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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 76
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 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 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 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 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 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 sholland119
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Drafting Room,6/29/10

A-Dark brown with ruby highlights and a creamy sticky off white head. Great sheets of lacing.

S-Heavy aroma of roasted malts with an equal helping of bitter hops.

T-Rich, roasted dark malt, almost burnt. Finishes with a bit of sweetness, followed by a blast of bitter hops. This beer is not for the faint of roasted flavor.

M-Medium bodied with a bit of creaminess.

D-I really enjoyed this one in both bottle and tap


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Photo of Daktyls
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep brown with a hint of ruby red. Head is minimal but leaves a fine lacing on the surface of the beer.

S: Most predominant was the smell of citrus-y hops. Smelled very much like mild grapefruit. Also present were some hints of coffee and toffee.

T: Started of similar to the nose, with an initial spiciness giving way to a taste of citrus. This was followed by roasted grains and finishing with a slight hint of cocoa.

M: Lightly carbonated but a nice crisp feel when drank, finishes somewhat like a mild IPA, with a hoppy overtone and some hints of alcohol.

D: Overall a very interesting beer tough not particularly exotic. Rather drinkable though one will probably be enough for this session. It's not the type of beer I'd have more than one of in a sitting.

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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 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 Pencible
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured clear dark ruby with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like orange hops with roasted barley and rye, and a little raisin and dark chocolate and bready yeast.
T: It tasted like orange hops and roasted barley and rye, followed by subtle dark chocolate and dark fruits. It had a moderate bitter aftertaste.
M: It was fairly thick and lush, with mild carbonation.
D: This was a nice beer that is surprisingly hoppy like a black IPA. Reminiscent of Hop Rod, but more porter-ish, which ended up being clean and tasty. It had a bit of alcohol noticeable, but it was still pretty easy to drink. Definitely enjoyable, even if it wasn't what I expected (anticipating something dry and roasty, rather than hoppy).

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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 beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A cola pour yielded a dark merlot red in the glass against lighting, while a khaki colored head spawned upwards 3 fingers with a rigid, foamy structure that decidedly stuck around for awhile. Within lied a strong sense of carbonation while wavy splashes were left for a lacing.

S: A nice show of citrusy hops appear on the nose with light perfumy notes of fresh pine and grapefruit, which reminded me a bit of Chinook. The hops seem to be the showcase here along with some dried cola sweetness while the rye was hard to pick up on as well any chocolate or roastediness usually associated per style.

T: Spicy citrus notes of grapefruit and pine, moderately bitter and dry are quick to be reckoned with on the taste buds. Spicy cola and rye are evident providing some peppery notes and dried bread crust hints along with a gentle alcohol touch. Dry rye and a bitter show of pungent grapefruit hops (which im almost sure is Chinook now) coats the tongue for a finale.

M: A good crisp hold, with a full body that was thick and viscose as well dry and bitter. A warming sensation of alcohol and citrus lines the tongue as well as lingering notes of rye.

D: A big and bitter dry hopped rye which drank similar to an arrogant bastard more so then an american porter in my opinion, not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish black with a surprisingly robust head. In fact, everything about this beer is surprising, starting with the fact that there is almost nothing porterish about it. It is more an entry into the trendy "black ipa" substyle, which - disapprove of but still enjoy drinking. The aroma is assertive and hoppy and the flavor follows through, with crisp roasted malt and citrusy hops. This is better than your average black ipa. The mouthfeel is creamy and there is a woody bitterness on the finish.

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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 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 drabmuh
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is dark brown and clear. Lacing is low and the carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is surprisingly hoppy with nice piny and earthy notes to the whole thing.

Beer is sweet but has the hop profile of an IPA not (what is this suppose to be? A rye porter? What does that mean?). Beer ultimately is just too sweet if you are trying to showcase the hop profile or too hoppy if you are trying to show case an interesting malt profile. It tastes fine I just don't get it.

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Photo of deereless
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A thin layer of creamy head that sticks around for most of the tasting, noticeable lacing, very dark brown with only a hint of light passing at the edge of the glass - 4.25, S: Noteworthy hop aromas - quite citrusy, subtle spicy to sourness, dark molasses-like sweetness, minor notes of alcohol, nose is quite enticing - 4.50, T: Lots of roasted grains, slight smokiness and baker's chocolate, noticeable hop bitterness that stays on the tongue long after the sip, nice citrusy bite, alcohol is evident but not overpowering - 4.25, M: Medium bodied - 4.00, D: A very nice and drinkable beer, I particularly enjoy the hop profile - 4.00

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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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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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