Port Brewing Co.
San Marcos, CA
Old Viscosity Ale Imperial Stout
I have a Friday night ritual of sitting out on my porch with a book, a cigar and a beer and just letting all the stress of the past week melt away. It’s a great, relaxing way to end a week and gets me in the right mindset for the weekend.
When it comes to beers, I light to go for something a little heavier that I can sip on for a while. The night before my wedding, I lit up a great Padron “Little Hammer” and enjoyed a bottle of Port‘s Older Viscosity, a 12.% barrel-aged version of their Old Viscosity imperial stout. It was a phenomenal beer, so I decided to dip into my cellar and try Older Viscosity’s little brother (if that’s really an applicable term).
Old Viscosity is one of Port’s year-round beers. At 10.5%, is a big, thick, viscous beer that is a blend of 80% new batch and 20% of a previous batch aged in bourbon barrels. For a year-round beer, they’re not playing around.
The pour is pitch black, a thick and viscous liquid – fittingly – that pour like motor oil. There’s a surprising two fingers of a creamy brown head that leaves gorgeous lacing and alcohol legs. At 10%, I wouldn’t expect a head like that, but the thing is gorgeous.
The first whiff gives you a big roasted coffee note on the nose. There’s some bitter dark chocolate on the back and a very slight oakiness. You also get hints of molasses, licorice, bourbon and plums. But the dark coffee is what’s most overpowering.
There’s a surprising amount of carbonation and a lighter body for such a thick beer. The taste is a deluge of bitter chocolate and coffee on the back of the tongue that sticks around a good long while. The oak is definitely noticeable on the finish and more so as it warms. The flavor blends characteristics of old ales, porters and barleywines, with an oily dark fruit flavor being the most prominent. It’s definitely boozy and will certainly keep you sipping for a while.
Old Viscosity is a beast of a beer, and on that night was exactly what I was looking for. It’s got a massive taste that demands to be enjoyed and analyzed slowly. I’d even go so far as to recommend you share it instead of downing a bottle all your own. (That’s much easier said than done, though.)