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RATINGS: 1096   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.91   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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Everything but the kitchen sink…Great Western Premium Two Row, Wheat, Carvienne, Caramunich, 95-115, 135-165L Crystal Malts, Chocolate, Roasted and Black Barley and Pale Chocolate. We also add some Brown Sugar and some Dark Belgian Candi Sugar to boost the Original Gravity. The beer is hopped with East Kent Goldings, Mt. Hood, Liberty, and Challenger. It is unfiltered with an OG of 1.094 and 10.0% ABV. Proprietary Ale Yeast.

Scipio's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Scipio (679) - Palatine, Illinois, USA - JAN 2, 2013
Pours black with a full, frothy tan head. Aroma is mostly vanilla, along with some cocoa and chocolate. The taste is very pleasing. It smoky and chocolaty with some earthy malts and vanilla. What makes this one different and somewhat surprising is the grapefruit citrus impressions that are here as well. This is very noticeable in the aftertaste, which is a delicious blend of the grapefruit, smoke, and chocolate. Full bodied with a thick, oily texture. This is very good and I really enjoyed this. I don’t find this very Christmasy, but that really doesn’t matter. Its an excellent stout without any negatives that I can find.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
fishonmyplane (402) - Newington, Connecticut, USA - JUL 9, 2014
10-month aged bottle. Thick creamy grey head. Roasty and bitter. Most of those added sugars have fermented so there isn’t much sweetness left, but there is a nice chocolate malt flavor. Pretty smooth for the ABV.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Joakgust (822) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JUN 3, 2014
Bottle. Opaque dark brown beer with a large beige head. Aroma is malty with notes of caramel, chocolate, wood, herbs and cream. Flavor is malty with notes of caramel, licorice, chocolate, wood and herbs. Very nice and balanced.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
tmzl (82) - SLOVENIA - MAY 31, 2014
Taste-off: Santa’s Little Helper (S) vs. Santa’s Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged (SBBA)

S: Pours with a huge, thick, creamy, billowy mocha head, has a good slow, equal retention (breakdown of medium sized bubbles). A very thick, medium-sized, creamy layer stays on top. Dark brown, heavy pour, fair amount of lacing.
SBBA: The head is a lot smaller, higher degree of medium/big bubbles, mocha head a bit lighter. Has a faster retention, mostly diminishing. Looks a bit more transparent and watery.

S: Cherry, dark fruit on opening, dominating roast, coffee and milk chocolate, stuffy, mostly dark malt driven. Light sourness, bit salty, soy sauce and some cookie dough.
SBBA: More dark fruit esters on opening, then goes to rum-kokos Casali chocolates with a lot of oak, vanilla. Roast, milk chocolate more on the side here. Alcohol with booze feeling, oak the most dominant aroma here.

S: Light acidity and molasses, burned sugar start with fruity forest esters. A bit rum-like transition into milky, dark malt medium sweetness that ends with medium dark coffee bitterness, it’s well developed. Small boozy spike towards the end.
SBBA: Bourbon oak dominates this one. Medium molasses, burned sugar sweet start with acidity turned down, the middle, which is overrun with oak dominance, a bit of milky backbone felt, but a lot more subtle. Ends with strong bourbon oak spike that dominates the after with turned down roast, coffee bitterness and alcohol.

S: Full, light heavy body, soft carbonation lingers on the tongue, quite pleasant.
SBBA: A bit lighter on the body (higher alcohol), light warmth, no carbonation to detect.

The non-barrel aged version is a lot smoother and very drinkable. Solid, not too demanding take on imperial stouts. The bourbon one is a lot sluttier, the oak is (too) heavy and goes down a lot slower. The age in barrels didn’t make it better IMO.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Darkmagus82 (446) - - MAY 25, 2014
Transfer from BA review on 3-28-12 - Served in a 10 oz chalice glass Appearance – Served with a black body and a small brown head. The head faded relatively fast giving a moderate to light amount of lacing. Smell – The smell has a dark-bitter chocolate scent with some burnt coffee aromas of a ever so light sweet dark fruit aroma. Taste – A bitter roasty malt flavor of dark chocolate and a light amount of dark fruits are the tastes initially meet by the tongue. As the taste advances there is a roasted coffee present that becomes more prevalent as the taste goes on. The bitter-roasted flavors continue to the end where a lighter smoke flavor comes into plays and leaves a somewhat pleasant and warming taste in the mouth. Mouthfeel – A nice creamy body with a medium carbonation level. It complements the strength and the style of the beer quite well. Overall – This brew has some very nice taste and mouthfeel qualities, although I do find it a little one dimensional in taste as it only gives way to more burnt-bitter flavors. It is worth a try especially if you are looking for a roasty imperial.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hermanw7 (28) - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - MAY 25, 2014
Appearance: What a RIS should look like. Aromas: vanilla, roasted malt. Taste: Starts with the vanilla, finishes off with bitterness and coffee. Christmas cake. Palate: medium to heavy body, medium carbonation. Loved it!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
hopwine (246) - Bend, Oregon, USA - MAY 23, 2014
Pours a beautiful opaque black with a dense, abundant dark tan head. Chocolate, espresso, raisin, caramel, crusty bread, earthy hops, apple-y esters. One of my favorite non ba stouts.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Habanero (2443) - Tranbjerg, DENMARK - APR 4, 2014
Bottled. Pours black with an average, lacing, tan head. Aroma of caramel, chocolate, licorice and dark fruit notes. Sweet flavor that ens up with bitter notes and alcohol. Full bodied, creamy to oily texture and soft carbonation. An awesome impy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
anthony850 (239) - Andover, New Jersey, USA - MAR 28, 2014
In a bottle smooth with chocolate , fruity taste high alc. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheJester (1778) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 22, 2014
650 mL bottle. Looks the part, with a nice brown head. The aroma doesn’t knock you over, but is not unpleasant. The flavour is fantastic - very roasty at first, and filling out and becoming more chocolatey as it warms. Fairly textbook, and more British than American.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
tomekk1978 (406) - POLAND - MAR 21, 2014
Barwa: czarna, nieprzejrzysta nawet pod światło. Piana beżowa do brązowej, raczej drobno pęcherzykowa. Początkowo obfita, jednak dość szybko opada, ładnie oblepia jednak szkło. Wysycenie średnie do wysokiego. Średnio oleiste, jak an taką moc, ale dość lepkie. Aromat: typowy dla ciemnych słodów (czekolada, kakao, kawa, owoce). Z butelki słodki, ze sniftera raczej wytrawny. Alkohol nie wyczuwalny. Smak: początkowo nieco kwaskowy, ale po chwili staje się zdecydowanie bardziej wytrawny. Gorzka czekolada, kakao, być może także chmiel, (bowiem na końcu wyczuwalna konkretna goryczka) oraz lekka alkoholowość. Do tego owoce (suszone śliwki), a nawet akcenty wędzone, jednak dopiero po pewnym utlenieniu. Santa’s Little Helper to moje drugie piwo z tego browaru - po Mongo IPA, z którym mam bardzo dobre wspomnienia. Niestety tutaj odczucia są nieco słabsze. Jak na imperiala jest dla mnie zbyt kwaśne, choć w drugiej fazie wyraźnie zyskuje. Nie ma też aż tak mocnego i złożonego aromatu, jak w innych przykładach tego stylu. Nie chcę wychodzić przed szereg, ale także uwarzony przeze mnie RIS wygląda na bardziej obiecujący, choć jest jeszcze bardzo młody. Z drugiej strony alkohol jest tu bardzo dobrze zamaskowany, przez co Santa’s wydaje się być dobrą propozycją na zakończenie świąt. Raczej nie sięgnę po niego kolejny raz, ale nie zamierzam rezygnować z browaru Port Brewing, którego inne piwa chętnie spróbuję.

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