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Kate the Great Imperial Stout brewed by the Portsmouth Brewery

Kate the Great Imperial Stout - Portsmouth Brewery, New Hampshire          

Russian Imperial Stouts are the darkest and heartiest beers around. Originally brewed by British brewers for the Tsarist courts of Russia, these heavy beers were particularly adored by Empress Catherine the Great. Our version, named Kate the Great in tribute, was first brewed in 2005. Kate’s popularity exploded after BeerAdvocate magazine named Kate Best Beer in America and the 2nd Best Beer in the World in 2006. Now, beer lovers from around the world and curious Portsmouth residents alike, line-up for their once-a-year chance to taste this beguiling beer. Kate herself exhibits the roasted astringency of espresso that’s rounded out by rich flavors of dark chocolate and dark fruit character from a port wood-aging process. Only 310 gallons are made each year, with half of the batch being bottled while the other half goes on draft and sells out in one day.

Beer Review from Beer Advocate
Growler from the source. Man does it suck living only 1 hour away from the brewery. Dual-reviewing this with the bro as I type, but silently so he won't copy me.

Dense, opaque, black, like motor oil, with a rich looking coffee colored head that eventually drops to a ringed lace. Gorgeous.

Big, bold nose full of molasses, chocolate cake with a glass of milk on the side, some spicy hops blended with sherry, and a tease of anise and char in the back. Tobacco, too. "So ... damn ... complex," said in my best Shatner voice. 

Smooth, full-bodied, and viscous in the feel. Quite spicy upfront, with an herbal and lightly citric hop smack that's steeping in a border-line boozy, peppery, and warming alcohol chop to the throat that burns; just a bit. Malt characters run deep with some tangy blackstrap molasses, honey, treacle syrup, some char, brownie/chocolate, burnt coffee, and an interesting dark, fruitiness that's akin prunes (aka - dried plums; which I guess sounds better these days). Finish is quite tame with some powdery sweet chocolate. More hop spice, fumy alcohol (not too hot), and a hint of smoke in the linger.

Kate is indeed Great. This is probably the 4th or 5th time I've had this beer and it just keeps on getting better. Balanced, for what it is, insanely complex, and ranks right up there with the best of its style.

   Portsmouth Brewery Portmouth Brewery Beer Mug

A Poem about Kate The Great Imperial Stout - Catherine and Kate
by Adam DiCenso

Catherine, Dear Catherine
Savvy and sound,
Tsarina of Russia,
Your conquests abound

Kate, oh Kate
Both Balanced and bold,
Your chocolate aroma,
All should behold

Your majesty, my dear
You are the one,
Who expanded the empire,
And had lots of 'fun'

Kate, like your namesake
You're one of a kind,
Your impact far-reaching,
Quality refined

It's you that we honor,
On this special day,
To experience your appearance,
Yourflavor and bouquet

The greatest of styles
The imperial stout,
Full-bodied and creamy,
And malty throughout

Kate the Great
From Portsmouth you hail,
Complex yet smooth,
A most exceptional ale!

Portsmouth Brewery
The Portsmouth Brewery, founded in 1991, is the Granite State's original brewpub. Located in the heart of historic Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the Brewery features fine, handcrafted beers and a wideranging menu served in a lively, friendly atmosphere. The Brewery is connected through common ownership with the Smuttynose Brewing Company, also located in Portsmouth. Tours at the Portsmouth Brewery are available on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at one and three pm.





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