Thursday, October 2, 2008

Samuel Adams Honey Porter

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (735) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 4, 2010
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2012 One of these days I’ll have to write my critical theory of beer reviewing. I never claimed to be an expert on beer, but I’d like to think I know more than the average Joe Six Pack. When I review beer, the most important feature is taste – if a beer tastes great it’s almost guaranteed to be rated 5 stars or at least 4 if it’s just plain good. I don’t care how much craftsmanship went into it; if it doesn’t taste good, it’s not a good beer.

This is how I feel about Samuel Adams Honey Porter – a beer that despite the brewer’s reputation just doesn’t satisfy at all.


There’s something odd about the way a porter pours – it doesn’t look like beer, it looks like black water. Honey Porter appears to have an opaque black complexion, although on closer inspection we see it is actually very dark maroon and lightly carbonated. It forms a fairly small, tan, creamy head which never completely dissipates and leaves some lacing on the glass.

The aroma is sweet but dry. All you can smell is malts, and they are dry and pungent.


I’ve never been a fan of the porter style so I was optimistic that the Boston Beer Company could bring me around, but it was not the case. I just don’t understand the appeal of such dry-tasting beers that are reminiscent of cough syrup.

At least the beer’s name is dead-on since honey is the most notable ingredient in the flavor. It’s ironic that a beer with such a fairly sweet taste would be unappealing to me. I think it’s because it’s so dry-tasting, overall. Much like a glass of red wine, this beer leaves a bitter aftertaste in my mouth and doesn’t improve at slightly warmer temperatures (which is odd considering how dark it is).

Although I don’t find the taste desirable, I must admit that Honey Porter finishes extremely smooth. It’s almost like drinking a glass of juice or water, only with a much drier taste. I recommend drinking it as cold as possible since it begins to develop a bite and severe aftertaste at warmer temperatures.


Perhaps what vexes me the most about Honey Porter is that for a full-bodied beer it sure doesn’t drink at such. Weighing in at 192 calories and 5.45% ABV, this beer should drink like a much stronger, more potent beverage than it actually is. I drank two bottles in close proximity and I didn’t feel full or overwhelmed at all – go figure.


I almost feel guilty in a way for rating this beer so low, but the taste is just so unappetizing that I cannot in all honesty rate it any higher. The Samuel Adams line isn’t known for brewing junk, so I’m sure plenty of work went into making this a quality porter product (as indicated by the higher ratings by most other beer critics here on epinions), but I can barely drink it. 
Grade: 3/10

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