Portsmouth Brewery has been brewing beers since 1991 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. They are best known for their yearly release of their Russian Imperial Stout: Kate the Great. The style was created in the 1800s as brewers tried to impress the Russian Czar. Much like IPAs, hops needed to be used for the shipment of the beer. Kate the Great, specifically, garners its name from being a beer worthy of Catherine the Great’s Imperial Court of Russia.
The pour is black with a late forming light brown head. Recedes quickly, leaving a ring around where the beer meets the glass. Sweet chocolate is main smell here, undertones of hops and some coffee coming through as well. Lots of chocolate on the taste, like the smell. However, the coffee is much more present than I expected. The aftertaste has huge coffee tastes and dryness. Hops are noted, but only slightly. The balance is truly remarkable. Big, full, and heavy. A hint of carbonation, and no signs of alcohol. This lives up to the hype. One of the best non barrel aged stouts I’ve had. Really glad I got the chance to try it!