is the backbone. Not bad, above average.

M - Feels nice and smooth, proper carbonation, full bodied.

D - Rye is so strong, it's only average, given the ABV. Could split the bomber, but not a ton more.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasting with AgentZero, 22oz bottle into a Narke tulip.

Pours a dark brown with a light tan head, not much here...The aroma and taste are all rye from start to finish. Its an ok rye, but a little boring after awhile. The taste has a light coffee finish. Ok feel, a little tough to drink.

If you love rye give this a try, but not much of a porter taste, otherwise skip it.

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Photo of Spider889
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at Bodega in Columbus.

It was listed simply as a Porter, so perhaps my impressions were a little skewed. I had this pegged as a super hopped-up Porter, but a Rye Porter makes even more sense.

It was about average in appearance and mouthfeel. Nice and dark but fairly thin. This had a nice spicy kick to it from the rye though.

Smelled very hoppy. The flavor profile was the same, tons of hops and rye and not much of the dark roasty character I like to see in a porter.

It got pretty bitter toward the end, so drinkability isn't that high - I wouldn't want more than one in the row.

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Photo of Brent
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A big porter - no question. Black tinged with brown. A touch acidic up front, dark roasted malt flavor with a high, spicy note from the rye. A sharpness prevails throughout the flavor that is at first interesting, but as time goes on becomes a bit opressive and tiresome. By the end of the bomber the note has grown overbearing - an interesting beer, in small quantities.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 6-5-10

Pours an extremely dark, almost opaque brown color. A filmy off-white head leaves bubbles of lacing on the glass.

Smell is all bright hops, floral and sweet, with a malty kick at the back. Very light, if not overly complex.

Taste is very subtle, almost boring. Very light maltiness at first and then a hoppy kick. The finish is sweet and sharply bitter, with an earthy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side, which doesn't suit the malt or hop flavors.

Drinkability is decent, but the flavors are nothing special.

Overall, worth trying.

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Photo of RDHerm
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark coffee brown with deep ruby highlights. Has a thick tan head that thins out quickly, but holds throughout.

Strong aroma of rye, malts and hops, with a certain sweet fruitiness. There are also hints of coffee and cocoa.

Taste is bittersweet. Heavy flavors of rye and malt, followed with a distinct hoppy bitterness. There are hints of coffee and nuts, and a slight, but long lasting, bitter aftertaste.

A good heavy body to it, but a little more carbonation than you might expect from a porter. It leaves your mouth feeling dry and sticky.

Definitely a beer to sit and take your time with, and probably not something you would drink more than one of.

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Photo of jampics2
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Brew Kettle. This went well with my BBQ ribs, but wasn't quite the crazy experience I was looking for.

Black with little head. No lacing. Weird looking, almost like a flat Pepsi.

Slight spicyness starts off the nose. Almost a touch smokey. Rye, I'm assuming. Roasted malt is blanketed by citrus hops, giving huge orange and pine notes.

Taste was just not balanced enough. Pine and orange mix with really spicy rye. Chocolate and even some black licorice lurk underneath. Not well integrated, very flavorful though.

Mouthfeel also felt off. Low carb, but not creamy. The waitress asked me how I liked it and I said it was OK but asked about the carb. She said it's been like that from day one and it's on the same CO2 system as the rest of the beers, so I really think it was just the way this one presented itself.

OK beer, a nice experiment, but I'd like to see a bit more cohesive flow in the flavors. It can be done, so don't abandon this idea!!

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Photo of tmgiddings
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Bottle from Crown Liquors #6 - This is not a porter- not even close. It pours a clear, dark brown with a thin wispy head that fades away quickly. The aroma is big resin and pine with a little caramel. Taste is piny with a thin caramel malt backbone. Mouthfeel is light with minimal hop oil.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rye porter you say? Never had one before...thanks to fthomasl for this one. 22 oz bomber pours a dark crimson color with nice clarity. Tall, creamy tan foam with some sticky lacing. Awesome looking brew.

Nose has alot of rye, very bready with some spicy hops. Gets grassy somewhere along the line and the malts are near-burnt toast and roast.

Hoppy rye bread on the flavor, leafy and bitter. Roasted malt comes through aplenty with a smoky, mild unsweetened chocolate aspect. A tad thin on the mouthfeel, malts need to be dialed up some and as a result, the hops are somewhat coarse. Pretty good, definitely worth a try. On a side note, I dont think this would age well.

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Photo of bamadog
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review is from notes taken on 9/25/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a very dark brown, like a cross between coffee and cola; starts with a 1/2 finger creamy tan head that fades quickly to nothing other than a thin and cloudy wisp and a thick, uneven ring around the surface; body is mostly opaque, but shows some dark mahogany highlights when held to the light;

Smell: Wow, no joke about that rye, also a very grassy hop presence emanating from the glass

Taste: Very robust flavors, and the bitter rye really takes the lead, but it's also a very hoppy porter as mentioned in the smell -- grassy, but with a bit of a zesty orange citrus aspect to it as well; a burnt roastiness lies behind the big grain and hop flavors; overall, it's not bad, but I kind of wonder what this one would be like with some time on its side to allow those hops to mellow out and see what kind of flavors the malts could bring about; ultimately, reminds me a bit more of a big black IPA than a porter.

Mouthfeel: Body is ultimately pretty light, and thin even for what's supposed to be a porter; carbonation is strong, but not overpowering and actually finishes out fairly soft; a fairly thick and semi-dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Overall, it's an interesting beer, but not something that I really think about when I think "porter," rye, or not. I may pick up another bottle before it disappears though and put it away for 12 - 18 months to see how it may do with some time on it. Nice flavors and scents, and certainly worth trying at least once -- not my favorite Heavy Seas release from Clipper City, but it likely won't be the worst I ever come across.

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Photo of SummitVA
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours jet black with about half inch head that disappears fairly quickly.

S - Spice from the rye is foremost in the nose, along with a chocolate and a bit of heat from the alcohol.

T - Three separate flavors mingle without much unity: spice from the rye, chocolate, and roast character--a lot more roast character than I was expecting, actually. A bit of oxidation/old hops flavor.

M - Smooth, creamy mouth-feel upfront. A bit of dryness in the finish that I always get with rye beers.

D - To be honest, I had trouble getting through the bomber.

Overall: An interesting idea that just really didn't come together for me. Still, I think it's interesting enough to try, and I'll definitely keep checking out the new HS offerings.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium tulip.

Pours an extremely deep ruby against a strong light bulb, absolute black otherwise. Atop sits two fingers of tan head that slowly disolves into one. Good mix of large and small bubbles. Eventually goes to a whisp of foam. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

Aromas of roasted malt and chocolate along with some citrusy hops.

First sip is creamy and roasty, with a burst of citrusy hops. Some dark chocolate at the back of the sip. A little spiciness from the rye. But the most notable flavor is the roasted malt. A little heavy for a porter. Toward the middle of the bottle, as it warms, I notice a little chocolate covered citrus peel (grapefruit?) in the flavors.

Mouthfeel is initially creamy, but a little drying in the aftertaste from the roasted character.

Although this is a little off the mark on most style characteristics, it's a very drinkable beer. Very nice effort.

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Photo of movingtrain
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle sampled from a standard pint glass.

With a rather aggressive pour, this one has a three finger, spongy head on top. As the beer settles, so does the head, descending to less than a finger with good lacing. The color is reddish-brown, and slightly opaque.

The first aroma I'm getting from this is floral...very floral...fresh blossoms in the Spring. There is some rye in the nose, backed by a little hops and some fruited notes.

The taste is hoppy, with try serving as the backbone. There is a little chocolate in there, too, followed by some floral notes and citrus. There is also a sort of graham cracker quality to the flavor, as well. I like the rye here, and the hoppiness of this porter. Not traditional, but pretty delicious. The bitterness of the hops sticks around for a while, and leaves an astringent film on the tongue.

Overall, this is interesting...chewy, hoppy, very floral, and good. I like the idea of getting homebrewers involved in the brewing process on a larger scale, but I always wonder how it translates. This beer is good, however, and one worth giving a shot.

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Photo of silentjay
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

almost black, but light makes it through to show a mahogany brown. a huge light khaki head rises up and leaves an intricate film on the side. the head is a bit of a lighter color than I anticipated.

aroma is very hoppy for a porter. plenty of pine hops mix with some roasted malt, peppery spice, and dark rye.

taste, again, is hoppier than I expected. grassy, piney hops. some chocolate and roasted malt is there, as well as plenty of spice from the rye. odd, but not bad. kinda like a 25% porter, 75% Rye PA mix. or maybe even less porter.

medium bodied, a bit watery going down, with a bit of rye spiciness lingering along with the grassy hops.

Goes down ok. not very boozy, rather refreshing. If it didn't say Porter on the bottle, not many people would classify it as such, but its an ok beer.

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Photo of Khazadum
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Blind bomber poured into a pint glass to start off my night.

The first words that jumped into my head were thick and creamy. This head reminds me of pudding with how it looks on top. It is this off-white, brown tinged amazing head. Its retention is unbelievable. I'm staring at this pint glass for MINUTES without even a deviation of a millimeter from the height it sits upon.

The bubbles are crammed tight as they sit upon a seemingly pitch black liquid. As I drink it down, I can't help but think how amazing the lacing is on this glass. Holding it up to the light reveals a deep ruby beer. It barely lets light through and relies upon the outer edges to balance the deep depths that exist.

This has an interesting nose. It has many light flavors and only a few medium ones that come out frequently. I find the more apparent molecules to be bitter pine hops and citrus. Beyond that the fruits come out to play.

Pineapples, mangoes, and what could be grapefruit. I think the nose is a bit underdeveloped, but that might be partially due to the impenetrable barrier of head.

Flavor Profile
Very different than what I was expecting. Is that hops? What is that... Either way, the hops come forward to do a initial surgical strike, but faded into the background as a new contender appeared. This bad boy was the alcohol that bit down like an antiseptic on my tongue. At once metallic and medicinal, but very brief thank goodness.

Nice sweet malt presence perks up momentarily before morphing into the finish that reminds me of an IPA. Nice piney bitterness lying on my palate begging for a new sip.

Oral Sensations
Amazingly creamy. Perfect amount of carbonation to match this brew. Medium bodied. Leaves a nice residue all over the place that I enjoy discovering over and over.

This was incredibly tasty. I want to call it some IPA, but it is insanely dark and odd in other characteristics for it to be that. It is insanely hopped up for whatever other style it is. I would definitely drink it again. It reminds me of a beer milkshake in how it turned out.

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Photo of argock
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.29.

A: Chestnut brown with solid 1-2 finger beige head with decent retention and a few spittles of lace.

S: Spicy, grassy rye aromas are strongest and hard to separate from the earthy but floral hops.
Dark malts are there but the overall profile barely fits a "robust" porter.

T: The flavor is more along the lines of a black IPA or Indian brown ale with dense spicy, grassy-herbal rye and hops flavors predominating with some dark maltiness losing out. Chocolate and coffee flavors come through with warming.

M: Solid medium feel with active carbonation and long, grassy rye aftertaste.

D: A good brew that doesn't really fit any style well, but porter would be one of the last I would assign this to. Very hoppy and grassy with more dark maltiness needed to fit the porter. Still a nice American strong ale.

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Photo of farrago
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Over two fingers of eggshell white, mostly denser foam with larger bubbles here and there, very good retention with some dimpling, high degree of lacing stickiness too. Deep brown color with sufficient amber orange tinge to avoid complete opacity, handsome appearance. The nose is not overly aggressive but still gets on you quickly featuring roasted coffee, mocha, malt as well as rye and pumpernickel bread, seems to consciously avoid sweetness, offers more by way of white grapefruit citrus and pine, grassy matter. Medium-bodied, the carbonation has a tight weave, good punch, that said, after the initial impression it starts to press down on the tongue, losing mobility. Heavier on the roast, close to bitter, espresso bean, cocoa bean, dark chocolate, no caramel or similar sweet elements. The white grapefruit, pine fits the roast well, thankfully the grassiness lowered some. Hard to pick out any fruit flavors. Drier at the finish, crafted to make an impression, succeeds at that, not sure it is more than a curiosity in the end, though.

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Photo of portia99
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours a dark brown that nearly approaches black. Mild ruby highlights when held to the light. A thick finger of dense khacki foam forms and lingers for a couple of minutes before falling to the surface. Sparse lacing is left behind...enough to be noticeable, but not enough to be impressive.

S - Alcohol, spicy rye, hints of sweet and bready malt. Some mild dark roasty aromas.

T - There is no mistaking this as a rye beer. Big rye flavor up front - spicy and earthy in nature. Assertive hop bitterness and some citrus and grassy hop flavor. Very mild roasted malt flavors. Tastes more like a rye infused black IPA than a porter.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation level too. Overall impression is a prickly feel with a bit of a burnt around the edges bitterness that lingers along with the rye past the swallow.

D - Seems to me that this would be better along with food than as a straight drinker. Something grilled, perhaps with a bit of char to it should pair nicely with this. There is nothing shy about the flavor level in this beer...very powerful and distinct. Really not getting a porter vibe from this tho.

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Photo of tempest
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Stephan for bringing this back from Baltimore and sharing. The porter part was good, but not great, with a simple smoky chocolate malt character. What makes this beer really worth trying is the bitter and spicy mix of rye and hops. The rye doesn't stand out so much as it just nicely blends into the finish of the beer.

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Heavy Seas - Letter Of Marque 2010 (Rye Porter) from Heavy Seas Beer
3.94 out of 5 based on 93 ratings.
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