Port Brewing is one of the best ale factories in the nation and perhaps their most famous creation is the Old Viscosity. That beer is made by brewing a style-busting dark, strong ale that lies somewhere on the continuum between Old Ale and Stout. 80% of the beer comes straight from the stainless steel fermenter while the remaining 20% comes from an older batch that was aged in bourbon barrels for a spell. Someone at Port apparently got the bright idea (no sarcasm there…it really was an awesome idea) to bottle a brew that was 100% comprised of the barrel-aged Old Viscosity. This boozy, brawny beauty was naturally dubbed the Older Viscosity.
NOTES: Bottle from City Beer Store in SF
STYLE: Imperial Stout
APPEARANCE: The easy response is “black”, but it’s more like the darkest possible brown. I’m sure the name of the beer gave me some pre-conceived notions, but I can’t help thinking that the beer just “looks” dense and heavy.
HEAD: Minimal, dark khaki-colored head that fades in moments.
LACING: Very little…a dot or two of oily foam at the top of the glass.
NOSE: This is a take-no-prisoners malt-bomb. The nose combines massive amounts of extremely dark caramel, vanilla, and baker’s chocolate with the distinctly powerful aroma of boozy bourbon and toasted oak. It smells like an evening of terrible decisions (but in a good way).
TASTE: Sweet sassy molassy…this sucker is big. It starts off pleasantly sweet with chocolate and toffee being the most pronounced flavors. The middle is where the barrel aging really shines with perfect notes of vanilla and oakiness. The finish is bracing and bitter from super dark-roasted malt and a wash of bourbon.
MOUTHFEEL: I always thought the Old Viscosity was a bit of a misnomer and that the beer actually drank fairly light for what it was. The same is definitely not true of the Older Viscosity which has massive “mouthlegs” (Wifey McHops’s term) and coats your tongue like melted butter. A loooooooong finish keeps that bourbon taste in your mouth for minutes after each sip. That’s a good thing…as long as you like bourbon. Which I do. Because it’s delicious.
DRINKABILITY: I mean…it’s called Older Viscosity, it’s 12% ABV, and it has the mouthfeel of cough syrup. So despite it’s inherent awesomeness, this bad boy is the antithesis of a session beer. One and done…but a really, really good “one”.
RATING: An easy 4 Hops.