RateBeer
overall
98
79
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 420   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Barrel-aged version of Port Brewing Santas Little Helper.
2009 will be the inaugural release of this winter time classic. After brewing the 2008 batch of Santa’s we thought “wonder what this would taste like aged in a bourbon barrel?”


writerljberg's rating

3.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
writerljberg (487) - Oregon, USA - JAN 28, 2013
22oz bottle, 2010 vintage. Consumed 1-26-13, reviewed from notes. A: Bottle opens with a soft plip. Obsidian sludge, devoid of any head. Very sticky legs. N: Heavy bourbon, prune and some soy to start. Lots of vanill and some raisins. Blackberry brandy and coffee overtones. 2 yeras has not decreased the alcohol. Chocolate and fudge, of course. Mint. T: Blended bourbon and chocolate. Vanilla is the most dominant flavor with some tannins from the oak. Stale coffee grounds and prunes. Brandy, more so than bourbon after a few sips. Raisins and licorice. Honey. M: Stick, viscous, very, very hot and practically flat. O: Despite the low rating, I did enjoy this, but there are a lot of fatal flaws in a very competitive field. Age hasn’t seemed to help this much, surprisingly. I will say that’s it’s apt they put Santa Claus on this, because there’s a lot of raisin/prune which I’m sure is good for regularity.


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
TaktikMTL (5546) - Montréal-Nord, Quebec, CANADA - APR 11, 2014
Brassin 2013. En fût. Verre de 12 oz dégusté chez Armsby Abbey (Worcester, MA) au coût de 12,00$. Arôme: Odeur de bourbon avec une pointe de café. Apparence: La couleur est noire opaque. Présence d’un moyen col brun mousseux et d’une fine dentelle sur le verre. Saveur: Goût de café et de bourbon avec une pointe de chocolat. Longue durée de l’arrière goût. Palette: Le corps est moyen avec une texture onctueuse. Faible effervescence en bouche. Présence de bourbon en arrière goût. (Rating #5539)

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mmahut (627) - CZECH REPUBLIC - APR 2, 2014
Pours black body with quickly fading tan, almost brown, head. Aroma has woody character upfront, light dark chocolate, roasty, licorice, plums. You can also get hints of alcohol on the nose. Taste has dried raisins sweetness with woody and earthy bitterness. Body is full, medium carbonation, oily texture, creamy.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MaroonOrange (124) - - MAR 12, 2014
Very dark pour. Lots of dark malt, chocolate, figs, ripe stone fruit, and bourbon. Quite sweet with a dark malt bitterness. Very complex and strong.

3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
ross (2052) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - MAR 12, 2014
2009 or 2010 bottle, I forgot which. I think it came to me from the Sinners Club. Black color, no head - flat. Mouthfeel is oily, thick, and of course, flat. Huge bourbon and coffee aroma with some toffee as well. Little bit of hop kick. This had the potential to be a great stout, but because it was flat, it really disappointed me. Too bad I will probably never try this again on a bottle that is actually good.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
brenn79 (1429) - Idaho, USA - FEB 8, 2014
22 oz bottle, 2013 vintage- Pours inky black with a thin (that I had to rigorously pour to get) mocha colored head and little lace. The aroma is licorice, leather, oak, figs, chocolate, appealing yet the norm for the style. The taste is velvety smooth, the bourbon is mellow and well integrated, coffee and chocolate, licorice, oak. Body is huge, mouthfeel is creamy and carbonation is very soft and subtle. I loved the original and this is a great beer as well, would love to compare the two.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Yorker (993) - Herning, DENMARK - FEB 7, 2014
65 cl bottle @ home. Pours black with a tan head that leaves some lacing. Aroma and flavour are bourbon, vanilla, liquorice, and chocolate - with some alcohol in the finish.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
sitzds (261) - - JAN 22, 2014
22oz bottle shared during #bottlecherwednesday at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. Poured into tulip. Appearance is black with brown edges and a tan head rises a finger high before collapsing to a film. A little bit of patchy lace sticks to the glass. This beer is a barrel bomb! The aroma is all oak, bourbon, vanilla, and char. One of the other guys mentioned he was getting dog food, and he was right on it. Definitely an animal feed element. Not getting much of the base beer. Taste is a less satisfying version of the nose - lots of bourbon heat, vanilla, oak, and chocolate. Medium-heavy body, oily, creamy, thick texture, average to soft carbonation, hot boozy finish.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ed5388 (1725) - Forked River, New Jersey, USA - JAN 22, 2014
22oz bomber from Manahawkin Spirits. Pours pitch black with a finger of dark mocha head. Had a slimy yeast booger floating in my glass from the sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Kinda gross. Had to fish it outta with a spoon. Aroma of rich dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, roasted malt, and oak. Taste of strong woody oak, a hint of bourbon, notes of vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and char, but the oak is dominating this beer!

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
ClarkVV (3860) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 19, 2014
2013 bottle, drunk on 1/17/14
Tons of charred-oak colored head tops an ebony body with bright garnet highlights on the edges. Not completely opaque. Head is well-retained.
Prunes and bitter cacao are wrapped about by lightly sweet vanilla. Bourbon notes are present, but only lightly so, adding a touch of grainy/woody character and some warming on the finish. Chocolate and rich maltiness emerge as it warms, but the ashiness of the heavy roasted malts keeps it no where near syrupy or overly sweet, while the hops are very very muted. How refreshing to see a non-hop focused imperial stout. Obviously spending some time in the barrel has helped this end, but at least they didnt, i dont know, dry hop the barrels. Wouldnt put it past a lot of brewers. The vanilla character is, perhaps, a bit too pronounced, but this is a fine, elegant nose for such a strong beer.
Chocolate (dark, cocoa-laden) and tobacco mix about on the palate, as sweet malt is very rapidly swept away by wood tannin and bourbon phenols. Vanilla, not as dominant as in the nose, rounds out the finish with some very pleasant vinousness (oily, lightly bitter dark malt). Bourbon is definitely understated and very elegantly done here as expected. Alcohol is no where to be found for this strength. Soft, borderline creamy body is bolstered by dextrines and a low but tight carbonation. Wonderful stuff. Even at this young an age. Love the lack of hop resin.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Geokkjer (5341) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - JAN 10, 2014
Bottle. Pours black with a beige head. Aroma of malt, chocolate , vanilla, roasted malt, some burbon.and coffee. Flavor is sweet and roasted with some waming alcohol, vanilla, oak, bourbon, some peat and coffee. Full body, soft carbonation.


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